Las Vegas, Days Two Three and Four

Ok I know I’ve been slacking on this Vegas trip as far as blogging goes, but MAN am I exhausted!  Here’s a quick summary of events since Monday night:

Monday night:  Had dinner with Gunny, his girlfriend and Dai.  Nice buncha people!  And Gunny (David) you’re a bastard for paying for everyone.  If anyone else goes to Vegas, you gotta take HIM out for once, to make up for me and Darkmajic too apparently…

Tuesday: Lotsa sessions.  Info overload.  One of the sessions was an inside look into, which was …depressing actually.  A lot of the problems that they had, we’re having, and the things they did to fix those problems, are the opposite of what we’re doing.  It’s just sad.  I did get a much-coveted VIP pass (they only had several to hand out to people who where not already specifically invited based on a resume submission) to go to a behind-the-scenes look at a major news website covering one of the biggest stories a news site covers in a year – Election Night.  Little did I know that not only would I be rubbing elbows with the upper management of MSNBC, but they would be providing most excellent hors d’ourves AND an open bar.  Niiiice. 

Tuesday Evening: Anyway 7:30 rolled around, which is when they where supposed to wrap things up, but the msnbc guys decided they wanted to keep the party going, so they invited some of the attendees to join them at Mix, a swanky bar on Floor 64 of “THE Hotel”, a new high-rise suite-only hotel connected to the Mandalay Bay.  It had an open patio area.  ON the 64th floor.  Wow.  Not to mention the fact that they paid the bill for everyone who showed up.  I swear the bar tab must’ve been around 1000 bucks, with ten people drinking $6+ drinks for 3 hours, plus appetizers.  I ended up stumbling back to my hotel around 1am.  A fun night.

Wednesday: I played hooky for a bit in the morning, which I had pretty much planned on since there weren’t really any sessions going on in the morning that I wanted to attend.  So I hit the pool for a few hours, to soak up some sun while I had a chance.  I knew I wouldn’t be seeing any sun for a loooong time once I got back home.  The rest of the day was uneventful, just attending sessions. 

Wednesday night: Had dinner with mom instead at the mandalay bay buffet.  It had a chocolate fountain!  yuuuummm….with marshmellows.  And Lychees in the fruit section!  Oi was I full.

Thursday: LOTS of good sessions to choose from today.  I had trouble picking ones, and wished I had some others with me so we could split up and compare notes afterwards.  I ended up checking out a session on accessible website for people with disabilities (one of my personal torches at work) and another on the provider framework, which was really great.  But there where another 3-4 I would’ve liked to have gone to as well.  At least I can download all the demos and stuff after the conference!

Thursday night: Dinner with mom again, this time at one of those station casinos.  Got paid today, so I could actually gamble some, and of course mostly lost on the slots.  I did make a little over 10 dollars back on the last one I played, adn walked away feeling somewhat redeemed.  Then I played some roulette, and made 30 bucks!  Still overall at a loss, but that made it a little better…

Now I’m all packed up (mostly) and ready to check out tomorrow.  My plane doesn’t leave until 11pm tho.  I have my last workshop from 8-4, so I have to check out before then, and then leave my stuff with the bag guys.  Frankly I can’t wait to be home.  I miss my puppy.  I managed to not spend hundreds of dollars on cute little doggy tshirts and pink doggie goggles, but I did take a card!  I might have to splurge a bit if I get a decent return on tax day 😀

Can’t wait to be home, like I said.  I don’t really like Vegas this trip.  Probably a combination of lack of money, lack of companionship, and info overload. 

You all have to call me after Friday and make plans to hang out so I can get the bitter taste of loneliness outta my mouth…

Early Mornings of a Northwest Night Owl continued…

Category: Thoughts_
So, to continue. In all honesty, yesterday I was going to say that it just might…MIGHT… be possible that getting up early like that could be ok. But that was yesterday. These early mornings are starting to wear me down. I’m plain exhausted today, despite getting nearly 8 hours of sleep. And it’s more than just the early mornings…it’s the commuting. Having to commute back and forth through rush hour traffic almost every day seems to create a subtle shift in my quality of life. Before this move, I could go home for lunch if I wanted and relax on my back deck. If I wasn’t feeling well I could go home without affecting the work schedule of 2-3 other people as well.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s not so much the traffic and commute time, but the fact that I am no longer free to come and go as I please; I have to consider at least two other people as well. And that’s on the weeks when I’m driving. The other weeks, I’m essentially trapped at work.

But what’s the alternative? Spending probably a third more time in traffic, and a lot more money in gas. Considering my reduced income thanks to the taxes I now have to pay, the gas savings helps. So I don’t know…there’s pros and cons to this whole situation, and things need to settle for a bit before I can tell how much this will affect things. But until then, I’m freakin’ tired!

Early Mornings of a Northwest Night Owl

So, now my job has moved. I used to work in a nice mellow small office, a state away (well, 12 miles) from Headquarters, 2 miles from my house, where I could waltz in anytime between 8 and 9ish. From the moment I left work in the afternoons to the moment I walked in my house, never topped 5 minutes, unless I had errands to run.

But now that is ALL different. The powers that be decided that I should increase my commute time by an hour on average, take a 10% pay cut due to the fact that I now have to pay state taxes to a state I don’t live in and increase my stress level exponentially – and all for the good of the agency. Phooey I say!

Well, in defense of this, me and my fellow movees decided to form a carpool to battle the insane cost of gas and other increased transportation costs. All well and good, you say. Riiiiight. The problem is these fine people decided that they want to leave – LEAVE – for work at 6:45. AM. In the morning.


Now remember, I’m used to waking up around 7-7:30 at the earliest. And they want to leave BEFORE that. What planet are they from? I’m a night owl! I’m used to staying up until midnight, fiddling with this and poking at that, until I can no longer keep my eyes open. This is normal. Waking up at 5am is NOT.

So now it’s been two days of waking up early.

And crap now they’re all looking over my shoulder. So I’ll comment on my opinions of waking up early tomorrow….