Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Weird Vegas/CES Day In Pictures and Snark

Yesterday was a weird one, even by Vegas standards. It started with me heading to the KSNV studio to tape an upcoming episode of Nevada Newsmakers, Sam Shad's Reno-based TV show. This, above, was idling next to me as I waited at a light. I had no idea Monte Rock III rides a moped!

Then I get to the studio -- the one where Miles, who was coming in late because he had been in Carson City on Monday, is executive producer -- and the tech guy who lets me in sees me craning my neck as we pass the studio. "Oh, I can show you around and show you how we do things if you'd like after your interview," he said. I giggled to myself.

Next I'm in the chair ready to take Shad's queries about Cosmo, CityCenter, Vdara death rays and Frank Sinatra Jr. (Shad's a big fan of The Strip and my interviews.) Sam and his crew were in Reno and I had an earpiece. So naturally, I shoot this:

Before we began, Shad told me there'd be a slight audio delay and they would edit out the pauses. That comforts me. My ear canals must be awful large and slippery -- 32 years of wearing hearing aids, maybe? -- and the ear piece kept sliding out. They tried to adjust it, kept happening. But now it's time to do the interview.

Except during my first response, the thing falls out again. So, knowing it's taped and not live, I stop talking, try to get it back in, it won't stay and I mouth the word, "SHIT." That four-second delay was priceless, because a few beats later, there's this raucous laughter coming from the other end. I apologize profusely and they decide they have to start over and Shad is in my ear -- they brought another, equally ill-fitting ear piece -- begging me not to cuss again. One of the things Sam seems to love about our show is the fact that we can curse -- no FCC, woo hoo! -- so he has this impression that I've got this real potty mouth. I actually don't, but it was entertaining anyhow.

So we do the rest of the interview, I think it went well despite having to futz with my ear thing every time I wasn't speaking, and off I go to interview Shae Wilhite, a Vegas comic-turned-baker whose "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" appearance from 2001 aired on GSN a couple weeks ago. Oddly, both Shae and I must speak really loud because on several occasions, other people at the Omelet House interjected to clarify or correct something. "Um, Lana Turner wasn't discovered in a drugstore, that's a myth," one guy advised. I'd never had group participation in an interview before.

Anyhow, I go home and I'm working on some stuff and I turn around to find our new dog, Aces, has chewed on my property tax bill:

Evidently, the little Mexican dog didn't get the memo from Harry Reid that Hispanics can't be Republicans.

Next I read the newspaper and my favorite section, The View, offers this unfortunate pairing of headline and photo:

Another unfortunate headline/photo pairing from The View sect... on Twitpic

So then I'm off to the Venetian for the press preview of the Consumer Electronics Show. And while everybody else is agog about 3D television -- which I can't quite imagine ever needing but I once said that about Twitter, too -- I liked the gizmos that help you find your car or at least your car's keys:

This also seemed practical, a camera that beams your baby's activities (or your college roommate's?) to your iPhone:

This clunker below fascinated me, particularly because it got an innovation award.

It's a $3,000 oven, see. And I thought, "Oh, you can control it from your computer so you can, say, look in on what you're cooking from another part of the house and adjust the temperature or something." That would be cool, right? Nah. For $3,000, it cooks stuff faster with some sort of steam induction thing.

I asked the guy if this was supposed to be someone's main oven. He said yes. I asked if it came in any other sizes. He said no. I asked how anyone was going to get a baking sheet in there. He had no clue.

Why am I telling you all this today instead of via Twitter yesterday? I mean, this is the most sophisticated tech conference and the whole world is wired to transmit every thought instantaneously, right?

Well, this... why. For hours yesterday at the Venetian, I couldn't get email or Tweet except for occasionally via text-message. I couldn't even use my AT&T air card to get online on my laptop with any reliability.

As one of my Facebook friends responded, "Oh, the irony." Way to represent, Venetian!


JeffW said...

SThat being a tech conference prob means EVERYBODY was on the network in some fashion...bogging it down. Could they prepare for that? Probably. Do they want to "pay" to prepare for that?

It's the reason I turn my phone off when I am at a football game. Everyone is texting or sending people photos to show that they are at the place to be, etc. My cell battery drains from consistently trying to find a signal.