Well, I made it. I just arrived here at the Consumer Electronics Show about half-an-hour ago, and am writing from the Press Room. The drive through the desert was fine -- about 3 hours and 45 minutes. The part leaving Los Angeles and nearing Las Vegas are pretty drab, but there's about two hours or so in the middle that are reasonably pleasant with some mountain range in the distance, as you pass through the foothills.
They'll be having a little box lunch here for the press starting in about 15 minutes. And then, I'll dive into to some press conferences. This is Press Day, and there used to be a tsunami of somewhat interesting press conferences, but they started to dwindle about four years ago. There still are a lot, but not that many that interest me. Just two, really. Then, I'll head to my hotel, check in, rest up for about 30 minutes, and head back to one of the two big night-time press events that I love. (Lots of vendors in a convenient, self-contained ballroom, and a nice buffet dinner -- thought the similar event tomorrow always has a much, much better buffet. Hey, I really am there for the vendors, but we do have our priorities...)
Every year, some vendor sponsors a bag for the journalists. For years, it was a perfectly nice canvas attaché, or more recently a pull-bag on wheels. The latter is very convenient for many, but I always prefer an attaché, it's easier for maneuvering through the mass of crowds. This year, it's a backpack. Again, probably convenient for some, but...well, given that most people here aren't college students getting to class, it's just sort of a waste, I think. It's very nice that they give it (sponsored this year by drive-maker Seagate), and the thought is appreciated, but for the past many years, I've just brought the "messenger bag" that they gave a while back (sponsored by Toshiba), since it's a terrifically-designed one for the purposes. I tend to get a lot of admiring sighs from people who remember having gotten the same one themselves and wishing they'd kept theirs.
I'm particularly thrilled about one thing this year: for the last 10 years or so, the college championship bowl game has fallen during that second night event, so I haven't seen the NCAA championship football game for the past decade, only a few snips -- either from a distance watching one of the 18,000 TV sets in the casino where the press event is behind held, before the event begins, or looking up at the massive HUGE-screen they started hanging from the ballroom ceiling about four years ago. (Prior to that, the only "coverage" was if one of the vendors was displaying their TV monitor, guaranteeing a really big crowd at their booth...). But this year, with there being a college playoff for the first time, the championship game isn't being played until next Monday. So, I'll finally get to see it for the first time in 10 years!! Hubba! I was fine with their being no playoff -- I liked the poll and bowl system -- but at least as long as their having a playoff, there's this wonderful benefit.
Anyway, that's the news for now. I'll try to check in later, but can't guarantee it. I see people lining up for lunch, so it's time to head off...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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