Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Philly day 2

The General Session just started and all is going well.
We went to Teds Montanna Grill last night and had a really great dinner. there were six of us and it was a good time of catching up.
One of our friends just happened to be on a show here in Philly, so, he stopped by for a few drinks and it was so great to see him and catch up with him. Thanks for hanging with us Matt!
I called it an early night and went to bed right after dinner. This morning was really tough trying to wake up.
The hotel totally did not deliver on my wake up call. I asked for a 6:15 wake up call, and they said they would do it... but nothing.
I had set my iPhone alarm and my travel alarm as a back-up, so, it wasn't a big deal, but that is why you can't rely on the hotel.

This morning Evan came in earlier than the rest of us to make sure the projectors were looking good, and it is a good thing he did, because one of them wouldn't fire up at first, and then all of them had drifted a little, so he spent a good 45 minutes tweaking them and making the images look good. After he finished that, he jumped back on his primary duty, Audio.
Rob is back stage running powerpoint for the show, but he has really made an impression on the client with his skills.
They have been throwing changes at him left and right, and he is able to handle them so quickly that it is really just downright impressive.
The clients are all referring to him as "The Wizard" or "The Man Behind the Curtain"
Even at breakfast this morning, someone stopped me and asked, "Is that the Wizard"?
I want to be a wise guy and say, "No, that is just some homeless guy we picked up", however I didn't and this lady went on to praise Rob about his skills.
It is a great thing to be part of a team that is so proficient.

We are trying to figure out where we will have dinner. It is a good possibility that we will go back to Teds Montana Grill again. The food is good, prices are very reasonable, and it is right across the street.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The show ended in Sonoma. It was a really short day. 8:00 am to 10:30, and then we struck the equipment and loaded it in the trailer and headed to the local sports bar to watch the Denver/New Orleans NFL game.

We killed the day there and Murphys Irish Pub, and then went to the airport at about 6:30 pm.
Our flight went very well. Evan got us a first class upgrade and we slept for most of the flight. Not great sleep.. but not bad either.
We arrived in Philly about 5:50 am, got our luggage and took a taxi to the hotel. We were already checked into our rooms thanks to Tina, and went straight to bed and slept till almost 12:00 noon.
We grabbed a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant, which had incredibly poor service, and then loaded into the ballroom at 1:30.
The load-in and set up went really well thanks to Nigel and the guys from Staging Horizons. Now we are waiting for the clients to come down at 8:30 to do a quick rehearsal and then it is off to bed. The show starts at 9:00 am tomorrow which is a nice treat that we don't have to be up so early.

Here is a shot of the room in Philly that we set up today.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Boss Man

We work for this guy who is the most amazing boss in the world.
He is kind and generous, intelligent, and is always looking out for us.
Sometimes however, he feels he has to step in, and "Put his Foot Down"
Well this time... he put his foot down... and we responded like any AV Professional should.

We Gaffer taped him to the floor.
It was mostly a safety precaution... He is still there right in the middle of the conference room.
When the client asked about why he was there, we had to re-assure her that we put some extra tape on him just to make sure no one would trip.


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Allen and I got on the road around 6:00 pm and headed towards Sonoma with a trailer full of gear.
The grumpy guy at the U-haul place didn't have the 6' x 8' trailer that we used last time in stock, so, we ended up with a 6' x 12' Dual Axle trailer this time. This trailer is a lot heavier, and we could really feel it pushing us around. We ended up getting into Sonoma around 8:30 pm or so, and checked into the Best Western. All was good. We were supposed to meet Rick for a drink at his hotel at 11:00 pm so, we went over there and hung out for a while. Rick's flight was delayed a bit, and we were getting really tired, so, we called Rick and told him we would meet him in the morning.

The next morning, we were suppose to get to the hotel to start work at 9:00. It was only 15 minutes away. We planned on getting up around 7:00 and then going to breakfast around 7:30. I got up and went outside onto my 2nd floor balcony to see what it was like outside.
I only threw a pair of jeans on... no shirt. After hanging out for a few minutes, I went to open the sliding glass door and found that it was locked... I was stranded on my balcony! I worked on the door for a few minutes, and realized that it was not going to open. I had no cell phone... nothing but a pair of jeans on.
I climbed over the railing and slid around to Allen's balcony, where I started banging on the door. He appeared, and looked at me wondering "what the heck are you doing?"
I told him the story, and his reaction was pretty much what I expected... basically giving me grief and making fun of me. What are friends for?

So, I called the front desk and they told me that no maintenance staff would even be on property till 8:00 am. So, Allen was stuck with me. Log story short... they came up and after a few trips back and forth to their shop, they cut the chain on the main door and let me in.

Moral of the story? Don't completely shut your sliding glass door on a hotel balcony. I can't imagine what I would have done if I was on the 12th floor. Also, make sure you have clothes on. I never would have lived it down if I had to climb over to Allen's balcony in my underwear!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stumpy Meadows

I decided to get out on the Harley again today, and I took a 100 mile round trip ride up to a place called Stumpy Meadows.
Stumpy Meadows is a man made reservoir in El Dorado County about 50 miles north of Folsom.
You carve through these amazing roads and see huge pines lining the road on either side occasionally passing massive logging trucks hauling their loads down the mountain. Just when you feel totally lost in the wilderness, the view opens up and this gorgeous water appears in front of you.
What a glorious day for a ride.

Stumpy Meadows

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Few Bell Photos

So, Allen and I walked around the Capital building in downtown Sacramento the other day and I shot a few photos in this park.
It was nice to break out the camera for the first time in a long time.
I didn't get a lot, but I found a few cool shots.


Here is a Replica of the Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell Replica

The Bell from the USS California

USS California Bell Wide

USS California Bell

Some Flowers in the Park


And a cool statue


Sunday, September 14, 2008


Well, I was supposed to be in St Louis this weekend, but the show cancelled. So, I decided to ride up to Lake Tahoe today.
I left around 10:30 and stopped in Placerville an old gold mining town for a quick bite. I was going to hit a fast food place, but decided not to eat at any chain restaurants. So, I stopped at a place called Shoestring Chili Dogs. It was local.. and you know it has been around forever I am sure!

Shoe String Dogs Low Rez

So, after a "Kraut" dog which was pretty good, I headed back onto route 50 heading east and started climbing the mountains up into Tahoe. The sun was gorgeous, it wasn't too hot, and the roads were full of beautiful twisty curves. I carved my way towards the lake, and smelled the pines and watched the little creek fly by. It was really amazing! I pulled into the little town of Strawberry CA, which is probably about 300 yards long, and I knew I was going to stop at the Strawberry Lodge, but just before the lodge, I was awestruck by the rock face overlooking the lodge, so I pulled over and took a picture. You can see the lodge just ahead with the green roof.

Strawberry California low rez

I sat in the lodge in a comfy couch, smelling the fireplace smells, and watching people walking in and exploring the lodge. Then I picked up an issue of "Climbing" magazine, which I haven't read in many years. It was very relaxing and it felt good not to have an agenda or even a real destination. Today was just about enjoying the moment.

After reading the magazine, I decided to get back on the bike and take off.
I carved the last few miles up the mountain, and then started down into Lake Tahoe. There are about 4 little turnouts on the way down which have the most tremendous views of the Tahoe Basin. It was just a sight to behold as I rolled down the mountain road.

I decided to head up to Tahoe city, which is a bit of a ride. When you land in Tahoe, you are in South Lake Tahoe, and Tahoe City is on the Northwest Corner of the lake about 30 miles along a very twisty lake road. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour to get up there, because the traffic moves so slow.
About halfway there I realized that I was going to need fuel soon, so another element to think about as I putted along the lake.
When I pulled into Tahoe City, there was a gas station right at the intersection, so I fueled up, and then headed over to Rosie's Cafe for a drink and some food. I was really dehydrated and water never tasted so good!
As I ate, I watched the Seahawks/49ers game, and I was probably the only person there cheering for Seattle. Kinda funny.

Then I hopped on the bike, and turned it toward home. 126 miles away.

The ride home was uneventful, just a bit more difficult heading west into the setting sun. I am not complaining though, I had an amazing day!

Harley over Tahoe low rez

Oh.. as I rode up the hill close to my house, I stopped to see what was up with the bike abandoned on the side of the road.
It looks like his rear tire blew out. Big surprise considering how bald it was! I had a much better ride than he did today!

Abandoned Bike