Saturday, July 31, 2010

Denver Wrap Up

We finished the awards dinner, and some of the guys showed up to help take it down.
I think I only expected one or two guys, but there ended up being seven of us in total.
It was about 10:15 pm when we started and in walked Mike Steighner walked in wearing a cowboy hat that the client gave out.
He said he was packing up his hotel room and just wanted to come down and hang out with us.
Jay and I struck the audio while Eric, and Jon worked on the lighting. David and Frank worked on the scenic, and Rick and Mike helped out with pretty much every thing.

So, the eight of us loaded everything into the truck and finished just after 11:30 pm. We all met on the 27th floor of the hotel in the peak's lounge for a final drink together. It was low key because we were all pretty tired. We all said goodbye and the following morning everyone flew to their homes.

It was such a great show and the client thanked us all telling us that the show was flawless. It was so nice to be part of a great crew, and amazing boss, and a wonderful client, not to mention great friends.

Here are just a few photos I grabbed that night.

2010-07-29 18:27:59 -0600

This is Mike and Frank... Two truly amazing guys.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Winding it all down in Denver

The General Session ended and the local crew arrived, and started ripping the beautiful room apart.
It never fails to amazing me how quickly the room gets taken apart.

Here is a shot of the room during the session, and then another shot exactly one hour after the crew started working.
Aegis GS 2

one hour later

Exactly one hour after we started striking

Some of the equipment from the strike didn't go on the truck though. It went upstairs to the Capital Ballroom where we set up the Audio and Lighting for the last dinner. (not to be confused with the "Last Supper")

I will run audio for the room tonight and hang out with Rick who faithfully attends this closing dinner to be with his client.
2010-07-29 18:27:59 -0600

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rodeo Time

Wednesday night on this show is the client offsite event. This time it was held at the fairgrounds and featured a rodeo.
I was asked to go and shoot video at the rodeo so that it could be edited into the closing candid video module that will show tomorrow.
While I am not really a camera operator, I think I managed to get a few usable clips.
While I was shooting video, I snapped off a couple of shots. Every time I use my Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens, I realize how sharp and great it is!
Time for bed now, but here is a shot I was able to catch tonight.
Whenever I see these kind of events, I always root for the bull.

Bull 1 Cowboy 0

Show time in Denver

Up until this point, all the meetings that have been going on have been breakout meetings. The General Session room has been all about rehearsals. David has been managing all the breakout meetings flawlessly. Today is the first day of actual General Session meetings, and I have to say, the guys in that room have the show locked down tight! The room looks great, and sounds great. The lighting gives the room great color, and the video screens are beautiful... there really isn't a bad seat in the house.

Aegis GS

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bed Time in Denver

The day went well. General Session was rehearsal time.. all day.... Those guys sat in that room freezing cuz the air conditioning was turned down so low to accommodate 700 people worth of body heat... only, there were no attendees today. So, while it was 98 degrees outside, it was like 67 degrees in the ball room.

At the end of the day, I got a call from one of the clients asking me to shoot a couple of photos for them, so I went over and took care of that, and then met Evan, Eric, and Jay in the hotel bar before we headed to Coors Stadium. Rick went and bought us all tickets to the Rockies vs the Pirates game. We got over to the stadium and hung out, had some nachos and watched the game. It was really REALLY relaxing, and even though I am not into baseball, I had a great time, and it is a beautiful ballpark.

Eric and I were hungry and left after the bottom of the 8th inning and walked back to the Tapas place that Rick, Frank and I went to the first night I was here. We had amazing food and were stuffed. After a nice walk back to the hotel of about 10 blocks or so, it is bed time.

Tomorrow, I am going to the client's offsite event which is a rodeo, and am going to shoot some video which will get edited into the happy face video that they will show at the end of the week.

2010-07-27 22:31:25 -0600

Denver Part II

It has been really good to see all the guys.
This is one of a couple shows per year, where a good majority of all the guys get to be on the same show at the same time.
It is a privilege to be able to work along side of these guys, hang out with them after work, and be able to bounce ideas, share stories, and pretty much laugh constantly because of the antics that they all do.

Our fearless leader Rick has had this client for over 20 years, and it is a really REALLY good gig. They treat us with a ton of respect, they are friendly, and while they have high expectations, it is always accompanied with the resources to accomplish whatever they ask.

Interestingly enough, that ties in beautifully with the way Rick runs his company. He treats us with respect, ensures that we have the resources to make the client happy, and he does all this while having a great time. It is like a big family, and again I say it is a privilege to be a part of this.

After work last night, we met at the hotel bar, and Evan, Mike, Frank and I hopped in a cab and went to a place called the Uptown Tavern. The patio was great, and the food was good... but the service was really slow. We had fun though and laughed like crazy the entire time.
Afterwards, we took a cab to the Denver Capital building and got to shoot some photos. It was super dark out, but we all wandered around with our cameras clicking off shots until about 10:30 and then headed back to the hotel.
Here are a couple of shots I created from last night.


Denver Capital Mall

Denver Moon

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Flying from Boston through Chicago was no easy task. The weather was pretty bad in Chicago, so after about a 45 minute delay on the tarmac in Boston, the pilots took us back to get more fuel and then we finally took off. Once we landed in Chicago, I had about 10 minutes to get to my next gate. Fortunately it was just 3 gates down and I walked right on the plane. For those of you who have read some of my blogs, you will know that this is not the normal way of life for me in airports.
I landed in Denver right on schedule and met Rick in one of the client offices where we set up some printers and a fax machine and then off to Bubba Gump's for a bite to eat.

After a good lunch, we finished unpacking some more office supply stuff and then walked across town to pick up some paper for the copiers and printers.
We should have taken a cab back, but instead we bought a package deal on 6 boxes of paper that included a free hand truck.
10 city blocks later, and about 3 gallons of sweat, we finally got back to the hotel with our paper and I thought I was going to pass out.

We called it an early day and went walking out in the city and met our friend Frank Sollecito. We then walked to the Baseball stadium and went to the Breckenridge Brewery for a beer. After a drink and some great laughs, we went to dinner at a Tapas Restaurant. I pretty much went to bed after that.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I am wondering when the day will come when my body becomes like my father's and my internal alarm clock will start waking me up at 4:00 am naturally. It certainly isn't now... that is for sure.
My alarm went off at 3:30 am and I got up and headed to the airport. I was hauling a lot of luggage this time. My suitcase, my computer bag, a Pelican case with a telephone interface, a Pelican case with a DVCAM deck, another Pelican with my recorders and other miscellaneous audio stuff in it, and my Camera Bag. 6 Bags in total to haul around the country. They weighed well over 175 lbs. Fortunately, Allen got up at 3:30 am to give me a ride to the airport so I didn't have to fight parking and hauling all this stuff onto the shuttle buses.

Taking advantage of Continental airlines joining the Star Alliance, I got on the plane and remembered how much I like United's economy plus seating. 5 Inches of leg room in Economy Plus = Your knees not getting mashed when the person in front of you reclines their chair.
Sacramento to Houston, and then Houston to Boston with an hour ground stop delay, I finally arrived in Boston and gathered my entourage of road cases together and hailed a cab. I checked into the hotel and grabbed my camera and wandered off around Quincy Market. I went to this fountain that we shot last time we were here and tried to get a good capture of it again. My first time shooting it produced less than good results so I thought I would take another stab at it.

Boston Fountain

Quincy Market 2

Quincy Market 1

I had about 2 hours to walk around and grab a bite to eat before I was tired and went to bed. Thursday we loaded in and worked till about 6:30 pm and grabbed a quick dinner with the producer of the show, Josh. He is a super cool guy and I really enjoy working with him. He is totally laid back and just really nice to be around.

Show call was 6:30 am this morning and the show pretty much goes all day followed by the strike. Tonight I have to move to the Marriot out by the airport and then fly out first thing in the morning to Denver.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home from Texas

The show went well, and we tore it all down and got out of there at about 4:30 pm. Dave and I headed to the shuttle that would take us to Terminal E and found that walking outside was enough to make us pass out from heat stroke. Finally through security and then we hung out in a little mexican restaurant and had a bite to eat while we played 18 holes of golf on the iPad.
He won and then had to get on his flight. I had about another hour to wait so I went to my gate and watched a movie. The plane was late getting in, and they did a rushed turn around. We finally got to Denver around 8:30 pm and that gave me about an hour before my next flight to Sacramento.

I landed in Sacramento about 11:30 pm and after I got my luggage, I waited for the shuttle to the economy parking lot and loaded onto it with about 30 other people. I checked my iPhone notes to see where I parked, and I had typed in 40G so I got off the bus around midnight at 40 G and walked up and down the aisles looking for my Jeep. It was no where to be found After about 30 minutes of wandering around the parking lot. I finally decided to look in the 41 G lot. 26 Aisles later, I finally stumbled upon my car. I must have typed in the wrong aisle number when I left!

40 minutes later, I was home in bed and completely passed out till about 8:30 am this morning.

Now, I am getting hungry... time to get up and figure the day out.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I am Cold

It is 98 degrees outside... supposed to hit a high of 103 today... and I am freezing...
while I am sitting here at the console with a sweater on. I am not complaining... just sayin...
2010-07-17 13:11:59 -0500

The last day in Dallas

The show ended at 2:45 pm yesterday, and I found myself still sitting at the audio console at 5:00 pm. The client decided to do a little slide review/rehearsal in the room and we had to change it over from round tables to a U-shape table configuration.
Once they were finished, we rocked out the change over and waited for Security to show up at 7:00 pm. Then we went to the front desk and inquired about getting passes to the airport terminal for a different set of options for dinner.
It was interesting... Dallas Police had to come and fill out forms, call in our drivers license's and once that was done, security was even more aggressive than normal. First a pat down, and then everything that we were carrying... wallet, phone, shoes, everything had to get sniffed for explosives.
Apparently because we hadn't bought a plane ticket, the TSA doesn't have the chance to run our names through the system and see if they should flag us. So, they assume that you would have been flagged and do the additional screening anyway.

We got through that and decided to go to a mexican restaurant in Terminal D. While it was nice to have a different option for dinner than just the hotel restaurant, You know you are ready to go home when you actually choose to battle security for the option to eat airport food.
The food wasn't too bad, and the service was ok. Interestingly enough... the knife that we got with our food was plastic, but the fork was metal. Now, you know know if you carried that metal fork through security, you would have gotten tackled like you were in the NFL and about to score the final touchdown to win the game.
It got me thinking.... if you were going to do something bad... how many things could you find in the airport terminal to Macgyver together something bad.

After dinner I pretty much went straight to bed and feel asleep within 15 minutes of crawling into bed. I slept like a baby, and while I feel sleepy right now because it is still early, I think I am going to feel better today than yesterday.
After the show this afternoon, we do a quick strike and then I catch a 7:27 pm flight back to Sacramento through Denver. I think I land at about 11:00 pm.
Just another day at the office.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Almost Lunch Time

The Alarm went off at 5:30 this morning.... I snoozed it... then the wake up call... Rolled over on that too.... Then the second alarm... followed by the second wake up call.... You get the idea... 40 minutes later, I finally decided I had to get up. 20 minutes later, I was down in the ballroom firing up the sound system... putting batteries in the wireless mics, and setting up a printer for the client. Too early O'Clock if you ask me.

The show has been going well... it is only 15 people in the room, so it feels pretty laid back. We have about 15 minutes before we break for lunch.. and then just about an hour and a half left for the rest of the day.

I think it is nap time once we finish.

Here is a shot that I took from my hotel room this morning.

DFW From the Grand Hyatt

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I got up at 4:30 am to head to the airport for a show in Dallas. My flight was at 7:21 which was nicer than the normal 6:00 am flights. I flew United through Denver and finally after a little delay got to Dallas around 4:45 pm on Wednesday.
While I was in Denver, I found out that the client didn't have a hotel room for me on Wednesday night. Rick, who was in Stockholm Sweden on a site survey found that out and was nice enough to book a room for me at the Westin which is about 2 miles from the airport. I met Dave Cole for a nice dinner at the Westin and then got a good nights sleep in a Westin Heavenly Bed.
This morning I checked out of the Westin at 10:00 am and went over to the Grand Hyatt DFW to help Dave get the client all set up with Internet and Printing.
A little Lunch and then I hung out in my hotel room for the afternoon. The hotel is right in the Airport Terminal, so it is not like there is anything to do or anywhere to go. Around 4:00 pm we met for some dinner. I had a little bit of sushi and then it was about 5:30 so we went to the meeting room to get set up.
We were just about ready to tape all of our cables down... everything was working... and then in came the client. They had some changes and finally decided to change the room set up from a U-shaped set up to round tables.

We had to rip up everything that we had already laid down and tested, wait for the hotel to reset the room, and then put it all back together. It really wasn't too bad and the local AV company people had pretty good attitudes about the whole thing.

Finally finished around 9:00 pm and now I am going to get a good nights rest. A 5:30 am wake up call will start the day tomorrow and we will work till about 3:30 or so. Then do it all again on Saturday.