January 17, 2009

My Trip to CES

I found myself at the Microsoft booth at CES 2009. The CES, or Consumer Electronics Show, offers some of the latest technology, coolest gadgets and craziest new innovations. At this particular booth, I was playing around with one of the newest Windows Mobile phones when I was approached by a very insistent woman.

"You need to get off this phone, the FCC Chair wants to see it." Say what?

Naturally, I obliged and let Kevin Martin, the current (but not for long) FCC Chairman, use the phone I was just playing with. He kicked me off!

Part of me wanted to respond, "the FCC Chair can wait his turn just like everyone else." But I didn't want the government all over me, though I wonder in retrospect what he would've done if I had resisted. Guess we'll never know.

So why did I go to CES? To blog. And for an escape. I'm making the transition from full-time job at AT&T to a part-time internship, and it seemed like the best time to do it. Plus, I could get into the show and parties for free. All I had to worry about was the gas, food and possible hotels. Sounds like a good deal to me.

I currently blog for unwiredview.com, and figured I could find plenty of stuff to write about. It was true. Some of the cool stuff I saw? A watch with a built-in touchscreen phone (Dick Tracy style) and MP3 player, that will speak your text messages to you. A luxury phone that costs $2,000. An 8 MP camera phone (read: better than my current digital camera).

There was a ton more. Huge booths with the fanciest displays I've ever seen, showing off all the latest products. One in particular was a sensor that you put on the top of your HDTV that can see your hand gestures so you can use your hand as a remote control. Practical? No. Intriguing? Indeed.

I also enjoyed the parties. Many of the big players at CES will put on afterparties Thursday-Saturday nights. I went to three on Friday night -- one that was on the top floor of the Wynn, with amazing views of the valley; one that was uneventful for me and doesn't need to be mentioned; and one that featured a free performance by the Counting Crows. I got into that one at the last minute and waltzed right in to a nice view, only 5 feet away from the lead singer. Not bad for free!

I also was able to attend my grandma's birthday celebration that my parents and my dad's siblings attended. That was nice timing for me to be there, and a pleasant surprise for her.

The other notable thing I did on the trip was eat out at a posh steakhouse at the Paris called Les Artiste. Rather pricey stuff. I was invited by my sister-in-law who was on her way down to Cali with some friends; they definitely wanted to go to a place while stopped in Vegas for the night. Naturally I hadn't eaten much that day, so thus my stomach was smaller and I wasn't able to eat much of my expensive dinner. Nice timing for that as well. Fortunately I got a doggie bag and finished it all later, so it didn't go to waste.

All in all, it was a great weekend and everything seemed to come together quite nicely. I networked with some new people, saw some cool new gadgets, and caught some good entertainment. Great way to transition into a new phase of my life!

January 2, 2009

Between Boise and Bliss

I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog posts, but I thought I would start our holiday recap with this:

Lottie is generally such a happy baby. She spends much more time laughing and playing than she does crying. And she has slept through the night since she was a month old. So of course, when we went to Washington to spend Christmas with Brad's family, she was up throughout the night crying. She didn't smile and laugh like she usually does. I'm sure the family who doesn't get to see her much thought that we all lied about her personality.

It reminded me of when Melanie and Jeremy came to visit Utah last year. They spent a day skiing with Brad and Lane. I couldn't ski because I was pregnant (well... that and I can't ski). So I watched their 5 kids that day. They told me that Brielle, the baby, was so good-natured; that she was just a happy little baby. Of course, she spent the whole day crying and didn't take a nap at all. Turns out she was teething and having a bad day.

Well, as we were driving home from Washington (which is a story for another post) Lottie was being generally good. She was laughing and smiling or sleeping. Until we got back in the car after eating lunch in Boise. Then she cried and screamed pretty straight until we reached Bliss, Idaho. Then suddenly she started laughing and playing again. It was crazy how quickly her mood changed. I grabbed the camera and snapped some pictures. It was then that I saw this:

Look close on the bottom of her smile there - you'll see Lottie's first tooth. I guess one tooth makes a big difference in attitude. The difference between being in Boise and Bliss!