NAB 2004: Day Two

NAB 2004: Day Two
NAB 2004: Day Two

Woke up late, got dressed, rolled out the door, caught a cab to the Venetian, and just made it to the Apple event a few minutes before it started. They announced a TON of cool stuff, which I’m sure you can read all about on their web page. Quickly, though, so we don’t lose the non-techheads: FCP-HD looks awesome for dealing with hi-def footage, especially 720/24p from Panasonic’s new 1200A deck, and Motion with its realtime motion graphics creation is going to make my life a lot easier. I met up with my vendor pal Robby at Apple’s champagne brunch reception after, and after a few free food items, we walked back to his hotel, the dreaded Circus Circus.

One we got there, we went to the front desk (which is actually in the rear) so Robby could ask for a new room, and then I helped him move from his 3rd floor room, where he had a view of a nasty dilapidated roof, to a 15th floor room where at least now they can see some sky and mountains in the distance (though they’re pretty much still surrounded by hotel on all sides). At that point I went out with him, his wife and daughter, and hit the Strip. We went through Stardust, where Robby looked for milk for his kid, and his wife sat down at the Elvis slots and won something like $40, and got signed up for a comp card. We progressed further down the strip to Fashion Show, new mall that they were building when we were last here, and got big hot salty pretzels at the food court that we ate outside while we watched the enormous LED video screens slide back and forth along their suspension tracks. After that, we walked back toward his hotel, they retired for the afternoon, and I walked toward the Hilton, where I went to see the new “4D” Borg Invasion.”

A moment of background– I used to be a really hardcore Star Trek fan, stopping just short of dressing up in Starfleet uniforms and going to cons. Since then, my love of the many series have faded somewhat, as they’ve gotten more repetitive and taken the spin-off thing just a little too far, but when faced with the chance to pretend to be a part of that world, and be surrounded by cool looking sets and props, I’m still right there. I had seen the original “Klingon Encounter” at the Hilton a few years back, and was blown away by it– there’s a transporter effect in there that I still don’t know exactly how they accomplish.

Anyway, since I had seen the other, I decided to see the new Borg thing first, which was pretty cool with the 3D movie and all, but since it was so new, I got a 2-for-1 pass and went to see Klingon Encounter again after, and that still kicks its ass. In Borg, you get to see Robert Picardo’s EMH “Doctor” (he was apparently here for the opening a month or so ago) and Capt. Janeway of Voyager fame (Feh.), but in the Klingon Encounter, you get Riker, Geordi and Picard AND get to stand on the Bridge of the Enterprise. There’s a lot more running around with “crewmembers,” and for me, that’s really hard to beat. Before I went in, I got my pix taken, and when we came out, had them put my head on the body of a crewman in a DS9 shot, which I then got to have free for filling out their Star Trek credit card app. They got me on the upsell for $7 on the “space age polymer” plastic frame, tho, but still better than $20 for the pix.

From there, I walked back up the strip, stopping into a casino here and there, stopped in front of Treasure Island long enough to see the new Sirens of TI show (and now I know the best place to stand, about midway on the bridge to the casino, facing the Sirens’ white ship), and finally caught a volcano eruption at the Mirage (which I was informed by a guy there on business, who used to work there, costs them $5,000 every time it goes off, which in the best weather is every 15 minutes from 7pm to midnight– you do the math). I stopped in Caesar’s Palace, which like many of the strip casinos is drop dead gorgeous inside, and managed to get lost. Eventually, I found my way to an exit, but looking for a drink, sat down at a Sinatra slot and ordered a B-52 (my official Vegas drink and my 2nd for the day, after the one in the ST themed casino at the Hilton), and promptly won $25 playing nickel slots! I tried very, very hard not to whittle it away while I was waiting for my drink, but managed to waste five bucks and give the waitress a two dollar tip before I was was on my way, carrying my drink into the street– gotta love no open container laws. I walked through the Bellagio (also lovely), and tried to go to the buffet, but they closed at 10pm. Ah, well… maybe tomorrow.