Monday, October 10, 2005

Citrix iforum 2005 report - day 1

October 9, 2005 – The day actually started Saturday with packing. I was able to get everything into two carry-on bags. I put my tablet computer bag inside my other computer bag so I’d have extra room for stuff I’d get at the conference. So I get picked up at 5:30am to make our 7 am flight. Outside of napping on the plane, the trip was pretty uneventful. Larry, a colleague also going to iforum, checked into the Luxor and I checked into Mandalay Bay. We got some lunch at a very slow burger place in the mall between Mandalay Bay and the conference area. We listened to an afternoon of sessions that would only bore all but the most ardent systems support personnel.

There were a couple of hours between the sessions and the exhibition hall reception. Larry went back to his room to nap and I did the same. Or at least that was the plan. I ended up having so much coffee that I didn’t feel like napping. So I took a walk down our little section of the Las Vegas strip. I saw the outsides of the Mandalay Bay, the Luxor and the Excalibur. In the distance was New York, the Tropicana and the MGM Grand; but I didn’t walk that far down. The Mandalay Bay, the Luxor and the Excalibur were all connected; so I walked back to my room though the 3 casinos.

When Tamara and I went to Reno last year in October, to meet friends, I mainly played blackjack with the others we met there. In Reno there’s a lot of 5 dollars a hand blackjack. But we’re cheap bastards so we were always looking for the 3 dollar blackjack. We started looking for 1 dollar blackjack but quickly found the tables rarely went below 3 dollars a hand. We did eventually find a 1 dollar table but it was very crowded and they were using a 6 deck shoe (this puts your odds very much in favor of the house). I tell you all of this as preface so you’ll understand how dumbstruck I was to see $25, $50 and $200 a hand minimum on all the tables. And all of these tables looked like they were using the 6 deck shoes. Later on I did find a couple of $15 dollar tables and one $10 table. There’s no way I could feel comfortable playing at any of these tables. The bright side of all of this is that the Mandalay Bay hosted a Sumo tournament the weekend the conference started. If I’d known about it earlier I might have come in a couple of days early to see it. As it was, I only got to watch several Sumo wrestlers playing blackjack. And I was able to get a t-shirt from the tournament.

After a couple of hours of wandering around the Exhibition Hall eating tortellini and drinking wine and listening to vendors tell me I really needed their product to make my Citrix experience complete, I went back to the room and fell asleep. Boring, yes, but I was having some allergy trouble and didn’t want it to get worse. So there’s my fist day.

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