Friday, April 23, 2010

Got through my pictures...finally

I did it! I finally got through and posted all my pictures tonight. Then I sent an email out to all my friends and family inviting them to see my pictures (actually it comes with the territory on Shutterfly).

Sometimes I feel funny letting everyone know I have posted pictures. Do they feel obligated to look at them because they are my friends? Do they enjoy looking at them? Do I post too many and it gets boring looking at them?

Don't know if I'll ever really know the answer to these questions, because they are my friends and will say nice things about them (regardless of what they are really thinking or feeling). Guess I need to thank the Lord I have friends that will do that, right?

No, my friends wouldn't lie to me, they are my friends! And maybe some of them really do like them. I like looking at other people's pictures. I really do. But I am always looking for inspiration for my pictures. Now really, is that selfish?

It doesn't really matter, I still love my friends. Whether they look at them or not, I am grateful I have friends to send the link to. God has truly blessed me.

Speaking of blessed, how about Ed? He had to endure me wanting to pull over and jump out and take a shot over and over again. There we are walking down the street and all of a sudden he realizes that he alone because I have stopped to take some pictures. He really is a great guy!

Just in case you are one of my friends, and I missed you on the email, here is the link to my pictures: Here is the cool part; you don't have to ever admit that you didn't look at them. I will never know! Isn't technology wonderful?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Last day in Las Vegas

This is our last full day here in Las Vegas. As all vacations, it went by too fast. Today we drove to Oatman. AZ. Yea I know, I had never heard of it before either. It is a cool little old western town, complete with shoot outs at high noon.

Something that was strange was that we had to drive about 10 miles on a gravel road to get there. That really sets you up for old timey type expectation. It was a super neat road, especially if you had a 4 wheel drive vehicle and could drive off the main gravel road. It looked as if it would be so much fun. But no, we had a rental car, and were concerned about tearing it up.

One of the coolest things I thought about the town was the burros. They were just walking around in the streets. For $1 you could buy a bag of carrots and feed them. There were a couple of babies around too. They were just too cute (but not as soft as my Shelby and Bubba). The babies will just lie down when they are tired. It looks like they are dead. The shooting of the guns around them didn’t seem to phase them a bit.

Home tomorrow, all is well.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy birthday Ed

Our first full day of vacation and Ed’s birthday all happen today. It was a perfect weather day, and we drove out to Mt. Charleston this morning. This is one of the things ya just gotta love about God’s creation. It got up to 80 degrees here in town, and there was still snow on the ground in Mt. Charleston. He sure knows how to make awesomeness (Is that really a word? The speller didn't kick it out! And everyone knows that these spellers are perfect, right?).

This afternoon we went to a place called Red Rock. It was spectacular! The mountains, the colors, all the different looking vegetation. Ed said it right when he observed how you can look at mountains and just know they not the Rockies or the Smokies, they just look different.

One of the more interesting sights along the way, that I noticed, was cell towers being camouflaged by very tall palm trees, ummm. I thought it actually very funny. I can hear it now “No, we don’t want a cell tower in our neighborhood, of course we want cell service though.”

"Ok, I have an idea…let’s hide them! We will make them look like palm trees! Brilliant!" Creativity; something I lack, but can sometimes appreciate.

Vacation is official now

Today we had to go back to the convention center one more time. It was the right thing to do. We talked to another vendor that has some interesting offerings. It was well worth the trip.

After lunch we picked up our car at that airport, and we are now officially on vacation (and also 100% of everything is now our tab instead of just my tab). Ed has these last couple of days planned out, and it is going to be great.

Tonight we went to Fremont Street. Of course I overdid it once again, taking 170 pictures. I keep making my job harder (picking out the keepers).They call it the “Fremont Experience.” That is exactly what it is. There is very interesting sights just walking up and down the street. Not only are there the casinos vying for your attention (and money), but there are street vendors, musicians, artists, partiers doing anything for attention, drunks asking for money, showgirls out so you can take pictures of them (and tip them of course). Yes it is all here contributing to the “experience.”

God loves Las Vegas too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day three in Vegas

I know this must be boring, but it is my way of just documenting our trip. I will never know that no one is reading this anyway.

We walked the convention floor again today and (I, at least) was overwhelmed by how many vendors offer media storage solutions, and live streaming to web applications. How do you figure out what you need? (I know, ask those smart “boys” in IT! Secret time: they don’t know it yet, but there is a wealth of information it its way to them. Let’s not tell them just yet.)

Ed sure has done a lot of homework figuring out what his needs are. He is the A/V tech for sure. VCC is getting their money’s worth on him. Lots of hours spent before the show mapping out the vendors not to miss, hours asking questions trying to get the information he needs, and he is compiling notes tonight as I blog. You know, he is a pretty smart guy!

Here is an ironic item. We have internet on our room. It is a physical CAT5 connection. Because of that only one of us can be on the web at a time. Isn’t that a hoot? Guess that’s what you get for staying in a medieval castle.

Tonight we took a tram from the Castle to Mandalay Bay, had dinner at the House of Blues, and then took a tram to the Luxor. We thought it funny that neither one of use had ever been to either of these hotels. That sure sounds like a wimpy night when I think about all the walking we did last night. My legs still hurt, and it feels good just to sit and type right now. (I know I am showing my age here.) At least we didn’t have to deal with those sleazy guys on the street corners tonight. You know, the ones God loves.

I now have the daunting task of going through my pictures to pick out my favs. Sometimes being a picture buff is a curse (especially because if I am honest, I want to bore you with them but you can only see the good ones). But now…I think it is time for that ice cream that I missed last night, don’t you?

Day two in Las Vegas

Are we having fun yet? Is it day two already? When we woke up and looked out our window, it was a beautiful sight. We could see the mountains so clearly. God sure does good work!

Today was more of the same as yesterday. Saw some cool things at the show. Tomorrow we see and learn about storage solutions (now is when I wished I would have paid closer attention to the “boys” I work with in IT so I was more familiar with what our capabilities are. Wish you were here, guys) for all this HD video stuff we have been looking at.

What seems scary to me, is investing in HD today, when everything we are seeing on the floor is going to 3D. (We saw the absolute coolest, smallest, 3D camera.)You feel like you are between a rock and a hard place. You can’t wait another 3-5 years to make the upgrade to 3D, but you certainly can’t afford it now. And now is the window of opportunity to buy. So, I guess you buy HD, and hope it lasts 10 years, like our current equipment. (I guess when you really think about it, who wants to come to church and see Dave in 3D?)

Tonight, of course, was more picture taking (163 tonight). After walking all day on the convention floor, we walked the whole strip tonight. I am so beat right now, but I burned off that ice cream…wait, we missed getting an ice cream!!! How did that happen? Maybe ice cream tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day one in Las Vegas

Well, actually this starts last night. After we arrived, got to the hotel, found our room (which is I swear, a quarter mile walk from the elevator! I have a picture to prove it), we went out, if only to indulge me. Because as we all know, it was all about my camera shots…and wow was it worth it.

But first, let me talk about the room. For some reason (I think it was because Ed is so honest and good looking) the Castle gave us an upgraded room. All we did was ask for a king bed, and we got a room with a big flat screen TV, a desk, dresser, couch and coffee table, and a very nice bathroom with granite countertop, and good size shower (oh yea, and the king sized bed we asked for). Our view is great too, we can see MGM, and New York New York, a few other hotels, and we can see the mountains. God is sure good!

We spent the whole day at the show today. I got to meet Sparke (yea, great name, uh? It is actually his real last name). He is the manufacturer’s rep that Ed is talking to about some possible new A/V equipment upgrades for VCC. He seemed to know his stuff, and was very helpful and accommodating. Ed was very diligent in laying out a plan for each day we are here and has mapped out every vendor he wants to see, by day, and by morning and afternoon. We met Sparke promptly at 11:00am at the Panasonic booth.

After we got back to the room and unwound, we went out to eat, and yes of course, more pictures. I think we walked half way down the strip and back. I took about 130 pictures! No, I won’t post them all and bore you to total tears (that is even assuming you will look at them at all). Let’s suffice to say, there are a couple of good ones. When I do get those gems, I am so happy.

The one thing about Vegas that just kind of ruins things is these creepy guys who stand on the corners and flip these cards at you (well, you – if you’re a guy, and you know the cards I am talking about). Every corner has about 6 of them. For some reason, they think that if you don’t take one from the first guy, the second guy has a chance, then maybe the third. Where do they get this logic? I have to keep reminding myself that God loves them too.

So the question to ponder now is….what will happen tomorrow? Hopefully I will keep the diligence and let you know. (You know who you are…the one person who reads my blogs. By the way, thank you.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flying is still surreal

I am not sure if a non-stop flight to Las Vegas is really the best way to go. (Ok, I know what you are thinking right now, "Is she crazy? Of course it is! Did she lose her mind on the way our there? Will she return to sanity soon? Oh poor Ed!")

Consider, if you will: you could be stuck in a middle seat for 4.5 hours essentially unable to move; compound that with leaving the only book you brought in your luggage that was thrown in the overhead (oh dopey me!); now add to that there is no food offered (that is if you don’t count one gram of peanuts); additionally you seem to be allowed only two ounces of any drink at a time; and don’t forget how comfortable it is trying to sleep in an upright position.

Have you ever just closed your eyes on an airplane and really listened to the environment around you? I think it is a very surreal sound. Everything sounds muffled, but then you hear a word or two. Even as close as the people are behind you I can’t hear their conversations (not saying I really want to). I just find it all a surreal experience.

Having said all that: it is, after all, only a 4.5 hour flight and you are at your destination. Then there is things to consider like: no un-boarding; running to another gate; re-boarding; hoping your luggage either beats you there, or at least catches up with you; and that you all make the same flight; worrying whether your connecting flight is even there! Or worse yet, getting stuck for hours on end in an airport you do not want to be in, again hoping your luggage made the same flight you did.

So the question to ponder is; which option is really better? My jury is still out on that answer, I have another chance to evaluate my quandary next Sunday. I just thank God he saw it fit to have us arrive safely.

Another question….why does Southwest Airlines call their planes “Love Jets”? (Actually, I'm not really sure I want to know the answer to that one!) And what happened to "service"? Oh yea, it's now called "free luggage check in."

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's over...what comes next?

Easter was so awesome at church this weekend. Everyone did such a great job! The tech team was great, Kevin did a fantastic job on lights, Charlie's work with all the vocals was remarkable, the choir was awe-inspiring, the rain sounded so real. Just thinking about how it all went down still sends chills!

And Ed, well, he is still recovering today. He puts in as much time and stress and anyone does. Now it is his time for a well deserved "crash."

I love my church, and couldn't be more proud of the things we do. Sometimes I still can't believe what God has done in me. To say I turned around 180 degrees is an understatement. I can't ever imagine my life without this reason to live and give.

Almost every year when we are all finished, I ask "How can we ever top that?" Somehow we always do! Thank you God soooo much.

If you missed what I am talking about click here to see the Celebration on line. It really doesn't do it justice like being there, but it is the next best thing. (Thanks God also for this technology!)

Oh yea....SOS is next! Yikes!! But not before Las Vegas!!!!!!