Thursday, 17 September 2015

Vegas and Interbike Baby!

I'm really dumb. You'd think that anyone that travels as much as I do would eventually learn a thing or two but I don't. I book early flights all the time because when I'm booking them all I look at is the arrival time. "Hey, look at this. This flight will get me there at 10 am!" Yeah.... but you need to wake up at 430am to do that. "Oh that's fine. I'll sleep on the plane!" No, no you won't. 

I flew Westjet this time around and I have to say, I really like Air Canada. Westjet's big thing was that they were the fun friendly airline. And I think for a time they were. But now they charge for bags and their flight staff seem grumpy and worn out. And so do their planes. My TV didn't work from the get go and half an hour into the flight NONE of the TVs work.

Fashion question: Ladies, I know you love your shoes but some of them defy logic. These ugly bad boys are basically boots, but with an open toe AND an open heel. These shoes actually made me mad! 

When we landed in Vegas it took well over half an hour to get our bags. When you get to Vegas you want to get going and get your Vegas on so every second waiting for your bags is like an eternity. 

I stayed at the MGM Grand for the first time and it's really nice. The room was clean and modern and the beds were comfy. They had a room ready right away but it was on a low floor. Fine by me. Shorter elevator rides and I don't have to check my bags. Boom.

After checking in I immediately went to the buffet. Kim has been unhappy with me lately because she feels I've lost too much weight. Fine by me, I'll do my best to get it back on. I started out smart. A few things that looked good, some veggies, not stacked. After this my stomach still felt good so I lost my mind. Plate two was a return to fat Colin form. Roast beef, sushi, fajitas; it was like the UN on a plate. Then I hit the desert station. I'm a sucker for carrot cake. Not sure why but I just can't get enough of it. Louis C.K. captured my philosophy perfectly. "The meal is not over when I'm full. It's over when I hate myself." I slowly meandered out of the buffet and made my way to Interbike.

For those that don't know, Interbike is the biggest bike sales expo in the world. Everything you can imagine to do with cycling is represented here. From the frames down to the grip tape on the bars and everything in between. 

When you first enter the hall you are transported to China. All the Chinese discount manufacturers are in the same area and it's pretty neat. All the factories have their goods and you can see just how cheap some of these goods are. 

Conversely, the Italian companies have their own section as well and the quality of the products they make is equally evident. 

I was surprised at one sight and that was a group of Mennonite folks walking around. But then I realized this is like their  car show probably. These are their Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They're probably super stoked to see the newest in bike technology. 

This show really is impressive, I had no idea just how big it would be but after the first day I had only seen less than half of the booths. I was pretty tired from the early morning and all of the walking so I made my way back to the hotel and thought I might grab some sleep. After a couple of hours I realized I was in Vegas and acting like a Jabroni so I got dressed and headed down to the casino. I threw away some money on slots and roulette and made my way to the bar. 

I've been trying to be as healthy as possible. In general this is a good policy but as a cancer patient it seems even more prudent. However, there are a few kinds of health and mental health is one of them. I've had some tough days lately based on how tired and depressed being on chemo has made me. A lot of people get 6 rounds as their therapy. I just finished my 14th and there is no end in sight. So I decided I would just enjoy myself tonight. I bought a nice cigar and a scotch and sat at the bar and talked. 

It wasn't long before an attractive young lady sidled up beside me and started a conversation. At this point I remembered what my department head Brian Buchynski told me the first time I came to Vegas in 2004. He said, "if a girl hits on you look in the mirror. You're ugly. It's a hooker." My alarm bells were ringing as we chatted but at no point did anything lead me to believe one way or another. Maybe because I finished my drink fairly quickly and moved on. I don't have a mirror by I do have selfies and I haven't gotten better looking. 

Day 2 of Interbike was just as good. I got a chance to check out the rest of the booths. There is some seriously cool stuff out there. E bikes seem to be the newest thing to have. These bikes have an electrical assist making it easier to get around. It wouldn't be legal for racing but what a fun way to commute. 

The giveaways were my favorite part of the convention and the best thing I hit were a pair of CEP compression socks. Normally compression socks are knee high but these are just ankle high and work on your feet. This was exciting for me as I usually have foot issues on the bike but I don't like compression on my calves when I'm racing. I wore them for the day on Thursday and they are GREAT! 

Thursday night was sports book night. There was baseball and football to watch so what better place than a room with 50 TVs? I thought this was going to be awesome but I underestimated the silliness of some fans. During baseball it was ok but when the football game started some of these guys started losing their minds. They were yelling and screaming and running around the room. It was really bizarre. One guy in particular was sitting right behind me in his jersey yelling coaching advice and talking to the head coach on a first name basis. If only the game wasn't 1500 miles away. 

By half time I'd had enough and decided to go back and watch the rest of the game in my room. Without the Jabronis. It turned out to be a fantastic finish that would have been amazing on the bet I placed except that the Blue Jays didn't score enough runs earlier in the day. Sad face. 

I was just about to tuck myself in for the night but decided to go through the channels one more time. Nearly at the end up popped Bill Freakin Murray in Groundhog Day. This is a piece of cinematic magic and I couldn't help but watch the last hour and a half. Finally I tucked myself I for the night. Hoping tomorrow would be another day and not the same one over and over. 

Anger update: what the hell are these things? A boot with a cylinder of leather around it? Not only that this "lady" cut line at Starbucks. 

Friday night was the highlight of the trip. Jerry Seinfeld in concert! I've always been a huge Seinfeld fan and it just worked out that he was in Vegas while I was so how could I not go? I got tickets relatively late but because I was sitting solo so I got a single seat in row 2. What I love about Seinfeld is that he captures life's little comedic situations perfectly. My absolute favorite bit was about having young kids and putting them to bed. He described this epic adventure as a type of nightly coronation ceremony. This is so true it's ridiculous. Our kids have suckered us into performing for them to get them to go to bed each night. I have a tuck in song I do every night on top of reading and wrestling. (Truth be told I love it but don't tell the kids). And if we don't check every box the kids cannot be expected to sleep. 

Look at these angels. She's actually sleeping with that book. 

After the show I went out with Cam and Elise, the owners of my favorite bike store, and we had a nice little meal at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. The food was great but the music was disappointing. I expected Jimmy Buffet songs and a chilled out atmosphere. Instead it was a thumping rock concert. In fact, the first table they sat us at we had to move from because we couldn't hear one another. 

Maybe I'm becoming an old man but why does music need to be so loud in a restaurant? Does the bass hammering you aid in digestion? Maybe they'd rather you shut up, eat and get out? Either way it seems an odd music choice for a restaurant that's supposed to feel like you're chilling in the tropics. 

I had a brush with fame on the strip Friday night. Kim and I LOVE police shows like Cops. But one of our favorites is called Vegas Strip and it's just that, a Cops-like show on the strip. One of the main officers is Ofcr. Wandick. His most notable feature are his eyes. So much so that the hookers on the show call him Officer Green Eyes. He doesn't let them continue like that but I was so jacked to see this guy! 

Saturday was pretty chilled out. I hit the outlet mall and made my way to the airport for the direct flight home. I breezed through customs because of my NEXUS card and rolled into bed about 2am. Kelland had hockey the next morning so there's no rest for the weary. 

Next up is my 3 month CT scan on Mobday. I'm cautiously optimistic but will update you all when I get my results. 

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