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CEDIA '06 – The Arrival

by September 15, 2006

Audioholics has fallen into a tradition of reporting all our "experiences" in getting to whatever trade show we are covering. In the past we've had such exciting occurrences as broken planes (two for the same traveler), given away rental cars, and seats next to people of questionable hygiene. Not one to buck a trend, I've taken it upon myself to summarize our travels to CEDIA this year. I've taken a careful poll of all those currently in attendance and this is what I've got so far:

"The trip was pretty good."

What! I couldn't believe my ears. Surely someone had something bad to say?! Basically, everyone had a pretty good flight - or so they said. Unwilling to admit defeat so quickly, I quizzed each of them in turned and extracted all the stories from everyone's flights and summarized them in one fictional character named Ed O. Holic.

Ed took great pains to pack everything in one carryon bag so that he wouldn't have to check any baggage. Ed doesn't like to wait in baggage claim so he's turned packing into an art form. He can get one pair of shoes, a laptop with all the associated cables and hardware, two pairs of wrinkle resistant slacks, five Audioholics polos, two pairs of underwear, four pairs of socks, and a small toiletries bag in one CES giveaway rolling backpack.

And therein lies the problem - the toiletries bag. With the new TSA regulations, anything liquid or gel-like is now persona non grata on planes. And Ed is just metro enough to need his gel. So, on the plane Ed heads through security with his pants stuffed full of toothpaste, deodorant, hair styling products, and moisturizer. "No, m'am, that's not toothpaste in my pocket, I'm just happy to see you."

Ed didn't eat breakfast before he got past security so he was a bit hungry. Unfortunately, all he had a choice of was rock hard muffins constructed almost entirely of preservatives and "natural flavors" or coke (and not the good kind). Ed passed knowing that he'd be able to get something on the plane. Of course, all they offered on the plane was rock hard muffins and coke (again, not the good kind). So, Ed was hungry.

And he stayed hungry for quite some time because apparently the plane had a flat. Luckily, the Jiffy Lube people make house calls because they got it changed fairly quickly (they only waited on the tarmac for an hour and a half or so). But Ed wasn't bored, oh no. Ed got to sit next to a lovely woman who was a writer for someone or another who had three friends on the plane. Ed was a little confused why her friends were all sitting so far away from her until the fifth or sixth time she asked why he didn't want to sit next to the window. "Because I don't." Ed glanced over to one of the woman's friends who was sleeping peacefully - probably for the first time in years. Ed was envious.

Ed wanted to watch the in-flight movie but the 4" 320x240 LCD screen was a bit hard to see. And you had to pay for the headphones. Ed took one look at the 2.5 cent driver and said, "No thanks." So he was stuck sitting next to her, answering over and over, "Because I don't like sitting next to the window," all the while praying for death.

Ed almost cried in relief when the stewardess announced that they were about to land. It was a little disconcerting when she added at the end, "Oh, and make sure your seatbelt is really tight." Ed began to suspect that the 'flat tire' was perhaps a bit more serious then they let on. Ed got off the plane without incident and took the free shuttle to the hotel. Apparently, the driver is quite the coinsurer of fine musack and he was regaled with the Beelzebub mix of "Come on Feel the Noise" by Quiet Riot. Sweet - now that song will be stuck in his head for the entire convention.

After a quick stop in scenic downtown Denver to drop off a woman at a corner of an alley (to fulfill the entropy requirement of the day), Ed showed up at the hotel. The staff at the desk were all really nice if a bit over exuberant. After the day Ed had, he wasn't really ready for Joe Happy saying, "Have you stayed at my hotel before? No? Well, let me tell you about my hotel." Ed wasn't sure but he felt fairly confident that the front desk guy didn't actually own the hotel. Sighing, Ed trudged off to his room and collapsed… into a fitful and unfulfilling sleep. Talking to people about their products is fun, but talking to people about their products while trying to stay awake is a sport.


About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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