Wednesday, June 28, 2000

I awoke at 7:00, still sore. I decided to try and work out some of the soreness in the stairwell again. I climbed up and down 30 floors, 10 floors at a time. I was still sore, but a little looser. I got cleaned up, checked my e-mail, then had breakfast. At 9:10, I met Bob in the lobby and we grabbed a taxi to the convention center.

Day Two of the PC Expo was very much like Day One. The booth was still crowded, and we gave the same presentations and answered the same questions. I spent a little more time looking at the other exhibits, but didn't really see much worth writing about. I did check out the Nikon pavilion where they were showing their new camera, the Nikon CoolPix 990. I suspect that's the camera my brother-in-law, Paul, is looking at, so I picked up a data sheet.

Bob and I had been invited to a party being thrown by PC World Magazine to honor the winners of their World Class Awards for the year 2000. ACT! 2000 was one of the winners, and we would accept the award on behalf of the product. When Bob relieved me at the demo station at 3:30, I left for the hotel, taking the shuttle bus. I changed into my suit for the party, then went back to the shuttle bus stop.

A bus arrived shortly, and I waited while a full load of passengers got off. When I got on, the driver looked at me very oddly, not expecting anyone to be going to the show that close to closing. I was the only passenger on the bus, and I explained why I was heading over so late: The transportation to the party left from the convention center. We chatted about New York traffic, and discourteous drivers all the way there.

I arrived back at our demo station shortly before 5:00, then helped Bob tear it down for the evening. We lugged our bags out to the curb and began looking for the PC World signs we had been promised in our invitation. We didn't see any. We looked along the curb upstairs and downstairs, then went upstairs again. We finally asked one of the bus drivers standing along the curb, and he said he had seen some PC World people further up the sidewalk. We went that way and finally spotted two women holding 8"x10" signs with PC World written on them, but they were holding them facing the street, not down the sidewalk. No wonder we had missed them!

Bob and I got into a limousine with two other people, both from Nikon, and were taken to the party on 19th street. It was at a restaurant called the Manhattan Penthouse, seventeen floors above the street. It was a nice place with two big rooms, large windows, and wooden floors. We picked up our name badges, I got a glass of wine, and we started to mingle. There was pasta on one table and sushi on another. I opted for the sushi, which was delicious.

After about half an hour, one of the PC World editors got up and congratulated everyone. He then told us that we'd be called up in groups to get our pictures taken while accepting the award. ACT! was in the second group called. Bob, still dressed in his ACT! polo shirt and khakis, declined to be in the picture, so I went solo. In addition to the pictures taken by the official photographer, Bob snapped a shot with my digital camera.

After that, I went to a table where our real award was waiting for us, securely packaged in a box. I picked it up, got another glass of wine, then mingled some more. I talked to people from Earthlink, Intuit, and Minolta, as well as a PC World sales rep who was moving to San Francisco the next day.

A little later, I looked around for Bob, and found him sitting at a table, talking to a guy in an Oracle tee-shirt. I got a piece of cake and joined them. The guy was from New York, and was spouting an astonishing number of half-baked opinions about New York's place in high tech, politics, and anything else that came to mind. Bob and I just smiled and nodded, not feeling the need to get into an argument. I noticed my wine was empty, and used it as an excuse to get away from the table. I got a beer and noticed that Bob was still trapped, so I went back.

After a bit more talk, Bob made some excuse and left the table. At that point, I asked the guy who he was with. He said he was an independent consultant, and had just gotten into a limo with a bunch of PC World people at the convention center. In other words, he had crashed the party. I don't know why he had done so, Bob told me later that he hadn't eaten anything, and he wasn't drinking anything but coffee. If he had come to network, he had failed.

At 7:30, I looked at my watch and mumbled something about it being time to go. Bob agreed, so we retrieved our bags from the check room, and headed out to the elevators. Back on the street, we caught a taxi to the hotel. It was still early, so I cracked the mini-bar and drank a Heineken while I watched Drew Carey, Whose Line Is It Anyway, and Drew Carey again. I checked my e-mail and then called it a day.


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