Saturday, September 18, 2010

....AND.... We're Back

I LOVE to visit Chicago! It's a clean city with nice folks and some of the best restaurants in the world. Two of my favorites, Texas de Brazil and The Purple Pig received visits from my traveling companions and I. I have a connection at The Pig and they treated us royally. The food at both places is exceptional and The Pig is garnering a lot of attention since it opened in December of 2009. Both places are what I would call an 'alternative dining experience', so go with an open mind and an empty belly. If you have questions abut either of these places, leave a a comment or drop me an email.

While at the show during the day we worked our collective butts off. Contrary to what my co-workers back home would think, going to the show, although enjoyable, is NOT a vacation, it is a lot of work to maximize your time, see the folks you need to see, and collect useful information to aid in decision making and planning over the next several years. I'm taking this weekend to recover, my feet are killing me. There are around 20 miles of aisles at this show and we do them almost twice during the week. The eye candy in some of the booths takes the pain away a little. I didn't get any photos of the pretty girls, but here's one sure to get the attention of the guys over at Firegeezer:
This is a Tesla Roadster. It is a full electric car which can do 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a range of over 200 miles per charge using a huge Lithium battery which looks something like this:
Not much of a trunk, but this baby can fly!

 We enjoyed taking some walks and seeing the sights while we had some off time. One night we had to attend a corporate dinner hosted by a machine supplier we frequently do business with. After the dinner we were catching some air before looking for a cab to get us back uptown. A nice limo pulled up and offered a ride. I told him he was above my pay grade, but he made us an offer we could not refuse and here is the rig that dropped us off at our hotel:
 It was interesting to pull up to the Hotel and see everyone on the street looking to see who was going to get out of this car. Boy were they disappointed.
 Incidentally, the limo driver made mention of the fact that the trade show business is way down and all the service industries, such as his, are really hurting (hence our cheap trip). He said they hadn't had a major show since April. I asked him about the FRI a few weeks ago, and he replied that "Those folks all drove their own cars here, stayed at the cheap hotels, and didn't go to the fancy restaurants. Besides, they was just here to plan their big operations that they was gonna execute elsewhere. They wasn't here for fun, and it was a pretty small group of people, only a couple of thousand." OK, so he missed the memo on that one I guess.  (By contrast, the show we attended brings in 90,000 visitors, plus the exhibitors from all over the world.)
 We had a great time, picked up a few new stories, and came home dog tired. On our return day we worked the show all day then headed out to O'Hare and didn't get home until 1:00am the next morning. In two years I'll be ready to go again.
 So it's good to be home and get back in the groove. I just ran an O.D. call a little while ago and my head is beginning to clear and get re-oriented from traveling mode. I see that my readership faltered while I was away, I hope this post will bring it back up. I did take advantage of the time away to keep up with everyone else's blogs and the debates that are raging. I am still trying to decide if I am up to stepping into the fray or not.
 Maybe I just need a few more days to form my thoughts.

Everybody be Safe,

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