Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 0 at the NGS 2013 Conference

This was our travel day from San Diego to Las Vegas for the NGS 2013 Conference at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.  The flight was uneventful, except I talked about genealogy with my seatmate, a young lady attending the University of Utah.  Her grandmother wrote a book about her heritage, but my seatmate doesn't have a copy of it.  I urged her to get a copy made, to talk to her parents and their siblings about their family history, etc.  We discussed Ancestry.com, DNA tests (she was really interested in that - she's studying to be a nurse).  That was fun!

When we got to Las Vegas, we got our two bags easily and quickly got a taxi cab to the hotel.  $20.  When we got out of the cab at the hotel, Linda asked "where's my walker?"  Hmmm, I don't recall finding it on the baggage carousel.  Oops.  After we checked into the hotel and got into the room, I left at 2:15 p.m. to go back to the airport to pick it up.  I found out the monorail doesn't go to the airport - it's really cool, but doesn't go there. I paid $5 to go to the MGM Grand, then took a cab ($13) to the airport.  I easily got possession of the walker, and headed back to the LVH (another $20).  That was an expensive mistake.  When I got to the LVH, I went to the NGS Registration desk and got my tote bag and press packet.

We realized that we had missed lunch, so we went downstairs and checked out quite a few of the restaurants.  The only one open at 4 p.m. was the Superbook Deli.  Linda managed to get a salad and corned beef dish at the deli (no bread because of her allergies) and I had a sub sandwich.  Linda wanted to look into a tour, so we stopped at the concierge desk and heard about some options and took some brochures.  We found the ice cream shop and treated ourselves to a cone.  Linda went shopping and I headed off to check out the wi-fi setup in the conference center, and to locate the presentation rooms.

While around there, I ran into several geneabloggers and Genea-Musings readers - the San Diego group arrived on the bus around 5 p.m.  I met Yvonne Demoskoff (Yvonne's Genealogy Blog) and her husband.  I finally got to meet geneablogger Judy Russell.  Leo from SCGS, Michael Hait and Harold Henderson were talking with Judy, so I chimed in, along with Jane Neff Rollins.  Denise Levenick had just arrived too.  I had seen Terri O'Connell and Jen Baldwin (another new face for me!) earlier.

At 7 p.m., there was an APG Roundtable, welcomed by Kimberly Powell, with a panel moderated by Jean Wilcox Hibben on the subject of "How APG Chapters Can Help You" (my paraphrase).  The panelists included Kimberly Powell, Michael Hait, Sandy from Colorado (whose name I didn't catch) and Kim von Aspern.  I sat with Harold Henderson and Connie Sheets (another new face for me) - it's fun meeting genealogists!).  Craig Scott was in the audience and contributed many thoughts on the issues discussed.  I'm still not a member of APG mainly because /i don't need another time commitment and I'm not a genealogist who takes clients.  The meeting broke up at 8:30 p.m., and I'm not sure I got much out of it.  I did manage to check my email and all of the day's blogs while there!

After saying my goodbyes, I came up to the room and decided that I'd better write a blog.  The stinking LVH wants "Only $13.99 per day" for "unlimited access for 24 hours, per room, per device."  Yeah, like that's going to happen (let's see, laptop, iPhone, tablet... - $41.97 (I was a math major once) a day!

Aha, I know why I brought the tablet (it's a Samsung Galaxy, but an older model with 3G) - I can use it as a hotspot, assuming there is a Verizon cell tower on the Strip (1/4 mile away).  Yep, works fine.  I can live with the short delay for the web pages to load!

The tote bag and packet I received from NGS at check-in included a Blogger Press packet, which included all of the previous press releases about the conference, the syllabus on a flash drive (I already have it on my laptop and desktop after downloading it last week), and the Conference program in a 5 x 7 format with everything about each presentation in 6 point type (I think - it's really small - I can't read it with my glasses corrected to 20/20.  This is a MAJOR FAIL in my opinion - it should be 8.5 x 11 with 10-12 point type.  By the way, this is the ONLY place I've found that lists the presentation room numbers. There are signs outside each presentation room listing the day's sessions, but I didn't think to take pictures of them.  I guessed at the room numbers for my chosen sessions, and wrote them on my blog post printout.

So that's my report for Day 0 at NGS - saw some friends, met some new ones, and I'm ready for the Conference to start on Wednesday.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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