Showing posts from October, 2006

So Worth It

On Friday I left work before 3 pm to start my journey north to New York to visit Julipalooli, the Big Hairy Man, and my 2 favorite fairy goddaughters C and A. According to mapquest, yahoo maps, and google maps, my trip was supposed to be betwee 7 hrs and 7 hours 40 mins. With the non-stop rain, wind, and typical weekend traffic, I figured that by leaving by 3, I would probably arrive there around 11, maybe even earlier. Ha!
Originally we had a plan to meet in the middle on Saturday, both of us driving a few hours. But after several days of Googling random towns in Pennsylvania, we realized, there's just nothing there to do with 2 little girls. I needed some time and space to myself, and the idea of a long car ride appealed to me. So I volunteered to go the distance. Again, only thinking 7 hours...
I got there about 1 am. Not exactly the simple trip I had been hoping for. It rained the entire way up there. The wind was just strong enough that I had to keep both hands on the wheel, or…

Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and then back to Virginia, Maryland, and then Utah

Driving to Fairport, NY to help Juli's daughter lose a tooth tonight. And then, obviously, shop with Juli. Hey, these things are important!
I'll be back Sunday night, just in time to do some quick laundry, re-fold some clothes, transfer to a suitcase, and fly to Utah for 5 days.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to pack for a trip like this?

Work day (not baggy jeans, favorite blazer, non comfy shoes)
Drive 7 hours in freezing rain (baggy jeans, sweatshirt, comfy shoes)
Pull a tooth (pajamas needed)
Shop with Jules (jeans, favorite sweater)
Trunk or Treat with J's girls (jeans, really freaking heavy coat)
Drive 7 hours again (baggy jeans, sweatshirt, comfy shoes)
Church meetings (run in house, change to a dress and boots)
Work day (slacks, sweater, etc)
Drive 4 hours to get Mom and car taken care of (who cares?)
Fly to Utah (comfy baggy pants, sweatshirt, slip off shoes for security purposes)
Trick or treat with nephews (Betty Rubble costume)
Pilates classes with sister (work out clot…

Must Be My Electric Personality

Last week sometime- internet at home starts having problems
Sunday- laptop crashes
Monday- suddenly can't print to office printer, cable at home starts having problems
Tuesday- suddenly can't print to other office printer
Wednesday- touch radio, it suddenly surges and goes out

Is this what you call the opposite of the Midas Touch?

Gunshot Sensors Are Giving D.C. Police Jump on Suspects -

Gunshot Sensors Are Giving D.C. Police Jump on Suspects -

I am surprised I have never heard of this technology. Considering the number of police/law enforcement trade shows I attend, and the absurdly high number of police magazines I read daily, you would think I would have heard about this before. But no, I read about it in the interesting choice of Washington Post and not somewhere more trade oriented. (It is going to be high up on my list of things to do at work tomorrow to pass this article along to every editor I know in law enforcement print.)

ShotSpotter is a small device that detects gunshots and alerts the police instantly. So before anyone can reach a phone and report the gunshot, the cops have the ability to be on their way already.

I can't decide what I think of this technology and business idea. As a former 911 operator, I can see the benefits of it. I have several memories of sitting in the call center watching the traffic cameras, and witnessi…

A big dose of humble pie

For several months now there has been a service project in the works. It was to be a BBQ with the wounded soldiers staying at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I had been planning to be the person in charge of this big event, but due to the 21 last days of nonstop trade shows, I had to hand off and watch from the sidelines. Steph did most of the work, with lots of help from other friends. I took several pictures of the event, but have chosen not to post them. We had a very fun time, and there are some cute pics, but it just doesn't seem right to post them.

It was a fun day. There's no question about that. But more than anything, it was a humbling day. I got the chance to sit and talk and eat with several of the soldiers. Before today there had been several jokes about me and my love of of men in uniform. And how could this not be a great day, when really, it was all about flirting with soldiers?

Today I talked to a young man from New York, complete with a thick awesome NY accen…

Bye Bye Boston

It has been the strangest thing this week. I have worked for six months on this event. It is our biggest event of the year. We slave for this event. We kill ourselves over this event. We kill ourselves at this event. We work our butts off at this event. I stress out at this event. I go crazy under the pressure and almost always snap. And we eat amazing food at this event. But not this year. Something bizarre happened this year. Nothing happened. The first day of the show was a bit hairy for me as I had to make some crazy last minute changes. But then- poof! No problems. It has been the easiest, simplest, smoothest, and dare I say most boring, show we have ever done. Bizarre.
Boston didn't disappoint as far as food went. This week I have enjoyed lobster bisque, lamb and twice stuffed potatoes at the Stanhope Grill (absolutely divine), clam chowder and soft shell crab at Turner Fisheries, pear tart with arugala salad with pork loin, marshmallow and mango glaze, and truffle mac and ch…

Boston Baby!

I have arrived in Boston for the International Assn of Chiefs of Police show. I decided to make some major changes for this trade show. In the past, I have delegated everything, and then found myself completely stressed and angry when I was either wondering if people were doing their jobs or when they failed at their jobs. This is a big and busy show for us, and everyone is a bit stressed when we are here. And I think I have had near meltdowns at each IACP show. Taking all of that into consideration, I made some major changes for this show. I'm doing it all myself. I still need some help with a few things as far as booth work goes, but for the most part, I'm doing it all myself. All the guys have to do is show up and sell. I'm doing the rest myself. So far this is working for me. I'm not mad because someone isn't pitching in and everything is getting done the way I want it! It also helps considerably that I chose to fly up here a day before the rest of …

Gallaudet Reopens Amid Continued Protests -

Gallaudet Reopens Amid Continued Protests -

For the last few weeks the protests taking place at Gallaudet Univ. have made big news in the Washington DC area, and nationwide. I have watched quietly from the sidelines, wanting to blog on the subject, but knowing that as soon as I do I'm opening myself up to some serious negative feedback. But today as I read the reports on arrests and the continuing protests, I decided it was time to give in and say something.


At no other university would this sort of protest and disruption be allowed to go on. Stop and ask yourself if it is appropriate for students to refuse to go to class because they don't like the principal? Any other place in the world the response to students staging such a protest would be, "If you don't like the school, then don't go to this school!" No one is forcing these students to attend there. If they absolutely insist that th…

15 days down, 6 to go, and then, oh wait, it never ends!

I got back from Albuquerque last Thursday, and turned right around to attend the Assn of the US Army (AUSA) convention in Washington, DC. This has been one of the hardest weeks of my entire year. Last year we, and by "we" I mean me and the convention services company GES, really bungled the show. I sent my paperwork in late, but it got there. And then GES lost all my paperwork. All in all, last year was a complete and utter disaster, and one of the worst event planning experiences of my life. Determined to not have any disasters this year, I hired an outside contractor to build me a custom booth, and decided to personally pack the boxes to ship to the show, and not rely on the warehouse to do it for me.

The show opened on Monday, so on Sunday I had to go down and just check in, make sure everything was there, etc. I thought this would be a quick and easy procedure. Ha! I am so naive! Instead, when I arrived there was nothing. Zilch, zero, zippo. I hadn't thought to ask f…

The Perfect Man

He has great taste in hats, knows how to travel in style, and yet affordably, loves a good stinky cheese, wasn't intimidated at all by all the men in uniform at the Army show in DC this week, and makes for great arm candy.

Hookin' Up and Hangin' Out

If you know me at all, you know I love Toby Keith. And more than just loving his music, I love his concerts. And on Saturday night, I went to my third Toby concert. I'm becoming something of a groupie. Needproof?

Toby, whether or not you like his music, puts on one helluva show. The man can perform like no other. And last night, while far from the best show I've seen him do, was not a disappointment!
Rae and I made the trek out to Nissan Pavilion in spite of the not outdoors concert weather. Nissan is an outside venue and we had lawn seats, which we knew meant we'd be braving some serious mud and traffic to see the show. And I have to say, I'm glad we did it. We got there early enough to be in the first and a half rows of lawn seats. Now, in my personal opinion lawn chairs should be strictly verboden at such events. But alas, I still don't rule the world, and therefore, people are still rude and block the view of the more polite fans behind them. We chose to sit in …

One last picture from ABQ

Oh to be a fly on the wall... Yes, friends, that would be fly tape hanging from the ceiling of the range building I was in all week. Just one of possibly 20 fly tapes hanging from the ceiling. Except it isn't really a ceiling is it? It's just the rafters where they haven't yet put in the ceiling tiles, or activated the air system inside those ducts you see.
Ah yes, it is ever so glamorous to travel and be an important businesswoman!

Note to Self

Note to self: when flying home remember to take all 10 of the pocket knives out of your briefcase, not just 7. Also, don't wear the same pants to the airport that you wore to the shooting range. Particularly if the airport has one of those sniffer machines that detects gun shot residue (gsr). The combo of GSR and knives at 7 am may be more than the otherwise bored TSA guys can handle.
Other note to self: Offering to just let the TSA guys keep your knives will help get you out of trouble.

My Life Is Just So Dang Glamorous

If you can't handle sarcasm, you may not want to read this post.

Welcome to Life on the Road With Erin. As previously mentioned, I am hanging out on a shooting range this week at the National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I'm staying in a hotel that does not deserve to be called a hotel, and learning all about dry air, nosebleeds, tumbleweed, and more.

This lovely picture may just look like dirt to you, but to me it is a picture of approximately 50 hot shooting lanes (active fire). Granted that is 50 hot lanes in the middle of miles of dirt. When I say we are out in the middle of freaking nowhere this week, I mean it!!

Usually at a trade show we are kept hopping the whole time. But due to the nature of this particular event, where all the attendees are very busy shooting, we have a lot of long extended periods of downtime. In fact, one may venture to say we are bored! When the attendees have finished competing they come and visit us, but tha…

No Crazy Lady Today

Albuquerque Sunset

And the obligatory hotel room self-portrait

On Saturday night when I checked into the hotel the front desk clerk kept changing her mind about which room to give me. But the room I am in was the only one that fit my requirements (minimum queen sized bed and non-smoking). So after getting wishy washy two or three times, she finally gave me my keys, and quickly ran off. I grabbed my suitcase and took the elevator to my room. When I got up to my room the front desk clerk was trying a key on my door already! She then explained VERY quickly that there is a crazy lady who apparently likes to break into my room. "But she's been better lately." But she (the front desk clerk) just wanted to make sure my room was empty before I got in there. Conveniently? My room was empty, and it was all mine. That was Saturday night. I would have asked for a different room, but the place is sold out right now.
On Sunday evening when we got back to the hotel I walked pas…

Apparently people actually read this stuff

So when we last left my love life, or lack thereof, there was Guy #1 and Guy #2. Guy #2 had actually finally knoced #1 out of line, but I was keeping their numbers the same. Well, today I am "happy" to report that #2 is firmly in second place again. Guy #1 is firmly ensconsed in first place, and doing a great job of eliminating his competition. Guy #2 just manages to let me down and doesn't seem to care that he does so. (Which makes it really easy to forget about him.) Guy #1 is doing a great job of freaking me out. I keep giving him perfectly good reasons to wake up and realize I'm not this little perfect girl he thinks I am. I'm not scaring him off. I don't get it! He just may be around for the long haul!

God Knew What He Was Doing...

... When he made me a Virginian.

This morning I woke up to an odd memory I had otherwise forgotten. It was of an allergist giving me the results of my prick test 13 years ago. She rattled off the expected allergies- dust, mold, etc. And then added, "And you'll want to avoid the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest since you are off the chart for tumbleweed." I had just finished a year at BYU, and that explained the incessant head cold I had for that entire year. But to be honest, up till that moment, I didn't know tumbleweed was real. I thought it was just something you saw in cartoons. Well, this morning waking up in Albuquerque (in a rat hole of a motel), I am remembering loud, and oh so painfully clear, that tumbleweed in fact is not just in cartoons, and that yes, I am horribly allergic to it.
Which basically wraps up that I was not meant for California (too laid back for my "inside the Beltway personality), clearly not Floridian, however much I loved th…