Von Schweikert Research
Room 1353 - Alexis Park Hotel

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Room 2053
Alexis Park Hotel


I Must Be Trippin'...
by Steven R. Rochlin

So you're about to go on a trip to an electronics show, huh? Well lemme show you just what it takes for me to prepare or such an excursion. First you gotta get the flight arrangements, tickets for the show etc. This is usually easy and might take only 20 minutes of your time. Once the magic week before the show comes things get busy... fast! Are you sure you only need those 5 favorite recordings to fully analyze a system? Will it be warm/cold/snowing/monsoon season where the show is at? Do they speak the same language as you?! And as your mom always sez, make sure you have enough clean underwear! Imagine the headlines: One man dies in car accident and he wasn't wearing clean underwear. Gotta keep mom happy...even in your afterlife. Then comes making sure you have all your laptop n' computer stuff ready. The computer, the backup/rescue software, your ZIP drive, scanner... and of course a full backup of your hard drive on ZIP discs just in case your it crashes during the show (or worse still, some loser steals your computer). Ok, so you have everything packed and are off to the airport now. Did you remember to lock the front door and turn the oven off? Don't laugh, i've left my front door unlocked for two weeks once during a trip two years ago (nothing was stolen).

So you're now at the airport, you check in and get your seat assignment. Never check in your luggage. Always pack lightly and always make sure you can carry on everything you need for the trip. If my plans are to go to Las Vegas and i make a mistake and check in some of my luggage, you never know when something strange happens and the airlines send my luggage to Hawaii. Please do not get my luggage to me Mrs./Mr. Airlines, instead, please send ME to Hawaii to pick it up will ya? And no matter what anyone else sez, DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT EAT THE AIRLINE FOOD!!! If G-d had meant us to fly he'd have given us better food during the trip. So do yourself a favor and eat something at the airport before the flight. Now i must admit that airport char-broiled hamburgers are the best! How do they do it? Just don't know but a good burger and fries works for me. So after eating it's flying time! Surely you've seen in movies where there's a kid kicking the back of your chair and a baby is crying three rows behind you. Please believe me, it is all true and really doesn't help in making the flight more enjoyable. To solve most of this i take care of all the noise and pressure changes my ears are subject to.

At Target stores here in the USA they sell these 'must have' devices from Travel Smart called Ear Planes. These earplugs not only reduce the noise your ears are subject to, they also use this thing called the CeramX filter system which is a small plug in the center of the earplug. (Said with humor) It's even better then the ActiveX plug-in for my computer! When you fly there are pressure changes which can negatively effect your hearing. Last thing you wanna do is show up to an electronics show wanting to audition gear only to have your ears effected by the pressure changes and everything sounds muffled because your ears 'popped' during the flight. Ear Planes cost about $4 for a pair and are good for two flight segments. If you don't have a Target store near you they can be bought direct from Cirrus Air at 1-800-EAR-6151 in the US or for you UK dudes 01304-620199. This is a must have product in my humble opinion anytime you fly. By the way, i sold about 10 pair of these to my friend Ken Kessler at last years WCES!

Now you've arrived in tact, you have all your luggage, and you need a rental car. Never show up without a reservation and expect the rental company to have a car for you. Usually i get the fastest, sportiest car they rent (and buy the insurance). Look at it this way, it might not be as fast as the car you have at home though if you make a driving error and crash and burn the car on the road who cares?!?!?! It's not your car is it? So go ahead, put some 104+ octane boost in the tank and see how fast that Ford Mustang can really go. Just remember that you stand no chance at beating a Ferrari or Porsche, but that guy in the Pinto next to you will be impressed (just don't hit him in the rear).

So after some racing fun you arrive at the hotel (of course you have a reservation, right?). Once in your room it's time to setup all your computer stuff and unpack your cloths. Laptop, ZIP drive, scanner... Oh no, you forgot your SCSI cable! So there you are in Las Vegas and no SCSI cable. You quickly grab a phone book and start looking for a computer store. To make a long story short you get lost three times trying to find the bloody computer store that you called and finally get that must-have cable. It's now 12 midnight and you've been traveling all day. Hmmm... since this is Las Vegas that means you can now enjoy a $2.99 prime rib dinner. Eat as many of these as you can because when the trip is all over and you've lost over $1,000 gambling at least you got a great deal on dinner. Sounds strange, but this ploy designed by the Gambling Empire works! Then next morning you wake up at 8am and head out to the show. The rest, as they say, is HIStory. Once the show is over and you're back home it'll all seem like one big dream of nonstop fun. All those bad experiences will be overshadowed by the comrodery of seeing all your old friends and enjoying lottsa live and reproduced music (and though you don't tell folks about the $1,000 you lost you do tell them about the $2.99 dinner). All the fun and all the music you can handle in one huge four day party. Enjoy the music!

...Steven R. Rochlin

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