I'm bushed. Holy moly, the Hearing Loss Association of America conference peeps know how to have fun! In an effort to be brief (and to get to the Hair Cell Regeneration symposium early enough to grab some good seats), I'll see if I can sum up yesterday:
1) Smooth flight into Nashville Int'l - couldn't have asked more from SWA. Window seat, Zune playing tunes all the way, and tailwinds shaving off 15 minutes of flight time. I'm recalling a movie scene: "From now on, Frank, that's the only way I fly - tailwinds all zee way!"
2) National Rental Car was out of just about everything, but because I've been such a long standing member, they bumped me up 2 car classes at no charge - getting to drive around a kickass Nissan Murano SUV. A pity I'll be inside most of the time, but then again, getting around town at night's gonna be no problem with this baby!
3) Had to make a special delivery for some co-workers at the Sprint booth who'll be tirelessly working the exhibit hall floor. Seems like we got most things worked out, and of course, who else shows up but our friendly Graceland neighbor, Elvis! So now I'm officially linked with the Hound Dog. Awwooooo!
4) Checked out some tech presentations and exhibits later. Met up with Mary Stodden from the St. Louis chapter, we're gonna plan some trips and meetings to get some mentoring going from her chapter to the KC chapter. We're badly in need of some guidance, and I'm absolutely thankful she's offering it.
5) Then we get treated to a phenomenal opening ceremony! My favorite VP from my CapTel vendor, Kevin Colwell, was the sponsoring speaker; several inspiring speeches from various HLAA members and affiliates tided us over until the man, Dr. Vinton Cerf, got on stage and totally made my night! Dr. Cerf made nerdy science look COOL! My gosh, talking about ARPANET, GoogleDocs, Twitter, Facebook, Google Wave, Google Earth, captioning on youtube, HDTV Captions, auto-captions and auto-translation, and an interplanetary communications network, just.... you're the man!
6) Capping off the evening - a karaoke and dance bar opened up for HLAA only. I couldn't really make sense of the singing but that's probably the idea! About halfway to midnight, a huge group of 15 of us "young'ns" took over the mics and belted out "Lean On Me." Got everybody in the house singing along with us, it was great! Not so much when we got called back for an encore with "Thriller...." We just couldn't channel Michael Jackson! :-p Then they took out the mics and started playing dance music - Cha Cha Slide, YMCA, and of course, line dancing. How'd I get roped into that, I'll never know. ;-)
Onward to Day 2!