Another Day At NIFS

Today was the big day. The first meeting was at 730am at the buffet. Yay buffet and that in turn was followed by the show from 9am to 4pm. I did a quick lap (about 5 hours) and near the end though it odd nobody called me. I opened my phone and I had 5 missed calls. Apparently, the reception isn’t so good in there.

I handed out some buttons and there were buttons not just from me, but there were hats, buttons from others, and trade-show bags. There was a huge amount of anti-Nucor hostility. There were rampant rumours of a verbal altercation between Don West of Nucor and a representative from one of the importers. I have no firsthand knowledge. Near the end of the show, I did cruise by the Nucor booth but they pointedly ignored me.

I got a hero’s welcome at the TIFI booth including from the president of TIFI as well as from a number of Chinese and Taiwanese and Hong Kongese companies as well as a few US based companies. I decline to accept credit but it’s still nice. A lot of people asked me for buttons, and I gave out most of them, but I did save some for any of my friends who want them (and matching baseball caps too).

The show was not productive really. A lot of discussion about Nucor from both sides as to whether or not they’ll appeal and/or re-file. I feel they’ll appeal though it’s certainly a complete waste of their time. The case is not winnable and there is no record of a 6-0 case ever being overturned. Then again considering their legal counsel they very well may appeal. They will certainly re-file, I hope with the same attorney. A good attorney will give them a winnable case on a smaller, reasonable scope. Will I continue the fight? Depends what they want to cover.

After my first rounds, I had a quick lunch (thanks Greg) — $10 for a fruit salad. Seriously — same thing I bitch about paying $7 for at a Panther game. That means I paid $3 for the strawberry on top.

After the show I collected my literature and took it to the business center to ship it back to the office — 15 pounds of crap. Damn. And it’s all literature — there were almost no freebies this year. I blew off one guy — the one who stood me up yesterday. He’s called me repeatedly and chased me down, but I’m done with him. Had a 5pm meeting with a company that had various screws. I got a sudden idea on how to combine several of them to make the screw to end all screws. I gave them a sketch of what I wanted and asked them to quote me a trial run of a quarter million pieces. I may have an official “name this screw” contest once I have a prototype. It’ll be expensive but twice as good as anything anyone’s ever used. I’m intrigued by the possibilities. After that we took a break and I cleaned up. Got a cab driver who asked if we wanted to go via the Strip (under construction) or the Freeway (any cabbie in Vegas who says to go this way is taking you for a ride). I told him to take Sinatra and he was very grumpy because I knocked at least 30% off the fare. He refused to give me a receipt, the rat bastard.

We went to Nero’s at Caesars Palace. It was good and I’m glad we went but there are much better restaurants here at similar prices. By Vegas standards it was cheap and just about $100 per person including tip. We decided to go gamble at Excalibur because it was low rent. So we started to walk back. (Yeah. walk back. We walk.) Whilst cutting through Bellagio, we spied a $10 table. And this was at around 9pm. We sat down and began to play. This was the second best dealer I ever had in all my years of gambling. First, he was helpful — though there are helpful dealers. If you did something wrong (ask for a hit where you shouldn’t or something) he’d tell you it was the wrong action and tell you the right one. But the best part was he gave us a great show. He was talkative, funny, and just a joy to play. We played his entire shift before he rotated out. I was $100 in at the start, gave him about $40 in tips on dealer bets, and left with $95. Greg and Gaby were both up. I think between the three of us he got about $100 in tips. Worth every penny. He’s a black guy and his name starts with the letter ‘D’ — look for him. We walked back to the hotel and stopped at Cold Stone. They have a new flavour: Butterscotch Jello Pudding. It’s amazing. (They also have chocolate, but the butterscotch is better). We got to our hotel, and played Wheel of Fortune for a while, me being up $50 on the session. And that brings you up to date. Tomorrow is some morning meetings, followed by packing and a late-night return. I’m sure you all saw the NFL fined the owner of the Titans a quarter of a million dollars for flipping off the opposing team. The video which you’ve probably seen was shot by Kenny Hirt. Well Kenny’s a cousin of mine. He was on the local news in Nashville as his video has over 300,000 views and is what led the NFL to levy the fine.  Disclaimer from Doug (Kenny’s Dad): Wife, Mindy and mother, Melanie had no part whatsoever in selecting the attire worn by Kenneth Hirt for any of the television interviews. I am amused. Karen says she’s feeling better. That’s good. And I’m tired so I’m done.

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