Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CYOA - Las Vegas - part two

You have successfully arrived in Las Vegas.
Do you:
head directly for a slot machine and start playing?
collect your bag?
get something to eat?

I choose to collect my bag. I wait patiently with the other passengers for my bag to appear. The black bag industry certainly shows no signs of stopping. There it is.

After successfully collecting my bag, do you:
rent a car?
grab a cab?
the shuttle?
walk to your hotel?

Walking seems like a bad idea in the Vegas heat and renting a car can be an unneeded expense when staying at the hotel where the convention is held. I'll be taking cabs later in the week to get to events when shuttles are not available. I choose to take the shuttle because I can prepay for my trip back after Def Con.

You are on your way to your hotel. Which hotel did you choose?
Caesar's Palace (home of Black Hat)
The Riviera (home of Def Con)
TI (formerly Treasure Island about half way between Black Hat and Def Con)
Somewhere off strip (to save a little money)

I chose The Riviera because Def Con is at the end of the week and there will be more traveling back and forth then if I am staying elsewhere. My choice was about cost and convenience in the end. Caesar's would be nice but since this is being paid for out personal funds, price is the winner. Staying off strip did not make as much sense when factoring in the cost of getting to and from off strip. TI was another good option but I could not justify the price differential when factoring in transportation.

On the shuttle to the Riviera you notice that the other passenger is similarly attired to you (read black t-shirt, jeans and laptop backpack). Do you:
strike up a conversation and see if your hunch is correct?
stare at your smart phone and look at the emails that have rolled in while you were in the air?
look out the windows at the scenery as you drive by?

I chose to strike up a conversation and my hunch was correct. My fellow traveler is indeed in town for Black Hat and Def Con. We talk about what we do and who we work for and what we are looking forward to this week. (I have not asked my fellow traveler permission to use his name so I will leave it blank for now)

You arrive at your hotel and discover that check in does not start for another hour and a half (hello time zone shift). Do you:
wander the casino floor and play a few slot machines or maybe a hand of poker?
go to the hotel arcade and play video games for a while?
go find something to eat?
wander down the strip to pick up that last couple of items you meant to pack but failed to do so?

I chose to go pick up a couple of items that I forgot to pack, including the sun glasses I put in my car just for the trip so I would not forget them. Then I stopped and grabbed some lunch at the Peppermill. Good burger, interesting atmosphere. I would recommend stopping by if you are in Vegas just to see decorations.

To be continued

CYOA - Las Vegas - part one

Others my age probably remember the choose your own adventure books from the early to mid eighties. I recall them being a big obsession of myself and my classmates. I remember trying to write some of those stories then but not having much success because I would always leave options hanging because I would go down one path and forget about the others.
With that in mind I am going to present my week in Las Vegas for Black Hat, Def Con and B-Sides in a choose your own adventure style. However just like when I was younger I will only be following one path but I will be showing you the choices along the way that I am presented with. Some will be pretty silly (stay in bed v. get up) while others will be difficult (choosing between sessions where friends are presenting against each other) and a few decisions that have been made for me (I am proctoring talks at Black Hat, presenting at Def Con, and working SkyTalks)
If you are in Las Vegas for Black Hat, Def Con or B-Sides, hit me up via Twitter @n0b0d4 and we can try to make you part of my adventure this year.

So the first choice
Do you want to fly?
Do you want to drive?
Do you want to ride the train?
Would you rather stay home this year?

I choose fly

After packing and then repacking because your first bag experiences zipper failure, you get to bed late because your air conditioner freezes up and its 85 degrees in the house. You then get up super early to fly through Denver to Las Vegas

Do you rent a car?
Do you grab a cab?
Do you take the shuttle?
Do you walk to your hotel?

To be continued