Yet another website launch for me – this one hit yesterday and will be another regularly updated site. However, this one is on the world of marketing. Even if you’re not a marketing person, per se, you’ll probably get a kick out of some of it. Guest columns are welcome and we welcome any discussion on marketing, advertising, commercials, whatever. We’re hoping to have ad downloads there in a bit too, so you’ll be able to download your favourite ads for storing on your hard drive. In the meantime, we’ve got some links to buy the albums of some songs people seem to like from ads, including that instrumental one in the VW commercial from one of my top bands, Son Volt. You can visit the site here.

Of course, yes, Crafty Puppy is my company name. Has been for a number of years now, but I’d never done anything with the website. This site will hopefully generate some traffic to check out what it is I do, and we’ll be adding in an area for people to see what services we offer and how to use them. Hopefully it gets some more business coming in. I’ll be talking with the Beer Machine guys next week – any of you men or women out there think it looks like an interesting product? I have one, it’s fun. :)

And now it’s off to clean the house – Andy, Catherine, and their little 3-month old girl Madeline Emma are coming over today – we’ve not yet seen the little one so we want to make sure everything is tidy and the Toy Story DVD is in the machine. :)


Preferring It Back Inside

The last week and a half have truly been a whirlwind – the next few days should be a welcome respite from the constant movement. When I had noted in Vegas below that “sleep won’t be an option” I wasn’t lying – as it turned out I didn’t sleep my last two days there. I managed to squeeze a lot of sights and sounds into those two days, though, so I don’t regret it. The plane ride home was murder because everything on me wanted to shut down and crash, but because I had a changeover I couldn’t just lie back for hours and sleep. When I got back it was catching up on my precious Survivor and Big Brother, then up Sunday for a family dinner at my grandparents. Monday was spent catching up on lost work, then Tuesday and Wednesday at The Angry Tomato to learn some on-the-job cooking in a professional kitchen. That was a lot of fun, and I don’t *think* I messed anything up. All’s well that ends well, right? Then today it’s back catching up on work and I have to leave in two hours for cooking class in Toronto. And just when I think I can see the other side, I’ve remembered I’ll be getting three more movies to review tomorrow – and trust me, this is much harder work than I ever thought it was. I still enjoy watching the movies, but the 4-5 hours I need to allocate to each movie for the in-depth reviews is just too much.

That said, I’ve now added a new menu option on your left with links to the last two weeks worth of DVD reviews, in case some of you are interested. Clive suggested I add a rating system, which I have for the past few weeks. Thanks to him for that suggestion. But I haven’t stopped there…

Gaming Jackpots, my gaming site, launched a suite of free casino games in Flash today. They look pretty nice, all the popular games are there, and you get 1000 free credits to start. I can always add more if you bottom out, just e-mail me. I’ve placed a link on your left under Fun Junk in case any of you are bored and want to play a little Blackjack or some Slots. There are other games there too. Hopefully you enjoy them!

And for those that asked what I got to make in the restaurant the last two days – a lot of House, Greek, Caesar, Grilled Chicken Caesar, and Blackened Chicken Ceasar salads; Garlic Bread (with and without cheese); Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad; Blackened Chicken Wrap; Club Wrap; Chicken Wrap; Veal Sandwich; French Fries; Sweet Potato Fries; Blackened Chicken Pasta; Cauliflower Soup; Pasta Pomodoro; Breaded Veal; and Margarita, Ariana, and Louisiana Pizza. You can check out the menus here and here.

Now it’s off to class to make a Lasagna..



As part of my wind down from Vegas I’ve already put together the video presentation of the few shots I took while I was there. Check it out if you’re interested by visiting the Gallery. Some info you may not get out of just watching it:

  • Yes, that’s a meat locker Steve is pointing to.
  • The outdoor concert was being given by George Thorogood.
  • The restaurant after the Starbucks is Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House.
  • Yes, those lions were right above my head.

I think that sums it up. :)

So now, today, I try my hand at true professional cooking for the first time! Jeff has invited me up to try my hand at two lunches at The Angry Tomato, learn the ropes a bit, and see how it goes. This mixed in with my next eight weeks of cooking school should go a long way towards putting me where I want to be as a chef.


Rick in Vegas III (Final)

This is going to be my last report until I get home Saturday night, Internet is just too expensive when it’s not free here in the press room at G2E – thanks to the organizers of the event for thinking of us.

Interesting day – I finally met up with John, a friend online for a few years. We’re going to team up with Steve and meet another online friend Barry for a night on the town tonight. Things are pretty cool around here, I like the town, wouldn’t mind coming back sometime.

On the show floor, today was the final day. Swag everywhere as they try to unload it – the nice lady at the Sega booth even begged us to drink from her keg beause she didn’t want to cart beer back home. We helped. :) The Baywatch girls are handing out smoothies, other scantily clad ladies are handing out t-shirts at the WMS and Mikohn booths, and IGT spent a bit of time yelling at me for taking pictures of their slots. SLOTS. As in, machines. :) Pretty interesting show, hopefully the contacts I’ve made will help back home.

So until Saturday night, alas my time here is almost done. I haven’t hit Emeril’s or Coyote Cafe yet so I need to get moving. And John’s mad that I haven’t seen anything on the list he gave me so it looks like sleep isn’t an option the next two days.

Take care, be well, enjoy Survivor without me, and see you Saturday!


Rick In Vegas II

Well, back to the hotel for a little bit of work. My friends are still out at an unnamed “bar”, so I thought it a great opportunity to hide out, work a bit, update the sites, and watch some TV. Day two of the conference reiterated to me the point that the land-based casinos and game makers are light years ahead of the online people. The games and bonus structures these people are coming up with are amazing – the online folks DESERVE to be tucked away in the back corner. Hopefully they stop whining about that long enough to pay attention to what’s going on around them.

There are a lot of great people here, though, and it’s been a pleasure to meet them. I’ll drop names and links when I get back. It was also great to catch up with a few of my ex-coworkers at Crypto, now moved on. Paul Gragtmans is working with a company that’s doing wireless games and they look 1000X better than they did a couple years ago. These folks are doing some great stuff, I’ll let everyone know about it. The big news coming through my circle of friends and so forth is the appearance of our former COO at CRYP, David Outhwaite, at the DCEG booth. I really enjoyed chatting with him, he seems to have the energy and drive that DCEG needs to take it to the next step. The folks at Odds ON have even released a great new poker product – looks nice.

But y’all are bored of this, right? Vegas is a lot of fun. I did a bit of gambling tonight (with someone else’s money) at the Bellagio. What a sweet place that is. Managed to scored two free Margaritas for my efforts and they were really, REALLY good. I’ve hit them, here (Paris LV), Harrah’s, Bally’s, Treasure Island, and a few others whose names escape me. I’ve also had the buffets at Bellagio and Paris thus far. Can’t wait to show you the view from the room here – right out on the giant Eiffel Tower and a perfect shot of the Bellagio Water Show. Cool. Spent some time the last two days swimming in the pool before work in the afternoon. This IS indeed the life. ;)

Starbucks is still keeping me alive. They can still pump their Chai full of ephedrine here, good for wiring yourself up for conferences. I met Butterbean (the fighter) and Wink Martindale today. Wink is old. His girlfriend is not.

Cheers! (BTW – where are the comments! COMMENTS!!)