I arrived in Las Vegas Wednesday night at 11pm. I didn't get to the Hotel until after midnight Vegas time, which is around 2am my time. I woke up that morning around 6am, so I was tired.
First impression of the hotel, it was clean and simple. The main gambling floor is just a giant box, unlike the mazes on the strip. The hotel is way south of town, you have to take a taxi to get anywhere. I would say that is the only drawback, albeit a major one. When I got home I found out that one of my co-workers daughter-in-law was the lead construction manager on this hotel.
The room was very nice. Big comfortable bed, nice large bathroom with a separate room that housed the toilet and shower. The only thing missing was a whirlpool style bathtub but I am sure that is offered in the higher priced rooms. Internet was offered at 13 dollars for 24 hours.
I woke up Thursday morning, went to the buffet. The price of the buffet was only 6.99, very good price. I was wearing a "Teach the Controversy" shirt that day. I started to notice all the atheist and pro-evolution shirts being worn. That is when it really set in that I was around a lot of like-minded individuals.
After breakfast, I went upstairs to the conference area to register. They gave us a t-shirt and sharpie with the TAM7/JREF logo on it. Nothing started until noon the first day and they were extra shops you had to pay for. I only signed up for one of them. After leaving registration, I headed back down stairs to mess around (lose money) and ran into Matt Dillahunty from the Atheist Community of Austin, the Non-Prophets and the Atheist Experience TV Show. We talked for a bit. I had met him before when I went to a taping of the show. He actually remembered me, not my name but our talk before.
The first Workshop I attended was "Science, Magic and Skepticism: A Natural Relationship" by D.J. Grothe and Jamy Ian Swiss. They covered the history of Skepticism and Magic and how they intertwine. Not that all magicians are skeptics or even good skeptics but that both often work together. As Jamy put it, 'Magicians are only know one thing, but they know a lot about it and that is deception.' Jamy did a couple of mentalist tricks, one that Uri Geller did to "prove" he was psychic. The speech was really good. Interestingly enough, the first time in English that a trick was written down on how it was done, was in a book on why witches being punished by the church were not witches. In other words a skeptical book.
I didn't go to the second workshop that day, instead I met up with my girlfriend. She took a nap during the first one. That night they had a change in magicians for the show, you had to pay extra for. If I had known Mac King was going to perform, we would have went instead I didn't know until after it was sold out. Mac King is genius, you should see him if you ever go to Vegas.
That night, we went to the strip and it was fucking crowded. We knew that UFC 100 was in town. What we learned was that the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour were going on the same weekend also.
That ended Day 1. Very exciting I know.