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May 11, 2004

National Hardware Show

I am here in Las Vegas attending the National Hardware Show. It is simply an amazing collection of new tools, products and smiling people who are energized about the home improvement and lawn and garden industries.

I truly hope Alan Greenspan doesn't find out about what is going on here because there is so much excitment he might think that runaway inflation is just around the corner. The next thing you know, up go the interest rates.

The show is being held in the Sands Expo and Convention Center which is immediately adjacent to the luxurious Venetian resort hotel/casino. There are nearly 2,300 exhibitors spread out over nearly a half million square feet of floor space.

When the doors first opened yesterday I discovered five clever products in just the first 90 minutes. That is a new record for me, especially when you consider I have been coming to these trade shows / conventions for ten years. I still have more to look at and will be going back down on the show floor in a few minutes. This morning was so exciting, I had to take a break because I thought my adrenal gland was going to burst.

Posted by Tim Carter at 4:42 PM

May 10, 2004

The Venetian

Las Vegas has some of the largest and most luxurious hotel resorts in the world. Quite possibly it has the highest concentration of them within a given radius. I have the good fortune to be staying in one right now - The Venetian.

As luck would have it, I was invited to be a speaker at the National Hardware Show that is in Las Vegas starting today. The show organizers were kind enough to arrange a room for me at the Venetian as it is attached at the hip to the slick Sands Expo and Convention Center. The journey from my room to the convention center is only five minute walk. It is a delight to walk through the spacious hallways past shops, restaurants and a corner of the Venetian casino.

I have attended countless conventions before and had to travel to and from the show to my hotel in a crowded shuttle bus. I had no idea how wonderful it could be to take a quick break from the show and relax in my spacious room. That is exactly what I did today. In fact, on the way back to my room I stopped at one of the Venetian’s convenient delicatessens and purchased a gigantic and tasty chicken salad sandwich. I sat in my room savoring both the sandwich and the breathtaking view from my room.

In all of my travels I have never stayed in a room, actually a suite, quite like the one I am in at the Venetian. I have gotten close, however, when I delivered a speech for a national sales meeting and stayed at the Lagomar resort in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. But don’t think for a moment that the Lagomar is like the Venetian. It would be easier to compare an onion with a watermelon. But I am struck by how affordable the suites at the Venetian really are. When you compare what you get here vs. other large competing Las Vegas hotels, I think you will quickly discover the Venetian has the others beat hands down.

My suite at the Venetian has a large 15 by 15 foot living room that is adjacent to a vast bank of windows. This particular room faces southeast and I was blessed to see the sun rise today over the tip of a mountain peak. The living room has a comfy couch, two superb side chairs, a round table that sits three, a work desk and still enough room to dance in the middle of the room.

Two steps up from the living room is the sleeping area. It contains a magnificent queen-sized bed with two night stands and of course the television cabinet. There is a wrought-iron railing that separates the sleeping area from the living room. The walls are adorned with bed moldings, gorgeous paintings and giant crown molding.

I have saved the best for last. The bathroom is to die for. I am quite sure several mountains gladly gave parts of themselves for this space. The three different marbles, beige, red and green for the vanity top, are magnificent. When I first opened the door and saw how large the bathroom was and how all of the surfaces gleamed, I knew I was in the right place.

Every single person I have talked with who works at the Venetian has been friendly, courteous and a problem solver. The housekeeping, security and management personnel are doing a magnificent job. In today's travel environment it is increasingly difficult to find all of these things in one location.

Oh, by the way, if you happen to like lounging by the pool, just wait until you see their pool complex. It is exquisite, inviting and I only wish it stayed open past 7:00 p.m. If I could figure out a way to hide under one of the comfortable deck chairs so I could lay there and watch the stars at night, I would do it in a heartbeat.

If you are coming to Las Vegas and you want a pleasant resort memory to be forever burned into your brain, simply book your stay at the Venetian. I can guarantee you it is where I will stay from now on. I love going with proven winners.

Posted by Tim Carter at 10:58 PM

May 1, 2004

Mold and Bath Fans

I remodeled and built many homes in the twenty years I was working in the field. One thing I always questioned was the use of a soffit vent hood for a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan. It was my opinion this method of venting humid air was a huge mistake.

The large cloud of water vapor could easily be drawn into the attic and be the trigger for massive amounts of mold growth. If you have any spare time, stop by your local clerk of courts and see how many mold-related lawsuits have been filed in your area in the past several years. Mold is indeed a buzzword in the litigation and insurance industry.

Mold needs water, favorable temperatures and a food source in order to blossom and grow. Mold can grow in a wide range of temperatures. It can thrive in just about all of the temperatures we tolerate including colder temperatures. Water vapor being pulled into an attic through nearby soffit vents will initiate mold growth in almost all situations as the roof sheathing is covered with food thgat will support mold growth.

If you are getting ready to build or remodel make sure your bath fan vents through the roof. The fan manufacturers make special leak-proof roof caps for this explicit purpose. These roof caps are equipped with a flapper to minimize drafts. I have installed many and all of my customers are very pleased with them.

Posted by Tim Carter at 1:55 PM

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