Meta Analysis: Final Thoughts on CES/Grand Canyon 2006

Overall thoughts about CES 2006: I didn’t see too many revolutionary products at CES that are going to change our lives over the next year. This seems to jive with what the major publications were saying. Instead there is a steady and predictable march onward as manufacturers continue to improve their products by adding features and reducing size and cost. One of the trends I noticed is that car audio companies have finally become responsive to the digital media revolution and many are now offering stereos with USB plugs on the front that allow you to play your digital audio files directly from a standard USB thumb drive. Several stereos also offer the ability to plug in your iPod and control it through the stereo itself. This is one of the most disconcerting trends which is locking consumers into one specific technology (the iPod) by creating a proprietary interface. Another trend is the coming of age for Bluetooth. This was supposed to be hot technology several years ago but has been slow to be adopted. Manufacturers are finally understanding the benefits of this technology and it’s starting to show up in a lot more mobile devices. Car stereos have Bluetooth hands free hooks into your cell phone so when you accept a call the radio is muted and you can use the phone in a hands free mode. One of the more interesting applications was a standard cordless phone from Uniden which allows you to pair your cell phone with the base station and essentially use the phone as a second line from any of the cordless handsets. This means you only need to carry one phone around the house to receive all your calls. As an added bonus the cordless handsets also have Bluetooth technology allowing you to use a cordless headset with them. Unfortunately Uniden has no plans at this time to make this a feature in any of the less expensive phones.

Overall thoughts on the Grand Canyon: It was a little colder at the canyon than I might normally have chosen but the small crowds were tough to beat. In planning another trip I would probably shoot for Fall or Spring instead of Winter or Summer. The canyon itself is an immense natural wonder and I would love to have more time to explore it. I was a little disappointed by how easy the hike I selected was. I think I would really enjoying going back to the canyon and taking several days to hike several of the trails. Each trail has a unique personality and history which is fascinating to me and I would love to explore each of them. As a whole I did feel a bit underwhelmed by the Grand Canyon. It’s quite a different experience than a mountain and I didn’t feel that it was any more beautiful than many of the other natural wonders I’ve had a chance to see up close. For me it was much more interesting as a historical place than as a natural wonder. For that I much prefer the Grand Teton Mountains and Yellowstone. Still, I would welcome another trip to the area where I would further explore local history and enjoy some fantastic hiking.

Overall thought on the trip: What a great trip! Matt and I had a great time and I know that I enjoyed being able to put some of the skills I’ve learned on all our family road trips to good use. There’s something to be said for taking some time to explore the country and the interaction you get with the land on a car or train trip compared with jetting in and out seeing mostly an airport. Matt and I got along quite well, as he said we have no problem choosing restaurants on the road because we both like the same types of places. As for not Matt says he’s ready to spend some time at home before another vacation but I’m always ready for another adventure, who knows where I’ll end up next!


  1. Glad you and Matt had a great trip! As always it was nice to see you, and hey this time you brought a friend! Cool!