Back to Reality

I've concluded yet another whirlwind tour of New York - my fifth since August. I flew in on Monday night for rehearsal for Live with Regis and Kelly on Tuesday. I usually stay in the theater district, but this time I decided to try a hotel within walking distance of the ABC studios. I stayed at the ultra-trendy Hudson hotel. This place is so with it there's no sign out front. Just a big yellow facade with an eternal flame and a doorman in black slacks, white shirt, skinny black tie, and black pullover. The room was teensy - little bigger than the double bed - but the design is exquisite.

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NYC Pied a terre

I brought a video camera to put up a spycam, but the hotel didn't have the advertised high-speed access in the rooms, so I didn't set it up. If I had you would have seen the lovely wood-paneling and the table lamps with people's faces on them. You would also have seen me trying to squeeze past the toilet to get to the shower. The bathroom was the size of my closet at home. Literally. Next time it's the Tribeca Grand. I don't mind small rooms, but I've got to have my high-speed Internet access!

The folks at Live neglected to tell me Regis was on vacation. I guess they have to keep it a secret or guests would bow out. It was a disappointment, but Kelly was very nice (she kissed me twice!) and it was interesting to meet her husband, Mark Consuelos, who was filling in for Reeg. The real disappointment was that I had 13 items to show and they only gave me four minutes to do it. I really had to hustle to try to get them all in, and I still missed a few. But the producers loved it and said I can come back any time. I think it'll probably end up being something I do every three months.

The real bonus on this trip was a visit next door to the ABC news studios. At the last minute TechTV PR had booked an interview for me on World News Now, ABC's overnight show. I went over Tuesday afternoon and got a tour of the facility, including the mailslots where the anthrax was found, the World News Tonight set, and Peter Jennings's emergency staircase from his desk to the studio, for breaking stories. The highlight? I got to meet Peter Jennings and show him a couple of products. When I was doing Tech Live I studied Jennings - he's the best anchor on TV - so it was a real thrill meeting him. I tried not to gush. He sits in a place they call The Rim. It's a big round table with seats for the upper-level news editors. Each has a computer workstation behind him. Jennings was sitting there, right out in the open, working at his terminal. I showed him the Guy keyboard with keys layed out for hunt and peck typists, and Sony's new tiny Handycam. He played with the Sony for a while and really liked it. (Note to Sony: send Peter a camera.)

I taped the interview with WNN's anchor, Alison Stewart, at around midnight for airing at 2:30am. It was a good interview and I had plenty of time for the six items I had brought. They've posted the video on their web site. I think I'll be doing more with World News Now. They're very interested in tech, and the Executive Producer is a real fan of The Screen Savers. She even owned a copy of my book! They gave me a big plug for the book on the web site. Thanks, Sharon!

I flew back last night and got in late. Fortunately, no one noticed the taser in my checked bags. Darci had put a big sign on the case saying "this is not a toy." I had visions of being dragged off in handcuffs. I tried to declare it but no one seemed to know what I was talking about.

These trips are still a lot of fun, but to be honest, I hope I don't have to go back to NYC for at least a couple of months. I love New York, but I'm looking forward to staying home for a little while. I miss my bed, and I miss The Screen Savers!