We arrived in KC after midnight on Thursday. Fortunately I had booked a hotel right outside of the airport. On Friday we we out in the morning to visit the zoo. They are a reciprocal zoo with our own, so we got 50% off. We were both very impressed with the place! Everything was nicely spaced, and the enclosures were very animal-friendly. The polar bear had twice as much room as the ABQ zoo. The Australia section had free-roaming kangaroos. The best feature was that there were lots of trees. It was very pleasant walking around in the heat and humidity. One bad feature about the park is that it is so big! The African section is quite a ways away from the rest of the park. It's a nice walk, but it really took a lot out of us. We opted to take their sky ride which goes over a massive enclosure with oryx, giraffe, ostrich, kudu, etc. Normally I don't go for stuff like that, but it was extremely relaxing and it let our feet rest. We also opted for the tram ride back to the entrance which saved us a half mile hike in the sun.
It was then off to lunch. Of course you have to have BBQ when you're in KC. I found a place on the way to our next hotel. The place looked like a dive bar when we pulled up. I saw signs that they have live blues shows. OK. We found the real deal. The food was delicious. That's all that mattered. We checked into the convention hotel and then went to a reception where there was free food and wine. Later we hit the hotel's patio bar where we enjoyed a few drinks and the lovely evening. Last year it had rained pretty much the entire time.
The convention itself was not as good as last year. The keynote speaker then was Colin Powell. This year it was some motivational speaker who was born without arms and legs. It said he is an evangelical Christian which made his message that much more full of shit. I found him to be a pretentious asshole. The financial speakers were good, but there needed to be more of them. The best speaker was an old economist who studied the entire history of the stock market. The overall message was that even through wars, booms, busts, etc, the Market has produced annual returns of 6-7%. So there has always been and there should always be consistent growth. Another speaker poked holes in a theory that automation/AI will reduce employment by 47%. It's not that jobs will go away, but they will shift to something new. Perhaps somebody wastes a lot of time doing some repetitive task. Automation could free him up to now concentrate on something more vital that will spur more growth. Interesting stuff.
Finally we had dinner at the steak house we found last year. It was just as good this year as last. After a quick breakfast on Sunday, we headed back to the airport. I slightly misjudged the distance since the hotel was on the far south end of the city while the airport is at the far north end of the city. Normally I arrive 90 minutes before the flight. This time it was closer to 30 minutes. No worries. TSA was a breeze and we were soon on our way home.