I am writing this from the plane on the way to LA. It’s always fun to fly to an event of this size when so many people from group are going as well. Just waiting for the plane to board, I ran into 6 people from the Xbox team. If you are a blogcast listener, you’ll remember Scott from the Xbox Advanced Technology group I interviewed a few months ago. He’s on the flight with me, as well as folks from PR, Marketing and Retail. Of course since Nintendo is also in Redmond, we have to be very careful about our conversations since you never know who may be listening. After I was seated, I noticed that a guy coming down the aisle with a very interesting plastic Pelican case (you know the one that hold equipment) with a huge lock on it. He sat down across the aisle from me. I also noticed he has a computer case with the DS logo on it. As in Nintendo DS. That peaked my interest. What could be in the locked box? It was rather small, but could that be Nintendo’s new console sitting less then 6-feet away from me? Could it be a new controller? My heart began to race.

I decide to pull out my smartphone so I can start typing this in and not forget anything…so here I am typing on my phone…not too obvious huh..but he does not seem to notice or care.

As I am sitting here, he is flipping through a binder…but he’s too far away for me to make anything out. Secret Plans? Dates? Specs? Screenshots? What could it be?

I begin to curse my choice of window seat, since if I had taken the aisle seat, I’d be closer and I’d have a front row seat to this little voyeuristic exercise.

Oops. He just caught me looking at his binder.

Must be discreet.

Nope, I am not stealing a look at your secret plans…I was looking out your window sir….yea that’s it. I smile and try to look disinterested in his binder.
I can make out the header of the page he is reading. It says “Key Information.”

Key information for what?!

Could he really be with Nintendo? Or is he a fertilizer salesmen from Tacoma that happens to have a DS computer case? Yea, that’s probably it. But what’s with the black equipment case with the lock on it? The secret receipe for a new type of horse manure? Could the ‘Key Information’ be nothing more then factoids about some earthly chemicals?

Wait…

Oh yea..here we go.

I just got a glimpse of the tabs on the binder. They read “New Mario Brothers” and one titled “Gamecube” and another word….but I can’t make out the last word. Damn my eyes (and to quote Marty Feldman ‘too late”)

I make a mental note to get an appointment for that Bionic eye.

I grab a peek of another page and all I can make out is the word ‘Memory Card.’
Woo hoo is he on to what looks like hardware specs.

Ahh…now he seems to be interested in the women next to him and what she’s watching on her portable DVD player. Go ahead sir..strike up a conversation to allow me to freely peruse what you are reading. Nope, I guess she’s watching a chick flick and he quickly turns back to his binder-o-mario-stuff.

Alright…now things are getting interesting, he seems to be flipping back in the binder….the good stuff must be in the back!

Damn….I think he’s on to me.

He closed his binder and quickly puts it away.

Well that’s the end of my little caper….I was going to snap a photo of the binder with my phone, but I am quite sure that would have resulted in an in-flight melee attack, and my idea of fun is NOT getting detained at LAX for disturbing a flight (as well as becoming Sunday’s ‘top news story’ across the country) so I opt out of that decision.

Well, on to the rest of the day….after I land I need to claim my luggage and check into the hotel in downtown LA. Once I do that I am going over to the rehearsal
for Monday’s keynote. I am sure I can grab some good photos and maybe some audio for a blogcast. I can’t stop thinking about that mysterious black case with the big lock on it. Maybe I’ll try share a cab with him to downtown LA and introduce myself as a fertilizer salesmen from Tacoma.