• Each year, in November, the big tool and fastener companies meet with their distributors at the Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) annual convention. This year it was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and I was there to report on the new tools that were being unveiled. I'll tell you about those tools in the coming weeks, but this story is about the convention—specifically, the evening when manufacturers entertain the folks who distribute their products. Typically, 10 or so tool companies hold parties, and there's a subtle competition to have the best.

    This year I stopped in at several parties. Mind you, it was strictly business; I only went so I could report on them to you. In keeping with the competitive nature of the parties I decided to describe them in terms of the best things I saw while there. You can see them in the slideshow on the left side of this page. They include:

    Best Weird Humanoids

  • Best Ice Sculpture
  • Best Booze Dispenser
  • Best Greeter
  • Best View
  • Best Performance
  • Best Door Prizes
  • Best Motorcycle
  • Best Looking Ladies
  • Best Looking Guitar
  • Best Dressed
  • Best Overheard Conversation