Like most trade show attendees, I feel compelled to search the aisles for swag to bring home to my children. I mean, I can't go home empty handed. My children are so conditioned to receive tacky gifts when I return from a trade show that my son even reminded me before I left, "See if you can find some cool stuff to bring home, Mom."

But something is amiss at TechEd this year. There is not a single flying monkey in the house. (Those of you who were at TechEd two years ago--or was it three?--know what I mean.) So far, the fuzzy antlers are the closest I've seen to hitting the mark. But after two days on the show floor, I'm worried I'll be going home empty handed.

While I don't have anything for my kids, my fellow editors and I did find some hot stuff that only real geeks will appreciate. Jeff James, products editor for Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine, is now sporting the latest trend in IT pro fashion, a thumb drive wrist band, which he picked up at the Prowess booth.

Jeff also left the show today with a full version of VMware ESXi on a thumb drive--a very clever way to drive home VMware's message about footprint.

But probably the geekiest thing on the show floor today was SQL Server Magazine writer and database expert Rodney Landrum sporting a SQL tattoo. If you don't know Rodney, he is one of the most upbeat and enthusiastic techie guys you'll meet. When he believes in something, he wears it on his chest, er, I mean arm. The Atari tattoo is hiding just under his shirtsleeve.

I'll continue my search today in one last attempt for that Holy Grail of swag. If you don't see me walking the aisles, throw some my way at the Windows IT Pro and SQL Mag booth!