Saturday, January 27, 2007

Living the High Life in Las Vegas.

Well it's been a terrific time so far. Landed in Vegas at 13:20 on Sunday and since then it has been go go go, in a very good way. The weather here has been terrific, we even broke the record for January 24 at 64 Degrees. We were out there at the concrete show watch the guys building a brick wall in competition. I thought it was going to be a hard thing to watch, but it was really enjoyable hard to believe how hard those guys worked.

The show itself was very interesting as well, I spent a lot of my time wandering, exploring on my own. I also was invited to attend a seminar on the overall view of the past and present " World Of Concrete show". It was a great event to be able to attend as many of the participants had vast experience in the industry. They were very forthcoming about their Industry experiences as well as the the trade show, I really learned much during this very short even, and had wished that I could have spent much more time with this group and been able to enquire further about their thoughts on how the industry has changed and where it would be going with the deep introduction of Technology in their day to day operations.

We also took the time to check out several of the venues that I had found on the net or had been advised by others to check out while here. Ellis Island is a MUST for anyone who enjoys fantastic food, brilliant beer, and most likely some of the friendliest folks running an establishment in the area. The food is of the highest quality yet the menu prices seem to have been stuck in the early 80's. The  "off menu" streak special does actually exist and is hard to beat at $4.95, the Prime Rib Steak at $9 is unbelievable, and not only is it done to perfection but even comes with a beer. BTW - buy your glass of beer at the bar for $1 as it is $2 in the restaurant (although it is worth far more in the glut of Miller and Budweiser bars. ;-) ). The breakfast's and lunch's really can not be beat, Huge portions, reasonable prices, it is no wonder that it is such a local haunt. As I will be back in August I am hoping to get a package that includes this one.

A buddy of mine recommended checking out the Las Vegas Distribution mall, (take the Deuce south past Mccarran Airport on Las Vegas Blvd to the Bus Hub, swap to the Mall connector. this will drop you there.). Everything from Adias, Nike,Royal Dalton , jean stores, show stores, all redistribution outlets. Great selection and prices, Wish I had more time when I got out there. What you have to check out though is West Coast Cycle's store hats and shirts from less than $1 to a heavy motorcycle (ladies) jacket for less than $50. Good quality, limited size worth a look. Another reason to go? Fry's Electronics, while the prices are nothing great compared to home the selection itself is unbelievable, a place I could spend days wandering.... I did pick up some interesting things including a camera connector for my iPod and save $20 over home. So there are some deals just gotta be careful.

We took a trip to Walmart on the 3400 block of Tropicana Blvd, back off the strip into the real Las Vegas folks turf. The people here are awesome, I am sure we stick out as tourists, damn barely understand Spanish, but the folks are just like all working folks are everywhere you go I guess. I felt safer in a general threat feeling in these areas than I ever would on the strip. Just regular folks trying to make their way in a tourist heavy town.

What the heck is with the distances here? Everything looks so close then you walk and walk and walk and... well you get my meaning. it really is huge. I bet there are very few folks that do this and put weight on.

Got something outta my system today. Brother-in-law (friend) and I dragged the women along to go and shoot some guns. They stayed outside of the gun shop But V and I went in and had a great time. I choose the AR/15 - M16 full auto as well as the FN-F2000 (damn ya gotta see this Duke would be proud of me), V took the semi and did a hell of great job of grouping on the Saddam target. :-) The instructor I had on the FN just absolutely loves her job, who wouldn't. They have more ammo used than the local Marine base and use their feedback to get up to speed on the ups and downs of the weapons. Pictures to follow.

Ok may right some more in the AM, last full day tomorrow. I think the general plan is to head to Fremont St tomorrow. Then Sunday AM back to reality unfortunately.. until August.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

Something to break the winter up with

Just a few days away from a mini vacation to Las Vegas (Lost Wages). We are really looking forward to this, and to taking a break at this time of year, makes February and March a little easier to bear. We are heading down for a full week, in the past we have just headed for the 4 day packages so this will be a treat. I have spent the past few weeks researching off-strip things I want to do/see and came across this brilliant websites.


It list a great selection of on-strip, off-strip and old Vegas (Fremont St) areas. It covers all aspects of the different hotels, from room quality , Gambling, eats, drinks freebies etc.. (heck even what shampoo bottles you get in your Hotel room. A buddy works down there and really recommends Ellis Island (just behind Ballys) in searching it out I came across Cheapovegas. I am looking at the possibility of going down there again in August for Defcon, so all this little sites I find may help out.


A great user review site of both brewpubs and beer bars (they serve either locally produced microbrew or imports). many of these are off-strip, but look very interesting. I will be checking them out, oh I mean investing my own time researching in minute detail in order to properly provide accurate reviews, don't want to mislead any other who use this site to plan out their vacations. ;-). Yeah its hard work.

A couple of people I know told me about these guys, they said it is a fun place to shop for electronics. So I am looking forward to experiencing them as well as seeing what kind of set-up they have to see how different it is from what we have here.

Well, rent a SMG from the .223 minimi , AK-47, M-16 etc... Handguns too... what more do you have to say?

Oh and for those who do not know, check out Jubilee travel for last minute deals to everywhere, (eg. all inclusives to Cuba or Mexico less than $900 for a week!)

With all the new rules in place for traveling and border crossing I needed to ensure that all my gadgets were registered before I cross over the border, just to make it easer to come back. I needed to get a temporary export form, I thought it was going to be comlicated and might even cost some dough, typical expectations when dealing with any Gov't Agency but was really surprised to see how easy and painless it was. Just walked into the Canadian Border Services office on Government Street with all my gadgets, the officer took the serial # and details down, entered them on a card and within 10 minutes I was on my way. It is a permanent card so as long as the electronics do not change I am good to go. walked the passport office on the way back, all those poor buggers who have waited till the last minute to try to beat this January 23, 2007 change to entering the US that requires all people flying to the USA to have a valid passport. What I do not get is why leave it till this point, after 911, everyone should have had one, it should have been a learning point, to remember how quickly Air and land traffic was closed. I imagine that you will soon require a passport to drive across the border too, I wonder if that will create another stampede for passports? Anyways as I will have my electronics I intend to find some nice internet coffee shops, off strip.