Thursday, June 17, 2004

Done with the cover

Well, we finally finished up with the metalworker’s part of our back patio. My son has a welding outfit, and he put together the cover for the rear of our house.

It's up at about ten feet. I wanted the shade, but not the feeling of being in a room. You can't even see the cover from inside unless you are right at the windows. Now I just have to get the fans up and see about some more lights. I’m looking forward to the shade this summer. This side of the house faces west, and the windows along here really let the sun and heat into the house. When it’s 115 and sunny it really transfers to the house. Our house is built pretty well, it’s got 2x6 walls full of insulation, and a pretty good layer in the attic.

This is the area by the kitchen. You can see the door that we cut in (used to be a window) and we already have our table out here. We’ve been having breakfast and morning coffee here, reading the paper. It’s been around 80 in the morning, and we are used to it. The cover is lower here, so it feels more intimate and more like an addition than being outside.
Besides shade, there are some other things that you need to survive in Las Vegas.

Didn’t need them in San Diego, there was always moisture in the air that cut down on glare. Here it’s always dry and shadows are always sharp. You need sunglasses even early in the morning.
We had some supervision while working on the patio.

This was one afternoon when it was around 101. Both of them were laying in the sunshine – they would stay there for a while, until panting too much, then move inside to the shade, and after cooling off move back out to the sun. Too much for me, but they like it.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


It's warming up again. After a week of upper 90 degree weather, we are back to the 100's every day. Should warm up again in July.
One of the things I noticed here in Las Vegas is that baseball is not as popular as soccer. There are a lot of soccer parks around.

This one is right across the street from the Von's market that I always go to. It's got about twenty fields, and on the weekends most are just full of kids running around. At night

it's full of adults playing - mostly men. I guess when girls grow up they stop doing foolish things like this. There's a new pizza parlor right across the street, and on weekends it's filled with teams hiting the carbs and filling up with pitchers of soda. At night it's still pizza, but pitchers of beer instead.
One thing that summer brings is air conditioning. It's a little challenging to ride in your car in the sunshine when it's over 100F and have the windows down. My wife always wants the air on, but I roll down the windows coming home from work and enjoy the weather.
My dog Max really likes to ride in the car, and like most dogs he likes to hang his head outside and enjoy the smells.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Warmer and warmer

Sounds like a chapter from Through the Looking Glass. But it is getting so.
We hit the pool last night - not really night, but just at sunset. It was soooo nice. The air temp was 102 and the water in our pool is 95. Funny how those sound so hot, but when you stand up it feels cold.

Here's why our pool is so warm - we have a big cover that's on most of the time. It keeps down evaporation, and warms the water from the sun, and also keeps the dirt and stuff out. It was on the pool when we moved in last year, but we did have to replace the cover part as it was ten years old and pretty stiff - wouldn't close all the way.
Yes, it's a hugh pool. 42' by 24'. Our first, not many pools in cool San Diego. We didn't buy the house because it had a pool, but rather in spite of it. After laying it in almost every day last summer though I really love it.
Bouncing around the net tonight, not much time but I wanted to put up a like that was funny - from the Little Red Boat, an amusing young girl in London. The way I feel sometimes, and similar to a few other pages I've seen. This site should be in my regular links at right.
Another site I came across that was interesting - How much inside? where they actually measure some of the things that I wondered about. Where do they get the time?

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Getting Warm

Looks like it’s finally getting warm around here. The weather strip in the newspaper – that section on top of the weather page that shows what it’s going to be like for the next week – showed over 100 for every day last week. This coming week is scheduled to be a little cooler – around 98F every day, but that’s mainly because of the predicted 35mph winds.
We went to another Jazz in the Park concert last night, and it was down to 105 when the music started at eight. It probably cooled down to 101 by the time the music was over. There was a light breeze, and it was very pleasant.
We had some friends over a few weeks ago, and we gave them an abbreviated tour. John had broken his foot, and we mostly pushed him around in a wheel chair, but he could use crutches to move locally. Because of that we didn’t take him on our ‘standard’ tour of the strip casinos. They are all too big to get around in if you aren’t walking. But we took them downtown to Freemont Street, and an afternoon show at the Stratosphere. Here’s what the Stratosphere casino looks like.

Compared to the big ones south on the strip it looks rather old fashioned. I sat down at the machines with John while the ladies went up to the top of the tower to look around. They didn’t try the rides, just looked.
Here is what those fancy cups look like in action.

You can almost see the cherries floating around. I think one is a margarita, the other a pina colada.
We went downtown to Freemont Street. Freemont Street is a little different than it was years ago.

The street is closed, and a large canopy is overhead. This is the area most older movies had the chase scenes in. No more driving here now.
Anyway, the canopy is covered with lights, and they put on a show every night. It’s been up for years, but they just changed from small light bulbs to real tiny led sets. They are much smaller than the bulbs, and there are about twenty times as many. It’s like having a giant computer screen overhead. Most casinos on the strip use the giant tv screens out front to attract you, but those are only about 50 to 100 feet across. This one is as wide as the street and three blocks long. During the day it’s just a white roof overhead, but at night

it’s colorful. During the week the show only goes off on the hour, and we just missed some. So these are just pictures between shows.
The old casinos are still here.

The Freemont Casino is probably the oldest. It’s owned by Boyd’s group now, most casinos are part of large corporations.
Binions Casino is also an old one, but it went bankrupt a few months ago, and the MGM Group bought it, mainly for it’s World Series of Poker championships.

Whenever we came to Vegas in the past I liked staying at the Golden Nugget downtown. I liked to have a half dozen big casinos close by. But the last time we stayed in a hotel we hit the Luxor. That's the pyramid at the south end of the strip. I think the casino inside is probably about as large as all of the Freemon Street casinos put together. It is about the most impressive building to enter that I've ever been in. You enter the front doors, and the whole inside of the pyramid is one big room - with the roof meeting up at the point over thirty stories above. The rooms are all around the outside of the pyramid, with balconies facing the center. You can look straight down from the top floors all the way to the casino floor below. It is a hugh room. Take the virtual tour on the web site, it's not as impressive as being there, but it shows some of the space.