Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fall in Vegas

OK, enough posts with no pictures. Eli pictures don’t count because those are for me.

I am a programmer working in the credit card division of a bank. The building we work at has a large open room where the telephone people sit in low cubicles (see other posts for photos) while the technical group gets a smaller room with higher cubicle walls. As in most companies, the height of your cubicle wall and size of your cubicle is an indicator of your status and position.

This is the view from my cubicle. I look over at Martha, who works in marketing. She sits at her computer all day doing analysis and creating charts and drafts and doing things I consider boring. But then I am sure that what I do is boring to her.

Guess I should describe Martha. She's young and thin and pretty and has lots of straight hair (as you can see). She smiles a lot and sits cross-legged on her office chair. I don't think my knees bend like that anymore. And I have no idea what she does over there across aisle. She probably has no idea what I do over here. I used to be young and thin, back when I was Martha's age (boy, sound like an old man here) I was probably that thin, but without all the nice round girly bits. But that's sixty pounds ago and quite a few years. Back in college I almost had hair as long as hers. Short and grey now.

We have several fruit trees scattered around our yard. We do not put the effort into them that would produce great fruit, so are mostly for shade and decoration. And in the spring most are filled with delightful flowers. Our peach tree is a hugh pink mound in the Springtime. We also have an apple and almond and pomegranate, with some other bare root fruits on order.

We don’t know what type of peach tree it is, but it is obvious that we should be removing about 3/4 of the peaches when they start out in order to get edible peaches at the end. The tree is just too big to do that, so we pull off the peaches we can reach, or else the lower branches hang so low that we hit our heads walking underneath. Well, the peaches should be ripe about now, but they are very small and don’t taste too good, not even good enough for jam. And they are starting to fall out of the tree. B goes out and rakes up the peaches a few times a week. They are loaded into black plastic bags, and sit for a few days awaiting trash pickup. We put the apples into our compost bin, but the peach pits do not decompose and my wife would rather not sort them out. Putting out the bags last night was interesting, the peaches had started to ferment, and the bags smelled like cheap fruit wine. Guess I should figure out how to make peach wine. She has to wear a hard hat while raking or else she gets bomped on the head by falling fruit.

Here’s a shot of the peach tree the day after she raked. You can see how many drop in just a day.


Prostitution is legal in 25 of the 26 counties in Nevada. The one where it is illegal is Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. The nearest brothel is in Pahrump, a small town about fifty miles away, right over the county line. All the cab and limo drivers know how to get there. So rather than have a place to go in Vegas the poor horny male tourists have to shell out for a long limo ride. Or they can phone one of the ‘in room’ escort services. There are 102 pages in our yellow pages phone book with listings for ‘entertainers’, such as ‘Asian beauties direct to you’ and ‘full service buxom blondes & petite buxom brunettes’ and ‘barely legal secretaries in short skirts’. The only larger section in the phone book is for attorneys, which cover 186 pages. Go figure.

Another visual alternative are the topless and bottomless clubs. Don’t know how many of them we have, but there are billboards all over with photos of half naked women. Vegas used to be known for big topless showgirls, but when it went ‘family’ back in the 80’s most of the topless shows disappeared. The Tropicana still has one old fashioned show, full of women dressed in feathers. Now most of the other large casinos have put in at least one topless show. Several of them have shows for women, with the ‘Thunder from Down Under’ and ‘The Men of Russia’ and of course Chippendales. As in California, topless clubs can get liquor licenses, but full nudity only comes with fruit juice and soda. Guess the prudes were able to take over the alcohol licensing board and throw in restrictions like that. But the Indian reservations usually are exempt from many local zoning laws.

This leads up to a final true ‘Vegas’ shot. Now that it has cooled off – it only got up to 92f yesterday – I have started my lunch time walks. I put on the iPod and just circle two blocks around the office. They are big blocks, and usually take 45 minutes to walk. On the back of our block is a really big auto repair facility. There are always wrecked cars in the lot awaiting repair. There frequently are limos and mini busses from assorted businesses out there, and my favorite is this one from one of the ‘strip’ clubs.

For some reason the phrase ‘totally nude with liquor’ is very amusing to me. I’ve never been to the place, but from the shot on the bus it looks more like a bunch of soccer moms than the usual over-enhanced group on the billboards.

Sorry, Clare, I keep forgetting.
1. Fermenting peaches - the smell is intoxicating in itself.
2. The dusty smell just before it rains.
3. Rain - we get so little and it's pitty-patting outside right now.

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