Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lunchtime walks

My job entails sitting on my butt most of the day in front of a computer (wow, what a strange thing for a computer programmer to do). I try to get up and walk around as often as I can, but that’s not much. So I started to go for walks at lunch time. I work in a business park between the south edge of the Las Vegas airport and I-215, and had a little route around two blocks that took me along Sunset Road and the airport runways. I enjoy looking at all the planes taking off and landing, imagining where people were going and if they liked their stay in Vegas.

Unfortunately a new building is going up on that block, and the sidewalk is torn up in two places for the installation of driveways. Sunset is too busy a road to step around the barricades and out in the street, so I started taking a different path. There are not many blocks you can walk around, because this section is long and narrow between the two big restrictions. Comments by Tess made me realize that I haven’t been putting up as many photos as I wanted to. I started here wanting to show people the Las Vegas that I lived in, and how nice it is here.

One of the things I like are the big vistas. Nevada has more mountains than most states, separated by flat plains. Vegas is surrounded by mountains, but far enough away that they provide more of a backdrop than a limitation.

This is a typical business park view. Looking north you can see a white horizontal line in the middle left above the trees, that's the top of the Mandalay Bay hotel at the south end of the strip across the airport runway, with a big empty lot in the foreground. Just above the tops of the palm trees are the tops of the mountains to the north, hard to distinguish from the clouds. I pass this lot every day, waiting for the time that construction will start here.

Further on my walk is a regional transportation hub. It’s a long building that a lot of buses stop at.

You can see the long overhangs on the building to the right. And off in the distance are the mountains out west. The empty lot is fairly standard around town. It's mostly white sand, with some native bushes scattered around. The empty lots in our neighborhood are about the same. We don't get trees growing up, or grass, just scrub brush, and yes, sometimes tumbling tumbleweeds.

Weather this week has been a bit unusual, cloudy with the hills behind a haze. Usually we have nice bright weather. I was looking at the upcoming weather report in the newspaper this morning, hoping for nice days for our visitors to enjoy. Some showers expected tonight, but then clearing with a week of sun with highs at 77, lows at 52. The upcoming five day forcast:
Saturday - Pleasant with plenty of sun
Sunday – Nice with plenty of sunshine
Monday – Plenty of sunshine
Tuesday – Sunny
Wednesday – Brilliant sunshine
Looks like we have to wait until Wednesday for Brilliant, the other days just plenty of sunshine. Oh well, at least it’s coming. Must be boring for a weatherman in Vegas, having to come up with different ways to say ‘sunny’.

Last week our transportation system added some new vehicles – imitating London we now have a small fleet of double deck buses. They only run up and down the strip, there are not enough for them to be used all over town, and adding a second floor instead of using those extra long flexible buses adding to the overflow traffic. I usually have two or three of them in front of me each morning, turning off of Vegas Boulevard on to Sunset going to the transportation center before heading back up the strip. Caught one at lunch yesterday

Not too close, but you can still see some hotels in the background. And our frequent roadside billboards. The double decked buses are painted a mellow gold color, but now some are starting to show up with the advertising wrap that has become popular for bus companies out west. We had quite a few wrapped buses in San Diego, advertising all kinds of things, usually TV shows. Here the adverts are usually for casino shows; Danny Ganns, Selene, Sir Elton.

When I took the bus picture I was standing next to a street light, and found this at the bottom.

Some poor person had a flat tire on their bike, and rather than walk it they chained it to the light, with the tube sticking out of the back tire. And then a cop came by and slapped a parking warning on the bike. I hope it’s not towed away before the owner comes back.

For Clare:

1. Lunchtime walks in the warm sun, seeing new things.
2. Getting back after a walk, legs all tired and sore from unusual use. But still feeling good.
3. Anticipating ‘Brilliant sunshine’ instead of this gloom. (Yes, back in Rochester we could go for months without seeing the sun, but here it’s expected).

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