Thursday, September 29, 2011

Like Bernie?

I'm way behind, this one has never crossed my path

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


TI - formerly known as Treasure Island, but now all (well almost all) the pirates have been taken down - recently changed owners. It was part of the MGM empire, but they needed money to finish up City Center. Phil Ruffin had just sold the New Frontier and had lots of cash, so he was able to buy the place mortgage free.

Treasure Island used to have a pirate theme, with skull and crossbones symbols all over, employees dressed like pirates, a kids arcade and a small lagoon out front where there were daily battles of pirates versus the good guys. (depending on your view of who the good guys are) A while back the place was converted to more of an adult contemporary theme, the arcade pulled out and the pirate battle changed to a ship battle between Sirenes (attractive young women dressed in bikinis) fighting pirates. (spoiler: the pirates always lose, and their ship sinks)

The new owner decided to do a minor makeover: instead of competing with the Wynn and Venetian which are on the same intersection (average rooms there: $189) he moved to the lower priced market, with $ 49 rooms. He pulled out the Audinger night club and brought back Gilley's (which he had at the Frontier). He kept the Cirque show Mystere.

This is what Sirene's Cove and the ships look like from Gilley's window:

Monday, September 26, 2011


I used to work right on the Strip, in the middle of all of the casino activity. I now work about as far away from it as you can get and still pretend you are in Vegas. Out at the eastern edge of Henderson, about 25 miles away.

Those are the casino towers, over to the right way down there.

Every payday these two guys show up to wash cars. They bring a little tent and a truck with a water tank and power sprayer and do a pretty good job.

Must be nice to work outside in the shade. When it gets up to 110 they can spray each other with the hose.

We have two little grass patches out front. Since we are out in the desert a lot of animals come by. I've seen roadrunners and quail and coyotes and chipmunks, but the most obvious are the bunnies. Looks like one family, as it started out with two big bunnies, moved to two big ones and four or five little ones and now they are all about the same size. They move between the two grassy areas, munching and just sitting. Usually in the evening all of them are gathered together at the corner, just waiting. They are used to people walking by, and just stare back not moving. But walk towards them and they'll sprint away.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tday be Talk Like a Pirate day

Ahoy Maties - Arrrg – this be a reminder te ya tha international talk like a pirate day be taday. Everyone a ya should be talkin like a pirate – Not this kind of pirates

But them kind

For more information yer can goes ta the Official HQ page. This event seems to be more fun over in jolly old England than here in the colonies.

So remember, don’t be talkin like this guy

Unless you dress like him too.

Arrrr, you've asked how to talk like a pirate matey, from the American site

So remember, ye be talkin' like this

Monday, September 12, 2011


Thanks to Rob for following all of the 9/11 hate

Monday, September 05, 2011

Trimming the palm

This weekend we decided to do some things around the house we’ve been avoiding, using the summer heat as an excuse. One of the big things was trimming the trees out front – mainly the big palm in the center. It should be done in the spring, but a lot of birds have taken to building nests in it, and if I trim the lower leaves I disturb them too much. Last time I trimmed I ended up dropping two mockingbird nests that had eggs, and I don’t think they came back. Mostly it’s the sparrows and finches, but sometimes I do see the mocking birds up there.

This is dangerous to trim – not because it’s so high but because of the palm fronds. The tree has probably been in for forty years, since the house was built, and the lowest fronds grow at about ten feet above the ground. New fronds come from the center top, forcing the lower ones to rotate from vertical down to horizontal. The fronds are about four meters long, and the ends droop down to touch the ground, getting in the way of cars in the driveway. I usually trim the lowest row every year, but skipped last year so there was a lot to take off. No before photos, but you can see the reach of the tree.

Down at the base of each frond the individual leaves change, ending up as eight inch long hard spikes. I use an electric saw to trim each, and usually the end hits the ground and the frond pivots down toward me. Yesterday I took a spike to the forehead, not very pleasant. You can see the bird nests scattered at the base of each frond.

But it’s all down now, this morning was spend cutting them up and bundling the end pieces, into things the trash men are willing to take.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Pick Your Poison cupcakes

I like to eat – living in Las Vegas there are lots of fancy restaurants and places to go, but most of the really nice places are quite expensive. I cook myself, and a few of the things I make are pretty good. But there are only a few things that I have eaten that really cause a lasting impression.

When we visited France a while back I loved the food. Everything we had was marvelous, but we spent a few days in the small town of Baynac, in the Baynac Hotel. It is a very small town, with an old castle on the hill overlooking the valley. The area is known for the production of fois gras, never having it before I had a chance to try it. While dining in the hotel restaurant (the only restaurant in town) the first night I ordered the fois gras appetizer – small rounds served on walnut bread toast with a wine sauce. I put the first bite in my mouth and experienced something I never had before, just the way that stuff tasted in my mouth was overwhelming. I’ve never before eaten anything so gorgeous. There were other outstanding things we had during our trip, but that one dish is something I will always remember.

I’ve always been hoping for a similar feeling when I try something new. There are lots of places we go in town, and lots of things that I make, that are just delicious, but nothing so dramatic. Well, a few days ago I had a similar experience.

I saw a Facebook like by a friend for this place: Pick Your Poison Bake Shop. The web site looked very nice (well done ladies) but the descriptions of their cupcakes made them sound pretty good. I ordered an assortment: two dozen big ones and two dozen little ones, six different flavors overall. This past Thursday lovely Robyn herself came by work to deliver them.

I carried the boxes upstairs and asked if anyone wanted a cupcake. The result:

Fortunately I was able to grab a few of each to take home, and snagged one of the PB&J for myself. I peeled of the paper and took a bite and was transported. It was the best cake that I had ever tasted – light cake with a delicate flavor, jelly filling and peanut butter cream cheese frosting – it was heaven in my hand. Thank you Robyn and Taryn for creating these marvelous things.

Later I had one of the Lemon Drops, and a Margarita, and a Drunken Pineapple (no, not all at once, scattered over a bit of time). All of them were fantastic! I wish I were being paid to do a review, I would love to gorge on cupcakes like these, but I do plan on ordering more.

They do not have a storefront, but deliver anywhere in town, including to the big Strip hotels (with a delivery charge for those, the hotels make them pay). If you come to Vegas skip a few drinks and order a few dozen cupcakes – you’ll probably spend less but your tongue will thank you. Sit in your hotel room, by the pool, or as you walk around and much. Mmmmmmmmmm

Friday, September 02, 2011

E comics

When visiting us last month we were interested to see our granddaughter E's new pixie cut hair

She likes to read the Sunday comics. And now she can really read them instead of having Grammie do it as she looks at the pictures.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Air repair

Last month the air conditioner at our house that cools the bedrooms died. Our house has three air conditioning units and two evaporative coolers (commonly called swamp coolers) up on the roof, a lot of stuff up there where most new houses only have a single air unit. It was making noise, and blowing air, but it was hot outside air not cool refreshing breezes. Since it was 42c (108f) outside with another few months of that predicted we tried just using the front air unit and setting up a fan to blow into the bedroom, but that just wasn't designed to keep up with the summer temperatures. We ended up calling a repair company, the one that replaced the units when we moved in nine years ago. The result:

Doesn't look like $426, does it?

On a different topic, here is the Elvis store at Aria. I don't know if this will be closing when the show closes, or if the show will be renamed. But for now it's here, upstairs in a quiet area.