Thursday, October 25, 2012


It’s Thursday and our friends from Sweden have been with us for almost a week. It’s mom C and three boys, a ten year old and eight year old twins. It is nice to have visitors but oh my it is also so nice to have a quiet house. We are just not used to the noise and excitement three boys bring, along with the crying because whenever there is more than one somebody is always getting picked on.

I’ve tried to make an assortment of American meals, but at that age they would much rather just have what they are used to. So far Maccy’s has been the stop of choice, though two out of three liked KFC original recipe. They are used to wings from MacDonald’s, and were surprised to find ours only had McNuggets.

Even though English is pretty universal in Sweden, evidently being in English class and learning the language are two different things, as there is no understanding, and unfortunately no effort being made to learn anything. We put on Nick TV, which is also shown in Sweden (I thought Sponge Bob was annoying, but didn’t realize the Swedish voice dubber could make it even more so) and the first comment to mom was how do we make the language be Swedish (over there several subchannels are broadcast in an assortment of languages, over here it’s just English or Spanish in Vegas). But they watch it anyway.

Yesterday they all went to Red Rock and climbed, it’s impressive how high and fast boys can get up those rocks. Tonight it’s pizza, and we get to see if American pizza measures up, they’ll probably just want plain cheese, but I’ll get an ‘everything’ for me and see if any of them go for it. Saturday will be the AdventureDome at Circus Circus for a day of rides. The AdventureDome turns into the Halloween Fright Dome at 7pm, but you’ve got to be older to get into that.

We got them Halloween costumes and they can try American doorbell ringing on Wednesday. The group isn’t into sweets, so we’ll see what they do with their takings. We live in an area with no street lights or sidewalks, so B will drive the group over a mile or so to a more traditional neighborhood for their wanderings. With the lack of lights we usually only get three or four groups of kids on Halloween, guess the pickings are better in more dense neighborhoods.

Even though it is cold for us they have been in the pool almost every day. It’s been a cool week, with temps in the mid 70’s, next week supposed to warm up to mid 80’s, but the water is still too cold for locals. As last time, they say the water is warmer than anything they’ve been in in Sweden. I like the pool when water temp is around 92.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A few weeks ago I was bouncing around links saved and came across one for something I ordered a while ago - the most marvelous cupcakes in town from Pick Your Poison. It's been a while, so I emailed the girls and ordered two dozen to use as dessert for some friends we were having over. Fortunately some were left by the time they arrived.

There are Lemon Drop, Cup O' Joe, Mimosa and PB&J. All marvelous.

The exciting news is that we are having a group over this weekend, and I've already ordered three dozen more for Friday delivery. Hope some are left.

Monday, October 22, 2012

E Friday (back on Monday)

Haven’t put up much of granddaughter E recently, how about a few? (formerly known as E Fridays, oh well):

She does like to read. We encourage by purchasing lots of books.

But everyone has morning hair

It does end up well in the end

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dr Who

Oh, spoilers, with Amy and Rory dead (yes, sorry about that) the Doctor is due to pick up a new companion for the Christmas special. It looks like Neil Gaimen has been scheduled to write another episode. My two favorite episodes are the first Angels show and the episode Neil wrote: The Doctor's Wife. Here are some of the best quotes from that episode:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We were cleaning out the garage last weekend and came across three of these guys.

About an inch long, but not something we have seen in the ten years we've been here. B doesn't appreciate their arrival, and our bug man says they ignore most insecticides. Oh well, looks like it will be more frequent cleanups and searches.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time spent

Las Vegas is a big city, but we still do not have all of the things that you might find in larger cities. One of the things we are missing is a branch of a very large store that is found all over the world. Evidently they looked at Vegas for expansion and the statistics showed we had a very low percentage of college graduates in the general population, which seems to indicate the purchasing preferences would not be in favor of large sales. So a few weeks ago I hitched up the trailer and we drove down to Los Angeles for s shopping trip. We left early in the morning, and due to spending a lot more time wandering around we did not get back until well after dark, having put almost exactly 500 miles on the car. I ended up with another weekend of work:

I’m sure most of you are familiar with those items, ending up with a little pile of them after tearing apart boxes. There are a lot more, but that is what I left on the counter. The work involved following multi page diagrams like this:

We now have new furniture scattered around. And one sample of what our kitchen will become. After almost ten years in this house we are finally getting around to redoing the kitchen. The house was built in the late 60’s, and the kitchen appliances and cabinets have never been changed, so it is time. We were about to start on the kitchen several years ago, and were just a few days from placing a $20,000 order for cabinets when I was called into HR at the Sands one afternoon and along with 3,00 others given a long vacation. Everything is now planned out, and while looking at the model kitchens we decided on a major change; instead of the ‘traditional’ wood cabinets I wanted we decided to go with gloss white, with stainless steel for the island. Our garage is not filling up, we have the ovens, cooktop and microwave there, and the sink and big stainless exhaust hood out in the shed. Cabinets and a new big window are being ordered, and work will commence in early November (after our European guests leave).

Besides working I also like to play. Yes, computer games usually but I also build little model train things. Traditionally model train layouts are built in the basement, but since so few Las Vegas houses have basements there are very few built in layouts out here. I joined a group that builds small table sized pieces individually, and then we get together once in a while to join them up and make a big layout. Last weekend a dozen of us got together in my back yard and played trains:

It’s called N Scale, a ratio of 160:1 in size compared to real trains. Each train car is about four inches long. The getting together and playing is fun, as is the sitting alone and making the modules. I do the major work, and B is great at details.

Let’s end up with something I haven’t shared in a while: our granddaughter E is still a poser:

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


One of the laws that started making Las Vegas popular sixty years ago was a Nevada divorce law, permitting divorces by petition of one party as long as they were residents for at least one month, which was much less restrictive than the rest of the country. Reno was a bigger city than Las Vegas at the time, and was the first to actively promote application of the new law. Advertisements in California brought people in to stay for a month at local dude ranches, get divorced and go home. It wasn’t long before some large residence ranches were built around Las Vegas to pull in the Southern California crowd, and a number of Hollywood movie stars came to stay, ride horses and be entertained while waiting for their month to roll by. Floyd Lamb State Park is made up of one of these ranches, a bit northeast of town; you can still see most of the buildings, and the small lakes that were put in. It is now a popular fishing spot, and kids like chasing the peacocks.

I don’t know when Vegas shifted from being a divorce spot to becoming a place to get married, but we now have dozens of wedding chapels scattered around. Almost every big casino/resort has it’s own wedding chapel, and now there is a chapel in a truck that will drive to whatever location you want. For $99 they will marry you at any location in town, recent photos show the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is a popular location. The price includes a minister and wedding photos. You still have to go downtown to the clerk’s office and get your own marriage license, but that’s standard for all the chapels.

In June one of Vegas’ biggest weddings was held. Steve Wynn’s last wedding was an impressive affair, but not like the Ackerman wedding, held at the new Smith Center near downtown. Costing over $1,000,000 the food, flowers and entertainment was rather spectacular. So far the marriage has lasted longer than Brittany’s, and no, I wasn’t invited, but I would rather be married by Elvis and save the bucks.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I like IMDB

One of my most visited web sites is That stands for Internet Movie DataBase, and they have listings for almost every American movie and television show that I have ever looked for. We usually go to it when watching a movie or tv show and wonder ‘who is that actor, didn’t we see him in . . .’, which leads to imdb for the show we are watching, then down to the character being played and so over to the actor, which leads to the actor record and a list of things they appeared in, and so on and so on, which can consume quite a while. Sometimes that leads to YouTube to look for clips from other shows, and on to other actors.

I like looking for the British actors when watching the BBC, the comedies on PBS or the sci-fi imports. There seems to be a lot smaller pool of actors, and they all seem to bounce around on the same circle of shows. Look up a comedian and the will have been on Mitchell and Webb and Peep Show, anyone could have been on A Touch of Frost or Casanova or Summer Wine. If they are older then there is another list of shows – just look up Are You Being Served, and follow almost any of the cast – they’ll have a list of hundreds of shows they have been on. The newer ones should have a Doctor Who in there somewhere.

There seem to be a lot more American actors, and it’s rare to see any new ones with a very long list. But again find an older one and you’ll almost always find Love, American Style and Route 66 and Ben Casey and Medical Center and Mission: Impossible and Ironside and of course the Love Boat. Just looking up Elizabeth Ashley, who has a bunch. The newer actors either have a ton of movies listed, or else they are mainly TV, and would include things like NCIS and CSI and Cold Case and Law and Order.

Just heard of something going around town that I was not familiar with – a friend was talking about yelling at her neighbor’s kid for walking around with two apples, a red one and a green one, going all ‘loc up their face’. She said the two apples were to keep things straight, one for the spice and one for the bud. (got it?). Evidently you can purchase some type of salt mixture called spice that when smoked is supposed to give you a high. That’s smoked in a red apple, as the apple gives some additional sweetness. The illegal stuff (the bud) goes into the green apple. I didn’t know you made pipes out of apples. If you mixed them together then you hallucinated. Boy, am I out of touch.

Monday, October 01, 2012


Sitting here reading my favorite blogs, yes, I click down that list over on the right side periodically. Those are the people that I like to read, and I do revise it at times. Unfortunately it is usually revised downwards instead of with additions. I try to be sure my links point to people that post periodically, as I do like to go over and read their stuff, but when someone doesn’t post for six months then I usually comment out the link. When I edit the list and comment out a new one I usually grab the commented out ones and try them again, with hopes of some returning.

I’m sitting here listening to Neil Gaiman read Neverwhere on my iPhone. Still using my old model 2, waiting on the 5 that I ordered. B’s came in already, and I’m jealous. (I want a white one, Apple is not shipping white ones yet) But the audio books will not play any faster on the new ones.

October – one of the best months for weather. The mornings are cool and the afternoons warm, still very sunny (as always) without the top heat of summer. (22c morning, 38c afternoon today). We are preparing for some out of country visitors coming for a stay of several weeks at the end of the month; haven’t seen the group in quite a while, and while we will be going from a quiet house to a full noisy one we are looking forward to the visit.

We are also finally getting around to remaking our kitchen. Our house was built in the late 60’s and the kitchen has not been changed. Most of the appliances are ready to be replaced and we will be taking out a wall to open it up to the family room, in addition to new cabinets, countertops, floor and lighting. Also replacing the window with a much bigger one to make it a lot brighter (as if we need that in Vegas). Plans were to start in September, but with the crowd coming we will be delayed until mid November. Starting to fill up the garage with parts, picked up a sample cabinet a few weeks ago, and will be ordering the rest, so everything should be on hand when we are ready to start. I’ll have to remember the before and after photos.