Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Warm weather sunsets

I try to go for a walk every evening, to keep my legs moving. I sit in front of a computer all day, and find that my ankles are really swelling up after not moving very much. It is getting rather warm, so I find walking just at sunset is about best. It doesn't cool off very fast, so going latter doesn't help, and I'm not one for getting up early in order to walk at the coolest time of the day.
Here are some shots around my neighborhood, mostly in the evening.

This is in my backyard.  Just a block away is a grammer school with a large playing field.

You usually see a lot more soccer around the west than baseball, but I guess there is a game for everyone.
And another block away is that park with the playground equipment

This is looking west at the Red Rock area.
North of us is Sahara, which is a large road flanked by lots of businesses. A new auto dealer just went in, and they did a nice job for the small street just behind them - putting in a high wall to keep the houses across the street somewhat isolated and planting a very nice low water area. This is looking east towards the strip and that stratosphere we see often. You can see it to the left of the ball players above also.

And a final resting shot, here I am enjoying the 106f temperatures last Saturday. This is one of the best ways to see the heat.

A better view is when in the water, but my camera will not put up with that. We have a cover over the pool but no heater, and with the cover keeping the heat in our water temperature is now up to 96f. It feels like a hot bath getting in, but after floating around, getting out when it's over 100 you still feel chilled - always amazes me, but feels good.
And finally another link, this one to someone's office after vacation. My manager is going away on Thursday, I'll see if I can pull the rest of the guys together and do his.
Sorry about this one, but I am just fed up with a random article here and there about all of the troops being killed and wounded in Iraq, and the major news shows ignoring all of the deaths. Sorry, but I don't feel safer, and I don't see why we are there. Over 890 killed and ten times that severly wounded. Here's someone's impression of GWB at his last vatican visit.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

More summertime

Still getting warmer, waiting for the real hot weather. Thought I'd share some neighbor's yards with you. This one is real low water

Probably what the water district had in mind when it came up with the 'convert from turf to low water' plan. It's pretty varied, and the trees are looking good. Some variety with the cactus, and looks like a dry creekbed, and even found a wagon wheel.
Here's the playground at my local park - about two blocks from our house. It's all grass, but I guess if they convert everyone from grass to xeriscape then we have to go to the parks for our dose of green.  It's a nice park, always people at the grills, and dogs chasing frisbees, and kids on the swings.

I went to visit a friend in the north west part of the valley, one of those gated communities I dislike (more pictures to come). Here is the street leading to his house

really inviting.
This is one of those communities I drive past to get there

Part of your homeowner's fees every month. Pays for the guards to intimidate your visitors, and make you feel a little safer.
And here is a yard style that I find amusing. We call it the 'rocks falling from the sky' style. I don't know why so many people like to put big rocks in their yard. And the rocks are expensive - plus the labor and crane to set them in place. These probably weigh a ton apiece and cost around $400 installed.

And finally a link to a funny preview of a potential olympic sport. It's posted by Trojan condoms UK, so don't click if you are offended by the idea of what they might post. If you are into the olypmics, go see some unusual weightlifting.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

More summer

We had a nice fourth weekend – bbq in the yard, and some time in the pool. It was a cool weekend this year – only got up to 104 on Sunday, but hit 108 on Tuesday. I’ve got some pool pics to dig out – will post soon.
Here are some local plants though –

We planted a row of these purple grasses along the front of the house last winter, and they seem to like it here. Nice color along with the bricks, they are supposed to get big, we might have to dig out the end ones to get around the house.
Here’s a tree that grows well in this area

I think it’s a type of mimosa. Looks pretty with the fairy pink blooms, which are on most of the summer. Most desert plants have small leaves, too much sunlight for large leaves to handle, and not as much evaporation.
There’s a pomegranate tree left over in front from the last landscaping.

We left it in, and it seems to be doing quite well. It’s set fruit, which the birds love to break into and eat when it gets ripe.
Here’s a house down the street that converted to low water from grass, not quite like ours

I don’t know what people see in all of those rocks, but they are popular around here. Yes, it's in progress - I'll take more shots when it's done.
The big house down across from the park just has a sold sign posted – it’s been on the market for about seven months now, real estate has been flying here in LV, but I think this one is out for a different group. It was listed at 1.6 (million) which is rather high for our neighborhood. Great grounds, large nice pool, large poolhouse with two apartment units. I didn’t like the layout of the house – the bathrooms were kind of strange. Two pairs of bedrooms each share a bath, called a ‘jack and jill’ bath arrangement? At that price each bedroom should have had its own bathroom. But different people like different things.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Summer in LV

I haven't posted for a while - putting in long work days and somehow I just can't sit in front of the computer at home as well.
I noticed that several of the web sites I have been going to lately have disappeared - sorry to lose you, it was nice reading your thoughts and I will miss you all. Let me know if you return.
We went to the last free springtime concert last week -

It was a little warmer than the previous ones - probably started at around 101. But it still felt nice sitting on the grass and listening to music. Put on by the parks department. Thanks LV.
I have the privilege of getting to park in the shade at work. The parking garage only has room for about 50 cars, and there are almost 400 workers here. Most people get the dirt lot out back. Several people park in the paved lot next door, but they have gotten to calling the tow trucks about once a week, and usually two or three cars are hauled off before people hear about it and run out to save their cars.
This is a shot looking East from the third floor of the garage.

We're about a mile due east of the Strip, close to the Hilton. If you are in one of the hotels on the east side of the strip and have an east facing room this is probably very similar to what you will see.
There are usually a lot of pigeons nearby, and one has built a nest next to where I park.

The bird is getting big - probably will fly off this week.
I try to walk every evening, and always am interested in the views down the side streets. We are about three miles west of the strip, and looking down the streets as I walk I can see different hotels.

My camera doesn't work very well like this - but you can get the idea. Down one street is the Rio, with it's bright red neon. I think this is the back of the Frontier or the Stardust - can't see the signs and these hotels don't have big neon facing this way. It feels like I'm living in a strange place, with a jewel box of wonders appearing down between the trees. You can see that we don't have sidewalks here, and the lot just to the right has horse corrals, and they board three or four horses. I'll try to get out when it's light and get some shots of them.
We put in some raised beds for a veggie garden last winter. We are following the directions of the Tomato Lady, and are quite pleased with the results.

We've got about a half dozen plants of the variety Hawaiian Tropic, which she recommends for our heat. We've been getting tomatoes for a while now, and this basket full came off yesterday morning. I hope they last through the summer, as these are a lot better than what the store sells.