Thursday, July 14, 2005

Summer stuff

Driving in this morning I was thinking about how nice it is in Vegas. Yesterday it got up to 114f, not a record but tied. Due to be up there again today, then cool off this weekend, down to 109 (woo-hoo). But it was around 80 this morning. Driving in with the windows down, I’ve started coming in early so there are very few cars on the road. Some clouds this morning, so I didn’t need the sunglasses – in Vegas sunglasses are really a required item, along with sunscreen (spf 50 or so). It’s 9:30, already up to 101 – went outside to make a phone call (usually do that, it’s all tight cubicles here, go outside to make personal phone calls).

Driving home yesterday it was probably at the top – our electronic thermometer wasn’t showing the outside temp when I got home, but it was pretty hot. Our pool temp was 90f on Sunday; we’ve had the cover on since then and last night it was up to 96. That’s a little warm, last year it got up to 98 once. So I opened the cover and we’ll leave open for a few days – last week it was up to 96 and three days open it evaporated about a half inch of water and dropped down to 90. That’s a lot of water to move – our pool is 44’ by 24’, pretty big. But with humidity at 7% you can almost see the water moving up. Went swimming anyway, and after floating around for a while the 96 felt pretty good. Floated around and watched the sunset, the bats flying overhead, the stars coming out. Turned on the TV at 9:30 and found that it had cooled down to 105f. Again, felt cold on getting out – still don’t understand how you can get out of 96f water into 105f air and feel cold. After I dried off (at 7% humidity it took about seven seconds) it started to feel warmer. And going into the house it was freezing – we follow the electric guidelines and set the air conditioners high, around 80. But that still was freezing.

Back to my drive – I head east for half the drive, usually with the sun in my face. Closer to the strip the hotels block the sun. My drive is 9 miles, but I take the surface streets, speed limit 30. With all of the traffic lights that’s about a 25 minute drive. I keep it under 35, and find that usually I am the slowest guy on the street. Perhaps once every three weeks I come behind a slower car, but usually people are zipping past. Most smaller streets in Vegas are four lanes - two in each direction. Bigger streets are six lanes with a center divider. Residential streets are just two lanes, in older areas parked cars intrude on the street, but newer areas the streets are wider.

Listening to the news – I usually don’t because it’s too depressing, we’ve got a PBS jazz station here that I’m usually tuned to, but even they have news on the half hour. Yesterday some idiot (stronger names come to mind) left his one year old in the car seat while he went in to visit relatives. Three hours later (three hours!) he came out to find the kid broiled. Vegas ends up having about a kid a week die during the summer from being left in a car. Figure it out, measurements show the temp in a car goes up 40f in the first half hour it’s parked in the sun, 50-60f in a few hours. If you start with an air temp of 114f and add 50f to it you end up with something that no one can live in for very long. Yea, the guy is heartbroken from losing his kid, but something should happen to him. Maybe roll up the windows and make him sit in the car for three hours. If he lives then lock him up in an air-conditioned prison for manslaughter. If not murder, as he did it on purpose.

But after living here for two years – this is our third summer – the 114 still feels HOT. Back in Rochester, NY there were winters where it would hit -20f (below zero). (I don’t know how to convert below zero to Centigrade, I think it’s –28C) And when it warmed up to –10 it was noticeable – your face didn’t freeze immediately, it took a few seconds. Well here the small differences are noticeable. Moving from 111 on Tuesday to 114 yesterday there was a difference. Strong sun on your face, it was HOT. Yes, dry heat, but an electric oven is dry heat and that roast still comes out cooked. Used to it – the 105 last night felt really nice. We have out of town visitors, and they almost die. Just move from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car (well, hot when starting but eventually cooler) to air-conditioned casino or store. They still are melting, and asking how we could live here.

At first I missed the green grass – back east we had lots of trees. Here it’s desert landscaping, some trees in yards, but you can see the mountains, and the strip hotels miles away, and when driving out of town just the long flat vistas of open desert, short bushes scattered around. Yes, I like the trees when we go on vacation; but I like the bright sun all year, the warm weather, the fresh air, and think I would rather stay here. Vacations are nice elsewhere – hoping to get back to France (my fav) and see our friends in Sweden, but also London (I did like the big city even if the food was . . .) and now adding the British countryside, Scotland and Portugal to the list. Thanks guys.

But where else do you have a street with all those fancy casinos right near by? As said before, we can walk from New York to an Egyptian pyramid to Venice and the gondolas to Paris and the Eiffel Tower over to whatever the heck TI and Wynn are supposed to be. Lots of people to watch – best place is to sit on the patio at Paris and watch the people walk by.

Statistics show there are usually 100,000 tourists here every day. Last month the casinos in Nevada pulled in over 1.2 billion (billion) in gambling revenues. For those of you that come here to gamble, that means they took in $1,200,000,000 US more that they paid out. In one month. Thanks. That’s before expenses, but it is what pays for all of those fancy buildings. Keep coming, we like to see you.

Ok, got to end up with a good line. Even if it’s not mine. I’m listening to the local radio show, and heard a good line.

The local hosts are interviewing Dennis Miller on the phone (this couple talk to entertainers coming into town, helps advertise things) - the comedian with his own talk show - and he was telling jokes and talking about how hard it is to book guests on his show. They were discussing somebody who wanted to have their own talk show and this person is kind of obnoxious. Dennis said it was hard to get people even if you were nice to them. I guess if you say something unkind about or to somebody they respond by ignoring you.

He relayed a story about when he was on the Letterman show just before his show was to start up. Waiting to go on he was talking to another guest, a herpetologists (snake expert) in the 'green room' before the show. When sitting next to Letterman Dennis talked about meeting the herpetologist, and started telling some jokes about other people. Letterman said 'you're not going to tell jokes like that when you have your own show, are you?' Dennis asked why not? Letterman replied - 'why do you think I'm booking herpetologists?'. Guess if I was good at this I’d be paid instead of having a blog, eh? (little Canadian there. - ok, very little).

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