Thursday, August 30, 2012

end of summer, big wheels

Still warm here, due to be 38c today (101f) but thunderstorms due for the next few days. We had a lot of rain last week – a full 1.58 inches (about 4cm) which might not seem like a lot, but it broke a few records and doubled our recorded rainfall for the year so far. Yes, it is dry here in the desert. There is still some new construction going on down at the Strip. Not just one but two big wheels are being built by competing firms. Caesar’s is building the Linq on the center Strip, by the Imperial Palace across from Caesar’s Palace. It is a redo of an older area (well, 20 years is old here in Vegas) rebuilding several restaurants and putting in a 550 foot tall big observation wheel, similar to the London Eye. A second one is being built by a private firm further south, across from Mandalay Bay. That one will be about the same size, but not attached to a casino but rather a new shopping complex is being constructed with the wheel at the center. Each location is spending around $500,000,000 on their wheels and surrounding buildings. We finally got the pool cover fixed on our swimming pool – it’s an automated cover that is really good at keeping the pool clean and the water warm. One of the ropes that pulls the cover closed broke a few months ago and we have been having a hard time getting it fixed. There is only one company in town that can repair this brand of cover, and they seemed exceptionally busy. Well, we finally found out that they were having employee problems, and the manufacturer pulled their franchise and contacted a company up in Utah to handle things. They sent a bunch of employees down to work on all off the built up problems, and somebody came out last Friday and did the repair. With the cover on only one week the water warmed up eight degrees, and it now sits at a comfy 92f (33.3c) which is just where we like it. And it will keep the water warmer longer – so it should be pretty nice swimming come the end of October (when visitors are due out from cold country)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer rain

It’s early afternoon and raining! Las Vegas just gets an average of three inches (8 cm) of rain a year, which normally comes from just a few thunderstorms that blow through rather quickly, drop a half inch of rain in ten minutes then move off over the valley. Today there is continuous cloud cover, and it’s been drizzling fairly steadily for the past three hours – something that I’ve only seen once before in the ten years we have been here. B’s already called to report roof leaks, so it looks like a new big expense in the near future. Nice, but I’d rather have the thunderstorms come and go and be back to sunshine.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I’ve been show writing here, waiting for photos and a big story to post, but Terri started blogging Tweets, and I figured if she can put up a sentence at a time I could also, so at least there would be movement here. Or more than a sentence. At our last doctor visit she was concerned with our blood oxygen levels, so she ordered a minor oxygen test, which involved us sleeping with one of those finger clips on all night. Still concerned, we end up with a full sleep study, where we went last Thursday night. Hooked up with about thirty wires and clips and bands and tubes it felt like I didn’t sleep at all, but evidently enough, B is OK but it looks like I’ll be back to sleeping with a CPAP machine. Uncomfortable, but at least I sleep well; better than being fuzzy all day from poor sleep. Unfortunately they want me back for another night of testing, this time with a machine. Oh well, wired again. Having to use Chrome at work for postings, looks like it pulls out the paragraph and line breaks. Sorry for the run together stuff.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Summer and new shows

It’s the middle of the summer, and it’s finally warmed up. July was relatively warm for us, didn’t hit 115f (46c) even once, when we usually have five or so days up there. August is usually our wettest month, though that isn’t saying much because the average rainfall for August (according to the National Weather Service) is 0.55 inches (1.4 cm), but it seemed we had a lot of thunderstorms in July and quite a few days where the highs were only around 98. So far this year, since January 1, we’ve had only 0.66 inches of rain, down from our normal of 2.6, so it looks like we are suffering from the same drought that the rest of the country has. But the forecast for the next five days or so indicates temperatures over 112 (45c) so I can enjoy some more sun time. This is coupled with a humidity of 4%, so when you get wet it dries off rather quickly. Yea statistics on line! It looks like Vegas is getting back to being a country entertainment town. Two years ago Garth Brooks got a regular gig over at the Wynn, and is still doing quite well. Last year it was announced that ShaniaTwain would be in the rotation at Caesar’s with Celine and Elton John, her shows starting this coming December. Now that ‘Country’s Golden Couple’ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will have a ten week forty show run over at the Venetian – tickets from $95 to $295 – with a possibility of more, but they are planning a regular summer tour so they won’t be exclusive here. The Venetian has lost all of it’s major shows. The Blue Men will be moving to the Monte Carlo in a few months, the Jersey Boys have already moved over to Paris and the Phantom of the Opera will just close down at the end of the year. This leaves three big theaters open, with no announcements yet as to what will be replacing them. Tim and Faith will be in the small 1,800 seat theater, not in any of the big rooms. All of the Cirque du Soleil shows (except for Elvis) are doing fine. Elvis will be replaced by Zarkana, and a new Michael Jackson themed show will be opening at Mandalay Bay to replace the lost Lion King. We’ve seen most of the Cirque shows (well, all of them except for Elvis) and I would recommend them to anyone, especially my favorite ‘O’ at the Bellagio and Bobbie’s favorite Ka at MGM. One tip for Cirque shows: don’t sit close to the stage. Too much goes on all over the stage, from the extreme edges into the center that you miss too much if you are close up; get a seat farther back so you can see it all. At O I like the very last row – the seats rise up at a steep angle from the stage, and at the back you are high enough to look down into the pool and see what is going on underwater, something you can’t see down in front where you are eye level with the stage. And the Ka stage is so huge that you have to be back to just gather it all in. We’ll probably be back at Mystere next, the first Cirque show to open and it’s still here, as they have a local’s Tuesday two-for-one ticket special, and I’m basically cheap. Well, it’s still over a hundred dollars for us at that rate. Most of the Cirque shows do special pricing for locals, usually during the slow winter times.