Monday, October 31, 2011

Cool stuff!

A couple months ago my wife found on offer on Groupon that sold you their 45 minute tour for half price; that's $15 each.  We bought them but held off using them until it got cooler.  Like today!  So we hopped up this a.m. and set out for Boulder City, Nevada.  The tour company, Black Canyon River Adventures, has an office in a casino where you can park your car while on the tour.  First the good news, the tour was pretty cool!  This is the short tour and basically you sit in a boat at the bottom of the dam and take photos of the dam & some of the historical stuff that the guide tells you about.  You don't really go more than a couple hundred yards (or meters) but there is a lot of stuff left over from the building of the dam that made our 45 minutes go really quickly.  We all got lots of dam pictures too.  (Jeez, don't let me get started on dam jokes!)

The bad part was that the staff at the casino has the personality of a rock and was just about that helpful.  Our 10:30 tour was called that so everyone would show up for an 11:00 departure.  Isn't that helpful.  Then, of course, the fat slob who was driving our van was 15 minutes late. So we get there a little early for 10:30 then have an hour of sitting around without a word of apology.  Not a very clever group of people running the operation. 

As you can tell, I wasn't particularly inspired in my photography.  Don't know but some days it's too much trouble to take my sun glasses off to see the viewfinder.  The guide was into ornithology and was really loving the birds but he did know a lot about bits and pieces that look mysterious and were really important parts of building the dam.  I'm not too sure I'd recommend it at full price but at half price it was a very good deal.

More tomorrow.  The excitement just keeps growing and growing!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Breathing just not posting

I'm still breathing, if anyone wonders, but haven't had a lot to post about.  Guess I could blither about the stock market or the Occupy Wall Street story but frankly, I don't give a damn.  So that leaves my personal life and that's pretty dull!  I did go to the doctor today and got the stitches out of my head where they cut out my basal cell but that's the excitement.  Not the stuff great blogging is made of!

We did go to our local Japanese restaurant for lunch today.  (The owner has another place in Cedar City, Utah.)  It's called Ohjah Japanese Steakhouse Sushi & Hibachi - a long name for what is a pretty fancy place by Pahrump standards.  My wife was ready for sushi and she got a plate they make up with 5 pieces plus a spicy tuna roll for something like $11.  She liked it and was filled up long before the food was gone.  I should mention that she got miso soup as well.  Personally I'm just kind of amazed that decent sushi can be had here at all!  It's a long swim from the ocean.  I had a chicken teriyaki since I'm not a big sushi fan.  It was a nice thin breast of chicken with warm sauce poured over it.  Sides were white rice, three pieces of a vegie roll and a couple of small spring roll things.  This came with miso soup and a salad.  I thought the soup was rather thin but acceptable and for $6 it was a ton of food!

In local news, the FBI tipped the sheriff off about some local guy who was spending time at child-porn websites.  The sheriff got a warrant and checked him out - now he is facing 5,000 counts of possession of child porn!  Jeez, a charge for every pornographic image?  Don't know but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  Why not just one charge with supporting information?  There must be some legal quibble there but I can't imagine what it might be. 

Then there are the local 18 year old twin girls who got in the news about a month ago for trying to pawn a stolen laptop.  THIS time, they got a couple of dim-witted friends to try to pawn the stolen computer for them.  Duh!  Didn't work the first time, didn't work this time either. 

A couple weeks ago we had the tale of a young man, 20, who was charged charged with statutory sexual seduction for sleeping with a 15 year old female; his ex-girlfriend reported him out of jealousy.  At first the 15 year old denied that anything had happened but changed her story when she learned that he had already confessed.  Along comes the 19 year old man who lives with the  15 year old - yup, he's off to jail as well - charged with statutory sexual seduction of course.  Wonder if the two guys will share a cell as well? 

Don't you see why we just love it here?  Where else could you come up with all these amazing neighbors.  Have a good one!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I'm all for being truthful and not overly politically correct but really!

Maybe I've reached my limit.  Have a good one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

500 Posts!!

It's amazing to me but I've managed 500 posts.  It's over several years, of course, and some are pretty pitiful but still, 500.  I'm amazed. 

I went to Las Vegas today.  Our truck needed an oil change and I prefer to use the dealer if they aren't too outrageous.  The nearest dealer is in the middle of town on Sahara St.  It's kind of a pain to get there but I either make the effort or take it to someone who may or may not know what they are doing.  I'm especially concerned because the engine in the truck has multiple turbo's; double fuel filters and all kinds of weird stuff.  Plus it was only used in the 2008 and 2009 model years so there aren't a lot around. 

Got the oil changed.  It's kind of sad walking around the neighborhood, it's deteriorating almost as you watch.  There had been other car dealers around but now it's just a couple of cheap looking used car lots.  Many of the businesses have stopped advertising in English and use Spanish.  Sorry but that's not really a good sign for the neighborhood.  So the car dealer is having a moving sale.  They are moving way across town so they will be probably 10 miles (16km) closer to me and they will be next door to a Chevy dealer so they will again be among peers.  Good deal!

I ate in an Applebee's, a chain that is trying to be hip, I think!  It was actually ok.  I had a Spicy Chicken Sandwich that was actually quite spicy.  Skipped the bun and just ate the chicken & cheese.  The fries that came with it were the most salty fries I've received in a LONG time.  I managed to keep it to 1 small Sam Adams though. 

Here's a photo of the road coming home from Vegas.  This is a divided 4 lane road; lots of traffic as you can see.
Gotta go.  Have a good one!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not so quiet

This has been a week.  I'm glad it's almost over!

Wednesday we took the cat to the vet.  He's got an undercoat that gets all matted and there just doesn't seem to be anything we can do to help him.  He's 16 years old so isn't as good at cleaning himself as he was when he was younger.  We brush him, buy special brushes, whatever, he still gets mats.  Our vet worked on him once before and, after sedating him, was able to just comb the mats out.  Not this time!  When we went to pick him up, we got back a lion!

Actually it seemed as though this procedure didn't bother him as much as the combing.  Perhaps the sedation was more complete?  Who knows.  He seemed pretty normal after we got him back home.  Now the DOG thought he was from Mars and just could not get enough sniffing and carrying on.  Pretty funny!

Today it was my turn to go to the vet, er, quack, er, dermatologist.  I had a growth on the top of my head that I was told was a basal cell carcinoma.  I saw the doctor's PA a couple of weeks ago.  He's here one day a week but for the surgery you need the doc and he's only here one day a month!  So you can imagine he's got patient upon patient to see.

It's an out-patient procedure but can be a sort of pain.  Depending on the position of the carcinoma they want to remove the entire thing but, of course, no more.  You wouldn't want a larger than necessary scar on your face for example.  So they numb you up and cut it off.  Then they go check the removed tissue with a microscope to be sure they have a 'clean edge'.  If they haven't gotten all the cancer, you have to get numbed again and cut on again.  Some folks who were there when I got there were still there when I left!  They were getting to see the doctor two or three times in one office visit.  Jeez.  Because mine was on the top of my head, there was no scarring to worry about and they got it all out on the first try.  But, as they say, now I'm cancer free.

I've got stitches that will have to come out and I'm on antibiotics for a few days but that's about it.  I'm on aspirin too since the head is kind of sore.  This growing older thing doesn't have a lot going for it but I guess it's better than not.  Have a good one!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Quiet Time

My wife and I were talking this morning about how quiet it is where we live.  It is quiet.  It's not unusual to have only a few cars on the road with you.  Of course it does vary with the time of year.  It's getting to be snowbird time and the local RV parks will be full again soon.  That probably doubles the number vehicles on the roads and lots of them are big trucks or motorhomes.  It isn't really warm enough here for dedicated snowbirds but if they like the gambling and the nearness of Vegas, I guess it works.  It is also pretty cheap, RV spots can be found in the sub-$300 a month category.

When we go over to Vegas we are always taken by the rush and the noise and everyone going somewhere at top speed.  We noticed it when we were in San Diego as well, I guess they are even faster over there!  I noticed too our son & daughter-in-law seeking out quiet restful places during their time off.  They have stressful jobs so spending some quiet time wandering around in Balboa Park works for them.  I remember those days when I was living in a small apartment and needing to visit a local park for relaxation or even just being able to feel the grass.  These days all I have to do is look out the window; across the road is open desert; a few houses but not many.  Of course, if I want to see a tree... it's a different story!  LOL  Actually there are lots of trees in the valley.  Every one is irrigated but there are plenty of them.

When I was a kid my parents lived on six acres (2.5 hec.) out in Iowa (middle of the U.S.).  We had various crops that neighboring farmers planted and harvested for us.  They did the work and got half the result for their pay,  I guess it worked out for everyone since it worked that way for years.  But that was REALLY the quiet life!  It could easily be an hour between cars going by on the road.  It was a time before there were a lot of aircraft as well, now you can go outside almost any time and see a plane flying East or West at 30,000 ft. (9,000 m.)  They don't make a lot of noise but there is some in the background.   (Vegas's excellent airport was a selling point for us.  When we want to visit Europe again, it will be easy!)

Is it quiet where you live?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing for you?  Have a good one.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Does anyone else NEED leftovers?  I may be strange (aside from all that other stuff!) but I am actually uncomfortable if there isn't some sort of leftover in the fridge.  Maybe that's why I'm such a soup and stew guy.  I made the cajun roast the other day, yum!  Leftovers!  I'm always making soup enough for about 10, yep, leftovers.  My wife and I could easily share a steak but no, I have to cook two.  I guess I'm just strange.

I often read blogs and websites of preppers - those folks who think something apocalyptic is going to happen at any time and they want to be prepared.  I don't really agree but maybe having leftovers is my level of preparation.  Who knows.  Living where I do water is the only thing that really concerns me.  Occasionally I think about buying a couple 55 gal. drums (208 liters) and filling them with water.  Then you have the storage issue so I don't bother.  (No I haven't forgotten the 60 gallons (225 l) or so in the hot water heater.)  There is a company in Utah that sells a huge drum for storing water; I wish they made a flow-through version so it was constantly used & replentished.  Then you wouldn't have a storage issue but you would have some water available for use if the system went out.  Hmmm, maybe I need to start a new business! 

Here's hoping you have something good in the fridge as well.  Have a good one.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Gamble or not

I had a couple comments on investing in the stock market is much the same as gambling at the casino.  Well, I don't really agree.  At the casino there are mathematical odds in-favor or against the player in every position.  Not so in the stock market.  In the market you are making a reasoned choice; maybe your reasoning is good or faulty but the market itself is not inherently, mathematically against you.  

RandomRoger has a great post regarding illegal behavior in the markets.  He suggests that there are always cheats and only some of them get caught.  He's suggesting that it is simply part of life that people are always looking for an advantage.  If they can get an advantage legally, they are called 'good traders'; if it's illegal then they get called 'crooks'.

Steve Jobs - RIP

Yahoo's finance editor has done a nice job of commenting on the importance of Steve Jobs, I recommend it if you are interested though I'm sure every news outlet has a similar piece.  I was glad to find that I wasn't the only one who couldn't put a finger on his genius.  It will be interesting to see what happens to Apple now that he is no longer there.  I've told the story of my iMac; it started falling apart about a day after the warranty ended.  That combined with their total proprietary attitude killed it for me. 

We had a gray day yesterday with overcast and a 'Seattle rain' for most of the day.  It inspired me to make the Cajun Roast from Justin Wilson's cookbook.  It's a chuck roast basically.  You cut slits in the roast and put a slice of garlic, jalapeno and shallot in each slit.  Next salt & cayenne pepper the outside and put in it a roasting bag.  Add potatoes, onions, carrots to make it a traditional pot roast, then comes the trick.  Use a cup of red wine and a cup of white wine and some bitters for the liquid.  I add either water or broth to bring the level of the liquid up to the top of the meat.  Close the bag and cook at 350F for 3 hours.  (That's a medium-low setting.)  The darned thing starts smelling pretty good after about 45 minutes so it's tough to leave it alone but it's worth it in the end.  It's spicy but not hot, the vegies, if you've cut them intelligently, still have a bit of a crunch, and the juice is fantastic.  Of course the alcohol would have cooked off probably before it started smelling good, but the remaining flavors are great.  Let's just say, my wife doesn't eat very much bread but she'd send me back to the store to get rolls if I tried to serve this without them for soaking up the juice!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Another day...

From AP:  "The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 200 points with 40 minutes of trading left. It closed up 153."

That isn't you and me making the market flop around like that.  Honestly I don't think anyone has a clue about what is happening to cause all that volatility.  The news providers have all kinds of reasons but I really can't believe them.  After all, the Greek debt crisis didn't start this morning and I doubt if it was solved this afternoon.  The debt problems here in the U.S. aren't going away either, neither are the ridiculous retirement deals our cities and states have made.  So we are left with volatility for it's own sake.  And isn't it fun!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Excellent Dinner

Ok, I admit, I was surprised by the excellent dinner our daughter produced.  It was really very good:  pork loin, asparagus, garlic bread and salad.  Simple and very nicely done.  As always happens, there were surprises, like the pork got done about 15 minutes sooner than expected, but she caught it and adapted very well.  Good for her!

We went to the casino this morning for breakfast.  We always gamble a bit afterwards (video poker).  I don't know what the deal was but it was really quite a long session; at least 30 minutes.  Someone had left their money in the machine, all $.04 of it, so I played with it.  It was one of the unusual machines that lets you play betting only $.01, I actually got up to $.13 at one point!  Amazing.  But don't worry, it was a fluke.  As usual I lost in the end both my money and the $.04.  Someone has to be sure the casino stays in business.

In that other great gamble, I'm up another half pound or so, to 224 lb (101.6kg).  Grrr, going the wrong way again.  But what are you going to do.  We've been walking as usual but I have been exercising with the weights as well.  Maybe I can convince myself that I'm adding muscle weight!  LOL  Yeah, that's it.  Sure! 

Look on the bright side and have a good one!