Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Las Vegas Springs Preserve

We went over to visit the Springs Preserve yesterday and I took a few photos that I wanted to share.  First a little background.  For the last few thousand years people have lived in the Las Vegas valley because there were some natural springs out here in the middle of the Mojave Desert.  Makes sense, doesn't it.  It started out as not too many people; now it is way too many but that's what people seem to be good at.  Anyway the Springs Preserve has some really interesting interactive displays in the Origen Museum (that's how they spell it!) about how this all came about geologically and about the people who first moved here.  They also have the Nevada State Museum on the grounds; unfortunately, no one mentioned to us that it is closed Tuesday and Wednesday each week!  So I guess we'll have to go back.  There are lots of conference rooms around; lots of displays for kids even a little cafe that was pretty good.  For residents it is pretty affordable:  $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for kids.  Unfortunately for visitors it is almost twice that. 

A huge majority of the Preserve is devoted to gardening.  They have many, many different styles shown all of which work here.  Some are pretty drought tolerant; others not so much.  They also point out that a yard can contain different area:  an herb garden; a flower garden; an outdoor living space.  They do a good job illustrating these different areas.  We spent 4 hours wandering around in the garden and the Origen Museum.

One of the parts of the gardens that surprised me most was the sculpture interspersed here and there.  A man named David Thompson did some animals from 'found objects' that I really liked.  I thought the roadrunner was pretty cool!

He also did a ram that I liked.  Wouldn't it be cool to have something like that in your yard!

In the early days a derrick would be built to drill a well in the valley.  There are four of them on the Preserve property. 

Most of the trees and plants are nicely named; not this guy!  We were puzzled and there was no one to ask.  The small fruit had sort of a skin on it. 

It is getting to be Halloween and they have special decorations for the holiday.  This is only one of the MANY decorations.

There was another sculptor whose work I rather liked.  His name is Mark White.  The day was absolutely still so these didn't move but they are designed to do so. 

So that was our day at the Springs Preserve.  This is a great time to be in the Las Vegas area:  sunny, warm days and cool nights.  Hope you had as good a day!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jeez, almost a week later!

Yeah, I'm a crappy blogger.  Even when what I write makes sense I still don't do it regularly.  Sorry! 

Well the front page of the LV Review Journal said it for me "Government Reopens".  What a bunch of idiots!  We may as well have the third grade class from our local school running things except that then the laws they pass wouldn't be 5,000 pages long!  I'm thinking we need term limits on all senators and representatives; re-do their pay and benefit package and ban lawyers from serving at all.  Hmmm.  What do you think that would do for the lobby industry?  LOL  I know where all the lawyers would go.

Happily I've been taking my mind off the dumbshit government by driving back and forth to Vegas.  I made one of our regular runs for booze and stuff we can't get here a week ago Wednesday.  (Just as an example, a bottle of scotch that is $27 in Vegas is $42 here.  I like to support local business but really!)  Then last Tuesday we went back so my wife and daughter could go see 'Gravity' in 3D.  I got to run around town a bit.  They gave the movie a C+ and were totally underwhelmed by the 3D.  My wife said that aside from the occasional bolt floating by the 3D was pretty much wasted and using the glasses drove her nuts.  Granted it may be a short trip but I'm pretty certain there won't be any more 3D experiments for some time. 

While I was in Sin City I made another visit to Harbor Freight; how exciting is that!  Well, I also went to an "Adult Store".  I bought a little thing for my wife and the clerk offered me a free 'cock ring'.  I said 'sure' because I figured why not.  Free is good.  Not the kind of thing I usually share on the blog but this thing is amazing!  Amazingly funny that is!  Don't worry, I'm not wearing it but I do have to share a photo of it.  Needless to say this is going into the drawer reserved for weird crap - aka the trash.  My wife almost fell over laughing when I showed it to her.  She promised me that if I DID wear it she would run the other way.  Well, anyway I'm pretty sure why it was free!
Did I mention it is supposed to glow in the dark?  I've been afraid to look!

Otherwise it is cooling down nicely.  We had some snow on Mt. Charleston.  Highs are in the 70's (23C) and lows in the 40's (5C).  After a long hot summer it is kind of nice to be wearing long pants again.  Our fall tomato plants have blossems but I'm not counting on them actually growing a tomato before the frost kills them.  Perhaps I should build them a little shelter.  There are several farms in the valley providing custom produce for restaurants in Las Vegas but they are using greenhouses.  Some are hydroponic farms; some not. 

Gotta go.  I'm being threatened with a good breakfast!  Take care.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Along with the camera.....

I got my Medicare card:  I'm officially 65 years old.  Whew!  Takes a while to get here but the view is fine.  Please believe me; it's got to be better than the dirt nap.  Having said that, we decided to go over to Vegas and spend an evening.  We got a room at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club just off the Las Vegas Strip for the night.  We dined at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris.  It was a really nice get-away.  The room was on the 25th floor; the hotel goes up to 55 or so.  It was a nice room with a mini-kitchen, a jetted tub, etc.  Very nice.  It did take us a couple minutes to find the electric switch that controled the electric drape! 

Mon Ami has an outside area right on the strip.  There were 6 or 8 lanes of traffic between us and the Bellagio but it wasn't bad; only annoying when you didn't get to see the fountains!  We all three (including Number One Daughter) had steak frites.  Very thin steak but tender, well cooked and tasty; frites turned out to be a cross between potato chips (American version) and fries.  They were about an inch & a half long (4cm), 1/4th of an inch wide (6mm) and only 1/16th of an inch thick (2mm).  Different.  I liked them; wife and daughter didn't. 

In the afternoon we went over to the Bellagio and checked out the scene set in the conservatory.  It is fall so there were trees with falling leaves.  The leaves were glass.  The trees rather amazing.

The eyeballs in this tree trunk would move from side to side.  Some woman almost fell over when she saw the eye moving! 

This guy was weird from the other side; didn't look like a tree or face at all but from this side he actually looks kind of friendly.
 This is a huge glass display in the lobby of the hotel. 

I had to try my luck with getting a photo in the night.  I admit to resting the camera on the arm of the sofa but didn't use the timer to reduce camera shake.  You can see the Gucci and Fendi stores on the strip.  You can exit the hotel lobby directly into the Mircle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.  You can spend some serious money in this town! 

We came home the next morning and are back in the quiet country mode!  Gotta go.  Have a good one!