The Undecided Philosopher

The ideas and rants of a former philosopher and a present-day geek....Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Vegas 2007 Days 2 and 3

OK, I am a couple of days removed from my first entry about this trip and time has flown by. Sunday was spent at Hoover Dam, The House of Blues, and my bed recovering. Jetlag finally caught up with me Sunday night. The trip to the Dam was awe-inspiring and left me at a loss for words. It is truly a monument to the American spirit of the 1930's. I am inserting several pictures to give you a better feel of my experience.

Monday was a day to register at the conference and explore the Legas Strip in the afternoon. We ended the evening with a quick dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. I must run now to a couple of meetings, but I hope to return soon with more photos and more thoughts.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Welcome to Vas Vegas!

After yet another long absence from blogging, I am attempting to make my triumphant return to the written word, this time as a mechanism to chronicle my return to Las Vegas and Networld Interop. My story and my trip this year does not begin on the way to the airport or upon landing in Sin City, but instead at a windy soccer field in Bristol, Virginia. The day before I was to fly out of Knoxville to Nevada, I was spending the evening at my son’s soccer game, chatting with his grandmother and other parents, when my phone ran from an unknown number. On the other end of the phone was a woman identifying herself as an agent from my bank’s fraud protection center. Apparently, less than 24 hours before my departure for the bright lights of Las Vegas, someone decided to try to compromise my check card. Fortunately, the thieves were unsuccessful in getting to any money, but the bank was still preparing to suspend my check card as a precaution. This would of course leave me without a way to get cash for my trip, so I bent a few laws to get to an ATM and grabbed the legal limit from the machine to fund my trip. There is nothing like a little stress to get the ball rolling on an adventure to the west coast.

My actual travel day was largely uneventful. I am traveling with my friend and colleague Adam and his wife Sabrina. We drove to Knoxville and took a non-stop flight with Allegiant Air to Las Vegas. The flight was smooth, though a little frustrating, because we skipped dinner on the way out of Knoxville and the airline lacked any real food on the plane. Therefore, as we landed in Vegas around 9:00pm local time, our first priority after finding the hotel was to seek out some food. Of course, this is Vegas, so the world is still open and we grabbed a quick meal before crashing.

We are staying at the Excalibur, which is a first for me. On checking in, we were comp’ed a room upgrade because our reserved rooms with a view of the strip were unavailable. We are therefore staying in the newly remodeled Tower II which includes large plasma TV’s and new furnishings throughout. No complaints from this guest.

Saturday was largely a day of local exploration and grounding. Went spent most of the day wandering around Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay, eating occasionally and shopping a bit. We took a ride on the IMAX pyramid adventure and explored the replicated tome of King Tut. Both were fun and impressive, if not a bit brief for my taste.

After dinner, Adam and I decided to try a little sports gambling, with all of our faith in the favorite on the undercard of the Taylor-Spinks fight in Memphis. We had some dinner and settled in at the sports book with our tickets in hand. Alas it was not a night for the favorites and we quickly came off our gambling high as Miranda went down for good late in the fight to Pavlick. What did we learn from this experience you might ask? Never bet against an Irish guy from Idaho!

Sabrina, feeling great pity for us and noticing our heads held low as we licked our wounds, decided to treat us to a hydro-massage. For all those that have never given this a try, do it. I have never felt so relaxed and re-energized in my young life.

Today is a trip to Hover Dam with our friend Sanjay. It should produce some awe inspiring views and many, many impressive photos. Of course I will try and share those with you all on my return. I am off for now. More updates to come.

Some other photos from the day: