Las Vegas

Hey there rodeo fans

If you're coming to Las Vegas this December for the National Finals Rodeo or just to check out Cowboy Christmas there are several other things that might be fun to do while you're in town. None of the suggestions I'll post in the following weeks should keep anyone from making donations to the Nevadans Don't Like To Pay Taxes fund at your local casino.

However, if you'd like to find some off-the-beaten-path things to do while you're in Sin City then consider taking at trip to the Ethyls Chocolate Factory and cactus garden. Although the company has a new name their facility has been a Las Vegas favorite for more than 25 years -- longer than some casinos last in this town. The trip will leave you with plenty of time to get back for the nightly performance at the Thomas & Mack and will provide a glimpse of 300+ desert species in a four-acre sanctuary. Oh and you can sample chocolates at the factory while you're there.

Cowboy Christmas 2007 in Las Vegas

It is that time of year again. The leaves are turning and the pumpkins are dotting the streets. With the World Series underway folks are starting to look towards Cowboy Christmas along with the 2007 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Here's a roundup of the gift shows going on around Rodeo Time.

  • The Las Vegas Convention Center hosts the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show which is open 10AM - 5PMdaily from December 6 through December 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center this show bills itself as "longest running and ONLY “Original” gift show of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo"
  • My personal favorite the Ariat Country Christmas Western Gift Expo returns for the 14th year at the Sands Convention Center and runs from December 6 - December 16. Their site doesn't give hours but it's safe to assume they will be similar daytime hours.

Weekend oddities

A couple of odd things happened this weekend. First I was traveling from Tampa to Las Vegas on Friday and checked a bag. I'd taken a larger bag than necessary because my suit didn't fit well in the smaller bag. When I stuck my things in the bag on the way home I did not put the shoe trees back in my shoes. Upon opening the bag there was the little paper saying TSA had opened the bag and then I noticed the shoe trees were indeed in the shoes.

Did I almost run you over?

Saturday I was at the office for most of the day. I decided to go across the street for a sandwich at lunch. To get across the street I used the frequently fatal crosswalk to traverse Maryland Parkway. The southbound lanes were wide open and as crossed the median there was one car off in the distance coming a little too fast. As I reached the middle lane the driver didn't stop and swerved around me with his window down. He was apologizing as I was making some comments about his ability to read the signs, comments which aren't fit for reprinting here.

SNWA's risky plan

There is little secret that the Southern Nevada Water Authority(SNWA) is out to suck Nevada dry. One of the real problems for Las Vegans is to figure out when SNWA is dealing with reality or when it is a SNWA magic looking glass version. For example SNWA wants us to believe it would be a good idea to spend billions of dollars (like at least tens of billions) to build a pipeline to get all that unused water.

However, other experts don't agree with SNWA's calculations of how much water is or isn't in areas like Dry Lake Valley (heh, it just sounds like a place for a pipeline to get water). See for example: "Tom Myers, a consulting hydrologist for the Great Basin Water Network, said the water authority is asking for several times the amount of water that's available, according to data compiled previously by the state engineer's office."

That's right. SNWA wants to spend billions and billions of dollars to build a pipeline. Not only will it vastly increase the security risks to Las Vegas and send Sin City deeper into its tailspin of unsupportable growth, but now they're proposing straws to places without the water they claim is there.

Las Vegas gets negative press

The magazine Fast Company has a list in their July issue of fast cities around the globe. "We scoured the globe in search of placed that best embody economic innovation and opportunity. We found creative-class meccas, R&D hot spots, even cities so fast they're scary. Is your hometown on the list?" says the table of contents page. Unfortunately for the people of Nevada the magazine hits the nail on the head in calling Las Vegas a too fast city and suggests that Vegas is "An environmental pileup in the making. Can the casinos find enough water to fill all those pools?"

It's 11 AM do you know where your thermometer is?

Summer is definitely upon the southwest. Not quite 11 AM and the thermometer is already crawling past the 100-degree mark. Some will hit eject to get to a cooler place. There seem, however, to be plenty of people who are happy with the heat. Phoenix, described earlier this year as a place where"the heat is intolerable in the summer, and the city has no defining cultural tradition or obvious reason for existence" just bumped off the city of brotherly love as the 5th largest city in the country. They must sell a lot of real estate in January when it's only 90-degrees outside.


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