Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Las Vegas

I just recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas. My coworkers and I were able to successfully complete our business there, and I was able to go out for a few hours each night to take pictures. So to me, it was a very good trip. I took literally hundreds of shots, but there are only a few I feel are worth sharing. I posted them on flickr for your viewing pleasure.

This was my first real visit to Las Vegas. I was amazed by the over-the-top grandeur of the place. The lights, colors, sounds and people were almost enough to distract me from the ever present stench of cigarette smoke that permeated virtually every building. The smoky atmosphere wouldn't be enough to keep me from wanting to return, though; there is still so much to see and photograph. Next time I'll just bring some allergy medication.

I tried my hand at the slot machines and walked away with a $24 loss. I suppose that isn't too bad. I watched some folks play craps. It looks like a very interesting game, but I didn't feel that I understood the rules well enough to put any money on the table. I think I'd like it much more than playing slot machines. Maybe I'll give it a go next time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Suite

They were out of non-smoking rooms by the time we arrived last night. I ended up with a slightly nicer, smoke-smelling room. Grant, however, was put in a suite. Here are some shots from and of Grant's Palace.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

At The Airport

Grant and I are waiting at the airport for our flight. Fortunately, our gate is near the bathrooms; We just drank dinner.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who Needs A Key?

I was painting a few things for work in my garage this afternoon, so I decided to leave the garage door open to let the fumes air out. Being somewhat safety conscious, I locked the door to the garage from the house so that someone couldn't just walk in unannounced. I'm attempting to sell my house so this isn't completely unrealistic. The problem with this idea is that I have Schlage locks. For any of you familiar with these locks, they'll let you out but they won't let you back in. Well, I went back out to the garage to check on the progress of the paint without thinking about the locked door. It didn't take long for me to realize what I had just done to myself.

I (foolishly) don't have a spare key anywhere outside the house, so that really left me with just two alternatives:

a) Go over to a neighbor and use their phone to call a locksmith.
b) Use a big hammer to smash my way through the lock.

As you can tell from the picture, I chose option 'b'. It turns out those Schlage locks are really tough. I basically had to completely demolish the side of the handle facing me so that I could gain access to the mechanism inside. Even after doing that, it took me some time to find just the right sized tool to wedge in the lock so I could release the latch. I'm sure someone skilled in breaking and entering could have done the job more quickly, but overall I was pleased by how secure the lock turns out to be.

My door is now held shut with some invisible tape, a bottle of Purex laundry detergent, two hand towels and a piece of junk mail. I'll be making a trip to Home Depot tomorrow afternoon to fix this properly. The handle was losing its finish anyway, so this was probably a good thing.

I'm sure there is a lesson to be learned here. I think it has something to do with not locking yourself out of your own house.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another One Bytes The iPhone

I won't name names, but another of my coworkers decided to buy an iPhone. The Cult grows...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Reason Why I Really Like Apple

Yesterday the price of the iPhone was reduced to $399 from the $599 that I happily paid just over two months ago. Several of the folks at work thought that would really irritate the early adopters, like me. Apparently from what I've read online, that is exactly what happened with many of my fellow iPhone owners. I was somewhat baffled by this. I bought the device because I felt it was worth $600 to ME. Why should I be upset if someone else can now buy it for $400? Do I somehow lose out because it now is more affordable to more people? I still have just as much utility from my iPhone today as I did yesterday or the day before.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that Apple is offering a $100 store credit to those of us who purchased the iPhone early on. They certainly didn't have to do something like this, but it is very good for PR and for their business in general. Sure, I didn't feel ripped off because they dropped the price, but I'm not an idiot; I'll gladly take the $100 credit and apply it to the purchase of Leopard next month.

Looking back on the situation, I'd almost bet that they had this planned. It's a great way to drum up a lot of publicity and then show how good they are to their customers. Regardless, I'll continue to buy Apple products. To me, they are worth it.