Last weekend I spent with a little visit to that city of excess: Las Vegas. ‘Twould be my first visit there, with the plan to meet up with my parents and catch some of the shows. I figured I would be alternately architecturally amazed and horrified.

To sum it up in a word, BIG. The famous Las Vegas strip is all about big. The hotels are big (2000-7000 rooms). The casinos are big. The street is big. The billboards and video screens are big. The buffets are big. The statues are big. The budgets are big. The planned developments are huge. There really is nothing low-key or small on the strip (the costumes in the reviews and cabarets are likely small, but probably not considered low-key). It really was quite more than I expected in that way.

My parents and I, in the end, saw three shows over two days: Cirque Du Soleil’s Ka, Blue Man Group, and Cirque Du Soleil’s O. The Cirque shows really deserve their own entry, so they’ll get that. Blue Man Group was a bit different than I was expecting, but was a very raucous, exciting and fun show with humour and much audience participation. The fact I like percussive music so much (hello Taiko!) of course helps.

I had plenty of walking time to explore, arriving Friday just before my parents went to see a show, and leaving Monday evening post-departure of my parents. I walked up and down (and back up and back down) the strip several times, exploring all the major spots, from the gondola-filled canal of the Shops of Venice to the amazing wine tower of Aureole, and everything in between. To try to cobble some semblance of order to commenting would be almost counter to the whole experience, nay, raison-d’etre of the strip. So I’ll take the slot-machine approach and scatter:

(after the cut)

Continue reading

I: drive is AWOL

QotD: “You peer through the window. In the back of the dimly lit hut you can make out a sleeping… Make a spot check… (player rolls, 18) Orc.”

Week in… week out. Busy, fun. Also kicked back for some serious WoWage on Saturday night, and did brunch with Melissa followed by a trek to Mount Umunhum. I’m not making this up!

Today we arrived at work to learn that all four drives in our RAID array died hideous, horrible deaths sometime during this morning. Yes, the redundant nature of RAID kinda loses its ‘feature’ if very disk in the array dies. So today has been one of zero productivity.

Coming up tomorrow are the 10 Tiger movements – Sifu implored us not to miss the class, so I’m gearing up for some serious nifty-age.

LotD: Not surprising, alas.

Continue reading

More on architects

Seems the SF Chronicle can’t get enough of architects recently. A half decent article, nothing too out of the ordinary or under-the-covers, and does talk well about the hurdles along the way. They could be more careful on the wording; at least one person I’ve spoken to has taken the line “has one of the highest concentrations of architects – at some of the best salaries – in the country.” to mean that the architects have some of the highest salaries in the country, rather than what is intended which is to say architects in the bay area are on average more highly paid than architects elsewhere in the country (which means we’re still hurtin’ in the housing market here).

Oh, heh, just noticed the article doesn’t involve the editorial staff. That’s interesting…

Continue reading

How is it Sept Already?

Just a quick catch-up from a good weekend. Very good workout/practice Saturday morning (though my wrist is really back on full revolt mode), went out with Melissa and a couple of her friends on sat eve, lazy sunday morning followed by a hike with Melissa, then some Eberron gaming action. Also had some great conversations with a longtime friend.

Got a new chair at work today – ahhhhhhh. Also went out on a team lunch for the big project that had me doing all those renderings. Fighting seeeerious food coma right now, which is why this is written so sedate…

Considering trying to squeeze in the Dwell Conference this coming weekend. Lots of green and lofty goodness seems to be had there!

Continue reading

Tigers and Cranes

Game: successful! 22 Students were there to begin the seminar last night, and at least a confirmed four more will be starting next week. It is great to have the kwoon packed and have Sifu Lam teaching us (for a full two hours this time too). Sifu split us up into three groups — those who’ve done T/C before, those who’ve not and those who are starting kung fu for the first time (six new students). There was no time wasted and soon we were deep into the first movements of the set. Very amusingly, my legs groaned under holding stances again for minutes at a time. You’d think that the low Bagua walking plus doing sets would keep them in shape but apparently not, there’s just something different about holding stationary stances…

My wrist wasn’t terribly pleased with it all but didn’t give me too many problems during the night. There was great energy from everyone there and great camraderie as well… a great kung fu class.

Continue reading