Phones galore in Vegas

My original plan in Vegas, at some point, was to find the Nokia Experience Center at the Fashion Show Mall.  It has since left, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the other things available.

The first encounter was at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops.

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I’m back! I think…


I get back from Vegas only to find out that while I was gone, a comedy of errors took place.

First, a lightening storm obliterated both the modem and the wireless router.  Then, my car’s Check Engine light came on.  Shortly thereafter, my dad’s car overheated.  Then a man who was supposed to fix the washing machine broke a copper pipe and nearly flooded the basement.  To dry the place out, my parents tried to use the dehumidifier, which instantly broke.

On the Internet front, the entire day I’ve been back has been spent trying to fix it.  It worked in the morning (apparently) but broke as soon as I tried to use it.  I managed to help fix it, but the signal wasn’t strong enough to reach my room, so we had to get another range extender (we had one, but it was of course incompatible with the security placed on the new router) in order to broadcast the signal into my room.

AND I have to go back to work tomorrow.  DO NOT WANT.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to check up on stuff.

On a positive note, Vegas was awesome.  I loved every minute.  Took some great photos and had some great times, so I’ll hopefully share all of those soon.

Oh, and I’ve picked out my new phone. 😉

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

I shall be leaving shortly for Vegas, and while I’ll try to update while I’m away, if I don’t…see you in a week!

I’m back

And will be posting like a madman soon enough.

Vacation, Part Ocho

Today was spend driving out of New Mexico and into Colorado.

We stopped off at the Four Corners, which is the wonderfully majestic coming-together of Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target and ShopKo.

Or maybe it’s the coming-together of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah.  Who knows?

After that, we drove to Mesa Verde in Colorado.  It’s a lot of driving in and around mountains for a few houses in some cliffs.  If the entrance to the park wasn’t so far away from the actual stuff, it wouldn’t have been so bad.  But it’s 20 miles from entrance to stuff.  At least it was great for photo opportunities.

Then we drove to Pagosa Springs, CO.  Tomorrow we’re going all the way to Colorado Springs where my grandparents live.  As they have no Internet and I can only type so much on a T9 phone keypad, this will be my last contact with anyone for about a week.  I may do small updates via phone, but I don’t know.

Vacation, Part Siete

Today was a lot of driving.

…Oh, forget it. 😛

But, seriously, it was.

We drove through Albuquerque  to the Sandia Mountains where they had a lift thing to the top (some 10,000 feet) where I took a lot of photos and then had lunch at the top.  Then we went down.  That was pretty much it.

Then we drove to the old city, the original Albuquerque, and it was nice, but not as nice as Santa Fe’s version.

This was 2 in the afternoon, and we had nothing to do the rest of the day, so we left and drove as far as we could to…actually, I forgot were we stayed.  …No, I didn’t: Gallup.  It’s a dusty, rocky, run-down town, just like all the towns in this state.  Also, everyone lives in a trailer.  EVERYONE.  Nothing against trailers, but seriously, there isn’t a real home anywhere in this state.  But they have a really quality road system.  So the only thing I can figure is that they pay so much money in taxes for road work that no one can afford a house.

Vacation, Part Seis

Today was a lot of driving.

Or maybe it wasn’t.  But I think I should start all my entries like this since that’s all I can remember about each day.  This state is really kind of boring after a while.  I mean, anything gets boring after a while, but when there are only two major cities and you’re passed one and are looping back to get to the other, things get a little drab.

We saw some space museum in Alamogordo.  It was not that spectacular, in my opinion, and this was aided by the fact their air conditioning was out.

Then we saw the White Sands something-or-other.  Basically, it’s sand that is white.  And it’s there.  And you can drive through it.  I took some pictures but I’m looking at them now and they don’t look like much except whiteness and skyness.  Oh well.

Then we drove and drove and drove to a town with the name of…”Truth Or Consequences.”

I’m serious.

I think “Truth Or Dare” would have been better, or even “Truthfully, It’s Another Friggin’ White Trash Town,” but I don’t decide these things.

We drove around looking for something to eat but settled for a place just across the street from the hotel when we realized NOTHING was open.  This was a little after 6 pm.

Tomorrow: Albuquerque.  And whoever decided to spell it like that was a moron.

Vacation, Part Cinco

Today was spent mainly in the car.

Actually, no it didn’t.  I just about forgot the Big Event we did today.

We spent most of the day at Carlsbad Caverns.  For all the cow crap, throwing up, no vacancies, and whatever else has happened or will happen, it was worth it to see this.  The caverns are AMAZING.  And gigantic.  They go on forever and are simply beautiful.  I took a ton of photos, and hopefully they turn out.  I used Night mode, which while great for the low-light condition in the caves, disables autofocus, so hopefully everything isn’t blurry.  It looks good on my 2.6-inch screen. 😛

Again, the caverns were incredible.  Definitely worth it.

The REST of the day was spent in the car.  If it wasn’t long stretches of nothingness, it was curvy mountain roads.  The curvy mountain roads were the worst because my dad, who drove, is a Speed Limit Nazi, and slams on the brakes to decelerate even when going around turns and the little yellow signs suggest going 35 as opposed to 45, even though the turn is only a 15 degree direction change.  My mom and I just about went insane.  The stupid thing is that once out of the turn, he romps on the accelerator to get back up to speed, but being a mountain road, there is another turn just a few hundred meters down the road, so then he slams on the brakes again….on and on for miles and miles.  I wanted to throw him out of the car and have him walk and my mom probably did too since it’s her car.

We’re staying at Hollingsworth Air Force Base tonight.  Or something.  Some H-word.  Hollbrock?  Hollister?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  Tomorrow we’re seeing some sand dunes to the north of here.

Vacation, Part Cuatro

The fourth day was spent in Roswell.  We went to the UFO museum and it was pretty awesome.  They had a timeline of the events of 1947 represented in newspaper clippings and other things.  They really poked apart the government cover-up since the government, at some point, claimed the event didn’t happen until 1957 and that the people who remembered it were just confused, but the newspaper clippings with “1947” kind of blew that out of the water.  Stupid government.

Personally, I completely believe aliens exist and that there was a crash in ’47.  I’d be less inclined to believe it if the government hadn’t tried to cover it up—anything the government has to do with is immediately under suspicion and the fact they say it didn’t happen automatically means it did.

They also had various movies going on in the theater. The one we saw was a mockumentary of sorts with the same guy that did the movie about “Trekkies” called “Six Days in Roswell.” It was hilarious and really self-deprecating, but great.

The greatest thing about this day was we had quite of bit of free time so we went to the theater to watch Indiana Jones.  It was AWESOME.  What was most awesome was that it referenced the 1947 Roswell crash—and we were in Roswell!!  That was so cool.  And the entire movie was amazing.  I hope they make a trilogy out of it again.

Vacation, Part Tres

Not much to report for today.

We visited Santa Fe all morning and it’s an awesome city. Everything’s adobe, so it has that quaint feeling even though it’s a big city. I like that.

The downtown/old town part is great. Lots of shops and restaurants and such. I got lots of pictures of that.

(Speaking of pictures, possibly none of those until the end. I’d show one or two now, but where we are now is not technically under the jurisdiction of AT&T so I cannot connect to the WAP access point to upload stuff.)

Then we drove down quite possibly the most desolate road to…Roswell. Where the aliens crashed!

This is a pretty cool place. They have a fair amount of alien stuff, but not as much as I would have thought. The McDonald’s play place looks like a saucer. The Wendy’s has “Aliens Welcome” on the billboard. And some other stuff. But, again, I thought there would be more.

Tomorrow we’re going to the UFO Museum, so that will be fun. And we’re heading to Carlsbad.

Vacation, Part Dos

Just when it couldn’t get much worse.

The first half of the day went off without much hitch. We left Dodge City, avoided the cow trucks, and made our way into New Mexico. Then some stuff happened…I don’t really remember. Lots of small, rural, dusty places that all looked the same and had the same rusted out cars and washing machines strewn around everywhere. Bleh.

We took some windy mountain road to get to Taos, which is some adobe-style city. It was a scenic road. Taos was a nice city. The bad part was…it was all booked up. Every single hotel.

There was some biker rally. Bikers from all over the solar system apparently flocked to this location because of Labor Day or Memorial Day or Valentine’s Day or whatever day is coming up. It’s not New Year’s Day, so there was no need for it to be this busy.

This was 5 pm. We had to high-tail it to the next city 50-some miles away to find accommodations.

Nothing. Full up. More friggin’ bikers.

By now it was 8 pm-ish.

We needed to eat. I definitely needed to eat. If I don’t eat, I get a migraine and I sure as heck don’t want another.

We stopped at an Arby’s and had to haul ass to Santa Fe—a destination we weren’t planning on arriving at for another two days.

We arrived at 9 pm-ish. Same story. No room at the inn.

We FINALLY (after nearly killing each other in the car because my mom and I are trying to figure out what to do and my dad, who has terrible night vision coupled with a bad back, was haunched over in the driver’s seat and was weaving in and out of lanes worse than normal) arrived at a hotel that had ONE room. The LAST room in the entire state.

It had only one bed.

So we had to cram ourselves in one bed and attempt to sleep through the night. I volunteered to sleep in the chair because I have VERY high standards when it comes to just about everything and I swear I’m the reincarnate of Felix Unger. I really hate public facilities of any kind, but I do make exception for hotels after a thorough going-through—and this bed’s sheets could have been used on CSI to solve at least nine crimes. Random hair all over the place. Suspicious-looking stains of various size and color. I improvised something, but I was not amused.

By now you’re probably thinking: What a friggin’ wuss. You’re right.

Vacation, Part Uno

This is the first chance I’ve had a reliable WiFi connection for my laptop or the first time I haven’t been tired to the point of passing out on the floor, so here goes: Part Uno of the dysfunctional family vacation.

The first day involved driving to Dodge City, KS. Why? Nobody knows. Actually, my dad wanted to go there, again, why? Nobody knows.

We were chased by thunderstorms and torrents of rain the entire trip down there. It kind of looked like it would clear up when we arrived, but to no avail.

Oh! But I’m jumping ahead!

Dodge City was designed by morons. On one end of the city, there is a cattle stockyard. On the opposite end (presumably) is a rendering plant, as that’s the only explanation for full cattle trucks going one way and empty cattle trucks going the other way. As such, the entire city smells perpetually of Grade A Shite. I am not a rural person. I do not like the country. I do not do well in small, farm-ish places. So that coupled with cow crap and I am not a happy camper.

So we tried to go to the historic Wild West portion of town: Closed. Closed at 5. It’s 5 now. So I got a shot and we had to press on.

The rest of the city is pointless and stupid, so we found a place to eat (Taco Bell) and I decided to use my phone to locate and route us to a theater so we can see Indiana Jones. We arrived just as a tornado warning was isssued.

In hind sight, this probably didn’t matter since it made no difference if we were in a theater or a hotel—neither offer much protection. But the bad part is my dad is a huuuuuuuge nerd/geek when it comes to weather. I at least try to hide my nerd-dom while in public; he flaunts it. He has roughly 58 electronic gizmos attached to his belt at any given time and each emits a slightly different pitched siren when bad weather goes down. So the last thing I wanted was to be in a theater with the entire Dodge City Volunteer Fire Dept. sitting next to me. So we went to the hotel.

It stormed…badly. While dad was off in the corner beeping, my mom and I watched a funny Jack Lemmon movie.

Then when it was over…I got a headache. I took some medicine. We went to bed. The headache promptly escalated to a Force 3 Migraine and shortly thereafter I threw up. I blame the cow crap.

So all in all an excellent way to start a vacation.

Vacation is a go


It’s rainy and stormy and windy. A great start to a great vacation.

What happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas

I discovered that there is a Nokia Experience store (think: Nerd Toy Store) in Las Vegas. While I’m there, I’m hunting this place down and playing with as many phones as possible.

UPDATE: Fashion Show Mall? Hopefully I won’t be expected to wear a dress while playing with phones.


I can’t believe I’m still—

Oh, forget it.

We made it out of Kansas without being killed and are now back home in time to watch 
some fire works down the street.