Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vegas Vacation 2009. . . .A few nights out on the town:

Las Vegas is a 365/24/7 city. Something is always going on. During my numerous nocturnal walking tours, I managed to take some pictures. Although it was the middle of the week, there was still lots of people out and about.

The Chinese appear to be taking over Las Vegas. I’ve been observing this myself over the last ten years. While at the Venetian Tuesday night, I stopped to listen to a musical act. A violinist, guitarist and a flute player appeared in the shopping mall and performed. Several tour groups comprised of Chinese nationals were passing through at the time. They all stopped and I soon found myself surrounded by them. This was an enthusiastic crew. They took dozens of pictures and some even started dancing. I also noticed that American fashion of the 1920’s was popular with them. The only exception was the guy in the funny suit, sunglasses and big smile that looked like he belonged in a Charlie Chan movie. These tourists appeared to be having the time of their lives.
During my stay, I saw foreign tourists everywhere. Unlike many Americans, most were really polite and respectful. There was no comparison to those scruffy foul smelling brown-skinned Spanish speaking individuals (with questionable immigration status) passing out the porno cards on the sidewalk along the strip. Those were some of the most annoying people I encountered on my trip. As pedestrians walked by, they would smack their stacks of cards together. There would be 6-8 of them lined up and all of them tried to shove their “literature” in your face. I think most people try to ignore them. I have a natural tendency to confront them.

The ground was littered with this trash. I observed one of these guys kicking the litter around with his feet. I said, “Why don’t you pick that up?” I’m sure he didn’t understand a word I said. Not that he would care if he did. After all, this is NOT his country. A small army of people appear every morning to pick up the trash generated in part by these “turd worlders“.

Elvis impersonators are a dime a dozen in Las Vegas. They seem to come in all shapes and colors. There was even a midget Elvis. While visiting the Freemont Street Experience, I even saw a Mexican Elvis. He didn’t look anything like Elvis. I was actually hoping to see a Japanese Elvis. Now, that would have been funny.

What are these guys—and their fans—thinking? A WVU professor finds out.

Growing up in the deep South, I never thought twice about seeing men with black pompadours and mutton-chop sideburns a la Elvis Presley. My cousin Harry Lee, a truck driver, looked this way. And there wasn't anything noticeably wrong with Harry.
I guess I shouldn’t have looked. It seems that Japanese Elvis impersonators are a dime a dozen. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one. I didn’t bother to Google transvestite or transgender Elvis impersonators. Doing so would probably cause those “Rainbow Foot Soldiers” to show up and protest out in front of my house. They seem to prefer one sided protests and would pick a day when I would not be home. There would be no fun in that.

Dancing Japanese Elvis Impersonators

Dancing Japanese Elvis impersonators in the Yoyogi park in Tokyo.

After almost four days in “Sin City“, I had just about all of the multiculturalism and diversity I could stand. Las Vegas could be considered a giant freak show and zoo wrapped up in one package. In a sick and dying society, those that are the most ridiculous and outrageous are given a false label of being trendy and innovative. In reality, they are nothing but degenerates.
Sexual intercourse is permitted with a dead relative. TALMUD: Ya Bhamoth.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vegas Vacation 2009. . . .The never-ending construction:

For almost 20 years, Las Vegas, Nevada has been my home away from home. Without exception, Las Vegas changes dramatically between every visit. During the early 1990’s, I would work one week in Phoenix and the next week in Nevada. I have stayed in almost every notable hotel and casino on and off the strip. I did this routine for over a year. And yes! It did get old after a while.

I suggest you never ever stay at the Imperial Palace. The “Palace” is a “dive”. Some of my former business associates nicknamed it the “Imperial Death Star”. Imagine staying in a room while workers tear up the floor just outside your door. That might have been a long time ago, but I’ll always hold that against them. I have not been there since they sold Hitler’s car. That was the last straw!

I have moved up in the world since those days. I call the Hilton Grand Vacations Resort behind the Flamingo Hilton my vacation home. It’s one of the few residential towers on the strip. The rooms are nice and the TV is big. The only complaint I have is that a room with a retail price of $1000/night (according to the sign on the door) should have more hot water. I really didn’t want to wake up as fast as I did on Wednesday morning. They should have also stocked two-ply toilet paper, but I was willing to give up that luxury for a few nights. The free newspaper delivered to the door was a nice touch.
Vegas Today and Tomorrow

Hilton Grand Vacations
Vacation ownership at Hilton Grand Vacations Club resorts (on the Las Vegas strip) allows you to choose the weeks and seasons you prefer to travel to your home resort. The ever-growing popularity of Las Vegas as a travel destination prompted HGVC to develop it's third Vegas Hilton Grand Vacations Club resort.This project is due-north of Sky Las Vegas on the north end of the Strip. The other two locations are behind the Flamingo (sharing the pools area) and adjacent to the Las Vegas Hilton on Paradise Road.

Tower one and two are now open. The taller, towers three and four have not yet broken ground. Tower three will break ground in February of 2008.

The 3,812-room, 68-floor, 730-foot, Fontainebleau Las Vegas hotel/condo-hotel/casino is a $2.9-billion development being built on the Strip (just north of the Riviera) on the 24.5 acres where the El Rancho and Algiers casinos once stood.

The Vegas project will have a condo-hotel element, based on an alliance between Fontainebleau and Turnberry. Construction is under way with a planned opening in fall of 2009
Despite a recession and falling gaming revenues, the building continues. As you can see in my photos, cranes are everywhere. Many of them are currently idle, but none the less, building continues. Change is the only constant in Las Vegas. While walking along Las Vegas Blvd. On Wednesday, I saw a “beehive” of activity. Just remember all of the people that are losing their asses on the market and their 401k’s. Many of those same people are in Las Vegas or at their local Indian reservation spending money they don’t have.

I walked through many of the up scale shopping centers and noticed stores such as Armani and Gucci. I saw very few people carrying merchandise in those fancy designer boxes and bags. Most of the shops were nearly empty. People are out shopping, but they are not necessarily buying.

One of the things I was looking for was a black pull over hoodie. These tend to run around $40 wherever I look. Finally, I found one for just $10.00. Upon paying the cashier, I discovered that the sales tax rate was 8.1%.
I thought it was bad in Arizona before I saw this. Recently, we were jumping all over our governor for wanting to raise our sales tax by ½%. We are all being taxed into the ground.

With cashless gaming, people never actually touch the money they lose. I had to go all the way down to Freemont Street to find a slot machine that still took coins. I won’t name it here, but it was a run down place. The blonde with the fishnets and firm butt cheeks did look good as she was dancing on the bar. I miss seeing all the people running around with cups full of nickels. Penny slots were the most common machines I saw on this visit. The catch is, you have to play 180 coins or better to cover all the lines.

I stopped in at the Hooters Casino (formerly San Remo) just east of the strip on Tropicana. I found a cool looking pirate penny slot and after nearly 30 minutes managed to walk away with $5.00 more than I started with. There were not nearly enough Hooters girls. The funniest slot machine I saw was the “Alien” machine. It featured an “egg bonus” If you remember, there was nothing good about those eggs in the movie. Ripley can testify to that. I didn’t bother to try it at all.
"Actually, I usually told the truth, and as I grew up I admired and respected people who had the courage to be truthful when it was disadvantageous to them... But as I grew up I also learned that life is a complicated business, and that sometimes it isn't easy to decide what is right and what is wrong...." --Dr. William L. Pierce

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vegas Vacation 2009. . . .It’s great to be back in Maricopa, Arizona

Bright and early this morning, I decided to make the 320 mile drive to Maricopa. I spent the last few days in Las Vegas, Nevada on some badly needed “R & R”. My next few posts will cover my activities on my much needed and long overdue trip. As always, I will have plenty of Photos.

Once the Labor Day Weekend is over, the infamous road construction season begins. I witnessed a multitude of projects along my journey to and from Las Vegas. Due to timing and careful planning, my trip went smoother than expected. I didn’t get held up in bottlenecks at any of these dreaded places.

My first slowdown occurred just before the Hoover Dam. Due to government generated fear and paranoia in this “post 911” world, Homeland Security has established checkpoints on either side of the Hoover Dam. Rental trucks, trailers and buses are also prohibited from crossing the dam. The RV and the van in front of me were waved over to a secondary inspection area. I was allowed to pass without any inspection at all. In my truck, were two rifles including an AR-15, a 9mm handgun, several hundred rounds of ammunition, gasoline and a tackle box full of flares. Do you Americans feel any safer knowing that?

I must say that safety is an illusion. If every citizen like myself were heavily armed, terrorists would be too scared to attack. Even if they do, they would know that their chance of failure would be greatly increased.

The most impressive was the new bridge project just south of the Hoover Dam. It is known as the Hoover Dam Bypass. This engineering marvel has been in the works for several years. I was quite impressed. The photographs I took, don’t do it any justice.

Welcome to the Hoover Dam Bypass Website

Construction of the Colorado River Bridge is advancing on the 1,060 foot twin-rib concrete arch. The Colorado River Bridge is the central portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass Project. Construction on the nearly 2,000 foot long bridge began in late January 2005 and the completion of the entire Hoover Dam Bypass Project is expected in Late 2010. When completed, this signature bridge will span the Black Canyon (about 1,600 feet south of the Hoover Dam), connecting the Arizona and Nevada Approach highways nearly 900-feet above the Colorado River. Use the web cam icon to the left, to see real-time images of construction on the bridge! Visit the What's New and Construction Activities pages for more details on how this project is advancing.

United States Highway 93 (U.S. 93) has been designated a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) route. The increasing congestion caused by the switchbacks leading to the Hoover Dam site and the restrictions at the dam crossing have led to the development of the Hoover Bypass Project. The Hoover Dam Bypass Project is a 3.5-mile corridor beginning at approximately milepost 2.2 in Clark County, Nevada and crossing the Colorado River approximately 1,500 feet downstream of the Hoover Dam, then terminating in Mohave County, Arizona near milepost 1.7 on U.S. 93.
Interstate 40 east of Kingman was being resurfaced. A new roundabout on US 93/US 60 outside of Wickenburg is nearing completion. Roundabouts are not all that common in North America, so motorists tend to get confused when they approach one. That was exactly what happened here.

US 93 is also called the Joshua Tree Forest in Arizona Scenic Road. At one time it was not a good route to travel. Motorists would more often than not encounter RV’s towing cars traveling at very low rates of speed. There was a serious lack of passing lanes. With nearly two decades of improvements, I can drive 65+mph for most of the route.

I normally expect to encounter idiots on the road. I was amazed that I failed to encounter very many. The only true idiot encounter was in the passing lane on I-17 in North Phoenix. This cranially challenged person from Colorado kept tapping the brake while he was pointing at something while talking to his passenger. If there is one thing I cannot stand is some stupid person lollygagging out in the hammer lane. If he wanted to “play tourist”, he could have gone on the frontage road.

Phoenix is almost always experiencing road construction. Interstate 17 and Grand Avenue both had lane restrictions. Despite all of this construction, I was more or less able to keep my cruise control set at 70mph for most of my trip. I have lived out here for 24 years and have yet to see any freeway get finished. The “Phoenix” rising out of the ashes is sure taking its’ good old time.

“What happens in Vegas, often ends up on the internet.” --some lady on the Rio shuttle bus