September 22, 2003

Leaving Las Vegas

Today I leave the Valley of Sin Sun for calmer climes. Most of yesterday was spent enjoying the fiesta that only an NFL Sunday in Vegas can create, and if you’ve never been in a Vegas sports book when a game comes down to the wire, it sounds like this.

In retrospect, I’ve been here a number of times, and as is always the case after a long weekend in Vegas I awake very ready to leave, feeling that I’ve already spent one day too many in and around The Strip. It’s fun to visit, it’s a place like to other, but it’s not me. Indeed, Vegas is nobody, really … the people, aesthetic, and culture are all imports (as the locals say, “Nobody is from here.”). Last night I was ready to get back to my work and my lifestyle, today I am, and all in all that’s a damn good thing.

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Counsel 101

Tonight I offered this advice to a dear friend; all who read this, ignore it at your peril:

And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful. But when they are otherwise one cannot form a good opinion of him, for the prime error which he made was in choosing them.

Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Ch. 22

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September 21, 2003

Vegas Update

Things in Las Vegas are going swimmingly, if you’re curious. You’d be having a wonderful time yourself if you were here, especially if you’re fond of having absolutely no sleep. And even better is that I'm up on the city: while waiting for a member of our party to get cash the first night, I walked up to the nearest roulette table, plopped down a bet, won two ways, and have not bet a table since.

And just so you know, if you combine 10 red-blooded American men a two-hour pre-party in the suite, many, MANY shots of tequila, Saturday Night, Saturday Nighter’s , Las Vegas, 12,000 screaming, drunk Parrotheads and shake the whole thing wildly, you end up leaving an entire Jimmy Buffett concert on your wife’s cellular phone as a series of 19 separate voicemails (that would be … uh, about 19 songs at about one message a song).

Just if you’re wondering.

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September 20, 2003

Bird's Eye View Of S. Utah

When flying to San Francisco several weeks ago I posted some snaps I took from the plane of Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks. On yesterday's flight to Vegas the skies over Southern Utah were even more clear, and I took a number of shots of points of interest. Click the thumbnail to see the full size, and enjoy.

Colorado Rockies:

Badlands Mesas:

Capitol Reef NP (North Half), Wide Shot:

Capitol Reef, Fremont River Gorge:

Capitol Reef, Scenic Drive, Tight Shot:

Capitol Reef, Fruita, Tight Shot:

Capitol Reef, Hwy. 24 & Goosenecks:

Bryce Canyon NP:

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This Is The Strip

Before you’re too feeble, take a 7:30 Saturday morning run down the Las Vegas Strip. When you do, you will see an astonishing cross-section of America … of her people, her pastimes, her ethic, her avarice, her vice. Casino diner waitresses smelling of thicksweet perfume. Stunning black call girls sharing bus stops with black paraplegic women. Drifters standing absently with cigarettes and beer. Mid-American tourists strolling cameras in hand. Clutches of white collar women speed walking in spandex. Leather-clad hookers casino-jumping with their Johns. Hose-wielding casino workers spraying down the Strip. Restless no-sleep professionals running out their hangovers. And the entire tableau carpeted with the flyers of Las Vegas’ Hottest Babes, reflecting the heat and light of the rising desert sun.

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September 19, 2003

One Of A Kind?

Hello from Las Vegas (note the new webcam). I'll be posting throughout the weekend, but I'll begin with this: Many bloggers sat THROUGH Isabel, but I may be the only blogger who flew OVER Isabel. And here are some snaps as proof:

More Vegas to come …

UPDATE: I've improved the contrast on the shot to show more detail … here's the updated snap (click to see the large size):

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