Friday, July 9, 2010

All that glitters (unedited)

Another copy and paste blog entry, this one in response to Vegas Rex's post about being Vegas burn out.

I don't know a lot about Rex, but I do know he has lived in Vegas for a few years, and blogs almost daily. Most of his blog entries are about life in Vegas, but occasionally he branches out. He shoots photos, offers opinions, gathers a bit of Vegas information or history and presents it all in a blog that's not going to endear him to the visitors/convention bureau.

His blog recently migrated to a different gambling-oriented website, but it's the same old Rex. The man is quite entertaining.

I cobbled together a stream of consciousness response, and of course hate to see it lost forever amongst the many blog entries and comments Rex will accumulate for his new host. You can read Rex's blog entry and the many comments it generated right here. My response is also copied below.

Last fall I spent six nights in Vegas, by myself. I loved it, it was an escape after working another season at my Minnesota haunted house. The airfare was cheap, the off-strip time share was cheap. It worked out pretty well, although I didn't get picked for Let's Make a Deal, dammit.

I'm hearing airfare is up this year. Perhaps so, but rooms are ridiculously cheap. I spent a few hours at the Orleans last fall and they keep offering me two free weeknights. That's not great, but I didn't spend much money there, or many hours. I spent as much time watching minor league hockey as I did at the blackjack table, mostly because I had no luck whatsoever when I sat down.

I'm going to make my first ever summer appearance in Vegas next week. My girlfriend scored us another free trip to Laughlin, and we're renting a car and spending two nights in Vegas. She also got us two free nights at Sam's Town. Again, not great, but she got those mostly for staying there on business last fall.

In preparation for my trip, and three days of decadence (buffets and booze) that I will indulge in, I've been hitting the bike extra ambitiously every night during the two-week run up to departure. During the past 12 days I have biked 11 of them, and with the exception of one tough 28-mile night, I've been logging 30 miles per night.

I once thought I wanted to live in Vegas. I have no use for winter. I tolerate it, I've put up with plenty of subzero days. I lived in Canada for a few winters, the coldest day I experienced was -40F. No wind chill, just cold. I use to run a lot back then. I'd run 3 miles after work that week, when it was -15 to -20F each night.

But I melt quickly under the heat. I wear wristbands when I bicycle because I'm old school, and I sweat a lot. We don't get dry heat here in Minnesota. If it's hot, it's humid. I can wring a puddle out of my wristbands after a 30-mile ride on a hot day in Minnesota.

I often wait until two hours before sunset to begin biking. Perhaps I'd do better in the waning daylight hours of Vegas than I think. I don't love summer, I'd be fine with it never getting much past 70 degrees in the summer, as long as we got a long fall. The only good thing about summer in Minnesota, besides the fact there area a billion outdoor things going on to compensate for the 6 months its too cold and/or wet to enjoy outdoor activities, is that the sun sets just after 9 p.m. at the start of summer. When sunset creeps back below 8 p.m. at the end of summer, I'm not a happy man.

Next Monday and Tuesday night I'll be in Vegas, not to mention Laughlin on Sunday and Wednesday night, where it's always a few degrees hotter. I'm going to feel what it's like, for the first time ever, to inhale a steady diet of 105-degree weather.

In Minnesota we spend our winter running from our heated cars to heated buildings. Some of us go nuts for skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing or other activities. There's something to be said for enduring a steady diet of subzero temperatures, but I no longer need the street cred.

I've heard it said that summer in the south is like winter in Minnesota. You run from air conditioned cars to air conditioned buildings. I haven't experienced the latter, but I won't give up 9 p.m. sunsets in the summer for crisp January days where the sun sets before 5 p.m.

I have no idea what you do for a living besides blogging, Rex, and it's unclear where you come from, since you've referenced living a few different places. But if you're like me, you need to reap the benefits from summer, not hibernate for three months. That's what winter is for.

Good luck wherever you go. I may never leave Minnesota, but if I do, next week should convince me that Vegas ain't my destination.

Here's hoping they have good air conditioning at the Pinball Hall of Fame. I'll be pumping quarters into those machines for 3 or 4 hours next Monday evening.

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