Off to Do Some Vegas

I’m in the air at the moment, enjoying an upgraded Aeroplan reward flight in what’s called Rouge Premium. It’s business class on a no frills airline. That last sentence is almost unintelligible.

Didn’t actually finish this post. I was interrupted by the air host (?) offering me a lunch tray, which was unexpected. The meal was outstanding for airplane food. I was quite happy with it

I landed in LAS and grabbed my bags, rushed up to the transit stop only to find that there was a line of people waiting for the bus, which is strange. this is the first time in 4 or 5 solo trips that there’s been more than myself interested in taking the bus. Hellua way to get around, if you can figure it out.

Made my way to the Hertz to pickup my car, a nice, new Impala. As I was making my way to the suncoast, I remembered I wanted to visit the stratosphere (or the Strat as they are trying to rebrand) to visit The Hat Shop. Made my way over there and bought a new hat! I’ll be sure to do a write up soon.

The drive out to the west side of the city was laborious. Lots of traffic and much distance to cover. Arrived in one piece, checked in and was greeted with this view.

Low floor but I’m not bothered as it’s not costing me a thing.

I’m always amazed with the beauty of this valley. The mountains and the color pallette are striking and not to be ignored.

After a bit of recovery time I went down to secure some dinner. It took the form of a pan roast, as mentioned in this space two weeks ago.

It was amazing and it’s taking all my willpower not to have it for dinner tonight. More on that later.

After dinner I realized how tired I was, returned to the room and passed out until 0300 but that’s another story.

Las Vegas: Oyster Bar Pan Roasts

Enjoying time in Vegas must always include culinary experiences. Usually it’s to try something that you’ve never had before but many times it’s all about going back somewhere that fed you something outstanding or where you had a truly enjoyable experience.

An article in the LA Times talks about one of the little known culinary attractions that continues to bring people to the oyster bars all over Vegas. Though I didn’t know how widespread ‘Pan Roasts’ are, I do also have a favourite haunt to visit that gives me access to something similar. And even in some of the other resorts I don’t regularly visit (the Palace Station mentioned below, for example) they have a pan roast available that draws the folks in.

“People stand in line 24 hours a day for the pan roasts. They outsell everything else on the menu three-to-one.”

Steve Ely, Palace Station’s Assistant Food and Beverage Director

I usually make a point of visiting The Orleans, just west of my usual strip hotel, The Excalibur, on each trip that I make. Within it’s gloriously overdone Mardi Gras theming, you’ll find Big Al’s Oyster Bar, home to my favorite dish there, the Crab and Shrimp Boil.

This is a great meal to enjoy while you visit the resort. I’m usually in between playing blackjack and heading to the theatre for a movie or the bowling alley to knock down a few pins when I decide to make a stop. Bowl of beautiful broth filled to the brim with shrimp and crab, corn and potatoes, it’s truly a thing to behold. It comes to you so hot that you’ll need to give it a few minutes before you dig in or risk a scalded mouth. What I didn’t actually know before reading the article is what a pan roast is and why I need to try one. There’s one listed on the menu at Big Al’s but I’ve just never gotten past the crab and shrimp boil to see it.

I’ve got a whole ridiculous list of things that keeps me coming back to Vegas, both solo and with the dear wife, but one thing that never gets removed is trying the awesome food and beverage that’s available a reasonable prices as soon as you get off the strip. The same is available on the strip but at a much different price and experience.

The next time I stop by, which will be in October on my next trip to Vegas, I’m definitely going to be trying one of these and I’ll report back. I think this next trip might be my chance to document more of what I love from that city, while it’s happening! We’ll see if I can remember to document during the trip. 😀

Source: LA Times online, URL: https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2019-09-10/pan-roasts-not-oysters-big-draw-vegas

My Lime Addiction

No, not the fruit, the scooter company. If you’re in a larger American city (LA, Austin, Dallas, etc) you’ve already seen the bright green electric scooters littering your walkways. Here’s a quick video used as a tutorial to teach new users how to properly park your scooter at the end of a ride.

Hey, can I park it here? No? What about here? Yeah!

Lime started a pilot program in Calgary on the second week of July. The city gave them the latitude to have these devices out on the streets for people to use and to charge same people 30 cents a minute for the opportunity.

So these scooters have pretty good batteries and will last almost a full day but they eventually require recharging. Enter the Juicers!

I’ve signed up as a ‘Juicer’, a contracted employee of Lime that is tasked with gathering, charging and ‘serving’ a number of Lime scooters each day. I was provided with a couple of chargers to use in my activities and will charge an empty scooter to full in about six hours. Then I find a location out on the street to serve, or drop off, the scooter. For that sequence of activities (harvest, charge, serve) i receive a payment of $5.25 CDN for each scooter charged.

Why? Why am I doing this? What is the possible reasoning behind someone who is doing fine financially wanting to run around being a ‘Juicer’? In the rain, tonight, I asked myself that question a couple of times.

It’s tough to explain but people who actually know me will probably understand: it’s about the quest rewards! I’ve always been a big fan of Role Playing Games (RPGs) going all the way back to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Sitting around a table, rolling dice that are desperately trying to kill me and killing the (dragon, kobold colony, Orc infestation) before receiving a reward for all my hard work. +5 Vorpal Sword!

I like the small work/small reward of the ‘Gig’ economy. I like that I can make an extra $10.50 per night doing about 30 minutes (max!) combined of work. Pays for my morning coffee addiction!

The other question I get asked all the time is how much electricity am I paying for to charge these scooters? I asked one of the electronic engineers in my lab for a suggestion as to how much electricity is consumed and his suggestion was about 8 cents per scooter per night. I haven’t gotten my first full electricity bill to confirm this yet but I don’t have any reason to think it’s much more than that.

I’m going to continue doing this until they take the scooters off the road in November. I might still be interested in continuing in the spring but who knows? As long as I continue to get that mini-rush of quest complete, I’ll probably continue the activity indefinitely. I’ll update if that changes.

Another Picture Dump from Summer 2019

Just wanted to drop some more pictures on to the website to share with others.

I’ve had some people ask questions about the cruise and how to go about getting the best value possible. There might be a post made in the coming days that could enlighten the reader to the best way to go about it.

Photo Dump Before the Cruise

Some Great PR for CIITS

http://www.harderlee.ca/
Chris Zaal (CIITS @ SAIT) and Mike Allan (Routique). Photo by Harderlee Photography. http://www.harderlee.ca/

Working for Applied Research and Innovation Services at SAIT has been an excellent opportunity for me to grow as a technologist and leader within a technical team, both things that I want to continue to experience advancement as time progresses.

Occasionally, we get a chance to add our voice to the alumni SAIT magazine that goes out quarterly. I just wanted to add a link to the latest bit of propaganda from our communications team. 🙂

You can read the article here:

https://saitalumnilink.ca/2019/06/using-the-internet-of-things-so-the-food-we-eat-stays-frozen-or-fresh-during-transport/