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.

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/

It’s Finally Happened

My flight from Memphis to LaGuardia has been delayed so long that I’m not going to make the last flight from there to Toronto, my final destination today. As it currently sits, I don’t arrive in Toronto until 2345 and I’ve been sitting at the airport since 1100. If I wasn’t sitting comfortably in the Delta SkyLounge I’d be really angry right now. It’s taking a large amount of self control not to deplete their self-serve bar of all their bourbon.

Continue reading “It’s Finally Happened”

CES 2019

I’ve been absolute shite about keeping this up to date but I’ve got an update that I think needs sharing somewhere off the ‘social’ media’.

I’m headed to Vegas tomorrow for CES. This will be my third year attending but this year is a little different: I’ve joined the Canadian Delegation to represent SAIT (and Alberta/Canada) at the show on behalf of Applied Research. Myself and Emerson Burns (see our Bios here) will be at the show and at the Canadian Pavillion manning a booth for a bit of time. I’ve embedded a map below in case anyone might be interested. Blue pin, top left is where we’ll be for a couple days during the show.

The combination of fear and exhilaration is astounding; something that I’ve seen innate value in for the past two years finally becoming something we might use as a vehicle into more potential projects.

I hope I don’t fuck this up, I hope that we can derive some real value out of this and that it turns into something we contribute to on an annual basis. I hope this is something that I can build off of and develop new streams of potential project partners, close to home and abroad.

Don’t expect a ‘Facebook dump’ of selfies and activities while we’re away; I think my boss wants to hedge a bit and see how this trade mission goes before announcing our participation to stakeholders that might look down their nose at two ARIS employees being sent to Nevada simply because of the location without considering the value of the mission. Though when the weekend starts and the pressure has lessened you might get a couple of photos posted of Emerson and I blowing off some steam.

We’ll see.

Lounge Life

I’ve mentioned that I really like visiting airport lounges before. If you’ve visited here before you’ve probably even seen me post a photo or two. I won’t bore you with another picture but I will regale you with a tale.

Made it through the security and customs hurdle (went for the full body pat-down instead of the scanner for shits and giggles) without too much of a hitch. Made it through duty free without raising any alarms. This is when the fun part starts.

Normally I might find a place near my gate to sit, browse the web and wait. No longer will I be a slave to the shitty seating at the gate! No longer will I board a flight completely sober or hungry! No friends, I have now ascended to the lounge class!

Last month I decided to get an American Express Platunum card due to the number of perks provided to cardholders. There are many perks but I’ll only be touching on the lounge access today.

It’s a nice quiet place to relax, have a few drinks and prepare for what can sometimes be a very stressful experience.

I’ve got access to the Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges and the Delta lounges (if I’m flying Delta that day) and a few others I don’t know the name of. Inside you’ll find food, drink reading material and, maybe most importantly, plugins for your phone and\or laptop. But, again, the most important being the quiet place to unwind.

Am I becoming a snob? Possibly but this seems so fundamental to air travel that I would have a hard time without it. If you get a chance I thoroughly recommend it.

Got a business problem? College students can solve it. – Macleans.ca

Article about a project we did a few summers ago and how we use student interns to solve business problems.

I’m always perplexed seeing my name included in an article about the work we do. I know we do good work and solving problems that might not find traction elsewhere is really cool but it’s not until someone external says, ‘Hey, this was really neat and I’d like to know more about it!’, that I actually feel a sense of accomplishment. So having an article published about it is almost surreal. If you’re interested, read the MacLean’s article here.

With our change in vector to more IoT and sensor networks based projects, it would seem I should get used to it. Innovation space has never been more exciting.

We haven’t moved into our new lab yet but we’re already getting queries about potential projects and that is very exciting.

Source: https://www.macleans.ca/education/college/got-a-business-problem-college-students-can-solve-it/ “Got a business problem? College students can solve it. – Macleans.ca”