Anyways, today is my 30th Birthday. It is weird to think that I've been alive for three decades. Back when I was a teenager this mark seemed so far away and unreachable. I am no more adult-like today than I was back then. Yeah, I have bills and responsibilities, but nothing major. I have friends who are married and are starting families. They have mortgages and college investment plans. They have family vans and car seats. I see soccer practices, first days of school, and graduations in their future. And I. I have no plan. I am not a planner. I am free. I'm a doer. I just do things. My future is wide open.
Which brings me to my point. I am finally at the point in my life where I can do whatever I want. I have a great job. I make excellent money. Plus I have nothing tying me down. Going to Australia alone this pass year has opened up my eyes to a whole world of new possible adventures. I just have to do it, and you know I will. So as the next year of my life starts, I know you won't be surprised when you hear about my new adventures. I don't know what will happen just yet, but I know it will always make my life feel interesting.
As for the Australia stories, I will trying to get the ball rolling on that again, but I promise nothing!
Happy Birthday to me!!
Now, I've decided to tell you all about the highlights of my trip but not necessarily in chronological order. Also as the stories are posted, feel free to look at more photos on my flickr site.
Where to begin?
How about Sydney?!?!
Sydney was where my plane landed. As for the 14 hour flight, it wasn't that bad. On the way there that is. You see I left LAX at 10:30 p.m. Friday, and landed in Sydney 6:00 a.m. Sunday. Australia is in the future. I think because I felt like it was night time I was able to sleep almost nine hours of the flight going there. Not so much on the flight back, but more on that later on.
Since I never traveled overseas before I didn't really know what to expect from the flight. I got to say I enjoyed it. There was a touch screen monitor on the seat in front of me that played On Demand movies, tv shows, and also video games. I didn't know it was free to use for almost two hours into the flight. The credit card swipe for use of the phone and internet usage confused me at first. I heard people complain about the food on flights before, but clearly they have never flown U.S. domestic flights where they give you NO food. I loved the food. They gave you a choice of your meal and feed you twice with snacks in between. Also I was able to walk around the plane which was huge. They even allow you to go to back and grab your own free drinks (water, soda, etc).
Once I landed, passed through customs, and got to the taxi line, I was just thrilled about the idea that I was in a different country. Hell I was in a different hemisphere! I had the biggest smile on my face as I rode the taxi to my hotel. I reserved a hotel room for the first two nights so I could have a base camp until I figured out what I would do. I wanted the trip to be an adventure so I decided to not plan anything in advance. I wanted to discover my way through the country. It was much easier than expected. As for the hotel I picked, it was in the best location. Near a very large city park called Hyde Park and the main downtown area of Sydney known as the CBD (I think it stands for Central Business District????). Also to my surprise there was a fun run that morning with the starting line at Hyde Park. More on that in another post.
Sydney is awesome! There is a fun hip vibe within the city and it does hurt that the scenery is beautiful.
The Sydney Opera House is amazing of course. It is hard to describe seeing one of the world's most recognizable buildings. It is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The roof looks like a fan blades. There were a ton of tourists around taking pictures of that famous roof, but I think I was the only one taking pictures of the windows.
That is the reflection of the Harbour Bridge. There is a bridge climb on it that I wanted to do but just ran out of time. I later found out that they don't let you take your camera to the top. What is up with that?
I believe that I walked more around that city my first day than I ever thought I could walk.
In the next post I will tell you more about some of the cool Sydney sites. As of now I am quite tired just like my first day in Australia. I walked around all day and was in bed fast asleep by 7:00 p.m. I leave you with a few more pictures of the Circular Quay.
Remember to look for more photos on flickr
Tomorrow I head north to Cairns for some snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef and some more exciting stuff too. Be on the look out for more experiences!
Then we chased it around until we cornered it in a bathroom. Now it is trapped!!! We left it alone for the animal control to deal
I know where I've been. Watching the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, that's where.
First, the other day I got my visitor's visa for my trip to Australia. This is quite exciting! I can hardly wait to go. I also found out something really cool about the visa. It is good for a year, and within that year I can go to Australia multiple times, each time I'm able to stay there for three months. So I believe that I will attempt to return to Australia a few times this year. That is of course if I don't just decide to stay there.
Second, for all YouTwitFaces out there, I've finally joined Twitter. Yes, yes, I'm one of those people now. I didn't really want to do it. I already have Myspace and Facebook. I don't even check the Myspace that often anymore. Do I really need another social networking website? I think NO. BUT..... a friend of mine has been trying to convince me to sign up and go tweet crazy. He kept saying that I am funny and I have entertaining observations. I kept telling him that I am only funny when I'm not trying to be. I can't be funny when I actually try. In the end I caved. So now you can look to your right and see a few of my tweets. Follow me....I guess. I don't see how my stupid remarks can be interesting. Who is going to read my Twitter? No one ever reads this shit! The rest of you, Go nuts!!!
That said, I've found out that my station views this as the future of media coverage. They are encouraging every employee to start their own YouTwitFace sites. They are even considering buying the all field crews new iPhones to do so. In the future we all will have to upload videos, pics, and tweets about all the breaking news. Hey, free iPhone! That's cool with me!
Third, in an effort to save as much money possible for my trip, I have been working a lot. It seems like between working all day, being on call, picking up still photography jobs, and watching the new Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (DVR'd everynight), I never have any spare time. No hanging with friends. No baseball games. No bar stops. No working on the music. I haven't played with the "band" in a few months. So to curb this fun slump, I've been playing games at work, and I think my craziness is infecting others. Today my friend and KLAS reporter Amanda invented a brand new news based game. Lately we been having a lot of weird breaking news topics, and with only one nightside crew (due to personnel issues) to cover the topics, we needed a way to decide which topic to pick. So we invented what we've coined Weather, Government, Dead Baby.
It is much like Rock, Paper, Scissors, and I think this can be applied to every news market. It is well stated that most people tune into the news for the weather, so when unusual weather occurs it becomes the top story. This is unless there is a good political scandal (i.e. Senator's affair), people love to bitch about the failures of their elected officials. Then what trumps it all... a dead baby found in a dumpster. This can result in weeks and weeks of follow-up stories. Of course this can all be forgotten once a good hurricane or other natural disaster comes down the road. Best two out of three wins, and the cycle continues.
Damnit, I'm missing some of Conan being funny, and my cereal is soggy. I blame you!
This week Nico Vega as on stage.
They absolutely rocked the water out of the pool. Aja, the lead singer, was awesome! She is super hot too. I think I've found my future ex-wife. She had so much energy, and her voice was so explosive. It was amazing how they had so much range with a guitar, drums and her voice. If you haven't heard them, pick up the album today!
Oh yeah, Gavin Rossdale was the main act
At first, Gavin sucked it up. He came out and drained all the energy Nico Vega had created. I was not impressed, until.......
He played some Bush songs! Machinehead was like the fourth or fifth song in the set, and after that the concert kicked ass. Then in the middle he did a version of Landslide, Fucking great!!!
He played some more Bush favorites. Everything Zen, The Chemicals Between Us, Glycerine, Comedown.....all awesome!! He played Glycerine solo, and closed the night with Comedown. I felt like I was 15 and in high school all over again. I remember back then how much I wanted to be just like him. I practiced Glycerine for hours and hours. Now I look back at how easy that song is to play. I guess that's practice for you?!?!
It was a wonderful night! Gavin played for almost two hours, and Nico Vega was kick ass. I am glad I had their album before I saw them. It made the concert much more enjoyable. All for free too. "You can't beet that!"
"We are so Hard Rock right now. Do you know how I can tell we are so Hard Rock? It is 51 minutes to midnight." - Jemaine Clement
My seats were better than the picture shows. Damn shitty zoom on the phone.
They were funny as shit. One of the best moments was the Freebird Freestyle. Someone in the crowd yelled out "FREEEEEBIRD!". Bret made a comment about not being that kind of band and then they started playing their own version of Freebird. It was awesome!!
They also were great about interacting with the audience. The on going joke for the night was 'how hard rock 'n roll they were being' at the Joint in the Hard Rock casino.
Today the historic Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino caught on fire for the second or third time in its fifty year lifespan. For the past few decades or so the building has been empty and not used for anything more than a place for squatters. Hopeful owners wanted to revamp the old West Las Vegas landmark bringing new life to a torn down area. Well that all fell apart today. Firefighters battled the blaze for almost six hours, along the way deciding the best way to prevent more fire outbreak was to tear it down.
I love watching things being destroyed. The crunching noise of the wood. Things flying apart. Glass exploding from the windows. I wonder if the backhoe operator enjoys that part of his/her job. All that is left of the Moulin Rouge now is a pile of burnt, wet rumble.
How convenient that its historic sign was removed last week. Hmmmmm????
I got soul but I'm not a soldier
The Killers blew the roof off the new Joint. What a way to open the doors. This concert was the one to see of the summer. Every song was filled intensity, and Brandon Flowers was all over the place. He stole the show. Then they brought the noise! The final song had fire balls shoot from the back of the stage and sparks rained down over the crowd. It was totally tits!
Complete set list
2. This is Your Life
3. Somebody Told Me
4. For Reasons Unknown
5. I Can't Stay
7. Bling (Confession Of A King)
9. Losing Touch
10. Smile Like You Mean It
12. A Dustland Fairytale
13. Sam’s Town
14. Read My Mind
15. Mr. Brightside
16. All These Things That I've Done
18. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
19. When You Were Young
Mike Graves Trio - Excellent Rockabilly band
My friend Mike Graves has this great rockabilly band that plays old tunes like Hound Dog, Rock around the clock and many others.
The three of them even can play a version of Mustang Sally. I think that is pretty impressive using only three instruments.
New team comes to town.
The Triple A baseball team in the LV has changed affiliation this year. So now the 51's are part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. New players means new hopes. Alot of people want the team to be winners. Although for me, all I care about is summer days and cold beers. Welcome Thirsty Thursdays!!
I just purchased a myself a ticket to Sydney, Australia! I'm going this August for almost two weeks. I did it on the spur of the moment. Flights were at an unbelievable prices so I had to just do it.
Now comes all the hard part. I have to get everything ready. Not sure what I've gotten myself into, but it should be a lot of fun. At least the next few months I will have something to blog about. This is so exciting!!!!
Usually the Strip is so bright that it burns out your retinas. As you can see, all the major casinos just don't look the same without their neon glow.
Where is the green of MGM Grand?
And the bright skyline of the New York New York?
I'm unsure what amount of good came from Earth Hour. I personally did not see any significant change to the Strip other than it being darker. I did see a one hippie gathering which I haven't seen since my days in Oregon.
You can see a few more Earth Hour photos on my flickr
It looks very European with only three wheels.
It can be charged by its solar panel or it can be pugged into the wall outlet
This is the first registered electric car in Nevada. Soon a company is planning on installing charging parking spots for those who have electric cars. The future is happening now. It won't be long until everyone has an electric car. Then Mr. Fusion will be created.
Although there is a down side to HDTV, you get addicted to shows that are so bad and stupid that they are awfully awesome!
Like this show. Exterminators on A&E is so pointless, but I find myself glued to it. The main characters are great to laugh at, not to mention the situations they get the themselves in and the clients they meet.
Anyone who knows me also knows that I love cereal. I can eat it at anytime. There are so many different brands and flavors. The cereal aisle is no doubt my favorite.
So I was in that aisle tonight, just buying some cereal when I noticed something was just not right. You see, my bachelor lifestyle in this recessing economy hasn't really been effected. In fact it actually looks like I am gaining more money these days. Which I'm not. I'm only doing the same thing I have always done, and everyone else is cutting back for many different reasons. It wasn't until tonight that I felt the tighten of the money straps.
When did cereal start costing so much?!? $2.59 for a box of Cocoa Pebbles?! $3 Fruit Loops?!? Lucky Charms $3.20?!? Not to mention that I'm currently on a health kick so I try damn hard not to buy those highly sugar charged cereals. My cereal tonight cost $4!!!! Cereal wasn't that expensive even back last year when gas prices were skyrocketing. And why is skim milk the most expensive?!? What was once something that could be a under $5 treat (including milk), has now been yet another victim of the poor economy.
Ok, I know it really isn't that big of a deal. What is a few more bucks? Well I eat alot of cereal and that could add up. Also I might go back to those sugary cereals if it gets worst, which I guess wouldn't be that bad.
In the end, I'm just sad to see the days of cheap cereal disappear. I guess I could always go to Costco and get giant boxes of cereal, but they are not open at 1 a.m. Oh Well.....
This past Monday night I was allowed to go inside the Thunderbirds hanger on Nellis A.F.B.
I was there to cover an Army Reserves Unit returning home from Iraq. I've done that tons of times, but I never thought I'd be in the hanger of the Thunderbirds. I was able to go right up to one of the jets and look at it....but not touch!!!
Not many people are allowed to be in this highly secured air force hanger. I'm surprised they had the return ceremony in it. I've been to Aviation Nation twice and they don't even allow people to go inside the hanger on those days.
You see that cool emblem on the floor. No one is allowed to touch it (except Thunderbird personnel). It is hand waxed twice a day. That's why the velvet ropes are around it. Well that didn't stop a little three year old girl running across it......twice! She was as bored as the rest of us.
The Army unit was suppose to land on base at around 7 p.m. Well they actually didn't show up until about 9:30. It doesn't matter how cool of a place you're located, standing around for two or more hours gets boring fast.
It wasn't all that bad though. They allowed us to go outside of the hanger for a little while to watch all the jets take off for night exercises. Four jets would take off at once right after each other. I'm talking seconds apart. And they would land just as quick. They were super loud too. With the afterburners glowing in the dark, the planes would streak across the runway, jump into the air and disappear out of sight in the matter of seconds.
A few months back a reporter at my station was allowed to go on a ride along with the Thunderbirds. He was able to pull 9 G's! He claimed he had to use two barf bags during the trip. I was extremely envious. I betting I can take 9 G's no problem!
Yet another reason to just love living in the L.V.
Lee's Discount Liquor is like the Wal-mart of liquor stores. You can find anything (alcoholic) that you can imagine in this store. Fine wines, rare mircobrews, unique distills.....I'm telling you anything.
Also there is a greatest thing that you can have at any store, the tasting station!!! If you go into a Lee's mid afternoon on a weekend night, you can get FREE samples of new unique alcohols. Tonight was one such night. We walked straight up, were offered free samples, and enjoyed the delicious beverages. Also we were never asked to show I.D., yet at the checkout they make sure to card you.
Now I am plenty old enough to purchase alcohol, so there is no worries there. I just thought it was cool to be able to taste before I buy the beverages. Best idea ever!
Tonight's samples.....new premixed vodkas in mojito and pomegranate flavors, also the new Obsello absinthe (yes, it is now legal to have in the U.S.). I was guaranteed by the cute absinthe serving girl that this brand is the real deal with the real wormwood ingredient. It tasted great...sorta like black licorice.
The streak is over!
Everyone knows I like to brag about myself. I believe I have many abilities that I feel others do not possess. One of them being that I am a perfect driver. I always point and laugh at those of my friends who get speeding tickets and other traffic violations. "Ha ha ha, you moron you can't obey the rules of the road you deserve your punishment" Well....... I will no more.
Recently I was pulled over for making an illegal U-turn. What?! In all my years of driving , which spans more than a decade, I've never received a ticket of any kind. Now I'm going to watch my streak be destroyed?!
Also with all the near "illegal" shit that I can partake here in the desert, you're telling me that I'm going to get nicked by a U-turn?!
So at first I was just going to pay the $170 violation and have it disappear from my life, but then I thought about you....my readers.....all three of you. It might be a fun adventure to go to traffic court and see what happens. If it is anything like that old show Night Court, then I'm sure to be in for some laughs.
Stay tuned. I need to get this blog some more traffic! HA!
Ok, so I frequent this sandwich shop know as Port of Subs. I've been going to their many locations around the desert valley for more than two years, and ever time I order the same sandwich. The #5, smoked ham, and turkey with smokey chedder, it is delicious! I order this sandwich so much that at the location nearest to my home, I don't even have to order. The sandwich makers already know what I want. Then one day I thought 'this is no way to live'. I should try all the sandwiches. Nay! I should try the entire menu!
So I devised a plan to tryout every single item on the menu. Whether it be a sandwich or wrap... a hot soup, or zesty salad, I'm trying it all. Another thing I decided to do was blog about all of it.
At first I was going to go with making a new post for every sandwich, but then I thought that may get a bit boring after awhile. Instead I decided to periodically blog about highlights and disappointments (if any) I have with the choices. There is another thing. I've already started. I've eaten three different subs. I just going right down the menu starting with #1.
So far here is the assessment:
#1 Ham-Salami-Capicolla-Pepperoni-Provolone (pictured above): I liked it. The capicolla and pepperoni gives the sandwich a kick. It goes great with the Cracked Pepper Port of Subs potato chips. (I'm going to try all their chip flavors also)
#2 Ham-Turkey-Provolone : Sorta plain jane. Not much to talk about, maybe if there was a different cheese added. The barbeque chips were not bad though.
#3 Salami-Turkey-Provolone : I ate this sandwich today. Also sorta plain. The salami makes the sandwich better, but I think there needs to be a change at the cheese level. A lot of their sandwiches have provolone. Man, this is going to be rough. Advisory: Did not like the Tangy Dill flavored chips. Bleack!!!
I hope that this little experiment will yield a grater variety when I visit the sub store. Sometimes they have speical sandwiches that I will brake in to tryout. LIke right now they are serving the Pilgram. I've tried it before, but it holds nothing to "the Bobbie" over at Capriotti's
Different sandwich shop.....different mission. Stay tuned!