Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

I tried my best to post to BOTB from Lost Wages on Monday but something about paying $12 for Internet access on top of paying $200+ for a Motel 4-1/2-quality hotel room made me pause to consider. Then I tried posting from my iPhone which was only possible sans images and, you know, I'm nothing without images.

So now, settled safely back into farm life in rural (and rain-saturated) SE Ohio, I have access to the few images I nabbed in Vegas. Sorry to disappoint, but No Nuge. Perhaps it was his Mossy Oak camo that made him impossible to locate...

One thing is guaranteed on the long flight from the East to the West: Cool things to look at from the air. Most of the images to follow are ones I took with the camera in my iPhone. The aerial shots were all taken through an airplane window—two or more layers of unbreakable plastic. Given these limitations, I think the shots came out OK.

Sky above, cloud below at 35,000 feet above Oklahoma.

If ever a river could be called serpentine, this one is it. It looks like it's slithering across a Thanksgiving tablecloth.

Lake Mead, the huge body of water formed behind Hoover Dam. To me this looks like those bumpy parts of my elementary school globe. Hey is that Australia?

My Las Vegas lodging. Dirty room, clanging slot machines, too many clowns. At least it was smoky. Just Say No.

See the tiny vertical sliver between the concrete on the left and the pink glass on the right? That's the view of the Nevada desert from my hotel room.

Leaving Las Vegas late at night. Even from the air it looks like an old hooker all bedecked with sequins.

I did not spend a single farthing on gambling in LV—something I aspire to each and every time I go there. But they make it soooo easy to spend your money on games of chance. Or even to spend your money on anything. The safe in my room cost fitty cent to use!

The SHOT Show was one big adventure. I enjoy the cacophony and challenge of talking business with so many knives and firearms all around. (I really do!). I'm already looking forward to next year!

Tomorrow: The advent of digi-poaching!

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Viva SHOT Vegas!

SHOT Show floor.

In a few days I will be spending nearly all my time inside a giant convention center in the city that REALLY never sleeps: Las Vegas.

The SHOT Show is an annual event for me. As the editor of a birding magazine, I go, not to gamble or to see Barry Manilow or Wayne Newton, or to explore the carrying capacities of the endless buffets, but to discover what's new in the way of optics for birding. But hey--if I happen to run in to Barry or Wayne or The Nuge, then we'll have a chin wag and head for the buffet...

The SHOT Show is for hunters and all the gear and accoutrement for your basic consumptive outdoor pursuits. It is unbelievably huge. I will walk the soles off my shoes.

Promo banner showing happy gun owners. "More chardonnay, Bryce, or would you like a dose of buckshot?"

This year's show coincides with the Super Bowl, which will make for some interesting conflicts of interest among the companies displaying at the show—it won't be possible to split early to catch the Super Bowl pregame. Oh bother!

As for me, I plan to be in my hotel room, having a cold cerveza, reading a good book, wearing my bunny slippers when the Big Game comes on. I have no vested interest in the outcome—couldn't care any less about the two teams playing. But I am certain to see ecstatic and despondent people in Vegas after the game is over and the bets are paid off. Of all the weekends to have to go to the Dante's Inferno of the American West, why Super Bowl weekend?

Well, I've got a plane to catch, and as Marty DiBergi once said: "Enough of my yakking! Let's boogie!"

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