Kingman & Tusayan, AZ. Hot Tub, Anyone?

Since the weather at the Grand Canyon was apparently terrible over the weekend, I decided to stay a couple of nights in the random city of Kingman, Arizona while waiting to see if the weather would clear up. One night in Kingman is more than enough by the way. It’s a very sleepy town with not many terribly exciting things on offer. After driving around a couple of times I felt 100% confident that somebody could tell me the name of a place and I could give them directions as if I had lived there all my life.

I did check out a bar called the “Fireside Cocktail Lounge” which wasn’t far from my hotel. It sounded like my kind of place, yet I can assure you that the name is a misnomer. Well, it might have been just fine except for the very drunk guy that kept telling me “Welcome to the US. You’re safe now. You’ll be fine here”. I didn’t even tell him I was born abroad and most people cannot easily detect that since my accent is so well adapted at this point.

I think it might have been less weird if the gentleman didn’t have a very strong underlying hint of a Mexican accent with a staggered speech that was an attempt at masking it. Clearly he was projecting himself onto me. So I projected myself out the door and back to the hotel after one drink.

I will say that the people in Kingman were very nice. People at the grocery store talking to each, smiles on their faces, etc. I definitely felt a bit like the “big city asshole”, for although I consider myself a nice person I am not the talking to random strangers in the checkout aisle at the grocery store kind of nice.

While preparing to leave Kingman I was very conflicted about which route to take. I considered going South to Phoenix / Tucson knowing that it would be warmer (I strongly dislike the cold), however, that was in the opposite direction of the Grand Canyon. Instead I took I40 East towards Albuquerque, New Mexico (which was my original target for the day) since that was congruent with my general West-to-East direction and that I could decide during the drive whether or not I wanted veer North towards the Canyon. I wanted to take Route 66 East instead of I40, but the weather sucked, and 66 met up with 40 again anyway. Surely I missed some vitas on 66, but 40 still had quite a lot of mountainous vistas to offer.

When it came time to make the decision as to continue East to Albuquerque or head North to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, I said “fuck it” and went North. To be so close and to drive right by seemed anathema to me. Weather, be damned!

I did make it here in time to do the canyon today (about 12:30pm) but because the weather was so bad I decided to check into a hotel in Tusayan, AZ and hold off until tomorrow when the weather is supposed to be, hopefully, much better. Tusayan is as close as you can get without actually going into the park (I think). Hotels in the actual park itself need to be booked well ahead of time. And as you can tell by now I’m not that kinda guy.

So, in the meantime I will get some work done and gawk and the snow and hot-tub from my window and wonder…. would it be weird to get in? Would be kind of like the poor man’s version of the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa in Iceland. Which, I think I’m going to have to put on my list. Who am I kidding, I don’t have a list!

Hot Tub with Snow

Bonus Pics:

Yeah I dunno. Random.
Got a hill in your way? Just blast through it, I guess.

Hoover Damn

I didn’t even know that the Hoover Dam was on my route. Oh, who am I kidding – half of the time I never even know what my route is going to be, so how could I possibly know what’s on the route.

When I saw the signs for Hoover Dam, there was no way I was going to drive on by.

I took the full tour for $30, which offers an extra one-hour tour of inside the dam. The cheaper options were $10 and $12 I believe, which allows you into a museum type area but does not have the guided tour. Was worth it.


Las Vegas Casino Carpets

When I told my family in Los Angeles that I would be doing a trip and that Las Vegas, Nevada was the first stop, naturally the topic of casinos came up. Because – in case you aren’t aware – Las Vegas is kind of known  for casinos. That and sins of the flesh.  Since I indulge in neither I am like a fish out of water here, but hey, I do my best to enjoy it all. Maybe I’ll do another post about Vegas itself but first I need to think how to describe it all because I love half of it and abhor the other half.

Anyway… Part of the discussion revolved around the tactics employed by the casinos to keep the fishy’s on the hook, so to speak. One such tactic discussed was that casino carpets are intentionally designed to keep you “disorientated”; No walking towards the exit for you mister, at least not until your pockets are empty and then we’ll gladly kick you out!

Another such claim I’ve heard about the carpet designs was that they are designed this way to make it hard for players to find dropped chips. The casino can then come along and sweep them up. Which basically means free money for the casinos.

Since this was not the first time I heard the claim regarding carpets, I decided that I would go around and check out the casino carpets and share them for your disorientating pleasure. Plus, after 4 days in Vegas, there’s not really much else to do for a non-gambler.

My thoughts:

I’m done with casinos for a few years. Maybe forever.

Although the designs do appears to be “clusterfucks”, I don’t necessarily think it’s for the sole purpose of disorientating people. My guess is that these types of designs do a good job at hiding stains. And with a proverbial shit-ton of drunk people spilling and vomiting up god knows what, stain masking is pretty important.

I’m unsure if the disorientation or dropped chip theories are true but if carpets are design to make stains harder to see then they would also make chips harder to see.

As for the disorientation… Nothing is more fucking disorientating that the ding-ding-dings of the slot machines. A few times I felt like I was on acid or some other mind-altering drug, even though I was completely sober.

My favorite carpet was Aria. In fact, Aria was my favorite place, period. I liked the ambiance there.

Excuse the mess while I’m testing WordPress..

Please excuse any quirks and issues with this site as I attempt to install and customize WordPress.

WordPress is a pretty nightmarish platform. As a hardcore techie that has been in the business of developing Websites and IT platforms for nearly 20 years, I find myself completely confounded by WordPress in many ways.

Oftentimes I find their implementations are completely devoid of logic. Just one example: The CMS forces protocol and domain specificity, therefore making it incredibly difficult to “move” from one domain/path to another, as I found out after setting up an installation on a test domain and attempting to just change the domain name. I personally prefer to develop such that everything is “root relative”, with an optional defined installation path, thus making code very portable in terms of URLs.

Alas, I can’t do everything myself and I have a lot of other exciting things to be doing. So I therefore need to delegate the “CMS” (Content Management System) to a third party, rather than develop my own. And WordPress is pretty ubiquitous, so why not go with that!