Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Las Vegas Education

Dave here. Just doing that conference thing in Las Vegas. You know, trying to get a little education, ah err, technical education in case you wonder.

And I know people do wonder if you can get any computer software education in Las Vegas. They think that the only time people go to Las Vegas is to gamble and review other types of software. Las Vegas is such a fleshy sort of city.

I'll grant you that it is a sordid place of the affairs of lower life forms. I can't walk down the sidewalk without people slapping cards at me of pictures with phone numbers on them. (I say slapping because they whack the stiff card against the stack in their hand to get you to look their way.)

But that's not why I'm writing. We all know what Las Vegas is all about.

I'm staying at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. It's really a palace in all respects. There are huge columns of filigree and detail that dazzle the eye. There are restaurants with drawbridges that span koi ponds. And there are restaurats with wine storage towers four stories high surrounded by glass walls. Women on harnesses scale the wine rack inside the glass walls and pluck your choice of wine.

The walls of the place have projected images of coral reefs that ripple as you walk by, as if you are swimming through the picture.

The rooms have mini-bars that would triple my room rate if I ate everything. Imagine a mini-bar that costs $357. Imagine paying $12 for nine pieces of chocolate or $30 for a half bottle of no-name wine. Don't even THINK about touching one of the items. If you lift an item up out of the tray you'll be charged for the item at that moment.

But I'm not complaining. There is a huge 32" TV flat screen on the wall that gives me every station (including Chinese) and movies that are in or out of theaters. There's a channel that shows what's happening inside the shark tank. That's right, a shark tank WITH bubbling sounds. It's like having my own aquarium in the room. Very cool. And here's the best part, it's free, unlike the actual tour of the real tank. That costs 32 bucks.

This place if full of all kinds of unusual stuff.

On my way to the conference I pass what I call the "Woman Wall." It's a wall of a larger-than-life sculpure of a nude woman. Only thing is, the sculpture is not of a full length woman such as you might see in a museum but of parts of the woman. Yeah, you got that right. It's as though they sculpted her, sawed up the parts, and sandwiched them between the large blocks in the wall. Very strange. Her huge sculptured parts just above her belly and below her shoulders, if you get my drift, are set between 2x3 foot stones just about eye level. Sheesh.

But what do I expect? This is Las Vegas. Guess that's why they call it "The Strip."

Such are the sordid affairs of the lower life forms. - Dave Terry