i have to check out tomorrow morning at 6am to go to work
so i'm not going to write very much tonight. hoover dam (my work site) is 30 miles away from las vegas; despite arriving in city, we're actually living in the town of henderson at the sunset station hotel/casino, on the periphery of vegas. on the map it doesn't look that far but it still cost me more than $20 for a taxi ride back to the hotel tonight. in all i spent about 4 hours in the city, including having dinner. most of my photos were taken from the window of our moving car. there's no separation between business and pleasure on this trip and at a moment's notice i may be asked a work related question, something that i normally disdain. i think what i'm charging for 2 days of my time to come out to the desert and debug the interactive is actually quite generous. i literally have no time to do any other work. things were going well until the client spoiled the moment by saying, "not to put any pressure of you, but we're not leaving until you fix it." working with client B is like striking a deal with the devil. the work site is not the most optimal either, requiring me to crawl through a window cut into a wall each and every time i want to test the interactive. i have mysterious cuts on my forearms because of this.
i don't want to sound like it's been nothing but a bad time though! the scenery here is beautiful, the weather is pleasantly warm at 87 degrees, i have my own sweet hotel room, and their are video poker machines at the airport gates as well as in most convenience stores. did i mention my hotel is also a casino? sin city indeed!
i took some photos but unfortunately my firewire card reader has decided to malfunction on this trip so no photos until i get back to cambridge wednesday night. well, unless the client decide to enslave me and not allow me to go back home.
i've been up since 4:30am this morning, EST. factoring in the timezone difference, i've gone almost 26 hours without sleep. okay, that's not entirely true, i slept during the 6 hour flight (although it was that unrestful sort of airplane sleep; BTW, the grand canyon seen from high above the sky is a spectacular sight). my taxidriver in cambridge was a large man, possibly haitian, speaking a weird sort of french with his croaky voice into his earpiece phone for the entire first half of the trip. the cab had a faint trace of alcohol, possibly the odor of a previous customer. finally he spoke to me when i told him which gate i wanted to be dropped off at. the fair was something like $33 but i gave him $40. the male flight attendant on our US airway flight was a cheeky fellow with a lightbulb shaped head. before we got off the plane he told us, "and for our customers who are here in las vegas to gamble, you're lucky number is...[dramatic pause]...4." the passengers gave a unified cheer, and one woman left the plane screaming, "4 is my lucky number!" good thing too: as soon as you disembark, greeting you are rows of video poker machines, so you can do some gambling while waiting for your plane. i even saw video poker machines in a gas station convenience store when we stopped to get drinks.
on the 30 mile drive to hover dam i was fascinated by the desert landscape, admiring all the different flora i've seen and read about on televison and in books but never actually having witness them in the wild before. yuccas, cactuses, sagebrush, all growing out from this red clay-like dirt beneath a canopy of clear blue sky. prickly pears dotted the side of the highway, their magenta flowers displaying brightly in the dry nevadan heat. there was a large crowd of people at the dam by the time we got there, something about spring break. people were feeding the ground squirrels (kind of like desert chipmunks) that seemed unafraid of all the humans walking around their territory.
interesting note: april 3rd seems to be a consistent travel day for me for the past three years. this year it was las vegas, last year i went to washington DC, and the year before that i was in phnom penh, cambodia.