Saturday, January 24, 2009

Home Again.

We're back from a REALLY fun, CHEAP trip to West Wendover, Nevada.

Video - More than you ever wanted to know about West Wendover. We went there to game and because it's such a great place at such a great price.

It was in late 2007 that Em, for the first time, booked us to West Wendover, and on that trip where I noticed the comraderie of people who travel there. The place is so desolate that if you run into people with whom you waited in line to get onto the airplane, you feel like you've run into your best friends. Heh. THIS year was no different from the last time we went in that regard, and Em's no shrinking violet when it comes to meeting people: How do you think he met ME?

We had a great 3-4 days playing around in the northern end of Nevada, but didn't much like the process of flying/driving to Dallas Love Field.

'twas the first time we'd driven together to Love Field, parked in the long-term parking (and there's a whole 'nuther post about how the parking lot has so many "this way ONLY" signs that we had to "go illegal" to get out somewhere in my future).

Most telling thing on our return, however, is how we got home to find our smoke alarms screeching.

We had NO idea what to do. NO. idea.. We tried turning off the circuit breakers. That turned off all the lights in the house, triggered the security alarm in the house, and didn't do a damn thing to stop the smoke alarms from screeching all over to ears that were already sensitive due to that whole airplane pressure thing.

I called 911 to see if they could give us some tips on how to disable the smoke alarms because if you come home from a fairly tense ride in traffic on I-35 trying to find your way home from Dallas Love Field, you need all the help you can get. The dispatcher sympathized, but suggested that she needed to send someone out. It took 15 minutes or so, but 4 firemen came ... in their firetruck ... to see what they could do to check it all out. <-- We're good!

Smoke alarms, apparently, have a shelf-life of about 10 years. Our house is 12 years or so old, so the smoke alarms might simply need new batteries,
we need new smoke alarms. It's been 12 or so years (coinciding with the manufacturers' warranty).

We're not much for fine dining experiences and had even brought some foodstuffs along from home for breakfasts, but we did enjoy a wonderful dinner of chicken cordon bleu at The Rainbow Steak House. We usually split one entree on the rare occasions when we go out to dinner (more because the servings are way too big for one of us than to save money, although the money saving is nice, too), but we had a buy one get one free coupon. For $29.00 (which included over $7.00 in tip for the server) we got two huge meals of THE BEST tasting food. WOW! We took an entire dreaded styrofoam box of leftovers back to our room and ate EVERYTHING for breakfast in the morning, and it tasted just as good then as it had the night before. Of course, we ran into some people we'd talked to in line at the airport and ... two of them didn't take their leftovers because they thought the food would go bad overnight without refrigeration and/or would need reheating. I wonder how much food waste is due to fear of getting sick.

Em had a delicious asparagus soup at the Steak House that he let me taste, and the weather today is cold and dreary, so I'm making some soups. I'm not much of a soup person, but Em likes soup and I can appreciate the thought of hot soup on cold, dreary days like this one. Tomorrow's soup will be Apple-Bacon-Tomato Soup, and I'm baking two acorn squash right now, that had already turned from green to orange waiting for me to cook them, in my little oven for today's Acorn Squash Soup. I'm also making a beef stir-fry this afternoon, and will make a pizza tomorrow afternoon, so we'll have a few choices of what to eat when we get hungry the next few days. Soups, chilis, casseroles, stews, gumbos are also great places to hide supplements from people who might not think they would like some things just because they've got a health-food reputation. Not mentioning any names, of course.

Back to that fear of getting sick when it comes to food waste thought, I brought hard-boiled eggs to West Wendover as part of breakfast. I wasn't worried at all about them staying cool enough to not spoil, although we all joked about how the elevator could double as a refrigerator as cold as it was in there for some reason. I don't worry about how long I keep stuff in the freezer, using a bag of homemade chicken broth for the squash soup that had been in the freezer since August, 2005, and pretty much ignore expiration dates on pantry foodstuffs. We haven't gotten sick yet, although (heh) I suppose it could be that we've grown immune to food poisoning from constant exposure. [Don't tell Em I said that.] :-)

We've got a lot of catching up to do online this coming week. We missed the inauguration and all that, but want to catch the Youtubes of it all. We need to research whether we REALLY need to replace the smoke alarms because Em's not convinced it isn't a case of old (unused) batteries, and I still haven't fully recovered the PC as I want it to be, which is not to be confused with the mess it had become. That's the positive side of failure ... letting go of what was to embrace a new start.

There's dead-tree reading, as well, as I began reading The Namesake on the plane back and forth. No. 1 had leant me that book to amuse myself on the long train ride to Chicago that I was to take last August before a flight presented itself that was quite affordable. I met a woman on the plane who had taken that train ride to Chicago from Dallas and could only describe it as "interesting". The train was 5 hours late and it seemed to her that the Amtrak people didn't seem to care or keep track of things like what track the train might take, and other things that resulted in huge delays. She wouldn't describe the ride as a negative experience, but I sensed that it wasn't one of the more positive experiences in quite an extensive history of experiences under her belt. We'll still do it, of course, after my birthday sometime this year as a test. At 62, I'll qualify for the senior discount on trains both in the US and Canada.

No. 1 saw the movie starring Kal Penn. It could be interesting to see how the book is filmed after I finish the read. Looking at it from an environmental point of view, comparing just water used each day in the US to water used each day in Calcutta, India could definitely reflect how spoiled we are.

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