April 17, 2024

Bouncing around the weekend

Since PZ posted about his hiking trip, I guess I’ll share my trip too.  At the last minute, my wife found that she was able to join me in California.  This required that she take a different flight on another airline, one that changed planes in Las Vegas.  That meant that I had to change my flight so that I route through Vegas too, which meant that I had to have a two day layover at the Luxor hotel.  I’m not sure how my wife makes these logical deductions, but I try not to argue.

My dad lead one of the construction teams that built the Luxor, that giant black pyramid on the strip.  He was the one who engineered those unique elevators, called ‘inclinators’ that go up diagonally, following the exterior angle.  This will be the first time I’ve ever been in them.

On Friday, we continue on to San Francisco, arriving early enough to go shopping in Chinatown.  My wife is Eurasian, half Vietnamese, and she couldn’t come with me the last time I was there.  I think she needs another silk robe with a dragon on it.

On Saturday morning, we’ll meet everyone for NAPCON at the South San Francisco Convention Center.  Then on Sunday, we fly back to mundanity again.

5 thoughts on “Bouncing around the weekend

  1. You just can’t have too many lucky dragons. The luck may be imaginary, but the dragon artwork justifies itself. Have a great trip.

  2. Because of your wife’s Vietnamese heritage, you might consider, instead of San Franscisco’s Chinatown, a trip down the peninsula to the Vietnamese community in San Jose. People of Vietnamese descent represent more than 10% of the population of San Jose. This is the world’s largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam, just a 40 min drive from the San Francisco airport..


    Unfortunately, due to ongoing issues in the community, the Viet Museum in Kelly Park in San Jose, although completed in 2007, does not yet have its final operating permit and is only “open” on rare occasions or for official visitors.

    Alternatively, just a half an hour south of the San Francisco airport is the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. The museum exhibits cover the entire history of calculating devices back to the abacus and forward to the latest in game design technology and AI and a Google Street View car.

    Among its other displays (with hourly live operation!) is one of only two fully functional Babbage Difference Engines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difference_engine, in operation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0anIyVGeWOI). Designed by the brilliant but obnoxious Charles Babbage in the 1850s, none were ever fully built until 2002 (London) and 2008 (Silicon Valley).

    (San Francisco also has a sizable ethnic Vietnamese community (though not as large), including an area referred to as Little Saigon, including shopping areas.)

  3. When I lived there in Vegas the thing I liked the most was all the choices of fun. You could go to a swap meet, a museum, a junkyard, and a dimly lit bar with awesome music without leaving the city limits. All that and you get to watch the Thunderbirds for free on occasion. My job took me all over the city and sometimes I had to wait around out in the field for others to get me what I needed so I could scout around and find junkstores to peruse or a record store. One time I even got to meet John Force doing a grip and grin at a big tire store. Good times.

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