Neon Slice of Life

Sometimes life’s visual is extra interesting if you change it to something unrecognizable from reality. Movement converted into light gives this movie its mesmerizing neon effect. (For a better experience watch full screen and in HD.)

(If this video stops and starts, click off the HD feature on the play ↑ bar.)

My Little Battered Boat

blues-coverI must be having summertime blues because for the past week or so I’ve felt out-of-sorts with myself and the rest of the world. It might be the pending heat and her inability to make outdoor activities possible for the next three months that’s got me wallowing in this “lost at sea” mood.

Do you ever feel you are the on the outside looking in? I’ve always felt that way, but it’s never been about wishing I was living another person’s life, it’s more about never feeling like I truly fit in with the life I have. That hardly even makes sense to me, but somehow my brain has worked it out and I’ve managed to feel mostly content and happy in spite of it.

Moods are like water, splashing all over the place on windy days and still as glass on calm days, so I will continue to drift through the hot blazing sea of summer and patiently look forward to docking my little battered boat somewhere in October. In the meantime I will keep my life vest within reach and wear plenty of sunscreen.

Showgirls to A-bombs

When we think of Las Vegas, we first think of gambling, booze and showgirls, but there was life before sin in the Mojave Desert and the Nevada State Museum takes you on a historical journey to prove it.

Vintage showgirl costume.Show Girl

Mammoths roamed the west long before it dried into a desert.Exhibit Entrance

Native Americans lived peacefully on this land for centuries.Native American

An early version of the Travel Trailer.Stagecoach

Can you imagine how careful a writer had to be back in the days before auto-correct? Typewriter

A century old camera.Camera

This headline HAWAII IS BOMBED BY JAP AIRPLANES changed the world forever.War!

An atom bomb explosion in the Nevada desert.Bomb

Spectators were given a handbook as they watched and cheered the atomic bomb tests being conducted just 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.Handbook

“The future can change into anything, so enjoy the here and now with everything you’ve got and do your part to make tomorrow a better and brighter day for us all.” -Steven Goth-

Blow By Blow

Middle-aged friends having an adventure on a playground slide is not what I envisioned my relationship with Gloria would be thirty-one years later, but here we are!  Enjoy…

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The Trails

The Trails Park stretches about one mile through an affluent neighborhood in Summerlin, Nevada. The head of the trail begins with a sports complex and ends with a Baptist Church where the wealthy residents can pray away their guilt of being in the top one percent.

An empty field where nonathletic kids are frequently bullied._DSC5128

The sidewalk is mostly uphill so be ready to feel the burn in your legs and lungs. There are plenty of park-benches available for the less in-shape to sit down, so don’t let years of unhealthy living stop you from enjoying one of Summerlin’s finest parks._DSC5155

Several tunneled underpasses along the trail give visitors a sense they are NOT as safe from crime as the statistics for the area claim._DSC5022

Many homes along the path have backyard views of the park, but the visitors to the park also have views of everyone’s backyard. There’s no nude sunbathing or sex on the veranda in this neighborhood!_DSC5030Gloria insisted on having this photograph taken of herself as proof she’s still active and healthy, but I think she just needed an excuse to stop walking for a minute. _DSC5033

The view of the mountains and the curve of the sidewalk create a wonderful escape route for would-be criminals who have cased this quiet neighborhood for an opportunity._DSC5035There are several grassy areas equipped with playgrounds for children where the squeals and screams of youth can permeate the tranquility of all the homes close-by._DSC5077These lucky million-dollar homeowners have sweeping views of the city from their upstairs balcony which they have never enjoyed because of the long hours it takes to be consumed by greed and ambition._DSC5028

We had to climb a dangerous hill, navigate around a row of bushes and stick the camera lens through an opening in a security fence to get this picture of  a windowless estate. We must have looked like the Paparazzi._DSC5075

At the west end of the trail there’s a large grassy area no resident has ever stepped foot on because it was completely unblemished and perfectly manicured._DSC5042

A typical road through Summerlin looks much like this. Houses and plants mixed together in a kaleidoscope of painful suburbia._DSC5054

We captured this rare image of Summerlin residents walking through their natural habitat._DSC5087

Going east on the trail is much easier because it is downhill. Next time we plan to bring along a pair of skateboards and a GoPro for the mile-long decent. Gloria’s going first!_DSC5058

Another lovely oasis where one can sit on a park-bench and relax with a close-up view of a tree trunk._DSC5080

All in all this park was refreshing and enjoyable even if we felt like unwelcome intruders in a Stepford Wives neighborhood._DSC5066

The road leading to the park. On one side is a large shopping complex and on the other side is a water guzzling section of the park which basically gives the finger to the severe drought conditions that have plagued the western states for a decade._DSC5139

Gloria is a risk taker and I challenged her to walk across a dangerous suspension bridge while I balanced precariously on the edge of a curb to capture this amazing action shot.Gloria-Bridge

Thanks so much for stopping by my website and always remember the comment section below is open to everyone should you decide to share your thoughts about our adventure in Summerlin.

Neighborhood Enigma

Las Vegas neighborhoods are an enigma. Home price, building size, design and acreage can be dramatically different from one house to another yet they all seem to blend harmoniously within the boundaries of the same geographical area. Not to say there isn’t an odd duck floating around though.

If you can find a neighborhood without palm trees in Las Vegas you are not in Las Vegas.13

Not the most decorative initials I have ever seen. Gloria said, “Old Fucking Loser” when she first read the letters. I said, “Open For Love” because I am the romantic one in this friendship.08

This mysterious bell-tower garage/workshop is part of a single family residence. I’d like to believe there is historical value to this building, but chances are the owner just wanted a bell tower without a bell. This is Vegas after all…06

Unflattering stone arches and landscape plastic along the curb give this two-story a “wish I was something I’m not”  feel.05

It’s hard to determine the style influence of this home. A mix of Tuscan and Mission with a sprinkle of Southwestern? On the plus side they have a huge workshop building in the back of the property and a collection of motorhomes and boats.02

Dust warning on this vacant lot otherwise known as a natural desert. Who would have thought dirt is dusty? Thanks for keeping us informed Las Vegas.10

Tudor style estate with a spider and bug habitat growing on its exterior walls.11

Street sweepers are a common sight in every neighborhood. Las Vegas does a fantastic job of keeping the roads clear of litter and for that I feel better about seeing people toss trash out of their car windows.09

Single story ranch style in a small cul-de-sac and somebody’s first car they will never fully restore.04

And of course no neighborhood would be complete without a graffiti signature sprayed across the neighbor’s wall Somebody has to mark the territory!12If you’d like to take a tour of this neighborhood on Google maps click HERE and it will drop you down in front of the bell-tower house. Use your mouse to navigate from there. Have fun and don’t forget to share your thoughts about this neighborhood in the comment section below.

Neighborhood Critics

Walked through a neighborhood with Gloria yesterday in search of something fabulous, instead we found a few design citations that left us scratching our heads in confusion. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder….

Big sky and big mountains are a visual mainstay if you live in the suburbs of Las Vegas. jnyqf6jk copyThis home has potential, but the lack of landscaping and its pealing exterior paint leave it feeling flat and uncared for. The wooden posts are a nice touch though._DSC1802

Enormous and slightly nerve-wracking to imagine this tree on a windy day. _DSC1763

Can’t sugarcoat it, I thought the stone facing on this house was horrible. It reminds me of a rare skin disease or a box of broken Legos._DSC1741

Keeping with the crazy patterns, this front yard of stone tiles and artificial grass is easy on maintenance, but hard on the eyes. I give the design five stars for concept and one star for style._DSC1776It’s not that I enjoy criticizing another person’s home, but sometimes their design choices are truly WTF? moments. The patio stones attached to the side of this house make no sense what-so-ever! _DSC1765Every neighborhood has a guard dog and after a few warning barks this handsome guy decided we were not a threat and happily followed us to the end of his property line._DSC1739These manicured trees look like mushrooms or gumdrops on a toothpick. Either way, the design worked with the style of the house and we liked the concept._DSC1766Cowboy country! We spotted plenty of horses but somehow missed the shirtless cowboys we assumed would be running wild on the ranch. We’ll come back during rodeo season. _DSC1783The light-colored horse was friendly and kept kicking its front hoof on the ground to get our attention. The darker horse wasn’t happy about the attention and eventually bit the other one on the rump._DSC1744Best friends forever or cell mates, depending on your perspective._DSC1747Because this is a desert, the city is required or paid to keep unpaved roads from becoming a dust hazard by running water trucks over them. It seems like a waste of water to me, especially considering the road cuts through an open desert anyway._DSC1759_DSC1753Is it just me or does this bull have a really friendly face? It seemed to enjoy getting its picture taken and at one point I even thought it was flirting. I could be wrong….._DSC1788There are creepy gargoyles all around the perimeter of this property. Not sure if they had anything to do with it, but we spotted several dead birds lying on the ground next to the fence.  Just sayin’._DSC1774I swear one of these things turned its head when we weren’t looking!_DSC1773As with most neighborhoods in Las Vegas there is always a park nearby. This is Mountain Crest Park and a popular disc golf course._DSC1811Thanks so much for coming along with us on our adventure and please feel free to add your critique of the homes in the comment section below. I’d love to know your style opinion.

Rainy Day Adventure

It’s not often I get the chance to take pictures in the rain, but Wylde and I had a few hours to spare while we waited for my mother at the beauty salon. The Springs Preserve was close to the salon so we took full advantage of the extra time together. Plus, I got the chance to try out my new Nikon D7100 in something other than the endless sunlight of our desert!

Solar paneled parking lot.c-08Man-made canyon that leads to the ticketing center.c-11Escape route for water.c-15Metal plant sculptures.c-06Theater and exhibit building.c-13Clint Carvalho’s singing parrot.(video 01:27)(If this video stops and starts, click off the HD feature on the play ↑ bar.)

One of the many walkways in the exhibit area.c-17A bit of drunken history.c-03Rain collecting on a decorative patio canopy.c-01Desert seeds and soil.c-02Interactive train display.c-04Even back in the day, Vegas worked her glamorous reputation.c-07The Stratosphere tower disappearing into the gloomy abyss.c-09Fall finally arrived in Las Vegas._DSC1346Native American grass dwelling. It was actually dry inside!c-18Desert plants.c-14Back to the mall to retrieve my freshly beautified mother.c-10

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