Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dam tourists

Yesterday we loaded Don & Darlene up and did the tourist thing.  We haven’t crossed Hoover Dam for years now.  It was always kind of a fustercluck getting across the dam with an RV and since 9/11 it has turned into a nightmare so we haven’t seen the dam for several years.  And we had never been inside the dam on the real tour – all we’d ever done until yesterday was wander around on the top of it taking free pictures.  It was raining yesterday so I didn’t get any real clear pictures but the tour was worthwhile. 

Although I could have done nicely without all the left-wing dam sermonizing.  Jeff, our tour guide, seemed bent on convincing us that the dam was yet another example of the capitalist system exploiting the working man.  Which argument no doubt had some element of truth to it but I seriously doubt that was what the US government thought they were hiring him to tell us.

Actually the new bridge was what I was most interested in seeing.  Evidently its behind schedule because a construction crane collapsed in the fall of 2006.  Its a mammoth project – maybe not on the scale of the initial dam construction given the technology available at that time but a huge undertaking nevertheless. 

When we got home last night our TV had died.  That wasn’t entirely unexpected but it was still a PITA.  We have been waiting for it to die before replacing it with a flat screen TV so today we headed off to our standby supplier, Wallyworld, where we bought a Sanyo 26” flat screen TV.  Its by no means the latest, greatest or high techiest but that really wasn’t our objective.  We had a specific amount of space that it absolutely had to fit within and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  We did some online price comparisons and nobody was close to Wallyworld, as usual, so off we went and returned home with a $300 TV.  About $50 later I had all the necessary cables from RadioScrap to hook the new to the old.  Now we have an intriguing mishmash of old and new technology.  We can watch high definition DVDs, as long as we watch them on the new TV but we can also watch them as composite video.  I haven’t invested in pulling digital cable from the satellite receiver to the front of the bus so we still can’t see high def programming but I think we’ll survive without it.  As I mentioned earlier, we can’t watch blu-ray movies yet but since our movie purchases tend to come out of the bargain bins or 2nd hand sales that hasn’t been an issue either. 

Next step – some minor renovations to the cabinetry so that the TV looks like it belongs in the bus.  Eventually we will end up with a behind-the-TV storage cabinet but that will have to wait until summer when I get back to my compound mitre saw.

Last night we took Don & Darlene down to Fremont Street to see the laser light show.  I didn’t remember it being anywhere near as good as the show we saw last night was.  In fact in hindsight I’m not sure why we bothered going because my expectations were pretty low but I’m glad we did go.  Last night’s show could probably be described as Americana set to American Pie.  Our timing was perfect – we only had to stand in the rain for about 10 minutes before the show started.  It cost us $10 to park for a 6 minute show but it was money well spent.

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