Friday, February 23, 2018

Bass Pro Shop Aquarium

Connected to the Silverton Casino is the Bass Pro Shop.  Besides selling all kinds of outdoor gear (and having a nice indoor shooting range) they have lots of interesting displays including a waterfall and a few huge fish tanks (unfortunately the fish tanks were pretty reflective so it kind of killed my photographs of the fish in the tank!).

Silverton Aquarium

The Silverton Aquarium is a free attraction right as you walk into the Silverton Casino.  There were thousands of cool tropical fish, stingrays, etc. and we were lucky enough to time it just right so we got to see the mermaid show!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lucky Thai!

Yet another restaurant we have been wanting to check out.  It was just OK.  Archi's is still my favorite!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Weird News from Vegas

Weird news is a thing here.  Every week you will hear or see something on the news that makes you wonder what sort of Twilight Zone we have going on here.  The weird things that happen in other places over the course of years can all happen within a week here in Las Vegas!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lemon Bars

I'm trying to decide if this lemon bar desert was a fail or not.  I found the recipe online and it came with lots of rave reviews.  After following the recipe and baking it up as the recipe said, I took it out of the oven and for some reason it had a thick brown crust on it (it came out like a baked meringue layer) but under the crust was just air!  So I took off the crust and put it back in the oven because it still looked a bit under cooked.  After baking it for a while longer it still came out weird.  Definitely too sweet and some reviewers said and the bottom crust seems to have melted into the lemon filling part (!).  I have definitely tried better lemon bar recipes so back to the drawing board!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Five Things I Learned Today

In no particular order...

  1. How the flu attacks your body.
  2. The meaning of tamade in Chinese (you aren't supposed to swear on the poker table but apparently no one told the group of Chinese guys that today).
  3. That our society has devolved to having violent brawls on cruise ships (I've never seen such a thing on the many cruises we have taken).
  4. That we are getting crushed in the Olympics.
  5. That they have earthquakes in the UK.  I never knew that!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Places to Visit Before They Disappear

If you are planning your upcoming vacations, you should check out this list of "Places to Visit Before They Disappear".  The list, created by Men's Health, features places that may disappear completely in the future, mostly due to climate change.  The Dead Sea, for example, may be gone within 50 years due to overuse of the Jordan River, its sole source of water.  Many places along the east coast of the US are in danger of ending up under water due to rising sea levels, and entire countries like Kirabati and the Maldives, may simply disappear underwater as the oceans rise.  The above photo is of Fanning Island in Kiribati and it is really that flat, barely two meters (about six feet) above sea level at its highest point!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

5 Fabulous Discounts on Vegas Entertainment

Las Vegas is known for entertainment.  You literally can't walk ten feet down the Strip without someone offering you tickets to a show, a guided tour, or other sorts of entertainment.  Here are five ways to save money on entertainment in the city:

  1. Here's a list of 90 free and 10 inexpensive things to do for fun in Las Vegas.  In addition to the stuff on this list, there are always random things happening around the city that are both entertaining and often free (like a parade that popped up a couple of days ago at the Linq or a free concert on the Fremont featuring famous singers and bands).
  2. It's a great idea to buy an Entertainment Book before you hit the city.  It features hundreds of coupons for buy-one-get-one-free deals at restaurants and entertainment venues around the city.
  3. Tix4Tonight kiosks can be found all over the city.  This is where you can buy same-day tickets for up to half off--it's usually a great deal on top shows!
  4. Locals can sign up for FillASeat and/or HouseSeats which for a flat annual rate (around $50 to $80 a year) gives you two free tickets to a range of shows each night.  We've seen everything from no-name, pretty lame shows to top of the line shows that just needed a few more bodies to ensure that the audience was completely full.
  5. Volunteer!  Many of the big events in Las Vegas (like the Electric Daily Carnival or Life is Beautiful) will trade a day's worth of volunteering for free passes to the rest of the event.  I volunteered when the National Genealogy Society Conference came through town and got to sit in on many session that others paid hundreds of dollars to attend.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Bucket List

I love to see other people's bucket lists.  People have so many cool things they want to do!  Lists like this one, this one, and this one are just a few examples.  There was even a recent New York Times article on the benefits of having a bucket list.  Since I always like having lists of things to do, my bucket list (of 8500 items!) reads something like this:

  1. Learn to knit
  2. Learn to play piano
  3. Make pickles from scratch
  4. Make jam from scratch
  5. Do the AVA Centurion challenge
  6. Do the Washington State Counties AVA challenge
  7. Do the A-Z Cities AVA challenge
  8. Do the 50 States AVA card
  9. Do the 51 Capitals AVA card
  10. Be in a TV show audience
  11. Arrange a family reunion cruise
  12. Earn a black belt in karate
  13. Write a book for NaNoWriMo
  14. Earn an advanced degree
  15. Do a McDougall 10 Day Retreat
  16. Find our forever house
  17. Do a movie marathon
  18. Be 100% vegan for one year
  19. Visit Unity Village
  20. Visit Edgar Cayce's ARE Center
  21. Find relatives in the UK
  22. Do an around the world cruise
  23. Develop a new social network
  24. Proactively work towards universal healthcare in the US
  25. Watch the Olympics in person
  26. Rack up $1 million in grants and donations for my favorite charities
  27. Write a best seller
  28. Find a "mascot" for this bucket list project
  29. Be a member of the Traveler's Century Club
  30. Attend a TED Talk in person
  31. Be conversationally fluent in: Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog
  32. Achieve excellent health metrics: weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc
  33. Attend an RWA Convention
  34. Attend an NGS Convention
  35. Learn to play chess
  36. Make a quilt
  37. Put together a 2000 piece puzzle
  38. Meet someone famous
  39. Attend a Historical Romance Retreat (with costume!)
  40. Do High Tea

Monday, February 12, 2018

1000 Things to Do In Las Vegas

I've put together a new list, this time it is all about Las Vegas!  After a bunch of research--and a challenge by the hubby saying there was no way I could find a thousand things to do in this city--the list is finished.  You can find '1000 Things to Do, See, and Experience in Las Vegas' here.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

What to Do When You Are Getting Rid of an Electronic Device

...a checklist from yours truly for yours truly, mostly because I did a hard reset of my new laptop and forgot to take my recent pictures off of it!!!  ayayay  I got all of my documents off of it which was very important but I can't believe I forgot to take off my picture files!  Duh.  So when you are getting ready to give away or return an electronic device like a computer, tablet, or cell phone, it is important that you do a factory reset so the next person who gets it won't get a copy of all of your files.  Here's what to do:

  1. Unless you back up all of your files to the cloud (I don't), get a thumb drive or external storage drive and copy all of your files from the device (documents, photos, videos, music files) to the storage device.
  2. Copy all of the links in your favorites file and email them to yourself.
  3. Delete all files and links in your favorites file (a hard reset will do this for you but I like to be redundant).
  4. Empty your recycle bin.
  5. Go into your administrator settings and remove all passwords.
  6. Set your internet home page to a generic page.
  7. Check and see if you need to deactivate your software/apps on the device.
  8. Google for a step-by-step guide to doing a factory reset for your device (example here).
  9. If your computer had top secret stuff on it, consider taking out the hard drive, replacing it with a new hard drive, and destroying the old hard drive (there is software that can be used to pull data from your hard drive even after a factory reset).
If you are having technical issues with your computer and need to wipe the computer and reinstall the operating system, Google for instructions like this.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Olympics!

The winter Olympics are on and it has been wonderful to watch!  While I don't quite understand why there are so many Americans competing for other countries or why/how North Korea showed up when a month or so ago the North Korean president was threatening to bomb South Korea, the overall show has been great so far.  The opening ceremonies were wonderful (those drones!!! wow!!!), and the athletes are, as usual, amazing!  Here is where you can keep up with the medal count.  So far the US hasn't won any medals but Norway and the Netherlands are tied with four each.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Why I Quit Facebook

At the beginning of the year I decided to "quit" Facebook for at least a month and see what happens.  What happened is that I didn't miss it at all.  It was nice to kind of keep up with people via Facebook, watching the milestones of their life from afar, but there were several downsides to Facebook which I didn't like including:
Although I have checked Facebook a few times to get messages from people and post a couple of things for my walking group over the past month, I think the time to completely quit Facebook is here.  I would like to see a better type of social media platform that wasn't as insidious as Facebook but so far I haven't found one.

Edit:  As of the end of February I am back to posting on Facebook (via my computer, I don't want the app on my phone and surprisingly it added days of life to my phone battery when I took this app off).  Right now Facebook is about the only way to keep in touch with what is happening with the kids and grandkids but I'm still hoping for a better social media platform to present itself.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018

1000 Things to Do, See, and Experience in Washington State

Several years ago I wrote a book about things to do in Washington State.  Unfortunately, as often happens with guide books, things change, and quickly.  Even going through the list every couple of years I found businesses that have changed their names or even shut down completely.  Thus instead of updating the book (an onerous process just to find that that one of the activities listed is no longer available shortly after publishing) I figured I would just put all of the information on a website so it could be updated more often and at least remain as accurate as possible (plus have web links which are really helpful!).  Here's the new web list of 1000 Things to Do, See, and Experience in Washington State.