Sunday, December 24, 2006

Las Vegas Travel Tip #1

Regardless of where you are coming from, if you arrive at the “C” or “D” gates at the McCarran airport in Las Vegas (these are the gates most major airlines use) it will take you at least one hour from the time you step off the plane till the time the first suitcase hits the baggage carousel. This will not be affected by weather, time of day or how busy the airport is. The best you can hope for is one hour.

After five years of this, I feel safe elevating this from theory to proven law.

The reason for this is that the airlines do not handle their own baggage at McCarran; there is one company that does the baggage for all airlines. And they are union. Need I say more?

My advice is that if you are just coming in for a weekend or so, try to pack all you will need into a carry one (keeping in mind the limited size and number of carry-ons allowed) and skip baggage claim altogether. If this is not an option come back later. If you are arriving in the morning or afternoon, go grab breakfast/lunch or check into your hotel. If it’s night, come back in the morning. At some point, someone from the airline will take you stuff off the carousel and lock it up in the airlines baggage office. In my experience, no airline has had a problem with this as they realize there is a problem, but seem powerless (or too apathetic) to do anything about it.

I did complain about this at one point, and was told by the person in the baggage office that part of the problem is that the gates are one mile away, and the truck is only allowed to drive 15 miles an hour. I pointed out that by the logic, it should take four minutes to get from the plane to the baggage claim. Apparently my grasp of basic math was too much for her, so she just kind of wandered off with a confused look on her face. I didn’t point out that after the four minutes for transit that still leaves 56 minutes. I was worried that any more use of math skills would have caused me to be branded as a “witch” and I would have been burned at the stake by the frightened, ignorant villagers.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sweet! Now all I need is a cane and a big bottle of Vicoden!

As far as I'm concerned, the Wii has a "killer app."
Trauma Center is a game where you basically get to play God doctor. You use the Wii Remote to do things like handle a scalpel, defribluator and nurses backsides.

No word yet on if you'll be able to use your medical talents to perform un-natural experiments on your "patients" like attaching extra arms or giving them gills, but the game is reportedly so real that it comes with a malepractice lawsuit in the box.

I figure between this and the ability to use Google to diagnose patients, my mother will soon realize her dream of having a doctor in the family. And the Wii even had a golf game to boot; It's one stop shopping!

I'll be sure to let everybody know when I put out my shingle!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Everyone do the CodeMash!

In an effort to use my "blogging powers" for good instead of evil, I come to you today to pimp CodeMash.

What is CodeMash? Well, if hadn't been so lazy and just clicked on the link you would know that...

CodeMash is a unique event that will educate developers on current practices, methodologies and technology trends in variety of platforms and development languages such as Java, .NET, Ruby and PHP. Held January 18-19, 2007 at the lush Kalahari resort in Sandusky, Ohio, attendees will be able to attend a world-class technical conference amid Ohio's largest indoor waterpark. So nobody will frown if you show up in shorts, sandals, and your loudest t-shirt. You might even win a prize for doing so.

Oh, to be in Sandusky in January.

Seriously though, the event is $99 ($149 if you screw around and miss the early-bird date), plus hotel and transport. When you consider the calibur of speaker appearing (Neal Ford, Scott Guthrie, Bruce Eckel, Jesus) it's a hell of a deal!

See you there!

Update: Jesus has backed out. Apparently there is a scheduling confilct as he was already commited to appearing in a piece of burnt toast in a trailer park in Alabama that week. Bummer.