With our western US society increasing becoming consumer oriented, the growing power of the marketting and business folks have become all-powerful. If you pay attention to our society, you can see evidence of this everywhere. Examples can be the bill-boards everywhere you drive, long advertising on TV, even the nasty pop-ups that appear on your computer. At least on the media side, TV advertisers have had almost 100 years to hone their coercing skills on the masses. What about the individuals' skills to combat the overwhelming coersion pitted upon us everyday, even every minute? Well, here is a small study upon the habits of people watching TV and their minute attempts to NOT watch the ads. Hurray for whatever little we attempt to do.
Walmart is remaking our world, it's just a worst of all possible worlds. And as any good business man knows, the secret is to hide all the dirty laundry. If one person gets rich, it's usually on the backs of thousands of others.... in Walmart's case, it is literally on millions. So much for the small-town, we care about everyone and love everyone image....
This is a good piece from Edmunds talking about the motivations of what goes on in the minds of a car salesman. It would give you a second thought on how you can expect to be treated and regarded in a car sales lot. The internal operations really sound like a Casino.
The Atlantic Online has a good article on how patterns and randomness affect society. Seeing Around Corners
This is particularly interesting in the context that Vegas casinos deal with chance and randomness every day. Although visitors here are exposed to and do get excited from the random throwing of dice or spin of the wheel, I don't know if anyone has ever done a directed study of how seemingly order is actually randomness and how arbitrary randomness can look like specific order. If you go deeper into this train of thought, there might be a religious debate brewing so I'll just leave it at that.
Anne (my girlfriend) and I caught the WB tour at the Joint within the HardRock Cafe last night. It was a publicity thing of course so they were giving away T-shirts and trinkets with WB labels for winning at cheesy games. That's ok, I mentioned that just to get the embarassment out of the way. It gave us a chance to get out so it was good in its own way. We saw Jamie Kennedy hosting on stage and Bob Sagat wandering around on the floor near the bar. Two bands were scheduled for playing, Nappy Roots and Course of Nature. We only stayed for the rapping of Nappy. I'm not a good judge of rap so I won't even try to comment but like any concert at the Joint, I was once again impressed by the sound system of the place. James van der Beek from Dawson's Creek was supposed to make an appearance but we didn't stay long enough to find out.
I have been noticing the sheer number of apartment complex being built near the verges of the 215 beltway. Additionally, the complex that I am currently in (The Tower at the Tropicana) seem to be facing a massive exodus of tenants recently. I used to think it was imperceptible since I see U-Haul trucks packing up only on the weekends. But now, the trucks are even there during the weekdays. A quick perusal of the current rent for apartments in the area seem to indicate a trending down of rental prices. Like anything else when supply is in abundance... there's a deal to be had.
Time to move?
I have a mundane observation today. Vegetable grocery prices are going through the roof in Las Vegas. A head of lettuce goes for $2.50 at Raleys and an ordinary cucumber goes for $.95 at Albertsons. Is it because everything needs to be shipped to Vegas? One particular explanation ties the cost in with the sudden increase in gas prices.
I have created a new feature for the site. I dub it my current
gallery and it is accessed through the link on the right side of this page.
As time progresses there will different galleries of pictures here. It was
a bright day at Red Rock and the mountains particularly show off their bright
colors. Red Rock is about 20 miles to the east of Las Vegas.
I must say, this is one place where extreme weather flourishes. Yesterday it was gusty winds and I mean he kind that would wisk Alice and Todo off to Oz. Tree tops were bent sideways, water flowing from outdoor fountains would have a peculiar awkward lean into the wind, and outdoor umbrellas could be seen tumbling along the streets like so many dried tumbleweeds. Suffice to say that you could easily catch a windburn if you had stayed outside for any amount of time. This, on top of the snow of a desert winter, have provided me with about half of the weather experiences of Vegas. The truly big one, the summer scorcher of over 120 degrees farenheit is yet to come. Everyone tells me not even to joke about it and to better find good shade when such a day hits. Seeing as we are still in the midst of winter and it's quite cold at night, I dare say that I am curious about the warm rays. It looks like we are bound for some rain this weekend. I even hear that there are flooding seasons in Vegas too. Too cool.
European Currency Exchange dealine past.
Yup, February 28th was basically the last day to get rid of all that European money that you may have kept. I had a large amount in many different denomination (French Francs, German Deutchmarks, Irish Pounds, and Belgium Francs) left-over from the time I lived in Europe before. They will all be considered very expensive souvinir monopoly play-money by now. Given that I am living in the gambling capitol of the world (well, maybe just the US), I will just chuck this up to a involuntary loss.
Here is a good sight of the Bellagio fountains at night.
Think your computer runs hot? Try this on for size. How about frying an egg on your heat sink?
Some news about California. Golden State: Is the Glitter coming back? How long before the tech ferver makes a comeback?
I got an annual pass to the Red Rock national park. It is located about 10 to 12 miles outside of Vegas. Nothing but sand and dirt and more desert out there baby. But it is wonderfully tranquil. No city sounds, no wildlife sounds, just you and the silence in a vast expanse of space. Everytime I come out to the desert, I keep telling myself to take some pictures. I either keep forgetting to bring something along or when I do, the light is just really bad.
An reministic site.
I came across a site that left me lingering just looking at the pictures. It is composed of wonderful photography of Paris. The Paris here is imaculately clean, which I don't think I have ever seen before.
Here is a good possible deterent against computer theft problems.
I have also written a piece at The Watercooler: "The effects of environment on productivity, part 1"
Paris by Night is happening this weekend in Las Vegas. For those of you who don't know what this is, "Paris by Night" is the Vietnamese musical industry equivalent to Back Street Boys, Nsync, "insert your favorite boy/girl band here". It has done well with the propagation of lip-synched videos all over the world. Well, you either love it or hate it.
I just popped down to the Strip at Aladin's last night and noticed how utterly empty the retail business have been. The museum store is going out of business and I wonder how many more are following this trend. In addition, airplane fares to and fro Vegas have been hiked by quite a bit. This comes from the airlines cutting down on the number of flights being available. The local economy is quite obviously hurting. I just don't know by how much. All this just points to a spirally downward economy.