This was our first Halloween living in a real house so we carved a pumpkin and gave out candy this year. It took a mere three hours to give away six big bags of candy. The best part was greeting the trick-or-treaters and hearing their funny comments. Kids really do say the darndest things! Here are the night’s most memorable.
“Did you make rice?” asked one girl as she leaned in a took a big whiff. Indeed, I had just cooked some.
“Mom! Dad! They have a really nice house with hardwood floors and a big screen TV!” said a little boy dressed as Superman. His parents looked embarrassed.
“I’m a ninja” said the first little dude. “and I’m a menacing warrior!” said his younger sibling.
One of the local radio stations, 98.5 KLUC is helping wildfire victims in San Diego in their own unique way. They are playing Aqua’s Barbie Girl over and over again until they raise 1,000 packages of under-garments. Sound wacky? Their rationale is not bad actually: most people don’t have time to grab important items (like undies) when they are being evacuated in an emergency.
They only have 53 donations so far (14 airings of the song and are threatening to play The Thong Song, MMMbop and Macarena if people don’t step it up. You gotta love it!
Update (9:35AM) – Thanks for the shout-out Chet!
Update (9:49AM) – Over 1,000 donations! Las Vegans are awesome! KLUC is now targeting 10,000 donations.
Update (11:04AM) – Barbie Girl is about to be played for the 40th time crew has counted an amazing 7,400 packages of underwear, diapers and other needed items. They’re still counting and think they may have already reached the goal of 10,000 donations.
Update (11:24AM) – The underwear drive is over with an excess of 15,000 pairs of undies donated. The drive to San Diego begins in a few minutes with a donated rental truck and even gas money for the trip. Nice work KLUC!
Flooring is one of the most noticeable areas that builders skimp on with new home construction. If you aren’t willing to spring for an “upgrade” you’ll likely get cheap carpet in most common areas and paper-thin linoleum in your kitchen and bathrooms. Previously, I wrote about removing carpeting and installing hardwood floors. My latest project was laying ceramic tile in a small bathroom.
Types of Stone or Tile Flooring
There are many choices when it comes to tile. You have ceramic tile, porcelain, marble, slate, travertine or granite. There are pros and cons for each as well as a range of prices. Cheap ceramic tile starts at under $1 per square foot with expensive marble or travertine pieces going for ten times as much. Also be prepared to choose from a variety of sizes and shapes. Right now large tiles of over 12″ per side are in style. We went with 1.5″ hexagonal ceramic tiles that were under $2 per sheet. Ceramic was a good choice for us because it is a porous stone and not as slippery as other types.
Overall, the project was not too difficult and was similar to the hardwood floor project. The prep work was almost exactly the same, many of the skills required are complementary and you can use some of the same tools.
Tools and Supplies Required
Tile Cutting Tool – Either a manual cutter (score then break the tile with a clamp – $20-$50) or a wet saw (diamond-edged 10″ blade that rotates inside a bath of water – $120 and up).
Notched Trowel – Preferably with 1/4″ notches for even spreading of the adhesive.
Putty Knife – For spreading grout. Use something with a plastic or rubber edge so you don’t scratch the tile.
Grout Sponge – Used to wipe grout off the surface of the tile – coarser than typical sponges and
Tile Adhesive – Also called thin-set. Look at the label to be sure it works with the material you’ve selected.
Unfortunately, I didn’t snap as many photos this time but here’s what our small bathroom looked like before and after:
See the orange tape? We used it to hold together the cheapo linoleum that had bubbled and ripped. There are a couple more bathrooms upstairs with the same linoleum that we will replace eventually. The correct installation would have me removing the toilet and tiling beneath it but I decided not to do this to save some time. In the end, this was a mistake because it took longer to cut tile to fit around the toilet.
Our new bathroom floor! I purposely took the photo from a bit far away so you can’t see that some of spacing between the tiles is uneven. Those little tiles were difficult to work with. The surface is nice and smooth but not too slippery when wet. We don’t want our guests falling when they step out of the shower.
There is a large sign posted on Durango Drive just off the 215 that reads “Future site of a Stations Casino”. I went online to learn more about this but could find much.
Here is an aerial view of the proposed casino site. As you can see, there’s not much to it but dirt and rocks right now but it’s quite a large plot of land.
An old article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal announced the planned construction of the new casino back in April 2005. This article described the new “Durango Station” as a 120,000 square foot resort hotel with a movie theater and bowling alley (much like Red Rock). These will be welcome attractions in our area since residents need to travel to other areas of the city for these forms of entertainment. If the new Durango Station is anything like Red Rock or Green Valley Ranch then we’ll also get some good restaurants, a few bars and maybe even a dance club.
Everyone knows that Asians love the casinos but did you know that the feeling is mutual? This segment on NPR discusses the importance of high-rollers from Asia and the lengths casino hosts will go to in order to woo them.
If you’re not up to betting $50,000 on a single hand you can at least enjoy some of the other amenities offered to Asian gamblers. Enjoy a hot and steamy bowl of pho on the Strip at Treasure Island.
One of our favorite things to do on the weekend is to sleep late and then wake up and have dim sum. That’s why we were excited to find Orchid’s Garden on Sahara, near Lindell. They serve good, dependable dim sum at reasonable prices, seven days a week. It gets crowded on the weekends but we’ve only had to wait once in our 3-4 visits.
Here’s a video one fan made and posted on YouTube:
Today I opened my garage and saw a pair of pigeons walk-walk-walking across the driveway. Under normal circumstances this would not be something to think twice about (much less to blog about) but it occurred to me that these were the first pigeons I’d ever seen in my neighborhood. Thinking back on my first few months in Las Vegas I really cannot remember seeing any pigeons before. I have no idea why they are not living in our area in larger numbers but it probably has something to do with the newness of our development. Or do pigeons just not live in the desert? Inquiring minds want to know!