The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Off to Vegas tomorrow

Vacation time.  By my count, my first actual vacation in over 20 years (ie. I’m not adding a few days on to what is essentially a business trip.)  Will see how the backscatter machines/patdowns go.  If they go too badly this may be the last time I visit the US unless I’m being paid very well to do so.

If you’re in Vegas, and you’d like to get together, drop me a note at iwelsh-at-ianwelsh-dot-net.  I’ll be there for about a week.

Posting may or may not be light, hard to say.


The real reason for grope-athon and porn-scanners




  1. Z

    Good luck on your trip.

    There’s got to be some irony in it somewhere if your last trip to the U.S. was spent in Vegas.


  2. Ian Welsh

    Heh. Well, we’ll see. I’m just going to use the scanner, at least on my return trip. As a non-American citizen I consider that wise.

    I have heard it argued that Vegas is the most American city. It wasn’t meant as a compliment 🙂 but I enjoyed my last visit.

  3. steelhead

    Unless the provide you with corporate jet transportation so you avoid the TSA fascism.

  4. guest

    I’ve only been to the airport at Vegas, making connecting flights on SW. Lot’s of ugly, fat stupid losers, so yes, it is America “sans fards”. My last layover was about 8 hours with all the flights from the NW tied up due to winter weather, which screwed up the whole SW schedule. Not enough chairs to sit on, nothing to read, and the goddamn slot machines shouting WHEEL!!! OF! FURTUNE!!!!!! every 20 to 30 seconds. If I had “encountered” a whore and/or Celine , my Vegas experience would have been complete.

  5. jcapan

    As DeNiro said in Casino, Vegas = Disney.

    “I have heard it argued that Vegas is the most American city.” Implying, I’d imagine, that it epitomizes the character of the people and the nation. Horseshit. But I guess that nicely reinforces their rather skewed take of the culture. I live less than an hour from Kyoto and see the foreign hordes descend, thinking the geisha and temples and facile zen of the place = Japan. They’re equally deluded, but hell, it’s their yen. Let them take their canned memories home with them.

    Seriously, rent a car and you can be in Zion National Park in less than 3 hours. Vegas is like going to Mexico and never leaving Club Med.

  6. auntifashism

    Ditto on jcapan’s suggestion for going to Zion National Park. Hiking up the canyon in the river from the Temple of Sinawa is an exquisite experience.

    And not far from there is one of the most breathtaking places on earth – Bryce National Park. Looking down from the edge at the vast expanse of hoodoos is mindblowing and hiking down into and among them has been some of the most pleasurable hiking I’ve ever experienced.

    If you like nature and hiking at all and you’ll be in Vegas, these parks are wonderful opportunities to experience some of the best the U.S. has to offer.

  7. Ian Welsh

    I like Vegas. Might like Disney, suspect I would. I’ve also visited a variety of other US cities. I also enjoy gambling. Pre-packaged fun is, indeed, sometimes fun. Usually I wander the streets etc… but sometimes that’s not what I’m looking for, and the whole beach/sun thing does nothing for me

    Might have been Chris Hedges who called it the most American city. He certainly thinks very ill of it.

  8. Ditto on the beach/sun thing. The sea itself can be nice if the weather is pleasant, but I can’t last more than an hour on a blanket sitting around. Once I’ve got my toes in the water for a few minutes, it’s enough.

    Not into gambling but like shows, etc. Never been to Vegas, I should catch it before the disencheapens but no time.

  9. jcapan

    Sorry to hang shit on your vacation but that line simply piqued me. Many of my mates in my California days preferred Vegas to backcountry treks too. Booze, women and gambling vs. nature, lack of bathing, possible spiritual awakenings…. Blah blah blah they would say. And BTW, the last time I went to Zion (surprise! solo) I almost died. So there’s that. Taking in Cirque du Soleil ain’t going to “getcha.”

    And Aunt-F–if you’ve not been to Bryce in winter, do so. Southern UT, from Arches to Zion–would that I were Mormon, even Jack.

  10. Ian Welsh

    I’ve spent tons of time in the backwoods. (My father was a forester, one of my uncles was a commercial fisherman, hunter and farmer). Sometimes that’s what you want/need, sometimes it isn’t. For exploration trips I like going to a really foreign country and wandering around on foot.

  11. Peter

    Las Vegas is truly the world’s recreation of many types of Architecture. A very large scale replica of the Eiffel Tower for one, now that decadent! Some call Las Vegas the largest Paper Mache set in the world. Las Vegas belongs where it is, inside the Mojave Desert, very few gave a damn what happened there. There was no other place that gambling and such could have established an early foothold anywhere else in the U.S decades before state governments decided to get into the gambling business.

    I’ve seen the transition from the days of the Mob and Howard Hughes running the show, to the Bean Counters running the show. When the Mob and such had control, Vegas was a much better place to visit. The decadence was much deeper and cooler to submerge into, much more relationship oriented. In today’s Vegas, unless you loose major money, you are just a member of some club that gives you a buffet for so many dollars lost.

    Go fourth, spend, hit up some of those top end eateries for some tasty morsels, and catch Penn and Teller if their in town.

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