Stories's Log
This log represents the Life and Times of the Las Vegas Dude.
<< 03/2007 < 02/2008 Calendar 04/2008 > 03/2009 >>Sign InView Other Logs
Sun 
03/16/2008 10:52:01
 jim  Dress Shopping Day
It was supposed to be a shopping day.
Renee wanted clear plastic plates and some spray glue.
We went to Michaels, Walmart, Fred Meyers, Costco, Joannes, Ross, Party City, and AAA China Buffet. Becky got a blue dress that is killer (see the previous blog entry). 
Thu 
03/13/2008 20:49:23
 jim  Seattle Compared - Per Diem
The Cost of Living per day.
Seattle, Wa $216
Tacoma, Wa $167
Portland, Or $155
Everett, Wa $144
Eugene, Or $136
Olympia, Wa $129
San Francisco, Ca $232
San Diego, Ca $203
Los Angeles, Ca $182
Sacremento, Ca $170
Redding, Ca $126
Phoenix, Az $216
Las Vegas, Nv $188
Reno, Nv $153
Denver, Co $189
Aspen, Co $168
Kansas City, Ks $147
Omaha, Ne $127
Co Springs,Co $127
Albuquerque, Nm $124
Chicago, Il $213
Cleveland, Oh $161
Nashville, Tn $161
Louisville, Ky $145
Indianapolis, In $141
Memphis, Tn $139
Lexington, Ky $137
Chattanooga, Tn $129
Key West, Fl $303
Atlanta, Ga $188
Miami, Fl $178
Tampa, Fl $177
Savannah, Ga $153
Orlando, Fl $148
Manhatten, NY $375
Queens, NY $308
Boston, Ma $284
Washington, DC $265
Philadelphi, Pa $213
Pittsburg, Pa $162
These are set by the government.
They reflect the cost of living per day, in different cities throughout the US.
The IRS excepts this amount as untaxable.
If you are a for salaried employees working away from home, and you would normally be paying 30% in taxes, and were living in a $200 per diem city, you would save $60 a day because of the per diem allowance. That works out to $1,500 extra a month you would no t have to pay in taxes.
Wed 
03/12/2008 21:00:25
 jim  The big hole in my dash is handy
Don't need no stereo. I can fill that hole with snacks! It could even hold a night bag.
I was surprised how easy it is to break into an F150.
The thief must have taken a screwdriver, placed it in the key slot, punched in the door lock and given it a twist.
The door lock is just barely held in place, so its easy to punch inward. Once the lock is loose, all it needs is to be rotated.
I'm just grateful he didn't rip the wires out. He was careful enough to unclip the wires from the stereo, and to remove the moldings without breaking anything.
My locks needed fixing anyway.
Ford's power lock actuators (the things that electronically unlock the doors) go bad in Vegas heat.
When they go bad, you can't use the remote to unlock your doors.
They will fix them for $400, and they'll go bad again, and again.
And you'll end up living in a cardboard box howling at the moon.
I got two actuators today for my door locks.
The idea was to get the remotes working, then I don't need my busted key lock fixed (which could be very expensive if Ford did the work). It took 1.5 hours to do the driver side door. Gosh, they make it. You need fingers 5 inches long!
But now that I know how to do it and the tools are already down there, the passenger door actuator should go much quicker.
Maybe.
Anyway...it was a productive night, and now I can drive around with a little confidence.
What I liked about Ford's improvements
Ford used to have these clips that would break whenever you took off a door panel. No more...the panel has one screw, and simply unhooks.
I replace the hard drive in my laptop last weekend.
Actually, its the laptop the SAE used to have. Becky was using mine. My hard drive croaked. I got a new laptop, then fixed my laptop, and gosh, I'm getting more confusing the more I babble!
Wed 
03/12/2008 21:00:25
 Chez2199   (Reply).The big hole in my dash is handy
So you got your truck robbed? That sucks That woul;d never happen in Louisville :-)
Wed 
03/12/2008 07:17:56
 jim  In search of...Coffee Vending
We've been kicking in around, and our next adventure might just be a real adventerture.
300 cups sold in a day = $1,000 !
Coffee Guy
Seattle Coffee trucksMobile espresso coffee and fruit smoothie concession trailer
Seattle Coffee Truck - Best Looking TruckMobile espresso and fruit smoothie truck
Mobile espresso and fruit smoothie truck
Sat 
03/08/2008 03:30:07
 jim  This weeks highlights
The bus pass experience - Having to walk all over in the rain to get the wrong pass replaced.
The truck being burgled - A visit from Poppa Lock yielded no stereo, no GPS.
Dining Out - Eating at Fremont Dock, Nickersons, and Bubba's BBQ.
Finding a way - Venturing off to St Marks Cathedral across the lake.
Gaining New Friends - Its hard here, but its happening. Progress is extremely slow.
Thu 
03/06/2008 22:05:02
 jim  Could a BBQ Place be this easy?
This BBQ take out place is smaller than our apartment. It looks like a simple business to manage. Really easy!
They sell sodas, 4 sides, and 4 types of BBQ sandwiches that they smother.
They have a heat rack, a cooler, sink, fridge and POS cash register..
Wed 
03/05/2008 20:05:24
 jim  Its funny how the nights move
Seattle is a lonely place with lots of people. We are just passing through it.
We take things one day at a time here. We've seen no cheering crowds.
At the end of the day, we roll the credits, and fade off into the next day.
Tue 
03/04/2008 17:53:45
 Chez2199  .Theres times in my life...
Some times it's to deep for me :-) but i miss ya! it sucks that you have been burglared twice never hapen where i live.. Hey maybe you should come back!
Tue 
03/04/2008 03:17:01
 jim  More fun with Bus Passes
It would have been a great day for walking.
But it drizzled all day.
I started to hop the bus this morning, and was surprised when the bus driver told me my pass wasn't good enough. I needed a quarter more. OUCH!!! He let me on though. These bus drivers a pretty cool.
So, now, the problem was exchanging my pass
I had just purchased my pass Friday from Bartell's for $54. I guess they didn't know the rates had changed March 1st. hmmm.
I walked to Bartells.
They had to get the manager and I waited. She told me they don't do exchanges or refunds, and that I'd have to go to the Transit Station on University and 4th. Its in a mall.
I walked the Transit Station.
I went through a long line, but it moved quickly. They told me that they didn't do exchanges or refunds either! I'd have to go to the bus station on the other side of town. They could, however, sell me a booklet of 25 cent passes...hahahaha....The booklet was twice the size of a quarter! I'd bet it expires too!
I hopped a bus to the Bus Station at 201 Jackson Street off 2nd and Main.
The bus dropped me off at a 5 way intersection. There was a bus depot two blocks away, but it was vacant. What I was looking for was a building that wasn't even marked, at least, I didn't see a sign on the building.
So, I went inside and there was the line from hell.
It wound back and forth, ending up at three windows. I had plenty of time while standing in line, to contemplate what I may be doing wrong, (did theyt take Visa, did I need a receipt, did they do exchanges at this building).
I finally got to the window.
The clerk said she didn't do exchanges. She said I'd have to see the manager at another window. Wow. I did, and he had me fill out a form that I had to return to the first window.
Well, I finally got the pass for $63. Did I mention its only live 2.6 miles from my apartment to work? It costs about about 63 cents a mile to ride the bus. Toss in that it cost $150 a month to park my truck at the apartment and I'm paying a lot to get around here.
Leaving the bus station/whatever they call it, I couldn't find a bus back to work.
The street I came down (3rd Street) turns into a one way street, which means there was no bus stop on the other side from where the first bus dropped me off. Now, I'm thinking, I could gamble, and wait at any bus stop to ask the drivers if they came close to 3rd and Madison, or I could walk down 3rd street until it turned back into a two way street. I decided to walk.
On my walk back, I noticed there were two 2nd and Main Streets.
I'm serious!!! One is 2nd Avenue, the other is 2nd Street....I still don't know the technical difference.
I always thought that avenues were short and streets were long. Its reversed here. Maybe thats normal...hmmm.
The worse thing about this whole experience wasn't walking up the steep hills.
When I got up this morning, I got dressed in the dark and I put on a mismatched pair of shoes.
Tue 
03/04/2008 03:16:02
 jim  Bus Pass Walk Pictures
I did enjoy the walk from the station.
The timing could have better though. Its alway amazed me how essential public customer services are always open when the majority of the public is working.
These shots were taken with gray skies. It looked gloomy so, I jazzed them up a little.
Sat 
03/01/2008 05:54:51
 jim  Kodak camera wide shots

I bought a Kodak Z712 IS a while back. Its got some really great features. I was checking out its panorama feature.

This camera lets you take 3 shots R2L or L2R. When you are done, the camera stitches them together. This is the first digital camera I've seen that does that.

 Others, you upload your pictures, run some software and it stitches the pictures together, so you never really know what you've got until you've left the scene.
Thu 
02/28/2008 20:51:35
 jim  GE has an openning for a contractor
If anyone's interested...give me a ding dong.
Thu 
02/28/2008 08:20:03
 SAE  So, what is happening with Jimmy R. C.?
What be happening with those opportunities you were looking at?

Sorry, had to take a quick break to eat some corn.

Howl...
Sat 
02/23/2008 19:14:38
 jim  Lake Union-In Awesome Weather
Sat 
02/23/2008 07:11:28
 jim  Seagull Buddy
One of the things I like to do when I'm around Seagulls, is teach them to catch. This one is starting to get the idea.
They have an excellent memory and are extremely easy to train. They cock their heads when their learning. You can almost hear them say "huh?". 
This little fellow never quite got it together. Our balcony is too high.
Fri 
02/22/2008 03:38:17
 jim  Our Friday Destination - The Skylark Cafe
They Skylark Cafe and Club. Its on 3803 Delridge Way SW, West Seattle, WA 98106.
The downside is, even though its only 4 miles away
Its a 40 minute ride on the bus. Its a 13 minute drive, if you can find a place to park.
-- REVIEWS --
According to the Stranger - It is Seattle's night life's saving grace.
Editorial Review for Skylark Cafe & Club – by Hannah Levin
West Seattle has long struggled to find a solid, attractive spot to function as a live music destination, and Skylark proprietress Jessie Summa-Kusiak has finally nailed it with this café's cozy, neighborhood vibe. The diner-style food is a top-notch combination of the comforting (homade meatloaf with all the trimmings) and the sophisticated (penne with vodka sauce), while the high quality, free-of-charge live music draws appreciate crowds with a mix of indie, rock, and alt-country acts, and the occasional singer-songwriter.
Fri 
02/22/2008 03:38:17
 sae   (Reply).Our Friday Destination - The Skylark Cafe
Jimmy... Jimmy... Jimmy...

Evenings are for staying home, under a comforter, watching reruns of "I love Lucy" and "Leave it to Beaver".

HAHA..
Fri 
02/22/2008 02:42:09
 jim  Where do tourist go in Seattle?
We went strolling down the waterfront walkway last night.
What can I say...most of it was closed at 7pm. Lots of piers. Little on them.
I keep expecting to see a little bit of San Francisco in Seattle, but its just not here.
Every town I've seen has a party district.
I'd describe a party district as a fun place to go at night after you get off of work. It has dance joints, bars, bands, street entertainment and shops. Most towns these days have place area where you can ride in a horse drawn buggy after dark. Its usually safe, with police walking the beat.
I think every major city in the US has a Hard Rock Hotel . Portland and Seattle don't.
Lets see:
Louisville had its Fourth Street Live  Orlando had its Universal City, and downtown area. San Francisco has its piers, downtown and China Town. San Diego has its Gas Light District. Los Angeles has Universal City, piers, marinas. Las Vegas has its Strip. Nashville has its Strip. Sacremento has Old Sac. Omaha has its Gas Light District.
Even Bowling Green has a Strip
Seattle has Pioneer Square, but its scary at night.
If you had a carton of cigarettes, you'd be a celebrity there for 5 minutes.
Seattle has its scattered party areas.
Pikes street is okay. Its got some cool malls and shops.
Fremont is okay. Its got quite a few restaurants lined up.
I think the most pressing problem this town has is, there is no place ot park.
You have to ride the bus or take a cab.
You can't say, hey, I have got $20. I'm going out to have some fun here.
You need that to get where ever you are going, and it is going to take awhile for you to get there, and you are going to do a lot of walking. You will run into some pretty strange people on your trip. Its just not worth going out.
There are no convenient places to go (that I've found).
Sat 
02/16/2008 16:07:01
 sae  Had a not so good day.
You remember Enrique at work, here? His wife died a week ago, yesterday, (Friday the 8th) of leukemia. She had "beat it" once before, in 2001, and it returned in mid January, this year. So a few of us, went to the funeral this morning at the church, and a couple of us (me included) went to the burial at the cemetery in the afternoon. Very depressing. She was 3 days younger than me.
Sat 
02/16/2008 03:49:00
 jim  Sometimes the lake outside looks like glass
Its early in the morning here.
I wasn't feeling very good.(its probably just a nasty leftover from that terrible flu/cold)
Anyway, I woke up swetting and feeling unconfortable, and yucky in an overall kind of way.
Somewhere along the line, I decided having a beer wouldn't hurt.
Why not ? I've been curious about SEATTLE'S WILD NIGHTLIFE.
I went out at 2:40 am, and discovered something quite interesting.
There's a law in the state of Washington, that after 2 am (even on a Friday), you can't order a beer anywhere.
I guess thats a good idea, sort of, if you don't mind the government dictating your business hours.
Maybe its because I'm still a Las Vegan.
I liked being able to go out at 3 am, play some quarters and say howdy to the neighbors.
Maybe I assumed Seattle would be a lot like Louisville or Memphis.
But Seattle doesn't seem to have a night life district, unless you consider eating to be nightlife.
There really aren't any dance joints here to speak of. 
I haven't found any real amusement parks either.
There are no Six Flags, Universal Studios, Planet Hollywoods or Hard Rock Cafe's.
I can see now why they sell coffee on every street corner. Its too keep you from falling asleep everywhere.
I know how a lake the size of Lake Union can have a glass like water suface.
There's nothing happening in this state after 2 am !
So after 2 am, in Seattle, its lights out.
ITS THE LAW!

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