Monday, October 25, 2004

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Until I come home and post about it on my blog. (It's sorta like that Trixie camp rule).

Yes, that's right, I spent the weekend in Vegas. And boy are my legs tired.

See, I went with STOMP, Strategic Taskforce to Organize and Mobilize People. (Yes, Matt, I really did look it up. This is that it stands for.) Went with Matt and a bunch of other people from town. We went to campaign for President Bush, and Congressman Porter. Basically, we walked neighborhoods leaving campaign literature on front doors. So yes, it involved lots and lots and lots of walking. And did I mention that we walked?

We left Friday night after work. Right after work. Which is why my being late to dinner mattered. Of course, they had sandwiches for us, so we didn't have to rush to dinner. Anyway, we got a late start waiting for a few people to show up, so we didn't get to Vegas until after midnight. Naturally, I went right to bed (really!) and slept. Even so, it was after 1 before I was asleep.

Saturday started early. We left the hotel by 9 AM and by van went to Henderson, right next to Vegas. And we started walking. We started with each person being assigned a neighborhood. We broke for lunch and most everyone finished their neighborhood in the early afternoon. So they picked us up and gave us new neighborhoods in groups. My groups of three finished our new neighborhood as well before we were picked up and taken to dinner. It was at a sports bar with the World Series game going full force. But not that many people stayed very long. Still, Matt and I had a hard time getting a rid back to the hotel, which was kind of a necessity. We had already bought tickets for Star Trek: The Experience.

And let me tell you, if you're a ST fan and ever in Vegas, it's worth the money. They now have two attractions. The original one is Klingon Encounter, which is a simulator ride. They incorporate several actors from Next Gen in it. We're about to board a simulator when suddenly we find ourselves on the deck of the Enterprise. Which is truly amazing since they really transformed the room while we were in the dark. I couldn't believe my eyes. They take us to several sets including the bridge and a transport tube before we get in a shuttle (the actual simulator: think Star Tours at Disneyland). After that, it's a standard simulator ride getting us back to our time.

New (and Matt had never been on it), is Borg Encounter 4-D. After the set-up, this one turns out to be a 3-D ride with things happening to us (things poking you, wind blowing, etc.). We're on board a space station when the borg attack. They try to get us to shuttle and get us out of harms way, but the Borg are following us. Frankly, even though I knew they wouldn't harm us, this was very creapy. Of course, the Borg always creap me out. Anyway, once we get in the theater, our shuttle needs to get away. The Doctor and Janeyway from Voyager make appearances in this one.

In addition to the two rides, which are very well done, they have exhibits of props and a timeline. Naturally, there's a giftshop, which sells all kinds of Star Trek stuff. I didn't buy anything, but Matt did buy a book. There's also a restaurant based on one from Deep Space Nine, but it was closed for a private party that night. I was really bummed.

We had talked about walking the strip and at least looking at the outsides of some of the famous hotels. We didn't for two reasons. First, I barely made it back to our hotel. Second, we spent lots of time in the museum part of the attraction. Matt blames it on me looking at stuff, but since this is my blog, we'll post the truth. Matt was reading much of it. Which was fine in the long run. But don't tell him I said that.

The stupid part about this was that we were on our feet all night after having been walking all day. I was beat by the time we got back, but Matt and I got to talking and didn't go to sleep until Midnight.

Sunday was up early again and more walking delivering literature. This time, they sent us out in pairs. Matt and I borrowed a cel phone and tackled several neighborhoods together, which was much more fun then doing it myself the day before. Plus the fact that I could leave extra stuff in his backpack. (What's the point of having friends if you can't take advantage of them?) I was stiff in the morning, but once I started walking, I stopped hurting. We finished up about 2 and headed back to the hotel. There was a delay with the bus, so I was able to ride the rollercoaster in our hotel before we left. Called Speed, it was short but memorable. And expensive. Still, money well spent.

All told, we got back very late last night. But I didn't let that stop me from finishing my book. Hey, I only had 30 pages to go. And I really did enjoy A Penny for Your Thoughts. The others in the series will be on my Christmas list for sure.

Frankly, I often thought about backing out. I kept hearing stories about the robberies and vandalism going on at Republican headquarters all over the country and wondered if we'd be safe. Personally, everyone I did talk to (people out in their yard) were friendly. Some people did have problems with angry Democrats yelling at them and following them around removing their literature. Fortunately, I didn't have any of that happen to me because I don't know what I would have done. Nevada has had early voting for a week already, and I was surprised at the number of people who told me they'd already voted. I guess about half of their voting takes place before the election. Personally, I dont' feel right unless I'm voting on election day, so I'll wait another week and a day, thank you very much. :) Anyway, I'm glad I didn't back out because it was a fun and tiring trip and I feel we did some good. Heck, we ran out of literature to pass out both days from at least one of our three pieces. And they were surprised at how much more we were able to do then they had planned for us to do. Apparently, this stuff really does make a difference. There were Democrats out doing the same on Sunday, lots of us saw them. So we'll just have to see which grassroots campaign is more effective.

I'm paying for the weekend today, however. When I sit too long, I find myself walking around like an old man. And my cough, which was getting so much better, is so bad it literally hurts. More sleep seems like a good idea. I think I'll go to bed early tonight.

I was glad I got up for class this morning, however. We got our midterms from last week back! And I got a 92. I think he misgraded one of my answers, but I'll let it go. It's only a point and I'm in A- territory. I'm very happy about the result.

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