June 2009

Travels10 Jun 2009 11:41 am

In the Muttart Conservatory, the desert pyramid is my favourite. The arid climate, alien-like vegetation and interesting fauna are infinitely interesting to me. With this in mind, I visited the small xeric garden on the University of Nevada (Las Vegas) campus.

The garden is part of a larger system on the campus, one which I saw many gardeners trimming and watering while there. This part in particular is next to the Marjorie Barrick Natural History museum, so I also popped in to visit that. (The page has a link to a self guided tour you can take of the campus’ gardens.)

Here are some favourite photos, but I also embedded a gallery below them.



Inside the museum, there was a section dedicated to Mexican masks and Day of the Dead artifacts. These guys were part of that display. It was a beautiful museum…and entrance fee was donation based.



Travels09 Jun 2009 07:20 pm

Mike had gotten tickets to UFC 98 some time ago. It was the first live event we had ever been to, and it was amazingly addictive. Our seats had an amazing view of the octagon, and the energy of the crowd was electric.

The event was fast moving, and never felt slow or metered out…odd, considering it was being broadcast live on pay per view. It was seamless and it was really hard to tell; unlike in a hockey game where there are commercial breaks. Pretty cool.

We got into Vegas that very day, and it was also Memorial Day weekend. It was a mad dash around the city, meeting friends, having dinner, checking into hotels and getting stuck in traffic. My feet paid the price and I got blisters that have only just gone away. We were late having dinner, and as a result we missed most of the undercard (including a guy from Alberta, Tim Hague), but the main card was highly entertaining, and made for a great night out. Lots of interesting people and celebrities there.

ufc 98

I did not use any zoom on this photo. This was the exact view we had from our seats.

ufc 98

I kind of nerded out and took a photo of the camera they were using. I always wondered how they got the amazing over head view shots; it is this awesome camera that hangs over the octagon. It slides around freely and gets a 360 degree view of what goes on below and around it.

ufc 98

ufc 98

I *think* this was during the highly dramatic Serra vs Hughes fight. The fight itself was interesting, but the crowd was the far more fascinating element, as they were super into it. Booing, cheering, chanting names…grudge matches are fun for those involved and the fans watching. Everyone kept leaping to their feet when someone would pound into someone else, then slowwwwwwly sitting down which watching the big screens. Lots of beer was spilt that night I’m sure.


Matt Serra fans.

It was a great night, and I cannot wait for UFC 100 in July.

Food and Food: Las Vegas and Travels08 Jun 2009 09:05 pm

When I realized my trip to Las Vegas would bloom into a five night stay from two, I busily set out to find new things to do. Things I had long wanted to do, but hadn’t had the time to get to. One of these was to visit a Las Vegas farmers market.

There are several in the Vegas area, mostly in the suburbs. (Although I did see that the Palazzo hotel on the Strip had a “Farmers Market” recently. The event featured seven local farmers selling items like local quail, chicken and duck eggs, apricots, figs, desert honey inside the hotel, and had a few cooking demonstrations and special menus at Palazzo restaurants. There is also a new market downtown in the old Strip area at Fremont.)

The market I originally had my eye on was at Bruce Trent Park, but my visit there fell through, so I went to another market I had heard about on the local morning news that day: Roadhouse Farmers Market (Thursdays, 4-8pm, corner of Sunset and the Boulder Highway in east Vegas). There was a local chef demonstrating vegan cooking and it sounded interesting.

When I got there, I was a bit disheartened to see how small the market was. However, it was their grand opening night. As hot as it was in Vegas already, I had to remember it is still only spring there as well.

There were probably 12 stalls, selling mostly produce from nearby California. It was cooking hot, even at 6pm, and I wasn’t in the mood to eat much, but enjoyed the music, sights and smells.

roadhouse farmers market

roadhouse farmers market

roadhouse farmers market

(The “Made in Boulder City” sign referred to an oil of some kind I believe)


(Haas avocados, $2 for a larger, $1.50 for a small)

roadhouse farmers market

roadhouse farmers market

The last photos are of Chef Mayra, who specializes in organic and vegan cuisine in Caribbean styles. She had quite a crowd of onlookers and her food was delicious. I definitely enjoyed my brief foray into Nevada farmers markets.

Travels02 Jun 2009 09:24 pm

I was gone on vacation in Las Vegas and Minneapolis for some time, and I apologize for not scheduling posts. It might be a few more days before I sort through the photos and get some posts going, and a few more yet to get “Calle Ocho” by Pitbull out of my head though. That song was insidious in the States, played several times an hour on almost every radio station.

In the meantime: some highlights from my time away.

Watching Star Wars from the shower in the Palazzo in Las Vegas. Nerds ball hard, alright?

star wars palazzo bathroom tv

Fans booing the decision in the UFC 98 match between Matt Serra and Matt Hughes.


Mexican “papel picado” banners at the Marjorie Barrick of Natural History museum, on the UNLV campus.

meixcan papel picado banners

And…groom Jayson (at back) and several of his college friends & wedding party cramming into the photo booth at the wedding. That thing nearly split at the seams.


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