Tuesday, March 13, 2007

TechReady4 and Surfaces 2007

The registration area for TR4. I had flashbacks to the JLC show. I think I was probably the only one going through that, though.

The view out my hotel room window in Seattle, up and to the right. I stayed in the Grand Hyatt again. I was really happy with my room again. It looked pretty much like the other one, so no pictures of the room itself.

The view out my hotel room window in Seattle, to the left.

The view out my hotel room window in Seattle, down and to the right. Exotic stuff, huh?

The view outside my window, straight out the middle. The center of my view in Seattle always seems to be obscured by tall buildings with people in them.

This is either sunrise or sunset. I forget which direction I was pointed at the time. I think this was on my trip from Seattle to Las Vegas, by way of San Francisco, so it is probably sunset. Along with another great view of the wing of an airplane.

I stayed in Harrah's again, so no new pictures of the hotel room. This is the latest in iron anti-theft technology, though. Yes, it is patented.

I wasn't sure when I was going to get back to Las Vegas, so I saw a couple shows. I saw Penn & Teller. The lady who sold me the ticket really liked to scribble on it, as you can see.

I also saw Lance Burton on this trip.

The right half of the prison fortress of Rura Penthe . . .

. . . and the left half . . . or maybe the World Market Center building. Don't get me wrong--just because I think it looks like a prison from a sci-fi movie doesn't mean I think it looks bad.

One day I decided to walk to Fremont Street. I really didn't know how long a walk it was. If I did, I might have taken The Deuce (i.e., the bus). But then I would have missed this.

I also decided to take a day and drive out to see the Hoover Dam. This was my rental car, a Pontiac Grand Prix. It was almost new. It had less than 800 miles on it when I got it.

This is a picture of Lake Mead in the distance, taken on my way to the Hoover Dam.

Here it is, in all its majestic glory.

In case you were curious what the ticket for the parking deck at the visitor center looked like, here it is.

The Hoover Dam, top to bottom, from the visitor center parking deck. The parking deck has good views of the dam.

The Hoover Dam visitor center, from the visitor center parking deck.

Another picture of the Hoover Dam and the visitor center.

The top of the Hoover Dam and the visitor center, again from the visitor center parking deck.

The top of the parking deck had nice views, I guess, especially if you are interested in transmission lines.

Another view from the parking deck--this is the hill opposite it.

One more view from the parking deck. This is a crane, I think.

Once you're finished with the view from the parking deck, here's the ticket that gets you into the Hoover Dam. It looks a lot like the Penn & Teller ticket, only no scribbles.

These are the generators inside the Hoover Dam. They're one of the first things on the tour.

These are the controls inside the Hoover Dam.

Another picture of the generators--brighter, less people, more blur.

A close-up of one of the generators. It'd be cool if that were plasma in the middle of the generator somehow, but it's just the light from a light bulb inside the generator.

A brighter, blurrier picture of the generators.

This is a smaller generator that I think they said powers the plant.

This is a tunnel carved out of the inside of the mountain that the Hoover Dam is in. It leads to another tunnel.

This is a closer look at the wall of the tunnel carved out of the inside of the mountain. What I was trying to get over was how much it looked like the fake stone walls in amusement park rides.

This is the other tunnel. Water goes through this big pipe.

Another nice caution sign. I don't think you would voluntarily get in the way of this door if it were closing.

A 3-1/8-inch diameter steel pin used in penstocks in lieu of rivets. What the extra 1/8-inch does for it, I'm not sure. It was shiny, though.

This is a diagram of the Hoover Dam. If you were wondering what a penstock was, this has your answer. The largest at the Hoover Dam are 30 feet in diameter. That's big. But not as big as the hole for the spillway tunnels.

A shiny diagram of how the Hoover Dam works. A lot less informative than the old paper diagrams, but hey, it's bright and colorful, and sparkles.

Once again, I see an unexpected caution sign. I am underneath the Hoover Dam--what the sign doesn't tell me is at what point "wet floor" becomes a real concern.

Once you get out of the tunnels and back to the surface, this is what you see. This is a confusing picture because the inside of the visitor center is reflected on the glass.

More transmission lines, coming up from the dam.

A nice bucket for cement.

Dissatisfied with your current job? Here are some options.

Some facts about Hoover Dam.

I was there.

Nice new steel elevator doors in the new visitor center, huh? These take you to the top of the visitor center, where I took these next several pictures.

I thought this was a crane support, but now I think maybe these are transmission lines.

This is definitely a crane. I took this picture from the top of the visitor center.

The hills next to the Hoover Dam.

Once you are done with the new visitor center, you get to visit the old visitor center. These were the reasons the Boulder Dam project was completed, from a display in the old visitor center.

The diorama in the old visitor center. I liked it because it had a kind of Disney-esque, analog feel to it.

From the old visitor center, it is on to the memorials at the Hoover Dam, of which this is one.

Another memorial at the Hoover Dam.

The words on the large memorial at Hoover Dam.

This is the seal at the base of the large memorial at Hoover Dam.

This is the seal at the base of the large memorial at Hoover Dam.

This is a bronze figure, one of two at each side of the memorial. I'll be these would be impressive if they were ever polished up to shine.

A view of the large memorial from a distance, to give it some scale.

Once I was done with the memorials, I wandered around the top of the dam. This is the valley south of the Hoover Dam.

The view upstream from the Hoover Dam, lit up by the setting sun.

The view downstream from the Hoover Dam.

The forebay of Hoover Dam as viewed from the left spillway.

Upstream from the Hoover Dam. These are intake towers.

The intake towers in Pacific Standard Time.

The intake towers in Mountain Standard Time.

The view of the Colorado River upstream, with what I presume is calcification on the rocks.

A closer look at the intake towers.

The sun finally came out at the end of the day, so I took this picture of the Hoover Dam with some sun on it.

The tailwater of the Hoover Dam, taken from the top of the Dam.

The generators are in there somewhere, I think.

Another look at the bottom of the dam from up top.

One more picture of the bottom of the dam, with some stairs in the middle. I decided to play around with my camera's zoom feature.

This is what the stairs look like magnified by my camera. The amount of detail is interesting, but it was awfully hard for me to hold the camera steady enough to get a clear picture.

A view of the back of the dam, taken near the spillway.

The view upstream from the Hoover Dam, this time with some sun.

Some transmission lines and towers at Hoover Dam.

Sure, my walk to Fremont Street was long, but hey, I walked all the way from Nevada to Arizona and back, too.

This is one of the the spillways of the dam. Looks pretty dry these days.

This is another view of the spillway. The water has a long way to go.

There were fishes visible from the top of the Hoover Dam. These were big fishes. The contrast provided by the shallow water here next to the spillway makes them easier to see.

This plant was growing in the middle of a rock. Don't ask me how it managed to get there or do that.

Here is a close-up of the plant.

This is big. It's just not possible to convey the bigness of this hole with a picture this size.

The hole to the spillway tunnel from the end of the spillway.

The big hole from far away. Those are cars and people in the distance. I would have liked to have seen what was at the bottom of the tunnel. This is the end of the pictures from the Hoover Dam and from my trip this time to Las Vegas.

This stone box was at the top of the hills next to the dam. I don't know what it is or what is in it. My years of FPS training tell me its a bunker for snipers.

Dog people are cool people. The Hoover Dam construction crew was cool, so obviously they were dog people. This is the plaque for their mascot. I saw it as I was walking back to my car.

The grave of the Hoover Dam mascot. I read on a UNLV web site that the mascot, a black Labrador Retriever, was named Nig. References to the name were apparently removed in later years because someone complained. An inconvenient, politically-incorrect truth, I guess.

This is another picture of my rental, in the parking garage. I had finished my trip to the Hoover Dam and now it was time to drive back to Las Vegas to catch my plane home.

It was 60 degrees in Las Vegas. It was not 60 degrees when I got home.

This pretty much sums up what the temperature was when I got home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 

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