First of all, a million thanks to smitty1e for making this possible in the first place. He did the heavy lifting of planning and funding this little expedition and was very good company besides. We had some quality conversation on the military experience, SF, religion, music and some other things, and I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of each other for manly pursuits like wargaming and exercise going forward.
As for Vegas itself...dayyum. Sensory overload is the default setting of the place, so much so that when Smitty and I were refueling the Toaster yesterday morning in Kingstowne during rush hour and downhill from a construction site, I remarked on how weirdly quiet it was after Vegas. The place is a fleshpit of global proportions, with just about every legal temptation (and a few that aren't) on display 24x7 in full-screen Technicolor and surround sound. That's just OUTSIDE on the Strip. Inside the casinos, you either need a native guide or a GPS to avoid getting lost; they are like the tribal casinos of Minnesota squared and cubed with MOAR NOISE into the bargain. Now, I'm not averse to having music and text and other inputs going, but this struck me as a bit much, and I found myself agreeing with Smitty that two days was about the optimum amount of time to spend in the place. I suspect if/when I do this again, I'm going to be spending a lot more time in the quiet sanctuary of my room. Also, more hydration; I don't think I drank nearly enough water, and had way too much Diet Coke and iced tea instead.
I did a pretty good job packing for the trip. Packed more than enough bandages and tape, had an extra change of underwear - and forgot spare compression stockings.
Probably the most frustrating aspects of the trip were unavoidable. I am far too large to fly comfortably, even after having dropped all that weight, and all of the flights were fully booked, so there wasn't any way to stretch out. Also, having to fly there through LA was less than fun; made for a long time spent in the air, which was bad, and on the way out JetBlue staged us through Long Beach, which is in the midst of rebuilding and not quite ready for prime time.
On the one hand, the DeathPad was great most of the time, especially where there was wifi. On the other hand, there was a glitch in the music software that kept it from finding the 7+ GB of music I copied into it from my desktop until it downloaded an OS upgrade Wednesday morning. Would I have been better off using Netzilla at the debate instead? Yes, probably. But for everything else I did on the trip, DeathPad was better; the battery life while running both the music and Kindle was definitely better than the netbook's would have been, especially since I wasn't going to load any music into it and would therefore have had to bring the external drive along; more drain on the battery. For that matter, I could have left the DeathPad's keyboard and recharging stand behind. I probably should have brought a camera, since I had room and spare batteries...somewhere.
Going to spend the rest of the day doing laundry, dishes, and general cleanup around the place while getting caught up on statistics and marketing work. Also, preparing for the second round with Intermediate Accounting II on Saturday.