Saturday, November 11, 2000

Here I am in Las Vegas for Comdex, the big annual computer trade show and conference, and I couldn't help but notice that this place, one of the meccas of the United States citizens, is really a caricature of this whole culture. Loud. Flashy. Pushy people. Everything done to excess. A place where every single one of your vices are waiting to be catered to, most hiding beneath the surface tension of respectability and legality.

I'm amused by the irony of the fact that lining up for food is the typical horror story of being in one of the old communist states. Yet Las Vegas, the city that has all things American, is proud of their buffets, where you stand in line for food.

For a long time.

With loud, crabby, hungry Americans.

As I stood in line today, I wanted to turn around and tell the retired, caucasian, god-fearing (I suspect) couple behind me how funny I thought this was, but I thought better of it. I guess thats all part of being a quiet, unassuming Canadian.

Tomorrow the conference actually starts. I will get to see Bill Gates, king of the Nerds, live. I wonder if I'll find him a captivating speaker.

I was evesdropping on an American talking about how scary a ride was that he (and I) had just finished. He was trying to belittle how scary it was, how scared others on the ride had seemed and how he was hardly even scared, and that he had done many other brave things so that he was "conditioned" and the frightening aspect of this ride didn't faze him. My take on the ride is that it *wasn't* that scary - it was pretty tame, actually.

The Stratosphere was well worth the price of admission - a lovely, lovely view of the whole of Las Vegas. I went up during the day, and I will be going back tonight to have a look at the lights from 1200 feet up.

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