Monday, July 30, 2007

Nellis Air Force Base

If you are looking for plane spotting info you can look here also:PlaneSpotting

Today we found a great spot to go see the fighter jets land at Nellis. We were on North Las Vegas Blvd which seems to run parallel to one of the runways there.

There were quite a few different aircraft there including this F-16. In addition there was an A-10 Warthog that we saw flying over North Las Vegas with a couple of F-16s. The Warthog picture is not here because it didn't come out good.

This is a F-15 from the State of Missouri I believe, or as Karen likes to call it the State of Misery.

Overall we saw about 16-20 jets land at Nellis. We were so close to the jets that you could hear their hydraulic systems as they deployed their flaps and in the case of the F-16s deploying their air brakes which I found strange. I would think that they would try to control their speed prior to turning on final, but that seems not to be the case, at least to my un trained eye. I have several photos of them with their speed brakes on during short final. You can see the rest of the pics here.


The Dust Devil

The dust devil is a common sight around here, once you get away from the city.It looks just like a small tornado.

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This is the Janet flight taxiing to take off. Officially, this flight does exist.
You can find it listed in the various web sites that list take offs and landings. Generally its destination is set either KLAS, as if doing a round trip, or to another airbase in Nevada. It actually goes to Groom Lake aka Area 51. This particular plane is:
N-number :N4529WAircraft Serial Number :20785Aircraft
Manufacturer :BOEING
Model :737-275Aircraft
Year :1973
Owner Address : PO BOX 1504
LAYTON, UT, 84041-6504
Type of Owner : Government
Registration Date : 13-Feb-1996
Airworthiness Certificate Type : Standard
Approved Operations : Transport

Area 51 is the best known non secret secret in the US!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Birds

Today we went to the Flamingo Casino to check out the bird display there. They had quite a few on display although the ones we really went to see(the parrots) they did not want you to photograph. I could have, but didn't. They charge $10 to take your picture with the parrots, all of which goes to support the parrots that were rescued from various places. Not a bad deal but we decided to save that for later.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Plane Spotting...

Plane spotting in Vegas is much different than in Detroit at Detroit Metro Airport(KDTW). In Detroit you always had to be weary of encounters with law enforcement, who did not particularly care for people who engaged in plane spotting/photographing. I had a few encounters with the Detroit Metro Airport Police. Most were non events, but on one occasion the officer threatened to turn me in to the FBI, because taking photographs of aircraft is, well, terrorist like. I was parked on a dead end street that did not have no parking signs on it. The cross street, Eureka, did have no parking signs. He pointed to them and said I was not allowed to park on the street I was on. I pointed out to him that the no parking sign he just pointed to were not on the street I was parked on. In fact, the street I was parked on had no signs what-so-ever. I told him I would leave, but that I would be back because what I was doing was legal, and that while he had the right/duty to investigate if he thought I was suspicious, he did so and should have left me alone after that. It was at that point he said he would turn it over to the FBI. He didn't like it when I told him "Go ahead, I'm not afraid of them either because what I'm doing is totally legal." I would also like to point out that I was never anything but totally polite and respectful to the officer. He was also polite to me, he just did not like my answers. Here are some of the shots I got at Detroit Metro:

If you like you can see even more here.

Contrast that with plane spotting in Las Vegas, specifically at McCarran International Airport(KLAS). Here the provide you with a place to park, adjacent to runway 25L as seen below:

In addition, if you tune your car radio to 101.1 FM, they even let you listen to the tower and aircraft as they communicate with each other.

Here are some shots from KLAS:

You can view more here.


Damn tourists!

Just kidding. I'm barely not a tourist myself. If you ever get out to Vegas and are looking for a good, cheap buffet try Sam'sTown. For only $13.99 they have an excellent buffet. Maybe not as elaborate as the Rio (no lobster at Sam'sTown) but it is not $40 either. The food and the selection at Sam'sTown were very good. My dad had suggested Sam'sTown based on a recommendation from Rachael Rae. It was well worth the 20 min drive to get there.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Small Annoyances....

Some tings are going to take a long time to get used to in Vegas. One being the cement dividers at intersections. Their only purpose to seemingly prevent you from turning left where you need to.
Again here is another one. You have to drive to the end and make a u-turn.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

A little update

This is another view from Lake Mead National Recreation Area as the sun was setting.

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A little Update...

It has been a while since I updated the blog, but its been a busy week.
Shortly after we arrived here we noticed that Tigger was limping badly. After giving it a day or two to clear up, it only got worse. We ended up taking him to Banfield Vets that is located in Petsmart. It is a very nice Vet office. I guess each Petsmart has one, or soon will. Anyway, some $300 later the vet removed several Foxtail grass seed from his right front foot. Here is a under electron microscope of it. He had several that were embedded in his foot. Apparently Foxtail is dangerous for dogs!

Soon after that, Karen became ill with what the doctor described as viral stomach flu. Needless to say by the time she got to the doctor she was severely dehydrated, her blood pressure was very low and had to be given I.V. fluids.

Thankfully, both Karen and Tigger are on the mend.

Then comes another big shock. We do not live in Las Vegas! Hell, the Las Vegas "Strip" is not even in Las Vegas! Although my mailing address is in Las Vegas we actually reside in the un-incorporated area of Clark County called Paradise Nevada, whatever that means. Paradise Nevada is also home of the famous "Las Vegas Strip".

In between Tigger's episode and Karen getting sick, we went to the Mojave National Preserve.

Here you can see the Gamble's Quail that were all over the place.
Although not a flightless bird, they very much preferred to try and escape on foot. It was quite funny to see 8-10 of them trying to run from the car as we drove down the Mojave Trail. They really didn't run, it was more of a waddle.

Although kind of difficult to tell, on the right is a Sparrow Hawk that is hanging out looking for food.

This is the Coyote we saw in the Mojave. This picture is actually a better picture of the bush in front of the coyote, than the coyote itself.

On the right is a big 'ole raven flying around very close to the ground. There is a great deal of mythology surrounding these birds, as anyone who has read Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" knows. It is claimed that ravens are the smartest of the birds.

The trip to the Mojave was a lot of fun. It is only about 1 hour from our house and I'm sure we will be visiting there often.

Yesterday we went to Echo Bay in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Along the way we also stopped at Rattlesnake Canyon in the Recreation Area. We were primarily looking for big horn sheep, but never did spot any. We will try another day.

This is a picture of the mountains as the sun was setting on our way back home from the recreation area.

To the right is a picture of Echo Bay in Nevada.

Bye for now.....

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