Current local Las Vegas time is 6:42am, October 17, 2017.

Archive for the 'Lars Vargas' Category

Still alive

I hope I’ll get a little time to write some more stuff soon.

Posted in Internet, Lars Vargas, Site Information | No Comments »

I am officially old.

There were things I did in my younger, crazier years that would probably kill me if I attempted them now. And if they didn’t kill me, I’d probably want to be dead. It’s no secret that I like my spicy food really hot, usually as hot as or hotter than a restaurant can make it. I also haven’t had a cigar in about seven years. So why not combine them? Read more on I am officially old….

Posted in Friends & Family, Journal, Lars Vargas | 2 Comments »

Lucky me! A job offer.

The world must know about me now. I’m getting job offers from companies I haven’t even sent an application. Heck, I’m not even looking for a job, being rather happy with my current employment circumstances.

But when I woke up this morning, look what was waiting for me in my email box: Read more on Lucky me! A job offer….

Posted in Internet, Lars Vargas | 1 Comment »

Read first. Apply second.

The lovely Mrs. Vargas called me yesterday and suggested that we go out for a sushi dinner. I liked the idea. I like sushi.

Since I work at home, my attire can sometimes be politely described as “casual” and other times, um, well, I wouldn’t want to be in public or under the scrutiny of Glamour’s eye. But I had actually gotten up early, showered, shampooed, and was dressed for public activities in shorts and a nice Hawaiian shirt. Read more on Read first. Apply second….

Posted in Friends & Family, Journal, Lars Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

This is NOT the Party to Whom You’re Speaking!

OK, Las Vegas … what gives? Since we moved here, we have received more wrong number calls in three months than we did in a decade anywhere else.

Apparently we got the phone number that people named Vince and Gayle [Last Name] used to have. How do we know this? They get more phone calls than we do, and the callers ask for them by name. I guess they left town, and apparently when they left town, they did it in the middle of the night. The people calling for Vince and Gayle do not sound like happy folks wanting to talk to contest winners, nor do they sound like concerned relatives. They sound like professional collection agents, taking stern tones with anyone who answers. Read more on This is NOT the Party to Whom You’re Speaking!…

Posted in Journal, Lars Vargas, Las Vegas | 3 Comments »

Feeling Testy? Try Doing What I Did

If you are a member of my family (this means you, Special K) you might want to stop reading right now. This is the follow-up story to Analyze this: a test you can’t study for. If you continue reading, you have been warned.

If you read the story linked above, you know I had some fertility testing done a while back. And as revealed in that story, my output wasn’t the greatest. Not only was the sperm volume very low (duh!) so was the count (duh again!). This double whammy of having not only too few swimmers but a shallow pool necessitated a trip to a specialist to make sure that my plumbing was capable of proper baby-producing output.

Seeing the specialist is no problem at all. I’ve seen enough doctors over the years to not make much of a deal of it any more. Some of the tests, however, are troublesome. I had to go for a testicular ultrasound. Read more on Feeling Testy? Try Doing What I Did…

Posted in Flashbacks, Journal, Lars Vargas | 4 Comments »

Confessions of a Newly-Minted Starbucks Decaf Regular

Coffee is one of those things that has always perplexed me. I remember trying it as a kid, the bitterness was unpleasant and it burned my tongue. Why would anyone drink that stuff when there is soda in the world? I’d rather have a Coke. At least that’s how I grew up.

I pretty much avoided coffee in my youth. I avoided coffee in my 20’s and most of my 30’s as well. I did learn to appreciate the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee, but never quite got around to enjoying the flavor. Even as an ingredient, that coffee flavor would jump right out at me and take over whatever I contained it. Tiramisu was right out. Anything mocha was politely refused entry to my plate.

So no fan of coffee, I would nonetheless have an occasional chance to stop in a place like Starbucks. If I want a hot beverage, which is rare, I go with tea. If I am at a Starbucks and want a hot beverage, which is even rarer, I also have tea. I like tea. Pretty much any flavor is fine. Regular, herbal, etc., although I try to avoid caffeine, so it’s usually decaf or herbal tea.

Yet the siren call of coffee keeps me curious. I stare at the Starbucks menu and wonder what riches may lie beneath the carefully encoded words.

Frankly, the menu at Starbucks perplexes both me and my wife. We go in and watch the customers who know what they want bark off 20-word orders: “Venti double cappuccino with an extra shot, room for cream, and …” my eyes are glazing over. Read more on Confessions of a Newly-Minted Starbucks Decaf Regular…

Posted in Food & Drink, Journal, Lars Vargas | No Comments »

Whirlpool Customer Service: A Basket Case

Our new home in Las Vegas came with new appliances. The builder made a big deal out of only supplying Whirlpool appliances. Whirlpool is a name I have always associated with quality, and the appliances in our home attest to that. We are happy with them except for one detail.

The dishwasher’s silverware basket is simply too small. There are only two compartments to hold dirty silverware, and they only hold about one-half what they should. In fact, they are about one-half the size of any other dishwasher silverware baskets I have ever seen.

I don’t think that Mrs. Vargas and I are use inordinate amounts of silverware. The plate to fork ratio is roughly 1:1, as is the bowl to spoon ratio. In fact, sometimes it’s two plates to one fork. Read more on Whirlpool Customer Service: A Basket Case…

Posted in Flashbacks, Lars Vargas | 8 Comments »

Persian Rugs and Traffic Jams

We went to visit Mrs. Vargas’s parents for the holiday weekend. We stayed at their house in Camarillo, CA. It’s a small city located about half-way between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, just north of “The Valley” of Valley Girl fame.

Mrs. Vargas’s grandmother gave us a Persian rug as a housewarming gift, but it really didn’t go with the décor at Casa Vargas. Grandma suggested that we bring it with us on our trip to California and exchange it for something we like a bit better while we were in town. This story takes place on the day we exchanged the rug. Read more on Persian Rugs and Traffic Jams…

Posted in Journal, Lars Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | 2 Comments »

Happy Turkey Day!

Today Today is the day I go into hiding. I hear that turkeys are being sought out nationwide, and I have to play it safe.

We each have so much to be thankful for today. In between bites of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry, I like to take a few moments to reflect on all we have in life and be thankful. Remembering who and what is valuable to us and appreciating it only makes it that much more valuable.

Read more on Happy Turkey Day!…

Posted in Lars Vargas | 2 Comments »

Many garage sales and not a single garage for sale…

Mrs. Vargas and I went to a terrific garage sale yesterday. Several, actually. What was terrific about them was that they were actually a community garage sale that spanned several neighborhoods in Green Valley, home of the Green Valley Ranch Station Casino (shown on American Casino). It’s a nice area, with some expensive homes, and only a few miles from Casa Vargas.

The sale was not only large it was well organized. The participating subdivisions had all gotten together and had maps printed, as well as the addresses of participating homes. It made finding the sales much easier. An added bonus were the houses not on the official list who had decided to set up their own sales. Read more on Many garage sales and not a single garage for sale……

Posted in Henderson, Lars Vargas, Las Vegas, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the second half

We were now in New Mexico, a place Dad and I had never been before. We both grew up and have mainly existed on the East Coast. Sure, we’ve been to other places, but we never drove cross-country through them. We were absolutely not prepared for the beauty that unfolded before us.

At first it was like driving through an old Warner Brothers Road Runner and Coyote cartoon, except that this scenery was real and there were no Acme instant holes or rocket roller skates to be found along the side of the road. Interstate 40 runs a relatively straight line through New Mexico. There are plenty of hills and ridges, and cresting each one offered up a new and stunning view. It was really incredible to watch the composition of each valley change. Drive 15 miles and the rocks go from craggy and pebbly to flat and striated. Each valley was different, as if God had made thousands of prototypes, each a little different than the others.

I was actually looking forward to twelve hours of this scenery and my mere words here cannot come close to conveying the unique beauty of this place. If you ever have a chance to drive I-40 anywhere in New Mexico and Arizona, take it. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | 1 Comment »

Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the first half

Well as nice as Texas had been, it was nice to see another state. Hello New Mexico! I felt like we had now made real progress. So far the journey was going extremely well, especially since we had tow alpha-males in the truck. Not only were Dad and I still speaking, but we were still having meaningful conversations. This is a good sign.

A few miles over the New Mexico border was the welcome station. We had made it a habit to stop in all the welcome stations along the way for a variety of reasons. The primary one, usually, was a rest room break. The secondary was the free maps. Maps have always fascinated me beyond their utility. I think part of it is dreaming of being in all those exotic and obscure places, wondering what they are like, noting the differences and similarities to the places I already know. At least that’s the romantic version of it.

The Welcome Center on I-40 just west of the Texas/New Mexico border had something even better than maps and a place to pee for free. They had Internet access. I’m an Internet junkie. I make my living doing Internet things and I also have a lot of fun hanging around on the Internet. For nearly four days, I was completely and totally without Internet access, so being able to get online for free, in the middle of nowhere, was too much to resist. Peeing can wait (it had to anyway, but I’ll get to that). Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | 1 Comment »

Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the second half

On the road and hungry, Dad and I, adhering to the “local flavor if possible” rule of the road, had stopped at the only place for miles around. It was surprisingly bright and clean, but the owner serving us was a bit relaxed in her approach to service. OK, she was slow. But everyone was friendly. There was a man on a cell phone sipping tea and an older couple had just left. Dad and I were the only active customers left, so there was no denying us. We were ready to order, and there was no excuse not to come over and get those orders.

During our wait, we had studied the menu enough to note that it was actually a menu for another restaurant, but located in the same place (we think). There were also several suspicious menu items, such as a bowl of Chile and a Cheeseburger with only one “e” in cheese. Perhaps the extra “e” had migrated to the chili, hence the unusual geographical reference. There were other equally humorous “oopsies” on the menu, but I neglected to write them down. If I’m ever back in Sunset, TX, I’ll stop back in and hope they haven’t changed the menus. Something tells me I have nothing to fear. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | 2 Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the first half

It was day 2 on the road from Orlando to Las Vegas. We had made excellent time on day one despite some rain. Day 2 looked like it was going to turn into another fine day of driving with Dad. I figured since this was my show, I was obligated to do more driving than Dad, so I took the first shift again. This was also nice because I usually got to take a post-lunch nap if I felt like it. Well as much nap as you can get in a moving truck.

As we started, Louisiana was still intact. Katrina was days behind us, so the drive out of state was a quick one: about 90 minutes or so. That’s when we hit Texas. For those who have been to Texas, you know everything is bigger there. It just is. And Texas itself is big. Very big. Big in a way that you can’t drive through the thing in a day big.

Texas also doesn’t look like I thought it would. The stereotype is that Texas is all pickup trucks and longhorn steers. We saw enough of those, but there are also lovely mountains, sloping hills, plains, and pretty much any other geological configuration you can imagine. Despite the fact that it seems to take forever to drive through Texas, it’s a drive worth taking. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the second half

Day one is nearly over, but we’ve still got miles to go before we rest. We’re in the midst of trying to find a hotel, but the truck needed fuel in the meantime, so we have stopped at a gas station to fuel up both truck and man.

It was at this gas station that I discovered one really huge annoyance of $2.60 diesel fuel and 35-gallon fill-ups beyond the simple math of paying nearly $100 for a tank of fuel and knowing I would need about 9 of them to make this trip. I discovered that my credit cards (debit cards actually) only pre-approved $75.00 on most pumps, which meant two transactions and two receipts for each fill up. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the first half

I started the day by checking my cell phone voice mail and was relieved that Mrs. Vargas and Luella had arrived safely in Las Vegas and were already settled in the new house.

Remember how Luella had received half a pill of Kitty Valium for the flight? Apparently Luella had actually spit out her relaxation pill, but didn’t need it. She behaved the entire way and only had a few audible complaints during the five-hour flight. Happy with the knowledge that the girls were safely in place and awaiting us, it was time to let the driving begin.

I have driven from Central Florida to points in the Northeast, such as Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY before. Twelve-hundred miles isn’t too bad of a drive. Well, we were looking at nearly twenty-five hundred from Dad’s house to Las Vegas. We had planned on 48 hours of driving over four days, meaning 12 hours a day, give or take.

No sense brooding; we got going. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Luella the Cat, Moving, Mr. Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the second half

It was moving day. So far the mover had hit on my wife, left without us really having everything packed, and time was running out to get Mrs. Vargas and Luella the cat to the airport for their flight to our new home in Vegas.

And as time ran completely out, we got saved.

A $20 bill and a very nice neighbor got the leftover trash and stuff from the house taken care of. We left her behind with a key and some verbal instructions that I can only hope were relatively coherent. I know I wasn’t.

I did have to leave behind a huge amount of my hot sauce collection, and I’m a bit pissed about that, but you have to make sacrifices. At the end of the day, we had everything packed that we needed to get into the truck and a means to get the house empty for its new owner. We even managed to leave behind a few goodies for him. OK, so this generosity wasn’t necessarily planned in advance, but I’m sure he will appreciate the dishes, hot sauce collection, computer, and other artifacts of our life. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Luella the Cat, Moving, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the first half

The day started out OK, and everything was going well until the mover showed up. He seemed chipper enough until he toured the house and proclaimed that I had lied to him about what had to be moved. Now if you want to get my attention in a hurry, call me a liar. I am many things, but a liar is not one of them. However, since I needed his services desperately, I decided to let that one slide.

I told him that I was very specific about what had to be moved and that I requested that he come out ahead of time and give me a quote, but in his words, he’s a professional and could tell from our conversation. OK so be it.

Well Mr. Professional Mover was just too upset and it “would kill” him to move all our stuff (despite the fact that a two-man crew had not only packed it but unloaded it the same day when we moved in). He told me wanted to leave and not do the job since he only had himself and an assistant but absolutely needed three men to do the job.

After going back and forth for a few minutes Mrs. Vargas came to the rescue and told him that he came recommended from friends and that professionals don’t leave jobs. So he decides to load our stuff in the truck, but grumbled that it would take more than six hours. Boohoo, I say. He’s getting paid hourly! Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Luella the Cat, Moving, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »