"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Windows 7

I'm a total sucker for beta versions of programs - I just have to have the latest and greatest versions and all the fun bells and whistles that come with upgrades. Never occurs to me that I might mess up my computer with things that don't work. I've done lots of official beta testing where I had lots of bugs to report and specific tests to do.  So upgrading to the public beta of Windows 7 was really much less risky, its reported to be very stable. 
It took awhile mostly because I didn't realize that doing all the upgrades sent to me by Microsoft (which were waiting to be installed because I use my PC much less than my Mac) which took about a half hour to install did not have me ready for Windows 7. I still was missing the recently released Service Pack 1 for Vista. That took longer to install. So after a few hours of preparing, I was ready to go...
With no errors or problems, Windows 7 was installed with only one warning - that my joystick mouse was not compatible with its current drivers. I never use it so that didn't matter. It took overnight because by the time I actually got to the install I was ready for bed.
First of all, it was just a little disconcerting to see a blue screen, reminiscent of the "blue screen of death" but then from above there was this ray of light - like a ray of hope for this new operating system - the default background for Windows 7 at least so far. So I changed my background as blue screens just don't make me comfortable! 
So far - not one issue. I've looked at a few of the cosmetic changes and they are fun and nice. Programs I've tried have worked fine, even some very old ones.  Hope it continues and we can be done with all the talk about how horrible Vista is.... although I personally did not have many issues, although I hated the constant "are you sure you want to do this" reminders....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas

No photos allowed during the show, but we bought the VIP tickets so we got to take pictures backstage...
Anthony Crivello who plays Phantom talked with us while we got to watch him take off his prosthetic face.... then posed for pictures with us.

Under the stage are all the props and special effects and the control room where they are all cued and operated. We got to see the Masquerade characters and many props and the wig room, as well as photograph the inside of the theater.

And then it was home again... but see my daughter's blog with her Phantom costumes at loettchen.livejournal.com

Here is my daughter in her Red Death costume which she designed and made herself.

Las Vegas Wednesday

Sunrise on Wednesday looking out at the Palazzo and new construction at the Venetian Hotel.

Bill worked while Colleen and I did more touring of hotels...

First the Encore - a twin on the outside of the Wynn - these are very upscale, gorgeous hotels. The Encore just opened in December 2008. First pictures are the lobby/entrace of the Encore with a dragon and red/yellow flowers in preparation for the Chinese New Year. There were even inlaid floors.

I managed to get a photo of the casino although they discourage it - this one was SO pretty and so much less tacky than most casinos I just had to record it.  Below the shopping area with its beautiful chandeliers and incredible shops. 

We didn't buy anything....
Next the Palazzo where these lights moved up and down slowly making a beautiful constantly changing piece of art....

There were very interesting restaurants, gorgeous rest rooms and even another circular escalator.

We found a small coffee shop restaurant and could eat outside in an area that made it hard to believe we were in Las Vegas - except for the view just beyond the "nature" of hotels or a shopping center....what a contrast to a peaceful natural setting!

The lunch was pure comfort food....
with heat lamps so we could enjoy the outdoors in winter!!

I enjoyed this guy with his music, phone and computer all going....

Next we were at the Palazzo to see the Living Waters show and I believe the other photos are from there also.

We stayed at the somewhat less expensive Treasure Island

The sign at the Venetian for the Phantom show!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Las Vegas continued

We had arrived on a Tuesday morning - and spent the rest of the day exploring the Venetian, Paris, Bellagio, Cesar's Palace and having a wonderful meal in the Venetian.

So a sampling....
Or course we had to have a picture of the Paris Opera House, location of the story of Phantom of the Opera....

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Hotel and the Bellagio Fountains
We loved the circular escalators and had to ride them...
Caesar's Palace grounds