Over the course of last week I was in the wonderfully warm and dry Las Vegas. This was my second time going this year. I met one of my good friends there in February to play some golf. This time a conference brought me. I volunteered as a session chair and also gave a presentation.

The conference ended Friday and my same friend, who is also a magnetics nerd, and I stayed the weekend to play more golf. With winter smacking Minnesota solidly in the face, this was a welcome getaway. The weather was in the low 80s (F) and dry. Nights were cool enough to require sleeves.

Vegas is interesting in that it is designed as a mirage and oasis for escaping the day-to-day. The place tries to give a fantasy appearance while gaming, shows, fine dining and other activites create a vacuum in your bill fold. Thus, I only tend to go once every five years. This year was an exception.

The people, largely colleagues and friends are really what made this trip enjoyable. I’m at an age where I can take or leave the roulette wheel and the slots (although I must admit to having a small fetish for the Wheel of Fortune slot machines). It’s quality time and rest and relaxation are what I crave.

The only less than fun time spent was my last day there. My friend and I went golfing at a fairly popular golf club called, “The Royal Links“. Each hole of the course was inspired by famous holes in England and Scotland. However, we were in the desert. The grass was dry and fairways were noticeably painted green. It was the same teal green color as water trapping granules used to help get a lawn to start growing, so I’m sure there was some utility to the spraying; it still came off as tacky. That was okay though as the course did play nicely. Slow play from groups ahead of us was the real killer.

Slow play is painful to have to follow. Not only is it frustrating, but it can really affect the natural rhythm of my game. Taking too long between shots can degrade focus and I do think my score suffered. We were frustrated enough that we stopped out round after nine holes. The way my friend and I saw it, we’d rather be doing something enjoyable; or at least relaxing. The time was also getting within reason for me to head to the airport. Fortunately, the bag drop at the course let me store my luggage while I played.

We ended up finishing our weekend at In-n-Out burger. There are none of these burger joints in Minnesota, so it was a treat to have me a double-double, animal style and some fries before going. My tummy was content for the rest of the evening. The Minnesota Vikings were playing football on the tv at my seat on the aircraft, so the flight went fast and I was shortly home to wait for my Lyft in 10 degree (F) weather.

One aspect that was missing from the February trip was some alone time. I went to ‘Vegas a couple days early on that trip to quiet my head and get some peace. This time I got reprieve on the back end of the trip with my deciding to take Monday off of work.

I’m grateful that I was able to get to have a break from the day to day. Work had me hit the ground running though as there were a couple small problems with some of our products that are on the cusp of causing late shipments. I guess the cold made for a great day to work.