March 2012 First Friday and a visit to Insert Coins

by on Mar.13, 2012, under 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada


I love going to First Friday. Downtown Las Vegas has become one of the hottest spots for artist, entertainers, the tech savvy and Vegas locals. This First Friday a DJ and his dancers rocked one street while a live band invoked a dance circle around the corner. The local vendors had all sorts of goodies to sell and sample. Grab a cup of  Las Vegas inspired coffee or buy a  handmade candle. There are free galleries to visit and affordable art for purchase from prints to originals. Support the Las Vegas local artists, First Friday is every first Friday of each month.


Handmade candles.

DJ and Dancers with some kind of spaceship party bus?

Gotta love it. If I were only brave enough to venture within.

The line to get into Insert Coins was really long due to the First Friday event. Being a gamer and having once worked for Jillian’s in Washington, I had high hopes for Insert Coins. Unfortunately the place was loud, dark, small and had numerous broken machines. There was only one working pinball machine we played with friends only to find the scoring was off or maybe I’m just naturally awesome at pinball and no one wanted to continue playing me. Whatever the issues, we thought our money would be spent better at any one of the numerous arcades throughout Vegas. Insert Coins has potential to be a neat little weekday hang out, the weekends are just too busy to be enjoyable and the amount of broken machines that were there was disappointing.

Random drunk peeps.

The bar at Insert Coins, video games to be played from above screens.

The only working pinball machine.

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Springs Preserve 2012

by on Feb.20, 2012, under 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Space exhibit flyer we had gotten in the mail sparked my interest and it became my mission to finally visit the Springs Preserve. It was the day after Valentines and the weather was unusually cold for Vegas. What better day to go. When we arrived at 333 South Valley View there was hardly anyone there. Happily we were greeted and given a map of the 180 acre site. Overwhelmed with the size of the park, we started down a path between a man-made canyon (complete with sounds of the wilderness) towards the Origen Experience where the Space exhibit was being displayed. A lovely man pointed us toward the viewing room where we were to watch an introduction film about the history of the Las Vegas Springs and how the preserve came to be. Once the video was finish we noticed there was art displayed on the walls from local students. We spent about an hour admiring the talent of these young artist before entering the Space exhibit.

Space: A Journey to Our Future





Spinning in the space “ride” was dizzying. After we experienced how it would be like to exercise in space, we played with some of the interactive exhibits. I learned about the different types of light used in telescopes and I tried to build a spaceship to Mars.



The Space exhibit will not disappoint you and will be at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve until May 13, 2012.  If you want to miss the crowds try going on a weekday, but remember that if you want to go to the Nevada State Museum it is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Dutch and I spent a great deal of time exploring the Space exhibit and when we saw how much more there was to seewe knew we couldn’t do it all in a day. Thankfully, we were given a map at the beginning of out expedition… otherwise we would be completely lost in the huge complex. I couldn’t believe how wonderful of a place this was and how inexpensive it was. Once we were finished with Space: A  Journey to Our Future, we stumbled across the outdoor living animal collection. I didn’t realize how much life was out in the desert!  It is mostly rodents, lizards and scary venomous bugs, but it’s very fun to explore.



Back inside we discovered the Natural Mojave Gallery. We learned about flash floods, geological formations, and about the vegetation of the Mojave desert. The Flash Flood exhibit demonstrated the dangers of flash floods by having you in a room with the flood!  It’s not to be missed.





Sustainability Gallery


The Sustainability Gallery was my favorite of all we saw. I really love the idea of children learning about recycling and saving valuable resources. I really don’t see why we all can’t live sustainable lives. Get your kids involved.  This exhibit is inspiring!



The Gardens features “junk art” by David Thompson. We didn’t know what to expect when we finally reached the Gardens. We were not disappointed. It was really fun to make out all of the “garbage” the artist used to make art.









A library for visitors is located in the gift shop. We didn’t get the chance to visit the Spring Cafe this trip, but it looks promising and the view of the strip looks great. The Spring Cafe’s hours are Monday through Friday 11am to 3pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm. I was so happy to finally make my way to the Springs Preserve. I look forward to going back during the Summer! If you would like to share your story about the Spring Preserve contact Michele@Localvegas.com and become a featured storyteller on our Local Vegas website!

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Voting in the Nevada Caucus 2012

by on Feb.06, 2012, under 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada

It was a strange day to say the least. Months earlier, I decide to change my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican just so I could help Ron Paul get the Republican nomination. Not only did I to change my affiliation, but my boyfriend, Dutch, decided he too would join the ranks of the “Paulbots”.

I received my voter registration card a month before the election, but Dutch did not receive his.  Thinking it was to come in the mail later we did not think anything of it because we both filled out and mailed our cards on the same day.

I did not preregister. This was my first Republican Caucus. Though I did not preregister my name was still on the Republican roster. Yay! Dutch was not. For some reason his registration was lost. I found out my precinct on the internet (my precinct 1617, the caucus location was at Durango High School, 7100 W. Dewey Dr.) and Dutch drove me there, but my name wasn’t on the list!

I had to go inside to a special area to find my name. Line A-D… still 🙁 not on the list. Then I had to talk to a women who looked like she had something better to do.  I gave her my ID and she wrote down my name. She called someone to verify (I thought they would at least have a computer). She hung up the phone and stared into space. She tried again. Nothing, she didn’t even make eye contact. Another voter was having a similar problem. I asked her if it was easier for me to go home and bring a print out. She looked at me with wide eyes and said “Yes.”

I hopped in my car and I was off to print out proof of my registration. With the printout in hand, I came back to the caucus.  By this time about 30 minutes or more had passed. I showed my printout to some volunteers and they told me it was the wrong piece of paper. Frustrated, I asked them to double check… this time I even brought my voter registration card. Still no luck, I had to go back to the site manager only to be told I had to wait. By this time it looked like the delegates were finishing up. I was still ignored.  She didn’t even give me any eye contact as I stood and waited. Finally another volunteer offered to help, and the site manager just yelled at her and said she was busy and that I had to wait. So I sat. I waited. New lines where forming to donate to candidates. Cash or Check signs posted and it looked like the delegates were already voted on. I sat and watched as people threw around money. I still don’t understand what they were doing. I decided to leave, because I wasn’t being helped at all.  Afterwards I really felt sick about the process. I woke up extra early to be a part of this and I did not get any help. None of the volunteers knew what was going on. The site manager was very disorganized and rude. I think High School elections are more organized. At one point she was yelling at a volunteer to get an envelope that she had.

The caucus was negative and I felt like they did not care about my vote. It was like I walked into a secret club. It makes me wonder if I’d dressed up for it, maybe I would have been treated better? Maybe I looked too Democrat?

Disappointed, I went home. Later on that night I got a call from one of Ron Paul’s supporters telling me of a special Caucas being held at 6pm. I decided to try again. This time there was a huge turnout! They couldn’t cheat me out of my vote. The bad news was no one could vote for any delegates.  While waiting in line a bunch of news sources claimed Mitt Romney the winner already. It was a circus. Once we all finally got into the conference room it was packed and most of the folks there were Ron Paul supporters. I met five people who sat directly behind me who experienced what I did earlier.

What we had to sign in order to vote.

The Declaration of Participation (below).  After standing in line for over an hour, each voter had to sign the Declaration of Participation. Many people who did not qualify were turned away because this special caucus was meant for people who could not attend the morning caucuses due to their religion. I still do not understand why, because hardly anyone there was an orthodox Jew. The place where we held the vote was a private Jewish school, Adelson Educational Campus.

Here are some videos I took at the caucus.  Sorry for the poor audio.


We need to make the voting process easier so we are not intimated with voting. It is our right. There are many people who think that they don’t matter, but the reality is we all do. Regardless of a voter’s skill level, we are all responsible for the future of America. I say this because I read criticism regarding the voters like “idiots shouldn’t vote” or “voters should be required to take a test”.  It is a shame so many people stay home because of fear. The Constitution begins with “We the People” not “We the smartest People” or “We the Elitist”  or “We the Republicans” or “We the Democrats” .  WE THE PEOPLE need to change America one vote at a time.

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