I got up at the butt crack of dawn and dodged showers over to the Dallas Pistol Club to give the SilencerCo Sparrow a try. This was my first trip to the range with it, so I set up a testing regimen to be sure everything was in working order. First was two magazines of standard velocity .22 to verify that the pistol was in good working order. Then I ran two magazines of subsonic through it to make sure that the action would cycle. No problems were experienced. After that I removed the thread protector and installed the suppressor and then ran a couple magazines of the subsonic ammo through. I was pleasantly surprised at just how quiet AND noisy it was. There was literally no report, but the action cycling was louder than I’d though, as was the sound of the bullet hitting the steel target. The pistol, a Ruger MkII, continued to feed and cycle without issue. I also ran a couple magazines of the standard .22 through, and while it was a bit louder, it was still comfortable without any hearing protection. Here’s a YouTube video of me running a couple magazines of the subsonic ammo through it.
I started Darkship Thieves on the way out to Las Vegas and finished it off once we got back. It was a fun little book to read, and I got through it pretty quickly. The story revolves around the daughter of one of Earth’s rulers getting rescued/kidnapped by a member of a semi-mythic group. Hilarity ensues and there are some rather interesting revelations as the story progresses. I really enjoyed it and am going to pick up a few more of the author’s books once I get my out of control pile under control.
Today was the last day, so we took it easy. We started off with breakfast at Bouchon, and then headed out to do a little more nosing around and shopping. Lunch was some really good pizza over at Mario Batali’s Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. Finally we boarded the shuttle for the airport and caught our plane home. It was a fun weekend, Heather was a good sport, and we’ll probably do it again, though without all of the secrecy next time.
Regrouping in the morning we snagged a quick breakfast just off the casino floor and then did a little more walking and shopping. This time we were a little more thorough about hitting the Forum Shops and found a great clothing store called Bettie Page, where Heather found a really nice dress. We struck out on finding a pair of shoes that would go with it, so we’ll have to find another excuse to wear it.
After a bit more shopping we went back to The Cosmopolitan for lunch at José Andrés’s China Poblano. The fusion of Chinese and Mexican food was interesting and extremely tasty! We then headed back to get ready for dinner and tonight’s show. Dinner was at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, a French bistro. The food was delicious, the service was perfect, and really, the entire experience was as close to perfect as we could have hoped. We started out with a charcuterie of salamis and then moved on to the main courses. Heather had the Gigot d’Agneau, a delicious lamb dish and I had the steamed mussels. Both were very, very good. Finally we finished off with some dessert and coffee. I had a lemon tart and Heather had the profiteroles.
After dinner we went back through the hotel to the Blue Man Theater for tonight’s show. Thanks to some great advice, I booked the VIP experience when I purchased the tickets. We got good seats, which were supposed to be outside of the splatter zone (they were not) and a one-on-one meet and greet with one of the Blue Men after the show. The show was a lot of fun, with great music mixed in with physical comedy and a lot of mess. As I mentioned earlier, the splatter zone is rather loosely defined. I managed to wear a bit of banana pudding during one of the acts, but it’s all good. After the show finished we were escorted to a small room where one of the Blue Men came out to meet us. He was a lot of fun to talk to, and yes, he did break character. We got autographs, had some good laughs, and then headed back to get some sleep.
I’ve been teasing Heather about a mystery trip I booked since June. It’s been kind of fun, but this morning the jig was up and we headed for DFW airport to catch an early flight to Fabulous Las Vegas.
We got in and over to The Venetian, our base of operations for the weekend. Check-in accomplished and stuff unloaded we proceeded to head out to get some food and then wander around the strip for a while. It’s changed a lot since the last time I was out here, but was still a lot of fun to hang out and take in the sights. We grabbed some lunch at I Love Burgers and then nosed around the Grand Canal Shoppes before heading out into the heat. We took it easy because we had dinner reservations at Jaleo, one of José Andrés’s tapas restaurants and a show booked. This is about where I slipped the engagement ring I’ve been hanging on to since early July over to Heather. She said yes, in case you’re wondering. There were some tears and some laughter, but all in all it was the right place and time.
Jaleo was fantastic! We started out with an excellent selection of jamóns and some cheese before moving on to scallops and veal cheeks for our main courses. We got talked in to dessert, which was probably a good thing because it was so incredibly good that missing out would have hurt. All I can say is “saffron mousse”.
After dinner we headed over to New York New York to catch Cirque du Soleil‘s Zumanity. It was really good, but definitely on the risque side. If you’re so inclined, you’ll probably enjoy it. If not, don’t go.
Back to the hotel after that where I finished off the evening with a tasty IPA from Sin City Beer.
My summer reading plans went seriously bust due to lots and lots of home improvement work, but I still managed to finish off another book in the ever growing stack. Relentless is the fifth book in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series. The action picks up right where book four ended, with the fleet getting closer to home but still fighting the Syndicated Worlds for every bit of progress. The enemy in the shadows makes a slightly more visible appearance this time, which sets the stage for maybe another series? I was surprised that he brought them home this early, but I see where the series and universe is going and will be putting book six on the stack soon.
With everything else going on over the summer, my aggressive reading plans were too aggressive. But I did finish Semper Human, the third book in Ian Douglas’s Inheritance Trilogy this evening. I think he wrapped everything up nicely, but I am wondering if there might be some more to come, because the ending was a little open ended (and no, that doesn’t contradict what I said earlier). Either way, he’s got another series that I’m working through once I get ahead on the books I’ve already got. The book buying moratorium is still in effect.