The Las Vegas airport assaults the senses immediately. Ringing of the slots and flashing neon, soaring movie screens advertising shows, the whole place stomping to a we-will-we-will-rock-you beat. Queen returns as a stage show and I meet Michael under the woofers and tweeters. The fact that the cab driver cheats us on the way to the hotel while chatting amicably is an indication of the financial hijinx to come. We check in at the Riviera, which has seen better days, back when the place was still a desert. Tuesday is a day for exploring and we walk up and down the strip, checking out all the fancy hotels, Kelly on the phone coaching us along. Of all the places I’ve been in the world, this has town has never even been a temptation. Here this time for a conference, it is naturally worth exploring, even in (gasp) 115 degree heat. I found it loud, expensive and a pretty outrageous electricity hog. Not nearly as fun as it tries to be, like a never-ending prom. Michael has some luck with black jack and the slots, I have absolutely no luck. Those machines just eat money. My two talks at the conference are on Wednesday and go well. I always worry about presenting on the last day of a conference, especially in a distracting location such at Vegas, but the teachers are in their seats and ready to talk poetry. Quite impressive. That night we do a little more wandering, but are in bed relatively early for our long travel day on Thursday.