Jun 232005

Are a bad thing.

I now understand how Norman got as big as he did. There is only so long you can resist the urge of Free Doughnuts.

So – Additional details on last night…

Harry and I were supposed to meet for dinner in front of Quark’s at 6:30. I got there early and purchased my ticket for The Experience. Then I went out front to wait. During that time I was accosted by not only a Ferengi but a patron. Apparently a 6’2″ guy in a kilt and a sci-fi based t-shirt (All Your Base Are Belong To Us) looks like he is employed by the Hilton. The Ferengi was immensely amused by my outfit, and one guy that walked past turned to me and said “Nice Utilitkilt.” Not “nice kilt.” He knew the brand. I thought that was pretty cool.

While waiting for Harry I dropped two quarters in a slot machine. Apparently, though, you have to have a card to gamble at The Hilton. I lost my .50 and didn’t even get to roll. Took that as a sign and did no more gambling last night.

Got tired of waiting and got a table for us. Ordered a Warp Core Breach. Whoo boy. That’s a potent drink. Harry showed up shortly thereafter and ordered himself a Liquid Latinum.

The food items alone were worth going.

I got us a Smorgasborg (appetizer – Quesadilla, Empanada, Chicken Fingers) and had a Class-M Pizza (Triangular shaped pizza). Harry ordered a Sulu Toss (stir fry). While eating another Ferrengi came by to solicit our business. Told us that bulk was the way to purchase, and that we should get one of everything. I told him I was buying a case of Romulan Ale, and he said I had great business sense – “A rare thing in a hoo-man.”

After dinner we went into the Experience itself. The first ride we went on was The Klingon Encounter. The premise of the ride, like much of Vegas, is pretty silly. While getting ready to go on a shuttlecraft simulator our group was kidnapped by a group of Klingons who found a way to open a rift in the space-time continuum. Apparently someone in the group is a distant relative of Jean-Luc Picard. The costumes and sets were top-notch. It really felt like you were on The Enterprise. The movies that accompanied the ride had a pleasant surprise. Jonathan Frakes and Levar Burton were in them reprising their roles as Will Riker and Geordi LaForge.

The ride itself was worth it for one thing, if nothing else. When your shuttlecraft is ejected from the Enterprise you fly past it. Wow. Serious Fan Borgasm. Between the music, the movie, and the physical motions of the ride it really felt like you were flying next to Enterprise-D. The “worst” part of the ride was the end – The shuttlecraft ends up back in Vegas trying to get you to the hotel, but a Klingon Bird of Prey follows you there. A dogfight ensues in the skies over the city itself, ending with the Enterprise showing up and blowing the Klingon Vessel all to hell. This violates not only the physics of the Star Trek Universe (Want to see what happens when the Enterprise enters an atmosphere? See Generations), but the plot lines as well. I realize they kind of seem to disregard the Prime Directive whenever possible, but blowing up a Klingon vessel in the atmosphere over Las Vegas in 2005? Umm…No.

Did these things make me enjoy the ride any less? Hell no.

OH…and a warning to any kilt-wearers who may go on this ride. There is a wind-blast near the beginning. Fortunately it occurs in the dark. Quite refreshing, but would have been a show in and of itself if the lights were up.

We went and got in the line for the Borg Encounter. While waiting Harry and I had an interesting exchange.

H : Well. Guess you didn’t know that I was Jean-Luc Picard’s Father, huh?
M : Oh? I thought that might have been me. You know. Bald and all.
H : Nope. It’s me.
M : Wait – Father? He’s not THAT old.
H : Oh, I travel through time a lot. Those pesky Klingons, you know. They never give up.

The Borg ride, while neat, wasn’t as good as the Klingon one. There were more actors (although many repeats from the previous ride), but the Borg costumes were poorly done. The ride itself was just a big movie with 3-D glasses. The 3-D wasn’t done all that well, and I had a hard time focusing to make it work. The movie had, again, several actors reprising roles. Alice Kirge as the Borg Queen, Robert Picardo as The Doctor and Kate Mulgrew as Admiral Janeway (the ride takes place after Voyager returns from the Delta Quadrant). Again – Great big Voyager on the screen was cool, especially with the Voyager theme playing (my favorite Theme of all the trek shows). But the overall ride was a bit dissapointing compared to the Klingon one.

Afterward that we went and spent money in the gift shop. Not as many tempting things as I suspected (and, amusingly, they had a book from the long-defunct Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG), but I managed to spend a goodly amount of money.

A fantastic evening. Topped off by a conversation with my lovely other half, who really needs to be with me next time I visit.

And there will be a next time. This city is nifty.

Tonight? Sushi. Sight-seeing on The Strip.

Pictures will be posted later.

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