29 June 2008

Hot Hot Hot!

We just got back from a visit to Nevada... in June. Can you say HOT??? My body went into shock as we went from rainy and 50 at home to 108 with shadeless sun the next! We usually visit Vegas in January when the temperature is in the fifties and sixties- much like NH at this time of year but our friends were going now so off we went!
I was very surprised to see how crowded it was. I thought for sure with the heat, the down economy, the heat, the high airfares, and the sweltering heat we would have the place to ourselves. Not so. We, along with many many others spent a good amount of time by the pool.

The hotel did a nice job creating a little desert oasis- complete with palm trees, waterfalls, and lots of birds. One really nice touch that I hadn't seen before was a series of misters. Strung out like Christmas lights these little tubes would mist passers by with a light refreshing cool water spray. I could spend about fifteen minutes in the sun before I had to retreat to the ice cool pool, or misted shady spot. We spent our time walking in the sweltering sun, then retreating to near ice box chilly casinos during the day, and having some nice meals at night.

It was a little strange coming to Las Vegas twice in one year. I think the big wow factor and scale of the place has been lost. Not that I am not still very impressed with the construction projects they always have going on, but the veneer is a little thin for frequent viewing.
With all we had going on at the shop we had a little black cloud hanging over us, but we had a good time catching up with our friends. I had been consoling myself by saying that our industry was a little bubble, and that our allocations, short supply, and high demand were part of an isolated scenario. Then the last day laying by the pool, I was near a couple of contractors that were talking about being on allocation for steel and concrete and trying to bid and plan projects in that situation. They were saying how the country is slated to use about 160 million ton of rebar this year, but we only have 140 million. They talked of taking orders for delivery next spring and their concerns with supply and pricing when doing that. Replace concrete, rebar, and steel with stoves, pipe, and pellets and we were in the same situation...
It was great to catch up with our friends, and that was what it was all about!

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