LAS VEGAS – You know what they say ... what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless, of course, you're a columnist who hasn't slept very much in the past five days.
Most of my time was spent shooting "FOX Magazine" stories ranging from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (search) — where all the latest and greatest in that sector are displayed proudly by countless big and small companies — to features on the Vegas nightlife in clubs like Pure, Teatro and Studio 54 and on the newest Cirque de Soleil entry, "Ka" (search).
As far as the CES show goes, the theme this year should have been "Discretionary Income." There's never anything there that anyone truly needs — but the technology keeps getting better and better, and the prices keep getting higher and higher. At least for now.
The big attractions were the TVs, of course: Plasmas, DLPs, LCDs. It's hard to keep up. And the bigger the better. Samsung introduced a 102-inch Plasma, the world's largest set, while LG had a 71-incher, which is the largest already on the market.
Robin Liss of Camcorderinfo.com reviewed some Panasonic, Sony and Kodak cameras for us, and for her money, Panasonic is making the best these days, although she owns a JVC Everio — also a very good model.
If you're traveling to Sin City, be prepared for burlesque.
From Jubilee to La Femme to Zumaniti, topless reviews are the thing to do now — but if you're looking for an amazing experience, go see "Zumaniti," another Cirque du Soleil show. Picture the most beautiful bodies you've ever seen doing the most incredible dances, acrobatics and high-flying stunts you've ever seen.
I can't say so much for La Femme — the Paris import better known as "Crazy Horse" — other than they are nice girls with better lip-synching skills than Ashlee Simpson.
The best entertainment for my money is the aforementioned "Ka," directed by Robert LePage (search). The Canadian filmmaker, actor and theater maven put together an amazing show with music that is captivating, martial arts that are exciting, and a moving stage that tips in every direction, dumping cast members into a extraordinary "ocean" that has to be seen to be believed.
I am constantly amazed at how the people of Cirque continue to top themselves, show after show.
That's not to say they are the only good entertainment out there.
The Las Vegas "Entertainer of the Year," Clint Holmes (search) — who just recently beat colon cancer — is playing at Harrah's, a friendly casino and hotel that offers a little old-time Vegas charm — and comedians Jay Leno, Rita Rudner and Carrot Top can also be found around town.
I was too busy to get to Celine Dion or Barry Manilow, but I hear they are wonderful, too.
Too bad I wasn't too busy to keep away from the blackjack tables, though. What is it about me that keeps thinking I'll win it back? It's a good thing I don't get to this town much.
Vegas Trip Highlights
— The Monorail — big thumbs up!
— RM Seafood, Rbar, Fleur de Lis and Burger Bar — all at Mandalay Bay — where I'm told there are more fine restaurants than in some entire cities.
— Noise cancellation headphones for the flight.
— Leadsinger — the new generation of karaoke for the home — coming soon to a store near you.
I also got to interview Jackie Chan (search), who was at CES promoting a new line of interactive exercise video games. Styx and Bernie Taupin were at the XM Radio booth, and I got a shot of Tom Arnold (who says hi to Brian Kilmeade) dancing on a bar at club Tabu.
Vegas Trip Grrrs
— Airplane Oblivions who don't check their large bags and try in vain to stuff them in overhead bins.
— People gawking at the spectacle that is the Adult Video News Awards — the porn Oscars, if you will — held annually at the Venetian. If you missed it, think silicon everywhere — and yes — that was Jenna Jameson. Now move out of the way.
— A plethora of men with their eyebrows waxed razor thin — am I missing something?
— Not knowing when to stop gambling. Major Grrr!
Now for Your Grrrs ...
Last week I asked for your New Year's resolutions. Here they are.
Jennie from Huntington, W.Va.: Spend less time online overall, not just on the message boards. Sure, I watch almost no TV, but the hours I spend online per day could be used for better things.
Mike C. in Rockville, Md., on the Back to the Basics column: Amen, and amen, buddy. Over the course of the past couple of years, I've traded the gym membership I never used for a couple hundred pounds of free weights that I do use. I stopped buying the snooty-sounding shave cream and gone back to Noxzema. I've vowed never to spend more than $20 on a haircut and not to trust any guy that does. Next, I'm going to get up, go to my dresser drawer and toss the Fahrenheit cologne in the rummage sale box. Done. I feel better already.
M. Tarzon in CyberSpace: 1.) Don't get bogged down with work ... if family time is swaying, take time off work. 2). Work at a job I love, not a job I need (already fulfilled as of yesterday!). 3.)Get the gifts my wife and kids want and worry about cost later. 4.) Take a really good summer vacation.
Until next week ... Grrr!
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter on "FOX Magazine," and as a news cut-ins anchor on FOX News Channel. Mike also appeared in Analyze This. Read Mike's Bio.