Archives for: August 2006
My grandfather, Colonel William Arthur Dwight, 88 years old, passed away August 10th in the hospital in Texarkana, Texas about 11:15 pm Central Time. He was a a strong and remarkable man. At only 12 years old he took his mother by the hand and they left my abusive great-grandfather. By 18 he was in college and ROTC and had a 30 year army career. At one point he was the most decorated military man from the state of Michigan. He was tall and physically strong, and movie star gorgeous. He and my grandmother made sure that my brother and I got through college without owing a dime. He liked a good conversation, but wouldn't have it if someone was wasting a moment of his time. The summer I was 12, he taught me all the metric/English measurement conversions, because knowing them in 'the future' was important. He also taught me how to drive that summer, on an old, orange VW bug. I was excellent at shifting gears at the time, but wasn't so good at the actual driving part! The one time we ground the gears that summer, he said that he messed up and that I had done it right.
Gordon and I will be heading to Texas, and I'm doing fine so far through this. I haven't gotten much sleep the last couple of nights, but that is more a factor of caffeine than from the news. Please keep my grandfather and the rest of the family (and me!) in your prayers.
We just got back from four days in Vegas - went to Hugo's Cellar the first evening (Sunday) we were there, and had a lovely meal. We gambled a little bit (mostly Gordon gambled) and Gordon won about $175 on the slot machines.
Monday we arranged for tickets to see Blue Man Group, and gambled in the Venetian and Bellagio. We ate way too much, but I couldn't even tell you where or what we ate at this point. Gordon gambled some more and won about $100. I won $25 on a $1 on the penny slots. Blue Man Group was awesome! We had such fun at the show, and I loved it. Afterwards, they come out to the lobby for pictures, and one of them was coming down the hall and I noticed him and Gordon took my picture with him. He got a smudge of blue paint on my sweater that I hope comes out, but we had a ball with it, and it will have been worth it if the paint doesn't come out.
Tuesday we went to the pool while there was still shade over it, and then we had some lunch and went our separate ways for the afternoon. Gordon gambled and napped, and I went shopping at the Desert Shops at the Alladin. I bought some fun clothes and watched the thunderstorm that takes place every hour on the hour inside the shopping center, and then Gordon and I met up about 6:30 to get ready for dinner and to go down to the MGM for the evening. We took the Monorail from Bally's to the MGM and ate at the buffet (not great, but not bad) and went to meet a friend of Gordon's who works tech on the Cirque du Soleil show "Ka". We chatted for a moment before he had to get back to work, and then we went into the show.
If you like Cirque du Soleil, go see "Ka". The story is lovely, but the coolest thing about this show is the stage. It tilts, it turns, it twists, it becomes a wall, etc. Remarkable feat of engineering, and the stunts they do on it are equally impressive. To say it was jaw-dropping is not an exaggeration.
After "Ka", we gambled for a little bit more at the MGM, and then headed back to the Paris Hotel for the night. Neither of us was quite ready for sleep, though, so we gambled a bit more before turning in for the night.
This morning we got up, packed up, and then headed over to the café at Bally's for brunch - we got seated immediately, and then Gordon got his drink while we waited for the waitress to take our order. About 20 minutes later, we got up and left - no one had come to take our order, and we were both starving. We ended up going back to the place that we'd eaten at for lunch on Monday, and it wasn't great, but we wanted food IMMEDIATELY by then, so that was that. After we ate, we decided to gamble a little bit more before heading out, and I found the penny slots again and started playing with the $17.43 voucher that I'd started playing with last night (started with a $20). I got down to about $5, and then said that I was just going to do ONE 'max bet' on the machine.
I won $136.50. All told, I bet about $80 over the four days we were there, so between the $25 I won the other day and the money I won today, I cleared about 80 bucks. Gordon cleared about $200 all told, so we both did well and had a ball doing it.
The Paris Hotel is nice, but we weren't that thrilled with the restaurant choices or the shopping there - even though there's a walk-through to Bally's, I think that next time we'll stay at the Alladin or Cesar's Palace. Part of my beef with the Paris Hotel is that they didn't spell some of the French correctly in the hotel - for example, the sign inside each room that says to engage the lock has "S'il vous plaît" spelled wrong. One proofreading before a single sign was printed would have gone a long way. Also, housekeeping did just fine inside the room, but there were room service items that remained in the hallway for two days before they were removed.
Anyway, a great quick trip, and we're glad to have gone, and glad to be home. Just don't ask me how well I did on the BTD while I was there. Okay - I ate wheat, dairy, and corn every day while I was there. And I had a great time doing it. Sometimes you need a vacation from everything.....