I slept in till around noon today--before you roll your eyes, remember that I had to work until 4am. So while I am usually guilty of the charge of slothfulness, it's not the case in this particular instance.
Anyhow, I got a call from a fellow Travel2Vegas member, Nick, who was in town and wanted to buy me a drink, saying something about how he enjoys all the goofy shiat that I write. Since no booze tastes better than free booze, I gladly accepted the invitation. We met downtown at the LV Club casino bar early this afternoon and had a wonderful time. I'll be honest, when I woke up, I didn't feel like driving down there, but I sure am glad that I did. Nick has got to be one of the most fascinating people I've ever met. The guy is like 80 years old, still going strong, and has more stories than just about anyone I've ever met. First of all, the man was a fighter pilot in WWII and Korea--he flew Hellcats and Corsairs in combat. I always have a great deal of respect for anyone from The Greatest Generation, but spending time with a real live fighter pilot who flew combat missions from carriers in the Pacific was a rare treat.
He is also quite the craftsman. He told me that he liked working with wood, and really loved the Indian art from the American Southwest, so some years back he started making wooden 'pottery'. He had pictures of some of his pieces with him, and they are so amazingly intricate that they fetch upwards of $2000 on the open market. Unfortunately, with age comes health problems, and his eyesight is starting to fail on him, so he no longer works with power tools as it's too dangerous for him.
He told me of his twenty years in the Navy, and his 58 years with his bride, who just passed on last year. We talked for a couple of hours about lots of topics, and I was humbled by the depth of his experiences and the life he's led. Little did I know when I woke up today that I'd spend such quality time with such an interesting human being, and a real-life American Hero. And he insisted on buying my drinks, where I should've been buying his.
So tonight I raise my glass to George "Nick" Nichols, one of the coolest people I've ever met. Just goes to show that you never know how your day is gonna turn out once you get out of bed.
After we parted ways, I made my way down to Binions to hit the snackbar for lunch/dinner. But first, I wanted to test out a theory. Last week when my friend Angy was in town we were playing blackjack and noticed an interesting phenomenon. We would buy into a game with a hundred bucks, and it always seemed that we were digging for another hundred within just a few minutes, but whenever some doofus came up with a wrinkled up ten-dollar bill and slaps it down saying Money plays! they always seem to last for awhile and turn that ten bucks into fifty or sixty. As a dealer I see this happen all the time. Somebody will come to my table and buy in for a grand, and less than a half hour later they're broke, but any random schmo with two red chips will walk up and make a 500% profit in ten minutes.
So I walked up to a double deck game, put out a ten-spot, announced Money plays! and managed to turn it into $75 in just about twenty minutes. I then took my three green chips (plus the original sawbuck) and headed for the cage. Then I treated myself to a great lunch at the snackbar--A bowl of chili with cheese and onions, a hot dog, and a tall root beer. I was so hungry and the food was so good that I even ordered a second dog after the first one was dispatched. After all was said and done, I even had a piece of pecan pie. Not a bad lunch for twelve bucks, and since it was house money, it tasted even better!
Now as good as that lunch was, yesterday's was better--I had a fine meal at Commander's Palace at the Aladdin. I even tried some new stuff--Turtle soup and Alligator chili. I told my sister about it and her response was Turtles and alligators? What, they couldn't find a rat or a Guinea pig to feed you? Yeah, this is the same sister that lived for over a year in the Phillipines chopping up lizards or whatever else strayed into her yard with a machete and turning them into stew... Dirty hippies. They have no appreciation for the finer things. Them swamp critters sure were tasty though. And high-class too. I had to wear a shirt with buttons on it just to get a seat.