John Mayer

This is weird!

We bought 4 John Mayer tickets, but they were in a terrible location. So, since the show’s a sellout, we’re selling them on eBay and using the proceeds to buy 2 better tickets. So far, so good.

Except, tonight one of my co-workers bid on them!

If they weren’t already on eBay, they’d be hers… but I’m sort of locked into the auction.

Here’s an article from the Waterbury Republican American about John Mayer… and me (a little)

What does the singer John Mayer remember most about his childhood in Connecticut?

“Geoff Fox,” he says, referring to the longtime WTNH-TV weatherman.

“I remember waking up on winter mornings, looking out my window and seeing eight inches of snow. Then Geoff would instill hope that the next day of school would be canceled.”

Publishing with Movabltype

I’m not so sure what was so difficult about it, but at 2:30 in the morning, whispering on the telephone to Peter Sachs, I got Movabletype configured on my server! Now, I can run a blog for me and a blog for the WTNH Weather Department. The same install will handle both separately. Best of all, it’s all free.

This program is very powerful with lots of customizations. Of course, I worry I’ll customize it into not working!

As it turns out, my original formatting, with photos two across, caused the blog to be out of format with a screen resolution of 1024×768 or less. It’s fixed now… I think.

Liza Minelli

So, the word is out that Liza Minelli and David Gest have split. I don’t know who’s been cheating, but I think we can narrow it down to another man.

Observation

Sometimes I think about what it will be like when Steffie goes to college… so I can go back to being an only child.

Bye Bye Las Vegas

The last day… so depressing.

Helaine had arranged for a 6:00 PM check out. We knew we had to return our car by 9:00 PM. We spent the vast majority of the day close to home at Mirage.

Helaine had awful luck at blackjack. I was doing better at poker, up another $200+.

By mid-afternoon she was looking for something to do and I invited her to play Hold’em at the same table I was at.

Bad move.

Listen, I love having my wife there, but we both started getting awful cards… fractions… suits that were green. In Hold’em, 2-7 off suit is the worst hand you can get. I had more 2-7’s than I can believe. Helaine too.

And we started losing.

I think, between the two of us, we gave back around $150 before finally getting up and walking away.

Whenever Helaine and I fly somewhere, we always comment on how happy the people look arriving, and how sad the departees are. No different here. And, we would have all day to think about it.

Because of the time difference, you don’t have many choices when flying west-to-east. You can leave midday, and waste the whole day, or leave late at night and try to sleep on the plane (good luck).

Since we had first class tickets, with room to relax, we thought the redeye would be acceptable, even with a nearly 2 hour layover in the formerly crowded Pittsburgh International Airport (USAir, in financial trouble, has cut traffic back heavily to its Pittsburgh hub, favoring Charlotte instead for most East Coast north-south trips).

Returning the car at Dollar was no problem. For some reason the area where you drop the car, and where the shuttle bus arrives are separated, and that meant bag carrying.

The airport itself was quiet. Helaine, once again, went without a shoe inspection (something that had become a family joke and Helaine tradition). The federal agent did notice I had a small set of diagonal wire cutters in my carry-on. I had brought them to cut the cable ties I used to ‘secure’ our luggage against baggage handlers posing as thieves.

The official rules say these wire cutters should be OK because they had blunt ends, but that wasn’t the interpretation at the airport. I’m not exactly the threatening type, but no matter. These cutters, called dykes by electricians, are now part of some huge federal stash.

The flight was uneventful. Sleeping was the order of the day. They didn’t even lower the TV screen in the First Class cabin.

We made Pittsburgh on-time, Hartford too.

While Helaine got the bags, I took the shuttle and picked up the car. By the time I got back to the terminal, Helaine was at the curb waiting.

And there you have it. Every year, in July… when it’s really hot. Every year, same hotel, Mirage. Every year, it’s a ball. And I’m looking forward to going again ASAP.

Saturday… time’s running out.

First things first. This was another really good day at the poker tables. Somewhere north of $250 won playing $6-12 Hold’em. I am definitely getting better… and the cards are running my way.

OK – now to the real events of the day.

Earlier, we had played in the ‘No risk slot tournament’ at Aladdin. It’s actually pretty cool. You play in the tournament… and lose and then you get $10 in free slot play and a $20 comp for food. So, for $30 you get the chance to win and you get your money back.

And, Aladdin’s not stupid, because the food brought us back.

I have always been a huge fan of the buffets at Mirage and Bellagio (Bellagio with cracked King Crab legs). However, I could easily be won over by Aladdin. This is also an excellent buffet with pretty much everything you’d want. The quality seems excellent. There are a half dozen (or more) separate stations with individual specialties.

One thing I don’t like about Aladdin (and Bellagio and a few others) is where you retrieve your car from valet parking. It is under cover and stiflingly hot!

Helaine wanted to try and get some beads and maybe a Chippendale’s shirt for Steffie, so we headed to the Rio. Here’s another hotel I can take or leave. We tried their buffet years ago and I found it very un-special. There’s no poker for me, and the casino is ho-hum. But, they do have the Masquerade in the Sky.

The show this year was different from what we had seen in the past… but they’re all pretty similar. I was somewhat surprised at the number of beads thrown, which I remember as being more in years past.

All week I had been asking Helaine to go downtown. Downtown is where Vegas used to be, before the Strip cam into being. It has been a difficult journey for the hotels there. They’re older, more cramped, without good parking. Many of the older ones like Binions have very low ceilings and, when last I entered, were quite smoky.

We pulled into the valet stand at the Golden Nugget. Valet was full, but I said I was staying at Mirage (same owner) and after looking at my key, they let me in. It is very convenient to park at the GN valet. You’re less than a block from Fremont Street.

Before the hourly Fremont Street Experience started, Helaine took me to the Golden Gate Hotel. This is a Las Vegas tradition… actually more like a legend. You can go to the Golden Gate and get 99 cent shrimp cocktails!

They were very good. The sauce is strong and tangy. The tiny shrimp are more texture than taste. But, it’s amazing that it’s still 99 cents.

The Fremont Street experience, with thousands (maybe millions) of lights projected above your head and set to music, was very good. Fremont Street itself is a little bit like New Years Eve in Times Square or Mardis Gras in the French Quarter. And, there are every type of person you would and wouldn’t want to meet.

It’s a shame we’ll have to leave tomorrow. Helaine is starting to get melancholy. It will be nice to get back to Steffie and my folks, but this has been a really great vacation, and as always, we’ve done a lot.