A Day Of Poker In Paradise

I guess the dressing room for the “dolls” is behind the poker room because every half hour or so two well built and scantily clad girls walked by with a fully dressed female chaperon.

When I am in Las Vegas I play poker. I am a decent poker player in a city of excellent ones. It’s a challenge which is my fun. I’ve been playing in tournaments because you can get a lot of play with relatively little money at risk.

I played the noon tourney at Caesars and was doing really well until I got a pair of Aces dealt to me. That’s the best starting hand you can get. Unfortunately, another player at the table got lucky and ‘cracked’ them. I was gone.

I went back and found Helaine here at Palazzo. We had an early dinner at the Mirage Buffet. Vey nice. I could easily weigh 600 pounds.

More poker this evening. I headed back to Caesars where there are tournaments every three hours. The 9:00 PM tournament is a bounty tourney. I’d never been in one of those before. The prize pool was split between bounties for knocking other players out and the more cash for the final three of the 27 entered.

I won one bounty and held on until we were down to six. At that point I asked if anyone was interested in a deal. Amazingly everyone was amenable and we chopped the pot into four smaller and two larger shares. I was quite happy walking away with some cash.

This was a really fun table with people from all over the country and two men from Holland who deal at a casino in Amsterdam. No arguments. Everyone was very, very nice with good chitchat and stories.

Meanwhile, the Caesars poker room is adjacent to their “Pure” nightclub and Pussycat Dolls blackjack area. I guess the dressing room for the “dolls” is behind the poker room because every half hour or so two well built and scantily clad girls walked by with a fully dressed female chaperon.

I complained to the floor manager they were stalking me. That got a good laugh.

Pussycat Dolls at Caesars poker room

Hooked On Hookers

Now that I’ve stood on my high horse about Spitzer’s position, let me throw in a curveball. Why exactly is prostitution illegal in the first place? Seriously.

The big news this afternoon has been the New York Times story about New York’s governor, Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer has been linked to a prostitution ring.

I feel awful for Spitzer’s family. How does one reconcile with a spouse or child after this betrayal of trust? How do you re-establish trust?

Maybe you can’t.

Now that I’ve stood on my high horse about Spitzer’s position, let me throw in a curveball. Why exactly is prostitution illegal in the first place? Seriously.

I understand the act of prostitution in and of itself offends the sense of morality in many people, but do we legislate morality? Should we?

There are certainly serious questions raised about women forced into prostitution. It’s a horrendous and repugnant situation. However, wouldn’t we be better able to police and control that if prostitution was brought out of the shadows? The same goes for questions of disease.

We permit prostitution in much of Nevada (though not Clark County/Las Vegas). It’s also legal and controlled in the Netherlands. I’m not sure what the effects have been, but I suspect the answer is not much. Prostitution will exist with or without the sanction of government.

I suspect some of you will leave a comment and disagree with my opinion. It’s even possible one of you will comment and change my opinion. I’m not afraid to flip-flop on this if I find I’ve missed some crucial fact.

With all that’s wrong in the world, do we really have enough time and resources to go after prostitutes and their tricks?

Someone To Watch Over Her

I have already chronicled Steffie’s navigational problems while driving to new places… and a few old ones. It’s something every new driver experiences as they realize, maybe they should have been looking out the window while they were in the car the last 18 or so years!

That being said, we knew Stefanie would want, and we wanted her to have, a GPS unit. With the holidays approaching we scanned the ads and online ‘intelligence’ every day, looking for a deal.

Finally, late in November we found our prey. In a Staples circular was an ad for an Invion GPS. Ever hear of Invion? Me neither.

I looked online, but if there were any reviews, I couldn’t find them. It seemed as if Invion was primarily a European company. It seemed to be based in the Netherlands (though I’m sure the electronics were thrown together in China). They had similar units, but this particular one wasn’t mentioned.

If you’re in retail, here’s advice for you. At times like this, your reputation makes the sale. We bought the unit, knowing that if there was a problem, Staples would stand behind it. The Staples name was much more important than Invion.

Steffie opened it for the holidays and then Daddy took over, charging it and scanning the manual. This is another one of those manuals that looks a lot easier to understand than it really is. You read it, understand all the words but little of the concept.

I needed to experiment before it left for school. I fired it up a few nights ago from the kitchen. It easily locked onto a few satellites and found our house.

These little boxes take advantage of amazing technology. OK – it’s used for the precision guidance of missiles too. No one’s perfect.

Tonight, it was Steffie’s turn to try it out. First, we fired it up in the kitchen and Steffie programmed in her school’s address. The machine guided her through the process, eliminating letters as her choices became more obvious.

We brought it to the car, stuck its base to the dashboard and headed toward her school.

For the first two or three seconds, nothing happened. Steffie asked if the little icon in the center of the screen should have repositioned itself as we moved down the driveway? But before I could answer, it did move.

“Turn right in 100 yards,” said the Stepford-like voice inside. There was no accent, no regionalism, no inflection.

“Turn right now,” the voice said, without missing a beat.

And obediently, Steffie turned right. She was smiling. I was too.

We drove a couple of miles and turned around. Steffie touched the screen a few times, finally tapping the word “Home.” The voice was eager to please. She even knew the driveway was our final destination.

I’m just amazed by all of this. The unit just seems to work. In our very brief test, it passed with a 100%.

I’ll be more amazed when we get our rebate check!

Take Me Out Of My Misery

With everyone kvetching about global warming, I was taken aback by this UPI story.

Scientist predicts ‘mini Ice Age’

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Feb. 7 (UPI) — A Russian astronomer has predicted that Earth will experience a “mini Ice Age” in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak, RIA Novosti reported.

The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said.

Dramatic changes in the earth’s surface temperatures are an ordinary phenomenon, not an anomaly, he said, and result from variations in the sun’s energy output and ultraviolet radiation.

The Northern Hemisphere’s most recent cool-down period occurred between 1645 and 1705. The resulting period, known as the Little Ice Age, left canals in the Netherlands frozen solid and forced people in Greenland to abandon their houses to glaciers, the scientist said.

There will be fighting over this – big time!

The Subway Threat

Yesterday in New York all hell broke loose. Word came there was credible information suggesting a possible attack on the New York City Subway system. Mayor Bloomberg and other city officials gathered for a news conference spelling out as much as they wanted to spell.

Later word from the federal government played down the threat… or not. Who knows? We’re only being told what we’re being told and my guess is, that’s far from everything.

The problem isn’t that someone wants to create terror in the subway system, the problem is that’s one of a zillion targets in New York.

For no more than a threat, it is possible for a terrorist to create enough uncertainty to cause New York City and the United States, a significant amount of money. Cops get paid for those extra hours. Tourists stay home when they’re scared.

I’m not a security expert, and I won’t begin to say what should and shouldn’t be protected, or how. Still, isn’t everything in New York a target? Along with the subways there’s the George Washington Bridge, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, Statue of Liberty plus reservoirs, gas storage facilities and… well, you get the idea.

When it comes to targets, New York City has no shortage.

Is it even possible to keep a city safe? Does it make sense to concentrate resources in one spot, leaving the others vulnerable?

The September 11, 2001 attacks were accomplished in a way that wouldn’t be possible today. In fact, after the first three planes, it wasn’t even possible on 9/11!

That being said, we have built up a huge, clumsy, cumbersome infrastructure at hundreds of airports as if airplane hijackings were the only viable way to get at us. I wish I felt more secure because of it. I don’t.

I’d like to end this post with some uplifting ending, but I’ve got none. I just don’t think it’s possible to stop everything, all the time. That’s a problem if we have enemies willing to do everything all the time.