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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Library thrills

     Today, I'm thrilled.  I'm thrilled because two of my books are now available at a library in Indiana!  Thanks to a friend who works there, I was able to donate the books and they were put on the shelves.  She sent me the link for the library and told me all I had to do to see them was to search for my name as a author.  I did that and found both books were "unavailable."  What the hell?  I donate them, they're put on the shelves and then they're "unavailable?"  I took a closer look, and the reason they're unavailable right now is that they're both already checked out!  So someone found my books in the library and checked them out to read!  I'm just tickled!  If you're ever in Fort Wayne, Indiana, visit the library.  You'll be able to see my books...if they aren't checked out.  Here are the two I sent to the library:

     I do have a third book out, but haven't sent it to the library yet.  I wanted to, but back when I sent these, the other wasn't quite finished yet.  I'm also right at the end of "A Writer's Engagement" (Yes Ingrid, it's coming!) but just haven't quite finished it yet.  Soon, though.  Some motivation for finishing it is wondering how many people would check out and read the first love story, and then want to check out and read the second one part to see what happens.  When I go to the library and see a book that looks interesting, I always open it up to the middle somewhere and read a paragraph or two just to see if it looks like something I might be interested in reading.  I wonder if the person who checked out my books did the same thing?

     Part of me still thinks the format in the first book is a mess (And from a printing standpoint, it actually is) but I guess the quality of the writing must override that because everyone who I talk to who has read it, just loved it.  One guy working at another hotel with my brother bought a copy of the last book (Frigate: November) just because he liked the first book so much!  I thought that was a nice compliment.

     I've already ordered more of this book for myself so I can send a copy to Indiana.  I wonder if the library here will put my books on the shelves if I donate them?  I know my Mom has talked to someone at a library here and said they would, so I gave her a copy of the first book.  That was about six months ago and Mom still has the book.  Each time I see here and ask about the book and the library she says, "Oh yeah, I need to take that over to them!"  Maybe one day I'll just do it myself.  Maybe, after I get this next order of books.  I know my partner wants to make money with the books, and I do too.  But it's nice just to have my books read.  So whether they're checked out of a library, or bought, I'm actually happy either way.  One day, there might even be a waiting list for people waiting to check out one, or all of my books.  That will be the next thrill I'm waiting for!

And yes Ingrid, the second part of the love story is almost done.    Most people don't like the first one, and won't read a love story, but at least it's appreciated by a few people. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

City Center

     On my to do list today was to finally go and see City Center.  That would be the new group of hotels and "shops" that was just built in Las Vegas.  It's not really at the center of the city, but who cares, right?

     I parked at the Belagio hotel and figured I would just take the new tram over to City Center, or Crystals, or where ever it went.  I guess City Center is just the name for the group of buildings around there.  On my way to the tram I ran into some...I guess it wa Chinese stuff?  I don't know, but it was still pretty neat.

     I took a couple pictures of the stuff, and then moved on towards the tram.  It wasn't too long of a walk, and there were at least a few neat things to see.  Lots of other people taking pictures, too!

     The tram wasn't really anything special, and so I didn't really take any pictures of it.  The ride was nice and smooth, and the view was nice and rainy.  Yes, it rained and rained in fabulous Las Vegas.  The tram arrived and I get my first view of Crystals, or whatever it's called.  It was really pretty, but maybe should have been renamed Huge waste of space.

     Lots and lots of space to walk around in, but nothing really there!  What the hell?  Why would you have all this space, but not put anything in side of it?  Oh wait, there were some water spout art things, I guess you would call them:

     Lovely, but useless.  And still, all the space around them, but nothing really there.  I don't see the point of having something this big, but nothing inside it.  I've been told a lot of people were laid off after City Center opened, and I can believe that!  There were a good number of shops, but I don't think I would have been able to afford anything inside of any of them!  How about these, do you some how think I could afford even one of these:

     Very lovely, very expensive!  I don't think the people inside the shop even liked me walking by in my t-shirt!  In my second book, "A Writer's Love Story" Robert buys Katie a watch at "Tiffany and Co."  I actually researched the watch online, and it was a real watch that actually cost $8,500.00.  And guess what shop I came across while walking around?  And no, I don't have the money to actually buy an $8,500.00 watch.

     I'm sure they are doing booming business in this economy, right?  Even though the only people who seemed to be inside the store were people who worked there.  That seemed to be the same for most of the shops here.  Not quite Mall of America.  I moved on to the building with the casino.  I thought I might sit down and try my luck on a slot machine.  After losing $2  and figuring out that you have to play the maximun lines on almost every slot machine (Yes, they rigged most of them so you HAVE to play the max lines!) I gave that up.  Then I came across this:

     Yes, that's a "Sex and the City" slot machine.  I couldn't play it because it was mobbed by women playing it.  Mostly old women.  As you can see, the one on the left was in some kind of "pick a dress" bonus mode.  I was busy taking the picture, so I didn't really get to see her play it.  She seemed indifferent to whether she won, or lost.  No one there actually seemed to care if they were winning or not.  They just kept pounding on the buttons.  How sad.  Part of me wants to call "Sex and the City" sell outs now because of the machine, but if someone ever wanted to pay me to make a "Writer's Love Story" machine, you can bet your butt I'd do it, too!  I guess opportunities are opportunities, right?  They had little artsy things like this cactus thing.  You can see me in the mirror taking the picture.  I think cactus needs lots of sunlight, so how do they keep these alive?  Unless they're fake?  Or they just replace them every couple of weeks, which wouldn't surprise me.

     I guess City Center is nice, but it's just so full of shops that regular people can't afford, and a lot of empty space!  The casino was pretty full for a Wednesday night, and they had high table limits, but the place is also pretty new.  I wonder how busy it'll be after six more months when the new wears off?  Not a bad place, but even if I did write a best seller one day, I don't think I'd be in there shopping, or even throwing my money away gambling.  Maybe next week I'll do a quick review of Sunset Station, that place is a bit more my speed.  And closer to where I live, too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Real and Responsible

     So what is real now?  I write fiction that we pretend is real.  A review was posted on my last book Frigate November that said we didn't seem to know how real "shipboard life" was.  To be honest, the reviewer was right.  I don't have a clue about life aboard a navy ship!  But it's all fiction, right?  He (or she) knocked the review down from 5 stars to 3 stars for my treatment of female veterans.  To be fair, one female sailor in the book is about as sharp as a balloon, and goofy as hell.  And yes, maybe that's a disservice to female sailors, but that's what the character was like!  I knew women like that character in the Air Force, so it would be hard for me to believe that there aren't any like her in the Navy.  I really did appreciate that someone took the time to read the book and then provide a review for it that was more than one or two lines!  It was a good review!

     Anyway, let's move on to "responsible."  What the hell does that even mean now?  Working in a casino, most of the people I have to deal with don't seem to know what that word means!  I mean for crying out loud, how many times do I have to hear these statements:

"I took this girl I don't know up to my room and she left with all my money while I was asleep."

     Do you ever bring women you don't know into where you live and then go to sleep, or pass out drunk, or whatever?  Then why would you do it at a hotel in Las Vegas?  And don't think I believe you when you try and tell me she wasn't a hooker!

"I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, someone cashed out all the credits on my machine!"

     Please!  How much thought does it take to realize that if you leave money somewhere and walk away, someone else with take it?  It doesn't matter if it was in a slot machine, or on a table, or under a drinking glass!  Some people even complain that their money was gone after they came back hours later!  What the @#$%?

"You can't keep me out of the club, I know the rules!  And you can't make me leave the hotel, either!"

     This is one of my favorites!  What the hell rules are these people talking about?  Private property means if we don't want to let you in the club, you don't get into the club!  If I don't want you in the hotel, you leave the hotel!  And for these idiots who play the race card and say "You're doing this because I'm black (Hispanic, White, whatever...)!"  You're morons!  Usually the people who say that tried to steal some ladie's purse, or steal a bottle from behind the bar!  If we were kicking someone out for being black, there would probably be a sign outside the club that said, "No Blacks!"  How can people justify that I'm throwing them out because they're black, when there are still a bunch of other black people in the club who aren't being thrown out? 

     Ok, I'm tired of droning on about this, so I'll just add another "old blog" to this one for those who haven't read them before.  Enjoy.

The following was written on Friday, July 11 2008:

The Dumbest Generation

     I read online the other day that today's generation is actually called "The dumbest generation." I've never thought people were very bright, but I have to agree that people today seem to be dumber than ever before. The people visiting Las Vegas (Not to mention a lot that live here) seem to have no sense at all! And as always, I have some examples of this:
     One man claimed a hooker stole $100,000.00 in cash from his room after he passed out. This didn't happen at the hotel I work for, but after it did happen the place it happened sent out a fax to all the other hotels to have us "be on the look out!" What am I supposed to look for, some girl with a big sack with "$" printed on the outside? And the questions I asked was why did this guy have $100,000.00 in cash in his room in the first place? Ok, this is Las Vegas and he was probably here to gamble. But that much money? Was it just laying out on his bed? Oh no, I was told it was in his room's "wall safe." Ok.....was James Bond hooking that night? How did this girl get into the wall safe and get the money? Well, we were told he left the safe open. Pure rocket science, folks!
     This guy isn't the only one, though. Idiots will rent a room for $65 a night and then complain that some girl he "invited up to his room" stole his $80,000.00 watch after he passed out. Why are you staying in a $65 a night room if you can afford an $80,000.00 watch? And how dumb are these people to invite some hooker up to their room and then pass out while she's there? Money, watches, phones, luggage, stuffed animals, shoes, boots, cars, houses, boats, everything disappears after these geniuses take strange girls up to their hotel rooms and then pass out. Don't drink and drive? Don't drink and take hookers up to your room, either!
     I'm not going to just bitch about the hookers. (Obviously they're only half the problem and if you allow them to take something of yours, too bad!) People will also complain that after running up $400.00 in credits on a slot machine and then leaving the machine to go to the bathroom, they come back and find the money is miraculously gone! How could the money not still be there? I mean, if I throw a $100 bill on the floor in the middle of the casino and then walk away, it should still be there when I come back an hour later, right? How do these people survive at home, or wherever the hell they come from? And yet, there's more!
     These guys complain all the time that some strange girl "groped them" for a half an hour, and then their wallet was suddenly gone! Oh my gosh! Where did the wallet go? And more importantly, why are these guys letting some strange girl they've never met before grope them? What the hell? They put a bunch of money into a slot machine, go to the bathroom while leaving their safe open, and now their wallet, money and slot credits are gone? Oh no, who should we call? Dumb Busters, maybe?
How about stipid questions? Of course, they have to be added here, too!
"Where are the elevators that go up?" All the elevators go up. They go down, too! Amazing!
"How much is the $20 Buffet?" $52.50, but just for you.
"Where can I get a drink?" I'm not sure, ask one of the bartenders and one of the bars we have every 20 feet.
"Where can my kids go at 2:30 in the morning?" Hotel room, home, child welfare services, juvinile detention, the moon, Fantasy Land?
     The article I read said not to trust anyone under the age of 30. I've met a few people over 30 who weren't the cream of the crop in smarts, though. What the hell is it today that is making these people so dumb? There isn't any personal responsiblitly anymore. We're a society of grown up children who never learned anything from touching the hot stove. God help us.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Nexus One review

     Since I seem to be one of the first to get this kind of phone, I thought I'd post a review of it.  I just got the new Google Nexus One phone.  If you haven't heard of it, it's an expensive phone that can also do all kind of other things.  So far, I've made one phone call on it.  The phone part works ok, I guess, but since I don't talk on the phone all that much, as long as I can hear the other person and they can hear me, that would mean it works good to me.  It sounds ok, and is pretty clear.

     As for the other things it does, it didn't come with any intructions!  I just had to figure things out.  The camera part of it works pretty good, I just can't seem to take any pictures of myself.  That's a bit of a pain in the butt.  And connecting it to my computer is confusing.  I know I can transfer pictures to the computer, from the phone, but I don't seem to know how to transfer any pictures to the phone!  I don't even understand what's happening when they're connected!  (Besides that, my card reader on the computer broke!  I'll need to take it back to Bestbuy to have it fixed, but I hate not having my computer!) And speaking of which:

     The online stuff works pretty well!  I can check my email, surf the web, watch different tv shows and clips from all kinds of networks, including Showtime, and it pretty much seems to run just as fast as my regular computer!  Very nice!  The touch sensitivity could be better, and a few times I was trying to select something and instead it went back to the homepage.  And I'll admit, there was once I wanted to throw the phone at a wall, but all in all, it does work pretty well.  It won't be so bad when I take my computer in because I can use the phone while it's gone being fixed.

     The bad part about this phone is the battery.  It seems like I need to charge the damned thing after every time I use it!  You'd think with all the new technology in the world, they could come up with a battery that would run my phone more than 2 hours!  Actually, I don't know how long it'll run before it goes dead, I'll have to try that.  I know it won't be too long, though.  I can use it to surf the web at home for about an hour and use half the battery power. 

     So, in conclusion, I like this phone!  I think it works well, and really like the fact that when I now get a text message, my phone says in this sexy, female voice, "Master, I have mail for you!"  I also have ringtones from old tv shows like Knightrider, and The A Team.  I have the Oompa Loompa song as one of the rings for a person.  (Too bad I don't actually get that many phone calls!)

Shopping for fun

     Tonight was my normal grocery shopping night of the week.  I shop like a bachelor, because I am one.  Which means I don't really make a list, or make any plans, I just go to the store and buy what ever looks good.  And yes, I know to the female mind, this is crazy.  I'm a graveyard boy, and still on occasion sleep all day on my nights off.  And being my night off, I slept in all day and didn't end up heading to the store until around 10pm at night.  Good and bad with that, Good: Not too many people out shopping!  Bad: Employees everywhere trying to stock the shelves.  Oh well, I'll just shop around them.  I spent part of my life stocking, they won't bother me at all.

     So now I'm walking through the store trying to think what I might want to eat later.  I end up in the magazine aisle looking through a Mad Magazine.

     I didn't really read any of it, just kind of flipped through it looking at the pictures.  Maybe I should have bought it, it looked kind of funny.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll survive without it.  Now I'm thinking about eggs.  I like eggs, especially hard boiled eggs.  And since I haven't had any at home for a while, I figure I'll just go and get some of them.  I know eggs have sizes, ok?  Small, medium, large, extra large.  But when I get to the egg section, I find these:

     What the hell are "Omega-3 eggs?"  I have to have these now!  Maybe they're Martian eggs, or something?  I check them and they seem to be regular, white eggs.  A brand name, maybe?  I can't even tell!  Oh well, I'll be eating the eggs of an "Omega-3" this week. 

     Everything's gotten so expensive, too!  I decided I wanted some chocolate covered raisins and had to pay $5.99 for a little plastic thing of them!  Cheese, milk, chips, everything's just so expensive!  I'd like to go back to the 50's just to shop, I think!  On the other hand, they probably don't have Omega-3 eggs in the 50's.  My cell phone wouldn't work there either, I don't think.  By the way, yes the pictures are from my cell.  It's a lot easier to take shots when I can see the screen.

     Well, this blog probably wasn't very interesting, or funny, but that's ok.  The funny ones will be posted after I've worked a couple of more nights.  So I guess I'll end this and go eat my eggs and raisins.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Panic in the past

Ok, I'm lazy. I'd love to write a load of amusing, funny stuff, but I'm still playing with my phone and nothing comes to mind. So, because most of the facebook crowd probably haven't read most of my other blogs, here's another rerun. And by the way, the panic button in the booth is sadly gone now. :(

I've found a new toy to play with at work. Someone decided they needed to install a "Panic Button" in the Security Booth. I simply LOVE this! I might leave it alone if a siren went off, or if it set off lights or made some kind of noise, but it doesn't. It just sets off this small, beeping noise on a computer terminal in the Security Dispatch. There's also a slight delay once you push the button of maybe 15 to 20 seconds before it goes off to annoy the dispatcher. So it would actually be faster if the Booth Officer is in trouble to use his or her radio to call for help. For now, it's just a way for me to annoy other people!
In a way, it does work. It sets off panic when I push the button. Another person was working the Security Booth last night and I walked up into the Booth next to her, said hello and then started hammering away on the panic button. I then said goodbye and walked away knowing I'd be gone from the Booth when the alarm went off in Dispatch. Well, the Booth Officer panicked and called the Dispatcher screaming that it wasn't her fault! Obviously the other dispatchers know me and probably know how funny I thought that was!
I can't let something that funny go. So, of course, I return to the Booth later to hit the panic button again. I didn't go into the Booth, though. I just stood in front of it and asked the Booth Officer to push the button for me. She almost fell off the chair and was horrified! She said one of the dispatchers had told her to slap me! I tried to reach over the Booth and push the button anyway. I couldn't reach it and was too lazy to walk around to the Booth entrance 10 feet away. The frightened Booth Officer leaned back away from me as I was reaching as if I might burn her if I could manage to touch her. I waved my arm around for a bit not reaching the button and then walked away. I'll be back for the button tonight, though. Maybe if the Booth Officer would have done as the dispatcher had told her and slapped the shit out of me while I was reaching for the button, I would have learned something? Probably not. But there's more.....
I forgot the panic button for a bit as things ended up getting a bit busy. You know, hookers robbing dumb guys, food fights in the cafe, stray cats hissing and scaring the Booth Officer, Trolls attacking hotel guests, Gargoyles trying to escape from their perch, on and on. (Yes, I exagerate my job. The real stuff is worse, believe me.) Now I'm cooling down and having some nice ice cream near the end of my shift. I deserve ice cream after some of the things I deal with! There's only a few minutes left in the shift before I go home and the dispatcher calls me on the radio and wants me to give him a phone call! The nerve! I'd like to push the panic button again, but that would mean walking way back up into the casino and I'm too lazy to do that. So I find a closer phone and dial the Security Emergency number. That's like calling 911 in the real world. The line lights up in Security Dispatch and they think it's some kind of major emergency! (Actually, half the time the line lights up it's some Goober in the hotel wanting a band aid for a blister, or locked out of their room, or ..... you get the idea.)
"Security Emergency Line, please state your emergency!"
"Hi, it's me!......HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Obviously the dispatchers didn't think it was as funny as I did. They know me, though and after a minute they laugh, too. It wasn't a real emergency, but that's ok. Sometimes you have to laugh in this job. I can't wait to push the panic button some more tonight!


Ok yes, I recieved my new phone. It didn't come with any instructions, though. I feel kind of like a caveman poking and proding at it, trying to see what happens when I push some icon on the screen. I've tried to take a picture of myself a couple of times using the camera, but I can't see what the hell I'm doing! I thought abut it, and I could use a mirror to help me take my picture, couldn't I? Don't I look confused? Years ago while I was in the Air Force it took me a minimum of 45 minutes to try and make a phone call back home from Italy. And usually after the 45 minutes some operater would tell me there was no answer at the number I gave her. I never dreamed that someday I'd be carrying around this expensive phone that I can also take pictures with, and surf the internet. Well, sort of. I'm still trying to figure out the surfing part, but sooner or later I'll get it. Maybe. Ok, I can figure out how to surf, but what do I look for online now? It seemed so exciting when I ordered the phone, but now what do I look up? The GPS is nice, but it's also kind of spooky that this phone knows exactly where I am all the time! It has a voice recognition feature, but it won't write any profanity for me. I said the word slowly, and clearly, and then all that comes up on the screen is "#### you." How am I supposed to curse in my instant messages if the voice thingee won't let me swear? For crying out loud, I paid a lot of money for a phone that wants to censor me!
I wanted to also use my new phone to make Youtube videos! That should be fun! But how do I talk, and show myself on the video if I can't see my ###ing face while I'm filming! (You see? I'm so used to the censoring, I'm doing myself now! Damn phone!) I'm sure it will be neat when I figure it out, but for now it's kind of frustrating.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts from the past

Well, here we are in 2010. I used to write a blog back on my old Myspace page, but haven't written there for quite a while. I guess I just let myself get a bit out of touch. Now, I've found a new place to write. Right here on Blogspot! I'm certain in the coming weeks I'll get back to going on and on about how dumb people are, and how annoyed I get at things, but for now, I don't know what to write. I've ordered a new cell phone, or pocket computer, or elctronic butler, or whatever you want to call it, and it's supposed to be delivered today. So, while I wait for that, I'll put up one of my old blog posts from January of last year (2009) Hopefully everyone has a sense of humor!

It's not my Fault!

What happened to personal responsibility? As far as I can see, there isn't any. It no longer exists. Or is it maybe just the people here in Las Vegas? Some of these guys are beyond dumb. Everything is someone else's fault. Every night I work I seem to come across some idiot who got really drunk the night before, lost all his money and ID and now thinks the hotel "owes" him. How is the hotel responsible for him getting drunk and losing his stuff? And it goes on from there:
One guy came to the front desk and said he got sick after eatting at a McDonald's and so the hotel needed to comp his entire stay. We have nothing to do with the McDonald's. He was told that and sent back there to complain to them, but he still felt we should give him a bunch of stuff free. So by that example, I had a runny nose at Walmart the other day and so Best Buy should give me a bunch of new computer equipment, right?
Other people come up to me while I'm working at the Security booth (podium, booth, desk, whatever.....) and say they haven't seen their friend or sister or whoever for 20 minutes. Then they want me to have everyone in the hotel search for them. They can't go and look for the person themselves. No, that would inconvienience them! But it's ok to bother other people! We last saw her talking to some clown wearing Roman togas and they were discussing how to do tricks with jello. And now they want me to find the clown. I think not.
Here's a lovely one: Last night a guy pulled the drapes off his window and feels the hotel was responsible because the drapes hit him in the head. I'm sure when he next puts his head through the tv he'll feel the hotel is responsible because his head hurts. Let's find this guy some high voltage areas to play in!
We have people who are making a lot of noise in their hotel room at 3am and bothering the other guests around them. After asking some of them to please quiet down, they call the front desk and complain about being harassed by security! The front desk will call me while I'm working dispatch and tell me we aren't to contact or bother the guests again. You would think after the reaction they get from me each time that happens they would learn not to call me again! But no! Ten minutes later the front desk will call me back and say someone is complaining about the loud people again and can I please do something about it!
Last, but not least are the security supervisors. They will get a memo from somewhere and then not tell anyone else about it, or show it to anybody else. And then when I'm not doing what the memo said, they will ask me why. Possibly because I'm not a mind reader who can interpret memos without even seeing them? If you want me to follow directives, then GIVE ME THE DIRECTIVES TO FOLLOW! If I could read minds, I would be on tour with the Great Krezkin!
Why am I the only one left who feels I need to take responsibility for my own actions? Yes, I tripped on the ice and fell down. (Theoretically, there really isn't any ice here in least right now). Yes, I have a messy house. Yes, I'm the one who sprayed all the silly string all over the yard! Please, can someone else be responsible, too?