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Monday, January 31, 2011 niece, Tiffany!

     I've never understood women, let alone teenaged girls.  I know what goes through a teenaged boys mind, because I've been one before.  A long time ago, but that's kind of something you never forget.  And what's on a teenaged boy's mind?  Well, mostly teenaged girls.  I decided to interview my niece, who is a teenaged girl this time.  I really don't want to talk about teenaged boys, though.  But I do find it interesting how different things are now from when I grew up.  And so I'll just ask her about that.  So I'd now like to introduce my niece Tiffany!  (Please Tiffy, no boy talk, ok?)

I know for pretty much most of your life cell phones have been around.  So how much do you actually use your cell phone?  Do you have a lot of contacts?  I know that's being nosy, but how many phone numbers do you have listed on your cell phone?  (I have 22 people on mine.  I probably call only around maybe 5 or 6 of them?)

I actually use my cell phone a lot less than most teenagers it seems like. I usually use it to talk to my dad or to my mom at work. I text some, but not very much. I try to stay out of the teenage drama... I have quite a few contacts even though I do not talk to all of them, about 139... not counting them multiple times for different numbers. Ha ha. I only text about 40 of them a week... if that, and I only talk to about 10 in a month.
40, wow.  *chuckle* I don’t think I talk to 40 different people in person in a week!  

When I was your age, the only people I knew were pretty much the ones who lived around me, and the ones I went to school with.  Now, with email, social networking, and things like that, I have friends all over the world.  Do you have any overseas friends?  If you do, how did you meet them?

No, actually I do not have any overseas friends I try to mostly add people that I know, but people from overseas have tried to add me. I am friends with one overseas girl, but she lives here in Oklahoma now, but she is from Germany. She came here to get an American high school diploma.
I wonder why people from overseas have tried to add you without knowing you?  Go figure.  I met my overseas friends through my writing.
Which friend lives the farthest away from you?  If you don't want to give their name, that's fine, just tell us where they live.

Well since I live in the middle of the country that is kind of difficult, so I will talk about friends on each coast... I have one friend that lives in New York City, we used to go to school together in Las Vegas and then she moved there... I have tons of friends on the west coast though, from Nevada, California, and Arizona, most of my friends on the social networks are from those places because I had lived in Nevada and Arizona the longest. I do not have a ton of friends from all over since I try to add people I know.
New York and California!  You’re a coast to coast girl, Tiffy!  *chuckle*  All joking aside, it’s nice that you still have friends you stay in contact with.  In the military people always think they’ll stay in contact, but then when they get discharged, they never see each other again!  Actually, a few have found me on facebook.  But without that...well, people are people, I guess.

Have you ever seen, or used a record player?

I have seen records... and I have seen record players in old movies. But I have never used one and I do not really know what it is... Is it kind of like an oversized CD player? Ha ha.
“ old movies.”  Ok, stop that!  I’m not in my 90’s for crying out loud!  You think that’s funny, but now with all the digital movies and music, cds will fade out after a while.  When you’re older some kid may be telling YOU they saw a cd player once in an old movie!  *chuckle*

Typing class is completely gone from schools now, as are typewriters.  Now the class is called "Keyboarding."  Have you taken this class?  How did you learn to type, or do you just still "hunt and peck?"  (I type around 70 words per minute, by the way.)

Yes, I have taken the class. It was not all about typing, but I did learn how to type fast. I can not type 70 words per minute, but I can type between 35 to 37. :) It makes it a lot easier for me when I have to write essays and things because it does not take me forever. I can type like 40 words per minute when I am not having to read off a paper or anything because I like to look at the screen so I know what I have typed.
In the class we also learned how to use the software on computers, like spreadsheets and the tricks for Word documents. It was very interesting because now I know how to do many things with a computer that I did not know how to before.
I still remember typing class.  All the typewriters clicking around me.  When you would get near the end of a line, the typewriter would go “Ding!” and you’d have to press “return” key to move to the next line.  And now they teach you about spreadsheets and word documents?  You probably know more about how to write on a computer now than I do!  *chuckle*
As a kid, I had a few electronic things, but nothing like we have today.  What's the one electronic thing you have that you think you absolutely could not live without now?  (I'm guessing it's a cell phone)

I would have to agree with you on that one. I could absolutely not live without my cell phone, but I think it is only because I use it so much to keep in contact with family. If I lived closer to everyone I do not think it would be such an essential part of my life. I really like my IPOD too, because I can get on it and use an app to get on Facebook and Myspace without having to get on the computer... but it gets kind of addicting like that because it is so easy to get online with.
I lived overseas for 2 years without a cell phone!  Imagine that!  *chuckle*  It was such a chore to try and make a call back to the states to talk to your family, I would usually only call maybe once every few months.  And then if the call went through, it had to be “collect” and whoever you were calling would have to pay for it.  And a lot of time they didn’t answer!  Snail mail was the way to go back then mostly.

Waaaaaaaay back in the 1980's we had "Valley Girls."  They pretty much had their own look, and way of talking.  Are there any kind of social groups like that around in your generation?

Ha ha there are so many cliques these days, but we do not give them such nice names... There are your normal jocks and the cheerleaders who date them, but there are also the girls who 'put themselves out there'. You have the normal cliques that you hear about, but also here in Oklahoma you have the cowboys and their country-bumpkin girls. I try to stay with the kids who are not in cliques... it seems like there is just a big group of ungrouped people too. There is also a weird group of people who call themselves the: Eufaula Wake Crew, who all love wake boarding on the lake. I try to stay with the ungrouped people because once you're recognized as being in a certain group all of the other groups do not like you.
I liked computers, and Dungeons and Dragons.  So yes, I was a nerd.  I was also a nerd who ran off and joined the Air Force.  *chuckle*

I've found myself texting quite a bit lately to friends.  How much texting do you do on an average day, and how many people do you text?

I do not text a lot. I text maybe 3 or 4 people a day, but not all day either... maybe for like an hour or so. I have noticed if you text a lot in high school that they will slowly drag you into the big pot of drama. I have been there and let me tell you it was not pretty. Ha ha man the lies and crap people can come up with is just crazy!
Being 44, I’ve seen my share of drama.  People never seem to get tired of it.    I’m glad to hear you try to stay out of all that!  Sadly though, it never ends.  You’d think after getting out of high school, maybe going to college and then getting an office job somewhere, the drama would stop.  But no matter where you go, or what you do, digging ditches, or being the president of a company somewhere, there will always be some idiots around you with drama.  Just the nature of people.

     Thank you for being my blog guest today, and for letting me interview you!  Feel free to add anything you like, or say hello to anyone!  (Don't get nasty, or I'll have to edit!)  Or feel free to tell us about yourself.  If you don't mind, I'll even toss in a picture of you here!  I'm proud that you're my niece, by the way, and do love you!  And feel free to promote your newest book here!  ... ... Oh, that’s right, you’re just a kid.  Sorry, I’m used to doing interviews with older people.  *chuckle*  (Aren’t I funny?)

Well you probably do not think I live a very interesting life, but I just try to stay to myself and out of the drama so I do not hit anyone in the face this year. Ha ha. Sorry it took me so long to respond I just wanted to do it from my computer because it is easier. And no I like your ending and beginning, so leave it that way. Well I am going to go work on a persuasive essay for english :/
If you have any other questions you want to ask me just send them.
Love you lots,
Tiffany :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Watching the people...professionally

     Working as a security officer in a Las Vegas casino is an adventure just about every night for me.  One of the other jobs that can be pretty entertaining is surveillance.  Those guys pretty much spend their work time in a small room with a bunch of monitors to watch.  And they get to watch the best show in Las Vegas:  The people!  I do have a friend who works in surveillance at a different casino from where I work.  I thought it would be fun to interview him about what he does, and some of the whacko things he’s seen.  Since surveillance people aren’t supposed to talk about what they do, or really tell about anything they see, I’ll keep my friend anonymous and just call him “Merlin.”  My friend Merlin the surveillance wizard.  *chuckle*
I know surveillance watches the casino's table games.  So what's the most cash you've ever seen a player lose at one time?  

     Well for a single wager it would be $25,000.  Of course this pertains only to a table game on a single hand wager.  Some players have lost in excess of a million dollars on a single trip of 3 to 4 days, for example.  And I think the largest single sports wager was over $100,000, which lost.  It is funny though when some players show up with a bag or suitcase full of cash, and they have to pull 3 or 4 dealers out the pits to count the money, per procedure, just to keep up with his wagers.  Very funny to watch.

     That honestly does sound like a tv fantasy, someone bringing in a briefcase full of money to gamble with!  
Since there are cameras all over the casino, have you ever seen anyone having sex in a public area?  Any stories you'd like to share about that?  

     I have seen a woman so upset about her losses, that after being approached by a male, she gave him oral sex for a price to recuperate her losses before going back to her room to meet her husband.  Other employees have been drinking after work, and take hookers to back of the house areas for ????

     They take hookers...EWWWW!
Have you ever caught anyone cheating on a table game?  This isn't very common anymore, is it?  

     Not really common but it does happen.  You get the occasional card counter or hole carder.  I have caught my share of both. The rules have been changed so much that it makes it very difficult.  Card discard racks are red for a reason: the red helps to identify marked cards, on blackjack games that use six decks of cards the dealer never goes through the whole deck.  They deal through only a certain amount of cards before shuffling, which makes getting an accurate count more difficult, if you’re trying to count cards.  Auto shufflers, or continuous shufflers get rid on any chance of collusion with a dealer.  They would have to signal their bottom card which would be easy to see if it happened consistently.  It is more about tito theft (tito is the term for the ticket you now get out of a slot machine instead of coins.  Just about all slot machines in Las Vegas are now “coinless”), and employee theft these days.  Then again there is always the occasional snatch and grab type theft…  Think motorcycle helmet… 

     Ok Merlin, you know as well as I do that card counting isn’t illegal, or cheating!  *chuckle*  The casinos just frown on it because it gives the player an advantage over the house, and the house doesn’t like to lose.  So those guys (or girls!) are just thrown out and trespassed.  As for the motorcycle he’s referring to a guy who walked into a casino a bit ago wearing a full helmet, jacket, and was completely covered.  He grabbed a huge amount of casino chips from a table game and then made his getaway.  Good luck trying to cash in the $25,000 chips you took, buddy!  *chuckle*  What’s even funnier is that after the theft, a lot of people who thought they were being funny put up ads on about selling $25,000 casino chips.  I guess the police didn’t think the ads were very funny, though.  *chuckle*  
Since you are the "Eye in the Sky," I'm sure you can tell some really great stories.  Can you maybe tell us one of the funnier ones?  

     Well this is a one line answer…  The employees.  Yeah, I mean you see plenty of funny shit with the patrons, but watching the employees sometimes making stupid mistakes because they aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing, or because they think they aren’t being watched, is just hilarious sometimes.  Some of the people don’t even seem motivated to do their jobs, and with so many other people out of work, you’d think they would be grateful to have a job!  Let the mafia take back over.
     When you see them on camera, do you actually recognize some of the hookers, and know their names?  I know some of the security guys I work with do.  

     My place doesn’t have too big of a problem with the working girls.  We get our share, but they usually just get walked out by security.  They only end up getting taken into custody for a trick roll, or something else the Metro police will respond for.  But surprisingly, I don’t recognize any of them most of the time.  I really do work in a low key kind of place.  
Ok Merlin, rant away:  Since you pretty much see everything, what are the biggest problems the casinos have, in your opinion?  

     That would most definitely be the prices here.  Now we have $30 rooms and expect people to play $20 a hand for blackjack?  They use our rooms and then go to the Hooters hotel, or downtown and play $3 blackjack.  Why not keep them in house and take all their money?  $100 shows, $50 steaks, and $30 rooms?  It simply doesn’t compute.  Nobody is spending money, so why have a jewelry store, or a retail outlet that sells a t-shirt for 30 dollars?  Drop everything down and the people will come. 

     I do have to agree with you here.  What is the point of lowering room rates, but making the table game limits really high?  I understand they want big players, but isn’t that what a “high limit pit” is for?  Why grind the regular people coming to town?  We don’t all go to the Strip with a briefcase full of cash! 
In my book "Terminating Vegas" a couple security officers are caught sleeping on duty.  Have you ever caught security doing things they shouldn't?  Any really funny security stories you'd like to share with us?  No names, of course!  

     No not really.  Security is actually well behaved.  I don’t think they have time to sleep because there is so few of them that they stay pretty busy on routine security work.  No real problems, or at least not very often.   
Surveillance today isn't really like in the movies, or on tv, is it?  

     Not at all…  I mean of course we are not walking on catwalks with binoculars anymore.  Everything is mostly digital now and we can go back in time and see anything without leaving our chair.  But…  Current surveillance is pretty much reactive rather than proactive.  We should be looking for employees stealing, card counters, cheaters and the like, but instead, we are always looking back at what happened yesterday, or last week.  

“Did my employee clock in last Tuesday?”

“This guy claimed he bet $5 on black, not on red”

“This guy slipped and fell outside because he was intoxicated, can you see how many drinks he had on blackjack?”

     I mean whatever happened to actually protecting the assets?  Now it is like figuring out where the assets went after they are already gone.  That being said…  I remember my dear departed grandpa telling me when I was 5 or 6 that “The more time you spend thinking about what has been taken from you, the more is going out the door.”  Maybe the powers that be should remember that.
I have a few...trophies from past Las Vegas.  Have you collected anything? 

     I have collected a lot of uniforms and as you know, name tags.  I also have some table layouts which are really cool.  The most interesting things are kept in my head as memories.

     Well, thanks Merlin.  *chuckle*  I know this wasn’t a “60 Minutes” type of interview, but it was still fun!  And I do appreciate your time in answering my questions.  I really would have liked to post a few, “Oh man, I remember when...” things, but we both need to stay employed at this point.  *chuckle*  So thanks for answering what you could.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Past trophies

     I've lived in Las Vegas for somewhere around 20 years now.  It's changed quite a bit since I first moved here.  And in the time I've lived here, I've collected a few things.  Nothing major, just a token now and then.  And looking back through all the old crap I have piled around, I found a few things!  So let's see what I've been hoarding, shall we?

     Oh, a few coins!  The one on the top far right is a Canadian dollar coin commonly called a "Loony."  Called that because of the loon bird on the coin.  I bought it from a Canadian who was bitching about the exchange rate years ago.  I have one or two more somewhere.  The other three coins are Italian.  Two are Italian money, and the third is a token from an Italian arcade in Brindisi.  Don't know where that is?  Too bad.  I'm sure the arcade is long gone by now.  And the big one was a Las Vegas fad for a while.  The casinos, and even the airport (That's the one above!) put in these quarter slot machines that if you hit a certain combination, would give you a neat, minted coin in a plastic case.  It was supposed to be worth $10 at the time I won it.  I wonder if it's worth more now?

     Now we move on to some of my favorite buttons!  

     Oh, so cool!  I always liked big, pin on buttons like these!  The Stardust Hotel and Casino is long gone.  It's been destroyed, so that's a really cool button!  And also note the two buttons on top:  "hairspray" and "Burn the Floor."  I never did see either one, but they were both shows at Luxor at one time.  I wonder if we got rid of the burn the floor one after one performance?  I mean how many times can you burn the floor?  Hairspray was just kind of...removed.  I don't know whether someone didn't like the show, or what, but out it went!  Still, they had a neat button!  And last, but not least, the "Mickey Mouse 75th birthday" button.  My sister and I happened to be at Disneyland for a trip that year, and hadn't even realized it was Mickey Mouse's birthday!  We were given the pins on our way into the park. Needless to say, the park became too crowded and Mickey was mobbed, so we didn't actually get to say happy birthday to him.  Still, a neat button.

     And last of the collectables:  My casino chips.  Did you know that sometimes older chips become valuable after they've been out of circulation for a while?  If you have some cool ones, and they're in pretty good shape, you can get some major money for them!  I have a few cool ones that are in pretty good shape!  I'm not really interested in selling them, though.  Why sell a trophy, right?

     The top two chips are $5 chips from Luxor back when the Blue Man Group used to perform there.  Yes, they had Blue Man and let them go!  Actually, the story was that the show's contract ran out when Mandalay corporation was selling Luxor to the MGM/Mirage corporation, and the contract just didn't get renewed.  I'm not sure of what really happened, but they left.  And so now, there are no more of these casino chips!  Well, obviously there are at least two that I have.  *chuckle*  MINE, MINE!  The chip that says "Planet Hollywood" at Caesar's Palace and was made to commemorate the grand opening of the Planet Hollywood restaurant in the Forum Shops there.  Back then no one knew there would eventually be a Planet Hollywood casino on the Strip!  And my two favorite chips?  Oh yes, the original Luxor chips.  These are from way back around 1993 when Luxor first opened.  I wonder if anyone I work with now even remembers these?

     Well, that's a bit of my collection.  Things I found when I blew the dust off my desk and dug through a huge pile.

Simple and Complicated

     What is complicated?  Things get complicated sometimes, and I never seem to see it coming.  I wonder why?  I know life isn't as simple as it might seem.  Something seems simple, and then suddenly, it's complicated.  I'm not even sure how to put this stuff into words.

Here's simple:


     That's pretty simple, right?  Well, maybe not for some people.  I do know a few who couldn't figure that out.  But for me, it's simple.  And while I'm looking at that, realizing how simple it is, here comes some idiot who writes this kind of crap on the blackboard next to me:

     What the hell is this shit?  It's so complicated!  Maybe to the guy who wrote it it's pretty simple?  But to me, I can't even figure out what it's supposed to mean!  So what, am I a caveman now when it comes to math?  Probably.  I've been out of school for so long, and honestly never really progressed past high school math.  Have I made a point here?  Probably not.  Sometimes things are just all mixed up and...complicated.  I wish they were still simple, but they aren't.

     I like to write.  Simple, right?  Not really.  I can write any kind of book I want, even self publish it afterwards.  But then things get complicated.  Should I try and find a literary agent?  Should I try to hook myself up with a small publisher?  Maybe I should self publish the book?  If I self publish something I have to make up my own book cover, or pay someone to make a cover for me.  I have to promote the book myself.  How much will it cost?  Will I get a few and sell them personally?  How about taxes?  Should I donate books to libraries?  Will libraries even take my books?  Will...should...I just...AAAAUUUUGGGGHHH!

     Now writing is complicated.  Now it's no longer about the story I wrote, and has just become complicated!  Pure things never seem to stay pure!  And have I made my point yet?  No.  Why?  Because it's COMPLICATED!

     I see things as how I want them to be.  How simple they could be.  But still, they get complicated.  I'm sure at least one person will read this and know what it's really about.  And what is it really about?  It's...complicated.  Maybe more than one will read it and think they understand?  Who knows?  That would be really funny, actually.  Have you read this and thought that I was maybe writing about something in your life?  You thought things were simple, but before you knew it, they became really complicated?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


     I love snow.  I'll admit there have been a few days in my life when I was shoveling it off a driveway when I wasn't really happy with it, but still, I like it.  And shoveling helps keep me in shape, right?  So it's all good.  It's 2011 and like normal, people are bitching about the snow.  They don't like driving in it, the roads aren't plowed, they're so jealous of us people who live in places where it doesn't snow.  But since I'm not in snow right now, let's look at some pictures!  Hooray!

     Wow, this is so beautiful!  It's so...icy!  It's so...where are the houses?  Where the hell is this?  Someone went out in the middle of nowhere and took a picture of a snow covered tree?  That's real snow love!  I applaud that effort!  (But where the hell is this?)

     The Europeans don't have these problems, do they?  It doesn't snow in, say...Italy.  Or does it?  It did snow when I was stationed over there, but they told us that was the first time it had snowed there in like 30 years!  Maybe I brought it with me?  That's silly!  How could I bring weather with me someplace?  So it doesn't snow in Italy normally, right?  RIGHT? Italian road.  No, I don't know where the hell this is, it's in Italy somewhere, ok?  The road sign says something like Milano, or something.  So go look up Milano on Google if you want to know where this is.  But still, it just makes the roads nice and white, right?  Just pretty snow.  I'm sure this car is cruising along with no problems at all.  Get your windshield scraped, your heater going, and you're set, right?  Why do you people keep complaining?  Snow isn't a problem!

     Ok, so it's a problem for these girls.  Maybe if they were bright enough to wear pants instead of shorts it would be less of a problem?  Or maybe if they were driving on a plowed road they wouldn't have to push?  But maybe they were going someplace where the roads haven't been plowed yet, you ask?  Ok, where the hell would they be going?  Do you see any buildings in this picture?  Any trees?  These women in shorts are out on the damn tundra!  It looks to me like they drove their little car, in their little shorts, out into a field full of snow.  Boo fricking hoo.

     It doesn't snow here in Las Vegas, though.  This place is right in the middle of the Mohave desert.  It doesn't snow in the desert.  It might be fun if it did, but it doesn't.  I said it DOESN'T!  Ok, for crying out loud!

     No, these aren't from this year.  It was supposed to maybe snow here this year, and I think a few flakes fell, but nothing like what's in these pictures.  It doesn't really snow here.  All this snow you see what gone after an hour or two.  I had some personal pictures of the snow on my porch, and a snowman I made, but because the camera is a bit old, and the memory card won't fit in my laptop, I can't show them to you.  Feel free to trudge through the snow to visit me (If you're coming from a snowy place, that is) and I'll show them to you on the camera.

     So here's to snow!  Or damn the snow, depending on where you live.  I have a friend who lives in Michigan who hates the snow.  So for her, damn the snow!  (But for me, it sure is pretty!)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Convention mania!

     It's January and the start of a new year.  2011 starts out with a bang and the Consumer Electronics Show is in Las Vegas and will be showing off all the newest electronic stuff of the year!  And I can't go to it.  Invitation only.  That's sucks!  I can see some things on tv, but it's not like really being there.  I can't really see the 3-D tvs and how they work, I can't play with the new cell phone types that are coming out.  But I guess everything will be in stores in a few months anyway.  I still probably won't be able to play with the stuff though, because I probably won't be able to afford any of it!

     But there's another convention in town, too.  It always comes at the same time as CES.  It's the Adult Entertainment Expo.  And yes, it's exactly what you think it is!  Ha Ha!  All the porn people are here!  (Well, the porn people are always here in Vegas, but now there's a convention full of them!)

     So now what kinds of things will you get to see here?  The usual: you can meet porn stars, go to booths promoting porn movies and take pictures and get autographs from the stars, they give out free stuff like cds, dvds, posters, and all kinds of things.  And then there's the weird stuff.  Before you ask, no I didn't go to this.  I had to work.  If I wasn't working, I do wonder myself if I might have actually gone to see it.  I mean how many times do you actually get the chance to go to something like this?  So what the hell, right?  Nasty, but still a new experience.  It would have probably been more fun when I was in my 20's, though.

     In checking in to this...expo, I found a few really...different things.  How about this?

     Please tell me what this is.  Those aren't...they can'  Do you suppose it has it's own fake saliva?  I mean, it wouldn't feel right to just be whacked with a bunch of fake tongues if there wasn't any saliva, right?  RIGHT?  Oh man, I am SO creeped out by this right now!  On the other hand, if I saw this spinning, and someone bending over in front of it, I don't think I would be able to stop laughing!

     And, of course, there's the "Welcome to Vegas" doll.

     Are these the weirdest things, though?  Oh no, not by a long shot!  After 4 years in the U.S. Air Force I can say that I've seen my share of pornography.  I've seen movies with fat chicks, and midgets.  I've seen a "horse show" and even a movie of a girl with a great dane.  And those are weird, yes.  But are you really ready for weird?  Are you ready for...ROXXXY the sex doll?

     Roxxxy talks and responds to you.  She responds when you touch her.  She's programmed to know where you touch her.  And strangest of all, Roxxxy is programmed with five different personalities:

Wild Wendy - Outgoing and adventurous.  She'll encourage anything you do to her.

S&M Susan - This one likes...pain/pleasure?  (What the hell?  A doll that likes to be beat up?)

Young Yoko - The description says "Barely 18, and ready to be taught."  Wow, how...illegal?

Mature Martha - Experienced teacher.  Via Youtube, I actually heard this one say, "I've been around the block a few times."  Does that this one a used doll?  Like a friend of mine would say, "Ewwwww!"

And my ultimate favorite, the one I can't figure out why you would want at all:

Frigid Farrah - The description says "Reserved and shy."  But on one video a guy touched the doll, and it replied back to him, "Don't touch me there."  You need a doll to tell you that?  You can't just find real women to tell you not to touch them?  How...creepy!  "Put your pants back on!  I just want to think about work!  Stop it!"  Someone will actually pay for a doll that says this to them.  I can easily find real women who will treat me like shit, and for free, too!

     I guess the doll was designed with some movement.  To me, it just looked like it kind of rocked back and forth.  They bent her (it?) over a chair and then filmed it while it rocked back and forth for a bit.  Shortly after the video started though, a tech came into the frame, removed the wig from the doll, and opened the head, which really creeped me out!

     The doll supposedly has a heartbeat and a working circulatory system.  It's (sorry, I can't call a doll "she") supposed to feel warm, and the skin supposedly feels real.  How do you make fake skin feel real? "It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again!"  Sorry, Jodie Foster moment.  And what can you expect to pay for this wonder of woman replacement?  Well, it, she, or they are on sale!  Only $2,995.00!  How about that?  Let's get our check books out!  Who needs a brand new 3-D tv that can be controlled by my cell phone when I can have a sex doll that tells me no instead?  If you want the male version, it's only $1,495.00.  There weren't any pictures of those, though.  I'm not even sure if the males had personalities, either.  I'm sure the male doll doesn't say no!  or maybe it does?  Maybe I need to buy one of each, set them on a couch next to each other, and then watch them argue.

"Don't touch me!"

"Don't touch me either!"

"I don't want to sit next to you!"

"I can't move, but you're a bitch!"

"You're so mean, I hate you!"

     Arguing dolls.  And all for around $4,500.00 after sales tax.  Just what the world needs.  So what the hell was I writing about in the first place here?

     Oh yeah, CES is in town!  Wow, I wish I could go to that and see all the neat, new, electronic stuff!  I'll just pretend it's the only convention here, too.  And since I can't go anyway, because I have to work, I'll just pretend that if I wanted to, I could actually get in.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Are Oompa Loompas and flying monkeys normal?

     It's the start of 2011 and time to take stock of our lives.  And I find myself wondering if I'm actually living a normal life.  I'm pretty sure I'm not.  I've been reading a friend's upcoming book (she was nice enough to give me a sneak peek before it's published) and notice how the problems in the book don't really relate to the kind of problems I have here in my life.  I know her book is fiction, but it's about romance, and unhappy marriages, and kids, and...well, things like that.  A rekindled romance, and how things eventually worked out.  Meanwhile, here's my life:

     After working Saturday night and finishing off a wild and stupid New Year's Eve, I was invited to a party with my coworkers.  It was to be held at a strip club called "Hustler's."  Yes, related to the magazine. A lovely morning of drinking, sleazy women, and discussing how we watched idiots beat on each other and destroy property all weekend.  Since I don't drink, I declined.  Someone received a call from "Hustler's" before our shift was over though, and was told that the place had to "close prematurely before the party" and would be unavailable to us.  So were they raided?  Maybe didn't have an up to date liquor license and were caught?  I don't know, they didn't want to tell the reason why.

     So the get together was moved to some other place.  I think it was moved to some place called "Crazy Horse 3?"  I tried, but couldn't even download any pictures of that place.  Since I don't drink, don't really care for people that much, and didn't feel like dropping a few hundred dollars or more on some stripper who I'd probably never see again (Unless of course I went back to the club to drop even more money), I still declined to go to this place, too.  I overheard them telling one coworker who isn't well liked (Ok, no one likes him) to meet at a dumpster on the corner of Tropicana and Maryland Parkway.  I wonder if he actually showed up there and waited for other people?

     Do other people go to strip joints to celebrate surviving New Year's weekend?  I wonder how the party went?  One guy told me, "You don't have to worry about the strippers, we'll have our own room with all the beer we can drink!"  So...they have a rented room at a strip joint and no strippers will come into the room, huh?  Somehow I don't think a strip joint rents out rooms like that.  I wonder if anyone got into trouble, and who was the first person thrown out?

     I grew up in an area where there weren't too many divorced people.  Here it seems like everyone is either divorced, or cheating on their wife.  Or cheating on their girlfriend.  Or cheating on the girl they're cheating on their girlfriend, or wife with.  This place is nothing like where I grew up.  I have two friends who call where they live "Villages."  I thought villages were tiny little hamlets that only existed in movies now.  I guess I'm wrong.  One lives in a little village in England, and the other a little village in Michigan.  Who knew there were villages in Michigan?

     There's an old Chinese curse that goes: "May you live an interesting life."  I wonder if I've been cursed like that?  I certainly live an interesting life.  I go to work to see domestic violence between people, thefts, hookers, drunks, and all manner of insanity.  I live in a world of neon now.  A world that looks good on the outside, but inside is full of greed, and violence.  I do wonder occasionally if I moved somewhere else, found another job that didn't involve all of this, would I be bored now?  Even if I do leave eventually, I'll never think about Las Vegas the same way again.

And all I can say for 2011 is wow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Eve 2010

     Goodbye 2010.  It's part of the past now.  So what did I do to survive that wild night a few days ago?  Well, it started out the same as it does every year.  The police block off Las Vegas Blvd and so I can't use the strip to get to where I'm supposed to park at work.  I have to drive down to Tropicana avenue and then sit in traffic for about 45 minutes while trying to turn on Koval to get to the parking area.  Meanwhile, I'm surrounded by idiots who still think they can make it to the closed Strip from Tropicana (Most of these idiots are locals) and cabs.  They're all trying to cut me and each other off.  I guess if you cut everyone around you off, you get where you're going much faster.  I played the game too, and cut off people who were trying to cut me off.  So it was one, huge mess of idiots trying to cut each other off while driving about a half a mile an hour.

     I had to leave for work 2 hours ahead of time to get through this mess!  But finally, I arrive at the parking area.  I'm thrilled!  Now all I have to the hell?  Almost the whole damned lot is full of cars!  Oh, ok.  Now I remember that both Luxor, and Excalibur employees are parking in the lot this year.  No matter, I'm sure there's a spot somewhere...somewhere...uh...DAMN IT!  I finally find a spot, but end up having to park waaaaaaay in the back of the lot.  I guess I get some exercise walking out of the lot.  There is a shuttle bus for the really lazy employees, but I refuse to ride a bus across the street.  I did however, get a nice shot of Luxor from where I ended up parking.  Oooooo, how dark and forbidding!  Just looks like trouble to me.

     So now I've parked, and head across the street.  It's not like years ago when the streets were full of idiots.  Tonight there are idiots wandering around, but the street's still a bit empty.  Maybe the 33 degree temperature kept some of them inside?  Who knows?  I snap a nice picture while crossing the blocked off street.

     And if you look down the other way, here are the paramedics and the police!  I'm sure they were really happy to be out in the cold!

     I cross the street and head into the employee areas quickly, trying not to let any of the screaming, drunken idiots on the sidewalk talk to me.  I get lucky and none of them slur any questions at me.  I make it down to the security briefing room to see how disorganized things are.  It doesn't look too bad, but then I haven't started my shift yet.  So far, it's fun.  That fun will stop soon.

     I get clocked in and briefing for the night starts.  Like normal, it doesn't make much sense, and is mostly the managers trying to whine about how they aren't "abrasive" and how they are supposed to be nice to everyone.  No wonder people get away with just about anything they want here.  Sheesh.  Finally, briefing ends and I head out to dispatch with my partner.  As we get there, the phones are ringing off the hook with idiots asking "Am I getting relieved now?  Can I leave and go to lunch now?  Where's my relief?"  I'm not a supervisor and really not concerned about whether I'm "abrasive" or not, so I scream into the radio for people to STOP CALLING DISPATCH TO ASK IF THEY ARE BEING RELIEVED!  A supervisor comes on the radio and tells me not to talk to people that way, and to be nice.  Now I wonder when I'm going to get relieved, and I haven't even been at work an hour yet!  Ok, the fun's ended.

     It's constant chaos in dispatch on New Year's Eve.  The phone rings, and rings, and rings, and people want this, and want that, and want, want want!  I do the best I can and work my way through the chaos. I do have a couple other dispatchers helping me...or was I helping them?  Who knows?  It's all one big blur.  Before I know it, it's midnight.  For at least a second or two I think the loud booms I hear are thunder.  Then I realize it's the Vegas fireworks going on.  I get up and walk out the dispatch door to get a picture of them!  And, of course, I can't really see them.  But I get a shot of a few sparks, and some smoke:

     Should I have then been wondering what the new year will bring me?  What's in store?  Where will I go from here?  Actually, I just went back into dispatch and did the best I could.

     As far as I've heard, there were somewhere around 100 driving while intoxicated arrests.  Those are just the arrests, mind you, I'm sure there were ten times that amount of drunken people driving around who didn't get caught.  One Mexican was killed because he was out firing a gun into the air and when the police arrived and told him to stop, he pointed his gun at them and said no.  His family claims that he didn't know they were police.  I guess wearing a police uniform and yelling "Police, put the weapon down!" wasn't enough identification for them.  (This wasn't at the casino, by the way, it was out in town somewhere.)  There were robberies, and beatings, fireworks and booze, kisses and hugs.  Did things look hopeful to me for 2011?  I don't know.  Things looked violent.  But I guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes.

Stay safe.