Day Eighteen – Snowbound

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Here we are, trapped in Nampa for “who” knows how long. Yesterday it was sunny, bright, a little cool, but really pretty. That was at the ball game in Emmett. It was snowing when I got up this morning and it’s been snowing all day, until about 30 seconds ago. It was terrible. Jim made me leave the house with him to go visit his Burger King Old Guy Group (BKOGG) for coffee and we could hardly see where we were going. Thankfully, Jim was was driving and, apparently, it’s ok to straddle the yellow center line in Idaho. He didn’t really have to because the roads were actually clear, but I’ve come to realize that he just seems more comfortable driving when he’s cozied up to that yellow line.

Today’s session of the BKOGG was in full session when we arrived so we had to sit in the riff raff section at one of the small square tables. In lieu of an introduction, Jim made me stand up and tell everyone who I was. Some of them I remember meeting before so I was not a total stranger to all of them. Walt sat next to me and we talked for a long time because everyone else was ignoring us.

Jim paid for the coffee, so while he had his wallet out I ordered a breakfast sandwich. It was good.

After this mandatory visit was over we fought our way through the parking lot blizzard, cleaned the snow off the windows, and headed back to the house. This is what the road was like…

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On the way Jim and I discussed the benefits of him purchasing a wireless router for his house so I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital for a wireless connection to send my blog, and check my email, and such. Since he’s chosen to remain relatively uneducated in the new world of technology, it was an easy sale. There was no benefit for him, of course, except for the opportunity to spend $50 on something he really didn’t need. But, as I pointed out, it would be nice for his neighbors.

When we got home lunch was ready so we ate. It was lasagna and very good. I regret I failed to take a picture for you but I’m sure you all know what lasagna looks like.

After lunch we bundled up again and drove to Best Buy to check out wireless routers. We wound up in the Costco parking lot so just went in there to see what they had. They had nice ones, but more expensive than I was willing for Jim to spend on something that would only benefit me. And Steff & Bob, and all the kidlets. So, we braved the weather, again, got in the car and drove to our original destination, Best Buy. They had exactly what I nee… what Jim needed to make me happy,

We installed it as soon as we got home and I was amazed at how easy it was to set up. I gave Jim the instructions and he hooked everything up, so there’s hope for him yet. Amazingly, there was no setup routine required. It just worked! The password is “melodicsocks134”, in case you’re wondering.

We were going to go to another softball game this afternoon, but the snow storm caused everyone a bunch of unnecessary concern so they cancelled it. Perhaps the team from Mt. Home had a little worse weather than we did. Probably a good idea. So, I donned my cozy jammies and began to work on this.

That’s about it for today except for this picture of the Idaho Cate’s back yard a few minutes ago,..

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… and Jim watching TV …

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OK … so I wasn’t done. I fell asleep on the couch with a pillow over my head to stifle the headache Jim gave me yesterday. He’s been making fun of me ever since I sustained the injury and I’ve toyed with the idea of sewage in order to obtain some monetary compensation for the attack. But, he’s my brother so sewage isn’t really an option. Instead, I’ll just add another picture of Jim watching TV, then there’s a little more.

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Sometime around 6:32 pm Bob, Steffani, and Maryssa showed up for a visit knowing that it’s our plan to depart the Plains of Nampa tomorrow. By the time they arrived, all of the snow had melted and it was about 50 degrees. I’m guessing, of course, but it wasn’t as cold as it was earlier so I think I’m within 10-20 degrees. So, it’s only right that I capture these events herein for posterity and to provide you with a couple more pictures of people we don’t see very often.

Bob was very quiet on arrival but the women, all four of them, became equally noisy as if they were have a contest to see who could be the most disruptive. I’m not sure there was a clear winner, but it was entertaining.

Steffani brought he CD with pictures from Jim’s & Donna’s 50th wedding anniversary from 3-4 years ago that we’ve never seen. She tried to upload them to a web site, using the newly established wireless web site at 1923 Mass, without success, learning, in the process, why she hadn’t done it previously … the files are too big. So, I think I inherited the CD to take home and try it from our house, using my non-Lenovo computer. Hopefully it works so I won’t have to be shamed for having an iMac.

Here’s a picture of Steffani trying to upload the pictures …

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I visited with Maryssa for a long time while she was trying to do her homework and got to hear her read a few of the papers she had written. They were very good and I could only think that she wasn’t sure I could read. However, I learned that it’s nice to have someone read to me and reminded me of the things Lydia and Cedric have read to me over the years. Maryssa wasn’t getting much homework done, you might have guessed. Here are some pictures of Maryssa studying …

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Sorry it’s a little fuzzy, but I think the glare from her gleeming hardware dazzled the camera.

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Notice the iPod in the delightfully lime green cover … she claimed she was researching something.
A little later she stood up to move around a little and found a melted chocolate in her pocket which she promptly ate. Now everyone’s leaving so I have to quit.

Day Seventeen – Assault in Nampa

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I feel fortunate to be able to share this day with you. It started out pretty good, then went down hill drastically for a 3 hour period when I assisted Jim and LaVerne with their Meals on Wheels route. That, too, started OK, but I should have been weary when the only sit I was offered was a lawn chair in the back of the van. It was one of those little, tall Ford vans that folks use for utility purposes. The above picture is the view I had for the duration of this ordeal.

Jim made me leave the house with him at 8:02 am to ensure he was on time to begin the noon route at 11:00 am or so. One of the hospitals in the area provides the meals and the transportation, which is a very good thing. On the way over he let me ride in the front seat, and we stopped by Steffani & Bob’s to pick up a beach chair, that was smaller than the one we already had, because he said he thought it would fit better with the warming oven and three large coolers. Turns out there would have been enough room for a nice recliner but, no, I had to sit in a tiny little beach chair. Sideways to our direction of travel.

Before loading, however, I discovered the real reason Jim wanted to be early. He got to run the crimping machine that secures lids to the warm part of the meals. While he did that I stood, calmly, in the hall, introducing myself to everyone who walked by because there was no one to introduce me. I met Hugh, who was the Principal at Rainier High School from 1991-1994. He left because he said the clouds got too low. So, he moved to Montana. Now he’s in Nampa. I also met Ginny, Heidi, and Eda. We had wonderful discussions about Jim and his real value in today’s modern society.

Finally, everything was packed, and we trundled the oven and coolers out to the van. As I stated earlier, I sat sideways in the back of the van surrounded with this equipment and it wasn’t bad for the first hour or so, even though I was forced to fill little baskets with meals as directed by Jim and LaVerne in their comfortable front seats. Since they are both older than me, their need for heat was understandably much higher. I was collateral damage from the heat but didn’t bring it to their attention until I started getting car sick, something I’ve never done before in my life. Fortunately, by then, one of the coolers was empty so I could have used that in a pinch should the need to puke go beyond a mere possibility. I don’t think I mentioned that there were no windows in the back of this van so I had no visual reference for what was going on in the outside world.

I have to admit that once I proffered the possibility of my need to vomit, voluminously, I had their attention and they yielded to my repeated request to please allow some air to circulate in the rear of the vehicle so I wouldn’t have to embarrass anyone. Jim cranked the heater up, but lowered the windows a bit so I could get a sniff of fresh air at least once in a while.

At this time I also rotated my chair 90 degrees to the left so I could look out the front thereby giving me the reference to the living world I needed in order to regain my sense of wellness. Shortly after calming my iffy stomach, we entered an area with many speed bumps. Big ones. Jim was careful on all but the last one when he apparently forgot I was in the back and thought it would be OK to accelerate once the front wheels had cleared the bump. As a result, I was launched vertically from the chair, missing the roof by centimeters, then slammed back down into the chair. This broke six bones in my neck and caused an instant headache. Since the feeling returned to my limbs fairly quickly, I lost a majority vote to continue the MOW route until done instead of returning to the hospital for an MRI. So, I continued doling out meal pieces until done, and by the time we returned to the hospital to turn everything in, no one remembered that I was seriously injured. Not being someone to create a scene, I just dropped it and decided to just heal on my own.

We returned to the house just in time for a wonderful lunch of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I ate twice. Then, when I was just reclining to take a short nap, and try to recover from my ordeal, I was ordered out of the house so we could take an hour trip to Emmett to watch Maryssa play softball. Everyone was fearful of the cold wind, but the day turned sunny and bright, making the trip the highlight of the day. Maryssa’s team won 12-3, or something like that, but didn’t score the bulk of their runs until the last inning. It was fun to watch.

This is Diane and Donna watching the game. Maryssa hit 3 for 5.

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Immediately after leaving the game, Diane made Jim stop at a McDonald’s so she could use the facility. None of us know what she did in there, but she was smiling when she returned.

Now it’s 9:12 pm and I’m siting at the table in my jammmies thinking that I may survive this day yet. Tomorrow may reveal something different as my injuries have time to show their true colors as I slumber.

I won’t be able to send this until tomorrow because Jim’s too cheap to install a wireless router in his house. For that same reason, I cannot add pictures until just before we stumble upon a wireless site that allows me access.

Tomorrow morning Jim’s forcing me to go to his weekly meeting at Burger King with 38 of his friends. I’m told there’s some sort of initiation that I must endure in order to be allowed access to Burger King when that group is there. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Day Sixteen – Salt Lake to Nampa

It’s late, 11:16 pm, and there’s no hope of getting this sent out tonight, but have to document the events of this day.

We eft on this leg of the trip much earlier than any of the other days, mostly because Diane got up right away of accusing me of pretty much impossible things. I admit that I woke at 5:16 am and, after laying there for a bit, decided that I wasn’t going to get back to sleep. I didn’t dare get up for fear of waking Diane, so I reached out to my other constant companion, my iPad. I sequestered it under the sheet, and the quilt covering the bed, then turned it on. It made no sound at all, and created a cozy glow. Diane jumped out of bed shortly thereafter and I didn’t say a word because I’ve been trained to wait for her to initiate contact. She did, and I sensed there was something wrong. Asking her what it was revealed that my cozy glow woke her up because it made the entire bed glow, and she could feel it. So I immediately turned it off, saying not another word. Neither did she.

We both awoke at 9:30 am and regretted that we’d missed breakfast which was from 6-9 am. So we packed for the day’s journey and trundled down in the elevator, about 10:00 am, to discover there was still food laying out and we were invited to help ourselves. So, we did. I had a bacon and egg sandwich which consisted of a “rethermed” omelette, an some “rethermed” slices of bacon. I chose to not eat bread and just opened the prefolded omelette and stuffed it full of bacon. It worked nicely as it was all protein and no sugar. “Rethermed”, incidentally, is the new word I learned from one of the nice ladies in charge of the food. It just means the food was cooked in a different country, shipped to places with retherming devices, where they were rethermed and served. It was quite tasty. Diane ate two pieces of peanut butter toast with a bowl of cereal smothered in brown surgar that looked like brown yeast. She said it was good, but I think it was fake. Regardless, we both ended the meal with a cup of coffee to go and left. Diane thought the coffee was terrible, but I liked mine because I poured 5 of those little creamers in it before the coffee. It wasn’t the best, but I drank it.

A couple of hours down the road Diane felt the need to wash the taste of the bad coffee out of her mouth so we stopped at a McDonalds and got two of their cinnamon treats and two large caramel mochas. The cinnamon thing was exquisite! I swooned, nearly dropping it in my lap. Fortunately, I was wearing my bib. Diane insisted. She was wearing her’s, too. I was driving and wanted to get back on the road quickly so I ate my snack quickly. Diane tested the coffee and told me it was too hot to drink right away and that I needed to wait. It was then, I’m sure, that she sucked all the whipped cream off the top of mine, but I didn’t actually see her do it so can’t prove it. It was just gone. Perhaps she made me wait so long it just melted away into the coffee. It was pretty tasty, too, and I nursed it along for a long time.

The I settled in to serious driving because the weather was turning bad quickly. Diane read her book. Every once in a while I’d make a comment about something, that didn’t really require an answer, and she would close her book, place it in her lap, turn to me slowly and say “what did you say?” I would repeat it for her and learn that she really shouldn’t be bothered with random thoughts that didn’t require her attention. I responded by telling that I’d been saying stuff all along that didn’t require an answer and that I didn’t expect one. I further explained that if I needed her attention for anything (I paused here), then raised my voice about 9 notches and said “I’F I NEED YOUR ATTENTION I’LL TALK LIKE THIS!!: Not expected a loud retort like that caused all of her active sphincters to spasm which raised her a good 3 inches off the car seat, and caused her to almost through her book over her shoulder into the back. It was a wonderful experience. Had she not just used the restroom she would have spotted for sure. I learned that she’s a lot faster than I though and took a mental note to remind never to do that again. But I will, once I forget about this episode.

In an earlier entry I failed to mention the loss of my bright yellow baseball cap with the big O on it. I’m sure I left it in the pool area in San Diego, and asked the desk if they had it in lost and found. By the time we were packed and back down to the desk we were told no one had seen it. This had is very important because it’s the one I wear when we go into large stores so Diane fine me. It kind of makes me stand out with that hat on. Now I won’t be able to visit another Costco until I get a new one. I couple hours later the hotel called and said they’d found it and would be happy to send it to me. All he needed was my credit card number because they send everything FedEx. That wasn’t going to happen so I just wrote that hat off as a loss, and it was one of my favorites.

The day wore on, the weather got worse, and the temperature started dropping. For this reason Diane made me keep driving as she doesn’t do bad weather in a car where t he steering wheel is on her side of the seat. As a result, of this 6 hour driving day, I did the last 5 hours.

We made it to Mt. Home, Idaho and stopped for some sustenance at Arby’s. I called Jim at that point to let him home we were in the vicinity. He wasn’t equipped to deal with the short version and kept me talking until my sandwich was cold. Finally he released me to eat so we could be on our way again.

When we left Arby’s, the snow was coming down harder making it necessary for me to continue driving until it quit and the sun came out to dry everything off. Since that wasn’t going to happen I was doomed to finish the trip.

Agnus took us directly to Jim and Donna’s abode without nary a missed turn and we arrived about 5:30 pm local. Jim was alone putting his PJs back on while some one slipped out the patio door. There was some hemming and hawing but not a lot of substance was contained in the opening greetings. He apparently thought we weren’t getting her until tomorrow and had the their net door neighbor’s maid over teaching her how play cribbage. There were several visual clues laying around that totally refuted this notion. First was the cards with no game board or pegs. Second was the card holder that made it obvious he was teaching her canasta. Or, perhaps, canastynasta. He would neither confirm nor deny so I dropped it.

We told each other more lies until Diane returned with Bob, Steff, and Maryssa. Then we spent about 4 hours visiting until it was time to go to bed.

I took a bunch of pictures yesterday but haven’t downloaded them year, and can’t until we either build a wi-fi set up for J & D, or visit a Starbucks that already has one. So, this will receive a bit of editing in the morning. Day Seventeen will be spent with me trapped in the back of a small van helping deliver meals on wheels.

Day Fifteen – Las Vegas to Salt Lake City

After a grueling 15 hour drive, Diane finally got us to a hotel a little north of Salt Lake City. We’re closer to Bountiful, but I wasn’t sure anyone would recognize that place. I didn’t know it was an actual “place” until I went to get our pizza for supper. Diane made me go because she drove 5.5 hours and I only drove 1. And, because I went to get it, she’s letting me watch a basketball game as a reward. I perform well for rewards. I know … you did regular math, not Jerrie math … 1 and 5.5 is 15.5.

The trip here was pretty boring except for the part where I was driving. During that hour we were almost to the top of a hill and I was passing an old guy in a pickup with a camper, pulling a horse trailer. His gas door was open, and his gas cap was hanging loose, which is what first got my attention. He was wandering back and forth, no doubt due to the 80 mph wind blowing across I-15, but he also had Utah (Yew-ta) plates which pretty much told me the whole story. I was almost beside him when we started down the hill. The speed limit was 75 mph and he took off down the hill lickitysplit. He started pulling away from me and just about ran into another trailer in his lane so I backed off to see what kind of mayhem was going to unfold. He wandered right, then back left into my lane, then he put his turn signal on to make it OK, and continued to accelerate away from me.

I let him go, as did most of the other folks in my vicinity, with the exception of some adventurous folks who also had Utah plates. Maybe they knew him.

At the bottom of the hill he had topped out at about 85, still wandering all over the place, then he decided it was time to be in the right lane. Then he started slowing down to the point where I could get closer. Timing his wandering nature, I stayed back until he moved right then floored it to get around and into a safer place on the freeway. Going 90 mph. That wasn’t bad, however, because by this time the speed limit was 80 mph and it’s a given, in Utah, that 15 mph over the limit is fine. Going the posted limit is hazardous.

After the crazy guy in the pickup exited the freeway, we found an exit and took a break to make PB&J-wiches. They were excellent, and Diane was proud of me for not getting any jelly on my shirt. So was I. Then I ate the rest of the grapes, and a Rice Krispy square.

During this trip I-15 crosses the NW corner of Arizona. I don’t know how long that stretch is, but I bet you could close your eyes and know when it started and ended. It’s a terrible stretch of pock marked asphalt. A great test for shock absorbers. It’s just nasty compared to the roads in Nevada and Utah.

I didn’t take any pictures today so I’ll just share one from my vast array of pictures. Here you go …

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Hey! It’s six of our 8 Grandkidlets.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we’ll be in Nampa, Idaho. By the way, the weather on this trip has been pretty good. We didn’t have any rain until we got to Provo. And, the car got very dirty. From here on the weather will just get worse and worse because it’s known fact that Idaho has the worst weather in the world.

Day Fourteen – Farewell Las Vegas

Greetings – to begin, some of you may have already noticed that this is actually Day Fifteen. I am, however, going to share what actually happened yesterday. I had it all done last night the had a disagreement with my iPad. Apparently it took offense when I attempted to add the wrong photo and it punished me by deleting my efforts. I sat there looking at it for 15 minutes before I “got it”. Everything I had so painstakenly written was gone. Forever. Now I have to make a bunch of stuff up to fill that void.

Yesterday … hmmmm.

The Cate’s awoke refreshed, ready to start another day of serious walking as they used the inefficient Las Vegas monorail system to gain entrance to Bally’s Casino. The goal this day was to visit the Saxe Theater, located deep in the bowls of the Planet Hollywood Casino. Planet Hollywood is directly across Las Vegas Blvd from the Paris Casino, which is physically attached to Bally’s via a 4 mile long tunnel filled with shops and overpriced things to eat and drink. It’s all a trick to wear you down so you succumb and buy something.

After finally finding someone who would talk with them, the Cate’s were directed to the “V Theater”, which had the box office where they could exchange their vouchers for actual tickets with assigned seats. This box office was located directly on the opposite side of the casino. To get there require a circumnavigation of the facility which took 45 minutes and covered approximately 1.8 miles. Once there, the Cate’s were greeted by a cheerful young lady who took the vouchers in return for reserved seats for the 7:00 pm performance that evening. The performance, you may remember, was going to be at the Saxe Theater so “Why”, you may ask, “did they go to the V Theater for the tickets?” Why indeed. It was explained to them that the Saxe Theater didn’t open until 2:00 pm and it was, at that time, only noonish.

The reason they arrived at noon was because it was their understanding the performance they were going to see was at 1:00 pm and that they needed to be an hour early to ensure reservations. So, in addition to be forced to walk miles and miles to get the tickets, they also had to either endure a 7 hour wait, or eat. So they ate. It was free with the tickets, and the tickets were also free, so that ws good and really left no room for complaint.

Traversing the circumference 15 times, again, they stumbled upon a sign pointing to the Spicy Somethingorother Buffet, one level down. They entered, got a seat, and proceeded to partake.

Jerrie, being the gentleman that he is, stayed in the booth, guarding Diane’s purse, while she filled her plate first. It was a long ordeal for him as she dillydallied over all the choices, deciding what to select. Finally she returned with about 3 small things on her plate, and released Jerrie to gather some food, with instruction to not take too long.

Having had time to view the choices from a distant, he knew exactly what he wanted and returned in 30 seconds for 6 different kinds of shrimp. Shortly after he sat down Diane was off again in search of sustenance. Sitting there, all alone, he ate his shrimp slowly, savoring every bite. All the choices were good, as there are no bad kinds of shrimp, but some are more interesting than others. One choice, for instance, was Buffalo Fried Shrimp.

Finally, the buffet served its purpose by filling them up, so they left. They had decided to return to the condo and lounge by the pool for a few hours fore returning to the evening show. It was windy and overcast, making the pool not a valid choice, so they soaked, instead, in the very hot hot tub. Yes, it was very hot.

They departed their accommodations at 5:45 pm for the transit to the theater. Jerrie knows this is true because at that time he pointed out that they had planned to leave at 5;30 and that they should probably leave soon. He was reminded that he wasn’t in charge of anything and that they’d get there when they got there. He sat quietly on the couch thereafter.

The monorail ride was uneventful, as they usually are, with the exception of one extremely loud couple with whom they had to share their car for two stops. It was annoying.

After the interminable walk to the theater, they were greeted by a stern lady wearing an apron, who ceremoniously ripped off the bottom portion of their tickets, and told them to go left, around the bar. They did, and found themselves surrounded by VIP ticket holders who were waiting to be summoned for the show. While they waited, they purchased two drinks, both sodas, in a wondrous cup with blinking lights on the bottom, for $14. They were allowed to keep the cups forever.

Finally they were summoned to enter the theater and find their seats. It turned out that the VIP ticket actually had value as they were seated smack in the middle, 4th row from the stage. Perfect seats. And, the show was stupendous. It was called “VEGAS! The Show” and was performed by approximately 30 extremely talented young people who took the crowd through the history of Las Vegas. It was one of the most entertaining shows the Cate’s had ever seen and Jerrie remarked that he’d put it right up there with “O”.

Pictures were not allowed in the theater but Jerrie conned someone into taking this one after the show …

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And this one, on the walk to the monorail …

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Too many people, most of them stumbling around with drinks and talking way too loud. Guess the Cates are just getting too old for this kind of stuff.

Day Thirteen – Nellis Air Force Base

It’s almost 8:00 pm and here we are, firmly ensconced in our room. In Las Vegas. What’s with that? Well, let me tell you.

The original plan was to attend the Donny & Marie concert at the Flamingo Theater, but apparently they found out and cancelled their concerts for the rest of the week. Diane and I suffered through a grueling 2.5 hour presentation to get those tickets, but Donny & Marie took them away by choosing to not show up. I say that, but don’t really know why the shows were cancelled, and hope it isn’t due to someone being hurt or ill. We seriously hope the isn’t the case. If it isn’t, and they cancelled simply because they discovered we were going to be there, I’ve decided that I’m no longer infatuated with Marie and demand that Diane also lose her childish lust for Donny. You should have seen here oogling over him when he was on “Dancing With The Stars”. Sure, he won, and he’s really cute when he looks at you in certain ways. But, c’mon! He’s a little bit rock ‘n roll, and Marie is country! The choice is obvious.

The unwanted phone call, alerting us about the cancellation, came as I was witnessing a truly life changing demonstration of a Vitamix blender at the base exchange on Nellis AFB. This is the home base for the Air Force Thunderbirds, the Air Force equivalent of the Navy’s Blue Angels. We drove down to the flight line, where the Thunderbirds Museum is located, and joined a group of people who were waiting for the Thunderbirds to return. During the wait other fighters were taking off, landing, and making low level passes over the runway. Very impressive, with lots of noise that jiggled us to the core. It was a good thing, though. Our lives revolved around the military for so long that it’s now part of our genetic code, and will not go away. Diane’s been known to say how much she loves that feeling of safety she gets when on a military base. The sights and sounds associated with being there just don’t go away, and are welcome. Missed, actually.

This is Diane walking to the entrance of the Thunderbirds Museum that had closed 25 minutes before we got there …

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There I go, getting all melancholy again. Sorry.

Once we got the call that there would be no Donny & Marie tonight, we kind of lost ll interest in doing anything. I mean, we had the afternoon & evening all planned out. I even picked out the clothes I was going to wear, and everything. I put all away when we got back to the room, but I think I even had socks picked out. Me! Socks! Unheard of!

Anyway, after looking around the base, and getting the bad news, we motored back down Las Vegas Blvd to our accommodations. It was an uneventful trip. Diane drove to the front entrance and made me get out so I could talk with the Concierge Ladies about our lack of evening entertainment. They were all very nice about it but didn’t have a solution. Instead, they both pointed to the Welcome Desk Lady indicating that she would resolve this. The chosen replacement was tickets to VEGAS!, and dinner. That works. Regarding the Concierge Ladies, don’t get me wrong. They were very sympathetic, and friendly but apparently their computers do not allow them to make the substitutes necessary to rectify issues of this magnitude. Or, which is more likely, the Welcome Lady is who originally issued the Donny & Marie tickets so it was she who had to fix it.

While I was negotiating all of this, Diane had parked the vehicle, walked by, and went to the room. I followed shortly thereafter, but she wasn’t in the room when I got there. Then I remembered that I had left my iPad in the vehicle so went back down to get it. The Concierge Ladies, and the Welcome Lady said diane had come back looking for me and they told her I’s gone up to the room, which I had. It’s obvious that were passing each other in the elevators, somewhere around the 9th floor. I Got my iPad and was returning when Diane called, asking me to open the door so she could get into the room. She had left her door key in the room. So, instead of waiting for the elevator, I ran up all 17 flights of stairs as fast as I could. It wasn’t nearly as fast as the elevator, and I think the effort was lost on Diane because she’d been left standing in the hall. Because she forgot her key. Which wasn’t my fault. Honest.

Once we both got back in the room, at the same time, we decided to live it up a little and each ate one of our emergency Lean Cuisine TV dinners. I ate the one that had absolutely no flavor so it was OK that I ate two pieces of bread with it.

Then we went to the pool and laid in the sun for a while. Diane’s knee has been bothering her a lot so she got into the pool thinking the cool water would make it feel better, and it did. I took a picture of her exercising it while clinging to the side of the pool. But I used her phone to take the picture and she won’t let me get it. She wasn’t really exercising. She was standing in the water, draped on the edge, reading her Kindle. Naked. Of course you know that’s a lie but, technically, underneath that swimming suit, she was naked as a J-bird.

Does anyone really know what a J-bird is? Sounds like something that lives in Connecticut.

I think my brain is sufficiently drained that I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Tomorrow we’re going to ride the monorail all over the place.

Day Twelve – The Monorail and “O”

Hi there! Though I’m sure no one cares, today we got up semi-early so we could use our monorail tickets one more time before they expired at 2pm. We used that trip to go get our tickets for “O” at the Bellagio, and to scope out the route we had to take this afternoon to eat the Flamingo buffet then attend “O”. The Flamingo is 2.4 miles from our condo so we chose to use public transit in the form of the Las Vegas monorail. In total, walking to the LVH stop, walking from Bally’s to the Bellagio, walking back to the Bally’s stop, then walking from the LVH stop to our room covered a total of just under 3 miles. The reason for this is because they trick you by making you exit the monorail into a casino. There’s signs leading you to various streets, but they all point to the middle of the casino where they mysteriously disappear. Thankfully, the folks with brooms are more than happy to help point the way. Some even escorted us reporting that we aren’t the only people in the world who remarked about the disappearing signs. Pretty tricky, huh?

Then we returned to our room, had a bowl of cheerios, and took a nap until 3:30 pm in preparation for our assault of the Paradise Buffet at the Flamingo. We had to rest up for that.

On the way out of our facility, the lobby was full so I walked over to the concierge and asked, loudly, if they still had free monorail passes. I was surprised that those in the lobby didn’t make a run on the concierge, which was my intent. Instead they all stayed placidly put in their lines for the main desk. The concierge ladies got it, and reported that the free ones were all gone, but they had discount coupons for 2 day passes. That’s interesting because the normal machines only have 1 and 3 day passes. I mentioned this and was told it was something new that just started. So, we accepted t he passes and marched off.

This is Diane on the that trip. I used the stairs …

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This is Diane a the biggest slot machine in the world … she lost $1.00

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This is what we ate for our late lunch at the Flamingo …

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After lunch, we wandered over to the Bellagio to get in line to enter the theater. This is Diane waiting for the doors to open along with the other 1798 people who were going to see “O” …

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I took a picture of the people in front of us but, wait! There weren’t any. We were sitting in the front row! OMG! In the middle, almost. Close enough. Now, all I can say about “O” is that it’s a totally incredible show. Being in the front row, however, has it’s hazards. All I can say is that if you find yourself in that location, wear dark pants. I wore khaki pants. So, guess who got more water poured on them than anyone else in the front row? Well, me, of course. I think it was totally planned by the clowns who did it, just so it would be obvious that I got soaked. Diane got wet, too, but she had dark clothes on. She was thinking ahead, I do believe. By the time the show was over I was almost dry, so it was totally OK. Lots of fun. Oh, and it really was clowns who got me wet.

On the way out of the show we stopped on a bridge to watch the Bellagio water show. It’s quite impressive, too.

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Now it’s 11:11 pm and time to stop. Good night.

Day Eleventy – Las Vegas

This was our ride today after Diane won a thousands and thousands of dollars on the penny slots.

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… and this is what we had for dinner, just because it’s really, really good …

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I’m sure you know the truth here, so I will not elaborate. The beans and wienies and fried potatoes were really good. They would have been better with bread and butter, but we’re on a diet for some reason.

We got up late this morning so didn’t get the early start we wanted. Diane will dispute that because she said she got up at 6:00 am after I hit her with a pillow which is just pure fiction because I do not remember it. That’s the rule. If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen.

After they took the limo away from us, we took a ride on the mono rail to the Flamingo to get tickets for the Donny & Marie show. This is what it looks like while you wait for the mono rail …

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… and this …

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Las Vegas is much prettier at night, as I’m sure you know. We, however, prefer the natural light of day instead of neon. Now neon is pretty, and hides a multitude of flaws to be sure, but it’s all about preference. Know what I mean?

Before I forget, again, while we were at the Flamingo, a girl in a bikini came through to deliver a pizza to someone. I’m sorry to report that I have no idea what kind of pizza it was, but her bikini was blue. And small.

I had to take a break because Jim called to give us permission to cross the Idaho border. Finally! I called him 3 or 4 times over a 3 hour period, but he wouldn’t answer. I figured he was in the bathroom. He would neither confirm nor deny that when he called so you know what that means.

Gonna quit now. I think we’re going to Nellis AFB tomorrow. Just for fun.

Day Ten – Off to Las Vegas

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We were up at the crack of dawn, packed everything up, and were on the road by 8:30 am, and made it to Las Vegas, unscathed, by noon. At 1:00 pm Diane hit a jackpot on a quarter machine for $86,437.00. As she was cashing in, a young nubile girl walked up to me and attached herself to my arm and said Diane sent her over thinking I needed company while I waited for her … then I woke up.

It was 9:30 am. Diane was reminding, in a fairly loud manner, that we only had 30 minutes before we had to check out of the condo. She already had everything in the kitchen boxed up, ready for transport. As I left the bedroom, she entered and started filling the suitcases. What a gal. All I had to do was hurk all of it down three flights of stairs to the vehicle. There is no elevator in any of the buildings. And, I lied because I only had to hurk everything down one floor.

By the way, the above picture is of our room. It’s the corner unit on the top floor. I already shared our view out the front, so don’t need to do that again, do I?

We chose to head north a little ways and take State Road 76 to I-15, which goes smack through the middle of Las Vegas. Before we got to SR-76 Google Maps told me we could take Oceanside Blvd to SR-76, and get off I-5 a little sooner. What we learned by doing this is that Oceanside Blvd connects to Mission Blvd and goes for miles, and miles before allowing access to SR-76. They make you go through about 8 major malls along the way before allowing access to the road allowing quicker access through the town.

Finally, we made it! We were truly on the way.

Then I decided to get to work on the iPad but I failed to plug it in last night so the battery was only charged to 48% and that wasn’t nearly enough. So, I felt around on the floor for my DC to AC converter. I have to use that because the iPad won’t charge using the USB connection of the other nifty little gizmos I have. I don’t know why, and don’t really care, because it wouldn’t do ay good to care. Anyway, after digging around for a while I camer to the conclusion that either someone had robbed us, and taken only the converter, or I had relocated it to the rear compartment that was now under the suitcases, and about a couple hundred pounds of other “stuff”. Thankfully, Diane’s kidney’s required relief so we jumped off the freeway at Barstow to patronize a California Visitor Center. That was pretty tricky because the signs led us into a huge parking lot that was surrounded by four strip malls. We had to pull to the middle and stop so we could search for the Visitor’s Center, which we wanted because we knew they had restrooms, and found it tucked into one corner.

Before going in we opened thr back hatch and I lifted up the suitcases, and other stuff, while Diane looked in the compartment. Thankfully, the converter was there so we could relieve ourselves calmly, allowing all the urine to drain completely, unlike what would have happened had we been tensed up.

Unfortunately, plugging the converter into the power port didn’t produce any results because the insides of the plug were missing. I surmised that, since the missing parts had a threaded component, it was no doubt still in the compartment, under the suitcases. Since wer were already moving, at 86 mph, I chose to seek an alternative way to resurrect the converter.

Since Agnus has a similar configuration for the power port plug, I chose to dismantle it to see if I could make the AC converter functional. Try as I might, I could not unscrew the knurled section of Agnus’ part, so needed a tool. Fortunately, I carry a bag of computer tools with Diane’s laptop and it has a pair of needle nose pliers. Using those, I accomplished my mission. I got it apart. Now all I had to do was transfer the parts from Agnus’ power plug to the AC converter power plug and see what blew up. That took a little engineering, and the pliers again. The threaded portion from Agnus didn’t quite match the converter but I discovered that, by using the pliers, it wasn’t that difficult to force the threads into the plastic portion of the plug. So, if you ever have to do this, now you know how. It works. The only problem was that Agnus would have to function without external power for a while.

I let the AC converter propel the iPad charge up to 82%, then reassembled all the plugs to their normal configuration. Knowing the process made reversing it simple.

I’ve shared the foregoing details with you because there isn’t anything else to write about on this leg of the trip. I-15 is flanked by miles and miles of sage brush interspersed with random towns and cities which all look alike. It’s as if the towns and cities are comprised of nothing but mall, after mall, and they are all the same color as their desert surroundings.

This what it looks like most of the way …

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We went through Baker which has a population of 600 peoples. Apparently they’re either having difficulty with their sewage facilities, or it just smells that way all the time. A little south of Baker is an exit for Zzyzx Road. Really. It’s named Zzyzx. I didn’t think it was legal to use words in America that don’t have vowels. Interesting. Kinda made us want to get off and see what it was all about. Maybe that’s why they named it that. Interesting.

We arrived at our destination at 4:30 pm. Diane sat in the driveway until I got checked in then I went out to get all our “stuff” and take it to the room. While I, and Randy, were loading the luggage carts Diane went inside to the restroom so she wouldn’t have to help. She returned just in time to move the vehicle to the adjacent parking lot while Randy jockeyed the carts (two of them) into the elevator and to our room. It was kinda funny going through the lobby of a Hilton hotel with boxes of food, and bags of various other “things”. It didn’t really matter, however, because we didn’t meet anyone on the way who felt the need for an explanation.

We’re on the 17th floor of Hilton’s newest condo facility in Las Vegas. It’s a renovated hotel but we don’t know what it used to be called. Doesn’t matter. It’s a very nice place. We’re happy. Our view is of the Stratosphere on the strip. This is what it looked like before the sun went down …

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This what it looked about 5 minutes ago. It’s got lots of lights.

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Day Nine – Laundry & Costco

Greetings.

First, did everyone turn their clocks ahead last night? If not, you’re living in the past and are probably an hour late for everything today.

Today we set around most of the day reading our books. Diane’s going crazy buying books on the Kindle, now that she knows how. I can say stuff like that because she’s made it pretty clear that she doesn’t read this blog for a reason. I don’t know what the reason is but, since she doesn’t read it, I can say anything about what she does, or doesn’t do, without fear. The only thing that would ruin that for me is if one of you broke this bond of trust I’ve established with you, and casually mentioned it in a phone conversation or an email.

I got up first this morning and tippy-toed around the condo like a ninja until Diane got up. That didn’t take long because I couldn’t help myself and did a jump-kick accompanied by a fairly loud “HI YAAAA!”. I was immediately sorry for getting so into character. Next time I get up first I’ll sneak around like something more quiet. Or, just sit quietly until summoned.

After Diane arose, we made breakfast … pancakes, eggs, and bacon. It was really good, but my last meal that tastes good until I get my blood sugar down a little. It’s not overly high, but the potential is there and i need to be a good boy and eat properly. Probably getting out and exercising a little wouldn’t hurt either. Along those lines, we walked around the resort today and discovered that they have a really nice little gym at right next to our unit. Go figure.

Then we went to Costco to get some plastic containers for some of the food we have in open boxes. Like sugar and Cheerios. There may other stuff, but those are the important ones.

When we returned from Costco I carried our dirty clothes to the laundry area so Diane could wash them. It’s not that I refuse to do laundry, as if it’s a woman’s job, which it is, but rather because I’m not allowed to do laundry. That career ended when I washed one of Diane’s sweaters, dried it, then picked almost all of it out of the lint trap. So, today I just stayed out of the way doing what I was gold to do. Most notably, she showed me one of my shirts that had some spots that only she could see. We were in a rather dark room so she told me to go out in the sun and look for spots. So I did. And, I got in trouble right away because she didn’t tell me to take the shirt with me. I went back and got it, took it out in the sun, but still couldn’t see them. But, I smeared laundry soap all over the front, as directed, to ensure any possible spot was covered.

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We didn’t eat supper. Actually, I don’t think we ate lunch, either. I guess that’s because we ate breakfast in place of lunch and there wasn’t enough time to eat dinner because our clocks were an hour off.

Now it’s late and time for bed. Tomorrow when we get up we’ll pack up all our stuff and head to Las Vegas. It’s been a good week.