Wednesday, October 25, 2006


My trip started off by getting bumped from my flight, but getting a voucher for a future flight, and my new scheduled arrival time being only an hour later. Not too bad. The down side of that, however, was a woman sitting in the same row on the plane relating her amorous exploits to the guy sitting between us. The entire way to Vegas. She has a "special room" in the basement, has been married 4 times (the last two husbands died); her last husband died in July and she was flying to Vegas to meet her boyfriend for the weekend. I know that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but we hadn't even gotten there yet!!!

Anyway, when my flight landed, an hour and a half later than my original flight time, Mad and Mike met me with a sign that Mike had made.

We then met up with Jeff and Jackie and went to Paris for a late dinner, getting a table at the fake outside. Sort of like this:

The next morning, Mad prepared a wonderful brunch for us of scrambled eggs, strawberry and chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, mimosas, and rugulah (sp?) provided by Jackie from Brooklyn. Initially there was a concern because we didn't have any butter. We decided the eggs could be cooked in the bacon grease, making them taste close to the pig, but that wouldn't work for the pancakes. Higgy came through by stopping at a convenience store on his way over and picking up two sticks of butter. Didn't know it could be bought that way, but it worked. Later, Higgy's wife, Lisa, and his friend Sean, joined us.

Mad cooking up brunch.

Jackie, Higgy (in the window) Lisa, Mad and Jeff.

I changed into my National League Championship t-shirt and we headed out to the strip. As we left, I realized the plan was "getting sly drunk". Apparently, there had been plotting while I'd been changing. While we did have a few drinks, that event didn't happen.

We headed over to the Forum Shops. Mike developed a nosebleed and he and Mad had to return to the condo, but the rest of us shopped, gambled and/or checked out the bar. I heard that statues there came alive every hour on the hour. However, that day, they were broken. So we went to a Mexican restaurant for drinks and snacks and were entertained by Higgy's impression of Roy Orbison.

Later, we had a conference about what to do next; Mad went for a massage, Lisa and Higgy went back to their hotel while Jeff, Jackie, Mike and I went to a block party at Margueritaville where there were pirates on stilts.

We regrouped that evening at Nine Fine Irishmen for dinner.

Where Higgy entertained us with his imitation of Roy Orbison drinking.

Federal Duck called us during dinner to say hi and get an update on the goings on and said he'd try to make the trip next year. For dinner, Jeff had pot roast, Higgy dined on bangers and chips, Lisa enjoyed the waitress' suggestion of halibut, Mad had a salad (I think), Jackie and Mike had the fish and chips which were served in a coil...and apparently with a side of thumb.

My meal paled in comparison, mainly because it was, well, served in a pail.

During dinner, I kept an eye on the score of Game One of the World Series, being rewarded with a 7-2 win for the Cardinals. YAY! After dinner, Mad and Mike left to see Bill "here's your sign" Engval, and the rest of us went to see St. Louis Lutheran South High School Alums Peter and Jim Mayer in concert with their lead singer, Jimmy Buffett.

It was a great concert, but a few of the younger Buffett fans fell asleep a little early. We noted that there are very few fashion police among the Parrotheads.

After the concert, we said goodbye to Higgy and Lisa, and goodnight to Las Vegas. Yes, just to the right of the Brooklyn Bridge at New York, New York, you are seeing the Eiffel Tower.

Jeff, Jackie and I met Mad and Mike the next morning for brunch at The Flamingo Bally's (by then, the casinos had all become a blur) before they headed back to Las Angeles. Then we did more casino hopping, visiting the Venetian, Ceasar's Palace and the Bellagio.

At the Venetian, there is a restaurant called Tao, which advertises itself as a place for spiritual dining. The entrance features tubs of rose petals and scented candles. Jeff had heard that Paris Hilton had dined there earlier in the week. The combination of Vegas, spiritual dining and Paris Hilton almost made my head explode, so I didn't think about it.

None of us felt compelled to shell out $15.00 a person for a gondola ride through an indoor Venice canal, but we were surprised at the number of people who lined up to do just that.

We went on down to the Bellagio to check out the autumn leaves.

...and caught sight of a bride with men in kilts....

.....we did see another bride angrily stomping away from the area of the Wedding Chapel with two of her friends. We got the impression something hadn't gone as planned. The chapel is in the area where Chihuily glass flowers decorated the ceiling.

One of my favorite sights was the topiary garden which featured ducks made out of over 40,000 botanicals

and a banyan tree which was taken apart from its original home (I forget where that was) and reassembled in the Bellagio.

Then, of course, there are the famous Dancing Waters outside of the Bellagio, which start off as vapor forming over the lake.....

before the water erupts and dances in time with music.

Much too soon, it was time for me to leave and I headed for McCarren Airport, where the Vegas excesses continued. I passed this oxygen bar where one can buy oxygen available with different packages. PT Barnum would have been proud of the marketing. I chose to breathe the normal cheap air.

Game Two of the World Series had started, so I located a friendly sports bar across from the gate for my flight and found it full of Cardinal fans, and one of our local news anchors (fourth from right) who used to be one of our sports broadcaster. He gave us a little play-by-play during the game and someone else offered to buy us all a round of shots if the Cardinals got a run. Sadly, he didn't get a chance to do that.

It was 2:00 am before I got home and fell into bed, having thorougly enjoyed the weekend.

This year, no statues were molested and apparently, it was a more boring tamer weekend than last year.

And we're sticking to that story.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


This is the objective:

This is what it currently looks like:

A review of my previous experience with tools can be found Here, and here, and a reminder about my toolbox:

The time right now is 2:18 pm, CDT.

I'm going in.

Oh, and before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEGHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE #1 2:27 PM CDT. Does anyone see an Allen Wrench in that tool box? Nope, neither do I. I also don't see anything in my utensil drawer that can be used as a substitute.

UPDATE #2 2:30 PM CDT: From the instructions "2 people are required to safely assemble this product." So, it doesn't say that it can't be done by one person, right?

UPDATE #3 4:35 PM CDT:

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! By myself. Not too bad, only three pinched fingers.

But I'm in a quandry as to what to put on top of it.

There's this:

Or this:

Then there's this dipping set I'm thinking about getting:

Dipping set? Yeah. For dipping bread into olive oil. They have sets for that. Really. News to me, too, but I kinda like it. And I think it would look good on top of the wine table.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


10. Usual mother-in-law stuff

9. Some more stuff

8. Forget that it's National Sleep In Day (the day we fall back) and wake everyone for church an hour early.

7. More stuff

6. Ask him to run to the store for ice, call him and ask him to get 10 more things.

5. Turn on the coffee grinder while he's trying to sleep.

4. Mention how you always liked the high school boyfriend. (Seriously, he was a nice guy, but I always knew that wouldn't work and I knew the minute I met you that you were right for my daughter. Honestly. Cross my heart and hope to die. Can we move on now?)

3. Have a picture of the high school boyfriend and daughter at prom sitting on the piano.

2. Some other mother-in-law stuff.

And the number one way to get your son-in-law mad at you:


It's so sad to see a grown man sulk and try to pretend he's not mad at you while your daughter is still in the room. For self protection, you end up following your daughter around the house, keeping her between you and the son-in-law.

So, you're thinking that anyone can make a mistake. see, it was done before. Jenni and Tim's alma mater (and where they now teach -- Northwest Missouri State University) was in the Division II national football playoffs last year. They did attend the championship game, but asked me to tape it. Northwest lost to Grand Valley, but it was a close game with a lot of action occuring in the final minutes of the last quarter. This was the part that didn't get taped:

After Grand Valley took the lead 21-17 on a 35-yard screen pass, Northwest had 4:15 left to attempt a second straight come-back win. Lamberson, who set a NCAA Championship record for most completed passes (33) and attempts (49), hit three different receivers to put the ball at the Northwest 40. Senior fullback Mitch Herring hauled in a five-yard completion and moved the chains to the 17-yard line. After a spike to stop the clock, Lamberson seemed to connect with sophomore E.J. Falkner in the back of the end zone but Falkner was unable to drag his feet inbounds. Lamberson was sacked on the next play before Robinson came up just short.

Even though they were there in person, they wanted to see the tape, I guess so they could wallow in misery of a close loss. But they couldn't because I didn't allow for a long game and the tape stopped too early.

As far as last night's game, they DID see Taguchi's homerun. They did see the Cardinals score two more runs before the recording ended just as the game went to the bottom of the ninth. They just missed the Mets final three outs. That's not so bad is it?

Is it?

Well, anyway, while they are still sleeping on this Saturday morning, I'm making apple-stuffed French toast and making sure there are no pictures of the high school boyfriend left lying around anywhere.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Due to clamoring that I haven't posted anything for awhile, I went digging around in the blog closet and found something I wrote over a week ago but for unknown reasons, I didn't post it.

OK, I re-read it and I see why I didn't post it; I'm not crazy about it, but to quiet the clamoring, I'll go ahead and hit "publish".


So, I've been busy cooking, cleaning and doing laundry today. My right heel started to scream at me, so I went to take some ibuprofen. It seems I'm out; and I have to stay here to wait for the satellite guys.

Then I remember reading something lately about extra-virgin olive oil having the same anti-inflammatory properties as ibuprofen, and it's easy on the stomach.

So I fix myself a caprese salad (tomatoes, fresh mozarella cheese and fresh basil ---yes I typically have those things on hand, but not ibuprofen) and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil all over it.

As I'm eating and watching the Cardinals sneak into the post-season back door, I'm surfing the internet about joint pain, etc. and read how tomatoes can exacerbate that. And I remember Leetie mentioning that as well.

I look down at my plate. I'm eating tomatoes with olive if I drink a cup of olive oil, with that overtake the tomatoes?


By the way, is it possible for one person to clamor? If not, is it just called "nagging"?

Does anyone know how to change the date of a post?