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                                                                                                    A Pirate Looks at 60          

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                          05.24.2016 They say it's your birthday. We're gonna have a good time.

    Hey Now! Welcome back my friends. Let's start with May 23rd. Worked a few hours just to rub it in. And show Stretch the office.

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Later dudes! On the road to pick up my traveling companion, my son Mark. Then it's to the bus stop for farewell hugs from his daughter Lanie and her Mom, Becky. ParknGo, shuttle, bag check. We are TSA pre, which just so happens to have 2 customers. The cattle call section is devoid of cattle. So we dutifully pre. RIC doesn't seem to rate all of the press the TSA has been receiving lately. Sweet .  All of that took a grand total of 15 minutes. Mark heads for the bar. I hang with our shit and meet 2 spinster sisters from Milwaukee. They have been in Vabeeotchay (Virginia Beach) for a wedding. One of their granddaughters. I hear a Jetson's ringtone and think it's my dumbphone. Nope, one of the spinster's phones. I have the same ringtone. Rosie!!!!! Spinster #2 is arranging her parcels. "Souvenirs from Vabeeotchay?" I inquire. "Water Pipe". 

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Zoom to ATL. B2 to B10. Piece of cake. But there's a delay on the flight leaving from B10. Gate change. B2. Could it get any easier? Our flight to Vegas is quite full. I've got a window, Mark's got the aisle. I changed our seats 3 times to get us an empty one between us, but to no avail. We board in Zone 1 and watch the mass of humanity pass us by. Finally this dude- 6'3", 400 lb. tries to sit between us. That ain't happening. Plus his pregger wife is in the row ahead of us. A nice lady volunteers to swap. She is a little slip of a thing. Perfect! Engage Pink Floyd Ummagumma and a couple of Dramamine. I even get 3 extra hours to remain 59 years of age as we cross the continental time zones. We land at McCarran and taxi in to a stop. " This is your Captain speaking, seems there's a computer problem at our gate". We sit. "FAA regulations prohibit walking around the aircraft while on the Taxiway" We sit.  "Please keep your seatbelts fastened" We sit. "Good news folks, as soon as that Airbus backs out, starts it's engines, and leaves we can use that gate." Finally, after an hour we are off the plane. Tram to baggage- figures we are the furtherist carousal. To the Rental Shuttle, and to Budget Fast Break. No name on overhead sign. And the Fast Break Kiosk is closed. So I get in line. 

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  This sucks. I have pre-paid too. All I usually have to do at Alamo or Avis is find my name with the parking spot number beside it, get in the car and go. Not here. I finally am called over, and the clerk brings up my info. My Camry isn't available. And in order to get my AARP upgrade, she needs to scan in my AARP card. It's in my luggage. I explain that I've already paid, and ask for the manager. She says he is in the back. Go get him! So she leaves. Meanwhile the other 3 clerks are busy helping customers, and I go thru my bag and find my AARP card. 15 minutes. 30 minutes.

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   Finally Mark asks another clerk where she is as I am using the bathroom. "Still in the back." She finally emerges at the other counter and walks up to a clerk that's been there the whole time. It's the manager. She takes his place and he walks over to my counter. I am incredulous. Or some other fancy word. Pissed. He offers no explanation. Still no Camry, I settle on a Ford Forecast. He never even asked for my AARP card. But he did knock $30 off, making the total for 9 days $160. Only took the first 45 minutes of my 60th year. But stay tuned friends.... Our next step was finding our Ford Forecast. We walked around the parking area for a whlie. I asked an employee where A-49 was. "Over there somewhere" We looked everywhere. Other customers were doing the same thing. No rhyme or reason to the system. Pitiful. We finally found her. I like to call her- Midnight.

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Our destination this fine morning is Sam's Club. I suppose the correct vernacular is Sam's Town, but it'll always be Sam's Club to me. That's what Sweet Ti calls it. Ah, my Sweet Ti. She's back in VA tending our Feline Fivesome. But I digress. We head up Las Vegas Blvd. Mark's first look at the Strip. This will also be the only time I will be driving on the Strip this whole trip. Not gonna happen. We take a right on Flamingo and head east. They are doing construction work from here all the way to Boulder Highway. Bummer. We nestle Midnight in Car Park #2 and make our way to check-in. Marko is the lone clerk and accepts my $20 sammich. Upgrade available? "No suites open, but I have a nice Premium Room with a fridge and a safe". I'll take it. Mark gets your standard park view room.

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Marko reminds me that I have $50 a day food comp with my offer and being as it's 2:30 a.m., I only have 30 minutes to use today's.

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So we hit the Sport's Deli and order a couple of Steak Sammiches and head for my room. We eat, Mark splits and I crash. 3:15 a.m.

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   Hey Now!  2˝ hours later I'm up and it's time to really celebrate my 60th. I do my S.S.S. and give my Sweet Ti a call so she can sing my Birthday Song. Downstairs my first stop is the Keno Lounge. They have a special- 25 dollar games for $20. I play my usual 5 spot. Next stop is the Higher Limit for some Triple Diamond Deluxe. $2. variety. 

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  Well that was a quick $200 loss. Next I try some  8/5 BP. Besides my food comp, my offer also came with $75 free play. 

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 Kris stops by and I order up a fine Irish Ale. Ab'Dulls. We talk rescue doggies and kitties upon her return. Lucy & Leo, her doggies, and Jack whose alter ego is Shaniqua the kitty. I tell her about our Lucy, 9 years gone, as well as Batgirl, Katy Did, Chairman Meow, Lil' Bit, and Callie Girl. All rescues. Meanwhile I can't hit a lick at a snake and drop that $75 plus another $300. Happy Hippy Birthday indeed! Buffalo Gold eats my next hundy in short order. So at this point I'm hemorrhaging duckies. On a brighter note, I run into Ty and Kim from GA. I met them last year on our Buffalo Hunting in the Desert trip. Great folks. Too funny, Ty has the exact same notepad that I use for my trip notes. We will hook up later at Blonde4ever's get together at Hennessey's downtown. Right now it's time for me to grab the car keys and head Midnight towards Terrible's Sliver Seven's. Ziggy gets to work around 9:45 and I meet him in the parking lot to take temporary custody of WheelieŽ our cooler. Zig uses it the rest of the year  and has had to do a bit of repair over the years like when the wheels fell off. I pop inside and stop by to see Dolly to get a new player's card. Dolly has been working there forever and checked us in on our first trip here back in '05. Onward to the Sport's Bar just as Zig is coming on duty. I find my usual machine and insert coin.

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Finally hit my first 4OAK of the trip- and it's on the 8/6 Boner Deluxe that they offer in quarters. With a progressive too! Mark calls, he's finally up and I tell him I'll give him a ring when I return. I cash out my small profit and bid Ziggy farewell for now. Next stop for me and Midnight is Lee's Discount Liquor for supplies. They are out of Kaliber- I forgot to place an order before I left- so I settle on some Buckler and Beck's NA. And a fifth of Crown for Mark. Back to Sam's Club I haul WheelieŽ up to my room and give Mark a ring. Ice for the near beer and Mark's Crown, and we are off for our DT adventure. Fly North Midnight! Parked for free at MSS. 

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The guitar player dude in that last picture was wailin' on some serious reggae. Seems like there's always some killer street buskers there. Mark wanders off to the ElCo for some single deck BJ.  It's time for Blonde4ever's meet up. I walk up on the front porch or deck or patio or whatever it's called and spot Blonde. I walk up and say- you guessed it-. She recognizes me and introduces me to the crowd. We quickly realize that there isn't enough room out here and find a big table inside. I ask Blonde about meeting Oscar and Carrot Top. She fills us in with all the details. My friends Ty and Kim arrive and get settled in. I ask the waitress for a Kaliber but she has no idea what I'm talking about. So I wander over to the bar to ask there. Turns out all they have is Sharp's. $8.50. Ridiculous. We all enjoy talking though.

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After our get together, I stroll over to the Fremont to play some Top Dollar. The only place I can play at a Boyd's property. Jim?


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 I played there for quite a while, but then some chick sat down and I got smoked out by her stanky smoke. My next stop is the full pay Pick a Pair over by what passes here for a Keno Lounge. Held my own. Mark called and I let him know where I was. Cashed out ahead $50.

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So the Fremont turned 60 a mere 5 days before I did. I really wanted one of those chips for my collection. So I went to the cage and asked for one. The dude replied that as far as he knew, they were all gone. Then he remembered someone had cashed one in earlier today. Score! Next we tried to hit up the Gift Shop for some 60th swag, but none was available. We hit Binion's next for the obligatory picture with the million duckies. Onward up Fremont for a last chance encounter.

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Mermaids. We get our beads and ask the girls out front about the impending closure. They say that Derrick might hire them. Hope so. 

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 I've never partaken of any of these marvelous delectable treats for myself, and as their time is rapidly coming to an end, at least for now, Ladies and Gentlemen I give you...........................Deep Fried Oreos.

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                           Oh My God......they were awful. One bite, and they went straight into the trash!

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Should be interesting with all the changes coming downtown. I'll miss Mermaids and La Bayou- but not that much. As for Glitter Gulch, see ya. They have 2 bars on Fremont in front of the Golden Gate. One of them had a flair bartender dude. Observe his customers.

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                               The other one had a hot chic bartender. She had all the business......

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 Time to go find Midnight and return to Sam's Club. We do, and decide to hit up Billy Bobby's for the early prime rib special. Looks like we aren't the only ones with that thought. There's a bingo tourney going on upstairs, and the place is hopping. It's 5:30. Our names go on the list for a table, and we settle at the bar. Or rather in a couple of comfy chairs next to the bar. Beside a fireplace. Sweet. Mark orders a Modelo, I've got a Buckler from upstairs. Today's local-some tipsy dude walks over and asks me if I'm Axe. You know, Axe the dart wizard. That's not me. He sez his buddy at the bar swears I'm Axe. Wants me to go over and talk to him. So I walk over. His buddy is toast. He's nursing a beer. First dude is cranking down Martinis. Mark joins us. Turns out they are from Boston. Retired here to Vegas. Next thing I know they start talking politics. They are Trumpsters. And Mark is egging them on. Fortunately the Hostess shows up and our table is ready. I follow her and Mark finally shows up. Good thing too. Things at the bar were getting ugly. Chalan will be our server this evening. Mark & RB will be the servees. We order up the Prime Rib special. 

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It was awesome. I tell y'all it was the best Prime Rib I've ever tasted. The Chef walked by and I asked him about it. It's his special recipe of spices he used for an encrustation. And the sourdough bread was mighty tasty too. After, Chalan surprised me with this......

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 Urp. All that set me back $37.95. Or rather set Sam's Club back. I charged it to my room. Time to gambol! We bounce around. I try to take down the $1 BP progressive, and make yet another donation instead. I settle on a cheaper route.

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Well except for the fact that my Sweet Ti is all the way across the country from me, it's been a lovely 60th birthday. Oh- and the fact that I lost a shitload of hundys today. But this adventure is just underway. Stay tuned- same Bat Time....same Bat Channel!

                                Totals: Fremont- 2300 pts.  Sam's Club-7663 pts.   Profit- are you kidding?


                                        05.25.2016 I've got this energy beneath my feet     


                                                             A Pirate Looks at 60