Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Itinerary: Goodbye Reno, Hello San Francisco. CatCat & Coop Color Coordinate. Fallen World Leaders and More.

I leave Reno today.  Or rather, looking at the clock, in about 3 hours.  Headed for Lake Tahoe.  I have no excuse as to why I haven't updated in almost a month.  It's funny how time slips away from you when you're busy living. Then, once a little time slips away, so much material builds up that the prospect of writing it all down seems daunting and gets delayed in lieu of watching Dexter or counting CatCat's toes.

Home for the last three weeks.. The Grand Sierra Resort, Reno NV.

I want to write all about the Reno Pot O' Gold event:  My first big dealing event on the road... The million and one misconceptions I had about dealers (from my previous perspective of a player or poker room supervisor).. but, it's almost time to get on the road and I just want to get a quickie update out there and let you all know what the plan is.

I give Reno, NV two thumbs up.

This is far more enchanting in person. Through my dirty windshield, not so much.

I've loved my stay in Reno.  So much so that I could see myself coming back here and spending more time in the future.  The countryside is beautiful, the air is chilling and the people are friendly enough.  The casinos aren't as much of a focal point here as I expected them to be, and for that I'm grateful. We didn't eat anywhere particularly spectacular, outside of the casinos, but we did visit the "Safari Zoo".

Josh's approval ratings with the cloven hoofed crowd is through the roof.

Look closely... MONKEY BABY! We snuck up on her and the baby was out running around. She got a good look at Josh, snatched her baby up by the neck and ran off to hide in her bunker.  Good momma. :)

I interrupt this blog post for a little Emu Pornography. If you're into this sort of thing, knock yourself out. For everyone else, consider this less an invasion of Emu privacy.. a more the witnessing of species propagation.
 I think the fact that I had a camera excited them.

They had a ton of exotic animals, in decent enough enclosures.  The staff seemed to care about the animals well enough.  This coming in the wake of the exotic animal release up in Zanesville, Ohio.. and really, it was just a bit much.  My heart ached for the critters living their lives behind bars. I understand the allure of owning exotics.  I grew up on a farm with exotic animals. There wasn't much this park had that we hadn't owned or had access to growing up. You think you're doing the right thing, because you love the animals.. and they're already caught/born in captivity, so what's the harm right? But really, wild animals have no business being caged.  No animal really has any business living it's life caged.  I'd turn CatCat loose if I thought he'd be able to live a life without room service. But really, he's one step away from being more civilized than Josh.

Speaking of civilized.  Notice how they color coordinate their sweatshirts? Eerie. You haven't been entertained until you've seen Josh Cooper stuff my cat in a sweater. True Story. (His idea.. not mine).

The rest of Reno passed in a bit of a blur.  The Grand Sierra Resort, where we stayed (And where I need to hurry up and check out of this morning..) has been quite good to us.  We had a really nice room, with a beautiful view of the mountains.  CatCat managed to go undetected for the entire 21 or so days we've been here.  The hotel is extremely pet friendly, so they may not have cared that he was here.. but we don't like risking it.

The hotel itself includes a movie theatre, bowling alley, shopping mall, a bevy of places to eat and a ridiculously large arcade and fun plex. One need not ever leave the building, now that I think about it.

A good chunk of the crew out midnight bowling one night.  Sad bowlers we are.. the best score was a 159. I can't remember exactly everyone that was there, but the ones I remember for sure and pictured here are Randy, Terp, Miranda, Chris, Josh, D-Rod, Josh T, Mike, Shannon, Chann, Collins, Nate, Amy, Rose, Tony, Kim, Me.. and.. I think thats it?

Josh, Tony, Josh T and Kim at the bowling alley.

Livin' The Dream

Originally, Tulsa was the next city on the agenda.  The paperwork needed to process with gaming in Oklahoma insisted I have a current passport and/or birth certificate and social security card.  I haven't had a birth certificate on me in years.  I attempted to order one from one of those express services where you pay an arm and a leg and they get it to you practically overnight.. only to be mostly scammed. (In that, I'll have a birth certificate.. just no where near in time to use it for this event).  I simply was unable to get the required paperwork together in time.

In a stroke of fantastic luck, I was hired by the Wildhorse Casino in Pendleton, Oregon for the Fall Roundup which begins on November 2nd. I've always been fascinated with the Pacific Northwest. For more than half my life I've wanted to go into the caves along the coast of Oregon, looking for critters in the renowned Sea Lion Caves.

So with a somewhat limited budget, and an end goal of Oregon.. the itinerary for CatCat, Josh and I is as follows:

  • October 20th - 24th (am) - Harvey's Lake Tahoe where we'll be staying in a comped room and checking out Lake Tahoe/Olympic Village/Surrounding Areas.
  • October 24th (pm) - October 28th (am) San Francisco/Bay Area - Planning to see Pier 39, Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, Coit
  • October 28th (mid-day) - Drive through Redwood National Park.
  • October 28th (pm)- 30th (am) - Florence/Newport, Oregon. Driving the Pacific Coast Highway into Oregon, where we will tour the SEA LION CAVES!!!!! And do other random beachy-cold-Pacific Northwest-y things.
  • October 30th-31st - Tillamook/Portland Oregon.
  • November 1st - Pendleton, Oregon to get settled in before reporting to HR on November 2nd.
So for now, we're off.  I aspire to update more from the road this time.  The next couple of weeks will provide more downtime than the above schedule would make you think.  There is a LOT of car time sandwiched in there too. 

Other points of interest:

This photo of Muammar Gaddafi is all over every news outlet in the world right now.  Supposedly, it's the bloodied death photo of the fallen leader. The part I'm confused about, is why they're able to make this photo public information?  If I recall, when we were all screaming for a death photo of Osama Bin Laden.. (Essentially ANYTHING to prove his was in fact deceased), the resounding response was that the American media didn't feel it was appropriate to display photos of someone's death/corpse or gore of that nature. My, how we've changed our tune.  Is it Muammar Gaddafi or Moammar Gadhafi? I swear, five different news channels.. four different spellings.  I'm not entirely sure the below body IS in fact his. Whoever it is, looks definitively dead. RIP below guy. Gaddafi or not, this was not a good day for you. :(

This camera was on ONE bar. Would have been a shitty time to need to charge it. Charge your batteries, folks. You never know when a world leader is going to get slain in your 'burb and require your youtubing readiness.

This band played one night here at the Grand Sierra.  They're not amazingly talented, but they're a lot more talented that their shtick nerd getup would lead you to believe.  Plus, they were funny. <3

Nerds. So hot.

This picture makes me laugh. No idea what they're so intent on, but this is what I woke up to after a brief nap one evening.  CatCat and Josh, presumably discussing the contents of the Chinese food containers, while having a snack.

Isn't offering a CatCat chinese food, sort of like offering a chicken some nuggets?

Well, I'm going to jump off here. I know it's been awhile, but I will do my best to stay more on top of things in the future.  For what it's worth though, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing and seeing parts of the country I'd only hoped to.  My next post will have more details about the actual poker tournaments and the dealing aspects. I miss Mom and Scott a lot, but I'll be home before ya know it for the holidays.

If any of you have any points of interest I need to see while cruising around the Pacific Northwest, please let me know. Thanks for your patience and for reading.