First, let me offer that I am appalled at my lack of a Super Bowl pick this year. Shame on me. However, this is who I had picked...
("What the heck was that!?!?" says you, the Dear Reader. "You went to Las Vegas to bet the Super Bowl and you didn't invite me?"
“Yeah, that’s unfortunate” I respond). My 1-1 record this year lowers my overall record since I’ve been making picks to 10-7.
It all started in the halcyon days of yore... namely Thursday, January 15. I remember it like it was just a couple of weeks ago. Frontier Airlines ran a one day sale, $29 one-way tickets from about a dozen airports.
On a whim, I noted O'Hare was one of the airports. Continuing on, Las Vegas was one of the destinations. Further whimming revealed that Super Bowl Eve was available. Finally, a mid-week return trip redeye was $69, putting a 3-day impulse round trip at an impossible $98. My poker buddy, Scott (who works with me) called his wife and jumped on it. Knowing that My-Sugar-Na couldn't be away from work that long, I checked the cost of a redeye return on Sunday night, which was $109, making my round trip $140.
Although I can be a goofball, and sometimes make questionable decisions, I am rarely too impulsive. But the Vegas geek in me got caught up in how cool it would be to find a real bargain, and just say "What the Hell?" and do it like some college kids. I picked up the Bat-Emailer and contacted My-Sugar-Na, and the conversation went like this...
(SNH) - "Are we doing anything Super Bowl weekend? We could go to Las Vegas together."
M-S-N - "You and me together?"
(SNH) - "Sure. Got $140?"
M-S-N - "Sigh, I don't have $140."
(SNH) - "OK, how about this…
Fly out at 9:30 Sat 1-31 PM, arrive at 11:30 PM.
Watch the Super Bowl
Leave at 1:00 AM on Monday morning (the redeye Sunday night) and get to O’Hare by 6:30 AM, home by 9:30. You could either go to work in the PM, or take one day off.
We put the flight on our credit card, I’ll find a one-night comp room. We eat at Caesers with our points.
Scott and his wife are planning on going, but they will come back later in the week."
M-S-N - "You're serious?" (Side note; Didja notice that she didn't say no?)
I am a very traditional guy. I wear my britches up where they belong, I take off my hat at Mass, and I give you the vicarious thrill of my yearly trip to Nationals.
Ready to be vicariously thrilled?
- The first 120 miles were no problem, as I drive to Chicago often. The trip did lag through most of Illinois, though. Even driving through cities like Champaign and Matoon... you aren't driving through them as much as you are driving around them. I did make it all the way through Illinois and into Missouri before I needed to fill the gas tank, though.
- All along, I had considered breaking up the drive and relaxing at a casino along the way, though I just figured I would do it in Tunica, MS, which would be just a short bit out of the way. As I am driving through the bottom part of Missouri, though, I see a sign for the Lady Luck Casino in Carruthersville. The sign looked like it was .5 miles off the freeway, but was in reality 5 miles. But since I had gotten off the freeway, I figured I would continue on. It was a riverboat on the Mississippi River, and a couple of hands of blackjack and a couple rolls of dice later, I was ahead $30 and decided to take my profit and hit the road.
- I arrived in Memphis, TN and my planned dinner stop at Neely's Interstate BBQ around 6:00 PM. As stated on my pre-trip blog, I had seen this place on the Travel Channel's Barbecue Paradise, and wanted to try the BBQ spaghetti. Since I hadn't bothered to stop for a proper lunch, I ordered the sampler platter that had pork ribs, beef ribs, brisket, pulled pork and a hot link. It also came with a side of the BBQ spaghetti. Unfortunately, the spaghetti was nothing to write home about. The pasta was the consistency of Spaghetti-Os and was overrun with the BBQ sauce. The meat, however, was a highlight, especially that hot link (in which both the waitress and cashier refused to disclose who makes it or how I could buy some).
- Having previously stopped at a casino, I decided to bypass Tunica on the trip down and ended at the very comfortable Motel 6 in Grenada. This used to be an EconoLodge, but the property seemed to be quite new and it was a very nice room for $35.
For those of you griping that for the last couple of months, all I've done was talk about bowling, baseball or Las Vegas, here's something to chew on.
I've never been known for my brevity, so here goes...
I am not going to Opening Day for the first time since 2004, been to 16 overall since 1985... Predictions are impossible this year. Gallardo = 2008 Sheets, Parra = 2007 Gallardo. The key is if there is the opportunity to get an ace before July... I had a 300 game at Riviera Lanes a few weeks ago, it was my 16th... Leaving for Vegas in two weeks to bowl the USBC Open Championships, aka Nationals... The bar has been set, and it won't be topped this year... Wisconsin bowlers tend to do well at Nationals... Not gonna eat my way through Las Vegas... Don't think I can eat steak for three meals a day for six days? Try me... Copper prices are going up, is the recession almost over? Oil is going up, so it just may be... Maybe not for the captain, but the first thing I thought of when I read this was "Cool"... Still looking for bloggers in West Allis to write about issues... But don't look at me, I've got more important things to write about... Metallica is in the middle of a month-long marathon on XM42, it goes through Monday... (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Offical Son, Mitten, was the starting pitcher for his Rufus King High School JV team on April 8th. He and another pitcher combined to no-hit Bay View High School 17-4 (side note; 17-4 and a no-hitter? Yeah, it was JV)... Mitten's fastball was clocked as Thursday... It can't be that hard is it to make sure your van is empty first... Or to put your baby in a crib... Or keep your beer truck on its tires... Way cool... So is this... And this... My-Sugar-Na thinks I have too many blog links... Blame Mark the Editor, he showed me how... My-Sugar-Na's new shoes give her blisters... Hey, bbear, quarter craps (but only 10x odds kinda stink)... The Milwaukee Wave managed a 10-10 record with a bunch of guys you've never heard of. Next year should be much better if they can retain their stars... In one of the other indoor soccer leagues, the PASL-Pro, the Stockton Cougars won the championship, were sold, then fired their head coach... In the third indoor soccer league, the Baltimore Blast will face the Rockford Rampage in Baltimore this weekend for the NISL title... Happy Easter, y'alls!
(This was the post originally planned for last Friday)
(Subtitled: How to begin the first Lightning Round in 2009)
On my way home from work this evening, driving east on Greenfield Ave., I turned right onto 86th St. to see what the parking situation was like.
Thanks to (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Father for spotting this. Thomas Doyle is correct that if we don't patronize local restaurants in favor of chains, more of this will happen. And with the current economy, chains can withstand a slowdown better than an independant can.
The other day, when I posted about Shakey's closing, I didn't know where I wanted to go with it. Did I want to go down memory lane? Did I want to talk about how I currently prefer Shakey's way more than Old Country Buffet? Did I want to talk about iconic businesses closing? Did I want to scold somebody (not sure who) about "other business interests"... I mean, what the hell does that mean, and why did the little blurb in West Allis Now (it certainly wasn't an article or story) not press that question? Apparently sensing this blog entry coming, I see that they did post another couple of paragraphs the other day.
New York City was fun (but I wouldn't want to live there!) I did the chronological last week, so instead I will pick some topics which I find interesting (or from which I have interesting photos. We took about 300 pictures, and printed about 185. Consider yourself lucky you only are seeing this small sampling). Again, I apologize if you don't care, but at this point my hit-o-meter has regestered your visit, and I thank you.
Belated Happy birthday Sis, two years younger than me, but somehow she is quite old, while I am quite distinguished... Can someone explain that with the prices of corn and wheat, fuel, steel and copper - as well as a down housing market and scads of homeowners nearing foreclosure - how we aren't headed for a massive recession?... The Michael Buble concert on Tuesday night was way cool... My-Sugar-Na really liked Buble's opening act, Naturally 7, an a capella soul group... Since my January surgery I have been cold a lot... My elbow isn't at 100%, yet (gettin' a little worried), and thanks for asking... Derrick saved the day Wednesday... All four of my kids are well past middle age if they don't get their schtick together... My home computer won't let me blog. Mark?... Speaking of New York City, I am flying into LaGuardia and staying in Central Islip on Long Island and just learned that Long Island may as well be on a different planet than Manhattan... No, My-Sugar-Na won't let me eat my way through New York; "The Port Authority Bus Terminal is just ONE of the sights I came to see"... I am more excited at going to Albuquerque in July... XM Radio doesn't play enough Metallica, but they are too giddy about U2 and Lenny Kravitz... If NASCAR didn't have sponsorships, left turns or sheep, it would be a park and ride... This is underrated... So is this... Guess what, Time Warner's new Navigator software stinks... Eight more months until Christmas... The office biddies are fretting about the IBM Selectric that isn't working right, apparently it is 1978 in that end of the office... In February, I had a trivia question and nobody even
hazarded tried to guess the answer of Henry Aaron and Warren Spahn... I couldn't have said it better myself... I broke the driver's seat in my car, I now have a rocking chair... Check the playlist, then get yourself Paul Anka's "Rock Swings" CD... I'd like our dogs better if they didn't bark... The last night of bowling league was last night, I haven't bowled competitively since November and I finally get paid.... Ciao.
This one didn't star the Griswold family, instead we follow the exploits of me and my step-family for the past weekend. (Side note, this may only be interesting to me and My-Sugar-Na, but if you read this far, my blog hit-o-meter has already registered your visit, and I thank you.) The actual points I want to make are in bold, the rest is just filler... er, I mean backstory so you understand the context of my comment.
1. My-Sugar-Na and I stopped by Tommasino Italia' for dinner last night. The restaurant on 74th & Greenfield (formerly the beloved Doyle's Milwaukee Inn) is owned by Thomas Doyle. During dinner (fantastic pizza, by the way, with fresh giardinara and parmesan on the side), I spoke with Mr. Doyle. He stated two very interesting and believable things.