As I post this Blog, I am sitting in my hotel room in Las Vegas at 8:40pm. Tonight is our fifth night here, and I am so ready to get home. If I was here on vacation with Lisa, we would have had a great time. I’m not! I’m here for Jake’s basketball tournament. It would seem like a great bonding time with my son, but the boys on the team are always off on their own. That leaves me and 6 other moms. Not one of the dads came along. They've been a great group, calling it JR and his harem. But I’ve spent a bunch of time in my room by myself.
I gambled a total of $5.00. I played the slot machines, built my $5 to $10, and then lost it all. The entire process took about 15 to 20 minutes, betting $.25 at a time. While in Vegas – the high temperatures have been 103, 104, 104, 103, 103, and 100. Wow – I left the hottest week in Minnesota since 1966 – and took refuge in the dessert.
Vegas is different than I expected. I was actually dreading coming. When I got here, I really wished I was on vacation with my wife. You can just ignore the gambling and enjoy all the other things there are to do. The place is full of energy and activity at all times. The negative … everything is expensive. And they charge you for everything! The other negative is the sea of humanity you have to wade through to go anywhere.
Coming here I experienced a first. For the first time in all my days of travel, my luggage got lost. You get that bad feeling when the baggage claim stops running and your bag has not arrived. I walk into the baggage claim office and hand the lady my baggage ticket. She looks at it and says, “This says Phoenix. Is your name Russell? Didn’t you look at your claim ticket when it was handed to you?” I tell her, “No – I never have.” She gives me a look that makes me feel like a little kid and says, “Well, you will from now on.” My bag took a detour from Minneapolis, to Phoenix, to Salt Lake City, then to Las Vegas. It arrived at the hotel sometime in the middle of the night.
I listened to an interesting conversation on our flight to Las Vegas. Two young women in their early twenties were sitting behind me on the plane.
“What is that?”
“An AM/FM radio.”
“I like it when I ride my bicycle because I can change
“Yeah, I guess you don’t need a playlist for a radio.”
Lisa and I were in the bathroom. I stepped on the scale and checked my weight (not something I bother to do very often). Lisa asked what I weighed. I told her, and she says she wants me to lose 30 pounds (what a sweet wife!). I reply back defensively, “I want YOU to lose 30 pounds.” Lisa says we both need to. I had my shirt off, and flexed like a body-builder. “People would die for this body.” Lisa without hesitation responds, “People with a body like that are dying.”
I usually wake Isabella up in the morning. She sleeps right through her alarm. The other night I asked her what time she wanted me to wake her. She told me 6:00. Eli ran over to me and asked, “Daddy, will you get me up at 41?”
We’ve had seven babies in our home the last 19 years. After all those babies we’ve never owned a safety-gate for the stairs. The children just learned quickly how to maneuver up and down. Well – now we own two safety-gates. We need them for the safety of our dog! If he didn’t stop going up and downstairs to poop, we were going to kill him!
Isabella told me a story about how she and the others swimming ran in a circle around the pool and created a big “world pool.”
I have another Wal-Mart story. For some reason Lisa sets off the alarms when she walks in and out of stores. It is probably a government conspiracy, and they have implanted something into her brain or the filling of her tooth. Whatever it is, it happens often. As Lisa left Wal-Mart the other day she set off the alarm. An elderly man (guessing he is 80 years old) is guarding the door. He takes his job seriously. First he tests the cart to see if it is something in the cart that is tripping the alarm. Nope – the cart is clear. Then he sends Lisa through, and the alarm goes off again. The man decides he needs to wand Lisa and de-activate whatever is setting off the alarm. He then wands each of Lisa’s pockets. Nothing. Then he begins to wand every inch of Lisa’s body. The combination of the uncomfortable process, and the humor of this man determined he is going to find out what is setting off his alarm … made Lisa begin to laugh. She laughed as the man continued to wand her. Finally a store supervisor walks up and said, “Frank, that is enough, you can let her go.” As he releases Lisa from custody, she says, “I think I’m de-activated.” Frank not wanting to give up says, “No you're not.”
Eli for quite some time has claimed Isabella’s friend Dani, as his girlfriend. He was in his swim trunks and one of the kids was trying to switch him over to regular clothes. He rejected the idea saying, “Dani likes me this way.” But I guess things have changed. When Eli was told that Dani was coming over, he said, “Dani broke up with me. We’re not dating. We’re just going to have lunch.” Poor Eli, having his heart broken so early.
I have created paranoid children. They are afraid that anything they do or say that is funny (or at least funny to me) will end up on the website blog. I guess their paranoia is well-founded.