If you haven't noticed, I took the summer off. Not because I hate Red Lobster any less, but because life is and was busy, and there was good Scotch to drink.
I've been to no less than 7 weddings in the last 12 weeks, which also is killing my free time and spending money. I'm happy for all of you, but for fucks sake space them out more next time. I suspect at least 3 of them will have a "next time". Thankfully, none of them proposed in a restaurant, especially not a Red Lobster. At 4 of them there was an open bar. I consider it my duty to drink as much as I spent on a gift if you are going to use my favorite 2 words. If I ever see you at a wedding with an open bar and you don't tip the bartender on those free drinks I'm going to kick you in the junk. Fair warning. Be generous you drunken buffoons.
This also means I've been silent on the living hell that is Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp. It's all-you-can-eat torture for the service staff, one table at a time. It really should be outlawed within the Geneva Convention. I think it is more destructive than the chemical weapons Syrians "don't have".
I'm not a big world politics guy, but Putin is a complete asshat. How nobody has sucker punched him thus far I don't quite understand. Pussy Riot is right on this one. And hey, why pass up a chance to say pussy riot?
We spent some time in Colorado visiting some old friends of mine a few weeks ago, just days before the floods there. We drove up to Estes Park through the Big Thompson canyon that has been ravaged by floods. My friend's family nearly were killed in the last major flood in 1976. Thankfully they learned their lesson and don't live in the canyon any more. Last I heard they were safe & sound though they were working hard on some major erosion that was happening on their land away from the house.
Having been through that canyon many times, and having an acute awareness of it's history every time I do go through, I am always befuddled that people chose to live there. It's beautiful, but deadly. It's like being married to a black widow spider. It's not a matter of if, but rather when.
I'll be sad to not be able to drive that route this winter when we head out again for some wintery fun. But I'm glad the loss of life was much smaller this go around than in '76.
We stopped for a day in Deadwood, South Dakota on our way to Colorado. Spent a whole night playing blackjack in Kevin Costner's casino - The Midnight Star. And by whole night, I mean we shut the place down. Started the night at some bar called Buffalo something or other with outdoor music and cheap beer. Kinda seemed like a local hole in the wall place that manages to hang on among the casinos somehow. Service sucked, beer was flat but cheap, and the entertainer was a one man band. While he wasn't musically talented, he was hilarious and had ZERO political correctness and a mouth that would make a sailor blush. And he was mic'ed. And you could hear him cuss and talk about lady parts a block away. Mid-afternoon. I like this place.
We had supper at Jakes - pretty good over all. Service was indifferent but adequate. Food was really good. If we were smart we would've planned things better so we could've stayed in Deadwood for the night, but we mistakenly decided to stay in Spearfish so we had a late night trek there from the casino.
I was hot on blackjack. And we had the 3 coolest dealers on the planet. All 3 were older (2 ladies, one guy) and all 3 had been dealing for 23 years. They were damn funny and made playing a whole lot more fun. While I won't go into the specifics of how I managed to do so well, I tipped 30% on what I was playing for the night, another 30% on what I won on the night, and walked away from the table after 5 hours with 30% more still in my pocket than I started with. You can do the math if you want, but I fucking dominated blackjack. And I'm surprised because I was utilizing their free drinks all night long. Even though it was terrible booze (though the red wine was OK actually), it was free booze. So they lost their ass on me. I was thinking I'd be playing some Texas Hold'em, but never got away from the BlackJack table. You don't break a streak. Not even to piss. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a huge better, so my take was percentage high, but not huge numbers. My success was offset by my buddy who was traveling with us who lost far more than I earned in the same amount of time. Though in his defense, he was playing like a fucking moron. He pre-decided before we sat at the table that he was splitting everything all night long at every opportunity. And he doubled down more times than I can count. And he was betting about 3 times the amounts I was playing. But he has disposable income like that, and his wife had green lit the expenditure so it was no-holds barred while we were at that table.
I gamble maybe twice a year (unless you consider getting tickets to the Cubs gambling...) so I'm pretty well set for a while now. This of course excludes any gambling done at poker nights with the guys. That doesn't count in my book.
My only other thought on this now way to fricking long stream of consciousness bowl of turds is damn I've missed the NFL. My prediction is Seattle vs. Denver with Seattle winning the Superbowl. The Steelers will have a losing record. Kansas City will make the playoffs. And I'm leaning towards the Bears making the playoffs, though they looked like crap against the Vikings last weekend. I'm pretty sure the Vikings didn't want to win that game, and the Bears won it by accident.