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Las Vegas It Is

Well, all good intensions in place, I ended up leaving my parents, Parker, AZ, and the Colorado river behind yesterday, beemering it 3 hours to Las Vegas where I have three timeshare properties (I rent out my Cabo properties if anyone’s interested in a 5-star vacation, here and here) and snagged a nice 1BR Suite for 11 nights. It’s near to The Orleans hotel and casino, with a number of attractive eating establishments including both a steakhouse and a prime rib joint. I picked the steakhouse.

Wagyu Sirloin, Medium Rare

Yea, the sirloin was the best value on the menu, at $33. I think the flavor and texture of a quality sirloin properly prepared beats your filets, ribeyes, and NY strips any day. This one met that bill. Yum.

So, yea, anyway, The Havasu / Parker area is experiencing outlier climatology this year. Generally this season, it’s mid-70s to low 80s, sunny, a little breeze. I got about one day like that, and we went out to the 100% off grid Desert Bar that requires a 5-mile drive on a rocky dirt road (along with tons of people who have neither the proper equipment nor the skills or know-how to drive such terrain).

This is my parents’ 4th year in a row camping out near Parker and they’ve never seen the weather develop into such a cold and windy mess, like with highs in the low 60s combined with winds in the teens. Add to that, the Wifi sucks and cell service is next to non-existant and I wasn’t able to get busy producing for this blog and Patreon as I now have the motivation to do.

Had a great 4 days with mom & dad, watching coverage of the winter Olympics every evening. How about that slope style, eh? We also did a good amount of cooking, only going out to eat once. I brought the air fryer along. Mom is really intrigued with it and so when she expressed sorrow at me heading out earlier than expected I was like ‘aw shucks,’ and I gave her my air fryer. I’ll get another.

Anyway, the prospect of the three of us cooped up in an RV for at least five more days of crap weather and crap internet was just not in the cards, for any of us. So here I am, hunkered down in this nice little suite with a full kitchen.

Shopping is done. Easy stuff; like rotisserie chicken, raw veggie tray, Halos, crackers, cheese, sardines, smoked oysters, Kashi cereal, milk, and eggs. And it should be a wash in terms of overall cost. The unit costs nothing but the maintenance fees I already pay, but the cabin is shut down; whereas December’s propane bill was $250 and January, a whopping $375! In all, January was about $600 worth of various utility services. Ouch.

Summers up there are way gentler on my pocketbook.

So, I have smokin’ fast internet again, decent levels of motivation and attitude adjustment, and am ready to spend 10 days producing stuff for this blog and Patreon, and manage vacation inquiries for Cabo (five of them just yesterday).

…Oh, and one more thing. If you’re under the delusion that Arizona is somehow marginally more free, I call bullshit. It’s just as overbearingly, paternalistically fucked up as is California.

It’s an off-grid bar five miles out on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere for fuck’s sake.

You know, this sort of bullshit is a perfect-storm manifestation of both the political activist left and conservative right, as bedfellows. On the left, you’ve your endless array of institutional “free” stuff for the purpose of controlling “bad” behavior. And the logic is sound. If I have to pay for your “health” care, then I have something to say about your behavior. On the right, you have your cults of Bible Thumpers who can’t stand the idea that some folks somewhere might be having fun and their activities must, therefore, constitute some offense to their doG.

They can both go fuck themselves.


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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

14 Comments

  1. thhq on February 21, 2018 at 06:04

    So….becoming more of a centrist, digitally anyway.

    I holed up in similar fashion in downtown Reno a couple years ago, burning up RCI timeshare points. The Reno unit was more your old dirty ashtray kind of place. Still, you’ve got the Truckee riverwalk, the Aces baseball team, great basque food down in Gardnerville, and Carson City. Saw Frank Sinatra Jr too, in one of the last shows before he died.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 21, 2018 at 09:07

      Ha, Reno is my hometown, ‘61 to ‘79 when I went away to college.

      My mom tellls a funny story about Jr. In early 60s she worked the flight insurance counter at the airport and saw all the nightclub entertainers of the day come and go, some would buy flight insurance.

      Her least favorite? You guessed it. Jr. Smug and arrogant. Her favorite. Nipsey Russell. One time, when the fights were delayed for weather, Nipsey jumped up on her insurance kiosk and put on a show for everyone.



    • Richard Nikoley on February 21, 2018 at 09:15

      The Jr story goes like this, and she’d seen him and his arrogant behavior many times:

      Jr comes in with his entourage, flight is delayed, he’s pissed, barking at his people. Then he says, “well, I guess I’ll buy some flight insurance” so he steps up to the counter and mom pulls out the form.

      “Name?”

      “Sinatra.”

      “First name?”

      “FRANK; JR”

      “Beneficiary?”

      “MY FATHER”

      “And your father’s name?….”

      Hahahahahaha.



    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2018 at 06:49

      By the way, back in the 60s and 70s the casinos all had hand painted signage, all painted by my grandfather in his shop next to his river house on the Truckee, on the street now named after him, Goodsell Lane, off old Hwy 40. I grew up right next door, 4040, on a 1/3 acre my grandfather gifted my parents when they got married. They built a house there for $20,000. Payment was $165 per month.



    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2018 at 06:51

      I still remember in ‘74 my dad bought a brand new Jeep Wagoneer and laughed when he realized his car payment was more than his house payment.



    • thhq1 on February 22, 2018 at 09:49

      Here’s a little classic Harold Smith teaser. While Harold was pretty coy about the house take on the standard games, he was open about Faro Bank, a game all the casinos hated, and which I have never seen anywhere. Unfortunately some women loved it:

      “Faro is an absolutely even-money game and the only one in which there’s no percentage against you. Yet you still don’t win……Our former housewife had suffered a lot of wear and tear in the process of gambling away $50,000. (It’s not exactly easy on the constitution). She wasn’t any bargain beauty and the Line was open in Reno then with attractive young women selling for $3. She sold herself for 50 cents an act. Fifty cents – the minimum bet on the Faro table, which – if won – would pay exactly fifty cents.”



  2. thhq on February 21, 2018 at 18:18

    Quite a story. The Sinatras had an association with Reno and maybe thought they owned it. Jr getting kidnapped at Tahoe probably didn’t help his attitude.

    I’ve been interested in Harolds Club for years, reading and rereading Harold Smith’s autobiography. To me, he describes how Donald Trump ticks. Go go attitude 24/7, always self promoting, and crazy as a loon. Pretty secretive about the games and odds (the slot machines will take care of you), but he had hilarious stories about the players. I went out and located his old skeet range north of Sparks too. Nothing left now but an acre of black gravel.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 22, 2018 at 06:43

      I’ve been to that skeet range back in the day.

      But it was at least true that Harold’s with its old mechanical slots were “known” as the loosest. 😉

      Good marketing and promotion.

      I’ll have to find that book.



    • thhq on February 22, 2018 at 08:25

      “I Want to Quit Winners” by Harold Smith. The old sign with the waterfall is out at the rodeo grounds, in all its glory.

      http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/harolds-club-mural



    • thhq on February 22, 2018 at 08:37

      If you want to see Harolds back in the day, watch the film 5 Against the House. Harold even gets a cameo, in front of one of those old slots. Kim Novak, Robert Conrad, and Brian Keith as a psycho WWII vet waving his service 45 in the old parking garage. Also a shot of the streamliner crossing Virginia in the days before the tracks went under the street.



  3. Bret on February 22, 2018 at 18:06

    Spot on about Arizona. I live there full time (not currently by choice). Freer is a bullshit myth.

    The cops here can charge you with a DUI on the basis of absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Just the officer’s eternal, infallible, impeccable judgment.

    You can’t start a contracting business here unless you have spent at least two years being an “apprentice.” Translation: guaranteed income for the lobby of incumbent contractors as prospective entrepreneurs start their terms, and of course many don’t quit. Or decide they won’t do it after all. Brilliant scam.

    Annual registration for a semi-new vehicle can breech $400. Yes, every single year.

    State income tax, plus a nice, big fat sales tax.

    It’s a conservative hellhole. Nothing limited government about it. Just big government favoring towards rich white people…enacted, of course, by rich white people.

    • David Major on February 23, 2018 at 21:50

      Yes, it’s a conservative hellhole only in the sense that it is the genuine conservatives and libertarians who critique as a hellhole the very things you mentioned, among other aspects of Arizona’s overbearing regulatory state and paternalism.

      Progressives (both of the left wing and right wing variery) are the ones who imposed most of the regulations and paternalism in Arizona, jusst like everywhere else. Progressivism is a disease.



  4. Hap on March 2, 2018 at 14:22

    Progressivism is the only game in town. It just matters to what degree. DJT has many Progressive instincts but I forgive most of that because it would be worse with a dyed in the wool Leftist….and besides what remains of political outcomes?……so just enjoy the entertainment.

    • Bret on March 7, 2018 at 03:33

      The thing I appreciate most about DJT is that he puts an honest ugly face on government. Not this well polished prompter reader crap you see with Obama and that Canadian Trudeau, both of whom are adored and revered by big government-loving moron citizens for totally superficial reasons that they confuse with professional admirability. This despite the fact that they’re both growing the state, stealing from their citizens, and making the incumbent elite more powerful.

      With Trump you get none of that duplicity. It will be hilarious to watch as more of his inner leftist inclinations dribble out over these next likely 7 years (we’ve already seen bump stocks and tariffs…there’s more to come), and our Democrat cheerleaders (both politicians and citizens) will have a hell of a time deciding whether they support big government initiatives or hate Donald Trump.



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