Current local Las Vegas time is 3:49pm, May 23, 2017.

Archive for the 'Friends & Family' Category

Breakfast of Champions

I went to lunch with a friend and Las Vegas blogger Hurricane Mikey yesterday. He actually writes in his blog, as opposed to me. I just pay hosting fees and occasionally pop in with something interesting to say or (more probably) something to complain about.

Anyway, I heartily encourage you to visit his blog and read around a bit. It’s very interesting reading, and I’m happy to wait right here while you’re out reading his stuff.

One thing about Mikey, he likes his pizza, and one of his life’s journeys is to find the perfect pie. It’s kind of a religious quest, and it’s fun to be a pilgrim. But this entry isn’t really about Mikey so much as my small part in that journey to coal-fired nirvana. Read more on Breakfast of Champions…

Posted in Food & Drink, Friends & Family, Site Information | 2 Comments »

I am officially old.

There were things I did in my younger, crazier years that would probably kill me if I attempted them now. And if they didn’t kill me, I’d probably want to be dead. It’s no secret that I like my spicy food really hot, usually as hot as or hotter than a restaurant can make it. I also haven’t had a cigar in about seven years. So why not combine them? Read more on I am officially old….

Posted in Friends & Family, Journal, Lars Vargas | 2 Comments »

Read first. Apply second.

The lovely Mrs. Vargas called me yesterday and suggested that we go out for a sushi dinner. I liked the idea. I like sushi.

Since I work at home, my attire can sometimes be politely described as “casual” and other times, um, well, I wouldn’t want to be in public or under the scrutiny of Glamour’s eye. But I had actually gotten up early, showered, shampooed, and was dressed for public activities in shorts and a nice Hawaiian shirt. Read more on Read first. Apply second….

Posted in Friends & Family, Journal, Lars Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Happy Anniversary, Special K and Mr. K

No foolin': my sister got married on April Fools Day. It was a glorious affair, at sunset, in Key West Florida. Six years ago today she entered wedded bliss. I wish you and “Mr. K.” all the best.

Read more on Happy Anniversary, Special K and Mr. K…

Posted in Friends & Family, Special K | No Comments »

Merry Christmas from the Vargases

Christmas brings up so many fond memories of turkeys at Grandma’s, her special stuffing, presents, and happy family times. Memories of snow, cold, and even some bad weather. So many wonderful memories, and too many to mention here.

Read more on Merry Christmas from the Vargases…

Posted in Friends & Family, Miscellaneous, Site Information | 2 Comments »

A Hot New Casino Opening. Sort of.

There are two types of casinos in Las Vegas. The first ones are the ones that most people think of: the famous ones on The Strip. Names like Luxor, Bellagio, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Caesar’s Palace come to mind. The others are the “local” casinos. These are smaller and less flashy. They are also located in areas where people live and dot the landscape around the Las Vegas valley. Two of the larger local casino companies are Station Casinos and Coast Casinos. Coast Casinos recently opened a new casino called the South Coast.

When the South Coast Casino had their grand opening celebration, Mrs. Vargas and I thought it would be fun to go. Neither of us had ever been to a casino grand opening, and with rumors of the slots being really loose during the first few days, we couldn’t resist. To further pique our interest, the local news had been talking about it for a week and it was being advertised in plenty of places. Las Vegas likes a casino opening. Read more on A Hot New Casino Opening. Sort of….

Posted in Casinos, Las Vegas, Mrs. Vargas | 2 Comments »

Tonopah Restaurant – Good Eats in the Middle of The Desert

Banc Club Restaurant
Tonopah, NV
(directions below)

This review was thoughtfully provided by my good friend Louis. We used to work together, and he is a regular reader of this site. Thanks for the review, Louis, and if anyone else is interested in writing for the site, please get in touch.

It’s not often that one finds a restaurant that makes you take a second look. But I found one.

It’s at the Banc Club and it’s in Tonopah. Where in the heck is Tonopah? Tonopah is the approximate half-way point between Reno and Las Vegas. On 95N @ Craig Rd. it’s 200 miles to Tonopah or about 3.5 hours drive. Read more on Tonopah Restaurant – Good Eats in the Middle of The Desert…

Posted in Food & Drink, Friends & Family, Full Service Restaurants | 2 Comments »

One More Goal For My Life

It’s not often that I’m caught off guard, but today I was.

Mrs. Vargas and I decided on a whim to go visit the Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas Strip today.

I haven’t been there in nearly ten years, but I know the collection is far larger than what is on display, so every time you go, a different bunch of cars is available for viewing. The cars run the gamut from modest but impressive VW Beetles (one with 79 miles on it!) to multi-million dollar cars made by Rolls-Royce and Duesenberg. There were even a couple of custom-bodied Cadillacs that neared the million dollar range. Read more on One More Goal For My Life…

Posted in Journal, Mr. Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | 4 Comments »

Drinking Scotch Can Save Your Marriage

I was recently reminded of a party I attended last year. Some friends had invited Mrs. Vargas and I to their home, along with several of their other friends and neighbors. It was a typical holiday party with plenty of good stuff to eat and drink. The partygoers were all decked out in festive attire and a good mood prevailed throughout.

Mrs. Vargas and I are not the kind of couple who has to cling to each other at a party. We’re free to mingle and talk independently. One of the other partygoers, whom I had never met before, had taken somewhat of an interest in me. She was a neighbor of the hosts and didn’t seem flirtatious when I first met her.

As the evening went on, Ms. Neighbor Flirter had chosen a seat at the bar. And every time I went to freshen up my scotch, she was there, ready to chat, flirt, and carry on about the topic du jour. Read more on Drinking Scotch Can Save Your Marriage…

Posted in Flashbacks, Food & Drink, Mrs. Vargas | 1 Comment »

Happy (belated) Birthday, Mr. Vin!

Mr. Vin is my step father and today is his birthday. Well, as I write this it’s still technically his birthday for just over two hours here in Vegas. Where he lives on the east coast of the US, it’s past midnight.

Read more on Happy (belated) Birthday, Mr. Vin!…

Posted in Friends & Family, Mr. Vin | No Comments »

Persian Rugs and Traffic Jams

We went to visit Mrs. Vargas’s parents for the holiday weekend. We stayed at their house in Camarillo, CA. It’s a small city located about half-way between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, just north of “The Valley” of Valley Girl fame.

Mrs. Vargas’s grandmother gave us a Persian rug as a housewarming gift, but it really didn’t go with the décor at Casa Vargas. Grandma suggested that we bring it with us on our trip to California and exchange it for something we like a bit better while we were in town. This story takes place on the day we exchanged the rug. Read more on Persian Rugs and Traffic Jams…

Posted in Journal, Lars Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | 2 Comments »

Analyze this: a test you can’t study for

A while back Mrs. Vargas and I were trying to conceive a little Vargas. We were not immediately successful in this endeavor. Sometimes this stuff takes time. Even after several months, we were still without a future little Vargas.

Mrs. Vargas and I weren’t particularly worried, taking the “it will happen when it happens” attitude. Unfortunately, Mrs. Vargas was getting pressure from her mother (and mine) to conceive. And quickly. Now if ever there was a way to cross circuits in the male brain, it’s having mothers and mothers-in-law giving advice on conception. Sorry, ladies: I love you, but this isn’t an area where I want your advice.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my mother-in-law. We get along just fine. This is not a Fred Flintstone/Ralph Cramden type of husband/mother-in-law type of thing. Read more on Analyze this: a test you can’t study for…

Posted in Flashbacks, Mrs. Vargas | 5 Comments »

Many garage sales and not a single garage for sale…

Mrs. Vargas and I went to a terrific garage sale yesterday. Several, actually. What was terrific about them was that they were actually a community garage sale that spanned several neighborhoods in Green Valley, home of the Green Valley Ranch Station Casino (shown on American Casino). It’s a nice area, with some expensive homes, and only a few miles from Casa Vargas.

The sale was not only large it was well organized. The participating subdivisions had all gotten together and had maps printed, as well as the addresses of participating homes. It made finding the sales much easier. An added bonus were the houses not on the official list who had decided to set up their own sales. Read more on Many garage sales and not a single garage for sale……

Posted in Henderson, Lars Vargas, Las Vegas, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Happpy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my father’s (Mr. Vargas) birthday. Happy birthday, Dad!

Dad is on vacation and inaccessible, so I did not call him, like I called my mom a few days ago. That also means that Luella, our cat didn’t have a chance to sing for Dad. Somehow, though, I don’t think he minded too much. Read more on Happpy Birthday, Dad!…

Posted in Mr. Vargas | 1 Comment »

Another Average Day

Yesterday was one of those average days where you know you got something done, but you simply cannot put your finger on any specifics. I was awake for around seventeen hours, but there is very little concrete I can point to that I did.

I already posted about having Luella sing for my mom on her birthday. After that, I went to work. I think I spoke with someone about something. I do remember lunch. We went to “La Cabaña“. It was good. After lunch, I did more work and spoke to more people about things. Such excitement.

The drive home was average. Not too fast, not too slow. A few people didn’t understand the concept of the left lane being the fast one, but that’s typical. In fact, had that not happened, it would not have been an average drive.

When I got home I remembered something: I had computer work to do. Read more on Another Average Day…

Posted in Computers, Journal, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mother Vargas has a birthday today. Mother Vargas lives outside of Boston, so she was already at work when I got up at 6:00am Vegas time.

Luella the cat sleeps in the utility room and is rather noisy in the morning when she gets up and is ready to come out. As soon as she hears any human activity, Luella likes to announce her consciousness through a series of “meows”, “meoowrs” and even the occasional “mc-gow”.

Read more on Happy Birthday, Mom!…

Posted in Friends & Family, Luella the Cat, Mother Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the second half

We were now in New Mexico, a place Dad and I had never been before. We both grew up and have mainly existed on the East Coast. Sure, we’ve been to other places, but we never drove cross-country through them. We were absolutely not prepared for the beauty that unfolded before us.

At first it was like driving through an old Warner Brothers Road Runner and Coyote cartoon, except that this scenery was real and there were no Acme instant holes or rocket roller skates to be found along the side of the road. Interstate 40 runs a relatively straight line through New Mexico. There are plenty of hills and ridges, and cresting each one offered up a new and stunning view. It was really incredible to watch the composition of each valley change. Drive 15 miles and the rocks go from craggy and pebbly to flat and striated. Each valley was different, as if God had made thousands of prototypes, each a little different than the others.

I was actually looking forward to twelve hours of this scenery and my mere words here cannot come close to conveying the unique beauty of this place. If you ever have a chance to drive I-40 anywhere in New Mexico and Arizona, take it. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | 1 Comment »

Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the first half

Well as nice as Texas had been, it was nice to see another state. Hello New Mexico! I felt like we had now made real progress. So far the journey was going extremely well, especially since we had tow alpha-males in the truck. Not only were Dad and I still speaking, but we were still having meaningful conversations. This is a good sign.

A few miles over the New Mexico border was the welcome station. We had made it a habit to stop in all the welcome stations along the way for a variety of reasons. The primary one, usually, was a rest room break. The secondary was the free maps. Maps have always fascinated me beyond their utility. I think part of it is dreaming of being in all those exotic and obscure places, wondering what they are like, noting the differences and similarities to the places I already know. At least that’s the romantic version of it.

The Welcome Center on I-40 just west of the Texas/New Mexico border had something even better than maps and a place to pee for free. They had Internet access. I’m an Internet junkie. I make my living doing Internet things and I also have a lot of fun hanging around on the Internet. For nearly four days, I was completely and totally without Internet access, so being able to get online for free, in the middle of nowhere, was too much to resist. Peeing can wait (it had to anyway, but I’ll get to that). Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | 1 Comment »

Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the second half

On the road and hungry, Dad and I, adhering to the “local flavor if possible” rule of the road, had stopped at the only place for miles around. It was surprisingly bright and clean, but the owner serving us was a bit relaxed in her approach to service. OK, she was slow. But everyone was friendly. There was a man on a cell phone sipping tea and an older couple had just left. Dad and I were the only active customers left, so there was no denying us. We were ready to order, and there was no excuse not to come over and get those orders.

During our wait, we had studied the menu enough to note that it was actually a menu for another restaurant, but located in the same place (we think). There were also several suspicious menu items, such as a bowl of Chile and a Cheeseburger with only one “e” in cheese. Perhaps the extra “e” had migrated to the chili, hence the unusual geographical reference. There were other equally humorous “oopsies” on the menu, but I neglected to write them down. If I’m ever back in Sunset, TX, I’ll stop back in and hope they haven’t changed the menus. Something tells me I have nothing to fear. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | 2 Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the first half

It was day 2 on the road from Orlando to Las Vegas. We had made excellent time on day one despite some rain. Day 2 looked like it was going to turn into another fine day of driving with Dad. I figured since this was my show, I was obligated to do more driving than Dad, so I took the first shift again. This was also nice because I usually got to take a post-lunch nap if I felt like it. Well as much nap as you can get in a moving truck.

As we started, Louisiana was still intact. Katrina was days behind us, so the drive out of state was a quick one: about 90 minutes or so. That’s when we hit Texas. For those who have been to Texas, you know everything is bigger there. It just is. And Texas itself is big. Very big. Big in a way that you can’t drive through the thing in a day big.

Texas also doesn’t look like I thought it would. The stereotype is that Texas is all pickup trucks and longhorn steers. We saw enough of those, but there are also lovely mountains, sloping hills, plains, and pretty much any other geological configuration you can imagine. Despite the fact that it seems to take forever to drive through Texas, it’s a drive worth taking. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the second half

Day one is nearly over, but we’ve still got miles to go before we rest. We’re in the midst of trying to find a hotel, but the truck needed fuel in the meantime, so we have stopped at a gas station to fuel up both truck and man.

It was at this gas station that I discovered one really huge annoyance of $2.60 diesel fuel and 35-gallon fill-ups beyond the simple math of paying nearly $100 for a tank of fuel and knowing I would need about 9 of them to make this trip. I discovered that my credit cards (debit cards actually) only pre-approved $75.00 on most pumps, which meant two transactions and two receipts for each fill up. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Moving, Mr. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the first half

I started the day by checking my cell phone voice mail and was relieved that Mrs. Vargas and Luella had arrived safely in Las Vegas and were already settled in the new house.

Remember how Luella had received half a pill of Kitty Valium for the flight? Apparently Luella had actually spit out her relaxation pill, but didn’t need it. She behaved the entire way and only had a few audible complaints during the five-hour flight. Happy with the knowledge that the girls were safely in place and awaiting us, it was time to let the driving begin.

I have driven from Central Florida to points in the Northeast, such as Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY before. Twelve-hundred miles isn’t too bad of a drive. Well, we were looking at nearly twenty-five hundred from Dad’s house to Las Vegas. We had planned on 48 hours of driving over four days, meaning 12 hours a day, give or take.

No sense brooding; we got going. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Luella the Cat, Moving, Mr. Vargas, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the second half

It was moving day. So far the mover had hit on my wife, left without us really having everything packed, and time was running out to get Mrs. Vargas and Luella the cat to the airport for their flight to our new home in Vegas.

And as time ran completely out, we got saved.

A $20 bill and a very nice neighbor got the leftover trash and stuff from the house taken care of. We left her behind with a key and some verbal instructions that I can only hope were relatively coherent. I know I wasn’t.

I did have to leave behind a huge amount of my hot sauce collection, and I’m a bit pissed about that, but you have to make sacrifices. At the end of the day, we had everything packed that we needed to get into the truck and a means to get the house empty for its new owner. We even managed to leave behind a few goodies for him. OK, so this generosity wasn’t necessarily planned in advance, but I’m sure he will appreciate the dishes, hot sauce collection, computer, and other artifacts of our life. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the second half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Luella the Cat, Moving, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »

Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the first half

The day started out OK, and everything was going well until the mover showed up. He seemed chipper enough until he toured the house and proclaimed that I had lied to him about what had to be moved. Now if you want to get my attention in a hurry, call me a liar. I am many things, but a liar is not one of them. However, since I needed his services desperately, I decided to let that one slide.

I told him that I was very specific about what had to be moved and that I requested that he come out ahead of time and give me a quote, but in his words, he’s a professional and could tell from our conversation. OK so be it.

Well Mr. Professional Mover was just too upset and it “would kill” him to move all our stuff (despite the fact that a two-man crew had not only packed it but unloaded it the same day when we moved in). He told me wanted to leave and not do the job since he only had himself and an assistant but absolutely needed three men to do the job.

After going back and forth for a few minutes Mrs. Vargas came to the rescue and told him that he came recommended from friends and that professionals don’t leave jobs. So he decides to load our stuff in the truck, but grumbled that it would take more than six hours. Boohoo, I say. He’s getting paid hourly! Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the first half…

Posted in Lars Vargas, Luella the Cat, Moving, Mrs. Vargas | No Comments »