Archive for September 1, 2001

Hey! I just noticed . . .

September 1, 2001 Leave a comment

That all the time entries are in Pacific Time. So if you actually want to know when I made these journal entires, refer to a time zone map and do some adding. For example. New Orleans says 6:30. That was central time so I actually made that entry at 8:30. This one will say something like 8:10 PM but since I am in West Palm Beach, Florida, it is actually 11:10PM. I don’t know if you care, but if you have been paying attention to the times of the entries, i thought you might want to know!

Your geeky nitpicky friend,

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West Palm Beach, Florida (You were expecting Lake City Part Two?)

September 1, 2001 Leave a comment

This is Lake City Part Two, don’t you know! I just got tired last night and decided not to write part two at that time. So instead I am continuing with the West Palm Beach portion. I’ve set up a little makeshift desk here in my cousin Marilyn’s house – the laptop is on the utility cart. Actually the thing is on wheels. If I could get a chair on wheels, I could have fun whirling around the house while typing! Although perhaps Marilyn wouldn’t care for that.

So I better just get back to business. Where was I? Oh yes, leaving Graceland . . .

Next I went into downtown Memphis for a couple of hours. That reminds me of yet another bastardized song:

I was walking in Memphis, walking with my feet dragging along Beale
I was walking in Memphis, do I pay for this or do I steal?

Well anyway, Beale street looks like a great place to spend the evening, but by day it is pretty lame. A bunch of neon signs fail to break through the sunlight and thus fail to create an exciting atmosphere. A bunch of empty clubs mixed in with some mainly empty souvenir shops selling Blues-related merchandise make a fairly uninteresting experience. I’ve told it is hopping at night, but this was not night, so your mileage may vary.

Next to Beale Street is (oh geez I can’t remember the name and I am NOT going to my car and look it up but I think it was) Pelican Place where there is a brand new (a few weeks old) upscale mall development. They have a Jillian’s and a 24 screen movie theater and a Tower Records and a Hot Topic and a bunch of other standard mall fare. Yet another downtown being overrun by these big chains thus making it pretty much the same city as every other American city.

“Oh honey I went to Memphis! It was great – we went to Jillian’s and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and we shopped at Tower Records and saw an IMAX movie!” Now there’s a Mississippi Delta experience in a nutshell.

Later I was told that this new downtown development was necessary to “save” Memphis as it was in a state of utter decay a few years ago. I still think it’s a shame that a city has to survive by becoming just like every other city in America. Although I have similar criticisms of New Orleans . . . well those will have to wait until I get there.

After leaving Memphis, it was off to the Grand Hotel and Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi, the third largest gambling (sorry, GAMING) destination in the United States. There are ten casinos there operated by some of the big boys in the gaming (sorry, GAMBLING) industry, yet is not a fun little casino town. As the casinos are required to be in the river proper, they are spread out along the town of Robinsonville and therefore walking around is not a popular thing to do. Instead, people who do choose to casino-hop drive around or take this $1 shuttle bus that loops around to the different properties. I, however, drove around the town to check it out and then parked myself at the Grand.

Why choose the Grand? Well because they offer a $25 room with 5 hours of poker. And I do like to play poker, and five hours is pretty easy to accomplish, especially when an hour of that is taken up with dinner and walking around. So while waiting for my poker game to begin, I passed the time playing video poker and trying to collect slot club points. 300 points would get me an Elvis teddy bear! I managed to win $160, but only collect 137 points. So there is no teddy bear wearing a it-shirt that says “Oh Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear” in my possession.

After a fairly unsuccessful poker session (down about $20), I proceeded to go downstairs to table games and lose the rest of my winnings. So there I was, nice and even, but I hadn’t played craps yet! And of course here in Tunica they let you bet 20x odds, which if I were extremely well healed would be a nice thing. As it is, I was betting $5 Pass/Come and $15 on the odds. I managed to get down to about $40 and then get up to $190 or so before I crapped out (I had the big run on the table and these guys on the other end kept betting Don’t Pass/Don’t Come and they must have lost $150 at the same time I was winning $150 – BWAAAA HA HA HA!! That’s what they get for betting against me) and leaving myself with $145 on my $100 investment. It was a good time to leave as I was finally back in black (hit the sack). And of course, that is what I did just then – hit the sack.

The Grand was a very nice place – I was staying in the Veranda which is one of three separate hotels on the property – they also have a Hale Irwin designed golf course and a gigantic self-contained Kids’ Quest (TM) Arcade. Unfortunately, I became a little soured on the place at check out. First I waited 20-30 minutes for a valet to show up before a bellman finally came outside, saw 6 people in line and proceeded to chew out the valet people on his walkie talkie. Guess who got the tip from me? You guessed it. Nobody!!!

And then, after the guy called for my car, I went to grab a cinnamon roll at the little snack bar. The girl working (using this term loosely) was on a personal call when I got there. She was talking in sotto voce (not that she knows what that means) so that no one would notice. I noticed. She held up a little finger to me to signify that it would be one minute. Then she did it again in another minute. Finally, I turned jerky . . .

“Do you think you get off your personal phone call for long enough to get me a cinnamon roll?”

“I’ll be with you in just a minute!”

“No you won’t” I said and picked up my bags. I’d get some food elsewhere. I noticed a big stack of comment cards with a little sign that said “We Want to Know What You Thought of Your Say” (that was paraphrased) so I let them know about their cinnamon roll girl and their valet service. Then I decided I wouldn’t go back there. Disappointing as I had enjoyed the rest of my stay, but hey, there’s ten casinos in town. And the town is Robinsonville, MS. What are the chances I’ll be back there anyway? Too bad I found four one dollar chips in my pocket a couple of days later. They’re hardly collectible and now they’re all just worthless plastic.

Next stop would be Leland, Mississippi and the Jim Henson exhibit, but that’s going to be a little later after I rest up!

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