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Las Vegas Lomography.... a Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by alanleroy, Mar 30, 2015.

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  1. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    87

    My Trip Report

    Intro
    My gambling buddy Robin backed out of this trip at the last minute. His nickname is now effing Robin. That caused some major adjustments to the plan.…like cancel our Vegas Movie Production “Vegas Dickhead” and cancel the world premier of my Standup Comedy Bit at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club Open Mic night. I was still accompanied by my long time friend ‘The Newbie’ and there was plenty for us to do…even though performing stand-up in a giant inflatable penis costume wasn’t one of them.

    Objectives

    Deploy the Droid
    I bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone last May and I’ve been really impressed with it. I thought I’d share some of the many ways it enhanced my Vegas experience…so this report will be instructional. I’ll point out how I used the phone that was never an option before…and I’ll explain how the various capabilities actually work.

    One of the best features on the S5 is its 16 megapixel camera. I decided to forego my Sony RX100 Camera and instead experiment with and evaluate the photographic potential of the Galaxy S5.

    Las Vegas Lomography
    Lomography is photography using retro specialty cameras. It started with Russian analog cameras from the early 80’s….Cameras like the LOMO LC-A Compact Automat from optics manufacturer LOMO PLC of Saint Petersburg, Russia.

    Lomography was turned into an art movement in the 1990’s when (according to Wiki) ‘a group of Viennese students discovered the LOMO LC-A and were inspired by its "unique, colorful, and sometimes blurry" images’. Hey! I’ve always been good at unique, colorful and often blurry images.

    It turns out that a number of these analog retro camera images can be emulated using digital effects available for the S5. In the spirit of exploring the potential of my Smartphone camera I am posting many of these artsy filtered images…I hope you enjoy them. I gave each of the special photos a name so you can order them from my catalog. ..Ok I have no catalog..but it sounded good.

    I purchased a lens kit for the Galaxy S5. It cost $50. That included a new hard case, 4 interchangeable lenses (Telephoto, Wide Angle, Fish Eye and Macro) and a tripod. I was surprised to learn that there are alternate lenses available for a Smartphone Camera.

    [​IMG]
    Galaxy S5 with tripod and telephoto.

    The kit arrived the day before my trip so I didn’t have an opportunity to test it. Nothing like a trial under fire.

    I am posting my photos larger than I normally would in a trip report so you can better see the quality this phone camera produces. Hopefully your reaction is “Wow…you really did that with your phone?”. Even though they are big, they won’t be anywhere near full size. The originals are 5312 X 2988 Pixels and run between 2 and 3 MB. So, if anyone wants an original to create a unique, colorful, blurry, poster-sized family heirloom, just shoot me a PM

    I will note any effect or special lens or camera setting I used and also explain how to download, install and use effects, camera modes, features and the add on lenses. Some of this will be in detail, but I’ll put it in italics or a notes section so you skip it if you have no interest in learning about the Galaxy S5.

    Cantor Banter
    Some of our trip plan centered on a deposit bonus deal from Cantor Gaming that appeared exploitable. Cantor provides the Sport Book at many Las Vegas casinos. They have a sports betting Smartphone app available for Android or iPhone. I noticed some references to a $25 Deposit Bonus if you signed up for the Betting App, but the details were sketchy. Supposedly you could use the bonus at any or all of the Cantor Vegas sports betting facilities (M, Silverton, Hard Rock, Palms, Cosmo, Venetian and Tropicana)

    A quick trip in November with Mrs. AlanLeroy suggested the bonus might require a $100 deposit and it was unclear how much of that had to be risked to get the bonus. So Newbie and I planned our 5 day trip under the assumption that we would visit each of these Sportsbooks Twice…..Once to sign up and bet and once to collect. The deposits needed to be in line with our meager bank rolls. Based on the $100 deposit, we limited ourselves to 2 bets in play at one time. We bet on events that would resolve that day/night so we could collect our winners and deposits before placing the next bets.

    This was an outstanding deal…. if you like free money, but it wasn’t exactly as we expected. It was better. I’ll explain how it all works as part of the report.

    Coupon Runs Galore
    We contribute equally to our communal Gambling Wallet and make all of our matchplays and special gambling plays using communal funds. We’re gambling commies. The last night we split our winnings and go to PG (Personal Gaming). This trip would be no exception. Expecting effing Robin to be with us, we had a shed load of matchplays and free slot plays to use and abuse. We also had many Groupons and other coupon savings. We planned 42 casino visits.. made it to 36.

    The Great Lucky Hat Give Away
    Mrs AlanLeroy keeps insisting that I reduce the size of my Lucky Hat Collection. I got a dozen cheap imitation Santa Stuck in Chimney Hats for 15 bucks a couple of years back. I’m always looking to sell one of these puppies at a great profit or to give it away to someone worthy. I had three of these Santa Hats and two Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hats to sell or give away this trip. That’s in addition to any original true lucky hat I carried. I always think I can convince the Newbie or effing Robin to wear one, but that never happens.

    12/17/14

    It was a dark and stormy day.
    [​IMG]
    “Casa De Newbie en Blanco y Negro ”
    Gotham Noir Effect

    Mrs AlanLeroy delivered the Newbie and I to FAT (Fresno Air Terminal) at 1:00 PM…

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    “FAT Sequoiadendron giganteum”

    We quickly made it through the TSA checkpoint. It was quick because I didn’t have to lug around those bulky boarding passes. Before leaving for the airport I installed the Allegiant Air App on my Galaxy and simply waved it at the friendly TSA agent.

    At the gate I decided to try out my new telephoto lens and discovered that the lens is unusable unless on the tripod. You just can’t keep it steady enough otherwise. No problem. I sat on the floor next to a west facing window, set up my tripod and began to lomograph. I still couldn’t get non fuzzy pictures with the long lens because the very act of pressing the screen or a shutter button caused the camera to move slightly. Then I found the ultimate solution. I activated the Camera Voice Command. Then, I just sat there on the floor setting up my shots and yelling ‘SHOOT’ or ‘CHEESE’ or ‘SMILE’ to my phone whenever I wanted to snap a picture. The Newbie pretended he didn’t know me.

    [​IMG]
    “FAT T”

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    “FAT TT”
    FAT Tower with Telephoto Lens

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    “FAT T SNIPER”
    Night Vision Effect with Telephoto Lens

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    “FAT 4”
    Reflection Effect with Telephoto Lens

    The flight was uneventful.

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    “High Flyn’”
    Cartoon Effect

    Landed right on time, collected our bags and hopped on the shuttle to the McCarran Rental Car Facility. Used the Galaxy to check my business E-Mail…which I did throughout the trip. I can also turn the Galaxy into a Wi-Fi hot spot and share the network with the notebook computer I carry. That was never necessary this trip.

    I used the Alamo ‘bypass the counter’ feature so we headed right out to the cars. I asked the lot attendant if there was any way we could get a complementary upgrade from our compact while fumbling through my wallet for a $5.00 bill. “What do you want? “ he queried. “Oh…BMW or Lincoln or something like that”. Upgraded to a Black Mustang Convertible. Score!

    Silverton

    Ten minutes later we pulled into the Silverton Parking Lot.

    [​IMG]
    “Another Fish on the wall”

    [​IMG]
    “Fish Eye Fish”
    Fish Eye Effect
    [​IMG]
    “Comic Fish 1”
    Cartoon Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Comic Fish 2”
    Cartoon Effect

    Under a tight schedule. The goal was to enjoy the Silverton Twin Creeks Happy Hour, The Hard Rock Pink Taco Happy Hour and hit Cantor Gaming at both casinos for our first two deposit bonus bets. We also wanted to check in at Planet Hollywood by 7:30 PM because we had a show there at 9:00 PM. It was 5:00 PM

    Happy Hour
    The Twin Creeks Happy Hour is Fantastic. This was my first visit. It may be one of the best in Vegas. Every menu item was half price and so were some beers. We shared Stuffed Mushrooms (Mushroom caps stuffed with andouille sausage, parmesan and horseradish, cheddar cheese & fresh herbs), Prime Rib Sliders (toasted brioche & cheese sauce) and the best ever Daily Special Tenderloin Meatballs. Yep… Tenderloin Meatballs. We each enjoyed a ½ Price Newcastle as well. Do note that they take the happy hour literally. It is only 1 hour from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

    http://www.silvertoncasino.com/resourcefiles/pdf/twin-creeks-happy-hour-menu.pdf

    [​IMG]
    Tenerloin Meatball

    [​IMG]
    Stuffed Mushrooms

    NOTE: (Happy Hour Specials - Wednesday through Sunday for 50% Off Happy Hour. Wednesday - Saturday 5pm - 6pm and 9pm - 10pm; Sunday 4pm - 5pm and 8pm - 9pm (Small Plates, Select Cocktails, House Wine, Beer).

    Cantor 1
    The Newbie signed up for a player’s card and over to the Sportsbook to find out what the hell this deposit bonus was all about. There is actually a separate window for Cantor Mobile App Sign Ups. Every Casino had one and they were always staffed. Cantor is obviously very serious about the mobile gaming business.

    Some guy was in the process of signing up when we got there so I listened in as Supervisor Linda explained how it worked. She said you had to deposit $50 and they immediately add $25. You are required to bet at least $50. So, for example, if you bet $50 and lose, you can still cash out the remaining $25. If you won, you’d get back the $50 you bet, plus the winnings plus get your remaining $25 deposit back. What a Great deal. Unfortunately, the sign up process is slow. There is paperwork to fill out. It took about 15 minutes.

    When it was our turn to sign up, Linda went on break and Stevie helped us. He explained the deal differently. He claimed you deposit $50 and he immediately adds your $25 deposit bonus and you can bet $25 and get $50 back if you lose. Hmmmm. An even better deal….No risk at all! My sign up went fast. I had already downloaded the Cantor App directly from Cantor. By the time the Newbie filled out his paperwork, I had already placed my $25 bet. This App is easy to use. You select which of the Cantor Locations to use (There are all completely separate). Enter your userid (Player’s card #) and password and you’re in. You’ll see your deposit in the Virtual Wallet and you can move money from the Wallet to your bets. You can bet on the most common betting events like NBA & NFL & NHL.

    The Newbie has an i-Phone. He only uses it for phone and text and camera. He has no i-Tunes account which apparently is needed to download from the Apple Store. He kept dicking around with it…couldn’t install…couldn’t’ set up account, bad address…Wasting time…wasting time. Finally I asked Stevie to help..…He pulled out a tablet for the Newbie. That’s all you need! You don’t really need the App or a Smartphone either. The Newbie was never able to set up his i-Tunes account and download the App. That didn’t matter. All of the Cantor Books had Tablets available. We bet on obscure NBA games that were played later that night. We had no idea what we were doing when it came to actually predicting the scores. We went with which team had the cooler name.


    Planet Hollywood
    It was now 7:00 PM. We missed the Pink Taco Happy Hour. Decided to forgo Hard Rock and catch the Cantor bet there later in the trip. It was on to the first Destination Resort: Planet Hollywood. Here’s another great application for the Galaxy S5. Wanted to go up Las Vegas Blvd. from Silverton so we could stop somewhere to pick up a case of water. Also wanted to wind through the Airport and come out on Paradise so we approach Planet Hollywood via Harmen from the South and East….like we were coming from Hard Rock. I said “OK GOOGLE” to my phone. And then “Navigate To Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas”. Google Maps routed us to Hard Rock by going South on I15. I simply drove over the freeway to Las Vegas Blvd and we were rerouted through the Airport to Paradise. Each turn is announced by the nice Google lady well in advance and the map is easy to see and follow with big turn indicators. It’s a great navigation aid and with voice commands so easy to use.

    Made it to P HO at 7:30. Thanks so much to Linda2244 for your kind contribution to our trip. She gave us her ‘Friends and Family’ coupon, so our stay at Planet Hollywood was free (Except for the $25 a night resort fee). Check-in was smooth. I asked the nice clerk Fred if it would be possible to get a complementary upgrade….to the Presidential Suite. He said that was not possible, but we could have a nice Strip View Room. Score! It was not any old Strip View Room. It was the Alec Baldwin room. The room was adorned with all kinds of Alec Baldwin memorabilia, including signed posters from his classic Broadway role as Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire. Why next to Marlin Brando and Ned Flander’s that must be the best ever rendition…but I digress.

    Miracle Mile
    Next stop: the Las Vegas Live Comedy Show there at the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops. I paid $12.00 for 2 tickets on a Vegas 4 Locals E-Bay auction. You’re required to exchange vouchers for tickets 1 hour before Showtime. We barely made it. The ticket clerk, Patty suggested we consider upgrading our tickets for $20. That way we could get reserved front row seating and we wouldn’t have to wait in any oppressive lines. We declined the upgrade because it just didn’t make sense to spend more on the upgrade than we spent for the tickets. A word of advice.. always decline this upgrade. There were no oppressive lines. There were only 4 rows. There were less than 20 people attending.

    We walked around the Miracle Mile a bit. What a Miracle.


    [​IMG]
    “Zoltar In The Box”
    Oil Pastel Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Arabian Village”
    Oil Pastel Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Full Spectrum Newbie” (TNC)
    Infrared Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Kush Mon”
    Oil Pastel Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Electric Zippo Newbie” (TNC)
    Florescent Effect

    [​IMG]
    Kush Thing

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    “Lonely Stripper”
    Cartoon Effect

    Effing Robin and I always have a photography contest. We have various categories and assign point values to the shots. I won the contest this year…my award winning shots are peppered throughout.
    Hidden areas of Casinos: 200 Points.

    [​IMG]
    “Employees Only”

    [​IMG]
    “Behind the Door”
    Score: AlanLeroy 200. Effing Robin 0

    [​IMG]
    “V360”
    360 Mode (You start the shot and then slowly turn in a full circle. Captures a 360 degree shot)

    It’s Showtime!

    [​IMG]
    “Show Fisheye w/Finger”
    Fisheye Lens

    [​IMG]
    “Double Fisheye”
    Fisheye Effect and Fisheye Lens

    Unfortunately, that night there were three below average comedians. All of them attacked the crowd for not laughing more….like we didn’t get their jokes. Oh we got them. It’s just they weren’t funny….Ok? I know my bit would have been funnier and that gives me confidence because these yahoos were being paid for that crap….and I know never to attack the crowd unless you’re Don Rickles. You need the crowd on your side.

    I’m reading over this and think I’m being too critical of these comedians. Maybe we were a bad crowd. The place was less than a quarter full. Many were drunk and falling asleep. My comedy bit is only 7 minutes long. Each of these guys went 20 – 30 minutes. I am convinced you do need audience participation though…that’s why I’m going to start my bit by making everyone stand up and flip me off in anticipation that I won’t really be funny. Just to get it out of their systems.

    [​IMG]
    “V Negative”
    Negative Effect

    Cabo Wabo
    Headed up to the entrance of Miracle Mile and entered the home of the Red Rocker…Sammy Haggar’s Cabo Wabo. We had a Groupon for $30 and went with the appetizer plate and a couple of brews. Oh crap. I forgot the damn Groupon in the room. Our waitress, Maria asked “Do you have Smartphone? You show us Groupon in Groupon App and we scan that”. Do I have a Smartphone? Ha Ha! Another score!

    The food was only fair and overpriced. It would have been a rip off if not for the Groupon. After eating, we went out on the Patio. It’s a great location that overlooks the strip. I set up my tripod and put the Galaxy S5 Camera into a new mode: Animation. Animation mode creates a looping Gif. It’s a great effect. This shot was crowds of people crossing Las Vegas Blvd…and then walking backwards and crossing again. Only problem is these GIFs are huge…30+ MB..

    After Cabo, we took a quick tour of the Casino. My phone was still in animation mode so I took another Animation shot …one that’s even better than people continuously walking across Las Vegas Blvd. Thanks to the poster TsuDoNihm over at LVADVICE.com who was able to crop my GIF into its very essence. I am now able to Crop my own GIFs. Without further ado…I give you my GIF Masterpiece…”Swinging Butt”

    [​IMG]
    Swinging Butt.
    Animation Mode

    Here have few more…they’re free:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Package Deal
    Somehow it got to be 1:00 AM. We made our way to the elevators. There was a talkative lady waiting for an elevator too. We all got on the same one. She pressed 8. The Newbie pressed 20. Funny that when we got to the 8th floor the lady didn’t get off. She rode with us to 20 and got out with us. Then she asked if she could check out our view and use our bathroom. I thought that was odd. She was a space invader too….one of those people who stand 2 inches from you. Next thing I know, she reached out and rubbed my package. That’s right. She rubbed my package…right there in the hallway at Planet Hollywood.

    I immediately took a step back, Held out my hand in the Universal Stop Sign and said ‘Whoa’. I was thinking “What a rude thoughtless little pig”, but that might have been the Alec Baldwin room talking. She took a step back and said “I thought you liked me”. For the rest of the trip, The Newbie mocked me with that line in a high pitched voice. I responded the only way I could in that situation: “I’ll give you three dollars if you let me take your picture”.

    She quickly agreed. Newbie was frantically trying to open the door…I’m sure he was going to lock me out. I handed over three dollars and she promptly pulled down her shorts, mooned me with her substantial booty and started to walk away. I was trying to get my camera started up and was yelling “Wait you said I could take your picture!”. I managed to snap one as she turned and said “That will cost you $20”

    Damn. My first night in Vegas and I’ve already been ripped off by a Hooker.

    End of Part 1.

    NOTE: I walked 12,543 steps today. (According to my Samsung S-Health Pedometer)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  2. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    87
    12/18/14 Thursday
    We do a lot of planning for these trips. Every key activity is entered an Excel Spreadsheet. There are columns for matchplay or slot play value, other coupons and also a Color coded Drunk Status column. We never make it to all of our planned destinations...but that’s ok. We constantly adjust the plan as we decide parts are overly optimistic, unrealistic or impossible.

    It was important to hit the road early….We should be at our first stop, Hooters right at 8:00 AM. We were already behind after missing Hard Rock on Wednesday. Unfortunately, we were not early. One day I’ll realize that ‘early’ on the first Vegas morning is not possible. I tried to get the Noob to move faster, but he’d only say in a high pitch voice “I thought you liked me”. Made it to Palms at 10:00 AM (Missed Hooters, Tropicana and Orleans).

    Remember when Palms was new and they were doing the Real World and Celebrities and Athletes would hang out there? Hard to believe that was only 15 years ago. The demographic has changed from the beautiful people to coupon clipping tight wad grey beards….the cheap ugly people. Like us. We both Enjoyed the Palms Bistro Buffet Breakfast…and it’s a real bargain. With LVA ½ off coupon it ended up being about $6.00 each. Good coffee. Custom Omelets. Fruit. Juices. Pastries, and unlimited bacon, and unlimited bacon.

    We took advantage of a couple of Matchplay Opportunities and worked our way back to the Sportsbook. Like the Silverton (and in fact all Cantor Books) there was a separate Mobile App sign up window. At Palms, the deal was deposit $25, get $25 immediately. You must bet $50 (can be any combination of bets totaling $50). The signups went smoothly, but Newbie was still technically challenged with his iPhone. He finally borrowed a tablet and we were gone in 60 seconds..

    [​IMG]
    “Palms of Hearts”
    Symmetry Effect

    We had a quick stop on Fremont Street. The Golden Gate has a deal where you show your Allegiant Boarding Pass and get a $50 MatchPlay. Luckily I had actually printed those bulky boarding passes so we lugged them Downtown. The deal is only available once per person so you can’t do it every trip and you must collect your Matchplay within 24 hours of landing. They gave us two $25 Matchplay Chips/I stashed them in the Gambling Wallet for later use.

    [​IMG]
    “Golden Gate Gate”
    Symmetry Effect

    Motored the black ragtop back down I15 to Silverton to cash out our Cantor deposit bonus. Both of our $25 bets were losers. I was a little concerned when I noticed that Supervisor Linda was staffing the Mobile App window. She’s the one who told the guy in front of us that you had to bet $50 not $25.

    Since we didn’t bet $50 Linda would not let us cash out our deposit bonus and was unyielding. I tried every trick in the book from sweet talking to sympathy to semi-irate. I was upset…not over the money… I wouldn’t have minded betting $50 (which we would have lost). I was upset because it was going to require an unplanned third visit to Silverton to collect our deposit bonus….Also, Stevie steered us wrong….and Linda was kind of implying that we were lying ignorant assholes. That’s hard to argue with. We both just bet another $25 each and moved on.

    [​IMG]
    “Silver Crap in Shades of Grey”
    Moody Effect

    Important note: The Cantor deposit required varied between casinos…it was either $25 or $50. In all cases we were required to bet $50 to be able to cash out the deposit bonus. It’s a fantastic deal. I will have a separate Cantor Banter Tips and Tricks section at the end to summarize this advantage play.

    Our final stop before returning to our home Planet was The Tropicana. Here, we had the Cantor Signup and a $10 Matchplay from Vegas Rovers. They gave each of us 2 Free Drink coupons for betting $50 and because their printer was slow and because we asked…twice.

    The drink tickets could only be used at The Lounge Bar. I ordered up a Bombay Sapphire Martini. The bartender claimed he could only give us what came out of the gun which was Gordons or Seagrams or some other toxic chemical with a slight hint of nozzle crud. I convinced him we were worthy of at least Tanqueray. It was served in plastic cups because they had no running water for three weeks. Classy. We each enjoyed an OK Martini before that short drive back P Ho. The Newbie took two extra Martinis to go. I made him chug them in the parking lot. I’ve got two words for the Trop… Folies Bergere.

    After a brief pit stop in the room, we set out walking down LV Blvd to The LINQ Hotel and Casino.

    [​IMG]
    “Green Paris”
    Nightvision Effect

    We had tickets to the Jeff Civicillico show at LINQ. Jeff is one heck of a juggler.

    [​IMG]
    “Jeff Mounting”

    In fact, he’s the best juggler I’ve ever seen. His show is funny. He’s very talented and entertaining. I can’t fully endorse it because of the rugrat infestation.. …but I must still recommend. We got our pair of tickets for $15.00 at a Vegas 4 Locals E-Bay auction.

    We strolled through the LINQ Hotel and Casino to the LINQ Mall and used our Vegas Rovers cards to get a discount admission and free drink at the High Roller. It was about 5:00 PM and a perfect time for the ride. After you’re admitted past the ticket counter you walk up some stairs to the bar. We each received one free drink apiece courtesy Vegas Rovers. I had some froo froo sweet drink. Newbie had a beer. We continued on (drink in hand) to the platform where we were loaded onto our designated Pod. We then became Pod People…..Or Poddies.

    The ride takes half an hour. I really enjoyed the High Roller. It was relaxing with an interesting view/perspective of the town. The 360 degreed windowed pod cabin provided a lot of opportunities for photography. Our pod only had 10 people in it. I could live in one of those pods if it had plumbing.

    [​IMG]
    Pod

    [​IMG]
    “Electric Pod”
    Florescent Effect

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    “Illustrated Harrahs”
    Oil Pastel Effect

    [​IMG]
    “4 way wheel”
    Reflections Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Full Spectrum Venetian”
    Infrared Effect

    Notes on Vegas Rovers Card: Every Rovers Matchplay or discount we used was a little hassle. I expected they would just swipe my card with some kind of…you know…card swiping machine, but instead your information is manually recorded in a log book. Often the ticket clerk or player’s club clerk had never seen the Rovers card and had no clue what to do with it. The savings and especially the $25 D & Golden Gate Matchplays were excellent plays…. since we only spent $10.00 for the card. The delays at every club or ticket counters burnt a lot of Vegas time though. Oh…and I know it’s Rover not Rover(s), but I call them Rovers because it has a better ring to it.

    Dinner was the outstanding Happy Hour at Brooklyn Bowl at the LINQ Mall.
    [​IMG]
    “Brooklyn Bowl”

    Brooklyn bowl is a combination Restaurant/Bar/Bowling Alley and Concert Venue. From 5:00 – 7:00 M-F drinks and appetizers are ½ off of already reasonable prices.

    Since there was an NFL game in progress, we got an even better deal….their excellent Fried Chicken Wings at $1.00 and $2.00 Sliders…and ½ price beers. Many beers.

    [​IMG]
    “Carnival Knockdown Punks”

    There was a private party in the Bar/Lounge where the Happy Hour is usually located so we were seated in the Restaurant. I can’t say enough about the Wings. Fried Chicken is this Joint’s specialty…and their Fried Wings were spectacular….I bet the Breasts were too. We ate them so fast; I forgot to take pictures of them. Many beers too.

    After a fine happy meal of Fried Chicken Wings and Sliders, we continued walking North on the strip to the Venetian. We were making our way to the Sportsbook for the Cantor Sign Up. I heard a little commotion and happened upon a big Wheel of Fortune jackpot. Security was just roping off the area and the lucky winner was standing there dazed talking to a casino rep. I told him “Congratulations Uncle Bob”.

    [​IMG]
    “Big Wheel”

    [​IMG]
    “Of Fortune”

    I took several Pictures and sent them to effin’ Robin with no explanation. He would send me text messages for the next day trying to determine if I hit that jackpot. I ignored them.

    When we got to the Venetian Sportsbook, Newbie refused to sign up for the Deposit Bonus. He was mad at his iPhone and just wanted to sit in the nice chairs. I went ahead and made my Deposit. Since I was no longer tethered to the betting window, I decided to bet later using the App…whenever and where ever I felt lucky.

    I can see why Cantor wants to get people signed up for the app. The Gambler can bet at his leisure…like while drunk at the pool or drunk and on tilt or drunk and in jail (Well maybe not there). Cantor can book a lot of new action from betters who can’t visit or won’t hang out at the Sportsbook. Cantor doesn’t have to pay anyone to actually take the bets, although they have other expenses like sign-up and cash-outs.

    Bridal: 50 Points

    [​IMG]
    “Happy Bride with Baldie”
    AlanLeroy 250 Effin Robin 0

    [​IMG]
    Moody Giant Plastic Christmas Tree
    Moody Effect

    We crossed LV Blvd to the Mirage. Although this is Newbie’s third visit to the Mirage, he still hasn’t seen the Volcano go off. It didn’t happen for him tonight either. Tonight’s show was “The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil”. We had good seats via the Winter of Cirque deal for the 9:30 performance. It’s my favorite Cirque Show. Those Beatles tunes set off some memory endorphin secretion or earworm activation or something. “All you need is love, love. Love is all you need”. Yes, we need air and food and booze too, but Love is right up there..

    When the show ended we hiked back to Hollywood on the Strip. Man I was tired and it was only 12:30 AM.. My feet were sore. It's been a hard day's night. That buzz you’re hearing is
    Effin Robin’s Text Message…asking me again if I won the big Jackpot. I ignored it and dozed off to sleep.

    Walked 22,543 Steps Today (Our longest walk)

    12/19/14 Friday
    We checked out of Planet Hollywood. It was a good stay and a great value considering it was only the resort fee. Thanks again Linda2244. A beautiful crisp December morning. I powered the Black Mustang Convertible over to the Orleans where we enjoyed the French Market Breakfast Buffet. Ooh la la. We were able to use a 5 year old Vegas Perks 2 4 1 coupon…..so it was another fabulous deal at $4.50 each. We had Custom Omelets, Fruit, Coffee, Juice and a wide variety of other breakfast choices including unlimited bacon. We also played all of the ACG and MRB Matchplays and Free Slot Plays.

    [​IMG]
    “Orleans Orleans”
    Symmetry Effect

    It was such a beautiful December Morning we put the top down for our short drive to Silverton. Ok. That was stupid. You know, it’s a lot colder in a convertible when you’re moving down the highway compared to sitting in the parking lot. I guess we thought we’d be cool…and we were right.

    We both won our $25 dollar bets and were finally able to cash out. It ended up better that we bet it wrong to start because we certainly would have lost the whole $50 on day 1.

    [​IMG]
    “Silverton Fishy Face”
    Animation Mode…GIF. This was another massive GIF file, that I was able to crop. I used Easy Gif Animator. I’m going to name the fish.

    Next stop: the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to place our Fourth Cantor Bets. $50 Deposit here. The Hard Rock was home to the Colorado State Rams who were playing Saturday in the 2014 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. The Rams were playing a formidable opponent in the Utah Utes of the Pacific 10 Conference. We met many fans from Both Colorado State and Utah over the course of our trip.

    [​IMG]
    “Electric Newbie Guitar”
    Infrared Effect

    [​IMG]
    “The Illustrated Prince”
    Oil Pastel Effect

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    “Cash Bubbles”
    Blue Effect

    The final stop for the Black Mustang Convertible: Downtown… The D….where we would spend the weekend. Check in at The D was smooth. I requested a complementary room upgrade. We got a nice Fremont Street View. The room was clean and comfortable. I flipped on the TV and caught a repeating infomercial Starring Derek Stevens…Owner of The D. Derek welcomed us to the D and told us how awesome The D was…a few minutes later he called us with an important recorded welcoming message. How thoughtful.

    We intended to hit four happy hours for dinner…splitting one or two appetizers at each. On our way to the Fremont Street exit, who should I see but Derek Stevens…Himself. He was wearing a bright orange blazer, smoking a cigarette down to the nub and directing a photo crew that was with him. I was sporting my Santa Stuck in Chimney Lucky Hat.

    [​IMG]
    Luckiest of Lucky Hats (Stock Footage)

    Derek pointed at my head as if to say “Cool Hat Bro”. I pointed right back at him…as if to say “I wish I had a bright orange blazer”.



    Happy Hour number 1 was Four Queens Chicago Brewery for their outstanding ½ Price on Appetizers + Discount Beer Happy Hour (M-F 3-5).

    http://www.fourqueens.com/pdf/chicago_brew_menu.pdf

    We had had the excellent Filet Mignon Sliders and an order of Michigan Avenue Garlic Knots. The sliders were bigger than expected, topped with mushrooms and grilled onions and had a side of au jus for dipping (4.95 for 3 at half off). Garlic Knots were the equivalent of a loaf of garlic bread with about 8 large separate garlic knots. The knots were glazed with parmesan garlic butter sauce and there was a side of marinara for dipping. I loved the Garlic Knots. Newbie thought they were buttery grease bombs….as if that’s some kind of negative.

    To top it off we shared a pitcher of their Black Widow Stout. That was a lot of food and beverage. The 64 ounces of stout was like a meal by itself. So much for the night of 4 Happy Hours. We spent some time on Fremont at the Big Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Pep Rally. Colorado had the edge in crowd support.

    We walked to the back of the Golden Nugget to catch a Cab to the Venetian.

    Hidden areas of Casinos: 200 Points.

    [​IMG]
    “Employees Holiday Party”. It’s just a suggestion

    [​IMG]
    “Party Raffle!” I should have written AlanLeroy as the 6:00 PM winner.
    Alan Leroy 450 Effin Robin 0

    After an uneventful cab ride, we entered the Venetian…again. Since Newbie didn’t throw down his Cantor Bet at Venetian yesterday, he signed up and did that now. I placed my bet while waiting for the Newbie to sign up. We had acquired some inside information at the Pep Rally that Colorado State was a lock to cover.

    We had tickets (Vegas 4 Locals E-Bay Auction) for an Exhibition at Venetian: The Da Vinchi Experience. The Da Vinchi Experience chronicles the inventions and art of Leonardo Da Vinchi 1452 –1519. Da Vinchi was a prolific inventor, mathematician, musician, writer, philosopher, scientist, sculptor, map maker and more. A regular Renaissance Man. He is considered one of the greatest painters ever and a diversely talented genius who was clearly ahead of his time. He may have been a time traveler stuck in the 16 century.

    The Experience was divided into three sections. Section one chronicled Leonardo’s art and along with it, his life. It included many full sized reproductions of his paintings including The Last Supper Mural. Section two was a collection of about 50 ‘working’ prototypes of Da Vinci inventions. Section three was short video and tutorial on the mathematics of The Golden Triangle, something used throughout Leonardo’s work.

    Exposed Boob 200 Points
    [​IMG]
    “Madonna Litta” C 1490. Housed at The Hermitage St. Petersburg Russia.
    AlanLeroy 650 Effin Robin 0

    [​IMG]
    “John the Baptist” c 1516. Probably Leonardo’s last work. Housed at the Louvre, Paris France

    [​IMG]
    “J. The B. Aura”
    Thermal Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Essential J”
    Infrared Effect

    [​IMG]
    The invention prototypes. Everything from double hulled ships to pulley systems and screw jacks….Machines of Flight, Submarines, War Machines.

    The prototypes were most interesting from a “How did he invent that” standpoint, the actual workings of them were more geared toward children…so we did not play with every device…not every. We spent about an hour in the Exhibit.

    [​IMG]
    “Sistine”. Of course Michelangelo was a contemporary of Da Vinci

    [​IMG]
    “Electric Sistine”
    Florescent Effect


    [​IMG]
    “Electric Sistine Floor”
    Florescent Effect

    It was a beautiful night for mid December. We walked south on the strip and then Crossed over to Caesars Palace. All Hail. They had an Ice Rink in front. I had a TITO from my November Trip to cash out

    Exposed Boob 200 Points

    [​IMG]
    Negative Couple with Christmas Balls.
    Negative Effect
    AlanLeroy 850 Effin’ Robin 0

    [​IMG]
    Vibrant Couple with Charistmas BALLS.
    Infrared Effect


    We continued Sourth on Las Vegas Blvd to the Bellagio. There’s just nothing like the Conservatory of the Bellagio at Christmas. Except of course the Conservatory of the Bellagio last Christmas.

    [​IMG]
    “CT”

    [​IMG]
    “Christmas Tree Hue “
    Infrared Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Happy Bear”

    [​IMG]
    “White Tree”

    [​IMG]
    Illustrated WhiteTree
    Pastel/Oil Effect

    [​IMG]
    “White Tree Close”

    [​IMG]
    “Plant Power Poinsettias”
    Illustrated Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Conservatory 360”
    360 Mode

    [​IMG]
    “Global Snow”
    Infrared Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Paris in the dark in black and white at night”.
    Gotham Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Fountain”

    We had planned to walk to Ellis Island and Tuscany but those places seemed as far away as New York and Italy. Cabbed it back to The D.


    We spend about an hour at the Vue Bar drinking Bombay Sapphire Martinis and milking quarter Video Poker..
    [​IMG]
    “Vue Bar Flairing”

    Downstairs for a couple of American Coney Island Chili Dog (24 hours). Bombay Sapphire Martinis …Coney Chili Cheese Dogs….Mmmmm. Breakfast of Champions.

    [​IMG]
    American Coney Island at the D

    Overall a good couple of days. We were a little ahead in the gambling wallet, some good food and shows and booze….and I hadn’t been ripped off by a hooker in days. That was about to change.

    I walked 18934 steps today.
    End of Part 2
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  3. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    87
    12/20/14 Saturday
    Saturday morning in Vegas. I was up at the crack of dawn. I like to get out there on Fremont when it’s just me and the cleaning crew.

    [​IMG]
    “Cleaning up in Vegas”
    Animation .GIF, Cropped.

    First thing every morning I go looking for coffee with at least 2 shots of espresso…sometimes more. I walked over to the Dunkin Donuts at the Fremont and got a couple of cups of coffee with two shots of Turbo Espresso. I had them add an extra turbo shot for the Newbie… because I felt he needed some more pep.

    [​IMG]
    “Fremont Fremont”
    Symmetry Effect

    Our original plan was to stay put….just enjoy a leisurely day downtown. No driving…plenty of drinking. Instead we decided to catch up on some of the gambling plays we had missed. We set out around 10:00 AM for a three hour tour.

    First Stop was Ellis Island for breakfast. There was a 15 minute wait at the coffee shop, so we joined the huddled masses at the bar for one of their seasonal Egg Nog Brandies (LVA free drinks). I had 1 Egg Nog Brandy. Newbie had 3. He was a little hyper this morning. Breakfast was good but the service was slow. We used the LVA 2 4 1 entre, so it was a real value. We also hit the various gambling plays available like the MRB & ACG Free slot plays and the ACG Matchplay.

    We drove next door to the Tuscany where we had so many plays it was hard for the player’s club to grasp. Newbie got a new player sign-up slot play bonus of $10 and a sign-up coupon book with a $10 Matchplay. There were also slotplays or Matchplays or both for ACG , MRB and Vegas Rover. I think we made about $80 on our bets here.

    For some reason, they didn’t like me in the pit area….I think it was my Lucky Hat. I ordered a Bombay Sapphire Martini from the cocktail waitress. It never came. It turned out that The Pit Boss ordered her not to give it to me because I was not worthy. Well…Just for that, I’ll not grace their halls to take advantage of their free gambling offers again…wait a minute….No, no, no… Just for that I will make it a point to grace their halls again next year….and every year…and I will get my Bombay Sapphire Martini too…and I will make them like me.

    After a stop at the Palms to cash in a winning sports bet, we returned to The D. We then proceeded to take advantage of every Matchplay and Free Slot Play opportunity available downtown. We had $150 in Matchplay at Golden Gate ($50 Rovers & $100 Allegiant). We both bet $50 + our $50 Matchplays on one roll of roulette (Red, Red, Red). It came up Black. Ouch. Our biggest bet of the trip…a loser. We also both lost subsequent $25 Matchplay bets at Golden Gate, but won at The D. Our gambling tour took us to Plaza, Las Vegas Club, D, Golden Gate, Four Queens, Downtown Grand and Binions. We enjoyed a couple of excellent Dark Beers at the Plaza Bier Garten. It’s a nice little space, but was totally empty….except for us.

    [​IMG]
    “Binions Millions”
    Florescent Effect

    Throughout the trip I was able to check on our various Sports Bets….especially our big bets on the Colorado State Rams by simply saying to my phone: “Ok Google” “Las Vegas Bowl Score”…and the nice Google Lady would tell me the score. It was ugly. There was no joy in Fort Collins. The Green and Gold had lost. In retrospect we should have known better and stuck with our cool team name betting strategy. It was the Utah UTES….that’s for the Tribe of Indians comprised of the UTE people who populated the Great Basin. I’m sure the Utes would have enjoyed a Colorado Ram for dinner. What were we thinking?

    Speaking of dinner, it was at Hennessey’s Tavern …In the World’s largest Pint.
    [​IMG]
    “World’s Largest Pint”

    We had a Hennessey’s $50 gift certificate we won at a Vegas 4 Locals E-Bay auction for $26. We both ordered the Burger Sampler which included four mini-burgers. We had cheeseburger, mushroom burger, avocado burger and barbecue sauce with bacon burger. The sampler included French Fries and a Pickle. We also enjoyed many Guinness Stouts. I’d definitely go back…it was another excellent deal….especially at ½ price. I have probably walked by this place more than 100 times and had never set foot inside. I’m glad we did.

    Our next stop was Fremont East and the Vanguard Lounge. We had a $40 Groupon we paid $16 for. The cocktail lounge was completely empty, but a party of 10 women walked in just in front of us. This bar is known for their ‘Mixology’, so we challenged Landon The Bartender to pour us each a $20 drink. He asked what drinks we like. Newbie mentioned tequila….I professed my love of Gin. Newbie got a single shot of a higher end reposado tequila. Landy poured me a Bijou cocktail. It was my first. Made with Plymouth Gin (Navy Strength), Green Chartreuse, Vermouth and Bitters.

    He educated us on the history of Green Chartreuse. It’s a secret blend of over 125 herbs. There are only two Carthusian Monks who are entrusted with the 400 year old formula. Landon poured us a small shot of Chartreuse to share. Newbie thought it tasted like burning tires…I got more of a combo disinfectant/pesticide like chemical with a strong herbal nose. I told Landon that I wasn’t sure I liked the Bijou. He told me the Navy Strength Gin was 100 Proof and the Chartreuse clocked in at 110 and it would get me drunker quicker. I acquired a taste for it.

    We walked on down to El Cortez for our last free play of the day….then casually strolled back down Fremont taking in all of the sights and sounds of a December Saturday Night in Downtown Las Vegas. We ran into drunk, despondent Colorado fans and drunk, elated Utah fans.

    Finally made it back to The D about midnight. A Bombay sapphire martini at Vue Bar and a few rounds of Keno and it was time for bed. Tip:—The Keno Lounge at D (And Fitzgerald’s before it) will give you drink coupons you can take right to the Vue bar….if you just can’t wait for the cocktail waitress. I purchased 20 games of 1 dollar 6 spot keno, so I could have a nice big winner to greet my morning. Headed up to the room and called it a night.

    [​IMG]
    “Dreamy Butts of Las Vegas Club”

    12/21/14 Sunday

    Up early again. More Coffee and Espresso. My twenty games of Keno were all losers. Overall it was an OK stay at The D. The room was clean. I have always loved the Vue Bar and the Keno Lounge. The Long Bar is cool and so are the Dancer Dealers. There were two problems though.

    1. On Saturday night there were elevator problems. Serious problems. Must have been 50 people waiting. They had security trying to direct traffic and talk of ½ hour waits. That didn’t bother me since we weren’t trying to use the elevator then.
    2. Newbie complained of a cold shower Saturday Morning. That didn’t bother me either since I had already showered.

    Checked out of the D. (Our room was $13.00. The Resort Fee was $25), picked up the Mustang Convertible and headed right down Las Vegas Boulevard to The Cosmopolitan…Our final destination resort.

    I have no idea why…but the Cosmopolitan was kind enough to offer me two free Mid-Week nights. We were taking advantage of one. Made it to Check-In at 11:00 AM where I requested a complementary upgrade to the Penthouse Suite. The nice clerk found us a Terrace Suite she could upgrade us to. But wait a minute---it was a one King Bed room. I didn’t like the newbie THAT much. She claimed there was nothing else she could do. I’ve learned that when the Check In agent tells me ‘No’ they often don’t mean ‘Absolutely No’, I just pretended she really said ‘Tell me more, AlanLeroy’. So I did. Eventually she called over to Marketing and got the ok to upgrade us to a 2 queen terrace suite. Score!

    The room was excellent. It was spacious and modern. Of course the best feature was the terrace and wonderful view. I could have spent the day lounging on the balcony…but I’m no Vegas lounger.

    Cosmopolitan Terrace View

    [​IMG]
    “Illustrated Harmon”.
    Illustration Setting--Zoomed
    They are removing the Harmon piece by piece. I imagine next December it will be gone. I also have a .GIF I shot from Planet Hollywood that perpetually raises and lowers Harmon debris.

    [​IMG]
    “Deconstructing Harmon”

    [​IMG]
    “Veer Towers”. The 37 Story all residential towers at City Center.

    [​IMG]
    “City Center Illustrated”.
    Illustration Setting

    [​IMG]
    “City Center Panorama”
    Panorama Mode

    [​IMG]
    ‘Illustrated Balcony’
    Illustration Setting

    [​IMG]
    “City Center Illustrated—South”
    Illustration Setting

    I donned my original lucky hat (The “OH”) and my very lucky craps shirt and was now ready for my final lucky day in Vegas.

    Lunch was at Cosmopolitan’s Estiatorio Milos for the 22.14 lunch special. It was our best meal of the trip and one of the best values in town for a fine 3 course lunch. Although we had reservations requesting a window view and we were first in line, they tried to seat us with the proletariat in the middle of the restaurant. I suggested that a window table would be more in keeping with the quality of my hat…….and the request was promptly granted.

    [​IMG]
    “Newbie Milos”

    [​IMG]
    Tomato Salad---feta cheese, seasoned with Greek herbs & extra virgin olive oil

    [​IMG]
    Greek Meze Plate---Tarama, Tzatziki, Htipiti, manouri cheese, olives & cherry tomatoes (missing)

    [​IMG]
    Colorado Prime Lamb Chop with French fries and broccoli
    ($10 supplementary)

    [​IMG]
    Lavraki--grilled Mediterranean bass

    [​IMG]
    The Real Greek Yogurt & Espresso

    Everything about the lunch and the service and the room was just perfect. I’m not sure what else I can say about it…except the Sea Bass is flown in fresh daily and if you can get one of those window seats, it adds to the whole experience. After lunch we hit the Cantor Sportsbook at Cosmo for our final sports bets.

    Then we struck out walking south headed toward Mandalay Bay. We had an appointment with a 4:00 PM Happy Hour.

    The next two shots are the best examples of real simulated lomogaphy in the report. Although they aren’t as striking as many of the special effects I’ve used, they kind of have their very own warmth and feeling. That….kind of warm blurry Las Vegas feeling that comes with the combination of lack of sleep and large quantities of espresso and alcohol.

    [​IMG]
    “Lomo Flowers”
    LomoWarm Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Crystals Lomo”
    Vintage Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Electric Cyrstals”
    Infrared Effect

    [​IMG]
    “Aria Water and Penguin”
    Pastel Oil Effect

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    “Veer for Roger Rabbit”
    Cartoon Effect

    We made our way up to the second floor of New York, New York and walked across the bridge over Tropicana to Excalibur. Then boarded the Tram to Mandalay Bay. At Mandalay Bay we purchased and played the 30 for 20 Win Card chips and then at 4:00 PM, visited Red Square for their Happy Hour. We each had a Happy Hour Beer and then decided to splurge on some fine Russian Vodka.

    [​IMG]
    “Jewel of Russia”
    It priced out at about $25 a shot, and it was the smoothest Vodka I’ve ever tasted.

    We then retraced our steps back to Excalibur and over the bridge to New York New York where we took advantage of another $30 for $20 Win Card deal. The Newbie and I parked ourselves with our Win Chips at a Roulette table. I bet $15 on Red and $15 on a 1/3 of the table. Hey! My 1/3 bet won. I left the win card chips on the 1/3 bet. The dealer put the wheel in motion and set the ball moving. I had a feeling. I said to newbie…”It’s going to be 29 Black”. I moved a $5.00 chip from the third bet to 29 Black. The dealer noticed the move…picked up my bet and put it back on my 1/3 bet and said $10.00 minimum. Then waved her hand and said “no more bets”. Of course you all know how this one ends up. 29 Black it is! And I lost the 1/3 bet. Let that be a lesson. Next time you get that “I know the number” feeling, move your whole stack to it.

    Had a brief stop at the new Hershey Store there at NY NY.
    [​IMG]
    “Macro Candy”
    Macro Lens. This was the only test of my new Macro Lens. I put the phone on top of a plastic box of candy that had tiny colored sprinkles on it.

    We then returned to the COSMO to freshen up before our last night on the town. While I’m wearing the luckiest of hats, I am constantly stopped and smiled at and pointed at and high fived at. I hear the words “Great Hat” or “Love that Hat” all the time. Today was no exception. In fact a lady stopped me at Cosmo and said “My 10 year old daughter pointed out that hat to me. It’s so awesome!”. Yes. It is awesome.

    [​IMG]
    “City Night”

    TECHNICAL PROBLEMS: There is a gap in my picture reporting. I lost about 80 of them and also 5 videos and 3 .GIFs beginning right here in the report. These will be known as The Lost Lomo Trove. I’m sure it happened when I disconnected the USB when downloading to my PC. It was an emergency situation. I had to pull it before it finished. You know how that goes. I feel lucky I didn’t lose them all. Please let this be a lesson to all. Never disconnect your USB device while downloading. If you can transfer your pictures via Wi-Fi, all the better. Also back up to the cloud any pictures you don’t feel you can lose. There were only about 4 pictures that survived…I have no idea why they did and the others were lost.

    We returned to the room for a pit stop before heading out to the Rio. On the way to the Valet, I noticed that woman and her 10 year old daughter. Her daughter’s eyes lit up when she saw my towering hat. She was pointing at my hat and saying “Mommy, Mommy…The Hat!, The Hat!”. I walked right up to her and pulled out one of my cheap imitation Santa Stuck in Chimney lucky hats from the lucky hat bag I was now carrying. “For Me?” she queried. “Yes. For you…from your humble Lucky Hat Merchant”. She put the hat on and we took several pictures of each other and us both. Mine are all missing, but just imagine a 10 year old girl who was just gifted a no-maintenance Pony equivalent.

    Our stop tonight was The All Suites Rio Hotel and Casino. I said “Ok Google” “Navigate to the Rio Hotel”. The nice Google lady directed us the way I had hoped..the back route down Harmon and up Rio Drive instead of down the strip to Flamingo. We had tickets to Penn & Teller and also free ride certificates for the Voodoo Zip Line. The VooDoo ZipLine runs between the Rio’s 51-story Masquerade Tower and the 20-story Ipanema Tower.

    Last year The newbie, effn’ Robin and I were crowd funding investors in the VooDoo Zip line. We did it for our December 2013 trip. I was a little concerned at the time when it looked like they wouldn’t make the anticipated November 2013 deadline so I e-mailed Joe Shortel…. the general manager of the project. Joe assured me they would complete the project and we’d be riding it in December 2013. Well it didn’t happen. Joe was kind enough to refund everyone’s money and let us all keep the certificates. I e-mailed him words of encouragement periodically as he was having issues with safety permits….and it was all picky little stuff….like they had no documented plan to rescue Zip Line Riders if they got stuck between buildings. They cleaned up the paperwork and opened on May 25, 2014.

    We picked up the Penn and Teller tickets from the box office (50% off from Gold Star) and then strolled to the VooDoo Zip line ticketing office where we converted our certificates to tickets and took the outside glass elevator to the 56th floor (Video Missing)…… through the VooDoo Lounge and outside to the gigantic VooDoo Lounge Terrace. I’ve always liked this space and took many pictures (missing). There was a series of steps that led down to the ZipLine launch area.

    Two little kids were preparing for launch so we were able to watch the whole process. First, you empty EVERYTHING from your pockets into a locker. That’s hard for me because I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets and I always have a lot of pockets. I was carrying: The Lucky Hat Bag, 2 ACG’s 2 MRBs, Groupons, my personal wallet, the gambling wallet, players cards, room key, valet ticket, pens, smart phone, voice recorder, Personal Lucky Hat, tickets to Penn and Teller and the ZipLine, handkerchief, moist towelettes, alcohol wipes, spare smart phone battery, smartphone lenses, smartphone tripod (2), X Shot, cough drops, mints, keys, a pound of change, receipts, emergency supplies and equipment and miscellaneous novelty items.. We had to remove our shoes our belts and jackets. Then they weigh you. We were barely under the combined weight limit.

    When it’s your turn, you sit on the seat that’s resembles a ski lift chair. It holds two people. They secure you with a bar and chain. There’s a gate in front of you that prevents your 500 foot fall should you somehow slip out of the chair before launch. The people in front of us screamed like little kids they were so scared of the ride. Then, they looked sick when they got off. Little cowards.

    Newbie and I sat in our chair. The ride attendant fastened us in. I don’t see what prevents me from slipping right out of the chair if I was not careful—since I like to hold my arms up in the air to build on that feeling of catapulting to certain death….

    [​IMG]
    Here’s the Zip Line View. This is the only surviving picture from up there. I texted it to Robin just before the ride. In the bottom left quadrant you can see the ZipLine Chair. Across the middle the ZipLine itself. In the distacnce…the Ipanema tower.

    Newbie seemed a little nervous as we sat there awaiting launch. Then, the gate was down and awaaaaaay weeeee gooooooooooooo. 35 Miles an hour….…500 feet up…..Wheeeeeee! At some point Newbie grabbed my hand that I had suspended above my head. We slowed to a crawl as we approached the end of the line near the smaller tower….then stopped and backed up to the VooDoo ZipLine launch platform. What A Thrill!!!! I could do that all night. But they only let you do it once without paying again.

    We tried to have dinner at All American Grill. Horrible service. We told the waiter we were short on time. He said no problem and quickly brought us beer, but never returned to take our food order. Finally, I went walking around and found him. He apologized and gave us the beers on the house. Dinner tonight was Crispy Kreme donut holes from the Rio Gift Shop. Our sorriest meal of the trip.

    Penn and Teller always put on a great show, but 5 days of Vegas was slowing me down a little and I nodded off once or twice. I could have used a quadruple espresso. The show ended about 11:00 PM

    When we got back to the Cosmopolitan it was about midnight. Time to split the gambling wallet…After all that work…$220 Profit. It’s the worst we’ve ever done…but still….we’ve never lost. Let me repeat that. The Gambling Commies have never lost. What’s truly remarkable is we actually lost 2/3 of our Sportsbets but still won because of the deposit bonus. We lost well over half of our Matchplays, but still won on Matchplays…because of the miracle of Matchplay math.

    Newbie was ready for his beauty rest, but I caught a second wind and was ready to explore the Cosmopolitan…..Especially their ability to supply me with free Bombay Sapphire Martinis.

    [​IMG]
    “Cosmo Crystal”
    Cartoon Effect

    Had a seat at the end of the floor level chandelier bar, popped a twenty into the video poker machine and ordered up a Bombay Sapphire Martini from Sergio the Bartender. In fact I ordered up a double. After two in about 10 minutes I was feeling no pain. Started my third and I was approached by a man who resembled Charles Nelson Reilly.

    Welcome to AlanLeroy’s Lucky Hat Emporium.

    “Sell me your hat” demanded Charles.
    “Oh this is a fine original Lucky Hat my friend…it’s not for sale” I replied.
    “I’ll give you $15 for it” Charles retorted.
    “Pfffft” “$15 for a lucky hat? I’ve been offered $3000 for this hat” I claimed as I returned to sipping my martini.
    “$20” he quickly responded.“
    “Now, I can’t sell you this lucky hat, but I may have something else you may be interested in” as I pulled my Lucky Hat Bag off the chair next to me
    “No, No” he said dejectedly “I want to buy that hat for that woman over there…She fell in love with it”..Pointing to a Woman at one of the nearby tables.
    “Unless you’ve got another one of those hats hiding in your bag, I’m not interested”. Little did he know.

    First, I showed Charles one of the Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hats. Even though I demonstrated the 15 Multi Colored LEDs were in fine working order, and noted batteries were included, there was no interest. Next I pulled out the Cheap Imitation Santa Stuck in Chimney Hat…Just like the one I was wearing…..except it was a cheap imitation. It was exactly what he needed.

    “Wow. You do have another one….$30…and that’s my Final Offer “ Charles offered.

    I could have gone into the details of how it was made of fine Chinese woven petro chemicals, but I knew at this point in the sale, the next person to talk would lose. I just sat there shaking my head.

    $40.00 and not a penny more!”

    “Sold…High 5!” I yelled….and gave him a high 5 to congratulate him for 2,531% Markup I had just extracted from him. Hey…The Lucky Hat business can be a brutal.

    He held the hat up so his girl could see it. She was waving me over to the table and inviting me to join them. I asked Sergio how to reserve my hot Video Poker machine which still had $17.50 on the meter…”Just leave the card in and put a napkin over the keys…no problem” he assured..

    I stumbled over to the table where I was introduced to Susan & Omar. “Is Susan your wife I asked Charles Nelson?”…Oh, No. Charles replied. “I’m a homosexual….and I service Susan when Omar’s out of town and Omar when Susan leaves”…“A real backdoor man eh?” was ,my retort. They thought that was funny.

    [​IMG]
    Charles Nelson Reilly, Susan and AlanLeroy.
    Photo by Omar. He also had a Galaxy S5 and we just touched them together to transfer pictures via the Touch 2 Beam File Transfer feature.

    We talked for about an hour most of which was forgotten within moments of being said. I know there was a debate about whether Charles Nelson should have (adopt) children. Omar & Susan thought he would be a fantastic father. He is kind and patient and generous. He looks after their kids from time to time. They thought he could help a struggling kid out of a bad situation, and it would offer Charles a more fulfilling life. I thought that was a horrible idea. I pointed out that kids cost a lot of money and they are often rude, smelly and obnoxious and are always huge time wasters. Charles Nelson was also way too old to be starting a family.

    [​IMG]
    “Crystal Bubbles”
    Blue Effect

    Eventually I looked back toward my reserved Chandelier Bar seat and there was a woman playing MY machine. Hey! Sergio was gone too. I excused myself and stumbled back to the bar to determine what exactly had happened. I can only describe her as ‘Slinky’….so I named her ‘Slinky’. She had a Slinky dress. She looked Graceful and Sleek… like her namesake compressed helical spring that can be made to somersault down steps.

    She had pulled my Identity Club Players Card out and sat it on the bar. I noticed there was only $2.50 left on the meter. She was the only one playing at the entire first floor Chandelier Bar. What a coincidence she picked my machine.

    I said..”Hey… I was playing that machine! You found my card! Didn’t you notice the credits I had and my Reserved Napkin?”. Slinky apologized. She thought I had abandoned the machine and didn’t notice the credits until after she started playing..….but there might be ‘some ways she could repay me’. Whoa!

    Welcome To Slinky’s Lucky Hootch Emporium.

    I turned around looking for some support from my new friends. They would certainly wing-man me out of this awkward situation before my package got rubbed. They were gone. Why is everyone disappearing!? I believe they saw a brief opportunity for escape and took it. What could I say except. “That’s ok ….can I take your picture for my Vegas Scrapbook?”

    Slinky smiled for the camera and wanted to know if there was anything else she could do for me. Wha? Do I look like some kind of stupid perverted rube from a hick town? Don’t answer that. It was rhetorical. I didn’t care. I got another Double Bombay Sapphire Martini from the new bartender and started walking around the Cosmopolitan on a futile search for an honest person in need of a Lucky Lighted Christmas Turkey Hat. I never found one.

    [​IMG]
    “Negative People at Cosmo”
    Negative Effect

    I walked 18450 steps today.

    12/22/14 Monday

    I was mighty drunk. For a while I worried that I wasn’t remembering the room number correctly…(“Was that the room number from Cosmo or The D?”) Until I remembered that I had taken a picture of it. I eventually stumbled into the room and fell into bed about 3:30 AM. For whatever reason my eyes opened again about 7:30 AM….Hey! I’m already dressed… How convenient! A real time saver. It’s Gambling Time!

    After a couple of espresso shots, I moseyed over to the Craps Tables for my last stand.. From a Gambling perspective I’m just happy if my meager bankroll makes it to the last day….then I shoot it aggressively at craps…generally losing it all, but occasionally hitting for a big win.

    My Last Stand strategy is to place all the numbers for the minimum bet, bet the pass line with odds, a dollar on all the hardways, and a dollar on Yo. I double my place and pass line bets every other time they hit until I reach the limit. I also parlay my hardways and Yo bet 3 times.

    I bellied up to the table and was confident because I still had my full $300 bankroll. The crew loved my lucky shirt and wanted to make bets on it. My lucky hat was oozing luck. It was my roll. I shot my wad in just under 2 minutes. The stick man said, it was the worst performance ever. Well, that was fun. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. On the way back to the room, I stopped in the High Limit slot area and ran $100 through a $10 Wild Cherry Slot Machine…$20 a pull….I just had a feeling about it….Thirty seconds and 5 pulls later I had lost my $100….Oh man! Talk about going on tilt!

    We got cleaned up and packed up. Stops at Venetian and Hard Rock to cash out our final wins/deposit bonuses….Then gassed up and turned in the Black Mustang Convertible and Shuttle bussed to McCarran Airport for the short journey home.

    It was another Great Vegas Trip in the books. Until now I had never even been ripped off by one hooker, let alone two. And for the record I do like the Newbie. We’ve been friends all the way back to when we would regularly steal his mom’s car to go joyriding when we were Boy Scouts at age 13. And Robin is also one of my dearest friends…there really was no way he could join us this year….These annual trips are really all about Good Times with Good Friends.

    And for those of you who have been following along and had a special request for me…Ok Here it is.

    Hooker Picture 200 Points

    [​IMG]
    “I thought you liked Me”
    AlanLeroy 1050 Effin’ Robin 0

    Oh.. and for anyone who’s interested in watching the real train wreck, I’ll be performing one time only at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club Open Mic Night on December 17, 2015 at 9:00 PM. It is likely to be the funniest thing you’ve ever seen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  4. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    87
    Supplemental Notes on the Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera Settings

    [​IMG]
    Figure 1

    Please look at Figure 1 above. Enter the settings mode by tapping the Gear in the upper left corner when you’re in the Camera App.

    Across the top you have room for a couple of favorites that you can access at any time. You can tap, hold and drag to the selection area to remove a favorite. You tap, hold and drag from the selection area to the favorites area to establish a favorite. I set ‘EFFECTS’ as one of my favorites so it was very easy to select a special effect for any shot.

    Key notes on setting selections.

    Picture Stabilization: (Now changed to “Low Light Detection”. Keep that turned OFF. In low light it creates a long pause and takes multiple shots and combines them. It’s not possible in my opinion to get a non blurred shot when it auto detects low light, so you’re better off just keeping it off and taking a bunch of pictures and hope one or two are clear.

    Video Size: I keep that at HD size. It defaults to 4K or UHD, which creates incredibly large video files very quickly. Most people can only play back on an HD TV anyway…not a UHD. Note the Galaxy does take excellent HD video. I made several neat videos this trip, but even at HD qualityalan were just too large for me to upload and work with. Instead, I made a DVD of the videos.

    Effects: Note I have established this as one of my favorites. If you tap it, it defaults to No Effect. Swipe to the right and you can pick and choose your effect. Swipe all the way to the right and you can download additional effects from Samsung. I downloaded them all and have about 40 available to me.

    [​IMG]
    Figure 2

    Figure 2 above is an example of shooting after you tap the effects button. Notice how it shows you an example of each of the effects. Thanks to my dog “Girlfriend” for posing for this picture.

    Flash: I keep this off and only turn it on when absolutely necessary. If you really need the flash, 70% of the time it isn’t going to come out very good anyway.

    [​IMG]
    Figure 3

    Now look at Figure 3. There are about a dozen settings hiding below the initial settings. You have to tap and drag up to see them.

    Volume Key: Take Pictures. I hold the phone on its side with the volume keys down. Then, I just use that button to take pictures. By holding the phone this way, it makes them more camera like…and the videos end up oriented correctly when you download rather than upside down. The downside is if you’re not careful, you can get your pinky in the picture.

    Voice command: On. This lets you take pictures by saying ‘Shoot or Cheese or Smile’. I like talking to my phone.

    MODES:
    The Galaxy has several modes that extend your photographic capabilities. You can access these modes by tapping the Mode button. If you swipe to the far right, you can download additional modes from Samsung. I downloaded them all including:

    Animated Photo: Creates the .GIF files I used in the report.
    Sound & Shot: Records a few seconds of audio along with the still photo.
    Sports: Better handling of subjects in motion.
    Surround shot: 360 Photo.
    Sequence Shot: Slow Motion.
    Beauty Face: Yeah, Right.
    Shot & More: Several post shot options on short video. Pick the best picture….Erase parts in motion.
    Panorama: Landscape Shot
    Virtual Tour: Plots a house video tour. I may use this on the Hidden Parts of Casinos next year…to kick it up a notch.
    Dual Camera.: Front and back cameras both take pictures and it embeds your face in the picture you’re taking.

    Summary: The Samsung Galaxy has a lot of capabilities from Camera to Voice Command Navigation. It’s a great tool for any road trip. I just fear the day when billions of interconnected smartphones spontaneously combine to form a superior intelligence and rule mankind with a silicon fist.

    - - - Updated - - -
    Supplemental on Cantor Gaming. The deposit bonus described below was available in late December. I have reports that it was available last week, but YMMV.

    Cantor Gaming runs the Sportsbooks at M, Silverton, Hard Rock, Palms, Cosmopolitan, Tropicana and Venetian. Cantor Gaming is a spinoff of Cantor Fitzgerald the big bond trading company that was decimated by the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. They have developed a mobile sports betting app and are offering a “$25 Deposit Bonus” for bettors who sign up for the app. On My December trip, I took advantage of this bonus at 6 of the 7 casinos. Here’s how it works:

    1. You can download the app at any time. Android Apps are downloaded from the Cantor Web Site and iPhone apps from the apple play store. Check here for more info: http://www.cgtglobal.com/mobile-apps/

    a. I downloaded the Android App in advance of our visit. For Android there are actually two downloads. The first is a small security download, the second is the actual app.
    b. My friend was never able to complete the iPhone download because he didn’t have an iTunes account. That actually didn’t matter because each of the books has Tablets available to borrow that you can use to place your bets.
    c. The advantage to having the App on your Smartphone vs using their tablet is you can then place your bets anywhere in Nevada and you can check your wins and bankroll at any time. The disadvantage is that you now have a gambling app on your smartphone
    d. The App only works in the state of Nevada. So if you download in advance you won’t be able to use it until you get to Vegas. You have to sign up for an account and make a deposit before you can actually use it anyway.
    2. To sign up you need to go to the Cantor Mobil App sign up window at the book. Each casino had a separate window for this that was always staffed.
    a. You will need to fill out paperwork including a W9.
    b. Some casinos required a $25 Deposit to get the Bonus others required a $50 deposit.
    c. In all casinos the $25 bonus is immediately added to your account. You must bet a total of $50 before they’ll let you cash out your bonus. We learned this the hard way as Silverton told us wrong and we only bet $25…they were adamant that it had to total $50…and that’s fair….for free money.
    d. Always verify that they actually add the $25 to your account. It will be in your virtual wallet.
    e. That $50 is total amount bet. You could have one $50 bet or 5 $10 bets
    f. Most of the books open at 8:30. I think the earlier you're there the less chance of lines.
    g. You will need a player’s club card at each casino you place the Cantor bets.
    3. Each casino is completely separate. On the first screen of the app it asks which casino. Then you enter your player’s card and password.
    4. Most of the normal bets are available….Hoops, NFL, College, NHL….Money Line, Against the Spread, Parlays, Even some In Game Betting.
    5. Once you’ve made your deposit and received your bonus, that money sits in your ‘Wallet’, you have to then transfer money from your wallet to the betting area before you can bet.
    6. To cash out, you transfer your money from the betting area back to the wallet and go back to the sign up window. Give them your player’s card and ID and they pay you. It’s safe that way because you’re never asked for any banking information. The money is just in your account and no one but you can cash it out.
    7. After the first sign up and bet, it got progressively easier.
    8. This is a very powerful advantage play. It’s worth about double a $25 matchplay…Because when you win with that deposit bet, you not only win the bet, you get to keep the $25 deposit.
    9. I suggest hitting as many of these books as you can because you never know how long they’ll keep the promotion…and it’s like free money
    10. Ways to play it:
    a. Bet the $50 on one game. That’s how we played it. It would have been better if we didn’t suck at sports betting. We lost 2/3 of our bets but still made money. That’s just how good the deal is.
    b. Spread the $50 over as many games as possible. More bets = less variance.
    c. Bet ½ on each side of a proposition bet for a guaranteed win.
     
  5. Dr Nostron

    Dr Nostron Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Very entertaining - thanks for sharing!!!
     
  6. parti_73

    parti_73 Low-Roller

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    great pictures, great report and it sounds like you had a blast!
     
  7. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

    Joined:
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    :haha: :haha: :haha:

    Loved the report! Thanks for the laughs. I might have to try that Cantor deal next week, too.
     
  8. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    I love the photos. I never realized I could do that with my phone. (I've had an S5 active for a few months now). The lomo filter reminds me of those Kodachrome photos my parents took in the 70's and stuck in albums to eventually be lost in a move.
     
  9. CoveredinBeer

    CoveredinBeer Low-Roller

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    I love how you make fun of the "coupon clipping blue-hairs" that populate the Palms when every paragraph in this report has a coupon in it.
     
  10. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

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    Yes. I was poking a little fun at us. "The demographic has changed from the beautiful people to coupon clipping tight wad grey beards….the cheap ugly people. Like us. "
     
  11. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

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    Loved the report and the photo details. Being an apple phone camera guy I really loved the effects and details you provided for the galaxy phone, in a funny way related to the phone camera. Thanks for all the effort to put that in a report!
     
  12. Riders

    Riders High-Roller

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    Great report. Loved the pictures and humor in your writing. Thanks for taking the time.
     
  13. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    WOW!!! What a report and pictures!!! Thanks for sharin' it all with us!!!

    I musta missed it, but what airport did you fly out of? It looks like the one from that TV show about 15 years ago called Wings...
     
  14. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

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    That would be FAT (Fresno Air Terminal). We actually changed it to FYI (Fresno Yosemite International), but the FAA decided FAT was a better FIT for us.
     
  15. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Your reports always make me laugh, a lot! All of these times that hubby overhears me while in the next room and it seems I'm laughing at nothing will eventually be used in my competency hearing. Great report as always.....call me old fashioned but my favourite photos are the ones sans effects. If it were true you'd be doing stand up at Saphires, I'd be booking the flight.
     
  16. majorminor

    majorminor Tourist

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    Excellent report! I liked the unique pictures and detail. Thanks for sharing!
     
  17. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

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    Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed my report.

    I plan on doing my bit at The Sapphire Showroom on December 17, 2015. I welcome any and all to attend. This is a one-time only performance.

    On the venue...It's a completely separate entrance from Sapphire's: The World's Largest LAS VEGAS STRIP Club. Yes. That's right. They actually claim to be the "World's Largest LAS VEGAS STRIP Club". The Showroom has its own 300 seat room with it's own bar. Open Mic Nights are every Thursday. It's $11.00 and includes a free drink.

    http://sapphirecomedyhour.com/

    It's critical that Robin attends. I plan to attempt to film a mockumentary of the performance. That's why I didn't just do it this year. Robin is a cameraman. To be honest it's nice to have an extra year to prepare.

    Oh...Here's my costume.

    Adult Costume. Not suitable for viewing at work...unless you work at home.
    Costume
     
  18. Mnracer

    Mnracer Tourist

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    Good stuff - definitely enjoyed your pictures!

    Thanks again!
     
  19. Iamrice

    Iamrice High-Roller

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    Not bad for $50.
     
  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Great report! Great pics! Also thanks for the S5 pic tips! Will have to show my g/f that. May have to look into that Cantor deal too!
     
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