In no particular order ... Silverton Good The casino expansion, the look, it’s remarkably smoke-light given it’s a locals/bluehair joint. Bad: Paytables -- 9/5 DDB in a locals joint? How about a few exposed and unused electrical outlets. Folks travel these days with a few implements. Slow wi-fi. Ugly: Flipping a MUCH needed hotel expansion into timeshare. A small CRT in any hotel not otherwise located along some backroad in the Texas panhandle? Mirage Buffet Good: Meat carvery. (Some products hold well, like meat. Spuds and eggs and what not? No, simply no.) Bad: Bad, simply bad. Breakfast. Fresh fruit was the standard array of cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, plus gelatinous pineapple. Nothing wrong with the first three, per se, but it’s berry season, and McCarran connects to the world instantly. Effort, show some. Oh, my, do not miss the capp from the machine. Life-altering. Omelet station – chewy, funky spinach. Mirage Good: For a standard room the rooms are well-appointed with nice furnishings, large bathroom with no skanky tub/shower/slimy curtain thing going on, huge double vanity. And a great value, too. Wi-fi blazed. (I was on it daily researching and writing, so a must for me.) LOVE the access ease of the north valet/bell desk and self-park, zip right on off Spring Mountain and the 15; one of the best setups in town. Ugly: I have no clue what Mirage is trying to be in its public spaces. Too much black plastic draping “updates,” mothballed machines all over, dark, not sure they'll ever get past those claustrophobic ceilings. Grimaldi’s – Venetian Bad: Salad swimming in balsamic dressing, soggy-center pizza. Friends Good: Make that excellent. Thanks, y’all. Trade Show Good: Hey, I made some money. And nice to reconnect with peeps in the golf industry, make new acquaintances. Keep an eye on Wilson Golf, the irons have been sleepers for a while and they make a great game-improvement driver, and 2016 has some outstanding stuff in the offing: better-player driver, new irons. The Shield is back, I hope. Ugly: A demo event, at Cascata, starting at 2 in the afternoon … in August. Yardbird Bad: Dinner snafu switched me to lunch the next day. It’s Yardbird, so I had the chicken/biscuit/spicy watermelon plate. From the two pieces I received, the “chicken” was a sparrow and we slay it at home with our fried chicken, biscuit nothing to crow about, the watermelon was awesome. Glad I paid lunch instead of dinner pricing. Golf Good: Cascata, Southern Highlands and Primm Lakes, in that order. Every time I play Cascata – about a three or four year spacing between rounds – it just resonates more fully. The trend of Primm away from its former MGM Resorts days is very apparent in the fit/finish/treatments of the clubhouse and the margins of the course, the Shadow Lite features that in the day were Shadow Lite. But it’s also not some multi-hundred/casino-bigwig place, and it would beat a lot of public tracks across the country, and the management program appears on track. Another good good good was my friend/neighbor going bug-eyed with the Cascata experience; he’s just not played any golf at that level of service and savvy. Ugly: My third-day meltdown on the back nine at Southern Highlands. Sorry, this no-longer-desert-dwelling boy is no longer amused by 110. (Shh, VBJ, don’t say anything about the el lateral on 18 at Cascata when sitting 97 out for my third.) Table 34 Good: Circumstances and in-the-field adjustment muddled some of the food plans, but not here. Another excellent. I’ve been eating here sporadically since the days when it was known as Wild Sage Café. I’m not a big fan of food shots from the table but I chucked up a few on Facebook the other night. Nice look, easy airs, service and food always right there. I know CK has had several bad experiences there; it’s just never missed for us. B&B Burgers and Beers Good: That burger was spiritually righteous. Bad: For a joint that touts itself as beer-savvy, I felt it rather commonplace. Ugly: The price of that burger. Holy shit. Craftsteak Good: It always is. Props to the wine steward (is he truly somm-certified?) for not blinking an eye when I walked in with three bottles of Pinot and we needed three glasses each for six guys. Service is timely, perfect, seamless, unobtrusive. And I just like the room and the vibe. Thanks as always to my degen buds/hosts. Peppermill Bad and Ugly: Who woulda thunk when ordering corned beef at Peppermill it would be the canned dog-food looking/smelling variety, and not corned beef? Horrid. I ate the eggs and toast, slurped several cups of coffee while reading the LA Times, tipped my very nice, attentive server 25 percent and told the exec chef – who for some reason was manning the register -- that I’m looking forward to Spaghetti Os on Italian night. I shoulda known from my “Hollandaise” experience there years ago. I get the big portions and I’ve had some decent eats there, but obviously I need to be done swearing off this place and just swear off it. Egg and I/Egg Works Good: Mary’s Hash House is no more, so for a locals breakfast fix, this is one of the good ones. Gambling Good: I played about 90 minutes of extremely short-pay DDB and came out $300 ahead. Venetian/Palazzo Good: We’ll never set up one home base in Vegas, but I can see us putting this into the rotation when we are there. We’ve stayed a few times in the past, the way ago past when it was just Venetian or Venetian/Venezia. I just like the look, feel, vibe, diversity. Sure, like any joint it has its dee-oosh-bagistas; that’s modern Vegas and it is worse elsewhere. Just a lot of ways to do what you want on that property, however. I can see a Summerlin/Venetian duet on our next trip. Ventura Good: Driving home, catching that first glimpse of the ocean in Ventura … priceless. For the first time in six days I was able to kill the A/C with which I’d been living 24/7 except out on the course, open the sunroof and revel in heading back to the central coast. It smelled of euc, chaparral and sea, which is something I guess we take for granted until locked inside artificially chilled boxes for days. Home It is the best place in the world to be.