Did ya know the PALMS has a new theatre called 'Pearl'? Its going to be 'THE' intamet music venue in town...VERY FINE, VERY FINE! I'd been waiting for an act that I liked and Friday, STEELY DAN was in town. I used one of my free SOUTHWEST flight, the RIO was next-to-free, I could get the 2 days off work so...no brainer, I booked it and flew in for a couple days. Coming into town and not wanting to go through withdrawls UHH!...by only seeing ONE Show, I surfed around and found my ol' buddy GEORGE CARLIN working the Orleans on Thursday...PERFECT quicky trip! I've usually seen George each year, but for the last few, our schedules just haven't jived until now...AND as you're all well aware now...George ended up sadly... canceling and working another venue so... (I'd booked this whole thing before George died) I replaced George with LOVE and LE REVE. This all happened last minute so I was real happy to find good seats for both Shows. LOVE: SECTION 209, ROW R, SEAT 25...$141.00 LE REVE: SECTION A, ROW K, SEAT 24...$108.90 LOVE was just as good my 7th time around as it was my first. Not that you'd notice, but about half the cast is new and 'Blackbird' still seems to be the ever changing scene in constant change...The 'house' was full, the Show WONDERFUL, and I'm looking forward to my 8th visit! LE REVE on the other hand, just doesn't float my boat. It's been re-worked so many times since Steve Wynn's wife came to tears of disappointment during it's opening night years ago, yet it still hasn't been able to overcome it's monotomy...(for me at least). It's not the Artists fault, it's the limited space they have to work in. LE REVE thetre is in-around, medium size, with the water stage in the center. Even though the stage (like 'O') morphs from water to solid and back again, it doesn't allow for much variation in the scenes. You can go UP...you can go DOWN (splash) Lots of aerial routines and lots of falling, dropping, diving into the water. They've had a new lighting system for a while now...BIG improvement over what was ex-CIRQUE director Franko Dragone's 'dream' but...still not enough to keep me entertained and I don't need to see it again. I was unable to score on one of my 'end of the hallway' IPANIMA rooms. Coming in on a Thursday and with 2 conventions at the RIO, most rooms were already full. The 'Firefighters' convention was the largest group and GOOD THING, lol... Harrah's still has many of the RIO rooms closed due to the illeagal renovations they made...got caught at...have lost and are still loosing money with due to FIRE CODE violations they got 'burned' with by fast 'n cheap...NO PERMIT, suite re-modeling (and it aint over yet...) theres still on going issues with their other Las Vegas properties. Thanks for always putting customers first Harrah's. In any event, I did get an IPANIMA room on the 7th floor, pool view around noon. No sooner had I pulled back the window curtains and turned on the TV...programing was interupted with a...'BREAKING NEWS' flash. A huge weather cell was coming in fast, had just shut down McCarran, and was moving quickly towards the Las Vegas Strip. Looking out the windows it was bright, sunny, the pool below full of people... Then...tick,ding.............dinG, ticK...DINGTICK, TICKDING, DINGTICKDINGTICKDINGTICK...the hail started. Then the loudspeakers down at the pool announced, EVERYONE OUT OF THE WATER NOW! PROCEED INDOORS, LIGHTNING STRIKE ALERT, LIGHTNING STRIKE ALERT. Even the fire alarm in my room went off for a few blasts, lol. From my viewpoint, the sky on the backside of Masquerade Tower was black. Hail turned to rain and the wind bent over the palm trees. As the sky got darker and darker, large multiple bursts of lightning followed by booming thunder filled the sky in front of me...WOW (very cool, lol) "this is great" I thought as I pulled up a chair in front of the wall to wall, floor to ceiling windows... NO SHOW WITHDRAWLS THIS TRIP! It moved through pretty quick...only lasted 10-15min. then the sun came back out. That night on the news there were lots of flooding pics from the south eastern side... Went over to Mirage early so I could try the new 'BLT' burger joint that has taken their place in SIEGFRIED and ROY's indoor white tiger pool area. It's pretty good...not great, but tasty. Many different varieties of burgers along with shakes (which were just great), fries, onion rings, and the usual assorted drinks...including alcoholic beverages (even a 'spiked' milkshake) I chose the basic BLT w/cheese, fries, and a killer coffee shake...total $26.94. Theres a main floor and an upper level with a bar. All table seating and 70's style rock 'n roll on the house system the day I was there. Staff wares black T-Shirts with BLT related phrases... TIP WAITERS NOT COWS, SHAKE IT BUT DON'T BREAK IT, SUPER JUICY, DOUBLE JUICY, IF YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, I AM FAST, CHEAP AND EASY... The place was busy, and I waited 25min. for my order. From LOVE to LE REVE's 9:30 Show over at Wynn...then back to RIO for sleep...it had been a long day. FRIDAY, 08/08/2008...(should I gamble a bit?) YES! YES! YES! (did I win a bit?) NO! NO! NO!, lol At aprox. 7:50am I sat down to RIO's only...(what else) MEGABUCKS machine. I fed it a Franklin and waited and watched the progressive ticker do it's thang. You all know how the right side of a progressive digit counter is in constant motion... (this was a riot) Everyones time/watch is a bit different...As folks all over were deciding when it was eight o'clock on 08/08/2008, the 'ticker' would double/tripple in speed. It would speed up, then slow down...fast,slow,fast,slow until a 'universal' 8:00 seemed to over take everyone, lol. I started a little before the hour and played til the money was gone. It wasn't my time to retire I guess, on almost 16 million. I'll try it again when those lucky 8's come rollin' round again...in another HUNDRED or whatever it is years, lol. Guess no one hit it because it was still LARGE when I got out of STEELY DAN later that night. The PALMS 'Pearl' theatre is just great and so were STEELY DAN. Brand new state of the art sound system, small theatre with floor, upper sections and balcony that suround the stage...it's a fantastic place for music. I've looked several times for it, but never could figure out where they put it...thought it must be over in Maloof's new PALMS PLACE but no...IT'S UNDERNEATH THE PALMS...the entrance is next to the buffet. Folks keep asking about the SAPPHIRE POOL at RIO. It's still there, not very crowed. There were a few couples, some single women, but most of the guests were guys.......the Sapphire babes and these poor horney guys. I hope the RIO gives the pool back to the guests who really deserve it next year. George Lopez, P Diddy (i think), Pamala Anderson and others had a FREE afternoon Show going in the old CLUB RIO. They were filming it for advertising spots on a new 'Roast' type show Lopez is hosting later in the season...(didn't go) Gaming was the shits. I took a 2k bankroll but quit playing after I was down a thousand...GOTTA SAVE SOME MONEY FOR NEXT TRIP (i go back first of September) *wuz dat, wuz dat....hmmmm (Sun.8/10) just had a little earthquake as I'm sittin' here typin'... felt like a 3 or a 4. Awwww, ITS GOOD TO BE HOME! lol.