Every year I go out to Vegas to Red Rock Canyon, where my dad's ashes were scattered and pipe a little over the spot. He was a tax man, so it's a trip every April 15. I didn't post this last year, but I recently booked my trip for 2009 and I saw the oversight. FWIW, here's the 2008 report: The flight from KC was uneventful. There was the usual question at the Xray machine..."Sir, what's that in your bag?" "They're bagpipes." "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, OK." Got the rental car. Of course, that's where the Vegas upselling and toking begins..."You want to upgrade?....You want insurance?" No and No. The man at the little kiosk handed me the keys and looked at me with big doe eyes....No tip for you, you just handed me the car keys for Pete's sake. Easy peesey check in at the 4 Queens. No line whatsoever. Got a room overlooking Fremont Street, but not a problem because I don't expect to get to bed before 2 on any night. Wandered the casinos and played a little BJ at each, I even wandered down to the Cortez for the 3 dollar tables. First time there. Silly me, I thought I was slumming it at the Golden Gate BJ tables. Wow, the Cortez is low down. Sat next to a Chinese guy who was mocking and imitating the Chinese lady dealer. Someone would buy in and the dude would affect a high pitch nasal sing songy voice yelling, "20 dollar!" Everyone at the table wanted to slap him senseless. I tipped the lady 20 bucks and left. Being a homebrewer I wanted to check out the brew scene. The beers at MSS were quality. Chicago in the 4 Queens was decent but the waitress was horrible. I got comped a brew for VP play at the bar, but I had to do all kinds of gymnastics to get her attention to find out what beer they had on tap. She had no idea what beer was on tap. How can you work in a brewpub and not know what beer you sell? I was going to buy another one along with lunch, but couldn't get her attention. Neither could a couple of others at the bar who gave up and left. I followed suit and went to the Hofbrauhaus for lunch. The Hofbrauhaus was an incredible reproduction of the original in Munich. The big liter mug of lager was excellent and fun. It's a huge place but I was only 1 of 5 people in there. Maybe their lunch crowd is small. Got 1/2 price tickets to the Rat Pack show at the Plaza. It was fantastic. Next day did the bagpipe thing at Red Rock. They sound really cool out in the valley. The sound carries well. After playing I came back to my car to find several other cars parked to listen. I did more of the casino hopping that night. At the bar in the Golden Nugget I got approached by 4 different casino call girls. One of them even asked me the stereotypical Vegas hooker question, "You here for the convention?" Ha! I got a laugh out of that one and briefly thought of calling her out on that by answering yes and making up some crazy association like the Spatula Wholesalers of America or some such thing. I shoo'd them away politely at first but after the second time it got tiring so I had to enlist the bartender's help. It was only a three day trip, so I caught another uneventful flight the next morning. I just reserved the week of April 13, 2009. For a change I'll be on the strip at the dreaded IP.