aturday, December 21, 2019 OVERNIGHT AT RIVERS I spent a Friday night at Rivers on a special they had, although the poker rate is equal to that special for Friday nights. $85 plus tax. However, my points brought the price down to about half that. I was on the first floor with a river view, but next time I'll try for an upper floor as the river is hard to see from the first floor. I did see some of it, and some ducks. Temperatures were in single digits, so I did not walk out to see it up close as I usually do. I like the first floor for the easy access to ice and to morning coffee. At Rivers there is no coffee machine in the room, but good coffee is put out in the early morning, along with tea. It is just in lobby, steps from a first floor room. I went solo as I usually do. The 3/6 limit game only seems to gather in players on Friday and Saturday. They have had huge high hand promotions, but during the holiday season they changed to high hand awards from $100 to $10,000. I hit no real high hands. I like the other system better, and rumor is they will go back to it in January. I won't go back until next spring, so anything might change by then. I'm beginning to know and enjoy the regulars who are full of bantering jokes. It is a friendly group, but they all play very good limit poker. They are helping me refine my game. They teased me on Friday because I seemed impossible to beat. But Saturday was a harder challenge. In the end I was $38 ahead and had lost $20 at video poker. It is a lot of fun for little expense. On my low salt diet I can't eat much at the casino. Everything is overpriced anyway. But just a few blocks away is John Riccitello's Restaurant 1687 Foster Ave, Schenectady, NY 12308 (518) 374-1574 and they will accommodate my low salt diet. I had cavatelli with meat balls and had their sauce, so I took in some salt, but the chef said it would not be much. They also served me a Buckler non alcoholic beer, a great tasting European brewed beer. Next time I'll make reservations as soon after I arrived they were packed tight. At a nearby table a group of 8 guys joked and told stories of gambling, or playing practical jokes on each other, and of other such banter. They entertained me. In the same area is Peter Pause restaurant, a fine place for breakfast. They too will keep the seasoning off the food. I have steak and eggs and cheat by having toast, but the rye toast is real rye, with seeds. I love it. The service is wonderful. I always seem to get the same waitress and she listens and takes care of me. My coffee cup never made it below an inch of coffee drunk. Good attention. Coming back to the casino on Friday night meant that parking near the door for the next days luggage packing was a challenge, but I lucked out and found a fellow leaving. Coming back in the morning was no problem. I get tired easily, so Friday, after my Italian meal I just hung out in the room. From the lobby I brought up some of the old volumes of books put out for display. I ended up reading two short stories from a very old textbook, Short Stories, edited by Scheikert: "Young man Axelbrod" by Sinclair Lewis and "The Heyday of the Blood" by Dorothy Canfield. Both were fun. Both had old men as main characters. And both were introduced with short biographies of the writers. I suppose I knew much of that years ago, but I've forgotten. I also brought up a book called "The Affair of the Boat Landing" which looked like a fine murder mystery. I'll have to see if I can pick it up at the library somewhere. https://www.amazon.com/Affair-At-Boat-Landing/dp/B0006APWN4/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?keywords=Murder+mystery+affair+at+the+Boat+launch&qid=1576973472&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr0 I enjoyed sitting in the very comfortable bed with fine lights above the headboard for reading. I easily fell asleep, but I must have slept in the wrong position because I woke up with my arthritic shoulder hurting like hell. It eased up during the day, but is back aching as I write this. I left the casino at 4PM, but because it was the shortest day of the year, it did get dark before I made it home. However, the hardest part of the drive home is seeing the signs for 890 East and I did that in the daylight. I was happy to get home, especially since all the way down route 43 a policeman followed me and I worried he saw something in my driving that bothered him. However, when I turned at West Sand Lake, he went on straight, so my anxiety was for nothing. I did see another driver stopped by a policeman in the lane heading in the opposite directions. Perhaps they are out looking for party people.