Friday, September 28, 2018

Birthdays & Fights & Stuff

Good evening everyone.  It's very unusual to catch me writing a blog entry on a Friday night (or at all some would say), but I feel compelled to type tonight because this is my blog's 7th birthday (at this point I wish I could type in "Congratulations" Facebook-style, and have the word turn red, with a bunch of balloons being released into the blogosphere, but alas...).  This is my original blog, whose given name was 'The View From Bikini Hill' (some of you have been following along since then, right?), but I have retained 'Bikini Hill' and changed the rest of the name to better reflect several moves that I have made.  After accepting a job offer on July 20th, and leaving Las Vegas with all of my stuff packed in an SUV on July 30th, I feel like I'm almost within grasp of getting a handle back on my life.  Writing an entry on a Friday night when I have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning isn't ideal, but hey, it's my blog's SEVENTH BIRTHDAY!!!  (Cue the Facebook 'Congratulations' and balloons again)... I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that my twin niece and nephew have a birthday today.  Well, since they're older than this blog, one MIGHT SAY that I stole their birthday for my blog, but that would be pure conjecture and hearsay, I'm sure.  ;)  Happy Birthday Nikole and Dillon!!!

One of these photos is present-day (I'll let you guess).  I had several pictures to choose from, but I like the contrast in this shot.  "I'll look at the camera and smile" vs. "I'm going to take a bite of this and totally cool kid you..."  Again, Happy Birthday Superstars!

Speaking of superstars, if I was kind and considerate, and I had any respect for doing things in a timely manner, I would have posted this next photo about a month ago.  My friend and former softball player Leanne had another fight on Labor Day Weekend, and who knows, she may be World Champion by now.  :)  I already had an outline written for my previous blog entry, which I published on September 6th, so I didn't include Leanne's fight, which took place on September 2nd (good plan, I know).  I was 100% sure (lol) that I'd write tonight's post sooner, and then life got in the way, and guess what?  LEANNE WON HER FIGHT!!!

Is this a great photo or what?!  Leanne is the superstar throwing the punch, if you hadn't guessed.  From where I'm sitting, the ABSOLUTE BEST THING about this fight was that she had friends who RECORDED this, and I was able to watch Leanne's whole fight on Facebook.  Okay, I guess that Leanne winning the fight would have to run a really close second, but I was THRILLED that I got to view the whole fight.  Leanne decided to become a professional fighter and bodybuilder after I moved away from Central Texas, so I take what I can get...  ;)  Congratulations Leanne, and I'm sorry that this took so long.  :)  SO proud of you!!!  :D

Now I'm just gonna freelance, since I don't have an outline for tonight.  :)  I have had 'Leanne' written on a piece of paper for almost four weeks, and then I realized that I HAD to write an entry tonight once I remembered that today is the blog's birthday.  So I heard some of you ask a little while ago, "Why in the hell are you waking up at 5:30 a.m. Coach?"  When I moved from Las Vegas to Biloxi, my life changed in a lot of ways.  Most of you are familiar with Las Vegas to some extent:  Casinos, nightlife, lots of people, desert, HOT...  Biloxi, Mississippi has hot, but we also have WATER, life is more laid back here on the Gulf Coast, you RARELY find a traffic jam, and our casinos don't dominate the skyline.  Another difference:  When I worked for our company in Las Vegas, I was the "closer" in the sportsbook.  This meant that I'd normally sleep til noon or 1:00 P.M., and my shift at work would begin at 2 or 3 p.m.  Here, I am the "opener."  For several weeks now, I have set my alarms for 7:30 a.m. to begin work at 9:30 a.m. on the weekdays, and have woke up at 5:30 A.M. to clock-in at 7:30 a.m. on the weekend (football season, ya know?)...  As with everything in life, you can always find positives and negatives in every situation (well, I guess allegedly).  I'm going to point out a really funny positive first, and then we'll backtrack.  I live fairly close to the casino, and my walk to work is pretty pleasant.  On the first Saturday morning that I was scheduled to be at work by 7:30, I had a very difficult time sleeping.  This was like trying to sleep on Christmas Eve.  We had a full weekend of football ahead of us, and because I woke up before my alarms went off, I also left for work while it was still dark outside.  It was dark outside, and there are several trees strewn along my walk to work.  Evidently bugs like hanging out around trees.  Guess what likes bugs???  BATS!!!  I'm pretty sure that if you go find any bat literature, it will say that bats don't attack humans, and that they're awesome because they eat bugs, etc, etc..., but I'll tell ya, when those LIGHTNING QUICK FLYING RATS are SWOOPING DOWN for the low-flying bugs, you start ducking down and crouching like an idiot who thinks that's gonna do any good if they're targeting you...  :)  So yeah, not having to walk home at night and having to dodge bats the whole way home is probably a positive.

What else is different, and positive???  A positive to making this transfer to Mississippi is that for basically the same amount in monthly rent and bills, I'm now living in a house as opposed to a weekly/monthly apartment complex.  If you've been to Las Vegas (or several other cities across our nation), I was living in a Siegel Suites in the desert.  The price was right (the place was furnished, all bills were included), but I wasn't in the best of neighborhoods.  I was watching t.v. here a few nights ago, and when I heard a siren, I soon realized that it was part of the t.v. show.  In Las Vegas, the siren was ALWAYS outside, about 100% of the time (you know, that 'always' that is like 99.9999972% of the time).  I miss my three-minute, door-to-door walk to McDonald's, but that's also probably another positive of living here...  :D  As I glance over to the t.v., one negative of living in the Central Time Zone and waking up early is that I can't watch very many Pac-12 (late) college football games.  The Pac-12 is like the Big 12 in that teams habitually go up and down the field and score for days, but it's getting hard for this old man to operate on 5-6 hours of sleep.  I would love to get into better shape and have more energy, but I am already thinking about eating a big plate of spaghetti after I publish this post...  ;)  Currently UCLA 10  Colorado 7, if you're wondering...

Like I said, I feel like I'm within inches of being adjusted to this cross-country move, having caught up on missed sleep and gotten my sleep right with my new schedule, adjusted to my new casino, and also to my new living environment, mastered the art of the run-on sentence, and I think that I'll be able to get some positive things done in my life soon, which includes writing more for y'all.

I'm going to end right here, with the hope that I'll see you again on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Those have been my days off, and I'm almost to the point where I feel confident that I'll be able to carve some time out for you on one of those days (or I may see you four months from now)...  ;)  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Good evening everyone.  It's very strange to find me writing on the opening night of the NFL season, but I have a feeling that if I don't type this entry right now, you won't see it for at least another week.  I only say that because I wrote an outline for this post a week ago, and well, you know the rest (I didn't type a word)...  For all the times that I haven't written for a while, and I really had no excuse, well, I've been extremely busy this time around.  I was offered my new job here in Biloxi, MS on July 20th, and I made all of the arrangements to move and left Las Vegas driving an SUV with all of my belongings on July 30th.  Since that time I found a place to live, attended orientation and training for my new job, and we opened our new sportsbook at Harrah's Gulf Coast.  During the training/opening the new book stretch, I worked 14 out of 15 days at one point.  We actually did open the new sportsbook on August 20th though, and here's a little proof...

Rob, Nick, Brandi, Re, Big Crave, and several others who I can't tag to this blog entry on Facebook can thank me for making them a little more famous, including this Deuce McAllister guy.  Actually, Deuce has already paved his way to fame, having played football for both Ole Miss and the New Orleans Saints.

I don't have details about what Deuce is doing in his retirement, but on August 20th he was kind enough to come to the property and help us open our new sportsbook.  One of the more memorable moments of the day occurred when Deuce came behind the counter to shake everyone's hand and pose for our group photo (above), and Re welcomed him with a "DEUCE!!!"  Deuce and certain unnamed blog writers (among others) appreciated Re's enthusiasm, and it was really special for our book to usher in this new era of sports betting in Mississippi with an athlete who was born and raised in Mississippi, who played for Ole Miss, and then went on to play for the Saints (who are undoubtedly Mississippi's favorite NFL team).  I remember watching Deuce play running back for the Rebels and the Saints, and what surprised me the most about meeting him was how tall he is.  When I watched him play on t.v., especially in the NFL, I wouldn't have been surprised if I was taller than Deuce, because the big bodies in the NFL tend to make those around them look small.  Well, I just did the official Google check, and Deuce is 6' 1", while Coach is 6' nothing...  Deuce was really down to earth, and I hope that he is fully enjoying his retirement.  This is a photo of Deuce posing with his first bet...

I don't know where Frank was for our group photo, but now he's behind my shoulder in this picture, getting famous also...  :)  Thanks again to Rob for bringing me down to Mississippi, where later than sooner (because it's football season) I'll be able to enjoy the fruits of living closer to Texas...  :)

Back to all of my possessions that were packed for the move in the SUV, here is a quick photo of my ballcap collection.  I later realized that I omitted a few...

Nick is another of my friends and coworkers who also made the move here from Las Vegas, and he has been dragging me kicking and screaming to dine at SEVERAL of the local dining establishments in the Biloxi area, including Sal & Mookie's, Whataburger, and Stacked (who I'm recognizing in the photo below).  This is a picture of 'Seafood Fries.'  Enlarge this one and look closely.  This is french fries that are covered with shrimp and crawfish, among other awesome things.  If I ever cash a football bet, I may one day return...  ;)

This is a bacon, egg, potato (from the leftover fries), and cheese burrito that I made for myself, just to prove that I don't go out to eat all the time.    

I actually RARELY eat out alone, which I why Nick makes a great scapegoat.  As a stranger in this new land, Nick, Rob, and Brandi have been a tremendous help in giving me rides to help me find my new home, fill my new home with stuff, and provide the transportation needed to make losing sports bets.  Thank y'all, I appreciate it!  In other news, I'm optimistic that I'll cash my first winning ticket(s) betting sports in Mississippi at the end of this weekend.

While I wasn't writing, one more thing happened that I haven't blogged about yet.  My favorite basketball player retired very recently.  I was a big Michael Jordan fan when I was younger, but he didn't play for my Spurs.  My first glimpse of Manu Ginobili was watching him play for Argentina in the 2002 Summer Olympics.  When the commentators mentioned that Manu was a Spurs draft pick as he led Argentina that summer, my reaction was, "We're getting THAT GUY?!"  I was instantly a fan, It's rare to see a player with Manu's talent, energy, and selflessness, and I hope that he also enjoys his retirement.

Thank you for patiently awaiting this blog entry.  It's my intention that you'll see me again very soon.  Have a great opening weekend of NFL football everyone!