Saturday, February 23, 2019

Lots of News

Good morning everyone.  If you were able to decode that title, you've already figured out that there's a lot going on in my universe down here in Biloxi, Mississippi.  I've now been here on the Gulf Coast just shy of seven months.  Working in a sportsbook, it's rare to take many days off of work during football season, and for the third year in row, I didn't.  That left me in the same position that I've been in the last two years (wait for it, wait for it...)....  So I was in the position of choosing how I was going to use some PTO (Paid Time Off) days.  I am long overdue for a visit to San Marcos, America, and I now live just an 8 1/2 hour drive away after my most recent move from Las Vegas to Mississippi.  So now that I've thrown that out there, that is not where I recently dedicated a chunk of my PTO hours.  Another option that I had was the "staycation."  This would no doubt include doing some housework, going to Shuckers games, playing poker, sleeping more, etc...  Didn't choose that.  Guess what I did choose......

WOOHOO!!!!  I've never been to Las Vegas before....  :D  A key factor in this choice was being able to take off two weeks of work in a row.  Sportsbook are slower in the summer, so this was possible.  My thinking is, if I'm going to have to pay for round-trip airfare, I want to stay in the desert as long as possible.  I can't understand how people who have to travel any substantial distance can just visit Vegas for two or three days, though I'm guessing it probably goes back to that's the longest that they can afford to be away from home.  Well, your friend Coach just booked a June vacation for ELEVEN nights on the Las Vegas Strip.  :D  Is it a coincidence that the World Series of Poker will be taking place during my visit?  Is it a coincidence that my favorite band will be playing in town during my visit?  Actually, I probably have less "partying" planned for anyone you know that visits the desert, especially for this amount of time.  I probably do have more time visiting friends planned that anyone you know that visits Las Vegas though.  For the two years that I worked in Vegas before moving here in August, I was working for three Strip properties concurrently, so that's a lot of people to touch base with right off the bat.  And then there's those people that I know in the poker world, and then there's the World Series, and then there's the Blue October concert.  You're right, eleven days probably isn't enough, but I'll make the best of it.  :)

Not only was I able to get two weeks off in a row from work, but now my schedule has just been switched to where I'm working later shifts (which are my preference, being the night owl that I am).  Actually, there is NO WAY that I'd be typing for you right now if I was still on the schedule that I had worked since arriving here, because I'd be soundly sleeping preceding a 5:30 a.m. alarm for a 7:30 a.m. shift.  (The time is currently 12:44 a.m. in Biloxi...).  Now I will be waking up at 12:30 p.m. for a 2:30 p.m. shift.  Ahhhhhh...  :D  I will also be switching to working 4 10-hour shifts, as opposed to 5 8-hour stints, which is also to my liking.  While each one of my work days will be a bit longer, I will have an extra day off each week to do things like......

BATTLE MY YARD...  WHOA!!  One of the pluses to living in Biloxi over Las Vegas is that housing is cheaper.  I am currently renting a small two-bedroom house here on the Gulf Coast for $675.00 a month.  When you find that deal in Vegas, please let me know.  Something that comes with a house that doesn't come with an apartment is yardwork.  So I'll be honest at this point, and let you know that today's fun was all work that I brought on myself.  The basic responsibility with renting this house is that I'm supposed to take care of the yard.  I spent an hour cutting the grass yesterday.  Fine.  But SOMEBODY decided that I should dig up dirt around the edges of the house, and plant varioius herbs, flowers, and berries.  So your somebody spent another two hours outside doing yardwork today, which was promptly followed by that same somebody taking a three-hour nap...  :D  If ANYTHING actually grows (except for weeds, because I seem to be able to grow those with no effort at all), then maybe I'll post some photos for you here on the blog.

Back to working later shifts, something that will change is the 2:00 a.m. train.  Well, the train schedule probably isn't going to change, but how I deal with the train blasting its horn at 2:00 in the morning will be different.  Before, that train was either waking me up 3 1/2 or 5 1/2 hours before I needed to get up for work (depending on if it was the weekend or a weekday).  Now, that 2:00 a.m. train will remind me that I need to start thinking about getting to bed pretty soon so that I can wake up on time for work later that day.  Have I ever mentioned that the train tracks run right behind my house, and that they are REALLY CLOSE?

And now back to the yardwork.  I was able to do yardwork today, and right now it's still 70 degrees here in Biloxi, at 1:00 a.m.  This was Las Vegas yesterday...

I guess that I picked the right winter to not be in Las Vegas.  BRRRRRR....  Anyway, it's getting warmer here, I cut some grass and planted some seeds, and now I'm gearing up for the NCAA Tournament, which is right around the corner.  Yes, it's less than a week til March, for those of you keeping score at home.  The aforementioned Biloxi Shuckers will be starting their baseball season down here right about the time that the NCAA Tournament comes to an end, and then it will be time for baseball, swimming, poker, and yes, more yardwork...  :)

This old man should really be getting ready to call it a night now, but for my friends in the desert, I should be bothering y'all sometime in the middle of June.  Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you soon!