Vegas Strip #3

I’m waiting for the thrill of living in the Las Vegas area to subside, but so far it hasn’t. After spending time in both the old and new strip within the last month, I prefer the modern hotels compared to Fremont.  I spent about four hours today walking around Flamingo, Venetian (no pictures this time), Palazzo, New York New York, Mirage (no pictures this time).   I went inside Linq, the former Imperial Palace, which was the first hotel I stayed about ten years ago.  I included a few pictures of Caesar’s Palace from an earlier time too.  Enjoy.

Entering the Vegas Strip Again



























The Palazzo















New York New York







Caesar’s Palace







The Linq




Miscellaneous Photos










Briefly Looking Ahead to 2019 and 2020 while 2018 Quickly Heads to the Finish Line

The consensus continues to be adaptations, remakes, sequels, and spin offs hitting the theaters with a smattering of original movies being released in 2018, 2019, and 2020.  Here is a very short list of movies I’d like to see in the theater in the next three years.  This doesn’t mean I’ll get to all of them, but I’m hoping I get to more than less.  Not all one sheets are available and used photos when allowed.


The Predator on September 14th

I want to be sitting in the theater and will make a solid effort to see it.  This is a Shane Black project and fourth movie in this franchise.  The predators are coming back stronger and faster and all because child a can’t find constructive things to do in his free time.  Get the popcorn ready, please.

Bad Times at the El Royale on October 5th

The cast should be great together with Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Offerman, and Jeff Bridges.  This mystery/thriller is about a group of strangers finding redemption in a rundown hotel.

Bohemian Rhapsody on November 2nd

I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out when I first read about it, and one I want to see for sure in the theater.  Rami Malik plays lead singer of Queen, Freddy Mercury, which focuses on his Live Aid concert in 1985 in this biopic.  I used to have recordings of his concert on VHS, but can’t wait to see this biopic.

Aquaman on December 21st

I like Jason Momoa and not because he did that commercial for cotton, but because I think he’s a good actor.  He has good range.  I’m giving a shout out to DC Comics.  I thought Suicide Squad was decent movie and definitely willing to give Aquaman a try.  After seeing the cast on Conan, there’s no other option than to watch it now.

Drunk Parents in 2018

Who doesn’t like Alec Baldwin or Salma Hayek?  I can think of one in particular that won’t be named.  Baldwin and Hayek play two drunks who hide their financial embarassments from their daughter in this comedy.


John Wick 3: Parabellum on May 17th

Keanu Reeves is back as the gun wielding, kick ass hitman in this third installment.  He’s now trying to survive against the whole world as there’s a nice prize for his head. I’m sure seeing him riding a galloping horse in NYC will be worth seeing.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26th

Quentin Tarantino’s movie stars Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt.  This drama/thriller is about an actor and stunt double when Charles Manson brought mass hysteria to Los Angeles in 1969.

It: Chapter Two on September 6th

This is going to be one of the most anticipated movies of next year.  With a cast of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård and others, it is going to be good.  I read that they might include a scene that was edited out of the first movie.  I hope they do because it will drive home there’s scary and evil stuff out there.

Judy in 2019

It all started with the Wizard of Oz where Judy Garland held her weight with three male cast members.  This focuses on her concerts in 1968 where Renee Zellweger plays Judy.

The Irishman in 2019

Martin Scorsese teams up with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino again.  This crime drama is an adaptation about a hitman’s possible involvement in Jimmy Hoffa’s death.  It will be good to see both De Niro doing serious film and Pacino doing a Mafia film again.


Bad Boys for Life on January 17th

The third installment of this franchise of Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett.  I enjoyed the original more than the sequel, but still good enough to own.  It would be pretty awesome if Captain Howard came back.  He has to come back.  Right?

Sherlock Holmes 3 on December 25th

Another third installment of a franchise and again the focus being Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, and love interest Irene Adler.  A little action, adventure, and crime all wrapped into a perfect little box to be opened on Christmas Day.

Avatar 2 on December 18th

This will probably exceed everyone’s expectations because it’s directed by James Cameron.  The story continues of Jack Sully and his now seemingly permanent connection with Pandora.  After this movie, there is guaranteed to be a third in 2021 and hopefully a fourth in 2024 and fifth in 2025. 

Fengshen Trilogy in 2020

This is based on the classical fantasy novel of China about mythical wars among humans, immortals, and monsters.  The three films will likely be released in succession and with great potential.

Phantom of the Opera in 2020

Things change quickly in Hollywood because I had movies that were tentatively to be released in 2020 and then they disappeared from IMDb.  This brings me to the last movie I wouldn’t mind seeing.  It’s been done before many times, but I’m a sucker for musicals and a little romance.


And there you have it, the five movies I’d like to see in the theaters for remainder of this year and the next two years.  Happy movie watching everyone.


Disorder In The Court

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The following is a peculiar court transcript cited in Rodney Jone’s Disorderly Conduct: Verbatim Excerpts From Actual Cases (1987):

The Court: I got the Quadrophenia, but then he said somebody played in it, and I didn’t get that.

Prosecutor: The Who.

The Court: The what?

Witness: Musicians.

Prosecutor: The Who.

Witness: The Who.

The Court: Who?

Witness: The Who. That’s the name of the band.

The Court: So that’s the name of the group, the Who?

Witness: Yes, the Who.

The Court: Not the What? The Who?

Witness: No, the Who.

The Court: You got it, everybody? The Quadrophenia is a movie with the Who.

Witness: Punk rockers.

The Court: All right.

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A close encounter of the owl kind — Christopher Martin Photography

Almost two months ago, I came across a great gray owl that was surveying a bog from the top of a weathered fence post. I watched him for a few minutes as he looked around. Then the big, yellow eyes watched me for a few seconds before the wings stretched out and he flew up […]

via A close encounter of the owl kind — Christopher Martin Photography

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When Movies Meet in the Middle of the Ring and Fight


I decided to compare briefly two movies I’ve seen within a few days of each other.  These happened to be on Hulu and basically watched them because I’m doing a Cheers marathon right now while sometimes unpacking.  It brought up other options I might be interested in and The Brady Bunch Movie came up.  Plus, both were expiring soon so I thought why not watch some nonsense for once.  I even watched the sequel to The Brady Bunch Movie.

Dirty Grandpa stars Robert De Niro as grandpa and Zac Efron as grandson.  Grandpa, who’s wife just passed away, wants to live life as his departed old wife wanted him to do.  He persuades his grandson to drive him to Daytona Beach, Florida, where many fine looking female students go for spring break.  The only problem is grandson is getting married soon, and his demanding fiancée wants him all to herself.  He wants this too, but grandpa has other plans for his used to be fun grandson.  It’s a road trip with some endearing moments, but it has more foul language and sexual references than I care to count.  I guess I sort of understand what the writer and director was trying to do with this film.  It just falls way short of the finish line for De Niro and Efron in terms of utilizing their acting skills and seems to rely too heavily on the over the top comedy routine shtick.

The Brady Bunch Movie stars Shelly Long and Gary Cole and all their children.  The most notable being Christine Taylor and Jennifer Elise Cox who played Marcia and Jan Brady.  I did like the constant arguing between them.  I liked Jean Smart and Michael McKean as the Dittmeyers.  I liked RuPaul as the school counselor.  Even despite all the complaining from Jan, I found Cindy the least likable.  I don’t know why.  So sorry Cindy.  You know the family in some way will have a problem and need to put their differences aside.  They do just this to help their parents.  The movie had some funny moments, but the dialogue was a bit too much for me.  I don’t know what it was, but it seemed somewhat forced and stiff.  I can forgive it  more because the movie is supposed be goofy.  It captured what living in a large family can be like and luckily I never grew up in that although I was definitely born into it.


Since I’m the only judge, I score the contest where The Brady Bunch edges out Dirty Grandpa by a few punches.  I laughed more in Dirty Grandpa, but overall The Brady Bunch is the winner due to its subtle humor and a tad more realism.



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A Few Pictures from the Parking Lot

Since moving to the Las Vegas area, I’ve seen weird rain, thunder, and lightning patterns.  It can arrive quick and leave quicker, but now I don’t feel so bad for the trees.  I’ve had flash flood and dust storm warnings on my phone.  The first for me as I’m more used to fire alerts and long before that tornado warnings on TV.  I haven’t seen a scorpion yet and knock on wood I never see one.  It seems they reside in the areas where the imported palm trees are not.  I talked to one person who said she found one in her laundry.  No thanks.  Maybe, the only blessing living on the second floor is they are more apt to enter the first floor apartments and stay put.  I hope they don’t like to crawl upward.  Here are a few pictures I snapped of the clouds and sky where I can actually see it now.  I don’t live next to it, but close enough to the McCarran Airport so it’s cool to see the planes overhead.  I’m waiting for it to get cooler, like during the winter months, when hopefully, I can hike outside somewhere.  There’s still a lot of see here, but I’m already looking forward to heading back to Los Angeles for a visit.  I guess that’s a good problem to have.







Book Recommendation: The Battle for Las Vegas

“I always had trouble when I was playing with government money.”

-Emmett Michaels-


Publisher: Huntington Press

Publication: July 1, 2006

Page Number: 256

I couldn’t post four blogs worth of photos and not recommend a book regarding the whole mob and law relationship in Las Vegas.  Long before I plucked this book off the shelf and when I should’ve been doing any other thing but buying another book, I was in high school reading about the Mafia.  Flash forward to today.  The author, Dennis N. Griffin, stated he wouldn’t have written it if he found himself regurgitating information from his other books, which is always an indicator of a good writer.  I opened it up and looked to see how many chapters there were and approximately how long they were too.  Eventually how long they were didn’t matter and didn’t care to find a bookmark either because I remembered where I left off each time.  The book began with a brief history of Las Vegas, eventually coming to the story of Tony Spilotro and Frank Rosenthal.  They were two of the major players, but obviously more come out the shadows as they continue to work together.  The other side of the fence would be the law enforcement agencies trying to come together against a common enemy.  The book reads much like a MMA fight you would watch today: two powerful forces butting heads and neither backing down.  The only difference in regards to this story is there was friction within and between the two parties: mob and law.  It’s about as objective writing as you can get, no chapter leaning right or wrong or one group being better than the other.  Griffin delivered a factual, concise true story about the battles within Las Vegas during the early 1980s that not only affected the two parties but the people who called it home.


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