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RICK OWENS PHLEGETHON SS21 WOMENS

"I SPEND MY SUMMERS ON VENICE’S LIDO, THE SITE OF THOMAS MANN’S NOVELLA DEATH IN VENICE. THE MAIN CHARACTER, A WRITER ASCETICALLY DEVOTED TO HIS CRAFT, DEVELOPS AN OBSESSION WITH A YOUTH AND ENDS UP DYING ON THE BEACH FROM CHOLERA DURING AN EPIDEMIC WITH DESPERATELY AGE-DEFYING HAIR DYE RUNNING DOWN HIS FACE IN THE HOT SUN.
THE WORD ‘QUARANTINE’ ORIGINATED FROM THIS AREA’S MEDIEVAL RESPONSE TO THE BUBONIC PLAGUE.
THIS WOMEN’S RUNWAY SHOW IS PRESENTED IN THE PIAZZA IN FRONT OF THE LIDO CASINO — A MONUMENTAL 1930S RATIONALIST PALAZZO THAT I WALK BY AND WORSHIP EVERY DAY ON MY WAY TO THE BEACH. DOING A DIGITAL SHOW WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE HERE, WITH MY INTIMATE ITALIAN DESIGN ROOM CREW FROM OUR FACTORY 2 HOURS AWAY, FEELS COZY AND TRUTHFUL AND SPECTACULAR ALL AT ONCE. MY LAST FALL RUNWAY SHOULDER-FREAK-OUT WASN’T ABOUT POWER, IT WAS ABOUT DEFIANCE — DEFIANCE IN THE FACE OF THREAT. BLACK GRAIN DE POUDRE TAILORING IS OVERSIZED WITH SLEEVES RIPPED OFF OF HULKING SHOULDERS... STRAPS ALLOW THE WEARER TO STRIP JKTS OFF AND CINCH AROUND WAISTS AS A BEACH BUSTLE... AND SATIN RIB WAISTED BOMBERS HAVE SHOULDERS THAT ARE AN EXAGGERATED MIDDLE FINGER TO DOOM.
I JUST MIGHT BE LEANING INTO A TASTE FOR THE LURID THAT AN UNDERCURRENT OF THREAT AND DREAD CAN INSPIRE. BUBBLEGUM PINK AND ALARM RED THIGH HIGH BOOTS AND LEATHER MICRO- SHORT CUTOFFS ADD A GARISH NOTE, BUT THESE MICRO-SHORTS CAN BE TRANSFORMED INTO WAIST DEFINING BELTS WITH HANDY POCKETS THAT CAN BE WORN OVER SIMPLE JERSEY SHIFTS.
ALSO MORE CIVILIZED ARE ARCHITECTURAL COTTON POPLIN TUNICS AND ROBES WITH SCULPTED CAPES AND MANTLES IN BONDED WOOLS AND COTTON POPLIN. CONFECTIONS IN SILK CHIFFON WITH STRICT LINES OF TULLE GEO-RUFFLES SPRINKLED WITH TRAILING GAZAR RIBBONS ADD A GRIM GAIETY.
MOST OF THE LEATHERS USED IN THIS COLLECTION ARE DOUBLE-FACED WITH MINIMAL, UNLINED CONSTRUCTION, INCLUDING A 0.8MM THICK NEAPOLITAN-PRODUCED JUICY DOUBLE-FACED LEATHER WE CALL DOUBLE BUTTER. WE DID A NEAPOLITAN GELATO DÉGRADÉ STRIPE PRINT ON CHIFFON AND CRÊPE, EXTENDING IT TO KNITS. THESE KNITS DOUBLE UP, PEEL UP AND DOWN LIKE A BANANA, COVERING OR EXPOSING AT WILL.
A GROUP OF FISHNET TANK DRESSES AND HOODIES HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED FROM THE MASKS USED IN FW12 ‘MOUNTAIN’.
JKTS AND SHORTS ARE PRESENTED IN STRETCH DENIM SURFACED WITH PAILLETTES CUSTOM MADE FOR US FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC.
THIS WOMEN’S SPRING COLLECTION, AS ALWAYS, SHARES THE SAME TITLE AS THE MEN’S — ‘PHLEGETHON’, ONE OF THE RIVERS IN THE INFERNO DESCRIBED IN DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY, NOT QUITE THE CENTER OF HELL BUT ON THE WAY THERE.
I USED A SOUNDTRACK OF DONNA SUMMER’S ‘I FEEL LOVE’ REMIXED FOR ME 10 YEARS AGO BY JEFF JUDD, MY LONGTIME MUSIC COLLABORATOR. THIS SONG HAS ALWAYS BEEN A REASSURING AND STABILIZING ANTHEM FOR ME BUT HERE IT GETS AS DARK AND DELIRIOUS AS FALLING INTO A K-HOLE, FITTING THIS MOMENT PERFECTLY. COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS DID NOT ALLOW ME TO POST IT ON YOUTUBE SO I HAD TO POST A SUBSTITUTE VERSION. BUT DONNA WENT HARD FOR THE LIVE SHOW AT THE LIDO..." RO
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su4mf6hmo18

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SHOT Show 2019/My tales of adventure in Las Vegas

PART ONE OF FIVE
So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and James Yeager? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease.
If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas.
However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm gold on UA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean.
We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me.
Anyways, onto the play by play.
Saturday, January 19th. Three days before SHOT show.
I talk a friend of mine to drive me to the airport after I drop my F350 at the body shop. I had a hit and run and someone totally fucked up all my paint and clearcoat. My guy says he can get it done while I'm gone for SHOT so I hitch a ride with a friend and pick up the tab for lunch. We have brisket. It is delicious. I get to the airport 3 hours early for my flight just in case the TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. The government shutdown is not helping these folks. I have pre check and much to my surprise I breeze right through after a brief 3 minute wait.
I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to IAH. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with AA to being in an abusive relationship with UA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, NK is a few gates over.
I board my flight to IAH and my Renton assembled chariot is on time and boarding early. The hate agent scans my pass and the alarms go off and spits off a new boarding pass. I have been upgraded to first class. You all will be turning right, I will be turning left once I pass the threshold of 2L on this old 757. I'll take a cleared upgrade at the gate any day of the week considering that I am 29/53 for Bush to LAX.
Fuck my life.
I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks riding with me. If I don't have to worry about being short on time at my destination, I like to gate check to free up bins for those who are not as fortunate. Eventually I board and ask the FA to say hi to the captain and get a ride report. She says no problem. I step down into the 757 flight deck and take some selfies with the crew. They appreciate my aviation nerdery. They tell me that there will be light chop all over texas today and we're going to have some bumps so strap in and don't be a hero.
Having brightened the day of the flight crew, I head back to my lie flat window seat, fully recline and kick back and relax by listening to channel 9 on the IFE. It's disabled. Fuck. I put on a movie and watch the delightful Tag with the always excellent Jon Hamm, Ed Helms and others. It's a good movie and made me laugh. Just as we get to the gate the credits roll.
We land at Bush right on time but I have a 59 minute spa layover I had planned OR I can go to Landrys with my priory pass and get some blackened snapper. Do I hightail it to the Centurion lounge in terminal D, my home away from home? Or go for fresh grilled seafood?
This centurion lounge does not have a spa. Fuck it, lets go cajun. I walk over to Landrys and order the blackened snapper. It is delicious. The kitchen is a little behind so they box it up the rest of it for me to take on the plane which they don't have to do and I leave the waitress a nice tip. I am sweating from the blackened seasoning. I don't care. NOM NOM NOM. Fish is delish.
They have already started boarding to LAX as I walk up to the gate. I ask the hate agent if there's any upgrades. She says first is checked in full and we are 100% packed to LAX today. I thank her and board my bulkhead seat to LAX with my blackened snapper in one hand and personal item in the other.
Giving the FA a friendly nod, I ask to say hi to the captain and she says no way boss, we're busy - sit down and shut up.
Rude.
The boarding door closes for an on time departure and I watch another classic - Wall Street!
I polish off the blackened snapper, dirty rice and green beans. Charlie Sheen before he went crazy was a pretty good actor. He's so dreamy. I'm sweating profusely from the blackened seasoning and get up to throw away my trash because I didn't want the other guys in coach to have to do it for me. I walk right up to the forward galley into Bitchy McBitchface who woke up on the wrong side of life starts telling me to use the coach lavatory. I tell her I just wanted to throw some trash away and she gave me more attitude than a sassy black woman working at the DMV.
Listen lady, if you don't wanna be dealing with trash - maybe you shouldn't be working for United, eh?
I take my seat and I fall asleep on the way to LA. The ride is smoother than my nephew's 16 month old ass. The flight was not long enough. The landing is a perfect grease job on 24R and the only thing awakening me from my slumber is the reversers on the 737 Max. I pull my headset out so I can tune in LAX ground on LiveATC just as we make the left for taxiway Alpha/Alpha. I see the taxiway signs out of the corner of my window and start the feed just as I hear the ding.
ding
What I'm expecting: Welcome to Los Angeles where the local time is 5:55. Your Houston based flight crew would like to thank you for flying United and your baggage will be at carousel (integer)
What I heard from a clearly panic stricken FA: IF THERE IS A DOCTOR OR ANYONE WITH MEDICAL TRAINING ON BOARD PLEASE RING YOUR CALL BUTTON.
Everyone wants to be a hero until it's time to do hero shit.
I reach up and press the button and a single chime tells the FA that row 9 pressed button.
ding
FA: If you are a doctor or have medical training please head to the rear galley immediately.
I dumped my phone in my seat. (This was my first mistake. I'll tell you why later.)
Shit. It's go time. The passengers next to me are soundly asleep and it's a full flight, so I unbuckle my belt and turnstile jump over the two of them making a resounding thud onto the cabin floor.
I promptly walked with a purpose to the rear cabin. As I'm heading back I hear someone else walking behind me but I'm focused on the long walk from the bulkhead to the rear galley. I arrive shortly and my immediate impression is that the rear galley is not in good shape.
Oh, the bitchface FA that told me off? She's now profusely thanking me for showing up. Funny how that works isn't it?
There's a woman lying across three jumpseats on oxygen screaming in pain with a clearly experienced physician working on her and checking her out. I am not about to get in his way. Right behind me is a six foot three beast of a man who I can only imagine used to play right wing for Detroit. Doc 1 is working her, there's me and Doc 2 is behind me.
Doc 1 tells us she's got shortness of breath and chest pains.
Doc 2 nods and says he's a trauma surgeon from Cedars Sinai.
Doc 1 tells us he's an internal medicine specialist at UCLA.
Doc 2 asks me what my specialty is.
FC says structural firefighting and making sure you two get everything you need.
Doc 2 looks at the FA and asks if they got an AED on board.
I look up at the nearest overhead and there's an AED in the compartment, I bust it out and hand it to him. They start sizing her up as we taxi down Alpha/Alpha. I stand in the aisle inbetween the two bathroom doors as they do their thing ready to help out.
(FC breaks the fourth wall)
FOR THE UNINITIATED: United is in terminals 7/8 on the south side of LAX. When you land next to In-and-Out Burger on Sepuldeva you're on the north side of the field. It's easily a 20 minute ride to get from one side of the airport to another when they're busy. Prime time for LAX is 1800hrs because you have all the morning flights from the east and the afternoon flights from the central time zone arriving.
When you have a medical emergency and time is a factor, a 20 minute ride to the gate is what we call sub optimal. There's hard stand/remote gates at LAX on the northwest side of the field surface street adjacent that you can get to a lot faster than a long haul around the airport. If you give me a choice of going to the hard stand and meeting the ambulance or taking a 15-20 minute taxi during rush hour to a UA staffed ramp - I will GLADLY take to the hard stand, shut down and start em up. Yes, it's going to inconvenience a plane full of people for 20 minutes for you to unload, restart and taxi back. No, I give zero fucks.
My mistake was leaving my phone behind. Had I had it with me, I would have known we were going long way around and applied some intervention techniques to get things moving faster. I had no idea where we were.
(Cut to present)
Doc 1 managed the best he could and the lady said inbetween raspy breaths that she was going to start vomiting from the pain. Doc calls for a bag. The FA takes the safety equipment bag, the one holding the lifevest, seatbelt extender and oxygen mask and empties it.
OH FOR FUCKS SAKE. I reach over to the nearest passenger, pull all the contents of the seatback out, dump it on the floor and hand doc 1 a United brand official airsick bag. Just as I do this and I step back, the plane rapidly slows down and begins to turn.
(FC breaks the fourth wall again)
I used the term suboptimal earlier, and this is going to be a theme for the rest of the trip. Boeing in their infinite wisdom decided to stretch a 737 design and call it the MAX instead of doing a clean sheet. Three FA's, two doctors, me, and our lady experiencing chest pains are in the rear galley all not wearing seatbelts. All but the patient are standing. We are something like 80 feet behind the main landing gear.
Inertia is not our friend today. I start falling and I grab the only thing I can on the way down: the door handle to the lavatory.
(Cut to present)
Next thing I know, I've experienced what the FAA would probably term a "Lavatory Incursion" - and I wonder where my life has gone wrong as my knee has hit the toilet bowl. I get back up and prop a hand up on the cabin ceiling just to steady myself for the rest of the ride to the gate.
I look towards the front of the plane and notice something. Some fuckwit in row 29 is livestreaming this on instagram or some crap. Are you fucking shitting me? I lean over to the purser and tell her that while Doc 1 and 2 are fixing her, I'm gonna go do some fixing of my own about 10 rows up. My resting bitch face is on point right now as I walk up to the tactless millennial inconsiderate smartphone user and get ready to fix this problem in a way honed by years of catholic school, brute force and dealing with shithead customers.
FC: Just what do you think you're doing?
1: I'm livestreaming this on twitter. It's my right.
FC: You're gonna delete whatever you filmed right now.
1: Or what are you gonna do about it?
FC: You see that FA over there? The one that looks like she's not taking any shit from anybody today? I'm gonna ask her for the intercom, I'm gonna call the captain and my friends over at the LAPD are gonna haul your ass in front of a judge and the next place you're gonna be livestreaming from is the back of a police car. And let me tell you something you might not know. There's two ways to enjoy LA Jail on a Saturday night. One's a Richard Pryor album. The other's when a skinny inked up ginger white boy like you walks in. Give me that goddamn phone.
I'm handed the phone and I delete the video as I walk back to the rear galley and put it in my back pocket. People are now asking if they're gonna make their connections and shit and I tell them to shut up, we've got more important things going on. As I walk back I peek through the windows seeing nothing but darkness. How long does it take to get to the gate? And even then, is there an ambulance waiting there?
What the fuck is happening? Where the fuck are we?
I ask Bitch McBitchface how long these symptoms have been going on. Apparently this issue had just arisen upon landing. Doc 1 asks for a stethoscope. I pull down the first aid kit from the compartment. It requires keys. The cabin crew has to find the keys for the first aid kit. I'm eventually handed a key and bust out a stethoscope for the doc. I peer out the window of the rearmost seats looking for signs of a gate, ambulance or anything I can reference to figure out where we are - the tower, a 777 tail which would tell me we are nearing the international terminal.....nothing but darkness.
This is not good.
Doc keeps the O2 flowing as we are all standing there helpless waiting for the plane to get to the ambulance or vice versa. The cabin crew asks how they're going to get her off the plane.
FC: Well she's in no condition to walk, can you get the rampers to put air stairs on 2L and take her off that way? It would be easier and optimal.
FA: I don't think we are able to do that
(It is at this point I think I smell toast. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T DO THAT? GET ON THE INTERCOM AND TELL THE CAPTAIN THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE HER OFF THE PLANE VIA 2L AND STAIRS WTF)
I get that what is happening is clearly exceeding the crew's training but this is.....bad. Eventually we arrive at the gate and the fine folks at Station 51 from LAFD EMS arrive. The EMT sizes it up and calls for an aisle chair to be brought to take her off the plane since she can't walk. (WE HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS THE WHOLE TIME!)
They load her up and I step out of the way into the lavatory, I see them wheel her out through a crack in the door. I take this chance to do a bit from spies like us.
I look to my left and extend my hand. Doctor. I nod. I repeat to the right. They also repeat the bit. We chuckle.
I look towards Doc 2.
FC: Hey Docs, I didn't catch your names. I'm Will. Will Hayden.
Doc 2: George, George Rodriguez.
FC: Good work there Dr Rodriguez. Thanks for helping out.
Doc 2: We're doctors. It's what we do.
Doc 1: Hiya Will, I'm Charlie Fong.
FC: Nice work today Dr Fong. Thank you for showing up.
We start walking back to our seats as I snort out a laugh.
FC: So, Dr Fong.....I guess it's safe to say that United has successfully smoothed things over with the Asian physician community?
The doc's have a two Mississippi awkward pause as they begun laughing hysterically. Please, tip your waitresses. Try the veal. I'm here all night. Tactless millennial asks me to return phone, and I hand it back as we walk back to our seats.
EMS clears the plane, captain tells people that they can now leave and a cacophony of seat belt buckles pierces the high pitched drone that is a 737 sitting at the gate without engines running on shore power.
I ask Bitchy if I can see the captain on the way out as she once more thanks me for my service. She stuck her head in, got a nod and let me pass. I asked the captain why we landed on the north side of the field with an onboard medical and why we didn't get priority handling from the ground controller and why the hell it took so long to get to the gate.
His response was staggering.
CA: We didn't even know there was an emergency in the galley until the FA told us. By then we were almost to the terminal.
FC: Are you fucking kidding me?
CA: Nope. By the time we knew something was going on we were already on the ground and almost to the gate.
We talk airplane briefly about the 737 Max, the new jumpseats and I wish them a good rest of the trip. I secretly think he's got to be shitting me.
Being a good aviation nerd, I made mental note to check his work after I got back to the hotel.
I head to the lounge in LAX for a bite to eat, a sprite and some very boring time to myself. Just as I walk into the terminal there's a voicemail from my uncle. My plan for LA was to see my family - and my cousin and his wife who's pregnant with their second kid. I crash at my uncle's house in Pasadena and walk around old town and shop at Vromans Bookstore and enjoy all that Southern California has to offer. It's a good way to spend a weekend. If you ever get a chance, do it. It's fun. I can pay United a shitload of money to fly into McCarran on Monday or I can spend 1/3 of that and go into LAX a few days before and hop over for $45. I love LA.
NEW VOICEMAIL FROM UNCLE LOU: Family emergency, we all have to head to Chicago because Lisa's mom is in the hospital and we can't see you this weekend. You're on your own. I'm on my way to Burbank to catch the last flight to Midway. Talk to you later.
Fuck.
Time for an FC adventure.
I order some food in the lounge and crack open the laptop. One of my customers works for LAFD. I find his personal cell phone number in my sales records.
ring ring
1: Go for Smith
FC: Chief Smith! Will Hayden here! How's that M110 running?
1: Will...holy shit long time no talk. What's going on?
FC: Family bailed on me for this weekend, gotta make my own adventure. You working tomorrow? I'd love to see how LA does things.
1: No, but I have some friends on C shift that are. Let me see who's gonna be around. Let me call you back in 10.
FC: You got it Chief.
I eat and drink and relax and the phone rings back. Chief smith says be at station 9 at 0800 hrs Sunday morning. I say no problem! Thanks! He tells me to check in with the captain of the truck crew and he'll show me around.
While I'm on the laptop I book the marriott in Torrance. It's near the airport and a 25 minute ride to station 9. Little did I know it's next to a goddamn oil refinery and the housekeeping staff have left all the windows to my room open. Ugh. I kick back and take a shower. When I get back, I pulled all the ATC tape from LAX tower, from landing clearance to touchdown to the ground controller handoff to the checkpoint, to the request for medical assistance and timestamped all of it.
The request to LAX ground for EMS was made somewhere on taxiway bravo after passing papa (TBIT) but before Charlie-6. (T7). By that time we were already on the south side of the field and terminal adjacent.
Cabin crew didn't tell the captain to request EMS till we got to the other side of the fucking airport. From the moment I walked up, I had assumed (incorrectly) that prior to the request for medical assistance they would at least have told the captain what was going on. They didn't and he was flying blind. When you do a CPR class the first thing you do is call 911 and ask for an ambulance because it does not matter how much CPR you do if an ambulance never shows up to take you to the hospital.
There's a lesson to be learned here.
When seconds count, the request for EMS is waiting for the plane to get to the terminal to be called.
I knew United wasn't great, but this is to use a southern california term - no bueno.
The Westchester In and Out Burger has a 4x4 with my name on it and it is DELICIOUS. After I finish eating I hop on the hangout with the guys.
Since I've got no plans till morning I decide that it's worth the crazy time and I call u/gunexpert69 and we make plans to hang out at his local watering hole. We then try to pick up some flight attendants at the Doubletree. We fail miserably and call it a night.
Sunday, January 20th. Two days before SHOT show.
My alarm is set for 727AM. It rings, I wash up, jump in the car and put free fallin by Tom Petty on the radio and hop onto 405 south to pick up 110 north. The freeways are empty and I make incredible time downtown. I look down at the address and wonder where the fuck I am going. 7th and San Julian St? I drive around and there are tents on the sidewalk everywhere. This is the closest I have seen to life in a WROL situation. Eventually I find a spot on 7th street, bang on the door and the guys tell me to pull my car into the back lot. I do so and the guys are having breakfast and invite me to sit down and grab a bite.
When in Rome......
I grab some eggs, bacon and a biscuit and the truck captain comes by and says oh you know Smith? Apparently they came up in the same academy class and are old friends. He sticks his head out the door and yells at one of the guys and pantomimes some instructions. I don't speak ASL so I just nod and take it in. He runs down what they're doing today. LA tradition is that weekends are for the boys so they do training on weekends. It's 820AM and they've setup a training scenario and are gonna run it. This looks cool.
One of the guys comes back and hands me a headset, saladbowl and turnout coat. Captain says you're with me in the truck. Gear up.
Uh. What?
CA: Yeah, Chief Smith said you'd be riding along with us today. Right?
FC: LOL! I thought he was just gonna do a station visit. Sure, I'll ride with you guys.
CA: You ever see a TDA before?
FC: I used to be on the engine or the quint so this is gonna be new.
CA: Well, jump in. Lets go.
My ride to LA was a 737 max made in Renton that just came off the line January 17th. My ride to Skid Row was a 100' Pierce Arrow XT Tractor Drawn Aerial that was three years old. I hopped in and we drove around to the training location where the guys were to setup the ladder and pretend like they were venting a roof on a 5 story building. I was told to go shadow the command post as they'd be evaluating the guys and they had a good training day. LA has a good group of people and it shows. They did a post training debrief, simulated a dry hydrant and talked about everything they did, everything they did badly and everything they could do better.
LA has some fantastic people there that are very talented. The guys started putting tools away and rolling hose. I find the captain over on one of the engines and ask him if they need help with anything. He says if you want to help out, we're breaking down that attack line you can drain it.
FC: You guys straight roll to a flat load right?
CA: Yeah. You know hose?
FC: Drivers do it with hose.
CA: LOL! Hadn't heard that one before! Here's some gloves.
He gave me some gloves, I straight rolled three sections of three quarter line and hauled it all back to the engine where I found the truck captain loading hose with his guys. If anyone wants to see where real leadership is, it's helping your guys load hose and pack up tools.
I hook up and look up as I notice their technique. LA flat loads all their attack line, no preconnects. Two guys in the bed dressing and dutching it, one guy on the ground, straight roll between the boots pulling hose straight up into the engine. Gets any residual water out and they can check the gaskets every length. Never seen that done before but it looks like a smooth technique. I hook up the last of their attack line as the guys finish packing up. The bells come in and there's an automatic fire alarm tripped. First call of the morning. We hop over there and its' a false alarm.
The rest of the day is spent with station 9 watching the various indigenous folks of Skid Row do their thing. Station 9 is the busiest fire station in the nation. Before lunch they ran 3 overdoses, 2 stabbings, and a cacophany of crap. I went with them and their ambulance drivers and EMT's really earn every dollar they make working this area. After a quick break for lunch, they start watching the Rams game. Just as it got good, bells came in for another few calls and next thing I knew - the Rams were going to the super bowl and the dinner bell was ringing.
I decided it would be overstaying my welcome to hang out for dinner so I packed up and bought a shirt and told the guys if they ever needed guns to shout at me. Drove over to Grand Central Market to get a bite to eat and then grabbed some in and out burger on my way back to the hotel. txgi is sloshed and in no position to travel after watching the patriots destroy KC.
It's been a crazy day and the beginning of a crazy trip. And it's just getting started.
Monday, January 21st. One day before SHOT Show
I wake up late, grab lunch at the Del Amo mall and do some shopping. My flight to McCarran leaves at 7PM and arrives just after 8PM. Knowing rush hour traffic in LA I decide to leave early and get to the airport at 430. I hightail it to the lounge in TBIT and grab a bite to eat and relax. I'm on an Alaska A320 to McCarran all the way in the back but at least I got a window seat. I stop in on the way to talk to the captain and he asks me a bunch of gun questions. I tell him the VP9 is good to go and he should buy it with his ATP credentials.
The 320 ride to LAS is entirely filled with moderate chop. The airplane is literally banging the side of the plane into my head. It is a miserable flight. We land on time and I am unable to stop at the Centurion lounge for a bite and a drink because it's closed for renovations.
I grab my bags and pick up my badge for SHOT Show at the airport and jump on the shuttle bus to Hertz. I reserved a compact knowing I'd need to be in and out of a tight parking garage. I get to my assigned spot, spot 13 and there's a fullsize Chevy Suburban there.
What the fuck is this?
I throw my bags inside, jump in and drive right up to the Gold Member service area.
FC: The lady on the phone asked me compact, midsize or fullsize - WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?
Hertz: That's the Hertz Love Wagon! Think of all the ladies you can drive around in this!
FC: DO I LOOK LIKE A GODDAMN LYFT FOR WORKING GIRLS?
It is at this point where I learn something.
The best part about Vegas is anything crazy or unbelievable can be explained or justified by shrugging your shoulders, opening your palms upward and saying "It's Vegas!"
Hertz: It's Vegas!
FC: I am not driving (gesticulates widlly) THIS into the parking garage of the Palazzo for 4 days straight!
Hertz is not impressed with my pantomime.
They find me a brand new 2019 Honda Pilot with 19 miles on it. I hightail it up the highway to Circus Circus. Check in line is totally deserted. I am able to haul my bags up and get keys in 3 minutes flat. That's gotta be a fucking record.
Just as I arrive at my room I decide to send Rusty Shackleford a picture of me looking grumpy in front of the hertz love wagon.
RS: ARE YOU IN VEGAS?!?!?!??!?!?
FC: YES!!!! WHY ARE WE YELLING?!?!?!??!?
(image of Rusty coming down the escalator with the sign behind him that says WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS in the background)
FC: Oh dear god. I just got to the hotel to dump off my bags, you want a ride? I can be there in 20.
RS: Nah man we just landed a few min ago I was gonna take an uber
FC: By the time you get to the rideshare area it'll be 20 minutes. I can be there by the time you get to the curb. Seriously.
RS: LOL okay head over!
I look at my watch. Las Vegas Blvd traffic on a monday night? This isn't gonna work. I grab my coat and run back to the parking garage and tear out of the CC garage tires squealing all the way down. I bang a left onto Sammy Davis Jr Drive and haul ass to Spring mountain where I jump on 15 and get the car up to 100MPH between mandalay bay and 215.
McCarran Airport SUCKS in many regards and the airport pickup is one of them. It's not laid out well at all but it makes the cabbies plenty of money. I find it kinda funny because this year I'm picking up Rusty. Last year I was picking up a coworker of a buddy of mine who needed his SHOT show pass and there was no way to get it to him that night so I just said fuck it, give me the pass and I'll get it to him and drive him to the hotel. The year before, I picked up u/fluffy_butternut.
I guess I am the world's worst uber driver. I like doing the same bit over and over again like beating a dead horse so I can pickup Rusty one of to ways.
A: The classic Las Vegas Airport pickup. Drive to airport and park car on curb. Wait for metro PD to start yelling at you for parking on the sidewalk. Message Rusty to tell him I'm the one parked on the sidewalk.
B: In my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression: COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE
My calculations were rough but I figured rusty should get to the curb right at the same time as me. If he's there already, we do B. If he's not, I'll do A.
The speed limit in the tunnel under the airport is 55. I'm doing 90. I fly up the ramp to Terminal 1 and tell him that I'll grab him at the American arrivals level. Just as I pull off to the curb to tell him I'm here he tells me he's just walked outside and I look up and see a classically hawaiian shirt standing at the curb. I pull the car forward, stop quickly and do my best Arnold. He laughs and hops in. I take him to his hotel and dump him off at registration as I park the car. I spend 20 minutes parking the car and I walk over to registration to find him still in line. The hotel is packed with people for the convention.
Behind us is a beautiful blonde engineer in town for what I'm guessing is World of Concrete based on the blueprints she's brought with her. I chat her up a bit until I see that she's got a wedding ring on her other hand. We head up to rusty's room where we find a king size bed and a hot tub 5 feet away. You don't even need to leave your bed to drown a hooker if you don't want to.
It's Vegas!
Rusty says lets go down to the casino and lose some money. We head down to the casino and lose some money at the craps table. This trip is not treating me nicely. I tell him I gotta tap out. Show in the morning.
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WORST Tourist Traps in Las Vegas (Scams, Rip Offs & More)

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