RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : Campground Tragedy

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails
Recently Updated : Written in Jello

 

Tragedies Happen at Campgrounds, Too!

On Sunday I was witness to a horrible tragedy. A little girl had her arm mangled by a dog. I heard the attack not far from me and ran to help, but it was too late. I made sure the little girl was safe from a second attack, but there was no loose dog in sight.

She was rushed to the hospital for surgery. The fate of her arm is still yet to be determined. It is a terrible, terrible situation.

I was the only adult outside in the area and the closest person to witnessing the actual attack. I’m now caught in the middle of a very confusing and messy situation. While certain folks are ready to take responsibility and do the right thing in order to assist in the investigation — others aren’t. In fact, now things have gotten very quiet here as the less-cooperative types are seemingly developing a scheme behind closed doors. (One of the prime suspects are friends with the guardian of the child. A less-likely dog is being held in quarantine for 10 days because the guardian pointed a finger at it, instead).

I’m so sick for the little girl and pray that her arm can be fixed.

And I’m sick about the behavior of the people who are hiding the truth about suspect dogs while others suffer and potentially put others’ safety at risk. I would never expect this from my fellow RVers — not even the resident-types. Unfortunately, if lawyers get involved, it’s likely I’ll get called back from my trip to give more statements. Which means, maybe I should leave a little sooner…

 

Travel Plans

In light of this incident, I’m debating whether I’m going to run away from town next Monday or simply move to another park for a few days while I move forward with the poker adventure I had planned here in Vegas.

The most exciting new development is that I landed a job in North Carolina late November and am in the beginning stages of travel arrangements. The only thing I’m certain of is that I’ll hit Atlanta on the tail-end of the trip to see a Thursday Night Football game between the Falcons and Saints and then fly back to Vegas from there.

December and January are definitely shaping up to be Southern California/Arizona adventures with a possible work stint in Atlantic City.

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : On the Fence

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

Health Update

A couple weeks ago I got to experience the best vision I’d had in years when I put in my customized contacts. No matter what time of day I would put them in, the lenses would stabilize my cornea and I’d have 20/25 vision. No more headaches, nausea, or dizziness. No more trying to figure out which pair of glasses to put on for each individual task throughout the day.

But I knew something wasn’t right. My severe dry eyes were interfering. Even with the specially-designed suction tool to remove them, it was taking longer and longer each night to dislodge the lenses. Eventually, I ended up at urgent care to have one blasted out.

Additionally, because of the severe dryness, my vision takes a full 24 hours to recover before I can switch back to glasses (normally it should take 2 hours). For these reasons, I won’t be able to wear them on days I work for the next 3 weeks.

It’s going to be a process. For now, I’m going to be starting a 3-month treatment for the severe dryness and just wear the contacts sparingly on my days off. Eventually…eventually…I may be able to lead a somewhat normal life, again.

 

Travel Plans

The good news is, there may not be any doctor’s appointments to hold up my trip. I should be able to leave at the end of September or first week of October as I originally planned! This should give me plenty of time for some random adventures in rural Nevada and the Yosemite area.

Once I get near Reno I’ll be watching  the extended weather forecasts. I could stay an entire month there and drive up-and-down the hill to Tahoe for 2 weeks. Or, weather-permitting, I could tackle Donner Pass en route to my membership campground in Emigrant Gap near Tahoe. Or, I could head to a nice casino-campground in the Carson Valley for the Tahoe portion of the trip. All of them sound like fine ideas — weather and economics are the determining factors.

But rather than head towards the Northwest afterwards, there’s a fair chance I won’t feel comfortable straying too far from Vegas for very long the next few months. I sense there will be more followups and necessary adjustments, not to mention all the glasses subscriptions that need to be changed.

So, Plan B : Southern California and Arizona. There’s still some campgrounds near San Diego and L.A. I’d like to visit. Palm Springs would be a great place to stay active and exercise for two weeks. And Cottonwood, Arizona would still be a neat destination for the holidays.

I’m completely on the fence at this point. The Oregon Coast is calling me, but if I stay south just until after the holidays, there’s still some time to make my way up there before I have to get back to Vegas in late spring. I’ll have a better idea once I get going.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : Awaiting the Verdict

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

Health

I’m seeing the eye doctor on Friday. After 3 years of suffering — and, finally a diagnosis — there’s a possible solution on the horizon. It’s a customized hard contact designed to fit my flat corneas snugly and hold them in place. It could change my life, something I’m very desperate for and extremely nervous about it. If it doesn’t work, my last option is a risky operation that my current surgeon won’t even perform. I’m near the end of my rope here. If you believe in prayer or the power of positive thoughts, please send them my way. I need some luck here!

 

Time for Poker

For the next 3 weeks I am focused on health by day and playing poker by night as I await my September job. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to spend this much time playing poker in Las Vegas (it seems I play more when I travel), and it’s good to get back into the game! I’m off to a decent start. And I’m quite proud that I’ve resisted alcohol for over 2 weeks now (alcohol is easy to come by when you’re gambling in a Vegas casino).

 

Travel Plans

My plans haven’t changed much. Depending on how many adjustments are required for the contacts, I’ll be shoving off late September or early October. I’ll start with my random adventures in rural Nevada, work 10 days in Reno, play poker 2-3 weeks in the Tahoe area, settle in somewhere to store my home, and fly out to work either in Florida or North Carolina.

Beyond that, I’m planning to find snow for the holidays and apply for a January job in Atlantic City. I’m hoping home base will be somewhere nice in Northern California or the Oregon Coast.

I’m doing my very best not to do much planning for the rural Nevada portion of the journey. I really want to be completely spontaneous. However, I do know I’m going to see the Valley of Fire, some touristy Area 51 spots, and Mono Lake (CA?).

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : Bad News, Good News

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails
Recently Updated : Written in Jello

 

The Bad…

Things are still feeling rather hopeless with my health issues. The surgeon does not want to perform the cornea transplant. He wants me to go to a specialist that fits hard contacts to hold my corneas in place. This, to me, seems like a long shot at best. Event more discouraging is the potential out-of-pocket costs  — up to $2500!

I may postpone this Friday’s session until I get a clear understanding of what I’m getting into. After all, the consultation alone is $500 and, if the contacts are nearly $2000 — what happens when I lose one? What are the chances this will even work at all? Is there someone else in Nevada, perhaps in Reno, that may be covered by my insurance?

 

The Good…

I was selected to work at the Venetian in September!

This is a huge relief. It fills in a work gap nicely while I continue these doctor’s appointments and hit the gym for a couple months. I have to believe I’ll have a lot resolved by the end of September and be totally prepared to head towards Reno/Tahoe and beyond. I see myself camping in Northern California during the colder months and the Northwest as much as I can.

I can fly out for work. I’m applying for November events in Florida and North Carolina. In the spring I’ll be shooting for an Atlantic City event.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : Home Stretch

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

Health Update

I went to my surgeon a couple days ago. He believes the cornea transplant is too risky. I’m being sent to someone who specializes in fitting hard contacts that supposedly hold my “floating corneas” in place. I’m trying to be optimistic but it just seems too far-fetched. My options running out.
Work Update

I currently have 10 more workdays til the end of my summer. I’m still waiting on the go-ahead to work Jackpot in August. But here’s some good news : I was hired to work an event in Reno at the beginning of October.

In speaking with other traveling dealers, it’s not a particularly good event. The Peppermill apparently over staffs and it’s barely a break even proposition. That’s okay, I’ll try anything once. The job will pay my expenses and I can look to upgrade next year…

 

Endless Travel Scenarios

Now that I have the ability to fly, I’m finding there is generally 2-3 events every month that I can apply for, even some with overlap and conflict. More and more I’m learning it’s time to let go of planning and just “see what happens.”

For instance, the Reno job was unexpected. I then learned there’s a major poker tournament in Lake Tahoe the 2 weeks after Reno that I could play in! So, immediately I devised a trip based on only one of the many scenarios that could develop leading up to that event. So, IF I get selected for Jackpot, and IF I don’t get selected for September at the Venetian, and IF I decide not to work Planet Hollywood in November, I might…

  1. Play poker a week or two in Vegas.
  2. Explore Utah and Twin Falls for a week or two.
  3. Work in Jackpot, NV mid-August.
  4. Play in the WPT Deepstacks in late August.
  5. Spend September in the Carson Valley and visit some of my favorite Northern Nevada attractions.
  6. Work in Reno early October.
  7. Try to qualify for the WSOP event in Lake Tahoe.

But there’s a lot of “IF’s.” How many different scenarios are there this fall? About a dozen! That’s why I’m learning to relax and let go of long-term planning these days…

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : Let the Pieces Fall…

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

A couple pieces of my “fall” schedule should be revealed by next Thursday when I see the surgeon. At that point I’ll learn when I’m going to see the cornea specialist. I should also know by then if I’m heading to Jackpot, Nevada to work a tournament in August (and then probably Reno to play). By the end of this month I’ll find out if I’m working a September tournament here in Vegas.

Normally, being a big planner, I’d have a lot of anxiety not knowing my travel and work schedule. But I think my health challenges have forced me to realize it really doesn’t matter. The work is going to be there. The travel opportunities aren’t going anywhere. And the Oregon Coast will wait for me, I’m sure.

And, in a way, I still always have a game plan. I have backup plans. “Stuck” in Vegas? I’ll play poker, go to the gym, and begin outside home improvement when the weather cools. Not going to Jackpot but have some time to kill? I may hit the road right away OR play poker here while the gettin’s good and then go. The possibilities are endless.

It’s time to be more spontaneous now and truly take one day at a time. My Summer of Organization has really helped me with this. I’m actually enjoying tackling different tasks every week that improve my lifestyle and functionality. For instance, this morning I’m going to do some alterations on my roll-up curtains, some desk organization, and devise a more functional shaving kit. Next week I’m really going to work on my new gym routine.

The gym is a big step for me. If I get through this summer actually in better shape than I started, it’ll be a major accomplishment. Now that my headaches have subsided a bit (since I’ve been getting up early to get a head-start on my eyewear-progression) and I haven’t had one beer in an entire month — I think I have a fair shot at this goal!

One day at a time. Life is good.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : 117 Degrees

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

Win One, Lose One

Yesterday Las Vegas tied an all-time high of 117 degrees. I’ve actually seen 120+ in the valley before but the official numbers are recorded at McCarran Airport, which is a slightly higher elevation (the entire city is on a slant from Red Rock Canyon to Lake Mead).

With my roof A/C having a history of tripping the circuit in 100+ temperatures, I installed a second window unit and plugged into the 20-amp outside yesterday. I came home to a wonderful freezing-cold RV — now, minus the potential fire hazard.

This was a pleasant end to a lousy day. Once again, my scooter had been broken into. This time, the battery was stolen. Las Vegas is a city of thieves and I accept that risk. What I don’t accept as a proud employee of the Venetian is the lack of security in the parking garages. While other casinos have security guards on bicycles patrolling their garages, ours is surprisingly lame. I’ll make at least a small effort to escalate the awareness of this situation. And I’ll replace the battery and try again.

 

Lifestyle Priorities

Lately I’ve been working on a list of lifestyle priorities. For instance, it’s important to be less exposed to crime and the angry/aggressive drivers in east Las Vegas (I stay in a respectable resort surrounded by less-desirable neighborhoods). It’s important I hang onto only a minimal amount of debt and earn a certain salary each month. It’s important that my new business ventures are fun and inspirational. It’s important that, within  3-4 years, that I have complete freedom to travel anywhere in the U.S. (including the eastern half) rather than having to come back to Vegas several times per year. The list is long…

Once I’m satisfied I’m going to reorder the list based on the importance of each item. I’m then going to cross-reference my lifestyle priorities with my list of business ideas and work opportunities. I’ll then determine how I’m going to proceed with my career to best suit my lifestyle. I’m certainly on the right track with my seasonal poker gigs and cheap lifestyle — I just think it can be even better!

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : So It Ain’t Pretty…

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

The Las Vegas Grind

I’m working 7 days a week now as all the major poker events in Las Vegas are in full swing. Despite all the excitement, my head hasn’t really been in it. While I’m pleased that I’ve managed as well as I have with my vision/vertigo/nausea/headache issues, it is quite distracting and I’m just plain exhausted by the time I make it through each day. My recent routine has been a crash-nap and television every night — but that will change so that I start going to bed early and getting up at 5 a.m. I’m doing this so I have time to exercise and to give my eyes a chance to progress through several different prescriptions before I’m off to work.

 

Preparing for Extreme Heat

I’m also preparing for our first major heat wave. The 115-plus temperatures are on the way. This year I carved out some insulation for the windows. I’m getting ready to do some alterations on my curtains so this will actually be my view for awhile. I suspect they will double as bulletin boards.

I’m thankful I no longer have to worry about Jeepers but, because I do have a history of circuits being tripped in extreme heat, I still have cause for concern. If I can get by with just two A/Cs  this year (one roof and one window-unit) I’ll be very pleased. If they don’t hold up, I’ll go ahead and plug a 3rd A/C into the 20-amp so my home is not a fire hazard. Next week will be the test.

 

Organizing

My primary focus outside of work has been organizing. I’m obsessed with it these days! My storage unit is now full. My van is cleared out. And now my living space is becoming so functional I barely know where anything is anymore! In fact, I’m actually having to train myself with sticky notes on all my cabinets and drawers.

This has been so much fun and relaxing I’ve already decided to designate every summer to this task. Every June and July in Vegas will now be devoted to work, fitness, and indoor home improvement.

I’m nearly to the point of actually organizing my many notes and thoughts. I have to decide which of my business ventures I’m going to put the most energy into this fall. While I can certainly travel plenty as a special events poker dealer, the set dates and destinations create logistical challenges and constraints on what I consider “total freedom.” Trust me, I consider myself very fortunate that I can do what I want half the year, but ultimately I intend to have complete freedom to roam the entire United States nine months out of the year (and only deal poker during the summer). I can only accomplish this if I’m a business-owner again.

 

Travel Plans

Everything’s on hold until July 6th. This is when I learn when I’ll see the next eye specialist! (Hopefully, I’ll have my surgery by the end of the year).

As of right now I’m feeling confident I’ll be selected to work a poker event in Northern Nevada the 2nd week of August. In which case I’ll probably shoot over to Reno afterwards to play in a special event there. I won’t even guess beyond that.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Las Vegas, NV : Getting Busy!

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Las Vegas, NV
Campground : Thousand Trails

 

My summer jobs are now kicking into full-swing as the World Series of Poker comes to town for the next two months. I’ll be splitting time at 4 different properties, each with their own major tournament series:

  1. Venetian: DeepStacks : This is my primary employer in Vegas. We’re guaranteeing $21 million in prize money this summer.
  2. Planet Hollywood : Goliath : I’ll work here on my days off and enjoy a more laid-back, nightclub atmosphere.
  3. Gold Nugget : Grand Series : This is the most mellow of my summer gigs and I hope to get by after some early shifts.
  4. Rio : World Series of Poker : I picked up my uniform last year and never made it over to the world championships. But now that I no longer have a pet, I intend to take on as much work as I can handle.

With my health issues still largely in the air, I suspect I’ll remain in Vegas for the majority of the fall. As I juggle these doctors appointments and looming surgery, I’ll probably work 2 more special events here in Vegas, and one out-of-town. I’ll squeeze in at least one shorter trip I’m sure — I’m thinking Southern Utah, Pahrump/Death Valley, or Grand Canyon/Cottonwood.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snapshots : Caliente, NV

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Where I’m At: Caliente, NV
Campground : Young’s RV Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment