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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Topsy Turvy

So, here we are. I hope you have been coping during the pandemic.

Everything about life has been upset, the rhythm is off kilter, the joy is squelched, and everything is on hold.

Like the rhythm of fairly regular trips to Las Vegas. I'd plan, blog about any and all of the little and big trip things, meals, travel, hotels, wins, losses. I'd barely finish one trip report and the next one would be in the hopper.

And now I find myself stranded, with 14 months between me and when I was last in Vegas. All this time, with nothing to say. No will to write. Like you, hunkered down, making the best of it and trying to keep unseen enemies at bay.

Going by the numbers, I know that some of you have suffered losses, have struggled. And I'm sorry for that. You've been fine companions on this journey that has been pre-empted so rudely.

Sometimes I feel that what I do here is of no consequence, is trivial, and unimportant. Certainly, comparing to the monumental tsunami of uncertainty that has crashed down on us all, this blog is not important.

But I also recognize that there are many who enjoy it as an escape, a little respite in the day, so there's its value. Quite a few of you have mentioned that you miss the trip reports, over the past year, and it's nice to be missed in that way.

In March 2020, I pulled all the ads off the blog, indicating that they would be gone 'for the duration'. They are still gone. The duration hasn't ended yet. At the time, I really did kind of think it would be a year and a half until things went from topsy turvy to just topsy.

With no Vegas trips to take and write about, and none in the offing, I just didn't have anything I wanted to write about. But now there seems to be some light at the end of the hypodermic, spring is coming, and I guess it's time for an update.

First, and foremost, me, the Quad Queen, Chippy, and all of my friends and family have weathered the storm very well indeed. We've stayed healthy, and fairly sane. I'm thankful for that, and may it continue to be so.

The Quad Queen no longer works in the Estimatin' department. She no longer works at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer. In fact, she no longer works at all.

Last August, the axe came down and she, along with many others, were laid off. It seems grommets are not as in high demand with everyone working from home.

This is a huge change, and as shocking as it is, here's another. In a couple of months, I will also bid farewell to Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer and the size 7 grommet line.

That's right. No more Norbert to play tricks on, no more bolted down lunch table to try to get Kenny Blankenship to throw up on, no more production line crapping out rubber grommets like rebounding rabbit turds.

For many years Las Vegas had been the escape I needed to get me through working life. Somehow, I'm now in a position to hang it up and retire. And I'm not resting on my laurels, either. The loss of my dear cousin in 2017, who was only a few years older than I, shocked me, and the Quad Queen. A lot of the plans we'd made were thrown out the window, and we decided to retire as soon as we could, and live as much as we could - now.

The last thing I want to do is work an extra few years to stow away some more money for - what? - and then croak as soon as (or before) I'm done.

So that's it. My world is going to change in every way.

What will Vegas mean to me after retirement? I can't say, other than to say "I want it!". I certainly won't need to blow off work steam the way I have for decades.

That begs the question 'when will we return to Vegas'. Unknown.

I really don't want to travel right now, and Vegas is risky. And it's not the same with all the protocols and masks and acres of fancy Plexiglas barriers. I think I want to hold off until Vegas is a little more Vegas.

Meanwhile, I hang out on Twitter with my Vegas Tweeps every day, reading about Vegas, thinking about Vegas, looking at photos of Vegas, watching Vegas videos.

During the day, we generally keep the Fremont Street Webcam up on the TV. It's comforting.

A few years ago, when we started talking about the post-work era, I came up with the idea for a trip. And I really like the idea.

I'm calling it The Neverending Vegas Trip.

We agreed that if I worked a couple of months extra this spring, I'd be allowed a certain bankroll for a Vegas trip. I'd go to Vegas without a planned return date - maybe even without a return plane ticket.

And I'd stay as long as I wanted to, as long as the bankroll held out, and as long as I could stand it. The Neverending Vegas Trip.

I don't know when it will be, but... that's what's up next. That's the carrot at the end of all this, besides telling Norbert to take a flying leap.

Fremont Street Webcam
Vegas, I'm keepin' an eye on you.

I've missed you all, and I'll keep you posted. Consider this the first pre-pre-pre-planning pre-trip post.


    1. Feel for you Flusher. The 2 of us were kinda in the same boat. I saw too many co-workers work until mandatory retirement age, only to die within a couple years. That wasn't for me and the wife. We always planned on retiring to her country in the Philippines when the time was right and some conditions were met. First that we had enough of incoming funds monthly and secondly all of the bills were paid off, including the house. We paid off the house in 2018, so the retirement clock started then. Found out I could retire from my current job at 56 with a pension. That combined with my military retirement pension gave us enough. So we did it. Sold everything and moved to the Philippines.
      Living in California, We had been going to Vegas (and Reno/Tahoe/Laughlin another 2 or 3 times a year) at least twice a year, for a good 25 years before we left, and we knew we were going to miss it a lot, and we did, at first. But after we settled in here, Vegas pretty much left our minds. Every now and then I'll tell my wife to pack a bag for Vegas while I book a free room at one of the Caesars properties just like the old days.
      But eh, we really don't miss it that much. Not like we thought we would. Besides, whenever this freakin covid thing is finally over, we still plan on hopping on that 90 minute flight to Macau to get our fix. Not sure how much we'll play though, or at all. Find out when, whenever we eventually get there.
      wpete, Lucas McCain, Bill Peterson

    2. Wishing you never-ending royals on your never-ending trip, whenever that may be. All the best to you.

    3. You nailed it, brother! "But I also recognize that there are many who enjoy it as an escape, a little respite in the day, so there's its value."

    4. Hey, Flushie -

      I did Vegas so that you don't have to.

      Happy retirement!

    5. Welcome back! I have really missed the "escape" of your Flushiness! And after the hell of now in the same mode of early retirement planning.

    6. I retired at 63 for the same reasons as you are thinking. If you can retire do it. Seven years now and I wouldn't change our decision. Vegas isn't the same as when you work but it's still Vegas and fun! Until it isn't Vegas like now. But soon, very soon I hope it will be similar to what we all love. I'm sure many changes will be permanent as "suits" see they make more money, but I hope enough goes back to normal.

      Keep Blogging,


    7. Hey Royal,

      Hope you and the missus are doing well. Would love to hear how post-work life is treating you.

      For what it's worth, your business card is still underneath "your" machine on the end of the Mikes Bar as of today.

      Be well,

    8. Is all OK? Hoping you would have taken your trip well before now, but haven't seen any updates. Makes me concerned, so please let us know here or on FB that you're still kicking ACE!


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