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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Cal Hot

Day 4 Saturday Dec 23 and I had a pretty good night at the Cal. I'm on a low floor but I wasn't bothered by any traffic noise.

Quite often there are sirens to be heard roaring down Main Street.

The Little Giant brewed me a nice cup of hot stuff, but I have to admit, I've been lax at pilfering condiments for the room. There's no milk or creamers and no sweetener. I drank it black because I'm a tough magnificent bastard.

As usual, blogging and online stuff occupied me while I sipped, and for a while after the coffee was done. I posted out a blog and headed down to the coffee shop for breakfast.

It's not that busy here at the Cal right now, and I have yet to see any kind of a line of people waiting for tables.

I ordered my usual two over hard with sausage, hash browns, and wheat toast. 

I suppose I could re-use the same photo of breakfast over and over each day - you get the idea.

The waiter oddly pointed out that the hash browns looked overdone. I poked around and looked at the bottom of them - he was right. Wow.

He apologized and took the order away to get a new, properly made one.

The replacement took a while, but the hash browns were spot on, hot and greasy and delicious with just the right amount of crunch.

I ate and headed back up to the room. Work before fun, right?

Without the Quad Queen here to degenerize me, I've become very discipled!

With part two of yesterday's blogging out of the way, it was casino time, and I was in such a good mood. Heading into Day 4 of the trip being down less than $200 and with $70 freeplay to use today, it was looking reasonable - unlike the last 3.

I started with the freeplay video poker on Flashy, conservatively, quarters. I played 10 hands in a row and got nothing at all. Another $20 worth went in.

Changed machines. Different games. I only ever cashed out $20 in cash from the freeplay. All the other bits and pieces lost. Now I was into my cash stake for the day.

I did have a little luck on Shockwave, running $20 up to $80 or so and cashing out at $60, only to blow it on video keno on the machine next to it.

Now we have to flash back to Hugo's last night. I wore my favorite Cal hat and hooked it on the spare chair and told everyone not to let me forget it.

In a room visit around this point of the day, I realized... I'd forgot it. It was gone, lost, not there, vanished, abandoned.

Seemed like a good reason to go on walkabout - head to the Four Queens and see if it was in Lost and Found. Have some Chinese for lunch at Lanai Express. 

So, I headed out. It was a pretty nice day, it hit 65 or so - nothing like a year ago when I froze my arse off.

First stop was the front desk at the Four Queens, and they sent me to the Security podium for lost and found.

The guy was one of these guys that you tell your spiel to and then he engages in a bunch of activity, not looking at you, and not offering any dialog or discourse about what's going on.

It makes you want to say something, so he can ignore that also, adding to the discomfort.

I didn't fall for it though, I just waited patiently as Security Officer Johnson went about fucking with a computer, staring at the screen and mousing ineffectively (it seemed) from time to time.

Finally, he spoke.

"Nobody turned in a hat."

My hopes were dashed if not haberdashed. I guess he was looking at the reports of lost items turned in.

This was turning into one of those days. And it got worse immediately.

I thought I'd play my favorite machines in Fremont since they got rid of my other favorite machines, and the favorite machines before that - the full pay, 8/5 Bonus Poker Triple Pay Super Snappy Sappy Slurpy Slutty Times Pay machines outside Lanai Express. Oh the wonderful fun we've had on those machines over the years!

Well, in the name of 'improving' and 'making over' the Fremont, they've done the same stupid thing as other properties - gotten rid of all the good stuff.

My machines are gone. All gone. And replaced with fucking bubble craps to add to the insanity of it. Fuck you, Fremont.

I used my meal book to get food. I wish I hadn't. It's my own fault, it was bad, I knew it would be bad, and I did it anyway. Because Orange Chicken.

Yup, the dining area looks great, except all the condiments I used to steal liberate are gone. I guess bubble craps is gonna pay for all that marble and the new chairs, eh?

I never thought downtown casinos would look like mall food courts but they are getting closer every trip. And the food courts look like mall food courts too.

I searched the property for my machine, and there are plenty of shiny surfaces and gaudy, loud, flashy penny video slots, but no sign of those wonderful old uprights.

I'm telling you straight, the Fremont has been going downhill ever since they got rid of the Sky Room.

Not a dime did I play in that once-loved refuge of mine. On to the Downtown Grand where I believed I had $5 in freeplay to get if I earned some number of points.

Same story, I played about five or six different machines and got nowhere. Planet Moolah kept me busy for 15 minutes on a twenty, though.

Next stop, Main Street Station. It was rough. I played this bank of four machines facing the cage that we've spent hours and hours and hours on over the years.

Today, I realized I was slipping into depression. This trip has been hard, revisiting all the places where we had so much fun, only to find them in the worst possible condition - devoid of my best friend. It's been overwhelming at times.

And I've been indoors a lot, so I made a point of taking in quite a bit of sunshine today. That's probably half of the problem. The other half... that will take some time to fix. And goddammit, I lost my hat!

Things happen and I can't wait to tell Karen - and I realize there isn't Karen to tell anymore. This happens 50 times a day.

This blog is a really good thing for me right now, because you guys are listening in a sense, and I can express things, in a sense.

So, by late afternoon, the day had ground me down pretty well.

You'll notice that there are no photos of quads at all! It's one of those days where you don't get any and that kills the bankroll.

I had about $80 left out of $300 and if I lost it all, it would be a 'watching TV in the room' night instead of having a blast in the casino.

Again I tried a playing few things, to no avail, back at the Cal.

I played my second last twenty bucks in an upright Keno machine on the Mezzanine at the Cal.

The single lonely corner Keno machine for lonely gamblers.

I ditched the corner numbers I've been trying lately (and been lucky on) and decided to keep it simple. 

The machine had the good Keno paytable and I played Four Card Keno, but just played one card.

I picked the upper criss-cross numbers my Keno buddy favors and that I play sometimes. Hitting the five out of five pays 838 credits.

Instead of playing just one credit, I thought, I need this to make a difference in the day, and opted for two.

If I hit, I'd win back my day's losses, and then some on top. And at only 50 cents a throw, my money might last a while.

I played. Got a few 3 bangers but they only pay 6 credits. My $20 buy-in dwindled slowly.

It was lonely up there, with bank upon bank of empty upright machines, and about four people playing including me.

I gritted my teeth, watching what sure felt like a slow drain to zero. I use a high quality pumice grit to grit my teeth with. Degenerate gambler grade pumice grit, actually.

Finally, I was at the wall. $0.50 left in the machine.

On my very last spin, I Lazarused and got 3 hits out of 5. That won me 6 credits, enough for three more plays. OK, I was still alive. But I knew in my heart I was finished and the day was all but done.

The numbers came in, ding ding ding, and early on two of my five numbers were drawn.

It didn't look good, but at the very end, and I mean the very very end, magic happened. The last three numbers drawn were the ones I needed. DING DING DING and then that beautiful braaaaaaaaaap braaaaaaaaaap braaaaaaaaaaap crescendo of credit after credit after credit being counted up.

I'd hit the five out of five for around $400!!!!!! Holy crapoly!!!!

I really couldn't believe I'd pulled it off again - hitting 5 out of 5 to save my well fried bacon. I remember a trip with the Quad Queen when I don't think I hit a 5 out of 5 the entire trip! Maybe I hit one, but not anything like what I've been hitting on this trip.

Photo taken, I cashed out the ticket, got hundies for it, went to my room and poured a celebratory bourbon for myself.

I was actually up on the day!!!

But wait... it was around 4:00 and I figured maybe someone would be in Hugo's. I had a hunch.

Kevin is a regular and pretty much knows every one at the Four Queens. I've seen how deftly he greases few palms when needed. He's deft all right, but not so deft that I can't savvily pick up on it. After all, I winter in the Greacey Palms.

When I got connected to Hugo's reservations line, I took a shot. 

"Are you actually in the restaurant right now?"

"Yes I am," a woman named Diana said.

"Okay, I left my cap there last night and..."

"Oh good! Yes, I gave it to security this morning! Come by and I'll walk you over."

What the heck.

"I'll be there in 10 minutes."

I put my drink in the fridge and made it to the Four Queens in seven.

Never mind Hugo's, I went straight back to the security podium. There was a new person there, securing... things, I guess. And I could see something on a shelf just to their right, behind them.

I smiled.

"That's my hat."

Someone needs a shave. And a new 'Get Smart' spy look.

I phoned back and told Diana I had 'the hat' and thanked her again.

Again flush with gambling cash, I went to the D to get a keno ticket, and to hide a  lucky business card.

Avoiding Fremont Street, I took the back way down Ogden, back to the Cal.

I felt better. A lot better. I had a drink, and watched Keno on the computer, wrote this, and missed my wife some more. What a mixed bag. I'm happy, but things feel so empty sometimes. It just isn't ever going to be the same.

And I know how lucky we had it for all those years together.

There's still an evening to put in and I'm getting hungry. We'll see what happens next!

Thanks for sticking with me, I know I can get all Sammy Maudlin, but it's been a lot, the last year and a half.

Onward and as she said to me, 'Be Happy'. I will try.

After this rather long break in the room, I went down to eat. The Chicken Hubcaps deserved a second go-round.

Then it was back into the casino for one more bash at it. Double double bonus yielded nothing but quick frustration.

I plunked away at 50 cent Keno for a long, long time and hit 4 out of 5 three times, but never the home run.

Observation - the drinks on the casino floor at the Cal are pathetic. I'm glad I have my own supply.

I've always maintained that just a few hands make or break a day or a trip, and today I threaded the needle again, finding that one big win to offset a day of nothing but losing. And that's what you have to do if you are going to pull off a winning trip, or a break-even trip, which I would definitely settle for.

There's still a long way to go though. Can my luck at keno hold out?

On the day, I lost -$40 and on the trip I'm down $180.

I'm actually thrilled with that at this point. Keep it going, Flushiepants!


    1. Found your hat and made a Hail Mary comeback …. Someone is watching over you buddy 💜💜. Another sweet Keno KomeBack 🤘🤘

    2. I believe in Guardian Angels. Karen was tuned into your mood and started the push to make that win and bring back your hat. Call me crazy, my late husband helps me find anything I lose.

    3. Awesome report, keep them coming!

    4. Loving the report. Know exactly how you feel! Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy (as is possible) New Year.

    5. Glad to hear you are making it through this tough trip. We are all listening, and sending out kind thoughts. Hang in there.

    6. You are definitely in my thoughts this week, know that people care and you are not alone.
      John Harding

    7. Awesome turn around RF. Karen is with you for sure!
      I'm reading your blog on Christmas Day and enjoying your trip vicariously. -jm

    8. Congrats,Flusher,on hitting 5 spot.I was downtown a couple of weeks ago.They are slowly sneaking all of the old,better paying VP machines out of there,especially the Boyd Properties.Four Queens still has some better paying ones,I may be forced to stay in Henderson.I don’t think the Station Casinos have done a disappearing act yet.

    9. I play that bank of machines in your last picture quite a bit. My wife wins on them more than me though.


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