Friday, August 31, 2007

Legal Poker Gets Closer

This post was inspired by Falstaff's post from yesterday of the news that some counties in West Virginia have legalized table games in their casinos, including poker. This will move legal poker much closer to my home in Charlotte, NC

So just how close has legal poker come to Charlotte?

The short answer is one hell of a lot closer.

When playing poker around the country, I usually get the question, “Where are you from?” Part of my answer usually includes that it is as far as you can get from legal poker in the lower 48 states. I’m not exactly positive where that point really is (or was), but I’m sure it is damn close to Charlotte.

Here is a list of casinos that offer poker and their road distances from Charlotte:

Belterra Casino Resort, Florence, IN 334 mi (7.5 hours of mixed roads)
Casino Aztar, Evansville, IN 419 mi.
Atlantic City Hilton, Atlantic City, NJ 454 mi. (along with many otherAC casinos)
Casino Windsor, Windsor, ON 504
MGM Grand Casino, Detroit, MI 505 mi.
Hard Rock Casino, Tampa, FL 505 mi.
Silver Star Casino, Philadelphia, MS 508 mi. (along with many other Tunica casinos)

By contrast, the new closest place to play will now be:

Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center, Sod, WV 283 mi. (4 hours 38 minutes)

So the difference is only about 50 miles, the amount of time it will take to get there is down by a whopping 3 hours.

The other big surprise to me was the relative distance to the Tunica area casinos. I always thought that the distance to legal poker was about equal whether you went north (Atlantic City or AC), South (Florida) or West (Tunica). I really didn't know about the Indiana poker scene until Falstaff went there recently. But I had no idea that Tunica was 50 miles further away than AC. I would have guessed AC was further, and maybe it is by road. No way do I think that Canada and Detroit are closer.

All of the above times and distances are according to my Garmin Nuvi 350, so actual drives times will likely be much lower. Also note that I have not counted gambling boats in this survey. They are a whole different category to me. YMMV. Let the gaming begin, again.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What am I supposed to feel?

That ‘s the question that keep going through my mind. My wife IM’ed me today to give me an update on her father’s condition. He is known as Mr. C on this blog.

Regular readers know that Mr. C has been having a hell of a time with various cancers. He has had kidney, bladder, brain, and lung cancer diagnosed and treated over the past two years. The IM from my wife added bone cancer to the list. Mr. C is in a lot of pain. I don’t even want to speculate about what this means for the rest of his life.

To write that this situation is bad/awful/sucks and any number of other descriptions would just be redundant at this point. I can't know what it is like for Mr. C at this point. I have no way of putting myself in his place. I don’t really know what Mrs. K is going through. Hell, I’m still trying to figure out my reaction to my own father’s passing almost 12 years ago.

I don’t get the punch in the stomach feeling. I try to stay alert to what my wife needs and take what I can off of her shoulders, but there really isn’t much that helps. I look for opportunities to hug her, hold her, and listen without offering advice. But when it comes to feeling, it’s hard to describe. In a way, it’s almost like I don’t feel it.

I’m not going to figure it out by writing out this post and I’m not going to get into it any more since there are others who are feeling it terribly and need help with it. It’s just not time to be me oriented, but my lack of feeling does worry me and I’ll have to figure that one out once the current storm has passed.

Ten years of knowing Mr. C has not been nearly enough.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Now that I'm back from vacation, I'm taking some time to go through the pictures. Here is what Photoshop can do:

This is a repeat of the photo from Sunday:

And here is the same shot after photoshop:

Much better

Fear the Lemming

It's fantasy football time again. Lemmings Rule!

Vacation Wrap-up

Now that my short vacation to Arizona is past, it’s time for some obviouservations.

People without class find it extremely easy to display this fact at a graduation. I love it when the parents, family and friends of a graduates cheer and clap for the accomplishment of their loved-one. They deserve it. They don’t deserve some ass who thinks they are funny and intent on calling attention to themselves. One even let loose with a blast from an airhorn (most of the graduates were audiologists - idiot). I was quite embarrassed for some of my wife’s classmates. Let’s just put it this way, if I noticed their lack of class and decorum then there is a real problem.

Arizona has lots of trees. Before this past weekend, the only parts of Arizona I had seen were Phoenix and the Hoover Dam. Both of these areas are very desert-like (in the same way that the ocean is very water-like). I really like the forests up around Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Who knew?

Sedona is unbelievable. The scenery is absolutely awesome. Their airport is about 1000’ above the town up on a plateau. The light was not good for the few hours that we were there. I’m sure I missed many good ‘postcard’ shots.

My wife and I get along great on trips. It is a testament to her patience and easy-going nature. I don’t think her family would believe she has an easy-going nature. My family wouldn't believe that I am considered quiet by my poker buddies. Is that funny or sad?

All of my brothers and their wives have at least a Masters-level degree. I think Dr. K is the first to that level. Did I say that I’m proud of her?

Does anyone know for sure how we should be addressed? Is it “Mr. and Dr. K”?

We had a celebrity on the trip back to Charlotte today. She was a nice looking middle aged blond. She was very chatty with the flight attendant and was very nice about posing for pictures. I have no idea who it was. That’s probably a good thing considering the run-ins I’ve had with celebrities like Tobey Maguire and Cameron Diaz.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Make that DOCTOR K (and I'm not talking about me)

My lovely wife got her doctorate awarded today in Phoenix. Pictures:

Afterwards, we drove up to Sedona. Here is a small taste of what we saw:

Tomorrow we go up to Mormon Lake for some horseback riding (Dr. K's first time) and more sightseeing. It should be fun.