TV Stars, Fancy Cars & Showgirls


Dear Reader,

Many apologies for not posting my travel blog, in the last few days but it’s been so busy here in Las Vegas. So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

I awoke reasonably early on Thursday morning and decided that I needed to take advantage of this superb hotel’s (The Bellagio) gymnasium. On the way to the gym I had to walk through the Casino and I quickly found out that wherever you went in this hotel you had to walk through the Casino! To see folk playing cards, slot machines etc before seven o’clock in the morning was surreal but each to his (or her) own! Having pounded the treadmill for the regulatory forty-five minutes I was on my way back to our room through the Casino, of course, and I saw a gentleman playing cards wearing his gym kit. I couldn’t decide whether he was on the way to, or returning from, the gym or perhaps he was conducting a subterfuge in an attempt to fool his wife!

On retuning to the room my good lady wife, Diana, a.k.a. She Who Must Be Obeyed, was awake and ready for breakfast so a quick shower and being dutifully clothed by She Who Must Be Obeyed we broke bread.

Our first adventure was to visit a pawn shop. Not just any pawn shop but a very famous one. In case you have missed it there’s a TV show broadcast on the History Channel in the USA and in the UK that Diana and I have enjoyed entitled “Pawn Stars”. It’s a bit like The Antique’s Road Show but the valuers have the physique and dress sense of ex wrestlers but nonetheless we found the show to be fascinating & hugely entertaining. After carefully parking the Corvette in the shops car park we found ourselves standing in line awaiting to gain admission to the holy shrine of second hand bric a brac which was duly patrolled by a “doorman” who had the size and physique of a mature silver back orangutan. We were shocked when the said orangutan pulled us out of the line and with great deference and in soft spoken tones enquired whether we would like to enter the emporium immediately. We, of course, responded in the most positive and enthusiastic way, after all it’s not often that a giant of a man asks us to do his bidding! Entering the store came as a surprise and we were a little disappointed by the interior of the emporium as it was somewhat smaller than we expected and the articles on display could have done with a flick over with a feather duster but then we reminded ourselves that after all we were in a pawn shop!

Suddenly, a young man, artistically dressed in jeans, shirt, a small hat and sporting a careless cravat around his neck enquired of us whether we would like to appear on the TV show? She Who Must Be Obeyed immediately grasped the opportunity as en exercise in self promotion and agreed with alacrity. We were duly ushered to the back of the shop and the store was cleared of lesser mortals who were not required for this most important episode of this venerable artistic entertainment. The cravatted artistic young man then briefed the willing future international TV stars as to their duties and asked if there were any questions. Silence reigned and then She Who Must Be Obeyed arose to her full and not inconsiderable height and enquired in a stentorian voice  “What are the rates of pay?” The now flustered young man being unsure how to handle such a formidable negotiator quickly capitulated under the withering stare of S.W.M.B.O. Filming commenced and afterwards we were informed that the episode will be broadcast sometime during the next two months in the USA and at some point in time the UK! So, dear reader, my advice would be to set your DVR to record the entire series of this illustrious episode. We retuned to our hotel bathed in the light of our new found international stardom.

After morning coffee we were strolling around the beautiful swimming pool when we were hailed by our good friends Stephan and Georgia Longworth. The four of us have a love of classic cars and we had learned that there was an exhibition of them at The Imperial Hotel just down the “strip” and we gathered ourselves and took a short taxi ride to the said establishment. On our way to the exhibition, the largest in the world, housed on the fifth floor, and through the Casino we encountered and were entertained by legendary stars Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, and somebody called Prince who when not performing acted as croupiers! You can see their photographs and pictures of the day by clicking on “More Photos” in the Flickr panel on the right hand side of this blithering blog. Finally we gained access to this astonishing collection of machinery and stared in awe at a variety of vehicles some of them with impressive histories. Among them vehicles that had been owned, driven or used by President Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby and other notables. Most of the assembled vehicles on display were for sale and the total value exceeded two and a half million dollars! I took some photographs of the ones that caught my eye and you van view them together with a brief description on my Flickr site by clicking on “More Photos” in the panel on the right hand side.

Later that day we enjoyed a delightful dinner with our group at the renowned Strip House Steak Restaurant in the Planet Hollywood resort. After dinner Dr. Couchman and I were enjoying an excellent cup of coffee while Diana, encouraged by Katie Ostro enjoyed a free makeover and then on to an excellent variety show “Vegas” where we were treated to some fabulous dancing, singing and magic. This was not a show that would have ordinarily appealed to me but I really enjoyed it!

On the way back to our hotel I had a brief encounter with a lovely showgirl but I did remember the advice that I received from my son Matthew, “Dad, if a girl talks to you in Vegas, she’s working!”. At the end of our first day in Vegas, Diana and I retired to bed happy and knackered!

Until my next post, Toodleloo!

157.64/155


Many of my Facebook friends have been increasingly baffled by the posts that I have been making since the beginning of January 2012. The posts have taken the form of a xxx/155 where x is a number. The theories have all been amusing and some of them highly inventive. However, a few of my friends have guessed correctly the meaning of these digits and if you’re one of the few then well done you! So, now is the time to reveal this baffling conundrum. 155 is the goal and that is the number of miles that I have run since January 1 this year!

Why? I hear you ask. Why get out of bed a little earlier and get outside and pound the pavement? Well it didn’t happen overnight. I decided on December 12 2011 that I was overweight, unfit and had been living “The Good Life” a little too much. So, I started to consider my options, and listed my ideas and thoughts in my journal. Some of the initial ideas were a little extreme but from the original notes, my plans and goals started to become clear and at that time running was not part of the plan!

The initial plan, made on December 14 2011 was to eat a little healthier, cut down on the fats, red meat and alcohol. I decided that on January 2 2012 that I would give alcohol up altogether but between December 14 2011 and January 2 2012 I had Christmas and New Year to enjoy! Starting my regime on the December 14 with a brisk 30 minute walk I continued until January 4 2012 when I stepped up a gear.

I had been discussing my regime with my son Matthew and he stated in no uncertain terms that I should start running. I explained to Matt that this would be impossible as before he was born (rather a long time ago now) I had fallen badly on my right knee while playing tennis and when I ran this knee would hurt. Straight away Matt told me, in no uncertain terms, that my running technique was wrong and I was wearing the wrong type of shoe. Now, I had to listen because Matt in his spare time has been known to run the odd marathon or two and therefore runs more than anyone I know.

I now had the right gear and had some instruction and had even read an instructional book I started. My first run was for an enormous sixty seconds! It was part of the plan. I started using intervals. So, I would run for sixty seconds and walk for five minutes. This was the time that I nearly gave up. Those first sixty seconds were really tough. Why didn’t I give up? That would have been very difficult for me to do as I had already described my goal in my journal and I was aware that the pain of discipline weighs ounces but the pain of regret weighs tons and in this case could bring about an early fatality! I kept my time, distance, heart rate and route on a Nike sport watch. Keeping the statistics for me was very important as I could measure my progress and how hard I was working. Gradually I started to alter the intervals and as I became fitter I extended the time that I was exercising. I was advised (Matthew again) not to be in a hurry to alter my intervals and once I was up to it to try and be as consistent as possible. This brings me to the present day. My aim is to run 5 kilometers/day (about 3.11 miles/day) most days and I seem to do this about 5 days out of seven. Currently my interval times are that I run for 2 minutes and 45 seconds and walk for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. I’m currently comfortable with the distance and my aim now is to gradually increase the running time and decrease the walking time and end up running a full 5 kilometers and I’m now scoping out my next big health goal. So, what’s next after 155/155. Well, I’ve already started and the new figures are 157.64/620!

The benefits have been fantastic already. I have lost 38 pounds up to now but more importantly my blood pressure medication has been reduced three times and is now stable at 120/70. I am much healthier and my stamina levels and general well being have vastly improved.

It is my belief that the power of setting a well defined written goal in a journal and keeping track of your progress ultimately leads you to where you wish to be. There was just a handful of things that have made this journey a success and they are as follows:

1). A well defined clearly written well researched goal.
2). Consistent, persistent action.
3). Monitoring the progress.

I believe that these three simple things are the essence of achievement and can be applied to all the areas in your life. If you are already setting goals that’s great but if you’re not how will you get to where you wish to be? In closing I have a challenge for you. Set some goals (if you already have some, review them and set some new ones). What are your goals? Your wealth goals? Your health goals? Your relationship goals?

Care to share? Then just post a comment on this blog. I wish you well in your continued journey of success!