Mt. Shasta Part I

[Content Disclosure: Poker 0.0%, vacation 23%, olde friends 17%, cats 34%, dog 1%, raccoons, deer, skunks, hummingbirds 22%, nostalgia 7%]

I made the 12 hour drive from Las Vegas to Mt. Shasta last Monday. The long time friends, Gary and Cyndy Blevins, had headed out on their spring break vacation the day before, so I had five days to recover from my lingering illness and enjoy the peace and quiet of their place northwest of Mt. Shasta City. Technically, I am in Lake Shastina and non-technically this is Weed, California; but let's just stick with the major geographic phenomenon and cosmic convergence--Mt. Shasta.

Mount Shasta is located in the Cascade Range in northern California about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the Oregon-California border and about midway between the Pacific Coast and the Nevada border. The Cascades are the most volcanically active mountains in the continental United States, the range includes the well known Mt. St. Helens. All of the major peaks in the Cascade Range through Washington, Oregon and Northern California are considered active volcanoes. But enough geography.

The Blevins returned from their family visit to Oklahoma last night and we are now enjoying a Saturday of complete sloth. The week ahead should provide more of the same for me, though they will be returning to work on Monday. I do have a bundle of writing to do while I am here but I also have some wildlife to share with you, beginning with a couple of random shots of what the back deck looks like on any given evening.

The more domesticated fauna, next time.

Reflections Upon Being Unwell

[Content Disclosure: cough 20%, sore throat 18%, gooey eyes 13%, earache 11%, nasal involvement 9%, being tired all over 66.74%]

The good news is that I was just into getting acquainted with my new Nevada physician, so my follow-up visit to "check the blood work" arrived on the first day of my flu symptoms. Easy diagnosis, easier prescription: Go to Bed!

Now the flu and I have not been in the same corpus in many years, so my time may have been due. Anyways, Typhoid Jake, my previously mentioned nephew, right off of a week of semester exams and no sleep was in town with appropriate collegiate germs that any 19 year old can shake off in a week and most 60 year olds can only wait out.

Details are not necessary and begin to borderline impinge on my scatological revulsions. Let us leave it at: today is the 16th day of my flu symptoms and also the first day where I will be awake more hours than I am asleep. Sorta my personal homage to the sun breaking north of the equator.

I did miss my trip to San Franciso and the double sixieth birthday celebration. Sorry my Bay Area friends, you were all greatly missed. I have delayed my trip to Mt. Shasta twice but will be embarking in that northerly direction come Monday. From there I promise more nature filled pictures and fewer illness referenced ramblings.

Cat Houses

[Content Disclosure: Family 59%; Las Vegas 73%; Cats, Cats, Cats 92%]

What do you do when you are 19 years old and come to Las Vegas with your dad to visit your uncle. Well if dad and uncle are super cool they, of course, take you for an experience you will always remember. Lots and lots of pussy.

OK, so in our post-modern and PC-world that meant a trip to my favorite place in Las Vegas. The SPCA No-Kill Animal Shelter (the Cat Wing, of course). This is Jake my nephew, a sophomore at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Jake and his dad, my brother Dan are out here for a week.

Day two of their trip involved nothing but cats. Well maybe the Black Bear Diner for lunch but other than that it was all feline all the time.

<--------That would be brother Dan being mugged by two of the residents of the Cat Wing. For residents of Las Vegas, these lovely creatures are available to go home with you today, just stop by the Shelter and let two or more adopt you.

Oh and Mattie; Sidewinder found a home last week and I have some more insider news I will send in email. The afternoon was a double feature as we went from the SPCA full of kitties to the MGM Grand for the afternoon lion pair. I will note for MGM regulars that not all of the cats are fed right after they arrive at 4:30PM and after discussion with Safari Lady, we now know that a late feeding at 8 PM is the alternative raw meat schedule at the MGM Lion Habitat.

No personal cat blog would be complete without one of me and one of the big girls.

Tomorrow is Hoover Dam day.

Casa Debonair

[Content Disclosure: Poker 19%, Visitors 47%, Las Vegas attractions 31%, Travel Plans 14%, Guavas 3%]

Casa Debonair, the house in the Henderson, has been full lately. The landlord was in last week and therefore much more poker was played then usual. I can admit to two tournaments and two final tables. The first was still payless, a 4 table limit/no limit donkfest at the Gold Coast but last Friday night I survived a roller-coaster evening of sucks and resucks to manage a 5th (148 entries) at Sahara and managed to pocket a couple of hundred or thereabouts.

Saturday was visitor exchange day. Debonair was dumped on the tarmac mid-morning and my brother and nephew were fetched up later that same evening. Las Vegas entertainment will ensue this week, within the boundaries of what we can get a 19 year old into. Yesterday, we took in the quarter final matches of the NBC Heads Up Championship at Caesars Palace and we did the Bellagio quick tour including Chilhuly, Conservatory, Poker Room and Fountains.

Today I envision an "All Cats All the Time" with homage to Mattie. We might even manage a picture or two for tomorrow's post.