[Content Disclosure: from poker to not...]

Weeks and weeks of visits to the Rio leave a mark. Sort of a cross between the pillow impressions after a long morning sleep and the welts from a lash. It really depends on how you approach the World Series of Poker. My green felt blemishes are vanishing quickly this year. 

"He had come to suspect early on that Scott Crane was the major local signpost to the castle of randomness--but only tonight, when Crane had mentioned having been a professional poker player, had he found any reason to be confident. Gambling was the place where statistics and profound human consequences met most nakedly, after all, and cards, even more than dice or the numbers on a roulette wheel, seems able to define and perhaps even dictate a player's . . . luck."

That quotation comes from Last Call by Tim Powers. The book was lent to me by one of my poker buddies, who himself has become substantially more thought-provoking of late. From the dust jacket blurb:

". . . troubling nightmares about a strange poker game he once attended on a houseboat on Lake Mead are drawing him back to the magical city. Because the mythic game did not end that night in 1969. And the price of his winnings was his soul. And now a pot far more strange and perilous than he ever could imagine depends on the turning of a card."

An intriguing transition indeed, from the world of poker and the books of poker to my next project tinged with dark forces and twists of fate, all wrapped up in an impending chautauqua in a cube. 

More on all of this over the next several months and many states; geographically, psychologically, spiritually and literally. Off we go into the mild, grey mists of tomorrow.

Oh and happy b-day Janet.