The Eagle has landed. And the elves have the place is almost, kind-of good shape.
As I mentioned, on my last night at CES, I check out early and drive about 35 miles to lovely Primm, Nevada, on the stateline. That makes for a shorter drive back to Los Angeles the next day.
There are three hotel casinos in Primm, I guess for people who don't want to drive the extra distance into Las Vegas to gamble. All three are owned by the same company, and one is actually pretty nice, or at least has pretty nice rooms, the Primm Valley Resort -- and it's directly connected to the Outlet Mall I've mentioned, you don't even have to go outside to it, but just walk through the casino through a sort of a "tunnel way" that leads into the mall. The other two hotels are fine, nothing special, but reasonably pleasant rooms. And they even get semi-big name-ish entertainment -- not every night, but a maybe once a money. For instance, upcoming, the place I was staying, Whiskey Pete, is going to have country singer Trace Adkins.
I was going to stay at the Primm Valley Resort -- it's worth the 10-20 extra dollars -- but for whatever reasons it was double this time, so I stayed again at dear ol' Whiskey Pete's. The room was fine, but checking in...well, let's say it left something to be desired.
I stood in line at reception, checked in, and lugged my bags up to my room -- only to find that the key cards didn't work. So, back I went down to reception with my luggage. Got in line, explained the problem and got a "Well, that's a bummer" from the receptionist. Yes, it was, I replied. He then explained that you should keep the key cards in the little packet so that something like, say, a cell phone doesn't de-magnetize it. I politely explained that that wasn't the issue, that I had just checked in 10 minutes ago, leaving out that the cards aren't that deliciate. And finally have a few minutes of "Well, that's strange," finally got a new key cards went back up to my room
And again, neither of the two cards works. So, down once more I lugged my bags, stood in line, and got the same receptionist explains how weird this was. I said the problem probably wasn't the key cards at all, since four didn't work, but a problem with the lock. So, I was given another room. What kind of room would you like, I was asked. "One that I can get it," I said, doing my best to smile, to show I wasn't as weary as I was. Eventually, I got the new room and key cards.
Before I left, I paused a moment. Again, trying to look pleasant, I said, "You've been very friendly, and I can tell you're very nice, and you've been very helpful" -- that wasn't really the case, but semi-close, but I wanted to be as polite as possible, knowing what was coming next -- "But I just want to point out that, through all of this...you've never yet said, 'I'm sorry.'"
Even at that, I didn't get an, "Oh, I'm really terribly sorry," but a big smile and a long story about "What you must understand..." -- none of which I understood, because all I got was a this long story about customers from a few years back who had a lot of problems checking into rooms that weren't made up yet and how eventually the receptionist went with the customers personally -- a swell story to tell someone checking into your hotel and having a problem --and then another story about something that related to receptionists, and then finally, a "Of course, I am sorry," and something else...
I said I completely understood (though, still, I didn't, especially why it took so long to say "I'm sorry," even after being told, "You didn't say "I'm sorry,"), and just politely but pointedly added, "I knew you were sorry, but for the next time, just know that two little words really do make a difference." And I smiled, said thanks, lugged the bags back up to the new room and...huzzah, the door opened!
I later headed over to the Outlet Mall, got a few things at Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger (a $60 sweater for $20), and Williams-Sonoma. And then a fairly nice full-dinner at the Mad Greek branch of the longtime spot in Baker (the gateway to Death Valley) that happily they have in Primm, right next to the mall. Usually I get the gyros dinner there, but decided to make a change of pace and got the falafel dinner instead. Quite tasty.
And now, I'm back. I'd better stop now and post this before Donald Trump finds someone to "close up the Internet in some ways." Apparently Bill Gates hasn't taken him up on his request, but hey, Donald Trump is a builder, so you never who who else he'll find among his contacts who know how to nail an Internet door shut, or perhaps even build a wall across the Internet. At least if they're not swamped trying how to get that wall across the Mexican border build. This is the Internet, though, he'll find someone. Oh, sure, not everyone will like the Internet closed off in some ways. As he noted, "Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people."
Foolish people. Oh, the lack of self-awareness is sometimes too profound...
Anyway, I'm quickly posting it now. Then decompressing.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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