ENTRY 0007, DECEMBER 3, 2003

Adventures in Laughlin, Nevada

    Sheila and I took her mom, Janelle to Laughlin for her 70th birthday.  We have not been there in about 10 years.  Not much has changed, really.  It is a bit... hick.  Sheila said her impression was that Branson, Missouri is for Sacred Hicks, and Laughlin, Nevada is for Secular Hicks.  I have to agree.  Lotsa cowboy hats, big belt buckles, tank tops.  Even some Bermuda Shorts...  Lots of missing teeth. 

    We generally gamble a bit, but not too much.  I can't understand the people who sit at the $25 slots, putting in three coins per pull.  Way too rich for me.  We play quarter slots, and some nickels as well.  I hit 1060 nickels at one point.  Not too bad.  Other than that, the money went in and nothing came back, or I managed to break even.  I don't know enough to play Poker, Blackjack or Craps.  So I stick with slots.  Purely random, No skill needed. 

Actually, the high point for me was not the town of Laughlin, but was located deep in the most desolate part of California.  It's called Amboy Crater, and it is right in the middle of the Amboy salt flats.

Amboy crater in the distance

Amboy Crater is a volcano.  it's extinct.  It erupted about 10,000 years ago, for a period of about two weeks.  It created a cinder cone 250 feet high and about quarter of a mile across.  Running away south is a field of lava, which covers about 45 square miles. 

A closer view of Amboy Crater

This is a closer view of the volcano. 

I did not get the chance to hike to the rim.  The view down inside the crater is supposed to be cool.  Perhaps sometime in the future.  I don't expect to go back to Laughlin any time soon, if I can help it, and a three hour drive to just go to the volcano seems a bit too much right now. 

Anyway, what's new this week?

-Bush is still crazy

-Ahhhhhnullld is still governating.

-The trimster at UNI is coming to a close.  Panicky students are attempting to get makeup work turned in.  It was due Tuesday at 3:00.  As usual, there were one or two kids who: A. were missing 20+ assignments and want me to give them all of them monday afternoon, or B. Come in Tuesday at 2:45 and want to work until they are done with whatever assignment they did not do in the first place that originally took the class 2-3 hours.  It never fails to amaze me. 

- The quarter at CSUSB is coming to a close as well.  I took Communication (Education 603) this quarter.  Now I understand how to communicate, and what can interfere with the communication process.  Did you know that if you don't trust somebody, you are less likely to communicate effectively with that person than with somebody you trust very well?  It's true!

- While in Laughlin, some dickweed managed to snap the passenger side mirror off my truck.  When we came out of the hotel room, there it was, dangling by the wires to the adjustment motors.  Duct Tape is an amazing thing...

-What is also amazing is the fact that the little piece of plastic that got broken in the process of removing the mirror from the truck will set me back about 250 bucks to repair/replace.  Prorietary materials suck.

-My students really like mechanical pencils.  They are terrifically popular.

-It looks like another sniper might be operating, this time in Ohio.

-Bush showed up to say "hi!" to his troops in Iraq.  I have to admit, the footage they showed on CNN showed the troops were REALLY excited to see him.  At least he was not in Crawford, like I expected.

-"Haunted Mansion" starring Eddie Murphy did not suck.  It wasn't nearly as good as "Pirates of the Carribbean", but it was not as bad as I had feared. 

Well, I gotta run

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