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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Hot, Hot, Hot

18 July 2002

Reno has been hot.... Hotter than Las Vegas even.... Yesterday and today the mercury topped at 109..... with no wind to offer relief. I found myself on what turned out to be "the hottest day ever" in Reno... having to drive up to Tahoe and pay some bills. It wouldn't have been so bad if my air conditioner worked... but it doesn't. I had the old "4-70" air conditioner fired up.... Four windows down at 70 mph.... Which worked until you had to crawl through downtown Carson City.... When I finally got it all done and returned to my Verdi post, nearly 7 hours had gone by.... And I had spent most of the time in the car. I had one sunburned leg and a "trucker's tan" on my arm... and there wasn't enough iced tea on the planet to satiate my thirst.

The fire reported last week in Tahoe was luckily controlled enough in time to prevent a major disaster. Nicknamed the Gondola fire, it reportedly so far looks like some lunk-head tossed their cigarette out the window of the gondola.... The fire burned about 700 acres, but thankfully spared structures and neighborhoods. The decision was made early on the Fourth of July to go ahead with the fireworks display, and bystanders on the beach got a little more fun, because the helicopters were refilling their water-dropping buckets out of the lake, as were some of the tankers.... It provided quite a water show for those on the beaches.

Coming up in early August is the ever-popular, and ever-growing.... Hot August Nights.... Reno's classic car extravaganza.... When the fifties once again reign.... The diner is the popular hang-out, and the sock-hop comes back with a bang. It draws thousands of visitors to the area, and the crowds run all the way to Tahoe.... As everybody seems to have some sort of classic car or motorcycle event planned. This year it runs August 8-11th. I probably won't be in the immediate area that weekend, as the RV Park has been sold out months in advance. That's the beauty of a motor home.... When you have to.... You just drive somewhere else for a while.

I saw a couple of amusing items in the past week.... One was the SUV headed towards Reno with the license plate "SLOTROD" .... The other I found in the police blotter section of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. "A monkey wearing diapers was spotted running across a supermarket parking lot chasing a little girl carrying a bunch of bananas...." Somebody has a sense of humor lately, and it makes the blotter section a must. Don't know if the local law enforcement are the ones responsible, or if the paper has someone from the comedy club working that desk. Goes to show, though.... You never know what you might see in Tahoe.

The Lake, for those of you who like cold water stories.... Is still pretty cold. In the low 50s I heard, but the air temperature has been in the low 90s the past couple of days.... Which rates pretty hot for Lake Tahoe. Evidence of that was the numbers of people packed onto the beaches along the highway home yesterday. I was so tempted to stop and join them.... Knowing the cold water would keep me cool for hours after one submersion..... next time I know I will cave in. It just isn't summer.....not unless you jump into Lake Tahoe at least once.

I have noticed all kinds of people winning all kinds of money again over at Gold Ranch.... Makes me drool.... And drool.... And drool. I could really use just one "good" win. I don't care if it's a taxable win... I just want one. Yesterday I heard all kinds of shrieking coming from the penny slots.... A woman who had been playing one hundred pennies per bet ($1) had hit the royal flush for $800. I was already green with envy... and then she dropped the bomb.... It was the second $800 royal in one hour for her on the same penny machine. Twice I have seen people playing that quarter slot with the doubles and triples and clowns.... Get the top jackpot of two double symbols and a triple for $1250.... And with the heat outside.... Gold Ranch has a super air conditioning system. Hot slots, cold air. Works for me! Oh, and the other night... someone playing 200 pennies on a "Unicorn" slot... hit over $300. Don't ever discount the pennies as nonsense... I have seen so many wins into the hundreds and yes... even thousands of dollars on pennies. I used to laugh and I used to ignore them.... But now there are so many, and so many more on the way.... And I notice who's winning and what... everywhere I go. I don't hardly go a day without seeing someone winning big on mere pennies.

It's supposed to cool down by next week and be more like a regular summer ought to be... without baking from the inside out. For those of you who can't fathom Vegas in the summer but you still want a great gambling experience in what has to be some of the prettiest countryside in Nevada... think twice... and come to Reno and Tahoe. You'll be glad you did.... It is a winning proposition!