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An Unexpected Party

Lisa and I were debugging someone else's code this morning when the phone rang. Fully expecting a call from an Acme employee, we slapped the speaker-phone on and answered professionally:

"Yeah?"

Imagine our surprise when a familiar Australian accent boomed forth, cutting through the frustrated atmosphere in the office like a bread knife through a bagel. It was our old friend Michael R. He and Roslyn were in Vegas for a day on their way back from visiting their kids in England. How many years was it since we last saw them?  We arranged to meet them in the lobby of the Luxor where they were staying, and went back to work.

(Background time: For a number of years, Michael organised multi-day seminars and courses for software developers covering various topics - including FoxPro - that brought respected experts out to Australia and New Zealand. Basically, Lisa and I would not have met in person if it were not for Michael. So, in our eyes, he and Roslyn are equivalent to royalty.)

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The unprofitable and recently sold Aladdin is going through some difficult times. However, there are still good restaurants there, however. Including one that has topped a lot of the local ratings recently: The Commander's Palace (http://www.commanderspalace.com/cplv/index.html). In the past we've often gone and looked at the menus there as we wander through the Dessert Passage, and never really felt that we deserved such a treat. This evening, however, we could think of no visitors more deserving to share the experience with.

Luckily Michael and Roslyn were agreeable, and so before we set out Lisa rang from the Lobby and made reservations for 8:30pm.

It was an interesting evening, involving driving around a lot and getting lost. Michael was missing a suitcase thanks to the airlines, and needed a recharger for his cell phone. We ended up taking a tour of the local mall in search of a cellular outlet/Sprint store or similar, and eventually found exactly the right kind of phone charger at Radio Shack. The helpful clerk even allowed Michael to leave his phone charging behind the counter while we wandered around the mall.

After some shopping and going back to collect the recharged cellphone, Lisa and I charged ourselves with entertaining Michael and Roslyn. (Excuse the pun.)  We parked at the Aladdin and walked around the Desert Passage shops, noting with regret that many of the more established shops were closing; the number of gaps where there used to be shops were growing.

The Commander's Palace turned out to be deserving of the awards and high ratings, at least in our eyes. The food - kind of New Orleans/American in style - was great, and the service impecable. It was splendid to be able to share the experience with Michael and Roslyn.

(Michael has since informed us that the missing suitcase followed them home to Australia a day or so later!)

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