looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

I've become a convert

This evening was the night of the Bonnie Raitt & Lyle Lovett concert at the Aladdin. We'd seen an advertisement in the local paper that if you bought tickets, at the same time you could get a discount coupon from the box office for dinner at the Aladdin Buffet. Sounds good - except that we already had our tickets, and they hadn't given us a coupon.

Lisa rang the box office who said that they had no knowledge of such a deal, but after she faxed them the clipping, they said that if we showed up and presented our tickets and the ad, we'd get a coupon.

So, at around 5:00 we drove down to the 'strip and parked at the Aladdin, and walked through the Desert Passage shops to the Performing Arts Theater box office. On presenting our tickets and the newspaper advertisement clipping, the clerk rummaged around and handed us coupon. Hooray!

As we were walking towards the buffet, my wife (the one *with* the brain) noticed that the expiry date on the coupon was August 31! A quick 180 and back to the box office, whereupon they discover that they don't have any un-expired discount coupons. Instead they give us a "free meal" coupon, which worked for us!

There are some very nice aspects of the Aladdin Buffet. They have things like baklava and dolma, and a lamb stew that is to die for, and other buffets on the strip don't have them. The whole middle-eastern theme of the Aladdin works well if you like that kind of food, which we do.

The Aladdin is really the nicest hotel/casino on the strip, I think, and it is a shame that the customer-friendly aspects of it are working against it. They are still seriously bankrupt, no-one really knows for how long it will continue to operate in its current form.

After dinner we had some time before the concert, so we wandered around the Desert Passage and Lisa pulled me into a place called "Tolstoy's Instruments of distinction"  (http://store.wellsfargoestore.com/tolstoys) which is mostly stupid clocks and other tchochkadik stuff, but this time they also had some curious balancing toys, many with a nautical theme. These things rock back and forth with various inertially-powered moving parts, and one of them - a whale - looked quite appealing. We've been looking for something to break up the white monotony of our bathroom walls, and this blue grey whale chap looked like just the thing. When we found out they were all on sale, we made the decision without much contemplation.

I jogged out to the car and put the whale into the trunk of the car and met Lisa at the doors to the Theater, in plenty of time.