guy sitting in shadows

A Las Vegan (Sinner) hides from the heat of a summer day. Oddly in rained shortly after this was taken _ Royal Hopper

Blast furnace day

by Royal Hopper
It was 108 in the City of Sin Yesterday.
You could cook an egg on the sidewalk at 8 a.m. and by 10 the roadways  were hot enough to cook the bacon that goes with it. It was a great week for indoor sports as the 16,000 pool playing bar flies who came into town for their annual championship tournament can testify.

a right lane must what

The Right Lane Must ???? Royal Hopper

It was the kind of blast-furnace day that made even the pigeons work enough courage to try and fly indoors when a car window was opened. I saw two fight over a spot by the air conditioning vent where cool water was leaking out by the cup full.
The normally timid urban pigeons seemed so reluctant to vacant that patch of shade near the leaky vent that they stood up to a dog that was trying to eat them for several seconds before deciding that being eaten was a worse fate than being exposed to the summer sun.
It was the kind of day where you could cook a chicken by leaving it on the hood of your car for a couple of hours or make jerky by leaving your turkey sandwich on the dashboard while you were taking a nap to escape the heat.

carrying water

Water for s hot summer day _ Royal Hopper

It was the kind of arid heat that makes you look at the tourists stumbling down the sidewalks in their brightly colored ill advised shorts or equally ill advised suits and jackets and wish for them to stumble and fall in a nearby pond out pf mercy. No matter where you are from you are never ready for the desert.
It was the kind of week when you went voluntarily with your significant other and your female off spring to the trendy Swedish based big box store for an a hour of shopping because you were bored and it was to damn hot to go outside for long periods. It was one of the days when you actually feel a little sorry for those holding signs asking for money on the sun baked avenue.

somebodys screwed

Do you get the feeling someone’s yard sale is screwed _ Royal Hopper

It was hot..!
The desert is a beautiful place full of challenging vistas and stark dray dangerous beauty. When you are not staring at a neon sign the whole place looks like the set of a sci fi b movie about beautiful but dead alien planets full of strange lifeforms. (Just go downtown on a Friday night and you will see) They say  it is hottest right before it cools off and begins its brief warm version of winter and weirdest right before things get normal. (which they never do here)
Getting used to the heat in the desert is like getting used to snow in Greenland. It isn’t a decision it is just something you do or you do not do and you move to Idaho.
The heat isnt cruel or sadistic. It does not seek out the meek or the strong. It does not seek challenge or prey. It simply is or it isn’t. It is just life in the City of Sin.
Take Care Sinners


Two young urbani pass by each other as they go about their business last week. The new generation of Sinners _ Royal Hopper

     Today I saw an older man crossing the street and when I say older remember I was born when the Beetles were still playing small gigs in Liverpool. (1962) His hair was white and he was stooped over and so frail looking it seemed like the mild desert breeze would blow him across the street like a dried out leaf or desiccated twig or insect.            
                                                                                                                                                                                    He hesitated with each step stopping mid stride regaining his balance tottering as though the effort of standing up was almost too much for him to bear and he was mustering his strength to finish the stride. He looked almost like a John Cleese parody of a man doing one of his patented silly walks  (English comedy look it up.)
   The light turned and I left the frail wisp of a man trying to cross the street under his own power. It had taken the entire light for three or four steps but he was still determined to get there. The leather jacket he sported spoke of the days when he was a force to be reckoned with. The old days were long gone for this determined street crosser and meant to hold onto them as tightly as he could.


One of the newer generation of off strip casinos catering to locals… Royal Hopper

These good old days are gone

By Royal Hopper
Most of the places that stood on the strip (Las Vegas Boulevard when I arrived her in 1989 right out of Uncle Sam’s gentle graces ( I was in the Army) are gone now. The Sands the Dunes, The Landmark, The El Morocco, The El Cortez, The Marina, The Westward Ho, The Stardust, O ‘ Shea’s and on and on and on. ( for a basic map of strip casinos in the day.)
    These Vegas icons were torn down in the Halcyon days of the 90s building boom and with them went the days of cheap food,  the days of pinstripes, and guys named after bugs and facial features. (ie Tony the Ant, Louie the nose and that lefty guy).
In the City of Sin the poor gamblers breakfast could be had for .49 cents at the Westward Ho Motor hotel/casino (founded in 1963 when this writer was 1) and hotdogs and $1 beer was the toast of the “old Las Vegas.”
    Last week I had  conversation with a man about free beer or at least he had a conversation with me. The man dressed in a collection of Roy Rogers 1950s cowboy accessories stopped in front of me and appeared to want to ask me something.  I extended my hand for a manly hand shake, offered my name and asked his the way many places of business require their employees to do these days. He stood there for several seconds not saying a word and when I politely excused myself and began to walk away he said …”Thanks for the talk I will give that beer a try.” Since I hadn’t said any such thing I can only guess that the man had_ had a serious scrap with Mr. Jack Daniels 5th or Ms. Molly Narcotic and gotten his ass kicked. Either that or he was psychic or just nuts. That is the second time that has happened to me in the City of Sin. DSCF0529.JPG
     I once told you all about the classic southern poor working man’s lunch in my native SE Texas when I was a small child in the 60s … A moon pie and an RC Cola.  The mostly marshmallow chocolate covered pastry cost a nickel or so  and the drink a dime —back in the good old days …or my Dad once told me. Those days are gone. What once costs 15 cents now costs at least $2.

RC and a Moon Pie via Bing

The same is true about Vegas. Vegas is a different and more expensive. The Strip is corporate now and likely will be for some time to come. It’s not a dream or a nightmare it’s history and life in the City of Sin.
Take Care Sinners
Love You All


The best shot I could get from the not so cheap seats at the Zombie, Korn, In This Moment.. Heavy Metal Jam on Saturday _ Royal Hopper

Zombie, Korn and a Moment in the City of Sin

By Royal Hopper
It was cool and breezy by desert standards Monday …a bone chilling 99 degrees( yes that is sarcasm) There was Rock and Roll and the usual mischief and it was hot
“I have Given you 30-years. Give me three minutes,” said the famous Goth Rocker most often known as Rob Zombie as he looked around the arena full of Metal Heads their black outfits contrasting the glow of their expensive cell phones as they filmed and snapped photos of the “Zombie” as he sang.


Part of the Rob Zombie show Saturday.. Once again the best I could get with my cell… Royal Hopper

Zombie wanted those in the crowd to turn off their cellphones. He had asked the audience to turn off their phones for one song and when many kept filming he pointed at them and said “Yes. I am talking to you who are filming me on your cellphone asking you to turn off your cell phone.”   A few listened ..Most did  not and the Zombie man was clearly frustrated. This is Vegas man and it is the 21st century.  We don’t turn off and tune in..we connect and record and post and gamble and drink while we do it. For better or worse that is the way of the world and the way of Sin City.  Outside the concert there was  fight, a Black Hat hacker convention, a working girl struggling to the food court at the end of a long night and paramedics inbound to save a life.

As you might have already guessed we saw an amazing Heavy Metal Rock and Roll show last Saturday. Aging Gothic Shock Rocker Rob Zombie put on a hell of a heavy metal show of undead supernatural attitude. (pun intended) as did his special guest Chick Metal Gothic Rocker  “In This Moment” … Nu Metal Rock Act Korn put on their usual energetic and honestly even more Gothic act with the goblin in the Korn Field intensity fans have come to expect. Korn is great live (better than studio I think) and I recommend seeing them in concert even if you are not a fan of their music.


An old Cityscape last year I think _ Royal Hopper

The Zombie took a moment to lead the arena crowd in a chorus of Happy Birthday for his guitarist John 5 and stage show was a montage of barely veiled nudity, weirdness and old B-movies. In other words it was just like any night in Las Vegas.  Now imagine this you are in the middle of stage show about zombies, bimbos and vintage undead creatures and the entire audience breaks into a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday.
Vegas is a place that doesn’t give two farts about tradition and the sense of connection.  It is loud, bright, sexual and brash like a Rock concert, and like the same, dedicated to the raw emotion of fun in the dark. But unlike Rock and Roll there is no deeper side to the City of Sin _ no story to tell other than gamble, drink, party.
Many people make the mistake of assuming Heavy Metal and  Rock and Roll are like Vegas itself but that is not true. There are similarities. Implied sex, and real sex, bright lights etc etc…. Rock always has  story to tell and a moral to relate. Sometimes the story is a simple as dance and have fun while you can or driving cars is cool.

people with blow up doll

I ran this one last year but it bears repeating You could call this the spirit of Vegas _ Royal Hopper

Other times it prays for peace or calls the brave and faithful to stand fast or relates the glories of love or tells an allegory of modern culture.  Vegas simply is what it is…It has no moral or story except what you bring to it or what those you deal with bring to it… It makes promises, implies rewards and gets you to pay for them.
They do have some things in common though. A hundred year from now somebody will be digging Rob Zombie or Korn or In This Moment record from the museum and remaking them _ 100 years from now somebody will be drinking more than they should, chasing women or men they should not, gambling money they don have and getting rolled for their trouble.

It not really all that weird .. It’s just Rock N Roll, Heavy Metal and Life in the City of Sin
Love You Sinners

Bison but

This 2,000 pound Bison was seen crossing the road as Bison that weight 2,000 pounds are prone to do_ Royal Hopper

Every tourist trap has its denizen   __ the creatures that locals and those in authority tell you to stay away from.
You see such a denizen preparing to cross the street and it was huge. Its dark brown hair all but covering its intense uncaring brown eyes and it strolled down the asphalt causing fascinated tourists to snap pictures nervously.
The denizen of this tourist trap roadway looks at the gathering crowd of suntan lotion and Bermuda shorts clad tourists and stands fast as one of the curious picture taking tourists inches closer to him to take pictures threatening to provoke this huge browned haired denizen into action.
About that time a patrol car full of authority figures rolls onto the scene points a loud speaker out of the car and says…DSCF0048.JPG
“Stay away from the Bison go back to your cars. It is mating season and the bulls are very aggressive,” the Yellowstone Park Ranger said her voice ringing with authority and some frustration with the
usual perils of tourists screwing with the local denizens. This event occurred during a vacation at Yellowstone National Park but it just as easily could have been in Vegas. Tourists are the same everywhere and every locale has its dangers whether it be 2,000 pound bovines looking for a date or muggers looking for a wallet.

myscle guy on sidewalk

A denizen of Sin City _ Royal Hopper

In another place denizens like mermaids, pirates, giant anthropomorphic Octopi people, Spongebobs,  Captain Crabby and Gilligan stalked the hallways of a local establishment. Tough, tall chicks with colored hair and scars on their tone bodies were everywhere. Dont mess with these chicks boyo …you will lose. One of these chicks carried a black bag laden with suspicious looking weighty objects…
She sets to bag down for a minute looking around to see if anybody is watching and then picks the bag up with some effort and squelches a gasp when several items fall out of the bag fall to the floor.
The tough chick looks panicked and worried as she scurries to pick up the items and local security walks over to sea what this suspicious tough chick with the multi colored hair is doing and unconsciously picks an object off the ground and hands it to the woman. ..
Who says thanks turns three shades red and takes vibrating rounded cylinder and stuffs it back in the bag along with the sports bras and pairs of skates it contained. No not guns or drugs just roller derby stuff..


A blast from the past. The old Riviera was a part of old Vegas.. Now gone the way of the dinosaurs _ Royal Hopper

We went to Yellowstone and then we came back to Vegas. What is the lesson here. Perhaps tht most tourists destinations have some things in common no matter how different they are.
So here are a few rules for visiting anywhere anytime especially the City of Sin.

Rules of Sin in the City

By Royal Hopper
“Where’s my stuff,” the man said looking around the casino with the unmistakeable look the sanity challenged often get when
their invisible friends from the Illuminati steal their magic comb while they are communing with the spirits pf Elvis and Paris Hilton.( Yes I know Paris Hilton is still alive but this gentleman was not so sure.)
“I left my stuff right here,” the man said his wardrobe of casino free giveaways soaked with flop sweat ashe realized his precious stuff was missing.
“I am with Mossad you know,” the man said looking t the security officers who had been called to corral his strange behavior.
“Where I am from people know how to treat a customer.” he said
Trabslation: I left my stuff unattended on a slot machine in Vegas while I went to the bathroom for half an hour and now I am pissed because I know I am an idiot and want you to compensate me for it…
The exchange goes on a a few minutes and finally the casinos order keeper tell the mn he has to go up to his room and cease causing a disturbnce.
“Good idea he says,” with  look of childish excitement on his face, “my stuff might be there.”
On the way up to his room the man suddenly realized his stuff was in the shopping bag he had been holding in his hand the entire time.
In the worn shopping bag nedt to assorted junk, food items and casino gaming tokens was a loaded .40 caliber pistol .
None of this is all that unusual. It is the way it is …It is life in the City of Sin
Love You Sinners Take Care
The rules are as follows.
1.. Abandoned property _ If you leave stuff alone unattended and somebody takes it is your fault and you are not going to get compensated for it.
Don’t leave credits on a slot machine while you go to the bathroom or eat lunch and while some places allow you to reserve a slot machine..
If stuff comes up missing while you are gone you are SOL. TAKE YOUR STUFF WITH YOU You will not get comped if it is gone and security has their hands full keeping the peace
and the slot attendants have their hands full running the slot floor. If your stuff is gone blame yourself.
Casino security has its hands full keeping the peace and keeping an eye on weirdos and drunks like you and doesn’t have time to baby sit you. Take Your Stuff With you or Somebody will take it. If your lucky an alert
security officer might find it first and put it in lost and found but probably not.
2. Showing skin_ If you dress strangely or show some skin you are going to get stared at get over it. Whether its in front of a bubbling geyser or a bank of slot machines if you show skin you are going to get looked at..
Note most tourist destinations will not allow you to roam around shirtless ans yes they can make you leave if you refuse.
3. Bring your freaking ID: While you are not required to show it have to have ity to be where there is gambling or drinking and security
is fully justified in telling you to leave if you dont have it or refuse to show it… That is the law in most places including most National Parks.
4. Somebodys out to get me: I promise you no one is out to get you. Dont mistake our good manners and professionalism for concern about your place in the universe. We just don’t give a crap enough
to single you out. We are not out to get you…
5. Bringing kids to Las Vegas is silly and :: Dont bring you freaking kids to Las Vegas and if you do make note they are not ALLOWED TO STOP OR HANG OUT ON THE GAMING FLOOR …NOT EVEN FOR A minute. Nevada gaming law
clearly states that you kids and anybody under 21-year of age cannot loiter where ther is gambling or drinking. It doesn’t matter who you are your kids cannot be in the casino.
6. Put everybody who needs access to your room on the room registration. If you forget your keys we will not let you in the room unless you are on it.
7. Pay for your room in advance. Rates can change $100 in a day and reservations dont garauntee price…..

Pigeon Zombies and the fallacy of appearances in the City of Sin

pigeon baby.jpg

Pigeon Zombies and the Fallacy of appearances in the City of Sin

By Royal Hopper
A pigeon sits perched on bench during the oppressive sand and concrete covered furnace of a Las Vegas afternoon _ the desert in the summer.
The heat is approaching the danger point and even most of the hard core Sinners have long since scrambled indoors for the benefit of  and air conditioning and ice water. The oppressive clarity of the desert sky highlights every flaw makes the world seem dirty and ragged as the few walking this stretch of urban desertscape take notice of the staring its pigeon disdain at passersby and showing off its pigeon courage by not blinking its pigeon eye one iota when its is approached. DSCF9849.JPG
A few brave pedestrians work up the nerve to approach the unflinching avian but it still doesn’t bat an eye and the walker’s  ultimately lose their nerve and walk on without touching the unflinching bird.
This happens several times and each time the walkers lose their nerve and walk away quickly as if the pigeon had cowed them into it. Then one brave foot bound citizen works up the nerve and determined to get the best of the gray and white bird, extends a hand toward  the bird waiting for it to jump and fly away _ but it doesn’t move.
It just stares wide eyed at the person leaning forward to touch it. Not daunted by this set back the person grabs a small stick and carefully leans forward to poke the bird with the stick determined to get the better of it.
The pigeon is unmoved as the stick inches closer to its head staring right at its antagonist with perfect poise _ not moving and unmoved.
Finally the pedestrian works up the nerve and moves the last few inches to the pigeon’s head and touches it.DSCF9883.JPG
It  still doesn’t move. He slowly and carefully moves the stick back and pokes it again and it still doesn’t move. He works up the nerve again and says boo to the unmoving bird and pokes it again with the stick. It still doesn’t move and never will again. The pigeon has gone to meet its maker on the sun scorched desert pathway and was somehow temporarily frozen in place.
great bird shot.JPG
The pedestrian giggles at their own silliness and its still chuckling when a small group of pigeons fly overhead and he in spite of his new found levity ducks and cringes a bit
Vegas is the kind of place you either love or hate and often both as the case may be….and more to the point it doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
That is life love and summer time in the City of Sin.


Dude or Chick..?? I never got a clear look

Summer in the City

by Royal Hopper
A man stood at the corner looking across the intersection toward his goal. He was like a time machine. His gray pony tail pointing to a forgotten sillier time. The cammo t shirt he wore out of date and out of fashion 30 years ago. What does it mean stayed tuned to find out.
Its was a typical Day in the desert this July 4th weekend.
The city sounded like a war zone as explosions and bright lights rippled through the streets of Sin City as darkness surrounded it.


Las Vegas Cityscape – Royal Hopper

People in strange costumes joined in the celebration whooping and hollering as they explosions of neon echoed throughout the city.
There were drunks everywhere forgetting their wallets in odd places in an effort to get drunk faster. There were cops everywhere keeping a watchful eye on the drunks and those likely to take advantage of them.
There were working girls and you know working girls, winners and losers and some idiot on a horse riding down Tropicana  talking on his cell phone.


Now this is a bad day _ Royal Hopper

In others words it was a normal week in the City of Sin only louder and some guy on horseback on a residential street in Las Vegas which is kind of weird. The 4th of July is a great American holiday full of noise and lights _ but that is how the City of Sin is all the time. July 4th was just every other day except louder and more annoying.
I did see something on the street corner as I was on my way home last week.  A man standing on the street corner caught my eye. Suddenly it was long decades ago and I could feel the long hair on my shoulders and the badly designed t shirts of feaux rebellion.  He wore a pony tail and a cammo tshirt ala Dukes of Hazard.   DSCF9872.JPG
The shirt was faded cammo exactly one I owned some decades  ago.  He looked frozen in time as if 2016 offended him somehow. He bought a really cool cammo shirt back in 1984 and stuck with it and decided 1978 was the bomb for hair styles and stuck with that. Vegas is a lot like that. It constantly promotes its past,  gangsters, Elvis, cowboys and all the glories of the past but never really honors it. Look that place has 60 years of history behind it .._ everyone who was anyone performed there. Babies were conceived there and born there and people died there. It is a piece of history. Want to put a parking lot there ..?.
Thats life in the City of Sin
Take Care Sinners

a road to EDC

The Daisies and professional aholes in the City of Sin


by Royal Hopper  


The Daisy Kids invaded the City of Sin this week as temperatures soared to 115 degrees. Every where you looked there were tribal head dresses, bikini clad space alien chicks, rainbow colored halter tops and glow sticks _ everywhere.

good urban landscape

A Sin City Urban Landscape _ Royal Hopper

This one chick was convinced she could get home by passing through a mirror at the end of the hallway another was convinced she could get change for her pack of cigarettes.

The Daisies came to town right as the NBA championships were wrapping up and Cleveland won its first professional championship since 1964 when this blogger was 2. Yes there was a culture clash and there was little in the way of tension between the two. The Daisies were usually to tired from getting stoned and dancing all night to start a fight and the sports fans were to busy threatening to beat the crap out of each other to notice a bunch of stoned out ravers wearing tribal headdresses and bikinis.

So with the relative lack of conflict in the City of Sin and the fact that it was hot in the desert not exactly being news lets talk about aholes.

supernatural join the hunt

A bumper sticker _ Royal Hopper

Some people pride themselves on being annoying, irascible and mean spirited. They enjoy challenging everyone they meet regardless of the occasion or fault of the person they are meeting in their problems.
In short they enjoy being a ahole. They are proud of it.

I ran into one such person recently in the City of Sin _ a tall portly gentleman with a cane who was upset that his room key had not worked for the second time. He cursed every other word sounding like a symphony of drunken sailors _ which he was incidentally a sailor I mean by his own admission having served 30 years in the Navy and Marine Corps.

people together on a bench

Waiting at the bus stop _ Royal Hopper

You run into a lot of people like this in Vegas. Usually they are not locals. Real Vegas bad asses usually know to be smooth and smiley and polite even if its fake its well honed skill. They will cut across five lanes of traffic, go 40 mph on the Interstate and 60 mph on tight little back roads honking their horns like mad men if the “peasants” get in their way.

Its not Crazy or insane I say it again

rent to own wheels and tires

Rent a Wheel ?

Its not a day at the races of in a loonie bin

Its not the Ritz or the Sticks and not remotely Zen

Its just every day .. In the City of Sin

So long Sinners Love you guys