a guy walking

A man and his sheets 

A man dressed in a black T shirt with a tannish brown jacket wrapped around his waist like a suede kilt from times gone by suddenly stops in his journey down the sidewalk of a Sin City byway that is heavily traveled by casino workers and tourists alike.
He seems to stare at something in the landscaped hedges of the apartment complex he is walking by. Then he bends down stretching like a ballerina and staring at something only he can see and begins to speak.
Perhaps he is speaking to the invisible friend he spied while walking or simply talking to the hedge but whatever it is it has captured his attention. He is oblivious to stares of others on the sidewalk or the commuters staring at him from their cars or perhaps he even likes the staring for the attention it gives him. Satisfied that the invisible friend or the hedge as the case may be has understood what he is saying but whatever he stands up clearly very proud of himself and strides off into whatever world his mind had taken him too……still oblivious to what the world sees in him or doesn’t see …I’m jealous aren’t you …
I’m not sure what this means I just felt I had to tell you about it now onto to this weeks rant….maybe it has something to do with the theme of this weeks rant

To be a clueless happy Mutt or a Wise and Sad Princess

By Royal Hopper 

There is an old saying about the difference between the wise and the foolish.
It goes something like the Wise are always full of doubts and questions about the world and the direction it is going . They know they dont really know. They know they are making educated guesses about the world and have questions about their guesses.
The foolish are always full of certainity and seldom entertain the whys and hows and questions of fact that keep the wise up at night and fill them with doubts.
I suppose the same can be said of dogs….

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Petra’s little Dog faces off with the Wolf that devoured her Goose in a Puppet version of the classic Peter and the Wolf at the Smith Center last week 

I have or rather my family has two dogs a Princess named Reddy and a big lunk named Kuma …
Kuma is nicknamed the Lunk or the Lug because she is a happy go lucky clueless love bug who loves all people and hates all other dogs except Reddy who she seems to love like an adorable stoner big sister. Kuma will walk up to strange children with her tail tucked and beg to be petted. Our Nephews Girl Katie was in town with her traveling show playing at the Smith Center. She came over and Kuma instantly took to her plopping all 90 pounds of her on Katie’s lap until she got her fill of head scratches and belly rubs. When Kuma wants to cuddle she will run across the floor and jump into someone laps and beg for attention her mouth open in that huge mouthed Pit Bull/American Bull Dog smile her tongue which is as big as your face…

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Petra and the Goose at the Pond. A little grainy but it was just to good a shot to let sit

Reddys nick name is Princess Drama Nuerotica because she is so wound up so worried about the outside world we have to give her doggie calm down pills when there is loud noise or activity outside.. We also call her our Goth dog because of the ring of black fur around her eyes and her Goth attitude…She loves her people and no one else. She isnt vicious she just doesnt have any use for strangers. She litterally turns her nose up at strangers because you know shes Princess Reddy
Keep in mind anything will set Reddy off …A moto cross tourney at the Stadium across the street ….the neighbors washing machine turning on during a quiet day. A thunderstorm will make this water hating dog jump into the shower while it is running and we are in it to get away from loud noises . On the other hand she is one the smartest dogs I have ever owned ..Nothing much gets past Princess Drama ..Once she knows somethign she knows it …By dog standards she is smart ..
This begs the question is it better to be a clueless, lovable and cuddle bug who is addicted to hugs like a drug addict Jonesing for meth and never seems to worry about a thing or a Cynical nuerotic Princess who jumps into showers at the sound of thunder but is pretty smart…
Is it better to be smart and worried or stupid and happy
Such is the question in today’s mussing on Life in the City of Sin

 

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A man walks up to the dispatch podium at the old Riviera sometime in 2014 or so and asks if his cell phone has been found. The guard looks the man up and down stares at his face as if strikes a cord in his memory. The man looks like a three day drunk in the midst of a huge hangover half a sleep and longing to not be awake..
“No,” the guard says staring at the computer where the items are logged “but we did find you ID and credit card,” “My ID is missing ?” the man said with a confused smile prying his wallet out of his back pocket where it had been for days. “Oh crap,” he said pointing to the spot where his ID and card had been.
He hadn’t remembered his ID and credit card were missing but even half asleep and hungover after a three day party he realized his phone was missing….Technology and its effects on society is always changing. What we consider sacrosanct today is tomorrows obsolescence. What seems like science fiction today’s is tomorrows fact of life…..

Today, tomorrow and Tuesday or Things change Bro

by Royal Hopper
When I was 15 or so I can remember having a conversation with a conservative with teen about Star trek and the wondrous communicators they talked to each other on. We talked about the wonder of our grandmother’s rotary dial phones that you could kill a rhino with they were so heavy and the wondrous new touch tone land line phones with their array of buttons that would surely be the standard in personal communication for centuries to come.

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Three men sitting in the sun – Royal Hopper

We talked about the wonders of our parents new VCRs and how nothing would ever replace them and the 9 channel cable deal their friends parents just got for their house or the glory of bell bottom jeans and Ocean Pasific t shirts. We were both nerds from the opposite sides of the social divide and it was mostly bull but ….
After much back and forth about the futility of trying improve the human condition we both reluctantly agreed that had held devices that allowed you to talk across thousands of miles and such similar things were likely centuries away and man kind could do without such things for now and get over all you future freaks live for now…….guy bending over (2).JPG
Last week I left my cell phone on the charger at home plugged into the front USB port of my computer and quietly inside I lost my mind. Outside I was calm and cool and collected inside I was lost and felt naked and unconnected. I barely use the thing except to talk to my wife and daughter and take pictures but I felt Fng naked without it ….I remember Disco and Punk and bell bottoms and leisure suits and suede jackets and Ocean Pacific. I remember when classic Rock was just Rock. I remember making popcorn on the stove and heating up food in the real oven. I remember the day when VCRs were cool and new. I remember when van Halen wasn’t played on the oldies station I remember making sure I had a pocket full of quarters for the pay phones that were once everywhere…and I felt lost without my cell phone…a by the hour hotel.JPG

One day your phone will be the size of a watch..not linked to a watch mind you just the size of one and the boxy device you keep in your pocket will talk to our colonies on the moon or take pictures of things that happened yesterday.
Nothing is so permanent that it is forever not even the stars……everything man made changes ..everything ..every year until one day the changes are old and it changes again

Thats life in the City of Sin and everwhere else
Love You Sinners take Care

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A lonely desert highway Hopper – Royal Hopper

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The sign holder is an eternal feature of this city and of modern life -Royal Hopper

The sky is gray in the desert and you make your daily drive to your mortgage paying endeavor …It gives the gray concrete and neon on the City of sin a rare manic quality as they wonder what to do int he face of these strange gray things dropping water from the sky… This is the desert and we don’t have time for things like weather ..We are to busy chasing our tails 

 It rains in the desert you know or look for what you need not what you want

 

by Royal Hopper
You see a man ..a shaggy bedraggled man in a Guns and Roses T Shirt frowning as he leafs through the contents of a trash dumpster as the drizzle of rain assaults his antiquated but well kept form the cigarette hanging from his lips Nicki Six/Slash/ Keith Richards style bobbing up and down as his search for something intensifies.  Its not the plastic sheeting in the dumpster that he searches for and the rain intensifies and begins to soak him. The very thing that would keep him dry is not what he is looking for….

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This colorful sign on the road to Zion advertises beer wine and beef – Royal Hopper

As the light turned and the flow of traffic moves on out of the corner of your eye you can see the man having a Eureka moment perhaps finding the things he believed but it is not the plastic sheeting that could keep him dry….as the traffic slows you sneak a peek behind you at the man.. He looks disappointed and exasperated and then looks up at the sky as if he has just realized he is being rained on. As he bends down to pick up something ..perhaps the plastic sheeting ..the car behind you pops his horn a little reminding you that this is traffic in the City of Sin and you are on your way to work ….Sighing a little you drive on…homeless camp 4.JPG

As the weather lightened up homeless camps in the city exploded …with tents popping up on every inch of open land and just as quickly disappearing when it started raining perhaps moving underground or in doors.

As you near the last stretch of road before your workplace you see a homeless camp that was full of tents the week before. They are mostly gone but there is a lone man you see snuggling up next to a fence laying on the bare sandy ground preparing to take a needed nap. He notices the rain which is intensifying but not yet pounding and looks up at the sky..appears to sigh and pull something from the ground over him and go back to snuggling with the fence. bench by the tree in zion.JPG
That is the thing about this city. The thing people look the hardest for is not what they really need at the time …They will get soaked to the skin in the rare desert rain storm before they will give up the search for the the thing they want …..
a day and a half later in the morning the wife and you head out of town to go hiking in a National Park. We..you love the city ..but some times you have to get away from it ……That is life in the City of Sin

 

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A homeless camp occupies a drainage ditch off of Swenson Street in the City of Sin- Royal Hopper

For a brief few days a year Las Vegas is a pleasant calm place you can camp outdoors in
Weather wise anyway ….For a few days its not to hot or cold and there is spring.
Spring in the desert is like ..the neon of the city ..beautiful in small isolated spots ..with occasional splashes of color ..but mostly the same as it always is.
Everyone knows this especially the City’s homeless who take this rare opportunity to camp outdoors until the city’s finest or angry property owners run them off. I drive past a dry plain drainage ditch on my way to work that covers one small corner of the city of Sin. Now that spring is here the tent and sleeping bags have popped up like mushrooms on wet grass almost like a small city. This time of year before the oppressive heat of the desert literally drives them underground they come out in the open….

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Is this the perfect Vegas mascot or what. Actually this is on the Naked Pizza building on Swenson/Joe W. Brown _ Royal Hopper

Spring in this desert is like the neon of its city’s streets . Brightly colored and filled with artificial promise.

By Royal Hopper
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You Drive past a ditch an isolated patch of dirt and dust

and spot a sea of places people live when they must
have someplace and have none
Firt you notice a tent surrounded by scraps
of paper, old food , liqour, space blankets and maps
a dog, a crow and a man taking a nap
then you see a sleeping bag laying in the sand
and a bicycle loaded with booty propped up on its stand
a collection of rags flowers and newspapers next to a pack
another tent another bike
a dumpster turned over and the remains of a mike IMG_4338.JPG
a comforter and the ground a box of donuts with the donuts all gone
a pillow some dirt and on and on and on
A quarter mile or more in the bottom of the ditch ist sides and top
it has always been it always is so and aint never gonna stop
so just go home and let me say again
This aint a place to begin
This aint Nebraska, Canada or Belgium
This aint Paradise.. Its the City of Sin
Love You Sinners

roadside sculptor

A roadside sculptor _ Royal Hopper

Sometimes things are not exactly what they seem and sometimes they are..

 

By Royal Hopper 

 

You are pulling out of your driveway headed toward the mortgage paying destination past the International Food and Beer festival you see a car with an advertising banner on the back swerve as you pull into traffic ..He straddles the lane markers as he swerves back and forth like an absent minded ner do well who just cant make up his mind.
This goes on for several blocks until you spy one of Las Vegas finest writing a ticket to an unlucky motorist the swerving Joe as we shall call him suddenly straightens up slows down and drives with an almost painful care before taking the first turn he sees and carefully driving away from the police officer and the big stadium full of beer drinkers and food lovers.

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The front of the New York New York _ Royal Hopper

Now it could be the driver from this car is new town and was just checking his map while he was swerving from lane to lane unable to decipher which was his turn was.

Or it could be he had such an immense respect for police officers he immediately slowed down so he could wave as he passed by and found his lane and drove straight to maintain his steady wave as he drove. Or he was drunk as a proverbial skunk. Stoned out of his freaking gourde or tripping hard on artificial joy. It could be that he drank many beers and the Beer festival and was spiking a 3.0 breathalyzer as he made his way back to his friends nearby apartment and away from one of Las Vegas finest while he was to busy writing a ticket to notice this driver was in major DUI territory.

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It could be a UFO or it could be a cloud ???Royal Hopper

You see a man fairly well dressed sifting through a collection of free drink and dinner coupons in a local casino. He doesnt smell. His clothes are new and his shoes unscuffed and freshly polished. His eyes clear and he carries himself like he belongs. Probably middle class and certainly not homeless. The man shuffles his feet uncomfortably and averts his eyes from your gaze. Then he spots a convention goer gift bag with some edibles and sundries and he snags it seeming to know security isn’t going to sweat a free give away bag laying on the floor on a busy night. He shrugs as you pick up another a few feet away and hand it to him as if to say “dude you have no idea the day I have had.”
Maybe he is part of a charity scavenger hunt and free stuff is on his to do list or maybe he is from some innocent land where there are no free give aways and he is so fasinated with it he has to take one home. Or maybe he has gambled away his vacation money and is trying to scrape together enough for lunch so he can use his last $20 for cab fair to the airport on his way home.


Las Vegas is what it is ..Neither Dark nor light ..Just force and money and alcohol ..fantasy and reputation…..
We have said it before but it bears repeating as we approach the spring of this new year. The City does not make your demons. It merely lets them out. Gives them sanctuary …Calls them to action _ however you want to put it . The City of Sin is a lot of things but it is not an aberation. It is us..set free of pretense ..of social camoflogue and social uniforms
It is the hangover you feel after drinking five shots all the while knowing you were past your limit at three ….It is the guilt you feel when you meet a girl named after a desert and are certain she is really into your old ass and wake up in a hotel room with most of your stuff missing and all your vacation money. Dude she half your age … and out of your league. You should have known better.

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a political statement 

It is the guilt you feel when you have spent all you mad money and have to scrounge gift bags like a panhandler to eat lunch.

If you have a gambling problem dont come to this city genius or dont gamble more than you can afford not even a penny. If you have a drinking problem either stay home or stick to stick to coffee and tea. If you are a couple having problems for F@@ks sake dont come here. Millions of peopel come here every year have a good time and go home intact be one of them.
Sometimes life in the City of Sin..is eaxctly what it is
Love you Sinners
Take Care

 

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Billboard are an inescapable fact of a drive in the desert and life in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

It is an inescapable fact that this city grows like mad when the mood hits it but it doesn’t really evolve that much. The things that happen here have always happened and likely always will. This unsentimental place will demolish and throw away landmarks with decades of history like yesterday’s sushi with a shrug and a drink order without a second thought but the things that went on in that place will still go on and they always will…

The City is the City is the City

By Royal Hopper 

As you drive down a Sin City byway on your usual way to your usual mortgage paying endeavor you drive by one of the usual dirty corners of the ever changing ever indifferent corners of the ever changing ever indifferent city(I know its a mouth full. I was in a mood).

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Only something is different this time. The little corner , the little patch of dirt that is an unfinished drainage ditch from nearby construction is empty of the ner do wells that usually occupy it.
Their chariots of charity that usually hold their scant worldly possessions and they days scavenging booty are empty and lined skletal automobiles made of stainless steel (shopping carts genius) in a dirty homeless parking lot .
It doent take long to figure out why. Parked nearby on the asphalt curb of the adjacent road are two of Las Vegas’ finest in a black and white SUV.
Are these derelict individuals scared of “Metro”? Of course they are and they should be. but the dirty corners emptiness is short lived. The next day the police car is gone and the ner do wells are back. the shopping carts have stuff in them and a man with a sign walks wearily toward the corner wiping the dirt from his hand made poster board paper plaque and preparing for a days work of asking for money. The more things change the more they stay the same…


My first month at the Mirage in 1989 just after the place opened a man won a jackpot at one of the progressive machines took the winnings and ran off with the cocktail waitress leaving his wife in the hotel room. In 2018 security at a strip hotel is called to a room ..a couple was arguing so loudly other guests complained. In the first the offender wore a suit and tie in the second he wore a white tee shirt and dreads… The clothes change the date changes the city doesn’t. The City of Sin is still a bad place for couples with issues to go. The City of Sin is still the City of Sin..

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early morning in the City of Sin – Royal Hopper

There is a casino in Vegas called The Linq..Modern and upscale as a remodel gets the Linq uswed to be the Quad and before that it was The Imperial Palace a symbol of the crass over the top style of old Vegas. The Imperial had a huge collection of old cars including Bonnie and Clydes bukket ridden automobile. The Linq is a sleek art deco remodel. A slick new skin on an old Vegas gambling house. BUT…. There are still black jack tables in this old time worn Dragon of Sin, regardless of what skin it wears there is still alcohol and cheesy obvious pomotions, and ladies of the evening. People still do things they dont remember and usually regret ….a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose and Vegas is vegas is Vegas….

The City of Sin is a concept as much as a place. It will be how it is regardless of how anyone feels about it. The wrapper may change. The buildings may be bigger and the neon brighter more sophiscated looking corporate suits may replace the gangster pin stripe but it is still the City of Sin and always will be…..
Love You Sinners take care

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Desert Drive _ Royal Hopper

 

This City has a problem with pigeons .. There is nothing worse than a bird who forgets to fly and gets in the way of your moving forward. The pigeons here have gotten lazy and crazy and have forgotten they can fly at will. Not the brightest of bird to begin with these rats with wings have recently exhibited behavior that is stupid even by bird standards some even seem to forget they can fly. This is the second time I remember seeing this which begs the question ..How many pigeons does it take to cross the street ???

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You have to admire the simplicity of you are and advertising it _ Royal Hopper

The difficulty of crossing the road with wings

by Royal Hopper

You approach a Sin City intersection in your burgundy dust covered proletariat chariot on the way to work and cannot help but notice a group of pigeons huddled in the turn lane to your left trying to cross the sun baked dusty asphalt like tiny little pedestrians waiting for the Go sign to light up.

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No Bob this is where we are having today’s meeting. Oh just leave the chair –Royal Hopper

One pigeon looks particularly vexed bobbing his tiny little pigeon head his tiny pigeon brain all but overloaded at the decision of which way to turn its tiny pigeon body. One moment in darts forward and left only to be cut off by cars turning the other direction in the four way intersection. The next moment it turns on its heels like a soldier in a parade stepping with purpose toward the imagined safety of its starting point only to be cut off by cars in the turn lane to your immediate left.
After ten or fifteen quick trips to the left and an equal number to the right most of the pigeons decide they have had enough. As if a light goes off in the tiny pigeon brains some suddenly realize they can fly and take a running leap at the relative safety of the raised concrete median in the center of the road ..Three quick flap pf he wings and they are resting in the median in the center of the road planning their trip and a way around the scary scary scary Sin City traffic monsters.

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This bird remembers how to fly – Royal Hopper

A few more of the more daring pigeons realize they can fly for long distances and rise up in the air flapping their wings like mad and landing in a small triumphant pile on the other side of the road some roosting on a sign some on the concrete others diving into the dusty dirt just beyond the concrete sidewalk . A few are roosting on the far side of he sidewalk to your right refusing to move forward perhaps fearing it is simply not worth the trouble. Those pigeons in the middle seem content to stay there and as you are pulling away toward you r mortgage paying endeavor the pigeons who have moved on get tired of waiting and fly off toward new and hopefully greener sidewalks… There are no pastures in the City of Sin just sand, neon and sidewalks and asphalt. .

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Mr. confused pigeon is still confused as the light in your lane changes and experience and the left side of your brain urges you to take your foot off the brake and move on he is still going back and fourth unable to make up his mind up. Afraid to walk forward unable to go back and apparently he has forgotten he fly.  Perhaps he has forgotten how to try and is so busy deciding on a left turn or a right turn he is stuck in a never ending loop..perhaps but whatever the case he was still stuck in traffic a moment from being squashed and still would not take to the wing and fly forward.

The moral

The answer is they don’t their birds they can fly over it. Those who can fly (birds, people and countries) and move forward remember how to move on and forward and remember how to try generally do.

It is the way of things here. It’s is life in the City of Sin

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