igauna looking at

I will call this guy Fred. He was lounging on the docks adjacent to the cruise Oasis of the Seas in the Caribbean on St Thomas I think….aint he cute …Photo by Royal Hopper …If you want it throw me a couple of bucks

There is in the creative soul a constant argument …a war if you will raging in the Bohemian mind between the need for self expression unfettered by schedules, definition or anything as pedestrian as results ….and the need to live in the real world and create something permanent the mundanes will appreciate ..for discipline ..for precision if you will ..It never stops and goes on still…

Precision versus expression or the touch and feel versus the brain


By Royal Hopper

I have always cooked more by feel than recipe ..as more of an art than a science or a craft ..Usually I’m pretty good .The food I make is tasty and unique if not overwhelmingly presentable in the Chef ahole kind of way …Its good..I hate excessive measuring and prissy hyper precision and usually I’m dead on . Usually my food tastes good..


A dude with a bag of stuff on a Caribbean Island last month – Photo by Royal Hopper

Not so much this time ..I made a pot of beans and sausage and rice ..a simple enough meal .,,,exactly what it sounds like ……From the beginning there were problems
The freaking pressure cooker didnt seem to want to work and I was behind schedule late with the beans and rice ..and when it came of of the cooker… iT looked giood but it was ..Salty beyond words ..icky ….in my haste I had put a little to much chicken bullion not realizing that salt was the primary in some flavors of chicken bullion in the mix and together with the shake of season salt and two teaspoons of real salt ..it was salty
I should have paid more attention I should have read the labels more closely ..I should have measured the damn bullion rather than using my feel or somehow veiwing cooking beans as an art of self expression …Its like in the casinos I have worked in and the newspapers. I have worked in.. there is a way of doing things ….
Two sources in a hard news story and three are better ..Only use unnamed sources to legitimately protect life and limb and corroborate what you are told…and answer who what when where how and why to the best of your ability ..In casinos follow the gaming rules and only break house protocols when life and limb dictate they must be broken. When asked what happened say exactly what happened no more …no less…..and follow the simple recipe when making beans and sausage and rice.In government its much the same. there is no room for touch and feel only know and do….breaking 230 years of protocols without good reason doesn’t make you a rebel or “your own man” it makes you an idiot bound to fail.


The band Private Stock rocks the cruise ship Oasis of the Sea on a Caribbean cruise last month —–

Beans and rice is a simple meal …cook and rice….put the beans in the pot..some sausage..a couple of teaspoons of bullion a dash of season salt and few herbs and some onions… ..Cook until the beans are soft por over rice and serve. Journalism and casinos are more complicated than that..Governing a modern democracy with the worlds most powerful military is the most complicated thing a person can do…..It is not something that you can touch and feel your way through…


My wife looking out at the Sea on our cruise ship

Continuing with the beans and rice and sausage reccipe….Only use as much salt, seasonings and bullion as you need which is m=never more than a couple of tablespoons of the concentrated stuff or a half can of the real stuff….. …let the beans and the sausage provide the taste ..dont overwhelm the recipe with your feelings……Just make a good meal..That is ther goal ….Like in journalism the object is to make a good dtory thb at tells the truth in an interesting way but doesnt do anything else ..or in a casino ..make sure the business of the place is done in peace and go home at the end of the day ….
It is a life lesson I learned long ago in small town journalism and casino security I wished had paid attention to today making the beans…Honesty is sometimes more important than art or ego….Sometimes people and nations need to stop cooking by feel and do the smart thing ,,,the right thing ….Food and journalism cannot be done by feel and Government most certainly cannot ..
Thats life everwhere and in the City of Sin
Love you Sinners
PS I added water and made the beans into soup and it came out pretty good

crowded beach

Meghans Beach a famous beach on St Maarten —

a suset

Sunset of the Caribbean…Photo by Royal Hopper

It rained this week..poured …like a Gulf Coast thunderstorm after a week of scorching and for a few sacred hours it was sultry warm and moist in the City of Sin…a bone chilling 90 degrees bad pun intended…..

The Sun changes everything


by Royal Hopper
This time of year in the desert is the time of unforgiving heat high winds and dry, dry air. taking a walk here is a little like living under a giant blow dryers. When those Santana winds start blowing the spaces between all the neon palaces scattered around this bastion of decadent artificiality becomes hostile enough to even put a dog off eating scraps….Here is what I mean.IMG_20180710_132927.jpg
My dogs all three of them will eat anything on the ground ..week old hotdogs …chicken wings that have been lying in the shrubs for days ….a piece of a hamburger she stole from a pigeon ..anything edible mind you …. One of the most raveneous of my three canine friends came upon a pile of leftovers laying on the asphalt while out on one of our daily walks …….someone probaly in a drunken state and simply dropped their lunch on the ..then ground and left it days before. It had baked in the desert sun for days of 100 plus degree days on the asphalt … Reddy, the dog’s name, took a brief sniff of the petrified food sniffled, growled a little ..sneezed a little and walked away …
When its 112 degrees in the desert and you can fry a 12 ounce Porterhouse on the hood of the derelict Toyota parked and ten minutes outside makes you feel like moving to Canada for the summer…it tends to take the romance and mystery out of living in the City of sin.


“Frozen” on a cruise ship Oasis of the Sea_ Royal Hopper

When a pigeon normally so shy you cant get within five feet of it before it flies away raises its wings and arches its back like its going to fight you for the spot of shade it has found

Dogs seem to have a philosophy like the old joke…If you cant eat,, screw it or talk to it ..if it smells bad and hurts you when you chew on it and makes you sneeze ..piss on it and walk away….
What does all this mean.. It means its the desert and it gets hot in the summer genius …thats all ..


A pigeon with a bum leg begging for food from tourists in the Bahamas ..Royal Hopper

Thats life in the City of Sin
Love You Sinners
you know its hot ….

There is an old saying that goes something like and please forgive my language on this … you never bullshit a bullshitter …

flat on rock igauana

This iguana photographed on the docks in St Thomas seems to be saying and I aint moving – Royal Hopper

The cruise,  the bait’and the lesson

by Royal Hopper
Its probably something a young French woman on the Carribbean island of St Maarten might have done well to remember.
Long story short..The wife and I went on a Caribbean Cruise in the you know Caribbean. It was a wonderful once in a lifetime vacation …One of the stops was an Island called St. Maarten. Its half Dutch and half French if you can believe it. That is something like something being half in New Jersey and half in Montreal but it works I guess….

elton john imitation

Private Stock the ships rock band on the Oasis of the Seas pays tribute to Elton john during a show on board -Royal Hopper

She was quite fetching this young French beauty ..if she even was French as we were on the Dutch side of the Island. She had the tan of a professional beach bum the kind of tan caucasion people only get when they live on the beach. Her clothing was just corny and tie dyed enough to set you at ease…
I live in Las Vegas and when the young woman walked up to me and my wife and began her promotional pitch I had already heard it so many times from time share salesman and hos and con men I could have repeated from memory without rehearsal because the pitch of a con man and and a salesman is very similar. She even managed to flutter her eyes at me flerting without taking her eyes off my beloved. She was good this one….
Here take these scratch offs she said and we did and scratch off all the card …and low and behold one of the cards was a grand prize…..

frozen couple on ice

Frozen takes to the ice on Oasis of the Seas Caribbean tour_ Royal Hopper

“If you go to the presentation you get a prize and I get a commission,” she said This young woman in sales and con man parlance is called the greeter or the meeter or the bait some such thing. The greeter gets their attention and some kind of gimic and gets then to go to a sales meeting selling time shares or condos or to get robbed. She kept repeating how she was practicing her English.
“No thank you,” we said handing the cards back to her. She looked downtrodden and wondered what she was goign to do with the cards.
“You can give them to someone,” we said putting on our best air of Sin City indifference as we walked on.reggae band port bahamas.JPG
Had we taken the appointment we would have gone to the second step of the sales/con process… The Setter ..teh set up man etc etc ..The person who sets the couple up for as sale nd then the closer the person who closes the deal ….the sale or who takes your down payment and runs off with it …

Remember that folks ..the greeter or Bait followed by the Setter followed by the closer and when your instincts tell you its a con listen to them …We did

Thats life on a Caribbean Cruise in city of Sin and everywhere

Love you Sinners


Here is a woman paying the bills by braiding hair and the beautiful woman sitting down is my wife- Royal Hopper


and there is always the poor