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Posted by on Dec 29, 2012 in Blog, Rants and Raves, Travel | 2 comments

The Unfriendly Skies: Nolan Dalla’s Flying Enemies List

 

Airport Crowds

 

The only thing worse than flying, is flying during the holiday season.

Seriously, could air travel be any less glamorous?

When I was a kid, I remember people used to get dressed up when they traveled by air.  Fliers were polite.  No one ever seemed to be in a rush.  The seats were comfortable.  There was plenty of leg room.  The airlines served you a hot meal and it tasted good.  Alcoholic beverages were free.  You never paid additional charges and your luggage arrived on time.  When there was a flight delay, the airline apologized and even put you up in a first-class hotel, when necessary.

Now, boarding a plane is pretty much like getting on a Greyhound bus — only with wings.

Flying is constant battle.  You battle to find a decent fare.  You battle to get a good seat assignment.  You battle to get to the airport on time — at least two hours early.  You battle to run the gauntlet through TSA screening without being strip searched.  You battle to get into the right boarding group.  You battle for precious overhead bin space.  You battle for the armrest.  You battle for peace and quiet during the flight.  You battle to depart your row so as to exit the aircraft.  You battle to claim your luggage.  Then, once you’re out of the airport, you battle to get a taxi or a rental car.

Indeed, if flying has become a serious of battles, then I’m hereby declaring war!

 

NOLAN DALLA’S FLYING ENEMIES LIST

1.  BIN HOGS — I realize the airlines now try to pork you for $30 per checked bag each way.  But carry on abuse has become intolerable.  Now, jackasses are hauling 50-pound suitcases down the aisles.  Then, they heave the bone crushers into a tiny overhead bin space intended to be a storage area for purses and coats.  I’m so sick of seeing these selfish pricks usurping every inch of storage space with bags the size of a Great Dane.  It’s time for airlines to start enforcing carry-on size rules.

2.  ARM REST THUGS — I paid the same $389 fare you did.  So, move your fucking body part off my half of the arm rest.  You’re not sitting at home in a Lazy Boy parked in front of the television.  You’re in public.  Try to act like a responsible adult.

3.  BORING CONVERSATIONALISTS — I don’t want to hear your life story.  I don’t want to hear your personal problems.  I don’t give a rat’s ass what happened to you last week in Cleveland.  I don’t care what your opinion is of the Redskins-Cowboys game.  You’re on a cheap Southwest Airline flight just like me, pal.  You’re not a guest on The David Letterman Show.  Zip it.

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Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, Sports Betting | 1 comment

The Worst Bad Beat in College Football History?

 

Sports Betting

 

The onslaught of a”bad beat” in sports betting has a unique sound and feel all its own.  Think of an approaching freight train.  Recall the suspense of a slasher movie.  Imagine the instant right before an explosion.

I’ve heard this sound of terror many times.

Last night, Marieta and I sat down to a cozy post-holiday dinner at The Orleans.  There’s a weeknight steak and lobster special for $7.11 going on at the cafe all this month.  For those unfamiliar the layout inside The Orleans, the cafe is located on the casino floor, right next to the race and sportsbook.  The place was packed.

I had the perfect plan.  Enjoy dinner.  Then, go cash my winning sports ticket.  A hearty meal always tastes better with a winner tucked inside your pocket.  Indeed, I had about as conceivable a “lock” as there was.  I was so confident, that I considered ordering two steak and lobster specials.  Why not?  $7.11 twice was $14.22 — good for two steaks and two lobsters.

Then, I heard the rumblings of that horrible sound.  It was the freight train, the horror scene, and the final ticks before an imminent explosion.

Truly one of those “Oh my God,” moments.

But wait.  How did this moment of paralysis come to be?  Why would hundreds of sports betters, as well as thousands of gamblers out on the massive casino floor suddenly be making such an odd collective sound?  They couldn’t possibly be watching the same game I had bet on, could they?  After all, my bet was a “lock.”  It couldn’t possible lose.

Right?

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Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Blog, Personal, Rants and Raves, Travel | 1 comment

Attack of the Pit Bulls

Mean-Looking Pitbull

 

Yesterday, I almost had my balls chewed off by a pit bull named “Chief.”

It’s true.

I was attacked by three pit bulls this past weekend.  Here’s the story of how a leisurely run through the mountains of northern San Diego County turned into a brief moment of terror.

 

………………

 

Ever had one of those “HOLY SHIT!  WHAT DO I DO NOW?” moments?

I just had one.

Make that three.  As in three pit bulls.

It all happened Saturday morning.  A casual three-mile run concluded with an unexpected “bonus sprint” towards the end, when I was confronted by three gnarling, foaming-at-the-mouth, canine beasts.

First, the back story.  I’m currently staying at the Harrah’s Rincon Resort and Casino, which is located in the mountains just north of San Diego.  This is Indian land situated about halfway between Temecula and Escondido.  Unless you drive 20 miles due east off the I-15, you’d never know there’s this vast barren area with almost no modern development, except for a few casinos and local Indians who all seem to drive $60,000 cars and live in shacks.

The roads here pretty much consist of single-lane stretches of pavement winding through mountains along blind curves with no guard rails.  Everyone seems to drive 80 miles an hour along these roads.  I guess there’s no state highway patrol here given this is a “sovereign nation,” so it’s almost like vehicular anarchy.

Having run along these roads a few times as part of my daily workout, I’ve nearly been hit by traffic, oblivious to the fat white guy wallowing along the yellow stripe who’s stupid enough to jog a route where no path exists.  If running in Las Vegas is dangerous at times, and it certainly can be, then doing the same thing here on an Indian reservation is inviting a death wish.

So, on Saturday morning I went out in search of a detour.  A new path where I could run over the next week which was challenging, but safe.  I thought I’d found it, at least until the final stage of my run, which is where the story picks up.

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Posted by on Dec 8, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, Rants and Raves | 7 comments

The Christmas Decoration War

 

 

Christmas means war.

Let me explain why.

We’ve lived in “The Lakes” section of West Las Vegas for about ten years, now.  When we first moved onto this street, it was a quiet neighborhood made up mostly of retired people.  Now, younger families with kids have flooded into the area.  Our street also has many different nationalities — including Canadians, Palestinians, Chinese, Russians, Mexicans, Egyptians, Persians, and Romanians.  We even have a few Mormons.  They’re from some weird place called Utah.

During those earlier years, a few of our neighbors put up decorations over the holidays.  Usually, the lights and decorations were modest.  A few strands of lights here and there.  A lit up Christmas tree.  Maybe a Santa Claus or a manger scene.

Moreover, decorating usually began during the first week in December.  Thanksgiving was regarded as separate holiday.  Imagine that.  No one dared to put up lights at least until November had ended.

But something happened.

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Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Blog, Personal | 5 comments

My Walmart Credit Card Application

Nolan Dalla Humor

 

 

Like most people, I receive unsolicited credit card offers, on occasion.

Whether we like them nor not, credit cards have become a modern-day necessity.  So, I try to maximize their purchasing power by using them to accumulate free airline mileage or bonus cash.

Just about every major retailer now offers either a Visa or MasterCard.  I even received an offer from PetSmart, recently.  PetSmart!  I declined their generous offer.  Sorry kitties, I’m not paying a 23 percent annual interest rate so you can stockpile a cabinet full of Pounce and Whiskas.

The most insulting credit card offers I’ve received are usually by the bottom feeders, which are banks that prey upon the financially insolvent.  These are nothing more than seedy loan sharks masquerading as a major financial institutions.  A typical offer includes a low credit line (sometimes as low as $500), a ridiculous interest rate (typically 29 percent), a preposterous number of penalties if you dare miss a payment or exceed the credit line, and a whopping annual fee.  These dope dealers essentially prey upon the vulnerability of millions of desperate people — including millions of unemployed or under-employed Americans — taking advantage of those who are least able to afford bondage to the banking industry.

When I get these offers in the mail, I have a ritual.  Here’s what I do.

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