Captain’s Log: Stardate 11108.2
This particular log entry is being composed from seat 1F on a Continental 757-300 on its way to Newark Airport from Las Vegas traveling at, by my calculations, a bit above Warp 320. Now, before you say something like, “Damn, that’s fast,” I would correct you to say, “No, sailing is that slow.”

Vegas is an annual trip for me – a multi-day event surrounding my law firm network’s business meeting with a few dinners and shows mixed in for networking purposes. Of course, there’s ample time for gambling, sightseeing and people-watching. But, honestly, even with the snow slamming the Northeast and the stress of the meeting itself, Las Vegas is the only destination I look forward to going to, but also, after three or four days, look even more forward to leaving.

I’m not saying I’d rather go back to Chicago in January or anything, but home sounds really, really nice right about now.

Do I gamble? Sure. Clearly, anyone that puts his 69 year-old father on the main sheet in 20 knots of breeze is a gambler. So yeah, I play a little Texas Hold ‘Em, some Craps, and even Video Poker. Heck, I even threw $5 into a slot machine to waste time before seeing a show on Friday night. I know, I know. High-roller. But hey, I won $50 on that slot machine and over $100 playing various Video Poker consoles in the several casinos between Bellagio and the Encore.

The Friday night show, Anthony Cools, was fantastic and hilarious. Cools is, for lack of a better word, a perverted hypnotist who ultimately had seven or so willing audience members doing everything from forgetting their names to dry-humping the furniture on stage. Raunchy as all hell, and not really a future option for the group as a whole, but loads of fun nonetheless.

Last night was the so-called main event, but quickly became a very disappointing evening. We started with dinner at Rao’s in Caesars Palace with good food but abysmal service and capped it off with what I believe to be the worst – WORST – show in Vegas: CHER.

Now, Cher is billing this as her Farewell Tour, and all I can say is I really hope so. Now, I don’t want to piss off her large fan base to the point where I start getting flaming emails (emphasis on “flaming”), so I will say the old broad can still belt a tune and work it in the skimpiest of costumes. But . . .

She started it off with a cover of a U2 song and then two back-to-back Bob Seger tunes. Now we’re 25 minutes in and I’m thinking of paraphrasing Jeff Goldblum from Jurassic Park – “Now you do plan to have Cher songs… on your Cher show, right?”

But now you’re saying “25 minutes? Those songs are 3-4 minutes each.” Right. But you need to add time for costume changes and dance routines.

In fact, there were so many costume changes, Cher spent more time in the 90-minute show offstage than on. What happens when she’s offstage? Either a long, poorly-choreographed dance routine stealing moves from every Circque show on the strip or, and this was really annoying, curtain-projected video clips from Sonny & Cher bits, parts of her early 80’s solo career and a montage of film shorts from her movies – just in case nobody ever saw that scene from Moonstruck where she slaps Nick Cage and tells him to snap out of it.

Yes, there were a couple of highlights, such as her singing live to a recorded duet with Sonny Bono, and maybe that would have been totally cool had Natalie Cole not done that years ago. If I were Sonny and I knew my ex wife would be doing such a performance with my recording, I may have actually aimed for the tree. Just saying.

The show did end on a high note, doing a rocking, jolting extended version of “If I Could Turn Back Time” while wearing the same black sheer outfit she wore during the 80’s music video followed by an extended version of “Do You Believe in Life After Love” which honestly sounded more like “Do You Belee in Li A-ter Luh A-ter Luh A-ter Luh”

The curtain dropped and a woman near me asked if there’s an encore. I replied “Of what? She has no more songs.” She thought about it, agreed, shrugged and grabbed her coat.

Still, Cher aside, it was a great trip and a wildly successful informative meeting. I’m looking forward to being able to look forward to returning to Vegas.

Captain's Log: Stardate 11103.3
Yesterday, I shoveled out my shuttlecraft from 9 inches of snow, all while the 22 inches that hit just a weeks before was still fresh in my mind. The local news stations called both storms "Snowpocalypse." To me, that's an understatement.

I hate snow and I hate cold weather. Sorry, Al Gore. This is global cooling. And it sucks. Maybe I should by some aerosol cans and start spraying towards the ozone layer.

And, to add insult to injury, last week, I took a trip to Chicago for business:

That's not pollution or haze around the Sears Tower and Chicago skyline. It's the physical manifestation of shattered hopes and dreams of the Chicago residents in finding an ounce of warmth before April. As I stepped from the plane onto the jetway at O'Hare, all I could say was "Oh my God!" I wanted to get back on the plane, but I think they were headed to Minneapolis.

If you've never been to Chicago in January, I highly recommend it. A real life changer. Especially if you don't want to see your testicles for a month or two.

Now, New York is better, but not by a whole lot. And, I'm starting to get grumpy about it - a real shift in attitude. The month of March better hurry the fuck up and get here or I may just lose it.

Even when I watch television, I can see my grumpy attitude come through.

Like: Why can't Mythbusters do a show on whether or not cats really have nine lives? Or, wouldn't it be better if Paula Abdul's new show "Live to Dance" was renamed and reformatted to "Dance to Live." Think about it - a dance floor with trap doors leading to a shark tank or lined with explosives. Gives new meaning to a couple getting eliminated. That, I'd watch.

Heck, I'd even TiVo it.

In the end, I'm not going anywhere. My career is here. My family is here. My life is here. But I would be lying if I said I don't have sending me updates on houses for sale in Southwest Florida.

Maybe I need another vacation. Maybe my trip to Vegas in a couple of weeks will calm me down. I guess we'll see.

Bottom line: I need warm air. And, I need to get back on the Enterprise.

And soon, before I snap.