Lucky/Unlucky Weekend

I love day-drinking which is probably why I love Las Vegas. We did a lot of day-drinking last weekend in Sin City.

Day-drinking began upon check-in at NY NY with mimosas for the girls and red eyes for the fellas.
Fast forward to 9:33 a.m.
If this picture had a time stamp it would probably say 10:23 a.m. This is at the point when I tweeted "Damn, I love Vegas" because it was around this time when we exited the MGM Studio Cafe with our Bloody Mary's and red beers. Drinks to go = more reason to love Las Vegas.
It's probably 11:14 a.m. at this point. By now we've migrated from NY NY to MGM to Walgreens for Alka Seltzer Morning Relief and to Planet Hollywood for Wheel of Fortune slots which paid out the opposite of a fortune.
And this is post gambling-run at Paris - here we're on our way to a 4 p.m. lunch at Caesars.
And this, well this is just proof of what happens after a long day of drinking.
After our day-drinking stint, we retired to the room for a little three hour catnap (detoxing). We rallied and went downstairs around 10 p.m. It was a rough start - coffee and Baileys for the girls and RBVs for the boys. We wandered the NY NY floor for a while because it was so packed. We ended up venturing to Excalibur for some gambling and a great time with a cover band at Dick's Last Resort. Then it was off to Luxor for some more gambling (stupid popcorn slots!), more "CRAAAANNNDDYYY drinks" (Cranberry Vodkas) and RBVs and then we wandered to Mandalay Bay. That place is so gorgeous. At Mandalay Bay we played a Wizard of Oz slot (especially for Rachel) and the guy sitting at the Wizard slot machine next to us was from Omaha. RANDOM! After losing our asses even more we cabbed it back to NY NY, had breakfast and called it a day. At 7:35 a.m. That my friends, is what I call a rally.

I should also note that while we were out getting our asses kicked by drinks and dealers, my brother was getting his ass kicked in Kansas City. For those of you that don't know, he got jumped leaving the Brooksider Friday night (also his last day at Sprint). He and another friend left the Brooksider around 2 a.m. The buddy went one way to catch a cab, my brother the other way to his car. All of a sudden he looks over and sees his friend getting the shit kicked out of him. So much blood apparently that my brother thought his friend was dead. My bro ran over there and the 5-6 black guys (just stating the facts) started wailing on him. That's about all he knows. He was knocked out cold and woke up at St. Lukes the next day. He was given a CAT scan which appeared fine. Other than his eye swollen shut and a lot of cuts and bruises and soreness, he's recovering well. His friend has a broken nose and the same soreness/bruises/etc. I found out about this Saturday morning, which kind of put a damper on our last day in Vegas. So, to the assholes who did this to my brother - for not only beating up my brother for no reason whatsoever, but for also making our friends and family worried and uneasy AND for distracting me while I was on the vacation I was looking forward to for months, I say go fuck yourself. (Sorry mom but I think you would agree.)

Kalin's story aside we were able to chill by the pool and enjoy $11 Miami Vices and get a little sun. It was much needed.
And now we're back from Vegas and it totally sucks. Vacation went too fast, can't stop thinking about Kalin and it's 38 degrees. WTF? Oh, and just a little something else going on - Trevor's moving to Kentucky for a year. We're really calling it extended travel. He will come home every other weekend which is good. All in all, it's a good career move for him and things could always be worse. Plus, once I train Macy to take the trash out it won't be a big deal at all. Hardy har har. Like I said - things could ALWAYS be worse - but a little good news would be more than welcomed right about now.


Going Green

I just stumbled across this picture in my files, and given that it's still St. Patty's week, I needed to post it.

This is St. Patricks' Day circa 1988. Pictured in this photo (from L-R) are my mom, my arm (my mom's fro blocked my face), my grandpa Andy, my grandma Lorraine and Kalin. My dad must be the one taking the photo, which is really too bad; I'm almost positive this was the era of his molester moustache.

St. Patty's Day was a big tradition in this house. Notice and enjoy the "shamrocks" on each place setting and atop the toothpicks in the cabbage and corned beef. (Funny story about me: corned beef and cabbage used to be one of my favorite meals - second only to chicken fried steak. I enjoyed it so much in fact that when we were on a cruise in 1990 over St. Patty's Day, that's what I ordered for my lunch one day. I will tell you from firsthand experience corned beef and cabbage + rough seas do not mix.) Anywho, those lovely three-leafed clovers were made by moi. I also loved pouring the food coloring into the adults' beers and Kalin's and my water.

Not only does this picture bring back from terrific memories, I also made a few observations:

1. Mom - good call on your new 'do.
2. Mom - good call on ditching the country decor and moving on to Elan. Goo! I mean I know rust was probably in style and that wallpaper was the cream of the crop, but let's never go back there again, mmkay?
3. Mom - pinch. The sweatsuit, yup, that's right - sweatsuit - you are wearing is red, not green.
4. Mom - I don't think 3/4-length shirts were in at the time (but sweatsuits clearly were). So my question for you is why the heck my sleeve hits be at about my elbow?
5. Kalin - was that water glass so heavy your scrawny little four-year-old arms needed two hands to hold it? The funny thing is now your arms could bench press me, mom, grandpa Andy and grandma at once.


Breast Cancer 3-Day

I've been contemplating registering for a 2009 Breast Cancer 3-Day ever since I took my new job. I just knew I'd kind of miss it. But I was also struggling with whether or not to sign up: on one hand I have at least one person to walk Denver with (Kristi) and someone to train with in Omaha (Dianna). But, it is the weekend before Meghan's wedding AND I have to raise $2,300 to participate, something I'm worried about because of the fundraising I have to do for Zoofari, Paint the Town Orange and Wine 'Til Nine (Shannon and I are involved again this year). I'm worried I am going to tap out my fundraising sources. However, I totally and 100 percent believe in the power of numbers. I haven't been on Facebook since February 25, but I think I have around 300 friends. (I'm so cool.) If each friend donated $7.60, I'd reach my fundraising goal lickity split - and $7.60 doesn't seem like that large of an amount, does it? So please, if you can, donate $7.60 to my Breast Cancer 3-Day efforts. I'll of course accept more :). It's actually a very small price to pay if you think about what you are donating to: a world without breast cancer.

We're also open to new team members. Let me know if you are interested in walking 60 miles over the course of three days August 28-30.

Visit my Breast Cancer 3-Day page here.

Thanks in advance for your support,


Dear Sprint

Thank you for laying off my brother, especially after making him move to Virginia for eight months. At least we're saving money on the deal because we'll be canceling our Sprint plan.

Sincerely yours,

PS: As Emilie would say, suck it.

Unlucky Leprechaun

I don't understand how some people are so dumb as to try and steal $2.5 million in cars from their own dealership. It appears to me Mr. Patch should have kept his gig as the friendly face on Lucky Charms boxes. (Maybe it's a publicity stunt and he's just trying to get attention before St. Patty's Day.) Story and photo courtesy of Omaha.com.

81-vehicle theft looks like an inside job

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. — Three Scottsbluff auto dealership executives are expected to be under arrest by this morning after they packed up their belongings, loaded 81 new vehicles onto trucks and left town.

Scottsbluff police, with help from federal authorities, tracked the trio across the southwestern United States on Wednesday as many of the vehicles were sold at auctions.

Felony theft charges were filed in Scotts Bluff County Court on Wednesday against Legacy Auto Sales owner Allen Patch and two of his senior managers: comptroller Rachel Fait, 37, and general manager Rick Covello, 53.

Detectives located Patch, 52, at his attorney's office in Tooele County, Utah, and were waiting to arrest him. Scottsbluff Police Capt. Kevin Spencer said he had not been arrested as of 8:30 p.m. CDT.

Fait was arrested in Tooele County earlier Wednesday. Covello is expected to turn himself in to Scottsbluff authorities today.

According to police, 81 new Ford and Toyota vehicles were loaded onto auto transport trailers from the dealership over the weekend and Monday evening. Scotts Bluff Deputy County Attorney John Childress said the vehicles, among them sedans to pickups, are valued at more than $2.5 million.

According to court documents, plans to title and sell the vehicles at auto auctions were in the works for weeks.

A Utah company, Rausch Transports, told police that Fait contacted them last week, saying she needed cars taken to auctions in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

According to police, dealership employees converted manufacturer documents to ownership titles at the Scotts Bluff County Clerk's Office on Feb. 26 and 27 and then Thursday, Friday and Monday.

It is not unusual for a car dealership to obtain vehicle titles, Spencer said, but in this case, "the cars weren't theirs to sell because they were owned by a Toyota financing company."

A dealership sales manager not involved in the case said that with the titles, a dealer can sell vehicles for cash at an auto auction.

The thefts appear to have been motivated by Patch's financial difficulties, according to Spencer. Platte Valley Bank had been overseeing the dealership's daily operations for about three months.

According to an arrest affidavit, two employees told police that Fait was suspected of embezzling money from the company. One said Fait had taken more than $46,000 from the business and kept a large backpack filled with cash.

Authorities had tracked down at least 36 vehicles, including 16 sold at a Salt Lake City auction and seven recovered from a Salt Lake City dealership. Vehicles were also found in Las Vegas, but that number was not available. Police found seven vehicles parked at the Western Nebraska Regional Airport in Scottsbluff.

Rob Brasher, owner of Brashers Salt Lake Auto Auction in Utah, confirmed that some of the stolen vehicles had been sold at his business. He declined to comment further, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer because he was trying to work out issues with Toyota.

Doug Bergener, a manager at Bargain Buggys in Tooele, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, said he and his partner have known Patch and Fait for nearly 20 years.

Bergener said he heard recently that Patch and Fait were shutting down the Scottsbluff dealership, and he offered to buy 10 used vehicles.

The vehicles arrived at the Manheim Utah Auto Auction in Woods Cross, Utah, aboard an auto transport truck Monday morning.

But they weren't used cars. They were 2009 Toyotas. Corollas. Matrixes. Yarises. Tacomas.

"All new — brand new," Bergener said.

Following standard procedure, Bergener financed the vehicles through the auto auction and had 90 days to sell them on his lot before they went back to the auction.

By Tuesday, Bergener had sales pending on four of the vehicles. Then he got a call telling him not to sell them because the vehicles were stolen.

Bergener said Patch told him that he paid for the vehicles and had titles for them.

"I don't think anyone can prove anything's illegal at this point," Bergener said. "We've know Allen for 15 years and never knew him to do anything underhanded. There's been no reason not to trust him. He's always been honest. It'll all come out in the wash."

Police said they were confident they would be able to track down most of the vehicles. Spencer said transport companies must register with ports of authority when entering states and are required to carry a bill of lading, a document issued by the carrier acknowledging that the goods have been received.

According to the arrest affidavit, Joseph Carlson, a representative of Toyota Financial Services based in Overland Park, Kan., told police that Toyota owned all the cars, having lent the dealership "millions of dollars in operating expenses." Carlson told police there was no reason to convert car documents to ownership titles except to "convert them (the vehicles) to cash."

Childress, the deputy county attorney, said the transportation company based in Utah appears to have been another victim and was not knowingly involved. He said the company had been paid with a fraudulent cashier's check. An arrest affidavit said the company had been paid $18,000 and had been cooperating in locating the vehicles.

Miranda Cervantes, an employee at Legacy Auto Sales, said employees arrived Tuesday morning and found most of the cars missing from the lot. The desks used by Patch, Fait and Covello had been emptied, and their computers had been taken.

Police found similar circumstances at the trio's homes. Spencer said police went to the home of Fait and a home shared by Patch and Covello. It appeared that most of their belongings had been removed, Spencer said, and both homes were posted for sale.

Toyota representatives were at the dealership Wednesday, conducting an inventory of vehicles. An official from the Nebraska Motor Vehicle Licensing Industry Board, which regulates vehicle registrations and personnel, arrived late Wednesday morning.

The business remained open and was being overseen by Platte Valley Bank.


Young Professionals

What IS a young professional? Does that make college students wanna be young professionals? When do I become a middle-aged professional? Does Omaha have middle-aged professional organizations? We shouldn't overlook the middle-aged professionals. At what age am I an old professional? Will Kohl's combine their senior citizen discount with a happy hour for old professionals? "Excuse me old professional, here's your Metamucil on the rocks. How was work today? Your teeth didn't fall out during your presentation? I'm glad to hear that. And yes, that mumu is 30 percent off."


Zak's Going Home!

Yippee! Zak is going home and believe it or not, we have American Airlines to thank! Very cool of you to step up to the plate, AA. Sorry for talking smack about you all the time. Now if your flights would start being punctual and you'd stop charging for checked luggage, you might be my favorite airline.

In all seriousness, thanks and job well done American Airlines.

Read about AA's donation here.

Spare a nickel?

Last night I teared up after reading this story on Omaha.com and then seeing it on the news. The deceased truck driver's son was talking about how Zak was his dad's riding companion since he was a pup. The family is trying to get Zak back to California as he's the biggest memory they have. Tear in and of itself. But then I think about it from Zak's perspective - his owner is gone. The man he drove around the country with is no more. Although in great hands at the Nebraska Humane Society, he's got to be awfully lonely... and no doubt missing the Californ-i-a temps. So spare some change and let's get Zak back. I like to think about the power of numbers. If 300,000 Omahans donated $.05 each, we'd raise $15,000. And that's pretty rebarkable.