Friday, January 03, 2014

Gratuitous cat photos

Lucy is usually camera-shy; as soon as she sees me pointing the thing at her, she walks away, or at least stops doing the cute thing she had been doing up to that point. Today, however, she lay down in a nice beam of morning sunlight from the window, and calmly let me snap a few shots showing off how beautiful she is. I couldn't pick just one favorite, so I'm posting all four, like a ridiculously proud cat-daddy. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A trip to Harrah's Cherokee--with poker content!

Today I drove out to the only legal poker room in North Carolina, Harrah's Cherokee, and played some $1-2 NLHE for five hours or so on one of their Poker Pro electronic tables. It's the first time I had been there since September, and also the first time I've gone there without Nina. I had a nice drive, listening to some podcasts of "This American Life" in the car. The game was reasonably fun and easy. I left with a couple hundred bucks more than I started with, which is always nice. Sadly, there were no hands of sufficient interest to post histories/discussions, other than the brief accounts I posted to Twitter:

On the way back home, I stopped briefly at a roadside curiosity: The Hemlock Motel. Not a name I ever would have chosen for a business. As you can tell, it's no longer in business. Strangely, some of the rooms are wide open.

I blame my girlfriend for infecting me with her fascination with buildings and objects displaying rust, decay, and abandonment.

As the name implies, the casino is on the Cherokee Indian reservation. One of the interesting things about the town of Cherokee is that the street signs have the street names in both English and Cherokee, like this:

(For more on the language and writing system, see here.) About four years ago, Nina and I were privileged to get a look inside the periodicals vault at the Library of Congress. (I wrote about that here.) One of the things we saw on the "recent acquisitions" shelf was a collection of the earliest editions of the first American newspaper printed in Cherokee. I wonder how many people are still fluent in that language and its notation. Not many, I'd guess.

All in all, it was such a nice day that it made me think I should repeat the experience more often than I have been.