As we were pulling out of our garage last Monday afternoon heading for George
H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport, wife Susan and I noticed just a couple of raindrops
on the windshield, unknowing the number of raindrops that would be deposited in our
absence.
Our trip to Houston was normal and we made our 6:30 p.m. non-stop flight
without any fanfare. However, the plane was coming from Cancun and was an hour late.
I brought my cane to make the huge amount of walking easier on my sports-
ravaged knees and sat in the front section of the huge plane that was completely filled
with anxious gamblers and party-goers.
By the time we arrived at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino it was time to start thinking
about bedtime so I could be fresh and alert for the Hold-‘Em poker tournament at the
Flamingo Casino across the street.
It was still dark in the room when I cleaned up and changed my underwear and
socks when lo and behold! I couldn’t find them. I asked Susan where she packed them
and was told sharply right where they always are.
Five minutes later we both found out there were no underwear or socks so she
hopped into a cab, went to Target and bought a package of eight under shorts and a dozen
athletic socks which cost around $15, about half of what the cab fare cost.
I could probably hit a golf ball from our hotel to the Flamingo, but by the time I
walked from our room on the 22 nd floor all the way through the facility and to the
Flamingo by way of a walkway overpassing Las Vegas Blvd. and using three different
escalators, I felt like I walked at least a mile to get there.
I played in Hold-‘Em tournaments all four days and finished 11 th , 7 th , 5 th and 4 th–
none of which put anything into my pocket—but it was a lot of time well spent.
Monday night we ate across the Strip at Paris Hotel and Casino where they serve
the best steaks in Vegas. On Tuesday we walked next door to Caesar’s Palace and ate at
famous chef Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant before going to a show in the Coliseum
featuring singer Rod Stewart, who put on a great two-hour show.
Wednesday was the first time we heard about the monsoon rain and flooding in
Southeast Texas and paid attention to the Weather Channel and saw many familiar
landmarks that were flooded and started worrying about our house. We got word the
water rose halfway up our front lawn before receding.
I spent quite a bit of time in the Bellagio Sports Book viewing the college and
NFL football games that were posted on a huge board with the point spreads and the
over/unders.
I never had the opportunity of betting on a football game at a casino before and
was informed I could place my bets, bring the information home and then mail the
winning slips I had back to the casino. They would issue me a check in four-to-six weeks.
I have six slips to mail in which made my trip to Vegas successful.
I did have a senior moment after checking out from the Bellagio and getting to the
airport—in my haste, I left my walking cane in the back seat of the cab.

After hearing about all the flooded roads that were closed—including IH 10—we
kind of panicked about whether our car got flooded and what route we would have to take
to get back to Orange.
Our vehicle was fine and the only route we could take was old highway 90 that
we caught off Beltway 8. It was a four-hour drive, but we never had to stop very long.
We got home after dark to a gourmet meal prepared by daughter Denise Bybee
that featured a fancy salad and even fancier dessert.
Sunday turned out great sports-wise as we watched Earl Thomas play in the
NFL’s noisiest stadium—Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City—where the Chiefs
outlasted his Baltimore Ravens 33-28.
At the same time on another network the Dallas Cowboys were putting some
fattening on the heads of the inept Miami Dolphins to the tune of 31-6 and surpassing the
22 ½ points the Cowboys had to give up.
The late afternoon game had our Houston Texans playing at Los Angeles against
the Chargers, who were favored by three points, but upset the hosts 27-20 in a well-
played game. J.J. Watt had a couple of sacks to lead the defense.
KWICKIES…Once again there weren’t many changes in this week’s Associated
Press’ Top 25 College Football rankings. The first four—Clemson, Alabama, Georgia
and LSU—remained the same as last week with Ohio State (5) and Oklahoma (6)
swapping places. Auburn moved up one spot to No. 7 while Wisconsin leaped five places
to No. 8, Florida remained No. 9 and Notre Dame dropped three places to No. 10. Texas
moved up one notch to No. 11 and Texas A&M dropped six places to No. 23.
After three weeks there are eight undefeated teams in the NFL, including our
Dallas Cowboys, while seven teams are winless, including the Denver Broncos and the
Pittsburgh Steelers.
Antonio Brown, the super pass catcher and flake, says he’s “retiring” from the
NFL that exiled him and then took verbal shots are New England Patriots’ owner Robert
Kraft and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “I will not be playing in the NFL
anymore,” Brown said, probably to the delight of the 32 team owners.
JUST BETWEEN US…Our Sunday got topped off nicely when we found out
the Houston Astros won the American League West Division championship with a 13-5
victory over the LA Angels and that Justin Verlander became the first pitcher in the
major leagues to win 20 games. Verlander needs only six strikeouts in his last start this
week to reach the coveted 3,000-plateau. His 20-game victory season joins such Astros
hurlers as Mike Hampton, Jose Lima, Larry Dierker, Roy Oswalt and Mike Scott just to
name a few.