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Houston v. Las Vegas, shopping, liquor and casinos

30 Jan 2012
No one would doubt that a big move like my relocation from Houston to Las Vegas would result in a lot of big changes. The ground cover went from green to brown, the air color from green-orange-brown (petrochemicals) to brown (sand), and the humidity went from wet sauna to dry sauna. The general climate went from sub-tropical to desert, which means cooler winters by ten to fifteen degrees, as well as hotter summers by even more.

The little things have hit me the hardest. A surprising number relate to grocery shopping and the like. For instance, I have yet to find satisfactory replacements for Mrs. Bairds soft white bread or Blue Bells homemade ice cream. One store, a western Whole Earth wannabee called Trader Joes, considers white bread to be alternative bread! Sorry, but Im under doctors orders to avoid wheat bread, at least the kind thats brown. Im not required to go gluten free like some of my unfortunate friends, but I do have to watch my digestion. Of course, Whole Earth is hardly better, where the only white bread offering could substitute for plaster board without a discernible decline in strength or appearance. Of course, plaster board would be cheaper.

On the plus side, the grocery stores carry liquor. Liquor stores exist, but only a discerning drinker would require one. In Las Vegas, Jack Daniels displays share foor space with the flour and sugar. The curious result is that Im more likely to have liquor in the household, but less likely to drink it.

But is that any different from my response to the casinos? The average person outside the region, when you think of Las Vegas you think of the big casinos, the big tourist destinations. For a local, its a different matter: unless you live in the Hoover Dam suburb of Boulder City, you have gambling on every street corner. Every neighborhood bar is a casino. Even the gas stations and grocery stores have slot machine rooms! Unless youre a gambling addict, the normal reaction is to ignore it and never avail of it at all. Not unlike the aversion to ice cream I developed temporarily in high school, due to overexposure, while waiting tables at OLearys Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant back in Fort Worth ...

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