Those were the Days and Nights: The Railroad Pass Hotel Casino in Henderson, Nevada

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The Railroad Pass Hotel - Photo from MGM Resorts
The Railroad Pass Hotel - Photo from MGM Resorts

The Railroad Pass Hotel Casino
2800 South Boulder Highway,
Henderson, Nevada 89002

The Railroad Pass is owta town. It’s on the road to Kingman, Arizona (about 100 miles) or if you do a 180, it’s about 20 miles or so back to Las Vegas. This very cool place is a road-house type hotel and casino just off the highway in Henderson, Nevada.

It’s Old Vegas. In fact it’s 1931 Old Vegas, at least that’s when The Railroad Pass was built. The Railroad Pass boasts the first and longest running gaming license in Nevada. The surrounding country side and view of the stretch out to Searchlight are things that Steve Wynn and all of the other moguls in Las Vegas couldn’t replicate, duplicate, triplicate, or fournicate. Ever! I think I may have gone a bit too far with fournicate. I don’t think it’s a word.

Awaken early and open the drapes to the early morning sun shinning over the desert expanse to Searchlight and other points south. It’s a better way to start the day.

Modest hotel rooms, an Old-West saloon and gambling hall, and modern – but not pretentious – restaurants (3) provide everything you need for a great time in this peaceful setting on the fringe of HOOVER DAM.

In the 90s when I was dry-docking in a motor-home and the streets of Las Vegas began to close-in, I’d scoot up the highway to The Railroad Pass for a night of sanity in the wide open spaces.

The Railroad Pass is now part of The MGM-Mirage Group.

The Railroad Pass’ Official Website
Visit the LasVegasBuffetClub’s page on The Railroad Pass hotel.
Visit the main pages of LasVegasBuffetClub.Com


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Originally posted November 13, 2010

Rogers Waters in the Pink at MGM
Roger Waters in the Pink at MGM

Friday, November 26, 2010
Grand Garden Arena at The MGM Hotel.

“Roger Waters, co-founder and principal songwriter of the band Pink Floyd, is commemorating the 30th anniversary of the original release of The Wall with a monumental tour featuring a full band and a newly-mounted state-of-the-art production of his epochal masterpiece of alienation and transformation performed in its entirety. See Roger Waters live at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Show starts at 8pm.”

$250, $125 & $75
Grand Garden Ticket Office open from 9:00am – 9:00pm, daily.

Visit MGMs website for details/tickets

Thanks TCM, Metropolis might be the best movie I’ve ever seen.

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Originally posted November 9, 2010

Original 1927 Metropolis theatrical release poster
Original 1927 Metropolis theatrical release poster

The 1927 silent German film Metropolis had me spellbound the other night while watching a screening on the Turner Classic movie channel. Directed by maybe the best film director ever, Fritz Lang, almost every other scene in the movie is so well composed they could be used as framed pictures or paintings.

Although Metropolis is first and foremost a political film, it’s also a prelude to all the horror movies of the 40s-60s. Frankenstein would have been frightened by some of the scenes in Metropolis. Dracula’s blood would run cold. There is a scene with The Angel of Death holding the razor sharp sickle that could be the scariest clip of all time. Don’t believe me, see for yourself. The Sci-Fi aspect of the movie is so cutting-edge prophetic that there’s a scene showing two guys using (what would later become) a video-phone type interface system in a two-way, face-to-face, live conversation; This is in 1927, before talking movies were mainstream.

I’m posting this so I won’t ever forget it.

“Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film in the science-fiction genre directed by Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany during a stable period of the Weimar Republic, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and makes use of this context to explore the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism. The film was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by Universum Film A.G. (UFA). The most expensive silent film ever made, it cost approximately 5 million Reichsmark.”[] read more from WIKI

“The film is set in the massive, sprawling futuristic mega-city Metropolis, whose society is divided into two classes: one of planners and management, who live high above the Earth in luxurious skyscrapers; and one of workers, who live and toil underground. The city was founded, built, and is run by the autocratic Joh Fredersen.”

“Like all the other sons of the managers of Metropolis, Fredersen’s son Freder lives a life of luxury in the theatres and stadiums of the skyscraper buildings. One day, as he is playing in the Eternal Gardens, he notices that a beautiful girl has appeared with many children of the workers. She is quickly shooed away, but Freder becomes infatuated with her and follows her down to the workers’ underworld. There, he experiences firsthand the horrors of the workers’ life, and is horrified and disgusted when he sees an enormous machine, known as the M-Machine, violently explode and kill dozens of workers. In the smoke, Freder envisions the M-Machine as Moloch, a monstrous deity to which the hapless workers are sacrificed.
Disgusted, Freder returns to the New Tower of Babel, a massive skyscraper owned by his father. There, he confronts his father and starts crying about the accident at the M-Machine, but Fredersen is more annoyed about hearing about the accident from his son and not from his clerk Josephat. Grot, foreman of the Heart Machine, informs him of papers resembling plans or maps, which have been found in the dead workers’ pockets. Again, because he had not heard the news from Josephat first, Fredersen fires him, and also charges his spy, a slim man, to keep an eye on his son.” read more from WIKI

“On July 1, 2008, film experts in Berlin announced that a 16 mm reduction negative of the original premiere cut of the film, including almost all the lost scenes, had been discovered in the archives of the Museo del Cine (film museum) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The find was authenticated by film experts working for Die Zeit. Passed around since 1928 from film distributor to private collector to an art foundation, the Metropolis copy arrived at the Museo del Cine, where it stayed undiscovered in their archives. After hearing an anecdote by the cinema club manager — who years before had been surprised by the length when this copy was screened — the museum’s curator and the director of the film department of the Museum of Latin American Art reviewed the film and discovered the missing scenes. The print was in poor condition and required considerable restoration before it was re-premiered in February 2010.”[] readmore from WIKI

If there is a down-side it would be that there are some very long scenes in the last third of the movie.

I’m going to throw out a few phrases here just for the hell of it: THIS IS THE MOTHERLOAD; THIS IS THE GENESIS OF HORROR FILMS; THIS IS THE GENESIS OF SCIENCE FICTION FILMS; This film is the original pattern from which many motion pictures were cut. -carbone

A Google search turned up these photos from the movie.

Metropolis on IMDB
Visit the main pages of LasVegasBuffetClub.Com

There will be a FULL BLUE MOON – November 21, 2010 at 9:29 A.M

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Adobe Moon in the City
Adobe Moon in the City

The moon will be 100% full November 21, 2010 at 9:29 A.M. Las Vegas time.

The following very fine information is from EarthSky.Org

“Yes. Today’s November full moon is a Blue Moon. It isn’t blue in color. It’s only blue in name – at least, by one definition. Tonight’s moon is the third of four full moons in a season. So many will call it a Blue Moon.”

“There is a more modern definition of Blue Moon. It’s the idea that a Blue Moon is a second full moon in a calendar month. The next Blue Moon to fit this description will come on August 31, 2012. Is one definition better or more true than the other? The great thing about folklore is that it’s whatever the folk say it is. So we all get to decide.” read more…

Back to EarthSky.Org’s pages:
“Today’s Blue Moon definition comes from old editions of the Maine Farmer’s Almanac. Here are the facts. Generally, there are only three full moons in any one season. Three in summer, three in autumn … you get the idea. By season, we mean the period of time between a solstice and an equinox or vice versa, but of course there’s nothing official about that definition of a season either. But we digress.”

“In 2010, four full moons fall in between the September equinox and the December solstice. The third of the season’s four full moons may be called a Blue Moon, according to the old Maine Farmer’s Almanac definition.”

“So today’s full moon is a Blue Moon. It’s the third of the season’s four full moons. Almanac makers like to give each full moon a name, depending on where the full moon falls relative to the year’s two equinoxes and two solstices. But when a single season presents four full moons, the extra full moon throws a monkey wrench into the otherwise ordered nomenclature of full moons. It is easier for almanac makers to call the third – rather than the fourth – full moon a Blue Moon.”

According to American folklore, the name for this full moon is: November: Hunter’s Moon, Frosty Moon, or Beaver Moon

Thank you, EarthSky.Org.

This is from The Old Farmer’s Almanac:
“Historically, the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons.”

“Each full Moon name was applied to the entire month in which it occurred. These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.”

The name given for this month’s moon is: Full Beaver Moon – “For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full Moon was also called the Frost Moon.”

Here are some links for Elvis Presley’s mega hit record from the 50s, “BLUE MOON.”
“Blue Moon” is a classic popular song. It was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934, and has become a standard ballad.” more from wiki…

“Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were contracted to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in May 1933. They were soon commissioned to write the songs for Hollywood Party, a film that was to star many of the studio’s top artists. Richard Rodgers later recalled “One of our ideas was to include a scene in which Jean Harlow is shown as an innocent young girl saying – or rather singing – her prayers. How the sequence fitted into the movie I haven’t the foggiest notion, but the purpose was to express Harlow’s overwhelming ambition to become a movie star (‘Oh Lord, if you’re not busy up there,/I ask for help with a prayer/So please don’t give me the air…’).” The song was not even recorded and MGM Song #225 “Prayer (Oh Lord, make me a movie star)” dated June 14, 1933, was registered for copyright as an unpublished work on July 10, 1933.[]” read more…

Read the lyrics to Blue Moon on MP3Lyrics.Org

YouTube video from Jackiej61too

Main pages of LasVegasBuffetClub.Com

University of Denver Event Friday: Special Evening Enrichment Class on Wild Horses

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America’s Magnificent Mustangs
& the Fight to Preserve Them

A special Enrichment program class on wild horses with Emmy-award filmmaker and Cloud Foundation Director, Ginger Kathrens.

Join Ginger Kathrens at the University of Denver to learn more about the work to save America’s fast-disappearing wild horses, including Cloud, the palomino mustang and his Pryor Mountain herd made famous through Ginger’s multiple award-winning documentaries and books. Film clips and firsthand stories reveal a wild horse society full of drama, tenderness and complexity. Ginger will reveal the latest in horse evolution on our continent and the need to protect these returned-natives to the American West. Open to the public- $30 admission fee

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 from 6:30-8:30 pm

Please pre-register by mid-day Friday or come a little early to register at the door.
Friday, Nov. 19th, 6:30pm – $30 class fee

*Note that the location has changed to University Hall, room #306 (more information online here)*

Honoring Those Who Served

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Bald Eagle with American Flag
Bald Eagle with American Flag

Honoring Those Who Served

“November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to honor those who have served the nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be holding events across the country to recognize the efforts of our brave men and women. Join Secretary Shinseki in saying “Thank you” to our Veterans” – connect with the US Department of Veterans Affairs

The eagle photo is from

Battista’s Hole In The Wall Italian Restaurant

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Battista’s Hole In The Wall Italian Restaurant
4041 Audrie St.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 732-1424

One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Las Vegas “Battista’s Hole in the Wall” is old-school Italian, serving good food for over 30 years.

Behind the Flamingo Hilton, just across the street from Bally’s, Battista’s is a freestanding restaurant with a warm, old-world ambiance that welcomes the visitor with a blanket of security from cold Las Vegas. Of course we’re not talking about the temperature here.

With several prix-fixe menu choices, one can settle in for a night of Old Vegas dining. And yes – accordingly – there is a strolling accordionist.

Minestrone Soup or Italian Salad, Garlic Bread, Pasta Side & Homemade Cappuccino.

Red or White

Pasta Dishes
1. Ravioli (Cheese)
2. Lasagna
3. Manicotti (Cheese)
4. Canelloni (Meat)
5. Eggplant Parmegiana
6. Fettuccine Seafood Sauce
Any one of the above for $22.95

Spaghetti or Ziti
with choice of one sauce
7. Sausage Cacciatore
8. Meatballs (2)
9. Meat Sauce
Any one of the above for $20.95

10 oz. Boneless Breast of Chicken
11. Chicken Rio
12. Chicken Parmegiana
13. Chicken Cacciatore
14. Steak Pizzaiola
15. Linguini Chopped Clams
16. Chicken Alfredo
Any one of the above $26.90

White Veal
16. Veal Piccante
17. Veal Marsala
18. Veal Parmegiana
Any one of the above $29.95

19. Steak Caruso
20. Shrimp – Garlic-Butter or Marinara
21. Fresh Fish of the Day
Any one of the above $31.95

22. Battista Style Cioppino
23. Filet Mignon (10 oz.)
24. New York (12 oz.)
Any one of the above $37.95

Side Orders of Italian Sausage or Meatballs $8.50

Minimum charge of $10.00 per person

For the menu, directions, reservations, photos and more visit Battista’s Official Website.

There is a parking lot in front of the restaurant.

Visit the LasVegasBuffetClub.Com’s page for Battista’s
Visit the main pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub.