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John Palcewski's Journal

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The Sands Casino is huge, glitzy, and suitably weird. I got not one but two major surprises.

The first was my conversation with a friendly security guard at the entrance when I asked him about the casino's photography policy. "The only thing you can't take pictures of are individual slot machines," he said. “Anything else is OK, as long as no patrons complain."

And then the other surprise came at Casa Java & Bananas, one of the many restaurants and cafes surrounding the huge casino floor. I had a cup of Columbian ($2.19) and a big chunk of Strawberry-laced vanilla cake with thick white sugar icing and a fresh strawberry on top ($5.39). With tax of $0.45, the grand total was $8.03. The coffee was on a par with Starbucks, and the cake was amazingly fresh, moist, light, and delicious. Probably the best restaurant cake I've had in years.

No, I did not gamble, as I didn't many years ago on a story assignment at the MGM Grand in Reno. Trying to beat the house odds, then and this morning, just didn't interest me.

Yes, I know, these are crappy images. You really can't expect to get good photos in low light with a Blackberry camera. Next time I'll bring my Nikons.

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And mellow, regarding the cake!

I'm fascinated by these--I've always wanted to see the inside of a casino but have no interest in gambling. Thank you!

I talked to one of the blackjack dealers. He said he's seen people get into fights over a dollar, and people who keep betting until they lose their houses. "I just concentrate on the cards and try not to let stuff like that affect me," he said.

The first thing I noticed was the lights - they look like daggers hanging over everyone's heads. I wonder if anyone else sees that symbol?

That's an interesting and most valid interpretation, which I didn't see before!

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