HORSE’S MOUTH: Return from Vegas

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

Got home from Vegas so late last night that I didn’t think I’d be able to write today’s column.

I decided I’d better give it a shot even if it’s a lot shorter than usual.

One reason we got home so late was that it was raining out in the desert, so we had to slow down.

Imagine that. Rain.

It’s a good thing we had a driver. I drove about 20 minutes and that was about my time limit.

Good ol’ old age.

The trip was great. However, as Editor Gwen mentioned, the slot machines were ice cold.

Usually, when I sit at a slot machine for an entire day, somebody would hit a jackpot.

On this trip, which started on Sunday and wrapped on Wednesday, not one person screamed, “Hey, I hit the jackpot!”

Which means, of course, I came home with a empty pocket.

Oh well, my pocket wasn’t that loaded, so coming back empty doesn’t mean it was that bad.

As usual, the highlight of our trip was having dinner at Makino’s Japanese restaurant.

It was on a Monday evening but Makino was still packed, so I guess most people know of the place.

The Caucasian patrons looked like residents of Vegas.

The Japanese looked like us. Tourists.

One of the problems about dining at Makino is the lack of parking space.

Since Makino is located in a shopping center, parking can be a major problem.

Well, in Vegas, parking can always be a problem no matter where one drives to in the city.

And would you believe I got into a minor fender-bender driving in the heavy traffic on The Strip? Nothing serious (I hope). Just a few scratches on the other car.

Which proves Vegas is no place to drive a car. The traffic is horrible.

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Speaking of dining out, a reader who wants to be anonymous sent me the following letter:

“I read a nice article in The Los Angeles Times this morning about Paul’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant that has been in the downtown area near the city produce market since 1946. I’m certain many of your readers have been to Paul’s Kitchen to enjoy their delicious food for many years.

“After moving to the South Bay, we liked going to Eagle Café on Western Avenue and later Hong Kong Gardens for Chinese food. Now the popular place is Seafood Empress, where the younger generation goes.

“Many seniors miss the old-style chow mein, egg foo young, hamyu, peanut duck, etc. prepared by the two restaurants that no longer exist in Gardena. Seafood Port near the intersection of Hawthorne and Torrance seems to prepare what is closest to the old-style food.

“New Moon Restaurant located near Paul’s Kitchen was also very popular. Interesting that they claim to have originated the Chinese chicken salad that we all enjoy today.

“Also Hong Kong Noodle Co. supposedly created the fortune cookie, but that’s questionable.”

Yes, I know quite a few firms claim that they “founded” the fortune cookies.

Heck, if I wanted to give credit, I’d toss in the name of Umeya Company as one who might have “invented” the fortune cookie.

Umeya still produces the popular food item.

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Thanks to fellow columnist Wimp Hiroto for acknowledging my mentioning his CR2S appearing on the front page of The Rafu.

I mentioned it because I doubt if there were any other columnists who had a column on the front page.

As I said, I guess if any Rafu columnist makes the front page, it would be the talent of Wimp.

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 Oh yeah, I guess I’d better toss this in since I opened with comments on the lack of winners in the casinos.

If it keeps up, business might slow down to a crawl.

I read in one of the two local newspapers that customers have fallen in recent times. Not much, but still a drop-off.

I know that if my future trips don’t produce a few winners, I might cut back on my visits to Vegas.

Hey, the main purpose of visiting Vegas is to participate in gaming.

And unless there are occasional winning sessions, it can get very discouraging.

At least that’s what a lot of folks I bump into tell me.

Maybe it’s our imagination that makes it seem like nobody wins.

In Vegas most people say it’s not the slot machines that lure visitors. It’s more the table games.

As long as the table games prevail, I guess Vegas won’t have to be too concerned about folks complaining about “tight machines.”

My next trip to Vegas?

Who knows?

I still enjoy myself even if I don’t win occasionally, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy myself even more if I can win now and then.

The sign that nobody is winning is the number of machines sitting around with no patrons.

Yeah, Saturday and Sunday find most machines occupied, but on weekdays you can throw a handful of uncooked rice and not hit anyone.

Oh well.

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Did our cats miss us over the past three days?

Well, usually when we are home and my wife opens the front door of our house, they race outside.

Not so now.

When we got home, all three of them kept rubbing up against our legs.

When we opened the front door, they all turned and ran into the back end of our house.

So I guess you can say they missed us.

I wonder if others who take three- to four-day trips out of town and have pet cats (or dogs) have the same reaction from them.

One thing for sure.

We certainly can’t stay away for a week or more.

Meow…

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As always, Harold Kobata drops off copies of The Pacific Citizen.

Although I’m not a JACL member, as a newspaper columnist I find reading the PC very entertaining.

I wonder how many non-JACLers read the PC?

It gives a good view of what the JACL is all about.

I know the JACL doesn’t have the support of the JA community that it had in the past, but I still think it’s a good source of information on what the organization is involved in.

Oh well, thanks, Harold, and keep my PC coming to me.

As I said, we got home so late today I guess it’s time to hit the sack.

It’s kind of tough trying to compose entertaining reading when the clock on the wall over my computer reads 11:50 p.m.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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