Little Known Facts about “The Nutcracker”: When the ballet debuted in Russia in 1892, critics sounded off. Some felt the score was bland and the choreography was weak. Like a fine wine, time has been kind to the ballet.

Dave Rudin just posted on his blog about his trip here in Las Vegas. He’s actually got one of the better pics of me on his latest blog post. I don’t have a single pick of us. I had anticipated on getting to see him more than the once for breakfast that Saturday morning, but that was it. Even than, I had to make short to tend to other business, but we got in a few hours at least. Its always good to have him here.

The weekend after Dave was here, another good friend of mine also came to town. Cameron and I served together some 15 years ago at least and have stayed close since then. He got to spend 5 days here with his fiancée. Right now, he sort of looks after my young’uns even though they are all grown up. He’s got his own kids who are quite young. He got to see several of the sites of Vegas and he brought me along on several. I think the best highlights was in seeing Hoover Dam and getting to enjoy Phantom of the Opera on our last night.

The weekend Cameron got here, I had RSVP’ed for a hike out at Valley of Fire. It was some big time scrambling, which I loved, but its hell on my knee when you gotta wear a metallic brace. Trust me, I paid for it in pain-killers that night. Some of these hikes are hard on me, but if I wasn’t doing them, I’d go plumb crazy and that’s no joke. So I’ll do them while I can. I have to go be out in nature from time to time.

That reminds me… I was glad to hear that the knuckle-head(s) who defaced ancient petroglyph out at Red Rock Canyon, just west of Vegas, were caught. Tourists travel out there by the thousands to see some of the most beautiful rock formations in the world. But then we’ve got stupid people. I really don’t understand how stupid you have to be to not know that you can’t be that stupid enough to spray paint ancient artwork. Fortunately, they caught the guy, but they think its gang related. He’s 17…still a minor. I’m curious to see what they do to this kid and what precautions they’ll take to prevent future stupidity like this. You can’t do security checks on everybody for spray paint cans. So are they going to make an example out of this kid? And if so, how so? They’ve got to create a deterrent of some type to make people respect our parks and natural areas. Til now, people have simple known to leave natural areas alone. Stupidity knows no bounds.

No pics this time. Enjoy this “How it Should Have Ended: Holiday Special”, instead.