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Updated: 04/08/04

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What's on the nightstand

by H. Rider Haggard



Thursday, 08 April, 2004

Eva and Diane left for Bali yesterday. And by the time I post this, they still won't be there. But when they arrive - ahhhhhh. What a lovely country.

And when they return, we already have a date set for a "gathering" to hear Eva's vacation tales - and my vacation tales - and celebrate John K's last and first days at work. We've decided it should be something tropical, so we've tentatively settled on Roy's. They have some rather, er, odd descriptions of their "Y" brand sakes, which include unfortunate words like "fraught" and "teeming." As such, I don't think that sake will be my choice of beverage. Perhaps something fruity. With an umbrella.

[Any suggestions?]

I got a cute note from cousin Pam. Her husband Ron and son Jim are in Botswana with Mom and Dad. She flew up to Seattle to stay at Jim's house and spend some time with her granddaughter Zoe while they're gone. Pam didn't want me to feel lonely without my usual Sunday afternoon call to my folks.

[Thanks, Pam!]

From the "I'm willing to do something stupid on television" files comes this little gem:

Man to bet all on Vegas roulette spin

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A British man who has sold all his possessions, including his clothes, will stand in a rented tuxedo on Sunday and bet everything on a single spin of the roulette wheel.

If he wins, he doubles his money. If he loses, he will be left with only the television crew documenting his every move.

Ashley Revell, a 32-year-old Londoner, said he was worth about 75,000 pounds ($138,000) after he sold everything in March.

Revell said he had planned to have a friend videotape his bet-it-all spin, but Britain's Sky One television decided it was worth a short reality series, called "Double or Nothing." Sky will not pay him, he says, but a crew has followed his preparation and will cover the spin live on Sunday at the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas. It also plans to follow him for a month afterward, win or lose.

Revell, recently a professional gambler, said he decided to take a big plunge while he was still young and raised the stakes as high as possible, including selling his clothes.

"I like to do things properly," he said.

Hmmmm. Although, when you look at the odds - assuming the House doesn't have a way to rig it - he has a 50-50 chance. Which is a whole lot better than, say, playing the lottery.

[Of course, most people don't spen $138,000 on lottery tickets.]

I received an e-mail from one of my clients, Rick, with a link to a website promoting a new condominium that's under construction in Philadelphia. His step-daughter and her husband were the architects on it (their firm is called SHoP). It's pretty impressive - the units start at around $400,000 and go up to $1.5 million. Excluding the penthouses which are already sold.

The website has a neat panoramic view of Philadelphia taken from their location - the eastern view looks right down the marina at the Piers. So I snapped a picture of the construction in progress from my balcony:

Old City 108

[Welcome to the neighborhood.]

Quote du jour:

"Do unto yourself as your neighbors do unto themselves and look pleasant."

-- George Ade (1866 - 1944) US humorist, playwright

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