Proposition bets? Con men? Randomness? Post-modernism? Air conditioning? If you’ve detected a theme over the last few weeks, you’re right (though it was only half intentional, I swear!). Red and I are taking a vacaton starting tomorrow, and on our way out to California I’ll be spending two nights at the Bellagio, home of the world’s nicest buffet. It has its own museum, a restaurant studded with Picassos owned by the man who may be the best chef in the Southwest. A circus troupe you may have heard of performs there, in, on, and with a 1.5 million gallon pool; the hotel also features a 9-acre manmade lake (aping the Italian village along the shores of Lake Como that gave the hotel its name), and some giant fountains, all sensibly placed in the Nevada desert. Casino mogul Steve Wynn, the man who created modern Las Vegas when he built the Mirage, built it at a cost $1.9 billion (including a nine-figure sum for modern art; Wynn, now nearly blind, is a major art collector) and basically destroyed his company. The Bellagio didn’t exactly sink Mirage Resorts, but it was so lavishly expensive that it wasn’t a profit center in the best of times, and whe the Asian high rollers it was meant to attract didn’t arrive, Wynn and Mirage were crippled, eventually selling out to rival company MGM Grand. The Bellagio remains the most ridiculously opulent hotel in a city that prides itself on ridiculous opulence. Posts will be sparse for a week or so; I’ll try to check in once or twice, here or at Notlost. If you’re bored, why not visit one of the fine sites I’ve bookmarked? If you’re really bored, close your eyes and think of me down to my last chip and trying to remember if I’m supposed to split sixes when the dealer shows a three, and wish me well, dear reader.