The wind is really howling here today. It means more beetle killed trees will get blown down and I'll have more widow-makers to deal with on my property. It reminded me of a time I was in Las Vegas. I took a seat at the Blackjack table with two men from Texas. They were loudly declaring that Texas was the best of everything and not much paying attention to the game. I was doing pretty well and in the first 30 minutes I was up over $500. Through the haze of brown liquor, they finally noticed their stack of chips was getting smaller and mine was getting bigger. One guy looked at me like he was surprised by my presence. He looked me over from my scuffed and dusty packers to my cowboy hat. I wasn't sure if he was just curious or looking for a date. I drew an ace/queen on a $50 bet. The dealer took my cards and gave me three $25 chips. The Texan blurted out, "You a cowboy?" He looked at the cards in front of him as the dealer waited patiently for him to decide if he wanted a card. He scratched his down card asking for a hit on his 18. The dealer was showing a 5. Not a smart move. He got a 10 and busted. The dealer scooped up his $100 chip and cards, then turned to the other Texan. I turned to him, "Nah, real cowboys wear crocs or tennis shoes." "So, where you from?" he was having trouble staying vertical on his chair and his buddy reached over to steady him. "Montana," I replied, moving my winnings to my stack and putting a tip out for the dealer. His much less drunk buddy chimed in. "Montana, huh. I heard it gets a bit breezy up there, but nothing like the wind in Texas." "That right?" I asked not really looking for a reply. The dealer dealt me a pair of aces and was again showing a 5 up card. I split my aces and put two $25 chips on the second one. The dealer showed me each of the cards he put down on my aces - one face card, one 9. The drunk took the advice of his buddy and waved off the dealer on his pair of 10s. The less drunk guy stayed. The dealer flipped over his down card and it was a 6. Ouch, 11 for the dealer put my $100 in jeopardy. He turned over a 5. Whew, 16. He hit that with a face card. Busted. I pulled the seat I was clinching with my ass cheeks out and exhaled. "Just how windy does it get in Montana?" half drunk guys asks. With my shaking hand I stack my $100 winnings along with my extra $50 and stuck with my $50 bet telling myself, it can't last forever, and when it turns sour, I'll head up to my room instead of giving it all back to Harrahs. The game is interrupted. The dealer steps aside as the pit boss and a bald security guy puts a plastic guarded box full of chips on the blackjack table. The security guy looks like an oak tree with arms. I'm impressed. Then I see the 9mm Glock in his holster. What a weenie. I turn to the Texans while the guys count the tray and do paper work. "I'll tell you how windy it gets in Montana. I was out riding my mare one day and it really started blowing. We stopped on a ridge to check out the oncoming snow squall headed our way. She had her ass to the wind when she raised her tail to fart." I looked down and shook my head. Raising my head I looked 'em in the eye. "That wind blew the bit clean out of her mouth!"