Saturday, June 12, 2010

Parry Thomas' (of & Mack) World

See that dapper gent? He's almost 89. Most current Las Vegans have no clue who he is, but he's the man who really made Vegas what it is.

His name is E. Parry Thomas and throughout the heart of the 20th century he decided who would get money to build what, weaned the city off the mob, was pivotal with lifelong business partner Jerry Mack in creating and nurturing UNLV and, of course, adopted and mentored a fatherless 24-year-old whippersnapper named Wynn who went on to do a thing or two himself. [For more, read the fantastic "Quiet Kingmaker" by Jack Sheehan, or earn a copy signed by Thomas by winning the bi-weekly trivia question.]

Parry also made rustic Sun Valley, Idaho, the retreat of choice for the Wynns and a lengthy list of other names. That is the topic of this coming week's Las Vegas Weekly column, so I'll hold my fire on that front. But I'd been curious about Sun Valley for many years, so finally I managed to come up with an assignment that necessitated a reporting trip up here, and that assignment is to profile Parry Thomas for Sun Valley Magazine.

That's how I ended up spending Friday with Parry and his wife, Peggy, at their 60-acre horse ranch, River Grove Farm, outside the Sun Valley-area town of Hailey. Sun Valley, the nation's oldest ski resort, a 2.5-hour drive northeast-ish of Boise. It's a region made up of four small towns -- Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue. Beyond Vegas glitterati, several prominent Californians have homes here including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore and Tom Hanks.

It's also where Ernest Hemingway shot himself in the head in 1961 right there in that little low-slung part of his home:

Here, incidentally, was Hemingway's view roughly from there:

Miles saw that image and instantly, of course, begged me to let us move. When I showed him this marker...

...indicating that the population was my lucky number -- i.e. my birthday, Oct. 16 -- he insisted it was a sign! I admit I've wondered often what it would be like to reside here, all that snow and fresh air. I've had three of the best nights' sleep in ages at the home of my crunchy editor, Michael Ames, and his girlfriend, Danielle.

Anyhow, this sensational region is where the Thomases have chosen to spend the summers of their dotage, although retirement has actually meant managing an award-winning horse facility that has yielded an Olympic bronze in the competition known as dressage with this 19-year-old Hanoverian, Brentina:

My Facebook and Twitter followers may recall that the other day I quizzed them on where else in Vegas they'd find a version of this statue, which is a likeness of Brentina:

I'm a little shocked that, given the intense fascination of Vegas so many of my friends and followers have had, only one of you got it right. So, no, I'm not ready to give up the answer just yet. Work it out, people, and no, it's not in Summerlin.

The Thomases have about a dozen horses, many bought at German auctions, and also board for others and provide dressage and jumping lessons for some visitors:

This is their barn, which has those chandeliers because they used it one time for a big fundraiser event to help build the Sun Valley Symphony:

The spread features miles and miles of bridle paths that lead down and along the Big Wood River...

...and although Peggy, 84, still rides, Parry now puts around the property in this golf cart:

You're probably familiar with Parry and Peggy's second son, Roger, the Wynn Resorts design guru whom I profiled in the Weekly earlier this year. They have three other sons and a daughter, Jane. Jane lives in a home on the property up here and is said to have possibly as much artistic talent as her brother. Among her artistic passions is building elaborate birdhouses that are all over her portion of the land:

All sorts of woodland creatures abound. A bear knocked down four of Jane's birdhouses the day before and Peggy reported interacting with some moose (meese?) on a morning ride.

There's very little Vegas about this place, although I did think that this drying stall for washed horses would fit right in on Fremont Street:

We went to lunch at the Sun Valley Lodge, where Peggy waitressed as a 16-year-old, the origin of the couple -- and thus Vegas' -- intrigue with this nook of the world:

I had a lamb-burger at Gretchen's (named for Olympic alpine ski queen Gretchen Fraser) and looked out of an ice rink that this summer will feature shows by Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek. (Side note: The Thomases shared a plate of fish and chips and Mrs. Thomas put the three leftover bites in a Ziplock she carried with her in her purse.)

Here, by the way, is the symphony building that the the Thomases (and Wynns) helped pay for, where on Saturday evening Michael and Danielle took me to see a lovely up-and-coming folk singer named Molly Venter who got her start here and now lives in Austin:

On Friday, the Thomases drove me around and showed me all their old skiing haunts. (Neither of them ski anymore although Parry, at 88, still drives.) This is the Edelweiss, a somewhat homely set of apartments that happens to sit directly across from the lift for a popular mountain:

So here's the fun part. The parking for that lift can be so Steve Wynn went and bought a few of these units ... for the parking spaces. The Thomases and Rolling Stone's Jan Wenner followed suit. The New York Times did a funny piece in 2005 about these $250,000 parking spaces. Thomas says nobody has stayed in his for years.

Sun Valley does have a "casino"...

...but it hasn't been a gambling place since the 1930s. Now it's a bar, the only place in the town of Ketchum where smoking is allowed inside. I went in to see if there were remnants of the casino days, but it's really a dive bar now. Too bad; there were photos in the entryway showing those old-fashioned metal desktop slot machines -- well, they were modern back then -- but none of that survives.

The Thomases' abode is lovely but very appropriately rustic and not designed by Roger, Parry says. That said, I loved this end table:

In his study, Parry showed me old photos of Vegas people. This one was resonant...

...because the woman all the way to the right is Barbara Greenspun, who died on June 1. Joyce Mack, widow of Jerry Mack, and Peggy Thomas are also pictured back in the day. (Click on it to enlarge it)

Of course, this sort of region is always home to loads of big, beautiful, friendly dogs. Here were two that roamed River Grove:

Finally, I got a big kick out of this. In 1992, Thomas & Mack sold Valley Bank to Bank of America. They made more than $1 billion on the sale, Parry told me this weekend. Well, $1 billion and this:

I'm not sure why this cracks me up so much. It's a small hunk of glass the size of a hardcover book. I guess I find it amusing that in the midst of a billion-dollar bank sale, someone said, "You know what we need? We need a glass plaque. Yes, yes. This simply won't be right with out that."

More on Sun Valley and the Thomases to come, of course. But I've got to head now back to Boise and catch a bird.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Random Thoughts From Election Night

As you probably saw, I Tweeted extensively from the GOP election night party. That lady in the teal jacket at the center is the 5-foot-ish dynamo -- she wouldn't tell me her height when I asked a couple weeks ago -- who is about to go up against Sen. Harry Reid. Yes, her ideas are largely not mainstream, but she is certainly a poised and charismatic figure, and I think Reid's got his work cut out for him any which way.

One reason I think that is because negative campaigning this year in Nevada seems to have really failed spectacularly. If Reid attacks this cute little former schoolteacher too hard and too fast, I suspect voters will tune out and view it as part of what they hate about D.C. politics. So far, though, I've already received three emails from Democratic quarters cataloging all of Angle's problems, and the group Progess Now Nevada has a "Sharrontology" Twitter site and TheWrongAngle.Com. (They must've been pretty cocky; nobody registered SuicidalSue.Com.)

But mudslinging took a hit this year, and nowhere was that more obvious than consultant Gary Gray's unceasing, repetitive and endless drilling of Assemblyman Mark Manendo on behalf of Gray's client, Assemblywoman and Grandmother Kathy McClain in a race for State Senate. We're talking dozens of mailers, twice-daily automated phone messages, the works. It was vicious -- and included the gambit of gaybaiting just for the heck of it that we exposed here -- but clearly, it didn't work in any measurable way and probably contributed to Manendo crushing McClain 57-43. It's hard to explain in any other light; the two were both popular in their own assembly districts and had identical voting records. The difference, clearly, was in the campaigns. Manendo did attack McClain, too, but he didn't get into her family life and he didn't send out nearly the volume of material McClain did.

This guy, by the way... Manendo's GOP opponent. Eeeek! Something tells me that "Tony" is going to have a tough time getting those sexual harassment charges to stick to Manendo if Grandmother couldn't. (It's also a heavy Democratic district, so there's likely not to be much of a race. But still...Eeeek!)

A few other little results tidbits:

* Yes-That's-His-Name Ty Cobb, an assemblyman who took over the Sharron Angle mantle of being the lone dissent on every last thing, was a true-red tea partier, too. He lost to baby-faced former news anchor and ex-Gov. Jim Gibbons spokesman Ben Kieckhefer (right) in a Republican primary for State Senate in the Reno area. For all the talk of the liberal media elite, have you noticed that most journalists who are successful in politics are Republicans? (Kieckhefer, Sue Lowden and Sarah Palin among them.)

* While Sharron Angle won big, so far as I can tell the only person who foretold that she'd crack 40 percent was UNR political scientist Eric Herzik in my AOL News piece yesterday. I guess that answers the question of the headline of this Steve Sebelius May 2008 blog post.

* Is John Chachas back in New York yet? Who? Oh, never mind.

* Those of you outside Nevada may not have heard about this one, but GOP primary voters bounced not just our incumbent governor but also -- get this -- an incumbent state senator who publicly defended and sort of acted as bagman for a close friend who raped his lover's 16-year-old sister.

The Republican Party party at the Orleans was far more upbeat than the last time I visited with this crowd on an Election Night, which would have been at the Palazzo sportsbook (now Lagasse's Stadium) in November 2008. Then they were singing dirges in the dark, this time they had a jazz band...

...and food...

and sold anti-Harry Reid books and wacky patriotic ties for $20:

My favorite part was the raffle. I'd never seen this before at one of these things and nor had any of the political journalists I asked. See?

The prizes included Ronald Reagan commemorative silver dollars, copies of "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand and that Jerry Tarkanian-signed basketball.

Speaking of Tarks, Danny Tarkanian (0-3) lost his third straight election, coming in third in the Senate race. I found it a little weird that the jazz band started playing "Smooth Operator" by Sade when Little Tark hopped on stage to concede and endorse Angle. Not with Tark were his little kids, evidently no longer needed to draw votes as they were when he forced his wife and weeks-old newborn onto at least one statewide road trip in January. (I half-jokingly Tweeted that Little Tark will go for Las Vegas mayor next year. You really never know.)

I asked my Tweeps to predict what they'd play when Angle arrived and the responses included Crazy, Ladies Night, Chicken Dance, I'm A Little Teapot, Freebird, The Bitch Is Back and Crazy Bitch. They actually didn't play anything before she arrived, but afterwards they went into this not-subtle gambit for party unity: Let's Stay Together by Al Green. Hopeful!

Here's your obligatory media set-up shot:

You know what media was, as usual, MIA for this kind of thing? KNPR. Our World of News and Information did not broadcast anything live other than top-of-the-hour news updates, a shameful dereliction. I'm a huge, huge supporter of Nevada Public Radio, as you all know, but I cannot comprehend h0w they don't feel obliged given all the pledge-drive blather about always being there for its listeners to provide live election night coverage that would include feeds of speeches, interviews with candidates and punditry. There is nothing more important in Nevada news at the moment than this U.S. Senate race; the nation is watching. As I moved from one election location to the next, I was actually angry about their absence.

Instead, if you wanted some election news while driving last night, you had to turn to right-wing radio whackadoodles like Heidi Harris:

Are radio remotes really that expensive? Seriously? Doesn't KNPR want to be a part of the conversation while it's developing? It was completely awkward at 8 p.m. when results were already available to have them re-running that morning's State of Nevada discussion about what might happen. This is not the first time KNPR has failed this way; do they see themselves as an important news operation or not?

Anyhow, I close with this:

I can see the ad now: Narcoleptic Republican Children With Dreadlocks For Angle!

Mild improvements, fragile recovery

The latest monthly data is out today from the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and they show small upticks but also important ones continued their downward trends. You can see it all the April 2010 v April 2009 stuff for yourself or let me boil it down for you below, with all figures referencing Vegas/Clark County unless otherwise noted:

* UP: Visitor volume (0.9%), total room nights occupied (0.4%), convention attendance (2.9%), average daily room rates (3% to $96.87), Mesquite gaming revenue (1.7%) and -- this is a surprise -- Laughlin convention attendance (20.5%)

* DOWN: Clark County gaming revenue (6.1%), passengers that came/went at McCarran (5%), auto traffic at the CA-NV I-15 border (1.1%) and -- this is eye-popping -- gaming revenue on the Boulder Strip (25.5%).

There's a notation about gaming revenue that when a month ends on a weekend, sometimes properties report that in the next month. So it's unclear if these gaming drops are the full picture except that the Boulder Strip -- Sunset Station, Eastside Cannery, Boulder Station -- look disastrous any which way. Not sure what's up in Laughlin, either, since they actually had a 5.7% drop in visitor volume.

It does mark the eighth consecutive month of overall visitor volume increase, but these rises are so anemic -- a 1.3% rise year-to-date versus last year -- that they're pretty irrelevant when we remember that the city also now has 7,500 additional hotel rooms to fill than this time last year. Citywide occupancy is down 3.1% year over year because of that.

Tough times. But it's nice to see our housing market is showing modest signs of improvement, too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Election Day in Nevada

It's primary election day in Nevada, which should get interesting. In the past 12 hours, I've penned two new pieces for AOL News on the Senate race:

* Tea Partiers Swap Nasty E-Mails in Nev. Senate Race: An inside look at some pretty torrid emails exchanged by Tea Party activists aimed at one another in the waning days of the race.

* Nevada Senate Race: Obama vs. Tea Party?: A look beyond today to note that Nevada will be unique this year as a state in which a tea party candidate -- and all three leaders will claim the mantle but especially Sharron Angle -- takes on a Democratic incumbent who can't run away from Obama. In Nevada, we learn for sure whether the Tea Party creed is mainstream or not. Telling quote from Tea Party Nation chairman Judson Phillips: If Sen. Harry Reid wins in November, "there will be perception that the tea party movement has run its course and its power is fading."

Beyond the Senate race, which is the only one AOL News cares about, we're likely to see the first Nevada governor ever to be bounced from office in his party's primary and if Mark Manendo beats Grandmother Kathy McClain in that State Senate race it could be the first sign of some political muscle in the Vegas gay community. While some have said my coverage of the gay-baiting in that race was inappropriate, I got indirect acknowledgment that I wasn't crazy from Las Vegas CityLife editor Steve Sebelius in this week's print column.

Right now, I'm heading down for a nap -- I was up at 4 a.m. to write that second AOL piece and my LVW column -- but I'll be Tweeting from the Republican Party's party at The Orleans later tonight. Should be fun.

Before I go, though, I leave you with this amusing little TV ad by a carpetbagging candidate who never had any relevancy other than his checkbook and who will be gone from the state by sun-up tomorrow. Not sure when Sue Lowden started sounding like Dina Titus, but it's clever anyway:

Monday, June 7, 2010

David Saxe Explains, Sorta

The uberproducer David Saxe called this afternoon to explain the bizarre notice issued by his company on May 28 in which David Saxe Productions announced that "due to popular demand" the June 11-17 performances of the not-yet-open "Vegas! The Show" were sold out. The trouble was, the show's debut had been postponed June 18 and everyone at DSP knew that when this thing was sent.

Saxe did his best in our chat to marginalize me, going on about how he'd never been interrogated in this manner by a journalist and suggesting I call all my competitors for a better take on what a swell guy he is. You know, because a city's not worth much if its media doesn't adhere to groupthink, right? He even opened by asking what he'd done to make me hate him which, of course, was designed to force me to say I don't hate him.

And I don't. I also don't hate Nina Radetich, Matt Goss, Grandmother Kathy McClain, Michael Politz, Steve Wynn, Robert Earl, Jim Murren or any number of others I've found myself at odds with in the course of doing my job. It's not personal. To paraphrase what Sharron Angle said when I asked her to say something nice about Harry Reid, I'm sure they all love their families.

Anyhow, Saxe called, which is the stand-up thing to do. And this is a summary of his explanation:

1. He did not know that notice was going out and it was only intended for ticket brokers, not journalists.

2. It was not true that all of those shows were sold out, although it could have been because he had some group sales deal that would have filled the theater on the unseen, unfinished production for some of those dates.

3. Yes, I was correct that on May 28, when that notice went out, DSP knew the shows were not occurring, let alone that they were sold out.

The new show was expected to debut in the former Steve Wyrick Theater, now the David Saxe Theater, on June 11, but it's been pushed back because of renovations to Saxe's other Miracle Mile Shops showroom, the venerable V Theater. So shows in the V will take place in the new DST and the Vegas thing is scheduled to start June 18.

That's perfectly reasonable. So why claim this other stuff? Saxe said it's a normal part of his interactions with ticket brokers, that it is better to claim the shows were sold out rather than that for technical reasons the show isn't opening on time. This way the ticket brokers and group-sales people don't lose confidence in the show. (How they can have confidence in a show nobody's seen yet to begin with is an enduring mystery.)

"So we say, 'because of popular demand' as opposed to, 'Hey, we have to push it back because of X, Y or Z,' " Saxe said. "They put a little spin on it."

I kept asking Saxe why it's OK to say that to anyone -- journalists, business associates, Joe The Plumber -- and he kept (a) agreeing with me and then (b) insisting that it's just the way business is done between companies like his as ticket brokers.

"I didn’t love the wording, I didn’t agree to it, but whatever, if it looks like we're having technical difficulties, they don’t need to know the reason why," he said. "This is an inside industry thing between my ticket brokers and me."

It does feel like I've kicked over a bit of a hornet's nest here. Clearly this is a side of the Vegas ticket business that few people know of or understand. I have noticed those shows at the V Theater always, always, always have huge lines flooding into the mall. And some of them are shows I've enjoyed -- Gerry McCambridge made my top 10 list in the Weekly last year and Gregory Popovich was a guest on The Petcast's show No. 11 (out of 250 now, btw!)

Those shows are supported by an intense public marketing campaign -- it's hard to go anywhere without a Vegas.Com booth offering Saxe's fliers -- and coupons abound in Las Vegas magazine and elsewhere. Yet Saxe also clearly has an impressive entertainment machine rolling along that seems to hinge upon selling large blocks of seats to groups, too.

That's all well and good -- and totally fascinating to me -- but it still sets my Bullshit-O-Meter ticking when I see stuff like this and hear the explanation. Business is ugly, no doubt about it, but dishonesty in any form seems inappropriate even (especially?) when it's not an attempt to mislead journalists. That's all.

In the meantime, I'm sure David Saxe is a terrific fellow who loves his family. And, responding to another of his concerns, I hope I've found a photo of him more to his liking.

And At Hour 115, Laak Rests

That's the 4-minute YouTube video and podcast episode I just posted of Phil Laak ending his streak of 115 hours of poker at Bellagio. There's a great 90-second chat with Jen Tilly in the middle there. (The picture's a little choppy on YouTube and I'm not sure why, but it says it's still "processing.")

My news version of what happened for Agence France Presse is up, too, and a wacky Q-and-A with Phil during his 114th hour for GQ.Com.

In addition, I posted the audio of that conversation which is fascinating in and of itself because how often do you get to hear a thoroughly exhausted crazy person try to sound lucid and rational? There's an awesome spot at the 21:47 mark where he talks about how answering my questions is "extremely annoying," which is followed by a hilarious dissertation on the way comments are perceived and so on. What you don't hear is that at that point I was ready to leave him alone -- I figured he was rightly very tired and edgy -- and he apologizes (even though I was not wounded) and asks me to come back to talk more. Ha!

So just a couple more shots to belabor the matter. Here's Phil with Jennifer Tilly at with 97 seconds to go:

This is what the table looked like. There were webcams showing the cards and another focused on Phil.

More than 100,000 people watched every day from more than 90 nations, many of them texting SUNSHINE to 20222 to give $10 to Camp Sunshine, the charity of the moment. No word yet how much was raised beyond the half of Phil's $6,766 winnings and $1,000 he won for the camp doing 30 pushups in Hour 58.

This morning, before my 5:30 a.m. departure to the Bellagio, I was reading one of Miles' US Weekly's. I can just see this image about: "Stars, they're just like us! They take pictures of their boyfriends when they do wacky shit."

And finally, here's Phil at 115:

The Show is UP: A Vegas Favorito

Another week, another news story broken in an interview on the Strip. This time, it's Vinnie Favorito disclosing his new six-year contract extension at the Flamingo. OK, it's more fun when the performer beats the crap out of his employer, but whatever. Here goes. Subscribe (it's free!) in iTunes or in Zune. Click on the date below to make it play or right-click to save it and listen at your leisure. Enjoy!

June 7: A Vegas Favorito

Insult comic Vinnie Favorito is one of those Vegas headliners who doesn’t get a whole lot of fanfare. But he’s OK with that because his shows are doing such strong business that the Flamingo actually, recession be damned, raised his ticket price. And, as he announces for the first time this hour, Harrah’s just re-signed him this week to remain a Vegas headliner for until 2017. Favorito also talks about what other famous comics were passed over for him to get the Flamingo gig and why he’s owed a lot of money by the producers of the short-lived Real Deal show at the Venetian.

In Banter: Guest co-host Joe Brown explains his departure from Vegas and gives his five favorite Vegas shows, Puck's turn towards pizza, Paul Rodriguez fallout and more.

Links to stuff discussed:

Vinnie Favorito’s site
Tickets to Vinnie’s show at the Flamingo
Joe Brown’s magnificent Vegas souvenir shirt, shots one and two and three
Phil Laak’s marathon poker effort as covered by Steve for AOL News
Expert Bedazzler/journalist Abby Goldman’s appearance on the Petcast with her 853-year-old dog
Joe Brown’s pieces, including his hour with Celine Dion, his taking a Cher impersonator to a Cher show, Frank Marino putting him in drag, his recent Le Reve and Wayne Newton review and his one-year checkup of Criss Angel
VegasHappensHere.Com pictorial of the Encore Beach Club
About A Mountain by John D’Agata
Steve’s column from the Weekly about Paul Rodriguez’s discussion of the Trop
VegasHappensHere.Com on Wolfgang Puck’s new pizza joint
Doug Elfman’s piece on “Get Him To The Greek”
The Celine Dion “Through the Eyes of the World” DVD

Sunday, June 6, 2010

99 Hours And Counting For Laak

[You can support Phil by texting SUNSHINE to 20222
to give $10 to Camp Sunshine]

Phil "The Unabomber" Laak has now been playing poker for 99 hours straight and counting at a $20/$10 No-Limit Hold 'Em at the Bellagio. On Saturday, he busted every known endurance record, the 72-hour stretch that is the official Guinness record and the 79-hour run that the poker world accepted as the real mark.

Since I've been following this wacky feat for AOL News for a few days now -- my piece on his surpassing the record and his allegiance to talcum powder is up this morning -- but here are some other fun images to share.

First of all, the Bellagio poker room is a nonstop madhouse. It looks like this every night I've been there:

Hang out at the Bellagio poker room long enough and you realize that it can be a full-service high-end take-out dining experience, carts coming and going nonstop. This wasn't Phil's, but I thought the flower was a nice touch:

Here's Phil with girlfriend Jennifer Tilly on Saturday night when he passed the mark of 79 hours set by Paul Zimbler of London who, incidentally, I interviewed via email for my AOL News piece:

For a while, Antonio Esfandiari, Laak's close pal and as WSOP bracelet winner known as The Magician, played at the table:

After he left, he made prop bets with other poker players that Laak would make it 96.5 hours, which he did. On Twitter, he was gleeful:

I, too, might be kept awake by the poof of hair sitting to the right of Phil.

That interviewer, incidentally, asked to sample the food that Phil was eating. Phil is having meals delivered by a nutritionist every five hours. The one at the 75th hour looked like this:

Phil is presently up $12,000. He keeps a graph every hour of whether he's up or down. He's been down more than $30,000 but came back. He promises to split the winnings with Camp Sunshine, a camp in Maine for kids with serious illnesses and their families. Looking back on it, he should have gotten pledges from other poker pros to donate X amount per hour after he broke the record. No word as to whether Antonio will be giving his prop-bet winnings to Camp Sunshine.

In case you're wondering, this is what's on the table besides him, and if you click to blow up that image you may be able to see me in the frame of the webcam while I was taking this shot:

Yes, he can see the webcam feed that has been going out for all this time, although he hasn't participated in the chat so far as I can tell. That would be this guy:

Phil vows he's used no caffeine yet but has enjoyed dollops of some sludge known as dextro-cyclodized liquid beef amino and protein complex recommended by a nutritionist for energy. That's what the bottle is behind the tissues.

This event/stunt has clearly been good for Laak, if he ever gets his sleep back. There are presently nearly 1900 people watching the live webcam stream and his Twitter following zoomed from about 1,500 on Wednesday to nearly 5,000 now.

Here's what the cam screen looked like an hour ago:

And finally, Laak's folks emailed me this fun little keepsake, a shot of me interviewing Laak and Tilly on Wednesday, the audio of which is available in the podcast feed or here.

That was in Hour 7. I interviewed him again at Hour 75 but opted not to podcast that because he understandably didn't make a whole lot of sense. I can only imagine how well he's speaking now as approaches 100.