Dateline: Las Vegas,
Saturday, November 6, 2021
I have had trouble settling down to write this blog. And the truth of the matter is that I am slightly depressed. Everyone is slightly – or majorly – depressed these days, you might say. But the Corona virus is not what is keeping me from writing this blog. It is the result of reading another blog – VitalVegas. I had seen mention of this blog for years, but I had been too busy writing books, and articles, and my own blog while fitting in personal in-the-casino activity to give this blog a read.
Well, I have more leisure time now. And for a couple of nights I have been staying up half the night to catch up on this new-to-me writing. I am blown away by it. Perhaps partly because I am so familiar with the subject material – I have been to or heard about or even written about most of the subjects. But most of all I am in awe about a writing style that grabs the reader by the neck – and never lets go.
I long to write like that. But my work will never be described as edgy. For over 20 years I deliberately tried to avoid as much as possible pointing out the negative aspects of Las Vegas and casinos, concentrating on giving positive advice on how to cope with the reality. I took the little-Miss-Sunshine role. And to be absolutely frank, at times I didn’t name names because I wanted to protect my own hunting grounds!
In the last couple years or so, I did begin to point out areas where I thought casinos were being unwise. I never blamed the casinos for not wanting people like me who were negatively affecting their profitability (even though I thought they were overreacting to an extremely small issue) but I saw and wrote about those draconian actions that were negatively affecting all their customers.
I thought about the comparison between “VitalVegas” and this blog. Probably the most common adjective readers – even my most loyal fans – would use to describe “Frugal Vegas” might be “sensible” (like sensible shoes – not very fashion-forward but more comfortable). I wondered if I could make this blog a little more edgy, a little more in-your-face. I could try – maybe?
But I did think of one possibly more forward-thing I could do – I could start taking and posting selfies. I have always considered them in the realm of anxious middle-school girls who lack self-confidence – and, not surprising, many of their male counterparts (most who have temporarily dropped out of the human race to become monkeys who are fixated on their private parts). However, sadly, also the adult realm seemed to be crowded with narcissism. So I tried to stay out of that realm.
But yesterday Brad and I was sitting on the beach at our apartment complex lake, not near anyone else so we were observing proper social distancing, and a new thought popped into my head. Time to try something new – and besides I wanted to show how a faux palm tree, with colorful coconuts, could lift one’s spirits – at least temporary – in this dark time. Here is my first selfie:
NOTE: I will unfriend or de-friend anyone who comments that I am looking good. I don’t look particularly good at all. I haven’t put on makeup or curled my naturally straight straggly hair for weeks – and I don’t plan to do so for at least a month – and maybe longer.
Here is my second selfie:
You may comment on the second selfie if you don’t gush – the longer I don’t cut Tom’s hair, the curlier and thicker it looks, which seems a little unfair to me.
I’m not sure if I will ever take another selfie. It didn’t seem to inspire me to write edgy words and I don’t feel like addressing anyone right in their face.
I may just have to continue writing sensibly until I can find a new and comfortable style. Hang on, readers, who knows what the future holds here.
]]>https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/stop-being-sensible/feed/18The 24th Annual Blackjack Ballhttps://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/the-24th-annual-blackjack-ball/https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/the-24th-annual-blackjack-ball/#commentsSun, 29 Mar 2020 21:25:12 +0000https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/?p=80338<![CDATA[Some weeks ago I promised that I would write about this event, but I have found that it has been difficult to even start thinking about this as a subject for a blog. The pandemic has turned the world upside-down. … Continue reading ]]><![CDATA[
Some weeks ago I promised that I would write about this event, but I have found that it has been difficult to even start thinking about this as a subject for a blog. The pandemic has turned the world upside-down. Not only don’t we do most of the things we used to do we don’t even think the same way. Our interests, our priorities, our actual thought processes have gone through radical changes.
Our trip back to Vegas for the BJ Ball seems like it was in a different lifetime, although it was just a little over a month ago. It will go down in our memories as the last big good thing before the virus war began.
It was a wonderful experience. We knew it would very likely be the last time we would be in our favorite city, a place which had provided for us an amazing almost-fairy-tale life for almost 36 years. We could once again experience the excitement of the bright lights that always beckoned with their message of countless possibilities.
Most of all, we felt honored that we were invited as special guests at this get-together of distinguished gamblers. It was like the cherry-on-the-top as we were retiring at the end of our long frugal casino journey.
It had been many years since we attended one of these gatherings, in fact not since back at the very beginning of the BJ Ball in the late ‘90s. And being at this one became especially memorable since this year my “boss,” Anthony Curtis, was voted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Brad and I and Anthony had all three been at those early get-togethers, and now here we were together again, celebrating Anthony’s high honor.
For those who want more details about this year’s Blackjack Ball and perhaps learn more of its interesting history, I am giving below some links to articles about this event, some of which are extremely detailed. And just to answer one question I often get, “No, although it is called a Ball, it is not a dance.” I find most professional gamblers are the last persons you would find on a dance floor! (Although Brad and I were avid ballroom dancers for many years!)
https://www.888casino.com/blog/tags/blackjack-ball – 4 articles detailing 2018 and 2019 Balls
]]>https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/the-24th-annual-blackjack-ball/feed/1Keeping our Balance during a Crisishttps://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/keeping-our-balance-during-a-crisis/https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/keeping-our-balance-during-a-crisis/#commentsSun, 22 Mar 2020 18:51:31 +0000https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/?p=80229<![CDATA[Everything is relative these days. I battle allergies every spring – and that hasn’t changed with our move from Las Vegas to GA. That same yellow pollen covers our car and the table on our porch. I go from sneezing … Continue reading ]]><![CDATA[
Everything is relative these days. I battle allergies every spring – and that hasn’t changed with our move from Las Vegas to GA. That same yellow pollen covers our car and the table on our porch. I go from sneezing and coughing and runny nose to a sinus infection that goes to a sore throat and an inner ear problem that causes dizziness. What is different this year is my reaction – and my attitude: I don’t complain as much – I feel grateful that at least I don’t have the Coronavirus. (At least I don’t think I do!)
For years I have talked about balance in one’s life, particularly for regular casino gamblers, which we were for many years before we recently retired. I always reminded people that there is a danger if your gambling negatively affects the other parts of your life or makes you self-centered and uncaring for those around you. I wrote how Brad and I down through the years, until we had to deal with failing health concerns, were active in volunteer activities. And maybe some of you got tired of hearing me talk about our children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But our family was always our first priority – and we wrapped family activities into our casino activities constantly.
So now, I was wondering what I should write in this blog. Some would say that with the seriousness of this pandemic people shouldn’t be thinking about gambling at all, that they should be concerned about serious medical subjects. But I go back to my belief in balance in life. You are heeding the advice to stay at home, but that does not mean you need to just sit around worrying. That is not good for your mental health. The TV is sending out tons of information about how to keep yourself and your family occupied.
Each person has special interests that can keep them from dwelling on the negative. For some of you, reading about gambling subjects can be your way of coping with this crisis. So that is why I will try to keep writing this blog.
We need to keep the faith that life will eventually go back to “normal,” although it may be a “new normal.” If you were a VP player and casino visits were an important part of your life before, then I see no problem with you doing things that will help you be a smarter gambler when they re-open – whenever in the near or distant future that will be.
We have no idea what casinos will be like for the VP player when they re-open. Some of the extreme tactics they used during the last recession seemed to hang on, like downgrading VP paytables and cutting comps. That may happen again – but on the other hand, they may need to make some positive changes to get players back.
I predict that they will need to run more and stronger promotions. With that in mind, now might be a good time to expand your skills. Learn a new VP game. Maybe you said you were sticking to Jacks or Better because that was the only game for which you knew the strategy. Get a software training program and learn NSUD (Not-So-Ugly-Deuces) which was probably the most common “good game” when the casinos closed.
Here are some of the other ideas you might consider: You may get out those gambling books you have in your personal library – some you never read or some you may decide to re-read to refresh your memory. You may want to order some new titles. Here on this website many of them are available at a discounted price. If you are a newbie VP player, you might want to go back and read some of my blogs of the last couple of years since I have been covering the changing VP scene.
There is another resource I want to suggest, for all skill levels and all games – “Casino City Times.” They have a ton of information on their site, much from old files, but there is also up-to-date writing, by many of the experts in the gambling field. I especially recommend the writings of John Robison, who covers both slots and VP as he relates many of his own gambling experiences. A very good up-to-the-minute article, covering some of the same things I am discussing in this blog for gamblers to do, is by Gary Trask.
Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. We can still reach out to each other virtually if not physically. Feel free to use the “Comments” below to share: your fears, your hopes, your desire to stay connected.
]]>https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/keeping-our-balance-during-a-crisis/feed/10A New Kind of Life with Coronahttps://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/a-new-kind-of-life-with-corona/https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/a-new-kind-of-life-with-corona/#commentsFri, 13 Mar 2020 21:06:07 +0000https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/?p=80140<![CDATA[Yes, Columbus, GA, may seem like calm backwater South compared to bustling cities like Las Vegas, but there is still fear and uncertainty as to when the virus will come to attack here. “Will come” – not when it might … Continue reading ]]><![CDATA[
Yes, Columbus, GA, may seem like calm backwater South compared to bustling cities like Las Vegas, but there is still fear and uncertainty as to when the virus will come to attack here. “Will come” – not when it might come, for the prediction is that no area in the world is absolutely “safe.”
Obviously, Brad and I realize our added risk of old age and, with Brad, underlying medical problems. So, we do not plan to gather with large groups. I did go to our nearby Wal-Mart yesterday to do some stock-up shopping so I wouldn’t have to go out so often in the future. It was extremely crowded, and the sign I was definitely in the South – can you guess which shelves looked the emptiest? Grits!!!
Unfortunately, last night we had to go to the one place a person doesn’t want to be to avoid bugs of any type – the hospital emergency room. Some routine blood work Brad had in the afternoon turned up a dangerously high potassium count that required immediate attention that evening. Thanks to our wise decision to move close to family, we had a convenient ride to the hospital, with Angela and Steve being Johnny’s-on-the-spot. I have taken over driving responsibilities since Brad gave up his license, but some vision decline makes night driving unsafe for me.
Hoping to have a short waiting time with a roomful of sick people – and only some wearing masks – did not come to pass. It was over 3 exhausting hours until an emergency room curtained-off cubicle became open so Brad could lie down. The delay wasn’t because of coronavirus fears and people with symptoms wanting to be tested – seemed to be none of that. Actually, it seemed to be due to gang violence – there was at least one gunshot victim, police all over, and the hospital was put on lockdown – I guess in case that violence would follow into the emergency room.
We didn’t know many details, but the guy in the cubicle across from Brad seemed to have a foot injury and there was a cop sitting next to him at all times. When he was finally leaving, limping, escorted out by two cops, a medical supervisor asked, “Can he take crutches?”
“Not where he is going,” snapped one of the cops. Oh, he wasn’t the victim of the violence but a perp that was shot by the police.
Actually, all this drama made the visit a little interesting. However, it majorly delayed getting to Brad’s problem. But after an IV and multiple blood tests and long waits, good news came back. His potassium level was normal – maybe the earlier high one was a mistake??
At 4 a.m. we quickly passed through the still-crowded waiting room to go out in fresh warm GA air while we waited a few minutes for Steve to pick us up. We were ready to go back to our cozy apartment and be hopeful that we hadn’t picked up any bug – Corona or otherwise!
]]>https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/a-new-kind-of-life-with-corona/feed/7Taking Advantage of CZR Benefitshttps://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/taking-advantage-of-czr-benefits/https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/taking-advantage-of-czr-benefits/#commentsThu, 05 Mar 2020 20:59:33 +0000https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/frugal-vegas/?p=80059<!–
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