I recently caught up to Gintama, and I think you should make it your 2021 goal to at least start it. Here's why I think that.
I know we've all seen Gintama floating around on the internet so often. People saying "watch Gintama!" and posting funny clips of the show all over reddit. I want to take a slightly different approach as to why I loved the show so much. Most of the time you hear, "it's really funny! best comedy!" with the additional "the serious moments are so good!" but I want to share my thoughts on why both aspects of it are so good, and why they work so well together. This post will not contain any major or specific spoilers. So to start things off, how is the comedy in Gintama? I will warn you ahead of time, Gintama is not afraid to be vulgar. If you're turned off by jokes about private parts and poop, it's not the central focus of the humor but there is a lot of inappropriate humor. There is also a ton of pop culture references, by which I mean one episode may reference about 20 different things. Sometimes there will be entire mini-arcs (3 episodes) dedicated to one parody, something like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure or Dragon Quest. There is also a ton of meta humor. They are not afraid to break the fourth wall, talk about the production of the show, voice actors, filler episodes, etc. Do you need to understand all the references to enjoy it? I would say it certainly helps if you have a somewhat strong grasp on Japanese culture, popular game and anime franchises, etc, but it's not mandatory. I've seen people go back and forth on this point, and while having a comprehensive knowledge of everything in Japanese media and growing up in Japan will definitely help the enjoyment, I found that with my limited knowledge it was still very fun. Even if I didn't get a reference it was still a silly moment for me, regardless if I knew who they were talking about or not. Plus, if you really want to, you can look up the references later to have an "a ha!" moment and learn more about the pop culture scene. All of the characters are unique and enjoyable! Everyone has their own personality and their own dynamic with each other. You have the lazy yet (usually) dependable Gintoki, the straight man Shinpachi who's the butt of a lot of jokes, the vulgar overconfident Kagura, the leader of the rebels who is serious to a fault even in ridiculous situations Katsura, I could go on and on. Every character has their own vibe, their own appeal, their own dynamic with other characters, and their own running gags. Every time you see one of them on screen you know what to expect and it always delivers in a satisfying way, to the point where sometimes you'll see two characters interact and you're like, "oh man how will they interact?" It's really fun! So, comedy aside, what is the plot of the show? The show takes place in Edo, specifically Kabukichō which is an entertainment and red-light district of Shinjuku in real Japan. There are host and hostess clubs, shops, nightclubs, restaurants, casinos, you name it. Aliens known as Amanto attacked Japan and took over, starting the sword ban. Samurai are far and few between and those who remain get by however they can. Enter the main character, Gintoki. A samurai who fought in the war against the invading Amanto, he still carries a wooden sword around and runs a business called Odd Jobs where he'll take on any task, from finding a kitten to stopping an invasion. It's a very simple premise but it builds up and pays off in great ways. The more serious aspects of the plot come from leftovers of the war, rebels that defy the current government, the police force (Shinsengumi) trying to keep order, and some darker shadows behind the scenes, the truth of the Amanto, and the teacher that raised Gintoki and a few other of the main characters. It leads to some really serious and oftentimes depressing moments in the series. So, how good are the serious portions? The action portions of the show are a little scarce early on. There's definitely a heavier focus on the comedy. At episode 58 you get your first taste of the true action and plot of the series (yes, I know, that's quite a ways in). From there, there are more mini arcs of about 3-6 episodes each that cover some much more serious topics and push the main plot along and introduce new characters and concepts. There's some really hard hitting backstories for some of the characters as well, often in ways you wouldn't expect. It makes each character feel a bit more real. The choreography, music, and voice acting are all top notch. How do the comedy and more serious topics blend? This is the main point of my post that I want to make, and I thank you for reading this far. The serious moments really let you see the characters in a more serious light (duh), while the comedy segments let you see them in moments of peace. They're allowed to laugh, have fun, do stupid shit, but when shit hits the fan it often feels like they need to power through it to see those peaceful moments again. The show doesn't make a big point of this, but it's definitely the factor that pulled me in. You wanna see our goofy main trio get past this terrifying moment and be able to joke around again. You want to see the side characters persevere and overcome the odds so they can see tomorrow and laugh along with the rest of the cast. You get invested in the characters during the funny moments, so the serious moments have a stronger impact. The action and serious scenes are also littered with silly moments or one-liners that make the fights or moments feel more natural. Like Gintoki will drop a one-liner or do something dumb during a serious moment and it's like "yeah that seems about right." He'll make fun of an opponent's name, complain about getting hurt, yelling at the bad guy for overreacting, make dirty distractions to get away, etc. But it always comes back to a satisfying conclusion. The comedy and the action flow seamlessly. A perfect example would be this moment where he fails to make a serious entrance. There's also this story about a dog who was abandoned by his owner. I feel those are my two favorite examples of blending serious with comedy. Later in the series, especially the last few arcs, the comedy takes a backseat for a much more serious plot. It really makes the stakes feel high and every character feels like a part of this world. It's super well done and I won't say more than that. Have you been convinced to check out Gintama? It's definitely a long series to get into, but it's absolutely worth it. Try sticking to one episode a day or every few days and you'll always have something to look forward to. Just make sure to skip the first two episodes because they were made as a celebration of the manga getting an anime adaptation, and it expects you to know all the characters (and also just isn't that great). Episode 3 is the proper "episode 1" of the series and begins with the characters meeting for the first time. Don't think of it as some colossal hurdle to complete, focus on the journey not the destination. Enjoy your ride through the crazy, hilarious, fun, and heartbreaking world of Gintama and I hope you all end up enjoying it! There's definitely a reason that everyone who's seen it regards it so well and now I can confidently say I do too. I'm really excited for the final movie! Edit: I also want to add that all of Gintama (aside from specials and OVAs) is on Crunchyroll!
Job EXP boost items and where to find them (Yakuza 7 / Like A Dragon)
I'm currently grinding for the final dungeon and couldn't find a full list in English of where to get the Job EXP boost items - if any of you guys are in the same position, here's a list I've adapted from this Japanese guide. Freelancer+Hero - gold safe in Lullaby Mahjong in Kamurocho Homeless - Substory 18 Detective - Substory 11 drop OR secret shop in south west of map Hitman - substory 25 OR gold safe in New Serena, Kamurocho Gangster - substory 24 drop OR secret shop Barmaid - substory 19 Matriarch (DLC job) - ch 11 as part of story OR secret shop Secretary - exchange for chips at casino Bodyguard - substory 34 Host - substory 23 drop OR secret shop Foreman - substory 37 Musician - casino Breakdancer - substory 30 Enforcer - substory 38 Cook - substory 31 Fortuneteller - substory 25 drop OR secret shop Idol - substory 30 OR secret shop Hostess - reward for Part time hero Vegetable request 4 Dealer - substory 28 drop OR secret shop Night Queen - substory 24 Devil Rocker (DLC job) - substory 39
With years of not having access to healthcare or dental care, she needs to get dentures. Not being able to smile, and to feel like hiding her face has been affecting her mental health and her confidence to even get a job. She’s always struggled with putting other people’s needs in front of hers, and now I’m trying to help her get the care she needs. She’s spent her whole life in the service industry. Longest time as a waitress (minimum wage for servers in her state is ridiculously low), working in a popcorn shop, then time doing less physically demanding work as a hostess in a hotel breakfast bar and a couple small video lottery casinos. She never graduated high school. Dentures are way too expensive. She’s got three quotes from offices in her hometown that are in excess of $10,000!!! I tried to convince her to travel to Mexico to get more affordable care, but she’s too scared to fly and has never been in a foreign country. I appreciate the time you took to read about my mom! She would love to know that people get to read her story. Help Darla get Dentures (Edited cuz I didn’t know how to link)
Should I [25F] reach out to the woman [23F] my ex [24M] dated after me?
I've been ruminating a lot this week and probably knocked a few screws loose in the process, so forgive me. My ex and I dated for two years. He would accuse me of cheating multiple times a day, call me "whore" or "slut" all the time, and video tape me without my consent. He would egg me on to having a mental breakdown, film it, and then show the world how crazy I was. Saying no to sex wasn't an option. He got me evicted from two different places we lived in together for something he would feel was a major crime against him (saying no to sex, ex). He shared risque photos of me without my consent. I was embarrassed to be with him in public because he was extremely rude to any customer service worker. He even yelled at a teenage hostess at one of my jobs because he came to pick me up when he previously told me to take the bus home. I had never felt crazier in my entire life. Seriously. I thought, and was scared, that I would need a literal straight jacket at one point. I checked myself into the psychiatric ward one time during our relationship. I ended up moving out of our place into my own, but still continued the relationship. I did this to prevent myself getting evicted again. One day, he ghosted me. I accepted the relationship and moved on. I started dating a man from work (different departments). My ex, who hadn't spoken to me in months at that point, was apparently upset. He wrote me long-ass love letters full of things he had never said before. When he told me that he would let me "take my time" and "whenever I was ready", I told him that we would never be together again. He wrote a letter accusing me of cheating on new boyfriend, put it in an envelope, and gave it to new boyfriend's boss. He hangs out at my work a lot. I work at a casino and there is another casino down the street, but he insists that I am not the reason he is there. I haven't had contact with him since March and I don't know if he still visits. I knew he was visiting in March, and the events that happened with new boyfriend happened in Feb 2019. A little after the Feb 2019 events took place, he started dating someone else. She looks just like me. They broke up only a few months into dating because, according to him, she cheated on him on his birthday. Not sure if I buy it because I was the one accused of cheating multiple times every day. I just want to know I'm not the crazy one. This stuff is playing over and over in my head. And even if I talk to a therapist, how will they know if I am twisting things? Hell, how will I know? TL;DR: Should I message her?
Binge-watching Australian Survivor through this quarantine and what is Sam's edit??
I can't help but wonder what did Sam from season 4 do to get massacred like this by the editors. I'm at her boot episode now and she has literally had 0 confessionals the whole season and the most content she had was her saying at TC that she's not gonna work with Luke and David. I get that there are many big personalities on this season but still, I feel like they could have thrown her a bone and at least let her introduce herself in the first episode or something. I wouldn't even have known her job had someone else not mentioned that she's a casino hostess and I only found out what her voice sounds like in the last 20 mins of her boot episode. I don't wanna exaggerate but has Sam been done way dirtier than Purple Kelly?
So, this is an event that happened to me before I had been let go from my job due to the COVID virus that is going around. Apologies if this doesn’t seem to come out right, I’m posting this story from my phone. So I’m a 23 year old male, 6’3”, soft and generally nice to most people. I get along greatly with the customers who would come by to the restaurant we had, a generally “hidden gem” that was only low on customers during the daytime but flooded up with many of them during the evening and night due to our happy hour drink specials. Technically, I’m a busser - the guy who comes around and gets drinks, helps with the front if need be, gets dishes and cleans them if we need them to be. Alongside this, one of my other jobs was to clean tables and the floors, which was what I was in the middle of doing when we, the staff members and I who are involved in this story who had to deal with this entire event, ran into the creeping old man. See, the creeping old man, COM for short, was heavily interested in one of our servers. She worked a five day shift most days but due to family issues, being a single mom of two, had to work shifts that were only as long as five or six hours in length. However, she was one of the brightest personalities in the room, and even I considered her a sunshine in a dark hallway. She was that sweet. For context and privacy sake, I will call her Sunny. Now, as I said, Sunny was loved by a lot of our coworkers, but a flaw with her was that she was too nice. She didn’t know where to draw the line sometimes with talking to people about her personal life, but a lot of our regulars were often curious and even I have had a couple people who I got along with and just kept them up to date with about my college life and how long I had until a semester was over. But COM, he was different. He’d only been there for a short while, but he was drawn to Sunny and tried to refuse to take help from others who were readily available. If Sunny was on her break? He’d wait. (This wasn’t unusual, we had people who had favorite servers and, while we weren’t supposed to be dragging them out of their breaks in the nearby lunch cafe, the customers were regulars and the staff actually loved them enough to come back out and help them before resuming their 30 minute breaks.) I showed up to work one day and saw that he had came in. I don’t fully remember the details of the conversation that went down between one of the hostesses, but from what we did and what I had to catch up on, this was generally what went down. For the hostess, I’ll call her Gayle(not real name obviously). Me, coming back from a small fifteen minute break: “Hey, Gayle. Anything happen since I left?” Gayle, to me in a hushed tone: “Oh, OP, you’re here. No, no, nothing hasn’t happened or changed. Although COM has swapped seats. He wanted a sun view, so can you put back the table we moved earlier and put those chairs back?” (He had asked to be sat up in the loft where we don’t usually sit people if we don’t have enough staff to cover that area. The entire floor in the restaurant had a map, and Sunny worked in area C, towards the back. COM had found out from watching her that she worked in that area today and requested we move him there instead. Well, actually, he just got up and sat down at an empty table and chair close to the windows. But, whatever. People don’t do it often but we’re used to some elderly people just getting upset at where they’re sat and, if there isn’t anything that’ll throw us off in our ordering system (who serves customer group A, B, C, et cetera), we allow it. But then we all started to watch. We were on slow days throughout that week, and I personally started to get involved when COM, after asking Sunny personal questions (such as if she was okay with looking for an apartment that was near his home((he brought the paper information regarding the apartment in question), asking how her relationship troubles were, and even going so far as to try and ask her to take up a different job that would make it so she has to stop by his place), it became clear this wasn’t normally what she talked about with him. Strangely, he came to me about that job offer too, but I just denied his offer and told him I wanted to keep the job that paid my rent. Later in the same day this all started, COM came to me and asked me where Sunny left from. Given that our restaurant had been inside a giant casino and we all had different ways of leaving and preferences to doing so, I told him I couldn’t give him a straight answer. Even I occasionally took different routes to leave the casino. But, to begin with, I didn’t plan on telling him where she left from. I didn’t know the answer anyways, so that was my best answer. Job done, right? Wrong. I later heard from Gayle that COM was angry with me for telling him “the wrong information.” I was confused. The wrong information? I was just being honest. How could I have lied? Well, he came by the next day, and Sunny was scared to go out and help. She told some of us in the staff - Gayle, Missus(one of the other servers and a general Mom to the group - we both had a healthy relationship of making jabs and bad jokes towards the other), and I were the only people who were in the store cover the floor at this time. Besides those two, there was a third member of the server group but she wasn’t fully involved until after this moment happened. Missus and I were both informed by Sunny through as much of a hushed voice as she could, just in case customers somehow could hear us in the back in the kitchen, that COM was trying to flirt and hit on her. It was around this time, actually that I had heard about how he had been a bother to other servers, floor manager included, and that he didn’t care who tried to make him understand he needed to back off. Missus, at one point, tried stepping onto the floor and pretended to be Sunny’s mom in the hopes that he would see he shouldn’t try to make Sunny more uncomfortable than she already was. His response? “Okay, so?” And then he went back to bickering about how he needed her number. Even one of the cooks who was treated nicely by Sunny was disturbed by this and nearly came out. But the biggest piece of news I could gather from all the gossip that went down? Sunny told me herself that I needed to be careful, that COM was furious with Missus, Gayle, her and ME (yes, because of my wrong answer), and he made quiet little threats about getting us fired because we were defending her for his stupid shenanigans. I had had it. Enough was enough. Sunny was one of the few people in the group who had been a good friend and helped me with my own assignments during college classes. Without her help, I’m sure I would’ve done a worse job and possibly needed to redo the entire course. She was family in this group, and I was mad that he threatened her job over refusing to flirt. I didn’t care for my job as much, I already had been thinking of another position should I lose the current job. I went to my manager. Not the Floor Manager, but one of the big three managers who, for the sake of this story and making it simple, were the Chefs. Chef 1, Chef 2. Chef 1 was the head honcho. Chef 2 was another one of them, but if Chef 1 was the big brains, Chef 2 was the support that kept him running. I lied and told my coworkers that I had to go get towels for wiping the tables. What I really did was head on over to the places where I knew Chef 2 would be, since I knew he was around. Imagine my surprise as, when I was giving up and coming upstairs with a cart full of towels (so I actually would fulfill what I said I’d do) Chef 2 on his way up to start his shift. I informed him of everything that I had heard. We were heading to the elevators where we would part. He was going to leave, but then I hit him with the news about COM’s job threats. “...tell me more. What’s going on?” I laid it all out. What Sunny said, what Gayle told me, how COM blatantly ignored Missus and tried to make Sunny tell him her number. Even the bit about him threatening me and my job over him asking where Sunny left from. When all was said and done, he came back up a few minutes later with the head honcho himself, talking to Sunny, Gayle, Missus and then, after getting the story straight, they both went out to confront COM. Aftermath Unfortunately, while I wish that this was the end of the story, because I know it sounds like this is the exact point where COM gets his butt handed to him by our head staff, it isn’t as fully done as I wish. COM had been eating while I was doing everything I could to get the chefs. When things were settled, Chefs 1 and 2 both came out to find that COM left. Without paying. It took some time, but when COM came back, I was around for it and informed all of the staff who were around at the time. Sunny, thankfully, wasn’t there, so she didn’t have to get involved with COM and his messed up. Security was called after Chef 2 was given the heads up that he was around again. We’d blacklisted him last time when he left without paying, so this time we were going to try and get him to stay long enough to get the security to properly escort him off the property and get our money back. COM never gave up the money for his past three orders he ditched and ran out on us for. That part frustrated me, but it was all for the best since COM couldn’t bother Sunny anymore. We continued working on our merry way until we all got booted out of the casino due to the pandemic. For those who may be wondering, in case you were thinking “how could Missus and Sunny convince COM that she’s her mom?” Sunny looks younger than how she really is. Her kids are both at least younger than... I wanna say 8 and 5. I think she’s in her mid 30s, but I may be wrong. Missus, though, is in her 50s. I know this because her son came by to go on dates with and eventually propose to his girlfriend. Before that, I made small talk with them and asked him what would be best for a gift for her for Secret Santa. I’d been there for some time and only knew she liked the Raiders. I got her a gift card for the NFL sports shop. She liked it.
The Unexplained 1988 Death of Crystal Spencer: Decomposed Body Found in Her Apartment, But No One Can Figure Out How She Died
In 1988, 28-year old Crystal Spencer was living in Burbank, California and worked as a topless dancer at a club called the Wild Goose. Years earlier, Crystal had moved to Los Angeles with aspirations of becoming actress, but was forced to take the topless dancer job after being unable to find much acting work. She became involved in a relationship with an aspiring screenwriter named Anton Kline and he visited Crystal at her apartment on May 4. She was sick with the flu, but told Anton that she was being considered for a three-month gig as a hostess girl at a nightclub in Japan. They spoke on the phone the following day and Crystal told Anton she was feeling better. On May 6, Crystal had a telephone conversation with her sister, Julie, and told her she was really sick and could hardly make it to the bathroom, but Julie figured she was just exaggerating and being overdramatic because she wouldn’t provide Crystal with the phone number for a place their mother was staying at. Over the next few days, Anton attempted to call Crystal multiple times, but kept getting a busy signal and was told by the operator that the phone was off the hook. This did not concern Anton too much since Crystal had a tendency to leave her phone off the hook after finishing a call. When Anton went to see Crystal at the Wild Goose, he was told by the doorman that Crystal hadn’t worked there for days because she left for Japan. On May 13, Crystal’s decomposed body was discovered inside her apartment. She was resting in a corner nude from the waist down and her body was entangled in her telephone’s cord. There were no signs of forced entry and even though Crystal had struggled with substance abuse issues, only small traces of alcohol and marijuana were found in her system. A neighbour told police that starting on May 6, they had heard the sounds of someone who was violently ill, but since the Los Angeles County Coroner could not figure out how exactly Crystal died, they officially ruled her cause of death to be “undetermined”. When Crystal’s family requested to view her body, they were told that it was in no condition to be seen, but since they were under the impression that Crystal suffered a fatal illness, they allowed her body to be cremated and her ashes were scattered beneath the Hollywood sign. However, Anton soon started suspecting that Crystal may have been murdered. At 4:00 AM on the morning of May 7, Crystal’s downstairs neighbours - Jet Taylor and his fiancée, Susan Akin - claimed they were awoken by what sounded like screams of pain, along with gagging and choking, from Crystal’s apartment. They pondered calling the police, but suspected it might have been a domestic dispute and decided not to get involved. When Anton received Crystal’s autopsy report, he discovered that it listed Crystal as five-foot-seven and 140 pounds when she was actually five feet tall and weighed 105 pounds. Crystal also had metal pins and plates in her right ankle from a prior accident, but the report made no mention of this. This made Anton wonder if the autopsy report was for the wrong body and since the advanced state of decomposition made Crystal virtually unrecognizable when she was found, Anton even considered the possibility that the body in her apartment might not have actually been Crystal. However, investigators maintained that the discrepancies in the report were nothing more than clerical errors and they were able to use Crystal’s fingerprints to positively ID her. Since Crystal had reported feeling very sick during her final phone conversation with her sister, the police believed she had died of an unknown illness. However, even though the Wild Goose did not have a record of Crystal signing in for her shift on May 6, a waitress friend of hers and the club’s security officer recalled that Crystal showed up to dance there that evening after her phone call to her sister took place. Anton believed a cover-up was being orchestrated for Crystal’s death and the perpetrator may have been Horace McKenna, a former California Highway Patrol officer who spent time in prison for counterfeiting. After his release, McKenna became the secret owner of a bunch of topless bars, one of which was supposedly the Wild Goose. He also operated a gambling casino out of a warehouse in Inglewood and according to her waitress friend, Crystal often spent time there. It was rumoured that McKenna held parties for his friends in law enforcement and used women from his topless bars to entertain them. In March 1989, McKenna was shot to death outside his home in a contract killing orchestrated by his business partner. Anton was surprised to discover the FBI was keeping a file on Crystal and when he obtained it, 21 pages of documents were withheld. Since the FBI was investigating McKenna at the time of his death, Anton suspected that Crystal may have been working as an informant for them. However, no evidence was ever found to implicate McKenna in Crystal’s death and the circumstances officially remain “undetermined”. The case is covered on this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold” podcast: http://trailwentcold.com/2018/08/01/the-trail-went-cold-episode-83-crystal-spence Sources: https://unsolved.com/gallery/crystal-spence http://articles.latimes.com/1992-02-24/news/mn-2042_1_spencer-case
With that, we must now sadly bid goodbye to Team Earth, Tower of Terra, the third team to be eliminated from Tournament 4. They slipped under the radar in Round 1, and didn’t win a single match Round 2, but their high-profile ties that round proved they were a force to be reckoned with, as did their very close losses this round. Let’s take a moment to remember…
Tower of Terra may be out of the game, but their presence can still be felt… For example, one of their former opponents is currently fighting for his life against a “superhero?” in an under-construction train tunnel. Scenario - Las Vegas, Nevada: The rack was lifted up from the balls, and the cue immediately clacked against them hard, two of them sinking on the break. Connor stood up, examining the table state and running quick calculations. “Good job setting them out, Kris!” He cheered, clapping the younger man on the back as 「Megalovania」 bickered and cheered behind him, inaudible to the others at the small dive bar. The other man, clad in a pool-patterned polo Connor had acquired for him, almost certainly with Ric’s eponymous credit card. “You want to switch cues?” He asked, three different ones that Connor had carefully coached him in the differences between. Connor nodded, taking one made of a slightly different maple wood than the first. He lined up his shot, easily sinking two more balls, and grinning. “I’ve been thinking about the game.” He said, standing up and straightening his back. “...Nine-ball?” Kris asked. “Well, I’m always thinking about nine-ball, but I’m talking about the tournament.” Connor responded. “I had some things I wanted to talk with you about it.” He smiled genially at Kris. “How did you like your match?” He asked. Kris pursed his lips, thinking. “I think I’d prefer to have won, sure.” He said. “But I got to show off my abilities, and I must’ve made some sort of impression!” He fished out his phone, showing off the screen. “I’ve been hanging around third place in the popularity polls, for whatever reason.” He gave Connor a hearty thumbs up, 「Under Pressure」holding the cues. Connor returned it, setting up his next shot. “I’ve been having some fun myself. The match against that nice girl was some of the most fun I’ve had in years, and pairing up with Noriko was certainly a unique experience!” He easily sunk two more balls. Kris nodded. “Yeah, she’s seemed a little friendlier lately… though it’s still hard to get a read on her,” he said, not seeming too bothered about it. Connor examined the table. I’ve been looking into some things, but I think with all of the excitement I’ve been dealing with, I could go with something… a little more easygoing.” He moved around the table, looking at the last three balls on the table. “Things have been really intense lately, I suppose. I’ve had enough excitement for a while.” Kris perked up, and snapped his fingers. “Oh! Connor, that just reminded me of something I was thinking about!” He tapped his phone, reading off something from the UU app. “I think this is a match all about bingo. You know, a bunch of elderly with blotters, only danger there might be is you having to fend off fans! I’m sure you’ll fit right in.” Connor set up his shot. “Hmm. ‘Bingo’, you say? I’ve never played it before… I’ve heard some of the people who play it can be dangerous if you get in their way.” He shifted over a few millimeters, cue perfectly poised on the ball. “In either case, Kris, something like bingo sounds….” With an audible ping, his eye glowed bright blue as he took his shot. “Perfect.” The sound of knitting needles clacking together echoed in the front hall of the ｢Bohemian Archive｣. A small fire roared in the fireplace. Nora had put the only two members of Oceans 11 remaining in the Archive to bed. She didn’t expect them to be getting much sleep at all, with how much energy Jack had to go through all of the information Hadrian and Demis had stolen. Not that she could blame the two, she had only glanced at it, and there was just so much to dig through. Mountains of information, all of which could be put together, making a web of culpability to point to… something. She hadn’t had that long to look at it, after all! “I’m really very proud of the boys,” she mused. “Jack’s really come into his own, I think. He’s really relaxed around me and Hadrian, and he’s been doing some just lovely work with helping us out. Buggy’s been doing well too, recovering at least.” “Hadrian’s really made me proud. He just seemed so… hopeless, when I first met him. I don’t like that Niyaz fellow one bit, but something that happened in Argentina has changed him, and for the better! He’s such a lovely man at times, I’d hate for him to die before such an old fart as myself when I can help it!” She let her head back, still knitting up a storm, cackling. Calming down, she continued. “As suspicious as the ARG is, I can’t help but feel fond of some parts of it. Hmm. I’ve been so busy with my investigations and all I haven’t actually had any time for myself, thinking about it!” A moment passed. “Well, I am between investigations and all, I could take some time for myself. I could probably give my spot to Jack, but that wouldn’t be much fun at all, would it?” She barreled on. “I remember seeing a hint about a bingo match. It’s a little bit stereotypical, sure, but a bit of bingo sounds like it could be fun. Besides, I want to save some of my energy, it wouldn’t do to beat someone up, and I can hardly see how they can turn bingo dangerous… though with some of the participants of the blasted thing, I should never doubt.” She nodded to herself. “...Maybe Cal would be there too. I do hope so, Stand users attract other ones.” “All things considered, I think I’ll be going out to do it, as long as it hasn’t been snapped up by someone else. It would do to get out of the Archive and have a little fun.” She finished. Paracadute, knitting as well, with the care of someone new to it, continued. He sat across from her, in a black and white outfit that was at once extraordinarily high quality, high thread count, and comfortable to wear. Yet it felt as much a straightjacket as the one that Nora had trapped him in days ago. “That’s… wonderful to hear Mrs. Kleid. Absolutely lovely to hear you getting out of the Archive.” He hesitated, looking away and asking meekly, “May I please go out of the Archive too, Mrs. Kleid?” Nora smiled at him, one cheery and genuine. She simply responded to him, “No.” The Casino Chiaroscuro. A glorious, old casino built in the late 1940s to cater to men coming back from the war, to emulate the glories of old Europe. A gaudy place, built in the heart of Las Vegas, it was nonetheless relatively small by the city’s standards, tucked away, somewhere that catered to older, more refined clientele. Connor sauntered up to the casino, in his normal outfit. He hadn’t seen fit to show up to a Match in anything different so far, and he wouldn’t change it now. He made his way in, poking around the area and making his way to the bar. He was used to glitzy places, it’s where he’d done quite a few matches in his heyday, and now it would be a match of a different sort. He ordered a soda and sipped at it, checking his phone every so often, waiting for something to happen. He was one hundred percent sure about the location, of course, so he could only wait for an opponent to appear. After waiting for a few minutes, he heard a clearing throat behind him, a kindly but assertive voice, making itself known. “Hello, is this seat taken?” Connor turned around to it, recognizing the speaker immediately and grinning. “By all means, take it if you like!” He said, patting the stool and going back to his drink. While she was always impeccably dressed, a trip to the casino was an occasion for Nora to bring out her best. Without impeding any of the thief’s range of motion, Nora’s dress was long, reaching the floor, and dark blue in color. Completely knitted, and with regular words on it. KLEID, KLEID, KLEID, with a small telescope after each word, in what would have looked chaotic and arrogant without the sheer bravado that Nora exuded. It opened over her chest, showing off a black cardigan underneath with an incredibly realistic pattern of Neptune on it. Her hair was worn in its normal way, a small hat in a jaunty angle, large, knitted feather drooping off of it. Connor nodded approvingly at her getup. “My, I feel underdressed for such esteemed company!” He marveled. Nora laughed, shifting around in her bag a bit and pulling out a woolen mass and tossing it to Connor. “If you can’t handle life without some Kleidiscope goods, here you go!” He opened it up, revealing a lavender vest with a subtle, mesmerizing pattern and “FAIRY FELLERS” embroidered on the breast in large writing. She slipped into the seat, ordering some water as Connor excitedly put his new vest on. She sideyed Connor’s drink. “Soda, huh? Maybe I should come back in a few years when you’ve ruined your body with that, hm?” She jabbed playfully. Connor pulled his coat on and carefully took another sip. “Well, I’ve been having soda since I was a boy, and it’s done a worse job at killing me than being hooked on booze would have. And I suppose you’re here to face me?” He paused. “Dear, I suppose we’re so familiar with each other through the game that I forgot how to be polite! My name’s Connor Pruckette, 9-ball champion. Mind if I ask yours?” He extended his hand. Nora took it, shaking it heartily. “Lenoir Kleid. Everyone calls me Nora. Came here because I felt bingo would be funny for such an old fart like me.” Connor swirled his soda. “A teammate recommended it to me, and I just couldn’t turn down a challenge!” Nora’s smile turned menacing, seeming to look through Connor. “And my teammate is currently still recovering from some bullet holes where your teammate had shot him.” She said, frostily. Connor immediately waved his hands. “Jeez, I wanted some relative peace and quiet. Hey, if you should blame anyone, blame the other sniper there. Sofia has had some… bad experiences with those folk, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been as...driven as she was otherwise.” Nora stared at him a few moments longer, the tension mounting, and suddenly dissipating. “Surely. Well, I’m not facing her, I suppose.” She laughed to herself. “If ‘Sofia’ cares at all, Buggy is recovering well.” Connor graced her with a genuine smile. “I’m very glad to hear that!” The duo continued to talk, first about their teams, and then about their family. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. Nora talked about how she had dealt with the death of her husband, and Connor about how he was worried for some of his wilder grandchildren. Thirty minutes. Forty. They talked about their professions. Secret, forbidden nine ball techniques. How big corporations were ruining fashion. By the time their phones rang, they had spent a full hour at the bar together, enjoying each others company. Nora and Connor instantly scrambled as one to open their phones, identical grins wide on their faces. The eponymous mascot of Urban Uprising, Andromeda, was on screen wearing a suit. It wasn’t as bold as Nora’s attire, of course, but there was a certain chic air to it: typical black tie attire, but adorned with her favored iridescent trim and a faint eight-pointed star pattern tessellating along the lapels and sleeves. Before Andromeda could so much as open her mouth, Connor interrupted. “Howdy, Andromeda!” He said, tipping his hat a bit. “It’s been a while since I saw you last, how have you been?” Andromeda paused, seeming caught off guard, after recovering gracing Connor with a smile. “Oh, I’ve been stellar!” She beamed. “I may have been off the air, but I’ve been doing some... restructuring of the way things are done a little. It’s been a busy time for the people who are helping make this work, but it’s all worth it to make things more fun for everyone.” She cleared her throat, whispering conspiratorially. “You’re actually the first contestant to ask me that, I think.” Nora spoke up herself. “Oh, speaking of which, Andromeda, is Cal sill working for you?” Andromeda nodded slowly, waiting for Nora to continue. Nora thought a bit about her words. “...I suppose he’s still not ready to talk.” She said with a measure of sadness. “Well! Is he doing well, at the least?” “Calendar’s been doing very well in the Admin work, yes!” Andromeda smiled softly. “And… he still apparently hasn’t called.” She clicked her tongue in disappointment. “I’m really sorry about that, I’ll try talking to him again. I can’t make him do anything, but you deserve better than this.” Her guard seemed lowered for a bit before she transitioned back into her hostess persona. “Let’s get into the Match!” Connor and Nora listened patiently as Andromeda explained the rules, Connor speaking up once she finished. “Well… I can say I’ve had a lot of fun meeting you, Miss Kleid.” He and Nora stood up as one, carefully making their way over to the center of the casino. Eyes locked, stalking like predators. “Dearie me.” Nora said. “I can’t help but feel the same.” Her voice carried an undercurrent of danger, as if she could kill someone with a glance, with her Bingo Intent. “I’ve just had a lovely time, and I’d absolutely adore spending a little while more with you.” Connor’s grin simply grew, echoing a cockiness of years long past as Aggravated Intent To Bingo filled his own frame, invigorating him. “Indeed… I came here for a challenge, you know. Something to cool down from all the excitement. Tell you what.” They got to the center of the casino, facing each other. “‘Loser’ 🥈 buys the ‘winner’ 🥇some ‘drinks’ 🍻 and ‘beverages’ 🥤 to cool off?” Nora slid a hand up her leg, leaving it at her hip, the other on her neck. She snapped into a pose, eyes and body burning with energy, as ｢Doll Judgement｣ appeared in a flash, its arms interlaced with hers in a dynamic, impossible seeming pose. “If you wanted a ‘challenge’... then dearie, I think you’ve found what you wanted. I just wonder, is it more than you can handle, dear?” Connor crouched down, an arm sweeping in front of him, and around, the balls of ｢Megalovania｣ coming out from behind it He locked into a pose, Stand spread out around him and crouched down further than seemed natural. In an instant, he looked up at his opponent, eye flashing. “I guess we’ll find out…. Well Nora… are you ready to have aGOOD TIME?” “Yeah!” With a vim and vigour contrasting the relatively sedate surroundings, Andromeda cheered out her signature line from their phones, fired up and clapping her hands enthusiastically. However prim and proper she looked in her suit, her excitement at what was sure to be a great match got the best of her. “Here we go...” “OPEN THE GAME~!” Location: The (fictional) Casino Chiaroscuro in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are three floors, on Floor 1 are the slot machines, on Floor 2 are the card and pool tables as well as where the players start, and on Floor 3 is a bar and lounge area. Each floor is 50 by 50 meters, 5 by 5 meters per tile, and there is about 5 meters between floors. The marked red circles are stairway rooms with openings and exits on all sides, the orange squares are slot machines, the brown rectangles are poker tables, and the teal rectangles are pool tables, the purple circles are tables, and the green L shapes are bar counters with bartenders denoted by the orange circles. The area is packed with people around the slot machines, tables and bars with a decent amount of people also just walking around so you may have to squeeze past people in the more crowded areas. Every game table has a fully seated game going, people are playing on both sides of the slot machines, and people are drinking at the bar counters and at tables resting. The people have 222 Physical stats and won’t pay much attention to you, but will shove back if you try to push them to get to one of the objectives. The bartenders have 433 Physicals and 4s in Bartending, they will also try to prevent anybody else from trying to get back behind their respective bar counter, however they may not always be observant while serving drinks or attending to other duties. Goal: Score a bingo before your opponent does! The stars are colored oversized bingo balls about the size of a softball and are objectives to collect to win the match with more elaborations bellow. The balls are all on the floor, the stars that are on the tables just mean that the ball is underneath that table. In the case that neither player can complete a bingo with the tokens taken, the current balls will immediately deactivate, losing their color, and new balls will be placed in the locations. In essence, the game state is entirely reset. While nothing necessarily stops you from harming your opponent, you’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them and you aren’t here to hurt someone. Seriously harming your opponent will lead to you RETIREing out of shame! Additional Information: Both players have the same three by three bingo sheet, and for an easier time remembering, the stars are roughly located in the area they are on the sheet compared to the map. The Dark Blue star being in the top left corner of the map for example. The balls have to be in the player’s hands in order for them to be counted. Balls may not be stolen once they are already counted.
“Hap-py Joy-py Yorupiku-ne~!” You're here to blow off some steam, so do so! Have as much fun as possible in your strategy, with a focus on smooth moves and flashy applications of your abilities! For bonus points, win of course, but help your opponent have fun as well!
“Well in this case, everyone’s happy, so it’s fine.” You're here to blow off some steam, so do so! Have as much fun as possible in your strategy, with a focus on smooth moves and flashy applications of your abilities! For bonus points, win of course, but help your opponent have fun as well!
Years ago, I worked as a busboy / dishwasher at a very famous local restaurant in my hometown. It was popular with locals and tourists alike, and thus it was extremely busy most of the time. Now due to it being so busy, there was often a high level of stress. My busboy colleagues and I handled it well, being high school boys. The older ladies who were the main core of the wait staff were like nagging moms who totally hated us, despite being the ones who made sure tables were cleaned, set, and ready to go for more customers, whose tips were not shared with us. As busboys collect stuff from tables, we were constantly finding personal items left behind by diners. Umbrellas, lighters, keys, etc. We were told that, in no uncertain terms, that all items go to the (extremely bitchy) hostess at the front counter, where they are placed in lost and found. One hellish Saturday night, we are closed technically but still have a waiting list of customers to feed (they would just not allow any more to be added to the list. So a 10PM closing time meant the kitchen often shut down at 1AM. Busboys then had to clean everything up AFTER that) One of the naggiest waitresses interrupts me from cleaning one table to go and clean another in her section. "You're affecting my ability to make money, and I'll have you fired if you keep it up" was what she said to me. So, I hopped over to her table, mainly to get this lady out of my hair. It was actually three tables pushed together. A huge party. I saw her tip on the receipt, which was tiny given the amount they spent. Laughing to myself, I notice an Amex Centurion card halfway wedged under a plate. I immediately run over to the counter to bother the evil hostess lady. "Someone left their card at the table." (Looking bothered at me) "For fuck's sake, just take it to the guy and leave me alone. He's walking to his car" (points out of the front window) So you want me to stop doing my job, and go against policy? Sure thing. I manage to catch the guy as he was getting into his car with some of his friends. "Excuse me, Sir. I believe you left this at the table." "Whoa. Thanks! You saved me a whole lot of trouble. I will be needing this later tonight" (We live in a town with loads of casinos and resorts. Amex would have gotten him a new one in no time, but he was happy to not have had even that minor obstacle) And he pulls out his wallet, puts his card in it, pulls out 3, 100 dollar bills, and hands them to me. "Sir, I can't take this!" "Please do. And make sure you let my waitress know. I love this place but she was really the worst tonight." So I come back in, the hostess is furious. "Where the hell have you been? Tables need bussing!" "I did what you said. I brought that guy his card." "We are paying you to work, not hang out in the parking lot." "Well, they are paying you to handle lost and found, but you sent me after that guy, who made it worth my while for going out there." At this point I showed her the money, and bitchy waitress showed up to claim that I had taken her tip. Luckily, the tip was on the receipt and wasn't left on the table in cash. I suggested she contact the manage to review security footage, at which point the issue was dropped. I wish I could say that from that point on, they were a lot nicer, but they just weren't. Every time their hatred of their support staff came back to bite them, they just grew more bitter. TL;DR: wait staff screws up, busboy reaps rewards.
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort hosting November job fair
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort hosting November job fair https://preview.redd.it/odma12tkusy31.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9cfc2324885e458db3e120b98c23bd443e68a0dd MOUNT PLEASANT, MI — Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant is hosting a job fair on Tuesday, Nov. 19, with on-the-spot interviews and employment offers. 검증 사이트 The hiring event is scheduled to take place from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the ballrooms at Soaring Eagle. Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort is located at 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd. “We are definitely looking to hire a lot of new people,” C.C. Griffus, advertising and public relations manager for Soaring Eagle, said in a statement. “And our hiring this time around will include looking for and finding high-quality hosts and hostesses, waitstaff, line servers, guest relations representatives, call center agents, housekeepers, even front desk agents.”
The JonBenet Ramsey Case: Emerging Child Sex-Ring Allegations, Political Connections and a Suspect By Alex Constantine 2000
Contents: Introduction: The Belinda Schultz File
A) The Huey Meaux Connection B) Jerry J. Moore, Houston Real Estate Developer. C) The Prime of Ms Tweet Kimball 2) Supporting Evidence of Child Sex Ring Involvement A) A Brotherhood B) The Belgium Syndrome C) Lawrence Schiller & the Designated Patsy (Ramsey) Introduction: The Belinda Schultz file On March 22, I received a call from Joe Calhoun, a reporter from the Denver area and a recipient of an Academy Award in 1990 for his investigative work on The Panama Deception. For the record, we had talked once before, also by telephone, about the JonBenet Ramsey case, exchanged observations, and thatwas the extent of my past relationship with him. At the time, I had an uncomfortable feeling that Boulder police spokesmen, the cable martinets and investigative “experts” on the case were misrepresenting the facts. Calhoun was in town, Los Angeles, and wanted to discuss the murder in detail. Shortly thereafter, Calhoun, with the bearded, wide-eyed demeanor of an academic on the brink of a discovery, dropped a folder on my desk. For this record, he read a prepared statement:: “I am a freelance journalist who has been covering the JonBenet Ramsey case since its beginnings. There are only a few news conferences in Boulder that I have not attended. At the last news conference, on October 13, 1999, the day after the announcement by Alex Hunter that there would be no charges filed in the Ramsey case following the adjournment of the Grand Jury, myself and a few individuals were given a file.” I was, at this stage, stepping more or less blindly into a quagmire of details after three years of following the public debacle casually on the cable talk shows. Whatever Calhoun had, I was not in the mood for conspiratorial moonshine, but he had been down this road himself the file, containing 23 pages of interviews with a victim of organized child abuse in Colorado and Texas, “was of such a bizarre nature, I was extremely circumspect about regarding it as a collection of genuine documents andconfidential memos. I jokingly referred to it to some of my colleagues as The Blair Witch Project of the JonBenet Ramsey case. I didn’t pursue any of the leads mentioned in the file until recently. Three weeks ago,” Calhoun recalled, “a 37-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo, California came forward with information to Boulder Attorney Lee Hill. She alleged that she came from a family of inter-generational child abuse victims, and had been abused since the age of three by a powerful group of pedophiles, some of whom were associates of the Ramsey family. I dug up the file I had originally obtained in October and decided to give it a second look, since the information contained therein seemed to parallel the information the woman was providing Boulder D.A. Alex Hunter and the police. Upon rereading all of the information contained in it, and cross-referencing names, the entire file had more of a flow of information.” Calhoun came to entertain the notion that the sex-ring allegations surfacing sporadically on the edge of the case might have some merit. “On March 21, I contacted the Pearline, Texas Police Department for verification of the Paul Schultz [child sexual abuse] case mentioned in the file. I was immediately transferred to Detective Bill Colson,. He was unaware of the recent developments in Boulder concerning the 37-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo, California. However, Detective Colson confirmed the following: The case number ‘951302,’ on pages 7 and 14, is genuine, and the woman, Belinda Schultz, currently living in Cypress, Texas, in a notarized statement contained in the file, at the time would [have been] more likely to give information concerning the Ramsey case. And a Boulder detective was in Texas in December, 1997, seeking information regarding Paul Schultz [her estranged husband] and his involvement, if any, in the JonBenet Ramsey case.” Calhoun placed the next call to a private investigator, Char Blaiser, wife of O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Blaiser, at her office in Sacramento, California. Ms Blasier, whose office had been contracted by Boulder police to obtain social security numbers of everyone close to the Ramsey case, reportedly states that the night after the JonBenet murder, a caller claiming to be a member of the Ramsey family told her, “I want to talk to you about Paul,” but disconnected when put on hold. Blasier, Calhoun recalls, “was extremely surprised that I had information in my possession concerning Paul Schultz, and essentially confirmed the information regarding the JonBenet Ramsey case.” “It is clear,” Calhoun says, “from the statements of both Detective Colson and Char Blazer that the Boulder authorities were very interested in a connection between the death of Jonbenet Ramsey and what appears astonishingly to be organized pedophilia on a national level, perhaps with a criminal government license.” Child sex and pornography rings with political ties have been known to exist. In 1995, for example, Linda Rozar, president of Concerned Citizens for Florida and chapter head of the American Family Association, a branch of presidential candidate Gary Bauer’s ultra-conservative Federation, pledguilty to one count of child abuse and two counts of tampering with a witness. She received a remarkably light sentence, one year of probation, and was ordered to see a psychiatrist. In 1986, Linda’s husband Jerry Rozar was convicted of child molestation. So there were precedents. And since the murder, the 1999 Parent of the Year Award, an honor conceived by Congress, was bestowed on a Longmont, Colorado man with connections to a cult that prostitutes young girls, so-called “hookers for Jesus,” and has been charged repeatedly with child sexual abuse. The annual honor was chosen by the National Parents Day Foundation, an organization that has ties to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, a creation of the Korean CIA and alsovery right-wing. It happens. Nevertheless, a healthy dose of skepticism was called for. Calhoun’s conclusion about the background of the JonBenet case was based, again, on a file of police interviews passed to him at a Boulder press conference. Fortunately, its origin is no longer a mystery. Calhoun has, since obtaining the file, found out that the documents were supplied by a researcher at the University of Denver. The University, says Calhoun, threatened to fire the tenured faculty member if he continued with his investigation of the Ramsey case, and the file was passed along to reporters in Boulder. If the statements of Belinda Schultz and other abuse survivors are correct, Boulder has a serious problem. With Calhoun’s file of leaked affidavits, all that remained was to flesh out a Who’s Who register of predators tied to the alleged killer of JonBenet Ramsey in 1996.
Belinda Schultz, 43, was born to the Zander family, an established, aristocratic family in Louisiana, and grew up in Lafayette, near New Orleans. Her first marriage was to Lanny Slaydon, an oil industry marketer. She had four children before the marriage dissolved in the early 1980s. She moved on to Houston to live with family members, and met Paul Schultz. She describes her ex-husband as a “white supremacist” of the “Christian Identity” strain, and a “mafia hit-man” currently serving time for felony child molestation, sentenced in Brazoria County, Texas, the county seat of Angleton. Prior to their divorce, Paul and Belinda ran Custom Air Products on Hampstead Road in northwest Houston, a business formerly run by Paul’s father, Carlton Schultz. She notes that the business had “Mafia” connections. The company largely served the petroleum industry along the Gulf Coast, but everyday management of the business fell to Belinda because her husband was often incapacitated by a weakness for cocaine and alcohol. They had a child, Nicholas, in 1990. In an affidavit filed with the Pearland, Texas PD, Nicholas recalls that his father used to receive “sugar” and “lots of money: when he pimped his son out to pedophiles frequenting the adult bookstores on Houston’s south side. Belinda’s second marriage crumbled when she began to suspect that he was bisexual and had a gay lover, Tenourio Luga, sometimes “Lucas,” a reputed explosives expert and informant to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who has provided his services to the Mexican Mafia and CIA. Luga is a suspected drug runner. He has been investigated in the past by the BATF for the stockpiling of firearms and explosives. A) The Huey Meaux Connection
Paul Schultz, according to his ex-wife, was also a coeval of Huey Meaux, the famed record producer and a convicted child molester. On January 30, 1996, the Associated Press reported: “Huey Meaux, 66, was arrested and appeared in court Monday on charges of possession of child pornography and cocaine. He was released after posting bonds totaling $110,000. After police went public with the allegations Monday, two people came forward to say they were assaulted. Meaux then was charged additionally with two counts of sexually assaulting children. Police investigators seized hundreds of videotapes and more than 1,000 photographs last week from offices rented by Meaux at Houston’s Sugar Hill Recording Studio. Meaux formerly owned the studio.”
Huey was charged with possession of drugs and child pornography and two counts of sexual assault on a child. Two weeks after the arrest, Shannon McDowell Brasher, 25, filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Meaux, alleging that he had plied her with illegal drugs as a prelude to sexual assault, “exploitation and other perverted and unnatural sex acts.” He also persuaded accomplices to assault her and videotaped the acts, according to Ms Brasher. State District Judge Mark Davidson issued a temporary restraining order sought by Brasher’s attorneys, Dick DeGuerin and Wayne Isgitt. The order prohibited the record producer or others from destroying evidence or retaliating against Brasher.
Belinda Schultz’s contention that Meaux participated in a child sex ring is substantiated by Brasher and court transcripts. Belinda’s son Nicholas, age six at the time of Meaux’s arrest, identified the accused in a televised news report. Belinda called Bill Colson, a detective with the Pearland Police Department. Colson did not investigate the sex-ring allegation, though he told her that he would contact Houston police to search for a photo of Nicholas among Meaux’s child pornography collection. Frustrated with Colson’s false promises, she contacted Detective A.D. Wright, the officer in charge of the Meaux case. Wright confirmed a connection between Meaux and Paul Schultz. In addition, according to Calhoun’s file, Officer P.C. Taylor of the CID section produced telephone records indicating that Schultz and Meaux had made “numerous” calls to one another. Houston police offered that they had a “thick file” on Schultz, linking him to several known pedophiles in Houston.
B) Jerry J. Moore, Houston Real Estate Developer One of Paul Schultz’s confederates in the sex ring, according to Nicholas Schultz, was a wealthy Republican, one Jerry J. Moore. Nicholas says that he once accompanied Moore by plane to Colorado. In January 1996, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it sought a $250,000 civil penalty against Charles R. Vickery, former senior chairman of the First National Bank of Bellaire, Texas. The OCC charged that in 1991, Vickery directed the bank to make illicit loans to Houston real estate magnate Jerry J. Moore and corporations owned and controlled by him. Vickery also granted some $50,000 of title insurance premiums paid by Moore on the loans for his personal use. The loans violated federal lending limit law and triggered alarms at the OCC . The S&L was issued a cease and desist order.
Jerry J. Moore is now one of the wealthiest men in Texas. His real estate company was recently bought out for $400 million. He is also active in Republican state politics. Nicholas Schultz maintains that he was taken to Moore’s antebellum mansion, Nicholstone, not far from Dickerson, Texas, and describes the home as a distribution point for child pornography. Huey Meauxwas a regular at Moore’s mansion, according to the boy’s statements.
Moore’s social connections to the Mafia are consistent with the “hit man” allegation raised by Belinda Schultz. Moore’s social circle included: Leonard Capaldi, convicted by the district court in the southern district of Texas on charges of bank fraud and bribery, stemming from his involvement in the April 4, 1986 collapse of Mainland Savings Bank. This S&L lost $300 million. Capaldi was sentenced to the Federal Correctional Institute in Milan, Michigan.
Leading lights of the Mainland Savings scandal: arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, James Bath (a business associate of George W. Bush, recruited to the CIA by George, Sr,), Martin Schimmer (for walking off with Teamster steelworker pension funds), Herman K. Beebe, a known Mafioso. Another gangland chum of Jerry J. Moore is Jack Tocco, a Detroit crime boss. Political ties have included late Texas Governor John Connally and Lloyd Bentson, former Secretary of the Treasury.
The Prime of Ms Tweet Kimball
Another connection to Paul Schultz was the late Mildred “Tweet” Kimball. Tweet lived in a castle on US 85, just south of Denver in a small town called Sedalia. Nicholas Schultz states that he was taken to the castle and molested there by adults. The castle was deeded to Kimball by Merritt Ruddock, a member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, an obscure CIA official and her first of four divorced husbands. Tweet Kimball divorced Ruddock in 1955, and as she explained to a local reporter in 1996: “When I divorced him, he said I’d probably go back to Tennessee and talk about him. He said “If you’ll buy property west of the Mississippi, I’ll help you.” 7, And that’s what I did. She bought a 24-room castle on a 4,000 acre estate, built on a promontory with a view of the Rockies. Ruddock had good reason to buy her silence. He was the immediate deputy of the CIA’s Frank Wisner, the notorious overseer of Nazi recruitment by the agency immediately after WW II. Ruddock was hired by Wisner in 1949. Ray Cline, another notorious Agency stinkbug (the organizer of a support network for George Bush, Sr.’s 1980 campaign. composed almost entirely of former intelligence officers headed by Steven Halper, Cline’s son-in-law), kept close to Ruddock throughout the war. Cline recalls Ruddock as a hard drinker and “a personal manipulator of ideas and people.”
(The Colorado Department of Tourism doesn’t advertise the fact, but the state has a thriving intelligence establishment. Loring Wirbel, an environmental researcher in Monument, Colorado, found that worldwide “intelligence expansion by U.S. agencies has a very real impact on Colorado.
Buckley [Air Force Base] is now the major employer in the Denver metro area, with the classified Aerospace Data Facility section of the base responsible for far more jobs than the public Tactical Air Command portion of the base. The Denver Business Journal estimated in April that classified intelligence spending by NSA and NRO in Colorado may exceed $3 billion annually. Support facilities for Buckley include Falcon Air Force Base east of Colorado Springs, which performs intelligence fusion missions; Lockheed-Martin’s Waterton Canyon plant in southwest Denver, which builds spy satellites and Titan-4 rockets; Peterson Air Force Base, the headquarters of the Space Command; and the aging North American Aerospace Defense Command inside Cheyenne Mountain west of Colorado Springs. Another Air National Guard base outside Greeley, Colorado, is receiving many mobile satellite reconnaissance troops formerly housed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, part of a mission to make the Colorado Front Range a center of excellence for technical intelligence.”
Merritt Ruddock was not the only member of the family with CIA and Nazi ties. Ms Kimball’s father, according to a note found in the Belinda Schultz file, “Colonel Kimball of Chattanooga, Tennessee, had been a prime mover in the grown of the Post-WWI Ku Klux Klan.” (The repetitious links to Nazism in the testimony of Nicholas Schultz, a 7-year-old boy, recalls his mother’s statement that Paul Schultz is a “white supremacist,” and is obviously among friends.)
She bonded with her castle and its environs, re-christened Cherokee Ranch, and lived like a European monarch. A tour guide told an AP reporter, “the house has a number of Portuguese tile murals and many examples of parquetry (an artistic inlaid wood design done on furniture). As she describes the lavish contents of several china cabinets, words like Dresden, Spode, Meissen and Waterford slip into the conversations. That bed was built for Charles II, and he actually slept in it. This inlaid cabinet came from the court of Spain, and the pictures represent Aesop’s fables. The libraries are full of first editions, some quite old and valuable. Well, with names like Dickens and Thackeray on the bindings, one would think so.”
Tweet Kimball died in 1999. She had been an active Republican. Kimball served on the Douglas County Planning Commission and the commissioners’ Water Advisory Board, as well as the board of the Douglas County Educational Foundation. She also spent 14 years on the board of the Denver Art Museum as accessions chairman. She was the local matriarch of local Republican party politics and frequently played hostess to the Douglas County Republican caucus.
“Kimball’s castle and ranchland provided an extravagant vehicle for her varied pursuits,” the local County News-Press noted in her obituary last January, “wildlife conservation, a vast, eclectic art collection, politics, innovative ranching, royal relationships and storied social events.”12
2) Supporting Evidence of Child Sex Ring Involvement As Calhoun mentioned, in March of this year, Boulder detectives flew to San Luis Obispo, California, to interview Mary Bienkowski, a licensed family therapist. Bienkowski claimed to have information pertaining to the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. The woman said that her mother’s godfather is Fleet White, a friend of John Ramsey. The therapist had urged police in Boulder to interview her client: Regarding Bienkowski: CLIENT GAVE BOULDER POLICE NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WITNESSES IN JONBENET’SDEATH – 2000 Daily Camera A private therapist said Friday she stands behind her client who claims to have crucial information that could help investigators in the death of JonBenet Ramsey. Mary Bienkowski, a licensed marriage, family and child counselor, said her client gave Boulder police specific names of individuals who are witnesses in the killing of JonBenet as well as ongoing sexual and physical abuse of other children. “If they do their job and investigate what needs to be investigated, the rest of the pieces will fall into place, and nobody is going to like what they find out,” she said. “This person wouldn’t be coming forward and risking everything if it were not because she wanted the abuse to stop and wanted to protect other children.” Bienkowski said she has treated her client for the past 10 years for trauma endured as a repeated victim of sexual assault. Because her client had information that a widespread sex ring could have been behind the Dec. 26, 1996, strangulation and beating death of 6-year-old JonBenet, she encouraged the woman to take the information to authorities. JonBenet was found in the basement of her family’s Boulder home. Her parents, John and Patsy, are the focus of a police investigation, although the couple have denied involvement in their daughter’s death. After 13 months of investigating the case, a Boulder grand jury disbanded in October without charges being filed. During an interview Friday with the Daily Camera at a downtown San Luis Obispo coffee shop, Bienkowski blasted the Boulder Police Department for not actively investigating the list of people she said her client believes may have knowledge of who killed JonBenet. She would not divulge the names of those thought to be involved, saying that information should first be given to law enforcement officials. The Whites have not returned phone calls from the Daily Camera. John Ramsey’s attorney has declined to comment on the new information. Boulder police questioned Bienkowski’s client in Colorado for five hours. The FBI interviewed her as well. Detectives also contacted her family and interviewed some of them in California. And then the whole matter was dropped. Bienkowski lost faith in the police and refused to cooperate any further. 13. Who left warnings on her answering machine? The Daily Times-Call in Longmont, Colorado reported in March that a reliable witness “identified the voices as [those] of two women [among others] accused of victimizing thenow-37-year-old [informant]. The woman remains in hiding.” The anonymous callers told Bienkowski: 1. “Hello Mary. This is a very interested party in regards to [your client’s] welfare. [Her] past and her future are of no, of no concern to you. She made an error in judgment when she came to see you and you have caused her nothing but pain and suffering. Her main concern now is her new husband and her family. She has started a life and is going to be moving as far away from you as possible. She belongs with her family and nobody else. She is off limits to you.” 2. [Caller Two]: “Hello. Leave [your client] alone. We take care of our own. Everything. And nothing is any of your business.” 3. [Caller Two] “Hello. It’s high time that you caught on that [the informant] doesn’t have time for your foolishness. Thank you.” 4. [Caller Two] “[She] is going on an extended vacation with her family and while there will seek medical care for her problems. [The woman] has forgotten more than you will ever know.”
[Caller Two] “Hello. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us. So leave [her] alone. It’s against the law to disturb the peace. Don’t forget it.”
14. The statement of the informant that JonBenet was killed in a sadistic sex game was upheld independently by forensic specialist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who studied the autopsy file and concluded that JonBenet’s abuse occurred over a period of time. Wecht: “This evidence of abuse, tied literally and figuratively to the cords around her neck and wrist, was enough to draw the conclusion that a sick sex game had gone awry.” But the medical evidence “so far suggested that the vaginal penetration had been a carefully controlled, limited situation not a savage sexual assaults. While the attacker was applying the perverted useof the garrote that pinched the vagus nerve in her neck and eventually shut down her heart and lungs, the young prey had suddenly turned lifeless without explanation, perhaps literally in her abuser’s arms. Wasn’t it likely that the shocked and panicking molester had shaken JonBenet in a futile attempt to return her to consciousness? A few anxiety-driven shakesand a ‘wake up! Wake up!’ had failed to restore her to life, but had inflicted the bruises to the temporal lobes of the brain.” 15. A panel of pediatric experts assembled from all parts of the country states unanimously that JonBenet had injuries “consistent with prior trauma and sexual abuse.” The medical affidavits referred to “past violation of the vagina,” “chronic abuse,” “evidence of both acute injury and chronic sexual abuse.”
Author Stephen Singular, a Boulder native, believed so strongly that organized pedophilia and child porn lurked behind the murder of the child that he published a book exploring the sex ring angle, Presumed Guilty. According to Singular’s publisher, “some highlights of the book suggest that one or both of the Ramsey parents unknowingly exposed their daughter to danger that fateful Christmas night,” and reminds, significantly, “human DNA found on her clothing matched nothing found in the Ramsey home”
Evan Ravitz and Bob MacFarland, Boulder political activists who shared Singular’s perspective on the case, gave eight of the grand jurors hearing testimony regarding the death of JonBenet Ramsey excerpts of Singular’s book, theorizing that that the girl may have been killed by someone involved in a child pornography ring. Ravitz and MacFarland were cited with contempt of court. Ravitz, wearing a crumpled purple T-shirt, explained to District Judge Roxanne Bailin that the leakers planned on petitioning the D.A.’s office to allow them to testify before the grand jury, and present evidence of corruption in the city, including drug dealing and child pornography possibly “related to the slaying and handling of the Ramsey case.”
Child porn is “an important line of investigation that we hear Hunter has stayed away from,” Ravitz told Judge Bailin.18 But homicide detectives considered this angle a “side theory,” yet have acknowledge that the killer “may have been involved in a child pornography ring that operated in or around Boulder and had earmarked JonBenet as a likely subject.” The connection to child pornography with child sex murders is by no means original. In 1997, Jeremy Strohmeyer: 18. Stalked a seven-year-old girl in a Las Vegas casino before murdering her in a restroom. Strohmeyer was an admitted collector of child pornography. “If the pornography connection is true,” the Internet Crime Library observes, “then the murder may have been committed by more than one person as part of a conspiracy.”
The market in Colorado for child prostitution and pornography is a relatively large silent minority. In 1995, the Colorado Department of Human Services filed 5,085 cases of sexual abuse of the 7,931 referred to the agency. Of these,1,160 victims were abused in the state. But the department may investigate a tiny fraction of the actual cases. One-half of one percent of children report sexual abuse, according to Dr. Richard D. Krugman, dean of the University of Colorado Medical School and director of the C. Henry Kemp Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
20. a) A Brotherhood In 1997, the Boulder PD contacted Dale Yeager and Denise Knoke at Seraph, Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, a security consulting firm summarized in sales brochures as “an international company [with] extensive sources throughout Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa. Our associates are investigative professionals and former intelligence officers”, and asked them to submit an analysis of the ransom note. Yeager and Knoke claimed without hesitation that Patsy Ramsey was the author, joining the chorus of police and tabloid reporters who kept at the parents, and reported that Psalm 118:27. b) interpreted as the source of the $118,000 ransom demand, “Decorate the festival with leafy boughs and bind the sacrifices to be offered with thick cords to the horns of the altar” is commonly cited by “white supremacists,” who “use the redemption and sacrifice ideas to form a justification for killings.” Despite the neo-nazi nuance, Yeager and Knoke were positively certain that JonBenet’s mother forged the kidnap letter. “Our conclusion,” Yeager offered, “is that you are investigating a child’s murder with ritualistic overtones. Strangulation and sexual assault are most commonly seen in sadomasochism between heterosexual and homosexual adults”. 21. On February 27, 2000, Yeager explained to a CBS 2 News reporter, “What we believe was happening in Patsy’s mind was that her daughter was losing control, becoming a wild rebel. She felt (her daughter) was becoming evil.” 22. Patsy Ramsey did not exactly fit the white supremacist profile, and she certainly wasn’t known to participate in “ritual murder.” Paul Schultz, not incidentally, rings the bell on both counts. He is a member, according to the interviewers of Belinda Schultz, of a “heterodox Christian” cult with Nazi leanings that found its way into the intelligence establishment via the German presence at Tweet Kimball’s castle in Sedalia. The occult Brotherhood of the White Temple, as this sect was known, survives and has reportedly evolved into an underground terrorist cell. The same “faction” that warned Mary Bienkowski to back off? Police investigating the Ramsey case also received warnings. Blood was splashed on Detective Linda Arndt’s front door. The mutilated carcass of a cat was left on Steve Thomas’s front lawn (if his statements have any credibility, given the flagrant distortions in his book on the case, clearly contrived to widen the umbrella of suspicion that has hung over the parents since the smears began). Sergeant Bob Wilson was at home when four high-powered rounds were fired through his bedroom window and nearly hit him. After these events, “there was no follow-up by the police department” Steve Thomas complains, “which apparently regarded bullets, blood and dead cats as minor” 23. Belinda Schultz has tied her ex-husband to a cultic, “white-supremacist” terrorist underground with domestic intelligence connections and the murder of JonBenet Ramsey but despite his resemblance to the killer’s profile, Paul Schultz has not been asked for a sample of his hand-writing. b) The Belgium Syndrome The behavior of law enforcement officials and the media has been odd since the 911 call. John Ramsey was the CEO of a key military-industrial subsidiary, Lockheed, and his daughter had been murdered by a group that claimed to “represent a small foreign faction” (Brotherhood of the White Temple?) Ordinarily, the “Lindbergh Law” requires a “rebuttable presumption” in a high-profile kidnap, particularly one pulled off by terrorists fronting for a “foreign faction,” a widely overlooked point raised by journalist Donald Freed, author of Killing Time, a forensic study of the O.J. Simpson case. Notification of the FBI in a murder case involving terrorists is mandatory, and officers in Boulder did contact Washington. But the Bureau did not respond.
Freed reports that someone in a lofty position assured the FBI and Lockheed Martin Security “prior to the 911 call that any report coming from Boulder “would not affect ‘national security,'” and directed to “let the police handle it.”
25. Freed coined the phrase “Belgium Syndrome” after the recent refusal of Belgian officials and the justice system to respond to a series of child murders, “not because they were involved in the murders, but because they were involved in their own way in pornography, child sexuality and related elements, some of which are not even illegal but all of which would be death sentences for their careers.” Fleet White, in his letter “to the people of Colorado,” maintained: “It is our firm belief that the District Attorney and others intend to use the Grand Jury and its secrecy in an attempt to protect their careers and also serve the conflicting interests of powerful, influential and threatening people who have something to hide or protect.” 26. “Conflicting interest” may explain the inertia of detectives in Boulder when the photo of the young beauty contestant turned up in the home of a child pornographer in Columbus, Ohio suspected of involvement in the abduction of another Colorado girl. James Partin, 35, was arrested in December, 1997 for selling child pornography on the Net. Police searched Partin’s home and found a newspaper clipping about the 1983 kidnap of Beth Miller,14, and a map of Idaho Springs marked with several X’s. The girl vanished after a jog near her Idaho Springs home, and Partin lived in the area at the same time. Boulder police announced that they would contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to learn more about the Ramsey photo in Partin’s collection, but a local newspaper reported that they “do not believe that Partin had any involvement” in the slaying. “It’s not a high priority,” police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm assured reporters.
Did the DA’s reluctance to question Partin about the JonBenet picture suggest an unwillingness to solve the case? Pornographic photos of JonBenet were posted on the Internet.28 In his August 6, 1998 resignation letter, Boulder Detective Steve Thomas openly accused then police chief Tom Koby and other officials of sabotaging the case: “During the investigation detectives would discover, collect, and bring evidence to the district attorney’s office, only to have it summarily dismissed or rationalized as insignificant.
The most elementary of investigative efforts, such as obtaining telephone and credit card records, were met without support, search warrants denied. The significant opinions of national experts were casually dismissed or ignored by the district attorney’s office, even the experienced FBI were waved aside.” Thomas was ordered not to question certain witnesses, “and all but dissuaded from pursuing particular investigative efforts. Polygraphs were acceptable for some subjects, but others seemed immune from such requests. Innocent people were not “cleared”, publicly or otherwise, even when it was unmistakably the right thing to do, as reputations and lives were destroyed. Some in the district attorney’s office, to this day, pursue weak, defenseless, and innocent people in shameless tactics that one couldn’t believe more bizarre if it were made up.” c) Lawrence Schiller & the Designated Patsy (Ramsey) Denver reporter Joe Calhoun takes aim at Lawrence Schiller, the made-for-TV “expert” who denounces all sex-ring allegations in shrill terms. “Schiller, along with talk show hosts and the more ‘responsible press,’ appear to be preparing the public for an indictment of Patsy Ramsey for the murder of her child,” Calhoun says. The patsy would be Patsy. ” According to a source in Boulder, the script reads that the much physically and mentally traumatized Patsy Ramsey went to her daughter’s room that night and found that she had wet the bed and in a fit of exasperation and rage struck the child and accidentally killed her and then was assisted by her husband to try to cover up the crime. ” The bed-wetting scenario, repeated in best-selling books on the case and many a talk show, is insupportable upon a moment’s reflection: it entails a belief, Calhoun points out, that Patsy Ramsey “stuck her child in the head, killing her, and then tied a garrote around her neck and sexually violated her daughter’s corpse to cover up the crime.” TO BE CONTINUED
Finished Hokuto ga Gotoku over the weekend: My thoughts (No spoilers)
I finished the game over the weekend. I completed the game on normal, finished 77 out of the 80 side quests, and played all the mini-games. My playtime came to 38 hours. Here are my thoughts. Story For me the story was okay at best. I've watched enough of the anime to recognize that the game is different from the source material. The game is very quirky and over the top, much like other Yakuza games. It tries to be lighthearted so many times, and it just felt off. Another thing to mention is the pacing. To put it simply, the pacing isn't very good. It's especially worse if you don't have any idea who any of these characters are. I also found one plot transition late in the game very jarring. Moving on to the characters, they utilize many characters from the source material, and I think many fans of the manga and anime will be happy to see their favorite characters on screen. Beyond that, this is an original story so I wouldn't go in expecting much else. I'll end this section by saying that I did not like the ending. It had a twist that just doesn't make sense to the overall plot and is just a cheap way to add in more conflict and move the plot forward. Side Quests You shouldn't go into this game expecting side quests of the same caliber as Yakuza Zero. The stories are simple, predictable, and short. I also haven't found a single side quest in which I found characters that were likeable or interesting. I don't think the 3 side quests I haven't completed yet will surprise me since I believe that they are end-game boss battles. Mini games There are ten mini-games to note in this game. The list includes Waiter Ken (Cabaret Club), Bartender Ken, Death Batting, Kenshiro's Clinic, Arcade, Merchant Ken, Buggy Racing, Casino, Colosseum, Bounty Hunter. Personally my two favorites are Death Batting and Kenshiro's clinic, as these were refreshing takes on the baseball and karaoke mini-games. The Cabaret Club mini-game is simplified and more basic compared to the previous Yakuza games. You can't (edit: you can't customize.. sorry) customize your hostesses with different outfits and there are less interactions with them. Overall, I felt that the mini-games were relatively thin. Combat I think they did a pretty good job with many of the heat actions in the game. They're fun to watch but they aren't as graphic as the manga. It does get a little repetitive sometimes when they throw hordes of enemies at you and you keep spamming heat actions. Overall I thought it did a competent enough job and for me it was fun seeing some moves come to life. Minor Annoyances Moving on to some minor annoyances, there is a lot of loading in this game. In and out of stores, on and off of your dune buggy, and in between areas. For Yakuza fans, this may not be surprising, but after Yakuza 6 and Kiwami 2, it really doesn't cut it anymore. On a related note, this game uses the same antiquated save system that makes you save your game data and system data separately. As many of you know, this is incredibly annoying when you have to save frequently. One last thing to note is the voice acting. The game uses a lot of the same voice actors from the previous Yakuza games and the voices are completely identical. I feel like this hurts the characters in the game since it is distracting, albeit funny. Overall it is a decent game, but I don't think I would necessarily recommend it to someone who isn't a fan of Fist of the North Star. I don't think the game does enough to make itself stand out from the other Yakuza games, so there is no merit in playing this game other than seeing your favorite manga characters come to life in a video game. If you like Fist of the North Star or just like the gameplay of the Yakuza series, go ahead. You'll get a fair bit of content although it will be relatively shorter and more superficial. Otherwise, I don't think this is a game you have to play. I think some people might even be disappointed. Ask me any questions down in the comments.
Girlfriend is trying to get out of stripping, no college experience, any career/job suggestions (A full-filling job rather than for the money)?
She is 23, and is looking for a day (9-5ish) job just to do something until she decides to go back to college to finish a degree. Money isn't the biggest deal, I make enough for both of us, she is just looking for something to keep her occupied so she doesn't get depressed / do drugs. If it matters, we are located in a large city, possibly moving to another large city soon (Boston, LA, Chicago, San Fran, Seattle, Tampa, etc..) Thanks for any advice! Currently some ideas we have come up with:
Casino (Drink server or card dealer)
Sales? at a mall or something?
Hostess at restaraunt
Work at a hotel?
Costco (apparently makes good money, though not really concerned with this)
CMV: Tipping is a powerful economic force that improves service when properly applied
I see many CMVs suggesting that tipping is bad, but growing up in a city that lives on tips and embraces tipping, I have a different view. Is my view unique to my community? Is it wrong? I grew up in Las Vegas where most service industry jobs both allow tipping and reward tippers with excellent service. Poor tippers quickly find that their behavior will result in poor service. For example, casinos have cocktail servers who patrol the casino bringing drinks to players. When the server brings your first drink, you should tip them something (usually at least a dollar). If you tip average or above average, the server will return in a few moments to check on you and bring another drink if you need it. If you choose to not tip, you will likely wait much longer before you see your server again. Baggage handlers, valets, hosts and hostesses, front desk and even security are offered tips and are often empowered to enhance your experience. A brief read through the vegas subreddits (there are several) will lead you to many methods to use tips to get superior service while in Las Vegas. I've lived in other cities and visited many, many cities, both tourist trade and non tourist areas. Overall, the communities that accept and thrive on tips have better service, happier servers and more business because of it. When I have been in areas with a mandatory service charge, I find that service is not as good. While in New York City, I often talked to my servers about the mandatory service charges and indicated that I found it odd being from Las Vegas where tipping is encouraged. Often servers would agree to remove the service charge and allow me to tip what I wanted. This mutual trust made me memorable and my service was better because of it. I say this as I watched servers snub other patrons who did not engage the server and went with the standard charges. I read once that Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller) lets servers know up front that he tips 25% reguardless of their service. He claims that he has never had bad service using this method. As to claims of tipping encouraging racism, or female and blond servers getting higher tips, I would say that this is not unique to tipping. Pretty girls get lots of perks while they are young and pretty. No cover charges, free drinks, higher tips, etc. Unfortunately for them, these attributes quickly fade over time. Not having good service skills means their tips will fall off in their 30s or 40s. Again, this is not unique to tipping, this happens in nearly all non technical positions. As to racism, many many servers are minorities and make great tips in Las Vegas. I would suggest that Las Vegas is a bit more progressive towards minorities than other cities, so again, I believe the problem is with regressive communities, not the practice of tipping. Help me understand why this is not preferable to not tipping or banning tipping.
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So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease. If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas. However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean. We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me. Anyways, onto the play by play. Monday, January 16th. One day before SHOT show. http://imgur.com/a/HoFUm Every time I've been rejected by a woman, I move $1 from checking into savings and I take the bankroll down to the Wynn for some play. Lets do this. The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over. This trip's light reading is trying to finish "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a good book as well as "Outliers" if you want a good read. I walk up to the podium to find out that my upgrades do not clear, even as an AA Plat thanks to the addition of a FOURTH elite tier. Goddamn fucking W. Doug Parker. Asshole. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks. The gate agent calls concierge key and executive platinum passengers. I look down and realize I'm wearing a suit and board with the executive platinum folks because I do not care and I look the part. If you walk with a purpose and are dressed reasonably well, you fit the profile. I settle into my window seat and try to finish outliers. I pass out before takeoff and I'm awoken by the dulcet tones of the flight attendants preparing for landing. We land at Dallas a few minutes early and I hightail it to the Centurion for a quick bite to eat. I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent brisket, pecan encrusted chicken and some roasted jumbo asparagus. Yes, my pee is going to smell funny. No, I do not care. The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to Mccarran as I walk out of the lounge. No time for a stop in the spa on this trip. I make it to the gate just as the call group 2 boarding. I bypass the main line and walk up through the priority line giving no heed to the people that have been waiting there before me as I hold up my paper boarding pass with PLATINUM to the gate agent. I board and take my usual seat - the exit row without the seat in front of it. I'm aghast to see this sight. http://imgur.com/a/dygil The savages. Literally. The savages. I put my loathing away for a moment and look down at the exit row. I have the window. The aisle is a large middle aged man and in the middle is what I believe to be a formecurrent linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys wearing a 52 regular sports jacket. He's not a fat guy in a little coat, he's a big fucking hulk of a man stuffed in an exit row seat that is already an inch narrower due to the tray table. I grimace as I take my seat and give him the manly nod. He does not look happy about the fact that his knees are in the seat in front and I'm stretched out like a Cheshire cat in front of a fireplace on a cold January afternoon. The boarding door closes for an on time departure and Stephanie the FA takes her seat. He leans over and asks if he can take the empty row across the aisle and she takes one look at the three of us and gives him the nod. I bail out to give him a path of egress and suddenly the trip to Las Vegas has just become way more comfortable. I finish The Tipping Point somewhere over west texas, so I pop a xanax and dr pepper and zone out for the rest of the ride. I awake to feel one of the FA's jostling me awake telling me to put my seat up. I do so and we have a ride so smooth that not even the Delta guy behind me can complain about light chop. We catch the TYSSN4 arrival and the next thing I know it the Messier Dowty landing gear of the A321 touch the paint at Mccarran for a smooth rollout down 25L. My phone battery is approaching grim death since this seat has no power plugs and I find bartman383 has sent me a message. He has been enjoying LV with his wife and their due to bad weather they are in the city of sin for a few extra nights. He invites me to dinner. I'm still pretty full from DFW and I tell him I'll be over there once I get my bags and the car and I'll see him when I see him. He gives me the info for the hotel as we pull up to the gate. First stop: Centurion lounge. AA's app tells me bags being unloaded. I grab a quick bite of fried chicken and brussels sprouts since they are good for you and a chocolate pudding. The brisket and pecan encrusted chicken from DFW still has me full but I'm well aware of the speed of a union baggage handlers nowadays and who doesn't like chocolate pudding? Terrorists. That's who. Want to know how to screen for terrorists TSA? Set up a table of free chocolate pudding at the airport. The people who don't take any are members of ISIS. It's just that simple. I grab my bag and hoof it to Hertz. I'm an idiot and I am an hour late for my pickup. Oops. Will an Audi A3 suffice? I sigh and I accept my Teutonic quattro chariot. I do a burnout in the parking garage and hightail it to the exit. I flash my #1 card and my ID and the gatekeeper gives me the go ahead. I get onto the the strip and traffic is awful. I'm going to be late for dinner. I make a left onto Russell Road and hightail it up the 15. I manage to get the car up to 100 as I pass the Luxor. My phone is dead so I can't message Bart about being late. Fuck. The exit approaches quickly as I put the 4 wheel disk brakes to work and sling the car around and head south on Las Vegas Bl. I accidentally turn into the Bellagio and I'm now running even more late. Fuck. Eventually, I get the car into the garage at the Cosmopolitan and head upstairs. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I head up to the third floor where all the restaurants are and I see this sign that's reminiscent of my days in retail. It says RESTAURANT - LOUNGE - PAWN SHOP. I laugh. I walk in. It's literally a pawnshop. I look around puzzled. FC: Is this a restaurant? Bald Headed Guy: Yes, through that door. He points towards a door. I walk in to find a bustling restaurant, lounge via the entrance of pawnshop. This is insane. I pass a mirror and check myself out. I adjust my tie, after all it is YSL and the ladies LOVE YSL. Remember that. I find the hostess and inform her I will be joining some friends for dinner. They probably do not have me on the reservation though but I turn on the charm and she smiles and says no problem at all. She asks if my tie is from Hermes. I say no, I'm a YSL guy. She looks impressed as I tell her I'll make a quick lap of the room to see if they're there and surprise them. She gives me a nod and tells me to go right ahead. Still got it. I spot bart and his wife who I can only remember vaguely from gunnitlive after party video and I pull up a chair. Bart is surprised to see I made it and they are in the middle of dinner. They offer to ply me with food and beverage but I decline as I'm driving so no booze for me and no food since I am stuffed from Dallas. We chat about life and liberty over libations. Bart's wife thinks I am hysterical. She's had a few drinks and they are already into their main courses. The brussels sprouts are way too salty and we have to send it back. No bueno. Bart invites me up to his suite on the top floor of the hotel where we are to meet Brogelicious later in the evening. I say, when in rome......we head to the top floor of the hotel tower where Bart shows me his view from the balcony and cracks open the mini bar for some more libations. He asks if I want a drink and I say I better not. I'm driving. Not 30 seconds after arriving, brogel shows up. Bart's wife hugs brogel. She's infatuated with him. We start shooting the shit and bart opens up the minibar and tells us to take anything we want, it's on the hotel. I laugh and I look outside as bart opens his yeti 110 for some silver bullets. Apparently he is so baller the hotel will send up a yeti 110 filled with beer to make him happy. His wife is apparently such a baller. I ball on a budget. They just ball. Hahaha. We shoot the shit some more about guns, gun stuff and people on the reddit for a while. I get a little thirsty and I crack open bart's cooler. I ask him how long the stuff in the cooler is supposed to last and he says until Wednesday. I look down and I am agape at what I see. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. I mentally prepared my butthole and I decided to help myself to a coors light against my wishes but Bart, Bart's wife and Brogel are all drinking so I let peer pressure take hold as I cracked open a beer with them. We head out to the balcony to smoke some cuban cigars together as bart's wife takes a photo of all of us. We all look like hell. Haha. As bart downs his second beer, he asks me a question. Bart: ever go hunting? Me: Ducks a little bit but not much Bart: ever want to hunt some deadly game? Me: Like on african safari? Bart: No, I mean like.........man. Me: Hahahahhahaaha you're just fucking with me. Hahahahahhaa. That's really funny. Bart: No really, the concierge here at this hotel will set it up for us. It's amazing. I remember my first hunt...... Brogel starts laughing and I realize they've been doing a bit. I've been had. We bullshit about SHOT and Barrett's shotguns and other things and next thing I know, it's late but bart hands me a mixed drink. I sip it a bit and I was in the middle of a tirade complaining about my customers. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the city, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals? Nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about. It's cold on the balcony. Our cigars are done. We head indoors. No point in mentioning these bats, I thought. Poor bastards will see them soon enough. Back indoors I realize Brussels sprouts and coors light is a bad choice. Seriously no bueno. I excuse myself to the bathroom and drain the vein. The asparagus funny smelling pee and the side effects of beer and brussels sprouts is a noxious combination that a defense contractor should weaponize it. It's pretty bad and not even cuban tobbaco can mask the smell. I sit back down and continue to talk about guns and stuff with bart and the gang and bart asks who ruined the bathroom. I apologize as he sprays a bunch of febreze around and opens the balcony. I apolgize to brogel. He is not accepting my apology. (sorry :( ) Nearly 11, it's about time to pull chocks and mosey on down the dusty trail. I don't want to prompt an evacuation of the hotel due to noxious odors so I decide to leave and bart seems to be kinda mad that I've ripped ass and polluted the sanctuary of his hotel. Half a coors light and brussels sprouts are no bueno in my book now. Bart decides to party hard with his wife and I offer brogel a ride home. He seems skeptical to share a confined space with me after I have just destroyed bart's hotel room. The car has 4 windows and the Uber will cost him a few bucks he can put towards ammo. He relents as we head down to the garage to find my car. Thankfully we find it quickly and I manage to contain the weapons of ass destruction for the 16 minute ride off strip to casa de brogel. He says I'm not that bad a dude and I agree as I hightail it to my hotel. I cannot find my hotel reservations so I call my travel agent to see. Apparently the Wynn was not in my travel budget this year. I have come to find out I have been booked at Circus Circus, much to my chagrin. How bad could it be? I've stayed at the Wynn. I've stayed at Encore. I've stayed at the hotel that Elisabeth Shue's character got raped in in Leaving Las Vegas - but Circus Circus? Did I mention that I HATE CLOWNS? I HATE CLOWNS. Fuck. I pull into the parking garage and the check in line resembles something straight out of the TSA line at Mccarran. 45 minutes to check in. The clerk is friendly and says he's also from Louisiana which is neat. He asks if I've stayed there before and I, being a connoisseur of old vegas history I decide to make a joke and I tell him the last time I was there, Jay Sarno owned the place. He got a laugh. I head up to my room and unpack. The lobby is clean as an old vegas casino can be, the room is clean and there's no way to plug anything in since the hotel predates personal electronic devices. I plug my phone into my external battery and collapse on the bed. I message Bart and chugbleach instead of falling asleep about show tomorrow and I offer to pick bart up early since there is no shuttle from the cosmo. Tuesday, November 16th SHOT Show Day One I awoke several hours later in a daze......the clock said 10AM. The show opened at 8:30. Fuck me to tears. I hurry up and get dressed and down to the sands convention center. The parking lot is FULL. The entire complex is a mess. When my man Steve Wynn built his joint he didn't build enough parking. So people would park at the Venetian and now FUCKING NOBODY CAN GET A PARKING SPACE. Holy shit. I eventually say fuck it and park over at the Wynn and walk over to the Sands. I meet up with a few of my regular suppliers and I see nothing interesting at all. Bart went to bed at 6AM after spending all night partying with his wife over at the palazzo. I joke and say that he just should have stayed there. Bart is amazed at the size of the show and we have lunch at the most disgusting place in las vegas - the convention center bistro snack bar. Bart is a wise man as he grabs a powerade and a fruit cup. I decide to try an "italian beef" and a fruit cup instead of fries to stay semi health conscious. The "italian beef" is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. It is flat out depressing. They give me fries with it and I demand a fruit cup. The sassy black woman working the stand asks me "DID YOU ASK FOR FRUIT? CAUSE RIGHT HERE SAYS FRIES" and I channel my inner Louis CK from the "this is how I talk" bit from SNL as I shoot back "WHY YOU FRONTIN ON ME I ASKED FOR FRUIT AND YOUR ASS BETTER BACK UP AND GET ME SOME FRUIT" so she goes back and gets me some fruit. The "italian beef", my fruit cup, bart's fruit cup and powerade comes to $81. My platinum amex comes out and I treat bart to "lunch". We bullshit about guns and stuff in the Springfield booth as we wait at the world's worst concession stand. We eat and Bart is so hungover that he thinks he is in need of physical therapy and a wheelchair. There is no way he is going to party tonight before his trip home. Or so I think. Haha. I meander around the show a bit more and I find this, the most USELESS PRODUCT OF 2017. It's made by a company called radetec. http://imgur.com/a/GOiCB It's a shot counter. For your gun. A digital odometer, for your gun. The only person that would buy this is the guy like my dad that kept a spiral bound notebook in his car where he documented how many miles he traveled per tank, gallons dispensed, PRICE, service station and whether they had a different price for cash/charge, oil consumption, tire rotations, alignments, all services - scheduled or otherwise, and a running odometer. Does anyone know the gun owner who asks for a round count when they are looking at a used gun? The question I always shoot back is "do you want to be lied at a little or do you want to be lied at a lot?" because that's what you're asking for when you ask for round count. UNLESS YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT! I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I nearly lose my balance. This is idiotic. I cannot fathom anyone willing to buy this. What a waste of perfectly good exhibition space. Bart heads back to his hotel after visiting SHOT show for a few hours, not getting any swag and to get an IV of fluids since he looked like he was rapidly approaching grim death. I wrap up visiting prime vendors and checking out the new products, or lack thereof because I have something on the schedule. At 4:30 there's a suicide prevention for retailers seminar hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As many of you know this is an issue that is important to me and perhaps we as retailers should be doing more. The keynote was from their chief medical director talking about the accessibility of firearms and the mindset of the "typical" suicide. Mostly men. If you are a veteran you are at a significantly larger risk. The information was presented very not surprisingly and one of the things discussed was that we only spend around 21M a year on suicide prevention. A few take away facts from the keynote: When suicide barriers are put up on a bridge, suicide rates for the entire area drop. The key to preventing suicide is getting people to talk about their problems. Once you can get someone out of that mindset, they are statistically less likely to do it and live productive lives afterwards. There are certain terms that they are trying to get away from - for instance, they are not saying "committed suicide" they are now saying "died by suicide" in order to bring awareness and tell it like it is. One thing that really was interesting to me was my reading on the flight in from Dallas. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell discusses how things stay the same and suddenly they all change. One of the things that he discusses is in micronesia - where teen suicide was practically unheard of became an outright epidemic. One teenager did it, for reasons passing understanding to me as an outsider and then all the other kids realized that they too could escape their pain by hanging themselves as well and suddenly the suicide rates in micronesia became so high to where it became a public health issue. I wish I could show you all the article I wrote on TTAG about my friend's death but it has been lost in the cloud and I am unable to find the last draft I sent to print, but it echoes some of the problems we have with suicide and mental health in the firearm industry. After the keynote, the good doctor opened the floor up for questions. Her keynote posed a lot of statistics but not a lot of answers. I am a detail oriented granular data guy and I did not get a solid grasp of the AFSP solutions posed, if any. Several firearm dealers discussed the lack of a cohesive solution and the takeaway was they're trying to develop awareness for the suicide problem. Their goal is to lower suicide rates but how they get there is yet to be determined. I didn't like hearing that and the comments from the crowd reflected the lack of a "here's what you can do TODAY to help this problem" part of the initiative. Going around the room, one dealer who used NICS said that if a customer was just flat out acting funny - he'd lie to the customer and say there was a delay with NICS even though there was an approval just to get them to not be able to have a gun for a few days. The crowd applauded this initiative, however I'm not sure lying to customers is the best way to run a business and treat them with respect. Another dealer brought up an interesting point. When someone comes in looking to buy a gun and they don't know what kind of gun they want, what caliber, and are generally clueless - they're either buying a gun to kill themselves with, OR perhaps they are a very uneducated prospective customer - and there is no clear way of finding out which is which. The problems presented by the AFSP are real. The solutions aren't there though. Yet. Ideally I'd like to see some change to that. However, there's some problems. I hung around and asked the good doctor and her staff some questions and I am in no way denigrating her life's work and her dedication to preventing suicide since she has dedicated her life's work to the issue, but the conversation went something like this. Did you do any research on the accessibility of firearms from a retailer from the legal standpoint? "No, we haven't" Do you know how the NICS or state POC background systems work in regard to mental health holds, etc? "No" One of the problems that I foresee right off the bat is that you talked about how you are fighting time, and if you can get someone out of that suicide mindset - even for a few hours, you can get them into that higher survival bracket. If we apply a one size fits all solution to it like California and put a 10 day wait on everything with the goal of protecting someone from their own life, how do we balance that with the needs of the woman who has been hiding from her abusive spouse and needs a gun right away? "That's a good question that I don't have an answer for." Their initiative, I admire - the lack of solutions is a little off putting however. I tell the doc about how my friend's suicide has impacted me and she seems to be sympathetic to the situation as does her colleagues. I am given her cards and told to call the next time I'm in New York so we can get together and discuss things within the industry. I'll give them a buzz in a few weeks when I'm up there on business. On my way out of the hall, I run into Massad Ayoob. Nice guy. I've admired his work over the years. Bart invites myself and chugbleach to dinner, I can't reach Chug and even though I am beat I decide to hang out with Bart and Mrs Bart Bart: What do you want to eat? FC: Let's find a nice seafood restaurant and eat some red salmon, I feel a powerful lust for red salmon. I begin vomiting. God damn mescaline. Why the fuck can't they make it a little less pure? We eventually head downstairs and order too much food. We are tired and not very hungry. Bart is still hungover and barely able to process food. His wife is grazing on all sorts of meat products. I am in awe of how they are both still upright after six nonstop nights of partying. I've only been here one day and I feel like I am about to die. Dinner concludes with an awkward hug with bart's wife - I don't know how other men feel about wife hugs so I have just avoided the prospect entirely. Like flying through Denver on Frontier. Or flying on Frontier. Ever. I drive over to the Wynn to set up my markers and the poker room is full. I draw a $2500 marker at the craps table and watch the game a bit. I have never played craps before in my life but the three people there seem to be having fun. I look down at my phone and I realize a plane has landed. fluffy_butternut has landed in Las Vegas on business. I had lost a bet and offered to pick him up from the airport. I cash back in my chips against my casino credit and head back to my car. I cannot find my car. Fuck. I wander the wynn garage which is covered in construction debris. I eventually find it and haul ass to the airport. Now, I didn't know this but fluffy has the WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION AT ALL. Seriously. I have no idea how he even made it to the correct city. He lands and has to get his bag and stuff and I circle the airport. He lets me know he's at door 77 wherever the fuck that was. I drive into the pickup portion and I see no sign. He then says he's coming up a level, and I tell him that I'll be there shortly. I park the car and Metro PD starts yelling. Metro: You can't park your car here. FC: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park? Metro: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk! I give the man a $20 and tell him to keep it running as I wander Mccarran screaming FLUFFY! HERE FLUFFY! I message fluffy to let him know I am the car parked on the sidewalk. I instantly figure out who he is having never seen a photo of him and I throw his bags into the car as we head for his hotel. I haul ass out of the airport and get the A3 on the highway. Now this was a superior machine. Thirty nine grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand. We check in at the Rio where the desk clerk is friendly and flirty. I express amazement there is no line. Fluffy checks in and we take his bags upstairs and he offers to buy me food for driving him to the airport. I decline. We head to the bar anyways. He orders two beers and we decide to call chug. He's staying out in Summerlin or something because his company is apparently run by cheapskates. He asks if we want to hang out and shoot the shit. I say sure and ask if he wants us to pick up food or anything from CVS or something since I have the car and I'm able to do anything I want. He asks for some toothpaste. No problem. I may be an asshole on the internet but I have a heart of gold. We get some toothpaste get to the hotel. Arriving at the lobby, we have no idea where he is. It turns out he gave us the address for the hotel across the street. We laugh and go to that lobby and shoot the shit till 3AM much to the chagrin of the hotel clerk. Fluffy has some beers and we plan on dinner the next day. I drive fluffy back and arrive at the hotel at 4. Fuck me to tears. Wednesday, January 18th. Day 2 of SHOT show. Alarm goes off at 7:30 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Nice. I get some dillo dust and check out the new Sig 220 DA/SA and SAO legions. Daddy likey. I go to a competing firm and I piss of my state sales manager by telling him his newer designed triggers suck ass. He says the company tested them and they're the same in every way. I ask him why the triggers have two different part numbers in the catalog and how come they're not interchangeable and if that's really the case, how come there's X changes in the supposedly identical pistol parts that he's holding side by side. He gets mad at me and says I'm not an expert on their product and perhaps I should take his job since I'm so smart. I agree that I'm smart and I hold firm that if he didn't want me to complain about the shitty trigger, they should stop selling guns with shitty triggers. I am nearly kicked out of the booth. I meet up with some of my wholesale reps and I'm mid convo when I see Itsgoodsoup and his friend walking around the show. I yell SOUP but he does not hear me. So I grab his friend and find him and I tell him we should get together at dinner with fluffy and chug. He agrees. The show winds down, I get some business done and nothing much else. We break for a shitty gunnit live lite and I take a few questions from the crowd in fluffy's suite at the Rio. Dinner is at 8 and we arrive at the restaurant late to find soup and his friend sitting at one table and chug and his girlfriend sitting at another. Perhaps we should have gotten here a little earlier. Hahaha. So, fluffy said the place is really good and I order a few of the specialties of the house. Apparently according to yelp they do a kickass peking duck. Soon to be mrs chug is a vegan. But we can eat meat in front of her. I wonder how it's served and Soup's vancouver raised asian friend tells me that they normally carve it tableside. Our vegan says as long as there's no head she's cool. We're not sure if they can fulfill that request. So we order and food starts coming out and we tell tall tales of shot show BS and other stuff. Sure enough, the duck comes out with the head. No bueno. Haha. But I decide to treat us to vegan donuts at the vegan bakery across the street later. Seven courses later we are full. Vegan bakery closed. I am committed to getting her some vegan donuts though. We head to Fremont street to gamble. Fluffy wanders about and we try craps and we're not impressed. We hit some slots and eventually I hit the craps table where chug explains the game to me. We start betting on dice. And somehow we start winning. I find that the house allows you to take 10X behind the line. No idea what this means so I plop $5 on the pass line and the point hits 6. I drop $50 behind it and it hits. We go a few rounds and leave ahead. It's 2:30 AM. Fuck. I drive everyone back to their hotel. I get to sleep around 4. Thursday, January 19th. Day 3 of SHOT show. Wake up at 10AM feeling like crap. Debate whether to head straight to show and wander about. Fuck it. Went to halal guys for some halal. Delicious. Got vegan donuts. Dead drop them at the Palazzo lobby for chug and his girl. Show is a bust. Literally nothing exciting. Fluffy offers to buy me dinner. One of my customers who lives in Summerlin offers to take me to dinner. I pass on fluffy and he destroys the seafood buffet at the rio. I head to Sinatra at the Wynn for dinner with my customer. All good in the hood. Chug has been invited to the Glock dinneafter party and I'm not so we all go our separate ways. I call foghorn5950 and due to some weather, he's flying home early and our plans to hangout are fucked up unless I go tonight. I grab fluffy and we head to Whiskey Down. He orders a makers and I give him a funny look. I tell the waitress make it a bulleit. Everyone laughs. I talk shop with Jeremy also from TTAG and we shoot the shit over cigars and talk about useless products. Next thing we know, chug is out of the dinner and wandering the strip. We decide to meet up at the Linq. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get out of Whiskey Down at MGM because the waitress was awful and messed up everyone's tab. It was a fucking disaster. To boot, MGM is now charging for parking. FC: What a bunch of fucking jews Fluff: You should just tailgate that lady in front of you out and screw them out of the $7 FC: I should We pull behind her and watch as she gets flustered at the awful parking machine. Her nevada license plate says VETERAN. As the gate goes up we haul ass and screw MGM out of $7. I shout "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" out the window as we blow right by her up to the Linq. Through fluffy's awful navigation, we wind up at the loading dock for the Linq. Eventually we find chug and gf hanging at the penny slots. They are holding vegan donuts, which she is very appreciative of. Least I could do after showing her the head. Fluffy plays the House of Cards slot machine. He stuck $100 in, played for 6 minutes and then got really mad and hit the cash out button and $80 was left after 5 minutes. ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Chug's gf asks to play a special slot machine called kitty glitter. We ask and the linq does not offer it but Harrahs next door does. So we head over there and the slot tech finds the kitty glitter machine. Fluffy sticks a C note in there and tells her to play and have a blast. So she's banging away at the one armed bandit WHEN SUDDENLY I HEAR THE SOUND. It's PUTTIN ON THE RITZ in shitty .wav file internal speaker format. Hahah. She's just hit the progressive jackpot on the penny KITTY GLITTER machine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! We cash out after some play and a good time was had by all. I dump off fluffy at the rio since it was very close and drive everyone else back. It's late, I'm tired and the Palace Station oyster bar is open 24 hours......I head over there and there's a 45 minute wait. So, I pull out my backup bankroll and using everything chug and fluffy have taught me about craps I belly up to the $3 min table where they let you take 10x behind the line. I'm still learning and the table is slow so one of the boxmen start explaining the game to me. Box: So if you place the 6 or the 9 or individual numbers you can bet those but you gotta pay a little juice on it like a commission Me: Like when you buy the hook? short pause Box: Yeah! Exactly like that! You got this! So I played a little and went up a bit and down a bit. As you do. Plunked $5 down on the pass line and took full odds and the point hit. This game is pretty cool! So I hung around and watched for about an hour and finally decided to eat my winnings. I take $5 off my stack and, drop it on the pass line and announce dealer bet - $5 to pass. It hits. The dealers love me. Maybe Vegas isn't so bad after all. http://imgur.com/a/LGhDj I have the pan roast at the oyster bar. No line. It is DELICIOUS. I get back to the hotel at 5AM. I don't care when I wake up. Friday, January 20th. Day 4 of SHOT show. Wake up around noon feeling like crap. Go to show. Debate destroying milk cart with wheels with an ax borrowed from fire station. Decide against it. Gas up car and find myself out by palace station again. Played some craps, hit the buffet and went for an early sleep. It's midnight. The neighbors in my the hotel are having sex. A LOT OF SEX. I can hear everything. I gently knock on the door. No answer. I knock slightly harder. No answer. I head back to my room and close the door just as I hear their door open. I zoom back out to find a puzzled middle aged stocky and perhaps sticky Latino man looking both ways. I get in his line of sight. Me: Hey. I'm next door. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I get it. I really do. In fact I haven't had sex since the bush administration so I'm gunning for you man I really am. But it's midnight and I have a 6am flight and a rental car to return. So trust me when I say I'm really happy for you but if you don't mind I really need to get some sleep tonight okay? The awkward silence is deafening. He nods without saying a word and mouths okay. I give him a manly nod and thumbs up. Me: thanks. I'd shake your hand or fist bump but well you know..... I give him a peace sign as he goes back into his little pleasure palace and I turn to realize that I have just locked myself out of my room. I am wearing boxers, a tshirt and barefoot. I head downstairs to the lobby. The check in at the front desk resembles the TSA line at Mccarran. Normally I would not be this rude but desperate times call for desperate measures. The line is 50 people deep. I walk past every person. Fuck your queue. I approach the desk where someone is helping a guest and I raise my right hand as if I were in a deposition to get them to stop. The staff and guest looks puzzled as the angry barefoot man clad in nothing but boxers and a "uzi does it" tshirt approaches the desk. Me: excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. I have an emergency. I'm up on 8 and my neighbors are having a lot of sex. I mean a LOT of sex. (This is the same front desk clerk who actually checked me in Monday night by coincidence looks back at me very awkwardly and puzzled.) Me: this isn't your regular sex. I'm talking this is your (I begin air humping the front desk and slapping the granite counter with my palm and grunting loudly) sex. You could hear the plan B packaging open. At this point - the ENTIRE FRONT DESK STAFF HAS STOPPED CHECKING IN GUESTS. The people in line and are watching the show. The clerk is stunned. Speechless. Shock and awed. Crapped out and busted. The women are covering their children's eyes and ears. The men are wondering if this show requires a 2 drink minimum. Me: now I get this is Vegas. Everyone wants a good time. It's midnight. My flight leaves at 6 which means I have to be up by 4. And this just isn't working. So I asked them to keep it down and I locked myself out of my room. So if you can make me another key or move me I'd appreciate it. The clerk nods. Clerk: of course. may I see your ID? Years of ballet have prepared me for this day. I step back to make sure my genitals are still ensconced in my boxers as I pirouette and gesticulate wildly. Me: DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE ID? The floor manager steps over and asks me to head down to the end of the desk where she will make me a key. I give her the room number and thank her after she offers to have security sent up to shutdown the best little whorehouse in Vegas. I tell her it may not be necessary. As I take my keys and walk away the people in line break out in raucous applause. I take a bow and miraculously my boxer shorts don't rip. These people are my subjects and I have been crowned the the king of the three ring circus that is the circus circus lobby. Im offered a $1 tip from a kind soul but I decline. My walk back to the hotel elevator bank is uneventful. So much so that I realize it is going too well. The other shoe, if I were wearing one felt as if it was about to drop. Suddenly a dumbass in a rascal scooter is heading toward me at flank speed as his head is turned to look at everyone BEHIND HIM. There's no way this will end well. For you gentle readers joining us mid conversation - it's midnight and I need to be at the airport in 4.5 hours. I can just see it now. (Cue the harp noises) Scene: Emergency room Nurse: Allergic to anything? Me: NKDA Nurse: cause of injury? Me: what's the IC10 code for "run down by drunken buffoon on motorized wheelchair?" I saw my life and confirmed upgraded first class seats home being given away by the Mccarran gate agent flash before my eyes and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I jumped to my left into the wall, mid 1960's Las Vegas union construction being the path of least resistance. Think "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner. The buffoon barely realizes what happens. Children are amazed. "HEY MOM! Look! That guy just ran into a wall!" Me: it was that OR GET RUN DOWN BY SOME JACKASS ON A GODDAMN SCOOTER GOING FULL SPEED DRIVING LIKE A.... I look down and a midwestern nuclear family with two children of formative age are waiting for the elevator. I change my last word. Me: LUNATIC! I look over to the parents. Me: I'm really sorry. This is a family joint and I shouldn't have cursed the drunken scooter driver like that. Sorry kids. Parent: no big deal. They've heard fucking worse. I crack a smile at her word choice. Fucking worse. Yeah. That sounds like my evening. After jumping into a wall, I'm now wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. I make the plane and push on time. The 737 comes to a stop short of the runway and holds. Something is wrong. The pilots come on and say that they loaded more cargo and passengers than planned so they have to redo their numbers. We're waiting on the taxiway with both engines running as they do this and the waiting music comes on. What's the first song? Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
When VIP status still doesn't quite get what you want...
I'm back with a tale that didn't happen to me, but I was there to witness it (and revel in the awesomeness that is my coworker). Again, I am a cashiehostess at a casino buffet. My coworker, W, is the only hostess on the floor at the moment and we have a line out of the door. She was just informed by my manager, C, that we were not allowed to sit anyone on the main floor as servers were switching sections around to compensate for those leaving work. As I've explained before, many casinos have player cards that track a customer's spending within the casino and awards them many different things based on that spending. We have 5 levels of cards, and the top 3 (Gold, Silver, Black) are V.I.P. status cards. We basically are supposed to do everything in our power and then some to help them get what they want. So again, 1 hostess; 3 sections available, none on our main dining floor; and a line of customers out of the door. In walks one of our lesser known V.I.P. members, who I will dub RW for Rude Woman. A little back story on W, she's older than the rest of us that work the evening shift. This is just her part time job, as she does admin work for a vascular surgeon during the day. She is the sweetest person you could meet, unless you catch attitude with her. I've heard some of her remarks made towards guests, and I must say for pushing middle-age, she's got some quick quips. Now, when ringing her up at the register, she gave us no problems. She was short but not rude. However, once she got to W, she stated she wanted a seat on our main floor. W informs her that we are not allowed to seat the main floor as per management orders, but in about 10-15 minutes it will be open if she wanted to wait. RW didn't like that, and whipped out her fancy-shmancy gold card. This is the part that I witnessed being on a register next to the queue for seating:
W: Sorry, ma'am, my manager give strict orders to close the main floor down for about 10-15 minutes while we do shift change. I can get you a seat in one of our rooms off of the floor if you don't mind... RW: No, I'm a V.I.P. member, and I want to sit on the main floor! W: Well I'm not going to sit you on the main floor, so you will have to wait until I get the all clear. RW: NO! V.I.P. MEMBER! shoves card into W's face I'M GOING TO SIT ON THE MAIN FLOOR NOW! W: And that card tells me what? That you're one notch above trailer trash? Walks away to seat the next cooperative guest, leaving everyone within earshot stunned
My other manager, D, came up and sat the woman where she wanted. And we were fine with that, because it's management's job to take the fall when we say no and cave or bend. The woman didn't complain about W, so there was no reprimanding. But since D had heard what W said, he pulled her to the side and told her that next time, she needs to be a little more tactful about how she insults the guests.
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