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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Reflections

28 December 2002

Well... it has been a long year... and I am really glad to see this one end. It’s been a long, long road... and every day is a new story, a new beginning. I sincerely hope that the new year will bring the anticipated, and long-awaited income... or I am going to find out what it is like to die twice pursuing this web idea.

Yesterday’s Christmas holiday was cold, and everything around Reno was crusted in white... but nary a snowflake fell, and it was really great! I opted to try cooking a major holiday meal in a little bitty motorhome, and was surprised to find it all worked well, as long as I cooked like I was in a race, and did everything in installments. I still whipped out the ham, pies, and you name it... and it felt good to have Christmas, even if I don’t have a real home, or much more than a dollhouse kitchen. Last year, we knew we were going to sell the house, we knew there wasn’t much hope, and nobody had Christmas. It wasn’t in our hearts, and there was too much going wrong to have it even cross our minds.

Reno is now gearing up for its wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with fireworks, and the thousands and thousands of people in the streets, waiting to cheer in the New Year. Tahoe is gearing up too... last year there were 50,000 people in the street... and it probably will be about the same number or even more this year. The mountain was blessed with loads and loads of fresh powder, and there is more on the way this weekend. It’s going to be a real good snow year by the looks of it, and if it keeps up, everybody will be happy with the water it provides. Plus it is just so pretty. (Even if it is a whole lot of work!)

I found another new slot to tinker at... "The Billionaires" which seemed to have a fair amount of bonuses going on, a lot of animation, a lot of good graphics, and sound. I think it is one of Konami’s... but I’m not positive. I was in the middle of doing some last minute Christmas dashing around when I saw it... it was over at Gold Dust West on Fourth and Vine, and was a penny slot. Makes me wonder, do these things ever come out in nickels first? And where, if they do?

Seems to me penny slots are taking the casinos by storm, even though plenty sit empty, it appears that there must be a tremendous demand. I am getting a little tired of penny slots that aren’t hooked up to the IGT E-Z Pay system... or don’t spit out some sort of pay ticket. VLC had it right from the start, and I will always pause and play them, because I know I don’t have to wait for a two-attendant hand-pay. IGT has a great system, too. Now, for the rest of them that don’t?

Maybe those without tickets should take time to develop a ticket pay, and maybe they won’t sit empty as much. A bunch of the games that aren’t convenient also appear to be fun games. But I’m a spoiled gambler... and if you want to have me play the games, it would be a lot easier to get me to play if you put on a system that made it a little easier. In fact, looking at some of the coin drop hoppers that have been designed lately, I’d prefer tickets every time! Some leave you squirming your wrist around trying to literally dig the coins up and out, and most of them get used as an ashtray quite often, so getting already filthy money out is a chore or a puzzle... and guaranteed to turn everything pure black that makes contact with it. Obviously not designed by a well-manicured woman... those things are nail-breakers... polish-chippers... and not ergonomically designed. Bring on the tickets! For those who can’t live without the sound of clanking coins... IGT has thought of that, too. The noise of coins precedes the issuance of the pay ticket. That’s good enough for me!

Somebody asked me what the most annoying thing about living in an RV was... they thought it would be either a heating issue, or a space issue... as in, "What do you do with your stuff in that thing...?" But it really isn’t.... it’s warm and toasty, or cool and air-conditioned... and stuff you can move around, sit on, or stick in the car when it gets in the way. What I find the worst about living in an RV is the lack of control I have with various circumstances... the post office will let me have a PO Box here at an inflated rate, because I’m "NOT a resident" and I can’t use the address for a driver’s license, because I’m "just visiting..." but the RV Park came up with what apparently is the dumbest idea of 2002. Something about those of us, whether paying weekly, monthly, or daily... to keep them from having residents... have to move our rigs on the 29th day of our stay to an entirely new space, and then leave for 24 hours on the 84th day. I say as long as I am paying the room tax, the other taxes, and only paying weekly, or sometimes when it’s really tough, daily... that I shouldn’t have to. If I break down, pay daily, then I am technically "checking out" and "checking back in.." And if you have ever tried to dig through the snow to find a hidden sewer dump... it isn’t fun. With all the disabled people who are staying here long-term, I think there ought to be a law protecting them. One lady has to pay somebody $75 to move her each time. Another guy can hardly walk ten feet, but has to go undo everything, move it all, and hook it up again. That is what is bad about RV parks... you give up part of your soul to stay... they make you do it... rules can change, and they make sure they do a lot of that. At least, where I am they do. I’m only here because of the phone hook-up. Someday I will have an income again, the Reno Gaming Guide will be the biggest news in Reno... and I will get a house. My house... with no dumb rules. And that goes for homeowner’s associations, too. You won’t find me near one.

I’m upgrading the Reno Gaming Guide with the New Years info, tossing the Brew n’ Balls aside after the 30th, and you can look for another sports section to appear in its place, as well as the ski links section. It’s going to be a busy year, and hopefully... for the first time in a very long time, a prosperous new year. I’ve given my soul, my life, and everything else to getting this idea going... but I think I could use some very large corporate (as in "Yuk" but "yes") sponsorship if I want to stay afloat... so I’ll swallow my pride... but this time there won’t be any soul-selling like it almost turned out to be the last time... I want to stay and do this forever. It’s a great big wonderful world out there, but I’ve found my niche... in the gaming world. Let’s hope they’ll still have me!

Until next year.... may every day be a jackpot for everybody... and when you get ready to pack your bags and go somewhere to gamble... make sure the luggage tag says RENO at the airport! See ya!