Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American Icon

The Passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a moment to reflect on a life well lived, dedicated to public service,  equality, and the promise of America as a beacon of freedom and justice.  Justice Ginsberg, despite a small stature, (5’1″), she stood tall among the Justices as the second woman to serve on the supreme court (SCOTUS).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Jane Sherron De Hart, available on Amazon

Born in Depression era Brooklyn, New York, She was at the top of her class in Law school, and became a centerpiece of the women’s liberation movement.  She was an advocate for affirmative action, the woman’s right to choose, and became a symbol of freedom and was embraced by people around the world as a champion of human rights and fairness.  She was even nicknamed “the Notorious R.B.G”, which is a play on the deceased rapper “Notorious B.I.G“.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg books, Titles available on Amazon

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an American Cultural Icon.  Not only as a Supreme Court Justice, but someone everyone can identify with and be recognized as a fan of her ideals and work for equality and justice.


RBG Shirts show the world you care. Available on Amazon

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer for equal rights and a role model for women and children.  There are even children’s books featuring her prominently.  She was a grandmother and caring parent.

RBG Children’s books by best selling author Debbie Levy, “I Dissent“, and “Becoming RBG” links to Amazon Books.

It’s no surprise that Ruth Bader Ginsburg  Gifts and swag are testimony to RBG’s impact on society and our desire to identify with a person known for integrity and human decency.

Popular items on Amazon – Bobble head, Keychain, T-shirt, Pin, Tea, and stickers!

There is even a Ruth Bader Ginsburg Workout book and wall Calendar!

The world has seen a great light extinguished in the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  With condolences to her loved ones, I look forward to strong women (and men) carrying her torch and ideals to continue her fight for equal rights, racial equality, justice, and a better world!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wall Art Prints: Unique Room Decor – Set of Three (8×10) Unframed Pictures

American Ingenuity while Social Distancing and Staying at home!

As Americans shutter themselves inside and only venture out for fresh air and supplies, It is necessary to prepare for the renaissance that will lead us back into prosperity.

Modern Auto plants only require about 300 people, mostly maintenance and robot repairmen.  A hundred years ago Ford had 52,000 assembly line workers.  Coal demand is down, and many mines are closed.  The expectation of having a “job at the plant” these days is more of a fantasy then a reality, unless you are a robot repairman.  Logging is done by heavy machinery, and many mills are automated as well.  What are humans to do?  All of the “well Paying” menial jobs are being replaced by machines.  Since we can’t (and most likely should not) wish these horrible jobs back, I have other ideas.

America is the thought, fashion, and future projection to the world.  Other countries look to us as a role model and mass produce our architecture, art, manufacturing designs, and technological innovation.


Once we get past this pandemic, and we will, we can have a “dark ages” or a “renaissance”.  I vote for the renaissance.  

In between binge watching TV and working, we need to get cracking on art; engineering; education; and retooling for the next decade and beyond.

After Katrina, artists in New Orleans took old slate roof tiles and used them as the canvas for their artwork.  (eBay link opens in new window). The French Quarter is buttoned up tight right now, but you can bet there will be a resurgence in disaster inspired artwork coming!

You can make paper mache’ art with old newspapers, and sell it on Amazon, eBay, or your own website.  There are kits and instruction manuals on Amazon  and you can get inspired.    

I don’t care if you are making sculpture from toilet paper rolls, or finally getting an easel and making wondrous paintings from the pain of this pandemic; All I am saying is that we, as a people, need to lead the world (not in virus statistics) but in inspiration and creativity.

Learn how to paint.   Paint what is around you.  Get a sketchbook. 

Start a Blog.  Photograph and video what you are doing.  It may seem mundane to you, but exciting to someone else – that is your audience!

Learn to play the piano, or guitar.  Get an Action Camera and record what you do.  Take an acting class. Make a “How-to-Do-It” DIY guide.

Put all your work on Instagram, Facebook, imgur, and other social media sites.  Ask for suggestions, and feedback.

But what if you are “stuck”, and can’t get started? Read this:

How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity
How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity – available from Amazon Books.

IT starts now.

You have the power to change the world.  Get started.  Create, influence, Blog, educate.  You can do it. Even I can do it – Thanks for reading my blog!

How to Start a Blog Today: A Free Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Create a Blog in 20 minutes
How to Start a Blog Today: A Free Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Create a Blog in 20 minutes – available from Amazon Books.


What is a good slot machine strategy with $100 to bet, minimum or max bet till it’s a win or total loss?

It really is about what you want to do – extend your play or just lose the $100  quickly on a high-limit slot machine and go home.

Personally, I would suggest finding a machine that has a relatively low max bet, or a .50 to $1.50 bet (with good low wager returns), and get more pulls for your money plus any winnings (which give you more pulls if you don’t cash out).

mikes guide to better slot play Amazon
Mikes Guide to Better Slot Play, available from Amazon

If you make a decent win, like several hundred dollars, pull some out and continue the strategy, so you can play longer at the machine – and increase the odds of winning by having more spins.  And you would be playing with the money you won, not your original $100 bankroll.  Remember, anytime you walk out of the casino with money – you are a winner.  And if you have fun, even better!

This article talks about it in some detail:

Using Probability When Hitting the Slot Machines – dummies

Remember, machines with “guaranteed” 90% payouts mean guaranteed 10% Losses on average over time. Unless you have luck with you and make a big win, it is unlikely that you will win the big progressive (unless you are playing Max Bet, and very lucky). So Play for fun and extend your play on machines you ENJOY playing!

winning at slots
Winning at Casino Slots For the Gaming Challenged: More Bang for Your Casino Buck , Available from Amazon

And, if you want to make max bet on progressive machines, Look at the paytables to see what smaller wins you can get. Pay tables tell you a lot, and give you an idea how the machine will reward winning combinations. and the amount of the Max bet will tell you how many spins to expect for your $100 gaming investment.

You can also divide your $100 into 5 twenty-dollar “sessions” at different slot machines.  This is a tactic known as “session gambling”.  If you make a win (doubling or tripling your $20 or more), you can cash out and start another session.  This gives you a better handle of how your gaming is progressing, and will break up your time at the casino with different machines.  You can also end a session early if the machine is “cold”, before it gobbles up your entire twenty!


This is my Favorite Slot Machine Bonus!

My favorite Bonus is the Silver Strike collectible casino coin.

This is one from my collection

They come from Silver Strike slot machines, that look like this:

Silver Strike slot machine

Most modern casinos don’t have these machines (anymore) because they are mechanical machines, not digital, and the souvenir coins cost more than many casino’s are willing to pay for a “give-a-way”.

Personally, I love them, they are a cool souvenir! There is even a “Silver Strikers Club” that has meets at the 4Queens casino every year (the 4 Queens has several machines still in service, and mints event and seasonal coins throughout the year).

silver Strike coins from closed, sold, and re-named casinos are available on Ebay and Amazon. It’s an inexpensive way to have a unique and historical souvenir from Old Las Vegas.

A Silver Strike Comeback

Silver Strikes – what to do with them

silver strike tokens | Pocket Change Riches

What have you personally done to win big on slot machines?

lots of slot machines

If you want a shot at winning anything on slot machines, you have to play. The Longshot win of someone putting a quarter in a machine and winning a million dollars is Hollywood, but it can happen. (and yes, I do put my few dollars in the giant slot machine when you enter the casino, you never know).

Alan pulling the handle on a giant one-arm bandit in Las Vegas.
Alan pulling the handle on a giant one-arm bandit in Las Vegas.

Apart from playing more equals more chances to win (or lose, if you look at it that way), I am a low-roller and a “session” gambler, extending play with lower wagers and $10 – $20 sessions. Winning “big” is a factor of the RNG, the “Random Number generator” that determines the outcome each time you spin. Each spin has an equal chance of winning, although larger progressive jackpots are only paid when the maximum is bet.

While I would be exuberantly happy and excited with a big jackpot, I have never won more than about $200 on any one machine. The real payout is the fun you have with a machine that has aliens, stampedes, hay-wires, super Heroes, or free spins.

So my answer is that I play, to increase the possibility of winning – but luck and the RNG have not granted the “big wins”. (YET).

You can always get books on “how to win big at slots” from Amazon.

I have touched on the subject before, so take a look at my shameless self promotion:

Alan Chenkin’s answer to What are the best tips for casino slot machines?

slot machine strategy | The Chenkin Report

Have fun at the casino, learn the strategy that is best for you, and (in Vegas), enjoy the sights! Vegas Baby! Silver strikes in the land of Bugsy and Elvis!

Do slot machines pay out less on the weekends?

I am

Slot machine payouts are at regulated percentages over the lifetime of the machine. The machines are regulated, the payouts are calculated over the lifetime of the machine, and – unless the machine is reprogrammed – the RNG (Random Number generator) chip determines the win or lose on each wager. so the machine does not care what day of the week it is, just the RNG.

Having said that, it is obvious that some casinos have increased numbers of PLAYERS on the weekends, and more people playing means that (overall) there is a potential for more winners (and losers), although statistically the odds are the same.

how to play slots without losing your a$$
A good read on Amazon

There are machines that use “gaming psychology” to make you feel that winning 50 cents on a dollar bet is a “CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU WON FIFTY CENTS!!” event, when in fact you LOST fifty cents on that wager. Each wager is a random event, so gamble responsibly, understand the payout tables, and avoid superstitions like any machine is “overdue for a big win”.

Play games you enjoy, and have fun at, and walk away when you have invested an amount you are comfortable wagering. Personally, I am a “session gambler”, and will play a variety of machines when I am in a gambling mood.

I am
Great shirt from Amazon; click on it for more choices!

I have touched on the subject before, so take a look at my shameless self promotion:

Alan Chenkin’s answer to What are the best tips for casino slot machines?

slot machine strategy | The Chenkin Report

Have fun at the casino, learn the strategy that is best for you, and (in Vegas), enjoy the sights! Vegas Baby! Silver strikes in the land of Bugsy and Elvis!

Las Vegas Economist Believes fees are turning away Las Vegas visitors

I found this article spot on:

The corporations that run the big hotels have no interest in dropping fees or increasing comps.

IMHO, Vegas always had an “upside surprise”

-Outrageous themes and events (pools, sky needle, corny casinos, lots of giveaways and freebies). Not to mention inexpensive food (to lure and keep you at the casino).

-Exciting free venues (show me something cool, give me a free/discounted drink, and I will gladly visit your casino)

-The possibility of winning some money (I used to see people holding up the big check with $100k, $50k, etc.)

-Comps just from talking to the pit boss (they could toss you a comped meal without checking your point balance or fear of being fired for being nice to low rollers)

When I went to Vegas 20 years ago, you felt you got more for your money than you do today. Vegas was a VALUE destination; not just gaming, not just canals and water-shows, but you knew people who had a good time and made a few bucks! They were living, breathing advertisements for going back. Often.

Look at Vegas today:

Big fluctuations on room rates, many non-refundable, and those !$#@!! Resort fees.

Winning “big” (more than a couple of hundred) is almost nil. slot psychology, progressives, and high-dollar tables take your money faster with no emotional payback, except for some flashing lights.

Expensive food ($40 breakfast buffets, Starbucks coffee is $4 at the Casino and $2 off strip) and coupons that don’t really give you a significant discount.

Comps based on loyalty cards, so you have to stay in one casino to boost your points or spread your gaming around and get minimal, non-usable points from the Casinos you just visit and spend an few bucks on.

The New Vegas has dropped the “little guy” from their radar – the price gouging (no matter how well justified) will keep them gambling at the local casinos (the ones near me have free parking and lots of giveaways), and a good cross-section of eateries that are there to keep the gamblers happy – not to be an additional profit center for the casino.

Vegas may be overdue for a big downturn in revenue (again) and will have to re-invent itself to keep the convention traffic and Vegas-loving regular folks a reason to visit. We need, first and foremost, to look at the Vegas “Value Proposition” – fun, outrageous hotels, inexpensive but good food, lots of comps and giveaways, and not going broke on your first day and having to put everything on your charge card (a monthly reminder that you spent way too much).

This crazy place in the desert holds an attraction that is being chipped away by profiteering and corporate greed.

If you are not sure that this can be done, look at the way Disney manages their guest experience.

The cumulative effect of this profit-taking makes it harder to return to Vegas – and not once a year like I used to.


Is Craftsman better off now that it is not owned by Sears Holdings?

Craftsman is now owned by Stanley Black and Decker. Many of the tools bearing the Craftsman name are made under license, and not all are the renowned lifetime tools I own from my youth. Sears, Lowes, and ACE Hardware (among others) sell the licensed Craftsman name on some of their tool sets.

“When Stanley Black & Decker bought the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings last year, the deal — valued at $900 million — let both companies continue making and selling products under the Craftsman label.” – from Competing Craftsman tool brands? Stanley, Sears aren’t concerned about confusion

While Craftsman has a fairly complete line of tools, Snap-on, Matco, Husky, Proto, Stanley, and others Have complete lines that are known for lifetime guarantees and Professional Quality. Top 10 Mechanic Tool Brands , What is the best brand of tools for mechanics?.

Being sold outside of Sears, The brand can be rebuilt and expanded -or just fade into obscurity. Time will tell. Hell, you can even get Craftsman on Amazon! craftsman tools

My hope is that Tools manufactured for the Craftsman label will retain the quality of the Craftsman lineage, and “no questions asked” lifetime warranty.

Here’s what happened to all of the brands Sears used to own, from a car-insurance company to a hardware store

Thanks for the A2A. I use all kinds of tools when I build for my website, The Chenkin Workshop

Craftsman (tools) – Wikipedia

Can Electric cars Supercharge your Portfolio?

Investing always has some risk, and you need to pick your stocks carefully.

Almost every carmaker is converting from Fossil fuel powered cars to EV’s and Hybrids. This presents opportunity, as the existing manufacturers move their production into electrics, autonomous driving vehicles, and better batteries/software/design.

Tesla, in my opinion, is the leader in the field, but GM, FORD, VW, Nissan, and other manufacturers are starting to change their thinking and are developing their EV lineup.

I believe that the manufacturers who address battery life (driving range between charges), lack of charging stations, and self driving adaptability will be winners, and investing in them early may bring you some great returns. (No guarantee, just my belief).

I also believe a diversified approach, by investing in more than one company, – or a fund that is investing in multiple companies – should give you a good outcome. (Look at IDRV, QCLN, LIT)

further reading from the internet:

Investing in the electric vehicle ecosystem

The Best Way to Get Exposure to Electric Cars When Investing in the Automotive Sector

Here’s how to capitalize on the electric car revolution — without buying Tesla’s stock


Books on Electric cars from Amazon

Best of luck with your investments!

Disclaimer: I am not a stock market professional, just an observer and investor sharing my thoughts. Get a professional to advise you before sinking any money into any stocks. I own TSLA, ford, and ARCC technology stocks.


Greatest Pancake Recipe of all Time?

Alan’s Pancake recipe

One of the greatest recipes of ALL TIME!

(also good for waffles – use same recipe)


1–½ cups flour

1 tsp Salt

3 tbsp Sugar (brown sugar, honey, or molasses are acceptable substitutes)

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 Eggs (Beaten like they owe you money)

3 tblsp Oil (canola preferred, vegetable oil ok — Never use Olive oil)

1 tsp Vanilla (Mexican or Madagascar are the best)

1 ½ cups Milk

½ ¾ cups Water, if needed, to thin batter.


Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, and add to the dry ingredients while stirring. Lumps are ok; they will work out on their own.

Leave batter sit for 3–5 minutes to thicken.

Drop spoonfuls of batter on a hot griddle, flip when edges are dry and bubbles form on top. Note: Griddle is ready when water droplets “dance” on the griddle. You may want to use some butter or spray oil like Pam to keep the first batches from sticking.

Serve with Syrup, powdered sugar, honey, cinnamon sugar, chocolate syrup, raspberry syrup, Whipped cream, fresh fruit, butter. ENJOY!

(Syrup available on Amazon and your local grocery)


Apple: Mix applesauce into pancakes (1–2 tablespoons).

Banana: mix banana & milk in blender, add to pancakes. (Reduce sugar).

Granola, coconut flakes, cereal, nuts, jelly all make good additives to pancakes.

Trial and error is required to determine the best quantity and texture, use a small amount of batter to work it out — not everyone likes flavored pancakes; be kind to the purists.

This is an Iteration of Alan’s original recipe. Pancakes are considered dessert food (“crepes”) in certain countries, and exceptional breakfast fare here in the US. Your use/abuse and experimentation are welcomed, and no results are guaranteed or assured. Exercise caution when feeding pancakes to small children as they may become airborne, slimy, gooey, and an immense source of adolescent fun second only to pratfalls, breaking wind, and laughing hysterically as they smear you with a syrupy half-eaten pancake. Pancakes freeze well and should be enjoyed at every opportunity. The US armed forces, cowboys, and truck drivers eat pancakes as a regular part of their diet. Please keep the tradition going.

This recipe is offered to you for your exclusive use. Commercial efforts must recognize my original. Feel free to donate to my efforts if you like my pancakes. (I also accept bitcoin — Which would look like pancakes if they were in physical form).