Where do I find info about slot machines?

Slot machines, to me, are lots of fun!  Here are some tips about getting the most info from your slot machines – play as you learn.

I get a lot of good information from Casino City Times – Gaming Gurus  – Frank Scoblette is a good source of information on Slots.  I also Like Casino Gambling Strategy – Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Slots, Video Poker – from VegasTripping.com.

One of the hardest disciplines to learn is managing your bankroll, or gambling money.  I would recommend that you learn to be a session gambler. Divide your bankroll into smaller piles.  For example, take a one hundred dollar bill and divide it into 5 $20 dollar sessions.  When you play a machine, only put in one $20 bill, (or one session).  when the $20 is consumed, your session has ended, and you make the decision to switch machines or start a new session.  If you jackpot, cash-out and end that session – put that money in your back pocket, for later.  If you blow all 5 sessions, hang it up – take a break, and see what else you can do at the casino!

Smart Slot Strategies: A mathematical approach to winning slot machine strategies

Don’t be afraid to take a few minutes and review the paytables on the machines;  paytables have a significant impact on your potential winnings.  Progressive slot machines (where a bank of slots contribute to the pool of prize money) usually require a Maximum Bet to get the big prize.  You can bet less, but that means if you roll the winning combination – you may get a small payout or NOTHING.  Other machines may have graduated payouts regardless of your bet; so if you are playing small wagers to extend your play time at the machine, seek out these machines so you don’t miss any winning opportunities!

Keep an eye on the slot machines maximum bet – usually expressed in credits;  wagering 500 credits on a penny machine is $5.00 for that spin of the reels! If your session is $20, that is only 4 spins – if your session is $100, then you have 20 spins.  More spins mean more opportunity to win (or lose).  Many hard core slot machine players feel you have to wager $200 – $300 on a machine, in order to get any significant winnings.  Decide in advance what your gambling budget is, and space it over your time in the casino – then you have an idea what you are willing to spend on gaming, and can strategize the most practical way to meter your wagering.

If you bump into a slot attendant, they may have a “hot sheet” of machines that have the larger payouts on the floor.  Not all casinos distribute or publish this information, and it usually just tells you which machines are played the most, which is why they have the bigger payouts.

 

The Mathematics of Slots: Configurations, Combinations, Probabilities

These books can be very helpful.  Read all you can.  Now that slots are mostly electronic, the math and “gambler psychology” play into how the machines work.  Pay attention to paytables, progressives, and the type of machine you are playing!

 

Best of luck in and out of the casino’s,  -Alan

What is the worst coffee shop in Hawaii?

This is a very subjective question, worthy of reflection and ACTION.

Hawaii is the source of legendary Kona Coffee, grown in the rich volcanic soil in Hawaii.  Since I have not, to my detriment, been to many coffee shops in the great state of Hawaii, I believe a field expedition is needed.

My goal would be to define “Coffee Shop”, and review as many as possible (being my usual honest and reflective self).

11 Days In Kona: Coffee Travel, from Amazon Books

The first series of reviews to be published would be Coffee shops where that is their primary business, not diners or restaurants that serve coffee.
In addition, we would seek out the “Best of the Worst”, serving the most wretched brew that can be served without the health department condemning the business.

I propose we get a kick-starter campaign, or Go fund me, and have a dedicated field expedition to each island and review coffee shops, perhaps 10 a day, focusing on the candidate for the “worst” shop. Part of the money raised can go to the shop for improvements, a website to promote our on-going research, a donation to charity, and supporting the research team.

I would be honored to lead the team in such an endeavor, and if interested readers contact me with their desire to fund and participate, I will build the initial website, GoFundMe, Kickstarter, etc., Start the funding effort, and promote the quest!

Fear not, my Hawaiian brethren, we shall (when funded) find the best of the worst!

“A pau e pono ai ka ke aloha a me ke kope”
(Translation from the Hawaiian: “All you need is love and coffee”)
Mahalo.

Wonderful Kona Coffee, from Amazon

I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.

Can you trust car companies? which ones?

Car companies are hard to trust.
I have had bad experiences with planned obsolescence, failures due to poor design, dealer behaviors, and paying for repairs covered under “secret warranties”. While I have never owned a Volkswagen, the top-down conspiracy to cheat at the emissions controls demonstrated that the company has had an ingrained culture of deceit that is, to me, unconscionable. And VW is not the only emissions-scamming car company. Fiat, Renault, VW scams will hasten rise of electric car
I currently own a Nissan quest Minivan, and scrupulously avoid the dealer for repairs because of upsells and ludicrously expensive parts. (I just replaced a solenoid, it cost me $15 and 20 minutes of my labor. I was quoted $340). I put in powerstop high-performance brakes because the vehicle is seriously under-braked, most noticeably with a few passengers aboard.
I used to have a Ford van, “Betsy”, which was killed by a Ford Dealer. After a recall repair, I let the dealer change the oil. The highly trained mechanic stripped the oil plug bolt, and put in the wrong size rubber stopper. Most of the oil leaked out in a few hours, and I had to get the right stopper, ruined a blanket with oil so I could get under the truck, add more oil, and pray it was not beyond repair. The dealer was apologetic and told me it was an “old truck”, and tried to sell me a new one. I had to sell Betsy a week later, with an engine rattling on 30 weight oil. I still own Ford Stock, but am not happy with the recalls that just bring you back to the dealer, and the dealers who feel the only way to fix a car is with a new one. This is not unique to Ford, and is a reason why Tesla is not sold through a dealer network. Not all dealers are unscrupulous, look at this example: Calif. dealer won’t sell some Priuses, citing safety concerns – CBS News – I would bring my car to that dealer.
There are big picture issues here too – Look at Automakers Turn to Climate Deniers in Quest to Lower Fuel Economy Regulations ! The Alliance of Automobile manufacturers is working to roll back mileage and emissions standards. Collectively. I find this as reprehensible as when the CEO’s of the auto industry took their corporate jets to Washington when they were begging congress for financial bailouts. Big Three auto CEOs flew private jets to ask for taxpayer money – CNN.
I have been a despairing consumer of automobiles all my life, and find it hard to trust car manufacturers who appear to have corrupt and unethical practices “hard-wired”into their business model, just to milk more profit off of us consumers, while trying to build “brand loyalty”.
The most promising car manufacturer, in my opinion, is Tesla – a newcomer on the market with a well made product and transparency into the company that we normally do not see in large manufacturers. I am hoping my Nissan can be kept going until I can get a model 3! (Disclaimer: I own Tesla stock). Time will tell with Tesla. But the rest of the Auto Manufacturers? Let’s wait and see.
General Motors ignition switch recalls – Wikipedia (10 year story on how not to run your company)
Edit: Take a look at these two pieces on Tesla, highlighting the difficulty in disrupting the current practices in the automobile industry:
How “corrupt” is Tesla? – Quora answers, (I especially enjoyed the one by Kathiravan Jayachandiran)
Being a “car guy” most of my life, I have a lot of optimism that these problems can be replaced with good management and customer focused production.  Thank you for taking the time to read this, and feel free to share your thoughts.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors  Link is to her Wikipedia page.
In my opinion, she is working hard for responsible and positive change at GM.

What is Car polish – and do I need it?

When you wash and wax your car, you sometimes can wax dirt onto the finish, especially if your car spends a lot of time outside.  Polishing smooths out the contaminants and residues that are stuck to the paint finish on your car.  Polishing is a step for car’s paint BEFORE you wax. Not all finishes need polishing (or fine compounding, which should be done before polishing).  if you run your hand over the freshly washed car, and you feel imperfections and particulates (or if the finish is not smooth at all),  your car is a candidate for a polishing.  You don’t always have to polish your finish, and you can just spot polish areas like the front of the hood, which get the brunt of road grime and crud.
When your car finish gets older, and suffers from dried bird droppings, tree sap, light oxidation, brake dust, etc., a polishing will help restore the smooth finish and look to your car. Make sure you don’t “overdo” it, especially if you use a rotary or random orbital buffer. You don’t have to polish your car very often, it depends on the finish – is it becoming rough? Not smooth when you wax? No more than once a year, if it needs it. If your car is garaged or covered or waxed regularly, you may never need to polish your car, unless you are doing a super-duper detailing job on the finish.
Available corded or cordless.
Once you have polished your car, all the wax is pretty much gone, and I would recommend a good hand-applied paste wax and buffing out with an random orbital polisher. (Put on a good base coat, and put another coat on in 2–3 weeks, your car will look sharp).
Here are some popular car waxes.  You will love the way your car will shine!
You can also get liquid waxes too.
In between waxes you can use a spray on “show car” finish detailer, that will re-activate the wax.
If you are saving water, these “waterless car wash” products get your car clean without using gallons of water and suds.
I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative. 

Would Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, make a good presidential candidate in 2020?

If you are asking me if a well respected CEO with integrity, who pays his contractors, doesn’t tweet a never-ending stream of falsehoods, takes steps to denounce and speak out against inequality and racism, would make a good presidential candidate? –Absolutely.
 
It is too early to bet on any contenders, but I see Howard Schultz as a viable candidate who already has expressed his concerns and views. If he treats his constituents the way he treats his employees, and runs the budget responsibly, there is tremendous hope for the future of the United states.
Disclaimer: I own Starbucks stock and drink their coffee.  I admire Mr. Schultz, but have made no contributions to him or any potential candidate.

In light of recent events, does it matter that Starbucks has views on how to treat customers?

Starbucks is a big company. They Lead their industry. I care that they care about their employees, their stores, their customers, and suppliers (Fair trade coffee). I buy their products, and I invest in their company 

We see the egregious behavior of many “successful” companies and the way they treat their employees, and promote views based on their religion or feelings on women’s rights, sexual orientation, labor costs, unionization, the environment, etc.
As examples:
This is why you should care too. I want my friends and their families to work in environments where companies value their employees, their customers, and the communities where they earn their money. Enron ended with bankruptcies, divorces, suicides, and financial losses for investors.  (To see books from Amazon on the Enron scandal, click here.  There is a movie too, “The Smartest Guys in the Room).
I think it is time for all of us to “grow a pair”, and educate ourselves on the real cost of these corporate behaviors that hurt individuals, promote unhealthy living, and denigrate segments of society without cause or compassion, and pollute with impunity. I am an American and believe in what the founders sought – Freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. SO – I care! And I believe you should too.
It’s not all bad – Here are a few companies worth noting:

5 Big Brands Making the World a Better Place – Wise Bread

To see books on Corporate Ethics from Amazon, click here.

You may not care, and that is your choice, but I do. Putting my money where my mouth is, and hoping the world will be a better place for it.

Disclaimer: I own starbucks stock and usually have a tall Pikes with 2%milk.

Click here for Books on Starbucks corporation and Howard Schultz, the CEO, from Amazon.

I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.  

How to keep your car’s finish clean between waxings

Keeping a car clean between waxings is a battle I personally wage with Mother nature, birds, certain trees (they know who they are), acid rain, and the relentless sun that burns through the shrinking ozone layer.

Waxing your car keeps a protective coating on the surface that smooths it out and helps it repel all the nasty things (see my first paragraph) that can harm your paint. A second coat of wax, about 2 weeks to a month after your “base” coat, will give your car extra help in keeping clean and build up some extra protection. All decent auto supply shops (Pep Boys, Auto Zone, Advance Auto Parts, Walmart, Sears, etc.) carry a good choice of waxes, and detailing products for your black or chrome trim, tires, and rims. They also have car wash products with wax in them, although they may not be a substitute for a good hand wax on your car. An orbital buffer makes quick work of rubbing the wax off of the hood, roof, and body panels,  leaving a nice shine.

In between waxes, you really should keep the car clean. Use only car wash solution, in a bucket with water. I use a long handled dip brush (for my 14 year old minivan), and the action of the brush combined with the car wash loosen and lift dirt and grime off the finish. I sometimes go over the hard spots where bird droppings and tree sap have hardened on the surface – these chemically react with your paint if left on, so the extra work is worth while. This method is also FAST. you cover more ground with a soapy brush than with a rag or sponge. you also have a longer reach. Ask anyone that cleans their boat, it is quick. The mineral content in your water makes it spot, so be prepared to wipe it dry with a soft chamois or super-absorbent cloth. We can’t just drive fast as hell and let the water slide off the car, like in the old days. There is also no shame in going to a local car wash, especially if you have a discount coupon.

If you want extra protection, or put a nice show car shine on the car, there are products for this that are “spray and wipe”. They need a good wax base to work – they are not a substitute for waxing. My Cousin Steve, a “dyed in the wool car guy”, used lemon pledge on his Corvette(s). They always smelled great, and they shine was outstanding! Keep in mind that these show-car top coats do not last a long time, but the do look really good. In my opinion, waxing can be just as quick, and most times more wax does not hurt. Also consider that Pledge is an indoor polish (a form of light oil) that puts a lemon-fresh shine on almost anything. Your results may vary, especially if you don’t pledge your ride like my cousin.

If you can garage your car, the shine will last long because it is protected from the sun and rain. Car covers are useful – but they can become a chore, need to be folded up (not good if you are wearing a suit), and need to be stored (which takes up trunk space. Not to mention they rip and get dirty over time. They work well if you keep your car outside, and are worth the effort if it keeps your car protected.

To recap:Wash the car!
Pay attention to nasty bits from birds or treesWaxWax again in a few weeksUse showtime polish or Lemon PledgeCover, garage, or carport your car (if possible)

 

And remember to Enjoy your ride!

Shameless self promotion: I have a pinterest section on cars. Feel free to take a look if you like my point of view.

Has Starbucks Pike Place Roast gone Downhill?

To my knowledge, Pikes Place has not changed. Here is the story of Pikes Place roast, which is celebrating it’s tenth year in production! Celebrating 10 years of Starbucks Pike Place Roast – Starbucks website  Pikes Roast was Introduced in 2008.
Not everybody liked it, note this scathing article in the NY Post: NO PLACE FOR PIKE AT STARBUCKS
While I found Pikes Place Roast to be an acquired taste, it is now one of my preferred brews. I believe this is because I started drinking it regularly, and became accustomed to it’s flavor.
They good news is that if you don’t like the Starbucks experience, most servers will gladly substitute another coffee rather than see you suffer through a bad coffee experience.
May your life be bolder than your brew.

 

Shameless self promotion: I have a Pinterest section on coffee and food, if you like my point of view.
Got Coffee? Starbucks Pikes Place Roast on Amazon

Tesla stock price is down, Is it a good buy?

My opinion is this:

400,000 people put down deposits to get on the list for a model 3. (no one does this for Ford, GM, or Fiat-Chrysler).

Tesla builds a car that is one of the best in the world, that happens to be electric.

Tesla is making their own batteries, charging stations, and more, forcing a massive change in personal transportation in the WORLD.  They also have a 10 year head start, having developed their concept in 2008.

All the other car companies lust enviously for this loyal customer base, and are abandoning their “beloved” diesel and internal combustion engines to “go electric”, despite their cultural contempt for something that they think should be, well, a big golf cart. None of them have built a better electric car or have the chops Elon Musk has. With a multi-year head start, and “big picture” vision, I would put my cash on Tesla, rather than GM (who required a big cash bailout from the government), Ford (a stock stuck in the low teens and is stopping certain car production, like GM in the ‘90’s – and I own that stock at a loss), Fiat-Chrysler (what else can they sell to raise more cash? -nuff said), and VW (who can forget the Diesel emissions scandal). BMW built a performance electric, $75k more expensive than a model S, that does not offer much more than a BMW medallion on a mediocre (and expensive) electric car, rushed to market lest a BMW customer buy a -heavens no- Tesla!

I am not putting my life savings into Tesla, but I am an investor. Tesla has a head start on all the other car makers, who are rapidly building battery plants and their own plug-in adapters (Tesla offers their patented charging technology royalty free – other car makers won’t take it) and struggling with a learning curve years behind Tesla. They have a lot of Internal combustion baggage to lose, and legendary contempt for regulation, massive recalls, crooked dealers, and notoriously bad cars foisted on a trusting consumer.

It may not go to $1,000 a share, but I can feel better about Tesla than the money I put into Ford.

My apologies if you are seeking a technical analysis of PE ratios and moving averages; I am working with my gut and published information – my belief that this company, in particular, is more than just a pile of averages and graphs.  Many analysts, notably Jim Cramer of Mad Money fame, frquently get caught up in speculation as to “what Tesla is”.  Is Tesla a Car manufacturer? Tech Company? Cult company (Elon Musk cult of fame bringing blind investment dollars? Tesla is not always quantifiable based on industry or peer analysis.  Here is Cramer commenting on Tesla’s May Conference call.

This is my opinion, not investment advice, and I suggest you do form your own opinion before plunking down any money on Tesla.

Tesla Model 3 delays don’t appear to dent depositor confidence – Autoweek
Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk’s mass-market car is a magic carpet ride – SCMP
How Tesla changed the auto industry forever – The Verge
7 Ways Tesla Is Changing Everything – Futurism
Tesla To Make Supercharger Network Available To All Automakers inside EV’s
Tesla points to opening up its Supercharger network to other carmakers -AutoVista group
BMW Has Been Building Mediocre Electric Cars Since 1972 – Business insider
What’s Really Stopping Big Automakers from Catching Up to TeslaInverse

Sorry if that been a bit of a rant, but I feel it’s time for personal transportation, if not the whole auto/truck industry, to go through a major shift in ideology.

Shameless self promotion: I have a Pinterest section on Cars, if you like my point of view.

Coffee Madness. It is upon us….

First of all, I want to confess to being a coffee bigot.  I know what kind of coffee I like, and will venture into unexplored (by me) coffee territory,  but I mostly like a dark roast, usually Kona, Starbucks Pike Place roast, or similar coffees.

Two cups a day is my typical limit.  A three cup day is a hard day, and bad coffee is not in my program.  Not to say that instant coffee or starbucks Via has not crossed my lips, but hey – let’s brew, OK?

today I got an email promoting – get this – “Mushroom Coffee”.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee, USDA Organic Coffee with Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushrooms, Productivity, Vegan, Paleo, 10 Count, Packaging May Vary
Touting the benefits of my favorite fungi in my favorite refreshment.
They even sell it on EBay and Amazon.
I am not a purist or a prude, but these marketing guys will do anything to increase sales and mix more stuff into the grinds, to increase yield. (that means make more money buy cutting the  coffee with other ingrdients).  If this takes off, like caramel macchiato or frappuccino, or even Kopi Luwak (the legendary coffee in the movie, “The Bucket List“.  see it).
Let us spend a few moments talking about grinding beans, and brewing a decent cup of coffee.  anyone can make a good, drinkable cup of coffee, and own the process and technique, without undo stress or aggravation.  Your guests, coworkers, and family members will be appreciative of your efforts – or they can google their butts over to a nearby Starbucks.
Coffee can be bought Ground, or instant, or in K-cups.  I like fresh ground coffee, the “just released” flavor is exquisite, although it can be messy.  I highly recommend a “burr” type grinder, but a propeller type will; do well too.
Antique Wooden Coffee Mill Grinder Pair - 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" & 6" x 6" x 7"
These are wooden coffee grinders, usually antiques or reproductions, available on Ebay.
Henry Charles Manual Coffee Grinder, Adjustable Conical Ceramic Burr, Brushed Stainless SteelKRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades, 3-Ounce, BlackCuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Here are three grinders, manual, propeller, and Burrs style.

Brewing is the next step.  While some like a french press, I am a fan of the pour-through and the Keurig.  Each has its pluses and minuses.
French Press Coffee Maker (8 cup, 34 oz) With 4 Level Filtration System, 304 Grade Stainless Steel, Heat Resistant Borosilicate Glass by Cafe Du ChateauWicked Java Joe 2 Cup Pour Over Coffee Dripper Makes Amazing Barista Quality Brew. Paperless, Reusable High Grade Stainless Steel Coffee Filter w/ Bonus Coffee Scoop & Bag Clip - Red HandleCuisinart DCC-3200AMZ PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Stainless SteelKeurig K575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker with 12oz Brew Size, Strength Control, and Hot Water on Demand, Programmable, Platinum
Here are some of your brewer choices.  How many cups will you be brewing at a time? that may determine your best machine for the job.  Single cup pour-throughs and the Keurig are good for individual cups, although the keurig will cycle faster when you have more than one person needing a caffeine fix.  Keurig cups also come in many varieties, which means your co-caffeinators can have lots of K cup choices for flavored or specialty coffee.
This is an old-fashioned wooden pour-through:
Chorreador,Costa Rican Handmade Portable Foldable Wooden Stand Coffee Mak... NewPremium Stand Drip Pour Over Coffee Maker, Traditional Wooden Chorreador Handmade in Costa Rica, 1 Reusable Cloth Filter (Colador,Bolsita) Included
Image result for costa rican wooden coffee maker
These kind of wooden coffee makers are popular in Costa Rica.  Notice the bold colors.  They take their coffee seriously there!
So much for my primer on coffee and brewing.  There are even more ways to prepare coffee (don’t get me started on espresso makers) and making coffee for crowds.  your choice of coffee (or coffee beans) is your next step.  I am putting some links to my favorites here, Kona beans and Community coffee from New Orleans.
Cafe Au Lait from Cafe Du Monde, Costa Rican Dark Roast, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Starbucks Pike Place Roast, All good.  Not to mention all the “boutique” brands that are available. All of these can be bought as beans, k cups, ground, and in some cases – instant.
However you enjoy your coffee, don’t be intimidated; find one you like and go with it.  If you want to impress a date, get an espresso machine (don’t forget the steamed milk and pastries).
If you like the New Orleans roasts, learn to make beignets – fried donuts sprinkled with powdered sugar – absolute heaven!
Cafe du Monde Mix Beignet Mix, 28 oz, Pack of 2Image result for cafe au lait and beignets
Beignet mix from Amazon, Cafe au lait from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans
I want to thank you for indulging my brief coffee blog, descending into brewing, grinding, and coffee that I personally enjoy – and you can as well!  Share with your coffee challenged friends, or coffee snobs who will educate you on what they know!  Most of all, no matter how you make it, enjoy that wonderful, warm brew that gets your motor running in the morning and humming at every coffee break!
Happy Caffeination!
Shameless self promotion: I have a Pinterest section on coffee and food, if you like my point of view.
Consider sharing it and take a peek at my other works:


All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .This Blog was Human-generated by the author, and not produced by a Russian blog Engine.

The Last Word: