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Anyone else play the ALBERTA playalberta.ca online casino and feel ripped off?

Curious, not sure if anyone else has tried it yet - but Alberta has green-lit their version of governemnt-run online casinos.
I completely understand that casinos are 100% random, and I certainly ONLY play games for fun as I love blackjack and a bit of roulette. But my feelings are this platform just feels so incredibly rigged and like there is NO random chance at all to it - it feels like they're still experimenting with it - it's like they paid out too much and need to collect money from users.
Anyone else play and have similar experiences?
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Missing and Murdered Indigenous...Men? Why are there so many missing men and boys from the Yakama reservation? Part 2 of 2.

Missing and murdered indigenous people
If you have spent any time reading about true crime, you probably know that American Indian/ Native American women go missing from the United States and Canada at alarming rates. On some reservations, women experience violence and are victims of homicide at 10x the rate of women in other communities.
But what about men and boys? Missing and murdered Indigenous boys and men are the forgotten group of this epidemic of violence on tribal land and many families are aching to see the cases of their missing/murdered male loved ones solved. Just like with the missing women, men and boys are going missing at an alarming rate on tribal land, but race is not the only factor. Men (and women) of all ethnicities who live on the Yakama reservation are missing and murdered at disturbing rates.
Missing and murdered indigenous people is a complex issue with prejudice and jurisdictional issues playing major roles. If you want to know more about the root of these issues, I suggest “Missing and Murdered” podcast by Indigenous Canadian journalist Connie Walker, who explains the issues much better than I ever could; that podcast is linked below.
Today, I want to highlight the stories of some of these men and boys, specifically those missing from the Yakama community. Because there are so many missing people who are practically unknown, I have decided to profile the cases of ALL the men and boys missing from the reservation, regardless of race.
This is a companion piece to another write up I completed about missing women and girls from the Yakama reservation. That write up can be found here. If some sections sound similar that is probably why. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/htvnv6/extensive_write_up_on_missing_and_murdered/
Background
Washington state is home to the fifth largest Indian reservation in the United States, the Yakama reservation, which is home to the Klickitat, Palus, Wallawalla, Wenatchi, Whishram, Wanapum, and Yakama people. According to the US Census Bureau, only the Osage, Puyallup (also in Washington state), Navajo, and Choctaw reservations are more populous. The Yakama reservation is located in South Central Washington state, just south of the city of Yakima. Of the 31,000 people who lived on the reservation, 11,000 are enrolled tribal members. Most people who live on the reservation claim Hispanic/Latino, white, or mixed-race descent, but Hispanic is by far the most common ethnic group. There are also small Filipino, Japanese, and Korean communities nearby. The Yakama reservation is located just south of the town of Yakima, Washington, a large farming community of 100,000 people. Apples, cherries, peaches, pears, grapes, and hops are all grown in the dry surrounding region. Harvest time brings thousands of migrant workers to the area, so the population is always in flux.
Outside of Yakima is the town of Union Gap (Pop. 8000), which is partially on the reservation, and partially off it. There are two other proper towns on reservation, Toppenish (pop. 8000) and Wapato (pop. 5000). Other small communities such as Satus, Harrah, White Swan, and Granger all boast several hundred residents each. All in all, the Yakama nation consists of 2,200 square miles of sprawling, rural land stretching from south central Washington nearly to the Oregon border. But from this unassuming patch of high desert and grassland, more than 30 Native women have gone missing/were murdered. If we add Native men to the equation, the number jumps to nearly 40 unsolved disappearances, deaths, and murders. If we add the deaths and disappearances of non-native people missing from the reservation, the number grows yet again.
Although the land is vast, the tribal population is small. From my estimates over .5% of native people on the reservation are missing or murdered. Like many tribal communities, unemployment and poverty is common, appropriate housing is scare, and according to the tribal council "disregard for the rule of law and general civil unrest" as well as gun violence and substance abuse is common. In 2019 a curfew was instated after a particularly bad shooting.
According to the Washington State Patrol, the Yakama nation has the highest percentage of missing people of any Native community in the state, even though they are not the most populous. The FBI created a task force in 2009 to investigate the possibility of serial killer among the Yakama, but the investigation determined that a serial killer was unlikely, but not impossible. This was because the causes of death were so different from victim to victim. The investigation did close 2 cases on the reservation after DNA on both women linked them to a man serving life in an Oregon prison, but the man is not believed to be responsible for any other crimes in the inquiry.
Whether a serial killer is loose on tribal land or not, this issue is complex and long standing and demonstrates how much substance abuse, domestic violence, accidents, and random crime affect the native communities in this county at 10x the rate of other communities. Some progress has been made such as state bill 2951 which allows Washington state authorities to track cases and help investigate and search for missing individuals on tribal land. Because tribal lands are usually under federal jurisdiction, state authorities previously were not able to help, despite being more familiar with the area than the FBI. This is only one small step in the right direction and although awareness is growing, the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous people will not simply go away.
Many people have heard of this epidemic, but few know the names of the victims; today it is time to change that. Below are the profiles of 20 men and boys who are missing, murdered, or who have suffered mysterious deaths. For some of the individuals very little information is available. The list below is not necessarily complete. If you know of other unsolved cases let me know in the comments below.
Quick guide: Yakima- large town near, but not on, the reservation
Yakama- the tribe and people group
NOTE: all cases organized most to least recent. In order to be profiled the cases in this piece must have some connection to the Yakama Indian reservation. This could mean those who lived on the reservation, were last seen on the reservation, are believed to be missing within the confines of reservation, or are of Yakama heritage by birth. Hope that makes sense.
Missing
Bernard Schieber, 86, of Yakima has not been seen since Aug. 8, 2019, when he left his home in the 2500 block of South 84th Avenue in Yakima. His black, full-size Chevrolet pickup was found a few weeks later in a closed portion of the Yakama Nation reservation. It appears to have been parked normally and not crashed or damaged. When he left his home in the city of Yakima, Bernard had only ¼ tank of gas and no money. He suffers from dementia. Bernard is described as a white male with blue eyes and gray hair. He weighs 190 lbs. and stands 5’ 11” tall. Anyone with any information about Schieber is asked to call the Yakima County Sheriff's Office at 509-574-2500. He is still missing.
Josiah “Jo” Michael Hilderbrand aged 25 and his friend 47-year-old Jon Joseph Cleary left southern California in early June 2020 to travel to a Grateful Dead concert at The Gorge a venue in Washington state. Both men were traveling together in a light blue 2004 Honda Civic hybrid when they were last heard from on June 7th, 2019. On June 8th their abandoned burned out car was found 8 miles west of Toppenish in a deserted, rural area of the reservation. The FBI has stated they believe the men are dead but they are officially listed as missing.
Josiah Hilderbrand is described as white male, age 25, with light brown wavy hair and blue eyes. He is 5’8” and 165 lbs. He has a neck tattoo. Jon Cleary is a white male, 47 years old, and 6’3” in height weighing 230 lbs. He has brown/gray hair and beard and brown eyes. He usually wears a baseball cap.
Remains found August 5th, 2020 near Toppenish may belong to the men. The FBI is handling the case as the men were found on tribal land. The families are offering $35,000 for information that can solve the murders. Even if the remains are those of the “Dead Heads” the crimes of their deaths remain unsolved.
Strangely enough Hilderbrand and Cleary died on the same day that a mass shooting occurred in White Swan where two men, Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud and James Dean Cloud, killed five people. The shooters have been convicted in that crime and some have speculated that both crimes are related. This mass shooting was the crime that inspired that reservation-wide curfew to be put into effect.
Elias Chief Culps, 25, was last seen in White Swan on Dec. 27, 2018 and has not been heard from since. In 2015 Elias was a witness in a court case about unreasonable searches and seizures and whose jurisdiction should be involved when fugitives are found on tribal land- the outcome of that case is unknown. There is little information available about Elias’ disappearance. Those with information are asked to call the Yakama Nation Police Department at 509-865-2933, case number 19-009167. He is described as a Native American male, 5’6”-5’7” in height and 150-170 lbs. He has brown hair and eyes and a tattoo on his neck.
Jose Francisco Canales a 43-year-old father of 7 children was last heard from on July 7, 2018 in Harrah, Washington where he resided with his wife of nineteen years. He was last seen at La Guadalupana (a store in Harrah) on July 6, 2018 where he cashed his paycheck. The next day, July 7th, he called his boss to report that he would not be coming into work that day. This was the last time anyone saw or heard from Canales. He is described as a Hispanic male, 5’7” or 5’8” in height and 145 lbs. with brown hair and eyes. He has a scar on his left hand about 1” in length and a tattoo of a heart on his right arm/shoulder area. He was last seen wearing along-sleeved t-shirt (possibly green), blue jeans, brown sneakers and a blue baseball cap. He has a receding hairline and some gray hairs in his beard. Canales may be driving a gray 1994 Ford Ranger single cab pickup truck with the Washington license plate number B53351T. There may be a green 2018 Polaris 450HO four-wheeler in the bed of the truck; it has the vehicle identification number (VIN) 4XASEA509JA252860. Canales's case remains unsolved.
Rolando Gabriel "Gabby" Gutierrez, of Mabton has been missing since Sept. 16, 2017. The 44-year-old was the oldest of six siblings and was close to his family. When his family last heard from him, Gutierrez was in Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, a Mexican fishing and resort city on the Gulf of California. He was staying in the area and had weekly phone contact with his family. Gabby was planning to come home for his niece’s birthday in October, but he never made it. One of his sisters worried that Gabby was “wrapped up” in the drug trade. In November 2019, forensic scientists in the Mexican state of Sonora announced that they had recovered 52 bodies and skeletons from a mass grave near Puerto Peñasco. Gabby’s family told an Associated Press reporter that they thought there might be a chance his body was among them, but this is not known for certain. Rolando “Gabby” Gutierrez is described as either a Hispanic or a mixed race (Caucasian/ Hispanic) male who is 5’10” in height and weights 180-260 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes but he shaves his head. He also has a zodiac cancer symbol tattooed on his arm and has pierced nipples. There is currently a go fund me for Gabby’s family so one of his siblings can travel to Mexico to give their DNA for comparison. Mexican authorities are investigating this case.
Kristopher Fowler, 34, was last seen Oct. 12, 2016. Fowler, affectionately known as "Sherpa" and “Kris” was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and had started at the border with Mexico with a goal of completing the 2,800-mile trek to the Canadian border. He was last seen in the White Pass area only a few hundred miles from his destination. Kris was last seen at a convenience store in very rural Yakima county. Kris is described as a white male, 6’2” and 165 lbs. He has blonde hair and beard and blue eyes. He is believed to be lost in the wilderness. His step mother still hopes the body can be recovered some day. Those with information should call the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office at 509-574-2500.
Joseph Eric Miranda Jr., 24, has been missing from Granger since May 26, 2016. Reports say Joseph went to his bedroom on May 26, 2016 around 10:30 pm after talking with his father. His mother went to check on him in the morning but he was nowhere to be found. She last saw him late on the evening of May 25, 2016 and initially thought he had gone on a walk never returned. It is unclear if Miranda and his wife also lived at the house with his parents or if he was only staying there. According to one source, Miranda left his wife a note that said he “wouldn’t be seeing her for a while.” Miranda had a bank card and a cellphone with him when he disappeared, but because the cellphone was a government issued phone (a burner phone maybe?) it cannot be pinged. His bank card was last used on May 25th to buy a soda at a gas station and it has never been used again. He left his keys and his car at his parent’s home. There has been some activity on Miranda’s social security card but it is unknown if the user is Miranda or an identity thief. Joseph’s favorite movie is a 2014 film called Wild, about a girl who hikes through the wilderness of the Pacific Crest trail. His family worries he embarked on a similar journey and either got lost of met with foul play. They ask that if Joseph is out there to please contact them so that they know he is alive and well.
Joseph is described as a Hispanic male, 5’7” or 5”8 and 180-195 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes. Miranda had long hair and a beard at the time of his disappearance and usually wore his hair long but occasionally cut it very short. He wears prescription eyeglasses with silver frames. He has a strawberry birthmark on his chest and a small mole on his upper lip. When last seen he was wearing multi colored swim trunks, a green long-sleeved shirt and superman flip flops. He often wears flip flops, his Rx glasses, and bandanas or hats on his head. If you have seen Miranda or have information please called the Granger PD at 509-854-2656.
Chad Nathan Stotz-Gomez, 36 of Union Gap, drifted between homeless camps at the time of his disappearance, but talked to his mother and other family members regularly. He was last seen on July 10th 2015. He has not been seen or heard from since. Some believe that this case is connected to the case of Cody Turner (details below). The same day Stotz-Gomez disappeared, there was shooting at a homeless camp between Yakima and Selah, Washington. The victim, a 36-year-old woman, was injured but the victim has not cooperated with law enforcement and no arrests have been made. Police found Stotz-Gomez's DNA at the shooting scene. Some have speculated that the shooting is connected to the November 2015 murder of Norma Emmerson, who was shot in the head outside East Selah, Washington. Some reports say Norma had information about a homicide committed by her ex-boyfriend, Raven Cutler. Cutler ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Cutler told Cody Turner's mother he'd seen Cody Turner (case below) and Stotz-Gomez together in downtown Yakima, but his information has not been verified. Other witnesses believe that the two men, Turner and Stotz-Gomez, knew each other casually and believe that their disappearances must be related.
In the past Stotz-Gomez has lived in New York and Montana and he may have traveled there. At the time of his disappearance, was required to check in weekly with the police. Stotz-Gomez is described as a Hispanic or mixed-race Hispanic/Caucasian male, 5’9” and 180-190 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes and usually wears a beard. He has the following tattoos: barbed wire on his upper left arm, a skull with wings on his right arm, the letters "SUR" on one hand, the number 13 on the other hand, and a small cholo face on his chest. If you have any information please contact the Yakima County Sheriff's Office 509-574-2550.
Cody Turner, 24, was last seen July 26, 2015, in Yakima leaving the home he shared with his father and grandparents. Cody had been gone that day with his dog Ariel but arrived at the home in the evening where he ate, showered, and picked up some cigarettes before leaving the house again. He had his cellphone on him but since July 28th, 2015 the phone has gone straight to voicemail. According to some sources Cody was homeless at the time of his disappearance but according to others he lived at his grandparent’s house with his father. Cody has a history of meth usage and his family believes he was using at the time of his disappearance. Despite his drug use, Cody’s family said he usually returned home every evening and talked to his family daily. He does not have a history of dropping out of sight or being out of touch with his family.
Cody is described as a white male 5'5 - 5'7, 150 - 170 pounds. He has sandy colored hair and green eyes. He keeps his hair very short and tidy. He sometimes wears facial hair (a goatee and mustache) which he keeps short. Turner's nickname is Cooter. He has two scars, one on his left wrist and one on his abdomen. His ears and tongue are pierced, but he had stopped wearing his earrings and tongue ring prior to his disappearance. Turner has the following tattoos: the name "Natilie" with flames and barbed wire on his right bicep, three skulls with swords going through them on his left bicep, and a tribal stamp on the inside of his upper left arm. Turner has previously fractured his left foot and he smokes cigarettes. His case may be connected to Chad- Stotz Gomez’s case which is why it is included in this piece, even though he has no connection to the reservation.
Justin Lee McConville has been missing from Toppenish since sometime in January 2015. He was 24 years old at the time and was last seen on the Yakama reservation, but often travels to Oregon and fishes along the Columbia River. Some sources say he is nomadic and had no permanent address but others say he lives in Toppenish. Justin is described as a Native American male with long brown hair which he wears in a pony tail and brown eyes. McConville has a half-sleeve tattoo of a Native American man, Chief Joseph, on his upper right arm. He also has a tattoo of a tribal fishing design on his left arm and a tattoo of a Native American design on his back. He is 6’0”-6’2” and weights 165 lbs. Yakama Tribal Police are investigating. They can be reached at 509-865-2933.
Anthony “Tony” Peters, also known as Anthony Colfax Peters, 56, was last seen in October 2014 at Legends Casino in Toppenish. According to his sister, Peters was homeless at the time, living with relatives or friends or elsewhere when necessary, but he regularly talked to his family and friends. According to his sister, Alfrieda, Tony like many homeless individuals had a complicated life. His temper sometimes got him into trouble, but eventually he always came around. His sister remembers him as a natural born artist who did powwow dancing, beadwork, and drawing for fun. He was also a good singer. In the past, he has been known to travel to other nearby reservations such as the Umatilla or Warm Springs. He has also been known to travel to Seattle. He would drop out of sight from time to time, but never for more than a few weeks.
Tony is described as a Native American male with black hair and brown eyes. Peter’s nickname is Tony, and he may use the name Anthony Colfax Peters. He has an overlapped front tooth and one front tooth is missing. He is 5’6” and his weight fluctuates regularly. His missing person case remains open with the Yakama Nation Police Department, number 15-006132.
Roland Elton Woodall Sconawah a Yakama by birth was last seen in either Lyle or Dallesport Washington in November, 2013. Both communities lie on the Columbia river in Klickitat county in what was once the land of the Yakama people. Tribal members have fishing rights in the area even though it is not technically on the reservation. This is where Roland was last seen. The 23-year-old was somewhat transient. He went missing under unclear circumstances. Roland is described as a Native American male with brown eyes and black hair. He stands at 5'6 - 5'8, and weighs 140 - 160 pounds. He is sometimes referred to as Roland Sconawah Sam. Klickitat county sheriff’s office 509-773-4545, is investigating.
Ira Kennedy Yallup Sr. was last seen at the Lone Pine fishing site near The Dalles, OR. in May 2010. His family has offered a $1,000 reward for information about his whereabouts. He is a Native male in his 50s with black hair. No other vital statistics are available and he does not even have a Charley Project page. Yakama tribal police are investigating.
Francisco Javier Mendoza was 27 years old when he was last seen in the early morning hours of June 8th 1994 leaving a 7-11 convenience store in Toppenish. Francisco was with two friends at the time. Later that morning, the three friends were outside of Toppenish when their car broke down. Francisco apparently went walking in the direction of town in order to get help and vanished into the night. He has never been seen again. Few details are available and his friends’ story is considered suspicious. Francisco is described as a Hispanic male, 5’5” in height weighing 160 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes. Mendoza may have a mustache, beard or a goatee. Some agencies may spell his first name "Franciso." He was wearing a white tank top, shorts and sneakers when he was last seen. Toppenish police are investigating, 509-865-4355.
Lawrence Jay "Larry" Riegel, 57 of Yakima worked as a carpenter and contract pilot before breaking four vertebrae, and injury that left him disabled. Right before going missing Larry had a surgery on his neck and some sources claim he was in a neck brace. Unable to work, Riegel was collecting disability. The last contact anyone had with Larry took place on Christmas day, 2009. He contacted several relatives and friends including a call to his mother to thank her for some clothes she bought him for the holiday. He was supposed to join his family in Yakima for a belated Christmas dinner on Dec. 26, 2009, but he never showed up or called. Riegel’s family described him as a “chatty Cathy” who talked to just about anyone and had daily phone contact with his friends and family. Riegel’s last phone call took place at approximately 5:30 pm on Christmas day. It is believed that the call was made to Riegel’s tenants who rented a farm from him in Union Gap, a town on the reservation. His tenants owed him $3000 in back rent.
Riegel lived with his girlfriend, Ladena Mann before he went missing. Mann claimed that the couple argued on Christmas day and Riegel left the home presumably to go see his tenants. She also claimed that Riegel assaulted her either on Christmas day or on January 4th before disappearing. When Mann tried to report this assault weeks later, she was unable because she had no injuries or proof of violence. Mann used Riegel’s money and EBT card after he disappeared as well as applied for her own EBT card claiming she still lived with Larry. Mann was charged with welfare fraud and perjury, but charges were dropped when she paid back the money and entered a diversion program. In one media interview she claimed that Larry is still alive and that he has “contacted several people” since going missing. She thinks Larry is residing in Idaho or Montana and has accused his family of knowing where he is. Ladena Mann is a person of interest in Larry’s disappearance as are his tenants, the last known people to have spoken to him. Riegel’s family is offering a $25,000 for information in the homicide investigation that leads to his remains. They have billboards all over the Yakima valley asking for information. Larry’s mother, aged 90, still drives around rural areas searching for his body.
Riegel is described as a white male with gray hair, a gray mustache, and hazel eyes. He is 6’2” and weights 200 lbs. He has surgical scars on his left knee and a prominent vertical scar on his neck from recent surgery to fix four broken vertebrae. He often wears eyeglasses and he has a limp in his left leg. He is also an alcoholic who frequented neighborhood bars. Yakima Police Department Yakima Police Department (509-576-6573) is investigating.
Donnie Sampson, 71, a well-known religious leader, had been serving for eight years on the Tribal Council’s Code of Ethics Committee when he disappeared in the fall of 1994 while hunting elk about 45 miles west of White Swan, near Mt. Adams. Donnie had a heart problem and had been prescribed nitroglycerin as a result. Right before his disappearance, he told his daughter that he (and the ethics committee) “was getting into something that’s going to make everybody mad.” He even went so far to tell her that he would be “making enemies” and that she and the community would hear about his findings soon enough. He had been investigating rumors of corruption in the tribal council and the housing authority before he went missing, but other committee members refused to elaborate on the matter.
Donnie’s truck was found Oct. 30, 1994, in the foothills of Mount Adams by volunteer searchers, but searchers found no trace of Sampson. His nitroglycerin, lunch, clothing and three rifles were found in his truck. A fourth rifle he left home with disappeared with him. Donnie’s children say tribal police has done little to investigate the disappearance, which they believe is a result of foul play. For example, his children were never interviewed and his truck was found by volunteers, not official search and rescue. Tribal authorities believe that the elderly Sampson simply got lost while hunting. There are no photos or description of Donnie Sampson available. He does not even have a Charley Project page. Tribal police are investigating.
Roland Jack Spencer III disappeared in late May 1984. He was 3 years old when last seen in the area of Knight Lane and Campbell Road in Wapato, although some sources say he was last seen in Toppenish. Roland is presumed to have been abducted by a non-family member, when he was in the yard. Curiously, Roland’s mother died under suspicious circumstances several years earlier (her case is featured in my previous write up). After her death Roland moved in with his great-aunt. Roland is described as a 3-year-old Native American male, with black hair and brown eyes. Roland has a scar on his abdomen. His nickname is Do-Boy and he may go by his middle name, Jack. Roland has some severe medical issues and disabilities. One website explains that Roland experienced brain damage in the womb which lead to his medical issues. Despite his hardships, he was a happy child who loved playing with cars. He is classified as mentally disabled, hard of hearing, and suffers from epilepsy. He takes medication to control his condition and may fall into a coma without it. He can only walk a few steps at a time and has very limited vocabulary and speaking skills. He was last seen wearing corduroy pants, a long sleeved red and white shirt, and tan boots. His was declared legally dead in 2000. Yakama tribal police are investigating, (509) 865-2933.
Murdered
Darryl Keith Celestine of Zillah, was murdered Sept. 25, 1988, in Wapato. He was found strangled outside his home. Darryl, a Yakama, was only 22 years old at the time. His murder is unsolved. Very little information is available.
What happened to these men? Why are so many people missing from such a sparsely populated area?
Sources
These sources are a good place to start.
https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/loved-ones-of-missing-and-murdered-men-and-boys-also-wait-for-answers/article_99d6a596-befe-5860-aa5d-a8fef822725f.html
https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/lower_valley/one-year-later-white-swan-quintuple-homicide-suspects-awaiting-trial-law-enforcement-targeting-crime-in/article_4ed98a29-a273-573c-8af1-031fdec6d248.html
https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/they-need-closure-families-of-men-who-went-missing-in-yakima-county-ask-for-publics/article_11358e29-b133-5458-9f13-acf4face7abe.html
The Charley Project and NAMUS
If you are interested in this issue as a whole, I suggest this podcast by Canadian journalist Connie Walker who explains and dives deeply into the issues discussed in the piece. You can listen to the podcast Missing and Murdered here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/findingcleo/missing-murdered-who-killed-alberta-williams-1.4556030#:~:text=Sparked%20by%20a%20chilling%20tip,in%20British%20Columbia%20in%201989.
If you are interested in the cases of other missing Native Americans, my write ups on the Teekah Lewis and Bryce Herda cases can be found here on my reddit profile. https://www.reddit.com/useQuirky-Motor
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The Pirate Skiff Comes Ashore (Jonah Goldberg's G-File)

Dear Reader (especially those of you who stayed with me in the wilderness lo, these last five months),
This is the last G-File [pause for dramatic effect]…of this era of professional limbo I’ve been in. By this time next week, this “news”letter will be a product of [Name Redacted]. Before I continue, let me just say thank you to the tens of thousands of you who signed up for this thing when I left National Review to start this endeavor with Steve Hayes and Toby Stock (Toby’s the suit, so it’s okay if you haven’t heard of him).
They’re both super guys, but they’re Midwesterners, and I find some of that stuff rubbing off on me. For example, prior to spending so much time with Hayes, I don’t think I used “super” as an adjective—outside of conversations about comic books or physics or quoting Fargo (“you’re a super lady”)—more than a couple times a year since I was a kid. Now I find myself using it to describe good meals, smart people, nice days, etc. There are other signs as well. I feel more shame about cursing, and I feel a strange, salmon-like urge to find a good Kroger when shopping for food. They’re super, don’t you know? And so is ranch dressing, which I’ve discovered is good on everything.
The Audacity of Ope
Speaking of Midwestern stuff, I’ve always had a soft spot for Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. A Tea Party guy back before the grifters and scammers got into it like so many ants in the Jell-O salad at a Wauwatosa fish fry, he came to Washington to bring the commonsense Midwestern values of a churchgoing businessman to Washington. He sincerely believed we need to live within our means, defend the Constitution and—apparently—hector and cajole the Chinese Communist Party to target the president’s domestic political opponents.
That was an ope moment for me.
Some Turds Will Never Sparkle
So let’s just say it: What Trump did yesterday was, simply, indefensible. It is indefensible from any angle and any distance. As Steve Hayes might say at a Racine’s Best Kringle Contest, “Where to begin?”
China doesn’t have due process, the rule of law, or human rights as we understand them. People are executed, put in prison, put in camps, and put in prison camps for political infractions or simply practicing the wrong faith. It would be outrageous if Trump publicly called for the United Kingdom or Holland to investigate one of his political opponents without going through proper channels, but at least those countries have legal systems where we can have some faith in the justice of the outcome. But China? China!?
Moreover, the United States and China are in the middle of intense trade negotiations, and the president cavalierly throws out the fact that there’s something else he wants from the Chinese. He doesn’t have to say quid pro quo. The whole context is shot through with quid-pro-quo-y-ness (quid-pro-quosity?).
It is particularly gobsmacking in the context of the relentless push from the MAGA nationalists who’ve been determined to make China our new existential foe for the 21st century. This conflicts with their core mission of perpetual turd-polishing. So, the new nationalists cry: “The Chinese are evil!” “The Chinese are our enemy!” “The Chinese are a corrupt technocratic kakocracy!” But also: “Thank you president Trump for asking the Chinese to get the truth about Joe Biden!”
This is not nationalism. This is Trumpism, where the needs of the nation and the state are subsumed into the president’s personal desires. Nationalists don’t wear T-shirts that read “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat” and they don’t exhort foreign tyrants to do their dirty work against domestic political opponents.
I wonder if when you get your America First membership card, buried deep in the user agreement is the language that specifies Except when the President’s political foes can best be taken out by the ChiComs.
It’s also politically indefensible. First of all, all of the people who tried valiantly—and unpersuasively—to defend Trump’s “Russia, if you’re listening” line as merely a joke are left standing three feet off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote before he starts to plummet. He certainly wasn’t joking yesterday. He wasn’t joking when he told George Stephanopoulos that he saw no problem taking foreign opposition research. He wasn’t joking when he asked for that “favor” from Zelensky.
But let’s say you just don’t care about any of the high-minded stuff or the hypocrisy. You just want Trump to keep “winning.” But will his agenda—whatever that is—be advanced? Infrastructure week, long the “Free Beer Tomorrow” of American politics, is now the political equivalent pie in the sky. Does this expand Trump’s coalition? Does it make it more or less likely he’s impeached?
“Aha! Right!” you might respond. That’s his genius. He’s making the Democrats impeach him and the constant whining and moral outrage against impeachment is a ruse. After all, if you’ve been watching, reading, or listening to the usual suspects, impeachment will be good for Trump and the GOP and a “disaster” for the Democrats.
“Trolling” has evolved—or, rather, devolved—as an internet term over the last few years. But not long ago, there was a common phrase called “concern-trolling.” It means to pretend to be very worried about the well-being of your political opponents. It was once a staple of the Washington Post op-ed page. “I want two vibrant and healthy parties,” some liberal columnist might write, “and that’s why I am worried that the GOP’s pro-life position will cripple it in the long run.”
These days, it is amazing how many of my friends on the right are suddenly very, very, concerned about what the Democrats are doing to themselves. It’s almost like they’re reassuring the audience that this storyline will end well.
That doesn’t mean they’re wrong. This could blow up in the Democrats’ faces. But most of right-wing media these days seems really eager to talk about pretty much anything other than what Trump has said or done.
The Whistleblower Doesn’t Matter Anymore
And there’s perhaps no one they want to talk about more than the Whistleblower, except for Adam Schiff, who, let the record show, is a dishonest and partisan hack whose only impressive quality is his ability to mask his hackery in the dulcet and somber tones of concern-trollery.
I keep seeing clips of right-wingers from shows I don’t watch ranting about the Whistleblower as if the case against Trump still hinges on that person’s motivations and credibility.
The really unhinged folks call him or her a deep state operative, spy, saboteur, etc. The calmer folks say the Whistleblower is a “leaker.” All of these terms are wrong, if the facts as reported are true (admittedly a potentially big if). Even if she/he approached Schiff’s staff to ask for guidance, that doesn’t make him/her a liar—it does make Schiff a liar, but we knew that.
At some point, we need to hear directly from the whistleblower. But the inconvenient fact is that most of the allegations in the report have already been corroborated. Trump says, "This is an exact word-for-word transcript of the conversation, taken by very talented stenographers.” His insistence on this point would make me suspect it’s not an exact transcript—even if it didn’t say in the document that this “is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion.”
But if you take Trump at his word, that it is a verbatim transcript, then the need to confront the whistleblower—never mind roll out the electric chair for the traitor—unravels considerably.
The transcript supports three out of four of the whistleblowers allegations: Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden, Trump asked for Zelensky’s help to investigate the fantastical—and Putin helpful—tale of the missing server in Ukraine, and Trump wanted Zelensky to work with Giuliani, as the whistleblower alleged. And this leaves out all of the things Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump have confessed to by now.
The reason they want the whistleblower exposed is pretty obvious: Trump and his defenders are weakest when they have to defend Trump’s behavior or some principle (see my column today). They are most effective when they can destroy someone else. That’s what Trump enjoys and that’s what more and more of his fans enjoy too. The cruelty is the sauce.
The New Reformers!
Oh, and spare me the “We need to know what happened in 2016” stuff. I have no problem with the Durham investigation. And before I jump on the anti-Bill Barr bandwagon, I want to know more about what he actually did, rather than the spin that’s being put on it. But this is not the way you launch a proper investigation. This is not the way you talk about a proper investigation. This is the way you float a trial balloon to a fairly hostile foreign government that sees everything through a transactional prism: “Please ratf*ck my opponent, I’ll make it worth your while.”
Seriously, all I ask is that people stop working from the assumption that we’re all idiots. You’ve got clowns going on cable news nightly pretending that Trump was constitutionally and legally obligated to raise the Biden case with the Ukrainian president. Seriously, I heard one guy suggest that if he hadn’t importuned Zelensky to investigate Biden, that would be impeachable. For God’s sake, just shhh.
In the past, when I would point out that Donald J. Trump (First of His Name, Chancellor of Trump University, Regent of the Taj Mahal Casino, Ponzi Czar of the Trump Network, Admitted Lord of the Swamp, Heroic Victor of the Eminent Domain Wars, Overseer of the Trump Foundation [discontinued], Master of the Strategic Bankruptcy and Defender of the Money-Laundering Oligarchs, Servant of the Saudis and Exposer of JFK’s True Murderer) was a shady guy, his defenders would say that’s what they liked about him; he knew how the swamp worked and he would use that knowledge to Make America Great Again. And now the same people are appalled at the suggestion that he isn’t a passionate enemy of corruption everywhere?
*About The Other Side *
My friend Tim Alberta tweeted:
Barack Obama stands in front of the White House. With the entire world watching, he declares, “China should start an investigation into the Romneys.” Republicans wouldn’t just call for impeachment. They would call for charges of treason.”
To which a fellow who goes by the name “Orange Muppet Energy” replied:
And the blue checkmark flying journo squad would be explaining how it's actually entirely reasonable while two months later insisting that the tan suit was his only scandal. Just as they did with every other scandal. Everyone involved is sh*t.
I largely agree with both tweets, even if I think the second is too exonerating of Trump. The scenario with Obama is a hypothetical, while Trump’s behavior actually happened. The probably accurate suspicion that the media and the Democrats would behave as badly—or just almost as badly—as many Republicans and media conservatives are behaving now isn’t an excuse. But it is part of an explanation. It took a long time to get us here, and pretty much everyone deserves some portion of blame (including me).
I’ll write more about that another time, but suffice it to say, I’m dedicating a big chunk of the rest of my life to trying to do something about it.
Stay tuned.
Various & Sundry
Canine Update: The girls are doing great. They were very happy to see us when we got home last Sunday, but truth be told they were happier to see the Fair Jessica. This confuses some people because they see so many of my videos walking the beasts, scritching the beasts, giving the beasts treats, etc. But this is a nice case study in how media can distort things by giving less than the whole picture. My wife works mostly from home, and so she spends a lot more time with the doggers. She takes them on the truly epic adventures on the weekends. She also feeds them most of their meals—though I do my share. The problem is that she doesn’t record them. I’m open to the idea this is a failing on her part, but one of the reasons the dog videos are so much fun is that dogs don’t care about celebrity. They do care about lost balls, though. Stick-ups are a concern as well.
Anyway, Zoë and Pippa seem to be enjoy each other’s company more than ever. There was a time when this schnozzle-tush smash-up could have resulted in a fight. Zoë continues to let Pip chase her in ways she never did before. Some people were concerned that Zoë started to play too rough in this video, and it’s true, she did. Zoë’s a bit like the Hulk. In Bruce Banner mode, she can have lots of fun. But if she gets too excited, she starts to turn metaphorically green and goes into “smash”—or, in this case, “chomp”—mode. Pippa seems to understand that the best way to respond to this is to basically play dead on her back.
Oh, one last thing. Someone insulted Pippa on Twitter and I responded with a fairly juvenile retort. That’s not important. What I really liked was the way folks rallied to her defense. Some of the replies are awesome.
submitted by Sir-Matilda to tuesday [link] [comments]

Reflections on my trip

Before going to Aruba I, like most people of my generation (late 20s), googled the crap out of Aruba. I especially googled what life outside of the resort/hotel zone is like. While there was lots of info on Aruba hardly any of it pertained to the non-resort life. Meaning, when people on forums ask "where do the locals eat", or "where can I get a reasonably priced meal", the answers given were absolutely given by people living the high life in Aruba. $30 entrees? The locals aren't eating there. And, if the place advertises itself as "where the locals eat!" (like Driftwood does), then that's not where the locals eat. That isn't to say that none of the locals eat there, as I'm sure many do. But when people from my generation ask "where do the locals eat?" they mean "where does the working class eat?".
Now that I'm back from my short trip to Aruba, I feel like I have some info to share to others of my generation who aren't looking for a 5-star Aruban experience, but who are traveling on a shoestring, want to see Aruba without paying >$100 for a two hour tour in a 4x4 with six strangers, etc.
First tip: Airbnb
Hotels in Aruba are plentiful, and very nice. They're not even necessarily expensive. But Airbnb has penetrated Aruba and it's great. We were lucky to stay with a local who has an attached suite, rather than simply simply renting out their condo while they're away. As a result, we had locals (like, 365 days a year-type locals) feeding us info. Airbnb also kind of forces you outside of the hotel zone: we were a good 8-10 min drive away from the Highrise area, which helps when you're trying to be adventurous and explore the neighbourhoods. Our Airbnb hosts were very attentive, provided a lot of "gear", like a cool, beach chairs, maps, coupons, flippers, etc. They warned us when something went down on the island (we were there during the recent flash flood), and had ideas about how to get around. And of course, Airbnb is cheap, often come with kitchens, which allow you to head to the supermarkets and cook using local ingredients. Which brings me to the next tip.
Tip two: Supermarkets
Prior to arriving, whenever grocery shopping was mentioned in anything I googled it basically always referred to the large supermarkets, and especially Super Food. We went to Superfood and found the prices comparable to grocery prices in Canada (even after the conversion. Also note, we live in Victoria, BC). Items that were packaged (like cereal) were more expensive. Fruits (like limes) were ever so slightly less. And everything else (like meat and veggies) were about the same.
And while Superfood was great, we found little to no reason to return; there are plentiful mini-marts and neighbourhood markets were everything was cheaper. There was nothing we needed that we couldn't find in these markets, from groceries to sunblock to booze to personal care products. I honestly don't think you need to bother with the large supermarkets, the little neighbourhood ones will do. If you're in the high rise zone, the closest one is at the Unicasa, beside the Wendy's. If you're anywhere else, there are lots.
Tip three: Beaches
The Palm Beach and Eagle Beach areas are indeed much fun. There's a lot going on, people to mingle with, booze everywhere, and happy hour is easy to find.
If you're anything like us, we kinda didn't love that. We wanted more spacious beaches, with calmer atmospheres. In that case, allow me to suggest three spots.
The first is just off the high rise beach zone. Heading towards the lighthouse, right after the casino on the left if a parking lot that was never ever full. The only people that seemed to park there were trucks with boat trailers. Park here and find a very peaceful beach with no rocks, and soft sand. It was a fabulous spot, with all the same view and sand quality of Palm Beach without any of the buzz and crap.
Second, is a short walk from the lighthouse north, across the dunes, to an oddly shaped rock I doubt you could miss. When we first arrived there were some nudists there hanging out in what is clearly a secluded and rarely frequented spot. Water was clear, and the view was spectacular. Not to mention how good water feels after a 10 min walk through the desert sand dunes in a blazing sun.
Third, is Daimari beach, which I'll say more about in the next tip...
Tip four: Arikok
Definitely worth the time. But also not something you have to rent jeeps for or take expensive atv tours. If you dedicate a day to Arikok (like, 8 am to 5pm) you can do all you need to. I'll tell you what we did on our "Arikok day", which was probably the highlight of our trip.
First, recognizing that Arikok is a desert, we woke up early and drove to the main entrance to the park. We arrived exactly at 8:00am on a day that was slightly cloudy. Bought our wrist band and promptly exited the park the way we came. Leaving the park there's an immediate right that says "Daimari" onto a gravel/dirt road. We followed that until it intersected witha paved road and a sign saying that to the right is an entrance to Arikok. Down that road is the Shete entrance to Arikok. It allows you to turn a very long hike to the Natural Pool into a short hike. Hiking from Shete to Natural pool took 45min (and I am in no way in shape). We arrived just as the first tour left, allowing us full access to the pool with not another soul around for about and hour. Then, heading up the coast from the Natural Pool we hiked the 15 min to Daimari Beach, which was easily our favourite beach of the whole island. It is isolated, strikingly beautiful, unique in that the "shelf" that has been eroded in the middle divides the beach in two, and most importantly there was shade provided by the cliffs. This was vital, since by this time the sun was out in full force. Hiking became less than safe, so, we stayed, lounging at the beach, for hours waiting for the sun to go down a bit. This was wonderful. Shaded by the cliff, dipping in the slightly wavy ocean, in the beautiful location... Daimari is an Aruban paradise. Two tour companies took people here while we were there. They jumped off the cliffs and promptly left. For us, we drank 5L of water on this hike.
As soon as 3:00 rolled around, we started to pack up and began our hike out (about 55min).
Now, since we spent so long at Daimari we decided to do more Arikok the next day. We drove around to the south side of the island and the Vader entrance. We easily drove our small, compact rental car up the gravel road alongside the wind turbines (very impressive), and up to the Guadiriki caves. Spent some time there and continued up to the Fontein caves and Boca Prins. After returning, it was all basically just a couple hours; less than a half day. If we had planned our hike to be an hour or two quicker we likely could have done it all in a single day. Since we didn't drive all the way through the park's main road I can't speak to the drive-ability of it all. However, I do have some car tips!
Tip five: Cars
The rental companies, and the Arikok website, do a fair amount of fear mongering about the quality of the road that runs through the park (IMO). If I were to speculate, it would be because the nation's economy makes a fair amount of coin off of Jeep rentals, 4x4 tours and such. So, they would have you believe that travelling into Arikok with a compact car spells certain doom for your vehicle, and the rental agenies will warn you multiple times that if you have car damage or trouble that occurs within Arikok park, you are not covered at all, even if you purchased their limited liability coverage plan.
So, I was pretty worried as well about road conditions but there was no need to be. Day two we drove our little compact rental through the road that runs from the California lighthouse, along past the dunes and down the North East coast, up to the chapel. It was slow going, to be sure, as we made sure to go at little more than the speed of a quick walk or slow jog. But at that speed all the bumps become easily managable and we didn't bottom out the car once.
Similarly, driving the dirt road past the wind turbines in Arikok and up to Boca Prins was more than fine. It's like driving a country road in rural Alberta, in my opinion. Take it slow and you'll be golden.
As long as I'm talking about cars, a few sub tips: they don't do as many lights in Aruba. Mostly round abouts. Might wanna brush up on round about etiquette before going if you're not familiar. The map that you get at the airport has common road signs on it! And while the road system on the ground looks complicated, with many un-named roads branching off of main routes, honestly, just worry about the main routes (of which there aren't many). Parking in ample pretty well everywhere, even downtown. It's cheap for pay parking where that's needed. No right turns on red lights. And finally, they do street lights on the same side of the intersection as where you stop, rather than opposite. So, you kinda have to lean forward to see the lights if you're in a low vehicle.
Tip six: Eats
I can't express enough how the most mentioned places were just tourist traps. Driftwood, Smokey Joe's, Wacky Wahoos: all very expensive. That isn't to say they're bad (we thought Wacky Wahoos was fabulous), but there not "where the locals/working class eat". The best (in terms of the matchup of quality and cost and authenticity) of these more expensive places that we went, we felt, was Red Fish. The catch of the day pan fried was delicious, and the local corn bread stuff they serve all over town was the tastiest at Red Fish as well. We never got to Zeerover's, sadly. I'm bummed about that. But the point is I can't comment on it.
The best recommendation I have for those who want some real eats is to explore the 4A/B route. There are a lot of neighbourhood eats along that road that are fabulous. Fermin's BBQ was a highlight, where you could get a 2 person BBQ Platter with Yuca Frita (fucking YUM) for 34 Florins (whereas all those places mentioned about are usually 50 Florins or more per dish!). Buckets of six local beers for 25 Florins. It's great. The ambiance is fantastic, the locals chatty and open for conversation if you reach out. Just don't couple blocks south east from Fermin's is a small Columbian food diner kind of thing. Delicious arepas con queso. Had some chicharrón there that was as authentic as it gets. From there, I'd stress being brave and trying the food trucks. They mostly open after dark (I imagine because being inside one of those in the day would cook you), and there are dozens on every route. Since the water on the island is pristine (by the way, the water is pristine!) we didn't worry about getting sick, and we didn't. We tried some Dutch pancakes for what felt like was a dime, more Columbian food, some of the "snack" places (essentially you pick a filling and they put it in a hot dog bun), and some delicious burgers. I couldn't even tell you where these places were since we just drove by them and pulled over when we were hungry. But they're great! At these trucks we were paying 20-40 florins a meal for two people rather than 80-120 (or 140 at Wacky Wahoos. Ouch).
Be brave and you'll be rewarded.
Tip seven: Shopping
Much the same thing applies to shopping. Now, I'm no shopper; that's my partners deal. But we did the High Rise mall area and found all the usual high-end brands: Pandora and a thousand other jewelers, Calvin K., whatever. And downtown at the "fashion capitol of the carribbean" we found Gucci and Mango and all the European brands. Whatever. The prices weren't any better than back home, so we were left asking "why?"
Well, then we started going into other stores we found kicking around a little outside these zones. The most rewarding one (at least for her)? DShop. Good prices (slightly cheaper than home) and lots of variety with good quality and unique styles.
Feel free to explore the local stores rather than just stampeding the big brands. Aruba's government has done a lot to encourage the local fashion industry, and it seems to be paying off. You can buy Prada back home.
Random dump of tips!
The rest of my tips don't have enough substance to equate to a whole section, so I'll just dump them here.
Tip the bag boys/girls at the supermarkets. Chances are they don't have a wage and only make money based on tips. If you're gonna buy cherry tomatoes at Super Food, don't put them in a bag; they have designated plastic cups for those. Whatever produce you do get there, take it to a weigh station which will print a ticket with the price for you. Cereal is absurdly expensive at Superfood, as is milk and butter. The Cherry Limeade at Save Lots is delicious! We did not love Baby Beach by any strech of the imagination. In fact, most of the South East side of the island felt like it was all the rage once upon a time, and then it was overshadowed by the North West; many abandoned businesses and homes down there, but I wouldn't make a whole day of it. Interesting to see and worth just driving around. Bring water shoes. Especially if you're going to walk out to the shipwreck because there's some coral that stings out there. For Canadians, it cheaper to pay for stuff in Florins than USD. It is easy to get cash, especially if you bank with RBC or CIBC, as they have branches in Aruba! Buy lots of sunscreen. The aloe museum is very accessible and worth the trip. I preferred the beer Chill to the staple Balashi. Sunday and especially Monday, everything seems to be closed for most of the day. English is the lingua franca pretty well all over the toursit zones, as expected. But outside of that, while Enlgish is still very present, we found Spanish more useful. So, if you know Spanish then great!
Oh, and Aruba is great! Enjoy.‎
submitted by AlexRogansBeta to Aruba [link] [comments]

My introduction, plus a quick story.

Hey all. I found this subreddit through a friend a few days ago, and decided that you all might enjoy a few of my stories every so often. As a little bit of background, I'm currently living in Alberta, Canada, and have been in the security industry since I was 18 (I'm currently 25). I've done a wide array of security-related jobs, including: Static security, mobile patrol, retail loss prevention, casino security and armored truck. I'm currently working towards employment with a municipal police force.
In my 7 years in the industry, I've had a number of experiences that have changed, jaded, enlightened, taught, broken and made me who I am today. I look forward to sharing some of these experiences with you all in the time to come.
Let me start off with a fun story I like to call "The Crazy Pisser".
It all began at my first security gig ever. I was 18, and placed by a local security company in a large office building in the downtown core. My equipment consisted of a cell phone, black clip-on tie and a poorly designed dress blazer and pants combo as a uniform to imitate "professionalism".
I'm working weekends at this point because I'm in college and need the money. The job was decent, because I was mostly sitting behind a concierge desk monitoring cameras, pushing access buttons, checking ID's and the like. Being the weekend and that most office-goers are at home with their families, I got very little in the way of traffic through the building. Plenty of time for studies.
So here I am trying to navigate my way through a rather tricky term paper when I hear a loud bang, followed by unintelligible screaming. The hell? I peek up from over the counter-style desk and see a man down the lobby, banging on one of the doors and yelling obscenities. I finally make sense of what he's saying "I WANT TO GO TO JAIL, CALL THE POLICE."
Well, there goes my quiet afternoon. I call down my partner from his tower patrol and wait until I hear him get off the elevator, then proceed forward toward the peculiar, screaming man. I manage to get nothing out of him aside from "ARREST ME, FAGGOT!" and similar pleasant banter. Well, time for him to go.
I tell him plainly to get out, and that I'm not wasting the police's time with this. I manage to get him into the area between the two sets of doors leading outside, and lock the inner doors behind him. I then turn and walk away when my cellphone/walkie-talkie chirps, and my partner's voice rings through: "Uh, you might wanna turn around, man." Fearing the worst, I turn. And there he is, pissing against the glass window in my general direction.
Oh for f*ck sake.
As I head back toward him, his yellow stream stops and I unlock the inner door, shouldering it open and bouncing him back a bit without even so much time as to put his dick away. I manage to spin him around, grab him by the collar and rear belt, and haul him outside to the street (yay for well-placed PUSH doors).
I assertively push him along down the sidewalk while he keeps yelling his obscenities, and move myself back onto my assigned property. At this point, I decide it's a good idea to call the police and watch from a distance. The operator informs me that the police are not, in fact, too busy this afternoon - and a cruiser in the area will be by as soon as one's available. "Great," I reply, "I'll keep you on the line while I keep my eye on this guy, then."
I follow the man for about half a block from about 30 meters, giving the operator the direction he's heading and what he's doing. No police yet, but they couldn't be long, right? Luckily the streets are fairly bare for foot traffic, so no one is getting directly harassed by him yet - can't cause too much trouble. Or so I thought.
"Uh, buddy?" I say, speaking into the cellphone. "Yes, sir?" the friendly operator replies. "He just tossed a metal sign through a sandwhich shop window."
This event made the Pisser jump to No. 1 on the Police Response List, according to the operator. When he was clear of the store, I ran inside quickly to make sure everyone in the shop was alright - which, aside from the poor girls behind the counter being scared shitless, everyone was fine. I poked back outside to find that the Pisser was making himself comfortable in the middle of the intersection, sitting down with his legs crossed as cars tried to maneuver their ways around him.
Thankfully, a short few moments later the cruiser pulled up beside me. As the police exited the vehicle, the man stood and started yelling his obscenities again as he was walking towards the officers. He received a few warnings to get on his knees and put his hands behind his head, but ignored them persistently through his screaming. One officer had his baton out while the other drew his taser, and when the Pisser ignored his last warning, ended up with a jolt straight to the sternum and dropped to the ground. Had he not already evacuated his bladder on my window, I imagine he would have pissed himself as he convulsed.
After he was safely stowed away in the back seat of the cop car with his pretty new bracelets, the officer explained to me that the Pisser was a recently released patient from the local hospital who suffered from an acute bipolar and schizophrenic disorder - and had obviously been missing his medication.
My duty done, I made the journey back to my building and settled in with a coffee. I still had a lot of work to do. A student never rested.
submitted by FenrisJager to talesfromsecurity [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: We are five hitchhikers who have used our thumbs to travel over 270,000 km collectively in 30 countries. AuA about hitchhiking!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-12-18
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Obviously, a big part of hitchhiking is the human aspect, but let's talk about vehicles. You've spent more time in the passenger seats of more vehicle types and makes than most. Have you developed a preference? Freightliner vs. Mac., which is the better truck? Strangest vehicle you've ridden in? Most luxurious? Smoothest suspension? Most likely to be driven by somebody who will pick up hitchhikers? Love this question! Honestly, any time a truck stops it's one of the best feelings you can know. Last summer I was in south east california and the sun was almost down. I was just about to go set up camp when a huge 18 wheeler pulls over. You always have this moment of frantic euphoria as you run towards the truck where you think to yourself "HOLY SHIT HE ACTUALLY STOPPED FOR ME". Riding in the back of a pick up truck is a close second for most fun. Got a long ride (also last summer) in a pick up from Arizona to New Mexico. Felt so good to have the wind in my hair as we blazed through the desert. Good times! Strangest Vehicle? Freight train, 60s VW beetle, minivan piled high with birdfeeders one time. Smoothest suspension? Trucks aren't bad, had some very nice luxury 4x4s which were great. Most likely to be driven by a hitcher-picker-upper? Beat up cars are slightly more likely I suppose. Pretty rare to get picked up by a flashy sports care. In general not too much of an obvious trend. Preference? Trucks are comfier and offer better views... but cars are faster. 80kmph vs 130-220kmph can make a big difference if you have a long way to go. Depends on how much of a rush or sightseeing mode I am in. However a car with heated seats is fantastic when you are cold! :) Most luxurious? Several high-end Mercedes sports cars or similar and I hitched a chauffeur driven luxury car. Most often the really nice cars are high-end busniess saloons with a big engine and all mod cons. A mate this month hitched two jaguars in one day(!) and a Porsche two weeks later. Suspension? Well, that would depend on the road. Some of the best cars you will mostly just see on autobahns etc, where you have no way to judge it. Most likely to pick up hitchers? In Europe Polish trucks are pretty good for picking up hitchers (especially if you speak Polish) assuming there is only one driver in the cab already. Other countries, moreso in western Europe and especially in the UK often cannot for insurance reasons. Likewise any trucks carrying flammable or dangerous goods cannot pick up hitchers, and will actually risk being stopped by the cops if there are two people in the cab. Trucker's rides are the best: so comfy, so much view, so much distance, some times a bed, and that oh-so-appreciated little-yellow-thingy that lets you adjust the tightness of your seat-belt (to the ones that have ridden a truck, you know what I'm talking about). Most luxurious: I got picked up by a few sports car, one had retractable ceiling. Not like I cared, really, though... I would still say a truck is the best because of the awesome seat, the yellow-thingy, and the bed. Trucks are nice but in America they don't stop much for you. Been in maybe 2 altogether. For regular vehicles, I've gotten rides in everything from oldschool Porches to the Tesla and everything in between. Amazing Chevys with 800,000 miles on them, a Jaguar with 3000 miles on it (the driver cracked the block on that ride, too!), even got to drive a newer mustang as well. I rarely ever get picked up by VWs, which always throws me off. Don't really have a preference for vehicles. Anything with space works for me! Most luxurious: One of those hummers. They have enough room for your feet to fit two more full on yous. Smoothest ride: The big rigs I've ridden in were really, really comfortable. The best trucks are the ones with two bunks and a driver who is willing to let you sleep in one of them and continue driving in the morning.
How did you guys get the idea to do this? What percentage of drivers do you estimate actually gave you guys rides? I think we all had different reasons. I was in Tasmania and there was no other way to travel as I didn't have a driver's licence. It was either hitchhike or don't go. Once I started though I realized how much fun it is, and was hooked right away! The percentage of drivers varies incredibly from place to place. New Zealand and Bhutan were the best. You'd wait 5 minutes max (Maybe 1 in 4 cars would pick you up). Mississippi and Western Ontario were the worst, huge wait times (1 in a couple hundred I'd guess).
A) A desire to travel and really see the country and meet the people rather than just out of bus/train/plane windows. Also, I hate long cramped public transport journeys and was aware that by making my money last I could travel further and for longer.
B) Depends on country, the area of the country, the weather, the time of day, how you are dressed, if you are alone or in a group, the spot you are hitching from, the number of upcoming turnoffs from the road etc etc. You have to be patient and you will often get a ride quicker from a small village with almost no traffic that you will with a city. That said, I have also been offered lifts by people before I even got a chance to finish making a sign or approach and ask them! :) Percentage? Anything from 100% some days to 0% others.
Free transportation. on average maybe 0.5-5% will pick you up depending on location.
I live in a pretty rural area, so getting around wasn't easy for a broke teenager in high school. Eventually I fell in love with the people and the experiences and decided with hitchhiking I could go anywhere I wanted. All it takes is a bag and some gumption.
Ride percentage strongly changes based on location. In Utah the rides were extremely few and I only got rides from people not from Utah. In Colorado they lined up for me.
My father hitch-hiked a bunch when he was younger. When I learned about this, it impressed me. I thought the adventures I would get out of such a trip would be pretty awesome.
The other side of it is that I had been refusing to get my driver's license because I believed we could organize ourselves as a society in such a more efficient way than by simply all having our individual car. I thus tried to opt out of the system by trying hitch-hiking as it created absolutely no economic demand that would stimulate the oil-economy or the car-economy (unless we count the (small, I believe) amount of extra fuel burned caused by my extra weight in a car). Nowadays, I wish I had my driver's license already because I would have been able to help out certain sleepy drivers and thus give them a pay-back, in a certain way. Hell, a trucker in Ontario this year even asked me if I wanted to take the wheel, but then he ended up denying me the opportunity due to my license-free condition. Ah, the errors of the youth! However, no regrets: the last three years of hitch-hiking have been totally awesome.
Another point would be the cost of travelling while hitch-hiking: the difference is so enormous you wouldn't believe it. If you adopt a rent-free life-style as well, you are looking at an extension of your trip possibly by over 200% (if not way more, depending on the current way you travel/budget). I mostly only pay for food when I am on the road: this means I can easily budget to around 10$/day. Actually, this year I decided to come back to Montreal from Western-Canada by going through the US: the whole trip lasted 32 days (I took my time to take a look at the wonderful National Parks) and cost me 200$... that's a single day of work as a tree planter. (But keep in mind that I also practice dumpster-diving out of disgust toward the horrible amounts of food that can be wasted... and for budget purposes as well.)
The last point would be about the travel itself. When taking a bus, a plane, or whatever, you usually only get to see Point A and Point B. Now if you think about it, hitch-hiking from Point A to Point B has many advantages: it gives you more time to explore the in-between, it lets you meet the locals and talk with them about their political issues and views, and they also tell you about all those little secret places that the bigger crowd doesn't necessarily get to see, and finally there is a chance for you to find a random adventure to be proposed to you.
For your second question, I am afraid it'd be too hard to give you a correct answer. A "percentage" wouldn't be representative of any situation in particular: "waiting time" is a more precise data to ask, if you want my opinion. In terms of that, I would say that I can wait anywhere in between 1 to 75 minutes on average (I mostly wait 30-55 minutes), with a fairly high probability of waiting several hours when you are trying to get out of a big city (higher demographic densities usually correlate with less trust toward each other). That and my love for wilderness makes it so that I tend to avoid big cities as much as possible. The smaller towns have the best adventures and people. :)
How do you handle safety concerns? As a woman, I would be paranoid about getting robbed/kidnapped/etc. I have met a lot of women who hitchhike alone and say they've never had a bad experience. They carry phones, a knife or can of mace, and let people know their route before leaving. That being said it is probably best for women to hitch in pairs, or with a male friend if possible. When I discuss with solo female hitchers, they are not denying that there is a risk to hitching solo, but they're not convinced it's any more dangerous than walking alone downtown at night.
I generally do not worry too much, though if my spidey-senses tingled I'd decline the lift. Besides, there are far wealthier looking people to rob than me! I do understand the worries about the safety of hitchers as we never know who will stop for us, and while some female hitching friends prefer to hitch solo, some will only hitch with guys. Again, this varies upon where they are hitching, as some areas are safer than others (often for cultural reasons).
Most of us dont bring any sort of self defense other than a good head on our shoulders. that is the only weapon which cant be used against you.
If you feel threatened and someone doesn't pull over you always have the option of grabbing their steering wheel and causing a wreck. they will have a hard time kidnapping you.
Never had any violent situations. I've always carried a knife but its never been anything but a tool. I've travelled with and talked to female hitchhikers and they also never had any real violent experiences. I can imagine it being much more scary for them, but females also tend to get rides faster since people tend to want to try and help them.
From my personal experience, the solo-hitching women that I've discussed with told me they some times meet jerks or perverts, but that those persons never tried to be forceful about anything. As soon as you identify their "little game", simply let them know you are not in their car for that and they usually either drop you, or drive you safely.
As a general rule, it seems like for girls, you will have to cover up (don't hitch with a skirt kind of thing).
In terms of safety in general, I have never felt threatened. People usually assume that a hitch-hiker is pretty poor, so robbing is kind of a ridiculous thought that doesn't come to their mind. In terms of being kidnapped, as TheWindAndRain said, you do have a certain control over your situation: when someone goes away from the planned route, ask them why, and if it sounds fishy, asked to be dropped right away (most of the people are aware that a hitch-hiker may be stressed a bit if they move away from the planned route so they will explain it ahead of time anyways)... and if they refuse, that's when you indeed want to turn to wheel, or use the hand break, or whatever. Realize that they have to keep driving safely so they can't concentrate all their energy on defending themselves from your attacks. Also, if you carry a knife, please make sure you know how to use it for self-defence: else it is too easy to be turned against you.
But really, I don't think you should be worried about that too much, though it's always good to be prepared.
To be fair, you wouldn't have much chance to talk to a woman who had a very negative experience. This is a good point. I would imagine, however, that these dangers exist in many aspects of traveling solo, not just hitchhiking. That being said, if you ever did want to try it, find a friend and hit the road!
Have there been times where the person picking you up seemed a bit off, and so you decided to wait for another driver? Or do you guys pretty much get into the vehicle of whoever stops? There have been a few odd ones, but nobody that has made me feel threatened. If ever I do feel threatened in future I will definitely not get in the car. It's a good policy to say you're not going to the same destination if you feel threatened.
Turned down lifts because of tingling Spidey-senses, though it happens rarely. I have also accepted lifts from what are called 'The Travelling Community' in the UK/Ireland (Gypsies basically) who have a bad reputation. They were mostly lovely, with one exception in Scotland. Was offered to go to a party with one set in Ireland, offered work by ones in England and other in Scotland saw me getting out of a car in my destination city and asked if I was looking for casual work! :-D.
Generally though we are fine, my way of looking at it is the assholes drive past. Lots of nice people too, but virtually no assholes will stop.
I have never turned down a ride that was going where i wanted to go. plenty of times i have gotten bad vibes and no one has ever tried to hurt me.
Yeah you gotta get a vibe for the people. Its really rare to turn one down, though. You can't go on visuals, either. One ride looked like an axe murderer but was the nicest guy with the softest voice. I've had uncomfortable rides, but never felt in fear for my life. People are generally good.
I have refused very few lifts, maybe 4?
Two of them were refused because they weren't driving very far (under 5 km) and the further point was not going to add any new traffic, and I was hitch-hiking at a very good spot (you never know if where you'll be dropped will be a bad spot, so some times it is in your interest to stick with a good shoulder).
One was because she asked me right away that I would have to split half-half the gas cost if I wanted to enter her car, and it's not like she looked like she was part of the lower socioeconomic classes. To me, that didn't sound like a person that I wanted to meet, so I just refused.
The last one was because I had been given 3 lifts over 1 km each (without having to wait a single minute in between!), and that one was also going only 1 km ahead, so I decided I had had enough of those lifts. Luckily enough, right after she departed, a guy did a U-turn for me and decided to go for a 14-hours detour to drive me to my destination.
EDIT: I'm forgetting a lift where I was simply not headed the way it was going.
What is the longest you've waited for someone to give you a ride? What's the longest distance someone drove you? Longest wait time: about 24 hours in the Australian Outback. I was well stocked with water, and I had a tent, so I knew I wouldn't die. If ever I started running low on supplies I would stand in the road and flag down a car. If a car sees you are in distress (or waving an empty water bottle) they will stop right away. Longest distance, probably North Carolina to Syracuse, whatever that was. Though I did have 1200km on the east coast. I think payne007 had a massive one down the west coast from Alaska to California or something.
A) Spain, 2 days. I hate hitching in Spain.
B) From near Nimes in France to a bit north of Valentia in Spain. About 700km, including an overnight stop in Barcelona. Also been offered, but had to decline, a lift from Poland to London (about 1200km). Had a football game to go to, so only went the first few hundred km with them.
3 days in phoenix. other than that my longest wait is 8 hours in kansas.
My longest distance ride was from palmer alaska to bakersfield california, 3,250 miles.
The longest I've ever waited was about 2 days. Finally got a ride by pouring out my water and waiving someone down. Had to sit on someone's lap for over an hour and hang my head out the window but a ride is a ride!! Longest ride was San Francisco to LA. Awesome dude, I still keep in touch with him.
11 hours, up in Watson Lake (Yukon). After that it's 9 hours out of Vancouver (BC), and 7 hours out of Winnipeg (BC). 6 hours out of Calgary (BC).
As you can see, it's mostly with big cities that you wait several hours. The Yukon one was because I wasn't trying too hard: I was reading, or juggling.
You can assume you'll have a ride under 75 minutes for sure generally.
This year, I got a few pretty (some times only potential) good rides: I had a trucker that went all the way from Hearst (Ontario) to Edmonton (Alberta), and another trucker from Oklahoma to New York. I also had a ride from Whitehorse (Yukon) to Kitwanga (BC), but she was actually going all the way to Sudbury (Ontario), and I had to get off there to go to Terrace. From that same spot she dropped me, as I was hitching to Terrace, I had to turn down another epic ride that was going all the way to California! That damned detour to Terrace was pretty awesome though: I met a nice family that hosted me for a few days and we went hiking around and stuff. Last year and the year before, I also had a trucker that went from Montreal to Winnipeg.
Really?! You just walk up to the locomative's driver and ask them? By that time, you are already trespassing, I believe, so the good old white-truck can bust you, no? There was no barrier where I was between the tracks and the road, so yeah, I just walked up and said "Sorry to bother you, I don't want to do anything illegal or dangerous, but I'm trying to get east, could I ride with you?" The guy set me up in my own cabin with water and AC. Sweet deal!
Jeez! Whereabout? Got pictures? New Mexico. Here's my only pic. Typewriting in the cabin.
You had the typewriting machine with you? Or it was already there? EDIT: Funnily, my only chance to hop on a train was right out of New Mexico, in Hereford (Texas). I brought it. I love typewriting and wanted to write about things as they were happening, as opposed to after having got back. It was a bit of extra weight, but worth it.
I remember someone posting on digihitch a long time ago about hitching with a typewriter, was that you? by the way I have heard from multiple people that just walking up the the conductor and asking for a ride does indeed work. Nope, wasn't me. There must be at least two of us.
Did all the people that picked you up fit into a particular demographic? Personality type? Not at all! And this is one of the best thing about hitching. The only similarity is that they are all profoundly good people, but other than that they come from all walks of life. I've had soccer moms, architects, physicists, a fashion designer, single dads, other hitchhikers, mexican refugees, religious, atheists, people driving to find themselves, a math teacher, a set designer for HBO, one of the merry pranksters, and honestly this list could go on forever. Because of the huge diversity of people you learn so much that you wouldn't have considered otherwise. It's a great way to introduce yourself to different worldviews.
Never! Its always such a variety, all good people coming from different walks of life. You never know who you're gonna meet and the variety of people broaden your understanding of the world around you. You start seeing every individual differently.
Most of my lifts were from a male of about 35-40 years old. - About 60% of those were self-employed. - 85-90% of my lifts had hitch-hiked at least once in their life. - 5% of my lifts had never picked up hitch-hikers before. - 15-20% of my lifts were from woman (ranged mostly from 30 to 55 years old, and the fact that they some times tend to be older is probably due to their motherly nature?). - 75% of my lifts had been in contact with marijuana at least once in their life-time. And 65% of those had been/were actual drug dealers. - 5% of my lifts did a U-turn to come back to pick me up. - Only 4 or 5 lifts had a baby in their car.
(This is, obviously, very subjective and approximate.)
I can't think of other categorization, but if you ask specifically, I could probably give you a number.
What's the most unexpected thing you've used your towel for? Haha, I loved the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series. Honest answer: nothing especially interesting comes to mind besides drying myself off.
Hmm... Aside from the regular drying myself or lying on at the beach/park? Can't think of one thing, but other uses mine has achieved are...
Wringing with met clothes inside to dry them quickly (quick-drying travel towels rock), head/neck-protecting bandanna, to tie things together (when twisted into a rope-like thing), to carry stuff (holding all 4 corners), across the top of my sleeping bag to catch some of the morning dew, pillow/cushion, to prevent unwanted complaints about my sexy nudity, to block cold drafts from under a door, to create shade on a hot day...and of course as an emergency cape! :)
I came to believe that a towel is fairly useless. If you have enough clothing, you can simply use clothing to dry yourself out.
I always carry a towel in my banjo case! Keeps the snare drum dry!
I've always wondered. What about money for your bills? (School loans, credit cards, phone, etc) How do you deal with that while traveling? I have no debts nor contracts. I also hate owing money to anyone. When I am travelling I am usually on longer trips and thus have no rent/electricity/gas bills to pay either as I move out of my rented accommodation. Just day-to-day living costs. I have a bank account, so I can access funds whether I am in the country or not, so long as I don't loose my cards. Which I usually do not.
I usually make sure I'm square with everything at the homestead before I leave. I have very little, and it frees me up. I don't really have an address, I don't have any credit cards, my expenses are few and I like it that way. My phone and expenses on the road are taken care of by saving up some money and busking my banjo. Finding work on the road is also an excellent way to go.
I am homeless and have no bills whatsoever other than a storage unit and a gym membership to shower at, and even that is temporary. Any company that wants to collect a debt from me would find me impossible to contact or find. I am entirely untraceable. I never stay in one place longer than 7 months and often that means no longer than one day.
When I need to provide an address for something, I make one up.
I stay away from periodic payments: any interests on payments, rent, phone, etc..
I work as a tree planter 2 months per year, and as a cherry picker for 2 to 3 weeks per year. Then I pick up any job offered to me on the road.
Since I usually budget to 10$/day, if not lower, it is very easy for me to have no debts, and yet even actually build up my bank account for the day I'll be done with the road-life.
That bolt of fear that shoots through you when you're hundreds or thousands of miles away from home and you can't find your card! Ahhh! Or drunkenly put the wring code into a cash machine thrice when it is your only card, you are on the opposite end of the continent from home...And you have only €0.07 in your pocket. :(
What was the best story you heard from the people you were traveling with? Heard stories from people being abducted by ufos to someone supposedly hitchhiking and having someone pull a gun and try to shoot them as they ran. Most of the stories were probably bullshit. Everyone wants to tell you a story, or be told one. There are some good ones, one dude launched sattelites for a living. Worked with NASA. That was neat. One guy was musician and went into detail on some mothedaughter groupie hookup threesome. Are they true? I don't know but I choose to believe them because that makes life more fun. I had one recently who had dropped out of school and hitched from England to India when he was young. Great to hear people do these things, as it is far better to regret the things you have done than the things you haven't. Not that he regretted doing this! :-D.
Also I thought the title said: We are five Hijackers who have used our thumbs to travel over 270,000 km collectively in 30 countries. With the plane in the image icon I was confused for a bit. A few good ones come to mind. I had a brit pick me up in Australia who wasn't happy with his life in the UK, so he quit his job, bought a ship and sailed to Australia to start a new life. I was picked up by a 'prison architect' (that's a thing apparently) once who had amazing stories about every pub we passed. He had once picked up a hitchhiker who had left home at 16 in France and had traveled nonstop ever since. He was 35 when the drive had picked him up. An Ecuadorian man who picked me up in Louisiana had ran away from home (also at 16) and lived for a year on top of a bakery. Heaps of good ones!
Share a interesting story/experience! Interesting experience? Many of them, it's one of the reasons I hitch. I'll give one coincidence story, one funny story and one sad. There are not many sad stories, but I feel this story gives a good indication of the openness of conversations you can have with a stranger.
EDIT: also, sign or thumb. What do you prefer? What do you think gets more rides? I prefer signs, though sometimes when there is only really one place the road leads I won't bother. Like physicshipster I usually prefer signs, unless the road only goes to one place. Coincidence story: In rural Morocco, just south of the Atlas mountains. Passed the same Polish car and van twice in a day in rural Morocco, first in the morning in the same town as we had stayed in the night before when going to our hitching spot. The second time could see they were just stopped for photographs, and I knew we had about 5km before we were getting out. I quickly made up a sign in Polish on the (correct) assumption that that the car and van would be there soon after us, and going to the gorge at the end of the road. When the car we were in stopped I hopped out, grabbed my bag and while my friend was still getting her bag out of the car spotted the Polish vehicles. I held out the sign and saw the most stunned look on the drivers space before they pulled over and screeched to a halt next to us. Their confusion was compounded by me being a Celt and my friend being Lithuanian - neither being Polish! :-D Anyway, they too were going to Ouarzazate - our destination city a few hundred km away. They not only found space for us but also we went and saw both this gorge and another we wanted to see (the second we had not expected to have time to see, but it turned out they were going to see it too en-route) and we stopped and ate together. The driver of the car knew one guy in Ouarzazate whom he had met before (he did regular charity drives from northern Europe to Senegambia region of Africa). We had a CS host in Ouarzazate, so we were delighted to have a lift to the city. We got to the city and it turned out our host lived almost opposite the hotel our drivers were staying at. Shortly after we got to our hosts place there was a knock at the door - and it turned out that the one guy the Pole knew was our host! :-D It's a small world as they say! :) Sad story: Again with a Polish link. This lift involved a long conversation in broken Polish with a guy with his life in the back of his car who was moving to Germany to work to support his wife and kid. His wife was an extreme alcoholic. I felt really sad for him, I wished I was so much more fluent to be able to speak better with him, to be more comfort to him. I think it was gong him good to talk about it to a stranger, but I felt so sad for him. One of the truly heartbreaking experiences I had hitching. He loved his wife and small son so much, but was being put through the emotional grinder by the wife. He was welling up at times while speaking. I sometimes think about him. I really hope his life has picked up. He didn't even want to move to Germany, he just had to in order to earn a decent wage. Poor guy. generally thumb over sign except when going long distance between major cities.
Have you ever had any sexual encounters or proposals through hitchhiking, if so details? I ended up skinny dipping with a MtoF transsexual in California once. There was nothing sexual about it, but wow did the surgeon do a good job on her boobs.
Only once: I was hitching out of Oklahoma City (waited 3 hours there) and this black guy picked me up (the very first black man to pick me up in 3 years). He was maybe 35-40 years old? Middle-class. He was headed to a casino to the East.
We started talking about segregation (I had so many questions: I was quite excited to meet someone that had gone through it). Then once that topic wore out, he asked me if I had a girlfriend. And then if I had ever been picked up by gay drivers. I said yes, and that I had no problem with it at all.
I'm fairly open-minded, so I simply assumed he must've had a few experiences, so I asked him about that. He said he did, back when he was travelling with the military forces.
The whole time, he looked very stressed (I initially thought it was simply his way of being, and it might have been, who knows). By that, I mean he was changing which hands he was holding the wheel with very often. Anyways, he ended up asking me if I needed to take a shower, and that he could pay for a motel room. I had previously mentioned that I was open to the idea of sexual relations with men though hadn't been presented with much opportunities. That's why he asked me if I wanted to have some fun as well. He then proceeded to mention that he wasn't into "ass" but that he loved sucking dicks (as he said, "sex is sex").
Anyways, I refused his offer, and he dropped me at his exit. I still don't consider this to have been stressful in any way: as I have often said, no one wants to be forceful about those things... simply refuse will remaining open-minded and everything will be fine. I was actually cracking up a smile when he specifically asked me, thinking "well, it took 3 years to be asked that question".
Obviously, I eased him into asking me that question. It was fairly easy to guess that he was getting to that, but I didn't care. Had I not been so vocal about my open-minded point of view, maybe he would've simply asked me quickly as he was dropping me anyways. But yeah, I broke a few rules for when it comes to trying to avoid this kind of proposal, and I consciously knew it.
One older lady in Colorado. It was gonna be a cold night so I took her up on the offer more for the nice warm bed than the sex, but it was a bonus.
A younger, prettier lady in Colorado. She gave me a ride to her hometown and I wound up sticking around for a few days. Saw her again and we wound up watching a movie and going out for dinner. Next thing ya know!
In Santa Cruz I met a travelling girl from Ireland and we hooked up. We traveled together and she was a lot of fun to be around. The sex was a bonus.
On the other hand...
I've had a few guys proposition me in one way or another. Some even offer to pay me, but I've never took them up on it.
Sexual encounters aren't too common, but they do happen. At least for me. If you look like a movie star I'm sure it would happen more.
I have had a dozen or so propositions from men which i had no interest in.
Have had two opportunities to get with women on the road (maybe more for the subtle ones that I didn't catch on to) but my crippling social and performance anxiety meant that it has never happened.
That's amazing because that is exactly what happened in a scene from the movie Transamerica (2005) starring Felicity Huffman. Haha, never heard of it. Who woulda thunk.
That actually sounds like a hilarious story. She was great, we camped together by the Pacific and shared stories about our lives by the campfire. Shame I'll probably never see her again. Oh, I should also mention I only discovered she was transsexual when we first got in the water. A wee bit of a surprise to say the least, haha.
MtoF? Male to Female.
Have you ever paid for a motel room on the road? I like "spaghetti + tomato sauce + canned tuna + celery + carrot + garlic + onion" (all those things can be carried nearly eternally except for celery/carrot which you can simply munch on if they're getting old... also, that recipe is a perfect mix of carbohydrates/proteins/, and is cheap). Trail mix peanuts. PBJ sandwhiches. Vanilla yogourt + Granola cereals. Else, always keep in mind the dumpster diving option! Motels, never, although if I'm traveling somewhere cheap where a hotel room is 5-10 dollars a night sometimes my gf and I will splurge. Couchsurifing is always my first choice though.
What are your classics in terms of food? What is your average daily budget? Food classics - peanuts, bread, canned chicken, multivitamins - Patience brings you what you want. And also that you can learn to adapt yourself. That we are capable of doing whatever we want, generally. That it is important to do what you love in life. That psychedelics are seen too poorly by (or are scaring too much the) current society. That it's better to live by your own set of morals rather than someone else's, hence civil disobedience.
What is the most unusual pet you've encountered on the road? What has The Road taught you? What has the road taught me? People are good. Before I headed out on the road I had become cynical about modern life and the way it was turning people into money chasing pricks. After hitching though I am very happy to say I was wrong on this, that people are still good. Yeah, there are still jackasses out there, and yeah there will always be greedy people - but at the end of the day most people are good! :) Unusual Pets: Only dogs so far, though I heard of a guy who traveled with a pet squirrel.
Last updated: 2013-12-22 14:47 UTC
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[Table] IAmA- Casino Manager, I've seen everything, AMA

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Date: 2012-05-15
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Questions Answers
Are you hiring? I'd love to move to Canada. Absolutely, We are looking for several positions and if you are sincerely looking for a job, message me :)
Does being a Casino Manager makes you keep your distance from gambling? AMAZING question, It actually makes it worse. I had never gambled a day in my life until I took that position. It is the same across the board. Never met another manager that doesnt gamble.
Will you quit this job if you had given the choice? I could not ask for a better job. Excitement every single day. Learing to control personal demons such as gambling and alcohol is always a fighting battle given the situation.
You are 100% right. U of Waterloo in Ontario conducted a study and they concluded that "casino employees exhibited rates of problem gambling that were over three times greater than rates that past studies have found in Ontario’s general population." -Link to uwspace.uwaterloo.ca. I know my stuff ;). It's a weird feeling.
What do you play, and wht stakes do you play ? Also.. Does your entire salary go straight back to the casino after payday? I like to play 1$ slots and blackjack for the most part. On blackjack my average bet is probably 60-75$. My salary does go back, but a portion of it does. I am pretty good at controlling myself, gets better by the year.
How is your daily routine in the casino?Do you get any perks? They pay my cell phone bill. I get paid any expenses you could imagine. I get free tickets and merchandise all the time. Golf passes dinners etc.
Have you ever caught someone counting in blackjack? Several times. With the security features we use, shuffle machines and cutting off 2-3 decks from the back, it's nearly impossible. Hell we will even teach you how to do it if you'll stay a while ;)
How did you get into the Casino business? I applied to become a dealer, years ago. I just worked my way up. Its an amazing business.
Ever had somebody die on your floor? Or at least horribly injured? Yes 2 people have died, one from a massive stroke, and another from a heart attack. We have had at least 25 heart attacks since I have worked there.
Do heart attacks happen more often when people win big or lose big? There has never been a direct correlation between winning/losing big and our patrons having heart attacks.
Interesting. Thanks for the response. Anytime :) I cant believe the responses already!
Statistically, you have the best chance of surviving a heart attack in a casino. The average response time drops from like 15 minutes in your home to something absurd like 30 seconds. We are very quick to react. This and we have first aid training as well as AED on site.
What the highest single bet you have witnessed? Here in Alberta, the maximum per spot on blackjack is 1000. I did witness a total table wager( by one player) Of 15,000. This was after he split 6 times and doubled once. He won evry wager on that hand.
Whats the luckiest person/win streak you have seen? (Not just 1 win but someone winning for a while or doing something crazy and it working) I watched someone win 24,000 on a slot machine. I reset his machine and he won 24,000 the next spin. I had the machine investigated by AGLC and all was well. He was 80 so I don't think he could cheat. Lol.
Do Casino's pump high levels of oxygen into the gambling areas, if so is that allowed? Have you ever caught anyone having sex or masturbating in the Casino? Do the Slot Machines ever get tampered with by cheaters? What is the penalty for tampering with slot machines? No we do not pump oxygen into the casino, It is not allowed. I had to fire an employee for masturbating in the customer bathrooms. Slots are rarely successfully tampered with, but it does happen quite often. The penalty is a fine and up to jail time. You can get in a LOT of trouble for trying something that is nearly impossible, like cheating a slot machine No problem :)
How...did you catch the guy spanking it? I fear to know yet I must ask for I can't think of a logical, sane way you caught the dude. I walked in to the washroom to check on the status of the last cleaning, and I caught him beating it with the stall door open... he forgot to lock it. was very obvious and he didnt even try to deny it.
Nobody forgets to lock the door when they are wanging it. He was off shift in 45 mins too... just couldnt wait.
It isn't illegal, what can the casinos do? We reserve the right to remove any patron at any time for any reason.
Do you still have to cash their chips if you kick them out? If they did not steal them, then Absolutely.
What is the best and worst part of your job? The best is seeing a person win big. The worst is seeing someone leaving in tears and me knowing they are broke and have kids.
Have you ever cut someone a break? Several times.
You've seen everything, have you seen Casino with Robert DeNiro in it and how accurate is that film? I have seen it, and I have yet to see a movie that ACTUALLY portrays a real casino whatsoever.
Most movies don't portray anything realistically. Good point. Casinos seem to be reallly far off though.
What about Croupier with Clive Owen.. good film.. Cant say ive seen it. Will watch.
What's the most desperate attempt to cheat in a casino you have ever seen? A guy in the middle of a hand, did not agree with the way a dealer "flipped" their hole card so he took his bets off the table (approx 1400$) and tried to pocket them before we could count what he had bet. He then tried to replace his bets after we asked with about 800$. It was very very easy to catch the amount that was originally on there. Cameras/pit boss/dealer all agreed to the exact amount. He was later found trying to cash out $600 in chips (after losing) lol.
That actually sounds pretty clever. He should have just gone for a smaller amount though. It wasnt bad. But he was on a high limit table with a lot of people watching
Any pranks you or your employees pulled? Yup, I am known as the prankster. I like to send new employees looking for left handed roulette balls or polish for the blackjack shoes. After they waste an hour or so I tell them. And they are laughed at by patrons and employees. Its all in good fun. Never had a complaint.
What happens to a cheater once you found them out? Is it just a case of the cops getting called straight away? I review the situation, and If I deem it cheating, a review is sent to AGLC and the patrons information gathered along with a police investigation. They will be prosecuted.
Do you catch cheaters? What were some cleveinvolved cheating schemes? I have caught cheaters, almost always at blackjack and threecard poker. The most common way they cheat is called "pressing". Having a partner distract the dealer for a second while they use slight of hand to add chips. Some people are very good at this, so good its tough to see on camera even.
To be clear.. what they do is when they have a good hand, someone distracts the dealer and the guy with the good hand attempts to increase his bet? What do you do when you catch something like that? We ban them Immediately. And other casinos recieve the memo an do the same.
Have you ever caught prostitution going on in the casino? What is the process of banning someone? Do they get put into a system? Do you have a banned wall? Yes we catch dirty prostitutes all the time. The ban process is easy. We take what info we have on them, take a recent photo from a surveillance screenshot and then post it to the banned wall :)
How is the security in the casino? Edit: no i'm not planning a robbery... The guards are pretty well trained. Also we have over 200 cameras. You are on camera within 1 KM of the casino. Also, all doors locked with special proxy cards that only have access to certain rooms, depending on position.
ONE KILOMETER? Are you kidding me? This is very secure, oh my. Cant tell if sarcasm. Detector is broken.
No sarcasm. This blows my mind. I always thought you guys have over the top security, but such a radius around your casino is mind blowing :). Great AMA btw, thanks for your time! I love the response im getting! This is awesome!
What is the process in working your way up from dealer to casino manager? How long did it take, what kind of background did you have prior to becoming a dealer? Also did you have to take any classes or anything like that either at an outside school or a company school to teach you all the ins and outs of the job? Did you ever think you'd be doing this or just sort of fall into it? What kind of responsibilities do you hold? I saw in your other posts that you mention throwing out people masturbating on the clock, helping people with gambling addictions and catching cheaters, but what is an everyday entail for you? I imagine you have to be a man with many hats (VIP guest liaison, worker ally, eyes for the bosses etc) Also last question I swear, what do you think of organized cheaters and the exposure they are getting such as Bringing Down the House/21 or the History Channel show on Breaking Vegas? It took me 4 years to get where I am. Went from dealer to pit boss to pit supervisor to games manager. I haven't taken any special courses really. Some training sessions but that's about it. You need to have the gift they say. As for responsibilities. I am in charge of running every department when I am on shift. And I am in charge of all the money. The movies have not done anything except make us money. People come in all the time thinking they will count cards and win, and we smash them.
In my expeirence, the 'Summon Technician' button rarely works. Thoughts? In my casino, it is attended to immediately. We are the only casino that I am aware of that does this.
Are employees allowed to gamble in the casino where they work? Or is just the manager that is allowed - I noticed you say you gamble off the clock. I live in England and am sure this is against nearly all casino policy. Only waitresses and guest services may gamble in our casino. No gaming worker is allowed to gamble in their own casino in alberta.
Any moral qualms sometimes? Never, Its a persons choice on what the wish to gamble.
Give it a few more years. I've got over that a long time ago. During my dealing days.
a follow up, sorry for that.. How do your co-workers react to yout gambling, does this make it awkward in any way? Actually, I tend to go to different casinos with my co-workers, awkwardness is never an issue.
Since you know a lot about security and cheating, do you know any loopholes in your or any other casino? Our casino is very secure. Some of the other casinos on the other hand..
For example? That I can't really disclose. Although. It's quite funny which one is the worst. I will leave it at that. I'm sure that comment alone will help some people.
Many years ago my mom had a gambling addiction. We werent sure how severe it was, we just thought she would go to the casino and have some fun and risk $200 or so. The casino hooked her in with the whole VIP treatment and rewards as an incentive to come back. One weekend she lost all her life savings ($300,000) It impacted our family a lot, as we were pretty much broke after she lost all our money. Even to this day we havent recovered, i missed out on college to work instead and been on my own since. My mom whos supposed to be close to retirement age is still working to support herself. I know casinos are for entertainment, but more often than not stories like this happen. How do you feel when a family is affected deeply because of gambling problems? Honestly that is the only hard part of the job. But after the years, I've become mostly desensitized to it.
Have you ever seen Ocean's Eleven? Did you just laugh and laugh and laugh? Not a fan of those movies :(
Have you ever been to Montecarlo? Do you think there are many differences between the european casino scene and the US/Canadian scene? Never been to Montecarlo, but from everything I have learned about it, It is very similar to our casinos in Canada (barring a few different table games). They have a lot of the same slot machines and their security is VERY high.
So, do you get hookers? Not once in my life.
Is there a certain amount of time that people are allowed to gamble before some sort of intervention takes place? (e.g. can't gamble for more than 24 hours straight, etc.) Our casino is only open for 17 hours at a time maximum. That is the law in this province. But under certain circumstances, we do offer help to people we notice becoming chronic gamblers.
What Kind of help do you offer out of interest? I get that the human factor is probably the reason its offered as the business side must actually like chronic gamblers. We offer councelling (not directly, but sources) and different programs such as VSE. VSE= Voluntary Self Exclusion. You will be excluded from gaming in ALL of Alberta. If caught in gaming facilities you can be arrested.
Favorite Ice cream flavor? Vanilla for the most part. Although I do like neopalitan.
Have you ever caught your employees stealing chips? Edit: i cant spell. I try to hire employees that I trust with the chips so that I dont have to worry about them. It has never happened to my knowledge.
You mentioned that you try to hire employees that are trustworthy with the chips etc. Do you have to run any criminal history checks, bankruptcy checks etc before you hire people? Do you use continuous shuffle machines to deal blackjack or do you deal from a shoe? If from a shoe, how many decks? How do you combat card counters? What is the food chain like? Here we have Dealers < Floor managers < Pit Bosses < Duty managers < Casino manager. Where do you fit in? How do the high rollers rooms work? Can someone walk in and flash cash to get in or do you need to gamble a certain amount first? What perks do high rollers get? Yes background checks and credit checks are run on ALL employees. We offer both continuous shuffles and shoes We use 8 decks and cut 3 off the back, as well as use a shoe cover. Very hard to count cards like that. In our casino I would be considered 2nd in line. High rollers are treated very well. Comped tabs etc. free trips to shows and all that jazz.
Have you ever seen a man eat his own head? Nope!
Ever seen a card cheat get his hand smashed by a ballpeen hammer ? Never had to use violence for a cheating patron. Drunk patrons on the other hand....
Great AMA! You answer almost everything! Thanks! I try to answer everything, I know i miss stuff but you guys comments lots! hard to keep up!
Here's my question: How do your responsibilities differ from a Pit Boss? Are you in charge of the food and alcohol people, too? How much time per shift do you spend on the floor and how much time do you spend interacting with individual guests? I am in charge of all departments when I am on shift. Pit boss is strictly in charge of the pit. I am always on the gaming floor interacting with guests. Its the best part of my job :)
Any suicides? I live near Niagara Falls and we hear stories all the time of people who blow it all in the casinos and take a dive over the falls. Yes unfortunately. :(
Are you from Edmonton by chance? If so care to comment why CH is still allowed to play in the poker rooms after being caught ripping off casinos with his bad beat scam? Not from edmonton, but I do know who you are talking about. It is the discretion of the casinos. He should be banned but they have failed to file charges.
They are still aware of what he did and as a pretty frequent player it sort of sucks having to sit at a table with someone you know was using dealers to set up bad beats.... You play at yellowhead?
How does the casino decide what background music to play? do you hate those songs now? I ususally pick it. I pick it depending on the majority of the crowd. (old people = classic rock, young people = new music.) We have lots of playlists it doesnt really get too bad.
I notice a lot of times my favorite slot machines are removed from the floor and never to be seen again. Do you guys store them in a basement or sell them to other casinos? Recycle them for parts? Machines are regulated by AGLC, they send us new ones and take old every week.
How long does training for croupier last? Are there opportunities for college students? Training is usually a month long. Its easier to get a job as a dealer if you are young. Young people seem to learn a lot easier.
What is the longest you've seen a customer play a machine? Any 24-hour slot machine marathons? Open to close 4 days in a row. (17 hours a day)
What is your coin-in on an average Saturday night? Biggest New Year's Eve coin-in you can remember? What's the average toke rate? Over 1.5 million. Best tip rate for a week was 30 ish.
How much do you make? What's your educational background? Edit: saw that you can't answer how much you make. So how'd you get into the job? I walked in an applied for dealer. They loved my attitude and hired me on the spot.
So you were hired as a dealer and then moved up in the ranks? Sounds like a sweet job and a managerial position involving actual job duties. Absolutely.
Just curious (and maybe you don't know)-- how exactly is the software sold for the newer digital games? Order "Three of Game A, three of game B" and remain stuck with it? Order them configured one way, but the software can be replaced for a token sum? If so, is it an in-house operation, or a "vendor service has to be called? They can load any firmware specced as compatible with the box? I notice there's always one or two machines in a bank of (physically) equivalent units which have an unpopular game (like the one which starts belting out Dean Martin songs at 600 decibels in attract mode) so they sit relatively unused, but they never change them. Is it laziness, cost, or technical limits? I dont deal with the digital games sorry!
The Ontario Lottery Corporation is in the process of rolling out an online casino. From an industry persepective, what are your views on online casinos? Is the software designed to give you gains but take back once you win-loss ratio is too high? Online casinos (legit ones) Run by pretty much the same stats as a real casino. Same odds of winning almost exactly.
Can you see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Its magically delicious, or wait.. damn lucky charms
What's a good starting job to get at a casino that will eventually get you into a managing position? Dealer is the absolute best.
Thanks for the swift response. No problem.
Just in case you are still answering at all...what's te stupidest/seemingly impossible thing you've seen/heard of a dealer doing? Most awesome/badass? I had a dealer deal a full table of blackjack entirely fucking backwards. I almost pissed myself no joke.
If some patron is winning a lot of money, would you kick them out? Say for instance a guy is playing Blackjack and went from 1000 dollars to 100000 dollars and wants to continue playing. He is literally just owning the table winning 9/10 hands. Would you kick this guy out or let him keep playing? Nope, its good in house advertising to have big winners :)
Not sure if this was asked already, but is there really oxygen pumped into the casinos like people say there is? Or is it just the shiny lights and excitement that will keep you going all night? No oxygen pumped in. Its the lights and atmosphere.
What was the most someone won in one night? 1.1 million dollars.
If I were looking to move to Vegas, how difficult do you think it'd be to get a decent paying job working in the casinos? I have a friend who moved there and is looking for a roommate, but I'm nervous about taking the step without a job lined up. As long as you have a good head on your shoulders and the motivation, its pretty easy to get into the business.
What''s your salary roughly? Thats actually the only thing im not willing to disclose. Sorry pal.
Who is your favorite porn star? Hootie McBoob.
Do casinos usually offer part-time jobs as croupiers? Always have part time positions open. Especially for weekends.
I saw that you didn't like Ocean's Eleven, but how did the guys get all those hooker flyers into the vault? Lol your guess is as good as mine ;)
1) How's the pay? 2) You already mentioned that you worked your way up from a dealer. Is there much higher that you can go? 3) How has the economic downturn affected business? The pay is great You can go to managing a whole casino, given time Business has actually gone up. Alberta isnt very effected by it.
How often do you feel like De Niro? Every day.
Are there or have there been times when you know someone is cheating or doing something "unethical" but you just can't get the evidence? If so, do they still frequent the casino? do you feel like they do it on purpose to piss you (the casino) off because they know that you know? I dont need evidence, if someone is suspected of cheating they are gone. AGLC backs us 100%
I live in vegas and recently a guy robbed a casino and stole like 100k of chips, whats the process of making sure he isnt able to cash those chips in. (He was wearing a mask) So does the casinos like remake all new chips or what? We track our 100$ chips very carefully. when people cashout 100 or more, we know about it. If we dont see them playing, we watch that person closely.
What is the best way to get a room comped for a weekend (I always seem to get Sun-Thur offers)? What is the average bet / hours required of play (assuming black jack)? Is it true you should expect 30% of your losses returned in the form of comps? I wouldnt count on getting 30%, maybe 5-10%. Average bet should be about 50-60$
Lots of questions have come up about players cheating, but what about the house? I know people who have seen casinos get busted for rigging games. I have certainly played at blackjack tables where the dealers seemed to have an uncanny ability to predict hands, I even once had a dealer reveal a blackjack without using the little peek thing. Dealt, asked for insurance (with great intensity), told us we should have taken the hint and flipper her card. Have you seen any cheating by the house or have any reason to think it happens? Never have I seen cheating by the house. I guarantee it doesnt happen in any legit casino in Canada. There are inspectors at all times. I truly believe that it doesnt happen. As a dealer myself I could "predict" my handsquite often. Because you do it so many times in one day you are bound to get it right.
How many bones have you witnessed being broken? or families ruined because of gambling everything away? a lot or a ton? Maybe 5 broken bones, probably 50 families :(
Have you ever felt the need to tell some poor old folks: "Take your welfare checks home." ? Nope, they usually play small just to pass the time. They are very nice.
How prevalent is patron on patron theft? For example, leaning over and grabbing a few of someone else's chips while they're not looking, or tapping their stack with a drink (which happens to have tape on the bottom) or things like that? Doesn't happen very often chip wise. But it does happen if people leave credits in a machine, drop money on the ground, or leave money in an ATM. We will hunt the patron down and force them to pay back the money.
Why do Asians gamble so much and where the hell do they get all of that money? I dont want to speculate where they get it..
What would be the best way to go about robbing a casino? Not trying ;). No one gets away.
What do you do with underage kids or kids with fake IDs? do they ever show up? Kick them out and file a report. If they have fake ID, file it with the police.
I went to the casino for my first time last week. Slots are boring as shit. Do you recommend a black jack guide to get the hang of things? Thanks. Always good to go in knowing basic strategy. check out wizardofodds.com.
How much do you earn on average yearly? Cant disclose that :(
What's your take on Scorsese's 1995 "Casino"? :D:D. Would watch again.
Did you read the novels by Mario Puzo about the inner workings of a casino? Would you say that they are accurate? Not yet, in process.
What's your favorite Canadian province besides Alberta? Ontario.
My question is why did you use a combination of Photoshop and real-life obfuscation for your badge? Carefully torn and placed pieces of pink and black tape, then some kind of 1990s-era Photoshop airbrushing around the perimeter... I was looking for something quick. And I never really used a site like this. I know, I suck.
What are your thoughts on the Martingale method of gambling on Red/Black in Roulette? I have had moderate success waiting for a run of 4 of one colour, then betting $25 on the opposite colour, then doubling each time until I win. Its a very bad system for the most part. you risk a lot to win a little.
How often do customers claim the dealer misheard/misinterpreted what they said to do? E.g.. the customer was playing blackjack, didn't want to hit, but the dealer misheard them and dealed them a card, which caused them to bust. 5 times a day at least. I usually give them the benefit of the doubt.
Are there any games that people can beat long run other than bj? You can't beat BJ in the long run. There is no way to make money.
Since Counting cards isn't illegal, if you catch someone do you still black ball them and tell all the other casinos? No. Unless they actually cheat, they aren't black balled.
What is the craziest thing you've seen? I answered this a little further down bud.
Have you ever seen a guy eat his own head? Hasn't happened to date..
Have you seen a live unicorn? Nope, it was dead.
What's the largest sum of money you've seen someone lose in one day? 100K on blackjack.
So you admit that you are a liar? EDIT: I do believe this means you have to forfeit your casino to me. Rules are rules I guess :(
Have you ever seen a queen in her damned undies, as the feller says? Once back in 06.
Last updated: 2012-05-19 15:36 UTC
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