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October 2015
Deal Me In

Video Blackjack Paybacks Are Based on Skill and Rules

Video blackjack makes for an excellent practice session partner where you can work on basic strategy. Basic strategy is nothing more than how you play your hand against the dealer "up card." Playing your hand correctly, and on a machine that full pays for a blackjack, you can bring the house advantage down to well under one percent.

September 2015
Further Review

Shining a Light on Mental Illness Onscreen

Over the years, there has been an impressive array of films dealing with the inner workings of the psyche. Here are five favorites well worth revisiting to see how perceptions of mental health and illness and its treatment have changed.

Quotation Quotient

Labor Day Quiz - What’s Your QQ?

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day weekend.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Everybody Comes to Rick’s

Casablanca has become larger than life for us, a film whose reputation has grown with the decades. It will likely always be a favorite for its witty dialogue, its charismatic actors, and its fast-paced plot. It has the irresistible veneer of glamour in an otherwise dark and frightening time.

Deal Me In

Is Free Slot Play Rigged?

That is the drawback of free play; you can’t take the money and skedaddle. In contrast, with cash backs for your action, there is no requirement that you play your cash reimbursement. Like winnings, it is your money, not the “house’s,” and you can always pocket it to use as you please.

August 2015
Dollar Sense

Kidnapped! A Scam without Borders or Conscience

As the caller continued his vicious rant on the speaker phone, Darlene muffled the receiver, quietly picked up the land line phone on her desk and dialed 911. She couldn’t speak to the person who answered the call, but counted on the dispatcher to correctly read the situation and send help. Meanwhile she continued to answer his questions in a calm, but loud voice.


They'll Be Watching You!

Recently I laughed out loud when I saw a Facebook post featuring a black dog with large, expressive eyes peeking over a sofa. Across the post were the lyrics of the Sting song, but with a twist. "Every snack you make, every meal you bake, every bite you take, I'll be watching you."

At the Core

What’s Old is New Again – Reconnecting with Marsala

Consider marsala. Known mostly in North America as an important ingredient in a popular chicken dish, it is a Sicilian wine revered more for cooking than for drinking. Like fringed ponchos, both dry and sweet marsala is back in style and again appearing in everything from sauce to pastry to tiny cordial glasses.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

CCC Movie Fan

This is only about as much propaganda as the film contains, but it’s enough, along with the occasional statement that their folks are getting $22 a month, to remind the audience in this seventh year of the CCC’s existence that it was still kicking and still saving boys and their families from starvation.

The Midnight Gardener

Putting the Garden to Bed

In the autumn, it is a good idea to clear any debris out of garden beds. Leaf removal at this time of year is important to the garden’s health — whole leaves can be a breeding ground for insects and disease. In perennial beds, remove the fallen leaves and any brown or rotten plant stems.

Deal Me In

Change Only Happens When Customers Demand It

The casino industry I was weaned from was built on fair gambling, cheap food, free spirits and great customer service. Say goodbye to that! Corporate America now runs gambling, ruled by bean counters whose sole purpose is to control expenses while procuring more profits for the house.


Sealed Lips

Summoned to babysit when she had her second child, I follow her long lists exactly and never upset the toddler’s routine. Being successful with her instructions made my daughter feel replaceable. Thus I learned that grandparenting means diplomacy, making young mothers feel controlled, self-confident. It also means knowing when to go home.

July 2015
Legal Ease

So That’s What Those Legal Terms Actually Mean

A living will, also known as an advance directive, is not a will at all but a statement or declaration of what type of medical treatment a person wants to receive in the event he or she has a terminal illness or is in an irreversible coma.

Further Review

Sleeping Through the 1980s

So while there was a silver age of film in the 1980s, we slept through much of it. Here are four that eventually became favorites even though we missed significant portions of them on first viewing, plus one worthy film that we just haven’t been able to make it through.

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