Monday, December 30, 2013


I have mentioned before that  I have an addictive personality. First cigarettes, then quickly to follow--alcohol. I have my suspicions about food being an addiction also but still think boredom is my nemesis there. 

Cigarettes and alcohol were serious addictions I eventually kicked.   However, I haven't really been tested with gambling ---till my sister's get away to Florida. Could that be a new problem to tackle?

Kid sister Jan, cousin Carolyn and I thought it would be fun to check out a casino the day before we left for the Keys. I had only briefly been in a casino years ago in the Bahamas and thought it would be fun. 

The now defunct (darn it) TV show "Vegas" (set in the 60's) was a real "must see" of mine this year, largely due to the three leading men, Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, and my favorite Jason O'Mara. However, did I really like the  show for the cool songs, neat old cars, the hunky guys, or did the premise of gambling lure me in??

There was a small nagging place in the back of my mind that I might like gambling too much but thought, "what the hey." So Jan drove us to a casino in south Florida and the test was on. 

Jan is a very minor gambler but my cousin is a bit more dedicated.  When we hit the door, Carolyn dismissed us with out a word, put her head down and barreled single mindedly towards the slot machines like there was a magnet in her chest.  We never saw her again till ready to leave.

Jan prefers blackjack and hunted for a table she thought lucky. Fascinated, I became a spectator.  I would not have known the hand signals or how to bet but Jan was comfortable and did quite well.  

One thing that was impossible not to notice about the casino was that the lady dealers were required to be at least a Double D and must wear push up bras to work there. Enormous cleavage was mandatory. And here I thought it was all in the card handling and math skills. There went any thoughts of my ever becoming a  casino dealer. 

Now Jan wasn't breaking the bank but her pile of chips steadily increased. I watched for a long time, then eventually wanting a place to sit, I left my sister to look around. I saw a penny slot machine and thought I could handle that. Besides I had 5 singles burning a hole in my purse and felt I could easily spare them. 

The slots looked different from the older movie versions. All were computerized.  Just feed in your bills and push buttons. With no handles to pull down, there went the little bit of arm exercise that gamblers of old at least enjoyed. No longer is there even a minor health benefit to gambling unless you consider a muscular pointy finger a good thing. 

I understood none of the flashing lights on my machine. Gone were the three dials to watch spin. It was a mishmash of many dials rotating  and the winning combinations were listed to the side. 

I didn't know if I were winning or not by the dial arrangements and winnings no longer pour noisily into a tray. When you are through, you press another button and any winnings you have earned are listed on a stiff paper print out that can be cashed in at a bigger machine. 

So I just watched the tiny print near the bottom that told me either that I had won 60 cents or lost 40 cents.  I only bet one penny at a time so my money lasted a long time.   The chairs were comfortable so I was fine and well entertained. 

Jan found me and informed me that she started losing all her winnings plus her allotted limit soon after I left. Ooh, ooh, maybe I can't be a dealer but there is a possible future for me in casinos as a good luck charm.  Sorry sis.  Who knew I had secret powers?

I checked out for $6.25, a whole buck and a quarter ahead. Yea!! I was feeling pretty smug.  Carolyn said she had won $150.00 and Jan lost her predetermined hundred thanks to my deserting her.

The best thing I learned on that gambling junket was that gambling for me was entertaining but not something I could get hooked on.   Normally, one ticket a week for Lotto and a $5.00 limit at a casino does not scream "problem." Phew. Another addiction avoided. Maybe my addictive personality is cured??  Don't think I will test it further however. 

 On the way home from the casino I did learn something useful from my companions that I wish to share. You may know about this all ready but I sure didn't. Did you know the Wendy fast food chain  gives seniors free drinks? They won't offer.  You have to ask for the "senior drink" when you order. It is a free small drink which for me is the perfect size (New York's exiting Mayor Bloomberg would approve) and absolutely the perfect price. Hope that is useful news for some of you older sorts and if you aren't old enough to qualify, your parents might find the info useful. My last tip for 2013.

Hoping 2014 treats you,your family and friends  to sound health, ease of mind, comfort and a huge dose of happiness.  

Happy New Year to all my blog buddies. You've certainly made my year special.


  1. Love you account of your gambling experience... since I'll only play penny machines I can relate. Some casinos still have the "one arm bandits" that you have to crank. More fun....

  2. Gambling!!! What mischief will you get into Next Year? Seriously you're blog is one of my favorite addictions!

  3. I must agree with Brighid: your blog is addictive. Your style of writing is fun and uplifting. Maybe not as much as a push-up bra, but close! I'm an addictive type, too, but gambling leaves me cold, thank heavens. My grandfather was an addicted gambler. It wasn't pretty.

  4. I remember those Florida by the Seminole tribes..always knew the Indians would win...!!
    Happy New Year to you, too!!

  5. Hi, I just popped in to introduce myself and send along a Happy New Year wish. I saw your profile link in The Farmer's Daughter's blog.

    Been to Vegas myself and LA to gamble, but never got hooked. Now, it's a whole 'nother thing when it comes to LOTTO!!! I'm there.

  6. I've noticed what gives one a gambling addiction quickly ...... to win big the first time gambling. Thinking is, "My but this is easy." Hahaha
    Glad you didn't get hooked. Gambling is legal in MT and I could easily walk to 20 casinos in any direction. But I don't gamble anymore because Cody can't come in. All the dogs are waiting outside by the door. LOL

  7. I haven't been to a casino in 20 years. I have a former sister n law that gambled away her husbands retirement savings. So it does happen... Thanks for the Wendy's tip!!! I wonder how many other senior things I miss.

  8. I don't believe you have to worry if you play only the penny slots. I didn't know they still had those. I have simple gambling rules. I've got fifty dollars to spend. When it's gone, I'm done. I don't often win, but even when I lose it all I've had fifty dollars worth of entertainment that evening.

  9. LOL, LOL...What a GREAT Post! You really have such a WONDERFUL Visual way with words!!! The NEW Slots, sound AWFUL!!! I mean, more than half the fun was pulling that lever and then watching those three thingy's line up with a winning Three Cherries, or whatever...And THEN, Hearing and Seeing the money come on down into that dish looking recepticle....THIS new way sounds so very very boring!!!
    I really LOVED Roulette...and being an Addictive Personality, could have spent a lot of time at the tables, if I didn't have to fly to Las Vegas every time....Well....that was a million years ago.....And Thank You God, the last time I was in Vegas was 1961 Truly! LOL!
    Like you, another Addiction avoided....
    A VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, my dear.....!

  10. We have a bazillion casinos here. I've never gambled in any of them...too loud. But the food is really good in some.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts this year. Learned a lot from you, laughed a bunch and look forward to another year of sharing time together as blogging buddies. Oma Linda

  11. We have plenty of casinos here in MO. I've heard sad stories of folks losing their homes and even taking their lives over gambling. I think I'm addicted to blogging! Enjoyed your post and looking forward to seeing what you will share with us in 2014. Wishing you a very healthy and happy New Year!

  12. I am so with you on this one. I quit cigs and booze is only special occasions now. Special occasions used to be pretty much everything. I like the casinos, but only slots and only the penny ones never lose more than $50. I would be afraid the addictive personality would catch me if I try anything else.

  13. A gambling addiction could take one's finances pretty quick, especially mine since I don't have all that much. I have been to Reno once, played the slots back when they still had the turning pictures, didn't win a thing. I have been to the horse races once and won the daily double. I figured that was beginners luck and I had help from a friend in my choices. I come from a pretty long line of addictive personalities so I try to keep away from what I think I might get addicted to.

    I too wonder sometimes about me and food but when I think about it I usually over eat when I am stressed.

    Great post as always sweet Patti and I enjoyed reading about your gambling experience and thoughts on it. Hugs for you and nose kisses for Minnie

  14. I had a cousin that was addicted to gambling. It was not a fun thing for his family.

    I need to become addicted to walking! I sure do need the exercise.

  15. Odd Essay,
    Thank you. I totally agree, the one armed ones would have been much more fun.

    Aw how sweet and thanks so much. So glad I haven't driven you off with my blather.

    Wow, another great compliment. Thank you so much.
    Ha ha, no comparison to the the uplifting going on in that casino:))
    I know gambling can ruin lives and am grateful that is no longer a concern.

    Blue Ridge boomer,
    The "house" always wins. Some people never learn that.
    Thank you.

    Hootin Anni,
    Welcome to TNS and thank you for commenting.
    Lotto is a lot more handy isn't it??

    Well if the dogs can't come in, they wouldn't get my business either. You're a good mama. Feel badly for those that are left at the door.

    Wow, that was really sad for your brother. It can be an awful thing.
    As for the senior freebies, the places of business sure don't volunteer the info.

    That is the smart way to treat gambling. That is how my sister does it.

    You are not kidding. The slots have definitely lost a lot of their entertainment value. It is so sterile and video game like. Maybe they are appealing to the younger set.
    Wishing you only the best for 2014 my friend.

    Linda W.
    I am so glad you got your money's worth out of me this year. Pretty sure I was priced right. Have totally enjoyed our interactions. Have a wonderful coming year.

    The horror stories about gambling go on and on. Soooo happy that is not a concern for me now at least.
    Blog addiction is pretty common and hurts no one though it can be broadening(butt wise). One of the good ones.

    I know exactly what you mean. We know our limits and the rules. Consequences for ignoring them are too
    severe.Have a great addiction free 2014.

    I could be wiped out in a hurry also since I am just cruising along on SS. Avoidance is the best policy. Think we are both on the right track.

    I know, there are all those cool addictions like exercise and eating healthy that most of us seem to have no pull towards. Need to work on falling under their spell next year.

  16. I admire your recognition of personality traits and staying alert to avoid addictions. Happy New Year!

  17. A friend insisted I gamble $10.00 last time I went to Vegas because $1.00 had been my limit. Gambling went by fast for me. I got up to $30 on the slot machine and then lost it all within 15-minutes. I will stick to my one true addiction, coffee.

  18. I have been to Las Vegas a few times, and Reno and Tahoe. I set a daily limit, and stick to it, which is easy because I'm cheap as well as poor. But, given enough money, I could easily become addicted. Don't think I would like the new style slots, though.

    Happy New Year!

  19. Happy New Year Patti.
    Mac Donald's offers a senior drink deal too and one must ask!
    Buddy and I try slots about once in 2-3 years. Our limit is $20 and we have lots of laughs when we go.

  20. I had to giggle at your penny bets providing entertainment. I'd say you have the gambling thing well under control. No danger for me. I find a casino way too over stimulating.

  21. On our way to CA, we sometimes stop in a Nevada Casino for a potty break and a coffee. I avoid the floor at all costs - the second hand smoke alone could kill you! Oh, and we stop at one that has a good restaurant. Not much of a money gambler, I'm afraid. I've enjoyed this year with you, Patti - hope to visit some more in 2014. Happy new Year!

  22. I tend to be a compulsive person, especially when it comes to over-eating. But I've often wondered if I'd have a gambling problem if I let myself go. Fortunate;y I'm too cheap (poor) to gamble seriously. Happy new year.

  23. I've been to Vegas twice, each time on my way to somewhere else, and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Gambling does not interest me.
    Food, though. That's my addiction.
    Fun post.

  24. Happy New Year, Patti and thank you for being my blogging buddy. I can never be addicted to gambling because I hate giving up money. When my husband and I have been to casinos, $1.00 was our limit to give up to the slot machines. :-)

  25. I have never been to a casino but always thought it would be fun to try the slot machines. Bummer! The new ones sound totally boring. I wanted to pull the arm, watch the cherries or whatever line up and hear the clink of the coins tumble into the cup. No point in me going now. LOL! I KNOW I have an addictive streak ... my weakness is Dr Pepper and cookies.... so I avoid anything I think might hook me. I figure it is easier to avoid rather than overcome. :) I just wish I were addicted to exercise and healthy eating. I so enjoy your blog and am glad I found you this year. I hope you have a wonderful 2014 and look forward to all your posts.

  26. LC,
    As Aunt Betsy said, "it is easier to avoid rather than overcome." And, I am basically a lazy person.
    Thank you and back at you and yours.

    Thank you so much and back at ya.

    It is how quick winnings vanish that keeps me to my 5 dollar limit. Coffee is a safe addiction.

    Me too on both accounts.
    I was disappointed also.

    Did not know that about Mac Donald's. Wonder how many other discounts we are missing?
    Limits are the key.

    Pennies keep the over stimulating factor way down:)) I found the whole casino eerily quiet.

    I was quite worried about that as a reformed smoker, I really hate second hand. Their ventilation system was so amazing that a man lit up at my sister's table and I could smell nothing.
    Still, like you, I am sure hanging around a lot would have to affect you somewhat.
    Please do come back. Have missed your posting.

    Ha, you have names the two biggest reasons (cheap and poor) why I could never be a serious gambler.

    Linda R.
    I have my concerns about food also. but am hoping boredom is the culprit. That is easier to correct.

    You have even better control than I. I frittered 5 times your limit away. Still, I think we are both safe. Thank goodness for penny slots.

    Aunt Betsy.
    You spoke my mind when you said,"it is easier to avoid rather than overcome." Perfect.
    Also glad you stopped by and we met.

  27. Happy New Year Patti. We don't gamble often but when we do I usually win twenty and Mrs. T. loses twenty and we call it quits...:) I do miss those quarter crashing into the tray though.... Its all to boringly automated now.

  28. You gamble the way I do: $5 at a penny slot. It's fun for about an hour, and then I'm done. I haven't been to a casino in many, many years. So the computerized version is definitely news to me. I think I would prefer the old fashioned machines.

    Happy New Year to you, Patti!

  29. Happy 2014 to you and yours. My wish for you is a year full of lots of JOY, PEACE, LOVE and BLESSINGS.

    I have a tendency for LOTS of addictions. The most obvious is my problem with weight, and an obvious addiction to EATING too much. (Hopefully, I have it under control now!)

    Happy New Year.

  30. If you can give up cigarettes and liquor you've handled the biggies so I wouldn't worry about others.
    Hoping you have a wonderful New Year !!

  31. Native American tribes abound in our area and there are casinos at ever turn in the road. The machines are the main draw and people sit with cigarettes dangling and drinks filled and refilled as they stare at the lights pushing buttons or pulling levers as if the are hypnotized. And how do I know this? I'm in the wonderful restaurants where the best food in the world is being served and feeding my food addiction:) Happy New Year!

  32. I quit cigarettes and alcohol, too. Still have a problem with lattes and occasional Facebook games.

  33. TB,
    You even each other out quite nicely. I know, it is so sterile and quiet now.

    Me too. Rustling paper does not do it for me.

    You have done such an amazing job with your weight, plus you have kept it off. I am so envious.

    Not having any casinos handy here in Arkansas helps.

    Grannie Annie,
    You are the second to rave about the food. Seems I missed the best part of casinos. Next time-----

    Right back at ya.
    I thought you had given up blogging. So good to see you back. Hope you keep it up.

    Linda M.
    Ha, I understand. I am now becoming addicted to AARP crossword puzzles. At least that only eats up time and may help the brain.

  34. Oh girl, you crack me up...I don't think gamblers anonymous has you pegged for treatment!

    I know of what you speak about addictive behavior, though...I didn't ever drink..but the cigarettes and the food...oh I was just awful.

    I knew about Mickey D's discount, but not Wendys.

  35. Happy new year!!!! I am feeling much better and I promise promise to go to the post office this weekend!!!

  36. Terri,
    And I didn't know about Micky D.
    Thanks, I hope not.

    Introverted Art.
    Thanks but I am just glad you are feeling better. Patience is my strong suit.