Every so often, Elaine and I decide to run off to a new place to explore, learn about each other, about other people, and to just have fun as humans, being.

This was one of those weekends.  We try to save up and do a couple of these a year.  It’s cheaper than a cruise…the same money would barely have gotten us out of port on a cruise ship.

Off Friday at 11 AM for Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK.

We like casinos for a number of reasons.  Clean.  Great security.  The good restaurants are very good.  They sometimes have interesting entertainment – so we took in the Commodores and the Jacksons on Friday night.  Good old school R&B (lemme hear yah say Brick-(brick) House (house)!).  On the way out, had an interesting chat with event staff – name the songs the Jacksons did that were hits without Michael…

So the entertainment was good.

The Food?  Well, that was a little more problematic.  The buffet (brunch Sunday morning, Butterfields) was good.  The Saturday morning fare at the other restaurant (Blue Moon) was disappointing.  I am just not one of those “pre-formed hash browns” kind of people.

Elaine knew she wasn’t, so she opted for a Reuben sandwich.  It’s probably my fault for spoiling her with my 5-hour low-simmer, fall-apart with a harsh glance, corned beef.  This was more like thin jerky. 

On the positive side? Good staff and upscale food was good.  One of the restaurants is called the Parrott Bar.  Their specialty is something called the Parrot Burger.

So when staff came over to ask what we’d like, I immediately began with “Do they have much in the way of feathers on them?

A moment of head-scratching followed until I explained that “If you’re going to make a burger out of parrots, a parrot burger sez here, do you de-feather them first?”  (groans…but it gets worse…)

Then Elaine says (while we are waiting for the drinks to show up) “Look!  They’re making baskets!”

Since it was a new resort for us, and the outside (where E seemed to be looking) was surrounded by palm trees, I carefully studied about a dozen of them that were in view and announced I was having no luck, whatsoever, seeing the basket-making she referred to.

Look up.”

Oh.

OVER the outside window was a big screen with NCAA whatevers and a selection of kids popping free-throws for charity.

Oh crap…THAT kind of basket-making.  The drink showed up shortly thereafter.

Did you know in Oklahoma that if a bar serves 2-doubles, you can’t buy another drink there for four hours?  I asked the server is they sent our mug shots around to the other dispensaries in the joint.  They don’t.

Every so often I wonder if I should ever be allowed of the ranch, anymore.

What passes for “music” in the restaurants is that boom-box and rap-meets-shrill, over-equalized crap for the most part.  No one seems to notice but us.  It’s like walking on an alien planet.

After our lunch we wandered the casino trying to learn what we could about the differences between stock market investing and people who go gambling at casinos.

Since I’m working on the outline of a new book for Peoplenomics readers, which will be on the learning processes involved in “rolling your own” approach to investing in stocks and indices, I wanted to get a good grasp of what people see in casinos, that they didn’t see in markets.

The Truth is that in operating in markets, you evolve a personal Rule Set and you invest, log on short, based on rules that statistically work.  At casinos, you’re in effect, suspending your belief in statistics for a while.  Hoping that the exception Run will go your way.  It’s like when I go flying (alone) and practice emergency procedures including shutting the engine down.  If it goes on too long, the outcome is (how you say?_) inevitable.

Along in here, Elaine made a pretty interesting observation.  “See how a lot of those people (gesturing) over there are gaming?  They look like monkeys that have been trained to peck for bits of food if they press the right buttons…”

I inspected the area closely, and sure enough. there was a whole see of gray and white haired people and except for a few that were smoking, (smoking people usually had a collection of tats, in my study) and they had to all appearances been hypnotized by the machines in front of them.  It was a pretty cool insight.  There were some people who wouldn’t move for 10-20 minutes, except to maybe put more money in a machine.

And this is a business model?  Well, hell yes, it is!

When I play stocks and manage both our nickels, the only one setting the odds is me as the seller and whoever is on the other side of the trade.  In Gambling, it’s a certainty that the House ALWAYS has the advantage.  (Except for a rare, small asterisk in craps.)

The best game in the house is electronic roulette where you can use a double-up strategy.  Using this, you can somewhat reliably make money by simply doubling your bet starting with the minimum 25-cent bet each time you win, because you can double eight times.

Of course, runs of 8 DO happen and then you are out.  But for a couple of hours while studying other players, you can make about $5/hour reliably.  Until you can’t.

Yet here’s the social oddity:  How is it that people can take off on a Friday (as we did) and go to nice casinos, knowing that statistically, they are not going to win?

In fairness, though, the one “skill” that you can work on in a casino (and I did on this trip) is the art of walking away while you are ahead of the game. Once you learn how to get a little ahead and then leave with a few dollars ahead,  you have a skill which is somewhat transferable to other areas in Life.

It’s like the old Kenny Rogers so, The Gambler

You got to know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away,

Know when to run…

So that was the insight I was working on this weekend.  Along, of course, with Elaine’s long discussion of how no one looked like they has 2-cents to rub together, anymore.

And she had a point. I’d guess over half looked like they had just come in from doing yard work.

At the concert Elaine and I were (as always) mesmerized with each other.  But every so often she’d dart her eyes, one way or the other.

That meant one of two things:  She had seen some member of humanity and she wasn’t able to figure out which gender they were. (“It doesn’t matter to us, dear…”) OR she would be pointing out yet another “couple” that were sitting together connected to entirely different texting realms.  It’s the new “Being together is being apart…”

Odd place the world has become. 

We also got another dose of traffic reality on the trip, too.  Within 60-miles of Dallas the traffic is impossible, even on a Sunday.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Sometimes it’s good to get off the ranch for a while.  Even if the (#$%^&*(*&^%) county can’t fix the roads, maybe it keeps the riffraff out. 

But if they ever do show up, I hope they’re still dresses for yard work.  We’ll be able to fix ‘em right up.

Write when you break-even

George@ure.net

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