Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I am overjoyed to announce that two hours ago, (January 31, 2007 at 11:AM) great friends of MORE GLIB ThAN PROFOUND added the first "future reader" to my web-page. Congratulations to the proud parents as well as their family and friends in welcoming
Lil' Jerry Joseph (6 lbs 7 oz) into the world.

Those of us who are "lifers" in casinos come to accept the ups and the weightier downs as part of the job. However, the great and constant positive is our coworkers. So in a somewhat more somber note, I bittersweetly report that twelve of my supervisors accepted a "buy-out" package and resigned.

In doing a job as difficult as ours, some simple respect goes a long way. Therefore, in regard to these people, my appreciation cup runneth over. It seems to me that the group that left,...probably without exception, displayed a high-level of humanity, energy, depth of character, friendliness and humor that has gotten me through the tough times and the ennui.

So although I'm sorry to lose them, I congratulate them and wish them well in their future endeavors. Those five of you that are readers of my blog, I hope I can count on your continuing support and I look forward to hearing about your personal triumphs.

Additionally, one of our readers, PCSchmee takes pride in announcing the arrival of Peetey's half sister, Kaytee. She's a Jack Russell terrier puppy with great aim...she hasn't missed the carpet yet! So when you visit Casa Schmee, don't go barefoot.

Just for you Meesta Schmee-ster, I'm penciling-in Kaytee as, the first future reader of my the canine division.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Although this article centers on hockey, please try to read between the lines.

Hall of Fame hockey goalie Lorne "Gump" Worsley died yesterday, he was 77. Actually I thought he was already dead so I guess you can say he was ahead of the game.

Based solely on his nickname "Gump," I liked Worsley when I fanatically followed the NHL in the 60's and 70's. As I got older, I learned of his legendary drinking escapades, that he was fat and smoked like a chimney between periods of the games he played. To prove how strange I am, all of that served to make Gump more interesting. My fondness for him is proven by my "tongue-in-cheek" use of the name Dr. Worsley in my novel.

But this piece isn't really about Gump. Instead, its about Lon Nanne, a former NHL player and current NHL executive. Nanne made some stupid comments in eulogizing Worsley. That's bad enough, but I draw the line when he insulted one of my people, Tom "Red-Light" Kelly.

Lou Nanne in an article that appeared at NHL.COM said of Worsley's career, "There's nobody (Worsley) I'd rather have to win one game."

Yes, it's true that Gump is a Hall-of-Famer and his name appears on four Stanley Cups. He indeed won the Rookie-of-the-Year, was an All-Star several times and won the Vezina Trophy twice. But the article with Nanne's comments went on to say that Worsley had a far from remarkable losing record (335-352) AND is in fact the NHL record holder with those 352 career loses.

So Nanne, in naming Gump as his number-one choice to win one (important) game, is at best gratuitous . But it shouldn't be too startling when you compare it to what Nanne said while General Manager of the Minnesota North Stars (the present day Dallas Stars) to "Red-Light" Kelly a former student of mine and current coworker.

On the verge of becoming an NHLer, Kelly's career was cut short by a crippling knee injury. It happened during an exhibition game against the Boston Bruins.; "Red-Light" got taken-out with a vicious and illegal check from behind. In agonizing pain, he was carted off the ice. In the locker room, the trainer recognizing Kelly's pain, began cutting the laces off the heavy shin pads.

When Lou Nanne saw this he threateningly told the trainer, "Do you have idea how much those pads cost...untie them!"

Kelly immediately knew he was nothing more than a piece of meat. And even though he didn't realize at that moment that his hockey career was over...he knew Nanne was a moron. And just in case Kelly has forgotten...and somehow I don't think he has, I'll show him the computer article at work tomorrow.

Friday, January 12, 2007


What's the most amazing testament to man's ingenuity? Some might say the pyramids at Giza or the Great Wall of China. Personally, I lean towards the Sphinx. Unfortunately, due to political reasons, I percieve that my life ambition to visit the Sphinx will probably never be realized. However, something similar is coming to me.

The King Tut exhibit is on loan from the Cairo Museum and is currently being shown around the U. S. Next month, it will begin an eight month stint at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute.

Whether you're a fan of Egyptian antiquities, history, art, or have a fascination for gold or you're simply a dreamer--this exhibit has something for you.

The last time King Tut visited the U. S. was in 1978-1979. During the fall of '78, I was attending the now defunct New York School of Gambling. The school was on West 32nd Street in Manhattan and faced the side of Macy's where Ticketron was located. Everyday the line for King Tut tickets went out the door and extended a full city block to 7th Avenue and probably further. I neither had the time nor the inclination to wait but I checked the length of the line everyday. Finally, on a stormy morning in early October, I looked out the school's window and there was no line. I ran over and got the earliest availability: THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY.

The tickets were sixty cents each. It sounds like something from the depression but that 60c isn't a misprint. When you check the Franklin Institute or King Tut web-site you'll see that the price is $27.50 for adults (Mon. - Thur.) and $32.50 on weekends. They didn't specify what ages qualify for the children's price.

In addition to the date, each ticket in 1978 had an assigned time. I remember freezing my butt off because we weren't permited into the waiting room until 20 minutes before "show-time." After being allowed in, we were lead into a large "holding cell." There were ten or so long rows that ran the length of a great hall. I'm guessing there were 200 people minimum waiting with me. An announcement was made and we were told that there were two rooms and that we would get 15 minutes to wander around room-one until we got "herded" into the second viewing area. After another 15 minute period, we could have all the time we wanted in the *gift shop.

Yes it was cramped quarters, (certain parts of the exhibit drew the bulk of the crowd). Yes I felt hurried. But, because I have a great appreciation for Egyptology, I enjoy history and art and am fascinated with gold treasure as well as being a dreamer, it was without a doubt the greatest thing of its kind that I ever saw.

I have been to the Hearst Castle, I've seen the Hope Diamond, the Mona Lisa, the English crown jewels, the Sistine Chapel, the Palace at Versailles and the Taj Mahal (in Atlantic City) and I still say when you consider all the variables, the King Tut collection is number one.

Hopefully, they'll manage the crowds better and let you linger now but I must warn you, I did see specific times on the tickets. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to taking my wife and son and hope to see you there. If you do go, please make comments here, so the others readers can share your experience.

* Back in 1979, I browsed the King Tut gift shop. There were many inexpensive trinkets but there were also authentic looking replicas, displayed in museum-like glass cases. These baubles ranged in price to over a thousand dollars. It was like seeing the highlights over again.
I was admiring the details of the famous gold funerary mask (see photo above) when two old-biddies (oops, that what we called senior citizens when I was 23), what I meant was, I was standing next to two women and one says, "I'm surprised that they're selling these, when they run out, there'll be nothing left to see."

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Tales from THE "DON'T GO THERE" FILE...Superman

The purpose of this feature is to put my own spin on some of life's less savory occurrences.


Today January 3, 2007, we learned of a heroic construction worker in the New York City subway. He saw a man lose his balance (from a seizure) and fall onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. Without hesitation, the man now being heralded as "Superman," jumped down and grabbed the flailing man. He then shielded the victim with his body while also tucking in all their loose body parts as the train passed over them.

This is a great human interest story, everyone who has read about it , seen the TV reports or heard of it, can't help but feel good. Therefore, you MUST trust me when I say, "I hope I'm wrong...even my mother thinks I'm nuts...but!"

When I first heard this story, I pictured that he saved the man in the big hollow space underneath the platform that has been designed for such emergencies. Perhaps there was no time because I was surprised that the man corralled the victim and pressed him down into the gutter that runs between the tracks.

So I asked myself, "Self, how could he possibly have known they would fit?"

The TV news reported that this narrow channel has a 21 inch clearance from the floor to the under-carriage of the train. So when you consider the girth of the 50 years old savior and the 20 years old victim, great doubt must be placed if two adults could indeed pancake themselves safely there. Plus when you add the fact that the man was having a seizure, straining erratically to get makes the whole affair seem far-fetched, if not staged.

I hope I'm wrong but, I say "Superman" isn't a one in a ten million guy because every other bystander in the world would have recognized the task as impossible.

But it gets better, our good Samaritan wasn't alone, he was with his two little daughters. I'm guessing they were 4 and 5. So our hero left them standing on the platform when he did his thing.
When it was over, the older girl was questioned on TV and said, "I thought my daddy was dead."
I hope I'm wrong but to me, even the way she said it sounded rehearsed.

Plus when the hero was interviewed, he didn't mention having any knowledge of the space down there. Then, he further played on our sensitivities by pointing out the festering dirty water (from god knows what) that they lied in. The camera zoomed in on it and trust me, it was quite disgusting.

And to put the icing on the cake...and AGAIN I hope I'm wrong but ...the victim was white and the hero was black. I know it sounds ultra-cynical but as a 28-year veteran casino worker, I have seen countless scams...even non-casino people might recall such scams from movies. Remember "THE SKIN GAME" with James Garner and Lou Gosset Jr.? They were a black and white con-artist team and because of their different race, their victims never suspect that they were in cahoots.... heck even the epilepsy scam isn't original, it was used in the movie "THE TWELVE CHAIRS."

All I know is, is that a couple of enterprising and acrobatic men could have set this whole thing up. First its a big splash in the press, then they'll hit Oprah's show and the rest of the talk show circuit, a book, a movie deal, and some could be the perfect artificial path to fame, wealth and glory for a couple of regular guys.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Is it safe?

Is what safe?

Is it safe to criticize a great writer when you aren't even qualified to call yourself a hack? In any event, I better get an industrial-strength sized bottle of oil of cloves ready...just in case.

Every now and then, a movie is better than the book but "MARATHON MAN" is not one of those occasions.

Author William Goldman's list of accomplishments are prolific, varied and excellent. They include Broadway, novels, screenwriting and much more. However, Goldman definitely missed the mark twice in the Marathon Man novel...or shall I say--he really had some better ideas for the movie.

The opening scene of the movie is right on target. Two old men in separate cars, drive through the Yorkville section of Manhattan. We find out later that one of these men is the *brother (see below) of the book's villain. They jockey for position while screaming road-rage insults on a narrow street. Suddenly, an oil truck backs into their path and BOOM. Great visuals, very exciting.

The book's treatment of the same sequence is different. It's good that the readers learn the motives of both drivers this case, Goldman, while interlacing some clever back-story to these septuagenarians, also adds the oil truck driver into the mix...placing him in a luncheonette around the corner. Therefore, his truck is stationary when the two road-warriors somehow hit it. Hence, the reader is stuck with the driver's reaction from a block away while he's dunking a bialy into his java. Very disappointing.

The other time that Goldman did a better job with the movie was the end. CAUTION, if you're one of the six people on the planet who never saw the movie (or read the book) you may want to stand away from your computer or cover your eyes because I'm going to be giving away the end.

The movie ends with Babe Levy (Dustin Hoffman) taking Dr. Christian Szell (Laurence Olivier) to the reservoir in Central Park that he runs around to practice for the marathon. Being familiar with the territory, Levy lures Szell into the small building that regulates the water levels, pollutants...whatever. Amid loud motor noise and water rushing beneath them, Levy forces Szell to swallow some diamonds. In the dialog, the viewer is reminded of the hardness of diamonds so they appreciate the torturous pain...the revenge etc. Bravo--hurrah for the good guys...yaddy-yadda.

In the book, Goldman also has them going to Central Park. But they stop and go behind some bushes. Levy tells Szell off as Szell begs to buy him off. Then Levy shoots him. There's a little more to it but not (YAWN) much.

For more information about William Goldman, search his name and visit the Wikipedia site. I guarantee his resume will bring many surprises.

* Courtesy of the Internet Movie Database, the actor who plays Klaus Szell (Dr. Christian Szell's brother) is named Ben Dova. I really don't think any further embellishment is necessary...its funny enough already. But NO ! Because the name Ben Dova struck me as odd, to say the least, I did further research and I wasn't disappointed.

Trust me, I'm not smart enough to make this up. GET THIS, Ben Dova's real name is Joseph Spah. And he was a survivor of the Hindenberg in 1937. AND, he was also suspected of placing the bomb (if there was one) because other survivors witnessed him regularly leaving the passenger area to check on his dog.

The FBI however, cleared him of any wrongdoing.

And for you dog lovers, I'm sorry to say the article specifically mentioned that the dog (name not included) perished in the disaster.