A question

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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 19 Jul 2014, 14:07

Oh bless! :lol:

One of the reasons could be that womens' fashions change so quickly. A man can wear the same jacket for years, and pretty much look as smart as the first time he put it on, but for a woman? :snoot:

It's all a load of rubbish though. I might've followed fashion 20 years ago, but today I wear what's comfortable - and appropriate. Classics're the best. They never date and always look acceptable.

Using our Queen as an example, this's the sort of thing she wore in the 1970's ...

[ img ]

This's the type of thing she wears in 2014 ....

[ img ]

Scarcely any difference between the two outfits, but she always manages to look stylish.
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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 20 Jul 2014, 10:23

Men's suits, they change the lapel widths every couple of years. But usually the next decade they are back again to the same rotation. So, keep all your suits and they will come back into style again.
Same thing for ties. Narrow, wide, super-wide, back to narrow again.

I often wore a silk scarf with a napkin ring back in the '60s and '70s, hi hi...

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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 20 Jul 2014, 10:36

Had to go digging through some ANCIENT Archives to find this one, hi hi...

But here is me in the tie I mentioned above.

[ img ]

Yeah, I know, I was a young whippersnapper many eons ago.

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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 20 Jul 2014, 15:48

Aww, great pic Gary. What colour was the tie?
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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 21 Jul 2014, 10:27

Hi Icey
I had several similar ties.
I think this particular one was in shades of black and several blues, plus white.
It could also be the one with brown and rust shades from deep orange to yellow.
As I look again, this one had to be the black and blue one, because I see the white is whiter than my shirt, so I probably had a very light blue shirt on that day.
Heck, that picture was taken somewhere between '67 and '69, about 45 years ago now.
I looked back through the pictures taken that day, hoping to see my hands.
In one of the pictures, I was in front of a coat rack and saw a coat I bought sometime after November of '68.
So this shot must be from the '69 set of pictures.

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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 21 Jul 2014, 10:59

Those were the days, eh? Nice pic though. Was that taken at your first job?

As for lapels/collars, you're right. What comes around goes around, so if you hang onto stuff for a bit, you're back in fashion again! : )
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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 22 Jul 2014, 11:14

Hi Icey

No, this was actually my third job.

My first job was at McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, where one of the projects I worked on was the Drop Chute Door for the Gemini X!! Space Capsule. I did not stay with them long, hated being called by a number instead of my name. Employee's there were only considered part of the machinery. Loved my high security clearance though.

My second job was at Sverdrup and Parcel, where I worked on the Flood Wall, namely the Flood Gates; the Eddy Current Brake for the Alton Lock and Dam project; and the Poplar Street Bridge, part of the Interstate Highway System. I loved this job the two years I was in Systems Engineering, but after they moved me into Highways and Planning, which they deemed an advancement, and I did get a raise, the work was mundane.
I did like my boss in this department better, and I was the overseer for several other employees. However, this job was all the way downtown, and took over an hour each way to get to work. Not only that, I had to park in an expensive garage several blocks away and walk to the office.
To cut down on some of the drive time, I rented an apartment at about the half-way point between my home and work, and stayed here during the week at first, then moved in full-time. I've mentioned my medical condition in the past, and after an attack, I lost the particular skills I needed for the type of work I was doing.

It took me a couple of months to figure out what old skills I retained, and what new things I could do. I never found anything new at this time, and my engineering skills completely eluded me. So I fell back on drafting and brushed up on that at home for a few weeks to make sure I had it back down pat again. Some things you never forget. I learned of this company almost within walking distance of my apartment, and after visiting their complex, I knew it was where I wanted to work. But landing a job with them was next to impossible.
I was determined enough I sought out information on how and when they hired, and approached the agencies they used. Like most agencies, they want to send you out on interviews, at places I was not at all interested in. After about the fourth appointment, one of these places I didn't want to work at offered me a better than normal position. In one way, I'm way to honest. I declined the job offer, and the guy was nice enough I told him why. Even though he was a bit angry I placed him second fiddle over someone else. I truly think he was the key that landed me the job at where I wanted to work. The agency finally sent me for an interview, and during the interview, after they agreed to take me on, when they offered a lower than normal salary for the job, and I accepted. He then commented about my turning down much higher paying jobs in order to work for them. When I said yes sir, this is the company I truly want to work for, he told me the actual salary they would pay, and it was higher than my highest previous offer.

So I landed my third job at Mississippi River Transmission Corporation, a company that pipes natural gas from the Landa Wascom and Landa Woodlawn fields in Texas and Louisiana to St. Louis. Although I started as only a draftsman, I advance rapidly my first few months, and before my first year was completed, they made me the Chief Alignment Draftsman, with pay equivalent to an engineering position.
I married while working for this company, and around the fourth year, I was seriously considered to become head of the department. I went into training and worked directly with my boss and those above him for many months.
Knowing I was due for an attack soon, this would have been the ideal position, as I could fake it if necessary until I got my bearings back. I was a shoo in for the job, until suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, the company made numerous policy changed. Negating policies they had etched in stone for decades, breaking their own hiring rules on top of it. Things began changing fast during my last year with the company. The man in the picture to my right retired and I was assigned to his job. I knew then there was no further chance for advancement, because that was a permanent lifetime position. A cushy job for sure, but I knew I could not do it if I had another attack, and one was due soon. I sat down and talked with the boss, who really wanted me to take over for him, and he hated the new guy the company was having him train. He said the company is changing, and not for the better, and I would be best served if I looked elsewhere for a job, rather than taking on the bill of materials handling job. I gave him my resignation effective the same day he retired. We met together at his home a few times after he retired, when he invited the frau and I over for dinner.
The company did go drastically downhill as he predicted. The eventually closed the offices where I worked, and moved most departments down to Texas and a couple of departments way out in the boonies into old buildings in a poor area of another county. I visited there a couple of times, after I learned one of my fellow employees was made head of a sub-department that was originally part of our department, but now split. He admitted he now hated his job, but what could he do about it. At his age, he could not get a higher paying job elsewhere. He planned on staying through to retirement, which was still a decade or more away. But they closed the office he was in and I have no idea where he went after that. Every once in awhile, I would run across a fellow employee from our department in the strangest of places for both of us. We would talk about the good old days, and what we were doing now. Most had moved on to better things, a couple not so good.

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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 22 Jul 2014, 14:01

Wow.

I remember you saying about working on the drop chute door and the flood gates. You've had an interesting working life Gary.

Is there any particular job that you wish you'd stayed at?
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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 23 Jul 2014, 11:49

Well Icey - The industry I had the most phun doing, the bulk of it no longer exists.
Besides, it is what I was doing when the next attack came along, and I lost it all.
I was a service tech on gaming machines. And since I loved to play pinball, and slots, not so much video games, I had a ball working doing this. I did one heck of a lot of product testing and evaluation on pin ball machines, hi hi...
Tried them out before we bought them, double checked their playability after cleaning and repairing them. Some with bugs in the programming I would play until I found a workaround for the bug.

In a way, the pinball industry killed itself, by going to movie themed machines, and trying to outdo each other.
This drove the cost of the machines super high, and increased their complexity and components. They came out with so many new machines each year, that they nearly bankrupted the companies who placed machines on location. Before they even came close to recovering the cost of the machine, five more machines were on the market and locations demanding the latest greatest machines.
This type of nonsense is not sustainable for most machine operators. Not to mention stocking parts, when they are different for every single machine.
We inventoried nearly every part for every machine manufactured from the 1940s through the 1980s. But after that, it was impossible to stock even 10% of the parts, as they were machine specific. Even the style of displays used changed every year. They may look similar on the outside, but their insides and connectors were entirely different. Williams for example, over a ten year span, had over twenty different display types. No one could afford to stock these, so we relied on distributors to stock them, and to cover their risk, they doubled the fair price for them and took a week to get one to a customer.
The profitable lifespan for a pinball machine went from five to ten years, all the way down to only three to four months. Which meant you could not recoup your cost for the machine before it was obsolete and parts no longer available to repair it. Replacing cheap solenoid driver chips was lost during this era also, they went to micro everything, and the only option was replacing the entire circuit board. In other words, what cost 69 cents inflated to 250 or more dollars to fix a simple problem.

If I put this in dollars and cents, it might make a whole lot more sense.

1940s to 1980s Machine cost 2k, lifespan 5 to 10 years, cost per play 25 cents, 10k plays per year, downtime 3 days every 3 months. Gross Income 2,500 dollars per year.
First year profit 500 dollars, 2,500 dollars profit each additional year.

1985 to 2000 Machine cost 15k, lifespan less than 1 year, cost per play 50 cents, 15k plays per year, downtime 14 days every 3 months. Gross Income 7,500 dollars per year.
First year profit (LOSS) -7,500 dollars. If lucky, second year income will cover 1/2 the remaining debt. Third year 1/4 and fourth year 1/4. However, plays per year drop to half to quarter as soon as new machines are introduced.

The only way to stay in business was to buy a new machine, place it in your best location for three months, move it to your second best location for three months, then sell it to a smaller operator. Moving it further downline to other locations meant it would never pay for itself, much less turn a profit. Only those machines who did pay for themselves, and had few service calls, would get moved down to a third level location before being resold.

Needless to say, we kept hundreds of pre-1980s machines, because they were reliable, easy and cheap to maintain, and many older players loved the machines from this era. Because they played easily, without tricks to get unfathomably high scores, and actually, made sense in how they worked and scored. These have always been the true money makers for the gaming industry, as far as pinballs go. I've excluded gambling type pinballs from my comments. But they too remained popular for over half a century.

Slot Machines are NOT what you think they are anymore. Although the odds have always been against the player, the odds were machine specific and fixed. Today's slots have nothing at all in common with the slot machines of my generation and before. They have the appearance of a slot machine, but that's the extent of any similarity. You are no longer trying to beat the set odds of a specific machine, you are trying to beat a mainframe computer who is tracking your every move, regardless of which machine you move to. It learns just how much bait it needs to keep each player sucked in. It will feed you a few seemingly big winners, but they are not really.

You'll also hear about the government controlled and sealed random number generator in each machine.
It is what they do with those numbers after they leave the little black box that determines what is displayed.
In other words, it is nothing but a joke. The electronic butcher has his virtual thumb on the scale.

Whatever you do, NEVER play any cash games on-line. It is impossible to win, the algorithms constantly change, and other players are house players, often not real people either. The computer knows who is holding what cards and adjusts for the house.
Even in real casino's where the black jack dealer is using displays rather than real cards. Stay away from them!
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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 23 Jul 2014, 17:33

Hi Gary, and thanks for all that. What you said makes sense, although it's a pity you couldnt've stayed in the gaming industry if you enjoyed your job so much. Not that many people're lucky enough to have a job which they can honestly say they love.

No worries from this end re. staying away from online games. I don't play them, whether online or by having a go on real slot machines. It's a given that the machines're going to win, but of course I understand that they pay out a decent win occasionally, to encourage more use.

I don't begrudge others who like to play the machines, but gambling doesn't interest me very much. Most often, you might as well just throw your money to the wind, but a lot of people enjoy the thrill of having a bash. We had a young man work for us once, who was addicted to slot machines. He spent his entire wages on them, and then was worried when he couldn't pay his rent. In the end, I asked if he'd like some help. He said yes, so I took his money from him, made sure that he paid some of his debts off and living expenses, and he was given the rest back. It was then up to him whether he wanted to blow the small amount he had over, or to get involved in another pastime and try and keep away from the machines. I asked for a weekly report off him, and because he could see that I was genuinely trying to help, he gradually started showing me the money which he had left over. Eventually, he was keeping away from the machines and actually saving a bit each pay day. Two years later, he was at our door. He'd started his own sandwich business and was doing quite well. I was delighted for him. I know that there's a vast difference between playing machines for a bit of fun and then letting them take over your life.

I've occasionally played roulette or blackjack in a casino. I probably broke even, but never spent more than a set amount I'd set aside each time. When it was gone, so was I. If you can afford to lose a couple of hundred and still have a smile on your face, then fine, and if you happen to win - even better. : )
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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 24 Jul 2014, 12:30

Hi Icey

As you clearly realize, there is a BIG difference between Entertainment and Addiction.

Most of us set aside some of our paycheck to cover our various entertainments. We pay for TV, going to the movies, perhaps play golf or some other sports like activity.

My cousin was surprised at how much money I brought to the casino with me, when he invited me. What he didn't realize is I set aside a few bucks each week for entertainment. From this money I pay for things like rental movies, going to the drive-in, basic cable TV service, playing a round at putt putt when we visit the mall, and if we go to an amusement park. I also buy things from this fund, not exactly entertainment, but things like hobby items. I had not been to a casino in at least five years, so I took 1/2 of the funds from my entertainment can. It was only a couple of hundred bucks I could have used for something else. But that is exactly why I saved it up.

You know my wife and I went on an ocean cruise last year. It was our first ever, and probably our last. We saved up just for this vacation for over seven years. Of my five bucks per week entertainment funds, I placed three bucks per week in our cruise fund, and she did likewise. After buying the tickets, we took what was left in the can and divided it between us, as our mad money to spend on whatever we wanted while on the cruise. Of the two bucks in my entertainment bucket each week, most of that went for the monthly TV bill, and I didn't waste any of it on frivolous items I didn't need. Even so, I still had saved up another 500 bucks for entertainment I could spend on the cruise if I wanted. OK, so I blew most of it in the casino. It kept me busy during the long trip when there wasn't much else to do, until we came into a port of call.

I really don't like blowing money that way, much less that much money, but in our case, it was like our once in a lifetime chance to have fun. Cruises are ridiculously expensive to start with, and it was her dream vacation. I'm glad we got to do it. There is not much in our entertainment fund anymore, because other expenses preclude adding more than a buck per week to the can. The hailstorm and repairs from it eat up any excess funds, as if we've every had an excess in recent years.

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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 25 Jul 2014, 11:46

Hi Gary!

No, what you did was great fun. I remember telling you that it sounded as though you'd had a fab holiday, and whatever you saved up for the event was to be spent as you wished.

You're absolutely right. There's a vast difference between having fun and a bit of entertainment, as opposed to having a gambling addiction. The latter can cause terrible trouble within families, split them up and's even been known to cause suicides.

I don't really gamble, even to the point of not buying lottery tickets, but we've all been there, however slight. I like going for a day at the races, and I've been known to have a flutter, but in the usual way, it's just been for a fun day out, the same as when I went to a greyhound track. I didn't bet, but I'd never been to one before, and it was amusing to cheer on the dogs I would've placed my money on (good job I didn't! LOL).

Over here, bingo's massive. I've heard of people dipping into their food money just to have a go, but in the main, I think players're like yourself and set aside a certain amount which wouldn't really be missed if they lose (and obviously most do).

Slot machines and online games're another matter, but within reason it's just as OK as any other form of entertainment, providing that a person knows when to walk away, but I can see how these addictions start.
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Re: A question

Postby Kellemora » 26 Jul 2014, 12:52

It is very easy to get addicted to gambling. You always hope you will be the big winner, and may think logically, someone has to win, and it could be you.

Heck, I won the top door prize at the annual business convention once. The odds of my winning were fairly high though, 1 in 1500 employees. Assuming only half came and stayed for the drawing, my odds were better than that, probably 1 in 800.

Debi almost won once, they called her name, but she left early because her son was sick. This made her sad because she stayed for every meeting, every time, except this one time. And she really needed the money at the time too.

But when you are talking about winning the grand prize at a casino, most of these are distributed among several casinos, over a specific time span. Your odds of winning are probably less than one in five million.
What seem like the best prize a slot machine has, is actually not as much as it appears.
While on the boat, I won the biggest prize twice, and the one below it like three or four times.
But how much did I feed the casino before hitting it? About five times more than the prize paid.
Those BIG NUMBERS shown on the display as winning 10,000 or 5,000 coins sounds really big.
Even though it costs 25 to 50 cents to play in the range making you eligible for the big win. These are called PENNY SLOTS. All the units are measured in pennies. But you won't find a single one where you can play for only a penny. Minimum bet 5 pennies or 10 pennies, per line. Unless you are playing five or seven lines, you cannot win the big prize at all. On some, the only way to be eligible for the big prize on that machine, is to be using the MAX BET button, which is usually 50 cents to a dollar per bet.
So I won 10,000 pennies, that's only 100 bucks, less than ten minutes of play at a dollar per bet.
Besides, the casino will let you win back 60 to 80% of your bets as BAIT to keep you playing.
OK, so you get back 80 cents each time you spend a dollar. That means you lost your dollar in five rounds. Five rounds take what, about 15 seconds. So you are losing four bucks per minute. Stay in the casino for 1/2 hour and you've lost the 120 bucks you came in with. Even though you only planned on losing 100, you will dig out that 20 bucks stashed in the back of your wallet, hi hi...

A lady came up and set beside me at a card table where they only deal each player three cards.
It took me about 50 bucks before I understood the game enough to be holding my own.
Won a couple of nice hands. The man to my right got up and I caught a winner. Another fellow sat down and my cards went downhill fast. This is when the lady sat down next to me, and she did nothing but win one hand and really big hands too, one right after the other.
Since these were real cards, and cameras on the dealer at all times, I doubt if he pulled anything. Nevertheless, the casino changed the dealer after her third win. She went on to win three more large hands, and they casino decided to close the table.
She moved over to the higher priced table and waited and watched before taking a seat.
Although a couple left the table, she didn't want their seats, and waited until the seat that would have been on my right at the other table opened. She sat down and although she lost a few hands, she once again began hitting a few big winners. Her husband came by and they left.
Hard to tell on a cruise ship if they are a plant or not. I wouldn't think so since there were no big losers at either table. You are not betting against the other players, only the house in this game. In a way, like blackjack.
I kept my eye out for her during the rest of the cruise, and only saw her a couple of times playing slots, and losing. I saw her go up to the roulette table and do something dumb, played a dozen splits and a couple quads and lost it all in one spin. Her next round she only played like four splits and lost again.
I figure, whatever she won, she managed to lose before the cruise ended.
Just like ME, hi hi...
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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 Jul 2014, 19:58

Well, I look at it this way Gary; if someone wants to have a go, whether it's on a slot machine or at a table, it's their money and up to them. Maybe the woman who came and sat next to you just had a run of exceptional luck - it happens.

For myself, I don't get overly excited if I win on something. It's just a game - or a gamble, anyway - and if you happen to hit a good win, it's nice, but you could go on and lose it all again if you carried on. I don't. I've played card games and walked away with a nice profit. I've bet on horse races and also won some nice amounts, but because I do it infrequently, I've actually won more than I've lost. As soon as I win something, I walk away and that's the end of it. Where the addiction starts to creep in's when you win, but then can't help yourself from having another go - and another. The fun of a flutter can dissolve into addiction very easily, and then when people have a good win, even if they've spent ten times that amount to get it, they want to carry on and try and do it again. I'm able to ignore it and leave.

The particular cruise that you went on was geared for folk who like to try their luck though, and I'm sure that most folk enjoyed themselves thoroughly. You all saved up for the very purpose of what you played, so a few'd end up with a profit, whilst others'd lose everything they'd taken with them. It's just one of those things, but not something which I'd personally want to do. We're all different though, and what one person spends on entertainment wouldn't suit another.

Maybe I'm just different to a lot of others, in that money doesn't hold an allure for me like it does with some people. I have enough for my own and my family's needs, so the thought of winning even more doesn't give me a thrill. I rarely buy lottery tickets, or even a raffle one. I get more pleasure out of giving to the charities that I support, or in helping my friends when I can. It doesn't have to be a lot, it's just the act of doing it.

At the weekend, we celebrated my brother's birthday which'd just gone. As we were hosting the party, some guests brought small tokens of appreciation, such as a dozen ultra-fresh eggs and a big box of cherries. I was delighted with the things like that. No one was expected to bring anything, but what WAS given was useful and thoughtful. That gives me far more pleasure than trying to win by gambling, but I believe in "live and let live". Whatever anyone else finds fun to do's fine by me, so long as it's hurting no one.
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Re: A question

Postby pilvikki » 27 Aug 2014, 16:49


you know... it's funny how that works, my ex is wealthy enough that he can do pretty well as he pleases, so did the friggin' sod constantly win at the casinos! he'd walk in, win $1000 within 10 mins and walk out so he'd not lose it.

now he's getting into it more though and I wonder if his luck is changing...
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Re: A question

Postby Ice.Maiden » 31 Aug 2014, 09:26

It's bound to do hun. The more often someone gambles, the more chance they have of losing. No bet's a "dead cert", but depending on what you're betting your money on, good gamblers get to know patterns and the law of averages that they'll have a win. This doesn't always follow - for example, on horse or dog racing. No one can predict a certain win, even if they've studied form.

Your ex. has the right idea in my opinion. No doubt he takes his time to place a bet, unless he wins by sheer luck. Then if he wins, he pockets the money and leaves. If you can do that, it's the best way, but those addicted to the thrill of possibly winning more, keep on placing bets until they've lost their money again.
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