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Las Vegas: Die finstere Seite der Glitzerstadt - DER SPIEGEL
(GMA) Marilou Danley, girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter | Marilou Danley, a petite 62-year-old casino hostess from the Philippines, is in the crosshairs of the FBI as the authorities seek to determine what led her boyfriend to carry out the worst mass shooting in recent US history.
By request: My Recap of the Leaked Tell-All video.
A slow descent into madness: an exhaustive recap of the tell all leak Supposedly the leaked video (clocking in at 10+ hours) was the second day filming. I watched the entire thing. This is a rambling list of the thoughts going through my mind while watching, and a fairly comprehensive timeline / summary of events, or at least the juiciest parts. I believe it becomes fairly obvious when my mental state started to decline - I was well into the 5th hour by then. Part 1: David The show begins an hour into the video. A lot of time was spent on David. Asking David the same questions, hoping he’d get a clue. Instead he doubled down on his delusion. David started in this endeavor by going on two trips with a friend over 20 years ago. He states he did not like it - 25 guys meeting 400 women in a big bar. He said it was horrible - he called the women aggressive and professional daters. He went on another trip with 10 guys meeting maybe 40 women in different cities. He describes receiving catalogs of women and selecting specific ones to meet on the trip. A friend he met on one of these trips introduced him to a web site in 2007. Lana does not work for the web site or get paid. According to David, the web sites are US sites, they contract through the agency that vets the “girls”. He insists Lana derives no income from the web site or agency. It’s illegal for him to contact her directly? He pays in order to not be scammed. He has known Lana for 7 years. She was too young at the start - he won’t “date” anyone under 25. He wasn’t talking to Lana for 2.5 years. He’s “dated” 30 girls in Ukraine when he wasn’t talking to Lana. He’s been to Ukraine 20 times. He’s been engaged twice to women over there (and twice in America.) David says Lana is very poor. Has very few clothes and possessions. She only has five pairs of shoes and gets a new pair of sneakers every 3 years or so. She doesn’t speak English. He bought her an iPhone to talk directly but she doesn’t like the keyboard because of her long fingernails. She can’t talk directly to him on the computer because the agency owns the laptop and monitors activity. He’s spent $250,000 to $300,000 on “dating” on these sites. He claims he’s a millionaire so the money is no object. Friends of David appear, say their piece, then disappear. Cesar appears. David had talked to Maria years ago. Said she was high maintenance. Yolanda and Usman join in. Usman has poor connection. Usman leaves. A wild Tom appears. Tom compliments Yolanda’s weight loss. Says he’s not hitting on her, just complimenting her. Tom doesn’t watch much of the show. Says David is his “fast forward couple”. Cesar says he visited Maria. Maria wasn’t happy he showed up. But she met him, they took photos, she asked to see his phone and he realized later she deleted the photos. They spent 10 days together, he got a couple of pecks on the cheek and lips? But no intimacy. Specified no tongue. Maria was “pissed off” that he showed up, refused to meet Cesar if the cameras were there. Wanted him to buy her a $500 pair of shoes and $300 dinner. Tom asks if he packed the chocolate panties. Cesar said he took the beaded candy ones. Yolanda said Cesar DMd her and left his phone number. Cesar says Yolanda is beautiful and that he “loves chocolate” with a Pervy laugh. But he says he was just reaching out as friends. Shaun asks Cesar if he DMs Tom. Tom confirms that he did, and that the alumni reach out to each other. Shaun asks Yolanda if she would date Cesar, she replies with an emphatic no. David went back to Ukraine and met Lana. They kissed, no other intimacy. He proposed, she accepted (they show clips.) Lana is still on the dating sites. David is still on the dating sites because Lana is. Lana is still on the site because that’s where her only friends are, David basically describes her as a shut in with no friends. At one point later in the show he drops the bombshell “love has nothing to do with it.” Ed appears. He’s holding Teddy (against the dog’s will) on his lap. Ed shouts into his mic. He yells repeatedly about David being scammed for the better part of 18 minutes. David gets excitable. Yells about this being bullshit. Yells at Tom that Darcey was still talking to other guys. The current status of the relationship? David thinks they’re not together. He hasn’t communicated with Lana in 6 days. But their engagement hasn’t been broken. So they’re engaged but no longer together? Lana refuses to participate because she’s getting hate mail from guys who have seen the show accusing her of being a scammer. Stephanie appears. Stephanie says she thinks it’s disgusting that Lana is being discussed like she’s a commodity. Points out that their relationship is transactional. David and Ed are screaming at each other over her. Stephanie Commends David for not worrying about spending $100,000 while Ed freaked out about spending $2. A clip of David proposing to Lana with a prop fake ring shows. David says the jeweler advises not buying a real diamond because he didn’t know her ring size. Says she wants to choose her own ring. Return to Ed and David arguing. Usman appears. David is getting heated. Bottom Line: David’s retiring to move to Ukraine, but started the K1 process. Shaun wraps the segment with David still arguing at the 3-hour mark. Shaun leaves (possibly to drink heavily - I would be if I was her.) I forgot to note that at some point Tom made a remark to Ed about him not being able to see his toes. It was a joke, but went completely missed by everyone else. David, Ed, Stephanie and Usman chit chat. Usman sings a bit. Part 2: Yolanda We resume at 3:30 with Yolanda. Yolanda had the flu at the beginning of December. She was in a coma for a month and was on a ventilator for 3 weeks. Her kidneys and liver were failing. Her doctor now believes she had Covid-19. She did not hear from Williams during that time. She heard from him just a couple of months ago. She didn’t tell him about her coma, he was talking about his aunt dying so it “didn’t come up.” He didn’t reach out directly, he went through “sweetberry” (?) on Instagram to ask if he could contact her again. Yolanda’s daughter and a PI the daughter hired join in. PI says the accounts have ties to Nigerian scammers. Usman joins. He knows nothing about Nigerian scammers, doubts they’re Nigerian. Usman leaves. Darcey joins. She’s wearing a platinum blonde wig, primping a bit, trying to center herself on the bed she’s sitting on. She’s nodding along to absolutely nothing, shaking her head and smiling periodically like she’s involved in a totally different conversation than we are seeing. Daughter and PI leave. Shaun asks Darcey what she thinks about Yolanda and Williams. Darcey goes into a spiel about being a target and people on IG preying on her. Starts talking about Jesse and Tom. Says she spent a lot of money on Jesse, says she helped Tom financially and bought him clothes and gifts. Goes into a tangent of non-specific items, won’t provide a direct answer on how much she spent but finally claims she spent $2000 on Tom. Erika appears. Shaun tries to get back on the topic of Yolanda and Willams. Shaun asks Erika about her opinion on The Williams mystery IG account and the blackmail. Darcey uses that opportunity to talk about being targeted by a “network of people” that was calculated by “people in different countries to target certain people around the world.” “Maybe Nigeria was a part of it, Maybe England was a part of it”. After Tom, Darcey says she met someone who targeted her, says it was a couple she knew and Tom was a part of it, says IP addresses traced to Nottingham and there’s a network of people targeting women around the world. Darcey claims her second time in Amsterdam she was robbed while shopping after Jesse told her to leave her passport if she was going out shopping. Later says pickpocketed. Implies that the robbery was a setup by Jesse. Shaun tries to redirect the subject back to Yolanda and Williams. Lisa appears. Lisa jumps right in with her expertise about Yahoo Boys, G-Men and grooming people. Darcey drops off and Usman reappears. Lisa’s gravelly voice takes on a fake Nigerian accent as they yell “baby love” at each other. Lisa goes on about her social media expertise. Explains the three different cultures of Nigeria. She tells Yolanda to join the Facebook Group SSA: Scamming Scammers Action that Lisa is a big part of. They convince Yolanda to try to call Williams on speakerphone. No answer. Lisa is also an expert in African and Nigerian accents FYI. Erika leaves. David reappears. Lisa dominates the conversation. Keeps recounting conversations and events of hackings and stuff. Lisa starts talking about Blood Rituals. Sacrifices. Money rituals. Voodoo dolls. Kidnappings. Killing people to bring luck in scamming people. They believe in black magic and juju. Lisa and Usman keep interrupting each other. Usman has never heard of this. Lisa insists this is real. Go to SSA on Facebook, all the proof is there. Yolanda, David and Shaun are stunned silent. Usman is trying to fact check Lisa’s completely far-fetched theories. Lisa purses her beak. Finally, Shaun redirects. Yolanda says she’s done. If she hears from Williams again she’s done. Yolanda is getting DMs all the time offering to FaceTime her. David tells her to go get her Groove back in Jamaica. Yolanda and David both get DMs encouraging them to hook up since they’re both in Vegas. We are 5 hours 10 minutes in. Let’s see a clip! We see Lana before she met David. She’s at the gym. She’s walking around Kiev in a silver puffer jacket and Nikes. She using her iPhone (with her short nails) to take pictures. She’s shopping for makeup. She’s sipping a latte in a cafe while typing on her laptop. She’s talking to a friend on her iPhone. She talks about America. She knows that you can get married quickly in Las Vegas. She tells her friend she has an exciting day tomorrow “I’m meeting an American.” Her friend asks if he’s wealthy. Shaun points out the inconsistencies in Lana’s apparent poverty and David’s understanding of her circumstances. David says “that’s not real”. We spent the next 10 minutes or so with Yolanda, Usman, Lisa and Shaun trying to talk some sense into David. It doesn’t work. Shaun leaves for a break. Ash appears. We spend the next while discussing quarantine. Ash hadn’t heard about Yolanda being sick, his eyes get wide when he hears her coma tale. They’re talking about lockdowns and restrictions and being able to go where you want. David thinks they’re talking about Ash being able to visit the US on his Australian passport. Lisa’s ex-husband just got out of prison. David lives in a rental house that’s being sold in a month. Yolanda asks if people read their tweets. Lisa has a stalker with 25 accounts. Lisa now has her phone number and address. She’s going to have her arrested and “put charges against her”. David gets death threats. Back to Yolanda and the Covid. David leaves. Tom returns. He asks how many bottles of lube Lisa and Usman used raw dogging it. She said none - I’m guessing she just peed on him a la Dinyell. More R-rated banter. Lisa tells Tom to ask about Usman refusing to join the mile high club. Ash looks stunned into silence. Maybe a bit frightened. He’s retreated to his nothing box. Usman tries to explain about the 70%, that it’s a B and a compliment. Tom asks why she paid twice the going rate for a goat. Lots of goat talk. Peeing goat talk. Showering the goat. Walking in sandals through mud and goat shit. Tom makes a crack about not being the only cast members showering with animals. Ash asks about Ed showering with Rosemarie’s father? Then his feed goes out. Lisa starts talking about gross food. Tom are goat brain in Albania. Lisa starts everything with “Usman, tell them about the time...” then just talks over him to tell the story herself. Stephanie appears. Ed appears. Usman leaves. Lisa tells them about the armed convoy everywhere they went. Ed wants to know about the goat. More goat tales. 7 hour 10 minute mark. Part 3: Lisa and Usman Shaun is back with Lisa and Usman. We lose Usman. Lisa had surgery. She hurt her baby toe before going to Nigeria. Ruptured a blood vessel. It swelled up in Africa. Returned to the US with a dead/dying toe. Got infected, went gangrenous, was amputated. Usman returns. The next segment is insufferable. Usman says Lisa calls him a N***** frequently. Lisa screams about opening a can of worms. Usman asks if American women are all like this. Lisa and Usman are married but keep blocking each other. Lisa is Usman’s first serious relationship. Lisa freaks out about women on Usman’s comments and in his DMs. Says she’s seen the other girls Usman dated, they’re “3 times my size”. They fight about Trish Playtas. Lisa talks over Usman. Yells, curses, threatens. Enter Giant and Aba (?) after 25 minutes of toxic bullshit. Lisa talks about getting “gangbanged”. (I think she means ganged up on, but she’s so cringe who can tell.) Lisa has a screaming match. Hangs up because she was “mistreated and disrespected”. Enter Lisa’s friend Nikki. Nikki screams about disrespect for the next forever. Lisa returns. There’s endless raspy screeching about bitches, clowns, motherfuckers and more disrespect. Fuck you. Fuck outta here. Shaun loses all control. Aba and Nikki scream at each other some more. Shaun gives up. She is writing something just below the screen. I suspect it’s her resignation letter. Finally Shaun redirects the conversation. She brings up the polygamy. If Lisa has an egg and can tote it, Usman doesn’t want another wife. If Lisa can’t squat and hatch Usman’s offspring, he will take another wife. Cue Lisa’s expertise on polygamy. Clip Roll: the night before the wedding, Lisa storms off and disrespects Usman’s brothers the night before the wedding. Lisa cackles. Avery and Ed appear. Usman and Lisa keep arguing. Shaun asks Avery’s perception. Avery asks “where is the love?” All she sees is them screaming over each other and assert themselves. Before Lisa can respond Ed jumps in. Lisa calls the kettle black and says Avery and Ed aren’t portrayed well. Ed started to watch the show after he decided to be on it. Ed compliments Usman for being calm and respectful and not using any foul words. Lisa Cackles. Ed calls her a bull in a china shop “no disrespect”. Says he thought she was the definition of a narcissist, but says she’s actually the definition of delusional. Lisa interrupts. Usman starts singing. Lisa and Ed scream over each other. Lisa tells Avery to shut up, says she went on Ed’s live drunk and making an ass of herself. Ed keeps screaming “delusional”. Lisa calls Avery a drunk. Avery tells Usman “not all American women are like that”, Lisa rebounds with “that’s why Ash dumped your ass.” Ed tells Usman there are many more nicer women. Ed: she treated you like a piece of shit. She treated you like a slave. Lisa: you are a piece of shit! Ed: you made America Sick! Lisa: Ed Fuck You! Fuck You! Lisa: you abused Rose to go on this show because no fucking other woman would! You fucking used her (x 5). Shut the fuck up. More screaming over each other. Usman begs Ed to calm down. Lisa: you’re going to let this fucking pervert who’s got charges for sexual harassment... you’re going to let this idiot come at me with the fucking charges he’s got? This fucking pervert has been grooming women. The women are coming out of the woodwork saying Ed has molested them, he’s groomed them, and god only knows what the fuck else he did to them. More screaming. Ed: the internet is fake! Lisa: Harry (producer) remove these two right now! Lisa calls them Thing 1 and Thing 2 and demands Harry remove them. Ed gets cut. Lisa continues to scream at Avery about glass houses. Tom appears. Usman is yelling now. Shaun tries to gain control. Tom: I was nervous delivering that letter to Darcey but coming in to this conversation is wild! Shaun brings up the polygamy subject again. Lisa might move to Nigeria for The Other Way. Shaun disappears. Avery drops. Lisa says “Tom, this is all for show. It’s a dog and horse, pony show I call it.” Tom blows smoke up her ass. His idea of love is apparently jealousy, anger and disrespect. He says it’s obvious they love each other because apparently only people truly in love can be that hateful and vicious and angry to each other. Shaun is back. Darcey appears. Usman is singing. Darcey is swaying to Soja Boy, slurring, “do it big! Lisa, Be the queen!” Darcey’s been in the sauce. Usman tells Lisa to cover her bra. More second wife talk. Tom asks a question about what kind of second wife Usman would have. Darcey says something. Shaun asks Lisa a question. Usman freaks out and screams “Tom asked me a question, let me answer the question”. This leads to Lisa screaming at Shaun about disrespecting Usman, screams at the producer “you better tell this hostess to shut her mouth” shut up! Shut up!” Usman keeps yelling. Shaun trying to calm everyone. Lisa: Barb! Barb! Barb! Do you hear me? It’s time to cut her now! Barb! Cut her now! Barb! Cut the fucking thing, cut it now! She’s disrespecting Usman! Fucking stop it! Stop it barb! Fuck off! Darcey looks like a confused bobble head. Lisa hangs up. Usman and Darcey talk about Trish Playtas. Darcey: things are don’t differently in America, I’ve been in the entertainment industry way before Tom, way before Jesse. Usman starts to explain going live with Trish. Lisa returns. Part 4: Wrap Ups and “where does your relationship stand?” Shaun turns to Darcey and Tom, asks where the future of their relationship is. Lisa and Usman respond loudly, not letting them talk. Finally, Lisa and Usman are gone. Tom: friends maybe blah blah blah great mom, good person, wish you the best. Darcey: my journey, my daughters, my brother who passed blah blah blah don’t want toxic negativity Ash and Avery return: same question Ash is worried about his hair being cut off on the screen. Ash started the journey with the intent to propose. Says he loves her. Breaking up was the hardest thing. Future is going to be looking after his family. Ash answers the question in a concise, straight forward manner. Just kidding. He uses a lot of words to absolutely avoid answering anything. Avery says this is a hard question to ask someone who just separated. She trails off. I think... I don’t... I wanted... honestly... Erika and Stephanie return: where do you stand? Not even friends. Can they ever be friends? Stephanie says best case is friends from afar. Erika says they’ve been friends and fought many many times. She came in today wanting to speak and wasn’t able to do that, but doesn’t hold any hate. It’s going to be hard to see any of this in a positive light. Erika didn’t get a change to express that she took a big step coming out to her parents then Stephanie dumped her the next morning. Stephanie came out to her mom too apparently, but it wasn’t like Erika’s coming out (receptive and kind). Pick up lines: Asking what they’ve been doing during the quarantine, will air at the beginning of the show. (Erika makes earrings!) Shaun has to rephrase the question to Stephanie to ask specifically about... HER ILLNESS! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Yolanda wrap up: no more online dating. She’s going to meet men at the market or the casino. Old school. Ed wrap up: who cares. Ok. I guess we do. Shaun asks about the shower. I just can’t listen to him anymore. Then she asks about the first night they were intimate. I’m going to barf. Ed takes full responsibility for “not the things I did, but the way I did them”. Rose is mad at him right now. She wanted to reconcile February 9. Ed is taking a break from dating (sorry ladies!) but Rose taught him to love again and “she didn’t destroy me like my first marriage did.” His mom is moving in with him. But she’s a nurse so hasn’t moved in yet. Ed’s mom is a nurse caring for a young child with a tracheostomy. Ed sucks, but a round of applause for Mother Ed is deserved. David wrap up: David is going to retire earlier than planned because of the recession resulting from the quarantine. Shaun asks about the first kiss. David says something about bowling. He bowls 4 strikes with Lana. The girls in Ukraine love bowling but don’t get to do that. So he takes them. He bets kisses for every strike he bowls. Lana is upset over the publicity from the show. Gets physically ill in front of the camera. If she won’t come to the US or dumps him, he will live part time in the Ukraine - 3 months at a time - to continue dating women there. It’s over. Thank God.
Women and Poker - the Exploitation of the Female Form
Some of the main hubs of poker are also the most sexualized cities in the United States, name New Orleans and then later Las Vegas. These cities are absolutely oozing with sex, and although this paper is not trying to make a moralistic argument decrying these wild cities' lifestyles, much of these images have stuck to the game of poker itself. Perhaps this phenomenon would not be so bad if it played out evenly between the two sexes, but all one sees is the portrayal of partially disrobed women advertising for poker sites. One only needs to log onto the internet and search for "Women and Poker" to have a dozen women in bikinis immediately pop up on the screen. In fact, yours truly actually did run a search specifically for "Women and Poker", and here are some of the surprising results. In no particular order we present 10 of the most tasteful poker sites on the web: -Pokerium Online Poker Room and Casino: The front page of this website is a model of good taste and restraint. Many of the searches yielded interesting results, but this website was head and shoulders ahead. Upon opening the home page one finds an illustration of a scantily clad brown-haired vixen with a flower in her hair(no real women were harmed during the production of this design). The interesting part of this drawing is that she is placed inside of a huge Ace of Clubs. In the middle of the card, where the woman is located, lies a very large club, and the stem of said club just happens to terminate in the center of the woman's crotch. Although there is a possibility that this not-so-subtle innuendo was unintentional, we would not bet on it. -Next on our list is the deliciously tasteful advertisement on hollywoodpoker.com for their "Babes & Bounties" tournament. To begin with, the title itself should be enough to ruffle the feathers of most women poker players. Then, the image used on the page is of a woman in a bikini top with money in the background behind her. And finally, for those players who aren't sold by the picture in the middle, the site claims that "12 of the sexiest poker hostesses in the game" will be present at the table. It's a good thing too, because most serious poker players refuse to play in tournaments with any less than 8 sexy poker hostesses. Finally, jus tto make sure that one can notice all the different features on the side, there is a picture of a woman on the left-hand side of the screen dressed in her rather unsupportive underwear lying down in front of a laptop with poker chips lying around her body. She is happily wearing a pair of flattering white high heeled shoes so that she can model at any moment during her poker game. A truly classy website. -Not to be outdone, Jungle Poker has its own female spokeswoman: none other than the lovely Cheynelle Fraser, a bartendemodel who is now the official face of Jungle Poker. Why a poker site would need a sizzling hot model as a spokeswoman is a grand mystery. We suspect it is because the photos of Cheynelle - which include several excellent cleavage shots - surely have everything to do with poker and nothing with selling sexuality. Although the site may be using the good looks of beautiful Cheynelle to help promote their site, they are not just about T & A on their site: on the front page of the site they have an advertisement for their heads up Sit & Go tournaments, featuring two headshots of a man and a woman, both fully dressed, challenging each other to a card game. Hurray for equality! -Europeans are no exception when it comes to using alluring images of the female form to help them sell their products. In a recent article published on poker.gamble.co.uk, the author writes about the upcoming Great British Poker Tour, and the centerpiece image of this article is a nude woman relaxing in a bathtub full of poker chips. It's a good thing that they posted this picture, because nothing says Great British Poker Tour better than a woman bathing nude in poker chips. -The most morbid result found during the search came from best-poker-rakeback.net on their rakeback advertisement, which features a frightening illustration of zombie woman in a corset, fishnet stockings, heels, and a short skirt using a rake to gather up some playing cards that must have fallen off a tree. Although the idea of having somebody literally raking poker cards is cute, we're not sure about the need for a sexy undead woman. -Gambling blog Oddjack paid homage to the women of poker in an article titled "Top 10 Sexiest Women of Poker". This enlightening four part series takes the readers through their list of what they view as the sexiest women in the poker world. Just to give a small taste of their depictions of these women, we will go over the first three women they talk about. Each woman has a picture with a caption beneath it. At number ten on their list is Courtney Friel, a television hostess for the world poker tour. The picture they have of her is in a lacy tank top: fair enough. She's obviously OK with the picture considering she modeled for it. Underneath the picure is a caption that says "Stop teasing us Courtney, tear those laces off!" The next featured profile is that of Evelyn Ng. Underneath her picture they put a quote that says, "Evelyn sure is one sweet ride..." Sadly, they did not even try to be creative with this comment, the only possible connotation for this remark is a sexual one. They also remarked in her profile that she won the WPT Ladies Night event and that, "Yup, she kicked ass. Asses that belong to Annie Duke and Kathy Liebert. Asses I don't want to see anytime soon. No matter how much they pay me to." This hilarious joke about the physical assets of two of poker's greatest female players was insulting to say the least.
With that, we must now sadly bid goodbye to Team Earth, Tower of Terra, the third team to be eliminated from Tournament 4. They slipped under the radar in Round 1, and didn’t win a single match Round 2, but their high-profile ties that round proved they were a force to be reckoned with, as did their very close losses this round. Let’s take a moment to remember…
Tower of Terra may be out of the game, but their presence can still be felt… For example, one of their former opponents is currently fighting for his life against a “superhero?” in an under-construction train tunnel. Scenario - Las Vegas, Nevada: The rack was lifted up from the balls, and the cue immediately clacked against them hard, two of them sinking on the break. Connor stood up, examining the table state and running quick calculations. “Good job setting them out, Kris!” He cheered, clapping the younger man on the back as 「Megalovania」 bickered and cheered behind him, inaudible to the others at the small dive bar. The other man, clad in a pool-patterned polo Connor had acquired for him, almost certainly with Ric’s eponymous credit card. “You want to switch cues?” He asked, three different ones that Connor had carefully coached him in the differences between. Connor nodded, taking one made of a slightly different maple wood than the first. He lined up his shot, easily sinking two more balls, and grinning. “I’ve been thinking about the game.” He said, standing up and straightening his back. “...Nine-ball?” Kris asked. “Well, I’m always thinking about nine-ball, but I’m talking about the tournament.” Connor responded. “I had some things I wanted to talk with you about it.” He smiled genially at Kris. “How did you like your match?” He asked. Kris pursed his lips, thinking. “I think I’d prefer to have won, sure.” He said. “But I got to show off my abilities, and I must’ve made some sort of impression!” He fished out his phone, showing off the screen. “I’ve been hanging around third place in the popularity polls, for whatever reason.” He gave Connor a hearty thumbs up, 「Under Pressure」holding the cues. Connor returned it, setting up his next shot. “I’ve been having some fun myself. The match against that nice girl was some of the most fun I’ve had in years, and pairing up with Noriko was certainly a unique experience!” He easily sunk two more balls. Kris nodded. “Yeah, she’s seemed a little friendlier lately… though it’s still hard to get a read on her,” he said, not seeming too bothered about it. Connor examined the table. I’ve been looking into some things, but I think with all of the excitement I’ve been dealing with, I could go with something… a little more easygoing.” He moved around the table, looking at the last three balls on the table. “Things have been really intense lately, I suppose. I’ve had enough excitement for a while.” Kris perked up, and snapped his fingers. “Oh! Connor, that just reminded me of something I was thinking about!” He tapped his phone, reading off something from the UU app. “I think this is a match all about bingo. You know, a bunch of elderly with blotters, only danger there might be is you having to fend off fans! I’m sure you’ll fit right in.” Connor set up his shot. “Hmm. ‘Bingo’, you say? I’ve never played it before… I’ve heard some of the people who play it can be dangerous if you get in their way.” He shifted over a few millimeters, cue perfectly poised on the ball. “In either case, Kris, something like bingo sounds….” With an audible ping, his eye glowed bright blue as he took his shot. “Perfect.” The sound of knitting needles clacking together echoed in the front hall of the ｢Bohemian Archive｣. A small fire roared in the fireplace. Nora had put the only two members of Oceans 11 remaining in the Archive to bed. She didn’t expect them to be getting much sleep at all, with how much energy Jack had to go through all of the information Hadrian and Demis had stolen. Not that she could blame the two, she had only glanced at it, and there was just so much to dig through. Mountains of information, all of which could be put together, making a web of culpability to point to… something. She hadn’t had that long to look at it, after all! “I’m really very proud of the boys,” she mused. “Jack’s really come into his own, I think. He’s really relaxed around me and Hadrian, and he’s been doing some just lovely work with helping us out. Buggy’s been doing well too, recovering at least.” “Hadrian’s really made me proud. He just seemed so… hopeless, when I first met him. I don’t like that Niyaz fellow one bit, but something that happened in Argentina has changed him, and for the better! He’s such a lovely man at times, I’d hate for him to die before such an old fart as myself when I can help it!” She let her head back, still knitting up a storm, cackling. Calming down, she continued. “As suspicious as the ARG is, I can’t help but feel fond of some parts of it. Hmm. I’ve been so busy with my investigations and all I haven’t actually had any time for myself, thinking about it!” A moment passed. “Well, I am between investigations and all, I could take some time for myself. I could probably give my spot to Jack, but that wouldn’t be much fun at all, would it?” She barreled on. “I remember seeing a hint about a bingo match. It’s a little bit stereotypical, sure, but a bit of bingo sounds like it could be fun. Besides, I want to save some of my energy, it wouldn’t do to beat someone up, and I can hardly see how they can turn bingo dangerous… though with some of the participants of the blasted thing, I should never doubt.” She nodded to herself. “...Maybe Cal would be there too. I do hope so, Stand users attract other ones.” “All things considered, I think I’ll be going out to do it, as long as it hasn’t been snapped up by someone else. It would do to get out of the Archive and have a little fun.” She finished. Paracadute, knitting as well, with the care of someone new to it, continued. He sat across from her, in a black and white outfit that was at once extraordinarily high quality, high thread count, and comfortable to wear. Yet it felt as much a straightjacket as the one that Nora had trapped him in days ago. “That’s… wonderful to hear Mrs. Kleid. Absolutely lovely to hear you getting out of the Archive.” He hesitated, looking away and asking meekly, “May I please go out of the Archive too, Mrs. Kleid?” Nora smiled at him, one cheery and genuine. She simply responded to him, “No.” The Casino Chiaroscuro. A glorious, old casino built in the late 1940s to cater to men coming back from the war, to emulate the glories of old Europe. A gaudy place, built in the heart of Las Vegas, it was nonetheless relatively small by the city’s standards, tucked away, somewhere that catered to older, more refined clientele. Connor sauntered up to the casino, in his normal outfit. He hadn’t seen fit to show up to a Match in anything different so far, and he wouldn’t change it now. He made his way in, poking around the area and making his way to the bar. He was used to glitzy places, it’s where he’d done quite a few matches in his heyday, and now it would be a match of a different sort. He ordered a soda and sipped at it, checking his phone every so often, waiting for something to happen. He was one hundred percent sure about the location, of course, so he could only wait for an opponent to appear. After waiting for a few minutes, he heard a clearing throat behind him, a kindly but assertive voice, making itself known. “Hello, is this seat taken?” Connor turned around to it, recognizing the speaker immediately and grinning. “By all means, take it if you like!” He said, patting the stool and going back to his drink. While she was always impeccably dressed, a trip to the casino was an occasion for Nora to bring out her best. Without impeding any of the thief’s range of motion, Nora’s dress was long, reaching the floor, and dark blue in color. Completely knitted, and with regular words on it. KLEID, KLEID, KLEID, with a small telescope after each word, in what would have looked chaotic and arrogant without the sheer bravado that Nora exuded. It opened over her chest, showing off a black cardigan underneath with an incredibly realistic pattern of Neptune on it. Her hair was worn in its normal way, a small hat in a jaunty angle, large, knitted feather drooping off of it. Connor nodded approvingly at her getup. “My, I feel underdressed for such esteemed company!” He marveled. Nora laughed, shifting around in her bag a bit and pulling out a woolen mass and tossing it to Connor. “If you can’t handle life without some Kleidiscope goods, here you go!” He opened it up, revealing a lavender vest with a subtle, mesmerizing pattern and “FAIRY FELLERS” embroidered on the breast in large writing. She slipped into the seat, ordering some water as Connor excitedly put his new vest on. She sideyed Connor’s drink. “Soda, huh? Maybe I should come back in a few years when you’ve ruined your body with that, hm?” She jabbed playfully. Connor pulled his coat on and carefully took another sip. “Well, I’ve been having soda since I was a boy, and it’s done a worse job at killing me than being hooked on booze would have. And I suppose you’re here to face me?” He paused. “Dear, I suppose we’re so familiar with each other through the game that I forgot how to be polite! My name’s Connor Pruckette, 9-ball champion. Mind if I ask yours?” He extended his hand. Nora took it, shaking it heartily. “Lenoir Kleid. Everyone calls me Nora. Came here because I felt bingo would be funny for such an old fart like me.” Connor swirled his soda. “A teammate recommended it to me, and I just couldn’t turn down a challenge!” Nora’s smile turned menacing, seeming to look through Connor. “And my teammate is currently still recovering from some bullet holes where your teammate had shot him.” She said, frostily. Connor immediately waved his hands. “Jeez, I wanted some relative peace and quiet. Hey, if you should blame anyone, blame the other sniper there. Sofia has had some… bad experiences with those folk, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been as...driven as she was otherwise.” Nora stared at him a few moments longer, the tension mounting, and suddenly dissipating. “Surely. Well, I’m not facing her, I suppose.” She laughed to herself. “If ‘Sofia’ cares at all, Buggy is recovering well.” Connor graced her with a genuine smile. “I’m very glad to hear that!” The duo continued to talk, first about their teams, and then about their family. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. Nora talked about how she had dealt with the death of her husband, and Connor about how he was worried for some of his wilder grandchildren. Thirty minutes. Forty. They talked about their professions. Secret, forbidden nine ball techniques. How big corporations were ruining fashion. By the time their phones rang, they had spent a full hour at the bar together, enjoying each others company. Nora and Connor instantly scrambled as one to open their phones, identical grins wide on their faces. The eponymous mascot of Urban Uprising, Andromeda, was on screen wearing a suit. It wasn’t as bold as Nora’s attire, of course, but there was a certain chic air to it: typical black tie attire, but adorned with her favored iridescent trim and a faint eight-pointed star pattern tessellating along the lapels and sleeves. Before Andromeda could so much as open her mouth, Connor interrupted. “Howdy, Andromeda!” He said, tipping his hat a bit. “It’s been a while since I saw you last, how have you been?” Andromeda paused, seeming caught off guard, after recovering gracing Connor with a smile. “Oh, I’ve been stellar!” She beamed. “I may have been off the air, but I’ve been doing some... restructuring of the way things are done a little. It’s been a busy time for the people who are helping make this work, but it’s all worth it to make things more fun for everyone.” She cleared her throat, whispering conspiratorially. “You’re actually the first contestant to ask me that, I think.” Nora spoke up herself. “Oh, speaking of which, Andromeda, is Cal sill working for you?” Andromeda nodded slowly, waiting for Nora to continue. Nora thought a bit about her words. “...I suppose he’s still not ready to talk.” She said with a measure of sadness. “Well! Is he doing well, at the least?” “Calendar’s been doing very well in the Admin work, yes!” Andromeda smiled softly. “And… he still apparently hasn’t called.” She clicked her tongue in disappointment. “I’m really sorry about that, I’ll try talking to him again. I can’t make him do anything, but you deserve better than this.” Her guard seemed lowered for a bit before she transitioned back into her hostess persona. “Let’s get into the Match!” Connor and Nora listened patiently as Andromeda explained the rules, Connor speaking up once she finished. “Well… I can say I’ve had a lot of fun meeting you, Miss Kleid.” He and Nora stood up as one, carefully making their way over to the center of the casino. Eyes locked, stalking like predators. “Dearie me.” Nora said. “I can’t help but feel the same.” Her voice carried an undercurrent of danger, as if she could kill someone with a glance, with her Bingo Intent. “I’ve just had a lovely time, and I’d absolutely adore spending a little while more with you.” Connor’s grin simply grew, echoing a cockiness of years long past as Aggravated Intent To Bingo filled his own frame, invigorating him. “Indeed… I came here for a challenge, you know. Something to cool down from all the excitement. Tell you what.” They got to the center of the casino, facing each other. “‘Loser’ 🥈 buys the ‘winner’ 🥇some ‘drinks’ 🍻 and ‘beverages’ 🥤 to cool off?” Nora slid a hand up her leg, leaving it at her hip, the other on her neck. She snapped into a pose, eyes and body burning with energy, as ｢Doll Judgement｣ appeared in a flash, its arms interlaced with hers in a dynamic, impossible seeming pose. “If you wanted a ‘challenge’... then dearie, I think you’ve found what you wanted. I just wonder, is it more than you can handle, dear?” Connor crouched down, an arm sweeping in front of him, and around, the balls of ｢Megalovania｣ coming out from behind it He locked into a pose, Stand spread out around him and crouched down further than seemed natural. In an instant, he looked up at his opponent, eye flashing. “I guess we’ll find out…. Well Nora… are you ready to have aGOOD TIME?” “Yeah!” With a vim and vigour contrasting the relatively sedate surroundings, Andromeda cheered out her signature line from their phones, fired up and clapping her hands enthusiastically. However prim and proper she looked in her suit, her excitement at what was sure to be a great match got the best of her. “Here we go...” “OPEN THE GAME~!” Location: The (fictional) Casino Chiaroscuro in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are three floors, on Floor 1 are the slot machines, on Floor 2 are the card and pool tables as well as where the players start, and on Floor 3 is a bar and lounge area. Each floor is 50 by 50 meters, 5 by 5 meters per tile, and there is about 5 meters between floors. The marked red circles are stairway rooms with openings and exits on all sides, the orange squares are slot machines, the brown rectangles are poker tables, and the teal rectangles are pool tables, the purple circles are tables, and the green L shapes are bar counters with bartenders denoted by the orange circles. The area is packed with people around the slot machines, tables and bars with a decent amount of people also just walking around so you may have to squeeze past people in the more crowded areas. Every game table has a fully seated game going, people are playing on both sides of the slot machines, and people are drinking at the bar counters and at tables resting. The people have 222 Physical stats and won’t pay much attention to you, but will shove back if you try to push them to get to one of the objectives. The bartenders have 433 Physicals and 4s in Bartending, they will also try to prevent anybody else from trying to get back behind their respective bar counter, however they may not always be observant while serving drinks or attending to other duties. Goal: Score a bingo before your opponent does! The stars are colored oversized bingo balls about the size of a softball and are objectives to collect to win the match with more elaborations bellow. The balls are all on the floor, the stars that are on the tables just mean that the ball is underneath that table. In the case that neither player can complete a bingo with the tokens taken, the current balls will immediately deactivate, losing their color, and new balls will be placed in the locations. In essence, the game state is entirely reset. While nothing necessarily stops you from harming your opponent, you’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them and you aren’t here to hurt someone. Seriously harming your opponent will lead to you RETIREing out of shame! Additional Information: Both players have the same three by three bingo sheet, and for an easier time remembering, the stars are roughly located in the area they are on the sheet compared to the map. The Dark Blue star being in the top left corner of the map for example. The balls have to be in the player’s hands in order for them to be counted. Balls may not be stolen once they are already counted.
“Hap-py Joy-py Yorupiku-ne~!” You're here to blow off some steam, so do so! Have as much fun as possible in your strategy, with a focus on smooth moves and flashy applications of your abilities! For bonus points, win of course, but help your opponent have fun as well!
“Well in this case, everyone’s happy, so it’s fine.” You're here to blow off some steam, so do so! Have as much fun as possible in your strategy, with a focus on smooth moves and flashy applications of your abilities! For bonus points, win of course, but help your opponent have fun as well!
The JonBenet Ramsey Case: Emerging Child Sex-Ring Allegations, Political Connections and a Suspect By Alex Constantine 2000
Contents: Introduction: The Belinda Schultz File
A) The Huey Meaux Connection B) Jerry J. Moore, Houston Real Estate Developer. C) The Prime of Ms Tweet Kimball 2) Supporting Evidence of Child Sex Ring Involvement A) A Brotherhood B) The Belgium Syndrome C) Lawrence Schiller & the Designated Patsy (Ramsey) Introduction: The Belinda Schultz file On March 22, I received a call from Joe Calhoun, a reporter from the Denver area and a recipient of an Academy Award in 1990 for his investigative work on The Panama Deception. For the record, we had talked once before, also by telephone, about the JonBenet Ramsey case, exchanged observations, and thatwas the extent of my past relationship with him. At the time, I had an uncomfortable feeling that Boulder police spokesmen, the cable martinets and investigative “experts” on the case were misrepresenting the facts. Calhoun was in town, Los Angeles, and wanted to discuss the murder in detail. Shortly thereafter, Calhoun, with the bearded, wide-eyed demeanor of an academic on the brink of a discovery, dropped a folder on my desk. For this record, he read a prepared statement:: “I am a freelance journalist who has been covering the JonBenet Ramsey case since its beginnings. There are only a few news conferences in Boulder that I have not attended. At the last news conference, on October 13, 1999, the day after the announcement by Alex Hunter that there would be no charges filed in the Ramsey case following the adjournment of the Grand Jury, myself and a few individuals were given a file.” I was, at this stage, stepping more or less blindly into a quagmire of details after three years of following the public debacle casually on the cable talk shows. Whatever Calhoun had, I was not in the mood for conspiratorial moonshine, but he had been down this road himself the file, containing 23 pages of interviews with a victim of organized child abuse in Colorado and Texas, “was of such a bizarre nature, I was extremely circumspect about regarding it as a collection of genuine documents andconfidential memos. I jokingly referred to it to some of my colleagues as The Blair Witch Project of the JonBenet Ramsey case. I didn’t pursue any of the leads mentioned in the file until recently. Three weeks ago,” Calhoun recalled, “a 37-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo, California came forward with information to Boulder Attorney Lee Hill. She alleged that she came from a family of inter-generational child abuse victims, and had been abused since the age of three by a powerful group of pedophiles, some of whom were associates of the Ramsey family. I dug up the file I had originally obtained in October and decided to give it a second look, since the information contained therein seemed to parallel the information the woman was providing Boulder D.A. Alex Hunter and the police. Upon rereading all of the information contained in it, and cross-referencing names, the entire file had more of a flow of information.” Calhoun came to entertain the notion that the sex-ring allegations surfacing sporadically on the edge of the case might have some merit. “On March 21, I contacted the Pearline, Texas Police Department for verification of the Paul Schultz [child sexual abuse] case mentioned in the file. I was immediately transferred to Detective Bill Colson,. He was unaware of the recent developments in Boulder concerning the 37-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo, California. However, Detective Colson confirmed the following: The case number ‘951302,’ on pages 7 and 14, is genuine, and the woman, Belinda Schultz, currently living in Cypress, Texas, in a notarized statement contained in the file, at the time would [have been] more likely to give information concerning the Ramsey case. And a Boulder detective was in Texas in December, 1997, seeking information regarding Paul Schultz [her estranged husband] and his involvement, if any, in the JonBenet Ramsey case.” Calhoun placed the next call to a private investigator, Char Blaiser, wife of O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Blaiser, at her office in Sacramento, California. Ms Blasier, whose office had been contracted by Boulder police to obtain social security numbers of everyone close to the Ramsey case, reportedly states that the night after the JonBenet murder, a caller claiming to be a member of the Ramsey family told her, “I want to talk to you about Paul,” but disconnected when put on hold. Blasier, Calhoun recalls, “was extremely surprised that I had information in my possession concerning Paul Schultz, and essentially confirmed the information regarding the JonBenet Ramsey case.” “It is clear,” Calhoun says, “from the statements of both Detective Colson and Char Blazer that the Boulder authorities were very interested in a connection between the death of Jonbenet Ramsey and what appears astonishingly to be organized pedophilia on a national level, perhaps with a criminal government license.” Child sex and pornography rings with political ties have been known to exist. In 1995, for example, Linda Rozar, president of Concerned Citizens for Florida and chapter head of the American Family Association, a branch of presidential candidate Gary Bauer’s ultra-conservative Federation, pledguilty to one count of child abuse and two counts of tampering with a witness. She received a remarkably light sentence, one year of probation, and was ordered to see a psychiatrist. In 1986, Linda’s husband Jerry Rozar was convicted of child molestation. So there were precedents. And since the murder, the 1999 Parent of the Year Award, an honor conceived by Congress, was bestowed on a Longmont, Colorado man with connections to a cult that prostitutes young girls, so-called “hookers for Jesus,” and has been charged repeatedly with child sexual abuse. The annual honor was chosen by the National Parents Day Foundation, an organization that has ties to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, a creation of the Korean CIA and alsovery right-wing. It happens. Nevertheless, a healthy dose of skepticism was called for. Calhoun’s conclusion about the background of the JonBenet case was based, again, on a file of police interviews passed to him at a Boulder press conference. Fortunately, its origin is no longer a mystery. Calhoun has, since obtaining the file, found out that the documents were supplied by a researcher at the University of Denver. The University, says Calhoun, threatened to fire the tenured faculty member if he continued with his investigation of the Ramsey case, and the file was passed along to reporters in Boulder. If the statements of Belinda Schultz and other abuse survivors are correct, Boulder has a serious problem. With Calhoun’s file of leaked affidavits, all that remained was to flesh out a Who’s Who register of predators tied to the alleged killer of JonBenet Ramsey in 1996.
Belinda Schultz, 43, was born to the Zander family, an established, aristocratic family in Louisiana, and grew up in Lafayette, near New Orleans. Her first marriage was to Lanny Slaydon, an oil industry marketer. She had four children before the marriage dissolved in the early 1980s. She moved on to Houston to live with family members, and met Paul Schultz. She describes her ex-husband as a “white supremacist” of the “Christian Identity” strain, and a “mafia hit-man” currently serving time for felony child molestation, sentenced in Brazoria County, Texas, the county seat of Angleton. Prior to their divorce, Paul and Belinda ran Custom Air Products on Hampstead Road in northwest Houston, a business formerly run by Paul’s father, Carlton Schultz. She notes that the business had “Mafia” connections. The company largely served the petroleum industry along the Gulf Coast, but everyday management of the business fell to Belinda because her husband was often incapacitated by a weakness for cocaine and alcohol. They had a child, Nicholas, in 1990. In an affidavit filed with the Pearland, Texas PD, Nicholas recalls that his father used to receive “sugar” and “lots of money: when he pimped his son out to pedophiles frequenting the adult bookstores on Houston’s south side. Belinda’s second marriage crumbled when she began to suspect that he was bisexual and had a gay lover, Tenourio Luga, sometimes “Lucas,” a reputed explosives expert and informant to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who has provided his services to the Mexican Mafia and CIA. Luga is a suspected drug runner. He has been investigated in the past by the BATF for the stockpiling of firearms and explosives. A) The Huey Meaux Connection
Paul Schultz, according to his ex-wife, was also a coeval of Huey Meaux, the famed record producer and a convicted child molester. On January 30, 1996, the Associated Press reported: “Huey Meaux, 66, was arrested and appeared in court Monday on charges of possession of child pornography and cocaine. He was released after posting bonds totaling $110,000. After police went public with the allegations Monday, two people came forward to say they were assaulted. Meaux then was charged additionally with two counts of sexually assaulting children. Police investigators seized hundreds of videotapes and more than 1,000 photographs last week from offices rented by Meaux at Houston’s Sugar Hill Recording Studio. Meaux formerly owned the studio.”
Huey was charged with possession of drugs and child pornography and two counts of sexual assault on a child. Two weeks after the arrest, Shannon McDowell Brasher, 25, filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Meaux, alleging that he had plied her with illegal drugs as a prelude to sexual assault, “exploitation and other perverted and unnatural sex acts.” He also persuaded accomplices to assault her and videotaped the acts, according to Ms Brasher. State District Judge Mark Davidson issued a temporary restraining order sought by Brasher’s attorneys, Dick DeGuerin and Wayne Isgitt. The order prohibited the record producer or others from destroying evidence or retaliating against Brasher.
Belinda Schultz’s contention that Meaux participated in a child sex ring is substantiated by Brasher and court transcripts. Belinda’s son Nicholas, age six at the time of Meaux’s arrest, identified the accused in a televised news report. Belinda called Bill Colson, a detective with the Pearland Police Department. Colson did not investigate the sex-ring allegation, though he told her that he would contact Houston police to search for a photo of Nicholas among Meaux’s child pornography collection. Frustrated with Colson’s false promises, she contacted Detective A.D. Wright, the officer in charge of the Meaux case. Wright confirmed a connection between Meaux and Paul Schultz. In addition, according to Calhoun’s file, Officer P.C. Taylor of the CID section produced telephone records indicating that Schultz and Meaux had made “numerous” calls to one another. Houston police offered that they had a “thick file” on Schultz, linking him to several known pedophiles in Houston.
B) Jerry J. Moore, Houston Real Estate Developer One of Paul Schultz’s confederates in the sex ring, according to Nicholas Schultz, was a wealthy Republican, one Jerry J. Moore. Nicholas says that he once accompanied Moore by plane to Colorado. In January 1996, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it sought a $250,000 civil penalty against Charles R. Vickery, former senior chairman of the First National Bank of Bellaire, Texas. The OCC charged that in 1991, Vickery directed the bank to make illicit loans to Houston real estate magnate Jerry J. Moore and corporations owned and controlled by him. Vickery also granted some $50,000 of title insurance premiums paid by Moore on the loans for his personal use. The loans violated federal lending limit law and triggered alarms at the OCC . The S&L was issued a cease and desist order.
Jerry J. Moore is now one of the wealthiest men in Texas. His real estate company was recently bought out for $400 million. He is also active in Republican state politics. Nicholas Schultz maintains that he was taken to Moore’s antebellum mansion, Nicholstone, not far from Dickerson, Texas, and describes the home as a distribution point for child pornography. Huey Meauxwas a regular at Moore’s mansion, according to the boy’s statements.
Moore’s social connections to the Mafia are consistent with the “hit man” allegation raised by Belinda Schultz. Moore’s social circle included: Leonard Capaldi, convicted by the district court in the southern district of Texas on charges of bank fraud and bribery, stemming from his involvement in the April 4, 1986 collapse of Mainland Savings Bank. This S&L lost $300 million. Capaldi was sentenced to the Federal Correctional Institute in Milan, Michigan.
Leading lights of the Mainland Savings scandal: arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, James Bath (a business associate of George W. Bush, recruited to the CIA by George, Sr,), Martin Schimmer (for walking off with Teamster steelworker pension funds), Herman K. Beebe, a known Mafioso. Another gangland chum of Jerry J. Moore is Jack Tocco, a Detroit crime boss. Political ties have included late Texas Governor John Connally and Lloyd Bentson, former Secretary of the Treasury.
The Prime of Ms Tweet Kimball
Another connection to Paul Schultz was the late Mildred “Tweet” Kimball. Tweet lived in a castle on US 85, just south of Denver in a small town called Sedalia. Nicholas Schultz states that he was taken to the castle and molested there by adults. The castle was deeded to Kimball by Merritt Ruddock, a member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, an obscure CIA official and her first of four divorced husbands. Tweet Kimball divorced Ruddock in 1955, and as she explained to a local reporter in 1996: “When I divorced him, he said I’d probably go back to Tennessee and talk about him. He said “If you’ll buy property west of the Mississippi, I’ll help you.” 7, And that’s what I did. She bought a 24-room castle on a 4,000 acre estate, built on a promontory with a view of the Rockies. Ruddock had good reason to buy her silence. He was the immediate deputy of the CIA’s Frank Wisner, the notorious overseer of Nazi recruitment by the agency immediately after WW II. Ruddock was hired by Wisner in 1949. Ray Cline, another notorious Agency stinkbug (the organizer of a support network for George Bush, Sr.’s 1980 campaign. composed almost entirely of former intelligence officers headed by Steven Halper, Cline’s son-in-law), kept close to Ruddock throughout the war. Cline recalls Ruddock as a hard drinker and “a personal manipulator of ideas and people.”
(The Colorado Department of Tourism doesn’t advertise the fact, but the state has a thriving intelligence establishment. Loring Wirbel, an environmental researcher in Monument, Colorado, found that worldwide “intelligence expansion by U.S. agencies has a very real impact on Colorado.
Buckley [Air Force Base] is now the major employer in the Denver metro area, with the classified Aerospace Data Facility section of the base responsible for far more jobs than the public Tactical Air Command portion of the base. The Denver Business Journal estimated in April that classified intelligence spending by NSA and NRO in Colorado may exceed $3 billion annually. Support facilities for Buckley include Falcon Air Force Base east of Colorado Springs, which performs intelligence fusion missions; Lockheed-Martin’s Waterton Canyon plant in southwest Denver, which builds spy satellites and Titan-4 rockets; Peterson Air Force Base, the headquarters of the Space Command; and the aging North American Aerospace Defense Command inside Cheyenne Mountain west of Colorado Springs. Another Air National Guard base outside Greeley, Colorado, is receiving many mobile satellite reconnaissance troops formerly housed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, part of a mission to make the Colorado Front Range a center of excellence for technical intelligence.”
Merritt Ruddock was not the only member of the family with CIA and Nazi ties. Ms Kimball’s father, according to a note found in the Belinda Schultz file, “Colonel Kimball of Chattanooga, Tennessee, had been a prime mover in the grown of the Post-WWI Ku Klux Klan.” (The repetitious links to Nazism in the testimony of Nicholas Schultz, a 7-year-old boy, recalls his mother’s statement that Paul Schultz is a “white supremacist,” and is obviously among friends.)
She bonded with her castle and its environs, re-christened Cherokee Ranch, and lived like a European monarch. A tour guide told an AP reporter, “the house has a number of Portuguese tile murals and many examples of parquetry (an artistic inlaid wood design done on furniture). As she describes the lavish contents of several china cabinets, words like Dresden, Spode, Meissen and Waterford slip into the conversations. That bed was built for Charles II, and he actually slept in it. This inlaid cabinet came from the court of Spain, and the pictures represent Aesop’s fables. The libraries are full of first editions, some quite old and valuable. Well, with names like Dickens and Thackeray on the bindings, one would think so.”
Tweet Kimball died in 1999. She had been an active Republican. Kimball served on the Douglas County Planning Commission and the commissioners’ Water Advisory Board, as well as the board of the Douglas County Educational Foundation. She also spent 14 years on the board of the Denver Art Museum as accessions chairman. She was the local matriarch of local Republican party politics and frequently played hostess to the Douglas County Republican caucus.
“Kimball’s castle and ranchland provided an extravagant vehicle for her varied pursuits,” the local County News-Press noted in her obituary last January, “wildlife conservation, a vast, eclectic art collection, politics, innovative ranching, royal relationships and storied social events.”12
2) Supporting Evidence of Child Sex Ring Involvement As Calhoun mentioned, in March of this year, Boulder detectives flew to San Luis Obispo, California, to interview Mary Bienkowski, a licensed family therapist. Bienkowski claimed to have information pertaining to the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. The woman said that her mother’s godfather is Fleet White, a friend of John Ramsey. The therapist had urged police in Boulder to interview her client: Regarding Bienkowski: CLIENT GAVE BOULDER POLICE NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WITNESSES IN JONBENET’SDEATH – 2000 Daily Camera A private therapist said Friday she stands behind her client who claims to have crucial information that could help investigators in the death of JonBenet Ramsey. Mary Bienkowski, a licensed marriage, family and child counselor, said her client gave Boulder police specific names of individuals who are witnesses in the killing of JonBenet as well as ongoing sexual and physical abuse of other children. “If they do their job and investigate what needs to be investigated, the rest of the pieces will fall into place, and nobody is going to like what they find out,” she said. “This person wouldn’t be coming forward and risking everything if it were not because she wanted the abuse to stop and wanted to protect other children.” Bienkowski said she has treated her client for the past 10 years for trauma endured as a repeated victim of sexual assault. Because her client had information that a widespread sex ring could have been behind the Dec. 26, 1996, strangulation and beating death of 6-year-old JonBenet, she encouraged the woman to take the information to authorities. JonBenet was found in the basement of her family’s Boulder home. Her parents, John and Patsy, are the focus of a police investigation, although the couple have denied involvement in their daughter’s death. After 13 months of investigating the case, a Boulder grand jury disbanded in October without charges being filed. During an interview Friday with the Daily Camera at a downtown San Luis Obispo coffee shop, Bienkowski blasted the Boulder Police Department for not actively investigating the list of people she said her client believes may have knowledge of who killed JonBenet. She would not divulge the names of those thought to be involved, saying that information should first be given to law enforcement officials. The Whites have not returned phone calls from the Daily Camera. John Ramsey’s attorney has declined to comment on the new information. Boulder police questioned Bienkowski’s client in Colorado for five hours. The FBI interviewed her as well. Detectives also contacted her family and interviewed some of them in California. And then the whole matter was dropped. Bienkowski lost faith in the police and refused to cooperate any further. 13. Who left warnings on her answering machine? The Daily Times-Call in Longmont, Colorado reported in March that a reliable witness “identified the voices as [those] of two women [among others] accused of victimizing thenow-37-year-old [informant]. The woman remains in hiding.” The anonymous callers told Bienkowski: 1. “Hello Mary. This is a very interested party in regards to [your client’s] welfare. [Her] past and her future are of no, of no concern to you. She made an error in judgment when she came to see you and you have caused her nothing but pain and suffering. Her main concern now is her new husband and her family. She has started a life and is going to be moving as far away from you as possible. She belongs with her family and nobody else. She is off limits to you.” 2. [Caller Two]: “Hello. Leave [your client] alone. We take care of our own. Everything. And nothing is any of your business.” 3. [Caller Two] “Hello. It’s high time that you caught on that [the informant] doesn’t have time for your foolishness. Thank you.” 4. [Caller Two] “[She] is going on an extended vacation with her family and while there will seek medical care for her problems. [The woman] has forgotten more than you will ever know.”
[Caller Two] “Hello. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us. So leave [her] alone. It’s against the law to disturb the peace. Don’t forget it.”
14. The statement of the informant that JonBenet was killed in a sadistic sex game was upheld independently by forensic specialist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who studied the autopsy file and concluded that JonBenet’s abuse occurred over a period of time. Wecht: “This evidence of abuse, tied literally and figuratively to the cords around her neck and wrist, was enough to draw the conclusion that a sick sex game had gone awry.” But the medical evidence “so far suggested that the vaginal penetration had been a carefully controlled, limited situation not a savage sexual assaults. While the attacker was applying the perverted useof the garrote that pinched the vagus nerve in her neck and eventually shut down her heart and lungs, the young prey had suddenly turned lifeless without explanation, perhaps literally in her abuser’s arms. Wasn’t it likely that the shocked and panicking molester had shaken JonBenet in a futile attempt to return her to consciousness? A few anxiety-driven shakesand a ‘wake up! Wake up!’ had failed to restore her to life, but had inflicted the bruises to the temporal lobes of the brain.” 15. A panel of pediatric experts assembled from all parts of the country states unanimously that JonBenet had injuries “consistent with prior trauma and sexual abuse.” The medical affidavits referred to “past violation of the vagina,” “chronic abuse,” “evidence of both acute injury and chronic sexual abuse.”
Author Stephen Singular, a Boulder native, believed so strongly that organized pedophilia and child porn lurked behind the murder of the child that he published a book exploring the sex ring angle, Presumed Guilty. According to Singular’s publisher, “some highlights of the book suggest that one or both of the Ramsey parents unknowingly exposed their daughter to danger that fateful Christmas night,” and reminds, significantly, “human DNA found on her clothing matched nothing found in the Ramsey home”
Evan Ravitz and Bob MacFarland, Boulder political activists who shared Singular’s perspective on the case, gave eight of the grand jurors hearing testimony regarding the death of JonBenet Ramsey excerpts of Singular’s book, theorizing that that the girl may have been killed by someone involved in a child pornography ring. Ravitz and MacFarland were cited with contempt of court. Ravitz, wearing a crumpled purple T-shirt, explained to District Judge Roxanne Bailin that the leakers planned on petitioning the D.A.’s office to allow them to testify before the grand jury, and present evidence of corruption in the city, including drug dealing and child pornography possibly “related to the slaying and handling of the Ramsey case.”
Child porn is “an important line of investigation that we hear Hunter has stayed away from,” Ravitz told Judge Bailin.18 But homicide detectives considered this angle a “side theory,” yet have acknowledge that the killer “may have been involved in a child pornography ring that operated in or around Boulder and had earmarked JonBenet as a likely subject.” The connection to child pornography with child sex murders is by no means original. In 1997, Jeremy Strohmeyer: 18. Stalked a seven-year-old girl in a Las Vegas casino before murdering her in a restroom. Strohmeyer was an admitted collector of child pornography. “If the pornography connection is true,” the Internet Crime Library observes, “then the murder may have been committed by more than one person as part of a conspiracy.”
The market in Colorado for child prostitution and pornography is a relatively large silent minority. In 1995, the Colorado Department of Human Services filed 5,085 cases of sexual abuse of the 7,931 referred to the agency. Of these,1,160 victims were abused in the state. But the department may investigate a tiny fraction of the actual cases. One-half of one percent of children report sexual abuse, according to Dr. Richard D. Krugman, dean of the University of Colorado Medical School and director of the C. Henry Kemp Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
20. a) A Brotherhood In 1997, the Boulder PD contacted Dale Yeager and Denise Knoke at Seraph, Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, a security consulting firm summarized in sales brochures as “an international company [with] extensive sources throughout Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa. Our associates are investigative professionals and former intelligence officers”, and asked them to submit an analysis of the ransom note. Yeager and Knoke claimed without hesitation that Patsy Ramsey was the author, joining the chorus of police and tabloid reporters who kept at the parents, and reported that Psalm 118:27. b) interpreted as the source of the $118,000 ransom demand, “Decorate the festival with leafy boughs and bind the sacrifices to be offered with thick cords to the horns of the altar” is commonly cited by “white supremacists,” who “use the redemption and sacrifice ideas to form a justification for killings.” Despite the neo-nazi nuance, Yeager and Knoke were positively certain that JonBenet’s mother forged the kidnap letter. “Our conclusion,” Yeager offered, “is that you are investigating a child’s murder with ritualistic overtones. Strangulation and sexual assault are most commonly seen in sadomasochism between heterosexual and homosexual adults”. 21. On February 27, 2000, Yeager explained to a CBS 2 News reporter, “What we believe was happening in Patsy’s mind was that her daughter was losing control, becoming a wild rebel. She felt (her daughter) was becoming evil.” 22. Patsy Ramsey did not exactly fit the white supremacist profile, and she certainly wasn’t known to participate in “ritual murder.” Paul Schultz, not incidentally, rings the bell on both counts. He is a member, according to the interviewers of Belinda Schultz, of a “heterodox Christian” cult with Nazi leanings that found its way into the intelligence establishment via the German presence at Tweet Kimball’s castle in Sedalia. The occult Brotherhood of the White Temple, as this sect was known, survives and has reportedly evolved into an underground terrorist cell. The same “faction” that warned Mary Bienkowski to back off? Police investigating the Ramsey case also received warnings. Blood was splashed on Detective Linda Arndt’s front door. The mutilated carcass of a cat was left on Steve Thomas’s front lawn (if his statements have any credibility, given the flagrant distortions in his book on the case, clearly contrived to widen the umbrella of suspicion that has hung over the parents since the smears began). Sergeant Bob Wilson was at home when four high-powered rounds were fired through his bedroom window and nearly hit him. After these events, “there was no follow-up by the police department” Steve Thomas complains, “which apparently regarded bullets, blood and dead cats as minor” 23. Belinda Schultz has tied her ex-husband to a cultic, “white-supremacist” terrorist underground with domestic intelligence connections and the murder of JonBenet Ramsey but despite his resemblance to the killer’s profile, Paul Schultz has not been asked for a sample of his hand-writing. b) The Belgium Syndrome The behavior of law enforcement officials and the media has been odd since the 911 call. John Ramsey was the CEO of a key military-industrial subsidiary, Lockheed, and his daughter had been murdered by a group that claimed to “represent a small foreign faction” (Brotherhood of the White Temple?) Ordinarily, the “Lindbergh Law” requires a “rebuttable presumption” in a high-profile kidnap, particularly one pulled off by terrorists fronting for a “foreign faction,” a widely overlooked point raised by journalist Donald Freed, author of Killing Time, a forensic study of the O.J. Simpson case. Notification of the FBI in a murder case involving terrorists is mandatory, and officers in Boulder did contact Washington. But the Bureau did not respond.
Freed reports that someone in a lofty position assured the FBI and Lockheed Martin Security “prior to the 911 call that any report coming from Boulder “would not affect ‘national security,'” and directed to “let the police handle it.”
25. Freed coined the phrase “Belgium Syndrome” after the recent refusal of Belgian officials and the justice system to respond to a series of child murders, “not because they were involved in the murders, but because they were involved in their own way in pornography, child sexuality and related elements, some of which are not even illegal but all of which would be death sentences for their careers.” Fleet White, in his letter “to the people of Colorado,” maintained: “It is our firm belief that the District Attorney and others intend to use the Grand Jury and its secrecy in an attempt to protect their careers and also serve the conflicting interests of powerful, influential and threatening people who have something to hide or protect.” 26. “Conflicting interest” may explain the inertia of detectives in Boulder when the photo of the young beauty contestant turned up in the home of a child pornographer in Columbus, Ohio suspected of involvement in the abduction of another Colorado girl. James Partin, 35, was arrested in December, 1997 for selling child pornography on the Net. Police searched Partin’s home and found a newspaper clipping about the 1983 kidnap of Beth Miller,14, and a map of Idaho Springs marked with several X’s. The girl vanished after a jog near her Idaho Springs home, and Partin lived in the area at the same time. Boulder police announced that they would contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to learn more about the Ramsey photo in Partin’s collection, but a local newspaper reported that they “do not believe that Partin had any involvement” in the slaying. “It’s not a high priority,” police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm assured reporters.
Did the DA’s reluctance to question Partin about the JonBenet picture suggest an unwillingness to solve the case? Pornographic photos of JonBenet were posted on the Internet.28 In his August 6, 1998 resignation letter, Boulder Detective Steve Thomas openly accused then police chief Tom Koby and other officials of sabotaging the case: “During the investigation detectives would discover, collect, and bring evidence to the district attorney’s office, only to have it summarily dismissed or rationalized as insignificant.
The most elementary of investigative efforts, such as obtaining telephone and credit card records, were met without support, search warrants denied. The significant opinions of national experts were casually dismissed or ignored by the district attorney’s office, even the experienced FBI were waved aside.” Thomas was ordered not to question certain witnesses, “and all but dissuaded from pursuing particular investigative efforts. Polygraphs were acceptable for some subjects, but others seemed immune from such requests. Innocent people were not “cleared”, publicly or otherwise, even when it was unmistakably the right thing to do, as reputations and lives were destroyed. Some in the district attorney’s office, to this day, pursue weak, defenseless, and innocent people in shameless tactics that one couldn’t believe more bizarre if it were made up.” c) Lawrence Schiller & the Designated Patsy (Ramsey) Denver reporter Joe Calhoun takes aim at Lawrence Schiller, the made-for-TV “expert” who denounces all sex-ring allegations in shrill terms. “Schiller, along with talk show hosts and the more ‘responsible press,’ appear to be preparing the public for an indictment of Patsy Ramsey for the murder of her child,” Calhoun says. The patsy would be Patsy. ” According to a source in Boulder, the script reads that the much physically and mentally traumatized Patsy Ramsey went to her daughter’s room that night and found that she had wet the bed and in a fit of exasperation and rage struck the child and accidentally killed her and then was assisted by her husband to try to cover up the crime. ” The bed-wetting scenario, repeated in best-selling books on the case and many a talk show, is insupportable upon a moment’s reflection: it entails a belief, Calhoun points out, that Patsy Ramsey “stuck her child in the head, killing her, and then tied a garrote around her neck and sexually violated her daughter’s corpse to cover up the crime.” TO BE CONTINUED
CMV: Tipping is a powerful economic force that improves service when properly applied
I see many CMVs suggesting that tipping is bad, but growing up in a city that lives on tips and embraces tipping, I have a different view. Is my view unique to my community? Is it wrong? I grew up in Las Vegas where most service industry jobs both allow tipping and reward tippers with excellent service. Poor tippers quickly find that their behavior will result in poor service. For example, casinos have cocktail servers who patrol the casino bringing drinks to players. When the server brings your first drink, you should tip them something (usually at least a dollar). If you tip average or above average, the server will return in a few moments to check on you and bring another drink if you need it. If you choose to not tip, you will likely wait much longer before you see your server again. Baggage handlers, valets, hosts and hostesses, front desk and even security are offered tips and are often empowered to enhance your experience. A brief read through the vegas subreddits (there are several) will lead you to many methods to use tips to get superior service while in Las Vegas. I've lived in other cities and visited many, many cities, both tourist trade and non tourist areas. Overall, the communities that accept and thrive on tips have better service, happier servers and more business because of it. When I have been in areas with a mandatory service charge, I find that service is not as good. While in New York City, I often talked to my servers about the mandatory service charges and indicated that I found it odd being from Las Vegas where tipping is encouraged. Often servers would agree to remove the service charge and allow me to tip what I wanted. This mutual trust made me memorable and my service was better because of it. I say this as I watched servers snub other patrons who did not engage the server and went with the standard charges. I read once that Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller) lets servers know up front that he tips 25% reguardless of their service. He claims that he has never had bad service using this method. As to claims of tipping encouraging racism, or female and blond servers getting higher tips, I would say that this is not unique to tipping. Pretty girls get lots of perks while they are young and pretty. No cover charges, free drinks, higher tips, etc. Unfortunately for them, these attributes quickly fade over time. Not having good service skills means their tips will fall off in their 30s or 40s. Again, this is not unique to tipping, this happens in nearly all non technical positions. As to racism, many many servers are minorities and make great tips in Las Vegas. I would suggest that Las Vegas is a bit more progressive towards minorities than other cities, so again, I believe the problem is with regressive communities, not the practice of tipping. Help me understand why this is not preferable to not tipping or banning tipping.
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Scolded these stupid dipshit drunk parents for leaving their minor unattended where they couldn't see her.
Let me preface my story with this little bit of info from http://lasvegasmissing.com/ "A Child goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States and every weekend here in Las Vegas, 60-80 people go missing. In fact, Metro's Missing Persons unit handles up to 1,700 cases a month, everything from runaways to kidnappings fall under the umbrella of missing persons. 797,500 children (younger than 18) were reported missing in a one-year period of time studied resulting in an average of 2,185 children being reported missing each day. 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions. 58,200 children were the victims of non-family abductions. 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping." I nearly wanted to sock these parents across their stupid mouths the other day. First I told them their 13 year old daughter couldn't be hanging out in the area and that one of them had to be with her and stay with her somewhere else if one of them wanted to continue gambling. I get called somewhere, and assume the mother is about to pack her stuff and follow her daughter to the restaurant, which is 100 yards away, behind rows of machines and tables, completely out of sight. She sat at a table right next to the hostess, and I assumed the mother would have been right behind, as I was walking to my next call. I should have just made sure, but I made a note to check on her as soon as I finished. I come back 5 minutes or so later and see the daughter, still sitting alone. It just instantly filled me with rage, and then I see that worthless mother and father, drinking and gambling exactly where I left them. I scolded them, and commanded that one of them needs to get up and be with her immediately, and the mother responds with "We've been here for days, she's 13." My blood couldn't boil any hotter, I had to restrain myself from screaming in her stupid ignorant face as I told her "She is an unattended CHILD, and one you needs to be with her NOW. Are you seriously taking your chances with your only 13 year old daughter when thousands get kidnapped in this same situation every single day?" They've been here for days, and still don't realize what kind of neighborhood in what kind of city they're staying in? They never took history, or watched the damn news, or learned anything throughout their young and adult lives, and all the years that they've been raising their daughter, how dangerous it is to leave her, specifically a girl at age 13, the #1 target for human traffickers and pedophile kidnappers, alone, far away from them, out of sight, while they're getting drunk and playing adult videogames, where thousands of people walk in and out each day, where there are bad people, rich and poor, who are constantly waiting for opportunities like this to happen, and succeed a couple thousand times a day? How can a parent of a 13 year old STILL be ignorant about at least a LITTLE bit of information on child abductions? They never thought about their daughter enough to inform themselves about any of this and not get in to those situations? Seriously? It was as if they never even heard of the concept of someone being kidnapped. Just besides the fact that it's unlawful to leave a minor unattended anywhere in a casino, and most other places, period. Gee I wonder why, not because the almost million that go missing each year maybe? She just gives me that look like she's unsatisfied, like I took her fun away, and just says "I guess we'll just be leaving then." The whole time, that piece of shit father never even said a word. Didn't give a shit either way, just too focused on drinking and enjoying his game. That child is going to get abducted if they keep that up. She looked closer to 8 years old than 13. They did not learn a damn thing that day. I hope no one I know ever does something so stupid with their children. Don't become part of the statistics.
I sit on the back of the couch, leaning against the wall. Four people are crammed into the seats, three gorgeous women and one of my buddies. From my perch on the back of the couch, I’m lord of all I survey. It’s good to be the king, and tonight, I am the king. It’s the third night of our trip, and I’ve gotten us access to a special birthday party in the dance club on the top floor of the casino. Dave’s night of debauchery at the five-star strip club on our first night in Vegas was up to his usual high standards. Joey’s casino night was fun, I made a little money at the craps table. Neil’s plans for tomorrow are still under wraps. I want to make Saturday memorable. The birthday party is for a reality TV star. A very notable, famous one. It’s not a Kardashian, don’t worry. It is a big deal, though, cameras for the show will be filming, and it seems like everybody under age 30 wants to be there. Back home, before we left, I told the boys to pack clothes suitable for a club. They laughed, we are not a group that went to dance clubs at 25, they don’t want to start now. I ask them to trust me, and they do. Our car service drops us at the main door, and there is a line. I ask security if this is the VIP line, and he says no, follow this line inside, the VIP table is to the left. We go in, the couple dozen folks outside wondering if we are famous. Joey and I walk through the glass foyer, Neil and Dave behind us, and the line stretches ahead, as far as we can see. There are hundreds of people dressed for a club night stretched along the casino floor. As we stride past them, we hear a couple bratty girls complain “what makes them so special,” and a guy loudly say “I think the big one was a hockey player.” It’s a long queue. I’m amused at how many people are lined up to be in the background on reality TV, while a guy who doesn’t want to be famous at all is skipping the wait. After crossing the clanging casino floor, we get to the check-in. A pair of frantic women are overwhelmed working the general admission table, while a very professional lady sits at the empty VIP table. “Aaron Bloom and guests,” I state as she looks up. She asks for ID and credit card, staring at me as I hand them over. She makes a “Hmmm” sound and crosses my name off the list, “I thought you were shorter.” She is about to run my card, and stops. “Your reservation is for four, but there are seven in your party, are you paying for them all?” There must be another group behind us that she’s mixing up, but as I turn, I see Dave wink, a stunning girl on each arm. A third girl is with Neil, Dave’s lifelong wingman, and Neil has a shit-eating grin plastered across his lucky face. I turn back to the table, looking the lady in the eye, half a smile on my face, trying to be charming. “Seven it is, ma’am. We are one short if you’d like to join us.” She pretends to think about it for a moment, raises an eyebrow, then hands me my cards and receipt. She shoos us along to the elevator, but we exchange a smile as my group departs. The seven of us get on the elevator. The operator swipes a card and hits 51, one floor short of the big dance club on 52. Dave introduces the girls, all of them about twenty-five, all of them very grateful to get into the party and out of the long line. They are very pretty, but Nikki, the gorgeous one, slinks up to me and grabs the lapels of my blazer, pulling me down low enough for a whisper. “Thank you, you’re the best. You can get us on TV, right? I just want my opportunity.” I don’t lie, leaning in and replying, “we will be in the right place for it.” As I say it, I glare over the girl at Dave, who smiles and shrugs. I don’t know who the girls think I am, but Dave has them thinking I’m important. That’s my third mistaken identity of the evening, and not the last. Girl at the table was right, the powerful and very wealthy Aaron Bloom is shorter than me, and a good bit older. He’s a known name with a less known face, and it happens to be the name on my drivers license. My face and height? Ten years earlier, I’d occasionally get a beer on the house, a bar patron buying me a drink and swearing I was a hockey player, even though the barkeep would tell them that I wasn’t. I can’t even skate, but the dude in line was an echo of those days. Now these fame hungry girls think I’m Hollywood reality TV connected. I need a drink. It’s a long ride to 51, and Joey is odd man out, no girl. Dave introduces the girl on his arm, Lauren, to Joey. Based on the walk across the casino floor, the fact that Joey and I are good friends, Dave paints a picture that Joey must also be an influential guy to know, he’s tight with the big fella. The girl is suddenly intrigued by soft spoken Joey, and now has a grip on his arm and a big smile. Neil’s new friend, Allison, seems happy enough, and Dave is now solo. No one feels bad for solo Dave, it never lasts long. The elevator dings at 51, and the doors open to an opulent private club. Dark woods, deep leather couches, a grand piano with a cover on it. It is a classy contrast to the clanking noise and the tracksuit clad gamblers in the casino. A hostess meets us as we leave the elevator. She looks at my receipt, then up at me, and at the receipt again. She calls over another hostess, hands the new girl the receipt, and we follow her to our spot. We pass through a pair of rooms with small groups of party-goers in front of enormous bottles of booze, bottle-service parties within the bigger party. No one in the first room notices us, but everyone in the second room stops what they are doing and looks at us. “Who are they?” “Do you recognize them?” Someone even snaps a picture of Joey and I and the girls on our arms. I’m confused, until we leave the second room and enter the opulent bar area. The main bar area is mahogany and brass, crystal and LED light. The walls are curtained, and there are pods of couches lining all of the walls. Three tables are on the small dance-floor, for the guests of honor. I look around the room, it is uncrowded. I recognize a pair of stand-up comics, one who’s been in a couple movies. A sports team owner holds court with his group of guests. A pair of NBA players has a gaggle of girls around them. One gets up as we approach, taller than me. He gives me a handshake/ back pat, and says “good to see you, brother” as the hostess hustles us by. The girls are impressed, I turn to Joey and mouth “what the fuck?” We arrive at our pod, a pair of couches and a low table, with the back of the couch for the next pod making a U shape. As we settle in, Dave disappears. Yet another hostess pops up, two waiters behind her with trays. We get bottle service as part of the admission. I choose Vodka, and the hostess opens and places a towering bottle of Grey Goose on the table with an array of mixers. We have been comped another round of bottle service, do we want another vodka? I want gin, everyone, even the girls, makes a face, and moments later another huge bottle of Goose joins the one on the table. It is a fuckton of booze. Dave returns, another pair of hot ingenues on his arms, his deal with the devil apparently still working. We settle in, only one of the girls joining the four of us for a raw shot of vodka to remember an old friend. Then Neil starts mixing drinks. Vodka-cranberry or vodka-redbull for each of the girls. I’d enjoy a martini, but with the intimidating bottles on the table, my “don’t die” reflex kicks in and I opt for a weak vodka-tonic. After the bro-hug from the NBA player, Nikki is now thoroughly convinced I am worth knowing, and she’s got a death grip on my left arm. She gives the two new girls Dave brought a scowl, warning them off. I feel bad, I’m not some producer. But all she wants is to be on camera, and I’ve gotten her into a room full of celebrities. She knows it, and keeps an eye peeled for camera crews and microphone booms. One of the new girls asks “Oh my god, who are you guys? We are twenty feet from the main table, are you friends with the star?” The questions continue on, and Nikki mistakes my honesty for modesty as I say “We are nobody, don’t worry about it.” After fifteen-twenty minutes, as we mix another round of drinks, she leans in and kisses me, claiming me, marking territory for the other girls to see. Nikki is gorgeous, a lithe 5’8”, athletic, tan, toned. She’s wearing a shift dress, mostly sequins, and I’m pretty sure the dress is all she’s wearing. No bra straps, no bump on the back of the dress where hooks would be. She’s got lovely medium sized boobs, and she’s young and fit and firm enough to skip a bra tonight for her chance to be on camera. She’s immaculately made up, her stunning face accented perfectly. She has long brown hair with subtle shading, and a near flawless physique. I do not end up with girls who look like models, my “type” skewing to quirky, or tall, or busty, or bookish. Tonight, there is a wannabe actress on my arm. She’s not there for me, she’s there for the Hollywood guy, or the hockey player, or the billionaire, whichever will get her on TV. I’m not those guys, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to get her on TV regardless. I look up, and see the camera crew arrive. When the cameras pan the dance floor upstairs later, everyone screams and raises their arms. Here, it is restrained. The comedians say “hey”, the basketball players make a peace sign. I give a thumbs up with a raised eyebrow, Nikki flashing a perfect smile by my side, the rest of the group briefly “in the shot” as the camera pans in. Fame is Nikki’s aphrodisiac, apparently. As the cameras move on to the next group, she kisses me, then swings a leg over to straddle me and kiss me harder, a few howls of “get a room” from the group. A half hour later, the guest of honor arrives, and people stand, offer toasts, the comics make jokes, all in service to the hunger for story in their show. I’m urged forward by one of the hostesses as the cake is brought out, “in shot” with the other celebrities singing happy birthday. Nikki is beside me, she has almost dug trenches in my elbow with her nails. The VIP treatment, the cameras, the access, it’s far more than she dreamed. As we get back to the table, everybody is happy, some are shit-faced and happy. Dave has cycled a near parade of girls through our couple of couches, only Allison remains of the original crew. Four new girls are mixing drinks with Dave and Neil, Joey lost to the dance floor upstairs, dragged away by some half-drunk girl. Nikki leans into me, and asks “can we go back to your room?” My room is halfway across town, I’m not staying in this hotel. Before I answer, I wave over one of the VIP hostesses who patrol the room. I tell her I’m a bit woozy and need to compose myself, do they have a private place available to rest. She looks at me, at horny Nikki, and back at me, seeing right through my weak ruse. It doesn’t matter, VIPs needing a room in the middle of a party is a thing they are prepared for. “Of course sir, I’ll have someone escort you.” I flash Dave three “tens” with my hands, signing that I’ll be gone for a half hour as yet another hostess introduces herself. A short elevator ride later and the hostess swipes us into the room, handing me the room card. I tip her generously as she leaves. Nikki whistles as she takes it all in. The room is much, much nicer than my “pretty nice” room at the Venetian. A king bed dominates the room, the furniture is leather. The far wall is all window, with a glass door to a balcony, overlooking the city, the Vegas Strip twinkling in the distance. “You are the best. All I wanted was to be on the dance floor near a camera, to be seen. I’m going to be on TV in the VIP, standing between you and a movie star singing happy birthday. Thank you.” She lowers the straps of her dress off her shoulders, and with a shrug, the satiny, sequined shift slides to the ground at her heels. No bra, that much I knew. No panties either, just that loose dress hiding this perfection. Nikki is a knockout, framed in front of those windows, that view of Vegas, a magazine cover waiting to happen. She steps over her dress and preens, posing, seducing. Her black heels stay on, and her long tan legs are toned, shapely calves and slightly curved thighs drawing the eye up, to her ass. With heels and a slight bend forward at the waist, her behind is a work of art. The cute butt sweeps and curves into a slim lower back, the curves enhanced by the little circular dents where the muscles meet. Her ass tapers into a narrow waist. She’s toned, and her frame is slim. The long torso is flat, but unmuscled, no visible abs, but no extra padding. Her breasts are beautiful, perfect and firm mounds, a small C. The nipples are a deeper tan than her skin, almost brown, tilted up. Even the curve of her collarbone into her shoulder is graceful, as if sculpted by a master, every detail important. Perfect features, gorgeous body, flowing hair, and plainly eager. “Do you like this?” she asks. I’m sure that she has never heard anyone answer “no” to that question, but I can hear doubt. I tell her she’s beautiful, and I find the source of her doubt “Come on, you’ve been with models, actresses…” I stop her, and tell her, honestly, that she’s perfect. She smiles and crosses the room to me, and begins unbuttoning my shirt. Once removed, she kisses my chest, up to my shoulders, demure and aggressive at once. I lean down to kiss her, my hand on the small of her back, lifting her slightly. She stretches up, forearms resting on my shoulders, fingers entwined around my neck. She breaks the kiss, and walks to the window. Placing her hands on the glass, she gives me a show. She bends gracefully, her perfect behind on display. She curves herself forward, flexing her elbows, pressing her breasts to the cool glass. Her nipples harden, and she shivers. I approach her, kicking off my shoes and undoing my belt as I walk. She turns, and slides my pants to the ground. As she rises, she says, “Jesus, you’re a billionaire and you have a big cock? That’s almost not fair.” Now I know which mistaken identity she’s latched onto, no wonder she thought I slept with models. She traces her fingernail across my shorts, along the length of my dick, making little shapes, teasing. She stands, and presses herself into me, and peels my shorts down and off. My cock springs out, and she grabs hold. First with one hand, then barely wrapping her other hand around it, still with space below and above. It throbs, and reddens, in her hands. “That’s not big, that’s huge” she whispers. I pull her close, hands on her ass, cock pressed against her belly as we kiss again. I lift her, swinging around and laying her on the bed. She looks down at me, between her legs, and says “you don’t need to do that for me, I’m already …” the next word was probably “wet”, but it’s lost behind a little grunt as my tongue finds her clit. I feel her thighs on my ears, and her hips thrusting up, wanting more. I trace lines and circles on her, working her button then sliding my tongue along the crease of her lips, then back to her clit. In moments, I feel little tremors, she’s having an orgasm, shaking, whispering “wonderful” at the end. I ask her to go back to the window, it was very sexy, and she says she’s got a better idea. She opens the door to the balcony, and beckons me to follow. She grabs the rail, and shakes her ass at me. It’s not cold out, but it’s windy up here, her hair blows behind her as she turns her head to say “take me.” I approach her from behind, squeezing her ass, sliding two fingers into her, eliciting a soft moan. I wrap an arm around her from behind, pulling her up to me, kissing her shoulder and neck. My cock rests on the shelf of her behind, pressed into her back. She whispers over her shoulder, “fuck me, now.” She’s wet. She’s very, very wet, her orgasm from the oral adding to her ready state. She has her hands on the rail as I briefly tease her lips with my head. The wind whips by as I push into her, a quiet moan taken from her lips to the sky. I work my way into her slowly, methodically, enjoying the moans, listening for any negative sounds or reactions. I’ve learned to be careful, but Nikki has other thoughts. She reaches back, hand on my hip, and says “all of it”. I change from my short and deepening strokes, slidIng out nearly all the way. With one hand on her hip and the other on her shoulder, I slowly drive my cock all the way into her. She’s wet, and very willing, moaning louder as my fat cock fills her. “Oh god damn you’ve got a big one” she says into the wind. She wriggles her ass, then yells “stay still!” With her heels planted firmly on the balcony, her hands on the rails, she slides forward. The arch of her back exposes her tits for the world to see, not that anyone is looking at the 47th floor. Then she slides back onto me, a long hard stroke, grunting at the end. Again, slowly, she slides forward and slams back, finding a rhythm, grunting with the effort, moaning with the rising pleasure. She is a thing of beauty, a work of art, repeatedly and needfully impaling herself on my fat red cock. She cries out, and lowers her torso, changing the angle. I have to take a half step back, but she has a new rhythm, a new urgency, finding a deep connection she wants more of. I grab her hips, helping her drive down and reach a place inside her that is working for her. She screams, a long “ohhhhhhhh” out to the world, not caring who hears. “Oh fuck, goddamn, that was amazing.” She slides forward, disengaging with a filthy wet noise. As she turns to me, my wet dick brushes her taut belly. “Jesus, that didn’t make you come?” She grabs my cock and drags me inside to the bed. We lay down together, and she kisses me before rolling on top of me. Her bright blue eyes look through me with lust and more as she perches on me. She’s still perfect even after the hard balcony fuck. I realize she’s chosen positions to keep her hair and makeup from being mussed too much. No missionary, no doggy. I admire her high perky boobs and the taut tendons of her upper thighs as she positions herself. She leans forward, and guides my cock deep into her. She slides all the way down, and then straightens upright. She starts to bob, short strokes, taking my full length each time, smiling. She asks for my hands, and I raise my arms. She locks her hands into mine. With the leverage, her strokes are longer, she knows what she’s doing. Her smile adjusts, less glee and more determination, driving toward her own orgasm, and mine. Her pert breasts wobble each time she slams down onto me, her fingers hold tight, intertwined through mine. I feel my blood rise, my own urgency, I’m close. She’s close too. A deep growling moan escapes her lips and she clenches her hands, digging nails into the backs of my hands. After the exhaling moan, she drops onto me, all of my cock deep inside as I explode into her. She’s let go of my hands, leaning back slightly, propped on my legs, no longer riding. She’s still coming, riding her wave, her eyes lost and rolling. I feel my own final spurt, one last throb. I look down and see a trickle of our mixed love on the top of my cock, below her lips. “Oh fuck. That was supposed to be my thank you, I didn’t expect that. Fuck me, that was good.” She’s still on me, chattering away as my erection flags, spent. Finally, she pops off, and heads to the restroom, still talking. “Do you ever get to Denver? I’d love to see you again.” I hear the water run. A moment later I join her, looking for a towel. As I’m cleaning, she grabs it again, giving it a kiss. “Hopefully I won’t be in Denver for long, I’m sure you get to LA, right?” Nikki is career focused, I will give her that. I tell her I’m always happy to help someone out, keeping myself technically honest. After we clean ourselves, and dress, I dial for a hostess and Nikki kisses me some more, still trying to show her appreciation without falling back into lust again. We get back to our VIP pod, Joey and Dave drinking with a new group of girls, our “party” now commingled with the NBA players in the next pod. Their side pieces and groupies are hot in entirely different ways that our reality wannabes, it’s quite a mix. Nikki promises to come back after she finds Allison and Lauren. She will find her friend just after she finishes giving Neil a stairwell blowjob, the relationship they began in the elevator coming full circle hours later. Lauren is out on the dance floor, the only one of the three having the night they planned. One of the girls on our couches hands me a fat cigar, out of a box that was “sent to Mr. Bloom” while I was away. All the seats are taken, so I climb to the back of the couch, and sit. I bite off the end of the cigar and chomp on it, unlit, waiting for Nikki’s return. Most nights I’m just a guy, the big fella, but just a guy. Tonight, I’m a VIP, sharing camera time with celebrities, bro-hugs with pro athletes, and still glowing from my time with the work-of-art woman. I’m a king in this room, not just a guy, at least for tonight. It’s good to be the king.
So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease. If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas. However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean. We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me. Anyways, onto the play by play. Monday, January 16th. One day before SHOT show. http://imgur.com/a/HoFUm Every time I've been rejected by a woman, I move $1 from checking into savings and I take the bankroll down to the Wynn for some play. Lets do this. The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over. This trip's light reading is trying to finish "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a good book as well as "Outliers" if you want a good read. I walk up to the podium to find out that my upgrades do not clear, even as an AA Plat thanks to the addition of a FOURTH elite tier. Goddamn fucking W. Doug Parker. Asshole. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks. The gate agent calls concierge key and executive platinum passengers. I look down and realize I'm wearing a suit and board with the executive platinum folks because I do not care and I look the part. If you walk with a purpose and are dressed reasonably well, you fit the profile. I settle into my window seat and try to finish outliers. I pass out before takeoff and I'm awoken by the dulcet tones of the flight attendants preparing for landing. We land at Dallas a few minutes early and I hightail it to the Centurion for a quick bite to eat. I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent brisket, pecan encrusted chicken and some roasted jumbo asparagus. Yes, my pee is going to smell funny. No, I do not care. The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to Mccarran as I walk out of the lounge. No time for a stop in the spa on this trip. I make it to the gate just as the call group 2 boarding. I bypass the main line and walk up through the priority line giving no heed to the people that have been waiting there before me as I hold up my paper boarding pass with PLATINUM to the gate agent. I board and take my usual seat - the exit row without the seat in front of it. I'm aghast to see this sight. http://imgur.com/a/dygil The savages. Literally. The savages. I put my loathing away for a moment and look down at the exit row. I have the window. The aisle is a large middle aged man and in the middle is what I believe to be a formecurrent linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys wearing a 52 regular sports jacket. He's not a fat guy in a little coat, he's a big fucking hulk of a man stuffed in an exit row seat that is already an inch narrower due to the tray table. I grimace as I take my seat and give him the manly nod. He does not look happy about the fact that his knees are in the seat in front and I'm stretched out like a Cheshire cat in front of a fireplace on a cold January afternoon. The boarding door closes for an on time departure and Stephanie the FA takes her seat. He leans over and asks if he can take the empty row across the aisle and she takes one look at the three of us and gives him the nod. I bail out to give him a path of egress and suddenly the trip to Las Vegas has just become way more comfortable. I finish The Tipping Point somewhere over west texas, so I pop a xanax and dr pepper and zone out for the rest of the ride. I awake to feel one of the FA's jostling me awake telling me to put my seat up. I do so and we have a ride so smooth that not even the Delta guy behind me can complain about light chop. We catch the TYSSN4 arrival and the next thing I know it the Messier Dowty landing gear of the A321 touch the paint at Mccarran for a smooth rollout down 25L. My phone battery is approaching grim death since this seat has no power plugs and I find bartman383 has sent me a message. He has been enjoying LV with his wife and their due to bad weather they are in the city of sin for a few extra nights. He invites me to dinner. I'm still pretty full from DFW and I tell him I'll be over there once I get my bags and the car and I'll see him when I see him. He gives me the info for the hotel as we pull up to the gate. First stop: Centurion lounge. AA's app tells me bags being unloaded. I grab a quick bite of fried chicken and brussels sprouts since they are good for you and a chocolate pudding. The brisket and pecan encrusted chicken from DFW still has me full but I'm well aware of the speed of a union baggage handlers nowadays and who doesn't like chocolate pudding? Terrorists. That's who. Want to know how to screen for terrorists TSA? Set up a table of free chocolate pudding at the airport. The people who don't take any are members of ISIS. It's just that simple. I grab my bag and hoof it to Hertz. I'm an idiot and I am an hour late for my pickup. Oops. Will an Audi A3 suffice? I sigh and I accept my Teutonic quattro chariot. I do a burnout in the parking garage and hightail it to the exit. I flash my #1 card and my ID and the gatekeeper gives me the go ahead. I get onto the the strip and traffic is awful. I'm going to be late for dinner. I make a left onto Russell Road and hightail it up the 15. I manage to get the car up to 100 as I pass the Luxor. My phone is dead so I can't message Bart about being late. Fuck. The exit approaches quickly as I put the 4 wheel disk brakes to work and sling the car around and head south on Las Vegas Bl. I accidentally turn into the Bellagio and I'm now running even more late. Fuck. Eventually, I get the car into the garage at the Cosmopolitan and head upstairs. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I head up to the third floor where all the restaurants are and I see this sign that's reminiscent of my days in retail. It says RESTAURANT - LOUNGE - PAWN SHOP. I laugh. I walk in. It's literally a pawnshop. I look around puzzled. FC: Is this a restaurant? Bald Headed Guy: Yes, through that door. He points towards a door. I walk in to find a bustling restaurant, lounge via the entrance of pawnshop. This is insane. I pass a mirror and check myself out. I adjust my tie, after all it is YSL and the ladies LOVE YSL. Remember that. I find the hostess and inform her I will be joining some friends for dinner. They probably do not have me on the reservation though but I turn on the charm and she smiles and says no problem at all. She asks if my tie is from Hermes. I say no, I'm a YSL guy. She looks impressed as I tell her I'll make a quick lap of the room to see if they're there and surprise them. She gives me a nod and tells me to go right ahead. Still got it. I spot bart and his wife who I can only remember vaguely from gunnitlive after party video and I pull up a chair. Bart is surprised to see I made it and they are in the middle of dinner. They offer to ply me with food and beverage but I decline as I'm driving so no booze for me and no food since I am stuffed from Dallas. We chat about life and liberty over libations. Bart's wife thinks I am hysterical. She's had a few drinks and they are already into their main courses. The brussels sprouts are way too salty and we have to send it back. No bueno. Bart invites me up to his suite on the top floor of the hotel where we are to meet Brogelicious later in the evening. I say, when in rome......we head to the top floor of the hotel tower where Bart shows me his view from the balcony and cracks open the mini bar for some more libations. He asks if I want a drink and I say I better not. I'm driving. Not 30 seconds after arriving, brogel shows up. Bart's wife hugs brogel. She's infatuated with him. We start shooting the shit and bart opens up the minibar and tells us to take anything we want, it's on the hotel. I laugh and I look outside as bart opens his yeti 110 for some silver bullets. Apparently he is so baller the hotel will send up a yeti 110 filled with beer to make him happy. His wife is apparently such a baller. I ball on a budget. They just ball. Hahaha. We shoot the shit some more about guns, gun stuff and people on the reddit for a while. I get a little thirsty and I crack open bart's cooler. I ask him how long the stuff in the cooler is supposed to last and he says until Wednesday. I look down and I am agape at what I see. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. I mentally prepared my butthole and I decided to help myself to a coors light against my wishes but Bart, Bart's wife and Brogel are all drinking so I let peer pressure take hold as I cracked open a beer with them. We head out to the balcony to smoke some cuban cigars together as bart's wife takes a photo of all of us. We all look like hell. Haha. As bart downs his second beer, he asks me a question. Bart: ever go hunting? Me: Ducks a little bit but not much Bart: ever want to hunt some deadly game? Me: Like on african safari? Bart: No, I mean like.........man. Me: Hahahahhahaaha you're just fucking with me. Hahahahahhaa. That's really funny. Bart: No really, the concierge here at this hotel will set it up for us. It's amazing. I remember my first hunt...... Brogel starts laughing and I realize they've been doing a bit. I've been had. We bullshit about SHOT and Barrett's shotguns and other things and next thing I know, it's late but bart hands me a mixed drink. I sip it a bit and I was in the middle of a tirade complaining about my customers. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the city, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals? Nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about. It's cold on the balcony. Our cigars are done. We head indoors. No point in mentioning these bats, I thought. Poor bastards will see them soon enough. Back indoors I realize Brussels sprouts and coors light is a bad choice. Seriously no bueno. I excuse myself to the bathroom and drain the vein. The asparagus funny smelling pee and the side effects of beer and brussels sprouts is a noxious combination that a defense contractor should weaponize it. It's pretty bad and not even cuban tobbaco can mask the smell. I sit back down and continue to talk about guns and stuff with bart and the gang and bart asks who ruined the bathroom. I apologize as he sprays a bunch of febreze around and opens the balcony. I apolgize to brogel. He is not accepting my apology. (sorry :( ) Nearly 11, it's about time to pull chocks and mosey on down the dusty trail. I don't want to prompt an evacuation of the hotel due to noxious odors so I decide to leave and bart seems to be kinda mad that I've ripped ass and polluted the sanctuary of his hotel. Half a coors light and brussels sprouts are no bueno in my book now. Bart decides to party hard with his wife and I offer brogel a ride home. He seems skeptical to share a confined space with me after I have just destroyed bart's hotel room. The car has 4 windows and the Uber will cost him a few bucks he can put towards ammo. He relents as we head down to the garage to find my car. Thankfully we find it quickly and I manage to contain the weapons of ass destruction for the 16 minute ride off strip to casa de brogel. He says I'm not that bad a dude and I agree as I hightail it to my hotel. I cannot find my hotel reservations so I call my travel agent to see. Apparently the Wynn was not in my travel budget this year. I have come to find out I have been booked at Circus Circus, much to my chagrin. How bad could it be? I've stayed at the Wynn. I've stayed at Encore. I've stayed at the hotel that Elisabeth Shue's character got raped in in Leaving Las Vegas - but Circus Circus? Did I mention that I HATE CLOWNS? I HATE CLOWNS. Fuck. I pull into the parking garage and the check in line resembles something straight out of the TSA line at Mccarran. 45 minutes to check in. The clerk is friendly and says he's also from Louisiana which is neat. He asks if I've stayed there before and I, being a connoisseur of old vegas history I decide to make a joke and I tell him the last time I was there, Jay Sarno owned the place. He got a laugh. I head up to my room and unpack. The lobby is clean as an old vegas casino can be, the room is clean and there's no way to plug anything in since the hotel predates personal electronic devices. I plug my phone into my external battery and collapse on the bed. I message Bart and chugbleach instead of falling asleep about show tomorrow and I offer to pick bart up early since there is no shuttle from the cosmo. Tuesday, November 16th SHOT Show Day One I awoke several hours later in a daze......the clock said 10AM. The show opened at 8:30. Fuck me to tears. I hurry up and get dressed and down to the sands convention center. The parking lot is FULL. The entire complex is a mess. When my man Steve Wynn built his joint he didn't build enough parking. So people would park at the Venetian and now FUCKING NOBODY CAN GET A PARKING SPACE. Holy shit. I eventually say fuck it and park over at the Wynn and walk over to the Sands. I meet up with a few of my regular suppliers and I see nothing interesting at all. Bart went to bed at 6AM after spending all night partying with his wife over at the palazzo. I joke and say that he just should have stayed there. Bart is amazed at the size of the show and we have lunch at the most disgusting place in las vegas - the convention center bistro snack bar. Bart is a wise man as he grabs a powerade and a fruit cup. I decide to try an "italian beef" and a fruit cup instead of fries to stay semi health conscious. The "italian beef" is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. It is flat out depressing. They give me fries with it and I demand a fruit cup. The sassy black woman working the stand asks me "DID YOU ASK FOR FRUIT? CAUSE RIGHT HERE SAYS FRIES" and I channel my inner Louis CK from the "this is how I talk" bit from SNL as I shoot back "WHY YOU FRONTIN ON ME I ASKED FOR FRUIT AND YOUR ASS BETTER BACK UP AND GET ME SOME FRUIT" so she goes back and gets me some fruit. The "italian beef", my fruit cup, bart's fruit cup and powerade comes to $81. My platinum amex comes out and I treat bart to "lunch". We bullshit about guns and stuff in the Springfield booth as we wait at the world's worst concession stand. We eat and Bart is so hungover that he thinks he is in need of physical therapy and a wheelchair. There is no way he is going to party tonight before his trip home. Or so I think. Haha. I meander around the show a bit more and I find this, the most USELESS PRODUCT OF 2017. It's made by a company called radetec. http://imgur.com/a/GOiCB It's a shot counter. For your gun. A digital odometer, for your gun. The only person that would buy this is the guy like my dad that kept a spiral bound notebook in his car where he documented how many miles he traveled per tank, gallons dispensed, PRICE, service station and whether they had a different price for cash/charge, oil consumption, tire rotations, alignments, all services - scheduled or otherwise, and a running odometer. Does anyone know the gun owner who asks for a round count when they are looking at a used gun? The question I always shoot back is "do you want to be lied at a little or do you want to be lied at a lot?" because that's what you're asking for when you ask for round count. UNLESS YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT! I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I nearly lose my balance. This is idiotic. I cannot fathom anyone willing to buy this. What a waste of perfectly good exhibition space. Bart heads back to his hotel after visiting SHOT show for a few hours, not getting any swag and to get an IV of fluids since he looked like he was rapidly approaching grim death. I wrap up visiting prime vendors and checking out the new products, or lack thereof because I have something on the schedule. At 4:30 there's a suicide prevention for retailers seminar hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As many of you know this is an issue that is important to me and perhaps we as retailers should be doing more. The keynote was from their chief medical director talking about the accessibility of firearms and the mindset of the "typical" suicide. Mostly men. If you are a veteran you are at a significantly larger risk. The information was presented very not surprisingly and one of the things discussed was that we only spend around 21M a year on suicide prevention. A few take away facts from the keynote: When suicide barriers are put up on a bridge, suicide rates for the entire area drop. The key to preventing suicide is getting people to talk about their problems. Once you can get someone out of that mindset, they are statistically less likely to do it and live productive lives afterwards. There are certain terms that they are trying to get away from - for instance, they are not saying "committed suicide" they are now saying "died by suicide" in order to bring awareness and tell it like it is. One thing that really was interesting to me was my reading on the flight in from Dallas. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell discusses how things stay the same and suddenly they all change. One of the things that he discusses is in micronesia - where teen suicide was practically unheard of became an outright epidemic. One teenager did it, for reasons passing understanding to me as an outsider and then all the other kids realized that they too could escape their pain by hanging themselves as well and suddenly the suicide rates in micronesia became so high to where it became a public health issue. I wish I could show you all the article I wrote on TTAG about my friend's death but it has been lost in the cloud and I am unable to find the last draft I sent to print, but it echoes some of the problems we have with suicide and mental health in the firearm industry. After the keynote, the good doctor opened the floor up for questions. Her keynote posed a lot of statistics but not a lot of answers. I am a detail oriented granular data guy and I did not get a solid grasp of the AFSP solutions posed, if any. Several firearm dealers discussed the lack of a cohesive solution and the takeaway was they're trying to develop awareness for the suicide problem. Their goal is to lower suicide rates but how they get there is yet to be determined. I didn't like hearing that and the comments from the crowd reflected the lack of a "here's what you can do TODAY to help this problem" part of the initiative. Going around the room, one dealer who used NICS said that if a customer was just flat out acting funny - he'd lie to the customer and say there was a delay with NICS even though there was an approval just to get them to not be able to have a gun for a few days. The crowd applauded this initiative, however I'm not sure lying to customers is the best way to run a business and treat them with respect. Another dealer brought up an interesting point. When someone comes in looking to buy a gun and they don't know what kind of gun they want, what caliber, and are generally clueless - they're either buying a gun to kill themselves with, OR perhaps they are a very uneducated prospective customer - and there is no clear way of finding out which is which. The problems presented by the AFSP are real. The solutions aren't there though. Yet. Ideally I'd like to see some change to that. However, there's some problems. I hung around and asked the good doctor and her staff some questions and I am in no way denigrating her life's work and her dedication to preventing suicide since she has dedicated her life's work to the issue, but the conversation went something like this. Did you do any research on the accessibility of firearms from a retailer from the legal standpoint? "No, we haven't" Do you know how the NICS or state POC background systems work in regard to mental health holds, etc? "No" One of the problems that I foresee right off the bat is that you talked about how you are fighting time, and if you can get someone out of that suicide mindset - even for a few hours, you can get them into that higher survival bracket. If we apply a one size fits all solution to it like California and put a 10 day wait on everything with the goal of protecting someone from their own life, how do we balance that with the needs of the woman who has been hiding from her abusive spouse and needs a gun right away? "That's a good question that I don't have an answer for." Their initiative, I admire - the lack of solutions is a little off putting however. I tell the doc about how my friend's suicide has impacted me and she seems to be sympathetic to the situation as does her colleagues. I am given her cards and told to call the next time I'm in New York so we can get together and discuss things within the industry. I'll give them a buzz in a few weeks when I'm up there on business. On my way out of the hall, I run into Massad Ayoob. Nice guy. I've admired his work over the years. Bart invites myself and chugbleach to dinner, I can't reach Chug and even though I am beat I decide to hang out with Bart and Mrs Bart Bart: What do you want to eat? FC: Let's find a nice seafood restaurant and eat some red salmon, I feel a powerful lust for red salmon. I begin vomiting. God damn mescaline. Why the fuck can't they make it a little less pure? We eventually head downstairs and order too much food. We are tired and not very hungry. Bart is still hungover and barely able to process food. His wife is grazing on all sorts of meat products. I am in awe of how they are both still upright after six nonstop nights of partying. I've only been here one day and I feel like I am about to die. Dinner concludes with an awkward hug with bart's wife - I don't know how other men feel about wife hugs so I have just avoided the prospect entirely. Like flying through Denver on Frontier. Or flying on Frontier. Ever. I drive over to the Wynn to set up my markers and the poker room is full. I draw a $2500 marker at the craps table and watch the game a bit. I have never played craps before in my life but the three people there seem to be having fun. I look down at my phone and I realize a plane has landed. fluffy_butternut has landed in Las Vegas on business. I had lost a bet and offered to pick him up from the airport. I cash back in my chips against my casino credit and head back to my car. I cannot find my car. Fuck. I wander the wynn garage which is covered in construction debris. I eventually find it and haul ass to the airport. Now, I didn't know this but fluffy has the WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION AT ALL. Seriously. I have no idea how he even made it to the correct city. He lands and has to get his bag and stuff and I circle the airport. He lets me know he's at door 77 wherever the fuck that was. I drive into the pickup portion and I see no sign. He then says he's coming up a level, and I tell him that I'll be there shortly. I park the car and Metro PD starts yelling. Metro: You can't park your car here. FC: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park? Metro: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk! I give the man a $20 and tell him to keep it running as I wander Mccarran screaming FLUFFY! HERE FLUFFY! I message fluffy to let him know I am the car parked on the sidewalk. I instantly figure out who he is having never seen a photo of him and I throw his bags into the car as we head for his hotel. I haul ass out of the airport and get the A3 on the highway. Now this was a superior machine. Thirty nine grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand. We check in at the Rio where the desk clerk is friendly and flirty. I express amazement there is no line. Fluffy checks in and we take his bags upstairs and he offers to buy me food for driving him to the airport. I decline. We head to the bar anyways. He orders two beers and we decide to call chug. He's staying out in Summerlin or something because his company is apparently run by cheapskates. He asks if we want to hang out and shoot the shit. I say sure and ask if he wants us to pick up food or anything from CVS or something since I have the car and I'm able to do anything I want. He asks for some toothpaste. No problem. I may be an asshole on the internet but I have a heart of gold. We get some toothpaste get to the hotel. Arriving at the lobby, we have no idea where he is. It turns out he gave us the address for the hotel across the street. We laugh and go to that lobby and shoot the shit till 3AM much to the chagrin of the hotel clerk. Fluffy has some beers and we plan on dinner the next day. I drive fluffy back and arrive at the hotel at 4. Fuck me to tears. Wednesday, January 18th. Day 2 of SHOT show. Alarm goes off at 7:30 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Nice. I get some dillo dust and check out the new Sig 220 DA/SA and SAO legions. Daddy likey. I go to a competing firm and I piss of my state sales manager by telling him his newer designed triggers suck ass. He says the company tested them and they're the same in every way. I ask him why the triggers have two different part numbers in the catalog and how come they're not interchangeable and if that's really the case, how come there's X changes in the supposedly identical pistol parts that he's holding side by side. He gets mad at me and says I'm not an expert on their product and perhaps I should take his job since I'm so smart. I agree that I'm smart and I hold firm that if he didn't want me to complain about the shitty trigger, they should stop selling guns with shitty triggers. I am nearly kicked out of the booth. I meet up with some of my wholesale reps and I'm mid convo when I see Itsgoodsoup and his friend walking around the show. I yell SOUP but he does not hear me. So I grab his friend and find him and I tell him we should get together at dinner with fluffy and chug. He agrees. The show winds down, I get some business done and nothing much else. We break for a shitty gunnit live lite and I take a few questions from the crowd in fluffy's suite at the Rio. Dinner is at 8 and we arrive at the restaurant late to find soup and his friend sitting at one table and chug and his girlfriend sitting at another. Perhaps we should have gotten here a little earlier. Hahaha. So, fluffy said the place is really good and I order a few of the specialties of the house. Apparently according to yelp they do a kickass peking duck. Soon to be mrs chug is a vegan. But we can eat meat in front of her. I wonder how it's served and Soup's vancouver raised asian friend tells me that they normally carve it tableside. Our vegan says as long as there's no head she's cool. We're not sure if they can fulfill that request. So we order and food starts coming out and we tell tall tales of shot show BS and other stuff. Sure enough, the duck comes out with the head. No bueno. Haha. But I decide to treat us to vegan donuts at the vegan bakery across the street later. Seven courses later we are full. Vegan bakery closed. I am committed to getting her some vegan donuts though. We head to Fremont street to gamble. Fluffy wanders about and we try craps and we're not impressed. We hit some slots and eventually I hit the craps table where chug explains the game to me. We start betting on dice. And somehow we start winning. I find that the house allows you to take 10X behind the line. No idea what this means so I plop $5 on the pass line and the point hits 6. I drop $50 behind it and it hits. We go a few rounds and leave ahead. It's 2:30 AM. Fuck. I drive everyone back to their hotel. I get to sleep around 4. Thursday, January 19th. Day 3 of SHOT show. Wake up at 10AM feeling like crap. Debate whether to head straight to show and wander about. Fuck it. Went to halal guys for some halal. Delicious. Got vegan donuts. Dead drop them at the Palazzo lobby for chug and his girl. Show is a bust. Literally nothing exciting. Fluffy offers to buy me dinner. One of my customers who lives in Summerlin offers to take me to dinner. I pass on fluffy and he destroys the seafood buffet at the rio. I head to Sinatra at the Wynn for dinner with my customer. All good in the hood. Chug has been invited to the Glock dinneafter party and I'm not so we all go our separate ways. I call foghorn5950 and due to some weather, he's flying home early and our plans to hangout are fucked up unless I go tonight. I grab fluffy and we head to Whiskey Down. He orders a makers and I give him a funny look. I tell the waitress make it a bulleit. Everyone laughs. I talk shop with Jeremy also from TTAG and we shoot the shit over cigars and talk about useless products. Next thing we know, chug is out of the dinner and wandering the strip. We decide to meet up at the Linq. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get out of Whiskey Down at MGM because the waitress was awful and messed up everyone's tab. It was a fucking disaster. To boot, MGM is now charging for parking. FC: What a bunch of fucking jews Fluff: You should just tailgate that lady in front of you out and screw them out of the $7 FC: I should We pull behind her and watch as she gets flustered at the awful parking machine. Her nevada license plate says VETERAN. As the gate goes up we haul ass and screw MGM out of $7. I shout "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" out the window as we blow right by her up to the Linq. Through fluffy's awful navigation, we wind up at the loading dock for the Linq. Eventually we find chug and gf hanging at the penny slots. They are holding vegan donuts, which she is very appreciative of. Least I could do after showing her the head. Fluffy plays the House of Cards slot machine. He stuck $100 in, played for 6 minutes and then got really mad and hit the cash out button and $80 was left after 5 minutes. ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Chug's gf asks to play a special slot machine called kitty glitter. We ask and the linq does not offer it but Harrahs next door does. So we head over there and the slot tech finds the kitty glitter machine. Fluffy sticks a C note in there and tells her to play and have a blast. So she's banging away at the one armed bandit WHEN SUDDENLY I HEAR THE SOUND. It's PUTTIN ON THE RITZ in shitty .wav file internal speaker format. Hahah. She's just hit the progressive jackpot on the penny KITTY GLITTER machine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! We cash out after some play and a good time was had by all. I dump off fluffy at the rio since it was very close and drive everyone else back. It's late, I'm tired and the Palace Station oyster bar is open 24 hours......I head over there and there's a 45 minute wait. So, I pull out my backup bankroll and using everything chug and fluffy have taught me about craps I belly up to the $3 min table where they let you take 10x behind the line. I'm still learning and the table is slow so one of the boxmen start explaining the game to me. Box: So if you place the 6 or the 9 or individual numbers you can bet those but you gotta pay a little juice on it like a commission Me: Like when you buy the hook? short pause Box: Yeah! Exactly like that! You got this! So I played a little and went up a bit and down a bit. As you do. Plunked $5 down on the pass line and took full odds and the point hit. This game is pretty cool! So I hung around and watched for about an hour and finally decided to eat my winnings. I take $5 off my stack and, drop it on the pass line and announce dealer bet - $5 to pass. It hits. The dealers love me. Maybe Vegas isn't so bad after all. http://imgur.com/a/LGhDj I have the pan roast at the oyster bar. No line. It is DELICIOUS. I get back to the hotel at 5AM. I don't care when I wake up. Friday, January 20th. Day 4 of SHOT show. Wake up around noon feeling like crap. Go to show. Debate destroying milk cart with wheels with an ax borrowed from fire station. Decide against it. Gas up car and find myself out by palace station again. Played some craps, hit the buffet and went for an early sleep. It's midnight. The neighbors in my the hotel are having sex. A LOT OF SEX. I can hear everything. I gently knock on the door. No answer. I knock slightly harder. No answer. I head back to my room and close the door just as I hear their door open. I zoom back out to find a puzzled middle aged stocky and perhaps sticky Latino man looking both ways. I get in his line of sight. Me: Hey. I'm next door. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I get it. I really do. In fact I haven't had sex since the bush administration so I'm gunning for you man I really am. But it's midnight and I have a 6am flight and a rental car to return. So trust me when I say I'm really happy for you but if you don't mind I really need to get some sleep tonight okay? The awkward silence is deafening. He nods without saying a word and mouths okay. I give him a manly nod and thumbs up. Me: thanks. I'd shake your hand or fist bump but well you know..... I give him a peace sign as he goes back into his little pleasure palace and I turn to realize that I have just locked myself out of my room. I am wearing boxers, a tshirt and barefoot. I head downstairs to the lobby. The check in at the front desk resembles the TSA line at Mccarran. Normally I would not be this rude but desperate times call for desperate measures. The line is 50 people deep. I walk past every person. Fuck your queue. I approach the desk where someone is helping a guest and I raise my right hand as if I were in a deposition to get them to stop. The staff and guest looks puzzled as the angry barefoot man clad in nothing but boxers and a "uzi does it" tshirt approaches the desk. Me: excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. I have an emergency. I'm up on 8 and my neighbors are having a lot of sex. I mean a LOT of sex. (This is the same front desk clerk who actually checked me in Monday night by coincidence looks back at me very awkwardly and puzzled.) Me: this isn't your regular sex. I'm talking this is your (I begin air humping the front desk and slapping the granite counter with my palm and grunting loudly) sex. You could hear the plan B packaging open. At this point - the ENTIRE FRONT DESK STAFF HAS STOPPED CHECKING IN GUESTS. The people in line and are watching the show. The clerk is stunned. Speechless. Shock and awed. Crapped out and busted. The women are covering their children's eyes and ears. The men are wondering if this show requires a 2 drink minimum. Me: now I get this is Vegas. Everyone wants a good time. It's midnight. My flight leaves at 6 which means I have to be up by 4. And this just isn't working. So I asked them to keep it down and I locked myself out of my room. So if you can make me another key or move me I'd appreciate it. The clerk nods. Clerk: of course. may I see your ID? Years of ballet have prepared me for this day. I step back to make sure my genitals are still ensconced in my boxers as I pirouette and gesticulate wildly. Me: DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE ID? The floor manager steps over and asks me to head down to the end of the desk where she will make me a key. I give her the room number and thank her after she offers to have security sent up to shutdown the best little whorehouse in Vegas. I tell her it may not be necessary. As I take my keys and walk away the people in line break out in raucous applause. I take a bow and miraculously my boxer shorts don't rip. These people are my subjects and I have been crowned the the king of the three ring circus that is the circus circus lobby. Im offered a $1 tip from a kind soul but I decline. My walk back to the hotel elevator bank is uneventful. So much so that I realize it is going too well. The other shoe, if I were wearing one felt as if it was about to drop. Suddenly a dumbass in a rascal scooter is heading toward me at flank speed as his head is turned to look at everyone BEHIND HIM. There's no way this will end well. For you gentle readers joining us mid conversation - it's midnight and I need to be at the airport in 4.5 hours. I can just see it now. (Cue the harp noises) Scene: Emergency room Nurse: Allergic to anything? Me: NKDA Nurse: cause of injury? Me: what's the IC10 code for "run down by drunken buffoon on motorized wheelchair?" I saw my life and confirmed upgraded first class seats home being given away by the Mccarran gate agent flash before my eyes and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I jumped to my left into the wall, mid 1960's Las Vegas union construction being the path of least resistance. Think "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner. The buffoon barely realizes what happens. Children are amazed. "HEY MOM! Look! That guy just ran into a wall!" Me: it was that OR GET RUN DOWN BY SOME JACKASS ON A GODDAMN SCOOTER GOING FULL SPEED DRIVING LIKE A.... I look down and a midwestern nuclear family with two children of formative age are waiting for the elevator. I change my last word. Me: LUNATIC! I look over to the parents. Me: I'm really sorry. This is a family joint and I shouldn't have cursed the drunken scooter driver like that. Sorry kids. Parent: no big deal. They've heard fucking worse. I crack a smile at her word choice. Fucking worse. Yeah. That sounds like my evening. After jumping into a wall, I'm now wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. I make the plane and push on time. The 737 comes to a stop short of the runway and holds. Something is wrong. The pilots come on and say that they loaded more cargo and passengers than planned so they have to redo their numbers. We're waiting on the taxiway with both engines running as they do this and the waiting music comes on. What's the first song? Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
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