BlathrWayne Lorentz

Showing blathrs with the tag “Casino.”

So… howʼs the game?

Friday, June 4th, 2021 Alive 18,301 days

A Sears Poker Plus cartridge

I got a new Atari cart today. Itʼs Poker Plus, the Sears version of Atariʼs Casino.

This is the text label version, which is what I prefer because that means its an older version, and what I would have had in my home, if my family had this cart in 1978. But we didnʼt.

The version of this game with the Sears picture label is more unusual, but not quite what one might call “rare.” Just seldom seen for sale.

Itʼs a very minor topic of discussion in the realm of Atari nerds that Sears spent a lot of time and money making its own artwork for the Atari games it licensed. There are plenty of debates over which is better. I donʼt have a preference. But I do note that the Sears imagery is often racier than the Atari version.

Here are the Atari and Sears picture labels of the same Casino/Poker Plus game.

Atariʼs Casino
Searsʼ Poker Plus, from eBay, since I donʼt have this version

The Atari one is fine, featuring a slim young woman in a strappy white evening frock engaged in severely constrained enthusiasm. The Sears one features a Vegas showgirl wearing low-rise panties, a feathered headdress, and nothing else. Sheʼs covering her breasts with her slender arms, but not out of shame, based on her smile.

As a resident of Las Vegas, I am uniquely positioned to decide which label is more accurate. And I can tell you that the Sears version is more correct.

Not because there are lots of gregarious topless showgirls roaming the casinos of Sin City. There arenʼt. Except for street buskers, the showgirls are all gone. Itʼs Miss Atari who is wrong. The notion of Vegas casinos being populated by well-dressed, glamorous, interesting people died in the late 1980ʼs. If she was done up in crop-top football jersey with a tattooed beer belly hanging over pajama bottoms and Crocs, toting a three-foot-long empty plastic beverage container and a grudge against Southwest Airlines, then she would fit right in.

But graceful white evening dress and statement jewelry? This isnʼt Monaco.

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Weʼre all damaged goods

Thursday, January 21st, 2021 Alive 18,167 days

A friend of mine is mad at me because I wouldn't go have dinner with him when he was in town last week. Too bad, the COVID positivity rate in Vegas is through the roof. Iʼm not going to just hang out in a casino like nothing is wrong.

His entire family had it and recovered, so he thinks it's OK to take everyone to Vegas for his daughter's birthday. In his mind, if he's safe, that's all that matters.

Never mind the maids, bartenders, airline staff, janitors, and everyone else that has to risk their lives so he can have a good time. He should know better, because he's a scientist. Then again, as I've learned getting older, being smart at one thing doesn't make you smart at everything.

I know a doctor in Chicago who thinks drinking his own pee will help him live forever. I know a TV anchor in Phoenix who doesn't believe in dinosaurs. Not as a religious thing. They just don't fit into the way her brain works. My old neighbor is an international airline pilot, and doesn't believe COVID is real.

I guess everyone is crazy in their own way. I wonder what my major malfunction is.

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Gamblers all

Saturday, September 12th, 2020 Alive 18,036 days

Las Vegas is a different place since things have opened up a bit. Because the hotel rates have dropped so much, itʼs brought in the worst people. This is something that Darcie has known from day one, but itʼs only hitting the front pages of the local newspapers now.

Rooms that used to be $675 a night are now $100 or less. Itʼs gotten so bad that the head of Wynn Resorts went public saying that her regular customers are afraid to come to Las Vegas now. She says that some who have come to town have been afraid to leave their rooms, and wonʼt ever return.

Itʼs simply unprecedented for the head of a resort company to say anything bad about the industry, or its guests. But things are pretty bad out there now.

I went to the supermarket yesterday. I think itʼs the first time since April.

It looks like theyʼre skipping Halloween this year. There was just one small Halloween display. No aisle dedicated to candy and decorations and such. Pumpkins are only five bucks. I donʼt think Iʼve ever seen a pumpkin for under $15 here. Workers were putting together Thanksgiving and Christmas displays, but those, too, looked small. It seems like the supermarkets are mostly skipping all of the holidays this year.

Maybe because hardly anyone goes to the store anymore. It was almost vacant when I went there on Friday at 6pm. Still, even with no customers, there were still large gaps in the stock. The toilet paper aisle is about ⅓ full, which is an improvement. Still no cleaning supplies, though. Half the deli is empty. No salami or corned beef to be found anywhere, so I had to settle for pastrami. Pasta and soup sections were mostly empty. So were some other sections that I couldnʼt identify because they were not only devoid of product, the store didnʼt even bother to put up price tags.

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