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April 18, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gambling in rough waters

Postcard of Women and man in western wear gambling with One-armed bandits. Stockmen's Hotel, Elko Nevadsa, ( Seaich Co. (Boston Pub.Lib Tichnor Bro. Collection/USPD artist life/

They weren’t kidding about one-armed bandits.(Vintage postcard/USPD/

They thought their ship had finally come in. Well rested, armed with anti-sea sickness pills, and cash, they flowed onboard.

Like in the Gilligan’s Island song: for a free-spirited tour. Ironically, just like the song, with an unplanned island ending. Luckily, it was Galveston Island.

Gambling is illegal in Texas, so the Jacks or Better Casino, floats their 155 foot vessel 9.1 miles out into federal waters for six hours of gaming. That is if you don’t run into one of the massive buoys warning about the rocky jetties and other obstacles. Only a little gash about 5 feet long ended their fun Easter weekend, but the passengers were able to continue holding their drinks rather than ending up in it. Not quite the Titanic.

I found this immediate company statement odd “The incident is under investigation, so to state that is was due to the captain on duty falling asleep at the wheel is speculation.”

Oh. Nothing like getting ahead of the rumors. Company went on to suggest it was the darn fault of a bright light noting a disabled ship, another buoy, or a blind spot…or maybe those diabolic Gulf dolphins moving stuff around? A snarky shark? A jovial jelly fish. We have lots of all those….and buoys.

But the games will return. Jacks might do better with a local pilot/skipper on board…and how about some of those big, white, pillow-like boat bumpers/fenders all along the sides?

  • New casino cruise ship opens in Galveston (Video and ship pictures)
  • Galveston casino yacht crashes less than two weeks after grand opening. (Pictures and news article)
  • Newly opened Jacks or Better Casino damaged in crash. (Passenger accounts. Video.)
Gamblers at El Capitan, Nevada.1945.Seaich Co./Boston Pub.Lib. Tichnor Bro.Collection/

Whoa, howdy! Buoyed by that jolt.(1945.postcard USPD/

Another humorous jolt shows that despite claims that the country is too fractured to ever unite isn’t completely true.

Everyone was totally united in being appalled and furious at United Airlines last week.

United Airlines must be hoping that trouble only comes in threes: 

First was the mother of all examples of bad judgment with the elderly doctor dragged from his seat.

Then there was the scorpion that fell from the overhead compartment and stung a passenger from Houston. (Video)

And on Saturday a bride and groom were kicked off their flight (video) out of Houston IAH. Their wedding flight. On Easter weekend. On a plane with LOTS of empty seats. It’s true they didn’t sit in their assigned seats, but that guy was passed out across theirs when they boarded. The plane was half full – what’s the problem, flight crew?

Vintage colored postcard. Airplanes at airport. Chicago Municipal Airport ca.1930-1945. Postcard by Tichnor Bro. (Boston Pub.Lib. Tichnor Bro collection/USPS., artist life/

Back when the skies were friendly. Chicago Municipal Airport postcard, ca.1930-1945.(USPD/

You’d think United would be walking on eggshells and doing anything possible to keep remaining customers happy.

Especially on Easter weekend.

Guess the company likes to roll the dice and take a gamble.

Tuesday, the United CEO is supposed to give an update at a stockholder’s meeting. Would like to be a scorpion on that wall.

Landed and see.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read the history of  The Free State of Galveston here. Gambling and wild ways. Another post: Right Amount of Naughty

Galveston beach and boulevard. card by C.T.American Art Colored Chicago, Ill. (Seawall Specialty Co./

During the 1920-40’s tourists, movie stars, and celebrities strolled among lavish casinos on Seawall Broadway. Once gambling reform began, people simply  sauntered down long piers to nightclubs over the water that had secret gambling rooms in the back. Wasn’t legal, but by the time the Texas Rangers got there, no evidence was to be found. (1934 Postcard by C.T.American Art Colored Chicago, Ill. Seawall Specialty Co./Commons.,





  1. John W. Howell / Apr 18 2017 6:46 am

    Love the Galveston information. I’m over here in Port Aransas and enjoy learning about the coastal environment.


  2. Kate Crimmins / Apr 18 2017 7:01 am

    Gambling boats? We have legalized gambling and I don’t go. Don’t think I’d change seasickness for gambling. Seeing ocean life, yes but not gambling.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 18 2017 7:58 am

      Sitting in a crowded loud room without windows bouncing up and dow, sloshing back and forth – I don’t think so. Gambling on the island keeps getting voted down. It was a pretty rough mob town back then. But sure seems to me they should rebuild some of those long piers and nightclubs/casinos out there over the water. The Pleasure Pier amusement park/boardwalk is doing well (and was constructed/now run by one of the descendants of one of the original mob families – most of the others left and built Vegas)
      It would simply add a tourist choice for some…and maybe that would mean more room on the beach, wetlands habitat/parks or seawall stroll for the rest of us.
      But them again the lights might blind some ship captain and there we’d be with Titanic…only with the shallow gulf, people might just walk back to shore HA HA (or float to Cuba if the current caught them – they wanted a vacation, right? Win-win)
      Thanks for hopping aboard!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. roughseasinthemed / Apr 18 2017 8:22 am

    I’ve already read a number of bloggers saying they will NOT fly United again. That may change with short memories and cheap prices …

    Gambling. Ah a subject close to the heart of the Rock. I wrote a post ages ago about American protectionism re gambling. Sneaked in on the back of some security bill. All protection of one type or another I suppose.

    It’s not for me. I only ever did the lottery syndicate at work because I couldn’t have coped if my colleagues had scored big bucks and could have left work leaving muggins chained to the computer. Anyway we never did win more than a few quid. And I left anyway (phew).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 18 2017 7:19 pm

      Yep, boycotts, petitions, protest marches are all so trendy…and overused – but the participants get the illusion they are doing something.
      Business analysts say United insurance company will pay off without going to court, and people will forget quickly…unless other incidents keep surfacing. (The local Chinese Embassy and multiple Asian society groups are apparently hitting social media with charges that the incident was racist.) Even then, the reality is that United owns so many airport gates/slots and routes, many people will not have much choice. All those airline mergers were not a good thing. The consumers lost, employees of the purchased companies (Like Continental ) were treated very shabbily and arrogantly by the lead airline (like United – we lived in a community with a lot of Continental pilots and flight attendance – that merger was brutal and promises made to the feds to get the merge= OK were not kept). With any giant company the bottom line is all that matters and a certain amount of collateral damage is brushed off.
      United is my last choice of airlines and has been for over 20 years (from all the trials and tribulations dealing with them when I traveled weekly cross country)…well, OK there’s one airline below that – poor maintenance…saw too many of their planes with flames shooting out on take off and landing when they shouldn’t be…and the tales pilots tell..
      If I have a choice, I’ll give my money to those who appreciate it and take care of their employees.
      So much sneaks into various bills here. Some of us keep pushing for a law that says only one topic/item per bill and it all proposed bills should be published online for public review for at least 48 hrs before a vote, and that each congressperson voting must read the entire bill before voting (ya would think that would go without saying, but over and over again, some dumb cluck gets up later and says “I didn’t know that was in there”) You can imagine these changes are an uphill battle.
      Gambling is one of the state’s rights/regulations and is voted on by each state. We have casinos here owned and operated on Native American lands. It seems to me that the nightclub/casino over the water is a lovely idea. Good for the city; great for those who want to gamble.
      Like you, it’s not interesting for me, but if everyone in the office buys lottery tickets, you just have to just in case.
      I have been in a couple grand old European casinos – it was so Jame Bond era curiosity HA HA
      Thanks for rolling a winning comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea / Apr 18 2017 9:16 am

    I’ve never understood the urge to gamble, anywhere. But when Vegas went techno, my parents bought one of those beautiful one-armed bandits and have it in their home. Best part? You always get your nickels back! And my husband taught the girls that gambling was a bad choice by given them a certain number of nickels and letting them play. They soon realized that eventually you lose them all unless you get lucky and then quit. People talk about how much they won, but never mention what they spent to win.


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 18 2017 6:56 pm

      Wow what a great idea and home curio item.
      The whole trick with gambling seems to be have X amount of money designated to risk (and no more) and once half of that is gone, get up and leave. If you win, always get up and leave immediately. Apparently commonsense and illusion don’t go together.
      Thanks for shuffling the comment cards to leave a note.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sustainabilitea / Apr 18 2017 6:59 pm

        As I think we’ve said before, common sense isn’t common. Explains a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Littlesundog / Apr 18 2017 9:46 am

    I never have understood gambling either. What a waste of money. I’ve been to Las Vegas many times, but it was not for the gambling. Been on cruise ships with gambling too, but again, I never step foot in the casinos. Good food, constant entertainment, and flashy lights and people is a fun respite every once in a while. And it usually reminds me of how lucky I am to be a girl of the woodlands. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 18 2017 6:46 pm

      It was fun to go into a couple of the big casinos in Europe – sort of James Bond-ish era. But I get bored, not fond of cigarette smoke, and not willing to risk the money. The one at Tahoe was smoke free, but there was simply too much to do outdoors to be stuck in a windowless room. Vegas has morphed into an entertainment adventure with something for everyone just about. I find it interesting that it was built originally by some of the Galveston mob families that decided to move on…and avoid hurricanes…if they want a big splash of water, Vegas will just bring it in on a showy schedule. (Mother Nature is too much of a diva for them and she doesn’t get along with Lady Luck?)
      Thanks for rolling the dice to leave a comment


  6. Spraygun / Apr 18 2017 1:24 pm

    I was on the boat when it crashed into the marker buoy. It was 100 foot gash down the port side. Not a 5-foot gash. I do blame the captain. But he won’t be back. But I will be,as soon as it’s fixed.Ain’t skeered.🤠


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 18 2017 6:35 pm

      Glad you anchored a comment here. Primary sources are critical. I kept looking at pictures of the damaged boat, and then back at the printed reports and, yep, they simply weren’t matching.
      On any vessel, it’s always the captain. All across history. With all the electronics you don’t have to rely on charts anymore for sandbars, buoys, jetties, and tankers.
      This is a cool addition to Galveston and hope they get the crunched worked out. Should be a popular attraction if they can keep people on the boat and not overboard – but hey, even if one jumps there’s an assorted bunch of stuff to hang onto until rescue. The rigs have great chefs – maybe better than that boat.
      Thanks for rowing over with a first hand report


  7. Amy / Apr 18 2017 5:36 pm

    Heard of any United Airline boycotts? Wouldn’t be surprised if there are. THe media will now be watching them like a hawk.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 18 2017 6:23 pm

      The Chinese embassy here and the Asian societies are grabbing pitchforks claiming racism. I’ve heard there’s stuff on social media.
      Analysts say that if nothing else happens, it’ll all be forgotten by summer, but if incidents continue and those are picked up, they might take a hit. Unfortunately United controls many gates at airports and many air routes, so travelers have limited choices. Mergers never benefit customers or encourage companies to treat customers right as they have alternative choices. Wonder how their stockholders meeting went…must snoop around some.
      Thanks for flying that comment in

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The Hook / Apr 19 2017 5:54 pm

    I’ve been married for 22 years; that’s enough of a gamble for me…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 20 2017 7:33 am

      Ah, but like love and war, worth the risk. Thanks for sailing by (will be over to catch up on the rest of your trip shortly. Gotta enjoy nice weather while you can! and the yard work…)


  9. sportsattitudes / Apr 23 2017 12:34 pm

    Pennsylvania is falling all over itself trying to get both casino gambling games and the state lottery on Ye Olde Internet. It wasn’t enough we cut Atlantic City off at the knees with approving casinos in-state awhile back. Mo’ money is needed and the Commonwealth is going to get it any way they can. If I’m going to go all-in gambling one day it would be on sporting events where I can at least con myself into believing I know what I’m doing and have a knowledge-based shot at winning…rather than rolling the odds on gaming and lotto scenarios of which I consider 100% chance (i.e. luck).

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 8:42 am

      When the state approved a lottery, they said it would solve the school funding problem….now they are saying “gamble for the kids and the veterans as we will give money to both”…actually the money disappears into the general fund never to get to either.
      If casinos bring in big shows, high dollar retail, and expensive really good restaurants like in Vegas, it might be worth it. But most likely visitors will be less flush with cash – even before they arrive.
      Sporting events and horse racing are a little more involved with data than luck – but realistically no horse should be raced during summer’s heat in this climate – animal abuse…but not many care about that. At least the dog track closed…talk about low rent vehicles in their parking lot and lots of greyhounds up for adoption at all times..
      Thanks for risking a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Cynthia Reyes / May 3 2017 1:56 pm

    Nothing like having a common “enemy”, right? A witty post.


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