Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Margin Notes: Gambling, Hubby's, Griffey

Floyd Gleich posed with his check outside the lottery office in Yakima, Washington on 11-May-2009

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON - Gambling has been in a theme in my life recently. On Monday, I drove my grandparents to the Washington State Lottery regional office in Yakima, Washington to redeem a secondary prize from the Lotto game. While my grandfather was eager to get his check, I was most eager to finally meet my cousin's one-year old son (pictures forthcoming).

* * * * * *

The next day, I found myself at the Wildhorse Casino near Pendleton, Oregon, observing amongst other things the slot tournaments. While I immediately caught on that teaching people to pound the "play" button as rapidly as possible was advantageous to he casino if people proceeded to do that at "real" machines, my grandfather caught the larger point. Since these machines could be programmed to win constantly for three minutes, that meant that the slot machines really could be calibrated to pay off at whatever level the casino wanted.

* * * * * *

Also in Pendleton, Oregon, we happened to run into Monty Gilbert, the son of the founder of the world-class Hubby's Pizza in Kennewick, Washington. For pizza lovers like me who have visited Hubby's but don't live in the Tri-Cities, the Gilbert family suffered a tremendous tragedy when Ed and Patricia Gilbert's boat was struck by a drunk boater, killing Ed as reported in the Tri-City Herald. Monty reported that his mother continues to "do as well as possible in the circumstances."

* * * * * *

Much as Hubby's Pizza has changed little since its opening in 1976, I certainly had flashbacks when I saw Ken Griffey Junior on television playing again in a Seattle Mariners uniform. "The Kid," one of three superstars (along with Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson) who legitimated the Mariners in the early 1990's, still swings exactly the same as he did when young. Seeing him on television hitting a home run into the Subway $25,000 sign in the Minneapolis Metrodome on Sunday as the Mariners rallied to beat the Twins 5-3 was a reminder of when the Mariners first became credible as a winning team.

* * * * * *

Also on television, an ad from Kia for its Soul subcompact (available on YouTube) has mystified me. The most rational take on the the ad I've yet heard comes from my cousin-in-law Cynthia who said, "It tells me that the car is so small you have to be a hamster to fit in it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"one of three superstars (along with Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson) who legitimated the Mariners in the early 1990's"

Alex didn't contribute to the M's till later in the 90's. During our magical run of 95, he was a bench player. In truth, Edgar was one of the "three"