Getting Reviewed

I always tell my students that history has three components: source documents, without which we would have nothing to write about; historical writing, which puts the raw material of the past into context and makes it relevant; and readers, without whom the whole exercise would be fruitless. You write books because you want people to read them. Any writer who says otherwise is probably in denial.

Want to know what it’s like having your book dissected in a historical journal? Read through to the end of this entry, and learn how the process looks from my perspective.

Continue reading Getting Reviewed

TV tonight

If you care to see your humble correspondent on television (maybe), watch Vegas Whales Tales tonight on the Travel Channel. You can watch me narrate whacky and improbable, and possibly illegal stories of Las Vegas high rollers run amok.

Daily quote, 01.13.05.

“Is it logical to believe in any form of luck? Before an event–no. After an event and the result is known–yes. In other words, there is no way to predict whether you will be lucky or unlucky before playing a game of chance, but after you have finished, the result will only then show whether you were lucky or unlucky.”

– Macau A-O-A Gambling Handbook

I just thought I would post the single least helpful bit of gambling advice I’ve ever read. Actually, I take that back. Most gambling advice (except to set loss, win, and time limits for yourself) is inherently bad.

Still, this seems like a rather expensive way to find out if you are lucky or not.

1811 slang, 01.12.05.

GRUB STREET. A street near Moorfields, formerly the supposed
habitation of many persons who wrote for the booksellers:
hence a Grub-street writer means a hackney author,
who manufactures books for the booksellers.

Read more:
1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
by Captain Grose

Daily Quote 01/11/05

“I’ve been using the computer for so long, and command-Z works for undo in all the software programs. So whenever I find something in my life that I want to undo, I reach for the command-Z keys and I find it weird that it doesn’t work.”

– Lisa Hoffman, graphic designer, who probably spends too much time at work.

Did you ever spend a while playing a video game, then go around thinking you’re still in the game? Maybe you should unplug for a while and read. Try, for example, this Wired article about the phenomenon and see just how often this happens.

I don’t think this happens with books, but I could be wrong. Personally, I know I’ve never grabbed someone’s head and tried to flip to their index after spending a day reading. Have you?

1811 Slang

I found something neat on while looking for a few older texts–a complete dictionary of vulgar underworld slang from 1811.

Since it’s a slow news day, I’m going to regale you with a few words:

FAT CULL. A rich fellow.

TO VOWEL. A gamester who does not immediately pay
his losings, is said to vowel the winner, by repeating the
vowels I. O. U. or perhaps from giving his note for the
money according to the Irish form, where the acknowledgment
of the debt is expressed by the letters I. O. U. which,
the sum and name of the debtor being added, is deemed a
sufficient security among gentlemen.

SHABBAROON. An ill-dressed shabby fellow; also a mean-
spirited person.

Now let’s use them in a sentence:

“The fat cull should have known better than to let the shabaroon vowel him; he never pays his debts.”

As usual, I live to inform.

Vegas Week

It’s Vegas Week on the Travel Channel, which means that they’re going to be having lots of shows giving you the inside scoop on Vegas. Kind of like they do the other 51 weeks of the year.

Since I live in Vegas, I don’t think I’ll be watching much, but if you like this kind of thing, recommend you check out Vegas Whales Tales. It airs on Thursday, January 13 at 8 and 11 PM (ET) and Saturday January 15 at 11 AM.

Why do I suggest you watch this little piece of Las Vegas? Because I think I’m in it. I haven’t seen the final show, but to the best of my understanding it’s a series of vignettes about strange high rollers. I narrated a few of them, though I don’t know how many actually made it into the show.

When you watch this, keep in mind that I had no idea whatsoever of what the vignettes actually looked like. I was working off a script with just my imagination to provide the visuals.

Also, I got the feeling that the show was going to be something like that Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction show that Jonathan Frakes does. I don’t know if it looks anything at all like that, but that’s what I was shooting for. I just wish they gave me an alien autopsy to narrate.

No matter how it turns out, I had a ball doing this, and I welcome the chance to do similar TV work in the future. Email me if you need a host/narrator for your next project…I work cheap and clean up after myself.

Mexican casinos? No time soon

I’m always reading that casinos in Mexico are just around the corner. Then, like a will o’ the wisp, they aren’t there when I turn the corner. According to one writer, we should expect more of the same in the future.
Continue reading Mexican casinos? No time soon

Quote of the Day, 01.07.05.

“We’re on the verge of one of the greatest booms in the country.”

– New Jersey State Senator Bill Gormley, describing the incorporation of a new House of Blues into the Showboat expansion.

Is it all right if I’m embarrassed to be born in a city where a casino expansion gets this kind of gushing praise from a state senator? Writing that, I thought of the dynamic between state sen. Clay Davis and Stringer Bell on The Wire.

This whole thing hardly seems like news, but it made the papers.
Continue reading Quote of the Day, 01.07.05.

What a gift!

Want to get a gift for that special someone? Why not hop on the latest commodity bandwagon and get them something with the World Series of Poker logo on it?
Continue reading What a gift!