Last-Minute Hotel Deals Will Make a Procrastinator Out of You

Last-minute hotel deals were once looked at as being able to get what you could at a price higher than you really wanted to pay. In other words, the idea of a ‘deal’ was relative and was non-existent. Sure, there were times you could score some cheap travel lodging, but it was rare & had a slew of hidden issues attached.

Nowadays, the notion of planning ahead for any type of travel seems almost crazy. What’s more, this applies to travel in-state, state-to-state-, and even international travel. No longer are borders problematic, and considering how finicky lodging can be for some travelers, this is especially welcome & also perplexing.

How is the ease of making last-minute hotel plans possible? One word – Internet. The fact remains that the Internet has revolutionized the travel industry, and you are in the driver’s seat for the entire travel booking process. Never in the history of the world has it been easier to be so involved in all facets of travel, and the truly mesmerizing thing that it just keeps getting better.

Websites all over the world for everything from the most basic motor lodge to the best five-star hotel offer user-friendly websites that allow customers the chance to even be able to see what rooms may be available. Some offer live chats with prospective travelers, and even more profound are the hotels that offer a 360° view of available rooms so that when you book, you know exactly what you’ll be seeing when you arrive. The advancement of technology is just astounding.

21st century technology has now spawned the dawn of the mobile app, which connects prospective hotel visitors to the entire world by way of a little application. On these apps, you can explore rooms, reviews, prices, and even proximity to locals attractions. Even more crucial is that these apps often have four to five-star ratings for their accuracy & ease of use, essentially silencing the critics who believe that such ‘flash-in-the-pan’ tech is limited.

A last-minute hotel room is made even easier because there is so much competition between competing hotels for your business, you can almost list your own terms, including price. There was a time when you were stuck with one option for a hotel stay, and since everyone was vying for the same rooms (i.e., Spring Break, Memorial Day/Labor weekends), you really had to plan far in advance to make sure you had somewhere to stay. While this may still be the case in more rural areas, more often than not, you really have a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to the hotel you want with the type of room you want, and you can wait until even the same day to book.

As a final note, though, travel experts do advise travelers to use common sense when booking their lodging & urge them to understand that waiting too long for last-minute hotel deals can result in having no lodging available all together, so be mindful of your plans & book accordingly.

Slot Machines – Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going

Where We Were

Charles Fey invented the slot machine in the 1890′s. He probably never envisioned that his creation called the “Liberty Bell” would evolve into the most popular form of casino gambling today.

The slot evolution however had a lot of growing pains as many in the United States viewed gambling as a social ill. By 1910 all legal gambling activity was shut down,which left horse racing as the only legal entity in America.

During the 1920′s prohibition era, the public’s thirst for gambling matched that of booze. Slot machines along with alcohol were found in “Speak Easy’s” throughout America, many of them controlled by Organized Crime. After prohibition ended underground casinos remained active.

States began to crack down on illegal casinos and began to seize and destroy gambling equipment, including slot machines. Mayor LaGuardia of New York City called them “mechanical pick pockets”, destroyed them with a sledge hammer, and dumped them into Long Island Sound. (You can watch the action on YouTube.)

In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling. Slot machines populated the floor in the states’ casinos but were there only to amuse the wives and mistresses playing their pennies and nickles while the men did all the heavy gambling at the tables. (A portrayal of this is depicted in the 1952 movie, “The Las Vegas Story” with Vincent Price, Victor Mature, and Jane Russel.) Slots remained a “ladies” game until Atlantic City legalized gambling in 1978.

Bally Manufacturing invented a unit powered by electricity and slots began to “light up” and produce various sound effects. When multi-coin acceptors were introduced, new dollar machines meant larger jackpots for customers. When the Random Number Generator was invented top prize amounts could be increased on four and five reel versions. A spin button became an alternative to the handle.

The Indian Gaming Act was approved in the 1980′s which allowed casinos on reservation land and newly legislated dockside riverboat gambling attracted new slot players while racetracks added the one arm bandits..

IGT launched Megabucks in 1986 and slots were now linked across Nevada by phone lines offering a giant lottery size jackpot that grew with each coin wagered. The Progressive Jackpot was born and players could now become millionaires. Players began abandoning the table games, flocked to the machines and casinos took notice.

Where We Are

The proliferation of slots paved the way for new inventions. A video slot with 25 lines, up to a bet of 10 credits per line allowed for a ticket in, ticket out, (TITO) system. The coins and the handles followed the dinosaurs.. Operators could now lower the denominations to as little as a penny and still turn a profit.

In the new century slot makers were quick to promote the themed slot, units based on popular movies, TV shows and entertainers. Players could now spin the Wheel of Fortune, giggle at Curley, Larry, and Moe, take a ride with Captain Kirk, or croon over Ol’ Blue eyes. All the games have video clips from favorite shows.

The themed slots have evolved to 5 video reels with up to 40 lines. Chairs have comfortable high backs, and some even vibrate when certain bonus features are hit. Touch screens have the latest LCD technology, 3D graphics and Bose sound systems as they continue to evolve. Depending on the game theme, players can wager as little as one penny(credit) per line up to $2, $3, and $4 maximums. Bonus features offer generous payouts while progressive jackpots climb to six and seven figures.

Newer games saw the introduction of CSI, Sex and the City, Iron man, Michael Jackson, David Copperfield, The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Wonder Woman, Ellen, Let’s Make a Deal, the Godfather, Monopoly, and The list goes on and on.

Where We’re Going

The themed slot will no doubt continue to grow. However there’s a huge segment of casino patrons looking for something different. They are the Millennials.Born in the early 1980′s to the late 1990′s who grew up playing video games. Casinos took notice that this generation didn’t care to sit in front of a machine that did all the work for them in order to win. They want to be involved to make it happen. This led to the introduction of Games of Skill at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Two companies, GameCo and Gamblit Gaming introduced their wares at the expo and by all accounts, things look very promising. Other companies, Konami and Scientific Games are creating their own versions to attract the Gen Y’s. Other companies will soon follow.

Some of the games are based on poker where a limited number of players use their skill to grab the cards they need. In another game players have to collect rare treasures in Pharaoh’s Secret Temple before time is up.

The Corruption Of Our Major Political Parties In The US

Why is it that every time we look at Washington DC we see questionable activities borderlining on corruption or outright illegality? Perhaps this is one thing that both sides of the aisle agree on – they seem to agree this is acceptable, it’s not. Let’s take these recent issues with email scandals. We have the DNC being hacked by a Romanian Hacker and Hillary Clinton’s illegal private email server with official State Department correspondence on it, some of it Top Secret but all of it, none of anyone else’s business especially foreign entities and spies.

There was an interesting article in Homeland Security News; “Democrats brace for more e-mail leaks,” posted on July 26, 2016. The article stated:

“The FBI on Monday said the agency is investigating the hacks of the DNC computer networks. Democrats are worried that the Russian government hackers behind the DNC hacks may have gotten their hands on other politically embarrassing e-mails and documents, and the hackers would release these e-mails and documents between now and November in an effort to increase Trump’s chances of winning in November. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and its current top editor, who said that the release [of the DNC e-mails] on Friday was the first in a series.”

Basically, the emails that caused the DNC Chairwoman to resign are the tip-of-the-iceberg. Just as what was revealed from Hillary Clinton’s private email server turned out to be much more than she admitted when interviewed hundreds of times on the subject. If the DNC is corrupt and worked to undermine one of its own candidates in the primary process for another one, they’ve dishonored every democrat voter in America, and therefore they need to get their house in order and should probably sit out the rest of this election until they de-corrupt their activities and change-out their leadership. Free and Fair elections are crucial for a free society, but half of our electorate has been snookered and lied to.

If more emails do come out which show collusion which WikiLeaks notes is the case, then there could be another reason for a potential indictment of Hillary Clinton, even if she has temporarily dodged the first one with her misuse of classified material on her illegal server circumventing the State Department’s protocol. It hardly matters who hacked the emails in either case at the time, the question now is what information were in those emails, and what will they reveal about just how bad our political process has gotten and just how corrupt our leadership at the highest levels really is. Think on that.

Choosing Professional Event Photographers

There are different events that we hold from time to time and as such, it is important to capture those moments for the sake of memory. There are professional photographers for the various events that you may have including concerts, street photography, sports, fashion events, birthdays, weddings and so on. When you deal with a professional photographer, then you will be able to remember most of the events that you may have been to in a much easier and responsible manner. Even for people aspiring to set up an online business, there is still the need to have a professional photographer who will showcase all the items that are on sale.

When your photos are of a great quality, then you can easily impress your audience. Hiring the best photographer is, therefore, an essential thing to do. There are various ways that you can use so as to get the correct photographer for any event that you may have and they include:

1. Interviews: you need to carry out the initial interviews if you are really determined to find the best photographer. You need to ask the professional some questions so as to be able to know the abilities that they possess and then determine the best ways in which you can use their abilities to your advantage. Get to know the experience they have so as to know if they can handle the task that you may have for them. Ask about insurance, contracts and the experience level. You also need to know the equipment and the photographic style that they usually use.

2. Portfolios: a great photographer will have a portfolio and it should be used as a guide. The quality of the work they have already done should be scrutinized and if it is found to be satisfactory then you should move to other options. A serious photographer will have a portfolio and this will really help in the decision-making process.

3. The specifics: there are all sorts of professional photographers. Some will take photos of people while others love nature and so on. If you want to promote products, then choose a photographer in product photography and if you have an event, select an event photographer. Ask the photographer if they can handle your specific event before you hire. Get to know how they will be able to execute the tasks ahead and if they will be working alone or with a team, depending on the size of the project.

4. Your budget: you need to be open about this. There are different budgets for different events. Get to know the budget of the photographer and compare it with your own. It is always important to have a photographer within your budget. There are different factors that can affect the budget of a photographer and this includes the day-rate, retouching, equipment and travel among others. Your location also matters.

Get to know the photographer and check out his background, especially in photography. You can invite them somewhere and have a one on one with them.