I decided to go on a casino binge last night and chose to take the junket bus to Spotlight 29, a small casino in Coachella, California. In Los Angeles, traffic can make 10 miles take more than an hour, and with the New Year's exodus and a rainstorm, the freeways were basically gridlocked. I'm glad I left 80 minutes early! Now you have to understand that a "junket bus" is really a semi-illegal outfit with a questionable safety record. This bus seemed passable and wasn't leaking water from the side panel like another I rode recently. All but 5 or so of the patrons were Spanish. These buses originate in largely Hispanic and Asian neighborhoods down here! It was about 8:05 PM at the time this picture was taken and, as you can see, we are all eager to get going! Our driver was FAST...imagine Cedar Point's most thrilling roller coaster except that you're in a bus on the tracks! We made good time arriving in Coachella at 10:20 PM. The casino was built with junket tours in mind, and there's even a dedicated slot club for people who arrive by bus. There happened to be a promotion running that night and I won $50 in free play! In all, I would begin with $85 of the casino's money for (1) riding the bus, (2) winning the $50, and (3) getting an invitation in the mail. But before getting started, I needed to eat badly. I had some rice or something just before leaving the house and thought it would hold me over for a few hours. Wrong!! By the way, ordering was really weird. I went to the cashier, asked for a menu and ordered right there. She must've thought I was ordering to go, but I thought it was standard to basically order off the menu and then be seated. She gave me a strange look and basically said "um, you can sit over there for 15 minutes." No thanks. Table, please! So lo and behold, I get my food (a BLT with fries) and the moment I bite into the sandwich, this happens: The whole thing basically exploded like a grenade and went all over my pants. It just literally flew apart while I was eating it and the whole mess went all over the floor. Now that's dining, baby! Okay...it's clear I'm very green at restaurant. So the casino is already up a pair of pants. But nevermind...it's time to get even, well almost. The key tool in my arsenal is error-free play. Don't leave home without one of these. (Challenge: Can you figure out which program generated this chart?) Now Spotlight has one good beacon of hope...their 9/6 jacks or better video poker returning 99.54% with good strategy. Their slot club returns 0.29% making this a decent place to grind a few quarters. Oh and boy was there grinding! Stay tuned!!