Category Archives: Las Vegas on TV

TSA Upgrade for Screening; Leaving Las Vegas

All of us that travel by flying have to endure the TSA line.  One of the most despised federal agencies  has devised a way to help speed up the screening process.  One way is the TSA Pre-Check which I have taken advantage of and I feel that it was money well spent.  Just this past May, we were able to leapfrog a very long at LAX to make our Southwest flight to Phoenix.

TSA has installed conveyor belt type of bag screening process at McCarren International, O’Hare International, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and Los Angeles International Airports. 

At Terminal 3, passengers on Hawaiian Airlines and other airlines will see a new system in place that :

  • Stainless steel countertops designed specifically to enable several passengers to place their items in bins simultaneously;
  • Automated conveyor belts that move bins into the X-ray machine tunnel and return the bins to the front of the security checkpoint;
  • Automatic diversion of any carry-on bag that may contain a prohibited item; this diversion to a separate location allows other bins containing other travelers’ belongings to continue through the screening process uninterrupted;
  • Bins that are 25 percent larger than a typical bin and are able to hold a roll-aboard bag;
  • Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that are attached to each bin, allowing for additional accountability of a traveler’s carry-on property as they move throughout the security screening process;
  • Cameras that capture photographic images of the contents of each bin and are linked side-by-side to the X-ray image of a carry-on bag’s contents.

 

source:  https://www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2017/08/31/automated-screening-lanes-come-security-checkpoint-terminal-3-las-vegas

Will this speed things up?  Not sure yet as this was just debuted at McCarren International on Aug. 31, 2017.

Reality TV in Sin City 2017

I guess it’s no secret that I like to watch reality TV shows.  From the History Channel shows like Pawn Stars, Counting Cars,  A&E Channel Flipping Vegas as well as HGTV’s Fixer-Upper and Flip or Flop.

By now, there’s all sorts of chatter/rumors/talk about the future of “Flip or Flop” and it’s stars Tarek and Christina.  I’m not here to judge or to give my opinion as to what happened and what should happen.  While watching re-run of “Flip or Flop“, I see a commercial for a new show on HGTV called “Flip or Flop Vegas“.  I don’t know much at this time, but I would imagine that the costs for these homes would be lower than the Los Angeles/Orange County area, but I’m pretty sure that there won’t be too much put into landscaping as the Las Vegas Water District is always encouraging residents and businesses to go with low maintenance and drought resistant landscaping.

I know is going to happen is that I will start watching this new show and I’m going to want to jump on the next Hawaiian Airlines flight to Las Vegas!

Las Vegas Underworld; How illegal money is made fast

I was watching the National Geographic channel’s “Underworld, Inc. Las Vegas Hustle”. I wasn’t too surprised by what I saw when a card counter, a prostitute and the Aria Hotel and Casino security was featured. I found a couple of the features entertaining. Each of the persons featured in the show were wearing masks while they were telling their stories. The card counter was wearing a mask that covered his mouth and nose, but you could clearly see his eyes and the bridge of his nose. Other TV shows that featured Las Vegas casino security technology has publicly stated that they have facial recognition software that can ID someone just off the eyes and nose area because that is the one facial area that can’t be changed or altered. I can just picture it: security professionals, as soon as they saw this feature, began inputting this person’s facial features to match what they have.

The card counter not only demonstrated his card counting, but his slight of hand display. He practiced in his hotel room how he would slip a $25 or $100 chip under another chip after he won the hand and just prior to being paid by the dealer. Now that is really risky as that could get you jail time as well as banned from most casinos.

This card counter closed out his segment by saying that he played at one casino and won $300 from one and $800 from another for a total of $1100. He closes by saying “Not a bad night”. I agree, not a bad night, but hardly worth it to get banned from a casino.

The show also featured a person makes a living robbing casinos, armored cars and couriers throughout Las Vegas for a living.  Those are some dangerous and desperate people because they have no regard for person safety and others.

No thanks, I will just take my chances and have good memories of every trip I take to my favorite vacation spot without having to look over my shoulder.  It wouldn’t be much fun if I was always worried about being caught.

Olympics in Las Vegas; Anything is possible

These past few days I have been glued to the TV and other news website concerning the coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  I will start off by saying I am extremely proud of our athletes for what they have accomplished and really wish they could win them all.  Every four years are the only time I get into watching swimming, water polo, track and field etc.

So far in my lifetime I have seen the summer games twice within the USA and it got me thinking about the possibility of the Olympics being in Las Vegas?  Hear me out before you start with the reasons why it couldn’t happen.

Since hotels and mega malls seem to get built in record time in Las Vegas, I’m certain an Olympic sized arena could be built and in record time. The city of Las Vegas is toying with the idea of bringing the Oakland Raiders or another professional football team to the city and the arena, complete with football field and surrounded by a track could be the perfect solution.

An Olympic pool would have to be built, but with the heat in Las Vegas, it wouldn’t be hard to have people using it for a long time after the Olympics.

Other venues could be built or are currently in place to host most events.  We all know that hotels rooms would not be a problem there.

 

Reality TV in Sin City Part 3; Sigma Derby, old school gambling

Last night’s episode of “Pawn Stars” was one I was very interested in viewing. It showed Rick and Chum going to the  D Las Vegas to meet with Derek Stevens, co-owner. On the show, Derek is trying to sell his Sigma Derby, which is a really cool horse racing game located on the second floor. After the video game expert looked at the machine, he valued it to be around $35,000 but Derek Stevens was asking $80,000. Even if you didn’t see this episode, you would know that Rick and Derek couldn’t make the deal and the Sigma Derby ended up staying on the second floor.

What I didn’t realize is that at one time in the 80’s, Sigma Derby games were all over Sin City. A lot of properties had themed races, not just horses. Caesar’s Palace had chariots and the Luxor had camels instead of horses.

Part of the draw of this game is it looks like something from the golden age of Las Vegas, but it was created in the 80’s. It still uses coins (yes, I said that correctly) which we all know is hard to find now days. It can also be interactive as you are racing against other players, you not just staring at a screen by yourself.

I have been up to the second floor of the D many times and there is always action at this game. One of these days, I’m going to have to squeeze in and try my luck.

Reality TV in Sin City Part 2; History Channel Counting Cars

One show that spun off from “Pawn Stars” was “Counting Cars”.  Starring Danny, Kevin, Horny Mike, Rollie.  It started off on “Pawn Stars” with Rick or Corey calling Danny aka “the Count” of “Count’s Kustoms” to give his opinion on a car the shop might be buying.  The car might be a fixer, a kit car, or a restored classic and Danny would be called to see if the car would be worth buying and how much it can be re-sold for.

The History channel eventually gave Danny his own show “Counting Cars” which usually runs in half hour segments, shows Danny acquiring a car and a customer brining a car to the shop to be fixed up.   What amazes me is how much these customers spend to have their cars fixed!  Some pay as much as $40,000.00!1

If you go to the shop on 2714 S Highland Dr, it is just off Sahara Avenue between the Strip and the I-15 freeway.  You travel down less than a mile on Highland Drive and you will see signs directing you to the shop on the east side of the street.  When you arrive, you might find an employee sitting at the parking lot entrance who might let you park if there is space.  The shop shares parking with other businesses.  There is also street parking.

As you walk up to the entrance, you will see the familiar garage door where Danny and the customers usually stand and Danny will eventually  yell “Rollie!! Bring that bad boy out”.

You sign in the same lobby they use in the show and the admission is free.  Your allowed to walk around the shop’s collection, take all the pics you want, but you can’t touch any.  Fine by me.  You will see most from the shows and they are strategically placed so that you can walk around several vehicles.

When you get to the end, there is a gift shop that sells the usual gift items, but the hottest seller there seems to be the t-shirts the cast wears.  I wanted a XL black t-shirt that the cast all wears, but they were out of my size as well as the gray and white.  There was alot of red t-shirts, but not for me.  I feel that since I’m at Count’s Kustoms, the shirt should be black!!

While I didn’t see any of the cast, I was told by another Hawaii resident (remember how I mentioned I will be mentioning tips)  that if you go at lunch time, a lunch wagon will pull up, honk it’s horn and the shop crew will come out to eat and some of the cast from show might be included in the bunch.

Horny Mike's Bus
Horny Mike’s Bus

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Reality TV in Sin City Part 1; History Channel Pawn stars

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I admit that I watch a lot of TV and that is mostly reality shows (besides the major sports).   A few years ago I stumbled on “Pawn Stars” and have a fan since!   I know people that will say that Rick, Corey, the Old Man and Chumlee rip off people, but my reply to that has been “who says you have to sell?”  I love watching the items that come in and some that even get sold.

I have probably visited the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop four times since becoming a fan of the show.  It is located north of the Strip on Las Vegas Blvd.  Sometimes there is a line outside but I’ve been lucky so far; each time I went, I could just walk in but just a little disappointed that I couldn’t see any of the stars.  The only one that comes close to being a star that I saw working there was “Travis“.  He is pretty cool to talk to if he’s not too busy.  If I’m not mistaken, a few years ago, I was in the shop to buy a t-shirt and when I gave him (pretty sure it was him) my Hawaiian Airlines credit card, he told me he was born in Hawaii, at Tripler Medical Center, but left with his mom within a few months, so he can claim the 50th State as  his birthplace, but he grew up in Las Vegas.