I am taking questions from our members, and one question is What was your reason for creating Casinomeister? And was there a lot of interest when you first created this site?
I discuss this, plus I talk about long haul travels via airlines during Covid 19 restrictions, and of course some mind boggling facts about our celestial neighbors like the planet Saturn and the Andromeda Galaxy.
Greetings dear listener, and welcome once again to Casinomeister’s podcast that hits the airways not often enough. It’s been a while since my last one – which was September 2019 – but even though it’s been a while, September’s podcast is still pertinent and really quite interesting where I discuss the gambler of the future and their habits now – actually, it’s the online habits of Generation Z – and maybe that’s you. I don’t know.
Today I’m going to play catch up and answer some of your questions you’ve sent about me, or about Casinomeister, or anything for that matter…like how far away is Saturn from us, or other mind blowing gems.
First off – I’ve been asked some questions about living life in Covid restrictions and lockdowns – and about traveling during these times – safely of course. I have been more or less isolated pretty much the entire year – since last Spring really. And what makes my life a bit complicated is that my partner lives in the UK, and I am either here in Germany, or at my ranch in the States. So it has pretty much sucked for us, since traveling to the UK is either totally restricted, or somewhat restricted. And then when I arrive there, I have to quarantine for 10 days before we can meet up. And there are the Covid tests and all that. But we do what we can to stay as safe as possible.
Being a US citizen living in Europe, and having property in the States that I’ve been working on – some construction projects – I’ve flown long-haul three times since the travel restrictions have been in place. And I’d have to tell you – these are the best flights I’ve been on – ever. The flights are 2/3rd empty. No waiting, no crowds, no stress really at all. Sure you have to wear your mask for 12 hours straight - and that’s in the aircraft not including the time you need to wear it in the departing airport and at the arrival.
But no worries with that – what you do on the aircraft is wear proper headphones – not the earbuds, but old timey ones that cover your ears. Just slip the ear straps over the head phone speakers and there ya go – no wear and tear on the back of the ears.
Those straps can get really uncomfortable after a few hours like the straps are cutting into the back of your ears. So yeah – bring proper head phones.
And the lack of stress is apparent with the flight attendants – they are super chilled out and even if you are in coach, they treat you like you’re in business. I normally fly Lufthansa – and these long haul flights have been amazing. Fly coach and yeah, good chance you’ll have a row to yourself. In fact, I think now they allow you to purchase the two seats next to you for a nominal fee to guarantee that you have a row to yourself. I’ve been flying economy plus so I have a least some guaranteed distance from the person next to me, but so far no one has been there.
But the best is debarking the aircraft. I loath when the aircraft comes to a halt, every joe jumps up – including myself – and you’re all mashed in the aisle – grabbing at your bags stowed in the overhead compartments. Those days are over folks – thank gawd. You debark by row number. So that’s easy peasy.
Before Covid – I additionally loathed going through passport control at LAX – there were the loud mouthed TSA crowd control shouting at folks which lines to get in – and this is only in the States. I have traveled the world – each continent but Africa, and it is only in the States where you have TSA folks shouting around. It’s really unnecessary – I’ve always wondered why in the US these folks think it’s necessary – are they doing it to appease their egos, or act like a badass or something shouting around? I don’t know. But now -- there are no folks to shout at.
Just imagine LAX passport control virtually empty – maybe five people there. You stroll on up – go through the numbers – and then head for your bags.
And the baggage – that’s another thing. For me LAX was horrible in the baggage pick up – on average you would wait at least 45 minutes for your bags – but now it’s like 5 minutes. If that – sometimes the bags are waiting for you.
And remember the crowds of folks waiting in the terminal to pick up arriving passengers? Well they are gone now – since hardly anyone is flying.
So that is what it’s like flying now – long haul at least.
Anyway – back to Casinomeister – I’ve been asked some questions by our membership concerning me and or Casinomeister in general. And each podcast I’ll entertain some of these.
This is from Tracywild12 a newbie member who has been around for only a few months. She asks What was your reason for creating Casinomeister? And was there a lot of interest when you first created this site ?
Well, a number of you may know the humble roots of Casinomeister – if so, that’s good – and for you who would like to know, this is the reason for Casinomeister.
Back in 1997 I was a production manager at an online translation firm in San Diego – we were translating websites and software packages into the more popular European languages, and several of the Asian languages. I was a webmaster at the time , building websites as a hobby, writing screenplays, and teaching English and Creative writing at the local junior colleges and universities.
So in the beginning of 1998 we translated some online casinos – and I remember seeing these websites thinking, what a joke – these guys are in the Caribbean and you’re going to give them your credit card info and play for real cash? I seriously thought it was stupid, it was nuts, and prone to all sorts of possible mayhem. So I wrote it off – and one company World casino – world gaming something I can’t remember – they ripped us off and didn’t pay us for their translations. It was like 5 grand or something. Remember, this was back in the old days where you’d use actual live persons to translate these websites. Translations could be expensive.
So a few months went by, I forgot all about this, and lo and behold, we had a meeting set up with some of the reps from one of the land based casinos in San Diego county. We had this meeting, and the owners were there, and they had some online cryptologic casinos and they wanted to have these sites translated into a few of the European languages but were balking at the price. They were saying – translations are expensive, and how can they justify the cost when no one knows that they are the good guys compared to casinos that are run by ruffians in the Caribbean, like those crooks at world gaming who owed us a good chunk of cash.
That’s when it hit me – that’s when I thought – y’know what? I could create a website – list good casinos like these guys – who were legit, and list casinos who were ripping people off. That was my pitch.
I was actually already planning to go back to Germany that year to help open up the translation company’s European office, and I figured to have a site half German and half English. And I could give it a cool name that makes sense to both English speakers and Germans – thus Casinomeister was born.
This was June of 1998 – and when it was launched there were no search engines, there were directories like Alta Vista, Dmoz, user groups – and launching it was magical. I still remember uploading the pages hoping for people to find this website. I would get maybe 10 or 20 visitors a day at the very beginning and that was soo cool!! Then in a few weeks it was 30 or 40 visitors a day – which was so exciting. I had other websites like for screenwriting or Frankenstein’s castle that weren’t getting this kind of traffic. And this traffic was coming from everywhere!!
Don’t forget, these were the early days of webmastering and to have traffic come in from places like Hong Kong and Australia was triumphal. It was awesome connecting to a world wide audience via the world wide web.
So this went on for about a year. I had a forum from the very beginning using ancient html – but the forum was becoming quite popular even then – with around 20 – 30 people signing in daily with maybe 50 visitors. Woo Woo. You can find these old posts in our archives in the forum if you feel up to strolling down memory lane.
And that year I moved to Germany, the translation company went bust, and I was unemployed. So necessity is the mother of invention – I turned my hobby site into a livelihood. I focused on it 100% to make it work since I had mouths to feed.
Anyway – that is how Casinomeister got its start – and it was not because that I was into gambling, or really into casinos, casino games, slot machines, whatever. It was more or less a hobby site, and a site that was something for me to try and make known on the internets..
The 1990s were an entrepreneur’s dream. You could come up with an idea, build a website and try and see how to get traffic. Building websites were easy make then. I just had a how to build a website book back then and taught myself. But I knew back in 1998 – websites were about people and needed some form of engagement from others, so I created a forum asking visitors to post their experiences, tips and tricks since I had not a clue about online gambling. And that actually worked, we’d get a couple of posts a week, and more people started coming in. Then a person posted a complaint about a casino, and that was a no brainer. Since I didn’t have many answers, I would make an attempt to contact the casino support and let them know that someone had posted a complaint there. And that’s where I started making my first contacts in the casino industry. Many times that customer support was the actual owner. Yep – the old days.
When I went to my first conference in January of 2001 – in London, most everyone knew who I was – I didn’t know them but they knew me. Quite a few were subscribing to my newsletter, and were visiting the site on a regular basis to see what folks were saying.
Yep the days of yore. You can’t do that now – really, at least not in this industry. Google calls the shots now. And what Google says – it’s what you have to do. You are obligated to use other people’s websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all this social media BS in order to get ranked anywhere in the search engine results. Even though you may have your own social media platform like a forum - that can do really anything Facebook can do if not better – your hand is forced into submission. Yep – cranky old man here telling you that the pioneer landscape of the internet has gone to heck.
So answering the question – yep that is how the site started, and yes there was interest in the site when it was beginning to grow.
With each podcast that I cast out there – as a pod – I try to add something that will blow your mind – some true fact, a science fact, historical fact, literary fact, or perhaps a mind experiment. This time I’m just going to briefly discuss the immensity of outer space – and some true facts about our celestial neighborhood.
To begin with, let’s consider the planet Saturn. You have probably seen it lately in the night sky – especially the past fall and winter with the attention it was getting with it’s alignment with Jupiter – it’s unmistakable when you see it with the naked eye – and of course viewing it in a telescope big or small is mesmerizing. But do you realize how far away it is? Now I could say it’s umpteen million miles away – and you’d say oh that’s far, but you probably don’t build a picture in your minds eye on the distance. Light minutes or light years makes more sense.
When you look at Saturn – or anything else in the heavens, you are looking back in time. Even with the sun. Look at the sun (not directly of course) and you are seeing it where it was eight minutes ago. That is how long the light takes to get to us from the sun – the light is eight minutes old – thus that was where the sun was eight minutes ago.
How about the moon? The moon is relatively close being 1.3 light seconds away.
Well how about Saturn? I choose Saturn since it’s the furthest planet from us that you can see with the naked eye. When you observe Saturn, you are seeing where it was 90 minutes ago. That’s how far away it is. The light from Saturn takes an hour and a half – give or take a few minutes depending on where we are positioned – it takes 90 minutes to hit your eyeballs. 90 minutes. That’s mind blowing.
Here is something else that will blow your mind. You may have read or seen how our galaxy is on a collision course with the andromeda galaxy. I remember seeing this on CNN a few months ago – they must have the most dumbed down science department – they made it sensational – it was an article that described how our galaxy the milky way galaxy is on a collision course with the Andromeda galaxy.
“It’s going to collide with us – a cataclysmic collision” they said – but the andromeda galaxy is actually going to merge with our milky way galaxy 5 billion years from now.
The sizes and distances probably don’t mean much to you – but to put this into perspective – the andromeda galaxy is about 200 million light years across – so if the andromeda galaxy was sized down to the size of a six foot tall individual, that individual would be standing 72 feet away from you – or about 22 meters away for you metric persons…and he is heading your way and is going to merge with you in about 5 billion years. So how fast is that? Well in 2 and a half million years, he’s moved about half an inch towards you. That’s like a centimeter. Two and a half million years ago was the paleolithic period when homo habilis was using rocks to chop things up. The person has moved a centimeter.
So much for a cataclysmic collision
So there ya go something to think about – something to dwell on. If you have any questions for me, about Casinomeister – or anything you’d like to hear me discuss, just drop me a line in the forum and I just might get back to you.
If you’d like to contact me, just visit Casinomeister.com and you’ll find me in the forum.
Until next time – adios and be cool.