Lucky Tiles

Brad Goins Thursday, July 19, 2018 Comments Off on Lucky Tiles
Lucky Tiles

The very first Lake Charles Lucky Tiles Mah Jongg Tournament will take place on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Lake Charles Bridge Club, 1600 W. McNeese St. Now, this may seem a little early for a “mark your calendar”-type thing. But registration for the event only runs through Aug. 15.


I’ve never played Mah Jongg, but I’ve heard it’s pretty tough. I guess that’s why those who register for this tournament are required to have a year of playing experience. This initial tournament probably isn’t a session for getting instructed in the rules. If you have a sufficient amount of experience, email to register.

Organizer Vickie Reynolds says that even though the game is played with tiles, it’s similar to rummy (another game I’ve never played). “It requires skill, concentration, calculation and plenty of luck … Mah Jongg’s a thinking man’s game.”

Playing Mah Jongg, says Reynolds, stimulates the brain and helps keep it sharp. One has to be able to concentrate and calculate on his hand while keeping track of what his opponents are throwing in order to determine which hand they’re playing.

Although folks may not know it today, Mah Jongg was one of the biggest fads in U.S. history. In his enduring history of the 1920s, Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen writes that in 1923, “the Mah Jongg craze had become so universal that Chinese makers of sets could no lonter keep up with the demand … The wealthy bought five-hundred-dollar sets; dozens of manufacturers leaped into the business.” It was the crossword puzzle book — which debuted in 1924 — that finally got Americans to think about something other than Mah Jongg.

In the United States of 2018, the game seems to be especially popular among senior females. But the demographic is gradually getting younger and attracting some men. 

In SWLA, there are weekly Mah Jongg games at the Bridge Club, the Country Club and the Pioneer Club. In private Lake Area houses, the games are apparently played daily.

For someone who doesn’t feel up to the tournament, but wants to learn how to play, the contact is Gloria Bello at

Smith Gets Another Grammy Shot


Mickey Smith, Jr., the area’s top jazz sax player, just missed winning this year’s Grammy Music Educator Award, finishing second. Turns out he’ll definitely have at least one more shot, as he’s made the quarterfinalists’ list for next year’s Grammy. 

Smith was one of 188 quarterfinalists for the 2019 Music Educator Award who were recently announced. Those 188 came from a total of 2,800 who were nominated.

If Smith wins, he’ll receive cash honorariums, as well as significant support and resources to bolster his music teaching at Maplewood High.

Smith’s No. 2 finish this year may inspire some on the Grammy team to think of him as the logical 2019 winner. At any rate, we’ll know the outcome some time in February of next year.

You Can Trust Me

On June 14, the Daily Advocate ran this headline: “U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise says he won’t run for governor in 2019.”


OK, now something’s wrong with that. What man in his right mind wouldn’t give up one of the 10 most powerful positions on the face of the earth for the chance to become the leader of the poorest, most unhealthy state in the country?

Scalise will never find a better opportunity to exercise his creativity and problem-solving ability than as governor of Louisiana. What other individual gets a chance to erase a billion dollars of debt every year? Right now, Scalise is a big dog in a governmental body that can just create more debt any time it has a financial problem. Where’s the challenge in that?

The object in life is not to wind up on top of the world and stay there. The sporting thing is to go back to square one and claw your way back up to the top again. Just look at George Herbert Walker Bush. He went from Congress to the U.N. to the RNC to the CIA to the vice presidency to the presidency. He might just as well have been climbing the rungs of a ladder. And you see what happened. Ever after, he had to jump out of helicopters in a hopeless effort to recover his long-lost sense of challenge.

I see what’s going on with this story. Scalise is just having some fun and leading these Daily Advocate people down the garden path. You trust me, don’t you? Believe me when I tell you that Scalise will one day be governor of Louisiana — just as surely as I will one day be the senior gofer of the Associated Press.

Ding, Dong, The Lizard’s Dead

I know that, as a rule, my readers wouldn’t tolerate my reporting news that’s more than two years old. I hope they’ll make an exception when they learn that the news — which comes to us via a blog called Operation Disclosure — is a “VERY VERY BIG HISTORIC ANNOUNCEMENT!”


Why didn’t the writer put a comma between the first VERY and the second one? Well, I’m guessing that the fact that the news was so BIG and so HISTORIC made him SO excited he just forgot about silly little stuff like commas.

So, what was the great big news? One sensible way to get into a story of this magnitude is simply to quote the headlines. Let’s do that.



OK, so, the way I read that is that the bad news is we people have new bosses. The good news is that the old boss — whom we never knew existed but who was very bad nevertheless — is dead. 

It turns out “the intergalactic jurisdiction of Earth” has just now been passed down to “more peaceful aliens” — I guess more peaceful than the big old lizard was. But the writer warns us that this new batch of aliens has “an unknown agenda.” Well, that’s a little worrisome. 

So, how did the old lizard boss lose control like that? Well, ya see, that was “due to the immediate destruction of the previous controlling & Earth-residing reptilian alliance operatives.”

The Earth-residing reptilian alliance operatives! I should have known they were involved with this! But just how were they defeated?

The writer says only, “Huge battle!” There he goes again — getting so worked up he completely forgets about his subject and verb. How did “huge battle” go down? Turns out the “Creation Lightship Defense Fleet” teamed up with the “Secret Time-Traveling Earth Sovereign Soldiers” to stop the “attempted mass exit/escape of reptilian criminals and their families!” Are you following all this?

So, how did the fleet and the soldiers do? Pretty well, it turns out. They “just stopped cold” this nefarious lizard escape attempt.

The battle took place “all over Earth” on April 21, 2016. We never knew about it, but then again, we never knew about the great big old lizard king, so that’s no thing.

Now here are some words that may bring relief to concerned readers: “No other alien races were involved. No prisoners were taken. Their genetics will not be passed on — even if they looked human.” In other words, if you don’t take any big reptiles prisoner, it’s impossible for the big reptile DNA to get passed down. Makes sense to me.

It’s little wonder that the writer states, “It will take a while for this new situation to filter down to us.” I’d say that’s a bit of an understatement. I bet there are some among us down to whom the information will never filter.

And the reason? “All kinds of others with their own agendas will probably come in and want to hide this event or alter the information …” Isn’t that always the way?

Some of you skeptics out there may be wondering how we can know this really happened. Well, first, we are told, the story was reported on BBS Radio. That’s a talk radio network headquartered in Paradise, Calif. Second, “Ambassador Ron Amitron himself reported it from first hand knowledge.” Note that that’s Ambassador Ron Amitron himself — not some other Ron Amitron nobody ever heard of. 

And who is Ambassador Ron? Oh, nothing much; he’s just the guy who “experienced conscious communications, guidance, assistance, attunements and  Divine Intervention from the Lightship.” He observes “life on this planet and report[s his] findings back to the Creation Lightship.” He has “the ability to instantly bi-locate to the Creation Lightship and communicate with the Divine Light Beings and Ja-ne-na, Commander of The Healing Arts University’s Fleet.” He is now living on planet Earth for the first time in 3,000 years! And here’s the kicker: he’s an MC on BBS Radio! 

If you want to know more, Google these terms: Reptilian “Mass Exit” Attempt. You’ll get at least two video reports as well as the official “CLS Military Report.” And if you want to read the truly fascinating story of MC Ambassador Ron, you can find it at Oh, and just to be safe, you might want to watch out for any really ginormous supersized lizard wearing a crown.

Answer These Nine Orders

In a box on BuzzFeed News, I saw this message: “Answer 9 Questions And We’ll Tell You 9 Books To Read.” I almost never click that sort of stuff. But I’m kind of a book guy, so I got a little impulsive and gave it a look.

The first question wasn’t even a question; it was an imperative: “1. Choose a TV show.” And I was given a choice of four TV shows.

I’d never heard of one of them. I probably should have stopped at this point. I guess I figured I might be able to recoup with the other eight “questions.”

The second imperative was: “2. Choose a movie.” This time I’d heard of one of the four choices I was given: the movie Bridesmaids, which is pretty damn funny. I could answer at least one question. I was making progress.

For the third step, I was told to pick a concert I wanted to see. I had no idea who Carly Rae Jepson or Haim were. I did know the name of Janet Jackson. So, I guessed if I had to choose a concert, I’d pick that one (although I’d really rather just watch a few of the 1980s videos).

Step four. I was supposed to pick one of four podcasts I’d most like to watch. Sad to say, I didn’t know anything about any of the four.

There I was nearly halfway through my questions and I only knew about three of the 16 things I’d been asked to choose from. 

Even though I was being quizzed about books, I was once again asked which of four TV shows I preferred. This time, I at least recognized the name of one show: Westworld. 

At some point, I gave up taking the quiz. I wasn’t disheartened. But I did start to wonder if it’s possible that at the age of 60 or 61 or whatever it is I’ve finally reached the stage where I’m no longer cool, or with it, or hip, or in, or mod, or sick or dope. Maybe I no longer have my finger on the pulse of John Q. Public. And now that John Q. Public does nothing but hold a smartphone, I’m not going to be able to get my finger where it needs to be to take a pulse.


“Man Will Conquer Space Soon


— Cover story for March 22, 1955 issue of Collier’s Magazine.

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