Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall
From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.

abandoned bingo
(Image credit: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr)

The rough-hewn simplicity and rustic charm of traditional land-based bingo halls have captivated the imagination of thousands of people throughout the decades. Indeed, brick-and-mortar bingo halls are teeming with vibrant characters and interesting personalities that bring life to a time-honored establishment. So it’s not too surprising to learn that a few talented photographers have devoted their time and energies to document the humanity inside these old-school bingo halls. Washington resident Andrew Miksys was exposed to bingo at an early age. His father published the daily Bingo Today newspaper, which Miksys then delivered to bingo halls and convenience stores across Seattle. Miksys eventually toured America’s bingo halls to present a respectful look into the communal spirit that’s part of a bingo hall’s character.

There’s even more proof that the time-honored game is a veritable treasure trove of expressive portraits. German photographer Michael Hess is a structural engineer by training and a self-taught photographer by choice. Currently residing in London, Hess lived near a bingo hall in Southampton in 2005 and always wondered what happened inside. One fateful game in that same bingo hall was all it took to motivate Hess to travel to almost 70 bingo halls in the UK for the next four years. The result was Bingo and Social Club, a good-natured and graciously rare peek into the enigmatic society of bingo halls.

However, bingo halls are believed to be not long for this world, with many different bingo halls now closing all over the world. The classic game has found its new home online, where various companies have begun to launch online bingo portals which are much more convenient and easy to play. The Virtue Fusion software that runs the games on Betfair Bingo also allow for a variety of themed games to be held simultaneously, and land-based bingo halls just cannot keep up. As such, many bingo halls have shut down, their doors closing as though to keep their memories nestled within.

While they’re no longer visited by the average bingo player, these abandoned bingo halls have made for some truly evocative images, inspiring wayward photographers with the stories they seem to tell. Web Urbanist has even come out with a collection of haunting photographs of abandoned bingo halls called “Punched Cards”. The selection of photos has everything from dilapidated signage to the remains of old bingo cards and the remains of old structures that have now been reduced to rubble, and they make one think about all the history and memories that have been made in these places. Where people once crowded and fought to shout, “BINGO!”, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.

The Magic Bank Account

This was in my email today, forwarded from my Mom:

 

Magic Bank Account
Something to think about …
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:
Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules :
The set of rules:

1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,“Game Over!” It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right?
Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL ….

Shocked ??? YES!
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.
This PRIZE is *TIME*
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING …

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about that, and always think of this: Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.

Start spending …

Over Watching

soccerThis is quoted from a friend online. Of course, he has the typical US anti-soccer/ pro-baseball attitude. I lived in the US and did watch baseball. If there is any sport I would call dull (or close to as dull as watching golf) it would be baseball. The players don’t even look like atheletes, most are chubby. I don’t have a thing against chubby or heavier men, they just don’t seem like athletes (other than the armchair type). Anyway, beyond the soccer, golf, or baseball cultural bias…

Watching any sport is like watching a game play itself. Unless you are actually involved it is all kind of just watching. No wonder people eat when they watch TV, it is kind of unsatisfying and then there are all the commercials for food of course.

Do you watch any particular sport on TV and find yourself going for a snack more often than you would if you were watching a mystery, or game show or just about anything else which does not show people involved in exercise?

Prompt for December 5 | Project Reverb

Challenge: Did you take on a new challenge?  What was it?  Is there are challenge you deliberately avoided?  What do you want to do to challenge yourself in 2014?

via Prompt for December 5 | Project Reverb.

I took up the challenge of making more ASCII art. I have finished a couple of smaller projects, one for a print magazine which didn’t pay after offering $100. Disappointing about the money, more because I would have been a paid ASCII artist, a rare thing.

Next up is creating ASCII art backgrounds for a game. I had planned to have more done, but I’ve at least started. It’s due January sometime.

I need some new challenges. I’ve nearly abandoned most of my sites, even those I really care about and have great ideas for. I need to find new life for them. Hopefully I’ll come up with something that works for me again.

Descriptive ASCII Art – Word Play in Text

somewhererainbowRebus Puzzles, Wordies, Visual Puns, Pictogram Puzzles and Descriptive ASCII

I’ve seen this kind of insight puzzle several times over the years but if I knew the correct name for it I had forgotten. They are called Rebus Puzzles, also known as Wordies. In searching for more of these online I have found them called a variety of names: visual puns, pictogram puzzles and Descriptive ASCII. When people don’t know the name, they come up with something themselves. I like ‘visual pun’ it makes sense.

Some puzzles are straight forward text (like those I’ve added below). Others include pictures and symbols too. There’s probably confusion about describing these styles and labeling them all with the same name.

If you get brain strained and want a different kind of word game, try BookWorm.

roundaboutAdding a New Element to ASCII Art

I like the idea of taking this a step farther as an ASCII art element. I’ve been working on ideas to create wordie puzzles (without pictures, just in text). They are a new element to add to text art. Kind of puzzling…

So far I find I am only thinking along the lines of puzzles which include directional words like “above, over, under, beside”. I think I can take the text puzzles farther once I wrap my mind around the idea of keeping them typed out rather than using graphic software which would let me move the words around the final image.

Maybe no one will understand what I’m talking about there. But, I do and it’s kind of a cool project for “someday”.

descriptiveASCII

alf ASCII Art


|_/|
|o o|----. ,--.
Y/m=__m=/ alf

------ original ------ ------ diddle ------
<alien/ sammy somethingorother>

°·..·° .,.,
(o.o) I come in peace! (o.o)
/m^m //^
nn-nn nn-nn
ilmk ilmk|alf

         |/
        .-*-                    _   _  ___
       / /|          / |> |  |_| |_   |
      _L_             / |> |_ | |  _|  |
    ,"   ".           ====================
( /  O O   /)        a X11 clone of the
 |    _    |/        famous game known as
     (_)  /             dynablaster or
   _/.___,_               bomberman!
  (_/ alf _)

http://xblast.ist.org/

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|---+--+-| _ | + + | _ //
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( /
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Ojo _)----` "Ojo/alf
,-.| ___,-. ,-.| ___,-.
(____) (______/ (____) (______/

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|P || I|
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/__ ' __. SCHILLING ,' _/
`-.1972.-' /_ /

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/ ,-- ( My GOD ! I'm surrounded by Assholes ! )
,' o_o .-------------------------------------'
=' ^ /='
|#|
"""

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. 0123456789ABCDEF the characters (e.g. the letter 'C' has,----------------. the code 43).
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5x |PQRSTUVWXYZ[]^_| shouldn't use any other.
6x |abcdefghijklmno| Also you should see this as a box.
7x |pqrstuvwxyz{|}~ | If you don't then you have to change
----------------' to a fixed-width font (e.g. COURIER).

Stick to these simple rules and you will have more fun in
news:alt.ascii-art

H H AA PPP PPP Y Y BBB III RRR TTTTT H H DDD AA Y Y !!
H H A A P P P P Y Y B B I R R T H H D D A A Y Y !!
HHHH AAAA PPP PPP YYY BBB I RRR T HHHH D D AAAA YYY !!
H H A A P P Y B B I R R T H H D D A A Y
H H A A P P YYY BBB III R R T H H DDD A A YYY !!

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. 0123456789ABCDEF,----------------. Only the characters that you can find
2x | !"#$%&'()*+,-./|. in this box are called ASCII, you
3x |0123456789:;<=>?|| shouldn't use any other.
4x |@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO||
5x |PQRSTUVWXYZ[]^_|| Also you should see this as a box.
6x |abcdefghijklmno|| If you don't then you have to change
7x |pqrstuvwxyz{|}~ || to a fixed-width font (e.g. COURIER).
----------------'|
`----------------' Use only these characters and you will
[alf] have more fun in news:alt.ascii-art

(o)_ Small penguin for signatures
(v)_ (no tag for it for it's too simple)


/@ ~-.
/ __ .- | SuSE chameleon
// // @ alf

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<#V##V###>
V#V##mm m
VV#i#m m m
V#i/m m m
/

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__/U.
(___/~ first attempt at a little dog (sigsized)
l l alf (not rendered, just drawn) Add 2 more legs, if you like..

_
(I) gee, it's six o'clock (somewhere around the world 😉


(____)===O one slam for free

__
-<__7
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~~--____--~~ -Nightshifter/alf
ÿÿÿÿ-Nightshifter

_
/L What, is it really that late??
_/

ww
3ooE Coud it be userfriendly's dust puppy? You need much imagination,
mmmm I think...
JL http://www.userfriendly.org/static/

.ww,
3ooE Slightly improved version.
'mm`
JL

------ original ------ ------ diddle ------

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. | | mbfh/alf.|________|
mbfh


/| /|
/|/_|
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(_ ) (_ )
'',) '',)
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../) ../)
azc / ejm azc / ejm / alf

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on request: |oO`| /.'O /
(lava lamps) o/ o / /_ /
/_ n/

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/ ,-7 /] /] /,-',-
/ /
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`-' .._______,,--' alf

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/ | | | | . | ``--'
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/.alf,'
| | | | Somehow felt like doing an tennis ball...
.,' /
`-.
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O-'oo 7 Quick'n'Dirty Versuch von Wilber, The GIMP.
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alf

,-'^-._alf_,-'"-.,-'-.-"//.,'.,^v^.,'"._,'^._,-'^-.

o"o
/ v own tux try -- not really good 🙁
.l ul

)|_/alf

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_____) )
/______,/ alf

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o0°O°oOo o0°O°oOo o0oO.oOo o0oO.oOo
|Oo0Oo°oO| |Oo0Oo°oO| |Oo0Oo.oO| |Oo0Oo.oO|
(__________)= (__________)= (..)= (..)=
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/ / (
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[________] [________] (
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[________] [________]

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m|,-'mmm.
// |o o|
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| | |
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ASCII Zeichen-Tabelle Die Nummern zeigen den Hex-Code der Zeichen
===================== an (z.B. hat das Zeichen '[' den Code 0x5B).
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
. 0123456789ABCDEF Nur die Zeichen, die in dieser Box zu finden,----------------. sind, werden ASCII genannt; Du sollst keine
2x | !"#$%&'()*+,-./|. anderen verwenden (auch keine Umlaute).
3x |0123456789:;<=>?||
4x |@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO|| Ebenfalls solltest Du das als Box sehen.
5x |PQRSTUVWXYZ[]^_|| Falls nicht, dann musst Du einen Schriftsatz
6x |abcdefghijklmno|| mit gleichen Zeichenbreiten verwenden
7x |pqrstuvwxyz{|}~ || (z.B. ``Courier New'').
----------------'|
`----------------' Verwende nur diese Zeichen und Du wirst mehr
[alf] Spass in news:de.alt.rec.ascii-art haben.

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,'n__n__n__n__n,',' ,'##__//##,','
|________________|' |____________alf
|'

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_______YbalfbdP___8___8_8___8___8_____Yb._8___8_8""____8_______
E N T E R T A I N M E N T

/"_ _ _ / /"_ /
/(/,(/,/< _//"/"( as birthday present for a dear friend 🙂