Support me on Patreon

Help support my work through Patreon.

I’ve launched a Patreon.com page to garner support from people who appreciate my contributions. I offer several rewards for patrons.

See my new page on Patreon.com I launched today where I offer rewards to supporters including Twitter follows and shout-outs; ability to offer a topic for a future Stoic Philosophy podcast; a monthly Google Hangout; and a monthly one-on-one discussion. Your monthly support — allowing me to better improve the audio quality of my podcasts and appearances & produce more content — would be appreciated. You can also support me through Paypal with one-time and monthly donations.

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Offers for [local] friends – food, drink, and exercise

$829 profit from a January No Limit Texas Hold 'Em session - my initial cash on hand of $1540 grew.
$829 profit from a January No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em session – my initial cash on hand of $1540 grew.

Join me in 2015 for free food and drink at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs & exercise at Planet Fitness in Kingston, PA.

Via Facebook, I have invited local friends to join me for free food and drink and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs & have also extended invitations for people to accompany me at Planet Fitness in Kingston, PA, but have yet to explain the details in a blog post.

Since late 2011, I have been purchasing deals on ReferLocal.com which grant food gift certificates and free play at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The best deal, for Rustic Kitchen, offers $25 in free play and $25 in food for $25. I use the free play to play Jacks or Better video poker and through optimal play (see my YouTube series for more information) receive 97.65% [the game returns 96.15% and my credit card rewards award 1.5%] of my investment back (or lose 2.35%) in the long-run excluding additional promotional offers. I consider the food gift certificates to be worth far more than the 2.35% lost — $2.35 for every $100 invested — so view the ReferLocal deals as excellent deals.

Although the ReferLocal.com deals are limited to two deals per person per account per month, ReferLocal allows gifting of deals which enables me to go with friends. I make the initial investment (there’s no cost for you/you don’t have to purchase the deals), coach video poker, split food, and split profits past my initial investment with friends who accompany me. As an added perk, new players to Mohegan Sun and people new to ReferLocal.com can get an additional $20 in free play through a referral and new player bonus which allows for an even more profitable session.

Deals typically alternate — in the Spring — between Timbers buffet at Rustic Kitchen – one each month. Although the Timbers deal only grants $20 in free play, it’s still a great deal because it offers two buffets for what is essentially a low cost of about $3.09 per buffet when considering the return from video poker.

Since I have regularly been playing Texas Hold ‘Em at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, I have attained the Leap membership status which allows me to obtain unlimited energy drinks & alcohol/mixed drinks including wine. Friends who accompany me may use my Leap perk and even bring the drinks into casino restaurants.

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planetfitness.com

I recently attained a Black Card membership at Planet Fitness in Kingston, PA where I have been regularly exercising  during afternoon hours. This membership allows me, at no cost to the guest, to bring a guest to exercise while I am exercising/checked in to the gym. Planet Fitness offers cardio machines, strength training/building machines, and much more. Guests may also utilize the private showers, locker room, and everything Planet Fitness has to offer save the Black Card Spa.

If you’re interested in joining me at either Planet Fitness or Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, please contact me (e-mail justinvacula [at] gmail [dot] com or message via Facebook) for more information and to set a time during which we can meet. I’ve taken dozens of people to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs who used the ReferLocal deals coupled with my video poker coaching and have received excellent feedback.

 

 

Year in review, job change

12/21/14 No Limit Texas Hold 'Em session lasting about fice hours ended with a $368 profit - $1500 grew to $1868.
12/21/14 No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em session lasting about five hours ended with a $368 profit – $1500 grew to $1868.

I reflect upon some highlights of 2014 in both my personal and activist life & discuss some changes taking place for 2015.

2014 included many milestones: I purchased a car; obtained my driver’s license; left my hometown to live more independently in a shared house; lost about 40 pounds through exercising; completed two more semesters of graduate school; reached a two year work anniversary; and excelled in both online and casino No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em play following considerable study, play, and focus.

Although some have doubted my ability to profit from playing poker, I’ve had considerable support and have demonstrated that I am a winning player through online results. If I can excel in online play — a more competitive environment with more skilled players compared to casino players — I will excel in casino play as I have been during my last month of play spanning almost 175 hours.

Following many attempts to advertise on County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) buses, an advertisement promoting the NEPA Freethought Society — a Northeastern Pennsylvania group of secular freethinkers I lead — was accepted and displayed thanks to supporters. I challenged government-led prayer at Wilkes-Barre City Council meetings and provided a secular invocation during a council meeting. I again protested the annual National Day of Prayer event held on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. I attended and reported on the James Randi Educational Foundation’s Amazing Meeting thanks to supporters.

My work with the Arc of Luzerne County’s Transition to Community Employment (TRACE) program — an initiative to prepare adult learners who have intellectual and developmental disabilities for the workplace — has been especially rewarding and meaningful. I especially enjoyed attending and speaking, as an Arc of Luzerne County Employee, at the Pennsylvania Disability Employment and Empowerment Summit (PADES) event in Harrisburg.

I’m resigning from my position with TRACE to play poker, dedicate time to exercising at a local gym, and continue pursuing my Mental Health Counseling degree which would interfere with my [TRACE] work schedule.

I would like to thank students I worked with in the TRACE program since its inception in 2012 for their cooperation and motivation which easily made my job the best I ever had. I’d like to thank co-workers/staff for their assistance and dedication. Keep in touch.

As always, feel free to comment below and check back for happenings in 2015. Have a happy new year!

Photo albums compiled, organized

Justin Vacula and Pastor Dan Nichols
Justin Vacula and Pastor Dan Nichols

This weekend, I spent several hours compiling and organizing digital photographs taken between 2009 and 2013.

While you may not be interested in my personal life, photos unrelated to this blog, you can enjoy memories I have revisited spanning back to 2008. You may even be in some of the pictures!

If you have any photos which should be included on my Facebook page, but are not, please leave comments on this blog with links. I would highly appreciate contributions.

All of the photos are public in the following albums — some of them listed below — I have complied:

Activism – 75+ photos related to my public speaking engagements, debates, discussions, and protests in addition to church/state complaints I have pursued, newspaper articles, and even some holiday cards I received from Christians

Ireland, Manchester, Philly, EWTS 2013 – 115+ photos relating to my conference reporting and journey to the Empowering Women Through Secularism conference in Dublin which was made possible by gracious donors

with Atheist Alliance International President Carlos Diaz in Dublin, Ireland
with Atheist Alliance International President Carlos Diaz in Dublin, Ireland

2013 Freedom From Religion Foundation annual conference + Madison – 60+ photos relating to my conference reporting and journey to the Freedom From Religion Foundation annual conference in Madison which was made possible by gracious donors

Women in Secularism 2 + Washington D.C. – 25+ photos relating to my conference reporting and journey to the Women in Secularism 2 conference which was made possible by gracious donors

Reason Rally, AA 2012 – 69+photos relating to my VIP experience at the 2012 Reason Rally [I sat in the VIP section using a special pass I won from a contest] and American Atheists’ 2012 annual conference in Bethseda

 

Speaking at 2012 PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference
Speaking at 2012 PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference

PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference events – 30+ photos from the 2012 Harrisburg conference I spoke at and the 2013 Philadelphia conference I attended

2012 Secular Student Alliance annual conference – 5+ photos from the Columbus conference I spoke at [Where are the other photos? There should be many more…]

Also enjoy…

Dungeons and Dragons – 80+ photos (I wish I had taken many, many more, but the future should allow for many more when, hopefully, I become more active with the release of D&D Next/5e)

Photoshops, parody, fun – 65+ photos, many of which include photos originally appearing in the Slymepit in which I have been photoshopped

Photoshop of various Freethought Blogs writers created by Reap Paden
Photoshop of various Freethought Blogs writers created by Reap Paden

Food and Drink – 105+ photos, many of which include a sample of the [free] food I have eaten at casinos in recent years thanks to amazing deals on ReferLocal.com and elsewhere

Hire me as a proofreader! – 35+ photos of menus, signs, and other items which are in dire need of correction

Scrabble – 20+ photos…but there should be many more of games I have played in. I haven’t captured a photo of every game I played since I started to become a serious player in 2009. I would classify myself as a high-scoring intermediate player although some think I am an expert. I play a good game, often reaching 375-400 points, but I have lists to memorize before jumping into a new bracket classification.

NEPA BlogCon, BlogFest events – A mere 15+ photos of semi-annual/annual gatherings in Northeastern Pennsylvania. There should be many more photos.

Informed gambling – 30+ photos of my gambling exploits

TRACE – 75+ photos in relation to the Transition to Community Employment program, hosted by The Arc of Luzerne County, in which I work

 

Photo with Huntress' vocalist Jill Janus
Photo with Huntress’ vocalist Jill Janus

2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival – 110+ photos of a metal festival I attended in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I really enjoyed seeing Huntress, one of my favorite bands, perform live. I met members of Huntress, Amon Amarth, and other groups.

Chicago Airport – 20+ photos

Pennsylvania Counseling Association conference 2013 – 40+ photos

As always, feel free to leave comments below – especially if you have pictures which should be included in the above linked albums. Consider also adding me as a friend on Facebook, leaving comments on individual pictures, tagging people, and ‘liking’ photographs/albums. Enjoy.