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What could this possibly mean??
What could this possibly mean??

5 weird things I saw in Vegas

I've been to Las Vegas more times than I can count, and I've seen my share of crazy Vegas stuff (I’m talking about you, Hangover Doctor). But on this winter’s trip, I went in with a new attitude: no work, only play and a let-it-come-to-you attitude I’ve never tried in Sin City.

I guess by making this list, I’m technically doing a little work after this vacation, but it’s fun to think back on the weird Vegas stuff I saw. Obviously, this city is meant for weirdness, and you can find it in hundreds of different ways. Here’s just a little of what I saw:

1. Secret pizza

Don't see the secret pizza? That's because it doesn't have sign. Go here and turn left, then right into that unmarked hallway with the records on it.

Hidden in a hallway by Marquee at the Cosmopolitan, you can find a secret pizza restaurant. Since it has no actual name or sign, look for the long lines at weird hours – it’s open about 18 hours a day. In fact, I ordered some secret pizza a few years ago around 4 a.m. (kinda hazy memory), and this year I wanted to go back. The big pieces are sold by the slice, and even when the line is somewhat short, it takes a pretty long time. Don’t even bother trying to find a seat, because there aren’t any. I guess it’s not much of a secret anymore, but it kind of is, right? It’s definitely weird.

2. Titanic-themed slot machines

I don’t know, it seems a little weird to name a slot machine after a tragedy that claimed the lives of 1,517 people. Technically, the slot machine is referring to the movie, and yes, the sinking took place 100 years ago, but it feels pretty morbid to cheer when you spin up three icebergs. What’s next, a Pearl Harbor Day slot? Too soon?

2. High-end boutiques that stay open really late

(PHOTO: Wynn Las Vegas)

It’s 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, and you’re ambling through the Wynn or Caesar’s Palace after playing some Titanic slots and drinking free mini cocktails. Seems like the perfect time to buy a $16,000 Pa…

Entertaining and crude, and a little confusing.

Listen to the Packers-Cowboys game called by drunk, NSFW Australians

I don’t entirely know what we’re watching here, but I do know it’s funny and extremely inappropriate.

I guess these mock commentators – named Azzarati and Peter Prostate – started calling games last year. All I know is that they are more entertaining than Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Give this a listen, but probably not at work.

It's not that hard to separate the real from the fake if you slow down and pay attention.
It's not that hard to separate the real from the fake if you slow down and pay attention.

Let's talk about "fake news"

I’m very concerned about the problem of "fake news" and what it means for journalists, politicians and the media-consuming public.

But, really, this isn’t a new concern of mine. For many years, I’ve battled with the concept that the internet is always right.

Increasingly so, it isn’t. Actually, it’s wrong an awful lot.

In 1998, when Jeff Sherman and I launched, we chose a digital platform not just because we had a crystal ball for the future of media. We also couldn’t afford to print a magazine and city guide; at the time, it was much cheaper to build a website.

Of course, the opposite is now true for us. Our infrastructure, from servers to programmers to designers to bandwidth, is a tremendous expense for our company. At our scale, it would’ve been much cheaper to print OnMilwaukee on newsprint.

However, this was back in the Internet stone age – we built OnMilwaukee from the ground up, before WordPress and other templatized options made it easier to publish something professional-looking. In fact, even as we grow revenue and readership, people still often compare us both to one-person and 1,000-person operations, because the perception is that all online media is basically the same.

That would be like comparing a major daily newspaper to a photocopied neighborhood newsletter. They’re obviously nothing alike.

However, the problem of fake news takes advantage of this perception of homogeneity. At OnMilwaukee, we hire professional journalists and insist on integrity and quality. We don’t always get it right, and while some assume we have a secret politicized agenda, I can tell you honestly that we do the best we can to present well-written, legitimate lifestyle news. We fact check and follow the rules like we learned in journalism school.

Not everybody does.

Some news organizations find themselves too short-staffed to do the great work they used to (see: the Journal Sentinel). Others assume that "first" trumps "best" (see: …

Broken back or otherwise, Larry will still don a ridiculous wig to back the Pack.
Broken back or otherwise, Larry will still don a ridiculous wig to back the Pack. (Photo: CBS58)

Friends host fundraiser for seriously injured Larry Hansen

There’s a good chance that you don’t know Larry Hansen. But we at OnMilwaukee do.

Alongside his wife, Linda, Larry was an instrumental figure in the early days of our business. Through his company, Nitro Digital Studios, Larry produced our first radio and TV commercials, back in 1999. He supported our vision, even when most people didn’t understand it. He opened doors for us, and pushed us to think big. And he never charged us a cent.

On Dec. 8, friends of Larry – and there are lots of them in Milwaukee – were devastated to hear that he was injured in a horrendous and freak accident by a presumed drunk driver. While working on his car in his Okauchee garage, the driver flew off Highway 16 and pinned him. Five surgeries and 42 pints of blood later, Larry has lost one leg, has a broken back and faces more surgeries to come.

And yet he keeps smiling.

This Friday, Larry’s friends are organizing a fundraiser to help pay for some of his upcoming expenses. A friend already started building a wheelchair ramp at his house, and this fundraiser will help even more.

You’ll notice that I don’t have any quotes from Larry or Linda in this short piece. So many of us have respected their privacy and left them alone during this incredibly difficult time, but I did learn a few things from a CBS58 report on his progress. Linda told the station she and Larry have heard the outpouring of support and donations. His life will forever be changed, but Larry will get through this.

Even before the accident, I would tell anyone who asked that Larry is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. And even though he would never ask for it, he could use our help.

The fundraiser is this Friday, Jan. 13 at the American Legion Post #399, N50 W34750 Wisconsin Ave. in Okauchee. It begins at 6 p.m. If you can’t make it, please consider a donation through the Legion Post directly.