The average amount of change you get from a transaction is 2 pennies, 0.4 nickels, 0.8 dimes, and 1.5 quarters.
The average value of change from a transaction is 49.5 cents, the average number of coins is 4.7
The ratios are 42.55% pennies, 8.5% nickels, 17% dimes, and 31.9% quarters.
The weights of the coins in order are 2.500 g , 5.000 g , 2.268 g , 5.670 g .
The weight of an average coin transaction is 17.3144 g (1 lb is 453.6 grams)
The value of 1 lb of random change is $12.97 ; if like me you generally remove your quarters from the random change, the value of 1 lb of random change without quarters is $6.17 ; in practice it's even slightly lower because so often you're paying a $.99 or $.95 price which gives you the worst coins by weight, the nickel and the penny.
Today I found the Douglass Playground. I was just looking for a little grass to run on (which I still haven't found), but instead found this deserted neighborhood park with dense trees and a really cool sketchy trail that goes up the steep hill to some amazing view spots.
A few days ago it was Cayuga Park. It's a little park down on Alemany in the southern mission, and it's full of these bizarre sculptures and tree-house like things all made of wood and left out to age.
This struck me as a nice example of how our legal system treats white collar criminals. If they'd found a few ounces of drugs he'd be in jail. Instead he loses maybe 10% of his profit; I suppose he'll have to stop bookmaking, though he could probably start right back up in a year or two if he buys a few restaurants for laundry.
I'm in the middle of this giant endeavor to rip all my CDs and then get rid of them. I've done a few hundred and I'm up to "C" and I'm starting to think "WTF am I doing this for". It would be nice to just not have all these fucking things to lug around, but then I have to get some kind of iPod adapter thing for my car and spend a lot of time loading songs on my iPod and all that garbage waste of time. It's just busy work.
I still want to write a nice auto-DJ app. It would scan through your whole music library and analyze all your songs (which would take several days). Analysis would detect the beats and also the "energy level" and "style" of the songs (there are various papers on making estimates of these things with subband spectrum analysis and "timbre" study and so on). Then the user could pick a song to get it started. When that song ended, the autoDJ would randomly pick another song which was close to the original in all 3 attributes, and perhaps beat match and cross fade if the beat structure is clean enough (a lot of rock songs do annoying intros or fade outs that don't match the primary beat, so you wouldn't want to crossfade them). So the autoDJ takes a random walk through your music collection in a way that provides pleasing transitions that stay in the sort of general musical area of the seed song. Anyway, this is like a few weeks work, but WTF is the point?
Addendum : I've found two existing things that are similar to the auto-DJ I described. One is Pandora which appears to be based on a database that's manually marked up by human listeners. The other is MusicIP which has a free Mixer app you can download. They seem to actually do an automatic content-based identification of song "mood". It appears to me that they don't actually run it on your client, but rather identify your songs and look it up in their online database. In my experience there are a lot of problems with MusicIP. It's just not nearly good enough to actually let it just play. It is, however, kind of a fun tool to browse your music collection if it's way too big and you haven't even listened to half of what you have.
Deconstructing. There's a reason why all these classic dishes are "constructed". When you put various ingredients together you create a composed bite which is balanced, the flavors meld, that's what cooking is all about. The real truth is that "deconstructing" is easier for the "fancy" restaurant line-cooking style where they can pre-do a bunch of work and then toss things together on a plate at the end. Deconstructed food is sort of like a minimalist modern art painting - it's a brain-stimulating thing to see once in your life, to make you think about the form, but you ONLY NEED TO SEE IT ONCE.
"Surprising" accent flavors. Chili in chocolate. Lavender in oatmeal. Ginger in hamburger. Yes, yes, it's very surprising and amusing that these strange accents taste okay in places we might not expect. OKAY NOW STOP IT. When I get chocolate, I want a rich deep chocolate taste. If you can do something clever with your cooking to enhance the chocolate experience, that's great, but that takes skill and lots of practice and most people don't do it. Just randomly tossing in green tea or hibiscus or whatever flavor of the month is not well crafted food. Maybe back in like 1970 somebody made a trio of creme brulee's each with a surprising accent flavor and that was cool, but IT'S OVER. Too often this is just a way of taking a poor dish and punching it up, used by chefs who want to make something "gourmet" but are unable to improve the basic quality and taste of the dish.
Other retarded food trends are the super high vertical stack (hello, it looks silly and it just falls apart when I try to eat), the sauce paintings on the plate (meh, this isn't bad, but it's just not hip), foam, the seared scallop (the trend that will not die), and the deluxe versions of ordinary foods like burgers and grilled cheese.
We saw this strange mass of ladybugs. They were all piled on top of each other; it reminded me of the monarch butterflies at Pismo that land on each other in the eucalyptus. I put a photo on my Flickr . I read up a bit on Ladybugs; apparently they do some weird things and I'm not quite sure what they were doing there. They do migrate seasonally chasing an ideal temperature range. The masses of ladybugs in the central valley will migrate up into the high Sierra Nevada, and then come back again. They also fly in this really weird way where they constantly are climbing while flying under power, and then they get too high and go into a coma and free fall until they get back down to a lower altitude where they wake up and repeat the oscillation. Very strange.
Checkers drinking game. Lay out a checker board, but the pieces are shot glasses. One side full of whiskey, the other side vodka (or any two alcohols of different color so you can tell the pieces as usual). Play checkers, and when you jump a piece, you take the opponent's shot. This game is so much better than your normal drinking games in that you drink regularly, it's actually a fun game, and the person who's winning has to drink more which evens out the game.
Indian burrito. Why doesn't this exist? Just take a nice curry, combine with basmati rice and wrap it up in naan bread like a burrito. So delicious and great to-go food. Much much better than the actual Indian to-go foods like samosas which are foul pastey starchy fried heaviness. BTW there a few to-go "hand pie" places in San Francisco which revises the old English tradition of the "pasty" (pronounced pahsty); unfortunatley all the current ones are just not very good so that delicious portable food is not really making a strong comeback yet. (update : I've now learned that Indian Pizza is made at a few places around SF, will have to try that, but isn't Indian food like always pizza? I mean you scoop up some meat and sauce on a piece of bread, that's pizza. Of course that's how the real Burrito was invented as well...)
Oh, and the stupid digital video in "Inland Empire" is really gross awful. It's got tons of that nasty banding that happens when you shoot DV in low light. I don't know if that's just because of the crappy CCD response, or if it's actually the 8 bits of intensity revealing themselves. 8 bits really sucks, especially when you take dark stuff and blow up the contrast and the brightness. Human intensity perception is relative, so the difference between 0, 1, and 2 on an 8-bit image is immense. Now of course film also sucks bad in low light, but it is better, and even when the film shows its limitations, it does it in a pleasing organic semi-random way, rather than the chunky blocky banding that you get from DV. You can just compare the low light scenes of real film in "Days of Heaven" to the modern DV low light stuff to see what we're losing. It's also possible that they fucked it up in processing. I was semi-shocked to find that the classic Avid systems work in 8 bit, and they save intermediate processing to disk in that format, so if you do something like run through a bunch of frames and play with contrast, then run back through and undo it, you can totally destroy your image quality. I believe the newer high end Avids are now 16-bit which sort of makes this okay, but in general in the little exposure I've had to film I've seen a lack of understanding of digital image quality and how to process frames; there's sort of a culture of "if I do this step and it looks good on the monitor it must be right" without thinking about what's happening to the digital value registers and the information you might be losing permanently. Fortunately I believe the scientists have finally gotten the upper hand and we will eventually have full HDR video and editting pathways standard.
I found this thing a while ago about the Alex Singer bike shop. Those old bikes have so many gorgeous little hand-worked touches.
I see my boys Gabriel & Dresden are doing a Halloween show. Ooooo. Being a DJ would be pretty fun, you get to travel the world just going to different party spots, you get paid to do very little and be out at the club, and you're a semi-celebrity in the club scene which has its advantages.
I'm depressed today, maybe partly because I'm in horrible physical pain. Life is a fucking dreary effort, some days are so hard to get through. It really doesn't matter what I do with myself long term, I'm just a miserable fuck of a human being, I'm going to be unhappy and bring unhappiness with me wherever I go.
The NFL has gotten itself in a sucky state. Pretty much no game matters until the AFC Championship game when the Colts and Pats meet, and then the Superbowl won't matter either (not that it has for years).
On the other hand "Flight of the Conchords" is brilliant. I don't even like the songs all that much (I'm not a fan of humor in musical form), but the two guys are hillarious, even just standing casting sideways eyes at each other going, "mmm, mhmm, yeh, yesss".
Anyway, this new movie "The Seeker" seems to have completely removed everything that was charming about the books. It's been moved to the present in America, which totally ruins the charming Britishisms as well as the whole connection to the past and the Arthurian tale. Oh well, even if it was rendered perfectly it wouldn't have been popular and wouldn't be watchable by me anyway, it's one of those things you have to see as a kid, and kids like that are no more.
Saw this "chef" on PBS today absolutely ruining the most beautiful rib eye I've ever seen; it was from Lobel's in New York which has this unreal dark old dry aged beef. Looks like the going price for good beef now is around $40/pound or more. LOL ? It's certainly true that people are better off than ever they were in the past, but at the same time there are these very simple good things, like clothing that's tailored and hand-made specifically for you, or grass fed organic meat, or real fresh eggs - things like that which everybody had in the past when they were cripplingly poor are now so expensive that many people in industrialized societies have them not ONCE in their lives.
I'm even more upset that I've eaten at a number of these places in my youth before I realized what was going on. When you're young or dumb, you can easily get sucked in by all the "buzz" that they create with all the other dumb socialites saying how great it is, and you think you have to go and appreciate it, and if you don't think it's anything special it's just because your taste buds aren't sophisticated enough.
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