Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Fools Piggy Bank

13 Dollar Saturday

It was about 10:30 P.M. when I was starting to play at the Lilly Pad.

2 and a half hours later, I had 13 dollars and would pick up a can of 77 cent cat food, and throw a dollar on a "Pick 3" lottery ticket, and then ride home, glad to have averaged $5.20 an hour playing music.

I would give Rose and Ed 5 dollars towards the TV that they sold me, leaving a balance of $35.

Musings On The Lottery


My number, if I can say I have one is: 427.

This number has meaning to me in a sense, having to do with April 27th, 1984 and the "religious" experience that I had on that day on acid at a Grateful Dead show.

I am a non player of the pick 3 number, as much as a player. I very often gamble that the number will not be 427, and when a different number comes up, I feel as if I have won the dollar that I hadn't wasted on a ticket.

Fri, Sep 16, 2016     > 4 9 7

Yesterday's number, one digit off...

I did some research on my number. 

The last time it came up, according to the website, was December 2, 2009. 

This was 2,482 days ago. The "odds" are that my number should have come up 2 and a half more times since then.

But the strange thing about gambling is that, despite the fact that the number hasn't come up in almost 2,500 days and thus, through fallacious reasoning, is "due" to come up (soon?) the actual odds are that it only has 1 chance in 1,000 to come up today.

Despite the fact that I might feel that "it has to come up sooner or later," it is possible that I could be reading, 5 years from now, an article about "the enigmatic pick 3 number that hasn't come up in more than 12 years!"

The brutal reality about the lottery is that, the payout to the winner who beats 1,000 to 1 odds against him is $500.  I liken that to the state of Louisiana approaching me with a coin and saying: "Let's gamble: If it is heads, I win; and when it is 2 tails in a row, well, then you win..."

That is skewed so far away from the bettor, as to make a fool of him.

The only good I can see in the lottery is that it is potentially a way; a very lousy one; of setting aside some money. If the thing were to conform to the probabilities and statistics at play; then the guy who buys a one dollar ticket every day, religiously, would be blessed, every 1,000 days with a $500 winning ticket. Thus, the guy who might find it impossible to consistently save money, can hope to do so through the agency of the pick 3 lottery; albeit at a cost of 50% of what he "invests" in it.

Had I gotten that idea on December 3, 2009, and started playing my number, though, I would now have "invested" $2,482.00 into the $500 winning ticket that I would still be waiting for. And would be feeding a dollar every day into a piggy bank that is on schedule to give me 20 cents of it back, should the number come up tonight.

That being said, the lottery is a shameless hustle by the state.

 But, it is kind of a poor man's way to save money; the same way that a car title loan is a poor man's way to borrow it...


alex carter said...

Since you've got me blocked from commenting, you might as well remove me from your "blog list" since I've cleared my blog anyway.

alex carter said...

OK now that I've come as close to taking my blog down as the internet will let me do, I can post on here again.

Fine. In your case your blog is a vehicle for begging, and so it has a use. Also, posting about busking conditions in a place like New Orleans, where everyone wants to busk, is fine because in a sense, you're not giving away any secrets. But in my case, in a city that only tolerates buskers, and really likes beggars more, a blog about my busking exploits is kind of "giving away the farm". Kind of like, I don't exactly have a blog all about all my electronics surplus sources and all kinds of insider information on that ....

In any case, apparently the internet will only let me comment on your blog if I don't have one going of my own. That's OK with me.

Daniel McKenna said...

Blogger wasn't letting me post any pictures the other day; and there is a guy in here once a week "cleaning up" the computers.
Not being able to get comments at times might be the price that I pay for having pictures of black guys screwing white girls blocked from popping up out of nowhere when I'm trying to write.

I wouldn't consciously block anyone from commenting, so it wasn't me...

You could rededicate your blog to another subject; change the title of it, perhaps....of course you would still have links to buskers in the side bar...

My blog isn't (supposed to be) about anything except my unique perspective; nothing really happens a lot of days; but hopefully my "take" on the events will be a Seinfeld episode; a whole story spawned from a triviality.
But, also, I consider condensing it from 70,000 pages down to 700 some day and shaping it into a memoir; but I haven't settled on a solid purpose for it. I would argue that if it was a "vehicle for begging" I would at least put a PayPal button on it...and might print up business cards to keep at my busking spot...

When the rare person walks up and say's "I read your blog, and I wanted to meet you," then winds up giving me 20 or 50 bucks, then, sure, it is because of the blog, but the person also knows how much I will appreciate that amount of money from the blog.

It's like someone who hands money to a guy who looks homeless and say's "You look like you could use this." Are his clothes a vehicle for begging?

Daniel McKenna said...

@Alex in California: You can go from the dashboard, to "settings" and the "other" and see a "delete blog" button, right next to a "back up blog" one...

alex carter said...

I'll keep on my quest for the "delete blog" button but I'm still convinced it does not exist. The end result is I have a few dead blogs floating around out there with nothing on them.

I guess a raggedy-ass homeless person's clothes ARE a vehicle for begging, because I've met tons of homeless people who don't look homeless. It's a trade-off. There's more to be made begging than in working a regular job, but the trade-off is that if you look homeless, you can't use most bathrooms, getting things as simple as drinking water is hard, and now you have to beg for a lot of things normal-looking people get for free. For instance, there are no drinking fountains in San Jose. And bottled water is expensive. The end result is, that beggar asking for a dollar for water is probably doing just that, to get water that adds up to $8 a gallon. On the "homeless expense plan", milk adds up to $12 a gallon in this town. It's a good thing begging pays well, I guess.

alex carter said...

OK I've just checked and this "delete blog" thing you speak of does not exist.