Statistics Saturday: Friday the 13ths, 2017


Also you have no idea how compelling I found it as a kid that January and October started the same day of the week, as did February and November, unless it was a Leap Year in which case January started the same day as July and February the same day as August. Once more, in retrospect, I understand why everyone in middle school treated me that way.

Source: The Bill James Baseball Abstract, 1986 Edition.

Based on current projections.

Not valid on the Julian calendar.

Does not account for “Mercedonius”, the occasional 22-day month the Romans would sometime stick in the middle of February because they really did not have a clear handle on how to design a good calendar. I mean, they managed to screw up the rule of “leap year every four years” and it took more than a decade before anyone realized, and that isn’t even my joke.

Not counted: all appearances of King Friday The 13th during the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood marathon as I could not find when that’s scheduled.

For 2017: January 1, February 0, March 0, April 0, May 0, June 0, July 0, August 0, September 0, October 1, November 0, December 0.
You suppose we’ll ever get a month that’s nothing but Fridays the 13th? It seems like there’s a lot of room for expansion there. I mean other than November 2016.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index dropped a point today and everyone is hailing it as proof that a sensible diet and regular exercise work.

95

Statistics Saturday: Birdhouse In Your Soul In Alphabetical Order


A a a a a
A a a a a a
A a a a a a a a
A a a

A actually actually after always am
Am ancestry and and
And and angels Argonauts at at
At be beaches bee bee bee bee bee
Bee bells birdhouse birdhouse birdhouse birdhouse
Birdhouse birdhouse birdhouse birdhouse bird-

House birdhouse birdhouse birdhouse
Birdhouse birdhouse blue blue blue
Blue blue blue bluebird bonnet
Bonnet bonnet bonnet bonnet bon-
Net but but but but but but by
By by by by canary
Canary canary canar-
Y canary canary countless doesn’t elect-
Trical filibuster
Fine fine fine fine

Fine fine fired friend friend friend friend friend friend friend friend friend-
Liness from glowing glow-
Ing guardian have I I I I
I’d I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m
I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m if in in
In in in in in in in in in

In in in in in
In in in in in in
In in in infinite inside
Inside in-

Side is it it it it it it
It it it it it’s it’s Jason
Job kept killing L-I-
T-E leave leave leave leaving light
Light light light light like like lis-
Ten little little little little
Little little little lit-
Tle little little little lit-
Tle little longines lot
Make make make make make make
Make make make

Make make me me message must my my my my my
Name near nightlight nightlight
Nightlight not not not not not not not
Not not not note of of off on on
On on on on on on on on one on-
Ly only only only only

Only only
Only only on-
Ly opposite out outlet out-
Let outlet outlet outlet over
Over over over over picture
Point point point point point point primitive

(Put put put put put put really really respect) Rest rocky room
(Say say say say say say) Screaming secret ship-
(Wreck-free shores simple so soul soul soul) Soul soul soul soul soul soul soul soul
Soul soul soul spelled stood story’s switch switch
Switch switch switch Symphonette tell that that the
The the the the the the the the the

(The the the the the the the the the the the the) The the the the
(There’s though to to to to) To to to to too
(Too too too too too vigilantly watch)Es watches watches watches watch-
Es well were which while while while whistles
Who who who who who you you you you you
You’re you’re you’re your your your your your your

[ Editor’s Note: I had some words left over. There shouldn’t have been any, but I wanted to make the syllables come out right and I tried over and over until I got dizzy, and I can’t work out where they should go and I’m sorry. Maybe you can fade out repeating the ‘Make a little birdhouse in your soul’ melody or something. ]

Your your your your your your your your your
Your your your your your your your your your
Your your

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index didn’t change at all today, which everyone agreed would have made Lisa’s crack about a watched index never rising more timely and appropriate so at least that’s got many of the hurt feelings a little less hurt. Or hurt in different ways, which is the best we have anymore.

94

What I’m Thinking About While Telecommuting


I just want someone to reassure me that I’m exactly right in what I’m doing and what I figure to do and anyone saying anything to the contrary is so wrong I don’t have to even answer. Is that too much? Clumsy mention of my mathematics blog reviewing comic strips here.

It's an even split between 'Why are coworkers e-mailing me?' and 'Why aren't coworkers e-mailing me?' but there's also some pondering about whether it's a snow day.
Not depicted: wondering if it’s still funny to write it as “cow orkers” or if that was only something we did in Usenet newsgroup alt.folklore.urban and in the 90s and even then it wasn’t in fact funny but was rather something we all did because we didn’t want to make trouble with the group by pointing out it stopped being funny like the third time anyone used it.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Trading saw the index rise by one point over the course of the day, causing Lisa to joke about how a watched index never rises. Matt then pointed out how the index did rise, even if that wasn’t rising by very much. Then Other Matt offered his comment and long story short only like a quarter of anybody is still talking to anybody else.

94

Statistics Saturday: My Motivation


Source: Mathematical Gazette 54 (February 1970) pages 59-60.

I have as many as twelve motivations, but 'It's Easier Than Explaining Why I'm Not' is probably the surest.
Not depicted: I’m In The Fandom And It’s Too Much Trouble Not To Be; I’m Trying To Avoid Saying ‘No’ Directly To Someone; I’m Curious Where This Will Lead

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose fifteen points today when Another Blog, Meanwhile traders just accepted the pain and cleaned the garage enough to pull the ladder out. No cure for it.

119

Statistics Saturday: What The Full Moon Reveals About You


Source: The C E Hooper Radio Survey of the 2nd of June, 1939.

Werewolf, werebea, weredragon, werecat, weremeerkat, were-oh-were-has-my-little-dog-gone,were-gym-teacher,were-Dave,were-off-to-see-the-wizard,were-robot.
I’m as alarmed as the rest of you by how many people, even ones pure in heart who say their prayers by night, may become someone who can’t distinguish homonyms when the autumn moon is bright. Still, I’m refreshed that we don’t see significant numbers of were-abstract-concepts, like someone who turns out to be a were-supererogatory-behavior or a were-purple or a were-number or something. You’d think you’d see more of that just from how many abstract concepts there are. The only one I can think of even in fiction is Romeo, who spent so much time as a were-4 named “Art”.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index rose sharply as everyone took the what-the-full-moon-reveals-about-you test and more people came out “were-dragon” than even they had secretly hoped. Even Mopey Pete who figured he couldn’t hope to do better than were-hyena and would have been okay with that came out were-sea-serpent and yes, that ranks below were-dragon but it’s still pretty cool, especially if it comes with a bay or major lake to were- in.

129

Statistics Saturday: Problems Occupying Me


How to better my writing; how to get my career advancing again; how to fix the basement steps; (mostly) how to pluralize 'tv series'; and how to get the car clean enough I feel comfortable taking it in for service.
Not included: how to work up the resolution that I should fix the basement steps now and not at some more convenient time like after we’ve moved into a different house with pre-fixed basement steps.

Well, how do you talk about the Rick Berman-affiliated era of Star Trek shows during the many times you have a pressing need to?

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index dropped four points as it became clear that the new George Foreman grill would not, in fact, make everything all right with the world.

96

Statistics Saturday: Art Prompts


  • Dogs in glasses.
  • Raccoons in glasses.
  • I mean eyeglasses.
  • Wearing eyeglasses.
  • Not “in drinking glasses”.
  • Although that would kind of be cool too.
  • So maybe raccoons in drinking glasses wearing eyeglasses.
  • Or any animals in drinking glasses wearing eyeglasses.
  • 3-D glasses would work too.
  • Oh, uh, I dunno, maybe you as a kid doing that Calvin and Hobbes “Let’s Go Exploring” final-ever panel? That’s art, right? I bet that’s art.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index found itself at 103 today and fell into a quarrel about whether the trading floor was suffering from deja vu, from plagiarism, or was just victim of an astounding coincidence. The matter was not settled by press time, but the arguments have got into who was showing disloyalty to who in a bitter fight eighteen years ago so this is sure to turn out well.

103

Statistics Saturday: Twelve Days of Christmas In Alphabetical Order


  1. Calling bird
  2. Drummers drumming
  3. French hens
  4. Geese a-laying
  5. Gold rings
  6. Ladies dancing
  7. Lords a-leaping
  8. Maids a-milking
  9. Partridges in a pear tree, a
  10. Pipers piping
  11. Swans a-swimming
  12. Turtle doves

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Seven points went a-dropping off the Another Blog, Meanwhile index as the trading floor was consumed with the question of: you can’t just prefix “a-” to any old verb, can you? Like, you can’t have drummers a-drumming? Except that sounds all right, and we could make a go of “pipers a-piping”. There must be some limits. You couldn’t have “web developers a-content-managing”, or even “web developers content a-managing”. Except now we can kind of hear that working if the melody were right and that brings us back to spoof versions of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which everyone is afraid to get.

97

Statistics Saturday: Things Found In The ‘Cans And Bottles’ Recycling Bin


  • Styrofoam coffee cup
  • Cherry Coke Zero can
  • Paper coffee cup, half-cup of tea
  • Banana peel
  • Four-day-old newspaper
  • Dr Pepper Cherry Vanilla bottle
  • Bundle of plastic wrapped around itself
  • Oatmeal cookie
  • Paperclip
  • Snow
  • Unmailed, unaddressed Christmas card envelope torn open
  • Sprite Zero Cranberry can

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Analysts say the Another Blog, Meanwhile index was unchanged today because what started out as a casual staring contest turned into a who-can-stay-quiet-the-longest contest, and from there it was a short step to a who-can-hold-their-breath-the-longest contest. In all the contesting nobody got around to doing any trading. No, nobody held their breath long enough to pass out and we’re getting to think that isn’t a thing that can actually happen.

121

Statistics Saturday: Some Words Which Mean Nothing


And which may be safely omitted from nearly all writing.

  • very
  • somewhat
  • basically
  • honestly
  • well
  • impactfulness
  • finarkle
  • nearly
  • antepenultimate
  • essentially
  • not-unjusifiable
  • closh
  • finial
  • presumptive
  • Thworbsday
  • lycopodium [as in powder]
  • stroerbnell
  • conditionally
  • imnay
  • perhaps

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

While the Another Blog, Meanwhile index lost three points, the remaining points were polished and arranged in a more tasteful manner. The result is more aesthetically compelling and makes a grand statement on the design and purpose of systems. It reminds us that the mere accumulation of points is not everything; it is the purpose they are put to which matters. That’s what we’re telling ourselves.

101

Statistics Saturday: The Whole Numbers Zero Through Twenty Ordered By Scrabble Word Value


(Ascending Order)

  • 1. one
  • 1 (tied). ten
  • 3. nine
  • 4. two
  • 5. four
  • 6. three
  • 6 (tied). seven
  • 6 (tied). nineteen
  • 9. eight
  • 9 (tied). eleven
  • 11. five
  • 11 (tied). six
  • 13. thirteen
  • 13 (tied). fourteen
  • 15. twelve
  • 15 (tied). seventeen
  • 15 (tied). eighteen
  • 15 (tied). twenty
  • 19. zero
  • 19 (tied). fifteen
  • 21. sixteen

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Success! The mainstream and the alternate Another Bog, Meanwhile indices managed to finally get their trading desks and trading floors and trading chairs and trading wallpapers and everything in synch and they’ve gotten back together! And they even managed to do it a day they bounced back to 100, which is right where this whole project started. Now we can move ahead forward into a proud future until someone points out that someone, and we’re not saying who, Lisa, misspelled “Blog” in the official stationery.

100

Statistics Saturday: Some Things Besides Pumpkin Spice Which Do Not Ordinarily Contain Pumpkin


  • Steak sauce
  • Lemonade
  • Spiders
  • Newly-manufactured four-door Honda Civics
  • The Paleocene era (66 to 56 million years ago)
  • The first season of The Dick van Dyke Show
  • The British Crown Jewels
  • First-printing Wings albums
  • Stage magic involving hypnosis (non-Halloween-themed shows)
  • Pokemon Peas and Carrots (scheduled release June 2017)

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile Index (alternate) was unchanged over the course of trading today. But it was a different unchanged from the unchanged it was on Thursday when nobody was there. This time they tried all they could to change it and it didn’t budge. Well, they were only halfheartedly trying anyway because of this big secret I can’t talk about but you know now because I wouldn’t say something like that if you didn’t have a good idea what it was. Just saying, but you didn’t hear it from me.

93

Statistics Saturday: Some Unpopular Prime Numbers


  • 1,361
  • 15,460,187
  • 2,029
  • 4,637
  • 6,379
  • 61
  • 613,651,349
  • 647
  • 7,741
  • 715,229,467
  • 8,513

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

You know everybody was happy when the index was sitting at 100. That’s exactly where it started, and then yes we all got a little loopy when it was sitting way above 100 for so long. And everyone was feeling so bad when it dropped below 100 that I thought traders were going to call the whole thing off without losing anything. But no, they had to carry on and now they dropped ten points in the one day. It could be worse, it could be down twelve or even thirteen points but still. Oh, this is just reporting for the alternate index, but you know this whole plan to separate the main and the alternate indices isn’t doing anything for anybody, right?

90

Statistics Saturday: My Ability To Even This Week


Well, on Tuesday I got second place in the pinball tournament.
I mean the last game of the finals match was ugly but it wasn’t groan-worthy ugly.

I still got nothing.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

After both the mainstream and the alternate Indices both dropped three points yesterday they figured this weird synchronization just couldn’t keep on happening. And so the mainstream Another Blog, Meanwhile index dropped a whole six points, figuring for sure they’d lose their copycats this time. And yet that didn’t happen: the alternate index also fell six points, although they say it was an accident from counting the previous day’s three-point dropoff twice, once for the main and once for the alternate.

94

Statistics Saturday: Twelve Typos That Ought To Be English Words


  • puctures
  • gon
  • stor
  • toyble
  • crowbell
  • jeaded
  • gerat
  • hremor
  • denetistry
  • plasteroid
  • etimate
  • lemonal

Here, if you’d like to put in some deserving would-be words of your own, enjoy.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose seven points over the day. Traders are naturally thrilled, not just because they could also say it rose seven percent and be exactly as right. Anyway everyone’s agreed that there’ll never again be a disaster like the index dropping below 100 ever again. So goodness knows what Sunday is going to bring but if it’s 99 it’s going to get so many people acting smug.

107

Statistics Saturday: Major League Baseball Pennants, By League


National League, 140; American League, 115.
As of 2016. Not counted: the Players League, Union League, American Association, and National Association, because come on.

Also omitted: my curious belief that it ought to be “penants” even though that doesn’t look right either.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Index traders wish to remind you that their hypothesis about lower numbers being better has not yet been refuted by anyone and the embarrassed silence among you doubters is starting to show.

90

Statistics Saturday: Final Words In 100 Comics I Read Thursday


  • procedure
  • carpool
  • know
  • mind
  • Corvette
  • you
  • silos
  • rubbish
  • you
  • child
  • end
  • espresso
  • see
  • inventor
  • the
  • Constance
  • idea
  • shade
  • manner
  • home
  • window
  • spineless
  • contactless
  • you
  • adorable
  • deck
  • again
  • guys
  • cards
  • fast
  • here
  • touched
  • grateful
  • shell
  • sir
  • stuff
  • what’s-his-name
  • transferred
  • scores
  • sauvignon
  • confirm
  • so
  • digested
  • whistles
  • again
  • smooch
  • dinner
  • in
  • plate
  • press
  • booths
  • right
  • ball
  • Glorg
  • click
  • Murphy
  • progress
  • another
  • play
  • epilepsy
  • you
  • bullhorn
  • die
  • there
  • the
  • Selfy
  • security
  • Dale
  • bad
  • you
  • winter
  • do
  • know
  • man
  • Frankenswine
  • Richard
  • journal
  • mode
  • statement
  • leave
  • that
  • lane
  • crumb
  • it
  • trumpeters
  • it
  • it
  • guys
  • competitive
  • kilts
  • minutes
  • pepperoni
  • on
  • fries
  • jungle
  • sideways
  • self-explanatory
  • Crunch
  • ball
  • mine

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

All right, five more points down on the index. We can handle this. It wouldn’t even be a big jump tomorrow needed to wipe out all those losses and were we really at a hundred and fifty just last week? Oh gads we were, it was so little time ago, whatever happened? Why did it happen? Why?

113

Statistics Saturday: Contents Of My Phone Numbers


Digit Occurrence (Percent)
0 6.48
1 10.19
2 21.30
3 11.11
4 1.85
5 6.48
6 7.41
7 14.81
8 7.41
9 12.96

Notes On Methodology, which is always the fun part: phone numbers which had the area code changed under them are counted multiple times. The phone numbers I had my first three years as an undergraduate are not included because I don’t remember what they are either. My fourth year as an undergraduate I didn’t get a phone because I figured I could just use the phone for the unread campus weekly I spent all my time working on anyway. The phone number I had when I lived in Singapore is counted too, with the area code of ‘6’ because when I was there there was one area code, ‘6’, for land-line and another area code, ‘8’, for mobile phones and don’t you just love a single-digit area code? Anyway the country code of ’65’ isn’t included because I don’t think it’s fair to include that as part of the phone number. Also I never really felt sure I knew what I was doing dialing internationally back then but I loved putting a ‘+65’ in front of my phone number the couple times I had to share it with anyone then. I once had the phone number 266-0001 and that was great except if I ordered something delivered they thought my callback number was a fake. Also I kept getting calls from the rent-to-own-scam place from someone who gave them a fake number for a couch. I liked the number anyway.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

You see? You see? We just knew there was going to be a collapse. All right, it’s just four measly points and we’d barely even notice them in ordinary circumstances but if things don’t go up tomorrow we’re going to have to cancel so many orders for consumable frivolities.

148

Statistics Saturday: Actual Star Trek: The Next Generation Plots That Sound Like Parodies Of Star Trek: The Next Generation Plots


With thanks to my love for noticing this.

  • Aliens replace Captain Picard with a double who’d be perfect if not for his rousing drunken singalongs in the bar.
  • A historian from the future turns out to be a con artist from the past. Picard decides whether to risk saving a planet suffering from too much static electricity.
  • Data practices how to sneeze. Also he has an evil twin.
  • In an alternate timeline the Federation is doomed, but Guinan and Tasha Yar are great friends.
  • The transporter makes Picard twelve years old while space pirates take over the Enterprise.
  • A planet of extremely white scantily-clad sex partners wants to execute Wesley for tripping over a flower.
  • Worf has a crush on some fish-aliens, one of whom is Mick Fleetwood for some reason. Troi’s Mom hits on a holodeck bartender.
  • Riker’s the lead actor in Dr Crusher’s play! Also maybe crazy.
  • Worf gets dizzy whenever he falls into a parallel universe.
  • Dr Crusher gets a Ferengi scientist killed when she incorrectly diagnoses another alien as being dead.
  • Troi shows Mark Twain around the Enterprise. Picard pretends to lead a San Francisco theatrical company. (Emmy Award-winning episode, for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series.)
  • Worf finds a planet where Klingons and Romulans live together peacefully and puts a stop to that. Data has crazypants dreams.
  • Poker night holds the only key to escaping a spacetime anomaly.
  • Data makes friends with a little alien girl over his Space Ham Radio, so they save her planet.
  • It just so happens nobody had ever asked if Data was a person or a thing before making him third-in-command of the Federation flagship.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index fell three points, then rose three points and dropped another three points, just to see if it could get your attention from all the way over there in your peripheral vision.

129

Statistics Saturday: TV Shows I Remember In Too Much Detail


Shorter list: everything I watched from 1978 through 1991 except _Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future_ and _It's Garry Shandling's Show_.
I am embarrassed to say I do not remember Supertrain in enough detail to include it in this list, but I kind of wish I did.

In my defense, Automan is the coolest show in the world if it is 1984 and you are eleven and don’t see enough TV shows with Chuck Wagner in them.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose nearly nine points, and then topped it off because it seemed like a waste not to take the full ninth point, following intense speculation that one of the traders might win a date with Tad Hamilton! He’s the dreamiest!

127