Yearly Archives: 2018

It is finished.  Finally.

I am ready to submit my research paper on bidding strategies for the Showcase Round on The Price is Right television show.  I have been working on this problem for over two years and I started writing text and preparing figures eight months ago.  And I also had to learn LaTeX, a mathematical document typesetting language.  I plan to submit my paper to the open-access MDPI Games Journal on Monday.

My paper will be peer-reviewed at no cost to me but, if it is accepted for publication, I may or may not have to pay MDPI an “article processing charge” of about $530.  There is some doubt as to whether the APC will be subsidized by Knowledge Unlatched, a collective effort of international libraries to support and encourage open-access research.

Open-access is important.  Lacking university library affiliation, it was hard for me to do a proper literature search on the Showcase Round problem.  I believe I did find most of the relevant work, but who knows, an obscure paper in the Albanian Journal of Mathematics may have solved this problem years ago.  Open access = shared knowledge = anti-elitism.

If MDPI accepts my paper for publication but my article processing charge is not covered, I suppose I will pay for it myself.  In for a dime, in for a dollar, my brother-in-law says.

Below is an image of the first page of my 24-page paper.  You can read the rest of it here. You can also use my online showcase bid calculator to review your own bidding strategies, in case you are lucky enough to be a contestant on The Price is Right.

As for me, I’m ready to start painting again!

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Bedtime Prayers

My spouse and I just compared our childhood bedtime prayers.  I find that hers were much more humane than mine, and they reflect the differences in our personalities.


Father we thank Thee for the night
And for the pleasant morning light
For rest and peace and loving care
And all that makes the world so fair.

Help us to do the things we should,
to be to others kind and good.
In all we do in work or play
To grow more loving every day.

God bless… (list of names)


Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul shall keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul shall take.

God bless… (list of names)

I remember rushing through my prayers to get it over and done with, and I never thought about the meaning of the words I was reciting until years later.  But the interesting part, the freestyle section if you will, was the “God bless” verse.  That part didn’t have to rhyme and you just had to name people.  Of course, the names of the blessed also became rote.  For me, it went like this:

God bless Mommy and Daddy
and Aunt Pearl and Elaine
and please make me a good boy Amen.

Amen followed boy like tail follows dog.

There must have been one night that turned out to be the last night I recited this prayer.  Maybe it was this night, November 3, in the year 1959 or 1960 or 1961, who knows.

What I can say is, the good boy may be gone but my soul is still here.  Amen.

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With the emphasis firmly on not at all, I am not at all interested in…

• Owning or petting a pet, whether dog or cat.

• Cruise vacations, whether ocean or river.

• The Kardashians, Kayne West, Gwyneth Paltrow and other so-called influencers.

• The Academy Awards’ Best Picture, the Grammy Awards’ Best Recording, the Tony Awards’ Best Play, and the Country Music Awards’ Entertainer of the Year.

• Crewing on someone’s sailboat (as if they would ask me).

• Whether it was Laurel or Yanny, or white-and-gold vs. black-and-blue.

• Playing the slots (or anything else) at a casino.

• The local symphony orchestra (wherever local may be).  Even in a casino.

• The Property Brothers.  Or their personal-grooming products.

• Church.  (I would attend an AME Zion service if they would just let me sit in the balcony and listen — and yes, that would be a contradiction.)

• What will befall Roseanne now that Roseanne is no longer on the show and what will befall Today with Megyn Kelly now that Megyn is no longer on the show.  Let me guess, not that I am interested in either outcome.

• Nor am I at all interested in basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, college football,  NASCAR, or competitive hot-dog eating.

• Or Mike Pence’s self-imposed marital fidelity guidelines.

• Or Fresh Air with Terry Gross and whoever her guest is.

• Or iPhone sizes, features, resolutions, or…

• Where my chicken comes from.

• Watching glaciers fall into the ocean on a ship off the coast of Alaska.

• Standing in line for almost anything, including Disney World.

• Whether my non-existent gun collection will be confiscated by the government.

• Investing my time in people who aren’t very interested in returning the investment.

• Whatever Trump has to say, especially when he is called upon to be truthful or sincere.  But just about every other time as well.

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