Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Math

I am overly fond of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s kind of a problem. They’re one of my weaknesses, one of the foods which cause me to lose most of my self-control: if there’s a stash of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups residing at my house, I will eat them. All of them. In one sitting (or pretty close to it).

Anyway, naturally I like to get the best deal on my peanut butter cups, so tonight when I went to the store, I studied my options. (I looked only at the regular-sized peanut butter cups, not the puny bite-sized ones: those don’t have a high enough peanut butter to chocolate ratio.) There were four different choices:
  • A tray of 8 individually-wrapped peanut butter cups for $1.39
  • A tray of 6 two-packs of peanut butter cups for $3.89
  • A bag of 14 peanut butter cups for $2.69
  • A “snack box” of 24 peanut butter cups for $4.29
I did the math, and determined the price per peanut butter cup for each option (rounded to 4 decimals):
  • 8-pack: $0.1738
  • 12-pack: $0.3242
  • 14-pack: $0.1921
  • 24-pack: $0.1788
By these calculations, it looks like the 8-pack would be the best value. However, when I looked more closely, I saw that the peanut butter cups, although all labeled as “snack size,” were not the same size at all. Some of them were 15 grams, some were 21 grams each. Here's how it broke down:

Package Single
8-pack 15 124 1.39 0.0112
12-pack 21 255 3.89 0.0153
14-pack 21 297 2.69 0.0091
24-pack 15 374 4.29 0.0115

And the winner is... the bag!

I found it interesting that in no circumstance was the "snack box" the best value.

Just for kicks, I bought both a bag and an 8-pack, so I could compare the two sizes. Here they are in their wrappings:


With a Lego minifig for comparison:


I cannot yet say which tasted better. To me, they were both delicious. I will admit, however, that the 15-gram peanut butter cup did look better, but maybe that's because it was better packaged, and not knocked around as much as the one from the bag.

*The package weight is according to what was printed on the package, not according to mathematical calculations.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Life Tip

Don't leave your water bottle and the (open) bottle of Elmer's Glue sitting right next to each other on your desk.

You're welcome.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Plaque in the Park

I noticed this plaque while walking through the park:

The text reads:

AUGUST 20, 1980




It's a rather interesting plaque. I thought it unfortunate that it was in such an awkward location, just stuck in the grass in the north-west corner of the park:

When I got home, I looked up the names on the plaque, and found this news story:

Utahns pay tribute to MLK and two killed in racial slayings

I hope other people notice this plaque too. Maybe someday they'll move it to a more visible location.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It's kind of interesting to me how many people in my life have called me a freak. Most of my friends and several of my co-workers have done so at one point. I don't really mind being called a freak, because by definition it's true:


1. any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly; aberration. (from

I can tell you, I am definitely abnormal. There are parts of me that are normal, sure--I am a woman, I like chocolate, I need 8 hours of sleep a night, I have no idea what I'm doing with my life, etc. But overall, I'm not normal. Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me can tell you this.

Most of the time, I feel like this:

(Yes, probably the "everyone else" bubble should be bigger. :o)

I've asked other people if they've ever felt like this, like they are just completely apart from society, from every other human in existence, and no one that I've talked to ever has. Maybe it's just a hyper-awareness of my different-ness? I have things in common with some people, sure, but I am never part of any group. I never fit. I never belong. And 99.99% of the time, my brain connections/thoughts make little sense to those around me*.

I'm not saying this as a sob story, because I've been this way my whole life, and it's nothing new, and I'm not sad about it, I just find it interesting. And yes, I think we all feel alone in some ways. I'm not talking about feeling alone. I'm talking about feeling distinct. Abnormal. Anomical. Aberrational. Set apart. That's me.

So what is the point? I don't really know. Everyone's an individual. Everyone's unique. But not everybody feels that way every moment of every day.

It is ok to call me a freak. I consider it a compliment.

The end.

*If you are reading this and thinking, "But you've said stuff that makes sense to me!", that's probably because I've said the stuff that sort of makes sense, and said it in a way that others could understand it. The real thought was either never expressed, or failed in the attempt.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My New Alarm Clock

I usually wake up in the morning between 4-6am, depending upon when Anya decides she wants food. I don't mind so much that she wakes me up so early, but the manner in which she wakes me up is definitely problematic:

Next to my bed is a cabinet, and next to the cabinet is a bookshelf, and Anya likes to jump onto either one of them and knock stuff to the floorstuff like a bag full of coins or a bottle of lotion. The resulting crash wakes me up, and Anya's purpose is fulfilled.

Recently, I've been placing a pillow atop the cabinet and bookshelf so that Anya can't jump onto them. So far, it's working. The only problem is that Anya started going to the other side of my bed, where there is my piano (electronic keyboard), and then a table upon which sit my metronome, piles of papers, an eraser, a pair of headphones, etc. In other words, it's another perfect place for Anya to knock things onto the floor.

Then I got an idea.

Before I went to bed one night, I turned on the piano. In the morning when Anya traipsed across it on her way to the table, her steps were amplified into some rather interesting chords, and I woke up right away. Success!

Now I turn on the piano every night before I go to bed. It makes me laugh to wake up to my cat walking across the keyboard, and it's much more pleasurable than having her knock my belongings to the floor or attack my face (another favorite wake-up method). I guess it's kind of an expensive alarm clock, as far as alarm clocks go, but so far it's working well for me. :o)