austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Golden coins, I'll place at your feet

Last Friday was, yes, another playing of ``Pay The Rent'' on The Price Is Right. I had other stuff taking up my schedule since then. This time the prizes were that Udder Care skin cream ($4.99), hair spray ($3.99), salsa ($3.29), pop rocks ($0.69), chocolate shake mix ($1.79), and pineapple chunks ($1.99).

For the base, the contestant picked the candy ($0.69 for the level and the key misstep), then the pineapple chunks and salsa for the first level ($5.28 total), and then the skin cream and shake mix for the second level ($6.78), at which point she should have walked away. But she went on, to the hair spray on the top level ($3.99) and lost it all.

The obvious-to-me winning path is to set the salsa on the bottom level ($3.29), then the shake mix and pineapple chunks ($3.78), then the hair spray and pop rocks ($4.68), and finally the udder cream ($4.99). As best I can tell that's the only way to arrange them to win.

The range in item prices was $4.30. The season ranges have been $10.00, $3.70, $3.90, $3.90, $6.14, $4.30, and now $4.30 again.

The range in level prices was $1.70. The season ranges have been $4.00, $1.50, $1.30, $0.99, $2.00, $1.70, and now $1.70 again, and don't think I'm not mildly disturbed that both item and level ranges were duplicates of last time.

Trivia: The first gold coins minted in the United States were made in the 1830s at a private mint established by Christopher Bechtler, a German immigrant, in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Source: An Empire Of Wealth: The Epic History Of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Forge Of The Titans, Steve White. What I love about Baen Books is how the editors carefully work with the authors to make sure that while every book is in the author's voice, still every character has the perfect ring of sounding like how real people talk. Take this segment, where a retired Naval officer is trying to wheedle out information on a more-secret-than-top-secret project whose ancestor program he was involved in decades ago from an officer who has just pointed out that any security clearance he once had is decades out of date:

``I'm not in the Navy anymore, as you yourself have just emphasized by not even giving me the courtesy title of `Commander' to which I'm technically entitled.''

``You are, however, as subject to criminal penalties under the National Security Act as everyone else. We may be forced to investigate --- ''

``Investigate this!'' Glenn Secrest pointed in the appropriate direction on his own anatomy. ``What are you going to do to me? Not even prison scares me all that much anymore; it's well known that for older men on the inside, homosexuality is pretty much consensual. Fact is, the only threat you can make that really worries me is a threat to the life and sanity of my grandson --- and you're doing that anyway!''

I can't have any doubts the authenticity of a conversation like that.

PS: The Intermediacy That Was Overused, going on to the content of what I was just pouting about earlier.

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