Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Dec 12, 2010

NFL picks week 14

First, I apologize for forgetting to post my week 13 picks. I don't think anybody will doubt me when I say that I went 2-3. Here they were, for the record:

SF +9.5 -110 l
Cin +6.5 -110 w
Dal +5.5 -110 w
Ariz +3 105 l
TB +3 -125 l

That puts my season to date record at 24-27-1, and dropped me to 5th out of 6 places in a contest I'm in. ROI is -10.0%.

As if anybody cares, here are my week 14 picks.

NE -3 +110
NYG -3 EV
Atl -7.5 EV
Mia +5.5 -110
SF -5.5 -105

Comments

Wizard
Wizard Dec 14, 2010

First, the NYG pick should not count, despite the fact that they won 21-3. The change of venue resulted in all original bets being cancelled, which I think should be the case here too. That is how it was scored in the contest I'm in as well. So, not counting that one I still went 4-0. Yeah for me!

Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces Dec 15, 2010

I went to the game. It was more like a Giants home game than a Vikings one.

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Dec 02, 2010

Speaking of Crazy EBay users

I've mentioned a number of times that I'm a devout license plate collector. There is an auction right now for the three license plates used in Smokey and the Bandit. Not only am a license plate fan, but I admit that Smokey and the Bandit is a guilty-pleasure movie of mine. I'd be proud to display them in my house, but geez is the price high already. And there are still two days to go.

Somebody talk some sense into me, I'm tempted to bid.

Comments

Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba Dec 02, 2010

Pros:

It could be a good investment. I have no idea what the market value of this set would be. Is the reserve well below this amount?





Cons:

Based on the photo, they are not in very good shape. The real gem is "Bandit's" Trans Am plate, but it looks rusted out. Can the damage be stopped/reversed without spoiling the value?

** I would be surprised if this is the only set of plates. There were multiple cars used in the movie(s). So I would not be surprised if multiple sets of plates exist. This will affect resale pricing.

Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba Dec 02, 2010

According to Wikipedia, there were three Trans Ams used in the movie.



A Trans Am that may or may not have been in the movie, but was owned by Burt Reynold's is in a museum in Deadwood, South Dakota The picture on the website shows a partial front plate, but I couldn't make it out.

AZDuffman
AZDuffman Dec 02, 2010

The GA Flag Plate is nothing special, you could buy a nicer one easily though it is a cool-looking flag plate. (AZ flag plates are coolest IMHO.)



Is there a TX Plate missing? From watching "Dallas" as a kid I thought TX has front plates.



On the pro side, you could buy them then get on TV taking them to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop................

Wizard
Wizard Dec 02, 2010

That is a valuable comment about the three Bandits, thanks. It is hard to tell what is on the front of the South Dakota one, but that is where the GA flag plate would have been, which I'm sure is very common. Regarding the condition, the supposed real license plates are just movie props. I'm sure they made them look a little beat up deliberately. The Bandit plates should have looked a little dirty from driving from TX to GA and back at high speed (or did they start in GA?) That fact that they are props also makes me worry there may be others floating around. They could also be more easily counterfeited than a legitimate license plate. Even if they were real, and I bought them, the additional degree of separation between me and the original owner would cause others to doubt the authenticity, depressing the resale value.



Pursuant to my last blog entry about fraud on EBay, I'm always seem people auction the license plate that was supposedly on the Delorean in the Back to the Future movies. I mean I must have seen them auctioned at least 50 times. Somewhere, perhaps Universal Studios, I think they must sell them in the gift shop. I've also seen on EBay a license plate that was allegedly on the moon rover, but why would the lug it back here from the moon?

AZDuffman
AZDuffman Dec 03, 2010

There may have been three "Bandits" but not all had plates. If you watch the movie and the scene where they jump the bridge you can clearly see there is NO PLATE on the car they are using at the time.



I'd find it hard to believe they would put a plate on the moon rover. Extra weight and extra bits and bobs to break loose and fly around the cabin.

Wizard
Wizard Dec 04, 2010

Here is a brief page on the lunar license plate. Here is another page on an auction for a tiny one that was allegedly one "a small number" that were taken to the moon and returned to earth.

Wizard
Wizard Dec 04, 2010

The good news is that I was the high bidder. The bad news is I didn't reach the hidden reserve. I sent the owner a message about how to reach me. Wish me well in the half marathon tomorrow.

AZDuffman
AZDuffman Dec 05, 2010

I stand corrected that they did it, though given some of the other stuff they worried about I remain suprised. Suprised on the technical level, NASA guys seem to have a good sense of humor.



BTW: I work in a town called moon and never seen one! Oh, and the town of "Mars" is 30 mins from my office. I kid you all not.



Very nice link as well.

DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear Dec 06, 2010

>> Even if they were real, and I bought them, the additional degree of separation between me and the original owner would cause others to doubt the authenticity, depressing the resale value.



Isn't that what Certificates of Authenticity are all about?





Regarding the Lunar license plate: Astronauts are allowed to bring several ounces (pounds?) of personal items on missions. Remeber the movie The Right Stuff? One of those guys brought rolls of dimes, and planned to use them to score with girls when he got back. The Lunar Plates were very small. Boeing built the rover and made a bunch of plates, which Commander Dave Scott had in a space suit pocket as he drove the rover. The ones being sold have a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Dave Scott. There is no evidence that one was affixed to the rover itself, but then again, I wouldn't doubt it.

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Nov 30, 2010

EBay Users are Crazy

This blog entry was inspired by the Natalie Tran (who I adore) video How Fucking Batshit Crazy are EBay Users. Fast forward to the 0:55 point for the part on EBay, but you will miss some great material about clipart if you do. This particular idea was also partially inspired by one of the members here, who auctioned an ordinary $5 bill on EBay, and it sold for $5.37.

So I recently put an ordinary $1 bill on EBay. I started the bidding at 1¢, no reserve, and postage by ordinary mail included. As you can see my clicking the link, it went for exactly $1. Strange. I guess somebody was hoping for good feedback.

What is more interesting is my auction for a $2 bill. I've seen hucksters selling these above face value before. They usually say something like the Treasure doesn't print them any more, so grab them while you can.

As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I love spending $2 bills. Once in a while I order about 200-300 of them from the bank. They are sold to me, at face value, in uncirculated condition, with sequential serial numbers, the vast majority of the time. Spending and tipping with them spreads joy to the world. I love the look on someone's face when they say, "I haven't seen one of these in years." Of course, you get the occasional sourpuss who mumbles under his/her breath as he/she fusses with the cash tray, "where the hell do I put this?"

I made it quite clear in my item description that I easily obtained it from my bank, and anybody else can too. However, surprisingly, it went for $3.94 anyway! I think Natalie was right. If I had no ethics I might auction more of them.

Comments

Doc
Doc Nov 30, 2010

I was once caught by surprise in receiving a $2 bill as change when purchasing an $18 San Diego Harbor Tour ticket. Then I learned that was their custom.



I have been told that for years the adult ticket price for visiting Thomas Jefferson's Monticello was $17.95. Pay with a $20 bill and your change consisted of a $2 bill and a nickel, both with Jefferson's image on the front and a Jefferson-related image on the back. Today the ticket price is seasonal, at either $17 or $20, so the gimmick doesn't work any more.



I am quite confident that I would not bid $3.94 for a $2 bill. I have plenty of alternate means of wasting my money.

Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba Nov 30, 2010

There were two bidders competing for your bill. The winner has an extensive history of small bill buying. I don't think there is anything wrong with selling your "surplus". It is meeting a demand, and by covering the postage, you are actually providing a service to those who may not have access to uncirculated bills from a bank, or feel that the hassle of the process is worth the extra $1.94. As long as the description is clear and accurate, you should be able to sell "ordinary" to anyone who wants to pay for it. It's what makes America the greatest nation on the face of this planet.



Note that you have other overhead costs besides postage: Envelope, insurance, time, listing fee, PayPal fee... The $1.94 may not cover it all.

Wizard
Wizard Nov 30, 2010

It wouldn't be worth my bother to sell $2 bills for $4. However, if anyone else reading this wants to, have at it. I still think it is a bit unsavory, like selling a nickel for 10¢, even if you disclose the fact that is is just a nickel. I hate to take unfair advantage.

Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba Nov 30, 2010

"Unfair" is the key. If the listing is clear, and the buyer "of his right mind", then why not make a sale?

miplet
miplet Nov 30, 2010

I once bought a $100 bill on eBay. It was a star note. I cant remeber for how much, but not enough for the seller to make any money because of the fees.

Wizard
Wizard Nov 30, 2010

Sometimes somebody will put on EBay California sample license plates with a Ronald Reagan background, which say "GIPPER." The auctioneer will say that the state didn't get enough orders to make them a legitimate license plate option, like the Yosemite or "Whale Tail" plate, but did make a limited number of samples available. What they don't say is that the samples go for a fraction of the EBay selling price at the Ronald Reagan museum web site. It seems dishonest to me to sell a product that is easily available elsewhere at a lower price. Now if you disclose that, and the buyer buys anyway, I suppose we could file that under "a fool and his money are soon parted."

Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba Nov 30, 2010

The Reagan plate situation is tricky territory. I would not fault Target for failing to inform me that the same television can be had at WalMart for $50 less. The buyer has to do their homework. However, if Target represented the television as "exclusive", or "limited", it would be a problem. The Reagan plate description could be considered a misrepresentation by some.

Mosca
Mosca Dec 01, 2010

LOL, Natalie Tran. She just gets better and better.

AZDuffman
AZDuffman Dec 01, 2010

I read once that one off the biggest users of $2 bills are strip clubs. Think how well this works out. Price a drink at $3 so you give a $2 bill in change. Most guys will say "WTF" either upset or not caring and use the bill to tip the dancer. Now, I have heard the dirty little secret is the average girl at a club has to kick some part of her tips and private-dance-fees to the club. Best part is the club simply re-circulates the $2 when it sells another drink.



I have no problem if you list it and get a premium as long as it is honest--the fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.



BTW: I find using and liking the unloved $2 is one of those signs of a "fun" personality type. Nonconformist in a good way.

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Dec 02, 2010

Two dollar bills annoy cashiers so merchants just try to get rid of them so all these two dollar bills floating around the community can be good "advertising" if the merchants know the source of them. Tourists who get a two dollar bill are likely to spend it locally.

One military base put two dollar bills in their pay packets to dampen some local drive to close the military base.

HKrandom
HKrandom Dec 08, 2010

I don't see this as an unethical arbitrage opportunity, the extra $1.94 is simply the opportunity cost of the time you saved the user by obtaining the bill yourself. It's normal profit.

Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces Dec 09, 2010

I would also suggest people check the coins they get from the bj tables (ones that still use half dollars that is) as a few times you get some that are all silver. I got one once when surrendering a $5 bet, got my 2, $1 tokens and a half dollar from 1956 that I sold for more than the original $5 bet. Speaking of ebay, just watch the Tonight Show and once in a while Leno does a skit of "Things We Found on Ebay". All of which are real items sold on the site.

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Nov 28, 2010

NFL picks week 12

I knew it couldn't last long. Last week I finally made it up to a neutral record of 20-20-1. Then I went 1-3 in week 13, putting me at 21-23-1. ROI is -8.7%. Just two picks this week:

Jack +7.5 -120
Ariz +1 -110

Comments

Martin
Martin Nov 29, 2010

Well so far you get Jax and the Chi-town bet - not bad - just need the Cards for a sweep.

slyther
slyther Nov 30, 2010

PIT being a fraidy cat and punting from BUF 35 on 4th and 4 led to the undoing of my 4-team (PIT, NE, NYJ, BAL) parlay. Yes all favorites. Should have come in if PIT wasn't fraidy cat :) After that punt they did nothing and should have lost. But my 4-team teaser on the same teams came in so that's something.

odiousgambit
odiousgambit Nov 30, 2010

what's with the Cardinals? Players took San Fran and threw the game?

Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Nov 23, 2010

Big tipper

Last night I was at the Red Rock with a friend. We were challenging the cocktail waitress to trivia questions and making side bets if she could produce the answers. Another player at the table jumped in on the action too. At about 1 AM I was ready to call it a night and gave her a chance at a big tip. My offer was $25 for each of the gang names from West Side Story. She took about one second, and then said, as if it were easy, "the Jets and the Sharks." Dang!

What is really amazing is I offered the same gal $50 about a year ago for this one, "Who said 'I have not yet begun to fight?'" She got that one too.

Comments

Croupier
Croupier Nov 23, 2010

Was that good ol John Paul Jones? As in the Scottish JPJ that was a Captain in the US Navy and formerly a pirate.

PeteM
PeteM Nov 23, 2010

Correct! The Bonhomme Richard vs the HMS Serapis. The captain of the Serapis was knighted for the gallant defense of his ship. I've read that when Jones heard of it he proclaimed "if we should meet him again, I'll make him a lord".

PeteM
PeteM Nov 23, 2010

The Mon Ami Gabi makes a wonderful cocktail called the "French 75". I offered our waiter at dinner an extra $10 on his tip (great meal , great service) if he could identify the origin of the name; and while a nice young man, he was not a military history buff. Anybody, anybody?

DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear Nov 23, 2010

But the question is, did you get maximum value for your entertainment budget?

PeteM
PeteM Nov 23, 2010

Oh, absolutely. We had a table right on the railing of the outdoor terrace. The weather was perfect and we watched the crowds and the Bellagio fountains as late afternoon turned to dusk and all the neon came on. Got out of there for less than $100 for two including drinks so, yeah. Good value.

Calder
Calder Nov 23, 2010

"French 75" refers to a ship of the line in the age of sail, carrying 75 guns.



Do I get the $10?

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Nov 23, 2010

No Calder, The 75 refers to 75mm. The bore of a French field artillery piece from about World War One. Fairly rapid fire and its recoil-absorbers meant it did not have to be re-positioned after each shell was fired.

In the age of sail, a ship of the line would be referred to mainly by the weight of the projectiles its gun fired and also at times by the number of gun decks it had, since the main weapon was its broadside, a discharge of all canon that would bear and were clear of the water.



Sharks and Jets... thats easy. When you're a Jet, you're a jet all the way from first cigarette to your last dying day.

Now as to "Struck? I have not yet begun to fight!" Jean Paul probably did indeed say that. Much of our history books are full of utter nonsense though. Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute may be an admirable statement, but the poor guy that was attributed to always maintained he said no such thing.

PeteM
PeteM Nov 23, 2010

Fleastiff wins! The French 75mm field piece may have been the first of its kind because of its recoil absorbtion system. As to 'fighting sail' ships were rated by the number of guns on the main gun deck(s); thus, HMS Victory(104), Santissima Tinidad(120), USS Constitution(44). Sorry to drag the thread so off course, my enthusiams get the better of me.

Malaru
Malaru Nov 23, 2010

I do a simuler thing to random people for $20 they have two chances.. the first is to name me all 7 of the 7 deadly sins OR all 7 of the 7 heavenly virtues. Nobody has ever been able to remember all seven. The second is a very simple geography question that is based on a technicality.



To date Ive never lost that $20 and still carry it around on me for the challenge. :)

PeteM
PeteM Nov 23, 2010

I've a hunch that a lot of the people posting here would be killer Trivial Pursuit players.

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Nov 24, 2010

You want the real killer in Trivial Pursuit... check out the declarations of war on the Empire of Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I'm just waiting for that question to come up in barroom trivia: The United Nations of the Navajo and the USA.



For those who think advertising doesn't pay, I often say: There are ten mountain peaks in Colorado higher than Pikes Peak, name even one of them. It was a comment about advertising but one Trivial Pursuit nut actually was able to name them all!!

Mosca
Mosca Nov 24, 2010

FleaStiff, I knew that one! The biggest gun of ww1 was not the Big Bertha, btw; it was the French 520 rail gun. Big Bertha was notable for its range.

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Nov 24, 2010

Big Bertha? Rail Guns? They were monstrously slow to fire. Fusiliers were soldiers supposedly detailed to protect canoneers but actually deployed to prevent desertion by canoneers. The way to stop a siege gun was to go after the gunners. The rail guns were marvels of engineering and military stupidity.



Trivia contests in bars: Great fun, but often the waitresses are a few chapters ahead of you. Some of those Tray Lizards have masters degrees. They are not just babes in low cut costumes toting booze around all night. Many of them can do truth tables and give you an analysis of all those The Tribe Who Never Lies and The Tribe Who Always Speak Truthfully puzzles.



Now as for the John Paul Jones quotation and the Sharks versus the Jets questions, I sure would hate to run into anyone who could NOT get those right while sober, but realize that while drunk things might vary.

Mosca
Mosca Nov 24, 2010

My sister put herself through grad school at Notre Dame by waiting tables. Yeah, that WW1 stuff, fascinating time in military history. I don't think she'd have gotten the French 75 question, but then again, she hasn't spent hours looking at exhibits of shell art, either.

Wizard
Wizard Nov 24, 2010

I'm delighted at all the comments, as well as the post about Croupier's trivia challenge. I may put something together myself as a warmup.



By the way, I went back to the Red Rock for dinner yesterday and ran into the same cocktail waitress. So I confronted her and asked "How did you get that?" She said that she went to Catholic school and they put that musical on lots of times. Shoot, just my luck. Great gal though, if I must throw away $50, I'm happy it was on her.

Calder
Calder Nov 24, 2010

I spend too much time in the local Buffalo Wild Wings, just to play their NTN / Buzztime trivia games.



Obviously, I never get the question on the French 75 correct...

JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ Nov 25, 2010

So, what would be good some gambling or casino related trivia questions ?



For example, I liked the post from MathExtremist that the sum of the #'s on a Roulette Wheel is 666.



And how about this one: What did Wayne Newton leave at the airport in Michigan.

Anyone know ?

EvenBob
EvenBob Nov 27, 2010

What did Wayne Newton leave in MI? His voice, maybe? Cause its certainly gone..