April 7, 2006 - Dog Day Afternoon
For yesterday’s Edhat contest, we described how we were going to Hendry’s to enjoy the first day of sunshine this spring. We said that the dedicated staff of edhat.com was taking the Edhat Dog, and that we were going to count “distinct” dogs. We also used the word “unique”. What we meant was that we were going to count dogs - in other words, how many dogs were at the beach. A while back, we did count the number of distinct dog breeds at the beach. But yesterday, that was not Ed’s plan.
We don’t know why we made the question so confusing. Sometimes the muddle factor is just one of the challenges of the Daily Edhat Contest … and life in general, for that matter. If things were easy, life would be dull.
Back in his early 20’s the Edhat In House Statistician created a system for betting the horses.
On opening day of the Del Mar Racetrack race season in 1984, he input the day’s data from the Daily Racing Form into his IBM PC, printed out his picks on his dot-matrix printer, and went to the track. It was amazing. Almost all of his picks won, and he took home a $500 of profit.
Our Statistician was happy, but he was also a little scared. What if life was that easy?
As it turned out, opening day at Del Mar was an anomaly. Twenty-two years and four horseracing systems later, he still hasn’t found his money machine. But, it hasn’t been boring.
Oh yeah … the beach and dogs … It seems that dogs are not deep enough thinkers to worry about life being too easy.
If they got to go to the beach every day, they would not question the lack of challenge. They would just be happy. Dogs are lucky that way.
One of the biggest challenges at Hendry’s yesterday was getting to the no-leash part of the beach. When we were there, the river from the slough was two-feet deep in all places. Some dogs and some people didn’t mind forging the torrent. We counted 12 dogs that crossed. There were an equal number of dogs that stayed on the west side of the slough. But for the dogs at the beach yesterday, it was apparent that location-location-location had nothing to do with the fun-fun-fun.
Aside from picking contest winners, there’s nothing the Edhat Dog would rather do than fetch balls and sticks in the ocean.
The dedicated staff spent all of our non-counting time throwing a tennis ball into the surf and trying not to get shaken-off-on after it was enthusiastically returned. When it was time to leave, we were all sad to leave. But hey, today looks like another sunny day – well, at least no rain.
Yesterday’s contest may have been confusing, but there were still seventeen contestants who got the correct answer. And since there was a tie, the Edhat Dog got to break it - icing on the cake of a wonderful day. Seventeen pieces of popcorn were placed in an X pattern on the floor. Patiently, the Dog waited. And when the command was given, she raced toward the food with the same reckless abandon with which she jumps into the waves. Popcorn piece #16 was the last to be eaten. IcyJen wins the coveted t-shirt. That’s something to be happy about!
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