Practical Math

July 10, 2007

The pizza order

Say that you go out for pizza. You want the sun-dried tomato and goat cheese pizza, but your wife wants hamburger meat and jalapeño peppers. You might be inclined -- as we were last week -- to order two 10-inch pizzas. But how much pizza are you really getting?

I don't know how to type equations in a way that they'll show up on a web page, so I just did it in handwriting:

So, a single 14 inch pizza is pretty much the same amount of food as two 10 inch pizzas.

But look at the prices on the menu. Two 10 inch pizzas is probably a whole lot more expensive than a 14 inch.

You're paying a lot more for the insurance that her jalapeño cooties don't creep over and contaminate your goat cheese.

Growth chart

In the month that we've been home, our kid has gained a couple of pounds. Doesn't sound like that big a deal, but he only started at 20 lbs. What if he gained 10% per month every month until his 18th birthday? I checked the figures, and lo and behold, he would weigh in at 3,798,105,529 pounds!

If that were to happen, we could launch him into space and build a small colony on his body for us to inhabit once we ruin the Earth.

Swinging through all my cash

The kboy likes to swing. We have a borrowed baby swing, but without the help of its little electric motor, he gets it swinging to its max in no time at all, and tries to go even higher and faster. Our back yard is too small for a squeaky suburban back yard swing set, but we do have some areas with seating and roofing or arbor overhead. It shouldn't be too much trouble to tie a bigger baby swing up so that he can go.

Well, we looked all over town, and we could only come up with a twenty dollar piece of crap, or a nice looking wooden kid's swing that was priced at a hundred dollars.

Neither of these was what I was looking for. So I decided to save money and build the swing myself.

At this point, I've spent about 2 hours shopping for lumber and hardware, about 12 hours in actual labor, plus $20 for the plans, $40 for lumber, $20 for screws, glue, nails, etc., and around $20 for a drill bit and a router bit that I needed for the construction. And a little more for the chain to hang it, but I probably would have had to buy that anyway.

And I'm not finished. All I have done is carved out all of the various pieces. I still have to glue and screw them all into a swing.

On the up side, my swing is going to be a lot heavier and weather resistant than the expensive one that I passed on. Plus, I'll have some of that glue left over.

Also, I've needed to use just about every power tool in my arsenal:

  • Miter saw (cross cuts)
  • Table saw (rip cuts)
  • Sabre saw (curved cuts on the arm rests and a couple of other pieces)
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Dremmel tool with router attachment

I should finish by the end of the week, so I'll post the completed swing as a picture of the day one day next week.