Skip to main content

Rounding Error

Dear Members and Constituents,
On this the bicentennial week of existence for the Friday Donut Club I was thinking about the strange fascination we seem to have with round numbers. Sure, when it comes to tracking time we buck the trend --days have 24 hours, weeks have 7 days, years 365 or 366 days. But once you get to the multiples of years, it's the round numbers we tend to pay particular attention to --and the more zeroes, the better. No one seems to be making a big deal about this being the Colorado's 132nd year of statehood, although I must say I'm surprised not to have heard much buzz surrounding this being the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of Denver's foundation by William Larimer -perhaps it's not round enough. Let's face it, we gravitate towards numbers that end in zeroes. Financial statements are presented in millions of dollars, music is grouped into the decade it was released... and even tips at restaurants tend to round-up to the next dollar (in other words, keep the change).

Perhaps our obsession with round numbers is derived from the fact we use the decimal system (and this from the fact we have ten fingers). Perhaps if we had eight fingers in each hand we would use the hexadecimal system and be obsessed by multiples of 16. I would argue, however, that this too would be because 16 is a round number (in hexadecimal, sixteen is expressed as "10", the number that comes after "F" -hexadecimal for fifteen). I think it is more fundamental than an arbitrary numbering system. We like round numbers because the circular shape (epitomized by the number zero) is synonymous with perfection and eternity. Without a beginning or an ending point, the circle is a comforting shape. No sharp angles to injure the psyche.

Another circular shape is the reason we celebrate today -and for that matter all Fridays. I am speaking, of course, of the donut.
Jen Artley graces the donut table with a delightful selection of LaMar's donuts. So, grab a round cup of hot java (or tea if that's your cup of... well, you get my meaning) and come on down, we're just a-round the corner.
Happy Friday!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy New Year!

  Friends, Happy new year (and, technically, still Friday). As many of you know, my household has a peculiar way of ringing-in the new year. We build effigies representing the old year and burn them at midnight. This year, although we made the tough call of canceling the accompanying annual party, I felt it was important to go ahead with the burning. The theme, of course, was CoVid. My kids and I developed a dozen mutations of the virus and staged them in our backyard. Then, at a quarter ‘till midnight, we proceeded to read the old year’s last will and testament (or, as might be expected for a year like this, an un-will and un-testament). Shortly thereafter they were summarily burned. We then proceeded to stay up way past my bedtime (which in part helps explain the unusual tardiness of my weekly note). In any event a couple of donuts and a day of rest have got me back to my old self. By the way, I’ve posted a public video of the Facebook live stream event on Facebook. Key markers on

THE Oasis

Friends, The book  Ready Player One  sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created.  La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back

Accidental Culinary Innovations

Friends, Have you ever inadvertently fermented spaghetti sauce? Yeah, me neither… until yesterday, that is! Imagine my surprise when the half-full bottle, sitting in the fridge from time immemorial, made a sound akin to opening a beer bottle, instantly filling the glass container with a hazy smoke. As the carbonation dissipated, I grabbed a spoon to conduct the obligatory taste test. How was it? I’m glad you asked! Let’s just say chunky carbonated tomato beer is not my thing (although I must admit that if I had been expecting it, my reaction might have been a little more… composed). Now, if you forgo the fermentation and switch the tomato paste with spicy salsa… that might be the next million dollar idea! Sparkling sriracha anyone? How about Carbonated Cholula?   Bubbly Habanero? Fizzy JalapeƱo?? I could go on, but I have a feeling Gassy Guac might not fly off the shelves. Now, if only I could stumble on a way to improve donuts. Carbonated Jelly filling… yeah, maybe not. I think I’ll