Friday, August 31, 2007

You have entered 24,176 Bills worth $65,469
Bills with hits: 1,801 Total hits: 2,016
Hit rate: 7.45% Slugging Percentage: 8.34% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,078.63
Your rank (based on George Score) is #853
(out of 52,245 current users with a George Score. [98.4 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 44 out of 6,237 [99.3]

I got another new county, this time in Alabama. Today seems to be the day for new counties.

3 new counties

You have entered 24,176 Bills worth $65,469
Bills with hits: 1,799 Total hits: 2,014
Hit rate: 7.44% Slugging Percentage: 8.33% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,078.53
Your rank (based on George Score) is #853
(out of 52,226 current users with a George Score. [98.4 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 44 out of 6,237 [99.3]

It turns out that the hit in question the other day was legit, but I got another similar hit that came back from Las Vegas. While I do already have a Vegas hit, it kind of sucks that this has happened twice. I realize that to someone that doesn’t do this regularly, it doesn’t really matter where the bill is hit, but it does matter. I’d like to see the bill get a hit further away.

It just goes to show how well a $1 bill circulates. It can make it to Vegas and back in a few months. I’ve heard that $1 bills get the best circulation since everyone uses them and they’re in and out of registers all the time. $100 bills always go to the bank since they pretty much don’t get given out as change. (The same is usually true of fifties.)

I did get three new counties. One was in Florida, another in Ohio and a third in Louisiana. Florida counties are hard to come by since I have so many. (Levy is the 44th county I’ve gotten out of the 67 that Florida has.) It’s strange how I get new counties in groups like that. I’ll go for a while without any. Again, it’s hardest when you need one or two, as with Connecticut. I need one county out of the state’s eight.

Well, here’s to hoping I get those remaining counties and states.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You have entered 24,169 Bills worth $65,439
Bills with hits: 1,793 Total hits: 2,008
Hit rate: 7.42% Slugging Percentage: 8.31% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,078.23
Your rank (based on George Score) is #854
(out of 52,225 current users with a George Score. [98.4 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 43 out of 6,234 [99.3]

I seem to be slipping in the rankings. I hit 39 a while back, but I’m back to 43. My slugging percentage seems to be going up, though. I don’t know if it’s the new stamp or the fact that I haven’t really been entering as many bills as of late. Part of it is that I’ve been entering more fives. The trip made it hard to find bills to enter, mostly because I was more concerned on spending.

I got a new state with a hit in Overland Park, Kansas. This leaves me with just Alaska, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota for fifty-state bingo. (As one might imagine, that’s where you have all fifty states.) I’ve been getting a few new counties lately, but it’s becoming increasingly rare that they are in new states, as well.The first dozen or so are pretty easy. (Your first hit is guaranteed to be in a state that you didn’t have before.) Once you get to the last five or ten, new states are rarer and rarer. The last one has a reputation for being nearly impossible, yet people do it.

This hit worries me a little. The person brought it back to Miami from Newark? I’m thinking it’s a false hit. I have to report it and see if this is the case. However, what are the odds that the person also happens to live in Miami? Either way, it’s a little odd. (Note: If you see that the second hit is someplace other than Miami, it means that it was a false hit and that the problem has been corrected.)

That’s all I can really think of for now. I wish I had more to put in.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Of malls and bills

You have entered 23,952 Bills worth $64,740
Bills with hits: 1,766 Total hits: 1,977
Hit rate: 7.37% Slugging Percentage: 8.25% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,076.53
Your rank (based on George Score) is #875
(out of 52,057 current users with a George Score. [98.3 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 42 out of 6,217 [99.3]

I went to Sawgrass Mills today, which is in Broward County. I figured I’d spend some money there since it’s so far away, but I made a simple mistake: I shouldn’t have spent any $2 bills. It seemed as though more people were interested in keeping the bills for themselves than getting them back into circulation. The cashier at Starbucks even said that he was going to keep them for good luck. I would have been better off using the cash card.

Sawgrass Mills is a good money for circulation because it is (or at least, was) a pretty popular mall. I remember it being a tourist attraction at one point, but I think it’s died down a little bit. I wanted to get a cash card at one of the places at the food court, but I didn’t have any luck. The Subway there couldn’t do any cash card transactions.

They only other places that I go to regularly were Starbucks, Sbarro’s and Burger King. I already mentioned that I don’t want to load up on Starbucks that much because I know I won’t be using it frequently. Sbarro’s doesn’t have any sort of gift card, so that was out of the question. Neither of the two Burger King locations there had any cash cards to put money on, so I was out of luck there, too.

I don’t go to Burger King a lot, but I do stop by there on occasion. The only reason I even tried was that I wanted to get some money out into the mall. I did have some luck getting an iTunes card at Target, although I suspect that I may have had better luck getting it at F.Y.E., instead. Target has outside access, meaning that people can buy at Target and just leave, whereas people at F.Y.E. are more likely to go back into the mall. At the very least, I did buy some DVDs at F.Y.E., so I may at least get a few mall hits.

I haven’t been getting any reactions to the new stamp. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I want my bills to get noticed, but not get too many questions. Many people ask why I would want to track the bills. Um, so I can ignore them and not see where they go next? A lot of people that ask about the stamps don’t get the concept of seeing where the bills go next. That’s what “Track this bill” means.

I don’t think that the site would be as much fun if everyone did it. There’s something to be said for the challenge of getting all fifty states or getting all of the counties in Florida. If it were too easy, there’d be no fun in getting it and sharing it with others. Still, a little understanding would be nice.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Two $2 hits

You have entered 23,835 Bills worth $64,400
Bills with hits: 1,752 Total hits: 1,961
Hit rate: 7.35% Slugging Percentage: 8.23% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,075.64
Your rank (based on George Score) is #893
(out of 52,066 current users with a George Score. [98.3 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 43 out of 6,210 [99.3]

I got two hits on two-dollar bills today, both by the same person and both from bills that I had entered within the past week. (You can view the hits here and here.) I find this interesting because of my recent post where I said that places were putting Toms under the register.

I think that both of these were bills that were put under the register, made it to the bank and back into circulation. I’m not clear, though, as to what the guy plans to do with the remaining three bills. (Since he’s a member, it’s reasonable to assume that they’re going into circulation, but anything’s possible.)

When I went to lunch today, someone behind me noticed that I paid with $2 bills and asked the cashier if he could swap them out. He asked if I had any more; I told him that I had two I could trade with him, but he was only able to take one. That’s probably the only thing worse than going under the register because I can be relatively certain that they’re not going to get a hit. (In fact, when I saw the hits on the $2 bills, I was hoping it was this guy, although I knew it wasn’t.)

One of these days, I’m going to go to the bank and get a whole bunch of Toms just to put them into circulation. I’ll have to ask for new bills to get the best circulation out of them and to make them easier to enter.

Speaking of getting better hits, I did get a new stamp. It shows the state of Florida with “Biscayne Park” above it and “Florida” below. There’s even a dot where Biscayne Park is supposed to be, but it blends in to the coastline. Some of the people in the chat room seemed to think that it would reduce the number of hits I get because it would be too obvious where it came from. My theory is that it’s a bit more noticeable and may garner hits from people that live in Biscayne Park.

A coworker of mine thought that it would advertise where I live, so that people might rob me. This assumes two things. One, someone would have to see the bill and assume that because I’m on Where’s George that I have a lot of cash. Two, they wouldn’t have to be clued in by my ZIP code, which is only a little less specific. (33161 also includes part of North Miami and I think extends over to Barry University.)

Either way, I’m not going to worry about it. My biggest concern is customers giving me grief about it. My aforementioned coworker was happy about my using a new stamp because it was less noticeable. Less noticeable is not what I want. Less noticeable means fewer hits. I want more hits.
Well, until that happens, I can just hope.

Monday, August 20, 2007

You have entered 23,575 Bills worth $63,527
Bills with hits: 1,738 Total hits: 1,943
Hit rate: 7.37% Slugging Percentage: 8.24% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,074.55
Your rank (based on George Score) is #890
(out of 52,031 current users with a George Score. [98.3 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 43 out of 6,208 [99.3]

I have a few more bills to share. I’ve been holding on to one of them for a while. I got one with Winnie the Pooh stamps on the front and back.

The front was covered with them while the back had just the one. I think that someone likes Winnie just a bit too much. It could just be me, though.

I also got another bill with the Asian writing. It actually looks like the same set of characters. It’s odd that I’d come across two bills with the same markings. I’d really like to know what they mean, but not having the appropriate keyboard makes it difficult to find out. If anyone knows someone that can translate, please forward this post to them.

I’m curious if it’s even something I should be posting in a family-friendly environment or if it’s some sort of political message or something. I may find out it’s a message from your friendly neighborhood liberation army and I’m unwittingly promoting them. This would make twice that I’ve done so.

This last one is a mystery. It’s just a ring of text with more text in it. Maybe it’s a bank stamp or something. Who marks the back of bills like that? It must be some sort of inventory thing or something. Again, what does it mean? Where did it come from? Is there some greater meaning or does someone want to track their currency to see if it comes back to them?

I have to wait and see on these. Maybe if someone finds the bill and logs them on Where’s George, I’ll get some clue. If not, it will just have to be one of those mysteries of the ages.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Toms

You have entered 23,434 Bills worth $63,145
Bills with hits: 1,729 Total hits: 1,933
Hit rate: 7.38% Slugging Percentage: 8.25% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,073.94Your rank (based on George Score) is #887
(out of 51,957 current users with a George Score. [98.3 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 42 out of 6,206 [99.3]

I’m beginning to rethink posting the stats. My mother saw the amount of money I had and freaked. I have to admit that I’m a bit freaked, myself. Granted, swapping out bills at work and going to the casino helps, but how did I get $63,145 bills? That’s a lot of swapping.

I’ve been doing fives mostly, only because we have a lot of singles, mostly mine. Also, fives are easier to carry inconspicuously. A hundred dollars in singles is a little obvious. A hundred dollars in fives can fit in my wallet.

I will admit that I may need a new wallet. I’d like something like the TARDIS from Doctor Who that has more space in the inside than would appear from the outside. That way, I can carry a lot of cash without being noticed. It would also be funny to whip out a bunch of twenties once in a while. (Maybe not, considering how quickly I’d get mugged in Miami.)

I just got a bunch of two-dollar bills the other day. I would have gotten more, but I wanted to get mostly singles. I think I still ended up with forty or fifty. I’ve been spending a few at the McDonalds near work, but I really shouldn’t. They seem to put them under the register. One of these days, I’m going to ask the people at McDonalds why they do it and encourage them not to. I’ve got to find more places that don’t.

Even my manager has said that he doesn’t want them in the register. Any that we get go back out or into the deposit that night. I don’t know what the big deal is. I think that part of it is the perceived rarity. Why bother dedicating a slot if you get one or two a year? A coworker told me that while I was in New York, we got a Tom. Alas, it was sent into the deposit.

A lot of people ask me where I get the bills. I simply tell them that you can get them at the bank. Any bank that doesn’t have any should be able to order them for you. I have yet to order any, mostly because I don’t want to feel obligated to pick them up. If I do, I may do it through the bank at work. I don’t want to get off the bus with a bunch of twos and have to walk home. Either way, it’s all pretty random.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just in…

I got back from my trip to New York last week. I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I really couldn’t write while I was away and it took me a few days to get settled back in. I’ve only gotten two hits from the bills I brought with me, but I did have to bring a lot of them back. I just couldn’t find enough chain restaurants to buy gift cards in.

It’s not so much that I couldn’t find one as I just wasn’t really going looking for them. For the first several days, I was worrying about attending my cousin’s wedding. I also found out that most of Long Island is resistant to the chains. Thus, I couldn’t roam about town looking for McDonalds and Subways or simply ask my father to pull over on the rare occasion that I saw one.

There was no shortage of Starbucks. I did get to put a lot of money on a gift card. I didn’t want to overdo that. Subway is fairly easy to spend money at. I can go there and spend a good amount of money on a sub. McDonalds is a little less, but I usually eat at one or the other for lunch five days a week, so I’m going to burn off the cash pretty quickly. With Starbucks, I don’t usually spend more than $4 per visit, and that’s usually once or twice a week. I’m going to keep that money a lot longer.

I was hoping to spend a little more at the airport, but the only recognizable chain was Dunkin Donuts, which I don’t eat at a lot. (Not only do I prefer Krispy Kreme, but until last week, there weren’t any Dunkin Donuts stores near me.) I did get to break a ten on the airplane going to New York. Either way, I got some cash into circulation.

I wanted to try something new. It occurred to me that I could post my Where’s George stats in my blog. I don’t know if it’s going to seem like self-promotion, but I do want to keep the blog about Where’s George and the interesting bills that I come across as a result. What better way to keep a common theme?

It’s going to look like this:

You have entered 23,058 Bills worth $61,960
Bills with hits: 1,709 Total hits: 1,909
Hit rate: 7.41% Slugging Percentage: 8.28% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,072.44
Your rank (based on George Score) is #904
(out of 51,965 current users with a George Score. [98.3 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 42 out of 6,198 [99.3]

For those of you unfamiliar with the site, it’s going to take a little explaining. The first two lines are pretty straightforward. I’ve entered 23,058 bills and the total value of those bills is $61,960. The bills with hits is the number of bills with any number of hits. Total hits is the number of hits I have. (The difference between these numbers should give you an idea of how many bills I have with multiple hits. The most I have on one bill is 4.)

Hit rate and slugging percentage have a similar relationship. Hit rate is the percentage of my bills that have at least one hit whereas the slugging percentage has to do with the total number of hits. (Theoretically, it’s possible to have a slugging percentage of more than 100%, but this gets harder the more active you are with the site.) George score is based on a formula that I won’t go in to, but can be found on the site. As for rank, I think you can figure that out on your own.

In any event, it’s getting late here. I’d better be going. I still have bills to stamp tonight.