Friday, September 26, 2008

It's not easy spending green

You have entered 57,347 Bills worth $164,885
Bills with hits: 4,627 Total hits: 5,246
Hit rate: 8.07% Slugging Percentage: 9.15% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,187.55
Your rank (based on George Score) is #402
(out of 53,202 current users with a George Score. [99.2 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 25 out of 7,137 [99.6]

It’s not easy using $2 bills. I went to Panera today and ordered lunch. The total was a little over $10. I handed the cashier 6 bills, but she said that she was told not to take them. When I asked why, she said that the bank shredded them, referencing the markings. This bothers me for several reasons.

First, there aren’t many banks in the area and I know that the Wachovia nearby does, in fact, hold on to them. I’ve actually gotten some of my marked bills back from them. It’s possible that they recently switched to the Commerce Bank, but I doubt it.

I also doubt that they shred the bills. I’m thinking that her manager may have meant that the were sent back to the FRB to be shredded, but either way, why would Panera care? If they’re being credited with money, it shouldn’t matter. I guess that the manager (or whoever made the decision) knows that I don’t want them shredded. I guess it’s better to hold on to them and at least spend them somewhere that will hand them back out as change.

Most importantly, it means that they’re not getting them back into circulation. Instead, they’re depositing the bills. For this reason, it’s probably just as well that I not spend them there. If a store is actually refusing them for this reason, there’s very little chance that they’d ever change.

After Lunch, I went to Party City. I wanted to get some glow sticks, but didn’t want to pay $15-$20 in shipping. I was able to get an assortment for very little money and paid for it in… you guessed it… $2 bills. The cashier had to ask someone if it was ok to take them. I guess it was because she eventually took them. This is pretty common, but is still annoying.

I’ve also decided that it’s too much of a pain to spend cash in the Apple Store at the mall. They are able to go through the line and process credit and debit purchases right away, but you have to wait for cash. I was first in line and had to wait at least five minutes to be helped, despite the fact that several cashiers were just standing there. All I wanted was an iTunes card. I even had the money counted out. Could they suspend a transaction and help me? Obviously not. I’m thinking that I should get my iTunes cards elsewhere.

Monday, September 15, 2008


You have entered 56,575 Bills worth $163,083
Bills with hits: 4,554 Total hits: 5,164
Hit rate: 8.05% Slugging Percentage: 9.13% (total hits/total bills)
George Score: 1,185.77
Your rank (based on George Score) is #381(out of 53,196 current users with a George Score. [99.3 Percentile])
Your State Rank in Florida is: 23 out of 7,119 [99.7]

I’ve been driving for a few weeks now, which is part of why I haven’t been writing as much. It’s odd having to do certain things like buy gas. (Which I am doing with cash, in case you’re wondering.) I haven’t been posting in either blog, even though I’ve been taking a lot of pictures. (Check out

I haven’t noticed any real change in the distribution of my bills, but spending them at gas stations is something that will affect the distribution within the county in which they’re spent. Since I’ve bought gas within a few miles of my house, I would think that the northeast quadrant of Miami-Dade County will be the most affected. I just don’t know how.

Having a car has had me thinking differently. Theoretically, I could go on a short trip if I had two days off. I wouldn’t necessarily do this to pick up hits in new counties, but it is something that has crossed my mind. As of this writing, I have 53 of Florida’s 67 counties. It looks like there’s one county south of Orlando that I need, and that’s De Soto County. The only major city listed seems to be Arcadia and that barely warrants an entry in the AAA book. The only way I could see going there is on the way to Sarasota or something.

There are a few north of Orlando, like Union and Bradford. It looks like all of the counties with major destinations are taken though. I also don’t want to go too far north. If I did make up my mind to go somewhere, I’d like to be able to go there and get back no later than the next day. Saint Augustine, which is pretty close to those counties, would be almost a five-hour drive from where I live. If I left early enough, I could get there by lunchtime, but I’ve never really planned a trip like that and would have no idea where to go or what to do.

Granted, all of this is just me thinking about the counties I need. I definitely don’t want to waste the gas just to spend the bills. However, if I happened to be heading in a certain direction, I might try to stop in or near a county I need. This is just one of the things I’ve been thinking about since I started driving.