03 July 2007
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Mulch Madness - The Entries

It's been an exciting time! 

Q:  How Exciting?
A:  Even more exciting than when I ran my first contest, decades ago, which involved using a Commodore PET Computer with a built-in spectrum analyzer to analyze, identify, and ultimately reject "disco" music.

Q:  How many entries did you get? 
A:  None

Q:  So how did you manage to rid the world of disco?
A:  I outlived it.

The Mulch Madness Contest - Initiated on my 4th of July Party Invitation

My housemate is a serious gardener.   It is my privilege to enjoy her spectacular efforts on behalf of and with the flowers and trees.  In past years, my activity had been confined to carrying the odd bags of mulch, moving the occasional rock, and once once only! digging a modest hole in the refractory landscape. 

This year was different.  Instead of fetching bags of mulch home in the trunk of the car and utilizing a certain co-hostal unit to drag it here and there, she had a giant truck come to the house and deliver the mulch.  In a heap.

This is what it looked like in early June after several wheelbarrows had been removed.  I am hopeful but not optimistic that the heap will be greatly reduced by the 4th of July.  Are you more optimistic than I?  Here is your chance to speculate on how assiduous she will be in mulcheonic apportionment.  The contest is to indicate how much mulch will remain on the day of the party.

Hint:  The base of the heap is about the size of a car.  One less parking space for us-kind.


  • Specify the remaining amount using any metric you choose.  Points will be given for originality and accuracy.  The closest answer wins.
  • You have ONE WEEK from now to come up with an answer.  Anyone can guess on the day of the party, and I don't want no steenkin' spy satellites flying over here for the rest of the month.
  • There will be a prize.  I have no idea what yet, but if there's as much mulch left as I expect, bring some big plastic bags.

The Entries

Unlike the "Discover Disco" contest of yore, there were entries aplenty.  They fell, with an unintentional parallel to our current political schism, in two categories:  Faith-based and science-based.

The FBMEs (Faith-Based Mulch Estimators) were mostly people who know my housemate and appreciate her seemingly infinite capacity for gardening activities.  Their answers were uniformly and optimistically that the mulch pile will have been reduced to crumbs.

The SBMEs, with less optimism and more (some a lot more) calculation, asserted that it would be reduced to:

  • 3.6 billion thimblefuls
  • 75.7 cubic cubits
  • 1.3 cubic prii
  • 1/4 heap

As you can see from the above, I have a bit of a challenge as well, since I must convert all of these answers into cubic furlongs in order to measure them against each other.

Mulch Pile Progress (or Regress)

18 June 2007

19 June 2007

21 June 2007

23 June 2007

24 June 2007

25 June 2007

26 June 2007

27 June 2007

28 June 2007

30 June 2007

01 July 2007

02 July 2007

As you can see from the mulchograph above, especially if you are a skilled photogrammetrist, the pile has diminished, but by no means to the "all gone" level suggested by many FBMEs.  The SBMEs did much better, but it would be premature to declare a winner until tomorrow, the 4th of July.  And so it shall come to pass, assuming anyone shows up and I can decide what the prize is to be.

NP:  "Man of Our Times" - Genesis

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