$2 muffins and 31 = 24 + what?


The flight from Salt Lake to Chicago was mostly uneventful, other than a minor hostage situation: American Airlines was trying to charge their captive audience $2 for a single muffin. Luckily juice, soda, and water were still somehow free. (I didn't buy a muffin on principle; neither did Lin or Todd.) If I'd spent the $135 upgrade to fly first-class (something I haven't done since Shauna and I ended up in first-class from Salvador to Brasilia a decade ago) hopefully they would have had all-you-can-eat muffins.

Here in Chicago the same franchisees apparently own and operate both Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors and Dunkin' Doughnuts under a single roof, and they also serve deli sandwiches.

When asked what he'd like to order Lin responded to the teenage clerk by asking where they kept the other seven flavors hidden (only twenty-four flavors were on display to choose from). She responded with a blank stare. "You only have twenty-four flavors of ice cream here" he pointed out. "Yeah, so what?"

Lin dropped that line of inquiry, probably realizing (like I was) that 7 = 31 - 24 might be beyond her abilities. Needless to say Lin's double-scoops were much smaller than Todd's & mine.

One toll road later ($0.80, exact change; how many people probably end up having to overpay to a full $1?) and we found the conference hotel conveniently located right off the freeway here in Naperville.

Right now the Tuesday afternoon tutorial sessions are in swing. After typing this post, catching up on email, and maybe even sneaking in a quick nap, I'll wander downstiars, find Lin and Todd and hopefully bump into Will or Steve or some of the other regulars before dinner.

The schedule for the technical sessions this year looks awesome. Lots of interesting papers to be presented.

—Michael A. Cleverly


  1. John Cowan wrote (at Tue, 10 Oct 2006, 19:54):

I've always understood the 31 Flavors to be essentially metaphysical, like the Heinz 57 Varieties. (There are only two varieties of Heinz ketchup, and many many more varieties of other products.) Subtracting a physical number from a metaphysical one is essentially an illegitimate procedure....

  1. Michael A. Cleverly wrote (at Tue, 10 Oct 2006, 20:48):

The Baskin Robbins in my hometown growing up had thirty-one flavors, and some of the flavors would change from month-to-month and season-to-season. I haven't been back there in some years so I don't know if they still do that, or if other Baskin Robbins generally did or did not.

It also makes sense that a hybrid Baskin Robbins + Dunkin Doughnuts + Sandwich deli in a strip mall doesn't have the space for a third refrigerator.

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