Way back in late April, in a bid to get more people to comment here, I offered up some random prizes. Then last week I finally got around to taking pictures of them. Today I actually figured out the winners, and wrapped up all the packages. It was a bit like preparing for Christmas, except that the recipients are, in general, people who don’t usually make it onto my Christmas list.
So, who are the five lucky winners?
Here’s the list, in the same order that they were selected by my chance operations.
- Patrick, who made 6 comments
- Sonya, who made 8 comments
- Jennifer, who made 1 comment
- Amanda, who made 1 comment
- Pat, who made 3 comments as Pat
Plus, since I had so much stuff to send out—due to extra shopping today there was slightly more than what I showed in last week’s photos—I added a few more just for good measure. But those people will remain a mystery until I hear word that they’ve received their prize packages.
What was my methodology? I’d like to say that I used the I Ching divination system, but I didn’t. I also didn’t consult the ancient Chinese bone oracle. And my selections were, with one exception, as random as I could get them. Here’s a way-too-detailed description:
- List off all the comments in the “contest” period. I had to make a few small mods to my backthreads configuration.
- Import the comments list into a spreadsheet, and extract the names.
- Remove myself and other immediate family members (Lia and Jarrod) from the list, resulting in a list of 27 unique names.
- Find an online random-number generator, and ask it for 5 random numbers between 1 and 27.
- Ask the random-number generator for a new sequence of numbers between 1 and 27, this time asking for 20 numbers in case of repeats.
- Correlate the random numbers with the alphabetical (by first name) list of names.
And there you have it. Exciting, isn’t it? A nice distribution of frequent and infrequent commenters. Each person had an equal chance, regardless of how often they attempted to satisfy my cravings for attention. The only time I intervened was to choose an alternate when the randomizer picked two people from the same household. Sorry, Yu Lin, you don’t get your own package. I did put something extra for you in Sonya’s parcel though. Due to Japanese postal regulations, there’s no note to explain that. But
that’s a topic for another post I’ll write about the insane postal regulations for sending stuff from Japan to Canada some other time, hopefully without too many puns. Psssst. Sonya, share the rice crackers with your our mother.
Tomorrow you can hear about how I lost my wallet, and all about the vast quantities of money we’ll have paid the post office to send stuff overseas. And after that I’ll try to get back on track with the Japanese cultural posts. I really want to write about the Tobata Gion Oyamagasa Festival, because people in Kitakyushu should try to see it if at all possible. We’ll miss it because it’s happening the weekend after we leave, but I took about 450 photos at last year’s festival. Some of them even turned out ok. Maybe I’ll have time to do it justice on Tuesday.