Smashing garlic

Video of two women comparing their methods for dealing with garlic. The first used a meat pounder, which seemed to work great. She also demonstrated adding some coarse salt if she wanted the garlic mash to be very fine. The second woman used the knife blade flat in a similar fashion (which from what little research I did appeared to be a Shun Santoku), but took more time than the meat pounder approach. There’s a lot of meat pounders on Amazon that range in price from $15-60, but for this purpose, I wonder if a hand dumbbell weight wouldn’t work just as well. In any event, my Zyliss garlic press just got put in the bottom drawer.

I’d seen the smashing garlic approach using a knife before about thirty years ago from a friend who worked in a deli and more recently a few years ago on TV from Martin Yan using a Chinese cleaver. As I recall, Martin used a smash/sweeping motion with the cleaver to make the garlic a paste in one stroke.

Dominant color and streaks

Saw a big better at the baccarat tables again today. I watched him lose, lose and lose and fork over $5,500 for more chips (I have no idea how much he was down when he was buying more, my hunch is at least a few thousand). Anyhow, this same player (the veteran baccarat player who made $6,000 on a Player streak a little while back), seems to have a very simple strategy:
1.) He bets big ($1,000 per hand) on the dominant color and hopes for a streak.
2.) He doesn’t appear to be guessing (aside from his initial choice), but stays put on either Banker and Player and waits for the casino to beat him. So far, I’ve watched him win more than lose (have no idea how he’s doing overall).

Kitchen knives at hospice thrift stores

Yesterday I went to the local thrift store to see if a couple of Chuppa paring knives I had donated a week ago were still there. Unfortunately, they weren’t. However, in looking for them I was handed three large plastic bins from behind the counter packed full of all kinds of kitchen knives in which to scour. Much to my surprise, there were a lot of very good condition knives in there, and all at dirt cheap prices!

Not all the knives in the bins were “used” either, I found several unopened new-in-box knives as well. However, since I was in a bit of a rush yesterday, I didn’t have the time to do as thorough a look-see as I would have liked. Will go back today and take another look.

Chef knives on Amazon – most don’t have heels

I’ve been on a tear of sorts with the Lightning Deals on Amazon, particularly with chefs knives. So far I’ve bought four. Unfortunately, at least two of them I’m planning to return because of the absence of a heel (the end of the blade next to the handle). On my Wusthof and Analon knives, the heel is a nice solid border between the knife and handle. I hadn’t even considered it an issue until today when one of the knives showed up and my forefinger made contact with heel-end of the knife. Too close and too thin.

There is no “should” in baccarat

One of the oldest misconceptions in gambling is that the dice, cards or wheel “should” do something based upon what’s happened so far. This is called the “gamblers fallacy” because the dice, cards or wheel have no memory. The same probability exists anew each time, and in the case of baccarat, it’s 50/50.

While it can boggle the mind that Player has come up twelve times in a row, that does not correlate that Banker is somehow now more likely to show up than it did before. The probability hasn’t changed. If something is 50/50, then that’s what it is, period. There is no increase or decrease in the probability of the next event being any different. Anymore than a coin toss favors one side over the other just because of how many heads or tails appear in a sequence. Every event is independent.

Though it’s unlikely that you’d see 100 heads (or 100 tails) in a row, it’s entirely possible. Regardless of what’s happened before, the probability of each new flip of the coin remains 50/50.

Unfounded Baccarat assumptions

I hear it frequently at the Baccarat tables, wild ideas about what’s going on. Everything from the cards are fixed to favor the house in some way to theories about what likely is going to the next hand result. The Chinese have many such theories, and take meaning of numbers very seriously. There is no number four on the table because of the superstition the four equals death. They bet on the Tie, Dragon or Panda line when one of those bets matches the same horizontal position on the board that a previous Tie, Dragon, or Panda did. Makes no sense to me.

Twelve Players in a row!

Just saw a Player streak at the baccarat tables that went twelve in a row, no ties. More impressive was the gambler (a veteran of the game and somebody who I’ve seen many times over the years) who was betting $500 and $1000 on Player every hand and winning. Before hand thirteen, the casino changed dealers, and he cashed in his chips. $6000.

He then bet $15 on Player for hand thirteen and Banker won. He then gets up and leaves. You don’t see that everyday!

Moral of the story? Bet big. Bet right. Don’t press your luck and quit while you’re ahead.