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Friday, July 22, 2005



I've got a telephone job interview for a full time mathematics position at a community college next Wednesday at 15:00. This news is quite agreeable.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005



I just uploaded my klein bottle icon to my blogger account. Not sure why I didn't think to do this before.

Sunday, July 17, 2005



I drew a map of the Near East on the whiteboard for the class today. I forgot my colored markers and couldn't do the water in blue, though. Last week they were asking about how far it is from Egypt to Israel and that kind of thing, so I drew up a rough map of the Exodus route. I thought my Mediterranean and Nile Delta were pretty good, although my Red Sea leaves something to be desired.

Friday, July 15, 2005



I spent most of today helping David and Karen pack up their U-Haul. Seven other people were helping for varying amounts of time throughout the day, and they had professional piano movers come and move the piano. At around noon we had pizza and chocolate chip cookies. In addition to packing things up, they had some people come and look at the house, and were also discussing things with a realtor. Ideally, they would have sold the house by now, but they have to get moved in time for David to start his new job. Their son Darren will stay in the house until it sells; he has to find a place to stay, and I've suggested my apartment, since I'm planning to move out and Jeremy will need a roommate. Not sure if that will work out.

Continuing in reverse chronological order, my parents, who are on their way to a family reunion, stayed at my apartment last night. It was good to see them. My dad slept on the couch and my mom slept in the other bedroom.

Speaking of the other bedroom, I haven't mentioned my new part-time roommate. I have an aunt who is working on her doctoral degree, and taking classes here four days a week this summer. She's been staying at the apartment with me Monday through Thursday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005



I've been applying to a lot of jobs, and been turned down for a few. I only need to get hired by one.

Sunday, July 10, 2005



I forgot to mention there is no Ultimate Frisbee today, since they're doing a farewell party for a family that is moving away. This is just as well, since my legs are sore from Friday night and I don't feel like running.



Today was the first lesson from Numbers. I thought Andrew was going to do it, but we managed not to connect with each other, or to get him connected with the notebook, due to a series of communication errors. First, I called Kyle and arranged to pick up the notebook from him at Greg's on Friday night. Then, Andrew called Kyle, found out I was going to do that, and figured I would bring the notebook to him once I got it (we live about three blocks apart). Then, Kyle forgot to bring the notebook to Greg's. Andrew was out of town on Saturday, and had been intending to prepare the lesson early Sunday morning. So he didn't answer his phone after I got the notebook Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, today was the first lesson in Numbers. The suggested chapters were 11 and 12, but we skimmed the ones before that and even read most of 9, which was about the first Passover celebration (after the one in Egypt). Chapter 11 is about manna and quail, while chapter 12 is about Aaron, Miriam, and leprosy. We talked about why it is wrong to complain against God, and the difference between complaining and asking for something. The kids were quick to say that we shouldn't complain because we shouldn't question God's plan, but one aspect they didn't think of right away is that our focus shouldn't be on current circumstances but on eternity. God never intended for the Israelites to be on a manna diet forever; the trip from Egypt to the promised land was probably just a few months. Instead of complaining about the journey, they ought to have been looking forward to the destination.

Saturday, July 09, 2005



Big day yesterday. I got new shoes, since the old ones were starting to fall apart. I got them at Fred Meyer for only $15 (60% of $25). Not bad. Later I got a chance to break them in. After making a few phone calls, I found out that there was no game night at Randy's this week, something I would probably have known if I'd been there last week. Instead, everyone was invited over to Greg's house. It was a large group; between fifteen and twenty people I think. Abe and I got there at about 19:30, at which point they were already in the middle of a game of kickball. The way they play, everyone rotates through all the positions, including "batter". We played that until everyone started getting tired and thirsty, then went inside for coolaid and nachos.

Greg's little brother Steve is the one who usually makes the coolaid. He likes to put in about four times the recommended amount of sugar. No one else will do this, but they like it so they let him make it. I watched him do this one time. First, he carefully measured the sugar in a measuring cup, except he did it heaping full instead of flat. Then he did it again (note that the first cupful fulfilled normal requirements). Then he decided there wasn't that much sugar left and just dumped the rest of the container in.

Once it started getting dark, we played a game called "pigstye". Basically it's a variation on dungeon tag. Two people are It. You don't have to actually touch someone to tag them, but just see them and call out their name. And, you don't have to touch someone to free them from the jail; you just have to wave at them, and have them wave back at you. Their next-door neighbors played with us, and we were able to use their yard so we had more space.

After it got really dark, we played three games of Capture the Flags. The teams were divided up randomly. For the first two games, the territory for each team was the combined front and back yards of one of the two houses, with the property line as the border. On flag was in a front yard, and the other was in the opposite back yard. Then for the third game, we put both the flags in the back yards, and made the front yards a "neutral zone" where no one could get tagged.

I spent most of my time in the first two games either sitting in jail, or harrassing border guards. In the third game, I was a jail guard, stationed in front of one of the back gates. That was exciting for the first fifteen minutes or so, when the other team was trying to come through that gate. At one point they ambushed me with two people, and managed to free a couple of prisoners and get away. I would have caught one of them if I hadn't been slowed down by a bush. At the same time, other members of their team came from the other side and tried to get our flag. They were all caught, and right after that we recaptured one of the prisoners who had been freed. The game slowed down after that. No one else tried to come through my gate, although I was still in a good position to survey both back yards and yell information to my teammates. The rest of the game mostly consisted of both sides patrolling the fence (which is less than waste high in places). Occasionally someone would vault it and try to do something. Finally someone on our team snuck around and ran in through one of the gates, grabbed their flag, and jumped the fence with it. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've played Capture the Flags in seven or eight years.

Monday, July 04, 2005



I have no idea how Sunday school went this week. Kyle and Andrew did it I assume, but I haven't talked to them yet. Mostly I've spent the week at the library, accompanied by my trusty algebra book.

Today we went to a Fourth of July potluck get-together that we've been invited to for the past few years. The family lives out in the country, and their friends and extended family all come for this, so there are a lot of people there. My old roommate Jeremy is in Portland right now, but his dad and three of his siblings are still in town and were there as well. Speaking of which, they were visiting Nichole over the weekend, and stayed at my apartment even though I was not there. They also picked up my mail for me.

They didn't set up the volleyball net this year, but we brought our croquet set and played a game. The course we set up was close to a traditional course since we wanted to keep it in a contained area. We ended up with six players: Me, my sister, Joel and Johnny (who are Jeremy's brothers), Amanda (whose house we were at) and Noah (who is Amanda's cousin or something). Now, Noah is about seven or eight years old. He is very small and doesn't look very threatening. He hadn't played croquet before, but was eager to learn. He was having some trouble swinging the mallet properly, so I tried to show him how, standing behind him and helping him position his hands. We hit the ball through one wicket together. Great. Then on the next one, I helped him get set up, then stood back a little to watch. I was leaning down to see the ball. He swung as if he were hitting a golf ball with a driver, missed the ball entirely, and hit me in the forehead with the mallet. I stopped trying to help him.

Since I didn't black out or see stars or anything, I figured it wasn't too bad. I held ice on it for a while just to be safe. There's a bruise, but nothing serious. Still, after receiving a blow to the head in the afternoon, it isn't necessarily the smartest idea to go watch a show involving bright lights and loud noises that night. I've got a bit of a headache, which I'm hoping will go away by morning. It isn't nearly as bad as the migraines I used to get, and it's getting better.

Speaking of fireworks, that display was impressive. As usual, someone had a radio tuned to the station where they have music choreographed with the explosions. Interestingly, for part of the time near the beginning they played the Star Wars theme. I kept expecting to see the Millenium Falcon fly in or something. Toward the end, the music stopped, and remained silent for the grand finale. Then, a few minutes after the finale, they set off six or seven more of them, as if they had forgotten those during the main show. Weird, but the show was still good.

I was thinking tonight that this would be a time when I particularly wouldn't want to be overseas. I remember when we went on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, they raised an American flag on the boat and played our national anthem. All of the students saluted the flag and sang along. This was maybe a week after 9/11, and we felt very patriotic and very homesick right about then. There was something about seeing the stars and stripes for the first time in weeks that really made me realize how far I was from home. I think that Independence Day is an especially good time to remember our soldiers who are stationed away from home, many of them in harm's way. If it were not for men like them, we would not enjoy the blessings of liberty.

"Oh thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes, and the war's desolation!
Blessed with victory and peace, may this Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved her a nation!
And conquer we must,
When our cause, it is just,
And this be our motto:
In God is our trust.
And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!"

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