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Thursday, July 27, 2006



Last weekend my dad was in the area visiting his brother, so he came and visited me as well. He got here on Saturday afternoon and left early Monday morning. It was really good to see him, and I was glad he was here when he could visit my church. On Monday evening we went to the same Thai place that I went to with Amy (we found that #32 and #34 are both good) and Sunday evening we went to a German place that Dad picked out because he walked by and smelled the sauerkraut. In addition to sauerkraut and sausages they had live accordion music. On Sunday afternoon, once it cooled off a little (it had been over 100 degrees) we took a scenic drive that was recommended to us, turning around when the paved road gave out since we were in a rental car.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006



It's been nearly a month so I should probably type something here. Mostly what I've been doing is working, and there hasn't really been any math that I've felt like blogging about, so it take too much to do an update.

The week of Independence Day I did in fact go to visit my friend Joel. I hadn't seen him in about five years, and I had never met his wife, Christie.

I got down there on Saturday evening. Sunday morning I went to church with them. After church we packed our lunch and drove to go meet his family at a lake in Idaho. We spent part of the afternoon driving around the lake in a boat, then had dinner with his family back at their camper. At some point in the conversation Joel tried to tell me that he loved logic proofs but hated math, so I had to explain to him that once you get past differential equations, proofs are what math is all about. He was rather surprised.

Monday night they invited some college students over to play board games. We played a card-game called "The Great Dalmudy," and another a card game called "Bang!" which is a more complicated variation of "Mafia" with an old-west shootout theme. I was "Willy the Kid," who has the special ability of being able to shoot his gun as many times as he wants on one turn (provided he's got the cards for it). I was also a Deputy, which meant my goal in the game was to support my local Sherriff. I did this by shooting at anyone the Sherriff shot at, and also by shooting at people I believed to be Outlaws who the Sherriff might not have shot at, and also by shooting whatever other random people were standing between me and the Outlaws. I did not, however, shoot the Sherriff. Except with the gatling gun, which hits everyone. We also played a very complicated game called "Shadows Over Camelot," in which the players assume the roles of various Knights of the Round Table, and work together to defeat the evil gameboard. You are required to address one another by proper titles, and can discuss game strategy, but only from an in-character perspective. For instance, you don't say, "I have army cards numbered 1 through 4, but I'm missing number 5," but rather, "I can aid Arthur in the campaign against the Picts, if he can provide the very strongest troops to finish the battle."

On Tuesday we went to one of the few counties (or possibly the only county) in Washington where fireworks are still legal. Some of the college students made dry-ice bombs, which we found out later are illegal even there. During the fireworks displays there was a huge thunderstorm going on with sheet lightning, which was much more impressive than the fierworks. Earlier in the afternoon, Joel was attacked by some boys with water guns, to which he responded by hooking up a hose and soaking one of them. He then suggested we move inside before it occurred to them that the hose could be used on him as well. While inside, we played a game called Politics, which is a bit like Life, only you pursue a political career. I was elected president twice, but in my second term I got impeached and removed from office. I don't know what the charges were, but I'm sure I was innocent.

Joel and Christie help out with their church's youth group, so on Wednesday night I sat in on that. On the way there Christie's car broke down and we had to push it across a busy intersection. It turned out the problem was a faulty heat gauge; it had crossed the red line for no good reason and a failsafe mechanism shut the vehicle down. It was nice that she had a larger passenger when it happened.

Wednesday and Thursday they both were at work during the day, so I just hung out at the apartment. I had brought the pre-algebra book with me so I was able to work on that. My bus left Friday morning.

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