There are mathematicians amongst us. Or in the case of my family, there is my Dad. My Dad is an intrepid international mathematician of mystery. He’s one of those people who is invited to speaking engagements all around the world where other mathematically inclined people pay money to hear him talk about Hamiltonian Cycles, exotic graph theory, branching operations, tournaments etc. Whereas most of us manage to utilize a few mathematical proofs in our daily lives without even realizing it, mathematicians publish their theories through scholarly journals – on purpose. These are hefty manuscripts full of proofs that can take many months or even years for mathematicians to solve. When my Dad isn’t reviewing proofs or speaking he is busily applying mathematical theory to the poker table and has also written articles for Poker Digest in the past. If you’d like to visit one of his featured web sites click here
My Dad and his wife currently live in Australia so it’s a big deal for JJ and I to get to visit them when they take a trip out here to our side of the planet. Such was the case this last weekend – my Dad was up in Seattle for about 24 hours. I’m not sure if anyone else was traveling Friday night on I-5 but it was truly a challenge as far as weather is concerned. It was raining so hard that there were literally times in which it felt like I was driving through a waterfall. Being temporarily blind on the freeway is no way to travel, trust me. But, as luck would have it, we made it safely to Seattle on Friday.
Those of you that are die-hard Beavers or Ducks fans will have to forgive my relatives to the North – they are Husky fans through and through. And whether you favor a particular team or even enjoy football at all, being at a college football stadium along with 70,000 other screaming fans is quite an event. As an added bonus, it was a really beautiful day in Seattle on Saturday. But as luck would have it, the Huskies were absolutely trounced, pummeled and embarrassed by Nebraska. Despite the horrible showing by the Huskies, there’s just something about the college atmosphere and the anticipation of how well your team will do in the upcoming season that is really special. I guess that’s why my Dad and his family have been attending Washington games since at least the 1960s. It has been something that has drawn them together as a family and still compels my Dad to visit from thousands of miles away to attend a blowout loss. Sadly, it’s a tradition that is now being carried on without my grandmother and my uncle, both of whom passed away in the Spring.
Each family has different traditions, different priorities and different visions of what being a family is all about. I have to say, as we were sitting to dinner to commemorate a dismal start to the season and to honor my grandmother and my uncle, that in many ways this family gets things right. When everything is said and done, it’s not really important what binds us together, it’s the fact that we enjoy each other’s company, that we share our lives and experiences freely and openly.
Apparently that is enough to draw my Dad from thousands of miles away and his son from a couple hundred.