Infinite helicopters plague typhoid (mary)canine family fun night

Topics for the last few issues of The Weekly Letter have been driven by calendar dates and number sequences: 6/13/14 — 7/15/16 — 8/17/18 — 9/19/20. This trend continues with calendar dates and numbers.

“Calendar dates and numbers?” Nazy asked.

“Surely my birthday is a very special place on the calendar..” I began.

Don't call me Shirley,” Nazy thought. “Of course. Arrow put a star sticker on the 27th,” Nazy replied.

“See? And we’re having a number of different parties …”

Because Mitra had come to Santa Barbara for the week — and for the first time since the pandemic began — we were lucky that she could join the festivities. We made the most of the time together. Things began on …

“ …. Friday Family Fun night, Dan!” Arrow exclaimed.

Friday Family Fun night is an Adams’ Family tradition involving random, spinning wheel generated selections of fun activities like sharing the birthday cake, riding scooters in the house and harvesting the honey from the centrifuge.

photos for THE Weekly Letter

When ‘Birthday Cake’ came up on the wheel, Arrow let me know that: “
You can haver the biggest piece, Dan. It’s your birthday.”
(He even let me help blow out the candles; Azelle wasn’t so accommodating)

Dan bday at Melika's house Sep 25 2020

The next day, everyone came to our house for brunch and, following that, Mitra and I took Tiger and Arrow to the nearby Douglas Preserve for a walk in the forest overlooking the ocean. We played tag on the logs and, when we were walking back to the car, a large dog bounded toward Arrow. He jumped.

“Please watch your dog,” Mitra said to the woman who should have had the dog on a leash.

Melika and Arrow on a log

“My dog doesn’t bother anybody,” the woman replied.

“It’s bothering …” Mitra began

“I’m so sorry that your Mommy doesn’t like dogs,” the lady said to Arrow.

“Actually, she’s
not our Mommy,” Tiger interrupted. “And he’s not my Dad.”

“If you were from around here..” the lady began.

“Actually,” Tiger interrupted (again), “We are from here.”

“Hrrumph!” The woman muttered, wondering why we were all laughing.

“Actually, we do like dogs.”Tiger concluded.

Dan's birthday 2020 Fellowship

During the brunch, Tiger, Arrow and their parents’ attempted to complete a helicopter from

Instruction-less construction is not a recipe for success,” I thought, well aware of my own inability to accurately process two dimensional pictures of three dimensional devices.

The work was considerably more difficult than anticipated and, in fact, had to be abandoned for the day. (The abandonment decision was accelerated when Tiger, trying to connect two components, broke the semi-completed device into several pieces instead. Putting it mildly, he was somewhat distraught, so I decided to talk with him …

“Tiger, if I have a pile of all the numbers — 1, 2, 3… going on forever then how many will I have all together?”


tiger, arrow and helicopter Sep 30 2020

“Right. Now if I take away all the even numbers and I put them in a pile, how many are left.?

“Infinity, Dan.”

“And if you take every other one from the even pile you’ll still have infinity. Right?”

Tiger nodded.

“How is that possible? What kind of a number is infinity?”

“Infinity is
not a number, Dan. It’s just a word that means it goes on forever.”

‘Ah,” I replied. “
I think that the number of pieces in that helicopter is more than infinity,” I thought.
Mitra and Azelle with marble tower Sep 27 2020

We downloaded and printed the instructions — all 36 pages — the next day. Nazy helped the boys complete construction.

During the party, Azelle showed the marble maze to Mitra. (Notice that Azelle’s tip toes.)

Nazy also baked a cake for me on my actual birthday. Following that we watched…

“… a Saturday Night Live parody of a Presidential Debate?” I asked walking in a little late.

“It’s not a satire, Dan. It’s real. That…”

“ … interrupting
moron?” I, eh, interrupted.

“Yes! That interrupting moron is ‘
president’ of the United States. He says he’s in favor of Law and Order.”

“Voting for Donald Trump as President because you want Law and Order is like selecting Typhoid Mary as personal care physician because you fear bacterial infection.”

For last week's letter, please click here

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