Thursday, August 24, 2006

Duplicating Euclid

I’ve been researching a book on ancient mathematicians for a little while now. Aa few weeks ago found this huge, scholarly tome on Greek philosophers and thinkers at the New York Public Library. Make no mistake, the book is enormous. I can barely fit it in my laptop bag. But it’s got a few chapters that should really help me understand this stuff.

On the other hand, 90 percent of it is completely useless to me at this point. So, after lugging this bad boy home and reading the chapter on Pythagoras, I’ve dragged it back into work so I can photocopy chapters on Euclid and Greek mathematics in general. (I photocopied the Archimedes chapter on our printer/copier combo, but the book’s almost as big as the printer, and the whole operation was just plain awkward.)

Anyway, this photocopying chore reminded me of a time back when I was in middle school – probably around 6th grade – and I asked my dad to copy the monsters chart from the end of Dungeon Master’s Guide. The whole chart was cool, but what I really wanted was the experience point calculations on the far end of it. That way, my friends and I could look at our character sheets, see how many experience points we needed to make the next level, then look at the charts and decide “We need to kill a xorn!” And then we’d all go kill a xorn because the DM was accommodating – after all, he had characters in the group too. (We didn’t have a lot of players, and the system did keep us going up in level, so if you wanna complain, tell it to my 135th-level magic-user. Yeah, you heard me.)

But what strikes me now is that Dad went and copied those 30-odd pages of charts for me at work. Remember, this was at a time when hardly anyone had ever heard of D&D, and some of those who had thought it was some form of devil worship. And I can picture Dad bringing this book to the photocopier and copying page after page of what can only have looked like utter nonsense for me. I mean, look at that cover! Boss or not, Dad must’ve had some explaining to do.

So thanks Dad. I’m dedicating my next xorn to you.



Dave said...

heheh, my dad photocopied the entire module of Q1 for me at work. "Queen of the Demonweb Pits," there's one to show the co-workers at Bell Telephone!

i ran across a bunch of AD&D books at a yard sale recently, but i passed on them. could have had them cheap, but i didn't know anyone who might need them, and mine are in a box somewhere around here.

Sharon GR said...

We ran across a bunch of old AD&D books at a yard sale a while back too, and passed on most of them since we already have 'em. But, our DM picked up an old book on heinous traps, and was very excited about it.

So far we haven't run across any of them, that I know of anyway. Thinking about it keeps my character up nights.

Greg! said...

Using the photocopier at work to copy strange stuff at the risk of comment -- or, worse, questions -- from co-workers, all because the kid said please, dad.

We do strange things for the ones we love.

Thank God.

Lobbyist said...

Admitting you played is the first step to a cure. My parents sent all my AD&D books with me after a recent trip to their house.

I don't think that I can get rid of them...but what do I do when my geeky 7 year old asks, "dad what is this?"

Well really what do I do when he asks, "can you teach me to play?"

But back to Rob's point... I'll probably go find some 20 sided dice for him... and teach him to counterpunch.

Jill said...

Hi Rob, dont even ask how I got here. I didnt even know what a BLOG was until recently...sad really.Must be living in the south.
I am glad to see you are well and happy. Would love to heear how your family is.