So Thursday, TYG and I flew out to Weem, Chicago-area Mensa’s Halloween gathering. It was our first time—we’ve talked about going before, but never did. However this year Weem had a time travel theme so a regional Mensan we met at the national Gathering suggested I do the same presentation I’d done at the national (for obvious reasons, I’d done one on time-travel films). I pitched it to the program chair, she liked it, and so off we went.
The programming at Weem was very good. I attended one with some interesting discussions of randomness (“Suppose you buy a lottery ticket and decide you’ll quit your job if it’s a winner, but stay at work if it’s not. The outcome is random but it isn’t 50/50—the odds are you won’t get to quit.”), and another where a chess grandmaster played five games of chess simultaneously … while blindfolded (he called out his moves, someone made them for him).
I’d only intended to stay for a couple of minutes, but I got hooked and watched until it was all over (he won). I actually stood between him and some of the boards a couple of times, just to make sure he couldn’t see. It would have been possible for his move-making guy to maybe have a tiny camera pinned on him, I suppose, but I think it’s more likely the player’s on the level, which is awesome.
I also attended a presentation on the history of horns: conchs, didgeridoos, alpenhorns, coach horns, French horns, shofars. It was very informative (now I understand why those valves on horns matter) and interesting (photo of some horns below).
My own presentation had a decent turn out, so I’m pleased with that.
The food in hospitality was good, and we had a great time. Though we’re not committed to putting it on our annual list yet, the way we have with the national and Greenville SC’s regional gathering. That’s not a reflection on Weem, but it’s a long stretch for us to travel from Durham, compared to events in Greenville or Atlanta. However we’re not ruling it out, either
We made it back in around 3 this afternoon and went to collect the puppies almost as soon as we got home. Now it’s back to our normal workaday life, but I really enjoyed the break (probably even more than TYG: for her being separated from the puppies is much more painful, as she doesn’t spend as much time with them as I do).