For dinner this evening we are having over two new shul members, as well as two more visiting Christian pilgrims.
Some of our Christian pilgrim guests have come from a myriad of sources. We basically volunteer whenever someone asks if anyone can host. It's easy when your kids are already in their teen years or older.
Also, my downstairs neighbor is a tour guide, and he gets a lot of Christian touring groups.They are friends of Israel and good tourists. He sends some of his group to local families on Friday evenings to experience an authentic Jewish traditional meal and maybe learn a little more about Jews. Of course, we also learn a little about them, too.
My neighbor gives some pre-shabbat training to our guests: how it is inappropriate to try to convert us, make us see the light, or even mention the word Jesus too often, lest we feel uncomfortable or get offended. He also describes a few of our rituals, and some things that we do or can't do on shabbat. With one exception, our guests have been lovely and pleasant. The exception praised Jesus just a few times too many for me during dinner; this combined with him being a rather dominant conversationalist.
I don't expect to play much; maybe tomorrow afternoon. But on Saturday evening I invited the Elkins to join us for a game of Balderdash. This will hopefully be my first play.
The 64 year-old woman who blew herself up in Gaza yesterday has essentially made life more difficult for the last remaining segment of the Palestinian population that was, until now, not subject to extensive security checks. Way to go.
But I noticed in the news article that her 52 year-old daughter tried to justify her actions. 52 year-old daughter. 64 year-old mother. 9 months of pregnancy. You do the math. Update: the source was here, but they have since removed the alleged age of the daughter.
I link here to Wil Wheaton's report from Gen-Con. For those not in the blogging know, Wil played the hated Wesley Crusher in the first few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He loathed many of the lines and directions that he was forced to perform and has been trying to escape from the shadow of that role for the last eighteen years. He is actually a cool guy, a great blogger, and a major geek sympathizer.
The Deseret News out of Utah does a complete job on Eurogames.
Joystiq also goes non-digital with a post for the holiday season on great analog games.
Another killing, this time in New Zeland, over a board game, this time Scrabble.
The Union Tribune in San Diego notes an 11 year-old Chess player, whose mother claims that Chess has helped her son's focus, concentration, logic, math, and memory skills. I note the article only because one of the reporter's gushing praises of the young player is, "He has memorized each of the 64 squares on a chess board." Wow! I ... I ... I'm not sure what that means.