So I was walking around a nearby lake earlier, eating my traditional Day 49 Dairy Queen “Brownie Earthquake”. Tradition because I happened to eat that same treat from that same Dairy Queen 11 years ago today, during the original 100 Days of Summer. So now on Day 49 I go to Dairy Queen. Haven’t done it every year but I try to. I also listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Because I think it was playing on the radio when I visited that Dairy Queen on July 11, 2001. Really no deeper reason for the tradition than that.

Anyway! Where was I? Ah, yes, I was walking around the lake. It’s a nice day, so lots of people were out walking their dogs and riding their bikes. When I parked my car and started the walk, I began to hear some inexplicable music coming from somewhere, and the sound got closer. Then some middle aged guy on a bike appeared, and attached to his bike was a little music player and speaker, playing some kind of instrumental smooth jazz. He whooshed on by and the sound faded. A few minutes later, as my walk progressed, he passed by me again, as he was circling the lake the opposite direction as I was. And a few minutes after that, I hear the music again and there he was again. This happened a total of six times before I was all the way around and back to my car.

I got into my car and drove away, when I came to a realization… that everything that just happened was like something straight out of a… math problem!

The walk around the lake takes me about 20 minutes. I passed Smooth Jazz Bicycle Guy six times, so the interim time was about 3 to 4 minutes.

Well, that’s the only data I have. Unless I bothered to look at the total distance of the path around the lake, which, going by the little markers drawn on the path here and there, is probably about a mile. But if I had more data, think of all I could calculate! My walking speed, though I suppose if 20 minutes to walk a mile, it was 3 miles an hour. Then there’d be SJBG’s biking speed, taking into account the distance he biked each time he passed me was slightly shorter than the total distance around the lake. That distance is one mile, so I’d have traveled one-sixth of a mile in the interim, so he traveled five-sixths of a mile in about 3.3 minutes, so his speed would be about 15 miles an hour.

Math is fun!

Oh, but there are other things to calculate! If I had the data. The volume of the smooth jazz, taking into account my aural sensitivity and from what distance I could still hear it. At one point, someone in a nearby backyard was running a chain saw, and during this was one of the times SJBG passed by, so I didn’t hear the music that far ahead of his appearing. So considering the previous theoretical data, one could calculate the volume of the chain saw. Or how far away it was. Or maybe only one of those if the other is known. Then might have to account for the trees in between and maybe air pressure.

It’s not just a math problem. It’s a PHYSICS PROBLEM!!!!

…

Aww, fuck it. It was a nice walk on a nice day, passing by some weird man on a bike blaring smooth jazz.

*This has been Day 49 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 12.*

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