Eighty-five degrees and sunny every day is all fun and games until you meet your first cockroach. The roaches here aren't the scatter-when-the-light-comes-on type. They'll stand their ground, and maybe even taunt you a bit. The other night Erin and I were watching an perfectly-legal, downloaded television show on the office computer when I went out to get a glass of water. When I returned, I saw a gigantic roach perched above the doorway to the office. He was all, and I quote, "Sup?"

At first I was pretty startled, seeing as the thing looked about as big as a house cat, only more muscular. After I gathered my senses, it occurred to me that it was "only" about an inch and a half long. That's about an inch and a quarter longer than I'm looking for in a roach. I grabbed a sandal (slippah) and told Erin to turn on the hallway lights as soon as I took my swing. If he was going to dive at me, I wanted to be able to see it. So I crept up to the doorway and took aim. The roach was all, "Oh hell naw, stop playin!"

I swung my sandal in a wide arc, intending to hit him as hard as I could. Right before the sandal reached him, he started to fly away and I only managed to clip him on his left side. The hall lights turned on in a blaze of 75 watt brilliance. The blow knocked him back into the wall with a muted thud. He then rebounded, fluttering down toward the laundry closet. I wasn't in the mood to search for a 1.5 inch roach among my dirty socks, so I started flailing wildly with my slippah. On the third or fourth swing, I landed a solid hit to the roachicular region, flattening him into the carpet, but not before I twisted my knee. Damn, I had my first roach fighting injury.

As I stood there, hobbled and out of breath, the roach started to move! I was only able to stare dumbly as my defeated foe tried to get to round 2. But Erin raced in, took my weapon and finished the thing off. She looked back at me, tossed her hair and quipped, "I had to put my foot down on that issue." Man, with a dry, cool wit like that she could be an action hero!

Here are some post-action pictures. Johnsons 1, Roach 0. We won the first battle, but the war is still raging here in Honolulu.

Fig 1: My right slippah. Roach shown for scale.

Fig 2: We pay our respects to the recently departed. "When you get to hell, tell em the Johnsons sent you!"

mama mia said…
Check out boric acid powder at
www.doyourownpestcontrol.com

When we used it for fleas it killed roaches too, for a couple years!
Mike said…
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/SoupsMan/cat_sup.jpg
Cindy said…
Remember - 50th State Cockroach Killer!
I'm fairly certain that what you've described here is punishable by death in certain less populated regions of the Milky Way's outer rim. But, considering you are in Amerka, I expect to see one of you in a flight suit soon with a banner screaming out "Mission Accomplished!!" I'm also expecting some serious discussion of the cockroach's ability to withstand radiation. It's a curious animal that can survive an atomic blast but gets his ass beat by a slipppah.
erinjohn said…
cindy - i've been searching high and low for that stuff, but it may be time for some internet shopping!
Anonymous said…
See, I think Erin was all cool and collected because that roach was small in comparison to some of the flying suckers that we used to see in Houston.
LizRey said…
Oh my god! A little pee came out!

### On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

### Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…

### The Force is strong with this one...

Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…