### Roach part 2 - Erratum: The Price of Paradise

Erin and I were watching a perfectly legally copied DVD in the living room when Erin heard something in the kitchen. I hit pause and we listened carefully. I didn't hear it until after I saw it: Another giant flying cockroach. He was buzzing around the light above the kitchen sink in a moth-like fashion and then settled down in a crevice between the window and the wall. Erin and I shot each other a glance. No words were necessary, we both knew we had to put this roach to bed for the night.

Erin grabbed the broom and I grabbed a Dansko (Erin once told me that Dansko women's sandals are the ultimate roach flatteners). Erin flushed the critter out onto the counter/sink area and it scurried behind the dish rack. With a couple jabs from the broom, the roach flew out and made a break for the unopened moving boxes. But I was waiting with the shoe and knocked him to the ground with the first hit, and then de-roached him with a second strike while he was flapping on the ground.

So here's where the erratum to my previous post comes in: This sucker was smaller than the previous roach, and this one was definitely bigger than 1.5 inches. So roach #1 had to be at least 2 inches. Inspection of my sandal with a measuring tape, and a quick comparison of the roach to my shoe in the picture reveals that roach #1 was about 2.2 inches long with a 4 inch wing span. That definitely puts it in the Texas size class, albeit at the lower end of the scale. One word: Ew.

Also, quick note to nature: Isn't it enough that roaches can live anywhere, eat anything, slip in and out of tight spaces, survive nuclear Armageddon, and always survive the first hit from a shoe? Was it really necessary to grant them the ability to fly? That's just gratuitous and wrong. What's next, opposable thumbs and lasers?

mama mia said…
I'm telling ya! Boric Acid Powder treatment can be safely applied...our big tree roaches in the big H were seldom seen in any position but legs-up/back-on-the-floor. We need to do it again here.
erinjohn said…
don't get me wrong, the roaches are disgusting. i do feel fortunate in that we have only seen two in our time here.

mom, i've got boric acid powder. i'm just leery about pumping it all around the house when owen spends so much time playing on the floor. there seems to be no easy way to eliminate household pests that doesn't involve lots of chemicals that are going to give us cancer and brain damage. life's tougher choices, eh?
HeyLindsay said…
At least if you all get brain damage, it will be in hawaii.

Next time, I want to see a ruler next to the cockroach. I know that John (like someone else I know) may tend toward exaggeration. Ruler will disprove my theory.

Thinking of you...
JohnJohn said…
Like I said, I used scientific means to determine the size of that first cockroach. But whether it was 1.5 inches or 2.2 inches is pretty much a moot point. The thing was huge. Hugely disgusting.

As for acid powder and other pesticides, I think we'll stick to our more organic, team-oriented approach to killing roaches. If we start seeing several a day, then we'll use more drastic measures. But I have to admit I get quite an adrenaline rush from whacking the things the old fashioned way.

### 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…