### field trip to ho'omaluhia gardens

this morning owen and i met up with his preschool program to explore ho'omaluhia botanical gardens (say that three times fast). it took a quick chat with my brother to motivate me to forego plans to do chores and actually get out of the house and it was certainly worth it!

we walked up to the pavilion as soon as the gathered group was starting the Oli Aloha (morning chant). i have to say that i'll miss this group as owen starts his new preschool at the end of july. i'll also miss learning about hawaiian culture. but i know it will be worth it for me to have those two mornings each week to spend some q.t. with baby brother.

anyhow, we did a little art project--the crayon rubbing pictrured above--and then set off to feed the ducks. mysteriously enough, there was only one duckling to be found. owen loved feeding them the heels of our bread loaves and taking a few bites himself. "mommy, we share with the ducks. see, i share too." point well taken.

our adventure continued as we hiked the trails around the lake, crossing streams and stopping at various bird watching areas. we spotted a mongoose, plenty of lizards, and lots of tiny birds who seemed to be guiding us along our path. picnic lunch of pb&j on a bird watching bench and then we called it a day. for the record, i was exhausted by the time we made it back to the car. (duh, hiking at 8 1/2 months pregnant is hard!) owen was a super-trooper and settled for hug breaks instead of being carried when he got tired. i love to see our little man explore nature - stopping to feel different leaves, examine the rocks and listen to the "plunks" of rocks hitting the water.

mama mia said…
I cannot wait to see our little naturalist again. Watching Owen observe the world around him helps me understand the importance of outdoor time these days...may I recommend, "Last Child in the Woods"?
the substance of said motivation was to explain that this mother of 1 and vessel for another should not spend too much time trying to make sure that laundry is done. after all, i explained, you're only renting the cleanliness of your clothes.

### 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…