### Walkin' and Talkin'

Tonight, Owen and I went for a walk just before dinner. Here's a rough transcript of our conversation.

Owen: "Daddy, what's this way?"
Me: "It's a new way. This will be an adventure walk."
Owen: "Yeah, I haven't been this way in a long time."
Me: "Yep."
Owen: "Daddy, this is the way to the choo-choo Christmas lights!"
Me: "Yes, this is the way [to the house that had a Christmas train display on the side of their house--10 months ago!]"
Owen: "Daddy, I like this new way."
Me: "It's fun to try new paths and new directions, huh?"
Owen: "Daddy, I want to go home now."
Me: "But we just started! How about we turn up here?"
Owen: "Okay!"
...
Owen: "Daddy, it will only be a short time when there will be choo-choo Christmas lights!"
Me: "Yep, probably only a month away. After Thanksgiving."
Owen: "Yeah! Tomorrow there will be choo-choo Christmas lights!"
Me: "Um, I think it'll be a bit longer than tomorrow."
Owen: "No it won't be long. It will be short."
Me: "Yes, it will be short. Let's turn up here."
Owen: "We can tell Mommy that we went a new way!"
Me: "Yep!"
Owen: "Daddy, what happens when you mix red and white and blue?"
Me: "I don't know, what?"
Owen: "I'll give you a hint: (whispering) it's a rectangle."

Amy Van Hook said…
I remember that it wasn't just "christmas lights" it was "CHRISTMAS LIIIIIGHTS!!!!!"
blissful_e said…
That is just so sweet.
mama mia said…
priceless
It's good to know that our dear boy Owen is a true patriot.

### 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 started by downloading a stock photo of J.J. from NBA.com, which I then loaded into OpenOffice Draw:

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…