### fun on the farm

while in texas, we visited my mom's sister jeanette & her family. they have about 20 acres an hour outside of houston in a town called bellville. as kids, we spent many a summer day splashing in the waters of their pond and romping around in the woods. it was such a treat to bring the boys out for the day and to see all the updates they've made to their property - especially to meet all the new farm friends - peacocks, donkeys, and goats! owen was thrilled to walk the paths in what he called "the hundred acre wood". "is winnie the pooh in here? it's kinda spooky!" he can't stop talking about riding that "big orange tractor and throwing rocks in that pond". marcus had a great time getting sleepy in the swing near the pond with nonna - his rocking buddy for the month of december.

owen meets carmen

feeding the goats with uncle dave

marcus and nonna

zeus & charlie

woohoo! with aunt jeanette

sarah, owen and his new favorite animal

Amy Pousson said…
that really was one of my favorite days...brian being my personal DJ on the ride out...meeting the pork quota for the day...cheesecake...walking through the woods...seeing aunt net, uncle dave, sarah and granny...SO MUCH FUN!!
kellifornia said…
This is inspiration that you don't have to live in Texas to show your children all of the great things we got to experience growing up. Looks fun!
blissful_e said…
Unbeatable childhood experiences/memories. Fantastic! I especially liked that Marcus had a rocking buddy for the month of December! :)

### 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…