### Overheard from the kids

 Owen and Marcus (and Monkey)
Marcus: "He was throwing sand at me, and I told him that is TOTALLY LAME!" (pronounced: totawy wame.)
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Owen (in the car): "Is that a hiker?! Yes. It is!"
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John (drying dishes): "Erin, where should I put this new bowl?"
Erin: "Put it anywhere."
Marcus (running into the room): "You mean in your butt?!"
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Owen (in the car after a long silence): "You know, lava can easily melt snow."
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Owen: "Mom, do you know what it means when you stick your middle finger up?"
Erin: "What does it mean?"
Owen: "It means you hate God."
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Owen (struggling): "Dad, that building is so tall I want to say the c-word."
John: "Oh yeah? What word is that?"
Owen (whispering): "I mean the word 'holy crap'."
John (whispering back): "It's okay. I agree, that building is so tall that it deserves the c-word. You can say it out loud this one time."
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Erin: "You need to clean this up. Right. Now."
Marcus: "Uggghhhh! Do you want to be the mom?!....oh, wait..."

(We often have to say this to Owen when he tries to boss Marcus around. The reasoning being that if he wants to act like a mom or dad, he has to also pay the bills, clean the kitchen, etc...)
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Marcus: "Is this meat or hotdog?"
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John: "It's time to eat."
Owen: "Stop saying that!"
Marcus: "Awkward!"
Erin: "Knock it off, both of you."
Marcus: "Awkward!"

(What is it with every kids show and movie trailer these days features someone saying "Awkward!" as the punchline to a joke?"
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And finally, as I was writing this post:

Owen: "Dad, you know you can use this red light at night to look at worms because worms come out at night and they do not see red light."

HAZEL + IVY said…
Those boys crack me up! I love reading these.

### 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…