Sometimes you get sick and you're all, "Whoa! Where'd that come from?" That's how I felt two weeks ago when I came down with some weird stomach virus. Fortunately, the whole thing was over within 48 hours.

Other times you start to sniffle, ache and sneeze and you're all, "Yep. I pretty much knew that was coming." In fact, on some of these occasions you can remember the exact moment in space-time when the disease was transmitted to you. Those times most frequently involve kids.

I love my children with a white-hot intensity equal to that of the Sun's core. However, dammit if they aren't the most effective disease vectors known to man. Ticks? Psht. Mosquitoes. Please.

Take tonight, for instance. I can feel the early stages of the flu coming on. My eyes burn, I'm coughing and I'm getting more and more weary every passing hour. I know how this happened. I was sitting in the living room Friday when Owen, who had been sneezing all day, started to tell me something while sitting next to me on the couch. He said, "Daddy?" and I turned to look at his cute little face. And before he could get the next words out, he sneezed. In my face. Just full-on: yep, that's where those fluids go. In your facial region, Dad.

First it was Marcus, then Owen, then Erin (poor thing is still down for the count). Now it's my turn.
So I imagine I'll be down for a while (I sure hope I'm wrong!). Fortunately for you, dear reader, I have a full slate of blog posts queued up and ready to auto-publish throughout the week.

Ugh.

### 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…