Over the holidays my mother-in-law got my wife and me hooked on Sudoku (suh-DOE-coo), a puzzle game with a single rule:

Fill in the grid so that
» every row,
» every column, and
» every 3 x 3 box
contains the digits 1 through 9.

Here is an example of a Sudoku puzzle before and after being solved:

Initial Sudoku game grid
Completed Sudoku game grid

Apparently, Sudoku has been around for a while and began rapidly gaining in international popularity in 2005. TB and I saw puzzles in the Hemispheres in-flight magazine on our most recent United Airlines flight. Also, one of the flight attendants had one of the many paperback books full of Sudoku puzzles.

You can read more about this addictive game at the Wikipedia entry linked above and on this Sudoku software website. The software version of the game — which allows one to play an unlimited number of puzzles for four weeks before requiring registration — costs just $14.95 for unlimited puzzles with user-specified difficulty.

Bad Air Day

On one of our flights between Dayton, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois to visit our relatives over the holidays, TB and I were sitting one row behind a family of 5 (both parents and 3 children) that had the entire row to themselves across the aisle.

Everyone appeared healthy and sans respiratory affliction or disease so it struck us both as extremely peculiar when, during takeoff, the entire family, as if on cue, pulled out those nose-mouth masks typically worn by surgeons. They each put on a mask with the parents assisting the youngest children.

I must admit I began wondering what was in the air and briefly considered pulling my undershirt over my face “just in case”.

Even weirder, each family member neatly packed away his/her mask as soon as the tires hit the runway as if whatever airborne allergens or irritants immediately dissipated once the plane landed. They proceeded down the jetway and into O’Hare International’s Concourse C along with the rest of us as though the air quality inside that holiday human holding tank was much better.

I’m sure there is a logical explanation for this other than cross-generational germophobia so I’m hoping someone who reads this will enlighten me.

My Nieces: Justice & Kailynn

I am back online after spending Dec 19-23 visiting my family in Dayton, OH. I love visiting my family especially during the holidays. Living in Seattle makes it inconvenient to visit as often as I would like. However, one down side to visiting family in Dayton is no one has a high-speed Internet connection which is why I haven’t posted in some time.

We are on the Chicago leg of our holiday tour visiting my in-laws for a few days so I now have access to a fast connection. Fittingly, I’ve decided to update my blog with some pictures of my nieces taken during our time in Dayton. Justice turned 9 months on Dec 12. Kailynn was born on Dec 14. This year’s holiday homecoming was made very special by these two little ladies.


Justice sleeping Justice awake


Kailynn sleeping Kailynn awake


Donovan McNabb’s Questionable Skills

Finally, someone else gives McNabb his share of the blame for T.O. and the breakdown in team unity within the Eagles locker room this season.

My favorite excerpt: “In essence Donny, you are mediocre at best…”


Happy birthday to my sister who’s still recuperating in the hospital following the birth of her first child — see yesterday’s post. What a birthday gift to yourself!

Also, today marks the 11-year anniversary that TB and I first started officially dating (awww).

Happy Birthday, Kailynn!

My sister gave birth to a healthy little girl, Kailynn [KAY-lin], today. Mom and baby are doing fine though my sister had to be cut and forceps used to bring Kailynn into the world. She weighed in at a lean 6 lbs 9 oz towering (or is that “stretching”) a full 19 inches long.

Of course I’ll have to post some pictures of my new niece after our trip home for the holidays.

I’m an uncle for the second time this year! My first niece, Justice, daughter of my youngest brother, was born on March 12. :party: