Friday, May 30, 2008

Back to the Future

Did you see the Lakers-Spurs game where Brent Barry got fouled at the end by Derek Fisher, but the ref didn't call it?

Well, the NBA reviewed the tape and made a statement that there should've been a foul called and Barry should've been awarded 2 free throws.

Here's what a quote from with Brent Barry's response:

"That's awesome," Barry said, "because Doc Brown is waiting for me outside, and we're going to get in the DeLorean and fire up the flux capacitor and we're going to go back and shoot a couple of free throws."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boardgames for Kids

In my last post, I talked about family activities that we like to do. Well, one of our favorite activities is playing boardgames. When I was a kid, I liked boardgames. I used play games like Battleship, Life, Bonkers, Sorry, Stratego...things like that. But as much as I liked those games, I always felt like there was something lacking. When I'd go to the game closet to pick out a game, it was never 'Hey! That's what I want to play!' but more of 'Hmmm...well, I guess we'll play this...'

Well, things have changed. There are a ton of great boardgames for kids out there. These are games that have that extra something that I would've loved to have when I was little. Cool pieces to look at, fun themes to keep things interesting, tactical decisions to make you use your brain a bit. Here are some of our favorites:

1) Monza - If you have a little boy that's into car racing, this is a great game. The race track in an oval that has a bunch of colored spaces on it. On your turn, you roll 6 dice that have different colors (that match the colors on the track) on each side. You have to put the dice in the best order to move your car the farthest around the track. It's kind of like a little puzzle for the kids. For example, they might roll something like blue, blue, red, white, yellow, purple. In front of them is a yellow square, so they put their yellow first. In front of that is a purple square, so they put that next. But for their next move, they could either go to a blue square or a red square. They have to then continue down each path to figure out which choice will advance them the farthest.
The race only lasts one lap, making Monza a nice short game, just about right for the attention span of a 3-5 year old. And it's a HABA game, which means very nice components (if you aren't familiar with HABA, they're a German (I think) company that produces some very nice stuff for kids. Most of their products are made from wood so they cost a bit more, but are top quality.)

2) Tier auf Tier - Another HABA game. This one has you stacking up little wooden animals on top of each other. The great thing about this game is that the animals can really stack on top of each other in interesting ways. My 4 year old plays this game and is ok with it. I took it to my older son's kindergarten class and they did fine. I would say this game would be good at least up through 8 years old, maybe more.

3) Blokus - Blokus is a kind of Tetris like puzzle game. Each player is given a set of colored pieces that they need to fit onto the board. When a player places a piece, a corner of the new piece must touch one of the corners of one of the player's pieces that is already on the board. Furthermore, the sides of the new piece may NOT touch the sides of any of the player's pieces that are already on the board. I've played this with the kids in my son's kindergarten class and it has been a hit. My 4 year old was also able to figure out how to play (and he even did this when he was 3). It's a great game because the rules are quite simple, but there are a lot of tactical decisions to be made. It also forces the kids to really use their brains when figuring out the best way to fit their pieces into place. This game is also a great game for adults, but only for 4 players (although there is a 2 player variant that works quite well). So I'd say this is a great game for ages 4 (maybe 3 depending on your kid) and up.

4) Gulo Gulo - Here is a game where the kids can beat their parents, even if the parents are trying their best. In this game, you pluck these little colored eggs from a small wooden bowl. But the bowl has a stick (the 'alarm') coming out of it. The player has to get the appropriate egg out of the bowl without making the alarm stick fall. The thing is that kids have these little ninja fingers that can easily pluck the eggs out without disturbing anything. But grownups have big fat clumsy fingers that just knock everything around. Both of our boys like this game. I would say that this would be good for 4 (and again maybe 3) up to 7 or so.
The game is a little on the expensive side, but it's got very nice components. It also has a box that is way too big. I'm guessing that if people are going to spend $25 on a kids game, they don't want a teeny-tiny box, even if a teeny-tiny box would fit everything just fine.

5) Zingo - Zingo is a very simple Bingo-like game that has a really cool dispenser that shoots out the tiles. If the picture on the tile matches a picture on a player's card, that player calls out the the name of the item on the picture. First person to say the name gets to put the tile on their card. First one to fill in their card (or get 3 in a row depending on how you want to play) wins. One of the nice things about this game is that you don't need to know how to read to play. You just say the name of the picture. Our boys like it a lot, and so do the kids in LilKat1's kindergarten. I've also played this with my 1st and 2nd graders in Sunday School and it has been a hit. So for this game, I'd say it would be good for ages 3 or 4 up through 8 or so.
There are a couple of downsides with this game though. Kids will fight over who gets to use the dispenser. If you're playing with them, it shouldn't be a problem because you can do the dispensing yourself. The other downside is that it can get competitive when kids are trying to get the tiles. I've had issues with this in Sunday School, but not so much with my boys. When we play at home, we generally keep playing until everyone gets 3 in a row. Then we all win! Works for us.

Now, you're asking 'Where do I get these wonderful games?', right? Well, some of the games, like Blokus and Zingo, can be picked up at Target and stores like that. Unfortunately, there are really few good games that can be purchased in the big retail stores. For the most part, if you want good kids games (or really good boardgames in general), you're going to have to go to either a specialized toy store or shop online.

If you're shopping online, a good resource is Just type in the game you're looking for and you'll get a list of places that sell them along with how much they're selling for. Some of the places that I typically shop for kids games are,, and

I have more games that I'd like to mention, but I'll save those for later. Like I said, there are a bunch of really great games for kids out there. Get a few nice games in your collection and you and your kids will have lots of fun stuff to do on those rainy days when you can't go letterboxing or orienteering.

Family Activities

My friend Tara gave a link to this new weblog, Simply A Mom. It sounds like it will have a bunch of activities that you can do with your kids and other helpful things.

Which got me thinking...I should write about what we do with our kids!

We definitely like to do fun activities with our children. But due to schedules, naptimes, budgets, etc., our activities can't be big complicated all day events. The things we tend to do are simple yet at the same time fun for both parents and kids. So here you go...our favorite activities:

1) Orienteering - If you enjoy hiking, then I think you'll love orienteering. It's like hiking...but with a purpose! Orienteering events usually take place in large parks, although they can also take place in urban settings. You start with a map and a compass. The map tells you the location of several 'controls'. You have to use the map to figure out the best way to get to each control.
There are usually several courses with differing levels of difficulty. When we go as a family, we usually do the easiest course. The easier courses are pretty much all on trails, so you don't have to go off road at all.
Here's why we think orienteering is a great family activity:
  • We get to take a nice hike in a park - The shorter courses can range anywhere from 1 to 3 miles. For our kids, the 1 mile one was too short and the 3 mile one really tuckered them out. If the shortest course seems too long, there's nothing keeping you from just cutting it short and stopping midway.
  • Finding the controls makes it interesting for the kids - On the easier courses, each control is not too far apart. So they get to do something fun at regularly spaced intervals. In addition, you don't really know the exact location of the control from the map. So you are given a clue sheet that tells you what to look for when you get in the general vicinity. So finding each control can be like a little game (although on the easiest courses, the controls for the most part are quite easy to find).
  • Kids have fun using the map - Now, our kids are too young to actually be able to read the map. But they seem to love holding it and trying to navigate with it.
  • Not too expensive - At our events, the cost is usually $9 for the family ($7 for the 1st adult, $2 for any additional adults, kids are free).
  • Scores - At the events that we go to, they post the results on the internet. So when you're done, a few days later, you can go to the website and show your kids how well you guys did.
  • Local - There are several nice parks in our area. So most of the orienteering events are not very far away.
How do you start? Well, first of all, you need to find an orienteering club in your area. Try going here and see if you can find one. Then just find out when they're having an event. Orienteering events are kind of a big deal to set up, so there usually aren't too many a year. We probably only get to do this 3 or 4 times a year.

2) Letterboxing - Think your kids would like trying to find a hidden treasure? Then maybe you should take them letterboxing. In letterboxing, you're given a clue to the location of a 'letterbox'. It will be hidden in a public area. Some clues are pretty direct ('follow the path 100 meters, look at the base of the large oak tree') while some require you to use your brain a little bit.

When you go letterboxing, you need to bring a couple of things with you. You'll need your own personal rubber stamp and a notebook to use a letterboxing journal (and a stamp pad would be helpful as well). Why? Because each letterbox contains its own rubber stamp and journal. The journal in the letterbox contains a history of everyone who has ever found the box. The idea is that when you find a letterbox, you take your rubber stamp and mark a page in the journal, adding yourself to the letterbox's history. Then you take the stamp from the box and mark your own journal, so that you can keep track of all the boxes that you've found.

How do you get started? First go someplace like this to read up on the basics of letterboxing. Then go to a letterboxing website and look for clues in your area. When you find one that sounds interesting, get your supplies together and go find it! Pretty simple. Keep in mind that sometimes, you won't be able to find a letterbox. Since they're in public places, they can go missing every once in a while. Because of this, it might be a good idea to start with ones that have been recently placed (the clue lists should also have the placement dates).

Our kids really enjoy this. They call it 'treasure hunting'. There's something that's just plain fun about following a clue and actually finding a hidden box nestled under some twigs behind a bush, or underneath a park bench, exactly where the clue said it would be.

This is actually also a great activity for long car trips. When you're planning a trip, take a look and see if there are any letterboxes along the way. Maybe there's one at one of the rest stops or at a small park that's not too far from the highway. Fun activities like this can really break up a long road trip.

So yeah, I highly recommend letterboxing. One of the nice things is that you can really do it anytime. You don't need to wait for a special event, just pack up and go. And if your family gets really into it, maybe another activity that you could do would be to create your own letterbox!

There are other activities that we like to do, I'll save those for another post. But these are 2 of our favorites.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Birthday Stuff

Last weekend, we celebrated my birthday. We went out for pizza, we ate some cupcakes, but best of all, I got a bunch of PRESENTS!!!

Some people have said that it's hard to think of good presents to buy me. I don't understand this at all. I think it's actually pretty easy. Just buy me some candy and I'll be happy.

Mrs. BigKat figured this out. She went to the Asian market and bought be a bunch of different Japanese candies. Here's what I got:

1) Some hard candies that look like little soda pop bottles (lemonade, cola, lime, and lemon flavored) that say 'shuwa shuwa' on them

2) Some soda pop flavored hard candy balls with interesting sugar filled centers

3) Some hard candies that taste like beverages called 'Cafe Latte', ' Dekavita', 'Dakara', 'CC Lemon', and 'Fruity Orange'

4) Some cola and drink...flavored chewy candies with extra chewy stuff in the middle. I mean really extra chewy. Like cola flavored cartilage...except delicious and not disgusting. These are called 'Miracle!'

5) Some marshmallow cat faces. On the package, it says 'Let's enjoy the new marshmallow generation !!' I tried one. The new marshmallow generation tastes a lot like a marshmallow.

6) Some peach gummy candies

7) Some fancy lemon drops.

8) Some Japanese things that look like Moon Pies.

9) 4 bottles of my favorite beverage...Calipis! (My mom also got me 2 more bottles)

LilKat2 also got me some Sour Patch Kids and Chewy Sweet Tarts.

And My-Friend-Who-Lies (MFWL) made a robot man out of Sour Pez!

So if you ever feel like you have to buy me a present, and don't know what to buy, just head to the candy aisle. You can't go wrong!

I also got some fun, non-candy presents. LilKat1 got me some running clothes. Mrs. BigKat got me some boardgames. And MFWL got me an Air Hogs Havoc Heli remote control helicoptor.

You know those moments in life where someone or something special enters your life. Where even though everything seems so new, you somehow have trouble imagining your life without them. Maybe it was when you fell in love with someone. Maybe it was when you got married. Maybe it was when you first became a parent...Anyhow, that's what it's like with me and my Havoc Heli.

It's really fun! I had trouble making it go forward at first. There's and up and down lever. And a spin around lever. But no forwards and backwards lever. I took a look on the internet and found a good tip. Just tape a little weight (I used a paper clip) to the front. That makes the nose go down and makes the helicopter move forward. I'm getting pretty good. Today, I took a break from work and flew the helicopter from the living room, through the archway to the family room, into the kitchen, through the maze of cookware hanging from the pot rack, through the doorway to the dining room, and back into the living room. Pretty impressive, huh?

Oh, and MFWL also got me a gift certificate so that I can whack golf balls at the driving range near my house. If you look at the picture of Sour Pez Man, his head is the gift certificate.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Ok, back by popular demand...more things about My-Friend-Who-Lies!

62. If he is a passenger in a car for more than 20 or 30 minutes, it is pretty much guaranteed that he will fall asleep.

63. We had a friend in school that would drive MFWL around in the back seat of his truck. When he saw that MFWL was asleep, he'd start making hard turns so the MFWL's head would bonk the window.

64. Once, MFWL had a girlfriend who took him to see a San Francisco 49er game. They lived in Southern California, so it was a pretty good drive to get up there (probably about 6 hours or so each way). They drove up, watched the game, and drove home all in one day. MFWL's girlfriend was driving back. She told him that it late and it was a long drive and she really wanted him to stay awake to keep her company. He fell asleep right when they hit the interstate and didn't wake up until they pulled into his apartment complex.

65. His mom owns her own store. She makes him work in the store sometimes. He hates this because not everything has prices on them and he doesn't know what to say when customers ask him how much things cost.

66. He ends up just telling them to come back later when his mom is working.

67. Once in college, he went to turn left out of the parking lot and onto the main road. The problem was, you couldn't turn left onto the main road, only right. There was a big island in the way that forced you to turn right. So he drove over the island so he could make his left turn.

68. In college, he bought an old helmet that used to be part of a video game. It has a funny red scope with crosshairs on it that went over your eye and a microphone that went in front of your mouth. He used to wear it around and go 'Fire! Fire! Fire!'

69. In college, we went out to a Mexican restaurant once. He ordered a hamburger and the waiter made fun of him.

70. He owns a complete set of Operation Desert Storm trading cards. But he's never opened them up because he's afraid that they'll go down in value (by the way, I took a look on ebay...the box is selling for just under $3).

Number 51

Ok, just one more thing about My-Friend-Who-Lies.

51. In high school, he worked at Arby's. When you worked at Arby's, you got a free sandwich for lunch. Their biggest roast beef sandwich is called the Giant. So of course, MFWL would take one of those for his lunch. But apparently, it wasn't enough food for him. You know how you can order sandwiches with extra mustard or extra lettuce? He decided that he wanted his with an extra chicken patty. So his free sandwich was a Giant Roast Beef sandwich with a chicken patty.

Ok, fine. You talked me into it. Here are a some more:

52. He is notoriously cheap.
53. In college he agonized for weeks over whether or not he should buy a $4 paperback book. No matter where we went, the mall, the book store, the grocery store, if we saw Congo on a shelf, we had to listen to the whole 'Should I buy it? No, it costs $4. But maybe I should buy it...No, I shouldn't buy it...Should I buy it?' deal over and over again.
54. His car was hit by a tow truck and declared totaled by his insurer. But he still drives it around to save money.
55. He got it fixed by an uncle of a friend to save money too.
56. That uncle of a friend fixed parts of his car that he didn't want fixed.
57. That uncle of a friend charged him a few hundred dollars to fix those parts that he didn't ask to be fixed.
58. Even though he's cheap he spent more money on the rehearsal dinner for his wedding, than I did on my whole wedding.
59. His wedding was probably the fanciest wedding that I've been to. There was fancy food, the aforementioned Chinese dragons, and you even got to tour an art museum.
60. He's divorced now.
61. But he's engaged again and has guaranteed me that his next wedding will be much cheaper.

50 Things

One of my friends has recently made her 100th blog post. Apparently, when you reach this milestone, you're supposed to write a '100 things about me' post. Unfortunately, I didn't know about this and passed 100 a while ago. I like the idea though, so I decided to quickly come up with a shorter version of it. I'm only going to do 50 things instead of 100 things. And it's not going to be about me. It's going to be about someone that everyone should know about...My-Friend-Who-Lies (MFWL).

I met MFWL in college. He really is a unique person. You know how people have quirks? Well, that's all this guy has. Everything about him is really goofy. So coming up with 50 things about him was pretty easy. Anyhow, here you go...50 things about My-Friend-Who-Lies

  1. He is colorblind.
  2. In college, he would play video games where you got to create your own character. I had to help him pick out his guy's clothes because he couldn't tell what color they were.
  3. One time, he came over to my house wearing grey pants. I mentioned something about them and he told me that they were green. I tried telling him that he was wrong, but he wouldn't believe me. I had to have my son come over and tell him his pants color. And they weren't new pants either. He'd had them for a long time and just always thought they were green.
  4. He can’t pick his own clothes. He had his sister look at all his clothes and number them. Then she wrote down the possible pants/shirt combinations that he could wear.
  5. He also has a 'lazy eye'.
  6. He sleeps with his eyes open. It’s quite creepy.
  7. He has no sense of direction.
  8. There was a mall a few blocks from where we went to college. After 4 years, he still could not figure out how to get to the mall.
  9. We live in Oregon, but he sometimes ends up in Washington on accident.
  10. He hates that.
  11. One time, we were at his house and we went to get sandwiches. But first we had to walk to his work. As we got to the sandwich place, I noticed that we had taken a really roundabout way of getting there. I asked him why we couldn’t have just walked down this street instead of going all the way around. Turns out it was because he knew how to get from his house to his work and from his work to the sandwich place, but not from his house directly to the sandwich place.
  12. He has a GPS Navigational thing now, so it’s not as much of a problem.
  13. He calls it ‘Emily’.
  14. He lies a lot (which is why I call him My-Friend-Who-Lies)
  15. If you ask him who won the NBA championship last year, he will say ‘The Portland Trailblazers’
  16. If you ask him who won the NFL championship last year, he will say ‘The San Francisco 49ers’
  17. If you say that he’s wrong because you saw the San Antonio Spurs win the championship last year, he’ll say that after the cameras turned off, Tim Duncan took off his face and it was really LaMarcus Aldridge underneath.
  18. Everyone calls his dad Pete.
  19. His dad’s name is Richard.
  20. He has a foster brother who was once on a boat that was attacked by pirates.
  21. Before his foster brother lived with his family, he lived with a family whose last name was Porn.
  22. He sometimes gets blamed for stuff that I do. It is very funny when this happens.
  23. One time we were in a flag football class together. Our normal teacher was out, so we had a substitute. I got into an argument with him over a rules interpretation and said some things I shouldn’t have said.
  24. I was absent at the next class. The new teacher was still there though and he told MFWL that if he did anything bad that he’d call security.
  25. I went to the following class and was going to apologize, but our regular teacher was back.
  26. One time, we were at Target and I threw a football to him. It went over his head and into the next aisle.
  27. I ran away so I wouldn’t get in trouble. He went and got the ball and an old man yelled at him for messing around in the store.
  28. He has a cat with no tail that’s shaped like a sausage.
  29. One summer, he got a job packaging chainsaw chains. His coworkers called him ‘college boy’ because he knew how to multiply numbers.
  30. When he was doing the vows at his wedding, he said ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit…Oh! And the Son!’
  31. He can’t remember which one is Spring and which one is Fall.
  32. He also gets September and October mixed up.
  33. When he was little, he had a baby sitter make him eat cottage cheese.
  34. After he ate it, he threw up.
  35. To this day, he says he can’t eat white, creamy foods.
  36. But for some reason, he can eat fettuccini alfredo.
  37. One time he went skiing and didn’t have ski pants so he got some garbage bags and duct taped them to his legs.
  38. He has been hit on by several guys.
  39. One time, he made his own strength shoes by taping wooden blocks to the bottom of his sneakers.
  40. He kept his money in a little safe in college. The combination to the safe was 5.
  41. He can’t stand losing to me in anything.
  42. Unfortunately for him, it happens a lot.
  43. He has never beaten me in a foot race.
  44. But if you ask him about it, he will say that he has (but that’s why he’s My-Friend-Who-Lies).
  45. The day before they were going to shut down Napster, he downloaded all the Weird Al Yankovic songs that he could find.
  46. He had big, dancing Chinese dragons at his wedding reception.
  47. He looks younger than he is.
  48. When we were in college, they would ask for his ID when he went to see rated ‘R’ movies.
  49. His favorite move in basketball is this scoopy shot that he almost always scores with.
  50. I can block his scoopy shot pretty much 100% of the time.

Looking back at my list, 50 things really doesn't do him justice. A list of 100 would really be better. Anyhow, hope you enjoyed a quick glimpse into the life of My-Friend-Who-Lies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cold Pizza

I saw this trick on America's Test Kitchen and I think it's great. If you have a slice of cold pizza that you want to heat up, instead of putting it in the microwave or the oven, try this instead.

First, heat up a nonstick pan on medium to meduim-high heat and put in the slice of pizza.

Next cover the pan, and let it cook for 5 minutes.

When you're done, hopefully you'll have something that looks like this:

The hot pan will get the pizza crust nice and crispy. And with the lid on, the cheese will get good and melty. Mmmmmm.

Make sure you don't cook the pizza for too long though. The first time I tried this, I didn't set a timer and the crust became quite black. If you do burn the crust, take the pan outside before you take the lid off. That way all the smoke will stay outside of your house and won't set off your smoke alarms.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Know what I saw this weekend?

Big Robot Dinosaurs!

It's a new exhibit at the zoo. You walk down this path and they have all sorts of cool robot dinosaurs.

The T-Rex was my favorite. It was Huge! And Loud! I know what I want for my birthday now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Mrs. BigKat and I were having lunch together today. Our 4 year old, LilKat2, had already eaten lunch, so he was doing some coloring. I was trying to have a conversation with Mrs. BigKat, but was interrupted several times by questions from LilKat2.

This gave me a good idea.

I told Mrs. BigKat that she should get one of those little clicker counter things. She could use it to count the number of questions that LilKat2 asks.

'Mommy, are these the right socks?'
'Which crayon is light blue?'
'What's purple mean?'
'Can I have a snack?'

I thought it would be interesting to find out how many questions a 4 year old asks in a day. After I told my idea to Mrs. BigKat, I decided to give it a test run. In less than 2 minutes, he had gotten up to 10 questions. It was actually pretty funny. At that rate, I figure that he would end up with 5 (questions per minute) * 60 (minutes per hour) * 12 (hours awake each day) = 3600 questions per day! That's a lot of questions!

I wonder what the count would be if we counted DIFFERENT questions...because in those 3600, there's a LOT of duplicates...

Game Room

I have a few boardgames that don't get a lot of play because they take too long. We normally play on our kitchen table, so any game we play has to be set up, played, and taken down all in one evening.
To solve this problem, we decided to set up a Game Room right off of our bedroom. All of my games are nicely displayed on shelves. And my neighbor gave me their old dining room table and chairs set to use (it's a very nice set, I think it's much nicer than the set in our kitchen). Now we can set up a game and leave it there until we're done with it.
Here's my room with Tide of Iron set up on the table:

Last night we started playing War of the Ring (it's a Lord of the Rings game that can take about 3-4 hours to play). We played for about an hour, and when it was time for bed, we just left it on the table. Nice! I've owned this game for a long time, and we've never been able to play because of the game length.
Here's a picture of our game in progress:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Instant Lemonade

For some reason, every once in a while, things happen to me that seem bad at the start but turn out to be really good. I'm not sure why it happens, but it happens a lot.

Yesterday, I found out that my credit card number had been stolen. Not sure how that happened, but it did. Anyhow, my credit card company got rid of the fraudulent charges and canceled my account. They said that they were going to send me a new card overnight and I'd have it today. Well, the card never came, so I gave the company a call. When I talked to the lady on the phone, she said that the new card had not yet been processed. She said that she would send it overnight and I would have it tomorrow. I got all complain-y and told her that that's what the guy told me yesterday. She ended up passing me off to her supervisor who gave me $25 to shut up.

So because my credit card number got stolen, I now have $25 to spend on more boardgames!

Things like this actually happen to me quite often. Here are two of my all time favorite Lemons-Into-Lemonade stories from college:

I went to college with My-Friend-Who-Lies (MFWL). We both took a Social Psychology class together. Here's how our schedule worked. We'd have basketball class at around noon. After basketball, I had an Econ class and he had nothing. So I'd head of to Econ and he'd hang out at the dorm. After Econ, we had our Social Psyche class. So theoretically, I would be at class and he would meet me there. The problem was that Social Psyche was boring, so I often skipped that class and would head back to the dorm after Econ. MFWL would see me walking back to the dorm. He'd get all mad at me because he didn't like going to class by himself. And then he'd turn around and walk back with me.
Well, right before the final, we found out that class attendance was worth 15% of our grade. So even if we got everything else right, the best we could do was a B! Oops! We actually didn't do too bad. When we got our finals back it turned out that he got a C+ and I got a B- (which makes sense because I am smarter than him).
But when I took a close look at my final, I noticed an error that the grader had made. One of the answers that was marked as wrong was actually correct. So I left a note for the professor explaining the situation, just so that they were aware that the grader had messed up a little.
Well, a few days later, MFWL and I were getting our mail and I got a note from the professor. It said that she was sorry about the error and that she had yelled at the grader and was never going to use them again. And to help fix things, she was going to bump my grade up from a B- to a B. YAY!
Oh, MFWL absolutely LOVED hearing my good news (well, in the same way someone LOVES stepping on a Lego with bare feet). And you know what? To this day, for some reason, he blames ME for messing up his GPA. Weirdo.

Here's my other story (also involving MFWL):

MFWL and I both took a bunch of engineering classes together in college. On our homework problems, we were often required to write out all the questions as well as the answers. Now, MFWL wrote everything out very neatly. I'm sure the graders loved this because it made their jobs much easier. I, on the other hand, did not write neatly. I didn't like doing homework, so I didn't put a lot of effort into it.
One day, I got an assignment back and there was a note from the grader on it. He said that my work was too messy and made me a deal. He said that if I did my homework neatly from now on, then I wouldn't have to write out the questions.
Oh MFWL loved that too! And you know what the best part was? When I got my next assignment back (the one with nicely written answers and no questions), the grader gave me BONUS points for neatness. YAY!

You know, reading through these stories, I think I just realized the secret to my success. Apparently, I cause headaches for other people, so they give me things to make their lives easier.

And all these years, I thought I was just lucky!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Working at Home

Why I like working at home: Reason #119

I just had an afternoon snack consisting of a Diet Pepsi and a slice of bacon. Try getting that from a vending machine!

Playing with your food

Oh man, I think I laughed for like a whole minute straight after I saw this...

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Remember a long time ago when I ran 100 miles? Well, apparently when I went running last week, I finally broke the 200 mile mark! The first 100 miles took me about a month and a half. The next 100 took over 5 months. Why the big difference? Here's why...

1) Well, there was a stretch where everyone in the house got sick, and I didn't run for a few weeks in a row.

2) I changed my goals. Actually, I really didn't have many goals before. I just wanted to run. Now, I have a good reason for running. I'm really just trying to stay healthy and to help strengthen my legs a little for basketball. I don't need to run 5 miles a day, every day to do that. If I was training for an event, like a distance race or something, it would be different. But I'm not. My routine now is a 5km run 2 or 3 times per week. That's it.

3) I had to stop doing challenges. I'm too competitive. When I got involved in a challenge, I was focusing too much energy on it. It took a lot out of me. I would run even when I was sick or it there was freezing cold rain. No more of that. When I do things like that, it makes it not so fun. And when it's not so fun, there's a bigger chance that I won't keep it up long term. As a result, now if the weather's too yucky, I won't go run. I'll do something else instead.

4) I put running at a lower priority. When I was doing the challenges, I had to make sure that I ran every day (sometimes twice). So I was spending about an hour a day doing that. Now I use that time for other things that I think are more important.

5) I changed my workout style a bit. I'm trying to run faster now, rather than longer. Since my workout distance is constant (5km), I can increase the difficulty by bumping my pace up a bit. I feel like this gives my leg muscles a better workout than running a longer distance at a slower pace. Before, I was running at around 9 minutes per mile. Now, I'm running at about an 8:30 pace. I also sometimes do interval workouts where I run fast for a little while, then slow down, then fast, then slow. I've never been a distance runner before, so this type of workout is more enjoyable for me.

So we'll see how long it'll take me to get to 300. Should be faster now that the weather's getting nicer. My guess is about 3 months.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Last night Mrs. BigKat and I came back from our date to an empty house. My mom was supposed to be watching the boys, but there was no one home. I took a look outside and saw my mom by herself. She told me that the boys were down the street playing basketball with the big kids (some of the nice kids from this post) and they were having so much fun that they didn't want to come home. I walked down the street to go get the boys. Those nice big kids had lowered one of the hoops so that the LilKats could play on one side while they played on the other. I started to tell the boys that it was time to go home for bath time, but the 2 big kids said that they wanted to challenge me to a game of 1-on-2.

I was faced with a little dilemma. It was already late and the LilKats needed to get home. But at the same time, these neighborhood boys had just asked me to give them a beating. How could I refuse? I told the LilKats that they could play while I beat up on the other boys.

Oh it was fun! I think I ended up winning something like 16 to 8. I probably outweigh the biggest one by about 70 pounds, so I basically just backed them down and put up little hook shots right by the basket. And I provided colorful commentary.

When the boys and I got home, I got them ready for their shower while teaching them to sing 'We are the Champions' (which we sang several times to celebrate my victory).

The only bad part was, when I got downstairs, I heard my mom telling Mrs. BigKat that she had sent me out to bring the boys home, but when she looked to see what was taking so long, I was playing in the street instead of doing my job. Oh well, no matter how much people make fun of me, it doesn't take away the fact that I Am The Champiooooooooon...Of the WORRRLLLLLLLD!