Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This is a great idea. Next time our house needs fixing, I'm raiding the boys' Lego bins...

You can see more pictures here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pizza Videos

I think we're having pizza night on Friday. Seems like a good opportunity to try to beat this guy's record:

I also saw this video. Nice to know that if I ever get lost in the woods, I'll be able to survive on pizza instead of having to eat bugs or something.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Get Clean...FAST!

I pride myself on being able to take fast showers. I think showers take up too much time, especially if your exercise routine or yardwork or whatever has you taking multiple showers a day. I realize that people need to take them in order to not be stinky, but each minute wasted in the shower is a minute that you could've been doing something else, like playing boardgames or eating fudgsicles or learning how to whistle by putting your fingers in your mouth (something I've recently been trying, unsuccessfully, to master).

Here are some tips to help you minimize your time in the shower so that you can have more time for doing fun stuff:

  • The most important thing is to stay focused. Your goal is to get in and out as quickly as possible. No wasted movements. You need to be efficient. (But at the same time, don't cut any corners. You still need to get clean!)
  • Those poofy sponge things may look like they're for girls, but they will definitely get you clean faster. Yeah, your friends might make fun of you. But you know what? They're the ones wasting their precious minutes with inefficient washcloths or whatever else they're using. I figure that over the course of a year, your time saved using the poofy sponge will have allowed you to have mixed and drank at least 300 glasses of chocolate milk more than your slow friends. Who's laughing now?
  • You need to figure out the right amount of shower gel to use. Using too little is a huge mistake. Having to reopen the bottle and squeeze out more soap is a big time waster. Better to use a little more than you think you'll need. Don't use too much though, because you'll end up wasting time at the end wringing the excess soap out of your sponge.
  • Keep your hair as short as possible. Shave your head if you can (this will also save you money, since you can do it yourself without having to go to the barber). Less hair on your head means less hair to clean, and less soap to rinse out. Most importantly, it takes less time to dry.
  • A shower gel that says 'For Hair and Body' will make it so that you only have to open and squeeze one bottle. Definitely a good investment.
  • Make sure your water temperature is a little too hot or a little too cold for your liking. This will help prevent you from wanting to hang out in the shower.
  • If you have glass windows on your shower, you'll need to wipe them down. I use a squeegee thing with the following technique: Bend your arms and/or back so that your shoulder is positioned midway between the top and bottom of the window. Unless you have an unusually tall shower door, this should allow you to clean the window with up and down arm movements only (moving your back or legs will slow you down. Arm movements are much quicker.). Start on one side and use a shuffle-step to move on as you wipe off each section.
  • For clothes, t-shirts and baggy basketball shorts are by far the fastest clothes to put on. I try and stick with those exclusively. And try to get socks that aren't too tight. Remember, getting dressed is part of the deal too. You don't want to waste any time here either.

Now, you might be a little skeptical. You might be thinking to yourself, can I really save that much time doing these things? Well, let's long do you normally take in the shower each day? 15 minutes? 20 minutes? A half hour?

Well, yesterday, I used my stopwatch and timed myself. I was able to get cleaned AND dressed in 3 minutes 59.31 seconds. Clean and dressed in under 4 minutes!

While you were wasting a half an hour with your bar soap and your washcloths and your singing and your separate bottle of shampoo and your just right temperature water and your shirt with buttons, I was able to get cleaned, dressed, eat a bowl of cereal, and watch a whole episode of Happy Days.

See? I knew you'd begin to see it my way. And don't worry. With the right focus, the right tools, and a little practice, you too could be a Sub-Four Minute Showerer. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

..and NEW World's Champion

To start off, I have to give a little background...

About a month or two ago, I had a 6th grade helper, E, in my Sunday School class (the sister of one of my 1st graders, S). We were at the part of class where the kids tell me interesting things that they've done during the week. S told me that his sister won 1st place in the 400 at a track meet. I asked her what her time was and she said that she ran a 1:09.

I wondered if I could run a 1:09 too. I used to run track, but I hadn't done any middle distance in a looooong time. Well, the following Monday, I went to the track to see how I would do. I figured if a 6th grade girl could run a 1:09, surely I could run something close to that.


I ran my lap and clocked in at a very unblistering 1:25. I was glad that E wasn't there racing against me because it would've been embarrassing. As it was, it probably just looked to everyone like I was doing a slow warm up lap. (Oh, by the way, E was very encouraging to me. I told her that I had run a 1:25 and she said 'That's not so bad! I have a friend who ran a 1:23!' I asked her what grade her friend was in, and she replied 'Fifth'. Great...)

I decided that I was going to start training to beat 1:09 so that I would no longer be slower than a 6th grade girl. I started doing interval training during the week instead of my normal slow jog. My workout was a mile and a half warmup followed by a couple of 400's and a couple of 300's (or 200's if I was too tired).

It didn't take long to see the results. Within a week, I was down to 1:13. The next week, it was down to 1:11. And finally...a 1:09!

I saw E at church and proudly told her that I had tied her time. She told me that that was really good! She also informed me that her other friend (also a 6th grader) ran a 1:07!


Ok, so now I had a new goal. But it wasn't so bad. I got my 1:07 just last Friday!

I think that I can now safely say that I am faster than all 6th grade girls in the entire world (doesn't count if their last name is Bolt, Lewis, Devers, or Joyner-Kersey).

Oh yeah, and that thing about the NEW World's Champion? Well, running my 400's has also helped speed up my one and a half mile warmup time. It used to take my a little over 12 minutes to run it. Today, I clocked in at 10:47! My own personal best! It seemed pretty fast, so I looked up what the Track and Field World's Record is for the mile and a half. Turns out there isn't any! There's records for the 1500, mile, 2000, and 3000. But no mile and a half. I must be the first, so I guess that makes me that Champ. I just need to figure out who to email my time to at the US Track & Field Association, so that they can update their World's Record page.