Sunday, August 31, 2008

I watched a couple of movies this weekend

Last night and today, I watched 2 of the 29 movies I will need to watch in the coming months. I saw Rain Man and Platoon. Both Academy Award winning pictures.
I enjoyed watching Rain Man again. I have channel surfed many times and come across this movie. As I watched it last night, I realized that I had never really seen the entire movie straight through. I think that is the point of me taking on this task. There are always things in each movie that I hadn't caught the first time.

The movie Platoon was one that I had never really seen or heard of before. Charlie Sheen is the main character. Johnny Depp also has a small role in the film. This movie was not a very uplifting one. It is a Vietnam movie that gives you an idea of what life was like at the front lines. Boy am I glad I was not around during that time. It looked horrible. The thing that I left with after watching this movie was how thankful I am for the veterans that fight for our country.
I'm looking forward to being able to watch more movies in the near future. 27 still left to watch. Although, a couple of them haven't even been awarded yet.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I bought a stock!

If Matt thinks his last post was boring, get ready for this one. I bought a stock. I knew where to start but didn't really know what to do. Last spring was running a promotion that if you set up an account and purchased stock from them, you would get a $50 bonus. The stocks had to total at least $5. I signed up back then, but didn't buy the stock. The promotion still worked so I guess it is just a bonus now. I actually have no idea what I was looking for. I really was looking for a cheap stock. That was my criteria. That is it. This morning I logged on to the site and started looking.
The company Evergreen Energy Inc. caught my eye. I don't know why, it just did. I purchased 3 shares. I hope I don't find myself checking in on this company regularly to see if it gained 5 cents or lost 10. Investing $5 and looking for anything big in return is worse than playing on The big thing is though, I bought my stock. Shareholders meeting here I come...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Journaling and Dinner

43: I started the journals for the girls. Melissa got me them for my birthday and last night I entered my first entries into each of them. I wrote to them about how special they are to me and mentioned some things that I had observed about them over this past week. When I got to the end I signed it "Dad." I teared up just realizing that some day my girls would each be reading what I had written to them. They are so special to me.

47: Melissa and I were able to go out to Red Robin tonight. Jenean watched the girls tonight while we went out. Dinner was also special because it was to celebrate my birthday. I was able to get a free dinner because we were celebrating my birthday. I like Red Robin because there is such a variety of burgers. I was hoping to get something in the meal that would have qualified as something I would not normally try #21. Unfortunately/fortunately there wasn't anything that caught my eye to try as new. Because it was free for me, I had my choice of having virtually anything on the menu, I got the prime rib sandwich. It was really good. Overall, it was a really good night. It is always nice to have a night where it is just Melissa and me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

90: 82982

I have got to say that just doing little tasks are tough. Before we had the girls I had a ton of time. I could go anywhere and do anything without time restraints. Tonight I put the girls to bed at 7:50 and headed outside to change the oil. I had purchased new air filters and oil filters this weekend and wanted to put them in the cars. I put the air filters in on Saturday when I got them, but didn't have time to change the oil at that time. To change the oil it took me about 40 minutes. I had a really hard time getting the drain plug out, that is what took me the longest time. I worked at the end of the driveway and used both the street lights and a flashlight. It wasn't ideal, but it was what had to happen. I got it all done. The mileage on the van is 82982. I have 3,000 miles until the next change for the van. 85982 here I come. Next task, getting the oil changed in the car.

On a side note, I wore a tie today. It was pretty hot at school today. No air circulation mixed with 80+ degree temperatures made for a tough day. It was good, I had a lot of people asking why I had a tie on. I just told them that I had an interview and left it at that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First day of school

I am sitting in my classroom right now with just under an hour until I get to meet my students for the first time. I'm excited about this year. I have switched grade levels and am looking forward to the challenge of learning a new curriculum.
I am tired. That is not a good way to start the school year. We had a big day yesterday. We went to church, mowed some of the lawn, went to the zoo with Melissa's brothers and sister-in-law, then I had my Fantasy Football draft. I got home from that at 9:30 and was exhausted from a busy day. I finally settled down at 10:30 to get to bed. I would like to try goal #93 to try to get back on track with my sleep, but we have things scheduled this week in the evening. Hopefully I will be able to get to sleep earlier on the evenings that we don't have things going on. I'm sure things will get better as the week go on.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Melissa got flowers

I got Melissa flowers today! I hand picked them from the back of the yard. One down, and it was at no cost to me.

That is all for now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another busy day

Today I had a dentist appointment at 7:00 am. No cavities!
After my dentist appointment I went to give blood. It came with a coupon for free Oberweis ice cream so you can't beat that. Giving blood wasn't that bad today. There were some issues with getting to the vein, but I have no bruising so I can't complain. It only took about 40 minutes too.
This afternoon, Melissa and I did some work outside and made some progress on the stones and the sandbox area which is one of the tasks on my to-do list for the house. After sweating outside I did some baby proofing and got another task checked off!
Tonight we went over to Casey and Katie Hartman's house for dinner and they ordered pizza. It was from a place that we had never been to or heard of before that is about a block from our house. The pizza was really good! That was definitely a new restaurant for me and I liked it!
Tomorrow is going to be a good day. I don't think any tasks are going to get checked off, but it should be fun. We've got church in the morning. We are then going to the zoo with Melissa's brothers and sister-in-law. Then in the evening I have my fantasy football draft with guys from church. It's going to be a busy day. I am just hoping that the girls can make it through it all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Benchmark day

Happy Birthday to me! Yesterday was my birthday and Melissa took this list of goals as a motivation for getting me gifts. She got me a few things that will make getting some of my goals accomplished much easier. First, she got me a book to read about raising my girls in a godly way. I will probably start reading that when I finish the book that I am on right now. The next package that I opened up was a set of journals. I will be able to use this with Melissa to write to the girls in. The next gift that I got was a creative checklist that will help me to track my progress with reading to the girls. I was planning on making one but the one Melissa made is much better looking than the one that I would have put together. The last thing that Melissa got me was a set of bags to take with me to the grocery store. Overall, it was a really good birthday and I really appreciated Melissa's thinking to help me complete my goals.
Today I tried to see how well I could do in a few of my athletic areas to see where I am starting from. I have to admit, I'm pretty embarrassed about my sit-up performance. I will mention later to how well that went. At school today during my lunch break, I got a basketball and shot free throws. I hadn't shot a basketball for awhile so I didn't really know how well I would do. I took my first shot and made it. I knew the next 19 wouldn't go in but I think I shot around 65-75%. I had a lot of times that I would make three in a row then miss one. I had three times that I made four in a row then finally I got five in a row. I thought I would leave after that, but instead I just shot around for awhile. When I was done shooting I tried for one last time. I MADE 7 IN A ROW. I thought this was a good start. I wasn't struggling to make any of them and I could tell right away from the feel off my hands if it was not going to go in. After having that feel, I think this goal is possible. I think that I will try to get time in at school a few times a week to shoot free throws. I had fun doing it and I think I am really going to enjoy this quest.
Another thing that I did tonight was to see how well I could do with my push-ups and sit-ups. I started with push-ups and didn't expect much. I hadn't done them in awhile. Melissa guessed that I would get 16. I didn't want to let her down. I blew past 16 and MADE IT TO 26 PUSH-UPS.
Sit-ups were really embarrassing! I had thought I could make it to 40 with no problem, but...I ONLY MADE IT TO 26 SIT-UPS. I was really struggling after 20. This is definitely something I will need to work on in the coming months if I have any hopes to make it to 100.
As far as the other goals go. I read the introduction to the infant book last night. I thought I might have a chapter done of it by now, but I know I have it handled soon enough.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Keep them wanting more

Jerry Seinfeld has said that the best way to keep an audience is to end each episode with the audience wanting more. That is the way to bring them back. Well Matt, that's what I do (being that you are the one that comments regularly so I don't know who else reads this thing). I want you to wonder what is coming next. Seeing that you are my audience, I guess I am doing my job.
As I started today on my quest; I got up, brushed my teeth, showered, TOOK MY VITAMINS, got dressed, took Sammy out and went off to school. When I was on my way to school, Melissa called me to tell me happy birthday and I TOLD HER THAT I LOVE HER. During my lunch break I went to the Library and checked out a book titled "Fathering your toddler" which I intend to have read by the due date on September 18th. I would say it has been a good day of progress for my list of goals. Tonight, I plan on doing my first push-up and sit-up tests to see where I am starting out. I want to first say that I haven't done a push-up or sit-up in months so I am not planning on setting any world records.
For dinner tonight we are having veggie pizza and I intend on having a peach/pear/nectarine/banana as well. I just need to keep up with all of these things on a daily basis. Oh and by the way, I switched my pop goal from 3 cans a month to no pop for 2 months only one time. My next post will hopefully update you (Matt) about the first couple chapters of the book. I've got a lot of reading to do and need to get it started!

Eric's List of 101 Goals

Spiritual (9/9)
1. Read through the Bible (66/66) Finished 6/24/10
2. Memorize 33 Bible verses (12/33) 5/2/11
3. Memorize a chapter of Psalm Done 5/13/11
4. Fast for 24 hours Done 2/25/2009
5. Start an accountability group with guys from church 5/5/10
6. Join a group at church to serve Done 5/15/11
7. Invite someone to church Done 3/1/11
8. Read a book about raising a godly daughter Finished 7/21/2009
9. Learn the lyrics and chords for 8 praise and worship songs (8/8)Finished 8/4/10

Physical (8/8)
10. Run two races per year Done!
11. Run a mile in under 7 minutes Completed 11/4/2008
12. Run a 5K in under 20:30 minutes Wildcard 2/15/09
13. Do 100 sit-ups w/o taking a break Done 4/27/2011
14. Do 50 push-ups w/o taking a break (Best 50/50) Done 1/18/2010
15. Make 20 straight free throws (Best 23/20) Done 3/26/2010
16. Learn how to freestyle swim well enough to do at least 4 laps in the pool Done 5/16/11
17. Solve a Rubik's cube in less than 5 minutes Solved 8/4/09! Personal Best is 1:15!

Food (9/9)
18. Make 25 meals for the family (25/25) Finished 5/9/10
19. Find 1 food to make well Established 3/19/2009
20. Make sweet tea from scratch Done 9/4/2008!
21. Try a new meal I would normally not try Done 2/24/2009
22. Eat 5 new fruits or vegetables and learn how to prepare them Done 8/9/09
23. Go to 4 new restaurants (4/4) Finished 3/29/2009
24. Drink no pop for two straight months Finished 10/24/2008
25. Cook a turkey dinner Cooked 1/10/10
26. Eat no fast food for a month Finished 9/21/2008

Educational (13/13)
27. Write a letter to an editor that makes it into the publication Done 8/8/2010
28. Re-learn how to write in cursive fluently 9/26/08
29. Learn Spanish well enough to speak with our neighbors across the street Wildcard 4/24/10
30. Learn how to count to ten in 5 languages (excluding English) 5/5 Spanish/ASL/Japanese/French/Sinhalese Done 1/20/10
31. Learn how to make videos on the computer Finished 8/18/09
32. Memorize a poem Done 1/14/10
33. Learn all of the countries in the world and the general area of where they are located Done 2/24/10
34. Memorize presidents/vp/party WILDCARD 12/15/09
35. Learn a popular song on the piano WILDCARD 1/24/10
36. Learn how to tie 5 different types of knots and their uses Finished 1/26/10
37. Read 5 biographies (5/5) Finished 12/14/09
Finished 11/25/08
Obama Finished 5/10/09
Lucky Man Finished 8/17/09
J.P. Guilford Finished 9/19/09
The Last Lecture Finished 12/14/09
38. Read 5 classic novels (5/5)
The Jungle Finished 9/23/08
The Great Gatsby Finished 10/27/08
Night Finished 9/6/09
The Red Badge of Courage Finished 12/28/09

Robinson Crusoe Finished 1/7/09
39. Read 5 books just for fun (5/5) 
The Invention of Hugo Cabret Finished 9/11/08
Standardized Minds Finished 10/4/09

Things with/for Melissa (7/8)
40. Bring Melissa flowers 10 times for no reason whatsoever (10/10) Done 1/8/11
41. Take Melissa on two surprise dates (0/2)
42. Take Melissa to see a Broadway show 7/24/2010
43. Start a journal with Melissa for the girls to read when they are older Done 8/26/2008!
44. Take Melissa somewhere fun overnight without the girls Done 6/28/2009
45. Take Melissa to The Taste of Chicago Done 6/29/2009
46. Fly a kite with Melissa Done 3/31/2010
47. Go on a date with Melissa every other month Done 4/26/2011

Things to do with/for the girls (7/7)
48. Read 1,000 books to Hannah (1000/1000) Finished 10/21/10
49. Read 1,000 books to Madeline (1000/1000) Finished 11/13/10
50. Make a video of the girls Finished 3/7/2010
51. Write Hannah a song Finished 3/12/2010
52. Write Madeline a song Finished 3/11/2010
53. Make wood toys for Madeline and Hannah Finished 4/29/2011
54. Read a book about parenting toddlers Finished 9/1/2008

Places to go (11/12)
55. Go camping Done 6/9-11/2009
56. Go to an Aurora Christian football game  9/27/2008
57. Go to an Aurora Christian basketball game 2/6/10
58. Visit Judson College Visited 6/11/2009
59. Eat at a Waffle House (play "Magic Carpet Ride" on juke box, if available) Completed 10/13/2008
60. Take a train to some place in the U.S. Done 3/31/11
61. Visit every park in Aurora Finished 8/15/09
62. Visit my grandparents grave 12/28/2009
63. Go to a city hall meeting 5/10/11
64. Go to a Cubs game with Matt and Casey 7/15/2010
65. Take the family to Shedd Aquarium 6/1/2010
66. Visit 2 new baseball parks (1/2)
   Target Field

Health Goals (5/5)
67. Drink one gallon of water each day for a week Finished 12/7/2008
68. Find a doctor and get a physical exam Visited October 14th 2008
69. Read a book about nutrition that would help me understand nutrients and vitamins better Finished 12/5/09
70. Give blood five times per year (13/13) Done 1/18/2011
71. Go to the dentist every six months Done 4/13/2011

Just for Fun (12/13)
72. Canoe to I-88 and back with Matt Done 7/11/2009
73. Canoe from Wisconsin to Aurora Completed 6/12/2009
74. Portage a canoe through downtown Aurora Completed 9/1/08
75. Sit at a drum set and try to play Done 3/23/2010
76. Buy a stock Purchased 8/29/08
77. Reach 100 friends on Facebook and connect with each one of them (100+/100)
78. Ride my bike to work (10+/10) Finished 5/21/2010
79. Learn how to juggle Done 1/31/10
80. Volunteer a day with Habitat for Humanity
81. See all of the Oscar winning best picture movies from my lifetime (back to 1981) Completed 7/15/09
82. Make fudge with grandma Done 4/12/2011
83. Make something using the wood from Melissa's grandpa 7/29/10
84. Cash out on ($20) Finished 10/10/09

Things to do (16/16)
85. Complete my current house to do list Finished 8/20/09
86. Get a piano Finished 6/24/10
87. Go to a High School play Done 12/10/08
88. Meet all the neighbors on my block Done 4/29/11
89. Have my brother's family visit at least 2 times a year Finished 11/26/10
90. Change the oil in the cars every 3,000 miles Done 3/28/11
91. Detail the interior of each car at least 4 times a year WILDCARD 12/12/09
92. Post on the blog once a week(I don't think I need to keep track of this one)
93. Go to bed right after the girls to read, each night for a week Completed 1/5/10
94. Join a district committee at work WILDCARD 3/29/2009
95. Vote in every election and know all the candidates I am voting for Done 4/5/11
96. Wear a tie at least once a week to school Done 5/16/11
97. Create a will 9/9/10
98. Take bags to the grocery store 50 times (50/50) Finished 10/14/09
99. Put an address book together with all of my friends and family added with current addresses Done 2/21/10
100. Watch no television for two straight weeks Done 1/09/10

Last (1/1)
101. Go out to celebrate completing 100 goals Done 5/20/11

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm ready to start

I have just sat and looked at my list of things to do. I feel like it is a good list of things to get accomplished over the next 1001 days. There is a blend of things that I have wanted to do for quite awhile and some things that I should have done for awhile. I did take some things off that I didn't really feel great about and added a couple of new things that seemed better. Melissa commented that I have got a lot of reading to do, but I really think this will be a good thing for me. It will give me a chance to get away from watching television at night and will get me into the books and working on other things. That is what I am hoping for. I would like this list to help me get out of my normal routine that I have gotten used to and to get me to enrich and develop other skills. As I write this, I have just over 3 hours to begin. While I am not pulling an all-nighter and beginning at midnight, I am excited to be able to begin checking things off.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Finalizing my list

I don't have much time until I begin my quest. I am looking through my list and trying to figure out if it is the list I want to be looking at for the next 2.74 years. I have removed a couple of items and added a couple. Right now, I need two more to get back to 101. I am trying to find things that are measurable and things that I really want to do in this time. I am also looking for things that can be finished quickly. As I look over my list, there are quite a few things that require me to complete multiple tasks before I can cross them off. While those things are good, I would like to be able to regularly check things off rather than getting things partially completed. I have two days left to figure this out. After that, I want my list to be set.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I just did the math. I think I did it right. It's really hard to figure out when 1001 days away is. I added up two years, then did some other counting things and came up with May 19, 2011 if I start on my birthday of August 21, 2008. I am really excited to get this thing started. I was looking over my goals today and was realizing that I have a lot of things that will take quite a bit of time to complete. There are a few things that I can do quickly to check them off, but overall I know I won't do ten things in the first week. All I know is that I need to not procrastinate.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting closer

I am getting closer to having my goals all done. I've organized them, but haven't removed the numbers before them because I just didn't take the time to do that yet. I have taken a few out just because I didn't think that they fit to what I wanted to do, or they just weren't things I wanted to do. I am still on track to start a week from today on the 21st. I can not wait to start this list. I am really looking forward to getting going on this list and doing these things. If anyone has suggestions for things that I can do for my list, I'm open to new things.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Endeavor

As this blog has taken a back seat to other things I have been busy with this summer, I have been thinking about what I could write about next. I stumbled upon a new idea to do that will be one that is pretty exciting to me. I have been reading the blog for the past few months and have learned a lot from what he has to write. He (Trent Hamm) writes about finances, being frugal, using time well and many other things that are in that genre. I stumbled upon a post that he did over a year ago . The challenge is to compile a list of 101 goals to be accomplished in 1001 days. It is the intention to use these 1001 days (a little under 3 years) to complete all of these tasks. These goals are basically like setting a new years resolution, but putting them in writing and being much more accountable to them. The goals are in many areas. Some goals are educational. Some are career oriented. There are some goals that are just things I have wanted to do for awhile, but just haven't had the time or had a real reason to try to start.
As of now, I am compiling my list. I have 78 written down now and am slowing down on getting ideas for goals. I will begin my list starting on my birthday, August 21, which is just under two weeks away. In the next two weeks I will post my list of goals. Hopefully I will come up with enough in time.
I plan on writing on the blog pretty regularly (at least once a week) to update my progress. I know that the few of you that read this will keep me accountable to my writing. I have really grown on my writing through this blog. I am excited about this new task and to have the chance to take on all of these new things.