Thursday, January 26, 2012

104. Meet Christopher Paul Curtis

I found out in December that one of my favorite "children's" authors, Christopher Paul Curtis would be coming to our school.  I was pretty excited.  He is the author of the book, "Bud, not Buddy." It is probably my favorite book out there. It is the first (and only) book to have won both the Newberry Award and the Coretta Scott King award. That is a pretty big deal.
If every guest author that our school had come visit was as engaging as Mr. Curtis I would enjoy our assemblies more. He was a fantastic storyteller.
Bud, not Buddy is about an African American boy named Bud who is out on his own in the 1930s and in search of his father. Each year I read the book to my students and each year they really get into it.

Danny Glover's brother?

Mr. Curtis is traveling around trying to get people excited about his new book, "The Mighty Miss Malone."  It is a book that runs parallel with "Bud, not Buddy" as far as the time frame, some of the setting and a couple of the characters. I really liked it.  It is hard for me sometimes to find books that I like to read that have girls as the lead character.

This wasn't a goal, but it was a big deal to me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

60. Get and solve a 6X6 Rubik’s cube

I got this for Christmas. It is pretty close to the 4x4 and 5x5 with a few more things to get caught up by. As Matt told me, it ups my nerd status having this thing, but I enjoy it.  My students at school think they are cool too.  That's enough for me.  I currently have about 5 or 6 of my students that can solve the regular cube with 4 or 5 that are fairly close to being able to solve it. 

Check out this collection.  Today at school I asked for everyone that had a cube to put theirs on the table in class.  There are 23 cubes there and I had 7 kids that told me that they left their cube at home.

This is a picture of me with Luke, one of my students.  He was one of the first to be able to solve the cube and he has been a big fan since he started. I am trying to show him how to solve some of the bigger ones. There are some complicated steps with them that either take a long time to teach, or I don't completely know how to explain.  So we aren't there quite yet.

Here it is solved. There have been some steps that took me awhile to get down.  After messing around a little bit with it I was able to scramble it around and get it right.  There are faster ways to get it solved than I did, but I did get it done.  I'm guessing if I scramble it up it would take me about 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to solve.

After I solved it, first I took a picture, then I started mixing it around in different patterns.

From start to finish for me I am guessing it will take me about a half hour of uninterrupted time.  The world record is under 2 minutes!  This guy is flying.

26 goals done!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

20. Go Curling

I had the opportunity to go curling a little over a week ago with a bunch of friends from church.  My friend Tyler organized everything and did a fantastic job! Between organizing with the venue, the food, and putting teams and a schedule together I am sure it was quite a bit of work.

Curling is a sport that is a sensation about once every four years when the Olympics come around.  I caught on to the craze two years ago and have been interested in trying it ever since. 

Here is a view down on of the "sheets" or lanes as I would have called them before.  It is amazing how far the 42 pound stones can go with just an easy slide.

 Here are a few games in action.

I only added the picture below to point out the little white thing in my hand.  Instead of wearing the special shoes that they have for curling we just put our foot over the plastic piece and we were able to glide fairly easily.

The form and face of a true amateur!

Our team. Me, Andy, Ryan and Jay.  We had the hearts of champions, but we just couldn't play like them.  Maybe next time.

Fantastic time all around.  Great fun, great food, great memories. Hopefully we will do it again!

25 goals down!

Friday, January 6, 2012

8. Get bikes for the girls

The girls got bikes for Christmas. See! They love them.

24 goals down!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

70. Tuck point the front of the house where needed

Just to show my excitement for getting this one done...I finished this one about 3 months ago.
This is one of those goals that I wrote down only because I didn't have much motivation to do it.  Tuckpointing is basically taking the loose concrete/mortar out from between the stones and putting new stuff in.  The reason I put this on my list was because we found a hole last year where some mice were getting in. Steel wool filled the cracks back then, but we needed something more permanent. Here are some pictures from the job.

You can see the spots that I have cleared the mortar down toward the lower parts.


It was so bad on that corner that I had to remove everything in order to set the rock right.

Hannah was the photographer for the day.

Hannah thought that I needed to include a picture of the mortar.

Exciting stuff huh!

23 goals down!

Monday, January 2, 2012

37. Donate blood using the Apheresis machine

Ryan and I made it to the blood bank again.  This time we did a double red cell donation.  I have sat and watched many people get hooked up to the special machines and wondered how different it would be to donate using them.  It was actually pretty nice.  It only takes about 15 minutes longer to do it and you get double the reward that they are giving out. In our case that turned out to be $20 to Target.  Nothing fantastic, but it is a nice little perk.  Plus, you can only go ever 16 weeks between donations which makes me feel less guilty for not going more often.

Ryan didn't have this problem, but I felt like I was playing a video game the whole time.  They have this screen to try to keep track of progress.

The part on the left of the screen had to stay in the middle while it was drawing blood. I kept having to go between squeezing hard to get my pressure up to being still as the platelets and plasma were being reentered into my bloodstream.  It helped to pass the time.

The bonus at the end
I think this is going to be my new way of donating each time I go.  It is much more efficient and they really seem to appreciate the double donation.

22 goals down!