A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Quick Hits: Measuring what matters. Keep your budget simple. Tic-tac spice boxes.

  • QuickHits-SCALWhat we measure is what is going to matter to us. When you’re struggling to improve and grow, you need to know what it looks like when you’re winning, and track your progress towards your goal.  We measure things (whether it’s losing weight, paying off debt, growing a business, or whatever) to let us know when we’re going in the right direction. It keeps us motivated and encouraged. Now, there’s a risk in there, because it works both ways. If you start measuring the wrong thing, that’s what will matter to you. The thing you measure is the thing you will improve, so measure the right thing.
  • If you’ve spent any time reading here at all, you know that I’m a fan of every home creating a budget for their money every month. If you want to win with money, you have to plan where it’s going to go and how it’s going to grow. Having said that, I’m not a fan of it requiring an overwhelming amount of effort every month to complete. Once you understand the basics, your budget shouldn’t take more than an hour a month to nail down, and you should take advantage of almost every opportunity to simplify how your money comes and goes, as long as you are still in control of it. I love spending cash out of an envelope, for example, because it makes you feel money and alters your spending habits. Automated payments, though, can bite you in the butt if your job status suddenly changes, so be careful.
  • When I last went camping with the guys, I got to take care of the food. Juggling all of the little containers of spices for dinner would have been a whole lot more simple, if I had seen this first.

July 8, 2013 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits: Measuring what matters. Keep your budget simple. Tic-tac spice boxes.

Quick Hits: Teach kids about money. After they put down the game controller. A camp stove that charges your cell phone.

  • Return of the Quick HitsBack when I was growing up as a, my education regarding sex was made up of one uneasy lecture by my mother, a surprisingly dull sex-ed lesson in the fifth grade, and almost a decade of juvenile conversations with boys my own age who had no idea what they were talking about. Believe me, this produced laughable and shameful results in a number of ways. Still, all of that was better than my education regarding money. Strangely, among my young friends, the topics of economics and investing never came up. My school made us all complete a lesson on how to fill out a checkbook. (How useful is that in the age of Debit cards and Amazon.com?) And my parents had most of their money fights in private. In both cases, a bad education led to bad decisions and difficult consequences. Stop it. You need to know the secrets of talking to your kids about money.  (And sex, too, but I’m not going to Google ‘children’ and ‘sex’ in the same sentence anytime soon.)
  • It’s been said that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. The sad thing is that by the time they’ve graduated high-school, most teenagers have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. Now, that sounds bad, and I’m sure that we can argue that a life spent glued to a screen would lack some very necessary elements. But we need to be careful not to throw out the good with the bad, because there are some benefits to your child being a gamer.
  • I’ve started camping more since my son joined the scouts, which means I’ve had to start buying more and more camping gear. We now have a tent, some sleeping bags, a heavy tarp and a camping cooler. With more and more of the basics out of the way, it’s time to start looking for some camping toys. I am sorely tempted to get a BioLite CampStove, because it would be so cool to charge my crappy cell phone while cooking dinner on a vortex of flame using only a pile of twigs. Great price tag, too.

June 3, 2013 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Night at Camp Lawton

Another trip into the great outdoors.

Some of you may remember our adventure down at Parker Canyon Lake last April with my son’s Cub Scout pack. The sights. The water. The 90+ degree heat. Exciting.

Well, last weekend was the Fall camp-out up on Mt. Lemmon. We stayed at scenic Camp Lawton and enjoyed overnight lows in the mid forties. Below you’re going to find a bunch of pictures I took while we were there. Mind the alt-text, and click to get larger images.

We took a hike around the camp. It was a big place, so we were happy to sit and rest for a few minutes.

We found this...fort? lean-to? I don't know...near the camp site. It was cool, but I wouldn't have wanted to sleep in it.

Unlike the last overnight trip, I ended up taking both of my older children with me. It was my daughter’s first time camping, and she really enjoyed herself. She made fast friends and took part in a bunch of the activities. She ended up in most of the pictures because she was on hand when I had my camera out. My son was busy running around being a Cub Scout and a boy.

As a bonus, while I took the older kids, my parents went ahead and took our youngest to their house for the weekend as well. So, my wife got to have a day all to herself. There is nothing quite like coming home to a smiling, happy wife.

Look everybody! I got me a new tent! (Now, I just need to get the rest of the normal camping gear.)

In the Spring, I had to borrow all of our camping gear from a friend. This time was totally different.

For start with, I had my very own tent. It’s a 6-man Coleman, which should be large enough for the whole family and a little gear. It held up very well, and I’m very satisfied with it.

We also had one sleeping bag.

Oh, and a cooler we got at a swap meet.

I had to borrow everything else. Again. So, not totally different, I guess. Wayne was kind enough to step up and help me out by lending me his tarp and a couple of sleeping bags for my kids. Thanks again, Wayne. (Wayne is in charge of MAN Tucson Ministries. If you have a moment, please go show him some love.)

The camp had a funny name for these, but they're basically outhouses. People liked to leave the lids up. The odor was amazing.

I’m not going to comment on this, other than to say that it was nice to have an enclosed place to go to the bathroom, and hooray for indoor plumbing.

They were working so fast that I could only capture a them in a blur of motion. (Yeah, that's the ticket!)

One of the activities was building a model rocket for the rocket launch next month. There was a lot of glue and patience involved in the construction. I expect a certain amount of precision will turn out to be important, as well. Launch day should be fun to watch.

I wanted to capture the gorgeous scenery, but my daughter went and put her "I'm growing up so fast" face on. Now all I can think about is buying a gun.

All the kids had the chance to join in a scavenger hunt around the woods, play Kick-Ball and Capture the Flag, and go on a hike around the campgrounds, which was much larger than I had anticipated. I need to get some better footwear for hiking, it seems. The tennis shoes that held up really well around Disneyland didn’t service me as well here.

Cub Scouts say the damnedest things when you get them around a campfire.

The first day was closed out by sitting around a large campfire. Songs were sung. Stories were told. Cub Scouts were allowed to ramble on at length while the adults listened intently for some sign that they were going to stop. No s’mores this time, though. Camp Lawton is in bear country, and to keep the nosy critters out of the camp, they require that all food be kept in the kitchen.

No, the picture isn't blurry. My kids just wake up that way. It takes them an hour or so to focus. Just ask their Mom.

We turned in, bundled up, and huddled together for warmth in our tent. I highly recommend using an air mattress if you can swing it. Very comfortable, no matter what kind of ground you’ve set up on. It’s really important to insulate them, though. Both the top and the bottom. The temperature really dropped around 2:00 AM, and I could feel the cold air trying to creep through the three layers of blankets and bedding we had used.

Even so, we all slept well. None of us thought we did, which is pretty normal for that first night of camping. We all heard each other snoring at one point or another through the night, though. We all felt rested, despite waking up a little rough around the edges.

Between them, through that haze, you can see our house. It's the little three bedroom on the left. No, the tan one.

Like father, like daughter. It's not as dangerous as it looks, though. There's a big ledge in front of her about two and a half feet down. My son wouldn't get close to the edge.

All that was left was to tear everything down, have some breakfast, and clean up the campsite. (Leave no trace!) We headed down the mountain just before lunch. We just made a quick stop at Windy Point to enjoy the view.

Tell me your favorite camping story. What’s the coldest weather you’ve camped in? Have you ever seen a bear? Do you know how to stop a rambling Cub Scout? Share, or just say ‘Hi’ to my mom in the comments below.

October 29, 2012 Posted by | Marriage and Family | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Stay At Parker Canyon Lake

This past weekend, my son and I headed south to Parker Canyon Lake for a Cub Scout Camp-out. He had a good time. I got a bit too much sun. I still took a bunch of pictures, though, so I thought I’d share a few. You can click the images to get a larger version.

So green and lush

So old and grey

I’ll be honest, the landscape around Parker Canyon Lake is not what immediately springs to mind when I hear the word “camping.” Growing up, I got spoiled on tall pine trees and cool mountain air, and neither were to be found in this area. Dusty trails and dry grass were abundant, though, so fire safety was a must.

So blue and wet

Water around me!

Obligatory third lake picture

The views of the lake were very pretty, though, and that’s where most of the kid’s time was spent. Hiking, fishing and exploring.

Don't do it, son! You have so much to live for!

My son had a good time exploring the lake. He gave the fishing pole a try, but he never got the hang of it. In truth, I think the heat was getting to him a bit, too. We’d packed for cooler weather and were met with temperatures in the low nineties. Still, we made the best of it.

Looking for trouble

With frightening speed, the man-child lunges and pins the stray box of Apple Jacks...

...OH! THE HUMANITY!

We played a couple of games, and had fun with the other families. My son says he really enjoyed himself, and wants to go again soon. Unfortunately, I had to borrow all of the camping gear I used this weekend, so we’re going to have to save up to get our own stuff if we’re going to be doing this on a more regular basis. Speaking of gear…

Our luxury accommodations (Thanks, Wayne)

Yes, that's an air mattress. No, I'm not ashamed. I slept great.

That “little” green tent behind the trees is where we called home for the night. It’s a “four man” tent, so it slept a full sized male and a ten year old boy comfortably. I almost didn’t bring the air mattress, but I threw it in at the last minute, just in case. I am so glad I did. The ten minutes it took to inflate it, carry it back to the campsite, and shove it in the tent, meant the best night’s sleep I have ever had in the great outdoors. Our tent, tarp, and bedding were provided by my good friend Wayne Daley, who runs MAN Tucson. Go show him some love.

Fire within me!

You must stay 3-5 feet away from the campfire at all times...except when you're swinging around sharp sticks covered with sticky molten goo. Then get as close as you'd like.

We all tied the day off with some time around the campfire. The kids, and a few adults, got to tell (awful) jokes and share stories. Everyone got a chance to make and eat s’mores. The kids were able to take advantage of the beautifully clear night and got to see Saturn, Venus, and Mars through a telescope that was brought up to the site by one of the leaders. After that, bed time.

Mise En Place is a beautiful thing.

For breakfast the next morning, we had RV omelets. That’s what I was taught to call them, at least. You cook two eggs, and whatever other ingredients you’d like, inside a plastic freezer bag that’s placed inside a pot of boiling water. Easy to do and almost no clean up.

Fresh from his work on the latest Spider-Man movie.

This would be the most dangerous wildlife we saw during our entire stay at the lake. Little lizards just like this one were all over the lake shore. They were probably more active due to the warm weather.

And finally, here’s a accidental shot of my foot. Enjoy!

Earth beneath me!

April 23, 2012 Posted by | Marriage and Family | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments