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wellness challenge

I thought I'd do a blog post today since it's the first day of September. I *love* September! Not only is it the month of my birthday, but also it's back-to-school time, the beginning of autumn - my favorite season, and we enjoy lots of good produce at harvest time. At school, today is the kick-off of a wellness challenge for the faculty and staff. It's a voluntary program, but it holds great prospects of personal and corporate benefits of more fitness and improved health. I think at least 2/3 of the faculty and staff have signed on to the program. We give ourselves points daily for each and every one of the goals we accomplish, which are walking at least 10,000 steps, drinking at least 64 ounces of water, doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, eating at least 3 servings of veggies and 2 of fruit, getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and monthly lowering our body weight by 2% or, if already within the desired weight for our height, staying within that range. (That is a brief synopsis - there are, of course, more details with which I won't bore you.)

My wife and I are going to give this a try! This morning we had a nice walk in the relative cool of the morning. According to our pedometers, we were already half way to today's goal before 10:00 am! Walking will be the easiest part of this thing for us. Some of the other goals will be harder to achieve. I have always thought I drank a *lot* of liquids, but the 64 ounces of water has to be in addition to anything else we drink! Today I felt as if all I did all day was drink water! I also need to try to get it drunk early enough that I don't mess up the 7 hours sleep a night by having to keep getting up to go the the bathroom during the night! 😎

BTW, rumor has it that the grand prizes include a motorized wheelchair and a year's worth of freebies at Cheesecake Factory. I think my sources must be misinformed.... It will be interesting to see how we all do and what we all look like a year from now!

In connection with all this, what is wrong with the following picture?

What's wrong with this picture?

At the beginning of this wellness challenge, I'm posting what I consider one of the funniest things I've ever read about fitness routines. I hope you'll get a chuckle out of it too. I'm fearful that on this first day of the program, I might be a bit like the guy in the story below, when this could actually be a very long year....

The Health Club
by Bruce Cameron

For Christmas this year my wife purchased me a week of private lessons at the local health club. Though still in great shape from when I was on the varsity chess team in high school, I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and try it. I called and made reservations with someone named Tanya, who said she is a 26 year old aerobics instructor and athletic clothing model. My wife seemed very pleased with how enthusiastic I was to get started.

Day 1. They suggest I keep this "exercise diary" to chart my progress this week. Started the morning at 6:00 AM. Tough to get up, but worth it when I arrived at the health club and Tanya was waiting for me. She's something of a goddess, with blond hair and a dazzling white smile. She showed me the machines and took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She seemed a little alarmed that it was so high, but I think just standing next to her in that outfit of hers added about ten points. Enjoyed watching the aerobics class. Tanya was very encouraging as I did my sit ups, though my gut was already aching a little from holding it in the whole time I was talking to her. This is going to be GREAT.

Day 2. Took a whole pot of coffee to get me out the door, but I made it. Tanya had me lie on my back and push this heavy iron bar up into the air. Then she put weights on it, for heaven's sake! Legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made it the full mile. Her smile made it all worth it. Muscles feel GREAT.

Day 3. The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the tooth brush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I am certain that I have developed a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was okay as long as I didn't try to steer. I parked on top of a Volkswagen. Tanya was a little impatient with me and said my screaming was bothering the other club members. The treadmill hurt my chest so I did the stair monster. Why would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by the invention of elevators? Tanya told me regular exercise would make me live longer. I can't imagine anything worse.

Day 4. Tanya was waiting for me with her vampire teeth in a full snarl. I can't help it if I was half an hour late, it took me that long just to tie my shoes. She wanted me to lift dumbbells. Not a chance, Tanya. The word "dumb" must be in there for a reason. I hid in the men's room until she sent Lars looking for me. As punishment she made me try the rowing machine. It sank.

Day 5. I hate Tanya more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. If there was any part of my body not in extreme pain I would hit her with it. She thought it would be a good idea to work on my triceps. Well, I have news for you Tanya, I don't have triceps. And if you don't want dents in the floor don't hand me any barbells. I refuse to accept responsibility for the damage, YOU went to sadist school, YOU are to blame. The treadmill flung me back into a science teacher, which hurt like crazy. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like a music teacher, or social studies?

Day 6. Got Tanya's message on my answering machine, wondering where I am. I lacked the strength to use the TV remote so I watched eleven straight hours of the weather channel.

Day 7. Well, that's the week. Thank goodness that's over. Maybe next time my wife will give me something a little more fun, like free teeth drilling at the dentist's.

I originally received this by email from the author who now posts his original humor to his website. (I give his link with my usual disclaimers...some of the content may not be up to ivman's high standards - but hey, all I can control is the content of my site.) 😎


"The reality is that God doesn't need you or me to make it." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Does vacuuming count as aerobic exercise?

Rejected State Mottos

One really unique thing about BJU is that we have students from every state and from dozens of foreign countries. As I reflected on the diverse backgrounds of my students, I thought of something in my files - a list a state mottos that were all rejected for one reason or another. As you look at the list, it will be obvious why these mottos were not adopted....

Rejected State Mottos

Yes, We Have Electricity

11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!

But It's a Dry Heat!

Lituracy Ain't Everythang!

Se Hable Ingles

If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother

Like Massachusetts, Only Smaller, But WAY Too Close to New York!

We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water

Ask Us About Our Grandkids
And Our Voting Skills

Stop Here on Your Way to Florida

Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru
(Death To Mainland Scum, But Leave Your Money!)

More Than Just Potatoes.... Well, Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good

Please, Don't Pronounce the "S"

Tidal Wave Free

We Do Amazing Things With Corn

First Of The Rectangle States

Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names

Ignrint - and Proud of It!

We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster

If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It

Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's (For Most Tax Brackets)

Where Cars Used to Come From

Land of 7,000 Lakes, 3,000 Man-made Ponds, and
10,000,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes

Why Would You Want to Come Here?- Elvis Was Born Here, and Even He Left!

Gateway to Kansas

Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Extremist Wackos, and Honest Elections!

Ask About Our State Motto Contest

Come Feel Better About Your Own State!

New Hampshire
Go Away And Leave Us Alone

New Jersey
The Garbage State - Waste Not ... Send It Here Instead!

New Mexico
Lizards Make Excellent Pets

New York
You Have The Right To Remain Silent,
You Have The Right To An Attorney..
And No Right To Self Defense!

North Carolina
Tobacco IS a Vegetable

North Dakota
We Really Are One Of The 50 States!

Don't Judge Us by Cleveland

Just Like The Musical, But No Singing

Spotted Owl ... It's What's For Dinner

Cook With Coal

Rhode Island
We're Not REALLY an Island

South Carolina
Remember The War of Northern Aggression? Well, We Haven't Actually Surrendered Yet

South Dakota
Closer Than North Dakota

Home of the Al Gore Invention Museum

Don't Mess with Texas - We're Armed!

Which Wife?

Too Liberal for Even the Kennedys

Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?

If We'd Meant DC, We'd Have Said DC, You Imbecile!

Washington, D.C.
Seattle is NOT our capital, WE are the CAPITAL!
Wanna Be Mayor?

West Virginia
One Big Happy Family ... Really!

Come Cut Cheese!

And You Thought Ohio Was Flat!


"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." - C.S. Lewis

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Could it be that so many deer get hit on the interstates because they're simply obeying the posted deer crossing signs?

Uncommon Sayings

This Wednesday here at BJU is the first day of university classes. For me this is my 52nd start of a school year, if I count all of them back to my first day of Kindergarten! It's my 35th year of teaching - YIKES!

All three of our kids chose to become teachers also. Here are some updates on them:

Megan was a little sad that after 7 years of beginning the school year as a first grade teacher, it's happening without her this year. But that sadness passed fairly quickly with the joy of her own little classroom at home with Drew. Here are a few of his latest pictures...

Bathtime is generally a happy time for Drew...

Drew taking a bath...

Drew loves the Bumbo. Even though he cannot sit up yet on his own, with the Bumbo, he can. (Some days I need one of those myself!) Becka was talking to Megan on the phone the first time Meg put Drew in his Bumbo and got to hear Drew laugh out loud!

Drew in his Bumbo

Drew also loves this Johnny-Jump-Up. We got to watch him jump in it one evening recently via webcam over the Internet. Cool stuff! In the picture below, you can tell from his little smirk that he thinks it's all pretty great!

Drew in his Johnny-Jump-Up

Nora teaches toddlers at a local pre-school and *loves* it! Below is a picture of Nora and some of her kids with the new classroom baby bunny, Dakota.

Nora, Dakota, and kids

Mark is teaching fourth grade this year after several years of teaching fifth grade. He seems to have a lively, fun group this year. He hasn't supplied us with any pictures lately.

Well, that's the latest about this family of teachers.


A friend and I were talking recently about how sayings or proverbs are part of what makes up the general knowledge of one's own culture. There are some sayings that, after hearing the first few words, just about anyone familiar with them can easily finish.

A first grade teacher collected well known proverbs, gave each child in the class the first half of a proverb, and asked the children to come up with the rest. Here are some of the best of the wrong endings the children came up with for these common sayings:

Better safe than ... punch a 5th grader.

Strike while the ... bug is close.

It's always darkest just before ... daylight savings time.
It's always darkest just before ... I open my eyes.

Never underestimate the power of ... termites.

You can lead a horse to water but ... how?

The grass is always greener... when you remember to water it.

Don't bite the hand that ... looks dirty.

No news is ... impossible.

A bird in the hand is ... a real mess.

Better to light one candle than ... to waste electricity.
Better to light one candle than ... to light an explosive.

You can't teach an old dog new ... math.

If you lie down with dogs, you ... will stink in the morning.

When in Rome, do... Roman numerals in math.
When in Rome, do... bulls run around town?

Too many cooks... so little meals.

A fool and his money are... my best friends.

Look before you... run into a pole.

The pen is mightier than the ... pigs.

An idle mind is ... the best way to relax.

Where there is smoke, there's ... pollution.

A penny saved is ... not much.
A penny saved is ... nothing in the real world.

Don't put off till tomorrow what...you put on to go to bed.

Two is company, three's ... The Musketeers.

None are so blind as ... Helen Keller.

Children should be seen and not ... spanked or grounded.

If at first you don't succeed ... get new batteries.

The squeaking wheel gets ... annoying.

We have nothing to fear but ... homework.
We have nothing to fear but ... our principal.

To err is human. To ... eat a muskrat is not.

I think, therefore ... I get a headache.

If you can't stand the heat ... get out of the oven.
If you can't stand the heat ... don't start the fireplace.
If you can't stand the heat ... go swimming.

Don't count your chickens ... it takes too long.
Don't count your chickens ... eat them.

You get out of something what you ... see pictured on the box.

When the blind lead the blind ... get out of the way.

Early to bed and early to rise ... is first in the bathroom.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with ... a blister.

A miss is as good as a ... Mr.

There is no fool like ... Aunt Edie.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and ... someone yells, "Shut up!"
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you; cry and ... you have to blow your nose.


"What do you treasure? That's what you'll worry about." - Dr. Jim Deuink

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Good is often the enemy of the best.

Effective Advertising?

I mentioned in my last blog post that I have chosen not to have ads on my website. More than several people have urged me to have ads to help cover the cost of having a website. I'd rather pay the price and be in control of what appears on my site. I am reluctant to give an advertiser the opportunity and access to put anything on my site that I wouldn't want to be there.

That said, today I'm chosing to put display some ads ... for your amusement. You'll understand as you work your way down the page.

Because of the ads, some shopping bags are almost too good to throw away....

Some ads are clever, partially because of their placement....

Sometimes even though an ad is well placed, people or things end up in a bad spot...

Sometimes several ads in close proximity send mixed messages...

And then some ads are just simply poorly placed. This is one of my fears with something like Google AdSense, where Google will pick up on a key word on the page and then place an ad that seems to go with what's on a website, when it actually doesn't....


"Everyone suffers in life. Does your suffering have a purpose? Why suffer for something meaningless?" - Dr. Drew Conley

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One good thing about kids - they don't carry pictures of their grandparents!

What’s So Bad About a #1 Pencil?

A regular contributor to the Greenville Journal is a man named Barry Ray whose column "Barry's World" reminds us a lot of the style of Dave Barry. One of his recent columns about back-to-school trauma was hilarious. I searched high and low to find it online somewhere, but to no avail. I wanted to put a link on my blog to the column. Finally I decided to write to the e-mail address for Barry Ray to ask him if I could get a copy of his article somewhere so that I could put it on my blog. Within a couple of hours I got a nice reply that stated, "I am planning on putting some older columns online soon. Right now, the Journal likes being the only source and putting them online would hurt subscriptions, I suppose. I have attached a JPEG of the column for you to use on your blog. Keep reading and thanks!"

And so with Barry's permission I'm placing the picture he sent me below. What you see below is a picture of a printed page, and so the quality of the print is not the best, but it's definitely worth the extra effort to read this one!

What's So Bad About a #1 Pencil?

A few weeks ago my wife Becka saw a restaurant review in the Greenville News that caught her attention. One of the reasons was that the reviewers all gave the restaurant high marks - a rarity indeed! So our little team who taught in Asia last year went there with our friend Ruth as a farewell before her return to Asia. We all enjoyed our meal very much, proclaiming we'd definitely be eating there again. The food was scrumptious, beautiful and plentiful, and the entrees ranged mainly from only $7 to $10.

Last evening Becka and I returned there for dinner and were dismayed that we were the only customers during our meal. We would hate to see this place close its doors! The restaurant is Vietnamese, and it is as authentic as you can get. It's a family-run restaurant, and everyone who works there is Vietnamese - unlike some of the local Chinese restaurants with Spanish speakers doing the cooking! With delicious food and a dining area that is clean and pleasant, there's no reason this place shouldn't be packing in the people! ...except that I don't think they have much of a notion at all about advertising. As a result, other than the review in the paper, they get customers only by word of mouth or from people happening by and wandering in.

updated 20 Oct. 2007: I've learned that the restaurant has closed its doors. Very sad.

Below is their business card. Too bad they didn't make it. Thanks to all of you locals who tried it out and attempted to give them more business.

SaiGon River business card


In reference to teachers ... "We are not just data merchants." - Dr. Dan Olinger

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If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?