Clothes Mountain and Litter Gulch

I’m not perfect at following through on things, but something I really stick to is changing all the bed sheets once-a-week, no matter what. I’ve read enough articles on Mind Body Green and linked in Tweets to know a dirty bed is a horror that will lead to bed bugs, asthma, poor quality sleep, and skin issues. Call me “OCD” or a hypochondriac, but I took on this phobia about 7 years ago and have never looked back.

It is my belief that my kids have fewer colds because I do this. I also think there’s nothing much better than crawling into a clean bed. It’s like a hotel.

Every Sunday the sheets. And once a month the mattress pad and blanket.

Now, for the comedy. My girls share a room. My girls are slobs. They might argue they appear to be slobs because they are two people living in one room, but truly, their room is consistently messy because they are slobs.

I built an elaborate and huge closet system with more than enough room for all their clothes, shoes, and clothes. But the clothes mostly go on the floor. I applaud them protecting the nice hardwoods, but trust me – they have a place for worn clothes.

They also have two desks, each with waste can underneath but guess what – trash rarely gets into the trash can. It’s a crazy phenomenon and every week, when I strip, wash, and make the beds, I “organize” the madness.

I call it Clothes Mountain and Litter Gulch. And a new Clothes Mountain and Litter Gulch are created each week. You gotta believe me, on Sunday evenings, the beds are made and Clothes Mountain and Little Gulch are torn down and thrown away. A fresh start. Fresh, clean sheets. A clean room. Usually, the laundry is mostly clean, folded, and put away.

Then, in the course of a week, an unnatural disaster happens. And funniest (to me) is that as I strip the beds, it’s not just blankets and pillows, but somehow, random articles of clothes and tags and trash and gum wrappers, pen caps, hair ties, socks (usually only one of a pair), tissues, ear buds, and so much more are enveloped into the sheets and blankets.

I’m a great Dad (just ask me), but I’m in charge of a nice, clean bed because I’ve made that my mission, but I will not pick up and sort all their clothes and trash items.

So I make Clothes Mountain and Litter Gulch in the middle of their room and now I’m Blogging about it as to embarrass them somewhere later in life (or right now).

I worry I’m raising future pack rats who will collect newspapers and fast food bags for decades. Or maybe, I simply have teenagers who share a room and don’t have enough space.

Clothes Mountain and Litter Gulch tours start at 10:00 a.m. and leave every half hour beginning Sunday at Noon. $5 donations accepted and you get a free “I Survived Litter Gulch” window decal for a keepsake.  See you Sunday.

Advertisements

I’m Good at (and I like) What I Do!

radio

If you have a business and thought about using audio (radio) to build your company, you should call me. For the third time in the past 6 months, a new client has called to say, “Don, we need to trim back on our radio a little bit because we can’t keep up.”

One medical practice is booked through the end of July and last week, even tho they weren’t on-air and nothing was running, people called, and when asked, “where did you hear about us,” they said, “on the radio.”

That’s the power of radio/audio branding.

Another client called me Thursday, an HVAC company that put their faith in me and launched a rather large, 4-station branding campaign (with a modest and understated call-to-action) combined with some well executed digital, and he, too, wondered if we could “back off” because he needs to hire another seller and a few installers because they, “are having a hard time keeping up and the phone is ringing off the hook.”

I keep reading articles about how advertisers are returning to the “mass media” becuase as we’ve walked down the road of one-to-one digital marketing, we’re missing the “spill” and the unintended target. Just because you say, “I’m after a Male between the ages of 35 and 54” (which is me), what about my wife who has a say in every purchase I make? Wouldn’t you want to be whispering in her ear, too? Even if quite by accident?

Sorry. Was drifting into another topic. For now, let’s focus on these two things:

  1. I love what I do (sell advertising).
  2. I’m good at what I do.

If you’ve even thought about “trying radio” or doing something different and big with your advertising, we should talk. Leave a comment. Find me on any social media and let’s start a conversation.

What’s the Deal with Borax?

Ever heard of Borax? Until a couple of months ago when my daughter needed it to make slime (the hottest thing with kids and girls 10 and under), I’d never heard of it. It’s a laundry detergent “booster” and it says add it to your load of laundry (and the laundry detergent you’re already using) and everything will be even cleaner (I’m paraphrasing). The box and their website also boast a dozen other great ways to use it (i.e. cleaning your bathroom, arts and crafts, and odor controls).

boraxSeems like a miracle product I should’ve been using for my whole life. It’s been around my entire life (I’m 44 years old). If a miracle like this exists on the earth, why ain’t I using it? Why didn’t my mom use it? Why didn’t my mother in law use it?

What’s the deal? Is it hype or heroic?

I started using Borax about a month ago and to my eyes, I swear my laundry looks better. I’ve done some research (reading Mommy Blogs, like Crunchy Betty) and most seem on board the Borax train (that sounded naughty). Yet there’s still some haters claiming it to be poison and cancer causing. I’m not listening to the haters.

I’m also not going to deliver a definitive answer here, but what do you say about Borax? I’m currently on board (a hundred Mommy Blogs can’t be wrong) the Borax train.

A Sleep Solution

If you only knew how much I love my digital watch, you’d laugh at me. It has five alarms, a stop watch, tells the time in 12 time zones, and has a countdown timer.

I have all five alarms set for something.

  • 9:55 p.m. – time to start my bedtime routine
  • 6:55 a.m. – time to get the kids up for school/weekend wake-up time
  • 7:40 a.m. – time to leave for work
  • 10:45 a.m. – time for mid morning snack/MCT oil
  • 5:15 a.m. – M-F wake-up time (this can vary based on the next thing)

But the thing I’m using the most is the countdown timer. When I boil eggs, I bring the water to a boil and as soon as the water boils, I cover the pot and boil the eggs for 9-minutes. When I put something in the washer, I set the timer for 28-minutes, because it will remind me the load is done. I set it for 20-minutes when I have clothes in the dryer.

What does any of this have to do with a good night’s sleep?

Here goes my latest, craziest “hack”. I used to set an alarm for the time I wanted to wake up but now instead, I set my countdown-timer for the amount of hours and minutes I want to sleep. The goal is always 7 hours. So if I go to bed at 11:00 p.m., I could set my alarm for 6 o’clock, right? Sure. If I didn’t have a countdown-timer. Duh. For the past three nights, at the moment I stop reading or decide it’s lights out and time for some R.E.M., I calculate how many hours I need and start the timer.

Brilliant, right?

Last night, I went to bed at 11:15 and was light’s out at 11:30 and determined that 6.75 hours of sleep would mean I wake at 6:15 a.m., giving me enough time for a short walk with the dog (it was zero-degrees out) which gets me back home in time for a 6:40 a.m. shower (I had subtracted out shaving time …I didn’t shave today).

So, right before bed I drank my orange juice with Green Vibrance and Macha powder (yuck), took 100 MG of Magnesium, and a half a banana, went to bed and because I was confident in the countdown-timer, the next thing I knew, my watch was signalling I’d successfully slept 6.75 hours.

Maybe it’s a mental thing, but there’s a different mindset when I lay my head down knowing I’ll sleep 6.75 hours rather than setting an alarm for an arbitrary time and hoping I get all the sleep I want.

Why does this work?

Your brain anticipates time and events in a linear way and think about when you know you have an appointment or date that starts at a specific time. As your “2 o’clock” approaches, it’s natural to keep checking the time. “Oh, it’s 12 o’clock. I have to leave at 1:45.” Later. Oh, it’s 1:05, I have 35-minutes until I have to leave.” Then, later, “oh, look at that, I have 5-minutes until I have to leave for my 2 o’clock.”

Your brain doesn’t stop thinking about the appointment. Now, I set alarms on my watch for 12:50 p.m., then 1:30 p.m., then 1:40 p.m. so I don’t have to keep checking and I’ll leave right on time at 1:45 p.m. Better still is countdown timers. If it’s 12 o’clock and I know I have to leave at 1:45, I can set my countdown-timer for 90-minutes so it alerts me at 1:30 p.m. Then I can quick set a 10-minute timer and when that alerts me, I’m out the door. And if I happen to check my watch, at any point, I can see exactly how long I have, versus doing some quick reverse math.

Does it make me sound crazy? When you’re anticipating a vacation, how do you track it? You tell yourself, “four more days,” and then, “two more days.” You don’t look at the date on the calendar and say, hey, it’s the 20th of December and I leave on the 23rd of December . . . no. You just know there are three days until you leave. Or 1 week until your birthday. Or 3 weeks until Star War Rogue One is out in theaters.

This “countdown” instead of “setting an alarm” at bedtime can trick your psyche and you can approach the amount of hours and minutes you want to sleep like you’re looking forward to something.

It works. It changes your mindset before you sleep and when you wake up in the middle of the night.

Try it, won’t you?

 

Obsessed with My Lawn, But I Come By It Naturally

I’ll bet, like every father, my Dad occasionally sits around wondering, “I wonder if I made an impression on my children and taught them something?”

Well, Dad, rest assured, you did. Especially when it comes to my lawn. My Dad always had the best lawn on the block. Period. And he seemed to have it effortlessly. He didn’t pay for a sprinkler system. He mowed it himself. He watered it with a oscillating sprinkler. He didn’t hire a service to fertilize and treat his lawn. But it was perfect. He plucked dandelions by hand.

His most amazing feat happened when we moved to a new house in the summer of 1988. Most everyone in the neighborhood had sod delivered and installed. Insta-lawn. Lawn in a day. And then they ran their in-ground sprinklers to make sure it took. My Dad? He planted seed. Not spray-on seed like many more of the new builds used. Nope. Grass seed that he spread by hand. He was patient. And disciplined. He watered. He overseeded. He mowed and trimmed. Overseeded some more. Fertilized four times a year.

It was an awesome lawn.

Now, here I am, almost 30 years later and I obsess about my lawn. It’s my pride an joy. I mow it myself. I fertilize it myself. I pull weeds by hand. I spot spray others. And now I’m remaking my backyard to be a grown-up/teen friendly yard and it required me to get rid of my sandbox, a play structure, and we had to take down a dead pine. I found some bricks to build a fire pit, but what I’m most excited about? I’m most excited about the sandbox area and the areas that surrounded the pine and how I’m planting grass seed and how, by next spring, it will be like a carpet around my firepit.

This either makes me borderline insane, or it shows I have a hobby, albeit unorthodox and not quite golfing or running. I like my lawn and take pride in it. My wife bought an outdoor couch at a garage sale. I built a fire pit. We’re rethinking and redesigning our garden path (which mostly became a weed-ville). And as Droopy says, ya know what? I’m happy.

To my blog readers – I’ll keep ya updated.

Oh, and I’m obsessed with this guy, The Lawn Care Nut.

Corporate Shill

635743814308649228-IMG-4284Last year, the company I work for (and where I’ve worked for more than a decade) changed it’s name from Clear Channel to iHeartMEDIA. They did this because (my words) the coolest part of our company was the iHeartRADIO app and Clear Channel was tied to an old-radio term and had some P.R. issues. iHeart, on the otherhand, is cool because it has an “i” in front of it, which is the coolest letter that goes in front of things since the letter “e” used to go in front of everything. Like …what’s cooler? Reading an iBook or an eBook? I think we all know the answer.

Same with “radio.” Put an “i” in front of it and …whoa …cool. Oh, and I could’ve worn a Clear Channel sweatshirt or hat every day and nobody would’ve said anything about it. But now, when I wear my iHeart zip-up microfiber sweatshirt or hat (with a tightly rolled brim), teenagers and baristas notice and say “cool hat.”

Anyway, this article (by Jefferson Graham) and video (below) appeared in the The USA Today. I thought it was pretty cool. Yes. I work for the company. But I kinda like the stuff the company is doing and think regular old radio ain’t so “old” and is actually pretty cool.  And it’s not even an “argument” that I’m trying to say one thing is better than another …it’s just saying, just because something is mostly the same today as it was yesterday and ten years ago, it doesn’t make it dying or dead.

Basically …keep listening to FM (and AM radio) and use a radio or your smartphone and don’t be ashamed.