Archive for October, 2012

Minecraft Steve Halloween Costume

Caleb, like all boys his age are raving-mad over this little-known game…something called “Minecraft,” which is really building with Legos, but in a video game. He wanted to be Steve this year, the hero, main character of the game, which presented a pretty nice challenge for a Halloween costume:

His blockiness, Steve

I tackled the easy things first and did the Iron Sword. I found many templates online, but being the perfectionist I am when it comes to these things, I couldn’t stand the low-res quality I was getting when printed out. So I ended up just creating the sword myself in Illustrator:

Iron Sword Illustrator template
Drawing out the iron sword in Illustrator

One of the perks of having an uncle who designs boxes for a box company is being able to get any box at any size, made to order. I measured Caleb for a box for his head, torso, and arms.

I found a lot of brave parents who blazed the trail of making Steve costumes for their kids. The best one I found on instructables was very helpful. His templates were specific to the size boxes he used so once again, I ended up creating the Steve “skins” for the boxes myself.

Designing in Illustrator was the easy part. I spent an hour at work using the paper cutter to cut the skins across a multitude of pages. Glueing the pages around the boxes was no picnic either, but when it was all over, we had a great-looking Steve costume!

Iron Sword Costume done!

Minecraft Steve Costume Complete!

Caleb donned the costume and made his debut at a Halloween party we had at my cousin’s house:


Closeup on the head

Later we went trick or treating on Halloween, and there was no end to the amount of compliments Caleb got on his costume. We heard a lot of “Look it’s Steve!” and “Hi Steve!” and even, “can I get a picture with Steve?” It was great.

See all the pictures of Caleb’s Steve costume in the Flickr set

Tough Mudder

Tough Mudders
Not exactly smiling in the end

After months of sporadic training, Lem, Danny, and I completed the 12-miles and 16 obstacles and joined the ranks of Tough Mudders! Mud runs and Tough Mudder has been around for years and is probably at the height of it’s popularity. Never heard of Tough Mudder? Watch this short video:

After seeing more and more friends join in, I proposed the idea to Lem last year and he pulled the trigger and got the team together. I got myself some shoes and started running.

I have to say, I personally really underestimated Tough Mudder. The obstacles take center-stage in all the videos, photos, and advertising, and I remember thinking, “that looks challenging, but not THAT hard.” And it’s true, for us, the obstacles were challenging, but weren’t that bad. It was the miles in-between that were brutal. The hills were numerous and very steep at times. The 90-degree heat was not helpful and we lost several fellow Mudders to medic-calls due to exhaustion. None of us were exempt from painful cramping.

A comment on one of the pictures of the hills put it best: “We used the obstacles to rest up for the next hill.”

Tim’s Obstacle Awards

  • Most punishing obstacle: Electric Eeel – Getting shocked was more painful than I imagined it would be, and it’s frightening not being able to dodge the wires or run through as fast as possible like “Electroshock Therapy.”
  • Easiest obstacle: Mud Mile – Just an excuse to get you covered in mud. It’s basically going on a series of slides into pools of mud.
  • Most underestimated obstacle: Hanging Tough – Rings are just like monkey bars, right? Nope, they are farther apart than you can reach, so you have to time everything just right and not miss, otherwise your hanging and spinning on one ring like a fool until you fall.
  • Most over-hyped obstacle: Everest – A marquee obstacle on all the videos, Everest looked more daunting than it actually was. It definitely helps to have someone grab you at the top, but Danny had no problem doing it himself, and we all made it first try.

It was an awesome feeling of accomplishment being able to cross the finish, as someone crowns you with the coveted orange headband. Ice-cold beer never tasted so good! Thanks for the memories Tough Mudder. I’ll be back next year!


A big, big thanks to Chesney for sticking around in the desert heat for hours just to get us some great photos (all of which are now on


They put up the video from our location!

Some notes for next year…
  • Gloves were nice, but not mandatory as the website makes it seem.
  • Knees got really ripped up from all the crawling. Not sure how to keep that from happening next time though. I saw some had knee braces, but I don’t think I would want those on for 12 miles
  • A Camelbak would have been nice, at least for our heat conditions
  • Cramping was a problem for all of us, and while there were water stations, stations with bananas and energy drops weren’t as frequent
  • I’d like to take a Go Pro camera and video the whole course