Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Wii Fit

I’m so proud of myself, I can hardly stand it!  I’ve actually done my Wii Fit workout for 7 days in a row.  That’s 7 days without missing even one!  Here’s proof:



That is a photo of the screen with the Wii Fit running.  That’s me (actually it’s called a ‘Mii’) at the right, and each footprint represents a day when I completed at least a half-hour of exercise.  There are literally hundreds of exercises to choose from.  With the Wii fit plus, you can put together a routine of the exercises you like best – a ‘playlist’ if you will – and do the same routine every morning. 


Here’s a little clip of recording the screen during a yoga exercise so you can get the idea.  You really do have your own personal trainer.  And, it knows if you’re doing the exercise because it senses your weight on the balance board.  In this particular exercise, you only have one foot on the balance board and you’re supposed to put 60% of your weight on it … it lets you know when you’ve got it by the moving bar on the screen and also with the high pitched beep (since you can’t see the screen when your head is down.)



Woo Hoo – I’ve already started on my New Year’s resolution!  I’ve even lost a couple pounds.



may we all meet our goals!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Thing of Beauty

In amongst all the doctor checkup visits, end of year bookkeeping, and general holiday hustle and bustle, I believe it is important to make time for peaceful contemplation amongst natural beauty.



I’ve been meaning to go with Mom to Morikami Gardens ever since we arrived in Fort Lauderdale a couple months ago.  This Sunday was the day.  I’ve been there many times in the past – and it didn’t disappoint.  We met up with our old friend, Gary and had a great day.




Japanese Rock Garden






Japanese gardens apparently are nature designed by people.  Every tree, flower and bush is manicured and trained to be pleasing to the eye.




How *do* they use the hedge trimmers at the top of this 12 foot hedge?




Even more pictures on our December Picasa Web Album.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning Sunrise

Our USA Dive club has a tradition among some members to meet on Christmas morning at the Beach in Boca Raton and watch the sun rise.  Whenever we’re here, we participate.  See Xmas 2008 and Xmas 2006.

The weather report was not good for this morning, but it worked out just fine.  A few clouds, a little sprinkling rain, but lots of beauty – and hugs all around.

Here’s Gary Sharp – a long time dive buddy of Mom’s, Mom, and Jim.

And, Robert Scherer – aka Santa Diver.

Do we hear that snowstorms are making it miserable in most of the country!?  We’re glad we’re here.

Not a Day for Kayak Diving!

You can tell it’s been a while since I’ve taken any pictures!  I snapped 112 photos this morning :-)

A great start to our Christmas Day!

Picasa Content

Monday, December 21, 2009

How Geeks Relax

We had nothing planned for yesterday (Sunday) so we did the things that are always *top* on our todo list.  Spend time with family, and treat ourselves to R&R.


We both did ‘Sunday services’ with our respective parents.  For me and mom that meant attending a Buddhist meditation session in the morning.  For Jim it meant visiting his Dad in the afternoon and watching the Dolphins football game.  The real value being simply the time spent together. 


For R&R – what do you think?  yep!  We’re at our computers (it’s too cold for scuba diving this weekend).  Jim has gotten completely hooked on Flight Simulator X.  He’s always enjoyed Flight Simulator – ever since the days of text only computers.  But, this latest incarnation is completely engrossing.  I hear the voices giving him tutorials on how to fly, and ‘missions’ to accomplish, there’s even a full story line with weather and other flyers along the way.  He’s flying prop planes, jets, and even helicopters. 


For me, I grab my old laptop and take it back to the bed rather than sitting at my computer desk where my new computer is all connected to external devices.  Part of R&R for me means sitting somewhere other than my desk and there aren’t many choices in a 30 foot RV.  Besides, my old laptop (Toshiba) has better sound than my new one (Sony) so it’s better for watching video – which is what I want to do.  I watch a little 30 Rock on Hulu, then find a video on cool features of gmail (it convinces me to start using gmail as my primary mail program) and finally settle in to watch some TED videos.  Always informative and inspiring.  If you just want to try one – here’s ‘Protect our Oceans’ by Sylvia Earle.  Or, for something you probably have not heard … The economics of Terrorism.


We took a break for dinner – Jim cut up a whole chicken and cooked it on the grill.  He also made a great green salad, and we had leftover Bourbon Sweet potatoes that I made for a Christmas party on Saturday night.  Yum!  Good dinner.  Then we each went back to our respective computers. 


Here’s a couple photos from the party on Saturday night.  It was at my Mom’s community.  What a beautiful setting around the pool.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Good Juror

Jim got a notice to appear for jury duty earlier this summer.  We were in New Mexico at the time.  Jim informed them of that fact and they readily changed it to later in the year.


His revised date came up this Monday.  Hoping that it would be a one day commitment, I sent him off to the courthouse at 7:00. 



Turns out he was selected and spent three days there. When I asked what the case is about he said, “I can’t tell you!” 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wii Fit Exercise in an RV

When we first started the RV lifestyle – I was looking forward to being active.  For some reason I thought that, just by virtue of living in an RV, we would be more active.  I guess I had visions of hiking and biking and swimming. 

I was wrong.

The Active? RV LifeWhen you live fulltime in an RV, it’s your life – not a vacation.  And, our life involves sitting at the computer a lot.  When we’re in travel mode, it means sitting in car seats a lot.  In other words, we have to make a conscious effort to get exercise in our life just like before we became RVers.  And, since we’re always in someplace new, we can’t get into a habit of any walking route.  

Enter the Wii Fit. 
We love it!  We got the Wii Fit several months ago – but it’s been in hiding for the last couple months :-(   We just got the Wii Fit Plus to re-energize us.  Both Jim and I have done our ‘workouts’ twice this week.  It’s something that actually fits in our lifestyle, *and* in our RV.  I’m hoping we’ll keep it up this time – at least twice a week.  Maybe if I report to you?

One great thing about the Wii Fit is that it keeps records for you.  It knows how long since you last worked out, it knows how much you weighed last time and how much you weigh now.  It has no hesitation in telling you in a clear voice, “You’re Overweight!” 

If you’ve never seen a Wii Fit – it’s hard to describe.  It’s a video game, but you don’t sit down and operate a game controller.  You stand on a ‘Balance Board’ (that’s how it knows how much you weigh) and hold sensing devices in your hand(s) so it knows where your hand(s) are.  Here’s the promo video from Nintendo who makes it:

It will take you thru yoga exercises, strength exercises, and aerobics exercises.  It’s not a group game – it’s one person at a time.  At first I didn’t like this, I thought it was something we could do together.  But, the positive is – I have no excuse – I don’t have to wait for Jim, and he doesn’t have to wait for me.  We each must take responsibility for doing our own exercising.  Also, since it’s just one person, it really can be done in the RV.  It’s tight, but it’s doable.  The only thing that doesn’t work is the exercises where you need to stretch your arms overhead.  My hands touch the ceiling, Jim can’t raise his arms at all without encountering the ceiling.

I *LOVE* the yoga exercises – flexibility has always been my focal point for feeling good.  Jim loves the games – there’s a new one in the Wii Fit Plus where your character on-screen is a bird.  Your job is to flap your wings and lean in different direction to fly to places on the screen and gather points.  It’s so fun.  And, your arms are tired when you’re done! 

Keeping your Mind Active
The Wii Fit Plus also includes mind/memory games along with the fitness.  There’s one where your onscreen character is standing amongst a group of balls – you’re kind of like a pinball amongst the bumpers – your job is to bump the balls by moving your hips.  The game comes in by the fact that the balls have different numbers on them and the goal is to bump just those balls where the numbers will add up to 10.  It’s harder than it sounds!

And, last but not least – the Wii Fit provides a lot of laughs – especially when I watch Jim flapping his arms like a bird :-)

Someday we’ll get brave enough to take some video – meanwhile, check out this guy who took his Wii Fit on an RV Road Trip:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My New Favorite Word

Ever notice how one word keeps popping up in your language?  Lately I’ve been noticing a word that seems to appear in every other sentence out of my mouth.



I’m overwhelmed with trying to keep up with computers and technology. 

  • We just came out with our ‘Beginner’s Guide to Picasa 3.5’  and they’ve released Picasa 3.6!
  • I bought a new laptop (Sony Vaio) last month with Windows 7 and am still finding things I need from my old (3 years old) one.  So many RVers are getting the new Netbooks and we need to know about them.  Now that they have Windows 7 we felt OK about getting one – so that’s Jim’s new toy/research project.
  • I’m maintaining two other blogs (Computer Tips for Travelers, and Picasa Tips), both using Wordpress. I like Wordpress so much that I’m creating sites for several others as well and learning just how much there is to know about Wordpress
  • Then there’s Facebook and Twitter!  We are working on a new seminar about ‘You TwitFace!” on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

I’m overwhelmed with Doctors and Insurance.  I think Jim and I are very healthy, but a friend recently asked, “How do you know?  Have you had a checkup lately.” Uh, well, no.  And I think the main reason is because I’m still not comfortable with our insurance.  Health Insurance is our biggest monthly cost.  I’ve been working on this issue for a several years now – we’ve changed policies a couple times - and I’m realizing that we avoid going to the doctor for fear of not being able to apply for Insurance if, and when, I find a better one.  I want to be able to answer No to the question, “In the last 6 months has a doctor prescribed any medication or medical procedure?”


I’m overwhelmed with figuring out my Mom’s memory issues … and insurance.  She seems just fine, but her memory is failing and every day I realize that more.  I found a Memory Center with some great programs, but it’s not covered on her medicare HMO – so I’m investigating alternatives. 


I don’t like that word, ‘overwhelmed.’  I don’t feel good when I hear it over and over.  The only way out of overwhelmed mode is to keep plugging away.  But, changing the word also helps.


Instead of saying I’m overwhelmed with technology, I focus on how fun it is!  Really, I’m enjoying learning Facebook.  Wordpress is truly awesome – I feel good setting up websites using Wordpress.  I’ll help customers get set up, but then they can update it themselves … much better than having to call me!  This little netbook is SOO cute, and I do think it’s a great choice for RVers … only $350!  If you’re interested, here's a link to what we bought.  If you buy it from this link, we’ll get a little something too. ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1005HA-PU17-BK 10.1-Inch Black Netbook - 10.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Starter)


Instead of focusing on our Insurance, we’re getting our checkups.  Yes, we may have to dip into savings to pay for it, but our health is the most important thing.  We went to the Doctor’s office and everything is new since we were last there – new staff, new doctor, new procedures.  We got right in, and the doctor spent over an hour with us!  It was a true pleasure.  And, so far so good – they haven’t found anything bad.


As for Mom, we’re getting to spend a lot of time together – that’s a good thing.  And, I’m discovering old friends and community resources with all sorts of helpful information.  I feel useful.


It’s not overwhelm … it’s life.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Life in Fort Lauderdale

We got back on Tuesday night.  Thursday night we had an event with my Women’s Executive Club for a boat ride on Fort Lauderdale’s waterways to see the Holiday lights.  A balmy beautiful night, with a full moon.


Most of the time, we’re working on our websites and Jim works in the office a couple days a week. 


Sunday I went with Mom to a meeting of the Society of Women Geographers.  Take a look at this wonderful garden at a member’s home in Miami:





Now it’s off to see Doctors for standard checkup work, then figure out our health insurance situation.  ugghh  Then try to catch up on some emails.  Just not much to say … hope you enjoy the pictures.  Here’s some more:


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Paddling the Peace River

One of my very favorite things to do!  We’ve been paddling the Peace River long before we got an RV or learned of Thousand Trails.  In fact, it was one of the first things Jim and I did when we first met.  Back then, we’d take canoes and we’d camp overnight on the river – now we just drive a couple miles up the road from the Thousand Trails campground and then paddle/float a couple hours.  There’s many Peace River visits that we don’t go paddling – either the water level is too low, or the weather is bad, or we’re just lazy.  I think we made an extra effort this time because my Mom is with us.


I’m so glad we did!  It was beautiful.





When I realized mom had a Thousand Trails hat on – I told her to put it backwards – thinking it might make a good promo photo :-)  Makes her look like a little kid!


These are cypress knees.


And spanish moss


After the paddle, there was still a little light left to walk the nature trail with a glass of wine and watch the almost full moon rise.