Guess Which Replacement Fitbit I Got?

Going to the water park for the kids mid-winter break has become a tradition.  This year we went to Kalahari instead of Great Wolf Lodge.  Both are in Sandusky.  But that’s a post for another time.  This year, unfortunately, I lost my Fitbit.  My band broke, and I stuck it in my pocket.  A couple of hours later, I went to check it, and the Fitbit was gone.  The band was still there, but the Fitbit must have slipped out.  So what replacement Fitbit did I choose?

The O.G. Fitbit Flex

I got my Fitbit in 2014.  I picked the Flex.  At the time, it went for $100 and was pretty cool.  Of course, now it’s pretty basic compared to what they have.  I call it the O.G. which stands for Original Gangster, and is a slang term for something once cool that’s now a throwback.

While it sucked to lose my Fitbit, it gave me an opportunity to consider what I wanted to do.

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Five Star Books I Read In 2017

I love to read.  I track my books read on Goodreads.  My goal is to read 52 books per year.  So far, for the last two years, I’ve exceeded this goal.  One thing I love about Goodreads is that I can track the books I read.  I can also track how I rated them.  This is great because I can look back at books I loved.  I can track authors that I’ve enjoyed reading and find their latest books.  Here are my five star books from last year.  These were the best of the best from my perspective.

Revelation – Carter Wilson

This was one of the first books I read on my Kindle during vacation, and I loved it.  Wilson is not a well known author.  The book only has 255 ratings on Goodreads.  Still, it’s a great book if you love dark reads.  A man wakes up trapped in a room with a typewriter, and instructions to write a story.  He knows his kidnapper, but he has to figure out how to write what the kidnapper is looking for.  It bounces back between the kidnapping and the prior couple of years.  It’s a very creepy and disturbing read but very intense and well written.

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8 Simple Ways To Be Happier

Are you in a rut?  Feeling blue?  It might not just be the time of year.  You might have just hit a low spot.  If you’re there, that’s OK.  But, how do you get out of that and find your happy spot?  It might not take a big change.  Here are a few simple ideas to be happier.

Make Time For Yourself

The demands of life can take away all of your free time.  Family, work, the house, even planning vacations can all drain you.  One thing all happy people do is make sure that they have time for themselves.  This could mean time to exercise.  Or read. Maybe it’s just time to unwind. Either way, it’s important.

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Wasting Somebody Else’s Money

Have you ever had an experience wasting money?  Of course.  Who hasn’t?  But what about wasting someone else’s money? Has that ever happened to you.

I’m sure it’s happened many a time. Heck, just growing up, I probably wasted a ton of my parents money!  I’m thinking of all the toys and activities that I never pursued.  All the musical instruments for band class!  The list is endless.  But, as I’m finding out now, that’s just part of being a parent.  So I don’t feel too bad about it.

But I do feel bad if I waste someone else’s money.  One story I have in particular stands out.  It’s actually got some humorous elements, though I still feel bad.

The Old Beep And Wave

This story takes place right after I graduated college.  I was a young, cocky bachelor in my 20’s.  I moved on my own, but got an apartment with a college buddy.  This worked out well to save us money.  We were (and still are) good friends, so it seemed well.

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Fall Fun At The Cider Mill The Way It’s Meant To Be

Fall is not my favorite season.  I’m definitely a summer guy.  I like warm temperatures, beaches, and long days.  Still, fall has a lot of fun things.  One of those has been to head to the cider mill.

I wrote a pretty discouraging article a couple of years ago about a cider mill ‘gone bad’.  They took a bunch of long standing traditions and scrapped everything in the name of money.  It was obvious that customers were just dollar signs.

Still, I knew that while some places turned to the dark side, not everybody would.  There had to be good cider mills out there.  Cider mills that stayed true to the roots of good cider, donuts.  And some good apple picking was a bonus as well.

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Thoughts Following The Great American Eclipse

The eclipse was just about all that anybody was talking about a couple of days ago.  It was definitely eclipse fever.  Now that it’s done and over, I wanted to share some random thoughts.

The Past Was Fun To See

One of my favorite parts of the coverage leading up was showing old news reports or articles that talked about the eclipse.  One clip from a nightly news show was 38 years ago.  Also, I saw a newspaper clipping published 22 years ago which mentioned it.  I’m sure that back then, August 21, 2017 seemed so far away.

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Checking In On My 2017 Fitness Goals

I’ve written a few times about how I have really tried to focus on better fitness this year.  I worried about our long camping trips and how that would affect me.  I’m happy to report that things are going well.  Here’s an update on my fitness goals.

Recap of My Goals And My Plan

I wanted to lose some weight and lose some body fat.  I’d spent most of 2016 gaining 0.5 to 1 pound per month, and there was no excuse for it.  I was just lazy and full of poor decisions.

I decided to commit 2017 to make better decisions.

My goals were two fold:

  1. I wanted to lose 13.5 pounds.
  2. I wanted reduce my body fat from 21% to 15%.

My plan was pretty simple:

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10 Thoughts On Our First Week Long Camping Trip of 2017

We generally do a week long camping trip twice per summer.  One is always over the 4th of July week.  We wrapped up our trip and it was a success.  I thought I’d share some of our (mostly) ups and downs, as well as a few laugh out loud moments.

The Popularity of Outdoor Activities Is Increasing

Driving on the freeway to get back and forth to the campground showed just how popular outdoor activities have become.  Michigan is always home to great summer activities and always has been.  However, even versus a few years ago, you can see a tremendous uptick.  The number of campers and boats shows that more and more have climbed out of the hole of the Great Recession.

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How Will I Stay Motivated After Losing Weight?

I’ve written a couple of times about how I have been working to get in better health this year.  So far things are going great, and I’ve now lost about 9.5 pounds total.  Things have definitely slowed down over the past couple of months.  I expected that, as this is typically the area where my body hits a wall.  But, I’m still happy with where things stand.  The issue now will be how to stay motivated after losing weight.

Summer Is A Downfall

I wrote earlier about how I stopped snacking at work at the beginning of the year.  That’s still held up.  I haven’t eaten one single thing that I haven’t brought in!  If you know my typical snacking habits, that is a big accomplishment.

But my other normal downfall is upon us:  Summer.  We do lots and lots of camping, and this tends to bring about a lot of poor nutritional choices, at least compared to the rest of the year.

  • Snacking.  There are always munchies and stuff around for camping.  It’s just the nature of things.  I’m always a sucker for a handful of potato chips or something.
  • Alcohol.  It’s vacation, usually at the beach or around a fire. These things make a nice cold drink or two a big temptation.
  • Lack of exercise.  Right now I’ve been trying to get some sort of exercise just about every day.  This involves a combination of running, walking, or lifting weights.  Last year, I tended to do very little of this while camping.

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Using BookBub To Get Ready For Summer Reading

I love to read.  I’ve always been a sort of bookworm, as far back as I can remember.  My childhood summers growing up included a lot of time reading.  I love fiction.  When I was a kid I loved the Ramona books and Great Brain books.  When I got older, I started reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  Now, I have a list of preferred authors and genres.  I also have a new way to find stuff to read.  It’s called BookBub.

If you’ve never heard of BookBub, don’t worry, until just a few months ago, neither had I.

My New Kindle

For Christmas, I got a Kindle reader.  Prior to that I did all of my reading the old fashioned way: reading books.  Most books, I obtained from the local library.

But, I’d started thinking that I wanted a Kindle more and more.  The biggest reason I wanted one is because of our camping trips.  We go camping a lot during the summer, usually over 20 nights per year.  These trips often provide the perfect opportunity to get in some reading time, so I would bring along a few books.

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