Browsing "Thoughts"

A Healthier Me

Treadmill

I think Michael Jackson said it best with his song Man In The Mirror. If you want to make a change you have to first look at the man in the mirror, or women if you are female. As many of you know I am a long time ex-military man. When I was in basic training some years ago we were conditioned to get up early every day and work on our bodies first. Let’s face it without the body anything else you do will really not matter. I have to believe that most of us pray for our health and the health of others. Well back to Michael Jackson, this would be the man in the mirror.

Some years ago I started a regimented workout plan and lost a lot of weight. I was feeling great and making great strides in creating a better me. Then life hits! You lose a job or maybe a loved one? And you stop worrying about yourself and begin falling into some form of depression. So I stopped working out and just went into the surviving day to day life.

Well, new jobs can bring a lot of happiness to anyone. Life begins to look positive again. Then add to this, people believing in you and bringing you into their team makes a person feel even more secure in life.

So I cued up the song Man In The Mirror and began to look at myself in the mirror. What looked back at me was a middle-aged man who looked slightly overweight and really out of shape. So I knew I wanted to Make That Change.

I started setting my alarm for 3:30 AM. Remembering that I am a VET and I know that working out in the mornings always works best for me. I started hitting the treadmill every morning. At first, it was a half mile, then a mile and now I can get in two miles before hitting the shower and heading to work.

Now when I look into the mirror or step on a scale I can see that I am making that change. I would like to live until I am in my nineties or hell maybe even a hundred who knows? But I know one thing for sure. I will do my very best to never let anyone take me down again. I always want to take care of my family first then me. And life is to short for any of us to carry around another person on the legs that were given to carry only ourselves.

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Ebook or Paper Whats Your Choice

EbookorPaper

I have a lot of people who because I read a lot ask me what is my choice when it comes to Ebook or Paper? Well, my answer normally is whatever I can get my hands on. To be honest ever since I got my first Kindle about five years ago I have mostly read using the device. One pro I have with the Kindle or any Ebook reader is that I can always have my next read right in my hands. I keep a folder on the Kindle called Current. I use this folder to keep my next five or six books lined up and ready to go. There are times I grab another title and read it before going back to my folder. One downside with the Kindle or EReader is that at times you might want to read and if it is dead you have to wait for it to charge. This is why I have two, ever serious reader should have two or more devices to read on. And with Amazon, the devices will sync to the last page read on any device.

So why in the picture above is there a paper book? Glad you asked. Revert back and you will see I said whatever you can get your hands on. I started reading The Mortality Doctrine and finished the last book. I checked Amazon and found the price to be higher than what I wanted to pay. So I did as many readers will do and turned to the library. I was told they have the hardcover and asked if I wanted to borrow it? I said, of course, it saves me money and I get to read the next book. What I enjoy about paper books is first it never needs to be charged. And second I enjoy placing the bookmark into the book and seeing how far you have left. I know the Kindle tells you where you are at but its just something I have always enjoyed.

I have many people tell me they don’t like a Kindle because it has no smell. What? Yes, books have that certain smell to them and the feel of the pages. But have you ever picked up a paper book and thought it was too large for you to ever finish? Well with a Kindle every book is the same size. Not total page counts but just the feel of the Kindle never gets bigger. It’s really all in the mind folks. Reading is something you do mostly for yourself. When we buy a larger story for the same price of a smaller one we are just getting more for our money. Don’t ever allow size to be a factor for not reading something. I would have never read many of Steven King’s books because they can get awful wordy.

In the end, read whatever you can get your hands on. Reading has given me many hours of alone time spent in so many places and allows me to escape from many places I may never visit. I also feel that reading will keep your mind firing on all neurons. And my best thought is there is never any commercials that I have to fast forward over.

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Amazing Anniversary Weekend

Put In Bay

My wife had no idea where I was taking her for our anniversary. She was even more lost when I told her we were taking our bikes. I don’t think she had any idea until she seen the ferry boat landing. Then she turned to me and said, “I bet I know where we are heading?” Well, the ferry made it pretty easy at this point. But I didn’t tell her the final part of the surprise.

She figured out the final part of the surprise when I asked her to grab the bag from the back seat. She looked over from the passenger side and asked. “Are we staying on the Island?” We didn’t do that on our first trip to Put-In-Bay. I said yes. Then I told her that is one reason for the bikes. The hotel asked me not to bring the car over because it gets crowded on the weekends. We parked the car in one of the extended lots and headed for the ferry.

We could not have asked for a better weekend. The weather held up nicely and really the Island was not overcrowded because we found it was the end of the season. In our normal adventures when we go away we had to visit the winery and we found one brewery that was out of most of the food on their menu, we found out later it was their last weekend to be open for the year. Oh, the bikes you ask? Well, we rode them around the entire Island and had a good time just exploring on our own.

You don’t have to wait for your anniversary to take a weekend trip. We take a few a year just to unwind from the day to day grind of life and spend some alone time with each other.

Last note. Sorry I didn’t blog while we were on the Island. There was no desk in the room and I am not one for typing long posts on the iPad without my trusty keyboard. So I thought I would just wait until now and give you the update.

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Oct 7, 2017 - Bikes, Pictures, Thoughts, Trips    No Comments

Bikes Are Loaded Up

Bikes Loaded

It took me awhile but I got the bikes loaded onto the car. These are times I really miss having my truck. I guess if you are used to using a bike rack it would not be as hard to get the bikes onto the car?

I could tell when I took the bikes out of our basement that we have not used them for some time. I first had to hose them off and get the cobwebs off. Next, I had to get the tire pump out and fill the tires. I also found out that I am really not in great shape. I took each bike for a ride to the end of our road and my body was yelling what the heck!

But we should be out of the house soon and be hitting the road. I will let you know later in a post how and if the bikes made it to where we are going.

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Oct 7, 2017 - Bikes, Food, Thoughts, Trips    No Comments

Weekend Trip With Bikes

Biking

Each year at this time I wonder where I will take my wife for our anniversary? This is our 13th year of marriage and each one of those years we have gone somewhere. This year I thought I would think outside of the box. I knew where I wanted us to go but the planning was a little more in-depth then past years.

Where we are going you can rent bikes, but I thought since we have our own bikes why rent them. But since I no longer have a truck how would I get the bikes to the location with us? I looked into buying a bike rack for the car but really didn’t want to spend the money for a test run. So asking around I found someone at work that said he would lend me his rack. There are nice people everywhere. He is a bike rider and was excited about my idea.

I must say my wife is a little nervous. This morning I wrote up my travel plans and what we may be doing today and tomorrow. I placed it on the table and told her she can see my plans if she would like? She told me that I have never let her down for our weekends away and she didn’t want to read it.

Well, I have to get away from the computer and get the bikes out and the rack on the car. We hope to be leaving our house soon to spend some needed time away alone. Keep watching the blog for updates on this crazy weekend trip.

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Collaborative Learning

collaborative-learning

Collaborative learning is a great way to teach for the 21st century. Today’s largest companies create and move their businesses by using collaborative meetings. Companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have teams that meet often to come up with the next big thing. Even programming companies work on large code projects with many programmers coming up with ideas and each writing a piece of the code.

Today’s education, for the most part, is leading this new way of educating children from elementary to high school and even in the college setting. With the help of great tools such as interactive whiteboards, Google Suite and Office 365 and much more. Smartphones can also be a great collaborative learning tool. The focus is getting students to learn together much like the businesses of today.

I enjoy walking into a classroom and seeing a teacher walking around the room and assisting the students in learning in group settings. The day’s of the teacher standing in front of the classroom and lecturing have been put back into the dark ages of education.

If you do teach or even lead teams in a business find ways to have each person or student contribute to the overall lesson. You will find great rewards when you see how much your students or staff know.

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Teaching for Modern Times

Tech Teaching Tools

Teaching students to be prepared for the modern world is a hard task. Teaching using technology can be default because it is ever changing. Adapting to those changes can be a challenge. But as you can see from the picture above many great tools have been created for us to use in our lessons. I try to adopt at least one new tool a year to help with education. You also have to have a good clear vision when adopting new tech tools. You never want to have your students feel that they are on tech overload.

I like to see a blend of online learning with a mixture of book and classroom instruction. This way we can reach all types of learners. Some students will learn better at a self-pace while others strive to keep pace in the classroom. Using a good mixture of both will keep all of the students engaged on the subject matter.

I do believe in digital notes. How many times have you wanted to refer to a note to find you left it in the office or classroom? With digital notes and using a tool such as Evernote or Google Keep, I can always have my notes on every device I carry. Besides, it is easier to carry my phone in my pocket then carry around my paper notebook.

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A Vehicle Becomes Part Of The Family

The Truck

Not to sound like some kind of a nut or even like I am crazy. You have to admit that your vehicle somehow becomes part of your family. We buy a vehicle and we take out loans for 5 or more years we know this object will be there to get us where we need to go. Maybe you traded a car that you used to take your wife to the hospital to deliver your first child? Then you used it to take that child to their first county fair or other event in your area. It feels weird to me because we traded our truck for a car. My wife reminded me that I have not owned a car for almost 20 years, I have been a truck man. The real truth is that we didn’t use the truck to haul stuff any more and it was mainly used to drive back and forth to work. So looking at the economics of the whole thing it makes sense to have a car and save gas not to mention the added expense that a truck brings. So in the end I know it was the right decision and we know that vehicles are inanimate objects anyway. Just remember when you trade your car or truck in you are also handing over years of memories.

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Jun 8, 2017 - News, Thoughts    No Comments

Will Retail Stores Be A Part Of History

Mall

Will retail stores become a part of history? There was a time when I was young that we would shop in a local town. All of the stores were lined up on both sides of the street. On a nice warm day you would find shoppers walking from store to store maybe eating ice cream cones and chatting to one another. Then came the shopping malls. Someone had a great idea to put all of those stores under one roof. Now if it was raining or even cold and snowy you would find shoppers walking through the halls. The malls killed off the local town shopping and many of the local mom and pop stores went of our business. Then came this little thing that everyone fell in love with, the Internet.

The Internet when it was young brought us news and resources to find information. Then a few people came along with a bright idea. They felt they could sell products to people and ship them to their front door. I think this plan really worked because of one main factor, TIME. People are working more and just don’t have time to go shopping anymore. Now you can go online find what you want and have it shipped to your house without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Well it has caught on to the point the malls are beginning to close down. Stores are closing at a rapid pace look at the big retailers, K-Mart, Sears, Macy’s, Dick’s and many others are closing their doors. Even though people are saving money online it is costing jobs all over the place.

I guess we can never go backwards. To tell the truth I do both, I shop online and also go out to the malls. My wife loves to shop or just look around. I enjoy watching people and chatting to new people at the malls. When was the last time you ever met or talked to someone on Amazon?

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A Day Of Traveling

Cars

Traveling at least by car has never really been my thing. Don’t get me wrong we have done a ton of it over the years even taking our children on many car trips. But in today’s fast paced world and everyone trying to get somewhere as fast as they can makes you wonder if it is safe anymore? We were on a highway yesterday doing 60 in a 55 zone and there were people trying to run over us. Then you get moving in the fast lane and you find a person driving 10 miles under the limit in the fast lane. Then we have the distracted drivers. Remember when our parents taught us to drive? Both hands on the wheel, hand over hand, eyes scanning everywhere all the time. Today you see more people looking down towards their lap, ie’ SMART PHONE then watching the road ahead. I am writing this in the hopes that someone will read it and think, “I could save a life today by paying attention!”

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