Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm back, for the moment.

We've officially begun the crazy part of the year. I always think April/May is when I can't catch up, but then October hits and I remember those earlier months fondly. Just a sampling of what I've been doing the last three weeks:

Volunteering at a cancer fundraiser:
First cold Saturday this year - and we're outside all day.
Spending a morning with my girl getting her senior pictures made (and spending hours before that picking out clothes for it!):
They all turned out so great, but this is my favorite.
Prepping for the same senior's 18th birthday party:
Thank you, Pinterest, for making me think I HAD to make these!
(That's minion duct tape on the left one.)
Popcorn bar to go with the pizza -- I refused to cook.
Dealing with this, two days before her birthday:
She's fine. The car is at the hospital. The other driver's car was toast.
This little guy held up surprisingly well.

The party itself was a hoot. The photo booth was a hit:
Props from Amazon, Picmonkey for the filmstrip setup
Now it's time to put the house back into fall (that nice tablescape had to go away for the party), deal with my own birthday (NO party!) and Halloween, and get ready for a business conference in a couple of weeks. Did I mention that I also have a full-time job? And Christmas prep is just around the corner. 

But now, I'm getting on the treadmill and watching Buffy. And maybe it won't be weeks before I'm back to writing. 

Happy fall!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My next 20 presents.

I have a new toy, and I better like it a whole lot, because it's all I get for the next 20 present "events."


For anyone who is new let's recap:

  • I started running a couple of years ago. 
  • I live in Texas.
  • I ran through one of the hottest summers on record. Then I did it again the next summer.
  • I got up at the crack of dawn during those hot summers to avoid some of the heat.
Here we are at the beginning of fall and what do I do? Buy a treadmill. So I can run inside when it's cold. I never claimed to be very bright.

And this baby is nice. It's iFit compatible which means my workouts are tracked and available online. But that's not the coolest thing.


This is the basic screen. Default track running is boring, but when Buffy the Vampire Slayer is on the TV, I don't need much. 

HERE is the coolest thing:


It has videos of runs! This is the Hana Run - a Hawaiian path along the coast! Notice the time and distance noted here, but the runner controls the speed. And as you run...


...the scene progresses at whatever speed you're going! I've done this one once so far and it was amazing. Tree-lined street, view of the coast, waves...it was gorgeous. 

As usual, I can't let an "i" product go unremarked - I don't do Apple products. Sure, this one is nice, but of course there's a catch. I went to the iFit site and mapped out a video of my own -- Italian coast, 2 miles out and back. It uses Google maps to give the satellite view and show you what's around. I was so excited, I ran up to the treadmill and logged in. First screen up showed my new Italian route...and when I clicked it, I got the message that using this route required an upgraded membership! 

Seriously, WHY did it allow me to make a route in the first place if I didn't have the membership! Arghhhh. 

And yes, I'm too cheap to pay for the membership, but that's not the point. Way to go, Apple. You deepened my resolve to stay away from "i" stuff.