I can’t believe I’ve been a father for three years now! As in the past, I wrote a poem for my son’s birthday and will share it here. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to express my adult feelings of pride, joy, and love in kid-friendly language, I find. Actually, I’m not sure I can put it into words, period! Here’s my attempt. As always, thanks for reading!
It’s taken a lot longer than I thought, but my first children’s book is finally published on Lulu.com! Please click the link below to take a look!
It is available in electronic and print versions. Here’s the description:
Kenny is a very cranky boy! Will learning karate help him cheer up? In this children’s book, kids can learn more about martial arts, self-control, and discipline. It’s a story the whole family can enjoy!
Here are the product links; please contact me at bill@if you have specific questions about ordering. This is my first self-published children’s book, and I want to make sure it is perfect for you, your families and young karate students. Thanks!
I did a post like this last year around this time, and it consisted mostly of adventure equipment. This summer I spent lots of time (and money) procuring and testing out new gear to make work and play easier and more fulfilling. Here are some of the Dad-Centric items I used and abused this summer and a mini-review of each. If you want to know more, or have any input, leave a comment!
Garmin Vivosmart Band
Every dad needs a smartwatch. For someone as easily distracted as me, I need reminders, texts, and other information at a glance while watching my son–especially if they’re from my wife! A smartwatch also acts as a filter: you don’t need to take out your phone and lose sight of your toddler as he races away. Just take a quick glance at your wrist, and only check your phone if it’s critical.
After some considerable research, the Garmin Vivosmart became my smartwatch of choice. It is easy and handy and comfy. It’s just not very durable. My first went on the fritz after about two months of normal use. The second is holding up well so far. I do worry the snap on the band may wear out at some point, but the functionality of the watch is perfect for me. It tracks activity like similar bands, but it also syncs actionable alerts with your iPhone or Android, has a silent alarm for early mornings, and movement reminders if you’re a desk jockey. These features and others can be customized. A perfect smartwatch so long as you don’t go base jumping with it on a regular basis.
As a life-long New Englander, I’ve been around the block when it comes to snow cleanup. I went from a plow service, to shoveling out, and to hand-me-down gas-powered snowblowers in just the past few years. Finally, this year, rather than paying to maintain an old beast of a machine with a gas leak and a broken axel, I spend $300 on Black Friday on the Greenworks 80V 20″ DigiPro Snow Thrower. I own a mower and hedge trimmer by Greenworks and am impressed by their ease of use, light weight, power, and other features. Not having to gas up heavy, greasy machines is a plus as well.
The DigiPro Snow Thrower is a brand new product this season. It doesn’t skimp on power, and it can handle deep snow without clogging–surprising for a small electric, I know. It does lack endurance, though. The 80V battery pack packs a punch, but it doesn’t last too long in the deep stuff. Here are some pictures of a light snow (I could clear the whole driveway in one charge) and from a bigger storm with heavy, wet snow (I only really got the top).
Thankfully, the charger is super fast and the battery is at 100% in about 30 minutes. Ideally I’d have two batteries, but spares are expensive and really hard to find! For now, I’ll alternate shoveling with snow blowing, like I did during Blizzard Juno.
The Verdict: Think of clearing snow with the DigiPro Snow Thrower as working outside with your young child. It’ll speed things up a bit, but it will need frequent breaks and won’t be able to handle the bottom of the driveway.
Here’s a video review I found on YouTube comparing corded and cordless versions. I’d contribute one myself, but I haven’t found any volunteers to film me using it yet!
This is the time of year everyone makes (and quickly breaks) New Year’s diet resolutions. Something I tried prior to doing both myself was the calorie-counting website/app, MyFitnessPal. I’ve written a lot about diets in the past, and I’ve received a lot interest in the different diets I’ve tried such as Eco Atkins Diet, The Slow Carb Diet, The Warrior Diet, The Thrive Diet, The Paleo Diet, and The Bulletproof Diet (posts on 8/16 Intermittent Fasting are on the way!). One commonality shared by all these ways of eating is that none require you to count calories. I had never done so myself until a friend suggested I try MyFitnessPal, so I thought I’d give it a go.
MyFitnessPal is handy if you prescribe to the old dietary adage that to lose weight, you must eat less and move more. You input food and exercise throughout the day, and the app presents your progress toward, or away from, a preset goal. As with many health apps, MyFitnessPal has been “gameified”, meaning that it provides encouragement when you do something good and warnings if you’re eating the wrong way or skipping workouts. There’s a social component as well, so you can share your in-app achievements and real-world progress with friends.
WordPress does a nice write-up on site stats each year for blogs, and I’d thought I’d take a moment to share it with you. Thanks for visiting this site and for making it great! Click the link below to see the report, and check back soon for posts about the following:
- My Fitness Pal
- Finding and Sharing Wonder, Awe, and Delight
- More Great Children’s Books
and without further ado, here are our site stats for 2014!
I didn’t grow a mustache or write a novel last month, but I did complete about 16 Frans (or variations) during the month of November. I started with a time of around six minutes, and I got it down to 4:31. Not bad, but I missed my goal of three minutes by a long shot. Here are some of the things I learned during the process.
It took me until about November 25th to realize I was going way too hard–especially on my thrusters. I was trying to put the weights through the ceiling! While this is good for explosive training and overall fitness, it’s not conducive to a fast Fran time. I was tiring myself out way too quickly! I realized that when I was going for time, I needed to just get the weights up with good form. I didn’t need to launch them so hard. Here’s a little something I always try to remember when practicing a fitness or martial arts technique:
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
The way to do that? Relax!
First off, sorry October was a slow month blogging. Grad school and my internship turned into a bit more of a commitment than I bargained for, but I have been working on some back-end projects that will hopefully make this site a better place. Here’s a quick post to tide us all over until then.
Here’s a poem I wrote to commemorate my son’s second birthday. Coincidentally, it’s roughly the second birthday of the blog, too! I hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you to create something special for your little ones.
If you’d like to share your ideas for sentimental birthday presents for your children, please do so in the comments.
Thanks for reading!