Just a Thought About Net Neutrality

Saw this and thought it provided a clear explanation of why net neutrality is important.

For the record, Costa Michailidis is running for Congress in 2018, as an independent candidate for the US House of Representative in New York district 3 against Democratic Congressman Thomas R. “Tom” Suozzi.  Other than that, I know nothing about Mr. Michailidis except that I agree with him on this issue.

Wrapping Up 2017

2017 Elephant Riding in Thailand
2017 Elephant Riding in Thailand

Despite the various aches, pains, and torn up knees, we’ve traveled a lot this year:

In February, we cruised through Asia – visiting Singapore,  Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam,  and Cambodia.  We got to ride an elephant and saw temples in Siem Reap, including the Angkor Wat temple complex.

The “Tomb Raider Temple” – Ta Prohm at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia,
The “Tomb Raider Temple” – Ta Prohm at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia,
2017 Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Siem Reap, Cambodia
2017 The Bayon temple, Angkor, Cambodia
2017 Siem Reap, Cambodia- Can you see the faces?
2017 The Bayon temple, Angkor, Cambodia- Can you see the faces?

 

In May, we did a quick trip in the British Isles and France.  Highlights of that trip included  visiting Eric and Helen at their new home in Ripe, East Sussex.  We then took a cruise that included biking on the island of Sark- an island in the southwestern English Channel, off the coast of Normandy, France.

La Seigneurie Gardens, Sark,  Channel Islands

We had to rent bikes because, with a population of about 600, Sark is one of the few remaining places in the world where cars are banned from roads and only tractors and horse-drawn vehicles are allowed.

Worth reading is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, about the people of Guernsey [also a Channel Island] during World War II, their taste in books, and the impact the German occupation had on their lives.

2017 Sark, Channel Islands
2017 Sark, Channel Islands

 

Dublin, of course included a trip to the Guinness Storehouse, as well as various pubs along the way.

 

2017 Lismore, Ireland [County Waterford]
2017 Lismore, Ireland [County Waterford]
At the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland
At the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giverny Monet's Garden 2017
Giverny, France – Monet’s Garden
2017 Monet's Gardens at Giverny, France
2017 Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, France

It was a treat to see Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, France. Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny, with archways of climbing plants entwined around colored shrubs, as well as the water garden, formed by a tributary to the Epte, with the Japanese bridge, the pond with the water lilies, the wisterias and the azaleas.

 

Outside the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort when we watched the NBA Summer League
Outside the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort when we watched the NBA Summer League

Taking a break, we made our way to Las Vegas, Nevada in July.  We watched the NBA Summer League and had a great time.

September saw us in the Alta Pusteria Valley, in the northern Italian Dolomites. It’s an area renowned for its 3000m jagged peaks of pale, heavily-eroded limestone that shoot up from green pastures and pretty meadows and is recognized by UNESCO as a unique and spectacular mountain environment.  We stayed in Dobbiaco, Italy and hiked trails in the area.

2017 Le Tre Cime di Lavaredo
2017 Le Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dobbiaco, Italy – three immense
obelisks of sheer rock that have been adopted as the symbol of the region
2017 Dobbiaco, Italy
2017 Dobbiaco, Italy: With an ascent of 700m, it’s a tough but entirely worthy pull up to the idyllic Bonner Hütte for a tremendous panoramic lunch overlooking the unmistakable Tre Cime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Dobbiaco, Italy
Chris and Sue join us on a hike. 2017 Dobbiaco, Italy

 

Walking sticks were a must as it was unseasonably snowy.  The days and the hiking trails became a little unpredictable. We will probably do something similar in the future as we met great people and had a ball.

2017 Dobbiaco, Italy
2017 Dobbiaco, Italy: Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee. The lovely turquoise lake sits majestically in the high Braies Valley at almost 1500m; it is surrounded and hemmed in by towering mountain peaks and 500m cliff faces

We took a quick cruise to Mexico in November, stopping at Cozumel and Costa Maya to see the Chacchoben Ruins.

2017 Chacchoben Ruins Mexico
2017 Chacchoben Ruins Mexico
2017 Chacchoben Ruins, Costa Maya, Mexico
2017 Chacchoben Ruins, Costa Maya, Mexico

Wrapping up 2017 in Hawaii, healthy and happy.  Taking golf lessons at the Mid Pacific Country Club, starting to work out again with my Body Opponent Bag, tennis and enjoying walks in the sunshine.

 

 

 

Mele Kalikimaka everyone!

 

The Lanikai Pillbox Trail

We did the Lanikai Pillbox Hike on the Ka’iwa Ridge Trail in Oahu with Liz and Becca. The beginning of the trail is steep but the views of Lanikai and Kailua beaches are great. Currently, the state owns 4.07 acres of Lanikai Pillboxes trail, but it does not maintain the trail or put up signs on it. It is deemed an “unimproved trail.” That means it is not designated for public use or maintenance.
More information on Hawaiian walking trails can be found here:
http://alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/kaiwa-ridge-pillbox-trail

Desciption of the Lanikai ‘Pillbox’ Trail:

Kaiwa Ridge (Pillbox) Trail  by Randy Rodriguez
Kaiwa Ridge (Pillbox) Trail by Randy Rodriguez
  • The short, steep hike to the pillboxes offers breathtaking views of the Mokulua Islands and Koolua Mountains.   While it is unclear how many were actually constructed, we do know that both the Lanikai and Diamond Head pillboxes were part of the island’s defensive system. They reportedly were observation posts built between World Wars I and II, which could alert shore artillery batteries to any approaching enemy ships. Eventually they were stripped out and left abandoned by the military. [The Kailua Chamber of Commerce]
  • The two famed Lanikai  “pillboxes” on the trail are misnamed. In military terms, a pillbox means a defensive site such as a machine gun pillbox. The two concrete structures on Kaiwai Ridge were built to be observation stations, not sites for defensive armaments. Military historian John D. Bennett says the observation stations were constructed in 1943 and equipped with high-powered telescopes to fix positions of possible enemy ships. The job of the soldiers working in the structures was to transmit target information to artillery batteries on the Mokapu Peninsula, and later to serve batteries at the Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station and Puu Papaa.   [Denby Fawcett]
  • Part of network of coastal artillery, Fire-control station “Podmore” was built in 1942 to direct fire from the 3 and 5 inch guns of former Battery Wailea.  Each held optical range finding equipment to target the artillery in the event of a Japanese landing during WWII. [XP Not So Great Hiking Blog ]

 

Time in Hawaii

Time in Hawaii
Time in Hawaii

We are trying new sports! Hiking and swimming are our primary activities. We are also learning to play tennis and how to paddleboard. The weather has been great.

Setting Goals and Moving Forward

I listened to the Fat 2 Fit Radio 5th Annual Goals Show [Pod cast #136].  [The show itself is trying to reboot itself so there haven’t been any new pod casts recently but I have high hopes.]  The host talks about why so many New Year Resolutions fail to last past March. As I struggle to get into better shape and fight the weight I continue to pick up during my travels, I am embracing their advice.

The pod cast noted that success in getting healthy and trim requires:

  • defined reasons for wanting to be healthier and slimmer
  • defined goals
  • a plan for measuring and reaching those goals
  • a reasonable time-frame

Here is a link to the Fat 2 Fit Radio Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Okay, so here are my goals:

  • Lose 1-2 pounds a week for the next 28 weeks.  That should bring me to the end of June.
  • I’m going to eat healthier by cooking dinners with fewer starches and eating fewer unhealthy snacks– eating 1900 – 2100 calories a day and tracking my nutrition and exercise on Sparkpeople.com
  • I will work out more and actually do cardio by completing the Couch to 5K program.

The Fat 2 Fit Radio calculator generated the following chart that shows the number of calories that I should eat on a daily basis to reach my goal weight. Fat 2 Fit Radio advocates eating like the thin, healthy person that you want to become. The calorie levels provided in the chart create the caloric deficit required to get you to your goal weight in a safe manner. Once you reach your goal weight, you are supposed to eat the same number of calories for the rest of your life to maintain that weight.

Based on how much activity you do on an average day, the calories in the right column will be the number of calories that you will be able to eat at your goal weight. If you start eating those calories right now (eating like the thinner you), you will eventually become that thinner person. As you get closer to your goal weight, your weight loss will start to slow down. It is OK to eat a few hundred calories less per day (200-300) to speed up your weight loss at this point.

Activity Level Daily Calories
Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job) 1664
Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk) 1907
Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk) 2150
Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk) 2393
Extremely Active (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)

Finished Week 1 of the Couch to 5K in 8 Weeks Podcast!

Congratulations to me!  I managed to do the Week 1 of the Couch to 5K in 8 week podcast  three times this week!  I have my fingers crossed that my family will join me in doing the 8 week training– it would be nice to have company.

My time for the complete 3.5 mile loop in Prospect Park was 44 minutes and 51 seconds.  Yes, it’s not very impressive at first glance but it includes an improvement from each previous effort.  Baby steps, we say…. LOL

Click on this link for a runner’s map of Prospect Park:.

If I complete the 8 week cycle in time [not guaranteed as I tend to travel a bit]  I should be able to jog the entire loop without stopping by the beginning of March!  That’s my goal! I’m not sure I’ve done that in about 6 years!

 

December 31st….Looking Ahead To Better Health!

We’re back from our cruise and Christmas dinners!  We are also almost at our historic highs for weight and Body Fat%.  Bad news….

Fortunately, we are looking forward to better eating habits and regular exercise next year.  I have begun the Couch to 5K in 8 week pod casts at http://runningmate.podomatic.com/.  You are supposed to do the Week One pod-cast 3 times in one week.  It comprises a 27 minute podcast with a 5 minute walk followed by 4 intervals of two-minute jogs and three minute walks.  I’ve done two of the three workouts for the week and have had to ice my ankle already. 🙁  I will need to work on it; wearing an ankle brace this morning helped.  I am also rewarding myself and buying a new pair of sneakers.

Week 1 of the 5K 101
Week 1 of the 5K 101

Slow Start To The Week

It was a slow start to the exercise week.  I didn’t get to the gym either Monday or Tuesday although  I managed to do the 4 mile loop around the park and a strength training session at Crunch. 🙂

I used the TRX Suspension Trainer and TRX Rip Trainer so I had some support as I did squats and lunges.  I did biceps curls, push ups, and triceps exercises.  I rounded out the work out with inchworms and planks using the Bosu Ball. [Here’s a link to 6 Bosu Ball exercises by RealSimple,com]

Here is a video that walks you through a beginner’s exercise routine using the TRX.  The trainer goes through a huge number of exercises and it looks like it would be a killer routine if you did them all:

[Check out http://www.scotthermanfitness.com/ for more information and detailed exercises!]

My hubby and I also got to see a New York Liberty game against the Washington Mystics. The Liberty managed to win but they play so poorly it may behoove them to lose so they get a crack at a higher draft pick next year.  At least that’s what my husband says; I tend to be far more negative about the team as a whole.

I wasn’t as successful nutritionally as I ate out several times over the past few days.  Hopefully, I can get that under control today.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Bad

I went to see Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water at the Whitney Museum. [http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/FirefliesOnTheWater]  It was absolutely amazing.  The exhibit is a small room that only one person may enter at a time.  The museum staff will open the door after one minute.  The sensation is surreal.  You stand upon a small platform surrounded by still water in a mirrored room full of tiny lights.  The space appears to go on forever; the water on the ground is never completely still so its reflection throughout the room means there’s movement around you as well.  I could have happily stayed inside for quite a bit longer.

Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water
Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water

From the Whitney Museum site: Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water (2002)—with its carefully constructed environment of lights, mirrors, and water—is one of the outstanding examples of this kind of installation, which creates a space in which individual viewers are invited to transcend their sense of self.

 

 

During lunch, my friend and I discussed healthier eating and the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Here is some info that I found:

In 2010, a Princeton University research team demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States. ….

Read the entire article:  http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

———————–

Not everyone agrees that High Fructose corn syrup is any worse for you than regular sugar.  Here’s an excerpt from a MayoClinic.com article about high-fructose corn syrup with some suggestions:

Some research studies have linked consumption of large amounts of any type of added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — to such health problems as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which can boost your heart attack risk… Recommendations from the American Heart Association — not a part of official U.S. dietary guidelines — say that most American women should consume no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar from any source, and that most American men should consume no more than 150 calories a day from added sugar, and that even less is better. That’s about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men.

It’s prudent to consume any added sugar only in moderation. Consider these tips to cut back:

  • Avoid sugary, nondiet sodas. Drink water or other unsweetened beverages instead.
  • Choose breakfast cereals carefully. Although healthy breakfast cereals can contain added sugar to make them more appealing to children, skip the non-nutritious, sugary and frosted cereals.
  • Eat fewer processed and packaged foods, such as sweetened grains like cookies and cakes and some microwaveable meals.
  • Snack on vegetables, fruit, low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat, low-calorie yogurt instead of candy, pastries and cookies

Read the entire MayoClinic.com article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/AN01588

——-

There is a Wiki page on How to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It notes that.. “the average American eats an astounding 41.5 lbs of high fructose corn syrup per year.”

Suggested Calorie Intake

According to the Fat2FitRadio.com page, my suggested calorie intake is pretty generous.  Very generous compared to what my trainer tells me I should be eating.  It’s clear that my diet is really poor but baby steps is where I am starting.  My first resolution is to cut out High Fructose Corn Syrup from my diet.

Activity Level    Daily Calories

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job)   1664
  • Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk) 1907
  • Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk) 2150
  • Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk) 2393
  • Extremely Active (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.) 2635

Based on how much activity you do on an average day, the calories in the right column will be the number of calories that you will be able to eat at your goal weight. If you start eating those calories right now (eating like the thinner you), you will eventually become that thinner person. As you get closer to your goal weight, your weight loss will start to slow down. It is OK to eat a few hundred calories less per day (200-300) to speed up your weight loss at this point.