Saturday, January 21, 2012

Walking My Way Back To Blogging

I know it's been months.  Hardly a weekend goes by when I do not give thought to logging into blogger and writing a new blog.  It hasn't happened.  If I was a writer I could claim writer's block, but alas I only write powerpoints and reports.

So I thought I would write a report.  It should be easy and get me started.  Here it comes.

As many of you know, I like to walk. I usually wear 3 or more measuring devices at one time. I always have two devices.

Omron HJ-720ITC
First my Omron HJ-720ITC ($59.99 MSRP, $31.89 at ).  I may be biased, but I find it to be the easiest to use and the most accurate.  This model downloads to my PC via USB.  I have my steps for three years.  Not sure why I need the long history, but I do like looking at my most recent few weeks.  If you just want the steps try the HJ-112 ($34.99 MSRP, $20.99 at  Algorithm (the instructions the sensors use to measure your steps) is virtually identical.  You can wear on your waist or in your pocket (my favorite). It does have a nice security leash to keep it from falling off your waist.

 The second device I always carry is my FitBit ($99.99 everywhere).  Great design and a very fine web based dashboard. Like the Omron HJ-720ITC you can see your history (I have two years) or just look at the week or month.  There is a premium service, but I have yet to see a lot of value.  They now have an iPhone app that is nice, but you cannot load the data through your phone.  Accuracy is good, but I find it over counts my steps a bit. Make sure you secure it well or it will fall off your waist band.

The device I am adding this week is the MOTOACTV ($249.99 - $299.99 everywhere PLUS accessories).   It can measure all the normal things (steps, distance, pace, etc.) and adds Heart Rate (when used with a heart rate strap).  The data is available on device or on a web dashboard.  It has GPS and can download through USB or WiFi.   It is also an android MP3 player the can sync with music on your desktop/laptop.  You can use Bluetooth headphones to enjoy the audio.  It will sync with Motorola Android phones.  It comes with a belt clip and headphones.  The wrist or shoulder strap are separate.  Accuracy, so far so good.  The original battery life was awful.  The new software seems to be better.

I wore all three devices as I embarked on my weekend walk.  Here are the results.

Device                                 Steps
Omron HJ-720ITC               4,496
FitBit                                     4,565
MOTOACTV                        4,501

Not bad for the first test.  I will keep track over the next week and see if they stay as close together.  I also will look at the dashboards and give my view on ease of use.

Wow.  I actually got a full blog completed.  Perhaps being a reporter vs. an author will work.  Stay tuned for more.

Take care of your heart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Under Construction

I am coming back to blogging soon.  In the meantime, check out what I am drinking tonight!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Girl Who Does It All

It only took 6 months and a long international flight, but I finally watched the second and third movies in the Milennium trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  Good follow ups, but not quite up to par with the first movie. 

True to the books, everything bad that can happen to Lisbeth does.  Somehow, with the help of friends like Bloomkvist, she comes out in one piece.  Great acting from most of the cast. 

Noomi Rapace can say nothing and still get her message across.  Mikael Nyqvist as Bloomkvist is sometimes guilty of over acting, but he gets the job done.  Annika Hallin as Bloomkvist sister and Lisbeth's lawyer was excellent.

Read the books, then see the movies.  I am guessing they will be better than the US versions that are begining production.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

T Minus 7

It has been almost four years since I made a trek to Napa.  Next weekend will be a great time with more wine and food than I should or can consume (I will need to walk 20,000 steps a day to stay even on weight).

Miner Diner on Saturday.  Lunch and blind tasting at Chappellet on Sunday. Finishing off the trip with a day on Spring Mountain at Terra Valentine and Fantesca.

In between there will be stops at other favorites and my e-mail friend Jim Kimmel is having some of his great Chardonnay and Merlot delivered to my hotel.

Hopefully I have not forgotten how to blog from my phone.  It should be a great weekend.  I am in training tonight with a great Chardonnay from Fantesca.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chris, You Can Stop Spinning Now.

What's wrong with this picture.  I guess that's a loaded question, but I best get on topic.  No, this is not a young Rush Limbaugh (although there are similarities).  This is the Governor of the great State of New Jersey.  He doesn't have enough to do right now so he is encouraging (probably too nice a word) businesses to abandon Illinois for "business friendly" New Jersey in advertisements on Illinois radio.

The Tax Foundation reports New Jersey ranks 48th on the list of states with the best tax climate.  Illinois was 23rd, but with the recent tax increase has dropped to 36th. With a business tax rate of 9%, New Jersey does have 0.5% lower business taxes. However, the Tax Foundation also reports that New Jersey has the highest state/local tax burden in the nation.  In fact people who make more than $40,000 a year will pay higher income taxes in New Jersey than in Illinois. I guess Chris forgot to put this in is advertisements. 

I don't like paying more taxes, but those who live in glass houses....