Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Ricoh WG-M1 - YouTube

How often is your life in Limbo?  Waiting for someone else to tell you something?  I feel like I have been floating in that place for a couple weeks now.  Actually, it has been most of the summer.  I did not stop planning the rest of my life, but today I am totally WAITING...

Tom got me a new action camera for my birthday.  I am enjoying it.
It is a Ricoh WG-M1.
Everyone would ask me- why not a Go-Pro? I am just a little too controlling to do that.  First you pay $300+ for the camera with no screen, then you have to buy the waterproof housing and all the special adapters to attach it to things.  Yes, they did that all on purpose - to sell more stuff.

The Ricoh is based on regular cameras with the abilities of a Go-Pro. I put a regular quick release on the bottom and waaaa-laaa, it goes right on the rig I already made for the Kayak.
So far, I am rather pleased.  It took me a while to figure out some of the things it does and see which view I liked better.  It has Wide/Mid/Narrow lens setting and NO Zoom, but no action camera has a zoom.
Here are some shots in each style taken at 14 megapixels.  If you want to see YouTube videos from it - Go here...
Make sure to subscribe to see the new stuff.

(Click to embiggen- stolen from The Bloggess)
 The first shot here was taken using the Narrow setting on the pictures.  I'm pretty sure that is what I had set on these. This is from a trip down Green River, this is a creek that we can't normally go down. The water was high, so we could get through.  There is a Tiny bit of distortion on the edges and corners.

The second picture here is from Barren River Lake.  This one was done set on Mid - so there is a little rounding on the edges.  Oh, I have a picture on Facebook you can see the trees sort of leaning in.

This picture is from Drakes Creek and that day everything should be on Wide, because I kept having to turn the camera back on over and over again.  Anyway, you can really see that this is the Wide, you can see the black edges of the lens cover (to make it waterproof).   So, the center of the picture is clear, and normal, but the edges are all warped.
The auto turn off feature totally sucks. Each time you turn on the camera, all the setting go back to Wide and anything else you changed goes back to reset.
I turned that off, and life is way better.
The battery lasted longer than I expected.  Plus I finally got a second one, so it's okay.
Overall, I am really happy with the camera.

The biggest problem that I ran into is trying to get an extra battery for the camera.  Of course Amazon gets items listed that companies say will work and so Amazon links it to the camera.
I ordered a battery and charger for pretty cheap, I knew it was cheap and didn't expect a great and powerful battery, but I was not expecting it NOT to fit.   This Battery does not fit.

The company that was selling the battery offered me a second one to fix the problem.  I certainly took them up on it and noticed some other guy had the same problem that I had. Amazon notices I contacted the seller and asks me to write a review of the company.
I had already written a review on the battery and basically just said the 3rd party company is screwing everyone up.
So, I write a pretty good review of the company.  I said that the company did what they could to take care of me.  I had already waited 2 weeks for a battery that fit and it didn't.  Luckily I did not have a big trip planned where I KNEW I needed that 2nd battery.
I mentioned that sadly the company that made the batteries was messing them up.

Then I get a phone call.  I hadn't gotten around the sending the batteries back for a refund; I was busy teaching summer school.  I was okay with the phone call to help me take care of the problem.  At this point I had ordered the expensive Ricoh battery to make sure it fit in my camera.

But Rep for the camera company was like - Take down your review and I'll give you your money back.    WHAT???  It was a good review of YOUR company, but that doesn't matter because it wasn't 5 stars. Then,  East Photo, called me again  because I had not had a chance to go online and take down my review of their company.  She was all, "We refunded your money, why haven't you done it.
Well half of it - I hope the charger I got works??  Little nervous there - trying a 3rd party charger feels weird after the battery fiasco.

Sooooooooooooo,  long story short - HA - I took down my Amazon review of the company and said fine, be whiny - I'll just say how annoying you were on my BLOG.  You can't make me take this down.  I know not too many people see this, but it's still on the internet.  I think it is pretty crappy to tell someone I'll refund your money if you take down the review.  I call BS!!!!!  Complete BS!!!

Anyway- Happy summer.  It's August and school starts here next week.  Can you believe that?
Go check out my videos on Youtube - and I'll see you around.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Feels like the same old thing....

  I was thinking about it today and realized that yes, I feel like I am writing about the same old thing all the time.  So, I just haven't written a blog in a long time.

This spring was a little crazy.  The weather would not get it together for March and April, so our normal weekend on the water got pushed back to MAY.  Plus our vacation to Florida also got squeezed in there.

It's already June and much has happened in the last couple months.

D came for Easter and we hit Shanty Hollow lake; because of all the rain, the Barren River was way too high and not safe to be on.  That was a lovely day, the sun was out. We hiked to the waterfall.  I'll look for a picture.

We managed to get on the water a couple times in April.  The creeks were all up a bit which made it pretty fun.

I got more hours at my mall job.  The assistant manager quit, so we had a lot of hours to spread around to everyone else.  I was working 6 days a week, between school and the mall.  I was ready for our vacation in May.

Tom and I took off to Florida.
We had a great time stopping to see John and Missy in Alabama.  It really helped break up the drive going to and from.  We took the boats this time and managed to go Kayaking a couple times - in between Universal Studios days.   That was awesome.

Going to NASA and Kennedy Space Center was truly great. We did the big tour and saw the space shuttle launch pads and the giant mover.  Space X has already taken over one of the launch pads and other companies have taken some of the other old spots on the grounds.
Seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis was the BEST thing ever.  I always wanted to see one and it was even better than expected.

The whole set up was great and people had lots of kids there, and I guess that is who a great deal of the place is built for.  I just don't think most of them got much out of it.  I was amazed at the amount of real things we created in the 60's.  There were so many things I did not know.
I think the reason we stopped liking space so much was the extended time between the moon missions and the Space Shuttle launches.  It took 12 years.  The entire 70's went by and the only thing that we sent up were satellites.  Sure those made a big difference in our television watching, but it did not create the buzz that a people'd launch did.

One last thing....
You all know that I really enjoy giving back in one way or another.  Guess it's one reason I became a teacher.  Anyway, we try to support things going on around us.  This past weekend was one of those situations.
A group called "Kids on the Block" does puppet shows in schools to help students learn how to talk about things happening at home or school that they just can't figure out how to tell someone.  Sure you may hear people say, "tell me if someone touches you", but get mad every time your kid says, "So and SO is touching me."  So in that all important time to hear them goes by because you aren't listening.
Anyway, one of the supporters of the group wanted a fund raiser that got kids outdoors and wasn't just another color run.  The owner of Lost River Pizza knows our Kayaking friend Tangie.  She owns Green River Scrubs.  She asked us to help with a paddle on the Barren River.  A group of us went to make sure all the newbies made it through the trip in one piece.
The Local newspaper  did a story on the trip and took a few pictures.  They got my backside and a picture of one of the guys that does the stand-up board.

It was a rather slow paddle for us and some people were having a hard time going slow, but overall, it looked like everyone had a good time.  A group of us met at Lost River pizza afterward and had a rather good time. The shirts are very comfortable and the gift bags had some cool stuff in them.  I'm glad I could help out and have a great time doing it.

PS.  Please let me know if you do want more of the paddling stuff.  I have links to adventures I have made.  Most of this stuff shows up on Facebook, so I don't post on here as much.   If you like stories of the trips let me know, those certainly would go here better......

Monday, March 02, 2015

We were on TV!!!

Back in JUNE we went on a trip down the Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park.
I told you we were going to be on TV - and yes we were.
I totally forgot to share that here.   I shared it on Facebook, but heck - not everyone see's that.

Without further ado-----   CLICK HERE......

Weird thoughts

I like to make a lot of plans.  I could probably tell you where I plan to be most weekends for the next 5 months.  Plus, I know where I want to be for a few more weekends, but not sure if they are all going to pan out. 

The weather is much harsher, creating more barriers to getting certain things done.  There might be snow here on Wednesday and everyone is starting to freak out now.  I could not get near the gas pumps at Kroger today.  I guess I'll get gas somewhere else. 

Working out only gets better if you start with baby steps at my age and up.  I know it feels like you have to go whole hog and jump in with both feet.  Sure, but only if it's for 20 minutes or so.  I've been working out twice a week, most of the time, since November. I guess you could say I am pleased with my results. You can't see it in my weight, but I can sure feel it in my muscles.  (Okay, people tell me I look smaller.) 

Old dogs get cranky, especially if they are a bulldog.  I can not believe how anti-human my poor brat has become.  Don't ring the doorbell, or knock on the door;  otherwise, he feels it is an invitation to start the battle royal.  He's decided that you must pay him homage, and even that doesn't keep him from deciding to bite your leg.  I apologize to all, we just can't figure him out. 

It seems to get harder each year to find that cool job.  I found a place that I really want to work at for a long time and darn it; I just can't get hired full time.  I am getting a great deal out of the professional development they have available, and am just enjoying being at least part of the fun.  Thank goodness I work with extremely nice people. 

Oh, and I do want you to come visit me.  Yes, you.  Family or friend!!  I'm sure we can find a weekend or so to squeeze you in. LOL

Monday, February 09, 2015

Adventures in Winter Kayaking.

Forgive me for my absence.  Really have I a million things to share. I just am having a harder time getting myself to actually write anything. 

Newest adventure first -  
How do I create the suspense I want for this post?  Well, there you are- you are warned that it really should be suspenseful, but you already know the outcome..... 
If you have read any part of this blog, you would know that I like to Kayak.  I'm not just a summer and it's warm and there is nothing else to do person.  I am a - lets plan this for weeks on end and go every Saturday that the temperature will even sort of allow you to be out on the water.  I like the temp to be somewhere above 38 degrees F, without a ton of wind;  that about covers my expectations. 
Saturday, January 31st,  fulfilled my preferences and after testing the air at 7:00am, I was ready to hit the road and get some kayaking done.  My only other caveat is that I prefer to go with other people.  I know it's not a great idea to go alone, especially when the creeks are up and it is cold outside. This weekend, my normal crowd planned an outing and I was thrilled to tag along. 
Most of the day was fabulous.   The sun finally came out from behind the clouds;  the birds were flying or swimming as they are likely to do. Some turtles even came out to soak up a few rays from the weak sun.  We had done about 8 miles of the 12 mile trip when I had 2 choices of direction I should take. 
Instead of just taking the simple route of beaching my craft and walking around the huge log that crossed the entire creek.  I changed my mind in the middle and tried to get all the way across to the low spot of the log that ran just under the water.  I had waited just a smidge too long to change directions.  Of course I was sort of sideways across the creek, trying to make it to the far side. 
That log created a lovely blockage and caused the river the speed up there to go under and around it.  I hit the log with the flat side of my kayak.  I'm not even sure if I had hit it head on that it would have made much difference.  I would have wound up in the same situation. 
I was almost to the end of the log to go over the low side.  Sadly I pushed down with my paddle on the upstream side of the log and leaned.  OOPS- of course this is your first instinct to do anyway- so almost everyone does this at least once.  My lovely kayak that had kept me from dunking for over a year; gracefully tipped into the on coming water and schloooopI got pulled under with the current. 
This wasn't the first time I had experienced this phenomenon.  I did this once long ago on a whitewater trip in West Virginia.  There is video proof of that adventure.  None of this one. 
I found myself in the water.  Not quite upside down, but disoriented, never the less.  I opened my eyes and found the light and properly swam with the current to the far side of the log.  I could not go any farther I would find, because I was tangled in my many cords coming off the kayak.  (I'll be rethinking my paddle leash after this incident.)    
The log had two lovely fist sized stumps sticking out on my side of it.  I was able to grab those and pull my upper half mostly out of the water.  I noticed the cords and paddle basically holding me there at this time.  My buddy, who is usually the really crazy one, shows up to help drag me to shore.  It took us a few minutes to disengage me from my tangles. 
I realized about this time that the water did not feel nearly as cold as I expected it to be in January.  Also, the current was rather strong and it felt the need to steal my cheap rubber boots right off my feet.  My buddy got me to shore and I crawled upright and started peeling off the many layers of wet clothing.  I looked up to see the other two guys crawling out on the log to disengage my boat from the log. 
I was certainly cold, but surprisingly did not feel like hypothermia was happening to me.  I pulled off my neoprene neck wrap- as I hate the wind on my neck - and found my chest under it was still sort of dry.  Oh how I love neoprene now!  I'm sure by keeping my chest mostly dry, I was more capable of continuing to function. 
It took a bit to dislodge my boat.  The log and current were doing a great job at holding it hostage. I peeled off all the outer layers and was working on my socks when Boyscout came over with his canoe and picked me and my wet clothes up and took me to where the other guys had managed to wrangle my boat to the shore.   
My kayak is very open inside and it was completely filled with water.  They had to turn it over then set it up on end to get most of the water out.  My extra clothes, in the dry bag, were still attached, so they threw that to me and I started layering on new stuff.  My giant Irish wool sweater and other coat were lovely to find.  My head sock had gotten wet, but some clean socks and some outer wear pants  were great to help hold in what heat I had left.   
I was missing some gloves and shoes; as the current ate my boots.  Boyscout once again came to the rescue with both gloves and soft boots to survive the rest of the trip. 
Later when we took inventory, I had only lost my boots and my Garmin.  I still had glasses on my face. My water bottle and seat cushion had been rescued, along with everything else attached to the boat.   My phone, camera, lunch and 1/2 skirt were all still there and properly connected.  
Garmin is being great and helping me with a replacement at a discounted price.  My Fitbit survived the dunk and continued wetness in my shirt until I got home.  After syncing it and checking the time - it looks like I went in about 1:40 in the afternoon.  The Fitbit then shows I started walking again at 3:15, which means it took an hour and a half to dislodge my boat and paddle the last 4 miles. My buddy W.. really turned on the speed to help me keep warm and get out pretty quick. 
I am pleased to say that this experience, while a little hair-raising, has not deterred me from planning  other winter kayaking trips.  I am thinking long and hard about going out on Trammel creek coming up, but I may not go because of lack of boots and not from abject fear.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kayak - I think I almost live in mine......

Dear Friends,
It has been 3 months since my last confession, please forgive me.  How many posts will it take for you to forgive me?

I just realized that the last time I posted it was July.  It's now October. Shame on me.

I just counted and it looks like I've only gone Kayaking 7 times, Since my last post- but it seems like so many more trips.
We drove back to Michigan 2 times since then. The trip at the beginning of August was out to Proud lake to stay in the cabins and go kayaking on the Huron River was fabulous.
I'm glad that a few people were able to come hang out with us.  It was a great weekend.
You should be able to click on the pictures to make them "embiggen".

 The swans were mighty pretty, and the little dam makes a nice little swimming area and fun place to hang out for a bit.

 I got D to try out my kayak and we got other friends to come down with their gear to hang out.   And then we got one of the cutest wee ones out with his dad.
I have to say that was a fabulous weekend.
Tom is learning to cook with a dutch oven.  He enjoyed that a great deal.
The cabin is rather comfy and just one of the nicest places to hang out with friends.
I think we will try to do it again next year, so put it on your calendar folks.  The first weekend in August-  Sunday afternoon.

I have tons more photos and other things to write about.  I promise to try and keep up a little better.

Wow, it's October.  Halloween is almost upon us.  I need to find some stuff to decorate.  Where is that box hiding????

Monday, July 14, 2014

Two months Wrap up..... whew Sorry

Shame on Me!!!  It's been since MAY that I posted.  I apologize.

Let's wrap up what happened between then and now....
May- One trip on the Green River- lovely part of 300 springs section with cool waterfalls. Pictures -
Cook out with Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak meetup group.   We were so busy eating I don't think anyone took pictures.. lol

Saw Addams Family at SkyPac.  Went to a Retirement party for someone we Kayak with.
Then tried to get ready for New Orleans.
The end of May got really messy and the first week of June was terrible.

I guess I'm not really ready to write about that yet.  You'd think I could and yet it doesn't want to come out.

June got better starting Saturday, June 7th.  We left mom here at the house and left for the south.  It was wonderful to spend some time with our friends in Alabama.  We talked about life and what to do in New Orleans. I was very saddened that they could not come spend a day or 2 with us in the City.  But, life happens to everyone.

We actually got to New Orleans on Sunday the 8th and managed to have the best dinner in a long time at a nice restaurant in the French Quarter, down past the out door market.  We tried everything.  Shrimp something, Gumbo, Fried Chicken and I can't even remember what I had.  Their bread pudding was to die for - that much I remember.  They gave us so much fried chicken that we had them box it and gave it to homeless people on our way back to the condo.

Monday was the WWII museum and it was worth every penny and more.  The cafe was fabulous!!  The 4D movie was even better.  Plan for ALLLLL day.  Really, it will take you all day.
Tuesday was the zoo.  YES!!
It was a nice zoo, not too big, but not that small.  They are rebuilding the Elephant Habitat so they are not on view all the time.  Two old girls who were happy to get some attention.
It rained on us some and we rode the St. Charles Street Car from one end to the other.  That was fun.  Later that evening we went for a pedal cab tour of the French Quarter, it was great.  The sun had set so it was getting cooler and we did not have to squint to enjoy the view.
Wednesday, we went to the Aquarium and enjoyed the day indoors. It was a bit hot. LOL.
On Thursday, we rode the Canal streetcar from one end to the other in order to see the Cemeteries.  It was fun and beyond hot, we forgot to bring water bottles and basically paid for that. Hats were the saving grace of that day.

On Friday we drove all the way Home.  It was long and mostly boring.  I can not believe how much of NOTHING there was on the drive through Mississippi.  I think we saw one town, the whole drive.
Saturday, I dragged myself out of bed and headed out to Kayak with our group.

There was NEW water scheduled and I was not going to miss out.  Turns out it was about 14 -17 miles.  The distance changes every time someone talks about that trip.  It was a lovely day and it DID take forever, but we did have a good time. First trip I have gone on where I had cell service the whole time.  I almost had a heart attack when the phone rang.  pictures -

Class started in late June and I am happy to say most of my students are kicking butt and will probably finish.
We then did the Green River again through Mammoth Cave park and had a cookout at the cabin afterward.  The coolest part about that whole trip - is- WE are going to be on TV.  PBS came to do a show about the Green river and us crazy folk who go on it all the time.  I did get interviewed and Hubby managed to act a fool at one point, so I figured there will be video of us in the show. It sounds like the show will air in September.   pictures -

I went looking for information and it's not out there yet.

July came on us really quickly!!!! We drove home to Michigan for my birthday and the 4th of July.  What a busy weekend that became.  It was wonderful to see everyone.
We drove a little less this trip - thanks everyone - and survived.  LOL

This past weekend we were in Tennessee to kayak the Caney Fork River and stay at Long Branch Campground.  It's right below the dam that starts the river and WOW, the temperature drops quick and nice at night so you don't die in a tent.  The river is filled with fish, clear to look through and down right COLD..
I will return to paddle this river again.  Can't wait to go back!!!
Here is the link to the Caney Fork trip -

Monday, May 05, 2014

Chicken Hair Dressers

Last week I got my hair colored for like the 4th or 5th time since moving to Kentucky.

This is usually not any kind of big deal, my hair grows fast and so the grey is starting to peek out a little sooner.  Actually most of the time I wish it was the grey, it's the weird brown that looks terrible under everything else.

This time, as most of you have seen on Facebook, I'm finally back to the COPPER and Blond stripes that I had before I moved down here.  It took an entire year to get this color back.   Why did it take that long??

It seems that I must chalk it up to "chicken hair dresser"  or "hair stylist", which ever you prefer.
Back last year we started with the exact same color I used in Michigan.   I was flabbergasted that it did not work.  It came out brown.  Why??   The only thing we can guess is the CITY water in Royal Oak (Detroit water) has different chemicals in it than the water here in Bowling Green.  Hence the problem.

I let her experiment with some other stuff a couple times and then the kicker.  The last time she did my hair, they had found a Copper color and she had the nerve to put - neutralizer in it.  Really, really???  Neutralizer, you saw the color of my hair the first time, it was crazy copper.  For some reason you thought I would freak out?  Am I really that old??  Do I look that cranky???

It's HAIR, I have been doing crazy (although not as much as others) stuff to my hair since I was a kid.  Heck, I even got perms in the 80's - don't judge.  It grows really fast (as long as it is short) and ta-da, if I don't like it today - give it three weeks and it will change.

Anyway - I now have Copper and of course it will fade to brown, but that's the whole point.  You are shiny and crazy for a couple weeks and then become a normal person again.  I guess this is how I stay out of the Tattoo shops.  Needles---- {quiver}