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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Enjoying My First MOOC from Duke University

A MOOC was recommended to me by a fellow Washburn Leadership alum and since I had not taken a MOOC, I decided to try it out.  After all, the class was free, and it was about higher education.  The name of the class is "History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education".  We are more than halfway done with the course, but I am finding it very interesting.  We only have two weeks left of the class.

So far, I have done fairly well on the quizzes.  Along with quizzes we also are to watch videos from the instructor Cathy N. Davidson and I have enjoyed watching the videos.  The videos are split up into smaller videos so you can watch at your leisure, on your mobile device, etc when you have time. The course is put on by Duke University and they have done a very nice job with the delivery and class content.

The other interesting piece of the class is peer assessments.  For this assignment, which so far we have had two, we are assigned the task of writing 500 words about a topic.  We write up our comments or views on that topic and then we evaluate up to five other authors from the class.  Essentially, we are giving a grade based on our review of their writing.  This is done by at least five people for every essay that is written.  The average of the peer assessments is then used to assign the grade.  A interesting process to review the 1,000's of students taking the class where it would be impossible for a instructor to review all of the assignments.

The other important piece of this class is of course the discussions in the forums.  It took me a little bit to get into the forum posting on the site, but I have the hang of it now and I have been participating in the discussions.  The other area of interest is discussion outside of the course.  Using the #FutureEd Twitter hash tag, I have been discussing with others in the class about topics from the class.  For me, discussing using Twitter instead of the forums is easier as I am almost always on Twitter or have it close by most of the time.  I created a saved search for #FutureEd so I can jump into any discussion.

This course while being done through Duke University is presented on Coursera web site.  I have already started reviewing the Coursera site to find additional classes that I can take after this one is finished.

If you are interested in taking this class, watch their web site (https://www.coursera.org/course/highered) for future classes.

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Sunday, January 05, 2014

2014 Started and Snuck up on Me!

The previous year was a good year! It flew by, but it was a fun year. It does seem as though 2014 snuck up on me. It seems like only yesterday that we had just returned from our Washburn Alumni cruise (November 2012) and here we are headed into the start of the spring 2014 semester. Wow!

The end of 2013 turned into my not working out at all. Well, this started with my last spin class at the SRWC. I had great intentions of getting back to working out once January 1, 2014 rolled around, but the amount of cold and snow we have had thus far as taken away from my workout motivation. Spin class will be starting again as we get close to the start of the spring semester, so I plan to start getting up early and working out. As it proceeds into Spring and warmer weather, I plan to increase my workouts to at least fives days a week. My plan includes doing a five day workout through the summer. For me, if I put it on my calendar and plan on it, that is half the battle of getting to the gym.

I will be meeting with Ben at the SRWC during the month of January. This will be my health assessment and should give me solid goals to strive for through the rest of the semester and into the summer.

My iPhone woes continue. I have a little less than a year for my warranty on my iPhone 5. I am still not convinced that it is my battery that is failing which is causing my phone to die. Based on when it started and the "testing" that I have done, I believe it is a iOS 7.x.x problem. I read recently that 7.0.5 is supposed to be out later in January and then 7.1 is scheduled to be out in the next two - three months. Nothing confirmed, but I am hoping that either of these fixes will resolve my battery problems. If not, then I will be forced to get a new iPhone before my warranty expires. Crazy for my phone to die with 15-25% of the battery remaining and it happens on a regular basis. To the point where if my phone is under 50%, I do not feel it is reliable to use it until I get my charger. Frustrating!

I am sure there are other items I could comment about, but that is all for now. I just finished shoveling snow for the third of forth time this year. I am all warmed up and ready to relax. Have a great 2014 and I will post more later...

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

iPhone 5 Shutting Down Problems

I started noticing it after I went to iOS 7.0.2 and now that I am at 7.0.3 I definitely notice it.  I have gone through the suggested fixes too with no luck.  Posting this to see if others are having issues.  I know I have read plenty of forum posts with people having the issue, but figured I would post something on my blog about it too.

My iPhone 5 with iOS 7.0.3 will shut down anywhere from 23% down.  I did not have this problem prior to just a few weeks ago.  My iPhone 5 is exactly a year old.  No problems with battery at all until recently.  I did notice that when it shuts down early I can usually turn it back on by pressing the top button a few times.  In fact, if I go through a sequence of pressing the top button ten times and then pressing and holding it would turn on almost every time.  Odd!  When the phone would turn back on, the battery level would be at whatever it left off at (i.e. 23% on down).

If after going through the power on sequence it would turn back on, I did try running out the battery by going through this until there was nothing left.  Went through batter recalibration and still the same problem.  I did notice that if after it powered down if I put the phone in airplane mode, it would not shut down on its own.  I could run it all the way down to 1% without any problems.  I did close out all programs, turn off wifi, etc, but if it was not in airplane mode it would continue to shut down.

Personally, I believe this is a iOS 7.x.x issue and not a problem with my phone.  Especially considering the number of people reporting this problem in Apple discussions and other forums.  I sent a tweet to @9to5mac to see if they had these problems reported to them or if they knew anything about the iOS issue causing the problem.  So far, nothing back from them, but I am sure thinking it is a issue with the iOS.

I am curious to know if those still running iOS 7.0 are experiencing this problem.  What about those running 7.0.2 and then finally 7.0.3?  Granted, some of the results might be varied by those having battery issues, but I do not believe the issues I and others are experiencing are batter problems.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

After Google Reader Left... My Recommendations

I admit that I was one of those that was upset that Google Reader was terminated by Google. I had used Google Reader since it was first introduced. I used it from any web browser and I had even purchased iOS apps to be able to view the feeds without advertisements.  So, of course I was disappointed when Google announced earlier this year that it would discontinue Google Reader as of July 2013.

As it approached the date to discontinue Google Reader, I started looking for other options.  I did the usual of doing searches to find out what others recommended.  I tried out a few and finally settled on two that I would import my feeds to and begin using.  Both of which were web based and could also be accessed via a app on my iPhone.

The first site I tried was Feedly (http://www.feedly.com/). This was one of those sites that was recommended from other sites.  Feedly was preparing for the influx of Google Reader users that would have to find another option to read their feeds.  The other site I tried was the Digg Reader (http://www.digg.com/).  Unlike Feedly that had been around for a while, Digg had not been in the feed game before Google Reader announced they would discontinue their service.  Digg has been around for years as a way to recommend articles, web sites, etc. to others via a social medium.  When Google announced they would discontinue their service, Digg stepped up to build a rss news feed from scratch.

So, I tried both of these for a few weeks.  Both allowed access from a web site and both did have iOS apps (as well as other phone types) for accessing the news.  In the end, I ended up using Feedly as my daily source for news.  It is fast and I can easily share news via Twitter or Facebook.

A friend and I had a discussion about this and he decided to go with one where he pays for the service.  I went the free route simply because it was there and I do not see a need to pay for something that is free.  As he indicated, it is only a matter of time before Feedly, Digg, and others start introducing advertising on their sites.  Google did advertising on their site when accessing through a web browser, but that did not deter me from accessing their site to view the feeds.

If you are looking for a easy to use service for reading your daily news, I recommend checking out Feedly. Happy news reading....

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

BolderBoulder in Denver, CO

Picture of Haverty Running
Headed to the finish line.

What a great event! We had such a great time running in this race. Seems like just yesterday, but it is already almost two months ago. The summer is winding down and I am in a slump with running. We will get to more of that later.

First of all, I would like to say I cannot believe it has been about two months since my last post. The last time I posted was about a week before we left for Colorado for this race. I had plans of posting on a regular basis through the summer months on my status with running, races, and of course summer. You can see how far I got with the posting part of that, but I have been happy with my running and races ... for the most part!

The last race I ran was the BolderBoulder in Colorado. Up until about July 3, I was running and exercising on a regular basis. I was running a minimum of three times a week and sometimes four times. I was doing a spin class three times a week. Since July 3, that came to a halt. Having holidays in the mix tend to cause issues with my exercise routine. Then, once the holiday is over, I lose the energy to keep it going. I did manage to get back to spin class twice this past week. No running since July 3. I do intend to start running again tomorrow. I am not planning on doing anything crazy, but just a nice easy two or three mile run.

Back to information about the race.... It was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend in Denver, Colorado. Brenda, Carrie, and I drove out to Colorado for the race. We met our friend, Javier, in Colorado. Javier and I ran the race while Brenda and Carrie walked. I did not have problems with race at all. I felt good throughout the run and it was exciting finishing the race running into Bolder football stadium.

Javier and I broke apart from one another about the two mile marker. I did manage to find him again at the finish line. I ran the race in 1:11:48.74. While I had only run a 10K one other time leading up to this race, I was hoping for a little bit faster. I trained using a Couch to 10K app which worked great... Taking a few breaks through the months leading up to the race, I did not account for enough time to finish the app and race time. So, I only had the one real 10K run leading up to race day. That first 10K I ran in about 1:09 and it was in my neighborhood. So, I was only a little disappointed with 1:11 for the race. I think a lot of that had to do with the number of people running. There were water stations at each mile marker which was great, but the number of people stopping to get water made it so that I had to walk into those areas to get water. Not that I was complaining though as I was winded and thirsty at those times, but it did slow me down a bit.

Overall, I was happy with the results and it was a race that I would definitely run again. We are talking about doing it again next year, but so far, we have not made reservations for hotels or gone beyond the talking point. If we are going to do it again next year, we need to book our hotel as they filled up fast!

Post Race Picture
Javi and I enjoying beer after the race.

The festivities following the race were a lot of fun too! Of course there was beer and there were all kinds of vendors. We picked up all kinds of swag and sampled all kinds of sports foods as well as delicious beer. One of the things we tried was a PowerBar. I had tried PowerBar years ago and did not care for it at all. Well, let me tell you they have come a long way in the R&D on nutrional bars. It was actually gummy type of things that PowerBar was providing as samples and they were so good! Much better than the "chocolate" bars I had so many years ago.

Being in Colorado is always fun! It is so beautiful out there and the weather is always great too. It was rather a quick trip as we went out on a Saturday and went back home on a Tuesday. Definitely worth the trip! I did manage to take some pictures while we were out there, but not a lot. We managed to get around to sample wine and beers while we were out there. A brewery that we went to two years ago when we were out there too was Upslope and we went back there again this year too. Good beer and I love their bar/brewery.

I am sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have been thinking about making posts on some technology type of issues, but I am still pondering exactly what to post about those ideas. There are the Royals that I could post about too, so I might do that as a way to keep my site at least some what active.

Until my next post, have a great rest of the summer...

 

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eight Days out from First 10K

Trolley Run 2013

I look forward to running in Colorado in about a week for the annual BolderBoulder which takes place every year on Memorial Day. While I have been running and training for this event, I do not feel as though I am ready. I did have one of my best runs so far this year this past Thursday, but the others have not been great. Feeling lousy with breathing or following a run have all been part of the process. I am very excited to be running in Boulder, CO and to run in my first 10K.

The training and motivation has not been very strong at all this year. While I am putting in the effort to run at least three times a week, I have often times found myself having to talk myself into running. Tonight, we are having storms and so I would need to run inside, well, I made the excuse that I do not want to run as the power might go out. A new workout I have been doing is spin class. That is helping me to build endurance and push myself on days where I would normally not be doing anything at all. Still, I find that I am struggling as I go for runs.

We will arrive in Boulder on Saturday which will give us Saturday to get use to the altitude. I plan to do a light run on Sunday and then Monday is the big day for the race. I have not checked the weather yet, but I am hoping for nice weather for our run too.

My goal for this first 10K is to run the whole thing and not walk. I want to go at a moderate pace with it being somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:30 - 12:00 minute miles. I know that I often times am sucked into the start of a race and go very fast, but I know that I will not be able to maintain a 9 - 10 minute pace if I do that type of pace... especially in the altitude. So, I am hoping to target about a 11:30 minute pace and stick to it. If I can stick to that pace, I will finish the 10K in about one hour and eleven minutes. While this is a much slower pace than what I normally run for 5K's or even when I am out running in the neighborhood, I do not think I can maintain anything faster for this race.

Love Drinks!

The other part of the running is my diet. I have been very steady with my weight for the past year. This year, unlike last year, I have not cut out alcohol from my diet. This helped me lose weight the fastest and kept it off. I love the cold beer in the evening or following the mowing of the lawn, so I made the decision I would not cut out drinks. They taste good and gives me a reward following a workout or working in the yard.

I continue to use MyFitnessPal to track my calories and also my workouts. I have been using the site for the past three years. Great site! This site allows me to record my weight daily, weekly, or whenever you like. I was tracking it daily, but now it is randomly throughout the month. My weight stays right around 220. Yes, sometimes I dip down to 215 or go up as high as 225, but I usually fall right back down again to the 220 mark. That seems to be my constant.

I hope that following the race in Colorado, I will have another post. A post with additional pictures and of me smiling at the finish line with a respectable time. Until then, I hope you have a great spring and I do plan to post more over the summer.

 

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Working Out and Planning for Trolly Run

Cleared Snow from Driveway
I cannot wait for Spring... To Run Outside!

Once again, it has been a while since I have posted anything. I had plans of posting about various things regarding my workouts, board meetings, and other random thoughts. Yes, the last time I posted anything, it was in January.

My workout has not been going all that well. While I have been running regularly, I do not feel as though I have the endurance or motivation that I had last year at this time. I am doing the Couch to 10K and I love the process, but I feel like I am struggling. I get tired and have aches when only running for three minute blocks for thirteen times mixed with walking for two minutes thirty second. Some of the workouts are 78 minutes and others are 58 minutes. I am mid-way through the program and still have a long way to go. Soon, I will be "required" to run for the entire time and I am not sure at this point if I will be able to do the whole route running.

I do still enjoy the process. I enjoy the act of running which is something I never thought I would say. I am looking forward to being able to run outside. I know, I could have been running outside at least a few times the past few weeks, but when it was nice and when I could run were on two different schedules. So, I have been left to run inside on a treadmill.

No, I really do not mind running on a treadmill. Do I enjoy it? No! I do not enjoy the process of running on the treadmill in one stationary location. What I do love is being able to watch Netflix while I run. That might be for another posting where I talk about the shows I like to watch while I run on the treadmill. I will miss being able to watch shows while I am running. If I am not watching shows, then I am watching basketball or listening to Washburn on the radio.

I am training for the Trolly Run which is at the end of April. I ran in this race last year for the first time and I loved it! Done very well and the route is very nice. The route is downhill for the most part, but not bad at all. Goes through the neighborhoods of the Plaza in Kansas City. Last year it was raining and it was cold! I am hoping for nice weather this year. I am taking donations, so please take a moement to donate to over 300 children in the Kansas City area that need assistance with their vision. I hope that those of you that are runners that read my page will consider taking part in the Trolly Run too as it is a lot of fun and goes to a good cause.

Memorial Day weekend is a perfect time to take place in a 10K race in Boulder, Colorado. I cannot wait! My first 10K is set to be May 27, 2013 in Colorado. The BolderBoulder will be my first race and that's what I am training for with the Couch to 10K. I have a few months until I run in this race, but I think I will be ready. By that time, I should be able to run outside here in Topeka a few times and hopefully I will be ready for Memorial Day in Boulder, Colorado.

The last week of March will be my first attempt at doing a regular class at the rec center at Washburn University. I joined the gym back in 2012 and I have only been one time. I am going to start my first spinning class and I am excited for it to start. The class is at 6:30 in the morning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but I think I will be able to do it and I love to cycle. I will keep you posted on my status and ability to attend the classes.

Until the next time... which I hope is not as long as this post... Happy trails and running!

 

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