I Like Rain

The whole day was full of sudden bursts of rain, like the Earth’s gardener tipping out a bucket. It was also very sunny.

There was a rainbow. I had to go out. Yes, I was very soggy.

Rainbow

But it won’t be the first or last time I’ve gone out in the rain for pictures. My camera is very forgiving. And a bit waterproof.

Puddle

As well as bucket pouring, we’ve also had a run of spiders this year. I blame the new wheely bins, as they don’t really keep out the flies. Nature did its thing. More flies = more spiders. They go and hide when the weather is cold, but anytime we have a warm spell they’re out and about. Rain means warmth in the winter.

So I went out to photograph the spiders. Whilst standing on my front path with the camera, a delivery person arrived with a parcel. I got some funny looks. I also got the parcel, but it wasn’t for me.

Spider

Rain is fun and full of spiders.

First Impressions of Wii Fit

Wii FitWii Fit is outside of the sort of games I normally play/review. But it was in the house and I don’t pass up free stuff. For those who don’t know what it is, Wii Fit is an exercise game for the Nintendo Wii console. It comes with a board that measures your movements as you stand on it.

Why Use It?

The game is mainly marketed at people wanting to lose weight or get fit. I’m in neither category. But I do have issues with balance (I have some ear problems) and flexibility (genetics… I was the kid who couldn’t touch my toes). I’m reviewing the game based on how well it handles those things, rather than the fat burning potential.

Weight-In and Goals

The first thing it* does is take some personal details, including a weigh-in session. After getting through all that, I set my goal to gain/lose 0 pounds in two weeks. You can at least by-pass the weight loss thing in that way.

Fit Piggy

I want a fit piggy (the thing that records how long you’ve been exercising). I think it’s a shame you only get the sentient board with the pack. I’d like a real fit piggy. It’d make a cute clock.

On to Real Exercise

I started with a fat-burner as a warm-up. They have a hula hoop game, which seemed like it’d be warm-up and some flexibility. It was quite fun. If I dropped the hoop, it’d give me a new one and I could carry on. It didn’t end early because I messed up. However, it didn’t tax me from the aerobic exercise point of view.

I did well on the basic yoga (flexibility), though I don’t think I could do anything harder than the ones I tried for awhile. It isn’t really a game, but it explains it simply. I didn’t have a problem following the directions and I could feel the strain on the muscles.

I tried skiing and tight-rope walking for balance. I didn’t do that well on either, though I had one lucky break on the tight-rope… I managed to stay on it till the time ran out. I wasn’t so impressed with the balance games. The two I tried were frustrating for someone with poor balance. Skiing was easy to fail completely. It didn’t reward partial success. Tight rope walking restarted the game every time I failed. Having to restart every ten seconds isn’t fun. Possibly some of the other games are better… I want a starter game more like hula hoops, where a failure means a point reduction rather than ending the game.

Conclusions

Fit PiggyThe most obviously working thing was the yoga. I could feel the affect on my muscles on the first attempt. I liked the fact the games had a little monitor to show if you were moving correctly. It made it easier to correct posture and balance.

The balance games weren’t the best for starter games. I wanted a game that didn’t restart when I fell. With that said, I think they’ll work in time. I did see an improvement using the tight rope walking, even if it took a lot of restarting to get there.

As far as general aerobic exercise goes, I’m not so convinced. My level of overall fitness was too high to benefit… I wouldn’t be able to maintain my current fitness levels with this device. I get far more exercise from walking and bouncing**. I can see it would help someone at the early stages of an exercise routine, but people should be aware they’ll need to move on to other forms of exercise at a later date. The reviews I’ve seen have glossed over this point.

And I want a fit piggy clock.

* ‘It’ is an animated, talking, version of the board you stand on. I’m suspicious of that talking board. I usually like my gaming devices to be non-sentient, especially if I’m trampling on them.

** Some might loosely refer to this as dancing. There’s music. And there’s jumping up and down. So it might qualify.

Flashshot Drabble

Flashshot published my drabble ‘The Price of a Soul’ today (3rd Sept). If you’re subscribed to their daily story list, you have it in your mailbox. If you’re not, you can find it on their main page today and their last ten flashshots for the next ten days.

This was one of the stories I wrote for the March FAD. That means two out of five stories have gone to loving homes. I wonder if the last three will have any luck?

Poetry Cats

I wrote quite a bit of poetry as a child. Most of it has been lost to time. Not all of it though. Some pieces were lurking on an old hard drive, waiting to pounce.

I don’t recall my exact age when I wrote this. I think I was about twelve. I won’t be winning any literary prizes, but I still like the shapeness of it.

Cat Poem