Friday, June 20, 2008

Wii Fit Workouts

A justified complaint about Wii Fit is the lack of workouts. Other pairings between Yoga and Strength exercises, there is no guidance about how to spend your workout. This allows for freedom and self moderation, but it also can lead to aimlessness.

I have put together four workouts. The first one focuses on the core, the second one focuses on the upper body, the third one focuses on the lower body, and the fourth one focuses on the three "challenge" exercises.

You can download my sheets for these workouts here: XLS PDF

Feel free to email/post comments/questions/suggestions!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Relay for Life

From my sister-in-law:
Hello friends,

This weekend Joe and I are participating in our third Relay for Life, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. The Relay for Life brings together survivors and caregivers in the community to celebrate life and the progress that is being made in the fight against cancer. Our whole team will certainly be celebrating as Joe finishes his final round of chemo this week!! (Whoop! Whoop!)

I'm writing to ask that you consider a donation to the ACS, that will go directly to research.

If you know anyone who has fought cancer, you can donate a "luminary" in their honor or memory. These are $10 a piece and will have their name on the front (I'll even take a picture of it and send it to you!) The luminaries line the track, inside and out, and stay lit all night long. It's quite a touching experience to see the survivors take the first lap, thier steps lit by the legacies of those who valiantly fought, and those who continue to fight.

As a special incentive, two members of our team are offering a raffle for a week (your choice) at their home on Cape Cod for those who donate at least $100. (Let me know if you'd like more details on this.)

Thank you very much for considering a donation to the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.



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Friday, June 06, 2008

Wii Piano

I have done Wii Fit for a couple of weeks now. I really think Nintendo should expand this genre. Specifically, I think the engine could be expanded to practicing the piano fairly easily. I am not talking about Wii Music. I am talking about really practicing the piano.

There are two difficulties with bringing this game to reality. First, the player needs a piano. Second, the player needs to be able to see the screen while playing the piano.

My lack of creativity sees three basic ways to introduce a piano to the Wii. The first option is to sell a piano accessory. This option could not work because the piano would either be too flimsy or too expensive or (probably) both. Another option would be to have an accessory that plugs into digital pianos. This drastically reduces the audience, as not everybody has a digital piano. The final solution is the one I would suggest, which is to introduce a speaker accessory that can listen to whatever piano the players have. This actually seems like a realistic solution.

Dealing with the screen issue is more difficult. The easiest solution is to just make the screen unnecessary. Have instructions given through the accessory and teach piano via the Suzuki method. This basically eliminates a huge portion of the Wii experience, plus Suzuki is not as popular here in the US. This leaves two other options. Either force the piano to face the screen/TV (not always possible) or use a portable screen on the piano. The portable screen could be Wii specific or just a video transmission and receiving system.

I think something like this would have helped me be more excited about practicing the piano, at least for a couple of weeks.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Democratic primary

Some aspects of the primary elections (for both parties) have been fairly humorous. However, Hillary Clinton's campaign and supporters stopped being cute and funny long ago and have now definitely moved into the annoying and ridiculous category. I have a number of different grievances with that campaign, their ads, and their tactics. I just want to talk about one in this post.

Over the weekend the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee met to decide how to deal with Florida and Michigan. This, in itself, is a farce because last year it was already decided to not count Florida and Michigan because they broke the rules. In fact, Hillary pushed for that herself. For the sake of argument, let's pretend that meeting to discuss this again actually makes sense.

It turns out that Barack Obama pulled his name from the Michigan primary because it did not count. The committee decided to award delegates 69/59 for Clinton/Obama based on a number of different factors. This angered the Clinton supporters. Strangely enough, Hillary could only win 55% of the vote without her arch-nemesis. That would have put her at 73 delegates. Not a big difference, but they are still mad about that.

There still has to be some sort of penalty for breaking the rules, so the voting power of each delegate was halved. That also ticked off the Clinton supporters, since she won in both those states. I say "won," but that is in the same sense as I "win" in tennis if nobody is on the other side of the court.

So the Clinton supporters are all up in arms because they want the warped results of these illegal primaries counted. The really pathetic thing is that they do not do or care about the math. Even with all the numbers playing out the way they want, Obama would still be winning by a lot.

Consider Michigan going 73/55 with full votes to the delegates. Instead of just gaining 5 votes then Hillary gains 18. That's 13 more. Wahoo. Now to Florida, where it could be 105/67. Instead of Hillary just gaining 19, she gains twice that (38). So if it all goes their way, Hillary Clinton only ends up with 32 more votes. Another insignificant dent in Obama's lead.

This is just ridiculous. In the mean time Hillary acts as a wedge for the Democratic party, slowly turning it against itself.

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