Study: Birds Are Linked to Happiness Levels – EcoWatch

A new study reveals that greater bird biodiversity brings greater joy to people, according to recent findings from the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. In fact, scientists concluded that conservation is just as important for human well-being as financial security.
— Read on www.ecowatch.com/birds-happiness-study-2649413979.html

Birding
Costa Rica Birding, The Top Costa Rica Birds – Lodges Custom

Christmas in Courtenay

My art work

I have been doing all kinds of artwork for the past IMG_572220 years and hoped I would do more once I retired.  I have some examples on my website and some resources for beginners.   I have recently started experimenting with alcohol inks which allows for much freeer process.   I occasionally sell my work at shows.xmas 5

 

 

Your help is needed to replace the gym on Hornby Island.

In Aug 2018 the Hornby Island school burned down. So far the provincial government has not committed to replacing the full size gym that was used for many activities on the Island. There is a meeting on Hornby on June 20 with the School Board so we need to forward as many letters as possible before then.  Are you willing to write letters or emails? A draft letter is attached below. Emails and/or letters can be sent to:

Scott Fraser MLA: scott.fraser.MLA@leg.bc.ca Mail: Scott Fraser, Room 323 Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

Rob Fleming, Minister of Education: educ.minister@gov.bc.ca Mail: Room 124 Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

John Horgan, Premier: Premier@gov.bc.ca Mail: P.O. Box 9041 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9E1

Please cc all emails to: HornbySchoolBuild@gmail.com

 

Dear Minister Fleming, MLA Scott Fraser and Premier John Horgan;

I am writing you to request your support for the replacement of the destroyed gym on Hornby Island with a full sized gym.

Hornby Island community suffered a devastating blow when the school was destroyed by fire in August 2018. I understand the Ministry of Education is the final stages of finalizing funding levels for the new school. The school was relocated to the Community Hall from Sept-Dec and currently functions out of 4 portables. It has come to my attention that the insurance for the gym replacement is only adequate to cover the cost of a gym the quarter of the size of the original full size gym. Hornby is apparently just below the threshold to qualify for full replacement funding. Hornby is a remote island with no alternate community recreation facilities. The existing buildings are often booked with other activities, do not have enough space or are in need of repairs or replacement of equipment. The one facility with some modest fitness equipment has just put out a call for donations of exercise bikes, treadmills etc.

The gym is the center for all in-school sports and after school programming, summer sports activity, emergency preparedness training, toddler and preschool gym, seniors exercise, all ages badminton, teen night, basketball, pickle ball, indoor soccer, tennis, plays and fairs.

There is evidence that people in rural areas have higher BMI compared to urban dwellers which has been a recent trend. (1). Forty percent of the population on Hornby is over 65 and needing regular physical activity all year round including facilities that are handicapped accessible. Regular physical activity helps prevent dementia, (2–5) (6), obesity (7), diabetes(8,9), hypertension, (10) cardiovascular disease(11–13), falls (14), cancer (15) and progression of osteoarthritis. (16) Physical activity also improves pregnancy outcomes (17) and helps maintain social networks. Strong evidence demonstrated that physical activity reduces the risk of fall-related injuries by 32% to 40%, including severe falls requiring medical care or hospitalization. (14). For every increase of 2000 steps per day over baseline, there was an 8% yearly reduction in cardiovascular event rate in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. (18) In fact, the gym might be even more important for the rest of the population than the school kids. The gym also offered many special events that drew tourists and supported the local economy.

In addition to the gym, a small Natural History Centre was lost. The Centre was an interactive museum that offered learning opportunities for everyone in the community. In addition, it was an important summer tourist attraction that contributed to the sustainability of the economy.

I would appreciate your recommendation to the Ministry of Education for the full replacement of the gym and Natural History Center to their original size and function. The island has done considerable fundraising for a new art center and the appetite for additional fundraising is dwindling.

Your truly

As it turned out.. the school board had already done some scenarios about funding that includes enough sq. ft. to include a full size gym space. The Ministry of Education has a funding envelope that includes funding for emergencies which is going to be used to fund the replacement of the school. Lesson learned: don’t believe everything you hear or read on Facebook.

 

  1. Bixby H, Bentham J, Zhou B, Di Cesare M, Paciorek CJ, Bennett JE, et al. Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic in adults. Nature [Internet]. 2019;569(7755):260–4. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1171-x
  2. Kivimäki M, Luukkonen R, Batty GD, Ferrie JE, Pentti J, Nyberg ST, et al. Body mass index and risk of dementia: Analysis of individual-level data from 1.3 million individuals. Alzheimers Dement [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Jun 17];14(5):601–9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29169013
  3. Vaillant GE, Okereke OI, Mukamal K, Waldinger RJ. Antecedents of intact cognition and dementia at age 90 years: a prospective study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry [Internet]. 2014 Dec [cited 2019 Jun 17];29(12):1278–85. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24733646
  4. Morgan GS, Gallacher J, Bayer A, Fish M, Ebrahim S, Ben-Shlomo Y. Physical activity in middle-age and dementia in later life: findings from a prospective cohort of men in Caerphilly, South Wales and a meta-analysis. J Alzheimers Dis [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2019 Jun 17];31(3):569–80. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22647258
  5. Sabia S, Dugravot A, Dartigues J-F, Abell J, Elbaz A, Kivimäki M, et al. Physical activity, cognitive decline, and risk of dementia: 28 year follow-up of Whitehall II cohort study. BMJ [Internet]. 2017 Jun 22 [cited 2019 Jun 17];357:j2709. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28642251
  6. A dementia Strategy for Canada.
  7. JAKICIC JM, POWELL KE, CAMPBELL WW, DIPIETRO L, PATE RR, PESCATELLO LS, et al. Physical Activity and the Prevention of Weight Gain in Adults. Med Sci Sport Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1262–9. Available from: http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201906000-00021
  8. Laaksonen DE, Lindström J, Lakka TA, Eriksson JG, Niskanen L, Wikström K, et al. Physical activity in the prevention of type 2 diabetes: the Finnish diabetes prevention study. Diabetes [Internet]. 2005 Jan [cited 2019 Jun 17];54(1):158–65. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15616024
  9. Smith AD, Crippa A, Woodcock J, Brage S. Physical activity and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Diabetologia [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2019 Jun 17];59(12):2527–45. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27747395
  10. Pescatello LS, Buchner DM, Jakicic JM, Powell KE, Kraus WE, Bloodgood B, et al. Physical Activity to Prevent and Treat Hypertension: A Systematic Review. Med Sci Sports Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1314–23. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31095088
  11. Lear SA, Hu W, Rangarajan S, Gasevic D, Leong D, Iqbal R, et al. The effect of physical activity on mortality and cardiovascular disease in 130 000 people from 17 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: the PURE study. Lancet (London, England) [Internet]. 2017 Dec 16 [cited 2019 Jun 17];390(10113):2643–54. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28943267
  12. Bennett DA, Du H, Clarke R, Guo Y, Yang L, Bian Z, et al. Association of Physical Activity With Risk of Major Cardiovascular Diseases in Chinese Men and Women. JAMA Cardiol [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 Jun 17];2(12):1349–58. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29117341
  13. Kivimäki M, Kuosma E, Ferrie JE, Luukkonen R, Nyberg ST, Alfredsson L, et al. Overweight, obesity, and risk of cardiometabolic multimorbidity: pooled analysis of individual-level data for 120 813 adults from 16 cohort studies from the USA and Europe. Lancet Public Heal [Internet]. 2017 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];2(6):e277–85. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28626830
  14. Dipietro L, Campbell WW, Buchner DM, Erickson KI, Powell KE, Bloodgood B, et al. Physical Activity, Injurious Falls, and Physical Function in Aging: An Umbrella Review. Med Sci Sports Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1303–13. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31095087
  15. MCTIERNAN A, FRIEDENREICH CM, KATZMARZYK PT, POWELL KE, MACKO R, BUCHNER D, et al. Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention and Survival. Med Sci Sport Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1252–61. Available from: http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201906000-00020
  16. KRAUS VB, SPROW K, POWELL KE, BUCHNER D, BLOODGOOD B, PIERCY K, et al. Effects of Physical Activity in Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis. Med Sci Sport Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1324–39. Available from: http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201906000-00027
  17. DIPIETRO L, EVENSON KR, BLOODGOOD B, SPROW K, TROIANO RP, PIERCY KL, et al. Benefits of Physical Activity during Pregnancy and Postpartum. Med Sci Sport Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1292–302. Available from: http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201906000-00024
  18. KRAUS WE, JANZ KF, POWELL KE, CAMPBELL WW, JAKICIC JM, TROIANO RP, et al. Daily Step Counts for Measuring Physical Activity Exposure and Its Relation to Health. Med Sci Sport Exerc [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2019 Jun 17];51(6):1206–12. Available from: http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201906000-00015

 

 

Teaching English in China

http://blog.oxfordseminars.ca/our-grad-talks-about-tattooing-and-teaching-english-in-china/
For anyone thinking about a new career teaching English as a second language with low barriers to entry and opportunities for travel, this article tells you how to do it.

 

The internet, cell phones and ipads for beginners.

Information overload

The abundance of information on the internet can feel overwhelming at times. There is a tendency to spend a lot of time surfing the net and/or downloading files, editing files etc.  once you are on-line   As a result people can shut down from going online or else feel that it is too complex to use, especially if they have not gotten used to it over the years.  This may be true for some older people but many older people are very computer savvy.  I have one friend who is 68 and is a guru with Garage Band, a program that generates music scores on a computer screen and generates print outs of scores in different keys for different instruments.

Mobile Devices/hardware

Ipads

I just love my Ipad.  I have the Ipad mini which severed me well in my trip to Mexico. There are now Ipads that are cellular enabled so you don’t need to take an Iphone with you.  However that is just wishfully thinking as the phone is easier to carry around.  The new Ipad pro comes with a stylus for drawing programs which in on my wish list.

Cell phones

I can only speak about my iphones which I have been using since the Iphone4.  I  will list the useful apps I have on my phone and I pad  and what they do.  I especially like the transit apps for Translink in Vancouver and Google Maps.

Here is the highest rated phone on Amazon.

function name of app ipad iphone purpose frequency of use
          3 = daily, 2 = weekly, 1 < weekly
entertainment scrabble x x play on line 3
entertainment CBC radio x listen on line 1
entertainment twitter x x read on line 3
entertainment Facetime x x talk on line 1
entertainment skype x x talk on line 1
entertainment Vancouver Public Library x read on line 1
entertainment overdrive x download from library, read on line 3
entertainment brainHQ x play on line 2
entertainment clarient tuner x x play on line 1
entertainment Itunes x download 1
entertainment optik TV x TV guide telus 3
entertainment Facebook x x read on line 3
finances Inverstorline BMO x x read on line 1
finances Vectorvest stock advisory (paid) x x read on line 1
health pacer x track steps 3
health my ehealth x x view lab tests on line 1
travel pay by phone x pay on line 2
travel BMO account access x x read on line 2
travel Hangtag x read on line 1
travel transit360 x way finding 2
travel findmycar x way finding 1
travel airline apps x x pay on line 1
travel google maps x x way finding 2
utilities roboform x x keeps passwords 2
utilities weathernetwork x x weather 3
utilities email x x read on line 3
utilities drop box x x save files 1
utilities daily notes x x keeps notes 1
utilities flashlight x view things in the dark 1
utilities magnifier 30x x enlarge print 1
utilities google drive x x safe files 1
utilities wordpress x x post to blog 1
seldom used
instagram
youtube
pinterest
linked in
kindle

Ipod

The chief value of the ipod that I can listen to music, the radio or pod casts and the battery doesn’t run down as fast as the battery in the iphone so you can listed for a couple of hours.

Navigating the internet

Site functions value
Facebook Set up your account. personal site created by you, open to viewing by  your friends by adding them.  You can upload pictures or links to other sites. 5/5  Good way to stay connected with friends and family or special interest groups.  Easy to use.
Twitter  Set up your account.

Brief news feeds from selected organizations or individuals.

 3/5. Kind of a time waster but fascinating none-the-less.  Nothing required of you unless  you want to retweet a feed to your followers. Easy to use.
Instagram Download to Iphone to post pictures.  Need to set up an account 1/5 It seems popular with younger people.  It could work as a photo album. You can share with selected people.
Skype Download the program to computer, tables or phone. You can talk over the internet with a webcam and it is free to chat with people everywhere for free or minimal cost. 4/5 Very useful for staying in touch with friends and family.
Facetime  Like Skype but for MACs and IPads and Ipods  5/5 Easier to use than Skype.
Pinterest  A web site with a lot of eye candy, especially food, fashion and pets.  You can post and view others posts. 1/5 Popular with a certain demographic but not very useful.  The recipe pictures are several clicks away from the recipes. Very annoying
YouTube view short videos about many things, including music, how to videos including many videos about computer instructions.  You can save videos if you set up and account. 3/5 Entertainment, some self help.  I don’t use this more than once a week.

Downloading and uploading music- Itunes

Undercover TouristIf you want to have music or the spoken word while you walk or run, you will want to download files from your computer and/or from Itunes  and upload it to your phone or ipod. You need your Apple ID and password to download.  You can also download audio books and podcasts.  The Itunes app will need to be installed on your computer and Iphone and and is free to use. However downloading music from Itunes costs about $ 1.00 per tune downloaded.  You have to set up an Itunes account if you want to buy files to download.    Itunes used to be easy to use but over the past couple of years it seems to be less user friendly.  Apple is moving to a paid music subscription service call Spotify   which is $10.00 a month so you can download as much music as you want.  Once you download files to your computer into the Itunes program, the music will synch with your iphone and ipod by plugging the iphone or ipod into the computer USB port.   You can also synch files on your computer via wifi or download files to your iphone directly from the Itunes app on your iphone.

Photos- uploading and downloading.

There are many packages for uploading photos and some are more complex than others.  The easiest way is to install Icloud on your PC and IPhone.  This takes about 5 minutes.  You need your Apple ID and password to download the software from the Apple Store.  Once it is set up on your PC you can choose what kind of files you want synched across your devices.   Having you email and bookmarks synched on all your devices is a must have.  I give Icloud a 4/5 but sometimes it stops working and you have to sign out and sign in again or restart or computer.

Password protection/software

My favourite software for saving passwords is  RoboForm.  I have used it for over 5 years and it is free. It saves all your passwords on your PC, your IPhone and Ipad and synchs them all.  It is quick and easy to install.  When you log into a site it presents you with the option to automatically save the password if it has not been previously saved.  And if the password has been saved you click on the name of the password and it will automatically fill in the password.  The whole system can be password protected.  This software gets a 5/5 from me.

A review of books about retirement.

Ok lets start by reading about it.

Here is a list of books recommended by another blogger Pat Doyle.  You can click on the link to open the link in Amazon.com or other sites where I found the book.

Designing Your Life.by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans., 4 star.   Based on the Design Thinking approach but geared more towards finding your right career.  It can be reapplied to retirement life as it’s actually very similar to how I approached new life design in retirement, being a product designer myself!  I also liked this book as did the Retirement Wisdom reviewers.  When the book finally arrived after about a month I found I liked it the best of all the books I read.  ♥♥♥♥♥

Don’t Retire, Rewire! by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners.  ♥♥♥♥♥ A “how-to” on defining satisfaction drivers , separating skills and strengths (with examples), examples of others “accomplishments”, and a how-to guide for working through what in your work life was satisfied by your drivers and how to brainstorm possibilities.  Introduces interesting concept of 4 types of work: work for a wage, work for a fee, work for free, work for me.  I also liked this book.  I liked the categories of what you get out of work and how you can replicate the same “hierarchy of needs” outside of the work environment.  However I would add a Fun Factor to their list.  Right, many people don’t have fun at work so there are some value adds to retirement that you don’t get out of work.

The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun   This is my personal favourite although it’s not about retirement specifically.  The website has five 21 day projects that can take you over the hump while you are figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life.♥♥♥♥♥

The Joy of Retirement IMG_1487 (2015_11_20 04_23_36 UTC)by David C. Borchard.  5 star –  Lots of how-to for defining who you want to be in retirement and the lifestyle that will help you be that person.  Big sections on roles, talents, and values in defining your vision statement. Love the fact he does not assume where you will be on the continuum of working versus traditional leisure-based retirement. Combines easy to use tools as well as insightful examples of practical next steps.  Pat says she wishes she had read it sooner in her journey.  Borchard also offers his assessments on-line for $ 35 US.  I think the tests are included in the books so it would be cheaper to buy the book.  I tired the tests and found they were targeted at career planning more than retirement planning. According to the tests my Passion Distribution is Right Brain Creator and Left Brain Organizer which explains why I am doing a blog. I didn’t find the book or the tests as helpful as some of the books below.♥♥♥♥♥

I ran out of interest in reading about retirement after 3 books so the remaining books are as reviewed by Pat.

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.  by Ernie J Zelinski . 5 star – An easy-to-read conversational style.  Introduces the possibilities “get a life tree”; real people case studies (as opposed to all professional, CEO types),  focus on “leisure” (not work) so unique in that!♥♥♥♥♥

65 Things to Do When You Retire is in fact 65 interesting essays about retirement from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics, many very inspiring. edited by Mark Evans Chimsky.  ♥♥♥♥

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future Some stuff on finances, but lots on health and happiness. Great background on core values, theory and application of happiness (positive psychology), and practical how-to especially on self reflection and life portfolio.  ♥♥♥♥

Now What? Know who you are , Get what you want. By Laura Berman Fortgang.  Easy style, how-to-process!   Focus is on second career or what did you always want to do so you will be happy, but process can be reapplied to new retirement life situation (or even divorce)  Lots of exercises done as answering questions, but good, insightful questions versus generic “how do you feel about this?”♥♥♥♥

Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller and Dr Michael Frisch –  helpful in creating your “life list” beyond traditional bucket lists with “things to accomplish” or “ways to live” thinking.♥♥♥♥

Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement by Nancy Collamer. An in-depth look at part-time income stream possibilities with lots of resource connections (to get more information). Great for possibilities exploration.  Second half on self-reflection not as good as other books, but there.♥♥♥♥

The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together by Roberta K. Taylor and Dorian Mintzer.  3 star but is unique in that it talks about transitioning as a duo in life.  Covers all the big domains.♥♥♥

Here is another highly recommended book by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life reviewed by the website Retirement Wisdom.  Blanchard is a well known best selling author on many management topics. I have booked a download from the Vancouver Public Library e-books.  The Retirement Wisdom website also has a list of recommended retirement books.