My Frequently Used Apps

Health and Fitness

Feelfit. Bluetooth link to Yolanda brand scales.  It is no longer available on Amazon but there are others that use the same methods. The fitbit scale died after 2 years.  I have been using this one for about 2 years.  Renpho is another model that does the same thing. 

What I like: Measures 13 body compostion things: % body fat, body water, skeletal muscle, BMR, Fat-free body weight, subcutaneous fat, viceral fat, muscle mass, bone mass, protein, metablolic age.  Integrates with other apps e.g Fitbit. App free with scale.
What I don’t like: You have to open the app to you weigh yourself.  Not sure how accurate it is or how things are measured.

Sleep Cycle
What I like- Easy to use, free, lots of metrics
What I don’t like- can’t change location 

Entertainment

Vancouver Public Libary
What I like:  Holds function, and they now send and email to adjust time for delivery.  Download books to read
What I don’t like: confusing to use, takes a few trys to set it up. 

Scrabble 
What I like: brain exercise, competition
What I don’t like:  ads unless you pay, not as good as old scrabble app.

Pacer What I like: keeps me motivated to stay active; GPS mapping function, links to weight app and other apps; Free What I don’t like: nothing

Cannon Camera Connect Imports pictures to phone or PC. 
What I like: easy to use 
What I don’t like: nothing so far

Spotify 

What I like;  they create playlists based on your likes.  I got tired of my own music.  They have a huge selection of music.  
What I don’t like: it’s not free

Other handy apps

Pay parking if you are in a city: Honk, Paybyphone, Hangtag, Easypark.  You need them all
Mint – banking app you can use for budgeting
Smart bird – identify birds from photos.
Tides – for beach walking 
Accuweather -includes wind and humidity on an hour by hour basis.
Twitter 
CBC Listen
Google Maps
Roboform password manager.

Pandemic winter dread is real. Here’s how to conquer it. – Vox

Pandemic winter dread is real. Here’s how to conquer it. – Vox
— Read on www.vox.com/platform/amp/future-perfect/2020/10/14/21508422/winter-dread-covid-19-pandemic-happiness-psychology

Summer reading book lists for all tastes..

I’ve tried Goodreads and the Vancouver Public Library and gone by the rating scores of the reviewers.  Still I end up with books I don’t like.  I download books from the VPL but I keep getting books I have read before because I haven’t rated them.  So here are some fresher book lists.

New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/books/review/new-books-we-recommend-this-week.html

https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/section/books/review

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/07/books/review/long-bright-river-liz-moore.html

Fast Company

https://www.fastcompany.com/90388830/13-books-from-high-school-worth-re-reading-as-an-adult?partner=rss&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

Buzz Feed

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ariannarebolini/best-summer-books-brit-bennett-summer-reading

BBC

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/494P41NCbVYHlY319VwGbxp/explore-the-list-of-100-novels-that-shaped-our-world

CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/03/bill-gates-names-the-5-best-books-he-read-in-2018.html

Vancouver Sun 

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/books/index.html

http://www.vancouversun.com/index.html

CBC

http://www.cbc.ca/books/mobile/touch/books100.html

Murder Mayhem

https://murder-mayhem.com/

Wall Street Journal

https://www.wsj.com/articles/summer-books-2020-summer-reading-11590076049


Save on Music, Books and DVDs at Indigo.ca

Walktober 2019: Finding beauty wherever you go

Walktober 2019: Finding beauty wherever you go

https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2019/11/03/walktober-2019-finding-beauty-wherever-you-go/
— Read on breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2019/11/03/walktober-2019-finding-beauty-wherever-you-go/

This is a virtual meet up of bloggers. It is so touching to hear and see everyone’s walks. And the bloggers is a gifted writer.

E-bikes are helping keep seniors young

E-bikes are helping keep seniors young and, in some instances, even alleviating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

— Read on www.fastcompany.com/90341686/the-unlikely-way-e-bikes-could-transform-how-we-age

This should help rural people to become more active. I saw a fellow on a $2000 Costco ebike yesterday. It was a gift to his wife. 🙄

 

Reflections on Teaching English as a second language

I left health care in 2017, as a result of having gotten a teaching certificate in 1970, I have gotten certified as a teacher.  Its been a steep learning curve.

Outline

  1. How to qualify
  2. Courses
  3. Cost/Benefit
  4. Jobs
  5. Time
  6. Chinese culture
  7. Tech support/.Zoom App
  8. Student assessment
  9. Lesson plans on line
  10. Lessons learned/surprises

1. How to qualify

  • Supply is limited and demand is endless so there will always be a job
  • Supreme court decision on class size in BC made teachers a scarce commodity
  • Education
    • Degree or TESOL certification or teachers certificate
    • Certification – not always necessary
    • Courses for certification are expensive but under a year in length
    • In person
    • On line
    • practicum
  • Personal qualities
    • Flexibility
    • Adaptability
    • Like to chat

2. Courses

3. Cost/Benefit

  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Social good
  • Fun factor
  • Job satisfaction
  • Travel
  • Pay – $ 25-$ 30 -$ 45
  • Can work 5+ hours a week

4. Jobs

  • The company I have worked for does all logistics.. Finding students, collecting fees, booking class times etc.

5. Time

  • different day and hour of the day in China
  • Vancouver is not a good time zone as students time slots are usually 5 am-8 am. Eastern Canada /US better
  • Work at least a year to make it worth while for both student and teacher and company.
  • I usually teach in the evening 5-10 pm including weekend. Max 10 hours a week.. 3 students 3 x a week for an hour each session during the summer break in China.

6. Chinese Culture

  • Parents are very hands on
  • Some do not speak English
  • There is intense competition in China for university spot
  • Poor English teaching in schools in China
  • Many preparing for entry to high school in Vancouver
  • Tech support not available in homes

7. Tech Platform.. don’t be afraid.

8. Assessment

9. Lesson plans on line

10. What did I learn?

  • I can do it without a lot of experience
  • The students are fun ..mostly
  • It takes more time than you expect
  • Students learn no matter what you teach

Surprises

  • Parental and student concerns re mentions of modest references to sex in reading material
  • Learning difficulties common among students
  • Students have limited knowledge of western culture and history.
  • I was asked to do a video for promotion for the company I work for.
  • Chinese people revere older people and teachers – put them on a pedestal
  • Wide range of competencies among students
  • Some students don’t have printers or know how to use computers
  • Refreshing change from health care culture
  • The limited wifi (Telus) on a rural island is beyond frustrating to say nothing of power outages.

 

Merry Christmas from Hornby Island

This is my first Christmas on Hornby Island after past xmas1Christmases at Puerto Vallarta, Costa Rica, Phoenix Ottawa and Vancouver. This will be a very different Christmas. This morning the power went out for the third time since I came in June. By now I have acquired both candles and the skills to start a fire in the wood stove AND make cowboy coffee on the wood strove. The pot of hot water heated faster on the wood stove than the electrical stove.  The power came on at 8 am, just in time for the co-op radio program that I had been invited to guest DJ. The station only broadcasts to the island and only half of the island can get the transmission so that’s a possible an audience of about 500 would be listening if everyone was up at that hour of the morning.  All did not go well. I had a small set of Christmas music I had hoped to play for my new Hornby friends, but the technical elves were up to their old tricks. My new Iphone 7 had a different jack than the radio station and my back up plan of a USB stick could not be read by the machines. So I will be getting some training on the equipment next week.   I have been invited to host a once a month classical radio show.

Following the radio follies, I took my weekly trip to the recycling center to feed the deer this week’s organic material.   Lots of mandarin orange peels but they don’t seem to fancy them. I hit on another real find at the Free store.. an ottoman for me and my landlady’s cat. (see above)   She (the landlady) is in Mexico.

I came home and baked a huge apple crisp for the potluck dinner at New Horizons tomorrow.   I got the apples from the heritage orchard on Hornby which has been in existence for about a 100 years. The orchard has now become a community project. The apples taste better than the ones from the store.

I have to teach on-line for an hour tomorrow to a group of nine grade 7’s in Ontario. They are all English speaking but are wanting enhanced reading experience. Managing 9 kids online at the same time seemed like a bad idea to me but everyone seems to be on their best behaviour.   The book we are about to read is called Replica-Lyra which is about cloning. It was their choice not mine!. Very topical. The other student I have is a grade 2 child in an international school in Shanghai which means English immersion. She is on a 3 week snowboarding trip at the moment but we are still having classes.

Tomorrow night is a house concert at a Yoga retreat on the island. I have had very good things about the musicians and have not been to the yoga retreat.   Then Sunday is the life drawing session, followed by the Hornby Island Photo club. We have to bring 4 photos of Leading Lines.

Next week a new Hornby friend from Victoria is coming to stay for a few days. Although many people leave Hornby for Mexico in the winter, I haven’t made any plans to go south yet but if the power frequently goes out I might consider it. I think the Christmas period will be quieter and I hope to get back to doing some watercolours that I have been leaning by myself but started a few years ago at Emily Carr.

People often say that they have never been to busy since they retired, and I have to agree. Even here on Hornby it is common to be double booked. There are fitness classes, the bridge club, the community choir and many many volunteer opportunities that I have not yet explored. Everywhere I go I run into people I know or who know me after about 5 minutes of chatting with me. This is so much better than Vancouver or even Mexico. And walks, like everything, are within a 10 min drive of where I live.xmas 6

The downside has been trying to find housing over the winter. There are some strange rules and regulations from the Islands trusts about long/short term rentals that take a lot of the housing off the market in the winter. xmas 7Crazy making if you ask me. Not unlike the strata council in my condo in Vancouver that has banned rentals of less than 12 months. Thus my continued stay on Hornby!!!!. Fortunately the BC government has just released their housing task force report that recommends banning condo rental restrictions. I have been fighting with my strata council about this since May and I am glad to see the tide may be turning. So far they have fined me $ 500 for some short term rentals I did over the summer on AIRBNB.   It’s a crazy world. The summer rentals here start at $ 1000 a week. The other downside is that I haven’t had much time to update my blog.

I hope to see more visitors to Hornby next year. I have two futons for guests and 2 bathrooms so lots of space. It is however a 6 hour trip from Vancouver via 3 ferries. Still, it is a pretty scenic trip and well worth it. Save it until the summer to enjoy the beaches and kayaking.

My best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas and Happy 2019. Can’t believe it will be 2019!!!

Ann