Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Tracker

I bought The Spark from SparkPeople last year, and it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do everything I was hoping it would do, plus it’s a little buggy. For example, it doesn’t always recognize what exercise I am doing. I bought a bicycle trainer and would ride my bike on it, and sometimes it logged it as general exercise, while other times it would log it as cycling. When I ride the bike to the gym it logs it as general exercise, and when I walk on the treadmill it logs it as a walk event.

I was going to go with one that has the little dots that spin around to show you your progress, but I want actual real-time numbers displayed on a screen. I already have The Spark from SparkPeople, which has the little dots, I’m not looking to get another one like that. And the Spark doesn’t sync with Noom or Planet Fitness. It’s a nice little doohickey, but I want something that will do more for me since I don’t constantly wear my shoes. I want a watch to wear full time 24/7.

This Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is exactly what I had in mind. It does everything that I need it to do, and it will sync on my computer, not just my phone. It’s about $146 on Amazon, and I will buy it using Amazon Smile to help the charity of my choice, which is the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Here are all of the things that it does.

  • Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
  • Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps
  • Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
  • See call notifications, daily stats and time of day on the OLED display
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
  • Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.

This has more features, and it should sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app. At least I hope it will lol. Do you have one of these? Do you know if it syncs up with those apps? I would love to know before I buy this watch. Please leave a comment to let me know.

Update: I forgot something. When I say sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app, I mean that you can link your Fitbit account with Noom and Planet Fitness. So when I ask if it will sync up, I mean if it’s linked up to Noom and Planet Fitness apps, will it automatically transfer all of the exercise events with the link.

I checked the Noom app and it only connects with Google Fit and Misfit. Planet Fitness connects with more apps, but it doesn’t connect with Google Fit or Misfit. So I guess I have to choose which app is more important.

Geek U8 Bluetooth Smart Watch

Screenshot_2015-04-09-17-38-57

Facebook has had some really interesting ads lately. One particular ad is for an Android app called Geek where they have hundreds of products at a huge discount. Take for instance this one particular watch that is a Bluetooth Smart Watch that connects to your iPhone and Android phone. I haven’t worn a watch in years because I don’t want to just wear any old watch, I want my watch to not only tell me the time, but also give me many options. I’ve been known to wear calculator watches as a teenager, but they weren’t just calculators, it also stored all of my contacts, like a little address book. Since I don’t need that feature because it is all in my smart phone, there really isn’t much reason to have that old kind of watch.

My partner bought a subscription to a couple of magazines, and they sent him a watch, which he didn’t like so he gave it away to someone, not me Sad smile. When I saw this Geek ad on Facebook, I saw the watch and that was when I knew this was my next watch. Of course I didn’t have the money or the courage to spend money I really don’t have, so I waited for it to go down in price. It was $24 when I bought it, and since I am trying to raise my credit score, I figured what the hell, go for it. It was normally $50.

It came yesterday and I nearly posted a long rant about how much I hate this watch. First of all, it took about 30 minutes to finally connect to my phone, even though the app they told me to install on my phone was already installed. Then I had an issue with it not turning on when I pressed the button on the right. I don’t know why it has been doing that to me, but it was apparently just a fluke because it’s no longer happening to me. Then last night I did the dishes, and totally forgot to take the watch off. It didn’t get too wet, but I guess it did get wet because it started glitching out on me. I would look at my watch and it would be in the dialer pressing random numbers, and then it would go into the calculator pressing random numbers. I would push the button on the right to shut off, and it would come back on. I thought for sure I had screwed it up, by today it is perfectly fine, as if nothing bad (water) had happened.

I personally like wearing this watch because my phone has some real issues. When I am speaking with someone on my phone, it sounds like they are using auto tune. Imagine having a conversation with your aunt and it sounds like Cher singing Do you believe in life after love? It’s not great, and I don’t understand why it is doing that. When I am using the smart watch to talk to someone, it is loud and clear, and no crazy sound issues. Plus it looks sort of cool that I’m talking to my watch like Dick Tracy lol.

Anyway, it was only $24 plus $3 shipping and it came all the way over here from Japan. It came a lot quicker than I was expecting, which I’m happy about because I hate waiting for packages lol. I highly recommend it if you are a huge technology geek or nerd lol. Expect problems at first, but know those kinks will work themselves out.

Here are some pictures. I don’t know why but it is always in military time, which is why I’m using the analog watch image. It would be awesome if I could have more options, but that’s ok.

IMAG0904IMAG0905IMAG0906

2 more pounds to go!

61 of 63lbs

You can probably guess that I am a bit excited right now.  According to the Noom app, which is available for both Android and iPhone, my original end date was supposed to be August 10, 2013.  I have lost so much weight over the last 20 weeks that I have actually sped up that estimation so that my end date is now June 1st.  It’s because I was supposed to only lose 2lbs per week, but in the beginning I was losing 3 to 4 pounds per week instead of just 2.

Although, over the last month, I haven’t been losing as fast as I was in the beginning.  I have only been losing 1.5, 2 and 2.5lbs per week.  It’s been slow, but steady and I am thankful that I have been losing instead of yo-yoing up and down.  Even though I am quite disappointed that this week I only lost 1.4lbs, at least I didn’t gain, so that’s something to be proud of I guess lol.  I have to see a silver lining there.

I have also been stressing myself out because I really want to be 200.0 or 199.9 by my birthday June 2nd, so I think that has also been why it’s been slow this month.  Perhaps if I had the “it will happen if it happens” attitude, I’d probably be there by now.  Coulda, shoulda, woulda… Whatever.  At least I only have 2 more pounds to go.

Of course, when I get down to 200.0lbs, I am going to extend my goal to lose 30 more pounds.  It’s great that I am getting down to 200lbs, but I want to keep going.  Now that I know the right formula for losing weight, I can keep going until all the fat is gone and keep with that routine so I can keep the fat off.

So, one more week to go.  See you then…

Vaping and Dieting

zeus ejuice

Last year I decided after doing a bit of research that vaping sweet flavors would help me lose weight.  Of course, I realize that only diet and exercise will help me lose weight, but my reasoning was that if I had sweet flavors in my mouth, then I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the empty calories, because I just wanted the flavor.  So if I had the flavors, then I wouldn’t be consuming the calories.  Well, that theory was flawed because without a proper diet, I was still consuming empty calories from my regular day-to-day food.

Now that I am on track and eating healthy food and have already lost more than 20lbs (1/5/2013 – 2/19/2013), I started vaping again.  I placed a new order with Zeus eJuice for a 10ml bottle of Banana Nut Bread, and they comped me a 3ml bottle of Grape Jolly Rancher flavored e-liquid.  Of course, the e-liquid I buy doesn’t have any nicotine at all so I don’t have to worry about an addiction.

Since I am on my healthy diet, I don’t have a craving for sweet foods anymore.  Although I do have the occasional craving, I will eat fruit instead of cookies or ice cream.  I do have a recipe for a fruit cookie that uses banana, apple, oatmeal, vanilla and a tiny amount of brown sugar.  It’s not the same as eating a cookie, but I psych myself out, so to me it is.  It’s all mental.  The vaping is all mental too.  If I vape sweet flavors then I’m getting the sweet taste that I wanted without the calories, right?  Well, it only works if I say it works, and so far it does because I haven’t even craved the fruit cookies.

For anyone wanting to lose weight and think that vaping will help, let me just dispel that, it doesn’t.  I mean, it will give you the flavors, but you won’t actually lose weight.  This is my advice for losing weight and it is what helped me to lose more than 20lbs.  Eat healthy!  I started using this app on my phone called Noom Weight Loss Coach.  It’s only available for the Android (sorry iPhone users).  It’s free, or you could pay the monthly fee or pay for the full product.  It’s your choice.  Try it out for free and see if you like it.  Noom is just a tool to help me log my food and exercise and it gives me great articles, but the food I am eating is what helped me to lose weight.  I’ve been eating the Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals for lunch and dinner and also eating steamed fresh or frozen vegetables.

The vaping gives me the sweet flavors that I am not eating so I don’t eat empty calories.  Vaping is pretty much a tool the same way the Noom app is a tool, they just do different jobs.  I’d say it’s still worth the time and money, and if you are a smoker you could benefit from vaping because it will help you save money and possibly quit smoking too.

So if you want to start vaping, do this.  Go to Smoktek.com and buy a SmokTek Express eGo CE4 650 E-Cigarette Kit for only $20.  It’s a good idea to also buy a changeable coil clearomizer (round tip) with replacement coils too.  Then go to ZeuseJuice.com and buy a 10ML bottle of whatever flavor you want.

These are the flavors that I like because they taste sweet.  Banana Nut Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Grape Jolly Rancher, Strawberry, Raspberry (and let’s just assume all the fruits), Demeter’s Harvest, Candy Corn and Vanilla Ice Cream.  It’s good to experiment with different flavors, but don’t mix too many with the same wick because the flavor stays with that wick, so if you use candy corn then dump it back into the bottle and put pumpkin pie in there, it’s not going to taste like pumpkin pie anymore, it’s going to taste like pumpkin pie and candy corn and the two don’t mix.  It will probably end up tasting more like vomit lol.  Trust me.  I haven’t done that with those flavors, but I have done it.

You could try another website for your e-liquids, or go to a smoke shop to get it like that same day, but you will end up paying double.  Zeus e-Juice charges $6 for a 10ML bottle which is equivalent to a carton of cigarettes.

So that’s my advice for anyone who wants to lose weight with vaping.  You don’t have to take my advice because what might work for me might not work for you, but you have to ask yourself, do you really want it to work for you?  If you want it to work, then it will work.  Everything is psychological.  Anyway, give it a go and tell me if it worked for you.

Fun With My New Phone

htconev Santa (or as I like him call him, me) gave me an awesome present for Christmas.  My first smart cell phone, a HTC ONE V Android from Virgin Mobile.  My previous phone was a Samsung T401G from Net10 which did absolutely nothing other than texting and making calls.  It did have games and internet, but they both sucked.

This new phone is better than my previous cell phones.  It’s not a high-end phone, but it is to me since I’ve never had a smart phone before.

cruiseSo far I have earned 11,067 Viggle points which I will keep earning and saving up to buy something very expensive.  They have a few cool items like a Kindle Fire, an iPod Touch and an Apple TV.  My partner doesn’t have internet on his TV and he has an iPhone, so perhaps he would appreciate the Apple TV.  I earned the 11K points in just 2 weeks, so can you imagine how many more I will earn by Christmas 2013?

They have one reward in there that is worth 4 million points which is a 4 or 5 night Caribbean, Europe or Bermuda cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean International ship.  Can you imagine winning a cruise just from watching TV?  I have never in my life been on a cruise and I have always wanted to.  I think it would be fun and I could take pictures and video with my new phone and post them daily lol.

I have many apps for losing weight which I haven’t really used because they are for cycling and walking and it’s been too cold (as you can see from the weather on the phone image above).  I will take advantage of them in the spring.  Actually, I may uninstall them because I found one that will do the work of all of them, it’s called Noom and it has a GPS and logs my walk, run, jog, cycling etc.  It’s free, but if I pay for it then it will do more.  One thing I love about it is that I can scan the bar code of the food (box, obviously) I eat so I don’t have to find it manually.  I also have a food scale to keep me honest lol.

There are reading apps like the Kindle and Nook apps as well as Aldiko, but I don’t think I will use it too often because it’s killer on the eyes.  I much prefer reading on my Nook WiFi when I do read because it’s e-ink.

I’ve been playing a few games like Megapolis and The Sims FreePlay and Tetris.  I like games that you play with your finger, but my fingers are too fat so I have a stylus to poke the screen with.

I love how it takes pictures and video.  Pictures are widescreen which is basically 4×6 which my other digital cameras never did.  Not that I ever have pictures developed, but if I did want to have a picture developed, I won’t lose anything when it converts the pic to 4×6.  I love that it has a flash which I also can use with video which again isn’t something my camcorder can do since I don’t have a flash for it.  I also love that I can take a picture and then post it directly to Facebook and Twitter without any steps.  Screenshots too.  I learned that just by pressing the power and the home button, it will take a screenshot which I can share in emails, Facebook and Twitter.

My last phone was okay for making calls, but this is perfect.  It has a speakerphone which only works by turning the phone upside down.  I don’t need to look at the screen while talking so that’s fine.  The 3G is great for internet.  My other phone had internet but it was a crap shoot.  It literally took 5 minutes to load a web page one time, and then it gave me a message that said there wasn’t enough memory, which means it didn’t really load the web page.  So I lost minutes and didn’t get anything in return.

My old phone is in good hands with someone I know.  It’s my partners late cousins life partner.  She had a cell phone, but she doesn’t have it anymore and she told me that this one is better than the other one anyway.  I feel sorry that she has to use it and not an Android, but it still works for phone calls and texting.  It’s not perfect, but it works.

I think I am too spoiled now lol.  I will get a ton more use out of this phone than my last which is a good thing.  I felt really guilty about buying it, but I don’t feel that way anymore.

Could the Star Trek comm badge become a reality?

tng comm badges

I saw a picture on Facebook today of the Starship Enterprise from the original series, but it was all made of Christmas lights.  That got me thinking about comm badges.  I consider myself to be a nerd, but I don’t have a Star Trek uniform or a comm badge, so perhaps I should either buy one, or turn in my nerd membership card.

As I was browsing Google, it came to me.  I wonder if they make a Bluetooth enabled comm badge that looks exactly like the Star Trek comm badge that actually works with your phone.  Most phones now have voice recognition right?  So I wonder if they have made a comm badge that when you tap it, you can say “Call Aunt Louise” and it places the call.

comm badge

Guess what… I found it!  It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but it is a step in the right direction.  This is called “CommBadge” and it works with your iPhone and Android phone using BlueTooth technology.  It isn’t in the shape I was hoping, but how can I expect them to legally use that licensed design without incurring lawsuits?

This is a start up company, so they don’t actually sell these yet, but if they can get their funding with Indie GoGo, then they will be able to make and sell these and perhaps every person in the world will have one.  They have 10 days as of this posting and have only raised $18k of $100k, so unless people help them out, we will probably never see this awesome design.

May I convince you?  They have several different models.  One without anything that just has the regular features, then they have others that have a badge holder for work and one that has the retractable badge holder for perhaps those who need to swipe their badge.  It all does the same thing whether you have the badge holder or not and that is almost exactly what you think the Star Trek comm badge would do.

You press the button (the speaker) and you hear that iPhone Siri ding ding sound and you tell it what you want and it responds without you ever having to take your phone out of your pocket.  Android has something similar to Siri, but they don’t show that in the video (below).  You can tap the CommBadge and say “Call Sally” and it will dial her number and you and everyone else around you can hear Sally answer the phone and talk and you can talk back to her.  I assume when the conversation is over you hang up by pressing the button again.

What is more exciting is that you can chat with your phone just like you normally do.  Like my partner likes to talk to his iPhone to text people.  He will say “Text Mike” and then he will say what he wants to tell me and the words spell out on the screen.  I assume it would do the same thing, without you having to look at it.  Of course Siri’s voice recognition software isn’t exact every time so there might be some confusion when I receive the actual text, but I won’t know until this thing ever comes out.

I am also assuming that you can get directions too, but I don’t think Siri will tell you to go here and turn there and get you to your destination just by using the CommBadge.  I have tried it by looking at the phone and there weren’t any turn by turn directions from Siri, I had to actually look at the screen.  But that would be cool if she gave you a heads up while you were driving without looking.

Anyway, here’s the video, perhaps if you like it you might want to help their cause to get this thing started.  I’m sure whatever you donate, you will get that product if and when they launch it.  I think it’s awesome and I would help if I had the money, but it’s Christmas.  How do they expect people to have money this month?  I mean seriously lol.

Tell me what you think.  Would you use this?  If I had an android phone, I certainly would.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin-Updated-Logo-300x300I bought my first cell phone in 2002 against my partners wishes because he didn’t think I needed a cell phone, which if truth be told I really didn’t.  I mean, I don’t go to work everyday and need to make important phone calls, in fact I really hate talking on the phone lol.  I will call people from time to time, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it.  The main reason I wanted one was because I was traveling to visit family on the Greyhound and Amtrak busses back then two or three times a year and I didn’t like having to use dirty pay phones when I got there to have them come get me.  It was also difficult making and receiving long distance phone calls on their home phones, so I needed my own cell phone to call home.

nokia 3390 The cell phone that I bought was with T-Mobile and it was the Nokia 3390 which was fine at the time.  I had that phone for maybe 8 years and I hadn’t really used it for the last 4, but I kept paying for it just in case I needed it.  I had Gold Rewards, so I only had to pay for 1 month, but got a whole year of time.  I forgot to buy another card for another year and lost the number and the phone was no longer valid.

samsung-T401G-net10-hero-lg My next phone, which I am still using is a Samsung T401G, which is a great phone for texting, but the internet sucks on it and my signal is so weak that it drops calls on me all the time.  I got a “Are you there?” thing going on.  I have it with Net10 so I don’t have Gold Rewards which means I have to buy a $20 card every month to keep it even though I never use it.  I would use it more if it had more features though.

That’s where I am at now.  I really want to buy a smart phone to keep up with the times.  I have been shopping around, but nobody has given me any really good prices.  My partner has an iPhone with Verizon and he pays more than $100/mo for his service and he is stuck in a 2 year contract with 1 more year to go.  I don’t like that their smart (Android) pre-paid phones are $50 a month.  Net10’s smart (Android) pre-paid phones are also $50 a month, but they won’t sell one to me through their website and they are too expensive in the stores.

That brings me to Virgin…

I saw a commercial for Virgin, and even though I have seen this commercial a million times, it never clicked until last night.  They have Android smart phones and you never have to sign a contract.  You get 300 minutes with unlimited data and unlimited texting for only $35 a month.  That’s $15 more than I pay for my Net10 phone.  They also have another plan which is the same, except you get 1200 minutes for $45 a month and then unlimited everything for $55 a month.  That’s not bad.  Although I would get the $35 plan since I never use my minutes, I just want to use the apps with the unlimited data and texting.

What I really want a smart phone for is for certain apps that will make me money.  Like Staree which pays you when you take a picture and share it on Facebook and Twitter.  Viggle also pays you (with gift cards) when you check in when you are watching TV.  I mean, it’s not a steady income, but anything helps.  Plus I would like to read Kindle ebooks that aren’t available for my Nook without needing to buy a Kindle.

I also want a smart phone so I can do Facebook and Twitter updates and check email when I am not at home and don’t have a computer nearby, like at the doctor’s office while I’m waiting for him to come in the room for example.  I would also like to be able to play certain games that are only available on cell phones too.  My Samsung T401G has games, but they are nearly impossible to play with the numpad.

htcevov-gallery-angle-3 So, this is my Christmas wish.  I want a new HTC EVO V 4G Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile) .  Right now, this phone is $249.99 but on sale for $189.99 on the Virgin website, but it is on sale for $199.99 on Amazon.  Of course I don’t have the money for it now, but I will put money in PayPal every month until I can afford it.  I’m always broke so it’s difficult to save any money, and paying this much money up front for something like this would break me for the rest of the month. It’s not easy to just make a decision to spend that much money when I really don’t need to lol.

I chose this phone because it looks like a good phone.  It has a front facing camera and a 3D camera for video and pictures in the back.  According to a review, it’s good for playing games.  Even though this isn’t my main focus, I’m not going to buy a phone that doesn’t want to play games, because if it doesn’t play games well, then how would I expect it to run apps very well?

If/when I do buy this phone, I will probably give my current phone away to someone who doesn’t have a cell phone.  I won’t be able to keep my phone number, but I haven’t really given it out to too many people anyway, so changing my number won’t be a real issue.

I really don’t need this, but I want it, and why shouldn’t I have something cool, eh?

Oh and by the way, this is my commentary on my experiences and my wish for a new phone.  I am not getting paid for this.  It’d be cool if I were (hint hint wink wink Virgin Mobile).

Update: This is edited.  Previously, I chose the Kycera Rise and then I decided on the HTC One V.  I then decided that I wanted to spend a bit more and buy the HTC EVO V 4G.

Obviously I don’t have the money for this phone, but like I said in the paragraph with the phone, I will have to save up the money for it because this is a good phone.  Who knows, maybe by the time I have the money saved, it will go down in price and I’ll actually be able to afford it.