Editing my book, Apple watch review

I had some great students this quarter. A bunch of them recognized the power of what I was teaching and really ran with it, creating stellar websites. Especially considering that I only saw them 3 days a week for 11 weeks.

After a 3 year delay I finally buckled down and did a huge rewrite on my textbook…or at least the first 150 pages. It was probably 5 full days of work, and I did the editing  on the weekends and evenings after work. The biggest thing was that I learned how to do an automatic Table of Contents. This allowed me to break the book into numbered chapters that matched the lessons I grade in my classes.

All of this work is unpaid overtime of course. I plan to sell the book on Amazon, and my first task (after some time off) is to study some Lynda classes online on how the self publishing industry functions. I’m writing in Adobe Indesign, but many people write books in Microsoft Word. Many years ago McGraw Hill asked to publish my book, but they wanted me to extract all the text out of Indesign and send it to them in Word, double spaced.

I declined their offer. It’s classroom ready, I give the 214 page PDF to my students every quarter, why would I tear it apart? I get that I need an editor…but at the time I would have had to take a summer off to publish it their way…and that wasn’t happening.

As usual all the overtime made me want a reward. We work hard, we get a big paycheck right? Or at least that’s how it worked in the printing industry. Not so much in the book writing business. Not that I’m complaining. I know what I signed up for. If I write it well, I’m confident it will sell.

The only downside of writing is that I stopped painting. I guess there’s only room for one creative outlet at a time in my strange little brain. I’ll be painting in a few day though. It’s going to be awesome.

Now on to that reward

I’ve been saving money and splurged on the Apple Watch Series 5 with cellular. I’m not sure it’s really ready for primetime, but it’s a fun toy.

Cool things the watch does with  iPhone off:

  • While skiing up the Muir Snowfield. I called Sue from 8000 feet on Mt Rainier, with the watch only, Dick Tracy style
  • I worked out on the stairmaster and listened to my songs on bluetooth headphones, while it counted my heartbeats and calories burned
  • I can add and edit tasks using the native Apple Reminders app, which syncs on iCloud.com, my macbook, my phone and the watch…amazing!
  • It has an Electocardiogram function. My ER nurse kids found this fascinating
  • I can get 36 hours of life out of it, easy, if I turn off cellular. Watch cellular is only needed if I don’t want to carry the phone.
  • It has gps, altimeter and compass
  • A vibrating alarm that actually works!
  • Really fun watch faces with infinitely variable ‘complications’ you can add. Like the time, plus buttons for music, reminders, exercise sessons (stair stepper), texting, calling, etc.
  • The Activity app, closing my rings. Seriously, this is amazing! Look it up on youtube. It tracks your exercise and shows you trends, who knew this could be so cool?

Cons:

  • The battery life
  • The screen is too small to do anything serious, like composing a long email. But I say that about my iPhone too

Skied to Camp Muir

I forgot to write up our Camp Muir trip 3-3-19. Sue and I used to ski up there a couple times a year. But since we had the kids (who are 31 and 34) we’ve been doing short little 4 mile loops around the area near Panorama Point.

The kids have been after us to ski to Muir. For them it’s no big deal. My son loped up there and down in two hours and 38 minutes on Sunday. That doesn’t include a half hour rest at the top.

We made a number of false starts over the last two seasons, getting turned around by bad snow, white outs, wind or low energy. But on the third, Sue, Lisa, Clint, Jamie, Craig and I all headed up toward Muir on a perfect bluebird day. The gate didn’t open until 9 and we started skinning up at 9:45, arriving at Muir at 4PM. Along the way Jamie (Clint’s S.O.) and Sue turned around  above Pan. Craig, Lisa and I continued on above Pan but we soon noticed Clint had  vanished.

Lisa and I were climbing together when Craig caught up. He was surprised that Clint wasn’t with me. I told him that Clint was probably making sure that his mom and girlfriend were OK. These are generally not people you want to ignore, especially on a dangerous mountain. It turned out that Clint had given his mom his ice ax, and persuaded Jamie to take off her snowshoes and descend in boots, using her ax for self arrest.  It’s easier going down steep snow in climbing boots.

Clint caught up with us in an hour and the 4 of us continued up under perfect sunny weather. In case you don’t know us, that means me, my two kids and Craig, Clint’s best friend.

As we approached 8500 feet I started to slow down. The last 500 feet of elevation was really hard. Muir is 5 miles one way, and gains 5000 feet of elevation. I’ve been working out on the stair master but it wasn’t enough. I got to where I had to stop every 100 feet of skinning and rest. And the higher I got, the more I had to rest, with the rests becoming longer.

I began to do the math and wondered if I’d ever make Muir. My heart was doing the pounding thing…but it was just like when we skied up St. Helens last year…so I figured I’d survive if I took enough rests. Time after time I’d be draped over my ski poles trying to catch my breath…waiting until I had the strength to climb up again. I’d look up the hill and there would be the 3 young people, staring down at me, patiently waiting and wondering.

When I finally made it there were broad grins and high fives all the way around. We hung out for a few photos but there was no time to spare. We were the last ones up and needed to get off the mountain. It was 5 miles back to the car and a lot could go wrong: broken bindings, sprained knees, white outs. There is no ski patrol or snowmobile rescue on the mountain.

On the plus side, we are all very experienced at  back country skiing, with decades of time on Rainier. The ski down was fabulous. It was 3 inches of wonderful corn snow slash powder…for miles and miles.

A climbing acquaintance of mine was recently featured in a film. I’ve met her and her sister numerous times at Vantage. She really is that good.