Monday, February 27, 2017

Rock climbing $ 🎓 💪💪💪

Climbing a rock wall - real or artificial is a very athletic sport.  There are several  types - I have tried free climbing (with a safety rope), and bouldering (no safety rope, shorter heights, thicker pad to fall on).  There is also underwater climbing, solo climbing, and ice climbing, but I have not tried any of those - yet.

Most often people learn on artificial walls.   Typically they put multiple routes up a single wall, color coding them and classifying by color.

So if you go to such a wall, you have a choice.  The easiest route is ignore the colors and just climb up anything.  If you want something a little harder, look at the chart and select the 'easy' color.  Then climb using only the hand holds coded that color.   On that same wall you might pick the blue rocks, which could be the hardest route (there is no standard rule about which color means harder).

Rock Climbing is cheap, can be easy (assuming you take 'easy routes' up the wall), but takes a lot of muscle.  It's a real work out.    They offer classes, but you do not need to take them.

If going free climbing, you need someone to belay you.   If you take a class, that is a given.  If not, invite a friend as a partner and take turns.  One advantage of bouldering is that you don't need a partner to go with you., but you need to be more willing to trust your own strength, and withstand a short fall.

You need the right kind of shoes - flexible and thin  - to do this.  Many kinds of tennis shoes, but not all, work well.  A lot of places rent shoes.

 This is a fairly gender neutral sport and kids are welcome.  Not many people over 40 (heavy work out), it's a younger crowd.  But they take really young kids - 3 years old sometimes.  Kids like to climb.

I went bouldering at Steep Rock Bouldering:

and free climbing at Manhattan Plaza Health Club (a gym but you don't have to join the gym to climb):

Monday, February 20, 2017

Butter Churning $ 🎓 💪

This is not a euphemism,  It's remarkably easy to make butter.   Here are the steps:
  1. Buy a  cartoon of heavy cream.  Open it up.  We want bacteria in there.  You can optionally add a bit of yogurt or cheese cultures.
  2. Leave it on the counter for a day.  Yes, open to the air for the full day.
  3. The next day, mix it up.  You can use an electric mixer/whisk for 3-10 minutes.  Or you can put it in a mason jar and shake it for 10-20 minutes. 
  4. Strain out the liquid buttermilk, leaving the solid, sweet butter. 
  5. Rinse with cold water removing any remains of the buttermilk
  6. If desired, add any flavorings you want (salt, herbs, whatever fancy thing you like.) and refrigerate.
Anyone can do this, even the youngest of kids or the oldest of seniors.  Women are more likely to be interested.   

You don't need to go anywhere else or learn anything else to do it.  Just buy some heavy cream at the grocery store and go to your kitchen.  Or you could do some internet searches for desired flavorings.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Snowmobiling $$ 🎓 💪

Snowmobiling is riding on a motorized tread  with skis to steer.  It's similar to jet skiing, only on snow instead of water.  Obviously a bit colder, you need to dress warm.  But if you run out of gas, you can just walk back - following the trail you left to get there.

You definitely need gloves and a helmet (although some states do not require it, do it anyway).  You easily go 50, 60 mph, which is about the same speed as a jet ski, but the ground, and trees are a lot harder than water.   You don't have to go that fast, but you need the helmet and gloves anyway.   It's expensive to buy, but lots of places offer rentals/tours.

Snowmobiling is moderately priced, fairly easy to do and doesn't require a lot of muscle or stamina.  If you want to go fast, that will use some more skill and muscle, but you don't need them to try it out. The machine does most of the work.

Snowmobiling trends male, but they have women too.  Kids love it, but the age in which they can drive varies by state (Maine is 10, Wisconsin is 12, for example).  Similarly some states require licenses.  Check the laws before you do anything. 

Dress warmly, wear a helmet - even if the law doesn't require it, common sense does.

I went in Vermont, you can find places to do it near any ski resort.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Make your own Pop Up Card $ 🎓🎓 💪

It's fairly easy to make rather spectacular pop up greeting cards.  You don't even need to take a class, their are some free templates and lots of videos available.

You cut the strong paper (card paper works well) in the right way, fold along certain lines, tape certain things, then close it up and mail it to someone you like.   If you have a color printer you can even print out a design before you cut it, so it has color.

This is very cheap - free to start, takes a little bit of practice, particularly if you want more than a simple box, but takes no muscle.

It trends female, but men do it too.  Any kid old enough to handle scissors can learn how to do this.

I learned at a course offered by NYCResistor ( but they no longer have one scheduled.

Instead I suggest trying one of these: