April 2017 Caribbean Cruise on Norwegian

Our family decided to take a Caribbean cruise beginning April 13th through to April 14th.  This was our 8th cruise if my memory is correct.  See below:

  • Carnival
    • Imagination – Key West, Cozumel
    • Fantasy – Bahamas, St Martin, St Lucia
    • Sensation – Grand Cayman, Cozumel
  • MSC
    • Baltic Sea – Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Russia
    • Southern Mediterranean – Morroco, Portugal, Spain?
    • Carribean – Bahamas, St Martin, Costa Rica,
  • Costa
    • Fortuna-Mediterranean cruise – Italy, Greece, Croatia
  • Norwegian
    • Pearl – Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Key West

 

Overall, we had a good time on this Norwegian cruise.

IMG_0182

Boarding:

The process was easy and streamlined with a lot of people checking everyone in to help keep lines moving.

The Ship:

My first impressions of the ship were that it looked a bit older as did the cruise port.  There were quite a few spots where I saw rusting.  In addition, I was very disappointed with the cleanliness of the windows.  It seems every other ship we have been on, you could hardly tell there was a window there as the view was amazing.  For this cruise, many of the windows had a film on them and the main doors to the main entertainment level (deck 6 I believe), had a horrible film on it.  As one of the first points contact with the customer, I was very surprised by this.  I would say overall the rest of the ship had a clean feel to it, but again, just an older ship.

The Service:

The bar service on the ship was another area that we were disappointed with.  We found ourselves waiting a long time for drinks and even our first drink.  Other experiences we’ve had, it seemed like we were getting attention almost immediately.  In addition, there were many more “Servers” to help you get drinks and food, especially near the bar areas.  Most times, we found ourselves going up to the bar and then waiting a long time to get service.

Room service was amazing and they were all very friendly.  We had a broken drawer and this was fixed almost immediately and very quickly.  In addition, our safe was locked when we arrived.  This was unlocked by our return visit to the room.

The kids club was not very exciting so my boys didn’t show any interest in going into it.  A very plain room where it looked like there wasn’t anything to do.

The shows…..most of the shows were really good.  A few were just ok, but the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy them.

The rock climbing wall was really fun, however most of the time we went to check it out, it was closed.  The pools were nice, however as is typical on a cruise ship, finding seating was a bit of a challenge most times.

IMG_0161

The food as always was really good and there was plenty to go around.  A bit more organization at the buffet would have been nice, but again..they are usually chaotic.  It did seem like inside dining space was very limited in the buffet area.  Other ships seemed to have a lot more.  Good thing the weather was favorable:)

The excursions were well managed aside from disembarkation from the ship.  Stressful with tons of people rushing to get out to make their excursion on time.  The best one was Grand Cayman because the excursions were on a schedule for disembarkation.

Ocho Rios – we did a river raft trip with zip lining and waterfall climbing.  Although the city itself wasn’t really nice, we really enjoyed the excursion.

Grand Cayman – We did a snorkling tour.  I had done this one before and it is really cool….just would be nice if the site was a bit further from the dock and the boat.  We didn’t really get to see anything else on the Island as we stayed within a few hundred yards of the port.

Cozumel – we did a dune buggy tour.  Although we did get dune buggys…we stayed on road and not on any dunes.  The vehicles themselves were a bit scary to drive as well as the steering and braking were a bit out of tune and loose.

Key West – We rented a golf cart and drove around the island.  A nice way to spend the day.  Definitely stay near the south and west side of the city.  The east and north side of the city are less touristy and more a typical town setup.

I’m sure there are a lot more elements I have missed or we didn’t experience, but again, overall we had a great time.  We love cruising and would have to say although we had a nice time, we probably won’t book another Norwegian cruise again without doing more research on the ship for amenities and reviews of the boat and service.

Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions or are looking for recommendations.

Troy

 

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April Experiments

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly⚠️
  • Visit mom and dad at least once✅
  • Call/Visit dad once✅
  • Call sister and family at least once❌
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO✅
    • RH❌
    • BT❌
    • BB❌
    • EP❌
    • DR✅
    • BU❌

Health & Fitness:

  • Be more mindful/present⚠️
    • Mindful Exercise-Weekdays❌
    • Daily Calm on flights✅
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life⚠️
    • Run 1 miles 1x per week and bike 10 miles 1x per week⚠️
    • 10 Burpees, 10 Situps, 10 Presses per day⚠️
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life✅
    • I will also drink 32oz of water a day  (4-8oz glasses or 2 bottles of water)✅
    • Minimize soda drinking and candy eating✅
    • At least one salad per week✅
Innovation
  • Consume
    • 30min of Twitter/Linked-In/News✅
    • 15 min of reading daily❌
    • The Moonshot Effect❌
    • ODI Book – Target Complete By end of April❌
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training-Design Thinking Training❌
    • Write paper topic❌
  • Linked In Article Topic Defined❌

Music:

  • Complete 2 Youtube Capture Sessions-video & ipad❌

Photography:

  • Practice and build portfolio⚠️
    • One photo posted to Instagram per week⚠️
  • Review Adobe Portfolio❌
  • Get 50mm lens❌
  • Create storage plan❌
  • Photography Course❌
Passive Income Business
  • Fizzle Roadmap Stage 1⚠️
  • Complete Courses:
    • WordPress Tutorial Series❌
    • Google Analytics Started-Requires an expensive monthly fee wth WordPress.  ✅Postpone
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Fizzle Product Review

2017.04 pexels-photo-265152

What is Fizzle?

I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about Fizzle.co.  I have been a member of this site for a few months and have really been enjoying the content.  I am listening to the podcasts but also following the framework.

Chase, Corbett and Steph are the primary contributors to the blogs, podcasts and website. all complement each other in skills and abilities.  Caleb I believe is another person on the team, however I haven’t been through much of his content yet.

The basic purpose of Fizzle.co is to help Entrepreneurs find their way from “I want to start a business” to actually doing it.  They offer a 3 phase, 9 stage process with video content all along the way to walk you through how to do the various activities at each step.  Each step contains various themes and courses to help you learn about all aspects of starting an online business.  I am currently still sitting in stage 1 and have a lot to learn about getting my business up and running.

In addition to the video and course work, the team also creates podcasts and blogs to help people.  I personally find the podcasts very entertaining and am usually listening to those while working out or in lieu of watching TV.

The main item I continue to be “Frozen” with is the “Topic” or the what am I going to shape my business around.  I have been through “Live Your Legend”‘s Finding Your Passion Course (hence the creation of this blog) but still struggle with selecting something.  I’ve followed Caleb’s method of choosing a topic but still am hesitating.  And since I am hesitating at making this decision, it’s making me slow down and even stop progress on the Fizzle Road map.

I have tried the “Progress Log” feature but feel it is a bit duplicative to this blog…so am trying to figure out a way to accomplish both somehow with this blog.

There is one element of Fizzle that I haven’t tried yet and that is the monthly “Office Hours”.  I think they might actually be doing this every Friday now.  My schedule always seems to conflict with my current “Day Job” and haven’t been able to participate.  Plus, I am not sure if that is the right forum for me.

So in summary, I am enjoying Fizzle.co and I would highly recommend it as there is no risk.  2 weeks free and then a monthly fee that you can cancel anytime!  You can’t go wrong to at least explore this site.  If you are still hesitant, check out their podcasts!  Very entertaining!

For me, I still need to find a way to break through and focus on one item for my first business.  I hope you’ll follow this blog to see my progress!

If interested in finding out more…please check them out by clicking this link:

I am interested in the 2 week free trial they offer, let me check it out!

Take care my friends!

 

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Boss RC300 Product Review

I recently purchased the BOSS RC300 to help build out my live music options and wanted to give some feedback and first impressions so far.

Let me start by saying, I am not usually one to read an owners manual so any complaints I have from here on might be answered via the manual, but I have yet to look closely at it yet.

  • Unboxing:
    • Tha packaging was good and simplistic.  Everything was in great condition.
  • Connecting:
    • Here is the back of the RC300:
    • RC300 Back
    • Mic Input – for a direct mic input..I am not using this right as I don’t have a way to add vocal effects (reverb).
    • L & R unbalanced inputs.  I use these as direct inputs from my effects pedal board.
    • Aux input,  I use this for any other inputs that I want to loop.  Alternate mic with vocal effect, Ipad input for other sounds.
    • Main outputs are used and sent to my mixing board and from my mixing  board I send to my monitor speakers
    • The sub outputs I am not using but could be used to be sent to main control room.
    • I’m not really using the “Exp” inputs at this time but may connect one of my Boss FS to help control the track or other functions of the unit.
    • For MIDI, I am trying to use this to sync to my Beat  Buddy.  I have only been able to get this work when the RC300 is the master.  I really want the Beat Buddy timing to be the master for starting and stopping/syncing.  Not sure it is going to work that way.  When I sync with the RC300 as the master…the pedals on the RC300 act goofy as well.  Very disappoint at this so far.
    • Power button and input
  • Features I Like:
    • RC300 Top
    • Once connected I found the unit to pretty intuitive for the basic functions.  Starting and stopping, recording of each of the three tracks.
    • I love that there are volumn controls for all of the inputs, the track outputs as well as a master volume control.
    • Writing and saving to memory was very easy.
  • Gaps/Opportunities:
    • The percussion start stop with the pedals and setting of temp is not very easy or intuitive.  I’m opting to use other options to create rhythm.
    • The Loop FX also isn’t as intuitive as I would like.  Granted I haven’t spent much time on this, but I couldn’t quickly make all effects work.  Also, I am hopeful I can save the default effectI can’t tell how some of the effects are applied.  Voice effects….how do they get applied to the inputs.  I don’t get what the Loop FX little button is for either.  It doesn’t seem to do anything.  Perhaps a bit more reading of the manual will assist me:)
  • Summary:
    • All in all, I am happy with this purchase.  This unit has huge advantages over the RC3 which I also have.  The ability to coordinate three pedals (Timing, Starting and Stopping) and voice easily will make this a fun piece of equipment.  Look for some live loop videos in the future:)
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March Experiments

A late start this month…but here goes…

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly✅
  • Visit mom and dad at least once✅
  • Call/Visit dad once
  • Call sister and family at least once
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO✅
    • RH
    • BT✅
    • BB
    • EP
    • DR✅
    • BU

Health & Fitness:

  • Be more mindful/present
    • Mindful Exercise-Weekdays⚠️
    • Daily Calm on flights✅
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • Run 1 miles 1x per week and bike 10 miles 1x per week⚠️
    • 10 Burpees, 10 Situps, 10 Presses per day❌
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • I will also drink 32oz of water a day  (4-8oz glasses or 2 bottles of water)⚠️
    • Minimize soda drinking and candy eating⚠️
    • At least one salad per week✅
Innovation
  • Consume
    • 30min of Twitter/Linked-In/News✅
    • 15 min of reading daily❌
    • The Moonshot Effect❌
    • ODI Book – Target Complete By end of March❌
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training-Design Thinking Trainig❌
    • Write paper topic❌
  • Linked In Article Topic-Mobile, small and large business challenges similarities❌

Music:

  • Complete Youtube Capture Sessions-video & ipad❌
    • Green Day-Good Ridence
    • Green Day-Basket Case
    • Phillip Phillips-Stand by me
    • Phillip Phillips-Home
    • Keith Urban-Good Thing
    • Keith Urban-Stupid Boy

Photography:

  • Practice and build portfolio
    • One photo posted to Instagram per week❌
  • Review Adobe Portfolio❌
  • Get 50mm lens❌
  • Create storage plan
  • Photography Course – ?❌
Passive Income Business
  • Fizzle Roadmap Stage 1⚠️
  • Complete Courses:
    • Shareable Images For Blogs and Social Media⚠️
    • WordPress Tutorial Series❌
    • Google Analytics Started❌
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February Experiments

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly
  • Visit mom and dad at least once✅
  • Call/Visit dad once✅
  • Call sister and family at least once✅
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO✅
    • RH
    • BT
    • BB✅
    • EP✅
    • DR✅
    • BU

Health & Fitness:

  • Be more mindful/present
    • Mindful Exercise-Weekdays⚠️
    • Daily Calm on flights✅
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • Run 1 miles 2x per week⚠️
    • 10 burpees per day❌
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • I will also drink 32oz of water a day  (4-8oz glasses or 2 bottles of water)❌
    • Minimize soda drinking – Max of 1 sugar drink per day✅
    • At least one salad per week⚠️
Innovation
  • Consume
    • Read Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook ❌
    • The Moonshot Effect❌
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training-Design Thinking Trainig❌
    • Write paper topic❌
  • Linked In Article Topic-Mobile, small and large business challenges similarities❌

Music:

  • Complete Youtube Capture Sessions-video & ipad❌
    • Huey Lewis-Small World
    • Huey Lewis-I know what I like
    • Green Day-Good Ridence
    • Over the rainbow
    • Stand by me
  • Purchase list
    • Studio desk☑️
    • RC 300 Loop Station✅
    • Beat Buddy✅
    • Akai Midi controller✅
    • Amp✅
  • Groupon Course❌

Photography:

  • Practice and build portfolio
    • One photo posted to Instagram per week⚠️
  • Review Adobe Portfolio❌
  • Get 50mm lens❌
  • Create storage plan⚠️
  • Course?❌
Passive Income Business
  • Fizzle Roadmap⚠️

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily Routine Update

With January coming to a close, I wanted to summarize my progress and challenges.

Daily Routine:

  • Send wife love note:) when we are apart
    • I was able to send text messages, but find I get absorbed into daily activities.  I need to find a way to make this a priority.
  • 60 oz of water – 20 each in the morning, afternoon, evening
    • I usually find this is much easer when I am travelling, however the convenience of a tasty sweet drink always tempts me.
  • 10 Burpees
    • Although I haven’t done this daily…I have done these more often and find them to be a quick and easy activity to do that works the full body.  I feel good after doing these as well.
  • Run 1-3 miles or  (2 days of the week)
    • I also haven’t done well at this.  I have run a mile at home twice.  I haven’t run while traveling.
  • Read a book for 15 minutes
    • Fail – I need a schedule…otherwise I get sucked into social media or netflix.
  • 30 minutes of learning-Fizzle/Photography Course
    • Fail – I have access to the content.  I need to prioritize it in my day.
  • 30 min max of Facebook, Linked-IN, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Buffer
    • Mostly Linked in and Youtube.  A couple Instagram posts.  I need to figure out what my social brand will be…which means focusing on a passion.  I am sure I spent more than 30min across all of these, but no more than an hour per day on these.
  • 30 min of News: News 360, Flipboard, Feedly
    • I’ve done well at this staying up to date and finding articles of interest to read and post to social media.  It’s easy to consume these.  I am sure I spent more than 30 min on this.
  • 30 min of guitar practice, recording
    • I definitly have progressed on guitar.  but not recording.  I need to make a permanent recording location within my studio.
  • 10 minutes of Elevate mind training
    • I’ve done this a few times.  Not sure it really is helping, but is quick and generally easy to do.
  • 15 minutes of mindfullness
    • I have done this while traveling.
  • 1 Vlog recorded
    • No go on this.  I like the idea in princliple but the one Vlog I recorded I was not happy with.  Again..I need to focus on a passion and then blog about that.

 

Now how should I adjust?  I will update my new plan within February Experiments.

Any suggestions out there on how to balance all of this?

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Daily Routine

I believe that to accomplish anything you need to break the problem/challenge/opportunity down into managable size pieces.  Last year for this blog, I decided to make progress towards finding my passion by having monthly experiments.  This process has encouraged me every month to reflect on the previous month and adjust for the next month.  It also encouraged me to think about my interets and passions.

As I just reflected on 2017 (see my previous post)…I want to make a change this year.  I need to build a daily routine to make better progress on my monthly experiments.

To do this I want to make sure I am improving by:

  • Consuming/Learning
  • Practicing/Training
  • Creating/Building

So for January, I plan to experiment with the following daily routine:

Daily Routine:

  • Send wife love note:) when we are apart
  • 60 oz of water – 20 each in the morning, afternoon, evening
  • 10 Burpees
  • Run 1-3 miles or  (2 days of the week)
  • Read a book for 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes of learning-Fizzle/Photography Course
  • 30 min max of Facebook, Linked-IN, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Buffer
  • 30 min of News: News 360, Flipboard, Feedly
  • 30 min of guitar practice, recording
  • 10 minutes of Elevate mind training
  • 15 minutes of mindfullness
  • 1 Vlog recorded

 

Weekly Routine:

  • 420 oz of water
  • 70 burpees
  • 2-6 miles run weekly (Two days of the week)
  • 105 minutes of reading a book
  • 105 minutes of learning-Fizzle/Photography Course
  • 210 min max of Facebook, Linked-IN, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Buffer
  • 210 min of News:  News 360, Flipboard, Feedly
  • 210 min of guitar practice, recording
  • 70 minutes of Elevate mind training
  • 105 minutes of mindfullness
  • 1 Vlog Post
  • 1 Blog Post
  • 1 Instagram Post with hashtags
  • Family planning for the next week and next month

 

A lot of time….but maybe with structure I can get to all of this???

Let’s see how this goes:)

Posted in Daily Writing Prompt, Experiments, Finding Purpose, Fitness, Innovation & Lean Product Development, Mindfullness, Music, Photography | Leave a comment

2016 Reflection – 2017 Goals – Things I Want

new-years-eve-1941665_1920Succcesses:

  • Completed basement with studio and movie room
  • Biked 15 miles in one session
  • Biked High Cliff, Reforestation Camp and Riverview Gardens
  • Learned many new songs on Guitar
  • Tycen learned to rollerblade
  • Jacek got good at roller blading
  • Completed two IDEO design thinking courses
  • Completed 21 day Find Your Passion course
  • 92 Total Instagram Posts (All Time)
  • 77 Total Blog Posts (All Time) and
    • 429 views
    • 217 Visitors
    • 26 likes
    • 2 comments
  • Career Coaching Completed
  • Bought a boat
  • Started learning the fret board
  • Bahamas cruise
 
 
Focus:
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Fitness
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Online Business/Create an online product

  

2017 Goals:

  • Start an online business/site❌
    • Photography
    • Innovation
    • Blog/VLOG
    • Website
  • Write a book/guide about
    • Photography
    • Innovation
    • Blogging
  • Create an online product⚠️
    • Escalate
    • Coaching videos
  • Grow my audience for Instagram and Blog/Vlog❌
  • Master the fretboard✅
  • Build out my studio✅

 

Things I want to have in 2017:

  • Amp – Fender Blues Jr or Fender Hotrod, or Line 6 Jam Master??✅
  • Boss RC300 Loop Station or Infinity Looper✅
  • Beat Buddy pedal and selectors✅
  • Mixer for vocals and guitar or PA system that allows this. Line 6 Stage Source L2T or L3T✅
  • Pitch shifter pedal – Pitchfork
  • Ukelele
  • MIDI Keyboard (AKAI Professional Mini2)✅
  • Studio Desk
  • A bike rack
  • New mountain bike – Pivot – Switchblade, Ellesworth 40
  • 50mm lens
  • A new camera
  • A Macbook Pro for Photography and Music creations

Things I want to be in 2017:

  • A better father
  • A better husband
  • A better friend
  • Healthy
  • Happy
  • Content with my job
  • A better Photographer
  • A better Musician
  • An Entrepreneur
  • An Innovator for….

Things I want to do in 2017:

  • Complete Fizzle Online Business Course
  • 10 Burpees daily challenge
  • Walk/Run 2-7 miles weekly challenge
  • Run for 5k straight (no walking)
  • Bike 5-30 miles weekly
  • Bike Hartman Creek, Baird Creek trails, Reforestation Camp
  • Teach Tycen to ride a bike
  • Go downhill skiing
  • Launch my App idea
  • Learn a new language – German or Italian
  • Visit England again
  • Minimize
  • Meditate and Be Mindful
  • Visit Banff Canada
  • Kite Surf
  • Perform an open mic night
  • Whitewater Kayaking
  • Take amazing photos and make prints for our house

Things I want to do beyond 2017:

  • Visit Austrailia
  • Fly fish in Montana
  • Hang glide
  • Wing Suit Dive?
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January Experiments

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly✅
  • Visit mom and dad at least once✅
  • Call/Visit dad once✅
  • Call sister and family at least once❌
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f⚠️
    • JO✅
    • RH
    • BT✅
    • BB✅
    • EP✅
    • DR✅
    • BU

Health & Fitness:

  • Be more mindful/present⚠️
    • Mindful Exercise-Weekdays⚠️
    • Daily Calm on flights⚠️
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life⚠️
    • Run 1 miles 2x per week❌
    • 10 burpees per day⚠️
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life⚠️
    • I will also drink 32oz of water a day  (4-8oz glasses or 2 bottles of water)⚠️
    • Minimize soda drinking – Max of 1 sugar drink per day❌
    • At least one salad per week✅
Innovation
  • Prepare training on Design Thinking, Innovation Recipe Card❌
  • Learn Six Sigma❌
    • Read Six Sigma book
  • Progress Simpler Goals:❌
    • Pick a REX topic
    • Position paper topic

Music:

  • Complete Capture Session-Somewhere Over The Rainbow❌
  • Create storage plan❌
  • January Purchase list❌
    • Beat Buddy
    • RC 300 Loop Station? Or Infinity Looper
    • Octave pedal
    • Mac
    • Mixer
    • Travel guitar
    • Recording desk
    • Sound material

Photography:

  • Practice and build portfolio
    • One photo posted to Instagram per week⚠️
    • Review Adobe Portfolio❌
    • Get 50mm lens❌
    • Create storage plan❌

 

 

 

 

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