Sunday, December 18, 2011

Event Update: Cocoa Christmas Count

A very long, but awesome day out birding. I was surprised that at the end we had only walked about 3-4 miles. As our count area is so large, we did a lot of driving. The species count for the whole thing (that is, all teams) was 161, not sure how many my team specifically had. If you didn't GOYB today, here's what you missed:

My team, Lora, Matt, and David. It was dark when we started. They all had about 20 species before dawn, but I can't hear for jack, so didn't get my first species till the sun came up.
 This was the biggest herd of white Ibis I've ever seen. I think David estimated it to be around 1,500. This picture just shows the start of the stream of them. (Click to enlarge, it's pretty impressive.)
Part of the herd of Ibis flew right overhead.
 A red-shouldered hawk in silhouette.  On the one hand, this was by FAR the warmest, sunniest count we've had in years, which was great. On the other hand, it was awful for photography. I only got a few good shots off the entire day.
 A common yellow throat. This is one of my favorite warblers. The picture doesn't do him justice, he is actually very pretty.
 A sparrow, but I don't recall what kind.
 An Anhinga at the district headquarters. Our part of the count circle is pretty urban, but we still find lots of cool stuff.
 A butterbutt at the district headquarters.
 A gator came out to say hi to us at the last stop before lunch.
I'm gonna get yelled at, but I can't remember this guy's name... some kinda warbler or maybe a sparrow.
 Red-bellied Woodpecker.  He was a strange guy, he kept hanging upside down from tree branches like a nuthatch.
 An immature white Ibis. I know you are, but what am I? Neener-neener.
 Lora, Matt and David at our last stop.
Me and David at our last stop.
A magnificent sunset to cap off a great day of birding.

Please join me on January 2 for the South Brevard count! We still need volunteers for that one. It's a long day, but the work is vitally important to bird conservation.

And remember, you can see cool stuff like this on TV or the Internet, but you can never really experience it unless you GOYB!

Friday, December 16, 2011


I made it to 500 miles last night! I realize that I could not have made it without:

  • My Garmin sports watch. It was nice to track the progress.
  • My iPod. Can't do nothing without music.
  • Music, specifically Volbeat, Mike Doughty, Fleet Foxes and the million other tunes I've listed to over 500 miles.
  • All the great people (Michael, Linda, Donna, Dave) that I have met at the gym who notice if I'm not there (fortunately that is infrequently:-))
  • Alison - It's so nice to have someone cheering me on, and it will always mean the world to me that she came down to cheer me on as I crossed the finish line at my first 1/2 marathon!
  • HFC David - He has called me every morning to remind me to go to the gym, he comes out on some DeeMotivation events, and he believed that I could do this.
  • Heather - My daily dose of sunshine and spirit! She has come out on almost every DeeMotivation event, the SOS walks were her idea, and she has thrown my own obnoxious words back at me when I need to hear them most. 
Here are the pictures from last night:

Taking the official last step of my 500 miles.
Me and HFC David celebrating at DQ after.
Yes, DQ, I never said I was perfect!
If I can do this, ANYONE can! Heather and I already have plans for 750 next year, a thousand after. We start January 1. Onward we go. Join us! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

18 Miles to Go

One of my goals for this year was to walk 500 miles. I am currently at 482 (go, Forrest, go!) with 18 left to do. I figure with 2 miles a day at the gym, I should hit 500 sometime next week (although, since Heather has been with me through most of it, I promised I would save the last mile for when we are together.)

So now, I'm thinking I should do something to celebrate 500. My first thought was cake. But, given that I am currently in the middle of Alison's 21 day challenge, I guess that is out. But I am open to suggestions.

I do know one thing I plan to do - get a new pair of sneakers so I can start the 750 that I plan to do next year.  That, combined with Burpies for Boobies should keep me busy next year!

Event Update: SOS Walk at Riverside

Today was kind of a weird SOS walk. We started at Riverside and just kind of meandered. We didn't want to go out onto the main road due to car fumes, so we just kind of wandered around for 2.5 hours. But, we did get the whole 6 miles in. If you didn't GOYB today, here is what you missed!

This is an immature white ibis. I know you are but what am I??
This is a tree that Heather thought had a scary face at the top. I agreed, and neither of us were even drinking.
A little blue heron looking particularly majestic.
Weird fuzzy thing growing on the tennis court wall. It kind of looked like the kinda thing a spider makes when she is saving her dinner for later.
The divine Ms. H demonstrating a lovely hunk of fungus growing on the tree.

Ok, I admit, it wasn't the most exciting SOS walk we've had, but it was fun, we got a good workout,  fun conversation, and 6 miles closer to my goal of 500 miles.

Join us on our next walk. Remember, you can see cool stuff on TV and the internet, but you can only really experience it if you GOYB!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Event Update: Goodwin Marsh SOS

Today was one of those days that I just was NOT feeling the love, but it's been 4 weeks since our last SOS so we had already decided we WERE going to do it today, no matter what. The skies were threatening, we were both tired, but we both soldiered on and were totally rewarded for our efforts. So, if you didn't choose to GOYB today, here is the awesome stuff you missed (click photos to enlarge):

 We started off the walk with a red-shouldered hawk. This is the first time I've ever photographed one where you can tell why they have their name.
The colors were spectacular out there today.
 Not just the clouds and vegetation, but there was even a rainbow!
Deer, dear.
 One of my favorite birds, the shrike.
 When we first got there, we were surprised that there was not one single bird on the roost. We haven't done Goddwin in a while though, so we figured they just moved on. Then, when we were walking back, we saw this flock and followed them...
 Apparently, this is where they are hanging out now, right across from the parking lot. There were more little blues here than either Heather or I had ever seen before.
This was our find of the day. There was a pair of nesting great horned owls! And, I think that might be a swallow tail kite in the background. This was at the very end of our walk, so it was pretty dark, I hope to go back when it's just a tad lighter and see if I can get a better shot of the pair.

Keep an eye on our events calendar, the critter watching is getting really interesting, you never know what you are going to see, but I guarantee you won't see anything this cool if you don't GOYB!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Event Update: Elephant Canoe Race

Today we participated in an awesome benefit canoe race. Me, and my trusty team piled into an giant canoe and paddled a slalom course.  These pictures are courtesy of HFC David, our official team photographer. If you didn't GOYB today, here's what you missed! (Click pictures to enlarge).

 The weather looked a little, tiny bit ominous. In movies, they would call this picture "foreshadowing"...
 Team DeeMotivation wearing t-shirts with the DeeMotivation logo, put together by Ambre. From right to left: Chad, Alison, Stephanie, Lisa, Ambre and moi.
 It started raining torrentially while we were waiting for our race. Here are Alison and Chad enjoying the rain.
 Unfortunately the rain got bad during the kayak race. Here is Lisa's husband finishing his race in the pouring rain.
 Here we are getting our life jackets on. Michael (Lisa's husband, the one from the above kayak picture), Lisa, Ambre, a bit of my head, Stephanie, and Alison.
Kristin, from Florida Outdoor Center (one of the race sponsors, and provider of the canoe) demonstrating paddling techniques.
 In the Canoe, getting ready to push off.
 The race has begun!
 Paddling to the first set of buoys.
We were really trucking through the straight aways.
 This is where it got tricky - we had to turn the canoe around and come in backwards.
 Intensely crossing the finish line.
 Kristin, raising her paddle in triumph. Our time was 3:00 which wasn't first place, but not last place either. We were happy with it. Especially me, as my goal wasn't so much as to win as to "not drown."
Coming ashore.

Thanks so much to Alison, Ambre, Chad, David, Lisa, and Stephanie, for joining team DeeMotivation today. This was the first team event I've tried but it was a blast, so I'm thinking we should do this kinda thing again some time soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  Is this an official club? What do I have to do to join? No, this is not official in any way. There is no membership, no official way to join, just show up at events (although, RSVPing is polite, just so I know we should wait for you.)
  2. Are you a fitnes guru? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. Not in any way, shape or form. I am just a fat chick looking for other fat, old out of shape people to do non-sedentary stuff with.
  3. Is this a diet club? Will I lose weight if I join? No. This is just for fun, my attempt to get myself off my ass. If you want to lose weight, see a doctor for professional advice. Don't expect diet/exercise advice from me.
  4. So, what is the purpose of this? To reiterate question 2: I am just a fat chick looking for other fat, old out of shape people to do non-sedentary stuff with.
  5. I know everything about dieting and exercise. Can I share my extensive knowledge of the [insert latest stupid fad diet here] diet? No. This is not a weight loss/diet group. We are just here to get out and do active stuff.
  6. I think the terminology you use is really offensive. I am not a "fat chick", I am a "differently sized woman". Uh, yeah, that's great for you. There are approximately 10,000,000,000,000 other web sites and groups out there that you can go to. I am a fat chick. This is my web site. Deal with it or go elsewhere.
  7. I notice that you don't have any events scheduled for [dance, sailing, gardening, rock collecting etc.] How come? Right now, I am only suggesting outings for things I know how to do and can lead (birding, artsy stuff, etc) I love to learn though, and I would love other people to select/lead outings. We can all learn from each other. It's the spice of life! Send me an email and let me know what you know how to do that you can show other people!
  8. Who are you? What are your qualifications for running this kinda thing?  I am Dee Fairbanks Simpson. I have no qualifications whatsoever, other than knowing how to create a web site. Basically, I started this web site to hook up with other people who know that just because we are old, fat, and slow it does not mean we want to spend our weekends sitting on our asses
  9. If you are so into fitness, why did I see you eating a Milkyway? This is not a diet web site, I am not a fitness guru, I am not going to claim that I live on sprouts and grilled chicken. I'm in this for fun. Period.
  10. Can I bring junk food to events? We live in Florida, so I HIGHLY recomend that you bring water to all events. However, it's entirely up to you to bring whatever else you need to power yourself appropriately. Note however, that if you choose to bring coffee or soda and candy instead of say, water and a granola bar, for a trip to a wilderness area, you will most likely get dehydrated/bloated and feel really terrible by the end of the event. [Not that I know this from experience or anything.] But that's just me. It's up to you to provide what you need to keep yourself going, and other than suggesting water, I'm not going to give you advice. 
  11. I'd like to come, but I don't know how to do [activity] Please come anyway, we will teach you what you need to know. Any event that I schedule will have at least one person who knows what they are doing. I will not, for example, schedule a kayak trip without having at least one leader who knows what they are doing. As mentioned in question 7, if you have a suggestion for an event that you would like to lead, let me know!
  12. So... are you trying to sell me something? Nope. I do not accept advertising, and I won't give your name/email to anyone. I'm just trying to get people off their rockers and out of the house!
  13. I'm not a fat chick. Can I still come out to play with you? Absolutley! The more the merrier. You can be an Honorary Fat Chick (HFC).
  14. What are SOS walks? SOS stands for Six (miles) on Sunday. These are longer walks, usually in wilderness areas. We go at a fairly leisurely pace, taking pictures of the cool critters and stuff as we go. It is a work out though as it is 6 miles.
  15. Can I participate if I live in Japan (or Colorado, Virginia, or Philly*)? Absolutley! You can GOYA no matter where you are.  If you live somewhere else and want to set up an event where you are, send me mail about it and I will post it here. Please remember:
    1. Send me complete details for your event, including your contact information.
    2. Try to keep events free or as low cost as possible. For example, most county and city parks in the US are free; US state parks usually cost a nominal fee to get in ($1-2 dollars per person); US National Parks are usually a bit more expensive ($3-10 dollars/car), and theme parks are out of most sane people's price range.
    3. For safety purposes, if you are not familiar with an activity or area, do NOT set up an event unless you arrange for an expert to join you. For example, don't arrange a lava collecting trip down an active volcano unless you can find a lava collecting expert to lead the group.
*Not that I know people in these areas who should start their own enents or anything :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friends of DeeMotivation

The following are friends of DeeMotivation who help me GOMB!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little victory...

So, when I first started bootcamp, I could not do a burpie. Eventually, I was able to do them by starting with my hands on bench, then I moved down to a tire, then to a stair stepper. Last night I did my first burpies with my hands on the ground. I was sooo psyched. I came home and IMed my friend and told him to act impressed, cause I needed the ego boost. He replied, and I quote:


Haha. So, Richard, here you go, this is a burpie:

Now please tell me how wildly impressed you are!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What to put in your water bottle

Obviously, being active requires that you stay hydrated. Just as obviously, there are good things and bad things to hydrate with. Here are the pros and cons of some drinks:

Workout type drinks:
  • Water: There is no downside to drinking water. It is always the best choice. Your body needs liquid to get through the day. A good rule of thumb is to make at least 1/2 (if not all) of that plain water.
  • Diet drinks (such as Crystal Light and other mix ins): I personally can't tolerate these. The artificial sweeteners can also trigger sugar cravings in some people. I do not recommend these, but if you drink them, do NOT fool yourself and do NOT count them as water - they are NOT water, they are chemicals. If you drink this stuff, make sure you alternate with water.
  • Fruit juice (real, 100% fruit juice, such as Northland, not "juice product" that has high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient): Although juices are obviously better than soda, they are very high in calories and miss one of the main benefits of fruit, which is the fiber. They aren't horrible for you, and can be a nice treat here and there, but drink sparingly. You are better off eating an apple or orange and drinking a glass of water with it.
  • Sports drinks: There are 3 basic types of sports drinks:
    • Gatorade, Powerade types: These are high calorie, high sugar drinks. If you are running a marathon or working outside in extreme conditions, you can justify drinking these, but otherwise, stick to something with less sugar. And, if you do drink them, alternate a bottle of sports drink with a bottle of water.
    • G2: This is the lower calorie Gatorade. Personally, I like this a lot, it does not contain aspartame, and doesn't bother my stomach. That said, I don't kid myself - I drink it cause it tastes like Kool-aid, I am well aware I don't need a sports drink for the type of workouts that I do. It is also pretty expensive.
    • Power Pak (or other brands of electrolyte replacements): I have tried these in the really hot days of summer for my six mile walks, and it could have just been the power of suggestion, but I do think I had more energy without all the sugar of a typical sports drink. The only downside was that it tasted kind of like vaguely fruit-flavored spit.
Other drinks:
  • Coffee/Tea: If you can tolerate it, a little caffeine will not hurt you. Note however, that it is a diuretic, and cannot be used for hydration. Do not bring a thermos of coffee for a long hike; save the coffee for your morning jolt.
  • Soda/Diet Soda: Personally, I cannot tolerate any carbonated beverages due to tummy issues. But I know that I do not have to tell you that soda is not good for you in general; it is nothing but calories and chemicals. A can here and there won't kill you, but do NOT let it replace water in your diet, even if you are drinking diet soda.
  • Energy drinks: I have not tried many of these. The ones I have tried generally had a LOT of calories, a LOT of caffeine, and tasted kind of like someone drank a bunch of coffee, puked the coffee into a carburetor, then drained the carburetor and bottled the results. Honestly, if you are so tired that you are desperate enough to drink something this nasty, either take a nap or see a doctor.
  • Wine/Beer/Spirits: Again, something I can't tolerate. If however, you can tolerate it, it's really not that bad for you when used in moderation, and there are some health benefits to certain types. However, do not let the fact that it's "just a glass of wine" or "just a beer" fool you; when it comes down to it, it's just empty calories. 
Let me know if I missed your favorite drink!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Event Update: SCAS Birdathon

Oh golly, today was a fantastic day! 11 hours of birding with great company, for a great cause (supporting the Florida Keys Hawkwatch). I was lucky enough to be joined by the lovely and talented Lana, and together we spotted 51 species and raised $360.

Our species list was: White Ibis, Pine Warbler, Snowy Egret, Black Vulture, Cardinal, Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher, Eastern Kingbord, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Mourning Dove, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Turkey Vulture, Boat-tailed Grackle, Great Egret, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Kingfisher, Moorhen, Woodstork, Swallow (sp), Coot, Shrike, Limpkin, Tricolored Heron, Pied-bill Grebe, Green-back Heron, Glossy Ibis, Little Blue Heron, Kestrel, Ring Bill Gull, Rock Dove, Laughing Gull, Reddish Egret, Yellow Rump Warbler, Willet, American Avocet, Capsian Tern, Greater Yellowlegs, Red-wing Blackbird, Florida Scrub Jay, Catbird, Towhee, Brown Pelican, Red-shouldered Hawk, Double-crested Cormorant, Forrester's Tern, and Starling.

Here are the pictures from the day followed by our total listing:
The intrepid explorers begin with a healthy
nutritious breakfast at Bucky's.

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe

Mourning Dove

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Boat-tailed Grackle

Pied-bill Grebe

Tri-color Heron


Green-back Heron

Glossy Ibis

White Ibis

Little Blue Heron

(Baby) Moorhen

Palm Warbler


Bald Eagle

Reddish Egret

Yellow Rump Warbler

Greater Yellowlegs

Turkey Vulture

Florida Scrub Jay




Lana, the photographer,
being photographed

We finished up at
Gator Creek