Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fitbit report #3 The Force Awakens

I think I did it - get my Fitbit installed and working properly. I think so. Of course, anything is possible, because I realized last night that we are in a Mercury retrograde January 5 – 25.

Mercury retrograde: the astrological time when your computer, your phone, your Kindle, your FITBIT all hate you (more than usual).

You know the login issue I had last night? Seems that you can’t simply log in using a Facebook or Google account when you register – even though that option is provided. You have to create a Fitbit account on its own and then later you can sync the Facebook or Google account. Note: now that I finally got my Fitbit device registered (I think… I hope…) I’m not about to mess things up by attempting to sync accounts.

Here’s what my astrologer friend Trish says about Merc retrograde:
Mercury "rules" communication of all types, the devices we use to communicate with, our thinking process, also has influence over daily routines and schedules. When Mercury turns retrograde ... literally moving backwards in apparent motion in the sky ... Mercury ruled things do not behave in straightforward manner either. Messages get garbled, we're misunderstood, we lose things (Mercury "rules" the cubbies we keep small objects in like drawers and pockets), we don't think in straightforward ways ... it's better to "think through" old matters, redo writing (edit, etc), cover old ground. People we haven't talked to in awhile tend to show up with more frequency during Merc retrograde. Items we've lost previous do tend to reappear (it's said that if we lose something at a Mercury retrograde it will likely reappear at the next Merc retro ... this has happened to me more than once!).

Electronics are more glitchy as Mercury has influence over electronics, so not the best time to buy new electronics if we can help it. (If we can't help it, do it and don't worry about it .... the planet won't stop spinning, I promise!)
The primary influence of Merc retro is that it shreds schedules, so if we're used to keeping a tight schedule we're gonna be stressed out ... leave a lot of leeway in our appointments and schedules when Merc is retro, we'll probably need it. This is where the famed "don't travel on Merc retro" comes from ... it's not that Merc retro is bad to travel on ... it's actually great, as long as we're not tightly committed ... but you know, those trains and planes just will not run on time, or will do so less frequently so a longer layover better than a tight one at this time. 
~ Trish Marie Astrology (Facebook)
~ Never Give Your Birthdate to an Astrologer (Trish's blog) 
So not only can I blame Fitbit, I can blame Mercury, too - right? Anything but taking the blame on myself [sarcasm alert].

But seriously. There’s an art to writing instructions and it seems that that art has faded away. Getting back to blaming Fitbit, I’ve got to ask what is so awful about labeling the steps

Numbering: It’s been around a long time.

Does it matter with the Fitbit what order you do things? Apparently yes. So then, I have to ask why not say “this is the first step”. Or even “STEP 1”. And then go on to a second step, or STEP 2.  And not just abandon you in the Setup part, but actually add a STEP 3. And then when there are links, make sure they're also in the necessary order so that the poor customer who's trying to get her Fitbit up and running doesn't go haring off to a more advanced step. (Shouldn't there have been instructions somewhere along the way saying to put the battery in the Fitbit?)

Step-by-step instructions. Radical idea? Too radical for Fitbit?

Oh – and about the actual footsteps.

I live in a 700 square foot cabin. I’m not going to get many steps recorded when I’m inside even if I pry myself away from the computer, that’s for sure. So my steps are going to accumulate when I do outside chores and of course, when I hike.

This morning it took me just about 1000 steps to feed horses and chickens. The Fitbit stubbornly refuses to add anything on for chopping holes through the ice in the horse troughs, more’s the pity. Later on I’ll have to haul wood for the afternoon and evening, and of course tonight I’ll feed again and I’ll take my usual evening walk. I will rack up the steps then.

And hey, I’ve got nearly 1900 steps in so far today. See? The Fitbit, in spite of it all, is doing (in my opinion) what it’s supposed to do: Make me aware of how much I’m walking around so that I’ll be more inclined to increase my activity.

Here's an article about Fitbit and other fitness devices' accuracy. Looks like my model and the Fitbit One are the most accurate, but the article says: "We did find in general that most of these devices are accurate, but we found that smartphones, which most Americans carry with them every day, are just as accurate."

And by the way: The astrology

It would seem there is something to this Mercury retrograde. Look how this Fitbit thing is going.

But no - that's not all! I’ve been experiencing loss of connection to the internet every day for a few minutes at a time, this past week. And Windows keeps trying to install security updates automatically and then telling me the updates can’t be installed (of course, that’s pretty common now that Mr. Gates’ company has maliciously stopped supporting XP).

My computer’s clock started refusing to synch with internet time a couple days ago. For the past week it’s been 2 hours and 11 minutes off every time I start up in the a.m. Except this morning, it was just 11 minutes off. I can’t make the clock automatically sync, I have to manually set the time each morning now.

I’m not going to assume any of this is a permanent problem till after January 25, though. It's safer to just stick it out for another 10+ days till Mercury settles back down again.

Mercury being retrograde.  Nanner nanner.

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