Friday, February 27, 2009

Ten Things I Learned While Playing With My Wii

When I first heard about the Nintendo Wii, I assumed it was just another video game like any other. I had no interest or desire to learn much about it, because I lumped it into the category of “unnecessary timewasters I didn’t subscribe to.” Not to say I didn’t have my own set of timewasters (as my extensive collection of videos certainly proves), but spending time in front of my TV trying to fight and kill enemies and capture tokens was just not my idea of a good time. Then one day, instead of resisting, I actually played a few of the Wii games…and pretty much, after that, I was hooked.

It wasn’t long before I bought the Wii Fit, which includes a balance board/step that you stand on while doing most of the exercises. This might be intimidating for some people, as the daily suggested “Body Test” gives you an ongoing evaluation of your weight gains and losses. But not for me. Especially because the first time I took the daily Body Test, I was rated in the perfect weight range for my age. Naturally, I figured this meant I was in superior physical condition and could easily handle anything the Wii had to throw at me. How wrong I was. To follow are a list of things I learned about myself during my recent encounters with my Wii.

  1. I have the worst balance in the world. (Well, maybe not the worst—I think Paula Abdul is pretty unbalanced as well.) But whether I’m trying to hit soccer balls that are being thrown at my head, or skiing down a slope weaving in and out of flags, I just don’t have control of my balance the way I thought I did. This was especially evident one day when I got a little carried away during a ski jump, and actually put a dent in my basement ceiling with my head. I think I probably also put a dent in my head from the basement ceiling, but that isn’t as noticeable.

  2. My weight can fluctuate by as much as ten pounds a day. Well, this isn’t really true, but for a while it appeared as if the Wii was having difficulty giving me an accurate weight count. As I mentioned, on the first day I took the Body Test, I landed in the “good weight range” category. But when I took the same Body Test the following day, I had gained eight pounds, and the Wii told me I was now overweight. In fact, a little disapproving voice even tells you “You’re overweight!” (Just like your Mother used to…or was that just me?!!!) Then two days later when I took the test again, I’d lost three pounds, then I gained ten, then lost four. Apparently, if you use the Wii Fit board on carpeting, you need to add the extensions to get an accurate count. Once I did that, my weight returned to normal…but for a while there, I was getting a little concerned about my metabolism.

  3. The Wii image you create for yourself (called a Mii) actually goes up and down in weight when you do. So during my aforementioned bout with the daily Body Tests, my Mii image fluctuated between an Ed Norton and a Ralph Kramden.

  4. I’m very competitive. And because you get a score at the end of each exercise, it motivates you to constantly do better.

  5. Did I mention I’m very competitive? This became increasingly evident when I had some friends over to play, and some of them beat my existing scores on a few of the games. And though I tried to suppress it at the time, I have not stopped trying to beat some of those higher scores during my daily routine.

  6. I don’t like machines asking me questions. Especially when they can’t really respond to my answer. But one of the “highlights” of your daily training session is to be bombarded with questions about your eating and exercising habits. For instance, if you skip a day of exercise, one of the first things the Wii says to you is: “Too busy to work out yesterday, eh?” (Bee-yatch!!!!) Or if you happened to gain a few pounds, the Wii makes you select a reason for the weight gain. And if you choose “Don’t know,” it harasses you for the next few days until you finally admit you like to eat late night snacks. (Double Bee-yatch!)

  7. Just when you think you know a routine, the Wii throws in a curveball. For example, one of the exercises is called an Island run, which is basically a “running in place” type of workout whereby you follow another Mii on the television screen as they run around a beautifully animated island. You don’t use the balance board for this exercise, but you do have to keep the Wii remote either in your pocket or your hand so the computer can accurately measure your performance. But what’s really cool is that you don’t always go to the same place each time. Sometimes the Mii takes you one way and another day it might take you another. You also aren’t always following the same person each time, so it’s like you have a whole new group of friends to hang out with. (They don’t really talk to you, but they certainly smile and wave a lot.)

  8. The Wii games are populated with many, many people. In fact, many of the games have you actually performing in front of people, or working out alongside groups of other athletes. And when you win, everyone cheers you on. If only that would happen more often in real life.

  9. I don’t confuse the Wii with Oui (the hardcore magazine) any more.

  10. Exercising is fun. Again.

But that’s just me. What kinds of things have you learned from your Wii?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dog Days--Winter Break

And now for a little change from the regular Cat Clips's time for a few Dog Days. In this episode, Bailey's mother tries to coax her outside on a particularly warm winter day. To watch the video, please click on the photo above.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Because of the Village People, YouTube Rejected Me as a Partner

Please forgive me if I rant a little today, but I am a tad perturbed. As you may know, I am quite an avid YouTube uploader…using the website to “virtually” house all my video epics so I don’t have to pay for a real server to store them. And over the course of the past year, I have slowly built up a nice following of viewers and fans, many of whom encouraged me to become a YouTube Partner (an honor that apparently comes with a few perks, including actual payments for advertising on your videos.) As I’d always assumed a YouTube Partner needed thousands of subscribers in order to be considered, I hadn’t thought it was time yet for me to pursue such a relationship. (At this point in time, I have 356 subsribers and 97 friends.)

But then several viewers of mine (who were already Partners) told me that was not the case, and because I was consistently getting high ratings, comments and views for my videos, I would probably be considered as a good prospect. So without thinking much about it, I filled out the short form online and submitted it to YouTube. I figured I probably wouldn’t hear anything for a few weeks or so, as I’m sure there were literally thousands of people at any given time trying to become a Partner as well.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning to find a response. Only it wasn’t really the kind of response I expected. To follow is the very cold form letter I received:

Dear ScoobyHubby, (This is my UserName on YouTube)

Thank you for your interest in the YouTube Partner Program. Our goal is to extend invitations to as many partners as we can. Unfortunately we are unable to accept your application at this time. The partner program is designed for users whose videos consistently comply with the YouTube Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. At this time, your account history indicates that it has not always fully complied with the rules that govern our site.
Applications are reviewed for a variety of criteria, including but not limited to the size of your audience, country of residence, quality of content, and consistency with our Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. Please review the program qualifications ( for a complete list of our criteria.As we continue to expand we hope to be able to accept a broader group of partners. We have registered your interest in the program and will continue to monitor your account for potential future acceptance into the program.

Thank you for your understanding.

Now you may wonder what they are referring to when they say I have “not always fully complied with the rules that govern our site”. The only time I ever had an issue with YouTube was when I uploaded a video that was a parody of the Village People song “YMCA,” in which I hummed a sixty second version of the tune while little animated rubber ducks performed a rousing dance number. (See photo above) In the video, I didn’t sing any of the lyrics or even play the real music…I just hummed it. Several days after I uploaded it, I received a very nasty e-mail from YouTube saying that “SCORPIO MUSIC S.A. / CAN’T STOP PRODUCTIONS INC.” (the company that owns the rights to YMCA) had the video taken down because of copyright infringement. (This entire incident is fully detailed in my blog posting, “I Survived a YouTube Banning”)

So because of one little infraction back in August, I've now been flagged “unacceptable” as a YouTube Partner. And I know that nobody bothered to even review my current content or the popularity of my videos because I got a response in under twenty-four hours. And you will notice, the e-mail wasn’t even signed by anyone, as if YouTube is some sort of higher power that doesn’t need accountability.

After receiving the rejection e-mail, I admit that I got a little depressed. Not because I wasn’t accepted right away, but because of WHY I wasn’t accepted. And now all I can do is blame the Village People and their stupid song for getting me into this mess in the first place. Had I not wanted to pay tribute to that famous dance anthem, I might actually have a shot at earning a few extra dollars a month.

But that’s just me. What do you blame the Village People for?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cat Clips--Valentine's Secret

The last few episodes of "Cat Clips" have all been leading up to the big Valentine's Day surprise--for the male cat, that is. As you know from previous episodes, Tipi has convinced the female cat that she needs to provide the male cat with an heir, so they went online to find the perfect match. In this episode, entitled "Valentine's Secret," Tuck decides to disrupt the female cat's plans. To watch the episode, please click on the photo above.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cat Clips--Lil' Cupid

This special Valentine's video (one of two) features the very first appearance of Tuck. To watch the video, please click on the photo above. In this episode, Tipi finds something adorable in the bathroom.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cat Clips--Son Surfing

Today is a very special day...It's Valentine's Eve...and that means TWO NEW Cat Clips videos to watch. These two videos "Girl Talk" and "Son Surfing" bring the storyline up to date for tomorrow's big Valentine's surprise. (Well, maybe not a surprise for readers of this blog, but definitely a surprise for some members of the cat household.)


Then, to watch this video, please click on the photo above. In this episode, "Honey" tries to keep the male cat at a distance while Tipi surfs the net for cat adoption agencies.


Cat Clips--Girl Talk

To watch the "Girl Talk" video, please click on the photo above. In this episode, Tipi reveals some surprising information during a private chat with "Honey." Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cat Clips--Balancing Act

Please click on the photo above to watch the next video in the Cat Clips series, entitled "Balancing Act." In this episode, a funny thing happened on Honey's way to confront Tipi...Honey gets "played."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cat Clips--Before You

Please click on the photo above to watch the next episode in the Cat Clips series, "Before You." In this episode, the male cat confronts the female cat about her "alleged" past. (I will be posting an episode a day for the next few days, as the storyline is leading up to a big Valentine's Day surprise.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cat Clips--Local Mystery

Please click on the photo above to watch the next episode in the Cat Clips series, entitled "Local Mystery." In this episode, Tipi discovers some rather "interesting" information about Tipi.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Two Truths and a Lie

For something a little bit different…on a Friday…I decided to post a little challenge. Well, not really a challenge. More like a thirty second game that everyone can play. It’s called “Two Truths and a Lie” and the object is to state two facts about yourself along with one lie, and everyone else has to guess which is the lie.

Now here’s how it works:

I will state two truths and a lie about myself below, and you will have to guess which statement is the lie (and why you might think that). Then, along with your answer, please include “two truths and a lie” about yourself, and I will try to guess which one is the lie. (Everyone else is free to join in and guess other people’s lies as well…that is, if anyone responds to this…hey, you never know.)

Ready? Okay, here we go.

1. I performed at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony when I was in High School.

2. I was Jeremy Irons’ stand-in for a week on the set of “Die Hard 3.”

3. I toured Europe with “Up With People” when I was in college.

Not as easy as you thought, right? In fact, some of you may be looking at these and thinking they all might be lies. But such is not the case.

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead, play Pinocchio for a minute. I know you can do it. What kind of creative truths and lies can you tell us about yourself?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cat Clips--Celebrity Mystery

Please click on the photo above to watch the latest "Cat Clips" video, entitled "Celebrity Mystery." In this episode, the two cats are shocked when they find Tipi on a website called And if that website sounds familiar, it should. Because this video is a blatant plug for my free online book, "It Happened in Plainfield." Oh, what a tangled web we weave.