Rowboat Rescue in Mannasquan Resevoir

Mannasquan resevoir Rowing adventure

Manasquan Resevoir Boat House in Howell, NJYesterday, we went to the Mannasquan Resevoir for a day long outing. Our objective was to do some row boating, and have a leisurely picnic. There were about 16 of us.  Now of course these plans seem pretty sedate and simplistic, but oh boy did we have an adventure!

My whole family (except my wife, who was working – very important to this post) went to the Resevoir and rented rowboats and kayaks for a leasurely adventure on the lake.  My warning flares should have gone off when the attendent said “rowboats” are harder than kayaks.

We rented 3 rowboats (4 in a boat and) and one kayak.

As soon as we got into the rowboat we knew we were in trouble, because none of us had past experience in rowing a boat. Oops, let me say that only one person had done any rowing before this and this person was NOT on my boat.

Well how hard can paddling a rowboat be? Very…

First off:  if you are not well coordinated between you right and left hand you already have one strike against you.

Secondly: If you don’t know how to row a boat while not facing the direction that you are going, this second strike will get you in deep trouble.

Thirdly: Always make sure you have able bodies on your boat, in case you need relief from Rowing.. Also make sure your navigators (facing the direction the boat is going, know how to naviagate the rowing.

Ok, back to the videotape.

We  start off and we start spinning, because we decided to have two rowers and if the two rowers are not synchronized, you will spin in circles with endless futility.

So we finally got our act togther and we started to “row, row row your boat down the lake”.  No.. let’s just say we were drifting and spinning in the lake. That’s more like reality.

After about an hour of this activity, we realized we were about 1 to 2 miles off shore and we needed to get back.. this was the beginning of the end.

Of the 3 boats, only one boat got back without help (Speedboat Tow).

We had somehow managed to exchange passangers in midst lake and I had my daughters and my friends teenage daughter (my co-captain) on my boat.

My younger daughter  “N” was on the aft and the older one “P” was on the front side facing the front (our so called navigator).

Me and my co-pilot “V” were trying to go straight (with not much luck). Keep in mind that after an hour of being on the lake, we knew we were in trouble and making it back to the boathouse was going to take a miracle.

So “V” and I kept on rowing in unison trying to make it back to shore, with no luck. For every 15 feet we rowed in a straight line, we were sent back 30 feet by the strng wind on the lake. Of course we didn’t realize that the wind was doing this to us until “after” our rescue boat towed us to shore.

Our other boat with my sister-in-law and other kids, was in deeper trouble than we were.  She fell ill and was in need of help. Fortunately my wife  who was at work called us on all our cells and was getting the blow by blow of our misadventure. So she initiated the rescue of all of us.

So after 2 hours of being on the lake, both boats were making no progress of making it back to shore.  “V” and I were determined to make it. We got to within a mile of shore before we were rescued. My sister-in-law was about 2 miles off shore when she was rescued.

Getting rescued was ok, but “V” and I knew that it would take us at least 2 or more hours to make it back to shore with the wind conditions.

Both “V” and I were determined. Yet we were so embarassed/upset that we kept our head down until we got back to the shore. We had the utmost confidence that eventually we would make it back to shore.

Lessons to be learned from this adventure:

  • Always have keep track of the wind conditions when you are on a row boat.  we were facing a head wind and didn’t even realize it. In between our spins ,we were making forward progress , yet every time we stopped, we got pushed back double the distance of our row.. 😦
  • Before you go rowing,  pick a day that has very low winds, as the winds will wreck havoc on your rowing experience.
  • Rowing looks easy, it is not. Unless you have a concerted effort, spinning (360 degrees) will be the result, if you cannot keep the rowboat straight.
  • Always keep track of how far from shore you are, otherwise  you will drift further and further from the shore.
  • Have a cell phone, plenty of drinking water, and protein bars on board  when you go row boating. With the sun and efforts, you will dehydrate quickly and hunger will set in.
  • Never underestimate the difficulty it takes to row a boat in a straight line from/to shore.

When we finally got back to shore (after out tow), we took off our life preservers and had an exhausted picnic.. Of course we had to make an emergency run to the local store, as we had forgotten to get enough Soda/Water and utensils.

Personal thanks to the Monmouth County Parks Park Rangers that came out and towed us back to shore!

Rules for the Kids of the 21st Century

11 Rules for kids as listed by Bill Gates.

I was reading my email this morning  and a friend of mine sent me these rules for kids.  I was going to send it out to my friends, but I figured I’d share with this my friends in the blogsphere.  I’m sure that many kids/teenagers have seen these rules before, but sharing with you folks…

Fortunately, both my kids follow most of the rules listed below. The rules are especially pertinent as we approach summer when many of our teenage kids are out there looking for jobs are starting their first job….

To reinforce this powerful message, I posted the following on the bulletin board that we have in our house.   I especially liked Rule # 1.

In my house, my kids even went out and bought me a shirt a few years ago with the following quote and it is a classic:

“MYOB, Next issue move on”.

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Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parent’s fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them. Parents stop babying your kids and giving them everything they want.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time..

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to
leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

If you can read this – Thank a teacher!

Updated on 6/18:

Thaks to all for their comments.. I don’t think this is copyrighted. I showed this to my kids and they liked it too!

Scambusters

Scammers and Web Based insects which attack. How to fight these attacks.

Today with the way technology is proceeding at a breakneck speed, we are all inundated with offers either via email, telephone or by on-line malware. This post talks about some tips to avoid being scammed. In today’s of technology overload, you are your own last line of defense against spam, phishing, malware, virus’s, and any web born aggrevation.

Hmm, do I sound like someone who has gone down this path?

To battle the scourge of being scammed or having your identity stolen, here are a couple of really good sites which help you follow up on this ageless motto:

“If it sounds too good to be true, it absolutely is”.

  1. Scambusters – Check out questionable offers
  2. Scam – On-line community forums

Some tips to avoid being scammed or having your identity stolen (my list of on-line NO-NO’s):

  • Don’t open ANY emails that look suspicious (No you have not won $5M in the European Union’s lottery that you never entered)
  • Don’t confirm any personal information via email – NO valid financial institution will ask you for your pin code to “confirm” your identity.
  • Never ever give your credit card number to anyone on the phone, if you have any doubt of  who the caller is. I encountered this when I kept on getting “restricted” calls from the Policemen’s fund raiser on my home phone. As soon as you ask for proof of identity or email confirmation, the phone line mysteriously goes dead….
  • Make sure your Antivirus, hardware/software firewall, spyware blocker, anti-phishing (browser) addons for Firefox or IE are updated. If this sounds like I’m over-protected, I’m not. Even with all of the above, I’ve seen many of these villans attack my machines at home. So in order to protect yourself, you need to have a combinations. I’ve used both McAfee and Norton. These days I lean towards McAfee, only because, it’s provided free by most web providers (Comcast, Optimum, etc…). I’v also stopped using IE all together and only use Firefox on all my machines.
  • Make sure you disable Pop-Ups (this is how how I caught the dreaded “Your machine has a virus, you need to purchase ….”  virus). You can always enable or override with simple keystrokes.
  • Do not accept any invitation/messages  from anyone that you do not know on social networking sites.  Yes that means me, a noted Facebook and LinkedIn fanatic.
  • Do not accept an invitation : When you get an invite from someone that you have no clue to be your “friend” on your instant messager client (cindyfunxx38  is not your friend)

Overall, I can safely say: “If you encounter stangers bearing gifts, you can almost be assured that you will be given a gift that will last for a lifetime”.

If you know of any additional scambuster sites, leave me a comment.

Tickled by Life – Life Enhancement

I was having a really difficult at work this week. 😦  and I needed something to cheer me up.

I came across the site Tickled by Life and before I could finish reading one article, I realized that this Blog was a keeper and wanted to share with my readers.

I especiallly enjoyed the article What goes around Comes around..

Enjoy!

Thrifty Fun – Fun, advice and blogs

This entry comes as a courtesy of my Sis-In-Law (RM). Good work RM. Bet you never thought you’d be published at Dad’s Taxi! 🙂

Thrifty Fun is a pretty cool site which has some really nice featured articles and newsletters which you can subscribe to. The site is family oriented, so it seems to be a pretty good place for information and tips! Most of the focus of this site is related to the home and tips on how to solve household problems. Found that to be pretty useful.

It’s here that I found another link to an interesting My Frugal Life Blog site.The site offers some excellent advice, free newsletters, tips and so much more.  You can browse the various topics and much more.

What I liked best  was the disclaimer for the site. Now I gotta figure out how to do the same for Dad’s Taxi.

Take a look along the bottom of the page and you’ll find some interesting sites for budgeting, savings advice, couponing, ezines (newsletters), etc..

Overall, the site is really nice and deserves a detailed look.. enjoy..

PS. Thanks RM.

CELL PHONE DO NOT CALL REGISTRY

Cell Phone Do Not Call Registry. Registration process

Mea Culpa. After I posted this entry, I realized that I had fallen into one of the olders email hoaxes that has been on the Internet.

A good friend of mine directed me to the Urban Legends site which discusses the below.

There is no deadline. Below is the excerpt which makes this entry moot. Again I don’t normally post this kind of information without verifying, but in this case, I did.

Comments: Yes, you can add your cell phone number(s) to the National Do Not Call Registry.

But no, you won’t suddenly be at the mercy of 10,000 telemarketers if you don’t.

While it’s true that several of the major wireless phone providers announced a plan some years ago to establish a 411 directory of customers’ cell phone numbers, it is not true that the plan involved publishing said directory for any and all to read. Participating companies said the numbers would be made available only via telephone, only to users who dialed directory assistance and paid a fee, and only with customer consent.

In any case, the point has been moot since 2006, when the plan to create a 411 directory for cell phone numbers was indefinitely postponed.

******************************************************************

Notice: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public next month.

Starting February 2009, Cell phone numbers will go public.

If you want to avoid telemarketing or sales calls, follow the process below, and it should put your cell phone on the DO NOT CALL LIST put into place by the Federal Trade Commission.

This is the National Do Not Call Registry sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission.  You may also register your home phone number on this number too but it is essential to register your cell phone because all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.

…. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS MADE TO YOUR CELL PHONE.

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:    888-382-1222.

Important thing here is that you MUST call from the number you are registering. According to the site:

Your registration will not expire. Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. Read more about it at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/04/dncfyi.shtm.

It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.

HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.

If after you do this and you continue to get those annoying sales calls on your cell, you can always call to the National Do Not Call Registry to initiate a complaint against the cell phone spammer!

The National Do Not Call Registry Serves multiple purposes:

  1. Register multiple phone numbers to be put on the DO NOT CALL List with the FTC
  2. Verify that your number is on the DO NOT CALL list (via email)
  3. Initiate complaints against the organizations that continue to call you when you are on the DO NOT CALL List.

Thanks to my tennis buddy Drew for enlightening me with this tidbit..

Of course if you like sales calls interrupting your privacy, you can ignore… 🙂

Medical Advice

Finding a good doctor

I was reading the health section of the New York Times on my iPhone and I came across this great article about finding a good doctor that I wanted to share with you.

This article talks about the medical related sites that you can go to get FREE  medical information. The sitest they listed were not the typical sites that I knew about.  Below are some of the best ones I saw:

I could go on and on but the article on the  NY Times website  – In Search of a Good Doctor,is truly a great starting point for you and your family for everything related to medical advice.

I personally found this article by Dr Chen, to be one of the best reads of this new year.

Money Savings Guide

Here’s a site that I liked. The layout was quite clean and it allowed me to read some excellent tips for saving money. What I liked about this site is that instead of just providing me with coupons or coupon codes, it provided me with articles that make me think!

Everyone wants to be reminded of common sense ideas for their family, kids, houseold, gas, banking and credit cards, and money saving reviews and ideas.

What I also liked was that there was a blog section where there were people wrote about various ways to save money. I noticed that the adverting was minimal. Didn’t see any pop-up ups, etc..

I thought the advice offered on saving money and spending wisely across everything for your life was well laid out and extremely usable.