Lake Tahoe

After having lived in Lake Tahoe for many years I have finally achieved something I always wanted, to setup my own blog. The area I live in is one of the most amazing places on the planet and as an avid photographer I wanted to have a space on the web where I could post some of my favorite shots.

As someone who lives close to one of the largest lakes in the US I have access to the most amazing wildlife, water activities (fishing) and, of course, plenty of skiing in the winter months. In fact, winter is my favorite time for taking photos as an alpine forest covered with snow creates the perfect backdrop and I could spend weeks testing out different shots, especially with the lake in the background.

Tahoe

My other passion is for golf and if I am not out with my fishing rod or camera then you will probably find me hanging out at Lake Tahoe Golf Course. I wish I was a better golfer to be honest but living in a region that has fairly extreme winters limits the amount of play I can get throughout the year. Any avid golfer will know that if you stop playing for a few months it is super difficult to try and pick up where you left off!

I hope you will check back and follow my simple journey of life around Lake Tahoe as I update with all my activities and of course some interesting photos!

 

Winter is on the Way – Starting to Grow Some Plants

One of the worst parts about living in the US is the length of the winter season as this can really end up becoming quite depressing. The conditions are actually quite a bit worse for those living close to a large body of water making it even more uncomfortable.

I mentioned in a previous post how I suffer from allergies and other health related issues when it comes to humidity and air quality so the winter season can have negative effects on my health depending on how severe it becomes. As an avid golfer and fisherman this is also a really bad time of year as I will struggle to enjoy my hobbies. Golf is generally completely out but sometimes I can squeeze in some fishing depending on how cold the weather is. To be honest, though, it is not really that much fun sitting out their in the cold and it is also becomes slightly harder to catch anything – I think the fish also like to hide away!

In order to alleviate some of the boredom and give me something to keep me occupied I thought I would try my hand at growing some indoor plants. I have a cousin who is quite into this and it seems to be a great (but very slow) hobby – especially for winter. I have bought myself some plant lighting and also bought some purpose built plant shelving easy access to water (my sink) for now. Some of the more professional setups have built in water and time switches on the heat and lights but I decided to do things manually initially so I can learn a little bit more about it.

Growing indoor plants can be a nice way to grow some herbs or vegetables in a controlled environment and makes a nice addition when you want to cook something. It is quite handy to be able to grab some fresh herbs in the middle of cooking to get that extra awesome flavor. Indoor plants do not suffer from insect problems and weather issues either so I am told the results are normally very good and the plants are top quality – I will report back in a month or two and let you know the results.

Otherwise, it has been quiet around here lately – I am hoping to have some family visiting over the festive season which should break up the monotony a little bit but that is not confirmed as yet. I also plan to invest some cash in a new PC – something I have been meaning to do for some time. Setting that up can also keep me busy during winter.

I hope to update soon with some pictures – it is beautiful around here with the leaves a golden color so expect a picture or two with my next entry.

 

Fresh Air, Improved Health with my New Humidifier

Recently, I decided to install a humidifier throughout the house due to the dry air that has been messing with my breathing and chest. I have to say that I am blown away with the results and I now feel so much better.

It all started a couple of months ago when I realized I was feeling light headed for most of the day and ended up with headaches that were borderline sinusitis. If anyone has suffered with this type of pain before then they will know how bad it can get. These are really painful times with a mixture of pain and pressure. I also ended up with a post-nasal drip, the most irritating thing that can happen to you!

A couple of visits to the doctor did nothing to help so I set about doing some online research to see if I could find out any potential causes. There are so many possibilities that cover everything from mold and plant allergies through to infections and other illness but the one thing that caught my eye was the humidity theory. I had not really considered that to be the major cause but I thought I would go for it and install a humidifier and the results were amazing. In almost 24 hours I was feeling much better and now I think I might just be on the mend for good!

I am still spending time out on the golf course, have to get as much golf in as I can before winter arrives! This is always a good time of year to play as it is still nice and warm but not too hot and I find my performance is always good. Winter will be here soon so I need to get in as much game time as I can – this also seems to improve my health issues as fresh air is always healthy!

Last week I spent a few days fishing at a remote part of the lake, this is one of the perks of living in the area – you learn secret spots that no-one else knows even exists. It is nice to escape from other people and just spent time out in nature. Fishing is a wonderful pastime as you have to relax and take it easy but there is just enough going on to keep boredom from settling in!

I will update soon on my health issues and let you know if my humidifier is still keeping me nice and healthy!

 

Keeping My Golf Game Fresh Over Winter

So, as I mentioned in my first post one of my obsessions is with the game of golf. As any other golfers out there will know it is a hard game to learn and an even harder game to improve upon. The only real way to get a hold on the game is to schedule weekly practice and be very strict about sticking with it. This is all well and good until we look at where I live, in an area that suffers from extremely harsh winters making it all but impossible to keep my practice going.

After a couple of years of frustration I finally found the solution (after a visit to the PGA merchandising show in 2012) and that is to get myself a studio setup at home to house a golf simulator. I bought myself an Optishot from Dancin Dogg and you can learn more about it by reading this Optishot Review which shows all the features this product comes with. At then end of the day it is not expensive for what you get and I have found it useful in maintaining my swing over winter.

Simulator Screen Shot

To get something like this setup you do need to consider the amount of space you have available in your home – the product does not work outdoors so tall ceilings and a fair amount of space are important. A friend of mine has his setup in the garage so there is that option if your home is a little bit too small.

With the Optishot you can play full simulated rounds of golf as well as practice in the driving range mode. The stats are fairly accurate, enough to get an idea of each swing, and you can actually work on improving faults while you practice.

The only other items required is a decent PC, now this is important as you will find that the graphics can stutter a bit if you don’t have the processing power. I use an LCD display but if you have the budget then I would recommend a projector as these enhance the experience and make the whole thing more realistic. Installing everything is really simple except for the sensors. These can take some time to calibrate and this is why I recommend having a dedicated area for the simulator, it becomes a pain if you have to calibrate and setup every time you want to use it!

I guess it does cost a fair bit to setup but if you love the game of golf then you will find it lots of fun and certainly good enough to keep your golf swing in tune over the winter months.