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Showing posts from November, 2011

Survivor South Pacific - Episode 12 Spoiler Review

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Cochran called a team meeting basically saying that he wanted to stick around one more tribal council and then he'd be happy with being voted off.

Dawn, Ozzy and Whitney had to stack dishes at Redemption Island to stay in the game. No, really! OK, it was stacking dishes on a balancing arm, but still...

Dawn's stack crashed about 11 dishes in. She's on the jury. Whitney lasted 2 more dishes, and Ozzy remains at Redemption Island.

Back at camp, Albert watched Edna do laundry for 2 hours while he reclined in a hammock, and then he proceeded to douse the fire by accident, getting his tribe annoyed at him and calling him "Prince Albert" behind his back.

Albert won immunity. A prince among castaways. He also won a massage retreat and could take someone with him. He brought Coach along. Albert then gave away his reward to Cochran (as it was Cochran's birthday). (Cochran admitted to the camera his birthday was six months ago.)

Tribal council turned into a big mess o…

The Amazing Race 19 - Episode 10 Spoiler Review

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It's part 2 of the leg, and teams were sent to the MAJOR CAR COMPANY test track. I'd name the car company, but they aren't paying me a billion dollars in sponsorship rights.

The road block was great: one team member had to take a MAJOR CAR COMPANY ICONIC CAR through a test track, completing a series of high speed exercises: hitting 100 mph and then braking in a specific spot, and doing a high speed slalom pylon time trial. And then victory doughnuts. Mmmm ... doughnuts. Marcus, of course, made football analogies while driving his car. Of course he did.

From the test track it was off to Gent, Belgium for the detour: either build a raft and search for a clue, or assemble a waffle stand and make and decorate waffles. Mmmm ... waffles. The snowboarders and Amani/Marcus did the rafting. Ernie and Cindy and Jeremy and Sandy did the waffles. Poorly. Bill and Cathi pulled up the rear the entire leg and ended up doing the rafts.

Ernie and Cindy managed to get through the waffle ta…

Sunday afternoon humor

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Survivor South Pacific - Episode 11 Spoiler Review

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NOTE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you don't want to know who gets eliminated from Survivor, click here and do something fun instead.

Actually, I lied. This review contains no spoilers because it was the annual US Thanksgiving Week Recap Show.

Which means, "Nothing to see here, folks. Move along."

Next week: A real show. Cochran and Coach have some kind of Emperor-Darth Vader thing going.

The Amazing Race 19 - Episode 9 Spoiler Review

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WARNING TO MY CO-WORKERS: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

(Now I hope I can still get in the building tomorrow...)

Teams started the leg in Copenhagen. They had to memorize a poem, ride a bike and recite the poem in proper dramatic fashion. Amani and Marcus did particularly well, which gave Marcus an opportunity to make football metaphors again. One of the snowboarders didn't bring enough drama to the dramatic recitation and had to do it again. From there, it was off to the original Legoland Park. The teams had to put together their next clue from Lego while riding a spinning teacup-style amusement park ride (OK, it was a pirate ride). Jeremy and Sandy lost a piece outside their spinning thingy and had to start over.

The clue told them to head to a train station, where they boarded a train to Brussels. Ernie and Cindy bought their tickets and promptly dropped the tickets for the second stage of the trip. Drama! They got on the second train anyway, hoping no one would check for tic…

Sunday afternoon humor

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Disney World videos!

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I finally got around to uploading some of our video from Disney World.

This is part of the Lion King musical performance. It's the Tumble Monkeys gymnastic routine. Fantastic stuff.

We were in the right place at the right time for this Barbershop Quartet/Bells performance of Silver Bells.


From the Hollywood Studios backlot tour - a tanker truck fire "movie shoot".

One of the live-action stunt scenes from the excellent Indiana Jones show.

A variety of car stunts, from the "Lights, Motors Action" extreme stunt show:

Survivor South Pacific - Episode 10 Spoiler Review

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I missed last week's show due to being on vacation, but I caught it last night on VOD. Ozzy, of course, was voted to Redemption Island. Again. And then Jim. Double elimination!

Everyone was on hand to watch the three-way duel between Ozzy, Keith and Jim. Only the winner of the duel stays in the game, while the other two start the jury.

Jim was the first one out. Keith was second one out. Ozzy wins and stays alive in the game.

The immunity challenge involved the Survivors carrying bowls of rice on their heads through a balancing course. Sophie won immunity. (This may be the first time I've typed her name so far this season.)

Dawn got the boot at Tribal Council and was sent to Redemption Island. And with 15 minutes still left in the show, there was a SHOCKING TWIST! There was an immediate immunity challenge and subsequent immediate vote. It was an "answer cube" challenge. Sophie won immunity again, beating Whitney, who was quickly voted out to Redemption Island.

Next …

The Amazing Race 19 - Episode 8 Spoiler Review

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I missed last week's episode entirely and apparently Justin and Jennifer were eliminated.

And I missed the first 15 minutes of this episode, so I completely suck as a reality TV blogger, huh? (In my defense, we had company and were eating dinner.)

When I tuned in, the contestants were learning some old tyme dance in a Danish castle.

This show featured the best new detour ever: a rabbit steeplechase. It was so fun.

There was a double U-Turn. Ernie and Cindy U-Turned Bill and Cathi, who, in turn, U-Turned Laurence and Zac.

Ernie and Cindy won the leg. Amani and Marcus were in the back most of the leg, which gave Marcus numerous opportunities to make come-from-behind football metaphors.

Jeremy and Sandy drove the wrong direction and ended up falling behind everyone else. But they made it to the mat before Laurence and Zac, who hit a giant traffic jam getting to the pot stop. So they were eliminated.

Next week: Bad theatre, vomiting and body building.

Orlando Vacation - Day 7 - Kennedy Space Center

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(Note: While this blog is being written on Friday, I have no idea when it will be posted. Due to a complete systems failure at our resort, we have no wifi and thus no way to post this at the moment.)



We finished our vacation with a bang visiting the Kennedy Space Center. "Awesome" is an over-used word but entirely appropriate in this case. This. Was. Awesome. An absolute trip highlight and probably one of the best things I've ever done.








What did we see? Everything: space shuttles, a couple of 3D Imax movies, moon rocks, lunar landers, the massive Saturn rocket... even a gator!




We tried to find a shot that would illustrate the size of the Saturn rocket, which is 3 yards longer than a football field. These shots were as good as we could get.







Canadarm represent!



We even got to see the famous launch pad of all the shuttle missions.



By happy coincidence, we arrived at the gift shop just as one of the retired astronauts was signing autographs, so I got my hat signed.




It…

Orlando Vacation - Day 6 - Lazy Thursday

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Today we went shopping at outlet stores (and didn't buy anything). We played mini-golf at our resort (and tied our scores). We hung out at the pool (and ate caramel-chocolate popcorn). We bought an Orlando mug from Starbucks to go with our collection.




Yeah, it's all wrapped up for travel. But, really, it looks cool!

Basically, it was a lazy day, which we really haven't had since being down here what with the full days at the Disney Parks. And it was great in its own way - a slower pace, and having a sunny, warm and quiet day at the resort. Ahhhhh....

Tomorrow we wrap things up with a trip to Kennedy Space Center before heading home (sob!) on Saturday.

Edit: Here's the Starbucks mug


Orlando Vacation - Day 5 - Hollywood Studios

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It was "watch things be set on fire and explode" day today at Hollywood Studios, where we saw some amazing stunt shows and ate a giant turkey leg.

By far the highlight was the Indiana Jones attraction, which recreated three scenes from Raiders with life actors, real sets and real stunts. It was absolutely fantastic to watch and so much fun. Definitely one to see when you come to this park.

Close behind that was the Lights, Motors, Action car stunt show, which also sets things on fire and generally makes loud car noises. A real male thing. (I took video of this, so you'll have to wait for me to upload those.)

We also took in the Backlot Tour, which true to form, set things on fire and made things explode, so it also was a hit.

The Backlot Tour also featured a lot of movie props, including this one from the Hanna Montana movie. And while it was not set on fire nor did it explode, I figured my kids would get a kick out of it.
Other highlights included Star Tours (which we …

Orlando Vacation - Day 4 - Epcot!

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Today we were off to the world famous Epcot Center - not to be confused with the slightly less famous Epcor Center. Epcot is known for the World's Biggest Golf Ball (pictured above) as well as nine pound lemons (pictured below).
Epcot is a completely different theme park from the rest of Disney, with less focus on rides and more on food. The highlight was undoubtedly the international food kiosks where we sampled food from around the world - including seared cheese with honey and pistachios from Greece, several shrimp dishes from Australia, Mexico and China, and some fantastic chocolate creme brûlée from France.

But there were rides. We did Soarin', the hang-glider simulator, the Fast Track car course (which was amazing and also an hour long wait) and a couple of others. But today was really about the food. Yummy!

We left Epcor mid-afternoon and headed to Downtown Disney to do our Christmas shopping and walk around. The Lego store was really cool. No, kids, we didn't bu…

Orlando vacation - Day 3 - MAGIC KINGDOM!

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IT'S THE MAGIC KINGDOM! SO MUCH TO DO! MONORAIL! SPLASH MOUNTAIN! RIVER RAFTING! BUZZ LIGHTYEAR! SCARY STITCH RIDE! MONSTERS INC! PIRATES! SPEEDWAY! GIANT CUPCAKES! PARADE! SHOPPING! ELECTRIC PARADE! ANGUS BURGERS! MORE BUZZ LIGHTYEAR! MORE SPEEDWAY! FIREWORKS! MONORAIL! RESORT! EXHAUSTED! BED TIME!

Orlando vacation - Day 2 - Animal Kingdom and more!

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It was our first full day at Disney World and we decided to head to Animal Kingdom first and head right to the safari trip. It was quite fun - I got to see giraffes and Char saw elephants, so we each ended up viewing our favorite jungle animals and getting some pictures. The rest of Animal Kingdom was also good - its basically a big African zoo, so you can't go wrong.

In the afternoon, we took in the Lion King show, which was absolutely tremendous. Just a fantastic live performance. The Finding Nemo musical was also fun, but slightly less awe inspiring than Lion King.

After wrapping up our day at Animal Kingdom, we were going to hop a Disney bus to Downtown Disney to have supper and do some shopping, but that turned out to be a transportation option not offered. So we grabbed a bus for Hollywood Studios instead and spent a couple of unplanned but just as fun hours there. The Star Wars "Star Tours" flight simulator ride was great, and we also saw the Muppets 3D show, wh…

Sunday afternoon humor

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Orlando vacation - day 1

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It's travel day, which always seems to have its share of fun. The Edmonton airport was way busier than usual at 5 a.m. We were told by a security/customs official that they arrived for work to discover 3 extra flights had been booked for early departure which meant a crush of people for which they were not prepared. But we got through the long lines without issue and made it on the plane with plenty of time to spare - only to sit on the tarmac for 35 minutes. So our recent record of delayed flights continued.

The flight to Houston was uneventful save 5 minutes of nasty turbulence that shut down the beverage service (after we'd gotten our coffee, thank goodness) and another plane passing us going the other way. Which was cool to look at for the 8 seconds it lasted. And despite the fact I'm reading a book about physics (really!) I couldn't tell if it was a big plane far away or a little plane close up.

Houston was nice - from the air. Lots more trees than I assumed there…

M-I-C - See you in a week! K-E-Y Why? Because we're off to Disney World!

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My lovely wife and I are off to Disney World for a week of rest and relaxation and an early celebration of our 21st wedding anniversary. My inlaws are watching the kids (Yes, we're going to Disney without the kids!) for the week. As you read this, we should be on our way to the airport.


As is often the case when I travel, I blog the trip, so check back here regularly for updates (or follow my Twitter during our travel days for much fun and excitement). That's assuming, of course, that we have wifi where we're staying. Today: Edmonton, to Houston to Orlando. Will tweet from the airports and update Facebook for sure. Next blog may be tonight or it may be tomorrow.

The iPhone 4 takes good macro photos

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I was messing around with my iPhone tonight and found that the it takes pretty decent macro photos.

Here's a shot of a flower in our bed spread.



That's also done on full digital zoom.

Here's the same shot with a quarter for reference on the size of the above flower.



Nothing earth shattering, but it's nice to know that in a pinch, your iPhone can grab a good shot of something tiny, up close.

BlogPress: Still broken

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This is a test post from the free BlogBooster app.

Normally, I remote blog with BlogPress, but ever since iOS 5, it's been broken. That message about a fix submitted to the App Store has been there for 3 weeks. Sure, it's a First World Problem, but I did pay $3 for the app. It would be nice if it worked.

So, with a trip Stateside next week, I need a new blogging app. The official Blogger app isn't robust enough for my needs. But this little app seems to be doing the job so far. Hooray for me!

This is only a test

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This is a test of the Emergency Blog Publishing System.

No, actually, it's a test of some new feeding services that I'm trying to get my blog posts auto-published to Twitter and Facebook. So let's see how it works.

Survivor South Pacific - Episode 8 Spoiler Review

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Last week on Survivor, Ozzy concocted this ridiculous plot to send himself to Redemption Island while handing over his immunity idol to ... oh, I don't know. I mean, it was explained, but I can't possibly believe this makes any sense, and I pretty much expect Ozzy to lose the duel, be out of the show in the first 10 minutes and have the remaining 50 minutes the other Survivors just sitting around with Jeff Probst, laughing and drinking beer and making fun of Ozzy as the dumbest Survivor player in the history of the world, and possibly several alien worlds and alternate dimensions.

Well, I can always hope.

So Ozzy went to Redemption and spun his web of lies to Christine, who hung on every word. And then Ozzy did a big theatrical production in front of both tribes at the duel while Jeff Probst stood there entirely stone faced while Ozzy ranted at Cochran. Jeff noted that today's duel results in the winner going back into the game and the loser going home.

Ozzy smoked the du…