Showing posts from 2011

2011: The Year in RunKeeper

Here's my RunKeeper totals for the year - the sum of all my measured walking, running and cycling. For the non-metrically inclined, that's 846 miles. And for the non-calorie converting, that's 15 lbs. So, yeah, I'm pretty happy on the whole. If I have a 2012 new year's resolution, it would be to beat that total - try to get 1,500 km.

Where to watch UFC 141 in Edmonton and Calgary

It's a rare Friday PPV for UFC, with Lesnar vs. Overeem capping off the year for the fighting group in what should be a fight of Hobbesian proportions: nasty, brutish and short. But in a good way.

So if you want to go see it in a bar, here's the link.

Sunday afternoon humor

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Merry Christmas!

My favorite Christmas song this year:

Why does Amazon list 2 different prices for a Kindle book?

The "Related Items" section of shows this for Tom Clancy's new book. It's clearly $12.99 for the Kindle edition.

Click through and you see this. The price has jumped to $18.04.
Anyone want to take a shot as to an explanation?

It's a Christmas miracle!

BlogPress is finally updated!

EDIT: Well, maybe I spoke too soon. It still crashes every time I try to use the MANAGE tab.
SECOND EDIT: After a delete and reinstall of the app, it appears to be working perfectly now. Huzzah!

Survivor South Pacific Spoiler-filled Finale Review!

It's the Survivor South Pacific finale! Treachery! Betrayal! Long boring walks remembering voted-out Survivors!

And, in case you haven't figured it out by now, this review contains SPOILERS. And, frankly, including that word in my title quadruples the number of views I get. So if you don't want to know who wins, you'd better head off here.

The final duel between Ozzy and Russell Hantz's Nephew was ... hanging on a pole. Guess the producers ran out of ideas. Russell Hantz's Nephew finally dropped off somewhere past the 40 minute mark. He's on the jury. Ozzy is back in the game.

Coach and Ozzy had a chat about the final three. Ozzy doesn't believe that Coach really wants Ozzy in the final three. Coach made a basketball analogy. Obviously, he's been watching Amazing Race. Coach also noted that everyone has promised him a spot in the final three, "So it's my game to lose." Well, he's doomed.

The first immunity challenge was some ridic…

Sunday afternoon humor

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Survivor South Pacific - Episode 13 Spoiler Review

It's the penultimate episode of Survivor South Pacific. It's the final five. Which means this close alliance that has stuck together since Day 1 now has to tear itself apart. Muahahahahahah! Indeed, Coach notes "The real game begins tonight." YOU MEAN I'VE BEEN WATCHING THE REST OF THE SEASON FOR NOTHING!?

The epic duel between Ozzy and Edna was about a slide puzzle and puzzle cubes. Ozzy jumped out to an early lead, but the peanut gallery went to work helping Edna solve the puzzle cubes. But Ozzy won - despite the creative editing of last week's preview. So Edna is done and on the jury and Ozzy lives to battle another day.

Coach and Sophie had a conversation that included the phrase "Ozzy's Pleasure Dome." Yeah.

The top half of the show was very Albert-centric. And as someone who has not mentioned Albert in pretty much any of my recaps, I'm not going to start now.

Russell Hantz's Nephew won immunity, which threw a big wrench is Coach&#…

The Amazing Race 19 Season Finale Spoiler Review

It's the season finale of The Amazing Race, the show where typically the first 56 minutes doesn't matter and it all comes down to who gets the best cab driver at the end.

The teams had to fly from Panama City to the final destination of Atlanta, Georgia - where Amani and Marcus live. Marcus made a foot- WAIT!? He made a BASKETBALL metaphor!? Well, that's ... better. ACK! AND THEN IT WAS FOOTBALL METAPHOR AFTER FOOTBALL METAPHOR! WE GET IT! YOU USED TO PLAY FOOTBALL! But, please, English has so much more to offer than football metaphors. Heaven help us if they win.

The teams had to use a Lear Jet flight simulator to "land a plane." OK, that's cool. Jeremy and Sandy nailed it on their first try. Ernie and Cindy got it quickly and moved on. Marcus and Amani virtually crashed several times. No football metaphors were to be had, but it's good to know that Marcus does not have a future as an airline pilot.

From there, it was off to "the dump" - the f…

Sunday afternoon humor

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BlogPress: Still broken, but ...

At least there's now an explanation of what's going on...

Where to find a bar to watch UFC 140 in Edmonton and Calgary

It's UFC PPV weekend (again), and my current favorite fighter, Mr. Bones Jones, is defending his light heavyweight title against former champion Lyoto Machida.

Sadly, I'm unavailable to watch the show this weekend, but you should! Here's the link to find a bar.

Survivor South Pacific - Episode 12 Spoiler Review

Edna refused to participate in the morning tribe prayer because Russell Hantz's Nephew revealed at Tribal Council that she was the next to go. Russell Hantz's Nephew came back with Tree Mail that contained videos from home via BIG SPONSORSHIP PHONE DEAL. Everyone cried. Except me. And my cats.

The duel was Ozzy vs. Cochran. With a twist! The duel was grappling hooks, bags and table mazes. Ozzy won perhaps the closest duel of the season - a real nail biter. Cochran was defeated by his hero and ends up on the jury. Cochran cried but got a nice round of applause.

Jeff brought out the Loved Ones (tm) of the remaining survivors. There was much weeping. Rick (whose name may be appearing in my recaps tonight for the first time ALL SEASON) copped a feel on his wife. What a romantic guy. Russell Hantz's Nephew embraced Russell Hantz's Brother while Survivor played weird Lord of the Rings style Shire music. Ozzy had to choose one person to spend with their loved one. He picked …

The Amazing Race 19 - Episode 11 Spoiler Review

The penultimate (such a great word) episode of The Amazing Race started with the racers dressing as two characters from The Adventures of Tin-Tin - Johnson and Johnson (or the other names they went by), the detectives (No, I don't know who they are, either). The snowboarders thought it was related to Charlie Chaplin, and fell behind.

Nine minutes in, Marcus made a football metaphor. Sigh. Well, I can only hope that if they win it all, he spikes Phil in the end zone. That would make it all worth it.

From Belgium, it was off to Panama City, Panama. Everyone were on the same train and plane (I checked on Expedia - it's an 18 hour flight. That's gotta suck.) It was off to a tribal village where they had to get ... tattooed!? Oh, they weren't real. But they were the next clue, sending them to the San Francisco Towers in Panama City to walk a tightrope between buildings. The Detour was a choice between going to a giant fish market and delivering fish to vendors, or making s…

Sunday afternoon humor

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BlogPress: Still broken. Yes, still.

Two months on, the BlogPress app remains hopelessly broken, rendered pretty much unusable by iOS 5. The developer claims the fix has been submitted and is in review - indeed, he claimed this in an email to me a week ago.

But given the speed at which Apple reviews apps, I find I ridiculous to believe that it has taken EIGHT WEEKS for Apple to approve the update.

In the meantime, I can only recommend that anyone looking for an iOS blogging app avoid BlogPress until it's fixed. Assuming that ever happens.
As far as alternative apps, the official Blogger app is rudimentary but works - and it's free. BlogBooster comes in free and paid flavors and it's OK. This entry is being done with Blogger+. It's also a paid app. But so far I'm liking it an awful lot. Not quite as full featured as BlogPress, but better layout and picture controls than Blogger and BlogBooter. The composing function is a bit counter-intuitive but once you figure it out, it works fine.

Survivor South Pacific - Episode 12 Spoiler Review

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

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


Survivor South Pacific - Episode 11 Spoiler Review

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


(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


Disney World videos!

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

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

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

(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.


Orlando Vacation - Day 6 - Lazy Thursday

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

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!

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!


Orlando vacation - Day 2 - Animal Kingdom and more!

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…