Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Anniversary Deals

Almost to the Top, Reaching for Self Esteem


Monday, February 19th, 2007 — 5:19pm PDT
Comments 13

A staple of Canadian television when I was growing up were those short Body Break spots featuring Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod – brought to us by ParticipACTION. The catchy little Body Break tune would chime in and you’d see Hal and Joanne eating right, power walking and telling us what we can do to live a healthy lifestyle. They were always cheery and wore matching pastel coloured track suits.

Starting in the early 1970s, the non-profit agency encouraged Canadians to get fit. The program included a series of television ads that encouraged people of all ages to “keep fit and have fun.” The program ran for three decades, until its funding was cut in 2001. [CBC]

It was announced today that the Federal government pledged $5 million (over 2 years) to renew ParticipACTION to help Canadians develop healthier lifestyles.

shuttle-run.jpgNot sure if the two are related, but when we were in elementary school we had the Canada Fitness Program. It was a check-list of tasks to complete including (but not limited to) long distance running, push ups, sit-ups, and of course, the all-time most-feared – the shuttle run.

Recently in an episode of Corner Gas one of the cops, Davis, was tricked into thinking there was a fitness requirement for the force so he got Brent’s dad to whip him into shape. Oscar went old-school and used the Canada Fitness program to get Davis going. It brought back so many memories, especially of the dreaded shuttle run.

Once a year the older grades would have a list of fitness activities to complete. Depending on the level of difficulty you were able to accomplish, you were given a Canada Fitness Award. They were little badges ranging from bronze, silver, gold and the BEST you could achieve was ‘excellence’. This was a most-coveted badge and in my grade 7 year I reached it. Unfortunately due to a teachers’ strike in the spring, I was never awarded my badge. Go figure.

Amazing Race All Stars Tonight


Sunday, February 18th, 2007 — 4:19pm PDT
Comments 8

Season 11 is upon us as we gear up for the first all star edition of The Amazing Race. If you’ve checked out my About page or read the short bio on the top of the sidebar you’d know I also write for Amazing Race fan blogs.

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We started with season 9, then continued with 10 and we’re ready to go for 11, which kicks off this evening.

THE AMAZING RACE: ALL-STARS reunites some of the most memorable, entertaining and controversial Teams from previous seasons and sets them on a new adventure of a lifetime. Traveling more than 45,000 miles, spanning 5 continents in 28 days, these Teams will pair up for one final trek around the globe as they battle the best of the best in a fierce race to the finish for their second attempt at the million dollar prize. [CBS]

If you’re a fan of the show, please stop by – we had some rather heated debates last season and hopefully our recaps and comments will keep the conversation going this time around. We even caught the attention of former racer, Chip last season who linked to us on the official ‘Return of the Racers blog’ on the CBS site.

Episode 1 of Season 11 is tonight at 8:00pm PT on CBS. Also to warn you, we often catch the Easy Coast feed of the show (and sometimes live-blog the show). In such an event, we will notify if any post is a *spoiler* so you don’t come across anything you don’t want to see in advance.

Amazing Race 11 – Episode 1 Live Blog Spoiler


Sunday, February 18th, 2007 — 6:00am PDT
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*** SPOILER ***

The start of the show was time-delayed about 15 minutes so we unfortunately caught the tail end of 60 Minutes. What was Anderson Cooper doing on there?

The racers have been introduced and take off from Miami, Florida. I had no idea one of the teams consists of one of the guys from the Frat Boy team last season and one of the girls from the Pinkies that same season.

Team List: Oswald & Danny, Kevin & Drew, John Vito & Jill, Uchenna & Joyce, David & Mary, Charla & Mirna, Rob & Amber, Teri & Ian, Eric & Danielle, Joe & Bill, Dustin & Kandice

Uchenna and Joyce won their season. If you think back, when they won the million they said they were going to use it to get pregnant, in vitro. Since that hasn’t happened they’re doing this to rekindle their passion for each other that’s waned over the last few stressful years. Rob and Amber (Mr. and Mrs. reality show) are back with a vengeance after coming in 2nd during their season. I have totally missed Oswald and Danny – they are SO fun.

The rest of the intros were pretty basic, and the nicknames for the teams are coming out already. Kentucky, the Barbies aka the Beauty Queens, Mirna & Shmirna, and the Frat boy n’ Pinkie. Teams race to grab their first clue, hop into an SUV and head for the airport where they will fly to Ecuador.

When teams get to the airport they realize there are TWO flights to Ecuador. This is something we lacked last season – teams always evened up at the airport, no one was left behind and everyone was always on the same plane. Of course this lead to a lack of excitement and urgency.

(commercial break)

There’s a first flight and second – while teams wait and browse the airport bookstore for an atlas Kentucky introduces themselves to Rob and Amber. David gets all tongue-tied because he’s a big fan of theirs. Come to think of it, they’ve been reality TV “stars” for several years so I suppose their level of celebrity is pretty high. But as other teams point out they’ve “had enough of Rob and Amber” in this way.

On the American Airlines flight that arrived first there is: John Vito & Jill, Rob & Amber, Oswals a& Danny, Charla & Mirna, Terry & Ian. The others all on another flight arrive 2 hours later. I forgot how Charla and Mirna know about 8 languages between the two of them.

The teams on the first flight land and race to their first clue in Ecuador. They need to proceed to a restaurant where they pick up one of 3 departure times for the morning: 7, 715, and 730am.

While the first teams to the clue are sitting down to dinner, those on the second flight race to the clue box to grab a departure time. This early in the game teams are getting frustrated with their cab drivers and as we cut to commercial, Drew falls down in the street, reeling in pain.

(commercial break)

Kevin and Drew hop into a cab, while Drew is still feeling pain in his shoulder from a fall and bandaging up a bloody knee.

Eric and Danielle are the last to arrive and to grab a departure time, Mr Frat boy notes that he isn’t comfortable being in last place.

In the morning teams (in proper departure sequence) must drive their cars 65 miles to an ecological reserve to find their next clue. They are advised to enter from the NORTH entrance to the park.

Two teams talk to taxi drivers and persuade them to drive ahead to the park while they follow (Oswald & Danny and Rob & Amber).

Mirna and Charla pick up a man who accompanies them in the car, giving driving directions.

John Vito and Jill are giving instructions from a local saying it will take them an hour to get to the park. Meanwhile, Rob & Amber and Oswald & Danny find the park entrance. Charla and Mirna enter at the South entrance and debate turning back to head in North.

DETOUR
Wrangle it or Recover it

In wrangle it, teams must help local cowboys lasso a horse and clip its hair and hooves.

In recover it, teams must wear a soliders’ uniform and search a field for missing items: an epaulette, sword and button.

Rob and Amber choose recover it, get frustrated “it’ll take 3 hours to walk around this field” and decide to run over to the other detour option – before any other teams are even there – they have a little time to play with.

Oswald & Danny choose wrangle it right away and joke about pursuing careers in beauty. Practicing cutting a horse’s nails and hair is a far cry.

Teri & Ian arrive third and think they’re in first since they see no one else. Meanwhile Rob & Amber cross the mat first. They of course win a trip for two from Travelocity. Oddly enough – it’s to Whistler, BC!

Oswald & Danny finish 2nd.

“If you ain’t got me holdin your hands you can’t do nothin!” David and Mary aren’t too far behind but they think they’re almost out of it as they run into trouble with directions. Little do they know several teams are still far behind – getting directed all over the map.

(commercial break)

Teri & Ian finish doing ‘wrangle it’ and head to the pit stop 3rd. Eric and Danielle catch up and finish 4th. Joe and Bill complete ‘wrangle it’ as well and finish 5th commenting that the horse’s nails were much easier to clip than their puppy’s. 6th place is the Beauty Queens followed by Uchenna & Joyce in 7th.

John Vito and Jill end up at the South entrance. David & Mary run into David & Mary – both teams think they’re lost but they’re actually on the right track. Kevin and Drew blow a tire and keep going – riding on the axle.

Charla and Mirna come in 8th while David and Mary race through their task (all teams chose wrangle it) and finish 9th. They have a bonding moment with the other team talking about how they’ve admired all the all stars and now they’re getting their butts kicked by them. Kevin and Drew come in 10th while John Vito and Jill finally make it to the end. The formerly dating couple that just got too mixed around with their directions to the park.

The first episode was pretty good – the teams all look pretty interesting. It should be fun to watch it all pan out. I’m waiting to hear Laura’s thoughts on the matter, especially the return of the Beauty Queens 😛

(Original Post by Rebecca Bollwitt on the Amazing Race 11 blog)

No, They're Not Mine


Saturday, February 17th, 2007 — 9:00pm PDT
Comments 6

Not that I wouldn’t want to claim these smart little cuties. John and I were just visiting with the kids this afternoon. You know that show on Life Network called Crash Test Mommy? Yeah, my sister would LOVE to sign me up for that. She raises her 3 little ones (who are 6, 4 and 2 years old) day in and day out, on top of working part-time.

Jenny and her babies John and I had my niece and nephews for a couple of hours this afternoon. If we had them tomorrow I would have taken them to the Chinese New Year Parade but we still had a pretty good time. We ate lunch, went for a walk, coloured, watched a movie and baked some cookies. They’re such well behaved kids (although don’t let their cherub-like appearance fool you) it still is challenging.

I discovered a little something about my husband’s potential parenting skills. He was around when his nieces and nephews were growing up back in Iowa and I gotta say, he’s got that whole ‘say your name once in a stern tone if you’re doing something bad, it will make you freeze in your tracks and PAY attention‘ thing down to a tee.

I also found out that I need more colouring supplies in my house. A couple of highlighters had to suffice since the only other drawing tools we have on-hand are sharpies and, well permanent marker and little kiddies just don’t mix. I printed a some pictures off a couple kids colouring sites and also discovered PBS has online colouring – perfect for my niece who knows more about computers than half the people I work with.

My sister’s probably laughing at the fact that I’m a little tired right now. Yes, she has my respect, a lot of it. She also can’t wait until I have kids so she can a) play with a new baby b) watch me lose my girlish figure c) load my kids up with sugar then send them home to us.

Beware of the Malm


Thursday, February 15th, 2007 — 7:18pm PDT
Comments 5

Ever since I was introduced to Airtoons about 6 years ago, warning signs just haven’t been the same.

We have boxes of candles floating around our house as a result of my Partylite candle affair a few years back. A couple of days ago I noticed something on one of the boxes. Two warning images that made me giggle and think of a post by Matt from Onomatopoeia

There was a recent episode of Corner Gas [wiki] where the Karen, one of the two police officers in town, purchases a hutch from the giant Swedish furniture store. Of course it’s supposed to be Ikea [wiki] and it plays on the whole concept of taking home your pre-packed merchandise and putting it together yourself with an allan key. The instructions amused Davis, the other cop on the show, because he was reading them as a cartoon. This is easy to do since Ikea’s don’t have words, just images to help you assemble your coffee table, bed or chair.

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Matt’s post features images that came with a recently purchased Ikea stool. The pictures on the instructions are pretty vague so he decided to add some rather clever captions. Click on the pic to view the rest, I didn’t want to spoil it by featuring all of them on here.

Now I just have to think of some for my candle box warnings, I’m afraid I may need some help, cause I’m just won’t be as clever.

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Ads on Blogs


Thursday, February 15th, 2007 — 10:35am PDT
Comments 8

Recently, a local blogger was in the news because he’s able to rake in a comfortable sum via the ads he puts on his website [JohnChow.com]. Sometimes ads work on the site, you barely notice them or maybe they’re interesting enough and you click them. With that click, you are putting a couple cents into the pocket of the blog owner and that’s how the game is played.

I’ve often contemplated putting Google Ads on the site, for the purpose of making money, but I’m not sure how annoying that would be. I’d want them to be non-intrusive but then again, if people don’t notice them how are they supposed to click on them? It’s a vicious circle isn’t it.

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There are various kinds of ads. The ones that fit snuggly between blog posts, the ones that float in front of your screen that force you to search for the “close” button but not until it’s thoroughly annoyed you, there are sidebar buttons, banner buttons etc. Or there’s the massive site-wide background commercial plastering that apparently showed up on Beyond MySpace Robson this morning (pictured above). Despite their look or feel, we all come to live with ads.

If I started putting them on my site, I’d probably want to support a local business or site. When Matt Good had his adverts up they were for Discollection and Workspace. That totally works for me and they were tastefully placed at the top of the page with an option to turn them on or off.

I’d love to be able to make money off my site but I don’t want to be annoying about it. I still want readers to be able to enjoy the site (erm, which I hope you already do) but have a little bit of income flowing. It’s not selling out, and I don’t want it to look gaudy, so I suppose I just need some help.