Happy Birthday, Dad

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Couple things my dad helped me learn:

  • Milk actually used to be delivered by a man with a horse-drawn carriage. In the winter it was a sleigh and the horse’s droppings (road apples) made for excellent hockey pucks.
  • Never underestimate the power of a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed on a cold night.
  • Just because he used to tell stories about “when I was a boy” it doesn’t suit his little daughter to walk around telling people stories about when she “was a boy”.
  • Spiders are protected by a universal catch and release program.
  • Being pulled up the stairs in a sleeping bag and then being allowed to slide back down in said soft blankety parcel is extremely fun.
  • When I was 10 he could run faster backwards, than I could forwards.
  • Bears won’t come near our campsite. The tent is safe and the story mom told about squirrels being able to open peanut butter jars is false.

Those are just a few of the fun things. My dad would give piggy backs, never serve us junk food, teach us to be polite and quiet, although when we misbehaved his English accent came out in his stern “first, middle, last name” call for us.

I’d like to think of him as a walking, talking Wikipedia or Google. Whenever I have a questions about anything in the universe #1 just ask my dad, #2 try Google.

He also always knows the best place in any town nearby to get a hearty breakfast for under 5 bucks.

Despite the fact that he would pick me up from school in a big embarrassing delivery van… coming right up to the doors yeah… right in front of all the cool kids… he would wake up at 5am to make me breakfast and take me to school early for my morning running club meets. He’d attend every rugby game (and we’d win every one he attended) and taught me everything about anything that I know. During those troubling teen years, he was always there for me even though our lives were both going topsy turvy.

He didn’t even freak out when I came back from a trip and told him I was in love with a boy from Iowa.

Today is his birthday. I’d like to take him for breakfast or for some fish and chips. Unfortunately, my life got even more crazy lately so for several reasons, I won’t be seeing him. I hope he knows just how much I appreciate him and maybe I’ll be able to catch him next week… maybe he’ll bake us a loaf of his multigrain bread, and I’ll be able to tell him I love him and wish him a happy birthday.

The New Fozzy Bear

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Did it ever screw you up as a kid when voices of cartoon characters would change up? Most recently this happens when you watch season one episodes of Family Guy [wiki], which feature a different actress doing Meg’s voice.

We were watching it today [Episode Wiki] and Stewie said the following: “Jim Henson had a wait and see attitude, and look what happened to him. Now we’ve got wrong-sounding Muppets.” A clip then plays, showing Kermit talking in a funky voice (obviously not his own). Then the Swedish Chef enters and starts talking to him in an American accent. This bit cracked me up and I wish I could find it on You Tube but in its place, there’s another Kermit on Family Guy clip below.

This reminded me of a couple other cartoons I used to watch where the voices for characters changed. The most noticeable for me was Bugs Bunny [wiki], after the passing of Mel Blanc. It was so weird to hear Bugs but not Bugs’ voice.

You get used to the new voices then you start associating episodes with the voice, “oh that one was with old so and so.” Although cartoons’ voices change less frequently than actors playing a child on a soap opera, it can still throw you off.

Catching Up

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m pretty behind on a lot of bloggy things and since we’re up to SO much within the next week I’ll compose a little list below of links and activities.

Taken at the Fogg on Friday. I got home from work so aggravated I told John we were heading out to watch the game. At some point I commandeered his cell phone and this was the result – interesting.

I met today with a student from a university back East that is writing her thesis on blogging (along the lines of a why do you blog kinda thing). She’s looking for a couple more bloggers to interview so with a lack of a list off the top of my head I pointed her in the direction of my blogroll. I’m sure she’ll gather some really interesting perspectives on the medium and I’m pretty excited about being a part of something like that.

Thursday is my father’s birthday so I’ll be posting the mandatory sappy, cheesy, dedication to the man that taught me so much including knowledge of local history and how to kick ass in rugby.

As previously noted, John and I were thinking about attending Northern Voice. We’ve been able to purchase his admission for both days, and I’ll just be going on Saturday. We never did hear back about volunteering, but splitting it up like this helped us save a little money at least.

Sunday there is a podcaster meetup [audihertz], a highlight being that a host of the Canadian Podcast Buffet will be in attendance. Unfortunately, we’re not sure if we’ll go – even though we run our share of podcasts. February 25th is our 1st wedding anniversary and the reason why I’ve also taken Monday off work. I’m really interested in going but since the first part of our weekend is being monopolized by a blogging conference… so an afternoon of watching hockey, drinking wine, having a nice dinner and celebrating alone with my husband seems a little more appealing.

On a side note, lacking a laptop of my own, I have the feeling that I’ll be the only person at Northern Voice with a note pad and paper. Also, the following weekend I’ll be in Victoria for a girls weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to have some access (local internet cafe or hijacked hotel computer) to do a blog post and post some pics of the hijinx. I promise, neither my sister or I will be shaving our heads.

Almost to the Top, Reaching for Self Esteem

Comments 13 by Rebecca Bollwitt

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

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

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.


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

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

*** 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.

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)