Brain-Dead and Disconnected

As anyone who knows me, travelling is one of the things that I truly enjoy doing.  Whether it is for work or just jumping in a car on a whim and driving to Mexico (Recommend doing this in a big car however and not stuffing three guys in a compact), there is usually always an adventure.  Jawaharial Nehru once wrote “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Although now a days I mainly travel for work, I don’t necessarily get a lot time to site see and do the touristy things that people get to do.  I tend to get somewhere, work and leave, so I have to figure out what I can do, when I can do and how I can do it safely.   So I know what you all are thinking, I’m a geek with all this technology around me why not just look online and figure out what there is to do and go do it, but I submit to you, where is the fun in that? I tend to be different, insert joke here, laugh, and move on, since usually I am fairly tired and brain-dead when I get to the evening of the first day in town, that’s when I go exploring.   But what I am looking for are the friendly little pubs on those side streets where the locals go and kill time.  I will always check with the hotel staff before I leave on my walk-about to ensure that I definitely understand where I should not go, after all I still value my safety, but then I will randomly start walking away from downtown and just start looking for somewhere to go.   I take my phone to take pictures and that is about it.  I don’t do yelp, searches or lookups, they rarely work out for me anyway.  If I get lost, I can get a cab and go back to the start, but the fact is, I am not looking for the big clubs or where the main bars on the main street, I tend to go a look for that little bar/restaurant that may be 20 seats, hasn’t been updated in a while, but has a bartender with a smile and doesn’t mind talking to a dumb Canadian in a strange city.  My point is, I will have more fun kibitzing with the locals who can tell me where the good places are, the scams to avoid (which saved me in Thailand) some of the things that I really need to avoid.

So get out and see the world, it will always be worth it however you choose to do it.
Woof!

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Posted in Travel. 2 Comments »

50 Things About Me

So Lady Hardcore (http://lady-hardcore.blogspot.com/2011/03/everything-you-ever-wanted-or-dont-care.html), a virtual friend from Edmonchuck, has motivated me to compile a list of 50 facts about myself.  Now I know that I could never come to quality list that she put together, and that is obvious since I am only doing 50 to her 100, but it’s an excercise that should prove interesting, well to me anyways!

  1. I am not the king of my castle
  2. I am a transplanted Canadian looking for a way to go home
  3. Did not live with my wife for the first 2 years we were married
  4. I LOVE racing and fast cars
  5. I have driven from Canada to Mexico in a small car with 2 other guys, quickly
  6. Best job I had was working with my Dad at the shop
  7. Working in the bush was definitely a close second
  8. I hate Tomatoes but love Ketchup and Mild Salsa
  9. I loved going to the lake growing up and wishes I could go back
  10. I love travelling but have not seen all of Canada, only the Western border of Ontario
  11. Coolest place I have had the pleasure to see:  Golden Palace in Bangkok
  12. I am a shy person and will generally not initiate conversation, but once you become my friend, with you to the end!
  13. Grew up in water, so many memories of swimming lessons, swimming at the pool with friends, swimming at the lake = all good!
  14. Wonders if I could handle being a farmer
  15. Is a Geek and nerd according to my wife anyways
  16. Best Chinese food is in Medellin, Columbia
  17. Think you have been in a run down area, wait till you go through slums of Bogotá in the backseat of a cab
  18. Moved to Vancouver on a whim…was helping a friend move and when I got there in February and saw green grass, I never went home!
  19. I have achieved 90% of everything I always wanted growing up…need some bigger dreams now!
  20. Is curious when maturity is going come my way
  21. Has never had a broken bone, even though I am one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet!
  22. I Really hate Stupid People, just couldn’t be bothered with them.
  23. Is horrible at reading people, especially the female kind
  24. Would prefer to retire anytime now!
  25. Really dislikes Reality TV
  26. Actually enjoyed ball room dancing when I was younger
  27. Thinks popcorn should be a food group
  28. I thought winning Rolling Stones tickets was a scam but went to LA anyways and got second row on the floor and had best vacation!
  29. Thought it was really cool winning Pink Floyd tickets in a beer case and really enjoyed the concert.
  30. Spent most of grade 1 in the hospital
  31. Best teen memory was when oh never mind, shouldn’t kiss and tell!
  32. Closest to death I have been (out of the hospital), sitting on a tree eating lunch in the middle of Northern Alberta and hearing a tree crack and groan really really loud and not knowing what tree was falling, turned out I guessed right the ran the correct and the tree missed me by about a foot!
  33. As much as I love to travel, I dislike leaving home
  34. Is a boob man
  35. I do not regret the past, I am who I am, where I am, have what I have due to the decisions I have made and its not to shabby from this point of view.
  36. Thinks I was pretty good at the Ukulele when I was much, much younger
  37. Does not understand why I am probably the only Canadian Male that can’t skate.
  38. Wayne Gretzky FTW!
  39. Favorite city I have lived in is Vancouver
  40. I moved 18 times between 19 and 24ish
  41. Prefers riding trains than flying but can’t waste the time
  42. Doesn’t understand why companies allow stupid people to get promoted to get rid of them
  43. Loves photography and always wanted a dark room
  44. Enjoyed acting but was to chicken in High School to do anything
  45. Continues, for some strange reason, to keep turning down jobs in other countries
  46. I Believed for MANY years that kemo sabe meant White Snake and that Tonto really didn’t like the Lone Ranger, thanks Dad!
  47. Believes that My Dad was the best storyteller around.
  48. First Jetski ride was on the ocean in Miami where I learned that sunglasses are necessary to keep saltwater out of the eyes
  49. Coldest I have ever been was when I lived in Chicago and it hit -50
  50. And now I am getting desperate for #50 so the hottest I have been was on Hoover Damn where temperatures hit 118F

Well this was harder than I thought it would be, since I can’t remember most of my childhood!  Kudos to you Hardcore for going to 100!

Till next time – Woof!

Xoom Xoom goes the tablet!

Once again I find myself wanting to like a new piece of tech and I assure you that I REALLY wanted to like it.  Of course I am referring to the new Xoom tablet by Motorola.  I was able to get my hands on one of these puppies and started to play with it to see what my first experience with Android’s new Honeycomb operating system would do for me.   When looking at the Xoom I tried very hard to use and evaluate the system on its own merits and not against other tablets.  Notice I said try, oh well.  Here is my 2 cents on the Xoom.

Physical:
Although it comes in heaver than the IPad I generally use, I really liked the feel of it in Landscape.  It felt very solid in my hand and in landscape I could still type and reach all the areas on the screen.  What was strange to me is that holding in portrait (normal) it felt very awkward and when I had to actually let go to reach the top of the unit.    For the most part, most of the apps that I used could be used in Landscape mode, so not a big issue, just a minor annoyance.  SCORE – 3 / 5

Interface:
The interface itself is pretty neat.  You have the ability to put live wallpapers in the background, (The Thurnderstorm app was pretty cool), widgets on the page to see live data such as email, weather or pretty much anything you want made it different and more useful.  I found myself putting it on the pedistal and keeping it up to see what was going on without very much difficulty.  Overall setting up and using the interface was pretty easy and worked.  SCORE – 5/5

Apps:
So next I tried to load apps from the Android Marketplace.  Accessing the market was easy enough, but not terribly clean.  I definitely had a hard time finding apps So I started with the basic apps, Netflix, Facebook, Twitterific, Flipbook, and Skype.  I understand that Xoom is based on a new operating system and it will take time to get apps but this is where I have the biggest problems with the Xoom.  No Netflix, could not keep Facebook running, no Flipbook and problems with Skype.   The fact that Video with Skype does not work is very frustrating and doesn’t make sense, since Google Video does work.   Come on SKYPE keep up!!!  On the other hand with no Flipbook, I started using Pulse which is pretty cool!  Score: 1/5.

General Thoughts:
The worst thing on the Xoom is the charging mechanism.   You HAVE to use a plugin since a USB cable will NOT charge the unit.   I didn’t think about this until I was at the office and it was out of juice and I could not charge it since I left the custom cable at home.   Geez Motorola, products have to be convenient!   One more thought on this is the media aspect.   To get media on the system you have to manually copy data over from wherever you have you your music/movies.   This doesn’t seem like a very serious issue, but its a bear to keep things in sync or organized and upload time are considerably more.  For my test I upload 254 Songs from my library.  On my new IPad, syncing of this music took 1:42 while getting the same music took 11:31.   Back to the convenience factor and I won’t even talk about the differences in copying over my movies!

I am not even going to talk about the camera, which is inadequate to the point I couldn’t even figure out how to focus it on a picture and became frustrated!  Audio is better on this than the IPad and the video seems to be a bit better than the IPad but I really can’t compare since I have to redo all my Apple movies  (Watch for another rant on this!) but this isn’t enough to save this.  Although I went in wanting to really like the Xoom, I believe I will letting some other folks start their experience with this device and try checking  out the next platform and hopefully next years model will be better and there are more apps that actually work!

Final Score 3 out 5 Bones!

Posted in Tech. 1 Comment »

I’m Back!

So its Thursday night and once again working late and stuck at work, waiting…waiting for stuff to install and instead of multi-tasking, I decided to write a quick blurb on my blog that I have been ignoring for far to long.  For those who know me, know that creativity is not my strong suite, I am more of a doer and someone who just gets thing done (Outside of my own house of course).  So I decided that I would just sit down and start typing hoping that something will come to mind and it will be clever and witty and make you want to come back for more.

Well sorry to disappoint, but maybe next time!

Woof!

Hot Air Balloon Affair (via Travel Snapshots)

Hot Air Balloon Affair Keeping with my theme of "things to do in the North when it's cold outside," I couldn't let winter slip by without mentioning the Hudson Hot Air Affair, a celebration of hot air ballooning in Hudson, Wisconsin. Held in early February, the event brings ballooners from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Dakotas, Illinois and Nebraska. Thousands of spectators flock to the event for family activities, a pancake breakfast, a silent auction, and to an ope … Read More

via Travel Snapshots

Lovers Beach Cabo (via My Journey to Becoming a Photographer)

just something to think about instead of all this snow!

Lovers Beach Cabo

via My Journey to Becoming a Photographer

Bear; up close & personal (via The thoughtherder’s Blog)

Bear; up close & personal After much deliberation I have decided that if I ever come this close to a bear I think it will most likely be the last thing I ever see. … Read More

via The thoughtherder's Blog