Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent family weekend resulted in us going to Windsor, Nova Scotia for some apple picking. We don’t get together with all three kids too often, so we wanted to take advantage of the situation.
As October 23rd fast approaches, the millions of The Walking Dead fans are getting more and more excited. Why? Well it’s the debut episode of Season 7, of course!! And we’ll finally get the answer to the question we’ve all been asking ourselves: Who does Negan kill??
I’ve got my theories, but I’m not going to discuss them today. Instead, I’m going to happily let you know that Netflix now has every episode from Season 6 available for you to binge-watch this week!!
Netflix members around the world are making their own rules when it comes to watching TV. Instead of one episode per week, Netflix members choose to binge watch their way through a series – that is, on average, finishing an entire season in one week. Though binge watching is clearly the new normal, not all series are enjoyed the same way. Netflix recently unveiled The Binge Scale, revealing which shows we devour and which we savor.
Netflix examined the global viewing of more than 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries and found that when members are focused on finishing a series, they watch a little over two hours a day to complete a season. As you can imagine, some very interesting trends and patterns can emerge from this data.
- Series like Stranger Things grab you, assault your senses, and make it hard to pull away.
- The classic elements of horror and thrillers go straight for the gut, pushing the placement of series like The Walking Dead the devour end of the scale.
- Likewise, comedies with a dramatic bent, like Orange is the New Black, seem to tickle our fancy and make it easy to say ‘just one more.’
- Complex narratives like House of Cards are indulged at an unhurried pace.
- Viewers take care to appreciate the details of dramas set in bygone eras, like Mad Men.
So if you’re anything like me, you’ll be devouring Season 6 of The Walking Dead in an effort to (a) remember a really great season, and (b) mentally prepare yourself for the “shock and awe” that is inevitably going to come from the Season 7 premiere this weekend.
And if you happen to be one of “those people” that don’t have Netflix, what in the world are you waiting for? There is so much for you to watch and re-watch that I just can’t see how it’s possible to NOT find something you’ll like.
But if you are someone that has Netflix, what shows are on YOUR Binge Scale? For me, the list over the past few months has included…
- The Walking Dead (duh!)
- House of Lies
- Bob Ross: Beauty Is Everywhere (seriously!)
- House of Cards
- Stranger Things (you HAVE to watch this!!)
- Luke Cage
- Making a Murderer
My only problem is that there never seems enough time for me to watch everything I want to, as I still haven’t finished five of the series listed above! That’s okay, though…The Walking Dead with get a thorough binge watch from me this week!
Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent business trip took me to Prince Edward Island. It was during the “off season”, but it was still an absolutely gorgeous day…which made the drive all the more enjoyable.
Up until October 2nd, Canadians can show their support for kids by purchasing a Boston Pizza Kids Card for a minimum donation of $5. With every Kids Card that is purchased at Boston Pizza locations or online at BostonPizza.com, guests then receive 5 free Kids Meals (valued at $35), and the money is used to help support Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects. If guests sign up for a new MyBP account, they will receive a bonus sixth Kids Meal when they register their Kids Card (registering for a MyBP account is free and can be accessed at the Boston Pizza website or by downloading the Boston Pizza app in the Apple iTunes store).
Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects was established to raise funds and awareness for organizations that provide kids in Canada with role models and mentoring programs. Some of the partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, Live Different, JDRF and The Rick Hansen Foundation. Boston Pizza hopes to raise at over $1 million with the Kids Cards program this year, which will help it exceed its goal of providing more than 200,000 hours of role modeling and mentorship to children across Canada every year. Since its inception in 1990, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to directly improve the health and well-being of children and families.
The more Kids Cards that are sold this year, the more Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects can help kids from coast to coast reach their full potential. It’s a tremendously worthwhile program that only requires a minimum $5 donation…and your kids get something back in the form of food!
For more information, go to BostonPizza.com.
I know, I know…most people say that the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year”. But if you’re anything like me, you’re not one for the summer heat. In fact, if you’re like me, you’re the kind of person who LOVES the fall…and September is the time when summer begins to end, the autumn begins, and all seems right with the world.
Oh…my birthday’s in September, too.
So to quickly recap, it’s the best time of the year because it’s my birthday, the kids have gone back to school, and the temperatures are beginning to dip just a little bit each night. But in addition to that, Netflix has a GREAT schedule of new movies being released in September that has a little bit of something for everyone (but more on that later).
Honestly…one of the great things that our family enjoys doing is getting together a couple times of month to enjoy “Family Movie Night“. While some families just sit around and stare, we’re constantly talking and laughing and joking and actually having some bonding time (which sometimes requires me to press the pause button during the movie, but that’s just part of the fun).
We normally jump into our pajamas (everybody in the family wears them), pop some popcorn (or collect some other tasty munchies), and snuggle on the couch. Something we want to try differently this month, though, is Netflix BINGO!!
Netflix has provided their Stream Team with five different bingo cards to use while the family watches a movie. Obviously, not everything is going to happen in every movie, but it looks like it will be a LOT of fun!
The only question is…what movies should we watch? Here are some of the new releases Netflix has for September:
- Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip. I gotta be honest…this series of movies stopped being entertaining for me after the first one. But hey…if the kids want to watch it, I’ll buckle in.
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters wasn’t quite as good as the first movie, but with epic adventures and magical creatures, it’s something the kids will enjoy.
- Zootopia is one of the most entertaining animated movies to come out in the past decade. The family will have no problem watching it again while playing BINGO.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is something you may want to watch knowing that there is a FIFTH Pirates movie coming out in 2017. Might as well continue to enjoy the crazy antics of Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the Fountain of Youth.
- Zoolander 2 is the long-awaited (?) sequel to Ben Stiller’s original comedy about clueless models saving the world. My wife loved the first one…I can only imagine how the family will react to the second.
- Maleficent wasn’t a movie I expected to like, but Angelina Jolie plays the character in such a way as to not be completely over-the-top, which makes it a massively entertaining twist to the tale of Sleeping Beauty.
- Daddy’s Home is a very entertaining family comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell.
And if just the wife and I want to play Netflix BINGO, we can try out some of these new releases:
- Neighbors is described as a “raunchy comedy” starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron.
- Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle was the movie that resurrected the incredible career of Neil Patrick Harris, even though he wasn’t even considered one of the stars of the movie.
- Inception is, simply put, one of the most incredible movies ever made. The acting, special effects, directing, and story are all amazing and it’s definitely worth your time to sit back and watch.
- American Pie 2 wasn’t nearly as good as the original, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen it that I imagine my wife and I will have a blast re-living the hilarious exploits of Jim, Oz, Stiffler, & the rest of the gang.
- The Revenant is a movie my wife couldn’t watch all of the way through, but I was mesmerized by the Oscar-winning performance of Leonardo DiCaprio. I’d totally watch it again!
So there you go…plenty to choose from! If you have the opportunity to play BINGO with your family (or just with your “better half”), what movie would you pick?
Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent business trip took me to the historic city of Saint John, New Brunswick. I actually lived close to Saint John when I was a kid, out in the Gondola Point area (which is now considered part of Quispamsis).
While I wasn’t able to do a ton of sight-seeing, I still did the most to make the trip memorable…
For those who aren’t familiar with Canada’s greatest rock band, let me give you a quick history lesson. The Tragically Hip is a band who came around in the late 1980’s and hit the country with one rock anthem after another. Not only were the songs catchy, but the lyrics were heavy and introspective and thought-provoking and many of them told important stories. If that was all that the band was known for, that might be enough for a pretty decent career.
However, frontman Gord Downie was one of the most eclectic and electrifying singers in the entire world. He could sing a song with passion and force, but then ad-lib incoherently non-stop in a manner that made you think he was either stoned out of his mind or legitimately insane.
There’s a very fine line between insanity and genius, and after 20+ years of amazing music I’d dare say that not only is Downie genius, he’s become Canada’s unofficial poet laureate and the band has unofficially become “Canada’s Band”, delivering the soundtrack for our country.
So why am I writing a story about a rock band? Well…as mentioned this past Saturday saw them play was is more-than-likely their final concert. Why? It’s not about them splitting up or retiring. No, word came out a couple of months ago that he was diagnosed with a terminal form of brain cancer.
Long-time readers of my blog already know that my mother passed away a few years ago from cancer, and while the disease has eventually ravaged her entire body it all started with a brain tumor. So needless to say, this story hit me pretty hard.
I’ve been a fan of The Hip (as their commonly known to by their fans) since I first heard New Orleans is Sinking back in 1989. And for me, this song NEVER gets old…
Album after album came out over the next decade and I always found at least one song I could crank up, which is probably similar to how a lot of Hip fans felt. I was fortunate enough to see them three times in concert over the years and even saw a Tragically Hip cover band (called Little Bones) twice during that period, as well. So yes…I would consider myself a very big fan of theirs.
When word of their final concert came out that it would take place in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario, the country’s biggest independent entertainment company (CBC) said that they were not only going to show the concert live on television (and unedited by commercials!!), but they would also show it simulcast on their YouTube channel, their website, and their radio stations across the country. CBC reported yesterday that over 11.7 million people watched the concert on Saturday night (in comparison, the opening night of the Rio Olympics garnered 2.4 million viewers).
Once the information came out about the live broadcast of the concert, towns and cities across the country scrambled to set-up viewing parties so fans could show their love and respect for this incredible band. While just under 7,000 fans packed the the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston to watch it in person, over 20,000 fans packed Springer Market Square a few blocks away. In my home city of Halifax, Nova Scotia over 5,000 fans packed the downtown’s Grand Parade to enjoy the concert on three big-screens.
As the concert came to an end, I teared up. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been near-tears in the days since (and while writing this post). There is just something about Gord Downie and the influence he has had in my life over the past 25+ years added to the way brain cancer has affected my life that combines to make me extremely emotional. It was actually during the song Grace, Too that it really hit me like a ton of bricks. Near the end of the song, Downie screams in anguish. During this performance, though, he seemed to be letting out all of the pain and hurt and frustration and anger and sadness that he was holding inside of him. He screamed out “NOOO” over and over…as if it were a big F*CK YOU to cancer. But in the end he realized that this wasn’t a battle he could win, and the emotion simply overtook him. The link below goes to a video of this part of the song…
The photo at left should really tell the story. Knowing how cancer affected my mom, I can only imagine just how this disease is affecting someone so full of life and innovation and art as Gord Downie. All-in-all, it was simply gut-wrenching to watch, but also empowering in a way.
At the end of the day, Canada was closed on Saturday night…and I don’t know if the country will ever be the same again.
But there will ALWAYS be the music.
#FUCKCancer #InGordWeTrust #ThankYouGord #TheHip #TheTragicallyHip
The Tragically Hip’s final setlist:
“50 Mission Cap”
“At the Hundredth Meridian”
“In a World Possessed by the Human Mind”
“Tired As F*ck”
“My Music at Work”
“Twist My Arm”
“The Last Of The Unplucked Gems”
“New Orleans Is Sinking”
“Boots or Hearts”
“Blow at High Dough”
“Locked In The Trunk Of A Car”
“Ahead By A Century”