Slow TV

Norwegian TV discovered that 2 million Norwegians were willing to watch the train ride from Bergen to Oslo in real time. I did it both ways in person and didn't find it particularly interesting (although I was with a Floridian who got to see snow for the first time, in July no less). I did watch part of the "show" on Youtube, and did find it relatively interesting (helps that we are at the front of the train, a view you wouldn't normally have as a passenger).

In that same sense, perhaps you'd be willing to watch some Australians do laundry in Hawaii. Although these Australians are easy on the eyes and ears and have some really beautiful high definition video of some pretty epic scenery, I can't quite pinpoint what is so compelling about their travel vlog series. They are both 24 years old, so perhaps it is the wholesome voyeurism of their millennial lifestyle and interests. Their "coffee" at Starbucks has soy and they are willing to walk two hours to Whole Foods because "Walmart was horrible" (for fresh food). I only know Whole Foods from Southpark, so perhaps simply seing the real-world version is what I found captivating.

As you can see here, in one year, they do manage to see more of the world than either you or me. They both went to university for 5 years and worked in Perth (the Fort McMurray of Australia), so presumably they had some cash. And indeed, they aren't hosteling or camping. Full private kitchens are part of their travels. Also, they have a website, and I guess they were able to scam some free tickets to tours here and there.

Start the 365 video playlist from the beginning (one a day) as they leave Australia. Soon they will be in Hawaii, then the Rockies, Europe and Africa. Watch in HD.

It is amateurish, self-absorbed and mostly uninteresting. And yet very watchable. Slow TV at it's best. Even better than the Norwegian train ride. :-)

Disclaimer: I love to travel (50 countries and counting), and have got a bit of the travel bug. But you can't leave the Moncton area in July (because the ocean is really warm and this is the month everybody comes to visit).  


Beacon Hill Has One Exit

As you may know. Fort McMurray, in Wood Buffalo, Alberta,  has one road connecting it to the rest of the world (Highway 63 until the intersection with highway 881). Beacon Hill has one road out of the subdivision.

That's not good. If you only have one road out of your neighborhood, move!

 The videos below were taken Tuesday May 3rd, 2016. Most of the homes you see were burnt to the ground. I called the videos epic when there were118 views. There are now over 800,000 and I've seen the videos on CTV, CBC, NBC, CNN and the BBC. And now you can watch them here. You really should watch them in full screen (the bigger, the better), in 1080P. These are embedded and linked, not copies, so apologies if the poster has taken them down.

My blog is usually quite political, but remember that many families in Fort McMurray lost their homes (quite likely, including the poster of the videos).

Videos contain foul language.

Beacon Hill, Fort McMurray, Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada

Fort McMurray Fire 1 of 6 Front Dash Cam

Fort McMurray Fire 2 of 6 Fire Dash Cam

Here are the links for the other 4 videos of the epic Beacon Hill escape. See if you can spot the deers almost causing an accident in videos 3 and 4.

Fort McMurray Fire 3 of 6 Front Dash Cam

Remember, if you only have one road out of your neighborhood, move!

My income is way, way below the Canadian median wage. Yet I give hundreds of dollars to the Red Cross every year. It feels good to help (it is about 25% tax deductible, so don't be cheap).


Stop Harper for 10 Cents a Day

A tight 3 way race. Isn't democracy great. But the Conservatives have more money than the Liberals or NDP.

The NDP is going to win Quebec (Quebeckers despise both Harper and Trudeau).

But many people in other regions will still vote Conservative. The Conservatives can win.

Influencing voters, and overcoming (sometimes justified) apathy, is expensive. 
If you make a $500 donation to the federal NDP, it will only cost you $150 after tax rebate. $150 over 4 years is only 10 cents a day (0.1 X 365 X 4)

Think about how much the Conservatives have already cost Canada, and, more importantly, you: Needless defence spending, commercials for non-existent federal programs, income splitting, less accurate Canadian census, etc... 


Golden Age of Television

So people are stealing video in shocking numbers, and yet we are apparently in the "Golden Age" of television?

The jury is still out on that one, in my humble opinion. But then again, I'm still miffed AMC cancelled Rubicon. 

Still, if you feel you've been missing out, here is what I've watched and enjoyed since September. (Canadian channels)

-Homeland with Claire Danes. (Super Channel)
-Madam Secretary
-The Americans
-House of Cards. The plot of the latest season was a departure from the 1990s British version (which had far fewer episodes), and therefor it was rubbish. However, the actors and visuals are just as great as in previous seasons.
-Mad Men (Sigh. So, so good, and yet, as always, so dangerously close to terrible. So I totally get it if, like most people, you don't like it). 
-Our Girl. Set in Afghanistan (BBC)

-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
-Fresh off the Boat
-Silicon Valley (HBO)
-Veep (HBO)
-Modern Family
-The Simpsons (Global)
-Last Man Standing
-South Park (Comedy Network)
-Episodes (The Movie Network)
-Mr. D (CBC)

I watched plenty of British TV comedy this winter. There are some high quality shows, my only beef is the seasons are way too short. 
-Fresh Meat
-Him and Her
-Friday Night Dinner
-Bluestone 42. A wartime sitcom set in Afghanistan. Loved it. (BBC)

Top Gear (BBC)


Allegiance's Hope Davis is Not the Air Farce's Jessica Holmes

Wow, I just watched the entire first episode of NBC's new Allegiance dram (à la The Americans) thinking they had cast the Air Farce's Jessica Holmes as the Russian-American heroin. They didn't. In fact, they casted the 9 years older, and very American, Hope Davis.

Hope Davis


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