A Very Buffy Halloween

I’m a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Every year that the show was in production, I would wait in anticipation for their Halloween show. We were not always guaranteed a Halloween show in the Buffyverse. In the seven years that BTVS was on the air, there was only three Halloween specials. And they were spooktacular!

On the years that there wasn’t a Halloween special and the years since it’s cancellation, I would throw my own personal BTVS Halloween marathon. My ritual would consist of coming home from work and immediately getting into my jammies, ordering pizza and settling in for a Halloween night of Buffy spookiness.

Lucky for us, we lived in a condo with no trick or treaters. I never had to worry about interruptions. However, once I had children and moved to home in a suburban neighbourhood, this marathon became next to impossible to enjoy. Babies and children to nurture, doors to answer and candy to hand out to trick or treaters made it almost impossible to get through one episode.

I had to find a new ritual. So I came up with what I call the slow motion BTVS Halloween marathon. I spread out the episodes over the course of a few days leading up to October 31st. I may not order pizza anymore, but I do get into my jammies and snuggle down to watch some of my favourite episodes. It’s very much like visiting old friends.

So without any further ado, here is my BTVS Halloween episodes list:

Halloween — Season 2, Episode 6
Fear, Itself — Season 4, Episode 4
All the Way — Season 6, Episode 6

Extras:

Hush — Season 4, Episode 10 — This is one of the spookiest BTVS episodes ever!
Life of the Party — Angel, Season 5, Episode 5 — This one is for those who are fans of the Angel spin off. This was a fun episode.

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Four Days of Darkness

Last week we lost our Internet connection at home. Since we are cable cutters, this meant our main source of entertainment was cut off. My husband immediately called our service provider, TekSavvy, to find a resolution.

This was not easy experience.  The difficultly was that there was nothing wrong with the service from our end, rather is was a problem with their infrastructure and pointing that out to the technician was a bit of a hassle.

My husband took to twitter and managed to find a very helpful TekSavvy employee that called us immediately. Elizabeth actually took the time and had the patience to listen to what we had to say. It turned out that there was an outage and we were not the only customers without service.

Seeing that the situation was complicated, we figured that the outage was going to be a few days. The outage was happening during the work week and we had the comfort knowing that we had Internet access in our downtown office. In the evenings, we made due by reading books, watching old DVDs and using our digital tv antenna to watch the free tv channels.

We didn’t sweat it.

Even with the outage, we were never truly disconnected. We both had our mobile phones and our data plans. When we truly needed access, we tethered our devices to our mobile phones and was able to perform our tasks. I was able to connect to my google docs on my laptop while using my mobile device as a hotspot.

As the weekend approached our Internet was still disconnected. We once again reached out to Elizabeth on twitter and she responded right away. The company was working on it. All hands on deck! Even the CEO was answering questions in their support forums.

We got our connection back Saturday afternoon and we were thrilled. I have to admit that I am not annoyed or outraged that I went four days without Internet.

No. Nope. Not one bit!

We pay a reasonable price for our unlimited bandwidth with TekSavvy and have had no complaints for the last year and a half. I cannot say the same for our past provider. We paid more per month for limited bandwidth (which we blew through) and we had two outages in the same time that we had the one with TekSavvy.

Oh and the cherry on the top? TekSavvy is going to compensate us for the outage, something our old provider never did.

Posted in High Tech Life | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Happy iOS Day – Do you know what to do?

So today is the day that iOS 6 is going to be released into the wild. If you don’t own an iThingie then this post is not for you. If you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod then you may want to grab a coffee and take a quick skim down this page.

For a full comprehensive overview of the what to do, I recommend reading the Macworld article, Hands on with iOS 6: Installation. I’ll personally be using it as a checklist when I perform my upgrade. Well detailed with screenshots. Can’t top that.

Not sure you qualify for the upgrade?

The upgrade is free and you can perform it wirelessly if you have great wifi connectivity. It’s mentioned in the Macworld article but to save you from clicking the link, here is the list:

  • iPhone 3GS and later
  • iPad second generation and later
  • iPod fourth generation and later

What’s in the iOS 6 upgrade?

Lots of changes are on the way in a number of existing apps such as Maps, Siri, Facebook, Photo Streams, FaceTime, Phone, Mail, Safari. Not to mention an improvement in accessibility to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning and mobility disabilities.

There is also the Passbook app, which can help organize your boarding passes, movie tickets, loyalty cards, etc…  I’m not sure how this will play out for non US residents, but I hope to be delightfully surprised.

I recommend visiting the Apple site to check it all out. They do a great job with lots of photos to illustrate the new and improved features.

What changes in iOS 6 am I most excited about?

I am really excited about all the changes coming to the Phone app. The one I am truly looking forward to the Do Not Disturb feature. This feature will allow you to suppress all incoming calls and notifications for a set period of time.

Since my iPhone is my home phone, it sits on my bedside every night and I really don’t want reminders for game play or have Facebook/ Twitter notifications ping me at 3am. It will be nice to schedule the Do Not Disturb feature for bedtime and then forget about once and for all.

Funny thing, the Do Not Disturb style feature has been included on BlackBerry devices for years and it was one of the the features I missed most when I made the switch. That, and the notification led, but that’s a whole other can of worms!

Are there any new or improved iOS 6 features that you are excited about? Leave a comment below!

Posted in Apple, High Tech Life | Tagged | 4 Comments

Journey to BlogHer12

Earlier this month I traveled to BlogHer12 in New York City. My journey began almost a year ago at Blissdom Canada. Fellow travelers, Beach Mama (Anna) and Capital Mom (Brie) decided that we made a great travel team. It was decided that we MUST travel to BlogHer in New York City in August 2012.

Fast forward ten months and we were hitting the road in a Ford Flex, which was generously donated by Ford Canada. The drive from Ottawa to New York City was amazing. The sun was shining and the company was fantastic. I had an amazing time traveling to New York City.

BlogHer12 Road Trip

I thought that my trip could not get any better.

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending NYCtweetup organized by my fabulous friend, Kristi. I had a great time mingling and enjoying delicious wine, sponsored by Cellar Angels. The tweetup was held at the Roger Smith Hotel. A true boutique hotel, which is family owned and managed for three generations. I had loads of fun spending time with my friends from far and near.

BlogHer12 Wednesday

I thought that my trip could not get any better.

I kicked off Thursday morning with The Army Strong Workout which really gave my core a crazy strength workout. Then I spent the afternoon attending Trumpeting Media R&R Suite at The Four Seasons, meeting sponsors like FitBit (which I have literally worn to pieces) and Beaches Vacations.

In the afternoon I went on the StumbleUpon NYC walking tour. I learned how to negotiate like a native New Yorker, figure out North and South by simply looking at the slope of the road and took amazing photos of the sites of Midtown Manhattan.

Thursday evening kicked off at The Slow Churned Social Luxe Lounge where I discovered the best candy bars in the world. Unreal candy. Think chocolate bars that have no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oil and no chemical preservatives and less sugar. I look forward to their Canadian debut.

Afterwards I headed to The Chevrolet Canada Party with Mom Central Canada in SoHo. The rooftop party was jammed packed with my favourite Canadian bloggers. This was by far the best event I attended. Amazing view. Amazing People.

After mingling at The People’s Party a group of us opted to grab a late bite. We decided to eat-in and have a picnic in our room. Sitting on our beds, we shared stories from the evenings activities as well as the cheese, fruit and deli type spreads bought from the grocery store across the street.

BlogHer12 Thursday

I really thought that my trip could not get any better.

I started my Friday morning Kicking It with The Rockettes! I learned a few steps from their famed Christmas Spectacular and took part in a Q&A with the dancers while sitting on the rehearsal room floor in the historical Radio City Music Hall.

The remaining Friday morning and afternoon of keynotes, sessions and Voices of the Year did not disappoint. In the midst of the afternoon activities I was able to attend The CoreBody Reformer workout and have now decided I must get this for my little workout corner at home. I look forward to their Canadian debut.

Friday evenings activities include the carnival themed Hasbro Party, the Harley Davidson Party at The Whiskey Park in which I rocked it on REAL Harley and Sparklecorn, where I danced my feet off.

BlogHer12 Friday

I thought that my trip could not get any better.

Saturday morning and afternoon was, as usual, another stellar day of sessions and Geek Bar goodness. I did take a break and attended The Glamorous Luncheon at Ruth’s Chris, hosted by Shannon. It was the best meal I had in NYC. It was a true glamorous affair and I must admit that I have become very smitten with Karen Kane’s clothing line.

I also went to Getting Gorgeous where I took fun photos with my girlfriends and a Zombie. I won supper at The Rock Cafe courtesy of Diet Pepsi for that evening. After I headed to Banshe where I got to chat with Nugglemama and met Tracy Beckerman, which totally made my night. I ended the night once again dancing at CheeseburgHer until my feet feel off.

BlogHer12 Saturday

I thought that my trip could not get any better.

Sunday morning I went for a run in Central Park and had brunch with Blogalicious. After, I spent the rest of the day wandering through Midtown Manhattan and East Village. I ate baked goods from Magnolia Bakery and ukrainian soul food from Veselka. I walked the great hall of Grand Central and went shopping — sought out the Bra Whisperer and tried on pinup dresses.

BlogHer12 Sunday

I thought that my trip could not get any better.

Monday morning we waved goodbye to NYC and drove back to Canada. The car ride was a little more subdued, but the mood was happy and content.

BlogHer12 NYC Farewell

As the car pulled into my driveway I could see three little heads peeking out the front window. Waiting for Mommy. Waiting for me. I ran to the step and the boys had already assembled, reaching out to hug and kiss me.

I gathered all three into my arms and thought yes… it can. It did.

Posted in About Me, BlogHer | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Counting it All Up ~~12 Years or 144 Months

Last week, The Hubs and I celebrated our 12th year anniversary.

That’s 144 months.

I recall counting the months after we got married. We had our little celebrations as each month passed, that is, until we hit that first year milestone. We were done counting up the months from when we said our nuptials. We started to focus on the years.

Years have passed and I admit, I don’t really “count” them anymore. I have far too my numbers going on in my head right now.

3 kids

1 four year old

2 two year olds

3 adults living in my house

8 nieces and nephews (and counting!)

3 grandparents

6 brothers, sisters & in-laws

1 business … plus the many more numbers that go along with THAT.

Here is a photo from our Wedding day. We got married on a cruise ship in which we were required to take part in the evacuation drill on the first day. We were still wearing our Wedding attire. I decided to wear a swimsuit cover over my dress to “protect it”.

Image

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Wordless Wednesday – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Texas Grit Sand Play

Animal Kingdom - Sand PlayAnimal Kingdom - Sand Play
Animal Kingdom - Sand Play

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Going Public with my Mac – My Five Step Security Checklist

I’m heading to Blogher this August and there are a few things I need to remember to do before I take my MacBook Pro off into public wifi networks. I thought I would share my checklist:

1. Only connect to wifi networks that are familiar

For example, if you plan on using the hotel wifi, check the name of the wifi before connecting. Hackers may have set up a similar named network, so be careful.

2. Enable the Mac’s built in firewall

    1. Open System Preferences.
    2. Under Personal, select Security & Privacy.
    3. Select the Firewall tab.
    4. Ensure the Firewall is turned ON.

3. Set your computer to require a password for sleep on screen saver

    1. Open System Preferences.
    2. Under Personal, select Security & Privacy.
    3. Select the General tab.
    4. Check Require password for sleep and screen saver and select the time interval you would want the sleep/screen saver to begin.

4. Turn off sharing

    1. Open System Preferences.
    2. Under Internet & Wireless, select Sharing.
    3. Make sure file sharing and other services are unchecked.

5. Turn off iTune’s music sharing

    1. Open iTunes.
    2. Under the iTunes menu, select Preferences.
    3. Select the Sharing tab and uncheck the sharing option.

Do you have any checklists that you use when traveling with high tech gadgets? Is there  something you would add to this list? Let me know!

Posted in Blissdom Canada, BlogHer, High Tech Life | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments