Aching Legs and a Dead Battery

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I have aching legs and a dead cell phone battery. Yes, you guessed it, I have been sucked into Pokemon Go. I wasn’t really planning on playing it. Really. Sure, I heard all the hype on the internet (and even on the radio!) but I kinda went “meh, nothing will beat the original games I grew up on” and had no plans of pursuing go. Besides, it’s technically not even available in Canada yet. But then my husband became strangely obsessed with the game. He started researching about it, figured out how to “side load” it (don’t ask me, he put it on my phone for me, and he said he just googled how to do it), and now we are Pokemon Go players.
pikachu-rat
So there are three Pokestops within close walking distance around our apartment, and we have been walking laps between them. There are also two gyms within walking distance (a little further than the Pokestops, but not horifically far). We tried out battling, and clearly we need to do some leveling/practicing, but I did manage to add one of my Pokemon to a gym for about 5 minutes before the gym was defeated by another team.

I’ve collected a few facts about Pokemon Go:
1. My feet hurt. I need new shoes. Like, real shoes, with support.
2. Our local Starbucks, with a Pokestop right on top of it, is enjoying a surge in business.
3. My phone battery is going to be worn out in no time from all the draining/charging cycles its going through.
4. This game really is getting people out and about. My husband and I enjoy guessing which of the people we see out and about are playing Pokemon Go, and I suspect its quite a few of them. At the very least, it’s getting US out and about. I had no idea the number of little parks in the area.
5. The gamer rage when servers are down is unreal (and they’re down kind of a lot, when they’re not just plain glitchy)
6. Starter Pokemon are useless. No really. The only way to level them is to catch multiple of the same kind to get breed-specific candies to feed them. Since they’re super rare (as far as I can tell, although I’ve only been playing a couple days), you get your first one and then never use it because it’s super pathetically weak compared to stuff you catch even a couple levels later. This disappointed me actually quite a lot, since I went out of my way to get a Pikachu as my starter.
7. It’s fun. No really. Get it on your phone and get out in the world.
My Pokemons let me show you them

Oh, and there are some dangers involved. VG Cats explains one humorously.

Unorthodox Music

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Hey guys, I have a few unorthodox pieces of music to share with you. This first guy obviously had WAY too much time on his hands, but his results are undeniable. Check it out:
Wintergatan – Marble Machine (music instrument using 2000 marbles)

I do deeply love this song, but I think it’s especially beautiful played on wine glasses. Yes, you heard me, wine glasses:
Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky – Glass Harp

This isn’t in the same musical caliber as the two above, but I bet this was an awesome band practice when they figured this out:
Duet for French Horn and Chair

Back and Celebrating with a Baby Armadillo

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Wow. Okay, so I didn’t intend to take that long of a break. Sorry, folks. But all that wedding stuff just piled up on me and I needed the break. But I’m back! Time to get back to the grindstone with my edits, blogging, and tweeting.

To celebrate that, Canada Day, and the 4th of July, here is Rollie, an adorable baby armadillo playing with a toy:

maple leaf flag

Happy Canada Day!

This dog wishes you a happy fourth of july

Happy Independence Day!

Crazy Wedding Pics

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No, not for my wedding. Not yet. Not quite. But don’t expect a blog from me next week, as I will be on my honeymoon!

In the meantime, enjoy this crazy wedding pictures:
drunk wedding bride groom groomsmen

ew kissing hide your face wedding picture

flee from the dinosaur on your wedding! T-rex

funny wedding photo

force choke the wedding party

squish the groomsmen wedding pic

Marry us right meow

Cute Contest 2: Tail Noms Versus Baby Foxes

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Round 2: Who wins the cute crown this time?
Today we have tail-nomming snow leopards versus baby foxes!

big cat

fox kits

adorable leopard kitten

squee so cute

predator relaxing playing

fox kit snow play time

fun snow leopard tail nomming

hide and seek peekaboo fox

ah eat mah tail cuz its tasty

napping baby animal

Mom's tail tastes good

Are leaves food?

I realize the snow leopards might be at a disadvantage, simply because they’re not all babies… but lookit them fluffy tails!

Live Jousting 2016

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So my fiance and I got to go see something pretty cool yesterday. Down in Osoyoos, the Society of Tilt and Lance Cavalry (STALC) put on some live jousting. (Btw, I totally love their slogan: “Joust do it.”)

For those of you who might not know what jousting is, it’s when two people on horseback, in full armor, charge straight at each other and try to hit each other with long pointy sticks.
Like this:
medieval jousting in full armor, knights
Tilting at its funnest. lance joust shatter

But seriously, it’s pretty cool. Jousting was originally used as a way for knights to gain prestige, wealth, and status. Like any sport, there are rules and points and whatnot. You get so many points for hitting the shield, shattering your lance, or unhorsing your opponent (unfortunately, we didn’t get to see anyone get launched out of his or her saddle).

armor medieval knight jousting

The folks at STALC said a set of armor costs upwards of $6000. …Shiny…

We were assigned a knight to cheer for based on our section in the stands. This was our knight:

Mr. Knight. green and black.

I am a lousy fan because I don’t remember his name. But he was still awesome.


He didn’t win, but he was one of the most experienced knights, and he did really well.

There were a few other folks dressed up too, and most of them were involved with STALC:
herald heraldry flags coat of arms
But all in all it was a pretty small event. Still, I plan to go again next year!

Inside Singing

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Hi readers,

So I found a really sweet article and video at (you guess it) IFLS.

Y’know, just in case you were curious what it looks like inside your mouth/throat when you sing.

For those of you who’ve never taken singing lessons, a good teacher will typically give you an idea of what’s going on internally so that you know what to (try to) do to improve your vocal performance. Even so, there’s a difference between knowing in theory and seeing it. So thank you, scientists at Freiburg Institute for Musician’s Medicine, for this one.

On a related note, last weekend, I got to go see a performance by the choir I used to be a member of, the Spectrum Singers. They’re pretty frickin’ fantastic. If you’re in Kelowna, definitely try to catch their performances: usually at St. Michael’s in December and May. The videos aren’t up on YouTube yet, but they usually do upload them after a bit (here’s to hoping!) But if you want a taste now, check out the video below from back when I sang with them.

Flowers O’ The Forest (that’s me!)

The Duckling Excursion

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I am thrilled to announce that the ducklings are back, and as adorable as ever. There were, in fact, two separate groups. I shall call them the Itsy Bitsy Group and the Fluffily Adorable Group. Both groups were down in the pond and the creek that run near my house. Having seen these precious little babies last year, my fiance and I have been going on walks solely to see them again this year.

We saw the Itsy Bitsy Group first:
itsy bitsy ducklings so squee
They were definitely the younger group, so tiny and squee! But they were a little shy, so this is as close as we could get:
baby birds, water fowl ducks
There’s no feeding the ducks in this area, which I do understand, even if I would love to lure them closer.

On our way back, the trail runs alongside the creek, and we got up-close and personal with some more ducklings! These were far less shy, although they kept a weather eye on us.
mallard ducklings with mama duck
Just floatin'
So cute!

Now we’re just waiting for the quail to hatch their ridiculously tiny offspring. Nothing like some darting, fluffy pinballs to make your day!

So, dear readers, which baby animals do you like to go out and *squee* at?

Cute Contest

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Smoothie versus PuiPui

Who wins the cute crown? Smoothie, The World’s Most Photogenic Cat, or PuiPui, The World’s Most Stylish Bunny? Better cast your vote below this cascade of overwhelming cuteness!

Smoothie the cat

Smoothie

bunny

PuiPui

kitty

Smoothie

rabbit

PuiPui

cat

Smoothie

bunbun

PuiPui and friend

Smoothie

royal rabbit

PuiPui

A Goldfish Is Better Than You

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At least it’s likely, in terms of attention span, at least. You see, goldfish have an average attention span of nine seconds. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span had dropped to eight.

Interestingly, in 2002, the average attention span was twelve seconds; technological shifts in the last decade or so are the most likely cause for the drop to eight seconds, as recorded in 2013. As I can’t imagine this has improved in the last few years (I suspect the reverse is true), if you have an average attention span or less, then a goldfish is better than you at paying attention to stuff.

Have you ever seen a goldfish? That’s kind of sad.

Source: Wiki Media Commons

In actuality, it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. For although humans have seen a decline in the ability to focus on tasks for longer periods of time, we have improved our ability to multitask. Here are the pertinent bits:

those who use social media heavily had more “intermittent bursts of high attention.” The study says: “They’re better at identifying what they want/don’t want to engage with and need less to process and commit things to memory.”

Just because we may be allocating our attention differently as a function of the technologies we may be using, it doesn’t mean that the way our attention actually can function has changed.

Seriously though, check out the full IFLS article. Or is your attention span too short? Your loss, there’s some cool stuff in there.