The Traveling Man (Vacation #1?)

Hi All,

Well that day has come. I am writing this from a hotel room in Calgary. I am traveling to Vancouver to see my brother graduate. I am traveling in a Ford Explorer with my Mom and Dad, Sister and Brother-in-Law, and my niece and nephew. So needless to say it is a squishy ride. But a good one. The whole ten and a half hours we where on the road my niece kept asking when we are going to get to Vancouver, and after saying that we aren’t getting to Vancouver for a couple of days and that we are staying in Calgary tonight she asks if “Uncle Joel”, my brother, will be there. Par for the course for traveling with a three year old.

We stopped in Hanna for supper at a place called the cactus corner cafe. I had a mushroom swiss burger, which was amazing, sorry no pics. I was understandably focused on an amazing supper set before me.

Last Thursday I did a double feature of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ninja Turtles. Great movies. Lots of fun and excitement. Go see them, but do not take your children as it is pretty violent, unless you don’t care about that thing then go ahead, you are the parent.

I may or may not post something tomorrow, we’ll see. I have been thinking of blogging each day of my two week trip. Like I said we’ll see.

Here is an awesome video my sister showed me this morning before we left.


The Torrent of Files

UGGGH! I am exhausted! Maybe it’s me staying up too late, maybe it’s working on a project all morning only to have it not work out. A nap would do me good, maybe after writing this post I will have a nap.

Last night I saw a documentary on Napster, called Downloaded. (It’s on Netflix if you are interested.) It seems that the way we buy music today was influenced by Napster. The ease of typing the name of your favorite band and being able to buy every album by that artist was birthed in that original peer to peer network. What I found astounding was that Napster was trying to take their platform and make it profitable, which means selling the music, and thus paying the record companies. but instead of working with Napster and finding a way for everyone to make money, they tried to kill the technology. (Which worked out well for them right limewire?)

I guess the next jump in the p2p, or peer to peer, network game was torrents, of which there are a multitude of programs that work on the torrent network. On Napster you needed to use the Napster program to access the Napster network, by contrast there are a multitude of programs that allow you to access the Torrent network. Another improvement over that original p2p network is that on Napster you where limited not only by your download speed, but also by the file host’s upload speed. Torrents have done away with the host bottleneck. Everyone with the same torrent file can have pieces of the file uploaded to be reassembled at the reception end.

Argh, my ineptitude at teaching is coming through. Let’s try this again.

If the music file being downloaded is like a book, and each chapter needs to be retrieved and delivered separately. Now if I have the book I can deliver the whole book, but it’s going to take time for me to travel to you with all three chapters, because I need to go back and pick up the next chapter and bring it back to you. But if I, your dad and your sister all have the same book I can bring you the first chapter, your dad the second and your sister the third and as long as your door is big enough for all three of us to show up at the same time. You get the book faster. That’s a torrent, if you where only getting the book from me, that’s Napster/LimeWire.

And that ladies and gentlemen is your Tech lesson for the day. If you want me to explain Tech more let me know and I will do my best, even if it doesn’t make sense. Oh, and remember…

ROCK ON internet ROCK ON!

The Child Lucy’s FireFall

Hi everyone,

It’s me again. with another edition of Steve’s Awesomeness™!

I was looking through the Go! Prince Albert playlist on Shaw TV Saskatoon’s youtube channel today and I came across a great video. (Oh you are wondering what I was doing looking through the Go! Prince Albert playlist? Well I live in Prince Albert and do some work for Shaw TV, I was wondering if any of my stories was on the YouTube channel, and yes one is.) The video I am talking about is an interview that a 6 year-old boy did with the author Wes Funk.

And now onto other things

I watched Lucy on Friday, what an awesome movie! This movie reminds me of Limitless and Inception. It is a thinker and action rolled into one. The movie is about an average woman, Lucy, who gets wrapped up in a bad situation and ends up increasing her mental capacity. and of course there are people after her that wants to kill her. Morgan Freeman is in this movie so you know it is going to be awesome.

Also Firefall is released on Tuesday. Being in the beta for the game gave me early access and the game is awesome. The developer, Red 5, has crafted an amazing game that is completely free to play. I think the improvements they have made since my last login has been in the right direction.  Firefall is a third/first person MMO Shooter. The game is set in the future and most of the earth is uninhabitable. You are a mercenary working for the government in a war against… I don’t know what, they are called “The Chosen” but I don’t know what that means. You should definitely get the game, hey it’s free! If you do look up Cowak ingame, that’s me.

I think that is all for this week, I got to go record a parade for Shaw TV this evening and look at getting my niece a wristband for the fair.

ROCK ON internet ROCK ON!

The Secret Gimmik

Hi All,

Time for my weekly ramblings again… and the world goes into a frenzy crashing with traffic and… Sprots centre Top 10 is on, you will have to wait.

OK I’m back. Speaking of SPORTSCENTRE You can vote for the Kraft Celebration Tour today and tomorrow, It’s a competition on TSN, and I need you all to vote for Prince Albert and our waterslides. You can watch a video explaining it all on the Tour website I linked above.

Every year when Sports Centre goes on their tour I wish they would come to my home, Prince Albert, and now that they are they are coming I am out of town! They are here the weekend of my brother’s grad. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice Joel.

What have I done this week? I can talk to you about “The Secret Service” which is a comic book series about an MI6 agent and his nephew. It involves a mad billionaire trying to destroy the world and an MI6 agent trying to save it. It takes a few cues from James Bond and a few nods to more franchises. I loved it and it is amazing.  If you have a problem with swearing, or nudity you might not want this book. Most of the book is good, unless you have an issue with some  swearing, but there is one page with some nudity, I wish they had not put that in there, it wasn’t necessary. Due to the nudity I can not recommend this book, and it saddens me.

There was something I wanted to mention last week but didn’t have the time… now what was it? Oh ya Rising Star.

This is a new singing competition show on ABC/CTV. What makes this show interesting is the way you vote. You vote for your favorites through an app on your mobile device, screenshot below.

When the contestant is singing you either vote yes or no as they sing and they know instantly if they move onto the next round. The host is Josh Groban and the “Specialists” read judges in any other show, are Ludacris, Kesha, and Brad Paisley. Kesha was a mistake, I think she is high most episodes and the producers had to censor her on Sunday. But I am a victim of the gimmick (shoot I just accidentally added gimmik to my spell check dictionary.) I love voting instantly on my phone. Swipe right, swipe left, but for heaven’s sake SWIPE!

Oh well, Time to go I guess.

ROCK ON internet ROCK ON

Rising Star App
A screenshot of the Rising Star app

iTrek: The Next Device

Hi All,

It’s me again. This week a monumental thing has happened. I got an iPad.  My resistance to the iPad has never been an emotional one for me, but calculated (as I am writing this I am watching American Ninja Warrior and they have been hyping someone called “The Karate Hottie” and she didn’t make it past the first obstacle, hahaha) ok back to the iPad. My argument over it has been that it is a closed environment, but my soundboard at church has an iOS app and no android app. I got a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad mini. I like it, but I have gotten addicted to comic books.

With my new iPad I needed to find a means of entertainment with it. I have been reading the Star Trek: Ongoing series by publisher IDW. This series follows the crew of the Enterprise after the destruction of Vulcan. It is pretty cool. In one book they even setup some of the more ridiculous parts of Into Darkness, ala beaming off Earth to Qo’Nos, Klingon home world.

Sometimes Checkov is hard to understand, just like in the movie, they wrote his dialogue in a Russian accent. I’m not sure I like that decision, but it allows for some fun, remember in the movie (Wictor Wictor Two?)

There is a new storyline that IDW is starting that involves Q. I like Q. My dad says he is Loki in the Star Trek universe, and I think he is right. I have never thought of Q as Loki, but he is. When Q shows up he causes some mischief and the crew of the ship (Enterprise, Voyager, or Deep Space 9) have to navigate the trouble. This kinda sounds like Loki’s role in the Avengers/Thor stories. I am looking forward to the rest of the story involving him.

I have also read a Dr. Who/Star Trek: TNG, The Next Generation, crossover story that was not too well written, or too well drawn. I found the art style too much into the uncanny valley (if you are unfamiliar with the theory check it out, the folks over at Extra Credits did a good job of explaining this.) I found this a fun diversion. If you are a Dr. Who and TNG fan check it out, like I said It’s not a great story but a fun diversion.

My verdict? iPad = cool. Star Trek: Ongoing = Cool. Dr. Who/ST:TNG = average

ROCK ON internet ROCK ON

Mr. President

Hi internet people,

Last weekend I had to go to Saskatoon again. The good news is that there is paint on the walls, but I didn’t have much to do (or I successfully avoided work). (Does the period go in front of or behind the parenthesis, Evonne?)

Anywho, I was browzing netflicks and an older show showed up, so I watched the first episode. This show is a drama about office politics. This show made me laugh and now I am a fan. I bet you can guess what show I’m talking about. Here is a hint, take the title of this post into account. That’s right, I am talking about The West Wing.

I think the charm of this show is that the small nucleus of people that make up the President’s senior staff. You know the Press Secretary, Chief of Staff, Speechwriter, ect. oh ya the President is a regular character too.

I like that we join the office as it is in the middle of working. There is no new character that is introduced into the office to introduce us to the inner workings of the show (a wordsmith I am not, maybe someone can help me?)

I find the show funny and fun. The writing and acting I find impeccable, especially the season 1 finale. You should check it out.

Anyhow I gotta go learn about the 90’s.

ROCK ON internet ROCK ON!

Hi All

Here I am!

I am writing a blog. I am going to blog about stuff, and that’s the technical term.

On Monday I went to Saskatoon to help work on a property my parents own, by the way I think I dropped as many screws as I put into the roof. but that meant that I didn’t get to watch 24 on Tuesday, and the other shows I record.

24, whoa. What a show. I own all the DVDs that are available so you can say that I am a bit of a fan. When this season premiered, I had a massive smile on my face, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

Keifer Sutherland is amazing. The intensity he can convey from one look is crazy. I love his work on 24, and on Touch (if you don’t know on Touch Kiefer plays a character with just as much intensity).

This year they have turned up the crazy on 24. I find the setting is wrong. There is something to say about putting Jack in another country, but the Americans in the show have too much freedom in a foreign country. In my opinion Jack and one CIA agent should be working with MI-5, and the whole thing should be a MI-5 operation not a CIA operation.

That being said this season of 24 is amazing. If you get the chance to watch it do. If you don’t like the torture that 24 is known for don’t worry. While the torture is still a part of the world the characters don’t partake in it’s simplicity too much. As a matter of fact this year Jack has yet to torture anyone, wait there may have been one person and Jack was stopped before he could do any actual damage, as opposed to previous seasons where Jack tortured someone every episode.

Well, I didn’t plan on talking about 24 today, but whatever. I plan to, on this blog, talk about whatever I want whenever I feel like it.

Well it looks like Ottawa’s first football, CFL, game is about to start so it’s time to go.

ROCK ON internet ROCK ON!