Archive for February, 2012

Amazing size comparison of our Earth to the Sun…

This amazes me every time I watch it. A size comparison of the Earth to the Sun and then to ever larger (an understatement) bodies in the Universe.

Wow!

Puerto Plata

It’s with a heavy heart that I spent the day reminiscing about a perfect vacation that we embarked on one year ago today.

On February 23rd, 2011, Siobhan, Me, Phoebe, Cory, Dana, Steve and a plane load of Dana and Steve’s friends flew to Puerto Plata to spend a week at the Iberostar Costa Dorada in the Dominican Republic. Steve’s good friends were getting married there and we were invited to join them all.

The trip was perfect! (did I say that already??) The people of the D.R. were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Always smiling and always there to have a laugh. The resort was perfect and the food and drinks were great. We had one bartender – Julien, who served me up a “Red Fruity Drink” at 10:30 one morning after I had spent an hour hunting the resort grounds trying to find anyone I knew. I then introduced the rest of the gang to Julien and the drink and we’ve been hooked ever since. After returning home we spent many weekends trying to figure out the right mix of different beverages until we were happy with what we had.

We made many new friends, and shared many great memories. The Star Friends were great, the staff was great. Elvis, the excursion salesman in the hotel lobby was a great help. He introduced us to Mindy, a wonderful tour guide who took us out and showed us the sights of the city. We had a great bus and boat ride to “Paradise Island” where we went snorkeling. We experienced the beauty and simplicity of a Caribbean Resort wedding.

Up until this trip I had never really thought about going South for a vacation… since this trip I haven’t stopped thinking about returning. The only problem is that I want to go to other places but at the same time I want to revisit the Iberostar Costa Dorada!

Check out the video below. I put it together as soon as we returned. The music is the same music we heard throughout our trip, ending with the Iberostar theme song (Dale Palla) that was played every night at the end of the show. If you look closely you can see Siobhan dancing on the stage at the end of the video.

What a trip!

The greatest little boombox

Wow. Just wow.

Last fall I had stumbled upon a little device while browsing the web. The Jawbone Jambox. A small wireless (or wired) speaker system that sounded like a great fit for camping and exploring. This little device claimed to be loud and have a great battery life. I was stoked! A little more digging around and I found that it would cost me about $200 and there were other similar products that had similar or even better specs for less money. I turned my attention to these products and decided that we would have something for our next camping season.

A few weeks later we headed to the nearest city that had a Best Buy store (a six hour drive!). I decided to drop into the newly built Best Buy and noticed a Jambox demo unit. I hit the button and proceeded to pick my jaw up off of the floor. This tiny little speaker made more noise then the stereo in my 11 year old CR-V! I then came to the realization that a lot of people who review gadgets are spoiled. This thing was excellent!

I didn’t buy it that day as I knew I had seen it on sale when digging for info a few weeks earlier. I went back and told my wife about it and got the nod of approval.

The Jambox then fell to the back of my mind… until Black Friday came along. I took the morning off of work and stayed home to find a TV for our living room. After I was successful with that search I decided to surf around and see what was being offered on other websites. I made my way to apple.ca and noticed the red Jambox on sale for $150. Click, click, ordered!

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This little speaker has since brought music back into our house. Pairing it with my iPhone was dead easy. Hit play on my iPhone and then let the speaker blast. In the past we used my phone to play music in the evening while bathing our boys but now we let the Jambox provide the sound.

The battery life is great. I’ve charged it three times in the month and a half that we’ve been using it. The sound is crazy for such a little device. Everyone that has seen it loves it and can’t believe that such a little box could put out so much sound.

There are other features that this speaker has:

  • It’s a speakerphone! I’ve even used it on the dash of my old noisy CR-V with four studded tires attacking my ears!
  • Live Audio mode, which lowers the volume while giving more realistic sound – To our ears it just lowers the volume and doesn’t offer much in return.
  • Downloadable sound effects and voices – 8-bit all the way!
  • Apps – Gives the round button on top of the Jambox different functions such as speed dialing or the ability to read incoming text messages.
  • A Chain – So you can wear some really loud bling. The chain is free but shipping to Canada wasn’t worth it. 🙁

If you’re in the market for a small battery powered bluetooth speaker try this one. You would have to be pretty picky not to like it!
 

 

Rene