Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hello, New Phone!


I recently posted an Ode to My First Cell Phone, and then realized I could just as easily share the awesomeness of my new phone. I had put off getting a new phone for so long, than once I finally decided to go for it I had no idea what I wanted. Except for Netflix to work on it. Because, priorities - right? Anyhow, after doing a fair amount of research* and even a little mock up of the design (see above), I went with the Google Nexus 5.

After finally making the decision, I went back to the site and then... they were out of the version I wanted! Ack! So I went bigger and brighter and got the Bright Red 32 MB, and let me tell you ... this sucker is BRIGHT. I would definitely say NEON. At least I will always be able to spot it because that red is... wowza. I was taken aback at first, but I quickly came to like it.


After it arrived it was time to play! I was so happy to find out it was so easy to use. I think I downloaded more apps in the first 5 minutes than all of the apps on my old phone. Oh to be able to watch Netflix! And to finally be Instagram! And get a dictionary app with Word a Day (go go Merriam-Webster!). And Wikipedia. And Goodreads! And TV Tag (formerlly Get Glue). And Songza. And even be able to read Kindle books. Oh my! And all of these apps worked. Simply worked. No mussing, no fussing, all working. Wow. This was a huge relief.


Now that I've had it a while, I've found I can easily record and upload videos to my YouTube channel, and they look way better than videos I record on my camera or via webcam. They take a bit of time to upload, but it's not crazy excessive. The files take up a fair amount of space, but I just delete them after I upload. They look and sound amazing. It's really nice to be able to do a vlog a lot more on the fly. Woohoo.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was being able to to watch Netflix. I really, really wanted Netflix to run smoothy on my phone, and it does! I use it all the time. I also love that I can watch TV shows with the Space Go, CTV Go, and CityTV apps. I haven't used the Global one yet as it won't run without location being set, and I don't really want to turn feature on but we'll see how long I last on that. But I watch something on Netflix every day, and now that the fall season of TV has started I'm sure I'll be watching a lot of shows this way too. I even made sure I got a case with a kickstand just for viewing purposes.


The only things I miss about my old phone are the awesome sonar sound it made and how the IMDb app showed news. That's it. And the only thing I haven't liked about the new one is not being terrible fond of the Twitter app, because there are way too many sponsored tweets. But those few things are far in the back of my mind in comparison to all the amazing things I can now do, plus feeling like I am actually connected and have the ability to easily share pictures and videos. No longer do I have to wait until I'm on the computer to respond to things. It makes all the difference.

Oddly, the thing I use my phone the least for is as...a phone. The first time it rang, I was suprized at the sound it made. And I still can't differentiate what all the little bleeps, zzzzs, pops and whirls sounds mean. I took me a while to figure out how to send texts and to make calls. Funny how what feels like it's primary function is one of the things I use it the least for. I'm sure I'll get more adept at that, as well as finding more apps to enjoy. The learning never ends!

My current question is, now that I've conquered all 120 levels of Marble Legend ...what game to play next?

* A huge thank you to Android Authority and Erica Griffin for their awesome YouTube channels. Watching their videos on both the Nexus 5 and Moto G really helped me figure out which was the right phone for me. And, it made me realize I needed a case after watching drop test videos. I went with a Fosmon case for s 3 layers of awesome sturdiness.


Looking Back at TV from Fall 2013 - Summer 2014


This week Fall TV officially explodes. I noted 18 shows I track either coming back with new series and new series have their premieres. Before I get swept away by this season of TV, I wanted to look back at the past year of TV at the shows I enjoyed watching. Last year I started tracking and rating all the shows I watch, and that was super handy in for this exercise as I what I enjoy, because that is the data I used to come up with these numbers. I entered everything into Excel, and then came up with the average for each shows.

Please note that I rate out of ten based on enjoyment, which is not necessarily the same and quality. Although the two can easily co-exist, it's not what I look for in a TV show. Many lists are of favourite shows, best shows, etc but for me I go by enjoyment. I want to enjoy a show. That's the determining factor I use for TV I watch.

Now on to the lists!  I gave a Top 10 for the Fall through Winter shows (anything that started in one calender year, and went to the next), and then a Top 5 for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer shows. We have so many seasons of TV these days. 



Fall 2013 - Winter 2014 Shows *
  1. Dracula ~ 9.57
  2. Reign ~ 9.07
  3. The Originals ~ 8.97
  4. Arrow Season 2 ~ 8.92
  5. Shipping Wars Season 5 ~ 8.86
  6. Nashville Season 2 ~ 8.75
  7. Almost Human ~ 8.70
  8. Atlantis ~ 8.67
  9. Grimm Season 3 ~ 8.27
  10. Ravenswood ~ 8.17


Fall (Only) 2013 Shows
  1. Face Off Season 5 (Vets vs Newcomers) ~ 9.40
  2. Witches of East End ~ 9.20
  3. Cracked Season 2 ~ 9.00
  4. Ghost Mine Season 2 ~ 8.75
  5. The Voice Season 5 ~ 8.73


Winter 2014 Shows
  1. Star-Crossed ~ 8.85
  2. Teen Wolf Season 3 Part 2 ~ 8.67
  3. Arctic Air Season 3 ~ 8.45
  4. Masterchef Canada ~ 8.42
  5. Face Off Season 6 ~ 8.27



Spring 2014 Shows
Three Way Tie for First Place!
  • 1. Vikings Season 2 ~ 9.00 
  • 1. Cold Water Cowboys ~ 9.00
  • 1. Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge ~ 9.00
  • 4. Big Brother Canada Season 2 ~ 8.63
  • 5. Hannibal Season 2 ~ 8.31



Summer 2014 Shows
  1. Food Network Star Season 10 ~ 9.71
  2. The Quest ~ 9.50
  3. Longmire Season 3 ~ 9.29
  4. Deadliest Catch The Bait ~ 9.25
  5. Deadliest Catch Season 10 ~ 9.00
  6. 19-2 ~ 8.86

Summer is not totally accurate, as some really high placing shows on my list haven't quite finished so I didn't feel I could include them.  And 19-2 aired earlier than summer, but this is when I watched it.  And I put both Deadliest Catch and The Bait in making the list go to 6. But that was the best I could do for the time of publishing!

I know I watch a lot of TV, and I'm mostly okay with that, but I don't want it to take up all of my time. That being said, looking at these numbers I see that I enjoy these shows a lot. So, will I be more choosy this year on deciding what to watch? Or will I keep watching it all? Only time will tell!

What were your favourite shows of last year?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall TV 2014 ~ Where to Watch TV Shows Online in Canada


It's time to share where to watch Fall TV for the 2014 season! I can't believe it's been a year since the last Fall/Winter season started with hits like Sleepy Hollow and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This year we will see several shows like Lost Girl, Glee and Parenthood head into their final season. It's too early to tell how we'll remember this year, but I'm always curious to what the stand outs will be.

I'm looking forward to several of the new shows including Strange Empire, The Flash and Constantine, and am quite curious about Scorpion and Selfie. We also have tons of returning shows to enjoy, I'm eagerly anticipating the returns of Arrow, Grimm, Elementary, Lost Girl and of course The Voice. My tastes definitely are in the science fiction and fantasy vein, a fair few reality shows, and although I'm not a fan of procedurals but a few might slip in. If you want to hear more about the shows I'm excited for, check out my vlogs for New Shows Starting in September and Returning Shows Starting in September over at my YouTube channel. I do these previews monthly, so be sure the check back of TV Musings Playlist for more videos throughout the year.

Things have changed so much in online viewing in the past year, from CTV's Extend giving making more online content to almost all stations having their own apps (I'm in love with the Space Go app). For online viewing, we still do have most stations making less episodes available or for a shorter period of time. I have to admit that now that I have a phone that's capable of streaming shows, I find I'm watching less online but I still want to keep this resource going for those who watch at their computer.

This listing is primarily shows that started September 2014 or later. There are a few summer shows that stay with us going into the fall including Face Off, The Strain, Extant which will stay on the summer page because this one will get mighty full. For a summer-to-fall shows, check out my Summer TV Listing.

This list will be updated as new shows become available at their legitimate Canadian Broadcasters websites including CBC, CTV and CTV2, Global, CityTV, Space, Showcase, Slice, HGTV Canada, Food Network, Lifetime Canada, Discovery and History.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Can't find what you are looking for? Try the individual Canadian TV broadcasters websites video pages:

Sadly, there are always a handful of shows that are not available to watch online, such as Outlander which is one of my new faves, and if history repeats itself Supernatural, The Originals and The Walking Dead all fall into this category. The Biggest Loser S16 Glory Days is another one that's not online, having switched from CityTY to CTS. For these shows, you often have the option to buy via iTunes or at the Google Play Store. The big pay off there is: no commercials!

For online-only viewers, shows often are available for 1 week starting the day after they air, unless you have a cable subscription and can log into the TV station website. The exception to the rule is Canadian shows on specialty channels, which often have the entire season/series available online. Keep an eye on the shows you enjoy and plan your viewing accordingly :)
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* A few online viewing options do not have a specific page for watching a singular show, but rather a video player for watching any of their offerings. In those cases I've put the link to the broadcasters website, as opposed to the show. Then either select the show if it's displayed prominently, or click their video library, select your show, the season and then the episode.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ode to My First Cell Phone


It's been just over 3 years since I got my first cell phone and took the picture above. It started with a joke I said that the next time I moved I would go from landline to cell phone only, and low and behold just after that statement I found out I was moving. My phone saw me through that move. And the next move. And yet another move.


I took it to WDS back in 2012, even though I couldn't use it. It's been in my pocket every time I've gone out. I've dropped it. A lot. And it survived each and every time! It lasted through countless phone calls, be they mere moments or hours upon hours. For several months I was even able to record Hexed on it during my lunch hour. That was one of it's finest moments.

Although the photos it took here blurry, it kept me in touch with the world when I was out and about or when my internet was out. I didn't think I'd take to texting, but I did. For fun. Not to say I was running late. I rarely got service in places where I could send that message anyway!

It's a phone that no one seems to have heard or seen before, but I picked it because I loved the slide out keyboard. It had an actual keyboard where you press the keys. I loved that, and it was one of the big resists in changing to a new phone. I'm such a hold out.


It's been over 3 years since I took that dark and blurry picture at the top of this post. One of the last things I did with my phone was download all the pictures. Looking through that camera roll was a wild ride through the last 3 years: seeing where I've been, the cats in my old neighborhood, random moments, subway posters, coffee shop journalling, dinners made, going to the CNE in 2013, holidays and of course lots of pictures of my cat.


It could barely handle any apps. Even when it was shiny and new, there was almost nothing compatible. Of the few that were compatible, most of them barely worked. I did discovered last December the Blogger app was amazing. But the read stand out was IMDb which always worked like a charm, and the news feed keep me entertained through lots of times in waiting rooms.

It survived being dropped in a full mug of tea, it burned through 3 batteries with it over the years and a few times only worked when it was plugged in. But it also saw me through countless situations and kept me connected (save the 2 blackouts).


It certainly isn't the most popular phone, not now and not even three years ago, but it served me well over the years. And the only other time I have ever seen it was last week I happened to sit beside someone on the subway who had the same exact phone. I wonder if he'll be saying his own ode soon too.

Thank you phone! I put you through the ringer, and you did your best. I'll miss your tactile keyboard, sonar ping and trusty resilience.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Summer TV 2014 ~ TV Show Listing for Watching TV Online in Canada


June is here and summer is in the air. For the times we aren't enjoying the summer sun and evening breezes, we can enjoy what summer TV offerings this year. Usually I only list the shows I'm watching, but I'm feeling a little less restrictive on that at the moment so I've listed more shows than I'm planning on watching and I'll leave it open to you on decided on what you feel like watching.

I'm still very excited for there are still many shows I'm looking forward to including the return of Teen Wolf, The Amazing Race Canada, The Witches of East End along with new shows Extant, Reckless and The Quest. Of course there are also returning reality faves of Deadliest Catch (Season 10!), Big Brother and So You Think You Can Dance.

If you enjoy watching YouTube, I do doing monthly previews over at my YouTube channel and the June editions of New Shows and Returning Show videos and keep an eye on my TV Musings Playlist for more videos throughout the summer.

This list will be updated as new shows become available at their legitimate Canadian Broadcasters websites including CBC, CTV, Global, CityTV, Space, Showcase, Slice and Food Network (See larger list of channels after day-by-day listing).

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Can't find what you are looking for? Try the individual Canadian TV broadcasters websites video pages:

For online-only viewers, the new norm for shows is to be only available for 1 week starting the day after they air, unless you have a cable subscription and can log into the TV station website. The exception to the rule is Canadian shows on specialty channels, which often have the entire season/series available online. Keep an eye on the shows you enjoy and plan your viewing accordingly :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* A few online viewing options do not have a specific page for watching a singular show, but rather a video player for watching any of their offerings. In those cases I've put the link to the broadcasters website, as opposed to the show. Then either select the show if it's displayed prominently, or click their video library, select your show, the season and then the episode.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Spring TV 2014 ~ TV Show Listing for Watching TV Online in Canada


I know it's a bit early to call it "spring", but I'm ready for warmer weather and will prompt it if I have to! On the TV side of things, we had a huge influx of new and returning shows after the Olympics. Taking that into consideration I'm settling into spring early and therefore this post will have new and continuing show starting from late February through to all of May. You can see the Winter 2014 list here if you are looking for older shows.

As always, this list will be updated weekly as new shows become available at their legitimate Canadian Broadcasters websites including CBC, CTV, Global, CityTV, Space, Showcase, Slice and Food Network.

The shows included here are the ones I am interested in checking out, and FYI my TV tastes veer to the science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and occasional straight-up drama. I strongly prefer long-arc centric series that feature good-spirited characters, but there a few exceptions. In terms of non-fiction/reality shows many competition series based in the arts, sports or food and of course paranormal investigations. It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I love Canadian TV and am always happy to try out and share Canadian shows of any genre. To get a sampling of the shows I'm looking forward to, check out my vlogs for New and Returning TV for March, and my TV Musings Playlist for more TV awesomeness.

Shows that play through the entire Fall/Winter/Spring will be included in this list in addition to their respective Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 lists.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Can't find what you are looking for? Try the individual Canadian TV broadcasters websites video pages:
Also check out the site Free Internet TV Canada, which has an amazing A-Z listing of shows.

For online-only viewers, we do have to contend with the strong change in online viewing from TV station sites from open access to log in if you are a cable subscriber. It's quite an adjustment to have less episodes tend to be available and the window to watch them is smaller; they still tend to be up the day after airing on TV but now often only last a week and with 1 episode available to watch at a time. This appears to be the new norm for CTV, Global and CityTV. Thankfully CBC still has seasons and seasons of shows to enjoy without restrictions, and Showcase and Slice still has full seasons of Canadian and Canadian co-pro's available to watch online.

If there is a Canadian channel that streams TV shows you'd like added, just leave a comment below and I'll update the list. There are a few shows that aren't available online in Canada like Supernatural , The Originals, Reign and The Walking Dead. Other shows are online but locked (such as Vikings Season 2).  The new norm for a lot of shows is to be only available for 1 week starting the day after they air, unless you have a cable subscription and can log into the TV station website. Plan your viewing accordingly :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* A few online viewing options do not have a specific page for watching a singular show, but rather a video player for watching any of their offerings. In those cases I've put the link to the broadcasters website, as opposed to the show. Then either select the show if it's displayed prominently, or click their video library, select your show, the season and then the episode.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Winter TV 2014 ~ Where to Watch TV Shows Online in Canada


Welcome to 2014! With the new year we have a whole new set of TV shows coming to us enjoy. TV times have really changed and we have lots of shows that normally air in the Winter, as well as some that are coming to Winter timeslots for the first time. There are so many shows out there, and so many from the Fall that got picked up that it's pretty overwhelming. I may not be watching as much but I will still keep this list up to date.

This list will be updated throughout the winter as new shows become available at their legitimate Canadian Broadcasters websites including CBC, CTV, Global, CityTV, Space, Showcase, Slice and Food Network.

For online-only viewers, you may have noticed the trend and change in online viewing from TV station sites from open access to log in if you are a cable subscriber. It's quite an adjustment as less episodes tend to be available and the window to watch them is smaller; they still tend to be up the day after airing on TV but now often only last a week and with 1 episode available to watch at a time. This appears to be the new norm for CTV, Global and CityTV. Thankfully CBC still has seasons and seasons of shows to enjoy without restrictions, and Showcase still has full seasons of Canadian and Canadian co-pro's available to watch online.

The shows included here are the ones I am interested in checking out, and FYI my TV tastes include science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and the occasional straight-up drama. I strongly prefer long-arc centric series that feature good-spirited characters, but there a few exceptions. In terms of non-fiction/reality shows many competition series based in the arts or sport way find it's way here along a few food shows and paranormal investigations. And of course Canadian TV always catches my eye. To get a sampling of the shows I'm looking forward to, check out my vlogs for New and Returning TV. For shows which season is Fall/Winter I will also include it on this list in addition to the Fall 2013 List.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Can't find what you are looking for? Try the individual Canadian TV broadcasters websites video pages:
If there is a Canadian channel that streams TV shows you'd like added, just leave a comment below and I'll update the list. There are a few shows that aren't available online in Canada like Supernatural , The Originals, Reign and The Walking Dead . Remember now the new norm for a lot of shows is to be only available for 1 week starting the day after they air, unless you have a cable subscription and can log into the TV station website. Plan your viewing accordingly :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* A few online viewing options do not have a specific page for watching a singular show, but rather a video player for watching any of their offerings. In those cases I've put the link to the broadcasters website, as opposed to the show. Then either select the show if it's displayed prominently, or click their video library, select your show, the season and then the episode.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

My Year in Books: 2013



Looking back at 2013 is different than any other year for me. I usually love to do reflections, but looking back at anything in 2013 I see everything in the context of that it was the year my Mom passed away. This feels particularly strong when it comes to books as we talked about them a lot and we would swap books and share recommendations, especially in the past several years. We didn't always agree on what we thought happened, who we were rooting for or eer what books we liked, but from Twilight to Uglies to Vampire Academy to Strange Angels we went through many a series.

Mom was a huge fan of the Women of the Otherworld series, and I am very happy that I finally read Bitten by Kelley Armstrong so we could talk about the book and chat all about the casting for the upcoming TV series. Another book I know she would have loved was The Giver by Lois Lowry, and I wish I had read it earlier as I know she would have loved it. The concepts in it were very much like the ones we had discussed and both had thought about when we each of us were kids but never knew.

Although I read quite a few books last year, those are the only two that really matter to me because they will always remind me of my Mom.

Photo Cred: Jamie Ridler