28 May 2009

Video Luv: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

If this won't be an awesomely awful movie, I don't know what will be.

Lorenzo Lamas. Debbie (sorry, Deborah) Gibson. Giant CG-frickin'-I shark. The trailer shows the shark breaching into a jumbo jet.

When you go there, go big. Go HUGE. GO MEGA.

I'm already drooling with the cheesy goodness. Or badness. Time will tell.

17 May 2009

Tech Luv: EA SPORTS Active for Wii

After weaning our household off video game consoles, we broke down and bought a Nintendo to use the Wii Fit. Once we heard about the Balance Board and the possibilities it provided, we convinced ourselves that we couldn't live without this system. We brought the system home within a couple of weeks of its release, and dutifully used it for months.

Lately, I've fallen off the wagon a bit. While I enjoy the Balance Board and the exercises, there are some shortcomings with the Wii Fit game that comes with it.

The exercises and activities on the disc are very good, and the variety of activities are really nice. The game offers yoga instruction, strength training, cardio and balance exercises. The problem is that you have to pause after each exercise to select another one. This really stops the flow of what you are doing.

The other troubling part of the software we found is that we cannot work out together. This means our workouts take twice as long because we work out one after the other.

Sweetie and I have thought the game would be better with a workout program included with the software and with a workout for two people. I've been watching all the fitness packages that have come out this year, but none of them have quite addressed the problems we saw with Wii Fit.

Well, gaming giant EA has responded to our needs. This Tuesday (19 May 2009), they officially launch EA SPORTS Active for Wii ($59.99, Amazon). I am pre-ordered and can't wait to try it.

This game represents the best workout package I have found so far. The package includes a game CD-ROM, a leg strap and a resistance band. The game is equipped with preset workouts or the ability to create your own custom workouts. With more than 25 exercises and three intensity levels, there is a huge variety of workouts that you can program. The exercises range from inline skating, strength training (with the resistance band), running, basketball and dance workouts. You also get feedback on how your workout is designed so you can vary the length and type of exercises.

The game includes a virtual personal trainer to motivate you. The leg strap is where you hold the Wii Nunchuk while you work out, and this really improves the way that your movements are recorded. The virtual trainer also guides you in performing exercises correctly. One of the challenges with the Wii Fit is that when you run, you're supposed to put the controller in your pocket to measure how fast you run. In workout clothes, it doesn't work that well. Your pocket is either non-existant so that it's tucked in too high or the pocket is too big. Either way, it doesn't measure your run very well. Putting the Nunchuk in the leg strap should measure much more accurately.

The game also includes a multiplayer mode that allows you to play with someone else. By adding the EA SPORTS Active Multiplayer Pack ($18.99, Amazon), you can compete against another player, or work together to win a challenge.

The tracking software also allows you to track your other activities and diet, and lets you set measurable goals to achieve. You can also participate in a 30-day Challenge. This program gives you a different workout of increasing intensity every day. How far can you push yourself?

The following video shows just one of the features of EA SPORTS Active: the 30-day Challenge.

12 May 2009

Pic Luv: Blooming Hibiscus

Well, this sucks! It's the middle of May, and it is snowing in Edmonton.

Spring session schedule of two night classes is kicking my ass. Three hour classes four nights a week after a full-time job is just as bad as it sounds. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. On the bright side, I'm enjoying the course material, and it is very relevant to what's happening at work.

May is half over, wow! The schedule makes the days fly by. I'm completely wiped out when I get home. Poor sweetie is lonely all night and then just watches me crumple onto the couch. For once, I'm the one going to bed first.

When I am tired lately, I think of the great flowers that I saw in Punta Cana in February, and how there will be beautiful flowers all over the yards here very soon. Here's a hibiscus flower I photographed while I was there. They grow so plentifully at the resort we stayed at that the staff picks them almost daily and leaves them on the pillows of guests who tip them. In February!

I hope it brightens your day like it does mine. What is your pick-me-up on a crappy day?

P.S. This was taken with my trusty Sony CyberShot DSC-W30. I love this little camera and I take it everywhere with me, but I can't wait until I get my new DSLR. I really want to play with lenses and fields of focus!