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Let the HD era begin!

After much soul-searching and commitment to devote 2006 to reducing our debt load and saving money, Shannen and I went and bought a new TV last night 😐

Here’s the reasoning:

  • The olympics are coming, and hockey isn’t really hockey until the players are life sized.
  • The xbox 360 (which died while performing mundane tasks on January 21st and thus is still out for repair) is both a progressive scan DVD player (480p) and outputs all games in 720p. Quick tutorial on HD terminology here.
  • I’ve suffered without the food and gameshow networks for long enough! I’m excited for old episodes of “Press Your Luck”!
  • We were coaxed down to Futureshop by a sales associate saying that there was an open box version of the TV I’d decided on. “Open box” are items that have been returned after someone didn’t like it. They carry the same warranty as new items, but can be had for a ~10% discount, and are usually a great deal. The sales guy said the open box one was $150 off the already on-sale price, so $350 off list. Pretty good deal. Until he ran that by his manager, and it magically turned into $50 off the sale price. Crud.

    You get 10 months free HD box rental (or 6 months free HD+PVR) from Rogers with a tv purchase right now, which saves you around $150. I briefly considered a satellite dish, but the advantage of cable is that you still get analog cable service on other TV’s in the house that don’t have the box. So our cable bill stays the same as it was before for the first 10 months, and then goes up by the price of the HD box after that (~$15 per month).

    Have you made the plunge to HD? What are your experiences? Share in comments.

    Operation Snowman

    Despite all efforts to convince my family to join me outside for snow angels and snowman-building, everyone (politely) declined. That left only one option…cruise around and take photos of other people’s snow creations.

    My sister and I hopped in the car in search of the neighbourhood’s best. We saw everthing from professional snow tigers to snow families to yellow-eyed, yellow-stained, creepy sorta-snowmen. Some are still making me laugh. Here’s the best five of the bunch.

    Edit: there used to be the top 5 photos, but they made the blog layout go nuts. So I pared it back to MY favourite ;).

    December 28, 2005 - 9:28 am

    Kristin. - I would like to vote for the two sad specimens sitting on the slate with the bubble-blower (?) arms and neon eyes. They are stunning.

    January 9, 2006 - 12:30 pm

    Elizabeth King - This post has been removed by the author.

    January 9, 2006 - 12:31 pm

    Elizabeth King - I don’t remember actually getting an invitation to build our own snowman…but the ones we captured on film are pure genius.

    bits and bytes …

    It’s the end of the year, and you know what that means … best of lists! If you have, submit one in the comments. I’ll pull the best ones into the main post.

    Submitted by Crispy, a list of 2005 albums you should know about. I know of none of them (besides iron and wine because of their presence on the garden state soundtrack), but plan to catch up.

    Shannen didn’t submit, but will enjoy, Reuters top photos of 2005. She’ll be in there next year ;).

    Blogs are a new media form for me, but others have been at it a while. The 2005 Bloggies are awarded to the best blogs out there, and give us something to aspire to.

    The Webbies have been around longer, and are given to the best, neatest, most different websites out there each year, 2005 is no exception. Worth checking out too.

    Google puts together a “zeitgeist” feature each week, indicating what search terms are more or less popular each week. The strangest things pop up there. They’ve pulled that all together into a 2005 Year End Zeitgeist.

    And this is just a link I found that will be right up Shannen and Sean’s dark and scary alley.

    Update: Trent chimed in with a comment via email:
    Here’s a link to all the best of lists I could find for your website. Found it on

    6714 kilometers

    That’s right, 6714. That’s how far Shannen and I will be traveling this Christmas on our tour of 3 western is one of the many gadgets that uses google maps for cool things (they’re called “mashups” for whatever reason).

    Here’s our trip.

    More mashups here.

    My favourite by far was Risk using Google Maps, but that didn’t last long before Hasbro shut it down.