cycling, health & fitness, hiking

I HATE Running

But days are too short in November – January in Canada to do multi-day hiking or cycling trips. I’m stuck with it.

Semi-rad

Right now I’m alternating:

  • Runs up to an hour. Up to 10km.
  • Stairs series
  • 100m sprint intervals

For runs I head off from home towards my favourite park. Turn around at the half way point in time / distance.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

RELATED:

Click PLAY or watch running Parksville in the Spring on YouTube. Flowers!

Click PLAY or watch running Bermuda on YouTube.

TV

The Code (Aussie TV series)

Because I enjoyed Australian TV series Pine Gap, I went looking for more.

The Code — season 1 2014 — is a six-part series set in both outback and metropolitan areas of Australia.

Very intense.

Fantastic ending.

The main story is brothers Ned (Dan Spielman) — a journalist — and Jesse Banks (Ashley Zukerman) — a hacker — who publish a video of a mysterious outback accident.

Zukerman’s performance a socially dysfunctional genius is impressive and emotional. He was nominated Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama in 2014 in the Aussie AACTA Awards.

I’ll definitely watch season 2.

books

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

I was keen to get my hands on this book.

The author won the 2020 Hugo Award for her debut novel A Memory Called Empire (2019).

Arkady Martine is the pen name of AnnaLinden Weller, a historian and city planner in New Mexico.

AnnaLinden was a SciFi geek from a young age. A big reader too.

The book starts well.

A young female ambassador is sent from tiny Lsel Station to the home planet of the Teixcalaanli Empire.

She’s a fish-out-of-water. Unsophisticated. But with a secret technology.

I was hooked.

But about half way through I was tempted to give up. The palace intrigue not intriguing enough for me.

Not enough action.

Most people love this book. I made it through. But I won’t continue with the inevitable sequel.

related – The Verge – A Memory Called Empire is a brilliant blend of cyberpunk, space opera, and political thriller

books, movies

Girl in the Spider’s Web (film)

I liked the book — The Girl in the Spider’s Web — and finally got around to watching the 2018 film version.

Excellent.

It stars Claire Foy in the role of Lisbeth Salander and follows Salander as she battles against a mysterious notorious organization, the Spiders, who seek world dominance. …

box-office bomb, … mixed reviews from critics, although Foy’s performance was praised.

Lisbeth Salander is one of the great characters of modern fiction. She’s been played by Noomi Rapace, Rooney Mara, and Claire Foy. All 3 superb, in different ways.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Which Actress Is the Best Lisbeth Salander: Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, or Noomi Rapace?

Apple, video

my NEW MacBook Pro

A Mac geek, I sagely advised Rockin’ to NOT buy a first generation product.

Get the MacBook Air. It’s enough computer for 99% of the world.

#Don’tPracticeWhatYouPreach

Myself? I ordered a first generation SILICON MacBook Pro day 1. It costs CAD $400 more than the Air.

So far, I’m thrilled. 😇

It’s a speed demon.

The 1% who need the Pro are those wanting to video edit in 4K. Drinkin’ the fanboy Kool-Aid.

Click PLAY or watch a review on YouTube.

books

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Excellent. 

Based on a true story. 

Tom Holland will play the lead in the Hollywood movie adaptation.

For some reason I’d never thought about Italy during WW II — before reading this book.

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.

Amazon

 

TV

Pine Gap (TV series)

Pine Gap is a 2018 Australian television series …

… set around the Australian and American joint defence intelligence facility at Pine Gap, south-west of the town of Alice SpringsNorthern TerritoryAustralia.

In fact, I tried it on Netflix because I’d never made it to Alice Springs as a tourist.

Pine Gap is an actual U.S. / Australian satellite surveillance base. The TV series is based around a real thing.

Quite good. Sounds like there might be a season 2 in the works. I’ll probably watch it.

Mark Leonard Winter as Moses Dreyfus, an autistic geek, was easily my favourite character. But many of the personalities are engaging.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

books

The Searcher by Tana French

Tana French is widely considered one of the best murder mystery writers. No surprise, she lives in Dublin.

The Searcher (2020) — her 8th book — did surprise me in many ways.

Released immediately before COVID-19 lockdowns, it has an upbeat ending. Twists and turns. Kept me focused right to the last page.

French said it was a traditional Western updated for modern rural Ireland.

I’d recommend the audio version so you can enjoy the many Irish dialects.

After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, Cal Hooper just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

travel, video

Sam Kolder – travel vlogger

Sam, from Toronto, is one of the top travel video editors. He got started as the video guy for The Chainsmokers.

I’m studying Sam’s work. He’s a master with the drone.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.

Sam spent over 500 hours editing this project. A tribute to his brother.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

The 3rd book in the Odd series is not quite as compelling as the first two. But I’ll continue on to #4.

I’m no fan of horror. But like the humour. The banter. The philosophy.

Easy reading.

Odd Thomas has been a guest at St. Bartholomew’s Abbey, where he hopes to seek peace and understanding. …

Rodion Romanovich, the abbey’s other guest, is an excellent character. He steals every scene.

Brother Knuckles, former mafia goomba is somehow now a monk. Also entertaining.