Altavistagoogle: Tim Hortons in Cancun

Tim Hortons announced they will be opening a Tim Hortons in the country of Mexico. Here are some examples of Canadian and Americans that want the Tim Hortons option during their vacation. Jamaica Florida Vacation

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Altavistagoogle: Slow TV

Norwegian TV discovered that 2 million Norwegians were willing to watch the train ride from Bergen to Oslo in real time. I did it both ways in person and didn’t find it particularly interesting (although I was with a Floridian who got to see snow for the first time, in July no less). I did watch part of the “show” on Youtube, and did find it relatively interesting (helps that we are at the front of the train, a view you wouldn’t normally have as a passenger).

In that same sense, perhaps you’d be willing to watch some Australians do laundry in Hawaii. Although these Australians are easy on the eyes and ears and have some really beautiful high definition video of some pretty epic scenery, I can’t quite pinpoint what is so compelling about their travel vlog series. They are both 24 years old, so perhaps it is the wholesome voyeurism of their millennial lifestyle and interests. Their “coffee” at Starbucks has soy and they are willing to walk two hours to Whole Foods because “Walmart was horrible” (for fresh food). I only know Whole Foods from Southpark, so perhaps simply seing the real-world version is what I found captivating.
As you can see here, in one year, they do manage to see more of the world than either you or me. They both went to university for 5 years and worked in Perth (the Fort McMurray of Australia), so presumably they had some cash. And indeed, they aren’t hosteling or camping. Full private kitchens are part of their travels. Also, they have a website, and I guess they were able to scam some free tickets to tours here and there.
Start the 365 video playlist from the beginning (one a day) as they leave Australia. Soon they will be in Hawaii, then the Rockies, Europe and Africa. Watch in HD.
It is amateurish, self-absorbed and mostly uninteresting. And yet very watchable. Slow TV at it’s best. Even better than the Norwegian train ride. 🙂
Disclaimer: I love to travel (50 countries and counting), and have got a bit of the travel bug. But you can’t leave the Moncton area in July (because the ocean is really warm and this is the month everybody comes to visit).  

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Altavistagoogle: Slow TV

Norwegian TV discovered that 2 million Norwegians were willing to watch the train ride from Bergen to Oslo in real time. I did it both ways in person and didn't find it particularly interesting (although I was with a Floridian who got to see snow for the first time, in

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Altavistagoogle: Stop Harper for 10 Cents a Day

A tight 3 way race. Isn’t democracy great. But the Conservatives have more money than the Liberals or NDP.
The NDP is going to win Quebec (Quebeckers despise both Harper and Trudeau).
But many people in other regions will still vote Conservative. The Conservatives can win.
Influencing voters, and overcoming (sometimes justified) apathy, is expensive. 
If you make a $500 donation to the federal NDP, it will only cost you $150 after tax rebate. $150 over 4 years is only 10 cents a day (0.1 X 365 X 4)
Think about how much the Conservatives have already cost Canada, and, more importantly, you: Needless defence spending, commercials for non-existent federal programs, income splitting, less accurate Canadian census, etc… 

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Altavistagoogle: Golden Age of Television

So people are stealing video in shocking numbers, and yet we are apparently in the “Golden Age” of television?

The jury is still out on that one, in my humble opinion. But then again, I’m still miffed AMC cancelled Rubicon. 
Still, if you feel you’ve been missing out, here is what I’ve watched and enjoyed since September. (Canadian channels)
-Homeland with Claire Danes. (Super Channel)
-Madam Secretary
-The Americans
-House of Cards. The plot of the latest season was a departure from the 1990s British version (which had far fewer episodes), and therefor it was rubbish. However, the actors and visuals are just as great as in previous seasons.
-Mad Men (Sigh. So, so good, and yet, as always, so dangerously close to terrible. So I totally get it if, like most people, you don’t like it). 
-Our Girl. Set in Afghanistan (BBC)
-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
-Fresh off the Boat
-Silicon Valley (HBO)
-Veep (HBO)
-Modern Family
-The Simpsons (Global)
-Last Man Standing
-South Park (Comedy Network)
-Episodes (The Movie Network)
-Mr. D (CBC)
I watched plenty of British TV comedy this winter. There are some high quality shows, my only beef is the seasons are way too short. 
-Fresh Meat
-Him and Her
-Friday Night Dinner
-Bluestone 42. A wartime sitcom set in Afghanistan. Loved it. (BBC)
Top Gear (BBC)

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Altavistagoogle: What Air Asia Does Different

Firstly, let me premise that I’m not convinced Air Asia is profitable.

Any reported “profits” could simply be accounting manipulations based

on unrealistic depreciation values assigned to new airplanes or very

temporary competitive advantages based on hedged fuel and low wages.

But from a brand perspective, here is what the company does different

(Air Asia is an umbrella group of independent national airlines).

-Western Rock music during boarding and unloading.

-Charges for water

-Flies small people (compared to North America and Europe)

-Is genuinely comfortable. Having suffered through two 7 hour ANA

Dreamliner flights, I can confirm that Air Asia’s A320 seats are far

more comfortable. They are in leather à la Westjet (so easy to clean)

and have foam in them.

-Takeoff like rockets. They shoot for the moon when they go up and

travel at very high altitude.

-Leave early. I always wondered how airlines enforced their 20 minute

rules at the gate. Well Air Asia does it more often than not by simply

leaving the gate!

-Flight attendants are gorgeous and kept humble by having them clean

the plane. And they start cleaning the front before all the passengers

are off!

How pretty? People were taking pictures and videos of them.

-Ban outside food. As a North American I find this one hard to digest,

but South Asia food does tend to smell, spill and stain. So that

cucumber sandwich will have to wait.

-No alcohol. This is probably because of Malaysian and Indonesians

imposing their stupid religious customs on others, but no booze for


-They sell advertising space. You know that ad space inside city

busses, Air Asia does that to. Possibly for accounting and tax

reasons, however, it appears to be in-kind advertising. So companies

that advertise Air Asia get ad space on the luggage compartments of

the inside of the plane

-The face of the owner is on the side of the plane. I’m tempted to

call this an ego trip, but who knows? It is different, that’s for


-10 minute sales pitches during flights. A flight attendant apologised

to me because he was going make a 10 minute sales pitch “in the local

language”. 10 minute talks on cell phone plans are bearable when you

don’t speak Malay. If you do, then you should be using your phone to

listen to music anyway (in Airplane mode, of course).

-You can buy tickets without a credit card. If you do use credit, it

will cost you $9. Your boarding pass can be printed at home or using

the bar code sent to you via MMS with the airport self serve kiosks.

Human check-in on international flights remain free and quite popular.

But travellers opt for human check-in are greeted by long lines. The

adjacent document check lines were at most 3 people long.

7 kilo hand luggage limit (10kilo with Tiger). That ain’t much, but it

is doable. My weeklong travel bag containing a pair of jeans, charging

cables and plenty of underwear topped out at 6.7 kilos when my bathing

suit was wet from a swim at Singapore’s Changi airport. But normally

it was well under. Locals don’t seem to have mastered travelling light

and are paying luggage surcharges.

These observations are mostly based on my experiences flying in an out

of KLI2 in January 2015 operated by the Malaysian branch (The umbrella

group is based in nearby Sepang).

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