Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Skylon Tower + Red Bull

Today I am going to be writing two reviews at once.

The first is about the Skylon Tower at Niagara Falls. I went up the tower back in 1985 when I was just a kid and for years afterwards I thought with childish confusion that the Skylon Tower was the CN Tower and that Niagara Falls was in Toronto. Like I said, I was a kid at the time and didn't know any better.

To this day I have been living in Toronto for 12+ years and I still haven't been up the CN Tower. I suppose partially because that distant memory of the Skylon Tower was enough for me. I also recall walking around above the falls and we also got a tour behind / underneath Niagara Falls in the tunnels / caves owned by Ontario Hydro. (I am not certain if they still give tours down there, but back in the 1980s they did.)

Since then I haven't really been up many towers. I recall going up a lookout tower in the Appalachians and I have been up the Seoul Tower in South Korea twice.

What I have discovered I really enjoy however is mountain climbing, something I picked up while living in South Korea. Part exercise, part exploration, part the enjoying the scenery when you reach the top. So to me mountain climbing combines the scenery of going up a really tall building with the exercise and feeling of having accomplished/discovered something.

And lets face it, I live in Canada. And there is a lot of mountains to climb if I want to give myself a challenge. Just so long as I don't fall or get killed in an avalanche.

Which brings me to my 2nd review for today: Red Bull Crashed Ice.

Now before you think Red Bull Crashed Ice is an energy drink with ice in it (which I admit, is what it sounds like) let me explain what it really is: High speed racing on hockey skates.

So yeah... Its not what you think. Its just "Ice Cross Downhill" with a brand name sponsor. Sorry for the confusion.

I actually wish companies would stop purchasing buildings or events like that and then sticking their brand name on the item. eg. The SkyDome in Toronto being purchased by Rogers Telecommunications and being re-branded as "The Rogers Centre". I am sorry but it is always going to be the SkyDome to me, I don't care how much re-branding those marketing morons at Rogers do.

Anyway, back to the whole ice cross downhill topic. It is rather similar to BMX racing like in the video below which I first witnessed during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

There is also Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross, but I have to wonder about the athletes who get into these niche sports and whether they consider it a serious career. If they do, I wonder how many times they've forgotten to wear a helmet and injured their head.

Which begs the question, will be seeing Ice Cross Downhill at the next Winter Olympics? Probably not in 2014 in Sochi Russia, but we might see it become an event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

In which case I might find an excuse to visit South Korea and go mountain climbing just so I can be there for the Olympics that year. Should be fun.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Aviator Jackets

I think Aviator jackets are just plain kewl.

I dunno, its like a strange combination of retro militarism and a like of aerial fashion.

To be fair, I just like retro things in general. Not quite steampunk, but retro fashion and items. Pocket watches, old six-shooter pistols, suspenders. Retro fashion is kewl in so many ways.

Take for example Amelia Earhart - feminist icon and aviator.

She looks absolutely dashing in her jacket. And don't forget posing next to the plane. Huzzah!

Thus a website like is great if you're looking for a dashing looking jacket and love that retro adventurous feel. The site has a variety of different styles of aviator jackets and also a guide that helps you pick the jacket that is the right size for you.

Now for women there is actually a lot more variety of aviator jackets available. Many different styles to choose from. For example the one below is a crinkle cut - which is designed to look weathered. (I bought a backpack once which had the same effect. Everyone was always asking if its dirty and why I don't clean it and I have to explain that is the design.)

And then there is the extra furry designs. Extra faux fur around the neck to make the person feel like they're wearing a fur coat instead of a bomber jacket.

Some jackets will also have more of a motorcycle feel to them too. I think its all the black and the slim fit.

And then there is brown - my favourite. And my reasoning here is that for whatever reason brown jackets look older. Shiny black looks TOO NEW in my opinion.

Now of course, how is an aviator jacket different from any other jacket or coat you might purchase?

Well lets see... There is:

Trench Coats - Also retro, great if you like the Maltese Falcon and film noir. Comes with buttons and a built-in belt.

Chesterfield - Like a trench coat, but with no belt. Uses buttons instead. Looks rather boring.

Duffel Coat - Usually comes with a hood and funky buttons. Reminds me of the new Arrow tv show for some reason, even though Green Arrow's hood and jacket are pretty different.

Polo Jacket - Also like the trench coat, and also uses buttons. TWO rows of buttons. Again, it looks rather boring.

Parka - Really warm, but really only looks right if you live in Alaska or northern Canada.

Pea Coat - A design originally worn by sailors. Fits snugly.

Wrap Coat - More like a trench coat, but with zero buttons at all.

Military Trench Coat - Shorter than the standard trench coat, and has lots of buttons like a Pea Coat.

Cape Coat - Really only looks good on women. It ends up looking a bit like a poncho.

Poncho - Ponchos rock!

Toggle Coat - A bit like the Duffel coat because of the funky buttons, but not made of duffel fabric.

So there you go!

Feel free to contrast and compare, but lets be fair: Very few jackets are as kewl looking as aviator jackets.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to Use Personal Training Services in Toronto

Personal training services can be used in a variety of ways and customized to suit your goals and lifestyle:

1. Use Personal Training Services in Toronto for Accountability

The most popular reason people hire a Certified Personal Trainer in Toronto is to purchase a block of sessions to guarantee that you exercise/train two or three times a week. If you know that a trainer will arrive at your house or condo as scheduled, there's no excuse to not exercise!

So for example Cardio Trek offers 40 Hourly Sessions for $1,050. Over a 2 month period that is 20 sessions per month and a guarantee that you are exercising, losing weight and gaining muscle (depending on what your goals are).

Some personal trainers are very expensive. $50 to $90 per hour. If you do the math the Cardio Trek offer is $26.25 per hour. That is an amazing price compared to what some other personal trainers are charging.

2. Use Personal Training Services from Anywhere in the World

Customized fitness programs are a way to get the benefits and expertise of a trainer without in-person sessions. This is ideal for someone who prefers to exercise on their own and doesn't want a trainer looking over their shoulder all the time, or perhaps they have no problem establishing a routine but would like a more technical or advanced program so they can challenge themselves more.

3. Use a Combination of In-Home and Online Personal Training Services

A certified personal trainer can customize a program and then come to your home to show you how to use it. This will include form and intensity. Follow-up sessions to re-vamp the program or to monitor progress are also recommended so you don't stagnate/slack off and are always challenging yourself.

Personal training is a fantastic way to reach goals and to learn the correct form to make the most out of every workout.

The certified personal trainer we recommend in Toronto is Charles from Cardio Trek, but you can certainly shop around if that is your desire.

You could hire someone more expensive, or if you're on a budget hire someone who isn't certified. Regardless if you're paying for someone to come to your house or condo and help you exercise, it is going to be more expensive than going to the gym or engaging in frugal exercises to save money.

Regardless of your goals or reasons for wanting to exercise having a personal trainer will help you to achieve those goals faster with much better results.

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