September 8, 2014

Spartan Race entry from Runners Fuel

Runners Fuel is giving away one entry to a Spartan Race! Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.

From her blog:
On September 20th, in Killington Vermont, the Spartan Race will hold their 2014 world championships! How cool would that be! I can't even imagine competing in this. I haven't trained nearly as much I should for something like this. I don't think I have enough time in my day (having Lars). I have so much admiration for moms that have the ambition to train for something like this (or anything, really).

August 20, 2014

Spartan Race entry from Marathon Mom

Marathon Mom is giving away one entry to a Spartan Race! Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.


From her blog:
Do you love watching the obstacle races, seeing the strength and endurance of these athletes as they complete obstacles? Now is your chance to give it a try too!

If you aren’t familiar with the Spartan Races, they’ve been around globally since 2005 and have been voted #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine. They also offer individuals and groups the chance to fund raise for various charities.

June 28, 2014

Album review: Casualties of Cool

Casualties of Cool

Casualties of Cool is the debut of Devin Townsend and Ché Aimee Dorval's collaboration - not technically a Devin Townsend Project release, but a Devin album all the same. It's atmospheric and ambient, something not typically associated with Devin's catalog, but very much an interest of his. He refers to this album as "late night music, completely isolated sounding and different than anything I've done."

The concept is described as being about a traveler that is lured to a sentient planet, which feeds on the traveler's fear. We're not talking about Ziltoid here, although a second Ziltoid album is in the works with a hopeful 2014 release. Certainly the Casualties concept is an odd one, but not for Devin and his appeal for creativity and thinking outside the box!

"Daddy" and "Mountaintop" kick off the album as bluesy appetizers to an impending journey, followed by the ambient, tranquil "Flight," which is space-like and has what I consider a lonely vibe. Perhaps the feeling of loneliness is intentional. Dorval's wispy, majestic vocals (also featured in 2009's Ki) are perfect for this.

"The Code" is one of my favorite songs, and you can hear frog calls that are similar those in "Blackberry" of Ghost, also one of my favorite songs on that album. It's bouncy, catchy, and features Devin's mellow vocals. He practically whispers and you'll get lost in the experience during the meat of the album. On the other end of the spectrum is the 8-minute "The Bridge," featuring goose bump-inducing vocal harmonies, woodwinds, an epic choir, and a whirlwind of a finale.

Overall, Casualties took a few listens for me to really appreciate since I much prefer Devin's heavier side, but it's right up there with Ghost. At the very least Devin says the album "sounds like haunted Johnny Cash songs" and makes for great background music. Give it a chance even though it may be different...

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