Sunday, November 23, 2008

Elf Yourself is Back with more options

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Elf Yourself is Back as you can see from the video above. Last year my family and friends had loads of fun sending each other videos of dancing elves with our faces and I am delighted to report that it is back for 2008 with even more options. It is a cool application offered by OfficeMax and JibJab. All you have to do is upload a photo of you and your family and friends, isolate the faces, pick the dance you like best and email the results to all your friends and family.

JibJab also has many new videos for other holidays and just for fun. The catch is that most of them require membership fee. The cost isn't too much ($15.99 for a full year) which I would be inclined to pay except for the fact that they also insist on automatic renewal. I have had problems in the past getting recurring payments cancelled and I am not sure I would need JibJab for more than one year. I wish they would change this policy.

In the meantime, my family will continue to Elf Ourselves this Christmas and play around some of the few "Free" JibJabs for now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Become a Spy in Washington DC

My work team took a "field trip" on Friday to the International Spy Museum in Washington. I had been before and already thought it was a great museum, but this time we paid extra to do "Operation Spy."

Operation Spy is an hour-long event where you are transported to a fictional country in the middle east called Khandar. A maximum of 15 people are allowed to participate at one time and together the group experiences what it is like to be a real spy in a themed environment with live-action challenges using spy equipment.

The heart pounding event is based on real spy experiences and the outcome is dependent on the actions and decisions of the group which means it might end differently if come back another time.

You and your group have to use spying tools and techniques to track down who stole a valuable and dangerous item while navigating through the cobbled streets of Khandar. You don't know who you can trust, you are working with a time deadline and you have to avoid being discovered all at same time. In no other museum in Washington (possibly the world) will you be instructed to run!

Some of the adrenaline pumping tasks include using surveillance cameras to spy on an agent and listen in on her conversation with a contact, searching an official's office without leaving any trace that you were there, disabling security cameras while not being seen, picking several locks, and making two quick get-aways in a truck and in a helicopter. Unbelievably, you do all of this and more in the museum and it feels real!

If you know when you will be at the museum you can book and pay for your timed tickets on-line to be sure that you can participate. Since only 15 can go at a time, I would recommend this. In our case, our work team made up the entire group, but usually you will be participating with other tourists visiting the museum.

Want to know more or book your tickets, click here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Which is better Slanket or Snuggie?

(Picture of the Slanket)

Can anyone out there help me? I saw an add for a blanket with sleeves that you can wear while reading or watching TV to stay warm while still having the use of your arms. Sounds great and I want to give one as a Christmas gift.

The problem is I have discovered two products. The Snuggie and The Slanket. The Slanket is much more expensive but I can't tell if it is just overpriced or if it is really that much better. To be honest, if it was for me, I'd try the Snuggie first, but since it is a gift, I want to be more careful.

They both come in red (the color I need), but the Slanket is about $44 and the shipping ranges from $10 to $11 which seems steep. The Snuggie is $20 with $8 shipping. Plus their site is offering two for the price of one and something else thrown in. This seems a bit scam-like to me. I can't buy it from my trusty Amazon either.

If I could see them in person and buy them in a store without shipping I would be happier. So please post a comment if you have any experience with either product. Thanks