June 17, 2016

Finding Dory Review

I attended a press screening of Finding Dory prior to the movie’s public opening.

Finding Dory, the long-awaited sequel to the blockbuster hit Finding Nemo, takes us on a journey with the friendly blue tang fish, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), and her adopted clown fish family Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo. This is a special journey to reunite Dory with her parents. After over a decade of being separated, Dory begins to gain some of her childhood memory and decides it’s times to make that transoceanic journey back home, hoping her parents still remember her.

Unlike in Finding Nemo where Dory’s forgetfulness is played for jokes, it’s given a level of vulnerability and seriousness in Finding Dory. That’s important because it brings up in to her story, her desire to find her parents, her tenacity to ‘just keep swimming’, and her attention to details she needs to make the reunion happen. Rest assured there are plenty of funny moments.

Personally, I think Hank (voiced by Ed O’Neill) steals the show. An octopus with only seven tentacles, a septapus as Dory tells him, has many of the best lines. We meet up with him about halfway through the movie when Dory arrives at the Marine Life Institute in Morro Bay, California. Hank has ulterior motives in befriending Dory, but he signs on to help her find her parents.

Dory is reunited with her friend Destiny, a shark with vision problems who has a number of hilarious lines. Destiny and Dory were friends when they were younger, communicating through the pipes at MLI. This friendship explains how Dory ‘speaks shark’, as we discovered in Finding Nemo. Together with Hank, Destiny helps direct Dory to her parents. Of course there are side adventures along the way for everyone, it is a Disney/Pixar film.

Overall, it’s a great family film and will be a hit with kids and adults alike. There is enough adult-level humor to keep you engaged while the kids enjoy the colorful sealife, the friendships, and the interwoven messages of keep working toward your goal, you can count on your friends to help, and a parent’s love is everlasting.

In theaters beginning June 17, 2016, Finding Dory runs about 100 minutes. The 3D effects are done well and blend into the movie seamlessly. It’s nice to have that dimension and life-like feeling that brings familiar friends back to us after we met them for the first time 13 years ago. It’s a similar story told with slight differences. Only this time, Dory’s memory disability isn’t the punchline of every joke. To be sure, her memory loss is used a both funny and poignant. But in the end, we’re very much in 2016 where differently-abled individuals are finding how to use what could be their deficit as something that gives them strength.

Check it out and enjoy it for the entertaining movie it was intended. Don’t set your expectations too high and you won’t be disappointed. Finding Dory is charming and entertaining, but it is not the blockbuster spectacular that was Finding Nemo.

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Visit the official FINDING DORY website for games, coloring pages, and other printables: https://disney.com/findingdory



June 14, 2016

Tile TrackerFTC Disclosure

Not too long ago I was traveling and when I got off the plane at home I couldn’t find my car keys. They were no where to be found. I retraced my trip and the only thing I could figure out is that maybe the fell out of my purse. Maybe on the plane or perhaps when I was pulling something out. At that point, though, it really didn’t matter. I was standing by my car in the parking structure unable to get in. Luckily, I had a spare at home and I could go get it and then go get my car. I also keep my car key separate from my other keys so while it was the big pain you can imagine it to be, it wasn’t a bigger problem.

Instead of going to my phone and opening up the Tile app to see if I could locate my key, I was putting in claims to the lost in found for the airline, TSA, the rental car company, the hotel, and two airports. I didn’t have a Tile tracker on my keys. It’s a little square ’tile’ looking device that allows you to find your keys, phone, laptop, camera, bike, and a pretty much anything you can attach a Tile tracker to. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to locate your item. And while it works best if you’re within 30 feet, and can work up to 100 feet, it could have helped me even though I was likely hundreds of miles away.

The Tile app includes a community feature so you can mark an item as ‘lost’ and if a community member is nearby and your Tile connects to the app it would let me know. There’s a lot of technology behind this feature to keep it secure so no one would have known where I live or my phone number or anything like that. If someone had a Tile and saw mine (this is in theory since I didn’t have one) they likely would have figured out it was lost and could have helped me get it back. If you don’t have your phone, you can log in to your account on the Tile app from any smartphone to find your phone.

I go through this story because I finally got a Tile tracker. As part of the Verizon Insider brand ambassador team we each received a Tile device. It was after I lost my keys, so at least I didn’t have it but not use it. Anyway, I now have the Tile and I feel like I need dozens of them. They’re great for key, of course. And if you have a Tile you can find your phone easily just by pressing on the tile. Even if your phone is on silent, like mine is most of the time, your phone will ring. But you can also attach a Tile to a camera, a bike, your purse, or even luggage. You can also use an adhesive to attach it to things like the remote, a laptop, or other things that don’t have a ring-holder.

These little square Tile trackers would be great to give friends and family for any occasion, or no occasion. I think they’d be great for kids heading off to college, elderly parents who might be misplacing things and calling you to find them, busy parents, forgetful tweens and teens, and, really anyone. We all have things that tend to grow legs and move from where we last put it. You can get yours at the Verizon store. They’re $69.99 for a pack of 4, and will save you time and money more times than you’ll care to remember.

Places you can add a Tile to save your sanity

  1. Pet – attach a Tile to their collar if they tend to get out, hide, or sneak into the neighbor’s yard.
  2. Kids – if you’re concerned your kids might be separated at a community event, attach a Tile to a belt loop or tuck one in their pocket.
  3. Luggage – returning from Dubai a photographer put a Tile in his luggage full of equipment. Good thing because it went missing and thanks to the community feature it was located in Switzerland.
  4. Car – leave one in your car if you’re prone to forgetting where you parked.
  5. Sports equipment – these are great for golf bags, bikes, skateboards, and other sports bags.
  6. Tech – with an adhesive backing, Tile can be attached to laptops, remote control devices, tablets, drones, GoPros, and larger headphones.
  7. Keys – this kind of goes without saying since it was the original impetus for the product.
  8. Baby items – busy parents need a little help remembering where they left the diaper bag or stroller. I think this would be awesome a theme park where they tend to move strollers while you’re visiting an attraction.
  9. Backpacks & briefcases – especially for kids who put things down and don’t remember where they left it, a tracker would be great.
  10. Musical instruments – I still get heart palpitations thinking about the violinist who left her violin in a cab.

So you see, these little white tag have many great uses. I highly recommend them for keeping track of those things that may easily get misplaced. And for things that may not get misplaced but may mysteriously go missing, having a Tile tracker on it may not only save our investment but also our sanity. All for less than $20 each!

Tile Tracker



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6 Fitness Tips From a Reluctant Exerciser

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Teens: If We Feed Them Well, Why Do They Choose To Eat Junk Food

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Smartphone Etiquette – 6 Rules For Teens and Tweens

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