Archive for July, 2007

Walking with Dinosaurs – The Live Experience Review

Back in June we saw a news story on TV about the Walking with Dinosaurs live experience show. It looked really cool with Life sized robotic Dinosaurs taking over a hockey rink and roaming around. We found out that there were only two Canadian stops for the show. Toronto and Edmonton. Looking at the schedule we saw that the show opened the 25th of July in Edmonton Rexall Place. We juggled a few travel plans around and then purchased tickets on TicketMaster’s web site.

The show uses about 2/3’s of the arena surface as a stage, and we ended up getting our tickets pretty high up in the stands for the opening night performance. I can honestly say I am not sure if the lower bowl seats would be any better than the higher seats. Ticket price was 40.00 CAN + service fees to get in for our seats

You are led back in time over 150 Million years by a Paleontologist that serves as your guide. They talk about the different periods in time and the continental drift. As we approach each error we are introduced to several Dinosaurs from the era. These Dinosaurs are life sized robots (or puppets) that move around like a real dinosaur would. The detail on the dinosaurs is incredible and they truly look lifelike. The smaller dinosaurs are played by people in costumes although at first I did not notice the human legs in the smaller dinosaurs although they are quite obvious. Once I saw that though I always saw them, although it did not affect my ability to enjoy the show.

The larger dinosaurs are mounted on flat bases that have a driver hidden underneath. While these platforms do drive around the legs of the dinosaurs move as if they were walking. It is very easy to get immersed in what is happening on the stage and forget all about it.

We see quite a variety of dinosaurs (15 total) in all different settings, including a flying Pteradon. We are introduced to several herbivores and it not long before the first carnivores arrive. The first of the Brachiosaurs is actually quite large. During its encounter with an Allosaurus we find out that it is only a youngster and one of the adults comes out. This dinosaur is huge! We see several more types of dinosaurs and the end of the show brings the star attraction T-Rex.

If you are familiar with the Walking with Dinosaurs TV series you will definitely recognize some of the story lines that are used from that show.

All in all the show is very enjoyable. The first half is 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute intermission and then another 45 minutes of show. This show was well worth the drive to Edmonton to see it. IT is playing with two shows per night until July 28th. It will also be playing in Toronto from August 8th through 12th 2007.

As for the seating, I don’t know if I would want to sit closer to the stage (floor), I think that you could easily be overwhelmed by the size of the dinosaurs and may miss out something. Sitting up higher gives you a complete field of view so you can catch all of the action all over the floor.

I have some pictures that I took during the show available here:

You can also learn more about the show and dates for the city nearest you at:

I did manage to shoot a little video on my new RCA SmallWonder EZ201 video camera. I will post those soon and add a link to this post.

On a side note I was a little upset with the hospitality shown by the Edmonton Journal. When I purchased my tickets through TicketMaster it indicated that there would be a souvenir poster available. We saw the table where they were handing out the posters and IK stood in line with three ticket stubs to get a couple of posters. When I got to the front of the line they checked the tickets and said I could not get a poster because these weren’t Edmonton Journal pre sale tickets. I indicated that Ticketmaster said there would be a poster but was told that was a mistake. I sent my 6 year old son that wanted to see the show with a ticket stub to get a poster (who could resist those Puss n Boot eyes) but again he was told no. He immediately started crying and some very nice man who had three posters gave him one. Many thanks to the gesture of kindness from that gentleman and thumbs down to the Edmonton Journal that cannot give a poster that is worth .25 to a little boy. Maybe if they had been nicer I may have bought a paper the next time I am there. Believe it or not I will remember that for a long time!




My Summer of Discomfort

From now on I will have way more sympathy when I hear that anyone is suffering from sciatica! I never really thought much about it till I was struck with it in mid-June. Actually the symptoms started months earlier but being a typical guy and former athlete that lives with constant pain, I ignored it figuring it would go away. Instead the slight bit of back pain that started in late April early May has become a nightmare for me! By the third week of June the pain became more intense and spread all the way down my right leg to my ankle.

I have been undergoing Physio treatments, including spinal decompression since the 22nd of June, which helps a little bit. This week I got a cortisone shot, but that made it worse for a couple of daysand then when I thought it felt better yesterday, took a short trip to Edmonton to see a show and that knocked me down again.

The problem is that I have a bulging disk that is pressing on the sciatic nerve and causing me all the pain. I am unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes (and I pay the price if I do more) and have spent most of the last month lying on my side. I have been taking Tylenol 3s for the pain, but they only give me relief for 2 1/2 to 3 ½ hours and I don’t like the side effects.

This summer has been absolutely miserable for me. I have been robbed of spending time with my family, I missed Stampede for the first time in 29 years, have had to pass on numerous invitations to events, can’t golf or do anything. I have been able to work since I can do that from home with my fulltime job, but my own business has been suffering as I can’t do much. When I have tried to do things, I am afraid that I am a bear due to the pain. For example we went to a show in Edmonton last night, (Walking with Dinosaurs Live), and the pain from the drive caused me to be short tempered with the kids, in addition having to walk through Northlands Park, take the stairs to the top of Rexall Place and try to sit in a tiny seat with no leg room didn’t do good things. I ended up finding an open supply room door and spent 30 minutes of the show + the 15 minute intermission lying on the floor. I choose the store room because when I did lay on the floor in the hallway for a few minutes everyone that walked by asked if I needed help.

Now the rest of my family has made their annual drive to Winnipeg for their summer visit. I usually tag along for the drives and fly back but this year I can’t even do that and am here at home while my wife makes the long drive on her own!

I really wish that this pain would just go away and I can go back to a normal life. Right now it is unfair to my family as I have not been able to help with anyone around the house, and can barely take care of myself. I have been told that these things usually go away on their own but can last several months to a year. I can live with a little poain as I have done this for the last 20 or so years, but I don’t think I can handle even another two months of this. It has been a real mental test for me as well and am hoping I can continue to get through. So if you meet me on the street in the next little while and I seem a little short, it is probably the intense pain talking and not me!