Posted by cirvine on July 13, 2017
Game of Thrones Premieres This Sunday! Here’s Everything You Need to Know to Catch Up.
So for months now you’ve been telling yourself that you’re going to re-watch all the episodes of season 6 in preparation for season 7. Well, I’m sorry to say that like me, you’ve pretty much run out of time. Game of Thrones is back this Sunday. But don’t be sad… Game of Thrones is back! OMG GAME OF THRONES IS BACK!!!!
So let’s get you all caught up and ready for the action that is sure to be crammed into this entire season. Here are some important plot points from the last season to get you caught up.
EPISODE 1, “THE RED WOMAN”
- We find out why Melisandre, the Red Woman, constantly wears that necklace. She is actually really old. We’re not trying to bodyshame anyone but wow. That’s really hard to look at.
- Brienne and Pod save Sansa and Theon from Ramsay’s men.
- In Dorne, Ellaria kills Prince Doran for being a weak leader, while in King’s Landing, one of her daughter’s (a “Sandsnake”) does the same to Doran’s son, Trystane.
- Daenerys is swept up by a khalasar (the horse-guys that used to be led by Khal Drogo), and is placed in a temple to live her life out as a widowed khaleesi (wife of a khal).
- Arya is a blind beggar on the streets of Braavos. Boourns.
- Jon Snow is still dead.
- Jon Snow’s alive! Thanks, Melisandre. You sort of kind of redeemed yourself. Maybe.
- Tyrion frees Daenarys’ dragons.
- Ramsay kills his father, his step-mother Walda, and their newborn son to ensure that he is the only heir to the Bolton house. Oh, so I guess you’re still doing that whole evil incarnate thing eh?
- Euron Greyjoy is looking to lead the Iron Islands so comes home and throws his bro Balon off a bridge.
- Bran uses his time-travelling-in-the-mind abilities to witness Part 1 of his dad Ned’s arrival at the tower where a pregnant Lyanna Stark was being kept by Rhaegar Targaryen, who’d stolen her away from Robert Baratheon during Robert’s rebellion many moons ago.
- Arya gets her sight back!
- Jon oversees the deaths of those who killed him and quits the band. HIS WATCH IS OVER BROS. Mic drop.
- The High Sparrow announces that Cersei must stand trial for her moral crimes.
- Rickon and Osha are back! (YAY!) Back into the hands of Ramsay Bolton (NO!).
- Jon and Sansa reunite, and get news that Ramsay has Rickon.
- Daenerys lights her captivity temple on fire and saunters out naked a la season 1, while Daario and Jorah arrive to “save” her.
- The High Sparrow has Margaery and Loras Tyrell in prison.
- Ramsay kills Osha.
- It’s revealed that the white walkers were created by the Children of the Forest to protect themselves from humans. GOOD JOB GUYS GREAT MOVE NO PROBLEM.
- While Bran is inside another vision, the Night King tracks him down IRL, and while Hodor is trying to “Hold the door!” in the present, Bran watches a young Hodor seizure, yelling “Hold the door” over and over until it eventually transforms into “Hodor” which is the only word he will say for the rest of his life. And that’s when we all cry uncontrollably.
- Oh ya, and—cherry on top—Summer (Bran’s direwolf) dies too.
- Euron pushes Yara out of the way to rule the Iron Islands, but she and Theon sneak off while he’s sealing the deal and steal all the ships.
- Daenerys learns of Jorah’s greyscale and tells him to go find a cure.
- A second red priestess in Meereen tells Varys and Tyrion that Daenerys is the prophecied one that was promised. They tell her to spread the news.
- Uncle Benjen aka Coldhands aka Half-Zombie Dude shows up to save Meera and Bran.
- Sam brings Gilly and the baby to his home, where his dad is mean to them so Sam steals the family sword and gets out of there.
- Arya doesn’t kill who she’s supposed to so Jaqen H’ghar sends the waif girl after her.
- Margaery brings Tommen into the faith, making the High Sparrow pretty much King.
- Jamie is stripped of his Kingsguard post and banished from the city.
- The Hound is living in a religious commune that immediately gets slaughtered by thieves.
- Margaery slips her grandma a note indicating she’s not as into the High Sparrow as she seems.
- Sansa sends a note asking for help to the Vale, worried that House Stark doesn’t have the power it needs to win the battle over the Boltons.
- Jaime and Bronn arrive at Riverrun, which is being taken over by the Freys.
- Arya kills the waif (YAY!) and then tells Jaqen that she’s going home (YAY!).
- The Hound meets up with the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Beric Dondarrion tries to recruit him.
- Tommen says no more trial by combat, essentially leaving his mother helpless in the trial.
- Brienne runs into Jaime at Riverrun, where she’s trying to recruit the Tullys (Catelyn Stark’s original House) to Jon’s cause.
- Catelyn’s brother Edmure surrenders the house to the Frey/Lannister armies, and Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully dies in the fight.
- Daenerys returns to Meereen on a dragon to find the masters attacking the city.
- Daenerys and her dragons make short work of the masters’ forces.
- She makes an alliance with Yara, giving her the Iron Islands in the future in exchange for her Iron navy.
- Huge battle between Ramsay’s team and Jon’s team, with Rickon being the bait.
- Littlefinger’s Vale team saves the day, and they all retake Winterfell (YAY!).
- Sansa lets Ramsay’s dogs eat him to death (gross, but YAY!)
- Cersei and Maester Qyburn use wildfire to blow up the entire Sept of Baelor and everyone in it, including Margaery, her father, Loras Tyrell, the High Sparrow, and Lancel Lannister.
- Tommen kills himself.
- Arya kills Walder Frey and his two sons as payback for the Red Wedding.
- Sam, Gilly and the baby arrive at the Citadel.
- Melisandre is banished for causing Shireen’s death. Davos will kill her if he ever sees her again.
- The Northern houses deem Jon “King in the North” and pledge to fight the WWs with him.
- Daenerys breaks up with Daario and officially makes Tyrion the Hand of the Queen.
- Bran’s vision confirms that L+R=J (Jon is Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen’s love child) and that while dying she gives baby Jon to Ned, making him promise to protect him. JON IS HALF TARGARYEN AND DAENERYS’ NEPHEW WHAAAAT.
- Jaime returns to King’s Landing and is horrified. Cersei’s on the throne.
- Daenerys, her dragons, and the Ironborn all sail back to Westeros.
- WINTER IS HERE GUYS
So there you have it. Last season was a lot of death and sadness (I LOVE YOU HODOR!), but it also had a lot of huge wins for fans: Jon Snow came back from the dead, Uncle Benjen came back halfway from the dead, the Hound is still alive, Ramsay died, Daenerys is finally going to conquer Westeros, Arya is finally getting a better plotline, and Cersei proved she is extremely badass.
I can’t wait to see what this next season has in store. My predictions? Jaime HAS to kill Cersei. His whole identity as “Kingslayer” came about from killing the Mad King because he threatened to do exactly what Cersei did, a wildfire massacre. Also, I’m really hoping for a white walker dragon. The whole series is called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Don’t get much closer to that than a fire dragon battling an ice dragon.
Whatever happens, Execulink TV customers can enjoy a special free offering of HBO on Sunday night so they can watch the premiere at 9pm! Winter is here folks, and it’s gonna be a heck of a season!
Posted by tpoole on June 28, 2017
As Canada’s 150th birthday approaches it is interesting to see what is going on in South Western Ontario. There is so much happening in the area, so many different and interesting activities, that I have no idea what I am going to do for the day to celebrate!
Grand Bend and Area
There are many activities happening in the area this coming Canada Day. A few include Forest Kiwanis Canada Day 150 Celebration and Grand Bend Canada Day Celebrations. At Forest’s celebration you will have the chance to watch a parade starting at 1:30 pm, see the unveiling of the new memorial carving, and enjoy a BBQ and live entertainment until the fireworks at dusk. The Grand Bend Canada Day Celebrations will have live music at the Rotary Community Stage and then fireworks starting at 10 pm.
KW and Area
This Canada Day there will be fireworks being held in multiple locations throughout the KW region. A few locations include Bingemans, Columbia Lake Fields, Riverside Park, Kitchener City Hall, Norm S. Hill Park, and Schmidt Park. Other activities include:
- Canada Day in DTK: Kitchener City Hall will host free country music including the River Town Saints and James Barker Band as well as food vendors and fireworks off of City Hall.
- Canada Day at the Waterloo Region Museum: Learn about how people lived and ate in 1914 and enjoy games such as croquet and horseshoes.
- Joseph Schneider’s House: This July 1st also celebrates the 201st anniversary of the building of Joseph Schneider house. Celebrate with cake at 2 pm on Saturday and free admission for the weekend.
- University of Waterloo Canada Day Celebration: The award winning children’s performers Bobs & Lolo will perform for the kids and then Tom Cochrane with Red Rider for the adults, followed by a firework display!
- Cambridge Canada Day Celebrations: There will be live entertainment, a parade, Children Area and Carnival, and fireworks.
- McDougall Cottage Canada Day Celebration: Here you can celebrate the Scottish-Canadian heritage with tours, treats, crafts, and music.
- SteamFest 150: Take a ride on the 100 year old steam train, starting and ending in St. Jacobs. Enjoy jigger rides and steam cooked food as well!
This isn’t all--There are a ton of other activities happening in the area as well!
London and Area
In London there is a large variety of cultural and Canadian celebrations throughout the city and surrounding area. A few I personally found interesting include the Sesquifest, Dominion Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, and the Confederation Party. Here is a summary of these events and a few more:
- Fireworks: Some locations you can find fireworks include White Oaks Parks, Harris Park, Argyle Arena, Prince Andrew School Park (Lucan), Main Beach (Port Stanely), Pinafore Park (St. Thomas), Lake Whittaker Conservation Area.
- Canada Day at Harris Park: This gathering includes a First Nations gathering, Canada birthday cake, exhibits honoring famous Canadians, and fireworks.
- Sesquifest: If your Canada Day is already packed like mine, this is, luckily, a 5 day celebration in downtown London. Here you can experience a 360-degree projection drone, go ice skating, see iconic Canadian headliners and as always, enjoy food and beverages.
- Dominion Day: Dress up in your Sunday best and party the old fashioned way. Enjoy cake, lemonade and other activities at the Pioneer Village that bring the past to life!
- Confederation Party: Party like its 1867, 1917, and 1967! Enjoy carnival games and historically themed performances, tour the Eldon house, and enjoy live music.
- South London Canada Day: At this celebration you are able to leave your hand print on a Canada 150 banner, have fun in a photo booth, enjoy food and end the night with a drone light show and fireworks.
- Canada Day at Delaware Speedway: Go and watch the APC series, Ontario Legends Series, Open Wheel Modifieds, and fireworks!
- Canada Day Train ride: This is a round trip scenic rail ride starting in Port Stanely.
In Norfolk County things kick off in Delhi on Friday, June 30, at 7pm. At this time the Tobacco Kiln will receive its official heritage designation. Throughout the evening, you are able to enjoy a mix of folk and bluegrass music and a BBQ.
On Canada Day, there is a ton of things happening as well:
- Port Dover Celebrations: Go and see a soap box derby, a parade of boats, a parade, live music, food, and of course, fireworks!
- Canada Day Car Show: Start your morning right with a Pre-50s-themed classic car show being held at the Ramblin Road Brewery Farm.
- Open House Farm Party: Visit Wholesome Pickins in Delhi for a day filled with food tasting, bouncy castles, face painting, and more.
- Otterville Canada 150 Celebrations: This is a 3 day celebration that includes BBQ’s, farmers market, bubble soccer, baseball, a chicken wing ding, canoe races, a rubber ducky race, and of course, fireworks!
- Port Rowan: In Port Rowan you can enjoy hot dogs and cake as well as a melody of live music. Then venture down to Backus Heritage Conservation and take a tour of the Backhouse Grist Mill for free!
In Tillsonburg you can never miss that Canada Day pancake breakfast and farmer’s market in the morning and the model ship regatta afterward. From there you can enjoy the Annandale NHS fun fair, the classic car show, the parade, the “Back to the 50’s” concert. Then to end the night, you guessed it, FIREWORKS!
Last but not least, we have Woodstock’s Canada Day Celebrations. Enjoy the crafters alley, exhibitions and demonstrations, the Lion’s Club beverage garden, and Canada Day CUPCAKES. Oh and end the night with a spectacular fireworks display!
Phew, now that those are all listed out… I have to decide what to do with myself this Canada Day! There are so many amazing activities and events going on to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday that it will be difficult to choose what to do. Either way, I know I am going to enjoy some birthday cake, fireworks, and all of the Canadian pride and joy!
Tory Poole, Blog Contributor
I’m not your average girl. When I’m not driving my pickup truck, I’m probably watching sports or driving a 4-wheeler through the bush. I’m not afraid of a little mud or a few bug bites, just give me fun in the sun and I’m good to go.
Posted by tpoole on June 23, 2017
I guess the best place to start would be what is eSports? This term, although I have a gamer brother, was a fairly unknown term to me until recently. I knew my brother often watched gamers that live streamed themselves playing on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, but I was extremely unaware of how popular it has become to watch people compete in video games.
So what is it exactly?
ESports are organized, multiplayer video games. Over the past few years, or decade, this concept has blown up, so much so that being a professional gamer is a viable option as a career. The interest in eSports has drastically changed, to a point where watching eSports is just as popular for millennials as watching traditional sports like hockey. With the growth and interest of watching different players or teams compete, you are starting to see arenas fill for these tournaments, and I don’t mean your small town arena. Just last summer, an LoL (league of Legends) tournament was held in Toronto… at the ACC. This tournament brought in just as many people as a Raptors game would. In other words, more than 15 000 diehard fans attend the tournament and even more watched the live stream.
So where did it all begin?
The earliest documented video game competition occurred in 1972 at Stanford, playing the game Spacewar. From there you saw more and more video game competitions starting. Notably, in the 90’s you saw many Nintendo game
This idea of turning video games into a live multiplayer competition exploded in the 00’s. Now you see the phenomenon of eSports in sold out arenas. Instead of having local competitions, you see global tournaments that are broadcasted out to millions. Being a professional gamer has become a viable, well-paying career that leads to sponsorships, ownerships of teams and winning prize money at tournaments. And who doesn’t want to do what they love and enjoy!!
What’s next in the world of eSports?
With game streaming sites like Twitch raking in close to 10 million daily active users, we knew it wouldn’t be long before network television wanted a piece of that pie. NBC just announced that they will be working with the FACEIT online gaming platform to host a 2v2 Rocket League tournament, with a winning prize of $100,000. For those of you that don’t know, Rocket League is a game that was developed by Psyonix, and is basically a soccer game played in cars! Although it might sound dumb, it’s extremely addictive and its ever-growing popularity proves that fact. NBC will be hosting regional tournaments in America and European regions and will end with the 2-day grand finals. You will be able to watch this tournament in late August on a variety of NBC Universal and Comcast networks and internet platforms. The tournament will also be presented across live streaming, video on demand, and linear platforms.
It’s interesting to think of where the world of eSports will go in the future, and how it could one day overtake traditional sports in popularity. A word of advice: if you don’t have what it takes to be the next Gretsky or Bautista, try picking up a controller instead!
Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer
I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?
Posted by jfreund on April 7, 2017
Yesterday we were proud to attend the London Technology Showcase in London, Ontario. The event brought together over 25 IT vendors including D-Link, Barracuda, Cisco, Nutanix, Dell, Lenovo, Fortinet, Jolera and other big names of the tech world. The goal of the showcase was to educate clients on available technologies and discuss how the partner organizations can deploy technology within their businesses.
The event included 36 featured seminars that focused on IT-based solutions, such as WIFI and surveillance measures, security appliances, uninterrupted power solutions and more. We were excited to lead two informative seminars: “Building Redundancy and Reliability using Execulink’s Hybrid Bonded Internet”, and “Tools and Tricks for Managing a Secure WAN.”
Alex Beilby, Senior Sales Engineer @ Execulink
We discussed how our unique Hybrid Bonded Internet solution could deliver a faster, stronger, more flexible internet solution to businesses by fusing the benefits of multiple Internet links and carriers into one. Our second seminar reviewed the importance of having network security, and the necessary tools that help you optimize your connections and keep your business’ data safe.
We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the event and our seminars in particular. We always enjoy having the chance to educate and inform our local businesses and partners about how our services might be able to help them make a safer, more connected business. Until next time, London!
Joel Freund, Manager of Corporate Sales & Services
As a hunter, fisherman, and Corporate Sales Manager, I perfect the skill of patience.
Posted by cchalkley on April 3, 2017
You may have heard of something called phishing, but don’t confuse this with your dad’s cottage hobby; what you catch from phishing is not near as exciting. Phishing is a type of scam that criminals are using to steal money from you. They accomplish this by installing malicious software on your computer and by stealing your personal data.
So what does a phishing email look like? Here are some common things that you can spot in these fraudulent emails:
The “From” field might come from an email address you don’t normally communication with. The email can be from someone outside of your work organization and not related to your job responsibilities. The sender’s email can look like it’s from a suspicious domain. It could be an unexpected or unusual email with an embedded hyperlink or an attachment from someone you haven’t communicated with recently.
The “To” field might include a mix of seemingly random people from your organization or a list of unrelated addresses. You might have been cc’d on an email to one or more people and you don’t personally know any of the other people.
The “Subject” field could be a subject line that is irrelevant or does not match the message content. The email message is in reply to something you never requested or sent.
There could be an attachment that was not expected or makes no sense to the email message. A big red flag is the hyperlink that is attached. To test the legitimacy of a link, hover over the hyperlink. If the address looks strange or is for a different website, that’s a bad sign.
The hyperlink or content may also be a misspelled version of a known website—for example, using facebonk.com instead of facebook.com.
If the hyperlink seems illogical, forward, or asks you to look at embarrassing or compromising pictures of someone you know, these are all red flags.
If the hyperlink is threatening in nature and asks you to click on a link or attachment to avoid a negative consequence, that’s also a red flag. However, it could sound very beneficial as well: “Click here to get a free TV”. Basically, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. .
The email could be full of grammatical or spelling errors.
These emails can look like they are from a legitimate company or website or they could look like they came from your CEO. They might use logos, names of companies, names of departments or job titles that appear to be real. Check if the company name is spelled correctly. Also check if the email is coming from a name you personally know, whether the email address is actually their correct email.
- Open any email attachments that end with: exe, .scr, .bat, .com, or other executable files you do not recognize.
- Click an embedded link in a message without hovering your mouse over it first to check the URL.
- Respond or reply. It’s better to just delete the email.
- “Unsubscribe” – it’s better to delete the email then to deal with the security risk.
- Check the email “From” field to validate the sender is actually someone you know or from a correct email address.
- Check for a “double-extended’ scam attachment. A text file named “safe.txt” is safe but a file called “safe.txt.exe” is not.
- Report any suspicious emails to your IT department.
- Report any suspicious emails to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Trust your gut if the email seems odd; question it. If it looks like it came from someone you know, speak to the person in a different form of communication, maybe face to face or by phone to confirm the legitimacy of the email. Speak to your IT department before you click on the link or attachment. When in doubt, just delete the email.
It’s awful when it happens, but with these tips and tricks, you can stay safe from the nasty phishers out there. It’s more important than ever to say vigilant about your online security and stay skeptical whenever confronted with suspicious emails. We hope these tips help keep you and your family safe online!
Reference: KnowBe4, Inc.
Christine Chalkley, Marketing Coordinator
I love things that make me laugh including sitcoms, sketch comedy and anything my kid does. When it comes to parenting I take Amy Poehler’s advice: “Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers... for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”