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----- 11.29.2009 --------
Hey folks, hope all is well with you. I've recently transferred my site over to Blue Host for my web hosting. I had some troubles due to the way I wanted to move my DNS over to bluehost before actually taking the site off my other server. I won't bore you with the details, but if you tried to hit my site over the last couple days, that's why it's been down or brought you to a default Blue Host page. But the troubles are behind me, the migration is complete, and I can now go back to creating my other websites using some much more dynamic technology, as opposed to the very basic HTML I use here. More to come when I have those sites ready.

The past couple weeks have been quite busy! Although not working, I've been going out and meeting with people, bouncing startup ideas of people, interviewing, and doing all the things I think are necessary while I transform into my new self. I'm really concentrating on securing a contract right now that will keep me challenged and buy me some time until I've got my startup plans more refined and developed. There will be lots more to come, but to me, what's important is I'm heading into the unknown with my head up. This is one of those posts that I'll probably look back on in a few years and think "Wow, that was a crazy and scary time in my life. It sure paid off!".

On the baby front, Kim's doing well and we're looking forward to April 11th, the estimated due date of the baby. We'll be going in for another ultrasound sometime in mid-february, and we look forward to finally finding out the baby's sex. For now, instead of calling it "IT", we've got a womb-name for it: "Thunder". And Thunder's doing well! Yesterday Kim and I finally figured out a girl's name we both really like and will call Thunder if she's a she. If Thunder's a boy, we had that name picked quite a while ago. There's something very satisfying about brainstorming together to come up with a name and when we land on it, it's very obvious. THAT'S IT! And we both knew it :)

I've also been working on my photography more did a couple shoots last weekend. Both turned out really well and I'm excited to deliver the final product to the clients. I finally feel comfortable enough to actively market my services, but even more importantly, to see value you it and feel comforatable charging money for it. That was a very big leap for me internally where my perfectionist self is too hard on me and says "That's not good enough! You can't charge for that?!?!". And when I look at other photographer's portfolios, somehow the thought of "if they can charge for that, I can certainly charge for my work" didn't make me feel any better. But something changed internally and I feel an inner confidence that came from taking courses, lots of practice taking many thousands of shots, and refining them in Lightroom to finally come up with a print that I can personally say "Wow!" to and proudly put my name behind it. It's sort of like "Wow! I made this!!!" in semi-disbelief.

What else is new? Probalby lots, it seems the past couple weeks have been a blur! Friday morning, my buddy Steve O and I went out for some flying. I have my RC helicopter and Steve's got his little RC plane. Lots of fun and my flying has improved a lot! Maybe too much... enough to give me confidence, but not enough to give me the needed skill to do what I was trying. After some great successful hovering, I decided to take the leap to forward flight. I sent it out, then turned it around and flyed to fly a smooth circle back to me. WHen I rounded the 2nd corner and had the chopper facing me, I lost sense of the controls and paniced a bit. The result? Another trip to the hobby shop! I've got the parts and just need to take some time to put it all back together... and then I'm ready for more flight!

That's all for now... more updates to come as I feel like it. I'd have updated earlier with some other happenings, but with the tech issues on my site and me feeling helpless as I awaited the blue host support team to fix an issue, I didn't have the means (my site) to post updates on. Fortunately, those issues are in the past! Take care all.... and see you back here soon.

----- 11.16.2009 --------
Kim & I have been waiting quite a while for today to come. Why? It was out second ultrasound! And what we thought was going to be the ultrasound to determine the sex of our child. Kim's at 19 weeks now, which is supposed to be when we can tell if it's a he or she. The ultrasound tech told us she couldn't get the right angle, but I don't believe that since she can move in and out in the ultrasound in full 3D. There were notices all over that the tech can't tell us the sex of the baby, however when we asked her, she made it look as if she were trying to find it for us, but couldn't... as opposed to saying she couldn't because it's against policy. So the huge question marks remains hanging over us :( We've got an appointment with our doc on Wednesday, but we don't think we're going to find out then either... this ultrasound was supposed to be it... or so we thought. So, we may end up doing it the old fashioned way.... NO, not pulling it out early! Waiting. Waiting and finding out in April.

So what else is going on. The past couple weeks of not having work has been great. I got up to "The Nutshell" (our property up North) for a few days last week. Actually, went up Friday till Tuesday. I got a Rogers Rocket Stick for portable Internet and it works awesome up there! When the sun went down and it got really cold (which was around 4:30 PM!!!), I would retreat into the RV, fire up the propane furnace and laptop, and surf for a bit. In the day, I would putts around. I had Sally (our beagle) up with us... she LOVES it up there! The 2 of us chilled out... quite literally! I was shocked to see snow on the ground when we got up there!!!

Speaking of Sally, the beagle... yesterday was the "Big on Beagles Bash for Cash". It's a dog rescue fundraiser focusing on beagles. There were a ton of beagles that showed up... probalby 50 or 60! I took some pics and although I'm not overly happy with them (challenging conditions!!!), I'll share some of the better ones anyway. As breeds go, Beagles sure are a happy breed!!! And nosy as hell! If you had foot anywhere on your person, look out!

What else? I've been busy with my domain names (robgirard.com and .ca, as well as Argee Images and Argee Tech variations). I've moved all the name servers over to blue host so I can host some drupal and other sites there. I moved all my robgirard.com services into Google Apps Premier edition, as well as got it all configured to work seemlessly on my blackberry as a replacement to the BES server I had used for many years for my corporate email. So far, so good... happy with the service and the change has been pretty easy. Not only do I now have a gmail interface, but I also use Outlook still with Google's Sync app. Good times :)

Hmmm... what else? The search for work continues. Or should I say, starts! I applied to a few jobs, mostly ones that have a heavy VMWare focus and will challenge me, and am pleased with the response I've gotten back from people already. I suspect I'll have a couple interviews this week. Fingers crossed for something that really gets me excited and can engage me and push my skills to new levels. Oh, and speaking of work... had a gig last week. But not the typical technology gig you'd expect for me... it was construction! Helped my neighbour with some insulation and had a great time cutting plywood and mounting it to the ceiling. I really enjoy working with my hands... should do it more!

OK, I'm going to get to bed I think. Busy day tomorrow, plus I still have quite a bit ahead of me tonight posting the Big on Beagles pictures. Hope you enjoy them! Cheers!

----- 11.04.2009 --------
Let me just start by saying this: A guy could really get used to not working! Today's Wednesday, also known as day 3 of unemployment. I've allowed myself to take it easy this week without any pressure to work on websites, actively chase down leads and contracts, make plans, or really anything that gets me closer to my goals. Atleast not directly. This week, I'm just doing whatever inspires me. I've been walking a ton (with and without my dogs), listening to audio books, working on some of my photos, and doing a lot of thinking and reflecting inwards.

Today, I decided to grab my camera and go for a walk in an awesome park I discovered on Monday. It's called "Glen Stewart Park" and it runs between Queen St and Kingston Rd, just north of the Beaches. It's a big ravine and I found it to be a very meditative, relaxing place. With my camera today, I grabbed shots of whatever inspired me. Hopefully some may inspire you. But if not, that's OK too... but I feel better for sharing them, so whether you get much out of this or not... it's really all about me :)

How else did I spend my day? I flew my new RC helicopter! That was a highlight! It's a small electric... so much more convenient than my old gas one. It's been 15 - 20 years since I've flown my other chopper and I wanted to get back into it so I picked up an "Axe CPv3". It is an intermediate chopper and just as hard to fly as my other was! The biggest difference is the cost of the crash! The parts for today's crash ran me $8... and that's only because the $3 part I needed came packaged with a few other parts, all of which I'll probably need eventually! I'm very excited to be learning to fly again! I'm hoping to get my hands on a computer trainer called "Real Flight". I played with it in the store and WOW! It is SOOO realistic! I figure some winter training with it will have me a pro by the time spring comes and I take the chopper out more! Who am I kidding? I'll fly it all winter! :)

Anyway, I'm going to call this quits and watch a movie or two. But first, time to go make some dinner. Hope all is well with all of you! Enjoy the pics!

----- 11.01.2009 --------
All things considered, it's taken me 2 weeks to get the pictures up. I think that's quite reasonable considering there were over 1200 photos to go through. On first pass, I was able to get the count down to 330, but that's still too many to post. Kim helped me and after a couple more passes, we got it down to 120 pictures to share with you. I hope you enjoy them! If you're interested in seeing more or want to see some of the hi-res versions of any specific image, let me know... there are plenty more where they came from!!! Now this is just the pictures... we've also got lots of video and hope to mix them together to share a video with you.... but that will take more time (something that I've recently found a bunch more of... will explain below).

Click here to see the photos from mine & Kim's honeymoon in Turkey!

Besides having pics up, I have some exciting news to share with you. Friday was my last day at work! Although it's a bit sad to no longer working with the great people at NW, I am excited about the new opportunities this affords me. The last couple years there have been a roller coaster of experiences and I am grateful for all of it! I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do yet, but for starters, I think I'm going to try my hand at IT consulting. I've got over 12 years experience of being an IT Professional, and I've been a geek as long as I've been breathing! My experiences and knowledge can benefit a ton of people/companies and I look forward to tackling bigger projects and challenges, and coming up with innovative solutions to help maximize the IT that's in place, while choosing solutions that are a great value and future-oriented. But this isn't the place to market myself... or is it? In the next few weeks, I'll work on some websites that do market myself and will try to keep this site more personal, less business. If you know of anyone looking for someone like myself, feel free to send them my Resume and/or contact info.

Besides IT-related consulting and contract, I'd like to also work on my photography and incorporate it into a larger portion of my income. Anyway... lots of excitement awaits me down the road and although the future is not yet written, I am looking forward to what I will create tomorrow :)

Well, it's getting late (2:35 already?!?!) and although I don't have to be at work, I still need to get up and make the most of the day. I have my dogs right now and look forward to a nice long stroll with them in the morning. So, off to bed I got... I can't believe it go this late! I was trying hard to get my pics up for you this weekend and I guess I just let time slip me by! I think I'm going to love the freedom of owning my own schedule over the next few weeks :)


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