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Archive: October, 2008

----- 10.24.2008 --------
Having never climbed the CN tower, I am happy to annouce that I climbed it last night as part of a United Way fundraiser. The organization of the event was horrific... and yes, I could have done better organizing it myself. I'll save my rant for now (or maybe you'll get it in another paragraph or so!). Anyway, it took me 19 minutes and 4 seconds. I was happy with that! Kim climbed it too... I'm very proud of her! And her time was great as well, at 27:20. I think my longer legs really helped me as I was taking double steps for the first 70 floors or so. Then single, then double again. If it weren't so crowded, I think I could have done better.

OK, I can't resist. Now the rant.... and you can treat this as an open letter to the organizers of the Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way. I have a few suggestions for you... without getting mean and pointing out areas that were obvious shortcomings in organization, I do want to mention that 3.5 hours of waiting for a 20 minute climb is a bit ridiculous! The waiting really killed the experience for me. As a first timer, I was amazed how many things haven't been figured out, which to me, are probably obvious lessons that would have been learned from previous years.

Here are 3 suggestions to implement that can make next year's experience so much better:
1. Increase the mimimum pledge amount for climbers. The current threshold is $50. I suggest you increase it to $200. If you do this, I am sure you will eliminate some climbers, but you will end up raising more money. Afterall, isn't the event about raising money for a charity? Even if you get 25% of the people turning out, you will have raised the same amount and the people who did who will have enjoyed themselves more. At $50, once people achieve that threshold, their fundraising efforts die down. And if they can raise $50, I'm sure they can raise $200.

2. Issue time slots. When you have as many people as you have climbing, there's a massive wait. There's no reason I couldn't have shown up, registered, got my stamp, and then got issued a time card as to when to climb. If I have to wait 2 hours, that's fine... but let me wait how I decided... not standing in a line. And if you can hand out timecards before the event... even better. 3. Don't make people wait outside in the cold! This was absolutely irresponsible and got me madder than anything last night! I had to wait in my shorts and t-shirt outside in near freezing temperatures before I could enter the base of the tower. I don't think this was a problem near the start, but later on (after 8 or 8:30), you let way too many people leave Simcoe Place and the security guards at the tower were regulating the flow. It is unhealthy to freeze people like that! Your volunteers were in parkas and were shivering, holding hot coffees and teas to keep themselves warm and they were still freezing. How do you think those of us in shorts & t-shirts felt?!?!? Come on... this is easy to overcome.... the whole base of the tower was empty and the security guard could have given his "no cellphone, no camers, please don't be a terrorist" speech indoors.

There. I feel better now that I got that off my chest.

OK, time to go out for a bite to eat... I'm starvin! Later!

----- 10.22.2008 --------
I finished another photography course at George Brown College. The course was Vision and Technique. With this one done, I only need one more course to get my "Digital Photography Certificate". Why get it? For starters, I have taken more courses than I would have simply to accumulate credits towards the cert. And in each case, there have been things I've picked up in these courses that made them all worthwhile. Secondly, although photography is "just a hobby", I want to improve and I'll use any and all means available to me.

Anyway, enough chatter, more pictures! I haven't been posting many lately, but it doesn't mean I haven't been taking any! I think I'll start getting a portfolio together to show off some of my better stuff and post it up at Argee Images. Anyway, lots of time to get all this stuff sorted out. For now, here is my final project from my last course. I call it "Reflections". All of the pictures were taken of the same indoor fountain in a mall.... Queens Quay Terminal, to be exact, down at the Harbourfront in Toronto. I decided to go with something a little more abstract... hope you enjoy it. Feeback is always appreciated (good or bad!), so I encourage you to email me with any comments. Thanks!

These photos were taken with my Sony Alpha 700. My lens is a Minolta F4 70-210mm, AKA "The Beercan". All post-processing was done using Adobe Lightroom v1.4 exclusively. Stay tuned for more... Cheers!

----- 10.15.2008 --------
Wow! It seems like this day would never come! 3 years in the waiting, and I am finally in my new condo! Although there are some issues to be taken care of, all in all, I am pretty pleased. I finally got my computer setup tonight.... and that's a huge step in the right direction! It's been a couple weeks since I moved in and it hasn't felt like I've had any time to take care of things that needed taking care of. These things are finally getting the much needed attention they need.

Well, even though it's been ages since my last post and there is lots to update on, I am getting tired. A really, REALLY brief update since my last post: I saw Weezer and I saw Beck, both in seperate concerts. Photography class (Vision and Technique) has come to an end as of tonight... WOW... 7 weeks goes by fast! Saw a Raptors game last week with Tom (my previous boss and good friend). Hit up Windsor for Thanksgiving. But probably the biggest event is the fact that I asked Kim to move in with me... and she did! So far, so good. It's fun playing the decorating game with a bare-walled, new condo :) -------------------------

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