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The Missing Programmer

As many of my friends and family know, I develop websites and help plan companies online success. Most also know that I do not do all the back end programming myself. My skill set is planning and developing a team the fits each individual project, because different projects require different sets of skills and expertise. This week I met a client about a project that required a programmer that was skilled in Oracle SQL data bases that would be used both online and offline by the clients staff. I had one programmer in mind that I had worked with in the past. I tried to call him on a phone number that I had for him, my call was answered by a voice mail system, as it was after hours. The next day when I tried to call his number again, it was answered by someone with a thick southern accent, th...

The 24-7 Reality of Being Self Employed

It is late Sunday night and I am out at a dinner with friends celebrating a special occasion when I got a call from a client. It seems that had accidently deleted a file containing some photos I took for them, and they needed to send the photo to their printer by 2:30 AM in the morning. The problem was that I had not taken my car to this celebration and it would take me too long to get home by public transit or even taxi, in order for me to get the photo to client so they could meet their deadline. I remembered that I had copies of the photos on my computer at my downtown Toronto office space. My office space Toronto was only a few minute taxi ride from the entertainment district, so off I went. Even on a Sunday night it is not easy to get a cab in the club district, most of the Taxis were...

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I was walking to my downtown Toronto office space on Tuesday after a morning meeting near the St. Lawrence Market.  As I walked along the Esplanade, I noticed workers setting up the patio barriers around Fionn McCools and the Esplanade Beer Market. I thought this was kind of odd that bars were setting up their patios in March, as patio season does not normally start until late April or early May. Then today I had meeting out in the west end, I drove up Yonge Street to King. As I passed Wellington and noticed a group of people outside the Irish Embassy pub putting up a sign, but did not see what it said. As I drove past a few Irish pubs on King Street, I noticed people standing on their patios. It clicked in, these bars were not setting up for patio season, they were setting up for the St. ...

Shooting More With New Camera

Back in late January I purchased a new camera body, but have not had many chances to use it. I purchased a Nikon D90 to upgrade from my four year old D80 body. I am not retiring or selling my D80, but I am keeping it as a second body that I will keep one of my other lenses on. This will mean that I do not have to change lenses during a shoot. The new D90 camera is a big improvement over the D80, it has a larger and better sensor that allows me to shoot indoors without a flash. Since purchasing the new camera I have only had a few chances to use it. Not having a full time studio anymore restricts my model shoots to rented or borrowed studios and outdoor shoots. The other problem with not having a full time studio has been coordinating times and dates with models and the studios that I do ha...

Toronto International Bicycle Show

I am heading down to the Toronto International Bicycle Show, so this blog will not be about office space Toronto, Downtown Toronto office space or even Toronto virtual offices. For the next few days I will be taking photos of the bike show. The Toronto International Bicycle Show is the best place to shop for bicycles and accessories, preview the newest trends in cycling from the top manufacturers and distributors plus enjoy thrilling action-packed events. The show is celebrating its 25th year in production and is one of the largest exclusive bicycle consumer shows in North America. Some of the events will include the exhilarating Toronto BMX Jam contest. This exciting Pro/Am Street contest series returns to Toronto for the 12th year, featuring many of the world’s biggest names in BMX Stree...

Starting to Think Those Rodents May Be Wrong

With the weather we have been experiencing over the past few days, I am beginning to believe that we cannot put our trust in groundhogs. This year neither Wiarton Willie nor his American cousin Punxsutawney Phil saw their shadows this year, meaning that spring weather was to come sooner. According to legend of Groundhog Day, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2nd and does not see it’s Shadow, than we are in for an early spring. If the groundhog sees its shadow it will retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. For the past few years I have used the Toronto International Bicycle Show as my barometer to the fact that spring is right around the corner. It is not the size of the crowds that I use to measure how close...

You Have To Try Stampede Bison Burgers

I do not get a chance to go for lunch with clients as most of the correspondence is done by email and phone. But today a client wanted to take me out for lunch to discuss a new project they want to get going. Instead of a fancy eatery, they suggested burgers and I suggested Stampede Bison Grill. This place I have come to love that is  located just off Queen St. West at 5 Brock Avenue that specializes in, you guessed it, bison burgers. The burger menu offers a nice variety, aside from the bison and roast bison specialties. You can get beef, chicken, club and even veggie, all made the way you like with custom toppings. My favourite is the Bison Poutine with shaved roast bison over top of poutine with a mound of “real Quebecois” cheese curds and fresh hand cut fries. The place has a compact m...

O.Noir-Blacked Out Dining-and Trying New Things

O.NOIR – Canada’s first-ever “Dine in the Dark” has two location Montreal and Toronto. O.Noir dining is a great idea. Sighted people are taken into a blacked out dining room and served by people who are blind. The idea is that when you eat food in the dark, your remaining senses are heightened to savour the smell and taste of food. The idea is to heighten the senses of taste, smell and touch by denying diners of their sight. It’s also to give guests an appreciation for what it’s like to be blind. It’s O. Noir. The idea was built on a concept started by a blind Swiss pastor, who blindfolded his guests at home so they could understand his eating experience. The idea of a dine-in-the-dark restaurant was one to teach people about blindness, but also to create jobs for t...

Happy Valentine’s Day

While it is a very happy Valentine’s Day for me, it has not always been that happy. This is the first time in 4 years that I have been truly happy on and around Valentine’s Day. I have been with my girlfriend just over 7 months, this is a very special Valentines for us, as it is the first of many Valentines to come. For some people Valentines is just another day, but to many it is a greeting card industry created holiday. Valentine’s Day is not only the biggest day for the greeting card industry, it now is one of the biggest sales days for flower and chocolate industries. Many other businesses like the jewelery stores and restaurants also see a significant jump in sales on Valentine’s Day This morning when I walked into the reception area of my downtown Toronto office spa...

February Blaa’s

Every year we go through this cold month looking forward to spring or even the month of March. A few years ago the Ontario Government created “Family Day” as a new holiday in February, but did not make it a mandatory holiday. Only those in the public sector are guaranteed to have the day off, while those of us who work for ourselves or in the private sector end up working that day. It has been the private sector that has done more for helping people out of the February blaa’s. Over the past two weeks I have enjoyed Winterlicious (the February version of Summerlicious), it was a chance for people to try new restaurants I have never been to. 150 restaurants offered three course fixed price meals ranging from $15 to $45. Other culinary events were held at historic locations like Fort York, Ca...

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