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Remembrance Day is November 11th – do you have your poppy yet

Today as I entered the lobby of my Toronto office space in the Toronto Star Building, I was greeted by a Veteran with a box of Poppies.  As I rode the elevator to the 18th floor, another Telsec office client (who recently relocated from France) asked me what the poppies were all about. I explained to him that every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11), we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country. For the past week Veterans, Legion members, Cadets, and other volunteers have taken to the streets to distribute poppies. I explained that the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called “In Flanders Fields” and describes the poppie...

Writer’s Block – How do you deal with it?

Today was one of those days that I just could not find anything to write about. When I did get a nibble of an idea, I could only write a line or two. So I tried my usual source of inspiration “The News”. All of the local news was about a chemical spill in the east end, a shooting in the west end, the flood that closed the subway down during the morning commute and Stephen Harper’s decision to stop the Australian takeover of a Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp. None of those stories were of worthy of a full blog, so I continued to search for ideas. I finally decided to take this writer’s block head on, so I Googled it! The first link that came up in Google was a Wikipedia entry.  According to Wikipedia “writer’s block is  is a condition, associated with writing ...

An interesting Halloween with Tricks and Treats.

Here in Toronto Halloween was not filled with the typical shenanigans and according to police it was uneventful. At my door, the numbers of “Trick or Treaters” seemed to be down. This may be because of Halloween falling on a Sunday night. One person got a real “treat” on Sunday, that was Lee Westwood. Westwood overtook Tiger Woods as golf’s No. 1 player. This leaves many to speculate that the fall out from Tiger Wood past “tricks” are distracting Woods. Most will say that Halloween is for kids. A chance for them to go out in search of “trick or treats”, but also a chance for adults to decorated and theme their homes. In some neighborhoods, you would see a whole block that got together to make their street the most Halloween themed. Even...

A Toronto Virtual Office is all some businesses need

A college buddy is in town this week from Surrey, British Columbia. As we were catching up on what was new in our lives, I learned that his 18 year old son was attending the University of Toronto. What was more interesting was the fact his son was paying his own way through university from the money he was making from his  budding business on the Internet. It seems he created some unique T-Shirt designs that became popular with all the kids. The conversation came back to this blog that I write and my friend asked me about getting a office space for lease Toronto for his son to take his business to the next level. I pointed out to him that his son did not really need a physical Toronto office space, but he would best served by having a Toronto virtual office. This way his clients could see ...

Zombies invade Toronto or have they always been here

Yesterday I went with my girlfriend to the Zombie Walk Toronto. She got all zombied up and went as a Circus Ring Leader zombie. I chose to retain my secret identity as a mild mannered photographer, as I had three other photo shoots Saturday that would not appreciate my zombie persona. Zombie Walk Toronto is an annual parade of zombies through the streets of Toronto was estimated to have attracted between 5000 and 7000 corpses writhing, weaving and lurching their way through the streets of Toronto feasting on those unlucky enough to be living. There were many different zombie themes, too many to mention all of them here. Some of the zombies were popular music figures like Lady GaGa, Micheal Jackson, and Alice Cooper. There were Lego zombies, plenty of pirate zombies, political zombies, cute...

Just What are Dunny’s and why are they popular

This past week I was asked to buy a Dunny as a gift for someone assisting me in a photo shoot. I had no idea what a Dunny was and had to look it up on google. I found out that a Dunny is a kind of vinyl designer toy created by Paul Budnitz and Tristan Eaton, and produced by Kidrobot toys. The toy is based on a rabbit like figure with distinctive tubular ears. The origin of the name Dunny came from a combination of street slang and one of the early “Devil Bunny” prototypes. They come in three sizes – 3″, 8″ and 20″. They are more for collectors than kids. The toy has three points of articulation; a 360 degree rotational head and two arms. Dunny sometimes comes with accessories that fit inside the sockets of the hand, such as an ice-cream cone or laser gun...

Another Parking Ticket, I should not have to fight

It is often said that the parking enforcement officers are like vultures. Some would even say they are worse than the highway tow trucks who monitor police radios so they can charge hundreds of dollars for a tow that should cost $60. Tonight, I got a parking ticket that I should not have to pay, it is also one that I should not even have to waste my time fighting. I parked my car at 6:10 and got a ticket from the machine with a time stamp of 6:11. The sign said no parking 4 to 6 pm, since it was past 6 pm, I could buy a ticket and park. I went to the store I had been trying to find and bought 2 Dunny’s (trendy hard to find figurines that I will talk about in a later blog). I returned to my car and found a $40 parking ticket for parking during restricted times (meaning 4 to 6), the ti...

Saturday October 16th is the best day to buy a new bicycle.

Saturday October 16th is the best day to buy a new bicycle. Why? because it is the date of the  Bicycle Fall Blowout Sale. Retailers slash their prices for an end of the season sale. Last year a friend of mine bought a $2000 bicycle for $700. There were families there buying $500 bikes for under $100. There were plenty of parts and accessories available at below wholesale price. If you are a bicycle rider or enthusiast, this is the place to be this Saturday. Oh and get there early. The show opens at 10 am, but some folks line up as early as 8:30 am to be at the front of the line. Direct Energy Centre East Annex, Hall F, Door 33 North entrance next to new Ricoh Coliseum (New Hockey Arena) Exhibition Place Toronto, Ontario, Canada Admission: $5.00

National Boss Day – what if you are self employed

I read that today is National Boss Day. It is a good idea to have a boss appreciation day, but what if you are self employed? Do you pat yourself on the back? Some will say that your clients are the boss, but in their case every day is client appreciation day. Every day entrepreneurs work for their clients and give them all they can. When I look around my office space Toronto, I see two main types of people. Those who are entrepreneurs and those who are operating a branch office for a foreign based company. For the most part, most of these people are their own bosses.  Yes, even the people who work or represent foreign companies are essentially their own boss.  They are accountable to the head office, but they run the Toronto branch office like it is their own. Examples of client appreciat...

Finding lost friends

Long before there was the internet, some of us used snail mail to keep in touch. When I was younger, I met a girl named Judy Price at the Canadian National Exhibition.  Judy was from Syracuse, New York, we kept in touch by writing letters and the occasional phone call. In 1986 (or was it 1985), Judy went to Union College in Schenectady, New York. We still kept writing and had a great pen pall love affair. Then shortly after or in her last year of college, her parents moved to California. It was about this time that I lost contact with Judy. As the years progressed, I was curious about the woman that Judy had become. Now in the google era, I have tried to find her, but without any luck. I have tried to google her and tried to find her on facebook, but no luck. I have even tried to find her ...