Third Election Update

So, at this point I can’t be persuaded on a candidate because I already voted. I do believe in open transparency in politics, and since lynch mobs are so 1800’s I’m going to revile my votes.

Mayor of Saint John: Michael Richardson
At-Large: Danny Jardine and Chris Titus
Ward 4: Kevin Goggan and Ralph Landers

Keeping up with the times.

With the recent water bans an the lack of news coverage in the wee hours of the evening I was pondering if there was a better way for the City of Saint John to post urgent notices. And I had thought of using the technology of today, and an approach of making it easier to opt-in to these methods.

Part 1: Electronic Internet

Provide an RSS feed with no longer than a text message sized message detailing the urgent message. This would allow people the opportunity to place a box on the most common web portals that 60% of people use as home pages.

Secondly allow people to register their e-mail addresses to an urgent message list. This would allow people to get it by e-mail or text message as people can put in cellnumber@pcs.rogers.com or cellnumber@txt.aliant.net and have it sent to your cell (great for parking bans.)

Step 2: Phone

Have an Advisory line like the parking one and have a cheep automated text to voice system to read the RSS feed messages.

Saint Johners I thought you were smart!

I still think that most of you don’t have a brain in your head sometimes. But, we will see. Come the next election I hope that there will be enough good candidate running in every ward so that we don’t end up like Miramichi.

Doesn’t anyone remember why in 1980 the ward 198 years of a ward system was brought to an end? Because the council was too focused on the day-2-day of the city rather than setting policy and advancing the city forward. We were doing that, this is going to be another nail in the coffin of Saint John. This is going to strip away the progress foreseen in the last 4 years.

The next council is more likely than not going to pit one against the other for; who gets a rink, I want my sidewalks plowed. And attention is diverted away from the future and placed on the present.

And my vote has been cast…

I have just had my say, in the advance polls this afternoon. Hopefully at least 40% +1 will agree with me and turn down the ward system, as proposed by council. The idea of having 2 per-ward and have no power to regect someone if they are the only two runing is so undemocartic. In my opinion this will hurt the city and only benifits the easyness of entry for for people to run for council.

The Save UNBSJ Effort

I was just reading my e-mail and I received one about the effort against the plans to convert UNB Saint John into a polytechnic university or do a merger with NBCC Saint John. The e-mail linked another site http://livingininterestingtimes.wordpress.com/ and I thought I would just post about it here. On one hand I think that losing a full university such as UNB Saint John could be a bad thing, but the polytechnic university concept might be interesting, there doesn’t seem to be a University in the area like the caliber that some polytechnics like Ryerson have.

Toronto, Cabaret, and 25 other warm fuzzys.

While it has been such a long time since an update so this one might be a little longer than normal. And the full blame of this goes to www.facebook.com and www.youtube.comI have spent most of my Internet time on those two sites. Some of you might be even reading this from the notes section on Facebook.

Okay so lets start with Toronto, I tool lots of pictures that I will add to my gallery soon, and some very interesting ones at that. The greatest story was the one where I was sitting in the Glenn Gould Studio in the CBC Broadcast Centre as the marble tile fell off of the 60th story of First Canadian Place it shock the ground and nobody really noticed that is Toronto for you. And I went to see the show at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament  www.medievaltimes.comit was defiantly one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life something that I would for sure go see again, and the food was amazing. I’m not sure what the soup was but my mouth is watering just thinking of it.

I also took a trip up the CN Tower again it was kinda boring I was not the same as my first time the highlight though was watching from the Sky-Pod a truck trying to make an imposable backup turn 142 stories below. But later that day I saw lightning hit it and it was cool wish I could of had a picture of that.

Oh, and I stayed at the Days Hotel on Carlton again, I was really lucky since I had reservations in another hotel and they were sold out. I was very fortunate to be on the very first WestJet flight out of Saint John, even though I had to suffer the ear piercing horrors of a Bag-Pipe farewell WestJet is soooooo much better experience than I have has in the past with either VIA Rail or Air Canada.

Cabaret

This is one of the most culturally uplifting shows I have ever seen. The performers were amazing beyond belief. This was definitely the type of show that you could go back and see many many times. There are not many words that can describe the greatness and hard work put forward by the performances of all the actors, and musicians.

25 other warm fuzzys

25- May 9th was my 25th birthday, and by tradition I spend most of it including dinner alone.
24-My next movie is in the filming stage right now, some of it was even shot in Toronto.
23-I’m still addicted to FaceBook.com
22-Hi to the Goonz @ hiredgoonz.ca
21-I went to elwoods a few weeks ago and it was good.
20-I went to O’Leary’s after Elwoods and at was still good.
19-Gulping half a bottle of Jägermeister before Elwoods and having it come backup and re-swallowing it was “not” a good thing.
18-Hitting the town with Tony was a good time.
17-I need to meet-up soon with Tony to revise my script for anther project.
16-Walking against the crowd at Union Station at rush hour, was not a good thing.
15-Sunset at Nathan Phillips Square was breathtaking.
14-Curry Chicken from the Bay will burn off all your taste-buds.
13-Daytime is one of the Best TV Shows Ever.
12-I’m tired so I guess you can use the comments to give me the rest of the fuzzies.
11-I will write more I swear.

Better Policy Needed to Deal with Bus Congestion

I have a concern I’ve noticed happening more often on buses over the past month or so. This effect is predominantly happening on the Hospital / UNB and East / West Routes.

As the buses are approaching capacity there are normally about three to seven seats left in the rear of the bus, however many UNBSJ students will notice only that there are no seats in the front of the bus and will stand half-way between the front and rear doors, causing a backlog of people standing.

I would suggest that the Transit Commission make it policy that all standers must stand in the back of the bus to make it more clear that there are free seats remaining. In addition I would ask that you contact the University to send out an e-mail to students advising them of this.

Making a TV Show

Note: This article was originally written for Journalism 2023 Journalistic Writing in November 2002.
The 50th Annual Saint John Santa Claus Parade comes around for another year. This was a difficult production for producer Don Ferguson to organize volunteers. In addition, the float list was only available late on Friday afternoon. Three hours before the parade was to begin, we headed down the hill to set up the equipment. On arrival, we realized the taped introduction had the old TVNB logo and Parade 2001 on it. It was determined that we could just cover it up with graphics, but at about the time the parade was about to starting to come down the hill the tape got jammed in the machine and I had about 2 minutes to come up with an alternative. Then the parade went really well until the floats stopped coming down the hill in order of the list and then it was a scramble of; What float is it, type it in, bring it up and take it down and repeat for about forty or so floats.

After a hard day of work, after the family dinner, many families sit down to feed their brains with hours of Television. For a small dedicated group the night of TV starts differently, this group is not home watching TV they are making it. This is the story of the dedicated group of staff and volunteers at Rogers Television in Saint John. These people come together to get together and have a good time to make community television. One of the part-time staff members is often quoted saying, “This is not work it is a hobby.”

A typical shoot will begin with the Producer ironing out the technical details, arranging for sponsorships, and going down the volunteer list trying to assemble a crew together. The task of gathering a crew can sometimes be the most difficult task of all. There are three categories of volunteers. The first group are the extremely dedicated ones. This group will sign-up for just about every thing that they can. This group is relatively small about a half-dozen or so. The next group is the regulars they are usually quite dependable. The regulars usually have a certain focused interest, like bingo or sports. Then there is the third group that are either always extremely busy, lost interest, or do not even remember why they are on the list. This last group is where most of the difficulty in forming a crew comes from after the first two groups are exhausted the producer has to spend hours of trying to get someone from this group interested.

The volunteers all have some interesting stories that occurred during their years. This group comes from all lifestyles, call centre workers, retired tax collectors, former professional TV people, and car dealers. They range in the spectrum from students to retired. In general, they get together to make TV, not in a deadline setting like a commercial TV setting, but one of just to have a good time and make some TV.

After everything is in place the producer and graphics person get started doing research and graphic design as this usually takes up most of the preproduction time. Then there is set up, which could be as simple as turning on and adjusting a studio camera and wiring a few microphones. This can also be a daunting task like a hockey game which involves miles of cables to be haled all through the arena and taped down to avoid tripping setting up and adjusting a half-dozen cameras, half-dozen microphones, set up a replay machine, a fibre feed back to the station, and lighting for the dark areas.

In November is typically a busy month. The month started out with the Kiwanis TV Auction. This is a relatively simple event to begin with, in the beginning of October J-P Quinn the producer begins with organizing the crew and booking a mobile production truck to come down for the shoot. Then comes the cancellations, of the cancellation included the Audio, Graphics, and half the camera operators. On the Tuesday in the morning before the auction, I received a call to see if, I would be available to take over the graphics. Only two of us on the list that could do the advanced graphics required for the auction. I really started my job the day before the show. The auction required an animated introduction, over 300 lower thirds, or graphics on the bottom of the screen, and a credit roll for the end of the show. While I was working on this J-P and several volunteers went down to the Trade and convention center to set up.

Then the long-awaited show day came, it started with setting up the lights, microphones, and phasing or adjusting the colour of the cameras. The show went abnormally flawless. The second major production was the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony this was the worst show I have ever worked on. It started badly by the fact that we could not acquire a mobile for the show resulting in ripping out the rack used for the weekly common council meetings. Since there was, only one graphics computer in Saint John the plan was to send the signal back
to the studio by Fibre-optics and put them on there. The first problem was that the computer crashed ten minutes before the event was to start and I forgot to save the graphics. In addition, the fibre feed did not work so they recorded show on site. When Don Ferguson the producer for the show returned with the tape, we put the graphics, music and taped interviews on the tape. After we finished there was barely enough time for us to rewind the tape. The show look so awful there was almost no sound and the camera cables were not good enough to see anything
but backs of head.