When I Started Using the Internet

When I Started Using the Internet

How old were you when you started using the Internet regularly?

When I first started using the internet I was 13. My first exposure to the internet was using GOPHER, and having to search using Veronica.

Then when I was 15 I made my first e-mail address (Hotmail pre-Microsoft, I had three within a month). Then in November of 2007 I make my first website “Charles’ Anything and Everything Site” on Tripod that eventually transformed to this site.

Council’s Last Chance at Transit

Council’s Last Chance at Transit

It is now 7pm in the council chambers and the councillors are now arriving. As council begins there is 44 people here.

The meeting has now begun the councillor are doing their opening thanks to different community groups.

Joe Mott is absent tonight. Most of the routine business is quite boring and routine. The first item is 12.1 on the demolition of a dilapidated building on city road no one will miss. Next is a review of the Taxi by-law review and a full presentation with slides.

Council has after an hour approved starting the process of drafting the new Taxi By-Law something that has been talked about for close to 15 years now. Now they are discussing changes to the procurement policies.

Now it is time for transit (11.2). Councillor Higgins has moved to reassess the decision to cuts. Now the motion is a refer to budget deliberations. Councillor Farren sounds hesitant as long as it does not increase taxes. Deputy Mayor Chase does not seem to really support this. He is even denying that Higgins did know that the facts that she is denying and is stern on holding the budget. Councillor Norton is proposing a public review on route changes, but is being cautious. Councillor Snook is supporting transit but is supportive of the public consultation of optimizing routes. The City Manager is trying to educate council that this is not a cut but a limit to the increase to 1% even though Transit has been increasing the city’s subsidy by about 8%. Court was not favourable to the motion. Councillor Sullivan is not wavering on the fact that Transit is not a council priority. They are trying to wash their hands of transit and placing responsibility on the commission and the province for the taxes on the garage.

Some appear on delaying a decision. Councillor Titus, the council representative on the Transit Commission, is placing the blame back on council. He is insisting that the transit commission placed much thought on the routes. The cuts were based on cost effectiveness of service. The pension issue is of great importance and that money has been already been spent on printing of new schedule.

Titus insists that there is not really $5-million dollars extra. Insists that we have really good services, that citizens should be proud of.

Higgins makes a good closing point that perhaps if more than one transit passenger was on the commission it could be more efficient. It could be better promoted, and that the larger percentage of users are renters and renters pay 2x the tax rate of regular residential.

Considering that East Saint John is getting hit the hardest. It is despicable that Councilor Court is taking such a hard line against the prosperity of transit. Councillor Court does not stand up for is own ward and should likely be cut come election time. Voting time it is a referral motion 8-2 in-favour. Titus and Sullivan against.

A Memorable Mass Transit Story

A Memorable Mass Transit Story

Remember that one time on the bus, when…? Share your mass transit stories.

One of my best memories on the bus was on an East bus headed to the mall on March 25th, 2004. I happened to run into my friend Tony, we were both heading to the mall. At this point I had my first batch of 25 names on the nomination papers. This was where Tony signed as the witness.

As soon as I got to the mall I instantly went to head back to the north end to file the papers. The first time 8 of my names were rejected as the people who signed were not actually registered to vote. Then the second time 45 minutes later I was 2 names short. Then 25 minutes later, I was officially on the ballot.

When it finally got approved, the first thing I did was to run to every media outlet that I could find and dropped off my Press Release.

Running for Mayor was one of the most interesting times of my life, and all the people and aspects of the community that you get exposed to is unreal.

Then six and a half weeks, and 448 votes later that part of my life was over. Thus leading the way for 2 days later when I left the province on my first vacation and train ride later.

And the travels continue…

My first job was a Credit Card Telemarketer

My first job was a Credit Card Telemarketer

Question: What industry ushered you into the workforce? Describe your first work experience. How long did you last?

My first job as was as a credit card telemarketer for $9/hour. It seemed like a good job at first. The training also seemed very decent. Then shortly after things started to change quickly. It was the Easter long weekend coming up, and they were offering overtime for I think it was Good Friday but it was for a different bank, and credit product, with a different script and a much different “terminal” interface.

Just as an aside, most people called them DOS screens just because it was all keyboard operated and text-based. Some people are just totally wrong, and non-technical.

Getting back on track, after the weekend ended there was a push on leads for this other bank and since I had done it for a day I was kept on the new campaign and was expected to have results on the leads with out the proper training on the program, just three sheets of paper. To make it worse, just as soon as I was catching on, I got thrown back and forth between the two very different credit card products.

After 7 weeks, there was a presentation that I wanted to go see at council, it was the operating budget of Saint John Transit. I went to work because I felt I had an obligation to the job, but then I had the worst customer ever, and a very un-supportive supervisor. So I signed out for my first break, left my key card next to the keyboard, and went to council. I never returned.

From this job, I learned two very important lessons. Sometimes, you have to take the initiative to learn on your own that you need to know to excel at a job. This is something the has been very critical to a few of the jobs I have had. Before I worked as a graphic designer at Johnny’s Coupons I had never used CorelDraw ever. In my current job, everything changes everyday and there is a steep and very broad knowledge involved, not attempting to learn on my own would result in me not getting as far as I have.

The second lesson was when an opportunity arises jump on it. Taking risks is a necessary skill to advance. This came true again about three and a half years ago. I was asked “Do you want to work on a six-week contingency project?” If I missed that opportunity to say yes, the last few years would be incredibly difficult.

I Wish I Were Fluent In French, German, Italian and heck Venician

I Wish I Were Fluent In French, German, Italian and heck Venician

I have tried many times to try a new language but it is very difficult unless you can immerse yourself in it for a month or two.

Despight the fact that learning to speak French much much better would help me find a more decent job, the language I would really love to be able to speak is German. I personally find German one of the most important sounding languages in the world. There is something in the sound of it that makes it feel familure and noble.

I also love how they construct larger word putting smaller ones together. I would also live to hang out in a platz over a piaza.

That being said Italian would also be cool and more specifically Venician. Venice is one very amazing place that you can very easily lose yourself in.

A Risk Worth Taking, Rafting in the Austrian Tyrol

A Risk Worth Taking, Rafting in the Austrian Tyrol

Rafting in Austria
Rafting in Austria

Last month my trip to Europe was a big spur of the moment trip that had very challenging air travels with all the delayed flights. But when I was in Austria deciding to go rafting was a huge enough risk. As we were being rushed, on the dark and rainy day, to get changed and that I need to lose some more weight and the suit was so tight that it was harder to bend I was not able to zipper up my wet boots, so they were quite loose. Add to that I have not actually swum in about 10 years, and I was not a very strong swimmer back then.

About 5 minutes into the rating trip the guide asked me to jump into the water and then swim back to the boat to practice safety. All that was going through my mind at that moment was how cold the Alpine water would be, and my glasses falling off. Without thinking much further I was underwater. I also had not gotten a good breath of air either. It was slightly difficult and took what seemed like forever to decide what way was up. Fortunately having a life jacket on I determined the direction I was floating was up and it was right.

Then as I reached the surface, I was so relieved that I had air again and that I could actually still swim. Then as a started to swim to the boat, I realized that the boots were too loose to swim. I had gone to the gym mostly cardio so my legs were good to swim, so I had to use only my arms. I finally made it to the boat fairly quickly but as I tried to pull myself into the boat but had no arm power left but the others pulled me in fairly easily.

The rest of the trip was amazing and fun. I definitely do rafting again, this time I would need to get a little fitter on my arms and practice a little swimming first. Also, make sure my boots fit properly.

“Immoral but not Illegal”

“Immoral but not Illegal”

Apparently my site traffic has dropped a fair bit in the last few months. This past week has been one of the craziest news weeks that I can remember in quite some time. Four elections, a new premier, a shady closed meeting of the public accounts committee in Ottawa. The Europe economy teetering beyond hope. The City of Saint John not having a clue how to fix its self with the pension. Sarah Palin announcing that she won’t run again, and overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs that no one really head or cared.

But among all that the things that stood out the most happened on Thursday. US President Barack Obama in responding to why the US Wall Street executives that killed the global economy were not jailed for what they done responded with; “what they done was immoral but not illegal.”

It is pretty bad when a few can make over a hundred million people worldwide homeless and unemployed. Then be bailed out by every reserve of money available on this planet then… nothing happens.

Added note: I had received a comment that it was unclear but, the point I was trying to make was that no one cared that Sarah Palin was not going to run again. Many people including myself cared about the passing of the great Steve Jobs.

Aussie woman dies on Italy Contiki tour

Aussie woman dies on Italy Contiki tour

I just read the following article and am very surprised at this. Over the last 2 years, I have been on a Contiki tour at the very same campsite.

Aussie woman dies on Italy Contiki tour | The Australian.

The Seven Hills campsite was one of my favourites, it had the awesome showers in the cabins that had the full body sprays. Although, camping was crazy as the ground was very rocky and hard to put the pegs on.

One difference about this site over others is that you have to use these pre-loaded cards to buy stuff. Now, this seems all in well however on the night you leave most of the people I knew would empty the cards at the super-amazing bar, and Rome is one of the heavier drinking spots that I have been to.

Interesting enough the article also goes on to state, “Contiki said the tour group had continued to Venice.” Now although Rome is a heavy drinking spot. The Fusina Bar at Camping Fucina in Venice is more so. They have the Amnesia drinks for about 8 Euro that go down way to easy.

It must be really hard on the Contiki staff to actually lose a camper in this manner. Usually, people just get left behind when they partied too hard.

If I Could Be a Professional Critic

If I Could Be a Professional Critic

It is a tough call between food of film critic. But, I think being a food critic would be better. It is amazing how many times you can find something that is the best tasting thing you have ever eaten. Where it is hard to top a movie as great movies are few and far between.

I do tend to write a lot of movie reviews though.

The Badger Hunter

The Badger Hunter

Welcome to the Homepage for the CEFM Productions / Eagle Nest Shows Entertainment co-production of “The Badger Hunter”

Episode 1 – On The Trail Of Ecstasy

Release Date: August 2, 2011

Production Stage: Released

It is Here!

It is Here!

Although it does not officially happen until tomorrow at 2:16pm; with the look of today’s weather the last day of Spring should be cancelled.

So here goes…

I now proclaim today Summer! (For those down-under you can still wait until tomorrow for Winter.)

Is the Reversing Falls/Rapids a Tourist Trap?

Is the Reversing Falls/Rapids a Tourist Trap?

This week not only once but twice I found myself on foot crossing the Reversing Falls Bridge. (Well only one of the two times was my first.) i have always considered the “falls” to be something to get the tourists to see.

I have seen the rapids from Fallsview Park many times but as you stand there on the middle of the bridge looking down the first thing that came to my mind was, “Crap that’s a long way down”. The second thought was this rail is shaking too much. Then I went to the east side of the bridge and went under it. Now that the signs of fear were gone. I really admired the natural beauty of the Falls and can understand why people come and look at the very unusual rock formations.

The most amazing thing though was the sun set over the hills. It is a shame that not enough people get to see calmness of the sunset.

This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This morning I heard the following story on the radio and was practically outraged by what I was hearing. Basically, the Government of Saskatchewan is offering a reasonable 6% pay increase to all the teachers, but the lousy blood-sucking unions are demanding 16%. In addition, who is going to feel bad for these teachers, 6% will make them some of the highest paid in the entire country.

Even if the Government is able to pay this amount they should not give in. The money should go to offer better supplies for learning, libraries, I would even hire actual fitness trainers than give in to the greedy unions.

I think that this country would be much better served banning unions from the public service.