Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Priceless Value of a Photograph

Here is something that we have all heard before in some form or another, but I feel is important to be reminded of on a regular basis.

I was recently reminded by a good friend’s post on Facebook regarding his grandmother, about how priceless a photograph is.  He posted a series of photographs from when his grandmother was younger.  As I looked through the images I thought to myself how many memories would be completely forgotten if people had not taken pictures.

Alan & Elaine on Totem Pole

The first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce titled “View from the Window at Le Gras”. Since then things have changed, technology has advanced and millions and millions of pictures have been taken.  There are many moments in history that were captured in photographs.  Families all over the world clicked away and took pictures of themselves, their children and families as they grew and experienced life.  Photojournalists took pictures of famous events, politicians, wars, celebrities, celebrations, sports, and local news events.  Without those pictures the only historical records we would have are what people wrote.  Obviously you can’t always trust what people write and the visual reference of a photograph makes a big difference… that is until the invention of Adobe Photoshop. 

Alan & ElaineMotivated to write this post, I decided to go through some of my own old photographs.  I was just going to grab one or two old shots to stick in this post and the coolest thing happened.  My two young boys (5 and 6) came in to see what I was doing.  They started looking at the old pictures with me and it was really cute.  My oldest son, Tony, saw a picture of me when I had long hair, glasses and a moustache and he said “who is that?”  I laughed and said it was daddy when I was younger.  He gave me a strange look and said “you look like a bad Elvis!”.  My wife and I laughed so hard we were crying.

I hope you all go out and take lots and lots of pictures.  They don’t necessarily have to be good pictures, but capture those moments, those places, those people.  It is so important for the future, for yourself and for your family and those that follow years and years down the road.

Alan Birthday Cake

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Schools Kill Creativity

I was at work today and none of my usual friends/co-workers were available for lunch so I decided to sit in my office with the headphones on and watch one of the TED talks on my laptop. 

ted_logo If you haven’t heard of TED before you are seriously missing out on some incredible conferences on Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  You can read more about TED on their website, but here is a quick quote from their site…

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year's TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

The main reason for this post is the fact that the particular talk that I listened to today was by Sir Ken Robinson who is a creativity expert and led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education.  He was even knighted in 2003 for his achievements.  There is more about him on the TED website, but his talk titled “Schools Kill Creativity” was really amazing.  He is an excellent speaker, very intelligent and an extremely funny man with his dry British sense of humor.

This particular talk by Sir Robinson brings to light some very interesting ideas in that education throughout the years teaches people to focus on only the left side of their brain under the common misconception that you can never get a good job or make any real money unless you get a degree or even better a master’s degree or a PHD.  Think about it, the way it works out is that the “A” students end up teaching the “B” students to work for “C” students.  Your laughing right now aren’t you, because it is so true.  I hope you can spare the time to listen to the entire talk as people really need to open their eyes and change the way they look at education.  Without creativity we can’t solve the world’s most complex problems.  We have all heard the term “Thinking outside of the box”, and really what that means is to use some creativity to solve the problem.

Ring Tones

I just upgraded my Nero software for burning CDs and DVDs and it came with a bonus program called Mediashop RingPlus 3.0. Not a program I would have actually purchased, but since I got it for free I tried it out.

I have always wanted to have the closing theme from my favorite podcast TWiT as my ringtone and now I do...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Unbelievable Dining at a Fair Price

Today I had the pleasure of dining at a relatively obscure restaurant in Calgary called “Avocado Restaurant and Lounge” with President & Co-Founder Troy Miller.avocado

This family owned restaurant markets itself as Urban – Mexican and is a very unique concept in Calgary.  Troy told me his story about how he started out at age 24 with a Wendy’s fast food restaurant.  By the time he got tired of the fast food thing he and his brother owned four Wendy’s restaurants.  They wanted to get out of fast food, but they were not interested in moving into the upscale Earls and Joey Tomatoes market.  The way Troy describes his concept is a nice sit-down restaurant with fast food service.  A great place for lunch, you can be in and out in 30 minutes. 

He and his brother came up with all the recipes themselves after traveling around Mexico tasting different Mexican style food.  They were unable to find anything that quite fit in with what they wanted to serve at their new restaurant so they came up with their own unique dishes and incredible flavors.  There is nothing at Avocado that is bland, everything on the menu is a mouth full of flavors that leaves you feeling satisfied.  The portions are generous and the number of items on the menu is just right to provide variety, yet not leave you with too many decisions.  I had the “Ranchero Fajita Burrito” with a tossed salad and the restaurants own avocado dressing.  All the food is made fresh and it was wonderful.  With the first bite my mouth was watering and looking forward to the next.

The decor I would describe as modern with a South American flair.  While I was there they were playing the movie “The Three Amigos” with Steve Martin being projected on the white wall above the bar.

The current location that has been open for four years is just across from IKEA on Heritage Meadows Way S.E.  Troy is very busy right now with the planning and construction for three other locations including the soon to open 17th avenue location.

If your in the mood for something a little different to spice up your life then I highly recommend you dine at Avocado.