Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vacation Pictures...

I finally have my July family vacation pictures all up online! I don't have a good excuse for not having done this sooner, but it matters less now that it is done. So, enjoy.

Walt Disney World

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Daytona Beach, Florida

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Best Things Are Happy Endings

I have been a little shocked at the amount of twitter chat involving criticism of yesterday's Amber Alert in Edmonton and frankly, as a parent and a citizen, I don't understand it.

How was there not enough concern to warrant an Amber Alert in this case? I don't believe we should be participants of generating criticisms of our police force when they themselves are 1. Pleased with the overall process and the outcome of this incidence; 2. Hailing the quick thinking of the playground program staff; and 3. Encouraging us as citizens to continue to report suspicious incidents like this.

I understand to some this might have seemed like a waste of resources because the outcome was good. However I suspect these same people would have different criticisms if the outcome had not been good and the situation had not been reported or acted on in a timely fashion.

While you ponder the situation, consider this. A child is dropped off by an adult at the start of a playground program. These community programs have supervised hours through out the day. Before the end of that supervised period a different adult, whom you don't recognize, comes to take the child. Maybe the child doesn't want to go (stop playing) and puts up a fuss, but this adult takes the child anyway. Imagine now that this is not reported and three hours later the original adult comes back to pick up their child only to find they've now been missing for three hours.

A lot can happen in three hours... Now imagine this is your child and I think you'd find that an Amber Alert would be more than called for.

I think the Amber Alert program has been a great way to improve communications in the community and cross communities with other police services when a situation dictates speed is of the essence. I think the police need to have the confidence that they can use it whenever they feel justified and that we will trust in that, false or not. Indeed, isn't the best outcome of this that it was false to begin with and that the child is safe?

Just my humble opinion, of course. But I do strongly believe it's never a waste of anyone's time or resources if they are spent in the attempt to help one of the more vulnerable members of our society. Also, I think huge kudos should go out to the team of people who were involved in looking for this child and discovering that he was safe so quickly. Bravo.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Early this morning Edmontonians woke up to an incredibly orange sky that prompted many comments of the apocalyptic variety on twitter. It's hard to tell from the pictures but the air itself appeared to have an orange glow to it, everything in my bedroom when I first woke up looked orange but our window is west facing. I've never seen anything quite like it.

These pictures were taken around 5:00am in west Edmonton. You can see my other shots HERE.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Culmination of a Childhood

As we have for many of my son's birthdays, tonight we watched a Harry Potter movie on opening night. I couldn't help but reflect back through the years that my children grew up alongside the characters in the world of Harry Potter... truly they are what could be called the Harry Potter generation - as the books and movies paralalled their own milestones and life as close to real time as could be.

I found it very fitting, then, that on the cusp of my son turning 18 years old, that we would be watching the final installment in the franchise that we had loved so much. There is something a tiny bit sad but also very epic in all of this, the end of an era, in more ways than one. But with every ending there is a beginning just around the corner, new and exciting adventures to be had and I am very much looking forward to that.

Good bye Harry Potter and friends, thanks for all the memories!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thank Canadian Red Cross volunteers for response efforts in Slave Lake- Canadian Red Cross

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thank Canadian Red Cross volunteers for response efforts in Slave Lake- Canadian Red Cross

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Our 7th Wedding Anniversary!

Marriage: Allows you to annoy one special person for the rest of your life.

Happy anniversary Duncan!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Graduation!

Wesley finishes his High School career! Congrats!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Social Media Revolution

Based on #1 International Best Selling Socialnomics by Erik Qualman this is the latest in the most watch social media series in the world.

This is the long version produced June 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Slave Lake Pictures

I finally got all of my Slave Lake photos loaded up into Flickr. You can see them HERE.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't Forget About Slave Lake!

"In all the years I've been doing this job, I haven't seen anything with this kind of speed and devastation."
- Len MacCharles, incident commander

"When you first see the devastation, it's a numbing feeling. It's going to take some time to get our community back."
- Slave Lake Mayor Pillay-Kinee

As we hear less and less in the traditional media about the efforts ongoing in Slave Lake, Alberta, I wanted to remind everyone that much help is still needed there. The Canadian Red Cross has committed to the recovery process for the next two years and you can help fund that support for the residents of Slave Lake with a financial donation (some agency's will continue to take material donations as well).

On May 15th 2011 a wildfire, fueled by winds of up to 150km, burned through the northern town of Slave Lake, destroying 40% of the town. 374 homes were destroyed and another 52 were damaged. The province declared a level four emergency – the highest on its scale - and more than 7000 people fled in an immediate evacuation, leaving everything behind. After 10 days some people were allowed to come back, but many still can not.

A month after the fire there is still much work to be done in Slave Lake. The Red Cross is still registering people and last I heard there were 200 families that the town had not yet re-connected with. Thank you for keeping Slave Lake in your thoughts as the recovery process continues.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

We Take Too Much For Granted Everyday

Alice Pyne is a 15 year old girl who knows she is running out of time. She has hopes and dreams like we all do - she would have liked to have been a dolphin trainer - but she knows that some of those things will now, in her words, "remain dreams."

I became aware of Alice yesterday when her blog went viral with her bucket list - and one of the things she wanted was to trend on twitter. For me there is something inherently human in this desire to reach out - a need to be known, to be thought of - simply to say "I'm here, I exist, I live... and there's so much stuff that I still want to do." I know to some extent we all can relate to this.

One of the items on Alice's bucket list is to "make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor." This is something that is simple for most of us to do and I highly recommend it. I've been on the bone marrow registry for years and I hope that one day I might be able to help someone, like Alice, to keep on working through their bucket list and to live all of their dreams. In Canada you can start the process HERE. In the United States go HERE. For everyone else, google "bone marrow donation" and your country and it should bring up the program you need.

Another thing Alice challenges us to do is consider what it is we are putting off doing and why. If something is important to the way we want to live our life then we should start making that a priority and look for the opportunities we need. We're all relatively guilty of getting bogged down in the mundane daily tasks we feel responsible to participate in and we always put things off because we will get around to them, eventually. But what happens when you run out of time? As Alice asks in her blog profile - "If today was your last day on this earth, how would you spend it?"

It's worth some time today to ponder that question, right after you sign up for the bone marrow donor program in your jurisdiction.

We are all running out of time, just most of us don't know it. Keep on dreaming, my friends.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Catching Up

My silence on this blog has spanned a period of time that includes all of my anniversary type dates - my 8th blogiversary, my 4th twitterversary, my year celebration on Empire Avenue and my not-yet-40th birthday. Let's just call it a blog hiatus.