Tuesday, July 29, 2008

back to normal... again

So I have been waking up at 5:30am every day for the last 4 weeks and going to the gym. It's been great but then last Thursday I destroyed legs and then killed my tricepts on Friday.

On Sunday, I finally decided with my girlfriend that it was time to take on the Grouse Grind. Learned two amazing lessons. The first is that you should probably make sure you are fully recovered before doing the grind and the next is that it's a pretty serious affair.

It took me an hour and 40 minutes to get up the thing! People do it usually in about an hour and the record is like 25 minutes or something. My goal is to knock 30 minutes off that time by the fall, perhaps even labour day.... so I've stepped up the incline on the treadmill at the gym.

The lady and I also went to Granville Island on Sunday.... which is always awesome but it was totally crowded. You can rent kayaks down there so we're going to do that sometime soon.'

Also went BACK to a great new sushi place at Nelson and Hornby... but I can't remember the name.. it's called Okana or something like that.

Anyways, Idol is going to start soon. Gotta run.

great night on idol

big night on idol tonight. After last week's sh*t show, it was great to see most of the contestants step up to the plate tonight.

Although unplugged is totally boring...

Anyways, tough call to see who's going home. Sebastian Pigot would have my guess for going home but I wouldn't be surprised if the girl vote keeps him and we might see Mark Day go home, finally. Mitch McDonald might also be in trouble..

Monday, July 28, 2008

funny john mayer video

This is pretty funny. John Mayer spontaneously hamms it up for the TMZ cameras in NYC.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just getting started...

So I have just about passed the mid-way point in my internship and everything is going great so far... actually, I'm having an amazing time.

What is weird is that although I am only halfway done, the MBA program is really starting to ramp up again. A good number of the class is going on exchange so many of them are leaving either this week or next to get settled into their respective cities. Some are going to Barcelona, Milan, Rotterdam and I know some people going to Shanghai and Singapore.

As such, there are lots of people finishing their internships and gatherings to see people before they leave.

Also, the program itself is starting to get ready to accept the incoming class. The ISP program for foreign students starts any day now.... then they have pre-core in mid-August before they start classes after labour day.

Wow. I feels like I just finished school yesterday. Work has been fun but I feel like I'm just getting warmed up. The good news is that I'm staying on to work full time in the fall while I go back to school part time. Instead of finishing in December, I will finish in May and graduate with my class.

I will be in school a few nights a week and the odd weekend... unfortunately, I may not be able to take some of the good classes I wanted to take but that's ok... this is exactly where I wanted to be... and although it came a bit early... you gotta get on the train when it's at the station!

Take care and have a great weekend everyone. I'm going to see Dark Knight on Friday night, can't wait... then I'm going to meet some classmates.... then I'm either doing the Grouse Grind or going kayaking in Deep Cove with the gf... can't wait!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quebec = out

Catherine St. Laurent got booted tonight.

Too bad, she was really good. This is a bad sign for how the voiting is going to go from here on in!

Web Analytics

I have been reading a few great marketing related books recently. One of them is called Web Analytics: An hour a day by Avinash Kaushik who also has an amazing blog that I am now reading through as well.

By chance, I attended a webinar last week given by Avinash at Elastic Path. That SAME day, our web developer came up from Bellevue to work in Vancouver for a few days and had a copy that he lent me. I dove right in.

So far, I am LOVING this book. I will provide a more complete review when I have finished it... which at this rate will not be long.

Perhaps the biggest concept so far and one which has always been top of mind for me is the idea that you have to use analytics to get at the WHY.... why people visit your site... why they buy stuff... why they don't.... and that web analytics is a great way to help formulate the questions you need to ask.

But the real gold for me was the realization that me and anyone else sitting around looking at our company's website is just that... people sitting around and guessing... to really deliver the insight that is going to seperate your site from the rest is the fact that you need to understand these things from the customer point of view.

If you think your company's site needs some work, or even you don't.... pick up this book and start applying it ASAP.

Tuesday morning

Last night's Canadian was pretty terrible... they can choose any song by any dead artist and we get two Bob Marley's, Blind Melon, Doors... very unoriginal choices if you ask me.... heck, we even had a Jeff Healey "Angel Eyes". Now Jeff Healey (rip) was a great artist but that's an easy listening favorite with the older folks... give me a break.

I really thought this was going to be a great season but it's turning out same as always so far...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

500 Gigs and Wireless

picked up 500 gigs and a wireless router at price club today.... good stuff.

Can't wait to unload tonnes of documents on the hard drive!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

it's all over now

So Adam Castelli from Hamilton got booted off Idol last night... he had done "Rebel, Rebel".

I wasn't an overly huge fan of his but he was by no means the worst out there last night... best part was how shocked he was he's going home.... I find it so funny when this happens as people on the show always seem to forget how regional voting can play a bit part of how far people go on that show... and season after season we see people like Mark Day get to the top 6.

Remember Sanjaya?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Canadian Idol Top 10

Well, it could have been a great season of Canadian Idol but after tonight's show, I can't help but think this season is going to turn out to be a total bust. None of the performances were good and I'm not sure David Bowie was a good choice for this stage of the contest.

Overall, not impressed at all. and it's not even over yet
Today is Monday and I woke up at 5:45am. Went to the gym and then came to work.

This past weekend wasn't very exciting either. Went out on Friday night and then did various things around the apartment for the rest of the weekend.

I'm looking forward to spending the August long weekend at my cottage. Going to meet my nephew, Tate:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Two things on Friday

The first thing today is a comment about the downfall of the TV. I enjoy watching this go down because I am sick and tired of people talking about TV advertising. I have posted the occasional good TV ad on this blog but in general, I find it a boring marketing tactic and I has always bothered me how people in marketing class love to talk about this ad or that ad.

True, there is ALOT of money spent on TV advertising but that number is falling fast while more exciting and measurable mediums like the net are increasing... why would marketing students want to talk about a dying tactic? I never understood that...

Anyways, there have been two developments recently that have caught my eye in relation to this ongoing saga. The first is that TV ad rates fell by 11% percent in the second quarter or this year (source).

The second is something I read last week but have been waiting to comment on... and that is that the average TV viewer is now about 50 years old and this is the first time the averge age has hit 50 (source). The best part is that when DVR viewbacks are included, that age only drops by one year!

Now both of these could be expected. The first because of the writer's strike and second based on the fact that baby boomers are dominating society and have for years. But on a deeper level these might point to the fact that people are just not watching TV like they used to. Many have resorted to watching TV on the computer... whether it be downloaded via BitTorrent or streamed (like on mtv's websites).

Advertisers better smarten up and stop being drunk on expensive TV advertising and start shifting more of their marketing budgets to other tactics and channels...

Canadian Idol

I was busy this week so I didn't get a chance to catch up on Canadian Idol until just last night. This week, they booted 6 people to get down to the top 10 and I have to say that I'm quite surprised at a few of the ousted contestants.

I thought Omar Lunan who did the Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine" should have stayed and so too with Oliver Pigott - I thought he was the better of the two brothers and one of the best on the whole show.

Gary Morisette was also really good. He did "House of Rising Sun" this week and killed it... and I thought Marie-Pierre from Quebec was good so was Katlyn Dawn but seriously, doing "Zombie" is one way ticket home because we have all had to sit through girls trying to sing that song for over 10 years now.

So we now have our top 10... I think a few of them have a good shot... Mookie is strong, Theo Tams is strong... Amberly Thiessen is good and so is the French girl....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday night...

It's been a busy few days for me since I last posted.

I went to an AMAZING art show on Friday night at Grunt Gallery by a young native artist named Andrew Dexel. Rarely have I seen an art show with so many captivating pieces.

He is young and although he has a background that started in street art (tagging specifically) he has blossomed into an amazing painter who combines aggressive an street style and traditional aboriginal art.

He has a showing happening right now at Grunt Gallery. The pieces at the show were unreal and ranged from about $1,000 to about $2,000. I totally want one and don't be surprised if one is on my wall soon enough!

Next up was celebrating 4th of July... which was fun.

Then on Saturday I woke up to find out that my sister in law was going into labour one week early... and my brother and her made me an uncle twice over with the birth of my nephew Tate down in Rhode Island. On top of that, my other niece, Ella is turning one on Wednesday.

Then I started going to the gym this morning. Opened things up with a 6am workout... followed by a day at work spent organizing all of the things we have going on. Then, finished it off with the BCAMA's annual general meeting which was also fun. I really enjoy talking to other people in the marketing field.

Anyways, I'm tired and have a new issue of The Economist to read so I better go.

Take care...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Idol Top 20 Week

I finally got around to watching this week's Canadian Idol episodes.

The pack has clearly split into those that can and those that can't. I always hate when this happens to the group because it makes half of the performances between now and what ends up being around the top 6 totally useless. Worse, it tends to be the time when people who are good don't get enough votes, often because of regional voting, and go home.

As I've said before, this year's crop has some GREAT performers and this week there were some great performances. Here is who I thought was good:

Omar Lunan did "Ain't No Sunshine"
Theo Tams "Collide"
Mookie, Amber Thiessen, Oliver Pigot and his brother were good. Mitch McDonald did Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" which is a great tune if you don't know it. Youtube the live version.

There were a few others that were good too. In the end, four were sent home and a few of them I didn't think were that bad... Paul Clifford and Jessica Sheppard were both good and I'm not sure they should have gone home but that's life... I think the BC peeps aren't voting or something... but maybe that's because we don't get the show until later or something.... i dunno...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Working 9 to 5

I just celebrated my one month anniversary at Laplink. So far, everything has been really great. The pace of business on the West Coast is much slower than back in Toronto... and it has taken some getting used to.

People in the West Coast work 8 to 4 or 9 to 5. They do this so they can avoid traffic, get outside or conduct their personal lives. In Toronto, everyone works 8 to 7 or 7 to 6 or even worse, 8 to 9. That time isn't always spent being productive but I don't think that changes much out here... but people do seem to move a bit slower... I use the expression that it's like trying to do business in a vat of molasses.

Working again has been really fun. Not nearly as demanding as school in that I have my weekends and nights free - in fact I have no clue what to do with all my free time. I have come to realize that I must enjoy it now because I will be back to school in the fall - allbeit part-time but still....

I won't be talking about Laplink specifically very often but it was nice to see a positive review of our PCmover product today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Anything but an iPod... please

I have always found it funny when people create websites in spite of the major players in an industry. In one sense, I guess that it is validation that they matter - heck, someone has gone to the trouble of creating an entire webproperty about how much you suck... on the other than, it shows that when you get something good going, there are always people looking to knock you out...

I came across this site today... anythingbutipod.com. Basically, it shows you all the alternatives you have to your iPod.

I had an iPod... I think it was generation 2 or 3. Either way, it lasted for about a year before the battery started running out and the software would bug up on me... and over the years I have seen tonnes of people spend all this money on them and never use them or all the memory they think they need... so I think iPod is a well marketed piece of technology above anything else.

A few years ago, I bought a 1gb Samsung mp3 player with FM radio for $75. Drag and drop files and about 10 hours of battery life. Worked great for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day Everyone!

Sorry that I haven't posted very much since last week. I have been busy spending time away from my computer. I know, I know... shocker.

This past weekend was my first "real" long weekend in a while so I spent time cleaning my apartment, relaxing and cooking things on the BBQ. I also went fishing on Saturday, but I will post a detailed description of that when I get the pictures downloaded - a few classics in there for sure.

It has been fairly hot and sunny in Vancouver all week and that has been nice but I'd rather do other things than blog about the weather so I'm going to sign off.

Have a safe and happy holiday.