Thursday, January 31, 2008

2007 in Review (Part 3)

A few other things happened in May…they’re not really a big deal or anything…just worth mentioning. The lease on my Honda Civic was almost due, I hit a moose and totalled our family van, and I finalized the purchase of the other half of our house (the side my Aunty Sharon owned).

The lease coming due meant that I was looking for a new vehicle. A brand new Toyota RAV4 was my choice. For anyone who’s gone for a ride in it, you’d know that it’s a great vehicle and a monster in the snow. I’m very happy with it. It is an epic vehicle.

Hitting the moose changed my outlook on life again. I didn’t have a scratch on me and the van was totalled. I had glass in my hair and down my pants, but no cuts or bruises. God must have something else in store for me otherwise things would have been different. A few days later I heard of a lady who was driving a smaller car who hit a moose driving slower than I was…she died in the hospital.

(That’s two life changing experiences so far in 2007, for anyone who’s keeping track)

I bought the other side of our house, and my aunt moved out and bought a condo in Westgate, but I didn’t move in. I remained in the basement suite of my parent’s side of the house and began to rent out my side to some family friends who are building their own house in the Hart. So, things were working out alright. Double payments on the mortgage each month and some help to save for Australia in the summer of 2008.

As June approached I started to focus on two things: Teen Camp at Camp Morice and the feasibility of going to the Bahamas in November.

I was pretty excited to direct the teen camp at Camp Morice. There was a lot of planning to do in order to have everything ready because after all…you pretty much have to plan for every minute of the day and have contingency plans for if/when the weather is not co-operating. Not to mention the pressure of making the teen camp the same as it has always been but also make it new and exciting at the same time. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but that’s just who I am…I like to do something to the best of my abilities. So, during June I made up a short slideshow from past teen camps:

Between Adam, Roberta, and I…I think we took over 2500 pictures during the week of Teen Camp 2007. I’ve uploaded a whole bunch of them to facebook, but for all of the readers of this, I put some up on picasa web albums as well. They can be found here:

We also did a really cool skit called “The Backpack”

Much more fun to follow....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

2007 in Review (Part 2)


So, now I’m on my way back from Toronto, working on my laptop creating a small website. You see, Plank Creative gave me some specs for a small website before I left Toronto…so I began work right away. By the time I landed in Prince George later that day, I had finished the first version of the website and had, in essence, made enough money from the website to pay for my plane ticket to go there in the first place. Not to mention the fact that I can write the flights off as a business expense. Yes, I arrived back in PG feeling pretty good about myself.

Upon arriving back from PG I was presented with an opportunity to give a quote for a website for a company called AllNorth. The site was to be called Design Standards and was to function similarly to their existing site, except work all the time and provide more features. I won the contract and ended up working on the site for over 4 months along with the help of my good friend Tyler. It was a huge learning experience for both of us, and after it was all over I was happy that I got the chance to do it. But, I don’t think I’ll be looking for a contract like that again. It’s more fun to make sites that look and act cool than it is to do a whole bunch of coding (at least, that’s my preference). I like making things look pretty. So, that’s enough about Design Standards I think…it was a huge part of the year, but not all that interesting for you to read about.

April marked a new era in my life. From this point onward I started to look at the world around me in a different way. Thinking back on it now, I realize just how profound a change it was. It allowed me to see the world around me in a completely new way. You see, in April I bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT (semi-professional camera), and now everywhere I go I am looking at the world around me trying to capture its beauty. I see things I would not have seen before…I look at things you see every day and turn them into something spectacular (or at least I try). I love the way that it has transformed my life. The best investment I have ever made by far.

In April we had the ThinkFast and the DYC where I took over 1500 pictures with my new camera. Here are some DYC pics.

As May rolled around, I found myself working 3 jobs: SIS, Money Concepts, and Nata Reforestation. Nata needed my help to keep their seedling shipments on track for the upcoming tree planting season, and all that is managed through a website so I could do it from my office at the Coast Inn. This was also the month that Tyler started working for me on a contract basis. He was helping me create the Design Standards website application that I was talking about earlier. Let me tell you, I took great joy in being able to pay Tyler large amounts of money for him to do something he’s good at: programming. It was great.

(to be continued...)

Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2007 in Review (Part 1)

Well…I’m thinking that another “Year in Review” is in order.

Let’s begin.

We’ll start off 2007 with a lot of new things happening in my life. For those of you who remember, I started two new jobs at the same time: 1. working for the family business keeping them going with technology, and 2. starting my own business Sonic Interactive Solutions: Specializing in Web Design and Video Editing.

Now, January and February are the busiest months for financial planners because everyone is thinking about RRSP’s and taxes and stuff and have until the beginning of March to invest in RRSP’s and get a tax break for the previous year (ie. get money back on their tax return instead of paying money on their tax return). So, I ended up working pretty much full time hours at Allan L Johnson Financial Group (even though I was only supposed to work part time…but everything works out…you’ll see).

I also got to work on making my own website for SIS. I wanted it to be an amazing website…it needed to stand out and be something that makes you say, “Merde, I want this guy to make ME a website!” (pardon my French). And so, was born. What an amazing investment of time it was. It has proven to be my single most effective advertising tool. Since then, I’ve made sites like:

And a computer application website for keeping track of engineering schematics that are custom tailored for various engineering projects. It’s called Design Standards, but I don’t have a link to it because it’s not open for the general public to access. But I’ll get a little more into Design Standards later in another post.

Now, let’s see, where was I? Oh yes, I was working full time for the family business and full time for my own business. During the first couple months though, I didn’t make much money through my own business. But as time went on and I finished my website, Peter had some ammo to let someone in Toronto know about me and my new website business. He connected me up with a graphic design and promotions company called Plank Creative and they immediately got me to start working on a website they’d been designing for The Vapor Music Group. At this time, I also found some super cheap tickets to fly to Toronto, so I booked them and made arrangements to stay with Peter in downtown Toronto for a few days in March. While in Toronto, I got to do something that I haven’t done for more than 7 years: Participate in a retreat. Yes, I finally got to be a participant and have a good time and not worry about anything. Just show up and retreat. It was lots of fun for sure, but it was also a challenge. I only knew Peter…I had no idea who the other 50 people were and I was going to spend a whole weekend with them. In some ways it was a lot of fun because it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and get to know
people because I had to. But, in other ways, it was very draining for me…I’m not an extrovert…I don’t get energy from that kind of stuff. Needless to say, I slept very well each night of that retreat, but that is to be expected at a retreat. Anyways, I got to visit the CN tower and see some things in downtown Toronto. It was grand. Here are some pictures from the retreat.

That’s it for part 1. I’ll continue with part 2 soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's my Birthday

It's my birthday today, and I got to thinking about the last year. I haven't posted much on my blog.....mostly a result of that book-something-er-other website. But I've found that writing really helps to keep me focused on what's important in my life and reflect on the things that happen or are going to happen. So, I might do a little more posting for personal growth purposes. But, just out of curiosity, how many people still look at my blog?

It would be awesome if you could post a quick comment to say you look at it...just so I know. I'll give you one week to do so, then I probably won't look at the post comments again. So, you've got until January 20th 2008.

Powered by ScribeFire.