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While in college studying Journalism, I was shooting some pictures for a story about students’ practical experience. I chose to shoot the Pastry students booth at the career fair. The Pastry students had created all sorts of interesting desserts and dishes. I chatted with one of the students, got their thoughts on the program, and got the shot.

The photo worked out great. It was run in the student paper. I received a good grade for it. I was very happy.

Later I was volunteering for a start-up sports website. I got my first assignment and dove in. I spent hours and hours at different high school and college games. I wanted to get my employer as much variety as possible. When I delivered, he hated all the shots. I was devastated.

It took me a while realize that I wasn’t a bad photographer. It was just my style that didn’t work for him. The lesson from those two experiences was invaluable. I learned adaptation. I focused on learning my client and the audience before deciding my creative path. I believe that this adapted skill has got me to where I am today.


Old Friends

The last few months Craig and I have had a great time reconnecting with long-time friends. There is a certain comfort you feel when you spend time with a person who knows and understands you, who has shared experiences with you in the past. Not to say we don’t enjoy our newer friends because we do, but it’s a different type of relationship, filled with questions and discovery, it’s new.

Old friends matter because they fill the need to feel connected. In an old relationship, within moments you find yourself falling into a familiar pattern of conversation, times experienced together and remembered, history. These are the experiences that have shaped us and made us who we are. They know how to make us feel good and we know how to make them feel good. They accept us as we are, or they wouldn’t come to visit!

It’s like a favourite pair of jeans. They’ve softened and fit like a new pair never will. They are comfortable even though they are becoming frayed and thin in the bum! They trigger memories of experiences enjoyed together keeping us in touch with our past.

Craig and I have moved quite a bit over the years and each time we move we clean out our closets. But, there are a few pairs of “jeans” we hang on to. It takes effort to make sure there will be a space for them but it is well worth it!

There is nothing like old friends.


A bad example

Really, at my age. I need to be singled out as a person of bad behaviour? Well it appears so.  I recently got off a flight from Saskatoon. It was a typical flight that I make many, many, many times a year. It was the last flight home and I was tired. The plane landed and I turned on my phone as I have done many times in past.

The flight attendent came to my seat (5D to be precise) and said “sir, I noticed you turned on your electronic device when we landed before we had cleared the active runway, which I explicitly said in my instructions.

I said, “huh?” She said” You are not allowed to turn on your electronic device until we have cleared the active runway!” I said, “I thought I could look at it as soon as I landed, I have done it or seen it done on every flight I am on.” She said” Transport Canada would never allow that!. I said, “I’m very sorry and I won’t do it again. She said ” It is a very dangerous time in the flight, as the plane is landing and on the active runway. I said” I’ve never heard the term active runway before. Again, I’m sorry.”

She went back and sat down and less then 30 seconds later she was back, and told me again and said they may allow this in the US but never in Canada. Maybe on Westjet but not us. The active runway is a very dangerous time to have on your electronic device. (Really? My phone will make us crash? Or signal enemy aircraft to blow us off the tarmac? Or the pilot would turn the plane the wrong direction and we end up driving on Hwy 2 up to Edmonton?) Then out loud I said, ” As I mentioned before, I’m sorry.”

The gothically attired girl beside me said ” Whao, intense.”

I guess the flight attendant needed to make an example of someone, and this day, it was me. My advice? Don’t turn on your electronic device until the plane is off the active runway! Whatever that is. Sigh!



Tories Going Down? – Alberta Provincial Election Post 1

For 41 years, the Governing Party of Alberta has been PC. For 36 years prior to that it was Social Credit. It looks like what was old is new again and the So Cred’s  reincarnation is the Wild Rose Party of Alberta and they are about to shake up Alberta politics, big time.

No party has been a serious contender to the Tories since they took power in 1971. But considering Alberta’s electorate, it is logical that the first real threat to their power is from the right.

Right now, many people think that the PC’s are too liberal and that they have squandered the great prosperity that this province had. The Wild Rose, with dynamic leader Danielle Smith, have given right wing Albertans another legitimate choice and it seems they have hit a home run.

The polls vary a lot, and have the PC’s and WRP neck and neck or 7% either way, but suffice it to say that the political landscape will be greatly changed.

Almost every Albertan I have spoken to says they are voting Wild Rose. I haven’t decided. In all I have seen and heard from them, I think I know what they are against but its hard to pin down what they are for.  Anyway, lots of interesting days ahead.

Albertans want change. But be careful what you wish for.


Wow is this a snoozer – US Election post #7

I haven’t posted for awhile because I haven’t had anything relevant to say. But that won’t stop me today. The Republican Primary season is brutal. Its April and Mitt Romney, although leading by a lot , will not wrap up the nomination for at least 6 weeks and perhaps not until the convention this summer.

Rick Santorum can’t close the gap and Newt and Ron Paul refuse to get out. I guess it beats working.

Along with the other candidates and the Democrats, the late night talk shows are beating on Mitt.

What the GOP seems to miss, is that as long as they beat themselves up, independent voters, dissatisfied with the current administration slowly forget what they are dissatisfied with and drift back to the incumbent.

I might be wrong, but unless something major happens, the President gets re-elected.

But Santorum is the front runner in for 2016. Maybe that has been his plan all along.


Software as a Service, Yes Please!

Growing up, I spent most of my time playing with computers and video games. I had become quite accustomed to buying a new video game, finishing it, then buying another. They were like books to me, with a definite start, and a definite end, and I was quite a scholar! (Yeah, that’s it). This went on for years, until Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGS) became popular and with them a new pricing model: the monthly fee.

I thought it was a dumb idea, but mostly because I didn’t want to pay monthly for something that I was used to getting at a fixed cost. A friend gave me a free 30 day trial of Ultima Online (a completely open-ended game with no way to win), so I could see what he said “was missing in my life.” Those 30 days became three years, and at $15/month was the most expensive video game I ever played at $540. It was worth every penny.

Why? Because the developers made sure that the game was worth at least $15 each month. The incentive for them was to create a product that I never wanted to put down: new quests, newer and better gear for the newer and better dungeons. It worked (the MMORPG industry is worth 2 billion annually).

Now that I’m more mature, and I have kids and a mortgage, I may not be slaying dragons alongside Leeroy Jenkins, but I’m still paying monthly for accounting software, music services, and others, even though there are countless cheap and free equivalents. The reason is simple: they’re way better! Now, they may not have been developed with the same cocaine vending strategy as the MMORPGS I used to play, but because myself and many others like me pay good money every month to use the software, the developers aren’t on to the next big project they’re going to sell–this is it. The incentive for the developers is to keep working on this one project by constantly making improvements, working out bugs, adding new features, and listening to their customers. After a while, you end up with a pretty solid product–one that’s worth paying to use.


The Unicorn of Business

Lately, I have been on a quest to discover the elusive, mythical creature of business, which we call- work/life balance. Here’s the problem I have come up against, its MYTHICAL!! There is no such thing as work/life balance – we have one life, only one, and in trying to create work/ life balance, we are saying that work is not a part of our life when in reality, we likely spend more time at work than any other one place and the truth of the matter is that that will probably not change – it’s not like we can go into work and say, “hey, I need more balance, I’m going to spend less time here and more time not here.”  That won’t solve the problem, that will just cause more stress in your job and make everything else worse.

I think what we are really seeking is a satisfying life experience, whether we find that at home or at work, we need to be doing things that make us happy and fulfill us, and in the end, aren’t the two deeply linked anyways?

Rather than thinking of our work as a separate entity from our lives, leaving all personal things at home and all work things at the office, (and expecting our staff and peers to think that way too), we need to understand that we are each one person with one life and it is our responsibility to make the most of that life!


What’s wrong with a little poetry?

I have too often heard complaints about repetition in writing, especially the type of copywriting we do here at Impact Group. And I would like everyone to know that there is nothing wrong with repetition.

Repetition takes on many forms in the world of poetic devices from sounds and syllables to full words and phrases. It has been employed by poets and writers for centuries, seen as something to be praised. But for some reason I have often heard the reaction, “You used that word twice in the same sentence.” Well, guess what, I used it twice on purpose because I like how it sounds. Such is the nature of poetry.

I understand that there are instances where poetry is tolerated and instances where it is not, but sometimes I wonder if we can’t reposition that line, at least a little. I think we could all use a little more poetry in our lives.


An Epic High Five

I am a high-fiver.

I have been told recently that I put a little too much oomph into my high-fives. Apparently I high-five like I have just hit a home run in the World Series. So my coworkers have now categorized them.

There is the home run high five, triple, double, and single high-five. I like to pull out the home run high-five most of the time. I feel like anything less is kind of a waste. But I guess that the pain of a home run high five is just too much for some. So now I have adjusted to the single for everyday office occasions. I hold my hand up firmly and the high five recipient returns the high five as hard as they want.

My name is Sheena, and I approve this blog.