Photo of the Day #51 – June 29, 2012

Chris Brooker
June 30, 2012

I know this is technically allowed as it’s after midnight and technically a new day but it still feels a little like cheating. I’m going to try and not do this often but today I shall. After all I did shoot 1200 photos at the ABSOLUT Unleashed party it’s a shame to only use 1.

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Shot in JPEG, levels adjusted in Lightroom 4. (Exported to jpeg at 75).
Nikon D7000, 35mm, ISO400, F2.8 1/60sec exposure.

1) I have to upload one new, original photo to the blog every day.
2) The photo has to be taken on that day. No using photos taken in previous days.

Photo of the day gallery for the full sized pic
You should really check these out at full resolution 

Photo of the Day #16 – May 23, 2012

Chris Brooker
May 23, 2012

Today was the day! It was FounderFuel Spring 2012 Demo Day. The day that the last 3 months of FounderFuel had been leading up to. After so much hard work, so many late nights, and being away from my loved ones. It was a fantastic success! In honour of Epilogger having a great Demo Day, here is a photo of our table at the VIP lunch currently being manned by Astrid and Rebecca.

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Shot in JPEG, levels adjusted in Lightroom 4. (Exported to jpeg at 60)
Nikon D5100, 18mm, ISO400, F4.5 1/80sec exposure.

Photo of the day gallery for the full sized pic
You should really check these out at full resolution 

Tomorrow is my birthday, reflections on the journey

Chris Brooker
April 18, 2012

(Yes, this is long)

As the title says, tomorrow is my birthday. I guess because of that I’m in a reflective mood. I remember the day I turned 30. It was a scary milestone and one I didn’t want to hit being unhappy.

When I turned 30 a lot of good things were going on, the seeds I had planted earlier were blooming. I was in the best shape of my life, I was a serious regular at the gym for the 2-3 years prior and was really on my game. I owned my own condo, I had just started dating an amazing woman (Krista), I was super engaged in the Social Media and tech scene and was making and editing tons of videos. (They’re all still on YouTube). I was blogging often and getting good traction. I was invited to all sorts of things and had an active social calendar. Having all of these things made turning 30 not so painful.

We’re now 3 years later and I’m now turning 33. Not a major milestone but a moment in time to reflect on were the last 3 years have taken me. Let’s start back 3 years ago, I continued to exercise religiously, I made more videos, I met more people and attended more events. The condo I owned was way up at Don Mills and Sheppard. All my friends and Krista were downtown or in East York, plus my condo and condo fees were killing me.  I then made the decision to sell the condo and move downtown. I hired a Real Estate agent and sold the place pretty easily for more than I paid, a nice little bonus. Then the bank took a crap ton of money when I paid my mortgage back early. I think the fee was north of $8,000. I had a tiny bit of money left after that and paid some debt.

Then I moved downtown, right downtown. The City Place group of condos at the button of Spadina. It was great! I could walk everywhere and the internet was the best I’ve every had (100mb/s). Krista and I continued to have a fantastic relationship.

During this time Michael Nus and I became good friends and we co-founded Epilogger Inc. 

Krista and I then moved in together. I got rid of the condo downtown and moved into a house in East York with Krista. Then I got tired of my job and it’s lack of a challenge or room to grow. Knowing my real passion was for Epilogger, that’s all I wanted to work on but unfortunately, I required an income to survive and started looking for another opportunity. I started reaching out to all the people I knew in the tech community and quickly landed a whole bunch of interviews. Most companies were not what I was looking for. Just more of the same cubical coder jobs, who just grinds out code all day everyday. I need more in my life than just coding. Then I interviewed with a company that seemed so much better, Empathica. They fully, from the top down, embraced the agile philosophy and it was such a fantastic place to work. So many great people and I could really contribute more than just code.

Now Krista and I are expecting our first child. In fact July 7, 2012 is the due date. Even though it’s scary as hell, I’m really exited and looking forward to being a dad. As I know I have a ton of wonderful things to share and teach.

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During all fo this Epilogger was steadily picking up steam and in February 2012 we were accepted in a major startup accelerator in Montreal, QB. Yes, I had to more to Montreal away from Krista who is 28 weeks pregnant. But if Epilogger, one of my passions, is every to succeed this is a chance and I had to take it. While I write this I’m sitting in my bedroom in Montreal, thinking about what I’m missing in Toronto with Krista and preparing for the arrival of our baby. I’m sad I’m missing it, but really happy that I’m here. This program has exceeded my expectations and I’m very excited about the direction and momentum Epilogger is having. It feels so good to watch something you’ve loved and laboured on for so many nights and weekends for so long really start to take off.

I guess the questions after all this is am I happy with were I am? Hell yes! Things have changed, good things have happened and bad. I’m super excited about the baby and Epilogger. I just need to get my ass back to the gym.

(Yes, blogging more is something I’d like to do)

The blog and why it looks different

Chris Brooker
April 18, 2012

After doing an update to WordPress my previous theme, which was heavily modified, stopped working. This is a stock theme and I’m going to be using it until I have time to improve it. But the content is mostly what matters. Keep an eye out.

Spring in Montreal

Chris Brooker
April 16, 2012

Hey all,

As chance would have it, I’ve found myself in Montreal during the spring. In fact, I’m here for 3 months and have already been here a month and a half. Some of you know why others don’t but it will al be revealed soon. Suffice it to say it’s an exiting time and spring in Montreal is waking this city up.

Last weekend I was back inToronto and it was my birthday, as an amazing present I got a new camera. A Nikon D5100, I’ve always wanted a DSLR camera but knew that if I did, I’d fall down the rabbit hole of expensive camera gear. So up until now I’ve avoided it. But with the baby on the way (BTW, did you know that we have a baby on the way? we do, July 7, 2012.) I got the camera to take pictures of the baby.

This past weekend I went on a couple photo outings, here are some of my fav pics from around Montreal this weekend.

I’m going to start with a photo of me. I didn’t take this but it’s still a good photo.

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Found myself in a Montreal student protest for a few hours and great place to practice taking photos.

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This is Place des Art, this is starting to be my favorite spot to come and hang out.

You can check out all my favs on flickr 

HP TouchPad – In my hands!

Chris Brooker
July 7, 2011

A week or so ago I get an email asking if I want to come to an exclusive blogger event with not a lot of details, I checked my calendar and had nothing so I said sure. A few days after that I got an email that said it was for the the HP TouchPad and I got excited! I’ve been dying to play with a WebOS tablet for a long time. I was thinking kewl, I get to play with it, see how it feels, and see how WebOS behaves on a much larger screen.

The event was at the always wonderful Marben Restaurant on Wellington in Toronto. I got there and headed downstairs.

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Get downstairs and am greeted by the lovely ladies from Hill and Knowlton; Courtney and Rachel. Get my name tag and chat for a bit (cuz they’re wonderful ladies), then head on in.

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The food at Marben is just fantastic. These little burger quarters are so unbelievable that I had to ask about them, they’re braised beer ribs wrapped in ground beef. All the food was amazing but these really stood out.

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After a grabbed a quick bite and a beer, I found someone showing off the TouchPad, as I really wanted to see it in action pulled him over and finally got some hands on time.

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I had to end my demo short as the event was getting started and I needed to take my seat.

Then they dropped the bomb, everyone gets a TouchPad!!! I was seriously shocked and super excited.

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I tweeted “#TouchpadTO pulls an Oprah, everyone gets a touchpad!” and my phone blew up with replies. This is a hot commodity in Toronto.

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We unboxed them and started booting them up, we were told we needed them setup and activated for some of the events later in the evening. Here’s mine turning on.

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Created a WebOS account and it’s setting itself up and rebooting. Time for a few more mini burgers and some beer.

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Sorry about this photo Erin, I’ll just assume you were thinking about kissing the TouchPad.DSCN2101

After we all got the TouchPads unboxed setup and running they did a quick demo so we all had an idea on how to use it. Which is good cuz boy did we need it for the next part of the night.

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Up came Marty and Kirk from Brass Facts who run a super kewl trivia night at Brass Facts at The Ossington. This was by far the best and most brilliant way to get people to engage with the new device of any event I’ve ever been to. Kirk and Marty had a series of very difficult trivia questions and we had to use the TouchPad to do research to come up with the answer. First prize was a $100 gift certificate to Marben Restaurant. This was so much fun and I used the TouchPad constantly during the entire contest.

One of the awesome things I discovered about the TouchPad during this quiz was it runs flash!! Yes, flash! The questions was “On the website for the company who’s slogan is ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ there is a pop star, name her husband”.

The company was Adidas and of their website is in flash. (So it doesn’t drive you crazy, it’s Katy Perry and the answer is Russell Brand, you’re welcome).

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You can see the answer sheets on the table. I came in 3rd, argh so close.

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I’d been pawing at it, it’s now all finger printy. You can see my quiz sheet open on the table.

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Some rocking top Toronto people, Casie Stewart, Wes Bos (or WebOS 😉 ), Raymi the Minx, in the back OakleyInc. I also see a nice Louis bag.

Wow, what an incredible night. Thanks to everyone at HP, Hill and Knowlton and Brass Facts you guys really blew my socks off.

I used the TouchPad for most of the night when I got home and a bunch today. I’ll do another post about the device and my impressions a bit later when I really have it as part of my life. Looking forward to trying the WordPress App!

Gods Car…

Chris Brooker
March 4, 2011

I don’t have anything great to post. Was going to write about PodCamp, but it was so long ago now. All I could do is post pictures. PodCamp was awesome BTW.

I leave you with this ridiculousness I saw while driving to work this morning.

GodsCar

WTF? A Pontiac G5 is not “Gods Car”. God needs a car like unicorns need a cars. They don’t, cuz they’re both magical and fictional.

Genius or Dumbest idea ever? Impressive Ad

Chris Brooker
February 28, 2011

shortshortsads_01

This is either the best or craziest f’ing thing I ever seen.

In New Zealand an add agency replaced a plank in public benches so that when people with short short or skirts sat down their ad was impressed on the back of their thighs. Apparently this mark last for up to an hour and promotes whatever was impressed everywhere that person goes.

We put indented plates on bus stop, mall, and park benches, so that when people sat down, the message was imprinted on their thighs. This meant that as well as having branded seats, a veritable army of free media was created, with thousands of imprints being created and lasting up to an hour.

Out of the thousands of imprint I don’t any were readable. Is this nuts, creepy, or just dumb. What do you think?

The Hex colour clock

Chris Brooker
February 23, 2011

As  a guy that spend most of my time building web things. Hex code colours are an everyday thing. This amazing web app, that can also be the screen saver on OSX, converts the current time into Hex and display the background as the colour. Which is count through the hours!

http://thecolourclock.co.uk/

Why? Oh why?

Chris Brooker
February 23, 2011
 

Why? Oh why?, originally uploaded by cbrooker1.

Why is it that I always end up on a plane with power outlets and USB charging when the flight is under an hour? Toronto to NYC, about an hour, time you can use a computer 20-30 mins taking into account the takeoff and landing no electronics windows. No problem for any battery. But when I’m on a flight > 5 hours, there’s nothing!! Just dead batteries and boredom. Plus I put my laptop power adapter in my checked bag because I didn’t think there would be a need for it.

Please put this on all planes, thanks. Oh and more wifi. Lots of fast free wifi.

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