Sleepy in Seattle

Well technically I am staying in Redmond but I liked that title so we shall roll with it.  So after a LONG day of travel (9+ hours of flying gah), I have officially arrived here on the West Coast.  I am super excited to be here since I have never been out this way before and have been wanting to for quite a while.  Between the opportunity to finally visit the Microsoft campus and the opportunity to drink an espresso directly from the source of my favorite roaster…I’m going to have a good week. 

This city is sooo beautiful.  I got a shuttle from the airport with Shuttle Express (nice service) and got to see a bit of the city.  Plus the view when we were coming in for a landing was quite impressive.  I am looking forward to seeing some more of it tomorrow when I don’t feel so sleepy.  

It’s 7:30PM here now but midnight in Amandaland so I will be heading to bed soon.  The beauty of the 4.5 hour timezone difference is that I can 5am in the morning and it will feel like I have slept in. 

Tim Hortons Trip Planner

I have just discovered my new best friend for when I am on the road. Normally whenever I hit a new town on a consulting gig, the order of business is A) Locate my hotel and B) Locate nearest Tim Hortons. The order of those tasks may vary depending on a number of items.

Normally I hit msn.com for all the directions to my hotel and then I blindly drive around till I hit a Tims. In Canada it usually doesn’t require more than 15 minutes driving to find one. However I think I have just found a better alternative.

The Tim Hortons website has a mapquest link that will not only provide you with directions for your trip but will also provide a listing of all Tim Hortons locations you will pass along the way. I love it when people put technology to good use.

Check out the Tim Hortons Trip Planner.

I was even able to map my way home from the office with it. Notice the 3 locations within the 5 minute drive.

When I Grow Up I Want to be a … Rock Star

Actually years ago, I would have ended that sentence with Superhero but these days I tend to be more humble. Last weekend I (along with 100,000 of my closest Atlantic Canadian friends) attended what was the most amazing experience of my life. Shane and I saw the Rolling Stones in what apparently was their largest show for the Bigger Bang tour. It was phenomenal. The show was unlike anything I had ever seen before. In fact, as far as I am concerned now, that was the first and only real concert I have ever attended.

Kudos to the Stones for a great show. Kudos to Mick Jagger for taking the time to acknowledge all the Newfoundlanders, Nova Scotians and Prince Edward Islanders that made the journey to Moncton to see the concert. It would have been easy to strictly pull a “Hello…Moncton” moment but they really proved their professionalism and experience by making the entire audience feel welcome.

Also kudos to the local RCMP for really doing an amazing job at keeping everything in order and controlling the massive crowds while keeping us all safe. Every officer I came in contact was extremely helpful and pleasant which is impressive given the huge crowd and potential madness that could have taken place. Great job guys!

The evening ended with a 5km walk to our car where we were stuck waiting for about 3 hours till we got out of the parking lot and headed back to our hotel. That experience really could have been annoying but the day had been so flawless that I really couldn’t feel like complaining.

As I was sitting there I couldn’t help but think of our brothers and sisters affected by the horrible hurricane. Here I was experiencing the greatest night of my life while many of them were left hungry and waiting for word on just how great their losses from the hurricane were. People have lost family members, friends, jobs, houses and lives. I find it hard not to be affected by this. I feel extremely helpless and struggle with how I can even begin to make a difference or reach out to help. Shane posted about how we can get started. Right now the first step is to reach into our hearts and pockets to give what we can to make a start. It’s easy to sit back and wait to see what the millionaires of the world will offer but there are A LOT of us “average wage” folks out that can offer something as well. A simple donation made by the millions of us that lack the funds to make the major headlines can make a tremendous difference. In the meantime, I offer my thoughts and prayers to those affected by this horrible disaster.

Temptation Blocker

I so could not resist pointing to Greg’s post on an application called Temptation Blocker that lets you lock yourself out of certain applications that may cause distraction during times when complete concentration is required. What cracked me up is the method to unlock a program – it requires you typing a 32 character string into a text box. It is so perfectly thought out. I mean who is going to slack off if it requires such an annoying effort to do so.

Funny stuff! Now if I could just find something similar for my refrigerator. :)

SuperBowl Ads

I haven’t been much of a football fan since I was much younger. Although since professional hockey has become extinct this year maybe I should have.

Anyhow I do look forward to SuperBowl every year for the ads – which you can check out online right now at iFilm. Pretty neat. Reminds me of the fun I used to get out of visiting AdCritic before it became crappy a few years ago.

Personalized Avatars

It is so hard to capture your true self through an avatar but here is a pretty cool flash app that can help you out. I found this on the Viral Marketing blog and happen to think it’s pretty neat.

I like following the viral marketing blog because it gives you the run down on all the popular new silly things floating around on the web. I’m a fan of viral marketing as a concept. (As I have mentioned in the past) I like any idea that engages the user enough to want to pass it around to others they know. Isn’t that the perfect scenario for a marketer?

Gamer.TV Idol?

Think you have what it takes to be a star? Do you think you can change the world, one gamer at a time? If so you might want to read this article from IT Vibe.

Remember TV shows such as GamesMaster and Bad Influence? Remember sitting there thinking anyone could do Dominik Diamonds job of running round and hyping up a challenge to complete Sonic in 17 seconds? Now’s your chance?

Gamer.tv has announced the launch of a nationwide search for two new TV presenters to front an all-new computer and videogames TV show.

They are looking for two TV presenters – one male and one female – who are gaming experts and have no problem coping with the excitement of TV production.

Applicants need to have outgoing personalities and an enthusiastic greed for all things computer and video gaming.

And a plus point is previous TV presenting experience is not necessarily needed.

If you think you have what it takes to become a Gamer.tv star, or you know someone who you think has the talent, you need to contact presenters@gamer.tv

They are promising that the new show will be both entertaining and totally credible. Full details will be released later in the year.