Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Chris Carder featured in MarketingSherpa

Chris Carder is quoted in MarketingSherpa, the leading marketing authority and researcher.

SPECIAL REPORT: How to Market to Canadians Online – Advice, Data, Legal Info and Useful Hotlinks

Friday, May 26, 2006


A friend from work, Joseph Cooper, sent me a link to a t-shirt on CafePress. I bought the t-shirt.

It's good to have someone to keep everything in perspective. Hey I can laugh at myself.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I might be exposing myself as a complete idiot by telling you about this, however, I woke up yesterday morning to discover that my driver’s license was suspended. What’s even funnier is how it happened in the first place.

January 19, 2006
I was driving home in January along Queen’s Quay. As I rounded the bend to just before Lakeshore Blvd, I noticed to late a police officer with radar. I looked down and I was doing 70km in a 50km zone. Caught!

The police officer told me I was speeding and asked for my registration. I looked in the glove compartment for it but I didn’t have it. Now it occurred to me that I hadn’t received it. Ouch. Therefore, I didn’t have the proper registration. Ding a $115 charge. In addition, a $100 ticket for speeding. He was pretty cool though, he said that I had a clean record and if I went to the Ministry of Transportation in the next 24 hours and got my registration, he would wave the charge at the court hearing. Therefore, that’s what I did.

I waited for the court date to arrive by mail. I waited…but nothing came. I wonder if the mail was thrown out.

March 16 2006
Receives Notice of Fine and Due Date for tickets. However, it says complete this portion with your payment in enclosed envelope with no court date mentioned. Well this isn’t what I want to do. I want to go to court so I’m thinking, I guess I am not supposed to respond and this will mean I want to go to court. I think that’s what the police officer instructed me to do.

May 17 2006
We are in Montreal for the CMA convention. We arrive at the airport for our 8pm flight back to Toronto. It’s 6pm. When we enter our itinerary number into the kiosk, it instructs us to see the agent. Every kiosk told us to the same so it’s not the kiosk. I walk over the line up to see an agent. The agent tells me that all flight to Toronto have been cancelled because there are thunderstorms. If lightening is coming down around the run way it’s common practice to stop all flights. Therefore, we can’t get home until tomorrow. We’ve already spent four days in Montreal and it was time to go home. I said to Wayne and John lets get a rental car and go home tonight they were in favour. We went to Avis, Hertz, National, the only rental with a one-way car to Toronto was Thrifty. It costs $400 to get a car back to Toronto. It’s a deal. It would cost as much to stay over for another night.

We get to Toronto airport at 12am and home to bed by 1:30am.

May 18 2006
I wake up, look through the mail, and there’s a letter from the Ministry of Transportation, Notice of Suspension of Driver’s License. That means I just drove back from Montreal with a suspended license. Ouch. That’s lucky I wasn’t pulled over.

I went to the Ministry first thing. They directed me to go to the Ontario Court of Justice to register for an Affidavit in Support of a Request for Reopening. My license was suspended because I had not paid my fine, which explains the March 16 letter. Therefore, what I was actually doing was pleading for a new court date.

Since I had, only 4.5 hours sleep the night before I was really crusty. I had to fill out a very detailed five page document in duplicate for the offences. It was so long that when they called my number I was only half way through filling it out. They told me to come back to the window when I was finished and I could cut the lineup. When I came back, the woman who made the promise had gone on a break. I had to wait again to get to speak to someone.

The next step was to meet with the magistrate and plead my case. After waiting for 20 minutes, I was called into the magistrate’s office. He turned a tape recorder on a asked me some questions.

Magistrate: Why didn’t you pay your tickets?
Ian: I wanted a court hearing.

Magistrate: Why didn’t you appear for trial to dispute the charges?
Ian: I was doing only 5 km over the speed limit. I don’t have many traffic offences so I wasn’t sure what to do. The officer told me by not responding that I would be sent a court date
Magistrate: Do you know how fast you were driving. You were doing 70km in a 50 zone. The officer wouldn’t have told you that. You are supposed to read the back of the Offence Notice. It tells you what to do to get a court hearing.

He had me. I wasn’t even sure how fast I was driving.

But much to my surprise...

Magistrate: You will receive a new court date notice in the mail in 6-8 weeks. Don’t miss it this time.

I asked at the information counter how long it would take to get the suspension off my license. They said it would take about 4 hours to remove it from the police records.

Imagine if I had been pulled over for speeding on the way back from Montreal the night before.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

ABC Plunges 'Lost' Viewers Into Global Interactive Mystery

Fans of ABC's Lost are about to find a slew of compelling reasons to pay extra close attention to the smash hit drama—even after the current season ends. The show's creative team, including co-creator Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse, have engineered a sprawling interactive challenge to keep viewers immersed in the Lost universe during the hiatus between the end of Season Two and the start of Season Three. Officially dubbed "The Lost Experience," the globe-spanning game will incorporate multiple media platforms (including online and television) and feature a distinct storyline outside the plot currently unfolding on TV's most mysterious deserted island. "A lot of people have speculated about what's going on on the island," says Mike Benson, ABC Entertainment's senior vice president of marketing and one of the project's masterminds. "Why are these people are here? Are they in purgatory? Is it all just one big coincidence? We want to make sure that we're creating that same sort of experience that people get from the show—and we're hoping that people start to speculate about what this story is that we're trying to tell."

That speculation has already begun, especially regarding the first of a series of clues set to be revealed within the episode airing tonight in the U.S. (the episode aired yesterday in the U.K. and will be seen tomorrow in Australia). Early rumors indicated the first clue would come during a commercial break in the form of a toll-free number, while a press release issued yesterday by the fictional Hanso Foundation called attention to the company's website (along the lines of the amazingly authentic Oceanic Airlines website launched at the end of Season One) and an ad breaking during tonight's broadcast. "I will tell you this: there's more than one clue," teases Benson. "There's more than one thing that could give you some insight that will start the experience."

As for how all the clues will eventually fit together? "Think of it as a huge jigsaw puzzle," says Benson. "We've broken up the puzzle into many pieces, and there are no duplicative pieces anywhere. So you might find something in Australia, you might find something in the U.K., you may find something here in the U.S.—but it will all be different. The idea is to create a big community of people sharing the clues and content they find, discovering what others have found and trying to put this mystery together." And while getting viewers to stick around for commercials wasn't one of the primary goals, Benson acknowledges the seeding of clues in random locations may help reverse some of the anti-commercial sentiment of today's television viewers. "As the idea and the experience has developed, we actually believe that we've come up with a concept that makes this a little Tivo proof," says Benson. "If you just scan through the commercial breaks, you might miss something very important. And in fact, you will."

The endeavor may bear some similarities to alternate reality games like 2001's "The Beast" (which promoted the movie A.I.), though ABC believes "The Lost Experience" will take the notion of fan immersion even further. "While a movie studio might create something that is specifically about the film itself, this is really a parallel storyline," says Benson. "So if you're a fan of Lost, going through this experience might actually answer questions or shed more light on things that have happened reaching back to Season One, or could look ahead and inform you about Season Three and beyond. But because it's a separate storyline, you don't have to have watched Lost in order to get into the experience." Still, longtime fans can expect to see some crossover between the experience and the show in the future, possibly in the form of familiar faces. "The whole experience is designed to bring some new characters in—and if the plan works as we hope it will, some of these characters may show up in future episodes," reveals Benson.

No matter how much of the mystery finds its way into the TV series, "The Lost Experience" itself will be solved by the time Season Three rolls around. "There is a beginning and a middle and an end to this experience," says Benson. "But if it all goes well, we will definitely do it again."

Movenpick Wicked Thai Chicken Soup

I want to let you know about an inexpensive and incredible soup from Movenpick called Wicked Thai Soup. I've had it at Loblaws Queen's Quay and St.Clair Centre. They probably have it at any Loblaws with a Movenpick.

It's one of the best soups I've ever had. Sounds crazy but try it for yourself. At the St.Clair Centre Loblaws it sold out in under an hour.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wolf turns One

It's a scary thought, Wolf turned one on Saturday May 6,2006.

I went to a party store to buy balloons.While I waited for them to inflate them, I walked the floor looking for other stuff. I came across some buttons to celebrate birthdays for turning 40,50,and 60. The buttons read "Aged to Perfection" or "40's the new 30". I immediately thought about our friend who turn's 40 next weekend. I turn 37 this year.

Time passes so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we had Wolf at Mt. Sinai Hospital. I remember being a little scared but so excited that he was finally born. There's always something to worry about, every step of the way. At least that's what you think when it's your first time.

I remember one time he had the flu. He just finished eating dinner. He was in his excer-saucer watching Tele-tubbies when he spewed barf across the living room like in the Excorcist. We tought he eat something poisonous when we weren't looking. He continued to puke and moan. We called tele-health and they asked us basic questions to find out what was the problem. He didn't have a temperature close but not over. The nurse managed to calm us down and to ensure us that what he had was not life threatening. He finally fell asleep from fatigued. The weekend was pretty rough but by Monday morning he was alright.

In the first year you adapt and adjust to this focus in your life. You become selfless. It's one of the proudest and best moments I've had in my life. It just gets better.

Having a child is one of the joys of being human. It become the reason for everything that you do. I'm thankful that we can share this experience with great friends who are experiencing the same thing.

Thank you for this gift.