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12 Tips For 21st Century Summer Music Festival Attendees: A Festival Survival Guide

June 18, 2013 8 comments
Downsview Park Summer Music Festival Toronto

VELD 2012 far back from Main Stage on Day 1

We in Toronto are in our first weeks of warm weather and with it comes the parade of summer music festivals. I don’t care what kind of music you’re into, for the purposes of this article they’re all the same.

I saw a bunch of similar posts from various outlets and while some of them, like Notable.ca’s “Festival Season Packing Must Haves,” are really great and super helpful there were still a few things I found to be missing so I decided it was time to write my own. Also, I have kept this as unisex as possible although some of these tips do not make for the most fashionable advice the point of this is utility not fashion.

1 . Set Specific Meeting Times/Places To Regroup:

There’s a strong likelihood you’re going to get separated from your friends over the course of the day/festival. Take a look at the festival schedule before you head out and decide on (a) time(s)/band(s) during which you’re going to definitely regroup. When you get to the festival try to scope out a good rally point relative to each time or band and see it in real life. Places that make great spots for this are – for example – a portapotty/bathroom area or one of the booths selling stuff. Don’t pick a tree or bush unless it is REALLY, REALLY distinctive because you’ll never all be able to find it again. Also, choose a spot where everyone who’s still left standing is going to rally at the end of the day. There will be a rush of people trying to leave the festival area as soon as it’s over so unless you have somewhere super pressing to be that night you’re better off hanging back and meeting up with your friends.

2Bring Cash, ID, & Maybe Some Plastic But Leave Your Wallet At Home:

Unless you know for a certainty that they’re going to take plastic at the venue you’re attending I recommend bringing some cash. Don’t go crazy because you’re going to be quite disappointed if you misplace it but remember that there’s a strong likelihood of there being vendors who won’t take plastic and direct you to an ATM which has a long line up AND charges you an arm and a leg for the privilege of taking out some money.

I very highly doubt you’re going to need your pharmacy’s reward card and your movie theater membership while at a summer music festival so leave your wallet at home. You’ll be fine with the cash, a piece of ID like a license, and a credit and/or bank card. The lighter you travel, the better.

3. Wear Clothes With Lots Of POCKETS! (Like Cargo Shorts/Pants):

6 Front Pockets Cargo Shorts

These trusty cargo shorts of mine have 6 pockets in the front and 2 in the back. 2 of the front pockets fasten with velcro and 2 have zippers…talk about secure!

The more pockets you have, the better. You generally don’t want to be toting a bag around with you all day and if you have clothes which have a whole bunch of pockets  you can stay organized and comfortable. The alternative is to be jumping up and down while wearing a backpack, it’s annoying to say the least! Also, it is unfortunate but some people are jerks and try to pickpocket at these kinds of events. Pants/shorts with pockets that close up are going to make it that much harder to become a target and they also make sure things won’t fall out in general.

4. Bring A Portable Backup Battery & USB Charger:  Read more…

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Official imgur for Android App Beta Released in Canada!!! W00t! W00t!

April 24, 2013 3 comments
Official Imgur Android BETA Google Play Canada

In the Google Play Store on Fido Network in Canada

Canadian imgurians rejoice! As you can see in the above picture I have installed the newly released beta version of the OFFICIAL imgur app for Android from Google Play and I’ve done it on my Motorola RAZR HD LTE (official model number XT925) which is on the Fido network.

The app is being released in beta slowly but surely with Australia getting the first taste. After Australia had it, it was released in “Europe” (not sure which countries in Europe, I am just going by what the @imgur Twitter account said) and then, today, Canada got it. We’re told that the USA is up next for the beta after Canada and that the full version is slated to be released in around 3 weeks. Read more…

1 Simple Way To Increase Potential Clients Picking Up The Phone When Your Business Calls

March 31, 2013 1 comment

Ensure your business has a name displayed that shows up on caller ID when they call out.

Boom! You just increased the likelihood that people/clients/potential customers will answer the phone when you call them. Seriously, that’s all there is to it. Read on to find out why…

Android Call ID No Name Display

If this is a business calling they’ve lowered the chances of me answering by 87% by not having a name showing.

The other day I got a call from what seemed to me to be a random number. The phone number showed up but I didn’t recognize it so I ignored it because I was busy with other things. They left a voicemail which I didn’t check because who checks voicemail these days? Further, who checks voicemail if you don’t recognize the number? Read more…

The Value of Saying ‘No’ to Provide Great Customer Service

June 26, 2012 7 comments

waiter with beer mugs

The other night I went to a local pub with two friends after we attended an event for some drinks and food on King St West in Toronto. When I got to the pub I noticed that, after all the pictures I had taken and with the tweeting/checking-in I had done all afternoon and evening my phone’s battery was into the yellow – which meant my battery was getting pretty low. Being a tech geek addicted to my phone I had planned for this and brought my charger with me so I could plug in anywhere that had an outlet and charge up to get me through the rest of the evening with a working phone. We sat down at a table in the pub and I began to look around for a power outlet, something fairly ubiquitous in most establishments in North America, but for the life of me I couldn’t spot one anywhere.

I asked our server if she knew of any plugs in the are where we were sitting that I just hadn’t found and she told me there weren’t any in the seating area but if I asked on of the bartenders they would be happy to plug it in for me and give me a charge. I thanked her, went over to the bar, and asked the bartender standing there to please plug in my device even offering my charger if he needed one because he didn’t have the right one behind the bar. He told me it was no problem and he had a charger for my device. I sat down and enjoyed a couple of hours with my friends and when we got up to leave I went over to the bar to get my device which I was promptly handed back, they didn’t even have to unplug it. Confused, I took a look at my device, Read more…

Guitar Pick: One Of A Gadget Geek’s Best Friends

November 26, 2011 7 comments

A couple of years back I was using a Nokia N80 and I wanted to change the faceplate from the stock black to silver. In order to do this I immediately went to the internet and started to Google and found a video much like the one you see in the screenshot below and linked here. This video came direct from Nokia (as evidenced by the image in the beginning shown below) so I figured it was pretty trustworthy.

The video told of the need for an SRT-6 Housing Opening Tool which is the little blue triangular thing you see in the screenshot above. Later in the video it showed the usage of this SRT-6 tool and it was to wedge the housing open and disengage a clip on the inside which can’t be seen from the outside. That seemed pretty important because that was exactly what I was trying to do, switch the housing.

It occurred to me that this SRT-6 Housing Removal Tool looked an awful lot like something else which is way more commonplace in most of our every day lives: a guitar pick. Sure the SRT-6 has 3 different edges with, I assume, different thicknesses and it might be better for gropping in the hand and using as a lever when opening gadgets but essentially it’s a guitar pick. You could probably play guitar with an SRT-6 and no one would be the wiser.

Not only do guitar picks fill the role of the SRT-6 but over the years I have found that they are an amazing addition to my gadget tool arsenal. They’re great for wedging underneath a SIM card to ease removal. The same goes for microSD cards.

I will, however, never forget my trip to buy my guitar pick. At first I asked some guitarists I knew if they would part with a pick and they all said no. The next step, obviously, was to find a music store. My friends all pointed me to a chain called Long & McQuade and off I went. I got there and asked one of the sales reps where I could find individual guitar picks. The guy showed me to a rack of little drawers which each had a different size, material, thickness, or make of guitar pick and I started looking. The rep tried to help out by showing me their most popular brand but I took one look and said that it was way too thick. He showed me one that he said his co-workers liked or that was made by a high end guitar pick manufacturer (or something like that) and I rejected them each. He remarked, “Wow, you guitarists are really so picky.” I stifled a laugh and sort of awkwardly replied, “Umm, ya, I don’t play the guitar. In fact, I don’t need this for anyone to play the guitar.” He started laughing and asked what I needed it for. I pulled out my phone and explained what I needed it for he was amazed that I had the same phone as him and he asked me some questions about the device and how to make his work better and then left me to my own devices.

A guitar pick is a great little thing to have for anyone who has a gadget or two in the house and I highly recommend it. It is a really cheap investment and I am sure you’ll find a ton of uses for it.

Should Technology Be Leaving Seniors Behind?

November 5, 2011 6 comments

New credit cards, as I am sure many of you have noticed, have done away with signing to approve your transaction. These days we all have credit cards with the chips where you have a PIN (Personal Identification Number) instead of signing a slip to approve the transaction. For most of us who are used to having debit cards this isn’t such a big shift from the norm but for senior citizens it is a completely different story. A lot of senior citizens have never used an ATM or had a debit card because they are used to just going to the teller when they need money. As well, many senior citizens – in my experience – are not really ones for learning new ways to do things.

Is it fair for us as a society to just leave our elderly citizens in the dust? I have heard of different senior citizens who because technology is advancing beyond their knowledge are being left behind and essentially can’t function by themselves. I am not, of course, talking about people who are losing their full mental faculties due to the ravages of age. I am talking about people who have lived successful and full lives and are still very independent and if all things remained the same they wouldn’t have any issues living without help from anyone.

I was raised to believe we should respect our elders but are we as a society respecting our elders? I completely understand the reason why credit cards have moved towards the chip and PIN technology, it is because of security. The problem is, again, that we might be leaving certain sectors of society behind and I just have to wonder, is that OK? What do you think?

“Electricity vs The Internet”? How Is This Even A Question?

October 12, 2011 2 comments

In the Post-A-Day Challenge there are often days where some of us need help figuring out what to write. As such, WordPress, has set up a blog called “The Daily Post” to help us think of topics on days when we have nothing. Tonight I decided to take a look at the blog, which I haven’t in a while and saw Topic #270: What’s more important: electricity or the internet?

All I could think when I saw this post was, “REALLY?!?!?! How is this even a question? See below for a screenshot of the question in its entirety before I rip on it..and the 12 bloggers who “Liked” it as a topic.

How can this even be a question? Are the people at WordPress just getting extremely lazy? I don’t mind the question so much and the topic itself until the last few words:

If you had to lose one of these inventions, which would you keep? And why?

Well this here is a real tough one…what good is having all these computers and servers which make up the Internet if you have no electricity to run them? No matter what the power source they have to be supplied some sort of electricity otherwise they simply won’t run and then you have no Internet. I don’t even see how there is a debate on this – OF COURSE you have to choose to want electricity over the Internet because electricity isn’t useless without the Internet whereas the Internet is useless without electricity. The Internet can’t exist without electricity so the very concept of losing electricity but keeping the Internet just makes zero sense.

Come on WordPress! I admit I was lazy today and went to your blog for some inspiration but I wasn’t expecting such laziness from you guys! I know it is hard to write a post every day – believe me 10 months into this challenge I know how hard it is – but this is just beyond ridiculous. I am very happy that the comments I read on the post (I didn’t read all 43) agreed completely with me.

Maybe I and those commenters see this wrong…if we do let me know how else we can look at this in the comments below.

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