My experience with municipal politics!

I did run for city counselor for Ward 5 and this is a blog on my election experience and my PERSONAL analysis on the 277 votes received.

1.      Let’s start with the experience: This was one of the greatest experience of my life, to be able to knock on all these doors in Marysville and meet so many great people and I am so happy to be a part of this community; my future wife and I are settling in the area, I love the community and I want to make it better and I am prepared to work with Mr. Hicks and suggest thing because we both want the same thing. That’s it in a nutshell!

2.      How did this all started: It all started with the fact that nobody was challenging the incumbent and I wanted to give the people a choice, along with at least provide the community with a dialog on what the issues are and have the incumbent accountable for some of his responsibility. I simply tweeted on the last day you could submit your name:

Gaetan Savoie ‏@thegman

Nobody is contesting the candidate in my ward. That’s not good, he needs a challenge, maybe I should run see what happens?#fredvotes

That post generated some encouragement and yes it was an impulsive decision but I decided to put my name on the ballot. I did it at 1:45PM (deadline was a 2PM!). I did not have any organization, any money to run a campaign nor did I have any experience doing this.  I had to go on a course to Moncton the following week.

3.      The campaign, what happened: I decided to quickly spin up a website using WordPress when I got back from my course, then I did a brochure and created a twitter account along with a facebook page. I did a few D2D and this is when I started generating some momentum. The D2D was a great experience and I was actually really enjoying talking to people. I kept track of all ideas and issues on my blog and the more doors I did, I noticed improvements in my communication skills, ability to have great conversation with strangers and I had fun doing it. This is what was driving me to continue and I decided to give it all I had and do as many doors as I could until voting day.

4.      Voting day: I did pretty well considering I am not born and raised in Marysville! The only thing that could have got me more votes is likely start way earlier, have a team, and have a campaign manager. You can’t do this alone.

5.      What next: I don’t know what is next. All I can say is that this was a learning experience and somewhat rewarding. I am now getting back to my personal activities such as gym, golf, softball and all of my community involvement. I also have to focus on my marriage this summer. I am marrying a beautiful nurse who is originally from Boiestown!

Mobile Development Camp in Fredericton

I am please to announce that myself and Matt Simms on behalf of the Fredericton Developer User Group  (http://frederictonug.net/ ) are organizing a full day code camp on mobile development.  This will be held at the crown plaza http://www.cpfredericton.com/! It is on April 14th a Saturday from 8AM to 5PM.  The format of this event is to have technical talks in the morning and then a code camp in the afternoon where you will be building mobile app and deploying them! You must bring your own laptop.

April Mobile Cloud Event

April Mobile Cloud Event

The fee is 30$ and with your ticket you will get:

At 8 AM: Breakfast “Healthy Choice Continental “

  • Assorted Muffins
  • Assorted Yogurts
  • Muesli
  • Fresh Fruit Salad
  • Assorted Preserves
  • Chilled Juice
  • Freshly Brewed Coffee & Tea Selection

At 12 PM: Executive Luncheon Buffet

  • Freshly Baked Rolls and Butter

Salads

  • Seasonal Greens with House Dressing
  • Mel’s Pickled Vegetable Salad
  • Farfalle Pasta with Maple-Curry Vinaigrette
  • Shredded Cabbage, Root Vegetable and Keswick
  • Apple Slaw
  • Pepper and Spicy Olive Salad

Entree Selections

  • 8 Cut Chicken with Home style BBQ Sauce
  • Served with:
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Choice of Chef’s Starch

Desserts

  • Sliced Fresh Fruit
  • Assorted Pies

At 3:00 PM: Afternoon Break “The Cookie Jar”

  • Assortment of Cookies
  • 2% Milk and Chocolate
  • Chocolate milk
  • Coffee & Tea

The presenter will be Atley Hunter http://www.atleyhunter.com/

AGENDA

8:00 am – 8:30 am – BREAKFAST & Getting Started on Mobile App Development (Show up on time, busy day!)


(Platform Agnostic) – You will learn how to get going on Mobile Development.  By the end of this session, you will have an understanding of how your development changes when you start to develop for Mobile whether it be for phones or tablets.

8:30 am – 9:00 am – MVVM, Binding in Silverlight and Windows Phone
                              (Windows Phone, Silverlight) – In this session, you’ll find out how easy it is to separate concerns and quickly develop data driven UI elements for Windows Phone, Silverlight.

9:15 am – 10:00 am – XNA – Video Games in Windows Phone, Windows and XBox

(Windows Phone, XNA, Windows) – Here you’ll find out how easy it is for .NET developers to build great XNA games for several different platforms.

10:00 am – 11:00 am – Azure, the Cloud and Your Mobile Apps

(Platform Agnostic) – Even your playing field and compete on a global level easily with the fantastic services and toolkits provided by Azure for every platform.  You will find out how easy it is to implement an easily scalable, truly competitive set of backend data and/or services for your Mobile apps.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Down to business – Making Money on Windows Phone Development

(Windows Phone) – How do I make money with my apps?  How do I engage and keep my users interested?  Come to this session and find out!

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Lunch / Discussions – I’m always open to your questions, suggestions, feedback, etc. Take 15 minutes to grab your lunch and during lunch we will have Breakout Session #1:  What They Didn’t Tell You About Windows Phone Development (Lessons Learned through Coding and Too Much Soda) – Benefit from my many late nights experimenting and testing the limits of the development system, the processes and talking to developers from all over the world!

1:30 pm – 4:00PM  – Coding / Discussions – Bring your unfinished or unstarted mobile projects and work with a group of developers.  Pick my brain as much as you want to help flesh out your use cases and your app!  I’ll be here to help!

NOTE: If you DON’T have an IDEA for an app, FDUG has a project you can work on. 

4:00 PM – 5:00PM  Breakout Session #2: Binding and More in User Controls – Find out how easy it is to implement Binding in User Controls for Windows Phone.  You will learn to create your own, powerful, reusable controls and get the most of your Windows Phone development time.  Write once, use in many apps with this powerful, easy to use set of steps.

ADDITIONAL PERKS:

1. Evening With Atley Hunter

Since Atley will be in Fredericton, attendee can either join us for supper or for an evening at the Garrison Ale House for an informal chat with Atley. This is not sponsor by us, you pay for yourself$!  http://www.thegarrison.ca/

2. Breakfast with Atley Hunter

We will pick a location on Sunday morning and we will do a breakfast and code with Atley. This is not sponsor by us, you pay for yourself$!

I hope you can attend this fabulous learning experience event. I am more than happy to have donated my time to make this come true.

3. Prizes

Microsoft is sending me a box of swag. Not sure what we’ll get but I’ll keep you posted!


REGISTRATION is 30$ + 2.79$ (Eventbrite fee):

http://fdug-april-mobile.eventbrite.ca/

Gaetan

p.s. Do you love the Mobile Cloud Care Bear safely driving with hands free? Designed by @Matty_Simms for @FredDevUG http://t.co/UrW470SF


QUESTION AND ANSWERS (Q/A)


Q1. We’d have a couple of folks interested if it was on iOS or web apps.

A1: This event will be on Mobile development but the majority of sessions will be on utilizing the Windows Phone platform.  Perhaps you can come for the afternoon coding session where there will be breakout sessions that will be much more platform agnostic.

Q2. I am just looking at the mobile development camp you are having. It looks interesting BUT I have limited .Net experience and coming of a maintenance project just before that. Not sure I would be able to contribute much to the breakout sessions but I do have VS 2010 express installed on my old laptop. Do you think it would be too far over my head?

A2: The event is designed to help developers of all levels to improve and expand their skills.  Come early as the startup sessions will be first.

Q3. What is the skill level required for this? I am assuming this is not geared towards beginners, that is where I would fall in

A3: The items discussed will range from beginner to expert with something for everyone. I am planning on starting with 0-App – I’ve Installed the Tools, Now What.This session will be the very first one, so get there early. I will also be there an hour before the event for the people that want to get that much more info.This event is for you, the developers. Tell me what you want and need and I’ll do everything I can to get you exactly that.

Q4. In order to use the Azure tools for Visual Studio 2010, including the express edition, you will need Windows 7 or Server 2008. What is the minimum requirements for the laptop that I am able to bring?

A4: The OS requirements are:

  • Windows Vista (x86 & x64) with Service Pack 2 – all editions except Starter Edition
  • Windows 7 (x86 & x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 (x86 & x64) with Service Pack 2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

A4:The Hardware requirements are:

  • Computer that has a 1.6GHz or faster processor (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • 1 GB (32 Bit) or 2 GB (64 Bit) RAM (Add 512 MB if running in a virtual machine)
  • 3GB of available hard disk space
  • 5400 RPM hard disk drive
  • DirectX 9 capable video card running at 1024 x 768 or higher-resolution display
  • DVD-ROM Drive

Q5: Is there a discount at hotel for out of town people?

A5: We have reserve a block and the block code is DEV.  Guests will have until March 13th to call and reserve their guestrooms.  After that date, all unreserved rooms will be released back into our general inventory.

Q6: Being a MAC and/or Linux user, what can I do as an alternative to attend your event?

A6: For you Mac and Linux folks, We will have a VirtualBox image of Windows 7 (90day trial) with the Express edition of VS.NET 2010 installed and ready to go for the workshops. We’ll likely have something like a Gigabit switch for speedy transfer (make sure you have ~10Gib of space for the image).

Q7: do you know if there is a phone SDK that we need to install on top of VS (for tomorrow)? I’m playing around AM with setting up..?

Yes there is at create.msdn.com


Atley Hunter’s Fredericton adventure and the talk “A Lap Around WP7 Mango”.

I still have my iPhone and I love that device but who knew my dream phone would become a Window Phone Mango on this 14 of December 2011 in beautiful Fredericton.  It all started around 12:30, where Atley Hunter (@atleyhunter) landed in Fredericton and met some of the members at the Garrison Ale District Ale House (@garrisonale) for a pre-meeting “FDUG Coffee & Code – WP7 Chat with Atley Hunter”. This was one of our first organized coffee and code and turned out to be a success. I really liked this type of event and I was enjoying seeing the one-on-one conversation and interaction while ordering food/and or coffee and drinks. I really think that we should always set a MAXIMUM of 10 members as this allowed to get the table with the TV (Where Atley hooked his laptop) and keeping it small allows for following most of the conversations at the table.  The following pic is about Atley using the @GarrisonAle TV  for showing us how to pre-populate database for #mango phone (This is one of his tips and tricks he learned after spending many hours of troubleshooting!)

The next picture shows the crowd (we only had one seat left)

After the pre-meeting was over, I took him to one of the city’s hidden gem for lattes and coffees, Jonnie Java where we experienced the best latte in town: The Maple Latte . With our Lattes, we headed to one of our Gold Sponsor, Peter Roberts for Men (@prformen) and he discovered a great product called “Beard Lube” that he plans to use to keep shaving his head! After this, we went to visit another gold sponsor, the geek chic boutique . Atley realized the meter had expired for his parking so we then rushed back to his car to find this on the windshield:

Finally the talk “FDUG December – A Lap Around WP7 Mango” started at 18h30 at the ITC building UNB Campus. Atley claims that his talk can be more than 5 hours but since we gave him a two hour limit, he was very clever in delivering the talk. He engaged with the audience and figured out what people wanted to hear, what was the level of experience in the crowd, etc.  I appreciated the way he did it because he shaped a unique presentation for us.  My only suggestion would be to allow two breaks for allowing people to network with Atley and also for those who prefer asking question privately.

I now have seen the phone, I know what it is capable of and I would love to have one. However we cannot get them in Fredericton!

My personal rating for this talk is 9/10. It was fun, I learned and met a guy who knows mobile phone development inside and out, not only Mango!. If this guy is in your town, DO NOT miss going to see him because he is so passionate and I think that leads to great talks and conversations.

I now have a new connection in my network! I hope you enjoyed my blog and do not miss our next talk on HTML5 by Susan Ibach (A developer evangelist at Microsoft Canada)

By Gaetan Savoie

Speaker Bio:

Atley has been a developer for more than 15 years and a mobile developer since way before it was cool. A MVP for Windows Phone Development with over 30 apps under his belt and numerous talks, blog postings and HackFests, he is always working to expand his development knowledge and share it to anyone who wants to know. Active on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/AtleyHunter), Twitter (http://twitter.com/AtleyHunter) and on his blog (www.atleyhunter.com), he is never far from reach and always happy to help.

Teacher says: “Everytime a Kettle Bell rings, an angel gets his wings”

I have been a member of Goodlife for one year; my Fiancé has been for more than 4 years. We like their culture and they have great personal trainers.

However, I am not pleased with how their corporate office implemented a recent policy about Kettle Bells and how it was handled.

Let’s start with the fact that my fiancé invested for two full years with a personal trainer and she got great results out of that program.  One of the routines she was taught by Goodlife is how to use Kettle Bells.  This eventually became part of her regular routine.

About a week ago, she was told she could no longer use the Kettle Bells by an employee of the club. She was told that from now on you must be accompanied by a personal trainer to use them  This was not well received because she has been taught by the club how to use them and the club made it part of her regular routine.

I personally have no issues with Goodlife and have been pleased so far, however I strongly support my Fiancé and decided to contact corporate using social media. The lady at corporate was nice and she followed up with the club.  She call me back and explained it is a “corporate” policy that is not being properly enforced by all clubs and that Goodlife Prospect St. Fredericton decided to enforce it. I said to her that as a result she was losing two good customers and that when my membership is up (January 4th 2012), we are not renewing and going elsewhere.  The lady felt bad and asked if there was anything she could do…I said, it’s not your fault, you did your job by listening to my issue and following up on it.

I understand it’s a safety issue but what about Dumbells? Can’t you take them off the floor if we can’t use them? I am a principle guy and I would respect policy if I was told upfront but out of the blue like this is not cool in my books.

Goodlife, it’s your loss.

Toughts?

My experience with Citizen Eco-Drive watches

I bought a brand new Citizen Eco-Drive watch last week (Solar power watches).  The price was around 200$ (with the added extra three year warranty).  I was told by the sales person, all you need to do is charge this watch for 24 to 48 hours and it would retain the power for at least 6 months (if the watch was not exposed to light again),

I charged it for two days (left the watch by window)…I then tried it on and it worked for about 2 hours and then completely stop.  After two attempts of charging it, I went back to the store (People) and ask what was wrong.  I was told I did not charge it long enough.  I said OK…so I went back home after this extra trip to the store and I did not wear the watch for a whole week and focus on charging the watch, by the window during days and below a lamp during the nights and, after a week of this charging…. still no success.

I went back Friday evening and got to store a little too late (8:59 PM) and was told to come next day because they were closing and didn’t have time to look at it.

Saturday I went back to store and told the sales clerk I wanted a full refund and I was going somewhere else. I received my full refund. The store acknowledged there was issue with watch. I am now shopping again for a watch.

My experience with  Citizen Eco-Drive watches wasn’t good and I will be avoiding them and I won’t be recommending them to anyone.

The final thing I will share is that my friend Andrew told me he had purchased one of those watch 4 years ago and paid around 300$ for it.  Andrew had no problem with his watch until year 4. On year 4, the watch stopped retaining the charge.  He told me that the store would not replace the batteries.

Basically, once the Eco-drive battery dies it’s non-replaceable and you have to throw your watch away and it becomes garbage…..how convenient, so much for trying to be Eco Friendly.

Any thoughts?

Final Results of #Movember and contest

Movember Results:
Money Raised: $3300
My team at SwiftRadius: $11465
My Atlantic Canada Rank: #3
My NB Rank: #2 (behind David Alward!)
My ranking on national front: #361

FINAL REQUEST BELOW
I had fun raising money and enjoyed reconnecting with friends and colleagues. Thanks all for your support, see you next year.

do you mind clicking like on picture (link is below), I made top 3 finalist in Atlantic Canada for the before and after contest and the winner is based on number of likes.No cash needed…just like and perhaps share to help me win as the competition is ferocious between the top 3, I need all the help I can get (one of them is from the Liberal party so he is getting alot of vote because of politics!!)

 

This is a lot of work!!!

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=304854589546112&set=at.304854439546127.76965.246653482032890.721825238&type=1&theater