3D Video in Welland

So it has now been two years since my last proper camera stopped working, time to find a new camera. Things have really changed in the last couple years as many new cameras have automated HDR, 3D functions, and some features that I never thought I needed. So many new features that I've had to narrow down what I'm looking for.

The Camera has to be:
+ Rugged and Waterproof
+ Ready for 3D
+ Stadards compliant (No XD Cards or proprietary formats)
+ Lightweight
+ Good for HD Video

Of course a good price wouldn't hurt.

Above and Beyond Cupcakes in Welland

Cupcakes Welland - Ryan Hegedus, Anna Olson, and Stacey Clare

I had a chance to attend the grand opening celebrations of the new Above and Beyond Cupcakes in Welland. This new gourmet bakery is a product of the passion and sugar obsession of Ryan Hegedus and Stacey Clare. With the support of their families, friends, and the community at large they had a successful grand opening on July 7th, 2012 in Welland.

Even the mayor of Welland, Barry Sharpe, was able to attend the ribbon cutting celebration. Unfortunately being a weekend in the middle of festival season the Welland Tribune was unable to attend and cover the event. This was not a problem for Above and Beyond Cupcakes, part of their business is reaching out through social media and there were a half dozen cameras handled by their online supporters.

Pastry Chefs from Welland

It hasn't been a spontaneous creation, the cupcake boom is partially a product of pastry chef Michael Olson and his wife Anna Olson. Michael trains new chefs at Niagara College, and his incredibly popular program has allowed many ambitious young people to ear their white crown. Anna Olson is a celebrity chef and is involved with the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. Anna is also an ambitious pastry chef that lives in Welland, she and her husband had a chance to congratulate Ryan and Stacy on the day of their grand opening.

Welland Cupcakes

Above and Beyond Cupcakes Welland is not the only place in town to get a great cupcake, it is a part of the new food culture in Welland. As a city Welland has been known for being a transportation hub between the lakes, an electrical superpower in the 20th century that fed dozens of factories, and a place for big families and lots of celebrations. Wile there are fewer ships stopping in Welland, fewer factories, and fewer large families for the time being there is still an abundance of celebration. Celebrations at Festivals, Weddings, Award Banquests, Sports Tournaments, and more feed into this need for food.

The Welland Cupcake Boom is fuelled by the skilled daughters of hard-working factory workers. Just like their mothers and fathers they are not afraid of the heat, long hours, or strange scents that they encounter at work. Albeit the scents at work in this era are much nicer, every job at a bakery is essentially a new factory job in Welland. It will require technicians to repair the industrial mixers, ovens, freezers, and numerous other tools of the trade and these jobs would not exist otherwise. It is easy for people to dismiss a cupcake shop or a flower shop since they are smaller than factories and greenhouses - but they are they same type of business and deserve the same type of respect. While I know this sounds really funny - if you want to respect workers in Welland then slow down and buy a box of cupcakes that were Made in Welland.

Above and Beyond Cupcakes
591 King Street
Welland, On L3B3L3
289-820-5192
Welland Cupcakes
Welland Cupcakes on Twitter
Welland Cupcakes on Facebook

Heart Niagara Meeting

Had a chance to meet with Karen Stearne and Don Gibson from Heart Niagara in June and hear about how to make Niagara a better place. Heart Niagara has been around as a non-profit organization for decades, surviving multiple recessions and finding new ways to serve the community.

I could reiterate the presentation that Don Gibson delivered - but I'd prefer to highlight the end goal. Heart Niagara needs community involvment, and that includes volunteers, financial benefactors, research partners. Many non-profit groups in Niagara live grant-to-grant, Heart Niagara will be reaching out on Facebook, Twitter, and using other online tools to reach their goals faster. This new push is being led by Joanna Polillo and supported by Karen Stearne. Check it out.

They are running a swap meet and garage sale for charity on July 14th 2012 at their new HQ in Niagara Falls (6017 Valley Way, Niagara Falls, ON) - be there. More event information - http://www.facebook.com/events/325429997536948/

Events and Vacation Update for July 2012

So it has been another season of intermittent and non-existant posts. While I intended to post updates recommendations and a variety of other useful and useless bits of information it was always minutes before receiving a call or people stopping by and completely derailing the process. So the important details are below in short form.

Broadwell Canoe Trip

Went on a canoe trip over the Victoria Day long weekend. Stopped by Webers Burgers on the way up north. Ended up joining a small flotilla of canoes (5 canoes) for a group camp along a small lake. Dan Lantagne, Joey Dostie, and Alain Ouellette brought a bunch of new guests up to the cabin. Dan caught some fish and fried them in batter. One of the new guys was completely unprepared, between the bites and sunburn the days were bad for him and at night he rolled too close to the fire and is very lucky that his sleeping bag was flame retardant. After the rest of the group I stayed at the cabin an extra couple nights to ejoy some peace and quiet.

Anime North 2012

Finishing the week long vacation in May was the Anime North Convention. It is one of my creative recharge events and there are photos in my gallery. This was the biggest event to date, spreading to three new hotels outside the TCC, Doubletree, and Sheraton. I stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott and got to enjoy a king size bed and their free breakfast. It was a weekend of Rice Balls and Cosplay, however I was unprepared again. I think I have to find a new default costume for Anime North, but that can wait until after Halloween.

Wallenda Walk

I was lucky enough to watch the Wallenda Walk in person from the 32nd floor balcony of the Marriott Gateway on the Falls Hotel. It was amazing and I was glad to have some time with Alie doing something new and unique. Of couse as everyone knows Nik Wallenda made it across, and we kept out little radio on 105.7FM - The Astral Media station on the roof below ours at the Marriott Fallsview Hotel. I also had a chance to meet some American journalists and photographers from the Buffalo News that came to report on the event.

Darien Lake 2012

Had a chance to visit Darien Lake for the first time in years. Used to be a tradition when the factory would have a large group visit the park. Darien Lake has changed a lot since then. Good points include the reusable containers with a cheap refill incentive, free dog trick show (great to get out of the sun for half an hour), plenty of ground level rides for people like me that are not fans of high rides, and the Laser Blast concert was a great finish to the night.

Top ratings to the Park Managers, Ride Operators (Except Ferris Wheel), Dog Show Team, Laser Blast Team, and the Hard Working Employees. Improvements are needed to the Facilities Maintenance, Ride Maintenance, Landscaping, Food Services, and Food Offerings. Darien Lake is still a great place - stay at the campground though since it is a long drive after dark.

This is as far as I can get before being distracted by another beautiful day in the sun.

Shaw Festival 2012

Tomorrow night (April 27th, 2012) I'll enjoy a night at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake. It is going to be a special night for a couple of reasons. First, It has been nearly half a decade since the last time I got to attend live theatre. Also, it will be the first time that Alie will have a chance to see real live theatre, and in turn the first time we see live theatre together.

Recommending - LED Bug Zapper and Pest Control

I'm going to preface this with a notice that I do understand that some bugs are an essential part of the ecosystem, I also understand that other bugs are evil and carry diseases. In order to go after these 'bad bugs' I've used the standard technologies. Nets and citronella are great avoidance tools. Sticky traps and bug zappers are the real eliminators. This past winter we made the mistake of bringing some of the plants with the local organic soil back into the house. Bugs everywhere, and we didn't fret, after having two litters of kittens and the fleas they attract the sticky traps were deployed and the pest problem is gone.

I'd like to take the indoor solution outside. I'd also like for it to run on less than 30 watts. unfortunately there are no LED based bug zappers. There are LED lights that can go into sticky traps - but the largest bugs pose a problem for the sticky traps. I need a foot long double sided led strip with a sticky semi-transparent tube, and have it protected from the biggest bugs by a zapper tube. This LED Bug eliminator will get rid of large, small, and everything in between. Unfortunately I can only find ineffective solar LED mini zappers, over-powered fluorescent zappers, and unshielded sticky traps.

If anyone can find a complete and certified full power LED zapper please contact me through my contact page.

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