Tag Archive for 'Toronto'

Nikki Fotheringham at Green Moxie in Toronto

in Activism, Blogging, Culture Blogger, farm blog and Toronto


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Nikki Fotheringham blog, Green Moxie, content marketingNikki Fotheringham is Green Moxie, evironmental bloggerNikki Fotheringham is a friend of mine. I met her the day I almost hired her, and I reckon we’re still friends today because I didn’t. I took one look at her resume and knew she was too good for my action. It was on that day she intrigued me and caught my attention with her ideas about measuring personal impact; she confessed to me in our first meeting how she was affected by a personal obsession to calculate her impact on things, on people, and on the environment.

Green Moxie is a reminder that there is no Planet B. Nikki dedicates herself to the outward presentation of this blog to raise awareness about everyone’s impact on nature – individuals and communities can make a difference, and in turn can be affected by larger or smaller bodies with compelling ideas and examples of positive change.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito,” African ProverbNikki Fotheringham explains Green Moxie to African VillagersNikki Fotherham grew up an independent headstrong daughter of a professional athlete in South Africa. She was a bookworm, but not a geek. She was a track and field star, a marathon runner that no boy could catch, and no parent could contain. She grew up in Johannesburg and studied Philosophy in university. A wonderful subject to behold and debate, she loved the program, but it was almost impossible to get a job upon graduation. Nikki’s first break was as a receptionist at a computer software company, and she hated that position. Instead of changing plans or perhaps quenching her fiery temperament, Nikki soon quit that job and made some radical changes to her career path; she writes “…as a true student of Philosophy, I decided it was the fabric of society that was at fault, so I gave it all up and moved to a hippie commune in the Drakensberg; a remote mountainous area in South Africa. The scenery was breathtaking and I reveled in my self-imposed asceticism. These were the days dreams are made from! With plenty of sunshine our little band of rag-tag gypsies sitting on the banks of the river that ran past the front of our rambling farm house, I really can’t remember how we managed to feed all five of us and a baby – we never really seemed to work. I bought the local video store…” Nikki Fotheringham

Green Moxie, Nikki Fotheringham in Venice Italy, blogger Nikki also typeset the local monthly newspaper which was antique but she loved the newspaper the most and so, when the commune disbanded after four fun years, she headed back to the big city of Durban where she took up a part-time position at the Natal Mercury – a local newspaper. It was her first foray into professional journalism and she was hooked. After gaining some recognition, Nikki discovered she was really employable and she soon got a full time position working at a home magazine called the HomeGuide. It was a great job and eventually she became the editor. After saving up her money, Nikki embarked on a world tour and she met her husband Ian while teaching English in Korea. She was 29 yrs old. Nikki Fotheringham the South Africa girl with Green Moxie blog in Mexico jungle Ian is from Canada and he’s is currently in his last year of a Sustainable Energy and Building Technology diploma at Humber College. He has Green Moxie. Eight years after they were married the couple worked all over the world in many different vocations – Korea, Taiwan, Kuwait, Oman and Frankfurt Germany. During that time she traveled through the United States, central and North America, all through Asia, to India and Nepal, the Middle East and, during one memorable year, drove the entire length of Africa. The environment has always been core to Nikki Fotheringham’s existence and those memories are the body of experiences she draws upon as upon today, as a much-sought-after environmental writer, and she works almost exclusively for a Jib Strategic content marketing company in Toronto who specializes in raising awareness for products designed for the green building industry. Her reward is seeing the new building products and services she extols become successful in the marketplace, and she takes great satisfaction in her own Green Moxie, her push to change the world one blog post at a time.

Post by Robert Campbell on Sunday Mar 3rd, 2013


Anum Khan and James Rubec, PB&J Mag in different parts of Canada

in Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, Fashion Blogger, humourist, NWT, Photography, Toronto and Web Designer


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PB&J

Like the sandwich that is its namesake, this is a quick, tasty and unpretentious blog.  Its bulk – or the bread is in its commitment to quality content which chronicles local/world events and lifestyles in a down to earth tone. The protein – or peanut butter – is the hearty substance behind provocative articles like Three stories that prove racism is alive and well or A grave undertaking.  Last but not least, the flair – that’s the jam – of this online gem is in its entertainment and product reviews, recommendations and musings on the good old days, like When Tim Hortons took only cash.  Individually, the ingredients themselves are humble, but when they come together they create something that is nutritious, delicious and leaves you wanting more.

James Rubec and Anum KhanPB&J Mag is a lifestyle/ political/ social/ scientific/Canadiana blog that aims to “turn frowns upside down and get brains moving.” Founded by Anum Khan and James Rubec, both professional writers and marketers who have an aptitude for unique and buzz-worthy topics, PB&J is a general interest blog full of tips, recipes and useful information. The blog is uniquely Canadian: Anum, a coffee expert, lives in the heart of metropolitan Toronto, where she works as a social media marketer for Spark Internet Marketing Corporation in the biggest and busiest city in the country.  James, a photographer, lives several hundred kilometres below the Arctic Circle in Yellowknife, NWT, where he works in advertising for Kellett Communications Inc.

Anum loves cupcakes and James is into quilting; their interests and skills, which are alike and disparate simultaneously, fuse together to form a blog that is in turns funny, relevant and thought-provoking.

Yellowknife's Beer BargePB&J offers its readers insight into the diversity of Canadian geography and culture. For example, Toronto, often referred to as the New York of Canada, is a far cry from Yellowknife, which, situated so far up North, enjoys summer days where the sun never sets. “This isn’t the Yukon, the story isn’t about the Klondike gold rush that brought fools to stampede to their deaths for hope of riches,” James writes of the Northwest Territories. “It is a story of a community building something from nothing; on and under the hardest land in the world that was and is surrounded by untamed wilderness with winters that are maddeningly long and cold. If the story of the Yukon is about personal exploration and the great gamble that is life, then Yellowknife’s is about balanced risk and teamwork.” James’ posts about life in the NWT, such as Yellowknife’s Beer Barge, contrast between Anum’s coverage of events in the big city such as restaurant openings and Fashion Week. Writes James, “Cities have larger parties, with better beer served in bigger bottles, but they’ll never have an ounce of the unity that has been built in Yellowknife with gold, stone and heart.”

NHL lockout should be stopped by HarperIn addition to recipes from James and product review from Anum, you can count on PB& J to express opinions on politics in posts like NHL lockout should be stopped by Harper (“Why should the government stand by while important money for municipalities, charities and low-income workers is left idly sitting in the arguments of rich whining babies?”), Bruce Mau Design insults all of North America (“Canada has so much to do with Seth Rogen as the United States does with Michael Phelps. You can’t pin a nation on an individual as emblematic, you can only pin the nation on the individual as a factoid.”) and Republicans, Liberals and One Good Book (“I’m jealous of the power that voters actually have in America. I hope Americans feel lucky to be able to vote for their district attorneys, sheriffs and senators. Canadians are lucky if they have a chance to vote for someone once a year.”)

PB&J Mag offers both masculine and feminine perspective, urban and boonies, world news and Canadian content. Since both writers have a background in marketing, these two bloggers are great role models for people just starting out. There aren’t any gimmicks on PB&J; it’s good content on white bread to satisfy the soul.


Deb Lewis Blogs About Events in Toronto

in Blogging, Culture Blogger, event blogger, Ontario and Toronto

Deb Lewis of Toronto City Events, blog bannerDeb Lewis Toronto City Events blog sponsor charityDeborah Lewis runs an upscale event planning business in downtown Toronto. On average she designs, promotes and executes between thirty five and fifty of the city’s biggest and most memorable occasions each year, and she blogs about it and posts pictures on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. Her blog gives readers the pertinent details and more – it shares a precious inside look at the makings of each happenstance.

DebLewis.ca is the home of an expert party planner and web savvy event promoter. This thirty something woman writes about parties, past present and future. The blog is rich with event summaries wherein she wraps up the best stories with photos and anecdotal accounts of Toronto roof food and music, and any outstanding memories. She writes about celebrity chefs and musicians, politicians, charities and of course the charismatic people that attend these events. She tweets her blog posts, and has an engaged Facebook following. Deb’s digital presence adds a lot of value to her events; the sponsors benefit from blog links, Facebook likes and social media ‘klout’.

Toronto City Events Logo As the founder and owner of Toronto City Events, Lewis shares her insights and her discoveries and successes using the web to promote events. When she speaks at gatherings, she can fill a room with people eager to hear her secrets.

Deborah started blogging four years ago because she was curious about this new trend and wanted a more candid less business vehicle to connect with people. She was enjoying reading other local blogs and felt it would be an interesting movement to experience writing her own. And of course she identified blogging as a key tool to complement her business communications.

Deb Lewis of Toronto City Events at Lenzr partyWhat are the results? Deb relates that immediately after starting her blog she found she was hearing more feedback from participants about the events. People were leaving comments and coming to Facebook to tag themselves in pictures. She also heard more stories and more opinions about hers and other people’s events which helped her develop better programming, but also helped increase her web and online marketing skills as she learned to respond to these queries and quips and compliments.

Deb’s most read posts are the ones that are most informative. She wrote a piece about the bars that stay open till 4am during the Toronto Film Festival that was retweeted constantly in September by the Toronto Twitterati and became a big hit with thousands of readers during TIFF and after.

Another popular post is The Beer Boutique in Liberty Village and that’s partly because the headline is phrased to resemble the search term that everyone types into Google when seeking this elusive location . It was also well shared on Facebook and Twitter around that locality. Some posts in Deb’s blog are made of what she calls ‘cultivated content’ and by that she means that her interns write the pieces from scripts that she finds or creates. Deb writes ‘…some stories I write 100%, where others I provide the framework and have the final edits and touches.’ Managing creative interns is difficult and this sentence hints at her process.

Deb Lewis with Camera at EventWhat’s in the future? More blog content and the domain will be expanding to include more rich media, more videos and podcasts. And the blog will be getting a face lift in 2012. But more substantially Deb wants to streamline the style of the posts to include more event tips and resources for people who are attending, and more content will be made available for folks who are “…interested in my area of expertise, and ideas for planning and promoting events. We’ve become a resource for what events are happening in Toronto and provide people with insights into how these events are created.”


Mark Goodfield, The Blunt Bean Counter

in Financial blog, niche blogs, Ontario, Scholar, Teacher and Toronto

The Blunt Bean Counter logo

Blunt Bean Counter, Mark Goodfield is a tax expert and author of a tax blog.

Mark Goodfield is a Canadian income tax expert who shares his insights and knowledge about the Income Tax Act, and that makes him rather unique. There are countless consumer blogs and political pundits and even a few good government blogs, but Mark is the first income tax expert blogger I’ve come across. More accurately, he’s a financial blogger who reports facts, statistics and strategies to help his readers pay the least amount of income tax to the taxman.

The Blunt Bean Counter focuses on income tax, business and investing topics and is meant for taxpayers no matter their income bracket, but in particular for high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs who own private corporations.

Mark Goodfield is a chartered accountant with over twenty five years of experience at four different firms.  He’s studied the science of taxation for a long time, and his unique perspective on investing and tax accounting transforms his posts into fascinating firsthand accounts of how tax affects people and business in Canada.
In his own bio on Blogger, Mark writes, I’m a sports fan, avid traveler, epicurean and accountant. I hope my blog can teach you a couple of things you didn’t know about building wealth and that you’ll indulge me as I wander into topics close to my heart / stomach.

It’s no coincidence the top book on his favourites lists is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.  Much like Howard Roark, the protagonist who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision, Mark Goodfield chooses to express his creativity in what most folks would consider a tedious niche. His uncompromising principles and attention to detail are obvious right in his very first post.

Mark started his blog in September 2010 with a first post entitled, Let’s See Where This Goes.  He described his background and his choice of the word ‘blunt’.  He writes, I am an accountant, but not a classic bean counter. I have tried to move away from being a bean counter every step of the way. I quickly switched from counting beans to calculating tax and then I happily became managing partner and moved into quarterbacking our clients’ wealth management advisors. But I can’t hide from it, I am an accountant.

How Mark Became A Chartered Accountant

In his own biography, Mark relates how it happened that …one summer in the late 1970’s I worked for my father, an accountant, to make money for a trip to Europe. To my father’s consternation (he was asked to try out for the Cleveland Indians but became an accountant instead due to family circumstances) I continued along the path of becoming a Chartered Accountant.

Along the way Mark moved from accounting to income tax. He transitioned from a Big 4 firm (PWC) to a boutique firm, to a two person partnership, and finally to Cunningham LLP North York accountants as the managing partner, and in charge of their Wealth Management division.

Mark Goodfield is not a greedy guy, just the opposite – he’s super generous with his time, information and money. He’s a Big Brother, and has acted on the Investment Committee for the Reena Foundation, and has been involved in the Make A Wish Foundation on a committee level, and as a wish grantor alongside his wife.  Together they intend to grant more wishes in the years to come.

What is a Tax Blog?

Mark Goodfield, Tax Expert, The Blunt Bean Counter is a Tax BlogMark’s most popular blog post is his piece on the Canada Revenue Agency CRA Audit- Will I Be Selected?

The Blunt Bean Counter answers common questions like How Long Do I have To Keep My Income Tax Records?

And the little-known benefits of filing income tax returns for your children.

He delves into education in At Least My Kid Does Not Go To School In The States.

And discusses David Trahair’s Smoke and Mirrors in which this DIY investing author and well known speaker debunks myths about retirement savings.

In the post entitled Taxing the family unit, Harper almost got it right Mark Goodfield compares Canadian and US taxation models. Its here in this post where he writes the line, …This sighting of a T5013, was rarer than sighting the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Good metaphor.

And of course this income tax blogger wrote a dissertation on both government’s fiscal preparations, the 2011 Ontario non budget and Finance Minister Joe Flaherty’s Budget or what Mark calls the Federal 2011 Yawn.

The Psychology of Money

As a chartered accountant, Mark deals on a daily basis with the tracking of money, saving money and the spending of money; he thus has a unique perch to observe human nature in respect to these activities.

Some of Mark’s best blogs relate to the psychology of money. In fact Rob Carrick of the Globe in Mail in his online Reader column has recommended several of Mark’s blog posts dealing with the psychology of money including: The Kid in the Candy Store: Human Nature, RRSP’s, Free Cash and the Holy Grail, Investment Bravado, Little White Lies and Why Kiss and Tell Investing can get you shot and One Big Happy Family- Until We Discuss the Will.

Investing in Stocks

Resverlogix Corp, As a CA Mark cannot provide investment advice, however, he openly discusses his investing mishaps and provides information on websites of interest for investors.

Mark is especially blunt when it comes to talking about investing; no little white lies are allowed on this subject.

Keeping the market interesting justifies our interest in it and, by extension, validates our collective social financial activity and identity. Not only do we need to like to feel good about ourselves, we would rather hear sketchy hyperbole from borderline sources than bad news from an honest one.

Mark wrote a heartfelt piece in which he described his experiences as an investor in Resverlogix, A Cautionary Tale. This piece was picked up as an article by the prestigious US website Seeking Alpha.

The Blunt Bean Counter is a valuable resource for all taxpayers, businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors. On many levels, this blog chronicles how taxation affects life in Canada.
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Ghost of a Flea in Toronto

in Ontario, Scholar and Toronto

Ghost of a Flea banner

Nicholas Packwood writes blog candy. His text is hard boiled sugar that’s packed with cool pictures and compelling captions; his blog posts are short and sweet and super readable.

Ghost of a Flea jumbleGhost of a Flea is politics and pop culture from Packwood’s perspective. He’s very opinionated, and one of the few anti-Obama bloggers left on the internet. Could his peculiar flavour be distilled from knowledge acquired by reading and writing and finally teaching anthropology and religious studies? Ghost of Flea aims to address contemporary themes inside a ‘ghostly’ anthropological context. First published in 2002, this blog has had some moments in the sun.

“From Canadian blogger Nicholas Packwood comes Ghost of a Flea, a blog with an eye on international opinion of the war” – USA Today

Nicholas Packwood considers himself to be more of a “thinker than a linker”, but because of time constraints he sometimes can only point readers in the direction of something he finds interesting. It could be arts or science, literature or old movies, or the latest breakthrough in geothermal floor heating systems. His passion is his remedy for boredom.

Ghost of a Flea cross statuePackwood writes, “Blogging allows me to express my opinions more constructively than by throwing things at the television. Occasionally, blogging also allows me to feel as though my opinion is being considered in the wider conversations of the day. [It] also reassures me every day that I am not alone in my questions and concerns; there is an enormous comfort and support knowing I am not the only person whose television has been saved by this new medium.”

Ghost of a Flea is an interesting blog by an interesting person. In addition to teaching anthropology and communications to undergraduates, Nicolas is undertaking a doctorate in social anthropology, and is also a student in a recording arts program office phone system someday hopes to work in audio mixing and production. You can catch Nicholas Packwood performing his own “dark ambient and industrial music in Toronto clubs, usually of the gothic variety”.

Ghost of a Flea at MyspaceDuring the US elections, Nicholas preserved his blog’s political theme, and smeared all of the candidates, but mostly Obama. A prime example is Please Connect The Dots. But he understands readers can only take so much rhetoric, so he seems to alter and adjust the percentage of political opinion… On October 30th (which is ALMOST Halloween) Nicholas used Ghost of a Flea to promote Devil’s Night at The Savage Garden, a quintessential Goth club in Toronto. His post Dark Times Demand Dark Music is primed with a photo of Lena Headey.

Ghost of a Flea is concocted to entertain readers, and Nicholas is satisfied with that easy market. He writes, In many ways this is more important to me than if I have managed to convince anybody of anything by the writing, let alone whether we find in time that we disagree about most things.

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Raymi the Minx in Toronto

in Blogging, Ontario, Personal Blog and Toronto

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Lauren White is a blog pioneer. She started her web log back in 2000 when Blogger itself was less that a year old and still owned by Pyra Labs. Back then, very few people knew anything about blogging, and this Canadian girl was an early thought leader in the process of discovering what’s cool, and what brings traffic.

Raymi the MinxRaymi the Minx is a classic blog that details strange happenings in the life of a sexy girl living in the heart of downtown Toronto.  Chances are, if you’ve ever spent a day surfing around the net reading blogs, you’ve encountered Raymi’s work. She’s listed on hundreds of blog rolls, ranked in dozens of indexes in many different niches, and has won numerous awards in multiple categories – her blog has inspired the first posts of some of today’s best writers.

Raymi’s work is more personal than most personal blogs. She flashes her smile as frequently as her skinny body (and her boots, and even on rare occasions, her breasts). Such self portraits are of course the highlights of her archives, and accrue many dozen comments. Her curious poses draw readers into even more intimate stories. This girl lets us live inside her relationships as she randomly explains her existence. With such content the reader begins to feel like he actually knows Raymi, and boys fall in love with her. Girls have a different reaction. Since she allows everyone to learn so much about her, she soon becomes the best friend you’ve never met.

I see my blog as a way to kill boredom for me and for you and if some days there is a bit of genius to it, awesome. Raymi, Sept 2008

Raymi the Minx in Oxford in 2000Over the past eight years, Raymi has become a Canadian web celebrity. Thousands of readers have watched her grow up on the internet and most have followed her work from the moment they discovered her domain. Here archives are indeed expansive. She would need erp software to keep track of all the products and stories that she’s distributed over the past decade. Digging back to the year 2000, it’s possible to see the young Lauren White before the metamorphosis.

Here’s me (raymi) in Oxford. that siGn between my krotch sez, ‘please keep off grass’ or something and there i am On the grass like the eFFing rebellious bitch i’ve always been.

Marketable DepressionLike every artist’s first work, Raymi’s early material seems unrefined by comparison. Backin 2000 she often experimented by altering text sizes and fonts to deliberately defy standard formats. Personally I’m thrilled she outgrew the baby talk slang, and a particularly annoying habit of spelling ‘with’ as ‘wif’. Her evolution is still in progress and now an even more prolific pen has turned to writing novels.  Raymi has inventory for sale on her website, and memories enough to fill storage units full to the brim with laughter. Here’s a link to buy Marketable Depression on CafePress, which is Raymi’s book about her younger years, when she was depressed, dabbled in drugs, and was crippled by her own poor choice in men.

Another book in the works, as yet untitled, will present sequences from an even larger story. There is no set release date as Raymi finds the idea of compulsory writing very stressful. ‘Writers constantly feel guilt over not writing and all eventually kill themselves, whether by drink or other hands-on means‘, she writes.Tanlines Not seeking self annihilation, she spends her days making art and taking beautiful photos to add to the twenty thousand images already stored in her Flickr gallery photo stream.

More than a blogger, Raymi the Minx is a poet, media darling, and a web based sexual itch. She has the unique ability to write provocative content and draw a crowd, and provoke admiration.  This painting by her friend Jamie Boud perfectly represents Raymi’s acrylic disposition.  Her mildly erotic portraits are usually punctuated with Toronto landmarks to remind us that she’s real, and lives just down the street somewhere… But her reality is better, sexier and more stimulating than ours will ever be.

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Temporarily Me in Toronto

in Blogging, Fashion Blogger, Mom Social, niche blogs, Ontario, Personal Blog, Toronto and Web Designer

temporarily me blog bannerSamantha is a 27 year old married mother-of-two that works in the construction industry. During the day she (sometimes) wears a hard hat, coveralls and steel toed boots on downtown Toronto construction sites. But at home, in the evenings, she gently constructs beautiful social nets – she blogs and builds pretty web buttons that bind together a potent roster of rookie moms.

Designing TemptationTemporarily Me is the blog portal associated with a design shop called Designing Temptation. This is a textbook design firm / blog model and the synergy is obvious and powerful. But look closer, there’s more going on here. Go back to Temporarily Me and check the links page and see buttons for Mom Pack, Blogamama, Mom Blog Network, etc and of course Blogher. Suddenly I understand; this author is a participator, and she is so positively charged by the ‘mom genre’ networks that she has hit on an innovation and started her own club! Her husband is a commercial roofer, and now she uses her design skills to weave her own network called Being a Rookie Mom Ain’t So Bad. This is styled as a photo challenge, but Samantha will be the first to tell you its really just another great way for young moms to share pictures and socialize.

Upset cat is Tempting MamaSam is ahead of the curve in social networking, and her techniques are worth studying – her Tempting Mama Twitter account now has 380 followers, due in part to the brilliant avatar. One thing I noticed right away is how her blog incorporates lots of popular social networking buttons. Her Stumble Page is focused on motherhood, but assembled from lots of diverse source material.

When it comes to actually writing her own signature brand of Temporarily Me daily content, Samantha is very prolific and demonstrates good time management skills. Common themes include sleep deprivation and coffee appreciation, and experiences surrounding a summer of motherhood. I chuckled when I read in July about her taking a week off to have a 2nd baby, and promising an immediate return to readers one week later… this doesn’t sound like a rookie mom to me!

SamanthaOkay now the real reason why I love Samantha – she puts it on the line. She is genuine and open and writes from the heart. I remember reading the post she wrote back in January under her blog’s Marriage tag where she opened up about her own marital problems. I marveled at the honesty and the bravery of her self documentation – she had the courage to step out from behind the façade and face reality in confessional writing that becomes the ultimate public self exploration. The next day she started dismantling the facade and her readership helped.

Coming from broken homes, we have both witnessed parental fights, resentment and divorce. Over the past eight years, we’ve unintentionally fallen into the same pattern. Recently, our marriage has consisted of a constant barrage of verbal assaults, emotional abuse and constant reminders of the others faults.

This post caught my heart. It impacted me and now I will never forget this author, and her story. It compels me to follow her on Twitter and bookmark her prodigiously – she has opened up a new genre to me. Sam begins that landmark March 11th, 2008 post by saying that although the subject is taboo, she found the courage to write this by reading Mama Loves ‘the post I might delete later’ which encourages people who are suffering social discomfort to write about their plight. Mama Loves and Samantha both believe that taboo topics are finally seeing the light of day because of blogs. And so Temporarily Me is evolving into a wonderful animal. Because of her own hardships, Sam is the perfect host for a blog based social network that provides information and emotional support.

Being a rookie mom aint so bad

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Dead Robot in Downtown Toronto

in Blogging, Ontario, Personal Blog, Photography, Toronto and Web Designer

Dead Robot

A signed scream by Dead Robot

Ted is a 43 year old fountain of wit. He’s a good photographer, and a skilled graphic artist.  A barrel chested weekend warrior, this robot is very much alive. He writes with a sharp keyboard, and a keen eye on queer happenstance, local Toronto events, arts and culture. His blog explores web development Toronto new technology, gadget fetishes, web innovations and games.

Dead Robot is an existential personal blog, and by that I mean it has existentialist themes like alienation, dread, and bad faith. There’s an overall ‘reduced to nothingness’ feeling that affects readers, both in the visuals and the text. The name of the blog, and the banner image plant existential thoughts in my brain, as I perceive old technology and broken dreams fermenting fresh new insights into life. Please understand, this blog is Fine Art simply because it’s excellent – every post is carefully concocted and cleverly styled (and often reinforced with good original photos) to make readers question social rituals.

blogger Ted from Dead RobotTed understands that he’s playing a role as Dead Robot, and while keeping an eye on the grand prize of changing the world, he writes about current events and bad corporate behaviour and whatever unpleasant things his caustic wit might colour and could change. He’s a keen observer and transcriber of all that he witnesses. He commonly blogs about the small details he stumbles upon every morning and the events and businesses that affect him. Trips to a Toronto dentist and behind the scenes photos of Toronto Gay Pride parade. This example, published Thursday Sept 4th, 2008 after he witnessed the repetitive abuse of a local food service worker. This post subtly reminds readers of the infectious nature of our emotions, and the healing power of kind words.


One Old Green Bus

in Ontario, Personal Blog, Photography and Toronto

One Old Green Bus blog banner

Matthew Didier - historical reenactorMatthew James Didier lives in west end of Toronto, but his readers would never know it. He seldom writes about the city. When he pens his blog, Didier escapes the GTA and hops around Canada (and back in time) profiling Canadian authors and showcasing vintage film clips he finds on YouTube. He writes about old and new science fiction classics; specifically the TV program Dr Who. Last month Matt dredged up some classic CBC radio interviews with Peter Gzowski (much to my delight). Yes, Matthew Didier is a proud Canadian, but to my ear his blog has the same kind of thick British accent you might have once heard on a Routemaster double decker bus.

One Old Green Bus started in April 2006 when Matt and his family were going through hard times. Like so many other creative souls he went online to license his imagination and explore the possibility of infecting others with a unique vision. And his idea? He had a rather strange idea actually.

Unlike all other bloggers at the time, Matthew fixed his blog quest on an old green bus parked in a wrecker’s yard in southern California. Inspired by One Red Paperclip and Pay It Forward etc, Matt made it his blog’s mission to resurrect this vintage personnel carrier, for the benefit of all humanity, and for his own personal reasons. Sadly, he’s met little success in this endeavour. “We were called cyber panhandlers and generally discouraged at every turn”, Matthew explains “…now the blog is what it is, a place for me to write ideas, report things, and generally kibitz with the online world.”

One Old Green Bus Here it is, a 1950 AEC Regent III double-decker bus in a 1999 photograph. Complete with London Transport fleet names and lots of other cool authenticities, the vehicle looks to be in reasonable condition – only the radiator and most of the engine cooling system is missing.   The story goes that this vehicle was imported into the United States from England and came to be owned by two women from Oregon. It was sold in Santa Rosa California when it broke down on the highway and was deemed too expensive to repair. Now if it could be properly fixed and completely refurbished, it would certainly be a novelty on the streets of Toronto. Mathew was consumed checking vehicle insurance quotes in Canada so I’m sure that’s just what he was thinking.

Matthew DidierIn keeping with the same spiritual idea of raising the dead, this blogger is also active in the Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society website where he continues to serve Canadians by conducting paranormal investigations in historic Toronto properties.

Anyone can find Matthew Didier on the PSICAN Message Board, a science fiction discussion forum he operates under the moniker “Inconvenient Facts”, and this according to Matt is not a play on anything to do with former Vice President Al Gore’s efforts, but from a book entitled Roswell : inconvenient facts and the will to believe.

Suffice to say, One Old Green Bus is more than a Dr Who fan blog.



Young Chic and Social in Burlington

in Ontario and Personal Blog

Young Chic and SocialKeely Valentine must type as fast as she thinks, for her writing seems as natural as a seventeen year old girl talks. Each post flows together into a wonderfully feminine, refreshingly amateur blog spectacle.  This girl is supremely confident and that’s manifest in her devil-may-care writing. Its all attitude and Keely’s got it, and she ‘brings it’ with good information rich posts. It really doesn’t matter that her prose is littered with typographical errors, and run on sentences, because that somehow adds to her juvenile authenticity and the presentation of her unique content.

It all started in September 2007 with Keely Valentine’s first post entitled ‘The Evil Skank vs The Good Girl’ which is so full of unique insights into life as a teenager girl it should be considered modern literature.  Ironically, in March of 2008 Keely lamented about her failure to pass Grade 11 English class. Perhaps she could submit her blogspot for extra credits?

Keely Valentine

Young Chic and Social just gets better and better. Over the summer Keely had her 200th post and has since increased her writing frequency; she now uses the platform to tell the world about her quest to get a pop music band together (she’s a singer) and perform her songs, or get photo shoots organized to help clothing designer friends. Its not written like that of course, its crafted in anecdotes and make-up tips, travelogs and semi-confessional diary entries. She mentions meeting boys, and going on dates, and she likes to document creeps, iPhone apps and mobile app developer but its her sincere appreciation of her closest friends that fills the most paragraphs.

Keely’s profile on Blogger says it all:

Young, Chic and Social is run by a fabulous young soicalite who is a singer/songwriter thats had a brush with internet fame and always seems to find herself in the middle of the seasons hottest events and partys that are usually 19+. She’s a makeup pro, fashion guru and has the craziest most dramatic and not typical teenage life out there

And its all true. She is a real Canadian high school girl and her posts are packed with her precocious curiosity.  She writes about everything relevant to her life and her plans, and anything that impacts her existence at her local high school. Its a fascinating peek at a pretty girl with no disconnect blogging about being Young, Chic and Social.


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