Giving Tuesday 2014 Monday December 1, 2014

With Black Friday behind us and Cyber Monday almost over, the next big day on the preverbal festive season calendar is Giving Tuesday. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Giving Tuesday is essentially the anti-thesis or the counter to the consumerism that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The idea is to encourage people from across North America to take some time and support their favourite charity or charities with a donation of any amount.

Over the past year, I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of working with two great start-ups within the Calgary Not-For-Profit Tech start-up sector. Both Place2Give and Bgenerus are crafting new and innovative ways to connect Not-For-Profits and charities with donors and both organizations are taking an active roll in promoting the Giving Tuesday concept within Western Canada. In particular, Place2Give is running one of it’s custom Motif Giving Campaigns to encourage Calgarians and Canadians to support one of 20 great charities.

Because of my work with Place2Give, I was able to select a charity near and dear to my heart to add to their list of charities. The organization I selected was The Golden Age Club of Calgary.

Some of you may not know, but over the past few years, I have been abruptly faced with the harsh realization that my wonderful parents are aging. I know for many of my friends and associates this is probably something that isn’t on their radar and possibly something that they believe will only happen in 10-20 years. But because of the vast age discrepancies between my old geezer of a father and myself, I have been enduring a crash course in the many challenges facing seniors in our society. Luckily for us living in North America, and in particular Calgary, there are some amazing organizations working to improve the daily lives of seniors. In particular, there are two organizations that have been near and dear to my heart over the past couple of years. They are of course the Kerby Centre and The Golden Age Club of Calgary .

So today on Giving Tuesday, please consider joining me in making a donation to The Golden Age Club (or one of the hundreds of other charities across Canada). All you need to do is click on the button below.

Donate Today!

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Lest We Forget Tuesday November 11, 2014

While a million and one articles will be written today – some political, some opinion pieces and some news stories. Many people will argue about the meaning of today or the actions of a few. There will be many proclaiming that there are right ways and wrong ways to remember. There will be arguments and debates. But at the end of the day, whether you are young or old, 4th generation Canadian or first generation, male or female, the biggest thing today is to just Remember.

But to remember in a way that means something to you personally. Think about the sacrifices that others have made for the country we call Canada today. Take time to think about what others in the past have done to ensure the lifestyle we all take for granted. Because at the heart of it all, that is what today is all about.

It’s a reminder to never forget and honour the sacrifices of others before us.

Lest We Forget.

Canadian War Memorial

A photo posted by Connor Turner (@ctoverdrive) on

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I Did a Funny Thing 8 Years Ago Today Sunday August 31, 2014

So 8 years ago, on August 31st 2006, I did something pretty different. As a freshly graduated University Student with a comfortable and prosperous career as a Land Analyst at a massive Oil & Gas Company, I decide to abandon ship and start a brand new career.

On that day I went and incorporated 1268386 Alberta Inc. A few weeks later that nameless entity became Armadillo Studios Inc. and as they say the rest is history.

The past 8 years have been a roller coaster with many ups and downs, ups, downs and a couple of flat lines and then many fantastic ups. In the early days there were times where I was running three jobs to help kick start things and keep the finances even. But through it all it’s been a wild ride and as I look back at over the past few years I’m amazed at all things I’ve accomplished and been able to experience. I’ve been able to work with a variety of companies, from small businesses to medium sized companies to large charities to the Government of Canada to University organizations to political campaigns to grass roots media magazines to local up and coming bloggers to brand new start-ups to international non-profits and absolutely every client imaginable in between. I’ve worked with clients across North America, from Calgary to Toronto to Austin to Chicago to Winnipeg and back to Vancouver. I’ve launched a book, launched an app, helped launch community groups and a few hundred web sites and web pages. I’ve travelled across this continent attending conferences in Texas, Ottawa, Washington D.C. and Calgary. I have spoken at conferences and events and even put on a conference this past year. I have been interviewed by newspaper reporters, local and national bloggers, media radio shows and even featured in local and provincial news segments. I’ve been a resource for numerous articles, write one or two (thousand) blog posts and even published a few professional articles myself. I’ve had the chance to share my thoughts in a few podcasts and even panel discussions.

I’ve also watched trends come and go. I’ve seen Twitter go from an elaborate water cooler for nerds to fostering revolutions. I’ve watched Facebook turn into a great place to meet university friends (and apparently my future wife) to a place where people of all ages connect together. I’ve seen Flickr blossom, fall and the rise again. I’ve watched the gold rush of the App store rise up and fizzle like a firecracker and I’ve seen WordPress grow from a small blogging tool to a massive content management system. I watched as Web 2.0 became the latest thing and then saw the behemoth that was Social Media torpedo the landscape.

But more importantly, over the past 8 years I’ve been able to meet a whole world of amazing people and be apart of some fantastic projects. So while this is very much a personal milestone, it’s also a milestone I would like to share with everyone else I’ve met along the way.

So to all of those who’ve retweeted me, read and/or commented on a blog post, shared an infographic, recommend Armadillo to a friend, connected on Linkedin, hired me, did some contract work with me, shared a coffee and/or beer with, met at a networking event or even took a ridiculous photo with…

Thank you for everything.

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Thirty Plus Four Thursday June 5, 2014

Usually on my birthday I ramble on about something epic, inane or even ridiculous. But this year to due to travel, work commitments and … I don’t know … possibly a crazy conference that I’m involved in organizing, I unfortunately didn’t have time to vomit out some thoughts to the old word processor. So instead of trying to ramble together some half-witted thoughts, I figured I would instead share a play list that I’ve been quietly compiling of my favourite songs of all time.

So yes, a post with a play list really isn’t anything too deep and nothing mind blowing, but if you’re looking for some new music to listen to over the next few days, just give it a spin.

… and yes, the play list does start and end with R. Kelly.

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Falling in Love with... Hawkeye? Sunday May 25, 2014

Last year I wrote a blog post on my birthday about a couple of things I had rediscovered in my old age – Volunteering and Comic Books. In that post I mentioned that I had reignited a new love for comic books. In particular, one of the comic books that I’ve found myself obsessed with is the new Hawkeye series.

Now there has been a huge shift in the Comic Book world since I was a little lad … or at least to me it seems like there has been a shift. An influx of indie publishers and crowd funded titles have improved the overall maturity of the genre, as well as the demands of an aging core audience.

Since that post I’ve also been introduced to such great titles as Vertigo’s Fables and Image’s “Saga” (which is drawn by local Calgarian Fiona Staples), but of all the titles I’ve picked up over the past year and a bit, Hawkeye still holds a special place for me.

Yes, I’m really talking about Hawkeye.

The goofy guy in purple that only shoots arrows… and shoots arrows… and shoots more arrows. How in gods name can that be entertaining?

I’ve tried to explain why this series is interesting to a few people and like clockwork I ultimately fail. But it really boils down to a quirky story concept and also some fabulous minimalistic design. Aesthetically, Hawkeye is randomly the most interesting comic I’ve come across. It really flips the whole concept of what a comic should look like and feel like, by doing much less than other comics.

The covers are brilliant and the artwork inside feels more like a short in a local alternative newspaper rather than a Marvel comic. There’s no bulging biceps, unnaturally protruding bosoms, over the top waistlines, glossy finishes and intense shadowing, just straight lines and a beautiful off purple hue. Hell, I don’t even think there is an issue where Hawkeye wears his traditional spike ears.

The storyline of the series is just as minimalistic and oddly fascinating. Fracton (the series author) and “Aja”;http://blog.davidaja.com/ (the series drawer…or whatever it’s called) took a massive chance on the Hawkeye series. Thinking that the series would be over after two issues they decided to just tell the story of what Hawkeye (Clint Barton) does on a Thursday afternoon. In some editions he’s trying to set-up a Home Theatre system with Iron Man or dealing with some run of the mill gangs in New York and of course there is the famous Pizza Dog issue.

There’s no intergalactic super villains or plots to destroy mankind, just a guy in Brooklyn doing normal stuff.

13 year old c.t.overdrive would be mocking me for writing this post… because it’s Hawkeye and nobody has ever liked that guy. But Fracton and Aja’s version of Hawkeye is quirky, simple, sophisticated and enduring. I’m sure this sounds ridiculous, but it’s probably one of the most fascinating and rewarding reads I’ve come across. Even as a casual comic book lover I can’t help but count down the days until the latest trade back comes out.

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