The Personnal

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.

Categories: The-Personnal, The-Blogosphere, The Adventures

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.

Categories: The-Personnal, The-Music,

A year of Lift.do and Good Habits Wednesday February 5, 2014

So … about a year ago, I made a incredibly vague New Year’s resolution to finally follow through and live a healthier lifestyle. The idea was to try and work to generally improve myself both physically, mentally and career wise.

And now as a honest caveat, I personally stopped making specific resolutions a couple of years ago. To be frank, I’ve always found New Year’s resolutions a great idealistic concept, but far to difficult to maintain (just like everyone else in the world). Stuff like only eating salads instead of fries or running three times a week sounds great, BUT once the trivial nature of life kicks in I’ve always find them difficult to maintain.

In addition, as a inherently grouchy Irish/Englishman I have a massive aversion to self help gurus and that form of rational thinking.

But last year, I remembered a couple talks/blog posts I had read from Julien Smith on breaking habits. His philosophy is that all humans have habits. Some are important for survival (for example eating at established periods of the day and sleeping four hours a day). While others are bad habits that we’ve learned over time. Julien Smith’s idea is that if you really want to change how you live your life, eat healthier or just doing things differently, you have to turn these goals into positive habits.

Smith’s advice is to embrace our instincts to live by habits and patterns and then focus on deconstructing bad habits and establish good ones. His idea being that it’s not about doing something radical and new, but it’s about inserting good habits into your life.

So last year, I set about inserting good habits in to my daily routine.

One of the tools that Smith mentioned in his various posts was a tool called Lift.do.

Lift is one of about 1,000 self-help apps out on the web, but rather than trying to act as your mini work out coach, Lift works to help establish simple daily habits or rituals. You set-up your lift account with a list of tasks you want to do on a daily basis and then through Lift’s interface you track how frequently you achieve them.

Now for me Lift worked because I set some of the most ridiculous easily habits out there. Stuff like Flossing once a day (something I’ve never done), taking Vitamin D (something my doctor told me to do years ago and I’ve never done), drinking a glass of water every day (again something I’ve never done before) and reading a book for ten minutes a day. These don’t sound like impressive targets, but for a perpetual procrastinator like myself and someone who still feels like he’s an invincible 24 year old, these tasks that seem to fall by the wayside.

So how was my year of habit forming and Lift.do?

Well, if you’re interested of how my year of using Lift was, check out my profile.

In 2013, throughout all the turmoil, I was able to make some impressive strides on my goals from last year. Not only was I was able to maintain a daily regiment of taking Vitamin D, Drinking a Glass of Water, Flossing and also Eating Fruit/Drinking Milk, but I was also able to inject some other important routines in my daily life. Activities such as Reading a book for 10 minutes, Writing a Blog Post or even just sending a Non-work related email out to a friend.

And while Lift.do was pretty instrumental in reinforcing these habits, the real achievement in this year challenge is that activities such taking Vitamin D, Flossing, Drinking water etc., have all become morning rituals. Activities that I do now as naturally as having my morning cigarette and coffee or checking into Foursquare the second I step foot into a Starbucks (both of which are incredibly horrible habits).

So yes, for someone who isn’t really known for being overtly obsessive with my own health and well being – my year with Lift.do and creating good habits was a smashing success. So if you’re looking to improve or follow through on some New Years resolutions, give some of the writings of Julien Smith a whirl and download Lift.

I have no guarantee it’ll work for you, but I found great success with both.

Categories: The-Personnal, The-Blogosphere,

The Adventures 2013 Saturday December 28, 2013

Hmm… well with December winding down and 2014 around the corner it’s time for another yearly c.t.overdrove tradition – The Adventures Post!

As with past posts, The Adventures Post is where I lists the cities I’ve spent one or more nights in over the past year. The idea is completely stolen borrowed from kottke.org and has been a constant staple on the old c.t.overdrive. Think of it as an outside of the box year in review post.

In a year where I thought that 2012 was a somewhat crummy year, 2013 managed to not only top 2012 for crumminess but absolutely blow it out of the water. 2013 was a shitvlanche. That’s pretty much the summation of it and it’s reflected in the lack luster adventures for the year.

1. Ottawa, ON
2. Montreal, QC
3. Ottawa, ON
4. Calgary, AB
5. Ottawa, ON
6. Red Deer, AB
7. Calgary, AB

2013 will only be memorable in the record books for two major personal events. The first is the end of Ottawa experiment for myself and the second, which is probably the most redeeming, is the addition of The Right Honourable Mulroney to #TeamTurner.

At this point, I should probably say something along the lines of well 2014 can’t be any worse than 2013, but I said that last year and look where that got us. So instead, I’ll just leave it at …

Adios 2013, Hello 2014.

Categories: The-Personnal, The-Blogosphere,

The Return of The Overdrive Wednesday November 13, 2013

Well, truth be told, this might be bad timing with this post, considering that my doppleganger is wanted across Calgary for being a douchebag … or maybe its perfect timing so I can comeback to clear my name.

Either way, back on track here.

So, after much deliberation with my beautiful wife, I’ve made the hard decision for me to move to Calgary to explore new business and professional opportunities. Now, this hasn’t been an easy decision and possibly later on I’ll get into the nitty gritty of my Ottawa experience, but for the most part it’s been a difficult struggle to get a foot in the door within this city and it makes more sense to return to Calgary to reconnect with the thriving community there.

But enough of that, back to the fun part.

So yes, Calgary after almost four years of exploring two-thirds of North America’s capitals, I’m back. And not only am I back, but I’m looking to get back into the game with full force. On the employment side I’m looking for contracts, projects, full-time or any time employment opportunities. If you have a need for front-end developer or a social media/communications consultant, send me a note.

In addition, I’m also looking to get back involved with the Calgary Political and Tech community. Got an organization that needs a hand or needs some volunteer time? Hit be me up.

So Calgary, let’s do this. Can’t wait to see you next week.

Categories: The-Personnal, the-ottawa, The Calgary Vibe

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