Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oct 7, 2011 - amendment of my sept 28 post about concert tickets

Ok folks, i don't usually edit or remove my past blog posts, but in an effort to eliminate misinformation on the internet, i have decided to amend this entry.... it is my goal to keep the story and the spirit of my mood in tact, while correcting facts and removing opinions that are no longer valid:

After years of prep, the Arts and Culture Centres (6 indoor concert venues across the province, that are run by the provincial government) finally launched their new and improved website - which included secure online ticket ordering.  one month later, i sign up and make my very first purchase.  less than 1 minute after tickets supposedly went on sale for Jim Cuddy (of Blue Rodeo fame) and his solo band's November 16th concert in St. John's.  I was delighted to secure a pair of front row centre tickets.

Well, the next day, i get a phone message advising me that there was apparently a glitch in the new computer system. these seats were apparently not supposed to be made available for me to purchase, and that i was being asked to call in and either accept a refund, or accept alternate seats.

As far as i am concerned this is a major blunder and huge embarssment for Government, especially since they want to blame this new computer system that was likely created by a team of highly-paid private technology consultants - all on the taxpayer's dollar. Heck, this even has me questioning whether it is even appropriate for Government to be in the ticket-selling business, let alone, the entertainment business.

Anyway, i called into the box office to discuss and accepted a pair of alternate seats. i also accepted a free pair of tickets to another event at their venue. but what they couldn't do, was tell me what had happened specifically, and why it was me, and not someone else, who was being asked to give up these seats.. 

So, i filed a complaint with management reps from the Arts/Culture Centre and Jim Cuddy's agent. I had initially indicated on this blog that there was not an immediate response, but shortly thereafter, i did get a response from Cuddy's rep expressing empathy and requesting more info. after sending more info, although i did not hear back from the agent, i was contacted by Arts/Culture Centre management and invited to come in for a face to face meeting to chat further about the issue.

Although my ultimate hopes of somehow getting front row seats to this concert did not materialize, i am still very pleased with the steps the Arts/Culture centre took too listen to my concerns, provide me with additional information about what happened, and their efforts to take action to try to make things right.

As someone who used to work for the provincial government's information technology (IT) department, i have been trained to feel disappointed when people always seem to want to blame a poor defenceless computer system for their problems. computers only do what people program them to do. for every computer problem, there is a person who directly or indirectly caused that problem, eirher during system development, or by the end user.

Well,  having heard a detailed explanation, i totally take the Arts/Culture centre off the hook and feel quite comfortable stating that this matter occured due to no fault of them.

One thing i did do during the process of this ticket issue, was place guilt and pressure upon Cuddy's team and the arts/culture centre's team - and i feel badly about how my complaint stressed and impacted these people, and may have stresses the relationship they have with each other.

anyway, I guess my beef is with the IT department - who according to publicly-available Department of Finance budget documents, spent $38 million on 'professional services' (aka private sector contractors) during the 2010-11 fiscal year.  Hey taxpayers, do you think you are getting your money's worth???

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sept 26, 2011 - Ironwoman!

well, i entered yesterday's newfoundland provincial marathon under-trained, over-weight, stressed out, and injured, but i was determined to start and finish the race and keep my streak alive as the active ironwoman in this event, and i did! 5 consecutive newfoundland marathons, and a nice place to celebrate my 30th career marathon.
more details posted here:


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sept 24, 2011 - history in the making?

well, it is that time of the year again! yes it's the third oldest marathon in north america - and the 12th oldest one in the world: the newfoundland provincial marathon. the 60th running of this great event, and my 5th consecutive one (placing me fairly high up on the list of active participant streaks).  it's no secret that i have been dealing with a bad knee, and because of this, have seen my health and fitness levels fall to about as low as they can get; however, i have had a really good week of prep - focusing mostly on rest, and getting in a few light training runs.

my fellow marathon maniac alexis is in town from NYC for this one - he will run his 21st marathon of the year - and is well over 100 in his career. he is actually a fast-walker, who will likely finish this marathon, while walking, at least an hour faster than i will run it. 

i also had a chance to  chat with newfoundland running legend joe ryan - who is in the process of documenting the history of this race in a book. joe won the 1969 Tely 10 mile road race - eastern canada's biggest annual running event. he's also run 51 career marathons to date, including 24 newfoundland marathons. if that is not enough inspiration to get out and run, then you better check your pulse!

here's a video vlog of me rambling on about tomorrow's big race:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

september 20, 2011 - Pride Panel Discussion to Air!

The LGBTQ Health Care Issues panel discussion that took place as part of St. John's Pride Inc.'s Pride Week will air on St. John's Rogers TV friday night at 9.30 - 11.30 pm! this event was recorded July 2011 and features presentations from Canada Blood Services, Canadian Mental Heath Association, Aids Committee of NL, East Coast Trans Alliance Inc., and Holy Trinity High School Gay/Straight Alliance.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sept 18 2011 - general update

busy week that was. here's is a brief vlog that details what i have been up to:


Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 - excellent weekend

well, i had a mixture of resting and running! saturday morning, i was responsible for hosting our weekly front runners event, so i dragged my butt out of bed and ran down to quidi vidi lake (a very painful 5k). then i waited and waited and nobody showed up! so i decided to cancel the lap around the lake and run up and down signal hill and back, which i did!  then ran home for good measure. a very slow and painful 14k, but i hit my goal of running 14k for the first time since early july.

that was enough to wear me out for the day.  after a good sleep, i was up sunday late morning and ready for more! so did a slightly stronger 13k, took a break, then ran another 8.1k - giving me a half marathon. then i jumped in the pond to cool off for good measure!  for more details about my running weekend, check out my latest vlog post on youtube


Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011 - NFL is here!

i don't think i have ever been so happy to see the start of the NFL and NCAA football season. i totally missed my infamous relaxing 19 saturdays and sundays in a row in front of my 5 tv sets watching my favourite spectator sport. the popularity growth of the sport even has them broadcasting mid week games too, and we've got a good one to start the season tonight with New Orleans at Green Bay - the last 2 champions, playing against each other.  the Pack are favoured, but i suspect the Saints will be playing with a chip on their shoulders and will quietly sneak out a road win upset. The addition of Darren Sproles to replace the over-rated Reggie Bush should help the Saints establish an offense that is already very good. the pressure of the microscope and the spotlight will be lots for the Pack to handle.

the new kick off at the 35 yard line rule is not going to benefit the audience though. even 5 yards more will mean more touchbacks, and fewer exciting run backs. definitely a concern.

ahhhh, it was 9 years ago today that i attended the season-opening game in Cleveland, as the Browns hosted my Chiefs, who had much promise under the second season of the Vermeil regime. In a high scoring battle, KC stole the game with a Morten Andersen field goal, after Dwayne Rudd was penalized for throwing his helmet during play (when he actually thought he had made the game winning sack). I was amazed i escaped Cleveland alive that afternoon in my KC attire!  In the end, the browns got revenge, as they went on to win 9 games and sneak into the playoffs, while kc missed out at 8-8. 5 years later, i would return to cleveland to run my second career marathon, which went very well.

haven't been to a game in KC since 2006 - where i saw them clobber the 49ers - then drove down the road to Wichita to see the Rolling Stones play a concert.. what a day that was!

enjoy the season folks!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7, 2011 - reacting to tragic plane crash

Shocking news this morning as it was announced that a plane carrying an entire KHL hockey team had crashed, killing all but 1 member of the team. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv was one of the top teams in what is generally regarded as the best hockey league in the world, except for the NHL. 9 former NHL players died, including one Canadian - long time NHL defenceman and assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, who won a Stanley Cup in 1989 as part of the Calgary Flames.  I met Brad back in 1989, amazingly enough, at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, after a Flames morning practice.  Brad had just moved to Russia to take on his first job as head coach of a pro hockey team. How sadly ironic that he dies one day before coaching in his first official game.

Also dead include several NHLers who I watched play live at one point or another: former Toronto Maple Leafs Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpotsev, 2010 Olympic scoring leader and 3 time NHL all star game participant Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, and 2006 Stanley Cup winner Josef Vacicek.

I recorded the following video to reflect upon this tragedy:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept 6, 2011 - weekend of rest

well, it was just what the doctor ordered: 4 relaxing days on the beach in the sun! no phone calls, no computers, no stress. just me, sun, water, and a relaxed attitude.

still dealing with emotional and physical burnout though, and i will continue to take steps to postpone and/or outright eliminate as much stress and anxiety as possible... bso folks, please don't be offendid if an e-mail or phone call doesn't get returned right away this week, or if a meeting gets postponed or doesn't get booked.  but i need to keep myself safe and put myself in the best position for recovery, so i can have a busy fall season.