My Weekend in Ottawa

So, I went to Ottawa this weekend. Actually, I first went to Arnprior and then to Ottawa, but I’ll start from the beginning.

Saturday

Saturday morning, I woke up at my normal time and got my stuff together. By around eight thirty, I was on the road heading from Brockville to Arnprior. Jo, my best friend’s wife, had invited me over to not only visit but to go with her and Tali, her daughter, on her first big screen movie experience. We went and saw Tangled in 3D. It was a decent movie, not really the best Disney movie I’ve seen, but it was enjoyable and I still think that 3D works best on animated features. It was really funny to watch Tali try to understand how the glasses made things come out of the screen that weren’t real. By the hour mark, Tali was getting pretty antsy. It wasn’t that she wasn’t enjoying the movie, but every time there was a slow part or quiet part, she wanted to move around.

Once the movie was done, we went back to Arnprior, watched some Star Wars (as there was a marathon on) and hung out. I didn’t really get to talk to Jo much, as their dog, Tigger, and Tali require a lot of attention, but it was nice to see Jo and Tali, and I can’t wait until Barry gets home from overseas.

Not long after Tali went to bed, I also asked for a pillow and blanket and fell asleep almost instantly.

Sunday

On Sunday, around eight thirty, I went into Ottawa after saying good-bye to Jo and Tali. I walked around the market for around half an hour before meeting up with Tom and his wife Tracey at their dining location of choice, Patty Boylands. Not long after, a bunch of their friends showed up, and we basically took over a reasonable piece of the pub. I had a great breakfast, got to talk geek related stuff with Tom, and was surrounded by beautiful women. Not a bad way to spend my morning.

I almost laughed out loud at one point when I thought of the main hero in Tangled and his “smolder face” that he tried to use to get Rapunzel to like him, as I definitely wanted to give off that vibe to one the women at breakfast. It can definitely be funny how things from one day can tie into another.

Once breakfast was done, I took a tour around the Rideau mall with Tom, looking at all the gadgets and gizmos, and asking his opinions on some of them. While I’m not entrenched in the Mac world, I do like to hear what is going on in all three computer communities to have a good understanding of what might work best for myself and my clients.

Later, we ran into some journalism students that were asking people for a moment of their time to talk about their thoughts on racial profiling. Tom went first, and had an amusing comment to start the discussion, “are you looking for arguments for or against?” All of us burst out laughing and it definitely cut some of the tension. I could tell he was really put on the spot though. While Tom and I both have opinions on nearly every topic, we both like to take time to consider things, and sound at least a little eloquent and educated on topics before we open our mouths, put pen to paper or otherwise publish our ideas.

Thankfully, Tom got the journalism student to help him by throwing out specific questions for him to answer, and he did swimmingly. It was then my turn. While trying to listen to Tom’s thoughts, I tried to come up with my own opinions, organize my thoughts, and even mentally rehearse what I wanted to say. It allowed me to express my feelings on the subject, but afterwards, I thought of many better things I would have liked to have said. It was one of those questions where Tom and I should have asked them if we could come back in five minutes after really chewing on the issue.

Walking away, I couldn’t help but point out how humorous it was that journalism students were discussing racial profiling as I personally feel that there is almost a profile in place in society today for journalism students: what the heck are they going to do once they get their degree? With newspapers shutting down, television stations pushing garbage sensational pieces as news, and the lack of any journalistic quality or integrity, the bottom, in my opinion, has nearly fallen out, and in another decade, I think journalism will be refocused into spending long periods covering one topic and really working on collecting data, analyzing it and presenting it in an interesting way. Local news, and tabloid news will be covered by bloggers, podcasters, and video podcasters. Tom seemed to be close to agreeing with my assessment and we laughed at the poor journalism students.

It was still fun to participate, though I worried that it was going to be another Red Octopus moment for me. For those of you that don’t know, when a new Ottawa television station started in Ottawa, it was called the New RO, and they went out on the street asking people what the RO stood for. It probably stood for Region of Ottawa, or whatever the RO in CHRO stood for before the switch to the New RO name.

While at a mall with Barry, I was asked by a TV crew what it stood for, and I said Red Octopus, and unfortunately, it went on the air, and I saw the commercial with me saying Red Octopus dozens of times. It now lives in infamy of one of the sillies things I’ve done. Also, it was the start of my presence on television. Every time I get interviewed on the street, in a mall, or otherwise outside my home, for some reason, it ends up that my footage is used. This leads me to believe I’m cursed in this manner.

Thankfully, the journalism students only had a voice recorder and a digital camera to take a picture, so while I’m sure what I’ve said will end up being presented to a group of their peers, hopefully it will never make it in the radio, newspapers or other broadcast media.

Afterwards, Tom and I went back to Patty Boylands, ate some nachos and discussed everything from technology to the military to the North Korean conflict, to friends, family, data storage solutions, freelancing and more. It was the kind of conversation that I hadn’t had in almost a year and it was such a wonderful experience. I really enjoy talking to people that have the same diverse interests as myself, especially if they know more or have different views than me, and Tom fits both descriptions. His knowledge of both certain technology and what’s going on in the world trumps mine by a factor of one thousand, so it was great.

Then, in the early evening, I jumped in my car and went back to Brockville. It was a nice weekend, but it was hard to leave. Ottawa is one of those cities that is just amazing in what it offers. Not only because of the great people that live there, but the different areas that you can live in and the differences between them. I really miss Ottawa…

4 Replies to “My Weekend in Ottawa”

  1. Oh sure, come to Ottawa and don’t mention it until afterwards…pfft! Guess I’ll have to start stalking you more closely so we can find some time to hang-out at some point 😛

    1. I’m thinking of coming down again this upcoming weekend. Saturday is currently 100% free and Sunday, I’m hoping to visit Tom and go to ByMug. Let me know if either of those days work out and we can hang out.

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