Operation Vacation

Well, it’s been a while everyone. Sorry, but sometimes real life gets in the way of what we love. Nonetheless, I am back to write about an experience that not only change my life, and my friends life, but also an experience I hold dear to my heart.

The time I sent my best buddy Bryan to New York, with all expenses paid and some cash spending money. Some of you may know the story of how this came to be, but this is an in depth look at the experience:

In the summer (2012) I saw a listing for a television show online called Operation Dream Vacation. After reading about it, and learning that I could have the opportunity to send anyone in my life on their dream vacation, I started thinking about who would be best. I thought about my mother first, but decided that she really goes anywhere she wants for the most part anyways, so I scratched that. I thought of my sister but wasn’t sure if it would conflict with her job or her schooling, so I decided to think of more people that are deserving, I thought of my girlfriend, the one I was spending every day swooning over, and would love to give her such a gift, but decided that because of the closeness between us, the producers would probably not even look at the write up and suggest I take her on our own vacation.  Then it hit me, my friend Bryan! Bryan had never been anywhere of Canada since I met him years ago. Bryan has a passion for street photography so right off the bat I thought New York City would be perfect.

So I wrote in to the show, telling them what I knew about Bryan, our relationship as friends, and why I thought he was so deserving of such a reward, and life changing event. After I sent the message, I was waiting impatiently, checking my email every day for a reply. A reply that I thought would never come. After a month I gave up and continued to live life, focus on school, and work. Then all of a sudden I get a phone call from the TV show asking if we could do a phone interview. I was ecstatic!

On the phone interview, I was asked many more questions about Bryan, some I had covered in the email, some I had not thought of until it was brought up. I was asked where I thought Bryan would like to go and I suggested New York, among other places. I was asked to contact close family and friends of Bryan’s to see if they’d be a part of this great experience. After the phone call was over, I eagerly contacted his Brother Glen, and his Sister Kelli. Then I also decided to make contact with his roommate as well, since it would be great to have someone so close to him physically be part of the experience. Everyone agreed to be part of the experience and they all had to speak to the television show representatives and give their sides of the story. This was great because most of Bryan’s history was a blur to me, and nobody knows his childhood like his close family.  We were all nervous to this point, but as soon as we met the crew of Operation Vacation for our on camera interviews, those nerves instantly faded.

Everyone on set was super excited and positive. From the director to the assistant, the crew was full of great people. On Camera we had the city of Vancouver as our backdrop while we spoke about Bryan and his life. It was great telling people all about my best friend and his passion for photography. This is where things got really personal and we started speaking about more of the dark parts of Bryan’s life. Things like his father, and the death of his grandfather, and (thanks to me) the relationship he lost two years ago and is still pained by.  I was, and still am, looking forward to seeing the show in action, and seeing myself and everyone else involved on television.

After these interviews, we were up and running, only a couple more weeks and we were on camera as a group being interviewed by the hosts of the television show. It was this day that we were given the chance to decide who was deserving of going on the trip with Bryan. This was a choice we ultimately decided we couldn’t make, and figured we would allow Bryan to chose on a sneaky interview set up with Scott where the Director asked Bryan who he would go on vacation with if given the choice. The best part? BRYAN HAD NO IDEA!

Soon after his decision was made we were on set to do a group interview again.  The set interview is where we were given a choice of where Bryan should go on his Dream Vacation between New York City, and Dubai, we decided the Big Apple was ultimately the best choice of the two. It was a hard choice ultimately for me, as Bryan could excel with his photography anywhere in the world, I am certain of it. This was the day everyone else discovered that Scott was picked to go on the trip with Bryan. Certainly, I was disappointed, I would’ve loved to go with Bryan just to see his excitement and amazement as he landed in the Big Apple right up until him leaving. However, I was very excited for Scott as well. Scott is also a photographer so I knew he would be able to take advantage of such an opportunity as well.

The next destination was at Bryan’s bosses house where it was set up that all of Bryan’s closest friends, family, and co-workers would wait there until Bryan was brought over for the surprise. We waited impatiently, and practiced the unveil as we would only have one chance to make it perfect. We talked to each other, and did more interviews, being a more recent friend of Bryan’s, I got a chance to meet some of his older friends from Langley, where he grew up. We all chatted and had lunch together until Bryan got there. I was so nervous!

As I watched Bryan come up the steps of where we were waiting I watched his face go from excited to confused and everything in the middle. He later told me he was scared it was a photography intervention as a joke. He knew nothing until this point, but this is where it was unveiled that he was going to New York City, and he was leaving tomorrow! This is where we all shared laughs, and tears, and we were all just very proud to see everything come together so well, and to be seeing Bryan off on a new stage of his life.

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Bryan and Scott were off to New York.

This is where I thought about what it means for Bryan. The fact that this is all for his photography is one thing, him getting to see a new city to make his stomping ground is another thing, but the main thing to me at this point is the coverage. Bryan Mollett photography will be seen across Canada, America, and other parts of the world. This means the most to me. I’ve been a part of, and a huge fan of Bryan’s photography and I couldn’t be more proud to share it with the world. Sure, I didn’t get a trip out of the deal, but I changed someone’s life for the better, and that is something I will die proud of. Bryan and I will always be best friends, and I’m glad to have given him the opportunity to take the next step towards the future.

Operation Vacation will be on television in Canada and America, and parts of other nations. I look forward to seeing it, and I hope you all get to see it as well. Until then, give Bryan your support by checking out his photography page and seeing his trip to the Big Apple, New York City!

http://bryanmollett.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/a-trip-to-the-big-apple/

Here’s a link to the Television shows Facebook page, Show us your support by liking it:

http://www.facebook.com/ConvergentProductionsVacation

This is a picture of me and two of my requested Bryan Mollett photography prints. I am very proud to hang these on my wall

Valve Glass?

Today I will be doing two or three blog posts. This is because there’s a lot I’ve been meaning to cover, but I’ve been  extremely busy with the new semester at Douglas College. This first blog is going to be about Valve and their step in a new direction.

 

For those of you that don’t know valve, you’re probably a member of the baby boomers, and I apologize for making you feel ill informed, but I shall enlighten you nonetheless. Valve is a video gaming company that specializes in computers, and has THE GREATEST online store for PC and Mac games anywhere called Steam. Valve has always been about taking big steps, not just in their games, but into the next world of gaming starting now.

Valve recently released a beta to what it calls “Steam TV”. This basically has your computer hooked up to your television and allows for the use of controllers a la xbox, ps3, etc. This idea is a step in a new, uncharted direction for valve, but I am sure it will work out just fine for them. Earlier this year, and even last year, people assumed that Valve was working on a top secret console on their owns, however, I believe this beta is the closest thing to that without the people being correct. Touche Valve, touche. However, people were right to ponder the typical console theories as Valve has indeed been working on some new hardware. The news about this hardware has recently been released on Kotaku, IGN, and various other great video gaming news websites, as well as The New York Times, and more. What was released is not only revolutionary, but it is what gamers have been dreaming of for many, MANY years.

 

Valve is moving into the realm of a gaming headset. What this means for gamers, as well as… well… basically everyone, is basically a step towards virtual reality. How many people can say they wish they could just put on a headset and be whisked away to another place while on break at work, or naptime for the kids? Probably everybody. This idea really takes what Google started with their Project Glass (which I brainstormed previously) and takes it in a new direction. I am excited as a millennial that in my life time, not only will this technology be released, but it will ultimately be perfected within my life as well I imagine. I am very excited for the future, and can’t wait to follow Valve on this project in particular, as well as future groundbreaking projects that I am sure will come from them as well.

For more news on Valve, follow me on Twitter @Duffladcyre to be kept up to date.

 

Technology Breakthrough.

The advancement in technology in the last three decades has been very rapid. Not only has it made things simpler in being more complex, but it has DEFINED a new generation. That generation, of course, being MY generation. This is our voice. This is the MILLENIAL PERSPECTIVE.

Technology has come a long way since the radio. Fifty years ago, nobody would have dreamed of  a network connecting the world creating THE global village in the internet. Our parents never would have thought about having a world of knowledge at our fingertips. Geologically in fact, approximately 200 years ago we had nothing for technology really, and what is 200 years in the lifespan of mother earth? Pretty much nothing. It is ASTOUNDING how far we have gotten in such little time.

Technology, specifically the most recent stuff (as it is changing every day) has made life simpler. Specifically the cell phone category. Cell phones have basically become portable computers with more going for them. My iPhone, for example, can do ALMOST everything my laptop can, plus make calls and text messaging. I can do my online banking while I am at the beach, I can check the news while I am on break at work, I can check my email on the bus, and read ragecomics while I lay in bed. People do not give enough credit to this advancement of technology, but everyone admits to one thing: They Love It.

More complex than the advancement of phones however is the even more recent breakthrough of the Cloud. The Cloud is very complex to the most of us (specifically our parents, the last Analog generation) but to simplify it, it binds all our devices into one storage location. Usually this is done through accounts, i.e: Logging into my itunes account on my laptop will bring up the same things on my iphone, my desktop, my ipad, etc. This is the ultimate in connectivity, and is certainly the future of technology.

Imagine, if you will, using the Cloud for employment, for example. Files of employees can be saved to this network, and when these employees go on to do better things, their files move with them, this may even eliminate job hunting, and may actually allow employers to find the exact employee they are searching for just by clicking a few buttons. This same system could go into policing, making the law easier to uphold worldwide, preventing criminals from running.

Certainly video gaming will adopt this technology, and in fact it has already in SONY. The Playstation 3 works on an account system similar to other Cloud devices, and so, this allows Sony more room to expand with future (and present) projects. The Vita being the newest addition to a great franchise. You can be playing a game on your PS3 one minute, and pick up right where you left off on the Vita on your way to work (if you’re busing, I don’t suggest driving and trying this). Sony if the founder of the new generation of gaming because of this, and will lead the charge for many years to come.

With this technology, however, does come with some potential of terrorism. Hacking specifically. For example, The Playstation Network was crippled by hackers in 2011, however, since then Sony has strengthened their security and hasn’t had any issues since. However, hacking is something that scares everyone who understands it, but for those that don’t I will simplify it for you. Hacking enables anyone with the determination and knowledge of programming (among other things) to access your device, network, etc. And do what they wish with it. Stealing documents, adding viruses, depending on the ability of this hacker, they could do anything with your life, in this future of technology. This is the future of Terrorism moving into the next generation, and cloud technology, and companies are aware of this, so they are coming prepared. Companies know not to bring a knife to a gun fight when it comes to their consumer being at risk. So do not fear the Cloud, embrace it, but don’t forget where we came from.