Shutterbug (Again)

DSCN0015

One of the first items I received from my father, before his passing,  was a medium format camera which, sadly, over the years that camera has been lost. In an effort to get back in touch with a hobby that I enjoyed, I recently purchased a Nikon Coolpix B500 camera.

Now, I would not call myself a photographer by any means. I just enjoy taking pictures of the city that I live in (Port Huron, Michigan) and pictures of the events that happen in our area. Looking back on some of the photos I took in the last two days, it is a hobby in which I look forward to giving more time to.

By the way, the photo above is a shot of one of the many fine restaurants in downtown Port Huron. This is the Vintage Tavern. Originally shot in color, then a black & white filter was applied.

 

What a day for a daydream…

Night Sky in Port Huron

Got a surprise when I logged into my WordPress account earlier today. It has been almost 30 days since I sat down and wrote myself  letter! and in my eyes, that is for too long.

You only get what you give..

Well, it has been quite a 30 day period for me. Discovered some things about myself, and found myself becoming stronger as a person because of it and that is something that all of us look to be – just a little better and a little stronger than we were the day before. As for me, to that end, I have decided to return to doing something that I enjoyed quite a lot in the past. I allowed it to get away from me during the years I enlisted into the US Army. But, now I feel it is time to do it once again. Starting later this year, I will once again be playing the piano.

Nothing fancy, just returning to an enjoyable past-time. Now, there was a period in my past when I was the keyboard player in a local “Top 40” cover band and we played everything from Van Morrison to Prince!  And let me tell you, it was quite a bit of fun. Now, not going to be playing  in a band anytime soon, just looking to rebuild my technique and style.

Days of Wine and Roses..

Also, keeping me busy and allowing me to be able to pick up the type of keyboard equipment I wish to play on, is the additional source of income. As many of us are doing these days, I am not only an entrepreneur, but also returned to the field of customer service. This was not an light or easy choice to make, as I was hoping that my business would be able to sustain my very modest lifestyle. However, since I reside in a small town, the additional source of income will not only allow me to pursue my musical interest, but also will give me access to the necessary funds needed to keep my business up and running!

Well, for right now, that is about it. I know its a bit short, but there will be more after the weekend. And don’t forget, if you have BBC America in your channel lineup, be sure to watch the return of Doctor Who to airwaves this Saturday at 8:00 p.m.!

What a great three days!

Port Huron Yacht Club

Port Huron Yacht Club

5 Whole days of fun, excitement, music..oh, and boats too!

 

Wow! what a ride the past three days have been here in Port Huron, Michigan.  Our annual Blue Water Festival was this week with the kick-off being on Tuesday with the opening of the T.J. Schmidt Carnival.

This was followed by the Rotary Parade on Wednesday and then live music events each evening which all led up to the large party in our downtown area that we call “Boat Night”! If you have never been it is something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime!.

The whole week is actually a build-up to a rather large yacht race known as the Port Huron to Mackinac Yacht Race. And that in itself is quite the spectacle.

The parties, music, parades, and fun is all a little version of “Mardi Gras”, and even more so now that we have a Cajun style restaurant in the downtown area!

So, if you are looking for a great time and lots of fun next July, keep up with me, and I will let be sure to let you know when the party starts!

Have a great week and see you soon.

All work and all play on a Happy 4th!

Hoping that everyone is having fun and wonderful BBQ filled 4th of July celebrations wherever they are on this day! And if you are staying in to celebrate, don’t forget that on the Syfy Channel (http://www.syfy.com) is their annual “Twilight Zone” 4th of July marathon, over on Turner Classic Movies (http://www.tcm.com) the film version on the Broadway musical “1776” starts at 1:30 p.m. EST. Also, you’ve got NASCAR (http://www.nascar.com) over on Fox Sports Channel and keeping the kids busy over on Nickelodeon (http://www.nick.com) is the “Fairly Oddparents” , followed by “Fairly Oddparents:All Grown Up”!

If it is good weather in your area, like here in Blue Water area, you’ll probably find parades, fireworks, outdoor concerts and festivals, some farmer markets, and so much more. So grab your comfy shoes, pack a lunch for the family and head out!

If your day leans toward social media, as mine always does..lol!, then later on you can head over to my company’s blog at http://contentmarketingcreations.wordpress.com/.

There you’ll find hints and tips on how to use social media to help your business grow (quick tip: Ask your friends and family to “like” your Facebook and Google+ business pages) and what the latest trends are.

So again, have a great 4th of July, a great weekend, and we’ll “catch up on the flip side, Good Buddy!”

A Grillin’ we will go!

grilling

3 Days to get ready!

Can it be 4th of July already upon us? It appears that way!..lol In just three days, majority of backyards, beaches, and parks will be the scene of many a BBQ grills going, coolers full of drinks, large groups of people congregating and just all out fun!

The shopping rush is on and lines are deep at the store for BBQ grills, charcoal, and of course the food to go on the grill:

  •  chicken
  •  steak
  •  vegetables
  •  corn
  •  burger
  • hot dogs & bratwursts!

Day off? What day off??..lol!

Yes, a lot of people will have the weekend off and most companies will allow for a long weekend, closing early on Friday and not re-opening again until Monday. Not so for us in social media..we will work even on the holiday..lol! We will have the smartphone or tablet with us and will be checking it often, wet wipes we will carry with us, (no BBQ Sauce on the screen!), and in rare occasions, we may ask for “funny events” to be re-enacted due to the “light not being right”!

Just part of the day

So, if you have a family member or friend who is working in social media, marketing, public relations, or any field like that, just look at them at the end of the day on the 4th and say – “You’re making a family video of all the fun from today – right?”

Have fun, grill more than you can eat (makes for great left-overs!) and have a safe weekend!

Summertime equals employment time!

summer-jobs-heating-up-640x313

In most areas, summertime can either be the best time to find a job, or the worst time! For the best, a vast majority of the chain restaurants usually do their hiring due to an increase in customers. Some that I have noticed in my areas has been:

  • McDonalds
  • Burger King
  • Taco Bell
  • Tim Horton’s

The advantage to this increase is that, in areas where there is an increase in tourist traffic, you are more likely to get hired. Now, as we both know, there are two side to each coin, so let me say that in a “non-tourist” area, the likelihood of getting the job decreases and this is where job tools come into play!

1. LinkedIn

One of the most ever looked tools in your job search can be your LinkedIn account. And, if you do not have one, take a moment and get one. It’s free, it’s a great way to get professional connections, and can be invaluable in your job search. Once you have your LinkedIn account all set up and have made a few connections, you are now ready to use their resume building tool to help create a professional resume based on the skills and employment history you have listed. Just follow this link to get to the link! http://resume.linkedinlabs.com/

2. Google +

Google + (https://www.plus.google.com) is sometimes referred to as the “other social media platform”. But is some ways, they are more helpful in a job search than Facebook. Now, all your friends may not be on Google+ (which in a job search can be a good thing..lol!) However, what you will find on Google+ is a more business like atmosphere, and more groups geared toward helping individuals find a employment in their area. Another helpful area is Google Groups and Hangouts. This can be a great tool for long-distance job interviews and a way to connect with people in business.

3. Facebook

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com) can also be a great tool in the search for a job Whether it is a local job or f you are looking to relocate to a new area for a job. You can search and find many listing for jobs on many community pages that people set up to focus on job openings in certain areas. Now, a word of caution here – in searching for a job from Facebook, make sure that your Facebook account reflects the person you would like a perspective employer to see. (translation equals – “might be time to take down the “frat house party pictures”!..lol)

4. Indeed

Indeed.com (https://www.indeed.com) is major job listing board that you find jobs by typing in the zip code for the area that you are interested in. When the results come up, most of the employers will have a link to the website were you can fill out an application for the position that you are interested in.

5. Your College Career Office

Most colleges now days, has a career guidance office where recent graduates can take a look at employment opportunities in the area. The advantage of this approach is that some companies will list job openings with a college instead of placing them in newspapers employment section, because they are seeking a certain type of applicant for the job listed.

Don’t forget you can also use the summer to brush up on your technical skill set. A number of employers today expect job applicants to know how to correctly use a computer, have a understanding of basic math skills, and how to use popular office management programs, software, and technical skills such as:

  •  Microsoft Office
  •  Internet Explorer
  •  POS systems (Cash Registers)
  •  Knowledge of sending and receiving email from your “smart phone”
  •  HTML 5 (web design)
  •  Business communication and customer service skills

This is just a short listing and many of these skills can be learned by taking courses at your local college (some even offer free classes in the summer), your local library, or you can check out YouTube (www.youtube.com) also. For Microsoft Office training, if you sign up for an outlook email account (www.outlook.com), you can get access to Microsoft Office online (www.office.com) and take your own time using the programs to see how they work!

Well, hope this helps in your summer job search and some important things to remember are:

  •  If possible, always apply for jobs in the morning. Lets them know you can be counted on.
  •  Apply for the job as if you are ready to work! If applying for construction,  a “3-peice suit” is not necessary. Any customer service or retail job, Guys –  a button down shirt, khaki pants, and dress shoes can go a long way. Ladies – a nice blouse or top with a matching skirt, and comfortable shoes (if heels, make sure not too much of a high heel) can be a great way to show a professional look.

Hope these tips help you in the search for a summer job and may the summer job turn into a job that becomes a career for you!

Good luck and take care!

 

Never get to comfortable….

Mistakes of the past
When one gets to comfortable, that is when things tend to get uncomfortable. And nothing more truer than this week for me. After starting my own business of social media marketing, and building up many clients customer base through the use of various social media platforms, daily photo, text, and video postings, one of my largest clients made a decision to cancel the two contracts they had with me, due to a negative event ten years ago in my past.

Of course, being self-employed, this has also had an effect on my finances but, it has also given me resolve. For I refuse to let this set-back force me to stop doing the social media work that I enjoy. Yes, while it is true that I will have a need to seek additional employment, I will continue to push forward with existing business in my area and let them know my services are still available to them.

The abruptness in which the contracts were ended has left a “sour taste” in my mouth, so to speak, as many times in life and in business we are told “put the past behind you, and move on to improve yourself” and believe me, that is exactly what I was trying to do.

It’s not that the past needs to be forgotten, it is a choice that I have made not to continue to dwell on it.

So thank you for reading and following my journal and I believe that we are now getting to the best parts of it!

Have a great week and stay safe!