Tag Archives: canada

Top 10 Things to Do in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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If you’ve ever planned to visit Calgary, Alberta Canada, you likely wondered what there may be to see and do. Why not get ideas from a local, instead of just a standard web search of “attractions”? Austin Q emailed me from the heart of Calgary, a place he loves to call home. He came up with his list of top 10 recommended places to visit in Calgary after reading my blog post of places to visit in Seattle. Following are Austin’s recommendations:

  • Canada Olympic Park – This is where the 1988 winter Olympics were held. There are many things to see and do here, and a lot of activities you can take part in if you choose. They offer a variety of lessons, such as Skiing and Mountain Biking.
  • Calgary Stampede – This is heralded as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. The Stampede hosts the world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs.
  • Banff National Park – While this park isn’t located in Calgary, it is nearby. Here you can explore the Rockies, and take in the breathtaking scenery. There are 2564 sq miles of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers, making it one of the world’s premier destination spots.
  • Calgary Zoo – The Calgary Zoo is quite large, and boasts a large variety of exhibits. You’ll find all the traditional zoo animals here, along with sections dedicated to the animals of far-away places such as Africa and Australia. There’s even a section for Prehistoric animals!
  • Calgary Tower – While this may not be the largest tower in Calgary, it is still the Calgary Tower. It is the City of Calgary’s most famous and identifiable physical landmark. Travel up to the Observation Deck and step out onto the glass floor! You’ll be standing 525 feet above the ground in the heart of Calgary. You can look straight down and directly out in front of you into the heart of the city.
  • Aero Space Museum – Learn the stories of the trailblazers who dreamt of flight. Discover the pioneers who adapted aircraft for trade and recreation. Be inspired by the heroes who fought for Canada from the skies or, by the adventurers who set their sights to outer space.
  • Calgary Flames – Join the C of Red, watching an NHL game. Calgary is one of the most hocky-driven cities in the World. A word of caution – never try to get between a local and their view of the game!
  • Calgary Oval – All ice skating events during the 1988 Olympics were held here, in the first covered speed skating oval in North America. You can ice skate, play hockey and even take lessons here.
  • Youthlink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre – This is a very cool place that allows kids and teens a look into what being a policeman (or woman) is all about. They can learn about forensics, crime fighting, and more.
  • Tour the Rocky Mountains – I didn’t include a specific link, as there are many different guided tours available. The scenery in and around the mountains is just incredible, and something you won’t want to miss.

Thanks Austin for this excellent list! If I ever make it to Calgary to visit, you can bet at least some of these places will be on my must-see list! Search the Internet on your computer and let me know which places you’d like to visit!

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Are my Canadian Friends Getting an iPhone?

If you’re in Canada, you’ve likely heard about the outrageous amounts that Rogers is wanting to charge people for use of the iPhone. Some people are refusing to get an iPhone just because of this, while others are being quite outspoken. Here’s what some of my friends have to say about the situation.

Ouch. Sorry, Canada. – Hao Chen

I’m glad you saw this Chris, now you really know why I called you up to tell you how Canadians are not going to bother with the iPhone nor Rogers! – Michael Forian

Sucks. I’m on Rogers. ๐Ÿ™ – AJ Batac

Maybe the iPhone can be a positive thing to consumers to bring notice and hopefully positive change to the corrupt and greedy cell phone companies like Rogers. If I lived in Canada I definitely would not be buying an iPhone. Those plans are outlandish. ๐Ÿ™ – Chris Rodgers

I’m on Fido with an iPhone, which is owned by Rogers. My current plan is decent, but without unlimited data, the iPhone 3G loses its appeal entirely. – Granteezy

I agree with Granteezy. Will stick with my Blacberry Curve until I see the BB Bold. Then I will decide. Rogers data plans don’t look to appealing. – Stephen Kennedy via twhirl

Thanks for the links fotographic. This is exactly what I mean about the iPhone. I hope this creates a stir and people leave Rogers or really show their disgust with the cell plans and not buy the iPhone. – Chris Rodgers

Thanks for the info. I will hold off getting the iPhone, as much as I really would like to have one. I presently own Apple’s touch, so I will console myself with the features it has and use my conventional smart phone. – Nellie Root

I am an iphone user in Canada. I was eagerly waiting for the 3g iphone – even at this moment, I am tempted to get it irrespective of how ridiculously priced the plans are but I won’t because I don’t like being taken for granted and also, if I got for it, I am basically vountarily lowering my pants, bending over and asking Rogers to go for it – and do the same to others… – Kamath

gee I’ve only been saying this since Rogers first announced they were going tobe selling the iPhone but that doesn’t change the fact the Bell would have done the same thing if they were selling it. – Steven Hodson

If you live in Canada – or anywhere, actually – what are your thoughts?

Did you Work for your TN Visa in Canada?

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POST UPDATE: Just after this blog was posted, I received an email from Gulam Jamal, who works for TNVisaExpert. Apparently, there were a couple of not-quite-correct points in this post, and he wishes to share corrections with us. The corrections appear next to the proper points, in italics.

Jimmy Kuo writes: “The topic I want to talk about is having qualified Canadians working in the United States using a working Visa, called the TN. There are many Canadians stopped from crossing into the US, and there are many reasons for this. Here are some tips to help make sure you have everything you need to be able to obtain your TN, and work in the US.”

  • View the NAFTA TN Visa profession list before applying work in the U.S. Make sure that the program you graduated from (and the company that hired you) already fits into the appropriate fields . If your degree is not in the list, there is no way of getting a TN work Visa to work in the States. However, there are two NAFTA professions that do not require a degree: Management Consultant and Scientific Technician.
  • The main requirement for a TN Visa is to have a University degree related to the profession on the NAFTA TN list. (ex. Bachelors of Science, EE, MIS etc.) Without a degree, there is no chance of acquiring this Visa at the U.S border.
  • Another vital piece of information to provide to customs is an offer letter from the company that has hired you after an interview. In instances where proof of work experience is required. Without an offer letter, you cannot prove to customs that you’ve been accepted to work for the company in the States. The letter must contain your period of employment within the company (maximum up to 12 months of the date of hireโ€ฆ again renewable), and the Salary you will be making. It must also have a signature of the employer. The candidate must contact his employer to make sure they cite these important points on the offer letter.
  • You must write a letter about yourself to convince the customs agents as to why you are suited for the job. They need a good reason as to why you are better than others already IN the United States, so to speak. Typically, I’d give a list of set skills that will involve some programming languages and projects I’ve worked on to benefit the company I’ve just been accepted to.
  • Getting a letter of reference from past employers related to the field you’re applying for will definitely help make their decision of allowing you to get a TN.
  • This is the toughest part of getting a visa which will make or break a decision whether or not to allow the applicant to be awarded the work Visa. No matter how long it takes at the border… stay CALM. It’s best not to show your nervousness. Otherwise, they may suspect that something isn’t right, and deny your Visa application… even if everything is in order. Dress professionally! You are applying for a business work Visa, after all!
  • Remember be Prepared. Be prepared with your documentation and be prepared for the border process.

For more information, check out the article from the TNVisa Experts.


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Food from Canada!

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Ok, so I may not be able to pronounce most of this… but Allan helped me! You guys are all going to make me fat. Every time I get a new list of favorite foods from different regions, I want to try them all!

  • Nanaimo Bars If you happen to be in British Columbia, stop by the city of Nanaimo… which is where this dessert gets its name. These are great. They are basically a crumb-chocolate base with vanilla buttercream as a filling, and soft chocolate on top.
  • Sugar Pie/ Tarte au Sucre If you’re in Quebec, a stop by one of the many Sugar Shacks (where maple syrup is made) is in order. Be sure to try some “Tarte au Sucre”. This is essentially a sugar pie with maple syrup in it, and will satisfy any sweet tooth. After consuming the pie, it is recommended to go for a walk in the forest around the Sugar Shack to avoid subsequent cardio-vascular problems.
  • Montreal Smoked Meat Again, if in Quebec, Motreal is known for its great smoked meat. Montreal has many delis all around the city, and all of them boast some great smoked meat sandwiches.
  • Poutine Alright, so I like Quebec (I live in the province). Although I don’t really like this dish, its popularity is unmistakeable. It’s made of French fries with warm gravy and melted cheese curds. This fast food is extremely popular in Quebec, and will satisfy any humger. It can even be eaten as a full meal.
  • World Flavours Canada is a cultural mosaic, and this proliferation of different cultures gives us a score of great restaurants serving up ethnic dishes. From the family Italian “Trattorias” to be found in Montreal, to the world class Asian restaurants of Vancouver, you can find any food you crave. Granted, some restaurants are better than others, but there’s one to satisfy every taste.


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Worst Blogger at Northern Voice

I attended Northern Voice, physically – but I’m afraid my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders. For that, I deeply apologize to everyone there. NV is the one event I look forward to attending every year (not just because of its close proximity, not just because I love Vancouver, but because it’s my chance to meet friends and make new ones).

Since the week before our wedding in December, Ponzi and I have been running ourselves ragged with getting our new house in shape – not to mention, I’ve been juggling projects for the past couple of weeks (burning the Midnight oil). I can’t think of a single night in the past month when I haven’t hit the sack before 4AM. Ponzi decided it would be “wise” for us to pull an all-nighter, trying to get our various window treatments in place before heading up to Canada for Northern Voice. At its core, that was a great idea – because you’re seldom interrupted by external events in the middle of the night. However, it turned out to be a horrible idea – because I was running on Empty at the conference.

So, to my friends and loved ones at Northern Voice: if I came across as rude, cranky, mean, offput, or generally unbearable (beyond Pirillo-normal), I apologize profusely. I was, without a doubt, the absolute worst blogger at Northern Voice.

Victoria, Victoria

Alas, this week is winding down. We’re on our way to Victoria, British Columbia – that’s in Canada, for all of you who aren’t familiar with the name or territory. I’ve only been on the outskirts of Victoria, spending most of my BC time in Vancouver. I hear they have wonderful gardens in Victoria, actually – but I’m not sure if we’re scheduled to see any of ’em. Ponzi’s signed us up for some kind of tour and “high tea.” Guess that means we’ll be riding around in a bus with our pinkis extended? I wouldn’t mind traipsing through Victoria’s gardens, actually – it must be a shutterbug’s paradise. There’s not a cloud in the sky this morning – nothing but ocean outside our stateroom window. We have a western view for the moment, and that scenery won’t likely change until the evening hours when we roll into port.

I’m sipping my way through an espresso in the Neptune lounge again. It’s bitter, but at least it’s keeping me from getting a caffeine headache. My body has treated me rather well this week. I got slapped with dizziness only once, after a shot of Southern Comfort and a few puffs of a cigar late one night. I didn’t get seasick, and I never really felt the need to recouperate in the middle of the day. The schedule is a little wonky on this, the last day of our Alaskan cruise. Everything winds down not long after we return to the ship from our Victorian excursion. Passengers are expected to be fully packed by Midnight, placing tagged luggage outside their respective rooms well before our arrival time of 7am. All things considered, I’m happy to be returning home in the morning – we’ll have a full weekend to catch up and prepare ourselves for the coming week.

Ah, vacation. You’re almost over! Thank you for delivering wonderful experiences and fantastic company. Holland America did fine by me, too – especially with wireless Internet availability (which came to me courtesy of Pluggd). I didn’t capture our time in audio, but I did take plenty of photos – and this trip was certainly a visual smorgasbord. Would I recommend an Alaska cruise to anybody? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely.