FujiFilm FinePix XP120 Review

One of my roles as a parent is to provide a better life for my children than my parents could for me. And we’ve done okay so far—the older one’s already visited four countries, the younger carries a Bluetooth speaker around like it’s his own personal device, and with new toys coming in regularly, the world’s pretty much their oyster!

But it’s not all about the things you receive—I want to give my sons plenty of opportunities to develop themselves as well, and it turns out Fujifilm Canada presented a perfect opportunity to do it!

The FujiFilm FinePix XP120 — For When You Want to Teach Your Kids Life Skills Without Worrying About Them Breaking Stuff.

Just as many parents start their kids on piano at a young age, I wanted to give the boys early exposure to a skill I know well and introduce them to the world of photography.

I wish my first camera looked like this!

I remember getting my first camera around 12 years old, a little green toy camera that introduced me to the world of photography and the stories it held. And I wouldn’t know it then, but that’d take me down a 20-year path that’d teach me how to develop my film. Own more than 15 cameras as I continued expanding my skills. It’d even help me build it up as an integral part of my life as a blogger, expressing myself not only through words but meaningful visuals as well.

My boys—though still very young—already show an interest in the art, trying their hands at posing and storytelling to see how it unfolds on the LCD screen. I think they’d love to get more hands-on with equipment to mould their ideas into reality, but who in their right mind would trust a three-year-old with a camera? They’re fragile. They’re complicated. And they’re expensive. Sadly, all things considered, it looked like my boys need to wait years before they can handle one themselves.

Or do they?

Monthly Wrap-Up — The January Thaw

When I became a father, many thought I’d have to give up blogging, too busy and tired to bother with social media and my life associated with it. Through 2013, I worried over everything I was giving up with a kid in tow — the parties, the swag, the food — everything that was part of “the scene”. I thought I’d fade into obscurity, becoming an urban legend of Toronto’s social media scene — a precautionary tale to those trying to mix family and Twitter, to show it’s impossible.

But January seemed determined to prove me completely wrong.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 41-50: Nostalgia, Nintendo and the Need to Clean

Somewhere along the road, I lost a week. Whether it was from an Icepocalypse in Toronto that displaced us from our home, leaving it without power for 30 hours; a nasty illness making it much harder stay jolly (and/or conscious) through the 4-day celebration that is our family’s Christmas; or simply underestimating the wealth of family and friends we have that wants to meet DoomzToo, I suddenly found myself at the tail end of December with entirely too much content left to write!

A sane man would quit, patting himself on the back for the best effort he could’ve possibly put out in a year, and rest on his laurels promising to do a better job the next year.

Unfortunately for me, no one ever mistakes me for a sane man.

In an effort to make up for lost time, I’ve written. Not the easiest when you have a son who refuses to sleep without being held after all the attention he got at Christmas, but in those 5-minute spurts where he isn’t fighting the urge to shut his eyes and catch some Zs, that’s what I’m doing.

So feast your eyes on the next instalment of my year-end wrap-up, and if I don’t manage to knock all these 100 stories out before we’re singing Auld Lang Syne on the 1st, just remember this — I left 2013 with a roar, not a whimper.

On with the show!

A November to Remember, Verse 4: Of Motive and Movember

Jim Sullivan, special guest speaker, sharing his story of surviving prostate cancer.

What’s the difference between a good person and the ones to be wary of? Or a good and an evil action? What helps us to draw the line between right and wrong in anything we do?

Reasoning. Intent. Motive.

Motive. Motive makes all the difference. It defines the things we do for personal gain versus those we do for people simply because we care about them. It’s why we look down on the common thief yet admire Robin Hood. Motive defines how we are perceived, always working in the background behind every decision we make.

So Is It WRONG To Be Selfish???

We can all be a little selfish sometimes — as seen from my notoriety for winning stuff….

Yesterday we took a look at selfishness. When I brought forth the idea that selflessness is completely possible, I got some interesting counter-points, like:

“There’s no such thing as true selflessness. The act of giving or pursuit to assist others is in and of itself a means of self indulgence.”

Justin Baisden

“Being selfish is an important part of our own survival. If we don’t always consider ourselves first, the probability of our own survival declines immensely. I don’t even know that it’s a bad thing. Our social conditioning throughout the ages is that the strong survive. ”

Zach Bussey

“Yes, people derive satisfaction from doing things that benefit others. But I think in many (if not most cases) we would do something “selfless” because we genuinely want to see someone else benefit/prosper/succeed.”

Erik Kingissepp

Summarizing:

  • everyone’s a bit selfish — so what?
  • we need selfishness to survive
  • selfishness  isn’t the root of the problem; the real problem is when our self-interests don’t align with the interests of the greater population

I’d agree with Erik, though, and would argue that motive is the key difference between selfishness and self-interest.

My reasons for being at The Big Give definitely started out as selfish — my notorious luck in full swing, friends had already told me that I’d be going home with a ridiculous amount of swag on top of whatever else I happened to win. To me, attending wasn’t even an option. But there’s a blurry line between our selfishness simply adding to our lives… and that selfishness negatively affecting the lives of others. It’s fine to do something for your sake alone now and then, but too much of it will make you unpleasant company to just about anybody.

With that said, the very next day, it was time to change the tune. Amanda Blake, a friend of mine, was throwing one of her After Work Drinks Toronto (#AWDTO) events,  where she’d asked me to attend as the official photographer. And because I like Amanda and the great person that she is, I said yes. But why else?

#AWDTO Movember Edition: Selflessness Is Possible

Family. Friendship. These are the kids of bonds where the entire idea of selflessness comes from. We’re taught from a young age that if we behave; if we do what we’re told — our actions will equal to rewards. But as we grow older, we discover the inequities in life. We find out that sometimes no matter how hard we try, we’ll see no improvements to our lives — sometimes there’re simply no rewards for the blood, sweat and tears that we put in!

The simple fact: it is so easy to get screwed over in life!

So why do we help if it’s unrealistic to expect anything for what we do?

Because we can be selfless. We can do things for others simply because we like them. And because this is completely possible, events like #AWDTO: Movember Edition can exist. Above, Zach pointed out that selfishness is important to our survival. But he also commented on the nature of selflessness and where we’re going next:

“[W]hen you’re able to consider others and give back… everyone goes “Hey that’s awesome good for you!” and we give praise… because we recognize that value in doing it. Our new world of having plenty (in Canada at least), is teaching us to do more… social good, giving back, charity, caring for others etc. 

Overnight will we all become charitable/giving/caring/selfless etc… no. Takes time to reprogram ourselves… but it is definitely taking hold in the collective consciousness.”

— Zach Bussey

 Giving a Little Mo’

In the course of 24 hours, I’d gone from seeing people clearly out for their own interests, willing to nearly trample one another to go home with a bit extra — to a different kind of crowd altogether. Some where there to support friends. Some to network. Some people eyed the prize table as soon as they came in. But the glitz was gone. The glamour was absent. In the end, there was just a room full of people just looking to have a good time.

And we would. We would meet new people We’d learn about the experiences of a prostate cancer survivor and why it was important to support the cause. Some of us would win prizes, all of us would leave a little changed — and I don’t think that anyone was worse off for it.

Not only did he help organize, but DJ Andrew Lo was on the 1s and 2s for the night’s party!

So if anyone tells you that we’re all inherently selfish, or say that everyone is ultimately out for themselves — I want you to remember this: a selfish world cannot work. If we all cared for ourselves alone and never for the people that we care about, society couldn’t grow. We wouldn’t collaborate. Ideas that need more than one person’s abilities wouldn’t happen as often. Humanity would stagnate.

We all need each other to keep growing in this world. So let’s all be a little less selfish and make it happen!

–case p.

Next in the series: That time when Casey and Sarah took a little break to cruise in the Caribbean and what it taught them about themselves and WHY they appreciate Toronto.

Social Media Week Toronto 2012

If you attended the events at Social Media Week Toronto 2012 (SMWTO for short) you may have seen me around. I was one of the guys with the fancy-looking cameras taking pictures of everything. And I mean everything. I was one of the SMWTO volunteer photographers! We sought out shots that captured the essence of what happens at SMWTO, whether it was a presentation in a boardroom or a pick-up game on the home court of the Toronto Raptors in the Air Canada Centre. (Yeah, you read that right!)

This was the second annual SMWTO, and while I didn’t participate last year, Reggy Sy‘s call for volunteer photographers reached my ears at just the right time! It was a fun week — I tested my gear in various settings, which was great practice for next month’s Big Trip!

It was also a long and challenging week, juggling the 9-5 and arriving on time, but you can judge the results for yourself! (These collections earned about 4,500 collected views the day I posted them.)

Image Collections

Social Media Week Toronto — Because You NEVER Know EVERYTHING.

For me, social media-related events are always interesting. As someone who isn’t from a PR/advertising/marketing background, I’m always learning something new I can take into my personal life and the things that I do as hobbies.

So while I’m happy my hectic week is over, I’m looking forward to the rest of 2012 and the opportunities that pop up when I’m not trying to earn a living!

–case p.