A summer that brought fishing back in my life

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Over this summer I spent more time fishing then I did in the last 10 years combined. It use to be something I did all the time, pretty much every weekend (or day in August for Salmon). When I moved to southern Ontario I pretty much stopped fishing though. After getting out on a charter boat at the end of the summer last year I decided I need to fish so my kids learn how to fish and how much fun it is outside… even in the south.

It all paid off this past Friday when I took both the kids down to a spot in the Niagara area that we have been trying out every so often. The kids didn’t have daycare so I figured it was a good excuse to head out early and see what we can catch. It worked out great.

Catching fish

Besides small largemouth bass we picked up a nice sized perch.

Perch just caught

That perch found its way home, into the frying pan, and on to the plate of the kids.

Perch at home Perch being cooked
Perch about to be eaten

All in one day! I think this is a great experience for the kids. My son had the choice to throw it back or eat it and going by the plastic knife to the side he was more than interested in getting it on his plate. He did it all btw and I can still filet small perch easily and without waste ;)

It was a lot of work over the summer to find a place where we could find fish that weren’t Rock Bass and that we could eat. With the Grand River and all the creeks and streams in the area you can’t get access to them thanks to all the private property — that restricts you to a few spots that get a lot of pressure. Not to mention falling for all the stories you get at the fishing stores or on forums.

What we learned:

  • Lake Erie is an amazing fishery but it isn’t kids friendly unless you have a boat
  • The Grand River is a kid friendly river with unlimited small fish to keep kids entertained
  • What should be great fishing spots around Hamilton and Niagara, are and no one really fishes them in great numbers.
  • A worm and a hook is all you need.
  • A canoe will get you to some great small mouth Bass fishing inside of the Waterloo Region.

What’s next, not sure. I think I am about ready to start going for the bigger badder fish without the kids as the weather gets colder and wetter. Next year I definitely want a boat too. Thinking of starting blog only about fishing around here too as I learning to fish again and I am really annoyed with the fishing stores. Fishing is not an ‘open’ sport. People don’t share what they do or how they do it… I would like to do it differently.

Mentor a student entrepreneur while helping your startup

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Being a student at the University of Waterloo has one huge advantage over most other schools, Co-op. Startups have one huge advantage available to them available here in Waterloo, Waterloo students in co-op and the Small Business Internship Program along with a ton of other funding programs. From my perspective at VeloCity there is no better mentorship opportunity for students wanting to break into the startup world than by working for a startup.

However, it is not that easy for startups to stand out and be found by students — there is a lot of competition and with companies like Yahoo!, RIM, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and more posting jobs startups need to market themselves. On top of that, it is really hard to startups to get the timing right and navigate the co-op hiring process at the University. It’s not the fault of the process but more the nature of a fledgling business balancing a lot of demands meeting the deadlines that are at the start of each term.

Through VeloCity I want to help startups find good students to work with and I want the students to have the opportunity to gain some great experience working with a startup in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, San Francisco, etc. What I ask is that startups take a moment and fill out some basic information first (at the end of the post or use this link). From there go over to the Employer Manual on the CECS site and read up on hiring a student. You will need to follow their process to get a job posted.

Next VeloCity will follow-up with you. Once you have a job posted with CECS we will need to share that job posting number with students so they can find it faster.

What we plan to do is create a list for students at VeloCity to see right at the start of each term so that the company names are front and center. We will also send out the list of students (and some recent grads) that have been in VeloCity. We will share the details as we get them and keep them informed. The last thing is that we will develop a poster for campus that can feature startups and working for them.

What is asked in return…

We have the following topics that need speakers on the specific dates at 4pm:

  • A Start-up Life, Sept 20
  • Starting a Business, Sept 27
  • Building a Team, Oct 4
  • The Pitch, Oct 18
  • Selling your Product, Nov 1
  • Financial Management, Nov 8
  • Raising Money, Nov 15
  • As well as networking lunches at the Bomber every other Wednesday starting on September 22nd that it would good if you (by you I mean the founder(s), CEO, etc) could try and attend at least one. There is also are start of term BBQ on September 20th and would encourage you to come out that night.

    University of Waterloo President is Canada’s next Governor General

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    A few minutes of being important
    Unless you are completely disconnected from the news in Canada you must have seen that David Johnston will be the next Governor General of Canada. I think the atmosphere in Waterloo at the moment is nothing short of great pride and excitement that someone that is such a great community leader is being recognized for what is one of the highest profile positions in Canada.

    From my perspective I think it inspiring that a person that grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and worked the steel plant in his youth (only first heard him tell that story a few months ago) has taken a long path through academia, family life (he has a lot of daughters), and still works his farm just outside of Waterloo is now the next Governor General of Canada.  The University of Waterloo will certainly miss him and the person who thinks they can try and fill his shoes on campus just had the bar raised pretty darn high.

    An email went out to all the folks on campus today and I haven’t seen it online yet so I thought, since it is so well written, I would share it here and link to it whenever it ends up online (Friday July 9th’s Daily Bulletin has extensive coverage and links to other articles). Should add, I am a bit happy to see VeloCity listed as one of the things he is proud of around here ;)

    Earlier today, President Johnston informed the university leadership about his appointment as Governor General effective October 1, 2010. He noted that he will continue as uWaterloo president until September 30.

    “My wife Sharon and I are honoured to be asked to serve Canada in this way and will miss the Waterloo family enormously, but we will not be far away,” he said.

    “ I am a teacher as are my only brother and my sister. All five of our daughters are public servants. All the important things in life I’ve learned from my children. This is just one more lesson.”

    While he is excited about the new opportunity in his life, he says there is still “much to do at uWaterloo between now and Oct 1. I want to devote an enormous effort to bring Campaign Waterloo home in splendid fashion and will count on all of you to ensure a smooth and vigorous transition to my successor.”

    During his 11-year tenure at the University of Waterloo, David Johnston oversaw unprecedented growth in the university’s reputation, research capacity, and leadership capabilities.

    Of his many accomplishments, he will be especially remembered for:

    • Putting the University of Waterloo, and the surrounding region, on the national map as a centre for talent, ideas, and innovation.
    • He led Campaign Waterloo, which raised in excess of $500 million to support the university’s scholarship, students, and key building projects.
    • The Institute for Quantum Computing, founded in 2002, has become a leading centre for development of ideas that may lead to a revolution in how we store and transmit information, among many other things. The institute moves into the $160-million Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum Nano Centre in 2011, one of five current major building projects underway on the uWaterloo campus.
    • Leading research groups have formed and grown under President Johnston’s tenure, including the Water Institute, The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WATCar), and the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change. Research funding for the university has nearly tripled in this decade from $61 million in 1999 to $170 million in 2009.
    • He has encouraged talent and ideas through VeloCity, the university’s unique “dormcubator” residence for student entrepreneurs, and the Accelerator Centre, which provides a fertile environment for start-up high-tech firms developing new products and services.

    Demonstrating the value and impact of collaboration among academics, government, philanthropists and business to boost community building and economic development.

    • 2001 saw the launch of Waterloo’s Research and Technology Park, a 100-acre development on the university’s north campus supported by the City of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo, and the provincial and federal governments.
    • The university’s School of Architecture opened in a renovated silk mill in downtown Cambridge in 2004, a partnership of the university, local business leaders, the City of Cambridge, the Region of Waterloo, philanthropists, and the provincial government.
    • Waterloo’s health sciences campus, anchored by Canada’s only co-op School of Pharmacy that opened in 2009, was made possible through the investment and vision of the City of Kitchener, the Region of Waterloo, the provincial and federal governments, and the university.
    • Ground will break this fall for a new Stratford Campus focused on digital media, a joint project of the City of Stratford, corporate partners including Open Text, the university and the provincial and federal governments.

    Inspiring the community through his vision of a “Knowledge Capital” that has raised the sights of Waterloo to aspire to world leadership.

    • In 2007, the City of Waterloo was recognized as the world’s Top Intelligent Community by the Intelligent Communities Forum.
    • President Johnston’s vision includes a community where universities are innovative leaders, healthy living standards raise, investments in research and development transform, smart infrastructure is developed, and social innovation is championed.

    Championing experiential education and the university’s co-operative education program, the largest of its kind in the world, which nurtures Waterloo’s students’ ideas and teaches them how their ideas are their most valuable offering in Canada’s knowledge economy.

    • The William M. Tatham Centre for co-operative education and career services opened on the Waterloo campus in 2002, a building dedicated solely to supporting and growing the university’s co-op program.
    • Half of Waterloo’s undergraduate students are part of the co-op program, with 13,000 students matched with 3,000 employers world wide.

    A presidential search was launched earlier this year to replace President Johnston, who had been scheduled to retire from Waterloo in June 2011.

    In the interim, before his successor is chosen, the university’s Policy 50 will be applied, which gives responsibility to the Board of Governors, in consultation with the Vice-President, Academic & Provost and other senior university officers, to appoint an interim President to serve until the nominating committee has finished its work.

    Meg Beckel
    Vice-President, External Relations