The Party Season

images1In these tough economic times, salaries and bonuses are likely to be trimmed severely, especially those companies that are struggling to make a profit or those desperately trying to improve their balance sheets. Company Christmas parties have been shelved, at least for this year to save expenses. Our company is no exception. Every year we hold a Christmas dinner dance at a first class hotel but this year, it is cancelled. Now several groups within our company are organizing Christmas parties and I have been invited to four of them ! The bad news is, the revelers have to foot the bill so every attendee must contribute money 🙂 Dang, 4 parties is too much for me to attend, let alone the availability of time but I decided to attend two parties – my own department’s party and our division party.

Our business partners also invite us to parties organized for their customers like us. One account rep had been calling me up to confirm my attendance at their Christmas bash. Last Friday I received an email from him informing me that the party had been cancelled. Yikes, that was a bit embarassing don’t you think? Before you circulate invitations, you bloody make sure that you work out the finances ! I didn’t bother to ask why the cancellation but clearly it was done haphazardly and in poor taste methinks.

Consumer spending is anticipated to be down this holiday season. But seeing the malls packed these days, I’d be curious to know the decline percentage. Stores have been marking down their items so attractively that as a buyer, you’d wonder if you’ll see these prices after the season. Today I saw a Sergio Leone original DVD pack with 4 of Clint Eastwood’s famous spaghetti western movies for $29 bucks with a voucher of $15 for gas as freebie. How can you possibly beat that? 😉 I’m quite sure more crazy deals are in the offing for those who plan to do their shopping on the 24th 🙂


THE WINNING CAMERA- Canon SD500 Scores a Pacquaio-like Upset

canon1I hate lugging around with a camera bag. Seriously. I’ve been really wanting a small but powerful compact camera, one that I can stick into my pocket and take quality pictures when a photo moment arises. I had been scoping out the Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ5 as my Xmas present to myself but my brain keeps telling me – “you don’t need the darn thing kid. You have a bigger camera and you didn’t even learn all it’s functions yet”. Alright 🙂  Just as I was about to can the whole idea, my craving had been rekindled when the 2008 Global Metro Photo Challenge in Toronto was won by a diminutive point and shoot camera, a Canon SD500 . The theme of the contest was Urban Jungle.  Man, when you think that there were 55,000 entries from all over the world the win is  truly a gargantuan upset.  An aspiring young photographer – totally low budget with his little point and shoot camera and plastic $20 tripod waits for hours to take a shot of the tram car in the early morning hours to create the winning shot. Check the amazing story here.  One heck of a great win really. For his effort the winner gets $2000 cash and a trip to Paris plus a spanking new Nikon 700D camera worth $5,000. Now that is a real dandy camera. You would definitely need a pretty decent knapsack to lug it around 🙂

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