Working with a Resume Professional is Sometimes the Best Choice

As someone who spends a good part of his day writing – blog posts, reviews, editorials, email, etc. – I pride myself on my ability to put words down in a cohesive, effective manner. So you’d think that when it came time to update my resume, it would be an easy task. Not so much. I don’t know if it was the fact that I’ve never been overly comfortable writing about myself, or if it’s that the idea of putting together a resume from scratch was extremely daunting. I hadn’t updated my resume in seven years, so when I looked at it and saw how outdated it was, I wasn’t sure where to start. I toyed with in for more than two months before accepting the fact that I needed help getting it done. Yes, there was a strong case of denial at work – and while I was initially reluctant to spend money on having someone help me write my resume, I finally accepted that it was the best approach.

I did a quick Google search for “resume writing” and saw an ad by Resume Lifesaver, a.k.a. Sarah Wright, and clicked on it. I found Sarah’s costs to be reasonable, her response time consistent, and she was an absolute pleasure to deal with – especially since I was an uncooperative client, often taking weeks to respond to her at the beginning. She also took the time to have a phone call with me to learn about what I wanted my resume to communicate. There’s something I find profoundly unpleasant about working on my resume, and she was patient with me while I slowly convinced myself to finally tackle this project.

If you’re looking for someone to help you write a new resume from scratch, update an old resume, or re-work your current resume for a new job, I can recommend Sarah Wright and Resume Lifesaver without reservation.

And here’s a tip: once you get your new resume, update it a couple of times a year with significant accomplishments and career milestones. Don’t worry about it getting a bit long – you can trim out the unnecessary stuff when it comes time to share it. You’d be surprised at how easily you forget some of this stuff if you don’t write it down!

The Future of Print Journalism

No front page news; only a big ad…

(to be fair of course, Metro is a freebie paper in Calgary, but the writing is on the wall for all newspapers…the iPad isn’t going to reverse the course they’re on).

The Story Behind My Epic Photo Book Review


I spent nearly my whole day on Tuesday promoting – via email, Twitter, forum posts, etc. – the longest article I’ve ever published. The topic? A 12-way photo book review. It weighs in at more than 15,000 words, has 87 images on it, and 12 videos. It’s the result of 7 months of work, and took every ounce of effort and willpower for me to complete. I’m one of those people who finds it easy to start projects, but sometimes finds it hard to finish them – and when you’ve got a project this big, with this many spinning plates, pushing through to the end can be a real challenge. One of the unfortunate themes for me in 2008/2009 was “review overload” – I took on too many things to review, said yes too many times, and as a result had far too many things on my reviewer’s to do list…and with this photo book review, I didn’t want to be the guy who requested samples from 12 different companies then doesn’t finish the review. Real artists ship, so I gritted my teeth and pushed through to completion. It was hard – really hard – but I’m glad that I made it through to the end. Continue reading The Story Behind My Epic Photo Book Review

President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

On a policy by policy basis, I’m sure I’d have some disagreements with President Obama, but I have a deep respect for his use of language, his skilled oration, and his powerful, moving style of  writing and that of his speech writing team (I’m unsure of exactly how much of his own speech writing he does). I haven’t seen speech writing this good in my lifetime, at least not that I’ve been exposed to.

Source: Placing his hand on the Bible once used by Lincoln, Barack Obama took the Oath of Office at 12:05 p.m. on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Immediately following, he delivered his Inaugural Address to a sea of flag-waving Americans, which stretched down the National Mall to the Lincoln Memorial and beyond. The full text of his address is below.

“My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.  I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.  The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace.  Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.  At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been.  So it must be with this generation of Americans. Continue reading President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

Chaos Reigns In My Office

The chaos and messiness of my office is directly linked to the number of review items I have on the go at any one time. Witness the disorder…usually I have next to nothing cluttering up my desktop except for the table section on the right of the U-shaped desk. Physical hardware items I’m currently reviewing: two new Zunes, an AT&T Tilt, a 6GB microSD, an iGo Juice everywhere85, a few software packages, and a few other items. I’ve got to stop asking for new things to review – I almost had my review queue empty, then the flood gates opened up…


More pictures after the break. I hope there’s nothing embarrassing left out. 😉 Continue reading Chaos Reigns In My Office

Ahh, It Feels Good To Be Finished This…


That shiny picture is of a Shuttle SD39P2, a computer that I’ve had for a few months now – I requested parts from Intel, Kingston, Western Digital, and of course Shuttle. Through a series of frustrating circumstances – defective hardware, problems with getting the parts I needed, then problems getting it all working – the article took months to complete. My own lack of motivation also played a role because at the start, I had such high hopes to get a comprehensive review out fast. I had contacted Intel, Western Digital, Plextor, XFX, Kingston – a bunch of companies, all giving them an outline of what I was doing and when it would be finished. Then it all fell apart…and as a writer, I tend to get de-motivated at writing when things fall apart. That starts a very negative cycle where because things went bad, I don’t want to write, and the longer I don’t write, the worse I feel about not finishing the writing project…and so it goes.

In the past year, I’ve had some products for review where I’ve had the product for eight months and still not written about it – it’s only recently (in the past two months) that I’ve gritted my teeth and blasted through some of those outstanding reviews. As embarrassing as it is to email a vendor eight months after receiving a product and telling them the review is finally finished, it’s better than looking at a table full of review products and feeling guilty that I haven’t written about them. Oh, the tortured soul of the geek tech blogger. 😉

At any rate, on Sunday I gritted my teeth and spent 12 hours working on my article on building a monster media editing machine, and 5654 words later, it’s all finished and published. What a great feeling to get it out the door! Now if only I can apply the same level of determination to the other articles on my To Do list…

Losing Momentum

There’s nothing worse for a writer, when you’re working on project, you get some momentum going, then you have to quit – and you can’t get the momentum going again. When I was working on my Zune review, I ran into a big snag with the software that ended up costing me about five hours out of my review day. I thought I could make it up, but I had to quit working on my review at 2 AM on the 15th, because I had a 6 AM wake-up call for a whole day of meetings on the Microsoft campus. I stumbled my way through the day, spent two hours getting to the airport in horrendous Seattle traffic (I hate that city sometimes, just for the traffic), made it home and was in bed by midnight. The next day, at a 7 AM dentist appointment, as consequently, didn’t get enough sleep and was like a zombie all day. That night I had a three hour music practice for a music/drama event that’s happening tomorrow (Sunday), and then on Friday I went to the library for a few hours and tried to work on the Zune review but didn’t make much headway. So I have two parts of the review finished, but the most important two (the actual device functionality) have yet to be written – and I’m leaving for a vacation to Hawaii next week! The clock is ticking, the Zune review needs finishing, and I’m writing on my blog. Back to the Zune…