Oodles going on right now. Such has been the message for the last few months, I suppose. I’ve been asked to photograph another prominent Liberal‘s visit to Calgary this week – tomorrow in fact. Justin Trudeau, arguably the next biggest celebrity MP to Michael Ignatieff within the Liberal caucus, is in town for a fundraiser and I’ve been asked to attend and take pictures.

I have my Canon 580 EX II now, which is great, though I’m not well practiced in its use yet. I’m still not convinced that my only options for optimal flash photography are in either full Program or full Manual modes.

My parents finished selling their Calgary home and have just today rid themselves of their final local possessions. They had a barn-burner of a garage sale this past weekend, selling wonderful nick-knacks and items of furniture at rock-bottom rates. Garage sales can be good that way. There are two types of garage sale: one is the stereotypical “we have way too much junk, therefore we’re going to purge some of our crap,” and then there’s the rarer version “we are moving and must sell everything we own this weekend.” I blissfully hope to never have to organize my own number one (fits within my ‘less but better’ mantra), and as a buyer, I prefer the latter. Those are the kind where you find great stuff for next to nothing.

I was drawn into action last week over a story on the radio about a promotion being put on by the Salvation Army and Gio’s Collections for Men. It involved appealing to Calgarians to drop off good-condition business and professional clothes (suits, dress shirts, slacks, etc) at Gio’s, for donation to the Salvation Army. Spokespeople for the program indicated that less fortunate people in town have a multitude of basic but forgotten challenges when it comes to getting jobs, or feeling confident about making positive strides in their lives, in that they don’t have dress clothes to fit situations like job interviews. One radio story told listeners about a man who had to attend a parent’s funeral wearing jeans and a dirty t-shirt. I totally sympathize, and wanted to help. This is one of those no-brainer, perfect-solution opportunities, and I applaud the Salvation Army for organizing the drive, and Gio’s for stepping up to assist. Besides, dress clothes “stop fitting” (politely put) or go out of fashion just like regular clothes, and the dilemma I’ve faced is asking where one donates a $2,000 suit to ensure it’s going to go to someone who really needs it? Gio’s offered a 20% in-store discount to patrons who donate clothes and I took advantage by replacing the shirts I donated. The charity wins, the clothier earns some customers and makes some money, and I get to donate unused clothes and save some money on new ones. Great stuff all around.

**PR tangent: it’s unfortunate to see that such a wonderful charitable cause doesn’t have a website or any source of information online, on the Salvation Army website, or anywhere. Had I not heard the story, my donation would have been missed, and now I, in all of my social and digital media omnipotence (kidding) can’t refer my readers to the cause either, save for telling the story.

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