Friday, December 13, 2013

How to capture time laps video of car ride or my drive to the office in one minute

Yesterday one of my friends in Azerbaijan posted a picture in Facebook, how was awful to drive in snowy conditions in Azerbaijan and called it hell. It gave me an idea to show him how my daily drive is. And I do not call it hell. Hell might be too hot, it is COLD...

For information road is 22 km and takes me 25-30 minutes to drive. I take back roads, therefore what you see in the video is rural areas. It was -18 C in the morning.

Now is the way how I did it. When I decided to do that I thought about a camera to capture a time laps. But after seeing the price I changed my mind. It was over $100. Then I remembered that I have an iPhone with camera))). Started looking for an app. And found different ones. Decided to go with the cheapest one and choose Miniatures which is for free. Then an issue for me was to mount my phone in the car. I was not going to buy it. Googled it and found that I can mount my phone to rear view mirror by rubber bands which you can find in every office. So, having an iPhone with the app and rubber bands in hand I took this time laps. Just do not forget to switch your iPhone to air plane mode to avoid disruptions. Let me know if you have any questions. And sorry for the quality, it is my first time laps.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How I found my fifth job in Canada or Declan Bird my recent hero

Usually most of immigrated bloggers write down how they managed to find their first job in Canada as I did before. However, now I am going to write down about my fifth job hunting in Canada)). One of guys moved to Calgary from Azerbaijan told me that I am hero as I managed to find 4 jobs in Canada when he was not able to find one. But last two years I was struggling to find a permanent position. For junior position I was overqualified and for senior positions my Canadian experience was not enough. Meanwhile I was not unemployed for long term. In summary I was unemployed in Canada only 3,5 months. And first month I decided to take a break after Ernst and Young. So actually I was 2.5 months unemployed, which is very good for a newcomer. During 2 years in Canada I changed 4 jobs, 3 of them were temporary and one permanent position which ended with being laid off. 

My last employer was Servus Credit Union which caused me to move back to Edmonton. My contract with them was until end of November 2013. They informed me in advance that they are not going to hire me permanently as I am overqualified for Senior Budget Analyst position they are going to open. So, I started looking for a job in early September. From my past experience I was aware that submitting my resume directly to companies is useless if you were not referred by a powerful "uncle". As I do not have such uncle here in Canada I decided to work with recruiters. Actually, I was employed through a recruiter, David Aplin at that time. It was my second assignment through them. In addition to David Aplin I met with several powerful recruiters in Edmonton market. All of them were highly interested in my profile. However, as David Aplin knows me better than others I was expecting them to arrange my next employment. At the end I was sure that I made a right decision by relying on them. Actually Doug Bristow, National Practice Leader assured me that he will not let me to be unemployed, at least he may arrange for me a temporary position. But most interesting discussions I had with Declan Bird, Senior Consultant. He actually arranged for me an interview with an oil & gas company in Nisku, AB. The interview process was so long... I had three phone interviews and two face-to-face interviews. But I had very positive feelings. Finally this company, which is Ironline Compression (formerly Exterran) offered me Manager, Financial Planing and Analysis position at their Nisku, AB office. And I accepted the offer. As I live in south part of Edmonton it takes for me 22 km or 25 minutes to drive to the office, which is acceptable. It is a reorganizing company which makes it extremely interesting for me.

If you are interested in David Aplin or would like to know Declan Bird, below is his video from youtube. I will highly recommend him as a recruiter to any company. In accordance with feedback I got from my new boss candidates provided by Declan were most professional ones. For myself I am pretty confident that if I need someone to hire I definitely first call to David Aplin!

How I purchased a DSLR camera in Canada or my new Canon T3

As I mentioned in my previous posts I was looking for a new camera long time. Buying a new digital camera was not a case. I decided to go in SLR shooting. As market of DSLR cameras has no so many choices, I was deciding between Canon and Nikon. I decided that I do not need expensive camera as I have no experience in SLR shooting. So my choice narrowed down to Nikon 3100 and Canon T3 which are starting points in SLR cameras. Another factor for me was image stabilization. Nikon 3100 with 18-55 mm VR lenses was for $480 and Canon T3 with a similar lenses was for $499. I decided to wait for discount season. Discount season in Canada and the US differs. Therefore, I had two chances: Black Friday of the US and Boxing Day of Canada. From my experience I know that Black Friday deals are more favourable for customers. So, I waited for Black Friday of 2013 which fell on November 29, 2013. Actually most of the retailer started offering discounts from Monday. Walmart offered Canon T3 with DC (non-IS) for $300 starting couple weeks before. However, I was looking for IS lenses. With IS lenses the price was $380. Decided to wait. The next offer came from Staples they were selling Canon T3 with 18-55mm IS lenses for $350. Price of Nikon 3100 with the similar lenses was $380. I decided to act. I visited Staples and bought a camera and additional 50 mm lenses for $130. 50 mm lens is good for portrait shooting. Do you believe my story ends here? No, not at all. As an accountant I decided to look at prices and see any fluctuations. When I came back home I noticed that sells 50 mm lens for $110. I printed the web page and went back to Staples for a price match. Staples refunded me $20. The next day afternoon when I checked price of the camera at the office I noticed that sells it for $330. Again I printed the web page, however, when I left the office the price went up to $350. Anyway I decided to give a visit to Staples with my proof in hands. What you think? They refunded me $20. So I bought Canon T3 with 18-55 mm IS lens and 50 mm lens for $440. My saving is $180 or 35%. Is that amazing?! So wait from me for pictures with better quality!

And here is some picture I took on this camera:

Forest at our neighbourhood 
My son Murad

Find me))

Still life
Finally got their Christmas tree
P.S. December 13, 2013 received Target's flyer at home. Canon T3 with IS lenses are for sale $300. Price match at Staples is 14 days only and as I bought my camera November 27th, 14 days was not working for me. However, I decided to make a visit to Staples. I said to manager that I am aware that 14 days passed but Target sells the same camera for $30 less. She said sorry but we cannot do anything. My next question made her to think. I asked : "Would you prefer me to return the camera and buy it from Target? Staples has 30 days return policy!". So, she decided to refund my $30. So, my final cost of  Canon T3 with 18-55 mm IS lens and 50 mm lens is $410. Is that cool?!))) Looking at offers from other retailers as my 30 days is still valid)))