Author: David Lipton

About David Lipton

David Lipton is President and co-founder of Toronto based Sensors Quality Management Inc. (SQM).

SQM is a Toronto based company which assists organizations in improving their customer and employee experiences, by providing the truth. SQM offers its world-wide clientele a variety of programs and services, including: Mystery Shopping, Quality / Service Assurance, Market Research, Field Merchandising, Online Feedback, and Internal Audit Software.

David can be reached at 416-444-4491 or davidL@sqm.ca

Losing the Pillow Fight!

Photo of people having a pillow fight

This week’s blog is a little different than the normal ones I write about, as I’m going to vent about a new pillow trend that is getting on my nerves… and resulted in me losing my last pillow fight!

Over the last year and a half, I have spent a fair bit of time traveling across Canada and the United States. To my surprise, the motels and inns I have been staying at have updated (or should I say, downgraded) their traditional rectangular pillows with the small square accent pillows you would typically find on a couch (as the decor).

I personally find this somewhat frustrating, if not ridiculous, as these “new” pillows are very uncomfortable and make it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. And if that’s not enough, these pillows create an added dilemma, as one square pillow on its own is too flat and two layered on top of each other are way too high.

How am I supposed to sleep?

I know, I know….perhaps I can travel with my own pillow like Linus who went everywhere with his blanket… but my wife always encourages me to pack light…. so what is a man to do??

While I am not going anywhere over the holiday season, I warn those of you who are to beware of these fluffy, little troublemakers.

Have you experienced this at any hotels over the last year? Is this a new trend? Am I going crazy and just imagining this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

On that note, to all of SQM’s readers and followers, have a safe enjoyable holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

Sleep well!

 

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Leaside Volleyball Serves Up the Best League in the City

Photo of the Leaside Volleyball Clubs logo and court

Last year my daughter started playing volleyball at the Leaside Volleyball Club.  The league was recommended to me by the Ontario Volleyball Association, so I figured it had to be a good place to start learning about the game.  I was so impressed by the league that I wrote a blog about my experience and wanted to share an update with all of you today.

As my daughter continues to progress in the sport, I realize what a great team of coaches she has access to!  John Child, who played in three Olympic games and won an Olympic bronze medal in 2006, founded Leaside in 2010.  Since then, John has put together a great team of coaches composed of professional volleyball players such as Olympic, Pan Am, and varsity athletes.  In fact, one such Olympian who frequents the club is Heather Bansley, who competed in the 2016 Olympics in the women’s beach volleyball category.

Over the last year my daughter has improved significantly!  Today she is much better at serving, passing the ball, communicating with her team, and bumping the ball over the net to score a point for the team.  I believe my daughter and her teammates’ successes are due to the extraordinary coaches working at Leaside.  Without the extraordinary coaches, my daughter’s skills level would not be where it is today.

At Leaside, the winter season is less busy since some members pick up winter activities like skiing.  This makes it the perfect time of year for beginners to join in on the fun so they can get a little more instruction time and improve their skills before the spring season.  The winter session begins January 8th and I believe the league has already opened online registration.  In addition, they also have a New Years Skill Development clinic from January 2-5, 2017.

For anyone who’s son or daughter has expressed an interest in learning how to play volleyball, or for those that want to take their game to the next level, I highly recommend looking into Leaside Volleyball.

Leaside Volleyball Club
leasidevbc@gmail.com
www.Leasidevolleyball.com

 

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Samsung Just Pulled Me Into the 21st Century

Photo of a Samsung Galaxy S7

Some people might have read in my previous blog posts that I am a big fan of Blackberry. Up to last spring, I was using a very old Blackberry device, and for the most part, while I was with Blackberry, they took really good care of me both with tech support and overall customer service. Unfortunately, Blackberry has changed over the last few years, and it more recent times it became evident that it was time to consider other devices.

During the last few years, I have also put up with a growing list of friends and family who were constantly making fun of my older Blackberry. In fact, my sister-in-law would even make fun of me for using my device because I still called it a phone and didn’t understand the power of what I could do with modern day technology.

A few months ago, after hemming, hawing and researching the subject to death, I finally took the plunge and moved to an android device. In particular, I ended up buying a Samsung Galaxy S7. I know Samsung has been having issues with their Galaxy Note 7 but my research showed me the Galaxy S7 would be a good investment. Within minutes of setting up my device (with the help of my sister-in-law), I realized she was absolutely right! Boy, was I missing out big time… there was a whole new world out there! Whether it’s getting news and sports updates, being able to quickly check the weather, making free long distance phone calls (using Skype and WhatsApp), navigating our congested roads, price matching or finding deals, there is an app for everything!

If my calculations are correct, the amount of money I have saved through price matching and free long distance calls has already more than aid for the phone. In addition to these benefits, the phone is constructed extremely well. It has an amazing camera that creates beautiful photos (who needs a $1000 camera anymore?), is great on speaker phone, looks nice and has an amazing charger that charges my phone quickly so I don’t have to sit there for hours to get my phone up to a 100% charge.

Despite the recent issues surrounding the Galaxy Note 7, I recommend a Samsung product if you are looking to update your phone. For full disclosure, I have done business with Samsung in the past but this had no impact on my decision to purchase the device, or share my experience.

Samsung
1-855-254-4747
www.samsung.com

 

 

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What Does Saving the Rain Forest Have to Do with Coffins?…I Don’t Think the Vultures were in the Rain Forest…

A photo of Charlie Hamilton from National Geographics

Last month, I attended a National Geographic Live presentation, where the speaker was a fascinating gentleman by the name of Charlie Hamilton James.  Charlie is a wildlife photographer who has won several awards and done work all over the world.

One of Charlie’s more recent projects involved photographing the wildlife at Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, USA.  To do this, Charlie used a different approach than other photographers, and tried to make the audience look at the world (the cast of us in the world) and animals in a different way than most people may observe it today.  One such example is when he took photographs of vultures in the Amazon Rain Forest.  While most people think of vultures as disgusting and ugly animals, Charlie’s photographs will make you think twice, as vultures are truly incredible creatures.

In addition to his stories about Yellowstone National Park and vultures, Charlie feature presentation was called, “I Bought a Rain Forest”, which was meant to help the audience look at this area of the world in a whole, new way.  For example, a lot of people in the developed world criticize people for cutting down the rain forest but they don’t realize why the rain forest is being cut down.  Charlie’s presentation showed that the main reason for trees being cut down is to provide money for the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, and clothing.  People in the developed world don’t realize we are paying the people in the undeveloped world for their natural resources, which in many cases are used to manufacture things we don’t really need…or can use a little less of.

For example, when you take a close look at how the people in these areas are making their money, you realize that a lot of the rain forest is being cut down so people have space for their cattle.  Not to ruin a person’s livelihood, but the truth is, that if we ate just a little less meat (and I love a good steak as much as the next guy), a lot of this land could be saved.

Another example I found mind boggling is, that a lot of the trees being cut down are mahogany trees, and the only reason these trees are being cut down is to build caskets for North Americans (mahogany is the number one wood used for casket). As Charlie suggested, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to destroy the rain forest to make coffins…a product that ends up back in the ground.

As much as I care about the environment, I have never considered myself a granola eating tree hugger, and Charlie’s presentation showed me that you don’t have to be one, to still care and do your part to protect this vital area of the world.

Overall, I found Charlie to be fascinating, entertaining and certainly worth listening to, if he is ever in your area.  Charlie did indeed buy a rain forest… but to hear that story you are going to have to attend one of his events.

Charlie Hamilton James
www.charliehamiltonjames.com

National Geographic Live Speaker Series
416-872-4255
www.roythomson.com/natgeolive/

 

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Where Should you go to Learn about the World Today?

Photo from the Nat Geo Series at Roy Thomson Hall

In the 80’s and 90’s people subscribed to National Geographic Magazine to learn about the world and all the places they wouldn’t necessarily travel on a regular basis. The magazine was smaller than traditional magazines and looks more like a book with glossy pictures. It featured a yellow border around the cover page and is primarily purchased by families with children.

National Geographic Magazine was usually a child’s first look at foreign places across the globe. It was also super exciting for children to browse through when it arrived in the mail each month.

Since I always found the magazine to be interesting and informative, earlier this year, one of my employees said I might be interested in a speakers series at Roy Thomson Hall called National Geographic Live.  Every few months, National Geographic Live has an event involving a speaker discussing a specific topic, somehow related to the world we live in. During the presentation, the speaker captivates the audience with stunning photos and video about the places they are speaking of, not to mention their personal experiences.

Roy Thomson Hall is an intimate theatre in the heart of Toronto that seats almost 3,000 guests. The theatre provides great acoustics, comfortable seating, and excellent service in all of their departments from the ushers, to the box office and the ticket takers.

Roy Thomson Hall is one of the few larger venues in Toronto that runs their own box office and they are always a pleasure to deal with.

For the National Geographic Live events, tickets aren’t necessarily expensive. The lower priced tickets start at $19.50 and if you buy in-person there is no service charge. These presentations are great for a nice afternoon or evening out.

The series is available Sunday afternoon or Monday and Tuesday evenings in January, March, and May 2017. This is a great way to hear some amazing stories, see sensational photography and learn about the world we live in.

National Geographic Live Speaker Series
416-872-4255
www.roythomson.com/natgeolive/

Roy Thompson Hall
416-593-4822
www.roythomson.com

 

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Why Did David Cross the Road… to try Darosa’s Chicken!

Darosa's Logo

I often have to remind myself… you can’t judge a book by its cover, and sometimes have to take the plunge when it comes to trying smaller or obscure businesses.

A perfect example of this is how for many years I drove by a small restaurant called Darosa Cafe, which looked like nothing more than a small hole in the wall with greasy food.

One day when I was stopped at a red light, I noticed Darosa’s was full.  To my surprise, I also noticed they sell Portuguese chicken made on a churrasqueira (a Portuguese barbecue grill).  I was thrilled to discover this because I am very fond of Portuguese chicken.

I decided to try Darosa’s and was delighted I did!  The first time I went there was this past summer during the Euro Cup.  When I went to Darosa’s the Portugal game was playing on the televisions within the restaurant, so  there was some added excitement being in a Portuguese restaurant during the game and I’m sure their customers appreciated this.

Darosa’s is known for their barbecue chicken, grilled chicken, steak and fish.  When you order an entrée, it comes with your choice of traditional side dishes like potatoes, rice, vegetables, salad and fresh baked bread.  Darosa’s also has a liquor license and sells beer and wine to complement your meal.  In addition, Darosa’s provides customers with fast, friendly and polite service.

That said, one of the best parts of this restaurant, is their prices!  They offer amazing value for the money you spend.  A half chicken dinner and pop only costs around $12.00!

Darosa’s attracts lots of different clientele…some looking for a quick bite, and others looking for a longer, leisurely meal.  The restaurant also caters to those wanting to head home, by offering take-out.

One last thing that I love about Darosa’s is that the owner is often working in the kitchen, which makes me feel like the food will always be fantastic!

Whether for breakfasts or a late dinner, check out this delightful restaurant…..just don’t cheer too loudly for a team other than Portugal.

Darosa Cafe – Restaurant Churrasqueira
416-256-4544
www.darosarestaurant.com/

 

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Social Media Safety…..How to Protect You and Your Family Online

Last year my daughter’s school had an issue with bullying on the Internet and Social Media.  The principal at her school immediately hired Paul Davis, an expert on cyber security and safety, to speak with the kids and parents on the subject.

Paul is frequently asked to speak to police organizations and the military but most of the time he speaks to schools.  Typically, when Paul speaks to schools he presents one speech to the children during the day and another to the parents in the evening.

I can tell you from experience, most parents, myself included, do not have a clue about the risks associated with social media and / or internet security.  For example, did you know there is a minimum age for opening a Gmail, Instagram, Hotmail and Facebook account?  Given that kids in grade four, five, and six, already have accounts on such sites, it seems that most parents are in the same boat as myself.

Then there’s the scenes that play out everyday…..someone posts on Facebook, “seven days to Disney”, then six, then five, etc.  The next thing you know they are posting pictures of their epic holiday, and when they get back to their house, they can’t figure out how someone knew they weren’t home and broke into their house.

And that’s not nearly as bad as the people who don’t realize how posting a general, everyday, photo could provide detailed information that will allow a predator to identify a child’s name, school and more within seconds.  Davis explains this to parents by stating predators don’t need to be talented to retrieve this information and that people are not always who they claim to be.

Social media can be a really useful tool for adults and children when we create rules and boundaries.  During Davis’ presentations he suggests different rules for children and adults for safe Internet usage, so it’s important that both the kids and the parent’s attend the event.

Paul is in high demand and he is booking presentations well into 2017.  Whether for a school or a community group I highly recommend Paul Davis to anyone who cares about the safety of themselves and their children.

Paul Davis Social Networking Safety
1-866-259-0996
www.socialnetworkingsafety.net 

 

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