Tag Archives: Quality Assurance

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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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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Top 5 Rooftop Patios in Toronto

Here is another one of our “Top Lists”! Summer is almost here, and the desire to catch up with friends has never been greater. When you are in the company of an amazing friend, a must-have is a restaurant that is just as amazing. Toronto is famous for its many restaurants – from board game cafés such as Snakes and Lattes to pitch-black dining rooms at the O.Noir. However, it is Toronto’s rooftop patios that are on our radar this week. They do not only offer amazing food, but also allow you to fully enjoy the summer sun. Here is our pick of Toronto’s top 5 rooftop patios:

1. Paupers Pub: Located at 539 Bloor Street West, this rooftop patio is in the heart of the Toronto Annex. It is the perfect place to try out the pub’s delicious beverages menu on a Friday night or the weekend. From non-alcoholic drinks to draughts, to tallboys, Paupers Pub has a beverage for everyone.

2. Madison Avenue Pub: This pub is located at 14 Madison Avenue, and it is home to not only a lovely rooftop patio, but the home of fantastic food and live music. This pub also has a distinct British flair. The decorated walls, brass fittings, and comfortable booths make for a memorable experience.

3. The Flight Deck: Part of The Pilot and located at 22 Cumberland Street, the Flight Deck is the restaurant’s recipe for success. You would not only get to bask in the sunlight, enjoy the cool breeze, have some cold drinks, and make new friends, but also enjoy how it is away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s streets.

4. Sky Yard: Located at 1150 Queen Street West is the Drake Hotel’s roof top patio. The Sky Yard is truly a hidden gem in Toronto, as it is decorated with a very modern aesthetic, and has speedy and friendly customer service.

5. Jazz Bistro: If you and your friends love jazz music, then this rooftop patio located at 251 Victoria Street is the place to be on a hot summer’s day. Its unique atmosphere, coupled with a seasonal cocktail menu, give it a well-deserved place in our top 5 picks. The knowledgeable staff members are a fantastic bonus.

Other worthy mentions include Jack Astor’s and Milestones, both of which have locations in downtown Toronto and are always ready to provide stellar customer service.

 

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Top 5 Things to Do Between Now and the End of May

This week, we are sharing another one of our “Top Lists”. There have been countless events so far in the month of May. These include, but are not limited to, Canadian Music Week, Victoria Day fireworks, and concerts for Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, and Selena Gomez. As for the rest of May, here are our top 5 picks:

1. Doors Open Toronto Festival
From May 28th to 29th, buildings across Toronto will open their doors to the public! This will be the perfect time to visit museums, art galleries, and some of Toronto’s great historical sites.

2. Contact Photography Festival
Until May 29th, Toronto celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Contact Photography Festival. Both local and international artists are getting their work featured in museums and art galleries. Visit one of the participating venues to get inspired by Toronto’s top talents!

3. Inside Out Film Festival
Starting May 26th, the TIFF Bell Lightbox will host films about and made by members of the LGBT+ community. In addition to the films, the festival will feature panel discussions, artist talks, and art installations.

4. Toronto’s Chocolate Tour
Satisfy your sweet tooth on May 29th by sampling sweets made by Toronto’s chocolatiers and bakers. Guided-tours through the beautiful Fashion District will be available to introduce you to the best sweets that the city has to offer.

5. Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt
A curator has been murdered, and it will be up to you connect the dots and solve the mystery on May 29th. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum to participate in a gripping tale of greed, lust, pride, and revenge.

 

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Toronto Zoo is the Habitat for Everyone

For many years, I’ve been a big fan of what is considered a crown jewel of the GTA…The Toronto Zoo.

The Zoo is a place that I never get tired of visiting, over and over again. Every time I go there, whether for the arrival of a new baby animal, the beautiful scenery, or to just walk, jog, or hike around, there’s always something new and interesting going on. 

Aside from just visiting with the family, the zoo also has a number of education and camp programs, which include: school visits, zoo camps, youth badge programs, adult programs, and overnight stays. Whether it’s the Critter Cruisers for toddlers aged 2 to 4, the EnviroRangers program for ages 4 to 14, or the adult Zoo Membership program, there truly is something for everyone and every age group.

An exciting and upcoming event this weekend is International Migratory Bird Day, when The Toronto Zoo, in collaboration with Parks Canada, will be helping visitors learn to identify local birds as well as provide short guided bird walks. As for the rest of this month, you can look forward to World Turtle Weekend, the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History Day, and the Raise Your Glass For Rhinos event.

While the zoo is an amazing place to visit at any time of year, one tip that I have for you is to consider going during either the early spring or the fall. At these times of year the weather is neither too hot nor too cold and the animals are generally more active.

Toronto Zoo
2000 Meadowvale Road
Toronto, ON M1B 5K7
(416) 392-5929
torontozoo.com

 

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Top 5 Things to Do on Mother’s Day

Every once in a while, people ask us for recommendations on places to go and things to do, both in Toronto and around the world. To answer these requests, we’ve decided to change things up a bit, and while SQM Picks normally highlights a specific business or an organization, from time to time we will be sharing some of our “Top Lists.” On that note, with Mother’s Day right around the corner, we present to you the Top 5 Things to Do on Mother’s Day:

1. Visit a Spa and Hair Salon
Show your appreciation for your mother’s hard work and dedication by taking her out to a spa and/or hair salon. She will love being pampered and appreciate the much-needed respite.

2. Take a Shopping Trip
Will the weather not be up to par on Mother’s Day? Taking a trip to another city to go shopping may just brighten up the day. You can even get 50% off your bus ticket when you become an SQM Representative!

3. Eat a Healthy Brunch
Explore your city for a restaurant with a healthy menu, and then take your mother out to brunch there! She will love your consideration for her health, and be pleasantly surprised by how healthy food can be delicious at the same time.

4. Visit an Art Museum
Toronto has numerous cultural institutes that warrant a visit. Which special exhibitions or permanent collections would interest your mother? From the Bata Shoe Museum to the Art Gallery on Ontario, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to keep a lookout for Mother’s Day specials.

5. Plant Some Flowers
Give your mother some flowers that will last more than a couple of weeks in a vase. Purchase some flowers and basic garden tools to get started on this activity. Whether you plant a garden full of flowers for or with your mother, it will show how much your love for her grows and grows.

 

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LED Bulbs are a Bright Idea

Normally, I would highlight a business or an organization, however this week, something has been on my mind, as I’ve been debating about the usage of LED bulbs.

While some people say that LED bulbs help them save money, others say the opposite. Most people say that the bulbs save the most energy and last longer if they are of good quality, however, the biggest challenge to their acceptance may be that they are expensive.

That said, there are occasionally significant savings on the bulbs, by keeping an eye out for sales and online coupons. By applying this method, a $15.00 to $20.00 LED bulb could become only $5.00 to $7.00, which makes it easier to justify the purchase.

One thing to keep in mind is that you may run into an issue with the dimmer switches, which must be compatible with the new bulbs.  I’m told that some dimmers can cost up to $100.00, so you have to keep this in mind when considering a changeover.

Recently, when one of my friends built a new house, it was twice the size of their old one, but they have insisted that they are paying the same electricity bill as the old house, mainly because of the new LED bulbs.   

The debate continues, but I am nonetheless very happy with my LED bulbs. They save on energy, can be purchased at a significant discount, and have the bonus of helping the environment.  In the end, whether you are converting one room at a time or all the rooms at once, LED bulbs seem like a bright idea.

Toronto Hydro Corporation
500 Commissioners Street
Toronto, ON M4M 1B4
(416) 542-8000
torontohydro.com

 

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