2019 Sunset

A decade of identity

2019 has been a tremendous year for me. While 2018 ended with heartbreak as a significant relationship dissolved, 2019 has been a year of renewal with a focus on personal development and mastery of photography. I hope you’ll enjoy some of these images from the last 12 months.

Mercedes G Wagon in Mystic Brown at Le Germain Hotel, Toronto

Much of my photography practice was focused on Automotive as usual, but this year I took a further look at natural light portraits and also low light, long exposure photography.

Walter J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain in London, Ontario

February ended with a Spring break trip with a dear friend to escape the winter weather. It was our 3rd time to Cuba together and a great break from the cold before digging into an incredibly busy remaining three quarters.

Though it was a few months behind schedule, I completed my Feasibility Study of Decentralized Marketplace Protocols for Automotive. This was the final step of my Master of Science in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia.

After 19 years in London since moving there in 2001 to attend Western University, I decide to sell my home there in light of the real estate market’s appreciation and the relative cost advantage of moving to my hometown of Sarnia.

In March, I was pleased to be invited by Sirius XM to the Juno Awards Comedy Show in London. Congratulations to Dave Merheje @davemerheje for his win for Comedy Album of the Year.

Through my interest and involvement in the DCommerce (Decentralized Commerce) space, I won a prized, limited Edition, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company Not A Flamethrower. A big thank you again to Brian Armstrong from OpenBazaar for that. Check them out at @OpenBazaar, the future of free, private, anonymous, and uncensorable decentralized commerce.

These shots were taken by one of Sarnia’s top young rising photographers, Vincent Zuniga Saez. Give him a follow on Instagram at @svince17.

Getting used to a full-time existence in Sarnia led me to seek out community groups like the Sarnia Tech Community. I became the defacto volunteer photographer but my work schedule kept me from attending some of the events later in the year. We got to say goodbye to an ally of the city, Mark Dillon, who left to pursue an opportunity at Waterloo Hydro.

Through my involvement with the Sarnia Tech Community, I was introduced to the opportunity of teaching at Lambton College. In May, I became an Adjunct Faculty member at their School of Business and International Studies. I taught Digital Tools in Spring/Summer term and again in the Fall Semester. Digital Tools focuses on topics like Social Media, Cloud Computing, 3D Printing, and Virtual Reality. My Spring cohort were exclusively International Exchange students while my Fall group was primarily enrolled in eSports Entrepreneurship.

Lambton College

In July, I ventured to Montreal for Just for Laughs for the first time. JFL is the world’s largest and most important comedy festival. I enjoyed seeing Stop Podcasting Yourself tape a live episode, the Canadian New Faces Show, a tv taping for Jon Dore’s stand up showcase featuring amazing artists like Jackie Pirico @jackiepirico, Adam Christie @theadamchristie, and Nigel Grinstead @NigelGrinstead, the Anthony Jeselnik Gala @anthonyjeselnik, and a headline show with Jim Norton @JimNorton.

August brought me back to the Blockchain Futurist Conference 2019. A repeat from 2018, but this time with VIP credentials, we got the opportunity to network and stay current with the notoriously fast-moving and volatile Blockchain space. Seeing Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin @VitalikButerin in the flesh was a real highlight. The whole thing was sponsored by Cole Diamond of Coinsquare. Cole preached a message that the industry should embrace regulation to help keep out bad actors. Quadriga had just closed up months prior so his message was extremely prescient.

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin

I got myself a new truck to enjoy for winter weather driving. It’s a 2012 Lexus GX460 Ultra Premium Package in Fire Agate Pearl on Ecru Leather and j found a set of the optional F-Sport Wheels with winter tires for snow duty. It’s a body on frame SUV with a 4.6L V8 engine and full-time all-wheel drive. Though they’re not cheap, it’s largely unchanged even for 2020. A world platform car for Lexus, it’s sold as the Land Cruiser Prado in many other countries.

In September, with the help of a great friend, I purchased a dated, original owner, home in Sarnia near the college for a full renovation as an investment property. Renovations, as expected, are over budget and still ongoing, but I hope to have an update early in the new year.

To finish off with the opportunity to consolidate the experiences of the year, I returned to Cuba for the 10th anniversary of my first time there. This time was to Cayo Coco.

The highlight was a “Jeep” Tour in a late model Suzuki Jimny. The Jimny shares a lot of interesting features with my GX460, a solid rear axle, a side swinging tailgate, metallic brown paint, and high/low transfer case. Driving it up to Lomo De La Cunagua is the most offroading I’ve done and it’s always fun to be driving in a new country. Though the view was obstructed by tree cover and an overcast day, it was a great drive. There was everything on the roads except other cars, buses, trucks, bikes, children, stray dogs, cabbage carts, and more. We visited a small farm, a museum of electronic artifacts mostly from before the US trade embargo, a Crocodile farm, and a Marina near the city of Moron.

With the emphasis on continued personal development, I undertook to read 25 Books on business, self-improvement, and history. Here are the ones I got through this year. Cancel your Audible subscription and get a Library Card! I’ll spare you the book reports but they’re almost all worth listening to.

This year wouldn’t have been possible without the great team I work with at Fenwick Motors and the nearly 200 clients who chose to purchase their new car from me this year! Thank you to Gina Marie Photography for turning her camera on me while I delivered her son his first car.

Thanks for watching!

Looking forward to 2020!