Freeze Flame Productions Inc

Friday, February 12, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; 2008, I had been doing physio for an MVA in late 2007, when I was struck down by a work place injury in July 2008; Trying to make ends meet, I took a job outside the city paying much less than I had been used to & in the end it cost me more than I had bargained for.... with constant pain in my body and the car problems the winter months became my own personal hell...

By October 2008, my new girlfriend and I had been living in a basement apartment for about six months with tensions increasing between us and the upstairs tenants neither one of us wanted to be at home much. She ended up making arrangements for us to move into her old apartment, as her previous roommate was about to move out. We moved into the new and out of the old apartment as fast as I could load the car. Once we got settled, I wanted to bring my dog over to see the place and get acquainted and hopefully get used to the place. It's a big change for an animal to keep moving around, so she remained with my parents for the most part. She kept their dog company and they got along really well. My arm injury made walking the dog very hard and painful to do, so she wouldn't have got as good of a walk as I would have liked.

I was trying to hold a job in another city and it wasn't going well. November 2008, was when I noticed that I was going broke by trying to work more hours, so I decided that I would have to give up what was my Part Time job. I was just filling in because they needed the help, but it was costing me money, so I stopped working the Tuesday Morning sale at the auction. Now I was just working Wednesday to Sunday, not much of an improvement.

My dad was wondering why I was running out of money so quick, and eventually sat down with and figured out the numbers. I had so many bills, and so much debt that the added gas expense of driving out of the city and back everyday was costing me over $500 dollars more than I was making in a two week period. I had to start looking for some kind of financial help like a consolidation loan or something.

By Christmas 2008, I had emptied most of my savings from the last couple years in order to pay off two of my outstanding loans at the advise of my banker, who promised me help with consolidation if I did so. With the luck I had, they denied my consolidation loan application and I was back to square one, no money, no savings, and no help. For my business, I had opened a mail box in Hamilton, ON many years before and this had been acting as my main address for mail, but the drive down every couple weeks was also getting costly and was adding wear to the car. I decided that since I was now settled in a nice place back in Toronto, that I would also moved the mail box for the business. This proved to be a much more efficient move. I had been looking to do more for the company, but with all my debt it was very hard.

January 2009 rolled around and I was soon unable to work due to my medical issues. I ended up on E.I. The auction laid me off...eventually, but I stopped trying to go back there after three failed attempts at submitting medical letters. They told me they weren't acceptable, and WSIB reports weren't relevant.... in the end I just said Fuck IT!

By February 2009, my car was off the road anyway, and I was now a transit rider for the first time in years. I was OK with that, but it proved challenging, my arms were still very week and I couldn't hold on like other people when the bus stopped quickly. I pretty much had to hug the pole to even get a grip, or get a seat which isn't always easy.
Later in the Month, we also had a couple baby showers for friends. We now had a nice place to live and could have people over. The previous February, we had found out that my girlfriend was pregnant, but it was over almost as soon as we found out. She miscarried at 6 weeks, and we were both heart broken. A year later we were still together and had worked through our pain together and wanted to be happy for our friends as well.

March 2009 brought more developments, I was still riding the bus, but I was actually saving money doing it. I had to cancel my gym membership because I wasn't able to make the payments and luckily my contract had expired months before. Complications with E.I. & WSIB caused my phone company to suspend my account just as I began a job search Program called a Practice Firm. I would go to work in an office Mon-Fri 9-4pm and the way it worked, I had work duties on Mon, Wed, Fri. Tues & Thurs were designated job search days. Lots of workshops too, useful but sometimes repetitive. This is when I started focusing on my company again.

Certain aspects of the Practice Firm made me rethink the direction I was going. I wanted to work, but I didn't want to hurt myself anymore. They didn't know how to utilize my entertainment industry experience to my own advantage, but it gave me ideas again. I started compiling lists of resources that I might be able to use. Like associations, and online applications for grants and other funding. This was made more accessible by using an online bookmarking website known as

It was around April 2009 when my girlfriend found out that she was pregnant, and we started with all the doctors again. This time we were excited, and looking forward to everything, we kept very positive and healthy. We tried not to tell anybody this time until we knew it was going to be a sure thing. People found out, obviously.... it wasn't until week 13 that complications started, and we spent a lot of time in Emergency Rooms and what not. This one had lasted twice as long as the previous and was just three times harder to deal with.... It was a major set back, and a very painful experience for both of us.

By May 2009, just before Mother's day we had lost our second baby, and two of our friends had just given birth. We had to press on, and keep living. We were together and did what we could to get past the loss. By the middle of the month, I had finished my Practice Firm, but not in very good standing. My E.I. complications finally cleared up, and I was able to pay off major portions of debt, mainly because I got a lump some instead of biweekly payments.

By June 2009, I was able to get back into the gym, not really physically, but I was determined to do so. I had been doing Physio for my arms, at a different clinic for WSIB which I continued. I went to the gym and I paid the whole year off at once, so I wouldn't have to work for my gym membership. I had also started working as a bookkeeper, doing some accounting work, through my mother who happened to have a client that she could pass on to me. This was only once a month, so it wasn't much to start.

July 1st, 2009.... came so quick, I had been busy all year. I found it funny that I was busy with things I thought were more important than most of the job I had been doing. We took an overnight Road-Trip up to Ottawa, saw the fireworks, and had a nice meal. The car was acting up during the trip, the headlights started cutting in and out. Just what I needed....but we made it home.

June & July 2009 were pretty good months. In early June 2009, I received my tax return and was able to pay off the loan against my car. My MVA claim also settled around that time, and I was awarded a nice little payoff, after fees and stuff. My girlfriend had also been handed a Line of Credit from her bank, for some reason. By Later in July 2009, I was also awarded a sizable chunk of money from WSIB for having been left with a permanent injury. The money was put to good use. I had to pay off debt, and was left with a little more to work with.

By the end of the summer, all I had left was my student loan. It felt good to be a little closer to debt free. This allowed me some breathing room, I continued to look for work, but focused on getting healthier by going to the gym more regularly. I also had more time to focus on the things I wanted to do, like my company. The artists that I had been working with, were working on new material, so we discussed some plans. In the end, we decided that we needed to register the company as a publisher with an agency called SOCAN to be able to collect royalties for CD sales and performances. This took much longer than anticipated. To Register my company as a publisher, I first had to register myself as an artist.

With my new address, I had been having a few issues receiving my mail at times, more so with things from the government. So, this process took a little more work than it should have.

When September 2009 came, I was increasing my workouts at the gym. I had gained a couple more clients for bookkeeping, and some major changes were starting to take place with the company. We obtained a couple artists, including a classical pianist, who was an accomplished composer/conductor. He had 2 CDs already made and ready to be sold. My main artist was working on two of his own CDs as well as a compilation with a group of artists from the Washington, D.C. area. And two other artists who were steadily recording music trying to put together CDs of their own.

By October 2009 I was drowning in paperwork. I had been working on updating a previous business plan, to present to some potential investors. I finally got a hold of an Aboriginal Agency here in Toronto, ON that helps small businesses grow by providing grants and funding.

I wasn't finished with the business plan, but it November 2009, I met with Aboriginal Business Canada in order to find out what steps I needed to take to obtain funding. I still needed to do my financial statements for the previous year end. I had to get the books up to date for my own company. It was December by time this was done.

In December 2009, The Company was a registered music publisher/record label. We had potential sources of funding. I was nearing the the last pages of an updated business plan and the artists were working on completing quite a lot of product. See, in the past we had relied on others to help us make music. By December 2009, we had 2 fully functional recording studios and another being prepared. We are well on our way to making this, "What we do..."

The idea for the last few years has been to build a studio big enough to accomodate all our equipment, a common place that we all have access to on a FT basis. What started out as an idea, has evolved into many different areas of an industry. I am looking forward to seeing what the next "Decade of Development" has in store for my life, my dreams, and everthing in between....


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; 2007, Busy year for work & Education; FT job and college program, nights and days, respectively; Another EX-revisited, A new CD on the street a couple part time jobs, A really happy friendly dog, And another incident that I neglected to mention....

It was Halloween morning, October 31, 2007 about 8am. I was driving home from work, in my newly restored vehicle. It had been off the road since late July/early August 2007. We had to replace some gaskets within the top half of the engine, and the car was now running like new. The road was dry, but it was kind of foggy. I was driving from North York to Milton, about half way there I stopped at a red light, and as I looked up into the rear view mirror there was a car not about to stop any time soon. He slammed into me and smashed the back end of my car. Just what I needed. This was the second rear end collision with this vehicle, so they wrote it off.

I went to my family doctor within a couple days, because the stiffness was slow to hit this time, but I had something new, while I was talking to a police officer giving the accident report, I had to sit down, I was struck with a dizziness that I had never felt before.... residuals which I live with day to day ever since.

My doctor advised me to find a lawyer and referred me to a physiotherapist. It wasn't until about the second half of November 2007 that the physio started. After my summer of BBQ up north, I had gained about 40Lbs and my previous gym membership from Alberta had expired, so I had joined another one where I could use more than one location. By the time of the accident, my old injuries from the past car accidents had not so much passed, but were feeling much better.
By December 2007, I had been done school for a few months, and was working FT nights, and a part time job. I now was also going to Physio therapy 4 days a week, including a Saturday. This gave me an idea, so I started going to the gym before going to Physio and the combination did wonders for the pain I was in.

January 2008, My therapy was in full swing, I was working steadily with a few new limitations and some pain. One thing I noticed that I just wasn't happy with anything for some reason. I had previously reached out to a couple female friends for guidance, then I got a call from that girl from work. I was very excited, we talked a little and she and her friend told me they were going to introduce me to a friend of theirs. That was nice of them, but before I got that chance I was started to get attached to the girl from work. We started getting to know each other and seemed to hit it off. We went out to lunch one day, and that day became known to us as our first date. We spent the day together, but was denied when I tried to give her a kiss goodbye.

IN early February 2008, I got really sick with a lung infection. This had become a regular thing for me since about 2004. It was really bad this time and affected my routine to a point where I missed close to two months worth of Physio, and a lot of time at the gym as well. I was also now seeing this girl on a regular basis, but neither of us could take the other home because of distance or roommates, etc. This meant we were just hanging out or driving around.... I decided that I was going to start looking for an apartment. It was the middle of February 2008, when I moved into the basement unit of a house. We had a place to spend time together and rest after working a night shift, I would take her home around lunchtime. The new place was walking distance from Yorkdale Mall, an area I had never lived, but fairly close to places that I had.

In March 2008, I was able to start getting back on track with my Physio it was much needed by that time, so I made a point of going as much as I could, but there was another problem. My new/used car was a problem, I had got it shortly after my last accident. It was an older vehicle than the one I had, in worse shape and there was a problem almost every month after I got it. This is how March 2008 went for me, Problem after problem. This really affected my physiotherapy.

April 2008 was more of the same, we couldn't find the problem, but had a good idea of what it was and just dreaded the thought. The car was always overheating, oil was leaking, hoses were bursting, power steering line severed one night as I pulled into the parking lot at work. The problems were non-stop. We changed the thermostat several times, replaced the hoses, Water pump went out twice. The fan clutch stopped working, so we installed an aftermarket fan that was just a blade. Battery was always dying because the headlights were manual and I forgot that sometimes and didn't shut them off.
My New girlfriend also moved in with me on the First of April 2008, it was a happy moment for me. It took her awhile to trust me, knowing about my Ex's and some of the issues related.

It was May 2008 by the time I got back into my physio routine, I didn't get to the gym much any more, as my time was occupied by other important things. We tried to make our apartment a home, but it quickly got small. Too much stuff, but not enough space and yet, there was enough space for more furniture, but no room no get it into the house. We had a side entrance between two houses and the staircases was a quick twisted to our front door. I brought my dog home for a time, but this proved to be a bad move after learning about our upstairs neighbors.

June 2008, was another interesting month for the car.... and almost to the date of the previous year, our entire shift was laid off again. This was the last time for me, and my girlfriend. We decide to move on, away from the company as soon as possible. The same week we started our job search. We went to about three agencies to start, and my girlfriend was able to get some temp work almost immediately. I was trying to get work, but because I had a new diploma I wanted to try and get something within my field. This proved much more difficult than I thought it would, however, I still had my PT job at the Auto Auction. I was told that after six months I could apply to internal job postings. I started looking at them while at work, I could also put more time in the days that I was there because I wasn't coming from or going to another job.

It was July 2008 before I was called by any of the agencies, one in particular. I went to a Purolator for an evening shift. Then they called me back for another shift at a location across the street at a Cross dock loading facility, driving forklift. The Job they gave us was to make three trailers full of broken/old equipment to be recycled, into two trailers. We were scheduled for 2 days, but the job was done in one. After that, it was just more of my part time job, and applying.

In the last week of July 2008 when I was called back to the same job as before. This time it was supposed to be for a week. I made it to Wednesday, July 30, 2008. Our job was similar this time, but now we had to get all the old/broken equipment out of the trailers and into bins outside. This was supposed to be a forklift job, but the stuff was just piled in, and some of it was huge. Conveyors with giant platforms and attachments. I had to clean off the top section of one, and climbed up to do so. While trying to get down my foot hit the roller and I went over the end. I was about 5 feet high, inside a trailer at a loading dock....explain that to WSIB. I landed with both arms straight like a push up position. When I landed my arms gave out and I was lying flat on my stomach with my arms stretched out over my head. I struggled to get up and when I did couldn't move my arms, so I crossed them over my chest. After I did that they didn't straighten again. The guys I was working with helped me get to the office and wait for an ambulance. After about eight hours in the hospital ER, they let me go without really doing much just X-rays.

I showed for my PT job the next day because I wasn't going to go back to the loading dock. They told me to go home because my injury was so fresh and I was still in a ton of pain. The other problem was that I had been hired already for an internal job at the auction, by that time I was so desperate for work that I accepted it not thinking about my arms. It was set to start in August 2008.

It was late August 2008, when I officially went FT at the Auction. By this time I was very behind on my bills and rent, so I didn't have much choice but to work. I was working modified hours at the time the new job was to start, but only 5 hours/week. It just wasn't enough.
I had been getting E.I. for short time, but it wasn't enough to make rent. I had to continue driving, which was so much more painful now, I could only use one arm and was driving under the influence of some very strong painkillers almost constantly. My prescriptions we getting expensive.

In September 2008 WSIB had issued one check, for about $150. I guess they thought it was over by then because when I went from working modified duties to FT at the auction, they temp agency suspended my claim. I was in constant pain throughout the summer and fall months while working outside, but it wasn't until the winter weather came that I really understood what pain was. Almost as fast as it got cold, my arms started getting worse. I was still going to regular physio for my 2007 MVA, but the arms were not part of the coverage, so treatment wasn't really permitted. The therapist did show me a few things that I could do to strengthen my arms.

From October - December 2008, my condition steadily worsened, and I began to missed days at work. I had been trying to make ends meet by working both positions at the Auction, but they disallowed me the hours after a while and I had to stop. At Christmas, I took a full two weeks off to rest and try to recover a little. I had given up a PT job at the auction, a job that I could have kept doing, for a FT job that ended up costing me money to keep and costing me my health. The First Winter with broken bones was the worst, I couldn't go to the gym anymore, I just wasn't strong enough. Physio was running out, and my WSIB case was suspended somehow....

TO BE CONTINUED.... 2009 Pain & Suffering

Friday, February 5, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; Summer 2006, Adventures with new friends; September 2006, another Road-Trip; October 2006, EX-girlfriend Re-visited; End of the Year a new Job & Higher Education...

January 2007, After a short lived Christmas break at my new job, and a week off from my new school program I decided that it would be better to changed campuses. I initially registered at the Mississauga Campus, but after a night shift in North York it made for a very long day, so I transferred to the North York campus. It was much closer to my job, so I just went straight to school after work in the morning.

This meant that we had to make a little adjustment to our routine again, my dog and me. She was alone for quite a while in the night, but I still had a couple roommates to keep her company, her feedings were still regular, but I had to give her enough to last until I returned home. As soon as I got home, it was exercise time and it had to be done she needed the time to burn some energy. If I had homework, it was done after that. This meant I was awake for a good portion of the day.

I worked 7 hours at night midnight til 7am, the school from 8am-1pm.... it wasn't all that bad. so basically I was back to a 12-13 hour days, my dog had been used to that already just at different time in the day. On top of all this I was trying to operated a new business which I thought the program would be useful for. There was some information that I wanted and looked for throughout. A way to put to together and present a good Business Plan for example.

It was February 2006 before I got my next break. It worked out well with the transfer, and doing the two courses before Christmas. I had a week off in February and another week off in the last week of April. At the beginning of February 2006, my artist had just completed another CD Mixtape. Now we wanted to get it manufactured and out into the world.... My idea was to get it all ready during my week off, so I would be able to put in some work before going back to school. There was delays finding an affordable manufacturer, and when we finally found one there was more delays with the price negotiation.

It was close to the end of March before we finally received our product. This caused a few problems for me. Promotion of the CD was delayed and packaging was a little more expensive than we had anticipated because we had also got some over sized posters made. We wanted to sell the CD's online, and in the street and anywhere else we could. I put quite a lot of time into this part of it. I also wanted to get in into the campus/community radio stations that had accommodated us before. The other issue I ran into was that I acquired a second job, as a casual Bartender for Trade Shows & conferences at the Toronto Congress Centre. It was casual in hours, but formal in service.

By the end of March, beginning of April 2007 I was working FT nights Monday to Saturday mornings. Then I was working about 2-3 Shifts a week as a bartender for these functions, and on top of that I was trying to sell these CD's and what not. I was also going to school in the day time from Monday to Friday. I was very busy, and my dog still needed her regular exercise and attention. Surprisingly, this was not a problem, I had a lot of time for my dog, I started taking her over to an outdoor hockey rink that I could close the door to, and let her run off the leash, throw a ball, etc... run her out of energy as much as that is possible.

By the end of April 2007 I was really looking forward to my next break. Then my friend from Fort Frances, ON called me and asked if I would like to see her. She was coming down to Toronto to check out a school that she had wanted to go to for a long time. Now she had somebody to stay with, me. She came to Toronto during my week off school, but I still had to work my job(s). She had never been to the city, so I tried to show her around and take her a few places. Did a lot of Driving which really wore me out... we visited my other friends that she had met before, but so much for getting to rest for a week in the daytime.

May 2007 rolled around I had to go back to school and work, however, the bartending work slowly died off at that point, it was more comic book conventions and stuff for younger people, so there was no bars. This opened up some time for me to get the music out there. I knew of some stores in the Downtown area that would sell the CD's for us, but on consignment, no up front payments. This is a downside to Toronto's independent music scene. So I started spending a couple hours every afternoon just out on the street trying to sell CD's to people, and possibly giving away a few samples also. I had also had made a new friend, who happened to have a Pit Bull as well. We hit it off and became very good friends over the next few months.

Around May 24 weekend, 2006 My new friend had taken a job up in Muskoka - Huntsville, ON. She was going to take care of an animal boarding center while the owner tried to make a new start in New Brunswick or someplace. I was invited to help her move up there, see the place, and stay the weekend with my dog. The Pit Bulls had to be separated from the rest of the animals because of the new laws restricting the breed. So my dog and her dog, had a whole yard to themselves, and became as good of friends as we were. Her dog was a male, and much older this made the interaction much easier... as my dog has always been a dominant female, and very territorial over other females. During our first weekend, the center still had other employees and a lot of work to do to the grounds. I guess because it was Spring, but the yards were a mess overgrown and really not taken care of. There was Three main yards, one of those opened up into a bigger area with a pond. There was also three more segregated yards for trouble dogs, and three or four smaller pens that housed the over flow at night. Then there was the yard for the residence where ours dogs spent most their days. In all I think they told me the facility had 26 acres, just for the dogs. The property itself was much bigger.

In June 2007, I started going up north almost every weekend. It was good for me, as well as my dog, she got lots of exercise and had a friend... It just allowed me to get away for a couple days. We had BAR-B-Q, a lot of food. I also started visiting my parents house also, they had finally warmed up to Precious and let her come in the house now when we were there. Keep in Mind this was just the weekends, I was still going to work and school and getting everything done. I was kind of impressed with myself.

In late June 2007, around the 20th or so I was laid off from my night job, but still had a little over a month left in my school program. This caused me some trouble when it came to finding another job. I had to focus on my last few weeks, and make enough money for rent and everything. When July 2007 came around I did not have enough for my rent. My house had gone from 4 guys to three, as I had advised one of my friends, who had a chance to live in a bigger place, that he should before we lose this house. That left three of us, but the other problem was that without my knowledge, one of the guys had not been paying his rent as he said he had been. Our Rent was $1200/month, after the one guy moved out the split made it $400 for each of us. At this point it made it hard for me to go up north. My friend was also having trouble with the owner of the boarding center, and her job was in jeopardy.

By the middle of July 2007, I still hadn't got anything from E.I. and I didn't want to owe much more money to the Landlord, so I had advised the other guy who was actually paying rent that he should start looking for a place because I was going to move out at the end of the month. I Delayed telling the landlord until my friend had found a place. The decision was last minute, but I had no options left, I had to finish my program and had enough trouble looking for a job let alone getting one in time. In the last week of July 2007, I finally got a hold of the guy who wasn't paying his rent and told him the house was being evacuated, and if he wanted his stuff he should get there within a day or so.

August 2007 I had got the other guys out of the house, and talked to the landlord. I changed the locks during the move so we would be able to get back in after leaving. I told them I was coming back to clean up. I got my stuff out, my parents allowed me and my dog to come live back at the house while I was finishing my school. And by the time I got settled, my E.I. finally kicked in.

My last day of school was August 27, 2007. My car was being repaired, so it had been off the road since I moved in.... commuting by bus and train to get to school. The same day, My Night shift supervisor called me back to work for the following Sunday. Apparently, our shift was changing its start of the week from Monday to Sunday. It was fine with me.

It was a few weeks into September 2007 when they also changed our start time to 11pm, and added two more production lines, that meant more people. Some of these people were English speaking which was a welcome change and some were also known, people from the now non-existent afternoon shift.

By October 2007, I was getting sick of working for the company, as I had been promised many advancements that didn't happen and raises that never came. I wasn't until a couple people from the new group started being friendly with me, and actually talking to me, not just asking for more product. I had been missing the interaction of the school and the people from the club job.
I also noticed that one of the employees was growing on me.... more to come on that.

It was the middle of November 2007, when I was hired PT at an Auto Auction in Milton, ON. I was still living at my parents place so this worked for me, I would be home in time for one morning shift a week, and work an evening shift each week before going to work. These were sale days at the auction. I was working within the auction lanes, at a station doing paper work, and getting contracts signed after the sale went through to the highest bidder. I think it was sometime in late November 2007, when she really noticed me back. The she I refer to is the woman who would become my next girlfriend.

We were always very busy on the job, and took different breaks. So it wasn't until sometime in December 2007 when we were able to actually have a short conversation and somewhat get to know each other. Right before we went on our Christmas break, we finally exchanged phone numbers and tried to make some plans.

TO BE CONTINUED...... Q1 2008 & beyond

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; In the first half of 2006; Another Road-Trip, another (EX)girlfriend, A job loss, and a New Job with new possibilities; A new dog & a new Home; And some new Friends & Housemates.....

Summer 2006 was an interesting time, for many reasons. I had just changed jobs again, this time out of an industry and into a new one, An industry I hadn't worked in for many years at that point. I was a part of the club scene in one of Toronto's longest running as well as largest venues. The Docks was quite a surprise to me when I started working there. It's not just a big place, it's a huge operation. Although, I started in the spring, by the time I was Full Time for the summer season, I had already lost my apartment, and my girlfriend had been gone for well over a month. If I remember correctly, she finally broke it off with me near the end of June 2006...
By that time I had been into the season, and making new friends out of my co-workers, meeting all kinds of regulars each day. So, I was very busy at work, and with my new friends, a term I use loosely with most people. Some of which actually turned out to be genuine friends... The House was a busy place, four guys living in a house.... two of us were on the lease, but we all needed a place to live, I had a dog. My landlord was always snooping around and trying to get my dog to run away, one attempt at which he almost succeeded.

I think it may have been the July 1st Long weekend, 2006. I had to work all weekend, from about 11am til whenever, by that point in the summer, I was clocking about 10 or 11 hours minimum. I had started to be able to let my dog outside in the yard, however, tied to the porch with a very long rope. She was able to reach the grass, but stay in the back yard, and sit on the porch if it happened to rain or something. I had to get her used to being alone, and leaving her in the house didn't seem to work very well at the time.... she was still young and anxious.

One day, I went to work, and what had become our new routine, I walked her for a couple hours and then fed her, then put her outside and said "goodbye puppy, see you later tonight."
For a couple weeks, this worked well.
Until, the Long Weekend, I guess my landlord came by the house, he was kind of scared of dogs and a Pit Bull was even worse for him, regardless of how friendly she was. He cut the rope at some point and she got out of the yard, and it wasn't until one of my roommates came home and noticed that I got a call. When I finally got home, I went looking for her. I knew a lady from our walks, she took care of the alley cats in the neighborhood and some other strays... She had seen my dog, and warned me about letting her off leash.... This I already knew, it was just an accident on my part. Precious was found by a neighbor around the corner and taken in overnight, the couple contacted me in the morning. I was so re leaved, I never wanted anything to happen to my dog...

From then on, we had to change our little routine and schedule, I couldn't leave her outside all the time, and I had to take her out for more walks, and find a place for her to run as well.... Pit Bulls really do get a bad rap, they are very smart and loyal, and they listen very well... all they ask in return in attention and love, which really isn't hard with a good dog.

When we lived in the apartment, our routine was easy, moving into a smaller house with more people, meant not enough room, but more attention from people. She as able to get used to being around people. It just happened that I found a place that was in the area of one of the good friends that I made that summer, we lived right around the corner from each other. Precious got to know him pretty well and his girlfriend too, so she was as much part of the group most days as anybody.... I just had to keep her behaved. As she has a lot of energy as is very excitable when being played with.... she just loves the attention.

For Most of the summer of 2006, things were going fairly well. I was working and putting in a lot of hours, as were my house mates, there was only two rooms, but we also had the basement, so there was always extra people sleeping over.... we had a few birthday parties, but nothing ever really got out of hand. Eventually, I think, we all wanted to relax. One of my housemates actually hooked up with one of our friends from work, so he ended up staying at her place a lot.

The one thing that started bothering me after awhile, was people wanting me to drive them places, and home.... after work, or what not. At first, the few people that I allowed into my circle was acceptable, at times it was a little out of control. People started to expect me to drive them home, one instance in particular later in the summer was really what set me off.

By the time the end of August 2006 Rolled around, things were winding down for the season, most of the big events were done, only some small concerts and corporate functions were left. My Full Time hours were set to end sometime in September 2006.

It was early September 2006, when my new friend that was also my neighbor received word from Calgary, AB that his brother was in trouble and needed to get out of the city before being arrested. He made a snap decision to help his brother and asked me if I would be willing to also, by driving with him out to Calgary to pick up his brother and bring him back to Toronto. We made our arrangements for some time off work, as long as we were back in time for the following weekend. I made arrangements for my dog to go to Winnipeg, as was the original plan, but I was hesitant to leave her there.

We Left Toronto, ON on September 11, 2006. Our Destination was SW Calgary, AB. We made arrangements to stop in Fort Frances, ON at my friend's mother's place for a short rest. We did so, getting some sleep, shower and food before moving on.
Our Next stop was in Winnipeg, MB...I met with my EX briefly, and gave her the dog and her belongings, bed, etc.. I was not very impressed with her plan of where she was going to keep the dog considering she didn't have a permanent place to live herself. However, agreed to this plan long before it actually happened, I think I just caught her off guard and unprepared.
We pressed on Making it to Regina, SK around midnight, I called my friend there hours before to let him know, but we arrived much later than I anticipated which didn't give us much time to stay.... We pulled over after getting some refreshments and food, take a short breather and stretch out our legs.
Our next Destination was to get to Calgary, AB as soon as possible. We had to switch several times in our final stretch as were both very tired, and as we drove through what seemed like an electrical thunder storm over a wind farm late one night.
When we finally reached Calgary, AB we found out that we were only about 8 hours late. His brother had already been taken into Custody. We spent the night at some friends of my friends, but I was unfortunately unable to communicate with the other due to being seriously out of it....I was delirious from lack of sleep and driving.

We didn't have much time to look around or stay and visit, the very next morning we had to head back to Toronto, ON.... From Calgary, AB that morning, we drove straight through back to Fort Frances, ON.... Don't even ask me what day it was by then. We slept and she made us breakfast and then we had to be on our way home, so we said our goodbyes and thank yous.
We were back in Toronto sometime late that night, possibly after midnight. As much as I tried to document our time on the road, it becomes very hard when you lose all sense of time. I do know that we made the Round-Trip From Toronto, ON to Calgary, AB and Back, in approximately 5 days.

It was about the second week of September 2006, when we arrived back in Toronto from our 5 day mission to Calgary and back. I was only back a couple days when I received a phone call from Winnipeg, MB telling me that Precious had been through her third home since we dropped her off. I was told that if she couldn't find a home that they were going to put her to sleep, now I wasn't having that, I had been caring for this animal for the whole time we had her, and I send her away for a week, and suddenly people wanted to put her to sleep.

At the same time, my Ex-girlfriend's cousin was in Toronto visiting some friends and was due to leave the next day. I made arrangements to get her to the airport and leave with her, I boarded the flight and went to Winnipeg, MB not even thinking about it. I was waiting for two pay checks from previous weeks, as well as my current pay check. So, the whole time I was in Winnipeg I had no money, but I was able to stay at the cousin's house with my dog while I waited for my money. I had to call back to Toronto and ask somebody that I worked with to both pick up my check and put it into my bank account for me.

I stayed in Winnipeg for about a week, waiting for my check to clear. While we were there I took the dog for plenty of walks, some lasting hours or most of the day... On our last day we walked all the way to the airport to buy our tickets, and made some arrangements for how we were going to get there because the City of Winnipeg, MB does not allow animals of any kind on their transit system. I thought that was the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I got told off by a bus driver, before I even knew that too.... Just started screaming at me like a jackass.

I got back to the house to find the girls sitting there starring at me. They asked where I was all day, I told them we went for a walk and I bought the air tickets back to Toronto. That's when I got an earful from them, apparently they were planning on returning to Toronto with me. Now, how was I supposed to know that, I was being ignored for most of the week. The girls would go out at night, stay out all day, and leave the kid with me or the other guy that was living there. I had to take care of my dog, the child was a good girl and behaved fairly well too.

I returned to Toronto the day after my birthday, September 30, 2006. Nobody knew, and I wasn't telling them. My Full Time hours had ceased and the season had changed over already at The Docks, so I basically went from working 100 hours a week to nothing overnight. A few days later, the girls showed up in Toronto with the little girl as well. On her last visit, the cousin had become infatuated with one of my friends that lived in the house. I had previously told the girls that they could stay with us if they came to Toronto, but I didn't have enough time to let the guys know, only the new boyfriend of the cousin had any clue.

October 2006, 1 Dog, one 3-year old, 2 women, and 4 guys in a two bedroom house (Main floor & Basement). This was our accommodation for the next month. Since My EX had left in such a hurry when we were together and I jumped into a new job, there was still some unresolved feelings that were never dealt with, mostly on my part I guess. We were trying to be friends, but I had opinions, about what she was doing - Everybody, lol...
She was OK with it, I just thought she was taking some unnecessary risks. I was trying to find a new job, taking some odd jobs throughout the month... Near the end of the month, I ended up going back to driving a forklift. This time in a warehouse, in the north end of the City aka North York.
Eventually, The girls gave up on there idea of moving to Toronto. They never really tried too hard anyway, but they ended up leaving on October 31, 2006 and the very same night I worked my first Full Time night shift at the warehouse.

November 2006, I became a FT employee at a company that manufactured floor vents. It was a good job for the time, I hadn't worked in a long time, and the wage was back to something I was more used to. I spent the first couple weeks getting acquainted with the duties, and the next few weeks getting used to being the only person in the warehouse that spoke English. At the time, everybody on my shift was Mandarin and spoke nothing but, only myself and my supervisor were English speakers. It took over a month for us all to become friendly with each other.

December 2006, As we got to know each other and I became used to the job, it was just a job.... I was already bored, I just went home in the morning and took my dog for a walk, fed her and we went to bed... when I woke up, I would take my dog for another walk and prepare for my shift. I was unable to see many of my friends by that point, they had different schedules than me, but we tried to keep in touch. Most of the people who had stayed at The Docks were starting to struggle in the winter months. The summer season really allows more earnings as tips are much bigger and more plentiful. Even around Christmas, the company wanted us to work. With only the three main days off, we just kept going.

It was 3 weeks before Christmas, when I decided to look into going back to school. I figured I could work at night and do my classes in the daytime. I was right and it worked. I completed 2 classes before Christmas, for a total of 3 weeks then I had 1 week off.... it was the few days between Christmas and New Years that I was hired on permanently at the Warehouse. Again I had to changed the routine I had for me and my dog......

TO BE CONTINUED ...... JANUARY 2007 & Beyond

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; March 2006; ROAD TRIP-WINNIPEG, MB; Newly Incorporated Business & Studio building in Progress.

The final week of March 2006, we had left Winnipeg, MB, and reluctantly with an extra passenger... a girl that would become my Next future EX, so to speak. I have to admit I did not think ahead when I let her come back with me. At the time I was living at my parents house, and had a job that kept me away for 12 hours each day that I worked. I had no idea where she was going to stay or how I was going to explain her being there, at my parents house. So, I asked what her plan was.

She told me that she would come to Toronto, for two weeks, but had to be back in Manitoba for her birthday. Her Birthday was in 2 weeks. So I asked how she planned on getting there for her birthday if she was in Toronto. I suggested the Bus, the cheapest way... She said that sounded OK, although she had no money. Looks like I wasn't the only one who didn't make any short term plans. I was OK with paying for a bus ticket, my mistake was asking if she wanted to come back afterward, so I ended up paying for a return ticket. I bought the ticket while we were passing through Thunder Bay, ON.... the next day we were all a little more clear headed, and the questions started coming.

We got back to my Parent's place very late at night and I was able to bring her in without too much trouble. It was the next day when my parents found her in my room. She basically had two weeks to kill, with no idea of what to do with that time. I believed that she would come back after her trip back to her birthday parties, and I knew I couldn't keep her at my parent's house. I started looking for an apartment for us. I found a nice one in my old neighborhood in Mississauga, as she said she wasn't ready to live in Toronto. I made sure we were close to buses and had easy access to the Subway.

Needless to say, the next couple months were going to be interesting... It took her a couple days to actually get on the bus by herself, she was a little freaked out for some reason. We were able to keep in touch, but I was given a little break. When she got back, we spent some time together as by the time she had gone back to Winnipeg, I had lost my job because of a serious miss communication. We decided to get a dog, a young Pit Bull that we named Precious, she was very bony and malnourished when we picked her up at the Toronto Humane Society.

I had to pay the rent somehow, so I started looking for a job for both of us. I took the dog for walks about three times a day at that point, just to get outside, and give the dog some exercise. The girl had taken the dog for a walk one afternoon and disappeared for hours, she eventually called me to tell me that she had sprained her ankle and couldn't walk. After that point, she became very home sick, and was getting irritable. Her mother offered to pay for a plane ticket for her to go back to Winnipeg.

It was May 17, 2006 when she boarded her plane headed back home. She left me with the dog, which I was becoming very attached to anyway. She also wanted to stay together as long as we could, the same day I dropped her at the airport I also started a new job. I was working at Polson Pier aka The Docks Niteclub. I basically threw myself into the job, thinking that I would remain faithful. Although I did, I became very bored with the long distance relationship as it wasn't going all that well anyway....

It wasn't until June 2006, that the job became Full Time. Instead of only working in the club during the weekends, I worked FT at the Golf Center which was a Driving Range/Drive-In Theater. I Did this for the next month without much rest, and near the end of June 2006, the girlfriend who was now living back in Winnipeg finally broke up with me, as she had met somebody new.

I July 2006, I had to move out of the apartment in Mississauga, and into a shared house back in my old neighborhood of Parkdale with three other guys, my co-workers from The Docks. This was a needed move, as all of us were looking for a place to live and fast, and good for me and my dog, as she wasn't seeing me nearly as much as she needed to. My hours were getting crazy throughout the summer. I was working almost everyday and the days I wasn't working I was very busy...


2000-2009: Decade of Development


PREVIOUSLY; A very long and stress filled 2005; Many job, in many fields; A couple failed relationships; A Journey, A Destination, and A Return...

January 2006, As I had much of the week to get things done and accomplished, I had an idea to finish something I tried to do while living in Vancouver. I went back and completed my bartending course. This time I was able to finish.... long story. I attended the Bartending School of Ontario, bartending school is not meant to be difficult, but they more or less want you to know what you're doing. I went back mostly to finish something I didn't in the past, but also for the knowledge, a refresher, and possible job opportunities later on.

It only took about a month to complete, two days a week. It also included some interesting workshops as well. I was able to attend a workshop put together by Labbatt and Inbev. It was basically a bunch of knowledge on the products from around the world, mostly stats, and some demonstrations. We got to taste samples of everything, learn to pour certain Beers properly, and also learn the Belgian pour.

Later in January 2006, my MVA settlement finally came through after some document exchanges, so I already knew how much I was getting I just had to wait for it. I saw this as an opportunity to both, put something away, as well as build for NOW. I decided I wanted to start building a home studio. I looked into buying a Piano keyboard for production. I started hunting through EBAY.

I finally found the piece I wanted to buy and started bidding. By the time I won, and paid, and the keyboard was shipped it was already February 2006. This important piece of my future studio now brought my thoughts into a new set of possibilities and ideas. I thought it was time to look into actually registering my business. I had been operating a company with a name, but I was advised against registering the company until I knew exactly what direction I wanted to go with it.
After consulting with a lawyer, as well as an accountant about certain legal issues of having a registered company, and what kind of registered company would suit my business.
In the end I decided I wanted to incorporate my company.

The process started in March 2006. I had to go back to the lawyer, luckily he was a family friend and a client of my mother's bookkeeping service. He was able to put together the documents necessary and get the incorporation done in a much faster way than me. I had previously looked into the process on my own, and it would have cost a little less, but probably taken much longer.

I paid the initial fee, and we did the first name search, unfortunately, the name I had been using for over three years needed now to be changed. So Red Brown Entertainment quickly became Freeze Flame Productions Inc. The process was completed March 23, 2006.

About a week before the Incorporation process was completed, a friend of mine was getting restless after ending a relationship with a girl he'd been with for a couple years. He suggested that we take a road trip, for about a week or so. For some reason he wanted to go out to Winnipeg, MB. So we left a couple days later after planning a bit.
Keeping in mind that it wasn't quite spring time in most of the country. When we left Toronto, the weather was fine, clear and dry, I drove for most of that day.
We took the Northern Route, HWY 11, and it wasn't until somewhere farther north than North Bay, ON late in the middle of the night that the weather changed very drastically.

We were driving tired, through a blizzard. With the snow coming from straight ahead, and the headlights not seeing anything but, it became pretty hypnotic..... and with the wipers going at the same time, after a short time I could barely keep my eyes open. We stopped for a moment and I drank two red bulls immediately. We then traded drivers, I took a nap... fell asleep almost instantly, so I am not sure how long he was at the wheel. However long, it didn't seem long enough because I was so tired, but the energy drinks did kick in to give me a boost.

The snow stopped sometime during the night, he was kind of in a hurry to get to our destination so we kept pushing. After Thunder Bay, ON I suggested that we stop at one of my friend's places. My other idea was to do a little business along the way, that meant stopping at the very same radio stations I did the previous summer. Both ideas were dismissed, he was on a mission of another kind.

When we finally got to Winnipeg, MB we were exhausted, I was completely out of it. I think I had done most of the driving. When we checked into a local hotel, a nice one.... he had benefits from his job. We got a great discounted rate, I think it was around 3 days for the price of 1.

It was a day or two before we recovered from the drive enough to set out in search of something to do that week. It was at a restaurant at lunch one day when we finally figured something out. A waiter had told us about a club in the city, that had a very popular ladies night, where the ratio was about 3 to 1, women to men. We decided to check it out.

Lucky for us too, it was spring break, and to our surprise Winnipeg is a popular place for University girls from nearby US bordering states, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota to name a few.... A met a girl from one of those states, and a older biker chick from BC.... and at some point that night my friend and I got separated. He found a couple local girls that invited us back to their place the next day. We arrived at the girl's place the next day, where we were introduced to about a half a dozen other girls. The girl who actually lived in the house had a small child, and wanted to introduce me to her cousin. The girl eventually invited us to spend the rest of our time in the city at her house, so we went back to the hotel and checked out, saving us a little money.

We spent two nights at the house partying and what not, and the following day we had to leave. This girl whom I had been introduced wanted to go with us..... This was the girl that would end up my Next girlfriend; Not really thinking about much, except the way home..... We ended up leaving late that night headed back to Ontario, with an extra passenger....

TO BE CONTINUED .... Q2 2006 & Beyond...