Four Trends Impacting Employee Benefits in Canada

Note: This is my first blog post (below) for the company that I work for: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. The post is about four trends that are changing pensions and benefits in Canada, but in general, these topics are also something the U.S. and other countries are seeing and dealing with. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cannabis, pharmacogenetics, blockchain, artificial intelligence . . . here’s a look at trends that might impact employee benefits in Canada.

Source: Four Trends Impacting Employee Benefits in Canada

A Renewed Intention

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Brad Bauter at the HRPA conference in Toronto, Ontario

In 2006 I started my blog so I could share with the world things I thought were fun, unique and interesting . . . to me. Then came a child, and my job, and then another child and then, well you get where I am going with this right? Well, I am letting you know that I am back! I hope, I think. I have been traveling a lot lately and with that comes some time for just myself and 140+ passengers in an aluminum tube hurling across the sky to reflect, discover and share things I see, learn and do.

With that said, I am also starting to blog at work, until they flat out tell me that I should just stop. It has made me think of blogging personally again. Is blogging still a term kids use these days? What you will see in coming posts are my personal thoughts, triumphs, challenges along the road of life, oh, and work reposts which I assure you have some interesting content.

I promise I haven’t changed much since 2006 other than hair color (colour if from Canada and the UK) and 20+ pounds—more about that later. So, I invite you to join me on this renewed intention to share with you things that interest me, after all, this is my blog err, posts, um, thingy. Doh!

—Brad

Fotoshop by Adobé

Below is a great video making the rounds on the net these days. Very funny and well done also. More truth than some would like to admit to, but it is reality. I like to say that yesterday’s wet darkroom is today—Photoshop. Enjoy Fotoshop by Adobé and thanks to Jesse Rosten for producing this little ad!

Have a safe New Year!

I just want to wish all of you a safe and happy new year. please be safe, but have fun in bringing in 2012. May 2012 be even better than 2011. Don’t forget, tomorrow I plan on beginning my project 365 (or 366 depending on how you look at it) photography project. Please check back often.

Happy New Year!

Brad

My New Year Resolution

As the clock strikes midnight throughout the world, people all around make resolutions. Most of these resolution fall well short of the expectations and promises that were originally made. I am guilty of making such bold predictions such as getting fit, loosing weight or saving money for that rainy day, which after these past few years is not too bad of an idea. However, like millions do, these resolutions fail. Why, I am not to sure, but I do know that after some consideration, I have decided to make at least one resolution.

Mine is not earth shattering, but it is something I think I should be able to do. I have decided to make myself do a project 365, or in this years case, a project 366 due to 2012 being a leap-year. For those unfamiliar, a 365 project is one where you take at least one photo every day for a year and then post all of them somewhere. I plan on doing this starting January 1, 2012 and will post photos either on this blog or at bauter|photo. My thought is to try to post everyday to my Flickr account and possibly link them to bauter|photo as well, make a weekly post on this site. This I expect will be an ever moving fluid process. Only time will tell. I am not expecting the worlds greatest photos, but maybe there will be gems along the way.

I am really looking forward to this project and hope that you will too. I might even try to keep up with my other resolutions too, but lets try to keep one of them going for sure.

We will see on Sunday!

Poll: 2011 Year in review

2011 was certainly a year for the books—both personally and world-wide. The majority of the major news events I can recall surround world leadership changes. As it has been said many times, “The only constant is change.”

All politics aside though, what do you think was the most significant event of 2011? Please take the quick poll below and let me know your thoughts. I will have it open for you to choose for a while. I really would love to hear your thoughts too, so please leave a comment (I do moderate my comments, but most every comment gets in except if you are really mean or just spam)!

Johnnie Walker-The Man Who Walked Around The World

I have been searching the web lately looking at great ads of the past and present. In particular, ads that were/are unique—not just the ad creative, but also the way it is produced. This ad for Johnnie Walker, shot in 2008 and airing in 2009 is a good example of what I am talking about. The unique part of this though is that it was shot in one continuous take. The final ad you see was take #40, and considering the distance one can walk in five-plus minutes, there was a lot of travel involved to restart the takes. This ad was developed by BBH (in the UK).

Sometimes the story of the ad is just as fascinating as the the story the ad itself is telling!


iChristmas Music

On December 8, 2010, a group of musicians from the North Point Ministries iBand produced a concert playing instruments that were apps on Apple iPads and iPhone/iPod Touch(s). What impresses me is they did the set in front of a live audience and I never heard any mistakes—plus it tounds great! Tis the season so let’s all enjoy some Christmas music by the way of iDevices played by the North Point iBand. Enjoy!

Holiday Gift Guide to Men (Part Four)

Round four of the Holiday Gift Guide to Men brings you all things for your iDevices. As always, I either have these items or am wishing I had these items. Some of these are also able to work with devices other than Apple products.

Elago S4 Slim Fit iPhone 4/4s Case

Do you have a new iPhone 4 or 4s? You know they look great and you want to keep them that way, so why not protect them? The only problem I have is that some cases go to the extreme and protect your phone from falls off of towering skyscrapers which results in a bit of bulk. The Elago S4 Slim Fit case protects your phone from everyday wear and tear and it is what its name suggest—slim. No, this is not going to protect your phone from high falls or sudden dunks in a toilet, but I am hoping you respect your expensive iPhone and don’t treat it like a flip phone from years past. Best of all this case gives a little grip to the slippery phone yet it is easily retrieved out of pants pockets which other grippy cases do not do so well.

Cost: $10

rooCase for iPad 2

This case for your iPad 2 is a great case for the executive that wants to protect the iPad 2 and look professional at the same time. The rooCase is made of premium leather and features a soft microfiber lined cover with a magnet that works in conjunction with the iPad smart cover on/off feature. Please keep in mind this is not a sleek form fitting case, more of a portfolio. My wife has one for her iPad and loves it (so do I)!

Price: $30

Scoche passPORT Charging Adapter

Do you have an iAccessory like an iHome that you bought a few years ago for your iPod, but now have an iPhone and now it won’t charge it? With this device, you can charge your iPhone with the older accessory—the Scoche passPORT Charging Adapter. I had this exact problem with my old Monster iPod FM Transmitter for the car. My transmitter worked great as a transmitter, but once I got an iPhone it was not wired to charge mt iPhone. I bought the passPort, just popped it onto my Monster 30-pin connector and then the adapter into the 30-pin slot on my phone and now what was once old is now new and most importantly—charging my iPhone.

Price: $20

Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4/4s

Are you always on the iPhone and now with iOS 5 noticing you are left with little power to your phone. The Mophie Juice Pack Air gives your phone an extra battery and case all in one! This case adds to the size of the iPhone 4/4s but what it also adds is up to 6 more hours of talk time to your phone, and for some people that depend on their phone for business, this can be all that is needed to get the job or new client. This phone does use the 30-pin slot, so it is no longer available to use unless removing the case, but it then offers you to plug in the very common USB plug, which is included. That USB can also be plugged into the computer and it will still sync to iTunes without needing to remove the case. My dad has one and swears by it!

Price: $75

Apple TV

Yes, this is an iPhone/iPad Accessory! This tiny box attaches to your HDTV thru an HDMI cable and accesses all the content on your computer iTunes account but also any iPhone/iPad running iOS 4.2 using Airplay. You can stream video, movies, even apps to the big screen of your TV. This does work through WiFi or through Ethernet, but best of all this item is APPROVED by my co-worker Stacy as a great device!

Price: $100

Holiday Gift Guide to Men (Part Three)

Round three of the Holiday Gift Guide to Men. This one is themed outerwear, and like before, either I own it or want it. Also, if you are reading this and feel something else should be in the Holiday Gift Guide to Men, leave a comment or e-mail me and I will look into it. Oh, and if you wish to buy me something on the list, I am gladly accepting gifts as well!

Sherpa Adventure Gear Renzing Hat

It is getting cold outside and I am sure your man would like to keep his ears nice and toasty. The only thing is that you don’t want him looking like a school kid with a puff ball hat or like a droid wearing those earmuff things. This hat is made of lambswool with a polyester lining by the people of Nepal—the home of Mount Everest.This hat is available in a variety of colors, and I love it for its warmth and style. I especially like that it isn’t made in China.

Cost: $15

Isotoner Men’s Smartouch Fleece Lined Glove

Ever outside in the could and you reach for your touch screen phone only to realize you can’t use it because you have gloves on? These gloves are stylish and useful for more than keeping your hands warm—they also let you use your touch screen phone without taking of your gloves! There are other makers of this sort of glove, but I chose these for those of us that work in an office setting and may need to look a little more polished. I know that I sure could use these, because in January when it is below zero outside and my car barely breaks above the freezing point, I will still be able to use my phone! If interested, North Face also makes a series of gloves using the North Face Etip technology starting at around $60.

Price: $25

De Martini Messenger Bag

If your man is a bike messenger or likes quality, well made and unique bags for going to and from work, the De Martini bag might be for him. I have one of these bags and have had it for almost 10 years. The outside is made of a high quality canvas which is lined with an industrial vinyl that will keep all the inside belongings dry from the outside elements. These bags are rather simple no cheap fasteners or zippers that break. These use a simple metal buckle with nylon webbing for making it secure. Also, don’t expect hidden pockets all over. There is one open pocket on the inside. Simple, clean and built to last.

Price: $60-125

Wigwam Hiking Socks

Socks you say? Yes, socks. I own several pairs of these sock and can’t say enough about them other than they last forever, keep your feet warm when needed and help wick away moisture when needed and they are made in the USA! I ask for these socks every year because I just can’t wear regular socks on the weekends especially when it is freezing. These are great camping/hiking socks that also help minimize blistering when on long hikes, even in the heat of the summer.

As you can imagine, Wigwam makes more than one type of sock, so here is a link to their other styles. It is also nice to note that they also make socks for running and have an Ironman sock for those who run the Ironman.

Price: $15 a pair