Sunday, October 21, 2018

So after multiple camera purchases, a drone, 3 GoPro’s, and more equipment then I should admit I own, I decided to try the Ricoh Theta 360 Camera. I purchased it just before a trip to Las Vegas in June and tried it out. Unfortunately it was 47C in Vegas the week were there so we weren’t outside as much as we usually are. We also didn’t venture outside of Vegas either.

After experimenting with the camera, I regret not getting it sooner. It would have been really cool to shot some 360 photos in Lower Antelope Canyon on our last trip. I’m hoping to get to Coyote Butte and the Wave this fall. Hopefully I win the lottery and get a chance.

Bellagio Lobby. Another 360 image for anyone using their VR headset. or viewing on their phone/tablet. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The Bellagio Lobby

The Camera was very easy to operate. I’m not a big fan of having to interface with my phone for everything. But the Theta let’s you click and shoot and gives you the option of viewing and downloading at a later time. The wireless syncing was easy. Overall it just worked. There is no onboard GPS, viewfinder, or other features. Just choose between photo or video, point, and click.

The resolution quality is pretty good. This is one specialty area that needs to really amp up the resolution. I also wish there were more options for posting the content. The Theta site will only store your still images, not video. You have to use YouTube if you want your 360 videos. You can use Facebook but it downgrades so badly, YouTube is a much better option.

Plug the images in the VR Viewer apps on your Android phone and use a cheap VR headset and you can relive the moments in 360 relatively easy. The VR headset and your vacation images are a great way to immerse someone who has never travelled to the there, and get a far better appreciation for the space then they would with a 2D flat image.

GoPro’s Fusion VR camera looks very interesting, 5.2K resolution.
Garmin’s VIRB 360 looks equally cool, complete with GPS, and image stabilization.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The Wynn

Bellagio Conservatory Another 360 image for anyone using their VR headset. or viewing on their phone/tablet. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The Bellagio Conservatory

The Park Another 360 image for anyone using their VR headset. or viewing on their phone/tablet. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The Park

2017 Playoff ticket renewal was couriered on Monday. The prices, although not surprising, were still a little shocking. I understand this is where the real profit for team ownership comes from, but when viewed as only a percent increase, the increases are significant. The following table is for my season tickets in the lower bowl, aisle seats, offensive zone, row 17. I’ve had Season’s tickets for over 20 years and already accepted a hefty price increase to move into Rogers Place.

Our round tickets go up 60% and round 4 when it happens is a whopping 220% increase. Of course the street value for these tickets will be even higher, the demand will be high, and with each round the hype and anticipation will get higher.

The total potential cost of the playoffs, assuming 4 rounds x 4 games maximum per round = 16 games will be $4,928 for 16 games. The regular season cost is 45 games for $6,300.00. $308/game vs $140.00/game.

I won’t debate the entertainment value of playoff hockey, but paying double the price seems like an extreme way to treat your loyal customers. Of course the tickets will sell out, of course we’ll renew, people will make buckets of money selling them privately, and of course the Oilers will probably win the Stanley Cup 😉

Sportsnet Article on the same subject. Nice of them to link my tweet 🙂

The ground was broken March 3, 2014 and 922 days later the public open house happened. Just over 28 months and the empty gravel lot became one of the City’s biggest capital projects. Love the arena or hate it, that’s your choice, but you can’t deny the $2 Billion of construction that has started adjacent to this project is a significant boost to the downtown. Will the development have occurred without an arena? That’s hard to say. Changing demographics, the traditional work environment is evolving, the need to densify, all factors that suggest a renewed interest in our downtown will happen, the arena is just a catalyst. If this will really pan out, who knows, but that logic can be applied to anything we build, there’s always risk. There is a segment of the our population that use this type of facility, just like a recreation centre or library or performing arts centre. Taxpayers pay, some people use it some don’t. I’m not sure why there’s so much negativity, I guess there will always be a core group of outspoken citizens struggling with change. In the end we don’t know 100% that this project will fail to renew the downtown and do what it claimed it would but we also don’t know it won’t. We’ve spend decades sitting around. The do nothing group has had their time to prove to us that this has been the best course of action; and they’ve failed to deliver. It’s time to give the change advocates, the big idea people, a chance now. In 30 years if this hasn’t worked we can point fingers then.

The impact on homeless is a more interesting one. Is it really fair to expect a series of capital projects to solve social issues? The reality is that great strides have been taken to take 1,000’s of people off the streets already, and yet all levels of government struggle with this issue. ANY development in the downtown has the potential to disrupt the homeless, but we aren’t asking them to fix the problem. What will the City do when the Stanley Milner Library is closed for an extensive period for renovation? This will have a significant impact on our inner city population. Social issues are complex and societies problem to deal with and fix. They shouldn’t be taken lightly but at the same time don’t deflect the responsibility to a development project with limited ability to create any kind of meaningful change; that’s all of our responsibilities.

The facility is just an arena, it’ll create civic pride for some, it’ll create jobs for others, it’ll be an issue for some. There will be complaints about cost, access, operations, treaty land, etc. but at the end of the day those same complaints are levied against all civic facilities at some point; libraries, art galleries, performing arts, community buildings, even schools. We’re now a small big city, let’s start acting like one.

So if you want to read about my thoughts on the actual building, the rest is for you. If you don’t or you just want to bitch about hot dog prices then google something else and keep walking.

First off, hat’s off the City of Edmonton staff and Rogers Place staff for doing a great job. If you could follow directions, things went smoothly. Remember just because someone didn’t do it the way you would have, doesn’t make it wrong. There were lots of volunteers on the street directing people, lot’s of staff in the building, lots of police, if you didn’t know about parking, access, and other issues then that was your problem. Food prices I won’t even touch. It’s an event space, expect high prices. Why are people surprised about this??

The Ford Hall is a great space. My only complaint on opening day was the lack of benches and trash cans but I’m assuming they’re coming.

The Iron Foot Place mural by Alex Janvier is amazing and worth the visit on it’s own.


The second most talked about feature, the scoreboard also didn’t disappoint. It was amazing.


Even from the top row the scoreboard looks great.

One of the more striking features is the amount of glass. The windows are great addition to the design.

The Curve restaurant on the Loge level also looks like a great space and idea. Let’s hope it’s relatively easy to get in!! You can see people in the photo, the lower balcony area, looking down from the restaurant. The people at the highest balcony area are in the concession area for the upper sections.

It was unfortunate we couldn’t access the seats, I understand why, but at the same time it would have been great. With all the talk about how the organizers visited multiple venues and stole the best ideas, it’s clear when you visit that they did a great job.

Cranes will be around the site for a few more months!