Friday, December 3, 2010

A Terrible Guide to Finding Exclusive Group Deals in Your Local City

This article was originally written by a late friend of mine named Larry Chen, but published to my website when it was more of a group project. I have decided to keep this. The words below are his, and not mine at all. Thank you for your concerns.

I used to live in Calgary, but now live in Saskatoon, and I wouldn't mind living here for the long-term. It's a great city, and the businesses are interesting.

But, moving on... I like cheap stuff as much as any other person.

Recently, this website's webmaster and founder discovered group buying deal websites, but I decided to look into them further.

Basically, these websites allow you an awesome deal that ranges from 50% to as much as 90% off any regular deals. However, there is a catch. On a regular (likely daily) basis, group deal websites tend to post a deal, as long as enough people "buy the deal," meaning enough people actually have to be interested and commit to it.

Let's take a look at this screenshot below:
MySaskDeals.com Example
This screenshot was taken from mysaskdeals.com, advertising a great deal that is essentially 50% off of a professional snowboard waxing at 2nd Nature Sports & Apparel on 2nd Avenue North in Saskatoon. Under the part that says "it's a deal," it says "Tipped at 22:13:58 with 10 bought."

So, basically, in order for you to be eligible for this deal, you must commit to buying it. Upon doing so, you must provide your billing and credit card information. Once the required number of people (in the case above, ten) does what you just did, the deal becomes active, and you will receive an email regarding its confirmation. Usually, you will need to print off a coupon or certificate, while some websites offer a smartphone app that allows you to use as a way of presenting it to the business rather than using up paper.

In the picture above, the deal was active because ten or more people committed to buying it, so the number of people who bought it will have their credit cards charged. Now, if the required number of people does not buy it, your credit card will not be charged. It's as simple as that.

So, now that you have a good idea of what these websites are for.

With Reverend Huy Dang's results so far, I have found a few more websites. In total, here is what we both found that offer discounts in Saskatoon: For those of you who live in Calgary, I did find some similar websites.

Sites like Groupon and WagJat already include Calgary, but here are some that do include Calgary but not Saskatoon: And in case you didn't know, Future Shop did something similar to this not long ago, and it was a huge success for them, I bet. I bought myself a laptop, anti-virus software and USB headset for $299.99 before taxes and fees! For more information on that, click here.

Please note that this page/article will be updated on a regular basis, should more websites be discovered.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reverend Huy Dang's Journey at the Conservative Electoral District Association's Annual BBQ Where He Met the Right Honourable Stephen Harper

On September 9, 2010, I had the honour of meeting a very important man, and possibly the most powerful man in Canada.

It all started one day when I was checking my email and received an invitation to a "BBQ," which I assumed would be outside. Usually, I ignore invitations to barbeques, or parties, as I don't like having a social life all that much, apparently. But this time, I could not ignore it, as the invitation specifically placed an emphasis on the fact that Prime Minister Harper would be in attendance. At this point, I was willing to go, and so I registered for the BBQ.

On the day of the BBQ, it was raining, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been at the University of Saskatchewan earlier in the day, making a funding announcement for the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, inside the Diefenbaker Canada Centre. He announced that there would be federal funding for renovations. I did try to attend, but was told to leave by campus security officials.

It all started off very well, and I made my way to Prairieland Park, where this supposed "BBQ" was being hosted.

This is where I felt very welcome:
A Welcoming Message
Note: you can view larger images, by clicking on the pictures!

Once I walked through the registration area, there were a lot of people:
People

As it turns out, there were more people than I expected:
More people than expected...

So, I walked around looking for people that I might know, and I didn't find anyone that I knew, as I seem to be the only "young" person interested in politics these days within my circle of friends.

But while I was there, I did see Global Saskatoon reporter Sherri Clark:
Global Saskatoon Reporter Sherri Clark

Eventually, I saw the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, who manages three portfolios within the Government of Saskatchewan (Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations, Minister Responsible for Northern Affairs, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation)... as well as Saskatoon City Councillor Bev Dubois. They were both nice enough to let me take their picture:
Ken Cheveldayoff and City Councillor Bev Dubois

Eventually, it was time to introduce the special guests, and that started with an address by Kelly Block, the Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar:
Kelly Block

Eventually, some very important people stepped out from behind the scenes:
Behind the scenes...

Then, the special guest arrived! Yes! For the first time in my life, I would get to see a sitting prime minister for the first time, in person...
Prime Minister Harper's Speech
The man was making a very important speech, and I am glad I was there to listen, even if I cannot remember the entire speech today.

But as I watched the speech, this man kept looking towards my direction... even though he didn't do anything, I was paranoid:
Bodyguard

Then, I saw Tom Lukiwski, the Member of Parliament for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre! When I asked him if I could take a picture, he said "Absolutely!" Then, his friend (to the right) stepped aside:
Tom Lukiwski

Then, his friend offered to take a picture of me and Tom:
Reverend Huy Dang/Tom Lukiwski

And eventually, after Prime Minister Harper made his speech, we were given the opportunity to take our photos with him. So, as I waited in line, I met a woman who works for the Honourable Gerry Ritz, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for the Government of Canada. Eventually, when it was my turn, I went through eight security officials before being able to meet the Prime Minister of Canada. After the quick security check, I met with Mr. Harper for a quick moment, and told him about my crazy ideas as quickly as I could. However, I was only able to get one idea to him. But before I started my conversation with him, he complimented me on my t-shirt and said, "I see you've got the shirt."

Eventually, after getting my picture taken, I was given a card by the prime minister's photographer that looked like this:
Request for Photo

So, later that night, I sent an email requesting that the photographer email me the photo with the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

And on September 16, 2010, the photographer finally did just that, resulting in this wonderful picture:
Reverend Huy Dang/Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Overall, this moment was probably the biggest moment of my life in recent history.

I'm Reverend Huy Dang and would like to thank you for taking the time to read my article.