Really home | Thursday, February 7th, 2013

"Hey, Chris, isn't that your dog?" asked the scruffy-looking guy to his even scruffier-looking friend.
His friends' gaze turned away from his grilling chicken breasts and towards me and Ryu. "No, wait... well, one second now... hey hold up man, where'd you get that dog? Is that my dog?"
"Nah man," I replied, gripping Ryu's leash tighter as I sensed him sensing my apprehension, "this ain't your dog."
"Chris, I think that's your dog, man." The less-scruffy dude started to approach us.
"Listen, guys, I can assure you that this is not your dog," I replied, my tone growing deeper. "He will be more than happy to convince you himself if you get any closer." That, of course, was an outright lie. Ryu would sooner roll over onto his back and offer up his tummy for rubs than defend me from brigands.
"Nah nah, that's not my dog, let'em go Bryce." He turned to me as I continued to walk away; "Sorry man, it's just that I've got a dog just like that."

Of course you do. Two mean looking brothers dressed in parkas and running shoes, grilling their dinner at 8pm in the parking lot of the Extended Stay Hotel here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, have a dog that looks exactly like mine. I was tired after a good 10 hours of winter driving from Steven's Point, Wisconsin - 8 hours of meandering around the Great Lakes, through Chicago Traffic, and getting hoplessly lost in Fort Wayne in that Hemi Dodge Charger with nothing but quick pit-stops. I was exhausted, impatient, and my tolerance for bullshit was near its all-time low - and I was certainly not going to get jumped, scammed or mugged.

A cold city | Monday, December 10th, 2012

The weather in Saskatoon has been rather cold over the past few days, even by Saskatoon standards. Cycling to work is getting more challenging due not only to the drop in temperatures but also the lack of any snow-clearing infrastructure in the city. This morning, Ryu and I stumbled upon an unfortunate casualty of the city and its freezing temperatures: Frozen Coyote

This poor coyote was found behind a building in Kinsmen park, peacefully curled up for warmth but frozen solid. I called animal services and they said they didn't do that sort of thing, so I was referred to Saskatoon sanitation services instead, who said they were on their way to take care of it. I don't think Ryu knew what the dead coyote was; I hope he didn't. He likely assumed it was just like all the other stuffed animals / inanimate objects that bear an uncanny resemblance to his own kind but don't move. To him it was just an artifact. To me, it was beautiful, tragic, and very real. Scores of animals die all the time, especially here in the national parks, but here's one, tangible, immediate, unavoidable, apparent, flawless, right in front of me. Somehow, it mattered more because it was here and now and in my face. At any rate, it was an odd way to start a Monday morning.

Biking to work, I also saw a taxi blow a red light and T-Bone a car into a lamp post. After making sure everyone was OK, I got to the office, where I was the only person there because everyone's away on meetings or vacation. This has been a strange day in a strange month in a very strange year. "May you live in interesting times", though not a real Chinese curse, definitely carries weight with me these days.

Career search | Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I'm a tech, new media and web person with 10+ years of development and project management experience. I'm in pursuit of new opportunities in web content development, social media marketing strategy or interactive project management, in the Montreal, QC area or elsewhere (I'm currently based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan).

Things I know:

  • Web content development, writing for the web, technical writing
  • HTML5, CSS, mobile web development, some other programming languages
  • Content management systems (Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla, SiteCore)
  • Social media strategy, crisis management, community gardening
  • Linux, Windows & Apple hardware, servers and software, Office Suites, Photoshop, InDesign, Gimp, Premiere
  • Wired & wireless networking, network security, penetration testing, system hardening
  • Photography
  • Bartending

Things I am:

  • Fully bilingual French/English (Federal Gov't testing level "E"), conversant in Spanish.
  • Punctual
  • Hardworking
  • A strong leader
  • Creative
  • Adept at finding solutions to complex content and media issues
  • Autonomous and independent
  • Skilled at explaining technical concepts in layman's terms

People & places I've worked for / at:

  • Parks Canada Agency (Saskatoon, SK)
  • My own consulting firm (Montreal, QC)
  • MeasurementLab / New America Foundation (Google, Inc. -supported project) (Washington, DC)
  • World Association of Young Scientists (UNESCO - supported project) (Paris, FR & Budapest, HU)
  • Acorn Active Media Foundation (Urbana, IL)
  • McGill University Health Centre (Montreal, QC)
  • Hôpital Ste-Justine (Montreal, QC)
  • Groupe Uni-Spec (Saguenay, QC)
  • Colubris Networks (Laval, QC)

Things I've learned:

  • Park & Historic Site interpretation, Web & PDF Accessibility (Parks Canada workshops)
  • Navigating the murky N.G.O, funding and non-profit waters (various)
  • Working in the medical field (MUHC / Ste-Justine)
  • Dealing with strict governmental standards and policies on web and social media (Parks Canada Agency)
  • Some engineering, marketing, accounting & management (Concordia University)
  • Pure & Applied Science (CÉGEP Vanier College)

Ways to get in touch with me:

  1. My View Steven Mansour's profile on LinkedIn
  2. Email at myfirstname [at] thisdomain [dot] com
  3. Skype at stevenmansour
  4. Gtalk at firstname.lastname [at] gmail [dot] com
  5. MSN Mess at steven350 [at] hotmail


Electronic Cocaine | Monday, July 9th, 2012

“The computer is electronic cocaine for many people,” says Whybrow. “Our brains are wired for finding immediate reward. With technology, novelty is the reward. You essentially become addicted to novelty.


Hello again, old friend. | Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Well, that certainly took a while.

The update to Drupal 7 was quite the pain, but seems to be mostly working now. The theme is still busted and most other things are not working, but hopefully I can be back up and running within a week or two. In the meantime, I post tidbits to a Google+ account. We'll see how long that lasts.

Catalog Living | Friday, November 12th, 2010

Tacky, arranged furniture catalog photos are great targets for snippyness. Billed as "A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs" Catalog Living adds always-hilarious captions to the already-humorous photos we find in our furniture catalogs:

Tisn’t quite the season…

Embarrassed by their premature arrival, Gary & Elaine’s decorative Christmas trees made their way upstairs to hide for another month.