Winter Is Beautiful!

Winter Landscape In Canada

Winter is beautiful! Landscape in Canada is some of the most beautiful in the world and you don’t have to go to The Rockies to experience it. Open your eyes anywhere in this country and you will see if you want to.

We were visiting our son in Saint-Sauveur over the holidays and were blown away when we visited Sainte-Adèle and discovered Le P’Tit Train du Nord. Stunning! (As you go through this blog, click the photos to enlarge. They will open in a new tab.)

Walking Le P'Tit Train du Nord

SMC Pentax 28-105mm on K-1ii


Our youngest daughter on the other hand, lives in The Rockies in British Columbia. She can be found hanging off cliffs and boulders or hiking trails most of us would never attempt!

I’m wondering if we created landscape addicts. Even our older daughter that lives in a larger city is very happy to get out into “the wilds” of northern Ontario. 

Dogsledding in Algonquin.

SMC Pentax DAL 18-55mm on K-S1

OK, I have to admit until we went through Quebec on our way to Halifax a few years ago, I thought Ontario was the only truly beautiful landscape. Well, Quebec is certainly competition. Oh, and Alberta and BC and …. I can’t decide any more!

Winter Cityscapes

It’s certainly beautiful in the countryside in Canada but I have to say, there is a different kind of beauty to some of our cityscapes, even in winter!

The photo below was taken the day after a major ice storm in March of 2016. I risked my life to get this photo! Roads were a little slick but I could just tell it would be absolutely beautiful and had to get out with my camera. 

Barrie Ice Storm

SMC Pentax DAL 18-55mm on K-S1

Just recently I was on a lunchtime walk downtown in Toronto. Even there, winter is beautiful in Canada!

Boardwalk at Queen's Quay in winter

Sigma 28-80mm on Pentax K-1ii

Winter Makes Us Who We Are!

Our landscape is what makes us truly Canadian. My belief is that because we have four seasons and our winters tend to be long and rather harsh, it makes us tougher and more resilient as a people.

We have a choice.

Barry Clermont on skis.

Yep, that’s me on skis!

Either succumb to the negativity and “hate” the winter or embrace a positive attitude and love it. It truly is a choice. When we moved to Barrie from Hamilton in 1990, we knew what we were facing. I was 29 at the time and had never skied in my life. We went to Snow Valley one day and saw all the teenagers having a great time. We decided that we would certainly prefer to see our kids hanging out with friends there than the mall. All four of the kids skied and we were blessed to share that with them!

Winter is beautiful in Canada! What will you decide?

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Pentax. I’m thankful for sunshine. I’m thankful for snow! What are you thankful for today?



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Pentax Lenses and My DA 18-135mm WR

Pentax lenses and cameras may not be mainstream but I’m an addict! My first SLR was a Pentax ME Super and when I bought a new camera, it was natural to buy a newer Pentax because I can still use my 40 year old lenses!

Pentax Lenses

Pentax camera and bag with lensesI believe even photographers that use other kits will admit Pentax makes great lenses. Pentax was the first to use Super Multi Coating on their lenses. This helps minimize dust sticking to the glass and really makes the difference in colours in the final pictures.

Over my lifetime, Pentax has continually developed new and improved lenses and yet maintained backward compatibility. Between the camera technology and lens technology, I’m glad I am still a Pentaxian. Search Facebook, we’re out there. Way out there!

There have been a few series of Pentax lenses:

  • K and M series are Manual.
  • FA series are more automatic and controlled by the camera body with the ability for most to be used manually if desired.
  • DA series are specifically designed for crop sensor cameras. They don’t have a manual aperture ring.
  • D FA series are automatic but optimized for digital cameras, both full frame and crop sensor. They have a manual aperture ring but can be controlled by the camera as well.

Like I said, I have had my Pentax lenses 40 years and own some of each of these.

eBay for Lenses (and cameras)

Pentax K-5 camera with Tamron 28-200mm lensWhen I broke one of my cameras, I wanted a backup while I had it fixed. I thought I would check eBay and lo and behold, there is a plethora of equipment available on eBay. I decided to take a chance on some really affordable options. My replacement camera, my Pentax K-5, turned out to be better than my main camera, the K-S1. Go figure!

  • Pentax 50-200mm 1:4-5.6 ED SMC DAL Telephoto Zoom Lens $19.92CDN
  • Lot of Two (2) SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6 K Bayonet Mount AF Lenses $1.31CDN
  • Lot of Two (2) SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 K Bayonet Mount AF $4.32CDN
  • Sigma 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 Aspherical-Macro Lens for Pentax $7.37CDN
  • PENTAX Pentax SMC 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 DC Lens $190.43CDN

These are only a few of the lenses and the last one is the first time I spent over $100. Any one of these when they were new would be many times what I paid. the 18-135mm new is about $500.

PENTAX Pentax SMC 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

This Pentax lens has turned out to be my favourite walk around lens on my K-5, the backup camera that is now my main squeeze!

Photo of Pentax Lens 18-135mmAlthough this lacks the aperture ring, I love the range and the ability to work with reasonably low light. As long as the camera isn’t having issues controlling the lens aperture (that would be the f-stop), you can shoot just about anything with this lens. I’m looking forward to getting back out to Ontario Parks and taking more pictures with this lens.

Why is this my new favourite Pentax lens?

  • When I am doing street photography and can’t get back from a building, it is wide enough in most cases.
  • If I’m catching a shot of birds, not too far away, this has pretty good reach.
  • IF, Internal Focusing. The lens doesn’t turn on the outside and it’s ultra quiet. It won’t scare those birds! 
  • I love the colours when shooting natural landscapes, particularly skies with character.
  • On the K-5, the whole kit is weather resistant! 

camera wet with rainYes, I can stand in a rain storm and not worry too much about the camera or lens. A little common sense here, don’t be zooming while wet, the vacuum may still draw water in while it’s wet.

So, if you like to be outdoors and not worry too much about the weather, WR series Pentax lenses on WR camera bodies like the K-5 are a great combination.

If you want to see more of my photos, check out my Youpic site! Photos are all taken with Pentax cameras but lenses vary. Check the info on the photos for the lens and camera used.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for? Pentax, eBay and Amazon! What are you thankful for today?

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Photography and Taking Pictures – What the “f”?!

Photography can be quite a challenge. One of the ones I think I figured out recently is the “f”.


Photo of Drive-in screen

Photography isn’t just taking pictures. It’s deciding how to take a picture that triggers emotions. Otherwise, it’s just a snapshot of a moment in time.

I was travelling through the countryside last week and came across an old drive-in movie theatre. It had obviously been abandoned for some time leaving me feeling sad and nostalgic. I wanted to share that feeling. I like to think the photo to the left achieved that.

In order for people to feel what I did, I needed to frame the scene so that the viewer could sense the passing of time and the nostalgia that I was felling. I tried a few different angles and decided on the one here.

To see other photos taken that day and get a sense of what it took to decide, click this link.

Now, photography and what the “f”?!

What the “f”?!

When talking about photography and I say what the “f”, i’m talking about the f-stop on my camera.

Now that I have chosen my lens and how to frame my shot, I need to decide how to set the f-stop or otherwise known as aperture. The aperture is the opening in the back of the lens that controls how much light gets through to the sensor on the camera. Now, I haven’t reached that stage yet where I set the f-stop manually on a regular basis. I usually set the ISO and let the camera do the rest. That was the case in the shot above.

Early morning photo of train station platform.
GO Station, Barrie South

Recently, I purchased a Pentax DA 50mm lens, f1.8. This means the “lowest” f-stop, or largest aperture is 1.8. Go figure, the lower the f-stop, the bigger the hole for the light to come through! What this means for me is that I can take pictures in lower light and/or take a shot that obscures the background more. In the photo to the right, I was able to take a handheld shot at my commuter train station at 5:30am, 1/15th sec, ISO 1600 without the assistance of flash by setting the camera manually to f1.8.

Lenses like this are often referred to as a “fast” lens because of the ability to use a much faster shutter speed. This is because of the extra alight allowed to reach the sensor by the larger opening (aperture).

( has a great piece explaining more detail on how to take advantage of aperture).


So, to summarize, photography is the art of being to create (not just take) a photo that causes the viewer to feel something and that “f” I referred to, is what determines how much or little light you need and also how much detail is shown throughout the whole picture.

To see more photos, there are a few places you can follow along as I continue my learning journey:

I hope I haven’t confused you as much as I was!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I grateful for today? I’m grateful for Pentax, eBay and a patient wife. What are you grateful for today?

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My GuruShots

Gurushots is a fun new activity for photographers, professional or otherwise!

What is Gurushots?

Visit my page to take a look and if you enjoying taking pictures, join me!


Once you have uploaded a number of photos, it starts to make suggestions for challenges to participate in and insert photos for you. You don’t have to accept as is, you can make changes or go to the challenge directly and upload photos there. You will start to make new friends and get both positive feedback and constructive criticism.

The block of photos below are some of the ones I used in challenges. It’s free and fun.

Obviously, they will try to up-sell you to achieve greater rewards. It’s up to you to make your choices. That being said, let’s see what you are made of!

Use this link to check it out!

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? Pentax, Gurushots and a beautiful country. What are you thankful for today?

GVO, your one stop hosting shop!

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MLM, Direct or Affiliate Marketing, How Did You Join?

MLM, direct or affiliate marketing people often ask “are you looking to start your own business?”. A surefire way to scare people away! If you want to know what works, ask some of your MLM friends  “how did you join?” to better understand what works. I need to acknowledge Lindsay Tompkins here for triggering my thoughts on this blog. Lindsay is always working to lift up direct marketing people. Check her out at!

MLM, Direct or Affiliate Marketing

MLM inverse pyramidMulti-level Marketing (MLM) has a terrible perception and I’m afraid it’s for good reason. Direct and affiliate marketing are somewhat different but get lumped in with MLM. Many have a greater emphasis on recruitment than product or service sales. Personally, I think those companies have it wrong but, who am I to say! But, MLM is a great way to build a team to work together on your business without having overhead costs like payroll.

Direct selling is a little different in that the emphasis is definitely focused on product sales. Some allow for some team building but typically in a more limited way. Affiliate marketing is more passive in nature and pays you a small piece of the profits from product or service sales. Usually through using links tied to your posting.

Are You Looking For A Business?

person running awayHave you ever been approached by someone asking if you are looking for a business? If you are anything like me, you probably wanted to just get away as fast as you could!

People who are “looking” probably already have a business or are well on their way to establishing one. When it comes to MLM, we are actually looking for people who may not realize they could actually run one. Chances are they don’t have the financial resources or lack training and support.

This is where various forms of multi-level or direct marketing models excel. Many MLMs provide training that over time may actually exceed what you could achieve through formal education like college or university. Sshhhh! Don’t tell anyone I said that!

What Made You Join?

Lindsay Tompkins did a Facebook Live on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 entitled “No one wants to start a business! (It’s true!). Afraid I can’t link for you as it was in a closed group through her social media training site. The comment she made that triggered this blog was that instead of asking people if they are looking for a business, ask people that are already involved “What made you join?”.

She goes on to talk about how most people already consider themselves either too busy or not qualified to start a business so find out what made others join. I find that it may be they were worried about funding a child’s education, or some other major life event, and couldn’t see how that would happen and someone asked them enough questions to understand how to help them  understand there was a solution if they were willing to spend some time learning how and what to do.

So I ask, if you are currently involved in some kind of marketing business, what made you join?!

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Lindsay Tompkins, social media and GVO. What are you thankful for today?

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Video on Social Media – Do you really control it?

Video on social media is really easy these days but who really controls it? Think about the answer to this question before you decide who you are giving over control to. 

Video on Social Media

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Read my blog on Net Geners.

Social media channels make recording video really easy, especially live. Because you can land yourself in social media “jail”, you need to control your content.  If someone else locks you out and you don’t have any other copies, the pain is excruciating! Be sure you have control over your creations. 

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes like to re-purpose some of my video rather than recreating something I have already done. That means I need an archive I can control and get to later.

Consider your needs before giving your content away!

How Do You Use Video?

There are many purposes to video:

  1. Doing live conversations or presentations;
  2. Sending messages in email;
  3. Recording special training sessions;
  4. Doing webinars that you want to archive.

The four bullets above are examples of how I use video on social media. When deciding on the recording method to use, if I don’t care if I ever lose the video, I will create and/or upload to my Facebook or Youtube account. But, if I don’t want the risk of losing my creative work, I use the GVO Easy Video. Consider whether you are recording for archival purposes or social media and what your long term needs are. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one place and tool, where you actually control ownership and distribution of the video? 

Global Virtual Opportunities (GVO) Easy Video

GVO’s Easy Video is available through a couple of suites of tools that are economical and include other marketing tools that exceed the value of the video product itself. I use a combination of two packages because I create and host multiple sites and blogs. For most, the Pure Leverage suite is quite sufficient if you just need a single blog/site for you or your business. Therefore, the Global Virtual Opportunities Titanium Suite is the one I use for the multiple sites.

Below this text is a video I have created using GVO’s Easy Video. I have inserted the video using the MP4 link within the WordPress editor. Literally just click “Insert Media” and paste the link to the video and, voila, you see result below!

Domain Hosting and Video Storage


Click here to learn more about products including domain hosting.

By hosting my own website and using the GVO Easy Video, I can now share a link to this blog post.  This way, when one social media site sees the link, they don’t have a connection to a direct competitor that they will either remove or push the post so far down, hardly anyone sees it. I tested sharing a link to this video on my main social media site and so far, anyone seems to be able to view the video and it hasn’t been blocked.

Global Virtual Opportunities makes hosting, production and storage easy. Before deciding on a particular tool, consider the GVO or Pure Leverage suite of tools. You can’t have just one product but the suite is more economical than any of the tools elsewhere!

If you want to learn more about GVO and the various solutions, please make sure you contact me through the contact tab on my home page.

Make it a great day!


P.S. I always end my blogs with three things I am thankful for today. I’m thankful for pets, people and porridge! What are you thankful for today?

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Ontario Parks and Boon Docking, some of the best camping in Canada!

Ontario Parks are some of the most beautiful in the world. Whether you are looking for somewhere to camp or just a place to spend the day!

Ontario Parks

We purchased an RV camper this year and decided that if we were paying for it, we were going to use it! So far, we have chosen mostly Ontario Provincial Parks. First, we know mostly what to expect with regard to types of sites and facilities. Second, we discovered there are a lot of them, many within an hour or two of where we live.

Some of the parks so far this summer are:

Photo of Sign at Lake of Two Rivers

Lake of Two Rivers July 2018

Image of campsite.

Oastler Lake July 2018








Image of McRae Point Provincial Park beach.

Beach at McRae Point July 2018

Image of people on the dock with a dog.

Playing with the dog at Restoule July 2018







Boon Docking

We can’t wait to try this one! Ontario Parks are great when you need to know what you are getting into but we discovered something called boon docking. I had no idea there were places where you can stop overnight and in many cases, no charge. We hope to try that some time soon. 

We found a site just by Madawaska and another in Huntsville that we want to try. The challenge is that you have to be self sufficient. There is no electricity, water or washrooms in many cases. Luckily the RV Camper has everything we need!

Image of RV camper

RV Camper at OTF Campsite July 2018










Smell The Pine Trees!

One of the reasons we decided to purchase the RV Camper is that we are not independently wealthy but want to get out and see more of the world. Our world. Before we are too old to enjoy it.

Having international students that stayed with us really reinforced how big and beautiful Canada is.Take the time to enjoy the world around you. Our son has travelled many countries and came home after his last excursion talking about how he doesn’t understand why everyone wants to go to other countries. He has traveled to the west coast of Canada and from the north of Ontario to the south. This is the most beautiful country in the world.

Stop and smell the pine trees!

>>Click Here<< to look up free campsites in North America.

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for the small inheritance that paid for the truck to pull the trailer, my wife and my health to enjoy them both! What are you thankful for today?

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Scouting For RV Camping in Central Ontario

Soon we will be RV camping in a 20.5 foot travel trailer. Don’t ask me to convert that to meters! Just spent the day scouting for places to go.

My New RV

We are the proud new owners of a 2017 Crossroads Zinger Z1 211RD!

We found this gem at a place called Bella Vista RV Centre on Highway 11 just north of Barrie. Peter and Bruno were excellent and we can’t wait to get on the road. Now to find a vehicle to pull it with and where to go!

Vehicles To Tow A Travel Trailer

GMC YukonNow, there’s a challenge! When I was younger, I had a 1970 Buick Electra Convertible that would have been perfect. Alas, the don’t make cars like they used to. My 2013 Chev Impala is considered a full size car and can only tow 1,000 pounds. My small SUV, a Suzuki Grand Vitara, only pulls up to 1,500! What the heck!

I checked into some of the mid-size SUV’s like the Buick Enclave or the Chevy Traverse. They can tow up to 5,000 pounds but that’s really limiting and I’m advised I should have capacity for almost double the dry weight of the trailer to allow for full tanks etc.

I have always consider pickup trucks as vehicles for “rednecks”. Sorry for the generalization but I’m just not a pickup guy! Never say never. I hope to end up with a full size SUV like a Suburban, Yukon or Tahoe but I suspect there is a high likelihood I’ll end up in redneck territory. And trailer trash to boot!

Finding Overnight RV Camping in Central Ontario

Minden May 5, 2018I was surprised at how much RV Camping there actually is! There are numerous Ontario Provincial Parks in the area with RV friendly sites. I’m betting availability may be an issue during the prime camping season. So, we went scouting for private overnight RV Camping sites not more than a couple of hours away. Ironically, we spent about 10 hours doing it!

We left Barrie about 10am and headed north through Orillia and Ramara to Monk Road which took us across to Highway 35 at Norland. North through Minden and Dorset to Highway 60. Then west to Huntsville to Highway 400 South and down to 141 to go across to Parry Sound. By the time we reached Parry Sound, we were ready to head home.

We found a few places to consider:

There were others but I forget the half of them! Bottom line is there are many places you can tow a trailer without having to travel too far.

Many friends and family have advised that I stay close for a couple of trips to get used to a new vehicle and the weight behind it. Sounds like sage advice to me.

I’m looking forward to blogging about some of our adventures.

Happy trails everyone!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? Our parents exposed both of us to camping life in Ontario and we both love it. Our kids still want to come with us and our granddaughter is excited for our next road trip!

What are you thankful for today?

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Spring in Canada. Or is it?

Is it really spring in Canada? Canadians just love to complain about the weather but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Spring in Canada

Spring April 15, 2018I love having four seasons but some days….

It’s Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. This weather has been virtually non-stop for two days. On Friday, the ground was bare and I was picking up extension cords and Christmas lights to put away. You will see that I brought out the table we use in nice weather when sitting out with a glass of wine (or maybe a cold beer on a hot day!). I’m really glad I didn’t go and bring down the lawn chairs.

The first day of spring was officially March 20, 2018. Many are usually starting to think about planning their gardens. Not in Barrie!!! We wouldn’t usually consider planting before June 1 because there is still risk of frost.

We currently have a student from Egypt with us. He was talking about spring and my wife told him not really, there was still at least one storm to come. As you can see, she was right!

Canadians Love to Complain!

Canadian FlagWe are known around the world as polite people. I sort of agree but I have to admit, we are chronic complainers!

We have four seasons, the problem is one seems to be nine months long and the other three seasons are not predictable. Summer is anywhere from 4-8 weeks regardless of what the calendar tells you! It’s funny, that nine months really is like a pregnancy. After all that time, it’s really exciting when the weather (water?) finally breaks. That baby finally arrives and before too long, it’s matured. Here comes winter again!

I’ll bet you there are a lot babies conceived in Canada during the winter months.

Summer in God’s Country!

Barrie yacht clubBarrie, Ontario is one of the greatest places in Canada to live. During the winter, there are at least four ski resorts within forty minutes. In summer, there is a beautiful lake front right here and many more just a short drive away. We just have to get through the spring to get there!

I’m not complaining but I’m Canadian eh!

Then fall and soon enough back to winter.

Four Seasons

Barry and Denise Clermont Fall 2017When we moved to Barrie, it was November and getting cold. The snow hit shortly after we moved here and we made a decision to embrace the weather, including winter. We learned how to ski so we could spend time with our kids on the hills rather than becoming mall rats. We love to camp and hike in the warmer weather and I have a great time with my camera in the fall when Ontario is a beautiful tapestry of colours.

Canada is a country of four seasons. Come visit!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for this great country, my wife and my family. What are you thankful for today?

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Identity Theft: Is It Part Of Your Risk Management Plan?

Identity theft is no longer if but when. What do you do when it happens to you?

Identity Theft: What is it?

Identity theft is much more than someone using your credit card number, hacking your Paypal account or bank account. Identity Theft is a major area that should be considered when you are addressing your comprehensive risk management plan! Are you only about money? Of course not! Here are just some issues that could cause an identity crisis:

  • Social Insurance or Social Security Number (Or your wife or child’s!)
  • Health and health insurance records
  • Driver’s license

When someone steals your Social Security number, they can work in your name and not pay taxes. They might use your social insurance number when applying for a mortgage in your name. If they get hold of your health insurance numbers, they could potentially cause a change in your health records that could be fatal. I’m sure you never have traffic infractions but what if someone is caught racing using your driver’s license number?

Identity theft is high risk and more likely to happen than many other things we plan for. Is it part of your risk management plan?

Risk Management

We take pains to plan for and mitigate risk in our lives. We plan for the “what ifs”. Here are some examples:

  • Life insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • Auto Club memberships
  • Home maintenance plans
  • #LegalSavingsPlan
  • Identity Theft Restoration Plan

warning signsWe have life insurance to protect our family from sudden loss. We have health insurance to cover hospital bills and, in some cases, prescriptions. We have car insurance and auto club to protect us when we travel. We have maintenance plans to keep the heat and air conditioning operating in our homes. We have a #LegalSavingsPlan to cover keeping our wills and powers of attorney up to date and keep a lawyer in our back pocket for emergencies and every day life events.

Make sure that when you are looking at your risk management plan, you consider Identity Theft. Remember that not all plans are created equal. Sure, the banks may offer something to replace missing funds and some plans will offer websites and links to things you need to do but who is going to do all the restoration work? Can you afford to take weeks off work? Do you think the distraction of worry could affect your performance? Make sure any plan you purchase includes complete restoration to before theft status.

Legal Repercussions

When your identity is stolen, there will be legal issues along the way. You may have the police showing  up to arrest you or Canada Revenue Agency or Internal Revenue Service threatening to take your wages. Do you know who to call? I do, I call my law firm. As part of your risk management plan, you may want to consider a #LegalSavingsPlan to help ease some of the pain along the way. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that what seems to be a problem isn’t really a problem or have a lawyer give you answers that empower you and let you sleep better.

>>>Click here to learn about Identity Restoration<<<

What do you do?

What do you do when your identity is stolen? It’s no longer if but when! The solution is very simple. Use your Identity Theft restoration plan and your #LegalSavingsPlan to get back to pre-theft status!

Make it a great day!


My Own Meeting

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