Saturday, 7 August 2010

No more Burbs

We've talked about this for a year now but the perfect opportunity presented itself just a week and a half ago.  A friend told me she wanted to sell her house and pay off some debts, but doubted she could find a place to rent that would take 4 dogs and several cats.  She casually asked if we wanted to rent our house to her.  After a brief discussion with her and Mike, we decided to go ahead and started looking at rentals in or near the city of Calgary.  We have two dogs too, so choices were limited for that reason.  After 2 days, we found our condo in the heart of the city, on a leafy green avenue in an older 6 storey building.  It is owned by a young woman is moving to Victoria.  It is completely renovated, laminate wood floors, and painted in modern earth tones.  And a good size: 825 square feet.  We move in Sept. 1.  This will be a big lifestyle change - neither of us have lived so close to the downtown of a city.  The street is a quieter one, but I guess we'll find out how we adjust to a noisier environment.  (The burbs are soooo quiet!) But we are actually going to save money by living there, especially on gas. (But maybe we'll spend more on eating out - so many more tasty places to go!) We still intend to spend some time this winter in Mazatlan too - at least I do.

But how much time remains to be seen.  There is so much going on with the business(es).  We have had an amazing break-through - just yesterday.  Through a series of serendipitous connections, Mike sat down with his egg-head soul-mate for a meeting of minds.  This guy is a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold several software companies in Alberta.  He is working on his Phd in Computer Science.  His interests include Artificial Intelligence.  He knows his way around all of the local government funding programs and the investment community.  He loves our software ideas and is going to write a business plan for free that will get us funding he says - he's done it several times before.  He just raised 2 million for another business that is far less interesting than ours.  After that, he may come onboard as CTO/CEO or be involved in some other way, but for now he'll get the engine started.  Whoo hoo!

Just before this meeting, Mike dropped off an RFP package to an Alberta government agency that is the technology centre of the universe (so to speak) of the Province, in Edmonton.  They want to completely renovate their business processes and information technology systems from the ground up and come into the 21st Century.  This is the bid Mike and an associate put in for.  Whatever this agency does, the whole Alberta government will be watching and adopting.  When Mike walked in, one of the heads of the agency came down from on high to meet him.  This is NEVER done.  He spent a half hour chatting with Mike about Qtility and what we do, our history and experience, since, he said, he had never heard of us before and was intrigued.  Apparently, word that we were submitting an RFP had gotten around.  He actually outlined to Mike the entire big picture of what the agency wanted to do and asked if we could handle it.  This is REALLY never done.  Mike said "YES, with f-ing bells on!"  Well, not literally.  Anyway, I hope we hear back from them next week.