Send Emails to Google Talk or XMPP Address for Free

XMPP_logo.svgHave you ever wanted to have certain emails sent to you as a chat message instead? Well so have I. So a couple days ago I built a simple little service that does exactly that, and I’ve made it available free of charge. It’s called Email to Gtalk.

Here’s how it works. Enter your google talk email address (or another XMPP email address), click Start and the web app will generate a unique email address for you. If you loose that address don’t worry, just enter the same email address, click on Start and the unique email address will be emailed to you.

The cool thing you can do with this service, is create a Gmail filter for a specific email. Maybe emails from a certain person, with a certain subject or anything else that is a priority to you. Simply set the filter to forward those emails to the generated email address you received from Email to Gtalk and the messages will be instantly relayed to you via chat.

Isn’t that awesome! It’s free and uncapped at this time. If it receives heavy usage I’ll have to cap the free version and add a paid subscription. But until I exceed the Google App Engine free quota, I’ll leave it as free with no limits.

Enjoy your messaging even more!


Why I’m For the Canadian Senate

As John A. Macdonald said, the Canadian senate is a “sober second thought”.senate-cp-w-6151462

The Senate is known as the Red Chamber because it’s a large room with red carpeting. It is ornate, it has carved oak panelling, and it contains eight large oil paintings that portray scenes from the First World War. It is the stage for important state ceremonies and that includes the opening of Parliament and the speech from the throne.

The Senate has been criticized as being a waste of public resources, a rubber stamp, not accountable, and a comfortable place for aging politicians, but according to its original design, it provides checks and balances for Canada’s parliamentary system. – CBC in 2010

I enjoy being a citizen of Canada, with the open spaces, safe roads, and knowing that no matter who we have as a prime minister there is no single person or group who is able to make a really bad decision for this country without going through hoops. One of those hoops being the Senate.

Don’t get me wrong, I voted for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. And I am glad, thankful and relieved to have him as the leader of our country. But even though I support him as a person, I also support checks and balances. The Senate provides a unique sanity check on any bills passed by our government.

The House of Commons is elected democratically, the Senate is not. I believe this is a good thing. Because the Senate is comprised of members who’ve been around a long time, there is experience and hopefully some wisdom there.
Also the Senate has more freedom to debate and spend time analyzing bills. They have the opportunity to put more thought into bills before they are passed.
If we only had the Commons, Canada would in theory be at a much higher risk of having stupid bills passed, at minimum bills with more “bugs”, not as polished.

Sure, the Senate could be seen as a waste, just like some see it as a waste to let old people continue living. After all when you get old aren’t you just a drain on society? Perhaps society should take a step back and listen. There may be something to glean from the eyes of those who’ve been around longer than we have.

A Music Video – Peter Piper with Wiebe Sisters


We created this video by recording the audio with a USB Blue microphone inside our home. Then on a Saturday afternoon we shot the video on multiple locations around Aylmer Ontario Canada. Finally I put it all together using Final Cut Pro X.

It’s a very simple music video, and the next one will be better!

Photographer/Client Relationship – How to Make it Better

With today’s technology there is a wide array of tools available to help photographers create a very pleasant experience for their clients. Unfortunately most of them are complicated or costly for the photographer who wants something that doesn’t get in the way of their work flow but still creates an amazing experience for their customers.

That’s our goal at LightBook. A new web application designed to help photographers with their business, and to save clients from bad experiences.

Today many photographers use email or facebook for photo proofing, and the client has to manually send the order back to the photographer. There are a couple of issues with this. Email is slow, and attaching photos is not friendly for anyone. Facebook has it’s own set of issues including privacy issues, and also the issue of how do we get an accurate order very easily.

LightBook helps in several ways. You upload the final edited photos by dragging them into a box. Then select which client you want to have access to these photos. The client receives an email notifying them, and the email has a nice big button. All that the client has to do is click on that button and they’ll immediately see their photos.
The client can then bookmark the photos they like. Add them to an order and submit that order to the photographer. How simply is that?

Here are some advantages of doing it this way:

  1. The client can always come back anytime, even years from now and order some more photos.
  2. The client can look through their photos in a relaxed environment, and submit the order to you without pain.
  3. You have a branded platform to make the experience flow smoothly, and hopefully have some repeat customers!

As a bonus you will always have an online backup of your edited photos, and there’s no need to keep copies on CDs/etc.

You can signup today for free at

How Muhammad Broke the 10 Commandments – #4 Remember the Sabbath Day

432px-Shofar_for_the_Sabbath_from_the_Matson_Collection,_ca._1934-39_(LOC)This is the 4th blog post in a series on how the prophet Muhammad of Islam broke all 10 of the 10 commandments that God gave to His people.

The 4th commandment is written in Exodus chapter 20 verses 8 to 11 and says:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

This commandment is really quite simple. It says to rest on the 7th day of the week which is Saturday. The word sabbath simply means “day of rest”. There is no need to make this commandment more complex than it is. The day of rest was created by God when he created the world, and has nothing to do with the people of Israel and was not done away with by Jesus Christ. This day of rest was created for humanity and is our battery charger for the week.

Did Muhammad Remember the Sabbath Day?

In the Quran Al-Baqara verse 65 it says:

And certainly you have known those among you who exceeded the limits of the Sabbath, so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.

There is another whole story behind this verse, but it is plain to see that the Sabbath was important to Muhammad. Especially since Allah made those who broke it into apes according to this verse.

Also in the Quran, An-Nisa verse 154:

And We lifted the mountain (Sainai) over them at (the li taking of the covenant) and We said to them: Enter the door making obeisance; and We said to them: Do not exceed the limits of the Sabbath, and We made with them a firm covenant.

Again you can see that Muhammad recognized the sabbath day. But did he keep it?

It’s interesting to see that later on in the Quran, Muhammad changes his mind about the Sabbath, and falsely claims that it was only ordained for those who differed about it. Most likely this was caused by him wanting to separate himself from the Jewish people. In An-Nahl verse 124 he wrote:

The Sabbath was ordained only for those who differed about it, and most surely your Lord will judge between them on the resurrection day concerning that about which they differed.

And Muhammad made Friday the sabbath for Muslims.

So Muhammad broke the 4th commandment in the following 2 ways:

  1. He disregarded it by saying it’s only ordained for those who differ.
  2. He deliberately broke it by changing it to Friday. And said every nation has their own day of rest. Muslims have Friday, Jews have Saturday, and Christians have Sunday. When in fact he changed it to Friday to build a separation from the Jews, just like Christians did in the day of Constantine when they moved to Sunday.

Many people think of this as a minor, maybe non-relevant commandment, and it’s really easy to think that way. Nothing bad happens to us if we do not keep this commandment, at least that we are able to see.
But I’m sure YHWH created the 7th day with a purpose, and even if we don’t see why we should remember it, I’m sure there are blessings for those who do.