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Keeping Myself Extremely Busy

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This is the best advice Casey Neistat gives to anyone who is worried about the future…
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Casey: My advice is always the same , which is KEEP YOURSELF EXTREMELY BUSY. As long as you are doing something, you will find your path. It’s when you get lazy that everything becomes skewed or grey foggy.”
Louie: “It’s easier to steer something that is already moving. If you are just static and stationery, it is SO HARD to build momentum!”

It is also the adage I follow most days. Why? Because I hate not working. I really hate not doing anything. I truely hate standing still – unless it is the best thing to be doing (More on this another time). Admittedly, now that I am a parent, I am rarely without something to do.
OI...

Sidenote: Sidenote: My MIL is going to say that is rubbish, because of an incident that happened just a few days back. I failed to change our 13mo-son’s nappy when clearly it stunk like no man’s land. I explained to MIL and wife I had smelt worse, having grown up in my teenage years with a drop-toilet (the link is for the generation of kids who are lucky enough to live their whole lives with flushing toilets.) Fact is: I DO change the kid’s nappies. It is something, it is important, it has to be done. So right after MIL left, the lad climbed into my lap, and I suddenly realised how bad his nappy was. I cleaned him up, changed his nappy, had a bonding moment, and now he walks up to me any time of the day for a hug.

** Actually, that last sentence says a lot about where this article is meant to be going. **
Spinning Top

When we give, we recieve. If only from ourselves, i.e. self-gratification, experience, knowledge, or simple happiness. But when we do something for others, no matter what age they are, it will usually result in recprication of some kind.

I am currently giving a lot of my time to my wife. I really wish I had a day job that pays, but until then, the payoff of helping my wife whilst I am predominately homebound is triple-fold. Aha, triple-fold.

1. I am the Sales, Marketing, and Online Face of my wife’s business LSBeez . Actually, the sales happen too easily, and my wife is working that out. It’s not difficult when we are selling the most delicious Kangaroo Island Ligurian Bee honey on the planet. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and website/business-card.

2. I am a Dad, and I like to think pretty awesome. I am far from perfect, I have never done this before. Yeah, we baby/child-sat a lot kids over the years (as young as 2, as old as 13), but having your own is a whole new game. Never being without the kids is sometimes painful, no parent is going to deny that. Waking at the crack of dawn, not going to sleep when requested (4yo’s are the worst for that!), and older brothers getting angry when they are not the centre of attention, just a bunch of things that drive the average parent completly nuts.
But what makes me an awesome Dad? I never hit my child. We have time-out’s, chats about consequences and negotiable stuff. Yep, our #MrAlmostFour is pretty damn smart, he knows those words now! But I never hit him. I have nearly been tempted, but each time I simply say to myself “Violence only breeds violence. This ends now.”
Get it? Don’t hit your kids, work it out another way. I ain’t saying this is going to work for all kids, but we need to stop the reign of terrror everywhere. This ball of mud we call Earth is infinite, humans are not. If we keep fighting, eventually the earth will be returned to the animals and we will be a forgotten moment of time in the revolution of this planet. Stop hitting our kids, Start living smarter.
WHEW! Massive rant. My mind does this. It’s just great that I can type so fast that I can get it out of my head.

3. I said triple-fold didn’t I? Just trying to remember why … oh yeah…
When I help my wife, she helps me. When she makes dinner, I bathe both boys. Or the other way round. When I clean up the very small living space we have (our lounge room is also the family and media and toy room!), she is packing the dishwasher. (Actually, I am not allowed to stack the dishwasher anymore. Apparently I do it wrong. I say someone has OCD, but enough about that. I am happy to be wrong on this issue). When I spend half my night reading, researching, blogging, designing new tshirts or ideas, drawing, creating, uploading, listening to Ted.com, learning from edX.org, she lets me do it … because we need the money for our next big project. More about that VERY soon!

To ensure I am putting in the full effort necessary to achieve my goals, I spend a lot of time finding ways to earn money utilising the internet. Let me be clear here: I am not trying any g3t-r1ch-qu1ck schemes (mispelt to avoid google algorithims putting those awful adverts underneath). Instead I have countless photography galleries, two of which earn me pittance – but I enjoy it. I also have a few tshirt collections, one of them earns me a few dollars each month. It’s infuriating, yet I enjoy it.

Now that I have gym two nights a week (sometimes four times!), I am glad to be on the move more often than not. I also changed my work desk to a standup, but that may not have been totally smart. My feet hurt, but the upside is that I can simply walk away from my desk anytime.
Bouncing Off The Walls
After reading through all my words in this post, I now realise that vlogging could seriously work for me. Since I have a Youtube channel, I am working towards vlogging. The biggest challenge with vlogging is geography and internet plans. Australia has abismal internet upload/download speeds. We get roughly (unresearched, just an exaggeration that may or may not be correct) 1/25th the speed that any other country has – which is goddam crazy. If the NBN ever happens, will it fix that problem? I am yet to be impressed. On the upside, my cameras are now all setup.

This is too much words. Who is going to read all this? Did you? Leave a LIKE and a COMMENT below if you found any of this interesting, or if you like to see me try my hand at vlogging. 

Why Go to PAX?

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If I was young again, and lived in the US, I’d be at EastPax2016. And I would probably be at these events on the schedule. Because I am not young, I have watched games evolve into careers, and I like to learn and listen not just sit and stare.

Did They Realise How Alone They'd Actually Be? Geek Cultural Identity and the Myth of the Fake Geek … Friday 4/22 5:00PM – 6:00PM – Arachnid Theatre

How We Find Positivity Through Gaming … Saturday 4/23 11:00AM – 12:00PM, Arachnid Theatre

How Much XP Is in 50 Squats?: Being Active IRL Is Pretty Rad … Saturday 4/23 2:00PM – 3:00PM – Arachnid Theatre

If Personal Computers are for Everybody, How Come They're Priced for Nobody?
Scared Yet: A Discussion of Horror in Media … Saturday 4/23 10:30AM – 11:30AM – Bumblebee Theatre

Polaris Presents: Talking to Yourself for a Living … Sunday 4/24 1:30PM – 2:30PM – Albatross Theatre

What Does Game Design Tell Us About Mental Illness? … Friday 4/22 11:00AM – 12:00PM – Arachnid Theatre

But I am not young. If I was to go to PAX-Australia in Melbourne in November 2016, I would go as a photographer . These kids put in so much effor into their attire. When we were kids, a bucket on your head made you Boba Fett.

There’s enough reason to go .

Rado Shack Made the TRS-80 Color Computer Even Better! PostScript #1: I woud love to have a spider-looking holder for both my smartphone and dSLR. This thing looks scary! I wonder how well it goes through airport security?

PostScript #2: All the embedded photographs are from a 1969 National Geographic magazine I found in a discount store. The mags are in pristine collection and will still stay with me until someone appreciates them enough to pay my pension… #TellHimHeIsDreaming

Why I Create Graphic Art

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Written for linkage to my graphic art page on my website.

#46 Clothing Combo'
I first started producing really simple graphics early in my internet days, around 1998.

It was quite by accident, yet I have always been the creative type. It turned out to be a good idea because at that time I had a fairly boring day-job, so being able to be creative in the evenings made up for the monotony. [I left that job in 2012, so I can say that now.]

The night 9/11 happened, I downloaded a freebie GIF-maker and made a dozen images that basically said how I was thinking about that whole event. [The images have since dissappeared into the archives].

Shortly after I discovered GIMP [“a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition”], bought a bible-width reference book – and haven’t stopped creating or editing images.

With some amazing scripts (eg: saving all layers individually), I taught myself basic graphic-design – and now produce awesome tshirt designs AND manipulate my photographs similar to photoshop.

Wait, what did I say? Use GIMP instead of Photoshop:
Yep, For about eight years now I have been using GIMP for manipulating my photographs. Yeah, not many people realise that. Whilst everyone was raving about Photoshop, I kept learning GIMP. And I freely admit I still don’t know half of what is capable of doing. But it did teach me how to be creative.

Because producing parts of a graphic often meant asking yourself [Q1] “With the little I know, how can it be done?” For one example, I taught myself how to create (often B-grade) shadows for trees that had been manipulated from another photo and stuck into the current photo. Yeah, (hangs head in shame), I do that. But you wouldn’t spot it, and I am not going to show you where. (Smiles gleefully).

#43 I'm Crazier than Almost Everybody Here
Then in 2012 my tshirt sales started making some series G’s … per annum. Not a lot, but it got me thinking … and I decided [Q2] diversity was the key to success. I now have two Redbubble accounts – stephentrepreneur is photography, ezcreative is tshirts – and I market them like crazy.

Gotta be honest, [Q3] marketing is the key to success in any game, and particulary online. It doesn’t mean whoring your wares: It means seriously spruiking via social media to your full advantage. It works. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, I am there, showing off my skills.

In 2015, sales started ramping up. The monthly balances were not going to make me a millionaire, but my creative side was impressing my corporate side no end.

It is now 2016 and I am trying new ideas. A series of about 30 graphics are in production as we speak; They are based on observation of what sells most in my creative collection. [Q4] Never let your best work stand alone, use the experience to your advantage.

These days I spend a few hours each night drawing my ‘brain-farts’ onto paper, selecting the best, then determining how I can create them with GIMP. It isn’t easy, I don’t deny it, but it is fun.

Someone said I should do tutorials, but I now have two beautiful children who need more Daddy time, so I won’t be spending much more computer time than is neccessary. But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever do a tute.

That says enough, I am quite sure, but I plan to post some related articles in the next few weeks.

Oh, you’re probably asking what is with all the [Q]’s in this post? I have discovered that I really can write some seriously awesome quotes. So I have marked them for reference. I may add id-links soon so they can be tweeted. Noice.

Anyhow, nothing else to say other – except: Check out my tshirt collection here and here – and buy a cup, mug, tshirt, doona cover, and/or phone cover. Buy one of each! All purchases help to fund our next big project.

Kids

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Boy 1 runs around so much he forgets he has toes.
Boy 2 sits down and contemplates his toes, slowly and individually.
Which would you rather be?

Find Time Now to Get Started!

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I find it odd when people say “I’ll do that project when the kids are grown up / when I have time / when we have space / when I feel like it.”

Kids never really grow up.

You already have time.

Space is easily found or made.

If you don’t like it, why bother starting at all?

Me, I have 3 projects running at once at any given time. Every time I close/finish one, I get another started. Even if only to get it planned.

I have been to too many funerals for young people who were working on big projects. I don’t want to sit still anymore – other than to sip a coffee or red wine. Always celebrate project completion!

Culling Time

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I am following Mark’s suggestion: Culling old posts. This might take a while. Thankfully not enough comments on any of them to worry about loss of readers.

Since you are here to read something, I like lounges.

Good quality fancy yet comfortable lounges. Somewhere where I can take my smartphone, tablet and laptop, chill back with headphones on and listen to U2 whilst editing photographs or creating some new tshirt designs.

So I went hunting for a new lounge. Here are all that appealed most. Maybe you will like them also…

Match picture below with number links to see more detail. lounge-designs-x-9

Top Row – 1 | 2 | 3

Middle Row – 1 | 2 | 3

Base Row – 1 | 2 | 3

That will keep you busy for a while. Whilst I am busy – making money to buy them all!

My Best 10 Browser Bookmarks for March 2016

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Every so often I like to list all the ‘WWW Finds’ I have collected in my browser. Here are my March 2016 bookmarks…

20160311_1143071. First let’s listen to music while we go through them all. Open this, then another tab… Sean is definitely his father’s son.

2. If you have been involved with web-design since the 1990’s, you will know Molly. You might even know here story. Well, she is back. Molly doesn’t let anything stop her.

3. I have used many unusual symbols and characters from here to appropriately populate my website with symbols so that both javascript and other scripts validate properly. It’s a thing I do. So should any web site creator.

4. This is one of the coolest (or is that koolest?) programs any artist can use. I was using it a few years back for stitching panoramas. Now I see it can also be used for straightening architecture – so I may resume using it again.

5. Ever wondered what a reasonable rate you should charge for your work? I remember those days. Who am I kidding? There are still days where establishing an appropriate fee is difficult, because some clients have little to no budget available. But it isn’t about those clients : It’s about establishing your value based on all factors involved – i.e. location, tools, rush-fee, and more. Check this out, it’s worth the read.

6. When a page starts with “Jedi Religion is a very non-dogmatic, non-organized religion. As such, there are few if any rules that can be expected to be followed by all believers“, you know it’s going to get super-loopy the more you read. Yet, for us die-hard star wars fanatics, this is important. Just don’t take it too seriously. Hey, my imaginary figure is as real as yours!

Old Camera 7.Have a Canon camera? Think it doesn’t have enough confusing features already? Then get some more. Aha, this is gonna confuse the heck out of you within seconds of downloading. I am so glad I hesitated.

8. Everyone wants to make movies these days, particularly to put on Youtube. It’s only free with Windows Movie Maker. Sure, it is limited, but pictures of cats and children don’t need much post-production.

9. This less-than-helpful-video makes me laugh each time I see it. Because it happened at our wedding, and I know it happens at other weddings. Thankfully never (at least to my knowledge) at the few weddings I have photographed.

10. Once you get hookedb, you may never exkcape. Only a power failure will do it.


And that is all. See you next month for another list.