Capturing the Most Ferocious Animals in Australia 

For the last four years, pretty much since my first son was born, we’ve visited Cleland Wildlife Park every Saturday morning.

Whilst it’s been for the benefit our boys to (1) tire them out for a good night’s sleep that night so my wife and I can have a  peaceful evening, plus (2) to show them Australian wildlife up front and personal. Oh, there’s fences for the Tasmanian Devil, the Dingos, and the DropBears (Koalas), but the Ducks, Potoroos, Wallabies and Kangaroos can be patted easily. Just beware the Emu! 

I’ve taken my camera along nearly every time to catch the more ferocious animals in action or asleep.

Unfortunately tomorrow will be our last visit for quite some time. (My regular flat-white coffee will be gotten at Chocol’Art in Kingscote from hereon.)

At least I will have these memories to show our kids how much fun we had together… 

… and that we go again later this year! If not, we will be going to the many National Parks on Kangaroo Island as time permits. Watch out for more videos of me and my boys with wild animals around Australia!

We Have Moved to Kangaroo Island

This time last year we made a BIG decision: To move our family to Kangaroo Island.

Explaining the benefits to each of our families actually didn’t take a lot, but there are a few who have not yet been there.

Yesterday morning I videoed some of my morning walk. Because of the tranquillity of Kingscote, it required very little editing before upload!

The resulting vlog shows one of the BEST reasons for our family relocation:

My morning walks will now be regular, particularly since I don’t have a 24/7 gym available. I had hoped for daily vlogs, but, well, kids.

Radical Change Won’t Happen Overnight 

​This mesaage is circulating the internet, particularly Facebook. First read it through, then answer this:

  • Is it at all feasible?
  • Do you really think anyone in Parliament house is going to say “Oh that makes sense, let’s make radical changes overnight!”

Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:
1. Scrap political pensions.

Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.
2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink. A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they’re out of office.

Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.

Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.
3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.

This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.
4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.
5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.

i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.
6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.
7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16.
The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them. Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.

The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Seriously, Don’t ‘copy paste & post’ this just because you like it, do it if you think it is achievable.

4 Years Later…

This was originally written as a comment to If You Never Hear From Me Again by David Simmer II . But once I got started, it turned into the last short story about our blue insignificant planet.


4 Years Later…

Planet Earth is nearly barren, one very large dust-bowl. The only nuclear warheads not destroyed are half-sticking out of the earth waiting for the button to be pushed.

The sound ‘Trump‘ wafted on the breeze, the last sound made by every human on the planet right before they were all wiped from existence. Weeds retake the cities, one mound of melting tissue at a time.

Volcanic explosions continue to rack much of the planet, bellowing loudly, spewing molten rock down on the concrete, steel and glass junkyards below. Neon signs no longer flicker, all the power-plants have ceased.

In a small town named Salem (about 190 miles from Seattle) in Washington State, one man remained. The quadruple-story bunker built beneath his home for him and his cats somehow is resisting the movement of the earth’s crust as tectonic plates relentlessly drift. He opens yet another can of Spam, but this time he doesn’t let the cats get too close. They are now glowing from their last visit to the surface. Now he realizes what’s happened up top, so he ain’t going up there, no how, no way, no time soon.

The cats suddenly turn their heads to the sky and wail. The man feels something move around him … and a wall splits to his right.

[…]

When interstellar visitors first landed (okay, crashed) in the 1950’s, Earthlings seems smart, but had been avoided for the most part. Well, that isn’t true.

1980's Hand Held Electronic GamesOne teenage Moroff took a wizz in back-alley in Seattle, but somehow left his backpack before both him and his entourage departed. When they returned 12-parsecs (40 light-year) later to locate the backpack, it was 1990 and far too late. Every piece of technology within had been adapted and salvaged in Silicone Valley as ‘new technological advances’:

Literally consequently, the 1950’s gave birth to the following inventions, findings and developments: Diet Soda. Microwave Ovens. Automatic doors. Velcro. The Fender Guitar. Solar Cells. Tetracycline. Polyvinylidene Chloride. Neutrino’s are discovered and anti-Protons detected. Fortran. Modems. Laser. Integrated circuits. Stereophonic recordings. Atomic energy was used to create Electricity! Earth was coming of age.

So the Moroff and his motley crew time-jumped forward to the year 2016, peeped down at us … and left us all alone. For some reason the Moroff wanted to stay away from the White House. Something about knowing the current guy-in-office rather intimately. They weren’t coming back soon.

[…]

The last human had died, and very soon after a dozen cats ate their last meal before returning to the surface.

1000 Years On…

Earth was a good planet. It had so much potential, but it was now gone. Every Atari museum, every archeological dig, every great tshirt was gone. The buildings had finally succumbed and crumbled down to the floors of jungles entwined across the planet.

The mutated livestock had eaten themselves out of existence also. But the bugs were returning. The earth was going full cycle.

The only animal that seemed to survive were feline, ferocious, and running out of food.

5,000 Years On…

Nothing organic remains on the planet. Another ice-age had happened after a nuclear-powered submarine sunk deep below the north-pole. It initially imploded, but the force of air managed to reach the surface … and the cyclonic winds carried the dust down across many green lands, dropping onto unsuspecting whiskered creatures and vines traversing the hills and valleys.

20161112_115141The resulting mutant now survived on bug-lavae, ice-water and corralled bugs. The feline family were growing smarter, developing knees and thumbs out of necessity to find food … but that took a backward step for a while. Returned to a worm like back end, but still a teeth-filled mouth, it wailed louder than the winds as it sought new creatures with which to ‘connect’.

10,000 Years On…

The Moroff-starship dropped to the jungle unexpectedly. Their power-supply had depleted after attempting several times to enter the M-class Planet’s atmosphere. Cyclonic lightning storms filled the upper atmosphere. HoloComD calculations determined a way to use the lightning to keep their power-supply whilst they swung around the storm. The white streaks of electric light arced away from the storm, enabling their ship to direct-line to a specific spot on the planet’s surface successfully.

[…]

Backpack and rifle at hand, the Moroff stepped down into the bog.

“Farg. Still nothing here at all…” he muttered, stopping mid sentence as a tall beautiful feline stepped out from behind a tree and waggled one leg as she leaned hesitantly onto a tree. The Moroff stared transfixed … as another dozen felines stepped out from behind the trees, wielding primitive yet bloodied spears. White-eyed, they moved toward the Moroff, who was now petrified.

1 Parsec Later…

“So, you are the descendants of the infamous David Simmer II??”

“So it appears.”

“Farg. So Old Man Trump, that two-bit celebrity who couldn’t even use email, enabled this??”

“Who?”

“Good point. My great-great-grand… He has been dead for 16,003.26 years. Why the farg would we be still talking about that idiot?”

“Ok, why? …. Now, where is that spam you promised?”


Okay, okay, I took it a bit far. I actually let the story evolve out of nothing. This took me 90 minutes to ‘mutate’ from my fingers (read: to type) it. Hope it gives you a good laugh.

I am now a Youtubing Vlogger

A Youtubing Vlogger. Does that sound right? Should it be a Vlogger who Youtubes? Anyhow, it’s heaps of fun.

It’s early days yet, I am getting the hang of it all. I use Movavi for editing all the interesting moments in my life.

Most recently I took the perfect opportunity to video my friends and I drinking very dead wine that had been unearthed from various wine cupboards.

I took my camera, my phone, a very dead red and a lot of bravado – which was handy, because despite appearances on the night, I really wasn’t sure how a video camera would impact the ‘casualness’ of the situation. ANYHOW, Here are a few of the videos from the night:

Before I left at the end of the evening (because I have two beautiful children who need me home sober), I heard a lovely female friend saying That’s Stephen! HE is our wine night photographer!” That’s all I heard, which is probably good, my head was already having trouble getting out the front door.

It was a fun night mostly because I hadn’t seen some of those people in about 4 years. I took a step back from it all just before my first son was born. But he is a few days away from his 4th birthday – so I have rejoined the rest of the world. Sigh. My 15m0 son is beginning to latch onto Dad, so I shudder at how long this freedom will last.

So I am slowly becoming a Daddy Vlogger. I had planned a different Youtube existence, but this is lots of fun!

Now I post videos from our regular visits to places where parents can enjoy coffee before chasing children: Zoos, Wildlife Parks, and Westfield playgrounds. South Australia has many of these, but we most like the Cleland Wildlife Park.

Expect to see a lot of videos where I have fun giving animals and park furniture a tourism-description or amusing-myth.

That’s all for now. I need an outro – the new in word that has the opposite meaning to an intro(-duction). Maybe this can be it.

  • Be good to your parents, eat your veggies, brush your teeth, and enjoy your day.

Hey, that works!

Oh, my blog won’t end suddenly. Yes, it has been a while. But now that I am talking to camera, I have stuff to say again. My mind is open to whole lotta new subjects – thanks to the power of the camera!

Keeping Myself Extremely Busy

This is the best advice Casey Neistat gives to anyone who is worried about the future…
Untitled

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 I Create Graphic Art

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.