Free Advertising Space

When I first started blogging I had no idea where the future would take my scribblings. I readily admit that blogging was purely an escape from the realities around me.

Since then the articles have evolved into articles about the work I enjoy: photography, art, the art of fatherhood, plus a myriad of random subjects. I really should narrow it down, but then I get ideas that I let flow. Like my last post, I never know where my mind takes an idea.

About two years ago I had a silly idea that I could monetise my blog. I watched many other bloggers add Google Adsense and tried to follow their example. It hasn’t worked yet. See, I have a particularly appearance that I would prefer they adhered to. But they don’t. They are ugly.

So I have finally gotten smart. With my graphic art skills honed over the last fifteen years, I only advertise my family products. All the adverts below are in the sidebar of both mine and the kid’s blog. So here’s hoping you click on the links, go check them out, and maybe buy a tshirt or framed work. A father can dream.


MY WIFE & KIDS


Conversations with my Two Sons


GoFundMe Donations for LSBeezKI


Support LSBeez via Paypal.me


LSBeez Sticker


Buy a Tee - Save a bee



MY PHOTOS & TOG-SHIRTS

Buy a Photographer Pro' TShirt


Peruse and Purchase Photographic Artwork by Stephen Mitchell


Stephen Mitchell on FineArtAmerica


So now you know what I do in my spare time. And how I make a little money from my blog.

FYI: I created all the graphics for these adverts. Some need more work or complete revitalisation. That’s the fun of this game – I can do that. I enjoy it.

Save

Save

Ten Replacements for Power Transmission Towers

As most of the world knows by now, Adelaide endured its worst wind storms in 70 years. The power went out for the whole state late afternoon on Wednesday 28th September 2016. Many families were driven to talking to each other rather than their phones as the power slowly dwindled. Thankfully the power came back on, for most, around 7.30pm that night, so were able to recharge their left hands, oops, I mean their smartphones.

The next morning it was discovered that 12-22 transmission towers were violently pushed over by the tornado-strong winds across the state.

So I have taken a bit of time this morning to find some alternatives – both above and below ground – to remedy this issue:

Before we get started, I must admit that I found a site dedicated to the design of better pylons . That has to be a good thing, right? Well, almost. In this day and age, electrical can be buried under ground with minimal impact – because the government can repo’ the section of land, or else only enable shallow tilling and minimal impact. But that would make sense, so you don’t see much of that happening. OK, that was just my opinion. Here are the options:

Solar-Powered Gates 1. German site RheinEnergie have a picture of a DNA-looking pylon. This looks a tad too fancy for South Australia. But their website looks awesome!

2. The SternMast , also from Germany, is a winner of a European award. It reminds of the massive white windmills we have, so this design could fit into the already steel-column-cluttered environment.

3. This power-transmission looks like a Dubai-sail blowing across the canola-filled fields. It is an awesome design, yet again I feel our government would not see how this would improve the appearance of our country side plus giving tourism a massive boost. If giant architectural anomolies can work in the Middle East, surely we can emulate the same ostentatious style in Australia!

Nine Solar Flowers 4. By the M5 motorway in Újhartyán, Hungary is a clown-shaped power pole installed by the Hungarian electricity company MAVIR. Because nothing is scarier than clowns carrying thousands of volts of electricity. Yet it is clowns who think power poles should be flimsy enough to be blown over in 120klmph winds!

5, 6, 7, 8. I could have put more options here, but they would detract from the point here. I could easily have mentioned Colossus in Buenos Aires, Argentina , Australian Pole Specifications , increased power outages , and god forbid I mentioned someone has down a power-line failure analysis. Oh and the Tesla Power Wall.

9. Of course we could actually get rid of power transmission towers and go with WIND FARMS! Personally it makes much better sense. They could be sized according to the suburb location (hills or plains) and demographic choices (some people think they are eye-sores), but in actual fact they are the simplest way to power an entire metropolitan area with only a few of them.

Extract from quote on CleanEnergyCouncil.org.au :
Australia had 1866 wind turbines spread across 71 wind farms at the end of 2014. Three wind farms with a combined power generation capacity of 566.7 megawatts (MW) were completed in 2014.

10. Last is my absolute favorite: Off the Grid Solar Power . Because when all else fails, be prepared. This time next year, that’s what we will have!

Light on a Wall Extra: Turns out Japan is considering removing ALL overhead power-lines in preparation for the 2020 Olympic games . That is smart. Really smart. Why doesn’t Australia do the same thing for when Japanese tourists visit our country and ask “Why you still do this?”

Extra 2: A truly smart idea: Adding wind-farms to preexisting power transmission towers . Who woulda’ thunk? Not our current prime minister.

That’s enough. Point made. I hope.

Save

After Every Flood Comes a Drought

Way back on the 26th July 2016, I received a message from my friend Sasha – asking if I was available and willing to exhibit my photography during SALA 2016!

I have 10 A2-framed photos in SALA2016 !

ASIDE: 2010 was the last time I participated in SALA. There has not been a day since that I haven’t thought about doing it again. But money is strict, so I never imagined I’d ever get another chance.

But it appears to be true that “after flood there is drought“.

About 30 minutes later, I somehow managed to twist my right knee left and right, dislocating the knee plate TWICE! Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

There is more to this story regarding the ambulance ride and the hospital time, but that is reserved for close friends and family on Facebook.

Since then I have been on crutches and other leg wrapping to decrease the severe inflammation within my right knee. How the hell did I do that?

Thankfully it appears (according to X-Rays and an MRI) I did not tear my ACL. The Orthopaedic surgeon determined I only had a patello femoral dislocation .

Initially we believed I had wedged my knee between the cupboard handles beneath the sink I was standing in front of . Turns out I’d have to be 10cm taller in my lower leg to do that! So I suspect now that the weight of child in my left arm was a contributing factor.

The MRI showed “a stretched muscle around the right of the knee with a tear along its length, not across its width“. That was the best news for me. It meant the muscle will heal quicker, though there will be a knotted feeling. I can live with that. So no surgery required, only lots of physiotherapy. Good, because that I can do.

At the first hospital visit they gave me a solid reinforced black leg brace. It had only one purpose – to keep my leg straight. But that was getting more painful – because the muscles were not moving, they were going solid under the skin.

Without consultation, I changed to a skin-toned compression band. Oh, the pain has lessened dramatically and it’s so much easier to get around. It’s going to heal quicker now.

My Orthopaedic specialist changed to the 0-90degree knee brace [IMG]. This forces the knee to sit up without falling left or right whilst the plasma buildup reduces, yet enabling me to bend the knee sufficiently. This is a much better way to recover, particularly that I can walk just a little bit. Well, with crutches. Because initially is was ever so painful to put any weight on the leg at all!

So I am slowly on the mend.

Well, Balm Me, That Soothes the Pain!

Thanks to a new friend, Tim McGrath CEO of VitalXan , I am now applying Mangosteen Muscle & Joint Balm [IMG] upon my swollen knee up to three times a day.
The product is cooling, relaxing and makes a noticeable difference to the swelling each time I apply it.
If anyone is interested in trying this product for similar problems, contact me via social media.

Curb Negotiation on Crutches

On the downside, I had to negotiate this curb at the Flinders Private Admin to get from a ‘faux parking zone’ across to the orthopaedic clinic – and back again.

If you look closely, they seem to have removed the sloped path and rebuilt the concrete edging. Yet there is still painted lines for pedestrians on the car-park bitumen!

I wonder how much repeat business they get from customers who don’t survive the car-park obstacle course?

wordpress-curb-01    wordpress-curb-02

My Photography in SALA 2016!

I have the grand opportunity to exhibit my photography during SALA 2016 – and they are on display already:

WHERE:
At the Catalyst Foundation offices, 149 Currie Street Adelaide City – in their From Another Perspective Art Exhibition.
All are available to peruse both in their reception and in their rear seminar room.

WHEN:
1 August until 2 September – Open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

PRICE:
$195 each = A2 (40×50cm) print and frame.

Additionally, and as originally presented, they are also available here on my Redbubble gallery, on multiple mediums. The easiest way to hang them all is on a Calendar !

Here is each image framed, similar to how they appear on exhibition:

Seminar Room (left to right)



Reception and Elsewhere

I bet you are asking: What is SALA? It’s short for ‘South Australian Living Artists’. Read more about SALA here.

Save

Save

Save

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.