Birthday Wishes

My relations stopped buying gifts for “everyone over 18” some years ago. I’m guessing I was outvoted. So because my birthday is within weeks of Xmas, I haven’t received a gift from anyone in about 15-20 years. Now I buy gifts for my boys. So my lounge room is cluttered with both franchised and educational toys.

Oh, I ain’t whinging; I am just creating a segue to my point:


Here are the nominations for the best gifts for Dads/Men in 2017, at least for me. This envelope is full, let’s hope I can say the same for my Xmas stocking or Birthday present:


Hard to find

My tastes have changed. Shorts and short-sleeved shirt are going to be my main attire when we move to Kangaroo Island next month. So I won’t wear a watch much – yet I like the feeling of something on my arm. So a classy leather bracelet would suffice.


Dad’s Shop

I really don’t need anything here, but I wouldn’t be opposed to receiving kitchen related gear. I am getting older and coughmaturecough now, so I don’t care for geekery or nerdism stuff anymore. Unless you got me a table top mini arcade . My 4yo would love it too. Just saying.


Yellow Octopus

I managed to find a few things that would look good in my office. A melting clock would allow me to smile about something other than my children. An inflatable pelican would amuse the kids all day long. A scratchable world map would enable my boys and I to see if we are meeting our bucket-list. [ Which means I would need GoodBeerClub subscription ]


A finger watch

Yeah, the title sounds weird. But it looks cool. Yeah, I would need a PhD in Molecular Engineering to read the manual. But it looks cool.


This Is Why I Am Broke

Of all the sites I found, this one displays the most amazing things that I could seriously enjoy having. Yes, yes, I know I said I don’t like clutter. Yet who in the world would dare say no to these??


But since we will be living on Kangaroo Island, this would be my highest preference:
~ A 2 hour scenic flight in a single-wing aircraft.


I have to buy stuff for myself these days. Since I am currently ‘between day-jobs‘, this is not often. My last gift to myself was a box-load of 50 DVD‘s, thankfully most of which I have never seen, for $20 thanks to a Facebook group. Actually, I think my wife paid for that. So, yeah, that was a gift. Thanks Sarah!

Well, thanks for reading, I doubt I will get anything this year. But each time someone asks what I would like, I will send them a direct link to this article. Now, I gotta find the off-switch for the violins …

Printing for More Than Art’s Sake

This story amuses me every time I read it: MissyMwac’s family and friends were gobsmacked when she printed all her phone photosthe concept was completely foreign to them!

Yes, it is satire. Heavy satire.

Yet it is a reminder that very little photography of my children, my nephew’s and niece’s birthdays, nor my family moments, is available to view outside of my archives.

Art is very important, yet printing photography of family & friends enjoying life is the best preservation of history.

That said:

With any available finances, I plan to print and frame more of my Kangaroo Island artwork in 2017.

I’m already planning a selection for exhibition either in Adelaide or on Kangaroo Island (or maybe both) during SALA 2017.

​3 Important Lessons I have Learnt in life

1. Some negative opinions are from people with no self confidence.

Some are from people with no imagination.

If you have self confidence and can imagine, then their opinions don’t matter.

2. Most negative opinions are from people who cannot imagine you succeeding.

That is their problem, not yours.

Stay focused on your success.

3. Don’t let the negative opinions of others inpact on your projects / wants / future.

Unless they can put up valid reasoning, and practical solutions or amendments.


If this looks familiar, I posted it just five minutes prior on my LinkedIn page.

The Best Line from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Seems Douglas Adams knew it was a dumb idea long before Donald Trump thought it was a good idea.

This is one of the most impressive quotes from a book my generation grew up on:

“It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

That’s all that needs to be said.

Never Give Up

Dig Yourself Out The title is not misleading, it’s a serious moral to this story.

At about 8am this morning I flicked on the radio – right as they were doing a 10 question competition.

Simply put, the caller was told to provide the correct answer to questions about Australia to win a small cash prize.

Of the ten questions, she amazingly said ‘Pass‘ to SEVEN of them! SEVEN!

I was answering them also. On those few I didn’t know, I took a guess. Can you guess why I guessed? (Oh, that is a leading question!)

When you pay nothing to be a contender and the reward is minuscule, guessing is not going to matter. If anything, your first guess is based on intuition. Sometimes the right answer is sitting in the back of your mind – and you don’t even know it – so take a guess!

  • Every time my four year old boy guesses where he hid something, he is right. Now that might be a bad example – he usually knows exactly where he hid something. .
  • Every time your co-worker, boss, or friend says “I guess we could do this…” or “I guess we could eat there….”
    — Tell them to stop. Teach them say “I am going to…” or “I have gone through all the options and now I am going to…” or, better yet, “Let’s discuss this.”.

Knee Brace for my Dislocated Knee Never give up because you might be wrong, nor give half-hearted answers because you are unsure, and never say ‘Pass’ because you may not know – take a guess, but don’t admit it. It won’t kill you to be wrong occasionally. Unless you are tax-accountant.

Oh, I can already hear one of my twitter or my Facebook followers saying “In <this situation>, guessing would be very wrong!” Please leave a comment below or on social media explaining why. The lines are open to discussion.

Cheers, Have a good Wednesday!

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Leave Well Enough Alone

​This morning I posted a story on Facebook that I found buried on a friend’s timeline. I found it funny enough to republish on my timeline.

Cattle Guards

For those of you who have never traveled to the US South West, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways (sometimes across highways), to prevent cattle from crossing over that area. For some reason the cattle will not step on the “guards,” probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.

A few months ago, President Obama received and was reading a report that there were over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado.

The Colorado ranchers had protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, so he ordered the Secretary of the Interior to fire half of the “cattle” guards immediately!

Before the Secretary of the Interior could respond and presumably try to straighten President Obama out on the matter, Vice-President Joe Biden, intervened with a request that “before any ‘cattle’ guards were fired, they be given six months of retraining.”

“Times are hard,” said Joe Biden, “it’s only fair to the cattle guards and their families be given six months of retraining!”

Like most stories posted to the internet, someone checked on snopes.com to determine if it true or not. Turns out it is fake!

Actually, I have a word to say about snopes: They take their unofficial job way too seriously. 
Many stories were written, I presume, purely as humor, as anecdote to tell at a large gathering to break the ice or to amuse the dignatories. 

No doubt people retold them, each time changing details to suit their audience.
Not all stories are written based on truth.

I sometimes wish they could leave amusing anecdotes alone, as legends, and as humor worth repeating.

Some jokes should remain jokes, and not become a snopes investigation.

What are your thoughts?

8 Habits Holding Me Back From Being a Successful Father

Forest Do you have what it takes to be a Successful Father? Do you know what that means?

Being a great dad isn’t bringing in the big dollars, it’s bonding with your kids – and learning from each other. That’s been my experience.

As I write this article my 4yo and 2yo sons are trashing the lounge room. It’s barely enough space for our family of four, so I have to let them. Each night we do the ‘clean the house’ lesson.

Most of us, including me, have habits that sometimes get in the way of the way we treat our children. When we don’t remove or edit these habits, being a Father stays elusive – even though you may not realise it.

Over the last four years of being a Dad I have discovered these habits have sometimes held me back. Maybe you will find yourself among them.

Remember, this is just an opinion, maybe you think otherwise. If you do, please leave a comment either below or Twitter!


1. Trying to Sleep In

Anyone who has kids knows sleeping past 7.00am is near impossible. In some households children arise from their slumber around 5.30am.

I use to think that 7.00am is far too early to be getting out of bed – but I have since discovered it is a blessing. When I moved my office back into the house (and dismantled my man-cave), I discovered playing with my children was more fun! Whilst they played around my feet, I found new topics for blogging quicker and with more humor. Both boys now supply enough for their own blog!

Yet I understand that not everyone enjoys mornings. Morning people are full of zippidydoodaa, which can be really annoying for those that just want a few extra milliseconds of REM sleep. I understand that, I remember those times. But I found a new way to get extra sleep – and it costs nothing.

If you have children under three years old, they are probably having midday sleeps. This is a great time to get 30-60 minutes of sleep. Whilst many believe you should be cleaning, vacuuming or picking up toys – what’s the point if the kids are only going to trash it again when they wake up? Okay, I don’t follow that logic. I am a cleaner. I tidy. I pick up toys. It is worth it for piece of mind. But when I need a few moments sleep, I use time where I don’t need to interact with our boys.

Great dads are known for waking up early with their children, sometimes before their kids, so they can start writing articles, editing photographs, responding to emails, and finding paid work to pay for more toys – all without sacrificing either their sanity or family-time!

Conversations with my Two Sons

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2. Unhealthy Mind, Unhealthy Child

When our attitude sucks, our kid’s attitude will too. Ever notice that when you don’t feel like doing anything, nor do your kids? Keep smiling, keep going, and do more than you can – and your kids will copy you. Well, not all the time. But they will want to be more like their father.

My four-year-old son spends a lot of time trying either to be like his mother or myself. It is rarely not funny – because he is so cute.


Educational Book

3. Not Reading

Great dads invest time and effort to ensure their kid’s imagination are fed with either fictional or real knowledge, keeping up with the Aliens in Underpants series, plus learning from inspirational stories

Smart dads invest effort and time appropriately, expanding their child’s knowledge of the world around them.

As JK Rowling said “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” The books we choose our kids to read helps them see so many perspectives, opens their minds to so many new ideas, and allows our imagination to see things that may never be – and that is important. Innovation is not only born from necessity, but from kids who can imagine it.


4. Relying on One Toy

When your child is restricted to only one brand or toy-type, they are less likely to learn how to put square pegs into round holes. When multiple options are at their disposal, kids are more likely to play games never invented, talk (if only in their minds) through the possibilities, and then act on them. Don’t give kids restrictions that stop their learning and imagination.


strawberry in hand

5. Spending Carelessly

Ninty-five percent of the toys you buy for kids were used for five minutes. I don’t need to ask anyone or research this one: Most parents will know this to be a truth. Consequently, special celebrations are wasted, and your children never know what surprise really means.

Stop buying stuff every day, especially when used to bribe kids to get into the car to go food shopping. Make the food the reward – and I don’t mean sweets! Kids who recgonise the taste of vegetables and fruit will learn faster and stay smarter.

Not saving will put you and your kids into long-term poverty – with no easy way to escape the cycle!


6. Watching too much Television

Whilst TV has its place in the home, making it the centre of attention is dangerous. Again without research, but based purely on observation – kid’s minds seem to stagnate and absorb very little information when seated in front of the television for long periods.

That said, if your children are going to spend any amount of time in front of the TV, make sure it is educational. In Australia, ABCKids is our preference. From Tree Fu Tom to Peter Rabbit, almost every nightly program before bed teaches the kids some morals and scruples, and helps to reinforce what parents teach during the day.

As a parent though, television is an escape from the hassles of the day. So I focus on documentaries and epic movies so I get some brain stimulation.


seat

7. Staying in your Comfort Zone

As a Dad myself, I totally get it. Some nights we just want to chillax into the lounge, flick on the idiot box, and veg out for the night. But a life spent sitting is a life without success.

Unless you are a work-at-home dad – but walking occasionally helps the mind to stay active. It’s a habit that has worked well for every father since the beginning of time!

So take your kids for walks in the park or the yard, and introduce them to everything that interests them. They will become better people for the experience and knowledge.


8. Not saying “I Don’t Know”.

Your kids don’t know everything, despite what they tell you. And nor do you. Keep asking your kids questions – it will enlighten both of you. Your kids somehow expand their vocabulary, and you learn what they do and don’t know. When both a child and their father knows when to say “I don’t know” is good for everyone.

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