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!

Save

Save

Save

Save

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?

Going Cold Turkey to Youtube Gamers & Vloggers

Definition of ‘Cold Turkey’

As a noun:
The unpleasant symptoms caused by suddenly ceasing to take a drug to which one is addicted.
“stopping the drug may result in cold turkey”

As an adverb:
In a sudden and abrupt manner.
“I had to quit drinking cold turkey”

How I Became a YouTube Addict

It’s nothing to be proud of, but for reasons that many people are probably still not totally aware. But it happened in stages.

Back in 2012 I was introduced to Grand Theft Auto IV . I bought a PC-DVD version of the game – and contemplated installing it. So before I did, I went to YouTube to learn more about it. That’s when the addiction began.

Somehow the first Youtube gamer I discovered was HikeTheGamer . His plays were often up to two hours long. His entourage varied in ages and countries of origin, yet somehow the group made it all work. Yet I got into the game play, watching them sometimes for the entire video. They made it interesting. But the first problem I had was the amount of download!

From there I found a bunch of clever guys who made these games both funny and a parody of the game itself –The ASDF’s . I had only found there archived clips – and spent too much time trying to find them at the current era. They were fun to watch and laugh at, which is what I really needed. It was at that point that I realised I didn’t need nor want a gaming addiction, I was seeking something to laugh at. My next article will explain why further.

From there my addiction was very Doctor-Who-Peter-Capaldi-Incarnation “I came the long way round” – Wherein I finally found the current and very popular YouTube Gamers who had millions of viewers and subscribers. I watched as they grew in fandom in millions every few months. Some of the lads who are now YouTube-stars were being born. But I never felt the inclination to join their ranks – I finally realised that I could get all I wanted from watching them. These boys are funny, hilarious and often had me laughing at odd moments!

So here are all the YouTube Gamers I developed a strong addiction to watching, in order of my awareness of them online:

    (* – My top favorite)

  1. * Lui Calibre
  2. * VanossGaming
  3. * H2O Delirious
  4. Mini Ladd
  5. Moo Snuckel
  6. BasicallyIDoWork
  7. I Am Wildcat
  8. Silent Droidd
  9. CaRt0oNz
  10. The Terroriser
  11. Daithi De Nogla
  12. SeaNanners
  13. Jacksepticeye
  14. … a few others, but these guys are the quickest to remember off the top of my head!

I have since reduced my addiction to Vanoss because the rest will often be in his videos – and the others usually upload almost the same video, just shot from their perspective. This can sometimes be interesting, particularly the audio.

Introducing Vlog-Movies

In early 2016 a Facebook friend told me about Casey Neistat with his mini-movie-style of YouTube creations. As my addiction to online gamers came to an end, watching Casey seemed a natural progression – and soon I realised how I could easily create similar styled videos of my own. Making mini-movies of parts of my life tickled a part of my brain that wanted to record my blogs with audio – and here was the answer.

I am now ALL caught up with Casey’s videos. Yes, all of them. I don’t know why, it is quite voyeuristic. My 18mo son Aidan loves watching Casey’s daughter Francine on my smartphone. Scary, yet cute.

Thanks to Casey, I also got addicted to the vlogs (~not their gaming nor prank channels!) of these guys in order of discovery:

  1. Tom Syndicate
  2. Fousey
  3. * Roman Atwood
  4. * Shonduras
  5. There are a few others, but they appear to have lost their way.

In July 2016 our household switched to NBN

This was the most amazing thing to happen to us. I remember going through the era of dial-up tones, I remember intermittent ADSL and ADLS2 – and now we have NBN, the world-wide-web is coming into our home at SIX TIMES FASTER than we previously had it.

But here is the downside of NBN:

  1. Improved connectivity means no more buffering – meaning you forget to notice that a download is in process. When events happen fast, your brain forgets to remember that the information is being downloaded from the internet. YouTube videos suddenly default to 1080p…
  2. Improved and faster download means you are downloading formidable amounts of data. With limited internet plans, your monthly limit can get maxxed out in two weeks. Sigh. I had to reduce my YouTube addiction.

So I have had to go cold turkey.

I chose Only two with which to stay connected:

  • Vanoss . Okay, and H2O Delirious. That guy makes me laugh.
  • Casey. Well, Shonduras . That guy makes me really laugh and cry, I don’t know how he doesn’t break his limbs more often!

Why tell you all this?

Because I want to focus more on my photography, graphic design and MY OWN VLOG. I got so caught up in everyone else that I forgot my own goals and aspirations!

Oh, and to get them out of my browser bookmarks. ;)

Why Go to PAX?

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

CSS Snippets + Sites of Interest

I wrote similar posts to this one a few years ago, but two new loves have stolen my night and online life: Children.

Our first little-man was 2.75 years ago, our most recent lad was born on March 2nd 2015. Aha,  just 3 days ago. He is still in hospital with mum as she recovers from her belly-slashing. I have only hugged him three times, helped him have his first bath, and rocked him to sleep once. He is adorable.

But I digress.

I am a HTML trawler. Yes, I scrape your HTML to learn how a thing is happening and how I can reproduce it. Rest assured, I don’t simply copy and paste. I copy and paste into an editor, test it to ensure I have all the components … then carefully research it. I want to know how and why, it has always been my passion. Heck, when I first got online in 1998, I spent about two years reading LOTS of information regarding HTML and CSS (and a few other webdev languages) as my main focus.

Which is a great segue into my favourite paragraph by Daniel Mall: It says everything about my (sporadic) reading, testing, writing, coding and creating CSS/HTML over the last 16 years. Here it is:

Construction Site I read as much as I could from people like: Mike Davidson, Shaun Inman, Jason Santa Maria, Dave Shea, Jeffrey Zeldman, Jeff Croft, Andy Budd, Eric Meyer, Ryan Sims, Jeremy Keith, Garrett Dimon, Jared Christensen, Mark Boulton, Wilson Miner, D. Keith Robinson, Faruk Ateş, Ethan Marcotte, Derek Featherstone, Greg Storey, Cameron Moll, Roger Johansson, Khoi Vinh, Dan Cederholm, Dan Rubin, and so many more.
/…/ When these people wrote a new post, I read it.
/…/ This was a community I wanted to be associated with.

Wow, me too! And the funny thing? I am rereading their blogs & articles again after a long hiatus. It feels like finding old friends. None of them would know me, but I feel like I know them. Many of the site designs have changed (that’s how well I feel I know these people, I remember some their sites from 10 years ago!), yet their writing style is much the same, though evolved. The webdev bug is strong in me and ready to resume learning.

So now let me show you what CSS/HTML I have found via my #scrape&learn process. I won’t explain each, I simply show them. If you have an interest in this field, you will see the value in them:

Restoration of Rotunda on River Torrens

FIXED ABSOLUTE

/* Sits at base of page, beneath all text. Could be used as a fixed base */
.base { background-color: #666; color: red; text-align: center; padding: 0.5em 0; position: absolute; bottom: 0; left; 0; width: 100%; }
.base a { color: green; text-decoration: none; }
.base a:hover, .back a:focus { color: yellow; }

// Found here

VIEWPORT

Version #1

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width,initial-scale=1″ />
AND
/* Fix for device screen width */
@viewport {
zoom: 1.0;
width: extend-to-zoom;
}
@-ms-viewport {
width: extend-to-zoom;
zoom: 1.0;
}

Version #2

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1, minimum-scale=1, maximum-scale=1, user-scalable=no” />

JITTER

<p class=”jitter” style=”left: -4px; -webkit-transform: rotate(-1deg);”>

Example here

Cliched View of Adelaide Iconic Horizon That’s enough samples for you. Three each time is enough.

Okay, next I show you interesting #webdev sites. I am always finding and reading tidbits of information about stuff I think can make my own site look better, or else which I can incorporate into #holdingbay pages. Yet since delicious.com fails for me regularly, I will post as articles with my descriptions. Plus it keeps my browser bookmarks tidier! Here goes…

1. Textile live web editor ~ A WYSIWYG editor where the code is on the left an the output is on the right. Includes the final HTML output for easy insertion into the page of choice. I use it for creating blog posts. Textile is so much easier for attaching URLs.

2. Fillerati ~ Lorem Ipsum is often confusing for clients. I had a client a few years back who asked if the content had been hacked on a #dummysite I was showing them. Sigh. This may still confuse them, but at least my english-speaking clients will at least go “Ooooh!”

3. A Pixel Identity Crisis by SCOTT KELLUM January 17, 2012 ~ Basically, pixel definition changes the defined appearance of a site on a smartphone. A long read, but our design process will improve for it.

4. Stephen Coles ~ Visit his ‘bits of work’ pages. Mostly visit to see how he uses his website. Inspirational. # |

5. Carolyn Wood ~ Another great web site design. Simple colours, easy to follow, uncluttered and to the point.

6. HappyCogI have visited their site many times over the years. The home page has changed dramatically since last I looked. Thankfully their articles are still cognitive. ;)

7. Quantity Queries for CSS by HEYDON PICKERING March 03, 2015 ~ Wow. Heavy reading, yet very interesting. May have to read that again. I can see already it will be worth it to incorporate into my site, thereby making it easy to access from a tablet or smartphone. Can see potential for expansion.

8. How to Build an App (.tumblr.com) ~ The thing most fascinating is the slightly tilted paragraphs. The answer is in the HTML. I have included in my sample CSS above. PLUS the article is interesting and educational.

9. What is your ViewPort size? ~ With so many smartphones and devices on the market, how can you be sure of the dimensions of any of them? Yes, this site can tell you. Email to yourself, open in browser on your device. Voila!

Nine is enough. I will try to write these style of posts once a week. Heck, with WordPress I can schedule them – and I still have hundreds of interesting articles and sites waiting to be re-revealed. Watch out for them…

All Links Lead to Facebook

I follow a lot of interesting links on the interwebz each night. I am a prolific reader, I read prolifically. Is anyone read prolificly? But I digress…

A few nights back I stumbled onto Chris Harding‘s series,We the Robots . Hilarity ensued. That two word sentence is so cliched. Again, I digress…

"Whatchoo Lookin' At?"

Seems ‘We The Robots’ was a short period in his eclectic ‘toon time. Two years exactly, give or take a life time. A robot’s life can be long or short, depending on the country of birth. I like to digress.

So I checked out where Chris is now. Wasn’t difficult. Google is a search engine. I searched for him. Chris Harding. Animation. Here he is .

Then I went back to We The Robots. There is a link on his homepage to Chris’s / Chrises / Chrises’ / his Facebook page . hashtag head smack.

But the story doesn’t end there. (How many times have we heard THAT line? No, not the next one, the one prior to the one before this one!)

Seems Chris has an agent. Go read his awesome Contact page. Chris really his a funny guy. And his agent has a site filled with other a.ma.a.z.i.n.g artists .

Techtronics of Rex the RobotAnd his agent has links to sales teams, some live, some links dead. Nearly everyone of them are also on Facebook.

WHO ISN’T ON FACEBOOK?! Oh, yeah, my lovely coffee maker at Kikko’s on Pirie Street . Aha, free plug. I like my coffee, and I really like when it is the perfect breakfast. Much digression. And digestion. Coffee is good for that.

That’s it. More again. Another time. I make no promises I will post again tomorrow. I do that too often and don’t, so now I say I post irregularly – which means it is surprise to even me when I do. With surely more digression.

Using Twitter to Get Camera Recommendations

Rear view of Professional SMC Member

Hard to believe it, I have had a Twitter account since mid 2008.

For a long time it was just something I looked at from time to time, not understanding how anyone could cross-converse in such a hectic and vibrant community. It looked (and sometimes still does) like a bazillion monkeys chattering over the top of each other, all clambering for the highest point to ensure their voice is heard.

Yet it turns out to be the best way to ask questions that a MASSIVE amount of people can respond to and (mostly) give a good response. Here is one great example:

I asked on Twitter earlier this evening…

With only one response, I chose to follow the link.

Considering many of my friends are complete arseholes, that was a big risk. Wait, wait, what I mean is they are Australian’s who like to use any opportunity to make fun of each other, which all of us, including the recipient, laugh till it is someone else’s turn. So when an Australian calls you an arsehole or a bastard, more often he is saying either “Aha, you got me!” or “Damn, you take the best holidays!”

Turns out this is a great sugggestion for a second camera. So I tried to follow with a less than 140 character reply. Considering all of the amazing features, I had to find just one or two that warranted a twitter response. So, Ric, @aqualung, this is what I have to say about the Fuji X-T1:

Read the full review of the Fujifilm XT1. I got what I wanted from Twitter. Which really is amazing.