GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS! (10 Years on Youtube)

Of all the YouTube channels I subscribe to, there is only one that I return to over and over again – Casey Neistat.

A recent vlog is now watched repeatedly. This one is a gentle yet constant reminder what I want to achieve on my own channel. I have watched it 5 times. It blows my mind. Which is it? Wait, it will be the last video I show in this list.

I have had a Youtube channel since 2007 – again, another 10 years with one channel – yet it’s not the longest! I digress. Back on track…

MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HISTORY

For the longest time I did almost nothing on YouTube. I remember saying to someone in 2008“It’s just a fad, it won’t last.” Oh dear, how wrong was I! Mostly I liked and categorized videos, probably like a lot of people did. I had a U2 collection, plus some series of cartoons that intrigued me. But YouTube kept changing the privacy on stuff, and then deleted channels that somehow violated their terms – yet nobody could see why.

In early 2012, whilst working on a Government ITC Help Desk, I worked with a young guy who said “Instead of playing PS/Xbox/Wii games, I just watch their YouTube channels – it’s cheaper!” Within a month I was hooked on a few youtube gamer channels whose style was consistent, crazy-funny, and catching worldwide attention. You may know who I mean.

Late 2015, thanks to a friend on Facebook, I was advised to check out Casey Neistat Apple batteries vlog . Then he started vlogging daily. Vlogging became a word.

Early 2016 I revamped my YouTube channel, removing all the Liked videos and vlogs, and uploaded a dozen videos shot by my wife – using them to show off her honey business on Kangaroo Island, planning to use them on our GoFundMe page. The funding didn’t pan out as imagined, so that also needs a revamp! Yet I still love the bee vlogs I created…

Then I started vlogging our weekly visits to Cleland Wildlife Park … so all our Australian-Zoo visits also got uploaded!

In mid 2016, after a very long hiatus being the Dead Reds Wine Group photographer, I decided to vlog the night’s drinking – and everyone who went appreciated it. Actually, vlogging made it all the more fun – people spoke to their camera!

I found finances to buy a very decent movie editor program: Movavi. Windows Movie Maker was insufficient! Movavi has been great for creating eclectic music to go over wind-filled footage, converting and compressing, then uploading to YouTube without any problems.

Then in July 2016, I twisted my right knee so much that my vlogging took a backseat until I recovered sufficiently to get around without pain. I still shot a lot, but I was getting so tired from the exercise needed that tonnes of footage sits incomplete.

In early 2017 we moved to Kangaroo Island. Within a month I uploaded a short vlog that received 200 views in a few days – which blew my mind and reminded me of my journey. I was back on track!

Then Casey added his “DO WHAT YOU CAN’T” vlog. Wow. It was like a smack in the face for me.

It brings me back to his channel once a week to remind myself of what I am aiming to achieve.
Yet I say it is probably not the best mantra.

I prefer to say “GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS”.

It’s true, a lot of people set limits on their goals, consequently limiting their potential. Ashamed to say I have done the same, and possibly still do on some issues.

Some people have budgetary constraints, some have fear of success or failure limits, and many put limits on themselves because they don’t believe in their ability – even though they have never had a go!

Whenever I think I have limits, I imagine living in a 3rd-world country where there is no money, life is all hand-outs from foreign aid, and living is day-to-day. You and I have a far better life than that: We have a roof over our head, a bed each night, and we know where your next meal is coming from – and it’s three times a day!

So what is your limit? Probably next to nothing by comparison!
I am not going to lie: When I had money, I bought things that I knew I would utilise and would last a long time. Good camera gear, particularly the accessories. What I didn’t forsee is how I would use them.

The planets have recently realigned for me.
Expect more vlogs over the next few months.
What will they be about now? Well, I have to thank my Radio show for revitalizing my self-confidence, particularly my speaking and writing skills. So I have a few ideas in mind. Now to create them with almost no budget!

Let’s see what I do next (week)….

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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…

Birth #2 – Our Second Son

A child was born yesterday. Our second son. I wasn’t able to be in surgery for the birth of our first child, so I took the opportunity this time to capture images of everything permitted in the surgical theatre.

Here are the few photos I am permitted to show of the experience.

HOLDING
Hands are wondrous, even covered in latex. These are the anesthetist nurse’s, holding my wife’s hands. I found the creases in the surgical gloves a detail worth capturing.
Holding

INJECT
Another glove shot, this time with a needle. The nurse informed me their was a bubble in the drip, this was the easiest way to manage it.
Inject

TOOLS
I aimed my camera over my shoulder and pulled the trigger … capturing the surgeons tools, waiting for use. They are not nearly as macabre as movies make them out to be.
Tools

FULLY EQUIPPED
I am sure it all did something important, I just have no idea what.
Fully Equiped

PRE-CRIB
Upon removal from mother, babies are placed here for all their tests and jabs. The bed is small yet warm and ample space for several nurses to work.
Pre-Crib

UNDERNEATH
My Canon EOS M will fire randomly in a language-filled room. This was one of the shots captured as I held my camera in my lap.
Underneath

DUTCH
Clogs at the angle. This was one of a few shots randomly taken by my Canon EOS M whilst I held it at my side.
Dutch

BALL JOINT
Each arm of mother is supported by these simple clamp systems attached to the gurney. All I could think was “Oh, that would make a great monopod joint!”
Ball Joint

CLOGS in monochrome
Clogs

That is all. My wife and I choose not to show photos of our children in an open-internet environment, so this is all you will see. Family excepted.

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Page Speed Improved thru Code Accessibility

I am merely the messenger. Here are five of many pages by Patrick Sexton regarding page speed improvement. Each page link includes a few words of reverence.

Signed Distance

1. Prioritize Visible Content

I must point out now: This site is the schizzle. And the sizzle. Ultimately, is the the ultimate. Simply put, it makes everything simple. And every, I mean EVERY, link in it are read, revered, referenced, reread, applied and are awesome.

2. Reduce the size of the above-the-fold content . </headsmack> This helps make sense of it all.

3. Displays how CSS is used on a webpage. , which relates to Page speed . Scare yourself – or your webmaster.

4. This one is a far better way of linking to external scripts. Most of us have been leaving them in the <html></html>, but as the last text in our </body>. His improved method has your page deferring the loading of Javascript . Nice, nice indeed.

5. Therefore, in (opening and) closing : There is tonnes more information on his google page to read. Go now, be in his presence, for he is one of the many keys of awesomeness online.

Restoration of Rotunda on River Torrens

PS. I use this textile live web editor for pre-writing and linking articles in my blog posts.
I link to sites in my articles because I like them and gain no financial profit from doing so.

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.

Who is Behind the Doctor?

Too often we focus on the imaginary characters of a production – and not on the people that make it all possible.

DrWho in Rundle Mall

For over 25 years I have been an ardent fan of the television series ‘Doctor Who‘. Between his regenerations, his varied companions, his choice in clothing genre’s, plus the amazing evolution of the interior of the TARDIS, I eagerly looked forward to every episode. Well, most of the time. Like everyone else I re-established my enjoyment in the series when David Tenant took on the role about ten years ago.

But what caught my attention this time round is the music. It is colossal, inspiring and, most importantly, it is different for every episode. Yes, much of it sounds the same – but it is tailored for the production. The key music is played when the Doctor is about to play his hand and attempt to win the day – and we notice it. The man responsible for the current music is Murray Gold. With a name like that, he will be unforgettable.

Today ‘The Day of the Doctor‘ aired around 94 countries – but because of family commitments I had to watch it online. In fact, I watched it twice on iView.

But it was what I watched after that got me thinking (and got me writing this article) … Who are the people behind the scenes? Why were they not given more credit in the earlier days? We all know Steven Moffatt now, he is synonymous with the series, as is Murray Gold. Steven Moffatt goes to ComiCon each year with the current Doctor and companion.

BUT there is one person more important than all:

Verity Lambert, what an amazing woman. The tenacity, ‘piss & vinegar‘, the balls of this woman, we need to be much more thankful for her amazing desire to make the series. Were it not for her, the Daleks would have remained a bug-eyed-monster stuck to celluloid in a container buried in the BBC bunkers!

So don’t forget those people who put in the hard-yards, effort, and many years. Fifty years so far. We are counting, plus keeping an eye or two on everyone who is involved.

So should you.

Being Very Right

I like proving the vocational assessment I had 3 months ago to be very wrong.

Captain Eco Nomy Yes, one might say a thing is either wrong or right, there’s no place for a combination of the two. To that I’d like to butcher a quote by Stuart, owner of the profitless comic book store on #TheBigBangTheory – “It is a little wrong to say I could Swim in Jello, it’d be very wrong to say I could Ski on Sandpaper.”

Yet back in early July 2013 I was assessed as being unsuited for a helpdesk or any role that included repetitive tasks.

Whilst I’d much prefer to continue to shoot abstract, architectural, landscape & vehicular photography AND have people buy sufficient artwork each week to cover my mortgage, the truth is I need to do a job that utilizes my real world skills.

So winning a 6 month contract on an IT HelpDesk has proven I do have sales, people, communication, tutoring & computer skills which help me to provide a full service to all my clients.

So I am doing a role that I not only exel in, I also enjoy doing. Talking with people at all levels, taking a moment to discuss the impact of the issue at hand on their working day, working through and resolving or escalating the issue, then doing the necessary computer based logging of the job … heck, I am smiling as I write this all done. I am in my element!

That assessment was very wrong. Which leads me to believe my response was based on utopian world, not real world.

Because now I am doing a job where I am most suited, well placed, and everything feels very right.