Learn Something New Every Day

Whilst my 2yo son cried for no apparent reason this morning, I quietly said to him … “You have been alive for less than 750 days. That’s 1/50th, a mere 2%, of your potential life. Today is just one day. Tomorrow is another. Let’s put this nappy on, and take another breath.”

It’s easy to forget that every day is a gift.

So often we tell ourselves It’s OK, I will fix/become/change/join/upgrade/update/learn/do it tomorrow – and tomorrow remains tomorrow, the day after the last day, the eighth day we dream of but never see. We keeping putting stuff off, thinking we are safe, that one day that day will come.

And this is despite, thanks to the proximity of everyone on the internet, we see every day that life is NOT forever. We hear and see violence in the middle east, terrorists in stadiums, unfortunate fatal gunshots by children. Despite this knowledge, we think our distance from these activities makes us safe from harm.

So now you know that you have approximately 36,500 days of life: What are you doing with your time?

I say this to myself daily. I have to. I am a Daddy. My two young sons are the horizon that reminds me that it’s worth the journey, and I am their rock to climb, to aspire to, to learn from, to become men themselves.

My 2yo son clearly didn’t understand much of the words I said. Yet he heard the the sombre tone in Daddy’s reassuring voice, and slowly calmed down. After a dry nappy was attached, warm clothes adorned, and tears wiped away … we hugged me and said in his beautiful little voice “Thank you Daddy” … and he waddled off to play with toys. I smiled, yet I knew he was mimicking either myself, Mummy, or even his older brother. It’s the best way to teach them – by example.

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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)….

Kids

Boy 1 runs around so much he forgets he has toes.
Boy 2 sits down and contemplates his toes, slowly and individually.
Which would you rather be?

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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Funny Kitchen Utensils to Keep Children Happy

Wow, I haven’t truly blogged in oh-so-long … At least 3 months! 

I have determined why: Facebook, not all my web-finds will go to you anymore! Well, maybe some, but tonight I found some that need to be shared with the mummy/daddy audience of the WWW.

As my wife is soon to produce another human from inside herself, in late February 2015, I have researched what it means and takes to be an older parent. I keep forgetting I am over 40 years old. I have never acted a day over 20, and I will continue to stay young-at-heart! Despite my knees getting sorer, my shoulders aching every night after Mr2.3 walking on my back or throwing himself onto me with his adorable massive hugs, and my ribs getting sore from the laughter we have together, I don’t know what it is like to act my age.

Seriously though, I am closer to 50 … and thanks to IVF we were able to have our second child. Our first child is adorable, well mannered (Mr2.3 says ‘denk you’ without prompting!), smart (he may not be able to read, yet he loves his word books!), imaginative, creative, vocal with a wide vocabulary, yet all the expected aggression of a little boy wanting the world to understand, listen and do as he says! So overall, perfectly normal – as I expect the next one will also be.

I won’t say what age mummy/my lovely wife is (I want to live until my next birthday!), but she is a few years younger than me. Yet never has life been so wonderful, funny, fun, worth the effort and joyous for both of us. Did I say fun? Kids are much more fun than the cynics and non-breeders say it is. Older parents do NOT deserve the bad press or genetic problems of their offspring that is often assumed.

Helicopter Cake

Talking children, it turns out Mr2.3 loves being in the kitchen with Mum. As he gets taller he can reach further – particularly onto the bench space normally reserved for cutting food for dinner. So I have decided that finding ways for him to help is either going to make the time worthwhile, or get him out of the kitchen until he is of age to be a kitchen slave. Kidding. Or am I? Anyhow, here are a few kitchen tools that kids will surely enjoy using:

1a. I have a few friends whose eyes are gonna explode at this contraption. Yet it has merit. I am so sick of finding half-eaten mashed banana in the boy’s day bag or childcare bag. The Banana Bunker solves all issues !
1b. Heck, why not slice the banana before he leaves the house!

2. All boys love a gadget that sprays or shoots his food. If he ain’t flinging it with his hands, he is catapulting it with his food. So this Condiment-Gun will help aim the product in the right direction . Some of it might even hit the correct target. And I don’t mean mum’s hair!

3. Don’t you love it when you are chopping lettuce and you hear this tiny voice say “Me do!” This should make it fun, a tad silly, yet entertaining. Maybe some lettuce might get chopped too! So a karate-chopping plastic-hand in the hands of a under-10-year-old could only be fun. Not that I condone hitting kids at all, but I can see a substitute use for this. A soft paddle to a well-padded posterior is sometimes a handy way to remind a child that NO means NO.

4. Our little dude loves helping making cakes. Particuarlly chocolate cake. More often he holds onto the handle of the electric mixer whilst mummy actually does the work. I am thinking this whisker with King-Kong trapped behind the bars from http://www.perpetualkid.com might get him involved a tad more. Even if it means a little mixture is flung around the room. Hmmmm… now I am thinking this is not a good idea!

5. Mum, why don’t we just get cutting boards that look like the mess that Mr2.3 just made on the kitchen bench?

6. Oh wow, no more spilt pancake batter on the kitchen and dining floor. Nor in the patio, beneath the BBQ, nor even down the hallway. Wouldn’t that be ever so nice!

7. Anything from Fred and Friends will appeal to both Dad and Mr2.3.

8. Ooooh, we need to start baking cookies soon! Forget Christmas and Birthdays, just to have available anytime! I want them chess pieces , racing track and cars , wild animals and jigsaw puzzles shaped … wait, I mean Mr2.3 wants them. Okay, I admit it. I want the popsicle cookies.

Plastic, so Fantastic!

9. Extra: Buying these battery salt-n-pepper shakers for my mother in law’s massive collection.

10. Okay, something for the fridge: The Quick Grip Note Refrigerator Organizer . I have been talking about this idea for many years!

11. And because I am dad, I want the Tactical Chef Apron . Just so I can look like I cook in the house. I get to keep food moving on the metal cook thingy in the back yard.

This should be enough to see the lad through to his double-digit years. And keep me fed handsomely with scrumptious delights. Kids. Who wouldn’t have them?

Multi Skilling Keep the Mind Sane

Diversity is fun, but it can get difficult to focus on so many things at once. It’s actually what’s keeping me away from Facebook.

Right now I have my fingers in a bunch of proverbial pies that are starting points to potential virtual end-products.

One part of my brain is focusing on a new site design for my primary site – ezcreate.com.au. It is going to be filled with LOTS of circles. Some of them transparent PNG’s, others created with CSS utilising multiple background techniques AND circular bordering. That will be interesting. A lot of online research is being put in to determine exactly how to write the code.

Another part is currently doing the ASX Sharemarket Game. I read the Australian Financial Review most days from cover to cover. That is actually fun. I scan in those of interest, write copious notes on information that may or not relate to the companies I am investing within.

Another part has an idea for software that could revolutionise a whole lot of stuff I have been involved with over the last 18 years. Enough said on that for now. Anyhow, more coding and program to learn. Why? Just for fun. Aha, I am weird like that. Not sure when that will happen. Amusingly I have already designed the logo and app icon. Weird still, right?

Yet another part of my brain is currently job hunting. L1 Helpdesk is my preference. [See my LinkedIn.com account for my skill base]. Facilities Management would be also very interesting. [Again, LinkedIn]. Records management at a push, but I am not a big fan any more.

And I am contemplating a few courses, particularly in business management AND/OR getting RPL for my IT Helpdesk knowledge, experience and ability. Because it is all mostly self-taught, taught on the job, or simply experience from my long-term government role.

Not busy at all. Diversity is a no brainer. Completing the bucket list is the next step.

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.