Sad Moment

Over the last thirty-five years there have been people whom I have had only one opportunity to meet. Why only once? Because, unfortunately, they have made life-altering choices that no one saw coming or nobody fully realised how severe that person’s state-of-mind had become.

Memory of Melbourne Last month I rested my hand on the shoulder of two female friends and asked if they were OK. They were clearly in tears. I recognised those tears. I’d felt that pain.

I didn’t ask who it was, I didn’t feel it was my place. They simply said that a close friend had taken their own life a few nights before. It was a sombre moment.

This morning whilst going through emails, I spotted one subject line that started
On January 10th there will be an In Memoriam for Gi..
I choose not to mention her full name. I always feel uncomfortable doing so.

My jaw dropped and time stopped briefly. It was simply difficult to believe. If you know of whom I speak, wow, just wow. I met her just once. I watched her sit casually in my mother-in-law’s home, helping with label and postcard designs for her honey business. She had a wonderful smile, she appeared relaxed yet vibrant. I would like to have been a friend.

Sculpture of Woman But alas, that’s not to be.

I was standing next to our 5yo son Jai before I began writing this article. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him…
“If you ever see someone at school who looks sad but is not crying, always ask them ‘Are you OK? How can I help? I would like to be your friend. Would you like that?’ When you do this, you will have friends for life.”

Deep breath in, deep breath out.


National Help Lines & Websites

Carers Australia

1800 242 636
Short-term counseling and emotional and psychological support services for carers and their families in each state and territory.

Headspace

1800 650 890
Free online and telephone service that supports young people aged between 12 and 25 and their families going through a tough time.

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800
A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counseling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

MensLine Australia

1300 78 99 78
A telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

MindSpot Clinic

1800 61 44 34
An online and telephone clinic providing free assessment and treatment services for Australian adults with anxiety or depression.

Relationships Australia

1300 364 277
A provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.

SANE Australia

1800 18 7263
Information about mental illness, treatments, where to go for support and help carers.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Aboriginal Medical Services in each state and territory.

Black Dog Institute

Information on symptoms,treatment and prevention of depression and bipolar disorder.

Head to Health

An innovative website that can help you find free and low-cost, trusted online and phone mental health resources.

Support after Suicide

Information, resources, counselling and group support to those bereaved by suicide. Education and professional development to health, welfare and education professionals.

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My SALA-2016 Photography is STILL on Exhibition!

Do you remember when I exhibited my photography at SALA 2016? Thanks to good friends, at the 11th hour I was asked if I would like to hang artwork that year.

With the little savings I had available, I had a few images printed and framed – and on walls at  the Catalyst Foundation Adelaide office in their From Another Perspective Art Exhibition. All are available to peruse both in their reception and in their rear seminar room.

ORIGINALLY:
1 August until 2 September – Open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
UPDATE early 2017: My photography will remain on exhibition an additional 4 weeks, or until we can collect the frames.
UPDATE early 2018: My photography is still on display as we have relocated to Kangaroo Island have no way to collect them at this time. Early this year they will

PRICE:
$195 each = A2 (40x50cm) print and frame. Additionally they are available upon 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 display:

Seminar Room (left to right)

Reception and Elsewhere

I really hope to collect them early this year so I can display them on Kangaroo Island with either the same photographs or newer ones. Watch this space!

Ensure your House Smoke Detectors Meet Current Regulations (AUS)

Power Up! I researched this information after our rental-home smoke-detector beeping beeped at 2.30am yesterday morning. At the time I also asked on Facebook (in a KI Q&A group) what should be done in the short term: All my good friends on Kangaroo Island suggested the 9Volt battery needed replacing. Yes, there is one inside the device.

Here’s where the issue lies:

  1. We believe the noise was the actual smoke detector noise, not the battery-dying noise.
    That was worrying, which is why I went straight to FB to ask in the forums. I imagined someone else might have experienced this and knew exactly what to do. Many great responses were provided, and I learnt a lot. There’s no saying if we were wrong or right in our decision, but I feel we did the right thing.
  2. We only moved into the house 3 weeks ago. Which got me thinking.
    Should it be responsibility of the tenant leaving OR the new tenant to replace the battery? Maybe the previous tenant should be required to indicate on the ‘final paperwork’ when they replaced the smoke-detector battery?

Short Back and Sides Mid afternoon, after all electrical problems in our house were fixed, I found these three websites – and was amazed by the information so much that I felt it prudent that all SA home owners, landlords, and renters should read and know. As I suspected we all have obligations and rights, all of which are designed to save lives:

1. CFS \ Fire Safety \ Smoke Alarms

Home owners are required, by Regulation 76B under the Development Act, 1993, to install battery powered or hard-wired (240 volt mains powered) smoke alarms.

  • Houses built since 1 January 1995 must be equipped with hard-wired smoke alarms.
  • All other houses must be equipped with at least 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms.
    [MY TWO CENTS] If you like to keep the house, or getting the rent on it, put in the hard-wired option! [/END]
  • When a house with 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms is sold the new owner has six months to install alarms which are hard-wired to the 240 volt power supply or powered by 10 year life, non-replaceable, non-removable batteries.

Heat Generator Penalties apply for non-compliance.

2. Our State Government provide a simplistic website layout for anyone, either on a computer or smartphone, to obtain the regulatory information easily and quickly provide/explain to your landlord to prove your case.

3. The Real Estate Institute of South Australia also provide quick explanations and simple tips and traps to ensure the correct information is available.

Our issue (and a few others) was resolved within 12 hours. I hope your household wiring, smoke detectors, house alarm, and any other electrical items are repaired or replaced in a timely manner to ensure your house/contents/family are not at risk!

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Using my Graphic Design for Good


THIS IS FOR YOU
Just about every day of the week I spend at least two hours creating web graphics for web  advertisements or tshirt designs.

With Xmas just around the corner I have created a bunch of new tshirts for everyone to enjoy.
NYE Resolutions T-Shirt

But today I am showing you the advertisements I created for my wife’s business on Kangaroo Island – LSBeez Honey & Queen-Bee Breeding.

Yeah, many of you would know that I am their online sales and web-guru, but in actuality I only get paid in lodging, regular meals, and the constant love of my two beautiful children and their mother. There is not enough money in the world to cover those rewards. (But don’t get me wrong. I would love a paid job or two.)

Here they are:


GoFundMe Donation Button 800px
Donate via GoFundMe

GoFundMe Donation Button 400px
GoFundMe Donations for LSBeezKI


Ready for New Years Eve
Have a Very Naughty ChristmasLSBeez is a family-owned apiary operating on Kangaroo Island, producing premium quality honey from Ligurian bees. After suffering a terrible setback in early 2016, Sarah & Stephen Mitchell needs funds to relocate to KI to help manage the business. Your support will help LSBeez to continue producing honey for everyone to enjoy.
Donations: GoFundMe.com/LSBeezKI
Website: www.ezcreate.com.au/LSBeez/
Facebook: /LsBeez


As you can see, I love creating graphics. I started back in 1996, and I still use GIMP exclusively and extensively to design and create all my ideas. If you need graphics designed and built for online usage,  contact me via Twitter

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Dell Upgrades Causing Intermittent Buzzing

My DELL laptop, running Windows 8.1, started buzzing every 60 seconds during YouTube video’s earlier this evening (16 Feb 2015). It was annoying and I wasn’t sure what was doing it. Was it Youtube? Was it the laptop? Was it my gaming software?

Rather than being an average user (ie: wondering how much I would have to pay Richard Pascoe to fix my laptop), I researched online to determine if it was a known issue.
Colour Coded

TIP #1: The first thing you learn on most ICT help-desk’s is that Mr Google is your best friend. Heck, every job interview I have there is nearly always this question:
Q: What do you do if you don’t know the answer to a user’s query?
A: Google it.

Bingo. I had to test a few key words; Initially I was thinking it was due to Nvidia updates,  so I searched Google for ‘recent Nvidia update problems’.

TIP #2: Always seek for your issue with the word ‘problem‘ in the search. Then select ‘Search Tools‘, drop down on ‘Any time‘ to ‘Past week‘, thereby reducing search range to most recent information. If you don’t, it will default to the most common looked at page – which are often many years ago!

Initially some of the results suggested Nvidia, but most were not recent enough. I suspected the issue might be closer to home: The laptop. So I changed to the search parameters to ‘dell audio buzzing’, the answer was revealed and verified in the DELL community support forums:
Pile of Computer Boards

1. Open ‘Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features’
2. Remove ‘Dell Support Assist’ and ‘Dell Support Agent’
3. Reboot or Restart your machine.
4. Play youtube video to test if issue persists.

DISCLAIMER: This remedy fixed my laptop with its specifications. It may not suit every brand or computer. If you are not sure or don’t feel confident doing this yourself, I highly recommend Richard Pascoe, the Adelaide Tech Guy. I get no kickback from recommending him, we are just good friends.

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.

Don’t Stop The Future: Blok IT!

Mother of a Board

I have a shed loaded with electronic waste that goes back 20 years.

I have motherboards, sound cards, old cellular phones, cabling, stenographer tape decks and much more. Somewhere in there I have a 3GB box that is twice the size of a standard shoe box – I use it as a paper weight and a reminder of a time that man wants to forget.

What I have noticed recently is that I still have most of the mobile phones I have purchased outright. This includes a few NOKIA bricks (sorry guys, it is true!). The earliest phone I remember owning was a flip-phone that always reminded me of communicators in Star Trek! Beamed straight from the series that continues to influenced the design of Tablets.

So I found PHONEBLOKS via advertising on Youtube. I quickly realised they deserve merit and entrepreneurial advertising!

Their idea is that the screen and features (ie, phone, camera, speakers, antenna, memory) are all separate blocks that connect to a standard base by way of pins and screws at the ends to keep it all secure. Therefore anyone in the world can build a phone to specifically suit their desires and lifestyle.

I reckon I would buy a PHONEBLOK. Imagine if each block embedded came in multiple colours. Sleeves and water-proof cases will still be necessary, bling is all part of the franchising of a product.

I’m keeping an eye on where this concept goes. So should everyone. The world is changing, again!

Now I am wondering what I am going to do with this shed of obsolete electronic gadgetry. Thinking of getting a strong metal muncher to make mince-meat of it all – and then somehow spraying it onto canvas or concrete to make wall art. Now that would be modern art!

Watch the video that describes how it all works and ‘fits’ together:

Copper Highway