Attention Grammar Police!

If you should find offenses to the English language in any of my articles please leave a comment and let me know so that I can obliterate it forever! Thanks!

Monday, March 31, 2014

How Long Does it Take - Part One

Some time ago I was given the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a good book, except I never quite made it past the second chapter! But boy what a chapter it was, entitled The 10,000 Hour Rule. In a nut shell it explains how after surveying people who were experts in their chosen field, people who had reached the level of genius in their skill, the magic number of 10,000 hours seemed to indicate how long it takes to become really really and ridiculously really good at something!

For some reason this stuck with me. In fact I read that chapter about three years ago and it still haunts me!

You see, I'm not particularly good at very much. Any of my friends reading this would probably be outraged. They would say that I'm good at writing (I hope), that I'm a good dad, some might even commend me for my musical abilities...

And while I would agree with them, that I am "good" at some of these things, I am not EXCELLENT at them. I am not PERFECT at anything. I have floundered about through life, from thing to thing, never really committing myself long enough to become outstandingly brilliant at anything!

Ever since I read  that chapter I have wondered, I have pondered and I have even cried over the possibilities. The main questions bobbing on the surface of this oceanic dilemma being, what do I want to be brilliant at, and where in this dimension am I going to find 10,000 hours lying around?

Which brings me to the point of this blog.

Today is Day One of my personal journey to become brilliant - and you are invited to join me in this quest.

For the time being I have to abandon the notion that I will ever find 10,000 hours to spare, but will take whatever I can get! Between holding down a full time job and raising three full time kids with a full time wife... I don't like my chances of reaching even half that number in the next decade.

But what I will do is keep a telly of exactly how many hours I have spent on my chosen pursuits and meticulously record my progress for all to see just how good I am getting at them.

I say 'them' because, me being me, I can't seem to settle on any one thing! There are in fact four things that I am interested in hurling my interests at and they are:

Learning how to Draw
Memorizing (Specifically, The Gospels, Shakespeare and Milton)

At a glance these might seem a little odd, but let me break it down for you...

First of all, I have to stick to my interests. I don't want to waste any time on something I'm not interested in or have no internal compulsion or drive toward. Frankly I love art, I love Shakespeare, I love the Bible and I love poetry! Pursuing that which you love is soul food, and I intend to get fat on it.

Secondly an intense dedication to the above will actually help me to achieve some of my other goals.

You see, apart from all this, I am actually trying to write a dictionary. At this point you're probably thinking, "What?!" Actually I've been slowing re-working the English Dictionary as a series of poems for the past three years and you can see my progress here if you like. It is for this reason that I am interested in Milton and Shakespeare, as every good writer knows, the key to becoming a good writer is being a good reader... it is my desire that by incorporating these great writers of renown into my brain then maybe some of their brilliance will infect my own efforts? You be the judge.

My interest in the Bible is personal and I appreciate not everyone reading this blog will understand it, but at the very least I ask you to respect it. Although I believe it is crucial to my faith it is still relevant to my literary goals, after all the Bible has influenced more literary works that any other single work in history and still remains the world's best selling book. But it is not my intent to preach here, you can choose to follow this aspect of my journey as much as you please...

Then there's drawing... now this one has come rather out of left field for me. My natural abilities have always been toward music and poetry but the more I write the more I find myself wanting to include illustrations with my work, and the more I draw the more I wish I was better at drawing! Again you can see some of my attempts here...

I've decided the best way for me to do this is to copy other artists but I'm also particularly interested in learning how to draw realistic faces and intend to start with my own. I will also film my attempts every time I draw and post them on YouTube for you to laugh at and ridicule, along with photos of whatever else I've done in any given week.

When am I going to do this? That's a good question, one I don't entirely know the answer to... but whenever down time presents itself to me I hope to kill it with my perseverance.

And as I go I hope to share with you whatever lessons I learn along the way. whether they be drawing tips or study tips or heaven forbid - time management tips!

So please watch this space and hopefully you will witness one man's attempt at going from average to eventually awesome.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Rhymes About Grammar

You/Your/You’re

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do
When you use the pro-noun “you”
You know, the word you use to designate
The person you are addressing
As in, “Gosh you are depressing”
When referring to another person’s state

But listen here my little friend
If “r” is found at “you’s” rear end
The word takes on a sudden transformation
For then the word it does take on
The very essence of “belongs”
As in, “Excuse me sir but is this your train station?”

But if you add an "r" and "e"
After an apostrophe
What you mean is something someone’s doing
Like, “You’re certainly disturbing me
If you’re wearing that to tea,
Doing so will end up your undoing!”

So please don’t be a moron
When you need to put an r on
Otherwise you might cop some abuse
For your and you’re might seem the same
But they’re not, THEY’RE NOT the same!
And after reading this you’ve no excuse!


Who/Whose/Who's

When of a person you must show
Which or what one is then know
The interrogative used for such is “who”
As in “Who stole my pajamas?”
Or “Who here likes piranhas?”
Are some examples just to name a few.

But something you must learn
The word “who” can be turned
Into a word relating things to it
That certain word is “whose”
And here is a small clue
To help you to ensure you don’t abuse it:
“A person whose pajamas
Were eaten by piranhas”
Is a phrase in which it seems to fit.

But now here’s the trick
So that no one thinks you thick
And to give your grammar razzmatazz
Remove from “whose” the little “e”
To it add an apostrophe
And “who’s” will now mean “who is” or “who has”

“That man who’s in pajamas,
Who’s screaming loudly, ‘Argh! Piranhas!’”
Exemplifies the essence of these truths
So when writing keep in mind
That your audience don’t find
Improper use of who and who’s and whose


It/Its/It’s

It’s worth elucidating
When referring to a thing
We give that thing the designation ‘it’
But add the letter ‘s’
And the meaning will address
The things relating specifically to it

Like, “that dog loves its bone”,
Or “that cat has lost its home”
Hopefully by now you get the drift?
Just don’t make the catastrophe
By adding an apostrophe
Or else the grammar police will get miffed!

So the word is not abused
An apostrophe is used
With regards to “it has” or “it is”
Like “That dog, it’s got a bone
It’s the cat that had no home!”
Then the grammar goblins won’t get in a tizz!


Aid/Aide

If someone lends you a hand
It would pay to understand
That such an individual is your aide
But the action in itself
When someone gives you help
The thing that they are offering is aid

It’s important that you see
That the little letter ‘e’
Actually can make quite a difference
Although it can’t be heard
Adding the letter to the word
Separates assistant from assistance!

All Poems written by Kerin Gedge
Copyright 2013


For more great rhymes of mine check out The Vocabuverse!!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Poem About Charlemagne


There was a king called Charlemagne
Charles the first also his name
King of the Franks in seven sixty eight
Later the king of Italy
Remembered throughout history
By the designation Charles the Great!

Since in the West Rome’s Empire fell
The books about those days do tell
He was the first in three whole centuries
To bear the title “Emperor”,
The Holy Roman Emperor,
Crowned so by Pope Leo number three.

Since the Roman Empire
He was the first king to acquire
Most of Western Europe in his grasp
Of which he ruled for 13 years
Until he left earth’s mortal sphere
In eight one four when he breathed his last.

From The Vocabuverse by Kerin Gedge (Check it out!!)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Understanding Time Zones

Another helpful video by my brother...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Wise Way to Pay Your Bills

Recently I did something quite amazing. Seriously. For me it was really quite something as I am a guy who has made so many bad choices in life that I’m sure that if there was a genius level of mistake making I’ve well exceeded my 10,000 hours of stupidity.

But not in this case. This is one of those rare moments where the spark of wisdom set fire to my will power and lead me to achieving the small but significant financial victory that I am going to share with you.

This may look like a boast, but I assure you it’s not. I’m sharing this for the simple reason that while it’s nice to learn from other people’s mistakes, it’s even nicer to learn from their not-mistakes.

You know that Aesop’s Fable about the ants and the grasshopper? You know, the one where the grasshopper spends his summer soaking up the sun in leisurely nothingness while mocking the hard working ants who were busy storing up for the winter. Well the winter finally came and that grasshopper froze to his miserable death while the ants partied hard in their well stocked and cozy nest. Well, that’s my version of the story at least.

Recently I had the opportunity to learn firsthand the joy of storing up for the winter when it came to my bills.

Nearly three years ago my wife and I had our second child and suddenly became a “one income” family. Over the next twelve months we went through the arduous process of adjusting to ever diminishing savings and bulging utility bills.

I recall well how from month to month I would go through the process of wondering which company would react the harshest if I didn’t pay them the full amount of whatever we owed them and paid them first while letting other bills slip for a few more weeks.

It got to the point when we were slipping behind in almost everything except the most essential payments.

Then my wife went back to work, we breathed a massive sigh of relief and got comfortable again.

But I remembered well the horror of being pestered by companies (who had every right to pester me), the paranoia of potentially having the electricity cut off or the agony of spending my last twenty bucks on baby formula or nappies while knowing there was only a can of baked beans and a box of stale wheatbix left in the pantry to last until next Friday… actually it wasn’t that bad, but as an old school bring-home-the-bacon type guy I remember feeling like I was bringing home pig’s whiskers.

By the time we found out we would be having our third child I realized that I could not visit that level of futility upon our utilities again. I needed to kill the grasshopper inside of me and think like an ant.

This may seem so pathetically simple, to the point where even I can’t believe I’m bothering to write about it but the even more simple and pathetic thing is not many people actually do what I am about to say – store away for the winter!

I suppose “winter” is not a good metaphor for the arrival of a wonderful new baby but when I found out earlier this year that another mini-me was on his way I knew that something had to be done to avoid the financial winter that would follow…

I thought about it, and this is what I did.

Knowing that we were blessed with the artillery of two incomes for the time being I got on the offensive with our utilities – every time a bill came in I not only paid what I owed but I threw on a little bit extra as well. If the Power Bill was $150 I paid $200; if the phone and internet bill was $60 I paid $100! I approached all our utilities this way, showing no mercy until bills started showing up with something I had never ever seen before – credit!

But I ignored it. If the phone bill said I was $60 in credit I paid $100 anyway.

I did that for nine months.

I don’t want to get personal here and reveal to you what the actual outcome was but I will give you the following illustration of how doing the above pays off.

Take my phone bill for example.

Phone and internet with our provider comes to $63 a month.

If we paid $100 per month for nine months then by the time we go down to one income we would be $333 in credit.

This is where it gets fun!

$63 multiplied by twelve months is $756, which means that for the twelve months that I’m the only one bringing home the bacon about 44 percent of our phone bill for the following year has already been paid for! (Please check my math; it’s not my strong point by a long shot)

Put another way if you take the annual figure of $756 and take away $333 you’re left with $423 payable for the next twelve months.

So if you’re working on a weekly budget that’s approximately only $8 a week you need to set aside for your phone and internet.

Of course that’s not the actual figure I ended up with and it varied from one utility to the next but ultimately I ended up with a massive feeling of relief knowing that the next twelve months of utilities, while not paid for, have been dramatically reduced compared to the last time we heard the patter of little feet!

It doesn’t quite end there though… my approach to storing up for winter had two prongs – I took the storing concept literally. Every time I did our shopping (yes, I’m a guy who does the shopping) I bought several cans of baked beans or spaghetti or whatever, some tinned fruit, a box of laundry powder, a bag of dehydrated milk powder… whatever I knew would last a year I bought it and stashed it. Thanks to this process I am glad to announce that I will not have to buy a single box of dish washing tablets for a whole year!

I was going to say “with luck,” but actually with planning and careful adherence to a budget I will not have to worry about what happens when I get down to that “last twenty bucks” again… well, not for the next twelve months at least…

I hope this inspires you to go and do likewise! Imagine if you did this for a year and then didn’t have to pay your bills for six months! The experience has taught me that even if there were no baby coming paying more on your bills leads to a great credit rating, less stress and a sort of insurance policy that actually pays out if some drastic thing were coming round the corner, where at least for a little while you wouldn’t have to worry about bills!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Attention Regular Readers

Hello to all my usual readers and accidental landers upon my site.

This is just a little note to let you know that I am currently in the process of "reinventing" my blog and basically just about everything else about myself!

Over the past few years I have used Kerinthians as a platform of creative experimentation and now after some years of blogging I've come to recognize my strengths as well as my woeful weaknesses as a writer/blogger.

From here on in I will be focussing my creative impetus on what I believe my strengths are as I create my new site www.vocabuverse.bogspot.com as well as a few other writing projects which will hopefully come into fruition eventually for me to share in greater detail... watch this space...

Although I enjoy the creative release of writing as it's own reward I would like this to become a career and hope that it will be from those platforms that I will meet some measure of success.

Many of my posts will soon disappear from this site, namely my nursery rhymes as I develop these further for release as illustrated children's stories for Kindle readers along with many other ideas I have for that medium.

For the those of you who have been following my series "Pimp My Hundred Bucks" I apologize that it is incomplete. To be honest I reached burn out mode and couldn't bring myself to squeeze any more juice from that dry lemon of a series! Rest assured I haven't given up on my quest to turn $100 into $500 but I just can't bring myself to write about it any more!

I had planned to work on a series called How to Turn $500 into $1000 but have become too involved in a) life and b) other creative pursuits that demand more of my time, namely the Vocabuverse (also known as The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words), my desire to create a personal film review archive and finally my long running dream of becoming a children's author.

So to all of you who have been following my site, thank-you ever so much for your curiosity, please stay tuned - cool things are coming.

Kerin

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Little Movie I Made...

Here's a little video I made for my kids, based on my nursery rhyme - The Discontented Feijoa...

Please share!