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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, December 31, 2012

Do Children Go to Heaven?


Watch out everyone, it’s a Biblical viewpoint! You better duck because here it comes!

Every now and then a theological question pops up in my brain like flash fire and the only way I can put it out is if I write about it. My apologies if the Christian worldview offends you but here it is anyway…

Sorry about the disclaimer but my blog site is a bit like what we Kiwi’s call a Lolly Scramble, we do them at kids parties (or used to when I was a young lad, now days they’re just dangerous) where someone throws a handful of assorted candy into the air and yells, “Lolly Scramble!” and then a million kids come stampeding into the throw zone like piranhas fighting over a cow who chose the wrong part of the world to take swimming lessons. Sometimes, you get lucky and pick your favourite sweet, other times you might get something you don’t like – my blog site is a bit like that.

However this brief tackling of the question above is for my readers who do like this sort of thing and for those of you who just might be curious enough to read on…

Often one of the biggest gripes anti-Christians have about my faith is that if God is a God of love why does he allow children to die?

That’s a good question and deserves an answer.

I too have wrestled with this conundrum and will try now to explain why my faith is still not shaken regardless of the many people out there who regard this pickle as enough evidence to prove the supposed evil nature of the Christian God…

I think the problem for most people is their basic assumptions about the Christian faith. I heard a doozy the other day by the late George Carlin who summed this up perfectly when he said:

“Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”

He seems to have nutshelled most people’s view of what Christianity is all about, and yet I could go through this statement point by point and show that all of the above is an assumptive view of the Christian faith… I’ll tackle that another time perhaps.

The assumptions I would like to address with relation to this topic are the ones that atheists make about life after death.

If you assume that there is no life after death then any death of any person is a genuine tragedy, because what a waste, what a pointless existence. Therefore there can’t be a God because why would he allow such and such a child’s life to be extinguished?

If there was no life after death then I’d completely agree. What an undeniable and tragic waste.

The other assumption that non-believers make is that Christians believe that all people who die without first accepting Christ go directly to Hell.

Uh oh, I can hear my Christian readers gasping and mistaking me for another Rob Bell…

If you bear with me, I will clarify the above bomb shell shortly.

But first, I would have to agree with the atheist who would point to the tragic story of an 8 year old who has been in hospital her whole life just to die and then suffer for all of eternity. To that atheist the Christian God is evil and therefore can’t be real.

But that’s a horrible assumption and in my opinion (opinion!) a tragic misunderstanding of the Bible.

In my view, and most likely my limited understanding, the only way to make sense of the tragedies of Human life is if there actually is an afterlife, because if there is an “eternal state” then there is also a completely different perspective on life and death apart from our linear view of it.

To us here in 4D land, a child dying is horrible, and believe me when I say as a parent that the very notion terrifies me so please don’t mistake me for flippancy, however we can only take the view of the person who has just lost a child and won’t see them again forever (if you’re an atheist) or at least until you die (if you’re a Christian), either way, we have to learn to cope for the rest of our lives without that child.

If there’s not a God this is purely tragic.

If there is a God the tragedy is only at our end.

Let me show you why I believe children go to Heaven.

I’ve been meditating on Matthew Chapter 18 for a while now. Let me give you the gist of what it is all about…

The disciples come to Jesus and ask him who the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven is and he takes a small child and says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven…” (Matthew 18:3) He goes on to say that whoever humbles himself like that child will be the greatest in the Kingdom.

He then goes on to point out the terrifying consequences for the person who causes a little child to sin. I love this passage because it clearly shows that God is NOT blind to child abuse and cruelty and that there will certainly be consequences for the offender – “it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

We might never see that justice in our life time against such people but God will make sure of it whether it is in this life or the next. So please don’t use child abuse as proof against God, the Bible is clear, they’ll get what’s coming to them.

But before I go on that tangent let’s get back on track…

The most fascinating part of this chapter for me is when Jesus says, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of their father in Heaven, what do you think, if a man owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the 99 on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did not wander off. In the same way your father is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost...” (Matthew 18:10-15)

This might not seem like such a mind blowing revelation to anyone who didn’t grow up in church but this is one of those passages that evangelists use repeatedly but not quite in context.

You see, whenever I’ve heard this parable preached the emphasis is always on the Lost Sheep, how you and I are the Lost Sheep that God goes out of his way to seek and to save, and that is totally true, but remember, in context Jesus is STILL TALKING ABOUT CHILDREN!

Who are the 99 on the Hills? Who else could they be but the little children?

Why does the Shepherd leave them on the hills? Because he’s not worried about them! His main concern is for the lost sheep that wanders off.

In other words – the 99 sheep, the little children, ARENT lost!

The more I meditate on this passage of Scripture the more convinced I am that little children somehow have a special exemption from damnation. As it says above, he is NOT WILLING that any of these little ones should be lost.

Elsewhere, also in Matthew, we’re told of a time when parents brought their children to Jesus for prayer and the disciples tried to get rid of them, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-15)

But let me go back to Matthew 18 and interpret the parable as I understand it.

The 100 sheep are children who are happily under the Shepherd’s care until such a time as one of them grows up or rather reaches a fallen state of conscience when he feels he can rebel against the Shepherd and do his own thing. The Shepherd then leaves the 99 children on the hills to find the one that wandered off. The Shepherd, or Jesus, is not worried about the 99 because they already belong to him, the sheep that wandered off however is of more concern because unless he returns to that childlike state and submit to God then he’ll be lost forever, that’s why the Shepherd is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did not wander off, he saved that grown up sheep from a fate far worse than what the 99 sheep on the hills would.

I’ve never heard this passage interpreted this way, please don’t mistake me for a heretic, I’m still learning and I’m still growing and the more I study the Word the more I’ll understand whether I am right or wrong.

For the time being I genuinely hope this has comforted anyone who has lost a child. But I believe, based on the above parable of Jesus that your child is in a place that explodes the boundaries of happiness beyond the limits of our comprehension. I hope that you will realize that you are that lost sheep and if you return to the Shepherd, Jesus, you will join your child again, with the 99 that did not wander away..

Just to tie up that loose end, what has any of this got to do with why would a loving God allow a child to die? Well, I believe that taking the eternal perspective, that children are safe in God’s hands; death “loses its sting”. I would say to the Atheist that the child who spent their whole life suffering only to die, goes not to punishment but an to eternity of wonder with the God who loves them.



UPDATE: I'm not writing this blog anymore, but please visit my YouTube channel The Vocabuverse and subscribe for more great things to come!



Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

Thursday, December 27, 2012

R.I.P. Commander Riker

17 years ago a girlfriend gave me a present which would go on to become one of my favorite toys.

It was a collectors edition Ken-sized Commander Riker action figure.

Sure he spent most of the next 1.8 decades in my box of cherished bits and pieces but I still loved him.

Until today that is.

Today I ran him over with my lawn mower, and now... There's not that much left of him, I couldn't even find his face.

It wasn't out if malice, I simply didn't know that my three year old had left him in the long grass, and whilst on his final "away mission" he came to his grizzly end, not by phaser fire or a breech of the core-reactor but by my rusty lawn mower blades.

He served me well as the ornamental symbol of many fantasies which involved me wearing the red and black of Star Fleet, and now while giving him a decent burial would be silly, he at least deserves a blog post.

Goodbye commander Riker, may your body parts serve as awesome key chain ornaments in the near future.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twelve or The End is Nigh

The year is ending, the world is ending and my 34th year has ended.

There have been a lot of endings and almost endings this week all round, my allergies are ending because I have overdosed on antihistamines. Whatever patience I had for my four kittens has certainly ended after the last yellow puddle I stood on during a midnight visit to the loo... My birthday cake came to a dismal end tonight, being chomped to death by my hungry mouth. Im not sure which is harder, saying good bye to the year just gone or seeing the end of your birthday treats, not to mention the end of your diet!

But as this day comes to an end I am glad to say there is at least one ending I am looking forward to...

The day I write the last blog of this series and move on to the next - Pimp my $500 when I turn $500 into $1000...

And that end is near...

But not before Christmas, and not until I get back from my holiday.

I'm afraid to say that that's it from me for 2012 as I "close up shop" for the summer so I can play with all of my Christmas presents, wrap myself up in my hammock while pretending to be a mutating caterpillar, eat lots of Christmas ham, drown my taste buds in Australian Fruit while hiding in the shade of a gum tree, watching out for drop bears, pretending to be an Aussie so as to blend into my surroundings, pretending to laugh at sheep related jokes, pretending I like rugby, pretending I haven't had enough of The Wiggles for one life time, reminding everyone I meet that Crowded House is a kiwi import along with Russell Crowe and the Lammington - all the pleasures associated with visiting the land Down Under which is still " up over" New Zealand...

Actually, Im rather looking forward to it.

But before I go here's where I'm at so far...

Between last Monday and Today I have successfully sold 16 titles, making me $70.50!

It seems I was right when I predicted a landslide of customers before the New Zealand summer holidays began... Which is another reason why it is a good time to stop, my next prediction would be no sales in the weeks to come as everyone else in my country goes into hyper-summer-active mode...

Taking into account postage, listing fees and all that Jazz I am left with a great big $285 and only $215 to go until I reach my goal of $500... Pretty good huh!

I actually still have a hundred plus listings coming to an end later this week so there's a good chance I will sell more before Saturday, after which I will have no listings to worry about until late January when I find the motivation to get back into it!

As mentioned in my last couple of articles I have been uploading videos on YouTube like it's a clinical disease in order to increase my Adsense revenue, which has worked a little bit... I'm up to $1.90 this month... But most of my videos are desperate acts of boring so I can't imagine getting very far with them soon...

But over the weekend just past I did get to do something really dorky but awesome for my birthday and visited the set of Hobbiton in New Zealand's Matamata, which also happens to be one of the most unlikely places in the world to have something that cool in it - sorry Matamata, I forgot you do have a petrol station and a MacDonalds as well, which are also cool... And your oxygen is fresher than Auckland's, I'll give you that... Actually, the place is beautiful and I can see why Peter J chose the location, it looks as though Tolkien shook his book over it and out fell The Shire right in the middle of the Bay of Plenty...

In any case, I made sure to videograph The Shire while I was doing the tour and will post part of my adventure below...

And finally I would like to announce, that I have published my first ebook - Pimp My Twenty Bucks: How I Turned $20 into $100, the cumulated blogs of my previous series - now only available at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/265700 if you would like to read it. Unfortunately I have a lot to learn about formatting for ePub, but I'll get round to fixing that AFTER my holiday!

So with all done and said for now and for the rest of the year - Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for reading my blogs! You've been a wonderful audience... Even if you never leave any comments, I can feel the love when I check my stats.

God Bless, and don't forget the first six letters of the season. See you in 2013...

Click Here to read Part Thirteen in this series!

Click Here to view my Silly YouTube Channel

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings


And here's me enjoying the perks of being a nerd!



To fill the vacuum while I am away, please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!



Jingle all the Way

Hi all...

If you find yourself in the unusual circumstance of actually being in Auckland this week, come pay me a visit in my Churches awesome Christmas Walkthrough... I'm on Wednesday 19th, Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd!

Hope to see you there...


Eastgate Christian Centre is located at 5 Ben Lomond Crescent in Pakuranga. Ben Lomond Crescent is just off Cascades Road which is a main thoroughfare between Botany Road and Pakuranga Highway.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Eleven or The Half Way Mark

The end is near.

As 2012 draws to a close, the Mayan Calendar predicted that my last blog for the year would be sometime next week.

It is rather embarrassing knowing that millions of people around the world are panicking over the end of almost everything when actually it was only that the Mayan thinkers of the time gave up on mapping beyond 2012 on becoming aware that the world would be thrown into chaos over most of my readers not having anything to read over the Christmas holidays.

I’m terribly sorry everyone, please don’t sell your homes or give away your life savings just yet, it’s all just been one great big misunderstanding!

Great, so now that we’ve cleared up that small matter I have to say in all seriousness that next Monday after writing Part Twelve of this series, I will be closing up shop so to speak, until sometime near the end of January.

I have alluded to the madness of the last few weeks. I have weathered the craziness of work, faced off with an imaginary Santa trying to mug me for money for toys and my health has taken a smack down from hay fever allergies so bad that my constant sneezing has been like a Universe of nanoscopic supernova’s igniting one after the other in suicidal succession, casting their nebulous nastiness into my tormented handkerchief.

So I’m afraid I have to stop, recuperate and return next year to complete this journey of financial love.

I had imagined that hoards of customers would flock to my stock for some summer reading, but I guess they’re all suffering from Christmas Madness as well… either that or it really is the end of the world...

Nevertheless I am happy with the eight books I successfully sold over the past seven days, which were:

Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Road Maps - $3
Shakespeare’s Histories - $3
Mammoth Hunters - $5
Plains of Passage - $5
The Looney by Spike Milligan - $3
The Age of Reason by Jean Paul Sartre - $4
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth - $6
Sphere by Michael Crichton - $3

Loading me up with a nice healthy $32 to add to my booty, bringing my grand total up to $255.04 and only $244.96 to go until I can say I have truly pimped my hundred bucks!

Actually the figure should be more like $262; except a customer from the previous week is yet to pay me… normally I would have relisted the book by now but its Christmas so he’s getting some amnesty…

Nevertheless I am happy to have stubbed my toe on this milestone, the halfway mark, because I know it's all down hill from here next year...

On another note I figured out how to view the total amount of my adsense earnings for all time… so I can amend my adsense figures to $35.69 total earnings plus $1.00 for this month so far... however that won’t be included in the total above until either pigs fly kites or I receive a $100 cheque in the mail, whichever comes first; chances are they will both come last.

In my efforts to increase my adsense revenue I have been pumping some hopelessly lame videos onto YouTube. I’ll include a link below if you’d like something worse than a nail to puncture your eyeballs with. Somewhere buried amongst this year’s blogs is my “Cleverly Devised Dictionary of Difficult Words” which I have started to convert into a Musical Dictionary, which is always fun… I’ve also begun putting various original songs onto my channel, which is what my Amateur vs Pro blogs are all about…

But really, my YouTube antics are nothing more than an act of desperation, or perhaps a possible early sign of mental illness, I’ll let you decide.

But it makes sense to incorporate my adsense revenue into this series, because I’m now getting about 60 or so page views a day, and that’s just from this Blog. I know those page views are probably from Monkeys in some lab somewhere trying to write Hamlet of the Apes, but for now I’ll enjoy the delusion that actual people are reading this, I wouldn’t know because most of the comments I get are from spammers who speak worse English than a dead Hamster!

So now that I have prattled on about rubbish here’s what this week is going to look like. I still have heaps of unlisted stock sitting on my living room shelf, and stupidly I bought 50+ books for $4.50 from desperate bulk sellers on Trademe, I say stupidly because there’s no way I’m going to get all of that listed by the end of this week, which is actually the plan – List, list and relist until Saturday comes, when all my listing ceases until next year.

Finally it’s my birthday next Sunday so please don’t forget! I haven’t arranged a PO Box for you to forward my presents to but never fear, hitting the “Like” button below and sharing this series via your favourite social networks is more than I could hope for from most of you.

Actually, my wife is taking me to Hobbiton for my birthday, one of the few advantages of living in New Zealand besides the many other advantages that is. I’ll be sure to take lots of photos!

Also coming up this weekend, besides aging another year, I intend on finally publishing Pimp My Twenty Bucks: A Money Making Odyssey as an eBook, so if you’re still wondering what to get whoever for Christmas, look no further, get them that.

But more on that next week…


Click Here to read Part Twelve of this series!

Click Here to view my Silly YouTube Channel

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings






Monday, December 3, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Ten

I’m afraid I find myself suffering from a severe case of endofyearitis – being the psychological disposition that causes a general feeling of apathy, complacency and a general feeling of just being over it all. Left untreated the condition can lead to potential procrastination and eventual giving up.

Having just been to an imaginary Doctor, because I can’t really afford to see a real one for a condition that doesn’t actually exist, I found myself staring at a picture of a game of Tetris. There were painfully organized blocks desperately trying to squeeze together as they piled on top of one another by someone who clearly was not good at the game, but on closer examination I could see titles on the misshapen blocks, like “Christmas Presents”, “Church Nativity Play” and “Stuff at Work” jammed into other odd shapes entitled, “General Lazyness”, “Extreme fatigue” and “Morbid Boredom”.

It turns out that what I was looking at was an x-ray of my brain.

It is indeed that time of the year when everything seems to be happening at once. And amidst the storm of end of year responsibilities, obligations and chaos I am still trying to turn my $100 into five times that amount…

Knowing that the North Pole is located somewhere inside my wallet and that Santa’s real toy factory is rather less dependent on Elves than it is on my money, I am even more determined than ever to navigate my way through the next 3 weeks in the hope that I might reach my goal sooner rather than later!

I’m imagining that the Christmas Season will bode rather well for my mission because there just might be some shoppers out there cheap enough to buy second hand books for their loved ones. On the other hand in New Zealand, the Season coincides with the only other thing on the planet nearly as exciting as Christmas itself – the Summer Holidays!

My experience throughout the year has taught me well, that whenever there is a holiday the week or two before it slam me with an abundance of sales, and this is the mother of all holidays.

This is of course wishful thinking not based on concrete statistical data, either my gut is telling me the truth or I have gas.

As you know last week’s blog came out rather late, which means that this week’s sales reflect only what I have managed to fob off in the last five days… but I have to say, for a five day period, I did pretty darn well selling:

Time Flys by Bill Cosby - $6
It’s a Dog’s Life by Murray Bull - $3
Star Trek Perchance to Dream - $3
The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel - $3
Smoky Joe’s CafĂ© by Bryce Courtenay - $3
Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder - $6.50
Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend - $3
The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams - $3
People of the Sea by W. Michael Gear - $5

That’s a nice big juicy $35.50 for only five days of “work”.

All things considered, such as listing fees, success fees and postage I am left with $244.24! Almost Half Way! (This figure may shrink a tad if some of these buyers decide to "pick up" rather than pay for postage… grrr!)

But besides cheapskates my biggest enemy right now is puttingthingsoffinitis – the common disease otherwise known as Procrastination. I have close to 50 books sitting on my shelf in the living room waiting to be listed. These represent the stock I have purchased over the last two weeks to replace what I have sold in that period. If I could list them in my sleep I would, but unfortunately when the opportunity to list them has come I’ve been “awake” in the physical sense but very much asleep in the motivational areas of my brain. This is not good; the more books I have listed the more hooks I have in the sea of potential buyers!

Currently I have 156 books listed on Trademe, but it could be well above 200 if I just got my act together!

I have three weeks to make a real dent in my goal. Over the Christmas and New Years period I'll be putting this series in suspended animation while I enjoy my prezzies and a trip to Australia! The question is can I achieve in three weeks what has so far taken me ten? The pressure is on!

As I am now including my adsense revenue in this grand adventure, I can boast a great big $1.57 for last week’s YouTube/blogging efforts! As for this month, I’m soaring to the skies with my great big two cents worth of earnings. Those being very low skies, or maybe what an ant would consider to be the sky, which is somewhere above my toe nails. Of course I can’t add this to my total until I actually get a google cheque in the mail… which at this stage will be when my youngest daughter turns 18 in 2028.

Finally, remember my $20 worth of Bonus Bonds? The $20 I allocated to “Invest” when I started this series? Well, after the first monthly draw on December the 1st, I am happy to report that my $20 is still worth exactly $20…

Oh well.

Tune in next week when I hopefully break the sound barrier and burst past the half way mark. In the meantime please feel free to follow any of the links below for hours of my own brand of whatever it is I do around here. Oh yeah, the “like” button is always a fun thing to click on as well, try it, it’s really cool.


Click Here to read Part Eleven in this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings








Friday, November 30, 2012

Three Day Old Kittens

Because everybody loves kittens, here's some more of my recent cuddly additions to my household...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Nine

This week I get to enjoy the disagreeable experience of blogging on the iPad... They're great toys and everything, but trying to type a lengthy blog on one makes you want to chop vegetables on it.

So please bear with me... Or is it bare? I can never figure that one out...

You might notice, if you've been following this series, that it is in fact 1 a.m. Thursday morning here in Hobbit Land (New Zealand is abuzz with Hobbit madness at present, it doesn't help that I work in the cinema industry either!) Which is unusual, for up to this stage I've been super consistent with spewing these updates out on Monday like clockwork vomit...

But alas this week I rather dropped the proverbial ball, which then proceeded to deflate rapidly on the end of a sharp spike.

In many ways real life caught up with me, as things at work got busy, family life tumbled along and my sleep betrayed me. Today I developed a croaky throat that would make even Vin Diesal jealous due to a synthesis of Hay Fever and some sort of throaty bug thing...

When Monday came I was reminded of a pencil case I owned in High School. It came from some kind of Japanese novelty shop, you know the sort that sold tamagotchis and stuffed smily kittens. On the pencil case were the words - Stop Sometimes. For years I mistook it for either bad English or good Engrish... But on Monday it made sense...

I stopped.

On Monday night I threw myself into three and a half hours of Star Trek Enterprise and then beddibyes.

I did the same on Tuesday night, and let the couch enjoy the experience of a comatose human being squashing it's cushions.

And now, after an evening with the new James Bond movie, the only reason I'm awake is thanks to a brutal flat white from burger king to ensure I survived the trip home...

So here I am, tired but well rested, having given my brain and body a break I can finally come back and pick up the reigns of this donkey of a task...

All of the above is rubbish of course. The real reason I didn't do this on Monday is because I didn't have a computer and I couldn't be cauliflowered enough to type on this fandangled touch screen....

I was beginning to give up today, having made no sales at all since Monday... But then a good chap came along and bought 5 books at the Buy It Now price...

So here's how the last nine days have gone, sparing you the titles of the books for once because there's 16 to talk of... (and to type)

I sold $72 worth of books!

This now takes me up to $226.85!! Only $273.15 to go until I've reached my goal...

I also now have 201 books in stock, 28 of which are still yet to be listed because of my recent bout of cantbebotheredness.

This is way better than I had been expecting and I am glad to have lost some sleep in the discovery of this!

However some of my plans have been thwarted this week... I had been hoping to have published my first two ebooks by now, which was the secret thing I mentioned last week... I told you it was up my sleeve... Turns out I wasn't wearing sleeves. No computer means no ebooks!

The books were going to be Pimp My Twenty Bucks compiled into one volume, and also a children's story I had written and illustrated. The idea was that hopefully they would contribute to this enterprise and help propel me to $500 quicker... Nevertheless, I haven't given up! Watch this space...

I've also decided on another tactic... My YouTube channel has been generating some cents since I started posting the days and the lives of my kittens. I've decided to count my adsense revenue toward the $500 if, and only if, my earnings can generate the $100 necessary for Google to send me a cheque.

So that's why my blogsite has had a few strange YouTube postings lately. Ultimately I plan to make a Pimp My Twenty Bucks vlog, but time seems to be the only thing I can't renovate, leaving that dream swimming in the piranha paddling pool for now...

My earnings for adsense for this month are currently at $1.45... So maybe I shouldn't count my chickens before their eggs have even been laid...

Anyway, prattling is the demise of a man still awake at two a.m.

I had best push off...

Until next time...


Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings


Monday, November 19, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Double Your Money

UPDATE: I'm not writing this blog anymore, but please visit my YouTube channel The Vocabuverse and subscribe for more great things to come!


Have you ever felt like there is a concrete brick in your cerebral cortex, prohibiting your synapses from synapsing, thus preventing your thoughts from reaching their final destination because of the heavy traffic now blocking every ally way of your brain?

It’s called writer’s block.

I’m experiencing it now. My subconscious has become the proverbial prisoner behind bullet proof glass while my conscious mind tries to communicate with it via a broken telephone, and he’s just shaking his head and mouthing the words, “What? I can’t hear you?”

It’s most likely because nothing very climactic has engaged me this week, and so I am robbed of any momentous lead in to how the renovations on my hundred dollars are going.

On the other hand I have been sitting at this computer for the past hour wrestling with a sumo-quandary; not being happy with my total I’ve wanted desperately to fudge the numbers somehow so I can honestly brag about doubling my money in an even number of weeks…

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s look at the figures and see if either of us gets inspired…

Sorry subconscious, I’ll call you back later…

Over the last seven days I have successfully sold a truly megalithic amount of books compared to all my previous attempts, they were:

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Keysey - $5
Migraine by Oliver Sacks for - $3
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - $5
Homicide by David Simon - $6
Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper - $3
Power of the Sword by Wilbur Smith - $3
Left hand of the Electron by Isaac Asimov - $3
Airframe by Michael Crichton - $3
Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov - $3
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsey - $5
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling - $3
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchey - $3
Braveheart by Randall Wallace - $5
Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 10 - $3
Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith - $2
Dark Stars edited by Robert Silverberg - $3

So I should be a barrel of undulating joy. But I’m not… or at least I wasn’t for a wee bit there…

You see, as awesome as it was to have sold so many books the total amount of sales came to $58… all things considered, listing fees, success fees etcetera, this left me with the totally terrific total of $232.85! Except today I bought another $36 worth of post bags which dramatically decreased that total to $196.85 – only $12.90 more than where I was three weeks ago!

As stink as that feels I have to keep reminding myself that by purchasing the parcel bags this way I am in the long run making about 40 cents every time I post a book and that it only LOOKS like I have less money… it’s a shame my anxiety is so attached to my eyes.

The bizarre thing is so many customers of late continue to opt for picking up the items themselves! As I mentioned last week this annoys me… although I’m not sure why it annoys me so much… it’s probably because I’m antisocial and don’t really want to have too much contact with my customers beyond an email. Don’t they realize the money they spend on getting to my house is probably how much they’d spend on petrol anyway?

I’m not really such a people-phobe as you might think, but the thing that attracted me to this type of business was it suits my cave-manishness and my desire to be able to conduct a money making operation on the fly; as soon as a customer wants to come to my house, I become slightly limited in my movements. Also the state of my letter box is truly appalling, not to mention embarrassing!

But at the end of the day, the more people who say no to delivery, the longer it will take me to make back what I’ve pre-spent on postage costs, and that makes me sad.

Anyway, back to where we started, there I was looking at my $196.85 trying to find the pride I should have felt for my prize, and trying to write the first sentence of this blog when suddenly my dear friend Mr Procrastination tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I know, I have a great idea, why not check your email instead?”

So I jumped at the chance to run away from my self-imposed responsibilities and sought my escape in my inbox and lo and behold an email from Trademe had come for a visit to cheer me up – a customer had sent a request for a fixed price offer on a listing which had just ended!

I looked at the $196 again and knew exactly what I had to do to make the title of this week’s entry true - I offered it to them for $4.

This was quite possibly the only time in my personal history of 34 years that procrastinating actually paid off!

People of the Wolf by W. Michael Gear – SOLD!

And so, within five minutes, I was able to say that I have proven to myself and to anyone else out there who gives a turnip fart, that in eight weeks of buying books from op-shops and selling them on Trademe, I have finally doubled my money. Ta Daaaaaa!

And let's not forget that having only started this journey with 16 books six months ago, I now have over 170 listed on Trademe!

In my last series it took me about three months to turn $20 into $100, but starting with $100 it has taken only eight weeks to make another hundred, and I must say I’m feeling rather pleased about it.

I have of course relisted all of last week’s unsold books and I suppose I will replace the stock I did sell, but for the moment, even if just for today, I’m happy to leave my $200 alone, so I can look at it and sigh blissfully.




Now, I don’t want to give anything away here… something is coming soon… I don’t want to say what it is, in case it doesn’t come, but for now it’s definitely coming… let’s just say I have something up my sleeve…

Until then…

Oh, by the way, once again – Thank You France and thank-you www.workingathomeinternet.com for the more than 300 hits Part Five of this series has enjoyed over the past two weeks!

Pssst – hit the “like” button. Cheers!


Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks" target="_blank">Click Here to read Part Nine of this series

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings



UPDATE: I'm not writing this blog anymore, but please visit my YouTube channel The Vocabuverse and subscribe for more great things to come!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Evolution of a Writer - Part One

At the age of about eleven I had a peculiar dream in which a maniacal man of magnificent delusions found himself in possession of a bulging ring binder full of notes and papers. His eyes widened in crazed ecstasy as he declared, “At last, I have everything that Kerin has ever written!” As if he had just found the Holy Grail of English literature.

Well, I don’t know about that, but it must have had some influence on me, as from then on I became determined to become the writer of my dreams.

For the next ten to fifteen years I tortured innocent notebooks and unsuspecting scraps of paper with invisible brilliance, meaning the “brilliant” part of my writing was cloaked in nonsense; the true value of my poetry and prose extended no further than the cost of the ink I had wasted…

But I suppose not all is wasted, after all perfection can only come through perseverance, and my blindness to how completely rubbish I was certainly enabled me to persevere!

Just to be clear, I’m not claiming to have “made it” in the realm of writing just yet. I can only claim to be better now than I was then! But at least now I can approach this craft with the sober knowledge that no one any time soon is going to seize my dusty notes and try to sell them on eBay for a fortune of any size!

So to the point of this series…

I have recently unearthed many of my past creative disasters from various stages of my artistic development, maturity and experience. Reading them and remembering the pride I had over them conjures up images of failed American Idol contestants who, after singing like a gargling cat in a blender, still have no idea why they got booted off the show!

Were I a vet and my past atrocities dogs, I would put them out of their misery and bury them under a starving lemon tree, but as a blogger instead I feel compelled to publish them for your pleasure, and quite possibly pain.

But there is a catch to this, I intend to publish them as I wrote them then and juxtapose them against how I have re-written them now. This should be interesting, I’m George Lucasing my own work. Thankfully I have a lesser fan base to worry about offending!

So here it is the first installment in the Evolution of a Writer…



The Photo
by Kerin Gedge, sometime in the late ‘90’s, probably aged around 18-20 years old.

It had been ethereal. Celestial. The night sky had been lit with thousands of stars and then one began to grow. It seemed to sink from the sky until it was now a sphere of pulsating light. An array of colors, blues and greens and oranges caressing the field as it rested in the air. Paul sat dead still. Above him was this flying jewel which filled him with both utter terror and purer ecstasy. A UFO! Time stood still. Forever it seemed like it was just Paul and the craft in the middle of the universe just watching each other. It was almost like being in love. But then he realized it was his breathing that had in fact stopped and the moment he took in a deep breath the vessel bounded off into the sky higher and higher and then away across the fields. The Camera! Paul sprinted to his car, reached through the window for his camera case and ripped the camera out clumsily, but the ship was now too far away to get a decent shot. It was then that Paul snapped into action, throwing the camera onto the passenger seat and turning the ignition, he was off. Over the farm lands and onto the gravel road kicking up the dust in his wake he chased the flittering angel. One hand clasping the wheel and the other trying to focus the camera. Out onto the main road now Paul continued the chase, the UFO flying low and Paul still not able to focus on the darn thing. The ship was getting faster and so was Paul, oblivious to the 180 k’s he was tearing down the country Rd. All that mattered was the photo and the thing which any second might shoot off back into space and never have another photo opportunity again! And then, abruptly, it stopped. Paul kicked at his breaks and screeched past slamming into the ditch. While the craft hovered. Amused. Paul staggered out of the exhausted vehicle, the camera shaking in his hand. He lifted it to his face. Click. Got it! And with that it was gone, darting back into space like a hawk with it’s pray. Paul jumped into the air. Yes! But then the realization hit home… no film! The camera broke into tiny bits when he threw it to the ground in distempered rage. The car choked away despondently and the stars lit the sky over the fields.

Above the globe of Earth the vessel sat, two aliens green and with bulging eyes stared in anticipation at the small black box one had in it’s tentacle. “Did you get it?” The other asked hastily. “Sure did!” said the other salivating creature. And from the black cube came a photograph of a human being with a very wry expression on his face.



And here it is again, only this time as a 33 year old…



The UFO could only be described as ethereal, a ghostly luminosity that descended upon the earth like a colossal, and yet somehow celestial, yo-yo.

The midnight stars punctured the night sky like a billion pin pricks in the eternal fabric of space until one of them began to grow, tearing through the atmosphere, pulsating, gyrating and terrifying.

The incredible object plummeted towards Paul like a great giant’s hammer, threatening to shatter his existence, and yet crippled by fear the shivering human remained transfixed by the colorful horror hurtling towards him.

But suddenly it stopped within an inch of Paul’s furrowed brow.

It was a peculiar feeling that came over Paul at that moment as his mind tried to swallow the gravity of the floating abnormality above his face. He found his emotions bouncing back and forth between terror and fighting the urge to lose control of his bowels.

A UFO! Time took a holiday as Paul and the unearthly vehicle faced each other like awkward strangers on a blind date, not really knowing what to say to each other and trying to think of a good enough excuse for getting out of this uncomfortable situation. He tried not to forget how to breathe, but it was difficult. The spaceship’s very presence seemed to suck away his very desire for air until, just before he was sure he was going to pass out from all this excitement, the alien craft abandoned Paul to the darkness, darting down the dusty highway, caressing the countryside with its array of colors.

Suddenly, Paul came back to himself. “I’m such an idiot!” He thought, as he realized that all this time he had been holding a camera and it never occurred to him to take a photo!

But by now the fallen angel was too far away for a believable shot! Snapping into action, the now desperate and obsessed Paul threw himself into the driver’s seat, started the engine and quite literally floored it down the dusty highway in frantic pursuit, gravel exploding out from under his rear wheels like murderous chunks of shrapnel.

With one hand wrestling with the steering wheel and the other fighting to focus the ancient camera, Paul followed his prize to no avail as all he could see through the lens was bleak nothingness.

Suddenly, Bang! Paul hit a fierce bump in the road; the car shook in a violent swerve, Paul dropped his camera and noticed the speedometer screaming at him to slow down, but any thought of safe driving departed quickly from his mind as the desire to validate his experience with photographic evidence consumed him with madness. All that mattered now was the photo.

Abruptly it stopped. Paul almost overtook it before torturing his breaks to a shrieking halt, burning the road with an arc of hot rubber, the rear of his car plunging into a ditch.

The craft hovered nearby. Amused?

The frantic photographer staggered from his beleaguered vehicle, with trembling hands he brought the camera to his bleeding face and took the photo with a deafening click. Got it! He sighed.

And with that, it was gone, a veritable lightning bolt flashing into non-existence by an abysmally ordinary night sky.

Paul jumped excitedly into his car like a little boy with the biggest piece of birthday cake, but his enthusiasm was quickly vanquished as he looked down in dismay at the camera, which would have stared back at him, were it not for the fact that the lens cap was still on.

*

The Earth shrunk in the vast distance as the flying saucer silently sliced through the eternal emptiness. Onboard two creatures resembling a rhinoceros spliced with a cucumber crouched over a small black rectangular device. There was something earnest about their demeanor as what passed for their eyes bulged in anticipation. “Did we get it?” asked one of the aliens in a voice that sounded like a cat gargling absinth in a blender. “Yes!” said the other excitedly. And from the back of the device came a fresh photograph of a rather bewildered looking Human Being.



The End



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two Day Old Kittens

As forewarned here is another Kitten Video... If you are allergic to cute, do not watch this video!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Seven


In this series I am purportedly demonstrating how I, a self described monetarily challenged moron, am going about turning $100 into $500.

Let me begin this week’s episode about “How I make money” with the true account of how I lost money. A lot of money…

I believe it was last Thursday and my brother was on his way to my house to pick up $180 in cash for a job he had recently done for me. I popped down to the local ATM to withdraw the money, popped in the old eftpos card, selected my account, entered the amount, declined further options, took my card and went to the supermarket…

Sounds pretty basic, except while standing in the queue at the grocery store, with my cocktail sausages, garlic bread and bottle of milk, I opened my wallet to discover that the money I had just withdrawn had gone to wherever it is that odd socks go when they mysteriously disappear!

But I knew that that could not be it, because such a place does not exist according to Richard Dawkins and all the other miserable “scientists” like him who have ruined the world beyond the veil for everyone; that only left me with one option – I had left $180 sitting in the ATM!

Leaving my sausages and milk behind to keep the rejected garlic bread company, I dashed outside as fast as my little legs could carry me. I was glad I was not topless at this point; my flabby gut and chest would have given the bewildered shoppers much to laugh at (or run from) as it wobbled like a skydiving bowl of jelly…

Teenagers in school uniform began to heckle me with what might have been, “Run Forest Run!” But I knew that no one who truly liked that movie could possibly put down an obviously distressed and panicked individual as myself, who now ran across the car park to the ATM as if I was going to save a kitten from a burning tree in the middle of a sea of hungry crocodiles…

When I got there, breathing and wheezing like a frantic bicycle pump with a rusty spring, I knew instantly that I was too late -the money was gone.

That wasn’t the hard part though… the worst of it was going home and admitting to my wife that I had just flushed nearly $200 down the proverbial lavatory.

Never have I felt more tempted than I did that day to “kill the goose” and withdraw the money I have made from this endeavor so as to save my butt.

But thankfully, to my great bottomless relief, the bank informed me that the machine gobbled my money back up when it realized that some idiot had forgotten to take their money. Now whenever I go back to my bank the ATM is going to think, “Oh no, it’s that git again!”

Now let me tell you about how I lost $10.40…

After the roaring success of selling over 13 books the previous week, and just when I thought it was safe to sit down in the boat, it capsized…and I got wet.

This week I sold:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin -$5
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Novel by Douglas Adams -$6
Homer’s Odyssey - $3
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote -$3
Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum - $4
Tully by Paullina Simons - $3
Flying Saucers – Serious Business by Frank Edwards - $3

Only seven books, making me a total of only $27…

Ok, so that’s not THAT bad considering when, in my last series, I was trying to turn $20 into $100 I was lucky to make even $10 in a week… but the problem is, every day I am listing and relisting books and that costs money!

Approximately speaking I’m spending about $20 a week on listing and success fees, and that’s still a hard thing for me to get used to!

So let’s look at the figures and compare them to last week…

Last week I was left with $183.95 and went away feeling like I was going to be able to brag this week about effectively doubling my money! But this week, after taking into account success fees and listing fees I’m left with $173.55…

This feels like when I was 17 and I read Lord of the Rings for the first time. Tolkien ended the second book with Frodo being stung by the big hairy spider and I thought he was dead… I was so upset that I put the book down and spent that night tossing and turning between tears of grief and shaking fists of anger at old JRR for putting down my hero… I actually lost almost a whole night’s sleep over that misunderstanding, but boy did I feel stupid when I read on to discover that Frodo was still alive and well!

My point is, don’t give up on me just yet! I’m determined to make this work! I certainly hope you won’t lose any sleep over my failure to move forward... when I’m actually only successfully moving backwards!

When I think about it I realized another expense has played a big part in my shrunken total. Now that I buy postage slips in bulk at $36 for ten, I still haven’t made back what I spent on them because an unusual number of customers opted to personally pick up their items this week… something I find irksome and mildly inconvenient but I allow it because for a lot of people it’s a selling point.

For such individuals I just pop the book in my letter box and trust that they will leave the correct amount for me… although my letter box is so rusty and falling to bits it might be a possible liability and give one of my customers tetanus! I am trying to convince my wife to let me make a TARDIS shaped letter box but I’m not having much luck there…

But one thing I have had some extremely good luck in this week has been the inconceivable popularity of Part Five in this series, having exploded through 200 hits, and most of them from France! At least some numbers are going in the right direction this week…

It turns out that one of the Blog Carnivals I’ve been submitting my links to is to blame for this… so to the folks down at www.workingathomeinternet.com/WP/ I would like to say thank you for your internet hospitality and for your awesome site! For anyone reading my blogs and who also dream of working from home then you should definitely “favourite” this site and tell all your friends about it!

In any case, please come back next week and, fingers crossed, I will be hurtling towards that $500 like a mannequin in a catapult testing facility.

Oh, and as an afterthought, this week I'm going to refrain from purchasing new product because I'm still trying painfully and slowly to list the last two week's worth of new stock...

I usually end the blogs with a plea to follow me on Facebook or leave you with a mental image of me begging you to “like” this blog but not this week (although those do sound like pretty cool ideas), this week I implore you earnestly to leave a comment (a nice one) because I need to know that the hits I’m getting are from real people and not robots, spambots or people who say things like, “Me like blog this much very, it makes sense to good when sometimes I have trouble my mobile telephone, perhaps you check out my site – www.spamartist.com?” – I get that a lot!

Until next week…


Click Here to read Part Eight of this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Men in Black 3 - A Review

When it comes to movies there is nothing I can’t stand more than a sequel, that is, unless it fulfills two specific requirements.

1. The story arc encompasses all subsequent movies. In other words the story might need three movies to tell the whole story as in Lord of the Rings, the Star Wars Trilogy or even Star Treks II, III and IV.
2. A good length of time has passed between those movies for a decent script to be written and to ensure the right director is given the job of directing it, as in the Back to the Future Trilogy or the Toy Story movies…

When it came to Men in Black I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first movie was legendary, the second movie was clearly riding the cash splashing success of the first one and then… there was nothing…

For almost ten years.

When I first heard that Part Three was “coming soon” I had a nostalgic sneeze, blew my nose and forgot about it. But then I heard that the movie was going to be about one of my all time favourite movie fantasies – Time Travel. Instantly I was willing to lay aside my qualms regarding sequels, after all, a significant amount of time had passed and I was ready for the worst.

I think secretly I was hoping that the powerful forces involved in the magic of making the movie would somehow have Will Smith’s Agent “J” travel back to scenes in the previous movies to undo some paradox or other, in very much the same way as Michael J. Fox did as Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future II, when “old” Biff goes back to November 5th 1955 to give “young” Biff the Sports Almanac.

The kind of movie I wanted this to be can only be explained by the Deep Space Nine episode – “Trials and Tribble-ations” when, thanks to the CGI of the day, Actors from the then Modern incarnation of Star Trek were able to be inserted into “The Trouble with Tribbles,” an actual episode of the Original Series. Why no one has done this as a feature I have no idea! This was the fantasy I harbored for a long time over MIB3.

Well, I was half way there at least. Agent “J” Did indeed have to go back in time to fix a paradox… but we’ll get to that…

Having finally convinced my wife that MIB3 would be a good way to whittle away a Wednesday evening we hired it, watched it, stayed awake through it and actually liked it! (Actually, I have to confess that the main reason I wanted to see this movie in the first place was because I had just finished watching Seasons One and Two of Flight of the Conchords, and thirsty for some more sarcastic Kiwi dramatics and realizing that Jemaine Clement was in it I thought, “what the heck?”)

This was a very different addition to the MIB universe. It was like coming to an old heritage listed building and attaching a bouncy castle to it… and I mean that in a good way. While it had all the usual features the first two movies dished out, the quirky extraterrestrial reality behind normal everyday life, the Men in black suits, the stone cold Agent “K”, played by Tommy Lee Jones, it had the unexpected advantage of maturity.

Will Smith has truly shed the skin of the Fresh Prince in this installation. He’s not so much the Hip Awesome Cool dude (good grief, how old do I sound) of the first two movies, but, well, more of an adult; comfortable in his job, a professional, a grown up.

The movie starts on the moon in a top security prison where the villain of the tale, Boris the Animal (played convincingly despite the heavy make-up and CGI, by fellow Kiwi Jemaine Clement), the last of the now extinct Bogladites, escapes with something sinister and other worldly in mind – revenge on the Man in Black who put him there in 1969. If you’ve guessed the agent in question is Agent “K” then collect $200 passing “Go”.

Agents “K” and “J” meanwhile are attending the funeral of “Z”, the character formerly played by actor Rip Torn. The tension between “J” and “K” is evident after “K” gives a seemingly heartless mono-sentenced eulogy at the funeral and “J” begins to wonder what “K” might say were it his funeral.

Boris shows up at a Chinese restaurant that night, a lot of aliens are killed and the tension between the two agents is intensified when “J” realizes something is up with his partner and Boris has something to do with it. However all of “J’s” efforts to uncover “K’s” past are thwarted by his new boss, “M”, portrayed, Brittishly, by Emma Thompson.

The next day “J” discovers his partner died 40 years ago, history has changed around him and a massive invasion of Bogladite ships has arrived to destroy planet Earth.

“J” must convince his organization that he isn’t insane, drink a lot of chocolate milk, jump off the Empire State Building in order to travel back in time, convince Josh Brolin’s younger “K” that he is his partner from the future and prevent future Boris and present day 1969 Boris from killing him and thus saving the world once again.

And there you have a cleverly entertaining 106 minutes.

Agent “J” however discovers the younger version of his congenially challenged partner to be actually quite cool, laid back and actually rather pleasant. The quest, apart from saving the world, is on to find out “what on Earth” could have happened to Agent “K” to turn him into the grumpy old man from his future.

Should I spoil the movie for you? No, I don’t think so. But suffice to say there is a twist, and it somehow manages to complete a circle you never knew was there… turning the grumpy old Agent into the “Father” (but not really) the younger agent never knew he had. That’s all I’m going to say without completely destroying the movie!

I suppose the thing I loved the most about this installment is the story wasn’t burdened with a love interest. The focus was entirely on the two agents and their relationship with each other. Barry Sonnenfeld did a good job at creating believable bond between the two main characters that leaves you at the end of the movie a teeny bit teary eyed and maybe thinking about not taking so much for granted…

And I suppose that could be the moral of the story, don’t take anything for granted. Especially the implausibility of time travel!

Yeah, there were a lot of holes in the time-travelology but I’m choosing to ignore them.

I give this movie a modest 6 out of 10 for just being entertaining and for not completely ruining my expectations.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Brother Does it Bear Grills

My older brother is a Geography teacher and has been gracing the Youtuberverse with some great educational videos for the geographically challenged among us...

Here's my favourite...


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One Day Old Kitten

My apologies to the ailurophobes among my readers but my home world has been taken over by kittens. 

For the next ten weeks you have the misfortune of enduring an abundance of kitten related posts... at least until they're old enough to be "relocated"...

I decided to take short videos of them every day so as to track their growth and development...

Here's day one...




Monday, November 5, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Six

This week I witnessed four miracles.

Miracle Number One: I got out of bed this morning. This “business” of trying to turn $100 into $500 has become like a second job, and while I’m not complaining, it is exhausting juggling family life, career life and the dream of rolling around in 500 $1 notes all at the same time, not to mention littering the blogosphere with every little detail along the way.

Last night I actually dreamed that I was at work. It was that reoccurring dream again, the one where something goes wrong and for some reason I have to stay the night at work! I’ve caught myself saying more than a few times recently that my whole life feels like work lately! (in a good way of course, if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t sacrifice sleep for it!)

On top of it all my sleep over the past two nights has been punctured here and there by the razor-sharp meows of new born kittens…

It has been a miracle that I have been able to walk away from my bed at all…

Miracle Number Two: I witnessed the wonder of new life as Fernando the amazing gender swapping cat gave birth to her first (and absolutely last) litter. Thankfully none of them appear to be her brother’s.

It was Saturday and I was poised to (responsibly )party the night away at a friend’s birthday BBQ. We were just getting my little ones ready when we started noticing the strange nesting behavior that cat mothers do before “it” happens; meowing and looking at you as if you understand cat-speech, walking around in circles, hiding under my two year old’s bed.

Luckily I was able to move her into our room and into an old box, on an old beach towel and on the floor.

And the episode began.

I’ll spare you the whole story, after all Cat Birth is not what you’re here for, but humor me as I share with you the highlights, the best of which being the first kitten came out tail first, got stuck and Fernando did this amazing centrifugal spin that catapulted the kitten out. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve never quite recovered. Then over the next four hours, three more came out. Again, none of them appear to belong to Felix (insert loud sigh of relief here).

This is now the second time I have participated in feline midwifery and I find it absolutely fascinating that clearly no two cat deliveries are the same. My last cat exhibited none of the warning signs. She just climbed into bed with me; I went to sleep and was awakened at 2 a.m. by the loudest purring I had ever heard, as if a helicopter had materialized underneath my sheets.

It didn’t take long before I realized what was happening. It didn’t take me long to get out of that bed either! Why Marbles chose to give birth against my leg I’ll never know the answer to, but it was like that movie Saw, only with a cat, and I’ve never quite recovered from that experience either.

Does anyone want any kittens? They’ll be available in ten weeks…

Miracle Number Three: I finally invested $20 in Bonus Bonds through ANZ bank. I found myself with a rare childless moment this week and did the whole carpe diem thing – I seized the day like a cow milking machine and got a lot of stuff done and out of the way, including a much needed visit to the post office! Staying on top of all these deliveries has become a job in itself. But amidst the errands I was able to spare 20 minutes at my local ANZ filling out the application form, registering with Bonus Bonds online and finally, handing over my investment of $20… which may or may not grow, but at least that $20 will always be mine…

And finally, Miracle Number Four: I sold the highest amount of books I’ve ever sold in one week – 13!

Over the last seven days I sold:

First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough - $3
The Complete Sherlock Holmes -$6
Clearing Away the Rubbish by Adrian Plass -$5
Broken Windows Broken Lives by Adrian Plass -$5
The Rats by James Herbert -$3
Goodbye Soldier by Spike Milligan -$5
Dublin by Edward Rutherfurd -$3
Along Came a Spider by James Patterson -$3
Golden Fox by Wilbur Smith -$4
A Time to Die by Wilbur Smith -$5
Triumph of the Sun by Wilbur Smith -$5
Shout at the Devil by Wilbur Smith -$3
The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel -$3

Giving me the grandest total of $53! As I used to say a great deal in my Dukes of Hazard days – “Yeeeeeeha grandma!”

So, as usual I intend to replace what I have sold this week with another 26 titles, but I must admit it is getting harder to do that now that I am selling around ten books a week. It raises a few eyebrows at the op-shops when the same guy (me) comes in week in and week out and buys twenty books at a time. Either they think I’m Good Will Hunting or I’m up to something…

Not that I think what I am doing is bad or dishonest, I’m just not sure everyone will agree with me…

So anyway, I shall set aside $13 for the task of replenishing my stock.

And now for the silent drum roll of your imagination and the equally inaudible fanfare as I proclaim from invisible roof tops – taking into consideration listing fees, success fees and replacing stock, I now have $183.95 with only $316.05 to go until I have reached my goal of $500!

Can I get another “Yeeeeeha Grandma!”?

The insane part of me wants to dispense with the analogy of standing in a wobbly boat, trying to keep myself from being regurgitated out as it capsizes; at times I have felt like I’m on a cruise ship, chugging along calm seas…

But my sanity taps me on the shoulder and reminds me to look at how quickly my Trademe account keeps running out of credit, just scraping into the following Monday with only a couple of dollars left to cover listing fees… it makes me nervous…

But I did discover one thing to calm my nerves this week – a cleverly ingenious way to make money from postage! I post out my books using NZ Post parcel bags that cost $4, my customers are happy to pay the cost. The bags take up to 1.5 kg in weight and save me the hassle of having to go to the post office to weigh every book for every customer. No thanks! But the cool discovery is that if I buy them in bulk lots of ten then I get the tenth bag free! In other words, for every 10 books I sell, I get an extra $4 in the old account. Shrewd as bro!

Now that you have made it this far, why not go the extra step and press that “like” button down there? And while you’re here, why not stick around, check out some of my other blogs, they could do with some hits as well… just a suggestion… well, actually it’s more like a begging plea… so what do you say?

Until next time, here’s some links to keep you busy…


Click Here to read Part Seven of this series!


Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kittens have taken over my bedroom!!!

My cat Fernando had her first (and last) litter the other night...

I missed a friend's birthday BBQ to "assist"...

This is the result...

The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Prefixes and Suffixes

In my continuing efforts to expand my “vocabuverse” below is my recent attempt to poeticize the meanings of various prefixes and eventually suffixes. You know, the little words that make bigger words mean something more than what they originally did?

I guess you could call this my own special form of “paratuition” or “dyseducation”.

This is a work in progress (in the same way that my Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words is a “work in progress”) so you’ll have to come back in a few months to see if I’ve “progressed” any further!

Here goes…



PREFIXES & SUFFIXES

A PREFIX is a little word
or “AFFIX” it is said
added to a bigger word
to make another word instead

But if you like you can AFFIX
a small word at the end
this is called a SUFFIX which
can change the meaning once again…





ABNORMAL

If you want a clever way
to say something’s abnormal
then insert PARA- at the start
as in paranormal
Otherwise you could indeed
put DYS- in PARA’S place
and change the face of “functional”
by having DYS- emplaced.



ABNORMALITY

In the case of abnormality
TERAT- or TERATO-
will fit quite nicely at the start
where a prefix usually goes



ABOUT

To add the essence of “about”
the prefix is PERI-
as in pericarp or periderm
or perinatology



ABOVE

EPI-, HYPER-, SUR- and TRANS-
and even the word SUPER-
denote the idea of above
along with the word SUPRA



ACCELERATION

Acceleration is a notion that
can be easily
infused into a word with TACH-
TACHEO- or TACHY-



ACROSS

The concept of “across” can be
incorporated by
DIA- as in “diadem”
or TRANS- as in “transcribe”



ACT (in place of)

If something is to act in place
of something or someone
put in PRO- before the word
and your job is done.



ADDITIONAL

to give a word the nuance
of “additional”
simply add the word EPI-
as in epicontinental



AFTER

If a thing is “after” then
add POST- or EPI-
as can be seen in postmodern
or epistemology



By Kerin Gedge
Copyright November 4, 2012


Coming soon in a rhyme near you:

Again = ana-, re-

Against = anti-, contra-, counter-, ob-

Air= aer-. Aero-, atmo-, pneum-, pneumo-, pneumato-

Algae = phyco-

All = omni-, pan-, panto-

Almost or apparentyly but not really = quasi

Among = epi-, inter-

Ancient = aerchaeo-, palaeo-

Angle = clin-, clino-

Animal = zo, zoo-, theri- therio-

Ant = myrmec-, myrmeco-

Anti clockwise = laev-, laevo-, levo-

Anus = proct-, procto-

Apart = dia-

Around = amph-, amphi-, circum-, epi-, peri-

Arrangement = tax-, taxo-,

Attraction to = phil-

Auxiliary = para-

Away = cata-
Away from = ap-, apo, ec-, ex-

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - a modern hymn

I'm not a huge fan of modern church music. I miss the meat that you got to chew on while singing the old hymns...

Here's one I wrote based on Psalm 139. There is music but I'll have to post that at a later date..

God bless!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Lord you have searched me and you know all of me
you know when I sit and when I rise
before a word is on my tongue you know exatly what I'll say
I'm always found inside your loving eyes

You discern my going out and even when I'm lying down
you are familiar with all of my ways
your magnificent omniscience scares ignorance away
before a word is on my tongue you know exactly what I'll say!

Oh my Father I thank you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made
You knit me together to praise you forever in the light of your glory and grace!

How precious to me are your thoughts Oh God
how vast is the sum of them
were I to count them they would all outnumber
every single grain of sand!

You hem me in behind me and before
you have laid your hand upon my Lord
Such knowledge is to wonderful for me to comprehend
and far to grand for me to attain or understand!

Father I thank you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made
you knit me together to praise you forever in the light of your glory and grace

And night cannot hide me or darkness abide me
your light it shines inside me!
The likeness of your Son is the work you begun in me
and only you can complete!

Where can I flee from your presence?
You're more than the Universe can contain,
encompassing everything contained by nothing
yet ever residing in me!

And if I could fly high beyond the earth's sky
and glide into infinity Lord,
there isn't a place that's hidden from your face
even on the wings of the sun's dawn!

Oh my Father I thank you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made!

Oh my Father I thank you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made!


Written by Kerin Gedge, inspired by Psalm 139
Copyright 3 November 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Five


Ok, so last week as your eyes drove away from my blog to more important things like real life, you left me like a kid who had been dropped off at the wrong kid’s birthday party. I’ve been eating their food and using their bathroom and have only just figured out that I don’t have a clue who any of these people are… and still no one else has noticed.

I have been the first to admit that I find myself in completely unfamiliar territory when it comes to business. The dreaded “B” word – “bu – is – ness”… it passes very uncomfortably through my lips.

Years ago I went through a boiling surge of musical creativity; I wrote songs about love, life and about being a loser. Every poor soul with ears who came within a guitar pic’s throw of me and my six stringed torture-tool was forced to endure my latest hit, which came as a deluge of passionate wailing and trademark angst; and yet to my very great surprise (now, not then) I was often asked for an encore.

People would say to me, “Why don’t you do gigs? Why don’t you get a manager? Why don’t you marry me?”

The excuses I gave never came close to the truth – apart from being too scared to really take the plunge, I wasn’t mentally equipped to deal with the “business” of pushing my music to the finishing line of success.

More recently having published on my blog site little nursery rhymes I have written for my children the questions above come back to bother me (well, except for the marriage one, children’s writers don’t attract that sort of attention…) and the truth is, apart from being a great big girl’s blouse about it, I don’t feel up to the “business” of marketing my “product”…

And yet here I am, slap in the middle of an enterprise that has become, in its own tiny little way an actual business and I have no idea how to manage it beyond what I am already doing. I’m like a blindfolded man trying to sell forks in a busy crowd, not only do I not understand the best way to sell people forks without stabbing them, I can’t do my accounting either.

I know this all sounds very negative. I just want to be completely honest about where my head is at, as well as my heart. Emotionally I feel like a bit of sentient drift wood on the sea shore, thrilled to bits every time I catch a wave but then feeling the drag of the outgoing tide – I make a great sale here, I feel the sting of listing fees there… I make another great sale, I upset a customer for posting it late…

I have always been the artist, good at creating the clever thing but never really being clever about what to do with it.

Well, this is my school with a student base of mostly one, at least I don’t have to worry about other students pulling down my grade and I don’t have to feel embarrassed about passing wind in the School Assembly because I’m the only person there who’ll notice…

Regardless, it has been a thriller of a week and I have more money to satisfy the hungry bank account with!

I have also figured out why my figures were all wrong last week too – I was tricked by imaginary money, having forgotten that some of my customers from the previous week had already paid me, so when I added up my total for the week, I added what I had already been paid twice! Once again a lesson in not paying attention!

So this week, I won’t make that mistake again!

Between last Monday and today I was victorious in the selling of nine books:

NIV Study Bible - $20
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray - $5
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle - $3
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden - $3
James Clavell’s Whirlwind - $4
James Clavell’s Tai-Pan - $4
The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith - $3
The Stand by Stephen King - $6

Giving me a Total of $54 to add to my efforts!

Normally I would replace these nine titles with 18 “new” titles but I decided to replace them with 61 titles instead, just to be a little different…

Actually I took my wife and kids to the Star of the Sea School Gala in the Auckland suburb of Botany, and of course, ignoring the bouncy castles, candy floss and various other temptations, I went straight for the books and, well, what a treat! Maybe it had something to do with it being a private school and maybe most of these books came from well-to-do homes that probably had bookshelves made of real wood, but the selection at this fair was incredible!

The weird thing was that when I entered the classroom turned sea of books, I found myself breaking into a sweat, my heart started to beat like the heart of an ancient mammoth hunter, I could smell the blood of the books beating through their papery arteries, I could sense their fear at being bought by the wrong person, each page crying out to me to catch them in my plastic shopping bags… either that or I had just had a really strong coffee that morning!

At first I plucked out books by authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and even good old Spike Milligan. I had about 12 books in my clutches and was prepared to spend $22 on them, when suddenly my ears pricked and I heard the girl of the stall say to another customer something about a bag of books for $2! I quickly raced to her side and asked if I heard her correctly and she said, “If you stick around another five minutes that’s what we’re doing…”

Needless to say, I stuck around. I seized the paperback game in four plastic bags for only $11 and the result was my car boot bursting at the hinges with 61 books to add to my stock!

Just to avoid confusion, the first three bags cost me $6 and then, when the operators of the stall realized how much money they were going to make, they increased the price to $5 a bag… either way, I would have gladly spent $15 for the lot! Heck, each book cost me less than 19 cents each!

But back to the present and the issue of numbers, after accounting for listing fees, success fees and the purchase of fresh books I now have, and I can safely say this figure is correct this time - $142.35.

Only $357.65 to go until I can roll around in 500 $1 notes!

I also have approximately 181 books in stock with 130 of those currently listed on Trademe!

So until next week, please “like” this blog and share it around, it really makes my day when you do! Please leaves some encouraging comments too, that way I’ll know that real people are reading these…

Don't forget:


Click Here to read Part Six of this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings


Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Four

As brilliant as the past seven days have been, I am still not yet the master of the wobbly boat.

First of all there’s Felix, my evil cat who I mentioned in my last series…

Well, Felix has a “brother” called Fernando who was in every way the opposite of everything that made Felix a pain. Fernando was the perfect male cat until he got pregnant. This week I discovered his tummy was getting bigger and so were his kitty nipples… after further investigation I discovered he was missing something unique to all male cats, making him a female.

Now I have to consider gender reassignment as a possible expenditure when all of this is over, that is if I want “him” to keep the name Fernando. At least my kids will enjoy having some kittens for a while, at least until for as long as it takes me to find them new homes!

Anyone want a kitten?

While this is a good example of the price of procrastination, it also demonstrates what not paying close attention will cost you!

I’ve procrastinated on a few things with regards to this monetary adventure. In the past week I was unable to list all the new stock of 20 books which I had purchased for $12.

I still haven’t made the trip to ANZ Bank to invest my $20 into Bonus Bonds.

I still haven’t got a proper grasp of what exactly I am doing.

Now that’s not to say this isn’t working. On the contrary it’s working very well… but a little too well…

Allow me to show you…

In the past seven days I sold the following books:



The Haj by Leon Uris -$3
What Einstein told his barber by R.L. Wolke -$3
Black House by Stephen King -$4
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham -$3
A Sparrow Falls by Wilbur Smith -$3
Stark by Ben Elton -$3
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay -$6
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot -$5
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck -$3
Inside the Spaceships by George Adamski -$6



Giving me a total of $39, less than last week but still significantly more than I was making when I was trying to turn $20 into $100!

Having sold ten books I intend to replace them with another 20 (if I can actually find the time to list them all!) So I will set aside $12 for that mission...

I’ve also relisted all the books from the last seven days that did not sell. Actually most of my listings are out of sync now, due to my only being able to list them as the time allows me to. In the past I tended to wait until the end of a seven day period to relist all the books that closed during the week but I have decided to try and keep the river flowing by relisting everything as it ends.

As of the publication of this blog, I currently have 107 titles listed with more to come throughout the week!

So here’s where it gets kind of tricky. Ok, really tricky.

I’m not an accountant, obviously. In fact right now I feel like I’m in a Nightmare on Elm St Scenario, where I’ve fallen asleep and am being chased by Freddie the Accountant who has ball point pens instead of fingers and a calculator for a face! An 80’s calculator no less!

I’ve crunched the numbers for this week and I can’t figure out why I have MORE money than I should!

I’ve mentioned before that I have a special account called the Dog Ears account that only I use. No money goes in or out other than what my customers feed into it and what I withdraw for expenses…

Right now there is $68 in Dog Ears, $39 going in from this week’s sales and $25 in my Trademe account.

So after taking into account listing fees, success fees and the $12 I’ve set aside for new stock I am left with $120!

$20 more than the $100 I started out with!

Not that I want to complain about breaking beyond my beginnings, or about having only $380 to go until I’ve reached my goal of $500, I just want to figure out how last week’s figure of $74 plus $39 culminate into $120 (minus the $12)?

That's just not good arithmetic!

I feel like I’m riding a bigger horse than I’m used to, worse than that, the horse is being frightened by a crazed mathematician. Man I hope there are no Math genius’ reading this! The horse is running with me.

I’ve checked the bank statements, I’ve checked everything, and all I can conclude is that last week’s figures must have been wrong somehow, though I can’t figure out how.

So I really must apologize, but I am the guy who mistook his favourite cat for a dude for the past ten months!

Nevertheless, the show must go on. I have decided to accept my good, albeit miscalculated fortune and press forward.

But as the old proverb says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Thankfully nothing I do is right in my own eyes, I’d have to be cross-eyed for that… but I’m standing in the wobbly boat wondering how I’m going to keep it from tipping. If anyone has any advice, feel free to throw it at me like one of those life saver things.

Thanks Dan, one of my esteemed readers for pointing out that I should be looking out for first editions! Unfortunately I sold “Inside the Spaceships” by George Adamski for only $6 I had no idea the book was rare! Probably not unique enough to retire this series early, but I have a strong feeling the guy who bought it from me would have gladly paid more!

Yet another mistake I have been forced to learn from. But like I said before, you must pay for your education and that was a lesson well spent.

Until next time, here are some links I hope you will play with, because they’re lonely and need to be clicked!

Click Here to read Part Five in this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings