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!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rhymes About Grammar

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


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!!!



Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

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!!)


Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

Monday, September 30, 2013

Understanding Time Zones

Another helpful video by my brother...




Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

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!

 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Day of the Jackal - A Review

In a medium which has descended into the realm of good looks, hot stream lined youth, action packed happenings, multiple explosions and the fine line between what is real and what is virtually real it’s quite a culture shock to dive head first into the classic era of film making where the story was everything and a director had to tell it well.

By modern expectations, and at first glance Fred Zinnemann’s 1973 adaptation of The Day of the Jackal might be accused of being none of those things which bring the patrons en masse to the cinemas these days, but if you’re willing to give it a chance you just might find that it doesn’t need to be, because it is a tense tale told intensely well!

Tense. I’m going to use that word a lot throughout this review!

In brief it is the story of The Jackal, the mysterious assassin hired by the militant underground OAS of France, bent on seeing the then French president Charles de Gaulle eliminated to further their own political agenda.

The film opens like a series of News Segments, the kind I imagine my parents would have endured at the movies when they were young; a nasally English News presenter brings you up to speed with unwarranted enthusiasm as key members of the OAS are rounded up and sentenced to death due to an earlier botched assassination attempt.

The remaining leaders of the cabal realise their only hope of success is in recruiting a foreigner capable of going undetected about his business of professional murder.

The Jackal himself, apparently an unassuming Englishman (I say apparently), played convincingly by the then unknown Edward Fox, goes about plotting and pursuing his ruthless task. He is cold, calculating and undeniably resourceful, kind of like Jason Bourne, only the evil version.

It’s not surprising that this movie received a BAFTA for Best Film Editing in 1974 as it leaps masterfully from one scene to the next; the Jackal steals the identity of a deceased two year old, Paul Oliver Duggan, he has a special gun constructed for his mission, he steals another passport…

On a side note, while I was tempted to criticize how easy applying for a fake passport was back then I found out that this film, along with the book of the same name, saw the London Public Records and Passport Offices take measures against this sort of thing! The things you learn.

Meanwhile the French authorities, through means of torture have squeezed the codename “Jackal” from an OAS operative and are now aware that somewhere and somehow an attempt on their President’s life will be made, but who on earth is The Jackal?

So intriguing are the meticulous antics of this evil-Bourne that it takes approximately 48 minutes before the films leading protagonist, Deputy Claude Lebel, played by Michael Londsdale, is recruited by the French Government to catch this professional man of mystery. Partnered with his assistant Caron, a very young Derek Jacobi, and a lot of telephones, he begins the ominous task of not only finding a needle in a haystack but doing so without even knowing what a needle looks like let alone what type of needle it is.

Claude, by comparison to the brutal “Englishman”, is gruff, quiet, humble, hiding behind his onion layers and a moustache that would have made Magnum P.I. jealous. He slowly but surely catches up to the film’s antagonist until the thrilling climax… which I won’t give away of course!

What made this feature so interesting to me was that as the viewer you were treated to special information about a man so mysterious and so elusive, that for most of the film you, the viewer, are the only one who really knows anything about what is going on with this character while everyone else fumbles about in the dark.

Usually it’s the other way round, a story smothers you with the tale about the brilliant hero and his journey to the climax, while the baddie is shrouded in mystery, hiding in the shadows. Two examples of this off the top of my head are the Blair Witch Project (random I know) where throughout the entire movie you don’t see the malevolent force of the woods. Another example would be The Lord of the Rings Trilogy where the Dark Lord only ever appears as the great big burning eyeball. What I am saying is usually you don’t get intimate with the bad guy.

Somehow in The Day of the Jackal Zinnemann turns this method of storytelling on its head, the good guys are present but you don’t really get to know them, while the bad guy and his journey keeps you hanging on to the very apex, despite the fact that he’s just so darn evil.

Another thing, which I doubt was intentional given the era this film was made in, was the absence of computers and technology which added to the tension of the hunt. A great example of this is the authorities are keeping an eye on hotels throughout France for the killer’s alter ego, Paul Oliver Duggan. Unable to simply tap into a central guest registry the names of guests are written on cards and couriered to Paris where by the time the Deputy finds out where the Jackal is, he’s already gone. Then there are the clumsy rotary phones of the day, the ones that had a circle around the numbers that I only just vaguely recall from my childhood. No mobiles, no cordless communication of any kind sees one character (but I won’t say who) meet their grizzly end because they could not make it to the phone on time. The frustration of it all is brilliant!

Which brings me to the use of clocks. In fact there are 31 shots of clocks depicting the time throughout this 143 minute long suspense drama, which again ads to the tension. I felt like I was being reminded that time was running out, catch him or the President gets it! Intense.

You would think that amidst all the tense suspense would be a soundtrack to rival cats in agonizing pain but it wasn’t until the film had about 20 minutes left, that I suddenly realized the shocking truth that this movie has almost absolutely no soundtrack! Apart from the odd radio or TV playing in the background or in one scene Marching Band music in the streets of Paris. The director manages to completely pull off what until now I thought was impossible - a story that does not need to be carried by the unseen character of music!

It isn’t surprising that this film has inspired at least one remake that I know of, 1997’s The Jackal, starring none other than Bruce Willis as the villain, and while I usually have a default dislike of remaking something that does not need to be remade, because the original was already brilliant, I can appreciate the compliment of one generation of film makers wanting to pay tribute to that which preceded it – and this movie in my opinion certainly warranted tribute.

So to the late Fred Zinnemann I tip my imaginary hat to you for achieving not only a brilliant movie with no soundtrack, propelled by a then unknown star, featuring an inordinate number of clocks but also for making a brilliant adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s book of the same name (although I should insert here that I haven’t read the book but will now that this film has inspired me to).

The movie might have looked like an episode of Get Smart at times and I might have confused Edward Fox with a younger David Bowie at points but one thing is for sure, I did not want to leave my couch until the last gun went bang.

You’ve got to go see The Day of the Jackal.




Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Too Quick to Love

Playing around with Garage Band on my wife's iPad late at night can cause problems for anyone brave enough to listen to my experiment in "manly" oohs and aahs...

WARNING: This track is, well, not very manly...

I call it:

Too Quick to Love

Because its short and might hurt your arm pits (because your ears will be hiding there),

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - A Review

Old movies are a rather new thing for me. Sure I’ve seen a fair few in my time, and by “Old” I mean anything pre-1981 when I was only just becoming consciously aware of the strange medium of film. But now as a thirty three year old movie goer with years of experience absorbing most of what Hollywood has thrown at my generation I find myself wanting something different – something more than the magic formulas of CGI and plots that seem to have come from the multiple stomachs of a cow, regurgitated only to be eaten and regurgitated again.

Put bluntly I’m sick of the same old thing, which is ironic because the same old thing is meant to be what’s new on the big screen these days…

Which is why I’ve begun to cast my eye on the good old golden era of film when the story, the characters and the actors who played them were everything or the movie was nothing. So what better place to start than an old film about the olden days?

The 1969 Classic - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

First things first, don’t judge a movie by its title, it has nothing to do with a bearded woman named Butch and her experiences overcoming prejudice with her dance partner on Dancing with the Stars! Nope, this is a Cowboy movie starring Paul Newman as Butch, that’s right you might remember him from shopping areas such as the Mayonnaise Lane and the Caesar Salad Shelf, but believe it or not before he was famous in the supermarket he was one of the coolest male actors to hit the screen since, well, Paul Newman! Co-starring is the pretty boy of my parent’s generation, Robert Redford, the guy who might never have made a hit in a salad bowl but boy could he act (and still can apparently).

Usually I would have avoided this sort of thing, I am after all a Doctor Who loving, light saber wielding, beam me up Scotty type and will usually only experience cinematic cathexis when the Frodo of a story sets out on the quest to end all quests or, I hate to admit it, but when the guy finally kisses the girl in a Nicholas Sparks movie – cowboys and Indians have never been my cup of tea.

Nevertheless this one sang to me from the shelf as I browsed the DVD shop’s tiny collection of so called Classics. Maybe it was because of the news that Robert Redford will be returning to the Big Screen soon in the new run of Avengers flicks? Or maybe I just love salad dressing? Either way there was something about the DVD cover, two staunch manly Cowboys looking as cool as Johnny Cash, reminded me of a time when my mother would stick plastic cowboys on my birthday cakes, which were of course lined with chocolate fingers to represent a fort, reinforcing my gender role and installing in me a desire for good old fashioned rugged living… and chocolate fingers.

But I’m digressing…

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a character based tale of two nice guys on the wrong side of the law. They’re the kind of criminals who will stick a gun in your face, take all your money and then ask you if you’re ok before riding off into the sunset, and while you might feel down about having lost all your money you might be tempted to give them directions before they go because they’re just so neat.

Butch originally leads a gang of baddies, called the Hole in the Wall Gang, in a train robbery when the banks are beginning to prove a bit too tough for an honest crook to make a living. But after their first attempt at robbing a train goes surprisingly well their second try sees them busted by the catalyst for the film - a posse of professional lawmen determined to bring down Butch and his boys.

For me this is where the film really got interesting, as Butch and the Sundance Kid are tracked across the majestic wilderness of the Mid-West by these relentless men of Justice. For a while there I could almost imagine that Robert Patrick’s T-1000 Terminator was on their trail asking everyone he meets, “Have you seen this cowboy?”

The clever thing about this part of the movie is you never really see their pursuers, beyond their horses kicking up the dust in the distance and the tense sense of urgency as the two outlaws run for their lives through the barren lands of cowboy country makes you kind of cringe in suspense, while at the same time appreciating what an incredible feat police work must have been in the days when photography was still new and there were no police helicopters or CCTV to help you along the way. Failing all the gadgetry it came down to the basic and brutal Find’em, chase’em, kill’em mentality that in this instance has you almost on the edge of your seat.

Whether they get caught or not I’ll never tell but to lose their tracker’s trail, and after reading in the newspaper the finer details about their pursuers, the two men team up with Sundance’s 26 year old school teaching girlfriend Etta and flee to Bolivia where Butch has read somewhere that the grass is much greener for men like them.

The movie kind of cuts there into a bizarre photographic slide show of sepia stained moments as the three protagonists travel, in style no less, to their destination, waving goodbye to the land of liberty to gain liberty. For a moment there it was like the opening credits of Cheers and I was having flash backs to when, as a kid, I had to desperately fly across the living room to change the channel because I hated that show.

Once in South America they set out to establish themselves as bank robbers only to discover that the language barrier is going to be a problem, so they take some Spanish lessons.

I can’t say much more without giving too much away, but the irony is beautiful as the two even try to straighten themselves out by joining the workforce only to become the guys at the other end of another robber’s gun.

Director George Roy Hill captured the hard West in a way that resonated with me, not because I have any idea what the nineteenth century was like for Midwestern America but because as I watched this film I couldn’t help wondering where I could get a corduroy jacket as cool as the one Robert Redford was wearing.

But all that aside there were some pretty creative film techniques which made the story far less boring than it might have been, namely the sepia intro of a silent movie depicting a 1920’s style re-enactment of the Hole in the Wall Gang getting sprung while the opening credits rolled. Then the actual film begins, still in red and brown tones which remain just long enough for you to think to yourself, “Oh darn it, I’ve got out a brown and white movie!” But really it just helps to create an atmosphere which says, “Hey, this is the olden days, ok? Got that? Good, now let’s switch to colour.” And then the film opens into a vista of hues which unveil the wild rugged environment of the cowboy days.

The other thing that jumps out is the amazingly curious choice of music throughout the film, whether it be a montage establishing Butch and Etta’s sexually charged and yet apparently neutral relationship with a bicycle to B.J. Thomas singing Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head or the threesome’s spate of bank robberies to, gee I don’t know what kind of music that was but it sure blew apart my preconceptions about Western’s having a lot of harmonicas, banjos and strong whistlers. I guess the “modern” take on the music in this film made the characters somewhat relatable, you could accept that this was 150 years ago but the characters were no less flesh and blood than you or I.

And as a point of fact, this movie was loosely based on true events.

I don’t really have anything bad to say about this film, except that the story kind of lost it for me when they went to Bolivia, especially considering the tension and suspense that I was accruing during the chase sequences as they fled the mysterious dispensers of justice.  Had I been director I would have ran with that to the bitter end, but then again this film wasn’t really about that, it was about the mateship of two guys caught on the wrong side of the tracks, who stick by each other… to the bitter end.

Not having anything to compare this film to, seeing as Western’s and me are like paperclips and cheese, it’s hard to give it a rating, especially because I kept wondering when a mysterious Time Traveller was going to appear or whether they would meet Yul Brunner in Michael Crichton’s West World… but there’s always the simple question, “Did I enjoy this film?” to which I would reply, “Yes, indeed I did.”

You’ve got to go see, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.









Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twenty Three


Imagine for a moment that I’m a chubby dude running up a very long and frighteningly steep hill and I’m trying to explain my week to you between long drawn out death defying puffs of air. I’m deep breath still wheeze trying sudden burst of hyperventilation to gasp reach groan the top flatulence of huff this puff HILL!!!!
Chances are I’m about to fall over so you’d best get out of my way because death by human donut could occur any moment now.
That’s how I feel about this marathon to reach $500. Not only am I a snail trying to run a race with birds but I’m a fat snail recovering from an Easter binge.
Seriously I did some working out today with a mate who is sixth dahn in Karate. He was kind to me but within only ten minutes I was choking and spluttering on the grass and that was just from the stretching. He worked me hard until I sort of flopped on the ground like a melted ice cream!
Again that’s what turning my $100 into $500 has become, a workout that I can’t wait to rest from because I’m beat.
Never the less, my financial muscles grew by $14 this week and that’s definitely better than the last two pitiful weeks of effort.
This week past I sold 11 titles, making me $43, which puts me at $373.29 cents and only $126.71 to go until I can claim my $500 trophy!
I’m still maintaining my listings at only 300 books which has saved me some damage, it’s likely I will maintain this safe number until the end of this series.
So the fat man, me, has yet again written a tiny entry about my backbreaking, blistering and abundantly boring enterprise but stay tuned! As I’ve been alluding to for a while now I have been setting the corner stone firmly in place for my next big scheme: How to turn $500 into $1000 in which I hope, I daresay hope, to branch out from books toward something a bit more creative and currently beyond my capability – Just keep an eye on my Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words… but no more clues.
As the going has been slow though I’m going to bid you adieu until the 20th when I will be able to boast the earnings of two whole weeks and pretend I’m doing better than I’m letting on, fingers crossed.
Cheerio!

Click Here to read Part Twenty Four 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!



Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Late night creativitiy

So I should have gone to bed two hours ago but instead spent my much needed rest on this 1.5 minutes of poorly timed instrumentation...

Feel free to like it or hate it, either way I'm going to share it!

Mucking Around With String by Kerin Gedge

A Demonstration of Atmospheric Pressure

Here's one of my brother's videos which I thought I would re-post for your enjoyment... WARNING this video may contain educational content.

For more videos by Mr Gedge check out his Channel Here!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twenty Two

Over the past few weeks my efforts to turn $100 into $500 have reminded me of my child hood, specifically the times when I played “let’s see how high I can build a tower before it falls over” with my building blocks.

Somewhere along the line you learn as a kid that no matter how careful you are, no matter how skilled you are and no matter how much you wish you were the Knight Rider, no amount of anything can make standard blocks go higher than where you got them last time because the laws of physics were against you. Time to switch to lego.

Applied to this enterprise I realize that I went overboard on the purchasing of new stock, my tower got too big and began to topple over. Last week I even lost money as the combination of purchasing new stock, success fees, relisting fees and the general overhead of it all got the better of me.

So I’ve adopted a new strategy – limit my listings to the highest number of books I can possibly list before I start to lose money and stop buying new stock!

Following this rule I’ve settled with 300 listings at any given time and so far it’s kind of worked, well at least I’ve gone forwards and not backwards this time.

The other part of the strategy is because I have more than 300 books to get rid of I rotate the stock so that each week I’m not trying to sell the same old books!

Over the past nine days I only sold nine books but the $38 they made me has put me back at $358.91 with only $141.09 to go until I can do the proverbial jump for joy.

Being the first day of the new month I checked my Bonus Bonds to see if my $20 had performed beyond my wildest dreams only to discover that it hadn’t but at least my fingers burnt the tiniest fraction of a calorie while typing in my password, as my fingers have been developing their own chubby waist lines after the chocolate binge afforded me by the Easter Break.

So that’s it, short but sweet this week. Ok, scratch the “sweet” part, we’ll stick with “short”.

Oh yeah, there was one pretty funky thing to come out of the last seven days, I had two film reviews published on a popular New Zealand Media site! I didn’t get paid but at least it made me feel good for a little while, that is until this series began to depress me again…

Finally I started a new fan page for my Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words, which will be an important feature of my next series How to turn $500 into $1000 so feel free become a fan!

Until next time…

Click Here to read Part Twenty Three 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twenty One

In the past week I’ve been mauled by an angry cat, survived a 4.8 magnitude earthquake and received a rude email. Quite an exciting week really!

Thanks to Felix, my ginger Rodentus Enemius I have a two and a half inch scratch marking the drumstick region of my thumb with its pain and bloody glory. I was trying to do him a favor by taking him to the vet but we never made it past the getting-him-into-the-cage stage as his back legs suddenly and miraculously turned into spinning lawn mower blades for my own special treatment of say-good-bye-to your-thumb pink face! (Sometimes Felix communicates with me through my own imagination so there’s a small chance I made that last part up). Nevertheless, there was nothing fake about me cancelling his vet appointment and swearing that he can die from whatever it was he was meant to be getting immunized against before I try putting him inside that cage again. Either that or I’m going to need one of those police shields you see used in riots, that and a large pair of chop sticks. He must have sensed my ferocity because he didn’t show his ginger locks again until after dinner time, which was just as well because he might have ended up on the menu.

Earlier this week I was sitting at my desk at work when all of a sudden I had this feeling I had entered the Jelly Dimension. Everything seemed to be wobbling. My desk, my chair my Jurassic Park style glass of rippling water all seemed to be shaking in anticipation of the T-Rex about to barge its way through my Projection Booth…

My first thought was that a really big truck must have been going past the Cinema but then, while I was still sitting there unconcerned about the new shaking world I found myself in, I realized that they don’t make trucks that long and it dawned on me this must be an earthquake. AN EARTHQUAKE?! I quickly jumped under my desk, and as I huddled under my dark wooden fortress I began to wonder how the rescue parties might find me in my little bubble under all the rubble until I realized my cell phone was comfortably sitting on top of the desk enjoying the moment with no concern at all. I made the decision to risk my life for my phone because being trapped in the toppled remains of a movie theatre without the internet is more than I could bear… except the “earthquake” had stopped and there was no point jumping under the desk anymore, even though I secretly wanted to on account of its sleepy possibilities.

Naturally I called my boss and neither he, nor any of the floor staff had felt anything. So much were they engrossed in their work, focused on the movie going public, that they didn’t take a moment to consider the earth moving beneath their feet, along with the roof (with me inside it) above their heads.

Having confirmed with geonet.co.nz that it was indeed the real deal I, along with the rest of Auckland, came to terms with the fact that I was being a great big girl’s blouse over the whole thing. The only casualties in the entire city were a garden chair and a sparrow, which died of natural causes completely unrelated to Auckland’s rendition of the Harlem Shake.

Incidentally I saw the so called Harlem Shake for the first time today on the internet. What a complete load of rubbish.

Having survived the ordeal, of both the Harlem Shake and Auckland’s great quake of 2013 I was left with a certain affinity for my fellow man and an appreciation for what I have against the things that I do not, like the $9 one customer still owes me from two weeks ago. I had waited five days for a payment that never came, deeming that to be a reasonable amount of time to pass before offering him a little nudge via the old email. He wrote back apologizing and that his internet banking wasn’t working and that he’d need to go to the bank in person blah blah blah…

I’m pretty patient with these sorts so I gave him ANOTHER five days and sent him another motivational message across the impersonal and non-threatening ether of the web… now I didn’t want to frighten the poor chap so I made my email a bit upbeat and positive, at least that’s what I thought I was doing:

Hi there

So um… yeah still no payment, what’s up with that?

Cheers

K

To which I received the reply:

What’s up with the?? Wow, really, gee I couldn’t make it to town on the only day off I have and now your circling me like a shark…

I told him that my having waited for ten days made me a very patient shark.

I’m actually waiting for a few AWOL payments and the thing I don’t understand is these missing buyers have been people with excellent feedback from other Trademe users… but then again I find myself less apt to leave bad feedback for fear they will return the favor…

The fact that I’m currently owed about $16 from these rogue traders however doesn’t help explain why I’ve gone backwards this week… I mean really backwards… I’ve gone so far backwards that my back has grown a face!

Maybe it’s been a combination of the moving earth, the cat with a lust for human thumbs and the fact that people find the Harlem Shake even remotely interesting that I seem to have lost over $40 in this week’s total? Or then again it’s likely due to the fact that no one seems to be buying anything at the moment.

I won’t bore you with the titles of what I sold anymore; I mean seriously who cares right? Suffice to say that I sold nine books at a total cost of $41.

Having done the disastrous sums, accounting for relisting fees, new listing fees and buying new stock – I am only left with $347.13 and about $152 to go before I reach my final goal of $500.

I’m feeling a bit gutted, like a fish with no stomach, like a cow in Dulce Texas, like Jar Jar Binx after having received the fax notifying him that he will not be reprising his role in the new JJ Abrams installment to the Star Wars series…

I’m pretty sure the culprit is that the more stock I list the larger my listing fees become and when that happens I either make more money than I spend or I lose money plain and simple.

I’m going to give it one more week and if I continue this trend of going lesswards then I might have to do something drastic and cap my listings at a certain number and as a friend recently suggested just focus on selling the stock I have rather than obtaining more.

Having said that I did go to a school gala today and couldn’t stop myself from spending $11 on new stock! But just before you role your eyes I did find a marvelous antique King James Bible, containing a personal inscription dated around the late 1800’s – for a dollar. You might remember that when I first started this series I sold a King James Bible for $25 and that one was published in the 60’s… In this case I’ve never handled an actual antique before; I might have to look into it further before listing it.

Finally last week I hinted at things to come as I prepare for my next mighty series – How to Turn $500 into $1000. Things are coming along, shall we say, frustratingly slow and yet painfully pleasantly… all I can say is - keep an eye on my Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words! Hopefully that will whet your curiosity enough to keep you coming back…

So until next week then, I shall leave you with this ridiculous video, which happens to have been made by one of my brothers’ (the geography teacher) ex-students. (please feel free to correct the grammer in this sentence, I can’t recall whether the “s” is meant to go after “brother” or “teacher” let alone the placement of the apostrophe!)

Fare thee well…



Click Here to read Part Twenty Two 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!





Come find me on YouTube!



















                           









                            

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twenty




The islands of my fortune lay on the distant horizon; I’m so close except I brought a rocking horse instead of a boat!
At least that’s how it feels. In all great exploits one reaches the point where you just want to get it over and done with, partly because you have other things you want to do and partly because boredom is stimulating your yawn glands!
As you know about six months ago I set myself the arduous task of transforming $100 into $500 no matter how long it took. The vehicle for my journey was Trademe, the Kiwi equivalent of eBay, on which I would list old books I scored from various op-shops for bargain prices. I started this series with just over a hundred books left over from my last series; I now have just over 350 listed.
Last week I complained about the sad fact that listing fees, success fees and the acquisition of new books to sell left me with a profit the size of a tooth pick in a cocktail sausage, nevertheless I am determined to continue until I reach the end of that sausage!
After reading my depressing diatribe of self pity last week a friend asked me why I don’t stop buying new stock and just focus on listing the stock I already have…
Well, at the time I couldn’t really answer beyond the fact that temptation had got the better of me one morning when I walked into my local op-shop and came out with a bag full of Maeve Binchey among other things, I just couldn’t help myself! But as this week has gone by I’ve realized that there is a far deeper and perhaps metaphysical aspect as to why I can’t bring myself to stop buying new stock to list…
You see I’ve noticed a sort of Universal Law at work as I’ve gone along with this challenge, kind of similar to the notion that you reap what you sow in life, and it’s the idea that hard work creates wealth, as the old Proverb goes, “In all toil there is profit…” You might not agree with that but let me explain how the principle relates to me…
Over the past six months there have been weeks where I’ve had a lot of stock to list, while there have been other weeks where I haven’t and then there have been weeks where I simply couldn’t be bothered listing anything at all…
What I have observed is that on the weeks where I consistently listed say ten or so books a day I seemed to make more than on the weeks where I just let go and did as little as possible. So for me the sharpened axiom is very true, and so is this – “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest , and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
(I used to think that was, “like a one armed man” It would make me think of Doctor Richard Kimble from the Fugitive for some reason… maybe that’s why I remembered it… funny how one’s mind works!)
So last week I boasted 23 sales, and last week I was listing like a crazy man. Then this week came along and sat on top of me. Due to a change in my usual roster at my day job I found myself a wee bit bereft of time and desire to run with this and my sales have definitely reflected my missing diligence!
This week I sold 10 titles:
When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith - $6
Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason by that lady whose name I can’t recall - $6
Bodyguard of Lightning by Stan Nicholls - $4
No Mercy by Colin Forbes - $6
The Love Acadamy by Belinda Jones - $3
Stark by Ben Elton - $4
Wabi by Joseph Bruhac - $4
This Other Eden by Ben Elton - $3
Sundiver by David Brin - $4
The Business by Ianin M. Banks - $4
And a Canon BC1-24 Black Ink Cartridge, which I just happened to have lying around for $1!
Making me $49 which, after being chopped and diced in the kitchen of my weekly expenses, leaves me with a total of $390.84 – only $109.16 to go until I can close the fridge on this one! 
You’ll have to excuse me if you’ve sensed my impatience, but please don’t mistake my attitude. My angle for wanting to break free of this project is so I can move onto my next, something I can’t stop thinking about, but I’m not going to tell you about it just yet because when the time comes I’ll have nothing to write about!
On a different note I’ve been adding to my little side project, The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words, which is my attempt at taking the boring out of the English Dictionary. I’m hoping it will also play a role in How to Turn $500 into $1000… oops I’ve said too much already… pretend you never read that…
I’ve also kept up with my appearances in the old Trademe forum and I hit on a winner when I started a thread entitled, “What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done.” If you can ignore the rude ones (as I’ve had no control over what some people have written) I think you will find some of these absolutely tear jerking, that is your laughter will jerk the tears right out of your face! Check it out here if you are within Australia or New Zealand, sorry to everyone else (which I’m afraid is most of you)!
Finally, I think there might be something wrong with that “Like” button down there on the bottom right of this post, would you mind clicking on it for me? (I’m kidding of course, I just wanted you to click on it.. I’m a lousy liar!)

Click Here to read Part Twenty One 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Nineteen

Wow, I just realized it’s been nearly six months since I started this thing! Actually that’s a little bit depressing.

In this series I set myself the challenge of turning $100 into $500 using Trademe, an online trading site not unlike eBay. Specifically I began by buying books from op-shops; listing them online and then using the money I earned to buy double the amount I sold.

When I started this challenge I had about 100 books left over from my first series Pimp My Twenty Bucks. Now, many months later, I have close to 340 books listed and very little space to keep them all!

I have unfortunately reached that place in any journey where you feel like the proverbial pencil who thought that a pencil sharpener was a great idea until one day he woke up to discover he had become a pencil stub. It used to be fun twirling around in circles until he realized that those pencil shavings on the floor were all that was left of him and he would never ever become a real boy.

That is of course a terrible metaphor but hopefully it explains how I feel at the moment. All work and not too much to show for it except my flailing sanity.

In this series I have not shown a great way to start an incredible business, I have not demonstrated how to make money quickly or in a chronologically friendly manner (or even logically for that matter). Heck, the basic premise I’ve based this whole exercise on isn’t even original! Nevertheless, I have shown that anyone, even me, can take something, in my case second hand books, and turn it into more… minus lots of time.

If you’re familiar with my previous blogs you will know that I have not taken too kindly to people who have mocked me for the money earned versus time spent equation. I guess I still don’t really care about that, but am nevertheless feeling rather sorry for myself because of how far I have to go.

So, you might think it very strange that I am upset at all when you find out that I’ve actually had a fantastic week in terms of sales!

This week I sold:

Wild at Heart by John Eldridge - $6
Space Ranger by Isaac Asimov - $3
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - $3
People of the Wolf by W. Michael Gear - $3
Watership Down - $5
Ubik by Philip K Dick - $5
Beam Me Up Scotty by James Duhan - $5
Better than Nostradamus by Barry R. Smith – $3.50
Warning by Barry R. Smith - $3
Traiter’s Knot by Janny Wurts - $3
Blood of Wolves by Loren L. Coleman - $4
The World According to Garp by Irvine Welsh- $4
That way Lies Camelot by Janny Wurts - $3
Alice I have been by Melanie Benjamin - $4
People of the Sea by W. Michael Gear - $3
People of the River by W. Michael Gear -$3
Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy - $4
The Gargole by Andrew Davidson - $3
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - $3
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella - $4
A Perfect Spy by John le Carre - $3
Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold - $4
Startide by David Brin - $4


A total of 23 books for $87!

All expenses considered this leaves me with a total of $382.59 and only $117.41 to go until I’ve finally reached my goal of 500 smackaroos!

So what have I got to be upset about? Well, I guess it’s the realization (it took me a while) that books have a cruddy profit margin; of that $87 I only really get to keep about $27 while the rest gets absorbed by listing fees, success fees and the acquisition of new stock.

Put in another light if I ever dreamed that this little enterprise could free me from my day job I would have to sell over $500 worth of books per day, and of that $500 approximately $350 would go into running the business. Considering how much time I invest in the little I do now that equals one big stressful occupation which surprisingly makes my normal job look as fun as a Star Trek The Next Generation Marathon. Well, for me that’s like the coolest thing in the world.

So do I give up? No way!

Thankfully I know that my task here is not to create an instant solution to the rat race. My immediate goal is and always has been to turn $100 into $500 no matter how long it takes. What I do with that $500 is a completely different story, but believe me when I say I have an end game in mind, a pseudo-plan which does not involve me becoming a full time second hand book salesman, but it does involve making more money. So watch this space…

On the other hand I’ve been thinking a great deal about this blog. I think it’s about time I define its purpose, after all why put my abysmal financial “success” on public record in the first place? Originally I guess I just thought it would be an interesting thing to write about but I realize for me it’s about motivation and accountability – in a way it keeps me going from one week to the other knowing that if I give up someone out there is going to want to know why!

But I also realize that beyond my need to be kicked in the pants every time I start to drag my feet or my genuine desire for someone out there to feel inspired enough to do the same and make their own fortune I also have a third desire, that my blog would actually make some money!

Which it is not! I think I made about two cents on adsense alone this week and in the six years that I’ve had this site my Amazon ads have made me less money than my time machine patents, which I haven’t invented yet but will when future me travels back in time to give me the plans. This hasn’t happened yet.

Anyway, while I plod my way through selling crusty old books to people willing to pay for them I have felt inspired to start something else, on the side, sort of a pet project of mine really. On this site you will find lots of articles from movie reviews to theological commentary but lately I have been working on my own dictionary…

You see, the English Dictionary is quite boring so I’ve decided to write my own version which I call The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words, which is basically the dictionary if it was written by Dr Seuss. It is my hope that in addition to selling books and writing about the glacial movements of my bank account this side project might attract enough attention to cheer me up. So please check it out and let me know what you think of my work in progress which I update every other day with a new poem… oh and hit the like button!

So until next week…

Click Here to read Part Twenty 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Eighteen

Wow, writer’s block. Doesn't happen often but when it does its like trying to force a cinder block through the tips of your fingers!

It could be that too much time on the computer has fried some of my synaptic pathways, or it could be because I went all hippie on my back yard today and planted two new fruit trees, leaving a blister the size of a Kansas right in the center of my right palm, which would be true if Kansas was the size of my blister. I’m clearly not used to physical labor, the handle of my shovel might as well have been a potato peeler for the damage it did to me, I feel like I’m typing while a small meteor burns its way through my hand!

So in short, this week’s entry will be brief and written through gritted teeth and possibly tears… er, manly tears of course, the kind that would take Chuck Norris’ tears down in a fight.

Regardless those tears won’t be from my gardening injury, but rather from the puny figure on my little accounting sheet here. It hasn't been the best week I’m afraid and my attempts to turn $100 into $500 have a great deal more attempting to do! I only managed to sell 14 items this week at $49, making me a profit of only $11.34, a figure that makes me wonder if I have suddenly turned into a snail.

Snails apparently don’t win the monthly Bonus Bonds draw either, the $20 I invested way back when I started this thing is still just $20.

So, drum roll please (on really tiny drums)… I now have $355.51 with $144.49 to go until I reach my goal of having turned $100 into $500.

On the bright side I did finally finish listing all those sci-fi books that I bought a few weeks ago, and at the last count I had 306 books listed on Trademe! Time to go out and buy some more stock I think…

Oh and I've signed up to Amazon Associates in an attempt to monetize my blogs, hence the abundance of advertising on my site these days! Don’t let it put you off; it’s all part of my plan!

Tune in next week for longer paragraphs about greater successes!

Click Here to read Part Nineteen 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Seventeen

This week I took the mincemeat of my mangled emotions and made meat patties.

In my last blog I explained that I was left bruised and ego-impaired after I posted a link to this series in a Public Forum… of course I should have expected that when the title of my post read, “How to turn $100 into $500” when in fact I haven’t quite done it yet, and am doing it rather slowly… hence the mince meat I felt like as I entered into the new week.

Probably because of despair or perhaps because a friend shouted me a subscription to World of Warcraft, I only managed to list twenty new items this week, keeping my stock at about the 300 mark for the past seven days…

Nevertheless, it didn’t mean I was not busy with other things pertaining to this titanic task. For one thing I did not abandon the Trademe Message Board entirely, but have rather started a few random threads so that people will note me as a trader of interest and check out my stock. Threads like, “Hey has anyone ever been abducted by aliens?” or “So, why is there no religion category on the message board” which sparked over 500 comments in only 4 days! Yep, message boards are fun. Here's a link to some of the message boards I've been "message bombing" lately, but sorry if you’re outside New Zealand and Australia you won’t be able to view them because Trademe hasn’t discovered the global community yet…

Another thing is I’ve been managing my account from my PC now that I actually have a PC, which has been pretty good and in the future will help me to list way more items in a shorter period of time. All of my listings so far have been via texting on my iphone, which makes you want to throw your phone at the first person who walks through the door at the end of the day.

Also I applied with Trademe for the Pay Now option which means at some point in the near future customers will be able to purchase items from me using their credit card –without the need of Pay Pal which is just awesome in my book. Unfortunately this will incur a small fee of about 1.64% of every payment made to me that way, but still it could potentially mean more customers who shop for convenience.

The last thing I’ve been doing a tad differently is that recently I have been setting the Start Price for new listings at $4 instead of the usual $3. My reasoning wasn’t so that I would make an extra dollar every time I sold a book, but rather because a significant number of the books I sell each week come from Fixed Price Offers. These are the offers you send to individual customers when an auction closes but does not sell. Often I will have potential customers watching an item but not placing a bid either because they forgot about it or because they like to torment me. Anyway, Trademe gives you the option to send said watchers a special onetime offer before relisting the item. I found that when my books were only $3 I couldn’t afford to offer such customers anything special as $3 was the absolute lowest I could sell them for! At least now when someone has been watching an item that was originally listed at $4 will react with a “Wow, this guy is now offering me the book for $3! That’s like a whole dollar cheaper than it was before, I HAVE to buy it.” And so he/she does. So they get a bargain and I get the exact amount I actually wanted for the book in the first place. I’m not sure if this is an ethical issue, the small voice in the back of my head says it’s just business. What do you think?

Unfortunately in my recent despair and/distraction I somehow managed to delete a whole bunch of the listings I sold recently from the “sold” tab of my Trademe account so I have spent the last several days convinced that I had not made a profit at all. Quite literally my left hand did not know what my right hand was doing as I said to my wife this afternoon, “I haven’t made a profit this week, this isn’t going as well as I thought” and then sent her a telepathic sad face with a colon and a bracket symbol “: (“ through the atmosphere in our living room, but I think she could tell by the look on my face that I wasn’t particularly happy about it.

But then I sat down to write this blog and as I did my accounting, or what passes for accounting in my feeble and limited understanding of the procedure, I discovered that I was thankfully wrong!

Normally this is where I would list the books I sold but because I deleted a big chunk of them I’ll have to dispense with the cliché and just tell you that I sold 18 books for $68.50 making a profit of $39.25 when all is said and done…

Finally remembering to include the $20 I invested in Bonus Bonds way back in the Beginning Time of this misadventure, I now have $344.17 with only $155.13 to go until I can shout for joy and say, “Yes!” while making a fist and looking like I’d just done something really amazing and personally fulfilling. Chances are we will have a new Pope before that happens.

To think that only a few blogs ago I was saying I might only have three weeks of this to go, more like three weeks on a planet with a 28 day week!

Finally I won't be purchasing new stock this week, I'm still trying to list all those sci fi books from two weeks ago!

So until the next time we meet, your homework is to hover over the “Like” button and click it at least one hundred million times, or failing that once will be enough. Also for extra credit you can leave me a comment and say something encouraging like, “Hey man, you’re really cool, I like what you are doing here and am going to post a link to your site on my own site that gets like a million views a day and tell everyone that they have to visit your site because it’s like totally rad.” Yep, that’s the kind of comment I want to get!

Until next time, I’m off to listen to some Enya or something.

Click Here to read Part Eighteen 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Sixteen

I was struck by a deep thought this week while listing some books that were well, books for ladies. You know the sort, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bridget Jones’ Diary, that sort of thing. If I was dealing with a movie we have a description here in NZ that fits the type of film your female partner might drag you to, it’s called a “chick flick”. But if you can call a hopeless sob story involving unrealistic romance with a man that most real men would want to punch in the face a “chick flick” then would that make the paperback version of such a story a “chook book”?

I was thinking along those lines when I realized to my dismay that Trademe have no category for such a book, and seeing as I had recently been donated a box load of the things (thank you donators, they’re awesome!) I was forced to list them under “general fiction”.

But that wasn’t the only thing that upset me about my favourite online trader this week, because it was on this site I found myself the centre of a virtual but brutal attack on my cyber character…

You might remember that recently I purchased 100 sci fi books from a chap who gave me some pretty nifty advice on selling books online. One such piece of wisdom led me to explore the Trademe Message Board where there are multiple forums for other users to discuss pretty much anything. The seller had told me that on weeks when he posted in the forum he would often sell more books so I thought, “why not?”

So there I was in the forum for General Discussion where most people seemed to be talking about pretty much nothing (one person even wanted to know if other users preferred apples over nectarines) so I thought why not jump in with an almighty splash?

So I began to type in the subject line: How to turn $100 into $500 using Trademe.

Over the next eight hours I suffered from an acute case of “oh no what have I done?” as I got hounded and berated by over 50 comments tearing my little enterprise, my ego and moral standing to shreds. I could not believe it; it knocked the wind right out of my sales (Pun accidental but I’ll keep it there so you think I’m witty).

I was accused of being unoriginal – although I was never trying to be really.

Most commentators assumed that I was cheating the tax system – although I never said anything even remotely like that.

I was mocked for earning less than the minimum wage – although for me that wasn’t an issue.

Now that I’m reliving it I can see some of the comments clearly in my mind:

“Good one mate, you’ve just painted a target on your head for the IRD”

“He’s probably on the benefit”

“You idiot, not only have you just admitted to everyone here that you’re cheating the system but you’ve written an account of it on your blog for the IRD to read about”

I was, for want of a better word, flabbergasted. I had genuinely wanted to share my experiences with the Trademe community, and of course attract attention to my listings on the side, but on the whole I thought most of the people in there were great big meanies.

There were a few people who stuck up for me, and I even got two new Facebook fans in the process so it wasn’t all bad, and the odd person threw in a piece of advice which was nice. I was going to post some of it but alas, the link got removed on account of my not reading the message board rules beforehand, providing external links is a big no no in Trademe land, apparently.

But I just wanted now to address some of the things above that I was charged with, the main being the issue of tax! You see, I don’t talk about tax in this series for two reasons. The first and foremost is that it is a very boring subject that I don’t know much about, but at the back of my mind I’ve always known that sooner or later it will be something that I will have to deal with, which is the second reason I haven’t spoken about it – I just haven’t crossed that bridge yet. But rest assured, when I do my tax return at the end of this tax year I will declare my profits, and then I’ll blog about it and bore you all to death with the details...

The other issue is that of how much time I am spending on this against how much I am getting paid. To that I would say, fair enough if what I was trying to do from the beginning was start the perfect business, but this whole thing started as a challenge to myself, to see if I could turn $20 into $100! Then when I succeeded at that I was having too much fun to stop so I gave myself a new challenge – turn $100 into $500. It has NEVER been about creating the most viable business model, nor was it ever intended to be a How to Get Rich Quick scheme. I don’t care if it takes me the rest of the year to reach $500, as long as I’m having fun along the way and you people are enjoying watching me fail… er, I mean succeed!

In short I don’t care. I don’t care if all I have to show for this week’s efforts is $21.70 (which I’m afraid is the truth). I’m only focused on my goal, to get an extra $500 in my wallet that I wouldn’t otherwise have had.

But who am I kidding, it is turning into a business and I have found myself pondering different ways to increase my earnings to justify the time I spend on the buying and selling of second hand books. In the beginning it was only a couple hours a week. This week I listed nearly a hundred books and it’s a miracle I’m not suffering from a repetitive strain injury from too much texting considering I list items with my phone!

Finally, what I am trying to achieve with the blogging of it all is to encourage people that no matter who you are or what interests you have, you can take a simple $20 and turn it into something much bigger. In my case that’s currently $284 and over 300 books listed on Trademe!

Don’t let anyone tell you that what you are doing is a waste of time, because as far as I’m concerned you could make a hundred thousand dollars a year but if you hate what you are doing, that’s a far truer waste of time. There is no minimum wage if you’re having fun earning it and at the end of the day, the time I spend on this isn’t even close to the amount of time I used to waste on the Xbox earning ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

The next day, after dreaming that I filmed the most amazing UFO display of all time only to discover that it had vanished from my phone before I could upload it to YouTube (seriously, that’s exactly what I dreamt) I noticed that there was a new spike on my blog’s hit rate and I followed the link in my stats to a new thread which read something like:

“What happened to the thread about turning $100 into $500?”

It was with some trepidation that I read through the comments that suggested the IRD had caught me. But finally, by now, people seemed to have caught on to what I was trying to do here and I have since had some nice comments from the goodies in this drama – so thanks guys, I hope you keep reading!

Here’s the link to that thread if anyone (within New Zealand) wants to join the fray:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=1210905&topic=5

(sorry I'll have to fix the hyperlink later)

Now for ourselves and for this time of meeting, this week I sold:

When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith - $3
Bonkers by Michelle Holman - $3
Beyond Good and Evil by Fredrich Nietzsche - $7
The Iron Lance by Stephen Lawhead - $3
The Mystery of Mercy C lose by Marian Keyes - $6
Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell - $3
No Heroes by Danny O.Coulson - $3
The New Testament CEV - $3
Gridlock by Ben Elton - $3
Voyage of the Dawn Treader - $2
Sharon Osbourne Extreme by Sharon Osbourne -$3
Edgar Allan Poe – Selected Tales - $4


Giving me a nice big juicy $43 to put in the old Dog Ears account, meaning, as stated above I now have $284.92 to show for my efforts and only $215.08 shy of breaking open a bottle of extremely cheap champagne, or maybe a can of coke will do.

To be honest, after last week’s awesome leap forward, this week’s earnings aren’t that much to write home about, let alone a blog about, but the show must go on and I’ve noticed a great many of those “chook books” that I’ve listed are attracting a fair bit of interest, which makes me quite possibly the only man I know who will go to sleep tonight greatful that someone is writing this sort of stuff.

So until next week, please press “like” and if it helps, pretend you just read that Harrison Ford has been announced as actually being in the new Star Wars movie, which is also true. I’d press “like” for that a hundred times over!

Click Here to read Part Seventeen 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

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!