Pets and Kids

He is sitting at my feet now, enjoying the forced convalescence courtesy of surgery. But it was a different cat entirely that just over a week ago  prodded us into action. A cat that gingerly made his way through my front door, meowing sorrowfully, as he held a paw aloft.

I had recently pulled ticks out of him. Thinking that it was another one of these small, but deadly, pests that come alive in the Australian bush at this time of year, I checked the little fella over. No blood-sucking, paralysis-inducing ticks were found anywhere. That’s a mystery? One that disturbed me with increasing intensity over the following few days.

At this point my four year olds maternal instincts kicked in. She wanted to comfort the cat who was in obvious pain. He would hobble away as quickly as he could to find a spot to hide. Four-year-old girl cuddles are more like WWE wrestler bear hugs. Not good if you are a cat with a sore leg.

Two days without improvement was enough. I can’t stand to see animals in pain, and a teary four year old daughter can be even more unbearable. My wife and I resolved to have a vet look at him. It was the cat’s lucky day. Well sort of!

Happily, the veterinary nurse had a diagnosis in minutes. That could be good news or bad news. My legs almost buckled, and I sweated bullets whilst the veterinary nurse told us the good news, bad news and just plain ugly news.

I had visions of having to sell everything we own to pay the vet bill for a cat with a steel implant. Or worse, having to explain to an already emotional four year old girl why her beloved furry friend needed a ‘long’ sleep’. That.was not on!! Back to nightmares about slavery to bankers after the vets were finished with me.

My worst fears were unwarranted. The cat would need surgery to lance and drain an abscess that was most likely from fighting with another cat. In what might serve as a worrying portent of my own future, my wife asked what neutering would cost. So the cat got a lot more than he bargained for.

I really felt for the little fella as he has dealt with recovery. The panicky, mournful meows have started to become less frequent. He can now walk properly. Four-year-old-girl cuddles have become more bearable for him, and the whole experience has reinforced how important pets are in young kids’ lives.


Joined the Ranks of Online Publishing

After years of trying to find things online to help in a specific niche area, I got fed up. So, I thought I would learn an area and then help others in the same predicament.

Welcome to Sales Glory: How to Make Your First Year in Sales a Smashing Success.


I strongly felt that newbies to selling were let down. They didn’t learn enough of what they needed to, or were inundated with advanced knowledge they weren’t ready for yet.

Whilst this is not the last word in sales, it is a good start!

Hackers Everywhere

Here I am peacefully sitting on my lounge with my one-and-only bride when she turns to me and say’s, “Have you signed-up for something?” Not knowing what she is on about I ask, “what do you mean?”

In her email inbox, which she was quietly scanning as she watched TV, was an email from a smutty website suggesting that I had signed-up to it. It was like being hit by a Mike Tyson right-hander. It absolutely floored me.

I will quickly digress. I have taken classes in IT, but I am far from an expert. I feel that IT has moved so quickly over the last 5 years that my computing qualifications – gained in 1997 and 2003 – have been eclipsed. Nothing is the same.

Facebook was to come to fame over the next few years after I completed my course. Integrating social media into my knowledge base has been a real struggle. What is appropriate, what is not? I have concluded that I must learn all over again.

I did not think immediately of hackers when my wife questioned me about  this smutty email from some porn site. I was as shocked as her.

I have been hacked before. Back in 2012. I lost control of a Hotmail address to hackers who sent strange emails to everyone in my address book.

Then i remembered: I received an email from my boss with a document attached. I opened it, but apparently there was no document. My boss, only minutes later, came through the office to announce he had been hacked and not to open any email from him.

Too late!!

Hackers have broken into my email account used the data to sign up to seemingly multiple vile, smutty websites and then emailed everyone in my address book with messages from this disgusting series of websites.

Has technology moved so far ahead of us that we have lost control? We should be able to stop this rubbish!

Is there an agenda from clever, techno-nerds, to make the internet and computing so difficult for people; so unsafe for people, that we are lured into just giving up?

Or am i just a hopeless dumb-ass bloke, tragically lost in today’s ever more technological world?

Butting Heads with Teenagers

“Don’t come in, you embarrass me!”

The first time you hear this from your teenager it is not uncommon to feel totally wrecked inside. Your little prince or princess is nearly physically grown,but has alot more maturing psychologically and socially.

Teens are so consumed with themselves and how their image is represented; more so these days than 15 or 20 years ago. Magazines, television, movies, music and music videos are screaming at kids to be or look a certain way. It honestly seems cruel that this torrent of conforming – or should I say mis-conforming information – hits teens literally at the same time as they are individuating and establishing their own identity.

As a bloke trying your best to be a good Dad to your son or daughter it can be a really tough road. How much rope do I let my child have? If I am to restrictive will they revolt and stop listening? If I give them too much of the reigns am I guilty of being permissive?

Check out this website which can point you in the right direction. Balance is important. We love our kids and want to be active parents – in their lives rather than just on the sidelines as an observer. Yet we must give them their own space to allow them to grow and learn.

Being a Dad to Teenage Girls

She used to greet you when you came home from work with a hug and would excitedly tell you about her day. Now she scowls at you and calls you weird because you asked how her day has been; what school was like today, what happened in her social life and what made her laugh.

She used to tell you she loved you – and you clearly saw she meant it – but now you can do nothing right for her; she either bursts into tears for no apparent reason, or, tells you she “hates you.”

Welcome to being a still proud Dad to a teenage girl.

She still delights you. Yet now she also frustrates you. You feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster; every four seconds she has a completely different personality.

Dr Ruth A Peters suggests that clever, “gutsy” parenting is the key to getting through with your sanity intact. More importantly, your daughter needs you to stay strong for her, and journey with her as she faces social struggles, feelings of rejection, and self-perception problems.

And as a Dad to a teenage daughter you are likely to hear the dreaded “I’m fat!” Carol Tuttle, author of The Child Whisper, shows parents how they can hang in their, instilling confidence in their daughters as they grow into women.

And, in an everyday blokes world, you as your daughter’s Dad, can make a real difference. Just being their for her is all she’ll ever need when everything is boiled down.

So stay the course, no matter how rough it gets. You already know she’s worth it!

Technology can Annoy You

Imagine you’ve come home, eager to see the latest crazy stuff that is on YouTube – just to kick back and de-stress from what has been a hyper-uncool day. You fire up your favourite, latest tech, laptop with Windows 7 and some really cool stuff on board. Three minutes into it you get the blue screen of death. You run a registry clean, defrag, check for spyware….yada..yada..yada.

Bam!! It happens again.

“Mmmm!” Your thinking. “That’s not cool!!”

Reload. Another go.


“Okay, that’s annoying!!”

So, you decide to give the favourite laptop and YouTube a miss today. You don’t want a stroke and the Blue Screen of Death is pushing your blood pressure into hospitalisation territory. Instead, do something else.

You spy an Xbox 360, that was part of the spoils of winning a sales competition at work.

“Mmm! I’ll give that a go instead,” you think.

You unpack it, set it up and then load the Call of Duty disc into the drive.

“Please re-insert Memory Card.” This time, it’s a White Screen of Death.

You don’t bother with it because you know that no card came with it to install, and you’re not missing anything from the pack. Instead, you look for something else to take away the stresses of the day, as you try to get your BP out of the stroke danger zone.

Just then, you notice the cool and wonderful gift your wife gave you for Christmas. A beautiful Kobo e-Reader on which you now have a tidy sum of eBooks to read.

You fire it up.

“Mmm. All going well,” you say to yourself as it turns on okay and loads the book you are reading.

You read a few pages, then, BAM!!! It freezes.

“Boy, am I a shit magnet today or what?!!” You think, as your apparent luck with technology evaporates and an unwanted stay in the stroke ward of the local hospital seems imminent.

You decide to go for a walk instead, putting ‘page fault in non-page area’ and other such nonsense out of your mind. As you walk the streets of your local neighbourhood you think, “Gee, technology can annoy you!”

Why is it that our society has become exponentially more reliant on technology as it lets us down and is becoming less reliable? Why has no edition of Microsoft Windows after Windows 95, seemingly, been as stable? How can any company release a software update only to have it corrupt and render useless millions of gadgets around the world? And, how can there be fun in gaming machines that can’t even start?

Instead of trying to get everything to market for the cheapest price, at the lowest cost, produced by people who aren’t getting paid anywhere near average weekly earnings in whatever exploited country they live in, why not have a quality revolution. Nothing escapes the factory unless it is built to the highest standard and has been certifiably road-tested. No patch or software upgrade is made live or retailed to the public without having all bugs removed so the software does what it is intended to do. Lets live to a higher standard, not a lower standard!

Okay, I’ll get of the soapbox now. I guess it’s just the frustrations of being a bloke!!