Saturday, October 23, 2010

Urban Piranhas

I have fish as pets. I would love to have a dog or cat as well, however I just wouldn’t have time to take care of them properly. Personally I don’t believe that is fair on the animals. Taking care of myself is a big enough chore. The beauty of fish as pets is that they require very little of your time. Can’t feed them for a couple of days ? No problem. They will still be alive and healthy when you get back to them. People always under estimate how hardy fish really are. They are like underwater cockroaches. As long as you have a few basics right they will live their happy aquatic cockroach existance for many years.

Now I better explain that mine is not your average small household tank, neither are the fish. The tank is a decent size. 6 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot. The inhabitants are not little guppies either. The biggest is about the length of my forearm.

Occasionally you do have to clean their home. These aqua roaches are not domesticated. Like all animals, fish have their own personalities. One of mine has come to the conclusion that trying to pull out my arm hairs when I am cleaning his domicile is a really fun game. It is very disconcerting when you don’t see him coming. Cleaning the tank today the little bugger got me multiple times. The problem is that every time I jump. I just can’t help it. As far as I am concerned this is a natural reaction. It has been passed down from our forefathers, way back from when they had to dodge giant piranhas and other evil species that could strip the flesh from your bones before you could say ugg.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Remember this from school science class ? In this case that means copious amounts of water fly out of the tank at high velocity every time I involuntry jump and jerk my arm. The area around my tank soon takes on the look of a water amusement park. There is water running down the walls and dripping from the ceiling. For a little while there was even a mini water fall running over the edge of the step. I kept expecting Kevin Costner, complete with a set of gills, to come sailing in on a makeshift boat.

At least it is done now. The beauty of my set up is that I don’t have to worry about it for another three months or so. By that time I will have forgotten just how bad it is. Now I better go remove the lake from the middle of my house before a family of ducks decide to move in.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Hard Road

People say life is a journey and that we choose which roads we travel. Personally I have travelled many, changing professions more than once, as well as where I live and the people I know. Today however I want to talk about a section of road that I decided to travel along one year ago.

One year and three weeks ago I had never owned a computer. One year and two weeks ago I purchased my first computer, a cheap laptop. One year ago today, I signed up to the print on demand site zazzle and started to teach myself graphic art and design. I saw what the site could offer and with no experience or skill, optimistically thought - Yeah, I can do that.

Today is my first anniversary as a zazzler.

Not surprisingly, it has not been the easiest of journeys. My first forays were, well lets face facts, they were terrible. Never having done anything like this before I made plenty of mistakes. The upside is that for the last few months I have been fairly consistently completing designs that I am happy with. Even better is the fact that people are buying them. There is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that somebody thought that your work was so good that they had to own it.

In the past year I have learned so much, met a lot of great people and my friends now ask me for computer advice. Just over a year ago I never thought any of that would ever be possible. I was a technological neanderthal.

I certainly do not want to look back at the road that I have travelled to get to this point. I can imagine the carnage that I have left behind and that is something that nobody should have to look at. I prefer to always look forwards. Unfortunately the sun is shining in my eyes so there is no way of knowing if the road ahead is straight or curved. The best thing is to just keep moving forward slowly in the knowledge that at least the way is bright in that direction.

This whole point of this post has just been to give a little insight into why this last bit of it is so important.

I would like to publicy thank all the people that have helped me along the way. Putting up with my dumb noob questions and mistakes, giving me encouragement and helping to promote my work.

A massive thankyou to you all. You know who you are.
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