The Problem with Google is?

Many light years ago, in the time of BG (before Google), one lived a hard & carefree existence.

Then, along came Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two travelling salesmen, who came down from their Mountain View with their four coloured offering that did weird and wonderful things to your G spot !

.

In a flash or click of a mouse, the lifestyle of many a writer was changed. No more trips to musty libraries to do research.

Creative content was there for all to peruse.

Joy knew no bounds!

At a mere click of the trusty mouse, one was transported into a nearby galaxy, where one could feast on a unbelievable table spread of offerings.
To content seekers this was like being born again!
If your content was good, strangers held you in awe and soon your humble website was top of the pops, held on high, for all to see.

Joy knew no bounds!

But, there were distant rumblings, for the masters at Google were not satisfied. They employed a quality control person.
This QC person was given the brief of making the ranking beyond reproach.
And from then on, they continually reviewed the world’s website standings, using a little known brew call algorithms.

The word was out!

Only original content would do. There was much gnashing of teeth, but to little avail.
No more could the writer merely cut & paste, with scant regard for plagiarism, that evil practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
The audacity of some writers?

There we were, between this overlord, the beleaguered search engine optimiser and the wish to be recognised.
From that day forth, it was original content or nothing.

Note:
Google (and other search engines) will continue to associate ranking value with specific rules.

For this, we must be eternally grateful.
May the force of these search engines be with you!

Rainy days and Sundays.

As that song by the by Carpenters says, “Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down“. Sadly,  Karen is no longer with us, but her legacy and that of her brother Richard, lives on. Works for some Sundays too.

So what has this got to do with a Sunday? Well, Sundays for me, are meant meant to share with a special friend, preferably in front of a log cabin in the Scottish countryside, with a comforting fire crackling away in the fireplace.

house

This thatched roofed house had such a fireplace. I had it built a lifetime ago & although it has new owners now and the trees have grown tall, with the fence replaced by a decorative wall, it still holds fond memories for me.

Funny how memories are triggered, hey?
One minute you are staring out the window in a distant land, looking at the grey skies and light rain peppering the windows and next you are planning a trip away.

Actually, this house is far away in South Africa.
Braaivleis (Barbecue), sunny skies & rugby are the order of the day.
OK, so maybe not rugby. Our wonderful Springboks are not doing too well this season and if there is any unifying topic that will ‘rile the bile’ of the ardent supporters, it is when the lads are not doing too well!

But I digress?

Back to Sundays, fires and log cabins.

640-log-house
Sundays in a log cabin in Scotland.

Auchterawe, Fort Augustus (near Loch Ness), is some 900 odd miles from where I stay in the South East. Well worth the trip.
Some would go as far as to say that it is soul food for the mind.

Most of all, I love to travel and while I would dearly love to spend more time in Southern Africa, because travel allows you to meet people of visible divergent backgrounds.

In conclusion,  choices need to made. Plans need to be put in place.
Above all, I need to make it plenty of fun.

 

Ten things to organize your twenty-four hour day?

“I just don’t have enough time!” is the most heard frustrated cry heard reverberating off the walls of many a household or business office.

“Improve your ‘Time Management’ comes the rallying call “?

So, without much further ado, let’s get you writing your Time Management check list. (Note 1).

1. Learn to be assertive – “you have the right to say NO !”
2. Maximize your sleep – you are pretty useless when you are ‘muggy’. A good restorative 6 hours.
3. From the 24 hour day, subtract the sleep, eating, washing & any other repetitive household activities – say 4 hours?
4. Now with the remaining 14 hours, make your list that will use these 14 hours most productively. I suggest no more than 10-12.
5. Add the letters M, A & N to those that you feel would be better done in the Morning, Afternoon & Night.
6. Then consider in which order each of the morning, afternoon & night-time should be done. Prioritize.
7. Allocate the amount of time to each activity. Be realistic.
8. Design, print & display weekly schedule. (5 or 7 day week?)
http://www.calendarpedia.com/download/weekly-schedule/weekly-schedule-monday-to-friday-in-color.pdf
9. Focus – multitasking can be distracting?
10. Weekend reflection – “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”(Bill Gates) Reflection should be a daily practice but the weekends are a perfect opportunity to step back and reflect on the lessons of the previous week and to make improvements for the next. (Emma Rushton)

Gopi Kallayil’s list:

time1

Gopi Kallayil is the Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing at Google. An avid yoga practitioner, triathlete, global traveler, and Burning Man devotee, he has spoken at TEDx, Yoga Journal LIVE!, and Wisdom 2.0. Gopi’s recent book, The Internet to the Inner-net, is available in bookstores and online.
More ….

If you look at some of the top entrepreneurs, You will discover the one common thread is that they all ‘delegate’.
Now that’s all good & well for those that have become rich & famous & pretty obvious.
But how does a one person budding entrepreneur achieve that status?

You could research a lot, choosing from those entrepreneurs you hold in high esteem & do what they have done.
Or you could draw up your own Time Management action plan & put it into practice, allowing room for monitoring it for a period of time.
Then make it a habit ! Like getting dressed for success each day, unless you want to continue being a slob?

Note 1.
How to start a decent
 Time Management check list. Click here.

Through the Eyes of an Artist.

In September 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Duncan Shoesmith, artist, at a function in Port Shepstone, KwaZuluNatal – South Africa.

These are a selection of his amazing works, he is going to exhibit for the Oribi Farmer’s Market on 16th, 17th and 18th December2016.

Map of Area

1 Jim, Girl in Dreams, Jim, Jim

1-jim-girl-in-dreams-jim-jim

2 Footprints at sunrise, Elvis, Marilyn

2-footprints-at-sunrise-elvis-marilyn

3. Oribi Gorge, Sardine run, Autumn leaves

3-oribi-gorge-sardine-run-autumn-leaves

4. Harvestine, Oslo Beach

4-harvestine-oslo-beach

5. Leopard in Ambush, Zebra’s at Oribi Gorge

5-leopard-in-ambush-zebras-at-oribi-gorge

6. Surfer’s corner – Muizenberg

6-surfers-corner-muizenberg

How to Contact Duncan:
Tel: 083 2361375 or 039 6876004
Email: duncan.shoesmith@gmail.com

Whether it is to view his paintings, purchase or to a commission a painting, this is going to be a fun day’s outing! Travel safely.

A New Night Before Christmas.

Please don’t go Daddy” pleaded Sam to her father, with that look on her face.

Sam was our second child and part of their amazing family package of four.

She, Samantha, had been specially delivered by a paramedic colleague three years ago without warning, whilst Terry and Angela were at a birthday party.

I looked across the dinner table at my wife for some assistance. Getting this problem solved was going to take the expertize of ‘The Boss’.
But Angela merely shrugged her shoulders and started clearing the dishes away.

Thanks a whole heap, thought Terry, as he watched his wife head to the kitchen.
How does one explain shift work to a three year old?

Do you remember what Daddy’s job is?”
Yeth” lisped Sam. “You’re a Paddymedic”
That’s correct, Munchins”

Terry smiled inwardly at his daughter’s description.

Sometimes Daddy has to work at night to help the doctors & the hospitals”

Sam slid off her chair and came to stand in front of her father, hands on hips and a determined frown on her face.

But it is the night before Christmas, Daddy”
I know it is hard for you to understand, Sam”
But why?”

James, their ten year, sat at the other end of the table, listening with a quizzical look.
Sam was starting to dig in and was not having any of it.
Terry looked across at the wall clock, time to nip this in the bud if he was to get to the station by eight.
Angela had returned from loading the dishwasher.

Come now Samantha” using her ‘Don’t mess with Mommy’ voice.
Time to kiss Daddy goodnight & for you to get upstairs and into bed!”

Sam gave a huge sigh, turned away from me and headed for the stairs.
Will someone just rip my heart out, thought Terry?

Just one moment, young Lady” admonished Angela.
You have forgotten to give this to Daddy”

And with that, Angela opened her hand and showed Sam the Badge.
Sam’s eyes became a large as dinner plates. She squealed with amazement and joy!
Off in a flash, she retraced her steps to her father.

“Here Daddy, you nearly forgot your ‘Santa’s Badge!”

Terry solemnly pinned the Santa Helper badge to the front of his jacket and smiled gratefully at his wife.

Quick, Daddy, you must not be late for work!” advised Sam.
Santa will will be very cross if you are”.

Mission accomplished. Terry gave his two favourite ladies a big hug and headed for the door
Santa’s Helper had work to do?

Lord Mayor of London’s dinner dates.

Key media events

Each year in November, The Lord Mayor of London has a banquet, normally after the LM of L’s Show.
This is the last of 16 events during the year.

http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/the-lord-mayor/Pages/key-events.aspx

Although there is no doubt about the importance of such events, the pomp & ceremony that promote London to the world, I could not pause to think about all the children in the UK, that go to school hungry each and every day?

So, how much do you you think that these functions cost?
Well, I had the temerity to ask this very question of the Administrator and Project Co-ordinator at Mansion House.
The answer – “These events are funded privately, so I am afraid we are not able to give you any information”.

So, there we go. A bang up meal for all those in their glad rags with even the PM giving a speech on behalf of the government, about her plan for how Britain can lead in the transformed modern world.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/thousands-children-starting-school-hungry-malnourished-underweight-mps-warn-a6985321.html

Let’s hope that after this transformation, there are a few extra pennies for the UK children?

What do FT, PT & DT have in common ?

Apart from self care, time management is a close second when it comes to being successful.

 

The road to success.
The road to success.

Some of the most successful people I know, apply these three things in their daily lives.
FT = Fun Time
PT = Productive Time
DT = Domestic Time
And together they develop a good SCT (Self Care Time) lifestyle.

It is not too important in what order these are actioned, but a matter of personal choice.  One may feel that things at home, around the house need to be done first, followed by some fun time and then on to productive time.

Now what would you call ‘Fun Time’?
Fun is doing something that you really enjoy, adding value to your life. You really appreciate doing it and something that gets your engine revving again.
It must, above all else, lift your spirits and give you a positive emotional experience.

‘Productive Time’ or some call it proactive time, making things happen?
But it is not the quantity of what one is doing during a given period of time, but the quality which generates the most change or reaction.
Most people chill out after some fun time, by going for a walk before engaging in the productive part of their day.
Tip – Manage yourself first by developing & selecting sound habits.

Domestic Time, or what some refer to as ‘Drudge Time’?
Do you reach that time of the day when you sigh with relief and collapse into a chair, wishing fervently, that someone would bring you a cup of tea?
But this period of time is important time. It is the glue that holds the rest of the day’s time together.
It is like ‘check-in’ time for the day’s flight. Well planned activities will ensure that you get to the next stage well rested & raring to go.
Tip – put some clothes on before rushing out to fetch the morning newspaper !

Finally, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Do You have a well oiled time machine?

 

The GrandPa called ‘BoomPa’?

Some months ago, while talking on Facebook about how I missed South Africa and specifically my daughter & her family, something very strange yet wondrous took place.
No, it was not the 8th wonder of the world, but something just as powerful.

Some people got together to encourage me to jump on a plane and visit. Led by my niece, a close friend and a host of supporters, they started a collection. Crazy lot!

To tell the truth, at first I was overwhelmed and more than a  little embarrassed. I just could not get my head around that it was fast becoming the time of simply boarding a plane and getting there?

Well, after much arm twisting and lots of frantic planning, the 7th September soon arrived and I was winging my way to Johannesburg. I think I bored a lot of fellow passengers with my talk of this exciting trip. So what, Grandfathers are suppose to do this , right? Right!

Frantic planning?
There were 3 main goals. One, get to the  Port Shepstone High School Reunion on the 10th September.
Two, Visit & spend time with Grandsons in Pringle Bay and Three, observe & absorb as much of South Africa as possible during the period that I was there.
Did I achieve all I wanted too in 25 days? I believe so. (O.K. there were a few grumpy moments along the way).

PSHS                                    Some of us                         Mementos
pshs 2016-now 2016-10-24-09-26-51

The Saturday started with a tour of the school, with the current Headmaster, Mr. Peter Jenkins, doing a wonderful running commentary of the facilities & achievements. I spent a bit of time with him, discussing the school and what the future holds for the students. Ended up being left behind by the rest & he kindly drove me through to the Port Shepstone Country Club, where lunch had been organised.

 PS Country Club           Excellent menu                Occasional ‘dop’
 14333165_1658556027793833_5020458763263452677_n  14265092_1658555931127176_1615417258769106006_n

During my visit to Port Shepstone, my accommodation was provided by http://www.lomboklodge.co.za/ B&B in SeaPark.
Quite divine.

Then Back to Durban & on to Cape Town, to meet & greet some family members.
One of the co-conspirators of this trip, Cathy was on hand to spoil me rotten, with trips around the city and a get together at http://www.piratessteakhouse.co.za

Mad CPT Family            Hout Bay               Chapman’s Peake Drive Toll ?14344177_10153704185222163_6108642404809386435_n  2016-09-15-11-37-47  cpd-toll

 C P Drive –   http://www.chapmanspeakdrive.co.za/the-drive/history.html

in Hout Bay I stayed at http://www.tarragona.co.za/

Other than Pringle Bay, this would be a grand place to live. Has grown somewhat since the Republic of Hout Bay days?
But sadly, Cathy’s limo service came to an end when she delivered me to the Plant (Vegan) Restaurant.

2 Grandsons                      3 Flavours B&B              Peace & quiet
bar3 3flavours 2016-09-17-06-53-33

And then I moved into Pringle Bay to be more central.
Stayed the remaining 2 weeks at the ‘Pringle Mingle’

2016-09-20-16-24-36

My, did those two weeks fly by. Apart from the wonderful time spent with my family, I also met some amazing people in Pringle Bay. Far too many to mention all here.

Many photos were taken. Here are one or three, with the rest found on Facebook.

2016-09-30-14-53-10 2016-09-21-13-47-11 2016-09-17-10-50-40

2016-09-30-12-07-30 2016-09-30-12-47-20 2016-09-30-12-39-05

2016-10-01-08-41-13 2016-10-01-09-59-53 2016-10-01-10-52-41

Soon, it was time to take me back to Cape Town & on to the airport for my connecting flight to Johannesburg and on to London.
One last look at the family in the Company Gardens in Cape Town, with Table mountain looking down.

 

Pass the Kleenex?

Click To Tweet

Self Hosted Blog with WordPress is pure Happiness.

Most times you will find me typing away on Scrivener, or adding another entry on this Blog. But the most rewarding times are the ones spent helping others set-up their own Self Hosted WordPress Blog.

The initial stages are perhaps the most exciting & frustrating times.
First you have an idea or reason why you want to Blog. You then proceed to choose a name for your Self Hosted Blog site. But low & behold, that Domain Name has already been taken – RATS!
Reminds you of when you were selecting an email account, only to discover there is another Harry NumbNuts?

Enjoy the selection process.

Next steps is finding a Hosting Company that will support you during this journey into your creative world. The one I choose has been good for me, but it is your money & your choice.
They will help you set-up your WordPress site & put ‘it’ on line.

Now is an important step. Selecting a ‘Theme’ for your WordPress Blog site & please make sure that the Theme chosen is a ‘Responsive’ theme! That is one that looks good (and works well) on all types of computer products, from Desktops to Laptops, to Tablets and Smartphones.

Now before you rush off & post you first blog page, you should do a bit of research on ‘Plug-Ins’. These are little essential add-ins to your site that will keep your blog site safe & smiling.
For example – UpDraft – which will take care of the ‘Backups’.
Most of them are free to install with premium versions should you want a bit more.

By now you will be frantic to publish your first Blog post? Well, go for it and while you are at it, have a look around that first entry page . Learn more about ‘Categories’ & Tags (on the right hand side?)

Have fun & enjoy your journey & if you experience a few hiccups along the way, drop me a line and I will try & get back to you ASAP.

Still very confusing?

In the run up to the EU referendum, we heard some interesting facts, figures & assumptions from both the Remain & the Brexit groups.
Both were sure of their case & assured doubters that hell & damnation would follow, if one voted one way or the other.
Both were adamant that, in their opinion, their ideas were for the future of the country & that of the children & even the children’s children.

Well, we all know the outcome (no pun intended) and here we are.
It appears the ‘oldies’ voted out while the young’uns voted in.
Post referendum comments appear to say the oldies are satisfied while the young’uns are totally P’d off!

Go figure?

The country as a whole are saying now let’s get on with it, while even those citizens that emigrated to other countries are saying it was the best thing to happen since sliced bread.
Locally some are saying let’s approach the changes in a slow thoughtful way. Perhaps they should have done that before voting?
Of course, Jean-Claude baby has thrown his lollipop out the window. At first he said there would be no further negotiations, but now says let’s get these exit negotiations over with as quickly as possible. He says this is going to be a ‘messy divorce’?

Go figure?

And finally (is there ever going to be some finality?), there is this Article 50 thing.
I don’t remember anyone mentioning it during the run up, but maybe I was not listening properly? Did you?
Oh, one more thing. Some are calling for another Bank Holiday & that it should be named Independence Day.
After some 16 odd years of being here, I still haven’t quite got the hang of the British sense of humour.