What is it about product or service that makes it different? In fifteen words or less.

The ability to not fit into any particular category and yet freely communicate with all.

I am an incongruous bastard. Skirting the peripheries and hearing all the juicy bits.

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You’re a F@#king Weirdo

weird·o n. pl. weird·oes Slang

1. A person regarded as being very strange or eccentric.2. A deranged, potentially dangerous person.The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

weirdo weirdie

noun eccentric, nut (slang), freak (informal), flake (slang, chiefly U.S.), crank (informal), loony (slang), nutter (Brit. slang), oddball (informal), crackpot (informal), nutcase (slang), headcase (informal), headbanger (informal), queer fish (Brit. informal) All the other kids at school thought I was a weirdo.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language

Are you? How do you react when someone calls you a weirdo?

Until searching for the definition I wasn’t aware the word had such negative connotations. If you hear something often enough it loses its edge becomes normal and accepted, which seems to have happened here. The word just comes through as vanilla. I could at this point break into any one of a thousand stories all about weirdness.  My weirdness. Although it has been called eccentricity a few times too. This seems somewhat more dignified and befitting as I get older, kind of like how grey hairs give some men bearing.

dignified

You are a fucking weirdo. Thanks for that. Ever so pleased that you had this opportunity to share with me your thoughts on my personality and general humanity.  There is a rage, seething just below the surface, it carries sharp edged weapons and other devices for inflicting harm. It is OK though, this rage is contained, kept inside a little pouch. Rage with the safety on.  By no means is this rage carried as an implicit threat against any others person. That’s not the reason it is still carried. It is fuel. Picture iron man’s arc reactor.

he man

Anger if left to its own devices will always destroy.  Harnessed it can move mountains, part oceans and heal the sick. This seems a far more productive path on which to tread.

So go ahead and call some one a weirdo today, it’s such a nice thing to do.

What would you say?

We all have a wise person in our lives who said, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say then do not say anything at all”.  Let us expand on this very sound piece of advice to read, “If you haven’t got any thing of value to say then do not say anything at all”.  I will venture that it is nigh on impossible to get any two people to arrive at a consensus and agree what is of value. Of value to whom?
Can we say, for simplicity’s sake, that any random words set forth will eventually settle in a place wherein someone would find value in them. So to follow this logic means that whatever we say has some value, correct? Then let us throw open the shutters and stand before an open window shouting whatever we please. Oh wait, silly me, that’s what Facebook is for.  Facebook and the plethora of other platforms the world wide web gives us.

 

I would like you to come with me, here take my hand. We shall stroll over yonder, it’s not far, and we shall find a stage.  Step through these curtains, OK yes you may peek first if it pleases you. But please verify that there is no audience.  That’s right you have the entire stage to yourself.  Go forth and take your place front and centre, sans spotlight (this thing is already dramatic enough).

What is it that you would like to say? You may say or do whatever you please, go ahead, the acoustics are wonderful. You have the floor, uncontested but no audience.

What would you say if you knew no one was listening?

 

Too many times I’ve seen the things I wrote get screwed up and thrown in the bin. A summary of the last couple of weeks.

It has been awhile. A couple of weeks, maybe more. My routine has shifted. Many aborted attempts. Even now the words come staccato. Watching as entire paragraphs get erased before my eyes, just who is pressing the delete key? Me.

So, as the title states this is a summary. A catch up of sorts.

1. My nephews school concert.

Sat rapt. Left with sore cheeks. Smiled with gusto the entire show. Watched not the concert as a whole but a hundred solo performances. Some of the kids up there, in there loving each and every moment. Others awkward, unsure, and yet they pushed on and made it to the part of the show in which they all starred. The final applause. We clapped and they bowed and we all smiled.

2. I shot my dog.

Came home from work to be told that my Macy had killed one of my neighbors calves. Blood everywhere. A savage attack.  Lost for words I knew what needed to be done. We went for a walk. As always she keeping one eye on me seeking permission to run free. Not yet girl. We found the herd and I gave her a nod. Off she went, straight for them. Bark, snap, cow bucks, dog runs. Try this one, same result, maybe this one? I knew what had to be done. Home we walked, she right by my side.  Found the calf.  She sniffed and so did I.  One final walk, one last pat. Good girl, sit. Good girl.

3. New Work.

Ever in self promotion mode and carrying photos of my work, I met a lady who passed on my details to a friend of hers who runs a sculpture exhibition in he winery.  I am producing 2 and have reservations for a third work for the show.  I had forgotten how much I like to craft every aspect of the work. Dramatic promotional shots (see above), long winded titles for my work (never, ever, ever – untitled) and third person blurbs about the artist that are slightly unhinged and almost nonsensical.

 

A very dirty boy.

The construction industry, which is were I earn the bread and butter for my family, is going through a rough patch. Economic uncertainty, carbon-tax, normal end of financial year slow down among other factors have contributed to this. As a result I, along with hundreds of others was retrenched due to lack of work.  I have have managed to find work, several jobs in fact, over the past six months, steel-fixer/concreting/form-worker/pipe-fitter/farm-hand/machine operator.  All of which have been temporary, contracted to perform a specific task. One such contract was for two days but I ended up with six weeks work. How? Whenever I finished one task I quickly found more work that needed to be done even if it was not in my “scope of work”. The foreman approached me and told me to keep coming in until further notice. One day he asked me if I could assemble a network of pipes and valves. My reply? “Sure”. Now this was being a bit liberal with the truth, yes I can read plans and can use a spanner, but assembling all of this from scratch? It was a bit of a stretch but as you can see below it all came together.

I not writing about this to tell you all what a clever boy I am but to share with you some thoughts about being self-reliant.

self-reliance

n

reliance on one’s own abilities, decisions, etc.

self-reliant  adj
self-reliantly  adv

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins

When searching for further explanations and others thoughts on the notion of self-reliance you will find lots of rhetoric about standing on your own, not being anyone’s bitch (OK they probably don’t say exactly that) and relying on ones own resources rather than those of others. All of which is cool with me. I am all for it and pretty much live my life that way.

So you understand your own skill set, your tool-box, your strengths and weaknesses and you can use them to move through life. Relying not on others but yourself as master of your own destiny.

I have a question. “If, when faced with a problem that you realise is far beyond you, you seek help does this mean that you are not being self-reliant?

I have an answer too.

In your tool box you have a favorite hammer(or whatever tool you wish it is a symbol for what you excel at. Everyone has something they just rock at) this hammer has gotten you through all kinds of problems, but now you need to undo a nut. Bash it with your hammer and you will wreck the nut, no two ways about it, your hammer won’t work. So you understand you limitations and having prepared for such an eventuality, you have in your tool-box a very special tool.

That tool is a network of friends, family and associates. Now rather than just asking for help or paying someone to fix said problem you go on a journey with that person, you labour for them, pass them a screw driver, clean the grease off, do all the little things all the while learning a new skill, casting a new tool.  Displaying adaptability and remaining self-reliant.

While not exactly on topic this video I found of Mike Rowe and his speech to congress, contains a message that is gold. Enjoy your day.

 

 

Shed Work.

Had a big day in the shed yesterday. Spent the day developing and designing some jigs to help speed up the process while still allowing for uniqueness. Worked all morning only to come back after lunch to redo everything.  Allot was learned in the process. I ended up with some good work.  When all that was done I thought it was high time for a play and had a go at a rams head for the first time.  How do you think it came out?

My Dad came down from Melbourne and turned me up this handle on his lathe. Turned (ha!) out great. Has anyone seen wooden handles on fire pokers before?

The pleasures and sorrows of work.

Some people love their work. Lucky? Maybe but more than likely they worked hard and made many sacrifices to get where they are. I tip my hat to them.

Am I one? No. But I am working hard and making sacrifices in order to join those ranks. It is a slog, a daily grind and constant battle. My swords are sharp, I have faith and see glimmers of light flickering on the horizon. I will get there.

How about you? Do you bounce out of bed each morning full of energy for the day ahead? Or do you trudge slowly down the road, head bowed? For those of you who identify with the former, go on you good thing. For those who are more inclined to identify with the latter this is for you.

5 reasons to love your job.

  1. You have a job. This means you can pay your bills, keep a roof over your head and feed your family.
  2. You have a job. This provides you with many opportunities to learn new skills. Look for them.
  3. You have a job. Some don’t. Think about how you would achieve #1 if you were unemployed.
  4. You have a job. As much as it chaffs us to think about our hard earned money being taxed to support those “dole bludgers and welfare cheats. You also support sick kids in hospital, provide shelter to those in real need, pay the wages of those who protect and look after us. Nurses, police, firefighters, Ambulance officers.  The list go on and on. Teachers: shouldn’t forget them. Sorry to those I missed please add in comments.
  5. You have a job. You are a road warrior. The tools of your trade slung proudly over your shoulder. Marching off to work with your chin held high. You are a warrior. Go you good thing.

All due respect and credit is to be given to Alain de Botton who wrote the book whose title I used for this post.  A great book well worth a read.

Be careful what you wish for.

While studying at university (Visual Arts) we used to have these things called group reviews. I think they were about once a month. Where the whole year level (about 15-20 students, not a big uni, no) would take turns presenting their work and receiving critique, comments and questions from the group and lecturers.  I was the common feeling that these were days to dread. But not I. Being the incongruous bastard that I am, I loved and looked forward to them.

Who would like to go first?  Group would recede pressing themselves into their seats. I would jump out of my seat, as happy as Larry and full of beans. It wasn’t displaying my work that got me all excited (I do tend to get excited like a child, hey it’s fun) it was what came next. The critique. A chance to verbally spar with my peers, be challenged, picked apart it was intellectual battle. It was why I went to university, and that is an rant all of its own.

I quickly learnt after a couple of these group reviews that this was not to be. Everybody was quick with the platitudes, scathing critique, no were to be seen. Everyone was so nice and lovely and there were fluffy bunny’s that hopped about through fresh green grass spotted with rainbows and candy canes.  It was not war but a love fest.

So I changed tack, that’s right readers, I displayed some fucking adaptability. (If you missed an earlier post that’s my favorite quote from my favorite book so I do like to use it) I decided to go last and all day long would ask most awkward questions(this spun off into an entire semesters work and yes I am bracket crazy today)I could think of.  Challenging my peers in hope that by the end of the day they would collectively think “stuff this bloke, let’s hammer him”. But no, nothing, narda, nix.

When I queried my mentoring lecturer about this, I received a question in response. Why are all your ideas wrapped up so tight and why are you in such a hurry? BAM!!!!! Knocked me flat on my arse. I didn’t have an answer to this. I had nothing, narda, nix.  I staged a tactical retreat and nursed my wounds, thinking and thinking and thinking. Stumped. Was for years.

Until the other day.

Ideas wrapped up so tight?

I spend a great deal of time preparing my work and my thoughts about it. Researching and doing my homework. Stepping outside myself to probe my own work for holes and gain an objective view. All this results in ideas that are well formed and considered. Ideas being wrapped up tight seems to have a negative connotation. This was an excellent question.

Why am I in such a hurry?

Because the clock is ticking, the world is spinning and time waits for no man (or woman). I don’t have all the time in the world, could have yes, but may be dead tomorrow. So if I piss today up the wall maybe I don’t get tomorrow.  Yes yes, by all means make time to smell the roses, stop and ponder things and enjoy the beauty of a sunrise, but get moving again and keep the ball rolling.

 

…………….Flash!…..he saved every one of us!

Inspiration.

Allot of people speak about inspiration. Being inspired into action, looking for inspiration, waiting to be inspired. Seeking inspiration by going to galleries and museums, through travel, seeing the landscape and meeting the people. Just to name a few.

Don’t.

Don’t look for inspiration.  Look to inspire.

Be inspiring.

That is not to say you should walk around with your head stuck up your arse, blind to the world around you.  That’s just silly (and smelly). Soak up your surroundings, digest them. But more importantly ask yourself what are you doing, who is watching you, how can your actions inspire those around you.

We need people to inspire us but if every one is looking elsewhere, who will be inspiring? Be that person. Be someones inspiration. Be that firecracker that is shoved under someones seat.

Think.

Act.

Inspire.