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Spring Break

March 26th, 2009  · stk

Alex goes to Vancouver for Spring Break 2009! Alex visited maternal grandparents for a week of fun, most of which has been captured in this online scrap book (Thanks Gran!)

Alex has a "Whale" of a Time in Vancouver!

I still have to pinch myself at the fact that Alex is in school! She's finished her 2nd (of 3) kindergarten terms and did very well on her report card, by the way. (Alex "meets expectations" or "exceeds expectations" in all 42 of the development metrics and improved over her first term marks in 7 of them.)

Yay Alex! (Congratulations and high-five's all 'round for our "Oop"!)

For her week-long Spring break, Rachel ferried Alex over to the mainland, so that she could spend a week with her maternal grandparents. Rachel returned after a couple days and we were "kid-less" for the better part of a week! (Not that we really took advantage of it, but we did note how clean the house stayed and - sadly - how quiet it was in her absence. On the plus side, we did enjoy a few "pub dinners" and even had a lunch-date at a sushi restaurant, so mom and dad enjoyed some "quality time" for ourselves.

Alex was kept very busy in Vancouver and even kept a journal of her activities! ("Thanks Gran and grandpa for taking good care of me! I had lots of fun and I especially liked making the scrap book," said Alex, adding, "Well, Dad said to say the bit about the scrap book, but I did have fun making it - really!")

To see what the Oop was up to on her Spring break ... read on ...

Alex's Spring Break Journal

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Updated: 21-Aug-2012
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Mother of All Mashups

March 16th, 2009  · stk

I have John of wow-factor.com to thank for turning me on to an amazing mashup of music by an Israeli named "Kutiman". Kutiman has mixed a variety of disparate YouTube videos, creating amazing new music. Rarely does something cross my desk that astounds me. This did.

Israeli Musician "Kutiman" Mixes YouTube Videos to Make a New Vibe

Every once in a while, you run across something on the Internet that blows your socks off and redefines your very understanding of the world. So it was for me, when my Australian mate turned me onto Thru-You, an online album of recycled YouTube music.

"Wow," Scott said, replaying the music again and again, in an effort to digest and fully comprehend the creative genius at work.

"The vision, patience, technical and musical knowledge that's required [to pull together unrelated YouTube videos and mix them into a completely new sound] is just astounding," Scott claimed, upon watching (and hearing) "The Mother of All Funk Chords", which is the first of seven songs contained in this online album.

See if you agree. Watch Kutiman's YouTube mix and learn more about the controversy that it created!

Listen & Watch in Amazement

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Updated: 21-Mar-2009
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Island Caretaker Job

February 12th, 2009  · stk

Scott's application for the Tourism Queensland "Island Caretaker" position has been approved and is available for viewing. He's made a quick, holding post on the main blog, with the link. Check it out, if you haven't already. Check it out AGAIN ... if you have!

Queensland Tourism Seeks "Island Caretaker"

You probably heard about this amazing offer during the weather segment of your local news. The weatherman said something like, "How would you like a 'dream job'? Tourism Queensland, is hiring a 'caretaker' for the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. It's billed as 'The Best Job in the World'. The successful candidate will live on Hamilton Island for six-months and must be willing to explore the other Great Barrier Reef Islands. The only catch: you must report back on your adventures to a global audience (via weekly blog updates, photo diaries and video snippets).

For consideration of their duties, the successful job applicant is paid $150K (AUS) for their six-months of work, provided with airfare and travel insurance, and will live in a 3-bedroom, ocean-view home (complete with swimming pool, golf cart and a computer with the latest video equipment).

Wow!

 

Scott's "Island Caretaker" Video Approved

It took Rachel thirty minutes to convince Scott that he should apply for the position. After that, it's been "Island Caretaker" nearly 24/7, as he drafted a storyboard for his 60-second video application, re-drafted it, watched competing videos and then finally taped his own, which he uploaded on February 7th. Approximately five days later, he received word that his application had been accepted and was "live" on the IslandReefJob.com website.

Watch the Video!

Scott then told as many friends, family, acquaintences and - embarrassingly enough - complete strangers about his quest to win the job. He'd tell people to, "View my video every day, vote for it twice a day and spread the link around - like you would spread manure!"

Kind of a crappy analogy, don't you think? We did.

Use the mini-menu below to read through a variety of front-page topics about Scott's "Island Caretaker" application. Head to the "latest news" section, to see all the gory detail. (We did warn you that Scott has been living 'down under', from 'way up top' - which has been, for the rest of the family - a little 'over the top'!) :p

 

"Island Caretaker" Pages
Front Page: (Video Accepted)
Video: Scott's Island Caretaker Application
Video Bloopers: Wry on awry
Deeper Meaning: Hidden Info & PZ3 Demo

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The Best Job in the World

January 17th, 2009  · stk

I've been so busy with my application for "The Best Job in the World" that I never posted my original article on it. Well ... now that my application video is submitted, I finally got around to finishing the article. Good background information, but old-hat to anyone already following along

"Caretaker" of the Australian Great Barrier Reef Islands

Tourism Queensland, in Australia, has hit a gold mine with their recent "Best Job in the World" campaign.

Timing for the campaign, which aims to promote Queensland's Great Barrier Reef Islands, couldn't be better. It was launched on Jan 12th, in the dead of winter for the northern hemisphere and on the heels of a tremendous downturn in the global economy.

If you haven't heard about it on your local news (weather segment, most likely), Tourism Queensland is looking to hire someone to be "caretaker" of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. It's billed as "The Best Job in the World". The successful candidate will live on Hamilton Island for six-months and must be willing to explore the other Great Barrier Reef Islands. The only catch: you must report back on your adventures to a global audience (via weekly blog updates, photo diaries and video snippets).

"They'll also have to talk to the media from time to time about what they're doing," says Anthony Hayes, CEO of Tourism Queensland.

Upping the ante even more, the successful job applicant is paid $150k for their six-month job and is provided a 3-bedroom, ocean-view home (which comes with some other perks, such as a golf cart, computer and video equipment).

(Ewe ... sounds rough, doesn't it?)

If you think you're up to the task, just head to www.islandreefjob.com and submit your application. They must include a 60-second video (saying why your the best candidate), photo and contact details. The application deadline is currently February 22, 2009, but Tourism Queensland reserves the right to move it forward, once 30,000 applications have been received.

That may happen, as the promotional campaign has been very successful. Interest in the job overwhelmed the site's servers, shortly after the job was announced and Tourism Queensland had to scramble and add additional equipment to handle the web traffic.

I estimate that about 3,500 applications have been received, thus far.

Of course, this begs the question: "Will Scott or Rachel throw their name into the hat?"

Chucking a Canadian Snowball into the Australian Sun

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Updated: 13-Feb-2011
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Ghost in the Machine

January 9th, 2009  · stk

For the second time in five years, my computer bit the dust. This time, however, armed with a "Ghosted" image of my operating system, it was a snap to start over with a clean install of Win XP Home Edition. Learn how Norton Ghost can allow you to laugh at viruses, corrupted system files, driver problems, malware and software conflict. Reimage your system drive in 10 minutes flat.

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A new computer is a bit like the attic in a new home - shiny, clean and empty. You are happy. You begin to fill it with your belongings and life is good.

As time passes, you store more items into your now, not-as-new attic. Finding things becomes more difficult. The attic is filling up and you're running out of storage space. Bugs, water leaks, the kids and other things are randomly damaging some of the items you've stored. Tools and appliances no longer function properly when you pull them from storage and try to use them.

"It worked last time," you think, "What happened?" Frustrated, you throw the item away, go down to the store and buy a newer version, perhaps by a different manufacturer. At least this new one works.

More time goes by. You take a Saturday and instead of having fun playing with your family, or going golfing, you spend the entire day cleaning the attic and organizing it. You throw away some items, reorganize contents of boxes, re-label others and generally shuffle things about. You feel good about it, in the end, and the result is that the attic functions better.

More time trickles by and you now realize that the attic is getting cluttered again. You think, "Didn't I give up a weekend to organize it, not so long ago?" Discouraged, you devote another weekend. Soon, "organizing the attic" becomes a regular, unwanted and unrewarding chore.

"Couldn't I just throw this out?" you ask yourself, looking at some loose parts to the dim light. "Better not, they might be an important part of a favorite game, useful tool or something. I might need it later."

Bugs, dust, mildew and chaos creep into your, now old, attic. You pull out your hair. The attic isn't even much good for storage anymore. It's messy, you can't find stuff and you can barely walk around. Most of what you pull out, no longer functions properly. Aaargh!

You realize you need to start over and you fantasize about a new, clean storage space. "Wouldn't a clean, new attic, filled with things like my (now old, moth-eaten) vinyl record collection, be great? (Since it's your fantasy, the record albums aren't old any more, they're in the same condition they were when you first stored them).

This scenario may be a fantasy for your attic, but it can be reality for your - similarly afflicted - computer.

Unlike your attic, you can start over with your computer's operating system. Just like it was 'brand new'. Remember? Bug-free, clean and functioning? Better still, you can also have spanking new copies of the programs you use, the settings you've tweaked, your bookmarked favorites, special fonts, treasured pictures, important documents and other precious data.

Best of all ... you don't have to spend days laboring to reinstall Windows (and the billion updates that came after). Nor do you have to reinstall every program, re-tweak the settings (if you can even remember where they are), or installing hardware and their pesky drivers. In less than an half an hour, in most cases, you can 'start over' with a 'brand new' computer!

Sound too good to be true? I'm here to say it's possible. All you have to do is purchase and use a disk imaging back-up program by Symantec called "Norton Ghost".

Reimage using Norton Ghost

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Updated: 30-Mar-2009
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