Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Press the Play button in the pink circle on the phone above. Its a little slow - so be patient. This was pretty cool - still in beta and the recording wasn't complete (I challenge you to a duel if you disagree with my comments!! lol - but then again you should share your thoughts anyway... and give Gizmoz a go!

Monday, January 14, 2008

FaceBook, Yuwie and Bux.It

Fiona and I have set our new years resolution. We have been so busy on the house over the last 3years that it is time to refocus. We have decided we need to be more social!! With that in mind I decided I needed to reconnect with old friends and in so doing, hopefully make new friends along the way. I searched the Internet googling names of old friends to see if I could suss out what they were up to and how to get hold of them again. As a result I discovered FaceBook.

I joined FaceBook about a month ago. I thought it was quite cool that I could find old friends – and I did. I sent them messages and invited them as friends. I also advertised a unit for rent ( didn’t get any bites – TradeMe is excellent on that score – though I have learnt that TradeMe won’t sell digital files such as The Chill Book you see on the right hand side). I then began to feel a little down that I could only find 13friends. I hesitate to mention that because it seems such a blight on character to ‘have’ only 13 friends. When I mentioned this to someone they said “13?!! I thought most people have 100s!”. So that didn’t boost my confidence. Then I realised slowly that actually these 13 friends are people I have found on FaceBook – many of my friends can not be bothered with it. Despite my ravings, they just don’t see the point. My REAL friends think it’s all a bit inane and get a little annoyed when I pull out the laptop to check out what my ‘friends’ are doing when my REAL friends want to go for a walk along the beach, hit the shops, chat about the day, discuss philosophy etc. And yes my partner feels it would be much more useful to get things done around the house!!

There ARE a few cool things to explore on FaceBook. You can rate how sexy you are, and constantly rate yourself or your friends in relation to how trendy you are, what you would spend your money on if you won a million, boast about the number of countries you have visited (note: check places the plane has landed at – you look more impressive that way – or of cause you can lie!!), add graffiti, get an anagram for your name (mines Best Excellent Visionary Entertaining Relaxed Loving Yummy – but I had to re-enter it a couple of times before I got the anagram I liked – the first one said “V for Vicious” – didn’t like that – I hit the computer, mangled at it’s keys, swore and pressed the REFRESH button!). The funny thing about my 'addiction' to Facebook is that I’m not one to 'poke' too much, to throw virtual snowballs, or to watch eggs hatch. (sorry Michelle – did appreciate that you were thinking of me). Then again – was she? You can share all these applications with ALL your friends by clicking a box "Share All".

My family, friends and mostly my partner will be pleased to hear that the addiction is wearing off. I think I will still keep my account. It’s good to be able to tap into the social network to advertise – though my one advert I was not at all successful. I have put another advert up for The Chill Book (read more about that here) – I thought I should send a message to all (13) of my friends to tell them about the advert – but then I consider that is using them a bit and I’m not like that – even in the virtual world.


However I am trying another experiment in Yuwie. (You don’t need to press the join button on the right hand side of this blog – or here – or here – or here - to find out all about it – but it would help with my referals if you do!). I’m going ANON on Yuwie. I’m seeing if I can be someone else online. My name is George though I still admit to being female and it probably doesn’t help that I’ve listed my blogs on my Yuwie account so my anonymity probably won’t last long if I’m actually wanting to push my blogs and blog visits. But I thought I would give it a go. I like the clubs on Yuwie and have joined up with lots of photographic clubs and of cause MAC clubs. I haven’t set up an account yet, so I have no idea how much I’m earning on Yuwie (you get paid everytime someone views your page, or someone looks at your referral’s page if you really want to find out more click here). But there is also that kind of advantage – if it really is an advantage.


I've been reading quite a bit about making money online. It seems a bit of a fickle endeavour - but I thought I would find out if this really works - if it can be done by mere mortals such as myself. Thus I joined up with Yuwie and as a bit of an experiment I’m also trying out Bux.to. Here all I have to do is click on an ad, have it up on the computer for 30 seconds and then I earn ONE cent! I thought I wouldn’t bother other people with this and just try it out on my own. There are a limited number of ads to watch per 24hrs. Yesterday was my first day – I clicked on 14 ads and earned 14cents (you want to earn that kind of money click here!). Each ad taking 30 seconds I spent 4min 20sec doing this (though don’t tell the advertisers I was also cooking dinner at the same time). Anyway I figured if I want to make $140, it would take me 420hours (is my maths correct)… that’s a long time to prepare dinner.
Fiona and I ditched the computers last night (actually I ditched the computer with Fiona’s encouragement) and we went for a walk along Ocean Beach (and I didn’t even take a camera to show you how beautiful it was – you’ll have to visit it yourself!!). We did talk about all of this – and we calculated that by using Bux.to on my own (without referrals) we would be paid $1.20 an hour. (So in order for us to make our millions we need you to click here and join as our referral.) But you don’t have to – cause this is probably a red herring and there would be easier, quicker and more social ways of making an extra buck! Besides it seems as though even Virtual George is not very pushy – and I don’t blame her!!

Right now however – I’m wandering if 24hr has passed and I can click on more ads – or I could phone Mitre10 about all the new tools we have to buy to tame our out-of-control weeds that are consuming the builders rubble left over from last years building project!!

Maybe I will leave all of this computer stuff til such a time that I’m laid up sick in bed – and just enjoy this amazing Northland summer instead…..?!

Then again read this LINK first "With Friends Like These..." by Tom Hodgkinson of The Guardian posted Monday January 14 2008 - some quotes - "Now even if you don't buy the idea that Facebook is some kind of extension of the American imperialist programme crossed with a massive information-gathering tool, there is no way of denying that as a business, it is pure mega-genius....The creators of the site need do very little bar fiddle with the programme. In the main, they simply sit back and watch as millions of Facebook addicts voluntarily upload their ID details, photographs and lists of their favourite consumer objects." And there is much on this site about the people behind FaceBook etc

Then if you would like to be more social or earn more money click the START button at the bottom of your computer and select SHUT DOWN (what is it about the PC - you have to click Start in order to End). If you are on a Mac - don't worry about it, your computer will sort it out!! And get out there, plant some seeds - yes real seeds, water the garden, share the fruits of your labour with friends (again real friends), then go for a walk on the beach, or a drink at the pub, or enjoy a boat ride around the bays!!

If you have any additional or alternative views on the above, or know of any website or REAL books on the subject please leave them in the comments section, or email me, or phone me, or tell me!! I look forward to hearing your point of view.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


You don't need to look too deeply to realise the truth in this... Its great to see it happening within us.
(designer unknown)

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Chill Book

As a teacher I am constantly concerned about my involvement in children's art. I have recently attended workshops at the Early Childhood Convention on this particular topic and was amazed at how many others faced this dilemma. I love art, and exploring texture, colour, shape, and I love to experiment with many mediums. I have often sat with the children at the art table and my fingers have itched to get lost in the world of art - but something stops me. One thing that does stop me is my ability to get LOST in my art and I find it hard to connect with others and activities going on around me. So this is probably not the best place to be when I have the responsibility of 30 children in my care. On the other hand - I am also stopped by the voices in my head - the ones that say "Don't show the children you are better at drawing than they are - they might feel discouraged". There are times when I have drawn one or two things - and the children do feel discouraged and have asked me to draw something for them. I have felt uncomfortable in this position - because I haven't yet come up with an encouraging statement that continues their explorations. I have felt though that abstract collage would be an area I would love to explore with the children at Kindergarten. Just getting involved, getting messy, gluing, ripping, cutting, shaking, creating. That is one of my aims for 2008.

My other dilemma is colouring-in. I LOVED to colour in when I was a child. There were times that I was stuck inside for numerous reasons - usually I was tired and I didn't want to have to think. Colouring in was my refuge. I could sit for hours and colour. Yes I was provided with colouring-in books - pictures of stereo typical flowers, the quintessential boys and girls, butterflies and clowns. I coloured them all in , and when I had more energy I created my own. But I loved to colour-in. I firmly believe that my accute knowledge of colour derives from my intense obsession with colouring-in as a child. It is what drives my art today, drives my photography and aids my composition. I can see the argument many present for banning colouring-in for young developing minds - I'm not sure I completely agree with it - but I see the arguement - thus my dilemma. I have, therefore, turned to Mandala style designs for a new book I have created called 'The Chill Book'. I provide it here for you to explore - with your children or on your own. Explore colour and enjoy. The designs are probably a bit too intricate for kindergarten aged children - I will work on that.

Please be aware I charge a small fee for this file - a recognition of the time, creativity and effort I have put into creating this book. Check it out - see what you think and PLEASE leave your comments as a form of feedback and reflection for my on going professional development.