Saturday Musings - State of Fear

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Are you driven by fear? Some would say that more than any other time in human history we are captured in a grip of fear. If you really think about it, we’re scared, worried, and stressed by about everything.

Before you say, “Michael, I’m pretty relaxed about life”, let me lob a few fears at you.

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Will I keep my job in these uncertain times? I’m feeling older, will my next medical checkup reveal anything? Do my kids really love me? Why can’t I find the special someone to spend the rest of my life with? Is it safe to travel? Will Google stop paying out on traffic domains? Why haven’t I had a domain sale lately? Will I have enough money for the mortgage this month? The list goes on and on…..and at the heart of it all is fear.

Let me share with you some good news. Compared to any other time in human history we live in the most remarkable. We live longer and have better standards of living. Go back less than 100 years ago and having a toilet inside the house that flushed was a rarity. Many diseases still ravaged the majority of the people on the planet and the wonder drug called penicillin had only just been discovered (by accident).

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mgilmour
I think that Business Insider was talking about the odds of being killed by terrorists versus sharks. This has not much to do with... Read More
07 August 2017
Rawgi
I always remember hearing Roosevelt saying " We have nothing to fear, but fear itself ". Even though that was World war 2 it sti... Read More
07 August 2017
mgilmour
I couldn't agree with you more.....Fear is what we should fear.
07 August 2017
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Saturday Musings – What I’ve Learned from Netflix’s “Girl Boss”

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OK, I admit it that I’m guilty. Yes, I’m guilty of watching a Netflix series that would be typically more targeted at my daughters rather than their fifty something father. The show is “Girl Boss” and if you ask me it’s a great study (grey hair words) of an Internet powered generation, a bootstrapped startup and mushy girly stuff.

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The main character is a twenty something girl that is about to be evicted from her San Francisco apartment (I use that term loosely) and dumpster dives for food because she has no money and no idea about life. After visiting an “op-shop” she finds a leather jacket and pays $9 for it and this is where she gets an epiphany (another old timer word).

She takes her jacket, puts it up on Ebay and sells it for more than $600. So now she knows what she has to do…..get more clothes to sell online. The 25-minute episodes unfold with her discovering a lot of things about business amidst the turmoil of her relationships with the other characters. She’s a pretty volatile character with a wicked temper but now focuses her energy on building her online business.

So why do I like the show? It reminds me of my own experiences in the domain industry. Building my own portfolio, having people around me tell me I’m nuts and then proving them wrong. It was an incredible journey and one that I will never forget.

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Saturday Musings - Pushing Through Adversity

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This past week I’ve been wrestling with developing a number of graphs in Google Charts. Wrestling is more of a polite way of me thinking a bunch of four letter words combined with hitting my head against a brick wall. It’s been a lesson in frustration while a carrot dangled tantalizingly just out of reach.

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I hate giving up on anything…..it’s one of my strengths and is also one of my weaknesses. I’m like a dog with a bone. I’ll just keep on gnawing away at some problem until it’s fixed or in some cases redefined.

It all started when I decided to build a dashboard for some clients that displayed a few graphs on a webpage. How difficult could that be? After a few 3am working sessions, I figured out how to pull data from a database, convert it to JSON format, push it to Google charts and voila! Out popped a beautiful chart!

There was just one problem….I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to design, so I wanted to have the right colours. OK, solved that, tick! Then I thought, it would be nice if the clients could scroll through a date range……a few hours later, tick!

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Saturday Musings - Getting Out of Your Financial Mess

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Do you ever feel like everyone seems to be putting their hands into your wallet and helping themselves? Bills and taxes keep on rising and living is more and more expensive each year while your pay continues to shrink in size. There seems to be less left over for you to enjoy life.

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Many years ago I read a fantastic book that I would highly recommend to anyone…..and no, it wasn’t my book, Battleframe (although it isn’t a bad read). The book was “The Richest Man in Babylon” and the author illustrates a number of principles about managing money through stories…..it’s really a compelling read.

The first point he raised was, “Pay Yourself First”. What this means is keep some of the money for yourself……not your bills but for you. If you need to negotiate with creditors and pay them over a period of time then do so but whatever you do pay yourself now. An amazing thing will happen, you will pay off your creditors and also manage your expense line appropriately.

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vanclute
Here is a PDF of the book for free: https://ia800307.us.archive.org/2/items/RichestManInBabylon_650/the_richest_man_in_babylon.pd... Read More
08 July 2017
mgilmour
Thanks for that! It's going to save me a lot of money :-)
09 July 2017
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We Live in Amazing Times

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We are surrounded by the most incredible advances in technology the world has ever seen and yet we can be accused of becoming increasingly complacent about the miraculous.

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Just think about it for a second. Just over 100 years ago the Wright Brothers flew for the first time at Kittyhawk. A few weeks ago, my wife and I soared at 40,000 feet in a chair in the sky while we watched movies. Forget around the world in 80 days, we did it in 28 hours.

I watched my daughter start shaking her mobile phone in frustration because a message her friend had sent hadn’t arrived as yet. I asked her when was it sent. She replied, “A few seconds ago” and as she stormed off she yelled back, “I saw she was typing!” I presume this explained everything.

I first got online back in the 80’s and I remember sending email around the world via the amateur radio network (remember FIDONET?). It was incredible! I could write something on my computer and 2 days later I would get a response…..how fast was that! The other day I was in a skype session and the person I was speaking with sent me an email and I calmly respond a few seconds later with, “Go it.”

I love technology and have been an early adopter of an Oculus Rift VR headset. For those of you that don’t have one…..just pay the money and get one. It will open your mind to so many possibilities. Everything from entertainment through to education will be transformed by VR. If you think domain names will be immune then think again and don’t even get me started on AR.

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Rawgi
I will agree we are in a time of great leaps in technology. I will have to look closely at the new VR stuff. Sounds like " Beam ... Read More
06 July 2017
mgilmour
I remember using log tables to do multiplications of big numbers. I've also kept my grandfathers slide rule for posterity sake.... Read More
06 July 2017
Rawgi
We were using log tables to figure exact payoffs for mortgages and auto loans at that time. On the Hubble, I hope they grind t... Read More
08 July 2017
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