Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those readers of Whizzbangsblog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I would also like to say thank you to all those companies that have sponsored my blog over the last twelve months. Your continued support has inspired me to keep on writing about domains and business on the Internet.

In particular, I would like to highlight:

It’s with a sense of sadness and loss in my heart that I approach Christmas this year. A few days ago, Pepper, my feline friend of 16 years, passed away. She was a great friend that was the subject of many Saturday Musings over the years.

When I was working late at night she would come and curl up on the carpet next to me. At some point she would nudge me with her nose, hoping for a scratch behind the ears and to let me know it was time to stop working.

Whenever I went away on business my wife told me Pepper would sit in my study and look out the window waiting for my return. When I finally arrived back home she would scold me in a very cat-like fashion until she allowed me to give her a bit of a pat again….after all, I didn’t get her permission to leave the house.

We normally wrap a present for Pepper and stick it under the tree….typically, it’s her turkey dinner. Sadly, this year we’re not going to be doing that. Although there is a sense of loss I know she is lazing away in the sun in cat heaven.

So in memory of Pepper I would like to highlight a number of past blogs where she featured:

What a CATastrophe

Saturday Musings – Why My Cat Is a Genius!

Saturday Musings – Why Cats Are Geniuses

Saturday Musings – Being Obedient To Our Masters

Saturday Musings – When Someone Spoils Your Week….

I hope you enjoy reading those articles as much as I did writing them.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Michael Gilmour

PS. I will be taking until the new year off writing.....so see you in 2017.

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Saturday Musings - When Someone Spoils Your Week...

Saturday Musings - When Someone Spoils Your Week...

This past week has been incredible…..so much happening and so quickly that it makes my head spin. I just love it when it’s like this. Development is going full steam ahead, had some great client meetings and the team is working on a couple of ground breaking ideas. Amongst all of this excitement there is always someone or something that rains on your parade….in my case it was Pepper.

Escrow.com

For those of you that don’t know, Pepper is my cat. She’s been a part of the family for over fifteen years and we all absolutely love her.

Whenever I go away she comes and sits in my study and stares out the window waiting for me to come back from my travels. When Roselyn and I sit on the couch to watch television she inevitably climbs up between us and demands a scratch under the chin. Well, this was her behaviour until last week….

About a week ago Roselyn decided that it was time for Pepper to have some worming medicine and after a bit of a fight (which involved a few scratches) she gave up. As far as our cat was concerned we’d crossed the line. No more sitting next to me as I worked or snuggling up on the couch together. She almost stopped eating, banished herself outside and meows pitifully if we come near.

Like I said, there’s always someone that spoils your week. Sometimes it’s because in your wild enthusiasm you just trod on a few toes or forgot to do something you committed yourself to. In these cases, maybe it’s time for some apologies to get things back on track.

I’ve always been amazed at people that won’t apologise. The person that is strong in themselves doesn’t view saying sorry as a weakness but rather as a strength. So who is stronger, the one that apologises or the one that digs their heels in?

So I’m apologising to Pepper. This has involved debasing myself to moving the food to where she is resting rather than in the normal spot. Ensuring that she has premium irresistible quality, full of flavour and goodness rather than cheap dry stuff. I’ve even coaxed her inside with a few scratches behind the ears…..and slowly but surely she is responding.

So if you’ve ever had someone spoil your awesome week then take them out for a really good dinner followed by a massage….you’ll win every time.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

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Saturday Musings - Why Cats Are Geniuses

Saturday Musings - Why Cats Are Geniuses

I’ve had my cat, Pepper, for around 13 years now and to say that she’s a part of the family is actually not quite true. For a start, the previous statement is completely incorrect. Pepper has decided to grace our family with her presence for the past 13 years and we are a part of her life would be a more correct statement. For those of you that have a cat, you will completely understand the not so subtle shift in those sentences and who actually runs the household.

Escrow.com

Pepper has the entire world figured out. She has servants that feed her, give her a regular massage and she sleeps for about eighty percent of the day. The house is hers and she only lets the family live in it because we play a necessary part in her hedonistic lifestyle of eat, sleep and lie in the sun.

As all cats will confirm, they are absolute geniuses. For example, Pepper has saved me from spending untold thousands of dollars on completely irrelevant domain names. When I get excited about a name and I’m about to press the “buy now” button she just looks at me in a disapproving manner and that’s all it takes. I abandon my misguided shopping cart with a sense of relief that once again I’ve been saved by my beloved feline.

After a particularly intense day of work she graciously lets me pat her head and give her a bit of a scratch under the chin. The stress seems to leave me with each passing minute and Pepper just looks up me with a knowing smirk on her be-whiskered face that once again she’s manipulated me into getting what she wants.

Every now and then she has to whip her underlings into shape and demand the attention due her status. On one particular day her bowl wasn’t brimming over with delectable delights so she calmly entered my study and started chewing on my iphone 6 USB cord to let me know her displeasure. Within half a second I had bowed to my master, filled her bowl and asked if there was anything else that I could do for her.

I sometimes think that if Pepper deemed it worthy of her station she could have the entire domain industry whipped into shape in no time. Google would be transparent, monetisation providers would soon have the flexibility to really innovate and some registrars wouldn’t “accidentally lose domains. They’d all be terrified that she would pay them a visit to truly express her displeasure at their actions.

Even as Pepper dictates this blog, I’m feeling a little intimidated by the forcefulness of her purring. It’s almost like she’s decided to place the entire domain industry on notice. Then again, what would a cat really know? Oh, oh, she just growled at me for writing that!

Have a great weekend.

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Saturday Musings - Why My Cat Is a Genius!

Saturday Musings - Why My Cat Is a Genius!

Pepper, my cat, is a living, breathing genius! She’s got the whole world completely worked out, organised and constructed to obey her every whim and desire. If only life could be so wonderful for us two legged creatures.

For Pepper, morning starts with a nap followed by slowly strolling over to her bowl so that she can let the rest of the family eat with her (it’s never the other way around for cats).

Just think about it for a second….Pepper has arranged for her servants (ie. me) to fill her bowl with the very best quality food, clean water and provide regular treats of ham, chicken and the like. She doesn’t lift a paw to get this undivided attention. For thanks I have the privilege of her letting me give her a pat. Wouldn’t it be great if the local supermarket deposited our weekly groceries in the cupboard and thanked us by doing our hair as well!

After breakfast, it’s time for another sleep and so she finds the warmest place in the house and curls up. In the meantime, her servants are working their backsides off so that they can provide her with food and lodging. I’m not sure about you but the last time I checked my servants weren’t anywhere to be seen. Worse than that the bank, electric company and all seem to get quite upset when I decide to take a break, let alone a nap each day.

During the day Pepper wanders into my study to make sure that I’m working hard for her empire. Just to reinforce her control over me and to make sure that I’m not messing around with my time she curls up on the floor and pretends to be asleep. What an overlord!

In the evening Pepper then graciously agrees to climb onto my lap as long as I provide her with a scratch behind the ear….after all, it’s too beneath her to do it herself.

So I’ve finally had a brilliant business idea! I’m wanting to build a device that turns me not into a fly (like the movie) but a cat. They seem to have life completely worked out.

Have a great weekend!

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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What a CATastrophe!

What a CATastrophe!

The other evening my wife Roselyn and I went out for a bike ride. We left the door to the garage open and upon returning I made sure that I closed it so that it didn’t bang with the wind in the middle of the night.

Around lunch time the next day I asked Roselyn if she’d seen Pepper, our cat. She’s a wonderful cat that often curls into a ball in some hideaway in the house so it’s not unusual if we haven’t seen her for a while. She always comes when we call her name as she hopes to get some tasty morsel or two from us…..strangely this time when we called her name there was no sign of her.

After hunting around it suddenly dawned on me that maybe I’d inadvertently locked Pepper in the garage. Sure enough, after opening the garage door there was our cat staring with accusing eyes back at me. I apologised to her with a can of tuna and all was good.

So let’s unpack this story a little as there’s so much to learn from it.

escrow.com

When I closed the door of the garage from my perspective I had done nothing wrong. In fact, I was doing right by making sure that it didn’t bang all night. From Pepper’s point of view I was the most horrible person in the world! How dare I deliberately lock her in the garage!

This is often exactly the same when two people have a disagreement. It’s all about perspective. Like Pepper and I, it’s often the case that neither party was trying to do something deliberately to antagonise the other. Stuff just happens.

I could have tried to prove to Pepper that I was right and the cat was wrong for going into the garage in the first place. Pepper could have hissed at me that I should have checked the garage before closing the door. Both of us would have been right…..and also wrong.

The key here is the apology (ie. the tuna). An apology is all about recognising that you’ve hurt another person’s feelings, it’s not about whether you are right and they are wrong. In fact, it really doesn’t matter if you’re right or not.
My father used to tell me that you can win an argument and lose a friend or say sorry and keep a friend. It’s your call what you want to do.

This past week I wrote an apology and it did not matter whether I was right and the other person was wrong….what mattered was “I’d locked them in the garage” and they were hurting. A genuine apology was needed to help rebuild the bridges in the relationship that I’d inadvertently broken.

When I read some of the comments on the article it was clear that many of them missed the whole point of the apology as people rushed to take sides. It wasn’t about rights and wrongs at all…..and hence, for the first time ever I closed the comments on an article.

One of the comments would bear mentioning, as it really struck me…..it was suggested that I looked weak by apologising. You know what, I personally believe that someone who is willing to apologise is actually strong. It also means that when they mess up or hurt your feelings etc. they are willing to place the relationship before their pride. This is not to say that I’m some great “hero” but it’s a good life lesson to ponder. It’s also one of the major reasons why I’m still married after 27 years.

Let’s take this cat and garage story one bit further. Let’s imagine that Roselyn had asked me whether I’d locked the cat in the garage. I would have said, “No, of course not.” Later after the cat was found in the garage Roselyn could have said, “You’re a liar!”

No, I wasn’t a liar. From my perspective I didn’t lock the cat away. Luckily my wife is very understanding and she didn’t say these things but how often have we leapt to conclusions about someone’s actions and disparaged their character? It’s easy to do and it’s very destructive. My advice is to be very careful before you judge another person’s actions.

Over the years, it’s been my observation that many arguments are the result of different perceptions of the same events. In my case, the can of tuna went a long way to mending my relationship with Pepper and last night she curled up on the couch next to me. :-)

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