Skip to main content

Posts

Soft-selling at the Mall

How we perceive the world.

Today I'm a living poster. A mascot for capitalism. I am - the passive sell.

For 7 hours I sit at a desk in the middle of an air-conditioned shopping mall. 6 days per week. An array of pamphlets. A nervous smile. It's 2:30 in the afternoon and I've barely exchanged glances with anyone, let alone produced a lead.

I'm helping a mob called Climate Roof Restorations (www.climateroofrestorations.com.au). The idea is simple. I sit here, in the middle of this fairly obscure suburban shopping mall in the Northern Suburbs of Perth (I didn't know there was a North)  doing whatever it is I want to do - on my iPad (that's mostly doing SEO and setting up websites for clients). Should anyone come up to me, I am to engage them in conversation, takes notes and email the lead to HQ.

It costs $800+ to hire this spot for a week. A bit under $800 for me, plus a commission of $XXX for each successful lead. After paying about $700 per month last year for a…
Recent posts

Mum's Neighbour died.

I just heard that Mum's neighbour, Margaret, has finally died this morning at 8:30am. She was 85 years old. Her husband John died (also from a heart attack) back in 2007 - several months before my own Father. 
Both Margaret and John died from a heart attack. I only say this because a curious thing happens when someone dies. We are instantly reminded about our own mortality. My knee-jerk reaction, even before consoling the family is, "How did she die?" or, if feeling a little more empathetic, "I hope she died peacefully." The short of it is that we really want to know what happened. How did the person die? It's almost instinctual and while most people don't ask the direct question, I personally feel the need to know. Why so? I'm not sure. I also want to know how a person "lost their leg" or "caught a disease". It's a stupid, selfish thought, but we all ask it. Internally if not overtly like myself. Not asking would be inauthent…

Malvern Avenue Junior School 1975

Digital footprints in the playground of my mindI had a birthday breakfast yesterday with Mum and a few friends. I met my friends in various places here in Western Australia. High School, University, during my poor years as an Australian Filmmaker. I love my Mum - and my friends. Most of my mates are mostly 45+ males and we have a lot in common. I live with my best friend - also my fiancee. But my 47th birthday breakfast made me think back - to the much more exciting, early birthdays.Neurons Outlive Our BodiesI was pretty sure we fake most of our childhood memories by looking at family photo-albums rather than the actual re-firing of old neurons, but this article begs to differ. And to me makes sense.Long live the neuronAccoring to the article, both neurons and olfactory smelling cells are the only cells in our bodies that live as long as we do. In fact, if we were to migrate our neurons into longer-living bodies, they would easily outlive us (all this science suggests to me that we ha…

The Drug That Killed River Phoenix

This article was going to be about a new drug I'm on called Duomine, but as I knew very little about River Phoenix (aka the vegan Jimmy Dean) I thought I'd swat up on what's really going on behind that brain-worm ditty. I'll talk about Duomine another time.The song line I'm on the drug that killed River Phoenix is from Aussie alternative band TISM's tasteless 1995 single (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River - and it's a bit cheap, frankly. The single's cover shows a mock-up of River's tombstone and was released shortly after his death. TISM were well-known for criticisin Imperial Hollywood and US pop culture, but they were masters when it came to borrowed interest marketing. More about these guys later.River Bottom's Awkward LifeIn 1944, River's mother Arlyn was born to a Jewish family living in the Bronx. When she finished school, she married a computer programmer but quickly grew bored of her secretarial life. In 1968, at 24, Arlyn dr…

Doing things the old way

When Dad died in 2007, he left Mum his old wooden boat. Suffice it say that my Mum's not the most mechanically minded person (God Bless her) so the upkeep and maintenance rests with me and my brother-in-law.

The Pisces now sits awkwardly on Jetty #2 at The Swan Yacht Club in East Fremantle.

The hull rim needs replacing, the boat needs sanding and painting and now the engine's stopped working. I go down there every 2nd Friday night to give 'er indoors a bit of peace and quiet and spend time with my mates. One of the members was going to have a look at the engine, but after a few missed appointments and several un-returned phone calls, I went somewhere else.

The Swan Yacht Club has operated in a certain, "charming" way for over 100 years. Mostly this is a club built on the back of working tradesmen and small businesses. These men have built the club into what it is today. Need a new wall? "Member Bob will fix that." Engine kaput? "Hand me that ol…

Flatbar Roadbikes

They are making a lot of bikes, but not any of them are flat-bar bikes designed for riding long distances. In fact, if you go check out a shop, you may not see even one on display.

Building Websites in the Swan Valley

There's a whole bunch of stuff you can't say on your business website, so maybe here's the place to say it.

I moved to The Swan Valley at the end of October this year. I was kind of dreading the distance, but weirdly, it's had a very positive effect on my freelance web site development business. For one thing, it's quiet here. As long as you're tucked away from major traffic routes, most places in Perth are quiet, but this place is deathly quiet. There are absolutely no excuses not to get down to work. Most of my friends have left  freelancing and are now working for the man in various capacities, so I'm unlikely to go skiving off for a coffee at the local cafe.
I've got about 10 websites on the go presently and about two websites need to be finished in the coming week. I was going great guns until last week, when about 20 of my sites (I have about 100 clients) were needlessly hacked. I rolled the questionable server back to the day before the breach an…