Monday, 29 August 2016

Back Home. Didn't Die.

Well despite the worrying nature of the end of my post on Friday I didn't die. I didn't actually end up going to the amusement park with my nieces. Well, we did go, but we didn't go in the evening. We went during the afternoon and I dicked around in the arcade for a few hours rather than go on the rides and risk death. I finally beat one of the driving games there, so that felt pretty good. I also got to go on the beach during the evening and see a beautiful sunset so I didn't mind that I didn't stay at the amusement park until late like we usually do each year.
My new phone has a panorama feature; do yourself a favour and look at the full version!
 I did still go on some rides though. I took a trip on the Big Wheel which was a stupid mistake because I'm legit terrified of heights. I have trouble sitting on walls because if my feet aren't on the ground then I'm uncomfortable. It went fine until I stopped at the top of the wheel. See, to let people off and on the ride the controller moves it just enough to open up each "cage" and let people in and out. So you stop at the top and slowly work your way back around. The only problem is it rocked when it stopped. A lot. I did get some lovely views from up there though.

Pleasure Beach, Skegness.
 I also went on the Log Flume when we took a trip to Fantasy Island. Fantasy Island is like a proper amusement park whereas Pleasure Beach is kind of a stationary carnival. That's the best way I can describe it. You've got all the fun of the carnival and stalls and games and thrill rides and all that. Whereas Fantasy Island has a touch of everything. Next year I'm looking to find a caravan near there and we'll buy the girls all-week wristbands (they pay for themselves if we go three times) and, to be honest, I might get one for myself. There are plenty of nice and normal rides, along with the terrifying shit they went on because they're stupid kids.
This is the log flume.
Coming home did bring some problems though. One of my cats needs a trip to the vet. My brother has been feeding them for me. My eldest niece was supposed to do it but she developed a cat allergy after a few days. Srs. Anyway, when I got home I saw that she had a big red patch on her fur where she's obviously been bleeding. I don't know if she's been into a fight or has had a nasty flea infestation while we've been gone but I'm hoping a vet can take care of it. With luck they'll give her steroids like they gave Kadie when she had a similar problem. Thankfully we took care of it before she got to "bloody fur" stage.

I just hope they don't think we mistreat her. I hate that my cats always have fleas no matter how much I treat them and spray down the house. I feel like that parent whose kid always has lice. Fuck man, I WAS that kid. My mum did everything but I still got lice. Now I'm doing everything and my cats still get fleas.

Fun fact; that's why I like my hair long now. The ultimate solution for lice is the "scorched Earth" tactic of just shaving the head. I would be teased relentlessly when my hair was shaved and I hated how I looked. So now I keep it long.

Today is a bank holiday so Moo Moo may be left waiting until Wednesday at the earliest to see a vet. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Friday, 26 August 2016

SEALS!

Despite a shaky start and a less than stellar ending that saw me come back to the caravan early because I was too tired and stressed to deal with all the noise, the middle of my day went pretty damn well really. I was able to go to Natureland and take two of the niecebeasts with me. My phone now has over 200 seal pictures on it (I let one of the nieces take photos for me while I held the other) so here are a select few.

I'm not sure if they were sunning themselves or posing

"Paint me like one of your French girls"

They only wave when the feeder makes them. He got one to spin too.

The babies especially look like dogs.

Here's a random penguin pretending to be a duck. One of the penguins was actually nesting and it was pretty cool.

The one on the left looks like he's tired of the one on the right's bullshit

I don't know what they laced the fish with but he seems to like it

Because they recognise him as the giver of food the babies follow him all around the pool. It's really cute. Every year they follow him around rather than stealing from the bucket he leaves at the entrance. I thought seals were supposed to be smart.

This one enjoyed swimming upside down

I got to go on the boat this year! It was pretty fun.

"Gibs me dat fish yo"
The niecebeasts we still have with us are trying to get me to go on the rides with them tonight. If you don't hear anything from me on Monday assume I died. I'm only half kidding. I'm still a hefty dude so I can't go on most of what they want me to and and even some of the things I can go on would probably kill me.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

I'm Off To See The Seals

Turns out my sister could come after all. So I'm going to see the seals today. It'll be more fun too because I'll have one of the youngling niecebeasts with me. She loves them almost as much as I do and the only way to truly enjoy something is to do it with someone who enjoys it as much as you. Especially a child.

Apparently I'm in a spot of bother with my sister for telling her child that I'm currently on holiday with that she'll be coming. She's someone who likes everything to be a surprise but we plan shit out days in advance and, even after I tell the kids what we're doing, they still ask me every day what we're doing. What did she expect me to say? Plus I wanted to give them some advanced warning. If my sister came and their room was a mess and they were asleep the first thing she would do is yell at them and the day would be off to a terrible start. She's told my niece that she couldn't make it today after all (she is coming) so the surprise is back on, as is the terrible start to the day.

The seals will help.

Expect tomorrow's post to be about 90% seal pictures.

According to my trip in the TARDIS we're looking at about 95% seal pictures

Monday, 22 August 2016

Live From the Caravan

Greetings everyone. Unfortunately I didn't find the time to make those weird ass posts you all requested before I left. Rather than disappear for a whole week I figured I'd stick aroud in a very basic form. I have a lot of data to use but unfortunately the connection is pretty bad. I achieve speeds of 0.5mb/s a second at the best of times. To put that into context I'm used to speeds of at least 25-30mb/s. Yesterday in the town centre, using the same connection, I got up to 40mb/s. It's strange how the internet speeds on the same network can be so disproportionate by travelling just a few miles. It was ten minutes away by car and the internet was around 100 times faster. Lesson learned; next year stay a little closer to the town centre.

It's good enough for me to do my work at least. I can get online when I have to and I won't be chipping away at the mobile data on my phone which is a good thing. I just can't do a whole lot else. I'm not really able to do google research which is why I'm not just doing the suggested posts anyway now that I'm here. I'll save that for another time.

I'm not too sure what I'll be doing today but either Wednesday or Thursday I shall be going to see the seals. Which I always enjoy. We're not sure on the day yet because my sister may be able to come down for the day and her kids love it there so we'll obviously go when she's here if we can.

Feels weird to not schedule a post. 

Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday Funtimes; Leaving Edition

Man I could have written a post about how it only took me like 15 minutes to pack my bags but I didn't know how to stretch that into a full post. I don't understand why it takes some people so long.
True dat. I don't talk with a full mouth. That's just rude.

Speaking of love...

I suppose it's better than "Aim away from face"

I do love a good pun. And mice!

Sometimes being (technically) a millenial makes me sad. Things don't look any better for the next generation either.

I hope this dude pulled up his pants and started running.

VCRs will never be useless. Presidents on the other hand...

I'd totally buy and wear this shirt.

Replace the word "brave" with "lonely" and you have me.

That bear probably wants some food for his family
Have a good week folks. Expect inane posts for next week. I'll see y'all when I get back.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

In A Strange Mood

Even though there are probably a few things on my mind I could blog about, my mind is also being a bit of a cunt at the minute. I'm in one of those straneg moods where I'm convinced that it doesn't matter what I write about because no one really cares much either way. Which I know isn't the case because I have an audience. It's not the largest in the world but it's mine.

I'm just in a bad headspace for some reason. I'm one of the people who can't focus on the good. I can always find it. I can just never focus on it or accept it. Like work has been a little slow this week. It's not too bad because A) I'm able to stay on top of my work again and B) I'm going to be busy this week. But it's still bad because less work means less money. I'm actually going to be working next week when I'm supposed to be on holiday. I've had too many expenses this month. Too much has broken or gone wrong. So I don't even get to take a week off work and some of the mobile broadband data I bought to stay in touch with my friends will instead be used to download and deliver work.

I also haven't slept well this week, which isn't helping. My insides feel like a mess and I wouldn't be surprised if they were. I tend to eat pretty badly when I'm tired. I'm trapped in so many vicious circles I don't know if I could ever escape all of them.

Sometimes my head is not a friendly place to be. This is one of those times. But this too shall pass.

Monday, 15 August 2016

"Why Do You Have a Fridge In Your Room?"

In response to the last part of my AMA answers Fang asked me why I'd even need a fridge in my bedroom/hallway. Rather than just answer him in his post I thought I'd turn the story into a post. I can't promise it will be long or entertaining but it will be a post at least. So that's always something.

A few years ago my nieces would always come here every weekend. There were three of them but two got older and one moved away, so I guess they just stopped coming down. But when they were around they would always try and eat my food. Especially my fruit. This was also a time when I was contributing to the grocery bill much like I am again these days. So I really saw the fruit as being mine.

After having had enough of the little shits angels eating my food I asked my dad if he could pick me up a mini fridge. I intended for him to buy the kind of small fridge that you keep cans and stuff in. It would be something nice and small that I could keep a select few items in to keep it safe from prying hands.
This is what I had in mind; like a minibar
One day my dad comes home from work and tells me that he got me a minifridge. I don't even remember where he found it. I think he picked it up from the nearby dump. All I know for sure is that it's not a mini fridge. He went and found me a small fridge. It's basically a fridge without a freezer. I thought "fuck it, I'll keep it" and put it in my bedroom. My food and drinks were safe and all was well in the land. Until I needed the room. That's when I moved it out in to the hallway. I didn't want to just throw it away, which is why it's still there. Besides it still works perfectly. These days I still keep fruit and drink in there. It makes things much more convenient for me and means I don't have to go downstairs to get a nice cold drink.

Which is great because I'm lazy.

So that's the story of how I had a fridge in my bedroom. I asked my dad for a mini fridge and he came home with a full sized fridge. I considered buying a hot plate to just completely live out of my room but never went through with it.

Friday, 12 August 2016

A Return of the Friday Fun

I've had too many things to post about lately. Not enough time for fun shit and, after the week I've had, I could do with some time for fun things.

Only 90s kids will remember the pain of playing a Gameboy by street light. I actually had most of this stuff.


Any joke I make here would just be seriously innapropriate

I'm so glad it warned me that there was French in there

I'm told this is a real advert. I fucking love Canadia.

I also feel sorry for Canadians sometimes

I have no idea how someone could do this but its pretty awesome

Duh!

Brings a whole new meaning to "house hunting"

He caught an electric eel
Take THAT America!
Have a good weekend folks. See you all on the other side.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

A Blogging Challenge

In response to my last post, which included me mentioning that I've had to write articles from one or two word prompts, Debra essentially challenged me to write a blog post based on a few word suggestions from you folks. Her two suggestions were "mysterious ailments" and "favourite shampoos". After Captain seconded the idea it was pretty much guaranteed that I'd do it.

Congrats to anyone who gets this. I couldn't find itin gif form. 
The Beer for The Shower boys thirded the idea with their suggestions of "jiggliest animals" and "angriest robots".  I'm already regretting this decision.

 It actually works out pretty well for me though. See I'm going away for a week at the end of next week. So these "challenge posts" as it were would be a great way to populate the blog while I'm away. I can get them all written up before I leave and have it be something I don't need to worry about.

I suppose this does mean that technically I'll have written for free though. It's all fine as long as none of you use these posts for commercial purposes. Then it's technically just blogging.

I get ideas for posts and you guys get to see my writing prowess in action. If there are too many suggestions then I might have to cover more than one thing in the same post, meaning they don't get a dedicated post, but that's life.

So there you have it. Throw some suggestions at me and I'll see what I can do with them.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Freelancing Week AMA Answers Part 3

This ended up lasting longer than a week after all. I'm going to be sad when I'm done with all this because it'll be back to struggling to think up topics to blog about!

Debra asked me if people always give me an idea of what they want me to write about/say or if I have to do some research. More often than not the client will provide me with plenty of information. Even so I almost always have to do a little research. I actually charge people for doing a lot of research because it takes more time than you'd think. Sometimes though I have clients who just give me a few keywords or just a title and say "Okay write about that". Just last week I had someone ask me to write an article based on the keyword "men's hairstyles". That's it. That's all they gave me. So I wrote an article about the trending hairstyles for men.

Pro tip; short back and sides is always fashionable. Always. My own long hair will almost never be fashionable again. Mullets need to make a comeback.

Francis asked about my pricing and how much I can earn. I have a pretty simple pricing plan; $1 per 100 words (or $5 for 500 words) for original articles and $5 for 600 words on rewrites. Right now I'm earning about as much as I would on a part time job. Last month I earned around £700. I am also still working on a part time schedule though. I earn roughly $15 an hour depending on how motivated I am.

There's not a whole lot of earning potential when you get started. Overall there is a lot of earning potential in freelancing though. Especially if you do a damn good job. I see people who charge $5 for 200 words. If I got the same amount of work I do now at that price I'd be earning about three times as much as I currently do. But I don't want to charge that much. I doubt my pricing scheme is likely to change right now.

Voice work is something I could charge more for if I got good though. My voice over friend who I mentioned in the last post charges $5 for 200 words. He started out at $5 for 500 words and he earns a fair amount of money. He's got a great voice too so really I can see him quitting his job by the end of next year and living off of his voice over work. He's already transitioned into being an extra in movies.

Bastard.

Final question! Unless more questions got asked in the comments to my old posts.

Our good Captain asked me if I have, or plan to have, a home office. I basically live out of my bedroom. I even used to have a fridge in here before I decided I needed the room and moved it out into the hallway. One side of my room has my bed and the other has my desk. My desk has my microphone and pop screen on it along with a desk fan for staying cool. I do all of my work on my laptop. Actually I do everything on my laptop because my "gaming" laptop broke down. I'm going to try and hold on to this one until November at least because Black Friday is a thing over here now too.

There is a shed on my backyard but it's where my brother keeps his shit. I planned on using the cupboard under the stairs for recording but that plan was quickly put aside when I took a look inside it. It would be nice to have an actual home office but right now all the rooms in my house, despite it being a three bedroom house with a loft, are occupied or uninhabitable. I'm working on it though so maybe one day I will have a bedroom and an office instead of a bedroom/office.

Well I hope you enjoyed learning more about freelancing and my experiences as a freelancer. I know I definitely had a lot of fun writing about it. Now to spend far too long trying to transition back into being a regular blogger. I don't even remember the last non-freelancing related post I made. 

Friday, 5 August 2016

Freelancing Week AMA Answers Part 2!

Right we're back with more questions. Let's just jump right into it.

Fang asked me if I've ever worked for free for friends/anyone to build up my profile. I've never written for free. Ever. I've written for friends a few times but they've always insisted on paying me, which was quite nice of them. If they hadn't mentioned it I'd have done it for free too.

I have done voice work for free though. I've taken part in two audio dramas. It was pretty fun to act out a death scene! I've also given my voice to a video game for free. Well, I got a copy of the game (or will do when it's released) so I'm not sure that counts. I've always loved video games and being in one was a dream come true so I was more than happy to do that for free. It was kinda cool too. Their sound guy called me on Skype and directed me through what to say and how to say it. It was pretty interesting and something I would love to do again.

That's it for Fang's questions. He didn't bother asking any more on the AMA announcement. Nice of him to give someone else a go.

Christine asked what my favourite bit of freelancing work has been, why, and if I could have made it better. I do so much work it's hard to recall individual jobs but if I had to choose just one thing I really enjoyed doing it was when I was hired to read a bunch of nursery rhymes for a kids audio book. I got to do some fun voices and be silly because it was aimed at kids. I do enjoy doing things like that. I'm just really bad at letting go and just being a big doofus. So it was pretty fun when someone actually paid me to do it. If I could have done anything better with that job I would have to say I wish I had a better vocal range. My voice is kind of flat and monotone. It's good for some things but it's bad for character voices and I wish I could have added more depth to the story through more distinct character voices.

Debra asked what the most difficult thing I've had to write about is. There's this one guy who hires me to write about ClickBank products. These are the things you see all the time that offer you the answers to life, the universe, and everything for just $200, no wait $97, I mean $47, unless you try and close the page in which it becomes $27. Most of them are actually kinda fun to write about and I now know the secrets of erectile dysfunction (I even talked about it to Fang for...whatever reason) but I've also had to write descriptions for survival guides. I've also had to write one or two myself from scratch. They've made me a lot more doom and gloom about the world than I would like to be. Just last week the power went out and within 10 minutes I bought a wind up torch/phone charger and was considering a solar generator/solar panels. Actually when I have the money I'm going to buy a solar generator. But I would like to avoid going full on prepper for as long as I can.

These kind of things can also make me feel bad on a personal level because it's writing about things that promise to do all kinds of things including curing Alzheimer's. My stepdad has Alzheimer's and if I believed for even a second that any of these products worked I'd buy them. But I don't. Most of them feel like scams to me and I have to write about them as if they really work and that can kinda bog me down at times, you know?

Shit I hope the guy doesn't read that. I still do regular work for him on those things. That's one of the major downsides of freelancing. Sometimes you have to grin and bear it and do things you don't really approve of. I know a guy who is the voice of an erectile dysfunction aid but hey, 20 bucks is 20 bucks and we love teasing him about it. He always joins in on the fun too.

You've got to be able to laugh at yourself folks.

There are a few other questions, including some more from Debra herself, but this has been long winded enough as it is. See you next time for more answers.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Freelancing Week AMA Answers

So I put out the call for some questions for Freelancing Week Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. You guys came up with some questions so now it's my turn to come up with some answers.

Fang asked me if I've ever ran into any troublesome clients. I've been fortunate enough to not really run into many troublesome clients. What I run into is a troublesome kind of client. Every so often I'll be hired by someone who doesn't pay me enough or expects me to do too much work for the price. Which sucks because my prices are clearly labelled. I've had people try and get $30 worth of work for $5 before. I have to cancel these orders and I hate doing it because it reflects negatively on my profile too. I can't recall any specific examples of someone being a cunt to me though. Which is always nice.

Fang also asked about how to stay motivated if you're bad at your job or don't get the recognition. I said that those were two ways to stay motivated and he brings up an excellent point. To be honest while many people love my voice I've had to accept, quite sadly, that I suck as a voice over guy. I've also written things for Buzzfeed and Huffington Post that don't have my name attached to them. Actually none of the articles I write for work have ever been published in my name.

That really, really sucks.

I've not quite mastered staying motivated when bad at your job. Honestly if you're bad at your job it's up to you to do something about it. Either git gud or git gone.
God damn Dark Souls. Damn it to Hell
I've improved as a voice over artist and, while I don't get hired too often (writing has always been my cash cow) there are people who are pleased with my work even if I'm not too pleased with it. Improving will motivate you or you'll be destroyed by not improving. It's up to you.

It can also be hard to stay motivated when you aren't receiving the recognition for your work. Everyone loves to be appreciated and they like their hard work to be noticed. If that's the case then the answer is for you to recognise your own hard work. Look at how far you've come and what you're capable of doing now.

That was another reason I gave up with writing fiction. Well, kind of. I'd love to go back to it but I just don't have the time anymore. Which is a shame because I had an idea for a 6-9 book series that spanned several series' set inside a single encompassing universe. I would have loved to pull that off.

Maybe when I win the lottery and can stop working I can go back to writing for fun.

I try to not let myself get too bogged down by the fact that the only people who will ever acknowledge my writing are the people I write for. They like it, so I suppose that's what matters. Plus I can say I was in Buzzfeed and Huffington Post. That's quite an accomplishment for an article writer.

Even if I personally don't like Buzzfeed or Huffington Post. Bleh.

I hope you guys aren't bored by all this because if how much I've written in this post, answering just two questions, is an indication it looks like this could take longer than I thought.

Much like Mr Bones' Wild Ride the ride never ends here at The Rambling Person
One last thing before I let you all go for today. The reason all of this came together was because of the work of Kate at Invoice2go. She, along with everyone else there, do great work helping people looking to start their own business or work independently like myself. One of the toughest things about all of this is the financing and invoicing and all of that. Having a service to take care of all that for you can be a big help.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Freelancing Week Addendum; Ask Me Anything!

Well with Freelancing Week out of the way I decided I would keep it around for one more week out of my own volition. I enjoyed writing and talking about freelancing. It's something I've never really been asked to discuss before. So it was a lot of fun. With that in mind I decided I wanted to talk about it for just a little longer.

Indulge me, eh?

I love Canadia
So to that end I thought I would open up the floor to questions. If you've ever had questions about freelancing, or about me freelancing in particular, then now is the time to ask them. I expect I might already have some questions in the comments to the posts from last week.

Full disclosure; I am writing this on the 19th. Hello from the past!

So I'll be compiling any and all questions I receive as well as any questions asked through this post. So if you've ever wondered why I started freelancing, why the heck I still do it, what my schedule is like, or have any other questions about me (it can be about me and not just freelancing; it is ask me *anything* after all) and answering everything on Thursday. Possibly Friday too if I get enough questions.

Man I hope some people ask me some questions. Or this will just be embarrassing.

 1/8/2016 Edit:
Fang asked about troublesome clients; I've had a few of those and will discuss them
Fang Also asked about how to stay motivated when bad at your job or when unrecognised; I have experience in that too. So feck it we'll get into that too.
Fang also asked if I ever took on unpaid work for friends/anyone to fill up my profile; that will be adressed

It's always Fang with the questions; but he does ask interesting ones.

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