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A New Internetty Thingy

Hello Dear Reader,

I’m back and I’ve been a very busy boy… No, I’m not telling you this to make excuses for neglecting my blog, but to tell you that I have been working on something all internetty and cool.

I mentioned in my last post that I had an idea that combined three of my passions: travel, my kids and writing. Well, that idea is very close to becoming a reality. In a month or two, I will be launching my new website called Dadelaide. It is an online resource which will hopefully inspire families to explore Adelaide (and, later on, other places too). I will write reviews of family activities in Adelaide from the perspective of a dad with three little ones in tow. There are a plethora of sites offering ‘what’s on’ listings, but not many that provide travel-guide-like reviews of more permanent family activities.

Dadelaide Screenshot

A screenshot of the Dadelaide home page.

Every Saturday, my wife works and I have the three children for the whole day by myself. I REALLY don’t like hanging around the house; everyone gets cabin fever and starts going a little potty. So, I take the kids on an adventure where we try to do something new and interesting each week. I love to post pictures of our adventures on instagram (dadelaidelm) and Facebook. I kept receiving comments from friends, amazed at how I knew of so many different places to take the kids. I have always taken it for granted that people just knew about all of the great things do to around our city, but it seems that I was wrong. There is a need for this type of information and that is what I hope to provide on Dadelaide.

O-Bahn

Watching the O-Bahn from Dunstan Adventure Playground

I want my site to be easy and quick to use, be down-to-earth and to provide the kind of information that parents want; for example, about pram accessibility, parents’ rooms, etc.

When I first had the idea for Dadelaide, I searched around for a WordPress-like web application that would meet my needs. However, with the complex requirements of my site, I could find nothing suitable. So, I decided to make the site myself.

Abandoned Gypsum Mine

Checking out an abandoned gypsum mine on the Yorke Peninsula

This posed a bit of a problem, because my web design skills were about 15 years out of date. I knew basic HTML and very basic CSS (the most basic web design codes) but did not know anything about making dynamic sites with PHP or databases. So, I decided to do some online learning with Lynda.com. In the one precious spare hour per day that I have, I worked my way through hours of courses on up to date HTML and CSS coding as well as responsive web design, PHP, MYSQL and many other things that if I went on listing them, your brain would bleed!

Finally, after two months of watching tutorials and practising, I started to put the framework of my site together. Another two and a half months later and I have now completed building 95% of the site. After this is done, I need to spend some time adding some content and… away we go!

When I started this blog, I wanted to stop wasting my precious ‘me time’ (gee, I hate that phrase!) and instead spend it being productive and creative. While I haven’t actually been ‘bliction‘ blogging much for the last half a year, I have been inspired to be self-disciplined (it’s a new concept for me) and have got my creative juices flowing (another slightly disturbing phrase) and learned some new skills along the way.

Hopefully, we’ll see each other a little more often from now on.

Chalky.

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Welcome to Chalky’s Blackboard

I have wanted to start writing seriously for a while now; however, my old enemies – laziness and procrastination – have been all too willing to hamper my efforts.

So, instead of wasting my free time on pseudo creative but ultimately unsatisfying city-building computer games and other time wasting activities, I am going to attempt to write at least one piece of writing a week.

At my school, we have a new guy in charge of ‘student development’ (read behaviour management). He started off his tenure with an encouragement to the often lackadaisical student body to pursue self-discipline as it is both a biblical idea (I work in a Christian school) and one of the proven factors in being successful in one’s pursuits.

This got me thinking about my own failings in the area of self-discipline. Without some sort of external check, I very rarely get unessential but creatively satisfying things completed. My wife, who is a blogger herself, suggested that to give me some sort of accountability, I should aim to post my practice prose to a blog weekly (and perhaps [but hopefully not too] weakly).

So, here goes…

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