Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Money

The cheques keep on coming in. I received my second today, for $213. My plan before was to keep a small balance on my account just so that I would always be able to make a payment request, but it seems like the balance rises fast enough that it will probably never be too big of a wait before I can request another cheque.

Looking at my sales graphs, it seems as if my monthly istock sales are rapidly approaching 10% of what I'm getting paid for my day job. That says to me that I need to quickly shoot another 1800 half decent photos to add to my meager 200, then I'll really be laughing.

My spreadsheet suggests that at the rate I'm going it will be four more years before I even hit 1000. I guess I need to step things up a little.

The real problem isn't so much shooting the pictures as much as coming up with ideas of what to shoot. The ideas are the real hard part.


Old Ford

A kid came in the other day to pick up his photos. His buddy was out in the truck and their stereo was just blasting. The bass was shaking the whole studio, not just their old truck.

I said to the kid, "Is the knob that controls the bass on your stereo is broken?"

He said, "No, I don't think so."

It was a struggle for me and my co-worker to keep a straight face.

The kid continued, "In fact, I have a better stereo in my parent's basement. I just haven't put it in yet."

Apparently he hadn't decided which vehicle he wanted the better stereo in.

After he left, uncontrollable laughter.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Idea Crack

Ze Frank, has just recently finished making a video pod cast everyday for an entire year. That's a lot of videos.

One of my favourites was his response to someone asking if he was afraid of running out of ideas. He said, of course, but that is why as soon as he gets an idea he goes out and does it as quickly as possible.

It might not work the first time, the second time or even the third time, but even if you can't get it to work after three tries, you have three times as much experience doing it as someone who didn't try at all.

It is Ze's belief that people can get addicted to ideas. They are so afraid of failure that they become addicted to having the idea in their mind, that they plan to do someday, and someday never comes.

The more they think about their idea, the more perfect it needs to be carried out. Eventually the completing the idea becomes so unattainable that it can never be anything but an idea.

Ze calls it Brain Crack, but I think that a better name is idea crack, because it is the ideas that we become addicted to.

I guess the reason that this idea of Idea Crack is so interesting to me is that I am somewhat addicted to having ideas.

Several years ago, I saw some boy scouts selling cotton candy at the Medicine Hat parade. It was such a compelling thing to me, I really wanted to sell cotton candy. I thought about the idea for over a year. I looked up cotton candy machines on the internet trying to find out how or where to get one. I used formulas I learned in my managerial accounting class to make a excel spreadsheet to figure out the contribution margin of each unit of cotton candy so I would know how much I would have to sell to make buying a machine worth while as well as run through various scenarios detailing different levels of sales.

Then after almost a year and a half of thinking about it, I pitched the idea to the entrepreneur club at my faculty at the U of C. The girl I talked to thought it was a great idea. I could rent a machine and find some other people to work the booth while I was in class. etc. I can't remember for sure, but I think they were willing to float a loan, but the profits had to go to some charity.

Well, the cat was out of the bag by that point. I didn't need to buy a $1500 cotton candy machine. I could rent one from a party rental company. Screw experience, I was only in it for the money. The experience would be a nice afterthought.

The next Canada Day I sold well over $300 worth of cotton candy at the stampede parade in Raymond.

The next bit of idea crack stay in my head for a lot less time. The U of C Chinese club at the used to sell Texas doughnuts at a booth in the Student centre. It seemed like a great idea to me, but I didn't want to actually do it. Then the next year the Chinese Club quit selling them. I don't know if a key member graduated but anyway, my friend James Keller started selling them for his club.

He raved and rave about how easy it was and that they practically sold themselves. Well selling them sold itself to me. I asked him lots of questions about it and found out all I could. Still, it took me a year before I took the plunge for the first time. I was more successful selling the doughnuts that I had been selling the cotton candy. I went on to do the Texas doughnuts a bunch more times. The best thing about selling the doughnuts was that the bakery where I got them gave them to me on credit. They said to have a cheque ready for them the next day when they came to get their trays. I had all the money from the sales before I even paid for the doughnuts. It was great.

Since then the incubating time for my ideas has continued to drop significantly but it is still much longer than I would like it to be. It isn't anywhere near the speed of my sister who can come up with an idea and be working on it before you even have time to put on your shoes.

Anyway, I've been thinking of doing a basketball shot like this for about a month. That may or may not seem like much, but it is my hobby and there were no hurdles to overcome, other than going to a gymnasium.

This photo was one of the out takes, because you can see the Wilson / NCAA logos.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's Better than $599.99?

My first cheque came from today. I'm pretty pleased with it. It is a big one too.

You can cash out in amounts greater than $100, but I let mine account grow a little before I requested my cheque. The microstock business is going very well for me. So far this month I'm averaging a little over $6/day.

Here is an upto date history of my downloads.

03/06 : 1
04/06 : 4
05/06 : 7
06/06 : 30
07/06 : 63
08/06 : 90
09/06 : 93
10/06 : 103
11/06 : 82
12/06 : 101

01/07 : 169
02/07 : 191
03/07 : 217
04/07 : 87 (So far)

As you can see, I've already eclipsed my total downloads for last year and it is only April. is working well for me. I just need to get more photos posted and things will really start picking up.

I've got a couple of good ideas that I'm going to implement tonight.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How embarrassing...Iran captures 15 Brits

I just wanted to add my two bits about the Iranian Hostage taking event. Here's the deal. Lots of British people were embarrassed at the reaction of the British Goverment to the incident. In their own words they thought that Britain should immediately hussle to Iran and" cuff them about the head and ears." They also thought that the hostages should have made the Iranians torture the hell out of them before capitulating. Here's my reasoning. Had the British attacked Iran, the hostages would never have been released. They and thousands of others would have been killed. Also, it's a well known fact that noone can resist torture. People are willing to say anything to make the torturing stop. That being the case, why put yourself through it? I think I figured that one out when I was about five years old. Maybe I'm smarter than the Brits.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Good Shepard? Not So Great

I watched 45 minutes of this movie and thought. If movies aren't good in the first 30 minutes, they ain't getting any better in the next hour and a half. I watched for another 30 minutes and decided not to waste anymore time.

Matt Damon starred in this turd parade. Usually a film watcher doesn't want anything bad to happen to the main character but to tell you the truth, I was hoping that he would get killed or possibly trip, maybe even get a splinter in his finger, anything just as long as something would have happened I could have been happy.

The only good thing about this movie is that I got it free because of Blockbuster's guaranteed in policy.

Arrested Development

Watching tv series on DVD is the only way to go. I just finished watching all three seasons of Arrested Development and I really enjoyed them. I recommend them to anyone. It is a show about a rich family who lost everything and the one son that had no choice but to keep them all together.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Disney Redeems Itself

The new movie, "Meet the Robinsons" is so good, I can now say that I have forgiven Disney for making Pocahontas.

Tracie and I went to see it with Megan, Dan and Eva on Friday night. We both really enjoyed it a lot. I recommend it to anyone. It was the best movie either of us have seen in a long time.

It is the story of an orphaned inventor who meets a boy from the future and travels there on a quest to find his mother.

Very funny, and wildly entertaining, "Meet the Robinsons" is fine holiday fun. Two thumbs way up. In fact, my thumbs are higher than yours.