Garden, lizards and business…

I’m a bit behind on my daily posts. I’m thinking that perhaps I shouldn’t have committed myself to daily.

Over the last couple of days I’ve started to feel a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of my venture into the world of training. While it’s not very big in the grand scheme of business ventures, it’s a huge thing for me. Thoughts of getting my manuals printed, my inability to find some office supplies and furniture that I want and a call from the insurance advisor conspired to get to me. But no, all is well and it’s not so difficult at all; I was just having ‘one of those days’. Of course if I want to develop my own training materials, I’m going to have to get them printed. That’s no bigger job than ordering pre-printed manuals. Why is it that it seemed bigger than the actual development of the resources? The office supplies are a small thing, and the insurance issue should easily be solved by wording things a little differently. Thanks to a long chat with a good friend everything looks clearer again.

Speaking of insurance, we received a cheque in the mail from AAMI for our share of the fence, made out to us as a cash payment so we can pay the fencer whenever the job is complete. AAMI have been so easy for us to work with. We’ve been with them for a little over a year now and we’ve made two claims. Both have been easy to settle with no questions asked and only the slight hicough when they thought we hadn’t renewed with them. That question was solved by them before I could even look up the payment details myself. Now, hopefully I’ll hear from the contractor in the next couple of days with a start date.

I’ve now sent off my application for registration of a business name and I’ve paid for the first semester of  my Graduate Diploma of Information Design. I’m committed to both I now have to stop procrastinating with my TAA upgrade and get that out of the way. I don’t think the projects that I’ve been set are all quite as necessary as I’ve been led to believe. I’ll look back through the materials that I have on hand from when I used to do computer training in Jabiru and see what I can come up with to cover as many of the requirements as possible and next week I’ll put my head down and get as much of the rest out of the way as I can.

Now on to more interesting things.

I’ve been looking for a new pair of sandals, something comfortable, casual but a bit nicer looking than my old Birkenstocks. I found a very comfortable pair of El Naturalista sandals on sale and snapped them up.

El naturalista Ikebana Cuero

El Naturalista Ikebana Cuero

The garden has shown it’s pleasure at the cooler weather and the little bit of rain we had through the week. There are lots of buds on the roses.

Pruning roses

Pruning roses

The pink flowering gum has been covered in buds and they’ve started to open.

Corymbia ficifolia (summer beauty)

Corymbia ficifolia (summer beauty)

The white plume grevillea (smelly socks) has also made a last show with a few small flowers. It’s looking quite fabulous with it’s tall canes and popped seed pods.

White Plume Grevillea (smelly socks)

White Plume Grevillea (smelly socks)

The birds are loving the height and the other grevilleas that are currently in flower. We’re currently seeing a lot of New Holland Honeyeaters and a variety of other honeyeaters. There are lots of parrots around at the moment but we rarely get any of those in our garden. So far we haven’t seen any Black Cockatoos in the garden, we did have a couple come in for a drink at one of the birdbaths last year.

We did have a visitor to the yard today. Anzac made it obvious that there was something attracting his attention. He barked a couple of times but was mainly focussed on something in the bushes. It turned out to be another blue-tongued (shingleback or stumpy-tailed) lizard. This one wasn’t as pretty as the Christmas Day visitor, but looked just as healthy.

Blue tongued lizard

Blue tongued lizard

We finished the day with a very windy walk along the Burns Beach pathway.  The water was pretty rough with lots of lines and white caps. Our walk would have been nicer without the wind, but was enjoyable anyway.

Out walking

Out walking

Kaz

Kaz

Anzac in the sandpit

Anzac in the sandpit

Lunch, computers and OCR

I hopped on the train today and went to visit a friend for the day. We had a delicious lunch and great conversation. The time flew by so fast; too fast. Lynne was also kind enough to go through some of her business set-up with me. It’s all quite daunting when it boils down to reality. She has certainly given me plenty to think about!

Earlier in the day I made it to the post office and had a copy of my passport verified for my GDID enrolment. I got that emailed off. I’m committed to it now! I also put a USB modem in the mail for my mum. She’s been on dial-up. We’re hoping that with a broadband connection she’ll get a lot more use and enjoyment from her computer. My sister is organising a new computer for her when she visits after Christmas. Mum’s computer is about six years old and she’s been getting a lot of blue screens and now it won’t even turn on. Between us we’ll get her organised with a new computer and a faster Internet connection.

While I was still on the train on my way home I got a call from a friend who wanted some help getting the text out of a pdf document. He’s a friend who would do anything if we asked and I was more than happy to help.  I had him email it to me so I could see what needed to be done. It turns out that it was a scanned document so the text was really a picture of text, which is why he couldn’t just copy and paste it. My copy of Acrobat is crashing when I open it and I haven’t had a chance to look at why. I opened the document on Stephen’s computer and ran it through the OCR on his Acrobat. That got me most of the text and it didn’t need too much clean-up; it did miss a page in the middle, though. And Acrobat is a bit clunky to use for simple OCR. I then Googled free OCR programs to see what was out there. I ended up downloading FreeOCR from cnet and ran a page of the document through that. It was a very quick and easy process and I really like the way that FreeOCR has a split window so you can see the original document and the extracted text side-by-side. You can easilyedit the text and export it to Word. Of course there are always problems with OCR. The quality of the extracted text depends on the quality of the original image. But if you’re looking for a free OCR program and you’re on a Windows platform, I don’t think you can go past FreeOCR.

Learning…

Stephen went up to the mine for the last time this morning and I went off to an Intermediate Word course. I wasn’t sure whether I’d made the right decision doing Intermediate Word, but the course outline described a few things that I wanted to be able to do better; a few things that I had questions about. It was well worth it. I really enjoyed the course. The facilitator was very knowledgable and the day’s pace was perfect. I’ve been in a few courses where the knowledge has been good, but the presenter has been a bit slow, dragging on where he/she could have upped the pace. We reviewed a lot of stuff that I already knew, but much was clarified. I now understand why some things don’t work (or don’t work as expected), and know how to do a few others things that I wasn’t sure about.

I was also impressed with the lunch arrangements. Catered lunches at courses are often less than impressive. We were each given a voucher that we could use to buy lunch from one of five or six nearby cafés. I went to Jaws East Perth Sushi Restaurant. Yum!

I’m doing an advanced course on Thursday and Friday and really looking forward to that. It will cover quite a bit that I’ve never done before.

I got home and, of course, the pups were extremely happy to see me. Anzac went out into the garage later in the evening when I left the door open and laid down behind the car, refusing to move. I left him out there for about half an hour (with the door open so he could come in) and he wouldn’t move until I offered him some treats. I think the problem was that my handbag was on the kitchen bench and that usually means I’m going out in the car!

I finally got around to filling in the enrollment paperwork for the Graduate Diploma in Information Design that I’ve been accepted into, only to discover that I need to include a verified copy of my passport. I’m studying through Christchurch Polytechnic and so I’m an International student. I’ll have to see if I can get a verified copy tomorrow so I can get this paperwork sent off.

And now it’s time to watch Black Books and write my Christmas Cards!