Monday, June 25, 2012

One era ends as another begins

Our little business moves to a new stage as we accept that former business associates have closed the door on a mutual referral business after only twelve months.... however this is actually beneficial to us as we had only lost business and money as a result of their unethical behaviour.

We have entered into new relationship's with old friend's. We have a history that has always been mutually beneficial and the recent unethical behaviour mentioned above was instrumental in pushing us all back together so we have decided to formalise the relationship's. This formalisation will remove some of the restrictions previously imposed upon us and we see this as a wonderful opportunity for substantial sustainable growth.

My role will be a lot less active than it has been previously as I move into semi retirement. I am looking forward to the role of advisor and strategist for my associates with the right resources at my disposal. This new role of course does require a more central location as a base for our operations and this too has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it will put us in closer proximity to the majority of our Australian relatives and in particular our grand children.

Further good news this week although bitter-sweet, yesterday we accepted an offer on our Toowoomba home and today we and our solicitors reviewed the terms of the contract which will be formalised later this week, all going well. Unfortunately my hobby has had to take a back seat this week and probably for a couple more as we implement all these changes but such is life.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Son's Company

This has been a rather interesting week and I have been enjoying myself immensely at every opportunity, a great week in many ways.

Day before yesterday I spent the whole day with my son Jason, we went out working together. It has been years since we have done this and it used to be me doing the teaching and training if and when it was required. Jason reminded me quite frequently of one of my favourite expressions, "Don't be afraid to step out of the box, many can and do look over the edge but only a few will step out into the unknown".

This all started because Jay was very interested and gifted I might add, in electronics unlike me. He was dead keen to get into electronics, alarms, CCTV, access control and the like... so like any good parent I went about trying to get him set-up with an apprenticeship or trainee-ship. At that time our little company only provided services that I was comfortable with and electronics was never going to be one of them so I approached a couple of local Electronic Security firms and proposed that we enter into a formal referral arrangement if they would take Jay on as an Apprentice. Unfortunately they declined thereby leaving us with no alternative but to start our own electronics division which actually turned out very well for us since Jay was prepared to step out of the box and teach himself.

A dear friend 'Wal' and his son 'Rick' who provide Electronic Security services in another town took Jay under the wing and taught him some of the basics, for which we will be forever grateful. Over the years Jay was put through just about every course known to the industry and then some and has worked on some of the most intricate, multi faceted systems available in Queensland. I am of course very biased but it is also a fact that Jay has put together and managed a large number of fully automated multi million dollar projects for not only our company but also the largest government security contractor in Queensland.

So Wednesday was a very special day for me to be my son's sidekick as my business contracted his business 'QTech Security Systems' to assist with some maintenance tasks. He was going to stay overnight but his services are in such demand that he was called away and since he had completed all of our allocated tasks in half the time, he couldn't justify the indulgence.

The rest of the week has been great too as I have been playing with the video editing software again and will post a shortened clip of the NZ leg of our world trip.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Queens Birthday Holiday

Seeing that it's the Queens Birthday Holiday I thoroughly enjoyed a lay in this morning until well after 8.30am. Listened to the birds (feathered kind) partying outside the bedroom window. There must have been at least half a dozen species including my favourite, the Kookaburra I just love their call. Bonnie Ronnie and I are very fortunate to live only half a kilometre from the 'Bird Habitat'. This is a park consisting of some marshes, bushland and a pond. It has walkways and amenities for the public and is maintained by the Toowoomba Regional Council.

I did a little reading of my bible, opened at random to Psalm 23. It's amazing how just the right chapters and versus are revealed and I know that God is speaking directly to me for my situation. About 15 years ago we and in particular I was going through a really tough patch and this scripture kept presenting over and over again. People I didn't know would leave sticky notes for me with nothing but 'Psalm 23' scribbled on them and Bonnie Ronnie and her friends would frequently quote this scripture to me. The point is that this scripture gave me a great deal of comfort and got me through one of the toughest times of my life. I was baptised as a Christian shortly after getting back on track - It was the middle of winter and I was baptised in the ocean at Bargara. I am eternally grateful to Pastor Doug for braving that freezing water in the early hours of the morning for me.

I am so thankful for all of God's blessings, they are many and I know that I know in my heart of heart's that he has a marvellous and wonderful plan for me. I feel like the kid in the back seat on a long journey so filled with excitement and anticipation, asking repeatedly "Are we there yet?" I ask repeatedly, "please reveal your plan for me Lord", I know it's good and just like any kid (I'm a child of God) I'm impatient and want it now. All things are in His timing which is always perfect.

During yesterday's open house Ronnie and I spent some time shopping for a couple of kitchen utensils at Clifford Gardens and along the way we stopped and took a couple of photos which we will add to our album 'My Toowoomba'. Our agent called after the open house and the poor fellow was so despondent as the person who made the terrible offer the day before, didn't return as promised. He has asked that we consider dropping the price by another $30K which would put the house on the market at $90K below value... I don't thinks so, no point really.

I have not quite reached my goal of having the business accounts up to date and ready for EOF by today but if I stay focused I may be able to get it done today. This is going to be hard because I do so want to play at my new hobby and make another clip, Ronnie loves them:)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Movie Tricks

Finally we have had an offer on the property, not a good one unfortunately but an offer none the less. Our agent advises that we had four groups go through yesterday which is not bad considering that it's a long weekend, the middle of winter and the last month of the financial year.

Bringing our business accounts up to date for EOF (End Of Financial) is always a challenge but I was able to concentrate quite well yesterday. I had Bonnie Ronnie's help and whilst she couldn't physically help with the accounts it helped me tremendously to be able to explain to her what I was doing step by step as she encouraged me when running into problems and issues. 

While I was fit and on my game, running multiple bank accounts for the different divisions and enterprises, juggling finances was relatively easy for me but when we started to make changes we moved banks and in the process have wound up with eleven bank accounts in all so I'm in the process of consolidating that all down to a couple of accounts by EOF.

After returning home (we always make sure that we are out during the house inspections) I concentrated on my new hobby, photography and movie making and am learning new tricks all the time. At present I am putting together the video clips with some overlays of video clips and photos as picture within picture and whilst still very amateurish I'm quite pleased with myself. I have finished my first DVD of our New Zealand leg of the world trip and it's about 25 minutes long.  

Currently working on the Hawaii leg, unfortunately one of our camera's gave up the ghost on this leg and we were so busy trying to find power adapters for our equipment that we actually have very little to work with. The photography and movie clips from the dying camera are really bad so I am working on improving the quality and am not even sure if that's possible. One thing is for sure though, I am absolutely loving this and getting to relive the holiday time and time again, this itself is a confidence booster. Here is a sample of the current project hastily squished down to under 3 minutes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Open House

Woke up this morning with another open house inspection to look forward to. My little Bonnie Ronnie is having a hard time with her right hand and left shoulder which means it's going to be a tough one today as she is going to need quite a bit of help, being the house proud perfectionist that she is (this is not sarcasm or a slight of any kind - I wouldn't have her any other way) but fortunately the inspection is for mid afternoon so we have a bit of time.

We have dropped the price by another $10K so it's on the market for $489K (down $60K) and still not a single offer in 3 months, fingers crossed that we get at least one today else I'm going to have to look at an auction and I really don't want to go there..... anyway back to the task at hand.

We don't have much of a garden but the strong winds from our miserable weather of a few days ago brought down our biggest tree (A Japanese Tea Tree all of 5 metres in height) snapped it off at the base believe it or not behind the picket  fence. No damage to speak of so I spent a few hours yesterday chopping it up and repairing the minor damage to the house and our miniature Blood Rose creeper. I have this huge unfinished oval in the middle which I may have to decide on how to finish and spend some dollars. Originally we built the oval to enhance and highlight the very expensive and not overly ornate fountain that we were going to put in place but then we started wondering about putting in a gazebo and had not made up our minds by the time we had to put it on the market, the house that is.

I'm posting a few pictures in case someone knows someone who may be interested - BTW we would gladly stay on as long term tenants if an investor were interested. So why sell? Our mortgage at 11.99% is killing us, and we are too old to refinance ourselves into a better position - We absolutely love our home and our neighbours but have only one option... Sell! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Affirmative action

Day one of my new affirmative action plan to improve self esteem was no resounding success but I know what the cause of my problems are and I just need to look at some of my family and friends to know that my problems are insignificant in the overall scheme of things. I can at least do something about mine and whilst I feel that I am probably projecting as a very self centred pratt I do have the well being of these very dear ones in my thoughts and prayers.

I took time out yesterday afternoon whilst attempting to reconcile accounts. I became a little confused so rather than do the usual, "keep going till you get it right" thought and allow it to pull down my self confidence I worked on the second mini holiday movie and had a ball as I am gaining confidence in something that I do enjoy. This has helped me get this day started on a positive note.

I am writing the thoughts as they come to mind but am trying to stay fluid for my own sake and those of my loved ones. I say this because I do not want to say anything that could add to their pain but at the same time they are very much in the forefront of my thoughts. One family is on the long road to recovery following the recent tragedy of losing a child and taking life 'one breath at a time'. The other is closer to home also taking life 'one breath at a time' having lost one child and constantly in fear of losing another. The latter causes my breath to catch and my heart to stop each time the ambulance is called. My worst fear and most taboo topic is very much in the forefront of my thoughts this morning.

I need to change the focus my thoughts, have a coffee and backup emails and other morning data. While the computers are busy I'l brows the social networks in search of inspiration, starting with Ed my brother in law, he always has a positive or thought provoking quote. Psych myself up for today's challenge - here we go.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Result's CT and others.

Yesterday I was almost beside myself with worry over my mental state. A visit to my GP (Sharon is damned good) took a hell of a load off my mind when she went over the results of my CT Brain Scan and conducted a barrage of anxiety and memory tests. The scans showed that everything was normal, CT showed no sign of stroke and Doppler scan showed minor plaque build-up in the carotid artery, a good result.

The memory test result was 100% "an over achiever", Sharon called me, that was a heck of a relief I can tell you but it sure doesn't feel right since I am still having huge difficulty with focus and concentration, I seem to be really absent-minded and dithery for want of a better term. 

A number of years ago I suffered a three day episode of Transient Amnesia brought about by stress which was the result of a massive workload and no sleep for an extended period.

The anxiety test showed significant levels of stress and whilst I am a long way from suicidal my self confidence and self esteem is very low thereby creating a catch 22 situation. Sharon has recommended that I see a psychologist and has given me a referral. I will set up an appointment but in the meantime, now that I have a handle on what is wrong with me I can begin to do something positive about it.

I will knuckle down, carry my load and get caught up on work. I will be more determined (I have a stubborn streak a mile wide and I'm not afraid to use it) to complete tasks in a timely fashion. Do the job once - do it right! no second guessing! Bring back that old arrogance, toughen up... pull up my socks, get my act together and be a man!! Absolutely CRUSH all negativity beyond recognition and build self confidence and self esteem with positive affirmative thoughts, speech and action!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Staying positive

This week the weather has been pretty wet, cold and miserable so I have spent a lot of my spare time putting together movie clips of our holiday. I am taking the time to learn a little about the software and to make these mini movie's as professional as I can and am enjoying myself immensely. I love a challenge which is just as well given the situation I find myself in.

I am and will be writing more blogs like this because I need to do this for me. I would love to write about a host of things but especially about circumstances that I have found or more precisely, that have found me during my lifetime. I am advised to write for 30 minutes a day, the first thing that comes to mind - I'm trying to learn a little about writing and publishing as I am a complete novice. At school I was hopeless at writing and or learning for that matter. I have always been a strong believer in a positive attitude and mind over matter and have been able to overcome some of life's more challenging obstacles as a result.

Fear is a funny thing and not in a humorous way. My greatest fear I suppose is no different to anyone else, that of a threat to the safety and well being of my children. I think as parents we treat this subject as taboo for fear that the mere mention will set in motion that which we fear most. Notice how I skirt the issue, for as always it is still my greatest fear and I cannot bring myself to go into depth for fear that I will, with my thoughts alone... set in motion a chain of events that I have no control over. This brings me to my second greatest fear which I think is quite common.

I have an appointment with my GP this afternoon following CT brain scans and Ultrasound scans of my neck looking at the vascular system for any anomalies. We are looking for signs of stroke and or damage to the brain   because of some recent memory and muscular abnormalities. I am looking forward to the appointment with a good deal of trepidation because whilst I am afraid of the physical effects of a stroke I am far more afraid of the mental effects. So now I am hoping that it was a minor stroke or something physical that can be overcome with a little determination and not dementia or early onset alzheimer's.

The worry, concern, stress (FEAR) is adding to the problem with sleepless nights. Fortunately I don't have to worry about the business as well although I do feel a little guilty that I am not pulling my weight. I am so lucky to have such good friends in business. If you read this Paul, thanks for being such a good mate over the last 26 years, your support and assistance is much appreciated even though it goes without saying.

Having a definitive prognosis will be such a relief because it will allow me to study the problem in depth and formulate a plan to overcome the issue. I have no doubt that I can overcome the fear through my faith in God and determination to beat whatever this is. Maintaining a positive attitude is paramount.