Preparing financial accounts

I’ve set up a meeting with the accountant next week. So looks like the time has finally come for me to prepare the accounts for her to inspect. I initially thought it is going to be a rather daunting exercise. But with the help of the template W found me, it was surprisingly easy to do! It however required me to go through bank statements, receipts etc. I think that was the annoying bit, as I’m not a very organised person. Now that I’ve done a set of accounts myself, I think it is a very good practice to keep the accounts up to date. For obvious reasons like I will not then be required to do everything at the last minute!Things are really getting more interesting for my travel business. But it’s time to renew my license. I’m a bit apprehensive although the CAA has agreed to renew my license subject an extension to my bond. Mainly because it seems that the credit crunch really has done some damage to the insurance industry as they appear to have tighten their practice. Anyway I’ve just sent the accounts that I’ve drafted to the insurer. Let’s hope that they will give me a good rate for the bond amount I requested!

A new year

I just came from a three weeks vacation in Malaysia. There is no magic as to why I go to Malaysia, it is my home, or was. I am not sure where I should call home these days but I certainly still have a lot of connections there.It was Chinese New Year earlier this month and we had a great time celebrating with friends and family. However, CNY celebration is not as elaborate as it used to or may be it’s just me getting old and start to see things differently.This year is the year of the rat. For some reasons I have an uneasy feeling about my furtune this year. Call me superstitious but I have a feeling that I will face many obstacles this year and may be difficult decisions will have to be made.I have just been informed at work that I have to move office to another location on the same floor which is right at the heart of a politically charged zone. Now I am not sure whether that is the first omen of my bad fortune year. I hope that I can stay out of trouble acting stupid but polItics is tricky business, one never know quite what to do.The good news is, C and I just managed to procure our first customer for our own part-time business. It is all very exciting. I do hope that the business will take off and we can one day work for ourselves. I shall keep my fingers crossed and pray hard that this will happen sooner rather than later.

Another photo selected by Schmap

This is another of my photo that is included in the Schmap, but this time in their Vienna Edition (previously the Seville Edition). To their credit, they have certainly worked out a very good business model, and a win-win situation for photographers and themselves. On their wesbite, you can see that they do a very good job in acknowledging photos contributed to their travel guides by amateur photographers like me. This is important as photographers, I think mostly amateurs, will then be more receptive to the idea of not being paid for photographs used. (Well, we are not used to being paid in the first place anyway! :)) More importantly, every photo they used can be traced back to where the photos came from, e.g. in my case the Flickr site where I uploaded my photos. For amateur photographers, this creates more exposure to the photos they uploaded, which originally may well be intended to be shared with just friends and families, and brings their photos out from near anonymity.What they gain in doing this is not just the rights to using the photos. The more photos they have chosen from different people, the more people will know about their travel guide. Yes publicity, coming from ecstatic photographers. If these photographers have websites or blogs, like myself, even better, as they are likely to blog about this or create links back to their website, e.g. you can voluntarily put the following widget (source code provided by them) on the side of your website.Clever eh? I think it’s just a matter of time before they phase in the truly revenue generating advertisments onto their website. Will see.

Year of Rat

Helped my dad to clean and tidy the house this morning. It is Chinese New Year tomorrow. I think it is a tradition to clean the house, wear new clothes to welcome the new year. While we were tidying and storing stuff into what used to be a dog hut, my dad found a rat hiding in a paper box which is carrying a fire extinguisher. Dad then used a large plastic bag, wrapped the whole box in it, waited for the rat to emerge from the box and then killed it using a wooden stick. Actually not quite, my dad has to also step on it once to finally finish it off. I feel bad, although I did suggest my dad to let the rat go. In fact I’m the one to pass my dad the wooden stick when I was asked to find one! Guess my dad still has too much authority over me.I remember saying to myself that “Ratatouille” is one of the best animation movies around after watching it on my flight back to Malaysia. And I think Disney movies are great, which I haven’t really appreciated until now, as they have the magical power to make people, especially kids, love and appreciate animals, due to the animations that make animals look so cute and adorable. However here I am ended up helping my dad killed one of these little animals. Shame on me.To make matter worse, I found out later on in the afternoon that it’s the year of Rat this coming year. What a bizarre experience, to have killed a rat on the eve of year of Rat. Damn, I really don’t like what that has just happened today!

Thoughts about my travel business

I’m really pleased to receive the positive feedbacks on the website for my small travel business venture to Malaysia. They mean a lot to me, as I have spent just so much time on the website. I don’t claim to have created the website from scratch, but it is so much work to get the website to look the way I want. It is such a relief to know that these effort has not gone wasted.I think the content for the website is quite important. I remember when I initially showed to some people their remarks were just so so only. After working on the content, it seems that people are now starting to appreciate the business we are working on. I guess the passion and confidence in my own business does help too. And I genuinely believe that tourism is the best way forward for Borneo if we want to keep the rainforest and the biodiversity there. You probably have no idea that there are many people out there who want to turn these forest into oil palm plantation for biodiesel. In fact one of my close friends has some land in Sabah that has just been turned into an oil palm plantation recently! It was an act my friend is not particularly proud of, even though the land he bought used to be secondary forest, rather than primary. Bio-fuel cannot be a direct replacement of natural fuel source. People really should conciously cut down energy wastage. There’s no excuse for not doing that and people should be ridiculed for being ignorant. People need to start realising the consequences of their actions.Circumstances change from time to time. What was acceptable years ago is now frowned upon. Seems a bit strange sometimes but nothing new. Guess we just need to keep updating ourselves so that what we now know as mistakes are not repeated again.