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Archive for February, 2013

Catherine Marriott Watson (1851-1943)

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Catherine (Kate) Marriott Watson was the grandmother of my paternal grandmother Elvie Ruth Bonner (1901-1986). Catherine Marriott Watson was the daughter of Brereton Ross Porter Pemberton Rolla Watson and Catherine Wade (her mother was Catherine Morgan, one of the first colonial children born in Tasmania, and the daughter of the First Fleet convict Richard Morgan by his third partner Catherine Clark).

Catherine Marriott Watson’s father, Brereton Watson, was the son of John Watson and Angelina Marriott of London. The Watson’s are connected to and descended from the Watsons of Rockingham Castle, Rutland. These photographs were made in the late 1800s.

This group of photographs (clockwise) are of Catherine and her siblings James, Charles and George. Catherine, the youngest, was born at Prosser Plains, Tasmania in 1851 and died at Scottsdale, Tasmania in 1943.

Kate Watson and her brothers were my grandmother's grandmother and great uncles

Cash Flow – the Cold Tap of Staying in Business

Monday, February 25th, 2013

I’ve harped on about this one before and no doubt I’ll be at it again in another six months. The life blood of your business is cash flow. It’s the problem to solve. The contingency that you have to be prepared to meet. Ultimately, cash flow is how you keep the lights on.

Profitable Business versus Cash Flow in your Business

Don’t mix up being a profitable business with having cash flow in your business. It’s ideal to be profitable, sure. But it’s almost instant certain death to your business not to have the money to pay your bills as they fall due. Short-and-long-term finance can take you so far but without the cold hard cash coming into your door there is no business. And that is true regardless of overall profitability.

It’s a simple thing to get your head around. I wouldn’t sweat it. Just start chasing the next dollar a little more vigorously rather than sitting back with a chart that says you can make X profit from Y inputs at point-of-time Z.

Cash flow is how you get from this point to there… point-of-time Z.

Working out Ways to Keep Cash Flow in a New Business

Two-and-a-half years of product development has put me in a position where I now have what I would consider a viable artisan product with an identified market worth pursuing. I have a business plan and an MBA. With a bit of luck and early third party investment I may be able to launch a profitable business with money coming in the door from sales in about a year.

But I’m focused at the moment on cash flow between now and 2014-15. That simple, often overlooked, cold tap of staying in business. It reminds me of an old joke among convicts about unfaithful girlfriends. Someone would always shrug and say “Well it’s too high off the ground to eat grass.” Yeah, I know how bad that joke is but it’s true about business – it’s too high off the ground to eat grass.

So right now and for the next few years I could use a low paying regular real job that can take my own business idea from point A to point B. And if you’ve got such a job in Hobart, Tasmania I would surely be appreciative. And, hey, if it’s at a winery or distillery all the better. But in the current economic climate that’s a big ask. There are no jobs to be had and the local economy is sliding backwards.

The important thing to take away is that cash flow is critically important. Don’t be seduced by romantic numbers on a page talking about profitability per volume of product and offering up an attractive break-even point. Your business is too high off the ground to eat grass in the interim. What you need is cash.

Embracing the Grain of Life in Film Photographs

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

In many instances I love film grain. There I said it. I’m with Henri Cartier-Bresson on his assertion that sharpness is a bourgeois concept. Grain, even heavy grain, can offer a defining characteristic to some photographs.

A good example of this is in a roll of Kodak 200 that I shot on a Konica Big Mini SR BM-100 at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. In cross-processing as black and white I gave the film negatives an extra hour (with a dash too much Rodinal developer). The result made for dramatically blown out highlights and large, often unflattering, grain.

However, some of these pictures have a grittiness that seems to embrace the grain. A good photograph is much more than crisp and clear imagery – for example, the 1960s-70s Japanese are-buri-boke (rough-shake-no-focus) technique evident in the earlier work of Daido Moriyama. All I’m saying is not to throw this type of picture away solely on the basis of severe grain.

You might compare this severe grain to kneeling by the roadside and taking a handful of dirt to run through your fingers. What isn’t important is whether you own the land, or if it’s even the best land to be owned. What is important is the experience of running that land through the fingers. To me, at least.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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