24 January 2010

Sony Clie (Todo & Date Book).

The Weaver of Grass asked what it was she said that prompted me to show you my little computer last week. Well it's to do with her comments about making lists. I've mentioned their benefits to me in the past and I know some of you don't like to be tied to lists, especially where gardening is concerned as you see it as a pass time and I understand that as I would be and indeed am the same in my own garden. But because this is my work its important that everything gets done and on time and to that end I need to be organized. I guess I keep two lists really, the 'Todo' list and my 'Work Book' that I publish each week for you to see. The 'Todo' list is of jobs to be done and the 'Work Book' are jobs done.

Every once in a while I walk around the garden with my handheld computer and add every job that I notice to the todo list.

Todo list view

I have the garden divided in to categories, for instance 'Main Garden', 'Walled Garden' and so on. This is basically so I can organize jobs so that I'm not having to move from one place to the other so much although that's not too important, the important bits are to prioritise and try to work to a due date, all of which can be added to the todo list along with any notes about the job. Once this is done I will usually take the list home and synchronise it with the desktop software that goes with the handheld.

Desktop date book, the todo list is in the bottom right corner so all you have to do is drag and drop the jobs on to the date book and roughly set the time needed for each job. Unless you like to put yourself under pressure its best to leave a few small gaps as jobs usually take longer than you think they will.
I could do it all on the handheld but its easier on the computer. I plug it in and press a button and it all gets syncronised either way. The date book and todo list sit side by side on the computer screen and are displayed in order of due date and priority so its just a matter of dragging the jobs in to vacant slots of the right size in the date book. I then sync the handheld with the computer so that it has the new copy of the date book.

The date book on the handheld replicates that of the desktop.

Of course as you can imagine nothing ever goes to plan so the times often have to be edited as each job is completed so that I have an honest account of my work. The account has to be honest because in a years time I will often refer back to what I was doing last year so that I know not only what I need to be doing at a certain time but also it acts as a pacemaker. For instance because of the snow we just had I can see from looking at the date book for last year that I am behind with work in the veg garden but have time in hand as far as the conservatory and pruning of the fruit trees so I know that this week I need to concentrate on the veg garden. I also know that last year there were two weeks in February that we had snow and ice so if we have no more bad weather I should be able to get back on top of things. So my pocket boss keeps me on track and focused on what needs to be done. These are his two main jobs but there are many more he undertakes to aid me.

21 January 2010

The Lawn Ranger & Tom.

Hello everyone, I hope you had a good day and I’m pleased you could find time to visit me.

Today I finished pruning the Apple and Pear trees in the walled garden, I just have one more Pear tree to prune on the end of our row of cottages which shouldn’t take me too long.
Today we had to take in one of our cars to the garage just to have a light bulb changed. I had a look at doing it myself the other day but the way they build them it’s impossible to get a new bulb in without stripping away several parts of the engine which I could probably have done and may even have done if it had been summer but in the end decided to take to our garage. The bill came to £25 just to have a new bulb fitted! The garage’s charge for fitting it was £5, the bulb £20. I don’t begrudge the garage their £5 but £20 for a light bulb is ridiculous.

Well I think the best thing to do after a dose of nasty medicine like that is to have some fun and a smile so I took a look at some pictures and picked these three of me and my mate Tom from Christmas as its smiles all round.

The hat is a Christmas present to me from my sister but as you can see someone else took a likin' to it. Below is a better look at the motif on it.

17 January 2010

The Boss

After a comment The Weaver of Grass said the other day I’m going to show you some pictures of my boss. This boss is not to be confused with the owner of the estate, I’m saving that picture for the day after I hand in my notice. The boss I am going to feature here is the most used and useful gardening tool I have at my disposal and when you see it you will think that strange considering what it is. So anyway let me introduce you to Sony Clie.

Sony no longer make these but they are still readily available on Ebay and Amazon in one or other of their various forms, this one being the NZ90. Of course there are numerous other devices that will do a similar job, the Sony Clie is the one I choose though.

So useful to me are they that there is far too much to tell in this post alone so I will content myself with just showing you some pictures on which I have highlighted the various controls.