It may seem silly going back to work for one day before the weekend, but I did manage to get quite a bit done. Our ‘corporate email’ is in the process of migrating from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003, and it was our offices turn this week. Of course, all the Numpties found it a struggle, which was only to be expected. From what I hear, the so called ‘super-user’, who was supposed to be able to show everyone where they were going wrong, was nowhere to be seen. I suppose, he/she/it spent most of the time up with senior management. Not out of necessity, you understand, but out of ambition. The problem most of the staff have, and it has long been a bit of a bug bear for me, is that they do not have the wherewithal to find things out. They do not have the skill set, to be able to utilise the ‘help’ pages. They can only function, if someone tells them what to say/do etc. For example, one of the fools has spent all day, trying to send emails, whilst working offline !!!! A quick type of ‘unable to send emails’ into the help box revealed the answer !!!
Month: October 2009
Back to work ….
It’s back to work tomorrow !! It’s been a good few days off. We dropped the eldest at Uni this morning, and then went to look at a new car. We get to change our family car in March, under the Motorbility scheme, so we need to start looking now. We’ve had a Renault Scenic for the past 9 years, but we will not need such a big car now, with S**** not living at home. Mrs H likes the look of the Volvo C3.
Then we went for a walk around the lake at Roundhay Park, which was nice . I have to say though, that lakeside walk is somewhat spoiled, by all the warning signs, telling people ‘Do Not Enter the Water’ They are there, because a few years ago. Someone died after they decided to swim across the lake, in spring-time, before the water had had time to warm up from the winter. So now we have signs warning everyone of the danger !!!!! We never had signs up when I used to go fishing there, thirty years ago. You just knew that it was a dangerous place, so you took care !!!
Its the eldest lads birthday today. He was supposed to be at drama tonight, but there was some problem with the village hall. Apparently the new paint job had not been completed, so they could not rehearse. Two of his friends, B*** and C******* came home with him at around half 8, and we all went off to the pub about 10 o’clock. A very pleasant evening.
I need to do a bit of maintenance on my car at the moment. I gave it a vacuum out this morning, and thought I had better top up my washers. It was then that I spotted, that the coolant needed topping up. Well I had some of that from last year, but I then checked the oil, and it was a bit below the ‘min’ mark on the dipstick. So I need to get some of that tomorrow. If they have it, it seems to be cheapest in ASDA. However knowing my luck, they won’t have any, and I’ll have to pay a bit more and get some from Halfords. I think it is a good to have some on hand.
One down … two to go
It has been a good day. We went out for a meal with K***’s Mum, Dad, Aunt and Uncle. It is here Aunties 70th birthday next week, so we went to the George at Piercebridge, near Darlington. It is a nice place, but the meal was not as good as it promised to be. K*** told me later, that hers was awful, and that if it had been just me and her, then she would have sent it back. I had a medium rump steak. It was not quite medium, and was no where near the 10oz it should have been. The puddings were, at best average, and all in all was a little disappointing. Still the company was good.
It is the eldest’s birthday tomorrow. It must seem a little strange for him, as this will be the first time he has not been here for his birthday. We are going to meet him, and go for a pizza, but I’m not sure how his mum is going to be in the morning.
Someone is coming to look at the leaking hot water tank tomorrow. I hope it is first thing, but I bet it is about midday when they turn up. I have my fingers crossed that it is only a leaking pipe joint. Anything else would be a major job I think.
Three days off
Work went well. Glad I’m off for a few days though. I think I need a bit of a break. It seems to have been a long time since I was last off. We are going out for lunch tomorrow with Mrs H’s mum and dad, and aunt and uncle. It’s her aunt’s 70th birthday next week. It is hard to imagine that she is 70, but what is really hard to get my head round, is that she is only 16 years older than me !!! That scares me a bit.
Sounds like the youngest has had another good day. Mrs H only gave him one dose of his medication, and that was around lunchtime. He has gone on respite for a few days. Back on Friday.
I’m feeling a little giddy at the moment. I was on Twitter earlier, and the classical singer Katherine Jenkins was tweeting like mad. On the off chance, I mentioned that I had enjoyed her recent TV interview. To my utmost surprise, the lovely lady tweeted back and said thank you. I was completely made up !!!! It will take a while to get me down off this cloud.
The weekend is all gone ….
Another successful Sunday with the youngest, and yet again, no medication. That is three Sundays in a row. Just wish that it could happen on Saturday too. Now that would be something.
We think we have a small leak in the hot water cylinder. There seems to be water escaping around the thermostat. However the people we pay to fix things like this do not see it as an emergency, and are not coming out until Wednesday. Fingers crossed that it does not get worse then !!
I have a few days off work next week. I’m in on Monday and Friday, but mid week, I’m on leave. Youngest goes away on respite for a few days tomorrow, so it is a good time to take off. The eldest is 20 on Wednesday. He is coming up for his drama, but he has to be back at Uni on Thursday morning. Mrs H is not taking it too well I think. She was hoping he would come straight home after his lecture on Wednesday, but he wants to have a drink with his pals first. That may not go down too well if he is not home for tea.
It is quite a big week for the IT at work. Our building is moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 on Thursday. I know what your saying, with Office 2010 due out soon, why are we still running 2003 versions. Apparently it is all down to licensing, suitability, time factors, or deployment issues, depending on who you speak to. What they don’t explain, is that it is all down to staffing issues !!! Still it will be good to get away from the limitations of Notes.
End of BST
It’s been quite a good day. Out with the youngest this morning for a haircut. He was really good. We had about a 20 minute wait, and he was no problem at all. It is a lot different from the first few times we used to go, when he just would not let them do anything. Mind you, they know him now, and know exactly what he is like, and are really good with him.
Just been changing all the clocks. Well I think I’ve changed them all. Here’s hoping that R*** does not wake up at 5am again, like this morning. It has been between 7am and 7:30am when he has woken up all week. Then it’s my day off and the little devil is awake at 5am. Give him his due though, he did not want anything until about 7:30am.
Leeds Utd got beat at Millwall, so that did not go down too well. Their unbeaten record has gone now. It was good while it lasted. I just hope it does not knock their confidence.
X factor was strange tonight. I only saw the first half, but it had Louis and Simon debating whether U2’s ‘With or Without You’ was a ‘Big Band’ song. But one singer sang ‘Proud Mary’, by Creedence Clearwater Revival which is not a ‘Big Band’ sound either. Get your house in order I say !!
Quite a reasonable day today, except for the start. Today was the day we have our “regular” team meeting. I use the word regular in it’s most broad sense. We are supposed to have one every month, but thankfully, it is a lot less often. The problem is, that it last for 75 minutes, and 90% of the meeting could take 20 minutes only. Someone like the sound of his own voice too much. The agenda is always the same, and for the most times, the content is the same too.
The rest of the work day went okay. I think I have managed to sort out the problems with the handheld repairs. It would appear that the repair company were unable to create an RMA for 4 cases, so they left them !!! It was only when I contacted them, that someone realised the problem and tried again. I would put money on the fact, that I won’t get a customer satisfaction survey for these cases.
Youngest has been okay tonight. He got a bit upset when someone was letting fireworks off. They really seem to bother him now. It was strange, because when the first couple went off, he seemed to be quite excited, but that soon changed. To his credit, when I told him to put his head phones on, he did so straight away, and kept them on for a good 2 hours. They are noise cancelling full ear phones, and when they switched on really deaden all external noise.
He tried the IPod at school today. It looks like they have been showing him what to do, and he seems to have some understanding. I still think that it will not be of much use for him. School thinks it is marvellous !!! Mrs H spoke with the Principal today, who is determined to find the money to buy some IPods and the software to use in school. Maybe they can see more different uses than I can.
Re: No post on 21/10/2009….
It was a little late when I got back last night, and I was more than a little worse for wear. Not drunk I may add, just rather tired. It was about 00:45 when we finally got in, where the time went to is anybodies guess, and I was just not up to writing even one line.
I realised this afternoon, that I never said how Sundays dinner turned out. The lamb was cooked to perfection. It was in the oven for just over 4 hours, and it just fell off the bone. Really tender and surprisingly moist, in spite of the length of cooking time. It is a dish we may do again.
The meeting with R***’s consultant went better than expected. He did seem to have some clue after all, although I got the impression, that whilst he knew all about the condition, he knew very little about R***. We shall see what happens from here. The parents evening went well also. His teacher appeared to be very keen on what we had to say. So again it is a wait and see time.
Mrs H has bought R*** an IPod touch, and has paid a fortune for an app that is supposed to be good for kids with Autism. Trouble is, I don’t think he will have anything to do with it. According to ‘the experts’ it can do lost of things. However, the only thing I can see with the app is that it is some kind digital PECS system. He does not use PECS, which to my mind is a communication tool for kids with no speech. If someone has some speech, and you give that person a tool that basically speaks for them, what will be the outcome ????
No post on 21/10/2009
Due to difficulties (i.e. too much beer ha ha), I was unable to make a posting. This is not a permanent condition !!!
A virus ??
I got a facebook email from someone today, and like a fool, I clicked on it to open it. I should know better of course. So it came as no real shock at all when AVG warned me that the page I was about to visit was a threat. I started to run a virus scan and it looks like nothing has happened. I dropped a message to the person who supposedly sent the email, but they know nothing about it. I explained what happened, and they denied all knowledge and said their system was ‘safe’. I rather think not !!! That is one ‘friend’ I can do without, thank you. I have had this before with some people. You tell them they have a problem, and they just ignore it
You may remember, some time ago, I mentioned about someone trying to rent out their parking permit, illegally, well nothing seems to have come of it. Management, or at least part of management, does not seem to be bothered. The woman emailed me again today, and I fobbed her off with an excuse. I then closed the email account. If the bosses cannot be arsed, then why should I ?
A bit of a job to do, over the next half an hour. The youngest has made one of his pictures. Basically, what he does is to take a graphic of one of his favourite cartoon characters and edits it. For example, on the one below he has changed the hands and added the hat (from another picture). He pastes it into MS Paint. Then he takes a copy of the same graphic, reverses it, and places at the side of the first. Dad has to then step in. I have to print it, fold and stick it so that it is double sided, then laminate it and trim it. R*** calls this type of picture his ‘Front or Back’. Considering his condition, this is quite an amazing skill he has got. The other thing he does, is to download, video and DVD covers of his, again favourites from American websites. He then makes these into his own video and DVD covers. We have hundreds of empty video and DVD boxes, that he has designed covers for. Only problem …… ink !!!
AVG been running over 2 hours now, and nothing has come up, so it looks like I’m safe.
Poor Delia ……
The above refers, of course, to the Mighty Whites 2 – 1 win over Norwich City this evening. It was a good game, well at least the first half was. Mrs H wanted to Masterchef and House, so I missed of the second half. I managed to get a sneak peek, at around the 70 minute mark, but they were still 1 – 1. In the old days, and by that I mean the past few years, Leeds Utd would be already for going home, and that’s the time they used to lose the game. Not any more it seems. Simon Grayson appears to have convinced the team to play to the final whistle. It is paying off.
My cold seems to be lingering a bit longer than I hoped it would. The ‘wet’ part has dried up, but mow I seems to have got the chesty cough back. It’s been a bit heavy going this evening. I’ll slap a good dollop of Vick’s Vapour Rub on and a splash of Olbas oil should help me sleep.
I have taken to putting random statements in the status of my facebook page. For the most part, people have taken them for what they are … random, meaningless statements. However, on a couple of occasions, a certain ‘friend’ appears to believe, that I am having a pop at them. Some people take facebook way too serious.
Work went quite well. I have a fair bit to get through this week, what with the permit renewals. There are about 9 different zones to renew. Some are only a few properties, but two or three have a couple of hundred properties in each zone. So a lot of work, for quite a few people over the next few weeks.
As I hoped, I managed to get Wednesday afternoon off as flexi time. That is when R***’s consultant has decided to come and see us. I am not looking forward to it at all, as I feel I know what he is going to say. Still I will listen to what he says, and then we will decide. R*** has been in a strange mood really. One minute laughing and singing, the next holding his ears and ‘droning’. It sounds like he has had a good day at school though.
There shall be no further posts this evening. I am enjoying a pint with S****
Eldest finally got in touch at around 10 past 1. I’d tried texting and ringing him since about 11:30, with no answer. He sent a text to say he was catching the 05:00 bus, so I got him to call. Explained that the bus was 16:50, and only every hour so he had better not miss it, or he would miss his tea. I asked him where he had got to, and to my utter disbelief he said “The Dog & Gun” !!!! For those who are not aware, the “Dog” as it is known is one of Leeds’s bad pubs. It is an estate pub in an area of Leeds, that is not very salubrious. In fact the place was shut down for a long time after a fatal shooting some years ago. I don’t think that much has changed since. It is not the pub, more the people that use the place.
I am doing a slow roasted shoulder of lamb for dinner, with roasted root vegetables (no butternut squash in sight). The meat is supposed to take 3 to 4 hours to cook so it is in now. The veg will take about 1 hour 40mins, so I need to get the timing just right. I’ll be putting the veg underneath the joint, so it all cooks together. Potatoes will go in at the same time, and it all should be done by 5:45pm, fingers crossed. A query ! Where does British Lamb come from ? As Britain stretches from the Shetland Iles to The Iles of Scilly, that joint of British lamb could have had to travel a long way, to get to the supermarket. In fact, depending on where you live, lamb imported from France could be more local than the British lamb you have bought ! Makes you think a little. I will report back on the success/failure of the dish later.
You may notice that I have changed the colour of the text on the header of this blog. I received a message on Twitter, after posting my blog, to the effect that the colour was not very good, I quote “hard to read and uneasy on the eyes”. Fair enough. I don’t write this blog just for me to read. See how this colour goes. In case you were wondering about the connection between my blog and Twitter, I have a plug-in for Windows Live Writer, that notifies Twitter when I post. I have a few bits of traffic that way.
A little bit more for Saturday ….
Back down to earth now after my little rant. The ‘Cold’ does not seem to want to go away. I thought first thing this morning, that it was beaten. But no, by 10:00 my nose and eyes were streaming. It has improved a great deal, so we’ll move on.
Eldest is home tonight. Well sort of. He came home for tea, then he’s gone out to the pub, with an old school friend. I say a school friend, as the last time I/we heard about this guy, S**** did not have a pleasant word to say about him. Now, it seems, they have both grown up a bit (his words). He is at a drama rehearsal tomorrow night. The timetable says it is 07:00pm until 09:00pm, so he may go back to his flat afterwards. I think it all depends on exactly what time it all finishes, and whether he feels like going back on the bus. It’s too late for me to take him, and I’m not sure if his friend B** goes into Leeds.
Youngest has been fine today. A couple of little upsets, but nothing serious at all. He had all his meds today, and I will see how we go tomorrow. His consultant is coming to see us on Wednesday afternoon. I’m taking some flexi time off to be here. I’m not happy with this this doctor and his approach to R***. I hope I can keep focused, and not get too angry. I will try and listen to what the man says, and then discuss it with Mrs H afterwards. It is us that has to live with the consequences, so it will be our decision.
Saturday … rant !
Let me start with a moan. What is it with celebrity chefs and Pumpkins/Butternut Squash ? I mean, the damn stuff is everywhere. Britain’s Best Dish had it, there were a couple of dishes in Masterchef, Market Kitchen used it and then on Saturday Kitchen, Jason Atherton made a ‘Pumpkin Jam’ with the stuff. We got one of those ‘Dine in For £10.00’ from M&S last week. It was chicken, with feta cheese, a lattice top and guess what Butternut Squash. You may have surmised from this, that I hate it. I take heart from the fact, that it is a phase that the cheffy types are going through at the moment. A couple of years ago, it was celeriac that everyone raved about. That has now settled down. However, I predict, that the next cheffy veg could be Curly Kale. Watch this space.
On another tack. X Factor. What is the point of giving so called ‘Diva’ songs to the blokes to sing ? There seemed to be no logic to it at all. There did not seem a lot of logic getting the girls to sing that type of song, and then to tell them all, that the song was ‘too big for them’ !!!!
A quiet day
Nothing much to report tonight. My cold went the distance, and it is just about gone now. Nothing much happened at work, as I did not really feel up to doing a lot.
Youngest has been fine again. No problems at all, except getting him to go to bed. And even then he is being quite amenable.
I’m just going to watch the end of Friday Night Smackdown.
The cold is at that stage, where it doesn’t know whether to get worse or not. Mrs H keeps asking me if I’ve had any paracetamol. To be honest, they make the whiskey taste really bad.
I’m glad the smarmy one went out of Masterchef tonight. I though he was going to start crying during his ‘loser’ interview. There was a thinly veiled treat, I guess, when he said, words to the effect “You’ll see me again”. Look out ‘Big Cook – Little Cook’.
Something strange there. Just tried to log into, what used to be Yahoo/Lycos chat, and AVG told be it was a potentially dangerous site, and would not let me access the page. It did on third attempt, and there is nothing in AVG to tell be it was blocking the site. Very strange indeed.
Just a brief one ….
I did not think I would get to the pub tonight. As I mentioned, I did feel a little out of it last time. The cough i thought had gone, is now turning into a bit of a cold. It should be in full flow, by the end of tomorrow.
A great improvement
I have to recommend Asda’s “Chesty cough syrup” with Guaifenesin (whatever that is). The old cough, is 100% better than it was the same time last night. It’s not entirely gone, but I am at least able to get through more than four breaths without spluttering. Of course, a lot has to be said for Olbas Oil and Vick’s Vapour Rub.
I did not like the guy that won the Masterchef round tonight. He was a bit cocksure and smarmy. The other guy, look like a little kid, but he was improving. His cooking, looked like the type of food you would get in a good pub restaurant, rather than a Michelin starred place. Oh and by the way, could someone tell Michel Roux Jr, how to pronounce ‘Michelin’. You’d think a Frenchman would have the correct pronunciation.
I bet the press are, to quote a much maligned phrase, ‘gutted’ that Stephen Gatley died of natural causes !!! No three-way love triangle. No 8 hour binge drinking session. No ‘unnatural’ sex games gone wrong. It may even have been a hereditary problem. !! How very ‘un rock ‘n roll’ .
Eldest is home for the night tomorrow. Well, at least we think he is stopping here. I have an idea, that he may ask his friend B** for a lift, after drama. We shall see. Mind you, I got an impression that B** may have felt a little uncomfortable, what with his ex-partner dropping out. He only had one drink, and then left.
Broadband is a lot better tonight. No problems at all. Transfer speeds back to normal. I did think there should have been a large Windows update today, but I’ve seen nothing yet. I wonder if they’ll try and force IE8 on me again.
A bit rough
Not too good today, started last night with a bit of a cough. Gradually got worse during the day. So much so, that I even bought some cough medicine. It’s a little easier now, but it’s still there.
To cap it all, my internet connection, is running on it’s backside. Trying to download a 10mb file took nearly 40 minutes. Almost like dial-up speeds.
An interesting day…
Interesting, may not be the correct word here. It has been a very good day. Despite the rain when I was putting the washing out, and despite the fact that the bed sheet is too large for the dryer. R*** has been in an exceptional good mood. We have had singing and laughing and joking with him. There has been no violent outbursts whatsoever. He has eaten his meals without any fuss, if fact he seems to have eaten more today than i have seen him eat in a long time. The interesting fact though, is that he has had no medication at all. It is now 10:20pm and he seems like is is almost ready for bed. Just need to get him to turn his PC off. Fingers crossed.
I sorted out the problem I had with the windows Recent Documents folder. It seems there is a bug in Office 2007. If you open and save a file, from within the application, be it Word, Excel or whatever, then no shortcut is placed in the windows Recent Documents folder. However, if you open the file from explorer then it does appear. I don’t know why I was that bothered really, as I never remember to look in Recent Documents. I usually tend to use explorer or open the file from within the application. Live and learn.
Whilst I am on about Microsoft and windows. I recently downloaded, and installed the new Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software. It got good reviews in the final beta stages, and even more when the product was released fully. It has been running for about a week now, and I decided today to remove it. Since installation, a number of basic actions, have been taking a great deal longer than usual. Applications like Windows Explorer taking 20 seconds to open, and memory sticks too. Now, I have AVG Free, Spybot S&D, Adaware, Windows Firewall and Windows Defender. Do I really need yet another security product ?? MSE is supposed to be good, and from what I read, it is supposed to do away with Defender, but it cannot be a coincidence that as soon as I remove MSE, everything seems to get back to normal.
Today is a bit of a blogging celebration. I have now posted everyday since 11 July 2009. Feeling really pleased with myself. It has sometimes been a bit of a bind, trying to think of something to post, but I have managed it, even if it has only been a short paragraph posted from my mobile. Here is to the next three months.
It was a long evening yesterday. With the youngest being away for the week, he was keen to get back onto the internet. So much so,that it was gone 11:30pm, when he finally went back to his room. At last we thought (well I thought, Mrs H was already in bed), at last, he going to settle down. But no ! There was a print to do, and he was part way through creating one of his pictures. All this finished about midnight. “Bed now ?” I asked hopefully. His reply was the usual ‘10 minutes’. So he watched a video for just about 10/15 minutes. Of course, then he needed his ‘goodnight’ cuddle from his mum. So all in all, it must have been about 12:30am when he finally went to his own bed.
You would have though he would have been really tired, but he has still chattering away to himself at 01:00am. I know this, as I had just been woken by Mrs H. She is just getting over a cold (no not Swine Flu), and is suffering from a very bad hacking cough. It was this that woke me, and continued to wake me at around every 30 minutes or so. Then at 06:00am, on the dot, R*** woke up. So a late night, with fitful sleep, and an early wake up, sees me a bit bushed. And don’t for a moment think that R*** will going to bed early to catch up on his sleep !! Not a chance. It will be around 11:00pm when we get him settle down, and he’ll be up again at 07:00am. I could put money on it.
Unfortunately, I cannot get on the PC this evening. Youngest is home, and has commandered it. He does not have the internet on his PC, as we would struggle to keep it virus free. So he is downloading pictures to save.
A long day
It seems to have been a very long day. I was dropping asleep around 9pm. I think it was a combination of the hot bath, and the late night last night. It was an interesting evening. I don’t know about K***, but I felt a little bit out of it last night. It was as if, they tolerated us being there, but I felt that we were not really being included. I got a bit of that last week. I don’t think I’ll be going next Wednesday, and I’ll have to have an excuse ready. May play on the fact that it too near pay day. May work.
Our service head was in the office today. She was looking into a case, that has been escalated to her level. She popped over to see me, to thank me for the comments I had posted on the service bulletin board. Told me she was glad to see people using it. She is the type to mention things like that, but it was a nice touch.
I’ve been doing a bit of fraud prevention this week. Our service manages the residents parking in Leeds. Because of the cost and restrictions, anywhere close to a site such as a hospital or shopping site or station, parking becomes an issue for the residents. In these areas, the Council will introduce residents parking permits. In some cases, the residents will try to make money from this, and the closer to the city centre, the more lucrative this can get. I recently spotted on a website, someone offering their parking permit for rent. After a bit of easy investigation, we are now in a position to take some action. Exactly what that action will be, remains to be seen.
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