Back to the usual …

Blodpad IconStill testing the Blogpad app on my iPad. A bit of a way to go yet, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. One of the downsides I’ve found, is that you cannot post your missives (is that what I mean?) as a draft in your WordPress blog. Well I’ve not found a way, if there is one. The way it works is thatBlogpad 2 it is stored as a draft in your defined storage area. You can then ‘preview’ your work and see how it looks, before finally publishing it as a live post. Another downside seems to be the ‘autosave’. I can’t find a setting that sets the autosave frequency. I Blogpad 3discovered, to my cost when the app crashed, that the crash happened before the ‘autosave’ kicked in, so I lost a good portion of the post. I’ve now decided to click/tap on the Save icon every 20 words or so.

This app is not going to be my main blogging editor, I’m still firm friends with Open Live Writer, but I needed something to work with when I go on holidays. Don’t want to take the laptop with me (K*** would kill me if I did) and as I have mentioned before, I’m not too keen on the WordPress built in editor. At the moment, there are more ‘up-sides’ than ‘down-sides’ to the app, although I’m not liable to have a tantrum, I just hope ‘up-sides’ continue to grow faster than the ‘down-sides’.


I’m still having an issue with the WordPress app on the iPad. When I’m in the ‘stats’ screen and I click on the Notification Bell at the bottom right of the iPad app, the notification list comes up as normal. Now the issue is, that if I tap the Daily Prompt notification, I get a very unhelpful message telling me that there has been an ‘Error Loading The Post’. I hadn’t noticed this before, it’s only since I have been having a go at the Daily Prompt that the iPad app has become more active. Anyway, the good people in support are looking at the issue and I am hopeful they can come up with the solution.

Having another play with the new app …

I found that the help/user guide is an upload from a WordPress blog, which is useful. There is still a lot to learn, but I think I’m getting there. I’ve discovered how to add links which was one of the things I was looking for when I posted lat time. I sometimes like to colour my text as an emphasis and this has proven more difficult than I expected. I did get there in the end, but it is not very intuitive. The spell checker seems to work quite well though. Would have like a ‘spell as you type’ but it is a free app, so can’t complain really. I also found the preview option. That works really well. Impressive!

Just giving it a try …

The ‘it’ in question is the “Blogpad Pro” on the iPad. I normally write my posts on my laptop using the “Open Writer” software that replaced Microsoft’s “Live Writer” when said company decided to drop the application. I’m not a big fan of writing with the WordPress editor, and I wanted to be able to write a post if I’m away from/home and only have my iPad mini.

At first attempt, it seems to be quite good, but there are a lot of controls and features that I have not had chance to try yet, It’s still early days.

It’s often described so …

Not so by fellow bloggers, but by ‘the great unwashed’ that don’t have a blog. I think I have blogged about this before (can’t find the post though), but often get the comment “So what’s your blog about? ” to which I always reply, “It’s not about anything really.” That’s when I get the comment “That’s a bit vague, isn’t it? ” Well it maybe, but if they took the risk and read it, they could be surprised.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. If you’ve been kind enough to have a look at my profile, you will know I’m a knitter. About 3 years ago, I was asked by a ‘friend’ to help with a knitting pattern. Talk about vague, the pattern was originally written in French, and then badly translated into Greek and then even worsley(?) translated into English. It must have translated by someone who could not speak either Greek or English and possibly not French originally. I did eventually manage to get hold of the French copy and, with a lot of help got it translated into English. The problem was with the written description. There was a chart, and it was that that I used to translate it.

Looking for your advice …

Right from the first day, I have always allowed people or organisations to follow me without hindrance. I always thought that the point of a blog was to maximise the number of readers and subscribers. That was until recently. I don’t always follow back and don’t always look at their site either. Earlier this week, I noticed that I had a follower that appeared to be offering blogging advice and tips. Always on the lookout to improve, I thought I would take a look at their site. Clicking on the link at the top of one of their posts, opened up my browser with a warning message that the site was unsafe. Being the over-cautious one that I am, I quickly closed it down. I then removed subscriber from my reader list and breathed a sigh of relief. I also noticed that a couple of subscribers no longer had a ‘clickable’ by their name/site name and I removed these also.

So, the advice I’m looking for is: should I enable the Blog by Email option on my site? Does it deter the casual reader? Is it worth it for the number of subscribers that I get? Is it actually any safer?


Many are not worth the effort …

I partake in a number of internet surveys. I do it for gain, not for “A chance to influence …”No, sheer YouGovmonetary gain or for points/credits that I can convert into money or goods that I want/like. I subscribe to around four or five survey sites, but the most profitable ones are YouGov and Maximiles. YouGov gives you Maximilespoints in the range of 25 to 100 depending on the length of the survey, and once you hit 5000 you can redeem the sum of £50.00. Maximiles has the more usual approach of giving you points for every completed survey.

The main difference between YouGov and Maximiles is that you are never screened out of a YouGov survey. If you get an invite for a YouGov survey, you will get the points. It not always the case with Maximiles and recently they seem to be having an issue the closing out of completed survey. They say they are working on a fix, but it does seem to be taking a long time.

To date. I have had £100.00 from YouGov and a £28.00 bottle of Hendricks Gin from Maximiles. So bad for 20 or so minutes two or three times a week.

I also subscribe to Panel Opinion, GlobalTestMarket and but these tend to be more ‘miss’ than ‘hit’ when it comes to eligible surveys, so I tend not to bother with them too much.

A nice day out …

Today was my birthday! All together now … “Happy birthday to me etc etc”. So, in order to celebrate this auspicious occasion, K*** took me to Ripley Castle.  We’ve been before. Many times it seems. But, my memories63 of this place are a little vacant. There were somethings that I vaguely remembered, but most things were I could not remember. Now I’m not sure if me or my brain has gone a bit lazy, but there appear to be a lot of things that I simply don’t Ripley 1remember. I’m going to speak to my GP again, the next time I have my check up. He didn’t seem to think that there was a significant problem, but I think I’m going to ask for some tests.

Back to today. It was a very pleasant day. Not as hot as yesterday, Ripley 2but just warm enough for a nice walk around the grounds. It looked like there was some kind of event taking place over the weekend, as there were a lot of signs with the logo “Yorkshire Warrior” all over the grounds. I understand that this is something akin to an ‘Iron Man’ challenge. We then had a nice lunch in the only pub in the village, The Boars Head before heading home to await the return of the youngest who had been on respite for a couple of nights.

All in all, a good day.

Everything comes to those that wait …

Well, that went almost as well as I could have expected. I finally bit the bullet (helped by a 30% discount) and upgraded Thinkingto from the Free Plan to a Personal Plan. I’ve been ‘umming and ‘ahhing since Christmas and missed the deadline for the last discount, Discountbut I finally took the plunge today. It was almost painless. The “hook” of 30% off didn’t work at first (think it was because I went through PayPal) but a quick chat with Customer Support and it was all sorted and a refund was issued. Pretty good customer service I must say.

So, the genie is out of the bottle as the saying goes. I’m quite giddy if the truth were known. I keep telling K*** that “I’m a Dot Com now! What do you think about that?” She of course is totally bemused by it all and a lot of ‘nodding and smiling’ is going on while she tries to look pleased for me. But I’m happy and that is all that matters.

Now what? I think (or possibly hope) that having paid good money, I should at least now have the required impetus to post more than I have been doing. I have tried with the ‘Daily Prompt’ but it sometimes leaves me uninspired. Here’s to an improvement, and maybe now I have 6GB to play with you may see more photos.

I just have to get Open Live Writer to update to the new domain and I’ll be even more pleased

This is going to be brief …

What kind of crank are we talking about here? I picture the starting handle of a 1930’s Lagonda. Maybe it’s the crankshaft. The part of an automobile engine that changes the up and down motion of the pistons into rotation. I don’t for a moment imagine it has anything to with that Scottish comedy duo with the misspelled name of Krankies?

No, I think we are talking about the so called leader of the free world. The most dangerous crank in the world.

Said it was going to be brief!

Twice in as many days …

It’s beginning to get a little annoying now. This morning I got the second spoof email purporting to come from PayPal. Yesterdays was quite convincing if it had not been for the two spelling mistakes. SpooferA casual reader may not have spotted ‘bellow’ instead of ‘below’ and ‘passwurd’ instead of password. Inviting me to click on the  link ‘bellow’ to cancel the payment and change my ‘passwurd as a precaution. They had managed to get my email right, but did not include the usual checks that PayPal have in place. Todays was just an obvious spoof. Easily spotted by the way it was addressed “Dear (insert username here)‘” at the beginning of the email text

Now after working in an IT scenario for a number of years, I’ve become quite adept at spotting when an email looks wrong, but many people would have believed the first one. I have heard of people clicking these types of links and getting their personal payment details stolen.

Of course I report these kind of phishing emails, but I’m not sure anything gets done. I usually get an email back, a day or so later thanking me for reporting them and advising me to check my account an change my password. I add the address to my blocked list but the next time it will come from a different address. K*** gets many emails that look like they have come from AT&T that are fake. Usually start with “ATTCustomerCare@”, but then the next part of the address is so obviously false. Again, I have reported these to AT&T, but they don’t even respond. All a little annoying.

Update – I have just had a reply about the second spoof email. Even though there was over 100 intended recipients and even though the email was addressed badly, PayPal have deemed it not the be fraudulent. I have asked them to take another look.

Waste of 40 minutes …

Not quite 40 minutes but it seemed like it. So what was the waste? I have been wondering about adding a vlog post to this blog. Do not know what I want from it yet, but thought it could be another string to my bow. Ladies and gentlemen, I have to announce that “It’s not going to anytime happen soon folks!” Firstly for want of a better word, the camera on this laptop is dire. In fact, it is probably worse than dire. It was grainy with the poorest sound reproduction ever. It took most of the said 40 minutes to work out how to start the recording. Then after viewing the video I began to wish I had not found out how to!

So then, onto the iPad. Much better camera, better resolution (although still very grainy), but I found myself looking at the screen rather than the camera itself. Result was that I seemed to be looking to the right all the time. Not good at all.

Next I tried my smartphone. This has a great camera. The resolution was much better but again can’t quite train myself to look at the camera.  Hence on that video I appeared to be looking at my feet most of the time.

In conclusion, unless I can get a better camera set-up, I think my days as a VLogger have to be put out to pasture. I might try and rig up my Panasonic Lumix Camera as a web-cam. I seem to remember seeing that it can connect to a computer using a HDMI cable. I also have one of those Flip cameras, but that only has one capture lens.

Daily prompt: All a matter of choice …

Some call it froth, some call it foam many call it ‘the head’, but whatever you call itBeer, which is best. {‘m of course talking about the tight mass of bubbles at the top of your glass of beer. I call it ‘the head’ and always have done. Foam and froth make me think more about coffee than alcohol.

Although it is right to invoke personal choice, the choice of beer often dictates the type ‘head’ your beer has. It also depends on your location. Northern England seems to prefer their ales with a head measuring about 15mm whereas Southern areas, I am told the head doesn’t usually get larger than about 5mm. Coming back to beer types, Lager drinkers seem to prefer their drink to have a smaller head than an ale drinker. Of course, cider tends not to have a head at all. Some beers/ales have a head that takes a long time to settle. I thinking here of draught Guinness, that depending on how long the barrel has been ‘on’ can take anything from 2 to 5 minutes before it is acceptable to drink.

Then you have bottled beers. Their head is often quite loose or slack and disappears quite quickly. Once again, some of the more stronger types do not have a head.

Me (being a Yorkshireman) tend to prefer an ale head of around 15mm and a lager head of about 5mm. But saying that, I’ll usually drink however it is served.

At the end of the day, it is down to the skill of the bartender to produce the head that you prefer.

Daily Prompt: Busy busy busy …

Rush … not the Canadian band, as good as they are, just rush. Everybody seems to be in a rush. I’m travelling down the road at just a couple of miles under the speed limit, and there is some idiot in his/her SUV weaving from side to side waiting to pass me. Then they do and 60 seconds later I’m pulling up behind fool at the roundabout. Their ‘rushing’ got them no further than me. What was the point? Then, when these people get in the supermarket, their ‘rushing’ seems to evaporate. They stroll around the store with no spacial awareness whatsoever. Walking three abreast down the aisles. Looking at me as if I’m Satan’s advocate on Earth, just because I’m in a bit of a rush!  God, I hate shopping!

I would like to talk about the band called Rush, but they are  nothing but a name that came to me when I saw this prompt. To be honest, I thought they were a girl rock band … I think I should stop now.

(So they are not a girl rock band? I must have forgot. I’m getting old. Too old to be rushing about.)

Daily Prompt: Knitting disaster …

My attempt to increase my skill level with double pointed needles (DPNs) has been somewhat thwarted today. I have been knitting a beanie hat on circular needles with the full knowledge that I would eventually Beaniehave to revert to DPNs as the number of stitches decreased. It was to be an important learning curve as I’ve never quite cracked the skill. Today was a large set back in that attempt, and this is what happened.

It became apparent, that I would soon need to add in a new ball of yarn. Like I had been told, I decided that the beginning of round 1 of the 8 round pattern was the place to start. New ball joined and tails woven in as I went along, when I noticed Disaster number 1. I had somehow made an error in the pattern. I traced it back to about 12 stitches from the start of the round. Not to worry, I’ll take it back. I was just about to start when the phone went. Disaster number 2 came as I stood up. My foot caught in some loose yarn and it pulled about 20 stitches off the needle. Shouldn’t be a problem I thought and dropped the lot on the floor, so as not to make things worse. I answered the phone as quickly as I could and went back to my knitting. Disaster number 3 reared its ugly head as I bent to pick the work up. I accidentally stepped on the needle and it snapped (bamboo needles) and more stitches fell off only this time unravelling parts of the last three rounds.

The broken needle is in the bin, the yarn rewound and back in the stash cupboard and the pattern moved to “Try again” folder on my computer.

Mrs H is going to be devastated when she notices. She hates it when I pull any knitting out.

Ready for the grief …

As the title says, I’m ready for the grief I may possibly get.

I want to talk (moan) about dogs. More specific, dog owners. What is it with these/you people? Just because you are a dog lover, it doesn’t automatically follow that I’m one too. In fact, I can’t be doing with the majority dog and ownerof dogs/owners.

Take my neighbour (please). He has two spaniels. Now both are well behaved and both will respond to his commands, but I’m not interested in either animal. So I get quite upset when the bl**dy animals start jumping up at me when they see me. He has a bit of a bad leg, so by the time he has hauled himself out of the local field, where he walks to dogs they are already hyped-up. I don’t think there can be anything more revolting than being licked by a tongue that has been God knows where before hand.

Moan over

Hmmm … now that’s interesting!

I have been using the WordPress.Com app for Windows 10 for a few weeks now. It’s okay when it works, but there have been a imagecouple of issues recently. For example, it is often very slow to to open. Sometimes posts do not update straight away and on a few occasions it has been known to simply crash and require a computer restart.

Usually faults like this can be rectified by reinstalling the latest version. However, attempting to download from the Microsoft Store results with a message telling me that the app is not available. Very strange, as version 3.2.0 is available to download direct from the website. I’m not the biggest fan of the Microsoft Store, but I would have thought an app such as this would be available. Is the reason that there are too many issues with the app that Microsoft no longer want to be associated with it? I don’t think that could be reason as there are many other apps in the Store that are simply rubbish. No there is some other reason that I’ve not quite figured out yet.

I still have the original version and will re-install it and see if is any better for a clean install, but I have my doubts.

Daily prompt: Frigid

This is going to be a short one. Frigid! I hate the word. It’s meaning has changed over the years from simply ‘cold’ to more serious sexual connotations. And a more sexist word I have yet to hear. In its sexual sense, it only ever applies to women. You never ever hear of a man being described as “Frigid”.

And that’s it. That is all you’re to get from me on this horrible word.

Churn …

Now, this is an interesting word. Are we looking at a milk churn or something churnelse?

I am actually thinking ‘milk-churn’. I am usually transported to those imaginary childhood days when I like to think of milk being delivered in churns. Those days when the milkman had imageeither a horse and cart or one of those new-fangled ‘electric’ milk floats. The horse was often a black and white shire horse, and quite often had blinkers. Those long gone days when everything seemed to happen a lot slower. Type of day that you would read about in one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. The type of day that I never really knew, but thought I did.

Churn also make me think of job interviews. Especially those interviews where I thought I may have a chance, but it was down to me. That horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you know you can do the job, but do not know the competition. That strange ‘I want to be sick, but I don’t feeling‘. That feeling you get when you see the smart-arse going in before you and you start to question why you even applied for the job. That is a stomach churn. Horrible.

Now that’s annoying …

I’ll give you a little background first. A few years ago, I got a call on my mobile. I didn’t know the number, but as I was expecting to hear from prospective employer, I answered. It turned out to be an automated call from someone wHTC 620ho was ‘… sorry to hear about my accident, and would like to help with my compensation claim …’ There was no accident and therefore no claim. I naively complained to my provider who told me that it was probably a number harvester ie scammers who dial random numbers. If the number answer then they know it’s a live number they can sell. The advice was not answer calls where I did not know the number and that they would eventually stop. The reasoning behind this is that if the call is important, the caller would either leave a voice mail or call again. K*** doesn’t understand this. Her opinion is ‘ …why do you have a phone if you are not going to answer it …?’ I usually say that you don’t open the door if you cannot see who is knocking, to which she hesitantly agrees.

But back to the point of this moan. Last week, I had been in the supermarket, and as I was coming out, my phone rang. As per the norm, I did not know the number so did not answer. A few seconds later I got a ‘New Voice Mail’ message. Now here is where the fun starts. The message explained that they were West Yorkshire Police, and that they had ‘… received an emergency 999 call from my phone and did I still need attention …?’ I had not called the emergency number, and what had happened was that I must have touched tapped 112 (the alternative number) when I put my phone in my pocket at the start of my shopping. I was given a number to ring (101) if the call was not an emergency. This I tried and after about 15 minutes, I managed to get through. I apologised for accidentally calling 112 and the officer said that it happens sometimes, they even have a name for it, calling it ‘Pocket Dialling’ . She thanked me for letting them know.

So why the annoyance. Well that call to the 101 number does not come within the allowed number on my phone contract, because it is what is called a ‘short number’. So basically it cost me £0.51 in call charges to say sorry. However, if I had ignored the original message, I would not have had to pay. I did ask the officer what would have happened if I had not called to explain and she told me nothing … nothing at all. The call would close after a period of time, but nothing would happen.