Well, here we go with the second part of the year, and I expect that there will not be much of a difference from the first half. It’s highly likely that our indecisive and inglorious ‘leader’ will change track again. This will lead to more and more people ignoring the current Covid rules and quoting the actions of the last Health Secretary as their reason. Covid cases are rising again and although the vaccine seems to be preventing the worst, hospitalisations are beginning to slowly creep up. You only have to look at the crowds at the England v Germany football match to see what will happen over the next few weeks. Daily reported cases in the UK were (at 02/07/2021) nearly 23,000 which is double the number for the same time last week. Even though the number of related deaths is extremely low, it is a worrying trend.
It was hair-cut time again. Well it was haircut time about two weeks ago, but it is trying to fit it in when the barbers is not busy. Wetherby was quite busy today, but the barbers had nobody waiting so it was a quick trim and I was out. It was all the result of my son and granddaughter not coming to visit that led to me having a bit of a free day. I’m saying ‘free’, I still was able to squeeze a couple of jobs in.
We have a print that K*** wanted fixing to the garden fence, to brighten it up a little. So a few weeks ago, I fitted to the fence, and it looked really good. Then it rained a little and K*** noticed that some of the colours had started to run. It needed some protection. Only thing I could think was to give it a coat of external varnish. Of course I didn’t have any, but I noticed a special offer on ebay that had tins of Yacht Varnish spray at a reasonable price. If it’s for yachts I surmised, it must be waterproof. So masked and goggled I gave it a couple of sprays. It will need one more spray tomorrow, but I can do that when is screwed back to the fence.
So, it’s Fathers day! So what? I actually don’t like these ‘celebration days’. They all money making events, that don’t really mean anything. It started with Mothers Day which was a hijacked version of Mothering Sunday, which in itself had been hijacked from the pagan celebration of the Mother Earth. Fathers Day came about because men thought they were missing out. We now seem to have a celebration day for everything. I’m not against have ‘awareness’ days, I just think it is getting a bit too much when we have days such as Great Grandmothers day! What next?
I get so annoyed when driving and a big car is tail-gating you. I had one today. The speed limit was 50 mph and that’s what I was doing. A huge 4×4 rushed up behind me and you could tell he was looking to try and overtake. On those occasions, I tend to slow down on the parts of the road where you cannot overtake, and then speed-up on the parts you can. It’s a form of bullying. It’s like the big boy at school picking on the little guy, just because he can. Some of these drivers seem to think that the limits just don’t apply to them.
Work tomorrow. The chef is back after a weeks break, so it could be a hard day. He tends to get a little stressed when the place is busy, especially if not enough preparation work has been done on the previous Saturday. this has been the case since we opened back up fully on the 17th. Not really looking forward to it, but I’ll have to keep on with it for a while longer. Main reasons are, I like the life-style the extra money gives and I need to stay until my income tax rate goes back to normal. For some bizarre reason, as soon as my State Pension kicked in, my personal tax code has reverted to an emergency code. Of course you cannot email the tax office as they only accept telephone calls these days. I’ve gone from £40ish per month tax on my works pension to £140ish per month. I pay the standard 20% on my state pension and 20% on my earnings from work, so why the emergency code baffles me. I shall give it a couple more months, then will have to call them. Annoying!
It arrived this morning. I had been told that it could take up to three weeks before it was delivered. These days, they always seen to blame COVID-19 for anything taking a long time. I applied on the 27th, as I was in two minds as to whether I actually wanted a “Senior Citizens Bus Pass“. Everyone said I should get one, and most quantified their statements by saying things like ‘…look how long you’ve been paying…‘. Things like that didn’t help me come to terms with it. I was okay when I hit 65. That seemed like a mile-stone, but when you get to that time that you are now an official “Old Age Pensioner“, it feels a little different.
I don’t physically or mentally feel any older, it’s just the words “Old“, “Age” and “Pensioner” which are nothing on their own, but strung together, have a whole different sense to them. It is silly really, because when I left work, I was ‘Old’ enough to take my works ‘Pension’ and I didn’t feel any different then. Then there are the online forms to fill in that ask you your age group. You suddenly find yourself ticking the last box, the 66+ range. People say, “…it’s just a number…” and of course they are correct, it’s just a hell of a big number!
I see puzzles like this all over the internet. It is basically Algebra and at first glance, many people will think the answer is 50. Then some people will believe that using the mathematical “… order of operations …” the answer is 14 or even 10
Quite simply (in my opinion) the answer cannot be found from the information given. Now here’s why:
We can determine from the first equation that the image value of the cookie is equal to 10.
From the second equation, we can give the image of 2 bananas a value of 2, as 14 minus the cookie value is equal to 4, hence the 2 banana image must equal 2
The clock image value must be equal to 3 because if you take the value of the 2 banana image (determined as equal to 2) from the total of 8, you are left with 6, therefore the image value for each clock must be equal to 3.
That is as far as we can go. We cannot safely assume that the image of the single banana is equal to 1 simply because there is only one banana. It could be any value. The same applies to the clock image (with the hands now pointing to 2) and the cookie image with the seven dots.
Therefore, in my opinion the answer cannot be found.
For quite some time now, I have been a moderate fan of MSN News. I say moderate, because while it’s definitely not the the best news portal on the internet, it’s one of the easiest to navigate. It is certainly better than the BBC news service, which seems to be quite biased in it’s reporting sometimes. I decided this morning that MSN News no longer offers what I like to read about. It’s not so much the actual news that’s the problem though.
Recently the comments has been restored and although I like to read comments (some of them are laughable) there seems to be a hard core of commentators that express their opinion on every story, regardless of the topic. They seem to range from hard right wing extremists to conspiracy theorists to simple sales pitchers, all hiding behind pseudonyms. Comment moderation appears to happen only when some reader reports the comment, even when the comment is blatantly offensive to a section of the community.
So it has to go. For now, I have replaced my news digest portal with the online version of The Huffington Post. Most of the big national UK newspapers require to ‘subscribe’ to their website/newspaper in order to read full articles and I for one am not prepared to do that. It is simply a matter of cost. The average price is between £6.00 to £18.00 per week.
Opposite our house is a small parking area. Beyond that there is a medium sized (whatever that means) field. there is a sort of path that runs along the edge of the field, but I have been informed that it is not an official footpath. however it seems to a haven for the local dog owners. Dog ownership in the village seems to have increased over the past few months, which is probably due to the pandemic.
Last year the farmer grew nothing in the field, which happens every few years. About three weeks ago we noticed that the field was being sprayed with something. This usually happens before the farmer starts planting. The very same day saw at least 3 dog walkers in the field. Now I don’t know what the spray was, but I certainly would not walk my beloved pet anywhere that has been sprayed with anything.
Today, I noticed some people in the field with a commercial digger. They appeared to be picking up some of the rocks that lay scattered around the field. In the past half hour, I watched as the small ‘entrance’ to the field was blocked with soil an some of the rocks. I’m now of the opinion, that the farmer is going to graze sheep on the field, as the ‘entrance’ was blocked a few years ago when sheep were grazed. What now for the dog walkers. They will have to use the proper public paths to walk their animals.
I think I may be in a little bit of bother when my wife gets in. You see I have this habit of buying things when I think I should buy them, rather then knowing we need them. Take today as an example. I was doing my usual weekly shopping trip to Aldi.
I had traversed isles one and two and was making my way up isle three. After passing all the soft drinks we come to the ‘household’ shelves. This is where I came unstuck. I had reached the kitchen rolls, which I knew we didn’t need (just yet) and was progressing towards the toilet rolls area. That’s when what could only be described as a little bit of panic. Our usual toilet rolls come in a four pack, a nine pack and more recently a good value sixteen pack. Trying to remember if we needed any, I suddenly became aware, that there was only one sixteen pack and only two four packs on the shelf. What should I do?
Well of course, I picked up the sixteen pack. Only sensible thing to do. Better in my trolley than anyone else’s. Now the bit of bother I was referring to is this. I came to unpack the shopping and to put the toilet rolls in the cupboard. It was then that I realised that we still had twelve rolls left from a previous shop. A total of 28, and that didn’t include the ones in the bathroom cupboards.
Mrs H is working on the garden at the side of the house. When we moved in, nearly twenty-eight years ago, there was a hedge that ran down the whole path. Over the years she (along with a bit of help!) has transformed in into a little flower bed, which looks really good.
However, not all the hedge was removed, and it has now come to the time, when the rest has to go. I made a start yesterday, but I think it will be a long job. I managed to get rid of about a fifth of the upper branches, but now the garden waste bin is full. The really hard part will be digging out the root system. What I think may be the best idea, is to dig down and severe the root system below the soil surface. I have this theory from somewhere, that without any light getting to the plant, the roots will simply die off. Well that’s what I’m hoping anyway.
Just when I thought I could put the week and it’s problems to bed, the issue with the dishwasher raised it’s ugly head again. Mrs H. had gone out for a walk and I thought I would sort the dishwashing out as there was quite a bit. It was all loaded and I set it off on the usual short programme.
I was upstairs and when I came down I saw that the wash was over. I began to unload, when I spotted the tell-tale sign that something was amiss. The machine had not fully drained again, and there was a pool of water in the bottom. You would not believe the language that was flying about. All I could think at the time was that it was going to cost me another £50.00 to get it fixed!
After a short time of deep breathing, I thought I would have a go at fixing it myself. I remembered what the plumber had done last time. So I began to try and get the water out so I could have a better look. It is surprising how much water lay in the bottom of the machine. At best I would say that there was about 2/3 of an average washing up bowl and there’s me trying to drain it out with a small plastic cup. It took about 15 minutes before enough water had been removed to enable me to have a poke around, to find what was causing the jam. Nothing!
More of the bad language ensued before I remembered that there was a small plate that covered the pump, where something get caught. I tried to remove the plate with a small Philips screwdriver and then a similar size Pozi Drive screwdriver. Neither worked and the screw would not budge. Out came the head-torch and magnifying glass which revealed that I needed a star screwdriver or “Torx” driver.
Once I found the correct size it was an easy task to remove the plate. Almost at once I saw the offending matter. It was again, a small piece of plastic that had caught in the flow pipe. I removed it and fished around to see if there was anything else in there. There didn’t appear to be, so with bated breath I set the machine off on a cold rinse. It seemed to have worked. All the parts were put back, and I programmed the machine for a hot wash as before and everything was working as expected. At the end of the wash I trepidly opened the machine to find that everything was all normal again and much to my embarrassment I exclaimed out loud “Who’s the Daddy!”
This is an interesting development from the Daily Mail online:
Just over a week ago, I needed to go to our local Aldi. The car park was full as usual, but there is a Screw-Fix next door with very limited parking and people going there tend to use Aldi for their parking. Now what amazed me was the number of families that were shopping together. Now I can quite understand a single person taking his/her kids shopping with them, if there is nobody at home to look after them. But there can be no excuse for one of the families that was out that day.
The ‘group’ consisted of a man and a woman, I would say in their mid-forties, a youth, possibly aged 14 or 15, two young girls were were probably no more than 7 years and another boy who would have been about 11 years old. These are only guesses at the ages. Now, the two girls were sitting in one trolley pushed by whom I think would be the male parent. The female ‘parent’ was pushing another trolley and loading food and supplies into that. The youth was just moping around, with his ‘ear-buds’ in as if he didn’t want to be there and the 7 year old was racing up and down the aisles on his scooter.
I may be wrong, but I could not see any justification for them all being there together.
I have the electrician with me today. You may remember we had an issue with some of the wiring when the new conservatory roof was put on. The electrician fixed that, but when he came to wire up the lighting, he found another problem. It appears that there is an issue with what he called ‘the zoning’ on the consummer panel. Back in the day, it was called a ‘Fuse Box’, but things have got a little more complicated since then.
The one we have currently has only 5 circuit breakers, a cooker circuit breaker and a main switch. It seems that this is not enough and so we are having to have a bigger (and better) one installed. Unfortunately, the one he brought had a part missing, so he had to go off to the wholesaler to get that replaced.
Looks like they could be here a while.
All finished with only one small problem which was easily fixed. It seems that one of the sockets did not have the earth wire connected correctly. It must have been like that since the conservatory was built. It wasn’t particularly dangerous, it just wasn’t very good.
All in all it took just over three and a half hours and a good one and a half was testing each socket.
That didn’t go as well as expected. I thought I would have a go at oven crisps (oven chips for my American readers). I found a recipe and thought I would give it a go. I have had a catering mandolin for a few years now, and apart from slicing potatoes when I make a ‘Hot-Pot’ it never gets used. I set it up for the correct thickness, with a straight blade, didn’t want to chance ‘crinkle cut’ on my first attempt.
Then oven was set to around 400 to 450 F and the potato (only using one at first) was sliced finely. I patted them dry and sprayed them with a little oil before lightly dusting with some sea salt. The recipe said 18 minutes, which I thought was a little bit of a long time, so I was determined to keep my eye on them. After about 8 minutes, I decided to turn them over. Another 4 minutes and I realised that the temperature may have been a little too hot.
I don’t think I will be repeating the experiment in a hurry. It was a lot of work and time for very little reward.
I now see what I have been doing wrong. I had the Save setting to Save Draft, but when I close the editor, I was clicking on the Publish button in an attempt to publish as a draft post. I now realise that I do not need to select Publish from the editor. The post is saved regularly as a draft post and I can preview and amend as I do now.
So I now need to work on updating my skills to learn this new ‘Block’ editor. I don’t think I’m going to drop Open Live Writer as an editor, but I think I need an additional string to my blogging bow. It’s funny, I originally started using the WordPress editor before moving to Microsoft’s Windows Live Editor which was part of the Windows Essentials software. When this deprecated, I tried using the blog template in Microsoft Word before I found the open source software ‘ Open Live Writer ‘. So in a fashion, I have come full circle.
My thank must go to @themagicrobot who’s response in the WordPress Support Forums showed me the error of my ways.
Yesterday, I had this idea. I wondered that, if my birthday was not visible on Facebook, would anybody outside my immediate family mention it. So I edited my profile and mad my DOB private. I was correct in my thoughts. Not one message. Sad really, that the only way people remember an event, if social media tell them.
Of course, it could be that nobody actually cares enough to post anything. To counter that, at 13:30, I made my DOB public again. Let’s see what happens now!
Well it finally happened. The laptop has definitely had it’s day and a new one is the only option I have got now. I did manage to bring it back to life last time, but that was the second time. It looks like there is no 3rd time lucky. Argos seems to be the best bet at the moment. K*** can get a bit of discount by purchasing an Argos gift card on her staff credit card, and by going through her cash-back site, get even more. So that’s one of todays jobs. Find the best one, at the best price. I’m looking at an Acer or a Lenovo, but it all depends on if they are in stock and where there are. I have to up and running again before the youngest gets home on Friday. Don’t need any issues there, as he has had some with his laptop while he’s been away.
There are many things a lot worse than coming home after a long day and finding that your laptop will not work. However, when it happens, there is nothing worse at all. Yesterday evening, I got in and switched on my laptop ready to write a few emails, pay a few bills, check the lottery those kind of things. So imagine my horror when the screen showed the old “Blue Screen of Death” or BSOD as it was known at work. The error was reported that a ‘device’ could not be recognised and I need to ’Repair’ my computer. A lot of extreme language came forth accompanied by a huge amount of panicking. I literally did not know what to do first. Upon reading the instructions, I needed to ‘insert my Windows installation media, and restart the my machine’. The issue here was that the Windows version is an OEM version, and I did not have any installation media. Like many home users, Windows came pre-installed when I purchased the laptop. Not very helpful.
A lot of Googling and more swearing ensued, before I found what I needed to do. I had to download the Windows 10 Installation Media from the Microsoft website and install it on a USB device. Out came the old (and slow, flaky) laptop and I was successful in downloading the files and installing it on my portable hard drive. After 2 hours of stress and a few retries, the process finally worked. Now, I thought, I had better run the full backup before anything else. Normally takes on this machine, about 1.5 hours. But more misery, the backup failed. The error message was not very helpful, so I rebuilt the backup structure and set it off again. This morning, again the backup had failed. Another change to the back up was made, and it when then that I noticed, the the hard drive I was backing up to was only show a size 32gb instead of the correct size of 1tb, with only 3.8gb free. That would be the reason. But no matter how I tried, I could not get it to show the correct size. More Googling was needed and many of the results seems to show that I needed to use a Partition Manager to check the actual size of the disk drive. I downloaded a free, but well known one and checked the drive. It was showing that the drive had over 890gb of space, that had not been allocated for use. It was a simple matter of re-allocating the space and rebooting the computer. With a bit of trepidation I followed the instructions. It worked, and the drive is now showing the correct size.
I did a fair bit of reading up on this issue, and it seems that it is quite a common one. From what I read, the hard drive had become corrupted somehow, and Windows could not access it, although it could see it. I now think, that what I should have done was remove all the peripherals ie hard drives, mouse speakers etc and reboot the machine. That it seems may have worked. If only the BSOD had said that. We lived and learn I suppose.
I was supposed to be posting a little every day. But, as with all plans on this trip, things seem to get in the way.
I am currently enduring enjoying a family break in the Scarborough area. The week didn’t start well. R***’s transport arrived 40 minutes early. As this was a new driver and escort it seemed bothered more than him. Then, we got a little lost at the end of the journey. It would seem that there are two places in the Scarborough area, that have the same name with almost the same postcode. Of course, I had got the wrong one. S**** was arriving later and as I/we had given him the wrong postcode, the same happened. The place is not too remote, but as this is England the mobile phone coverage is poor to say the least. To cap it all, K*** got a phone call from R***’s respite to say that the transport had arrived to take him home. Somewhere along the line wires had crossed. It could have been a huge problem if they had brought him home only to take him back again.
I have just realised, that my last post was almost a copy of the post I made on the 12th May. Both posts talk about cheap knitting yarn from charity shops. I think I must be losing it a little. It is not the first time I have done that either. I often get told by K*** that “…you’ve told me that before…” and quite often, I have no recollection of saying anything. I have mentioned it to my GP who told me not to worry and that if I feel that it’s getting worse, he’ll do some tests. And there’s the rub. It doesn’t seem to be getting worse. It’s not getting better, but it’s no worse than 4 years ago, after my op.I was told then that I ‘may have some memory issues’ but was also told that it was nothing to worry about.
I’ve wading through the masses of help pages for this BlogPad pro app, trying to find out how to post to my blog as draft. Well it appears that it is all done in the initial set-up. Unlike the Open Live Writer app on my laptop, this BlogPad Pro is used like the WordPress editor. As you write, the post is sent and updates a draft post on your blog. With the Open Live Writer app, the draft is stored locally and you have to manually upload the draft post. I’m not sure which I prefer yet.
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.
I’m not a fanatical recycler, but if it can be recycled, then I like to try. However, I’m in a bit of a quandary! My local authority actively encourages residents to recycle, but cannot handle shredded paper and they advise to put this in the non-recyclable waste bin. As I understand it, shredded paper clogs up the sorting machines. However, financial and security institutions advise that all documents that have personal information should be shredded. So here is my dilemma. Do I follow security advice and shred or follow the local authority advice and put it, un-shredded in the recycle and hope that nobody reads it? I have decided to follow the security advice!
It’s been a long week. K***s mother went into hospital for a hip replacement last week. It seems to have been successful, but it is going to be a long process to get her back to anything like what she was this time last year. She is quite confused and has been in a lot of distress over the past couple of months. Anyway, she is out now, at home and gradually improving. K*** and her sister are doing their best to help their father cope with his wife’s condition, but it is difficult for various reasons. So I’ve not seen much of her over the past seven days.
It is probably a blessing that R*** has been on respite since Monday, although he has had an infected finger which caused his respite team a few problems. We think that is sorted now, fingers crossed.
S****, my eldest and A**** his partner are having a bit of a bad time. Whilst he was away from his computer at work, somebody (he knows who) posted, what some could call an offensive message on his Facebook time line as a joke. I believe this called ‘Fraping’. All in good fun and taken as such by nearly everyone who knows him. The exception being A****’s mother. She thinks that S**** posted the message and does not believe anything else. This has caused a massive argument and neither of them will have anything to do with the mother. Hopefully it will blow over, but the mother is one of those people that is never wrong. Of course this has caused a lot of stress for both A**** and S**** and it has also upset K*** at this difficult time.
I’m referring to the holiday my wife is on at the moment. As I’ve not posted for some time, I’ll get you up to speed. Around the middle of April, K****s sister and daughter, returned from a week away in Gran Canaria. She returned with an offer that K*** should join them on their next trip. There was much discussion about this, with me having a lot of misgivings about the whole thing. Firstly, it’s a ‘beach, bar and pool’ type of holiday, which I understood was not the type of holiday K*** enjoyed. Secondly there was R*** to consider. How would he react, coming home from respite to find his mother not at home, and not going to be home for another 4 days. Then there is the cost. K*** tells me that it’s a ‘one-off’, but isn’t that waste of all the money it cost for a new passport? And what about all the new clothes … more expense. Anyway, she is back on Tuesday. R*** and me will both be pleased, and as I say, it’s been a long week. I had a list of jobs that I wanted to get done, which I managed to do in between the rain and the wind we had here. I suppose the worst part of the experience is the lack of conversation. I went to the pub a couple of evenings, but there is only so much you can chat about with people that you don’t really know. It will be nice to get back to what we call normality.
I’ve been a bit lazy with this blog over the past couple of months. To be honest, I’ve not really had much I wanted to say. I wanted to stay clear of politics as that is all that people have been talking about for the past month. I know from past experience, that it is one way to ‘lose friends and annoy people’. That is something I can do without any external help, thank you very much.
I tend to update this blog in the late evening. I thought, that this retirement (early) would give me lots more time to do things like this blog, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way. It still late at night, when K*** and R*** have gone to bed, that I think ”I must do a blog post”, and then I get distracted and end up not doing anything. I was going to look for a part-time job. That’s not happened. I signed up with a recruitment agency, but the jobs they have come up with are never appropriate. I promised myself that I would do more writing, but I don’t seem to have had any ideas that I could write about. I have done a fair bit of knitting though. A three beanie hats, five headbands, a pair of wrist warmers, a couple of scarves and I’m a quarter of the way through a sleeveless jumper. So I’ve not been sitting on my hands, so to speak.
I shall stop now as I don’t want to start rambling on about anything. I think I shall make a mental note to think about updating this effort at least once a week. I’ll put a note in my diary. See if that makes a difference!
This is a bit of a rhetorical question I suppose, but are your FaceBook friends real? It is something I have started to think about recently. In fact as recently as 1 hour ago!
About a year ago, I came across someone I have known or been known to, for about 60 years. This person was a good friend of my parents and her daughter was a friend of mine. When we moved house in 1966 all contact was lost and it was through FaceBook that I was able to get back in contact again. We have chatted (the mother and me) on a number of occasions and it was good. However! The daughter seems to have dropped me from her friends list and I don’t know why. It has happened just recently, possibly in the last couple of weeks. It is this that makes me question the reality (if that’s the correct word) of FaceBook friends. The thing is though, I have friends from work, who are FB friends who still ‘appear’ to be friends. In fact, I have been chatting to two of them tonight. Now they may just be humouring me, I would not like to speculate on that, but from what they were saying, I get the impression that we are still friends.
Now, saying all that, I have myself just ‘unfriended’ (what a stupid word) a couple of people that I used to work with. They have not responded to any messages or posts and so I get the feeling that I’m just a number in their ‘friends’ list. I don’t want to be a number. Is that wrong?