Interesting …


This is an interesting development from the Daily Mail online:

Shopping Trips

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.

ShoppingThe ‘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.

 

Maybe a long day …


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.

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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.

Disaster … well almost


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.

More testing


Derrr

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.

An experiment…


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!

 

 

Only one option now …


Well it finally happened. The laptop has definitely had it’s day computer-problem-152211_640and 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.

Wish me luck!

Windows woes and Microsoft misery …


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 myBSOD 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 SwearingMedia 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 computer-problem-152211__340more 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 Happy-Computercheck 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.

Really long days


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.

It’s beginning to show …


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.

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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.

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.

Recycling and other things …


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!

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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.

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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.

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Me? Well I’ve just plodded on as best I can!

It’s been a long week …


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.

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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!