They think they nearly got me …


For some years now I have been an avid follower of a person on Instagram. It’s a person from Belgium whom I find interesting. Today I commented on a post that this person made as I have often done in the past. About an hour later, I got a message sent via Instagram saying ‘Hello’. There’s no harm in saying ‘Hello’ back I thought, but then asked who they were. Their response was to send me 2 pictures of the person I am following. I explained that I needed more information on who they were. The reply came back that I had commented on their latest post. I was still not convinced, and then alarm bells started to ring.

I decided to ask for proof of who they were. I asked them to reply to my original message on their main site. The person answered that they never send private messages from that account. They then asked me to ‘add them’ on WhatsApp and even provided their number. I Googled the number and it advised me that the mobile number was Canadian. Told them that the number was not a European number and they asked me for mine. By now the alarm bells were getting much louder.

I told them I needed more proof and that they should post a certain on their main account. Leave it for 10 minutes then delete it. They refused and began to get a bit defensive. This went on for a couple of messages back and forth. Finally, I asked them to follow me back on their main site. Another refusal. I was now convinced that they were not genuine and that they were a scammer. Not entirely sure what they were after, but I’m a bit too long in the tooth to get caught out.

Word Blog Post Test


This is my 2nd attempt at testing Word as a blog post editor. Unfortunately, the Blog template does not support tags. However, if the post is uploaded as draft and then edited, tags can be added then. It should be noted though, that post will open as a ‘Classic Block’ unless the Classic editor is used. Formatting seems to work fine, but as I found out recently, the font displayed depends on the font supported by the chosen WordPress theme. Also fully justified text is not available unless the ‘Paragraph’ option is selected. The classic ‘Shift +Alf + J’ does not appear to work in the template.

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Giving it another go …


I have this feeling that the Classic Editor my soon be on it’s way out.

Given that thought, I’m determined to have another crack at mastering this Block Editor. The issue I have is the formatting of images. I prefer to have my images either left or right aligned with the text wrapping justified at the side of the image. The only way that I have found to do this, is to insert the image before I start to write the accompanying text. This not the way I am used to. Often as I’m writing, I get the inspiration to add an image. I suppose, if I wish to use the Block Editor, I will have to think about images first.

Now, when you look at this post with it’s aligned random images, you can see another issue. The top of the images do not appear to align with the top of the text, which looks rather odd as you can see in the first image. .

Another issue is that there does not seem to be a way to remove the caption area from below the image. For most of my posts, the image is there to add a touch of personality to the post. I rarely need to add an attribution or a description of the image.

However, I’m beginning (slightly) to get to like parts of this editor. The posts do look reasonable on a tablet and a phone. I’m now wondering if there is any way to change the default font. I can see that there are a variety of font sizes available but not sure about font type. Need to do further digging.

Is it that important ?


I was driving back from picking up a parcel from Argos. The road is a single carriageway and whilst not like a switch-back, there are some tightish bends. The majority of the time, the speed limit it 50mph, but for a stretch of about 2 – 2½ miles, the limit is 40mph. Many people ignore this limit as you would expect. So I was motoring along in 50mph zone when I noticed in my mirror that an Audi was tailgating me. Honestly, he was that close, I could almost smell his aftershave. He kept moving nearer the centre of the road to try and pass, but the traffic on the other side was to busy. Of course, when drivers do that to me, I tend to slow down. So now I’m travelling at 42/43mph and I can see he is getting irritated as he now has to slow down. Soon we get to a stretch of road that is a long bend. It is not tight, and he sees his chance to get past. I’m now up to the correct speed, so he has to go at least 65mph to pass me. Which of course he does.

When you get to the end of the bend, and the road begins to straighten, there is a layby and that is where the mobile speed camera usually sits. Not every day, but most days. Today was one those days. A mile further up the road and my Audi friend is waived into the next layby by the waiting police patrol car. I tried not to laugh.

So is his journey so important that he has to drive in that manner?

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Over the past year or so, I have had the tendency to ‘follow back’ most who followed my blog. But it had got the stage where I was following over 200 sites. Many of these were commercial sites trying to sell me something and many hadn’t posted anything for some time. So this morning, before I went out, I sat down and went through all those that follow me and ‘un-followed’ anyone who had not posted for more than a month. There was one follower that had not posted since 2016! I have an idea that most will not even notice and the majority of those that do notice, will not care. I’m now down to a more reasonable 103.

So if you are one of the above, it’s nothing personal.

Bl**dy postal system … part 4


Friday (27th) Mrs H mentioned the problem to our local Postman. He said he would mention it to the Office Manager and he would look into it.  We received a phone call from him saying that the delivery in question may have been delivered further up the street and he would speak to the delivery driver on Monday and call us back.

Monday (30th) By early afternoon, we had our expected call, so Mrs H rang again. She was told that the office was closed for the day and someone would ring on Tuesday.

Tuesday (1st). Another phone call by Mrs H, only to be told that the manager was not in that day. It was beginning to sound like we were being fobbed off.

Wednesday (2nd). Our regular postman told us that he had had a look around the house where they think the parcel was delivered and could not see anything. He also mentioned that. the house was now empty. The “Denial of Receipt” form has now gone to the seller and we wait for their response. It is not looking too good.

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Latest: We just got a reply from the seller. They are now going to investigate with the courier, but have asked if we are looking for a “refund or a replacement”. Looking a bit better, but we are not holding our breath!

 

 

Bl**dy postal system … part 2 (and part 3)


Mrs H had ordered online, some bedding for the youngest. We had an email to say that it was on its way and gave us a tracking number. We gave it a couple of days, and on the 19th November, I set about trying to track where it was. It as easy to track, but the result was astonishing. The item had been delivered from the Canterbury Delivery Office. That is quite a distance to travel to deliver a parcel to a house in Yorkshire. A quick message to the seller and within an hour or so, we had a reply with the promise of an investigation and replacement. The replacement arrived two days later. Job done!

Fast forward to 26th November and another missing parcel. This time the tracking showed that it was delivered on the 23rd and signed for. I know for a fact that there was no delivery that day, as I was in all day. So we are now going through the process of discovering where the parcel has gone to. The local delivery office has identified that the parcel was delivered to ‘someone’ on our street, but cannot see the actual location. They have promised to investigate further and ring us back on Monday. To be honest, I cannot see us getting anywhere with this and may end up putting a claim against the Royal Mail. Meanwhile, we also in contact with the seller, who is not being as helpful as the earlier seller. All very annoying.

Everyone is doing one …


Well, it seems like it! One of my neighbours is doing one, and an old colleague has just finished his first! So I’m considering doing my own. The only issue I have is what would it be about? I mean they all seem to have a theme. By the way, I’m talking about “Podcasts.”

How difficult can it be? All I need is a microphone and a computer, in fact, I’m creating this post on a laptop that has a built-in microphone. Then there is my smartphone which can capture audio. I have a YouTube account that I can upload the Podcast to, so what is to stop me from broadcasting to the world? Well as I mentioned before “… what would it be about?“. What possible expertise or knowledge, do I have that people may find interesting to hear about.

Then, there is another option to consider. What about a Vlog? Possibly (definitely) a step too far.

Something to think about … maybe.

Still in the cave …


When you look at all the improvements and achievements over the years, you would be forgiven for thinking that we have progressed as a civilisation. But have we? I was watching Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, well more to the point Mrs was watching, I was enduring. One of the presenters (the loud male one – if you’ve watched, you’ll know who I mean) was interviewing another presenter who is currently appearing on the TV show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. He was commenting on her dancing when he came out with the phrase “You’re hot baby!” I sat and cringed, I mean this just shows how close to the cave some people still are.

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So, it’s back! Only it’s not in the jungle this time, it has been transported to a castle in Wales. That’s going to a lot for the tourist industry in this pandemic. The only good thing about “I’m A Celebrity That Everybody Has Forgotten/Didn’t Know/Didn’t Care About, Get me Out Of Here” is that it gives me the opportunity to watch some old classic movies. On Tuesday night, Mrs Me was watching that rubbish, whilst I watched “Brief Encounter” on my laptop. Who was the winner ?? Tonight, I have on my menu either “The African Queen” or maybe “Rebecca” with a possibility of the “The 39 Steps“. Decisions, decisions!

It’s the noise …


… or to be more accurate, the lack of noise that’s the unnerving thing. We live about 1/4 of a Motorway Fencingmile from the A1 motorway. In fact, from one of the front bedroom windows, you can see the tops of the trucks as they journey north and south. What we tend to hear during the night, is either a continuous roar or a loud humming, depending on the wind direction. When they upgraded this section, they put up fencing that should have acted like a baffle-board to cut down on the noise. Unfortunately, this fencing is about 1 foot too low, and as such the sound apparently just flows over the top!

We noticed it during the 1st “lock-down” that the sounds coming from the motorway were a lot less during the day and after about 10pm until around 8am there appeared to be no sound at all. It is the same this time, although there seemed to be more traffic during the day than the previous time.

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I had a bit of shopping to do yesterday. You know, just the essentials – beer, wine whiskey etc. I am still amazed at the number of people that do not wear their face coverings properly. I’ve seen people with just their mouth covered and even one who seemed to think that the virus spreads through their chin. It is simple enough, cover your nose and mouth. It’s uncomfortable, but we should be doing it. Although, you can see why some people don’t when senior politicians don’t wear it correctly! The image of Jeremy Corbyn leaving a building, with his nose uncovered makes a mockery of what everyone is supposed to be doing. All in this together?

Bl**dy postal system …


I fully believe that the British postal system (as run by The Post Office) has hit rock bottom. It’s been getting worse over the past twenty or twenty-five years. How many can remember the days when we received two postal deliveries? There was one early morning, and another around lunchtime. At Christmas time, there was even a delivery on the Sunday before Christmas Day. The delivery was always around the same time. You could almost set your clock by them. Collections from pillar-boxes happened at least twice a day, with an extra collection from your local post office.

It’s all gone now though. We are lucky if we see the postman/woman. It is no wonder that more and more people and organisations are using one of the big courier services when it can be a lot cheaper, and safer. Which brings me to the point of this post.

I ordered some light bulbs from eBay. I didn’t go for the cheapest or the most expensive but settled on one that appeared to have a least a few good reviews. I duly paid and the expected delivery date was the 2nd of November. I got home on the 29th of October and found a parcel on the doorstep. The label told me who it was from and so I knew it was my lightbulbs. However, I could immediately tell that something was wrong. The parcel was squashed at one corner which led me to believe that the ‘post person’ had attempted to post the item through the letterbox. In marked contrast, the delivery by a local courier was hidden behind a planter, with an email showing a photo of the exact spot.

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As I expected, we go into an almost full lock-down on Thursday. I think it was inevitable given what the experts were saying, and have been saying for the past month. Hopefully, this will bring the dreaded “R” rating down, which may mean that the youngest could be home for Christmas. However, I’m not holding my breath. When you listen to Ministers like Micheal Gove, who last week was saying that there was no chance of a ‘lock-down’ and is now saying that may go on beyond the 2nd of December, you have to wonder whose strings are being pulled by whom!

I have already decided that my hair is not going to be a priority over the next few weeks. I did have it cut back in July and have been meaning to go again, but the last time I tried, the barbers were busy (1 customer and 2 waiting) and the time before, it was shut. So I’m not going to bother.

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I purchased one of these yesterday. In fact, I got two for £15.00 which was a saving of over £8.00. Always up for a bargain! I have been meaning to change two of the sockets in the conservatory since we had the new roof and windows. I should have got the electrician to do it then, but never got around to asking. Now I have no excuse. I just have to get into the mood sometime this week.

It’s a mystery …


Well, I think it’s unnerving as well as a mystery. Usually, as a matter of courtesy, when somebody decides to follow me, I will take a look at their blog/site to see if it is something that may interest me. A few weeks ago, a ‘person‘ (called @mmcadmintx) followed me. I clicked on the name and WordPress tells me that the site cannot be found. the only thing that comes up their Gravatar profile. So ‘taking my bat and ball home’ I removed the follower and thought that was that. But no! Three days later, a notification pops up telling me that ‘mmcadmintx‘ is now following me. Another trip to the People setting and another removal takes place. Again, within three to four days, this follower is back. I was starting to get a little concerned about who this persistent ‘person’ was and what if anything did I need to do about it.

I posted a support request on the WordPress Forum to see if they could come up with any ideas. They basically told me that their domain had probably expired and just to ignore them. Apparently, there is no facility to ‘block’ anyone who wants to read a post. I did a few Googles on the name and eventually came up with “http://www.momoneyclues.com” as the source of the follower. It turns out that it is/was a help site for people who had money problems. The site doesn’t look like it is still in use as when I put the URL into a browser, I end up at a site to buy cheap domain names. So I’ll remove the site from my follow list and take it from there.

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It bothers me a little that anyone can follow a blog, and there is nothing you can do to stop them. WordPress doesn’t think that it is an issue. My site is public so the public and the person that follows is part of the public. Maybe it is time to have a facility to block fake followers or followers we do not want.

Work concerns …


Work at the cafe is going through a funny phase at the moment. My hours are normally 10:30 until 17:00 on Monday and Tuesday Usually we are quite busy for the start of the week but for the past three weeks, cover numbers have been dropping. From an average of around 65, last Monday the covers dropped to 31. This was so low that the owner told me not to come in until 12:00 the next day. The numbers were slightly up on the previous day, but not to such a great extent. This lead to the boss saying that she would ‘let me know’ what hours I would be working this week, by the end of the week.

To me, the ‘end of the week’ meant Friday, but it did not happen, and I resorted to texting her on Saturday evening. The answer came back more or less straight away. It was to 12:00 until ‘finish’ both days and that ‘we can take it from there!’ The problem I have is that my job as a kitchen assistant/porter is a zero-hours contract. In fact, the only two people who have proper contracts are the assistant manager and the main chef. The rest of us, even the full-time waitress are on zero-hour contracts. It is just the nature of the business, and as I have recently discovered the hospitality section is one of the biggest users of zero-hour contracts. It is very disturbing.

Difficult day tomorrow …


The youngest goes back to his residential place tomorrow. He has been home for the weekend which he does every fortnight. He knows he is going and we think (you never can tell) that he is looking forward to it. He sits at his computer desk with his legs crossed and waits for his transport to arrive. Then it’s a quick flick through a couple of YouTube videos and he comes downstairs to go.

He has a diary/calendar that shows when he goes away and the day he returns, as one of his Autism traits is that he needs to know what is happening. If he knows, then he seems to accept things better. It’s basically an Excel spreadsheet with different coloured cells for different events.

Tomorrow is different. Tomorrow he goes, and because of the restrictions, he will not be coming home until mid-December. This is different from the last time, during lock-down. Last time we didn’t know it would happen and there was no other option. This time, we do know and we could have had the option of him staying here with us. It may sound harsh, but he is better off in an environment that we know he enjoys, with staff that enjoy looking after him. When he is home, all he wants to do is be in his room. He will not go out unless it is on his planner, so it becomes very frustrating all round. He had to go for his flu-jab yesterday, and it took us nearly an hour to get him to go. Thankfully, the nurses at the surgery know him and were aware that he might be a little late. But they got there on time and all was well. The staff at the surgery are quite amazed that he just lets them do the injection, although he is like me (another story), he has to watch the needle going in so it doesn’t make him jump.

He does not know that he will not be coming home in ‘11 sleeps‘ as his staff will explain on Tuesday. He accepted it then, and it was felt that he may not want to go back if we told him. Very difficult decision.

This is made with Microsoft Word


I am still looking to find a better way to write a post, without using the WordPress Block Editor. I have given up on using Open Live Writer which was billed as the direct Open Source replacement for Windows Live Writer. There has been no work improvement on the software and recently has stopped working with Google Blogger. I don’t use Blogger much, but it was good to have an alternative.

I decided to have a go with Microsoft Word. I’ve wanting to try for a while, but it seems from what I have heard, that it is not a good place to blog. I have to agree with some points, that it is not the easiest of editors to get used to. For one, there is no way to add tags to a post. I scoured the internet for an answer and the only thing I could come up with is to post as a draft, then edit in WordPress to add tags. So that is what I have tried here and have discovered that it is quite feasible to this, although it does take more time and the post ends up being edited as a Classic Block! Now is that good news? And will WordPress keep the Classic Block in the future?

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Another thing that I have found with the Block Editor which annoys me, is the placement of images. In the old Classic Editor, I could place an image into a text paragraph at more or less the position (left or right-aligned) anywhere in that paragraph using the word-wrap feature to wrap the text around that image. Which meant that the image could be, for example, two lines down from the top of the paragraph and two lines up from the bottom of that same paragraph. This does not happen in the Block Editor. The image can be left or right-aligned, but word-wrap into the text, you have to ‘move’ the image up which puts it at the top of the paragraph. There is simply no dynamic positioning.

Update: After viewing this post both on a tablet and a smartphone I have found that the Word formatting only applies if the post is viewed on a computer/laptop. So maybe not such a good option after all.

Technology …


It’s not been the best of starts technology wise, today. I got and realised that my new iPad had not been on charge overnight. That in itself was not too much of an issue, as this new tablet seems to hold its charge very well. No, the problem I had was that the screen had frozen. Not only that but I could do nothing with it. All the ‘help’ sites told me to power off the iPad, but the power switch did nothing. So it wasn’t just the screen that had frozen, but the entire tablet just did nothing. You may be able to imagine the string of expletives that were forthcoming.

Nothing that I tried worked. I had a vague recollection that you could connect an iPad to iTunes on a laptop and ‘do something’ but couldn’t remember what, so I gave it a go. I was still at the time searching online for any sort of help and I came across a site that explained that whilst connected to iTunes, if I held the power button down and tapped the home button, this would refresh the screen. It was a work around for older tablets, but I had nothing to lose. Remarkably, it worked! I was ‘back in the room’ I think the phrase is.

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Then came ‘tech-prob’ number two.

Mrs Me wanted some cleaner for her contact lens’s. I checked on eBay and there was going to be £10.99 plus £6.00 postage, which made it more expensive then going the opticians and buying it. Now I rarely use Amazon as I often think their prices are a bit on the high side, but I checked and they had the product, and it was selling at £13.90 postage free. So, I ordered some. Then I got an email saying that my payment had been declined. I thought I had set up a PayPal payment option, but it seems payments are direct from my debit card, which had just been updated/renewed, so the expiry date was incorrect.

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So all in all, not a good start.