Seems a lot longer …


Well, it’s been 18 months now since I took the plunge and ‘volunteered’ for early retirement, or as it turned out to be voluntary redundancy. It does seem a lot longer since I was driving into the City centre multi-storey car park. To be honest, it has not really gone according to the vague plan I had formulated, in my head during the few months leading up to my last day. I had sort of thought that I could:

  1. take it easy for the first two months
  2. get a part-time job, between 10 and 16 hours a week
  3. get a bit of decorating done
  4. ditto in the garden
  5. take over most of the washing and ironing (I weirdly like ironing)

None have really materialised with the exception of number 5. Okay, I did paint the staircase, and I have done a bit(?) in the garden. But that’s about it. I’m still looking for a part-time job, but K*** seems to think that I have made my options in that area, too narrow. I don’t want too many hours and I want it local.

I thought I would get bored very quickly, but that has not happened. I thought that we would not be able to live on the pension I was getting. Altering where we shop for most our groceries has eased that pressure. So basically, at the moment we seem to be okay.

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The latest Windows update became available for me yesterday. About 2pm I checked and it was available. So I began the update process. It finally finished at around 7:30pm. This is the reason I did not post this at Fthe time I wanted. I’ve had a quick look, and the only thing that seems to be a ‘new’ feature is that I now have a nearly full “F:\drive” that wasn’t there before. As I understand, and I may be wrong, but this new drive is the location for the recovery data. I think it used to be in a folder, but it seems that Microsoft now wants it in a separate partition. This is fine if there is sufficient space. I believe Aaaaghthat this partition will mysteriously be removed in 10 days, which is a little unnerving. With working in an IT support team before I retired, I tend to read up on the major updates to see what ‘exciting new features’ I am about to receive. I only half-heartedly did it this time, but I think that will change for next time. The problem is, that since Microsoft decided to move towards Windows being provided as a service, there is no choice but to update when they tell you.

I am now updating my other laptop. It’s been going 1 hour and seems to be proceeding faster than the previous time. Wish me luck.

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Update to Windows update:- The second laptop only took just under 4 hours to run, so a slight improvement there. The issue with the new “F:\drive” has been resolved. I trawled the internet with no luck, then had this brain-wave … ask the Windows community. Within minutes, literally less than 5 minutes it was solved and the drive is no longer visible. It was a Recovery drive, but it should not have been visible. If anyone has got the same issue, I am going to post the answer as a separate post. 

A Long couple of weeks …


Just over two weeks ago, my father-in-law went into hospital for a hip operation. He is in his early eighties and he had been going through a lot of pain prior to going in. He was also very very apprehensive about the aftercare for both him and his wife.  His wife is really quite frail and forgetful these days, so the whole thing had been quite traumatic for him.

Between them K***, my wife and her sister have taken to sleeping at their parents house so that they can help them and gradually ease them back into some kind of normality. The big worry for me and K*** was how our youngest son R***, would cope with his mum not being at home every evening. R*** is Autistic and does not cope with changes to his routine. Amazingly, he has coped really well. He seems to have accepted that mum is sleeping at grandads house and that she would be home the next day.

As an extra trial, we have had the rendering on our house replaced. This entailed drilling all the IMAG0446old rendering off and putting new on. So for just over three weeks (it went last Saturday) we had scaffolding all around the house. One consequence of this was that we lost our satellite connection for the television. I may have mentioned before that one of the things R*** likes is to have his television on all night. It is on with the sound very low, but it is on all the same. We were expecting serious problems. However, he simply played two of his DVD’s over and over again.

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Still no news on the job application. I’m beginning to think I may have missed out, but then again, they simply may not have filled the interview quota. I’ll have to look out to see if it gets re-advertised. The project I’m currently on shuts down at the end of May, and it looks like I may be moved back to the main team. Something I’m not looking forward to for reasons I won’t go into here.

The job I applied for seems to be along the lines of the work I’ve been doing for the past 18 months, but in a more formal and structured way. Although I don’t have all the IT knowledge they ask for, I think it is something I could pick-up reasonably quickly.

The fingers are most definitely still crossed.

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I have always been a knitter. It is something I learned how to do when I was very young. During the early years, I tended to make baby clothes (my parents were pre-adoption foster carers at the time) so I became quite skilful in knitting complicated lace-like patterns.

Now, I have begun to take an interest in crafting as a whole. It was really sparked when we were visiting a small craft exhibition, and I saw a handmade Valentines card. It was simply a piece of card folded in half with a variety of small coloured buttons stuck oMy versionn the front in the shape of a heart. Price was £1.99 for a single card and envelope. A quick trip to our local £1 shop and I had a pack of blank cards and envelopes and a pack of small coloured buttons. Price? £2.00 for enough to make ten cards. I was almost hooked. The thing that finally convinced me that I could do this crafting as a hobby was when I saw how to make a small bow using a four pronged dining fork.

Since then, I’ve been collecting a variety of bits and pieces that I think will be able to make some ‘craft type’ thing with. It has now got to the point where I have subscribed to a crafting magazine that comes with a small beginners sewing machine as a free gift. There is no stopping me now!

Just a little pi**ed off … Geek speak time


    It has been a bit of a stressful week, computer wise. I’ve been trying for the past six weeks to get our ICT department to install Windows Mobile Device Centre (MDC). I used to use Active Synch to reinstall the handheld computers that some of the staff use. However, when we moved to Windows 7, that all went to pot. It seems that Active Synch does not work with Win 7 and MDC is the replacement. But in accordance with the ‘lock down’ that our ICT department operate MDC was not available.

    Then, miracle happen and I was ‘granted’ access to MDC. This meant that I could also connect my personal PDA and synchronise my office diary with my personal diary. You would think this would be a simple thing to do. Noooooo!! It seems that the diary Outlook 2010 uses does not like the diary on Outlook 2013, and when I tried synching the PDA with my personal diary, the damn think wiped both diaries clean. Not a problem (or so I thought) I’ll just re-synch my PDA with my works diary. Guess what??? Same thing happened. So now I’m sat there with three blank diaries. Now some people would think that is great, but I had lost everything. I managed to recreate my personal diary from a backup (all those experts were right about backups) but our fantastic ICT told me they could restore my emails (which had not been lost) but not the diary. Certain words of a blue nature issued forth when I heard this. After a few hours of manual entry, I managed to input most of the details that had been lost.

    Now, we come to the problems with my email account at home. For a number of days, my main email account has been getting very slow to upload the emails from Gmail into Outlook. Apparently, it is a known issue and accordingly, nothing can be done. It had got to the stage tonight whereby the main account refused to upload any emails since before 05:30 this morning. Many hours searching on Google came up with various options, none of which worked. I even took the drastic step of re-install Microsoft Office, which is not something to do lightly with Office 2013. This of course proved fruitless. I then had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments. If I removed my main account then reinstalled it that might work. A few minutes of breathe holding, and I had done the job. All the missing emails uploaded instantly, and I was one ‘happy bunny’, so to speak. That state of euphoria lasted about ten seconds, where upon I found that removing my account resulted in the eradication of both my diary (again) and all of my contacts. More bad language ensued and another backup restore was required. Everything is now more or less back to normal, but the whole episode reminds me of that famous saying:

“It is isn’t broken, the don’t fu*k with it”

Back to work


     Well not really ‘back to work’ in the sense that others may say. It was back to work after the New Year. Of course, the IT system failed again. Lost a couple of network drives over the weekend, so the automatic program that should have run at 5 past midnight did not run. That put me back a couple of hours, so some of today’s work will have to be done tomorrow.

     Big problems with the youngest last night. Screaming and shouting and intense anger  at around 10pm. Nothing seemed to calm him down at first, then he was awake up until about 2am. Tonight, much the same. At around 9pm, we got the screaming and shouting and the anger, but tonight he was crying and saying he was so unhappy. Now, he was probably reciting a DVD or video that he has remembered, but it was very upsetting, and had me convinced it was him trying to tell us what is going on !! Who knows. This could be the side effects of the small dose anti-depressant that he has been prescribed, or it may just be another development is his Autism !!! It is now 11pm and he seems to have settled down, but he could turn at any moment.

     Christmas cards are now beginning to get me down !!!! Just want it all to be over. I know, I know, only a couple of days to go, but it is not soon enough. If I had my way, the decorations would go up on the 24th, and come down again on the 26th !!!! I know what you’re thinking …… and I have been expecting a visit from the three Christmas ghosts for many years.

A struggle to post sometimes …


   Well, we did not go to the quiz after all. The weather wasn’t too good, and I was a bit tired. There are many nights when I just cannot be bothered, and just want to sit and read, or listen to some music.

   The IT stuff got sorted. The folders that the staff needed access to are only available to staff who have a certain application, and although all the staff can see the folders, only certain ones can do anything with them. I have no idea why they do it that way.

   It was Mrs H’s birthday on Sunday. Eldest came over for the weekend, and they both went to the local music event. It is usually me that goes with S****, but we all thought it would be nice if him and K*** went. I think she enjoyed it. You never can tell, especially when she says things like ‘It was different’ and ‘I did not know what to expect’.

    A busy day coming up on Wednesday. It is the end of the financial year and I have a number of reports to run. We did a test run last week, and the Finance Manager (did I really capitalise that) seemed happy with them. Fingers crossed things stay that way.

   Youngest is supposed to be going to the dental hospital on Thursday. Trouble is he has started with a cold, and I don’t think they will let him have the treatment if he has a cold. Still, it will be another day off, and I think I will have earned it.

Work and stuff …


Work went quite well yesterday, up until around 2pm. I had to demonstrate how to do a job, and it went completely wong. It would seem IT struck again. Some of our staff, need to save images on a computer network drive. However, they get an Access Denied message. Very strange, as the drive is a shared drive.

Leeds lost again last night, and to Milwall of all teams. That put Leeds in a very vunerable position. They cannot afford to lose anymore matches, as Milwall is only three points behind them. At this rate, Leeds could end up in the playoffs again, and I don’t think anyone wants to go through that again !!

Work today is problematic. The toilets are blocked again (seems to be every two weeks this happens). They know what the problem is, and ‘think’ they know who is causing it, but it is not getting fixed.

Quiz night tonight. Me and Mrs H are to have a go. Can’t see us winning, but whilst the youngest is away, it’s a chance to get out. And then I have a day off tomorrow. Last of this years leave.

Friday is still a long way off ….


   Another, more or less uneventful day. The IT guy I was trying to contact finally got back to me, so that was a success. I need to get some cases to the new company ASAP. Things are looking good for tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

   Not heard from the eldest, since Mrs H rang him on Monday to tell him that his phone bill was too high. I don’t know how anyone with 700 minutes call time can rack up another £26.00+ in call charges. He claims it must have been when he rang the ISP, but I’m not so sure. The final bill is due on Friday. I’ll know for sure then. I have an idea his flatmate has been using it !!!!

   Youngest was up very early this morning. First heard him at around 04:00am. He tends to make a kind of droning sound, which I think is an attempt to drown out the tinnitus, the we think he has. But he was making ‘his noise’ from the moment he awoke. We never got back to sleep at all really. Made for a tiring day. He is still awake now, although it has gone quiet.

   Watched the first half of the footie tonight. Not impressed much. I hear though, that they improved vastly in the second half ! Just my luck eh !