Who’s calling . . .


I got one of those calls again. I may have mentioned before, that I have a policy of not answering a call, if I don’t recognise the number. I work on the basis that if the call is important, then they will either call back or leave a message. I started this policy some years ago, when I got a call, which started with the caller saying “We are sorry to hear about your fatal accident …” Over the past few months, I have had a number of calls starting with the same four digits … 0758. As I understand it, these numbers are allocated to the EE network, but can be transferred to any network

I spoke with a former colleague a day or two ago, who indicated, that these calls are probably from ‘claims experts’, wanting to help me with my claim (that I don’t have.) Another possibility is that they are crooks posing as Amazon couriers. This works on their hope that you are expecting something from Amazon. They tell you that they have tried to deliver a large parcel, but you were not in and as this was the second attempt, there is a charge before they can deliver again. The charge is usually minimal, say £1.00 but it is so they can get your bank details. A third idea is that they are just ‘phone harvesters‘. These ring random numbers and when you answer, it tells the ‘harvester‘ that yours is a live number and can be sold on.

My wife will answer any call that she gets, regardless and laughs at me when I don’t answer. But I think it is better to miss a call than to get scammed.

Random tech problem . . .


© Microsoft

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my OneDrive. I have two laptops. My main one is downstairs but when I bought it, I decided to keep the previous one upstairs as a kind of back-up machine. It is a bit slow, but it was a good machine. I did want to try and connect both as a home network, but that doesn’t seem to work with Microsoft Home edition. I had ‘misplaced’ a couple of files that I now need to use. They were not big or even complicated files, I just didn’t want to re-write. I thought they were on my OneDrive, but I could not find them. I then had the idea that they may just be in the documents folder on old laptop. And they were.

© Microsoft Office

I copied them into my OneDrive, along with some video files that I had forgotten about. Must have spent a good couple of hours opening, and copying the files, or so it seemed at the time. I shut down the old laptop and trotted off downstairs ready to work with these newly found files. But … they were not in the OneDrive I was accessing from downstairs. I ‘ummed and ‘ahhed for a while before deciding that I must have two OneDrives. Seemed reasonable as the Office package on the upstairs laptop was Office 2013 and downstairs it is Office 365. All I need to do is copy the files I wanted onto a Flash Drive and then onto the downstairs machine. Problem solved … or not.

Try as I might, I could not get the files copied and was receiving an error message:
Error 0x8007016A: The Cloud File provider is not running …
Restart after restart would not cure the problem and in the end I gave up for the evening.

© SanDisk

This morning, after a lot of Googling, it came to light that I must not have signed in to my OneDrive on the upstairs Laptop. In fact, the service was not even running, I must have disabled it in Task Manager. More clicks and reboots ensued and finally I was able to copy the files to the Flash Drive and onto the main machine. Then I found that they had synchronised and so all the copy and pasting was a total waste of time. Thankyou Google and all who sail in you. If the fact that I was not signed in to the OneDrive upstairs reason had been one of the first in the Google search screen, I could have saved a lot of time and unnecessary brain work!

A few pics and a bit of writing …


I have recently been updating my ‘Google Sites‘ page. It’s a strange thing, but until a couple of months ago, I had forgotten I had the site. I have been asking one or two ex-colleagues and they tell me that we all created one as part of our departmental social network. It was back in 2009 and I never really used it at work, in fact I didn’t put anything on the site until the middle of last year when I received an email telling me that the site needed some maintenance. All that meant was that I needed to add a recovery email.

It’s not as intuitive as Google Blogger and like the way WordPress seems to be heading, content is created in blocks. Since I have the site, I thought I might as well use it, but I didn’t know what I would use it for. It then struck me. I do a little bit of ‘creative writing'(?) and was tending to put little bits on my Google blog, but it’s a quite boring site and I don’t really know what I can do there. With having this paid blog on here, it didn’t really make any sense to use Blogger. But I didn’t want to post my writing attempts on WordPress, as I thought I would have to create a new page to put the musings, to keep them separate and I didn’t want to do that. I think some blogs can look a bit messy with many pages.

So that’s what my ‘Google Sites‘ is going to be used for. Because scrolling through a long page full of text may be a little tiring, I have interspersed the writing with some of my photographs. All the writing is my own, and one day I shall bundle them all together and publish my own book, although it will probably be some kind of eBook. It is still a ‘work in progress’ but I will keep updating it (when I remember.)

Too clever for my own good …


This is a little techy. I have been having a problem all week with the performance of my main laptop. Applications were slow to open and even slower to close. I scoured the internet for answers and did everything, bar re-installing Windows, that was suggested. But the problem remained, and it was getting worse. Some programs were now not even opening. Then today I had an idea. You see, I have two laptops on my home network, both with an attached printer. At the beginning of the week, I thought it would be good if I could print to both printers in an effort to save ink, as the other printer never gets used. After a couple of hours and a fair bit of stress, I got it working. I then installed the other printer on my main laptop so that it could be seen. Then all I had to do was to ensure the other laptop and printer were switched on and I could print to it. Really quite pleased with myself at that point.

I didn’t really want to have the other laptop and printer to be on all the time, so I shut both down. This was on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, I started to notice the performance issues. As Tuesday was the day when Microsoft updates Windows, I put the problems down to that. When there was a second update pushed on Wednesday, I was convinced that everything would now be okay. Not so. The performance had improved slightly, but not so as you would notice. It was getting so bad that I began to think I had a virus or something. I searched the internet for the problem and the answers were as I expected: run an anti-virus; run an anti-malware; run a disk clean-up even reformat hard drive and start again. Well I tried all except the last one, but nothing seemed to work. Then another search, came up with something. I may have a corrupt drive recently installed. Hmmm … the only driver recently installed was the printer driver for the other printer. I thought I would have a look at that. I removed the printer from the device list (an I assume that removed the driver) and did a full reboot, rather than a restart.

Now (touch wood) it seems to be back to as normal as it was before. I had a quick online chat with the printer help desk (free thankfully). It would appear, that when the other laptop and printer were switched off any software that you can print from would be looking for the printers when the software opens. As the printer was off, it was not visible and so the delays. I’m not entirely convinced, but it does seem to have been resolved.

(Written with Word 365 – blog template)

Boring day so far


   Before our system upgrade, when a member of staff needed to view a letter that had been issued, the system created a temporary file. These files should have been deleted when the reader closed the letter viewer. However, a bug in the system meant that these files were not deleted. There seems to be about 100,000 files taking up about 2.5gb of disc space. This causes a slow down of the network. I have asked the supplier, if I can simply delete these files? The answer that came back was not too helpful. Basically they did not know. Their suggestion, was to rename the folder, and see what happens!! So I decided to approach it from a different angle. I am moving all the files, that are datestamped upto the end of 2008, into seperate folders for each year. I can then archive them to disc, just in case they are needed. Belt and braces stuff!! As you can imagine, this is taking some time. It is probably a waste of time, as I don’t think these files are really needed.

Another day …..


   Today went as well as can be expected. Problems developed with the IT system. I think they are network connected, but you cannot explain that to the people (and I use the term loosely) that I work with. The is not a tangible thing that these people can get their heads round. It is cause and effect — there is a problem with the network — the effect is that it is program XXX. We get this often. If the problem was program xxx, then why did we not have the problem all the time ??? They just cannot seem to see the bigger picture. As the saying goes, ‘Tomorrow is another day’. Oh yes, another day, another field of sh*t to wade through.

   Youngest kicked off a bit tonight. I don’t know what set him off, but it took a while for him to settle. He has been a bit angry all weekend really. It will be a school thing no doubt.

Nearly the weekend


   Well, the eldest did not manage to get up at 07:00 this morning. It was never on the cards really, and I don’t now why we thought he would be. He did not get back in until gone midnight, and was posting messages on facebook at 02:00am. We need to be a bit more forceful when he is here, and try and make sure he is up by 09:00 at the latest. The problem is, that because he has not had to get up for Uni, he sleeps late. It then follows that he is not tired enough at what is a ‘normal’ bedtime. And so, his body clock is completely out of synch. He will have to be up early on Saturday and Sunday though, as both him and his flat mate are working those days.

   Another IT disaster today. This time is was the whole council wide network that had problems. It started around 12:00, when people found they were having problems logging into the network. Those that did manage to log in, were having difficulties accessing certain applications. By 2:00pm most of the council was affected, and the IT help desk, was pushing out a message to the effect, that all the servers needed to be restarted,which would be done tonight. And that is how it was left. Of course, many of my colleagues thought they knew better than me and continued to try and log in. It is getting increasingly difficult to explain to some of these people, that when I say ‘the whole network is down…’ that it also applies to them too, and that they are not a special case.

   Youngest goes on respite tomorrow. Sad though it seems, both Mrs H and me are avidly looking forward to the break. He will be back on Monday, after school, so not too long. It is strange, though. Although we are ready for a short rest, we will miss him when he is not there. When he goes for a week, it seems a lot longer, and we start to look forward to him coming home. Then he kicks off, and we start looking at the calendar for his next respite (joking). I just hope that the current bout of good weather holds out for the weekend. We both need to get of the house for a while. R*** always says a firm ‘No’ to any suggestion that we go out. Even if it is something he enjoys, it is always ‘No’. We do get to have a walk round the village sometimes, but it is a struggle, and often can be painful.

   Right, that will do for now. Wish me luck for work tomorrow.

Friday part 2 ……


I was checking whether I could upgrade my phone contract, before the 18 months is up. It would appear that I can do this, so long as it is not a cheaper contract, but I need to do it at least 24 hours before the date of my bill. Anyway, that is not the whole story. Whilst I had it in mind, I decided to check S****’s account. Horror !! His account was showing a spend of over £17.00. Now to say, at the beginning of the week he had a £4.50 credit, this was a hell of a shock. It would appear that he ‘accidentally’ subscribed to something he did not intend to. I don’t believe it. Mrs H rang him tonight, which I don’t think was a good idea. It left her feeling more down that she was before. They are both going to have to learn. Him to ring more often, for now at least 3 times a week. For her, just to wait for him to ring.

R*** has been fine again today, up until about half past six. Then as per usual we had an episode. Then another one around nine o’clock, and another one just around quarter past ten. As usual, no apparent reason.

Well the week is now over, and I haven’t been tempted to log into the work network. That’s not entirely true. I was tempted … but I did not relent. I’m dreading seeing the mess that will be left on my desk. I did check my mobile though. There only seemed to be the usual network problems.

No lottery win again. I seem doomed to fail at this. Neither ‘lucky-dip’ or my so called system works. I think for tomorrow, I will pick some significant numbers and try that for a week or two.

The problem I am having with Windows recycle bin has not been resolved. The ‘Ask Leo’ site has not come up with anything yet. Not that I expected it to. This is the second question I have asked and got no reply. I think I will post it on ‘The Elder Geek’ forum page. That usually elicits a reply of some kind.

Why do I get weirdo’s following me on Twitter. I can go for days without any new followers, then just buses, they all come at once. Three tonight. All of them trying to ‘help’ me make money on the internet. Go Away Spammers !!!!

…..and so to continue


I did the bike ride !!!! Must have been about six miles. Spen Common Lane - BramhamAlong the access road (keeping to the newly made foot/cycle/bridle path), up  Spen Common Lane to Headley Hall, down the bridle path (passing a few bricks on the way), then along Aberford Road, down Church Hill and home. Knackered !!I think I may alternate between walking and cycling. My calves feel like iron.

C**** is coming in to say hello tomorrow. It will be good to see her again. I may even take the plunge and go into town on the bus. Go out for lunch. But then again, that could ruin my ‘grumpy old man’ image. But who knows.

Here is an odd thing (just to change the subject). My car seems to be doing, more miles to the gallon/litre these days. Take today for instance. The odometer showed that I had done 300 miles since the last fill up. Now that is usually, the number of miles before I fill up, give or take 5 miles or so. However, at 300 miles, the petrol gauge showed just over 1/8 of a tank left, or an equivalent of 35 miles. My theory is that, the warm weather (?) means the engine does not take as long to warm up, and so uses less juice. However, I do seem to be driving more miles these past few weeks.

I’m now on the NaBloPoMo blogroll, so I may get a little more traffic coming my way. hope this is not too boring for you all.

Wednesday ….. is there a pattern forming here ??


Another four day week. June is going to be a hard month, what with all those full weeks. Not a lot has happened really. The weekend was there I suppose, but nothing special has happened. I did email RH, but nothing has come of it yet. It may be that he does not check his email every day. I will know in another week.

I got some more seeds planted over the weekend. I did four more bowls of the mixed salad leaves, and a large trough of Rocket. Fingers crossed that it will all take. The dahlias have taken since planting out. I’m looking forward to seeing them flower. I am still wondering what to do with the rough area at the side of the deck. At the moment it is just a patch of weeds. It is very shaded, and quite dry I think, so I do not know what to do there. Where is the best place to grow rhubarb? I seem to think that they like that kind of environment.

The new lap-top came last week. It is a smart piece of kit (for the council). Comes with a docking station that puts it at an angle to make typing a little more comfy. So, in theory, I can now work from home, through a VPN connection. In practice, it is even slower that at work. It could be the wireless connection that is causing the slowness or then again it could be just the councils network that is rubbish.  I will try connecting with an ethernet cable over the weekend, but I don’t hold out much hope. Big issues with the work network today. JW from Bradford came to see how we do a process today, but because of the network problems, I could not show him anything. Hopefully he is coming back next week, and things should be different.

I watched the Champions League final, all the way through tonight. It was the best game of football I’ve seen in a long time. It was a shame Man Utd did not turn up, they would have enjoyed the game. Barcelona was by far the best side.

Having a nice chat with Nina and Anna, on MSN as I type this. I’ve not spoken to Nina for about 2 weeks. We seem to miss each other, when on-line. And as for Anna, well it was before we went to Blackpool at the beginning of April. I’ve always liked Anna. She was one of the first people that I chatted to on, what used to be Lycos chat.

I’m just about getting the hang of Twitter now. I was watching ‘Celebrity Cash In The Attic’, on Monday, and Maggie Philbin (soft spot and youthful crush) was on. It was a very good show with an important charity. I follow her on Twitter, so when she tweeted, that evening, I tweeted back congratulating her on the money she raised. To my surprise, she tweeted back to me. I got all giddy. that is a real ‘celeb’ sending me a message. A nice person.