A little bit techy …


For a few months now, I have had a problem with my calendar. My primary email account is a Gmail account, and the application that use to read and write my email is Outlook 2016. Here was the problem! Outlook has its own calendar, but I can only see that calendar on my laptop as that is where the data is saved. My tablet and phone cannot pick up that calendar, but can see my Google calendar. So, my work around was to have an application that synchronised both calendars. After much ‘Googling’ I such an application and it was successfully installed. It ran without issues for a good few weeks, but then I noticed that although it said it was synchronising, it wasn’t happening. It was assumed by the software company that produced it, that the latest Windows update was causing a problem. There was no apology or offer to investigate it was just ‘A Windows 10 issue’ and was left at that.

Much more Googling and expressive language followed, before I found the next answer …add my Google calendar as an Internet Calendar in Outlook and use that one only. Brilliant …and so easy to do. Job done and me now a happy man. But wait a minute, I don’t seem to be able to delete an entry from that calendar. What is going on? It seems that the Google calendar is read only in Outlook. I’m now beginning to lose it a little bit. More searching and another application is found. This one seems to work. It synchronises every hour, I would prefer every 15 minutes but can live with the hour restriction. Back to the ‘happy man’ status again. I then notice, that my Outlook calendar is showing duplicated entries! My language is getting worse. I looked at some of the help forum and it explains that this is one of the issues and the only way around, is to delete all entries from both calendars and re-enter them in one calendar only. Not going to happen. I have now consigned that application to the recycle bin along with the others.

So I’m now left with the only option I appear to have. I use the Google calendar and have it as a read only calendar when I’m using Outlook. Not ideal, but seems to be the only thing I can do.

First successful Blogger post …


     I have been trying for some time to get Open Live Writer (OLW) to work properly with Google Blogger. I could actually connect and post, but one of the best features of OLW is the facility to download the blog theme. This enables you preview your post in draft mode, before you finally upload to Blogger. I use this with my WordPress Blog (unashamed plug there) and it worked without any issue. However I simply could not get OLW to download the relevant files. I tried raising the issue with the OLW forum, but that did not help. The answer came in an unorthodox way!

     I had a problem with my Google account password. Somehow it needed to be reset. I managed to reset to a new password, but then found a problem with Outlook 365. I was now unable to connect Outlook to my Gmail. Every time I tried to enter the new password, it failed. No passwords, old or new were being accepted. I tried removing my Gmail account and re-adding it, without success. I securebegan the process of adding Gmail to my Outlook.com. It took a Google search to find out the issue. It seems, that back in 2014 Google started to block, what it considered to be unsecure logins. This was the problem and I needed to amend a security setting. I needed to “Allow less secure apps” to be ‘ON’. Problem with Gmail/Outlook sorted. The relief was massive. I really did not want to have to use Outlook.com as my main email client for many reasons.
     It then struck me! “Hmmm,” I thought. “I wonder if that is the problem with downloading the theme for Blogger?” It seems that it was. So there we are. All sorted.

Another week done … finally


I don’t know why, but it seems to have been a long week. By the time Wednesday had arrived, it felt that it should be Friday.

An issue I had at work, with one of pieces of software we use was resolved. It was a simple setting that, for some reason had become ‘unset’. Now it maybe that this setting only need to be ‘set’ when certain jobs are being run. I don’t know, but I think I need to check with the people that manage the software.

The major upgrade to another piece of software went as well as could be expected. There was a couple of issues, but with this project there always is a couple of issues. It’s just the nature of the beast.

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The eldest son and his girlfriend/partner got the news they had been waiting for. The completion date for the house they are buying came through and it’s around the time they were looking at. Both are really happy about it. I’m not too sure that they fully realise how hard it is going to be over the first couple of years. They have got lots of plans and both seem to be quite sensible with money, but neither is on a fantastic salary at the moment, so it’s a bit of a worry.

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Last week I bought a new shower head from Amazon. The old head was not working as it should, mainly down to it’s age and use. The new one wasn’t a cheap one, but equally, it Head 1wasn’t the most expensive one either. It arrived in good time, before the expected date and last Sunday, I attempted to install it. It was a simple ‘remove old – fit new ’ operation and there was no problem with it. That is until I came to test it. I could not believe it. Water was pouring out of the the ball and socket joint. I thought hHead 2ad done everything right and checked by refitting it. Still the same. I had no choice but to remove the new one and put the old one back. Not feeling very pleased about this, I contacted the seller for their advice. I got a reply within about 12 hours, which I thought was good, but their resolution did not work. A couple more emails back and forth ensued, and each time, the resolution failed. In the end, I emailed back advising them that the issue was still there and requested a refund. A response was duly received (again within less than 12 hours) explaining that I needed to contact Amazon for a refund together with a thank you for my custom. Amazons return procedure is very good, and the unit is now all packaged and labelled ready to return.

Now whilst I could not recommend the product, I could find no fault the the company selling. Communication was prompt and courteous and they were good to deal with. Shame about the product though.

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On a last note, I’m wondering if anyone has had the same problem as I found yesterday. K*** asked me to forward an email on for her, as I had the address on my computer and it as easier. I opened the email, selected forward and clicked on the ‘To’ button to insert the address. I was shocked to find that all my contacts had disappeared! The Outlook address book was empty. I scanned the computer trying to find the file, but it was not there. Google searches provided no help except the person who said that it was probably an update that did it.

No problem I thought, I would reinstall it from a back-up. Not as easy as it sounds. After a lot of messing about, I found that the back-up must have run, after the address book had gone. Only alternative was to try and reinstall the address book from the Outlook on my old computer. That was done with some success.

I’m confused as to how or why it happened. I am blaming updates as there had been a big one on the 9th which covered a lot of stuff. Annoying though.

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And so to finish.I got the end of writing this post and thought to myself ‘it’s over 700 words’ which I think is quite a lot and possibly a little boring? So my aim now is to go for the ‘little and often’ option, rather than a weekly digest. See where we go with that idea.

The weekend is all gone ….


   Another successful Sunday with the youngest, and yet again, no medication. That is three Sundays in a row. Just wish that it could happen on Saturday too. Now that would be something.

   We think we have a small leak in the hot water cylinder. There seems to be water escaping around the thermostat. However the people we pay to fix things like this do not see it as an emergency, and are not coming out until Wednesday. Fingers crossed that it does not get worse then !!

   I have a few days off work next week. I’m in on Monday and Friday, but mid week, I’m on leave. Youngest goes away on respite for a few days tomorrow, so it is a good time to take off. The eldest is 20 on Wednesday. He is coming up for his drama, but he has to be back at Uni on Thursday morning. Mrs H is not taking it too well I think. She was hoping he would come straight home after his lecture on Wednesday, but he wants to have a drink with his pals first. That may not go down too well if he is not home for tea.

   It is quite a big week for the IT at work. Our building is moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 on Thursday. I know what your saying, with Office 2010 due out soon, why are we still running 2003 versions. Apparently it is all down to licensing, suitability, time factors, or deployment issues, depending on who you speak to. What they don’t explain, is that it is all down to staffing issues !!! Still it will be good to get away from the limitations of Notes.

An odd day …


   It has been one of those days, when nothing has gone wrong, but nothing has happened to make it memorable. It just happened. Of course, the idiots were still idiots, and still did the stupid things that idiots do. It gets me quite angry, when they do stupid things after four/five years. Grrrrrr !!

   It’s the 2nd annual Bramham Beer Fest tomorrow. There are over 20 local real ales on sale, with entertainment and food all day. If last year is anything to go by, it should be a good day. They got about 200 customers last year, and are expecting in excess of 300 this year. Eldest is coming up, and we think he may bring his flatmate, but that changes by the hour. I don’t think either will stop the night, as S**** indicated that he wants to go out in Leeds afterwards.

   The online training course and quiz, at work is turning out to be a disaster. We are moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 (2003, I ask you) next month, and we all have to go through this so called ‘training course and quiz’. The course is online, and consists of, what looks like a PowerPoint presentation. No interaction, and it is supposed to take 2 hours to get through. Everyone (except the numpties) got bored after about 20 minutes. It is not a good piece of training. Then there is the ‘quiz’. Everyone needs to get 80% on the quiz. There are 10 questions, and they are either single word or multiple choice answers. But there seems to be a problem with the results. My first attempt got me 60%. Second go, and I realised 70%. Third time, and I’m down at 50%. Problem is that the feedback from the quiz, does not tell you which questions you got wrong !!!! So, attempt number 4. This time, I am armed with the ‘official’ training handbook. Every question, and I look the answer up in the manual. Cannot fail. Result …… 70%. See the problem !! Methinks that IT need to do some work on this one.

   The  non-recyclable bins got emptied today. It will have been private contractors that covered the job. I’m not too happy about the use of contractors, but I think the unions have shot themselves in the foot here. The council has to get the best deal, and have been looking at outsourcing for some time. This strike has made them look harder. And I think, the longer it goes on, the more the public support will dwindle. I don’t think they had that much support anyway. A lot of people remember how hard the ‘binmen’ of old used to work. Carrying those steel bins on their shoulders to the bin wagon, and then putting them back in the garden. No wheelie bins in those days. What it will make people aware of, is exactly how much stuff they put in the bins on a regular basis.

Weekend all gone


   A quiet day today. R*** had a lie-in until 07:30 which was nice. No jobs to do today, except making the dinner. I pegged out a few more strawberry plants. That will make about 8 new plants all together. I don’t really know how we will over winter them. I think, I’ll leave them out doors until it starts to get frosty, and maybe put them in the shed, with some fleece over them. I don’t think they will keep very well in my little greenhouse.

   S**** was online with Mrs H tonight. He doesn’t seem to be that well. His back is getting  so bad, that he says he is having difficulty walking!! Mind you, it does not seem to stop him spending all night watching DVDs. He says he was up all last night, until 10:00am this morning, watching ‘24’. Now that surely cannot help !!

   It seems funny seeing Mrs H on messenger. I’ve also got her checking her email. Now that I’ve got Outlook, I’ve moved my accounts from Outlook Express, so that there is only her account on there. What with that, and her searching online and Googling, there will be no stopping her.

   All my bluetooth kit seem to be working okay now (hurriedly looks for wood to touch.) I had to uninstall the bluetooth software and drivers, before I could get my PDA to synchronise. For some reason, the software was only opening two COM ports, when there should have been about 4 or 5. Odd thing is though, that while ever the Nokia PC Suite is open, both my phones are connected to the PC. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. What it does mean though, is that I can have all my contacts and calendar details on both my phone, PDA and the PC. I think I’ll give up with the Tiscali email. It is not that good, and apart from getting a monthly email from OpenOffice.Org (which I no longer use), the rest is spam. Now I know I get a lot of spam with the Gmail address, but Google seems to have a very good spam filter, something that Tiscali could do with.

   I think that will do for today.

Yet another long day ….


   Although R*** woke up at 04:45 a, and was in a foul mood, the day went quite well. He went off to his respite club for the day and Mrs H and me did a bit of shopping and had a bit of a walk. There have been a couple of moments when we thought he was going to kick off, but nothing happened. That can be quite stressful too, when something you expect to happen, just doesn’t.

   I managed to synch my phone with Outlook today. This has been a bit of an uphill struggle. It all boils down to when I added the new RAM. I must have plugged all the USB peripherals into all the wrong ports, which seems to have messed everything up. However, the only thing that will not connect via bluetooth, is my PDA. To be honest, it always was easier to connect with the cable, so I may just do that. I believe though, that I can synch the PDA with Outlook too, it’s just finding out how to do it.

   S**** seems to be struggling with his money. He has no income, but needs to spend to live. It doesn’t help, that his flat mates father seems to pay for everything. We cannot afford to do that, so S**** is going to have to do what 99% of students do, and get a job of some sort.

   Well that seems to be it for today.

A busy day


   As I expected, it turned out to be quite a busy day. I got most of the work done, but there are still a few bits left over. I cannot seem to get any enthusiasm for the renewals. I’ve done about 75% of the work, but ………

   I started the new book. It’s a biog of Eleanor Of Aquitaine. I may have mentioned this book before. The only thing I don’t like about biographies, are endnotes. I can put up with footnotes (except when they point to an endnote) and time lines. However I get annoyed when I have to wade through 9 or 10 pages at the back of a book, only to find that the endnote refers you to an obscure book that is only available in some library somewhere. fortunately, this book does not seem to have either type of note. Mind you I have only read the preface and prologue, but the outlook is good.

   Talking of Outlook, I’m beginning to get my head round it a little. I got the tutorial that I wanted, but I’ve not really had time to read through it yet. I also got a couple for Outlook 2003, for when we change over at work. That is all supposed to start next month. It would appear, that it is going to happen, building by building. Ah …… fun will be had by all !!! I did manage to get G*** on the ‘Super User’ list, so the City team (who had been forgotten !) will have some support.

   The youngest has been worse than usual today. He was fine when he went to sleep last night, but from what Mrs H says, he’s not been good most of the day. It did not help, when we had a power outage, and his computer and TV went off. Then it took a good 10 minutes before my PC was up and running, and to cap it all, no-one knew my password. Mrs H had to call me at work, and of course I was not at my desk, so that did not help. Still she knows it now. He seem to have calmed down now (thank God for Calpol). I tried using some lavender oil on a pad. Just stroked his forehead and the soles of his feet with it. Don’t know if it helped. We will see what tomorrow brings.