Accident ? What accident …


I got one of those spam calls this morning. My phone is usually muted during the night, but whilst K*** and R*** have been away, I’ve left the sound on. It was one of those annoying 020xx xxxxxx calls. I don’t usually answer them on the basis that if it is a genuine call, then they’ll either call back or leave a voicemail. However, I was expecting a call or text from the Argos delivery driver for the package I was having delivered (yep it didn’t go in the car!). They had told me that delivery was between 7am and 8pm, but that I would get a call or text before they deliver. The guy in Argos told me that some drivers like to finish early on Saturday, so it would be likely to be early than later.

I heard my phone at around 6:15 and not checking the number just answered it. I knew straight away what kind of call it was when the lady (questionable) at the other end spoke. The recorded voice started with “Hello, sorry to hear about your recent FATAL accident …” It was at that point that I hung up. I still find it funny.

Communications …


I’ve come to the conclusion that the work place is not an appropriate scenario for Instant Messaging. As the Council moves away from fixed office bases to a more mobile solution, the need for mobile communication has become greater. The reliance on mobile phone technology as opposed to fixed line, has increased some costs. Some see the way around these extra costs is the Instant Message provision that Microsoft offer. There are enormous benefits to this form of communications, but it also has its downside.

When it first arrived in the office, we were all amazed at the possibilities that email offered. However, it soon became a problem when it was a lot easier to email a colleague than to write a letter/memo and even more convenient than the telephone. Soon we were swamped with masses of email, that we either did not read, or spent most of our time reading rather than working.

Now we have the Instant Message. An email sits the receivers inbox until they read or delete it. Not the case with the Instant Message. The thing about Instant Messaging, is that it only works if both/all communicators are online. But I suppose the biggest downside (well for our scenario) is that, unless your ICT allows to to save your messages, once the conversation is over, all evidence of that conversation is gone. So when your manager says it is okay for you to leave early, there is nothing to back up your claim if your manager denies all knowledge of their agreement.

The other downside is that there is no hiding place. An email can be left until your ready to read it. A telephone can be ignored with the claim that the volume was turned down. An Instant Message is in your face. You cannot miss that persistent flashing icon on your task bar.

I will use the Instant Message tool at work … it’s Corporate. But I will always use email, if I need a record of a communication. It is so much safer.

Bit of a shocker …


I was sat at work, chatting to one of the IT partners when I got a text message. By the time I had finished talking, I had almost forgotten the text. It was from the doctors confirming my next INR test date. Strangely, they had simply sent a previous message which was stating that I was booked in for a test on the 9th February.

I rang the wife and asked her if she had booked me an appointment and I explained that the date was wrong. She told me that the anticoagulation clinic had left a message and that I needed a test on the 8th March.

The shock was that my INR, which should be in the range of 2 to 3.5 with a target of 2.5 was actually 4. This is the highest it has ever been and was strange because my last test was  back to around 2.6.

Now I’m putting this down to a combination of stress and the fact that I had drunk a bit more alcohol (although not much more) than usual. The doctor has said that he has not heard of any research into stress and INR levels, but it was quite feasible given what stress can do. However, I think it may have more to do with the alcohol!

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Here’s a question for you. The clinic should have rung me on my mobile as that is my primary number, and the phone did ring at around 10:30. However, there was no number and the display simply said ‘Private Number’ which means nothing really. I tend to ignore calls like that, on the grounds that if it is important, then they will leave a message. I don’t like the fact that callers can hide their number and given that I already have 2 numbers for the clinic, I would have thought they would have used one of them.

I’m wondering how many of you answer calls from people that hide their number?

The Times they are changing .. of sorts


It has reached that time, when my phone contract is just about to expire. For the past two years, I’ve been using a Sony Xperia T. It is not a bad phone on the whole, although I have had a problem or two. The main issue seems to have centred on the microphone. Mrs H has always said that she cannot hear me when I call, and I, being a male, have always thought that she must be holding her phone incorrectly. It never occurred to me that it might be my phone that was the problem!

So the contract is ending and I can now get an upgrade. The problem is that if I upgrade the phone, I have to take on a new contract, or Price Plan as the provider likes to call them. This ‘Plan’ is quite different from the one I currently use, but I think I can live with it.

The new phone is to be a Nokia 735, which is a Windows phone, as opposed to my usual choice of Android. How different this is going to be, only time will tell.

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I think I may have mentioned this, but our youngest son R*** (we have two) has Autism and sometimes getting him to comply with things that need to be done, can be a trial. One of the hardest tasks is shaving. It is not something he can do for himself, so it is down to me to tackle it whenever necessary. For a number of years we/I have relied on either disposable razors or the much more expensive multi blade jobs. Now, I have never liked shaving with an electric shaver. I have never found it gives a close enough shave. So, like R***, I have tended to utilise the same razors that we get for him. That is until just under a year ago. I had been browsing eBay for razors, in the hope of finding a razor with good reviews at a reasonable price. It was not going well, until I spotted what everyone calls an ‘old fashioned’ safety razor. The price was very cheap and I thought why not? If it is no good, then I would have only lost a couple of pounds (it was that cheap), and it could not be any worse that the ones I had been using.

It was a revelation! It was the best shave I had had in a long time. I quickly realised though, that I would need to get a shaving brush and soap. Squirty foam from a can, did not look right at all.

So this brings me round to the point of this part of my post. Two weeks ago, I was giving R*** his weekend shave and I was having real problems. The multi blade, disposable just was not shaving. It was dragging on his face, and I could see he was beginning to get upset, as it must have been very uncomfortable and possibly, quite painful. I was at a loss as to what I could do. I needed to complete his shave, but was not going to do it the way was doing. You may know where this is going, but I thought I would try using my razor. What was there to lose? Guess what? Revelation time again! It was so smooth and easy to do, and it was all over in 5 minutes, rather than the usual 10.

We now each have our own Weishi (that’s the brand name) razor and all is happy in the mens toilet procedures now.

 

A new era (or any other cliche)


So here we are. A new Government and a ‘new’ type of politics. For my money, it has been clear from the very start, that Nick would be Dave’s stooge, and dance to any tune. It most probably will be different at national level, but Leeds has had a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition for the past few years, and you only have to look at how they handled the refuse dispute to see the way things could go.

Enough of politics. Well enough from me for the time being.

I just noted, in the local press, that a group of ‘angry residents’ are complaining that a phone company have put a temporary phone mast close to their gardens. I have to ask myself, how many of these people have mobile phones of their own, and how many of their kids have them !!!!

Quiz-night last night. We did quite well for a change. Still no win, but it was our highest score. Eldest is at home with us for a few days. He was supposed to be directing the village play this year, but has been let down by people who say yes then say no. He emailed everyone last week to say he was going to have to cancel the play. Everyone who had committed were disappointed, so a meeting has been arranged to see what can be pulled out of the fire. I have a strong suspicion, that he will not be directing again.

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 !

More panic ….


Mrs H got a call from the letting agent this morning. They had tried to get hold of either of the two lads, as they needed the old flat key. They said they have to go and check it, but I suspect that they may have someone else lined up to move in. Of course, nobody could reach either of them. Both phones were going to voicemail, so I suspect they had switched them off. It appears that they had spent all night working on their Uni stuff, and had only got to bed at 05:00 this morning. Hence the difficulty in waking them.

Dad to the rescue!! I drove round to his new place, managed to knock them up and then drove to the agents with the keys. All done!

His room is a tip though. I know they’ve not been in long, but all his bags of clothes were still piled up on the bedroom floor. Hopefully he’ll get it sorted today.