Still going – just …


The issues with the laptop continue, although they seem to be not as bad as they were at the beginning of the week. After reading some the comments online, I’m more and more convinced that at least some of the problems are linked with the last Windows update. The annoying thing is that whereas at one time you could choose to update or not, now it is more or less forced onto you. I also think. that there may be some compatibility issues with some of the software I’m using. However, it is looking likely that I may have to bite the bullet and get a new one, with all the issues that brings.

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Coming back to my Blog Editor trials, I thought last night when R*** was using my laptop, that I had forgotten to include BlogPad Pro app on my iPad. It worked quite well when we were away and providing I can upload the manual to my phone, for reference, it might just be a contender. I have decided against using Notepad as it would me more effort than it’s worth copying and pasting, so I’m going to cross that of the list. This post is being written with my favourite application, Open Live Writer. This is the one that I started having problems with which prompted my testing.

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The village seems to be the target of a couple of gangs of thieves. Properties are being broken into and it appears that the thieves are after the car keys of high-end vehicles. These  cars are then stolen and either shipped abroad or broken-up for the valuable parts. The local primary school was also hit, but that was for the laptops. It’s a bit of a worrying time for all.

(Written with Open Live Writer)

All good so far …


New phone seems to working well. It’s not taken too long to get used to, but I’ve not used all the features yet. As I thought, I needed to get a new, smaller sim card. Fortunately, we were going to Harrogate on the day New Phonemy phone was due to arrive. I thought it would be a good idea to call in the phone shop and ask for a new sim. I explained that I was picking up my new phone later and it needed a new card. The salesman tried to upgrade my plan, but when he looked at the details he agreed that I couldn’t get a better plan for the money. He then took a few security details and was able to validate and authorise the new sim ‘to save me time later ‘ he said. Now that was a mistake! When he validated my new sim, it automatically invalidated the old one. That meant that when I checked my email, I was charged for the data, as although the card was invalid, the account wasn’t. It was only a small charge, but I was a little bit miffed.

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Because both K*** and me are classed as carers, we are entitled to a free flu jab every year. I think also that since my MVR operation, I would be classed as being in a ‘vulnerable group’. It would seem that flu can have a serious effect on a person with a heart condition. R*** accepted the injection without any fuss and was even smiling  when the nurse pushed the needle into his arm. K*** thinks it was because he could see what the nurse was doing and that he remembered it from last year. Like me, he likes to watch the needle go in. I always try to watch because that way, it does not make me jump. Many years ago, when I was a blood donor, I had a bad experience with a needle. I was in the transfusion clinic which I had been doing every six months for years. I was looking around the room when the doctor inserted the main needle into my arm. I was not expecting it and it startled me a little. This reaction made the needle go into the vein too far, and instead of laying in the vein itself, it pierced the other side and from what I was told, blood was escaping into my arm. This resulted in a small haematoma forming. I was assured that it was not dangerous, as they had caught it in good time, but they said it could have been a lot worse. Ever since then, I’ve tried to watch for the moment the needle enters and I don’t have a problem.

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First one done …


The first ‘official week’ of my new part-time job is over and done. After the trial day, it was very much as I expected it to be. It’s fairly physical and quite hot especially at the peak time of the day between 12:00 and 14:00. I did end the day with a bit of a sweat-rash (in a place that I have no intention of mentioning) and my legs do feel a bit tired today. It is understandable, I’ve not done a standing job for over 25 years!

I don’t think I made any mistakes and everyone seems to be quite pleased with me. Unfortunately, I did forget to turn off the water heater when I went home yesterday. The boss did say that it did not matter too much, but I was a bit annoyed with myself at forgetting. I think I’ll make a list on my phone of the jobs I need to do at the end of the day. See if that helps.

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Talking of phones, I’m getting a new one tomorrow. It’s bought and paid for and I just need to pick it up from the local Tesco in the afternoon. K*** bought a new iPhone as her old one just was not working properly. I just kept cutting out whenever she used it and the reception on it wasn’t the best. I like the phone I have. It was the phone I wanted when it came out and was top of the range at the time. However that time was about 4 years ago and the poor thing is starting to show it’s age. Apps don’t open properly and there is very little space to work with on the phone itself. So I’ve opted for a “Moto G6 Play Gold” which is a bit of a mouthful I know. Seems to have all the features I want, although I may have to order a new sim card from ‘3’ before I can use it.

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Really long days


I was supposed to be posting a little every day. But, as with all plans on this trip, things seem to get in the way.

I am currently enduring enjoying a family break in the Scarborough area. The week didn’t start well. R***’s transport arrived 40 minutes early. As this was a new driver and escort it seemed bothered more than him. Then, we got a little lost at the end of the journey. It would seem that there are two places in the Scarborough area, that have the same name with almost the same postcode. Of course, I had got the wrong one. S**** was arriving later and as I/we had given him the wrong postcode, the same happened. The place is not too remote, but as this is England the mobile phone coverage is poor to say the least. To cap it all, K*** got a phone call from R***’s respite to say that the transport had arrived to take him home. Somewhere along the line wires had crossed. It could have been a huge problem if they had brought him home only to take him back again.

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?