Small steps …


This is going to be a little bit techy/geeky, so feel free to move on.

For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to learn a computer programming language. I have had a free programming environment (Visual Studio Community 2017) on all my computers for many years but simply have not had the inspiration to get on and learn something. The bad weather on Thursday suddenly gave me that inspiration. I found an online tutorial called Home and Learn, that went through the basics in Visual Basic.net, but at a pace that wasn’t either too slow or too fast. Many of these tutorials show you how to create the ubiquitous “Hello World” programme. As much of a novice that I am, I think I was past that phase.

So by the end of the day, I had completed a few exercises and had started on a project to build a basic calculator. AndVB Calculator I mean a basic calculator. A calculator that only had a single function … addition. Nothing else … just adding up numbers. By Friday evening, after a few false starts I had successfully built this very simple calculator application. I was feeling very pleased with myself. This self-smugness left me feeling that I could do more. Knowing what I had learnt I felt that it would be not such a difficult task to add another function, such as subtraction. The main issue I had was how to use the coding that I had spent so much time on without losing the initial work. What I needed was a ‘Save as …’ option. But could I find one? It seems that there is no ‘Save as …’ in this version of Visual Studio. I searched the internet but was coming up with various ways that didn’t seem to work for me. I then realised what I needed to do. All that was required was to copy the original project to it’s own backup folder, in another area and then I was free to use the original.

VB Calculator Ver 2Well I won’t bore you with any more details, but after even more false starts than before and a lot of brain-racking I managed to get the subtraction function to work and the calculator now has both an addition and a subtraction button. Can you imagine how much the smugness factor has risen by! I even managed to find out how to make the buttons look like raised buttons instead of the default flat style that seems to be the fashion these days. The next challenge is to add a multiplication and a division button. I’m even thinking ahead for things like a percentage button, but I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself.

At the end of the day though, this not going to get me anywhere. It’s just another hobby that I can enjoy and get satisfaction from.

A little bit of a rant


Saturday was ‘Medication Review’ day. This in my opinion, is a bit of a waste of time. I’m currently on three types of medication: an anti-acid for my stomach reflux, an anti-coagulant for my heart valve and a beta-blocker to help my heart. Now the doctor has told me, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, that these are lifelong medications and it is something I accepted when they were prescribed. So why, every twelve months or so do I need to have a medication review? I suppose it is good that I get to see my doctor and he can see that I’m doing okay, but if a medication is lifelong…

My doctors’ surgery is in Tadcaster and many people will be aware of the events of Boxing Day 2015, when the ancient bridge was damaged in the flood. This is the only bridge in the town over the Tadcaster bridgeriver Wharfe and it has literally cut the place in two. It is going to be rebuilt but is estimated to take at least 12 months to complete.

We live, in a nearby village which is on one side of the river, and the doctors’ surgery is on the opposite side. So at the moment, what used to be a 9 mile round trip is now 17 miles , and what used to be at maximum a 26 minute round journey, is now a 42 minute one. It is worse some many of the inhabitants. I know of one person that lives very very close to the bridge that works very close to the other side of the bridge. What used to be a 3 minute walk across the bridge now is now a 20 minute bus journey.

On a more positive note, work has commenced on building a, what I understand is a temporary footbridge close to the main bridge. This will go a long way to reuniting the two halves of the town.

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I’m still struggling to find the best posting method for me. This post is being written in Word and I then intend to ‘copy & paste’ it into the WordPress desktop app. I like the desktop app, but would like it better if it had a spell checker. That was one of the better features of the old online editor which seems to be missing from the ‘newer’ online editor that WordPress tries to get me to adopt.

I suppose, at the end of the day, the best posting method is the one that suits the poster best. I still like the Word 2013 Blog Post template, but then again I really liked the Windows Live Essential Writer program (anyone remember when ‘apps’ used to be programmes?). The best thing that WordPress can do next, is to update the new editor to include some proofing tools. So if anyone at WordPress reads this … please

All done bar the shouting


   The panto programme was finally finished tonight. I dropped it off at the hall at around 08:30pm after typing in the huge cast list. It would appear that there are over 40 characters in this production. A number of the cast have more than one part, but even so. I was quite pleased with job, and I just hope everyone else is as pleased with it.

   The facebook issue took another turn today. I added an ex-work colleague, who immediately sent me a suggestion to add the very person who is the cause of my dilemma. I am now of the opinion, that I must add this person, and then in a week or so amend my settings so that they do not show on my profile. Then maybe, in a month or two, I’ll then ‘un-friend’ them. Is that not the most bizarre phrase …… ‘un-friend’ …… what on earth does it mean ????? Anyway it is now done. Hopefully I’ve done the right thing. Only time will tell.

Will the panto work ?


   This could be the last rehearsal tonight. Then again tomorrow could be the last !! They don’t usually have a rehearsal on the Tuesday. It’s kind of tradition that they have a rest and an early night, as it the last one they’ll get for 4 or 5 nights. It’s now 10:40pm, and there is no sign of the eldest. I can see it being nearer midnight … no wait a minute, that’s him now. It would appear that there is no rehearsal tomorrow after all. I have the programme details …… what I thought was going to be an A4, 4 page, single fold booklet, now looks to be turning into an 8 page booklet !!!! Bit of a challenge, but at least I get my name on the credits.

   Now, how to be diplomatic with facebook. Someone I work with, has added me as a friend. Unfortunately, I am not too keen on adding this person. so how do I diplomatically ignore their request, without causing offense. I don’t want this person commenting on everything I say/do on facebook (have already fallen into that trap once). I have been told to add them, and then, after a week or two opt to hide them. Mind you, whatever I do could be a potential disaster.

…. and so to bed


   Eldest is back from rehearsals. Quite a bit earlier than I expected. But guess what !!!! No programme details !!! I’ve asked to go and see them tomorrow, to get the details. If I don’t have them for tomorrow evening, then I do not think it will get done in time. There will be a lot of typing and error checking, especially the children’s name. Parents do get worked up if their offspring do not get a proper mention. I have the design done, and I suppose I could get the scene/act list from the script, but I want to get it right. I’m beginning to get a reputation for this.

   Youngest has just gone to his bed. He dropped off to sleep at around 05:30pm, but that was too early. He had not had his tea, and if he had gone to bed then, then I could see him being awake very early again.

   Right …… need to sleep!

The weekend at last


   A lot was achieved at work today. It’s getting close to the month end, so there a lot of reporting to do. And, as it is getting close to the end of the year, my stats spreadsheet needs updating for next year. Fingers crossed I have got it right. I really should document the damn thing, but I just never remember. It has grown from a single sheet of weekly numbers, to a 8 sheet workbook. I’m quite proud of it really. No one else has a clue how it works, they are just grateful it does. If I sat down and took it to pieces, I’m sure I could make it a lot easier. Some of the formulae I think could be simplified, and I’m sure I could tidy up the look-up tables, but at the end of the day, it works !

   I started work on the panto programme tonight. Hardest thing was getting the picture in black and white. For some reason my copy of Photoshop Elements 2 is playing up. I have a strong suspicion, that the twain drivers have corrupted, as a few times tonight, the thing has hung up when initialising. I think I may have to reinstall it at some point.

Its the weekend !!


Where did the week go ? It’s been quite tedious at work. I’ve not had too much to do really, and because I’ve lost some jobs, I’m struggling some day to fill the hours. Never mind, next week should be better. I wonder who is coming from Northampton. I suppose it could be Martin or Paul. Either would be fine. Just so long as it is not Ian. I find him incredibly difficult to work with.

Eldest has been a bit off this weekend. He was a real ‘tw4t’ last night, and he wasn’t much better this morning. Could have been the drink. I think his girlfriend gave him a bit of a bollocking, because he came to apologise. I think he thinks we are trying too hard. He was much better this afternoon though.

We had some of my home grown salad leaves again tonight. They have really turn out to be quite good. The first four bowls I grew will last a good week and a half, and by that time the ones in the trough should be ready. That should give the bowls time to recover. Apparently, they should keep growing as you cut them. The leaf beet is growing steadily. From what I understand, I should get some small beets, when the leaves are done. That will be nice if it does. Fresh baby beetroot is supposed to be very good. Only just over half of my bedding dahlias have come through. There is still time for the rest to get going, but it is a little disappointing. They grew well the last time I grew them. It must be at least 16 years ago though.

I’ve to redesign the tickets for the play tomorrow. I’m struggling to work out how to get them bigger. I think I will have to 4 x 2, landscape so that I can keep the ratio correct. They want me to design a poster for the show, and he’s even mentioned designing the t-shirt. I’m not sure about the t-shirt, but the poster will be okay. I can see me ending up doing the programme too, although that has not been mentioned … yet !!! It will be quite a lot of printing, so I may need to stock up with ink. Paper is cheap enough, and I have some (hopefully enough) card. The quandary is, do I ask them to pay for some ink and paper ? I should get to hear about quantities tomorrow. That will help me decide on how I’m going to do this.

It will be a full week to work next week !!! But to compensate, the week after is only a 4 day week. It’s hard to believe that it is 1st May on Friday. Where’s it all gone.