Yet another breach …


This time it’s Twitter. it would seem that there has been a ‘Glitch’ (their words) that showed un-encrypteTwitterd passwords on their servers. Twitter claims that “We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone…”. However, they also say that the passwords were exposed for several months. There seems to be voiceno end this kind of thing. As a follow Twitterite tweeted today, “I wonder when the tide will turn’. Luckily I have never knowingly had a problem, as my previous job made more aware than the everyday user. Saying that though, I’m often told that I’m far too cautious sometimes. I have been known to delete genuine emails simply because they ‘look’ odd. It’s the same with phone calls. If I don’t know the number, then I usually don’t answer on the basis that, if it is important then they will either leave a voice-mail or call again.

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I think I’m becoming the wristwatch battery guru. It started a couple of years ago when I had a watch that needed a new battery. It wasn’t a quality watch by any means, but it was comfortable to wear and had a sensor batteriesthat lit-up the screen automatically if it was dark. It only cost me a couple of pounds when I bought it, so I was quite amazed when I was told that a replacement battery was going to be £4.95 fitted. I reluctantly paid but I was not happy about it. I then found a kit on the internet that had all the tools that I needed to replace batteries in any digital watch. I then found that I could get all the batteries I needed from one of the Pound Shops. So I was sorted! So now, when anyone needs a new battery in their watch, I’m the first ‘port-of-call’. Five replaced in the past three weeks.

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Twitter fun !!!!


Tonight I’ve been part of what I believe is called a “Twitter Storm”. The @NHAParty have been trying to draw peoples attention to the privatisation of the NHS. As part of this campaign the created a hashtag ‘#PublicDuty‘ and invited people to use this in Tweets in order to get the hashtag trending. Being a survivor of major heart surgery, I joined in, and at the last count, it was trending at No 3 in the UK.

I even posted my own tweet as part of the campaign. I do like to ‘retweet’ and quite often post my own comments, but this was a bit more serious than usual. What is happening here, is that the Conservatives, supported by the turncoat Liberal Democrats are trying to finish what Margaret Thatcher started. That is the total elimination of the NHS and in fact the elimination of all public services. It is their belief that these functions would be better served if they were run by the private sector for profit. It is my belief, along with many others that this it wrong and dangerous. It would also be prohibitively expensive. The average cost in the USA would be in the region of $49,000.00. As I understand it (but it is anecdotal) the full amount is not always covered by health insurance.

But it is all academic! The great British public will be fooled again into another 5 years of Tory misrule. Who will support them this time though? Methinks that the ‘turncoats’ Liberal Democrats will not enjoy another term in ‘power’, so it will be up to one of the other minor parties to take up the mantle. The question is which one? With arguments about the televised debates, I think the PM has been trying to cosy up to the Green Party. That would be interesting!

So now what ….


     Well it’s been over a month since my last post, and I really think I need to put ‘fingers to keyboard’ if you’ll excuse the paraphrase. I suppose my last posting was more of a rant than anything else, but I still cannot get over the price of postage from Hong Kong. I have had another ‘bargain’ from the web. I like writing with a fountain pen. I have a couple of Parker pens, you know, the ones with the arrow pocket clip, but I wanted one that used real ink. I bought one from eBay (not mention the price, but it was cheap) and decided that I wanted blue/black ink. It reminded me of my schooldays. A quick trip at lunchtime to that high street stationers with the common English name, left me lost for words. Well words that can be said in polite company anyway !! A standard bottle of Quink ink (only the best) came in at a staggering £7.98. Even their own brand was only 49p cheaper. I could hear the internet calling me.  I now have a bottle of the said blue/black ink, at the more reasonable price of  £3.97.

     Anyone sick of Comic Relief yet? I don’t have a problem with the idea behind the on going project of Comic Relief. No, the problem I have, is the celebrity hijacking of the concept. The clue is in the title …. Comic !!!! I think it should be, like they keep saying on the TV, ‘Do something funny for money"’, which is a brilliant tagline. So why do we see, every week, on the CR dancing program, a jumped up bunch of kids called One Direction. It appears that these nonentities have done a video,in Africa, where they visit various places, and stand around looking shocked and distraught at the poverty and desolation, before flying back to the UK, probably business class, to earn another £100k peddling their drivel that passes for music. I say, take the money that is spent on that trip, and use that to help the needy in Africa. If the BBC think that the tearful expressions on some  overpaid ‘boy band’ is likely to make me put my hand in my pocket …….

Here endeth the second rant !

    What else has pissed me off ?? Maybe for another day then.

     I would like to revisit, part of the first line of this post “….it’s been over a month since my last post….”. I am sat here, whiskey to the left of my keyboard, thinking, why is this? The conclusion I have come to is one of three things: inspiration, motivation and laziness! I could also add ‘timing’, but that is for another day. Basically, writing wise, I’m lazy. I sit at the computer, every night, from around 10pm and what do I do? I go on Facebook or Twitter. I read online newspapers. I read other peoples blogs. What I should be doing is writing!!! But then the motivation kicks in. “What is the point?” I will say to myself. “Very few people read my stuff!” So with no motivation, any inspiration I may have, get trampled before I start. I recently subscribed to a magazine dedicated to writing. I, even more recently, cancelled that subscription. It did nothing for me. No motivation, no inspiration, nothing. I have to say, my creative spirit is wavering at the moment.

     Now, on a completely different track …… I have started knitting again! I bet that shook you! I have been a knitter for about 45 years. Maybe a little longer. I started, when I became fascinated with knitted baby clothes, and their prices. My mother told me it was ten times cheaper to knit a matinee coat (remember them anyone??) than to buy one. So she showed me how to start and some very very basic stiches, and off I went. About a week later I showed off with a pair of blue, double knit mittens. Granted, they were different sizes, with no way of actually making them stay on baby’s hand (no ribbon to tie them on with, as I did learn how to make a hole until the following week) but still it was a great achievement.

     Since then, I have knitted many baby clothes, a large angora bat-wing jumper, a beautiful cable stitched Shetland cardigan and many more things. And now I have started again. It is all the fault of a new weekly magazine that has two balls of wool on the cover. I’m into magazine 6, but I think it will be the last one. At £4.50 a week it has become too expensive, but it has been good to revitalise an interest, that I was quite good at.

     Well, that’s it for now, but I hope to start blogging a bit more often from now.

Stressful day


I think the interview went well. I did not get as tongue tied as I usually do. I don’t think they asked me any questions that I could not answer, but I didn’t seem to be talking a lot. I will find out on Friday. I got a bit of a surprise though. I thought I was applying for a specific job. However, it would seem that, I was applying for a position at the same grade, and only ‘preferencing’ (their term, not mine) the job I would like to do. If I do not fit their matrix, then I could end up doing something completely different. How do I feel about that? I don’t know really. I think, so long as it pays the same, and it is a job I can do, then what the hell, let’s go for it. I tell you something, it would be a right smack in the face to the smug bugger, who thinks I should be at his ‘beck and call’. Do you know, I have had more good wishes about this job from contacts on Twitter than I have from the people I work with!!!!! My service manager wished me good luck, but he has an ulterior motive, he does not want anyone else to do my job…I’m cheaper. My line manager, who has been my line manager for over 10 years, did not say good luck. At least he could have sent a txt. Nothing. What does that say to me? How valued do I feel, if my direct supervisor cannot bring himself to wish me luck? I am too annoyed to really vent my anger about this, so I will stop now.

On another note. I just bought a ‘caddy’ or enclosure for S****s old laptop hard drive. The motherboard gave in, and he was so pissed off about it that he paid about £160.0 to get the data off it and onto a USB portable drive. There was a lot of work he had done for his drama group, and he did not want to lose it again. So now he has three 500gb portable hard drives. Job done. I was quite amazed, at how cheap these hard drive caddies are. It cost me £7.49 inc, which I thought was very cheap. I remember looking at one a few years ago, when I changed computers, and I was looking at £50.00 at least. I have a couple of old hard drives in the loft (never throw them out, can’t be too careful), so I may have a look at getting a caddy for one of them.

Review for second story …..


Well, not so much a review, more a ‘requested critique’ if there is such a phrase. A casual ‘tweet’ from a fellow tweeter, led to me mentioning to @leztoomey (www.leetoomes.co.uk/) that I had written a short story. This further led on to him telling me to send it to him for a look. He read it, kindly said he liked it and offered some excellent advice. Many thanks for that. Take a look at his website.

I re-read the story, as a reader, rather than a writer, and he was of course correct. I now know that I have the bare bones of a story (not even a skeleton yet). I also know what I need to do, to turn it into a story. I think I have to develop the characters more. So I am going to take both main characters, and create a simple biography for each one. I’ll not necessarily use all the biog in the story, but I’ll at least have a good basis to involve them in the story. I think then I will have to define a formal structure for the story, and begin there. This could be an exiting time.

Will it do any good ??????


So Wikipedia is having a ‘blackout’ in protest at the SOPA/PIPA. Will it make any difference ? Well I don’t really think so. Not here in Britain anyway. Two people have mentioned it in the office this morning. One thinks it is about ‘getting rid of internet porn’ and the other person thought it was because ‘Wikipedia is having money problems’. There was a brief mention on the BBC news programme at 08:00am, but nobody seems to have much of a clue really.

Does anyone really believe, that the governments, have no control over the internet ??? I only have to offend a public figure on Twitter or post an inflamatory status on Facebook to have the Police knocking on my door. No, in my opinion (and possibly others too) the  internet content is already monitored by ‘the authorities’ all over the world.

I wish Wikipedia, and the others that are supporting opposition to this type censorship, all the best luck in the world. However, at the end of the day government, whether in the UK or the US, will not change their policies, just because they may be unpopular.

Google + What is it


Well I think the title says it all really. Just what is Google+ ? I was invited to join about a month ago, and thought why not. The word was that it was going to be bigger than facebook, and that everyone and their mother would be on Google+.

I have now deleted my Google+ profile !!!! I cannot see the point of it at all. After one month, I had four friends, three of whom I had never heard of. They just followed me on the back of someone else. I just about understand the Circles business, but Sparks and Hangouts ???? Am I missing something ? Am I getting too old ? I don’t have a problem with facebook, Twitter or MySpace. Even Bebo (should I admit to that) was quite simple to use. But this new one leaves me cold. In fact, it ranks, in my opinion, along side with that other Google network, orkut! Does anyone still use that ? I checked my account recently, and I’m still live on there, but ……….

Still here ?


     Well, we survived the end of the world. Or did we ?? The non believers will claim yet again, that it is all a ‘fairy story’ and the believers will claim, that no one knows when it will happen. Personally, I think the ‘predicted’ date of the Rapture, was ‘predicted’ by people who a) wanted to cause panic and b) wanted to make money out of the whole thing.

Rant

    This super injunction and Twitter story, is becoming a bit of a farce. The legal team of footballer, who is supposed to have taken the injunction out are now out to get the thousands of Tweeters who reposted ‘the name’ http://tinyurl.com/3fvnot9. Why, I ask, should these ‘celebrities’ who have made their fortunes out of the public who go to see them, be specially protected ? When they step into the public eye, they must accept that they are now public property and face both the highs and lows of their celebrity status

Rant Over

     No more news on the novel front, I’m afraid, although I’m now starting to make notes of random thoughts, that may be of use. I have yet to identify, when I am at my most creative. Apparently, there is a time or times of day, when the creative juices flow, and it is at this time, I should be writing.

     Youngest awake at 3:00am today. I think it may have been the rain that did it. After a few chocolate buttons, and a drink, he did seem to settle down again. But, at around 4:00am, the birds woke him up again. Now he has a bit of an issue with the dawn chorus. I think it is probably the pitch rather than the volume that bothers him, and there is one that sits on the garage roof, just outside his window, that seems to be the main cause of the problem. It’s 10:00am, so I suppose I should get him up.

Another week done …


   Sunday was a long day. Youngest had decided that he wanted some Eastender vids downloading from YouTube. Don’t ask me why Eastenders, as we have no idea where that came from!! So most of the day was spent doing that. A total of 99, eight minute videos to download. It is one of his things. I download them, convert them to wmv format, and he puts them in his own movies !!! It is quite a talent really.

   Out again last night. This time for a family meal. K***’s Mum and dad always take their offspring (and partners and grandkids) out for a birthday meal. This year it was a bit later than normal. We seem to be on a theme for the past few years, of Italian Pizza restaurants. It is not my favourite food style, as (to me) it all tastes the same. However, I shared a pasta dish that had some beautiful wild mushrooms in. Mrs H, chose a Calzone pizza (to share), that seems to contain a good 8oz of asparagus !!! Not nice, if you do not like asparagus.

   You will note, that I have (again) changed my theme. I though this new theme would liven my blog up a little, and I’m quite pleased with it. I like the way I can add my Twitter and Facebook links. I’ve also added a few more pictures. I did try using Flickr to show off the photos, but it was not what I wanted.

   Work went quite well. A lot to do today, but I had very few interruptions. My PC, at work, is still causing me problems. I can work okay, using the laptop, and I’m toying with the idea of dumping the the desktop, and just using the laptop. I will have to think that one through.

Finished …..


   I finished the painting around 3:00pm this afternoon. What I thought would be an easy 2nd coat, turned out to be harder than I thought. The areas where the border had been showed a line … the edge of the border. So I needed to give those parts a 3rd coat. Eventually I got finished. Now all I have to do, is put the kitchen back together. That will be fun.

   I seem to have a few more followers on Twitter now. I don’t know how they found me, but some of them are local people, so that’s good.

   I’m getting a little pi55ed off with the sound on my PC. Every so often, it seems to lose a speaker. It’s not the sound card, as if I use the ear/headphones, then I get stereo. Just seems to fall over on the speakers. I know they were not expensive, but maybe I need to upgrade again. This needs thinking about.

Three days off


   Work went well. Glad I’m off for a few days though. I think I need a bit of a break. It seems to have been a long time since I was last off. We are going out for lunch tomorrow with Mrs H’s mum and dad, and aunt and uncle. It’s her aunt’s 70th birthday next week. It is hard to imagine that she is 70, but what is really hard to get my head round, is that she is only 16 years older than me !!! That scares me a bit.

   Sounds like the youngest has had another good day. Mrs H only gave him one dose of his medication, and that was around lunchtime. He has gone on respite for a few days. Back on Friday.

   I’m feeling a little giddy at the moment. I was on Twitter earlier, and the classical singer Katherine Jenkins was tweeting like mad. On the off chance, I mentioned that I had enjoyed her recent TV interview. To my utmost surprise, the lovely lady tweeted back and said thank you. I was completely made up !!!! It will take a while to get me down off this cloud.

Living dangerously


   Eldest finally got in touch at around 10 past 1. I’d tried texting and ringing him since about 11:30, with no answer. He sent a text to say he was catching the 05:00 bus, so I got him to call. Explained that the bus was 16:50, and only every hour so he had better not miss it, or he would miss his tea. I asked him where he had got to, and to my utter disbelief he said “The Dog & Gun” !!!! For those who are not aware, the “Dog” as it is known is one of Leeds’s bad pubs. It is an estate pub in an area of Leeds, that is not very salubrious. In fact the place was shut down for a long time after a fatal shooting some years ago. I don’t think that much has changed since. It is not the pub, more the people that use the place.

   I am doing a slow roasted shoulder of lamb  for dinner,Shoulder of lamb with roasted root vegetables (no butternut squash in sight). The meat is supposed to take 3 to 4 hours to cook so it is in now. The veg will take about 1 hour 40mins, so I need to get the timing just right. I’ll be putting the veg underneath the joint, so it all cooks together. Potatoes will go in at the same time, and it all should be done by 5:45pm, fingers crossed. A query ! Where does British Lamb come from ? As Britain stretches from the Shetland Iles to The Iles of Scilly, that joint of British lamb could have had to travel a long way, to get to the supermarket. In fact, depending on where you live, lamb imported from France could be more local than the British lamb you have bought ! Makes you think a little. I will report back on the success/failure of the dish later.


   You may notice that I have changed the colour of the text on the header of this blog. I received a message on Twitter, after posting my blog, to the effect that the colour was not very good, I quote “hard to read and uneasy on the eyes”. Fair enough. I don’t write this blog just for me to read. See how this colour goes. In case you were wondering about the connection between my blog and Twitter, I have a plug-in for Windows Live Writer, that notifies Twitter when I post. I have a few bits of traffic that way.

Today just happened


   Quite an uninteresting day today. A fall out from a disagreement, that I was expecting did not happen, which was unusual. I was just about ready for a fight. Never mind, it is bound to happen sooner or later. The problem is, that I’ve been sat opposite the same person now, for nearly four years. It has been getting very tiresome for the past twelve months, and one day it will snap. I thought it was going to happen yesterday, but I really bit my tongue and held back. There are issues here, and I should bring them to the attention of a higher authority. But that could make it worse for me. It is a fine balance, but if I’m pushed………

   No quiz tonight. Eldest did not turn up, and I was not really bothered about going on my own. We had bit of a bad turn with the youngest, and I did not feel like leaving Mrs H on her own with him. He seems to be okay now. I don’t really have a problem, going to the pub on my own. There are a couple of people I could chat to, and possibly do the quiz with, but maybe next time. If he comes up for his drama tomorrow, we will probably go then. Tried texting him tonight. It was his first day back at Uni today, but he may just be tired. He had to be there for 10:00am, and even earlier tomorrow. His flatmate did not go Uni today. It is not good, missing the first day. S**** has said himself, that it is not going to be as last year. There are deadline that they have to meet this year.

   Just been chatting on MSN to my American friend. We’ve not had much success, MSN kept throwing her out. We have not chatted for quite a while. We never seem to be both online at the same time these days. It’s funny, we used to chat every evening, and often during the day too. strange how things change. Mind you, there are a lot of people, that I used to chat to a lot, but I do not like it when they get too close and serious, and start opening up with their secrets. It then becomes a bind, and the fun element is lost.

   There was a message on Twitter yesterday from the classical ‘Boy Band’, Blake. Their new album is out next week, and so for their Twitter and Facebook followers, they had posted a free mp3 on  a website. I downloaded it, and it sounds very good. Just for a laugh, I sent a DM back, thanking them for the freebie. To my surprise, one of the guys tweeted back !!!!! I was well impressed. So that is the 3rd famous person, that has tweeted back to me. First is was Maggie Philbin, then Sarah Brown (the PM’s wife) and now Blake. Where will it all end !!!!