SO FAR:

So far:

We’ve had external storm damage to the house, a rogue storm that came through between Doris and Ewan; reparation work costing lots of money is weather dependent. We wait.

P1000459 A pair of Fulmars

My microwave failed two weeks before its manufacturers’  one year warranty expired.  Getting this unwieldy appliance to the service department is  a story in itself. It exhausted us. Upon discovering the failure was due to a known manufacturing fault, which included a range of appliances from a specific production line, all requiring modification, I asked for a new replacement.  It arrived this week.-1

Next,  my three and a half months old monitor crashed. A bit of problem solving, moving plugs into different sockets, brought the monitor back to life and it gave me a crash report. It was okay for a couple of days, then went blank several times in one morning, followed by what looked like the mother of all crashes. Problem solving didn’t work this time. While speaking to the Technical Help department a couple of hours later, telling the lady how dead the monitor was, the screen burst into life!

The conversation then went like this…… her“Monitors don’t give messages. it must something to do with your computing equipment”. 

I wished I’d taken a screen shot of the message.  More chatting  followed about the symptoms and pathology of the sick monitor…

her-  Could I try a different HDMI cable. (Everyone has a spare one of those…NOT!)  I have just the one available, the one that was supplied with the monitor. 

monitor-ok-iconBack to the store service department the monitor went. I couldn’t dismantle the base from the screen single-handed.  I ended up cradling the monitor in one arm and also carrying the box. The service department lady and I performed a tug-of-war and separated the bits so the monitor could be re-packed.

The really nice bit.…..without a mention of inconvenience, loss of computer use, or anything similar, I was offered the loan of a spare old monitor, with which to keep going. It was “doing nothing”, sitting on the shelf gathering dust.  An HDMI cable was located for me to use. I had not brought mine, but in any case it was agreed a test run with my own cable connected to their monitor would be useful. This way, I have HDMI cable back -up, should it be needed.

 

Advertisements

POP-UPS PUT-OFFS PUTTING ON THE STYLE AND GREETINGS

I decided to buy a subscription to an e-card site.  ‘Subscription’,  does, in this case,  mean I pay for  the service; it is advert-free. (I do receive the occasional ‘free’ e-card from people, usually, they are totally obscured by pop-up and flash advertising. They can put you off e-cards).

I have access to a big selection of imaginative e-cards for more occasions than you can dream up, and there are note-cards as well.  Like in a card shop, you can assess the product before you [buy] send. I can also choose  what date I want it to arrive.

It has been intriguing seeing what does not work and what does work for e-card recipients;
  • A very, very small number say the e-cards are ‘naff’…fine, they have a choice not to open the card.
  • Some people don’t give their email addresses, so I couldn’t send them an e- card anyway.
  • Wistful responses for the tangible written card were quite common.
  • Rare, but I have been asked not to send e-cards.
  • A few contacts don’t have their computer systems configured to open e-card mail.  However, they are notified they have been sent an e-card and from whom.  People let me know their position, usually with thanks for the thought.
  • To the majority of my mailed e-cards there was a very positive response.

 

  • Believe it or not, I was reprimanded for not sending a letter!

    This subscription gives my friends a nicely presented e-reply note.  They don’t have to, but they do use it.

    • There is a lot that has worked for me; I certainly would not be buying the equivalent numbers of cards, nor posting them around the UK and other places in the world. The e-card subscription has added a positive more immediate interactive layer to worldwide friendships
    • Hoping 2017 will be more peaceful than the last, that  the year will be good to you, and  I wish everyone a healthy and happy year!

WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT

While out walking we talked about….

Where humans might rest up in a dual purpose horse box;

The anarchy of some computer programme system designs;

About overflowing farm drains;

A courier company that uses more than one livery;

A swollen river in spate and nearly over-topping its banks;

About a utensils pot seen in a charity shop;

Buying a loaf of bread from the local bakery,

As I absent-mindedly walked past it;

Where to find a public toilet;

The cold wintry wind felt like ‘a bed for snow’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAYING WITH THE ADVENT OF E-CALENDARS.

P1030459 Robin copy

There I was, after the New Year,  parked in front of my computer screen catching up with my present of  an e-Advent Calendar.  There were about ten days of catch-up. There are some windows to open with very clever creative work to do.  You decorate a Christmas tree, or, decide where to hang stockings for filling.  Then there was the window that hooks you in to play a memory game of matching up cards. With my less than alert grey matter, it took a long  but enjoyable time  to complete.  I was nearly timed out!

P1030440 Decorated Victoria Qtr

From November on through December is a busy time, so, play time is hard to justify to myself.  It’s nice, but just hard to fit in with all the other domestic demands. I reckon I have more administration to do for daily living than I used to have when I was at work!  How can that be?

I clicked through the days not yet explored, (to paraphrase a well known quote), listened to pretty brass band seasonal music; Christmas Carols; classics like the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and scrolled through the main animated 19th century scenes, busy with all sorts of delightful activities. That’s it done!  Well……no it wasn’t.  A date which I had missed,  with a logo, was blinking at me.  You can’t ignore it can you;  you can I suppose, but I didn’t.  I clicked on the winking date and was given a jigsaw puzzle to do, timed of course. I chose the maximum number of pieces on offer.  If a piece fitted it clicked into place, if it didn’t, it jumped out like a jack-in-a-box. I completed the puzzle in one minute and forty-three seconds.  Now, that was a surprise. And yes, this time, that was it…..all done!

 

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

Frustration is so damn tiring; I don’t recommend it. It all started when on a  really long journey I discovered my satnav had “no maps to display”.   Fortunately for us, there was daylight, which helped us see our way as we limped to our first off- the -beaten track destination with the help of a small silent screen of a phone.

-2

Soon, we saw it was impossible to do everything we planned without the satnav and its lost maps. There was nothing for it but to grudgingly buy another one, but, it had to be the  most suitable and cheapest. At least we were somewhere where we had choices, a bit of a silver lining, I suppose.

Back home again, I discovered that the company would have allowed a branch of the retailer from whom we bought the satnav, to take it back, given the circumstances, BUT, (there’s always a but) within fourteen days. This was lunchtime on day thirteen and I was not about to dash 240 miles round trip to take advantage of the offer.

-1

After a bit more conversation  with the company operative and ‘checking with my supervisor‘ the operative gave me a one-time offer of complete lifetime updates on this satnav model. Wasn’t that nice. He also helped me restore maps to my original  satnav.

Another BUT. To take advantage of lifetime updates, which I already had with the older device, I had to use a different email address. Two into one url just does not work.

I have spent so much time trying to sort out why logins did not work; why registration of the new machine did not succeed. Email instructions just did not cut the mustard. I phoned the customer line.

How was I supposed to know that you did not login via either of the addresses, in the way I always did, when I only had one satnav.

BCUK Ex-Pats…Question Pop-In Corner?

The ‘ask or answer’  pop-in corner that BCUK ex-pats  called into when there was a site I.T. problem, or, there was  a ‘how to’ question  to resolve, may be missed by many  who are learning their way around WP.   ‘Happy WP Engineers’ are nice people for issues that are a bit complex.  There is informal help from kindly bloggers we individually know.  While I was peeling an onion, I thought, (it’s what onion-peeling generates….) how good it would be if all the formal and informal information we glean could be harnessed into a similar informal central  sharing point here at WP.

 

 

SUCCESS -ZOOMING – RARING TO GO

I did my research, it looked straightforward enough, so I ordered memory modules to upgrade my computer.  It’s not any old computer it’s an Apple and what they do and how they do what they do is different to Microsoft.  With Microsoft boxes of tricks, I could decide on what worked and slot the memory into whichever slot was free.  That was that. Not so Apple.

We had the right type of screwdriver to open the memory modules ‘door’ below the logo; that was the really easy part, I could have played with it for hours.  I well and truly earthed myself then struggled to push out the safely wedged memory from the package. Each module was very tightly housed into their plastic forms.  I gave up being gentle and succeeded in forcing one out.
 

Carefully following the step-by-step instructions, I pulled out plastic tabs that were supposed to loosen the existing computer memory from their slots. Not for me they didn’t. As I wanted the existing memory, I was not bothered about moving it anyway. I concentrated on installing the new green  memory modules.  ***!!!** They would not seat properly.

My persistence began to wane. The lady on the helpline – from Egypt – made suggestions that mirrored what I had been doing already…..Uh, Could I go to a computer shop.….No, not possible where I live…..have you watched installation videos on our site? ….I had a quick look.  No videos, just repeats of step-by-step instructions and not even as good as the ones I used.  We agreed to to replace my modules. as they didn’t seem to fit.  She started off the order process. The replacements would be sent when I returned the modules I had.

Next, phoned my brother hundreds of miles away. I wasn’t being forceful enough, he said………

                     A Bit Of Caerphilly

Really tug at the plastic tabs like they were a piece of  attached string,” he said, it would loosen the pre-installed memory modules, not that I needed to; I did it anyway.  A blue rectangular module catapulted out of the slot making a direct hit on my chest.  I was all of a tizzy… I checked the module for size against the new one I was struggling to fit. They measured the same. With a bit of a shove the original memory module seated in.  Right, then, let’s try the new modules one  more time.  I gave the first one a real heave ho and it did as it was told…wow! The second one got the same treatment.  I was ready to plug in to the mains.

My system analyser recognised the computer has lots more memory……

SKETCHING HOURS AWAY

A friend suggested that while I was immobilised, I could think about doing some sketching. It is something I have not taken a notion to do for more years than I can remember. I liked the idea and gave it some thought.

Hubby has enough to do responding to almost my every whim and supervising me when wobbling on the crutches. Before you ask, no, I have not mastered them. Trying to move short distances on the crutches gives the palms of my hands a break from the pressure pain, caused by hopping with a zimmer frame. Notwithstanding my limitations, some strategies for being a bit independent are evolving.

Sketching. First of all I would have to send hubby to find the materials. I am not sure where they are. I remember buying a video about sketching, colouring skills and ideas, to go with some lovely Keswick pencils, before such things were recorded onto CD’s and DVD’s. This would be a great opportunity to get on with watching it, but……….for the moment, we are both having quite a lot of domestic changes to adjust to, without adding layers to them.

Inspiration: why don’t I download some arty apps onto my iPad – so I did. There were a couple of free ones that did not appeal, one tried to suck you into cloud storage with Adobe. There are two apps that I decided upon. One is free the other I paid a nominal asking price. If I don’t get on with either of them, there won’t have been a large investment.

I have't worked out how to upload this in the correct orientation, but, you are able to see my very first attempts at creating with digital art.

I have’t worked out how to upload this in the correct orientation, but, you are able to see my very first attempts at creating with digital art.

Digital art creation on an iPad is strange. It feels like there is less control over the progress of an opus. There is obviously a technique to master. Of course, all these apps are sooooo eeeeasy to understand. I am still working out how to save what I do and find it again. You erase something, you get the outline of the erasure when you apply your correction. The best I can say so far, ( early days yet) I have the time and space to experiment and hopefully, improve. Also a couple of hours disappeared while I tried to acquaint myself with digital sketching. One thing I am really good at is using the eraser.

STANDING WHERE THE WIND DOES NOT BLOW

This morning I did the ironing.  Before that, I fought the gale force gusts and pinned laundry on the rotary drying line.  I learned my lesson a long time ago, don’t go chasing the whirly line, grab it and bring it back to me…where I am standing, not quite where the wind doesn’t blow, though in a better place from which to pin up the washed garments.  

P1000003 Washing blowing

The first load did quite well, it is now folded and waiting to be ironed. The second load got pulled in when it looked like serious rain was descending. It soon passed so…………out I went and pinned  up that load again on the rotary drying line.  It’s getting dark, time for  finally rescuing the laundry.

I’ve also been making up parcels this afternoon. February through to early March is a busy time for family birthdays.  I admit it, I am glad the job is done and dusted.   Making up all the birthday parcels in one go is a bit of a marathon; there’s a lot to be said for my habitual pattern of spacing out the task.

The reason for getting all these jobs done, is, I am trying to cover in advance as many tasks as I can, as I am expecting to be a lot less mobile than usual after the end of this week, jut for a short while.  I will be under orders to put my feet up and rest for the first two or three weeks.

P1010930-Worn-Out-Wb

With that in mind, I have checked out the laptop computer, which, has not had a great deal of use for a while. It’s now updated and firing on all cylinders. I do prefer a tapping keyboard rather than a digital touch one  on the  tablet computers. The digital touch screen keyboards do not work well at fast typing speeds.  No amount of auto correction sorts out the gaps and gobbledygook that regularly appears.

I’ve got some books waiting to be read; there are a couple of films on DVD I have not yet watched and horror of horrors, I could even get into the habit of watching daytime T.V.  I wonder if that’s enough to keep me glued to a chair. A bit of wriggling about should keep numb bum at bay for some of the time  The doctor said that there is about six weeks recuperative time after the job is done, then, I should be able to stand on my own two feet.

Those-Boots-Wb

 

THE RETAILER’S END GAME

A-Gift-of-Carrots-1-Wb

Why do head office administrators of shops to which I give my custom feel they have the freedom  to use my custom to bombard me with services I do not want.  Where I live choices are very limited and you have to operate with what is available.  We have three chain stores. None ‘super’ by today’s supermarket standards elsewhere.  Bar this limitation, I would demonstrate my displeasure with this chain by voting with my feet.

I can live with getting information on special offers in store. I can live with finding non food items in a small general food store, such as small electrical goods, socks for kids and  men. There are ladies tights, oh, and refrigerators.  When in need, it is surprising how useful these things  can be, especially when other little local shops are closed.   As a matter of fact, I do not mind receiving emails of whatever the week’s offers might be in the shop.  However, I do balk at getting emails by the retailer asking me to allow the retailer to make my last will and testament!

Two services for which we do have a sufficiency of choice are, solicitors and funeral directors.