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It seems that attempts have been made to hack my blog.  Considering the fact that there is nothing of any monetary value here and considering the fact that, although open to the public, I am not trying to gain a massive following etc.  I find this a peculiar action.  My other site was hacked before just for the sake of mischief.

Maybe one day someone will hack something that they use, own or whatever and they can experience the same degree of frustration that I have had to endure. Karma!


The British Pageant

On the 1st of August, My wife and I travelled up to Chorley to see the British Pageant.  I have to confess that I wasn’t really bothered one way or another when I heard the announcement about it.  However, we took a couple of days up in Lancashire, saw the show and had Friday and Saturday to see some sites and visit friends.

The show was spectacular and the spirit was so strong there.  I would have paid money for such an experience it was that good. It was a definite reminder of the sacrifice made buy thousands of early British Saints who through faith gave up their lands to sail across the seas to the Americas, and, of course, the missionaries who first came over to this green isle to spread the good news. To think that this land once had all the quorum of the twelve apostles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ here at one time is just amazing.

It also is clear that the sacrifices that we are asked to make today are so little in comparison. I feel sad for those who elected not to go, sorry for those who wanted to go and were unable to make it and overjoyed that we managed to see it.  The weather was good – too good until the doors and sides were closed up to allow the cooling system to work properly – it was absolutely baking in there prior to this..  A picture of the portable hall will be posted here in due time.

A fantastic, spiritually uplifting evening and a real testimony strengthener and builder.

We visited Downham on Friday.  Found a camera left on the bench of the church.  I left it inside the church with a note in the visitor book.  I suspect I should have popped the card into my little netbook to see if there was an EXIF data on the pictures.  As it was a smaller digital, I am not sure what information is contained in the images.   I can’t help but wondering if the camera belonged to another LDS member visiting the area because of the pageant.  We then drove down to Stockport across the lovely Lancashire countryside to see our friend and visit a museum on the Saturday.








Having got fed up with Ryan Air, we started to use Aer Lingus for our travels over to Ireland.  We have never before  actually had our luggage weighed, unless staying for a longer period and taking extra baggage.  However our most recent trip we did.  We presumed from this that maybe the plain was full.  However this was not the case.  There were 73 passengers.  Now I know that not everyone would have paid the same for the flight, but some would no doubt have taken the £0 offer that was on.  How can a flight make money when fairs are so cheap (we paid about £19 each way).  Surely better to try and fill the plain for a reasonable cost.

Aer Lingus may be facing industrial action which would be a shame.  It is such a better flight experience than Ryan Air.  Staff are pleasant and bend over backwards to help.  They are also cheaper than Ryan Air by the time the extras are added on!!

My fear is that in the need to make money they shall go the same way as Ryan Air, charging for each possible extra, baggage check in etc.  I hope not as we enjoy the experience of flying with them.  And this from someone that doesn’t actually like flying!!


Books and bad language

Films have certification, CDs come with advisory notices but the novel, or other book for that matter, has no warnings at all about the content inside those covers.

I recently bought some end of life books from the library. So far there are three of them with language that I don’t want to see, read or hear and so they shall go to the rubbish tip where they belong. Had I bought them from a shop as new I would have returned them and demanded my money refunded. There should be a warning on them so that the buyer can decide for themselves if the book is suitable or not.


Post men (and women)

I have a question for Royal Mail.  Do they regularly conduct reading tests for those who deliver the mail?  Do they check that temporary staff can actually read?  The reason for this question is simple.  I had three envelopes delivered through my door today; each one was for someone not at my place of abode.  There was a significant difference of house number, 17 to be precise, so it’s not that these have become mixed up with a neighbour.  Thirdly, and the real give away, the street wasn’t even the correct one.  Obviously the deliverer of this morning’s mail is either illiterate, couldn’t care less or had a few too many to drink last night.  Or maybe all three!

The worrying thing is, has mail intended for my address gone elsewhere?

I shall present the envelopes to him tomorrow (and hope it’s the same one) and request them to be delivered to the correct person, house and street.


Recent driving experiences

I haven’t made mention lately if anything really.  But there have been some interesting experiences on the local roads lately.
Firstly as a pelican crossing, the lights had changed and I was pulling of when a young fool decided to try and run across the crossing…   At a large and busy roundabout that has just been kitted out with traffic lights I had a similar experience with a lad on a bike (of the man powered variety) and someone trying to cross on foot as the lights had closed.  Shame we don’t have this action as illegal here, maybe a few jay walkers getting fined would be a good thing.  But there are no resources to police it.

We have young lads riding these small motor bikes riding around our area.  We were on the way out when we saw one turning into the road we were exiting.  No helmet, no looking, no indicators and no road sense.  He came round us on our left.  Today I saw him pushing it in the snow so he will no doubt try and ride it later.  What are the parents thinking?  If they have an accident, who will pay for it?  They aren’t going to be insured or even have road tax.

As usual there have been cars not indicating when turning.  I saw a car that is supposed to teach people how to drive jump the traffic lights recently.  No wonder that is a common occurrence around these parts!


Windows “Geniune Advantage” tool…

I have been running Windows 7 on my dual core machine for a while (2 installs and three grace period extensions) to have a play.  As I have now built a PC specifically for W7 and 64 Studio I decided to pop XP back on so that I could use some of the software that I can’t on 7. I may even pop Vista back on a small portion just so it’s there if I need to delve into it for a fix for someone.  Happily I created a disc image before I wiped it, so reinstalling it wasn’t too much of a pain, although I did choose to go to a relatively bare state, so updates were needed..  Of course then there was the WGA tool that needed to be installed (again) and how much of a benefit that it is to us users.  No.  It’s of no benefit at all to us.  I know that this version of XP is genuine, I have a sticker (although I never did get round to actually sticking it on my box) and the receipt from a reputable dealer.  It’s just another unnecessary little piece of software (even malware -as it’s reporting home) that is an advantage to Microsoft.  I would have installed Linux, but sadly the motherboard in that box just doesn’t like it at all.  Shame on you Foxconn.  I won’t buy another board from you again!!!

Amongst other things, I am fond of Wordperfect suite.  I bought a student edition (Version 8) uhum  number of years ago and frankly I still use it now and then.  It’s not happy on Vista and 7 though.  I won’t upgrade because there is the wonderful Openoffice, but it’s interesting to see features in WP8 that were apparently highly revolutionary on MS Office 2000..  Yep, late again to the party with a number of improvements from the 97 version that were already available elsewhere.


Open Source

I am a big fan of Open Source software.  Not just because it’s free, but because the quality of such software is getting better and better.  Not everyone may have heard of OpenOffice, but if only a fraction of people use more than 10-15 percent of Microsoft Office, why spend money on that when there is a very good office suite for free that will do for 90% of the population.  I am getting to grips with Scribus (DTP software) too at the moment and have used a number of OS software titles for many years now.  My plan is to produce some booklets (or a book) to promote the use of such software.

Another thought, if colleges switched to using OpenOffice (or Star Office in order to get some support) for most students, as they could get free copies, it would reduce the market for pirated software.  Of course, they could still have a suite with MS Office installed, but for training specifically on that software.  The money that they would save would be phenomenal.

I will post some links to great software soon.


Indicators again..

It was a strange contrast whilst driving around my home town to see people actually using their indicators..  As I returned to my current home, things returned to “normal” with the need to rely on intuition as I haven’t quite got the hang of this telepathy business.



I went to a funeral yesterday of a friend of mine.  In many ways I felt he was like an uncle to me.  At a very difficult time he allowed me to use a room in his shop as a little studio where I could write, record, practice and give the odd guitar lesson.  In return I would watch the shop if he went out and no one else was there and keep his catalogues for the karaoke discs he sold up to date. I am eternally grateful for his support and friendship.  He was 67 and died suddenly on the golf course.

The turn out was amazing.  No room inside for all the people who attended.  As I don’t live in the area any more I found out via a telephone call from my mother. His daughter died a little while ago from breast cancer.  So that was another shock. My last memory of her is singing and tap dancing with her daughter at her dads 60th birthday.  Then I see his brother, wheelchair bound and looking very frail.  Apparently arthritis put an end to his playing days and very shortly after retiring he went downhill and was in a nursing home within weeks.  Very sad.

I hadn’t seen my friend for a while.  Visits home just don’t seem to have enough time as I am usually spending the time with my daughter.  There have been times that I have told myself that I must pop round.  The last time I saw him was in the shop he and his brother ran and had just sold to the young man who used to work for him.  A couple of other times I had seen him out side his house and had a chat for a while.

We can’t take our time on Earth for granted.  It’s impossible to see everyone all the time, but staying in touch is so important. This has added a different perspective on things. The saddest thing though, is that he and his family didn’t have the gospel. “Until death us do part” is their lot at this moment in time.  As a couple so clearly devoted to one another how I wish that theirs could be a marriage for eternity. As my friend now enters the spirit world and gets taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, my prayer is that firstly he will accept it, and secondly that some day his family will also so that they can be such a family.