I have had worse days.

Summer has arrived, and I am sitting in the shade in the garden writing this blog post.

Now I know that this may be the last bit of sunshine we get knowing the British weather, so I feel I must take advantage of it.

Rosemary who looks after the garden at the station has often commented that in the UK we don’t get seasons we get samples, and she could well be right!

Many people feel that at the first glimpse of sunshine they should go out for the day, and in doing so battle the traffic, the crowds and then wonder why they bothered.

Me I am happy sitting here with a ham sandwich, a can of Pepsi Max in the shade enjoying the gentle breeze.

I have decided that it’s about time I had a go at writing again, I have left it alone for far too long so after writing this post I will see what I can create this afternoon via the keyboard.

Over the past six months I have done a lot of reading and enjoyed most of the fiction that I have read and in the process puzzled more than once how I enjoyed a book that received average and sometimes poor reviews and then read one by the same author that’s received rave reviews when personally I felt it was worse than the first one. Have you ever experienced that? The end result now is that I ignore reviews and choose a book based on either it’s author it the brief description of the story.

Right onwards and upwards time to get writing……

One EVERY SIX Days….

I was sitting here thinking it was about time I did another post when I saw the news.

Another School shooting, this time in Texas. That’s on average one every six days since the 1st January I read on Twitter.

How can a nations politicians ignore this?

Children go to school to be educated, they go to improve their future.

How can people ignore the fact that tonight as in the evenings of other attacks,  parents will never see their children again, parents don’t send their children to school expecting them to be shot.

Then I see a post on Twitter of an idiot turning up at the school with an American flag and a pistol on his belt. WHY? This is no solution, this is a sick mind. The pupils of Santa Fe High School deserve better.

The Politicians will roll out and say their prayers and thoughts are with the parents and the dead. THEY DON’T NEED PRAYERS THEY NEED ACTION.

But I doubt if they will get action. Here this side of the Atlantic in the UK I sit and wonder why a countries politicians can let this continue happening. If it gets worse then the media will report the days when there is not a shooting rather than a day when there is.

Now I tend to look at things quite simply in general. Looking at this I see a country where politicians accept money from the NRA who promote guns. They don’t have big enough balls to stand up to the people who finance them and say enough is enough.

How can you have a country where a politician gets into office because they and their team have raised millions of dollars to get their message across. Somebody with little money seems to me to have no chance of office. Why do you have a system where those who raise the most money win even if they are as thick as a brick?

I accept that you will never get rid of all guns, that would be an impossible task, but surely it is not beyond the skill of politicians and the people to make the laws tighter so unstable people can’t have easy access weapons?

Now I may be wrong but I don’t think I am, in my mind it seems that in many states it’s easier for a teenager to get a gun than it is a can of beer? How can this be so?

To all the older Adults, look behind you the youth of America are on the march, and they are determined that things must change for the better, and if I was a betting man my money would be on them succeeding

These are just my thoughts and you may or may not agree with them, I am no expert. But I am an adult appalled yet again by a senseless shooting.

 

 

 

6 Minutes, 20 Seconds. Emma Gonzalez

On Saturday I watched the live broadcast March For Our Lives.

I was moved, I realised I was watching American History being made.

Young Americans marching for change, marching for what they believed in. Whilst their President played Golf in Florida!

The speeches were all thought provoking, honest and given from the heart but all those who spoke, but one stood out above all the rest, and that was the speech by Emma Gonzalez.

Her silence said more than any words ever could. Here presence on the stage was amazing, she is one brave courageous young lady who by saying nothing during her period of silence said everything.

I doubt if I will ever meet this young lady but if I don’t that will be my loss. She is destined for great things in the future. The words she spoke were spoken with a maturity far exceeding her young years. But the silence spoke far more.

I may not be still alive to see it, but if this young lady in the future never holds the highest office in the United States then the USA will be far poorer for her not doing so.

Emma thank you for your speech, you are an inspiration not only to youngsters across America, but also to me.

 

Getting Older

Tonight I realised I am getting older!! I mean it’s not something I normally think about.

I still look at young ladies and think that if I took mind to chase them I could probably catch them, though what I would do after that is open to debate! In reality some of them seem faster than me when they are standing still.

Anyway I was reading an excellent blog post at annieboreson.com you go and take a look after you have read this drivel. But her post made me think about getting older. Now I know I am getting older if only from the fact that I am not as nippy as I used to be. Don’t get me wrong I have never been that nippy, to quote my late mother I am built for comfort not speed.

But certainly I am slower doing some things than I used to be, and I must admit I find that a tad frustrating. I must get more exercise, a few months ago the wife and I spent a bit of money on having the garden done, and I intend from now on for it to be my pet project. I have even bought a new lawn mower and some new tools.

Should I get depressed if the grass grows quicker than I cut it? Fancy racing grass!

Watch this space I may post some pictures showing my progress, which hopefully will be forwards.

People can be wrong.

I was looking on Amazon the other day, yes I know it’s a bad habit but at my age I am surely allowed a few?

Anyway, I saw a mug on sale and on it were the words “I would love to agree with you but then we would both be wrong!”

I am sure like me through life you have come across people who can never accept they could be wrong. You know the type who would argue black is white just to prove something meaningless.

During my retail career I would meet people like that almost every day. Those who would argue a price in the shop price list was wrong and that the number they had plucked out of thin air was right.

I have vivid memories of one such idiot who bought an item up to the till and put it down uttering the words, you don’t need to look it up it’s £19.99. So I smiled at him and put through the till at that price. My manager was nearby and heard the whole thing. He came over when the customer had gone reminding me the item in question was actually £14.99. He had a big grin when I pointed out that the customer in question would always tell sales staff that the customer was always right, so who was I to tell him he was an idiot!!

Little things like that brighten the day generally. Idiots are like buses if you miss one don’t panic there will be another along shortly.

Idiots generally in my experience are male and normally married to really nice wives who often look at you and raise their eyes skywards as their beloved keeps on digging the hole he is in even deeper.

Just sit back now and remember the people like this you have met in the past, I bet it will put a smile on your face, then again I could of course be wrong.

My thoughts on the iPhone X

Something a little bit different this time.

Recently the wife and I bought iPhone X phones, they were to replace iPhone 5s models we were using.

So here are my brief thoughts on the phone.

Now firstly I must say I like it, certainly it’s an improvement on the iPhone 5s in terms of speed and ease of use.

I love the facial recognition, as is often said with Apple products, it just works, and every time there is no problem.

The size of the phone is ideal, it fits in my hand and the screen makes it a delight to use, it’s bright and viewable outside which was often a problem with the iPhone 5s.

A lot has been said about the notch at the top of the display, personally I don’t notice it and I certainly don’t find it a problem.

Swiping the display to change things is smooth and fast and both the wife and I have found a lot of apps work better on the phone, the Stagecoach bus app being a good example.

One of the first things I did was buy a case which protected the whole phone including the display. Personally I can’t see the point of putting on a back case that does not protect the most vulnerable part of the device which is the screen.

The sound reproduction is excellent and I listen to a range of music on it using the speakers, from country to classical. It is not tinny and produces a pleasant sound.

Video is watchable on the screen no problem at all, and coupled with the excellent sound gives you an excellent experience.

So you’re now wondering if I have found any downsides, and the answer is yes I have.

The one thing that irritates the hell out of me is the fact that if the phone is switched off and you either plug in the charger or pop it on a charging pad the phone will switch on. This happened with the iPhone 5s as well and it really irritates me. Now of course you can just switch the phone off once it’s charging, but it does have the tendency at some point to switch itself back on.

This is not limited to the iPhone, I have an iPad and an iPad Pro and they both do exactly the same. I have lost count of the number of times I have switched it off when charging and found the devices on in the morning when I go to switch them on. This happens irrespective of wether I unplug the charger first or not. I wish they would do something about this.

The other downside is that I am always aware that I have a £1000 electrical device in my pocket. I never put it in my back pocket, it would be embarrassing the outright weep in public if I sat on it.

So there you have it my brief thoughts on the iPhone X, I am glad I bought it and think it’s the best iPhone I have used to date.

Well here we go again.

Here we are just at the end of the first week of January with the year spread out in front of us. How they year will pan out is of course anybody’s guess.

Each year people seem to just want the new year to be better than the old one, but I wonder if they think back and actually recall if the old year was actually good or bad?

Personally, I will just take it as it comes, not much else we can do really when push comes to shove. At the moment I am down with a dose of the lurgi and feeling terrible, but there is nothing I can do about it except keep warm etc. So we are just getting on with things.

One of the things we are getting on with is having a sort of some of the bits and pieces I have accumulated over the last few years. I am amazed at what I have got and in many cases I have no recollection of how I got the item and why. A good example are external hard drives, I have turned up five 1TB external drives, two of which are unused and boxed. I have no idea as to why I got them, though I must have had plans for them at the time of purchase. Still as I often say… They will come in useful, though I am not sure when!

Until I stared the exercise of having a sort out I would not have put myself down as a hoarder, but after a morning sorting stuff I am not so sure,  I keep turning up bits I had forgotten I had. Perhaps I should just throw them all out and start again? Thats the problem with bits, you have them for years gathering dust, then throw them out because you have not used them only to find a couple of weeks later you need one and have to order one. The circle starts again.

Years ago some bright spark said that with the advent of computers offices and homes would be able to go paper free. Who were they trying to kid!!! I have sorted out lots of bits of paper to be shredded, many of which have been read only once since they were printed. Some people seem to have this need to print stuff out. I used to work with a woman who printed out all the emails she received, filed them in a big filing cabinet then deleted them off the computer. I never di ask her why shew did not just leave them on the computer?

Right back my sorting, who knows what I will find that I did not know I had.

When I were a lad.

Well here we are on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Looking at the maps on Google Earth of the city centre and local out of town shopping centres it looks as though plenty of people are out and about, either doing last minute gift shopping or wandering around like Zombies wondering what they will do tomorrow with the shops shut.

I would imagine that Christmas morning, like the Christmas mornings for a few years past will see the cul-de-sac I live in deserted, nobody about all the residents sitting about looking at their gifts.

Now when I was a lad I remember it so different. Children would get gifts that they could use outside, and a glance out the window would show children proudly riding up and down on their new bikes or zooming up and down the footpaths on their new roller skates. Wrapped up against the cold.

You don’t see this now, no doubt on Christmas morning children will be sitting in doors with their electronic gifts, texting their mates bragging about their new whizz bang tablet or their new phone with all the latest features. But they wont be communicating face to face, getting some fresh air and showing off their toys.

Now I may be getting old but I think the fact they will be indoors will be a shame and their loss, what do you think?

Retirement is hard work

This retirement lark is hard work.

I used to laugh when people who had retired told me they wondered how they had time to work, now I know what they mean.

Some things are not going as planned. For a start I planned to cut down on computers, well currently I have one more than I had at retirement.

My displeasure at gardening is legendary, guess what, we have spent a fortune on having the garden cleared and turfed. The result being that the wife has informed me that the garden will be my 2018 project!! I can’t wait. The whole thing must have put me in shock, I ordered a lawn mower today.

Other than that it’s going fine, I think.

Do any of you have tales of starting retirement and it not being as planned? If so I would love to hear.

It’s hard work this retirement stuff.

Here we are three days into retirement and I am shattered already.

It’s hard work keeping a couple of steps ahead of the wife clutching a list of jobs to be done!

It seems strange to not have to check email several times a day and especially at the start and end of the day.

But all in all I still think it’s the best decision I have made in years.