Will the last person out of the country please switch the lights off.

Well here in the UK experts have suggested that companies be paid for using less power in the late afternoons & early evenings.

The following is quoted from the BBC News Web Site:-

The government has dismissed a proposal that big shops and factories could be paid to cut their energy use to prevent shortages leading to blackouts.

Electricity network owner National Grid has suggested large consumers could be asked to lower use between 16:00 and 20:00 on weekdays in the winter.

It was responding to a warning from energy regulator Ofgem that the risk of power cuts has increased in the UK.

We appear to be steadly nearing the point as consumption goes up each year of getting close to where we can’t generate enough electricty to meet and exceed demands especially at peak times.

As somebody who remembers the power cuts of the 1970’s and the three day week, I have no desire to be working by gas light. We live in the 21st Century not Victorian times.

Now this has made me think about how much electricty people waste these days, with modern electronic gadgets left on standby rather than being switched off totally when not in use. Just looking round my home office here I have the following on or on standby at the moment. Two computers, one printer, one two-way radio, Two routers & one modem, Four external hard drives, Two angle lamps, Two cordless phones and last but not least one USB powered hub. Now each of those is not consuming that much power but it all adds up. So what can we do to save power and of course in the process save a bit of money. The answer of course is to switch things off totally not just to standby. I now switch off the desktop at night, I used to just leave it running 24/7 simply because it was easier than waiting for it to boot.

However, this does not totally answer the question as to why we are not generating enough to keep pace with increasing consumption needs. One of the reasons no doubt is the Nimby principle (Nimby = Not in my back yard.) People want things but not where it will adversly affect them. Nobody wants a view of a power station from their living room window, but they do want more power. The same can be said for example with mobile phones, people want 100% coverage but then moan when another phone mast goes up locally.

Many people lay the blame for the possible power problems at the feet of successive UK Governments for the privatisation of the power industry and the subsequent underfunding, private power companies exisit to make money for their shareholders, no longer are they there as a public utility.  Reading the reports on such as the BBC web site there are promises that the lights won’t go out, but promises from most politicans are, in my opinion not worth the effort made to say them.

So in a couple of years if the power does go off at peak times, we will be close to a general election, take time to remember what your local MP said on the subject and vote accordingly!!

Little things please little minds.

This amused me, which most likely shows how easily I am pleased these days.

I read the following on a computer forum in the software questions area.

My word processing software auto corrects as I type, how can I stop this?

Learn to spell or type better then the problem will go away.

I have a feeling it may not be the answer the person asking was looking for, then again you never know. Some strange people use computers these days, there is me for a start!!

But what if…….?

As you get older and there is more behind you than in front, and I don’t mean your backside (Ass) is getting bigger, you can’t help but think what if……?

Now I must admit here and now I am not one for generally looking back but like most people I do think of things and sometimes what if I had done something differently.

Now one thing I think you must accept with this thought is that if you had done something differently in the past then you may not be where you are now. You could be somewhere different, and that somewhere could be better than where you are now but equally it could be worse.

Take computers for example, if I had not bought one when the company I worked for started stocking them then perhaps my career would have been totally different, for a start I would not have trained others to use computers and software and perhaps I would not have developed an interest in computer communications as part of my lifelong interest in Amateur (Ham) Radio. I may not have been writing this blog (No cheering at the back, go and look at the Disney channel!!). In other words is where I am now is down to the fact that the shop I worked in received it’s first delivery of Commodore computers on the day the staff got paid? Perhaps if they had arrived a week later by which time I would have spent my spare money then I would not have bought one. Then how different would things have perhaps been for me?

Now I appreciate this may be a little deep for me to be typing on a summers day like today with the wind howling and the rain lashing down but it just shows how one little minor event at the time can have a profound effect on the future. But just think of all the little decisions you have made in the past and then think of where you would perhaps be now if you had made a different decision.

I communicate via this electronic medium with what I think are some pretty incredible people, they inspire me, they amuse me and in one specific case constantly amaze me with their ability to make the best of their situation, in the case of this one person her posts always without fail inspire  me and make me feel lucky to be able to communicate with her. Just think if those computers had come in at a different time this may not be happening, and I for one would be a poorer person for it.



It’s my music and you can have it even if you don’t want it.

In the summer months we have a strange phenomenon here.

People seem to have this desire to throw their windows open and share their love of music with their neighbours. Depending on which way you face you can sometimes select the type of music you’re forced to hear.

Now if that was not bad enough we also have those who like to play the same song over and over again, it makes sitting in the back garden (Yard for my American followers) on a sunny day an experience. Just when you want to sit out and perhaps enjoy a quiet book or perhaps work on the laptop you have a musical background, the snag being that the background can often be quite loud and normally the music is terrible and distorted.

Judging by the volume of what reaches my garden I can only assume that the volume is set on whatever is playing it to just about pain threshold. Either that or I live near a commune for the selectively deaf.

The only two options are often to go and sit inside again or take out some headphones and listen to your own music to drown out the neighbours racket. This tends to defeat the object of a quiet sit in the sunshine.

This is not limited exclusively to my younger neighbours either, we have a few older people who seem desperate to hang onto their youth via music.

So there you have it one of the many snags of working from home. Oh well where are my headphones?