Getting back into full flow.

Well here we are in the UK heading towards the General Election.

Campaigning was put on hold as a mark of respect for those who died in the terrible attack in Manchester. Words fail me when I try and describe the person who committed the terrible act.

But back to the election bun fight.

The manifestos have all been published by the main parties and they are all accusing each other of wishful promises and bad maths when it comes to paying for what they are promising.

The leaders are all going round the country at great expense saying what we have already read.

The national newspapers have all taken sides and are predicting mass failure if the party they don’t favour gets in. With big depressing headlines on their front pages and big pictures showing that most of the candidates would come third in a beauty contest if there were only two contestants.

Nobody has knocked the door canvasing for votes, we have had one leaflet shoved through, no idea which party because the wife had filed it before I got to it. At least it saved me the job.

Two weeks today at 10pm when the polls close it will all be over except for the mind numbing programmes on TV as the results come in.

I think I will have an early night.

Here we go again

I am typing this just after the announcement that the Prime Minister want’s to hold a general election on 8th June.

Already the news channels and social media outlets are full of the great and the good being wheeled out to give their comments and thoughts on the whole thing.

Immediately you can see that we will get the same stuff said by the same people.

I am so tempted to hide the TV remote until the 9th June!!!

Is it me, or is it….?

I have noticed a trend across the pond, and to some I suppose it could be considered worrying.

One thing I do is follow a fair number of blogs from people in the USA, and there seems to be a trend with some, but not all of them.

Since the changes over there some blogs I follow which used to be quite outgoing, for want of a better term. Now seem quite restrained in their content, almost as if they were being more careful about their blogs content.

Now this could of course be me, but something tells me it’s not. So have you noticed this trend in Stateside blogs and their content? What do you think?

Late into port

Yesterday I ported my mobile number from O2 to BTMobile. All went well and BT kept me up to date as required.

This morning I received a text from O2 saying my number was porting today and they were sorry to see me leave. My reply was they are a bit on the late side.

In an era of instant electronic communications why is it some companies, normally communication ones can’t get the hang of how it’s done?

Lets get the duster and polish out.

Now you will notice that I have shall we say been absent of late.

I must admit I have had other things on my mind and been a bit busy to say the least.

Hopefully there will be more words of wisdom in here this year compared to last year. I suppose really it depends on my mood.

Looking out the window and a barren winter garden that badly needs some work done on it does not do much towards inspiring me to come up with content I must admit.

Like many places round here the garden this time of year looks better in the dark.

If you have any comments on the new layout of the blog please let me know, it would be nice to know I am not talking to myself, just tap on the title of this post and you can leave a comment, go on you know that you are tempted!!!

More of the same.

I know, I know this layout is exactly the same as my Railway Blog.

Well they do say you can’t have too much of a good thing, and as I changed the other blogs layout I though I might as well do this one as well.

Hopefully I will be a bit more active with updates to this one as well.

We shall see.

It’s the week before Christmas

Well here we are the week before Christmas, and the rush is on for people to buy gifts they can’t afford for people who don’t really want them anyway.

Shopping is now 24/7 with people ordering on-line as they eat their corn flakes in the morning and whilst they eat their tea in the evening. Back in the good old days a couple of years ago people either read a book or a newspaper on their way into work. Now it’s all smartphones and tablets as they dig out the perceived bargains on-line from companies they have never heard of and who sometimes trade from a damp garden shed in the back of beyond.

When I worked in retail years ago and Christmas fell as it is this year we would have been closed Sunday-Monday & Tuesday, the world would have survived the shops shut that long and the sun would have risen every day just the same.

Now they will be shut Sunday and then a mad rush to the sales on Monday morning with retailers often unloading the tat they have sat on for twelve months when they could not get rid of it the previous year.

I think I am honest in saying that I don’t miss working in retail, and I think that in the time since I last did people have got ruder and more impatient. But perhaps that’s a sign of the busier times we seem to be living in. People don’t think they have time to just stand still for a minute and take a deep breath, after all if they did they might miss something of no importance.

Recently I saw a comment on-line from a woman in the States who said she had not had a holiday in the last five years, she was afraid that if she did she may be passed over for promotion. Of course what she forgot was that in the five years without a holiday she has not got promoted anyway, or if she has she has not mentioned it. What a terrible job to be in, frightened that if you take a holiday you will be passed over for promotion! If you think that the company you work for would do that then to be honest they are not worth working for in my opinion.

Over the years I have seen too many people work themselves into the ground and then get nowhere, whilst people who did very little got promoted. They did not realise that the secret was to work when those who you thought mattered were watching. I have seen this scenario time and time again. I remember a saying I once saw…. What starts off as a favour becomes the norm. That is so true, it was when I first saw it and it is still true now.

So as you celebrate Christmas, or whatever you celebrate at this time of year, if it’s only a day off. Then just sit, take a breath and think back to what you did extra and beyond what you had to do in the past year and realise how little appreciated it perhaps was.

Dull days and cold coffee.

I am sitting here in the office and it’s around 7.20am.

Just raised the window blind and it’s so dull outside I might just put it down again. It’s that time of year when the office lights are on all day and I must admit I don’t find it inspires my mind to work in artificial light all day.

We need a nice sunny day if only to cheer me up, there is nothing like a sunny day in winter to make things look better. I find dull days quite depressing, people walk through the cul-de-sac to get the bus looking miserable and as though they would rather be anywhere else but where they are.

I remember when I used to work in retail we used to always get miserable people in on dull days. For a time I worked in a shopping centre and that was terrible I used to go into the centre in the morning and often not see daylight until I left again in the evening. I could go into the centre in sunshine and come out to pouring rain, it could be a shock on the system.

Which brings me to the subject of cold coffee. I have this knack of nipping down to the kitchen, making myself a mug of coffee and coming back up to the office with it and putting it down on the desk I am not using, then forgetting about it, until it’s cold that is. If I could get a coffee I could make with cold water then I could save a fortune on electricity used boiling a kettle. I actually don’t mind cold coffee, this perhaps comes from the fact that until I got married I rarely if ever had any form of hot drink. I was that hardy soul you saw in winter walking through the snow drinking a soft drink out of a can.

Recently I came across a web site for an independent coffee shop, a nice web site it was too, I would post the link but I can’t remember what the hell it was! Anyway, looking through the list of the various types of coffee drinks nowhere could I see what could best be described as a bog standard coffee. They all had fancy names and descriptions many of which just left me baffled. Then again these days many things leave me baffled, it seems to be something I am getting quite good at!

I suppose I had better get some work done, rather than sit here intermittently glancing out the window at what is not a slightly brighter but misty view typing away about cold coffee.

Next Monday is my birthday, you just watch it will rain. Oh yes and my coffee will still get cold….

Me and my network.

Now as anybody who knows me will confirm I like to fiddle with things and hopefully make things better than they were, though I will be the first to admit that things don’t always turn out that way.

Now take the WI-FI network I have at home. It is, for want of a better description a bit of an overkill.

The house we live in is not exactly large and we can, if required about cover it WI-FI wise with just a single router, the signal is a bit weak in some places but for what I want it’s perfectly useable, if only from the fact that both my two Mac computers and the wife’s Windows laptop are all hard wired. In the case of my computers I can’t see the point of using WI-FI to cover a distance of less than six feet.

So let me explain the kit I have in use.

The main router is a BT SmartHub, which, from reviews seems to either loved or hated in about equal measure. To supplement this I have a BT HomeHub 5 and an Apple Extreme Base station both being used as wireless access points that I can also plug ethernet connections into as well.

The BT HomeHub 5 is in the front spare bedroom which is the wife’s refuge/crafting room. It’s connected to the main router by two TP-Link powerline adaptors, they work very well.

In the back spare bedroom which doubles as my office we have both the SmartHub and the Apple Extreme. I also have two unmanaged Gigabit 5 port switches as well. This means there is no shortage of Ethernet sockets to plug stuff into.

Into the Apple Extreme I have my HP Laserjet printer connected with the Apple Extreme via one of the Gigabit switches to the SmartHub and this is networked across both the Mac’s. The wife has an inkjet printer plugged into her computer just for her use.

The SmartHub, the HomeHub 5 and the Apple Extreme all have two WI-FI access points running , one each on 2.4GHz and one each on 5GHz. They all have separate SSID’s. I connect my iPad, and phones on 5GHz to either of the access points in the office. The wife’s tablets and phone are connected to the HomeHub5 in her craft room again on 5GHz. The wife’s phone also connects if required to the Airport Extreme. The only kit we have using the 2.4GHz band are my Kindle and the wife’s iPod. 2.4GHz is very congested in the locality and I can normally see between thirty and thirty five access points on that band. 5GHz is getting busier though it’s currently nowhere near as bad.

In the office I also have a four drive Synology NAS which is plugged direct into the Smarthub and accessible by all computers on the network and also when out and about via the marvels of remote access over the Internet.

That is my network, it works extremely well, WI-FI range is good, and I can see the wife’s phone connect to the network automatically as she gets off the bus at the end of the Cul-de-sac. This means that if she uses her phone when at the bus stop in the morning she is connected to my network still and gets a decent speed and of course does not use any of her bandwidth allowance.

I have tested the range of all three units with them located in the same spot, this I did before putting the network together. The best for range on both bands is the Airport Extreme with the Smarthub a bit behind in second place and the HomeHub 5 in third place.


Ploughing through summer

Well here we are ploughing through summer, at the moment the sun is shining, the office window is open and all is well with the world. Well at least the little bit of the world I am in.

I am successfully avoiding any Olympic Games coverage, I am not a sports person to be honest, and have yet to work out why a country like Brazil that’s in a deep recession can justify spending the money on the games that it has. Perhaps they think that how the world perceives them is more important than the welfare of the people and enabling them to put food on their tables and be able to live in something better than a slum. I would take a bet that the people who committed all the money live in decent houses, have clean water and food on the table.

One thing I have not been able to avoid is the presidential election stuff flowing out of the USA. I must admit to following it as closely as I can seeing as I am the wrong side of the pond from where the action is. I have come to the conclusion that come election day the USA citizens won’t be voting for the best candidate they will be voting for the least worst. I can’t get my head round the fact that one of the most important things to do to get selected to be one of those up for election is the ability to raise more money than anybody else, surely the most important thing with a candidate is their ability to be able to do the job honestly and to the best of their ability. Not their skills in raising the most money to spend on getting their “Message” out to the people.

Despite what many would have us think there is a lot of poverty in parts of the USA, now just imagine if all the money the candidates raised and spent, and we are talking here of the unsuccessful candidates as well was spent of combating that poverty and improving things for those people at the bottom. What a difference it could make, but then again we are not likely to ever prove that theory which is a shame.

Oh well enough rambling on back to enjoying the sunshine.