Almost there.

Well just a few days from taking early retirement, it all happens on Monday. Then I just have a couple of web pages to change the wording on and that’s basically it. Then I am done.

Oh the excitement of it all!!

Just one week to go.

Well there is just one week to go to me closing my company, ceasing self-employment and taking early retirement, and I can honestly say I can’t wait.

In preparation for the great day I have been clearing out the office and turning it back into a computer/radio room.

Part of the intention was to cut down on computer equipment and make more room. As part of this I got rid of the two desks that had cupboards each side of the seating position and replaced them with three tables, a great improvement. But not exactly cutting down on stuff.

But the big thing is that I have splashed out on some amateur radio equipment  for what must be the first time in around twenty years. So for those interested I am active again on 2MTR and 70CMS  FM using my callsign G4PYR. If you hear me on and are able to do so please give me a call.

One other thing I want to do is start scanning my late mothers picture collection. I looked at software to do this and decided in the end that the best software to use came with the scanner. Although this runs on a Mac it is far more flexible on a Windows Machine. So after suitable therapy I have splashed out on a bottom end Dell laptop. I don’t need high specs and the machine I have chose will do the job excellently. So much for having a Windows Free environment!

So onwards with the rest of the weeks excitement.


The accuracy of reviews.

I am in the process of returning two of the same item to Amazon for a refund.

The item in question is a multi way USB charger, one of them started smoking.

I don’t envisage any problems with a refund as Amazon if nothing else have excellent customer service.

However, I received the following from the seller last night.

Order ID xxx.xxxxxxx.xxxxxxx:
2 of USB Charger, Jelly Comb USB Charging Stations: 6-Port USB Wall Charger with Smart Identification for Android Apple iPhone 7 Plus iPad Pro/Air 2 LG G5 [ASIN: B01N6QMIJ6]

————- Begin message ————-


Many thanks for your reply. You don’t have to take the hassle to return them, since one of them is defective, and we are willing to make the full refund for both items directly for compensation. We will not ask you to recommend this product to anybody either. If you could kindly make the comments disappear from Amazon, we will be highly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!

Look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

————- End message ————-

This must call into question the accuracy of any other reviews on the sellers products and begs the question as to how many bad reviews they have managed to get removed

I have reported the matter to Amazon direct.

The countdown continues.

Well the countdown continues towards 27th November when I close my company and take early retirement.

I have been having a clear out of stuff and it’s amazing what I have accumulated over the years, and if I am honest used very little. But having said I am finding it quite hard to throw stuff away. But we will get there in the end.

Watch this space as they say.

I am puzzled.

Now I know that those of you who know me will say me being puzzled is not unusual but there we are.

Why is it that the week after the clocks go back here in the UK the weather gets colder? I mean what’s changed other than we have shifted everything an hour?

The ritual of shifting the clocks an hour twice a year has always had me puzzled, I can’t see why!

In simple terms if you want lighter days when on the way to work just get people to start work later, and if you want lighter evenings just get people to start work earlier and finish earlier. I mean it’s not rocket science.

At least now with it dark at 5.30pm the kids are not out making a noise in the evening, a bit of cold weather and maybe a bit of snow and hopefully the adults will get out of the habit as well.

In a couple of days time we will have an evening where begging from door to door by children becomes acceptable to many. People even spend money they may not have on sweets to give to the kids. Who then compare notes with other groups as to the best houses to visit.

Parents even stand on the pavements proudly watching their off springs begging for sweets. I am each year lost for words.

Time to lock the doors close the curtains and switch the lights off.

Is Blogging a dying art?

Over the years I have followed quite a few blogs, and they all had things in common. They were well written, humorous, interesting and the owners all posted on a regular basis.

This now seems to have all changed, 99% of the blogs I used to follow are rarely if ever updated. This is in my opinion a shame.

So what are people using as alternatives? The answer seems to be social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to name but two.

Comments now seem to be in short but not always snappy sentences rather than in well thought out paragraphs.

I have two blogs, this one and the one I do for my time at a heritage railway. For those interested that can be found at together with a few short articles on my first five years at the railway. It is added to most weeks.

Now I will be the first to admit that this blog doesn’t get as many posts from me as it should, and that’s for a variety of reasons, lack of time being the main one. But I am determined that will change, as at the end of November I am taking early retirement. One of the things I plan to spend more time on is my writing, which I have dabbled at for a long time and which I enjoy doing.

So if you’re reading this and you have a blog that has laid neglected for some time, then how about making a post, if only to tell your followers that you’re alive and kicking.

I intend to post here on a more regular basis, so I look forward to reading your comments, once of have got rid of the gibberish spam of course.

So are you going to post on your neglected blog? I hope so, and if you do please drop me the link and I will be happy to have a read and maybe drop a comment.


The countdown has begun.

Well the countdown has begun.

I have decided to take early retirement, there is more to life than hammering away at a keyboard all day.

So on the 27th November 2017 I am closing my business. The wife recently was made redundant and we, or to be more accurate she is compiling a list of what we can do.

Now I must admit in all honesty I am looking forward to it, getting to do varied and new things.

The 28th November will be my first day of leisure, it will also be my 62nd birthday.


Go faster stripes for your computer

Whilst drifting through the BBC news site today an article about spyware in a cleaning program for Windows caught my eye.

The program in question is Ccleaner. This used to be distributed by Piriform but they were bought out by Avast the anti virus software people.

According to the article the software was infected by some spyware. Apparently all is now well, but I am sure some users will be having their doubts about putting in or keeping it on their computer.

This set me thinking about how effective this kind of software actually is. Now with any software claiming to make your machine, faster, cleaner and/or safer people generally fall into two camps. The first swear by it saying it’s the best thing since sliced bread and the second declare it a waster of time and that it does not do what it claims.

I should point out at this stage that I am not a Windows user these days, I kicked it into touch many moons ago and have never regretted doing so for one second. But when I was a user I played with most of the programs that claimed miracles and never found them to apparently make any difference at all, except perhaps free up space when they got rid of temp files and the like. But of course they were soon back again. I always found that the cleaning/maintenance programs included with the various flavours of Windows seemed to work at getting rid of junk without using anything else. But doing so never seemed to make the computer run faster.

They do say that belief in something with often convince you that something works. Medicine being a good example where belief  seems to play a great part in how good pills are.

Anyway back to this snake oil software, I think one of the big things that encourage people to try these miracle programs is the fact that they are often free or they have a free basic version.

I have never seen any concrete evidence proving that these programs do any good at all. So I would love to hear from you if you have POSITIVE proof they do any good at all. By positive I don’t mean you say that they are as advertised. I want concrete evidence. I look forward to receiving evidence and links to sites showing this proof. I am to be honest not holding my breath.

Please post as comments to this blog post so all can share.


Sometimes you need a little extra

Now I will be the first to admit I spend too much time at my desk, and I am making an active effort to spend less time hammering away at the keyboard.

But one thing that’s always irritated me is that when the work flow is flowing I often fancy a cup of coffee. Also it would be nice sometimes to have a coffee first thing in the morning without having to trek down to the kitchen and back again.

With this in mind the wife and I have invested in a coffee machine for my office. Like me it’s nothing flash but does the job.

Here is a picture of the said device. installed and ready to go. Next to it is a stand for the coffee pods, looks better than a pile of boxes and was cheaply obtained from the local Tesco store.






I must say it works very well indeed, it uses the same pods as the machine down in the kitchen, so no duplicate purchases of coffee. We have elected for milk pods as well, nowhere in here to keep milk in any other form.

So far I must say I am extremely pleased Wirth the device. It does what it says on the box and saves me time.

So I think Job Done!

A summer Friday

Here we are trundling through the first week of August and the sun is making a half hearted attempt to shine. Personally I don’t give much for it’s chances to be honest. Rain is forecast for tomorrow afternoon so that’s something to look forward to.

I sat here in the office this afternoon wondering about this blog. I started it back in May 2013 with to be honest no real idea of what I was going to do with it and what kind of direction it was going to take. I think I wanted somewhere other than my railway blog to post random thoughts and observations about this and that as I worked my way through life. To be honest I am not sure I have achieved that. The blog has, in the past had periods of no entries and I am not sure if that was because I had nothing to really say, or that I had but could not be bothered to put thoughts to the screen via the keyboard.

The fact that I rarely get response to my postings by comments on the post does not help, I mean am I typing this to myself and will I be the only person to reads it? I know that the answer is likely to be no simply because people I speak to comment that they read these entries, and then make a comment on what they have read. Why they have just not made a comment by pressing the comments button and hammering their comments out on the keyboard is beyond me.

I suppose what I am really saying is that if I make an effort to do a post that if you have comments perhaps you should make an effort to make a comment if you actually have any comments to make. So if you have survived this far into this post then please take note.

A few years ago blogs were all the rage on a multitude of subjects from hobbies to day to day life. But the trend now is for posts to be made on social media where people pour their hearts into saying they have just been to the toilet and are now waiting for the bus to work, to do a job they hate and will most likely comment on how much they hate it later. Some will post on Facebook and crow that they have a thousand friends. How you can have friends you have never met is frankly beyond me. Personally I think if somebody life revolves around  updating friends they have never met about things that are of no interest to anybody then they really need to get a life.

But that’s really it I suppose, do people have time to get a life these days. My wife recently got made redundant after over nineteen years in the same job, and if I ask her, as I have several times if she misses it then her answer is “No.” Speaking personally I think that it’s sad that after nineteen years there is nothing she misses enough to think it warrants comment. Yes she has remained in contact with a few of the people she worked with, but that may or may not stand the test of time. Thinking about it when I left paid employment some years ago I did not miss it either if I am totally honest. I mean what fun is there in having a job when your only aim is to hang in there until retirement. Some years ago my retirement age was sixty and I should in that case have been retired about eighteen months. Instead the government shifted the goal posts and my retirement age is now sixty seven. All I got at sixty was free eye tests and free prescriptions. Come to think of it I might have got a birthday card from Saga but that was so exciting I can’t honestly remember.

If I keep on ruminating like this I will run into the next blog post. So I will go back to the book I was reading safe in the knowledge that my mutterings have been converted into electrons to be unread across the world.

Now back to the book and looking forward to tomorrows expected rain. It’s an exciting life.