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Category Archives: Website

Been doing the do

It’s been a while, so much has happened since I last listed jobs and progress, I had been dreading reappraising my jobs and projects lists. So let’s see if I’m nearer a B- Good Effort than the C- could do better…..

  • Update Management Company spreadsheets ✅
  • Email Agents for update on works pending ✅
  • Liaise with Director over estate business ✅
  • Order Great-Niece’s birthday present (4 already!) ✅
  • Collate care professionals names, addresses, phone numbers ❌
  • Begin DLA to PIP migration (scary) ✅ and blogged
  • Amass medical evidence ✅
  • Do own financial evaluation ✅
  • Source home demo powerchairs – ⚠️ shelved temporarily
  • Update website (1st Aug) – ❌
  • Cogitate Mac ‘big projects’ list ✅
  • Go through and weed 300+ saved read emails ✅
  • Finish cat blanket crochet ✅ and a couple more ✅✅

Blimey it looks like I’ve been super busy, and I am really surprised considering all the extra stress and business I’ve had cross my world these last three months. Now then, what shall we aim for over the next couple of months ……

  • Complete three cat blankets
  • Complete photo organising project
  • Mac back up
  • Add sailing blog to my website
  • Add photo album to website
  • Send letter and photos to Aunt
  • Finish current book and review
  • Sort, weed, tidy desk and draws

That should do for now.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in General, Life, Projects, Website

 

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Fair Winds Following Seas – Farewell Friend

I’m saying good bye to another old friend, a tangible piece of my life’s adventure.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust operates two tall ships that are designed to accommodate many forms of disability, not only things like deafness and sight impaired, but also stroke victims, amputees, wheelchair users and mental health sufferers. We are all involved within the watch rota to sail the ships and keep them shipshape. Across her thirty year history STS Lord Nelson known as “Nellie”, has circumnavigated the globe, chased icebergs, clipped the Bermuda Triangle, tamed the China Seas, she has raced as part of the tall ship fleets and been the floating ambassador and has touched hundreds of thousands of mixed ability lives for the better.

A family friend passed a brochure to me in the eighties and I had toyed with the idea of running away to sea, so when Nellie visited my home port I secretly took myself off, explored her and spoke to a volunteer crew member, over a mug of hot tea and freshly baked cake we chatted, mused, discussed and laughed. After that I made up my mind to throw myself fully into this once-in-a-lifetime-never-to-repeat adventure and booked a four-week passage from Southampton to Gran Canaria via Lisbon.

The experience was nerve wracking, exhilarating, daunting, engaging, challenging, educational, but filled with hilarity, congeniality, and above all else, equality. We were just a bunch of people sailing together. I enjoyed myself so much that I repeated the experience another two times on Nellie before my last voyage on the sister ship Tenacious. The atmosphere and camaraderie onboard is indescribable and so special. It’s where I learnt to tie a bona fide hangman’s noose, take down the shipping forecast, complete obs for the Met Office. I’ve hauled ropes, peeled potatoes, polished brass, coiled ropes, swabbed decks, scrubbed toilets, pulled ropes, brewed tea, repaired flags, and messed about with ropes. I’ve been man handled, hauled, shoved, shifted, and tied down, I’ve laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed; I’ve helmed, watched, hauled, radioed, taught navigation rhymes, learnt a bewildering language of terms and created a few specific to Nellie and many other such useful/less life skills. I even have a qualification, the Department of Transport Steering Competency (sailing) Certificate from time at the helm before the mast. I’ve made friends I still keep in touch with. I’ve had conversations and shared experiences (like being at the helm when we were struck by lightning, playing with dolphins, counting shooting stars). There are anecdotes galore, not all repeatable in polite company.

Recently the Trust has been forced to look hard at its future running. A promised significant donation from a business source failed to materialise resulting in the Trust nearly folding (we raised £1 million in a week to save it). Subsequently the decision has been sadly made to decommission Nellie.

I kept a detailed diary, my (dis)abled seapersons twig (as opposed to captains log) for two of my voyages are on my website www.amgroves.com It’s on my list to add the others.

It is unknown what her next adventure will be, but I wish her fair winds and following seas, as we salty dog types say; and another piece of my heart is broken and another tear will fall.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2019 in In The News, Life, people, Projects, Website

 

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February 


It began so positively, but best laid plans and best meant intentions so often do.  After waking up I usually lazy and cogitate my plans for the day – up & dress, make coffee & lunch, plant self at desk and tick things off the various to-do lists, shuffle to sofa, fiddle & rest before going to make dinner & cook freezer foods. Simples, right?

So, initially things went as intended, got to desk with coffee and lunch, began back up procedure for computer (not on to-do list but needed), began sorting through piled detritus stuffed through the door over the past few days (not on list).

Phone rings ….. It’s on the sofa, do I wheel across and grab it or leave it, best get it … BFF needed distracting while she walked home from the City (about 1.5miles) while carrying a 4ft6 stuffed swan resplendent in gold crown and punk tutu (the swan, not BFF).  Sandwiches munched and coffee drunk while chatting.

Right, back to it. Source a few photos for new FaceBook album on group I administrate. Hmm, need to crop, tweek and © mark them, but hey it’s a job on the list 👍🏼. Then wheeling self about to get recycling into waste paper basket (not on list). Started business banking log in (ahha, that is on the list) but it’s been so long it errored out on me so had to restart all over again which means waiting for authorisation codes to come in the post (add follow up to list).  Sort through post waiting to be dealt with, add two things to to-do list.

By now I’ve been at the desk just over two hours, which means hips need resting on sofa for a while before I can confidently get up stood ….. this ends today’s productivity time. Successfully ticked off one thing, postponed one thing and added two more. 

Oh and I’ve written a blog (not on the list)

*sigh*

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2019 in General, Grumble, Life, Website

 

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Reporting Menacing Phish


Well, it’s not exactly what I had planned for my afternoon.  Firstly, I am fine, these things don’t bother me.

Today I was intending to do a spot of cyber housework (it’s easier than off screen house work). I logged into the server and headed to the emails, a mixed bunch of fan query, fan fawning and spam, but there was one that caught attention.  I knew it was phishing for personal details, financial fraud, general trickery but it was the manner and topic that was a little different.  It threatened to release to all my contacts a video of me that was sexually explicit, as well as pornographic images and spread rumour of deviancy with children unless I sent x-thousand via Bitcoin to a specified account.  The hacker generously explained how the deadline could be extended and even bragged about being able to hide his identity, seek sanctuary from all laws because they were not in my country, and that any ‘federal’ involvement would mean the stuff would be circulated immediately.

As this particular webmail client is tricky to manage, junk wise, I get regular emails from phishing fake accounts trying to get me to click a link, rearrange courier delivery, download court non-payment papers, etc.  Apart from being quite a savvy person, I know these are scams as the email address isn’t really used for anything other than web site business, so they get deleted and a new junk filter created to redirect others.

However, the particularly articulate, menacing, intimidating language of this email made me stop and think, hmmm I can fully see why the more nervy would fall for this, panic and stress over this, maybe send funds, even if they are completely innocent of all allegations (mud sticks and all that), so I decided to file a report with the Cyber Crimes people.  It was very straight forward, we shall see what occurs (if anything).

Well, well, hmm, there ya go!

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2019 in General, In The News, Tech, Website

 

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January Jaggardness


I don’t like January, it is dark and grey, cold and dank. I don’t leave my dusty hovel, unless there is an absolute cannot be avoided need.  This year it feels like the morbid month began the day after boxing day and still hasn’t progressed past the first week and will drag interminably to its chilled bitter end.  Most January’s I feel like I’m waiting for the sn**, sn**, nope can’t say it, white rain, to fall, settle, freeze, melt, freeze, melt and bugger off.

Today is a typical day, I’ve not even opened the curtains.  Okay, part of that is being lazy, part is because it’s a Sunday and I didn’t begin my attempt at rising until after 12.30 (I was listening to the radio, mostly, but did doze through desert island discs).  By the time I got up-stood, been to the bathroom, then the kitchen to make lunch etc it was gone 1.30 and it would be dark by 3.30/4, hardly worth the muscle strain and ache.

That’s not to say stuff has not gotten done.  I’ve been working on my crochet, occasionally, I’ve grappled with the GDPR requirements on websites (thank you, piggin interfering EU), I’ve reconciled my finances and even remembered to pay the credit card bill.  I’ve got rather successful at playing cards and solved a few puzzles. 

There has been momentary respite, courtesy of my Great Niece and her rendition of ShotGun, Baby Shark, Twinkle Twinkle, Stick, and other pearls of wisdom.  She’s tall for her age and when she trots in wearing her nursery uniform she looks more like five than 3 years 5 months.

My erratic sleep pattern suffers too. I wake feeling more sleepy and weary than when I went to bed. I sit on the sofa feeling too alert to go to bed. If I manage a complete couple of hours unbroken sleep then it’s a rarity. 

Not sure what my next battle plan will be, it’s rather dependant on others and their availability.  Who knows I might even manage to conjure up a white blog or two (steady on).

Tis but the season, and shall pass…..

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2019 in Grumble, Life, Website

 

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User Interface Stuck


Back a few posts ago I had set a to-do list with a completion date of before BFF’s visit ….. Let’s evaluate…..

  1. Research and write the new article
  2. Upgrade video player (current one doesn’t handle mobile devices)
  3. Rework each video file/page
  4. Upload everything to the server and publish
  5. Update back-up drives 1 and 2 (I’m not loosing all that hard work)

1. The new article is written but it needs putting into an HTML format and a couple of things are needed from third parties before publishing – not done yet.

2. Website video – with the introduction of html5 a new coding method can be used, but it needs the videos to be in three different formats and uploaded to the server, time consuming – each video has been converted into the three types, I am currently still uploading, one set at a time.

3.  Video pages – in order not to get lost as not everything can be done at one go at the desk, I update the pages as the trio of files are uploaded. So the review pages additions are done, the YouTube embedded ones are done, a couple of short interview segments are done, just the longer interview videos needs to be done…… so almost but not quite.

4.  Uploading is done gradually as each page/video is completed…. so on-going.

5.  This plan was expanded as there was an operating system upgrade, so total system back up, download and install OS upgrade, then after satisfied everything is as it should be another total system back up.  Now just need to do the secondary specific files back up (hey better to have two back ups, just in case, mild paranoia is sometimes wise).

HOWEVER :: I did finish a cat blanket and am halfway through a second.

Harnessing and fanning motivation is still an incredibly difficult thing, I ‘need’ to spend more time at my desk, I ‘need’ to not be disheartened by the faff of shuffling on the chair from desk to sofa and focus more on the enjoyment/accomplishment/occupation of being at my desk.  When every single element of everything I try and do involves an ever growing degree of struggle, and having to juggle how much time spent on job ‘A’ before impacting on necessary job ‘B’, it’s so much easier just to roll over and snuggle under the duvet where I’m pain free, struggle free, discomfort free and toasty warm.

Could do better, my dear, procrastinating isn’t going to motivate the mentals or bring satisfaction.  

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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Burnsy Woz Right

With Big Sis away for a weeks break, I decided to allocate this week to getting to grips with the video issues on the website. I had already googled and bookmarked a few how to pages and had mentally mapped out my productive days.

That’s where I went wrong, having a determined plan.

As some may know I’m pseudo consultant to the Resident Management Company that I used to run before handing it over to an agent when it got too much.  To say that the Agent have had ‘issues’ is a bit like calling pneumonia man flu.  Staff changes, lack of communication, confusing cross communication, time delays, etc have been adding to the general rumblings of dissension around here.  Consequently for every email sent, it generated two more, needing immediate attention. The Director and I decided to get to grips with everything and lick em into shape, we were going to go through the invoices of the past two years noting anomalies, we listed general running issues and we’re trying to get the next (already over-due) residents meeting organised.  

I did manage to list all the videos that need converting into three different file types (devices use different formats, desktop v tablets and phones, Apple v Microsoft v Android).  Apart from a couple of snaffoos that skipped along nicely, even managed to save the relevant back-ups.  This brought a recurrent issue, getting FileZilla to transfer the large files to the server. I’m three desk sessions into trying and I just cannot get it configured, nor find the instructions and answers online, it’s just something further than my limited knowledge and ability can handle.  So I’ll have to hope the web hosts ftp can cope with the file sizes.  It’s a time consuming process.

Each video page needs the HTML re-writing, all eighteen of them.  Some are videos I’m hosting, others are on YouTube, but I cannot start these until the video files are uploaded.  It’s already Saturday, that leaves a heck of a lot to go wrong right before Big Sis gets here at 9am Tuesday (her hubby’s car has a garage appointment first thing, so he’s using her car for work).  I’m polishing a draft for a new web article before coding that into a fresh HTML page as well.  BFF’s visit is coming up and I so want it all done by then.

Who was it who said, if you want something done, give to a busy woman, well if you find him, shoot him! 

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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