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30 Seconds or 30 Minutes, it’s timeless


Could you, dear reader, try and do something for me.  You see no matter how strong the desire, how consuming the craving, I am physically, totally, completely unable to do it, and that denial of free choice chips and nibbles at the strongest resolve and will to ‘make the best of it’.

So, on this glorious June afternoon, take a step outside, sit on your patio chair or door step, or stand barefoot in the grass; take a deep breath, observe what’s around you (don’t just see it), feel the sun, the breeze, the air on your face, listen to the natural sounds about you (don’t just hear them), and take another breath, slowly in and slowly out.  Don’t think, don’t fret, don’t stress, just be present in yourself, in that moment.

It doesn’t take much time, it can be the time it takes a kettle to boil or the microwave to ping, or child one to clump child two and start screaming, lol. But man oh man, that briefest moment of calm can do so much good to the mental health if, as busy humans, we do this regularly.

It’s truly a gorgeous day today, one I’d love to sit outside and read my book, have a (albeit one sided) conversation with a passing cat or chirping black bird, cogitate my thoughts or feel the day fresh against my exposed skin, even just to put my bare feet in the grass.  But for many that’s the stuff dreams are made of. 

I’d open the window as wide as it will go but, hmm, ‘things’ of a buzzy, bitey, stingy nature will be too tempted by my tastiness, and Signor Four-Paws might be happy to come in that way but will want out via the front door. Not to mention opening/closing the window is fast becoming a ‘can’t do that’ task. It’s not the same and being completely the same as full enveloped by outsideness. 

My limitations are feeling quite pointed today, it will pass.

I’ll attack my hard toe nail with the clippers instead…..

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5 Comments

Posted by on June 10, 2018 in General, Grumble, Life

 

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Jaggedness Destroys Average


Have you heard of the Jaggedness Principal? Essentially given a group of humans, not one will fit the average.  Celebrate, there is no such thing as ‘average’ so you cannot be ‘below average’.

Author Todd Rose wrote that “The principle holds that we cannot apply one-dimensional thinking to understand something that is complex and ‘jagged.’ What, precisely, is jaggedness? A quality is jagged if it means two criteria. First, it must consist of multiple dimensions. Second, these dimensions must be weakly related to one another. Jaggedness is not just about human size; almost every human character that we care about – including talent, intelligence, character, creativity, and so on – is jagged.”

Take your work place, or church group, or such, note down each individual’s age, shoe size, height and eye colour. Work out the average of each and then see if any one in that group fits that average. Strong likelihood is, you won’t.  The principal forced the US Airforce to come up with the adjustable cockpit seat, because no single pilot could fit in the averaged one.  Not everyone the same height, will have the same weight, not everyone the same weight will be the same dress size, not everyone who is the same dress size will have the same shoe size.  One size will never fit all, so stop trying to make us fit.

So, as we try and equalise, even-ise, level-ise, everything in our post-truth, open opportunities, global world, remember no-one is average, we are individual uniqueness, with similarities in same areas. 

While I’d never say I was average, I would say I am weird (that’s Western Educated Industrial Rich Democratic country).

Maybe I should stop watching QI re-runs, lol.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2018 in General

 

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She’s Wrong/He’s Right


Ain’t social media fun!  Recently Kirstie Allsopp was lambasted in the media, which the Twitterarty then jumped on the bandwagon and went fully armed negative, because she has replied to a question. But as ever the media and rwitterees only cherry picked the tiny bit that they objected to and bashed away madly.  In a nut shell Kirstie said she flew “Premium Economy” (that’s not first class nor business class) but her tweenie and teenage children went economy because they needed to understand that a privilege should be earned.  Okay, what wasn’t taken onboard, well, often the distance between the rows may have been about 4/6 roes, the kiddos were accompanied with adult step children, when boarding Kirstie introduces herself to the cabin crew and adults seated near children and let them know where she is, during the flight she regulars walks down to check on them.  Her children are not annoyed by the seating arrangements, infact they prefer it as Mum isn’t constantly overseeing everything they do. She’s never been called back because of unruly behaviour.

As for people’s comments, you’d have thought she’d let them play on the motorway, swigging vodka, juggling razor blades! They were truly rude, condemning and highly critical of her parenting ability, I’m sure threats to call Social Services were made.

Her tv presenter partner Pip on the other hand remarked “We leave the kids at home to look after the dogs!” … Has he been called the demon of dads? Has he been bombarded with comments of how disgusting he is? Nope.

To me, it’s yet another example of gender hypocrisy.  Mum’s are wrong, Dad’s are applauded.

It’s the ‘men sow ya oats, women be pure and virtuous’, double standard.

There never will be equality across the sexes.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 7, 2018 in In The News, people

 

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United Diversity

What a fabulous photograph! Three beautiful young ladies engaging in the celebrations of a Royal event, coordinating their patriotic red, white and blue with their modesty ethos and headscarves. Three young Islamic followers sharing the joy of a Christian wedding.  I truly hope their experiences of the day was solely positive and affirming.

It’s a sad dark shadow on our society that there are those who will view this casual image so negatively. There are those who will snear and cry that these ‘types’ should go back from where they came (little realising that it’s likely somewhere like Bishop Stortford, or a country village, not some distant land; nor realising Islamists have lived, worked and died in the UK for a few thousand years).  There are also some who will genuinely believe these ladies have demeaned themselves, because they are not wearing black and they have their faces exposed.

Whilst there will always be those who favour an opposite negative opinion, and I hope they are a shrinking minority, can we please try and enjoy the positive, happy, inclusive, non-pigeon-holing of life.  It seems as society is trying to become inclusive and tolerant (detest that word), it is also becoming more focused on tagging and highlighting differences.  

I was reluctant to post this, you never quite know whether on such an explosive subject, readers will understand what I mean, and who will take offence. Fingers crossed.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 25, 2018 in In The News, Life

 

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Siri? Alexa? No, Aunty

Picture the scene……. You are sitting comfy on the sofa, feet up, the late afternoon sunshine warming your exposed toes, your mind is occupied watching Columbo run rings around William Shatner, you are contemplating when to go make your poached salmon with vegetable rice and a splash of soy sauce, when the phone rings…….

Now I never get unsolicited phone calls, BFF calls during the week during her walk home from work, Bro-In-Law and Big Sis are away for the weekend, Nephew & family would be eating their dinner, whose left to call! I scramble to mute the tv and grab the phone. 

“Hello?”

“Hello you, it’s me” (Bro-In-Law) Utoh, problems? Brain scurries every which way

“Hello you” my brain is bemused, coherence not engaged

“You by the pod” that’s code for within reach of t’internet

“Yeeaaahhhhssssssss?” My brain is reaching wtf mode

“What time does the GP start?” 

Really? No, Hey we’re having a fab time, missing us, food awesome at that pub, etc etc, just straight in with the important stuff, lol.

“6pm Channel Four”

“Ta much”

Who needs Google when you’ve a me!!!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2018 in General, Life, people

 

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Could, Should, Can’t

Well that didn’t take long ……. the vim and vigour after my holibobs staycation with the BFF has dog gone and evaporated. The lovely cuddly warmth of accomplishment after getting the website updated has fizzled. I’m back to disenthused apathy.

There are things I ‘should’ maybe do, like, send in my latest book review (oops that’s supposed to be kind of hush hush) I can only do it at the desktop because my iPad is too old to run Word. I should be finishing the latest blanket as I’d like to start the next pattern, or I should empty, tidy and sort bedside draw, put away stuff not put away. But well, meh, its Saturday, the world won’t explode if I don’t.

There are things I ‘could’ do, like, resort the photos on the computer, there’s the letter to my hospital about my five months overdue appointment, start the video rework for the website. But well, you know.

Now there are some, many even, who would love to be as unbusy as me, I’d quite like to be as busy as some. In a romanticised way I would have loved to have gotten up from my bed, enjoyed a refreshing shower, straightened the bedroom, cleaned the kitchen, and washed the dishes before taking a jaunty saunter to Subway for lunch. Then browse a shop or two to find a box to put my footwear in beneath my desk, maybe find a new top or picked up some fresh raspberries from the grocers. Come home and sit at my desk, write an email or three while listening to some tunes before making my bolognese and settling to an evenings tv entertainment. But I cannot, the only thing I will physically manage, with a double dose of struggle and concentration is throw together the bolognese. 

Is it the human’s lot to always want things different and rarely be content with how things are?

I’ve often remarked that occupation needs a necessity. Doing something without a purpose, a need, a deadline, an outside expectation just becomes a time filler and when you have nothing but time to fill there’s no drive to strive.

Eek, that turned a bit deep and melancholy!  

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2018 in General, Life

 

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Testing technology (and my patient resolve)


*disclaimer* The following blog may sound a touch technical, it may also sound like I know what I’m talking about, however it isn’t and I don’t.

As some of you may know, I administrate a website about a musician and the work he has undertaken over the past years. I try and be diligent in my duties and keep things up-to-date for the fans and those who google interest. Over the past couple of years with a deterioration of my muscle strength and the complications surrounding using my desk for any extended periods of time, I have been lax in updating the photo section of the website. This has been weighing heavily on my mind and conscience, so I took the arrival of my new chair as impetus to get cracking and just do it. 

In order to put a photo gallery together I use an application on my Mac called iWeb, very much a user friendly drag and drop style of templates to create each album and contents, creating a cover, thumbnails, slideshows, and enlarged images. There are now some 18 to 21 albums each containing a couple of pages or more of images from various events, gigs, tours and with fans. Although I haven’t counted them individually there must be several hundred photos.  Now before any image can be dragged and dropped into the photo album it requires a little editing, usually it needs copying or resizing and all of them require the necessary copyright marking. Once added to a particular album I then add a caption detailing the event and that event date. Back up images and details are stored separately ‘just in case’ catastrophe occurs.  All very time consuming.  So for the last couple of months I have been slowly adding more photos to existing albums, amalgamating some albums, as well as adding new ones. Once I was satisfied everything was up to date I hit the ‘publish’ icon to save all the necessary files and folders to make this straightforward piece of the website work.

There was just one thing left to do, transfer all the files folders and contents onto the server for the website.

Historically I have used an FTP program called FileZila to act as intermediary between my computer and the host server so that the files and folders could be transferred over in the right order so everything was in its right place. When you are dealing with something that is so pedantic that a , instead of a . can send the web site into meltdown it is mentally exhausting on a good day. But FileZila is a very competent piece of kit, that when you have a folder containing files and folders, that contain files and folders, that contain files, it can’t be trusted to put the right thing in the right place in the right order.  There was just one slight, tincy, little, problem, the darn thing wouldn’t connect to the server and authenticate it self!  I could have cried.

Unfortunately the host server will only let me use FileZila as I use a Mac computer, however the host site has its own FTP client but it is notoriously slow, frequently crashes and cannot cope with transferring folders from the files and folders it needs it doing individually.  So for a number of hours I sat at my desk and diligently, slowly, transferred each file and folder double checking that they were in the correct order up to the host server.  Once all the files and folders were transferred, and I was satisfied everything was where it should be, I then opened my web browser and collect the link to view the photo gallery. Always a tense moment. Of course, it goes without saying, and is to be expected, but half of what I wanted to be there, wasn’t. Back to the individual files and folders checking the latest update date to make sure I hadn’t missed one (I had, just one) to then try again, and again, clear the cachet and web data, and try again again.

SUCCESS!!!

After the photo gallery was successfully updated, I then set about uploading the pages that have been updated to the main section of the website. These are created by handwritten HTML and not a template or wizard, and are far better behaved and easier to maintain, but photo albums are very technical to create from scratch.

The web to do list had been cut down to just a couple of items, and all the weighted updates were on screen for friends and search engine Google is defined which was a satisfactory failing.  But I’m not quite ready to tackle upgrading the video pages as if that is going to take some hours of diligent patience to make sure the videos comply on multi platforms.

In other news, I have finished two cat blankets and I am working on a third and have the pattern for the fourth one all mapped out. Spring has sprung, a new fresh dose of gumption has been grasped. 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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