Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Something a little different

November 26, 2009

Something different to the normal post today. A friend on Facebook shared this and I just had to put up here. It combines two of my all time favourite things. Enjoy!

Apple update #2 (last one!)

November 25, 2009

Well as you know I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with Apple about the fact that I couldn’t log in to the iTunes store: Apple Fail and Apple Update

Well I emailed them to say that I had finally got control of the account and that all of the security details had been changed

Hi Jeremiah

Thanks for your help. I have control of my account again now.

For your information, not only had my Apple ID name changed, but also my date of birth had been altered. And the security question and answer had been changed to random letters. It really looked like someone had hacked into my account. Luckily no purchases had been made


That was Wednesday. On Friday I received a reply from my “friend” Jeremiah. And I’m pleased to reproduce it here

Dear Paul,

You’re very welcome. As always, I’m here to provide you the best support you deserve.

Nothing makes Apple happier than to hear that we have pleased our customers. I hope that you continue to enjoy the iTunes Store.

Thank you for being a part of the iTunes family Paul. It has truly been a pleasure assisting you. I wish you the best, and I hope that the rest of your day is beautiful.




So they really don’t seem to care about the fact that my account had possibly been hacked. That’s nice.

Really makes me want to trust them and use them in the future

Tables and food

November 22, 2009

Ok, a little bit of a rant today, which I suspect some of you might disagree with.

Yesterday Hannah and I were out shopping and decided to have lunch in the food area of the shopping mall we were in. We duly queued up, got our food and then had the problem of looking for somewhere to sit and eat.

About half the tables were taken by people just sitting there waiting for someone else who was still in the queue to get food. This really bugs me. I always feel that you should not be allowed to get a table unless you have actually got your food. Ok, so there may be exceptions such as the disabled, the elderly and the like. But most of these were just adults either with or with out children.

We had to wander around for a good few minutes before we spotted someone who looked like they were getting ready to leave. And by the time we got there, another woman arrived just in front of us but had quite sat down. She again had someone in the queue getting the food, so I just put the tray on the table and sat down. She didn’t look to impressed but I’d staked my claim, and I wasn’t going to give it up.


I suspect that some of you reading this are in that group who grab a table as soon as you arrive. If you are, then I’ve got my eye out for you. If I see you, I’ll be straight over with my tray and sit at the table with you!

Even Hannah said it wasn’t fair that people could just get a table before they had bought their food, whilst we had to wait for a table. So there you go. Rant over.

Regrets, wrong decisions and hindsight

November 9, 2009

Three separate things have led me to today’s post: Firstly, a discussion a couple of weeks ago with friends about things in our past that we regretted. Not the little “Oh I wished hadn’t eaten that extra slice of cake” type regrets, but the big ones such as “I wished I’d never had that relationship”. Secondly, the post I did the other week about heading off down a wrong turn in life. And thirdly a Church service where the preacher spoke about looking back with hindsight at the decisions we had made in life.

Now I’ll start be telling the story which Rev Trevor Gerhardt told us at the beginning of his sermon. There was a man walking through the desert and he was beginning to suffer from dehydration and really need water. Eventually he found a tent with a Bedouin standing outside. He asked the man for some water. “Sorry,” came the reply, “I don’t have any water. But I can sell you a tie”. “I don’t need a tie, I need water!”. “Sorry I can’t help then, but there is another tent about three hours away in that direction” replied the tie-seller. So reluctantly the man continued on his way through the desert. Eventually he came to the second tent, and again there was a Bedouin standing outside. “Water, water, I need water” said the weary traveller. “Oh I have plenty of water, but you can’t come in” he was told. “Why?” “Because you’re not wearing a tie!”

So all through life we are presented with choices, but it is only with hindsight that we can see if we have taken the correct path or not. However, whichever path we take, it affects us for the rest of lives. It’s not possible to go back in time and alter our decision. Once made, the path is set, and even if we decide that we are going down the wrong route, it’s not possible to go back and start again. We just take a different route from where we are now.

So when my friends were saying that they regretted taking certain jobs, or having relationships which didn’t work out, I can honestly say that I don’t. I may not like the way some of my decisions have played out, but if I could alter them, I probably wouldn’t because I wouldn’t end up where I am now. If I had never met/married my ex-wife, I probably wouldn’t have the daughter I have. If I had taken that other job (the one I would have enjoyed more than filling shelves, paid better and had better prospects), I probably wouldn’t have some of the best friends I now have. And if I had not gone to Church on that particular Sunday (and just carried as any other Sunday), I wouldn’t have my other best friends. Yes I admit I have made some really bad/stupid decisions in my life but on the whole, I am happy with where I am now. I have a good set of friends and a daughter that I wouldn’t change for anything.

So I challenge you, next time you’re thinking that you’ve made a really bad choice, and are regretting it, just think about what’s good in you life and imagine if it wasn’t there. If you had taken a different route, you life would be entirely different, and not necessarily for the better.


November 2, 2009

This is a cheat!

It’s almost midnight, and as yet I have completely failed to get any inspiration for today’s blog post. So as a last ditch attempt not to fall at the first hurdle, I’m writing this little filler. Trouble is, I’m not going to be able to do it again am I?

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have better luck. I’ll definitely have more time (really?) so who knows.

I think I’ll read over some of my old posts and see if there’s anything I can follow up on or update you (there is someone reading this isn’t there?).

But for now, I think I’ve written all I can. So I’ll see you all tomorrow 🙂

November – blog post month (again)

November 1, 2009

It’s November again. Where has the year gone? Last November I managed to post a blog entry everyday. And failed miserably to continue the trend afterwards. So let’s see how we do this year. Again, I’ want to post an entry every day for the month and I want to see if I can continue in to December.

Like last year, I have no specific theme or plan to what what I’m going to blog about. I’ll not to make it too boring, but if I do then I’m sorry, come back the next day and see if it’s any better.

October was a really bad month for me personally, and I suspect that the beginning of November is going to be tough as well. Without wanting to get to depressing to start with, several people I knew passed away during the last few weeks, and I have the prospect of three funerals coming up in the next couple of weeks. I’ll do my best from get you all depressed though.

This week however sees the performance of Patcham Barnstormers’ latest production: A Night At The Movies. It’s a series of sketches and songs from various movies from the days of silent movies right through the fairly modern times. As usual I’ll be hiding away in the little room in the loft playing with the lights. I’ve had the normal run of problems that I seem to have at every show – not enough lamps, not enough power, not enough gels, not enough…. blah blah blah! But I’ll do my best. Eventually I’d like us to move out of the “it’ll do” situation and get us in to “wow!”  But I suspect it’ll be a long hard slog.

Well that will do for now. See you all tomorrow (hopefully!)

I’m back!

August 1, 2009

Well it’s been a long time since I last posted anything on here. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, more a case of I just couldn’t get myself in to the right frame of mind and actually bother to write anything.

But I’m back.

No promises as to how often I’ll post, but I’ll try to be a bit more regular than the last few months –not that that will be hard!

I have a few ideas for some posts, and I’ll try to write some of them up when I’m feeling in the mood, and then publish them as required.

I also have a plan for a photography project, but more details of that will be in another post.

Right, that’s it for the moment. See you all again in the not-too-distant future.

Email tracking

January 11, 2009

In March an new EU directive comes in to effect here in the UK. It will mean that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have to keep a record of emails sent and received through their mail servers. This will apparently allow the police and other security agencies to track communications by criminals and terrorists. In theory anyway. There are a few flaws in this idea though:

There is some doubt as to whether it affects all ISPs or just the larger ones.

It only requires ISPs to track emails, not private individuals or companies running their own mail servers.

It only requires logging of the sender and recipient, it does record the content of the email.

So to circumvent this legislation, it is only necessary for both parties to either run their own mail server or use a small ISP. It wouldn’t take a terrorist long to work that out would it?

And as the content is not stored, all the authorities will know will be that Bob emailed Fred, but they will have no idea about what was said. Bob could just be asking what the weather was like!

And the information that is recorded will be made available to any public body. This could be the Police, Government Agency or your local council. It’s one thing to allow the Police to have access to this information (and that’s bad enough) but why do the local council need it? Or the local Health Authority?

Whilst I accept that the Police may need to keep track of what criminals and terrorists are doing in order to prevent crime, this is just using a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Instead of directing resources at specific targets, a system will be put in place that affects everyone and can easily be thwarted by those it’s supposed to be aimed at.

New Year Thoughts

January 1, 2009

So a new year lies ahead of us. Will we make the most of it? Or just waste it? Hopefully I will make the most of it, but going from experience I’ll just jog along the same path as I have for the past few years – ie going nowhere in particular.

Looking back on the last year, the things that stand out are:

Finding twitter and making new friends

Starting this blog, and posting everyday for the whole month of November – hard work but fun

Appearing on the stage – I hated every minute of it, but I’m glad I did it.

Having a wonderful holiday with my daughter

And I have no regrets either. Something did happen that, with hindsight, I wish hadn’t – but I don’t regret it. And no, I won’t be giving any further details.

And so to this year…

In the past I have set resolutions which I have almost always failed to keep. This year I’m just going to set ambitions – things I would like to accomplish during the year.

So this year I would like to:

Read more (or at least finish the books I’ve already started!)

Read the Bible more

Blog more

Take more photo’s

Not appear on the stage again

Not have so many late nights

Not get quite so stressed over work

And finally I would just like to wish you a good New Year. Make the most of it, enjoy it and don’t let the little things get in the way of anything you want to do.

Reading books

October 24, 2008

Recently my daughter was castigated by her teacher for reading too many books. To clarify, she wasn’t told off for reading them to quickly, but for having too many on the go at the same time! I think she probably has one at her mum’s, one at my place, one at my parents and probably one or two others. Her teacher said she should finish one book before starting the next. And when her teacher spoke to me about this, I had to admit to doing the same thing.

So do you read just one book at a time? Finishing it off before even thinking about starting a new one? Or, do you have several books part read that you keep swapping around?

I think the problem I have is that I start a book in good faith with the intention of reading it to the end. But unless it’s a really good book, I tend to get distracted, find a new book and start to read that. Eventually I do return to earlier books and finish them, but they may be some months (or even years) later. Normally by then I’ve forgotten some of the what I had already read and I end up re-reading some, or all, of it again!

A quick rummage around the bedroom, the bookcases and other repositories of my books has led me to the conclusion that I have started reading and intend finishing the following books:

The Transit Of Venus (Peter Aughton)

Colour Of Magic (Terry Pratchett)

As It Seemed To Me (John Cole)

The Republic (Plato)

Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)

A Hooded Crow (Craig Thomas)

The Iliad (Homer)

Le Morte Darthur (Sir Thomas Malory)

Riding Rockets (Mike Mullane)

Wikinomics (Dan Tapscott & Anthony D Williams)

Enigma (Hugo Sebag-Montefore)

And I’ve probably missed one or two others.

I think I need to knuckle down and concentrate on finish one or two of them before Christmas. Because at Christmas I’ll probably gain one or two others which I will want to read straight away.