Friday, November 28, 2008

License to print money...

It's been a good day, probably something to do with not having to go to work.

Ever mindful of how long it took to sort out last weekend's quick plumbing task (eventually sorted by paying the plumber a handful of notes Monday night), I decided to set forth this morning with a little electrical task. OK, no big deal really, just changing a couple of light switches over to dimmer switches as my contribution towards saving the planet. The screws that came with the switches were too short for the pattress but fortunately I had a couple of spares in the garage that obliged and it was sorted in about 15 minutes.

Every other little "get out of the way" job I tackled went according to plan until I decided that perhaps it was time I set my printer up with the laptop. Should have been straight forward, the printer was still perched on the desk along with cables and discs, fresh from the time a set it up with the previous laptop only a few months ago.

However, Lexmark obviously had other ideas. No discs, cables or any other accessories could cater for the fact that there are no drivers released for my all-in-one printer to run with Windows Vista and by all accounts it looks as though they have no intentions of doing so either. Oh bugger - it would seem I need to buy a new printer.

Am I alone in thinking that is a bit naughty? I'm now stuck with having to replace a perfectly good printer, well OK, it isn't really that good to be honest but the scanner has been really useful and best of all, it was free when I bought my first PC. Fortunately my old laptop hasn't breathed it's last yet so I do have a protracted means of printing anything that won't wait for me to send to work to print there and when it does come to upgrading, I think I'll pick another manufacturer. Or at least see if anyone is still giving away free ones...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On and on...

I thought I really ought to post something today seeing as it is my 4th Blogday today! As usual at this time of year, it's hard to believe it's been another year since my first post and it's all the more remarkable that people keep looking in even though, by my own admission, posts have been a lot less frequent and less inspired of late. However, I'm continually grateful that you all do keep dropping by and proud to remain the "I'm Feeling Lucky" or first search result on Google for the word "Seany". Perhaps the popularity of reality TV "celebrities" is short lived after all.

I'm not sure that you could call it a celebration, but today I also find myself the owner of the biggest fridge I could ever have dreamt of. Perhaps the situation would be more accurately described by saying that the snow has settled outside on the very weekend my central heating system decided it doesn't want to play any more.

Determined not to let another weekend disappear into combination of beer swilling and sleeping, I decided on Friday morning to put my day off to good use by getting a replacement radiator for the dining room. The old one had developed a tiny leak quite a while ago and although it wasn't doing any significant harm, it clearly wasn't going to get better on it's own and equally, would be unable to heat the room once the weather took a turn for the worse.

I took Dad up on his earlier offer to help with replacing the thing and although it took a little longer than expected, by teatime we appeared to have reconnected a brand new radiator with no sign of water leaking from anywhere and any residual air removed from the system. What I didn't discover until later that evening was that now, none of the radiators were working and it was getting bloody cold outside.

After a brief review again yesterday morning, we couldn't see where the problem was and as neither of us are qualified plumbers, I've had to resort to calling a professional in. So now I'm playing the waiting game until he replies to my message and then ultimately to find out what the damage to my wallet is likely to be. It's not really an emergency as I do have a solitary gas fire which is going it's best to keep the living room warm, but it isn't up to the challenge of heating the entire bungalow.

It could also prove a good excuse to plug in the Nintendo Wii in as all that jumping around provides some natural warmth...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Have you ever wondered...

...where mobile phones go to die?

By the look of this little lot (which isn't exhaustive), it would seem there is a veritable cellphone graveyard developing in my house.

It's not that I keep changing them to keep up with fashion, but I'm not as careful with them as I ought to be and all too often end up replacing them rather than going through the hassle of trying to find a repair outlet or worse still, trying to convince an insurance/ warranty company that I had been less careless.

But there is good news ahead, all the more topical to tell you about it today. If you have any old mobile phones lurking around the place, put them in an envelope, marked Freepost BBC Children in Need and pop it in a post box.

Apparently there is an organisation called Regenersis (formerly Fonebak) who have the licenses to unblock phones from all networks and if they can repair them, will send them off for use in developing countries. If not, they break them down and their constituent parts and they are recycled.

They have agreed to make a donation to Children in Need for each handset that can be economically repaired. So I've cleared out a load of handsets I'll never use, potentially improved communication in developing countries, added to my existing donations to this year's Children in Need appeal and if nothing else, they will be more environmentally responsibly disposed of than they would have been otherwise.

Everyone's a winner...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

All change...

We are all somewhat resistant to change and goodbyes are never easy, but I guess it's just a question of perspective.

My manager retired on Thursday after 40 years of service and I think we are all a little nervous of how on earth we are going to fill his shoes. Sure, his replacement is very capable, but it has always been easy for us all to pick up the phone and tap into those 40 years of experience whereas now we are going to need to be more resourceful. On the positive side, he has worked damned hard and is certainly deserving of a long and happy retirement so who are we to deny him that?

Secondly I was surprised to hear that our beloved Tap and Spile is closing tomorrow night as Dave and Rose have decided it's time to move on. We are all going to miss them both and it's unfortunate that circumstances have dictated that the pub will actually close (hopefully just short term). As I have posted numerous times on here before, I truly believe it has been home to some of the best ales, food, music and of course regulars. But again, the sale of the pub has been ongoing for years so from their perspective it must come as a welcome relief that they can put the pressures of running a pub behind them and get on with their new lives.

Perhaps the reason we find such goodbyes so difficult is more to do with our own discomfort and insecurity at being left behind rather than considering the positive prospects for the leavers themselves...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Motivational thought for the day...

I just had to share this email I received at work today which provided some much needed cheering up:

This little animal is called the Naked Mole-Rat and is from Africa

So if you're having a bad day and feeling sorry for yourself, just remember, you could look like a dick with buck teeth...