January 2021

<--Previous Next-->

Saturday 30 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611997797

On the Importance of Maintaining A User Dictionary

I am a huge fan of User Dictionaries on computing platforms.

I have written a batch script to backup my User Dictionaries at work and at home and I do a monthly merge of the two. I do the same for my autocorrect options in MS applications, but that's outside the scope of this piece.

The reason I do this, is because as I meander through the web of life, I build up a thing of value in that User Dictionary. I build a record of my personal lexicon and its changes through time as new words and phrases come into the vernacular. That has value to me, and as well as a time-saving and embarrassment avoiding tool or app, the User Dictionary provides me with some comfort that I have my spelling correct.

I believe that most people (on a sample of circa 6) do not treat their User Dictionaries well. They will not go into, and indeed often don't know how to access their User Dictionaries to correct and accidents or mistakes. This leads to a corrupted User Dictionary and justifies the need to start afresh every so often with a new instance. In fact many corporate IT departments will not carry across your User Dictionary as part of your profile when you change devices for that very reason. Hence I create my own backup of my well maintained User Dictionary set.

It does take care, discipline and practice to maintain your User Dictionary, but it's a tiny fraction of your day to do so - often, if you spot that you've accidentally added an incorrect word, you can change/delete it in less than a minute.

Like any Asset, the User Dictionary does take maintenance to care for it properly, but I feel some sense of wellbeing and pride in maintaining mine - much like a classic car enthusiast feels when they polish their chrome tyre valve covers.

Do you care for and maintain yours? Let me know.

Friday 29 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611947012

Volunteer Vaccinator

I have been sent the first set of bookable shifts for vaccinations.

The Plymouth-area vaccination centre is to be opened on Feb 1st 2021 at Home Park (Plymouth Argyle Football Club).

Let the needles meet the arms...

Friday 29 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611940286

Book Review - The Sentinel

The Sentinel (Jack Reacher, #25)The Sentinel by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classic Reacher.
This is a great all-action thriller.
It's actually quite prescient of the events leading up to the January 6th insurrection in the US. Reading it at this time was quite chilling.

View all my reviews

Friday 29 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611904833

Volunteer Vaccinators to be given Vaccine

I thought this was taken as a given?

But, here is a video showing the training we went through.

Wednesday 27 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611753336

Avril Update

Still not much happening...
Still not much happening...

Monday 25 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611593500

Zoom In

Just a Man sitting writing in a book in 0°C weather with his pet cat.
Just a man sitting writing in a book in 0°C weather with his pet cat.

Sunday 24 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611517768

Volunteer Vaccinator

Well, I've now completed my training, and am deployable as a Volunteer Vaccinator.

Many thanks to Krishan and Derek at St John Ambulance for giving up their Sunday to teach a class of 10 people to be vaccinators to tackle this dreadful disease.

Did the Training; Got the T-Shirt!
Did the Training; Got the T-Shirt!

My completed checklist
My completed checklist

Saturday 23 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611413088

First Class Work

Saturday 23 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611412895

RIP Larry King

He was 87.

Saturday 23 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611393636

Bernie Meme

My Favourite, so far...

Bernie Sanders at Biden's Inauguration
Bernie Sanders at Biden's Inauguration

Saturday 23 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611393490


I love XKCD

To prove you're human, please click all the number pairs that appear together in your National Insurance number.
To prove you're human, please click all the number pairs that appear together in your National Insurance number.

Thursday 21 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611232155

Book Review - The Snowdonia Killings

The Snowdonia Killings (DI Ruth Hunter #1)The Snowdonia Killings by Simon McCleave
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A really good and engaging murder mystery, this.
The new character, DI Ruth Hunter, is well thought out and this book gives her back-story and allows her to grow throughout the story.
Also a really well-researched (or experienced) side story of Nick's alcohol problems - it absolutely hit the nail on the head of what a person goes through and how they feel - really well done!
A great book, and I look forward to #2.

View all my reviews

Wednesday 20 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611167534


In other news, my car had new rear spring fitted today - speed bumps are the enemy of car suspension!

Wednesday 20 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611167326


Week 2 and Avril Avocado hasn't done much yet.

Avril Avocado
Avril Avocado

Monday 18 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1611004513

Will Breximorons Apologise?

Brexiters are waking up to the damage they've done

I wonder if my family members who voted for this disaster will say sorry for the untold damage they've done? The financial cost to their own family? The massive opportunities that have been lost (e.g. my son finishing his masters in Europe on the Erasmus scheme)?

These idiots have fundamentally ruined the country and have damaged this family for decades.

Shame on them.

Fucking morons!

Wednesday 13 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610539493

Avril Avocado

One week and nothing has happened...

Avril Avocado
Avril Avocado

Tuesday 12 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610485440

HEE Exams

So, I'm going through the HEE online training and assessments. The one I'd consider the main one for what I'm volunteering for is the Vaccine Administration Assessment.

On my first attempt, I got 90% (It's a 80% pass) but I was annoyed at my incorrect answers and decided to immediately retake it so I could right those wrongs...

It was a different set of questions!

Oh well...

Vaccine Administration Assessment Result
Vaccine Administration Assessment Result

Tuesday 12 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610475685

Volunteer Vaccinator

Passed my interview with St John Ambulance today.

Assuming I pass the NHS England & SJA training, and the DBS & Medical Checks, I am going to be a Volunteer Vaccinator helping to vaccinate our country against Covid-19 πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

Sunday 10 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610306839

Book Review - Six Easy Pieces

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant TeacherSix Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher by Richard P. Feynman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting and enlightening book by one of the most famous theoretical physicists.
However, it does now show its age...
But worth the read, nonetheless.

View all my reviews

Sunday 10 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610282719


This cabinet will not resign because of their cognitive dissonance. We need to remove them by voting them out ASAP. The Tories are responsible for the DEATHS of >80,000 people, and >3m infections.

Brexit is the disaster that anyone with half a brain predicted it would be. More money wasted on it than the entire membership fee of the UK in the EU. And for what? Name one tangible benefit that we have for all this mess?

And the aping of the USA - the slide into fascism through populism, xenophobia, jingoism, misogyny, and blatant racism. The media corps run by Murdoch & the Barclay Brothers inciting fascism and murder (Jo Cox). Polluting the non-critical-thinkers' minds. Brainwashing them.

A National Health Service that is broken. Crippled by years of Tory government. Shamelessly and publicly stating that they want to move to the corrupt US-style of health insurance.

And, in ZERO Tory policies does Jo Public benefit. It's is all to make more money for the people who already have money. It is all to make their mates richer.

We MUST vote them out at the earliest chance we get. But for now, we must also keep sustained pressure on them to be responsible, accountable, and most of all we must keep demanding that they resign! We must point out their failings compared to Europe and the rest of the world.

Friday 08 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610138133


My company have very kindly agreed to sponsor employees to become volunteers with St John Ambulance. They will give them paid time off to do a minimum of two 8-hour shifts per month. One of the roles is for volunteer vaccinators to act in the surge to vaccinate the nation.

I have spoken tot he family, and I am rising to the challenge and volunteering my time and skills to help vaccinate people in the Plymouth area.

I've been through an pretty brutal application process, submitted my information for a DBS check, and have an interview on Tuesday.

I've given many IM, IV and SC injections in the past, so I'm totally ready to undergo the requisite training to get me back up to sharp scratch (pun intended).

And I'm really looking forward to helping the country to fight this terrible virus. I really hope I get accepted.

Thursday 07 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1610051140

Day 4 of Lockdown 3.0

American Fascism - And Our Country Is In Danger

Enough will be written about yesterday's historic and awful scenes in Washington DC by more eloquent and qualified people than I. It will be shown that Donald Trump fomented this coup and he has been building to this point since before his election (as I have written on this site myself).

History will document the brazen show of White Privilege in the comparison of the non-existent policing in DC yesterday to the fully-armed stormtroopers who brutally assaulted peaceful BLM protestors in the summer of 2000.

For me, the point I wish to make is that the failure of this coup isn't the end of the populist fascism that we see across the world presently. You can be fucking sure that those GOP congressmen who sided with Trump, then derided the riots they always knew would happen, would be dripping with sycophancy had the terrorists pulled it off.

And here, we remember the brutal murder of MP Jo Cox at the hands of a right-wing fascist driven to kill her by the divisive rhetoric from our own Tory politicians and their media machines.

Make no mistake, Boris Johnson would be one of the dribbling sycophants if the coup had worked. He'd have been joined by Rees-Mogg, Farage, Gove, Raab, Patel, et al.

Our own government is already overthrowing our constitution insipidly:

And the Tories have been caught red-handed trying to copy Trump's tactics:

If we tolerate this, then our country will be next...

Wednesday 06 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609938626

Day 2 of Lockdown 3.0

Meet Avril the Avocado

Our newest family member is Avril Avocado who will hopefully spring to life in a month or so

Avril Avocado Day 1
Avril Avocado Day 1

Tuesday 05 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609871466

Day 1 of Lockdown 3.0

More U-turns than a plumbers merchants

A brilliant article from the equally brilliant Marina Hyde.

Well, the Co-op at lunchtime was absolutely rammed with people, and Devonport Park has probably had more dog-walkers today than at any point in its existence.

Monday 04 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609791289

Lockdown 3.0 Announced

Boris Johnson finally announces immediate national lockdown similar to last March except you can go to work if you can't work from home. Schools will close except for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Johnson explicitly acknowledged for the first time that school are infection hubs - vectors for the transmission of the disease. He will have trouble back peddling on that when he wants to keep schools open in the future.

Monday 04 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609783145

Lockdown 3.0

Scotland will go into a national lockdown at midnight tonight.

Boris Johnson has said that he will be making a statement to the UK at 2000 this evening.

It is expected that we will return to a full lockdown - just as we had in March - across the country.

This just 24 hours after him telling kids to return to school today. There are some people who still vote for this crowd...smh.

Monday 04 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609782986

First Day Back to Work

Well, to day was the first day back at work (WfH, obviously). All went well. It was good to hear from everyone and answering the question posed below, they have agreed to buy me a fat bloke chair for use in my home office.

My New Year's resolution about trying to annoy less grammar pedants went over well, also...

Sunday 03 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609686669

About Right

Government by Procrastination
Government by Procrastination

Sunday 03 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609685561


Well, it's lasted over two years, but I think my fancy racing-style bucket computer chair needs to be thrown out. Look at the sheared rear bracket!

It's certainly had more-than-usual use during lockdown. I think it's over 12 hours per day...


Tomorrow, I shall ask if my employer will fund me a chair...um...for the larger gentleman πŸ˜…

Sunday 03 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609685347


I've noticed that as I get older, I've started to turn down the volume on the car stereo to read road sign properly i.e. when I'm in a new town. Anyone else?

Sunday 03 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609671474

Wired For Sound

I bought a Lavalier Microphone (Lapel Mic) for work today - It's a cheap wired microphone but comes with an enormous length of cable to enable me to wander around the house while on calls, etc.

It sounds pretty good - easily good enough for work calls. It should therefore enable me to stand up more during my WfH days.

But wandering around my house this morning testing it took me back 30 years to when I spent a large portion of my day wandering about saying Testing, One, T-two, One T-two to nobody in particular.

So I think that technology has moved on so much that the quality of my Β£20 mic is probably akin to, or better than the Β£200 mics we had professionally 30 years ago. Certainly with my hearing degradation due to ageing, the 'cheapness' isn't noticeable...

Saturday 02 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609593548

2020 Vision

I keep reading that 2020 will be a year that we shall never forget. of course, it is true that it was a phenomenally bad year, but there is nothing to say that 2021 and beyond will not be worse.

It reminds me of the infamous Simpsons moment:

Worst Year...So far...
Worst Year...So far...

Saturday 02 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609585359

The People Do Not Care

This is an excellent article (as all of David's are) on the ways in which our corrupt and morally bankrupt government are circumventing political norms to expand their power.

We have seen in the USA that the only way that the Republicans have any hope of winning an election is to suppress voting and/or draw up congressional voting districts that favour the middle-class white man. This is also happening in the UK. The right-wing have moved to the right, and now they can now only win by cheating. We saw that in the referendum (it's meant to be a 60% majority for referenda), and we are seeing it in the media.

I must admit I do enjoy asking those who decry socialism what they think socialism is...

Saturday 02 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609581117

Compare the Supermarkets?


A price comparison and delivery app/website for Supermarkets.

The user is able to enter what they want (e.g. a bunch of 5 bananas) and the app will search the supermarkets' website for the cheapest, consolidate the order, and then deliver the consolidated package to the user.

Et voila!

Friday 01 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609522911


With the news that London hospitals are struggling to cope with the volume of COVID-19 patients, and that they are transferring patients from London to Plymouth & Bristol, it is blindingly obvious to me that the tier system is not working.

I think the only way to ease this is to implement complete nation-wide lockdowns.

Yes, the economy will take a hit, but soon the number of deaths will mean that there just aren't enough people available to work to support the economy at its present state.

Our employers always tell us that people are our greatest asset, and I truly believe that mantra. We now need the leaders of our countries to live by that mantra and start implementing policy that protects our people.


Everyone who is in education in this country should be given special credit for the upheaval and mental-health aspects of their situation. They cannot be expected to be marked on the same level as students who have not been through a pandemic.

All children in the state school system need to be given laptops and internet access so that they may continue their education online/remotely. Online was the future of higher education anyway - more and more universities were going online before this pandemic. It's now time to normalise that and push to make online learning accessible to all who need it.


The emergency measures we put in place and the furlough funding that we provide to people will cost the country a huge amount. We must raise taxes for those who can afford it - and the highest raises in tax must be for the highest earners and people with the greatest capital wealth.

It has been proven time and time again that trickle-down economics is bunkum. The wealthy and large corporations must be taxed more. the age of billionaire capitalism must be ended.

We are all in this together.

Friday 01 January 2021
Epoch Seconds: 1609459200

πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽ†πŸŒ πŸŽ‡πŸ’‰πŸ₯°Happy New Year!πŸ₯°πŸ’‰πŸŽ‡πŸŒ πŸŽ†πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ

<--Previous Next-->

Older Blog Entries

Back to Top