Yet another birthday.

Hey @Maddona! We share a birthday! But I’m 6 years older. Can’t help but wonder if you too have a pot belly, hairy ears and have to get up several times a night to have a pee? #MaddonaAt60

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Healthy Clean?

Healthy Clean? As opposed to what exactly?

Wilko & Out

I’ve just been served by a checkout dude who resembled Uriah Heep and smelled like a garbage heap. Should it be down to shop owners to train staff on personal hygiene, or is it a matter of personal pride? If you work with a stinking colleague, do you tell them?

Smoking homes – regurgitated.

I took this picture a few years ago and still find it hard to believe they built homes around those monstrosoties!

FIXED AND NO FILES LOST- WOO HOO!- BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH

After two days of trying all manner of suggestions (many of which seemed to be complete BS) I managed to recover my PC from the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death without losing any files or having to reinstall Windows.

The list of commands shown below worked for me and came from this website: DRIVER EASY.

There may be others out there but this was the first one I saw that made sense.
It is definitely the easiest thing to try before you go down the route of reinstalling windows.

For the curious, what you will actually be doing is changing the names of the corrupted files by adding the word ‘old’, then replacing the files from the backup system.

FIRST
Open the command line window. If your pc is showing your disk repair options etc, the command prompt will be one of the advanced options buttons.
If your are new to command lines, be careful, the lines below look similar, but they are not.
You can save a lot of typing if you use the up arrow to get the last line you typed to appear again, then just change the required words.

STEP ONE
Type the following commands ONE AT A TIME, EXACTLY AS YOU SEE THEM and press Enter after each line.

CD C:\Windows\System32\config
ren C:\Windows\System32\config\DEFAULT DEFAULT.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\config\SAM SAM.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\config\SECURITY SECURITY.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\config\SOFTWARE SOFTWARE.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM SYSTEM.old

STEP TWO
Type the following commands ONE AT A TIME, EXACTLY AS YOU SEE THEM and press Enter after each line.

copy C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\DEFAULT C:\Windows\System32\config\
copy C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SAM C:\Windows\System32\config\
copy C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SECURITY C:\Windows\System32\config\
copy C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SYSTEM C:\Windows\System32\config\
copy C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SOFTWARE C:\Windows\System32\config\

Reboot your PC and cross your fingers!!

Used is a terrible thing.

When I was young and ugly my mother would often remind me and my siblings of an old adage her mother used to say – “used is a terrible thing”. Not used, as in second-hand, we couldn’t say that was a terrible thing because we were surrounded by second-hand everything and hand-me-downs was a way of being, without which we would have spent the early part of our lives with naked arses parked on bare floors. The ‘used’ my mother was referring to was the idea of getting used to something which ordinarily you wouldn’t touch with a proverbial barge pole, such as being in situations your inner snob might consider to be mediocre but your circumstances mean you can do nothing about it.

You might live in a town riddled with snarling dogs and fathers, but you have no choice but to get used to it. At school, there are more pupils carrying knives than books, but you ignore it because you are used to it. The words protein and nourishment might be alien to the food you eat, but rather than have your belly think your throat has been cut, you eat what you were given, because you are used to it.

We all want something better, either for ourselves or for someone close to us, or both. For most people, the opportunity to grasp that something will either never arise or will be missed or squandered when it does. Said squandering often being because we all fear changing what we are used to.

My mother’s remark has always been at the back of my mind, but very recently it has crept its way to the fore and I find myself wondering just how many of the things I do now are purely because I’ve gotten used to them.

Six months ago, the age of government sponsored retirement came to my door, although I denied it entry, mainly because I couldn’t afford to, I still can’t. As luck would have it, last month the retirement reaper forced himself in declaring that my services as a self-employed contractor were no longer required on a full-time basis, just the odd day here and there. Consequently, I find myself with a lot of spare time, which I genuinely do not know how to fill, but that’s another story.

The desire to rewrite my CV and send off pointless application forms for jobs I have no chance of getting has long since passed. Instead, I responded to one of the many letters the DWP sent to me and accepted their offer of a State pension. Although I initially suffered sizeable pangs of guilt as I watched my neighbours trotting off to work while I was still in my undies, but that guilt is starting to subside, so I suppose I must be getting used to it.

I used to get out of bed between 4:30 and 6am, depending on where I had to be that day. Yesterday I slept until 7am. I think I could get used to that.

When working, I rarely ate anything during the day, but would have a substantial meal around 7pm. Now I eat three or four times a day and my gut is literally telling me I shouldn’t allow myself to get used to that.

I had never lived in a detached property before, and as I was earning a decent living I decided to treat myself to a 2-bed bungalow on a nice street. The move also helped to reduce the number of miles I was driving every day, but that would appear to no longer be an issue. Being what it is, the rent is quite expensive, and although my piggy bank will subsidise my pension for a short while, if I don’t move soon it will rapidly end up as scratchings. So, come Monday morning I will be viewing a couple of small, one-bed flats of the affordable housing kind. I am not looking forward to even viewing them, let alone living there, but I guess, you know, I’ll get used to it.

Sorted! Easy solution to stop the slow green progress bar in File Explorer.

This has irritated me for months now but I finally figured out how to prevent the very slow progress bar when I search for files and it is really easy.

1. Click inside the search box of your folder (in case you are wondering, mine is called Site visit reports):

2. Select Advanced Options:

3. Look for File Contents:

4. If there is a check mark next to File Contents, click to remove it:

5. Now type something in the search box and watch your searches fly. It makes sense because it must mean that the search tool is looking inside each file rather just looking for the file name, which I guess is all that most people want to do when searching.

Bowed

DSC01694

Another estate agent scam

I’m shall be moving again soon, and was told by the estate agent that even though I had thoroughly cleaned the oven myself, I had to have it done by a so called professional, or they would not return my deposit. With my current financial state best described as not having a pot to piss in, I had no choice but to pay the ransom. Within ten seconds of the professional opening the oven door, he offered me a job. It should be the condition of the property at handover that determines whether or not a deposit is returned, not who did the cleaning. Let’s start a petition!!

Robin Williams and my brother David

Robin Williams was wonderfully talented.
My brother David was not.
Robin Williams earned a decent living.
My brother David did not.
Robin Williams was loved by millions.
My brother David was not.
Robin Williams had many friends and companions.
My brother David did not.
Robin Williams had access to the best treatment.
My brother David did not.
Robin Williams took his own life.
So did my brother David.

Depression shoots its poison blindly.

Easy solution to World Cup bribery

At the risk of repeating myself, I ask this question: why do we have to witness the merry-go-round of sleazebags lying and conning their way around the world in an attempt to convince a group of money grabbing toerags that the football World Cup should be hosted by their respective countries? It is tiresome, tedious, trickery and very, very boring.

What is wrong with having a rotational system? I see many benefits and zero negatives:

  1. Every country would be given the opportunity to host an event, subject to meeting the required standards.
  2. Host countries would know decades in advance when it was their turn, enabling them to plan it better.
  3. There would be no need for the bribery we see today each time an event is to be allocated.
  4. Countries could stop squandering ridiculous amounts of money on other ‘legitimate’ methods of persuading those that hold the voting powers. The 1,752 page book produced by the FA for England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup being a perfect example.
  5. When a country’s turn to host is due, but they do not wish to accept it, they go to the back of the line and the opportunity to host is offered to the next country in the list. Simple.

Long lost Anfield Brown & Bitter

Memories came flooding back as I watched the recent Liverpool v Manchester City football match on television. I sensed an air of hope and expectancy I haven’t felt since I was one of the (then) 26,000 fans who sardined themselves into the Kop for every home game in the 1970’s. Brendan Rogers has relit a flame of belief in today’s fans that Liverpool might once again be on the verge of becoming a major player in English and European football.

I recall the excitement I used to feel on a Saturday morning or a Tuesday evening during the build up to kick-off. My mate Spanner and I would jump the bus from Kirkby to Anfield and head straight to the pub, where we would split up and join a five deep crush at the bar, one signalling to the other when he had been served. Two brown and bitters was the order, two (hopefully) generous halves of bitter with two bottles of Forest Brown Ale. I can almost taste it. Do they still serve Forest Brown in Liverpool? Do people still drink brown and bitter?

Forty minutes or so before kick-off we would be carried along by the train of people headed along cobbled back streets for the Kop end of the ground. As with all fans, we had a favourite spot, ours was behind and slightly to the right of the goal. We would push and shove our way there, but not before we had pushed and shoved our way to the toilet, there’s nothing worse than getting to your spot then realising that you stood no chance of getting to half-time without peeing your pants.

All the usual songs would ring out then five minutes before kick-off we would launch into Gerry & The Pacemakers’ You’ll Never Walk Alone. I saw Gerry on TV the other day, wearing a FCTM baseball cap!!! Give it up mate; it’s been nearly fifty years.

After the game, the same thronging crowd would carry us down the steps at the back of the Kop to the exit. Pennies permitting, we would make our way back to the pub for another (usually) celebratory brown and bitter while the bus queues eased. Once our pockets were empty we would make our way home, sometimes on foot if we’d allowed ourselves to get carried away and spent the bus fare.

For the next few days we had no option but to allow work to get in the way while we waited for the next match. I haven’t experienced match day atmosphere for over thirty years and geographically it would be difficult to do it again, but in my quest to rediscover who I was and who I am, I have promised myself I will try.

Knowing Our Place

liverpoolmrmac

Napoleon was partially right when he described England as a ‘nation of shopkeepers’. Actually, it is a nation of shop assistants living in fear of the owner and his undue authority. I was in a local supermarket this weekend and watched an exchange between managers which resonated of the iron grip of the class consciousness which holds this country together like shit mixed with superglue. A middle manager was being upbraided by a sharply dressed visiting dick swinger about some trivial, banal nonsesnse relating to cheese. I could tell she was a middle manager because she was wearing her own clothes and gripped a clipboard as if it was Ceasar’s Eagle and she was naked beneath. Her terror lay in the idea of a return to the ranks which may involve the humiliation of branded overalls, lifting boxes and directing halfwits to the tinned soup.

If you give somebody just…

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Looking forward to looking back.

I live in the past

Because I have no present

Which means I have no future

Therefore, what has been

Is all I have to look forward to

Golf, as it should be played.

A guy had such a bad day on the golf course that after making his final putt on the 18th green, he calmly put his putter back into the golf bag, picked up the bag, raised it over his head and hurled it into the deep pond beside the green. As he strode off the green he announced he would never play the game again. Everyone knew he didn’t mean it and would soon regret what he’d done.

A couple of hours and many drinks later, a group of the players were sat at a table overlooking the 18th. As the sun was beginning to set, a shadowy figure was seen wading fully clothed into the pond. There was much laughter and snickering as everyone prepared to take the piss out of him once the clubs had been retrieved and the player had slunk red-faced back to the clubhouse. They all watched as he fumbled about waist deep in the gloom, feeling with his feet until he finally found the clubs. He reached down, pulled up the clubs, opened one of the zipped pockets and removed his cars keys, put the keys into his trouser pocket, picked up the golf bag and threw it even deeper into the pond, then calmly walked off the green, got into his car, and drove off.

Quality.

It’s all so small.

For as long as I can remember I have had the same recurring dream, sometimes at night, mostly during the daylight hours, occasionally several times a day.

Be me, and picture the scene. You fly around, across and through the entire universe at whatever speed you care to imagine. Your journey begins a billion or so light years from Earth. As you whirlpool about the universe’s edges you zip past the Pisces-Cetus and Sculptor Super-clusters and the voids of Bootes and Capricornus and charge toward Virg0.

unsettlinglife

At around 100 million light years from Earth you nudge your way through Dorado, Maffei and the unimaginatively named NGC galaxies. When you are five million light years away you encounter all manner of Dwarfs and bump into the Andromeda Galaxy before pushing your way to the Milky Way as you reach the 50,000 light years point.

Inside the Milky Way you give a passing nod to the Arms of Norma, Scutum-Crux, Sagittarius and Orion. Onward you press to a paltry 5,000 light years from your destination and there are Nebulae left, right and centre and Betelgeuse calls out to you as you crawl by. Suddenly you are no more than 250 Light Years away and the bright light in the distance tells you that you are in the Solar Neighbourhood of Vega, Ursa Major and Capella.

Only a dozen or so Light Years to go now as you sail past the stars of Sirius, Wolf, Proxima and Ross, not necessarily in that order. You may well want to do a bit of sightseeing here, as there are some sights to see. A few hundred million miles out you take a quick shufti at Neptune, scratch around Uranus, run rings around Saturn then marvel at the majesty of Mars before being sucked into the atmosphere of your home planet.

Miraculously, you don’t burn up as you gracefully plummet through the nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide then drop through the spheres of Exo, Iono, Meso, Strato and Tropo and into the mix of clouds and bright blue sky. Down the camera goes relentlessly toward its target. High-flying birds are caught in the lens which is soon filled with a mixture of greenery and concrete. You sail over the ground hardly noticing the old lady coughing on the park bench, the small boy running away from the onrushing waves or the seemingly unaware disabled man in the wheelchair.

As you draw ever closer there is a brief glimpse of a human shape, quickly replaced by that of an arm, then a hand, a finger or two, and finally the screen is filled as the lens comes to rest on a small but hugely magnified rusty old screw, the head of which is filled by the tip of a screwdriver being turned anti-clockwise by a nameless, faceless, pointless individual. It is then that the panic attack begins when you become vividly aware of, and not a little disconcerted by, the smallness of it all.

screw1

Death of the Nation, birth of the World.

As I sit down to watch 30 blokes try to tear each other to bits all for the sake of the Six Nations Rugby tournament, I am minded of something from my past which has now become my present.

When I was young and ugly I worked in central London for many years during the seventies and eighties. At that time you would have to have been blinder than my booze-ridden eyes not to have noticed the changes that were beginning to take place. London, as with most capital cities, has always been the epitome of Cosmopolitan, but the change I first observed in 1978 wasn’t the number of different skins colours, dress codes or languages; it was something far more sinister, it was the shop signage.

I didn’t care much then, and I care even less now, what shops are called, or what they sell, but I did wonder why a particular section of those shops on the Edgware Road had no English text anywhere in or about them. It was as if they were saying ‘we only sell to our own’, and if you don’t understand our language, you’re not one of us. I noticed the same practice when living in Spain; Brits would never post their tatty bar menus in any language other than English, which actively dissuaded locals from even entering the premises.

What this tells us is that we (that is the Worldwide we) are currently living in what in the future will become known as the beginning of the main transitional period during which Nationality became a thing of the past.

Why are we still so obsessed with Nation? The change has been upon us for decades, so isn’t it about time we just let it go and got on with being people rather than current or previous occupants of Nations? Once we do that, perhaps all, or at least some, of the other undesirable behaviours nested within National identity will begin to dissolve.

Let’s take a leaf out of the sporting book, where South African cricketers have been playing for England for many years and footballers have the option to choose which National team they will play for. Even the holy game of English Rugby Union now has players whose National origins are about as far away from Surrey and Stockport as you could possible get. Let’s bring about, sooner, rather than later, the death of the Nation and the birth of the World.

One hundred years from now when history tutors are conveying information to millions of students Worldwide via their Google Direct Brain Delivery Systems, they will be discussing how difficult it must have been for us, ‘the people of that time’, to finally accept the loss of our National identities, and no doubt the students will be wondering what all the bloody fuss was about.

My sentiments exactly.

la

Feeling small…