Archive for July, 2010

In the beginning …

Friday, July 30th, 2010

On driving to the bakers at lunchtime today to get a pasty and sandwich for my lunch, I was struck down by severe stabbing chest pain, so severe that I had to emergency brake and stop the car at silly speed. (the car following me, had a surprise) – I thought I was having a heart attack it came on so quick and was terribly painful, and my immediate thoughts were to stop the car quickly for safety, on getting out of the car, I immediately took off my t-shirt, to check for insects and I found five small puncture wounds and swellings under my left nipple (the owner of the car behind got out to start having a swearing competition with me – but backed down – when I mentioned I’d been stung by an insect – and showed him my left breast!).

I was rather relieved that I’d been stung, but still a little concerned that I couldn’t find anything that had caused it, about 5 minutes later, when leaving the car in the car park, I found a dying young Wasp in the handbrake console, I must have damaged/squashed it when I grasped my chest in the car. The wasp must have flown in through the window or pinged on the wing mirror into my clothing, couldn’t get out, so stung me five times around the nipple!

I was going to call this post Heart Attack, but I thought that would be too alarmist! I could have taken a picture of the dead wasp for the post, but I didn’t think that was very exciting,

so I’ve called it In the beginning …

no reference to the Bible, God or Jesus Christ but to the IBM PC XT! to which I personally owe an awful lot – Thanks IBM!

IBM XT Personal Computer Model 5160

IBM Personal Computer XT Model 5160

IBM XT Personal Computer Model 5160 Made in Scotland

IBM Personal Computer XT Model 5160 Made in Scotland

For those of you, who know your computing history, you’ll know, that I’m not correct, as the 5150 came before this – the original IBM Personal Computer (PC), and was released in 1981, the 5160 (IBM PC XT) was released 2 years later in 1983. But I don’t have a 5150 to photograph!

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What I did on Saturday!

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Before I sit down and drink a glass of cider…..I thought I’d better post this video (after an exhausting day of strimming the grass at the front of the house, cutting some of the hedge before the compost bin was full and feeding and watering the Kune Kune piglets, pigs and fowl). The video does show Lottie all grown up (

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How to beat the UK TV License and save £145.50 a year!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I’ve just received my new UK TV License for another 12 months, at a cost of £145.50 a year. I think everybody knows in the UK, if you use a service like BBC iPlayer to watch pre-recorded shows, what the TV License calls “on-demand”, a UK TV License is not required. What I didn’t know, and I’ve been told this by UK TV Licensing is if you purchase any computer or high tech mobile phone or games console your details (name and address) will also be sent to UK TV Licensing, I only thought it was TV receiving equipment, but on reading my new TV License it states “You’re now covered to do more than just watch TV at home on a TV set. You can also watch and record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV through your computer, games consoles, and digital box, DVD/VHS recorder, even your mobile phone”.

So therefore TV Licensing assumes that every household in the UK should have a TV License.

I’ve made some enquiries about the defintion of “on-demand” which doesn’t require a TV License, it doesn’t require a TV License because it’s pre-preorded content. The content was also not received by you, as you didn’t record it. In the same way, Homeowner A records a program for you as it’s broadcast, they are covered by their TV License to receive this program, they give the program to you on a USB stick, Homeower B doesn’t require a TV license to watch the program.

If you examine the above further, and watch a program, which is recorded elsewhere, not at your home, and transmitted/played-back 50 seconds later – no TV License is required.

I’ve just come off the telephone discussing this with Amie, TV Licensing on 0300 790 6055. The telephone conversation was recorded, she also stated that the Field Agents are also aware of this information.

So how do you save £145.50 a year,

  1. Firstly you must stop using your TV equipment, e.g. TV and Set-Top-Boxes that receive television through a UHF aerial (e.g. live broadcasts)
  2. Remove the TV aerial from the TV equipment.
  3. You do not have to remove the TV equipment from the premises (I’ve also discussed this with TV Licensing – they have to prove you are using it, and I was told, they would take your word that you are not using it!).
  4. Use BBC iPlayer, Sky Player, ITV Player, 4od, Demand Five to watch pre-recorded “on-demand” content from the Internet, either via computer, laptop or Internet connected TVs.
  5. Live Content use – TVCatchup from your computer, laptop, iPhone or iPad.
  6. tvcatchup_ipad1a1You can turn your iPad into a TV with TVCatchup iPad Service.

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World of Mouth! 35% of bloggers post opinions about products or brands ONLINE

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

ORANGE Do you like what I am saying?

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NEWSFLASH! Evicted from The Orange Shop, 16/17 Coney Street, YORK TODAY!

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

I went into The Orange Shop, 16/17 Coney Street, YORK today at approx 14:00 to make an enquiry about the iPhone 4 32GB Black on an Orange Contract. I was greeted by a Sales Person called Mark.

He was quick to explain to me, that Apple fix the prices of the iPhone 4.0 32GB Black, and Mobile Airtime companies cannot set the price of the phone, he asked if I wanted it on Pay As You Go or Contract, I replied I was interested in a Contract, he told me the cost of the phone was £319, and monthly costs of £35, for 18 months.

tesco-mobile-logoI told him the monthly cost was tool high, and I mentioned Tesco Mobile at £20 a month,

and in his next breath Mark said

“if you go with Tesco Mobile you’ll get no signal, because Orange have more transmitters across the country than Tesco Mobile

Personally, when a Sales Person resorts to this sort of tactic to make a sale, it make me suspicious, I always remember a old friend/work colleague, when I worked in Sales, hundreds of years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, telling me NEVER disrespect the competitor to make a Sale.

When Mark told me this, I gave him my mobile phone, and asked him to tell me what current network it’s on, it happens to be Orange (he didn’t know this before I handed him the phone, he didn’t even bother to ask me). I then reminded Mark, that I’ve probably been with Orange as a Customer, longer than he’s been an Employee, which now is about approx 11-12 years, and I don’t have reception at home with Orange, but I do with O2, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile and 3! So I don’t think what he’s saying is valid and I don’t like the way he’s slagging off the Competition, at this point he asked me to LEAVE THE SHOP! He then started stating I’m now SLAGGING him off!

I pointed out as I left the Shop, I was surprised they were happy to lose a potential sale, and told him I would make him famous, and Tweet later about this incident! I don’t know why Mark lost his rag with me, and I hadn’t even had my Red Bull for the day!

So Happy Sales Mark……..

Looks like I’ll be joining Tescos Mobile then… much for 11 years Customer Loyality! (not that Mark would know, he didn’t ask the question!)

PS Mr Orange/Mr Tescos if your reading this, iPhone 4 32GB Black on Contract in the post would be very nice Free of Charge!

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Saturday, July 10th, 2010

There are eleven species of grasshopper native to Britain. They vary in length from 20 to 30mms depending on the species. I cannot recall the last time I saw a British Grasshopper. So I’m pleased to have seen this on on my Chilli plants, and I’ve photographed it for you!

British Grasshopper

British Grasshopper (click for close-up)

This could be a young Common Field Grasshopper, Chorthippus brunneus?

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Genetically Modified Tropical Fish Part II – Now we’ve got fluorescent angelfish and convict cichlids

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

I’ve not posted a fish house blog in ages, and this is an update, Part II if you like, to the blog I posted in April 2007.

Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture unveiled last week that it has successfully bred transgenic Convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) and Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) that fluoresce, in collaboration with the Academia Sinica (Taiwan’s national research academy).

Copyright © JY Lin Co Ltd

Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) Copyright © JY Lin Co Ltd

Convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) Copyright © JY Lin Co Ltd

Convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) Copyright © JY Lin Co Ltd

oh dear!

The species will be illegal to sell or import into the UK due to our legislation covering genetically modified organisms., but that’s what was said of the transgenic “Red/Purple” Zebra Danios, that were sold in the UK, because one authority on the matter, thought they were dyed! Only to find later they were breeding true, batches of these fish still exist today in the UK, and are breeding back with true non-transgenic Zebra Danios.

how long will it be before we see fluorescent angelfish or convict cichlids in our tropical fish shops or garden centres?

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