If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Here we are again, happy as can be ...

I haven't posted anything here since May, almost exactly five months ago.  As with all relationships, the longer you leave it, the harder it is to get in touch again, and I was on the verge of writing a single, elegaic post and closing for good.  I can see three reasons for my lack of output, one technical, one organisational, and one psychological.

Firstly, I bought myself an iPad.  Anna and I had been talking on and off about getting one for a while, and one day we just slapped ourselves in the face, stopped pretending we were rational adults with a active sense of deferred gratification, and went to Curry's, where two iPad 3 devices were duly purchased.  Now I am far from being an Apple fanboi, but for a limited set of functions, the iPad is a brilliant bit of kit.  Youtube, reading mail and forums, playing simple games, basic websurfing - all very quick and convenient.  Stuff that needs a proper keyboard, image handling, cut and paste, maybe not so good.  Blogging really needs the functionality of a 'proper' computer, but when the proper computer is in another draughty room, away from the hearth and the kitchen, it's easy to stick with the simple stuff.

Secondly, I used to get a lot of blogging done during the quiet periods during my night shifts.  Earlier this year we underwent a massive organisational change, mainly the removal of an entire layer of the department, and I found myself no longer managing a team from the warmth of the office (and enough quiet time to get quite a lot done, as it were) but out on patrol or doing security-type things.  I have no problem with this, as I rather enjoy the work and being outdoors, but it does mean that computer time in an office without someone looking over my shoulder all the time is virtually nil.

Psychologically, I think that blogger's ennui has caught up with me too.  While Labour were in power, every read of the daily papers supplied enough rage material for a couple of good posts.  In common with most people I speak to, or read on the web, I have been massively disappointed in Cameron and his chums.  But the old anger isn't there; it's been replaced by a shrug and a massive yawn.

So things tailed off a bit.  But the other day I got a shock.  My reading list hasn't changed much, and I still check in daily with my favourites.  And there I was reading Julia's offering one day last week and what should I see but a link to mine. I haven't checked my blog stats for a while, and I had rather assumed that interest would have withered somewhat, so I was surprised and gratified that someone had actually remembered this small and inconsequential blog.  I think that was the kick I needed.  Thank you, Julia.

All's well here, in fact remarkably so.  Anna's health is still poor, but seems to be improving slowly.  Rescue Cat continues to be both needy and passive-aggressive at the same time.  There have been some big changes in the bike fleet, some news on tyre choices for the Mundaneo (winter tyres are the way to go, apparently), and there's still plenty to get enraged about.  And I have purchased a trail camera - of which more later.  Thanks to everyone who wrote to ask if I were still alive, and offer condolences, whisky or links to amusing websites.  I am flattered that anyone remembered, and I can assure you that I am in reasonable health and still gainfully employed.

Posting will resume forthwith.

Meanwhile, here's a Nice picture to keep you going.  Snarf.




28 comments:

  1. Richard:

    I have an iPhone where I can read blogs and email but it is not good for posting. I had also been using a Blackberry Tablet and I like the form factor of it being easy to use and simpler than turning on my laptop.

    I just purchased an Android Tablet and it is really fast with a good display, but still not good for posting so I know what you are talking about. there are still things that a laptop is better at, esp with having a full keyboard.

    Could I suggest that you turn OFF word verification and change your settings to "REGISTERED Users Only". Much better and you should not get much SPAM, as I don't

    I find it difficult to read those characters and I get frustrated having to keep trying.

    welcome back

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Bob, thanks for the welcome. I'm still thinking about the WV thing. It has stopped spam to the blog dead, and the attempts that make it as far as moderation (older posts) are now very rare, so the WV has certainly worked. I'll have to look into the registered users idea - as long as it doesn't put casual visitors off from commenting that would be fine. I totally understand your frustration with the Captcha. I loathe it, and it puts me off from commenting in the way you describe.

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  2. Replies
    1. PS

      Still looking forward to the complete Euro 2012 tour report....

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    2. Don't mention the Euro 2012 report ...

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  3. And there was me thinking you too, had succumbed to "Blogger Burnout".

    As with the above commenters, 'Welcome back'.

    "But the old anger isn't there; it's been replaced by a shrug and a massive yawn." Maybe these will re-ignite the fire of anger:-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10396170/Taxpayers-foot-350k-legal-bill-for-Muslim-pubic-hair-battle.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24578625

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    Replies
    1. I saw that too. Unbefuckinglievable. A third of a million pounds - how many doctors, teachers, yada yada. It's only a matter of time before people start questioning this kind of thing (to be clear, the waste of taxpayer cash on trivia, not the rights of Muslims to depilate as their religion requires), *in sufficient numbers so that something is done*. It may take a while.

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  4. WElcome back Richard, I have been visiting to see if you were returning and am glad you have decided on carrying on. Regards, rebel.

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  5. Welcome back! I use an iPad extensively and rarely bother hauling a laptop around anymore. The Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and the Blogsy app simplify blog posting. Much easier and faster than using the Blogger web interface. Especially is you are bandwidth constrained.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, will follow those up. I've been thinking about a keyboard as I don't really get on with a touchscreen. I appreciate the lightness and convenience, but with bloke's fingers I do a lot of mis-hits. See how I had to hyphenate that one! I'll investigate the app - sounds good.

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  6. Glad to see you back in action. Blogging ennui. Glad to know there is a name for it.

    Hubby's blogging tapered off when he got out from behind the desk, away from the computer, and in a warehouse all day making beep beep noises on his forklift. Really cuts down on the computing time.

    We have an iPad and it is so much easier to surf the web from the comfort of the sofa that sitting in the hard wooden chair at the computer desk. I feel your pain - or is that comfort.

    Glad to hear most things are going well. Hope Anna is feeling better soon.

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  7. "Firstly, I bought myself an iPad."

    Mwahaha! Welcome to The Collective!

    And welcome back to blogging :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julia. I am still waiting for my order of heavy-framed spectacles and a tub of designer stubble to go with the scarf and Converse trainers before I can be a real iPadder. It will be worth the wait.

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  8. Welcome back to the bloggosphere. Besides the iPad you can always conveniently turn to a laptop to enhance your blogging performance. Q.e.d. I am sitting comfortably on my sofa while writing this ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Strange. When I had a desktop, the laptop seemed like a small, fiddly toy. Now I have an iPad, the laptop seems like a NASA mainframe workhorse. Loving your rides in Germany, by the way.

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  9. Oh dear, what a shame. I thought that you had won the lottery and become distracted by the stresses of deciding what bike and what colour and whether to buy the house next door for the big garage to put them all in.

    Welcome back

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  10. Ah, you're back.
    Good!
    Carry on... :-)

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  11. You're back! - I must admit that I had given up checking your site, assuming you had gone into hibernation, but am in the process of re-instating a blog roll at MaxFarquar, and thought "I'll just see if he's still about".

    Will read your other posts shortly.

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    Replies
    1. Good to see you. Still enjoying your funnies :)

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  12. Welcome back.

    RE Winter tyres - I bought a set last year, and kept them on a spare set of rims. The summer tyres are Continental, the winter tyres are ditchfinders (2/3 the price). My hope was that cheap tyres designed for freezing conditions should be better than average tyres that were not.

    I've tested them and done a bit of swapping about, and tried other peoples winter-shod cars. My conclusion is that you need to buy a set of winter tyres to the same standard as your summer tyres to see a difference. Cheap winter rubber is no better than reasonable summer tyres on snow and ice, and are worse than useless on slippery late autumn leaves or a wet country lane.

    The other note is that because of the nature of winter driving, the cold weather tyres still looked almost brand new after a seasons use, so to move to a worth while winter set I will end up chucking out a set of tyres that look too good to discard.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mick, and thanks for the comments. The winter tyres thing will be the subject of a separate post, but I went for Goodyear Untragrip rather than a cheapy set, on the basis that a) I might leave them on permanently so they need to be decent tyres, and b) if I get a spare set of rims I can take them off over summer and they will last me a few years. I've never been a fan of cheap tyres. First impressions are that they are as normal in the dry and excellent in the wet, but quite noisy on dry tarmac. Of course, we haven't had anywhere near the low temperatures that they were designed for yet. I'm looking forward to testing them out in some foul weather, if we get any.

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Comment is free, according to C P Scott, so go for it. Word verification is turned off for the time being. Play nicely.

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