Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Rise Locks & Scalebar Falls

I’d planned to do today’s trip yesterday (Tues) but on Monday evening I was eating supper and bit into a really hard part of a breaded chicken goujon and it really jarred a bottom molar. Little did I realise at the time that it may have caused a crack in the molar which was really a solid filling sitting on top of the remnants of the tooth.

And probably 30 years old !

Later that night I had a chocolate chip muffin and felt that a choc piece was exceptionally hard so took it out for a look and saw it wasn’t chocolate at all……but a bit of the filling.

Filling

As it was after 10pm I could only leave a msg on the dentist’s answer machine – I didn’t need the emergency service as I was in no pain.

Next morning (Tue) the clinic rang to give me a noon appointment and of course that messed up my travel plans and so I went today instead.

I’m taking the lazy way out by linking to the edited video which I uploaded to Vimeo. To see it at its best, make sure you click on the little nut icon and pick 1080p. It wasn’t great footage as the cold affected the battery life and in my efforts to get lots of views before the “Return to Home” feature kicked in, it all went a bit Pete Tong and there was too much jerkiness.

At one point, when at Scalebar Falls, I looked away from the drone while it was moving and it went into some tree branches and fell into the shallows near the falls. I feared the worst and clambered over the rocks expecting to see the drone under water and ruined (which seemed to be the case from the onboard camera view which I was seeing on my phone) but I was very fortunate; the drone had landed mostly on the rocks and although partly wet and with one of the four propellers broken, the body at least was dry.

As it came with a spare propeller, I got away lightly and again will learn from it.

 

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Mid Week Musings…..

Just back from Sainsbury’s and it was puzzling to see so many men at the self checkouts with a basket containing just flowers and/or chocolates.

No idea why !

I’ve got another 1st World problem to moan about (sorry Joe) because when I got in the car today, it was the first time since I got my new phone that I tried to fit it into the Hyundai charging cradle on the dashboard.  That’s when I discovered that the charging connection on the left of the cradle is for micro USB ports (which was fine for the S7) but the S8 has a USB-C port !

Hyundai Phone Cradle

My Hyundai Dash

I contacted Hyundai and they helpfully told me they are developing a new cradle for USB-C connections and to keep an eye on their website for news.  Yeah right, in development. I’m not holding my breath.

However I may have a work around as the phone did come with a micro USB to USB -C adapter but small as it is and although it DOES allow me to connect the phone to the cradle, it increases the overall length so much that the far end of the phone won’t fit inside the cradle casing.

I guess some tape, double sided sticky pads or blu-tac should hopefully hold the far end of the phone in place as I’ve found the ability to have the phone slotted into this charger to be such a boon on road trips.

Hopefully my very limited DIY skills will be up to the job.

Back to Sainsbury’s and it soon became obvious from the end-of-aisle offers that the Chinese New Year was approaching as just about every related product was on offer. It’s on Friday for those interested and it’ll be the Year of the Dog.

Go woof.

This was good news as I was planning on getting a load of Chinese ready meals anyway, for times when I just can’t be arsed cooking anything more complicated. I’m finding these times are becoming more frequent as I get older…..and lazier.  The range of excellent ready meals is really astonishing.

A sign of the times I guess.

Back in the day ready meals were only slightly more appetising than eating the cardboard packaging they came in.  Then we went all fresh food cooked from scratch and now ready meals are back – but new improved ready meals where the food tastes like….food.

My flidge is full.  Ah so.  (ok probably not PC on that bit).

At the checkout I was also able to use the £2 voucher I got in the post when I complained about the photo on the Baxter’s Highlander’s Broth tin looking nothing like the weak potato-less and mostly meatless soup in my bowl.

I know.  I complain a lot.  That comes with age too.

I didn’t really want more soup and the voucher was due to expire soon but when I read the T&Cs, I noticed it was for any product made by the parent company, Unilever.

This opened up a whole new world of opportunity and when I saw that Magnum ice cream was a Unilever product, my decision was made.  And when I found that a tub of delicious Magnum ice cream was reduced to £2, well Baxter’s loss was Magnum’s gain.

Oh Oh Oh……..I was just talking to my friend Daphne on Whatsapp and relating the sad tale of my phone v cradle and when I was mentioning the work around options of tape, blu-tac etc, it suddenly came to me….an elastic band !

That’s all I need and best of all, as well as being simple, there will be no mess and if the band is tight enough, no slippage or wobblyness either.

I may have made up that word.

But now it’s supper time……Chinese something or other with ice cream to follow.

Woof.

 

 

 

 

Mardi Gras..Shrove Tuesday..Fat Tuesday..Pancake Tuesday..

Well it’s Tuesday whatever you call it.  Unless your time zone means it’s Monday or Wednesday in which case, move.

Here in the UK it’s Pancake Tuesday and so it was time to break out my cast iron pancake pan and get creative. Now that very specific name puzzled me when I bought it as surely a pan can be used for cooking lots of things, not just pancakes. After a few disasters with eggs and pork chops, I began to get the idea the description might be accurate after all.

Everything stuck to the pan as clearly the cooking surface was NOT cast iron or even non stick.

As it was a Sainsburys product, I rang them and after initially agreeing that it SHOULD cook most things without sticking, the lady told me she’d pass my “complaint” up the line and would get back to me and if I was unhappy, I could get a refund.

Well a couple of days later someone did ring me but on my land line for some reason and so it went to the answer machine as I was out.  The message basically said it was designed for pancakes only and that was that. No refund as the label clearly stated “pancake pan” and that is what it is.

So today it got its chance to shine, or cook, or both. It was also time to use the pancake mix I’d bought weeks ago which came in a plastic container rather than a sachet. The idea was to add water and shake for 2 minutes and pour. There was no mention of how many pancakes it would produce and I was a bit worried I might be eating cakes till Ash Wednesday and beyond.

Pancake Mix

My novel idea was to use up a couple of large Costco hot dogs by wrapping them in pancakes and creating pigs in a pancake blanket.

Lunchtime arrived and I was all set. While the pan was heating up, I added the water to the above container and started shakin’ like Stevens in the ’80s. (little UK based music joke there). The instructions said to pour 5 tablespoons of batter into the pan but I immediately scrapped that idea when a pancake the size of a saucer started developing in the pan. More batter was added to fully fill the pancake pan and we were off.

Picking out the lumpy bits, I realised more vigorous shaking was needed so with well practiced wrist movements (!!!), I was ready for pancake 2.  This one was much better but there were still a few lumps so I picked up the container to give it another shake.

At this point, and in my defense, I WAS multitasking as I was keeping an eye on the 2nd pancake in the pan, rolling up the hot dog in the first pancake and nipping in to the living room to get my phone to take a photo later. So it was that I just grabbed the container and began shaking it right away.

It was when the batter splashed onto my face, my polo shirt, my pants and the kitchen floor that I realised I’d not replaced the top after the previous pouring !

I’m not sure how long I stood there while pancake batter dripped off my glasses and onto my chin, my bearded chin mine you, but if the 2 minute timer hadn’t gone off, I might well still be there.  What a plonker.

I’m not sure how much batter went over me but there was just enough left for the small pancake (in the foreground in this photo) so I needn’t have worried about eating pancakes for days.

I’ll never buy it that way again.

But I was reasonably happy with the results……….

Pigs In Pancakes

It’s just bizarre to have a pan that may not see the light of day until next Pancake Tuesday.

This afternoon, after clearing up the mess in the kitchen and on me (I’ve rarely looked batter !), I fixed a mug of coffee with a more than generous amount of Amaretto so I’m just coming down from my buzz zone. It doesn’t take much to get me up there.

Remember how I got a new phone last Thursday which arrived on the Friday ?  Whaddy ya mean no ?  Go back and read the posts !    Last Thursday was the 8th and that will be important.

Each year, it seems, EE phone plans increase by the amount of the RPI, the Retail Price Index.  Thus it was that I got an email today stating my 6 day old new (updated) monthly plan would be going up by 4.1% from 30th March.  Lovely.

My day was going from bad to worse so being the keyboard warrior that I am, I fired off a tweet to EE just to vent. The reply shocked me, in a nice way.

EE Tweet

You see why the 8th is so important now ?  I’ve escaped a price increase for a year by the skin of my new phone.   The irony is that I did order a new phone and chose a new plan on Wednesday 7th but the order was deleted later that evening as they said the web offer no longer applied so I had to pick a new plan on 8th. I was angry at the time but now……ahhh karma !

Yes I know I said 4 days in my tweet to EE but I told you I was buzzin’ from the Amaretto !

And finally, why do charity ads on the telle always feature a dreary piano soundtrack ?

That’s my QotD or Question of the Day if you like.

I know they can’t exactly use a Showwaddywaddy track but I’d rather have no music at all than listen to a plaintive voice over a plaintive piano.

Then again, when did you last hear any ad without music ?

Damn, that’s another question……or can I class it as a follow up ?

Ahhhh no, that’s another one !

Football is on so it seems a good time to stop.

Cue plaintive piano music……………

 

The End Of The Road

Don’t worry, this title doesn’t relate to me…but to the couple in the book I’ve been reading and just finished last night.

SPOILER ALERT……….SPOILER ALERT…………SPOILER ALERT……….SPOILER ALERT

So if you plan on reading the book or maybe watching the movie (which I haven’t yet….so don’t know if the ending is the same), then avoid this next bit till you see the ALERT OVER line.

That’s the best I can do !

Ok I actually went to bed just after midnight which is quite early for me but I knew I was near the end of the book (The Leisure Seeker) and wanted to finish it. Well the ending was a bit of a shocker although I did have a feeling it wouldn’t be a good one.

Our plucky couple made it to the end of Route 66 and to Disneyland but when the wife collapsed, the omens were there. After coming round, she insisted on NOT being taken to hospital as the park’s paramedics wanted for her and of course she had to sign a waiver to say that was her wish.

With both of them back in the RV at the park near Disneyland and the husband asleep, she got up pre dawn, started up the engine and went back in to lie with him. As we’d already been told some exhaust fumes were coming inside even when on the road (they mostly drove with the windows open), it was clear what she wanted to happen – although it was never specifically mentioned in the last pages.

They’d achieved their travel goal, had sorted their affairs out before leaving Michigan and as they’d previously agreed they didn’t want to end their days without the other, this was her decision for the both of them. To go out on her/their terms.

This was not the ending that meant I got easily to sleep last night as I’d grown to like this couple as they travelled along Route 66 to CA.  It also brought up thoughts about my own situation as at 65, I often think about my death, hopefully a few years away yet, when my health and mobility may determine my options.

Happy days and I think I drifted off to sleep at 2am and was really quite relieved to wake again….despite it being 3:30am and my CO2 detector was bleeping every 30 secs due to a low battery.  I didn’t care right then. I was ALIVE.

  ALERT OVER…….ALERT OVER…….ALERT OVER……..ALERT OVER……..ALERT OVER

Today I went with a friend for a carvery lunch and on the way home I called into Carphone Warehouse and sold them my Samsung S7. Because the screen was cracked (due to being dropped twice when in Belgium in September 2016), I was only offered £85 compared to £160 but I knew this from looking online so all was ok. I’d already reset it to factory but there is always that nagging feeling some key file or bit of personal info has been left on it or could be found by some smart ass geek wherever it ends up.

Oh well, I guess I’ll soon find out !

Then I treated my car to a hand wash although I wasn’t happy that the price had gone from £6 to £7 since my last visit. My days of washing the car have long gone so it had to be done. I have to say I do always like the drive afterwards as they do a great job and my brilliant white Hyundai looked like it just came from the showroom – just without that showroom smell.  Can that smell be bought ?

I’m half watching an afternoon show called “Get Away For Winter” which features a retired couple who want to buy a property in Portugal that they can use in the winter and let out at other times. I often think about such things as I really enjoyed my 11 or so winters spent in America from 2000 to 2012, mostly in Florida.

Of course the older I get, the less I like winters in the UK.  I tend to hibernate and even buying a drone hasn’t really encouraged me to get out and about. Yet.

I’d not return to America now as at my age and with my medical history, the insurance would be more than the flight price and if anything went wrong, well it doesn’t bear thinking about.  Europe, on the other hand, could be a different matter. Then again Brexit may put the mockers on any such plans.

I could see myself wintering in Spain but well away from the Brit areas as in my experience, Brits abroad are to be avoided. I’d just want the warm weather so would have no problem simply switching my solo existence from here to there. Spanish food is much more to my liking than that in France or Italy but both countries would be close enough for road trips if the mood took me.

I’ll probably never get round to doing anything about it but never say never. Although I just did !

I’ll end this post with some photos from where I spent those winters in Florida.  Sebring is right in the middle of the state but with a few lakes that, from these photos at least, made you think you were on the coast.

I do miss being there.  I liked being a snowbird.

DSCN5181

DSCN5198

DSCN5200

DSCN5215b

DSCN4633

DSCN4639

 

The Leisure-Pleasure Seeker

I’m really glad I only get a new phone every 2 years as setting up the new one to be as familiar as the old one can take sooooo long.

I spent most of yesterday doing that very thing.

I got the phone on Friday, the delivery coming just as I was leaving for my usual “Chinese & a Movie” afternoon and evening with friends and so it remained in its box till Saturday morning. Most unlike me to do so but I was not going to mess with it at 11pm.

When it came to copying everything across from the old S7 to the S8, I was able to use the Samsung Smart Switch feature (basically meant connecting both phones and clicking on “copy all”) which, despite me having 164 apps and many hundreds of photos and files etc, didn’t seem to take long to do the biz.

Sadly, although probably necessary for security purposes, it didn’t copy over sign on or password info for many of these apps and that’s what took me so long to sort out. Even the IMDB needed to be logged into and don’t get me started on bank apps !  I know it’s great to have tons of security but setting it all up again from scratch just about did me in.

I tend to set up lots of notifications and alerts, especially with sports apps but also for new emails, new Whatsapp msgs, new FB and Instagram inputs, Google calendar alerts and so on, so while I was doing all that on the S8, the poor little S7 was on the chair arm still letting me have all these notifications. It was like slowly shutting down HAL in “2001 A Space Odyssey” and the S7 was trying to show how vital it still was to me.

When I got to the stage where every notification came from both phones at the same time, the S7 realised the game was up and put up little resistance when I powered it off for the last time in readiness for a factory reset to delete everything prior to selling it to Carphone Warehouse on Monday.

Farewell little cracked friend. You did good.

We watched “Darkest Hour” on Friday and how it’s an Oscar Nominee is beyond me. “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards” are still my front runners and so far ahead of the rest it’s not true. Then again I hated “La La Land” (like everyone else I know) so what do I know.

Last night I watched “Murder On The Orient Express” and that was another pile of smelly do-do. Are there ANY good movies out there right now ?

Actually I did watch a decent one a few days ago which got few mentions and poor reviews…”Downsizing“.

downsizing

Yes I know it seems like an adult version of “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” but there were no fights with “giant” spiders or falling down cracks in the floor. People were being voluntarily miniaturised due to fears about the sustainability of the world’s growing population but were going to be living in miniature domed worlds with no need to be worried about attacks by critters….or normal sized people.

I actually liked it.  Just a good watch that entertained and made me think a bit.

I’m still reading “The Leisure Seeker” and it’s certainly making me think a lot. I’ve given the storyline in previous blogs but basically it’s about a couple in their 80’s, the husband with Alzheimer’s and the wife with terminal cancer who want to take a last road trip in their old RV and decide, against the wishes of their doctors, friends and especially family, to take a road trip along Route 66 from Chicago to LA.

From bed wetting to forgetfulness, from falling down to throwing up, the medical issues are always in the forefront but are tempered, at least for the reader, with numerous funny and endearing incidents and conversations as they head to their destination, Disneyland.

I’m loving it.

Many times I’m reminded of my numerous road trips around the 48 contiguous states. In the 10 years from 1989 to 1998, I went to the US 13 times. I tended to go for 3 weeks every summer and on 3 occasions, also went over for 2 weeks at Christmas and New Year.

These were the years when I made all my solo road trips.

Then from 2000 to 2012, I went a further 13 times, mostly for 6 months at a time (once was for 9 months) as by then I was retired and had a visa allowing me to stay longer than 30 days..

During the 90’s, I moved across the US map on the summer trips, visiting several states each time until I’d been to them all, leaving Hawaii for a cruise in 2004 and Alaska till……well never. As you can imagine, I’ve seen most places with many outstanding memories…from enjoying sunsets at Key West to watching Old Faithful blow in Yellowstone Park, from boating on stunning Lake Powell to taking a helicopter flight across Grand Canyon, from taking in the views from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to shopping in the French Quarter in New Orleans, from staying at the iconic Sands Hotel and Casino in Vegas (where The Venetian now stands) to staying at the luxurious Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (where Somewhere in Time was filmed) from going inside Elvis‘s birth home in Tupelo to his last home, Graceland.

And on my flight in 2003, I got my one and only upgrade to first class.

Enjoying Envoy Class

Envoy Class Food 1

Envoy Class Food 2

Often locations in movies bring back memories and send me to my photo folders to have a reminisce and with the movie version of The Leisure Seeker taking a different route (Boston to Key West), I’ll have double the folders to look at !

Back in the early days, I lugged around a large full size shoulder mounted VHS Sony camcorder and given the progress of technology, the size of video recording devices went down as their quality went up. How I wish I’d had a smartphone like the S8 because if nothing else, I might have had myself in more photos and video clips.

This is why I can never agree with those who hate the idea of selfies. When one is a solo traveller, it’s usually the only way to get oneself in a photo or video to have the memory of being somewhere. I couldn’t exactly pass my large camcorder to a stranger because as well as weighing so much, it wasn’t easy to use.

I haven’t tried the camera on the S8 yet but even if it’s only as good as the one on the S7, I’ll be happy. In fact, as a last task, I’ve just powered up the S7 and cruel as it may seem, I’ve taken a photo with it of….the S8.

With technology, unlike with my travel memories, there is no looking back !

 

 

 

The One With…A Book, A Movie, A Phone And A Rocket.

I’ve had a bad back. As I do all my laptop work with it on my lap (natch), this pulls on my back a bit so I’ve not used it much over the last week or so.  The laptop that is…..actually my back too.

Not wanting or being able to go out much, I’ve done a lot of tv watching and reading during this time. I know, nothing new there.

I’ve just started a book called The Leisure Seeker because I saw a trailer for the movie based on it. And I liked it.

I checked out some reviews of the movie and many spoke of the book being much better so….for once I thought I’d try the book first. The plot/story concerns an old married couple with (many) less years ahead of them than behind who decide to put all their medical issues to one side and go on a road trip in their similarly aged RV called…..The Leisure Seeker.

In the movie, the pair are played by Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland so what’s not to like. Throw in a road trip in an RV and this was made for me !

There is one teeny tiny difference between the book and the movie. In the book, they decide to leave their home in Detroit and take Route 66 from its start in Chicago to its end in LA and in the movie the trip is between Boston and Key West. Ok it’s a BIG difference but I can see why it was taken.

Having travelled both routes, I can say that Boston to Key West would be my pick any day. For a start, most of Route 66 doesn’t exist anymore so you travel on dull interstates and to be honest (and personal), it passes through some of the least interesting states in the Union.

On the other hand, and coast, Boston to Key West is a route full of everything you’d ever want to experience plus….it ends in the Florida Keys.  Win, win.

Anyway, back the book and as the back cover explains…….

John and Ella Robina have shared a wonderful life for more than fifty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and has chosen to stop treatment. John has Alzheimer’s. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed “down-on-their-luck geezers” kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives to steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.

With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their ’78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they’re having a damned hard time remembering. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, a person can go back for seconds, sneak a little extra time, grab a small portion more even when everyone says you can’t.

Darkly observant, told with humor, affection, and a touch of irony, The Leisure Seeker is an odyssey through the ghost towns, deserted trailer parks, forgotten tourist attractions, giant roadside icons, and crumbling back roads of America. Ultimately it is the story of Ella and John: the people they encounter, the problems they overcome, the experiences they have lived, the love they share, and their courage to take back the end of their own lives.

It’s a hard read for me at times as dementia is a constant worry of mine but Ella tells the story with enough wit and so much love that I was hooked from the start.

Give it a read and/or see the movie.

Moving right along……..

I’m getting a new phone tomorrow. Ok I know that won’t make News at Ten or even Six to Nine but I’ve only ever had 3 smartphones (2 x HTC and 1 x Samsung) so getting a new one is a big deal for lil ‘ol me.

I’m going to go mad and upgrade from a Samsung S7 to an S8. Oh such a rebel.

I remember getting the S7 2 years ago or 23 months ago to be exact. I actually pre ordered it which meant I also got a free VR goggles thingy. I tried it once and it’s been in its box ever since. Not designed for glasses wearers or at least varifocal glasses wearers.

 

IMAG2776

I should really have given it/them away but…well I didn’t. The box has sat on top of my left surround sound speaker for 23 months, laughing at me.

Anyway, as things rarely go 100% for me when switching everything from one phone to another, I may be out of touch for a while from tomorrow.

I’m not sure I’ll survive.

As I speak, or type, the latest SpaceX rocket is about to take off from the KSC in Florida and this one is a doozy. The new launch time will be 3:45 EST but it’s changed a bit over the last few hours so even that time may not be right anymore.

Watch here.

or here.

This will be the test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful in the world and when it does launch, it will be a spectacular sight even if it fails.

Why ?  Well this beast has 27 engines and if it should explode on or just above the launch pad, it will be with the force of a 1.8 kiloton nuclear bomb.

Nice.  I’d not want to be the one lighting the touch paper !

Run, Forrest, run.

Falcon Heavy

Even Elon Musk has said he’ll regard it as a success if it clears the tower.

Clears the tower ?  If it blows up, it’ll obliterate the tower.

IF it all goes well, the 3 main booster rockets will return and land back gently to pads on earth – well two on earth and one on a pad at sea but let’s not get picky. Given the number of video cameras Musk puts on these things, the footage should be stunning as it has been in the past when just one booster landed back.

Being a test launch, it’s too risky to have a kosher expensive payload and too boring to use concrete blocks or something so Musk is using his original Tesla Roadster sports car as the payload.

Keep an eye out for it if the whole thing goes kaboom. The sight of a red sports car flying through the air should be enough to entertain the many hundreds of thousands who have turned up to watch.

Right, I’m off to warm up my leftover spagbol and get a front row seat via my laptop.

I hope my back can take the strain.

UPDATE.

Well the launch went perfectly and what views from all the cameras.  Seeing the car with a dummy “driver” (the spaceman) heading towards Mars was something special. And the perfect touchdowns of 2 of the 3 booster rockets was like something out of Thunderbirds.

Well done Elon and your team.

Boosters Landing

Friday Night Musings…..

Friday evening and I’m at home. Daphne has thrown a sickie and everywhere in a 200m radius around her is a no go zone so our normal meal and a movie evening has had to be cancelled.

Bummer.

Of course it’s well known that woman flu is a pale shadow of man flu but you know, you have to accept these things, offer get-well-soon platitudes and make alternative arrangements.

My alternative is to fix another super supper like wot I fixed yesterday evening – lamb steak, mashed taters and peas. Cooking lamb using a cast iron pan is a winner winner lamb dinner…..so to speak.

Sear for 3 minutes each side. Move pan to a pre heated (200c) oven for 7 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Dish up and eat.

Simples and it’s perfect every time. Could cut the steak with a spoon.

As for the mashed taters, I’ve taken to getting those pre made and frozen. Never thought I’d say that but these days every supermarket and even Aunt Bessie does frozen mashed taters which only contain potato and seasoning so are a great go-to product when boiling and mashing up real potatoes is a task not worth doing.

Being from the Smash generation, modern day frozen mashed potato is like a miracle of convenience aligned with taste !

A portion in the microwave takes 6 minutes so can be started while the lamb is in resting mode (unlike how it was in life) and so the whole deal takes less than 20 minutes from fridge and freezer to table.

Actually on my lap because being a sado single person I eat from my living room chair.

On the subject of food nostalgia, we oldies remember the frustration of trying to open our lunchbox Kraft Dairylea cheese triangles without leaving a lot of cheese within the foil and even more on your fingers. It was a sort of rite of passage into adulthood or if that is a bit strong, then at least a rite of passage into competent manual dexterity. If you could manage to open it without using your teeth, you were a man, my son.

I never quite managed it and usually ended up in tears with the triangle looking like it had been stood on by the school bully with little bits of cheese oozing from the three corners.

Kids, and adults, these days don’t know they’ve been born. The modern triangle comes with a little red strip that when pulled, rips into the foil and opens up the cheesy goodness with no more effort needed than pulling the wings off a dazed housefly.

This is all well and good but in a perverse way, I kinda miss the old days. A bit of anger and frustration is good for the soul but if I haven’t got it with the cheese triangles, there’s always supporting Leeds United to fall back on.

And now I turn to a point of law. Powdered wigs on and a black cap at the ready.

I was returning home from a local visit this afternoon and turned into my street to see a police van parked outside my house. Wishing I’d deleted my laptop’s browser history, I went round the back of the van and noticed the policeman driver was on his phone. I went onto my drive, got out of the car and heard the van’s engine was running.

So my question is….I KNOW it’s illegal for us to be on our phones even when parked if the engine is running but does that apply to the police ?  Are they above the law ? Surely they have radios and don’t need a mobile phone for “business” calls !

Anyway the van drove off before I could think more about it and my browsing secrets were safe. For now !

Some time ago, Virgin Media upgraded my cable system box from a Tivo to a V6 and my programs now go from 0-60 in 2.3 seconds 😉

No but seriously the box was a huge improvement over the aging Tivo as it supports 4K and HDR broadcasts, has a 1TB hard drive with 500 hrs SD or 100 hrs HD capacity and has blistering speed going through the various menus.

But best of all, and as the name suggests, it can record 6 shows at the same time which is enough even for me. Actually it has 8 tuners but two are for future developments.

Over the months I’ve had it, I’ve yet to come across a conflict warning when adding new recordings. In fact I just take the recording (or series record) option just assuming it will be added with no issues. Between shows, I’ll hear a preview for an upcoming show in maybe a week’s time and if it sounds good, I just go to the guide, find the show and press record.

Job’s a good ‘un.

The problem, if indeed it can be called a problem, is that I now have many hundreds of shows to watch and there aren’t enough hours in a day/week/year to watch them all.

So what’s to do ?   I mean if I hadn’t wanted to watch them, I’d not have recorded them. I have to decide which ones I REALLY want to watch more than others. And that’s on a par with which of your kids you really want to keep.

No ?

Oh please yourselves.

92 years ago today, John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer, gave the first demonstration of television in his lab in London.

If only he knew what he was starting and I wonder what he’d make of  the V6 ?

Or Judge Rinder !