Of course that depends upon where you look. I refer to social media. The only access people have to me across the Internet is either via this blog or by emails. That’s it! Nowhere else will I be found. I remember years ago when Facebook started out in the earlier version now superceded by today’s platform. Many people have been drawn to using Facebook since those days as a means of presenting themselves to the world or just to those they choose. As much personal information as desired can be placed on Facebook or any other similar platform but of course if taken too far doing that can expose you to all kinds of malicious attacks. Unfortunately not everyone in the world is honest and upright. Then there is Twitter where anyone can pass comments on anything that has been posted anywhere on the news media. That can lead to personal attacks by those who are only too ready to point the finger of accusation or to engage in character demolition. I often wonder why people expose themselves to such potential attacks by the faceless and the sometimes cowardly actions of others. I am of the opinion that people who use the Internet to reach out to the world with their personal profiles in too much detail are asking for trouble. I therefore choose not to use these platforms and remain incognito…..well apart from this blog! At least I am able to control comments on my blog though I know all my readers are nice people of course! Even though I have published part of my history here and much about my day-to-day life there is very little other personal information about myself. That is the way it will stay. Have you noticed how certain platforms, especially Facebook, have been pushed forward so much that they have become almost essential in some circumstances? Some sites cannot even be accessed unless you are subscribed to Facebook. The Internet is good for many things and beneficial in many ways but I will use it only in a limited way. I don’t want my life centred around the Internet, I prefer personal contact, the way I believe it was meant to be.
My purse has taken quite a beating these past couple of months and needs a little time to recuperate. I have been spending as if my life depended upon it but the time has come for a rest from major spending sprees. On Wednesday morning E and I went out shopping initially for another tub of plaster in order for me to finish off that ceiling and wall repair I mentioned in yesterday’s post but I added that I wished to buy a pair of shoes too. E drove us to the shoe store down buy the sea front and I found the pair of shoes I wanted in minutes. They were flat-soled shoes for general walking about and will be used mostly when I am at work. However E decided she wanted a pair of shoes too and I ended up buying both pairs. Off we drove to the retail park a mile or so down the road and bought the plaster but while we were in the park I decided to visit the electrical store where we had recently purchased my new large-screen television. I wanted to see if I could buy another couple of televisions for the newly refurbished bedrooms at home. We looked at two different models each with a 32″ screen, one at a higher price than the other at which point a salesman showed us another with the same sized screen at an even lower price. I placed an order for two of them and paid the £258 asking price. The would be available for collection either Saturday (which will be today as you read this) or early next week. By now it was lunchtime so we drove to a nearby pub/restaurant and dined there. When we arrived home we spent some time burning stacks of paper printed upon which was information too sensitive to chance recycling it. Later I went on-line for a time using my old computer which runs Windows 7 but when I attempted to use the computer running Windows 10 I found it couldn’t connect to the Internet even though it was connected to the router! I contacted my Internet provider after many attempts trying to resolve the problem with no results but I got nowhere with them. At the time of writing this the issue was still not resolved but it had to be a software problem of some sort. A day in the life of yours truly!
And then there was an update: The problem was resolved later in the evening when E discovered her computer wasn’t connected either! We reset the router and all was back to normal. Now I am almost certain that Windows 10 was more the problem as both E’s new computer and my new computer both run Windows 10. The other of my computers runs Windows 7 and had no problems with connecting to the Internet.
As I had been away from home on Monday morning I didn’t feel much like doing any work in the small bedroom we are decorating but I did remove the door because it required shortening in height. However I didn’t do that until the following morning for I was too tired. So after breakfast on Tuesday I took the ‘Workmate’ from the cellar and carried it up the two flights of stairs to the room and brought down a sturdy metal-framed chair from a room above. It was the only method I could use as a platform on which I could cut a centimetre off the bottom of the door. The door was far too heavy to have taken it downstairs into the workroom in the cellar. The doors throughout the house are all original and date to 1877 when the house was built. They are constructed of solid wood and are thicker and wider than most modern domestic doors. I chose to saw off the excess rather than use a woodworking plane. We have a couple of planes, one of which is electric but both have been lent out. It didn’t take long to cut the door with the saw. I had to reposition the lower hinge because the door frame had split where it had been originally fitted and of course I repaired the frame at that point too. Hanging the door was simplicity itself, the hardest part was manoeuvering it into place because of its weight! Once the door was back in the hole as it were, I gave it a coat of under-coating paint, and so you know this is the door……….
E had taken our next-door neighbour to the hospital for her appointment and didn’t return home until after lunch. After she had eaten, for I already had, we called next-door to have another go at getting her television connected to The Internet. My readers might remember I had spent some time a few days ago in a vain attempt at doing it. With a little help from her Internet provider we finally made the connection. It appeared I had been attempting the connection with the wrong password/wi-fi combination. At last she is happy now that she can use her Sky connection.
Following on from yesterday, the day started early as we were awakened at 7.45 by the front door bells. We were expecting the delivery of the new bed for the room we have refurbished though not at that unearthly hour! We were expecting it to arrive sometime in the afternoon as we thought the salesman had said. E went down to answer the door as there was no way I would after being woken up and having not had the time to even get washed and dressed. E has no such qualms. The two guys took around fifteen minutes to set up the bed before drinking the coffee E had made for them both.
Once I had breakfast I went for a walk and posted some mail for E along the way. I had some business to attend to and some purchases to make. On my return E and I got down to removing everything from the small bedroom including the furniture. We found a way to store it all temporarily on the landing outside the room but we had to dismantle the bed before we could store it. The next task will be to remove the carpet and get the room ready for painting. As it was Thursday E went shopping with her mom in the afternoon whilst I went next door to set up the new television for our neighbour who is eighty years old and hasn’t a clue about such things. By coincidence she had purchased a smaller version of the set I had bought recently so setting it up wasn’t a problem. Well setting up the television itself was easy but I had to sort out the mass of wiring behind it for the Sky box, video, Playstation, external speakers and such. The Sky box had to be removed as it was faulty and a new one had been sent. Unfortunately it was completely different from the old one and I had no idea how to install it so I didn’t. I felt that should be the responsibility of their engineers so that was arranged over the phone. Although I had the television working I couldn’t get it connected to The Internet, for some reason it wouldn’t recognise the router’s password or pin number no matter how many times I tried. I had no problems connecting my own set so I had to assume her password had changed. I asked my neighbour if the password had been changed but she hadn’t a clue about that either. She kept giving me the password for her Sky connection. It took quite some time for me to explain that the Sky connection had nothing to do with connecting the television to the router. Her Internet provider is BT and not Sky even though she has the Sky connection. I had been there for two and a half hours and got back home just shortly before E returned from her shopping spree. Hopefully the Sky engineer will sort out my neighbour’s television connections when he calls next week.
Long, long ago when the world ran at a slower pace and my life was quiet and peaceful I was content and happy. As I grew into adulthood everything began to change but it was still all very manageable and life plodded along as it had always done for quite some time until fairly recently. I would say that the pace of life, my life, began to increase incrementally around about the birth of our first child who was born in 1982. A couple of years earlier saw the advent of home computers though at that time domestic connections to the rest of the world through computers was unheard of. The Internet hadn’t arrived on the scene yet. I remember seeing one of the first house phones which featured a screen and could receive and send emails! That would have been around 1998. Along came the Internet in the early 1990’s after years of development which began in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Home computers connected to the Internet have developed significantly since their inception say in the mid 1990’s and have become as standard in homes as the early telephones had years before. The world got the communication bug initially for commerce and industry but there was always going to be a need on a personal level once the possibilities presented themselves. It is one of those areas which has been generated and developed by commerce and now commerce greatly benefits from it. Putting it another way, it is a money spinner where everyone can benefit. The problem with this is that anything that can generate an income is heavily sought after and promoted until the whole system practically depends upon it. In fact it does depend upon it. You could say that we have created a monster which has an insatiable appetite and you would be right. The problem for individuals is that they can be bombarded with promotional advertising so much so that they feel they have to go with the flow so to speak and indeed some do just that. We are told that we need things or that things are a ‘must have’ commodity and that ‘everyone’ wants one. People just don’t know how to say no. Unsolicited and promotional advertising to me is quite frankly a nuisance and I despise it. I do my best to avoid it all. Any emails I get which promote or offer a service which I haven’t requested get deleted. Paper mail gets the same treatment. Adverts on the television get muted whilst they run. I don’t want any of it unless I have asked for it. I just want to be left alone. I prefer a life that runs slower, a life where I have to make an effort to communicate or to discover that which I want to purchase. I pity the poor salesperson who politely approaches me to ask if they can assist. The answer will always be no but I will ask if I need help.
I had no electrical work to do on Friday. I had arisen reasonably early so after breakfast I thought I might carry out a repair on the smaller greenhouse where a panel had been partially blown out of the frame because of the recent high winds we had experienced. I had placed the green (garden waste) wheelie bin alongside the panel the previous evening after discovering the damage and in order to prevent further damage. The small greenhouse is fitted with plastic panels rather than glass. However it began to rain and the wind had picked up again before I got the opportunity to do anything so I decided just to leave it until the weather improved. I did other things indoors instead, like re-registering online with my main current account provider after they had finally sent me the new password and security details. Even so the process wasn’t at all easy and it took E and I a fair amount of time to do it. The bank’s security measures are certainly robust to the point of being over the top. At last I could do some online housekeeping and moving about of my spare funds after three weeks not being able to. Of all the good things about using the Internet, online banking is near the top of my list. We have certainly come a long way since the days of standing in a queue waiting for a teller. E mentioned that our eldest son would be paying us a visit just after lunch and had asked if I had an electric multimeter he could use whilst working on his car.
I have a few meters of course, what electrician hasn’t? We had just finished lunch when he arrived with his young three year-old daughter. He had wanted a meter in order to find a suitable supply for the newly installed ‘dash cam’ he had bought and fitted himself. I rendered my assistance whilst he successfully located a suitable supply. It took us some time to connect a couple of wires to the car’s fuseboard for it is located below the dashboard in the passenger foot well area. The supply had to be one that was switched on when the ignition was switched on so that the camera was not switched on permanently. Once the work was done he drove off to purchase a cigar lighter socket which would be connected to the two wires we had installed. The camera lead cable would plug into it out of view beneath the dashboard. There was no option but to connect the camera this way as there was a special voltage control circuit inside the camera’s lead plug which had to remain in circuit. Anyway everything worked in that the supply was at the camera when the ignition was switched on but unfortunately the camera itself wouldn’t automatically switch on, which is what it is supposed to do. It could be switched on manually at the camera and it would switch off when the ignition was switched off. It was by now getting dark and so we left the car and went indoors for an hour before he and his daughter left for home. E had been entertaining her granddaughter whilst we were working on the car but now it was my turn. We don’t get too many opportunities to see our granddaughter (who calls me Aunty Shirley) so it was nice to be able to spend some time with her. Our son will investigate why the camera doesn’t operate as it should and perhaps it is only a simple matter of programming the device. He will of course return the camera if it still refuses to work properly. The camera itself is very small and hides behind the interior rear-view mirror so effectively you wouldn’t know it was there. Once they had gone home E and I had to prepare the evening meal so the day had been spent doing something completely different from that which was planned.
One of Lucy’s posts prompted this one. In her blog she talked about investing in another mobile phone, in this case an updated version to the one she now possesses. I can see the logic in her reasoning and why she wanted an upgraded phone. Well that’s all very fine for Lucy and for the many millions of folk who, like her, like the technology. For myself however, it is all of no interest. I do understand why people want the latest phone, computer, iPad and tablet because of what can be done with them. They are useful in today’s environment for many reasons but I resist to go with the flow. I do not need the technology handy as it very well may be. I buy into things I have a use for otherwise I don’t buy. What many people cannot see with all this technology is the erosion of their freedom and I don’t just mean freedom of choice. Lucy mentioned the fact that an Internet-connected phone will be necessary to own in order to photograph cheques that we may receive from clients or anyone else we deal with financially. This means that if such a phone isn’t in your possession you will not be able to deposit a cheque unless you visit the bank in person. If ever we lose the ability to deal in cash this could be a problem and indeed governments would dearly love cash to disappear and for us all to use debit and credit cards but cash has advantages too, especially where small amounts are being dealt with. Cash is easier and less complicated to use. Societies of the future will be cash-free, cheque-free and dare I say, card-free too! It is suggested that everyone will not only embrace technology but it will literally be a part of them! One micro-chip inserted beneath the skin would keep records of health, social interaction, location, financial transactions and without the need to carry any other means of identification either as all the information about us will be burnt into the chip too! Now of course this suggestion doesn’t hold much credence as yet but you can be sure that it will in the future. Just how far into the future is anyone’s guess. In Biblical terms it is the mark of the beast and a prophecy, something forecast to happen. I have every reason to believe it.
Getting back to the Internet phone, it isn’t for this reason that I object to the technology, at least at this time, it is simply that I don’t like things being pushed into my face encouraging me to get involved when I have no wish to. I do see this sort of thing as the thin end of a very large wedge but there again, I believe what is written in The Bible.
E and I finally got around to discussing what furniture we are going to install in the bathroom and more importantly how it will all fit into the room! If we didn’t have that large mirror on the wall we could have planned the room differently. If the toilet soil pipe was to the left of where it is now we would also have more options in the room but alongside the soil pipe outside runs a fresh water drain pipe serving the gutters and the wash basin preventing the toilet from connecting on that side. We drew a plan and made scaled-down paper versions of our proposed furniture to see where everything could go and once we had decided that we were going to buy that furniture we measured out the spaces they would occupy in the room itself. It took us a couple of hours checking and double-checking our measurements and then we went online to Better Bathrooms where we had selected the furniture we wanted and proceeded to add them all to our shopping basket together with all the extra accessories we wished to purchase at this point. There will obviously be more things to purchase along the way. Then it came to the crunch, making the payment. Now I have purchased many things over the Internet but I get so annoyed with all the necessary security involved in doing so. When asked if we were returning or existing customers we filled in that opening form only to be told we had the wrong password. We tried therefore to log in as new customers but were told that our email was already registered. E tried her email address in case we had used hers when last we dealt with them but it was to no avail. We finally got to the page which asks if we had forgotten our password and we duly clicked on the ‘click here’ message. A new password was sent to my email address and we were able to proceed with our payment. Now I have three debit cards but only one credit card and that is the one I used to carry out the transaction. Having filled in all the necessary details I was then presented with a security form requesting my security code for the card I was using and they were asking for the first, second and seventh digits of that code. Easy enough but in the three check boxes were two black dots presumably to take two digits and putting only one digit there seemed impossible. At this point I let E take over because I was so frustrated by it all. Evidently one has to highlight the two dots and then delete them thus allowing the single digit to be inserted. Simple, but why do they put two dots in a box which is ready to receive just the one digit? That sort of thing drives me mad as it only serves to confuse. Finally our payment was accepted and we can expect delivery within the next four days, not that we need it all at the moment but we bought it all now as they are on offer at much lower prices. Even so it is costing me £1703 and that is only the beginning, there’s much more to buy yet like wall tiles and materials for repairing the floor and such but for that money we get a freestanding bath, freestanding taps and pop-up waste, wide vanity unit complete with wash basin, waste and taps, walk-in shower cubicle and tray, 10.5Kw electric shower and a toilet unit. According to their spiel I am saving around £2450! I hope it is worth it.
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgement will be revealed. 6 God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’
Many times in Scripture we see the word ‘stubborn’. Throughout their 40 year journey wandering in the desert and later when they had settled in the land God had given them, the Israelites were a stubborn people forever turning away from God and reverting to their old ways. God was very patient with them and although He punished them and allowed them to make mistakes which were to their own detriment, He always forgave them and give them another chance to reform their wicked ways. God is slow to anger but quick to save, not wanting to punish us for our wickedness and sinful lives but because of His righteousness and just ways He shows us a way out. If we fail to respond to His goodness and mercy His wrath will be upon us. We all sin against our Creator but He gives us a chance to be right with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ His Son. God wants us to accept His free gift of everlasting life rather than have His wrath upon us. If we haven’t accepted this gift before we die we will face eternal damnation and His wrath will be unavoidable. Rid yourselves of your stubborn hearts and refusal to repent before it is too late. As I said in a previous post….you may never get another chance.
Your prayer should be….’O Lord God and Father of all mankind, I have ignored your sovereignty and your free gift of life through Jesus Christ because of my stubborn heart. Please forgive me for my foolish ways and for ignoring you. I repent of all my wrongdoing and ask forgiveness. I invite Jesus into my heart this day and accept the promise of your free gift of everlasting life in his name. Now Father, take my hand and guide me through life in the ways I should go and fill me with your Spirit’. Amen.
E does a lot of competitions and she is always winning something so it is no surprise to me when she occasionally asks out-of-the-ordinary questions. At the dinner table a few days ago she asked such a question but this time it had nothing to do with her competitions, it was something to do with a television program which was to start thirty minutes later. The program itself was one of those reality shows where people, usually a couple, are escorted to and shown around three houses with the prospect of perhaps buying one if it meets with their requirements. The question E put to me was this, ‘Which county in the UK is bordered by seven others’? I didn’t know the answer but took a guess at one which is in the Midlands, an obvious choice but nevertheless I got the answer wrong. I was now curious to know what the answer might be so i went to look for the map book I know we have somewhere in the bookshelves. Sadly I couldn’t quickly locate it so I picked up my tablet pc and browsed on-line for a map of England which showed all the counties and there was the answer, Warwickshire. It is evidently the only county in England which is bordered by seven others. This was where the television program was recorded for this particular episode. Afterwards I thought to myself how easy it is to get information about anything these days. My poor efforts in trying to locate a map book, though I know we possess one, were greatly surpassed by the speed of searching via The Internet. Books are becoming more and more obsolete as time passes, much to my horror I might add for I love sitting with a book and losing myself in its pages. I seldom do that now. I suppose there will always be books for reference purposes because storage of information electronically can be unreliable. I do hope that there will always be a place for books.