Just how do you suppose an item as large as a larder fridge could go missing unless it was stolen? I had been in touch with Amazon through whom the seller of the larder fridge was to supply me. I had ordered the said fridge on August 28 th and it duly arrived in the UK on September 10 th having been dispatched from China. A day later it had cleared customs and presumably was delivered to a warehouse ready for collection and delivery to my home. I should have received it by September 15 th at the latest. That was allowing for days for it to travel across the country, plenty of time for the seller. However it didn’t arrive, though according to Amazon I had received it because they simply assumed it had or were informed it had. I got in touch with the seller and was given an apology and informed they would try to trace it. After another communication they informed me that they would dispatch another. There had been plenty of time for a second dispatch from China for it to have arrived by today, that is October 3 rd as I write.
I was in contact with Amazon on September 29 th who informed me they would look into the matter but to give the seller a couple of days to respond. They should have responded by today, the 3 rd. As I write there has still been no response and Amazon are organising a refund but it could take two to three weeks for them to establish the legality of it though there should be no problem with that. It means however we have been without the extra fridge capacity for five weeks and unless I were to purchase another rather than wait for the resolution of the current situation we could end up waiting another couple of weeks. If this is the way purchasing of goods over The Internet is headed I think we would be better off shopping locally. To be fair this is the first time I’ve had problems ordering goods online but it really shouldn’t happen if everyone did what they were supposed to do.
I cannot escape it. Whenever the television is switched on and tuned-in to an independent broadcasting station I am bombarded with advertisements. I expect this of course but at this time of year the advertisements are aggressive and are so repetitive as to be annoying. As my readers I’m sure will know by now I detest advertising of this nature, in fact any dynamic and thrusting advertising but I do realise their necessity in the great scheme of things. As we are approaching Christmas the pressure to buy or invest in something is relentlessly pushed into our faces via the television screens. I often wonder how positive or negative the reaction to them is. For a few months now furniture manufacturers have constantly advertised their goods and the fact that they can deliver them before Christmas day. They subtly suggest how would-be buyers would benefit from having new furniture both to take advantage of their ‘special offers’ and to be able to accommodate their guests on the big day. We are made to think that we cannot do without new furniture. Aside from the fact that most people do not need new furniture the offers are at a reduced price to persuade us otherwise. I wonder how much profit these companies make if they can offer goods at half-price and still be in pocket! It’s not just furniture it is perfume, alcohol, seasonal foods, clothing, watches, electronic equipment and one of the most annoying to me anyway, Internet and television media suppliers. If I’ve seen each one every day I have seen them twenty or more times. Where did ‘Black Friday‘ come from? They must be desperate for our custom. The mute button on my remote control unit gets pressed often!
It is all to do with life in a modern society but the sad thing is that most people are influenced and taken-in by all the hype and many end up with so much debt it is frightening. People need to realise they are not sheep, they do not have to jump on the band-wagon so eagerly because their friends or family have done. This is the secular world, driven and kept well-oiled by commercialism which can only end when it runs out of steam. That energy is sapped out of all those who allow it but the people are blind. The people are comfortable with it all but don’t realise they are being manipulated. I took a step back from the false security that is secularism. It has no future, it is heading nowhere. I fell in love with my Creator and placed all my hope in Him. I fell in love with Jesus and have a future not based upon the secular life and all the material blessings I might gain from it. In the end they perish and have to be left behind one day. Can you see why I look at the ways of the world the way I do? Can you see what an empty future you have if you put your trust in worthless things, the things the secular world offers? Don’t take the advertisements too seriously. Take the offer your Creator God offers, the FREE gift of life everlasting in Jesus Christ.
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.
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.
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 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.
The world has gone gadget mad, the more wealthy of civilisation that is for there are numerous people in the world who cannot afford to eat never mind thinking about buying gadgetry. Those who have the money to lavish upon the latest tablet, smart phone, laptop or anything else that connects them to the Internet seem never to be satisfied. I wonder how many hours of those people’s lives are wasted browsing on their devices. Some will say and do say that these devices can be very useful tools to have at our disposal for times when things go wrong or when information is needed. Well I have to concur but I know that I will most probably only use my (smart) phone other than for communicating very rarely if ever for anything else. Whilst using my new phone it has become apparent that it gobbles up power! So that I can see more clearly how much power is left on the device I downloaded an application that monitors power consumption and displays the amount of power available as a percentage, far easier than trying to gauge it just by looking at the little green icon. It is of course the screen which uses the most power but applications left running in the background can do the same. This means that if I were to be constantly surfing the Internet or playing games the battery would soon be depleted, not a good idea for someone who relies upon her phone for business. The problem will not arise in my case though but it probably will for those who like to spend a lot of time using their devices away from home. So I got to thinking that people must need to carry around with them the charger and lead so they can top-up the battery if they can find somewhere to do that, if they wish to spend hours on their phones or other devices. Not very practical is it? So again I got to thinking why manufactures haven’t developed devices which charge themselves when in an illuminated place using photo cell technology, it’s not a new idea, it is used elsewhere in electronic devices. Size matters though and perhaps the technology is too cumbersome to incorporate within small phones but it should be possible to incorporate in larger devices such as laptops and tablets for topping-up when the device is idle. Just a thought. If an ordinary charger cannot be used a purpose-built plug-in photo cell charger could be carried to charge the device instead and indeed these devices are available though they tend to be pre-charged batteries and not dynamic photo cell chargers.
It is all very well having this wonderful technology but power is needed to keep them working!
I don’t know about you but I have always been the sort of person who, if I am in need of a service that someone provides I make enquiries accordingly. If I am out shopping I like to browse before I make any decision to buy. So my feathers become somewhat ruffled if I am approached without my asking. I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase ‘You could be eligible for reimbursement from a miss-sold PPI (payment protection insurance)’, more especially as I have never taken one out! My mobile phone constantly receives messages from companies willing to get me any compensation that is due to me. If I reply with a ‘STOP’ it makes no difference, the next company along the line makes the same claim and I get another message. The problem is that there are hundreds of these companies all seeking a piece of the action and no doubt I will still be receiving unwanted and unmerited messages for the next ten years! I could scream!
I hate it when out shopping I get pestered by pushy sales persons who ask ‘Can I be of assistance’? ‘Well no you can’t, I just want to see what is on offer all by myself thank you very much’, is what I am thinking but have to reply with a ‘No thank you, I am just browsing’. They may be on commission but they will never get me to buy something I do not want or persuade me that something else might be suitable when I am told they haven’t got what I want. If I cannot see what I want I ask, simple! I don’t wish to but a substitute thank you very much!
In today’s world we are bombarded with sales talk, sales pitch, leaflet drops, junk mail, unwanted phone calls and text messages, television adverts, even radio adverts. I cannot use the Internet without coming across an advert. One of the most annoying traits by advertisers these days is to have dynamic adverts flashing away to one side of the screen whilst emails are being read. Another favourite of theirs is to have an advert preceding a short video you have clicked on to watch and you are obliged to watch it before you can watch the content you clicked to see. They usually last around thirty seconds so I look away until the advert is finished. Don’t like adverts, never have, they don’t influence me one bit. If I want a product I will buy it after checking it out myself. Adverts tell lies anyway. How many of you have seen the adverts for face creams all claiming to reduce ‘the effect’ of ageing in older women and then show younger women with flawless skin as if they had been using it! They obviously don’t need it in the first place. The best adverts for me are the ones I cannot see or hear!
It is pressure from all sides. It seems we are unable to live our lives without the support of a ‘smart phone’ these days. They can do all sorts of wonderful things using the applications they have installed in them, many of the ‘better’ ones of course come with a price-tag. The phones themselves often cost a small fortune too. Now I use my mobile phone but infrequently, usually to answer voice calls or messages for work and little else. I don’t wish to spend my whole life looking at a screen with my fingers frantically pushing little buttons. I was in the pub the other day and quite a few folk in there were doing just that. Well I went there for a few drinks and company, you know, actually speaking with people! I could scream. I know people who don’t use the Internet, haven’t even got a computer, don’t have the latest phone but carry a simple one ‘in case of emergencies’. I would think that is sensible. However people are gradually being coerced into having computers and one day none of us will be able to conduct business of any kind unless we do it through the Internet. It’s happening already. I heard recently that people wishing to pay their gas or electricity bill by any other method than by ‘Direct Debit‘ are charged more for the privilege. Furthermore if they have to set up a Direct Debit they have to do it over the Internet because they are restricted from doing it over the phone with an actual human being! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me though because this is intimated in Scripture along with so many other things that the ‘blind’ cannot see. I could do without it all. Give me the quiet life any day. Do you suppose there is a reason for people to say that if they came into a lot of money they would go and live on a tropical island away from it all?