Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Mixed Day...

For various reasons I found myself awake through the night and it's funny how when you do get your sleep you just don't feel right. Even if you try and doze the following day and you are able to, so maybe there is something in that theory about the body clock. Perhaps it is a bit like the effects of Jet lag which we hear about when people fly across the world.

My little problem is playing up especially today so I am unable to do much but hey that does mean that I have an excuse to take it easy.

And on a positive note my newly repaired computer is working much better(still a couple of problems)but so far I can live with them for now. I also invested in some extra bits for my computers...I can not really afford them but in case my finances take a dive as they may at a future time and then I really cannot afford them, I purchased a new wireless keyboard and mouse(this one the keys are losing the printed initials)and sometimes a key doesn't have enough pressure and when you look on screen it hasn't registered. It's a pity as it is still quite good.

But it does show which letters are used the most "T""A""N" and "O"

Well, it is on my keyboard.

And I invested in a memory stick which is quite handy for moving data between machines and a new external Hard Drive. Two of the external drives that I use are playing up so it allows me some safety regarding loss of data and two of the hard drives I am using are the largest I have ever used 1TB(whatever that means)

I don't know what bit rate I would have to record my mp3's in but the box says I am able to store 250,000 mp3 and/or 200,000 images.

But I burn everything to CD/DVD anyhow just in case any hard drive fails. What it has allowed me is somewhere to store a massive amount of files that I have never got around to sorting out and editing which were filling up the drives I use daily and space was really getting tight because those drives were much smaller so I have transferred everything. Unfortunately, they still have to be worked on and that will take a long time.

I must get around to taking more images and mp3's, storing them digitally gives me instant access at the click of a mouse. It's going to take me a long time to fill the drive. A very long time...

That is approx 40 year's worth of music which I have purchased over the years.

I have never really seen what my computers are capable of, not helped by still being on dial up regarding the Internet.

If I dislike anything about the new external hard drive it has a very open case to stop overheating so it has little holes around three sides and that means that dustt will settle inide as it lands on top so I'll have to keep dusting it down and it has a blue LED light and where it is situated if you stand over the casing you see a very bright light a bit like those you see on the checkout at a supermarket or a pointer that has sometimes been used by people pointing at planes at airports as they land or take off and I have heard they are bad for eyes.

Why they cannot place the LED in an area that means you don't see it, I don't know but hey, I'm not standing over it looking to the casing so you usually do not see it.

There is enough air circulating so I am tempted to place a small piece of paper over that area so it will never be seen.

Not the most interesting entry I have posted on my blog I have to admit.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blue Screen Of Death...

I've had my computer back for approx ten days and it's been fantastic, updated software regarding the operating system and reinstalled programs. This pc is only really used for e-mail(which I don't do much of)and surfing.

Unfortunately, I am now getting the blue screen of death many times or the computer freezes often when I am in the middle of writing a post like this or clicking on a link.

So I think I will have to call the repairman in again.

Update:I have and now its a case of trying the computer out and hoping nothing else happens. It looks as though it was a memory problem so the new memory that was installed has either been moved around or replaced. So far early days but things seem ok again.

Meantime, I still have not lost interest in the water filter system and I managed to get many filters at a special price so I can keep it going until may 2011 and not spend lots of money.

I may also think of drinking some green/lemon tea again...that should really test the system out.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Going To University...

The Government wants to get more people through the education system and into University if they win the election which will happen this year...and have more people go into middle class jobs.

People are struggling to find such jobs even when they attend or succeed at University.

University places are at a premium and many people cannot get into Uni even those who wish to for a variety of reasons such as the problem of paying back grants or those who are not being given any help financially. Years ago University education was free.

If everyone or many more enter that sector of society once again what jobs are available?

And if the jobs are not available will those who have qualified and have lots of qualifications want to do the menial jobs that are not paying well and were seen as working class?

And if many more do go into middle class jobs(again we're using class as the way to express what a certain job or profession is)there will be a shortage of people to do jobs that are looked down on(wrongly)but are very important for a society to function.

What does a politician do as an example...they pass laws that society has to live by/follow but really what they do is attend meetings, lecture, talk but the work is done by departments, experts and others that are consulted. You still need someone to do the physical work whether it's building property, digging a road, laying electric cable, delivering of goods etc...

And once you start defining or trying to compare the importance of one profession with another you get onto very sticky ground probably even more so when you try to decide someones worth in monetary terms.

Years ago a University was a seat of learning to improve oneself...today it is very much tied into the economy of the country.

Update:Amazingly having written the above and hearing how important further education is to the Nation's economy and prosperity, the news has come out that funds and grants are to be frozen and therefore many Universities will struggle to continue with their plans and to offer places for many of the students that had planned to attend. It kind of contradicts what we have been told about how important these seats of learning are.

I assume there is the hope that more private money will be invested but as many companies and benefactors are struggling to survive this is not necessarily going to happen.

Too Much Food...

A local Fish and Chip shop won a national award in a national newspaper a few days ago.

We'd thought of trying them out some time ago so last night we did. They deliver(If I had a car)or use a taxi it would cost as much possibly more to travel there and back home. We telephoned our order.

No Haddock available tonight just Cod...ok, two cod and chips please. Would we like large cod or regular cod?

Regular please...

An hour later a knock at the door(and £10 lighter)we opened the packages.

Lovely and hot but enough to serve a family of four, if we order again one portion will be enough. Heaven knows what the large cod was like. I now know what it must be like when you see the adverts on television for a Bargain Bucket from Kentucky Fried Chicken for £9.99 and it shows a family of four getting stuck into a massive amount of food and usually some soft drinks too.

I've always thought that looks far too much for the family featured and I used to say you would have to be earning a lot of money to afford that night after night it would have to be a treat as our meal was last night. I can almost manage a full week of meals for that price.

By the way they were discussing the income of an average family in the UK on the radio a few nights ago with some economic experts, they said the average wage of a two adult home with children is £32,000. I assume that they use Government statistics.

I never earned that kind of money and I still don't, probably the highest I ever saw annually was approx £12,000 and when you take off the cost of traveling to and from work, taxes, rent, utility bills, community charges, food and usual items you have to buy like clothes etc...little if anything remains to save or spend on entertainment.

I still believe that you should work to live not live to work and if you are fortunate top find a job that rewards you or that you like or enjoy, it's a bonus. And my experience and what I have witnessed we still have few employers that are as good as they could be to their employees...most try to get as much out of their workers as they can for as little as possible. Even some perks that are not money based would help. But I digress and have gone off on a tangent, sorry.

Well, try as we may some had to remain uneaten and in reality that was probably half of what we had ordered.

So today there are going to be some very happy birds as I throw the remains of batter, fish and chips out to them. So it's not wasted as such but had we known...You live and learn...

How Long Before I Lose Interest In My New Toy?

We are fortunate in the UK in that our water system is safe and it you can drink straight from the tap. It is not necessary to boil the water before drinking it nor is it really necessary to buy bottled mineral water.

But for many years I have heard of the benefit of filtered water. I have resisted until now. I have heard that there are some elements in water that are better filtered out including herbicides, pesticides, lead, chlorine and limescale.

Some of these systems are very expensive when you take into account the ongoing purchase of filters and the water jug etc...in the first place. You can be talking of £16 and up over.

Yesterday, one of our local stores had an offer. OK it was a make I had not heard of but it seems well established and the offer was buy the jug with a free filter included. Also, a box of three filters(or two boxes of filters that's six filters in total)whatever your combination it came out at only £5. So I have enough filters to last me until the middle of May.

If the offer is still available and they have not sold out because of the saving I may buy another couple of boxes of filters early next week. Then I have enough for the whole of the year. I make quite a saving and should they decide to no longer stock the product or on going items needed to run it. I am ok for a whole year and I understand that other stockists carry it but if not, you can also buy online.

I understand that you can store the jug(space permitting on the inside of a fridge door to keep the water very cold)otherwise the water stays cool. Another advantage to keeping it in fridge(and I have heard this before that if you do that with any tap water chlorine disappears anyhow...so some of the work is done without filtering.

I live in a hard water area so limescale can be a problem and in recent years(Who knows what it does to heating systems)but it can mean a build up of limescale, you see it around taps, in toilet bowls and so on. And it is said to be an enemy of elements as used in electric kettles.

It might be true...some people say when a kettle is not in use leave it empty, Don't leave the element sitting in water but if you are making drinks at various times around the clock maybe that's not practical. I do know that I seem to go through more kettles than we used to and they seemed to last years in the past...now you are lucky if they last a year.

Well, if I use filtered water that takes away or reduce the amount of limescale in it maybe kettles will last longer. It cannot hurt. But though there are many fancy and expensive kettles around I just buy the most basic design possible as then when they fail, it's easy to replace. And as this week proved when the kettle failed at three in morning...I also make certain now that I always have a spare one in the house ready for such an event which I know will happen one day.

Now, I wonder how long before I lose interest in my new purchase? Can I taste any difference...Well, I cannot say that I can. Could Mum? No, not really. It cannot harm to use it...

Well...I can think of one problem or is that two? When the filters are finished there isn't any way to recycle or drop them off and so they go in the bin as rubbish and I assume that means to a landfill site and...the filter contains carbon so maybe it's not so eco friendly after all...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not As Good As Before...

My results were better in November but it went reasonably well today so what more can you ask? I seem to bounce around the same readings over and over. As long as they can control or slow down my condition, it's a bonus.

And so lets talk about anything but illness again...

TV, Radio, Food, Drink and whatever else takes our fancy...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's Still Some Nice People Around...

The snow has all but disappeared but the roads and paths are really bad because as it has thawed out we have been left with ice and in some areas black ice which is difficult to see.

It's been some weeks since the refuse collection has managed to get through ti collect the wheelie bins. We missed the Christmas collection so our bin is full.

For a number of days last week we put the bin out and then discovered that they had pulled the collection and gone back(weather permitting)to the usual collection day...tomorrow.

One of neighbours knocked at our door and offered to take all our rubbish to the kerbside because our drive is so dangerous. They have also offered to do some shopping if need help.

Now that's neighbourly.

Monday, January 11, 2010

All Mixed Up...

I thought my appointment with my Consultant was next week, it's actually this week.

No blood test arranged at the surgery so unless I can be fitted in tomorrow or Wednesday I will not have the information ready when I see him as usual. And I will have to wait until they are done at the hospital.

Also, though it looks as though the weather has improved so we'll both make it in the question is will the expected return of another snowfall mean that one or both of us are unable to get in on Thursday? Time will tell.

Update:Well, I may not like the results but I have managed to get a blood test at the surgery so something is going right.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Wheels Are In Motion...

I feel a bit strange about going to my Dr about what I have but I have an appointment at 10.50am this morning.

It iss tempting to cancel but I cannot change things whether good or bad so I have to accept what happens. I still feel calmish for now but there is a bit of apprehension of course.

And naturally all my Dr can do today is advise and give me an examination initially if he chooses and then arrange the next step which I assume will be tests and/or an appointment with a Cancer specialist.

The test will not trouble me but awaiting the results will...

Update:Well, my Dr did not really go through my notes but felt my breast and the lump and practically dismissed it straight away because of its size and shape. He looked unconcerned but said I was right to come in. But he did agree though rare what I was concerned about it might be, the drugs that I am on are very strong so could appreciate that might be a reason for having the lump but that would be homonal.

And it is gynecomastia. I have to believe my Dr that it isn't anything to worry about.

He says even if a hernia is big it's likely the hole will be very small and I should be in and out the same day and the longest wait will probably the three weeks it takes to get referred to see a consultant. Say the word and he'll arrange things. He understands delaying things to see how the kidney condition pogresses and to be sure Mum is a bit further on the road to recovery.

I discovered today that my kidneys had improved and possibly stablised(again)but that unbeknown to me earlier in the year I was on the borderline of things not being good and other treatment being required. So constant monitoring is so important and always will be.

I can drink alcohol and it will not affect me. So I can have a cocktail.

I have been taking a few suppliments like Garlic capsules, selenium, vitamin B complex, vitamin c, cranberry and of course plenty of fruit and veg so whether that has helped, it hasn't done any harm. I'll keep at it.

My computer has been taken away and may be repaired by tomorrow.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


I'm staying remarkably cheerful(but I'd be lying if I did not say that I am worried)
This possibly should remain private but I am honest if nothing else.

I had almost resigned myself to going to have my hernia fixed and I had/have no reason to think it is anything but a hernia but...

For no particular reason and almost by accident I have discovered a lump in my right breast under the nipple that is hard and painless and about the size of a 10p piece. I have no idea how long it has been there. After all I had no reason to look or examine myself and breast cancer in men is rare.

I've had no discharge, no skin dimpling, no redness, no scaling of the skin, breast or nipple and no inverted nipple so there are more good signs than bad, right? A quick scout around the web(and I know you have to be careful where you read...)it suggests again more positive signs than bad, possible alternatives are cysts, fibroadenoma, gynecomastia and only finally cancer.

Roughly...42,000 cases annually for Women...300 cases for Men annually and usually you have to have a family history but of course whilst there is not a history in mine...I am on very strong drugs for my kidney problems though they have been reduced dosage wise as hopefully my kidney condition improves. But we are talking years.

Unfortunately, a possible side effect of these powerful drugs can be damage of certain parts of the body(that's why they try to reduce or get you off them as soon as they have done the job)

These drugs are given to people after they have transplants or to try and stop the need of transplants in the first place but long term use can result in...Cancer so you know what I am thinking.

I also discover today that Azathioprine if you take more than 5mg a day increases this risk...I am on 100mg daily. Also, if used with certain other drugs this can increase the possibility...steroids(Prednisolone)being an example...which I take.

So when I see my own Dr next week this is going to take priority whether I like what I hear or what may happen in the future.

Is there any difference between private care or National Health? Not according to someone who works in both. How do I feel? Reasonably calm but ask me that as I get near to being tested and should I receive bad news. I feel as though I am talking about someone else for now.

There are more positives than negatives but as the time to see my Dr gets closer some aprehension is setting in.

Makes my hernia and computer problems pale into insignificance. Oh yes, you didn't know...my main computer has packed up and awaits repair.

I nearly did not post this as you can appreciate. What a way to start the New Year.

Male Breast Examination

Benign Breast Lumps

Breast Cancer In Men