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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The recent scare around Europe and the eruption of the Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name brought home just how little we still know and how little "we" Humans can do when Mother Nature decides to show her might. It is called Eyjafjallajokull by the way. I understand that the double "L" in the middle is pronounced as a "T" and the double "L" at the end is said as a "K" Good Luck!

There has been criticism from those within the airline industry that Governments(with advice from a recognised safety organisation decided to close down the airspace and stop planes flying on safety grounds. Airline companies and airports were chomping at the bit to get back in the air and some even did some of their own test flights to prove that ash that had spewed into the atmosphere from this volcano was insignificant. We were lucky that this was a tiddler, it could've been much worse, there are others and it will happen. Depending on what is thrown out will decide who and what would survive in such a situation. Sulpher Dioxide can do so much damage. One such event happened in 1783 and was spread round the globe.

And even some passengers stranded around the world started to get quit angry and stroppy over the lock down but if one flight had crashed and it was proven to have been caused by this disaster one can only imagine the criticism that would be directed at the airline industry and Governments and what it would cost the industry and insurance companies in compensation.

One reliable weatherman only a few nights ago on his regular radio spot suggested the winds could by the end of this week be blowing the ash our way again.

Some 15 years ago a NASA plane carrying out some scientific tests tried to avoid a volcano that had put clouds of ash in the sky and thought that they had. Later the scientists on board using some very sensitive equipment on board realised that they had flown through the ash.

Later on the engines stripped and checked at great expense(Millions of dollars)and they found parts of the coatings on the parts sandblasted, some debris had melted onto the parts, other parts of the engines were clogged up and so on.

This time we were lucky but there are tales(I'm sure links exist on the Internet if I had the time to look)but the UK has already been affected by such a volcano that blew it's top in Iceland a couple of centuries ago and amongst the many effects 23,000 people in the UK were killed and it was attributed to that event. I suspect that is the same event I mentioned earlier in 1783.

Back in the 1800's around the time Wellington was fighting Napoleon at Waterloo a volcano went off on the equator and for a few years it affected the weather and they say we had no Summer to speak of. And we haven't talked of the event they say will happen(It's just they don't know when)in Yellowstone Park. It's said when that blows most if not all of America will go with it and we can only guess what damage and how much debris that will put into the air.

We can and should try and protect and prolong the life of our planet but it kind of puts into perspective our meagre efforts to cut back on carbon emission when you think what a volcano can put out there. It also brings home what is going on in the centre of our Earth.

But then again out of such disasters when a volcano blows it also often discharges a lot of minerals that "We" Humans use such as Aluminium, Lithium and many more. Lithium which is now used in medicine, batteries, electronic gadgets and much more is in very short supply as things stand...it is said that Bolivia has the most of any country and even their supply is expected to run out by 2015 but for now that coutry is being careful how it sells it and it can just about ask any price it wishes to.

Of course some genuine passengers stranded. Some have been taken in by con artists or companies who have promised to get them home and then let them down or put the prices of accommodation and fares up. But then you get those who have travelled as far as it is possible to do so and they have left their children at home(with family or friends)and the they are filmed crying and complaining that they are unable to get home and they want to see their young children. Or older children are supposedly desperate to have them home.

Well, at least they should be at school and have family or friends to help out and arrangements would be made before the holiday otherwise...why not!
They say "We" British stay calm and collected in a crises but quite often whilst I am sure that many do, we do seem to hear and see the "Nasty" side of our nationality. Though I am sure that we are probably not alone regarding that trait.

It will be interesting to see how we cope with a real disaster in the future(if we survive)

I may come back to this subject and/or add more to this entry as I have heard much more in the last few weeks on this topic and subject on radio and television specials and that includes more information about the origin of our planet and yes, even "Us" humans.

Experts say that some of our composition means that we were probably made of amongst many other elements...Star Dust! I kidd you not.

The Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions

It's Been A While...

I am still around and learning my way around my new(well, newish PC)On the whole I'm happy. Dare I say it appears to be working fine but there a couple of things need slightly tweaking and I am having to decide what I can delete and should keep belonging to the PC's previous owner.

It is using Windows 7 which does not seem to be causing any major headaches...I'm not sure why Vista was unpopular and I cannot see much difference between that and Windows 7 if I am honest.

I may in time. I only had Vista for approx one year, just as I had the previous pc.

I have discovered that some online features of sites are not available if you are using Windows 7(64 bit)operating system and the software is still being developed so for now I cannot access some features on some websites and that's a bit annoying.

There is no point going back. I'll just have to accept I am ahead in the game.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Back On The Bread Trail Again...

I cannot believe it...me who always has plenty of food in the cupboards and fridge/freezer is actually low on bread and milk but I don't wish to go out until next week.

So I have two litres of milk to last us(I think we can do that)and I have baked a white and wholemeal loaf, so we should be OK on that score...I have more flour, yeast etc...so I can make more. It's getting easier and quicker to do bread. I used for the first time a cheap but very good hand food mixer which also has dough hooks.

But though it made making the white loaf much easier and less messy for some reason the wholemeal loaf was not so, the mixture kept flying off in different directions or climbing up the dough hooks. They are made in minutes and lots of the work associated with baking is practically non existent.

They've come out as good as any I have done before and cheaper than bought loaves though I don't know how much I have spent in electric whilst the oven bakes them.

Now the only other two items I have to use(I have not used since buying)is a toastie Sandwich maker and a steamer but it's early days.

Decisions, Decisions...

My repairman is selling his PC, you might ask why(I have thought so too and and so has Mum who is not a computer expert)

Then again allowing for some really tiny scratches at the bottom of a flip down door, for a second hand(all but in name, it is a refurbished machine)Well, it is isn't, as it is only approx 6 months old...it offers so much and is quite a whizz bang, bells and whistles bit of kit...

It is a mini-tower(and he assures me it has enough room to add items and upgrade various parts)

Something similar with less specifications new in the shop down the road would cost me another £120.

It has 9 USB ports(4 in the front, 5 in the rear)

2 Digital connections(1 front, 1 in the rear)

Also 2 Firewire(?)connections(1 front, 1 in the rear)I have to admit I don't know the real name of these ports.

It's upgraded to professional Windows 7(it was originally using Vista)

I have no idea what graphics/sound card/motherboard it has but I do know that it has a Intel Core 2 E7400 Processor

4 GB of Memory

640 Hard Drive

DVD Burner with label flash

VGA - X4500 Integrated Intel GMA

Multi Card Reader

He's thrown in a Free view TV Gadget that fits into a USB port and you can if you have decent signal(I need a booster or new aerial on the roof)you can pick up a number of tv stations without using an internal TV card.

You can watch tv but also record tv onto Hard Drive and/or burn to DVD. It also pauses live tv if you have to stop watching for some reason and you can play it back from where you stopped it.

So for all the advice about buying a new one or a refurbished model I am so tempted and yet when I listen to my friends I am tempted to spend some extra cash and but another machine.

The other side is that if things keep improving and changing and if I get a year or two out of this one I'll probably be happy anyhow.

And a lot of what was in the PC that failed can be re-used in this machine(space permitting)or the old PC I still have and I know eventually the old PC will have to be replaced.

Then this one might become the second PC instead and I'll get a newer one to replace this one.

Why can't life be easy?

I also have 4 external Hard Drives(already)and an external DVD burner and if I include what my other PC has I have an internal DVD burner there and an internal hard drive.

It's been said that there is no point remaining on dial up either...

Especially, as prices are similar and Broadband though not as fast as it should be in the UK it is much faster, they are saying give up on dial up. If I do, Mum will be able to make calls whilst I am online, we seemingly can get a deal where you have unlimited phone calls(Mum only phones her sister on the town)I phone no one and we think we could save quite a lot of money over the year.

Then the Broadband is included in the deal too so I can either stop paying for access to the net and Mum can pay it all(she pays the phone bill anyhow)and she'd still save money or I can be decent and pay what I pay now for net access and that will mean I am paying no more but I could reduce what she pays for her phone still further. So we all benefit...the downside...I have to pay by direct debit and sign up/commit myself for 18 months and I always have that niggle that if something goes wrong financially or something happens to either of us can we still afford it?

Then again maybe we should live for now!

If we could put the money aside(and in advance)so it is there and not touch it maybe we could manage it.

I'll have to really think this out!

Friday, April 02, 2010

We May Have Some Progress On The Computer...

My repairman explains that all new computers are gearing up to a new type of memory and operating systems of 64 bit so if you repair old computers you are putting off the inevitable.

So now it's do I buy a refurbished machine or a new one. He has some pc's in mind but initially tomorrow(today now)he is bringing his around for me to try for a few days to see how it copes with my software and how I get away with it. If I want I can buy it(it's approx 6 months old)but I think I may go for a newer one. If needs be I'll spend a bit extra or say buy me a good one and add some items to it. The important thing is that I get a few years out of it and there is to add items to expand what it is able to do.

I get the impression that desktop are becoming more compact so there is not as much room inside.

All I want is for it to do what I have become used to or if it can do something else that's a bonus. I am often more interested in the connections on the back of the pc.

But at least we are starting to get somewhere and yes, we are looking at going broadband at last. the local telephone exchange is only minutes from here and is pretty well geared up for internet access. It's just getting the best deal possible and we may also go for a package where you get phonecalls thrown in...

I am prepared that there will be some last minute glitches though...