Rant Of The Day

I hate to sound like a grumpy old man but………

I had to take Emma to Gartnavel  Hospital in Glasgow.

One of the nicer things that I have found about about getting older is  an increasing ability to be punctual.

We arrived 15 minutes early for the appointment and I dropped off Emma and Elaine at the front door. 45 minutes later I finally find a parking space. Don’t bother following, or even looking for the signs for the overflow car park, there aren’t any.

I arrive just in time to meet the doctor as they are leaving.

My advice: Pay the £2.00 and park in the car park of the adjoining Pond Hotel, it was empty and would have cost me less than the fuel I used driving in circles in first gear for three quarters of an hour.

Rant Over

I’m off to look out the tripod to take some night time  photos.


Recent Photos

I have just got around to going through the photos from our recent holiday in Florida.

The highlight (for me at least) was seeing the Shuttle launch.


More can be found on my Flickr page.


Emma’s History

Emma my eldest daughter has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease this comes on the back of a very long period with no diagnosis.

Originally the only symptoms she presented was sore legs: this they put down to her not tying her shoes properly.

From there after almost a year of fighting and losing more and more strength in her legs the doctors finally admitted that she had a neurological problem.

At first they thought it was Guillian Barre Syndrome so there then followed a year of treatments, once a month to receive immunolobulin at Wishaw General Hospital where she received the very best of care.

A year down the line and after showing no real improvement Emma went through a battery of further tests and it was confirmed that she was indeed suffering from Motor Neurone  Disease.

Family Home Improvements

Home Improvements

With Emma being in a wheelchair now there are certain modifications that are required around the house. These range from the simple; ramp to the front door and safety rails to grab onto; to the major, adding an extension to add a bedroom on to the ground floor and convert an existing room into a wetroom/bathroom. Now all of this is being done by the local social work department, and, after speaking with others in a similar situation I know that we are actually getting things done quite quickly !

All of the “simple” items, such as the ramp to the front door and getting a chairlift were done in a matter of weeks of asking, however the major items seem to be stuck in a morass of paperwork and processes within the social work department.

I don’t intent for this to turn into a name and shame session, or alternatively a blatant advertisement but if I see an extreme of behaviour, especially when it comes from an unexpected source I’m going to give plaudits.

Initially we were told in August that the work, a bathroom conversion and a small extension could be done in 3 months start to finish. Of course we were sceptical but this is what they do for a living so who am I to question them. There was an initial flurry of activity; architects came out, we reviewed the plans, we asked for a few amendments, all seemed fine. Then time passed. The official line was that the funding required to carry out the work was not in place.
Luckily, my mother in law has lots of contact with our local councillor Jackie Burns through her work with the community, who promptly told us in no uncertain terms that the funding was indeed in place.

One quick meeting later in order to try and get something done, they agree to split the work into two phases: the bathroom conversion, which only needs a building warrant; and the extension, which needs planning permission.

Then the builders arrive.

Normally this is the most stressful part of the project. However two factors come into play here:
1. We were on holiday
2. Elaine knows the builder

Work starts on the Monday and by the following Wednesday the work is completed and the bathroom is in use. Exactly on schedule. Strangely enough, it was the builder that was putting pressure on us, we were in the shop choosing the tiles and he had the van en-route to collect them. I cannot recommend Scott Building Services highly enough
Only the extension to go. Apparently the plans will be submitted for approval in January but they have yet to come out and inspect the foundations so who knows what will happen.

Watch this space.

This Site


I have just joined Technorati Technorati Profile

This Site

Go Live !

OK, I have decided to flick the switch and move this to the top level of my site and make it visible to the public.

Previously I have been using some other, content management systems; Typo (couldn’t get to work using PlusNet hosting) and Mambo (I just found it too confusing and time consuming to get to grips with.

Next task it to try and integrate some sort of photo gallery into this site. I have a coppermine site but I would really like something integrated and seamless.


Merry Christmas

Seasons Greetings to all !

My News Years resolution was going to be to create and maintain my online presence, but I decided to start early.

Christmas day entailed a 7am start (about average for my lot) until 2am. Christmas day is always a big affair in our house. Everyone congregates at ours. It was a bit of an easier ride this year; only 12 for dinner. Annette, Des and the kids (my sister and law and her family) decided to stay at home in London this year. Derek and Leanne (my brother) went to Leanne’s family for dinner, but they did come over in the evening.

Being a technological (wannabe) family it was a hardware Christmas. Connor and Sarah got new desktop PCs (Connor has a very nice 19 inch widescreen that I’m jealously eyeing up) and Emma got a nice shiny Dell laptop (I prefer my black one !)

So my current job is to get the wireless cards into the desktops and configured and copy all of the content from the “old” PCs onto the new. I think I may have just convinced myself that a cheap Network Attached Storage device is in order so I don’t have to do this again !

On the plus side my dad is inheriting Connor’s old PC and I am inheriting Sarah’s ! That’s me upgrading from my 500mhz pc to a 2.2ghz, yes you read that correctly. I tend to run Fedora Core so you can get acceptable performance from older hardware. I have just noticed however that this PC has only 256MB of memory, no wonder the kids complained it was slow !

Another successful experiment was providing the music for Christmas day. On my FC server I have been running slimserver to stream music. I then listen to this on my laptop or on my phone (using a wireless connection). On Christmas I went the whole hog and wired my laptop up to the hifi and then used my phone (M5000) as a remote control. It’s amazing being able to change artists/tracks/playlists at the click of a button from anywhere in the house. I may yet be convinced to upgrade to a squeezebox yet, but then again what i have works and costs nothing.

Back to moving files around the network and working out why one PC refuses to go faster than 1meg when everything else hits 56meg.