June 2017

Jul. 5th, 2017 04:46 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
Started Cold / Flu / Allergies at the beginning of the month which continued through to the end of the month. Did see a Doctor, and prescribed medication.
J Returned from S America, so was able to dance with a partner once again. Went to 2 Saturday dances, one in BH one in Crawley, the latter being the Summer tea dance with Tea and Dance Demo
Continued line dancing, 10 weeks to last class in the month. Yoga had a 2 week hiatus at end of the month due to low numbers
Saw Wonder Woman at the cinema, best DC movie since the original Superman!
I had to transfer domain dendarii.co.uk from Just the Name to 1&1 (JTN stopped trading), transition went without a hitch.
Completed all Mandatory online training at work. Had problems with the IP phone system (made difficulties for a service desk!)
D has decided to move back to Holland, and intends to be gone in August (hopefully after I get back from Worldcon)
Continued to listen to audio books, finished Sorcerer to the Crown, Winter Tide, Mira's Last Dance, & Storm Front: The Dresden Files.
Summer finally arrived with record temperatures, of course this only lasted for about a week!

May

Jun. 5th, 2017 08:31 am
mbernardi: (Default)
This month my dance partner J went to South America on holiday, so I've been dancing with myself (mostly, sometimes with B one of the dance teachers). I therefore didn't go to the social dance at the end of the month (that I had a pain between my back and right shoulder didn't help either)
I've also ordered a new pair of dance shoes (at D's instigation!), they have arrived but I haven't got around to trying them on yet!
Started re-watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries from the beginning. Went to Daves Comix in Brighton for Free Comic Book Day (and collected a few free comics)
Had an occupational therapy evaluation at work, discovered that the best posture us to lean back onto your chair rather than sitting upright.
Continued line dancing (six weeks so far) and have learned (or at least danced 15 dances), also restarted yoga class. Since both these occur on Wednesday by the time I get home I'm knackered!
I have just discovered that Audible now has an annual subscription of £69.99 for 12 credits, rather than £7.99 per month for a single credit (a saving of £2.16 a month!) it also means I can pre-order tiles without worrying if I will have a credit available when the tile is published.
This month the SF book club met in a new location (The Lord Nelson) as the earth and stars was being renovated. We discussed Heart of a Comet which I again didn't finish. We also enjoyed the new location and decided to return next month.
Went to see Guardians of the Galaxy - Vol 2 at the dome, in Worthing and appeared to have been sold a senior seat, first time this has happened (apart from the over 55 showing at the Orion in BH) fun movie.
My little sister came over (from somerset) to visit the aged parent - and brought her dog Fraizer - so I caught the train and bus to join them for the week end. My Aunt and Uncle also came to visit on Sunday which made it even more special.
Had to visit the dentist to get a filling in a tooth on the lower right, not too expensive a repair. The Hugo Finalist voter pack has been released and I have started reading / listening to theses.
I had an appointment to see a podiatrist and booked the morning off so that I wouldn't have any problems with arrival times. Got in to work early and queried by my manager why I was in work as I had the morning off! So I caught the train back and managed to get to my appointment with 5 minutes to spare!
It was a lovely sunny day so after walking back to the station, I had a delightful ice cream sundae before returning to work!
The last Saturday in the month was my Mum's birthday, so I caught the early train and bus to their location and arrived 9:30 (as mum was finishing breakfast!). My sister got back from walking 3 dogs and then we practised line dancing together. went out for lunch at my niece's new house, then got a lift home. Front door was dead bolted so I couldn't get in!
Had to wait for D to get back from Brighton, which was only 15 minutes. On the last bank holiday of the month I made my annual visit to the circus at Preston Park. This year was Gerry Cottle's WOW circus, there was a fine selection including some excellent jugging and a number of impressive magical trick cutting people in half in three different ways.

April 2016

May. 4th, 2016 05:00 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
With Barnes & Noble / Nook leaving the UK market (only one book I bought has been transfered to Sainsburys), I decided to root my Nook - It was out of warranty anyway.
It was relatively straight forward; using NookManager, allowed me to finally browse the net on the Nook tablet, I've been unable to run the kindle app on it but the Kobo app seems to work. and generic epubs can be easily read.
Went to see Zootropolis which was a sci-fi, cop buddy, animated feature. well worth a watch
Dance classes continued every Tuesday, and this month we had an extra Saturday dance mid month. Finally started to learn some new Latin steps (in Cha Cha)
It was my 55 birthday this year, so I can technically take early retirement - I decided not to. But the family got together for a meal the Saturday before.
The second Monday is SF Book Club and as this was on my actual birthday I ate at the pub (rather than the cheaper Burger King / Subway) drinks were also purchased for my fellow readers.
Also for a change I had just completed reading " "Station Eleven" by Emily St John Mandel, this month book to read. Once it got going it was an interesting example of Literary SF (it won the Clarke Award last year)
The following day went to lunch with J before we went dancing, extra long weekend!
Started listening to Audible; audio books; again (after not listening at all during March). Especially the Noctis Magicae series by Sylvia Izzo Hunter - looking forward to the 3rd in the series.
I have a belt bag that I keep all the stuff I need every day (keys, wallet, pen etc) it was hand made a number of years ago. While the leather is still in good shape the seams have been coming apart. I returned to the shop (Clever with Leather in Brighton) and they repaired all the seams and replaced the belt attachments for £5!
As a belated birthday present I decided to buy myself an Amazon Fire Tablet for £49, it arrived only a few days later and was a delight, nearly the size of a paperback (though thinner) and with the ability to read kindle books aloud, download and read epubs (inc library books) watch video and of course browse the net and check email, it even has a pair of cameras (though not the greatest quality).
Finally uploaded my Eastercon report to LJ!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Renewed my season ticket for the month £212.80, Contract at work has been extended again!
Used up all the eVouchers I had accrued due to train Delay Repay to pay for my ticket to Marks Tey, for this year's Filkcon
Took half day off so that I could go to the Matinee of Private Lives at The Theatre Royal in Brighton
Next day off to Con2bil8 (The 28th UK Filk Convention), 5th – 7th February, 2016 at The Marks Tey Best Western Hotel
With UK Guest of Honour: Piers Cawley and Overseas Guests of Honour: Stone Dragons (Tom & Sue Jeffers)
Discovered the Bungalow Diner just a few minutes down the road. Ate most of my meals there, an English version of an American diner.
Went to Earth & Stars pup on second Monday for SF reading club where we discussed The Diamond Age.
Went to The Hawth to see The Last Tango with Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace, no dancing this week.
Learning new steps in Foxtrot, an revised this every week, Social dance was a week early as the school was using the space for a play.
Forgot my yoga gear one week so missed that class. The funding by NHS stopped this month so we decided to continue funding the class personally at around £6 per week.
One of the irritations of the yoga class was that when we moved the tables in the conference room many off the legs fell off! I finally found an Allen key which allowed me to tighten the appropriate screws and now none of the legs detach!
Listened to audible books almost every day usually for over an hour, due to having the St Mary's Chronicles by Jodi Taylor, to listen to.
Updated The Bujold Nexus - (Bibliography). Need to update more regularly as it is coming up to the 20th Anniversary!
Saw Deadpool at the Dome cinema in Worthing. One of the best moves I seen in the last year. Rather more adult in nature than the usual super hero fare but funnier too.
Used paper Delay Repay vouchers to get ticket to London for Picocon 33 on 20th. Guests of Honour: Paul Cornell, Carrie Hope Fletcher & Michelle Paver. Had to leave early as the social dance was this evening.
Booked bed at YHA in Manchester for this years Eastercon. I've also got membership of Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.
Got two hardback books from amazon at enough discount that it was paper back price. Amazon locker in town is really handy.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Continued Ballroom dance classes on Tuesdays, with normal social dance at the end of the month. Mid month we got an additional social - a charity event at the same venue.
Strictly Come Dancing is regular week end fare on TV with Dr Who to follow. Also the Librarians return to TV
Also continued with after work yoga, also found some yoga apps to try to continue efforts away from class.
Took Saturday morning adult education class over 3 weeks on Family History in the 21st Century! (Who Are You?) from 10:00 - 1:00. When I last did any research all records were on paper and indexes were on microfiche. They are now all online.
Brighton SF Reading Group discussed Cloud Atlas - I only read the first chapter.
Took out a free two week introdutory membership to ancestery.co.uk very usefull for the saturday class. Cancelled it after the last morning!
Saw Dave Gormen at the Hawth where he gave his "Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point*
*The Powerpoint comedic presentation. (trains delayed both arriving and leaving
Watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Thunderbirds are Go and Supergirl
Spent a number of days at the Doctors office (after getting a flu jab last month) with blood tests, checking for high blood pressure and and ECG. Mostly OK but could loose a little weight.
Updated The Bujold Nexus and ordered a print of all the ebook covers as a poster
Started listening to audible books again. Especially The Chronicles of St Mary's, byJodi Taylor. Also currently on track to read 200 books this year. Not anywhere near my highest numbers but respectable.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Two Wednesdays back BOTH K and J were at the dance lesson. Fortunately the teacher needed a partner so J stepped in. Last Wednesday only K appeared so no issue. Last Saturday was the last Saturday in November so the social dance was on in the evening. K and i both made it and we danced all the dances we knew (even the recently learnt quickstep. Next social dance is on New Years Eve party (all night!). K gave me a lift to Three Bridges station as it was on her way home, and it meant I got home 45 minutes earlier than otherwise. I've also ordered some new dance shoes (my current pair I got 33 years ago!)

"Learn to program: The Fundamentals" at http://www.coursera.org finished last week. the final exam took 3 hours! and I managed to get 85%, this meant my total mark for the course was 83.5% (the pass was 70%) this despite only getting 35% on my last assignment. So I'm pretty happy. I also bought a discounted ebook copy of the tutors "Practical Programming" and intend to take the next course in the subject.

I've also started to listen to audio books from audible.co.uk, starting with "Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold" I've already read the book, but the audio edition bring it more alive (at least with a good narrator).

Last weekend I got a warrant from NS&I, as I've won £25 on the Premium Bonds. I can't remember if I've ever done so before but since I only have £26 worth that 104% over 50 years! I must remember to pay it in to my account.

My TV License was due this month so I have reluctantly subsidised the BBC, while they do produce some cool stuff (Dr Who, Sherlock, Strictly) £12 per month is a bit much.

I've managed to continue working on my ECDL Advanced (Excel 2007) module each week and am over a third the way through. Signed on at the Job Centre and am still looking for work.

As a result of being unemployed I have re-contacted Sussex Oakleaf and I'm volunteering with them again. Today was my first day back and it went less than perfectly. Due to issues with the IT equipment. First I had to get an account set up (I used a temp account all last year!) Then I had to use a VPN to connect to the central services on an ASUS Eee PC desktop. Finally got everything working and started creating an address database in excel.
mbernardi: (Default)
So over the Christmas holiday (which I spent at my parents/sister and family) I suffered a cold, causing me to cough all night. I did get better over time and now my coughing is not nearly as racking.

My Dad's eye sight is still poor, an I've been investigating option that will allow him to read his office (once a priest, always a priest even after retirement). I've been looking at Kindles / Android tablets with large print and read aloud options. Also text to speech on Windows 7 (but the free options seem very limited).

I've also re-started listening to Audible books, most recently "Bloodlist" by P N Elrod, read by Barrett Whitener. This is the first in the Jack Fleming series. I'll probably get the next one in the series as my January book.

One thing that is different in contracting, than in permanent employment is payment. I now get paid weekly, and have to get 3 different sets of time sheet numbers completed every week. One for the company where I'm actually working, one for the recruitment company (signed) and one for the payroll company (done on line). Then I have to have a master sheet for my own personal use, which includes all expenses and salary details.

We were working between Christmas and New Year (for 3 days) which was an unusual experience for me. The building was almost empty, and with nearly all the permanent staff off we got a lot done. I'd made some suggestions about documentation, and was very surprised to be shown some a while later that took my idea and ran with it, to produce something that would have been very good to have when we started! It was still very handy even so...

I've been wanting to see "Stomp" at the theatre for years, but haven't got around to it. I was therefore very happy to see that it was on Sky Arts during the Christmas/New Year period. I managed to watch it this time and was very impressed. They managed a live recording at the Dome in Brighton. Anyone interested in dance/acrobatics/movement and percussion should try to get to see this. And I expect a live performance would be event better.

My favourite ebook reader on my ipod has been for the last few years "Stanza" which is well supported by many ebook sellers. However a few years ago Amazon bought the company, and the software languished unsupported. Last November a final version was released, with a note that no further support was available. Unfortunately this copy was broken and only ran on iOS 5 devices. Since I have an iPod Touch 2G with iOS 4.2.1 it stopped working! I did manage to recover the previous version of Stanza on my device, but decided enough was enough, and moved to ShuBook, which while not quite as functional as Stanza is under current development. I have managed to archive all the ebooks I'd downloaded to Stanza (285 in total) and have just finished copying them back into ShuBook. Stanza is no longer on my iPod!

For New Year D cooked a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and sprouts. There was a chicken EACH so I've been eating the stuff all week.

Last Tuesday there was a storm across the UK and trees were blown down on the railway line, which meant that instead of taking 45min door to door, it took and hour and a half (which was my average journey time when I worked in London!) Luckily nothing was damaged near my house and if I hadn't watched the news I'd never have known.

With the New Year a new batch of people started doing the admin work we had been doing for 2 weeks, I got asked to do some mentoring, which seemed to go well. I'm also part of the pilot group which will start on the second half of the job, inputting data from the on site examining engineers.

I've been looking at the other software that was on the original requirements list (Office skills being number one) Visio was mentioned and I've do a little with it but not much. The other was SmartDraw a simple CAD package. I was able to download a demo and it looks very easy to use. It has the same layout as Office 2007/2010 and a wide selection of pre-developed objects. I would expect that Amey has added their own widgets, so I'll have to try it out next week.

Today I went shopping and got a coat (on sale at £11) and pyjamas (on sale at £1.50!) then to the library and got 3 books (including the latest book club one), and finally to the hairdresser to get a hair cut. Then home and a chance to update my blog!
mbernardi: (Default)
So over the Christmas holiday (which I spent at my parents/sister and family) I suffered a cold, causing me to cough all night. I did get better over time and now my coughing is not nearly as racking.

My Dad's eye sight is still poor, an I've been investigating option that will allow him to read his office (once a priest, always a priest even after retirement). I've been looking at Kindles / Android tablets with large print and read aloud options. Also text to speech on Windows 7 (but the free options seem very limited).

I've also re-started listening to Audible books, most recently "Bloodlist" by P N Elrod, read by Barrett Whitener. This is the first in the Jack Fleming series. I'll probably get the next one in the series as my January book.

One thing that is different in contracting, than in permanent employment is payment. I now get paid weekly, and have to get 3 different sets of time sheet numbers completed every week. One for the company where I'm actually working, one for the recruitment company (signed) and one for the payroll company (done on line). Then I have to have a master sheet for my own personal use, which includes all expenses and salary details.

We were working between Christmas and New Year (for 3 days) which was an unusual experience for me. The building was almost empty, and with nearly all the permanent staff off we got a lot done. I'd made some suggestions about documentation, and was very surprised to be shown some a while later that took my idea and ran with it, to produce something that would have been very good to have when we started! It was still very handy even so...

I've been wanting to see "Stomp" at the theatre for years, but haven't got around to it. I was therefore very happy to see that it was on Sky Arts during the Christmas/New Year period. I managed to watch it this time and was very impressed. They managed a live recording at the Dome in Brighton. Anyone interested in dance/acrobatics/movement and percussion should try to get to see this. And I expect a live performance would be event better.

My favourite ebook reader on my ipod has been for the last few years "Stanza" which is well supported by many ebook sellers. However a few years ago Amazon bought the company, and the software languished unsupported. Last November a final version was released, with a note that no further support was available. Unfortunately this copy was broken and only ran on iOS 5 devices. Since I have an iPod Touch 2G with iOS 4.2.1 it stopped working! I did manage to recover the previous version of Stanza on my device, but decided enough was enough, and moved to ShuBook, which while not quite as functional as Stanza is under current development. I have managed to archive all the ebooks I'd downloaded to Stanza (285 in total) and have just finished copying them back into ShuBook. Stanza is no longer on my iPod!

For New Year D cooked a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and sprouts. There was a chicken EACH so I've been eating the stuff all week.

Last Tuesday there was a storm across the UK and trees were blown down on the railway line, which meant that instead of taking 45min door to door, it took and hour and a half (which was my average journey time when I worked in London!) Luckily nothing was damaged near my house and if I hadn't watched the news I'd never have known.

With the New Year a new batch of people started doing the admin work we had been doing for 2 weeks, I got asked to do some mentoring, which seemed to go well. I'm also part of the pilot group which will start on the second half of the job, inputting data from the on site examining engineers.

I've been looking at the other software that was on the original requirements list (Office skills being number one) Visio was mentioned and I've do a little with it but not much. The other was SmartDraw a simple CAD package. I was able to download a demo and it looks very easy to use. It has the same layout as Office 2007/2010 and a wide selection of pre-developed objects. I would expect that Amey has added their own widgets, so I'll have to try it out next week.

Today I went shopping and got a coat (on sale at £11) and pyjamas (on sale at £1.50!) then to the library and got 3 books (including the latest book club one), and finally to the hairdresser to get a hair cut. Then home and a chance to update my blog!
mbernardi: (Default)
This month's book club was "The Two Pound Tram" by William Newton, for the first time I completed the book, it was a shorter book, so was an easy read. Set in Sussex during World Word II it managed to feel almost documentary even though it was almost entirely fictional.

Then I got a student discounted haircut at Boomerang in Burgess Hill

The next few Business Admin courses were shorter and got first test at the beginning of the month and the final one at the end of the month, passed both. This completed "EDI Technical Certificate in Principles of Business & Administration Level 2". Got a new ID card that will be valid for next year as I got funding to take the Level 23 course in the new year.

I upgraded Lucid Puppy Linux on my eeePC, all the advantages of the Ubuntu repository with a smaller footprint Linux.

I also finally upgraded my iPod Touch 2G to iOS 4.2.1 (which is the last version of iOS which will work on this older device). This means that iBooks is now available, up to 20 apps were updated after the upgrade. The actual upgrade process took nearly a week! possibly due to the age of the PC I was using to do the upgrade. I haven't got around to jailbreaking the iPod yet as the only feature that I really miss is the option to stop rotation, and some apps have this as an option.

I subscribe to Audible.co.uk and buy at least one audio book each month. This isn't too expensive at £7.99 each month, which if it's a reading of a hardback is cheaper than getting the book.

I have been borrowing more books from the library and have therefore managed to reduce my book purchasing by a significant amount, I've tried to reduce it to less than 2 books a week!

Had to pay my TV License which was a fairly large chunk of change. But it's worth it just for Doctor Who and David Attenborough!
mbernardi: (Default)
This month's book club was "The Two Pound Tram" by William Newton, for the first time I completed the book, it was a shorter book, so was an easy read. Set in Sussex during World Word II it managed to feel almost documentary even though it was almost entirely fictional.

Then I got a student discounted haircut at Boomerang in Burgess Hill

The next few Business Admin courses were shorter and got first test at the beginning of the month and the final one at the end of the month, passed both. This completed "EDI Technical Certificate in Principles of Business & Administration Level 2". Got a new ID card that will be valid for next year as I got funding to take the Level 23 course in the new year.

I upgraded Lucid Puppy Linux on my eeePC, all the advantages of the Ubuntu repository with a smaller footprint Linux.

I also finally upgraded my iPod Touch 2G to iOS 4.2.1 (which is the last version of iOS which will work on this older device). This means that iBooks is now available, up to 20 apps were updated after the upgrade. The actual upgrade process took nearly a week! possibly due to the age of the PC I was using to do the upgrade. I haven't got around to jailbreaking the iPod yet as the only feature that I really miss is the option to stop rotation, and some apps have this as an option.

I subscribe to Audible.co.uk and buy at least one audio book each month. This isn't too expensive at £7.99 each month, which if it's a reading of a hardback is cheaper than getting the book.

I have been borrowing more books from the library and have therefore managed to reduce my book purchasing by a significant amount, I've tried to reduce it to less than 2 books a week!

Had to pay my TV License which was a fairly large chunk of change. But it's worth it just for Doctor Who and David Attenborough!
mbernardi: (Default)
I've seen a three films at the cinema since the new year. These included: Megamind 3D, this animated feature was the first 3D film shown at the Orion Cinema, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the continuing Narnia series with mostly the same cast but a new studio.
Lastly Tangled, a retelling of Rampunzel, which mostly makes sense.
I also watched a couple of films on Sky Box Office: Knight and Day (I think) and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. This was fun but not as great as everyone has said.

I've seen my doctor re aches in my arms and fingers and numbness in my feet. So far I've had a negative blood test. I'm still visiting my chiropractor regularly, but need to do more walking.

I've recently downloaded the Audible App for my iPod, and am now downloading and listening to a number of audio books. Withe the current membership subscription they are cheaper than hardbacks and only slightly more than paperbacks.

I'm still currently unemployed, but I've final started to make a significant effort to actually find a job. I've started tracking job seeking activity in a spreadsheet.

At the end of the month the toilet started leaking again. Luckily D was able to fix it.
mbernardi: (Default)
I've seen a three films at the cinema since the new year. These included: Megamind 3D, this animated feature was the first 3D film shown at the Orion Cinema, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the continuing Narnia series with mostly the same cast but a new studio.
Lastly Tangled, a retelling of Rampunzel, which mostly makes sense.
I also watched a couple of films on Sky Box Office: Knight and Day (I think) and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. This was fun but not as great as everyone has said.

I've seen my doctor re aches in my arms and fingers and numbness in my feet. So far I've had a negative blood test. I'm still visiting my chiropractor regularly, but need to do more walking.

I've recently downloaded the Audible App for my iPod, and am now downloading and listening to a number of audio books. Withe the current membership subscription they are cheaper than hardbacks and only slightly more than paperbacks.

I'm still currently unemployed, but I've final started to make a significant effort to actually find a job.

At the end of the month the toilet started leaking again. Luckily D was able to fix it.

July 2017

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