Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tinkling in the Goal Mouth

One of the more bizarre moments from today's sporting fixtures was undeniably to be found in the National League North football match between Bradford Park Avenue and Salford City. There are various reasons for a referee to send a player off, including a deliberate foul on an opponent with a clear chance to score, dangerous play and showing flagrant disrespect to the officials. But what on earth was going on in the Salford goal area towards the end of this match?

Tweets posted on Twitter this afternoon - Image manipulated a bit in order to fit onto this web page

Possibilities include:

  • Too freely imbibing of the half-time tea. They serve it pretty strong up north, I believe.
  • The play was so exciting the goalie couldn't cope.
  • There was a really dry bit of turf at the side of the goal line that was really distressing him.
  • It was for a bet.
  • He was marking his territory.
  • There was some badinage with the Bradford supporters massed behind his goal and somehow the phrase 'taking the piss' got taken literally
  • Upset by taunts about him leaking goals, he decided to show he could leak something else
And so on. If you have any further suggestions do please write in to the Editor. He has no interest in sport and it will really wind him up.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Windows 10 - The Curse of the Error Message

I switched my pc on this afternoon, knowing that when it shut down a couple of days ago there were updates being installed, so I expected to receive the message that duly appeared to inform me that the completion of the process was taking place. Alas, having whizzed through the last ten per cent of installs it then mournfully put up the banner of failure
We couldn't complete the updates. Undoing changes. Don't turn off your computer
I have never had this one before. I did not turn off the computer but waited for a few minutes until a reboot. Then it told me it was applying updates again, then once more that they had failed. And it rebooted again. But this time the system started up normally.

After some minutes the little box at the bottom that warns if there are system messages came to life (was it shy, or waiting for me to calm down?) to tell me that the updates had failed and I should click for further information. Well, you know me, I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. So I clicked, and waited, and eventually up came more info telling me about a raft of successful system updates made a few days ago. And not a word about a failure.

So now I am baffled. What was it that failed to update? Will I get this all over again the next time I reboot? Why does the system tell me there are problems but not what the problems were or what the updates were that it was trying to install? Is this a game devised by some cunning mastermind at Microsoft HQ to see how many abusive emails they can receive?

Whilst waiting for the reboot processes to complete I checked out the internet on another device to see what others thought about this warning message. Depressingly, most of the so-called Microsoft Professionals advised making changes in Windows. None of them seemed to realised that a PC that is rebooting itself does not load Windows in a form that the user can manipulate, or alternatively that if Windows does load then the reboot issue has gone away (albeit it may return).

I hope I will not have to return to this topic.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gone Fishing

A hard couple of days doing essential maintenance on the aquatic part of the estate [pond out the back: Ed]. Twenty years ago we put in a couple of baskets of snakegrass and of irises. Since then they have grown and spread, creating huge rootballs and great dollops of smelly mud, each generation of plants dying back to form a new layer of mulch for the next. Almost imperceptibly the plants had taken over more than half of the surface area and their weight was such that it was impossible to shift them. It was time to act.

Yesterday we managed to cut through the soft mud and remove it, piece by piece, until with some careful levering of a spade the rootballs could be freed and lifted. To my surprise the baskets were still there - I had assumed they must have rotted away long ago. Today we finished the job of clearing up and tomorrow I aim to take all the debris to the dump.

The final job is to put the fish back. They are slippery little blighters. Once we began cutting into the vegetation, the pond rapidly filled with filthy water and it was necessary to remove the fish. But because they hide under the plants, these had to be cleared first. This meant the water was so full of mud that nothing could be seen and the only way to catch the fish was to trawl around with a net or a bucket then inspect the contents as they were emptied. One by one, as I poured water into the drains, a flopping little body would emerge for me to decant into a fresh holding tank. I think I got them all in the end but I won't know for sure until they go back in.

We have been very fortunate with the weather. Last week we holidayed in the Black Forest (and very beautiful it was too) with average temperatures in the low teens. This weekend in the UK we are in the high teens, it hasn't rained and a touch of the low twenties is promised for Monday.