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Messages - pilgrim [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Choosing a career
« on: June 16, 2013, 08:48 AM »
Those of you who have been following my threads  in recent weeks will have read the story about the origins of my Avatar.
It goes back to a time when I went through a long period of hard thinking.
That's not to say that thinking hasn't always been hard for me.

These days there are plenty of places you can get career advice, in those days there wasn't.
I remember talking to my dad about it and he came up with various ideas.
But when I told him that I wanted a vocation rather than a job he suggested a fortnight in Benidorm which wasn't quite what I had in mind.

My mother told me that I needed a purpose in my life. I found out later that at the time I'd misunderstood what she said.
So I finished up working at Sea World as it was the only place I knew that had one.

I had always been interested in helping people, it went back to being told things like 'always help old ladies across the road'.
It turned out not to be so easy at times, especially if they didn't want to go.

I thought about becoming a priest or a minister of some kind.
The idea of working on Sunday and having the rest of the week off sounded good to me.

Several people suggested that I should become 'a man of the cloth', but I wasn't sure that I could cut it as a tailor.

For a couple of years I seriously considered becoming a missionary, but I could never find the right position.

Many years later I was sitting at the back of a packed church hall listening to a talk by a woman who had just spent three years working as a missionary in India.
She was a really good speaker and she made everything she talked about seem so vived you could picture it almost as if you was there.
Apart from her voice the place was silent, everybody listening intently to what she was saying.
Everything was alright until she started talking about the Ganges.

She told us that the river was considered sacred and that people used to go there to bathe and that they used to make small floating offerings on which they put flower petals and often a lighted candle.
She also told us that the women used to go there to do their laundry and how they would swing the clothes over their shoulders and pound it against the rocks to get it clean.
Then, without any discernible pause, she told us how the men used to take their cattle there to wash them.
I couldn't help it but I had to chuckle.
The person sitting next to me asked me what was the matter, so I told him.
Although we were only whispering several other people heard and in a couple of seconds everybody in the two back rows was trying not to fall off of their seats laughing.

Of course neither the Minister, who was sitting at the front, nor the woman had the faintest idea of what was going on.

The problem was the lack of a pause between the two sentences.
One moment I was sitting there with the image in my mind of a woman swinging her washing over her shoulder and pounding it against the rocks.
The next it was replaced by a little guy in a loincloth and turban doing the same with a cow.
Can you blame me for chuckling?

I never found out if that night had anything to do with it but I never got invited back again.

This is another extract from Pilgrim: A Brief Hystery.

Living Room / Re: My New Philosophy
« on: June 13, 2013, 07:28 AM »
"This too shall pass."

I have only just found this and was impressed enough to install it.

I do have one request, I would like to be able to set where it opens on the screen.

Anyone ever come across THIS?

Living Room / Re: Messed Up in Miami
« on: June 13, 2013, 04:38 AM »
About twenty years ago I lived for two years without any income. I never finished up homeless but I had a car sitting outside my house that I could not afford to put petrol in, which had little if any value in monetary terms because of its age and condition so it was not worth selling, I could not pay the rent, and I did finish up without any money. In the last six weeks of that period I lost two and a half stone, that was on top of the three stone I had already lost.

If I wanted to go anywhere I walked and tried to hitch a lift, I won't bore you with all my experiences but I met some remarkable people during that time many of whom had their own stories to tell, like the young guy in the big new Mercedes who had a large house, a young family, and his own business, he drove many miles out of his way to take me to where I was going and when he stopped to drop me off he opened up a compartment between the seats and took out two large denomination notes and gave them to me, when I tried to refuse he told me that ten years before he had been homeless and if people hadn't helped him he would probably still be.

There are a number of things that I never lose sight of, I never forget where I have been, I never forget that other people have their own problems, I never forget that were it not for others I would either still be there.............or nowhere.

Living Room / Re: Messed Up in Miami
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:08 AM »
Take care and best wishes.

Living Room / Re: Life on the farm
« on: June 10, 2013, 04:28 AM »
Reminds me of that song: "Now and Zen there's a fool such as I".

It also reminds me of something I wrote a long time ago:

"And though eyes dim with age, even if I become blind
The visions that I've seen today are here within my mind."

The pictures in my mind are always more poignant and beautiful than they probably were in reality.

The Search

Where is reality, what is a dream
Tell me the truth is life all it seems?

While I am searching, as search I must
Who can I turn to, who can I trust?

Who can I question, who’ll set me free
Who knows the answers and will tell them to me?

No-one can tell me, no matter how hard I cry
But I will find out on the day that I die.

So I guess I'm still not too far gone.

You'll know if it happens, you can't get back again.  :)

General Software Discussion / Re: Shift to Linux
« on: June 10, 2013, 03:52 AM »
Those that I have been trying are all CD-R, I only use the RW when I am making sure that I want to make a permanent copy.

I need to go through the files on my old PC and its external drive to find the ISO's or I might simply download the latest versions as all mine are several years out of date.

Looking around I found several cases, especially with Ubuntu, where people were complaining of issues with specific versions when previous ones had worked.

I'm not sure that this is a Linux versus Windows problem as a rescue CD that I tested booted successfully and that is Linux based.

When I get any further I'll post again.

Living Room / Re: Life on the farm
« on: June 09, 2013, 04:48 AM »
:) :) :)

I wish I could walk down memory lane without getting totally depressed ten minutes in. :)

I won't even keep a photo album because of that. :huh:

My friend I have lived with depression for most of my life. I cannot take anything for it because a) nothing works, b) I adversely react to almost all medication.
Talking about it does not help because, as my Doctor said a few years back, I probably know as much about the subject as most professionals, no-one will ever know me as well as I know myself and the only people who will ever come close to understanding are those who have been there themselves.

I have never kept photos, not just for the reasons you suggest but because all the images that I need are in my mind.

The Pulpit
In the last couple of years I have accumulated about half a dozen pictures of people on my computers, with one exception they are all of children.
One is of a friend's first child taken just after he was born (I have never met either of them), the rest are of my grandchildren, two of whom I rarely see, one I have never seen.
The exception is of my youngest son and his wife, him I have not seen for over 30 years, her I have never met, although that should change in a few months time.

Depression is often considered an illness, for me it has always been a fact of life, a part of who I am.

Regrets? If I could go back would I change things?
We can only be the people that we are, we can only do what is there for us to do.

There are many who would disagree with that. They are entitled to their opinion.
If I had lived their lives I would agree with them. If they had lived mine, they would agree with me.

The life that each of us leads is individual to us, it can be very lonely at times but you are not alone.

General Software Discussion / Re: Shift to Linux
« on: June 09, 2013, 03:56 AM »
^Out of curiosity - was your new machine preloaded with Windows and UEFI/Secure Boot enabled?

Because if it is, it won't boot Linux (or any other non-Windows OS) off a CD until some changes get made in the hardware setup to allow it.

The new PC is all my own work so it wasn't preloaded with anything.

I thought that Secure Boot was only related to Windows 8 and that it was OS based.

Having read your post I have been looking into it. The first place I looked was the MB manual (I'm not on the PC at the moment), it does not mention it. Then I found a thread on the Windows 8 forums about disabling UEFI and one of the MB's mentioned is the same make but a different model to mine, having looked at the images it is probably the same BIOS.

Not knowing any better I strongly suspect that I have it enabled so when I get back to the PC I'll have a look.


I had an old copy of Puppy I'll have to see if I can find it.


I just checked the PC's BIOS and found no reference to Secure Boot or UEFI.

General Software Discussion / Re: Shift to Linux
« on: June 08, 2013, 10:51 AM »
One of the CD's is a genuine one that came with The Official Ubuntu Book.
The other was a download and I should still have the ISO itself which I can check, although as I said they both work on my old PC.

I learned about burning speeds the hard way although it's not always the answer, when I rebuilt my old PC a slipstreamed XP-SP3 CD that I had used before was rejected.
As my genuine ones are both SP2 I had to use one of them and then install the service pack, fortunately I always keep downloaded installers except for normal MS updates.

I get a File Hashes tab under Properties on all my computers: CRC32, MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512. There's 7 more that are hidden.
It also allows me to compare files.

I have a number of both CD and DVD RW discs, anything I am not sure about I put on one of those first.

Living Room / Life on the farm
« on: June 08, 2013, 10:29 AM »
Now that the sun has finally reappeared after a prolonged absence it reminds me of a time when I was much younger that I lived and worked on a farm for a while.

The farm I was on was quite remote, the nearest neighbour was a couple of miles away and the nearest village about the same again.
The nearest town was quite some distance and although there was a road past the end of the track into the farm it was too far away to hear much in the way of traffic.
So apart from the occasional aeroplane high above the majority of sounds came from the animals.
Whichever direction you looked there was rolling countryside as far as you could see, something that was particularly noticeable on the way home from the pub on Saturday night.

There was quite a range of animals on the farm although their main business was poultry, which is probably where I picked up so many fowl jokes.
Actually, I don't know if any of you have ever thought about it but birds, of all sorts, are among the sexiest creatures on the planet.
Look at what happens to them even before they hatch!

My favourite times were May and June, although their older sister April wasn't bad either, but she never seemed as warm to me. They were all Girl Guides, which is how I got to meet them.
It always amused me years later when they allowed girls into the Scouts. I had been a Girl Guide long before they even thought of that.
I used to stand outside the village hall on Friday nights saying "This way girls".

Saturday night at the pub was the event of the week though, they had a sing-along and as I said in the last paragraph there was a lot of local talent.
I remember there was one bloke who was always on about his combine harvester.
Another one actually became famous for a while when he came up with the OAP Anthem of the year.

The couple whose farm it was were both locals and I suppose typical of the area. He looked as solid as a rock, and she was built like a brick outhouse.
He was quite pedantic and he could be really outspoken if he heard someone describe something the wrong way, it got him in trouble a few times.

Every week he and I used to drive to the livestock market in the nearest town. Because it was the biggest place for miles around not only did it attract local farmers but also a lot of tourists.
I remember on one occasion he and I were standing by the animal pens and a couple walked up who were obviously not local. I don't think they had seen many farm animals before either.
The woman turned to her husband and said "Look at all those cows", the farmer's ears instantly stood up and he looked her straight in the face and said "Bullocks".
Well! It took twenty minutes to get her husband off of the farmer, and even then he wouldn't accept his explanation.

Ah, those were the days.

This is another extract from Pilgrim: A Brief Hystery.

General Software Discussion / Re: Shift to Linux
« on: June 08, 2013, 08:20 AM »
Thanks, I'll have a closer look when I've got the time.
For some reason the live CD's I've already got have refused to run on my new PC, they boot OK and then throw up file system errors.
The drive is OK because amongst other things I've run backup and partition software with it, and the live CD's still run on my old PC.

General Software Discussion / Re: Shift to Linux
« on: June 08, 2013, 05:55 AM »
@Deo - CrunchBang is my favorite go-to distro for laptops. Works very well with lower powered boxes too. Glad you found it. The interface is a little different if you're used to more traditional window managers like MSWindows or Gnome or KDE. But in may respects it's more flexible and configurable than most if you put a little time into learning about OpenBox and how to configure it.

It's also based on pure Debian so you can sidestep and not indirectly support Ubuntu's lack of etiquette in the FOSS community.

Looks pretty cool too IMHO. I always have somebody ask me what I'm using if I'm doing something on a CB laptop when I'm in a coffee shop, library or similar place. 8)

I've never heard of that before. I've not got the time to go through their forum/site at the moment, can it be run as a live CD/USB do you know?

Living Room / Re: SSD's - How They Work Plus Tips
« on: June 08, 2013, 05:17 AM »
Edit:  add curate.

I've known several of those, they're all vicars now.

I had a look at the second link and tried ALT+02531 which resulted in this:

What the hell that is I have no idea but the font is showing as Shona Bangla?

I found the font but I'm damned if I can find that character.

Living Room / Re: International Currency Transfers
« on: June 07, 2013, 07:31 AM »
Why is there an intermediary bank?

Given the IBAN/account number of the destination bank/account you should be able to transfer direct to least, that's all we required.

The only fees were at the sending end and an exchange rate that was ~2p lower than market, (IIRC).

1. Because the receiving does not accept international transactions directly. (They should have stuck with the stagecoaches.)

2. There is no IBAN for US accounts.

3. Part of it depends on the amount you are sending, the figures I have quoted are based on the amount I normally send.

These are hard times.
I've always had problems with begging letters but now it's worse than ever.
I keep sending them but no-one replies!

Living Room / Re: International Currency Transfers
« on: June 07, 2013, 05:33 AM »
The 7% included all charges, to my bank, to an intermediary bank, to the recipients bank, as well as a reduced exchange rate,
On the exchange rate alone there is a 5.2% reduction on market prices, that is about average compared to other UK banks.

Living Room / Re: International Currency Transfers
« on: June 07, 2013, 03:11 AM »
Thanks for the replies.


That was something I noticed, I have no idea why unless they have a large number of clients there.
Another thing I learned both from their website and talking to them is that they are regulated in each of the countries where they have offices, as two of them are in the EU that means the regulation is EU wide.


I'll see how I get on. Based on yesterday's exchange rate they were offering 8c on the £ more than my bank without any additional charges.
I did a rough calculation based on exchange rate differences between the bank, the market, and the company, as well as charges.
By my calculations, taking everything into account (sorry about that  :)) it costs around 7% through the bank and close to 1% through them.
That is a big difference!


The Boss is one of your fellow-countrymen, what can I say?  :D

Living Room / International Currency Transfers
« on: June 06, 2013, 11:34 AM »
I am looking into the question of making currency transfers between the UK and the US and wondered if anyone had any experience of, or thoughts on, a cheap (and reliable/secure) method.

Using an online service would not be my first choice but in general it does seem to be cheaper so I may have to use that method.

One thing I have come across is which needs to be set up online but transactions can then be carried out by phone.
Has anybody ever used them? Has anybody ever heard of them?
Gives a whole new world of meaning to P2P!

I have concerns about this thread, I just opened it to read the latest posts and the first thing I saw was this:

(Read 666 times)

Actually I don't know what all the fuss is about, politicians are a far more imminent danger, their actions can have global consequence and they change position frequently.

After I wrote this post I found the following and just had to include it:


7. government
government is like a condom in that it allows for inflation, halts production, destroys subsequent generations, protects a bunch of pricks, and provides its constituents with a sense of security while they are actually being screwed.

Magnetic north shifting by 40 miles a year, might signal pole reversal

SHOCK: North Pole Shifted 161 Miles in Last 6 Months

Perhaps it's found somewhere that offers a greater attraction?  :huh:

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Bring back the BEEP!
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:37 AM »
Another long shot:

Pieces of software are available here that are supposed to enable you to play all kinds of audio through the system speaker.

That was an interesting read but nothing to solve the problem, thanks. They are looking at playing actual audio files, the program I use on XP uses a batch file.

As this issue appears to be specifically related to the OS I found something yesterday that me wonder if it was possible to import something from Linux.
What prompted that thought was finding Cygwin. As ever it is way over my head but I'm sure that others here can make sense of it.

General Software Discussion / Re: Opera 15 Preview
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:21 AM »

Unfortunately, there is no safe method to remove Internet Explorer from Windows XP.

Internet Explorer is more than just a browser. It works as an underlying technology behind a number of internal Windows XP processes including updating, basic Windows functionality and more.

There are methods outlined on some other websites that appear to completely uninstall Internet Explorer and provide workarounds for the problems that removing it causes, but I don't recommend them.
In my experience, removing IE causes too many problems to be worth it, even with the workarounds.

Windows 7.
Since Internet Explorer's rendering engine is also used throughout Windows and with third-party applications as an embeddable component, it won't completely uninstall—only the executable is actually removed.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows Updates
« on: June 04, 2013, 08:00 AM »
But one of the things Bleachbit does it empty out SoftwareDistribution which will get re-filled as needed next time you check for updates.

The important part being 'as needed'.

KCleaner does the same thing.

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