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Saturday, 25 September 2004. Well ….. would you Adam & Eve it!? I had a visit from two council staff. They had to complete a form they had been sent from Arran Homes. Looks like my application has been resurrected. I had given up hope and decided to stay here. But, as I have had to contend with being humiliated in public by the warden, and forced to take official action, I feel that I will never settle here again. She is due to go before a disciplinary hearing. When I hear of the result, I will complete the section that I have started here.
I am spending quite a bit of time on the keyboards. Yesterday I spent two hours on the Yamaha. It has over 400 voices, and I was going through them …. good fun.
On Tuesday, I went out to lunch with Carl & Kevin. Really enjoyed it, except that Kevin had an altercation with the car park attendant. Can't understand it. He just went 'ape'.
Tuesday, 28 September 2004. It's a sad life! About nine months ago I lent my old computer to Lil, the warden's mum. She did so well that I gave it, and a printer & scanner to her. I did a posh 'Deed of Gift' certificate! For about six months, I spent Wednesday afternoons teaching her. (That's how I got to know her so well) Today, a knock on the door and there was one of her daughters, and husband, with the computer and accessories in a shopping trolley. There was a nice 'thank you' note, but I sense that it was given back because of the problems. Click the link above. I have often used the phrase 'playground politics' when describing those events. This, sadly, just emphasises it. It makes me keener to get away to Arran. However, I am not looking forward to the stress of moving!
Monday, 04 October 2004. Had a good evening with the Basildon Keyboard Club last Saturday. The artists were The Longhorn Trio, three lads of 19,17 & 14 years. The 17yo also played alto sax. For £3 - good value.
When I came home, to unwind I settled down with a whisky, and listened to local radio. It was Richard Spendlove and his 'phone in' prog. He spoke of how he was setting up his own web site, and proceeded to give the URL. He said, "h..t..t..p………….. er " and went on to give a long Wanadoo host name. I cringed! I have always enjoyed his show. He is so understanding to the people who phone in. Not being too under the afflewencceee, I had a look to see if his name was available as a .com. It was, so I registered it. To cut the proverbial ….. I am helping him to build a site. Have a look at
Saturday, 09 October 2004. Can't fathom it - all quiet on the BDC front! They keep visiting here - hope they enjoy the fun.

More thoughts on my Ramblings pages about us human beings. Some may be interested - see here.
Saturday, 23 October 2004. My new web design for Richard Spendlove MBE is launched today. To those who have found their way to here, from there, a big welcome. You can wander the site from my home page, or use the search facility at the top and bottom of this page. To see the entire web site, put aside about 10/12 hours! For those who have not listened to East, Southeast & Southern local radio between 9pm and 1am on Saturdays you are missing a good broadcaster.

At last, I am bringing to a conclusion the four months of terrible, traumatic events that I have suffered at the hands of Mrs Eileen Holland, my warden at the sheltered housing complex where I used to live, and the hierarchy of managers with whom I have dealt. I started with the CEO Mr John Robb and, after every senior manager went on honeymoon, holiday, or a course, ended with a middle manager, Mrs Sylvia Gladwin. I now know how whistle blowers are made to suffer. In addition, I have empathy for those who resort to machetes, machine guns and Molotov cocktails in order to purge a perceived grievance. Up to now I have followed the courtesy of anonymity for the Basildon Council staff. As I have not been treated with courtesy, then that convention must now go. I have now done a Finale page, and put it all to rest.

As new visitors will have a hard time of it reading all the background information, here in few sentences, is what happened: -

I live in sheltered housing. After I proposed organising a musical evening, Eileen, our warden, & a tenant, Mrs Joan Higgins had their 'noses put out'. The next day, Eileen, sitting with Joan in the garden, said that she was not going to talk to me again. Then Joan said that I was mad, and Eileen agreed with her. I reacted very badly. I was hurt. (I have always been 'God's little Helper' here). I put a note to Eileen asking what had happened. She ignored me. Two days later, I phoned her manager, Mrs Copplestone. After being given the 'run around', followed by a meeting, I was told that I was not believed. No meeting between Eileen and me was ever suggested. After being lied to by Eileen, and her telling me that I was a 'problem' that she was discussing with Joan, I wrote to the CEO. This petty incident then exploded into a twenty-four-page report! Everyone has told me that I should have just told Eileen and Joan, "Fcuk off!" They are right of course, but that is not how we aged people lay down and die! Click the above 'Finale' link to read the full story.
Friday, 05 November 2004. On Wednesday, I had an interesting, and 'energetic' day with Richard Spendlove, and his granddaughter, Georgie. It made me realise that I am really 71 going on 92. I felt as though I had tried to run a marathon! Anyway, Georgie, who I have volunteered, will be taking over
the web site, as and when. By the way, Georgie is 15yo. I was most impressed with her knowledge, and her aptitude in learning web page set up.

The kind folk at Basildon Council are visiting the site regularly to see that I am "telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Those who are puzzled see my previous diary entry above.

I have had problems with this computer. Not too sure, but I think that I have narrowed it down to a thermal cut-out. The computer just makes a quiet click and blacks out. I opened the computer, and pressed all the connectors home. To keep the computer quiet I had wrapped it in sound deadening, but I have now removed it to improve the cooling. If it goes 'belly up' I will have to get another. I don't look forward to setting up a new computer!
Thursday, 11 November 2004. There are many sayings to help people deal with stress. I leave you to think of your own. On BBC Radio Two, Madonna was talking about her belief in Kabbala. I have had a brief look at it, and I see it as a re-hash of a basket full of philosophies. Have a look, but don't get sucked in - they are just after your money. You can see my thoughts here ramble03.htm - will01. The point I picked up with Madonna was that EVERYTHING that happens, in the end, is for the good. I can see that. It is a basic tenet of many religions.

I suffered a lot five months ago when Eileen Holland, the warden here, and Joan Higgins, a neighbour, insulted me. The matter then escalated when they both lied, and were supported by Sylvia Gladwin and other Basildon Council managers. (See two entries above) Now I can see that, "It's an ill wind that blows no one any good." The good that it has done for me is that I now do not have to be on call for the people here. They have lost me. It gives me my freedom! I AM FREE! For eight years I have been 'God's little helper', on call for anyone who wanted me. Now I am able to extricate myself from my compulsion to help all in need. This could be part of my final personal development.

The Richard Spendlove site is progressing well. There are probs for some people in accessing the Chat Room. There have been about 200 hits, and the rate is improving. I am getting quite a few people coming into this site from there.

The computer seems to have settled down. It must have been overheating.
Sunday, 14 November 2004. Right - that's me been extravagant again! I have been seduced into buying an Entertainment Centre for £1,100. Saw a review in the PCW magazine. I had been looking for a DVD recorder with HD and digital tuner, but could not find one. This set-up from Evesham combines that with a full computer. Also, I had been looking at upgrading my computer, so it's killed two birds etc.
See the info I have as at now here.

I'm hoping that I do not have the delivery debacle that I had with Mesh. Keep my fingers crossed!
Saturday, 20 November 2004. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because, once again, despite my 'secondary senile dementia' I have unravelled another complex computer cock-up. And, cry because with more 'people in the street' getting computers, you still need a degree in computer science to run the bloody things.
All this is just because I went to go into MS Windows Update, and was locked out. No matter what I did, I could not get in. So …. I went to the MS Knowledge Base, and then to the bulletin board. On the BB I found a lot of frustrated ppl with the same prob. Going through all the advice, I found something that helped me. But, it took me five hours on this machine to d/l a simple update file. Being grateful, I went back to the BB and thanked the ppl for the advice, and said what action I had taken to resolve the prob. I added a comment that this should not have happened, and that it was bad system design. There was a reply today giving me another load of advice, and inferring that I was out of order in criticising the MS programmers. My reply was that it should not be necessary for ppl to tear into the guts of their computer to d/l a little file. I run two bank accounts and eshop across the globe, but I can't d/l a little file?
I am waiting for the delivery of my Entertainment Centre, which is aimed at the general public. It is based on the same computer system. God help the 'man in the street'!

To see what I had to contend with click here :-
and look at this posting :- WU Error 0x800A01AD - 8 posts 11/19/2004
Ruben 11/19/2004 - Taurarian 11/19/2004 - Ruben 11/19/2004 - Taurarian 11/19/2004
Ruben 11/19/2004 - 11/19/2004 - Ruben 11/19/2004 - Robert Aldwinckle 11/19/2004
Friday, 26 November 2004. Evesham had difficulties in getting bits for the Windows Media Centre, so I have cancelled. At least they did not debit my card, and dealt with the order in a professional way. I'll see how things go after the New Year when the buying spree is over!

BTYayhoo, come BTOpenworld, have told me that I can now get broadband. Sounds good, until I looked at the offer. To get the system, I lose the web space AND the email addresses! I am looking at putting my site with Bravenet. It's a bloody nuisance if you have to change all your email contacts. As usual, I'll find a way to work round it. If I seem to disappear, just go to and see what has happened. Make a note of that, as if I'm not here you won't get me!
Friday, 03 December 2004. I have now signed up for BT Broadband for £18/month. It is said that next to bereavement, moving house is the most traumatic experience. Next to this, I have to put changing your web host, Internet provider, and email server. It has taken me about ten hours to sort it all out. To cap it all, in arranging the direct debit, I spoke to a call centre in India and was told that I CAN keep my BTOpenworld primary email address. The British call centre did not know this. So, there was no need to change my email addy on all the sites and facilities that I use! Bloody Hell!! The woman in India obviously had more computer technical knowledge that the British woman. Most likely she had a degree in Computer Science!
All my five sites are now hosted with Bravenet, and there is now the facility to have a private chat with me in my personal
Chat Room. You need to arrange a time with me. There is also the facility to have an 'anonymous' go at me - I don't mind!
I see that some of you are still going to my site via the btinternet link. This will close on Thursday 9th December, so don't get lost. Use the log on.
What upsets poor likkle me is that I will lose the Google references for about six months, as it will take that long to catch my new main URL. I get quite a few hits from Google, and other search engines. My personal search engine now searches all my five web sites.

An interesting development in the emotional mugging I got last June from Eileen Holland, the warden here. I had assiduously avoided talking to people about what happened. (Indeed in talking to the new tenants, I have given Eileen a glowing reference!) However, over the past week I have had four sensible people speak to me, who obviously knew the details. Their comments were that they see Eileen as "sucking up to us", and "lording it over us" and "Joan is really the boss here!" Looking back, I can see what they mean. It made me feel a lot better, knowing that I do have the support of a few decent people. If you are not faint-hearted, you can plough your way through the mugging details by going here.
Friday, 10 December 2004. That's me got BT broadband up & running. Makes quite a difference. It is a DIY kit and is very simple to set up. I'm hoping that the card charging is converted with no probs. To check out the system I had a good go at my site. I know that I am a "big 'ead", but I have to say that this site really is something to write home about! It has grewed over the past five years. It now has 489 web pages with 1177 sound, video & graphic files. I do not often browse through it, but I spent over two hours this time. I well believe that it is an excellent & interesting site. That is if you can face over ?ten? hours to view the lot! The most noticeable improvement with BB is the d/l of the video clips. As I have 500meg of space now, as against the old of 50meg, I may u/l some big sound or video files to see how it goes. The BT system allows me 1gig/month of traffic. Doubt if I will use it. They charge £4 for each additional gig.

Ain't life strange? And rewarding! Having my usual walk in the week, I got chatting to a fella. Long chat, during which I said that I was in sheltered housing. He said that he was as well, and continued "You're not in ?????? Court, are you?" I said, "Why is that?" He swelled up and replied, "My warden said that the warden there is a right ol' cow!" It turned out that he had heard about my story from his warden, who had been told about it by her daughter, who visited my spoof Basildon Council site! I did put emails to forty staff of the Basildon Council and got over thirty hits from the BDC Mailroom Server, so it was well promulgated. One of the reasons why I put my stories on here is to try to tell the world my truth. It seems to work. It also helps me to come to terms with the emotional mugging I got from Eileen Holland, the warden here, last June.

I checked my entries on Google, and all seems OK. It even shows the location as my new host. Good system.
Tuesday, 21 December 2004. Just to wish my visitors the compliments of the season.
Had a couple of bad days with my neck and shoulders, painful and stiff. Seems as though the muscle fibres stick together and 'tear' when I move. Went to bed last night in a woolly and scarf! Never mind, as I just told a neighbour …… part of growing old.
I was supposed to go for a blood test today, but did not feel like it. I'll try to get there tomorrow.
That was my first full week as a 'vegie'. Not too bad. I'll have a bit of turkey for Christmas day, and then see if I go fully vegie. There is a reasonable range of Quorn, Soya and tofu products. It's a matter of getting used to the seasoning and cooking routines. I make my own bread sometimes, and I think that I'll do it more often. Prob is that it can play havoc with my arm muscles when doing the kneading! Suppose it is better than an exercise bike! Also, it is affecting my digestive system - mainly for the better.
Carl came round last Saturday, and I gave him a two-hour recital on the console organ, He wouldn't play! I did quite well - best I've done for a while.
Thursday, 23 December 2004. As it is nearly Christmas Day, and good will to all men, I have put an mp3 file here of what happened eight years ago, (is it that long!), between "The Buckets", (Ivor Aylward, Joyce Aylward and Karen Aylward - {that's for Google!}, and me. I have done it as a test of my broadband upload. It is 4.3meg - @32kbps - 19 mins. long. See how it downloads. Dial ups may have probs. I'll have to find out what %age of people have broadband now. Left click to play - or - right click and 'Save Target As …'
Click here. For the full story - click here.
Neck a bit better. Went and had the blood test done yesterday - £13 for the taxi …… ho, hum!
Carl just phoned to say that Kevin had bought a Transit van for £500. What went through my mind was the picture of a starving man buying a golden knife and fork! I told him that if they had cash probs then they had better ask Mischa for a handout. I have already given them a total of about £1800, and £300 to Carl Jnr. for his 18th birthday - and don't mention the £1000 for the organ - I said don't mention ………..! Merry Xmas.
Friday, 24 December 2004. Continuing the uploading of bigger files, I have put these up. They are 6meg & 5meg.
When Mum was in geriatric hospital, I recorded her telling some of her tales. Some six months earlier, when she was in a normal residential home, I went to record her, and Ivor gave me a mouthful of abuse, so I did not do it. Sadly, although at that time she was 'compos mentis', after the six months had passed she had lost many of her mental faculties. This entire site is 'child friendly', but in this recording she does use a few 'flowery' words. But, she is not too bad! Click the links. (May not be suitable for dial ups - but you can try.)
Part One 30mins …… Part Two 25mins ………. Full page here.
I'm sure that in the decades to come, many of the Aylward clan will find a lot of fun in these anecdotes.
Sunday, 26 December 2004. …………… still continuing my test of broadband and using my 500meg of web space, here is a video clip of my 'First Coming'. I tried it at VCD quality, but the file size was too big - 15meg. So I did it at bog standard RealPlayer - 0.7meg, and it is not too bad. There are also still frames.
Click here.
Monday, 27 December 2004. ………….. now I have done a Windows Media Player video for broadband. From this I did a better RealPlayer video. Nor come out too bad. I'll have to put this write up onto my Technical pages.
Click here.
Saturday, 22 January 2005. What a to do! That’s a long time no write! Had a bit of a busy time (and had a few bad days – not been well). At last (by coincidence) I now have a Windows Media Centre. Cost £960. My ‘old’ computer started playing up. I think that the CPU was going u/s (overheating?). Thing is that after I bought the WMC I had the old one on so that I could transfer all the files, and it was all OK! At least I’ve got a decent back-up.
The WMC was a sod to set up. Especially the graphics card for the output to the TV. In setting it up, the bloody thing locked up & there was nothing that I could do, and I had to do ALMOST a full re-format. It was hell! When it restarted it had mangled the system. It took me about ten hours to get it back again. (How on earth does the ‘man in the street’ manage?) I was told that I had a digital TV tuner, and when it did not ‘see’ the input, I called in the engineer. He tried to get it going, and then found out that it was just an analogue tuner. I expect when I see the salesman, we will have to agree that there was a misunderstanding. May get a digital card. I got the computer from PC World. It is fair value for money. 3.0 gig CPU – 512 RAM – 160 gig HD, plus a 160 gig removable HD (USB 2.0 compatible). It has no floppy, so I had to buy a USB version - £25. The sound card does not provide MIDI, so I may use the sound card out of my old computer. Also, they only give you cut down versions of the software. I’ll have to put my decent stuff on here.
The Word2002 version I am using does save the HTML, but compared with the old Word97 the code is a yard long. With Word97 it would be a couple of inches! Have a look at the source code for this page, and compare it with the previous one.
BLOODY HELL! I just tried to look at the source code and it told me that the editor was not loaded. It was before. What the hell is it doing? It’s OK now, I loaded it from the disc. Must be the hangover from the almost re-format.

At 71, I’m getting too old for this lark. I did seriously consider coming off computers all together when the old one started playing up. Ho, hum, again!

I may do a full write up for the technical section. Might help someone from Google.
Saturday, 05 February 2005. Been a pleasant couple of weeks. Feeling  more at peace and settled. Had a lot of ‘pyjama days’!
Got most of the Windows Media Centre sorted, but it has a few bad features. You can’t burn DVDs direct. You have to save to HD, and burn the DVD later, and the formats are not optimum. On my DVD recorder, I can get up to six hours of acceptable recording – on WMC it is just three hours. At least the DVDs from each are compatible. I can play the DVDs on my recorder, and vice versa. WMC has a time-shift feature which is very simple to use, but you can’t disable it! So, while you are watching TV it constantly records to the HD. This must make the HD vulnerable to failure in the long term. When watching TV on the monitor, I can’t find how to change the aspect from 4:5 to 16:9. (Not that I watch the TV on the monitor). The system is not yet ready for ‘the man in the street’. It is still a ‘Media COMPUTER’ rather that a ‘Media CENTRE’.
The computer does accept MIDI via the USB, but I will have to get a gadget to use the standard DIN.
The printer driver was another prob – long story – but being clever and resourceful – I succeeded once again!
Another prob from the ALMOST re-format is that I can’t get part of the McAfee suite to load. Not important, but a nuisance.
I saw the salesman at PC World and he did agree that he thought that it was a digital TV tuner that the WMC had, but I let him off the hook. I am using a digi box that I got ‘free’ with my DECT phones. All running OK. WMC uses an IR emitter to send the codes to the digi box IR receiver – very clever.
I have noticed that RealPlayer does not allow a direct d/l in Broadband. So I will most likely use Windows Media Player for video clips.
Going to the Basildon Keyboard Club tonight with Carl – their site is at 
Wednesday, 16 February 2005. Kevin has started a Blondie tribute band. You can see his web site via here .
Had a peculiar prob with uploading my web pages to Bravenet. The details are here.
Had a three day urine test for the diabetes to check for micro-albumin – AOK. Get a retinopathy camera scan of my eyes next week to see if my sight is deteriorating.
Always wary of spam and viruses, I tend to dump ‘strange’ emails. Got a ‘strange’ one! But, it was OK. It was from a lady, Claudia Patella, in a publishing house, , who wanted permission to use a photo on this site to illustrate  book aimed at ‘silver surfers’. This is the photo.
It will also be used on a web site . (The site was not active last time I tried)
Sunday, 20 February 2005. Started an entry, but it became too long! See it here.
Monday, 21 February 2005. The above story, continued. See it here.

References may become redundant. If you get a "Page not found" message - back arrow to return here.
If you visit any of the links use your browser back arrow to return here.