Your Legacy on WordPress.com

There seems to have been a lot of changes to WordPress.com this year. With the closing to new potential customers of the now old ‘legacy’ type of plans which my present Personal Plan being no longer available to new customers. So they can no longer be attracted to take on a plan like the one that I opppened that still really appeals to me. Surely this means its only a matter of time before they shut down such a plan for me too.

Up until now the personal plan has suited me down to the ground and I have really enjoyed the creative freedom that it has given me to have my own website domain name and publish my views on issues on the site. Some people have even found what I had to say of interest which has been great outlet for me and really enjoyable to find a voice here.

I am concerned though that wordpress.com might be destroyed before its time, if it struggles to attract new creative people into the wordpress.com community and try’s to offer our pages as a product to display marketing materials on or so expensive to have your own page that individuals no longer see meaning or purpose in having a page and it is mainly businesses that try to make a page work for themselves on here instead. It all feels like the potential to be a shrinking market space no longer a growing community of creative people.

All business worth their salt have an agenda and wordpress are coming across as being disingenuous about what their real agenda is. Do they not like their current customers? Are they not making enough money from them? Are they trying to remove the customer base and replace them with one that has more disposable income? For those that remember the social media platform MySpace there is a lot to be learned and that lesson is you should not try to change a product that is successful and if you try to change it too much from what it was to what you think you want it to be you risk destroying that internet space completely. I would argue that the workdpress.com is still growing and needs nurturing and developing from the base that it has already developed from and should not try to force itself into being some kind of money stream sales pitch of a product that it is not.

There is a new type of account that has been announced recently too called a New Starter Plan For $5/Month possible £4 in the UK. But this plan still means you do not have ownership of a creative space as there will still be adverts on your page and those adverts might be completely incompatible with the views or opinions that you are promoting on your site and the only other option is so far wordpress pro for $15/month.

If you want a social media blog platform to play and develop that is not facebook and therefore unlikely to ever have something to make money from then $15 a month is a large amount to pay just to express yourself. It’s almost like having a gym membership which although is important to have and you could get so much value from but ultimately a few months in it becomes an expensive chore rather than an affordable hobby or interest.

I am interested to grow my network of people I could follow on wordpress at the moment and not sure exactly how to go about this and was wondering if anyone had any hints or tips on that subject that might be reading this post, please leave any advise you might have in the comments section.

Munford & Sons – Blind Leading the Blind

Racing Ahead in time

So I have been quite busy for me over the last few weeks, no major dramas, which is nice and working hard in the office and at home, socialising when I have the energy and ability to and also visiting family now that my mum is back in Devon. It’s been enjoyable but I need to make sure I look after myself and rest at times like this too.

I have a new colleague in work that I am training up. His soical life puts mine to shame he was off to a stag do last weekend and he is off to Glastonbury Music Festival later this week then he has a wedding to go to the following week. Where as I’m just chilling in the local pub and visiting family. Though to be honest post pandemic I am still enjoying the simple things and times of freedom that I get to spend with people that I enjoy the company of.

It’s my birthday in a few weeks and normally I just dont do anything special, but this year I am hoping to have a meal with friends and family in Exeter and I have also just seen there is a horse race at a place called Newton Abbot in Devon and so I might go there too.

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

Mobilty Aids?

I really was not sure whether to try and come up with some sort of snazzy or funny title to my post, but not sure I can or want this time. My mum has been having trouble for many years now with her knees and although I know its causes her a great deal of pain we have not really had a lot of conversations about what can make things less painful for her or what solutions there are.

She has had professional support from our NHS saying about having a knee operation and such scary things like that but she is just not ready for that kind of thing and even something as simple as a walking stick has yet to be considered or used really by her.

So I started searching on the internet for possible solutions for her and oh boy the list is endless and I am not sure how or even if they will be able to help her either. It would be great to try and organise an occupational health appointment for her where they could measure up the right height for a walking stick or sticks for her, or show her how to use them or provide other alternative to sticks for her.

I looked all over the place and even had a quick look at mobility scooters for her and they were not cheap costing about the same as a new little motorbike or second hand car. One of them was described as sleek and sporty with top speed of 6–mph. (photo below)

Sleek and sporty number

Well zoom, zoom and all that!

In all seriousness though I do need to try and do a little more research for what is the right size for her height and what will be the best grip for her too.

I have found the following from the great mamouth of a shopping sight in the digital sky that is Amazon which looks like this.

I am worried though about getting the wrong thing though as I would not want her to have a fall while holding a stability aid that I had got for her. But the more I think about it I would not want her to have a fall because I had not gotten something to help her too.  

The search continues!

Dire Straits – Walk of Life

Faster, smoother and cooler – my PC that is!

So new computer upgrade today, the graphics card was eye-wateringly expensive but half the price of the card that the computer tech chap wanted me to buy. He built my last computer which has been working fantastically but I needed to do some changes to my computer specification as it would only be upgradeable to Windows 11 with the help of a tech chap and my internet card was a little dodgy and sometimes cut out. So I thought I would do some upgrading of my PC at the same time as installing windows 11.

So it’s all done now sitting back and pressing a few buttons trying to reinstall what was on the last PC. The main changes so far is the internet connection no longer crashes when doing lots of downloads. Plus I have music streaming and downloading a big game and it all seems to be working fine so far.

I have been told it’s all so much faster but not sure yet and have yet to play a graphics hungry game to test graphics card yet. It seems when I do a computer upgrade I appear to be trying to stand still where I can still play games old and new and also still use a computer that does not break down on me and works just fine, oh and not fill it up with stuff on the hard drive too.

It is great though that as our computers get older we can save what’s on them upgrade them make them faster and even improve their memory. Sadly they are not able to do that for us humies and even if they could do such wondrous things to us would we still be human then anyway!  

Anyway our future computer overlords will be happy with the computer I have built for them at the altar of info technology. I am going to put a YouTube song at the bottom of this page to play now I was really tempted to put on here welcome to the machine by Pink Floyd, but opted for a weird trippy number called Sea Shell by sky Lab a top Tune from my misspent student days.

Seashell by Skylab

Go Greens

We had an election last week in my local council, for those that don’t know what an election is it’s where you vote people in within a democratic country who then decide a variety of matters concerning how your town, county or country is run and governed.

If you choose not to vote saying everyone is being as bad as each other than your probably listening and feeding off two much right wing propaganda that encourages or even legislates for others that do not follow their agenda to not to have a vote so as to maximise the chances of their own people getting into power.

If you yourself make the mistake of going on to vote for a right wing party they will likely go on to not have your interests at heart but their own instead and when in power will primarily focus on making themselves and there buddies wealthier at the expense of others just like you and me. Which will ironically potentially make you even more disillusioned with politics and make you mutter under your breath again about how useless and self interested that all politicians are and take you back to square one of not wanting to vote again. Voting right wing parties in might be a good idea at the time but like dangerous drugs and heavy drinking sessions it causes pain and is not recommend to be done on any regular basis what so ever and will be deeply regretted sooner or later.

Voting is such a timeless and fun game really in capitalist free thinking parts of the world, one of the greatest games that there ever there was is politics, trying to understand it, trying to come to terms with what happens and doesn’t happen and trying to make some sense of it. Such a timeless and fun game really where the poor and perplexed try to vote in people that will at the very least attempt to do something that is in the interest of those that vote for them opposed to those that you can vote in that fight against you and vote in policies against your interests and mainly to serve themselves.  

They say as you get older your political leanings get more right wing again another probable lie again stated to get people to vote right wing. I seem to be voting more away from mainstream left wing parties such as the Labour party in my country and turning to the greens. Which suits me fine.

We have 3 councilors now in my council ward and all of them are Green party councilors, which means Exeter now has a total of 5 green councilors which although not a huge amount, it does mean though that with the support of the liberal democrats it now makes them the second biggest grouping on my council and so the official council opposition for the first time ever, which is fantastic news here for Exeter and I am delighted that I voted for them and had a green party poster up in my window for the election. They are tremendously well organised and focused on a green friendly future in Exeter and it is amazing to see them doing so well here for the first time ever.

Hired or no longer required?

Such a wonderful quote and attitiude from Anne Frank

Well some upsetting news last week in my team at work, as they have been recruiting for a fulltime employee to come along and work with us. We have had two temporary members of staff doing an awesome job at getting work done in the office and really going the extra mile in order to get things done and answer the phones so that things get done and customers are served. Not every customer is ever happy, but to be honest in our department over 50% of the calls that come through to us are complaints anyway and it’s a matter of managing those complaints and signposting their enquiry to a person that will take them further or tell them that we can’t help.

Two of my colleagues went for the full time job that was being recruited for and they both were unsuccessful in their interviews and both told there services were no longer required at our office and one of them has until the end of this week to leave and the other will leave at the end of the first week in June.

I must repeat myself they were both very good at what they did and had undertaken a lot of training (mostly by me) which helped them be able to be as good as what they did. They were not only well trained they were keen to get the job done and jump in and rise to whatever challenge was presented to them in the job.

So we gain one new employee at the expense of losing two and our managers will call this progress. I will again attempt to help train up the new employee and ensure they are competent enough to ensure they can do the job properly but ultimately whether they are any good will be up to the new employee and will only be seen in time.

When I started in the team that I worked my two colleges had nearly 20 years each of experience in the team and were therefore blood good at what they did. I am now the most experienced member of the team and I have nowhere near as much experience as my predecessors. I know who to ask for help but will never know all the answers, though my job is not to know all the answers but to make sure I know who to assign a call or case to that will be able to provide those answers to and I can just about do that!

On the terrible day last week that my colleagues found out that they no longer had their jobs I also got in a bloody terrible argument in my local bar and that argument has hopefully now been resolved and out of respect to the person that I was arguing with I will not go into it further here, but at the very least I can say I hate disagreements and arguing with people.

But the situation in the bar my morose mood all combined into an unpleasant evening for one and all. I do hope the situation that led to the argument does not resurface again. Both myself and the person I was arguing with left on good terms after the argument and with any luck no further troubles will occur. I think with what he was going through it was probably a crap day for him too.

It was the icing on the cake to a really crappy day last Thursday.

Thinking about life the universe and everything today!

Trying to look up a spelling I just googled what time era are we living in and even Google has an answer to that. According to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), the professional organization in charge of defining Earth’s time scale, we are officially in the Holocene (“entirely recent”) epoch, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age. Well you learn something new with every random Google search.

What I was really thinking about was what would the greatest minds from our history have made of living in this world today and how do we or don’t we live together and why.

Marx got pissed at the elite of his era and mass production of suffering and exploitation of human beings for the generation of profit. Jesus got pissed of at the bankers profiteering around the house of god. Imagine how pissed off they would both be today living here knowing what we have access to know and see witht the mass industrialisation of war and the sheer volumes of profits made through the suffering of others. Russia, China, USA, Britain and many unnamed countries have made vast profits from the selling of huge amounts of armaments around the globe and sometimes using them in their own wars to be it in Africa, Middle East or now even in Ukraine. Do those profits then go on to build our schools and pay for the lighting of our streets?

Though everyone’s side (depending on who your selling arms to or profiting from the sales of arms for or who your media owners and political masters portray to you concerning what is a just war, just sale of arms and a just profit (scrap the last one we are taught there is no such thing as a just profit all profit is good right?) and what is a righteous side of a war or what is a war that we don’t even have to look at or witness the suffering off due to a media blackout instead by again said media barons or politcal leaders.

This warmanship has been ticking along throughout the 20th century and also spilling over into the 21st century and the mass profiteering of said wars from the so called civilised and industrial nations of the world is also relentless.

It’s like the world has gone mad and no one in power has either bothered to notice, bothered to care or bothered to believe there is any point in changing what is clearly a very damaging system of industrial and economic development and growth.

Religion often states that sins and evil deeds are in the hearts and minds of mere men or women and we often are seen to make our decisions on how we descend to hell or rise to heaven on the micro scale of small acts of goodness, kindness or wickness and evil.

But we dont here so much about the macro acts of evil such the selling of weapons by our goverenements to known corrupt regimes in the middle east or africa in order to make profit and generate the production of further weapons for which ever next war that comes along. And what happens if people are being born into systems where those in power at the top of the state load the dice so that any that stand against them, whether righteous or fair or immoral and wicked are all doomed to fail or fall.

Whether it be being called to arms in an unjust war and asked to shoot innocents or be shot oneself, where is there God in these micro moments in time or which side is God standing upon when the men pulling the trigger are themselves potential victims of the system that has groomed them since birth by old men in charge of buying and profiting from the weapons their youths are trained to then fire potential one day at us.

I have heard a phrase a lot recently when people talk about a variety of issues which seem unjust, unfair and deeply worrying. Those words are this like in this day and age in the 21st century things like this should not be happening. Well unfortunately bad things should not be happening at such an extent that they are, but they are.

The mechanisation and industrial scale of sustaining human existence as it stands presently is vast and we don’t try to stop and say why should we produce profits to sustain our lives, how do we produce said profit to sustain our lives and what are the consequences for humanity for the way we vote, live and produce products and expolit others.

We assume that on our little micro level if we are lucky it’s a little bit of a shitty world, where bad things happen to other people and if we are lucky they don’t happen to us. Is that the best that the 21st century has to offer the people on this planet, is that all that what history has taught us all.

Well I hope not – there must be more to life than the chaos that is created right in front of our eyes or hidden out of our sight.

I pray for the future of all life
Hozier – Take Me To Church

Move, eat & sleep

Well the title pretty much sums up this week. Mum has finally moved back to Devon. It took her a while in many ways, but she is so pleased to be back. She has made some wonderful friends in Conrwall and I also really loved the village that she lived in called Breage. But with the death of my brother who also lived in Cornwall and with the development of Coronavirus and household lockdowns it made mum feel more isolated than ever and needing to have a move to a place where she felt more at home and settled and so has now moved back to Devon.

The home she is living in is in a village called Yoeford and she is renting a property until her new home is built in Cheriton Fitzpaine. Yeoford is easy for me to reach on the train from Exeter, although Cheriton Fitzpaine where she will be finally moving to, has no train or bus from my home city Exeter so will be a little bit more difficult for me to get to as I do not drive. But will need to see how that goes when she moves in later in the year to her house move into the place she has bought that is still beign built at the moment.

Mum also has a dog called Milly, she is very sweet and gentle but also nervous and very, very shy. She does not let me get neat her even though mum has had her for 3 years or more now. But hopefully the more I see her the more she will get used to me. Some of mums friends in cornwall were wonderfully patient with Milly and were able to get close to her and she would always look forward to her treats from mums next door neighbour.

The dog has really surprised me with how resilient she has been in the move I was worrying that she was going to have a mini melt down in the move but hopefully that does not appear to happen.

We think that Milly was abused before being rescued by a charity and she has not had an opportunity yet to have any intensive training to develop her and I think if she were a human she would certainly be considered very autistic and incredibly shy. At one time she would go on hunger strikes and stop drinking when new people would come into mums’ house to stay and she will always be somewhat of a fussy eater. But it seems the only means of control she has over the situations she finds herself. Luckily she has continued to eat and drink during the move and although she will be a little confused by what is going on she seems happy to be where ever mum is.

One of my favourite songs of all time if you have never herd it before have a listen its awsome – Casey the Wonder dog by The Villagers

The Matrix has you!

When they learn how to plug you into a digital world, you might not ever know how to unplug and come back to the real world or even the reason why you should. They will probably start plugging in the old, disabled and poor into a new matrix of control as an act of kindness, in order to save us from ourselves.

My mum has finally sold her home in Cornwall and due to move to Devon next Wednesday; we are all really looking forward to it. Though moving during an energy crisis is not the easiest time to move if you’re trying to save money on your energy bills. Mum has spent hours over the last week on the phone to utility companies, banks and council officers trying to update her home location status with them and there are very few people left in those organisations to take her calls due to the reduction in customer services employees and a push to do everything online.

One of the key roles that I have to do in my job at the council in Exeter is answer the phone and speak to customers and as such my job is also under threat due to long term restructuring aims seeing this role as a money saving cost effective form of progress to get rid of. This so called progress has forced me to bounce in and out of work for the last 26 years of my working life, sometimes choosing to apply for new jobs prior to an organisation or role being shut down or sometimes being made redundant due to restructuring issues and businesses closing down while I am still employed at them.

I can honestly say I am a very good hardworking and dedicated employee in an area of employment that people no longer wish to employ. I know for a fact that the work that I do is hard work and still needs to be done. I solve problems that are presented to my organisations, I am always busy there is always something important that needs to be done. By sacking people like me that need to answer phones and work with customers it does not make those customers problems go away it just means those customers are either ignored now or processed via a different channel.

This job is one of the many work roles in the UK that has been rapidly phased out by many companies there is a money saving exercise to increase profits by not enabling customers to speak to staff in business and government agencies.

First that sacked the face to face staff and I did not speak out, although I too was made redundant.

Then they came for the staff that talked to customers over the phone and again I did not speak out and again I was at risk and at times made redundant or moved on.

Finally the aim will likely be to digitise the workings of staff customer service roles so that there will be none left to hire, and likely none left to speak out too!

I strongly disagree with the digitising and outsourcing to computers of employed roles within any organisations and my main reason for this is that is businesses do not need to hire people and people do not have money from working to afford to pay to put a roof over their head and feed and clothe themselves then the state will not hand them those resources on a plate.

Either so called wealthy societies such as ours learn to adapt to look after and resource their most vulnerable members of society be they pensioners, disabled or the out of work or there will be a considerable amount of damage and ongoing suffering in society to these vulnerable individuals people claim to care but often money and actions or even lack of money and lack of action speaks louder than words.

No mainstream political party in the UK grasps this nettle at present as both Labour and the Conservative parties consistently want to chase the right wing element of the voting public in this country which is why the labour party do not have my vote in the upcoming council elections and it is a labour party that is presently facilitating my next round of redundancy at the council.

I have just written to my local MP Ben Bradshaw asking him if he wholeheartedly endorse the new planned restructuring of employment roles that are going to take place at Exeter council by a labour council and merely blames the Conservative for the cuts that will be endorsed in customer services roles and can he explain to me why I should vote Labour in the next council election and vote in my own potential redundancy at the hand of a Labour lead Exeter Council?

Though I cannot stop the world from spinning even when it appears to be spinning out of control, I can at least look to make sense of the madness and express my disapproval in my own way to my political representatives at the very least.  

Who is a sinnerman?

Nina Simone – Sinnerman

Don’t worry about going to hell we might have been there already for quite some time.

Who and how do we speak up for or fight against for what is right, if all sides can unleash monsters to their own sides or onto the other and do what is wrong. We are rightfully horrified by Russia’s invasion of a neighbouring sovereign state, claiming to be for historical and self defensive reasons, all of which to my eyes are falsehoods, propoganda and disinformation, this is a land and resource grab with the political advantage of claiming it’s for historical self-defence reasons. But puting it simply you don’t bomb women, children, hospitals and schools as a form of self-defence it is a form of tyranny, unlawful abuse and murder.   

The USA our leader of the free world unleashed a form of living hell unto the citizens of Iraq when it invaded to enforce regime change upon the country and that policy still scars their doctrine, actions and motives to this day. Yes Saddam Hussein was a dangerous dictator to his own people and controlled a great deal of oil as a natural resources that sustained his tyranny, but you just can’t free citizens of a tyrannical regime by bombing them and freeing them to their deaths. The seeking or profiteering from the act of building and buying weapons and then occupying other countries and destroying what little infrastructure that they had in order to maintain a reasonable level of existence in no way does any good for your cause if you are the so called leader of the free world.

As for the country that I live in Britain, well according to Boris Jonson our Prime Minster we fight for freedom, which as the country that heads the common wealth where countries follow our unelected head of state rather than an elected leader seems a little bit of a strange motivation for us to have, free to be ruled by our monarch but not by your own unelected dictator. It’s a little like the pot calling the kettle black in other words the words used to convey that the criticisms a person or act is aiming at someone else’s action could equally well apply to themselves or what they are doing.

The US, China and Russia are all well oiled military machines with police regimes as well as military regimes, you can argue that they must have strong police forces and military might in order to defend their own places in the world as well fight off forces of dissent from home and abroad.

So what awesome things do we do when were not at each other’s necks preparing for world war 3, well then we had and still continue to have economic wars where you starve your opponent of resource, power and influence, whilst maximising your own resources power and influence. Not forgetting that in the meantime there are two key resources that produce the maximum amount or profit that it is vital to exploit in order to get one over on your opponents that of people and planet.

The greater you exploit people and planet, the wealthier you become, the wealthier you become the more you will exploit people and planet. The ever increasing cycle goes on and on. So like I said in the beginning don’t worry about going to hell we might have been there already for quite some time.

So what the hell does any of this mean – well for one thing there are at least two sides to any evil and although all the answers to resolve these questions might not be enacted in law in order to advocate solutions we must first acknowledge there is an ongoing systematic problem.  

We also need to hope and pray that there is still a living breathing planet left to fight for by the time we have worked out what is worth fighting for and how to go about engaging in the fight or engaging in the peace.