The Apple does not fall far from the Tree

My father got my mother a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas since she loves to read at night. I was there when she opened it, I watched as she excitedly opened the box, took out her new kindle and powered it on for the first time, touched the screen, looked confused and handed the device to me (within four minutes of opening the box) asking “Why is it all weird?” My mother had managed to set the kindles language to Chinese. And expected me to quickly fix her new toy so she could continue to play with it.

Now I do not know if you are aware, but when powering on a kindle paperwhite for the first time it goes through a sequence of steps. Such as Set up Language, Set up WiFi, Set up and log into your amazon account, etc. And you must complete all these steps before you get to such useful things as Menus & Options. So I had to do all that for her before I could re-set the language, and I had to do it all in Chinese Kanji. before I could try and read through the menus (In Chinese) to change the language.

As you can imagine, My mother took some stick for doing this.


My mothers old eBook reader she gave to my sister since she no longer needed it. So I blanked and reset it for her, added a load of free public domain books to start her off and it was sent to my sisters house.

FIVE minutes after it was dropped off at my sisters house I got a phone call from her, asking how to reset the device as she was looking at it and hit the wrong button changing the language to Chinese or some such thing. Yes, she managed to do the exact same thing she made fun of my mother for doing.  And once again it was left to me to fix, this time over the phone, without being able to see the device.

As they say, the Apple does not fall far from the tree…

and as I say “My family can be annoying!!!

Camping Chaos

So My Niece went camping with her Guide Group the weekend.

The woman in charge had been a guide leader for such a long time that she was actually the leader when my sister was in the guides. So she must have been running camping weekends for a stupid amount of years.

The camp started at 7PM on the Friday, by 1PM on the Saturday they had used up all the water supply they brought to last the full weekend, PLUS extra water my sister had dropped off with my niece due to them running out last year.

Yup. 1PM Sat I had a SOS phone call from my niece asking could I come to the camp, collect the water containers and go fill them up for them. The words Piss-up and Brewery spring to mind.

The Pasta Dilemma

I thought I would share this incident that happened yesterday, since it has a happy ending, and I think on a Wednesday we need happy endings.

Yesterday morning before I left to head to the Insane Asylum I popped over to my Parents house to feed their dog since they were away. I open up the house, feed the dog, and get set to let him out for the day when I spotted a note on their whiteboard.

“I made pasta and there’s some in the fridge if you want it for dinner.”

Seems my Nephew had made a load of tuna-pasta-mayonnaise to take to work with him, and had a load leftover so put it in the fridge for me to have if I wanted. So I figured “why not!” it would make a change, so I grabbed it and left.

Unfortunately when I came to eat it during my Lunch break I found it very dry, lacking flavour, and not that good at all. But it was still a very nice thing my Nephew did for me.

Now as I went back to Parents after work to feed the Dog again (they were not due back till late that night) I was hoping I could get In&Out without meeting the Nephew so I would not have to say what I thought of the food.


He was standing outside the door to their place as I arrived. *arse.. feck.. drink!* I thought as I approached “here boy.. lets get you fed” I called to the dog and tried to speed walk past the Nephew as if I was busy with dog.

Nephew:HI.. Did you find that pasta I left for you?

GN:err Yes, thanks!” *don’t ask, don’t ask don’t ask*

Nephew:what did you think of it?…….”


Nephew:because I thought it was very dry and not very nice, I’m not sure what went wrong

GN: *Thank you Gods* “Yes, it was a bit dry

So luckily he also thought there was something not right about it, so I did not hurt his feelings by agreeing with him.

After a certain age you should be banned from new tec

Does anyone remember the old TV series (Or the book it was based on) called “Logan’s Run?” You know the one set in the future where every person has a small jewel in the palm of their hands that starts flashing when they reach a set age. I think we need something similar today, not to “put to sleep” those who reach thirty, but have a cut off age when people are no longer allowed to get new technology.

Let me tell you know why I have decided that this is the course we should follow. This morning before going to work, I popped over to see my parents as I’m looking after their dog for the weekend. Now my Mother has just got herself a new mobile phone, and decided to go for a “smart phone“. So just as I was leaving she asks me “I’ve got a weird shape thing on my phone, what’s it mean?“, I enquire to what it looks like “its a sort of thing, with a bit, and another thing*turns phone at different angle*It kinda looks like old video tapes

I took the phone off her to check and informed her she had a voicemail, and if she clicked on it she could hear the message. So she clicked on it and started listening to the first time use recording, you know the one that tells you how to set a pin, and use the voicemail system. Only my mother removed the phone from her ear as the recording explained what to do “There’s a woman talking about pin’s and hash and stuff, I don’t know what she’s on about

I sighed and explained you had to listen to the whole message to understand what she was saying, but not to worry as I’ll set it all up later for her. It was then that the voicemail started playing. I know this from my Mothers half of the conversation. “Oh HI, I was just going to call you.” “hello?”, “oh, you’ll be arriving then, do you need a lift” I interjected here “Its a voicemail” I was shusshed with “The woman said I had a message“. “right see you there then“. For my sanity I tried again “Its a voicemail, a recording!

I then left the house laughing my head off as my mother was saying goodbye to the recording. Old people should not be allowed technology!

Click Image to enbiggen (Or see in full size).


From The Archive: Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Nephew: Why do they say every cloud has a silver lining?

Me:It’s because the outer edges of clouds, where the condensed moisture particles hit the ionised atmosphere, interacting with pollutants in the air causes a peculiar affect where the particles oxidise forming silver particles.

Nephew:WOW!” *looks back at sky*So you could fly aeroplanes through clouds and collect silver?

Me:No, don’t be silly!

Nephew: *dejected look*

Me:Aeroplanes travel too fast, the air pressure they form in front of them pushes the clouds away preventing them collecting the silver. What they use is air ships, which the float slowly through the clouds with special collectors attached to the basket. they just float about in twelve hour shifts harvesting the cloud silver. It also means they make more money from it, sinceit uses much less petrol than planes.

And that was the moment my Sister banned me from answering any questions my nephews may ask. Well There was an incident when one of my nephews got excited in school when the teacher asked a question that he knew the answer too, because his uncle had told him.

Heat does not exist in this dojo, does it?

Saturday evening I was informed that my niece had a Karate competition day on Sunday, and that she wanted me to go and support her.  So there went my plans of a productive Sunday catching up on my ever-growing todo list. OK! by productive day I mean a day playing “Call of Duty: Black Op’s” which I purchased Saturday.

I don’t normally mind going to support her, since it makes her happy that someone cares, and she likes to talk about the different matches with me, and its normally an interesting day out.

My niece does Shotokan Karate, and the club she goes to is associated with several others in the area, and they take it in turns hosting the competitions. This time there was even some clubs from Luton & Yorkshire along for the day. And the even was held in Hawrden High School’s sports hall.

Now I should point out this is a sports hall with brick walls half way up, then metal sheeting the rest of the way, a metal sheeting roof, and plain concrete floors. There is also building work going on so part of the walls are simple boards while work is being carried out. Oh, and did I mention there was ice on the ground outdoors, and no heating on indoors? The poor kids in bare feet, and Gi’s that are no more than pyjamas really must have been freezing, cos the adults watching were and they had big coats on.

First off was the Kata rounds, so Niece and another girl get up, do their kata and sit down. The next person to get called was called alone, and the ref informed them they were through to the next round. In fact three of the four people in the final to work out places never had to compete against anyone, they just got given their placements. (Can anyone say fix?)

This shall we say for legal reasons “Apparently biased marking” turned into the theme for the day, when you had matches and all four (or six depending on match) ref’s holding out the same colour flag to show who was winner, and main ref (always after quick look to people in background holing forms) would award fight to the other colour.  At one point one of the local Sensei’s told his students that one of the clubs who had travelled four hours to turn up were being marked up as a thanks for coming all this way and to not take it personally. Well by the end of the day, the local students had lost all heart and were barley going through the motions in their rounds.

The other let down of the day was the fact that the club that was being allowed to win everything may have been the “Cobra Kai” in disguise. Well they were as dirty fighters as the Cobra’s, with sneaky leg swipes, feet stomps, and face/eye shots. The list of injuries to the local kids was, several broken toes, and sprained back, and several kids with smashed and bleeding eyes.

The Adults associated to the club were even pointing out nice spots on the face to go for to slow down, or take out their opponent, and congratulating them while the other kid would be crying on the floor with medics dealing with them.

I know full contact Karate competitions can be violent, and lead to injuries, but this was a Children’s competition, and the local clubs do not do much full contact fights, and it was supposed to be friendly.

I must admit it was the most badly run & organised rip off I have ever seen. The matches were all fixed and they did not even attempt to hide the fact. There was no food laid on for the kids (they normally lay on food for them out of the attendance fee’s), No heating, The hall rental was a school gym that they normally use, so would not have cost much. The medals were of poor quality, and for the first time in the years my niece has been going there was no “competitors medal or certificate” to give to those who competed (apparently there was no money for them). And yes on the Saturday traiing day there was 100 student (approx) and there must have been 60 or so on the Sunday (all at £20/day).