CCTV

Decided to add some decent CCTV to the front area of the house covering the doors and the car. Just can’t be sure that whoever stole the keys won’t come back and try to see if they work. Saving to a DVR and wifi streaming to an iDevice is good.

And I await the owner of Bosworth Homecare to call me and demand I remove the last post. That’s when I find out just how well my webhost protects my ability to complain and should they fall short I’ll move that post to WordPress.com where it will live forever……

Bosworth Homecare

It has been an eventful week that if I had not already been scheduled to be away from work would have meant that I would have had to take time off anyway.

 

Details don’t need to be gone into for personal reasons but there is some information I do need/want to write about.

My wife has/had 2 carers 4 times a day for personal care for over a year now – multiple sclerosis is a nasty thing. The company providing the carers is based in Leicestershire and is called Bosworth Homecare. This is important.
Several months ago I bought a set of measuring spoons from Amazon – a hoop on which you have 1/4, 1/2, teaspoon etc. And some months ago they completely disappeared from the house. Do you have a place in your house where you put change? I did, and I was sure on a couple of occasions  that when I went to grab a couple of coins to buy milk that there were a few coins less. I put both of these down to me being forgetful. And then I did one particular online shop.
In that shop I bought 2 large bars of popping candy chocolate. 2 were delivered – I recall that because as I took them out of the shopping crate they were both broken. I put them in a kitchen cupboard. A couple of hours later my daughter goes to get some chocolate – they were bought for her – and there was one bar there. Not two. One had gone.
This was reported to Bosworth Homecare.

So there is no confusion, this is Bosworth Homecare, Leics.

Nothing happened but the carers were told that we knew something had  gone missing. I told Bosworth Homecare about the previous incidents.

Let me ask you a question – where are your car keys? If you are at home I bet you know where you left them. If not the exact place then you know the room, yes? Important things are keys and we all have habits. Last Monday my daughter went to get her car keys from the kitchen – and they had gone. This wasn’t just one key – it was a full set of car keys, several keyrings (including some with great personal value)  and a full set of house keys. Not a small bunch and hard to miss on a kitchen counter.
They had gone.
I don’t mean misplaced, dropped down the side of a chair, behind the toaster. I mean completely and totally not in the house. My daughter and I searched everywhere. We looked inside mugs, inside cereal packets, the fridge, the freezer, the bin, cupboards. No keys.
I rang Bosworth Homecare and they said to report it to the police. (And the policeman that visited laughed when I told him that saying “Well as there is no proof their staff did it they would”). So it has been reported and will be pursued.
One of the carers – and it’s one of 2 – we have the attendance sheet – took the keys. Why? Maybe because we had reported them for not ringing in/out of the call as they are required to do. Maybe because they were reported for not wearing aprons as they are required to do. Maybe because they were providing intimate care and then preparing food without changing gloves. Who knows… but regardless those keys were stolen from this house by employees of Bosworth Homecare, Leicester.
It cost over £200 for 2 new sets of keys. (Can you afford that if you employ Bosworth Homecare?)

Bosworth Homecare then stopped all care without notice. Nice eh?

This is where if you are after a care provider that you go back to the CQC website, find someone else and insist on them. You don’t need the people you invite into your house to steal from you.

Find the presents

In years past to stop the girls arguing over who had the biggest pile of presents before the actual day we would put raffle tickets on them as we wrapped them and put them under the tree. It also meant we didn’t have to hide them because they could see and not know what was what. Come the morning of the 25th they would get this tiny hand-sized stocking and in that were their tickets. They’d be so busy finding matching numbers and ripping paper off that the box size became irrelevant. It worked perfectly when they were little and we’ve kept doing it because they asked. This year they wanted something different. Not easy to come up with.
So on friday they get a piece of paper in the tiny stocking and that has a url. They go to their url and they find a question. Get it right and they get another question on another url. Repeat quite a few times. When an answer is revealed it could have a ticket number (because we still have those) or not. But they have to do some working out, digging through DVD’s or searching on the net. It’s quite difficult to think up enough questions.

Edit: It’s all going to be images, no questions. So if I take an image of the cast of a film from imdb all they need to do is identify the film. Or a weapon from MW2 – what is it? A company logo, a DVD cover, a slice of action from a video game, actor, personality etc. Possibilities are wide, compiling it is easy but it makes the task a little harder. Which is good. More fun to create.

I was overruled on two:
1. Doing the raffle tickets but their matching ticket would be rolled up really tight and pushed into a straw. Cut all the straws and a few boxes more in half and put all in a bucket.
2. Best one though – you know ball pool balls? I wanted to buy several sets of those (100 per set), make a small slit in some and push the ticket in there. And when they got up the whole floor would be deep in them. Now I think that would have been fantastic but J overruled me. But I will do it at some point, it’s too good a vision to not realise. And why would that be so good? Their faces when they saw it and the fun (torture) they’d have digging through the balls (slicing them with scissors) to find their tickets (and making a supreme mess).

Looking South

I have decided to move the contents of my old /T2 blog into this one. Not sure of some of the finer details – like showing the posts as opposed to making them all private – but I’m finding some images that have memories.

Looking South on Stinson Beach
Looking South on Stinson Beach

This was July 2007 just after WordCamp. The first picture I took was looking down at my feet as I stood in the Pacific Ocean for the first (and only so far) time. And then I took this which I uploaded to my old domain and sent Jacq and the girls the link. So the scene is nothing to look at really, the photograph is poor but the actions surrounding it were good, really good.

Ill 2.

So, as I was saying, it’s not healthy here and D got ill. Jacq had rang NHS Direct who put her through to the pandemic line who took all the info and gave her the code needed to get the Tamiflu. I grabbed the ID needed for us both (she stayed home) and we headed off to the pickup point.

Just off the center of the city was the health centre we needed to be. It wasn’t urgent but then it was 4pm and the F1 was due to start at 5pm. So there was some incentive to ignore the scenery. Leicester is – some say proudly – a multicultural city. The problem is that other cultures may not appreciate what “sunday” is. What we expect is quiet streets, hardly anyone around, being able to move quickly. In this area of the city it was like Saturday. All the shops are open, kids wandering about, people stopping at junctions and having a chat while still in their damn cars and while it wasn’t a carnival it was certainly very lively in an old, slow, treacle-like way. Took us forever. Well, okay, maybe 30 mins longer than it should. I had by now given up on the F1 start and was hoping to see the end. We get to the health centre and I wander in.

A hand.

I have to get past the “guy at desk” but he’s pleasant enough. Then use lots of foam on my hands to be sure I am “clean” and I go through to the waiting bit. After my repeating D’s d.o.b. a nurse comes over to me. I reckon she qualified in the 70’s. She’s pretty old and talks down to me. Her first question “So what are your daughter’s symptoms?” Eh? What? We’ve told NHS Direct, we’ve told the National Pandemic line and you wizened creature want me to tell you? “My wife has rang everyone, we have the code and I’ve left work to come and get it” (which was true. I had moved away from my keyboard). She accepted that. Then she shows me the leaflets, packet of Tamiflu etc and as I take the packet she sees my hand. “What’s that?” I told her it’s a steel ring. “How did it get there?” I was bored one day and wondered if I could get one in I reply (which is the absolute real honest truth). She then says it makes me look like I’ve been to prison and they are tracking me (that’s a new one) and from that moment on she talks to my hand. Really. Lots of “yeah, I will, she will, okay, thanks, we will, yes, uhuh” as she goes through the big words on the Important Piece Of Paper and eventually I get away. She was one strange staff nurse.
Get back home back going out and round the city which took longer (F1? What F1?) and stopping at a couple of pharmacies to stock up on sore throat spray, soluble painkillers. D is now (it’s about 23:00) starting to feel a little better. Her boss has been called and he has to complete oodles of paperwork and her interview tomorrow is looking dodgy. Not the best start to the week for her but then we all have one and then another and then … it’s how things are.

As for the F1, the BBC stream was interrupted many times so I’ve emailed O2 about my contract and I’ll move.

Ill goes around

Eldest comes back from work (may have said she’s now a qualified lifeguard so she’s around a lot of people obviously) and is not feeling great, turns out to be flu. This was around a month ago. Youngest then gets ill with the same so we have 2 ill daughters. Then Jacq comes down with it. MS + a bug = MS gets worse. Eldest comes out of it, Jacq’s settles in for longer. Then I get it and the resulting feeling of ill and coughing (which I’m still doing now) means I don’t go to Canada. Youngest gets well, mine is lingering as is Jacq’s. 2 days ago youngest comes down again with what appears to be a raging cold – temp, coughing, sore throat. And today eldest comes back having been sent home from work for being ill. This is not a healthy house, not by a long way.

In other news …. Monster Hunter looks good, partway through the training there. FF VII continues. Just found a sealed copy of Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness so that’s me set with RPG’s for a long time indeed. Bored now with Burnout Paradise, Battlefield 1943 makes me swear far too much (“Do you have to keep saying that word?” says Jacq. “Yes” I reply “because he IS one”) so I’m going to play SOCOM: Confrontation.

I was going to write more but apparently we have to go get eldest some Tamiflu. See – it’s not healthy here!

No talk, just cope.

Until her sickness do us part: why men leave ill partners
Men are seven times more likely than women to leave a seriously ill partner, a study has found. So why are males less able to cope? Times Online

I joined a forum recently for me. Nothing at all to do with Jacq. I joined one night in one of those brief moments where I (foolishly) believe that typing words into a forum can help. But in matters of the mind it cannot, at least not for me. It always struck me as odd that people will gather and talk about how they used to drink, what they drank, where they drank etc. Surely such AA meetings just reinforce drink? If you are going to stop, stop. Worked for me. Anyway, back to chatting online. There are a fair number of resources for mental health problems but they don’t actually fix anything. I’ve said before that I have a domain with a blog and I go there to rant about things, ponder, wail and everything else negative. Because you don’t know where it is the space is safe. I really can – and do – say what I want. And then I erase it some time later because the act of writing and publishing was good enough. But it doesn’t stop the same irritants happening again. Nothing can.
So in those moments – had one earlier whole going round Tesco with Jacq – “Hey, do you also seem to go shopping when all the other stupid people go? When people that cannot see wheelchairs are there? When people tut tut as you go by? When people just haven’t a single bloody clue how bad they make the whole experience? Won’t get out of the way?” – where I think talking to someone about it might help I have to realise there are only 2 outcomes: (1) the person agrees with me and we start ripping into everyone and everything or (2) the person says No and I call them an idiot. So it would not be constructive to talk, it’s destruction on both paths. Negative.
Maybe it’s the man thing – that we need a fix, we need the solution.

There is a phone downstairs and one next to me up here. Here is what happens when J calls me:
“Hi, sorry and I know you are busy and have work to do but the food will be on the table in a minute if you want to come down”
Here is what I want to happen when J calls me:
“Food”.
I just want the reason. All those other words just annoy me, they get in the way, it takes longer to say. She knows that I just want ‘Food” but finds it really difficult to reduce an entire sentence or two into a single word. And I cannot see her view either.

Sometimes someone from Social Services will come round and J will talk to them, tell them how she is etc. I have no idea why she does this apart from the woman thing about needing to talk, to share etc. I’m quite plain: “Will you help?” and when they say what passes for No – but they can’t just say those 2 letters – I tell them that there is no point, why are they here, they can tick the “Saw them today” box. Social Services? Complete waste of everyone’e time. They kill children don’t they?

So, back to the article. I wonder where and why these men talk? I have doubts they do. I suspect it’s just coping mechanisms because talking about something that cannot be changed in an exercise in pointlessness. It’s also wrong to say “less able’ because maybe we were never taught or never learned how to cope. It’s not a class in school but it is something you pick up from people you hang around with so if they don’t, you can’t learn. “less able” seems more negative way to say it.

Would have been more interesting to see an article where physical disability was a significant element as that changes things on a huge new level.

Image managing

I’m going through backups at the moment to see what sort of mess they are in. I won’t be missing anything, I’ll just have more than one copy. Images. Finder tells me I have 25gb, ~16000 photos. I have 11gb, ~4500 photos uploaded to my Smugmug page. So … there are around 12000 that need some sort of arranging / deleting / uploading. What to do?

I was looking at using iPhoto (which I have. i bought iLife 09 just for iMovie so the rest is pretty useless. Got it off ebay cheap though so it’s not all bad. Yes, it’s legit). But from what I’ve read iPhoto takes a very very long time, does that useless ‘faces’ thing, it probably reorganises and duplicates like it’s crap cousin iTunes if you let it and it’s only any good if everyone can see it through my iPhoto. Which they can’t.
I briefly looked at Shoebox from Kavatunes but hit the same conclusion – if it’s only good for this machine then why bother? It’s not me who’ll look at them. It’s the girls, Jacq (we’ve been married 23 years today. Long time) and anyone they pass the information to. And should I die, what good would they be stuck in iPhoto anyway?
So after pondering things I can see only one option – throw everything up into Smugmug. This is a very good thing. Very good. No matter which option I chose there would be an element of tagging. No matter which I chose there would be some organising and equally there would be much pruning. But, and here’s the bonus, I can drastically cut down on other storage. Right now I probably have that 25gb stored at Amazon through Jungledisk. But if they are at Smugmug, why bother with that? And I can get a DVD of the images sent to me so Jacq can have that if she wants as well as the online viewing. Also, Amazon is around $5/month for storage so that’s $5*12 = $60 plus I pay $40 at Smugmug. $100. If I knock Amazon out and upgrade at Smugmug (video I think. I just bought a flip HD video camera) I would still pay $60, a saving of $40. So all I need to do is work on that 12000. That’ll take a while..

2030 to 2050.

As the world’s population grows, competition for food, water and energy will increase. Food prices will rise, more people will go hungry, and migrants will flee the worst-affected regions.

BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | What is the 2030 Perfect Storm idea?.

I find this scary for 2 personal reasons: my wife and I, and our daughters. If you read other scenarios they point to 2050 and the exhaustion of oil. This isn’t one source, it is several. So if this ‘perfect storm’ does not happen then wars for oil will continue and intensify. The environment in which my daughters have grown up will change, will get worse. And in 2050 J and I will almost certainly not be around for them. That is scary and saddening.