The Anonymous Widower

No Directions To Kings Cross Square

I took a Piccadilly line train to Kings Cross today, from where I got a 30 bus to my home.

But there were no signs to the Kings Cross Square and the buses that stop alongside.

The interchange is working well and if I’m coming home on a Piccadilly line train say from Heathrow, I now surface at Kings Cross station and get a 30 bus home or a 73 to the Angel, where I change at the same stop to the 38 for home. It solves the problems of the lack of Underground stations in my area of Hackney.

This interchange will get better, when the second entrance to the Underground opens and the bus routes in the area are improved. The 390 for instance is getting New Buses for London.

Today, the big light was on too, so I was able to bathe in its warmth, as I waited for my bus.

Obviously, not everybody has an energy problem!

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Visitors Inspecting A Lith

I took this picture of the lith outside of Russell Square station.

Three Visitors Inspecting A Lith

Three Visitors Inspecting A Lith

I also talked to one of the staff inside, who liked the lith, but they said, they still got people asking them for directions.

Most stations now seem to have these Legible London liths outside. I now never carry a map, or use a map on my phone, as I walk around London, as the liths and the maps on bus stops and stations, will get me where I want to go.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

What The Hell Is That?

Because my eyesight to the left may not be that good, where fast moving objects are concerned, I’m always careful crossing the road.

I usually put my hand either on top of or on the rotating button of the pedestrian light control, so that I can turn my head to check the traffic properly, whilst effectively seeing the green light with my hand.

It works very well, unless like today, you encounter a control like this.

What The Hell Is That?

What The Hell Is That?

What the muck was I do not know, but it looks like some lazy bastard had put the remains of an apple there and left it to rot.  As there was a bin about five metres away, and I spent a minute or so getting a clean hand, I hope that whoever they were, doesn’t get a good night’s sleep tonight.

I’ll contrast that with the behaviour I had seen earlier, where a young girl of about seven, missed as she put her crisp packet in a bin at the Angel, because the wind blew it out of her hand. She then ran back, retrieved the errant packet and binned it successfully.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Replacing A Television

My 32 inch Sony television is now past its best, as it’s been on Radio 5 so much, the phosphor on the plasma screen  has been damaged. I originally bought it in John lewis in Cambridge and when I moved, I mounted it on a John Lewis swing mount, so I could watch it in both my living room and the kitchen, when I’m cooking. The system works well and I can link it into any related device with ease to watch films on my laptop or BBC iPlayer.

So it would seem logical to upgrade it with something more modern, that had more than one HDMI port, an LED screen and perhaps some built-in smart technology. My watching habits are fairly simple, in that I never record programs for later viewing, but I do use iPlayer regularly.  With the exception of sport, I never watch a channel with adverts. If I could pay a subscription for advert free television, I might watch programs like Downton Abbey.  Incidentally, I’ve never seen an episode.

My reasoning suggested that a modern Sony of a maximum of 40 inches from John Lewis, that fitted the current bracket might be a good purchase.

But firstly, the Sony I thought I should buy, would appear to be difficult to fit on a swing mount. Apparently, it needs to go flat on the wall. So I suppose you can’t use it in buildings like lighthouses or windmills.

I then settled on a Samsung, but the John Lewis assistant, then told me, it would have to have a new bracket if they fitted it, despite the fact that the new bracket would be the same as my old one. I know it will be mounted on a very solid brick wall and the new television will be a lot lighter than the old television, but drilling a new set of holes is probably not a good idea.

I did buy the Samsung and I’ll fit it myself.

It does strike me though, that with new technology coming in regularly, many people will want to replace a television and will get rather annoyed, when they find they either can’t fit the obvious one of their favourite make or they need an unnecessary new bracket.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Memories Of Williams Brothers

Williams Brothers, was the grocery shop of choice of many in North London, in the 1960s. They had the odd supermarket, but most like the one I used to go to for my mother in Cockfosters were ones, where the assistant did the fetching and carrying.

What singled out Williams Brothers from other stores, was that for every pound you spent you got a token, which could be exchanged for money, when you got to a particular value.

Children loved all this and used the tokens, which were available in various denominations, in all sorts of games.

It does puzzle me, why this simple but probably expensive to run loyalty system, hasn’t made a comeback somewhere! After all, every coffee shop seems to have a loyalty scheme, for which you always misplace the card. Perhaps plastic tokens would be easier to collect.

In the end, Williams Brothers was taken over by Budgens.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | | Leave a comment

Waitrose And Gluten Free Sausages

If I go to Sainsburys or Marks and Spencer, and stick to their own brands, it is difficult to find sausages with unnecessary gluten.

However in Waitrose you have quite the opposite, as all of their own brand ones, have the unnecessary gluten. I don’t like their Cambridge own brand gluten-free sausages, but it may well be the name, as I lived in the home of Musks Newmarket sausages for nearly twenty years.

I don’t do barbecues, but the head sausage maker at Musks told me, that gluten-free sausages don’t spit on one.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , | 2 Comments

I’ve Given In

I said in this post, that a Sky Satellite dish is so yesterday.

However, as I have received a letter from BT on the subject of broadband, I decided that the best solution would be to get a dish to get reasonable sports on my television.

The letter from BT is a classic, and it is only thanks to my MP that I got a reply.

Here’s one section.

I’ve been in touch with our supplier, Openreach to ask about Mr. Miller’s situation. Unfortunately, he’s currently unable to get fibre broadband as his phone line is routed directly from the exchange to his premises.

Openreach have confirmed that the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology which they have deployed needs a fibre-enabled street cabinet to supply the service. But because Mr. Miller is located very close to the exchange and is fed directly from it, i.e. not via a street cabinet, this unfortunately means that he can’t have the fibre product at present.

So the solution to my fibre broadband problem, is to move further from the telephone exchange.

I am a qualified electrical engineer and do understand the technology, the problem and the solutions. So I can’t help but find their statement mildly amusing.

But I suppose to actually be honest about the problem, as BT has been in the end, after a kicking from my MP, would only chase customers away to other broadband suppliers, who of course because of my local loop problem, can’t actually deliver the product that everybody wants.

In my view, there should be an on-line database that everyone can access, that shows the phone and broadband standard and quality, that is available at every house or business premises in the country. After all, you might find the ideal building for your new offices and it would be prudent to confirm the status of the phones and broadband before you made an offer.

But why stop at phones and broadband, as it would be much better if all the other services were listed as well.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Ipswich Town Supporters Club – London Branch AGM

It was the AGM yesterday and I took these pictures.

Jay Tabb made an interesting confession, when I asked what it was with footballers wearing beards these days. He said, that he can’t!

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Sport | | Leave a comment

Oh Dear! Christmas Is Coming!

I hate Christmas and the older I get, the more I do so. Remember C died just before Christmas in 2007.

Oh Dear! Christmas Is Coming!

Oh Dear! Christmas Is Coming!

This picture from John Lewis sums it all up.  Tat hanging from the ceiling, to try to get you into a jolly mood!

This year, I won’t even have the relief of football on Boxing Day, as Ipswich are playing in Doncaster and there won’t be any trains.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

We Need More Openness Everywhere

This story from the BBC is a big dose of common sense from MPs. Here’s the jist.

Councils in England should publish annual parking-charge accounts if they want to prove they are not being used as a “cash cow”, MPs have said.

I think we need much better access to all government data.

Here’s a few ideas.

If you run a company, as I’ve done several times, you have to publish a set of simple accounts, including things like cash flows and a profit and loss statement.

Why shouldn’t the government publish such a brief set of accounts, which the man on the Dalston Omnibus could understand?

But of course they don’t!

Some years ago, I tried to find the data to do create some simple accounts for UK plc.  The data is there, but it is in several different places and despite help from a BBC financial journalist, I thought I had better things to do, than dig holes in treacle.

I would also like to see an anonymised database of those who are in prison. A man like me would be described as male, 60-70 in reasonable health, who was a non-smoker living in North London.

It would allow those, who make wild statements about prisons to be challenged and hopefully, it would lead to better justice and penal policies.

I must admit, that it has got a lot better in recent years with the growth of the Internet, but too often, data that would help us to have better lives is hidden from view.

The NHS is one of the worst for hiding data.  There has been a lot of discussion about A & E units in recent years.  Surely, a database should be available on the Internet, of all visits to this department. Again, it would be anonymised.

It would then be easy to find out for instance, how many drunks turned up at various hospitals demanding treatment.

The trouble is, that a national database in this area of the NHS, would show how A & E departments should change to get fit for the twenty-first century. Some would be obvious candidates for closure, whereas others would need to be expanded with special units.

As Charles Babbage said

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.

Give everybody the data, so that we can all finish the job!

You don’t make a good omelette without breaking a few eggs.


October 23, 2013 Posted by | Computing, News | , , , | Leave a comment