My Twopennorth . .

I just completed the 38 Degrees quiz about how one feels about Brexit and I (unsurprisingly) came out as an ardent remainer. They provided a template letter which could be emailed to one’s MP airing one’s views. I am not greatly impressed by what I have read of our man through programmes such as “They Work for You” but I thought I would give it a go, and wait for them to send the heavies round. I added to and amended the template provided, and this is what I said.

Dear Alister Jack,

As one of your constituents I’m emailing you to let you know where I stand on Brexit ahead of the vote on 11th December.

I am one of the few people left who lived through World War 2 (and had a flying bomb land to close for comfort). My parents lived through World War 1 and dreaded the outbreak of World War 2. The European Union came about after World War 2 because people wanted things to be better in Europe and to avoid any more of the awful things that had gone before. Why anyone should want to go back to a 1930s situation (unless they are armament manufacturers or warmongers) I simply do not understand. And leaving the European Union is likely to bring about more unrest amongst those who rightly feel disregarded than there was at the time of the referendum.

I don’t want to leave the EU at all. I want me and my friends and family to be able to live and work across Europe, and for people from Europe to be able to come and do the same in the UK and to be welcomed here. I want rules on food, health and safety and the environment to stay the same and for the UK to help make those rules.

So, I want to remain in the EU, not for my sake (I am nearly 85 so won’t be affected by the Government’s hostility for very long) but I want my children, grandchildren and now, great grandchild, to live in constructive cooperation and peace with our neighbours for the foreseeable future.

I hope it will do a bit of good, but I shan’t hold my breath.

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Testing, Testing . . .


Talk about life at the bleeding edge.

This is being posted (hopefully) using Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon and the WordPress 5 beta tester plugin. This plugin incidentally needs to be downloaded and then unzipped and uploaded via an FTP programme to the plugins directory under wp-content. This is a fairly intrepid performance for some of us not born with two brains and seven fingers on each hand, but it can be done, so don’t give up !

First impressions are that WordPress 5 with Gutenberg is going to be better than it at first appeared some months ago. Given the amount of development work that has gone on in the background this is perhaps not surprising, but is good to see, and makes one’s worries a lot less troublesome. The word on the site is that the release candidate will be made available on 6th December.

See you on the ice !

Whoops !
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Linux Mint 19 “Tara” . . .

I decided today to fire up my Linux laptop as I knew there must be updates waiting. Indeed there were – many of them. The Update Manager soon had them all listed and on clicking “Install” they proceeded to do just that.

It then occurred to me that I had been running the successive versions of Linx Mint 18 for some time and perhaps a check to see where the development process had got to would be in order. And indeed it was, there has been version 19 since the middle of last year, and it is due to go up one level any time soon – to 19.1.

The Linux Mint web site – downloads.

The .iso image file of about 1.5 GB downloaded quite quickly, was burnt to a DVD and inserted into the Linux laptop’s drive where it rumbled away and the new version soon installed itself, and then further, downloaded a mass of updates and installed them too.

So different from Windows updates which are slow to download, and slow to install with many screens and random restarts – if indeed you can download them and run them at all. The current Windows 10 update 1809 has been paused for a second time and Windows users just have to wait while Microsoft sorts itself out.

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Word Press 5 Release Candidate . . .

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.0 is now available!

This is an important milestone, as we near the release of WordPress 5.0. The WordPress 5.0 release date has shifted from the 27th to give more time for the RC to be fully tested. A final release date will be announced soon, based on feedback on the RC. This is a big release and needs your help—if you haven’t tried 5.0 yet, now is the time! 

To test WordPress 5.0, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

What’s in WordPress 5.0?

Screenshot of the new block editor interface.
The new block-based post editor.

WordPress 5.0 introduces the new block-based post editor. This is the first step toward an exciting new future with a streamlined editing experience across your site. You’ll have more flexibility with how content is displayed, whether you are building your first site, revamping your blog, or write code for a living.

The block editor is used on over a million sites, we think it’s ready to be used on all WordPress sites. We do understand that some sites might need some extra time, though. If that’s you, please install the Classic Editor plugin, you’ll continue to use the classic post editor when you upgrade to WordPress 5.0.

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Heads Up Permalink Peeps . . . – Permalink Settings

A post written today in Gutenberg just would not publish, try as I might. So, as usual, off to the internetweb to see what others might be saying. It seems that if you have your permalink settings as “Day and Name” this failure to publish can (and does) happen. “Month and Name” seems to be OK, but this blog is now running on good old fashioned “Plain” and that seems to be OK too.  See above.

Anytime . . .

Just ask . . .

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Essential Reading in Desperate Times . . .

Professor Chris Grey
Professor Chris Grey

For those who want to understand what is being done to us by our “Government” as it seeks to Brexit I find Professor Chris Grey’s blog very enlightening. He actually understands and successfully explains the things which the media blab about but never enlarge upon.mmm

Here is a bit from his bio :

“Professor of Organization Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London, and previously a Professor at Cambridge University and Warwick University. A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). Originally studied Economics and Politics at Manchester University, where he also gained a PhD on the regulation of financial services. Since then he has researched a wide variety of organizational issues, too numerous to list here. He writes two blogs in a personal capacity. One is based on his book A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Organizations, and discusses news stories or other events that relate to its themes. The other is about the consequences of Brexit and is accompanied by a twitter feed @chrisgreybrexit.

You will find his blog here

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Rockliffe . . .

Messing about on the beach.

Hestan Island seen from Rockliffe.

Rockliffe is a pleasant coastal community on the estuary of the Urr Water, south of the town of Dalbeattie and Kippford.  These pictures were late in the afternoon, on a late November day.

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Slightly Foxed . . .

It’s arrived. Pleasurable reading ahead ! And the Christmas Crossword is included also – very literary, and a toughie for those of us who aren’t.

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Word Press 5 . . .

Gutenberg himself.

Word Press 5 has been a long time coming – we were warned about it some time ago but somehow it seemed to go off the boil, and one wondered if it was all a bit of a flash in the pan. However it seems that work is going ahead and we might see something towards the end of this month.

It has been evident in other ways that something was going on because the Gutenberg plug in has been updated frequently so I guess that when Gutenberg updates it causes hiccups in WordPress 5, and when WordPress 5 gets modified Gutenberg needs to catch up.

We wait and see. Rather like the awful Brexit.

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Codswallop . . .

Screenshot of Alice Lough entry on Ancestry.
Alice Lough – “LifeStory” screenshot of Ancestry page

I have for many years now been a subscriber to Ancestry and much of my family history research is kept there. Recently a relative of mine asked me why our great grandmother was shown as having been in America at various times in her life. I was baffled by this and could not find anything to back up his claim and rather ignored it – until – yesterday I happened to click on the Life Story tab.

LifeStory tab on the left

The photo at the start of this post shows what I found. In the screen shot, there are three events all of which are factually correct under the “Facts” heading, with references and sources, but in the “LifeStory” shot you can see that Alice’s mother allegedly died in Amador, California, her little son allegedly died in Alaska, and her son Harry was allegedly born there as well. And for the privilege of paying Ancestry £179.99 per annum this is the claptrap they produce. I have emailed them to tell them of my displeasure.

Here is the reply from Karen at Ancestry :

Hi Ian . I’m Karen, a Directly Ancestry Expert. We are experienced Ancestry users that assist with answering questions. While we do not have access to accounts, I will be happy to provide assistance.

I understand your frustration. Ancestry is experiencing an issue relating to this. Unfortunately we do no have a timeline for it being fixed, but we are hopeful it will be soon.

Let me know if you have any further questions.


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