Friday, 31 July 2009

I know it's not stroke related - but it made me chuckle. London, England.

Friday, 24 July 2009

As a quick aside. If you have a Gmail/Googlemail account - which, as far as I'm aware, you need for a blogspot blog, and like me, you change your password regularly, it also changes your blogspot password to the new password.

Secondly, I had a blogger complain when I joked that "google is your friend', said quite nastily, that they hated google and anything to do with it. Blogspot IS Google. However, the privacy options, in settings, are quite extensive. Oops :)

By the why, if you need to increase the size of your text in your blog, when you blog, highlight your text using CTRL and A, to select it, then click tT on the top bar in comment on blogspot to get the text size you want, and hit enter. If you only use one arm, then in Windows XP (sorry, that's what I use) go to Accessibility in the start menu, and enable 'sticky-keys'. That will enable you to hit keys one after another. Feel free to ask me to exlpain more if you need it.

More later......

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

I already use a propriety teleconferencing software, but I thought I'd play around with Skype.

I used it when it first came out some years ago, but I found it a bit tacky and unreliable. I should explain I only have a 2 meg connection, so I don't expect miricles anyways. But I thought, well hey, it's free :) My way of judging anything that plays video is Youtube. If I can play Bonjovi smoothly, I'll go down in a blaze of glory.

Skype's not perfect - but it's not bad. It's not so good that I'd use it's 'paid for' services but I was pleasantly surprised. Juggling the settings for half an hour was the biggest annoyance - but then again, I've spoken to people who went with the standard settings and had no probs. I'm made a bit shy and retiring - I twitch at the thought of being 'on camera', but I accept it's a better way of communicating than email..... but that's another post :) My conclusion is that it's not bad, actually now.


I spend some time talking to some highly intelligent, highly qualified, fine upstanding people, across the planet at weird hours because of time zones. A lot of them have letters after their names that just leave me confused. But do you know, though they're way above my intellectual level, their patience and the respect they show me, and my input, well, I'm just .... well I'm just.


Thursday, 9 July 2009

I'm not sure whether the news I've had is good or bad.

I receive Disability Living Allowance. It's a tough benefit to get, (as I've said before) and is there to help relieve some of the financial burden of care and mobility if you have a disability. Care is darned expensive. As you may gather, there are two parts to it, Care, and Mobility. You can get one, or both, at various levels, and normally you're granted it for between one to three years. Then you have to reclaim, and your needs are reassessed.

I've heard of people getting either Care or Mobility indefinitely - meaning they don't have to claim again. This happens because the Department of Work and Pensions, along with the medics, decide there is no reasonable prospect of an improvement in the disability in the foreseeable future. This is very, very rare, and often it's the just the Mobility component.

I've been granted Indefinite status on both. I've never hear of that before.

It's good because we don't have to have the stress of going through a reclaim again. It's not means tested, so that's good again. It also means my carers effectively get the rather pathetic carers allowance
indefinitely too.

But I'm effectively being told I should not expect any improvement in my disability.

Now, that, is just plain bleeping annoying.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Am I afraid...

Of dying? A friend asked in the wee hours.

Well, as a serial stroke survivor, and other instances over the years, I've faced the 'd' word. I've also had the privilege of holding the hands of, praying with, cuddling and keeping vigil with those who've faced that reality over the years, and being with them when they died. So death and I are no strangers.

My dad died at 60, my little brother at 40. Both had always said they didn't believe in any kind of afterlife. I dunno. I'm not a religious person. All I know is death is something we all have to face one day. Not like we have a choice, is it?

If some magic fairy granted me three wishes, it would be that, at that time, I will be lucid, reasonably mobile, and a little warning would be nice so I can analyse it. It'd be useless information - but hey, I'd like to go as I've lived.

But that's the crux. I'd like to think I've lived a life worth celebrating. All the modern paraphernalia is a party for the living, My finances are good, my affairs are in order, and there's an Apple tree out there to be plonked on top. I want to be a tree. Anything else is beyond my control and that's how it should be. Meanwhile, I'll just get on with life :)

So, No. I'm not afraid.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

You're Beautiful

Happy July 4th American friends! God help the world if you'd have become just another colony. We'd probably still have slaves for a start. We still do, actually. Their called foot...errrr.."soccer players". Better paid, but still bought and sold and enslaved.

Ever had one of those tunes that sticks in your head? For me today, it's James Blunts "My life has changed in so many ways... "You're beautiful, your beautiful.... it's true." Only way I'm going to get it out of my head is to play it on youtube. That'll annoy the neighbours :)

Other news? My wheelchair, which doubles up as my computer chair, has these peg things on the footrests to hold heel supporting straps? I stood up a bit quick today, a peg caught under my jeans leg? By golly, My Bear, who is well over a foot shorter than me, shot across the room and caught me before I had a "Hello Floor" moment. I'm well impressed!

I've had a tremendous compliment. A young niece said I reminded her of "Jonathon Creek". I should perhaps explain. It's a Brit. Tv series. He's employed as a guy who works for a magician, designing tricks for his acts. He gets roped in by a 'true crime writer' - a lady, naturally, who exploits his gift to solve otherwise baffling crimes. I love it. But what I love most about it is the characters play ordinary people.

I'm getting into facebook a bit more. I'm a very private person, so it goes against the grain a bit, (yeah, I know that's a bit contrary for a blogger) but - and this is a big but, I've met other private people who have found PM'ing there is more private than email. Steady as she goes.