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Return After Hiatus.

It’s been over two years since I posted a blog entry on here and for the bulk of that time the blog itself was taken down from the internet (yes I’m aware nothing really disappears).

I took it down back in 2011 as I engaged in a lengthy legal battle with my former partner over custody of and access to my son.  Everything possible was being dragged up and thrown at me, in a spate of underhand and unnecessary tactics.  It wasn’t a happy period of time – no two reasonable people should resort to what we both did.  I won’t be dwelling too much on my little man, or my personal life, now the blog is back; but I thought I should explain why it went away.

Now I’m Back….

I should probably explain the inspiration for being back, seeing as I’ve explained the rationale for being away.  It is, as described:  Inspiration.  I do some work with the Duracell bunny that is Warwick Tweetup, and his partner in crime Jo’s Correctional Facility – and the energy from both of them is contagious.

If you take that and combine it with the fact I feel I have something useful to add these days, and take inspiration in content form from some of the blogs I enjoy reading (particularly Maria Langer’s ‘An Eclectic Mind’ – a great mix of Aviation and real life from the USA!) – I wanted to get back on with blogging.

As you’d expect, an awful lot has changed in the intervening two years; including my life and my little bit of the world.  I’m older, and hopefully a little wiser – I’m certainly a little more reflective before reacting to anything.  One little snippet I learnt along the way:

“Will it matter in a year?  If not, then it probably doesn’t matter now.”

With that mantra in mind, I intend to start blogging again probably on a more professional and business based basis than before; although still with a heavy hint of aviation!

For now I’ve just restored the old site, as was and upgraded WordPress – but over the next month or so I am going to tidy it up (looks and content), and ensure everything is linked properly to my social media bits and pieces, and then try and think of something interesting which you can all read!

It’s good to be back.

Interesting Links for September 27th.

These are my interesting links for September 27th:

Interesting Links for July 1st.

These are my interesting links for July 1st:

Interesting Links for June 28th.

These are my interesting links for June 28th:

Identity & eBills

A slightly pertinent topic in the light of the new UK government’s scrapping of the Identity Card scheme, but I had a bizarre experience yesterday trying to prove who I was in order to hire a Rug Doctor machine to clean my hallway carpet with.

I presented myself at the Focus (1 of 2 local DIY stores) with the following documents:

  • Full UK Driving Licence (Both Parts)
  • Passport
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate (dated April 2010).
  • 2 Credit Cards
  • JAA Private Pilots Licence (in same folder as driving licence, not being poncy!)

All of which was not sufficient to prove my identity to rent what is in all likelihood about £300 worth of hoover.  This because I did not have a recent utility bill or bank statement with my address on.  I pointed out to the assistant that I get all of my credit card and utility bills electronically now, and thus didn’t have any; but that I had brought a ‘log book’ for my motorbike which was issued by DVLA on 23rd April 2010.

Rug Doctor
Not Available without 'ID'.

I then remembered that I had hired a machine off them in January too, but that wouldn’t help them.  The manager point blank refused to believe I was me and lived at the address identified on no less than 4 pieces of Government issued documentation.  Instead they needed a print out of a utility bill and insisted upon it, there was no question of using discretion or common sense – the addage “Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.” seemed to apply.

I duly went home and printed out a PDF of my last credit card statement, however I went to Homebase instead to hire the machine in order to make my point about the stupidity of the manager’s decision in Focus.  I hired the machine on the basis of a passport and a printed out credit card statement.

It does seem though that in order to prove your identity (or more accurately your address) in the UK then a home printed PDF (please don’t edit it yourself) is more admissible than a government printed official document (or 4) on watermarked paper with holograms.  Rug Doctor are asking for it in my opinion!

Interesting Links for May 20th.

These are my interesting links for May 20th:

Interesting Links for April 6th.

These are my interesting links for April 6th:

  • Two arrested at Liverpool over corpse check-in incident – Two people were arrested at Liverpool airport after trying to check in a corpse. Very very odd incident. I wonder why it is Greater Manchester Police who are responsible for LPL and not Merseyside though? Or is this a typo by Flight?
  • Pressure mounts on Digital Economy Bill – Telegraph – As part of the process of dissolving parliament in the UK in the run up to the forthcoming general election the government will pass several laws earlier than usual in a process called "the wash up." The Digital Economy bill is going to be one of them – but its such a critical bill for our online economy & copyright holders I think it warrants the usual level of scrutiny.
  • iPad CPU yields up (some) secrets to x-ray scan – Interesting x-ray scans of Apples A4 processor which is used in the iPad.

Interesting Links for March 29th.

These are my interesting links for March 29th:

  • Non-Doms Have An Unfair Advantage – Duncan Bannatyne eloquently sets forth the case for changing the UK tax regime which allows "non doms" to pay little / no UK tax on their earnings and leaves UK businesses at a disadvantage. Lawyers tried to restrict this article – says a lot!
  • Inside GCHQ: ‘Caution: Here comes the BBC’ – Insight into how the BBC were treated when they were allowed privileged access into GCHQ. The documentary which this was in aid of is broadcast at 2000 on BBC Radio 4. Looks like it'll be worth a listen.
  • How do they do IT?, Formula 1 – Computerworld – Fascinating look into the IT which supports the Formula 1 teams, as it makes a whistle stop world tour! Can you imagine setting up IT equivalent needed to support a medium sized enterprise in 7 days, then taking it to bits again and moving to the next location?
  • RAF fighter jets scrambled amid terror plot fears – The RAF have again been scrambling fighter jets, but this time to accompany "suspicious" civilian airliners through UK airspace; with ministers awoken in the night who could have had to make a decision to shoot them down! Scary stuff, surely never to happen?