Category Archives: Appliances

Interference From Software

Let’s talk about interference. I live in England, UK. We are now post Brexit.

Am I the only one getting frustrated with the interference of programs online while I’m trying to write? From searching to editing, the robot programs ( whom you did not ask for help) interfere.

Predictive search…I can’t stand this.

I can type. I don’t need help….I know what I am going to search for….no matter how often I try I will never understand it’s predictions and it’s results.

I am pretty sure that Google is sexist. I cannot get my site listed for love or money. See the featured image of this article for my search results for my own site… However, I have had problems with google mail and youtube for years. In fact I just paid for google to recieve my emails which they’d locked up…bizarre. I got some messages from five years ago…

Anyhow, it’s not just google misbehaving.

Microsoft was my chosen program for writing and editing my books…I’m 51 years old, it’s familiar.

I’ve had my hotmail account since last century and this is not a stretch of the truth. It doesn’t appear to be working now, at all, I’m trying not to panic. Many of us are affected so I’m sure it will be soon be fixed…

I have faith in you microsoft to fix the hotmail…however Word is lost, I think.

Does anyone know of a writing and editing program which is not cloud based? I am having real security issues with word and microsoft. I’ve been locked out of one laptop completely as I accidently removed it from my devices….no way around this it seems, I cannot get the machine into the BIOS screen to safely reboot.

Thankfully, being an electrical nerd I have a few devices around so can usually manage to get one of my machines online…however, I am not an IT nerd and I am out of touch.

I’m using the paid for version of Word…just incase some of you are judging me lol.

Months ago, I spent days trying to retrieve some writing and editing. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys how frustrating and time consuming this is. It also messes with my general work writing planning as I think I’ve edited something but then find out it hasn’t been done after all.

Asking yourself whether you’ve written this or that for a character and having to read through to find out, takes time and messes with confidence.

I contacted microsoft about my missing files and edits. They ‘fixed’ the software and apologised for my loses. However, as a writer of fictional adventure it’s not so easy to find your place again…especially when you don’t have faith that your changes will be saved.

It’s slowed my writing down and I feel stuck. I’m learning on the job as I’m disabled and it’s the only thing I can currently do in my own time etc when I’m well enough. I get tired easily but am always thinking about plot lines and character plays. I suffer from memory fog so need to be able to write when I can with out too much hassle or remembering where I am.

I’m I really looking at buying a typewriter? Surely not? Where would I get ribbons???

Hopefully someone will see that there is a gap in the market for writers with unreliable broadband and memories.

Until then I write on a laptop which I have disabled the wifi on. The bulk of my work being stuck in word on this laptop. I’m grateful that I did a hard copy, printed off for my alpha reader. However, many adjustments have been made since then.

But it’s not just the logistics now, it’s the feeling of insecurity which is holding me up.

I would love to write offline but with editing assistance, spell check etc. Why is this impossible? What am I missing? Is the interference from software programs necessary? Spellcheck not being on here is bad enough…why not? It’s the simplest thing…

Cloud or nothing? I’m hoping someone will give me some advice here, I really don’t mind paying for the right software but it mustn’t be on a disk as I don’t have a diskdrive (who does now?) Gig pen software doesn’t appear to be a thing yet…? So, I realise I would need to download the software initially…there are so many editing programs but they are all cloud based from what I can see.

Thanks for reading.

I Remember You

Duck egg blue

Footwell smell

Proud feeling

Bumping apologies

Fleeing scenes


Backward speeding

Flat shoes

Pavement bounce

Driver blues

Sticky shift

Steamy views

I still fondly smile

When I remember you.


By Samantha unextraordinarybint Harris

This is about my first car. Light blue Moris Minor Traveller.

I broke the front axle on it.

Long story.

I might tell it some day.

She was beautiful but annoyingly hard to handle, I called her Gertie.

Thanks for reading.

What was your first car?

Moris Minor

Now I’m Cooking! Kind of a Disability Review of my New Cooker.

My New Cooker for my New Flat  –  Zanussi Ceramic Cooker

My new cooker is shiny and modern. It is electric because there is no gas allowed in my block and no gas runs to the flats themselves. I was exceptionally happy to have it delivered. Pleased, because it was second cooker I’d ordered in a month.

I’d waited patiently for the first one. You know what it is like. At first living off take outs and microwave food until it arrives isn’t so bad. I had made it clear when I ordered the item that I lived in a high rise, but it was all level access with two working lifts to my floor and electronic doors.

Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was disappointed when the delivery driver called me and asked me to come down sixteen floors and collect it.

He claimed his firm’s insurance only covered them to deliver to a normal house. I said there was no way I could come and get it myself with my wheelchair and without a trolley. I asked him politely to consider bringing up the cooker anyway but no it wasn’t allowed. The trolley had to stay at ground level. So, the oven got sent back.

I waited six days for the money to be refunded before I could order another oven. To be fair I was getting really fed up of microwave meals and cuppa soups by this stage. I had moved into my new home and not yet been able to cook a decent meal. I was staying positive knowing my microwave misery was about to end, at last, with the delivery of my new super, double oven, ceramic hob cooker.

I waited patiently for the second cooker to arrive. I pulled out the old Argos cooker. What a piece of shit. The sticker, on the back of the oven said it was two years old and good for another eight. I had disconnected it the moment I had moved in. When I had pulled it out of its position to disconnect it, I was shocked at it’s open back. I disconnected it safely, there were scorch marks all up the back of the oven and the cable sheaving was also heat damaged. I cleaned the area the new cooker was going into.

When the doorbell rang, I could hardly contain myself. I’d already taken out the first frozen meal I was going cook in the new oven out of the freezer. Sautéed potatoes with creamy leak and onion sauce on chicken. The delivery was going well, the new cooker made it all the way up to my floor, then into my kitchen without incident.

The delivery man, a young man in his early twenties stood in my kitchen and wouldn’t go as I had not paid for the connection of the cooker. I assured him I was perfectly capable and was in fact actually qualified as I held City & Guilds electrical installation qualifications with distinctions. He still just stood there. I told him it was fine for him to take the old cooker and go…but no he just stood there looking awkward.

Eventually I said, “My son will be back from work later and he’ll help me connect it all up.”

This did the trick. I was left with my new cooker, which I during unwrapped and connected up. It wasn’t an easy job, awkward as a buck, but it was done within a couple of hours – a healthier electrician would have done it sooner I expect but it is still good to know I can save myself a little cash when I can.

My new cooker, with it’s ceramic hob and double oven feature looks stunning. It slotted in just nice with under a cm either side. It’s black and silver design is sleek and easy to wipe down. The smaller, top oven saves time and money as it’s less space to heat up. For one meal this is perfect and as yet,  I have only used the bottom oven when I have guests.

I’ll be honest. It was a compromise taking a flat without gas supply because I wouldn’t’ be able to take my gas cooker with me. I wasn’t sure I was going to gel with an electric cooker, but I’ve gotten used to the ceramic heating system very quickly and would say once you have adjusted your cooking style to suit it’s great.

Zanussi was my choice and I haven’t been let down. It cooks things super-fast and is easy to look after and wipe down. It comes apart for cleaning which is always an added bonus. It has a warning light on the hob the whole time it remains hot – just in case you forget that you just used the hob and it’s still hot but doesn’t look it.

It’s “A” efficiency so I feel that I am not wasting energy every time I cook just for one. All in all, I love my Zanussi cooker and would recommend anyone changing from gas over to ceramic and going for a top oven grill feature. Another noted benefit, for disabled people who are independent, is the top oven’s accessibility – I can open and put things in and out of it easily whilst sat in my wheelchair.

Regarding connecting the cooker, I can do it myself – safety first folks – always treat electric with respect. Never attempt to connect anything to the electric supply unless you know what you are doing. Always employ someone qualified when dealing with electric.

Uni-cone to Stethoscope, The Bodies Auscultation

A Stethoscope, along with a white lab coat, used to be the tools we most associated with doctors and consultants.
Using a stethoscope meant your doc knew about sound, your doctor would need a good ear. This extremely useful tool has been around, in one form or another, for hundreds of years – by listening to the inner audio of the human body you can hear the rhythm of life, even a newborn heartbeat.
It’s uses, in medical and midwifery has been well documented over the centuries but I’m going to cover the last two centuries and what we can tell is going on inside the body by listening using this valuable instrument.
The Stethoscope as we know it today is attributed to R T H Laennec. I have to say it is rather difficult to believe as I understand wooden and ceramic cones were used in midwifery. It ought to be noted that Sumerian cones are dated to around 5000 years ago.
For our purposes, it appears that in 1816 Laennec used a wooden cylinder (or a paper cone) to transmit heart sounds to the ear and documented it. Some years later in 1828 someone called Poirry modified it by adding an earpiece and a trumpet shaped chest piece. Although Poirry stethoscopes are still available and in use today, Auscultation objects, are likened to antique curiosities.
However, it was not until 1850 that the binaural stethoscope that docs really started to investigate those conditions of the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems through their auditory channels.
Sounds of your inner body workings, your organs, vascular system, digestive system and most importantly, mitral diastolic murmurs of the heart can all be heard via a stethoscope. These sounds can tell a physician whether the heart and lungs are healthy. Doctors can diagnose a heart murmur by using their stethoscope, lung diseases can be detected in this manner – saving costly scans and all before the electronic equipment can be plugged in.
Most sounds of interest to a doctor especially heart sounds have frequencies in the range 60 to 600 Hz, but some mitral diastolic murmurs (irregular sounds heard over the heart during expansion of the heart and indicating an abnormality in the mitral valve) have frequencies below 60 Hz, and a few sounds , such as crepitations (crackling sounds heard over the chest in some disease of the lungs), have frequencies of up to 1400 Hz. Acoustic stethoscopes do not amplify sound they commute it to the ear as efficiently as possible.
In 1977 stethoscopes started looking more the part. They usually had a combined bell and diaphragm chest piece made of stainless steel. The bell section of the chest piece remains open and has a diameter of 2.87 cm and is 0.64 cm deep.
When this side of the stethoscope is in use, the patients skin acts as flexible diaphragm across the mouth of the bell to transmit the sound. The diaphragm section has s diameter of 4.37 cm but is only 0.33 cm deep. It is covered by a rigid linen Bakelite diaphragm. The larger surface area enabling sound to be picked up.
The doctor can select either side of the chest piece by rotation it relative to the sound collecting tube connecting it to the earpiece tubing. The bell side of the instrument would be used by the doctor to listen to relatively low pitched sounds in the range of about 30 -500 Hz, whereas the diaphragm side of the chest piece is designed to filter out the lowest sounds but pass the highest frequencies in the range 200 to 1400 Hz.
The stethoscope tubing is made of flexible plastic material with a very smooth interior surface and the earpiece tubes were generally made of stainless steel. The design of the plastic tips for the earpieces is surprising important. They must as large as possible usually with a diameter of from 1.27 cm -1.60 cm so that external sounds are blocked from the ears.
A leak of five times the diameter of a human hair has a marked effect on the performance of the stethoscope, particularly at low frequencies. Thankfully stethoscopes have continued to move with the times and got smaller and more efficient at filtering out external sounds. There are a wide range of stethoscopes available today in 2019.
Stethoscopes have come into the digital age. One of the most impressive on the market is the latest offering from Thinklabs One. The device itself fits entirely into the single chest piece and works with any headphones of your choice. It can amplify sounds by more than 100 x.
The device can connect to tablets and smartphones to visually display the waveform of the audio using a matching app, which can also record and let doctor zoom in on specific spots in the recordings. The software provides a variety of audio filtering options to better hear heart murmurs, diastolic rumbles and lungs sounds.
Additionally, the iMurmur app from Thinklabs provides a library of pre-recorded heart sounds that can be used to learn and maybe even compare against one’s own patients. The standard package comes with a set of in-ear headphones, and for the modern physician there’s also the Beats Package that comes with Dr. Dre’s Executive headphones that feature noise cancelling technology.
Looking to the future it is already looking bright for this old medical wonder of technology, the cone developed into the stethoscope and is still has use in midwifery today. The humble cone can still pick up the heartbeat more reliably than the electronic version in pregnancy.
A stethoscope used properly can diagnose major illnesses saving time and discomfort for the patient. Now that it is digital the doctor doesn’t have to remember the sounds or even have a good ear – they just need to know what they are looking for.