This is the Message Centre for Bluebottle

SQ and BB

Post 2421

Bluebottle

The good news is I've now got a replacement power cable for my laptop so I can use my laptop again! It was frustrating not having things like a numberpad on the right, not having Word set up to disable the autochange on ' and " as well as not having everything the way I like it. And I can now log in to h2g2 again and accept recommendations etc.

Frustrating news - after my son went back to school on Friday after two weeks isolating he was sent home yesterday as his whole year have to self-isolate for another 2 weeks as a child at the school has caught Covid. He's on his third fortnight self-isolating since September. But at least we now have a laptop each to use once more. He is due back after the last day of term so that's him off until 20201!

You really are doing well with smiley - gifts! I've been finding it a real struggle this year to think of things to get people. Both because I've not seen my family or friends for so long so it is hard to know what they actually want at the moment, and also because I've generally been avoiding going to shops I've not been generally browsing and spotting what is being sold where. So whereas usually I'd have a year's worth of having seen things and thinking 'X would like that' to work with, this year it is all a blank. Cards is easier, though I usually include a crossword to make up for not knowing what to write - and this year I can't print and include crosswords either...

Glad you're still able to go bird watching - what's the bird total for this year, and do you think you'll beat it next?

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2422

SashaQ - happysad

Yay - glad you're back on your laptop with everything how you like it smiley - ok Yes, the numberpad on the right is particularly useful.

Gah, that is frustrating that your son is having to do the self-isolation for a third time... I hope he continues to stay well. Makes the end of term a bit of a damp squib for him, but I hope the online activities are good.

Yes, smiley - gift shopping is a challenge this year - I managed to go to the charity shop during the week that it was open in September, or whenever it was, and picked up a few goodies, and this week the supermarket had exactly what I was looking for smiley - biggrin Not much opportunity for browsing, though, as you say.

This weekend I beat my birdwatching total from 2018, as I've now seen and photographed 80 different species, so I'm very much satisfied with that smiley - ok I do hope to be able to visit Titchfield Haven some time next year, as that is good for boosting the numbers compared to what I can see up north, but I'm impressed by what I have been able to see this year in the circumstances - eg I haven't seen a common-or-garden Mute Swan this year, but I have seen a (relatively rare) Whooper Swan! Fascinating smiley - geeksmiley - chick


SQ and BB

Post 2423

Bluebottle

I tried going to the Bsmiley - loveF shop when I went to Southampton on Saturday morning, but they had a sign outside saying 'Closed Due To Flooding'smiley - blue The Oxfam was open and I picked up a couple of smiley - book, one John Wyndham and a Jules Verne. If only shopping for other people was as easy as shopping for myself - but the good thing about the out-of-the-way charity shops is they don't attract the crowds at Christmas smiley - cdoublesmiley - cdoublesmiley - cdoublesmiley - cdouble

So is this your first Whooper Swan spotted? Any other new birds seen this year for the first time?

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2424

SashaQ - happysad

Oh no, that's not good about the flooding smiley - blue I hope they manage to get sorted out soon so they can reopen. Have you had that much rain, or is it likely to be an internal plumbing problem? Glad you enjoyed browsing smiley - books, even if it wasn't quite what you went in there for!

I have seen a Whooper Swan before, in 2018, but this year has seen me add a few birds I'd never seen before - there were a couple of new Sandpipers that twitchers pointed out to me, but the Goldcrest is the one I'm most pleased with finding as they are the smallest birds found in the British Isles, so they're not easy to spot smiley - biggrin

I had to do more GDPR online training yesterday smiley - online2long It was very hard going because there was a typo in the final quiz that changed the whole meaning of one of the questions smiley - rofl I had to pass the quiz 100%, so it took me about 10 attempts to work out what the problem was smiley - puff Luckily it allowed me to keep trying rather than just making me fail the module, and it will likely have changed before I have to do the refresher course again.

One of my colleagues is a big fan of Christmas, so our team is having an online party tomorrow night - a bit of a daunting prospect, as I'm not quite sure what to expect from it, but it should be fun overall as my colleague is good at Christmas Quizzes, etc smiley - cracker Strange to think that Christmas Eve is in just two weeks...


SQ and BB

Post 2425

Bluebottle

I don't remember it being too bad over the last week or so, mind you I only do the school run and haven't been out into the outside as much this year as I normally would. Particularly with the darkness every evening now. My guess would be plumbing - definitely not flooding anyway. Could potentially be a leaking roof but there is at least one floor above the shop.

When ordering things from the popular online ordering website I keep a list of things on a wishlist so that if an order comes to under the £20 free P&Psmiley - simpost I can add a cheap something or two to ensure I get free postage as I'd rather get something for my smiley - 2cents then nothing, even if it involves spending slightly more than I would otherwise. Obviously the small, cheap items always arrive before the thing I'd actually intended to order. Today I got a Christmas CD of Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band, with Christmas carols playfully performed using mediæval instrumentssmiley - drumroll, which I'm enjoying listening to at the moment. My wife isn't particularly pleased with it, though...smiley - headhurts

Well done in persevering with the online training - I've never had one quite as bad as that though a lot of questions are often badly phrased. I find that you don't need to read any of the preparation work before attempting a quiz as long as you always answer 'all of the above' whenever it occurs...

My mother-in-laws has been vaccinated today smiley - doctorsmiley - nurse and without turning into a vacuum cleaner or whatever the conspiracy theorists claim happens...

You're right, though, that it doesn't feel like smiley - xmastree at all - particularly as we won't be visiting family and friends over the festive period. Hope you enjoy the online party - I don't know if we'll be having one. Not with people being fired left, right and centre - and one person I know just disappearing yesterday, no card, no collection, no smiley - brave teary farewells or leaving dosmiley - hug, just an out-of-office message 'I no longer work at the university'.smiley - prof

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2426

SashaQ - happysad

Ah, probably plumbing indeed... We have had quite a bit of rain here, but it mainly caused puddles on the road around drains that had been blocked with leaves, so it wasn't as bad as last year when the storm turned the main road into a lake.

Ah, that is a good idea about the wishlist to get something for the cost of the postage smiley - ok I have a wishlist, but second hand books tend not to be included in the free postage offer anyway. Christmas carols on mediæval instruments sounds good - like the Mediæval Baebes smiley - biggrin

Yep, there were a couple of 'All the above' answers in the online training smiley - ok Just that last one that was tricky - the one with the typo in it was called true when it should have been false, and another option was false even though it used to be true smiley - laugh

Good to hear your mother-in-law has received her first dose of the vaccination and hasn't turned into a vacuum cleaner. Reassuring that she will get the best possible protection smiley - ok I don't know anyone who's had it here yet, but I have heard about some of the plans for distribution, so that's good.

Yes, I can imagine there isn't much of a festive feeling in your workplace just now smiley - blue I see UCU mentioned the goings on in their newsletter last week... That is shocking about the out-of-office message being the only notification that someone had left smiley - blue

The party was well organised, but it was intense doing videoconferencing for three hours, even though we had breaks in between activities. The icebreaker about smiley - cracker jokes generated more discussion than my colleague expected, so that was good, and there was a bit of a Taskmaster segment that was fun (although the nominated Taskmaster had drunk rather a lot of smiley - bubbly by then so found it difficult to do the judging, plus we did better than expected, and Greg Davies noted that it is harder to judge when the efforts aren't rubbish). The quiz was good, but I didn't win this year as I didn't do very well on the film round (not having seen Die Hard).


SQ and BB

Post 2427

Bluebottle

No, that's a disadvantage in that only things sold with Amazon UK are in the offer and add up to the postage total. I got another CD over the weekend - Victor Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony, but the Mediæval Baebes Christmas CD sounds good too - the trouble is I wonder if this is the wrong time to buy Christmas CDs as the price goes up? I think that's where I've gone wrong in the past - I don't buy them in the summer as I'm not about to listen to them, but when it comes to December I don't buy the Christmas albums as they're much more expensive than I've seen them on sale for at other times of the year...

Another key member of the board game club's been fired (well, given compulsory redundancy which amounts to the same thing) smiley - blue So are you a member of UCU? Shocking few weeks, and the high street's going to look different with clothes shops closing too. I must admit I've not bought clothes this year much as you can't try them on and I don't want to order clothes online and try them on without putting them in the washing machine first, by which time the label's been ruined...

I meant to ask you about Taskmaster moving to 4 - it is good news that they have a smiley - bleep edition to make it family friendly. The tasks are something I'd encourage my son to watch but there's no need for foul language.

Did you have a good weekend? We went carol singing (twice) - except my son who is still isolating, though he's been isolating for ten days now so I'm not sure whether he has to stop or still isolate as the rules change.smiley - erm Still on Saturday we went to a carol concert where we had to stay 2m+ apart from others and wear facemasks while singing and yesterday we went to the local shopping area's car park where they were holding a drive-in carol concert, where everyone stays in their cars and sings Christmas carols.

I also, for the first time in 30 years, made mince pies - yum! I'm the only one in the house who likes them so lots for me!

Glad you enjoyed the quiz - 'Die Hard' is one of those films which if you want to see Bruce Willis go round shooting people is good, but that's pretty much it - though to be fair Alan Rickman as the baddy is the best thing in it, stealing every scene he's in. If you want to see Bruce Willis action films then you could watch the first three 'Die Hard' films but after that the series really does diminish rapidly.

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2428

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, that is a challenge that prices change at different times of year when different topics are popular... I have bought some clothes this year. I needed to replace my 'school' jumper, but it was outside the school holidays so there wasn't as much choice as there would have been in August! I managed to find one and tried it on in the shop, so that was fine. I was very lucky with my online shopping, too, that the coat I bought fit me well without me needing to trawl round the shops for hours like in previous years.

Sorry another colleague of yours has had to leave smiley - blue Yes, I am a member - they were not able to provide much help on an individual basis, but it is good for keeping up with the news.

It is an interesting move of Taskmaster to Channel4 - they had extra challenges with having to do the social distancing, so it isn't particularly comparable to the ones on Dave. It's good, but not what I would call a classic series (the one with Tim Vine in is my favourite). Yes, I was pleased when Dave repeated the series in the early afternoon with smiley - bleep and it is good that they are advertising the smiley - bleep version on 4 specifically as family-friendly. No need for foul language indeed.

I wondered about your son when I heard the news about the rule change to 10 days - will be a bit strange if he just gets to go in for one day before the holiday, and it is a risk that there would be a need to self isolate again... I hope you get clarity smiley - goodluck

Glad you got to experience carol singing in two different varieties smiley - biggrin Well done on the mince pies, too - glad you enjoyed them. I don't like them either! I did have a good weekend - not too busy in the supermarket, and I got more smiley - xmastree cards done (although I knew exactly where my card-sending list was until I went to get it and it wasn't there, so I might have missed some).

Thanks for the summary of 'Die Hard' - 'Fifth Element' is more my kind of Bruce Willis film!


SQ and BB

Post 2429

Bluebottle

A parcel smiley - gift arrived late yesterday that looks suspiciously like your handwriting, so a big thank you smiley - ta - I look forward to finding out what's inside!

What makes it a 'school' jumper? Does it have a logo on and motto like 'live and learn'? Or is it 3 times the price of a normal jumper and only available from a specialist school uniform shop smiley - winkeye
I'm glad to hear your coat fitted. I decided I'd rather get my coat mended than try and look for another - and besides which repairing is always more ethical when possible, though sadly it isn't always possible to either make do or mend. I probably spent £12 repairing a coat that only cost £15 in the first place, but I like the coat and no new one would have the memories of smiley - ale & smiley - bus.

With my son his school have said that as there has been another case of Covid in his year develop during isolation they aren't opening his year until January, but other years can go back after 10 days. I'm not sure how someone who wasn't at school but isolating at home catching Covid outside school means my son can't go back now, but there we go.smiley - shrug I think he's allowed outside the house now, but there's no school for him to go to.

Today I have to go to uni smiley - prof to do a 'Windows 10 Migration' which I think means I get a work laptop, as I was promised in March.

'Fifth Element' is indeed a great filmsmiley - rocket. In fact if I ever buy a day smiley - bus pass I always say 'Mul-ti-pass' in a Leeloo way.smiley - winkeye

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2430

SashaQ - happysad

Yay - glad the parcel arrived safely - I think you'll all enjoy the box of goodies smiley - biggrin

The school jumper doesn't have any logos on it - it's just a basic one from the M&S School Shop so it works well as a work jumper for me (and isn't extra expensive from the specialist school shop with a posh name indeed!). That is good news that you were able to get your coat repaired - value for money indeed when you know the coat fits and meets your requirements plus is filled with the memories of smiley - ale and smiley - bussmiley - ok

Good news that your son has clarity about the self isolation situation, but that is convoluted reasoning... The Track and Trace 'close contacts' system is a bit of a mystery to me, but there we go indeed smiley - shrug

I hope the migration went well smiley - goodluck I can imagine it was strange for you to be on campus - it was a bit weird when I did my migration a couple of months ago, but luckily I just had to go into the library rather than open up the office building all by myself, which a colleague had to do a couple of weeks ago

Yes! Can't not say 'mul-ti-pass' smiley - laugh


SQ and BB

Post 2431

Bluebottle

OOoh - M&S - that's posh. I remember the excitement when M&S came to the Isle of Wight in the 90s - though not as exciting as BHS which opened with the Island's first escalator (up).

The office room I worked in used to have about 80+ people in (though we'd only see half as it is L-shaped) though in our area there were 3, so still very much like a ghost-ship. As well as getting the new laptop I went to collect my keyboard from the office and while there I put up the paper smiley - xmastree by blue-tacing it on top of my monitor, as well as stocking up on post-it notes.

While I was in Southampton I thought I'd pop into the charity shops and I was delighted to see that BF was open - in there they had a Harry Secombe album 'My Favourite Carols' which I picked up for £1, while Oxfam had a couple more interesting albums including Steeleye Span and one by Montserrat Caballe and someone you may have heard of... Which reminds me, have you heard/any interest in the new Queen+ album?

The joy of 'The Fifth Element' is that 'mul-ti-pass' can apply to any word beginning with 'mul-ti' smiley - winkeye

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2432

SashaQ - happysad

Oh, yes the BHS escalator beats M&S for excitement. M&S is quite posh, but not as posh as Watson Prickard was smiley - laugh

Well done for stocking up on stationery while you were in the office smiley - ok and that's good that you were able to do a bit of decorating. While looking for my Christmas-card-sending list I found a stash of stationery that I grabbed back in March, which is handy, but I still haven't found the list, which is very irritating... Forces me to tidy up, anyway!

Good news that Bsmiley - loveF was open again. Well done for getting the Harry Secombe album - that is a good find, as is 'Barcelona' smiley - magic I used to get e-mails from the Queen mailing list but, now you mention it, I haven't received any for a while. I did see the e-mails about 'Live Around the World' but as it's Queen minus Freddie (although Adam Lambert is 100x better than Paul Rodgers) and a live album, it wasn't one I was particularly interested in. Glad to see it did well in the charts, though smiley - ok

The Rotary smiley - santa float did the rounds here again last night - still played the loud music, but they didn't go round hammering on people's doors this time, so that was much better - the float just parked up at A87878236 so people could approach voluntarily instead smiley - ok


SQ and BB

Post 2433

Bluebottle

While I think about it:
smiley - rainbow 30th December 2020 is the 560th Anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield, in which Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain smiley - rainbow
Seems the perfect opportunity for h2g2's social media to link to: A2350153 Yorkshire's Castles: Sandal Castle

Was Watson Prickard a department store? We don't have any of those on the Island, nor shopping centres. Have you found your list (and checked it twice?) I've got my lists that I write out each year in the front of one of the lever arch files I keep the old Christmas cards filed in. I keep all the Christmas and birthday cards I'm sent, filed by person.

Good news that the smiley - santa float was less aggressive this year - mind you, was that as a result of calls about their behaviour or due to Covid? smiley - ill

My job is changing on 4th January apparently, no idea what I'll be doing yet so I guess I'll carrying on with what I'm doing at the moment until people say otherwise.
Annoyingly the new work laptop doesn't let me save anything on my USB drive. I can't save new documents and I can't even, say, delete the word 'the' from the entry on my USB stick on The Goes Wrong Show. smiley - grr

Apparently it is Christmas this week. Doesn't feel it.

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2434

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you - I have noted the anniversary for Social Media smiley - ok

Watson Prickard was a 'gentleman's outfitter' that diversified into school uniform - traffic-warden-style blazers and suchlike smiley - laugh I haven't found my list yet smiley - blue but I haven't received any cards from anyone I hadn't sent a card to, so I did quite well recreating my list from scratch. I expect the list will turn up when I'm looking for something else...

Yes, I did wonder whether the change in the smiley - santa float was because of covid rather than a genuine desire to be less aggressive, but either way it was a relief that things were quieter.

That is strange about the USB drive smiley - blue I have to admit the USB ports on my new work laptop are a bit strange - one of them won't fit a USB drive, but it will fit a mouse that wouldn't fit into my old laptop. Luckily there is another USB port and that is fine for USB drives, but it is strange that the other one is different. Is it some software that is missing from your new laptop that allows it to read the USB device? Good luck with it...

Also good luck with your job - not good that the powers that be aren't able to tell you more at this stage, even though 4 January is only a few working days away smiley - blue Good plan to keep doing what you do until told otherwise smiley - goodluck

Doesn't feel like Christmas week indeed... I would usually meet my uncle (Dad's friend) on Christmas Eve, but that's postponed until he's had his second vaccination. No idea what Christmas Day will be like, either... Are you working until Christmas Eve? We've been given Christmas Eve as extra leave.


SQ and BB

Post 2435

Bluebottle

My belief is that if I've got a work laptop at home that I've been issued with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - in other words, I have to find a secure place for it IN MY OWN HOME during my own time (thus a clear invasion of my work/life balance) - I should be entitled to use it for personal purposes.

What I wished to do is be able to share files with the Windows 10 work laptop and my home PC, which uses Windows 95. Unfortunately the work laptop wants to use BitLocker encryption which is incompatible with Windows 95. The laptop won't make any changes to a document on the memory stick unless it is installed and won't save files to a memory stick. If a memory stick has Bitlocker encryption on it then my PC doesn't recognise anything on it and seeks to reformat the USB stick.
This means a USB memory stick is either only able to be used with my home PC if not encrypted, or only be used on the work laptop if it is encrypted, but it cannot be used by both. I can, however, save files on the USB stick from the work laptop, then decrypt them on my old laptop and save them onto a new memory stick and then use the second memory stick with my home PC. This isn't a very helpful idea at all...

I know of at least one other person who doesn't know what they're doing, what team they're in or who their team leader is at the moment - seems a common problem with such dramatic changes rushed through all of a sudden.

Tomorrow morning until noon is our last working day, so we've tomorrow afternoon until 4th January off. I have had to work at smiley - prof on Christmas Eve when I started, but fortunately haven't the last few years.

Oh well, we'll see what next year brings. Hopefully I'll be allowed a day off work at last - whenever I apply for leave they say no so I've got a full 35 days to take between January and August...

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2436

SashaQ - happysad

Gah, that is a tricky thing with the encryption/decryption smiley - blue Yes, no reason why you shouldn't make more use of your work laptop when it is at home - my work laptop is much quicker than my home laptop for eg updating the Front Page, so that is helpful.

That's good that you're in the same boat as someone, but sorry the boat is in a state... Yes, kneejerk reactions and rushed changes don't give time for the powers that be to think things through, and it's the people who do the actual work who get caught up in it all smiley - hug Good luck with it all smiley - goodluck

Not good about the leave, either - that's one way to sound generous, but then to not allow people to take the leave is poor... That's good that you have a half day tomorrow, anyway, and time off over the festive period. I hope you all have as good a time as possible smiley - hollysmiley - cracker


SQ and BB

Post 2437

Bluebottle

I think from now on I'll have to make use of my home laptop - which is vastly slower - if I want to make any changes to anything. Even if the changes are as small as deleting one word... A bit annoying and disappointing but c'est la vie. I tried contacting the IT department but they don't seem to understand why anyone would want to use a work laptop for personal use and the reply I got was not at all helpful.

I hope you enjoy your Christmas and New Year and time off - when do you return to work now? I'll probably spend some time doing some doodling. Other than there's no plan other than generally be indoors as much as possible.

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2438

SashaQ - happysad

Sorry the IT department were not able to help - sort of the opposite of using the laptop for personal use, as you could use it all the time but are trying not to...

Yes, I am on leave now until 4 January, too. Doodling sounds like a good plan, and I have a couple of craft projects and h2g2 entries on the go, plus I'll find somewhere to get fresh air and maybe see some birds and that will probably be about it by the sounds of the news... All the best.

smiley - hollysmiley - crackersmiley - holly


SQ and BB

Post 2439

Bluebottle

Ooo we're going to be in Tier 4 on Boxing smiley - gift Day. Doesn't really make a difference as we had no plans to go anywhere or do anything. Shame the charity shops are going to close againsmiley - brave... I stocked up on a new notepad a couple of weeks ago and have plenty of . I guess that means that I won't be expected to go into the office when I start my new job role (whatever that involves)? Which tier are you in at the moment?

And to think that up until now Tier 4 for me meant Student Visas and UKVI compliance (which I stopped having to deal with after the last restructure).

<BB<


SQ and BB

Post 2440

SashaQ - happysad

Ooo, that is something, going to Tier 4 (not visas) - glad you're well stocked up with doodling equipment, so you can stay as safe as possible. Hard to imagine you would be expected in the office as soon as 4 January, so that will be a bit tricky, but I trust your work laptop is better at videoconferencing so you can network as well as possible smiley - goodluck

We'll be going from Tier 2 to Tier 3 (not visas) so the working from home situation continues as before but leisure and hospitality will close again. Not sure what that will mean for charity shops and RSPB reserves, but doesn't make too much difference indeed.

smiley - holly


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