TECH: iPhone Apps are Doing My Head In!


So, not only do I have some weird conflict between WordPress and Jetpack, that’s stopping me from posting here as I normally would. I also have issues with apps on my iPhone.

What happened was that I wanted several apps that were in folders just out on ‘the desktop’, so to speak. I used the ‘remove folder‘ function. This appeared to suggest that the folder would go but the apps would stay.

Uh-uh. Both folder and apps (or at least app icons) disappeared. So I re-downloaded one of these apps, an FTP thing. But although it shows here:

… it doesn’t show on any of the several screens worth of what I’m calling my ‘desktop’:

If anybody should chance upon this post who knows what’s gannin’ on, leek, could they enlighten me… pretty please!?

SNOOKER: Ronnie Calls 147 After 1st Black…

Yet more snooker therapy. And boy-oh-boy, does Ronnie deliver!? He’s pulled out some classic 147s, from his first awesome five minute jobbie (below), back in 1997, to this!

‘Absolutely sensational’ enthuses the affably avuncular John ‘JV‘ Virgo. And one cannot disagree!

MiSC: Sore Throat, Tough Work, Crap Snooker… What a Day!

IGAS cases…

I’ve had a sore throat for a few days now. Symptoms are very Strep A like, and I believe that’s running amok in the UK. Teaching in schools, I guess, may make me more likely to be exposed? It seems more virulent amongst the very young. And I teach in two primary schools.

But I can’t find any particularly helpful maps of known cases. Something I thought might shed light on whether this might be Strep A or something else. And then there’s the various varieties: Strep A, Scarlet Fever and IGAS may all be caused by the same bacteria, but (I believe?) each manifests in slightly differing ways. So, for example, I don’t have any rashes, so I don’t have Scarlet Fever.

… and Scarlet Fever.

But without proper medical advice – ironically I had an over-50s NHS health check last Monday, before I got this damned sore throat – which is increasingly hard to get as the Tories grind the NGS into the ground, how do I know what’s causing it, or indeed even what ‘it’ is!?

BTW, the info-graphic map images I’ve used here are from my researches, and usually the webpage (if not always the image itself) adds more info, such as when the statistics were gathered, or the time period they cover, etc.

I guess I was after this sort of thing, for our area.

What I really wanted was a map with ‘pins’, something rather like the above image, but showing cases in my living/teaching zones. Maybe then it’d be easier to see if there were recorded cases where I’m teaching, for example? Anyhoo, calling 111 has (so far) got me nowhere.

Teresa and I are back to childminding at my sister’s. And we’ve been roped into an extra night over, as my mum backed out of her usual Sunday commitment. She did so partly due to dad having Covid (so I hear!?), and me having this sore throat.

I also booked two Amazon delivery shifts: one today, another tomorrow. Todays was a real nightmare. First off they had approx 30% more stuff to deliver – 30 bags as opposed to he usual 20 or so – than I normally have, and yet supposedly to be delivered in the same (two hour) time frame!

My Flex shift today was hellish!

On top of this, even before I’d left, the scanning and naming/numbering of the deliveries didn’t tally correctly. There were extra bags, numbers/names/codes didn’t match, and, well, more on this later…

I’d also very much like to opt out of making any deliveries to Cambridge. Most trips to Cambridge involve dropping deliveries to at least one ‘block of flats’ or student halls of residence. In theory I can contact the customer. In practice this doesn’t always work. Today I had a whole slew of Chinese students in multiple occupancy residences , none of which had sufficient info to locate the customer, that made the entire shift a total nightmare.

Supposedly 2-4pm, I didn’t finish till 5pm. And when I did I had two bags of undelivered stuff left over! I had to call the Flex driver support line several times. To their credit, they do try to help, and sometimes they even actually sort things out. But, as ever in modern life, there’s far too much interacting with automated robotic systems. And they can’t always resolve stuff satisfactorily.

I anticipate negative feedback from Amazon on this delivery run. One particular order initially took over 45 minutes to ‘complete’ (or so I thought), putting me seriously behind schedule. And in the end this was – or so it seems – the order to which the two extra mystery bags that were left over belonged to. So adding that in, as well, at the end, means that one stop accounted for about an hours work!

How all this makes me feel!

Add to this my sore throat, the bigger than usual load, that for much of the shift it was cold and very rainy, and, nearly all of it being in town, there was heavy traffic congestion to negotiate… Bah! Not fun at all. For the most part I do enjoy doing Amazon Flex deliveries. Not so today! As already mentioned, I’d like to decline any further delivery trips to Cambridge.

Back ‘home’, at Hannah’s in Northstowe, I’m mainly staying in bed, as I don’t feel at all well. The right hand gland in my neck is swollen and painful, swallowing hurts, and I’m on a diet of liquids, paracetamol and lozenges.

Missed (again!). Bloody awful.

Thought a bit of snooker might help. So I watched the Trump vs Bingham Masters semi-final. Trump won, 6-1. But, my sweet lard, was it ropey! It was excruciating at times. I like fast heavy scoring snooker. This was low breaks, tactical grinding (and wailing and gnashing of teeth), and, frankly, quite boring . Both players playing well below their best.

What a day!

DAYS iN: Home – F-F-F-flippin’ F-F-F-freezin’!

I put all this lot on upon entering our home!

We just got back home, from childminding duties at my sister’s. As we occasionally do, we stayed a second night. I was exhausted after an evening shift delivering for Amazon, and then sharing a bottle of wine with Teresa and Hannah.

Amazon were taking the piss royally yesterday, on two fronts: first I arrived a few minutes late (2-3, or thereabouts) for a midday shift. The crappy Flex app then proceed to load so slowly that by the time it was up and running I’d ‘missed your [my!] slot’!

So I returned later the same day, and did an evening sesh. I try not to do these, on account of it being harder and more stressful in the dark of winter evenings/nights. And herein was the second Amazon piss-take:

Actually this was a double-barrelled piss fest: first I had an order ‘to be delivered no later than 4pm’. Yet it was the second delivery of about eight or so, and I didn’t start collecting the items, never mind delivering them, until 4pm, when my shift officially commenced!

I told the recipient that I’d have bent the laws of physics to deliver to him by 4pm, if it lay within my powers. And, if he was unhappy – fortunately he was a jovial and understanding chap, and was absolutely fine – please take it up with Amazon, and don’t blame me!

But the real piss take the second, was the sheer distances they had me travelling. I started in Cambourne, then went to Royston, then Potton, then Sandy, then home. I reckon that the fuel costs of this run will prob’ have accounted for half my earnings.

Lobster, a very hirsute, handsome and charming chap!

But my main prompt for this post was returning to our frigidarium home. Our car was plenty warm en-route home. With two of us in the the confines of a little MX5, plus the car heating, we were very cosy. The house was 8°C, according to our wall mounted central-heating doodad (thermostat/controller?).

The pic atop this post is how I got myself up to brave a trip to our littlest room! Which used to be an outside privy, when the house was built. And today feels like it still is! I was worried my bowels would refuse to open, so damn chilly was it!

I’m now enjoying that most plebeian of pleasures, a pot noodle. Pornography for the palette, granted. But warm and flavoursome. It maketh me happy!

MUSiC: Your Love keeps Lifting Me, Jackie Wilson, 1967

A stone cold soul classic. Could this be what’s sometimes known as a ‘banger’? A one riff wonder: eight chugging bars of solid uplifting soulful grooving. Jackie Wilson sings his heart out. Just as he did his whole life, literally singing himself to death, onstage…

Some versions, such as the one YouTube offered up in ‘first place’ when I searched for the song itself, sound like they’ve had parts replaced with synthesised parts… Sacrilege!!!

The rather silly ‘fly guy n gal’ video, at the top of this blog posts, at least preserves the original sound. With the slightly out of tune guitar, in all its effervescent glory.

The guitar part.
The bass riffs.

I plan to record a version of this number myself, at some point. With me playing all the parts. Or at least all the parts I can. The lead vocal is a very scary prospect ! And do I do ye horns a capella? Or do I get some real horns recorded?

All such shenanigans will have to wait on getting a new computer and up to date DAW software, as my poor ol’ Mac is ailing, and can no longer even run Logic! A terrible state of affairs.


Your love, lifting me higher
Than I've ever been lifted before
So keep it it up
Quench my desire
And I'll be at your side, forever more

You know your love
(your love keeps lifting me)
Keep on lifting
(love keeps lifting me)
Higher (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)
I said your love
(your love keeps lifting me)
Keep on
(love keeps lifting me)
Lifting me (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)

Now once, I was down-hearted
Disappointment, was my closest friend
But then you, came and it soon departed
And you know he never
Showed his face again

That's why your love
(your love keeps lifting me)
Keep on lifting
(love keeps lifting me)
Higher (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)
I said your love
(your love keeps lifting me)
Keep on
(love keeps lifting me)
Lifting me (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)

I'm so glad, I've finally found you
Yes that one, in a million girls
And now with my loving arms around you, honey
I can stand up, and face the world

Let me tell ya, your love
(your love keeps lifting me)
Keep on lifting
(love keeps lifting me)
Higher (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)
I said your love
(your love keeps lifting me)
Keep on
(love keeps lifting me)
Lifting me (lifting me)
Higher and higher (higher)

Now sock it to me
Hold me, you're my woman
Keep my love going
Higher and higher
I said keep on lifting
Lift me up mama

Yesterday I finally ‘finished’ transcribing the drums. It’s currently very hard to do that, currently, as I don’t have any software in which I can easily loop and/or slow down stuff. Or, rather, what software I do have I’m not so au fait with it. Net upshot, I’m not able to easily loop sections.

Finished is in inverted commas above, because under the circ’s, it’s as finished as I could make it after a few hours of cabin fever screen-burn-out! I may have to tweak it a bit,* as I both learn to play it myself, and teach with it.

To remedy these transcription issues, I just shelled out (poss for a second time?) for the full version of Amazing Slow Downer, an app by Roni Music. Poss’ one of the best most accurately named apps ever!? £12.99, at the time of my purchase.

Combined with Moises, which I will probably also wind up buying the full version of, I can isolate the drum tracks (or other elements), and slow them down, etc.

These are two great apps that I thoroughly recommend to all budding and long in the tooth musicians alike.

* For starters, there’s a very subtle and tasty little drum fill, rather buried in the mix, at about 1:36-7, which I really must cop! And it’s only really possible to hear it once everything but drums are removed, using Moises.