Tag Archives: lies

Lies, Damn Lies and Biographical Notes

Moving on from last night’s post, I have been asked for another biographical note. This is the one I currently use. It is about as interesting as I get.

Simon Wilson has been a poultry farmer, salesman, antiques dealer, gardener and instructor on a Care Farm He now works in a coin shop and wishes he had tried harder at school.

I did think of adding that I had farmed crocodiles on the Limpopo River, used to be a tour guide on the Trans-Siberian Railway and once played the banjolele for the Pogues on If I Should Fall from Grace with God . Unfortunately, much as I would love it to be true, it would be a pack of lies.

With hindsight I should have handled the whole identity/biography issue differently.

Zander Phoenix is an ex-special forces soldier and international man of mystery. He now lives on a farm in Surry where he writes poetry and breeds Oxford Sandy and Black pigs. If he showed you his face or revealed details of his past life he would have to kill you.

As long as I had done that before revealing my true self I think I could have got away with it. I particularly like the detail about the Sandy and Black pigs – a lesser liar would plump for Tamworths or Gloucester Old Spots.

Actually, all this has given me an idea. maybe I should enter the World’s Biggest Liar Competition. I love the stipulation in the rules that Politicians and Lawyers are barred from competing as it is only for amateurs.

Straw Bale Bowie Bear

I found the straw bear Bowie whilst searching 2017 for selfies. Bowie had several alter egos, just like I now have Zander Phoenix. I look younger in my 2017 selfies, but still believable, and reasonably well-groomed.

My Final Word on the Subject

I’ve just realised where I have been going wrong with the new Block Editor. I’ve been approaching it from the position of believing it to be better than the previous version, and simpler to use. I based this on the fact that WordPress used words like improved, intuitive and effortless.

I also allowed myself to be confused by the idea that one of the world’s best known blogging platforms would base its improvements on making blogging easier and that as I pay £240 a year there is a contract between us that they will deliver a decent service in return for the money.

When I look into it, it seems that the changes are all about allowing creativity and website design, which are not things I’m concerned about. I want to write a plain blog and if I’m told that it will be “improved, intuitive and effortless” I’d like my blogging to be better and easier tomorrow than it was yesterday.

That’s like buying a car to use for shopping and day-trips, only to find out that the car company has redesigned it to be better at brain surgery.

I don’t need that.

So, that one is solved – it hasn’t been re-designed with bloggers in mind, it has been designed for creative people (because bloggers clearly aren’t creative) and to create work for the WP team.

So, it isn’t actually improved.

Intuitive? I don’t think so. If it was I would be able to use it instinctively.

Effortless? I now have to press buttons for things like word count that showed automatically. I have to select the Classic block where I used to go straight into the editor.  If I want to pin my toolbar to the top of the post (where it used to be automatically pinned) I now know which buttons to press to do that. None of this extra button pressing seems like less effort, so unless my dictionary has gone wrong (ie been re-designed by web developers) this is not “effortless”.

We then come on to the management of change. There was no discussion, I just switched on to find I had been forcibly placed in Block Editor. I don’t feel this is a good way of doing things. If I want to be bullied and forced into doing things I have Julia and the Government to do that. WP is supposed to be my escape from all that.

Then there is the glitchiness. During the writing of this post I looked up from the keyboard to find a blank screen and a fault message. This is the second time this week. Fortunately the post was saved in draft. I have also experienced a variety of missing buttons and other unexplained phenomena, such as things opening that I didn’t want. 

I’m going to give up at that point – the editor has shut me out twice in the last two lines and I have struggled to get the text back. That’s three times in total. This shouldn’t be happening.

I’ve also got the “Convert to Blocks” box up again now – I thought I was in blocks.

Just when I thought it was all fixed…

I don’t have a picture of an elderly man crying tears of frustration, but if I did I would use it as the Featured Image, I promise you.

Three times I got this message!

That Tuesday Feeling

Now that I have Mondays off and my week starts on Tuesday, I find my thoughts about Mondays are increasingly positive and, after two days off, I am also more positive about Tuesdays and getting back to work.

From that point of view I can say that my week got off to a cheerful but belated start.

From the email point of view, I have to report less positive feelings. The recent improvements made to my email system have proved, as usual, to be cosmetic interference and the new system has not contributed to either a better experience or a better temper.

When I switch on now I can only see either two emails (on the netbook screen) or three emails if I use the proper computer. This is much less useful than the old system and I can’t find any way to reset it.

At the weekend I seem to have pressed a button by accident and rearranged my emails by some sort of random reverse date order. It wasn’t exactly reverse date order because I could have coped with that, but old emails kept coming to the top of the pile at random.

Today it seems to have reset the screen size and managed, initially, to prevent me viewing anything apart from fragments of one email title.

This left me with a decision. Do I blog on the Great Classic Lies (‘new and improved’ for instance) or do I blog about the rest of my day?

Or, as I have reached the magic 250 word limit, do I just show a couple of selfies showing you the new masks my sister has made me?

Man in another mask

Man in another mask

She has solved the early design problems by selecting a more masculine fabric and I feel the resulting masks would actually look good with a business suit. The same can’t be said of my head. The backlighting by fluorescent tubes reveals that my head needs a shave and a little theatrical make-up to remove the shine.

The new nose clip design cuts out most of the problems with misting glasses, which is a problem I still get when using a disposable mask.

Last night we had prawn jalfrezi made using a spice kit from Simply Cook. It was very good, despite me having the wrong coloured peppers and slightly wrinkled tomatoes from the back of the fridge.

Having made a mess of the pale blue and white shirt I wore yesterday, I am now reverting to shirts that don’t show food stains. I have an idea for a new fashion range using a red and brown colour palette and a pattern consisting of random blotches. The strap line for my advertising campaign – ‘A Shirt Made for Bachelors’.

The rest of Tuesday was pretty standard stuff. I did think about writing it asll down and leaving it as an historical document for future generations – Tedious Tuesdays – A Study of mid-week in 21st Century Britain – it would be like Diary of a Nobody, but without the drama. In the end I decided that as future generations have never harmed me, I would not inflict it on them.

Nearly forgot – my blood test results arrived in the post today. Yesterday’s blood test was bang on the bottom of the range, but still good enough to get me a new test date in October. That’s a good result.


The Question of Doom

All married men know the scenario. You are sitting down minding your own business when your wife asks a question and you sense that your life is about to turn to dust…

We were watching a TV programme about people trying to make themselves look ten years younger. They had done the first bit, which is asking people in the street how old they think the subjects are.

At that point Julia turned to me and said “How old would you say I was if you didn’t know?”

Time ground to a halt. The foundations of my life shook. The atmosphere cooled…

Fortunately this wasn’t my first time in a tight spot.

It is always best, I feel, to go in roughly five years low. There are no prizes for accuracy in this area.

However, do not go too low or you will be accused of lying.

(These guidelines only apply where you actually know how old people are, if in doubt go at least ten years younger to be on the safe side.)

And that, dear reader, is how I escaped from a tricky situation and made my wife happy.

(I was, of course, helped considerably by the fact that we met forty years ago and she doesn’t seem a day older to me. She says much the same about me, apart from the fact that that her remarks revolve around me failing to grow up. It’s much the same sort of thing.)