Well we have just had our new Southern Electric Smart Meter installed and said goodbye to the Engineer after a brief demo of our new system.
We can now monitor our electric and gas usage in real time which is really cool and has had me switching things on and running back to the hand held monitor to see the difference!.
The only weird thing is when i plugged the monitor into a free plug socket and switched it on to save the batteries, our usage dropped, not sure why.
Over the next seven weeks, it will learn our usage habits and adapt itself accordingly, so it will be interesting to see what happens!.
While the Engineer was busy downstairs, we had no power for a brief time, so with no Internet, PCs or TV, we were forced to rely on other ways of amusing ourselves for the duration.
We had an interesting phone call the other day from our tutor Nina at Totton College.
Her and another member of staff, Kirsty had been talking and felt bad that we walked home the week before (and pushing that wheelchair from the college home was very tiring!) and had arranged for a Taxi to pick us up and drop us home for the last few weeks of our ITQ course!.
I was lost for words! I had no idea the college could even offer such a service, and the fact that these two members of staff thought about it and made it happen for us to make our travelling to and from college a hell of a lot easier just blew me away!.
We took a risk and decided not to take the wheelchair as Tracey would only need to walk around the college, but as it turned out we had underestimated the stairs and realised that next week we would be taking the chair anyway!.
It was such a strange feeling sitting in a taxi to and from college like royalty where we are used to walking and it made us both feel a little lazy but my goodness wasn’t it easier and a lot quicker! we usually don’t get home until gone 2200 but we were home a little after 2100.
So if you are reading this Totton college:
Thank you from us both! you have made us both smile and really made it a lot easier for us to complete our course! we look forward to studying with you again in September! (though Tracey will be more mobile by then hopefully!).
I’ve had a lot of stuff rattling around my head the last few months especially with the recent loss of my mother and the hospitalisation of my wife.
It’s been crossing my mind to get all these thoughts, plans and ideas out on paper and last night I did exactly that.
With Tracey’s help, I brainstormed for an hour or two and got out all those ideas and plans that had been bugging me.
I ended up with a whole sheet of A4 then broken down further into another three sheets going into more detail on each main theme (courses, employment and hobbies).
It felt good to get it all out and free up my mind for other stuff.
I highly recommend this technique to anyone with an excess of thoughts and ideas, get it down on paper, it will clarify things and help you figure out which avenue to focus on.
I now know to focus on a Health & Safety course first which will help my job prospects in Catering, Cleaning and Retail (seeing how important the health and safety knowledge is to these three sectors) while focusing my hobbies around programming and writing.
That is the first step, then I will need to find work in one of the above sectors and hope to acquire on the job training on a relevant course to improve my prospects even further.
Well that is the plan anyway! who knows what is actually around the corner that may change all that! but as of right now, that is where I will be focussing my efforts.
Now to go back to Python and try to remember what I was doing last time!.
Well, recently I have been trying to distract myself from the ever present Depression by trying to get into my games.
I can play for longer than I could this time last year, but it is still a far cry from the old days when I could spend whole days and nights gaming!.
I am planning on applying for volunteer positions with a local farm and the local Police to give myself some structure as well as allotting time for writing, working on my BITC Paranormal Investigators course, Programming and Reading.
So far, it hasn’t been too effective as I find myself easily distracted, especially when I come up blank on what to write or something I don’t understand with Python! but I think this is the best way forward as it gets me back into the habit of working to a schedule.
I was recently ruthless with my games (see here) and have been trying to use Kinect more often for exercise (I know it doesn’t beat going outside but it’s better than nothing and saves me getting soaked in the rain!).
I still feel slightly silly using Kinect but it is pretty cool! I just hope it isn’t sending all those ridiculous videos of me playing and using voice commands to Microsoft for goodness knows what nefarious purpose! 😉
Well, I suppose I should get on with some writing or coursework!.
Well after spending the best part of yesterday installing Visual Studio 2008 a total of FOUR times (kept coming up with a corrupt cab file error) and my google-fu only yielded four hits on it and two of those were chinese (thank you google translate addon for firefox!).
Eventually, I managed to get it installed and now it runs nicely so I am prepared for my first foray into programming for several years since college!.
I also downloaded Python as it was recommended for beginners all over the internet and am now completing the codeacademy.com tutorials before jumping into the books I have
I am hoping to progress through the codeacademy tutorials, then onto the beginner’s book, then onto the more advanced stuff to build up a good level of ability before switching to C# and finally C++ where I hope to start creating a game (details withheld for the time being, but rest assured it’s not an MMO like everyone wants to do straight off!).
I would like to go to college again to study and give me something for my CV for this year, but I am having a few problems getting the paperwork they require for me and my wife to do the same course. I am even thinking of seeing what the Open University can offer, but that will have to wait until I have a job and can afford it! though I would like to study at level three before upgrading to a degree level course (even though it is work from home course and it is a lot cheaper than University, it still is a big and expensive step and I don’t want to be stuck with a student loan hanging over my head!).
Ah well, time will tell! for now I am going to have a crack at Python and see what happens!.