Saturday, July 14, 2018

Turns out I'm only Human after all and depressed through no fault of my own



Any who have read my blogs at all and thank you for doing so, will understand that I struggle with many issues regarding my health. Now it seems on top of this I have to come to terms that I am only human after all!!

I don't remember when, but with the last months it seems that I have had a minor stroke, although I am waiting for this to be confirmed. I can't remember anything about it, to be honest only knowing that since then I have pains in my back and chest and that I get pins and needles down my left side and my left foot swells like a balloon.

Okay so the above has made others worry more than me, because I am just wondering if it is just another thing to do with having M.E. as this bastard throws up so much that it hard to tell anyone what is normal for me and what isn't! Having M.E. it is almost impossible to tell the difference, because if asked where does it hurt or when did you, what can you say apart from I don't know. M.E. means you just accept that your body doesn't work.

Added to having M.E. it seems I am going through the male change!! Yes ladies we get it as well, the over heating, the mood changes and the body changes. Not the same as you, but enough for my dear wife to be able to laugh and say to me now you know what it was like for me.

Yet although I know all the above and I know that I can get very stressed in certain situations, part of me still believes I can take on the world, protect my family from it and still have all my psychical and mental strengths that I had 25 years ago. Life however doesn't play by my rules or any of our rules, it plays by whatever rules it wants to.

In this last month unfortunately, I crashed and burnt, deep feelings and memories, along with brain fog and the pains of the past and in my body, age have all come to knock me of my self built pedestal grinding my ego into the floor. Rather than seeing the slim active body, the mirror is showing me the reality of an older fatter white haired man. It seems that I am in reality not what I once was and will never be again. In a situation that I have in the past faced I failed, my mind and body let me down and there was nothing I could do about. The result was more pains in my chest and back and the emotional pain of being a " failure" , this has tipped me into depression! Depression and I go back a long way and it comes up every once in a while to send me off balance.

So since then I have retreated and while the calm side of me realises hey, fella it's life the other side of me says if this is life I don't want it.

Slowly, I am coming back, very slowly, each day the blackness starts to lift a bit more and I am able to achieve a minor everyday thing like make a coffee or take the tablets that keep my body in balance. Each day I am slowly  facing the world again, might not be for long, as if I try to stretch it, it becomes too hard and I retreat, back to try and build up again. Even writing this is a step forward.

My wife has been great through this and knows that it may take me some more time. She has given me things to do, that take my mind off stuff like doing computer things that I can do without having to face others. Gently guiding me toward making sure I clean myself, all of which as any one who gets depressed knows is hard to do. I don't know what made her do so, but she got me to listen to my favourite album lately, by Rag 'n' Bone Man. I love As you Are, which I think is one of the greatest love songs ever. Then the title track Human which contains the lines: I'm only human after all, don't put your blame on me.

So peeps, sadly I have to admit I am only human, and I shouldn't put my blame on me. There are things that I can't control, but that isn't my failure, it is life. My family or friends don't think anything less of me, they love the gentle sensitive peep, even putting up with grumpy one when they bite. All of this I know and can write and when I am fully able I will re-read this, but not now the blackness is still here yes lifting, slowly. Now I need to rest.

Just one final thought, peeps who crash into depression, it's not their fault, when the sun sets, it will rise again, it might take some time to do so, but it will. That is my hope, right now I am beginning to see the first rays of false dawns but one day those rays will soon become the real dawn as it does with all who are in these dark places. We're only human after all. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Linux Mint 19 Tara my personal review



It is now nearly 10 months since I moved across to using Linux Mint from Windows 10 and in all honesty I have not missed windows at all.

When I started using Mint it was version 18.2 and then I upgraded to version 18.3 Sylvia. Both of these I found nice and easy to use and never had a major problem with them. With both I found I could use Wine for the one Windows thing that I still hang on to and this is my solitaire suite, because I've not found one that I liked better anywhere.

When the announcement for the next version of Mint, code-named Tara  was made, I took a look at the Beta version and read the Mint Blog about it. I really couldn't see much difference between the versions to be honest. This done so at the end of June or the beginning of July I think, any way it was about 5 or 6 days ago as I write this on July 5.

I read all the reviews which were all good and took most notice of what Distrowatch had to say, because I have found their reviews to always be very honest. I also went on the Mint Forum to see what was being said their. This forum is great, because people give the good and the bad and any problems their having and others tend to reply giving help.

Okay while the excitement was getting to me, I wasn't ready to jump into upgrading right away. This is where the Mint Blog:  https://blog.linuxmint.com/ came in handy. Right away it stated If it aint broke don't fix it. In simple terms there was no need to upgrade as yet, because the older versions were still supported. On this page there was this link https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2416 written excellently by Clem about how to go about upgrading if you really wanted to do so. I say excellently, because it really is and if you follow the steps exactly then you won't run into trouble.

Reading the above mentioned guide, I followed the advice and used TimeShift, something that comes with Mint 18.3 and with 19. I had seen it but hadn't used. The best was to describe it is, it is like system restore in windows and that is what it is, but I found it easier to use.  I felt confident after doing so that if anything went wrong and it did the first time I tried (it was because if Tft mscorefonts which is an installer for microsoft fonts). Being able to go back using Timeshift meant I was then able to remove them and then proceed.  The rest of the process when I restarted when without any problems, because of my following the instructions. Yes it took time, I would estimate about an hour all told, for the downloads and installs, but as this is a one off thing, I really didn't mind.

Once all was completed, I had Tara for the first time and as with Sylvia I went to the Easy Linux Tips website to ensure that I had the best that I can and to do the tweaks it suggests. I really like this site, because it just tells you why you should do things and says here how.

Okay so what about Tara, well I have found everything I have had works my solitaire works great and so does my backgrounds etc. and I was able to make use of my back up to get everything on and in all this took about half an hour, but that is only because of the restoring. There are some changes that you notice right away, Tara loads quicker than her sister and she really looks better due to the improvement in the cinnamon desktop, I have found everything looks clear and opening and shutting things is quicker.  There are changes to the way of doing the updates, again I found that Easy Linux tips helps there and you can soon make any changes you need. Software manager contains a lot more than it did before and I personally glad that all of my favourite backgrounds can still be had. To be honest I don't use much more software, but I don't think anyone would be short of things they wanted. My only disappointment is that neither Opera or Vivaldi browsers are included.

What I really love about Tara is that everything is in the same place as with her sisters so it is nothing that makes you scream at the screen to say where are you which I used to do with windows. Some of the Icons have changed, but this makes them clearer to understand at a glance, I love the Thunderbird mail icon being an envelop, because I know what that is. Very quickly with a few tweaks she becomes yours, as you get things as you like them to be.

Now there is the simple way of installing Tara and that is one most recommend and that is the clean install. It is the simple way, but I wanted to try it the slightly harder and longer way to gain the experience of doing so. I am glad I did so I can pass on my experience of doing so.

Yes I do love this lady she really is the most regal of Operating Systems, standing head and shoulders above the rest. Another  Yankee who like Meghan  has come to us Brits from across the pound and says I am modern and I am traditional as well so you get the best of both. She doesn't shout about what she does she just gets on and does it and does it brilliantly.

You may have gathered now that I love Mint 19 and you're right. To the poor souls still drowning in windows, come across and get your sanity back, don't say I didn't tell you to do so.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A trip up Snaefell on the Mountain Railway





The Isle of Man is our home, but like most people we've never had the time or health to really explore as much as we would like. We had been promising ourselves that one day we would take a trip on the Snaefell Mountain Railway to the top of Snaefell for the last 3 decades and yesterday we fulfilled that promise.

There are many ways of getting there, you could do the whole trip, using the Steam train, horse tram and Manx Electric Railway to get you to the starting point in Laxey.  You could also just use the Vannin Bus to take you to the start.  We chose to drive to Laxey as it takes in much of the route and you're not worried about time tables.

If you chose to drive, parking is okay, but not great during busy times, we managed to get a park in Ham and Egg Terrace which is a cross from the station on the side of the famous Laxey Wheel. For safety it is better to use the zebra crossing as the road to the station can be very busy.

First impressions of Laxey station were of how clean it was, the toilets and everywhere. Getting tickets was easy and we felt good value being £8 for a single and £12 for a return.  We have Go Silver Cards so the return fare for us both was only £12, so it is worthwhile checking to see what deals you can get. (The Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal in Douglas is the best place for this and the staff great).

The only slight downside to the whole of our trip was the getting on and off the Carriage. It is quite high, two steps up and quite narrow, so wouldn't be suitable for a very disabled person, I found it quite hard with my stick. That being said, the Staff are very helpful in giving you a hand in getting on and off.

Don't expect luxury inside the train, you sit on wooden seats, but I didn't find it too uncomfortable, just a little crowded, but this again is a minor thing.

We really loved the commentary that points out places of interest on your way up and and down. This helps pass the time, although it only takes 30 mins to go up and about 25 mins to come down.


The arrival point at  the summit boasts The Summit Hotel with the reminder that you are 2036 high. Inside there whole place is very clean, the staff very helpful and there is a good choice of souvenirs to buy. The price and quality of the food and drink on offer, was very good and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg either. My wife had some cake which she said was very good and I just had a drink.

It is worth taking your time to have a look around at the top. Here you can see the five kingdoms, if you chose the right day. Our day was clear on top, but the heat haze meant that we couldn't see as far as we would have liked. Having said that we could see as far down south as our home town and the rest of Ellan Vannin.  Do take your time for the longer we took the more we saw and the more we loved it. The air was wonderful up there. Oh don't worry about rushing down the trains are frequent and our journey down meant the train was less crowded and we got a better seat.

As much as we would have wanted to stay longer, sadly my health started to fail, so after about an hour up there we took the train back down the mountain to Laxey once more.

Having heard of the mining disaster on the commentary, we took time to pay our respects to those who were taken and stood in moment's peace here.


It was with a promise to return to summit again and are looking into booking the specials that we left to come home. Both us really enjoyed our day out, being tourists amongst other tourists. From what we heard this was a highlight for many of them and made up for their not great memories of Ramsey about which we heard many negative comments.

So if you're a visitor or a local to our wonderful Isle of Man, the trip to Snaefell Summit is worth doing, I would go as far to say a must thing to do. Your heart and soul will love you for it and you'll get a good night's sleep afterwards. If an old grump like me who complains about every thing could find nothing to complain about it has to be good and it was and is and yes we are going back, because I've fallen back in love with the Isle of Man all over again. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Not lost or a passing away forever, for the heartbroken



I really used to feel that death was final, the end of us. It seemed logical, our body has failed to survive for whatever reason we are gone. That's it that is the end of us. Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes etc. We don't know anything before we were born and we're gone we won't again. If we are honest death is something we all fear, deep inside, not something we want to talk about or face, yet it will happen to us.

I said I used to feel death was final and that everything else was just wishful thinking or made up. Made up by those who sell religion to us, their god who is responsible for killing us in the first place will keep us alive if we keep boosting his ego and do his will. Made up by the so called mediums who claim to have guides who can contact "uncle Fred" etc. These only re-enforced my thinking about death being final. That is the way it stayed until my death Mum Maisie died!

When Mum died, I knew right away for I heard her voice telling me she had gone. She told me not to be sad and not to let others be sad. So when the young Police officer came to ask me to contact my sister, I said it was because of mum going and he said yes. This was just the start of my hearing others and even feeling them. I really fought hard to against this, as it didn't seem logical. Yet looking beyond my own experience I started to realise that millions if not billions of people have similar experiences and have done so since the dawn of time. Surely they can't be all wrong.

Finally when we went to Holy Kemet , I was able to resolve matters. For in Holy Kemet we were shown the daily voyage of the sun across the sky, how it is born and dies each day only to be reborn the following day. We saw how this is used by the Holy Greatest Father Amun Ra to show us that we rise when we are born and slowly move towards our ending only to rise again. I was taught about what made us, us, that we are not just a body, but a soul! Other teachings know this, they call it a religion, my love for the Holy Mothers and Holy Fathers, is not a religion for I do not worship them or expect any reward it is just a way of life I chose to have.

So when our bodies stop working, we don't just end. It is not the end of us, our souls move forward. How that happens I really don't know or fully understand, I just know it happens.

So when someone we love goes, it is correct that we are sad, but they are not lost, we haven't lost them forever. We will meet with them again in person. The way to think about it is this,  we have someone with us all our lives, say our children, then they say right I am off to the other side of the world. We are sad that they're not with us everyday and cry at their going. After a while we get used to their not being around, it still makes us sad, but we know that they're still around. This is what happens when we pass to the millions of years, we're still around but not visible to our loved ones.  As with our child who moves to the other side of the world, when they've settled they take time to call us to let us know they're alright. This is what happens when someone goes to the millions of years they try and tell us they're alright. The trouble is that sometimes many of us don't realise this is happening for in our sadness we just think of them as being lost forever.

So dear friends, please don't think that those who are in the millions of years are lost, they're not we know where they are. Speak to them and be prepared to listen to them. You don't need to go to another to do that, you can do it yourself after all it is you they want to talk to not some other person who is a stranger to them. Honestly, it helps you both, for the one who has moved wouldn't want you to be sad, for they love you and you love them. I am not saying it is easy, but when you get used to it, it does bring comfort to you both until the time when once again you are reunited in love.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Too many browsers too many search engines- just find the one you like



Now as you are reading this you're doing so in a browser, you know that thing that you use to put everything in view for you. Let's be honest that is all most of us care about, something that does it job and we're happy as long as it does that. So why the hell are there so many of them to chose from, unless you're lazy and just stick with the one that comes with the one you're operating system supplies.

Now the the thing is Linux Mint come with Firefox oh there are other browsers in the software thingy for you to chose, but you have to search for them. Windows comes with their own browser as do other Operating systems. Now that is great, but within each of these browsers there is a choice of which search engine to use, although the big boys want you to use their own "optimized"  one !
Now I don't like Firefox and haven't used it for years, but I gave it a try and it was very trying! And that my friends is when I started the madness of trying to find another browser that I liked and was easy to use. If you do a search for the best browsers, well it seems there are so many that are wonderful and every person has their own favourite.  Usually, you'll find that it the big boys, the ones from Microsoft, Google, Firefox and Opera that are most recommended. So far from escaping them you're drawn back to them.

If you manage to look beyond these you will find other browsers and while these might be built of the above they're very different and each of them has things that you might like. Many of these don't limit you to just one search engine either. Many of these browsers have do not track option, for searching, but there is a twist to this now in that there is something called geolocation. Geolocation is meant not to track you, but to give you things suited for where you live??? That sounds like Tracking to me !

By  the time you have tried to sort this lot out, you'll probably be wondering why the hell you didn't stick with the one you had in the first place.  My answer to that is to hold and keep trying, because it is your pc/laptop and you should have as much control over it as possible and to have things as you want them to be as far as possible. 

Now given the title of this I am not going to tell you which one to use. I really stumbled upon the one I like Vivaldi, because the other one I like is coming to an end in June. I now use it as my back up browser. For me Vivaldi does exactly what it says it will do and is easy to use and perhaps more importantly has more help than any browser that I have known, there is also a thriving forum to visit.

I still think there are too many browsers and too many search engines, but perhaps that is not a bad thing, because in the end we all want something that is good, won't let us down and we can get a long with. So the advice I'd give is take your time find the one you like, not what others tell you to like and just use it.





Friday, April 20, 2018

The Ex



Sooner or later we all become "The Ex" of some one and some one will become our "Ex" this is just a fact of life, even if we have been married for years somewhere in the deepest darkest history will be an Ex.

Being an Ex isn't easy, we all know that, it is painful when a relationship breaks down, particularly if we aren't the one who didn't want it to break down. It is hard to accept the fact that someone who has been a major part of your life, no matter how long that was for is no longer there and doesn't want to be there. It is hard to accept that they don't love you when you still love them and even harder when they've moved on and you haven't and feel it is impossible to do so. We all go through this period of mourning, which can last for months or even years. Some of us might rush into other relationships to replace the "one", only for them to fail, or to be too hurt never to trust again or so we think.

The reasons why relationships fails are numerous and it takes honesty to admit to them. That honesty includes the fact that we might have been too immature to have the relationship, abusive to the other person, or just the simple fact that you were not suited for it and perhaps were best suited to being friends or even that dreaded "Brother & Sister".  For again, being honest we all know relationships start with a huge attraction and wam bam, and then the wam bam goes and the great attraction is replaced by the every day battle to survive. We've all been in a relationship where after the wam bam, we actually find that we don't have much in common with the other person and far from being the love of our life, they become the ball and chain that has trapped into something we wish we could escape from.

It could be months or years that we act like a limpet trying to hold on the Ex, or are we just trying to hold on to our imagined perfect relationship? We go through the sad love songs and cry our tears and say to ourselves that we'll never fall in love again, never be able to trust again etc. etc.

If we are being the limpet to our Ex  and we try to become a partner to a new one  person, this will fail for knowingly or not we are just a limpet without a home to cling onto. Part of being an Ex is you don't know where the hell you belong so you grab hold of the first thing(person) who may give you that belonging place. When that fails as it will do, we eventually learn to take time out to get to know ourselves, to have our own place, hell some of us even learn to cook, clean and even iron.

Then one day when we least expect someone walks into our life and we fall in love and they fall in love with us! Bloody Hell it's a miracle that they do, but they do. We learn to accept them for who they are not compare them to an Ex and they do the same to us and before you know it you've got a long lasting, happy relationship for life. Well that is what can happen.

Some people sadly, become an Ex and remain an Ex either through choice or because they become bitter and angry and unforgiving. Perhaps this latter type was always that way and their Ex saw those things and really all the Ex was, was a possession. We all know people like that.

As hard as it is to be an Ex, it is better to have been an Ex than to be a never was, to never have a partner/friend/lover etc. Being an Ex can help us to mature to grow in so many ways as we learn to deal with being heartbroken. Perhaps being an Ex is nature's way of getting us to look at ourselves to help us to grow up and to eventually to become.

I used to be the Ex, for the last 22 years I have been the husband, with a wife and family that has extended, even if some parts of it don't fully understand. I am grateful for the Ex who put up with me being a limpet and for the one who said I trust you enough to become your wife.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mircosoft gave us our freedom then slammed to door shut in our faces



Once upon a time a small company called Microsoft gave all the peeps of the world Windows 95 and all the world was happy to talk to each other and praised Microsoft and we all lived happily ever after.  Well no we didn't. For what really happened was Microsoft got very rich and started to dictate and limit our freedom and it lived happily ever after.

The above is sadly true as it has been with twitter and facebook, which also started off nice and the same has happened with  Google and is beginning to happen in the Linux world.

Windows was great at first it came with all we needed then with each successive edition it started to limit us with our choices of web browser. Internet Explorer was pre-installed with it and that was our only choice until FireFox and alike came along, but to get them you had to go through I.E. Now with the latest edition of megalith that is Windows 10 even if you have a different browser to the one supplied with it, Microsoft, according to reports is making you use it for certain things. By having Windows 10 you have agreed to this, so the reality is that by having Windows you have given control over to Microsoft and what it dictates to you.

Turning to Twitter and Facebook, these were great social media tools with real freedoms to express yourself. Not any more, they dictate what you can and can not post according to the way that the country they are based in ie USA sets out. Read the agreements if you don't believe me.

Google great search engine nowt wrong with it, but now try searching and you're going to have trouble getting the answer you want. Google has also branched out into OS and Browser territory and other places, again if you read the terms and conditions, you'll see how much control you've given away by using their services.

In the world of Linux, increasingly companies are taking over successful distros from what I have seen. The danger signs are there, but not quite as bad as the above yet.

Sadly as much as I hate to say it, like all dictators in history Microsoft started the revolution and gave real freedom, freedom that others moved into. When this starts to happen subtle changes in control happen and these increase over time. In the end the dictator becomes increasingly desperate to hold on to power at any cost taking all control and freedom away. Then what happens is another comes along promising to restore freedom and the cycle begins again.

So Microsoft is now the dictator for windows users and it will continue to be so as will all the above until they are all replaced and as for us, well we just carry on trying not to notice until the day comes when all the doors are shut and we become slaves to whoever is dominant at the time.

Turns out I'm only Human after all and depressed through no fault of my own

Follow @merimaat Any who have read my blogs at all and thank you for doing so, will understand that I struggle with many issues regarding ...