It’s that time again

Well,  I have had to resign myself to the fact that that time has come around quickly this time. That time I dread,  like so many other people do. No,  not that horrible time when you have to start school runs again and get stressed at the incompetence of other drivers,  but something equally as bad.  It’s enough to send a shiver down your spine,  make your stomach turn until you physically want to puke,  and that time that can literally turn your hair grey.

ITS TIME TO TIDY MY COMPUTER DESK

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Ignore all the paperwork on the shelf.  That’s for another day. At least I can see the desk now.  WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I’ve made a decision. I’m sick of being fat.

I have come to a decision. To be honest, it doesn’t fill me with joy, but at the same time I feel some enthusiasm about it.
I have to reassess my diet and lifestyle. I have prolapsed disks in my back so exercise is very limited, at least till I get rid of some excess weight. Even swimming can leave me in excruciating pain.

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I’ve had my Nutribullet for a few months now, and as normal with gadgets, it was used a few times then its ended up in the cupboard. Last night when watching one of the shopping channels do a show about it, I made the decision to get it back out of the cupboard and try again. I am so sick of being fat and having to shop for large clothes ( L and XL ). I would so love to get back to when I once did Slimming World and lost 3 stone to get to 14 stone in weight. I was able to shop at some of the more trendy shops for clothes as I got down to a medium for the first time since I was a teenager. I remember what an amazing feeling it was but that didn’t last long as my weight soon increased when I started eating the same old stuff again. I’m a 45 year old male, 6’1 and 17.5 stone ( 111.1301 kg ) and its doing my general health, plus my back, no good at all. Theses a family history of diabetes, so I don’t want to end up getting that.
So the be all and end all of stuff is that I have to get my finger out and make a determined effort. I’m not getting any younger and as we get older, its not as easy to shed the pounds. I need to have breakfast in some form and cut down on portion sizes and definately cut down, or completely cut out bread. Bread is a major hurdle for me, along with late night pasties while I’m watching tv.
I might even start a weekly post about my progress, but I feel people would get bored with that. Let me know what you think.

Avantree PowerHouse High Power Desk USB Charging Station review

I was kindly sent the Avantree PowerHouse High Power Desk USB Charging Station to review. Its the sort of thing that will be enormously useful in our house.
Let me first explain what the charging station is. This is taken from the Avantree website. It is a desk USB charging station and is a perfect solution for charging your multiple devices at home or the office. It can store and fast charge 4 deiveces simultaneously and will keep your desk or table top tidy. It features 4.5A High Power, fast charge your tablet and Smartphone. It is user configurable with stylish colours.It is a compact size and has a great space-saving design. It is smart compatible – it auto adapts to iPad, iPhone, Samsung Tab and ALL iOS and Android devices.
The Velcro system manages cables and keeps them hidden – for a tidy desk or table top!

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As I was about to go away for 5 days with Dee, Gee and her friend, I knew I would need this device more than ever given the amount of electronic devices we would be taking with us. The night before we left I unpacked the powerhouse and set about deciding which of the coloured pegs and supports I wanted.

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The peg covers simply fit onto and over the smaller white pegs to give you the trendy design you want. This is one of the things I would like to see a change on. As it is, its great. I really do like it, but firstly, the option to purchase lots more colours would be fantastic and secondly the design itself. Some people, such as my daughter have their iPads in a case. Mine has hers in a griffin survivor case as she has dropped and damaged it a couple of times. These cases get to be a pain if being taken off on a regular basis which would loosen the clips on the case. As it goes, the case makes the iPad to thick to stand on the powerhouse and though charging is ok, it would have to be lay flat beside the powerhouse. Sort of defeats the object of it, so what I suggest is they maybes rethink the design of the stand where the phones stand. Instead of having pegs stick up and fixed to the device, have it with lots of holes where you can move the pegs around to accommodate different thicknesses.
Another improvement I would make, which may well come in the future anyway is to have more USB ports to charge from. Maybes 8 if thats possible. And maybes the inclusion of a 3 pin british socket for times when USB is not the required charging option.
The final improvement I would make, or rather addition, is to have this come with a carry / travel case. I was really worried that, even though its made of hard plastic, that it would get damaged when I travel.

( Please excuse the mess. I was in such a rush trying to get everything sorted to go away, set up of the powerhouse was done in a hurry. You could make it look a lot tidier. )
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The first night I was very well happy with the powerhouse. Even though I rushed setting this up and didnt fully wrap the cables up properly in the included velcro straps, I managed to charge My Samsung Galaxy camera, a spare camera battery, my ecigarette ( see it not just for phones ), and my phone, all at the same time. Normally I have these taking up wall sockets. As I was charging GoPro batteries in other wall sockets this meant I was only using 3 sockets, not 6. I even used it in the caravan we stayed in for the 5 days, and on the train and in the hotel when we went away for the weekend.
Basically, if you are one of those people, or families with loads of things to charge, this is for you. I have not experienced any of the ‘trickle’ charges you get from some chargers where they take ages to charge. This charges the same as if your device was plugged into the wall directly.
What sort of things does it charge? Well, as long as the device charges by USB, then this will charge it. Whether its a phone ( Apple or Android ), tablet ( Apple or Android ), ecigarette, sat nav, dash cam, camera, you name it, it will more than likely work as long as its USB.

Currently ( at the time of this being published ) they are being sold for 29.99 UKP here

Thats a great price for this amazing handy piece of kit.

Goodbye to 35 Stonegate. Magic Moments 25th Aug 2014

Just got this post in on time for the Monday.

This is my Magic Moments post to say goodbye to a building that is close to the hearts of many friends of mine. It is the haunted house at 35 Stonegate in York. It closed its doors today before being gutted and transformed into what we believe are offices. There will be mediums brought in to rid the house of the spirits that live there but to be honest myself and lots of other people I know, think this will not work as the some of the spirits there have a lot of energy. I had the pleasure of attending the very last GCUK ghost hunt on Friday. I will do a separate post about that.

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An old photoshop effort of mine

I found this old photoshop effort I did about 5 years ago,  maybes more.

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Snore Wizard review

For many years now, I have had more restless nights or nights sleeping on the sofa than good night’s sleep due to a partner who has a really bad snoring problem. To some this may sound quite funny,  but to those who have to live in this situation, you will know it is no laughing matter. We have tried strips, sprays, even swimming nose clips.
One night I was watching the Ideal World shopping channel and saw a section on a little thing called a snore Wizard. I thought that looks brilliant,  if it works. You know what some things are like that are advertised on TV. They big them up so much to make you think you can’t live without it. Well on this occasion, I held back for a few months mainly due to the 39.99 ukp price on it. After a few months,  things were getting bad in the snoring department so I bit the bullet and ordered one.
When it came it was in a blue plastic carry box so it’s handy for travelling. It was straight forward to use. It’s basically like a grey gum shield that brings your jaw forward so that it keeps your airway open while sleeping with an air hole at the front. Straight away if made a massive difference. I was getting a lovely nights sleep as my other half snore was reduced, not completely eradicated, but reduced to a soft quiet snore. Enough to be able to ignore. It was like this for about a month, maybes a fraction over, then the snoring started again. I have seen some people mention that devices such as these can over time go out of shape and need to be heated in boiling water to put back into shape.  We tried that and it made no difference at all. We tried emailing snore Wizard but have never had any replies back from them.  I have even tried ringing them but it just rang and rang and rang and then cut off after a while. I’ve been left feeling very,  very disillusioned and disappointed by the lack of customer support from Snore Wizard. If they are going to sell these and make such a big deal about their product on national tv,  then they should help their customers with after sales support as well,  not just ignore any attempt to contact them. It comes across as if they want you money and after that,  tough.
My opinion on this is that it may or may not work for you. They claim to that if you are not satisfied with the performance after 30 days regular use please contact us. That’s no use if, like I say, all attempts to contact them are ignored. You may want to take the chance and buy one. If so,  I hope it works for you,  and longer than a month.
I will send them another email with a link to this review.  Let’s see if they can justify the lack of support.

A visit to the garden centre. Magic Moments 11th Aug 2014

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Silent Sunday 10th Aug 2014

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The new addition to our furry family

Last week, after loads and loads of working on Dee, she finally gave in and allowed us to get a third cat. We looked at kittens at a local neutering centre, but decided the risk was too high of the possibility of feline HIV as their cats and kittens were all feral ones or semi feral.
I decided to check a site I had followed on Facebook for a while. Helping Pets North East. I checked their site but could not see a suitable candidate. I decided to ring them for a chat. They were lovely on the phone and really informative. Helping Pets take in ‘at risk’ pets, many of whom are being given away ‘free to a good home’, or animals that the owners request us to take in as they feel they can no longer care for them. They may also take in a stray animal and try to locate its owner before putting it up for adoption. While on the phone, Kirsty, the woman who runs Helping Pets, told me of a male kitten called Franklin who was currently with a foster home and is looking for a forever home. She sent a few photos of Franklin to check out.
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I couldn’t resist it. The facial markings just sold him to me. I sent them to Dee, and showed them to Gee, both of which really like him just from the photos.
The next step was to for a home visit by Kirsty to make sure we and our home was suitable for adopting a cat. That went fine, as expected. We then spoke to the fosterer, who coincidentally turned out to be one of our vets. She told us all about Franklin. Telling us how he is so full of energy and into everything. He also likes to chatter to himself. Sort of little chirps and meows. He also has a very loud purr and is very confident, so much so he won round a cat hating dog at the foster home within a week.
The next day, we picked little Franklin up, and straight away, he took to Gee, which was lovely to see. We brought him home, complete with his favourite toys from the fosterer. Once home, he settled in instantly. He didn’t hide away or look scared at all. He even went straight up to Molly and Costa to make friends, although they were not as keen. A little bit of hissing and growling from them, but no attacking. The only concern we had, was that he pants like a dog when he has been playing a lot. We checked with the fosterer who confirmed that they noticed this and they had given him a full medical and there was no problems with him. No cardiac problems or heart murmurs etc. It normally only lasts a few minutes then eases off. We will keep an eye on that, but the fosterer ( vet ) is not worried at all.
Since then he has settled right in. Costa and Molly are even getting used to him. There’s less and less hissing each day. When it does happen, its just because Franklin has rush up to them or looks like he wants to chase them.
Today, Franklin went for his first injection. No problems at all. He even made a few human friends at the vets.
Having Franklin in the house is like having a furry whirlwind rushing around. Once he has had a sleep he loves to rush round the house and drag his fish toys around, which looks really funny. He even likes to play fetch sometimes. We thrown one of his fish toys and he runs after it and brings it back.
For all you cat people out there, here are some photos for you to go awwwwww too.
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Ozeri Cardio Tech Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with arm cuff

Back in Feb 2014 I reviewed The Ozeri Blood Pressure monitor. To me that blood pressure monitor rocked. I thought it was great. So much so one of my closest friends who suffers from a lot of health issues actually bought one and uses it on a regular basis to monitor his levels etc.
This time I have kindly been asked to review the Ozeri CardioTech Premium Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with arm cuff.
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As the title describes, this version monitor comes complete with an arm cuff, just like they do at your local G.P’s or hospital. It uses the oscillometric method of blood pressure measurement and can store 1197 measurements of data ( 399 x 3 users ) along with the date and time of those measurements, all of which can be accessed through the MEMO button.
As with the previous monitor I reviewed, Ozeri again, have included very clear, easy to read and understand instructions. The screen itself is easy to understand. It shows your Systolic and your Diastolic Blood Pressure levels and pulse rate in large clear digits on the LCD screen as well as battery level, and date and time. Also the screen changes colour depending in whether or not your results show you are suffering from hypertension or not.
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I tested this initially on myself to see how easy it was to fit. Answer is its very easy. Just rip open the strong velcro fastening and slip in onto your upper arm about half an inch above your inner elbow and strap it closed again with the air pipe running down the middle of the inside of your arm. Make sure its secure enough so it won’t move but loose enough you can get two fingers up behind it. You then simply select POWER then selct which user you are ( this device can store data for 3 users ) then press start. The cuff will the inflate to 170 which feels like someone is squeezing your arm really tight. After a few moments, once its reached 170 it will then give you your reading and deflate.
One thing I would suggest is get some decent batteries for it. The ones that came with it, lasted for one session while I was testing it. A few days later the batteries were dead.
To Ozeri, I would suggest adding a mains connection, just in case you want to use it but do not have batteries available.
This blood pressure monitor can be found on Amazon Uk here
At the time of this being posted the monitor is on special offer at a respectable 34.99 ukp. Previously 99.99 ukp. Well worth grabbing one at this price.