Ironsides Blog

My blog is very eclectic and blog articles include angling, what's been on the television and basically anything else that comes to mind

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Penn

Penn

I live on the south-west coast of England in a small town called Brixham.  I been confined to a wheelchair 1986 after breaking my neck in a swimming pool accident.  Computers are my saviour and I spend most days doing one thing or another on my PC.  Other interests I have include angling and amateur radio.  I also run a website and forum dedicated to looking after and caring for the Oscar fish cichlid

Posted by on in Angling

I went fishing today for the first time this year. It was a beautiful sunny and actually turned out to be quite hot, I wish I didn't put my fleece on. I actually sprayed water onto my neck and face to keep cool today, really was very warm indeed.

For such a beautiful sunny day, I was really surprised that there were only two other people at Town Parks match lake.

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Posted by on in Computer Talk

Being a web designer (or I try to be) it's always important to check exactly where you rank for your keywords, after all it's no good ranking on the 10th page of Google, nobody ever goes that far. I've been using a great website lately to check exactly where my keywords rank on Google Yahoo and Bing. The other good thing about this website is you can add another website as a comparison. So if you have a competitor that you are trying to outrank on the search engines, you simply put both yours and their website in and it will tell you exactly where you both rank for a secular keyword. If they are above you in the search rankings then you know that you need to work harder on optimisation in order for you to get above them. It will also list 50 other in order that rank for the same keyword.

The other thing I like about this website is initially it will ask you to put a spam code in, this basically tells the programme that you are human and not an Internet robot. However, unlike many other websites that will ask you to enter a code for every search term, this one doesn't, you can keep using it.

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This is a really great little calculator that will give you a few surprises. For instance, try entering in £1 and using 1982 for example, you'll be quite surprised just how much it was worth compared to today's money.

 

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Local chef and restaurant owner Mitch Tonks has taken over what was the Crab Key restaurant located next to the Brixham fish market. I went to The Crab Key restaurant a few years ago and wasn't particularly impressed, let's hope that Mitch Tonks can do justice to our own Brixham caught fish. Being an ex-fisherman myself, I'm extremely proud of our Brixham trawler fleet and in my opinion we provide the best fish money can buy.  

I for one am a great seafood lover. If it crawls or swims in the sea then it's probably at risk from being eaten by me. You name it, scallops, crabs, lobster, cockles and mussels, fish, I love it all.

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This is a great website if you want to look back through the years and see where your favour songs where in the charts

http://www.officialcharts.com/archive/

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I was quite shocked to hear that the Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith has put forward proposals to tax disability benefit. Both PIP (personal Independence payment) and DLA (disability living allowance) would be  affected. Apparently government sources told the Sunday Times that taxing disability benefits would raise several billion pounds. So what does that mean? They'll have more money to spend on Trident, illegal immigrants, sending our Armed Forces to fight wars that have absolutely nothing to do with us. I'd like to stick Iain Duncan Smith in a wheelchair for a whole year, bind his fingers together so he can't use them properly and insert an indwelling catheter. Maybe then he will realise that being disabled isn't all that fun and everyday life brings its challenges. Believe me, I would absolutely love to still be going out to sea earning a living, but that isn't never happen, so I rely on my disability benefits.

If the government need more money then make the effort and go out and find the people who don't actually deserve benefits. The government has reportedly said that it needs to spend £25 billion on Trident. I simply cannot understand why we need a nuclear deterrent in this day and age. The amount of money that this government spends on arming itself, or fighting other people's wars for them is disgraceful.

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Posted by on in Angling

I received an e-mail from a UK company this evening that have started manufacturing environmentally friendly fishing hooks for catching garfish. Now this idea isn't exactly new, they use something similar to catch marlin in some parts of Mexico. Basically, instead of having a traditional fishing hook which is designed to pierce the fishes mouth, stopping it from escaping, this company is using fine strands of silk. Now you may wonder how on earth you are going to catch a fish on silk, may be you could lasso it some way. Actually, it's a lot simpler than that. The garfish has a very long beak type mouth, a little bit like a crocodile I suppose. Their mouths are full of little teeth. They have designed the silk in a way that it attracts the garfish, the garfish probably thinks it's a small baitfish. As soon as the garfish grab hold of the silk, the silk becomes entangled in all the tiny teeth and the garfish cannot escape. Now if you've ever fished for garfish, you'll know that they are buggers for swallowing the bait. Normally a fish can get rid of a hook in the salty water, they will often corrode and the fish will not be affected at all. However, most people want their hook back and simply rip it out of the fishes throat which obviously results in the fishes death. This new method will obviously appeal to those people who are squeamish about removing hooks from the fishes mouth. I foresee using something like this if you are targeting garfish only, maybe if you are fishing in one of the competitions and are looking for specimen size garfish and do not want to catch anything else. Obviously the other advantages you are not going to snag up on rocks and weed whilst retrieving your tackle. I'm looking forward to trying these myself later on in the summer when the garfish arrive in our waters. The only downside I can see is that you may have to renew the silk hook every time you catch a fish. But we will just have to wait and see, it may be a case that a single silk hook will last a whole fishing session before you have to discard it.

If you are interested in trying these out then go to the website link below, these are the only UK suppliers of the silk hook

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Everybody likes a bargain, especially if you are saving hundreds, or even thousands of pounds. I recently purchased a Tag Heuer Monaco, a watch that has always been near the top of my list of desirable prestige watches that I wanted to add to my collection. Tag Heuer are Swiss made watches and therefore can only be bought new from authorised dealers, you will not Rolex, Omega, Rolex etc watches available on Amazon. However, there are a few online suppliers that will provide you with perfectly legitimate and new Swiss watches, but at a greatly reduced price. Normally, Swiss watches are very much offered at the same price where ever you shop, the manufacturers will not permit massive discounts in their products, although individual shops will often offer a discount on certain models. I became aware of a company called Swiss Watches Direct a couple of years ago and looked at their website, they were offering a large variety of Swiss watches at a greatly discounted price to what you could ever buy one from an main authorised dealer. So I bought my Tag Monaco and made a saving of over £1000. These online dealers are often referred to as "grey market" dealers. Many people who collect prestige watches advise against buying from these grey market online dealerships because of one very important reason, the warranty that comes with these watches will automatically be voided if you do not purchase the box from an authorised dealer. Having said that, Swiss watches direct will cover the warranty themselves, however I'm not convinced the watches would go back to Tag, Rolex etc etc, they would probably use one of their own employees to service the watch.

So I suppose it's a decision that you should think about before spending all that money. You can save yourself a lot of money, but at a cost, you lose the manufacturers two-year warranty by doing this. To be honest, I wouldn't buy from an unauthorised dealer again. The fact that I have warranties on other watches I have bought gives you peace of mind, you know that if something goes wrong within those two years you are going to be able to get the watch ticks by somebody who knows what they are doing. Anyway, if you can afford to pay £5000 for watch, is a £800 saving really going to bother you? Probably not

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Posted by on in Computer Talk

I love promoting amateur radio, especially to the disabled who often stay at home not talking to people for hours and hours. Obtaining an amateur radio licence nowadays has been made a lot easier. In the old days you had to take a rather complicated exam and then take a Morse code test which certainly wasn't easy for most people. I like to run a live streaming video when I'm operating, you can watch me completely live talking to people all around the world. Even though I often don't see many people during the day apart from my family, I talk to more people in one day than most people talk to in a week. Let's just say there is more rabbit here than Watership Down

Watch live streaming video from g0vqy at livestream.com
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Posted by on in Focus on Disability

If you don't have a problem with using your fingers and can hold things properly then  the shape and size of the television remote will probably be of no concern to you. However, if like me you don't have any finger or hand movement then in most cases you rely on using things like remote controls whilst they are sitting on a flat surface. I've noticed in the last few years that nearly all televisions/sky/DVD remote controls do not have a flat surface underneath, they are shaped and therefore when you try and press buttons the control will rock from side to side and it's almost impossible to press buttons. The Sky remote control isn't too bad, but it's still does move quite a bit, especially if you are pressing buttons that are not centralised on the control. However, I recently purchased a Samsung television and the control is virtually impossible to use whilst it is sitting on the table, you have to struggle to hold the control if you want to operate the television remotely.

I would like to appeal to the makers of remote controls to think about people who have problems with their hands and digits, please bear in mind that there are thousands and thousands of us who cannot pick up from the controls and have to operate their own controls whilst they are resting on the table. There is nothing more frustrating than struggling to do simple tasks such as switching channels, or operating the volume button.

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I was really surprised that Alan Sugar chose Mark Wright to be his partner in this new venture. Now I don't claim to be an expert when it comes to Internet marketing, but I've done a hell of a lot of search engine optimisation myself, and basically this is what Mark Wright is going to be doing, optimising peoples websites so that they appear on the first page of high-ranking search engines, or that's what he hopes he can do for them anyway.

He's stated that he will be helping small to mid-size businesses with their websites. I don't suppose small to mid-sized businesses are going to have thousands of pounds at their disposal, they are going to want to spend as little as possible when it comes to optimising their websites, he said that the cheapest price will be £400 a month for a business to have them working for them. Obviously that £400 is going to have to do generate quite a lot of sales before any business is going to enter into that kind of contract.

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Posted by on in General Discussion

I had a mishap in my van in mid-September, the front of my Mercedes sprinter had a close encounter with a signpost. So of course I got in contact with the insurance company, they arranged for an inspection to be carried out. Whilst talking to the insurance guy on the phone, I happened to mention that my vehicle had some very expensive hand controls fitted and they needed to be taken into account, it wasn't just a case of looking at the vehicle and writing it off because an eight-year-old Mercedes sprinter doesn't carry much market value now, the driving controls were very valuable and were included in the insurance. I suggested that if they had any questions regarding these controls they contact Adaptacar who fitted them in the first place. It was then that it was suggested to me that the vehicle went up to Adaptacar where the inspection could take place. Of course this was a good idea and I felt that things were definitely going in the right direction. 

As luck would have it, there was a body repair shop right opposite adaptacar. They agreed to undertake the repair of my van and the insurance company agreed. It seemed to take ages, but around October 23 I was told that work had commenced on my vehicle. I was informed the other day by the owner of the vehicle repair shop that the insurance company were not going to cover the cost of having the vehicle returned back to me from North Devon. The excuse the insurance company are using for not paying for the vehicle to be returned is because I have not used one of their authorised body repair shops. I think this is bloody disgusting, they are using the small print to save themselves money and even though they know I am a wheelchair user, are willing to leave me with absolutely no means of getting my vehicle back unless I pay a considerable amount of money to have it brought back down to me. However, they did tell me that I could use the facility where I can hire a vehicle through the insurance and then go and get my van. This could either be hiring a vehicle, or getting public transport. How ridiculous, they will pay what could turn out to be a lot of money for me to go and get my vehicle, but they won't pay the vehicle repair shop to deliver my van back to me.

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Posted by on in Interesting & useful websites

I love this website, I often use it to work out how much money I will have at a certain date in the future. All you do is put in the start date, and then the end date, it will then tell you how me weeks in between, extremely useful. Or you can start from today's date, and work out exactly how many weeks it is until somebody's birthday, or anniversary for instance. Check it out, it's very simple to use, even better.

http://www.easysurf.cc/ndate2.htm

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If you don't know anything about amateur radio, or what we do then you may be interested in watching me operate live on the Internet. I have setup a web cam using the live stream which will enable you to see exactly what goes on when an amateur radio operator switches his transceiver on. If you want, you can also interact with me by using the messaging system which is located to the right of the video. Obviously I will talk when it's possible so just ask me any questions you wish and we shall do our best to interact with not only our radio friends, but also our online computer friends.

 

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It doesn't matter what you are searching for on YouTube, whether it be a mobile phone, a computer monitor, an MP3 player or an amateur radio, 9 times out of 10, you've then got to sit there and watch the product being taken out of its box. 

What the hell is the fascination with making these ridiculous and pointless videos? Why do these people think for one second we are remotely interested in seeing the box being unpacked. I do a lot of research on YouTube looking for products that I may want to buy. If I am looking for information on a computer monitor, I would rather the person put the effort into explaining and showing us how the monitor works, give a good review, tell us what they honestly think about it. Please don't waste our time opening a box and explaining what's in it, I'm not interested and nowadays I avoid videos like this now.

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Posted by on in TV Gossip

I think this year's official Sainsbury's advert is incredibly moving and actually put a tear in my eye at the end

 

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Swatch watches are very collectable. They're very affordable which means you don't have to be a millionaire to be able to collect them. Swatch watches are normally sold for a short period of time and then discontinued. This means that you will always end up with a watch that is no longer available. This makes them very collectable.

I am selling a Swatch chronograph quartz watch which I purchased about six years ago. The watch is around 39/40 mm in diameter and has an elasticated strap.

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Posted by on in For Sale

Take this opportunity to purchase one of the greatest ever-based microphones made for CB radio. The Turner Super Sidekick was made originally for the AM and SSB modes in the United States. However, it works really well on the FM mode as well. Now that the UK can legally use AM and SSB, this microphone would be a fantastic addition to your CB radio shack. These are not available anymore and they are very rare indeed. Do not make the mistake of confusing the Turner Super Sidekick with the Turner +3B, they are completely different microphones, even though they look identical.

For a microphone that is probably more than 35 years old, it's in remarkably good condition. Obviously being an old microphone does mean it is a little aged, but I don't think you will be disappointed with its condition.

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It was reported today that a Polish man has now regained feeling and movement back in his lower limbs after being paralysed from the chest down following an incident where he was stabbed in the back with a knife.

News reports stated that his mind will cord was completely severed. Now we all know that we cannot always trust what the media says so whether he had an absolute complete break I really couldn't say. I often see reports about so called paralysed people who miraculously start walking again. It often turns out that the paralysis is nowhere near as severe as what myself and many other spinal injury patients have suffered. This breakthrough is very exciting as if it's as simple as taking cells from the nose then we may all benefit. However, I'm not going to get excited at the moment because ever since I was paralysed the scientists have been saying that it won't be very long before there is a breakthrough in a cure for spinal cord injury. 25 years ago I remember watching a program where they clearly stated that by the turn of the century they would have a cure for spinal cord injury. Well, that was 14 years ago and I've not been aware of any huge breakthrough in a cure for spinal-cord injury.

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I have decided to sell my ICOM 7400 which I have owned from you. The radio was purchased around 2004/5 from Waters and Stanton. The radio covers the HF frequencies including WARC frequencies. It also covers both 2 m & 6 m operating on all modes. The ICOM 7400 is not only a first-class HF transceiver, but it's also an extremely good radio if you want to operate SSB on the 2 m band. If you like 6 m then this radio also has the benefit of being able to operate on these frequencies. Unfortunately I do not have the original box as this was inadvertently disposed of without my knowledge. However the manual comes with the radio.

Also included in the sale is a Nissei 30 amp power supply which is more than enough to run the radio on full power.

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