Welcome to Diana's Blog

I blog about anything that interests me - my local area, things I've seen or heard on the news, politics and human rights, gardening, arts and crafts, poetry, photographs and general advice.

And, when you've finished reading, don't forget to leave a comment - I love hearing from people

Friday 20 November 2009


Yahoo! Avatars              This is a selection of Questions on Google Answers with Diana's Replies

Mumbling While I Speak?

Hi, I usually mumble most thing's I say and so I don't really talk at all. But however, If I get a PS3 and a headset and talk to people for about 2 year's will I start to speak clearer?

Not really, as you could still continue with your habitual way of speaking. You need to practise using your facial muscles, saying a..e..i..o..u in an exaggerated way, stretching your mouth sideways, opening your jaw and using your lips as much as possible. You will feel the stretch. Also put your chin up, not down on your chest.

Do all this in front of a mirror, listen to yourself, including making a recording of what you sound like mumbling and what you sound like saying the same thing stretching your facial muscles. Feel and hear the difference. The new way might sound a bit silly, so keep it for practice, and tone it down a bit when talking to other people, but keep reminding yourself how to speak clearly and keep up the practice until it becomes a habit. Changing your habit is important so that you don't lapse when you are tired or embarrassed or nervous.
I went to speach training myself.

My baby is 16 months old and still not talkin?
He is 16 months old and my 2nd child. he started walkin a week before his 1st birthday and understands everythin you say to him. he tells me what he wants by shoutin or gesturin. my 1st son was walkin and sayin words. is he just a late starter??

Two out of seven babies in my family  were slow starters talking, but if they get what they want by gestures and noises, then don't worry, because that is in fact communicating and, as you say, your baby understands what you are saying. Some babies (including the two I mentioned) seem to wait until they can speak in whole phrases or sentences, rather than isolated words but they are thinking, and it doesn't mean they have something wrong with them, and indeed my two turned out to be well above normal intelligence.

If you are still concerned that there is a problem, speak to your doctor or ask if you can see a child development specialist.

What can you do with ground chicken?
It was on sale yesterday really cheap, I couldnt resist.. I just dont know what to do with it?

Chicken patties - you can add onion, cooked potato, cooked greens, the chicken and a raw egg (to bind it). Mix them all together, form them into burger shaped patties, dunk in flour to stop them sticking to the pan if you so wish, and fry in olive (or other) oil until pale golden brown, turning them over when needed.

Highly delicious - ooh I fancy some myself now

Asker's Comment:
They sound really good.. Definetly worth a try! thank you=)

Can I defrost sausages in the microwave?
Yes I am really that clueless and yes, my breakfast depends on this.  thanks :)

Yes I do, and I have never gone up in blue smoke or suffered any other ill effects. You could put it on lower power and do it for about 4 minutes. Then when you grill them, the grill will cook them through. I like my sausages well done until crispy, so there is no worry about them not being cooked in the middle.

What is your favorite meal to make one day, and using the meat, eat as leftovers the next?


Roast lamb and roast potatoes: I use all the yummy outside bits on the first day. Then on the second day I heat up the lamb and roast potatoes in a frying pan. This makes them as brown and crispy, if not more so, as they were on the first day, and therefore not like leftovers at all.

What would you do if someone particulally kids didn't like the smell of trout?

would you care if they put on tantrums?

I would take notice of them - we all dislike different things and they should be respected. Their sense of smell is more sensitive than that of adults and as they grow older you will find they are more comfortable with smells that revolt them when they are young. I remember when I was a child I couldn't bear to go into a butchers because the smell was overpowering and made me feel sick, but as an adult I hardly notice it.

The "Security Guard" in my local Morrisons is decrepit he couldn't catch a cold; so what's he FOR?
Next time I go there, I'm going to follow HIM around the store, and see how HE likes being spied upon.

So what do you expect? - he's not hired as a bouncer. YOU will be old one day, and lets see whether you change your mind then about who can and who can't do a job.

What do you think of immigrants who cannot speak the language?
I hate it, if you are going to live in the country, how can you not speak the language? I don't mind if they are tourists, but how can you become a resident without learning the language first?

The people who can speak the language but still insist on not speaking it in public places also annoy me.
What are your opinions?


I think they should be encouraged to learn by advertising free classes at their local community centres, and a sympathetic friendly approach by English-speakers.

On the whole the younger generation pick up English fairly quickly because they need to and their memory for vocabulary is better, but the older generation find it more difficult to adapt, find learning vocabulary a nightmare because of poor memory, and need more help, including, possibly, English speaking volunteers to befriend them and have patience with teaching them the basics.

I know many English speaking people living in Spain and other countries who tend to settle in little English enclaves and don't really assimilate, so why do we demand more of others than we are willing to do ourselves? Most English people in Africa and Asia (and Australia and New Zealand, dare I mention) didn't see fit to learn the indiginous languages so don't be too harsh on immigrants. Why not befriend them, treat them warmly and help them with kindness to overcome what must be quite a disadvantage to them.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Local Sights of North London: Muswell Hill, Wood Green,Hornsey and Highgate

Here are some Photo's of local architecture and scenery in North London

This is the view of Canary Wharf seen
from the Top of Hillfield Park Road
standing in Muswell Hill Broadway, N10

Eclipse over Rhodes Avenue,
                                                       Wood Green, N22

                                                             London Mennonite Library,
                                                                        Highgate N6
   Sewage Pumping Station,
                                                         Hornsey, N8

Did you ever wonder what was behind the locked wooden gate in Rhodes Avenue N22 with a sign on it saying "Danger", belonging to the Electricity Board?
To me it was one of life's unsolved mysteries for decades, and then a year ago it was unlocked for the first time in years, for maintenance purposes, and I nipped along and took a photo.  It made me so happy!

  Snow in Durnsford Road Park, looking
 out towards Durnsford Road, N22


Snow on the totem pole at Rhodes
Avenue Primary School, Wood Green N22

Helicopter circling to take off from - would you believe it - Muswell Hill Golf Course N22
(you can see the Club House in the background).  Very odd, and quite exceptional

 Bust of Oliver Tambo ANC Leader
who lived in Muswell Hill
You'll find it outside Alexandra Park School and
Rhodes Avenue Primary School
in Durnsford Road Park, Wood Green, London N22

Here's a Song, Muswell Hill Billy, by The Kinks, who used to live just up the road from me

Books for Boys – Vintage Boyhood Favourites


Captain W. E. Johns wrote a series of 98 Biggles books, and such was their popularity that they have been published in 26 countries and are still currently being republished.

Biggles, or James Bigglesworth, starts off as a young flyer in the Royal Flying Corps in France where he is taken under the wing of Mahoney and soon becomes a very skilled pilot. His adventures span a period from World War I through to World War II and beyond, many of the stories arising from W. E. John’s own experience who was often writing about authentic events, with embellishments which were not always entirely credible. After the two World Wars, Biggles and associates are recruited into a special airborne police unit to continue their adventures.

Captain W.E.Johns (1893 – 1968) served as a machine gunner in WWI and from 1918 was himself a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps in France. He was shot down over Mannheim and became a Prisoner of War and escaped. He was recaptured and only avoided execution because of the abrupt end to the war. He remained in the Royal Air Force until 1931 when his final rank was Flying Officer, and he added the epithet of Captain when he became a prolific and famous writer, the author of 167 books, including the Worrals, Gimlet and Steeley series, as well as science fiction and books on aviation and gardening.

I own the following collection of books, which I would like to sell. You can see more about them, including pictures, on my website gloriousconfusion.com if you navigate to Childrens Books, or alternatively go directly there via this link: http://www.gloriousconfusion.com/books/childrens_books/childrens_books_we_john.php

Capt. WE Johns:

Biggles in The Cruise of the Condor The Thames Publishing Co (Regent Classics) undated, ca. 1952/

Biggles Air Detective Dean & Son Reprint 1952 (?)

Biggles Flies Again Dean & Sons, (Reprint) Undated.

Biggles in the South Seas third edition 1962 Brockhampton Press,

Biggles Combined Operation Hodder & Stoughton 1959 1st Edition, illustrated by Stead.

Biggles in the South Seas third edition 1962 Brockhampton Press

Biggles Takes a Holiday 1951 Third Impression Hodder & Stoughton. illustrated by Stead

Biggles Secret Agent Reprinted 1950 Oxford University Press, illustrated by Alfred Sindall

Biggles and the Missing Millionaire 1961 –1st edition Brock Books.

Biggles Follows On Hodder & Stoughton, illustrated by Stead
Biggles in Africa Reprint 1952 Oxford Illus. Alfred Sindall

Gimlet Goes Again University of London Press Ltd November 1944 - 1st edition – illustrated by Stead

Monday 9 November 2009

Legally Compromised Computer Security

In my last blog, I ended by saying I would tell you what I had found out whilst I was researching Norton 360. To me what I discovered was a bit of a bombshell, but really, knowing the wily ways of the world, it should not have been all that surprising, especially having read the sort of books that Chomsky,

Jonathan Bloch have written.

I had innocently looked up Norton 360 Version 3.0 to compare it with Version 2.0 in Wikipedia, which was very helpful.

The next section was entitled "FBI cooperation". In a nutshell, they said that Symantec (Norton), in compliance with the FBI, had whitelisted Magic Lantern, a keylogger developed by the FBI, whose purpose was to obtain passwords to encrypted email, to assist with criminal investigations. Magic Lantern is deployed as an email attachment and when opened, a Trojan horse is installed on the suspect's computer which is activated when PGP encryption is used, which would normally be to increase the email security.

According to the Wiki article, Symantec and some other major antivirus vendors have rendered their own antivirus products incapable of detecting Magic Lantern, giving rise to further concerns that hackers too might be able to subvert the programme for unlawful purposes.

It is not clear whether the FBI is required to obtain a court order before gaining access in this way since the statement of the FBI spokesman Paul Bresson merely stated that "like all technology projects or tools deployed by the FBI it would be used pursuant to the appropriate legal process". To me that does not sound 100% watertight, and it could well be open to subjective interpretation by anyone seeking to use such powers.

Opposing this intentional failure to guard against all malware, The view of Marc Maiffret, chief technical officer and co-founder of eEye Digital Security, was that customers pay for a service to protect them from all forms of malicious code and it is not up to his Security firm to do law enforcement's job for them and so they do not and will not make any exceptions for law enforcement malware or other tools.

And if the FBI has those powers, who else might have them? MI5? Metropolitan Police? And what about the police and spy services in other countries? There seems to be a bit of a moral dilemma here. What do others think?

A Day in the Life of Diana - Trouble Down at t'Mill

Yahoo! Avatars

Yesterday morning I was having a bit of trouble with my Symantec Norton 360 Version 2.0. security system. It was showing a message saying Symantec Service Framework has encountered a problem and needs to close, and whatever I was doing on the computer, the message kept on flashing up and wouldn’t be silenced. I spent a considerable amount of time checking the support webpages, trying to get free advice. I found that the Forum and online advice was free but that if I wanted support by phone, it would cost me, so I decided to go it alone. I found a string of about 200 comments (honestly, I’m not exaggerating) about this exact problem on the Forum, many by the same person, who had clearly tried everything from FAQs to detailed assistance by other Forum users ,as well as technical support over the phone. I had a sinking feeling that all was not well in the state of Denmark, and that if this poor man had had such trouble, what hope was there for me, a non-techie?


So at lunch time I emailed Technical Support and received an immediate acknowledgment that they would reply fully within 48 hours..........Well, who wants to wait 48 hours when you’re in the middle of doing something?

So, being impatient, I decided to fiddle.

According to our man in the Forum thread, it didn’t sound as though it was worth spending time trying to fix the problem, because nothing seemed to work for him. I pondered over whether I should uninstall and then re-install my Norton security programme. It felt like taking an awful risk leaving my computer exposed to the elements if it didn’t go well. But then I reasoned that I could always download a free firewall like AVG or Firefox to tide me over, and I found a Norton webpage which reassured me that, if I did uninstall, I would not lose my year’s membership licence (which still had six months to run).


I ran a back-up on to a DVD and that took me several hours, because I couldn’t find the DVD’s and, after looking in various biscuit tins and boxes, I discovered lots of my old cassette tapes, and many of my partner’s too, and lots of empty plastic cases, so almost seamlessly I found myself matching tapes to boxes, and sorting them alphabetically as they had lain all jumbled together for years and I could never find anything – indeed I had acquired so many from other people that I didn’t even remember what I had. By the time I had organized them, which included reviving many memories (not all of them romantic) and my room in chaos for a couple of hours, a vision of the location of the pack of blank DVD’s suddenly flitted through my mind.

I abandoned the cassettes to insert a disc in the computer.


I was a bit disconcerted that the disc tray had not opened automatically when I ran the back-up programme, but shrugged it off as a random quirk. After another hour of fiddling about and getting the same failure warning flashing up on the screen , closing the sign, and getting it replicating several more times, and having the whole back up programme freezing on me, I took out the DVD, closed down the computer and started it up and ran the back-up again and after a suspenseful hour got a message that it was only partially completed, because I had left my Outlook programme switched on. I didn’t know how to do an incremental back-up, or indeed whether it was even possible to do this on a used DVD, so I ran the whole thing again, and this time everything ran smoothly.

Then, quaking in my virtual boots, I uninstalled Norton, my friend of three years’ standing, and reloaded it, restarted the computer and waited to see whether it had interfered with any of my work done early in the day. All was well.


So I returned some twelve hours later to checking all my Earrings web pages to tally them up with what earrings I had actually got – I didn‘t want to offer my wonderful hand-crafted earrings

 for sale if they were no longer available. That sort of went all right. I have been carrying the earrings round quite a bit recently, on a big cork notice board wrapped up in red satin, to trade at North London Local Exchange Trading Scheme socials and trading nights, and apart from those I have actually traded for pledges (the NLLETS local currency), I was shocked to find out how many earrings I had actually lost – they must have dropped off in the street or at the venue, leaving me with the other half. And of course, I now had to check every earring entry on my website, gloriousconfusion.com to find out what was missing. I’m a bit new to all this as I have only just started selling them, and haven’t got an organized system yet. Indeed, as I am more of a hobbyist than a serious merchandiser, I may never get round to it.

Midnight at the Oasis:

Then, just after midnight, what do you think happened? You’ll never guess, so I’ll tell you: I received an unimaginably helpful email from Norton Support. Without any ifs or buts, they offered me a free upgrade from Norton 360.02 to Norton 360.03 which came out this March, and told me how to do it. I must confess that once I had got over the pleasure of a productive response and the annoyance of having mucked about all day for nothing trying to fix it, my first thought was “why would they want to do that?”

It’s not easy being a cynic.

This train of thought led me to Google various websites to compare the two programmes including the price, benefits of the upgrade, and why there might have been a problem fixing Norton 360 Version 2 for me. And what I found will be the subject of my next article, blog, lens or what-have-you.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Photographs of Crouch End and Alexandra Palace in Haringey, North London

Here are some pictures of Crouch End, London N8, and Alexandra Palace, Haringey, with some lovely examples of late Victorian/Early Edwardian and Art Deco architecture

Crouch End
Showing the Clock Tower and terraces of flats and shops

Below and Right:
Crouch End Town Centre

Below:  Crouch End Town Hall and the old Electricity Board building
Right and Below:                                       Alexandra Palace, Haringey