Tag Archives: facebook

Twitter Collapse

It’s that time of year when SMS, email, phone networks and so called social networks all grind to a constipated halt, just letting out dribs and drabs of messages  in flatulent bursts….

With that in mind, I hope that this WordPress blog entry gets out to you all!

From all in the Black household, be that human, hen, cat or horse….

….. We wish you all a…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

2012

Click image to biggerfy it


Lucas Black… That’s me, but not that one.

It keeps happening….

People see my name on Twitter and Facebook and think I am Lucas Black.

Okay…. the game is up… I AM Lucas Black…. but here’s the big shock…. I’m not THAT Lucas Black…

I even tried editing Wikipedia, but SOME lover of the ‘actor’ decided to edit out my FACTUAL addition to the information….

Click to embiggen...

I get asked “Am I REALLY Lucas Black?” …. Yes I am… so is he…

It’s not like I hide my blog or profile details from people. If you go to my Twitter page or Facebook page there is a link to this blog…. and there is even a good quality photo of me… not standing next to a pimped up Japanese racing car or small American gothic type town…

I feel sorry for the guy – He must get loads of questions about me. There he is looking through his fan mail and slowly he realises he doesn’t do half the things these people are talking about… He must read about this other Lucas Black and wish he was me. Well, it ain’t going happen Lucas “Fast and the Furious” Black…. you could never be me, but don’t feel too bad about it – at least you’ll always be the guy who isn’t Vin Diesel….

Me .... and another Lucas Black ... and another guy that the other Lucas Black isn't


The Lucy Palmer Guest Spot

Once in a while I come across a friend on Twitter who raises awareness in things that often go by unheard of unless people are involved in them (either personally or via a friend/family).

Lucy Palmer is one such Twitter friend. Inspirational in her tweets (and amusing, cutting, serious, educational etc…), she is fighting with endometriosis – and also raising money for Endometriosis UK.

This is an excerpt from her charity page:

Some of you are aware that I, Lucy, have endometriosis. For me, it means a LOT of PAIN. So, it hurts, it stops me being able to do normal stuff, like working, driving, having holidays, planning simple things… many things maybe you take for granted and can do without thinking about.

Endometriosis almost completely controls the lives of millions of women and girls and, sadly, they aren’t always listened to by their doctors or family or friends. Luckily, my Ma, Pa and brother have never doubted me, likewise close friends and my GP. It took 14 years to be listened to by consultants, to be diagnosed, during a laparoscopy, and to receive the appropriate treatment for this horrendous disease/condition.

I aim to run or jog my way round the 5k course in Hyde Park on Sunday 5th September this year. The training is already hard for me to do. The treatment I am receiving, called decapeptyl SR injections, causes joint pain, and for me, that’s in my knees. Constant fatigue from endo and its treatment and HRT, plus the medication for depression, does not make this an easy task for me. It is hard work. It hurts me. A lot.

On top of all she does, she also publishes a blog about how she copes with endo. In a rare blogging moment, I am posting an entry from Lucy as a guest blog within my own.

Please read her blog, visit her charity page and follow her on Twitter…. and spread the word.

Is this the endo my pain?

Probably not, no.

I was lying in my hospital bed on Monday 15th March this year, after the laparoscopy, when the consultant I had seen several times since 2008 came to see me. He had been “in clinic”, over the other side of the hospital. He hadn’t been able to perform the surgery; he was meant to on the previous Thursday but various occurrences meant my operation had to be postponed.

The decision was made, by me, to have a laparoscopy to find out, once and for all, “if” there was anything “wrong” relating to my womb, ovaries and/or ladybits. Some of you may be aware that, from the age of 18, I have been continually told there was nothing wrong and my irregular, heavy, prolonged and insanely agonising periods were something I would “grow out of” or that would “settle down” in time. The pain before and after periods and the bleeding between them was also not something I ought to concern myself about.

Not only have I been told that my pain was “psychological”, I was also told that I was “too young for anything to be wrong with (my) ovaries, darling”. And, that the only thing which would cause the sharp, tight, stabbingly-sharp pains in my lower right abdomen was “endometriosis of the ovaries, which you don’t have”, the non-surgery-performing-but-bed-visiting consultant said.

Still in immense pain after the laparoscopy with my awesome Ma beside me, I was told, by the NSPBBV consultant, that during the operation, the Mega-neat surgeon discovered that there “was endometriosis on both ovaries”. We found out later in the patient copy letter from the Mega-neat consultant who performed the surgery, that it was also present on the posterior uterine wall and the left pelvic side wall. In the letter, it states that the larger right side (ovary) had to be drained. This accounts for, not just the pains with periods and between them (every day, in fact) but also the amount of pain after waking from surgery; he used diathermy to remove the endometriosis he found. That essentially means my innermost ladyparts were burned, hence the incredible agony I felt, not to mention the utterly horrendous “wind” pains in my right shoulder and chest. I mentioned it. Oh.

Less than a second after the NSPBBV consultant said those ground-breaking words, I sobbed. My right hand somehow hurled itself to my eyes, which then started leaking, as well as my nose. Messy. I wasn’t crying because I’d finally been told what was wrong with me, or because I knew what it meant from now, onwards. Rather, I cried because I was so disappointed, I had been so terribly let down by people whom I trusted to help me, but instead, they neglected to do their job. They neglected me, allowed me to suffer so much unspeakable agony for so many years. I knew what was wrong with me, I knew, completely, that endometriosis was the cause of my pain. I’d tried to tell “them” so many times what my pain was like, but I was stopped mid-sentence, ignored, patronised and insulted.

What happens now? What do I do? Zoladex injections, every 28 days andPremique. What are they? Well, click the words and find out! Or, I can tell you, not very coherently. It is late as I type this and really need to sleep, but this is the third draft of this post and I just want to get it done. So, Zoladex will halt to ovaries for a few months, inducing a menopause. The break from periods occurring should (hopefully) give me a rest from feeling so tired. All the time. From aching, head to toe, and feeling like my womb is trying to cut its way out of my abdomen. And the Premique is a form of HRT, to try to counteract the menopausal symptoms.

There are no guarantees with this (unfairly-named, to my mind) “disease”. I prefer “condition”. It is not curable, but can be managed. However, “can” does not mean “will”. Some women are lucky, and have no pain, while others have immense pain which can not be controlled. And even hysterectomies and double oophorectomies are not certain to stop the pain. Some women have hormone treatment for some months and are free from pain. But the condition will still be there, it just may not “happen” again.

Since my surgery (with MEGA-neat stitches and wounds, and now scars. Did I mention? Super stuff! Tiny entry sites. Amazing…), I have had a period – on the Wednesday, just 2 days after the operation. It was bloody painful, if you excuse the pun. Less painful than I expected but still enough to wake me at 5am and make me nearly fall down the stairs to get a Keral in my face. Took much longer to work than the 20 minutes the NSPBBV consultant told me but hey, never mind, EH? It actually took around 40 minutes to work.

And now, I await another period. I haven’t had a day or, indeed, hour without pain. Apart from sleep. If there was pain, I haven’t noticed it, so bedrugged am I with anti-depressants and codeine. (I shan’t go into details – although it may be too late, now – but the amount of codeine I had made for a toilet situation vaguely similar to that experienced by Lisa Lynch in her ASTOUNDING blog, AlrightTit. I am also so stupendously proud to call Lisa an actual real life friend of mine, all thanks to the wonder that is Marsha Shandur, via the world of Twitter. (I went to Lisa’s Super Sweet 30th birthday party in London in September last year with the equally AMAZING Amanda, but didn’t get to meet Marsha. Good news for her…)

For 10 days I have had the familiar pre-period pains and heavy, dragging, relentlessness of my womb and parts. It would seem, then, that the surgery to remove the endometriosis was partially successful; bits were taken away/burned, but the pain of it all is still happening. Bugger. Today is day 30 of my “cycle” and I don’t have a clue when it will start. It may be another 2 days, or 2 weeks. I’m not just impatient with my body (even though I know I can do nothing, actively, to stop it hurting); the sooner the period starts, the sooner the Zoladex injections can be started. Must be administered, subcutaneously (in the stomach), within 5 days of a period starting. As the NPSBBV man said, “(my) body needs a rest”. NOW.

So, altogether now… HURRY FUCKING UP!!


The Hen has Landed

For a 30th birthday present for Chris I brought a hen house and signed up for four rescue hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) – (BHWT are also on Facebook). The hens are extra battery farm layers. The poor things are devoid of most of their feathers an have weak legs from their hard life in the battery farm. The BHWT rescue these hens – which are only 18 months old – from the battery farms at the time the farms send the hens to the chicken equivalent of a wood chipper.

The lucky hens get taken on by people to be given a better life in family and free range farm conditions.

We had to wait for a slaughter date for our hens to become available. In the time it took the hens to become available I had built a hen house (from Hen House World).

Modification in progress

Hen House World bent over backwards to ensure I had all I needed. In fact after I told them of the modifications I wanted to carry out (lift top roofs, extended run area, guttered mid section and remote lighting), they were happy to send me spares that were in unsaleable conditions due to minor defects – all I did was pay postage.

Finished!

Two months after we embarked on the hen rescue we finally received our birds. I went to pick them up with Alex as Chris was at work. The pick up place had all the birds that had been assigned new lives (and not destined for the wood chipper).

The halfway house

Seeing these pale, feather bare hens with hardly any weight to them was quite shocking really. By the time we got to the pick up, Alex had fallen asleep and was quite surprised when on the way home the boxes started clucking! He wasn’t aware we’d picked them up at all!

Sleeping Alex and the hens

Once home I moved them over into the custom coop! They didn’t put up much fuss being handled and were quite quiet as they started to explore. It was now that I could see how feather bare and pale they were.

Pale but saved

Pale, half naked, but saved

After a peaceful first day and an early night, the hens awoke the next morning to prove themselves fully functional! Chris went down and let them out of their bedding area into the coop at 6am… a few moments later I was woken up as she excitedly showed me a fresh warm egg. Over the next hour two more were produced – including one that was so big it needed some Vaseline help… Now they are settled it should be easier for them….

Egg number one!

Chris was disappointed to not actually see an egg layed – and slightly annoyed that I went out to see the girls at 8am only to have one walk in front of me, stop, drop egg, then walk off! Egg number four had been delivered!

A little later we picked up some wire and posts to build an extended open run. Once I had built this (and Chris had clipped the hens flight feathers and tagged them) the hens were free to roam…. but it took a while!

It has been said that ex-battery hens are fearless. I guess it’s because they are used to so much stress in the battery pens that anything else is child’s play! Cats on the other hand, are less brave of a new arrival in their lives! Our three all took wide berths as they passed the coop, but slowly they became more curious…. or at least Spice did….

No fuss.....

Swap places!

The cats and the hens are getting on very well – probably due to the fact that the hens are bigger than the cats (in height anyway) and there are more hens than cats…. and the fact that our cats are pretty soft in the head!

Trouble looks on

We end their first full day with the girls being happy, free and already perking up! Notice the colour in their combs – pinking up already!

Happy Hens

Visit the BHWT on Facebook too...

The hens were also named today:
Alex named one “Eleven” – maybe a Spinal Tap reference… although he is only four!
Chris named one “Crispy” – As in KFC.
I named “Terri” (Theresa) due to the green leg tag.
I also named one “Mel” – bravest one who explores everything before anyone else… and is nuts.


Fairytale of New York

Okay, X-Factor was knocked to the number 2 UK chart position for the Christmas number 1 single… beaten by a social networking pushed project – Rage Against The Machine took the number 1 spot as people stood up to the Cowell lead X-Factor machine.

The thing is it needed to be done – but no-one will argue that RATM’s song isn’t exactly “Christmassy”….

As such, just before Christmas I decided to push for a Christmas number 1 that is Christmassy…. and what could be better than “Fairytale of New York”….

FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK XMAS No.1 2010 and @FairytaleNY2010

Fairytale of New York has never been number 1 in the UK, yet is often voted as the best Christmas song out – so I figured it was about time we got it to number 1…

Added to this, it is the 10th anniversary of the sad and tragic death of Kirtsy MacColl, when she was hit by a speed boat in dive restricted waters whilst on holiday. This tragedy has never been properly resolved – and after 9 years of fighting for justice the case has finally run out of anywhere to go as the authorities have closed the door on it.

The day people will need to buy Fairytale of New York to make it count for a Christmas chart release is the day after the 10th anniversary of this untimely passing of Kirsty – so getting Fairytale of New York to number 1 will be a tribute, a return to a Christmassy song for Christmas, and another kick in the teeth to those that set up TV shows to force a manufactured number one.

Fairytale of New York is not a manufactured number one – Sure we will be pushing to get it there, but for over a decade it has been in the Christmas charts and it is a well loved song. It hasn’t just been made up to grab money for Simon Cowell…

This project is still in the initial stages, but much like RATM, we will be making sure Fairytale of New York does good. As such there will be a charity donation system set up. This will all be sorted as the project progresses.

I have contacted various people within The Pogues camp, and also to Kirsty MacColl’s mother. I would like them to be involved as this would be very important to the project.

There is a Facebook page set up : FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK XMAS No.1 2010

I won’t be able to do this on my own, so FTONY isn’t an “I” thing… it is a “WE” project – and I am currently being ably assisted by Phil Karn (met thanks to Twitter). There may be more people called in to help – and we’ll be grateful for any help!

I have started this group early as I want to build up the numbers of followers throughout the year. For most of the year the group will be a little quiet – just general chat and news – I don’t want people to burn out too soon!

As the time to buy draws near come November/December 2010 I shall then kick the group into action with group emails to ramp up the drive to get that number one spot.

You can also follow via Twitter with @FairytaleNY2010

If you want to get involved, you can email me at fairytale@sometimespace.com

Please spread the word!

Let’s get a Christmas song to Christmas number one – a song that has not been there before… and we can all remember Kirsty MacColl at the same time!

Thank you!



Twitter is a DJ

A few Twitter users will have noticed some users are posting tweets from something called Blip.fm.

Quite simply, it’s a free web page that allows users to post songs and videos to various social media sites – such as Facebook and Twitter.

It’s really pretty good – I didn’t really get into at first – but after giving it a fair try I’m getting into it now!

You can just tune in to favourite DJ’s (or rather people who also use Blip.fm). Other users select songs and their playlist builds up, and you can just select to listen to it.

To be more involved you can start to create your own playlists. This allows other people to then go to your list to listen to your chosen and growing selection of songs.

It’s quite simple – and a top way of finding long time forgotten songs, and discovering new ones you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.

I particularly like searching through the “Mash Up” selections – song mixes such as Lady Gaga vs. Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.

For iPhone users there is currently an app called “Boombox Pro” which allows use of Blip.fm via the iPhone. It is a bit temperamental, but there are fixes for it. I have found that it failed totally after my first tries, but by resetting my application key in my Blip.fm settings/password section, Boombox started working again. It’s not faultless yet, as some of the playlist doesn’t update – but the search and Blip function works fine.

Hopefully, Blip.fm will bring out their own app soon… or Boombox will pull their finger out and sort out their bugs.

UPDATE: Received an email from Boombox designers today – They are working on fixes along with Blip.Fm. As that is the case I would recommend Boombox to anyone, simply because the app is a great idea, it almost works and the people working on it offer quick customer support. Good customer support is a must for me.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share a little bit more of what is out there on the web for those who hadn’t heard of it yet!


Twitterfeed Test

I use a thing called twitterfeed (www.twitterfeed.com). It feeds my Twitter updates with my new blog stories.

It can also update my Facebook status with my Twitter comments, but I only want my blog updates on Facebook, and not all of my tweets.

I figured I could use HelloTxt to get around this. HelloTxt takes my blog feed through Twitterfeed’s  HelloTxt feeder and forwards it to Facebook. Meanwhile I use Twitterfeed’s Twitter feeder to forward the same info to Twitter.

This gets over the problem of setting up Facebooks Twitter status update to read direct from Twitter – because using Facebooks twitter update means EVERY thing I type on Twitter becomes a Facebook update…. and I didn’t want that, as I mentioned at the start.

Confused? Well yes… you probably are. I am fumbling around this at the moment but if you need a hand, then drop me a line and I’ll see if I can help in some way – but bear in mind I’m no expert – I only know what I know!

Anyway, the main idea of this blog entry was to test the new settings….. Time will tell!

———————

EDIT: Time has told….

After writing this blog Twitterfeed happily posted the new blog link and title over to Twitter, and also to Facebook.. and yet all my interim tweets have stayed on Twitter without going over the Facebook. Success!


TwitterDeck, Twitterfon and Facebook Tweeting

So by now you’ll know that I use Twitter. It’s part of this blog (see the left hand column) and fast becoming the best way to communicate bullet points and sound bites of information by mobile phone and computer.

It is primarily a web based micro-blog texting system, but as with a lot of things today, you don’t even have to go near the actual Twitter web pages to participate (once you have your membership – which is free).

If you want help on Twittering, then sign up and follow me  at LucasBlack, or follow one of the Twitter Gurus I have bumped into: DaivRawks.

Twitter as seen on its web page

Twitter as seen on its web page

It is the great leveller of people. There is no special treatment (tweetment?) between users. I rub tweet-shoulders with people all over the World in all sorts of lines of work. Recently I have been tweeting with Robert Llewellyn (Scrap Heap Challenge,  Red Dwarf – Kryten etc) – and the beauty of Twitter is that he is on the same level as me – We have the same 140 characters to play with, where age, social standing, profession etc just don’t come into play.

I like this levelling idea, as Robert Llewellyn is quite simply a great guy regardless of what he does, and I think “celebrity stalkers” tend to ruin things for people who just want to chat as equals and not simper to these well known people. I’m sure these public figures feel the same way sometimes – Why can’t people just chat without going all gushy and doe eyed at what they do? Thank goodness for Twitter then – It’s all very calming.

On to the various choices of applications you can use to operate within Twitter. There are flipping hundreds of choices, but the ones I use are generally the ones that are heartily recommended by other users. I have tried many types now, and the following ones are the applications that I have found most user friendly and satisfying to use. All are free, although you can make donations.

For a quick simple Tweet system on my PC I sometimes use “Twitterfox” for the Firefox web browser. It appears as a small pop up window in the bottom right of my screen (much like a messenger chat window). Very simple and easy to use for general tweet following.

The trouble is that you can end up with a cacophony of tweet messages that you are trying to keep up with. By far the best computer application is TweetDeck, as this sorts Tweets out into various categories and is very “tuneable” for each users preferences. When following tweets you will see the application that people have used to post messages – and TweetDeck is one of the most popular systems I have seen being used – and for a good reason.

TwitterDeck as I use it

TwitterDeck as I use it

Now a lot of people use Facebook and don’t want the fuss of having separate applications all over the place -but worry not, as Facebook has a Twitter application on it. I don’t really use it, but it’s a useful little tool to have at hand.

Facebook Twitters

Facebook Twitters

The final application I use is “Twitterfon” – an application for the iPhone. There are lots of iPhone Twitter applications, and I have tried many of them. Twitterfon is the one application for tweeting that I just keep returning to as it is simple, clear and very, very functional.  For me, the top two applications are Twitterfon and TweetDeck – they do everything I need from them (at the moment). I am sure many more applications will come about, but for now I am pretty happy in the Twitter world.

Twitterfon on the iPhone

Twitterfon on the iPhone


Deny the X-Factor and choose the greatest Hallelujah


The late, great Jeff Buckley is a great hope for us all! He may well posthumously save us from another commercialised x-factor Christmas…

The Jeff Buckley version of “Hallelujah” is regarded as one of the greatest renditions of Leonard Cohens “Hallelujah”.

Now I like Leonard Cohen – He’s a great song writer, but vocally he but he is very much Marmite – you either love him or hate him. Leonard does make funeral music seem like energetic pop/disco, but that is his style – love it or hate it!

I’m not one to say the original is the best, and in Leonards case, he wrote a great song here that Buckley really did wonders with.

But once again X-Factor takes a cover of a successful song and runs with it to try and get yet another Christmas number one.

Sure, Alexandra Burke has a good voice for certain songs – but the music and vocals are far, far too powerful for this wonderful song.

Rufus Wainwright did a very good version too – and like Buckley, it is kept simple – and better for it. You may remember it being used in “Shrek”…

Buckleys Version is already getting a lot of sales and is a contender to keep us free from yet another X-factor whitewash Christmas. If you were thinking about getting Burkes version, then think again…try Buckley, and then make your choice.

Please note though – if you are buying off of the net (this from a Facebook site wanting a Buckley Number 1) –

To make this as easy as possible we have posted the download links below:

http://www.7digital.com/artists/jeff-buckley/hallelujah-1/ – unencumbered high quality 320k mp3 89p (that’s what I’m getting next week).

http://www.tunetribe.com/product/index.html?id=604507 – cheaper but semi-crippled WMA (windows file) only 49p

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=254578201&s=143444 – 79p but DRM AAC file from Apple

HMV
http://hmv.com/hmvweb/digitalSearch.do?simpleSearchString=jeff+buckley&simpleSearchString=jeff+buckley&pGroupID=8&searchUID=&btnSubmitSearch.x=17&adultFlag=false&btnSubmitSearch.y=4&primaryID=8#
Near the bottom, 69p.

PLEASE DONT PURCHASE FROM AMAZON AS THEY DO NOT COUNT TOWARDS THE UK CHARTS…

P.S: I hope the links I have added don’t get messed up and seem to imply things other than they were intended…

Before anyone says it – I know Cowell owns the rights to Hallelujah, so whatever one you buy, you put money in his exceedingly high trouser pockets – but at least with a purchase of Buckley’s version we stand a chance of having a non-X-factor, non-commercial tat Christmas.


The Page 56 Game

The Page 56 Game…. (An idea that has been around for ages)
So here are the rules:

  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your wall.
  • Don’t dig for your favourite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

For me it is:

“If MI5 had made routine inquiries in the area of of George Street in the Summertown district of Oxford where she had lived, they could have found evidence that she regularly used a radio transmitter during the war, putting up an aerial from a neighbor’s chimney for the purpose.”

Please note – If you haven’t left a comment before, then it may take a few hours to show up as I’ll need to authorise it. Cheers!


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