Thursday, 21 April 2011

We have been delightfully busy in the last week, the weather has been wonderful and the Easter holidays are here, so we have had a decent and very nice bunch of visitors. I did not write the day before yesterday, not because I did not have time, although at the moment by the end of the day facing the computer is hard because I am tired! But I was so furious with Gloucestershire Highways Department who decided that the week before Easter was a good time to close our road for resurfacing!! I have to say I was staggered at the moronic stupidity of closing the road to about the only tourist attraction in the area, particularly as when I spoke to one of the road workers to ask when they might be starting, it being 10.30 am by this time, and pointing out that we were open to the public and expecting a fair number of cars, he said what a shame the Highways had not asked them to start at 7.00 am because they would have been finished by about 11.00 am if they had!!! Yes indeed what a shame, but sadly a reflection of the intelligence of those running the department. I had of course phoned a week before to see if I could stop it but no one bothered to return my call. When I did speak to them they gaily told me it was only for one day! But I pointed out, that day is important to our finances, and I still have to pay my staff and feed my birds on that one day.

I am told that I have upset a software writer, which was another reason for not writing last night as I might not have been sympathetic. I am not sure if I want to apologise because working with computers, particularly when the software is changed or upgraded is for most people a waking nightmare. What I would say to any software writer is that you need to assume we know a good deal less than you do, and that includes the language you are using as well as your programme. I should say at this point that Serif Technical guys are first class, and very helpful, but I work outside for most the day and I only get to my computer to do the stuff I have to do and the stuff I want to do, usually after about 7.30pm, and they tend not to be around at that time or later. I am going to assume that the software writers do not write the manuals, but they should check them, and might I suggest that the first thing you put in the manual after how to install the programme is a picture of the screen with names on all that is there, such as the HintLine, and yes I finally found out where it was on page 47 of the user guide, but not as a heading, merely as a reference. Next go to all the icons and tell us what they do, for example in DrawPlus in the Resource Guide it explains how to outline a picture, which incidentally is where all this started, however the little pen nib thingy only has a straight line that does really weird things, and I can’t get it to stop!!

I think I am one of these people who know little about computers but am ambitious about what I want a programme to do. I want to be able to produce a great newsletter with two pages showing at once (that is called facing pages, but it takes a phone call to find out, because the help won’t) in landscape but have other pages in portrait. I have fantastic photos of birds that I want to put across two pages, but all of this seemed impossible, and probably ambitious for someone who is not good on computers. So Sir, you need to sit down with people like me who want to use your stuff, and who want to do exciting things but are not on your wave length!! Then you will understand why we all, and trust me I speak for many, get so very frustrated. Still at least you had the decency to be approachable, for which you get ten out of ten. Try getting hold of anyone from Microsoft or Adobe!! I think they might all be dead already. Oh and yes the Forum is fine, but many of the people on there are not experts, and after the last question I asked, which did not get answered they went off on a tangent because one of the people writing had a keyboard with no W and so was using two V’s, which I have to say I did not really give a damn about, but it elicited a whole ton of answers, I don’t have that much time to spare!!

Here is a comment from someone else who read the weblog and the comment from the software chap.

Read your latest weblog yesterday and fully approved of your rant at computer program software writers – I think it is also brilliant that the head of Software testing at Serif saw it and felt he had to defend himself! Maybe if these people asked the public – not just themselves - how easy their programs are, they might dumb them down enough to understand and be able to use them! If computers weren’t so useful, mine would be straight out of the window.

So its been a glorious couple of weeks, on Saturday Mark Davies came at about 6.30am to rotavate, seed and roll the field. I got up at 5.30am to put Henry in and open the gates, Henry was fast asleep in his stable with the door wide open – he looked so cute!! I spent from about 8.00am – 9.15 picking up stones from the field, which are now forming a stream bed. He and Sarah did a great job and it looks good, all we need now is some rain, someone told me that we have had less rain than Libya, which is amazing, however I need it after Easter please. The birds are flying really well and we have most of the summer team going now, just a few to add. Rival (Burrowing Owl) is definitely female (three eggs!!!) The Griffon Vulture egg has hatched today! So that will go back with mum in about a week, it will be wonderful to see her with a baby. Delectable has a pressure sore on her good foot, so we have cleaned it out, bandaged it up, changed her perching and we are giving her a couple of weeks off, amazingly the bandage was still on after four hours. We have two baby Lanners, who are doing well and more eggs from other species still to come. Karis is as spectacular as ever, and Lady Isabel is getting pretty good. Adam has Brenin going and is also flying Paris. Robin has finished the maze which is looking good, we need eyes and a finish point and it will be complete, that is my job. Mark is starting on the new play area and Holly has taken on Gazelle this season which should be fun. Simon rushes around with eggs and babies at various times of the day looking worried.

We had a Wild About Photography day on Saturday, Linda taught on it and John and his son Josh did all the bird work, it went very well and they should have got some lovely photos out of it. Sunday was a half experience day and I did our first show at the Cotswold Farmers Country Fair, which went well if a little rushed. The trailer has been painted the same blue as the Landrover and looks very smart. Easter will be with us in a couple of days, and I have to go shopping as there is as usual nothing in the house.



I have to say that keeping a weblog can at times become compulsive and at other times a chore. Sometimes I am berrated for not keeping it up and sometimes I get wonderful comments from people who follow the news of the Centre.

It is fun to share the daily goings on here, some good and some bad, some funny and some sad, but all a part of our daily lives.
And as I said before its a pretty cool to be here and it is a great place to visit, you should try coming and watching the birds and meeting the staff and of course the dogs.

An interesting video on Lead

An interesting video on Lead

I find it staggering that people who want to hunt don't see the value in changing their ammunition from lead to a safer product. We have stopped using lead in petrol, in paint, in our water pipes, but they still want to use lead - ah well, apparently eating it not only kills birds but leads to reduced intelligence in humans......................

NO ONE is asking you to stop legal and genuine hunting, they are just asking you to change your ammunition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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