Fr. Sweeney’s Farewell

Fr. Eamon Sweeney has served Saint Patrick’s parish for twenty five years. He celebrated his final mass in the parish on Tuesday 29th September. At the end of mass he said his goodbye to the parishioners. Also retiring were the Pastoral Assistant, Sister Moira Duffy and his housekeeper Kathleen. Sister Moira Duffy and Fr. Sweeney made a video where they recall some of the events of their time in Saint Patrick’s. You can view that video here

Protecting my Smartkey Car

I’ve been reading more warnings about car thieves stealing cars by simply using a cheap electronic device to contact your key in your home and relaying the code to an accomplice who can then open your car, start it up and drive off; all while you are asleep and the key safely in the house.

Manufacturers are looking at ways to foil the thieves but while we await a hi-tech solution, here’s a simple precaution you can take. Just keep the key in what physicists call a Faraday cage. That might sound complex but it is simply a metal enclosure to block radio waves. I post a picture of my Faraday cage below.

car key in a tin
My simple Faraday cage

As you can see this is a simple small tin box. This one came with chocolate peanuts from Marks & Spencer but any small tin will do. I keep my key in this at night and can sleep soundly, knowing it won’t be too easy to steal my car.

My Windows 10 Problem – Sorted!

I was quick to register for the Windows10 upgrade, free from Microsoft. I waited and waited and eventually I got the go ahead to download and install. Exciting eh?

Unfortunately it failed. It worked ok on my old netbook and on my daughter’s laptop, but my desktop PC just failed, again and again. Now I’ve done quite a lot to the PC. The last addition was a solid state drive (SSD) to speed up booting. I checked out the web and found that I needed 300mb system reserved space and I only had 100mb. That didn’t sound to difficult.

Wrong again! I had the devil’s own job moving stuff about . I removed an old hard drive, bought partition managing software -eventually I managed to inclease the space. I tried the update again – FAILED!

This morning I had another browse and found a suggested solution. I was in command prompt as an administrator poking in code – no success. I was about to give up when I noticed a small suggestion on the forum. If you have installed an SSD the drive may not have been set to Active.

I checked – that was the case. I sorted that with a couple of clicks and BINGO – I was installing 10.

My installation failed because of a corrupted file but that was soon sorted out with windows repair. Installed again and here I am. There are still a couple of issues but it works and I’m sure to sort out the issues soon.

Do you have this problem? Check out the posts here



My Google account was hacked and a post was made on this blog. The post directed people to a supposed Google Drive document. Do not respond to this message.

If you have responded then secure your Google account immediately.

My address book was used to send messages of a similar content but anti virus software seems to have saved most people. The phone numbers were removed from my Android phone.

Check your system and take action.


Who is in The Driving Seat Now?

a driverless car

No steering wheel?

It is reported that driverless cars will be allowed on UK roads next year. Many people are expressing concerns about safety. Mind you, the old story goes that the most dangerous component in a car is the nut behind the wheel, so perhaps removing that will prove to be no bad thing.

Years ago I read about traffic polls taken of cars crossing the Oakland bridge in San Fransisco. Chrating the number of occupants by year it showed that as time went on the number of occupants was steadily reducing as more people bought their own cars and became drivers rather than passengers. The statistics showed that if the trend continued, before the end of thetwentieth century one in four cars would be crossing the bridge with nobody in it. That was a fair joke back then but now it seems to be coming true. How are we taking the news?

I started off by saying that some people were expressing concern. Of course, most people don’t seem to be concerned. Why should that be? Perhaps we hav become accustomed to things proceeding without human control. Who sits and stares through the window on the washing machine to make sure that the clothes are being cleaned properly? We have become relaxed about lack of control. Our political systems seem to have gone the same way. The recent economic crash which the world is still trying to recover from showed that those who were supposed to be regulating the financial systems were doing nothing of the kind.

Policies in the UK just seem to go in a random, haphazard fashion. Take our outlook on homosexuality. In the recent past such things were deemed illegal and people could be prosecuted for behaviour that was deemed indecent. All that changed and the world became a more tolerant place. Now it is becoming illegal hold an opposite view. If you don’t believe that homosexual behaviour is acceptable you can lose your job. One intolerance has been replaced by another. Who is steering this place?

We seem to have a government in the UK where things just drift along from one crisis to the next; a bit like a learner driver who hasn’t got the hang of steering and manages to bash every car parked along the street as he passes. People might see a computer driven car as a much safer option than anything driven by our politicians.

No steering wheel? Well, what’s the point?

JFK – The Guiding Light of My Youth

It’s fifty years ago tonight, I still remember it vividly. I was sitting watching TV with my Grandfather. The newsflash came on – a shooting in Dallas – President Kennedy has been shot.

Then the news that he was dead. How could this be? He was a hero to us teenagers. He challenged us to be better and to look to the service of others. Why would anyone kill him?

That was the end of my innocence. I saw the world differently; there are evil people there – in our own societies – not just behind the Iron Curtain. I saw this video and felt I had to share it. It encapsulates some of the things I feel about Kennedy and the effects of Faith.

Please share this with others you think would reflect on those events – is it really fifty years?

Utopia – John Pilger – Review

Have you seen this film?

Have you seen this film?

I watched John Pilger’s film ‘Utopia’ at the Glasgow Film Theatre last Monday. It was a shocking experience. Pilger exposes the latent racism that lies behind Australia’s facade of forward looking western values.

John Pilger

John Pilger

In it he shows examples of systematic abuse of the remaining aborigine residents of this bright country. He uncovers government lies and propaganda that hide the squalid living conditions endured by these people amid claims that everythung is being done to help them.

He quotes Australians who claim that if the same treatment had been dealt out by the white South African Government’s Apartheid regime then the world would have cried out in horror. But in Australia this treatment is ignored and the world does nothing. Is Australia the new Apartheid?

Watch this film and wonder.

Is Big Brother Watching You?

The saga of governments snooping into our private lives continues. Did the Americans listen in to Angela Merkel’s mobile ‘phone calls? Are they listening in on Pope Francis? Is my cyber life an open book to GCHQ?

Scary Guy?
Scary Guy?

What is it that bothers so much about the spooks? I think it is the hangover of 1984. Not the year – the book by George Orwell. Orwell paints a picture of post war Britain. Everyone is spied on by ‘Big Brother’. Thinking the wrong thoughts will result in being sent to Room 101. Not the TV programme with Frank Skinner, a terrible place where you are confronted by your worst fear; the fear that lurks in the back of your brain, buried so deep you are not aware of it. That could be Frank Skinner for all I know, but, unlikely.

Oh No! Arrgh. Not that!
Oh No! Arrgh. Not that!

Do you begin to see the extent of the problem? 1984 permeates our culture so deeply, tv programmes named from it etc, that it has become our secret fear. A change of image is needed. Why should Big Brother be a frightening image? Why not a helpful big brother?

The Big Brother we would all love.
The Big Brother we would all love.

What about a big brother like Uncle Buck – remember him, the John Candy character from the film? If the security services are monitoring all our communications they could make themselves useful. When they are monitoring my telephone calls they could intercept calls from sellers of PPI claims, double glazing, kitchen makeovers and boiler room scams. They could warn them off in a way that only James Bond and his buddies can do – licence to kill!

Never call this number again - or else!
Never call this number again – or else!

They could provide a downloadable plug in for Windows, Mac OS etc that puts a big red button on your desktop. Anytime you have a problem just push the button.

Push for help
Push for help

“Big Brother here – what’s the problem?”

“I can’t remember the password for my WordPress account!”

“Hold on I can tell you, or better still, I’ll type it in for you”

Problem solved. Now that’s a big Brother we all want and need. If they know all this stuff about us then they should make themselves useful. We would all be much happier if we could instantly call on MI5 to help us out. Just think; dementia would cease to be a problem.

Walk into a room, can’t remember why you are there? – Push the red button. “Big Brother, why did I come in here?”

“You are looking for your reading glasses. They are in the top drawer of your bedside unit.”

“Thank you Big Brother”

Hell, they could even become proactive. What’s wrong with getting a message from Big Brother telling you that your supply of red wine is getting dangerously low and, since the weather will be bad in the next 24 hours, you could find yourself dangerously sober?

Come on ‘M’, a change of image is required. Where’s my big red button?