Archive for the ‘Odds and Sods’ Category


Just what qualifies as “temporary” Microsoft? – My email is down

August 3, 2013

OK – absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine, unless you are in Ukraine and trying to email me, in which case be prepared for some delay.

Yesterday, I turned on my computer to find it did not automatically log into my email, as it has done day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, with Microsoft asking me to sign in once again.

No problem, I attempted to sign in as requested – only to be met with a message from Microsoft stating somebody had tried too many times to log in to my email unsuccessfully – which was obviously not me – and sent me on a little “click and complete” cycle that eventually ended up with a link to reset my password being sent to an alternative email address.

Now I did ponder why, if Microsoft are correct and somebody had tried and failed numerous times to log in to my email account – why change a proven robust password?

Anyway, a link to reset the password was sent to an alternative email address, but when pressed displayed:

“Microsoft account
Sign in
There’s a temporary problem

There’s a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.

OK – fair enough

I try a different route.  One that I must complete information that only I would know relating to recent emails, saved contacts etc and submit it – twice to be told there was insufficient detail and a third time that the issue would be solved within 24 hours (despite providing the same detail as two previous “failed” attempts) – which has not happened.

A polite but terse message sent via the Microsoft customer service website was sent – to which there has been no reply.

48 hours later, I try both routes once again.  The same “temporary problem” message arrives from their link.  This time when following the other route I am now told I have tried too many times and must wait 24 hours before trying again.

As I receive close to 100 emails a day, there will be quite a backlog – if Microsoft ever allow me entry to my email account again.

Thus it will be 72 hours since losing access to my email before I have any possibility of gaining access once more – and that is on the presumption that Microsoft either solve their “temporary problem” – which is beginning to look a little more robust than temporary – or the “click and complete” cycle actually works……somehow.

Anyway, for those who may read this blog and are awaiting email replies from me – they will come eventually – depending upon the extremely lackluster performance of Microsoft that is.

Perhaps I should just ask the NSA – maybe they will be quicker to fix the “temporary problem”?

Tomorrow back to matters Ukrainian.



December 26, 2012

Simply nothing compos mentis is at all possible today – sorry – far too much Christmas spirit was imbibed!



TMS Cricket and difficult explanations‏

July 26, 2011

For the last 5 days, religiously the computer has been locked onto the TMS (Test Match Special) BBC coverage of the first Test between world ranked number 1’s India against world ranked number 2’s England. A series that should England win will reverse those rankings as far as Test Cricket is concerned.

All incredibly important stuff for hundreds of thousands, in fact probably millions of English and Indian people scattered around the globe, yours truly included. Life or death it is not. When looked at from the viewpoint of recent ghastly events in Norway or the untimely death of Amy Winehouse, who in my opinion was the best British female artist since Kate Bush, then cricket is and always will be only a game.

Nonetheless it matters, and never more so when the game is played at Lords, a pitch which almost always guarantees a result (rather than a draw) if the rain stays away. I have to admit to having spent many days being corporately entertained at Lords, Headingley, The Oval, Edgbastion and Old Trafford. It may yet be that I will see a test match, although probably no longer whilst being corporately entertained, at The Rose Bowl, home of cricket to my very own county, as it graced its very first Test Match early in the year when England played Sri Lanka.

I also admit that all the corporate entertainment at Test cricket matches through the years has led to a rather large, if not somewhat garish on occasion, collection of commemorative ties.

Anyway, during the past five days, it has been particularly difficult to explain even the most fundamentals of the game to those Ukrainians around me. Before even getting to dividing up to pitch and explaining why silly mid-off, gully, third man and all other orthodox fielding positions are and then having to try and explain the names and why they are called what they are called, there are even more basic elements to explain.

Why is there eleven people against only two all the time? That is not fair.

Why on such a big pitch do the play in the dirty bit and not a nice green bit?

Why are the two with bats dressed like riot police?

Why is one person allowed to have big gloves to catch the ball and all the others not?

This of course before attempts to explain the nuances about lbw which even if the ball does hit the legs is not necessarily lbw.

Why does one game take 5 days? Why do they play so many games in a series, it is almost a month when all the days are added together?

The list of questions, as you can imagine, goes on and on and on.

In a clear lack of commitment on my part with regard to explanation over the period of a few days, eventually it has come to a point that when I almost choke on a half eaten sandwich, and then try to avoid spluttering the contents over the computer screen, it is a cue for those in my presence to await the angst of disbelief or the unbounded joy over any particular incident. I almost feel like a conductor with an orchestra.

It is unfortunate an acquaintance of mine, Sundeep, lives in Kyiv and is not here to assist me in delivering the finer points of a wonderfully tactical game. It would be particularly beneficial given he is Indian and hails from West Bengal thus providing a more neutral, or at least equally as biased (but the other way) commentary.

Anyway, if some of the posts have been lacking in quality and more vigorous comment over the past 5 days, it is due to the distractions provided by the TMS team at the BBC, some outstanding cricket, and the need to explain matters cricket related to those around me.

Hopefully normal service will resume for a few days before the next Test starts at Trent Bridge.

Still, click here and enjoy!

One small thing to note. I didn’t take the good woman long to realise the symbolism of the Umpire’s digit of doom for any batsman. I have been on the receiving end of a number of exceptionally dodgy Umpire-esque dismissals since!


OK – Who does not recognise this?

February 26, 2011

Well dear readers, unashamedly I am posting a joke (well it is a joke but recognised by us all as reality) told to me by someone I know:

A woman in a hot air balloon realised she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. She descended a bit more and shouted: “‘Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don’t know where I am”.

The man below replied “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude”. “You must be an Engineer” said the balloonist. “I am” replied the man “how did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you have told me is probably technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip with your talk.”

The man below responded “You must be in management”. “I am” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?” “Well,” said the man “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my f***ing fault.”

So who didn’t recognise this……….anyone?


A few words of congratulations…..

February 25, 2011

Well dear readers, taking a break from the larger happenings in Ukraine and elsewhere, a few words of congratulations are in order for a few people.

Firstly to a friend and his good lady Anya up in Kyiv, congratulations on the safe arrival of your daughter Kira.

Secondly congratulations to my cousin Matthew.  The poor lad has been a lecturer at Strathclyde  University these past few years and has managed, whilst in Scotland to get himself married and have 2 children.

I was informed yesterday that he has managed to secure his dream job lecturing at Oxford University from June and is currently working his 3 month notice period.

As Oxford is my second favourite UK city, behind my own of course, I now have even more reason to indulge myself in Oxford than I had before on the rare occasion I am back in Blighty.

OK – That’s all, normal service will resume tomorrow!


Happy Christmas to all my Ukrainian and Russian readers!

January 7, 2011


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2011


Merry Chrsitmas to all my readers……who’s Christmas Day is today

December 25, 2010

Happy Chrsitmas from Odessablog!

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