Christmas Reflections

This time of year is all about reflecting on the year gone by and thinking about the years ahead, just listen to just about any Christmas song and you can hear it in the lyrics (excluding Bob the Builder and Mr Blobby). So here is my “reflections”.

These last few years have left so many of us with damaged hearts, heads, souls and wallets; but no all of us.

So many of us have fell down; but no all of us.

We’ve had challenges to overcome that some of us are still dealing with; but not all of us.

Families, friends, neighbours and colleagues have lost loved one; but not all of us.

We all have problems, but is your problem a 1/10 (my roof is leaking) or are you dealing with a 9/10 (the death of a loved one); some of us are dealing with a 10/10 and some of us just don’t have any real problems.

For most of us we can do a little more to support people in this world we live in together.

In 2022, if you can; please….

help pick somebody up off the floor.

Help fix a damaged Heart, Head, Soul or Wallet; where you can.

Support and help turn somebody’s turn 4/10 into a 3/10.

Remember the ones we have lost; celebrate and educate the ones we have gained. Help them understand the importance of looking after their Heart, Head, Soul and Wallet.

Remember for most of us things aren’t actually that bad; most of us aren’t dealing with a 10/10 and for those who are… we are here for you (at least we should be).

Most important; smile more… for yourself and others, as often as you can.

Oh and “Merry Christmas you filthy animal”

“Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with smaller feet than my sister.” (depending on your Christmas film favourite)

Apple, bring back Nokia LifeBlog

Way back in 2014 when Apple introduced iCloud Photo library I have been a very happy bunny.  An in-house and integrated way to backup my photos and have access across all my apple devices.

It may seem like an odd feature to be so happy about however many moons ago my house was broken into and my old Black MacBook was stolen; fortunately, the USB hard drive that contained my library of over 50,000 photos was left behind. At the time that bad feeling of thinking that I had lost such a massive collection of memories of my single life, meeting my wife, my two kids and everything in between was gut-wrenching. I didn’t have a back up of my digital life at the time just the odd badly organised collection of DVD containing a month or two of Photos, one of music and a stack of software that was either illegally obtained or obsolete. I was onboard with iCloud Photo Library the day after launch.

My library has currently expanded to 76,478 Photos and 4,101 Videos and my family has increased by 1 child and 3 goldfish. Having the off site back up that is so simply integrated with my iPhone, iPad, Mac and the addition of my wife’s iPhone link to the same family plan for me is amazing. I now also back up to Google Drive and Google Photo just to be sure so that I don’t have that panic feeling ever again.

I have always felt that a digital log of memories is important to help with reliving them life experiences as I get older. I look back to my childhood and the memories that I have are amazing but they are limited; even when talking to my parents, I have always wanted a more detailed way to look back into the journey me and my family are on.

Something, however, was still missing. I look back to around 2002 when I first had this idea of being able to have these triggers to look back at my life. At the time I had not long had my first digital camera and was already starting the build my memory box of life, I also got my first “Smartphone” that incorporated a camera. It was the Nokia 7650 and it ran Symbian OS. It’s
almost comical now to say this but it was a powerhouse of a phone at the time. More importantly for me, it had a great trick up its sleeve in the form of a desktop application, Nokia LifeBlog.

The idea of RSS feeds and blogs at the time were for me very exciting. The collection of information from different sources pulled together into one place and your own easy way to add to this collection with your own blog. Nokia Lifeblog was this, but for your own personal memory box. It pulled information from your phone and displayed a time log of your life, day by day, week by week. It listed text messages, calls made and missed, alongside the photos you had taken all in time order and in a calendar view. Looking back at it you could follow a night out from the calls to the boys and the “Almost in town now” message followed by the drunken photos and the hangover comedown the next day. It was for me almost perfect way to look back at what was happening in my life at the time.

The only problem was it didn’t take long before my phone was changed for something better and then Symbian OS started to fade away Nokia LifeBlog became useless. I switch to Windows Mobile then Apple came along and I settled into the closed garden and happily handed them all my money. I have over the years ran multiple handsets with Android running side by side with my iPhone, however, every time the integration with my iPhone and Mac (and the happiness of not having to use a Windows PC) iPhoto and later Photos was just to good for me to want to ever switch again (ok may Huawei could tempt me).

Apple has just released messages in iCloud and that reassurance of not having to worry about losing photos anymore now also includes my messages. There is, however, a more exciting development; I feel I am now one step closer to being able to have the Lifeblog days back. Over the years I have often looked back at messages received and sent to my girlfriend and now wife and mother of my children. It an extension to the memory box I have from my photos. Like my photo, I have been hoarding message since 2008… almost every one of them. Transferred from phone to phone in one way or another; I couldn’t even comprehend how many messages that is over the years (4.9GB according to my iCloud storage) but more importantly just about every message gives meaning to the photos taken over the years.

Photos already offer Memories with additional improvements due later this year but it only offers memories from Photos. What I’m looking for next from Apple is to integrate these two collections into one LifeLog so that not only can I look back over the images in my memory box but also the context of what was happening from the communications in my life even if it is just how many time me and my wife have messaged each other to pass the toilet roll.


SMLP Self help #01 – how to set up email on anything and everything.

In my job I often get asked how do I set up email on my mobile phone tablet of laptop. In this article I am going to give the most comprehensive answer to the question.

The details information that I’m going to out line will be the first time anybody anywhere has described how to setup email on every product that has ever been made that supports email. This is a massive undertaking for one person to pull together in one is pale blog post however with my 20 years experience using email and 13 years offering professional support for consumers, small business and corporate customer alike I feel that I am the right person for the job.

I am going to brake this down into 3 simple steps.


Open a web browser. For this step any browser on any computer, mobile phone or even TV will do. If it lets you access the internet it will work. Type in the website address


In the centre on the webpage that opens types into the box…. “How do I set up email on my”. Now on the image shown you will see that this is followed by “…..” You need to replace is with a space followed by the name of the thing you want to set email up on. For example “iPad”, “smart TV”, “sony smartphone”


Read all of the top results that will inevitable describe how to set up email you the device of your choosing.

No need to thank me…. Your welcome.

What the hell should I blog about?

So it been some time since I have wrote a blog post, basically I’ve been a lazy bastard….. Ok that’s not the only reason, I’ve had a major shift in my work life, my wife and I have added a new member to our family and the rest of the time I’ve just been being my usual selfish self.

What better way to start getting back into the blogging way of things than to have a look online to find out “what should I blog about”
My first destination was The first thing that I noticed was the quote “Should you join the blogosphere?”
“Blogosphere” it’s one of the words that has always pissed me off. It always draws a picture of some toffee nose upper class fellow who sits in coffee shops writing his philosophy on how to change the world…..”I write views for the blogosphere, didn’t you know?” I don’t have an issue with changing the world but call it a blog or post just please don’t use that phrase…. Moving on.

The site had a list of advise about blogging so I thought I would give it a look over.

1. To Express Your Thoughts and Opinions
You have something to say, and blogs provide a place to say it and be heard.

I do have something to say everyday the only issue is that it’s normally on the spot verbal dihareia that I never get down in words quickly enough and by the time I’ve got it off my chest I’ve moved on the something else and don’t care anymore. I’m sure my wife is sick of being subjected to this, normally my opinion on tv advertising or a news storey. Next!

2. To Market or Promote Something
Blogging is a great way to help market or promote yourself or your business, product or service.

Good idea, the reason 6 years ago I made the decision to “brand” everything I post online as SMLP.

3. To Help People
Many blogs are written to help people who may be going through similar situations that the blogger has experienced. Many parenting and health-related blogs are written for this purpose.

Not really something I want to do… My job has a large element of helping people and I not sure how I feel about doing that after work is done for the day. it is something I could do I think this one is for another time.

4. To Establish Yourself as an Expert
Blogs are wonderful tools to help bloggers establish themselves as experts in a field or topic. For example, if you’re trying to get a job in a specific field or hoping to publish a book on a specific topic, blogging can help legitimize your expertise and expand your online presence and platform.

I’m sure I’m a expert at something’s like growing long toenails, having a hairy nose, making fun of people less fortunate than me and not writing blog posts. Next!

5. To Connect with People Like You
Blogging brings like-minded people together. Starting a blog can help you find those people and share your opinions and thoughts.

I would hate to find somebody that was exactly as like minded at me…. I would want to smack them in the face. I do like people that as similar.

6. To Make a Difference
Many blogs are issue-based meaning the blogger is trying to provide information to sway people’s thinking in a certain direction. Many political blogs and social issues blogs are written by bloggers who are trying to make a difference in their own ways.

Maybe I could help people come around to my views on the correct use of a toilet brush. Another time maybe.

7. To Stay Active or Knowledgeable in a Field or Topic
Since successful blogging is partially dependent on posting frequency and providing updated, fresh information, it’s a perfect way to help a blogger stay abreast of the events in a specific field or topic.

Aka “pull your finger out you lazy git!”

8. To Stay Connected with Friends and Family
The world has shrunk since the Internet has become more accessible. Blogs provide a simple way for family and friends to stay connected from different parts of the world by sharing stories, photos, videos and more.

This could be good. But I would like to think that more than my mum and dad would read my blog. Maybe some people would be interested I the going on with my family and friends but the only problem would be the risk of psychiatric intervention.

9. To Make Money
It’s important to point out that most bloggers don’t make a lot of money blogging, but the potential does exist to generate revenue from your blog with hard work and commitment. There are many bloggers who bring in big bucks. With patience and practice, you can make money through advertising and other income-generating activities on your blog.

Not a chance would I ever make money from a blog unless I started selling used underwear to the sick individuals that are out there in the big bad world.

10. To Have Fun and Be Creative

Why not! Getting and blow job while painting a picture. Not sure I could post much about that other than storeys about dripping paint on the back of my wife’s neck mid session and the like.

As good as that list of hints and tips on what I should blog about was I’m still out in the dark about what to write. So another google search and I landed at yahoo answers.

Julia Serafina had answered my question with five bullet points.

1. Why do I want to blog (e.g. personal, creative, career, business)?

Basically I like the idea of posting my personal views, opinions and rants on what’s going on around me. Show off pictures I have taken and generally have some form of creative output.

2. Who am I writing for?

Anyone that is willing the spend the time to read or look at what I do. I don’t think I have a group of people I want to post for I just feel its important to share. After all I spend a lot of time reading other peoples views on the world around them.

3. What topics would my ideal reader be interested in?

I don’t thing that the people that would read have a set agenda. My hope would be that readers of what I post are as open minded as me to want to know other people views on the world and are willing to appreciate other people creative output.

4. How often do I want to blog (e.g. weekly, as it happens)?

If a idea world everyday however life will always get in the way. If I can post once every 10 days I would be a happy man.

5. Am I really interested in what I am writing about?

Yes, even if it is just for the short time I hold my opinion.

Questions: who do you decide on what you post online?

Illegally Rubbish

You may not have seen it yet but the BBC has opened up a webpage to let you view which artist has the most illegally downloaded tracks in your local area.

I find the whole thing a little bit weird; it’s almost like they are trying to promote how popular illegal music is and highlight which music you can get your hands on.

The more shocking thing for me however has to be some of the real shit music thats being shared on my doorstep.

Not one decent artist on the list; artists like Rhianna and Frank Ocean showing as some of the most popular.  If people are illegally downloading tracks and taking the risk of being fined and possible even locked up you would think that they would get their hands on some decent music.

The the number one illegally shared artist in my local area – Ed Sheeran.

To say I am embarrassed is an understatement.


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