My Weight Is Reducing Slowly But Surely


Since my last post on body weight (Excel Templates for Body Weight Records) I have continued to try and lose weight. Well slowly but surely my weight is reducing and I have my latest graph to demonstrate it below (select it to enlarge it):

my weight is reducing
My Weight Loss Graph for 2015 up to 27th July.

I have struggled to lose 35 pounds (2½ stones) over a 10 year period. I recall saying I wanted to retire at the correct weight, but that never happened. Well I’m nearly there so I hope those struggling to lose weight can gain some cheer from this article.

Continue reading My Weight Is Reducing Slowly But Surely

Which Lamp Do I Need Lighting Chart?


Since the decline of incandescent lamps there have been many alternatives made available based on fluorescent tubes bent in many ways to condense a long tube into a confined space. I had my first Philips SL prismatic Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) lamps soon after they came on the general market back in the 1980’s. I only recently sent my last one to recycling after deciding that even my shed could do better than have one of those long time warm-up devices.

In the early days of low energy lighting there was nothing better than the good old fluorescent tube, usually confined to kitchens and garages in the British house. I still have two twin fluorescents in my kitchen. If you want the room lit with no shadows that’s the way to do it. After much searching in 2003 I found some streamlined fluorescents fit for the modern era to replace my old fluorescent ‘chunky boxes’. Unfortunately they’ve gone off the market and I am struggling to find a decent looking replacement that doesn’t cost a fortune. There were some problems with the ones I used. They had a self destruct mechanism built in. The plastic fixings for holding the wires in place on the frame all deteriorated under the ultraviolet light given out by fluorescent tubes. I replaced them with zip ties but they suffer from the same problem.

To get back to the point of this article, which is to advise on the brightness of replacement lamps, I have chosen to publish a chart by espares lighting chart which seems to relate to the UK/European market and another by ovo-logo which relates to the American market and appears to suggest their lamps emit more light than European lamps, e.g. UK/European 100W ≅ 1300 lumens, American 100W ≅ 1600 lumens (see A USA Lighting Chart).

A UK Lighting Chart

The chart below, published by espares lighting chart (a UK company) on 31/10/2014, compares lamps of differing types (incandescent, halogen, CFL, LED) and suggests annual savings that could be made by using LED lights.

lighting chart

When we go to the shop to buy a new lamps now we need to know how many lumens we want from the lamp rather than how many watts it will consume, from the point of view of brightness. However we do need to consider the lowest wattage for the brightness we want, from the efficiency point of view.

I can’t speak for others but I have never been happy to replace a bright light with a dimmer one. I like well lit rooms because I do practical things and need to see, but I am appreciative of dimmer lighting when just sitting and talking with guests or watching TV.

A USA Lighting Chart

For those readers in the USA here is an American lighting chart taken from ‘The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Energy Saving Light Bulbs’ by ovo-logo :

usa lighting chart

Further References

Repairing Rotten Garden Seat Legs


I have two teak garden seats which spend all their time outdoors on the lawn or patio. They go back to the 1980’s and the bottom of all the legs has rotted where they are perpetually in contact with the ground. I first noticed the problem while I was cleaning and sanding them ready for repainting and had them upside down. I dug a penknife into the underside of the end of each leg only to find the wood was soft and easily dug out. I had painted them with exterior paint several times over the years but this wood wasn’t good to paint anymore. I had noticed a deterioration in the wood previously when I painted them but just put plenty of paint on the bottom of the legs after letting the wood dry out. The problematic area was in the bottom 5mm to 10mm of each leg and It had got to the point where the wood was crumbling away and the legs were no longer all of the same length. I had to find a method of repairing rotten garden seat legs.

My Method of Repairing Rotten Garden Seat Legs

Repairing Rotten Garden Seat Legs
A Repaired Garden Seat Leg Ready For Painting

I decided to remove all of the bad wood by prodding and poking the leg ends with the penknife and sanding as necessary. I then let the leg ends dry before applying polyester resin in the form of David’s Isopon P38 (a car body filler) to build up the wood to the original length. The jagged nature of the leg ends made a good bond with the resin filler.

Polyester resin sets in fifteen minutes and it can then be sanded. With a quarter sheet of course grit paper wrapped around a block of wood I then sanded the polyester resin back until it was flush with the original wood of the leg and I sanded the end of each leg until they were back to the original length.

As is often the case when building up with polyester resin unevenness in the surface may appear after sanding to shape just because there wasn’t enough resin applied in the first place. It’s very easy to mix some more resin and apply it where necessary. Then after another fifteen minute wait it can again be sanded down.

The polyester resin I used is grey but with two or three coats of paint the repaired area soon blended in with the rest of the seat.

Yes the seats are teak and I used Sadolin paint. Some people leave teak to go grey and others oil it. Well if left to nature green stuff grows on it and it splits and deteriorates. After a couple of years the oil has gone and it takes paint. I have used Teak coloured Sadolin for years but now I have changed to Mahogany to match my windows.

Repairing Rotten Garden Seat Legs One Seat At A Time

I actually repaired one seat in 2013 and the second in 2014 after I had seen if the first seat’s repair was satisfactory. What I found was: the polyester resin was very well adhered to the original wood and being water resistant kept the bottom of the legs from soaking up any moisture from the wet garden. Here is the final result as seen in the featured image rubbed down and ready for painting.

Previously the paint on the bottom of the legs soon got worn away by moving the seats about on the lawn and the patio so letting moisture into the wood. As soon as I covered the bottom of the legs with 5mm of polyester resin the legs were permanently waterproof. This has proven to be such a good method I would recommend building up new wood by 5mm before garden seats are put into use to prevent the initial rotting. However I am not sure if the oily nature of wood like teak would prevent the polyester resin from adhering.

WordPress Fatal Error Out of Memory

How I Resolved ‘Fatal Error Out of Memory‘ For A Single Post

After much editing  of my WordPress post entitled ‘How A Toilet Silent Fill Valve Works‘ , since I wrote it in May 2014, (there must have been at least 150 edits, and I changed it from a page to a post too) I suddenly had this ‘Fatal Error Out of Memory’ script on the WordPress White Screen of Death when I tried to edit it:

Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 54001664) (tried to allocate 49253 bytes) in /homepages/22/d382273723/htdocs/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1380

I downloaded the file . . . /wp-db.php and loaded it into a php editor to examine line 1380.

The PHP editor I used was Code Lobster. You can see here the offending line 1380 in the public function flush():

fatal error out of memory
Exert from wp-db.php

It was a large post with several images and many links to anchors in the same post. It also linked to another post in my blog. Fortunately the page displayed OK in a browser, so people viewing my blog could see it allowing me to leave it in that state for a few weeks. However I did want to edit it, so I needed to fix the problem. I didn’t know how to resolve the problem, which was only affecting this one post, by editing the php file, so I resolved my problem in the following way. I chose to re-write the post and throw the old one in the bin.

Fortunately I could use Quick Edit Which allowed me to change the Title, Slug and change from Published to Draft. It also allowed me to make a note of the date and time the original was published. I could then edit the date and time when I published the new draft.

NOTE: I was using WP 4.2.2 and the Twenty Fourteen theme modified.

My Method For Re-writing The Post

I began the re-write with a new draft using a different title to the original. I just missed a word out of the original title and made sure it was missed out of the permalink too. I then highlighted all of the old post in my browser and copied it. I then pasted that into Windows Notepad. That got rid of the images, links and formatting leaving me with plain text. The text did include image captions which ultimately had to be deleted, but they reminded me where to insert the images. I then copied all the text from Notepad and pasted it into the new draft. Then I spent the rest of the day editing (mostly reformatting) all the text, headings, etc., and re-inserting the images, anchors, links, and SEO Focus Keyword and Meta Description. (I use SEO by Yoast.)

When I was happy that the new post links worked OK, by previewing the draft, I changed the title and slug (permalink) of the original faulty post using Quick Edit by just removing a word from the title and slug (not the same word that I removed in the draft) keeping the title different from the draft. That took the original post out of service. Then I edited the draft title and permalink to make them identical to the original post, as it was originally, and Published it. That made the new post I had drafted active so it would appear on my site in place of the original. Then I edited the published date and time to back date it to the original date else it would be younger than its comments.

I then used a plugin I already had installed entitled ‘Tako Movable Comments‘ to move all the comments from the original faulty post to the new one I had created. Then I used Quick Edit again on the original faulty post to change it from Published to Draft to take it out of the public domain but leave it available for me to carry out further tests on it and copy the error to enable writing of this post.

Since I fixed my post I have found this post in the Beginners Guide To WordPress which could help anyone encountering the WordPress White Screen of Death.

Postures And Movements Requiring Agility


As people grow older they often lose their agility and so lose their ability to take up certain postures and movements requiring agility. This article offers a list of postures and movements requiring agility which I have concocted and tried. I would expect these postures and movements requiring agility to be easily formed by healthy young people under the age of thirty, but not by older people over sixty, for example, unless they do exercises to maintain their flexibility.


Obviously I don’t want anyone to hurt themselves by trying to form these postures and movements requiring agility. So anyone trying to form them must be careful if they haven’t moved their body in these ways for a long time. In particular postures and movements which involve bending or twisting the back.

Anyone should take medical advice if they think any of these postures and movements requiring agility might endanger them, or if they are concerned that they can’t get into a particular posture. Being over weight could be a hindrance. I welcome comments from anyone advised not to attempt particular postures and movements by a medical professional, physiotherapist, etc . My postures and movements list is based on what I think a healthy person below the age of thirty years could easily do.

Everyone  should be careful that they don’t fall over while moving in these ways. They should practice the postures and movements, which should be possible to form without holding on to anything, by actually holding on to something – so that they don’t lose their balance.

helpfulcolin.comMany older people cannot get up from the floor from a prone1 or supine2 position under any circumstances due to infirmities, particularly when they can’t bend their knees to an acute angle (less than a right angle – 90°). So for anyone in this category they shouldn’t even try to get down on the floor.

The List Of Postures and Movements Requiring Agility

Below are the postures and movements I think a person should be able to form below the age of thirty years and beyond if they maintain good health and the correct weight. They are:

  1. From a sitting or supine2 position touch their nose with their knees. Pulling the knee towards the face is allowed. See featured image.
  2. Look directly at and make close inspection of the soles of their feet by pulling each foot up until it rests on their other thigh.
  3. Put either hand over their shoulder and touch or pull on the fingers of their other hand when they put it up their back.
  4. Jump up in the air so that both feet leave the ground by at least 30cm (1 foot). Check available headroom.
  5. Kneel down and stand up without using their hands to hold on to anything.
  6. Touch the floor with their nose while kneeling with their hands on the floor for support.
  7. Crouch/squat with feet flat on the floor and their hands free. Arms can be stretched forward to maintain balance while touching their heels on the floor.
  8. Lie on the floor in a prone1 (prostrate1) (face down) position and get up unaided without rolling over or holding onto a support (hands or knuckles can be placed on the floor).
  9. Lie on the floor in a supine2 (face up) position and get up unaided without rolling over or holding onto a support (hands or knuckles can be placed on the floor).
  10. Stand facing away from a window, or mirror, and without moving their feet turn SLOWLY to look straight out of the window, or into the mirror, by twisting their body to the left and then to the right. NOTE of CAUTION: Twisting rapidly will give the torso harmful momentum which may twist the back too far.
  11. helpfulcolin.comFinally I have decided to add running. I am not suggesting anyone go running a marathon or trying to sprint like Usain Bolt, though they might be healthy things to do. I just suggest an attempt to run for as little as ten or twenty metres. This is because some people have not run for years and therefore have not practiced the action. I think they need to be able to make those movements which involve moving their arms in sync with their legs and get both feet to leave the ground at the same time.

NOTE: I have not included bending over and touching toes with straight legs since bending the back is not a good thing to do at any age. When the back is straightened from a bent over position the back muscles have to lift the weight of the head and the upper torso. (Remember packages and other heavy weights should be lifted by bending the knees and keeping the back straight. Lifting advice from the British NHS.)

Who Should Make Postures and Movements Requiring Agility?

Although I think it will be good for older people who have lost agility to try some of these postures and movements to improve themselves, this article is just as important for younger people who have no problem forming these postures and movements. Younger people need to remember this article and keep their agility throughout their lives. If they continue to form these and similar postures and movements as they are age they will probably be maintaining healthy bodies. Good luck to all those who take heed.

Here is an article on body posture for those interested.

Perhaps readers have postures and movements of their own to add to this list. Comments are welcome.


  1. Prone or prostrate – lying on the floor face down.
  2. Supine – lying on the floor face up.

Bionic Prosthetic Hand Suited To The 21st Century

bionic prosthetic handI listened to the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show on 23rd June and heard a great article about a young woman who had been given a bionic prosthetic hand suited to the 21st century. Her name is Nicky Ashwell and here she is in the following video tweet being interviewed by Jeremy Vine who went on to receive this bebionic logo handshake.

Note: The embedded video below is not of the same quality as the one seen in the original tweet direct from twitter here.

More Information About The Bionic Prosthetic Hand

In the featured image, taken by Alex Lentati (@alexlentati), you can see Nicky delicately handling a flower with her bebionic logo hand.

Today I have found another article about Nicky and her ‘bebionic’ hand through twitter at Gizmag.

Below you can see a video demonstrating the various grips this hand, made by The Steeper Group, can perform.

Magnetic Levitation Using Superconductors

Magnetic Levitation Is Demonstrated Well In This Video

Apart from demonstrating magnetic levitation, using a superconducting magnet levitating above and below a Möbius strip track plastered in neodymium magnets, this Royal Institution (Ri) video also gives a good demonstration of eddy current generation in a copper pipe when a bar magnet is dropped through it.

If you didn’t catch it in the video the little superconducting magnet is made from yttrium, barium and copper oxide (YBCO) and is super cooled using liquid nitrogen.

See more Ri videos here.

Using A Bread Maker – Panasonic SD206


I made this video of myself using a bread maker (Panasonic SD206) in 2001 but had no means of publishing it back then. So I have decided to publish it now so that the effort wasn’t completely wasted.

I hope it helps people who are considering getting a bread maker but are not sure how one is used in practice. Continue reading Using A Bread Maker – Panasonic SD206

Connection Points For Kitchen Appliances


Everyone has to design their kitchen or utility room to suite their circumstances but when my kitchen came up for renewal in 2003 I made specific use of the considerable space behind my pan drawers. I discarded my pan drawer carcase back panel and brought together many of my connection points for kitchen appliances onto this large area of wall space behind the drawers, as shown in the featured image. Continue reading Connection Points For Kitchen Appliances

Giving A Dog A Tablet

DISCLAIMER: I made a unilateral decision to administer tablets to my dog by this method and he did not come to any harm. Before attempting what I have done here you should consult your veterinary for advice. I take no responsibility for any harm caused to other animals by using this method. If you don’t like it don’t do it.


giving a dog a tablet
A Worming Tablet

If you have ever tried to give medicine to an animal you’ll appreciate how hard it can be giving a dog a pill or tablet. Our dog Leo (a Border Collie) is required to take two worming tablets every three months. These are large as tablets go. Large enough to be shaped like a bone. My wife offered one to him. He sniffed it and walked away.

Why aren’t they supplied inside some meaty treat to encourage a dog to just woof them down?

Continue reading Giving A Dog A Tablet

From investigation and reason comes understanding.