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Ted Salmon
Ted's Salmagundi
Ted's Salmagundi


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There's a down-side to paying Viking or Staples £30 for an office chair. Firstly, the arms break off when you lean on them too much, then the poxy things start sinking, the hydraulic thingie giving way, slowly but surely - and every time it's sat on it goes down to the lowest setting.

Now, I accept that I'm a heavy bloke and probably in excess of the weight limits on the chair, but even so, I wanted to get a bit more life out of it before spending another £30!

Anyway, I found a fix. A DIY fix. Get a Jubilee Clip (about 2") put it round the pole at the lowest point when it's at the highest point, if you see what I mean, tighten it up as far as it'll go (for good measure put some very strong sticky industrial tape round and round it) and Fanny's your aunt! Seems to hold it nice and firmly, with the person's weight then digging the clip into the plastic below, making it even less likely to give way or move.

Seems to have done the trick so far for a couple of quid (though this photo was taking during the operation, not at the end when at the lowest point). No guarantees from me of course, just might be worth a try. Don't come to me with your hospital bill!

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Here's one we got in recently to help elders around the place with deteriorating eyesight. And it works a treat.

Does pretty much what it says on the tin, really. It's got a goose-neck for limitless positioning, a good clamp which firmly clutches the desk, a 107mm main glass with 2.5x magnification and embedded into that, a circular 24mm section with 5x magnification for serious close-ups.

A thousand and one uses of course, not just for those with failing eyesight but also hobbyists and people who work with small screws or repairing glasses, fitting tiny batteries and the like. The 'head' of the unit is plastic and the rest metal. Probably won't last forever but it feels sturdy enough for a good while.

This model also has an LED lamp built-in which takes 2 x AAA batteries. Batteries seem to last well - on one occasion a user here left it on for 6 hours accidentally and it still works fine! This lighting genuinely helps to see things in all-but broad daylight.

It's not a big plate-style book-reader, as putting a book behind it does mean moving it around quite a lot but for general desk use, it's a peach! A tenner at AmazonUK and you can't go wrong (

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This is a nifty little simple solution. Speaks for itself really, I guess. Hang it from something and peg your socks (or other smalls) to it to get them dry in a suitable place, like an awning or conservatory, away from monsoon rainfall or waterfalls!

The unit just hangs from wherever you can hang it, has 20 pegs (though I'm sure there are other sizes), is made of sturdy-enough plastic and costs £4 at AmazonUK (

You can flat-pack it for travelling and it certainly would be a smart addition for the kit of a caravanner or motorhomer. What's not to like?!

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Can't seem to get Google Assistant to speak in UK English on this phone, which is rapidly losing favour with me after the Personal Dictionary in Gboard not syncing.
As you can see, all the settings are right.
Any suggestions anyone please?
3 Photos - View album

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This 2004 outing really wasn’t my kind of film, but as it was recommended I thought I’d have a go. I feel like I need my 99p back!

Problems include the annoying hand-held camera-work, the irritating editing technique of flashing lights, leaping between camera viewpoints rapidly, inserting text across the screen reflecting the dialogue (even when spoken in English), the hour-long trudge before anything happens, the following hour’s 'Action Man' clap-trap (which will no doubt appeal to teenage boys who love Bruce Willis), the flick-chick undertones of luvvie-duvvie involvement of a child in peril etc. You get the idea that I wasted an hour and a half!

The story is about a culture in Mexico where rich people have to hire minders, as kidnapping is so common and the gangs ruthlessly deal with victims and families with whom they engage. A washed-up ex-CIA superman is engaged by a family to protect their child, who subsequently gets kidnapped and he goes out to seek revenge (as he, by that time, has fallen so much for her sickly sweetness and words of love for him in her diary that has to go and put the world right in her honour)!

The 'flick-chick/Action Man sandwich' is just annoyingly sycophantic and overly guey, as far too long is spent setting the scene and background, focusing on the depressed alcoholic minder, the brat who tries, successfully (of course) to change him into a lovable gorgeous human being and the Mexican landscape of corruption and nasty people.

Then it's time for our hero to leap into action, ludicrously taking on hundreds of armed baddies around him, defeating them en-masse, in the same way as any Bruce Lee or all-action hero might. The level of his command over everyone and everything around him is absurd and will only appeal to those who can really remove themselves from any level of reality.

As we close the other side of the sandwich, eyes-raised and vomit-bowl to hand, we have to witness the soppy ending and storyline delivery designed to pull at heart-strings. It’s just a lot of rubbish and unless you can remove yourself from the storyline and direction and focus on the performances, you should give it a miss.

Denzel Washington is not very convincing as an all-action hero, I don’t think, but he’ll appeal to the teen boys and girls no doubt. Cutting through all the above there are some very good actors here demonstrating what they can do. Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Sleepy Hollow) steals every scene (not very many) in which he’s present. He’s a fine actor and can turn his hand to many different roles. Dakota Fanning (Oceans 8, War of the Worlds, The Alienist) performs quite excellently as the brat. As a child actor she really had something extra and it certainly came out here, even though she was given such a sickly sweet thing to do.

The mother was played also excellently by Neighbours' girl Radha Mitchell (Finding Neverland, Melinda and Melinda, Olympus Has Fallen) though she, too, didn’t have much screen-time, giving it up to Washington. The Italian actor who featured in Hannibal and a couple of Bond films recently, Giancarlo Giannini, played his usual part - and he does it very well, the grizzled hard-smoking cop shot stylishly in smoke-filled rooms, Mickey Rourke goes largely unnoticed and there’s supporting work from a range of other people, good and bad.

Although I slated the editing earlier, in actual fact some of the photography has been shot very well - I think it was at the editing stage and fancy effects that it fell apart. Leave directors alone! When they're not trying to be too clever for their own good, there’s some good use of focus and long-shots depicting the setting of inner-city Mexico interestingly.

As I said earlier, you really need to be in the target audience for this kind of tripe or be able to remove yourself to look at the various aspects of performance, direction, setting and production to keep from tutting, sighing and laughing to yourself at the absurdity! Otherwise, go enjoy!

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Cracking little phone, see my review below. This is my 3rd! But I have the XZ2 now, so time to move it along. Especially cracking price to you, too, at £169. Boxed. Mint. AmazonUK stock. Single SIM UK model in black. Gmail tedsalmon please.

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Poxy back's gone again! Must stop loafing around so much and then expect the human body to do what is expected of it :-(
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