Easy Amazon Alexa and Sony SRS-XB22 Setup.

26 12 2019

Let me just start by saying that I know many of you are not that tech savvy, and that’s ok. You might make beautiful cakes, or never get lost while driving, we’ve all got our own set of skills.

And some of this stuff can be pretty frustrating for me too.

Around November I bought myself some Sony SRS-XB22 bluetooth speakers, and have been enjoying listening to Spotify, in STEREO.

Yes, if you buy two of these speakers, they link together via bluetooth and provide music in Stereo.

However the initial setup is a bit of a pain, and sometimes they forget how they were setup, forcing you to start again.

So I sigh and launch the Sony app again and mess around with it for a minute, and it’s all good.

Current tech is amazing, but it’s not perfect and will have the odd glitch from time to time.

Now to get to Spotify they had to be connected to something, and I was using my Android tablet for it. It worked very well and I was happy.

But a few days ago I came home from shopping with an Alexa dot, and began to hear talk about connecting bluetooth speakers to that.

If that could happen then it would make playing my music so much easier, but no matter how I tried, it failed to connect.

Further reading revealed that the speakers *remembered* my tablet, and this meant the Alexa was effectively locked out.

Firstly, if your speakers are straight out the box, you’re fine, they should pair to Alexa easily, but if you’ve been using them with something else, here’s how to untangle the knot.

Choose one speaker to function as the main speaker, mine is the right speaker.

On the RIGHT speaker, hold down the power button until the blue light begins to pulse frantically, this usually happens after the speaker tells you about how much power it has left.

If it’s blinking like mad, as opposed to a gentler beat which it settles into later, you’re good.

Turn on the LEFT speaker with a quick press, no need to hold.

Open the flap on the back of the RIGHT speaker and press the Add Speaker button.

Then open the flap of the LEFT speaker and press Add Speaker.

I think at this point the Speakers announce that they are in double mode.

Go back to the RIGHT speaker and hold the Add Speaker button for a few seconds, the speakers should now announce that they are now operating as Left and Right.

Now open your Alexa app.

On the bottom right you should see an icon called DEVICES, hit that.

On the next page you will see an icon with three dots called ALL DEVICES, choose that.

On the ALL DEVICES page, click the + sign on the top right.

You should see ADD STEREO PAIR / SUBWOOFER

Choose that, choose your SRS-XB32 Speakers on the list.

One last thing to do before music comes out of your speakers is to choose which speaker, or speakers your music comes out of.

Click the All Devices icon again in the lower right, and click on your Echo Dot.

All your settings where you choose your speakers are located there.

I hope that works for you, cheers.





Aunt Lea reveals everything.

23 03 2019

If you don’t mind, I’d like to skip ahead, just for a while.
Aunt Lea never lied to Mum, for she understood that she would have to reveal secrets to my Mother, which would be difficult to believe.

When she got a phonecall from my distressed Mother when I was fourteen, she made the trip down to our place and explained everything as gently as she could. 
At first my Mother had thought Aunt Lea had gone off her scone, yet upon reflection, all the hints that something was occuring, fell into place.
I had been at high school, and had had what I’d considered to be something of a normal day, when sometime after lunch, while sitting in class, I got what I thought was the worst cramp in my arm that I’d ever had, then I had another in the leg.
I fell to the floor writhing in pain.
Our English teacher came to my aid and tried to help.
The boys thought I’d thrown on an act, not that I ever had, but then someone gasped and said something about my leg. Apparently the muscle was going through some almost unnatural gymnastics. I heard that one of the girls fainted, but whether it was true, I don’t recall.
Just when I thought it was stopping, my right arm decided to join in.
Around this time I blacked out, and when I came to, I had a mask on and a couple of ambos were staring down at me.
By this time I was no longer in any pain as they’d given me something to calm it down.
The class was deathly silent, I was rolled onto a stretcher and taken on a ride to hospital. Somehow they’d managed to take me to the right hospital, the one where Mum worked as a Pediatric Nurse. She was beside me when I woke up in hospital. The Doctors gave me a once over, but nothing seemed out of place. 

Mum’s stoic expression was betrayed only by her shaking hand.
“Are you alright?” Her eyes searching for an answer in mine.
“I’m not sure” I said, mostly concerned with finding myself in hospital. “What happened?”
“The doctor thinks that you may have had a seizure” she whispered to me “but we don’t know yet”.
“What’s wrong?” Said my Dad who’d just walked in, out of breath, as though he’d run all the way here.
His face was covered in sweat, he hovered over me, examining me as Mum had “You alright mate?”.
“Yeah I’m fine, how are you?” 
Mum left the room and walked to a waiting room where she took a seat, and allowed herself to be a Mother, all the emotions she’d stifled floated gently to the surface. 
Dad kissed me on the forehead and left the room to find Mum.
The clock said 3:30pm, How long had I been out? 

I noticed that I still had my grey school shirt on, but someone had undone the buttons. As I did them up, I wondered why they didn’t just cut my shirt off entirely, I hated my school uniform.

In the corridor I saw doctors and nurses rushing past, cleaners with buckets and mops, and staff pushing trolleys and x-ray machines. Now and then there was an anxious visitor looking for a patient who’d pop their head in.

I was in a room all by myself, though another bed laid vacant near the window. The TV was off, and I couldn’t get it to work via the control next to my bed, but the radio worked, so that was something.

My fingers didn’t work properly, they felt stiff.

A short while later I got a visit from My Sister, who had been at Uni, when Mum phoned her to tell her the news, She had told Mum that she’d visit me in hospital once classes were over. Apparently Mum had taken today fairly hard, another nurse offered to take her shift but she’d refused thinking that if she kept working, the floodgates would remain closed.

Jan seemed satisfied that I was out of any danger, gave me a peck on the forehead and left.

Minutes later a food trolley appeared, steered effortlessly into my room by a charming and attractive French Woman. She offered chicken sandwiches and an orange juice, or rather bad, but hot, hospital tucker.

I had almost finished when the doctor came to see me, he told me that he’d like me to stay for observation though nothing had been found to cause the ordeal. He asked me if I’d come into contact with anything odd, possibly in science class?

But I had not.

I wanted to go home, and as Mum was a nurse, he felt it’d be ok.

So about twenty minutes later, Mum and Dad appeared.

Although the hospital was close, it had taken Dad more than ten minutes to find a parking spot, he was still grumbling about it.

I had to be helped out of bed, and into a wheelchair. I didn’t think I’d feel so bad to be honest, but my knees wouldn’t bend and I still had a sore muscle down the leg which had cramped, though my arm was just a bit stiff.

Mum wrapped a dressing gown around me and off we went down the corridor, out of the hospital doors and into the cold night.

I think we had the Commodore back then, it was a beige car.
Once home, I found my bedroom was spotless, whenever Mum is worried about something, she cleans, cooks or both. My bed was immaculate, sheets and blankets tucked in to perfection. My old Platypus reclined on the doona.

Laddie, my Shepherd cross, wanted to jump all over me, but sensed something was wrong, and restrained his enthusiasm. I received a rub around the legs and a lick.

When Dad called him for a walk, he bounded off happily.

I wondered what had gone on between Mum and Dad.

Dad tended to be the quiet one, he’d listen to Mum and whatever she decided was usually considered to be the final word. Dad needed decisions made for him, he tended to feel troubled and procrastinated if left to his own devices.

I hope I’m not painting Mum as some sort of dictator either, She often used Dad as a sounding board.

I had the feeling that my Dad needed some time to think on his own.

After a hot shower I felt much better, I had regained more movement, and getting into my pyjamas was relatively easy.

I sat at our round kitchen table and was presented with Mum’s home made soup, vegetable with a lamb shank in it, which Laddie would get, though My Dad would feel like crying over not getting it himself, not that he wasn’t fed well.

I poured some Worcestershire sauce into it, and found it hot and good.

Mum sat down to her own bowl of soup and said “I rang Aunt Lea earlier, She said she’s coming straight down.”

I thought of all the strange things I’d seen at her place, things I hadn’t mentioned to Mum. I’d been scared that if I did, then Mum may have dumped her, and I wouldn’t have seen her again. 

Maybe I’d finally get to know.





A little gardening.

26 10 2018

You know when you go into a garden shop and look at all the packs of seeds?

Well, there’s a problem with them, not for the pro, but for the novice gardener who plans to strew the seeds in their garden and hope for the best.

The packs only show what the adult plant looks like, but not the seedling.

So a few weeks after scattering the seeds, the novice decides it’s time to do some more weeding as there’s lots of strange bits of green coming up, they rip it all out and wonder why they never have flowers.

Wolfie Rankin.





The God Head

13 10 2018

There’s a story about an American Man who was beaten by some thugs one night, and woke after days in hospital to find that he saw the beauty in complex equations, which previously, he had no no understanding.

Then the other, who I only vaguely recall, who was in a car accident, then later discovered that he had an ability to turn wood into incredible works of art.

I feel that I have something which might be like that.

I’m not sure how to classify Wolfie, initially I thought he was a spirit and sought some indication from Native American religions, though I didn’t go too deeply into it.

But these days I think he is more of a higher level of consciousness.

Wise and ancient, and all the little clich├Ęs, the core of Wolfie sits in his temple like a Hindu God, at least that’s how I see him, at least the truest form of what he is. 

Reflective, thoughtful, careful, patient, cheeky.

While I am liable to rush into something, Wolfie suggests in his own gentle way that perhaps I ought to relax and put more thought into it first. He’s very often right, I have saved myself time and money in taking his councel.

I know Wolfie is me, but there’s a problem, I feel that there is a separation between us which prevents me from reaching my full potential, some sort of barrier in my mind which I can neither identify, nor cross.

Years ago a musician, after hearing my story, suggested mushrooms, the kind not sold at Coles. He thought that a trip might connect the dots. While intrigued, nothing came of it. There is a frightening element to it, I’ve never taken drugs and I’ve never been drunk.

And yet, I still think about it, what if it’s the light at the end of the tunnel?

Hypnosis is another consideration, would it help me connect without the use of drugs, can I even be hypnotised anyway?

Once in a while I’ve had dreams where I felt close to getting somewhere, only for the dream to change, or me to wake too soon.

Somewhere in my head I am chained up, and it manifests in my life, where I am stuck at home, in this life, unable to take the road out of here.

But how I’ll get from here to there, I don’t know.

Wolfie Rankin.





Still shy, but not as shy as I used to be.

25 09 2018

Trust me when I say that you can talk to anyone, or at least try.

As a kid, I wouldn’t have said boo to anyone I admired, I would have dearly loved to ask questions, to be involved in the conversation, but would worry about what others would think if I spoke up.

What I realised later is that we’re all people, and we’ve all been through shit. Regardless of whatever it is that we’re known for.

I have a friend called Jenny who’s heavily involved in the Doctor Who fandom, although she’s very shy, and openly admits to it, She is dearly loved by the community and cast members alike, and has the potential in herself to manage a convention if the opportunity arose.

OK, I confess that it’s much harder in person than online, but we can still be a bit shy online too, especially when it comes to those we admire.

Nile Rodgers once wrote back and told me that he enjoys chatting to me as I always talk straight with him, which really is the secret. Talk about things we have in common. 

We all have things in common, most of us have pets, most of us have bodies which do weird things, we all have shared interests.

Open yourself up to talking about those things, as long as it’s a kind and respectful thought, you have nothing to lose.

Wolfie Rankin





Figuring it out.

24 09 2018

I often use this blog as a way of figuring things out, and I suppose I could forget too.

When I was still doing radio, as in being a DJ at our local station, I was aware that I was not as healthy as I used to be.

I was frequently tired, and a lot of food didn’t sit well once eaten.

Mum had once found a shop where the owner made fresh chicken and pasta salad, she bought some for me and it didn’t react poorly, so I tried to get it as much as I could after that.

It occurs to me that the auto immune disease I didn’t know I had was playing havoc with me all the way back then, and possibly even as early as my days at high school.

There were often these unexplainable off days.

I began having panic attacks, but now I think part if what was going on was I felt sick, thought I was going to pass out, and was frightened by it so would begin to panic. but that wasn’t always it either, there were places where I simply couldn’t go.

To this day, trains are still something I cannot deal with, and yet I used to love train travel.

So, I was treated for agoraphobia, fear of being out in the open. But the drugs just made me sleepy.

I spent about two straight years inside my house, it was frustrating, I couldn’t help Mum with the shopping, I couldn’t drive, I was stuck.

When I recovered I went to the hairdresser who was surprised at the length of my hair, and clipped it off for me.

I needed to be with one of my parents at all times, Marko was great support too. Later I found that if I was with my dog, he or she was enough.

After Dad died we couldn’t shop for anything other than food, as we couldn’t get to shops that sold clothing, so we made do for years.

On the few occasions Marko visited, we went places where I could get a few items, and that helped a lot.

When Mum died, my Sister and Cousin came and helped me clean up. Marko came too.

Jan and Yvonne took my laundry and washed it, and joked about the holes in my singlets which were really only good as rags, oddly I had not noticed.

Not long after, the local Coles began to sell Singlets, Socks and Undies, so finally I could replenish my supply. I don’t want to be that low on clothes again, so every time they’re on special, I grab something.

I had become aware of shopping online, but could not buy anything as I lacked a credit card, and credit card companies would not let me have one.

Then a friend told me about debit cards, I got one, and could finally order things that way.

And yet, didn’t buy clothes!

I suppose I didn’t know much about local shops having websites where I could order things.

But lately have been buying clothes like mad, perhaps in one way fearful of going back to wearing things which were almost completely worn out.

Mum used to dress me well, and I’ve missed having good clothes, I’ve missed looking as good as I did back then.





Pondering

19 09 2018

So, Why does society sometimes hate gay people?

Who taught society that being gay was a perversion?

What’s wrong with consensual sex anyway?

Tom’s considered a good lad, works hard, goes to Church on Sunday. Drops a gold coin in the collection plate. So does Mary, who Tom fancies. 

The two marry, they have two kids, the kids put two gold coins in the collection plate, as do the neighbours kids, and all the others.

It’s nice to get all that money.

Probably good to protect that income by scaring people into thinking that anything other than straight sex is wrong, that people are perverted, create laws against it, brand gays as criminals.

I think it was a plan that worked back in the 50s, but probably not as much now, at least I’d like to think so.

But I know the poisoned meme is still floating about.





Manners

5 09 2018

You know how you have a plant, let’s assume it’s Strawberry for arguments sake.

Now you could call the plant by it’s common name: Strawberry, or if you’re so inclined, you could go a bit fancy and call it by its botanical name, which happens to be Fragaria Ananassa.

Likewise you can have Manners or if you want to be fancy, Political Correctness.

And so I ask, What’s wrong with Manners?

If you see a bloke coming towards you, you say hello, you might even stop for a chat. If you don’t like them then you go about your business, if you do then you’ve made a friend, which is a win in my book.

No need to be nasty, ruins the day.

So when people say they’re against the PC brigade, I truly wonder why they want to wallow in misery when their lives could be loads better, brighter, much more cheerful?

Peace to you all, have a nice day.





In the pink.

2 09 2018

My desire for a pair of jeans which were not the usual colours, was thwarted. When I found two wonderful pairs at ASOS, which had sold out.

The first, Tommy 90s jeans in yellow, which I thought looked brilliant, had almost completely been snapped up, and my size was completely out of stock.

The second, Weekday jeans in pink. A similar story.

It makes me wonder if others are crying out for jeans in better colours.

However, for two weeks or more I routinely logged in and had a look, in case the shop had been restocked. Then finally, one Sunday evening, I was surprised to find that ASOS had one pair of the pink Weekday jeans.

I grabbed those pants (not by the pussy).

Well, They fit wonderfully. They are a loose fitting style, so they’re very comfortable to wear. I’m not fond of skinny jeans, I prefer a bit of leg room.

But the colour is strange, under most lighting they almost look like a light golden yellow, but they are pink. I’ve had to look a few times just to be sure. But either colour is welcome and I like the novelty of it.

Unlike purely white jeans, they had a softer, warmer and more cheerful look to them, I wore them with a pink jumper and white denim jacket. I must’ve stood out like a lighthouse when I went shopping earlier today.

Now Women complain about lack of pockets, but is it just me or are Men’s pockets not as deep as they used to be? I’d like something that could swallow my phone, is that too much to ask? Though happily the inside pocket of my jacket took care of that much.

Difficult to come by now, but a few remain in specific sizes of both jeans, so you might be lucky.

Sadly I cannot review the Tommy Jeans, but I’m very pleased with these.

Pictured:

Tommy Jeans 90s Straight Fit Jeans in Lemon Meringue.

Weekday Vacant Loose Fit Rigid Jeans in Pink Wash.





That Q Theory. #StarTrek

24 08 2018

We’re all Q, all of us.

This is where the Baby Q (I couldn’t eat a whole one) hang out in our own dull, mortal continuum, and learn the basics of existence.

When we “die” we shed our hideous larval form and go on our way to meet The Big Q Daddy in the sky.

It’s up to it, not he, whatever does an entity want with sex? To decide if you’re naughty or nice. And once decided, you’re shunted off to a suitable continuum where you can develop into that wondrous, fully adult Q of your dreams.

And that’s how it all works.

Of course you don’t believe me, but see if I care. 

I’m off to file my nails.