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Latest News and Blog Posts from Wayne “Pendragon” Owens.

Customers get Stupider

Every so often I like to dip my toe into the world of IT Support, to remind myself how glad I am that I do not work in that field.

I recently checked the support departments ticketing system and spotted someone with email issues. I checked into the issue and found the following.

Company has two domains, one with us and one with someone else. Now one person at that company is trying to send emails from Domain 1 (Not with us) using Domain 2 (with us) domain servers.  I let them know, and sat back happy to have done my good dead for the year.

Only the Company did not understand, so emailed back asking for more information, I explained again using smaller words. They still did not understand, so they got their IT company to contact us. (I get to play now). Now their IT person simply demanded that we reset everything how it used to be when it just worked.

I explained that nothing had changed our end, we do not support their email client setup, and again stated what the error was.  This confused their IT person who then over 12 emails kept stating he understood but there was an email issue now that did not used to exist, so I needed to reset it back to how it used to be.

I looked up the IT guy, and he worked for an actual IT Company that advertises that they are experts in all fields of IT, and especially in cyber attacks, fighting off hackers, recovery from hacks, everything. So I tried again and used really small words. that the customer was sending emails from a domain we have nothing to do with through our servers which does not work. They need to send emails from the server associated with their domain. I then spent the next half hour laughing loudly when this super qualified IT expert responded.

“To clarify my customer does not have to use an email server as they using 365”

I had to explain to an IT expert that 365 setup on outlook still uses servers, Microsoft email servers. And if they send the emails with the Microsoft 365 servers, and not ours then the emails will work.

Do modern day IT experts get their knowledge and qualifications in the bottom of a cereal box, like we older ones got our Cap’n Crunch whistles?

Visiting the Ghost of Mold Lodge

Sometimes fate has a weird fit with the people under her influence. It is like she gets bored, and decided to roll the dice foe who she will play with to entertain herself.

Let my try and explain the strange set of circumstances that led me to take someone to visit to a Ghost.

Wrexhamian Lodge’s newest Master Mason has recently read the interesting book “Masonic Halls of North Wales” by Reverend Cryer, and has a list of Masonic Hall’s that he would love to visit. He happened to mention that Mold Hall was one of the ones he really wanted to see, so I promised to take him one day.

After reading that book, he had started working through the works of Robert Lomas, who according to the said Master Mason was sadly no longer with us, due to his untimely death. This came as a great shock to both me, and Robert when I commiserated with him over his death. Robert did wonder if that meant he no longer had to pay taxes, but we do not think the government would accept that as an excuse.

Now last week, Robert had invited me to visit Mold Lodge to see the third degree ceremony, of a candidate that I was there for his first. I of course agreed to attend, and then suggested that I bring Wrexhamian’s latest Master Mason along with me for 3 reasons.

  1. He can see a third.
  2. He can visit Mold hall and take it off his bucket list.
  3. He could meet the ghost of Robert Lomas.

I do sometimes wonder if I should consider therapy. Anyway it was a great evening all around, and a fitting way to celebrate the death of Dr Lomas, who is still complaining like GlaDOS that he is “Still alive”

BBW – Llandyrnog Village Coffee Morning

This morning Hugh, Nev, Clive and myself all popped along to the Llandyrnog Village Coffee Morning.

While there we drank coffee (Well it was in the name of the event), ate biscuits, and gave a presentation on Blood Bikes Wales to the people in attendance. We also answered loads of questions, and let people take photographs with the Blood Bikes.

I also won a cake in the raffle, which is the first time I have won any raffle in a very long time.

At the end of the event, they presented us with £460.95 which was raised on the day.

After dropping off the Bikes and equipment on the way home, we decided to stop off an have a pint, and chat about the event.

While there we decided to go visit a Rose Croix meeting, that we had never visited since a call for support came out via email while we were in the pub. So a good aday all around.

Blood Bikes Wales

Blood Bikes Wales is a charity that transports blood, plasma, platelets, samples, vaccines, donor breast-milk & any other urgently required medical items to hospitals at night, weekends and bank holidays. This service is provided completely free of charge, allowing the NHS to divert funds where they are needed most.

Our riders are a hardy bunch that operate in all but the very worst weather.

A Talk at Wrexhamian Chapter – The Missing Word on the Plate of Gold

​This evening I attended Wrexhamian Royal Arch Chapter at the Maesgwyn Hall, to give a talk.

The Chapter had nothing planned for the evening, so Scribe Ezra contacted me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I could arrange something for the evening. I of course said yes, since we should all be getting a daily advancement in Masonic Knowledge. I asked if they had anything in particular that they would like a talk on, and I was informed it was my choice.

I considered multiple options for a topic, before discussing it with the Sunday Evening Beer club, and finally settling for “The Missing Word on the Plate of Gold”.

The talk was about what used to be on the plate of gold, and the meaning and symbolism behind it all, and when it changed to what we have today, and more importantly, why it had to change.

The first and last. 300 Years of the BoC

This morning I popped along to the Rhyl Masonic Hall to attend the meeting of the North Wales Lodge of Provincial Grand Stewards No 8865.

Last year was the 300th year anniversary of the Book of Constitutions, and every Province was asked to do something special to mark the event. Our Province got the North Wales Association of Masonic Study to create a presentation, and give it across the Province at every Installed Masters Lodge, The Stewards, and Grand Lodges, and the IPZ Chapter.

I arranged the year to start at a meeting of the Maesgwyn Lodge of Installed Masters, and I was here there today for the last presentation to a Lodge. It has been a good years run, and the talk will stay in the NWAMS’s archive and will be available to be given at normal lodges going forward.

So if anyone in North Wales would like to hear the talk, get in touch with the NWAMS and invite a speaker along to your event.

2023: Year in Review

I used to end the year with the “The Year that was XXXX” meme post.

I have not copied those posts over to this blog yet, and am unsure if I will, (I probably will when I get this place fully updated). 

But I did want to do some sort of look back over the year post, since this last year I got this site live(ish), I had a lot of fun giving talks, visiting lodges, promoting Blood Bikes, getting myself a speakers profile. Basically 2023 was a good year and I wanted to mark its ending in some way.

Writing

2023 was a fantastic year in relation to writing.

I finished writing a talk “The True Masonic Church” and even presented it several times.

My book “Widows Sons – Outlaw Bikers or Masonic Ambassadors” was the best selling masonic book in both the UK and USA on two different occasions. Ok, It was only an Amazon bestseller, but I am still proud.

The first of the NWAMS books that I am redoing is almost finished and should be released early 2024.

Masonry

My Masonic year of 2023 was an interesting one. At the start of the year I installed my last successor into the chair and was not in any chair of any order for the first time in 6 years. I was also not on the progression ladder anywhere for the first time since I joined Freemasonry in 2006. I really enjoyed my retirement for the 10 weeks it lasted. I agreed to go into the chair of Clwyd College SRIA to help them out. I enjoyed my retirement while it lasted.

I also gave 4 talks on behalf of the North Wales Association of Masonic Study, along with 4 Blood Bikes talks to various Lodges.

In total, during 2023 I attended 49 masonic meetings (14 of which were visits) across 20 Masonic Halls. I ended they year on the new Masonic season which looks to be a busy one. I have therefore decided to record the year in a series of Blog posts The Year of a Busy Mason.

Blood Bikes

2023 has been a great year in relation to Blood Bikes Wales. I’ve been out and about all year long giving talks and presentations to various groups including :- Women’s Institute, Ladies Groups, Church Groups, Masonic Organisations, etc. 

From various talks we were able to raise over £15,000 which was a very good amount. I would like to thank everyone who has helped out over the year. 

The Year That Was – 2023

Its that time of year again.

Where I look back over the previous year and answer the same 40 questions.

1. What did you do in 2023 that you’d never done before?

OK, New things :-

  1. Became an Amazon Bestselling Masonic Author in both the UK & USA at same time.
  2. Got my first Speaking booking from the N.W.A.M.S.
  3. Visited an Athol Lodge for the first time.
  4. Had a role in the Opening/Closing of the Provincial Chapter Meeting.
  5. Gave the First talk on St Edmunds.

 

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I gave up on resolutions many years back as I never seem able to stick to them.

Although I am challenging myself for 2024 to get at least one of the NWAMS books published and available to buy, and get my website updated.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

None that I can think off.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

A few Masonic Friends passed away this year, including my Seconder.

5. What countries did you visit?

The usual suspects of England/Wales/Scotland.

6. What would you like to have in 2024 that you lacked in 2023?  

For 2024 I have two things I would like to have.

  1. Updated Personal Website.
  2. NWAMS Book published.

7. What dates from 2023 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  1. 14th January – My first visit to an Athol Lodge to see a good friend go in the chair.
  2. 7th October – Being part of the opening/closing of Provincial Grand Chapter.
  3. 18th November – My book hitting #1 in Freemasonry around the world.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Noticing my phone going nuts during a rehearsals meeting, and checking it to find out my book on the Widows Sons was going nuts online, with people around the world mass buying it pushing it up the charts.

The funniest part was seeing people discussing it on Facebook groups I am a member of, and strangers claiming to know the author.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting my website updated as I had planned.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing, other than colds and the odd accidental paper cut.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Well this is a hard one this year.

I guess the Windows Tablet I got so I could do PowerPoint presentations with a projector. A Tablet makes it a lot lighter and smaller to carry about.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

  • Myself, Just because.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? 

The people who are trying their best to destroy every TV series, Book Series, Film Series that had male characters, and forcing their own woke agenda onto everything to the detriment of good storytelling or actual plot.

The world is getting more and more ridiculous. 

14. Where did most of your money go?

Books, More Books, Possibly a few more Books.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Taking part of the Provincial Grand Chapter Opening/Closing.

It was cool to actually have a role other than just walking in and out. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2023?

Even though I have not seen the episode since I stopped watching the show when the message became more important than the story.

The Goblin Song from Doctor Who’s Christmas special.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • a) happier or sadder? Happier
  • b) thinner or fatter? Same
  • c) richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Writing, Following my Dreams, Conquering the World.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? .

Getting upset by the behavior of people.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Eating too much, drinking too much, and doing nothing.

21. What was your favourite month of 2023? 

December. Due to book sales, and realising I had raised over £15,000 for Blood Bikes Wales over the year.

22. Did you fall in love in 2023? 

Alas No. I am high functioning Sociopath.

23. How many one-night stands?

I do not believe in one-night stands. How can you tell if you realy like something unless you try it at least a couple of times?

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Way too many to mention, As well as all the excellent ongoing TV shows, There was the new finds of :- 

  • The Traitors.
  • Reacher.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 

You know what? NO! I do not believe I hate anyone this year that I did not hate previously. Maybe I am growing as a person, becoming more enlightened? Or is everyone already on THE LIST

26. What was the best book you read?

This is always a very hard question. According to Goodreads I have read about 155 books this year. Trying to pick the best of that lot is not going to be easy.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

None. Mostly this year I have been listening to classic rock radio station, so nothing new.

28. What did you want and get?

A new Tablet.

29. What did you want and not get? 

A new website.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I am still not having birthdays. I have decided to stop having them so that I can live forever.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 

If the Woke agenda was removed from all entertainment.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2023?

Mostly Cargo Pants (I like the extra pockets) Jumpers.

 

Oh and suits, because suits are awesome…… True story

34. What kept you sane? 

Sane? Sane? “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”.

I think the Sunday Night Beer Chat has done a lot to keep me sane, and save lives!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

I may have been re-watching the Suicide and Harley Quinn films.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

This year there are 2.

Firstly the fact the Welsh NHS is falling apart and yet our Welsh Government have wasted millions on reducing the 30mph national limit down to 20, which is causing businesses to close, villages to be cut off from public transport. They have wasted even more changing the areas of Wales to split up areas that voted against Labour and created 18 new areas, so that they can stay in power at the next election.

And even worse than that was the Wrexham Local Development Plan. Wrexham councillor’s voted against the suggested Labour Government plan to build 1000s of homes on green areas with no infrastructure. So the Welsh Labour Government said “You voted wrong. Do it again!” so Wrexham had another vote and again voted against the plan. So the Welsh Labour Government said “You voted wrong. Do it correctly”. And after the vote was against it again, the Welsh Labour Government said “You did it wrong. Do it one last time! Oh and anyone who votes against it will be fines £10000’s and sent to jail!”.  

There is no democracy in Wales. 

37. Who did you miss?

No one. “ high functioning Sociopath” Remember? Remember? from Question 22?

38. Who was the best new person you met? 

I do not think I met any new person who exceptionally stood out.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2023?. 

All publicity is good publicity!

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 

I’m knitting with only one needle
Unraveling fast. It’s true
I’m driving only three wheels these days
But, my dear, how about you?

The last Masonic Meeting of 2023 – Christmas Dinner Count

This evening was my last Masonic Meeting of 2023!

Tonight was the turn of Wrexhamian Lodge’s December meeting, which is usually more of a social gathering than a meeting, and a chance for us all to escape families between Christmas and New Year. Depending on how many excited kids you had to deal with over the Christmas week, this escape is necessary.

The night was cursed with multiple issues, like the Caterers had booked out the Festive Board room without asking us, so we were forced to eat upstairs in a small room. And the Lodge room and upstairs doors have been secured with keylocks, which the Lodges have not been given the codes too. 

When we eventually got in and setup, we found we were short a few officers, so I stood in as JW.

The night had 3 talks/presentations.

  • A daily advancement of Masonic Knowledge.
  • The Royal Arch, and what’s it about.
  • The MCF, where does our money go.

It ended up being an enjoyable evening, and a great way to see out 2023.

Now, I did not stop for the meal this evening, but since the year is now over I can tally up the Christmas Dinner count. I started doing this the year I was Active Steward and ended up having a Christmas Dinner count in the double figures!.

This year I was lucky because my work did not have a meal, and I skipped a Lodge’s festive board. So the count is 5 Masonic and 1 Personal Christmas Dinners, so 6 in total. 

 

Note to Self: I think I did accidently agree to give a talk at the Next Wrexhamian Chapter meeting, I need to check that.

Merry Christmas (2023)

I would like to wish a very Merry Christmas to every Group, Organisation, and Person who has supported Blood Bikes Wales over 2023.

Whether it is from Donations, booking us to come give a talk on what we at Blood Bikes Wales do, or by running a fundraiser or event. Whatever you have done over the year, has been truly appreciated by us.

I thank you for your support, and look forward to more Talks and events in the New Year.

So on behalf of Welsh Nev, Hugh Jackson, and Myself we would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New year.

BBW – Donation from Clwyd Lodge of IM

Today I, popped along to a pub with Nev and Hugh to meet up with W.Bro Paul Smith.

We were there to have a pint, and to receive a donation of £200 from the Clwyd Lodge of Installed Masters for Blood Bikes Wales. I had a great time catching up, and discussing the great work the Freemasons do for Charity, and what the Provincial Almoner does. It was very educational.

While out we also received a bonus donation from Joyce Jackson and her friends for £95.

Pictured are Hugh, Paul, and Nev. (I am as always designated photographer)

(I have not included this in the Year of a Busy Mason series since I am here as a Blood Bikes Wales person and not a Mason.)

Blood Bikes Wales

Blood Bikes Wales is a charity that transports blood, plasma, platelets, samples, vaccines, donor breast-milk & any other urgently required medical items to hospitals at night, weekends and bank holidays. This service is provided completely free of charge, allowing the NHS to divert funds where they are needed most.

Our riders are a hardy bunch that operate in all but the very worst weather.