Monday, 16 March 2009



Good day sunshine

NOTE - Blogger doesn't seem to work with all versions of all browsers. If you have problems seeing my blogs, you may get better luck with a different browser such as Firefox, Chrome or Safari. If you are already using one of those, is it the latest version?

I've participated in lots of different places on the internet. Here are the main links, which between them will tell you far more than you ever need to know about me, my career and my interests. Note that my blogs are really mini-websites set up within the Blogger framework. Most of them will eventually be transferred to a website and the blogs deleted.

Things we said today

There are several ways to contact me by e-mail if you don't have my e-mail address and wish to send me a message, one of which is via my Blogger profile page. Alternatively, you can post comments on my blogs (which I moderate), or you can post comments on my Amazon reviews, or you can contact me via other websites including Shelfari, MySpace and (when I reactivate my account) Facebook.

Blogs about Amazon, the online retailer

Across the universe

Amazon topics would appeal to any Amazon customer or contributor who is interested in more than just buying stuff, but it is not currently available online. I expect to restore it eventually, but as a website.

Blogs about jobs and politics


Jobs provides links to websites offering job vacancies, training opportunities and CV tips.

The long and winding road

The nineties job quest describes my first long period out of work and how I eventually managed to find gainful employment again.

Don't pass me by

Career looks at my career to date and options for the future. Certificates displays my school and other certificates.


The politics of unemployment draws on my experiences of being unemployed since 2002, covering a variety of issues including finance, housing, bankruptcy, the TV licence fee, electricity meters, immigrant workers, data protection and identity theft, but especially focusing on New Deal. I got out of a similar mess once before, but it's much more difficult now.

According to the British government, all unemployed people are lazy, stupid, feckless, lunatic or a combination of those stereotypes. Well, I'm not any of those, but as long as journalists are able to find people like the McFadden family, the stereotypes will persist in the minds of many people. Judging all unemployed people on the basis of the McFadden family is like judging nurses on the basis of Beverley Allitt or doctors on the basis of Harold Shipman, or assuming that all football supporters are hooligans.

Three comments

Anonymous said...

What a sad muppet you are. Get off your fat lazy arse and find a job. How the hell can you afford all these Amazon purchases out of your Incapacity Benefit? Perhaps you should be reported for Dole fraud.

Peter Durward Harris said...

I'd love to find a job, but it wasn't easy even before the current recession. If you suffer the misfortune of losing your job, you might begin to understand the problems.

I explained everything in detail in my blog "The politics of unemployment", including how I acquired (and continue to acquire) the stuff I review on Amazon. But since you can't be bothered to read that blog (you don't even know which benefits I'm receiving), I'll summarize by saying that most of the stuff I review was bought in the days when I had a job and plenty of money and I bought some of the rest by making lots of sacrifices and by bargain-hunting. I also borrow stuff to review, especially from the library. Just because I've reviewed something doesn't mean I bought it, nor that even if I did buy it, that I paid the quoted price.

Oh yes, and I see that you choose to remain anonymous. I don't, which I would do if I were committing fraud. It's very easy for the DWP to identify me from the information available on the net.

As for benefit fraud, you can report me if you think you have a case (hey, if you read that blog, you'll find that I've provided the link to the relevant web page) but the DWP may take action against anybody who wastes their time by malicious accusations such as yours would be.

Peter Durward Harris said...

Just to add - If anybody would genuinely like to help me get a job, I'll be willing to consider such help. Better still, if you have some vacancies that I might be suitable for, please offer me an interview.

Blogs about computers

Every little thing

Blog setup mainly discusses technical matters, so will be useful to those setting up a HTML-based blog (but read Blogger's own help stuff first), which is necessarily more complicated than a standard diary-type blog. I hope that this blog will also prove useful to potential employers wishing to assess my capabilities.

Blogs about leisure activities

Magical mystery tour

Genealogy basic illustrates the most famous lines of descent to me from historical royalty and, as a contrast, the descents from the humble people of North East Scotland since the early 17th century. I also provide information about my shared common ancestors with famous people including British prime ministers and American presidents.

Carry that weight

Horse racing is my favorite sport and includes links to my Amazon reviews and guides, plus links to tables of big race winners, British racecourse websites and other stuff.

Day tripper

A page aboutLeicester (pronounced Lester), where I've lived since 1998.

I've just seen a face

News media describes my experiences of being in the news, including my interview on BBC Radio Leicester, which I did live in the studio, as well as an article that appeared in The Times. There is also an analysis of the lies and half-truths reported elsewhere. Another article appeared in the Times in February 2012. The Times articles are only available online to subscribers so I don't link to them.

Norwegian wood / Here comes the sun

Christmas is celebrated on the same day that sun-worshippers celebrate Saturnalia. I think I've reviewed more Christmas music on Amazon than anybody else, but if anybody has reviewed more, I'd like to know.

Ticket to ride

Trains interested me a lot when I was young, not so much now. Nevertheless, I've reviewed several CD's of American train songs and several British books about trains, with more to come. This section provides links to those reviews, plus a store where you can buy other train books, together with a selection of website links, especially those devoted to rail heritage.

Your mother should know

Board games face stiff competition these days compared to previous generations, but there is still a market for them. This page contains links to my reviews, of which there aren't very many, as well as a store where you can buy the others.

In my life

The stuff formerly in my About me blog was absorbed into Amazon topics, and is currently unavailable online.

Yellow submarine

We were all Children once, so here are my book and music reviews, lists and guides that have particular appeal for children, but which can be enjoyed by adults too, together with some extra comments and other stuff.

My presence on the internet

Across the universe

Links to my Amazon pages can be found via Google.

Paperback writer

On Shelfari, I list books that I've read. Although I could list books that I plan to read, I won't do that. I don't want pressure from people begging me to read these books, some of which I won't read any time soon.

All you need is love

I very rarely read fiction and I definitely don't read romance fiction, but I established cyber-contact with some people who do and I ended up participating in the off-topic sections of the romance readers' forum. As a result of a re-organization of the forum in 2008, I couldn't log into my original home so I had to set up another account, but I didn't remain active much since setting up my current home there. To see how much fun it can be, look at the thread devoted to Funny videos. It is a long time since I posted there, but I enjoyed my time there in 2008.

With a little help from my friends

I am on MySpace, where I have a list of singers, groups and bands that interest me, though some interest me a lot more than others. Note that this list isn't always up to date.

I'm also on Facebook, but have deactivated my account. Even when I return, you'll be asked to sign in there to see it if you're not already signed in. My profile there will be universally available to those with Facebook accounts when I return. Just occasionally, I re-activate my account to send a message to somebody then hastily de-activate it again. I'll only re-activate properly when I am prepared to commit myself to the website again. It is much too addictive for me to spend a few minutes each day.

I'm also on YouTube, where I set up links to some of my favorite clips, but I haven't done much there.

I'm also on LinkedIn and Plaxo but I haven't found them useful to me so far. Still, they may yet prove to be important.

So far, I have only posted occasionally on the BBC Radio 5 live message board and the BBC 606 message board but I hope to be more active one day.

I'm listed as Peter_Durward_Harris on the BBC, and PeterDurwardHarris on YouTube. In all the other above sites, you'll find me listed as Peter Durward Harris, though suffixed by II on my current romance readers' forum account.

I'm also on Twitter, where I am listed as pdhamazon because there is a limit on identity length that prevents me from using my full name, but I haven't done much there yet. If I do use it more extensively, I may set up separate accounts for different functions.

Hello goodbye

While there are some forums in which my participation is far from regular, there are some forums in which I used to participate, but which I can categorically say that I won't do so again, even sporadically.

I listen to many types of music but I like country music best of all. Sadly, it seems that country music forums, including the Amazon country music forum and the 9513 country music forum, are domiunated by the sme old arguments.

You like me too much

Use Google to search for Peter Durward Harris. Apart from some of the sites already mentioned, this search also picks up my occasional contributions to some other blogs and websites. As you'll appreciate, it doesn't pick up everything. You may also find references to me by searching for Peter D Harris, Peter Harris. and P D Harris, but they'll be mixed up with my namesakes, of which there are so many that you might have difficulty finding entries about me amongst them, although you are likely to find a few links that aren't picked up by searching for my full name if you spend long enough searching. This is why I use my full name on the internet now, though I didn't always do so. I haven't had any unpleasant consequences as a result of using my full name and I find that doing so has plenty of advantages. Nevertheless, I know that anything I post anywhere on the internet can potentially come back to haunt me. I never forget that criminals, family members, potential employers and government officials are among those people who might read what I post.