29 May 2007

The city with no ads

Sao Paulo might well be one of my favorite cities right now. The city council have banned billboard advertising. People in the city are so poor, they happily accepted money from media companies to place billboards in front and on top of their houses. It created a very ugly forest of billboards.

Since April 1st, all billboards are banned under the Clean City laws. What is left are 8000 skeletons that used to hold up the billboards.

Tony de Marco
documented the strange sights, left by the empty spaces.

23 May 2007

Get your hands off my fucking bike!

They say hardship always comes in threes. Well, they are right. First the car needed hundreds of pounds to be repaired. Then my computer died a slow painful death. And this morning I found my bike stolen.
I got a lift home from work last night as we always play football with the guys on Tuesday. My bike was left outside, locked, in a LOCKED garden. This morning it was gone. The arseholes had climbed over the metal gate, using the mailbox to stand on, and presumably just picked the bike up and tossed it over the fence. The mailbox was destroyed in the process.

Now where do I get the money from to pay for a new bike?


Great timing financially. I need to visit my sister in Holland as soon as she gives birth and a few weeks later I need to visit grandma, also in Holland, who turns 80.

17 May 2007


Rugby is a sport for men. I can accept that. However, the ladies' team at my club is more successful than the men. You would think that means we get taken seriously. And sometimes we do.
But lately things have been, well, shit.

First, the men's season ended a few weeks before ours and so they simply disabled the floodlights on the training pitch. of course this meant the women had no light to train with at night. When asking about this, they said: well, you can just start an hour earlier and you will catch the light. Right. End work at 5.30, be out training at 6.30, having driven home, had food, driven to the club and changed into rugby gear.

Then, one of our girls hired the club for a function. They forgot to organise bar staff and forgot to order beer. So she had to ask visitors to her party to do bar work. And to top it all off, she was told that she must clean everything up at the end of the night as someone else had hired the club in the morning. Normally, the person hiring the venue does not have to clean it at the end of the night...

But wait, it gets worse.

The club needs a new kitchen. Fair enough. So they need to take the walls down, take all the equipment out and do refurbishing work. to do this, they picked a week with nothing in the diary.

WRONG! It is the women's annual awards dinner that week. But apparently that qualifies as 'nothing'. So, our dinner will now be prepared by the caterers in the Members' Lounge, using microwaves. And to make things even more ridiculous, we have been asked if the caterers can take the dirty dishes home because with the kitchen out of order, there is not a lot of space to wash up.

Are they out of their minds? I am looking at organising the dinner elsewhere at short notice and I will most certainly not organise ANYTHING at the club again.
I have gotten through this entire post without swearing but I can not help it.


13 May 2007

PHP, MySQL, jos_tables and other rubbish

As the webmaster (or should that be webmistress???) of the website of my rugby club, I am responsible for making sure the thing works. Until last week, that was easy enough: ignore all warnings about security and hope it does not happen to you.

And then of course it does. The site got hacked. And all I had to do was find an old index.php file and replace the one the hackers had left instead. Of course I had no back-up of the site and in my impulsive way, I did what I alwasy do: Deleted the whole thing and started from scratch. A lot of work and a lot of people asking where the hell the old site has gone.

Because it does mean that we have lost ALL content from the site that was there. Oh I have a back up of the old database. But not the knowledge to import that back in to the new site.


So now I am learning about PHPMyAdmin, MySQL database queries, jos_tables and the like. Sometimes something suddenly changes and it looks like I may have done something right. But most of the time, I do something and nothing happens.

But at least I am learning something. I think.

02 May 2007

On the BBC...

For the second time this week, BBC Radio 5 live read out one of my text messages. Yay! Last saturday, when the weather was fabulous, they told people to text in what they would do on a sunny day like Saturday. So I texted that it was perfect weather for the Women's Rugby Tournament that I was organising in Leamington Spa. And they read that out! 5 minutes later, our coach sent me a text message to say she had heard it!

This morning, they were asking: What is the most satisfying thing in the world. So I texted: The look on my wife's face when I wake her with a nice cup of tea.

Bit cheesey, I know but still, very true because JD has a lovely sleepy smile when I say the word Tea in the morning.

So when they read it out, I was feeling very smug because JD was all touched and cuddly after that!! Yay!

I have sent text messages before but I think they did not read them out because they can not pronounce my name correctly. So now I just spelt it phonetically, to make it easier for them. Perhaps that is what did it...

Either way, I scored brownie points with JD!!

01 May 2007

How much!!£@%$@£$??????

Our car needs an MOT (APK voor onze Nederlandse lezers). Just got a call from the garage to let me know it is going to fail the MOT.
Things wrong with the car:

Exhaust corroded. Needs replacing. £290.69
New tyre (irrepairable puncture in brand new tyre!!): £43
Light bulb: £7.95
Airflow meter broken: £70
Nearside shockabsorber is leaking oil: £145.01
Off-side bottom arm needs replacing: £139.79

A grand total of almost £700!! Now the last 2 things on the list are not actually required to pass the MOT but need to be done soon they said. But who am I to know? How do I know they are not ripping me off? And even if they are, how would I know that the cheaper garage I might take it to is actually doing a good job?

I bet dealers count on people assuming that drivers prefer an official dealer to repair their cars for fear of rogue traders. Hence they have high prices....

Damn! There goes my holiday for this year and next year!

Take a tip from me: just don't have your car tested, then you willnever be told you need to have repairs done. Just keep driving until it falls apart and all will be fine......