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Showing posts from 2019

Pocket Money Manager

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Exciting times! Today we launch henisabank.com a pocket money manager website for both parents and children to manage their allowances. My kids names are Henry and Isabel, so the name - henisabank.com is the first three letters of each of their names. For years, when they were small, I'd mentally record how much each of their totals was - this was prone to error and doubt. Later we moved to a Google Sheet solution - I made a simple spreadsheet with rows for each week (their basic allowance is their age, in Euros per week), and another column for recording what they purchased. After he completed the amazing Khan Academy course in programming I thought a fun practical project would be to develop a real-live application with the boy. Since I'm fairly generous with the pocket money, it comes up in day-to-day activities a fair amount - and figured it was a small enough project to complete in a few months. The site uses a .net backend and was my first experie

Andorran Laws on Dog Barking Nuisance Noise

I've written extensively about the most selfish woman in Andorra who lets her dogs out into her yard in the morning, then clears off for work, leaving the mutts bored out of their tiny minds to bark incessantly at cats, passers-by, birds or themselves all day until she returns from work. I get to listen to them all day long as I try to write complex algorithms in code. When I tell her about this, she just shrugs her shoulders and says "Dogs bark". I've been doing some investigation into the law, and whilst there is no penalty for doing what she does during the daytime 0800-2200 weekdays (0900-2200 weekends), if they are left outside after outside these hours there is fine of 200 Euro. Most often she leaves for work at around 0800 and comes back in the mid-afternoon - once she is in the house the mutts are quiet, but occasionally she does go out for the day, and maybe gets delayed somewhere, and they are left out after 10pm - yapping away.  It is these occasi

Never give up

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Whether we like it or not, democracy will be delivered on 31st Jan 2020. This is a good thing, in some way, because if there had been a people's vote or anything else, we'd have never heard the end of it. Leavers will however have to accept that democracy is a process and the fight for renewed EU membership for the UK will begin on that day, and for some of us - never end. In the meanwhile the EU will be able to move, at pace, towards a fully democratic federal model, Euro stabilisation and further harmonisation among the key objectives. It will take many years, but I believe day to day realities will slowly convince an ever growing section of the public that leaving was a bad idea.  Not necessarily closures of manufacturing industries e.g.  Land Rover or Airbus - these can easily be spun or disregarded, but more personal experiences: - Not being permitted to travel and missing a holiday for having less than 6 months remaining on your passport - The friend with a ne

UK Election 2019

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So, no vote for us.  Shame about the 15-year rule .  Particular as we lived in Raaab's constituency . This was 2017: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2017/may/08/general-election-2017-poll-tracker-who-is-in-the-lead This is today 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2019/dec/11/election-opinion-polls-uk-2019-latest-poll-tracker-tories-labour Looks pretty similar if you ask me.   Labour slightly further behind the Tories, but Libdems have a fair bit more.... Will be an interesting night tomorrow.

Just so you know... Retirement in Spain Post Brexit

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1) We left in 2006 and thus have been stripped of our right to vote the upcoming election due to the 15 year rule. 2) So that I can say in the future that no-one I know "didn't know this"... Please read the requirements for a RETIREMENT VISA in Spain - for 3rd country nationals. http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/SANFRANCISCO/en/ConsularServices/Documents/visas/RetirementVisa.pdf (This is the Spanish California Consulate Document) In particular: - Minimum income required is 25,560 Euros annually plus 6,390 Euros per each additional family member - Proof of having international medical insurance - This will cost upwards of 350 Euros per month at age 65+ = 4200 Euro per year (Note that pre-existing conditions will NOT be covered by private medical insurance) I've highlighted a few fun things that will need to be provided by Brits in the future if they want to retire to Spain.

Ear Plugs Needed

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What madness is this?  I have resorted to wearing ear plugs all day to block out the noise of the damn dogs barking next door.

Check constraint that is a field has a particular value ensure that another field must be filled in.

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DB time! So this post regards "normalisation", or lack of, permitting me to be more lazy, and have simpler databases - what's not to like? I had a DB table "users", and two distinct classes of user:  Adult and Child.  Now the business logic demands that the Adult users have an email address entered, whereas the child user doesn't necessarily need one. The Boyce-Cod or whatever blah blah method would be to have 2 tables, but that means loads of JOINs, the inability to view the entire user list in one place, and more logic everywhere. I'd prefer to have 1 table "Users", but how to enforce the business logic above? So I've discovered a way - using CHECK CONSTRAINTS in MS SQL 2012+ The "redmouse" is a child user, it is optional whether he has a email address or not. ([role]='Adult' AND [emailaddress] IS NOT NULL OR ([role]='Child' AND [emailaddress] IS NOT NULL OR [role]='Child' AND [ema

Land Rover Discovery 3/LR3 upper rear grab handle removal

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I'm not very good with DIY.  Has to be said.  So I bought a Upper Cargo Shelf. Very nice it is too ..  So I need to fit it....  How hard can this be?? Comes with a A4 page of written instructions.  Very 70s I must say... Anyway so apparently I need to "pry back the plastic covers".  I'm trying to "pop" the bloody things out from the bodywork.  Lucky a neighbour walks by and clears things up for me. There is a plastic "flap" that covers the screws. So I know there aren't any photos online of that..  I've checked,  so if you in the same boat as me....  Now you know.

Natureo De-alcoholised Wine from Torres

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I just finished this bottle off... I'd opened it for a family friend who visited as he was not boozing. It "looks" very good... looks a lot like wine Tastes pleasant.. (however doesn't taste like wine) so worthwhile keeping a bottle or 2 in I think... psychologically useful if you fancy a glass, but shouldn't really. If you are thirsty and have a fair bit in the glass, you can glug it down (it's grape juice more or less) and that is something that doesn't happen with wine.  People looking at you will think you are a maniac...

I've had a idea for Boris.

This is what he should do. He should go to Brussels and demand: 1) End of EU commissioner/president appointments.  These should be directly elected by the Members States populations.. think "US President"-style elections. 2) Move the European Court of Justice or the European Central Bank to somewhere in the UK (not London) 3) End the monthly move of the European Parliament to Strasbourg. 4) Probably a few other things he can come up with... THEN Come back to the UK and offer this new deal (and Remain) or full out (with all the implications like loss of NI and subsequently Scotland) to the people in a new referendum.

Waste rubbish dump in La Massana Andorra

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There is a community waste disposal location in La Massana.  Shared with the Ordino comĂș it is situated on the main road between the two towns, opposite the Elf petrol station. It is open between 8 am and 4pm Monday through Saturday.

Calculating the benefit of going for a second hand laptop vs a new one living in a low VAT country.

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So it is time for a new laptop!  My amazing Sony VPCCB has done so well over the years - I bought it in 2012 and it's still my daily workhorse. Upgraded it to an SSD and had to service the fan a couple of times it was going good until something happened to the video card and I had to band-aid by loading Ubuntu and running Visual Studio in a VM to access Windows.  Not ideal, but kept me going for a few more months. Now with VS2017 it takes just too long to get everything running. The power supply also died last week.  It is a sign. Now.. I've never really used tablets but I do fancy seeing if having one will encourage me to read the paper again - and these are all e-versions now (except Private Eye - still only available on the street of shame ). So this fancy Microsoft Surface 2 looks nice.  Insanely expensive, but ooh so nice. I'm going to go for the big screen 15" and either the half or full terabtye model.  256gb will be filled up in no time. Living i

Spanish verbs

Damn Spanish verbs can be frustrating.  I been trying for 13 years, and still get confused.  Must be the old brain. I found a great " Cheat Sheet " (for fun try getting a Spanish person to say that :)) on Dummies.com but it a bit long so I cut it down a bit to just the most useful verb endings. The cheat sheet is only good for regular verbs, and the most important/often used ones are irregular. So last intercambio I worked with my friend to translate some typical sentences. Here we are: My mother was here until today, Mi madre ha estado aqui hasta hoy, and she will probably be back in April. y ella a lo mejor volvera en Abril We all had a nice time. Nos lo pasamos bien. Tanya & Isabel went to Barcelona on Sunday for appointments Isabel had yesterday and today. Tanya y Isabel fueron a Barcelona dominigo para hacer encargos Isabel tenia ayer y hoy. They are coming back now and are expected to be at home when Henry and I get there. Ellos estan

How do you fix a roll of aluminium foil once it's started spiralling?

I had this problem. Seen a post on Reddit .  Old one. " This thread is archived New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast" That is a shame.  As I now have a better answer than any of the posts. Get a pair of tweezers and scrape down from the part of the foil roll that is "stuck".   Don't matter if it digs down into the layer beneath.  Try to maintain even digging across the roll. Worked a treat!

Dog Saga Continues

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So this new neighbour of ours who really must rank as one of the most selfish people ever, now has a new dog rapidly changing from puppy to expert-barker, in addition to the two older dogs she had previously.  The puppy has a hoarse-sounding bark that is even more penetrating than the older dogs' barks. My whole body convulses when the damn thing goes off.  It is not possible to concentrate on my work, when they looking over the fence and barking away for hours. I googled for some information on the physiological effects of the barking and found an interesting site.   http://barkingdogs.net/exposure.shtml This guy seems to have been tormented for years by inconsiderate neighbours, but checking his facebook, it appears that he has been able to sell up and move. https://www.facebook.com/BarkingDogProblems/ So good for him!  I however am stuck with this woman who very rarely exercises her big dogs, so they roam around the yard all day barking madly at cats, birds, wor

(Bit) Bonkers Relationship Advice

If you want a really strong relationship - I recommend moving abroad.   It needs to be a country where neither partner can a) speak the language b) has lived before. This, in my experience, will be a little crazy – for example if will make even the simplest task; like talking to a plumber fraught with possibilities to get the wrong end of the stick, you won’t have a family or friends network to rely on, and everything will be an uphill struggle. But.. you will probably have a rock solid relationship with your wife.   After a few years you will be able to guarantee they can take just about anything in their stride.   Travelling to other parts of the world will be a breeze – and going back to your home town will bring a smile to your face when you have to sort something mildly problematic there.

Business Ideas to try

Sometimes one wakes up in the morning, or takes a long leisurely bath - and "Archimedes-like" you get a brainwave .  Lots of people do, I even heard about a CEO who out a bath suite next to his corporate office to capitalise on this phenomenon. I get of lot of these "brainwaves".  Most business ideas (to their owners), seem "genius", at least initially.   After a day or two, the shine normally comes off them.  Bitter experience has taught me that peer reviewing your new business concept is the best way to get some honest feedback on whether it's a go-er or not. So I'm going to try the biggest "peer" review of them all - posting these ideas on the internet!  Of course the idea will have lost it's element of "surprise" - but maybe a reader will fancy using it a the seed of their business empire.  Or just having a good laugh if the idea it too "hare-brained". Ideas are important, but they are more or less free,

Determining actual pixels rendered from relative settings

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So I'm finally.. after maybe 17 years... getting round to looking at CSS in a bit more detail. Sadly CSS has moved on a bit in the last 17 years... I'm going to have to go ALL OUT. Doing it via an Udemy course - so far so good.  Just had a pretty mental lecture on how the browser finally calculates the actual "end result" pixel values; and I'm certain I'm going to need to refer to it again. The main new point here for me, em settings are measured relative to their parent font-size, if used to specify font-size, whereas em settings are measured relative to the current font-size, if used to specify lengths. em - is a multiplication factor, so 2em could be 2x the parent's font size for a font-size definition. Mind blown.

Recollections from a mis-spend youth

I came across an article in the Nottingham Evening Post. https://web.archive.org/web/20180724022708/https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/history/nottingham-nightclubs-you-went-80s-173196 Brings back some memories.  No a lot of memories actually...which is a shame because I spend a large amount of my life during my 20s in these places.  

Twitter still doesn't allow phone numbers from Andorra

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I last posted about this in 2013 !  It is now 2019! Lot of exclamation marks!! yes!!  Very very frustrating! Just trying to add a company twitter account to my mobile. And I'm still getting "This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number." message. My phone number entered is perfectly valid. Hey twitters..  How about fixing this. This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number. This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number.This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number. This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number.