Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pocket Money Manager

Exciting times!

Today we launch a pocket money manager website for both parents and children to manage their allowances.

My kids names are Henry and Isabel, so the name - 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 experience of a bootstrap html design - so I get to learn too!

I've pulled in a few webservices to manage SMS notification sending and currency conversions to whatever base currency is selected for the pocket money.

I'm hoping that most bases have been covered:

- Chore payments:  That is one off increasing in the amount that the child has
- Regular payments:  The weekly (or monthly) allowance increase

- Cash handouts:  Record when a child is given some notes e.g. at an amusement park and they run off and spend
- On behalf purchases:  When you buy something for the child either in a store (maybe as part of your normal shopping - which is hard to manage if they have money in a wallet also), and Online purchases that you make on your credit card on behalf the child
- Regular subscriptions:  These days kids want mobile phones (and associated phone company contracts), or Netflix/Spotify subscriptions.  They don't credit cards themselves; so you can setup regular deductions from their "bank account" on and pay it from your own credit card.

There are both Adult and Child accounts - so your child can login themselves and see how much they have (without troubling you) and also help manage the process by adding the text and amount of the transactions themselves - you just need to click "Accept" and the details are recorded.

Got Kids?  Go ahead and try - all completely free.

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 occasions I and my other neighbours (who are just as frustrated as me) can strike.

For quick reference here is a the application sections of Andorran Law:

Capítol cinquè. Convivència ciutadana
Article 43. Tranquil·litat pública i dret al descans

1. Tots els ciutadans estan obligats a respectar la tranquil·litat pública i el dret al descans dels altres ciutadans, evitant de fer sorolls que alterin la convivència ciutadana.

2. S’entén que el període durant el qual regeix el dret al descans dels ciutadans és el que està comprès entre les 22:00 hores i les 8:00 hores els dies laborables, i entre les 22:00 hores i les 9:00 hores els caps de setmana i els dies festius.

3. Resta prohibit pertorbar la tranquil·litat pública i el descans dels veïns mitjançant l’ús inadequat o anormal d’aparells de televisió, ràdio o música, o de qualsevol altre aparell sonor, o mitjançant cants, crits, baralles o qualsevol altre acte molest, i, en general, mitjançant l’emissió de qualsevol soroll, àdhuc els sorolls que produeixin els animals domèstics.

4. Resta prohibit que els vehicles estacionats a la via pública o en aparcaments o altres espais públics o privats facin sorolls que pertorbin la tranquil·litat pública o el dret al descans dels ciutadans. En aquest cas, si els vehicles són a la via pública o en aparcaments o altres espais públics, el Cos de Policia, juntament amb els agents de circulació, els pot retirar.

5. La prohibició a què fa referència l’apartat 3 anterior es pot modular en virtut de l’atorgament de l’autorització administrativa corresponent, sempre que la normativa aplicable en matèria de contaminació acústica o en qualsevol altra matèria així ho estableixi.
Capítol tercer. Règim d’infraccions i sancions en relació amb el títol VII
Article 58. Infraccions

1. Són infraccions administratives:
t) Pertorbar la tranquil·litat pública o el descans dels veïns mitjançant l’ús inadequat o anormal d’aparells de televisió, ràdio o música, o de qualsevol altre aparell sonor, o mitjançant cants, crits, baralles o qualsevol altre acte molest, àdhuc els sorolls que produeixin els animals domèstics.
Article 59. Sancions
4. Les infraccions que estableixen les lletres h), t ) i u )donen lloc a la imposició d’una sanció d’un import de 200 euros quan la infracció es produeix entre les 22:00 hores i les 00:00 hores, o entre les 06:00 hores i les 08:00 hores els dies laborables i entre les 06:00 hores i les 09:00 hores els caps de setmana i els dies festius, i d’un import de 300 euros quan la infracció es produeix entre les 00:00 hores i les 06:00 hores.
Chapter Five. 
Citizen coexistence
Article 43. Public tranquility and the right to rest

1. All citizens are obliged to respect the public tranquility and the right to rest of the other citizens, avoiding to make noises that alter the citizen coexistence.

2. It is understood that the period during which the right to rest for citizens is governed is that which is between 10pm and 8am on weekdays, and between 10pm and 9am: 00 hours on weekends and holidays.

3. It is forbidden to disturb the public tranquility and rest of the neighbors by means of the improper or abnormal use of television, radio or music apparatus, or of any other sound device, or by means of songs, shouts, fights or any other act. annoying, and generally by making any noise, even the noises made by pets.

4. It is forbidden for vehicles parked on public roads or in car parks or other public or private spaces to make noise that disturb public tranquility or the right to rest for citizens. In this case, if the vehicles are on the public thoroughfare or in car parks or other public spaces, the Police Corps, together with the traffic police, may remove them.

5. The prohibition referred to in section 3 above may be modulated by the granting of the corresponding administrative authorization, provided that the applicable regulations in the field of noise pollution or in any other matter establish it.

Chapter three. Regime of offenses and penalties in relation to title VII
Article 58.  Offenses

1. Administrative offenses are:
t) Disturb the public tranquility or rest of the neighbors by means of the improper or abnormal use of television, radio or music equipment, or of any other sound device, or by means of songs, shouts, fights or any other annoying act, even the noises made by pets.
Article 59.  Sanctions

4. The offenses established in the letters h), t) and u)result in a penalty of $ 200 when the offense occurs between 10pm and 12pm, or between 6am and 8am on weekdays and between 06:00 and 09:00 on weekends and holidays, and an amount of 300 euros when the offense occurs between 00:00 and 06:00.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Never give up

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 new Irish passport (who maybe voted brexit!) breezing through control, and others (maybe who abstained in the Referendum) having to wait in the non-EU line and be asked the purpose of their visit.
- The uncle who finds he need over 50K euro in the bank in cash to retire to Spain (Add another 350 Euro per month on top for Private Medical care)
- The couple who buy a holiday villa but then realise can't spend more than 3 months in any 6 in it.
- The phone left on roaming which hits a £50 bill
- Being caught and fined for bringing back three bottles of "tax free" vodka.

A lot, of course, depends on Boris' Brexit deal... He may opt for a softer-brexit in the end - but this then leads back to the UK being a "rule-taker" and pretty much the point of brexit bar the anti-immigrant vote.

- The xenophobes will be sadly disappointed when they see more brown people, not less over the coming years - the demographic necessity of the UK's ageing population means there is simply no alternative but to have more immigrants, and just wait until the next Abu Hamza-type case and they realise the ECHR is not the ECJ (oh dear!)

For me, it will be a very sad day, and the begining of a terrific amount of bureaucracy no doubt.  But we can continue living as immigrants on the continent and won't have to go back to "Prison Island" as I am now calling it, any time soon - as long as we can continue to support ourselves.

I will leave the last word to Tony Benn...

 (Yes was a euro-skeptic... the feelings however are mutual, and we must continue to argue for what we believe)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

UK Election 2019

So, no vote for us.  Shame about the 15-year rule.  Particular as we lived in Raaab's constituency.

This was 2017:

This is today 2019:

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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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

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.

(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.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Ear Plugs Needed

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.

Distributed Backlink Service

Wouldn't it be great to work together and create a "distributed search engine" with the index spread across thousands of peer...