Home Sweet Home

We landed back home this morning after a good last few days away.

We spent the last few days of last week visiting some more museums and other touristy attractions, and then went for lunch at Hard Rock Cafe in London on Thursday.  DON'T DO IT!!!  R1,500 for four of us, for some of the worst food I've had in my life!

Leigh-Ann also managed to find a shop with a Wii in stock, and bought it for Josh for his birthday, I may be playing with his birthday present as much as him.

On Saturday morning I was out of the house fairly early, and in town around 10.  I walked around the Prologue route making sure that the spot I picked on the map was a good one, which it was, and at around 12 I took my position when I noticed that the railings were starting to get crowded.

At around 1:30 the race caravan started coming around the route, I knew the caravan was long, but I did not expect it to last for almost an hour with continuous vehicles coming past.  Some of these must be very scary & uncomfy to drive for the full Tour route, but they do.

Once the first rider went off it was all action with a rider coming past at least every minute and few seconds, the million and a half crowd going wild every time a british rider came past.

At 6, a few minutes before the last rider went off, I decided to beat the rush, and left my spot to walk back up to Marble Arch to catch the tube back home after standing in the same spot for just over 6 hours, it hurt almost as much as riding for that amount of time, but definitely worth it in the end.

Next time I will make sure that I follow the Tour for a few days, and not only get to watch one.

Sunday was spent travelling back to Paris, and Monday we basically had to get to the airport with all our baggage so we couldn't do any more sightseeing in Paris.

Some London site seeing

Today we spent some time in London city itself, visiting some museums and finally taking one of the open top bus tours.  If this rain would just stop for a bit, maybe we'd be able to do more.

Our first stop was the British museum, where we saw a lot of artefacts from Egyptian, Roman & Persian times.  Quite interesting, but we couldn't stay too long, this place definitely did not interest children.  Next stop was the Natural Science museum, lots more interesting stuff to see, with lots of fossils and other displays.  A day at the museums is not the most interesting place for a five year old, so we had to move quite quickly through most of it, until we got to the T-Rex display, where we spent some time.

For lunch we tried Burger King for the first time, needless to say I will not be doing that again, as bad as McDonalds, if not worse.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on an open top bus, with us sitting in the covered part of the top section because of the rain.  The plans were to stay in London for dinner and then go on the eye, but then rain started getting worse, so we decided to come home and try that another day.

My Sunday was spent doing some gadget shopping, as I was looking for an iPod replacement after mine decided to stop working a while ago.  After visiting about 40 electronics shops and comparing prices, I was very tempted to buy myself a UMPC, but they are still a bit pricy, coming in at around 750 pounds.  I settled on the Archos DVR, which is basically a personal video and music player with 80GB of storage, a 4" display, and the ability to connect to any TV/AV device and record from it, or play back to it, as well as change channels etc when necessary.  I'll be doing a bit of a review once I've had it for a while.  I've seen these second hand on Bid or Buy & eBay for around R2,500, so when I managed to bargain the guy down to 200 pounds I was quite happy, this one came with a remote & tv pod, which the second hand ones didn't have.

Keep your blog from sucking

Scott Hanselman posted an interesting article on what your blog should do to not suck.  Read it here.

Now I agree with most of what Scott says in his article, and with this I’ve enabled anonymous comments again, as well as enabled the spam blockers.  If your comments don’t show immediately, I still have moderation on, and all comments will be read.

I will probably also be moving my feed to one of the providers, but am still toying with that idea.

As far as keeping two blogs and cross-posting goes, I disagree with Scott.  I keep two blogs, one for my technical posts, and one for all my posts, all technical content gets cross-posted to the technical blog at dotnet.org.za.

I might think about only posting an excerpt on my technical blog with a link back, but will definitely be keeping both.

I will be making some changes here on the points I agree with, so keep an eye open for them.

Some consideration

This week I decided to give a personnel agent the boot because of the second no-show of one of their candidates for an interview without any notification whatsoever.

I probably would have let it slide if the agent actually apologised after I notified her of the first no-show.

This gets me down to the topic, if any of these candidates or even the agent had shown some consideration, and did the right thing, one of the five candidates that had an interview scheduled might have been the right one.  But since none of them showed any consideration, I decided to do the same, and cancel all the remaining interviews, and move my business to another agent.

Unfotunately this trend of showing no consideration for our fellow South Africans is becoming more and more evident nowadays.  On our roads, in our shops, everywhere.

Until we don't start showing some, our country is never going to be the awesome place it could be…

The message that I'm trying to convey here, is that next time you do something that could influence the lives of others, have some consideration for the repercussions of your actions.

The world is my dustbin

What is it with South African drivers and their need to hear glass break on tar wherever they go?  In the last 3 years the amount of borken glass on our roads has gotten much worse, and the other worrying fact is that it is mostly alcohol bottles being broken on the roads.  A lot of green glass, and often you can still see the labels stuck to parts as well.

I'm getting quite sick of this, because of the amount of time I spent on the road on a bicycle, I have to keep on dodging glass, sometimes in the face of oncoming traffic.  Unfortunately bicycle tyres have a similar price to car tyres, and I cannot afford to keep on replacing them on a too regular basis so I have to dodge the glass.

It also seems that most South Africans think that our beautiful country is one big dustbin, no need to walk to the nearest bin to dump rubbish, just drop it where you want.

All of us are directly or indirectly paying for waste management services, why not use it?

You do not see this problem in other countries, because there you would get a severe fine, or even jail time for dumping your rubbish on the street.  These countries have a proper strategy in place.  It's called visible policing, and their cops aren't too lazy to enforce even the simplest of rules, by the book!  Why can't our cops do the same?

Spam

The blog spammers have found my site, so I've had to disable anonymous posts.  When I get around to it, I'll install CAPTCHA support and enable it again, but for now, just register if you would like to comment.

Finally

Exactly 5 months and 1 day after placing my order for ADSL, Telkom finally got around to converting my line.  Not installing a new one, just converting an existing one.  This is after about 30 phone calls to the ADSL department, and 2 emails to the complaints department.

Something to ponder

If the lady that did the voice-over for Telkom's helpdesk call-waiting knew how irritated people are going to be with her voice, would she have accepted the job?

Yes, I'm still battling to get my ADSL line active!

Telkom

<RANT>

After checking out all the options, I decide on getting an ADSL line for internet access, as this will cost me less than my current dialup costs from home.  This decision was made after confirming with the idiot at the telkom helpdesk that my ISP charges stay the same.

Now after getting the line installed after almost 4 months of waiting for them to upgrade the exchange, they want to nail me with a R199 a month ISP charge.  Bend over and take it without vaseline! 

F#$K!!!!

</RANT>

So, I will be changing ISPs then, can anyone recommend a CHEAP good one?