Giving my chickens away

It’s been a tough decision for me but i finally made up my mind to give my chickens away. The reason for this is that i plan to travel a lot next year and chicken boarding will work out too expensive. Having chickens and getting your own fresh eggs is an amazing experience. I’ve been getting eggs consistenly everyday from 2 of my hens (hybrids) and the 3rd one was just about to lay eggs. She was 2 weeks younger than the others but because she was a pure breed (Orpington), she takes more time to lay. Anyway, they are now being fostered at the same place where i got them boarded when i went to Spain. The lady was kind enough to take them in 🙂

My new sony laptop with Windows 7

I was meant to buy a new laptop for quite a while now but I never really got to it. During the beginning of this month, the need for a new laptop grew even more but I held back because I knew that Windows 7 was coming out on the 22nd of October. All the laptop shops had Vista installed on their laptops but assured that you will get free upgrade to Windows 7 once it’s out. However if you purchase a new laptop, you will have to return it to the shop to get it upgraded to Windows 7 and this means that either you will have to pay sending back and delivery charges if you ordered online or will have to go back to the shop and probably have to wait a couple of days before getting your laptop back. I didn’t want the hassle so I waited.

I wanted to get a completely white laptop but couldn’t find any. Apple Mac was the only one I could get in white but when I thought about it, it wouldn’t be a good option for me. I’m used to windows and mac is quite different but my main reason for not going with Macintosh is that I already have Microsoft Office 2007 and finding an alternative office suite would just be stupid. So I spent hours trying to find the best white laptop I could get with windows. Sony was the best brand out there and I decided to go for the NW series (NW20EF/W). I’d have to say I’m quite pleased with the laptop. I haven’t yet tested the new features of Windows 7 but I really like the ability to compare (view) two opened windows side by side without the other one getting minimised.

Donating books to charity

It’s amazing the amount of junk people can have. You don’t realise it until you start wondering whether you really need these stuff. I recently came across a couple of books which were taking a lot of space on my bookshelf and decided that I was no longer in need of them. I wouldn’t read them again as they were old programming books which are mostly outdated now. So I decided to take them to charity instead of chucking them in the bin. Some people might find it still useful. There was one Java programming book amongst them which cost me around £50 5 years back when I was still at uni and another IT Management book which was around £40 I think and a couple more books on databases, PHP and ASP/ASP.NET.

Soon as I walked into the charity shop (either Cancer Research UK or Oxfam, can’t remember now because they were next to each other; or it could have been British Heart Foundation), I went straight to the old man on the till and said that I would like to donate these books. I expected the man to take the books from me and thank me for my donation. To my surprise, he pointed at the far end of the shop and told me that donations should go there. Now this is really annoying. Why can’t he just take the stuff and sort it out later? The charity is going to make some money from my books, right? And I’m giving them away for free! So the least the staff can do is make it easier for me but no they couldn’t care less. I had to take the books to a back room where another staff was sorting donated items. Agreed, she said thank you to me after taking the books but it was more something she had to say than meaning what she was saying.

Charities exist to make a difference and they rely on the good nature of other people to succeed in their purpose but unless their attitude is changed, I doubt they will 100% succeed in what they are doing. Just because you’re a charity doesn’t mean you should things for granted.

Holiday in Cala Galdana, Menorca, Spain

cala-galdanaJust came back from a fabulous holiday in Menorca. It is pleasantly surprising that the one place that we’ve been trying to avoid for so long turned out to be one of the best places we’ve visited so far. The reason for avoiding Spain is because it’s a cheap getaway and most touristic places there have lost their Spanish uniqueness in a bid to please an ever growing influx of British tourists. You tend to get more British food like “Fish & Chips”, “Baked Beans & Omelette” instead of traditional Spanish dishes. Another reason for not wanting to go Spain was that the beaches did not seem very pretty in the pictures I’ve looked at (and I’ve looked at hundreds of them!). My idea of a beautiful beach is one which is calm, turquoise in colour (or light blue or green), transparent (you can see right through the water to the bottom) and finally the sea level progressively takes you into deeper water.

Spain itself was not ideal but The Balaeric Islands which constitute Menorca, Mallorca, Ibiza are very nice. The holiday spot was in Cala Galdana in Menorca on a self catering basis for 1 week. The apartment we stayed at had the basic things we needed (cooker, fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle), 2 bedrooms (4 single beds), 1 sofa bed, bathrom and toilet and an outdoor table with chairs. The apartment was situated on a slope with quite a few stairs to get to. However it was only 5 mins walking from the beach. There are 2 supermarkets just outside the apartment where you can get pretty much everything (milk, eggs, cooking oil, drinks, bread, cheese, pasta & sauces, chips and fry ups).

The exchange rate for Euros was crap (nearly 1 pound sterling for 1 euro) so things seemed much more expensive than I thought they would. Eating outside costs a lot of money (dish of Paella 13 euros, monk fish with shellfish in sauce 23 euros). There are some fantastic excursions out there which are really worth it like visiting 6 beautiful beaches in a glass bottom boat for 12 euros each but we waited too late and didn’t manage to do this one. There’s a chu-chu train which takes you round Cala Galdana for 6 euros each and it’s well worth it because you get to know the place and it takes you on a hill where you get an amazing view of the beach from the top.

So far, this holiday has been the best compared to Turkey and Egypt due to the fact that people don’t hassle you into buying stuff and the lagoon was really nice to swim in (btw you can’t really swim in the sea in Turkey and Egypt, they are awful).

The very first fresh egg from my garden

Unbelievable, I’ll tell you. Just when I wasn’t expecting it, it happened. I was going to clean the chicken coop and as I was passing by the chicken run, I saw a tiny egg looking directly at me. It didn’t click at first but then I realised it was my very first organic egg from my own garden. The proud hybrid has given me my first egg. Just can’t wait to taste it now, yummy!

First vaccine for my cats

Tiger Billy and Jet Li had their first vaccine yesterday and it costs me £100 for the two of them. They were also given a worm medicine when I took them to the vets and that was £12 and should last a couple of days. They need to go for another vaccine in 3 weeks time. Fortunately I don’t have to pay for that because it was all paid when I went first time round. However the second vaccine is really important because the first vaccine would not work if they don’t have the second injection.

Oh, the receptionist was trying to make me buy cat insurance btw. It was with Pet Plan and the first month was completely free. Well I don’t see my cats having any problems in the coming month, so I don’t really need the insurance cover. However if i gave that pet insurance a go, then it would be difficult for me to cancel it – as it’s always the case when you get free insurance cover; you either forget to cancel the insurance and are billed for something you don’t want or it becomes such a hassle for you to stop/get rid of the insurance cover that it becomes too much of a stress and you wonder why in the first place you agreed to sign up for it.

Geocities is closing down – Back up your files!

Just checking my yahoo email account and was surprised to see that Geocities is closing down on the 26th of October 2009. I must admit that I’m quite upset because 12 years back, it was with geocities that I started my very first website when I was learning HTML. Back then, I didn’t know much about programming and was content with basic webpages with a few pretty images. I had kept my personal website at geocities and have rarely touched it but it was nice to know that it existed.

Anyway, it’s a shame that geocities is closing and there are no tools to quickly download all your files to your computer. I had to go to my geocities website and click on each link to download the webpage. You need to right click on each webpage and choose “Save Page As..” and it will get the webpage with associated images. Thankfully I only had like 15 pages otherwise I would have spent the whole day doing that.

New year resolution 2009

Last year, my resolution for 2008 were as follows:

  1. Spend more time with Poum (failed to meet)
  2. Buy a house (done that in November 2008)
  3. Increase my adsense earnings to $1000 (hehe) (achieved for a few months and lost it unfortunately)
  4. Find time to play my guitar (if i played it 3 times, it was a lot!)
  5. Eat more healthy food (been saying the same thing for the past 10 years)
  6. Acquire the microsoft certifications which will help me most in my career (done and dusted

So I managed to do 3 out of the 6 resolutions i set myself for 2008. For the year 2009, I’ve got just 4 resolutions and they are as follows:

  • Spend more time with Poum (holiday, less time on computers etc)
  • Set up a business
  • Exercise
  • Play guitar

We’ll see how many of these I manage to complete this year but I’ve got more determination this time (I know i say this all the time, lol)

First horse riding lesson

I’ve wanted to learn how to ride horses for a while now and today was my first lesson. For £22 an hour, it was all worth it. I had to pay 50 pence to hire a hat as well. I went to King’s Oak horse riding school and although the people training us beginners were quite young, let me rephrase that actually, kids (most of them), they were really good and know what they were doing. I really enjoyed myself and thinking of taking it up as a hobby now 🙂

Reality by Richard Sanderson

Lyrics and music for Reality by Richard Sanderson:

Met you by surprise
I didn’t realize
That my life would change forever
Saw you standing there
I didn’t know I’d care
There was something
special in the air

Dreams are my reality
The only kind of real fantasy
Illusions are a common thing
I try to live in dreams
It seems as if it’s meant to be

Dreams are my reality
A different kind of reality
I dream of loving in the night
And loving seems alright
Although it’s only fantasy

If you do exist
Honey don’t resist
Show me a new way of loving
Tell me that it’s true
Show me what to do
I feel something special about you

Dreams are my reality
The only kind of reality
Maybe my foolishness is past
And maybe now at last
I’ll see how the real thing can be

Dreams are my reality
A wond’rous world
where I like to be
I dream of holding you all night
And holding you seems right
Perhaps that’s my reality

Met you by surprise
I didn’t realize
That my life would change forever
Tell me that it’s true
Feelings that are new
I feel something special about you

Dreams are my reality
A wond’rous world
where I like to be
Illusions are a common thing
I try to live in dreams
Although it’s only fantasy

Dreams are my reality
I like to dream of you close to me
I dream of loving in the night
And loving you seems right
Perhaps that’s my reality

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL2FazadHoQ