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Monday, January 30, 2012

Professional Football

Isn't ridiculous how much some professional football players “earn”, mega wage packets win or lose, with some of the prima-donnas getting far more in a year than the average working person can achieve in a lifetime? It's no wonder that a lot of football clubs are on the verge of bankruptcy, and that a lot of people can't even afford to go and watch a game.
Okay, sponsorship is one thing, but the current pay structure in the top clubs can't be sustainable with a lot of footballers just sucking the sport dry.
Maybe one option is to have a prize (a pot, such as for boxing) on all professional games with the winner taking all, excepting of course a much smaller amount of appearance money for the losing side?
Also, the state of refereeing appears questionable – inconsistency, incompetence etc. Isn't it time to ensure the professionalism of match officials by giving training were required, and also checking their quality? Why can't football introduce television refereeing and other electronic checking such as is used in tennis, rugby and cricket, at least in the higher professional game?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crony Capitalism?

I'd always naively thought that it was the shareholders who ultimately ran a company by voting to appoint directors etc.! So, I was surprised to hear that this wasn't the case.
Seemingly these “top” people just appoint each other without any reference to the shareholders, usually giving each other ludicrous contracts – ridiculously high salaries, pensions and bonuses! “You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours” fits here!
When a company isn't profitable, how can anyone justify paying any employee a bonus?

Coincidentally though, these practises seem to be much more common in the financial “industry” banks, insurance companies etc.
As far as I can see, the only people really deserving these sorts of remunerations would be:-
  • People setting up companies from scratch
  • Executives taking a failing company back to profitability
  • Inventors
  • Artists – stage, music etc whose earnings are related to performance
  • Sports people who win
Perhaps there are some company executives who think that they deserve to be paid in the ludicrous fashion in which some “professional” footballers are paid!

Another point to consider is who comes up with these ridiculous contracts for example that of ex-Sir Fred "The Shred"  Goodwin? Is it just incompetence or even corruption? Maybe these contract writers and signatories could be sued by the company shareholder?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Internet Dating

As internet and online dating seems to be on the up, I thought I'd list my experiences, which might be of help. I was lucky but there are a lot of pitfalls!

Some years ago I decided to go on holiday to the far east as I'd never been there before and had heard that it was so beautiful. As I was going to go on the trip alone, I thought I'd have a look at an internet dating site to see if I could make one or two friends before I went, as I planned to go to the Philippines and also to Thailand.
I signed up with date.com (free option) and just had a look round. I was soon contacted by a nice Philippine girl who eventually invited me to Cagayan d'Oro to visit. With this, I decided to book my trip. While I was booking my flights there was a bit of hullabaloo! I asked what was going on and was told world war 3 had broken out – it was 9th September 2001! I still booked my flights though – a week in the Philippines, followed by a week in Thailand!
I decided to go back to the dating site to see who I could meet up with whilst in Thailand. I eventually made contact with 2 women who I arranged to meet, one in Bangkok, one on Koh Samui. Before I left on my trip, I was in regular contact with the girl in Bangkok, and our relationship blossomed!
So, I left on my trip, flying first to Manilla with an overnight stop in Taipei and then on to Cagayan d'Oro. When I arrived I was met by my friend, she'd booked me into a hotel for my stay. I had a great week, my friend showed the things to see, but we never clicked romantically, even though I still consider her to be a friend!
I then flew back to Bangkok (I'd traveled through on my way to the Philippines) and was met at the airport by my friend and her brother. She'd booked us into a luxury apartment in the centre of Bangkok, showed me the things to see, and love blossomed!
On my return I started with arranging a visa so my now girlfriend could come and visit me in Europe. After a couple of months she came over and we decided we would get married.
A couple of months later, once the immigration papers had been arranged, we flew to Thailand where we were married!
We've now been married 10 years and have 2 beautiful daughters!

We've been lucky, but there are many pitfalls for people looking for a serious relationship on the internet!
A friend of my wife was drugged, raped and filmed by an American man in Bangkok.
There are a lot of people on social and dating sites pretending to be somebody else, often using photos of someone else to make themselves appear attractive or to hide their real identity or race. Some even pretend to have a different nationality or be resident in another country!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

HCC Waarschuwing

Voor alle leden van de HCC (Hollands Computer Club), het blijkt moelijk om een lidmaatschap op te zeggen - het kan alleen maanden ban te voren terwijl, dacht ik dat de wet veranderd was met betrekking to automatisch verlengin van contracten!
Ik had een email factuur gekregen van de HCC, ik had het beantword met een verzoek to het stopzetten van mijn lidmaatschap wegens mijn werksituatie. Ik had een antwoord gekregen dat ik 2 maanden van te voren moeten opzeggen!
Nu krijg ik een vorderin van de rot incasoburo Intrum Justitie - Justitie, laat me niet lachen. Hun administratie kosten zijn 37 Euro - voor wat? In deze tijden blijken de meeste incasoburos als graaiers te zijn. Misschien zit dit in het Nederlands cultuur?
Volgens mij is de HCC een stichting en zoals met de meeste stichtings in Nederland zit er bovenop een dikbetaald directeur!

Life Motto

If beauty is only skin deep, why were some people born inside-out? ;-)

If at first you don't succeed, just give up! ;-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Amsterdam is now Amstelgrad for me!
This is mainly due to the ex-mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, but also to the behaviour of some members of the council building department. They seem to be nothing more than a bunch of Marxists sometimes - behaviour one might expect in North Korea!
For me, it was a choice between Amstelgrad and Stalindam!
The Dutch government now seem to be behaving in a similar dictatorial fashion! Democracy is long gone in NL!

Amsterdam is nu Amstelgrad voor mij!
Dur komt meestal van de oud burgermeester, Job Cohen, maar ook van het gedrag van sommige mensen van Gemeente Amsterdam, leden van Stadsdeelcentrum Bouw en Wonen! Het zit er uit als een Marxistisch stad in Noord Korea soms!
En nu doet de Nederlands regering een beetje hetzelfde - democratie is heel lang weg in Nederland!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Learning Dutch?

As the Dutch language is Germanic with some words and the sentence structure similar to modern German. It is easier than German as Dutch grammar is much simpler, though a lot of people are scared off with the “gutteral” pronunciation!
As a native English speaker, I came to the Netherlands in 1995 after having lived in Germany for 2 ½ years. I didn't take the language too seriously at the start as I didn't know if I would remain, but after a few months I started to learn the basics - numbers, telling the time etc. Eventually I enrolled in a basic Dutch course (2 evenings per week for 6 months) at the local buurtcentrum (neighbourhood centre).
As a result of my speaking the basic Dutch I'd learned, I eventually got a job with a small Dutch company, who enrolled me in the 1 week “total immersion” course at Berlitz in Amsterdam. A few months after this, and with the help of some coaching I managed to pass the Dutch NT2 at the second attempt (Nederlands als tweede taal – Dutch as a second language)! I managed to build up my Dutch vocabulary by writing a couple of programs, English-Dutch, consisting of a vocabulary list and a program to test my knowledge. This was of great help, enabling me to pass the exams!
I've since added a lot more words and also added more languages. See JAGeZe for more information.

One thing to bear in mind for English speakers living in the Randstad, is that most Dutch people speak (some) English so it is difficult for the Dutch learner to practice. My solution was to play ignorant and pretend I didn't speak/understand much English!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Feel so free
Without your Wii
Can go to the loo
Leaving your PS2
Or go
Without Nintendo
Habitual or addictual?


Facebook, LinkedIn, Hyves,
MySpace, Google, Twitter,
Control been taken of our lives,
And bombarded with all the litter?
Social site or social blight?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Remember the days when a politician, left, right, or centre, was in politics for the good of the people, whether you agreed with his/her views or not?
It seems that nowadays, the vast majority of people who go into politics, go into it as a career, ultimately to fill their own pockets!
Whatever happened to those people who served their time using their skills in their chosen industry before moving into the political arena to use the skills they'd learned for the benefit of the people?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dinner for one ! (Sarkozy und Merkel)

Have a look at this YouTube clip - Dinner for one ! (Sarkozy und Merkel)
- it's in German. A play on the old Dinner for One - see BBC Link