• Tuesday, 28 September 2010

    hello Y

    I have good news for you. Last week!!!
    I have Order china 12 Products Samsung UN55B8000 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV
    I have received the product!
    It's amazing! The item is original, brand new and has high quality,
    but it's muc cheaper. I'm pleased to share this good news with you!
    I believe you will find what you want there and have an good experience
    on shopping from them.
    w e b: <hoaoeso.com>

    Thursday, 6 April 2006

    XSitePro And The Spirit Of Free Enterprise

    One of the vital ideas it's important to understand about the world wide web is that is just naturally designed to favour categories and niches, the narrower and more highly specialised the better.

    What I mean is that if you want to build a site about shirts for example, you'd be much better off building a whole bunch of sites about different types of shirts; formal, casual, silk, cotton, Hawaiian, even individual brands or sports, rather than one big generic shirt site.

    If, like me, you've next to no experience of building websites the thought of building just one can seem very scarey, as I wrote here yesterday New Beginnings. Now here I am saying build even more! What am I, crazy?

    Well actually, I have a cunning plan to cope with that problem - or at least a piece of software in mind that's going to handle it for me.

    Sometimes in life it's best to just dive in, get things started and make the rules up as you go along. Other times a bit of planning and research is called for and this is one of those times. There's an awful lot of software, eBooks and all sorts of moneymaking schemes available on the net, all of which promise to make it easy to make your fortune from the convenience of your own home or even on the beach!

    My mission, and I've chosen to accept it, is to find the golden yellowbrick road to financial independence and personal happiness, hopefully passing relatively unscathed through the thick forest of despair and deception without too much drama!

    After a lot of time spent researching and reading literally hundreds of websites I've come to realise that the hoped for dream, an effortless way to print money whilst enjoying the good life is as rare on the web as in real life. It happens sometimes but basically you need to work at it and not give up too easily.

    Good tools make hard work easier so it's obviously crucial to get the very basic first moves right. As I'm continually reminding my wife Ursula, who is documenting her own efforts to start an internet business at A Woman's Work, the most important part of a house is the foundation. If that's crooked, the house will fall down and I intend the House of Rose to last.

    The first tool we have decided to buy is called XSitePro, which does everything that expensive professional web design software like Dreamweaver does and a whole lot more besides as you can see on this page they call 47 More Reasons Why You Need XSitePro.

    I've only just learned that the people behind this package are English and based in Leeds in Yorkshire. Sometimes it's easy to think that the USA owns the internet, so it's great to have found a great European company to launch my adventures into cyberspace.

    XSitePro offer an affiliate scheme for people like me (or you) to recommend their software and earn a little commission if someone buys it and I'm almost certainly going to sign up for it. I say almost certainly because I haven't bought or used it yet and I'm not prepared to recommend anything without trying it first myself.

    One of the "Golden Rules of Doing Business on the Internet" is to understand that everything on the web is available for ever to everyone so don't ever fake it - you will be found out! It can be incredibly damaging to recommend a product that turns out to be junk, to be caught in an apparent lie by a careless endorsement. Don't sell stuff you're not prepared to stand by.

    One of the things affiliate marketers do to get people like us to buy stuff from them and not one of their rival affiliates is to sweeten the deal. There are absolutely loads of different sites offering anything from free eBooks and software, XSitePro training and even rebates on the purchase price in an effort to gain your business.

    As far as I have been able to discover - and I've done a lot of looking - the best set of sweeteners to go with the already pretty sweet XSitePro package is that offered by the Two Percent Club site, where the value of the free bonuses they offer is seven times more than the price of XSitePro itself.

    They also offer a 50$ (around 40€) rebate on the 197$ (160€) purchase price, so I'm looking at a total investment of only 147$ (120€) for the ability to create as many niche businesses as I can think of. The only other fixed overhead is web hosting but that's even cheaper than XSitePro itself. I'm going to buy it right now!

    Incidentally, the Two Percent Club is a reference to the fact that apparently two percent of affiliates are making 98% of the money. I sure know where I'm heading for!

    PLEASE NOTE: All of the links on this page are direct links to the sites mentioned, not affiliate links.

    Wednesday, 5 April 2006

    New Beginnings

    Due to an overpowering combination of circumstances, both personal and professional, this blog has been neglected for nearly six momentous months.

    I won't bore you with all the details that have diverted my time away from my blogly responsibilities , suffice to say that this blog is returning to active duty (followed shortly by its two Blogger relatives All I Ate Today and About Manchester United) and fully intending to live up to the lofty ambitions up there in the description!

    Expect to read dazzling deeds of ethical adventures in eCommerce as I take my first teetering steps into the brave new world of making a living on the world wide web.

    If you want to share the complete beginner's experience, I strongly recommend you visit my wife Ursula's blog, A Woman's Work.

    Ursula has no prior knowledge of what she's getting into and no previous experience of running a business so is very much going to have to rely on her own hard work and determination as she walks into the undiscovered country of the internet.

    I already have a little bit of a head start over the complete novice, having read up on the subject quite a bit over the last six months and also having an existing website or two, which I had to build myself.

    The most established is Antequera Villa Rental, which has been contributing steadily if modestly to the Rose family fortunes for just over a year now. There's no great secret to a site like that. I designed it over a period of about two weeks using a software programme called Web Studio and we put up a couple of ads on the internet, on Owners Direct and Perfect Places.

    I actually built the first version of the site using the free download of the software so it didn't even cost me anything. I then went on to buy the full programme, which I used early this year to build the current version 2 and put up our new little business on the web, Lighthouse Point Holidays in Torrox Costa.

    Once you get used to it, building websites doesn't seem quite as unimaginably scary as it first appears, although I imagine that it could be even easier.

    To be honest, I now know there are easier ways to build a website with a lot more control over both the layout of pages and important things like keywords to help Google and the other search engines understand what a site is all about. Neither of our two sites is keyword or search engine optimised (SEO is a massive field of mystery we will come back to in the future) at the time of writing and have Google pageranks of 4 and 3 respectively.

    DISCLAIMER: Some of what I cover in future will be on the very subject of making money online as I buy or try a whole bunch of software and new ideas to help me exercise my right to earn a living. Some future posts will include affiliate or associate links to products that I feel worth recommending.

    Rest assured however that any such links will always be clearly indicated as such and if you don't want to support my efforts by buying them through me, there will also be a link direct to the homepage of any site or product I endorse.

    It is my intention to be nothing but honest in these matters and will be reporting my experiences, warts and all, without fear or favour to the companies whose products I use. Some of the material will possibly be used for future publication elsewhere.

    I am particularly keen on the idea of reviewing a whole series of different software products and eBooks both here in Alienboy's World and for the time-sucking magnificence that is Blogcritics, the wildest bunch of bloggers on the web. Imagine the literary equivalent of the famous bar scene in Star Wars!

    However, I digress.

    The Rose family of blogs are probably going to abandon blogger.com in favour of a more versatile platform in the very near future. I'm sure Google haven't actually forgotten about Blogger as they grow, but the technical limitations of this platform (no categories!) and the frankly rubbish technical support they give leave very little option to anybody wanting anything more than the most basic of blogs.

    I will, of course, keep this blog and, more importantly, YOU, fully informed.

    Friday, 7 October 2005

    Power, Corruption and Lies

    The latest Corruption Index published by Tranparency International ranks 159 countries by the level of perceived corruption and reveals a world still struggling with the twin axes of evil that are corruption and poverty.

    Not surprisingly, the majority of the world's most corrupt countries featured in the report are the world's poorest nations such as Chad and Bangladesh, who came in joint last place of the 159 countries covered; Nigeria came in 154th; Kenya, Pakistan and Paraguay (!) were amongst a group of countries in 144th spot with Iraq, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Azerbaijan tieing for 137th.

    Venezuela is the next South American country to feature in the list, grouped with the likes of Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan and Papua New Guinea followed by Russia, Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone at 126.

    At the other end of the table, the "good" end if you will, Iceland takes the title of world's least corrupt nation, closely followed by Finland, New Zealand, Denmark and Singapore.

    Other notable rankings which may surprise many include the United Kingdom at joint 11th with The Netherlands; Canada 14th and Germany 16th, one spot ahead of the United States, who just push France into 18th. The "Top 20" is completed by Belgium and Ireland with Chile taking the least corrupt in Latin America title in a tie with Japan for 21. My country of residence, Spain, comes in at 23 with a rating of exactly 7 out of 10, most of which is real estate related.

    A score of 5 or less is seen as indicating serious corruption problems and almost 120 countries failed to reach this minimum standard, with more than a hundred scoring less than 3, pointing to rampant corruption in both the private and public sectors.

    To mark the publication this month of the report, “Corruption is a major cause of poverty as well as a barrier to overcoming it,” said Transparency International Chairman Peter Eigen. “The two scourges feed off each other, locking their populations in a cycle of misery. Corruption must be vigorously addressed if aid is to make a real difference in freeing people from poverty.”

    TI Chief Executive David Nussbaum added: "Corruption isn't a natural disaster, it is the cold, calculated theft of opportunity from the men, women and children who are least able to protect themselves".

    Tranparency International is "the only international non-governmental organisation devoted to combating corruption [and] brings civil society, business, and governments together in a powerful global coalition".

    The Corruption Index "ranks countries in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. It is a composite index, drawing on corruption-related data in expert surveys carried out by a variety of reputable institutions. It reflects the views of business people and analysts from around the world, including experts who are locals in the countries evaluated".

    A version of this article is cross-posted here at BlogCritics.

    Wednesday, 17 August 2005

    Serious Questions About God

    There are many religions on this planet and many of their believers strongly trust that their particular creed is the one and only true faith. As far as I understand it, they all (or at least the vast majority) seem to believe that there is only one God. Setting aside the issue of how many different ways there are of worshipping this singularity, there are a lot of God related questions which always seem to go unanswered. This article is a serious and sincere attempt to outline some outstanding unanswered questions about God.

    1. God appears to be unique, one of a kind, a genuine singularity, but is there really only one?

    2. If, as all the current religious writings seem to say, there is only one entity of this omnipotent genre, it lives alone. Sure, it has all of us, and possibly all the known universe, its creations, to care for, but is s/he lonely?

    3. One of the problems doubters have is the absence of any physical manifestation. Let's face it, if God turned up in all their terrifying glory, it would instantly squash all questions of existence. If God is alone and possibly lonely, why doesn't s/he hang out more?

    4. On the other hand, perhaps God is not alone, but one of a whole species or race of beings simply way more advanced and evolved than we are. If there are more, where are they? And what are they doing?

    5. If God is actually a physical being, s/he must actually be somewhere, even if they are omnipresent and all-knowing. Where is God physically located?

    6. As far as we can tell, with our limited understanding, all living things need regular inputs of fuel, what we call food. Does this universal rule also apply to God? And if so, what does s/he eat?

    7. As a follow on question, all living things also produce byproducts of the refueling process. If God eats, do they also have waste products and what does s/he do with them?

    8. Similarly, all energetic systems produce heat as another byproduct of existence. If s/he consumes, why can't we detect a heat signature?

    9. And whilst pondering these issues, there seems to be certain universal laws of nature. Does God also obey the laws of nature?

    10. I, for one, would prefer a universe with active gods that one could call upon for guidance and support - and not only because it would completely change the mostly predictable world in which we live. Does God's infinite patience and indulgence of us, its creations according to dogma, go to such lengths that if it came to it, s/he would actually allow us to blow ourselves out of existence through the development of ever more terrible weapons?

    PLEASE NOTE: This is intended as a serious attempt to have a focussed and intelligent dialogue about the nature of God. It is meant respectfully and not as an attempt to be provocative and/or offensive to anybody's beliefs. Please respond in a similar spirit and resist the impulse to attack a simple enquiring mind.

    This article is also cross-posted here on BlogCritics.

    Wednesday, 10 August 2005

    What's worse than 2 dead lawyers?

    Just 1 dead lawyer! Yeah, I know, stupid joke but the following may slightly justify it.

    Ursula and I have been looking for a new lawyer for a while now and, as we're hanging near Nerja for a while thought we'd look there. Our last lawyer was a Spanish Abogado in Antequera but with their poor English and our poor Spanish, communication was never easy. Anyway, they were consumed by a host of personal problems and unable to continue working for a while, so we were on our own at a difficult time when strong legal representation could really have helped.

    Needing to be able to communicate clearly and easily and hoping to find someone more dynamic and proactive, we thought we'd go for an English lawyer based in Spain, hoping to get the best of both worlds. After some research, a likely candidate emerged; a team of English and Spanish lawyers with branches in Nerja, Marbella and London. So I phoned up to make an appointment and had the following conversation with a snobby person who might have been called Naomi.


    Me: Hi, I'm looking for a lawyer to represent my wife and I in some future property deals, company formation stuff and some personal matters and would like to come in for a meeting to see if you would be right to represent us.
    Snobbette: Er, so you want a consultation?
    Me: No, I want to meet with, interview if you like, one of your senior partners to see if you would fit with us and our plans.

    Trust me, if you're going to work with lawyers, they often come to know more about you than anybody else; wife, parents, doctor, holy person if you're that way inclined, none of these will ever know as much as your lawyer, so it's important to work with someone you feel comfortable with.

    Snobbette: A___ J______ is the partner here.
    Me: How long has he been with the firm?
    Snobbette: Oh, about a year!
    This should have been my tip that these people weren't clued up!
    Me: You do remember me saying I wanted to meet with a senior partner?
    Snobbette: Shall I set up the consultation?
    Me: Why don't you tell AJ what I've told you and check with him?

    After several mins on hold, Snobbette returns...
    Snobbette: Mr J will meet with you but if he gives you any advice the charge will be 80 Euros an hour.
    Me: Oh, there won't be any advice given, I just want to meet to see if I think you'd be right for us
    Snobbette: Er, so you don't want legal advice?
    Me: NO! I want to interview one of your senior partners to see if you'd be the right legal represention for us!

    I'm not famous for my patience and this clueless twit is really starting to hack me off. I'm looking for sharp legal minds and I'm practically being hustled for a lousy 80 Euros.

    Me: Have you told AJ what I said?
    Snobbette: Yes and he said he would meet with you but if he gave you any advice it would be for 80 Euros an hour.
    Me: I've decided you're not the right firm for us, you don't hear what I'm saying to you and all you want to talk about is money, before we've even met. Goodbye.

    And I hang up.

    A few days later, Ursula and I are walking in Nerja and see a little law firm and for some reason are drawn to their door. I didn't really want to go in, still hacked off over my last lawyer experience and not being sure where to try next, given our English strategy was in tatters. So Ursula popped in and got their card and told me that everyone in there spoke English, though appeared to be Spanish. I noticed they had a website and planned to check them out later back home.

    I didn't actually get round to looking at their site til the next day, but, surprise, it was built in not only Spanish, but also English and German! And it was a good site, nice simple design, quick to load and easy to use and not too big! And their philosophy of getting to know the client, of treating the client's needs and problems as if they were their own, was just what we needed! This was looking good.

    They had a page showing all the staff, their qualifications and areas of expertise and I was able to identify 3 or 4 who had the necessary legal and commercial background. S0 I phoned up and was able to set up a meeting the next day with one of the 3, a senior partner with a solid financial understanding. and we went in, had a great meeting with one Ernesto Yagüe Sánchez, who spoke good English and just seemed to get us straightaway.


    To cut a long story shorter, we now have new lawyers in the shape of the good people of Del Prado & Partnersand are feeling a lot happier after another difficult 15 month stretch as we continue growing into our new lives here in Spain. Several people messed us about quite seriously during that time, our 3rd year in Spain, but now well into our 4th, we feel able to make up for lost time, confidence restored by the new alliance and come out fighting!

    When you're a stranger in a strange land, and are doing any kind of business, it's vital to have a strong team of people supporting you, to protect you against yourself and your lack of knowledge of the way they do things here, the very different way of doing things they have here in Spain. And now we do! So watch out world, here we come, again.

    Tuesday, 2 August 2005

    Can all the haters please leave the planet?

    Watching the vigil for Anthony Walker, the Liverpool teenager horribly murdered by sick evil racists - who killed poor Anthony with an axe and left it sticking out of the back of his head - I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my face listening to the simple dignity of his mother, Gee Walker. I don't care who you are or what belief system you claim to support, killing is ALWAYS wrong and life SO precious and fragile.

    We desperately need a better world to believe in, one where people don't kill each, where hundreds of millions of people, people damnit, aren't starving to death or living in abject poverty, where the rich people of the planet passionately feel that poverty, starvation and disease are simply unacceptable in the so-called modern world, where the colour of your skin just doesn't matter, where politicians don't control or exploit us but try to help us have better lives, where we can spend 30 billion Euros to end poverty and not 80 billion to wage war. This is the world that should be our right to live in.

    A world that doesn't take these issues as simple, fundamental basics of civilised living, not vague dreams of hopeless romanticism, is not a world that is fit to consider itself ethical, moral or decent.

    Hoping that the more that read this the better, it has been cross-posted here on the wonderful BlogCritics site.

    Monday, 1 August 2005

    BlogCritics is always full of little surprises...

    I help out in a very modest way on a cool site called BlogCritics, where a bunch of passionate bloggers get to review everything from current affairs to cultural works and participate in an often articulate, always dynamic flow of ideas between the army of BC and the hordes of committed, or committable, commentors.

    Today I came across this review of the NME C86 cassette, which provoked me into revealing the following little known story...

    "I dunno if it's interesting but some may already know that C86 was in fact only the latest in a whole series of NME Cassettes which started back in 1981 with the cleverly titled C81, can't quite recall now if it was 81 minutes long but wouldn't be surprised.

    The whole series of NME tapes was born out of a conversation between myself and then NME journalist Roy Carr back when I was working for Rough Trade Records in London's then ultra-cool Ladbroke Grove area.

    I was the second of three members of what turned into one of the best ever PR teams, led by my immediate boss, the legendary late Scott Piering, originally from San Francisco and backed up by the inspired mania of the sadly also late French-American genius Claude Bessey.

    Really can't imagine why I'm the only one left alive now, as we were all living pretty much out there lifestyles, the one BIG difference I can think of is that Scott and Claude both smoked cigarettes heavily; Scott tried to get by on low tar brands but was occasionally tempted by the hideous beauty of Claude's seemingly ever-present Gauloises.

    Personally, I'd given up the killer weed one crazy night in Antwerp, Belgium, where I'd lived for a couple of years back in the mid 70s, but that's another story.

    C81 was made available by mail order and broke records for reader response, so both the record company and the music paper, then edited by the excellent Neal Spencer, possibly the NME's last great Editor, were delighted to keep the series going.

    A quick search turned up this link, which seems to be a Young Marble Giants fansite, the link leads to a photo of the artwork (it seems funny now to think that cassettes were actually hip and trendy then, all that tape!) and an artist listing that includes such greats as Scritti Politti, The Beat, Pere Ubu, Orange Juice, Cabaret Voltaire, D.A.F., the Specials, the Buzzcocks, the Raincoats, Josef K, Virgin Prunes, Aztec Camera, Red Crayola and Subway Sect amongst many more."

    Sunday, 31 July 2005

    Prince and the New Power Generation website

    Prince's NPG Music Club website

    Posted by Alienboy on July 31, 2005 04:18 PM (See all posts by Alienboy)
    Filed under: Music, Culture/Tech: Internet, Music: Funk, Review - Scroll down to read comments on this story and/or add one of your own.

    New Power Generation
    Music from Msi
    Release date: 02 September, 2003

    Dear Prince, NPGMusicClub

    Ever since I was introduced to your music, I’ve been a keen fan of your work. It was back in the day when I worked at what used to be one of the great Independent record companies, Rough Trade. I was talking about music with one Bob Scotland, (who was fiercely intellectual, Socialist, Scottish and if memory serves, rather a good bass player also!). He was already a huge fan of yours and slipped me a cassette of your mind-blowing double album “1999” - which was only released as a single album in the UK unfortunately - not that that stopped me getting a copy!

    I don’t know what happened to Bob, but I know what happened to me:- a lifelong casual love affair began with your music, and just as important, the implied life style, the funk! I could feel the force!! Since then, you’ve been an important part of my life, for funky music is just so damn sexy - and there is so little of it around these days. You were always there for me when I wanted to bump or grind - or both! And I was always there for you, when you correctly told WB to take a hike, turned yourself into a symbol, formed the New Power Generation (10 years on, “Exodus” is STILL one of the GREAT albums in my life’s soundtrack) and later reclaimed your regal crown, I stood by you, defended you, once almost fought for you.

    Prince, when the chance came to review your website, the NPG Music Club I was so excited. I thought it might give me a little taste of what it might have been like to visit the now defunct Glam Slam or get in to Paisley Park for one of those hot live party nights you do sometimes.

    What I’m about to say might astound you because, unfortunately, the site really doesn’t do you justice. Even over broadband it’s quite slow to load, the click-on-images-not-text links idea has always been better from a designer’s point of view than a user’s - I want to know where I’m going, damn it, too busy to play guessing games, the whole site is too fussy, and finding the links I want so irritating; you really should go find whoever came up with that idea and slap them upside the head. How many people might not take the time to find their way around? Quite a lot is my guess, so the site effectively discourages people from spending time and money there. It's also not compatible with modern html standards compliant browsers (that means Firefox if you didn't get that) so sucks technically.

    You’re still one of the greatest American musicians, play a mean guitar (along with almost every other instrument), sing like the devil and all that, but the site could be a lot more, well, fun. That said, I’m thrilled to be a member, and already paid to download 2 albums, but that’s just me. However, the track downloads are clunky and not user friendly. I followed the instructions to the letter but it all went wrong and nothing would play. It’s taken over half an hour with your tech support people, who only work Californian hours, and it’s not been sorted yet. HOPEFULLY it will all get sorted in the end.

    And why should I have to download each track of a CD separately? I ought to be able to simply download the whole album in one simple operation. And why don't you include some information? You know, who played what on which tracks, production credits, the making of, that kind of thing. Printable artwork would be nice too. So you missed out on the chance to cross-sell other stuff by keeping me current and you didn't enhance the music. SLOPPY!

    What’s that? What about the music, you say? Well, that’s another story for another day. You’re still one of the coolest creatures that ever walked this Earth but nowadays I guess we’re hearing the same music but somehow dancing to a different tune...

    This review of Prince's NPGMusicClub is also presented on BlogCritics.

    More fine reading at Blogcritics.org. Scroll down to read comments on this story and/or add one of your own. Support Blogcritics.org by shopping at Amazon.com from this page.

    Exodus/New Power Generation Prince & The New Power Generation/Prince

    An apology and several new beginnings...

    First of all, I must apologise both to this blog and the entire blogiverse for letting this blog get out of control. There are a million reasons, moving, re-structuring, re-locating relatives, pressure of work, but none of them seems to justify not posting here for the last 3 months.

    However, a lot has happened these last few weeks, not least of which is the launch today of 2 New Blogs, both of which are incredibly tightly focussed compared to life here in Alienboy's World.

    With the start of the new football season getting excitingly close, I haven't been able to resist the opportunity of launching About Manchester United , the blog that does exactly what it says on the tin, it's all about the greatest football club in the world! This will naturally feature one distant fan's view of his home town club, one of the persistent features of an ever-changing life!

    Another ever present feature of life is food and, to help my continued efforts to diet and lose weight, I've started All I Ate Today which is going to detail EVERYTHING I eat, meal by meal, course by course, every little munchie day by day, the whole truth WILL be told. That and a whole load of tangentially connected foodie thoughts can be found.

    So, hopefully as life starts to take on a little more definition, after a long period of fluidity and change, a little more stability will allow this blog of mine to grow to a size worthy of an entire world, Alienboy's World .

    Tuesday, 12 April 2005

    Rocket Festival, Antequera 29 April to 1 May 2005

    Thanks to a blog i found today, Agenda Personal, I found out about the awesome Rocket Festival (Festival site in English & Español) taking place in a beautiful hidden valley near Antequera (links to city info in English, Español and more info on the new serendipitous discovery World66). I haven't had time to check it out personally but W66 appears to be a great wiki travel guide, "the travel guide you write" (my italics) and their site has a Creative Commons licence too - well worth a more detailed visit I reckon.

    The Rocket Festival runs from the Friday (29/4) to the Sunday (1/5) and "
    is a three day festival of contemporary and traditional music, performance and sculpture set in a beautiful site in the heart of Andalucia in the deep south of Spain. Local artists, performers and crew are working with guests from across Europe to create a truly international festival with a strong Andalucian influence.

    The ethos of the festival is to bring together as diverse a range of entertainment as possible. Artists from Malaga, Granada and Antequera will share a stage with artists from Britain, Austria, France and elsewhere in Europe.

    Musical styles will vary from traditional and modern Andalucian music through blues, jazz, rock, reggae to the best live dance music and DJs. The main stage powered by the Innerfield Soundsystem hosts a wide variety of local and international bands.

    The Dance Tent powered by Turbozone features DJs and Live Acts from Spain, England and the rest of Europe playing Breakbeat, Drum and Bass, House and Techno.

    A strong focus is placed on traditional and modern circus and performance with demonstrations and skills workshops for people of all ages.

    Look out for the spectacular 21st century sculptures in the arts and crafts area - workshops for young and old alike are available to learn some new skills.

    The Rocket Festival is open to people of all ages. A lively kids area is provided to keep the young ones entertained with the skateboard ramp and BMX track in the Extreme Area for the older and more adventurous.

    The site of the festival is a tranquil valley 15km from Antequera below the stunning Sierra De Camorolos mountain range. The site has excellent access via the A45 Malaga – Cordoba motorway with regular cheap flights to Malaga from all over Europe.

    A key objective for the festival is to promote the importance of nature and the environment and this has been a big influence on the choice of venue. Through the festival and our approach to recycling the festival aims to increase ecological awareness and respect for our surroundings within the community.

    If you want to get involved or find out more about the festival please get in touch. CONTACT US." And they mean it too - 6 hours work earns you a refund of the massive 40€ entry!

    Monday, 11 April 2005

    Alienboy in Antequera

    Eye Eye Posted by Hello

    Now I can see you looking at me looking at you, right?

    Thursday, 7 April 2005

    work is a 4 letter word

    So there I am, hunched over the computer, 20-odd Firefox tabs open, battling to get my head round re-designing our Antequera Villa Rental website, when in from the garden comes Ursula, asking for advice. So we go outside and down the garden path where I find a mound of vine prunings and Ursula turns and says "I'm tired and just wondered if you could help me by picking up these prunings?".

    At this moment it's a choice between giving in to the presumption that physical labour is somehow "better" than working on the puter and venting frustration that I have now totally lost the precious little concentration and understanding I can muster to upgrade the site. Concentration lost, frustration won. I won but also lost, lol.

    Busy days in Antequera...

    Ursula and I have now got 8 weeks and counting to finish all the building work and find a new place to live - both for ourselves and Ursula's mother Stella, who has now decided to move to Spain to enjoy some decent weather.

    This week we are putting in a new shower room with the help of our builder Miguel and plumber Antonio. They have seen us through several crises over the last four years and we know we can trust them to do good work!

    Meanwhile our best friends here in Spain, Mark and Åsa, are painting the entire exterior whilst Ursula tends to the garden. This is a bigger task than it might sound - there's over 4000 metres of it for a start - and our newly hired gardener has quit after only one week!

    And our new electrician, Andy Parker, who has only recently joined the great European migration trail to the South, is sorting out the tangled web of circuitry left by his predecessor whilst looking after the varied demands of a wife and 2 teenage daughters and coping with his first does of Spanish flu.

    As for me, I'm still figuring out how to do a significant upgrade of our website which involves a steep learning curve as an RSS feed or two, Amazon Associates coding, PayPal payment coding , an MPG of Ursula's Recent satellite TV interview and a total design overhaul to be done. and I've only ever built 2 websites before, and that thanks to the user-friendly Web Studio software. It should be an interesting challenge for both it and me!

    Saturday, 2 April 2005

    Goats by Ursula Rose, July 2004

    Goats and Herder in Fuente de Piedra, Málaga by Ursula Rose, July 2004

    Thursday, 24 March 2005

    Our new lawn in Antequera emerges from the weeds

    The new back lawn and vineyards beyond

    Spring IS in the air

    The weather here in Antequera has finally turned to a lovely early Spring, full of unexpected but much needed showers.

    The change has spurred all the garden into rampant growth and there's a lot to do to get everything looking good before we bug out for the Summer. Ursula and I have now decided to get some help with the two non-stop jobs at the villa, mowing the grass and cleaning the pool so our new friend Rolando at AquaGarden (one of the many new businesses springing up in Antequera) is going to help us out.

    Even though we've been here over 3 years now, the friendliness of almost everyone we've met around here is still impressive. It's just not possible to rush around doing business in the coldly efficient way of our old life in London. Here it just seems rude not to spend as much time as necessary talking about friends and family, especially as we have some!

    What's all the Fuss about the new Euro Constitution?

    What's all the Fuss about the new Euro Constitution?

    Posted by Alienboy on March 23, 2005 03:24 PM (See all posts by Alienboy)
    Filed under: Books: Business, Books: Nonfiction, Books: Politics and Affairs, Politics, Politics: Law, Politics: World

    A Constitution for the European Union (CESifo Seminar Series)
    Dennis C. Mueller
    Book from The MIT Press
    Release date: 01 September, 2004

    Many people have quite heated positions on the subject of the new European Constitution
    but to my way of thinking, it's such a simple no-brainer that at times it's hard to remember what all the fuss is about.

    The proposed reforms will strengthen my rights as a citizen of the New Europe, establish the European Union as a legal body, put an end to the ludicrous 6-month rotating presidency nonsense by creating a permanent post, address the current democratic deficit by strengthening somewhat the European Parliament, reduce the ability of selfish states to hold the EU to ransom by replacing veto rights with qualified majority voting, and creates an exit clause so states who really do want to go it alone can.

    Doesn't seem like a whole big deal to get fussed about really, but for a fuller consideration of the issues, the BBC have a fair and balanced report here

    More fine reading at Blogcritics.org.
    Support Blogcritics.org by shopping at Amazon.com from this page.

    A Constitution for the European Union (CESifo Seminar Series)/Dennis C. Mueller

    First posted on Blogcritics

    Tuesday, 22 March 2005

    Welcome to the House of Fun

    Welcome to the House of Fun

    Posted by Alienboy on March 22, 2005 02:58 PM (See all posts by Alienboy)

    Heavy Heavy Hits
    Music from Emi Int'l
    Release date: 16 February, 1999

    I don’t know how English music (by which I mean music that sounds uniquely English, rather than music made by Brits that simply sounds international) goes down in the USA these days, but there have been some great artists over the years that maybe haven’t done quite as well as they could have in the Americas.

    To set the ball rolling here is Madness (crap site btw, don’t go unless you really want to), whose Nutty Ska image and very English voices sometimes obscured a band of impressive musical ability and a wonderful way with words.

    This compilation features 23 consecutive hits in chronological order that reveal the depth and diversity of their musical reach, going far beyond their Ska roots, even tracks that you think you know sound different after a gap of years. It took my breath away to re-learn that “Our House” has one of the most perfect openings of any pop song, love that bass burp too!

    Titles like “My Girl’s Mad At Me”, “Embarrassment”, “Grey Day”, “Shut Up”, “Tomorrow’s Just Another Day”, “One Better Day” and “Yesterday’s Men” highlight a recurrent theme of loss, alienation, betrayal, fear, an increasing sense of wasted precious time and quiet English desperation forming the core of the Madness experience -desperate but still dancing.

    Tracks like “Wings Of A Dove”, “Michael Caine” and the covers of Labi Sifre’s “It Must Be Love” (not too bad, actually) and Scritti Politti’s “The Sweetest Girl” (very bad) reminded me how Madness were not always great and ultimately faded away, probably still “Waiting for the Ghost Train” of Fame to call upon them again.

    By the way, both the US & UK sites have the same Amaz(on)ing typos “Night Beat To Cairo” and, my personal favourite, “Yesterday’s Menu”! LOL

    This review originally posted on Blogcritics

    The Joys of Unexpected Shopping!

    Spring is finally in the air and there is a lot of work to be done as we prepare the villa for it's first season as a holiday rental in Antequera and yesterday (Monday) was the day for our big shopping day out on the Costa Del Sol.

    We needed a full set of bathroom fittings for the planned power shower room so a full tour of Bathroom and DIY shops was in prospect but fortunately Leroy Merlin proved equal to the task of satisfying the fabulous but demanding taste of Ursula, my wife, on the budget of, well, not a pauper, but certainly not a prince!

    This gave me a chance to sneak off to the nearby record store and stock up on a few bargains, one of which was the Madness singles compilation, "Heavy Heavy Hits" , rare on Amazon but here a snip for 7 Euros!

    23 UK hit singles in 7 years, many of them sublime (House of Fun, Shut Up, My Girl's Mad At Me, Our House) is a pretty impressive record by anybody's standards and many of these songs are genuine classics.

    Monday, 21 March 2005

    My First Blogcritique

    How Herman Hesse Changed My Life Forever

    Posted by Alienboy on March 20, 2005 09:33 PM (See all posts by Alienboy)
    Filed under: Books, Books: Philosophy, Books: SF - Scroll down to read comments on this story and/or add one of your own.

    The Glass Bead Game : (Magister Ludi) A Novel
    Hermann Hesse
    Book from Picador
    Release date: 06 December, 2002

    As a callow 16 year old virgin, forced by circumstances beyond my control to take premature control of my life, I had many romantic ideas about the world.

    Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game completely revolutionised the way I saw the world, showed me the limitations of fixed beliefs and committed me to a life of transcending the usual life options. Or so it seemed at the time, lol

    This is a great, if lengthy, book which repays the persistent reader with a wonderful work of fiction, science fiction, a tantalising concept, the Glass Bead Game itself, and a profound understanding of human nature. Great stuff!

    I can't better the writeup at amazon, so i'll quote it

    "The final novel of Hermann Hesse, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, The Glass Bead Game is a fascinating tale of the complexity of modern life as well as a classic of modern literature

    Set in the 23rd century, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game)."

    The really great thing is that Knecht (German for servant, I suspect), despite his intellectual brilliance, never forgets the importance of simple human life, indeed comes to value it more highly than intellectual perfection.

    Many people are fascinated with the game itself and there many sites devoted to it, notably http://www.glassbeadgame.com/

    More fine reading at Blogcritics.org.

    The Glass Bead Game : (Magister Ludi) A Novel/Hermann Hesse

    This post originally made to Blogcritics

    Sunday, 20 March 2005

    I must be on a roll

    I've been accepted as a contributor at Blogcritics , which is great.

    They have a wonderfully diverse group of reviewers or "sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, technology, and politics" as they have been called, although there is also a provocative sprinkling of diehards, blowhards and totally out there loonies!

    I've been commenting on many of the posts for a few weeks now, so it just seemed right to get a little more involved now...


    Well, I just logged in to the Manchester United server of the Sunday League to see how the competition to take over my team is going and found this in the Hall of Fame...


    Alienboy was one of Man 2's greats, and is in the minority of managers who can claim to have been a commanding presence on the game over 'generations'. A real old school manager, his brilliance on the game and wit on the forums hadn't faded since he joined in late 2002 to when he left early 2005. If anything, one could say he moved from strength to strength - 3 Elite Cups underline just how good this manager was. Proved his resilience on countless occasions, surviving defeats on the forum and on the game to come back stronger, usually having the last laugh along the way. A legend who learnt his trade with the old guard and - along with Pparch - the only manager who stayed at the very top until they decided to call it a day.

    * blushes*

    This is our swimming pool in Antequera

    This is our swimming pool with peach, plum and walnut trees in the background

    A load more photos can be seen at Antequera Villa Rental

    Shady Garden Spot

    Shady Garden Spot