The making of a laundry room

It was time to renovate a water damaged laundry room from 1968.. the dimensions are 1,5m x 2m which isn’t ideal for present times but since we weren’t in the mood for tearing down walls and extending the house here is how it went..

All credit goes to Mohammad Said and Hanni for taking up the job and doing all the work in the extremely short time right before our move in!

Still waiting for cabinet doors but they come when they come 🙂


Quick Guide: Moving to Sweden

Assuming that you already have a valid work/study permit here are a few things that must be done in the first few days..

  • Find an accommodation
    This is not easy but by being proactive and putting out an “ad” for your self on sites such as and presenting yourself well the chances improve dramatically

    Your first accommodation might be a “second hand accommodation” or Andrahand in swedish that means you are renting from some one who is him/herself a “first-hand renter”, eventually after arriving you will get your bearings aligned and aim for finding a first-hand rent – although queues are long and tiring in bigger cities so one must be patient.

    Second hand contracts are not unusual – but make sure you have a written agreement and have agreed on the deposit and terms for leaving the accommodation if needs be, record all irregularities in the apartment and take pictures on the very first days and share them with the person yo are renting from – its very common to end up paying for pre existing faults in the apartment when you are about to leave – meaning that your deposit is docked.
  • The correct mailing address!
    May seem insignificant but can cause undelivered mail.. If renting second hand remember, if the original renter has not removed his name, remember when giving out your address to mention explicitly “c/o John Doe” so the mail isn’t bounced back.
  • Important Documents
    Bring your Passport, Resident permit, Marriage certificate (if along with a spouse) and Birth certificates (if with kids) and the respective Passports of each person moving to Sweden when you go to Skatteverket etc

    It would be helpful for your future if you attest all your documents such as marriage certificates, university degrees and qualifications from your local government authorities like the foreign office before coming to Sweden.
  • Get a Phone and SIM
    You cannot get a monthly subscription until you have a personnummer, but take any prepaid sim and put some money inside to make it functional, a phone number is needed.

Without a “personnummer” you don’t exist and cannot function in Swedish society [fullstop]

This is the most time consuming task, can take from 30-60 days and before this happens many other things will not proceed.
  • Register your self in Sweden by visiting Skatteverket
    The most important requirement as a new resident is to register with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). This registration process (folkbokföring) ensures you’re added into the system for tax collection, personal identification, marital status monitoring, mailing address information and insurance purposes.

    By registering with the Tax Agency, you will be assigned a unique personal identification number, ‘personnummer‘ (similar to the British National Insurance number).

    Your legal identity in Sweden hinges on this key number and it is used for everyday official tasks such as opening up bank accounts and getting paid by your employer.

    This online application is the starting point
    The application is self explanatory and must be done as soon have reached your new accommodation in Sweden..
  • Get the “personbevis
    Once you have got an acknowledgment of your personnummer you can request a personbevis either by visiting one of the offices here
    You would need this personbevis to open a bank account or show your person number. It must be accompanied by a valid Photo ID like a passport.
  • Open a Bank Account
    Most banks will ask for the personbevis, with a valid photo ID and a job contract to open a bank account. Nordea is a good option and has good apps and tools also in English. You will need to go with your employer to the bank to make an account that is based on a temporary personnummer… you can receive your salary here but will not be issue a credit card against it..

    One you have the personnummer you will have to visit the bank again to get a bank ID for identification and credit cards.
  • Bank ID
    When you get a bank account you also will get a bank ID – this is a must have as it is used to electronically validate your identity in countless websites and government authorities. The Personnummer is mandatory to proceed with this.
  • Your Healthcare Center – Vårdcentralen 
    Find your closest one here – you will register there when you make your first visit, sickness, pregnancy etc. etc.. but you should know where the closest ones are..
    —> Dialing 1177 on your phone connects you to a healthcare professional for basic needs.
  • Migrationsverket
    This is not the most important thing as your first visa is valid for a few months but just important to take the time and make an early morning trip to the Migrationsverket to complete the paper work here.

Essential Apps for your Phone:

  • (for Skåne)
    The one and only app you need for transportation in Skåne.
    If you don’t have a a phone or a credit card (to register the app) goto the customer support centers at the central stations.
  • BankID säkerhetsapp – The bank ID app is needed as a digital token for validating your identity

Other Essentials

  • – The biggest second hand market place on the web for Sweden
  • Stadium – One of the biggest sports good and out door wear shops, “Everest” is a good brand to start with for jackets, later on splurge when you know your needs..
  • Prisjakt – a good place to compare prices of anything electronics or shoes on all webshops
  • Försäkringskassan – Social healthcare, sickness and parental benfits.

Marvel Movies in Chronological Order

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (takes place during WWII)
  • Captain Marvel (takes place in 1995)
  • Iron Man (takes place in 2010)
  • Iron Man 2 (takes place after Iron Man)
  • The Incredible Hulk (time unspecified, pre-Avengers)
  • Thor (takes place six months before Avengers)
  • The Avengers (takes place in 2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (takes place six months after The Avengers)
  • Thor: Dark World (post-Avengers, pre-Ultron)
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier (post-Avengers, pre-Ultron)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (sometime in 2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (after Guardians)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (takes place in 2015)
  • Ant-Man (takes place in 2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (post-Ultron, pre-Infinity War)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (post-Civil War, pre-Infinity War)
  • Doctor Strange (takes place in 2016)
  • Black Panther (takes place in 2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (post-Ultron, pre-Infinity War)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (takes place in 2017)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp (ambiguous, but fits nicely between IW and Endgame)
  • Avengers: Endgame (starts in 2017, finishes in 2022)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (post-Endgame)

Stan the Syndrome and many more from The Sacred Register

In 1998 while taking summer classes in the 12th grade, Zeek and I started doodling on a register… it was a mix of anthems, propaganda, animations and most importantly the names of our alter egos that we would one day use to dominate the world.

I lost the register when I took it with me to university… I still hope deep inside that it will one day appear from under some boxes that have my past lives in. But two decades ago when we received emails we printed them and thanks to that, today Zeek found something that brought back those memories of evenings not paying attention to the teachers who had given up their time, trying in vain to make us better versions of ourselves and instead we were cooking up some pretty nasty aliases in THE SACRED REGISTER..

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-26 at 15.01.13

Jerry Grey Cell Sucker
Tommy Tumor
Detonating Dave
Rojer Typhoon
Sam Wham
Sinatra the Savage
Phillip Psychoses
Marcus G3
Rocco the Saint
Joe Grenade
Jason Jaguar
Chico Chameleon
Terrible 2T
Nicholas Deadly
Cecil Cyanide
Papa Potash
Grandpa Disaster
Dexter Dreadful
Zombie Zeek
Charles Repeater
Tommy the Titan
Hyper Hercules
Horrible Henderson
Cane Cruelty
Knuckles Nuclear
Larry Scary
Sinister Cobra
Caustic Cobra
Electric Eek
Freaky Fredrik
Landmine Christoffer
Lunatic Larry
Mick Molecule
Atomic Sam
Bum Kisser Henry
Barbwire Bum
Kick Butt Charlie
Stan Stain Gun
Romey Stoneheart
Psycho Smith
Dynamite Dan
Barry the Butcher
Chainsaw Charlie
Barry the Blade
Mark Razor
Explosive Earnie
Smooth Sammy
Psycho Smith
Daring Dan
Sonic Boom
Resonating Rick
Destructive Dick
Merciless Mark
Murderous Mason
Ballistic Billy
Volatile Vick
Radioactive Robert
Redeye Richie
Victor the Warrior
Hazardous Harry
Stuart Strangler
Laser Larry
Torturous Timothy
Anthony Third Degree
Butch the Gator
Sharky Hanson
Hitman Bruno
Pissed off Pete
Shit Head Shirly <<< the first female antagonist!
Chain Reaction Kate  <<< ( I think the idea of a cast of women finally clicked)
Lazarus Rodriguez
Killer Casey
Cut Throat Kitty
Angelino Catastrophe
Stan the Syndrome
Don Disease
Earnest Epidemic
Brainless Barrister
Nick Narcotics
Gutsy Graziano
Harry Hypnotic
Nunchuk Nancy
Jerome Godfather
Nemesis Nuthead
Terry TNT
Johnny Jolt
Dirty Derek
Sam the Sandpaper
Calamity Sam
Slick Rick
Sally Slut
Gruesome Gonzales
Wacko Jacko

Nike Zoom Turbo 2 : The Review I Should Have Found

The Nike running series is on every other foot in a race and they are one of the most competitive running shoes in the market but of all the review and now after using them for six months there are some things that I should have figured out before I bought the shoes.

First of all the description on the Nike page is absolutely relevant, amongst all the pundits and so-called running gurus, despite all the big opinions, this page, though brief has the most accurate information when you are selecting between the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36, Nike Zoom (Pegasus) Turbo 2, Nike Zoom Fly 3 and Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%.

Read this: Nike Zoom Running Series for more details.

The Nike Zoom Turbo 2 is an amazing shoe but has its drawback and if I knew what to expect then this review wouldn’t be written.

The Good:

  • The shoe is very very light – stripped of all nonessentials
  • The ZoomX and React Foam combo is comfortable to the knees and back, ideal for people who have pains usually after a run
  • A good long easy run shoe
  • Would suit you if you like the more au naturel foot feeling while running


The Bad:

  • The “tongue” is horrible! it doesn’t sit well on the foot if you have a narrow foot it gets crumpled up when you tie the shoes tight.
  • The Laces are just “too modern” – need to be kept simple like Adidas…
  • Top laces are uncomfortable due to the minimalistic tongue cushion on a narrow foot
  • The very comfortable sole is good for the knees but bad for speed records
  • The squishy feeling you get doesn’t help to propel you forward
  • No Spring == No Carbon Plate so there is no stiffness or arch support like the carbon plate in the “speed” models – the Fly3 and the Next% or the torsion tech in the Adidas.

Here is a quick guide for the Nike series that might help narrow down your choice…

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

  • A casual runner – occasional 5K
  • No Carbon Plate == No Propulsion == No Speed Records
  • Cheapest of the range
  • Everyday shoe == Won’t be judged a marathoner if you wear it to work…

Nike Zoom (Pegasus) Turbo 2

  • Long-distance runner 10km+
  • Do not have a narrow foot
  • Not concerned with Speed
  • Wish to protect your knees

Nike Zoom Fly 3

  • Want speed records
  • Firmer cushion (does not use the squishy ZoomX) and carbon plates give propulsion
  • Cheaper than the turbo2 and outperforms it
  • Perfect for 5km, 10km Race day shoe
  • You save money, but gain Speed – No ZoomX == less pricey than the Turbo2 and Next%

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%

  • Carbon Plate + 100% ZoomX == Speed + Comfort == $$$
  • I am an Elite Athlete
  • I like to shave off seconds in long runs as I am operating at peak performance
  • I have the money and/or sponsorships to pay for  a €250 shoe
  • Running half/full Marathons


Updated: Making a WatchFace for my Garmin 945

I wanted a clean watch face with a font of my liking and the date and battery status in the format I use in day to day life, still have to figure out some bugs (features?!) to make it better.

I removed the seconds, however you can add a function onPartialUpdate(dc) for an update every second but to keep the updates to a minimum I removed it.

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-13 at 09.59.38

Here is the code in case any one would like to have a look.

//navtaz 2019.06.14 Consolas basic watchface

using Toybox.WatchUi as Ui;
using Toybox.Graphics as Gfx;
using Toybox.System as Sys;
using Toybox.Lang as Lang;
using Toybox.Application as App;
using Toybox.Time as Tim;
using Toybox.Time.Gregorian as Gre;

class watchface_10View extends Ui.WatchFace {

   function initialize() {

	var roboto95 = null;
 	var roboto30 = null;
  	function onLayout(dc) {
		roboto95  = Ui.loadResource(Rez.Fonts.roboto95);
		roboto30 = Ui.loadResource(Rez.Fonts.roboto30);
 	function onUpdate(dc) {
        dc.setColor (Gfx.COLOR_BLACK, Gfx.COLOR_BLACK);

   	var today_MED =, Tim.FORMAT_MEDIUM);
   	var dateString = Lang.format("$1$ $2$ $3$",[today_MED.day_of_week,"%02d"), today_MED.month]);
   	var clockTime = System.getClockTime();
	var myBatt = Sys.getSystemStats().battery;
	var battstring = Lang.format(" $1$$2$", [myBatt.format("%02d"),"%"]);

	var hour = clockTime.hour;
	 	if (!Sys.getDeviceSettings().is24Hour){
	 		hour = hour % 12;
	 		if (hour == 0){
	 			hour = 12;
    var hourdig = hour.format("%02d");
    var mindig = clockTime.min.format("%02d");
    var timeString = Lang.format("$1$$2$", [hourdig.toString(), mindig.toString()]);
 //print time
 		dc.setColor(Gfx.COLOR_WHITE, Gfx.COLOR_BLACK);
 		dc.drawText(dc.getWidth()/2, 29, roboto30, dateString, Gfx.TEXT_JUSTIFY_CENTER);
		dc.setColor(Gfx.COLOR_WHITE, Gfx.COLOR_BLACK);
 		dc.drawText(dc.getWidth()/2, 61, roboto95,timeString , Gfx.TEXT_JUSTIFY_CENTER);

       	dc.setColor(Gfx.COLOR_WHITE, Gfx.COLOR_BLACK);
 		dc.drawText(dc.getWidth()/2, 183, roboto30,battstring , Gfx.TEXT_JUSTIFY_CENTER);
    function onShow() {

    function onHide() {

    function onExitSleep() {

    function onEnterSleep() {



Dr. Maciej Wojtyła: The End of the Games of Thrones

Dr. Maciej Wojtyła approved the republic theory and hopes for Brann to still have a role to play since his storyline hasn’t fully evolved in recent episodes.

The approval ratings for a ruler who holds the reigns of a dragon at any moment in any of 7 kingdoms will be low. Unfortunately that means the current holder of the dragons has to die or be banished to end this series and eliminate any chance of sequels. But before a mob upthrones her it’s likely that Dany will be betrayed by Jon who has been behaving quite irrationally since coming back to life.

It’s hard to believe in Cerseis death as she must deserve to die in some other way through the hands of one of the Starks. The theories of one of the Lannister twins surviving the rubble of the Red keep are still very plausible.

Dr. WojtyłaI with his in-depth experience of behavioral sciences does not believe in a smooth allegiance shift by the Dothraki and unsullied from Dany to the new ruler/rulers. This would mean they either they need to die in battle or just leave Westeros and travel back to their respective lands which might not be a seamless shift.

It is almost certain that Sansa is to rule Winterfell, with some prospect over time to a claim over the iron throne. However she is not to be trusted.

Arya will continue living the lone wolf assassin life but before that she will  have a role to play to avenge the poor folk of Kings Landing. With already one high profile kill she is most likely to target Grey Worm or Dany, maybe not the dragon as she doesn’t have the weapons to pull off that kill. Unless there are some hidden powers in needle that have escaped us thus far.

Westros could emerge as a republic towards the end of this and would need Tyrion and other wise men including Ser Davos to play a significant role in forming a means of governanace. Like Brann there are other characters that have not received the deserved screen time and would show up in the last episode. For instance Yara Greyjoy still hasn’t paid her due and might return to give the final blow to help eliminate the unsullied and could have a significant role as a representative in the new senate/council.

Jon Snow fate is a big question mark, as Tormund says there is true north in him, so it’s either him who rules Winterfell with Sansa or he might ride the dragons beyond the wall to the wildings and live there in isolation till his time comes to a natural end with age and possibly severe PTSD and the agony of guilt he must live with for being one of the reason for the massacre of Kings Landing.

Personally, Dr WojtyłaI, dislikes the treatment and role of dragons in the Game of Thrones universe. Saying dragons are in all fantasy realms creatures with far more intelligence than humans, who can’t be ridden, one cannot give them orders and they fully function according to their own agenda.

Seriously Dany!

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.. and worse then hell it was. Episode 5 ended with many an epic battles and hugs. But Dany really f**cked it up by driving the womens movement back decades by demonstrating that rational behaviors is yet another myth for a wannabe Targaryens queen. Talking of Targaryens, is Jon really one? Everything that has happened this far just proves to say like most men on earth the men of Westros have no clue what goes inside a womens head and why you should fear womankind as a rule, and those dragons.. they must die, nobody must have a weapon like that.

It likely that in the last episode Arya attempts to assassinate Dany but gets intercepted by Jon, after a brief exchange of blows Arya kills Jon with needle in an an emotional tear jerking moment. Arya then using Jons face kills Dany.

Giuseppe von Bruni predicts a rather different story arc with a fight between Jon and Dany. It begins when Dany tells Jon if she is really his queen he must follow her against Sansa because she betrayed her this is followed by Dany killing Tyrion for his insubordination, this will be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back and triggers Jon to fight against her. Of course since Dany lacks any real skill of her own it is the dragon that fights on her behalf. As the dragoon spits fire at Jon she is shocked to find that he is also immune to dragon fire. In this shock Dany is distracted and gets sliced by LongClaw. Meanwhile in the north Arya after suffering from PTSD due to the events of the last battle realizes she wants to be a good wife and marries Gendry.

Oscar Turan predicts a rather hopeful and less bloody affair where Arya assassinates Denerys.. Jon marries Sansa and rules as the rightful king of the seven kingdoms, rightful heir to the iron tron. The dragon will fly north and live and with three eyed raven.

Dr. Maciej is yet to formulate his theory and will join us shortly in these final predictions, but with a monarchy close to extinction maybe westeros chooses to become a republic.



Falling asleep watching Game of Thrones and not missing a bit..

Possibly one of the worst episode in the history of the show, with 1hr 18 minutes on the player, it gave hopes of another epic but what followed was the unnecessary death of another dragon and the absence of any strategy  on Dany and Jons part. The highlight was the end and not Missandei execution but the measly looking army of the unsuly, yes sure she wanted to show Cercei that she gave her a choice, but come on! don’t we know Cercei until now.. The episode was just sad. Would you surrender to this?


The Battle of Winterfell: The Great Wipe Out

This might have been the most massive massacre in the history of Westros as of yet, the sheer scale of the undead and the undeniable force they possessed was truly unmatchable. The one thing that every one is talking about is the stealth attack carried out by Arya after her brief reconnect with Melisande, for those of you who don’t recall the talk of eyes was a throwback to season 3 where Melisande told Arya, “I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes starring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes sealed shut forever. We will meet again.” she probably thought the blue eyes were the Lannisters back then so did I.

Back to Arya killing the Night King, strategically it would have made sense for her not to pounce at him screaming, but lets agree that the adrenaline rush coming right before the imminent death of the bringer of the dead and endless winter would be hard for any of us to contain.

In other news Brienne, Davos, Jaimie, Gendry and The Hound who were voted most likely to die; all survive. The House Mormont who had been the Starks closest allies are wiped out followed by a gallant battle by Jorah and a defining stab in an undead giants eye by Lyanna before she is momentarily brought back to life by the the Night King. Theon Greyjoy dies redeeming him self after Brans validation, followed by a poorly executed attack on the Night King who puts him to death swiftly. However of course the highlight of the episode was the most anticipated death of all –  The Night King by a single stab from Arya putting an end to the entire army of the dead.

The grand series finally may not be another battle since matching the mayhem offered by the battle of Winterfell is unlikely. How Jon and Dany resolve their competing claims and the games Cercei plays materialize is anybody’s guess, but politics might take the center stage over a battle. What we do know is that from here on what ever happens will happen under sunny skies. Dany and Cerceis pretentious acts are getting a bit stale and in all fairness even though the strength of the army in the north is diminished, a battle with Euron Greyjoy and the remaining army of Kings Landing doesn’t really offer the spark that could eclipse the Battle of Winterfell. There are roles likes Yaras that need their time in the sunshine so lets see where this ends.

Lives, Dies or Rises Again

Episode 2 of the last season of Game of Thrones shed light on the backstories and relationships for a number of key characters in the show.

Was this a prelude to the end of many faces from the show or a reminder of who they were before they become whitewalkers, the undead or an uncle Benjen hybrid. Share your opinions on the poll below and lets see who comes out alive, dead and turn to become one of the army of the dead.




Prophecy and Politics: The Strategic Moves in the Game of Thrones

After a rather subtle episode 2 of the final season of Game of Thrones the predictions are coming in from every pundit on where the crown lands and who dies next. We have had the privilege of engaging an international team of specialist from different arenas of life to build one of the most reliable predictors in the history of this epic saga.

On the panel we have, Dr. Maciej Wojtyła from the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology Warszawa who specializes in Psychosomatic medicine. Giuseppe von Bruni a social activist for rights of Internally Displaced People in Europe and an active member of the Munich chapter of Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands. Finally we have Oscar Turan who is a PhD student and currently working on the Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Non-Cooperative Game Theoretic Models for Cyber Security at Danmarks Tekniske Universitet.

After each Monday the panel shall converge and evaluate the likelihood of the the predictions from the Game of Thrones. Here are this weeks picks for  unlikley theories.

  • Arya uses Jamies face to kill Cercei – yet to be seen!
  • Tormund Giantsbane gets risen as white walker to be put down again by Lady Brianne in a tear jerking encounter – yet to be seen!
  • Dany is pregnant with Jon’s child  and following the death of Jon his child shall claim the Iron throne – yet to be seen!
  • Cerceis new born baby with Jammie is turned by the night king into a whitewalker – yet to be seen!


Faith in Humanity

While cycling to work I found someones keys on the road, the responsible thing I thought would be to pick the keys up and try to get them to their rightful owner and thats what the good Samaritan in me did. Luckily one of the keys had a serial number and the manufacturers name. I called the company and told them I found a set of keys and one of them is made by you and had this and this serial number. The person I talked to on the phone thanked me and said the owner would call me.

The guy called me in the afternoon, I asked him to describe the keys and he did that, then I asked if he’d like to meet up and I could give him the keys.. He said he wouldn’t be home until late, nobody was home but their young daughter and if I could drop the keys in his mailbox that´d be the best for him.. I said fine, let me know your address and I’ll put the keys in the mailbox..

The following sms conversation ensued..


I couldn’t resist sending the last sms later that night.. my wife says I’m cynical and paranoid and told me to admire the faith people have in the goodness in society.

Needless to say I never received a reply for my last sms, possibly because I sound like a creep, but I hope its out of the guys realization of the possible outcome ones choices could have. Either way, maybe we both learnt something today.

Happy Birthday Mr. Kucinski!

Sweden tops in world ranking of poorest countries

According to research done by the Timbuktu Research Center the following countries are the top 10 poorest countries in the world.

  1. Sweden
  2. Norway
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Brunei
  5. Switzerland
  6. Germany
  7. Vatican City
  8. Saudia Arabia
  9. Kuwait
  10. New Zealand

Dalby, Sweden June 2015.

The research was conducted in conjunction with the  University of Jedha and the Council of Supreme Knowledge and Intellect.

IMDb rating count hits 1000+

My IMDb ratings have hit 1000+, sometimes we argue why I’ve given a certain rating to a movie. I am still not dead inside so my emotions can tend to factor in on how I rate a movie and what mood I was in when I rated the movie, eventually the after-taste matters. But here is how I grade my ratings scale..

1-2-3 is wtf why did I do this to my self stopped half way.. consciously not completed… reserved for classics such as twilight amongst others..

4 is made me fall asleep didn’t bother to complete if I woke up..

5 is below average probabaly played at x1.5 speed or forwarded parts

6 is average.. managed to complete without the need to skip parts but will never watch again

7 is good kept engaged but may not watch willingly again

8 is very good can easily re-watch with someone else or alone..

9 is great can watch many times again anytime could even buy the dvd

10 is exceptional


No tourist buses here: Siena – via Florence and Pisa

I would always prefer visiting a city where there aren’t any tourist buses polluting the city – visually. hordes of tourists are the worst thing you should have to bear while visiting a foreign city.

Siena is a wonderful city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. The city is more or less closed to cars, you wont see any tourist buses and the tourist here are mostly Italians, unless word has got around about this historic medieval city.

Proposed Itinerary:

Italian Break fast – a croissant and a cappuccino..

  • Day2: Drive to see the tower of Pisa
  • Day2: Park over here: Via Fazio degli Uberti, Pisa

  • Day2: MAKE SURE YOU DONT ENTER THE ZTL ZONES with your car, this will cost you.
  • Day2: Morning to at most 1300hrs – walk to the Piazza del Duomo, take the typical picture holding up the tower of Pisa – the piazza is a very touristic spot and can be quite crowded depending on the season.
  • Day2: Try to leave Pisa before lunch aiming for Lunch in Florence.
  • Day2: Arrive in Florence and once again avoid ZTL and park here: Piazza Francesco Ferrucci, DO NOT cross the river thats an easy guideline to avoid ZTL
  • Day2: Here is a guideline for the trip: and my recommended order to visit, drive until Piazza Francesco Ferrucci, park there and walk from there.

  • Day2: Leave the hordes of tourist behind in Florence and drive to Siena
  • Day2: Park here and as always avoid ZTL

  • Day3-4: Enjoy the sights, sounds, food, cafes, and if luck the horse races of this beautiful city and its medieval feel,
  • Day5: Leave Siena for the Airport at Pisa – give your self 2 hours to reach there.

BONUS: Have lunch on the way to Pisa at Dario Cecchini – Butcher of Panzano.

Visiting Cordoba and Granada

Easter is coming and it is a great time to visit and experience the Holy Week in Spain which is the annual commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.

In 2011 we decided to visit Granada and Cordoba to experience Easter in Spain and here is the itinerary that would be something we would highly recommend.

Proposed Itinerary

  • Day1: Fly into Madrid and depending if you wish plan a stay over in Madrid but ideally  would recommend departing staright for Granada which is in the south in  Andalusia, Spain
  • Day1: Take the subway from the airport to Madrid-Puerta De Atocha (Railway station)
  • Day1: Pre-book your train journey from Madrid to Cordoba possibly on first class coaches on these are really good trains which are fast and super comfortable, the Cordoba-Granada-Madrid leg might be on more regular trains, the round trip costed us 68 euro for two people.
  • Day1: Arrive in Cordoba and plan your stay at the: AC Hotel Córdoba by Marriott this is right next to the railway station, since you are staying in Cordoba for just one night this is quite a good place to be staying at.
  • Day2: Wake up, check out from the hotel and  ask the front desk to keep your luggage in the baggage room at the hotel until you pick it up in the evening.
  • Day2: Be ready for a nice walk through another historic city, It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of Caliph Al Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers. Al Hakam IIopened many libraries on top of the many medical schools and universities which existed at this time. Such universities contributed towards developments in mathematics and astronomy. During these centuries Córdoba had become the intellectual centre of Europe and was also noted for its predominantly Muslim society that was tolerant toward its minorities. Today it is a moderately sized modern city; its population in 2011 was about 330,000. The historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Day2: Walk through the narrow winding streets of Cordoba to the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. Even now there is an area dedicated for people to offer prayers in the mosque.
  • Day2: Plan to depart from Cordoba to Granada using you would already have had the booking from day one so you just grab your baggage from the hotel and board the train from the railway station to Granada.
  • Day 2: In Granada, you must book this hotel: this hotel is in the Alhambra and is really an ideal place to be staying at, Since this place is on the hill where the Alhmabra is located so you might need to consider taking a taxi from the railway station or a bus which goes straight up to the Alhambra
  • Day3: The most important think in Granada to visit is the Alhambra and you must buy tickets in advance from here – you will plan to spend a full there here.

You will not regret spending your money here for all the palaces and sites.

  • Day3: After spending the whole day in the Alhambra you will need a good meal for which you can walk down or take the bus to the city at the foot of the hill where Alhambra lies, if you have the energy its not a long walk just a bit steep.
  • Day4: Since you are actually staying at the Alhmabra you will feel quite lucky to be waking up to this historical site, spend some time enjoying the Alhambra from outside and then take a walk down the hill and explore the city.
  • Day4: The second must see are the caves of Sacromonte, which for centuries have been the home of gypsies, bohemians and Flemish artists. It is a must to visit one of the Sacromonte’s zambras, see a flamenco show in the Albaicin, or enjoy a meal and a real live flamenco show in one of the flamenco restaurants in Granada. Although the performances of flamenco in Sacromonte are now commercial and directed primarily at groups of foreign tourists, it is a must to spend at least one night in a cave of the Sacromonte to watch a flamenco show. Ask at the reception for recommendations, the one we visited was at Camino de sacromonte 9

  •  Day4: Will be also a lot of walking on the hilly roads of Granada, for dinner and lunch i would recommend that you walk to the city and explore the restaurants in the narrow streets of the old city. Just about every plaza in town holds at least one outdoor restaurant, but the usual trend for the locals is to go for tapas for lunch and a late dinner.
  • Day5: Relax take the bus or taxi down to the railway station, and then the train from Granada to Madrid-Puerta De Atocha (Railway station) in the evening.
  • Day5: Stay the night and explore Madrid in the evening, and depart in the morning to your next destination – possibly home..
  • Day5: We decided to stay overnight at Hotel Paseo Del Arte right across the station..
  • Day6: take the subway and depart from Madrid Airport..

The Day I Got Scammed

My wife found this really attractive deal to buy Canada Goose jackets on Facebook with more than 80% discounts, she wanted to buy this jacket but was hesitating, so to make her happy I decided to buy the jacket she was looking into. In my hastiness I didn’t do the usual paranoid checks on security and went ahead and just bought the jacket.


The comments have only now begin to pop up and warn people of this scam but for me unfortunately the first clue to my stupidity came to light when I got the email after the payment from an unrelated email domain:

If there’s any question about  the ship date,order quality,cancellations,etc. we suggest you can send inquiries to our after-sales customer service directly to save your time(there is always an email address/”contact us” button on the website), If you couldn’t get a reply from them in time, kindly feel free to contact us  based on THIS email,it is easier for our action.

With no detail of the product I purchased and any way to track the product or information on delivery and return, as all of this was already out of my comfort area I started to read the terms and conditions of return, and unlike usual shops there was no refund policy, this made me more suspicious so I looked up the link on and the reliability rating was low, with the sites owner based in china and new sites popping up with similar details:

Title: Welcome to Web Store!
Description: : – Safety Sunglasses Polarized Sunglasses Goggles Sunglasses Active Sports Sunglasses Me
Type: fashion,Sports,Shoes,sunglasses,sunglasses
Domain Age: 15 Days
Website Speed: Average
Organisation: xu xiao dong
Owner: xu xiao dong
Owner Address: xia zhuang zhen yi min cun 473 hao
Owner City: gao mi shi
Owner Postcode: 261500
Phone Number: +86.015807741236 
Phone Type: generic:
Owner Country : China 
Website Location  : France 

So I mailed back to the email I had received on completion of the order and got another email from a gmail address of a Mr. Woolf Watt in essence telling to not ask for a refund:

Thanks for your order firstly. If you want to cancel the order, it may need 1-3 months for the different international bank to handle the refund, so we do not suggest you to do so. Please check again your final decision and then reply us soon. Hope your understanding. Thanks for your time and patience.

Accompanied by a series of grammatical mistakes and spelling errors, and mention of “international banks” it was obvious I had been duped.

I am still quite sure that if I let the order through I would get A Jacket but instead of goose down it would be filled with chicken feather, instead of coyote fur it would have dog fur and instead of being made by the hard working Canadian folk it would be made in a sweat shop in China.

I’m not angry at the online shop that is running this scam, I am angry at myself for not picking up on the series of red flags along the way. I cancelled my credit cards and ordered new ones as my paranoid self was back in action. My lapse in judgement motivated by the love for my wife only tells me that the most paranoid of us can become victims of scams in those moments we let our guard down.

This also reaffirms my belief that Facebook is polluted by scams, ads and all that nasty crap that appears after analyzing your browsing trends, targeting unsuspecting and possibly unsophisticated users (like my mother and your mother) preying on the simplicity of common folk. These fake operation use the warmth and security of the Facebook community to make you let your guard down and become a victim of internet fraud.



You will receive a jacket.. but beware the customs duties and the fact that there is no way to return it.. and well I have shopped in China during my travels there and this is possibly the lowest level of fakes out there.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the fur on the hood is fake or the tail of a dog that just became food..

Here is what you’ll look like this when you wear this polyester filled monstrosity.. size M for women..


Possibly the best Free Anti-Virus out there

I have been looking for Free antivirus which don’t affect the performance of my machines.
The top options as reviewed by techradar and PCMAG are the usual, AVG , Panda and AVAST but this time around I have possibly found the best option out there – Bit Defender.
Bit Defender scores well by:
  • Using a clean light interface
  • Does not consume resources
  • Has proven to have a good real-time shield
  • Is effective in catching malware, both from test scores and my personal experience.
  • Is free
  • Found a Trojan on my OneDrive which Microsoft had been missing for weeks..!

Like all things free there are drawbacks:

  • Lack of configurability
  • A nonexistent(?) quarantine management function

By logging in with an account of your choosing you get unlimited free protection – otherwise its limited to 30 days and of course the paid version will offer much more in terms of all round protection.

For advanced user who are well aware of where not to stray off too and with a decent awareness of the security threats on the internet this definitely a tool that I recommend exploring.