June the twentyseventh 2000: New video and TV the jpoc journal

We finally solved the problems with the TV and video. The solution involved a new videao and a new (to us) TV. Well, now everything is sorted and we can start to work through our collectrion of video tapes etc. Andrei is pleased because he can watch his favourite Russian cartoon tapes again.

We had yet another long weekend due to the German obsession with having all of their public holidays between the start of April and the end of June. We took advantage of one day when Andrei was at school to go for lunch at a Croation Restaurant in Paderborn. That was a very enjoyable meal and you will be able to read about the restaurant in a week or so.

We also used that chance to go shopping for Andrei's birthday presents. The main ones were a bike and a slot car racing set. The bike was more robust than the car game and so it is still in use. I need to find somewhere to buy spare parts for the slot car game though as it lasted just twenty minutes.

On the subject of bikes, I assembled my racing bike at the weekend and had my first ride on it for four years. I took it to bits and put it into storage when I moved to Belgium because I was convinced that I would die if I rode a bike in Brussels. I brought it back from France last month and finally had the time to get everything back in one piece.

Having spent four years in my shed, it was covered in dust and spider webs so I put the bits in the shower and gave everything a blast with hot water. Then, I just put the bits back together and went for a ride.

It was great, the difference between this bike and my ride-to-work machine is like the difference between a family saloon and a race car.

Of course, we also took Andrei out for his first ever bike ride on his new machine. He needed the stabiliser wheels of course but he had a great time. We went to the YMCA and bought him a comic too.

After the bike ride, it was time for his birthday party. Of course, these are fraught, often tearful affairs and this one was no exception but Andrei and his friends all seemed to have a good time.

We had a couple of other problems during the week. Despite paying our bills for six months, Deutsche Telekom still didn't manage to give us a phone book. Things came to a head and I went to the Telekom shop in town to plea for a book. Basically I was told that I could not have one so I went to the other Telekom shop that is just outside the town centre. There, I was given a book with no hassle and no formalities.

Maria also had some trouble with her dentist. She had signed up for a long programme of work which started with a filling the the dentist described as urgent. Well, his filling, which was mad in a tooth which was causing no pain, fell out within three days and, in considerable pain, Maria went back for another go. She was given some remedial treatment and, guess what, after two days, the new filling fell out again. Hmm, I do not really want to use words like criminally inept but we are not at all impressed with this particular tooth butcher.

I decided that what I really needed was an advertising banner for the web site. I wanted to use the banner tool that was provided by the smartage network but it would not work. You can only use their tool while you are online despite the fact that you need to download the application. This did not make much sense to me and in the end, I used another oinline tool to create a banner. I have uploaded that to the smartage banner exchange programme. Their deal is that, if you show ads for other sites in their network, they will display your ad on other sites. So far, I have been showing theior ads for a week or so but they have not yet started to show my ad on other sites so I do not know if this is a good idea or not.

I'm still having problems with superstats not seeming to register all accesses to my site but, beggars cannot be choosers and they are probably the best free of charge too that is available.

Next week, we will be moving office in Paderborn. Out of the portakabins and into the new building. I hope that it all goes OK.

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