My Plantville

by: xtian001

In: Personal | photos

9 Apr 2010


7 months ago, I bought myself some seeds, soil and pots. As we live in a flat/apartment, we really don’t have a garden to speak of so my choice was to get plants that could grow in pots and inside the house. I got some Petunias, Geraniums, and some Marjoram.

After seeing what I’ve done, Xianelle also wanted to plants some seeds for herself. However, she wanted to plant Grape seeds. We were skeptical about planting grape seeds but we were surprised when the leaves sprouted after 2 weeks of planting them. Each month passed and with some diligence in watering them, they started growing bigger and bigger. This in turn forced me to buy more pots and bigger ones to accommodate them. I have always considered myself having a green thumb as I helped my mom with our garden when I was still in Highschool. I was able to multiply the number of roses we had in the garden through grafting and was pretty good at it.

As I was watering them this morning, I saw something that surprised me in one of the plant boxes. After 7 months, I got my first flowers from the Petunias! Wow! I called Xiane and told her to come to the living room to show her a surprise. Upon seeing them, she said “Wonderful!”.

Hopefully, my Geraniums would start blooming too and get my Thai Chili to give me some red hot chilies. Xianelle was asking about the grapes but I don’t think they’ll grow big enough to bear fruits. I haven’t researched on them yet but I heard they only grow after years of planting. Plus the fact that they’re on pots might make it close to impossible for that to happen. But let’s see. At least now, I’m enjoying the “flowers” of my labor!

Yahoo Hosting Sucks!

by: xtian001

In: Personal | Technology

6 Apr 2010

I’ve had enough of Yahoo Hosting. I’ve been with them since 2005 since I first started this blog. Before, everything was all dandy and though you’re paying a premium price, it wasn’t that high as compared to other hosting services. Then, the minimum for a monthly host would be USD8.00. I chose Yahoo Hosting before as they provided auto install of MovableType which was good then. The probelm is that they never did auto-update the installation although when I was signing up, they were promoting that they would do the updates automatically. After 5 years, I’m still stuck with my old version of MovableType. And just months ago, they decided to drop support for MovableType and use WordPress.You also don’t get redirection, no .htaccess, no multiple domain support, and more. Plus Tech support is a mess. Arghhh… I could go an on.

Aside from that, when everybody else lowered their prices for hosting along with the addition of features, Yahoo stayed the same and if not higher on the prices. I’ve been looking at JustHost, iPage and InMotion for hosting but would likely consider iPage since they support multiple Domain plus I’ve read a lot of good reviews about their service.

For my doamin, I’m currently transferring it to Namecheap. Hopefully, I won’t encounter any downtime with this.

I’m hoping I’d be able to keep my permalinks once I do get to transfer. I’ve been procrastinating about moving for a long while but I think it’s time so as to lessen my headaches with Yahoo.

“Oliver” is in the news!

from: Gulf Times

“If you’ve had a bit of experience and have watched movies and live theatre shows, you can act.”
So says David Sztankov, cast in the lead role of the musical theatre production of Oliver! by staff and students of Qatar Foundation (QF).

At nine years of age, David reckons himself a seasoned actor, as he’s already appeared in two other productions in Malaysia, admittedly on a smaller scale than the present show. And he can’t get enough of the limelight. Acting directions help, he says, “If it says ‘act scared’ then you act scared.”

The young star makes it all sound easy, but weeks of hard work have gone into the production, which makes its debut on Saturday afternoon with the first of seven performances from April 10-15.Producer and musical director Steve Griffiths said, “The timeless and poignant story of Oliver!, based on the 19th century novel by Charles Dickens, appeals to all ages and nationalities in terms of its realistic social drama and moving story line.”

He added, “2010 is something of an anniversary for us, because it’s exactly ten years ago since we presented this show in this auditorium with students from the newly-opened Qatar Academy.”

The cast of over 70 staff and students from QF is directed by Steve Griffith’s daughter Jane, who has also directed many shows with QF and Qatar Academy students. She also takes the part of Nancy, the ill-fated girlfriend of the villainous Bill Sykes.

“This show covers a range of all ages, and it’s great fun to put together,”” she said. “I’m really enjoying playing the part of Nancy: she has some great songs and she’s quite a strong character.” Jane Griffiths has also designed the set and costumes for the show.

Steve Griffiths has produced both professional and student-based musical events on behalf of QF, but this is only the second

cross-campus, joint staff and student musical production presented at the Education City.
The international background of the cast reflects the broad global attraction of the story of Oliver, the cruelly exploited young orphan who runs away to London and falls into the hands of villains, and after many adventures at last finds a home and someone to love and care for him.

The immensely popular songs and choruses from the musical by Lionel Bart, first performed in 1960, add to the perennial attraction of Oliver!  The show’s orchestra will comprise members of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra who are returning from performing in London this week, to take part in the production.

Musicians include lead viola player Judith Kelemen, the mother of young David who plays the part of the friendless orphan Oliver, and the orchestra is conducted by Steve Griffiths.

Local sponsors of the show include Jaidah Group, Exxonmobil, Qatar Plant Hire and Digital Print Center, the Ramada, Ritz Carlton and Sheraton Hotels and 51 East.

Tickets for Oliver! will be on sale at QR 50 each from the reception desk at the Qatar Academy Senior School (Ph: 4826666) during school hours and from the dedicated Oliver! box office at the QF’s Recreation Centre  daily from 3pm–5 pm except Fridays.

Starting July 28 this year, all mobile and fixed telephone numbers from both Qtel and Vodafone will have eight digits, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar) announced yesterday.

IctQatar officials decided to expand the phone numbering system from seven to eight digits to prepare the telecommunications industry early since they projected that Qatar’s population will double by 2015 and subsequently businesses will also expand with the existing numbering system no longer meeting the demand.

The change to eight digit numbers will happen automatically and seamlessly on July 28, for all customers — whether Qtel or Vodafone — with no interruption of service on both networks. For both fixed and mobile users, the first digit of the number will be repeated, so that numbers that begin with 3 will now start with 33, those starting with 7 will now be 77. The only affected numbers will be those starting with 3,4,5,6 and 7. All emergency telephone numbers within Qatar, including 999 and 112, will not be affected by the change. Numbers used for SMS, toll free and paging services, as well as short codes, and the numbers owned by the Ministry of Interior will also remain the same. These begin with 1, 2, 8 and 9. For a period of three months after July 28, people who dial the current seven digit numbers will receive an automated recorded message asking them to dial again with the correct new eight digit number.

The country code will not be affected by the change. International callers will simply have to dial the first digit of the subscriber’s phone number twice after the 974 country code.

Vodafone 1st 1000 Beach Party

Here are some photos of our Photoshop Learning Session yesterday. People started coming at about 8:50 am just right after our breakfast. We started at about 9:30 am and Francis started with the uses of the tools in Photoshop and moved on to proper cropping of your photos using the Photographers’ Rules of Thirds. As someone who has a Film major in college, and had several classes in Photography, I also shared what I know to the group. Our planned 1 hour of session became a 2 hour session as after the formal session, we had users practice what they just learned. By 12:30, other people had to leave for their commitments but others stayed and I discussed graphics for the web; Layers in Photoshop, Vector vs. Raster formats , File formats and saving for the web. There we more discussions about developing for the web after the formal session and the other guys who were still there, left at about 3 in the afternoon.

It was a tiring day but hopefully, those who attended gained from the learning session. We’re planning to have a recap meeting next week and discuss more on the agenda of the next session.

About our blog

It's been 10 years since the San Juan Family started their blog documenting their lives in this little spot called Qatar. Follow Chris, Mavis and Xianelle as they share what Doha has to offer.

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