Featured post

Welcome to my blog

Hi, thanks for visiting.  I really hope you find something interesting or helpful here.

I write about anything in my life that I consider to be worth sharing.  This includes home life, work life and my interests and hobbies.   I hope this documentation of my lifes experiences will be of interest to you.

If you enjoy reading, I would love to receive your comments, or even better if you would like, share, retweet… the list is endless.

Thanks again, I hope to hear from you soon.

Sean Browne

BoilerJuice – Be careful, all is not not what it seems

Did you think BoilerJuice was a comparison website where you could get the best price on domestic heating oil? So did I for a while.

I have used BoilerJuice on and off for the last 5 years. Initially, I believed it was a helpful and money-saving website that compared lots of unrelated oil companies and showed me the cheapest price. Well, that was not quite true.

In reality, the Boiler Juice website, and all the heating oil companies they compare are all owned by one big oil company. it’s not a good comparison of all your options.

So you are not really getting a true price comparison. Often I find bigger savings when phoning around unrelated suppliers.

I have often found that the cheapest boilerjuice quote is considerably higher than non boilerjuice related companies.

I mostly buy now from random oil companies, I do my own manual comparison on the day. Many are cheaper or the similar to Boiler Juice’s lowest quote for standard delivery times, but A LOT CHEAPER, if I want a quicker service. (And I usually do, don’t we all?). None of these other oil companies I use appear on Boiler Juice’s comparison list.

Also, one time, the delivery man put the wrong delivery note through my door. I saw that one of my neighbors (half a mile away) had paid around 12p per litre (that’s £120 on 1000 litres) more than I had paid and we had ordered around the same time. I went to speak to the neighbour and found that they were on a monthly direct debit with BoilerJuice and just called to order whenever they were low. It seemed like they were getting a very poor deal on their oil for the sake of convenience. (And taking their eye of the ball).

Then there is the charging of a significant premium for quicker deliveries. I don’t think the additional cost is a true reflection of increased costs in delivering sooner, and it’s a shame that they should use this ’emergency’ situation to extract further profit from potentially vulnerable people. (No heating and hot water is one thing, but many of their loyal customers will be often be very old or have young families). In my view this is profiteering and is a disappointing aspect of Boilerjuice’s pricing structure.

In summary I would recommend you be vary careful when it comes to Boiler Juice, please don’t assume they are your friend or looking out for your interests. If you want to save money, look further, get a true comparison (manually) between oil companies that are truly independent of one another. And whatever you do, get off that monthly direct debit plan or you will be paying through the nose.

Here’s an idea, why not get a list of 5 heating oil companies that deliver to your area, and phone them all to get a price when you need oil. If it takes five minutes and you save £50 you have just done 5 minutes work at £600 an hour!

If you found this post helpful please tweet it or share it on Facebook using the buttons below.

Domains I have for sale

Here are some domains I have/had for sale. One or two I may not have renewed but for all the reat I am open to offers!

akuna.co.uk
asteriskexpert.co.uk
berlingo.co.uk
cheesecakefactory.co.uk
cinnamonrestaurant.co.uk
clicksure.co.uk
commodo.co.uk
cybersecurityforum.net
cybersecurityquestions.com
debtloopholes.co.uk
directlifeassurance.co.uk
discountelectricalsupplies.co.uk
ethicallaw.co.uk
flicka.co.uk
flukenetworks.co.uk
forensicengineering.co.uk
globalsupply.co.uk
hoodi.co.uk
hy5.co.uk
ibullion.co.uk
influencepr.co.uk
internetmonitoringsoftware.co.uk
lowcostsolicitors.co.uk
metroplex.co.uk
musclefuel.co.uk
mynumba.co.uk
personalescorts.co.uk
simplestockmanagement.co.uk
sioc.co.uk
small-business-telephone-systems.co.uk
sohomusic.co.uk
solcom.co.uk
sonis.co.uk
thehardwoodfloorcompany.co.uk
tintmyride.co.uk
universalaccess.co.uk
voip-providers.co.uk
web-pages.co.uk
yengo.co.uk
yesmedia.co.uk
yourhomes.co.uk

Hoppa.com Review – Zero % customer service, would not use again.

Arrived at Palma, went to the agreed exit (exit B) no resorthoppa / hoppa rep to meet us as agreed. Called the number on the email, no answer. Waited 30 minutes. Nobody appeared. Asked at a Random desk and was told to go to the end desk. Went to the end desk, was directed to another desk. Joined a huge queue and was eventually directed to a 3rd party bus. It’s now about an hour or more since we landed.

Found the bus, got on and left about 30 mins later. Last but one stop, maybe 2 hours later arrive at hotel.

On return journey, luckily, I read this hoppa review so I was made aware we were not getting picked up at our own hotel but at a hotel down the road. That said, the bus was late picking us up. Called the number on the email, no answer again. Bus eventually arrived, and after some very scary driving we made it to the airport alive.

In Summary: Resorthoppa, quite cheap ZERO customer service. Would not use again. Got us from A to B in the end but if you choose Resorthoppa / Hoppa, you’re on your own.

Arthur Boorman’s Inspirational, Motivational Transformation Video

I wanted to send this video to my mum, but Facebook would only let me share with other FB users and mum is not on Facebook.
The only way I could send it was by embedding it in a website.  So here it is, embedded in a website.

… the FB embed code didn’t seen to work, with WordPress anyway! But looking at the embed code, you can just watch it here.

The subjects name is Arthur Boorman, what an amazing guy.

Fighting fit: Hero soldier who became obese after Gulf War injury loses 140lbs in TEN months – thanks to yoga

More here

Martial Arts Website Design

Looking for a Martial Arts Club Website

Are you looking for a website for your martial arts club?  Be it a BJJ club, Judo, Karate, Aikido or other martial arts club, I can help.

Creating websites for martial arts clubs is something I do as a hobby, I like to help people and I actually enjoy building the sites. As such, my prices are very reasonable.

How Much Does it Cost?

A full site setup similar to the one linked to below costs £149.00.  If you need a domain name, that is an additional extra (£20 for a .co.uk and £30 for a .com).  If you already have your own domain name, I can work with that one.  The only other thing you need is hosting, that’s £5 per month or £50 annually.

The sites are CMS based which means you get to manage your site yourself.  You won’t need any programming skills as it is all point and click.  Of course, should you require help or want me to update it for you, just give me a shout!

What might the site look like?

To have a look at an example site, visit www.Akuna.co.uk – it’s a demo site I made to give you an idea of how your site may look.

If you have any questions, please fire away.  Thanks for reading, I look forward to helping you out.

How Long Does it Take?

I can have your site up and running 7 days after you send me the information I need.

Questions?

Send me a message and I will get back to you promptly.

Lost at 2015 European BJJ Open

OK, quick post about the 2015 European Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Open I entered in January.

I faced a Judo brown belt so was naturally cautious of his throws.  Neither of us could take the other down, we tussled and tussled and were reprimanded by the referee several times.

I looked at the timer and we had 1:30 left.  At this point, my coach tells me later, the referee was looking for ANY reason to be able to award the win to someone.  I wouldn’t have had to do much to get ahead as long as I didn’t give up position in doing so.

Then, as someone clearly more au-fait with the strategy of the game, my opponent made a move. I big move, a flying triangle choke.  The choke wasn’t on, and I felt confident of escaping and passing as this is the strongest part of my game.  Little did I know, there was around 20s left at this point.

So the match was awarded to the other guy.  They say you win or you learn.  What I learned that day was, some strategy but better still, I learned that I need to work on my ‘underneath’ game, so in future, I am equally happy to play top game or pull guard depending on the situation.

Lets see how the 2016 Euros go :-)

Server refused our key – Setting up public key authentication to a Linux box

Just a quick update because I just wasted an hour trying to get public key authentication working between Windows 7 and my Centos 6.5 box.

Whilst perusing the Internet I saw, (and disregarded) someone saying that during his copy/paste of the public key from puttygen.exe, he lost the first character of the key and this caused his problems.

Fast forward an hour and I noticed my public key showed:

sh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABJQAAAQEA2oSZAdVQHzDyKXiPbKYZjqIMbJg9QLdbDHtdX5giwP5Vpn6f2byLeDZmo1TU6+Osxo70UCo+km0x4R6DIBeI0tazI4qO8JJaxox1tJYIiHbIW+8OlF7Zi7nmNutOCFFfMt95oIAUPfDWeT4qn4D76buM8H9353q180ORL37TepiPU/A1Dqsos/FT27GL9e0jniRvg/nfc9SmLWgxW+BgJReTYs0LnrqKrknd4iDl9Md+Jqv8cdx5F4bbP1B+2KkoKJW1H8C3TKLtdiRR5WhfcDip+mMzPenphcIUFbx2NI3QP7HI8mmNjUhDqw0B4BIR/Qv3goZSvQLHXurciDBzww== rsa-key-20140906

Well, I thought nothing of it until after further troubleshooting I had upgraded the sshd loglevel to DEBUG3 and noticed a message in /var/log/secure that said:

Sep  6 20:40:06 centos sshd[2941]: debug2: key_type_from_name: unknown key type ‘sh-rsa’

Then I remembered what I read earlier, the first character of the public key was missing.  I modified my public key to begin ‘ssh-rsa’ instead of ‘sh-rsa’ and I was in.

I still had the puttygen screen open and I could see I did actually select the whole key so since me and the other guy had the same problem, other people could have the same problem too.

Finally, before I close, a few more tips.  Make sure the permissions on the users .sshd folder are set to 700 and 600 on the authorized_keys file.

Make sure the public key you paste into authorized_keys, doesn’t have any line breaks.  i.e.  If this is the first one you are doing on this server, wc -l ~/.sshd/authorized_keys should return 1 line.

Don’t forget to restart sshd after you make changes / before testing.

I hope this helps you, if it does, it would be great if you would leave a comment.

Cheers,

Sean

Yay, I won my division at the 2014 IBJJF European Championships

My first competition at Purple Belt… European Champion.

Well, a long overdue post but I went out to Portugal in January (flew out on my birthday as it goes) and competed in the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) European BJJ Championships.

Now I recently heard Dana White tell Connor McGregor in a TV documentary never to apologise for a win, but I can’t help it. It was a small category, just the two of us (under 64kg, Purple Belt Masters 3). I won on points. (as opposed to ‘by submission’).

I have competed a lot (see some of my record here) but I have never been so exhausted as I did on this occasion. I was dying. I didn’t know I was up on points, I just thought I had to pass (guard) to win – but I had nothing left in the tank. Then I remembered where I was and what was resting on it, so I just went for it. I passed, and won and in the process almost threw up on the mat which would have got me disqualified.

When the ref called time and stood us up after only 5 minutes, I couldn’t believe it. It felt like 60 seconds. On leaving the mat, I felt major motivation to train harder and improve because I never wanted a match to be that difficult again.

It was an awesome trip and I loved Barrio Alto (Party!) on Saturday night. I can’t wait to go back next year and try to take gold again. It was a very memorable weekend.

Next year, I will still be purple belt but I will have 12 months more experience and I am going to train my butt off!

Gotta fly, I have a S&C session to make at Crossfit Cardiff.  Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

Sean

My New G1W Dashcam

So following an incident where I was rammed by an angry driver on the M4 (yep, you read it correctly), I decided to invest in a dashcam.

In fairness to the lunatic, I don’t think he meant to hit me, I believe he was just trying to scare me.  Unfortunately for both of us, his car brushed up against mine, they both got scratched, and the police weren’t interested in looking into it because nobody was injured and I had no witnesses.

Had I had a dashcam at the time, I think it is possible he could have ended up in jail.

Anyway, I did some research and decided to get a camera referred to as a G1W.  I bought it from Ebay, from a seller with the name estore009.  The camera arrived in about a week (from China) and was pretty easy to install and set-up.

The cost of the camera when I bought it recently coverted to about £30 sterling.  Delivery was free.

To see a sample video I took when driving home from ASDA, click here.

Also, here are some stills I ‘print screen’ed’ from a video. click here

If you have any questions, please comment below.

The Businessman and the Fisherman

I recently posted this story to my Facebook account and had a surprising amount of likes and shares so I thought I would post it here.

It’s a great little story which I came across whilst reading a book by Tim Ferris called the four hour work week.

The story follows, I hope you enjoy it!

A wealthy american investment banker was standing on the pier of a small coastal Mexican fishing village when a boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were a few large fish. The wealthy american complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it had taken him to catch them.

Only a short while, the Mexican replied. The American then asked him why he didn’t stay out fishing longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had caught enough to meet his family’s needs.

The American then asked him, “what do you do with the rest of your day?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play the guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a larger boat. With the proceeds from the larger boat, you could buy several more boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, the processing, and the distribution. Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move the city, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will all this take?”

To which the American replied, “15 or 20 years”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”

This story goes by other names such as the Mexican fisherman and the businessman, the Mexican fisherman story, how much is enough Mexican fisherman, and a simple life well lived.

If you enjoy reading, I would recommend the book in which I found this story.  Its by Tim Ferris and it is called the four hour work week.

If you liked this post, please tweet or share on Facebook by hitting the appropriate button below.