Euro Decking, the Best Composite Decking Installer in Cape Town

Home improvements is a mixed bag of good and bad experiences, especially when it comes to employing the services of a builder.    I had the fortune of having a sizable deck installed by possibly the best person in the Cape Town area.

Euro Decking, run by Joris van Turenhout, installed my deck with the most professional service I have ever seen from a builder/installer.    I was extremely impressed; from the day he pitched to provide a quote, to the very last day when he finished the deck and picked up the last stray screw when sweeping the work area clean.

The reason I can compare him to other decking installers, is because I had the misfortune of briefly employing another installer who botched the initial decking structure and lied about several matters.  I could no longer tolerate the constant delays, lies  and poor effort anymore, so I decided to forgo my deposit with the previous installer and find another installer.   I don’t want to defame the installer publicly on the internet, so if you would like to know the name of this person/company, please contact me via the contact page.

Firing the previous installer was the best thing I could have done.   Turns out that I’m not the only one that has employed Joris to come and fix the botched work from the very same previous builder (who’s name we do not speak of).

Joris’ professional demeanor, excellent workmanship really impressed me.  The deck I know proudly own, is a true masterpiece, showcasing the brilliant composite decking product from Eva-Last.   Joris offered fantastic advice along the way when the project plan needed to deviate slightly.  Even after the project, he kept in contact and obliged my additional requests.

If you’re in the Cape Town area, I highly recommend that you only use Euro Decking.

Below is a gallery of the completed deck (click on the image to zoom)



Critic vs Achiever

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while DARING GREATLY so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

Socialism Fail

An economics professor at a local college made the statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

It could not be any simpler than that.

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for,that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
~~~~ Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

Golden rule: Never burn your bridges

As a line-manager of one the top performing companies in South Africa, I receive many CV’s a month. Having been in the IT business in Cape Town for 15, you realise that Cape Town is actually a very small community as far as IT companies and IT professionals go.

Its quite common that you’ve worked with somebody before.  You’d be stupid to leave on bad terms or create a reputation for yourself that could damage your chances of employment down the line.

Two incidences are worthy of mention:

Pitch for work on your first day

One high-profile candidate accepted an offer in one of the previous companies I worked for, signed on the dotted line but simply failed to pitch on the starting date.  That same CV is back on my desk this week.

Don’t sue, unless you REALLY have a strong case

The other incidence doesn’t involve me but it certainly could later.  A software developer is suing a very high profile company for discrimination and unfair termination of employment.  He goes into great detail (much of it petty detail)  and wants payment of something like R70 000 000 for compensation of dignity and loss of earnings.

When this CV makes the rounds a few years later, what are the chances of somebody employing him for trying to “topple” a large company on flaky grounds.  (I used the word “topple” because that’s what he says he’ll do on his website.)

If he wins the case I guess he’ll never have to work again.  If he doesn’t win the case, he might never be able to pay the counter lawsuit.

Facebook is a wonderful tool and has helped me get 2nd opinions on potential candidates many times. I have many friends on Facebook, especially in the IT business. So simply typing in the candidates name, tells me which friends we have in common.

Turns out this person only has 24 friends on facebook.   Not many by any standard. Doesn’t say much about how many people want to be his friend.

I’m dying to mention this person’s name but because this is a high profile case, I probably shouldn’t and don’t want to damage the poor soul’s reputation even more.  He could well try to sue the pants of me!

There is a website with full detail of how he was discriminated and even publishes the legal document.  I’ve tried googling the site but it isn’t listed. Maybe he wants it that way.

New meaning to the phrase “Dumb Luck”

You’ve heard people say “But I never win competitions, so why should I bother”.   Then when asked of those that have won a competition : “How did you do it?”, they might reply “Dumb Luck”.

I used to be the former and now I’m of the latter.

My wife always wins competitions because she’s always entering them.  So I decided to do the same and start entering competitions, especially the easy “SMS your answer to … “

My luck turned.

I won the exact same game in 3 different competitions in 3 months.    Below is evidence:
Picture 012 (Large)

The source of the competitions:

  1. Facebook (click here for the competition link)
  2. Digital Life Magazine
  3. Essentials (my wife subscribes to this magazine, honest)

As you may have noticed, the only dodgy detail is that Essentials are giving away games that are 8 years old (the PC game on the far right of the picture).

Makes one think why publishers are flogging Tiger Woods games ;-)

Don’t Generalise

Have you ever stumbled up at some ungodly hour of the morning to take a leak and return to bed with your mind taking on a mind of its own.

It racing with all sorts of thoughts and ideas and you can’t fall asleep again.

I had one of those recently and I thought of something quite profound. It was so profound that I googled it later to see if I was maybe the first to think of it.

Turns out its been used in lyrics in some arb song before.

It probably sounds corny now but it sounded brilliant in the early ours of the morning. Anyway this is my profound thought:

When you generalise, you could be spreading general lies.

How often do we exaggerate the truth to support our story? Its so easy to lie if the person you’re speaking to isn’t an authority on the facts.

That’s my epiphany. I hope to never generalise by spreading general lies.

Brilliant Service from Kay’s Automatic Gates and Security

I would like to convey my appreciation for Antony Kay’s consistent outstanding service over the years. Since they installed our burglar bars and automated gate more than 4 years ago, they have always been very efficient and prompt when ever we’ve had problems with our gate.  Usually they come out the same day or very next day first thing in the morning.  This morning was no exception after I called late yesterday afternoon.  My battery needed replacing and the gentlemen were prompt in arriving and sorted the problem out quickly.

Their website is at

Open Source is not Confined to Linux

I read an article today on My Broadband with the opening paragraph:

With the South African government pushing the use of open source software and businesses realising the benefits of open source, the demand for IT staff with Linux skills is growing.

I know this article has more of a Linux Operating System slant, but open source software is not confined to Linux. There are hundreds of open source applications for windows too. As a software developer our technologies we use are mostly from the open source world. Some of the software is unrivaled from the comerical world. Tools like Subversion (Source Control), nHibernate, nAant are some of the best known multi-platform tools. Everyone knowsn MSN, Paint and Winzip, but few windows users know Pidgin, Gimp, 7zip as free superior alternatives to the aforementioned respectively.

My daily tools that are opensource which I find indespesable are Prrogrammers Notepad, Free Download Manager, InfraRecorder, DVDFlick, Sharpdevelop and many more.

These are ALL opensource apps for windows. 99% of them can be found at . Another good open source site where Microsoft has been publishing some of their tools and applications is Google also has its own repository at

Just thought I would add another perspective to Open Source and that its not confined to Linux and differnt flavours of operating systems under it.

Having said that, I like believe that world will one day be ruled by Linux and Android. ;-)


2009: A good year.

Personaly, 2009 will certainly be one of the best years in living memory. 2009 is the year I bought my Freelander II, got married in April, spent honeymoon on the island of Mallorca, cruised to Mozambique on the Sinfonia in November and spent the most amazing christmas ever at Halfaampies Kraal.

Its quite surreal to be spending the last day of 2009 at the office. Our dress code is strictly formal (except the last friday of the month, we’re allowed to forgo the tie),  but today I decided to venture to work in jeans and a collared shirt! This adds to the surrealness of the last day.

I hope that 2010 is an even better year. I wish this for every South African in the world :-)