How to buy presents without the New Year’s regret

first_img 72SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Details Each holiday season, we love spoiling those we care about. Thanksgiving is a blast, but the minute the table is cleared, it’s off to the big box stores for the Black Friday deals. It’s real easy to overspend when it comes to holiday shopping. According to a Gallup study, a third of consumers expected to spend over $1000 on gifts last year. While that might seem like a great idea in December, there may be some regrets come January. If you’d like to avoid destroying your budget with holiday spending, here are few things to consider…Stick to your budget: It can be really easy to add a few extra items to your shopping cart when you see big sales with hundreds of dollars in savings. It can be even easier if you’re shopping online. The key here is to plan ahead. Figure out how much you’ve set aside to spend and don’t allow yourself to make any last-minute or impulse purchases. Think about who you’re buying for and pick out something within your budget that you know they’ll love. If you’re under-budget, pick out some smaller items or stocking-stuffers until you’ve met your spending goal.Start early: Often I find myself out shopping within a few days of Christmas. You won’t find nearly as many deals on December 22 as you would in November. Plus, even if you can find exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll probably be in such a hurry to finish your shopping, that you won’t get a great deal. If you start coming up with ideas in October or November, you’ll have plenty of time to do research and find the best deals. Don’t overpay for last-minute gifts that you could have easily secured weeks ago.Don’t lose those receipts: There’s nothing worse than buying someone a sweater and then finding out you bought the wrong size. No matter what you’re buying, there’s a chance it’s going to need to be returned. If you don’t have receipts, it’s quite possible the store won’t refund your money. The last thing you want to do is have to buy something twice.If you’re done shopping, congrats. If you’ve started but haven’t finished, that’s probably pretty normal. If you haven’t started yet, save me a place in line.last_img read more

Decision time for Oklahoma star QB Kyler Murray

first_imgBy TIM REYNOLDSAP Sports WriterMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Kyler Murray had it all working: Pinpoint throws, speedy feet and unflappable resolve all the way to the finish.If this was his football finale, it was a gem.Murray threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown, led Oklahoma to scores on its final six possessions — sans for a 25-second one to end the first half — and it still wasn’t enough. The Heisman Trophy winner isn’t going to play in the national …last_img read more

Joburg ramps up for Fashion Kapitol

first_img5 May 2008Johannesburg is to have the world’s first public outdoor fashion ramp, to be opened as the Fashion Kapitol in July this year. So says fashion writer and consultant Adam Levin.And, adds Rees Mann, the person driving the revamp of Johannesburg’s fashion district, what is happening in the district is not displacing anyone, as happened in Newtown, but is rather bringing people to live in the area.Things are moving fast on the eastern edge of Johannesburg’s CBD; initially they were held up by buying properties and then getting permission from the provincial heritage authority to demolish buildings. Now that permission has been obtained and two buildings have been demolished, the fashion ramp is rapidly taking shape in the Fashion Kapitol.The kapitol will take up most of a block in the heart of the fashion district. It will consist of 30 shops, offices, studios, a restaurant, a small square, a ramp, an amphitheatre, and an arcade linking Pritchard and Market streets.“The feel of the kapitol is that of a sexy new metropolitan centre,” says Mann.“In time, the streets surrounding the kapitol will bustle with beads and buttons, models lugging their portfolios to casting sessions, and the city’s fashion pioneers strutting their uniquely personal styles.” It will become Africa’s fashion capital.Joburg’s Fashion Kapitol will take its place alongside international capitals. New York’s Fashion Avenue is home to 5 000 fashion merchants; Antwerp’s ModeNatie or Fashion Nation boasts a fashion museum; while Los Angeles has a fashion district of 94 blocks with an annual turnover of $6-billion.Mann says the kapitol has three target markets: fashion-conscious suburban shoppers, downtown shoppers who work in the CBD, and tourists. Its African flavour will be a draw card for tourists.He is the third generation of garment entrepreneurs in the fashion district – his family having set up shop there in 1948. Mann has planted three trees in the square, in memory of the three generations.26 city blocksThe district incorporates an area of some 26 city blocks on the eastern edge of the CBD, with its core bordered by Polly, President, Troye and Pritchard streets. It houses over 100 fashion-related businesses, including cut, make and trim operators, a budget clothing retail industry and studios of several emerging and established designers like Clive Rundle and Bongiwe Walaza.Rundle has booked his place in the kapitol, taking one of the old buildings as his upstairs studio, with plans to open a coffee shop on the ground floor. Walaza has taken one of the shops fronting the square.Mann emphasises that the kapitol is not just for the fashion industry, but he hopes it will be seen as a space for product launches, for artists and their exhibition space, poetry readings, training and meetings. “This is not just garments, it is about lifestyle and anything related to the arts industry.”It will also house the offices of the Fashion District Institute, a section 21 company of which he is the acting executive director. Mann says the kapitol has been a dream of 10 years, which is finally coming to fruition. “Ten years ago I went to the City of Johannesburg with a proposal to renew this area.“It’s amazing to see a part of Johannesburg that is so close to my heart come full circle – but while the bustling rag trade of my childhood had a distinctly Eurocentric feel, its rebirth will be pan-African and cosmopolitan.”He is using bold colours in the kapitol, like lime green, orange and pink, to emphasise that it is a vibrant place. He also hopes to hold lunch-time fashion shows, run by student and emerging designers. The square could also double as a market place.The row of shops along President Street has being identified for international designers, so that it will become an “international walkway”, with flags denoting the countries represented. “It has been 10 years from getting the ball rolling,” he says with a broad smile. “The kapitol has exceeded my expectations.”Three heritage buildingsThe three heritage buildings are two houses dating back to 1892 and 1895, and a two-storey cabinet maker’s workshop and furniture store, built in 1928. The houses consisted of verandas, bedrooms, sitting rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and outside toilets. In 1992 all three buildings become a restaurant and tavern, with a fast food section, offices and storerooms, with the two-storey structure becoming the dining area.Heritage consultant Herbert Prins says in a report that the buildings were “typical of urban living”, with the verandas allowing social interaction between the owners of the houses and passers-by.The original building materials are still visible: burnt brick, interlaced with clay or dagha as mortar, tar and sand for the damp coursing, rubble stone masonry for the foundations and galvanised iron for the roofing.Prins says the buildings are significant because they are some of the city’s earliest inner city dwellings, showing what materials were used for construction, how the houses were positioned on the street, and finer details like outside toilets.“Although the internal structure has been largely destroyed, the extant plans point to the social relations of public and private spaces, family and individual spaces, entertainment and service spaces, work and living spaces, and the ways these were arranged and linked to each other in the early days of the mining town of Johannesburg.”JDA sponsorshipThe development is sponsored by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which is pumping R9-million into the kapitol and a further R26-million into the revamp of the greater fashion district precinct.This involves paving 20 blocks over the next several years, replacing the mosaic stitching pavements, adding street furniture like benches, bins and trees, and giving the district a distinctive feel with new lighting. The plan includes artworks to be placed in the square by June, says Claudia Mahlaule, a development manager at the JDA.The plan is to link the recently revamped high court precinct with the fashion district by means of new paving and lighting. The JDA has also recently revamped jewel city, just south of the fashion district, and work continues on the Ellis Park precinct.The fashion district is also in the early stages of applying for city improvement district status.Property boomProperty in the fashion district is experiencing a boom as a result of the developments. Two major property development companies, City Properties and Afhco, have bought derelict blocks of flats and offices, and are converting them into B-grade offices and residential units.Max Katz of City Properties says the company started buying in the district two years ago. It bought Fashion Art Court and Fashion Art Place on the corner of Pritchard and Troye streets, and are in the throes of renovating the two buildings.The small businesses that occupied the buildings will be re-instated, together with offices and bachelor, one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats. With smart finishings, the flats will have prepaid electricity meters, an intercom system and 24-hour security. There will be an entertainment gallery, a braai area and a drying port, so washing is not hung on balconies, he emphasises.Neighbouring Registry House has also been bought and the first few storeys have already been converted. The Malalaituka Grill is doing brisk business, while retail space is ready for occupation. An internet cafe, a training centre and a college have already taken office space.City Properties has also bought the 23-storey Splendid Place in Pritchard Street, at present an eyesore with washing on balconies, rubbish accumulated above the retail-level roof, and broken windows. The company paid R22-million for the building, and will spend R45-million on revamping it.Tayob Towers, slightly further east but still within the district, was also recently purchased, and will be converted into 360 residential units. Katz says his company has bought some 70 buildings in the city centre and converted most of them into 1 200 residential units, while upgrading office spaces.“The company is tapping into the emerging middle-class market.”Lebo Mashego of Afhco says the company owns 11 buildings in the district, and it is busying buying another five. Three of them have already been converted into residential units, while work on the others continues. Most units are bachelor or one-bedroomed, confirms Mashego, in line with the demand in the precinct.Afhco has bought and converted some 45 buildings in the inner city. He says that the eastern edge of the CBD is still thought of as a dangerous area but things are changing, with the help of the JDA and the private sector.“The unique pan-African ambience reflects the character of the new Johannesburg and will make the kapitol an accessible and lively destination for tourists, suburbanites and the fashion community we intend to establish in the area,” confirms Mann.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Enjoy a delicious treat from simpler times with rhubarb this spring

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  The winter has begun to wind down and in the Midwest we anxiously await the first fruits of the season. Rhubarb, though often thought of as a fruit, is actually a vegetable and is one of those firsts of the season. Despite what the groundhog says we all start salivating in a hopeful response that pies, sauces and jams are on their way soon.To my family rhubarb seems so ordinary and easily accessible. It reminds us of simpler times, when if we didn’t have any rhubarb in our own gardens or backyards, we would head to the neighbors and ask them for some, returning several days later with a rhubarb treat as a thank you.My first memories of rhubarb were helping my grandma scoop out the antique or highly composted lamb manure to put on the rhubarb patch. It made the rhubarb thrive and produce the best tasting stalks. It is funny how in 2017 that would not be deemed food safe nor meet the GAP and Food Safety Modernization Act requirements. However, I never remember an illness stemming from her kitchen creations. My grandma and I would gather a basket full of rhubarb and head into her kitchen to whip up cream pies and sauces. Her pie remains one of my Dad’s favorites to this day. The history of rhubarb dates back to 2700 B.C. in China where rhubarb was used for medicinal purposes. My brother says I need to be shorter rather than longer, so let’s fast forward through the Liang, Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties to 1837 when a new variety of rhubarb took the Victorian age by storm. The variety called Victoria was introduced in the same year as a new Queen, sharing the same name took the throne. It was easy to grow, sweet, robust and tender —perfect for jams, jellies, pies, custards and sauces. It even became the main ingredient in savory dishes of meat, cheese and stuffing. To this day, there is even a “rhubarb triangle” in England. In this special place, English farmers continue to force rhubarb early, cultivating and harvesting it in the dark. states that 90% of the world’s forced sweet rhubarb is still produced there today. Rhubarb was introduced to the new world around 1800 and became popular in similar sweet and savory dishes. It continued to be popular in kitchens until after the World Wars. Then the hot ingredient became “Not.” The old fashioned sweet tart goodness has started a revival back in dishes across kitchens today. It can be hard to find unless you have a vintage patch in your garden, a rhubarb-loving neighbors or local store that stocks the crimson stalks.Rhubarb thrives in northern climates of England and U.S. It loves and needs to go through a cold winter. In the spring when stalks get about 10 inches long, gently pull them from the plant. The leaves are poisonous with high levels of oxalic acid and should be cut off the stalks. I love to compost the leaves around the plant. It’s important to never harvest all of the stalks. Some stalks are needed to give the plant energy to make it through until next year’s harvest.Rhubarb is often paired with strawberries, raspberries and other fruit. No matter what you add to compliment your next recipe with rhubarb, it’s sure to charm you and your family in the months ahead. Eat Well & Healthy!Shelly   Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding Cake common sense homesteading  2 cups chopped rhubarb1 3/4 cup sugar, divided3 tablespoons butter, softened1 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 cup milk1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon almond extract1 cup sifted flour1 tablespoon cornstarch2/3 cup boiling water  Cover the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch square or pie pan with fruit.Mix 3/4 cup sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, extracts, milk and flour together (add a little more milk if it is too thick to pour); pour over fruit. Mix remaining sugar and cornstarch; sprinkle over mixture in pan. Pour boiling water over the top.Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, a little longer for gluten free flours. Yield: 9 servings.Notes: You make also substitute a gluten free flour blend such as Namaste Foods Gluten Free Flour Blend. Josephine’s Rhubarb Cream Pie 1 pie crust, ready to bake2 cups rhubarb, cut in small chunks2 eggs, beaten1 ½ c sugar3 Tbsp. flour½ tsp. nutmeg1 Tbsp. butter  Preheat oven to 450°. Layer slices of chunks of rhubarb in pie crust. Mix eggs, sugar, flour and nutmeg well with either a blender, whisk, mixer or by hand. Pour custard over rhubarb. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°. Reduce temp to 350° and bake 45 minutes or until set. Roasted Rhubarb & Beets Slices of rhubarb’s ruby stemsHalved baby beetsOlive oilSalt and pepperChopped toasted walnuts  Toss rhubarb slices with olive oil and beets. Season with salt and pepper, and roast at 375 degrees until tender. Top with walnuts to finish. Rhubarb Lamb Stew nytimes.com1 Tbsp. ground cumin1 Tbsp. kosher salt (I would reduce this to about ½ tsp. or less)1 ½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. water14 oz. rhubarb, trimmed and cut on the diagonal in 1/8-inch slices (2 cups)2 lbs. boneless leg of lamb, cut in 1 1/4-inch cubes3 medium-size cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and minced1 Tbsp. cornstarch1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped Stir cumin and salt into 1 1/2 cups of water. Mound rhubarb in the center of a 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish with a tight-fitting lid. Pour cumin mixture around rhubarb. Cook, covered, at 100 percent power in a high-power oven for 7 minutes 30 seconds.Remove from oven and uncover. Arrange lamb in layers around the inside rim of the dish. Sprinkle garlic over lamb. Re-cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once.While soup is cooking, stir remaining tablespoon of water into cornstarch. Remove dish from oven and uncover. Stir a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid into the cornstarch mixture. Stir the mixture and the cilantro into soup. Re-cover and cook for 2 minutes.Remove from oven and uncover. Ladle into bowls; serve immediately. Rhubarb Cream Bars Crust:1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup sugar1/8 teaspoon salt9 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small piecesCooking spray   Filling:1/3 cup all-purpose flour1 1/2 cups sugar1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk3 large eggs5 cups (1/2-inch) sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (unthawed)Topping:1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese1/2 cup (4 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawedMint sprigs (optional) Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare crust, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.To prepare filling, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl; add milk and eggs, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir in rhubarb. Pour rhubarb mixture over crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature.To prepare topping, place 1/2 cup sugar, cheeses, and vanilla in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping; spread evenly over baked custard. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.last_img read more

Google Celebrates Pac-Man’s 30th Birthday with Playable Logo

first_imgRelated Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… As the eerily familiar bleeps and bloops of video games past began emanating from my computer this morning, a friend nearby immediately recognized them and quipped that he’d spent “way too much time and brain cells playing that game”.That game is Pac-Man and it’s featured in a playable Google Doodle for the next 48 hours on the Google homepage.The search engine is celebrating the video game legend’s 30th birthday today (and tomorrow) with its first playable Google Doodle. To give it a shot, simply go to and press the “Insert Coin” button, or wait a few seconds and the game will start up. If you hit the “Insert Coin” button again, Ms. Pac-Man will join in and you can have a second player play along using the WASD keys.The doodle goes to good length to recreate the original Pac-Man experience, glitches and all, according to senior UX designer and developer Marcin Wichary:Google doodler Ryan Germick and I made sure to include PAC-MAN’s original game logic, graphics and sounds, bring back ghosts’ individual personalities, and even recreate original bugs from this 1980’s masterpiece.In its efforts to recreate the original, Google went so far as to include 255 playable levels, with the game glitching out on the 256th – just as it did in the original game.Take a look at the game or go give it a shot for yourself. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App mike melanson Tags:#gaming#Google#web last_img read more

Rainwater Collection Lowers the Impact on a Coastal Site

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members I was honored when longtime friend Laura Sewall invited me to design her house at Small Point, Maine. Set at the mouth of the Sprague River as it spills into the Atlantic, the site witnesses the daily ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides in a vast estuary. Laura saw this dramatic site, the setting for generations of family summer retreats, as a precious gift from her ancestors.During a frigid January weekend in 2004, Laura and I gathered with her builder, Christopher Hahn, at Small Point. Warmed by a small campfire, we talked about the complex feelings that often accompany an intention to build, particularly when it involves disturbing such a fragile landscape.Christopher, an old friend of Laura’s who had recently moved to Maine, brought an extensive knowledge of building technologies and high standards of craftsmanship to the project. As a team, we shared a vision of a responsible, sustainable approach to building. Efficiency in form and materials Maine’s historic coastal architecture provided us with three centuries’ worth of fine New England homes that shared common goals with our new design, a graceful form that would provide comfortable shelter against the often-harsh weather.The home’s basic form is square in plan and cubic in volume. The cubic form, in which a minimum of exterior surface is needed to contain the maximum amount of space, has strong architectural precedent in the area, undoubtedly for its thermal efficiency.The plan is divided roughly into a nine-square pattern, with the great room and master bedroom as a larger central square. A lower shedlike roof surrounds the house on slightly more than two sides, creating a buffer to the north and west, where solar gain is negligible and weather is most harsh.The east… center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

CBI closure report ‘bad in law’: Punjab AG

first_imgTerming the Central Bureau of Investigation’s closure report in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege case “bad in law”, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda on Thursday said the national agency had no jurisdiction in the matter after the State government withdrew the cases from it last year. “The CBI lost all authority and jurisdiction to continue with any investigation in the cases, much less to file a closure report, after the State government issued a formal notification to withdraw the cases from the agency in September 2018,” said Mr. Nanda. He said that instead of filing the closure report, the correct legal course for the CBI would have been to inform the court that it was no longer charged with the investigation. The CBI had on July 4 filed a closure report in the three Bargari sacrilege cases of 2015 in the special CBI court in Mohali. Mr. Nanda also expressed surprise at the CBI’s stand that the State of Punjab was a stranger to the events, and thus not entitled to a copy of the closure report. “This stand was absurd, considering that the agency itself had, in its closure report, cited the ‘reports’ and ‘inputs’ of the Punjab police,” he added. ‘Dubious role’Meanwhile, Punjab Ekta Party president Sukhpal Singh Khaira accused the Chief Minister of playing a “dubious role” in the cases of sacrilege and asking the CBI to reopen the cases . “The Chief Minister failed to implement the resolution passed by the Vidhan Sabha to take back the cases from the CBI. On one hand, he advocated that the cases be probed by the SIT of Punjab police, while on the other he is asking the CBI to reopen the cases. This raises serious questions about his intentions,” said Mr. Khaira.last_img read more

Indian hockey team degenerates into a motley crowd of skill-less stickmen

first_imgSurjit Singh and Mahajan: Whose Fault?”Was I leading an Indian team in the international competitions or leading a herd of cattle?” With that bit of bitter and pointed rhetoric, Surjit Singh, captain of the Indian hockey team, announced his decision to retire from Indian hockey last fortnight.His acrimonious farewell came,Surjit Singh and Mahajan: Whose Fault?”Was I leading an Indian team in the international competitions or leading a herd of cattle?” With that bit of bitter and pointed rhetoric, Surjit Singh, captain of the Indian hockey team, announced his decision to retire from Indian hockey last fortnight.His acrimonious farewell came when the Indian team was in Patiala at a training camp, preparing for the Champions Trophy tournament to be held in June in Amsterdam, Holland. The star player’s departure came on the heels of centre-forward Sukhbir Singh Grewal’s decision to quit the international arena, and was followed by veteran winger Maharaj Kaushik’s retirement. Put together, the three goodbyes add up to the most damning indictment of the state of India’s national game in general and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) in particular.From a combination that could have once beaten the world, the Indian team has degenerated into a motley crowd of skill-less stickmen – one observer feels that only fullback and penalty corner artist Rajinder Singh would find a place in a world first eleven, or even the first twenty.Dim Prospects: Taken against the larger shambles of what was once India’s only gold medal sport, the prospects of India’s “herd of cattle” at Amsterdam appears to be of academic interest. The tournament is restricted to the world’s top six teams and India managed to find a berth because it scraped to fifth place at the World Cup in Bombay.The IHF’S decision to field a string of new faces may not pay any dividends. Among the newcomers are Punjab inside-right Jagdeep Singh, Bombay centre-half J. Carvalho, Indian Airlines right-winger Jalaluddin and Services centre-half S. Bara. Surinder Singh Sodhi takes over as captain in place of Surjit Singh.advertisementGiving fresh players a chance is all very well, but it is doubtful whether the new look team would be able to contain marauders like Rick Charlesworth of Australia and Ties Kruize of Holland. And against a Pakistani forward line in full cry – Samiullah, Manzoor, Hassan Sardar, Hanif Khan, Kaleemullah – even the best back line can falter.Dictatorial: For this deplorable state of affairs, the blame lies not so much on the players but on the IHF which appears to be playing God. Said Surjit Singh: “We are pushed around at every stage, insulted and humiliated by those who know little hockey and understand none of the finer points of the game.” He also said that IHF President Indir Mohan Mahajan was dictatorial and liked only “yes-men”.In fact, Mahajan has been coming under fire for quite some time now, for the sacking of Bhaskaran, who led India to an Olympic gold medal in Moscow in 1980, for skipping important tournaments and for trouble-ridden training camps which resulted in a number of walk-outs by players for one reason or another.Last fortnight, the controversy over IHF affairs took a serious turn when the Secretary of the Rajasthan Hockey Association, Harnek Singh, alleged at a news conference that Mahajan had flagrantly flouted IHF rules and had not summoned the federation’s annual general meeting for two years despite repeated requests. There are also other allegations of financial irregularities. Says Mati Lal former IHF treasurer who resigned last fortnight: “None of these transactions form official accounts of the federation.”The players complain that even the meagre amount of foreign exchange they are entitled to on tours abroad is sometimes not forthcoming. A member of the Indian World Cup team says: “Hockey officials spend money like lords but we don’t get enough money for our expenses.”Another player who went to Europe says: “We used to get foreign exchange which was not enough even for our laundry charges. But our officials had enough foreign exchange for shopping.” Mahajan refused to comment, and said: “I will place my views in the executive meetings. I have nothing to hide. I can account for each and every paisa spent by me.”But the players who have done thankless duty for India are not very impressed. Says Surjit Singh: “If the present situation continues, there will be no good players in this country. Even now. with 685 million people, it is a matter of shame that we don-t have more than two players for each position.”He adds: “I would advise youngsters in India no’ to play hockey as there is no future in it. They should rather play cricket. I myself have spent a lifetime in hockey but have got nothing out of it. The politics in hockey has ruined it.” The stench can no longer be ignored.advertisementlast_img read more