Friday, January 30, 2009

One of life’s greatest childhood debates revisited

I often think back to when I was a kid. Back to a time when our developing brains had just grasped the English language and discovered its true potential. Sure we learn the basics first, ‘mama’ ‘papa’ ‘give me ..........’ but we progress ever so quickly from there. We learn to manipulate, lie, make and set moral boundaries that stay with us for the rest of our lives. Language and the ability to communicate is a powerful tool that is often taken for granted.

Back to my topic… I feel that one of the more interesting communication milestones reached as we grow is that of debate. It fascinates me that we learn this ability so early on in life given the rather pointless nature of discussion and informal debate in the life of a 4 or 5 year old. Still, we persevered and perhaps benefited from it at the end of the day (character building some would say…).

After having failed miserably at communicating our point across to adults (“…and that’s why I NEED a bag of Easter eggs and a large net for school tomorrow.”) we lower our standards and have the most imaginative and drawn out discussions with other random 5 year old kids we stumble across at school. I thought it would be fun to revive one of these childhood debates. Partially because it would be a terrible shame to have gone through all that and not used it to our benefit in a discussion now that we are older and more mature (of course we are).

Here goes…

Discussion topic: My Dada (grandfather) is way cooler than your Dada.

I really do believe that I had the coolest grandpa and I’ll be impressed if anyone can come close.

My Dada.

Sure he wasn’t a perfect man but he did have a band. He played almost every type of Indian instrument beautifully. I remember him happily jamming with all his sons in the lounge of our house at over 70 years of age. He even rode motorbikes! My dada was originally a builder and to my knowledge helped in the making of some of Durban’s finest buildings. He also managed to bag the daughter of the owner of a once successful soda pop company as his wife (go figure, chicks had a thing for guys in a band back then too…).

In his later years he occupied himself by building fine furniture (most of which is still in use at our home). It would have been nice to see him in action as a young man. Alas the majority of my memories of him are of him pruning the roses in the garden wearing his beige hat or in his workshop swearing in frustration at workers he caught mixing cement the wrong way or something along those lines.

How cool was your gramps then?

(Alternantively you could revive another debate topic that stood out from your past.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Worlds most expensive pumpkin

I innocently walked to Spar yesterday with the intention of purchasing some veggies and snacks. It's pretty dangerous these days so I don't ever carry more than R400 with me to do shopping. Just a precaution in case one is robbed. What I had not expected was who would be doing the robbing that day. Have a look at this supermarket checkout slip...

Just in case to font size is too small at the top...

The offending item... an 8 pack of baby gemsquash. Needless to say, I decided that I could do without baby gemsquash for supper.

(exchange rate at time of writing R/$ ± 10 to 1,
R/BP ± 14 to 1,
R/Euro ± 13.5 to 1)

Monday, January 12, 2009

1st prize candidate for stupidest pet award

I'd like to nominate my colony of guppies for this award.

Today I saw one of the larger fish taking a dump in the water at the top of the tank. Okay this is understandable, there isn't a toilet in there... But that's not the point. On the way to floor of the tank this turd was eaten and spat out by six other fish. SIX! I only have eight fish in the tank and one of them created the poo.

So basically I have one guppy that knows the difference between the brightly coloured fish flakes I feed them (twice a day at exactly the same times) and its own long brown excrement.

Honestly! I now have reason to believe that my guppies are less intelligent than a gem-squash (I mean have you ever seen any gem-squashes eating their own faecal matter...well, if they could, they wouldn't, so there).


Maybe they need more oxygen in their water or something. I'm a little concerned.

Anyway from this day forth I will refer to people that have fallen off the bottom of the stupid scale (and Rihanna) as 'guppies'. Why? because there isn't a word to describe these extreme levels of annoying idiot behaviour yet.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Book

I've decided to write a book.

This will be no ordinary book(Anyone can write an ordinary book like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I'm aiming for something extraordinary).

I have some big plans for characters which is why I have decided to post this section. I thought about this for a while and it turns out that I have some very interesting friends that would fall into place quite nicely in a fiction/adventure/comedy. All I need is your permission to have a character with your name (or similar), features and attributes. I also want free reign to be able to exaggerate and add bits to them.

You can also have some input in your character and its development. For a start I want to know if your char will play a good, bad or neutral role in the storyline (I'm personally going for neutral for my avatar but we need a good mix otherwise i'll have to introduce some real fictional characters).

You may not see significant results for the next few months as it takes a while to write a book. I do however intend to keep you posted with random bits on this blog as I go along. I'll also email and blog if I need some opinions, advice on your character development or if I need inspiration.

What I offer to you in return is having a say and playing a part in the distribution and allocation of 50% of proceeds to fund any education projects in South Africa (nice aren't I?). I didn't want you to get your hopes too high so I chose something that will help make a difference with any low or high amount of funding (so there). You can also play yourself in the movie (one day...).

If you aren't interested in becoming a character in a novel and do know of someone (interesting preferably) who would be good material send me their email address or give them the link to my blog



My excuse for not posting for so long

I ran out of internet...
I purchased a 500 mb data bundle which I forgot expires if I don't use it.

Vodacom is evil!

2009, the year of the lemon cream.

One always hears about amazing parties and over the top ways of celebrating the new year. Opportunistic people normally use this event to take advantage of the masses by predicting Armageddon, releasing songs with '...2009...' in the lyrics, selling phony 2009 computer fixes... It's all good though. New years is probably the only event that is celebrated throughout the world by all people.

As the Earth rotates and 12:00 pm ticks over fireworks simultaneously light the night sky in every time zone. I really was amused at how competitive all of the big cities are with their fireworks. Every year the displays get bigger and bigger as they try to out compete each other. Watching some of the replays on TV I noticed that the displays have reached such a scale that nobody can actually see the fireworks after the first 3 or so seconds past midnight, there is just too much smoke from the first round of explosives.

New years celebrations tend to be tricky for me. The general trend is for people to get drunk and do...drunk people activities. Not an option for me (for obvious reasons). I've been to a few of these street parties and I was not particularly fond of being soaked in champagne (or in one case having beer poured onto my head and back) so I've avoided them for years.

My average new years consists of going home for a chat with my family, braai, a game of cards followed by a brief 'yay' at 12 and then bed (i've even fallen asleep while waiting for 12pm). This year was even less spectacular, I wasn't at home so I just played computer games till 12 and then decided I needed to do something else. I settled on having a cup of tea. It was a subtle rooibos and camomile blend with a hint of honey. Not nearly as wreckless as my previous experiences so I decided to have a buscuit too, a lemon cream.


(Gosh! I am getting old.)