Archive for August, 2006

I heard this ad today, oh boy!

August 30, 2006

About the government department that is working “effortlessly” to empower women through the use of technology. It was on SAfm before 9am.

I am glad to hear that they have reached that level of efficiency where they can glide along effortlessly, and the IT industry is always on about working smarter, etc, but surely they mean, or maybe I just want them to mean, “tirelessly”?


I told you I was right: the wrong Nasrallah

August 25, 2006

In my recent blog,

I pondered the identity of the entity tracking my msispeling of the name Nasrullah Khan.

Turns out others have paid for a similar ‘mistake’.



and look what happened to him:

“Hassan Nasrallah says he has no regrets about having the same name as the man at the top of  Israel’s most-wanted list. What’s more, he said he is proud to share a name with the Hezbollah leader, even if that meant being snatched by Israeli commandos and flown to Israel where he was jailed for three weeks.”

Here’s what the real Nasrallah had to say:

“Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader who hails from southern Lebanon, ridiculed the Israeli commando operation in a TV appearance at the height of the fighting.

‘Such a great commando operation ends up targeting an honorable family man whose only fault is that his name is Hassan Nasrallah,’ the cleric said. 

What’s in a name, ye olde Billy asked. Indeed!

Afternoon Naps

August 22, 2006

If there is one thing I miss most intensely out of all the myriad activities engaged in B.C. (Before Children) – going to movies anytime, eating out whenever, taking a holiday just like that, exercising to my heart’s content and health, working late, hanging out with buddies, being cool at the beach, to name a few – it is the Afternoon Nap.

That slow, drifting, lulling drop into blissful unconciousness. ‘Sleep that knits the ravelled brow of time’, as olde Billy said. That sweet, almost sensual softening and relaxation of the muscles; the aimless, whispering meanderings of the mind at rest. Ah! to thee I pay homage.

I felt Thine Power of a Saturday afternoon of past week. Divine thy was in thy blessings. I awoke refreshed. I thank thee, and look forward to your revisitation sometime in the distant future.

Jody has started to skip his naps upon occassion. We must be careful not to let him nod off in the late afternoon, lest he keep us up until all hours. He does a catch-up nap the next day, but soon he shall no longer need a daytime snooze. He is in what is called the Golden Age, just out of babyhood, before the Terrible Twos. Jody is so cute and sweet, he makes his Daddy’s heart break leaving him.

I hope this is not a sign of brooding, mister!

The Wailing Wall

August 18, 2006

There used to be squash courts in Goodwood when I was a child, where that
Monument to Mammon, otherwise known as the Grand West Casino, is now. So I won’t mind if it falls in on itself. Those were the days of wooden racquets and white Judron shorts. There was a poster of Geoff Hunt at the entrance and orange juice in polystyrene cups for sale at the kiosk. (No Jahangir Khan on the scene yet. For an interesting history on the Khans’ 50 year unprecedented, unrepeatable dominance in sport, see Martin Bronstein’s reports on )

I did not get to play there, being too young then, and booked elsewhere in my teens (the S&S courts in Belgravia Road, Athlone). But just before the casino was built – must be 2001 or so, I suppose – I went around there. What a dreadful sight! Destruction everywhere. Desecration. Upheaval.

The Horror, The Horror!

The front wall of one of the courts was all that was left, the red service line defiant to the end. So I prayed there, sort of. And Cry(ed) for the Beloved Country.

Now that we have brought peace to the Middle East…

August 15, 2006

let us turn our attention to Burma, or Myanmar, as the regime has decreed. 

People are living there, as Athol Fugard said. One of them is Aung San Suu Kyi.

This is from Wikipedia: “In 1990, the military junta called general elections, which the National League for Democracy won decisively. Under normal circumstances, she would have assumed the office of Prime Minister. Instead the results were nullified, and the military refused to hand over power…

She was released from house arrest in July 1995, although it was made clear that if she left the country to visit her family in the United Kingdom, she would be denied re-entry. When her husband Michael Aris, a British citizen, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, the Burmese government denied him an entry visa. Aung San Suu Kyi remained in Burma, and never again saw her husband, who died in March 1999. She remains separated from their children, who remain in the United Kingdom.”

When I read this, I felt an incredible sadness. I wanted to write something about how all that is noble in the human beings, all that you ever dreamed a person would do for another, and for us all, and all that is timeless and infinite, and beautiful beyond belief, and all that is fetching and appealing and all the same, crushing, about our existence, and how the sound of the birds echo in some forgotten corner of the heart and mind, and about bicycles and boys and ululation, and…and…

But at the end I ask only: Is she insane? 

Fame! I’m gonna live forever…

August 11, 2006

in the pages of the Mail and Guardian, anyway. This weeks copy contains a letter which was originally a blog entry


Remember folks: you read it here first!

Go to page 24 of M&G print edition or follow this link:

This is like a plot from Monty Python

August 10, 2006

These two paragraphs followed each other in a Mail and Guardian article

“In a speech on Wednesday, Interior Minister John Reid said Britain is in the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of World War II.

Blair’s office said the prime minister, who is on holiday in the Caribbean…”

Orwell wouldda been proud of you, Tony.

Let’s invade Zimbabwe!

August 7, 2006

Here is the pretext for war:

  1. we don’t like their kind of democracy
  2. their nationals come across our border on a regular basis, and are involved in violent activity against our citizens

For all we know there might be a paramilitary organisation, the ZimDollah, lying in wait just north of the border, intent on the destruction of our state.

We can be certain of assistance and backing from the West, as the leaders of the US and the UK are pushing for a regime change.

This scenario is not as ridiculous as it sounds: an analogous situation exists in the Middle East.

Whey, to go.

August 3, 2006

Once or twice a week I get a smoothie from Kauai. I used to try something really healthy, like immune booster. But then I discovered the joys of peanut bliss. It’s not fat-free, thank God. There’s peanut butter, vanilla sorbet, all the good stuff.

I’m getting into the habit of ordering an extra scoop of whey powder with it. Besides other attributes, whey helps with anti-oxidation; in other words, the murder of free radicals. Politically, that would not be such a good thing, but if you want to live longer, it is best to terminate with extreme prejudice these malignant molecules in your body.

When I was ill recently, I ordered the immune booster again, without the extra scoop. The tiller said to me: “No whey?”

Today I ran into Jean Cleymans, Professor of Theoretical Physics at UCT. He didn’t remember me, for some strange reason, even though it was only ten, no twelve years ago (can it be?) that I was in his class. It’s not like they get 50 students a year doing Honours, you know – there were four in my group. And I distinctly recall that he used to deliver his lectures from memory. Granted, statistical thermodynamics does tend towards a cyclic state. Hee Hee physics joke:) 

Anyway, I gave him my business card. He seemed impressed. Maybe I can get to work with him, actually. He works on major projects at CERN, and they have a lot of data. Hmmm…

World Cup 2010 – Spot the Difference Competition

August 2, 2006

danny_jordaan.jpg                   staggie.jpg                    

Here is the head(literally) of the FIFA Local Organising Committee. On the left, in deep repose; on the right surrounded by well wishers after the announcement that we had won the bid.

In the true spirit of the famous Chappies bubblegum Sunday Times Spot the Ball competition, I hereby invite you to spot the difference between the two pictures. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the scene of the picture on the right, with the same well wishers in attendance. I know you’re just dying to enter!