Archive for December, 2007

Back in the ‘burbs…

December 18, 2007

Yip folks, it’s back in sunny South Africa for me. So expect more Pinelands poetry, political railings, laidback musings, family life and such like. C’est la vie.

Over the past three days I’ve been catching up wth my boys, swinging on the rope, constructing a fireman station with pole,  swimming twice a day. Jody has started to swim about one meter underwater and then comes up with a gasp. Noah has been leaning a bit of chess.


A Cure for Consulting

December 14, 2007

Now remember this for future ventures.

When the brain is tired from working for 12-14 hours three or four or five days in a row, but it cannot rest because the whirring continues, then the following cure may come in handy: goto Bravo Charlie, or a similar establishment. Drink several beers. Dance.

My feeling is that this switches brain hemispheres, somehow.  I’ve known it, but really felt it yesterday, especially after the mental sloping. I have also mentioned the establishment elsewhere ( Even though one feels tired, it is possible to feel rejuvenated by doing this brain switching.

Now, is it possible to avoid sleep in this way? Perhaps not entirely, but it helps to explain why I sometimes feel less tired after being out till the early hours than if I had gone to bed after working hard.

Know your mind. Know your brain.

I finished my last day of work here in Germany today. I do not know when I will return.  Tomorrow I undergo climate change when I fly from winter to summer in 1 day!

Auf wiedersien iAfrika! iDeutschland ich bedeuten. Bis später.


December 14, 2007

Pictures that failed to meet the deadline of my previous post:

Back on the ground-


Eva –


Rod&Carolyne –


Mountains –


Mental slopes

December 13, 2007

It’s a long, hard way up the Binet IQ scale, ain’t it?

I thought I was at or near the top, until Big Wednesday hit. Exhausted from burning the midnight oil (ok, it was more like just 12 hours of work a day) on Monday and Tuesday, I could not grasp the simplest concepts. It felt like I was back on the ski slopes, in a mental manner, slipping, sliding down. I was tired, and just plain, pap.

Today was a little better (how could it possibly be worse?). Still it is an effort to think. But that’s why they pay me the big bucks, I suppose, so pak mas! Schnell!

Gesundheit: the Etiquette of Death

December 12, 2007

In discussion heading back from the Alps the other day with Matthias and Carolyne,  I was informed that German society is heading away from saying the world-famous expression ‘gesundheit’, due to the fact that this draws attention to the person sneezing. (Apparently in France, ‘Bon Appetit’ should not be said).

Upon reflection, you realise that the other human noises, such as burps and farts are excused by the person doing the action, with ‘Pardon me’, or ‘Excuse me’. For coughing, there is no expression, strangely enough.

The English equivalent of ‘Gesundheit’ is, of course, ‘Bless you’, or, more fully, ‘God Bless You.’ This leads me to think / agree that the term originated during some great epidemic, such as the Black Plague, or the ‘Flu. In that case, ‘God Bless You’ is a way of saying ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Good Luck with that terminal illness’. It is the etiquette of death.

For men, physiology is psychology

December 11, 2007

right, guys? This will make sense to those over 35, I suppose.


December 10, 2007

No, I have not been Russified. This weekend was spent in the Austrian Alps. Skiing!!!

Can you believe it? Kannst du dies glaube?

Two things:

1. As with most things in life, the most important thing about skiing is knowing how to stop!

2. These boots ain’t made for walking!






To all you religious and political nuts out there

December 7, 2007

Get screwed!

The Comfort of Foods

December 6, 2007

Lately I have experienced, or rather, recognised, the comforting power of certain foods. When I am under emotional duress / distress, I notice that it normally affects me in the morning (sometimes as soon as i wake up), and early afternoon. Perhaps this is because I take time to warm up and get into the swing of things at work, etc. However, this week I noticed that if I kept my body nutrified, then things did not bother me so much. Perhaps this is a psychological trick, but it works.

I noticed in particular the effect of sugars. A previous posting gave a fictional account of the effect:

But I think I have found a way to counter the mind’s negative emotions – eat sensibly. Of course, one should not overindulge. This is not just an optimisation of content, but also of timing. We should know what to eat, and just as importantly, when to eat it.

The dieticians recommend that we eat simple carbohydrates early in the day anyway. So my intuition confirms this and also goes beyond the general into the personal. The sugars probably release serotonin. Later in the day, one should exercise to release endorphins to keep you going. Then also have a small midnight snack (wamr milk and cookies?) to keep the bad dreams away.

On a related note, yesterday I could not decide on the lunch I wanted to take. So, as in most cases when faced with a major decision, I did not decide, and took both, instead. See the pic below.

Finally, last night I went running in the dark through a small, deserted forest. I wondered what I had feared as a child in the dark. I thought about what JFK had said: The only thing to fear is fear itself. What I had feared as a child was in my mind. Now also, what I fear is in my mind.


It’s been done already

December 3, 2007

My previous post

has a precedent. But it’s not plagiarism on my part.

Bestselling author says: ‘I kill people off for a living.’By Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007

“I kill people off for a living.” That’s what bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif says when people ask her what she does. You don’t want to miss this tongue-in-cheek post about mystery, murder, messages…and corpses.Author Karen Harrington invited Cheryl to share a bit about her mystery/suspense novels and while visiting Karen’s blog A Writer’s Diary, Cheryl decided to hold an impromptu and ‘deadly’ little contest.