Archive for the ‘La Famiglia’ Category

Noah the mower

December 7, 2009

This weekend was really suburban. I cleaned the pool!

And there’s more: I mowed the lawn!

Actually, Noah was really enthused by the Honda I hired. He did most of the cutting. After the initial cut on Saturday, I kept him busy on Sunday by lowering the blades to achieve a super short look.

The pool is eassy once you know what to do: balance the pH and check the chlorine, add some flock to settle the little green men and bombs away! Blue as can be.

It took four years to get round to doing the lawn myself. The next step(!) is the long ladder.


8 is great! Noah is the champ!

October 13, 2009

Picture will have to wait, as this blog is not uploading properly.

What kind of a Tooth Fairy leaves chocolate?

September 17, 2009

Noah is getting suspicious of tooth fairies and father christmas and such like. I throw in Jesus just to confuse him a bit when he says those other guys are not real.

But he was in two minds this morning because he woke up in the night and found a ten rand note and a Sweetie Pie chocolate at his bedside table. What kind of a tooth fairy leaves chocolate?! And this morning there was a lollipop too. Mmmmmm…

Keep them guessing, I say. He said, at breakfast: “I woke up in the night, it must have been half past twelve…” hee hee “…and I don’t know who it could have been, because I would have heard them coming up the stairs.” Suspicions abound. “It couldn’t have been Vuyo…”

She is actually a he

August 19, 2009

Picalo (the guinea pig/cow from ) has a you-know-what…

Children are like dogs

May 4, 2009

They are best left to run with their own kind.

In a pack. Minimum amount of attention is required from the owners.

Just add water.

Feed them now and again.

White moths, black butterflies

April 30, 2009

No, this is not a comment on the new south africa, but a record of what has passed this past week: walking up to Rhodes Memorial with Noah on Monday, we saw hundreds of black butterflies on the lower slopes, just as you enter the turnstile after the bridge. The white moths we saw at home, the first one one the white exterior wall, then the other inside a day or two later, and finally they found each other and settled outside.

Also, Chelsea left last week. I wonder if she’ll be back?

Jesse is hhere as compensation. She’s the only one who gives me affection:)

I’m a hopeless romantic…

April 16, 2009

I ignore the shit,until it hits the fan…that’s what Noleen tells me, anyway.

We have a new pet, Jesse the dog. She stays with me at night when the others have gone to sleep. Soon she will be able to accompany on my night walks to that throbbing nightspot in Pinelands, the BP service station.

We are bonding. I have not done any scooping yet, though. Perhaps the two are mutually exclusive…

The whole point of being rich: being treated like a child again.

December 1, 2008

Me and the missus went to the Arabella Sheraton, Hermanus this weekend. We were upgraded to the penthouse suite (‘best available room’, as befits a platinum member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program – see ).

The children weren’t there, we had huge breakfasts, stunning views, our room cleaned, beach-walks, room-service etc., in fact all those things about hotel living I had taken for granted in Stuttgart (except the beach, of course).  But this time, I figured that that the pampering, which the missus noticed more than I did (this being her first time) was like being mothered, making us feel like kids again. And the way to access it is by booking into a five-star hotel now and again. It was great.

Noah’s Arc

March 17, 2008

I was showing Noah some chess moves yesterday. He knows Fool’s mate, pins, forks. I got him to set up some diagrams using the book ‘Encyclopedia of Chess Wisdom’ by Eric Schiller.

After setting up the game Turner vs Voloshin from Lilie, 1997 (p.28) as in the diagram, I asked Noah to make the next move for Black (move 11). His move coincided with the move from the book…

Positive Feedback

February 21, 2008

Hashim Khan, grandfather of the Khan squash dynasty, wrote a funny book on the subject, which was typed in the Pakistani English that he spoke. Here is a sample:

“Here is number one rule I teach you in squash: Always keep eye on ball.”

C’est la vie, huh?

Now in engineering terms, the term ‘negative feedback’ refers to the capability of a system to act on a stimulus or the environment in such a way as to reverse the original effects. Or something like that. On the other hand, ‘positive feedback’ refers to the system compounding the effects of the stimulus or the environment.

As an example, the common or household thermostat gauges the ambient temperature, and then adjust the temperature towards the prescribed setting. So it is a negative feedback system because it acts to reverse the ambient temperature towards the prescribed setting: if the ambient temperature is too high, cooling takes place; if too low, then heating.

On the other hand, a positive feedback thermostat (if such a thing could exist) would have the effect of driving up the temperature higher and higher above the prescribed setting; looping as it were, indefinitely, or until the whole thing overheats and blows up.

Now my point is this: relationships between couples sometimes contain a positive feedback element. In particular, the ‘issues’ between couples tend towards blow-ups and heated arguments because the postive feedback mechanism greatly amplifies minor problems. The minor problems add up to a BIG problem. Obviosuly years of this arrangement results in petty issues of yore resulting in divorce. Normally, this is ‘relieved’ by argument. This happens on a frequent basis whenever the system (= couple) reaches the blow-up point. A tiresome arrangement if one has ever been in such a cycle.

Recognising this, it seems that one way out of such cycles is for one of the members of the couple, or both, to short circuit the system by introducing an element of negative feedback.

How so? Act cool.