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Archive for April, 2005

Found an interesting article on Africa in the Washington Post; The Africa You Never See (dated: 16 April 2005).
Excerpt:

Yes, Africa is a land of wars, poverty and corruption. The situation in places like Darfur, Sudan, desperately cries out for more media attention and international action. But Africa is also a land of stock markets, high rises, Internet cafes and a growing middle class. This is the part of Africa that functions. And this Africa also needs media attention, if it’s to have any chance of fully joining the global economy.

It is nice to read a media piece on Africa that does NOT only focus on AIDS, death, poverty, war, human rights abuses, dictatorships and destruction. Sadly, that is the image most people have, and perhaps justifiably so, of Africa.

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Researchers at the University of London Institute of Psychiatry have found that the constant distractions of email and texting are more harmful to performance than cannabis.

Emails more damaging than cannabis

Well, I am convinced… hahaha… I am blocking all incoming e-mails from now on, unless the words/phrase “urgent”, “important” and “immediate attention” appears in them.
Tell you what… it would really work for me if one could get high from reading e-mails – yeah that would totally make it worthwhile, don’t you think?

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Sometimes the world we live in scares the crap out of me. Things around me are changing at such an alarming pace that I sometimes feel I am in a giant washing machine stuck in the rinse cycle. Sweesh… Sweesh…
What’s hot and what’s not… what’s hip… what’s old, what’s new…. what I should have and shouldn’t have… blah blah blah… one big giant ball of string. We are so obsessed with being different and going forward that we we started to move backwards. Retro is in… then it is out… the friggin’ 80’s is making (or have made) a comeback… same ol’ same ol’ -… in a different guise… dust it down, shine it up and let us do it all over again. Well fuck me sideways with a giant corkscrew!
Things have become bigger, better, smarter, faster, sleeker… smaller. Just when I think that I have caught up (it happened way back in 2000 and lasted for about one nanosecond) with all the technological advancements, something new comes along and I am right back where I started.
In my inability to keep pace, I view every new advance with a degree of skepticism and alarmism. I pretend that nothing fazes me and I outrightly dismiss those things I cannot understand. I have no choice in the matter. It is the only way I know to keep me head above water. I have installed giant filters over my eyes and ears and block out that which I cannot make sense of.
We have created a world where we insist on perceiving every new development as a culmination of something great or as a climax. We live our lives going from one amazing discovery to the next. Every new fad is greeted with a big ‘wow’, an ‘at last’ or viewed as the ‘nth degree’ – with a constitutional fatalism that constantly adjusts itself to the ever-changing present. We have been getting out of hand and it has been two thousand years in the making. Perhaps one day we will simply die from an overload of technology and sheer boredom with the things we have created.
Where has the magic gone?

(Damn, now I have a head-ache… I knew that thinking is bad for me!)

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Wasting away

Damn… did I waste away this weekend! I started out wanting to do something new, something fun and exciting other than going to the movies and hanging out with the friends. I ended up doing sweet all. Well, nothing that can be regarded as significant.
Perhaps that is not entirely true as I did try and cook something “new” Saturday on afternoon. Yeah, I know… not terribly exciting.
I am not exactly hopeless when it comes to cooking, even though I have yet to find a cookbook I can understand and make sense of. And believe me I have tried. I either do not understand the measurements or the cooking terms, and my attempts at doing anything creative in the kitchen always end up in the bin or in the dogs’ bowls.
So it is Saturday afternoon and I am listening to my cd’s and god-knows-what on the radio and drinking red wine. The weather is kind of strange, somewhere between overcast and sunny/warm and cold and I decided this is perfect for me to try my hand at making a casserole (or as they say in Afrikaans… a bredie). Meat, vegetables, spices, gravy… fairly easy to do… or so I thought. I think the friggin red wine kinda made me do it. Usually on a Saturday afternoon the gf and I go out, find a good restaurant and have something to eat.
The long and the short is I totally screwed it up. Burnt meat and vegetables floating in a gravy that looked like the Orange River in full flood. I felt like a complete dick and I had the bruised ego to with it.
The gf tried to console me by saying nice things, which of course made it worse, ‘cos I started pitying myself. All she really wanted to do is to burst out laughing.
I managed to laugh about it about an hour later, courtesy of more red wine. After all, it was only a meal, so why should I care. Just to be safe, I think I will stay out of the kitchen for the entire winter.
Jissum… blogging about this made me realise just how boring my weekend really was. And if my last two posts are anything to go by, I am an accident waiting to happen.
To make up for my lack of skils… here’s a cool link; Start a fire with a coke can and a chocolate bar. Now this is something I can do. [Source: BoingBoing]

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The toilet humour post I did this morning reminded me of a piece of graffiti I once read on the wall high above a urinal, “If you are reading this you are pissing on your leg”. And low and behold… I did… piss on my leg that is, while reading it. Of course there is no connection between this and the police officer’s mishap, but that is how my mind works… it makes imaginary connections to things unrelated.
I do however constantly get myself into situations where I “piss” on my leg, metaphorically speaking. I don’t know how or why it happens… but it happens.
About a year ago, I had to return a faulty appliance I had bought at a Dions department store a few days before. Easy peasy… nothing to it… I have done this many times before… we all have. Well, apparently this time it was NOT going to be easy.
I arrive at the store and the queue at customer service division is about a mile long. I am returning a goddam friggin rice cooker (don’t ask) and my arms are getting lame from holding it. See that is the thing about customer service departments, speed and efficiency is not part of their motto. So I put the box on the floor and shove it along with my foot… the only sensible thing to do, really.
Standing in front of me is an old woman, about fifty-sixty, blue rinse… you know the type. She has a plastic bag with her and by the looks of it she’s returning an item of clothing. No, I swear this woman has Parkinson’s… either that or she is doing the jitter-bug jive… because she cannot stand still. She keeps fidgeting and shuffling… back and forth. I am thinking oy, I am tired just looking at her. I know I should ignore her but you see that’s the thing about me… I am a moron. So, I nod my head and smile at her, because that is what I do when I feel uncomfortable. She of course mistakes my nervous “friendly” gestures, so now she starts talking to me. Now I don’t talk to people when I stand department store queues, so I space out at around the time she calls me “young man”. Everything after that is white noise.
And then it happens… she takes a step backwards or perhaps she is in the middle of doing TaeBo, who the hell knows. The heel of her shoe catches on the box the rice cooker is in and she falls backwards, into my arms. We do a Fred Astaire and Gingers Rogers dance step, but she is too heavy for me and I land flat on my ass, with the old woman between my outstretched legs. I look like Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man… only I am doing my impression of him while sitting upright. And there you have the two of us… on the floor… looking like members of the Oxford rowing team at the start of the JPMorgan Henley Boat Race.
The poor bloody rice cooker careens across the floor much like Michael Schumacher at the Monaco Grand Prix, collides with a gondola end display of Pringles Potatoe Chips and they all come crashing down. People are scurrying for cover as the tubes of Pringle Chips morph into mini-missiles as they hit the floor. To an outsider, wactching these people run around, it may have seemed as if Nelson Mandela had come to town. The people standing around us collectively gasped for air, because that is what people do in situations like this… they gasp. Even the devil himself could not have stopped my rice cooker… it was on a bloody suicide mission.
I manage to get away from my “rowing partner” by shuffling backwards on my ass and with the help of a few bystanders. The store looks like it had been it just had a clearance sale and the manager, God bless his soul, apologizes profusely to the shoppers for the chaos and confusion. I feel embarrassed… humiliated… and do not have the heart to tell him that the store was not at fault. All I want to do is hide. My geriatric accomplice thrives on all the attention and I swear she thinks she stepped onto the red carpet. The shop’s floor staff frantically pick up the Pringles tubes and rebuilds the gondola end.
As for me, I pick up my oh-so-kick-ass faulty rice cooker and make for the exit. I sent my girlfriend to Dions the following week to exchange it for me. I still have the rice cooker (the new one that is); I don’t think have the heart to part with… ever! We are kin, it and I, by association.
Yeah, I pee-pee on me leg all the time, and when I don’t… other people will do it for me.

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Toilet humour??

This moron should not be allowed to carry a gun!

Officer on toilet accidentlly fires gun

Now if I were him… I would have pretended that nothing happened. I would pat my stomach and pretended that I had farted twice, whispered loudly…. “Gas… last night’s chili bean stew” and made for the door.
By the time they figured out what happened, I would have been long gone!

(And yes, I had tequila for breakfast!)

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Ok… so this morning’s marketing/technical meeting was a complete washout and if it hadn’t been that I actually had something to report back on, I would preferably have slit my throat and gushed blood all over the MD’s brand new white shirt. Yep, that was one of my psycho fantasies as people made up excuse after excuse for not “doing” their work. I am not easily given to melodramatic bullsh*te fantasies, but sometimes one’s conscience has to step out on the ledge to deal with the pain inflicted upon it.
Attending meetings is probably the one thing in my job I do not look forward to. I’d much rather spend my time going about my business and getting the job done than sitting around a table delegating tasks, discussing what we need to do and who needs to do it for one whole hour. You need an update… please, ask me?!
Half the people attending the meeting are totally unprepared and are merely “winging” it, using tired old phrases like; I am waiting on results/feedback from so-and-so or I should have an answer by… (insert date… any date), all because they are too lame-assed to get on with the assigned tasks.
I think people attend meetings for three (?!) reasons… for some it is an opportunity to look the part of the up-and-coming-corporate- wannabe, to grandstand and gain exposure, use meaningless corporate/business phrases that will impress the boss. You can say so much more with so much less… pipe it sunshine.
For others, being invited means that someone up there thinks (or so they believe) that they, the invitee, have something to contribute. So instead of declining, they play along and hope they can pull it off… although they are not quite sure what they are trying to pull off. They do not have two thoughts to rub together if their lives depended upon it, but perhaps no one will notice. And if they are lucky, someone would have prepared for the meeting and all they have to do is nod in agreement and pretend they understand. Lemming!
Then there are the hyenas who believe a meeting is the ideal place to let others know who’s really runs the show. Yep, I am power tripping baby and you had better believe I will chew you up and spit you out like yesterday’s breath-mint! These people would be better off establishing a cult, getting a bunch of doped up teenagers to donate all their processions and hero worship them. Now that is real “fake” power, if you know what I mean.
Someone was tasked with writing up the minutes for the meeting. Hahaha… if it were me, I would turn the minutes into a satirical sketch of what I believe people’s true thoughts were around the table. Now that would compensate for the emotional distress and sufferung and would make for far more interesting reading.
Mmm… I betcha my marketing colleague with the bad acne and rimmed glasses fantasizes about taking over the company… and the boss’ secretary as his personal sex slave.
Just for the record, I fantasized about ramming a plastic drinking straw in the boss’ ear and emptying his skull with it.

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