Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Gasp!

I’m only coming up for air. Hectic with new job. Sit in open plan office with my back to everybody, do not want to spend to much time here whilst others may be looking – don’t want people at work to read this, miss you all.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Mordor

Mordor 1. My last day as complaint letter writerer Hallelujah! Although I am exceedingly good at writing letters of complaint, I am mortally tired of it and I thank God that I am done with this. The only drawback of my new job is that I’d have to travel from Mordor to Jo’burg every day. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, most people in Jo’burg and Pretoria travel some distance to work and back. The people in Mordor are funny and I think It’ll take time for me to get used to the Jo’burgers. I am soooo looking forward to Monday. As I said before, I won’t be able to write for a few days, but I’m sure by Mid-Late Next week I’ll join cyberspace again. 2. Living in Mordor I think I got sort of used to Mordor, for Lamb and I have been living here for 9 years now. Though now and again something happens which still amazes me. Last week I was overtaken (in a small stretch between two sets of traffic lights) by a roaring three litre Ford Cortina. It is hard to describe the colour of the car. It is sort of metallic bottle green. On it’s sides it had been decal’d with outsized green flames. The flames were also metallic, but as the car passed me, the flames changed from a silver greenish hue to blowfly brilliant as the angle of light on them changed. The words “THE PUNISHER” were decal’d in large white letters on the back of the car. The car was occupied by a burly man (driver) with a mullet hairstyle. Next to him was a woman with an extremely tight perm and in the back two children of unidentifiable gender. You may wonder how I noticed all of that in the few nano seconds it took the powerful Ford to pass my fuel-economic Japanese model. All I can say is that the image had been imprinted on my memory forever. 3. Mordor Status Symbols Each community and segment of society has it’s own unique status symbols. In Mordor it correlates with the East Rand (East of Jo’burg for those who don’t know), Pretoria West, the Towns of Virginia & Welkom and Klerksdorp & Orkney a.o. Status symbols as well as fads & fashions popular in Mordor:
  • Souped up Ford Cortinas, VW Golf 1s, Opel Corsas and old Beemers.
  • Motorcar accessories to customise your wiele – shiny chrome hub-caps with rotating blades inside, which keeps still while the wheels are turning, but starts spinning as soon as the car slows down or stops; spoilers and fins – especially a fin the size of a Boeing tail-wing on the boot of the car (om die kar se gat op die pad te hou as jy vinnig om ‘n draai sleep)
  • Sound – It needn’t be the best quality, so long you have enough reverberating bass to dissolve the kidney stones of those you pass with your car.
  • Big Hair – It’s been all the rave since 1985 here in Mordor. Peroxide blondes with hair teased the life out of it still walk around in off-the-shoulder Spanish style frilly blouses with stretch jeans and white high heels. Better still if the heels could be “mother of pearl”.
  • Faux Flintstone Finish on Houses. I believe they call it “rock art”. I have seen it tastefully done around pools etc, but over here, they do the whole house. (Plain old 50’s 60’s and 70’s style houses get plastered with cement and painted to look as if it is made from stone. More often than not, the Idiot doing the job doesn’t know what he is doing which contributes to the overall kak look.) If the guy has a little more skill, you’d find images of the Big Five cunningly blended in.
  • Gates. As everywhere in SA people’s yards are sealed off by high walls or palisades with motorised gates. Here people have a big thing for gates. Some are so ornate and elaborate that one would expect to find the Forbidden City behind it. But no, once it opens it is just an ordinary house with garden ornaments such as Swan planters, Snow white and all 7 dwarfs and pink flamingos. The pillars built to support the gateposts are usually topped with massive cement eagles (painted dazzling blue) or Egyptian Cats or Chinese Lions.
  • Christmas decorations. I’ve seen a trend in the posh suburbs of Jo’burg that people put very tasteful lights and decorations in their gardens over the Christmas period. Here in Mordor the most ordinary and even shabby looking houses gets transformed in Las Vegas meets Christmas. It is something to behold.

I can go on forever. Bye for now

Thursday, 11 October 2007

What to do in boring meetings... Play Buzzword Bingo

This is from the site Wordspy. They have the coolest words there. Many of the words on the site are neologisms and portmanteaus. (Sheebee likes portmanteaus - she makes up her own words by combining two or more )
  • BUZZWORD BINGO (BUZ.wurd bing.go) n. A word game played during corporate meetings. Players are issued bingo-like cards with lists of buzzwords such as paradigm and proactive. Players check off these words as they come up in the meeting, and the first to fill in a "line" of words is the winner. Example Citation: [In] cubicles and conference rooms at companies from annuity sellers to paper distributors, drones and peons are slyly mocking the new corporate culture — and their cliche-spouting bosses. One of their weapons is an underground game called buzzword bingo, which works like a surreptitious form of regular bingo. Buzzwords — "incent," "proactive, "impactfulness," for example — are preselected and placed on a bingo-like card in random boxes. Players sit in meetings and conferences and silently check off buzzwords as their bosses spout them; the first to fill in a complete line wins. But, in deference to the setting, the winner typically coughs instead of shouting out "bingo." "Buzzword bingo arose as a reaction against half-truth and responsibility-dodging" in the workplace, says former Silicon Graphics Inc. software engineer Chris Pirazzi. When Mr. Pirazzi, now a software engineer elsewhere, worked at the hightech company, he wrote bingo cards featuring phrases like, "At Stanford, we . . ." (In Silicon Valley, it's hip to let people know you attended Stanford University.) The game, by all accounts, began at Silicon Graphics in Mountain View, Calif. Tom Davis, a scientist and one of the company's founders, says that one day in early 1993, he was sitting in the office of a friend who had scrawled corporate-speak on his blackboard. A light bulb went off, and Mr. Davis wrote a computer program to generate bingo cards filled with the jargon he had seen, plus motivational cliches like "Step up to it." He says he coined the name "buzzword bingo" and passed the cards along to colleagues with a note written in the spirit of the new game: "The ball's in your court."—Elizabeth Macdonald and Asra Q. Nomani, "Lots of Executives Become Fair Game For Buzzword Bingo," The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 1998

Also check the site for "The Streisand Effect" and "Corridor Cuiser"

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Kentucky Burgoo

Please do not only read my top posts, I am posting several per day. I am winding down at my current job and I am stocking up for next week when I’ll be starting the new job. I think it will be a bit hectic for the first week or so.

One of the best books on food I’ve ever read is Food: what we eat and how we eat it by Clarissa Dickson Wright (real name - Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright). Clarissa is the the living half of the Two Fat Ladies team. Jennifer Patterson died a number of years back. The whole book is full of excerpts form other cooks’ and chefs’ books and then her own commentary on the subject. One of the entries I enjoy most is the one on Kentucky Burgoo. The recipe below dates from 1939 and makes 1200 gallons: "Kentucky Burgoo" is the celebrated stew which is served in Kentucky on Derby Day, at Political Rallies, Horse Sales and other outdoor events. This recipe is from a hand written copy by Mr. J. T. Looney, of Lexington. Mr. Looney is Kentucky's most famous Burgoo-maker and it was for him that Mr. E. R. Bradley named his Kentucky Derby winner "Burgoo King". Mr. Looney uses a sauce of his own in the preparation of this truly-amazing concoction. Mr. Looney is invited to all parts of the country to prepare Burgoo for large gatherings. This is not a dish to be attemped by an amateur though it can be prepared in smaller quantities. It is a very picturesque sight to see Mr. Looney, aided by his many assistants, preparing this dish over open fires and huge kettles which are kept simmering all night. 600 pounds lean soup meat (no fat, no bones) 200 pounds fat hens 2000 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced 200 pounds of onions 5 bushels of cabbage, chopped 60 ten-pound cans of tomatoes 24 ten-pound cans puree of tomatoes 24 ten-pound cans of carrots 18 ten-pound cans of corn Red pepper and salt to taste Season with Worchestershire, Tabasco, or A#1 Sauce

Mix the ingredients, a little at a time, and cook outdoors in huge iron kettles over wood fires from 15 to 20 hours. Use squirrels in season... one dozen squirrels to each 100 gallons.

The "use squirrels in season" really got to me.

Precious Ramotswe

Has anyone read “The Nr.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series by Alexander McCall Smith? What wonderful reading! My favourite in the series is “The Kalahari Typing School For Men”. It is quite NB to read them in the right order. The series is set in Botswana and the protagonist is Mma Precious Ramotswe. Mma Ramotswe is in her own words “a traditionally built lady”, and she speaks with disdain of the new trend of being skinny the young girls follow. Mma Ramotswe is a private detective, but the cases she investigates is not quite what one would expect. Mma Ramotswe’s methods are also rather unique. The books provide an easy read, the prose is light and immensely funny. The underlying tone is quite thought provoking, the characters real and the plot entertaining.

Angelic Advice

I have forever craved acceptance and understanding. The harder I tried, the more it eluded me. I never realized that my behaviour puts a barrier between me and others. I also did not understand myself. THAT is the reason why I was elated when diagnosed with ADD when I was 28. Finally I at least understood. Treatment made me better and my interaction with others improved exponentially. I still fail to make people completely understand. Letting people know that I have ADD complicates matters more. I used to do that hoping people will understand better, but I achieved the opposite. Now I don’t tell people any longer. This morning I had a lump in my throat reading another blogger - Angel’s latest post. Angel is a single mom raising an ADHD son. I implore everyone who knows someone with AD/HD or knows someone raising children with ADHD to read her post. I have never come across so much genuine understanding. I wish I could comment on everything she says, but I will limit it to point 6 in her post. May the journalists of the likes of Carte Blanche and popular magazines like You and Huisgenoot rot in hell for their contribution to the stigma amongst the general public which clings to ADD medication.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Too-Ray-Ay

As you can see from with the posts below, today is lists day. We all know the phenomenon of a song turning in your head. A common comment from people with AD/HD, however is that we CONSTANTLY have a song in our heads. I sometimes have the same song for two weeks or longer. It becomes excruciating after a while. It is the last thing you hear before falling asleep and the very first thing you wake up to. Most often it is something ridiculous like “Three Blind Mice” or “Una Paloma Blanca”. The worst however is radio advertisement jingles… On Radio Highveld (Johannesburg SA) there is one which plague me forever. As soon as it is out of my head, they play it again. And then it is all over again. It is for a chain of shops that sell bathroom fixtures (or is it – which sells bathroom fixtures? Singular or plural? Should I refer to single chain or plural shops? Bugger, Bugger, bollocks bollocs!). The place is called Bathroom Bizarre. The jingle goes… “For mind-blowing bathroom specials, come to Bathroom Bizarre. That’s B.I.Z.A.R.R.E, come to Bathroom Bizarre, Come to Bathroom Bizarre.” It drives me insane. I know that is the purpose of catchy jingle tunes, but to me it is endless torture. Sometimes it is not even a tune, it is a word or a phrase. The most recent was the words “Minister Plenipotentiary”. It kept turning and turning in my head. Today’s song in my head is also one with an extreme propensity for sticking in one’s head – “Come on Eileen”

Culinary Arts I am incapable of performing

There are a few things that I have tried to make unsuccessfully. Number one – Pancakes (the English & SA version) I suppose in the USA it is called crepes. Lamb, who does not cook extremely well is a dab hand at making pancakes. Mine stick to the pan, their either too thick or too thin, not cooked through, they just don’t work. Crumpets I am fine with but still I cannot manage to get them quite like my Grandmother’s. Number two - Roast Beef. I can do the perfect roast chicken, roast leg/shoulder of lamb, pork roast, but I have never been successful with beef. It always comes out tough and awfully dry with very little taste? I wonder what I do wrong? My previous post on England things I miss prompted this trail of thought. It bothers me, because no matter how high the degree of difficulty of a dish, I always manage. So why am I not able to do a relatively simple thing like roast beef? If any of my dishes flop, I instinctively know what to do next time to ensure it doesn’t. I’ll also spend time perfecting a recipe. I have even tried different cuts of beef to no avail. Another one, which is not really cooking related, is Margaritas. I have tried different recipes, I have tried different ratio’s of tequila, triple sec & freshly squeezed lime – no luck. My Margaritas tastes horrible. I’ve also not had much luck with cooking artichokes, but I am not too bothered about that. My favourite dish in the whole wide world is…? Nothing fancy… I think it will have to be Spaghetti Bolognaise, but not any old Spaghetti Bolognaise, like my Grandmother taught my Mum & and later me. She in turn learned from an Italian POW in the 2nd World War.

England things I miss...

Going for a Balti at the Indian Restaurant round the corner Trebor’s Hurricane Strength Mints London Soho The National Gallery The Vintage Magazine Co shop in Soho The Underground Potted Stilton Cheese Bath (The city) Having a Ploughman’s lunch and a pint in a pub in summer Having Lancashire Hot Pot and a pint in a pub in winter Having Beef & Guinness Pie and a pint in a pub in winter London London’s parks York Shopping in Kensington High Street Cambridge Proper Fish & Chip Shops (cod & chips - strike the mushy peas) Camden Town The West End & going to theatre London Cream Soda (different from here) Sunday pub lunches - Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, 3 veg and lots & lots & lots of gravy over everything. Sitting on Trafalgar Square watching Japanese tourists. (They must have orientation before they leave Japan. No matter where you go, group after group after group Japanese tourists have their pictures taken on exactly the same spot as every other Japanese person.) Cathedral City Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese
London What I don’t miss The English and their Weather and their TV documentaries.

Favourite Food

Spaghetti Bolognaise Rump Steak (medium-rare) with garlic butter Well prepared – FRESH – seafood platter. (I like the way Portuguese Restaurants do it) Sushi Sunday Roast Waterblommetjiebredie Pap & Wors Braaivleis A good breakfast fry-up Oxtail potjie Chille con Carne Baked puddings Thai Green Curry Korma Curry Rogan Josh Curry Vetkoek & Mince Bunny Chow Pizza with salami, mushrooms and tons of cheese Any rice dish – jambalaya, risotto, pilaf, nasi goreng, paella, rys & sous, rys-vleis-en-aartappels, curry & rice, rice pudding, rice crispie & caramel balls, my mom’s 1980’s rice and tuna dish, basmati rice, American long grain rice, Arborio rice, Thai fragrant Jasmine rice, brown rice, wild rice, pilau rice, egg fly lice, spicy Mexican rice, etc

Friday, 5 October 2007

Lamb

Lamb (my wife) does not eat lamb or mutton. She likes beef & chicken and the only seafood she eats is fish. We’ve been married for 9 years. Like everyone else, we have our ups and downs. I can honestly say that it’s been more ups than downs. Sometimes it takes time, but we always manage to get through the tough patches. We only have two rules in our relationship. 1 We don’t baby-sit each other – 2 We don’t share. This helps us to trust each other, to respect each other, and not to let a 3rd party come between us. Lamb learned me to be more affectionate than what I used to be. Though we get mad at each other and sometimes (like I do now) feel that the other does not understand something, I cannot imagine a life without her. Who else would be as patient with me as she is? Who else would put up with my quirks and antics? Who else gives the best bj's in the world [grin]. I can take Lamb anywhere with me and proudly so. People immediately take to her and she is lovely company. She is funny and interesting. Sometimes she’d read some of my science fiction and sometimes I’d read some of her women’s fiction (Maeve Binchy, Norah Roberts and Marian Keyes). We both share a love for crime and spy novels. Because the both of us furthered our studies at some stage after we got married, we decided to wait before we start a family. We both feel ready for that now. I cannot wait! Lamb always says that a baby is not glue, it won’t paste two people in a broken relationship together again. For us, it just feels right now.

Food, Glorious Food

I spend a lot of time thinking about food. Now I am planning tonight’s menu. I am undecided between a Blue cheese soufflĂ© or a creamy satisfying mushroom risotto. Both with a nice crunchy salad dressed with a lemon dressing nice and astringent to counter the richness of either the soufflĂ© or risotto. I prefer red wine, though I think I light crisp white wine should go down well tonight. Dessert? Dark chocolate. I like to spoil Lamb over weekends with my culinary skills. (We take turns during the week). Chocolate for dessert, she does not like baked puddings. Her loss, I make Jan Ellis/Malva/Brown Pudding which will cause tears in your eyes (and clog your arteries). For special occasions I will make a Tipsy/Cape Brandy tart, and like my Grandmother, I have a heavy hand with the brandy. Served with whipped cream, custard or vanilla ice cream, your choice. I also make the best ever chocolate mousse (not the stuff in packs tasting like carton & coco powder). It is one of those tricky recipes though. The egg whites must be beaten exactly right. Not too soft (it goes runny then) nor to stiff (it just wont mix with the rest of the ingredients then) and you REALLY need a light touch when folding the whites into the rest. Delia Smith’s Tiramisu recipe is the best out there. I don’t often bake, but once in a while I pull out all the stops. When I plan potato soup for dinner I have to start mixing and kneading the dough for the rosemary and garlic foccaccia quite early to allow enough priming time. But it is always a hit with guests. My other baking hits are my Gooseberry Cheesecake my Chocolate Brandy cake and my Red Velvet Cake. I also have a standing order from someone for Christmas Mince Pies and a Fruitcake. This person should consider himself lucky, for even if he is paying, Christmas mince pies and fruitcake is A LOT of work. It is also hard for me to plan baking a Christmas cake weeks in advance, though I do not forget to put brandy on the cake once a week till Christmas comes. By that time the cake is dark and rich and fragrant and quite delicious. What also gets me is the 7 layers of brown paper one needs to cover and line the fruitcake baking tin with. My secret for the mince pies is to use both lard and butter in the pie pastry. Hell it is only Christmas once a year! Coz I don’t like turkey and coz it is summer in SA over Christmas I like doing a whole gammon in the Weber. It is Christmassy yet out-doorsy and summery.

Tactile Defensiveness 2

A while back I went for a general medical check-up. When my doctor took my blood pressure her eyebrows shot up so high, it nearly touched her hairline. She did not say anything, she just took another – now what do you call it, one of those blood pressure measurer thingies. Wait let me look it up… Oh it is called a sphygmomanometer. Heavens above! I’ll not try to pronounce that. My tongue will get twisted and I don’t think I’ll be able to get it straightened again. Anyway, she took another sphygmomanometer (electronic this time) and took my blood pressure again. Same result. Extremely high. I told her that I don’t understand, I have started improving my lifestyle a year before. I finally quit smoking, I try to eat healthier and I exercise. She then told me, to get a better idea, she will arrange for a medical rep to fit me with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for 24 hours. They fitted me with the thing at about 3’o clock the afternoon. I had to go back to work, we still had a meeting. The thing works like this. They fix the band bit round your upper arm. From the band bit a rubber pipe runs (underneath you shirt) to the monitor bit, which has a clip and can be fixed to your belt/waistband. Now, every half an hour I would hear the thing start to brrrr. Then I would feel how the arm band would start inflating till my arm goes numb. Later in the meeting, I was not aware of anything going on in the meeting. I was just in a state of anxiety because of this infernal thing on my arm. The anticipation of when is it going to start brrrr-ing again just killed me. So by the next time it started inflating I was in a right state. To the shock and confusion of the other attendees at the meeting, I jumped up, ripped open my shirt and continued ripping till I was free of the band, the rubber pipe and the exasperating device. I only calmed down a day later. My doctor was quite mad at me and I saw her scrawl “Pt cannot tolerate device” angrily in the file. For my sins I had to go into the consultation rooms for a few consecutive days for the nurse to take and record my blood pressure. Like an old geezer I now have to take a blood pressure tablet in the mornings and a cholesterol pill at night. The blood pressure tablets comes in blister strips, marked with the days of the week especially for the old folk, geriatrics and jurrasics. It is a known and scientific fact that white Afrikaners have a genetic predisposition towards having high cholesterol. One of our Dutch or French ancestors really did not do us a favour by passing it on. My doctor told me that if you have the genetic high cholesterol, you can only lower it marginally by means of diet. You have to take the meds. Bummer.

Nooky: (noun) Sexual intercourse (informal)

Man alive! Between sweetassrsa and angel quite an interesting conversation was started! getting laid, poking, bonking, making whoopee, shagging, sex – call it what you want, it will always stay a hot topic.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Thunderbolt & Lighning, very very frightning

Glugster (see link to the right below) put a post on his blog about feeling as if we’re in Britain here in SA, because of the soft incessant rain we are having. Last night however we had a proper Highveld storm (Geographical region in South Africa). Man do we get spectacular thunderstorms! Johannesburg and surrounds experience notorious storms during summer. Because of the high iron- and other metal content in the soil & rock the lightning does not just crack in the sky, it hits the ground in a fantastic manner. Round midnight last night we had such a storm. It caused a burglar alarm in our neighbourhood to go off. The occupants obviously were not at home, nor is their system connected to a security-response firm. It rang all FUCKING night. As not to disturb Lamb with my tossing and turning (how she was able to sleep is quite beyond me, really) I went and read in the guest room. My companions for the night were Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs. Now I sit and dim and bright behind my desk at work.

Lazy

How lazy can you get? I read someone’s blog who is married to someone with ADD. I commented on her blog, and now I copied, pasted and slightly modified my comment as the following post. Lamb and I had a big argument last week. Last night she asked me what the matter is, she senses that something is wrong. I just couldn’t tell her… I couldn’t tell her it is because last week during the argument she told me that I attach too much value to having ADD. She said that at times I carry it like a trophy and she gets the idea that I am proud having ADD. She also said that at times, I use it as an excuse for things going wrong in my life. I really feel that she does not recognize the influence having ADD has on my life. I try to get her to read info on ADD, but she’s not really interested. She told me to stop thinking about ADD, stop reading on the net about ADD and that ADD does not define me. I may be irrational, but I feel this comment just proves how little she understands. Of course ADD does not define me. What defines me? Lots and lots of things of which ADD is only one. When I tell her that, she thinks that I am fooling myself. I feel that she “gets” all the other stuff which is part of my makeup, but the ADD thing – no. I understand that it is hard to understand. Trying to look at it from a detached point of view, I understand her feeling hurt because I refuse to wear the shirt she bought me. She spent a lot of time looking for the shirt, thinking it would look nice on me, she got very excited at the prospect of giving it to me. She got very disappointed and angry at my refusal to even fit the shirt. How can I put something on which I cannot even bear touching with my fingertips. Trying to please her I put it on when we go out. Disaster – I cannot wait to get home to take it off. I am unpleasant and cannot participate in conversation because my shirt is freaking me out totally. Packing. My wife and I are opposite stereotypes. She packs like the stereotypical man, whereas I need to take everything I own along. I am an in-case packer. What gets Lamb, is that I put everything I want to take along on the bed in the guest room with two large suitcases, and then she has to get everything in somehow. If I am left packing I throw everything in and when I run out of space I round up all our canvass sports bags and shove the rest into that. (Backpacking with Friends through Scotland, they all had a very easy ride with their single backpacks each. On top of the backpack on my back, I had to haul a large suitcase and canvass bag all over the Highlands.) It has to do with the fact that I cannot decide today what I am going to wear for the rest of the week. I need choice every morning. I need several choices of something formal, something casual, something warm, something cool etc to wear when I go away. And I have something about underpants and socks. I pack double what I need. It is also not that I am that concerned about my appearance, but my decision on what I am going to wear is heavily influenced by what I feel like wearing at that specific moment.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Bells & Whistles

I've started becoming jealous of how other bloggers' pages look like. Some people go through a lot of trouble to make their blog look interesting/good/unique. I am therefore very proud of myself, I did a quick teach-yourself-html on the web today and started a web album for photo’s. The picture is a heavily edited photo of me trying my hand at fly-fishing. (I’ve stretched the photo to fit into my Blog-header – I am not really that fat! Pah! Although I feel my blog is about the content more than anything else, I feel it is nice to personalize it and to make it look attractive. My blog is not yet what I would like it to be, but I feel I am progressing

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Because of our Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa’s HIV/AIDS policy is the laughing stock of the international community. Whereas no one disputes the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle when having HIV, her policy on the matter is positively medieval. A healthy lifestyle can prolong someone with HIV’s life dramatically, however, beetroot, garlic, olive oil, lemons and the African Potato cannot replace anti-retrovirals. (Maybe if you put it in a cauldron with lacewing flies, boomslang skin and grated mandrake roots. LOL) Our Minister of Health is also a thief (she stole from patients and the hospital in Botswana where she was administrator in the 70’s) She is an alcoholic and abused her position to get a donor liver quickly when hers couldn’t take the abuse any longer. She does not appreciate her new lease on life, for she still drinks. Please visit sackmanto.co.za (see link on the right) and fill in the petition form. (For fellow SA’s – check the cool Zapiro cartoons on the site!)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Am I Weird?

When I go to my own profile and click on my own interests to see what(who) is out there, I get the strangest results. I am yet to find bloggers who has similar combinations of interests as me. My interests are by no means unique, but this goes to show, everyone’s combination of interests is (or is that are) unique. (I have an excellent English vocabulary, but you’ll know I’m not a native by the grammar mistakes). But browsing through blogger profiles, I am making a few subjective deductions. I am a believer of the Christian Faith (not fundamentalist though). I always thought that it my interest in Science Fiction is a bit misplaced. Man you will not believe how many bloggers out there have Science Fiction as well as Christianity listed in their favourites. Am I the only one who finds it strange. I am encouraged though. If I look at many (not all) profiles which include Christianity as interest, I come across a lot of well balanced people. People with diverse interests, people with normal interests, people with unusual interests. Yes, as believer in Christian faith I also believe there are scary people out there calling themselves Christian. I honestly think it is the few minority fundamentalist groups which gives religions like Christianity and Islam a bad name. I know many Muslims and none of them are crazed suicide bombers. But back to the topic. I am not a very good South African male. I don’t like Rugby, Cricket or Soccer. This limits my conversation topics immeasurably in the company of other South African men (Black, White, Asian alike). I like bbq and beer, but I have nothing to say standing next to the bbq fire with a beer in my hand. My sprawling solo-conversation on the peculiarities of Pop Culture usually does not go down well in such a setting, unless the fellows are suitably inebriated not to care. I also notice that people are starting to get uncomfortable once I start talking about food. I have encyclopaedic knowledge about food and cookery. (I’ve actually read the Larousse Gastronomique cover to cover at least twice. My wife are getting really disheartened when I come home with yet another tattered cookery book from a second hand bookstore. She does not understand that it is not any old cookbook (such as the free microwave cookbook you got with your Sharp in the 80’s). I am talking out of print classics here. I can still kick myself for not buying Escoffier’s Ma Cuisine when I had the chance. I am now searching for “The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Cooking” by Anne Wilan (Published as La Varenne Pratique in the States) La Varenne Pratique is still in print, but I want METRIC MEASURES. For some reason converting from Imperial to Metric does not work for me. I’m sure it works the other way round as well. You have to cook in the measures the book is written in, other ways success goes down the drain in the translation. Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Cookery is extremely popular with Cook’s and Chefs in SA, so it is really scarce over here. I managed to track a Second Hand copy in the UK, but postage from there to here makes it out of my monetary league. Why do I want books like that when the weird and wonderful abounds? Well, when you look beyond what is all the new rage, you’ll find even food fads are based on certain basic principles. Nigella aptly puts it in one of her books. She says that one cannot be adventurous with food if one cannot even manage the basics, such as roasting a chicken (successfully). My measure of a good cookbook is that it needs to give you instructions such as your mother or grandmother did. Some cookbooks are scientific and without personality. You’d be able to make the recipe without it turning out a flop, but it will lack that certain something. Your grandmother would have told you that you must use so much flour, but the dough for this recipe should be quite stiff, so if it is not, add a little more flour. In another recipe your grandmother would stipulate – so much flour exactly, no more no less. Good cookbooks combine science with art and emotion. If you are an excellent cook with a natural aptitude, you’d be able to make a purely “scientific” recipe into something truly delicious, but even for experienced cooks, a cookbook should inspire. It is the difference between a map and a well written travel guide. Somehow I managed to get from Science Fiction to Cookbooks…

Shattered Dreams...

I completed an online nerd/geek-questionnaire and I only scored 32%. Dang! Where did I go wrong?? I mean for CRYING-OUT-LOUD I know my own Jedi name. But, alas, that is not geeky enough.

Another Advantage of ADD

One of the major advantages of ADD is that my short attention span does not allow me to be depressed for to long. Very soon something will come along which distracts me from feeling miserable. And I am not talking of major things like being excited about a new job etc. I can be down in the dumps driving along in my car, and suddenly I’ll spot my favourite Middle Eastern fast food outlet, swing the car into the car park, ignoring astounded hooting, order a schwarma and I will be as right as rain, unable to remember what I was depressed about.

Monday, 1 October 2007

New Job! Finally!

Most excellent! I have a new job! Whhhoooooooeeeeee! Super! Fantastic! Incredible! My dream job at that! I am now a consulting organization transformation advisor! Far Out! It is what I studied for, it is what I want, it is what I dreamt of. Bye-bye tedium, hallo excitement! I start in two short weeks.