Thursday, 18 December 2014

Hunger Buster

Ella and I took a drive down to President Hyper in Krugersdorp because our canteen is closed for the holidays and we were hunger. Well not this hungry as I discovered the Hunger Buster selling for R49.99. There is no ways I can finish this that is if I would be crazy enough to buy one. This begs the question, would anyone buy this cold meat roll called a Hunger Buster?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ruffling some Feathers

Do you remember those baby peafowl that I posted on Monday, well today this Crowned Crane had them cornered. He had intimidated the mother peahen and was busy trying to eat the baby chicks but they had scattered into the undergrowth. We heard the commotion of the mother peahen crying in desperation as the bigger and much stronger crane tried to flush out one of the baby chicks. That was when we stepped in and herded the crane away but he was determined to make a meal out of one of the babies. So while Matthew and I ran interference, Rob managed to herd the defenceless mother and her chicks to safety.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Incoming Attack

The swan couple at work laid seven eggs but only five hatched. And out of the five hatchlings these swan parents have only two cygnets. I am not sure what happened to the other three cygnets but you can understand why I am now under attack, I got too close. You can just see the two cygnets behind mommy swan as the daddy swan is incoming while I bravely hold my ground.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Pea Chicks

Well keeping on the topic of babies everywhere, one of the peahen’s eggs hatched on Friday. So this morning mother peahen paraded her five small chicks passed my office window. Now I remembering the awful noise the peacocks made wooing the peahens, am very worried as all I can think of is how much more noise there will be come this mating season. But then all the ladies still in the office went ahhhhhh cute, as one does when seeing babies. Sigh!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Four Ducklings

We are into the beginning of summer and babies are popping up everywhere. From the cats bringing in baby chicks from their raids to these four little ducklings feeding in the stream. They are quite well camouflaged amongst the small rocks, one is at the bottom middle while the other three are at the top middle busy bobbing for food. After the hype and busyness of Ingress yesterday, we weren’t sure of what to do. Well Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest né. With thoughts of babies everywhere how can anyone rest? Even yesterday there was quite a few prams at the Darsana XM Anomaly. It must have been a busy productive spring.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Darsana Pretoria

Last night it was like quiet before the storm, I mean I quietly prepared all our equipment, checked, and then double checked our stock levels. We were ready!

Pretoria was selected as a satellite site for Darsana XM Anomaly in support of the primary site at Barcelona Spain. I can’t speak for the Enlightened but the Resistance has been eagerly preparing for weeks now. Getting stock levels up, training in teams, and putting out disinformation to try getting the Enlightened off balance and not focused. And it seemed to work.

The Enlightened only managed to field 56 what could now be called brave little green frogs against the Resistance who said enough is enough as 106 highly trained blue Smurfs stood up. As I can only speak for our team Northern Ninjas, along with all the other Resistance teams we simply stopped the frogs mid hop.

For Cluster 1, Dispatch sent our team with about 3 others down to the two sub-clusters far from the main sub-clusters where we found only 1 frog team in place. A huge green field appeared covering the entire area with anchors 1000s of km away, too far send anyone to take out. But this just made us more determined as now we could not let a single portal fall. Two volatile portals appeared in the two sub-clusters we were at and the frogs simply found them out smarted, out played, and out matched.

Next it was off to Cluster 2 were our team got to our sub-cluster early. Soon afterwards 2 frogs appeared followed by the rest of our teams to the remaining sub-clusters. The volatile portal appeared in the sub-cluster right next to ours. It looked like the Enlightened’s game plan changed as suddenly re-enforcements arrived at the volatile in mass. So 2 of our team stayed at our allocated portals while the rest shifted slightly over to protect the volatile. Evenly matched over this disputed portal we out played the frogs once again with strategy.

I wasn’t sure that the Enlightened would take any of these defeats lying down as the Northern Ninjas arrived to look after a single portal tucked out the way in Cluster 3. Once again we found the volatile located in our section. This time we were outnumbered by 1 frog, and these weren’t any tadpoles, these were the heavy hitters. It was a hard battle but the tide turned suddenly when 2 frogs decided they had enough and left. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen as we are going to be barbequing some frog’s legs tonight.

After that tough win we headed for Cluster 4 which we knew it would be difficult as most of the portals were close to each other. As before the volatile appeared in our sub-cluster but under another Resistance teams area but because the portals were so close we couldn’t help but put our weight into the volatile denying the frogs anything.

In the end we just did not give the Enlightened any space to breathe. Final score for Darsana Pretoria is Resistance 212 and Enlightened 12.6 Whitewash, no sorry bluewash. We left all these green frogs blue with envy.

Final score:
Barcelona Resistance 910 Enlightened 786
Stuttgart Resistance 457 Enlightened 293
Pretoria Resistance 212 Enlightened 12.6 (Note the frogs only got 12)
Toulouse Resistance 142 Enlightened 145

Friday, 12 December 2014

Cookies Rush

Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies. Yip Friday and for many at work, this is their last day before they on summer leave. Myself well I am trying to save leave for the Easter holidays where I would like to take a lovely ling break. Being the last day for many means last minute rush that needs completion, a VIP visit, and a Giving Thanks service all crammed into a few short hours. Thankfully Ilana brought some cookies in, which somehow filled the spot when there was no time for lunch.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Sunflower Fund

As we approach the second Christmas that God has granted Nika since she was first diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, I sat and folded the Sunfower Fund’s bandanna for tomorrow’s Giving Thanks Day at Bosasa. My thoughts were on Nika who this Christmas is doing exceptionally well compared to last year February when she was diagnosed with this life threating blood disorder.

Nika’s options to live were very slim in South Africa, thankfully her parents managed to get her booked into the Toronto Children’s Hospital and she was flown over as soon as she was stable. The Northern American Bone Marrow Register is so much larger than the South African one which increased her chance of finding a bone marrow match.

Last year for Nika had been an up and down in the hands of God and the talented staff of the Toronto Children’s Hospital type of year. This year she slowly improved and now Nika is nearly normal little girl who has been though a lot.

So now we get to Nika’s blessed second Christmas since her journey with Aplastic Anemia started, I plead you to help get our South African Bone Marrow Registry bigger. Many South African children need you to register so there might be a slim chance that they would have many more Christmases too. If you are committed to helping; are between the ages of 18 and 45; in general good health; over 50kg with a Body Mass Index higher than 35; and prepared to remain on the register until you are 60 years of age then please why are you waiting?
  1. Call 0800 12 10 82 or 0210661
  2. Answer medical questions and if you are eligible then
  3. You will be directed to your nearest recruitment clinic
  4. Two vials of blood will be drawn
  5. Blood would be tested and results put on the register
  6. The South African Bone Marrow Registry will post you your card in 6-8 weeks
That simple. Oops I forgot that the Postal Services are still on strike. Oh well don’t let that stop you.

Please note, small print time, to narrow any complications with the bone marrow the South African Bone Marrow Registry asks that if you not register if you think need an HIV test; have been exposed to hepatitis or HIV by contact with family or work; have injected yourself even once with illegal or non-prescription drugs; lead an unsafe sexual lifestyle; get regular tattoos or piercings; are pregnant or have had a baby in the last year; have had cancer; and have a phobia for needles.

They say finding a match is 1:100,000 in South Africa so please pick up the phone 0800 12 10 82.

At first I thought that if they find me as a match to someone I would have to go through operations but the Sunflower Fund has told me that it is a process of 4 to 6 hours which they draw blood from your arm into a cell separator machine which extracts your bone marrow from your blood and returned back into you. Plus it is at no charge to you as all costs are picked up through donations. So no skin off your nose. Get registered and help save a life!

That is all I have to say other than to continue folding hundreds of the Sunflower Fund’s bandanna with Mkuseli, Ilana, Mpho, and Noma.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

LSD I Must Be Tripping

This evening, Lynda and I had a meeting with our Ingress team, the Northern Ninjas at LSD Information Technology’s offices. As LSD’s slogan is Open Your World, walking into these top Linux developers’ play area opened my eyes or else I was tripping on something. I mean what is this blow up doll dressed up as some Christmas Grinch sitting in the walkway to the boardroom? It was enough to scare the Enlightened out of me, if I swung that way but we all were proudly Resistance geeks. It looks like the penguins from LSD have on display as a trophy, one of the enlightened grinches who didn’t try to turn it off and on again before calling IT Support.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Feathers Flock Together

I have a pheasant and a guineafowl feather that have been sitting on my desk for some time know. It is meant for my collection of feathers at home but somehow these two just don’t make it. So today as a reminder to take them home they became the featured blog photograph. Although worlds apart, one from south-east Asia and the other sub-saharan Africa, to me they sort of blend in and meant to be together. One feather in the cap, and one feather to tickle.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Monkey's Happy Place

It has been getting rather busy at work with the end of the year approaching fast. Nando Möller arrived at work with some of his paintings. He mostly paints in black and white with hints of colour. This one caught my eye, Nando called it his Happy Place, interesting. Now let me think, in a black and white world, music is colour to my ears.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Silver Birch Restaurant

I say Continental, you say Conintenental!

With all the load shedding of electricity what can you do? Stay at home, go out, but don’t try travel in traffic as all the light are out. I mean literary Eskom has let us down once again, they have dropped the ball. I mean what did South Africa use before candles? Electricity.

So we went out and found a spot that was between load shedding. Oh we can’t give Eskom credit for load shedding as it is just bad planning and management on their part, period. So we had a late Sunday lunch at The Silver Birch Restaurant inside Life Style Garden Centre. We ordered something light as one does when not knowing when Eskom would be ugly and turn off the lights. What caught our attention on their newly made menus was the spelling mistakes. Oh my word didn’t anyone spell check?

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Ingress First Saturday

Well today is the First Saturday Ingress event to be held in South Africa. 48 cities were chosen worldwide and luckily Johannesburg was selected as one of them. 31 Enlightened against 26 Resistance and we put up a gallant fight until Nick threw a green slime field over the entire playing field. Oh well we nearly won overall but won the coveted floating trophy. Well done to Nam3berry, you have done the Resistance proud.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Tiger in the Bathroom

Well our cat population decreased by one soon after we moved here and today we added another kitty to the total. Tiger shown above was rescued after it was involved on the losing end when a families dogs set upon him twice in two months. The first time he was hospitalised and this time enough was enough and we rescued him from the traumatic home situation he was in.

So here is Tiger hiding in our bathroom. He has been a single cat in a family with young children and dogs. He is very friendly to us humans but doesn’t know what to make of our other cats. Oh well time will heal him of his scars and soon, hopefully soon he will be playing with the others.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Bug Screen Splat

After work last night, I had to do the 2 hour ride across Gauteng from Krugersdorp to Benoni. The weather was good so my first choice was my Vespa GTS300ie. The ride was great but then the return trip late in the evening was another issue altogether.

All I can say is thank goodness for the Vespa’s large bug screen. Along the country roads the lights from the vehicles attracted all sorts of flying insects and when I came cruising along all I could hear was the splatting of insects like rain hitting my bug screen. Now for the clean-up. If I remember correctly, I once heard about somebody who studies windscreens splatter and can identify what type of insects by the splat remains.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sunrise Cat

Just like our Italian Greyhounds, Minky our cat loves to soak up the early rays of the sun, drawing strength after a long dark night.

Waking up this morning to the curtains being thrown open and the first rays of the sun peeping over the horizon, Minky was there to wish me a good morning. The best part was the cup of coffee next to my bed as I sipped with eyes glued shut with sleep dust and a purring putty tat grooming me awake.

All I can say, today is going to be a long day.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Secret Sandra

Oh trying to keep a secret are we Sandra? We all know it is your birthday and what a surprise you got when the entire office got to know about it and walked up to your desk singing Happy Birthday. Now the whole wide world is going to know that today is your secret 31st birthday. Now I am starting to wonder what other secrets you are hiding.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Princess of Sheba

Walking through the gardens of Mogale Business Park during lunch time, keeping well clear of the swan pair and their cygnets, I was surprised to stumble upon the three female Nyala. The Nyala weren’t the surprise but the fawn that was with them. I wonder how I missed this little one before.

Oh yes, now I remember, as in the wild Nyala are bashful creatures and these kept to themselves hidden in the vegetation. Sorry but this is the best I could get of the Princess of Sheba with my point and shoot camera which is at most times carried with me where ever I go. You can see the three concerned mommies in the shadow behind baby.

Princess Sheba as I am now calling her is beautiful was inquisitive, and seemed torn between following the three females into the undergrowth and this animal called a human. I wish I could have stayed longer with them but I didn’t want to spook them any further.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Cat on the News

Hey there Minky, I wanted to read that newspaper. Oh well our cat thinks the Sunday paper filled with bad news belongs to her. So how do I gently persuade her that literary being on the news for all the wrong reasons is not cool? Sure could use a little good news today.

One of my favourite songs of the 80s was by Anne Murray still rings true today 30 years later as the count down towards the remembrance of the birth of the Messiah in this world over 2000 years ago. I could change her words only so slightly and I would still hear the cries of billions of people, "Sure could use a little good news today".

I rolled out this morning the kids had the morning news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talking about the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawking about the bad economy
It's gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policy

There's a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story's one more than I can stand
Just once how I'd like to see the headline say
"Not much to print today, can't find nothing bad to say", because

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single building down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

I'll come home this evening, I'll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care

Whoa, tell me

Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play
And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA
We sure could use a little good news today

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single building down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Geek Fest

It is that time of year again, the Geek Fest. This year it is held just down the road from us, so it was a perfect opportunity to load Matthew, Maxy, and Jade onto the Vespa and head down to the place where anything and everyone geeky meet.

What a contrast, last year it was very cold and this year very hot. The poor cosplayers must have been sweating in their costumes. Luckily no one came dressed as a wookiee although a few Darth Vaders were melting away in their all black attire. Here is Gary, his son Brendon, Matthew, Maxy, and Jade enjoying the festivities.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Let Sleeping Cats Lie?

It was an early start for Matthew this morning as I am taking him to work for the day. Due to my dawdling start he went back to lie down on the bed to wait for me to decide when was the best time to leave. And I found him like this.

Matthew and Minky were cuddled up together having a cat nap. So do I let the sleeping cats lie or do I wake them up? Uhmmmm.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

It's Party Time

It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to. Yes it is time for the second Christmas party of the year to begin and I can let my hair down. Well, okay forget the hair part as I cry.

My work colleagues met at the Barnyard for an afternoon of good times and celebration at the end of a good year. You can see in the above photograph Mr Grumpy is enjoying the company of Noma and Mpho. Christmas parties, end year office revelry, bah humbug!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ngwao Boswa

So here is the boss man, Rob, sporting an Ngwao Boss cap. From what I have been told that Ngwao Boswa is Setswana word for Heritage and Ngwao Boss is a brand that draws inspiration from Setswana heritage. So wear the Ngwao Boss proudly!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

To Bury a Hedgehog

It is sad to report that this morning while walking I discovered that a Southern African Hedgehog had electrocuted himself on our electric fence surrounding our home. This gruesome discovery has hit us hard because we love the wild country living but being in South Africa home security has to be a priority.

I found it strange that it got itself killed as there are places where it could get under the fence harmlessly but somehow chose a low area. I just hope that it wasn’t the relentless rain, an owl, or even one of our cats which could have confused the poor thing last night.

I have buried some pets such as cats and dogs in my lifetime and even flushed a few goldfish but I must say that this is a first time and I hope the last that I get to bury a hedgehog.So as we lay this poor little creature down to sleep, Matthew, still half asleep and I stood over the tiny grave we dug in the breaking light of the new day.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Social Media Law, Bacon, and Baby Rhinos

A seven o’ clock breakfast in Sandton was not cool. Firstly it is way too early for me to start fighting traffic just for a breakfast seminar. Secondly no bacon. Yes no breakfast should be ever called a breakfast if bacon is not involved, seriously people, this is not cool.

I enjoyed the seminar talk on Managing Risk and Compliance of Social Media but there was others who have already been on many of these talks such as Mr X (name withheld as speaker is a lawyer specialising in Social Media) and in his opinion comparing to other talks on the subject that he has been on, this one he rated as mediocre, poor choice of venue for so early on a Monday morning, and wait for it, with a poor attempt of a breakfast. You see bacon plays an important part of anyone’s morning, as they normally are.

Bottom line I didn’t have much to compare with, I enjoyed the talk and found it informative but all I could rate it with was in terms of the breakfast they served and yes this one was mediocre. Not worth fighting the traffic to Sandton for. Luckily for me I was on my Vespa which allowed me to whisk through the gridlock surrounding Sandton during rush hour as one does on a Vespa.

After the talk, I had to walk across to Sandton Mall to buy a new belt as mine conveniently broke yesterday and now I found myself beltless. Maybe it was this that caused me to crave for some bacon. The shops were all geared towards the coming Christmas but something caught my eye. “Have you seen my mother?” cried a baby rhino on a poster. Under the Stop Rhino Poaching poster was these hand painted porcelain baby rhinos. And there you have it, the ahhh cute moment of my day.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Rain, Loadshedding, and Walks

The heavens opened up this morning which left us wondering when would this torrential rain would come to an end. While the rain just continued, we started looking out for any tell tell signs of animals collecting in pairs or some bearded man building a large boat.

Somehow the rain did come to an end, the skies turned blue and the sun started drying up the saturated land. But Eishkom, our only electricity producer thought it a perfect time to continue with load shedding. To make the best of a bad situation we decided that a walk will do us good.

So walk we did along this dirt road and into the country side. Here is Lynda and Matthew with Patch, Maxy, Podge, and Jade, during our walk. Toto this aren’t no yellow brick road. Happily we can report back that we found no animals walking two by two, nor any crazy man building an ark, nor the Emerald Palace but I nice walk was had by all.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

A Cat in a Pear Tree

It looks like Eskom or should I say Eiskom is on an Electricity Load Shedding program to counter their bad planning and inefficiency. While they get bonuses for what nobody knows, we consumers have to pay through our noses for electricity and then they simply load shed because they can’t supply.

So what do you do when there is no electricity for about four hours every day? Well we spent the time relaxing. In our new garden we found a number of fruit trees from apricot to pear trees, and uhmmm these apricots taste awesome. Minky our cat also enjoys the fruit trees, well not the fruit or the nesting birds dive bombing her but the simple act of monkeying about in the branches.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Ikhwezi Primary

The print side of eKayaMedia was busy with a deadline that require hands to help Ikhwezi Primary School, one of our Corporate Social Investment programs. As they say more hands make light work, and with the digital team getting stuck in, soon we had the deadline licked. Here you can see Sandra, Wayne, Mpho, Pabi, Noma, myself, and Ilana striving for excellence.
Even though we managed to complete the CSI project in record time, Eskom's bad planning caught us out with electricity load shedding, go figure.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Traffic was this Bad

Although it is just a hop onto the Vespa and an easy buzz into work, most don’t have the luxury of a Vespa and have to suffer the Johannesburg traffic woes. This morning was even worse that Lynda could kill if it was in her nature. Sadly Johannesburg has this effect on others and road rage over spills, taxis become a law unto themselves, while normal citizens suffer.

Here is Lynda showing me how bad the traffic was today and all I could respond was Date Night, put your feet up let me spoil you.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Inspired Daisy

After over indulging on good food and wine last night. I slept in a bad position which put my damaged knee under pressure. My knee problem started way back when I spent 2 years in the army under the Conscription draft. I was in the mounted light infantry using horses to patrol. My knees took a pounding due to the long hours in the saddle and to the consistence kicking and biting of the horses while riding in formation. After stepping down after a long patrol, my knees used to collapse until the knees remembered to carry me.

This morning I could hardly walk so I got back in the saddle of my Vespa, and rode to work. Imagine seen a big man on a bright coloured Vespa riding in the traffic with crutches. Under excruciating pain, Ella gave me some Cataflam and within an half an hour I was right as rain.

Talking about rain, this afternoon we had a small thunder storm and after the rain, I browsed through the gardens looking for inspiration. It was here that I spotted the daisies’ covered in water droplets.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christmas Dinner

With the year ending and Christmas just 5 weeks away, our Home Circle group held their Christmas dinner at Andy and Sandy’s home.

As always an awesome spread was laid out and it was a grand end to the year. The starters were followed by roast turkey, lamb, potatoes, and vegetables as the main course. And hot on its heels was dessert.

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