Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hey la, hey la, my Sophia’s back

I had to sit down this morning as I tried to take in the cost of Sophia's service. I think that R2500 is a bit steep. I am quite positive that one normal spark plug does not cost R138 and that one litre of SAE 40W engine oil does not cost anywhere near R150. Well fine women tend to cost quite a bit but I might have to reconsider as Sophia dressed all in black is expensive upkeep. Anyway as I rode her back Vespa to Metrorail I had to go through Hillbrow which led to some good photo opportunities. Expensive or not, Sophia was purring.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Neotel Greg

Greg who works for Neotel came around to visit us in Metrorail where he was based for quite some time. Here he is doing his usual pose for the camera.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Sick Sophia

There is still 1000km to go before the major 24,000km service of Sophia but a strange noise started this morning on the way to work that I had to book Sophia in a month early. It is sad to see her up on the operating table and I miss her already. As for the strange noise, Vespa says that it is a split pin that has worn and this thingy is floating free which is causing the noise. She will be ready by Wednesday morning.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Yes Ma'am, No Ma'am

Back in Jozie and the sun started shinning. What's up with that? Anyway GI Saskia reported in for duty on time with her scalp nicely cropped.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Rain in Bethlehem falls mainly ...

We awoke in a tiny Free State dorp of Clarens with mist shrouding the mountains and a steady mot reen falling. Well I have to practice die taal wanner ek heir is. Anyway we headed for Bethlehem which was only about 30km away but Google Maps wanted to direct us via the other Bethlehem somewhere over the rainbow in Israel. The Photographer's Festival was a tremendous success despite the rain and best of all; I met such lovely people down there in the Free State that we left as friends. I better start brushing up on my Afrikaans.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Friday to Clarens

Mohammed, Miguel and I headed down to a little town of Bethlehem somewhere in the eastern Free State for the Photographer's Festival. We arrived at our cottage in Clarens late in the evening and while the other two went over their talks I hit the sack. For my non South African viewers I will leave you with a beautiful example of the Strelitzia flower which I took in the Mourning Star's garden before departing to Clarens. Although this is a wild flower of our beautiful country it is also the official flower of the city of angles, Los Angeles.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Launch of CorelDraw X5

After the Metrorail ICT Departmental meeting which took the whole morning I went to the launch of the new CorelDraw X5 by DDS. My friends Jim and Ivan did a no show which Estelle (shown here) explained to me was because they don’t like Joburg. What is wrong with Capetonians? Well if it wasn’t for the mountain. Anyway what surprised me was that my good friend Mohammed rocked up to do the Corel Painter 11 talk. He used to be an Adobe Evangelist but left a few months back to become a free spirit.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Ntaoleng and Nomthana

Today has been a typical normal day at Metrorail with no deadlines springing up to mess the day. Nomthana came down from the 5th floor to visit the ICT Department and brighten our would be boring day. Here she is with Ntaoleng looking busy.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Little Pink Riding Hood

Who's that I see walking in our IT hood
Why it's Little Pink Riding Hood.
Hey there Little Pink Riding Hood.
You sure are lookin' good.
You're everything a big bad IT wolf could want.

Here is Mashudu dressed in pink that I couldn't resist thinking of that 60's song by Sam the Sham. Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowl.

Listen to me!
Little Pink Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walkin' in these spooky old floor alone.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Linksfield Ridge

This evening our group of photograph enthusiasts did a photo walk from L. Ron Hubbard's house which he stayed in 1960/1 to Kallenbach Drive and back. L. Ron Hubbard's house has been restored to its original state when Hubbard used to stay there. Puneet, the curator, was a great host, thank you.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Another BBC Vespa

Since Carol is away I had to go to BBC on Sophia, my sexy Vespa but as we left I was horrified to find the real tyre flat. Luckily I had tyre weld and pumped it up. Austin also decided to come to BBC on his Vespa, a retro GTV 250. Later on after a good inspection of my rear tyre I found a nail sticking out. I won't be able to get it seen to until Tuesday because Monday is a public holiday, darn.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Bug Research

I am home alone again this weekend as Carol, Matthew and Justin house sit Kenneth and Simone's home and pets. Carol forgot some books so I had to bring them over this morning. I found Justin and Matthew doing some biological research. They had fished out of the swimming pool a type of water beetle which they placed the specimen into a water bottle for further research. Here they are trying to set the specimen to be photographed. When they get back on Monday they will try identifying it from the internet.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Celebrity or not

Today was the bail hearing of Jub Jub, a local hip hop star and his co-accused who while street racing smashed into spectators killing four boys. The pair was racing each other in their Mini Coopers while apparently stoned and drunk. Now I am sure that finally puts Mini drivers along with BMW drivers. Thousands of school children went rampaging through the streets of Protea Glen, Soweto. And this is where I found myself travelling from a site visit at Naladi back to Metrorail. Our vehicle was stuck among of angry children. Rocks and refuse was dragged into the road and in front of us children were tearing down the road signage. I thought that we would be stoned for sure but our driver managed to find a way through along the side roads. Willie, one of the managers in the vehicle with me, said he was not fit any more to run. I said it doesn't matter as long as I could run faster than him. But we made it out in one piece. I did not take any photos of the angry children as not to provoke any one so I will leave you with a photo of the old power station in Orlando, Soweto. Notice the suspension bridge between the cooling towers from which thrill seekers bungee jump.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

NOSA Ahead

It is just two more working days until the NOSA audit (counting today) and Sibongile along with her colleagues from the Risk Department is running around making sure all the "T"s are crossed and the "I"s dotted before then.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Getting Ready

During a walk to Park Station during lunch time, I came across this curio stall which I am positive was never there before. What I mean the stall was there but the items for sale are now tourist souvenirs. There was a lot of bead work, Zulu hats, beaded clothing, beaded jewellery and even an Ndebele doll. It looks like this stall is getting ready for the hordes of tourists but is situated deep inside Park Station.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Much Better Thank You

I am feeling much better now that my migraine is gone although I did not get much sleep last night. Anyway that is what work is for. Naa I can't sleep at work, too much to do. Today's photo is of Dudu from Human Resources.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Not Well

As you should be able to tell from my heading, I am not well. Now before all my friends agree that I am always not well, I am suffering from a splitting migraine headache. So being at work was not doing it for me so I left early to take some drugs and crash. Before leaving Metrorail I knew I had to take at least one photo, so let me introduce Mashudu to everyone. How can anyone smile at me when I am feeling like an elephant is walking on my head?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Jacksons

With Ross leaving for 18 months to study in the States, BBC needed a replacement. So in steps Cia, Val and Ken from Cape Town, seen here talking with Carol. I would like to extend a big welcome to Ken and his family as they help with the shepherding of BBC while Ross is away.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Something Missing

Today has been a wonderful day but let me start at the beginning which wasn't this morning but last night. Carol and Matthew were away for a weekend at Shannon's so I was home alone. Sitting at my computer on Friday evening I was wondering what I was going to do tomorrow and my eye caught a thread that I was following all week on Google Buzz about a Photo Walk in Parktown. So I phoned Craig and asked if it wasn't too late to join them at six in the morning. Craig then mentioned the Tweetup On Rails and I was game.

After a lovely early morning in Parktown I found myself at the Bombardier Depot Site at Midrand standing next to the Gautrain. Wow, this was the biggest Tweetup to date, 200 I believe. The CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency and Project Manager, Jack van der Merwe, even came to speak with us and answer questions and trust Cecilia to ask all the pointy questions. All the while the twitters were doing their thing.

Well soon afterwards I felt myself in a dream state boarding the Gautrain for a test run. After minding my head, I soon found a seat right next to the drivers cab. Looking out of the window I saw the train moving. I didn't even felt the transition from standing still to motion at all. But something was missing as we cruised up to 140kph on the outbound leg and 160kph on the return leg. There was no noise. No clickady clack of the tracks. The something missing was the blaring lack of noise. Not even the hum of the air conditioning. If I didn't see the outside moving past or feel the acceleration I would have argued until the cows came home that we were not moving. It didn't even feel like a train and I have been on plenty. I am trying to rack my brains if there was any noise on the TGV and Thalys that I travelled on when I was in Europe last.

The Gautrain is much quieter but the Thalys First Class is still the best. I think it was the food and wine on the Thalys that swings it for me but maybe high speed long distance trains are still to come in South Africa as I posed the question to the CEO and he hinted somethings in his reply. We need this to compete with domestic air travel.

Well done to Greg and Maritha for organising the visit, I really enjoyed it and it was good to finally but a face to the Gautrain person that enjoys my blog, Maritha.

Great Video
My photos are posted on South African Railway News
More pics on Facebook

Friday, 12 March 2010

About Time

Yes I think it is about time to post a photo of me again. This time I am helping Theo scan a memory stick at Metrorail.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Operation Bamba Tsotsi

The police and metro police arrived in our precinct with sirens blaring and started rounding up anyone without papers. It should be rather called Operation Runaway Tsotsi because all the serious bad guys ran long before the police arrived with all their advertising sirens. Don't get me wrong, I am pleased that the police are making their presence felt. It would keep the real tsotsis away. Oh I forgot, "bamba" is isiZulu for "to catch" and "tsotsi" is street slang derived from the Sesotho word "tsotsa" which means to dress flashy but is now used for street thugs and urban criminals. I found out today that the female of tsotsi is called noasisa. Well anyway the police had rounded up about a hundred people presumably with no-papers and had them lined up a block long with hands above their heads waiting to be interrogated. We have here in South Africa a major problem with illegal immigrants. Most come from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique, Malawi and Somali. We need to get Uncle Bob out and make Zimbabwe a better place and hopefully the refugees can go back home. It is a pity that there is no oil in Zimbabwe else the USA would have done it long ago.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Sunrise over Sandton

It is getting lighter much later as autumn and the sun can be very bright while coming up Republic Road towards the Multichoice building in the mornings on my bike. Thank goodness my helmet as a dark visor. This photograph was taken from Randburg towards Sandton.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


When I took this photograph today, I didn’t think how close Thabiso’s pose is to the previous photo I took of him on 26 August 2009 although this time he is smiling.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Flower Power

Monday arrived and we were all in need another of weekend to recover. To brighten up the mood Masilo arrived in a floral shirt and brought a chuckle to many a tired employer.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Mountain Pear

Here are two friends, Gary and Pauline, at BBC. I hope Angie is alright as she wasn't with Gary this morning. Mind you nor was Saskia, uhmm. Matthew was very tired today and slept in the afternoon.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Matthew's weekend

What a busy day for Matthew. He had Brian sleep over last night and only went to bed at midnight after playing computer games. Then he was up at seven and by eleven was in the thick of paintball battle celebrating one of his school friend's birthdays. Here he is coming off the battlefield mid-afternoon with no wounds but tired and sweaty. He arrived back home about three in the afternoon, had a shower then went off to Justin's house for a braai, Xbox360 and a sleepover well that is if they get to sleep.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Pray while eating alone

Here is Thanyani having lunch without us in the corner of the ICT Department's open plan office. Uhmmm. Thank goodness that the weekend is upon us because I am still very tired.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Gautrain's Braamfontein Update

I am very tired this morning. I am sure why but I did have a reasonable sleep last night. Anyway here is my monthly shot of progress at Gautrain's Braamfontein Terminus. You can see how the next floor has been added to the parking garage.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Last Outpost

Friends, Jackie and Dave, are retiring and are relocating to Westville near Durban. Natal used to be known as the Last Outpost but it should be changed to the Last Stop. Don't get me wrong, they are still young and have a long way to go, God willing. Well we wish them the best as they wind down at the last stop.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

100 Days

To mark 100 days to the kick-off of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Soccer, Metrorail, took a stuffed leopard which stood way over 2 metres tall to the far flung areas of the Gauteng region. Zakumi is the official mascot for the games and he was very heavy to cart around. First we went to Naledi, Soweto and in the afternoon we went to Mabopane which is way the other side of Pretoria. One consolation for me was that I was in the drivers cab all the way.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Technicolour Shirt

A first I thought I was seeing Joseph and his technicolour dream coat but I had to look twice and I was pleasantly surprised to see Patrick. It has been a long time my friend. Oh by the way Carol likes your shirt.

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