Monday, 31 March 2014

Akanakaishe and Matthew

Saying goodbyes is what this Monday has become. First it was my final handover and say goodbye to National Positions. With a bright future starting tomorrow it was sad in a way to goodbye to where I spent most of my weekly working hours.

Later it was rush to Johannesburg International to see Matthew off on his travels to the Far East. It is his first travels a far without his parents. Here is Akanakaishe and Matthew just before going through customs to board later on an Emirates aircraft and fly out to Bangkok via Dubai. Bon Voyage.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunset of National Positions

Tomorrow is my last day at National Positions, and on Tuesday I will be starting a new journey with Bosasa in the West Rand. I am a bit apprehensive but at the same time feeling positive that this new season will bear much fruit.

While driving back from after dropping Matthew off in Benoni, we drove into this amazing sunset. As you can see the thunderstorm over Sandton is diffused by the light of the setting sun. My future is bright in the west.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Geraldine and Pascal

The Canon Roadshow has come around again, and although it was packed this time round there wasn't as many familiar faces in the crowds. It is Matthew's weekend with me and he joined me at the roadshow. Out of the few friends there, here is Geraldine and Pascal.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Drinks with the Enemy

As some of my readers may know, I am big into Ingress, and today MaxyJade, my Resistance agent name, had drinks with my mortal Enlightened enemy, Tabiac aka Allan.

After crossing over the scared battlefields into no man's land, Tabiac turned out to be not the bully I once accused him being but a decent down to earth person, go figure. Sitting drinking Kilkenny, Irish cream ale, we chatted about all things Ingress. MinonGal, another Enlightened agent who also works in the same office popped her head in to introduce herself.

Here is Allan holding his sign in peace, National Sarcasm Society, like we need your support. Maybe, just maybe some Enlightened are not the bad boogieman as we are led to believe, maybe they are just lost souls that have been misled. Bazinga!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Lost Lover, Breast and Hips

Well as the song goes, you only know you've been high when you're feeling low, only hate the road when you're missing home, only know you love her when you let her go, and you let her go.

This Passenger song flooded my mind when I saw this pitiful scene on the corner of Oxford Road and 11th Ave, just south of Rosebank. Lost lover, breast and hips? Signs like these are all over Johannesburg on street light poles, just about any place is not safe for these muti men and their advertisements for enlargements, protection, and finding the love of your life. Uneducated as I am on tradition African medicine, I simply feel that this type of muti is quackery.

This image has so many stories to tell and whatever it reveals to you, the bottom line is that charlatanism will only led you to disaster. Be yourself, as everyone else is taken. And you let her go.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Honda Brio

Late this afternoon, Lynda received her new chariot, a super sexy 2013 Honda Brio 1.2 Comfort. When choosing, Lynda wanted a car that was fuel efficient, nippy, comfortable, not too old, a service history, and above all affordable. After scouring the internet, the contenders fitting into the initial list of benchmarks consisted of Citroen C3, Ford Figo, Kia Picanto II, and the Honda Brio. There were others like the Kia Picanto III, Toyota Auris, Toyota Yaris, and the VW Polo but sadly the dealers never got back to us. Oh well their loss as Lynda is ecstatic with her zingy Brio.

The word brio means great energy, confidence, full of zeal, and this zesty Honda Brio sure looks good, it is nippy, light on fuel, drives with enthusiastic vigour, like the Doctor's Tardis it looks small from the outside but wow does it feels spacious inside, and most importantly didn't break the bank. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Lynda and her vibrant Honda Brio.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Low Level Bridge

With all the past heavy rains this year, the low level bridge near our home was washed away. Since then we had to travel the long way round when using a car which adds between half to a full hour in rush hour traffic. The bridge itself wasn't completely washed away as parts of it survived enough for walking traffic and of course the Vespa.

Last week contractors arrived and started repairing part of the bridge the survived, widening it enough to fit a small vehicle across or a taxi. The repairs was complete tonight and was soon opened to single vehicle traffic after this photo was taken with my cellphone and of course just after I became the first to ride over it with my Vespa.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Grapefruit Breakfast

After an awesome three day weekend, it is only fitting to start this Ruby Monday with a Ruby Grapefruit eaten with a teaspoon. Now I am ready to tackle this week, hoo-hah! Remember it is only first place or nothing this week as second is only the first loser.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Bridgette and Saskia

I like these 3 day weekends so much so I am thinking about starting my own political party were we can get the votes of other likeminded people. The Woza Party is a perfect name for this political animal. Woza Friday! Woza Weekend!

Winding down the weekend is Sunday service at BBC and surprise surprise old friends turned up. Bridgette who has not been well and Saskia who now lives down in the deep south. Coffee anyone?

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Smoking Grass

I thought I was on something when I saw this green grass moving in and out of traffic. A car covered in grass, who was smoking weed in Cape Town? Oh well at least the mountain will still be there tomorrow. More than Real Artificial Grass was the slogan of Eco Grass, Smokin'! Well there goes feeling the grass between my toes, even if it means never to cut the grass again.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Die Groen Chillie

I kind of like these 4 day weeks with Friday being part of the weekend. Today is Human Rights Day here in South Africa. First on our agenda is test driving a few cars. We are looking for a small fuel efficient car that fits into our budget.

Later in the afternoon which is dedicated to relaxing and Ingressing, brought us to Krugersdorp. Here we found "Die Groen Chillie" or if you not South African "The Green Chilli", a smorgasbord of metal artwork. You see there are some good things in the West Rand and I can see myself going back there.

Thursday, 20 March 2014


In walked Kelly this morning into National Positions. Who was this Kelly? Well it turns out he is our Graphic Designer who has being working here for the past few weeks but off site at a client. Wow things are sure changing staff wise at National Positions.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Saint Jerome

Yes, now you know, I have been canonized as a Saint. Uhmmm, well sadly this is not me but Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus or Saint Jerome, who was born around 347AD in the town of Stridon which is situated in the Roman province of Dalmatia or now days Croatia.

Far, far away, from Croatia in Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, is the St Jerome Croatian Catholic Church. Patron saint of many Slavics, Saint Jerome is known to be the first to translate the Bible from Aramaic and Greek into Latin. Although Latin wasn’t the language of the masses, it was a big step in spreading the Gospel.

In English, my name Jerome, means Holy man, which in a way makes me a saint. Before you argue against that, it is by God's grace not by my name, that I call myself a saint. Yes I am not perfect in any respect but covered by His grace I can stand tall. Father Ivica Strčić from Jeronima in Croatia, gladly showed me around this small but beautiful church in the leafy suburb of Houghton. Drinking in all that I saw, this name, Jerome, I don't wear lightly.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Foxy Water

This post has nothing to do with foxes other than what is written on this reusable water bottle. "Oh for fox sake", there goes San Francisco banning bottled water. Well not all bottled water only those in those thin single use bottles. Thank goodness I am in Africa where clean water is a premium. Soda sales are dropping while bottled water are soaring. I started drinking milk, then changed to fizzy soda, and finally to coffee and fruit juice. But clean, safe, pure, and sweet tasting water is all I need.

Would this ban start a trend worldwide? Would soda in plastic bottles also be targeted in the near future?

Monday, 17 March 2014

Netcare 911

On the way to work this morning, I saw this Netcare 911 motorcyclist in the traffic in front of us having an animated conversation with pedestrians on the side of the road, cigarette in hand waving wild gestures. Interesting Healthcare, smoking while riding a bike. When I was in Netherlands, many moons ago, I saw emergency response paramedics using bikes but they sure look more professional than this.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Give me Hope, Johanna

Give me Hope, Johanna, as we haven't seen Johanna for a long time. What a surprise to see her again at BBC. The church has grown so much that now it has many services and that friends that go at different times are starting to fade from memory. Sad this progress.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Alpha at Heronbridge

With the sun blazing down on the soggy Johannesburg, we are hoping for everything to dry out before the next wave arrives. After hanging up the washing in the rare sun, we headed out to Heronbridge to a morning of Alpha. Along with me, Group 5 consisted of Lynda, Gwen, Eric, Bob, and Elaine. Sadly Francis and Kim could not make it.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Aubergines, Brinjals, Eggplants

Lynda's vegetable garden is slowly coming along with a small harvest trickling along. We have added to our plates green beans, peppers and tomatoes. Now a solitary brinjal is slowly getting ready for harvest.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Brrr Podge

I haven't been taken too many photos of Podge, the once over weight Jack Russell. Well the main reason is that he doesn't know the art of posing for the camera, like Maxy the Italian Greyhound. Opps I spoke too soon, there goes Maxy moving his head.

On the weather front, thankfully the rain has stopped but the cold has moved in. Brrr, winter is coming.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Kaya Orchids

It is already the middle of the week, and the sun is struggling to break through the clouds. The citizens of Jozi where starting to see the wild animals gathering in pairs which was a worry.

On Friday, Carl, was presented a lovely daughter, Kaya, thanks to his wife. At least now we know that he is a real man, even though he carries those arty bags around to many a raised eyebrow. Anyway here are the lovely orchids on his desk.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Mara, not the Bitter

Mara, started with National Positions last week. Although her name means bitter, after some digging, I found even older meanings of the biblical name Mara which is derived from myrrh, a strong smelling and bitter perfume used primary in ancient times in the process of embalming. For the ancient Egyptians, Mara means "truth of the sun"; in Gaelic, Mara means "of the sea".

The death perfume and embalming comes through strong, in Slavic countries as it is the name of evil spirits; the Hindu goddess of Death is also Mara and in Buddhist mythology is associated with evil; she also comes up in Scandinavian folk lore as a ghost and even a type of goblin who brings nightmares. Mara has even reached Latvia as a dark goddess but that may have been from the Norse connections. Even the Russians claim her as the unwilling queen of the underworld.

Dark name or not, Mara to me is strong name, bitter yes but strong and full of grace.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Ladybug Fahrenheit Don’t Impress

Yes, I know this aren't a Ladybird aka Coccinellidae, but a Ladybird wannabe which looks something of a cross with a Stinkbug aka Pentatomidae. This little bug is aspiring to a beautiful ladybird but all it needs is to come out and be the bug it ought to be. Don't impress me much.

This little bug was photographed outside my work taking shelter from the persistent rain. Later on, I had to drive in the pouring rain, east, to Benoni, for the final briefing of Matthew's Thailand Sports Tour. It was late when we finished up and we still had the 2 hour trek but home in the rain ahead of us, so we stopped for supper at Fahrenheit Seafood and Grill. We have been bombarded with streetlamp advertising of this small group of restaurants here in the northern suburbs. So we decided to try it out.

Yes, Monday's tend not to bring out the best of restaurants, but we were cold and wet. Expecting warmth, this family restaurant didn't light our fire. Arriving on a rainy Monday night, we expected a quieter evening, but sadly for us they seated us in the birthday section as every so often the waiters/ses belted out in their version of "Happy Birthday" very similar to Spur's version but without the drums. Maybe we should have asked them to move us but we kind of was hoping it would be the last one. The recipients of the sing song were generally pleased with the attention but welcome to our Fahrenheit hell.

Lynda was tired and only wanted something light and went with the Chicken Breast Lemonato, whereas I decided to test one their specials, the Fillet steak, which they displayed all around Johannesburg. Although the restaurant wasn't busy enough to cause any train smash in the kitchen our food was delivered to us cold, well expect for the bake potatoes which I didn't even order. After querying the bake potato, my potato wedges finally arrived cold and soggy with oil. Lynda's chicken dish was a cold slop as well and she was not impressed much. At least she enjoyed her Caresse Marine Sauvignon Blanc which turned out to be the only redeeming factor of Fahrenheit Seafood and Grill.

Maybe it was Monday, maybe it was the rain which put the damper on Fahrenheit's flame. Like the Ladybug, this family restaurant is trying to be something else but tonight it failed to aspire. Don't impress me much.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Gap in the Rain

It has been raining on and off this weekend. It is great for the veggie patch but not for riding Vespas and for walking the dogs. So today we waited for a large gap in the rain, then went out to the park below Lonehill Koppie.

Here is Matthew testing his new camera by taking a photograph of Patch and I.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Canon PowerShot D10

In a little over 3 weeks, Matthew will be climbing onto one of Thai Airways' aircraft and jetting over to Thailand for 12 days, nice.

We have been in preparation for Matthew's trip for some time now and today was the purchase of a camera for him. We wanted a high spec, point and shoot, small, durable, and reasonably priced camera. We played with a large number of nifty looking cameras from Samsung, Nikon, Canon, and Sony. And the winner for us was the Canon PowerShot D10. Why this camera?

Well since Matthew was already used to Canon's settings on the 550D and the S100 it wouldn’t be a big difference for him but it wasn't the be all and end all of our discussion. The D10 was rugged and ugly looking not to get stolen, shockproof to be able to handle a 15 year old boy and elephant rides, a bright blue and silver colour not to be missed, and the best of all waterproof up to 10m to be able to handle the kayaking on the Mae Taeng River.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Walk Like a Noma

Yay it is Friday! Woza Friday! Woza Weekend! And to help us into the Spirit of Weekend, I wore shorts to work and Noma, shown above sported a new hairstyle, Walk like an Egyptian style, Bob. As usual when Noma changes her hair style, we go through this little dance. I ask "human or plastic?" And she answers "Synthetic!" But this time added "Both Human and Synthetic." And if there was human in her answer, I continue about all the poor people in India who sell their hair for the beauty of others.

No matter, where it comes from, Noma looks beautiful with her new look. Look like a Nomangaliso.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Spring Summer Automn Winter

Okay, am I seeing correctly? Is it Autumn or Automn? This is a street sign in Rivonia, Johannesburg at the corner of Autumn and Spring Streets. All the roads in this part of the suburb are named after the seasons. One part the road is called Autumn Road and after it rounds the bend it is called Automn Street. Now I wonder when this mistake crept into the system, or is it a mistake. The pole looks very rusty and old. I checked on Google Maps and on the Garmin, the entire road is called Autumn Road although on Mapquest's Open Street Map, the mistake is repeated. Eish!

Oh and another thing, our only power supplier, Eskom, started with its load sheading. All of a sudden the entire city had its power switched off. The weak excuse given by Eishkom was that it's coal reserves are too wet due to the excessive rain in the past few days. An interesting note is that Eskom's slogan is "Powering your world", that must be the biggest lie ever. All Eskom is bringing us is blackouts. Maybe they should change it to "Hello darkness my old friend".

Eish! Welcome to South Africa!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Suggestion Box

I finally collected my pickup last night, repaired, and ready to take over the good fight. Not that my Vespa handled herself well in the rain, I just simply didn't want another soaking. While sitting in traffic on my way to Centurion, the rain poured down and the waters rose up. At one stage, I was looking around to see if I could catch a glimpse of a wooden boat like structure, with a bearded man at the helm. With the Vespa, I would not be sitting but slicing through the water and traffic.

Arriving dry at my client's offices in Centurion, I found this Suggestion Box, and had a thousand suggestions about what to do about this rain but would God shred them. Yip, I can't see the bigger picture, so arguing about the weather only gets me wetter.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Focus on Life

My pickup is still in for repairs as the alternator has packed up. I found when vehicles start giving endless problems, it is time to replace. So now I find myself in the market looking for a suitable replacement but I'll have to wait a little longer.

So to it is still pouring with rain and I set out on my Vespa. By the time I got to work, I was soaked right trough even though I was wearing my rain suit. Next time I think I should wear my wet suit, fins, mask and snorkel when riding in this kind of weather.

Arriving at work I discovered to my dismay that I had left all my dry clothes at home. I couldn't stay in these wet clothes as I was already not feeling very well. So after getting my team going, I headed back home for a lovely soak in the hot tub. Overdosed on flu medicine and then crashed under the duvet.

I woke up about 3ish to the dogs barking and playing outside. There was a break in the rain and it was time to get some fresh air. Although still not fully awake, I tried to take a photo of these tiny white flowers outside. With coffee in hand, I sat in the weak sun, trying to focus on life.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Die Hard Vesparado

Normally with all this rain I would use the pickup to commute to work and back. But this week is different; it looks like my alternator on my pickup has packed up. Bad news is that it was replaced not even three months ago. Good news is that the alternator is still under warranty.

Now I have to commute to work on my Vespa in the pouring rain. Yeah, now I can be called a Die Hard Vesparado.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Unlike Solzhenitsyn

Outside, soft rain drops are falling. My thirteen year old pickup has developed an unexpected problem. Arguing about the weather only gets you wetter. So when life gives you lemons, well then make lemonade. Sometimes you slay the dragon, sometimes the dragon saves you. Today is stay indoors, cuddle, and watch movies. And one of the movies that we watched, Cloud Atlas suggested a new potential direction. I saw it before some time ago, but watching it a second time, made all the smart.

Take this poor dove sitting on the tennis fence in the soaking rain, not quite sure if he should take shelter or flutter down to the dog’s food bowl full of enticing things. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment-to-moment. At each point of intersection, each encounter, suggests a new potential direction. Unlike Solzhenitsyn, I shan't be alone. So how do I even begin to try understand Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Humanimity? Humanity or Unanimity? So what would Sonmi 451 say?

Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we're bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Three S’s Taking Refuge

With a tropical storm between Madagascar and Mozambique pushing moist air inland, rain has set in. Rain means washing to be hung up to dry inside, the dogs fast asleep in their warm beds, and the cats that prefer being outside try find refuge under the eaves. Here are the 3 S's, Socks, Shadow, and Shammy sitting on top of Anastasiya who was previously called Sophia. What is with all these S's?

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