musings

Up in my air balloon, air balloon...

Whenever I watch "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade", I'm filled with longing for the majestic beauty of airships.

Three times longer and twice as tall as a 747 – to put that in perspective, the Hindenburg class machine was as long as the Empire State Building is tall – these magnificent machines had 25 cabins (yes, cabins) holding two passengers each, a dining room, a passenger lounge with a piano, a writing room, a smoking room.

Biting the bullet butter

"Have you got any butter?" I asked the barista at the Slow XS Lounge in Lanseria. He had just passed me a double espresso. "Sure," he said, and passed me a couple of single serve tubs. He then watched in fascination as I tipped both into the espresso.

"I bet you've never seen this before," I said. He shook his head slowly.

"Is that Bullet Coffee?" asked the woman in line behind me. "Sort of a poor man's version," I said.

"Why?" asked the barista.

"It stops you getting hungry," said the woman. "Exactly," said I.

So Ramaphosa delivered, sort of...

Yesterday, I said there are three very simple things President Ramaphosa can do today that will immediately give an uptick to our economy:

  1. Let SAA fail
  2. Take the money that would be spent on SAA and use it to upgrade Metrorail rolling stock and stations
  3. Hand over control of Metrorail to the municipalities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban

Here's what he said in the State of the Nation address:

The William Nicol interchange looks good, but it sucks

When the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project trotted out the new interchange at the intersection of the N1 and William Nicol, there were many oohs and aahs around how beautiful it was.

Actually, it's stupid. It is responsible for creating what is possibly the single biggest logjam on the road from Cape Town to Beit Bridge.

Here's the problem: Any intersection with traffic lights can only allow cars to pass through as lomg as the light is green.

(Minibus taxis have their own rules. We're not talking about them.)

The erotic allure of unfamiliar books

There's a pile of books on my bedside table in various stages of being read; ditto the guest bathroom at my home which doubles as my personal reading room every so often. 

But you will still find me prowling second hand bookshops looking for things that pique my curiosity. This is how I acquired some of David Bullard's "Out To Lunch" compilations which are long out of print.

Second hand bookshops are doomed to extinction in my country because of aliteracy – unwillingness to read even though one is able to do so.

To boldly go where no woman has gone before...

7 February 2020 - 7:00am

Barely 24 hours ago at 9h12 GMT, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Christina Koch safely parachuted down in Kazakhstan.

She had spent 328 days (including her 41st birthday on 29 January) on board the International Space Station. During that time, she and fellow astronaut Jessica Meir made history with the first all women spacewalk.

Then on 28 December 2019, Koch set another record; the longest continuous time spent in outer space by a woman,

As my memory fades...

For some time now, I have had an app on my iPhone called Day One which prompts me every morning at 8h15 to write an entry in my journal.

@Anatinus asked me this morning what that was all about, and I told her that this was a way of reminding myself that someday, I needed to start writing down occasional thoughts or discussion threads that do not fit into any of the spaces where I usually publish.

So, here I sit at the Sleepers restaurant in Hoedspruit and have taken 5 minutes to configure Drupal's blog module to type these words. It's a start!