Wednesday, January 27, 2010

this is a kind of an ending...

About 12 months ago, I started this blog and I'm sad to say, I didn't even manage to post at least once every month... And now, it's been eons since I last blogged. I've been busy (of course). Too busy to even contemplate formally ending the blog. But also too busy keeping a rather large manufacturing business moving along in pretty trying times.

So this post is unfortunately not marking a new return - with gusto - to blogging. I tweet, a lot and that seems to suffice. So, I shall post on the very odd occasion, and comment every now and then...

But this posts is a kind of an ending. Not totally, 'cause that would be like throwing out a favourite t-shirt. This is more like, using it less than before, so it can stay in my life for when I need it most.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear investigating officer

Dear Investigating Officer

I hate to bother you as you worry about whatever it is you worry about, as you tuck into your Kenflucky Flied Chiggen. I don't mean to ask you, for the eight - or is it now the ninth time - if you have managed to even get off your chair and engage with us.

I'm not sure what the progress of my THREE cases with you is. The last time I checked you told me that unless I know "who the culprit is, we can not give it to an investigating officer" after you closed the first case. I know the second time you assumed that the fingerprint division was on off for the weekend, so the first chance you had at getting hard evidence was spoiled because you decided that it could wait. *sigh*

In all the spare time I have waiting for you, I though I might take the trouble to find out the meaning of the word "investigation" for you because I believe that the trainers at the Police College may well have forgotten that in your glossary of terms. But as I did my research I discovered what the problem is. I now think I can definitively declare it. You see Mr Officer, and investigation is defined as "the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematically". I think systematic and thorough are well covered by the tedious protocol you use to take my statement. It's the work that gets you, isn't it? The seriousness of the crime just does not warrant the effort does it?

You see, Mr Investigating officer, I was under the impression that my hard earned tax money meant that you are actually a public servant, and you should serve me and the rest of those hurt directly or indirectly by the criminal activities around us. I wonder, will someone have to die before you start to investigate?

Anyway - I'm done talking to a disembodied voice on the other side of the phone. I just thought I would write a little public letter - for my friends (who also contribute to your salary). Tomorrow, I will bring the witnesses to you. Maybe you can do your job. Maybe you can't.

Right now - I don't think you give a fuck about me. But I also think you couldn't be arsed about the people that would definitely suffer if we decided to say: "To hell with it - we're going to rather employ the fruits of our labour elsewhere!" Your failure to care just a little bit, Mr Officer, might just mean that one day soon, the 130 people or so that work here with me will no longer be able to feed, clothe and house the over 300 people that depend on them!

So, thanks for nothing - so far! We hope that we can crack the case ourselves.

Blooms that sould beat (some sense into you!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mulberry madness

I must just tell you. Shiny gave me a blog award... because I grow flowers. It is my first award so I am honoured. But there was no logo for me to load into my sidebar for all to see, so I can't make up my mind if it was on of those activity "meme's" couched as an award, or a real award on it's way in the post for proud display on my mantle piece in amongst my Super Hero figurine collection.

I would put it next to all my other trophies, but the only other award I've got in my entire life had to be returned to the club I represented (much like Shiny's hurdling trophy) so it could be dished out to the next seasons 'most improved player'.

In any event, it is with a bow and a flourish that I gratefully accept the award. Thank you, thank you... I'll be signing autographs a little later. I may even get to the task associated with winning when Shiny actually allows those of us who care to post the award in their sidebar to go fetch it. ;)

But, I'm here now, posting this post in the hope that some of my former readers will come flocking back to reward my desperate attempts at seeking attention. Well, that's not entirely true - I'm not desperate yet, but I certainly don't mind a little attention.

A Facebook friend, the fabulous "Mr C.D!" made a comment the other day about how much he hates Mulberry trees. Visions of splattered berries and colourful bird poop deposits on what should be the shiny surfaces of his car sprang to mind. How irritating I thought. But for every challenge, there must be a solution! These are a few sprang that to mind:

1. Park in another spot, thereby avoiding the berries splattering from the tree above as well as the large numbers of birds generously lending an inadvertant hand to seed dispersal.
2. Install a scare-crow onto the car's aerial. It's just about Halloween and that might pass as sane for a week or two at least.
3. Spend all his free time harvesting the offending mulberries into a selection of woven baskets, complete with red and white checked lining, to be sold at the local county fair or turned into fifteen years worth of Mulberry Jam (jello for the few American readers who may peruse this blog on occasion)!

Since option three is the one with the most commercial potential, I thought I might even do a little more research on the matter and forward him pruning tips for the off season and a number of delightful mulberry jam based recipe's to help him market the fruits of his labour (and tree).

I've not listed Mulberry trees for the production of silkworm cocoons, because unless your kids are working a sweatshop in your garage after school, lets face it, shoe boxes full of worms pooing all over a fresh harvest of Mulberry leaves are pretty dull at the best of times. And all that silk production will of course not deliver the desired result: Removing the offending berries!

Alas after this stroke of sheer genius, I have to admit that I have now decided to hate Mulberry trees too! You see, we have a Mulberry tree standing close to our office. It's full of fruit and the kids on the farm that normally eat from it seem to have wizened up to their incredible laxative powers and have steered well clear of the blasted 'boom' with as wide a berth as they could muster.

I don't park near the tree and the proliferation of Indian Minah birds in the vicinity keeps most potential berry loving birds far far away. However, this wonderful tree, laden with fruit - that has so far not offended even the most precious of car-bonnet-paint-aficionado's - has spawned a gazillion miggies (tiny winged flies) that hover in rather large but barely visible numbers around the offices!

Yes - these little miggies - duck and dive around our heads all day long, oblivious to the incredible distraction they cause. They swoop so close to my head they just about chart an uninvited course up my nose, or try find the shortest route from one side of my head to the other, through the ear canal. Contrary to belief, much like Amerigo Vespucci and Chris Columbus did not find the wonders of the East Indies by sailing west, it is not a feasible route.

The worst however, is when they fly into the outer reaches of my peripheral vision. Remember now that these insects are very very small and can only be readily observed at close range. Although silent, their presence is very disturbing - which means, like all irritants that fly around ones head, they must pay the ultimate price. But, as any insect worth a little more than its weight in salt should, they employ terribly effective evasion strategys. These blighters do not fly in straight lines. They barely even fly gaily forward if you must know. In fact being so small, they are deceptively quick and are rather difficult to swat with naked hands or whatever other tools may be at hand at any given moment. To my point though...

I had quite a few meetings today, and during all those meetings with all manner of nice and important people, I found myself swatting and clapping at these near invisible creatures. And then, of course, sometimes they weren't even there! I mean, you can only apologise so many times before one starts calling for men in white coats and leather jackets with freakishly long sleeves. In retrospect - I can only imagine how freaking spazzed out I looked! I know, you haven't heard the word spazz since at least 1986, but I used it now and that's that. I can not apologise any more for using the word 'spazz' than I can for swatting fruitlessly at fruit eating bugs.

And at the root of it all: I still hate Mulberry trees!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blooms... galore

Well - my affinity for posting these days has been totally usurped by the convenience of Tweeting. I can update all and sundry (including Facebook) about my comings, goings and share opinions and links etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

CV and I have been very very busy of late because of changes in our work environment and lot's has happened since I last posted about daily life. The most significant being appointed a Director at Rolf Flowers.
On the personal front, I went to my first ever PRIDE event with CV and other friends and we had a gay old time! And for CV's birthday, we enjoyed a thoroughly colonial picnic at the Johannesburg Country Club, as one does as one approaches forty. He got oh so many gifts... I don't mind saying I'm a little jealous....
To my point though - before I find myself digressing too much. I love to employ my creative side from time to time. We've been working on getting a Rolf Flowers website LIVE fairly soon, but there's bee a lack of pictures. So yesterday afternoon I spent a whole lot of time taking pictures. If I dare say so myself, many of them are absolutely stunning! There's plenty more pictures than the few loaded here, I just wanted to share a little of what's makes me very very excited. And so without further ado, please see how my job definitely can colour ones life...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MARVELous News?!?

Good gawd.... it's been more than a month since my last post. I make no excuses for my sudden disappearance save to say it's been a tumultuous 30 odd days on the work front with massive change and a dramatic effect on my day to day existence as a consequence.
Today's post however is inspired by what I consider a disappointing piece of news that I picked up on Twitter, via Alyssa Milano (who's gracing our DSTV screens once again in re-runs of Who's the Boss on Series Channel on Thursday nights!)...

Their announcement came out in that matter of fact way... with details of share deals and buyout structures and the strategic importance of being entertainments leading players, blah blah, blah - whatever!
What's the problem? They're not so different one might think.... both appear to be aimed at kids and both seem relatively innocuous. Somehow though, I think Marvels clever social commentaries and the 'liberated view' of challenging moral questions will silently disappear into a softer more dare I say it - 'conservative' form of entertainment.
Please don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of both. Some of the greatest animated features the world has ever seen have been crafted by the Disney creative. And being a sucker for digital animation, the Pixar association in particular made me revel in the revival of the Disney brand in the 90's.
But whilst Disney has always presented wholesome family fare, Marvel's appeal was that is was packed with fantastic serialised superhero stories loaded with Kapow!! There's the certain peril of cities or worlds, loads of action, flying, fighting! And then there's the stories of women and men concealing their secret identities and being unable to find and keep a hold of true love due to that. There's the angst of being different but rising above potential ridicule and ostracisation to save the day.

Will Marvel comics retain that edge that's made it so appealing to me and millions of others at it's core. Or are some of those things that attracted me to the world of superheros be lost forever?
If some of their star writers start bailing, know that the writing is on the proverbial wall.
I wait with bated breath.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Joburg Winters have their own beauty... really

Rambler had a little gripe about the cold and I commented saying it had just given me an idea for a post. I know some people that laugh at our gripes about Gauteng's cold. Minus 5 degree centigrade is but a walk in the park for them. My sister who lives somewhere in the Midwestern United States sends us her winter updates of minus Fahrenheit temperatures (something closer to -20 deg Centigrade) and multiple feet of snow!!!

A couple of years ago we also had a spot of snow.

In truth it was more of a very thick frost and bitterly cold. But every year we have frost out at the farm. Some years it's from as early as late March. This year we were 'lucky'. ANd I use that terms as reservedly as one can. The early winter was actually quite mild, until a few weeks ago. Then a nasty little cold front came trundling through and quashed my dream of a blamy winter...

I got an SMS the other day informing that the writer had seen frost... I assumed this was his first time seeing frost this winter and howled with laughter. I'm usually out and about long before sunrise, so I've been seeing frost since May. Granted, it's farm land, in a valley - which makes cold and frost a certain fact of winter mornings. It's easier walking through the greenhouses on winter mornings though. Our climate control systems try to maintain temperatures of 18 degrees Centigrade ably assisted by up to three coal fired boilers. Walking between them is little more challenging.

Winter on the highveld is a dusty affair. The air is often thickened by the smoke of hectares worth of veld fires. But the charred remains of some cows unfinished grazing land makes for a wonderful sight in the morning. Our blackened landscape is momentarily cast as a winter wonderland decked in a wafer thin layer of dazzling white ice. When I walk around outside to the irrigation dams, the tiny crystals of frozen dew glisten in the first rays of sunlight catching my eye time and time again. It makes my heart sing a tiny joyful song. Ok - the joyful song is bit of a stretch because my brain is usually as numbed by the cold as my toes and nose are - but you get the picture.

Late afternoons, with their impossibly rapid sunsets are often hazy. The dust, thrown up by the wheels of numerous trucks and cars on the dirt roads around us, hangs thick in the air - leaving my windscreen hopelessly dusty and me slightly dis-vantged. But it makes for the most incredible sunsets. I'm often greeted by crimson horizons that fade into a darkening bronze haze on the way home in the afternoon, and so long as I stay within the confines of my heated bakkie (pick-up) it really can be a beautiful sight.

But it's nearly August and at the back of my mind, even firmly in the grips of winters gnarled, dry grasp, there's the certainty of Spring, now palpably around the corner. New growth is being primed in the trees and veld around me. Within a few weeks there will be spots of colour as the first brave blossoms peep from the branches of various indigenous veld trees and the fruit orchards. Fields of corn will be planted by farmers on their enormous tractors and the germinating seedlings will transform the tilled red earth of those barren fields into endless rows of tiny green sprouts that will gain inches weekly, eventually obscuring my now panoramic horizon view to a few short meters before being met by a wall of fresh green growth.

Until then of course - I'll battle through, looking for those spots of beauty on bitterly cold mornings, hoping we're not blasted by too many frigid winds that make the sunlight deceivingly inviting.

Ciao for now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A bit about meme...

Thanks to Allie for INSISTING that I complete this meme. :0)}

Quite honestly, it looks like it's going to be a little more difficult to complete than doing a web surf for topical links to post - but fortunately less so than something requiring more than a little research and fact checking.... Anyhoo..... Here goes.

I am: a reasonable, logical but passionate guy.... I think

I have: a distinct dislike for cold weather and short days.

I know: more than I think sometimes, and far to little at others.

I don't think: therefore I am... Hmm, somehow that doesn't sound right - hehe. Seriously though, I don't think about the consequences of my actions sometimes. But mostly - I actually over think.

I want: my chance already!

I have: a good enough memory to know that I've answered this already!

I like: Ice cream and dark chocolate... no actually I love those things. I like coffee.

I dislike: brussels sprouts and condensed milk... and no - that's not in combination you silly you - I dislike them both - equally.

I hate: oh - I didn't see this... Scrap the point above. I hate brussels sprouts! Condensed milk can stay as a dislike.

I dream: but I'll be dammed if I can remember them

I fear: angle grinders and high voltage power lines

I am annoyed: when people can't see the logic of a thing - even if it's explained again and again and again... argh!

I crave: (cigarettes) occasionally, but not so much anymore.

I usually: eat breakfast before showering in the morning.

I search: incessantly for answers to things I want to understand

I hide: most of my fears rather well. (I think)

I wonder: why I like to sing songs that don't exist

I know: I've answered this already!

I just can't help: going gaga for superheroes and superhero movies unless they're really really bad.

I regret: sheesh - nothing jumps out at me - so I guess, I regret nothing - YET.

I love: CV, more than rainbows, teddy bears and cu... oops that's an 'in joke' - never mind.

I can't live without: water, food and fresh air and... mah man

I try to: drive conscientiously, but am not all that good at it.

I care about: CV

I enjoy: a good laugh and listening to the layers in music

I don't care: about personal wealth too much - so long as I can live in some comfort

I always: want tell my CV how much I love him...

I never want to: have to use and angle grinder. I'll rather pay someone to do that.

I rely on: people around me to be sincere.

I believe: what I believe... and some might call that not believing. But it takes some faith for me to 'not believe' too.

I dance: when I'm 'cheerful' or when the musics good. Even if I make an ass of myself!

I sing: to our dogs. Ok mostly I sing to Lola, Pablo seems uninmpressed - at work - in the shower - with the radio - hmm - come to think of it - I sing a lot. I may not be good, but I sing anyway.

I argue: passionately if I know what I'm talking about and I have a view to express

I write: because I think I can... never mind what anyone else thinks.

I win: is this a trick question? I never enter anything - so I guess I can't win then, or can I??

I loose: lots of little things but hardly ever my keys, mobile phone or wallet

I wish: I wasn't so paranoid about if my car is locked when I walk away from it in the a parking lot. I lock it about 6 times, every time... argh!

I listen: If I think I need to.

I don't understand: why it takes so long for my computer to boot up in the morning

I'm scared of: angle grinder blades spinning off the grinder and causing serious harm.

I forget: a lot of things... all the time. OH!! It's the 15th today... I nearly forgot.

Hope you had fun reading about meme. If you want to hijack this and do it yourself - go for it. No nominees from my side - I'm one of the last in the 'group' to do it.