Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the streisand confessions - no truth is ever a lie

hey everyone

well, with the Yankees (or at least the media) apparently making it inevitable that the Democrats shall soon have the taste of power again, now seems like as good a time as any for us all to confess to our crimes, misdemeanors, incidents and what have you as they pertain to Barbara Streisand.

i do not expect many who read this site to be quite so brave as to publicly admit their Streisand-related acts of folly, but let us embrace and respect those brace enough to do so here.

your confession could include, but not be limited to, having Woman In Love in the car. and playing it. loud. and singing along. in a rather loud manner. with the window down. with an audience.

confess! confess!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Airport mix up leaves thousands cheering return of Gary Glitter

Thousands of Union Jack waving supporters were distraught yesterday to discover that the plane they were cheering at Heathrow Airport was in fact the one bringing celebrity paedophile Gary Glitter back from the Far East.

The embarrassing mix-up occurred as it emerged that the plane flying Team GB back from the Olympics was badly delayed, while the actual aircraft bringing home the former glam rock star was scheduled a few days later than publicised in order to avoid a hostile mob reception that could have turned ugly.

‘But cheering crowds was perhaps going too much the other way’ suggested airport worker Mike Pryor. Gary Glitter seemed surprised and delighted with the response as he looked out at the sea of cheering crowds with banners proclaiming ‘We love you!’ and ‘You make us proud to be British!’ Gordon Brown was at the airport for the big welcome home and declared ‘What we have here today is a symbol of what it means to be British today. It is partly the result of government investment but we should also salute the individual effort reflected here today – achievements that will be reflected in the Honours System,’ he continued as Gary Glitter waved at the crowd behind him.

However it appears that government officials were too embarrassed to admit the mistake, and so the country’s most famous paedophile then posed with the Prime Minister before driven past the throng of cheering fans on an open top bus to Buckingham Palace where he was to become ‘Sir Gary Glitter.’

Britain currently lies fourth in the world’s Paedophile League Table behind the USA, Thailand and Belgium.

Prison Break returns.....

well, after a short and curious 3rd series, Prison Break returns as of 1 September, at least on American TV sets, with it being all over the interwebnet as of September 2, probably.

i have enjoyed all three to date, although the second half of the 2nd series and large chunks of the 3rd series have, in fairness, given ample evidence to prove the law of diminishing returns. all too often the brilliant premise of the initial series gave way to absurd or ridiculous twists, turns and developments. whereas one would hope that they do not set out to make it absurd or ridiculous, there has to be some concerns already about the new series.

if one reads this interview, you will see that a fairly important character somehow comes back from the dead! i would label this with standard *** SPOILER WARNING *** stuff, but as this character seems to feature in all the promo pictures, i guess neither i nor the interview are giving all that much away, at least nothing that they don't already want you to know.

i am also looking forward to seeing how they skimp on the budget this time, too. lest we forget that, for most of series 3, the character of Michael Schofield, ostensibly the protagonist of the piece, spent a rather large amount of time in long sleeved shirts under the blazing Central American sun, presumably to avoid having to have the elaborate tattoos done over his body!

and then there's everyone's favourite, T-Bag. he has, you may recall, one hand too few via an incident with an axe. i wonder if they will be just filming him from discreet angles instead of going to the trouble of make up and special effects to remove the hand?

anyway, i shall be watching the series as soon as i get the chance (ahem). unless they come up with something spectacular, or are determined to make it in to some sort of soap opera, i think one would have to assume this will be the final outing for the gang!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the informers

well, it would appear that 2008 has a least one more promising film for us!

the informers could, sadly, well go down as the last great work by the talented Brett Easton Ellis. the collection of short stories, often mistaken for being an actual novel, is a devistating collection showing off the man's talents for telling a tale with a dynamic flair for words. he has, alas, not shown this off since, with glamorama not being, shall we say, the greatest achievement of his career and the recent comeback, Lunar Park, seemingly not worth the effort of reading.

for those of you who have not read the informers, well, go get a copy! in the mean time, it's a collection of (rather loosely) connected, or if you will interwoven, short stories based in an around LA in the early 80's. it is as critical as it is observant to the characters within the various tales in the manner you would expect from the authour at his best, really. sadly, it's been a good 10 or 12 years since i read it, i don't recall all that much off the top of my head, bar the tale of the Rock Star and the tales of valium. any more details would be a bit of a spoiler, anyway.

that said, i believe i will be digging out my copy and having a re-read anyway on the basis of the rather awesome trailer that's out there for the film. it looks like they are going to deliver an undiluted interpretation of the tales, which means that it will not be suitable for all tastes!

looking at the account above, i think it's just dawned on me why the last two works of Ellis were failures, if comparative failures at least. neither of them have an 80's background or setting. ho hum, let's hope he clocks that valid point before he delivers another novel, then.

anyway, back to the film - if you have a gander at the cast for the fim by clicking here, you will see a rather interesting assortment of talent has signed up for it. nice one!!

well, not a good deal else i can say on this one right now!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

there is a light which forever goes out....

well, this evening delivered a fascinating twist in the saga of perpetual "power failures" in the area we live. apparently, South Africa's power woes have been addressed and there is no need for enforced power cuts, something which occurred around the time it was decided to give the state owned power company even more money (go figure). and yet, somehow, we have had at least one power cut every day for the past four days.

the power went out again this evening. i immediately picked up the phone and called the number for City (non) Power to report such incidents and get further information. that number would be 011 375 5555, option 2.

can you imagine my surprise to get a recorded message telling me that the power was out in my area? i mean, how is that possible? at best, and this is being generous, there was 1 single minute between the power going out and me calling the number. as they thrive on inefficiency and revel in their incompetence. there's no way they could have got the information, recorded the message and implemented it in that time. a rather planned power outage then, methinks, and i thought it best to get an explanation from them as to how they could do this.

of course, the people who answer the phones above could not answer the question. they are but simple people, hired for their will power i would imagine, as i dare say the majority of calls received are of a less than complimentary nature. to their credit, they too were equally puzzled as to how such a message could come into being with such speed, and one chap was keen to learn how a recorded message advising that the power was out in an area could be put in place so quickly. they suggested that i speak to a supervisor, and endeavored to put me through to one of them.

the supervisors, alas, were mysteriously all unavailable right up until all four of them (Brian Nxumalo, Rabizo Nthe, Vuyiswa Makeke and Gugu Kheswa) finished their shift at 10pm. what an interesting deployment of manpower that is - have four supervisors on duty at the same time, all unavailable, and then have a large chunk of time at your 24 hour call centre where no supervisor or anyone senior is on duty. it's also rather convenient for dealing with questions like mine in regards of incidents like this one.

the lady i spoke to after 10pm, however, felt that not even a supervisor would be able to answer this curious question; she suggested that no less a being than the "area manager" would be the best person to answer the question. i was given the details for this supreme being, a Mothusi Tawana, telephone 011 256 8500. needless to say, that's only going to be during office hours, and i would wager that Mothusi will be unavailable if i bother to try calling tomorrow.

if anyone reading this wishes to pursue the story, go mad. i am just growing as tired of their dishonest attitude as i am of their lack of competence to do the job they are paid rather well to do.

and, as the lights will no doubt go out again at some point, let me head off to bed now that i have all that out of my system!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

talented Katie / NZ wildlife

hey everyone

well, it would appear that Katie is becoming as industrious as her mother (and her father, i suppose) as she takes on a number of jobs. this she would be undertaking before reaching the age of three, which suggests that she is actively seeking a career and serves to underline the apparent chronic lack of professionals in New Zealand at the moment.

first off, here is Katie seemingly ready to drive a tractor around, towing a whole bunch of people around the sheep park. well, i am guessing it is at the sheep park, but more of that in a later pic (patience, Grant, the digs are coming)

i have little or no doubt that she eventually clocked the correct way to sit and operate the mechanical wonder that is the tractor.

not content with doing this, it would seem for all the world to see that she is also prepared to have a whirl at all things medical.

nice one Katie. i am not of a disposition to comment on medical procedures, but i have every confidence that you will have diagnosed what was wrong with Daniel's haircut with your rather class stethoscope with relative ease!

back at the sheep park, it seems that Katie was also rather eager to be some sort of shepherd or zookeeper to the rather interesting variety of wild sheep being looked after there. here she is, diligently ensuring that her father is not trying to get over the fence to pet or otherwise stroke the various species of sheep in the park.

now, as i have no evidence to the contrary (well, none that i choose to pay attention to), i can only conclude that Grant took the family off to see the incredible, if at times astonishing, varieties of sheep that one can see on the fair shores of New Zealand. there is no particular reason that i can think of that Grant would want to see anything but sheep on a day out, so here's two fine examples.

this one i suspect may have a latin-ish name of Maorilionos lamblia. i must say, for a sheep this specimen has quite a mane! in fact, if you did not know that this picture was from New Zealand, you would be forgiven for assuming that it was a picture of a lion!

on the off chance that this kind of sheep has lion-esque tendencies as well as appearances, i certainly wouldn't fancy trying to shear it. or whatever it is Grant does with them.

and finally, here's Grant and the children proudly smiling in front of what i can only assume must be called MassivosSheepos dos Elephante, and must surely be the biggest land-dwelling sheep in New Zealand.

quite frankly, i can't see one getting all that much wool off the above kind of sheep, but the lamb ribs and chops must be absolutely massive.

thank you once again to Gillian, Daniel, Katie and in particular the adventurous, livestock loving Grant for sending these pictures along!!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

another August 16 birthday!!

well well, another event on August 16!! over at my mate Norman's interwebnetsite thingie, you can see and read all of Emma's 2nd birthday!!

if i have got this right, a picture of the birthday girl should appear below!

if not, well, best you head over to Norman's interwebnetsite thingie soonest!!

be excellent to each other!!!!

the cement factory

hey there

well, i imagine this update is of a somewhat selective appeal, but as the selection there would feature my dear friend Mr Michael Llewellyn, it is included all the same, thank you.

our trip to the birthday party on Saturday took us past the PPC cement factory. on one occasion of a verk trip here, Mike was staying in a place which required us to travel past this production plant. both Michele and I felt it our duty, if not obligation, to get some pictures so he can be assured that it is still there, as majestic as ever.

i am not sure why Mike took quite a shine to the cement factory, but he did make one or two kinds words about it, and indeed thanked me for pointing out this rather interesting landmark. one could perhaps suspect that the slightest fragrance of sarcasm may have been scented within his sentiments, but this is rather unlikely. i mean, Mike spoke just as kindly of the Jason Donovan CD i had in the car for him as he did the cement factory. there's no way he could have been sarcastic about our Jason, whose music was the muse which wove such a part of the fabric of our youth, is there?

in regards of how this particular cement factory (or cement plant, if you will) stands in comparison to others around the world, you would have to ask Mike, really. i mean, they must have some sort of concrete creation scheme in Australia, unless every single building is wood and Middlesbrough steel. he also visits China and neighbouring countries from time to time, where he might see the odd venture into concrete manufacture going on around him. although i do encourage him to go and have a gander around the KFC's on the off chance he sees The King in one of them whilst he is in that part of the world.

i quite like how the above pictures have come out, really. not bad, considering that they were taken from inside Michele's car whilst trying to entertain James as we headed home. who said that digital cameras were killing the art of photography?

anyway, Mike, i hope you have enjoyed this current look at the cement factory/plant, and please feel free to set any one of the above images as your new desktop wallpaper or something. if any casual visitors to this interwebnetthingie site page have enjoyed these images, well, my work is thus done.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

birthday celebrations

hey there

as well as marking the day on which The King removed himself from the public eye (see previous post), August 16 also marks the birthday of James' cousins, Jade and Skyla, as well as Auntie Natasha, also known as Michele's sister and Jade and Skyla's Mummy.

after the long drive back from Sun City we simply couldn't stay at the party as long as we wanted too (i am still somewhat under the weather), but James nonetheless got to run around and have some fun!

here's James posing with Jade and Skyla - well done Michele for getting a picture with the three of them sort of in it!!

James took quite a shine to the play house! i think we shall have to have a look around for one for our garden, if one will even fit in our garden!!

i believe we all had one when we were kids. well, not like this one exactly; if memory serves correctly Richard, Gillian and I had a most splendid Wombles play house when we were young!

i will wager that James' Grandad can find and scan a picture of it - over to you, Dad!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

31 years away

hey everyone

well, 16 August marks 31 years since The King, Elvis Aron Presley, took the decision to no longer live in the public eye.

i am sure that The King is enjoying his time in China still, what with all the KFC breakfasts that are available and what have you.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

all things Spanish

hey there

please take the time to visit the site of one of my dearest friends on this planet, that being the site of David "Norman" Gutteridge.

i am flattered to have inspired him, beats me writing his English essays for him!

have a look and tell him what you think!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


hey there

about a week or so before we went on holiday, James had a very special visitor at school. the snake lady came, and had all sorts of (presumably reasonably safe snakes for the children to see and touch

the teachers at the school said that a number of the children, whilst not scared, were reasonably apprehensive about approaching or touching the snakes. not our James, of course, who loved them!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

an afternoon nap

hey there

well, after running wild with James every day on holiday, it seemed like a wise idea to catch forty winks on an afternoon to try and get some energy for later. James seemed to agree with the idea!

note the ball blanket, it was once upon a time mine when i was James' age, but now i have to have done something spectacular to be in his good books enough to so much as touch it.

pleasant dreams!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


hey everyone

well, with his love of dinosaurs and snakes in general, there was always a good chance that James would take something of a shine to the site of crocodiles too. whilst on holiday, then, we took a trip down to the crocodile park (farm? zoo? reserve?) to see how he would get on with them. as it turns out, he got on just fine with them! well, as fine as we would let him, really. i think James would have loved to get in and touch them, but we didn't think that would be a particularly good idea.

James was rather taken with how the crocodiles behaved. he seemed particularly impressed with the way that they swam around, and then climbed up on top of the nearest crocodile to have a nice snooze when they were done with that.

that said, i don't think that the crocodiles did as much running about as James would have liked. they certainly did not sing any of the songs that he hoped they would, but in time we shall explain that the animals in the real world seldom, if ever, behave quite the same way as they do in those magnificent Disney films.

now, say hello to Footloose, the second biggest nile crocodile in captivity. he's rather big as you can see, and would appear to have his name as, in the immortal words of Peter Cook, he seems to have "one leg too few". missing leg not pictured, by the way!!

many thanks to the "regular" sized crocodiles for hanging around to show just how big Footloose happens to be!!

now then, the biggest nile crocodile in captivity is a right charmer called Arnie. the chap who told us all about him seemed to have a rather healthy level of fear and respect for Arnie, which is something i would suggest one show in equal measure when facing him!

and here's a regular, name free crocodile that Michele took a fantastic picture of. if it were an alligator, i would have course taken him home and named him Elvis.

and, speaking of taking them home, i dare say it occurred to James to ponder the idea of taking one of the many (and i do mean many) baby crocodiles that were there!

here's just one picture of the babies hanging around. trust me, i have dozens more and you never see the same baby croc twice!!

as much as James would most likely love having a baby crocodile at home, i somehow doubt that our bath would be able to contain it for much more than a couple of weeks (a month at best), and i dare say that it and the cats would not get on at all well!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Swimming at Sun City

hey there

well, we did manage to find some open pools at Sun City in the end! the magnificent Valley of the Waves was open, albeit with some rather cold water temperatures!!

James sort of went into the water, but then very much left it to announce just how cold it was. 12 degrees centigrade i believe was the estimate on one of the boards up in the area. one of the few boards up in Sun City not mentioning maintenance or apologies, may i add. again.

you will notice the class (and expensive) Batman bucket and spade set James has in his hands! it is rather smart, and James had lots of fun making sand castles with Mummy!

going back to how cold the water was, i am reminded of a passage in Mr Marlon Brando's excellent memoir, Songs My Mother Taught Me. he makes a reference to something shriveling to the size of a peanut on one particular film set; if i am not mistaken it would be the infamous Last Tango. well, i know what he meant, and believe me, in neither his case nor mine was it with reference to the stomach....

outside of the water, James rather loved running about the Adventure Island, for that is its name. it is a most splendid and, i believe, new area for the kids not quite big enough to play in the "big water" to go into.

well, when i say James enjoyed running around Adventure Island, he was rather more enamored with the idea of Daddy carrying him up and down all the steps and slides it had on it.

if i recall correctly, the little lady above was called Athena. she and James became good friends, until Athena had wild ideas of going up and down steps without being carried and things like that.

above and below are pictures of James and i at the top of the two main things to climb on Adventure Island - the mountain on the island (above) and the castle next to it, featuring a rather nifty slide (below).

both had rather steep and narrow steps for Daddy to try and navigate, but we got there in the end!!

the water areas of Adventure Island are not all that big, and i can't see it being that much effort for them to arrange for them to be heated or warmed a bit, in particular with their great expressed interest in masses of maintenance work. hopefully it is warmer the next time we go!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"we apologise for any inconvenience caused"

hey everyone

well, we are all back in town, somewhat exhausted, after a most excellent week at Sun City. we went up to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, and to let James run wild. we did both, and in the case of the latter to excess really!!

we had a fantastic time, but it all too often felt that the management of Sun City wanted to try and stop us doing that. for some inexplicable reason, many areas were closed down for "unannounced" and certainly unplanned maintenance. here's a mere two of the twenty or so signs we saw as we walked around!

this one above was particularly annoying, really. it was a great heated pool near where we were staying, and it was a major disappointment for us all that it was closed. as the temperature of all the pools which were open (Cascades closed too!!) was a touch colder than what you would find in a standard freezer, it did put a dampener on events. oh well, we managed to swim a bit as some pictures to follow will show!!

they also deemed it necessary to close the "bridge of time" down for the whole week too. or perhaps longer, the sign for this one isn't quite as specific

rather odd, all that happens on it is that it shakes a bit, smoke comes out of some mock fireplaces and you hear some animal noises. i am neither deft nor skilled in the ways of modern mechanics, but if the bridge isn't falling over, i am not at all sure what could take them so long to do "maintenance" on that!!

anyway, pictures of places at Sun City that were open to follow soon!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

James and Lyla

hey there

you may recall that last week (i think) i mentioned that there were some pictures of James' recent visit to Grandma, but they were actual proper pictures and not scanned ones. well, they have been developed, and i have had a bash at scanning some of them!

and just what does James get up to when he visits Grandma? housework, it seems. something that he does not do at home, might i add!!

Grandma very wisely deflected any questions about setting James to work in the kitchen by stating upfront that James goes through about a bottle of dishwashing liquid on each visit!

an added bonus for his recent visit was Lyla being there - here's a pic of them surveying all the beautiful and elegant plants and flowers in the garden!

nice one, it all looks rather impressive, and the two of them look suitably impressed!

oh dear, i think the pics are a touch blurry! either the disposable camera wasn't that great, or my hit and hope approach to scanning them was not all that it could have been on the hope side of things!

and then, after a tour of the garden, time for a nice sit down!!

it's always great to catch pictures of the two of them like this. usually such times only arrive after 2 or 3 hours of territory marking, where they grab everything they can find in the house and declare it to be theirs ("mine!" "MINE!" "MINE MINE MINE!!!"), but after that they soon get on fine!

anyway, not too sure if there will be all that many updates for the next week or so. i shall do my best, but can promise nothing. i don't feel too bad about that (if i don't do some updates) in the light of all the ones today!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

our friends in the North

hey again

a final (for now!) batch of pictures from the North East to have a look at!!

i am delighted to see that Dad was able to call in and see our friend Bobby, and equally delighted to see that Bobby is looking fine and well at the moment!

and here's a picture of Bobby on the phone. i would not be at all surprised to learn that he's busy speaking to Barrie, who will no doubt have a short list of one or two (hundred) items he would very much like my Dad to bring back for him!!

a treat for fans of Trevor's bizarre advice column on the interwebnet and his unusual updates, here is Uncle Trevor!! looks like Christopher is wearing an excellent shirt in the picture!

this one was taken in Gran H's home, but no picture of Gran herself has been sent through yet!

if any of you for some reason are curious as to what a McDonald's in an unspecified location in the North East of England looks like, here you go!

it looks rather much like the McD's on sale there are pretty much the same as anywhere else in the world. that would be the idea of the place, i guess!!

McDonald's is all very well and good, but it's not what i would particularly have for dinner up in that part of the world.

what would i have? Gran's Yorkshire Puddings, of course!

there's nothing i can add to the perfection of that picture!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!