Friday, December 2, 2011


I don’t get the hype around birthdays. I don’t.

I haven’t properly celebrated a birthday in very many years. In so many years that I cannot remember when last I did celebrate it properly.

These days you get people celebrating a birthday weekend, or a birthday month.

I don’t celebrate either of those.

All I want on the day of my birth is to be left the hell alone. No phone calls, no texts, no BBMS, etc.

Why do I need to celebrate the fact that I haven’t managed to die in my sleep for the past thirty-six years? It makes no sense to me.

I did make a slightly bigger deal of The Boss’ thirtieth. That’s only because she’s special. My own thirtieth came and went in a fanfare of no publicity at all.

However, I know that her family celebrates birthdays, and especially the round numbers get special treatment.

All of that being beside the point. Some people are now having entire birthday weekends, and birthday months. Please tell me what the fuck is up with that.

I’m hating my birthday enough to not celebrate the one day on which is happens. Now why would I want to acknowledge the weekend and/or the month?

Am I broken? Or is everyone else broken?

Friday, November 4, 2011


I have never been to a Halloween party. I did get invited once, but it was cancelled a week before it was meant to happen. 

However, looking at other people’s pictures on Facebook and reading their accounts on Twitter got me thinking a bit, which is generally not a good thing. 

Non-Muslims generally do not celebrate Eid or Ramadan. This is mostly because Eid and Ramadan are Islamic holy days reserved for celebration by Muslims only. 

Non-Hindus also do not celebrate Diwali or any of the other Hindu holy days and festivals. This is mainly because we’re not Hindu. 

A lot of non-Christians celebrate the Christian feast days like Easter and Christmas, but only because they get some loot out of it. Personally I can do without both. I choose not to celebrate either one because I’m neither a Christian, nor am I after any loot. 

Now that I have covered that, let me get to the topic at hand: Halloween. 

A lot of people out there “celebrate” Halloween. They do it for the trick-or-treating, or they do it for the dress up parties that go along with it. Either way, they celebrate it for one reason or another, but not the true reason. 

I did some research though. Some of it came from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, some of it from the internet. From this research I had learned that Halloween is actually a Wiccan holy day called Samhain

According to my research “Samhain is one of the Greater Sabbats and if probably the witches’ greatest holiday... For witches, this holiday has a rather different tone than it does for the population at large. Samhain, rather than being a festival of sugar overconsumption, is a profound spiritual event. It marks the death of the Lord and also the start of a new year.” *

Since this is such an extremely holy day for Wiccans, why do the non-Wiccans think they can encroach on it? Why can Wiccans not be afforded the same respect that Muslims and Hindus get. 

It’s one of their holy days for gods’ sake. I choose not to celebrate any religion’s holy days, because to celebrate the holy day would be an acknowledgement on my part that there is some validity in their beliefs. I choose not to celebrate Christmas, because then I tacitly agree to the birth of the baby Jesus. By celebrating Easter, I agree with the whole crucifixion mess and whatever else came after that.

So, all you people that celebrated Halloween this year: You just tacitly agreed that there is some merit to Wicca and witchcraft. I guess you feel like a right bunch of chops now, don’t you? 

* The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft. Pg 177

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Fun Sized Opinions

Music Promoters
Music promoters sometimes suck my will to live. Really they do.

We get promised a “supergroup”. I’m hoping AC/DC. We’re getting Coldplay. Enough said on that one.

Coldplay isn’t a supergroup by any stretch of the imagination.

The Rugby World Cup
While all of South Africa is “getting behind the Boks”, I’m quietly wishing the whole thing just goes away.

I don’t support sports of any kind. Especially not the oblong ball thug game. Couldn’t be bothered.

Earlier today our president gave the team a little speech. Good thing he’s got his priorities straight. I mean, it’s not like he’s got a country to run or anything.

Ard Matthews and the National Anthem
Everyone was exceptionally hard on Ard Matthews this past week, and for fucking up the anthem.

In all honesty, how many of us know the anthem all the way through? I remember bits and pieces of the Afrikaans version from learning it in primary school.

I far prefer his work with Just Jinger. The anthem can go hang itself.

Jeans with zips and flaps and things

I tried to go buy some jean pant on a few occasions. Only to be disgusted by what I saw.

Every single pair of jeans has some additional zip. Or flaps. Or bits that button down.

Whatever happened to good old straight up and down, or bootleg jeans? I can get Levis that do that, at R250 a shot. Not bloody likely.

I want normal jeans, for R100. Max R150. Without the buttony, zippy, flappy things.

Shitty Musicians and What Makes Them Popular
I sometimes have the misfortune of listening to some real crap on the radio. I hear on that there wireless machine some really atrocious musicians.

What boggles my mind is why people support all this crap. Has people’s musical tastes degenerated that much in the past 30-odd years. It’s not really been 30-odd, even in the last 10-odd years things have taken a turn for the worse.

Do people just generally like what they’re given? Are there bigger things afoot than we know of?

If people stop supporting sub-par “musicians”, stop buying their CDs then maybe they’d go away.

Imagine a world with no Parlotones, no Nikki Minaj and no Gaga. Fucking bliss.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Second of Some Few...

I was in good spirits this evening.

OK, I wasn’t exactly in good spirits until I got into the spirits. But such is the way of the easily stressed and the addicted. That is my story and I’m sticking to it for now.

All was fine in my little world, until one person challenged me on my drinking habits.

Yes, I am an addict. Yes, I like to get drunk. Yes, I like to drink a lot. That is the way of things.

The person that called it mentioned parents that drank and smoked and managed to kick both habits.

This person is 16 years of age. This person hasn’t lived. Living with someone that has an addiction is not the same as living with an addiction.

Living with an addiction is much, much harder.

I enjoyed my ephedrine addiction. I will admit that much.

I enjoy my cigarettes and alcohol just as much. However much nicotine is an addiction, citing someone giving up tar bars as “Someone kicking an addiction” ain’t going to fly.

I smoke 15+ cigarettes a day. And that is an average day.

On an average day I smoke 15 cigarettes. I drink at least seven cups of coffee. I might even consume a few alcoholic bevvies.

Kicking cigs is nothing in comparison to kicking any other habit. Even kicking alcohol is nothing in comparison to a once a day ephedrine habit.

The point I’m making is thus… Don’t get preachy at me because both your parents beat a cig habit. Don’t get preachy at me, about my liver no less, because one of your parents beat a booze habit.

My own grandfather was a smoker and liked a bit of the old tipple.

When you have beat your own addictions, then come and speak to me. Don’t talk to me as a bystander. Don’t talk to me as an innocent victim. In that case my lovely wife would be an innocent victim of my various addictions.

Would those addictions be that I like to consume alcoholic beverages, or that addiction be that I like to photograph things…

Be careful what you call an addiction.

Next thing I know I’d be in rehab for taking pictures of things.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Am An Addict...

Hello. My name is Tiaan and I’m an addict.

Those have got to be the hardest words ever spoken by a person ever.

I have admitted to myself ages ago that I am an addict.

Less than five years ago I was addicted to ephedrine. To those that don’t know, ephedrine is the active ingredient in most slimming tablets. Thinz, Slenz, etc. Ephedrine is Speed. Ephedrine is Ecstacy. Luckily for some of us, those tablets aren’t available over the counter anymore.

I popped 6 of those slimming tabs every single day.

Not my proudest moment. However, those moments shaped who I am today…

Were it not for a busted cam belt and my bedroom floor, I may not have beaten the addiction.

However, beating one addiction always makes room for one more.

Since I can remember, which isn’t too long ago, I’m a bit of a drunk.

Some days I drink to just fall asleep. Some days I drink to get totally slaughtered.

99% of what I do goes up to 11. I am an addict.

I think my Mother’s known for some time that I have an addictive personality. I get addicted easily to things.

I think for her it was that I don’t like being second best at anything.

I only learned how a stove works two and a half years ago. Yet, now I have to try the most complicated recipe.

I picked up a proper camera two and a half years ago. Now that camera is what partly defines who I am.

Some of my family members only found out a few weeks ago that I am an addict. On the same night they found out I’m a religious sceptic.

However… Us addicts had one of our stalwarts pass away this week… Possible OD, although the autopsy is inconclusive.

Regardless of autopsy we know. Amy Winehouse died as she lived. Everything up to 11.

In my lifetime I have beaten one addiction. Will I ever beat my alcohol addiction? Who knows?

That is the way it is.

Should we ever breed, it is either good or bad for the child.

I will either be the best parent ever, or the most drunk.

I’m glad I never had drunken parents, which means if we ever spawn I’ll have to sober up.

Try as I might, I cannot paint all of my addictions in a positive light.

The only positive that can come out of my addictions is that I try my absolute best to be number one.

The absolute worst is that I might die young. Or rather youngish.

Hopefully, one day, I’ll sober up. Do I have a problem? Possibly. Do I care? Maybe.

That last maybe is what keeps me going.

Will I carry on getting drunk? Quite likely.

Will I eventually stop? Let’s see…

You Sir, Are a Knob…

I feel I need to paint y’all a picture. If only for the purpose of this blog post.

We live in what might be termed a “gated community”. We have security guards with booms. Not that they’re any good, but it’s a bit of a sense of security.
A few weeks ago, upon arriving home, I noticed a tent on the sidewalk. Now, you need to know there’s a wooden Wendy house type of “guardhouse”, so this puzzled me.
Then a day later I noticed the guardhouse is gone, but didn’t pay the missing guardhouse or tent too much mind.
A few days after that I was working late. That was when I noticed that the guards guarding the boom were expected to overnight in the tent.
A day later we see they’re rebuilding the guardhouse. So we reckon they’re finally getting a brick and mortar guardhouse. Brick and mortar is good for winter, so much better than a wooden Wendy house in my opinion.
A few day after that I get home and notice the boom is gone. Pay it no mind. The Boss tells me that the guards are on strike. This one time, I was not blaming them for striking.
However, the cherry on the cake was when the owner of the security company left a message for all of us residents on the board. This you can see in the picture. Apparently some “arsehole” (his words) reported him to the municipality for not having plans.
No my boy. You were reported for being a heartless bastard. You pay these guys minimum wage, yet expect them to spend an ice cold winter’s night in a TENT?!
No fucking wonder they went on strike. No fucking wonder you got reported. It wasn’t me that reported you, but I wish I did.
You sir, the owner of Firmitas Security, should be ashamed. You should spend on winter’s night in a tent. Let’s see how you feel.

You Sir, Are a Knob…

I feel I need to paint y’all a picture. If only for the purpose of this blog post.

We live in what might be termed a “gated community”. We have security guards with booms. Not that they’re any good, but it’s a bit of a sense of security.
A few weeks ago, upon arriving home, I noticed a tent on the sidewalk. Now, you need to know there’s a wooden Wendy house type of “guardhouse”, so this puzzled me.
Then a day later I noticed the guardhouse is gone, but didn’t pay the missing guardhouse or tent too much mind.
A few days after that I was working late. That was when I noticed that the guards guarding the boom were expected to overnight in the tent.
A day later we see they’re rebuilding the guardhouse. So we reckon they’re finally getting a brick and mortar guardhouse. Brick and mortar is good for winter, so much better than a wooden Wendy house in my opinion.
A few day after that I get home and notice the boom is gone. Pay it no mind. The Boss tells me that the guards are on strike. This one time, I was not blaming them for striking.
However, the cherry on the cake was when the owner of the security company left a message for all of us residents on the board. This you can see in the picture. Apparently some “arsehole” (his words) reported him to the municipality for not having plans.
No my boy. You were reported for being a heartless bastard. You pay these guys minimum wage, yet expect them to spend an ice cold winter’s night in a TENT?!
No fucking wonder they went on strike. No fucking wonder you got reported. It wasn’t me that reported you, but I wish I did.
You sir, the owner of Firmitas Security, should be ashamed. You should spend on winter’s night in a tent. Let’s see how you feel.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun Sized Opinions

I got the idea for Fun Sized Opinions from someone else. Trust me, I am not that original.

However, being active on both Twitter and Facebook, I sometimes have what can be called a fun sized opinion. It’s quite a bit shorter than 500 words, and a bit more than 140 characters. So, Fun Sized Opinions was born. Enjoy if you wish.

Top TV

I have no idea what Top TV was thinking when they launched their ad campaign, but whoever came up with it should be shot.

There’s one ad with a woman that’s a bad cook. Suddenly after one year of watching Top TV she’s great cook. She can make Potato Dauphinoise, but she can’t bloody pronounce it properly. Fuck it!

She completely murders the pronunciation as “doff-in-wah”, when in fact it is “doe-fin-wah”.


MTV has got to be the biggest load of bollocks on air at the moment. Right after The Breakfast Xpress and Top TV.

They play one good music video and then ten really shitty ones.

Bonus: MTV should change their name to Really Shitty Reality TV. That is all.


It irks me, it does. When I am in a queue for a till at a shop, there are usually people in front of me. This is the norm.

What I find most irksome, is that the person in front of me has someone running the shop flat to get all the stuff on the list. A rule I have, I get the stuff I want and then stand in the queue. I don’t get The Boss to run around like a blue arsed fly collecting things while I reserve a spot near the front.

Get your stuff. Join the queue. Find a cashier. Pay. Job done.

Magnum Mini

We’ve all seen the ads. The Magnum Mini. What’s the point? Either give me a Magnum or don’t.

Don’t tease me. The only way a Magnum Mini is going to satisfy me is if I eat the whole pack. In one go.

The Breakfast Xpress

After Jeremy Mansfield left The Rude Awakening last year, Highveld’s breakfast show hasn’t been the same.

They kept the format the same, put a knob in charge and screwed an entire province.

I just want to know the following: With all the celeb dick they suck, are Darren and Samantha not afraid of STDs?

Really now. Every “schleb” that has the misfortune of being interviewed by them is the greatest ever.

Fuck Off! Some schlebs are not all that great. Especially that massive knob that is Dr 90210.


My dear people, operating an ATM is not fucking rocket science. You ask for money and it gives it.

Do not attempt to pay a bunch of accounts via the ATM during the month end rush. There are people behind you that simply want to get some money from the machine.

If you do not know how to operate the bloody machine, go inside the  bank and fill in a little form. If you are so afraid of technology, or so stupid with the tech, then rather stick with pen and paper.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why I Am Not a South African

I have for many years felt as if I’m not really a part of this country, merely a citizen. Should you look at the entire culture of this country and then look at me, you will see for yourself that I don’t really belong.

The culture of this country of ours revolves largely around braais, outdoor living, sokkie, rugby, 4x4, lather, rinse and repeat.

Now you take me, as a bad example. I am not a particular fan of the braai. Outdoor living is for the birds. Sokkie is something for me to make fun of. Rugby is something that someone else finds interesting. A 4x4 is something that is driven by a massive douche bag.

At some stage of my life I realized that I don’t fit in here, in this country. I am not terribly patriotic and given half a chance I would be living somewhere other than South Africa, or even Africa.

One day, some months ago, I heard some guy talking on the radio. He mentioned something which I found interesting at the time, and I can kick myself for not downloading the podcast at the time it happened.

This chap on the wireless was talking about something called “ancestral memories”. The gist of it is that you can feel something for a culture other than the one you were raised in. You might feel more for your ancestors’ culture than you do for your own.

When I heard that, a red flag went up in the old grey matter. This red flag said to me that maybe I was genetically linked more to another culture than the South African culture I had the misfortune of being raised in.

Had you asked me in the early 80s what I am, I would said that I am an Afrikaner. However, had we progressed through time, myself growing as a person through all of that and you ask me the same question what I am, the answer invariably would be that I am an Englishman.

I can speculate that during my formative years, I was formed by the society I grew up in. I was raised Afrikaans, due to the fact that my half Scot, half German mother married my Afrikaans father. I also grew up in what is now known as the “struggle years”.

Up until standard four I was in an Afrikaans class in a dual medium school. From standard five onwards I was in an English school. I do believe that it was in that school that I came to embrace me inherent English-ness.

I have happened to believe this chap on the wireless about the ancestral memories. However, research funding lacking, I have to make do with whatever the Google Machine gives me.

I know I might be a Scot because of the bagpipes, which I like and the Scotch whisky, which I love. Then there’s the German, which might explain why I like Rammstein so much. I have no idea where the Dutch part comes in because I didn’t enjoy smoking pot.

The point I was trying to make this time, is that despite my upbringing I feel more of a longing for my ancestral roots. In my heart I will always be an Englishman, a Scotsman even. I have never, in my life, felt like a South African.

I may be born of this country, but I’m THE most unpatriotic person you will ever know. Given half a chance, I would live somewhere else. No offence though to the South Africans. This is purely how feel. And this country? I don’t feel it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

When Good Parents Grow Old...

It seems that I have come to that stage in my life that I have to face my parents’ growing old head on.

I have always just expected my parents to always be around. When one is young, you tend to think that your parents are invincible.

Even later in one’s life, you think that your parents will still, for some reason or other, be around forever.

However, now, I have to face that my parents have become grandparents to a few grandkids, and therefore have been growing older.

I don’t know if everyone does this, but I do at times think back on my life. It hasn’t been a very long life, but I do think about my growing up years.

I have, since recently, been thinking a lot about my growing up years. I realize the amount of sacrifices that my parents had to make to give me the life that I had. Fair enough, I never got everything that I ever wanted, but I had everything I needed.

I think, at the end of the day, that was what mattered. I had what I needed. The parents bent over backwards to provide for me what I needed. "Wants" be damned.

At the time, though, I wasn't extremely pleased about it. However, some years later I am not only pleased, but grateful.

That was not the point though. There was a point. Somewhere.

The point is, that after an undisclosed number of years on this planet, I have to face the fact that my parents are getting older. Granted they are both in better condition than most of my friends' grandparents, but time is ticking away.

A very good friend of mine's grandmother turned 70 this week. My Dad turned 71 last month. Looking at the grandmother, she's ready to give up. My Dad is still going strong. Doesn't look a day over 65, in my opinion.

The difference is that one kept busy and the other is waiting to die.

I have in my own way made my peace with the fact that my parents won't be around forever. It's not a feeling I relish. However, it is something I will have to deal with at some stage.

I realize that every mother and father's day, everyone thinks they've got the best parents on this planet. This despite badmouthing their parents every other day of the year.

I know that I have had my moments with my parents over the years. Even now we have a few moments. The difference now is that I know, to a degree, what my parents have gone through.

I know I do not always give my parents the credit they deserve for raising me. I am pretty sure I'm the only hell my mother ever raised, but I digress again.

I wish I was in a position now to provide for my parents as they provided for me whilst growing up. Then I ask myself "Do I really want my parents to grow old in this country?"

Admittedly, growing old is inevitable. Growing old in a shitty third world country is entirely optional. For some it is optional, at least. Fingers crossed and gods willing that my parents will grow old(er) in a first world country.

At the end of all of this, have I made my peace? I don’t think so. Will I be ready when it happens? Not a fucking chance. But…

I will make my peace whenever. But, I would still like to feel that the Parentals are immortal. And by mere association I may be immortal as well. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Simple Rules for Sending Me Messages

In the past few years I have been the victim of some rather shoddily written electronic communications. This is pretty much the same for personal and business e-mails.

Therefore, I took it upon myself to put together this handy print out and keep guide for any person wishing to communicate with me.

Greetings and Salutations
The first thing I see when I open an e-mail is the salutation. Alright, the second thing after the subject line.

Do not, under any circumstances start an e-mail with the greeting “Elo”. The last time I checked ELO was a British band formed in the 1970s. When I read a salutation like “Elo”, I’ve already pre-judged the rest of the message. Regardless of what the contents might be.

Acceptable salutations are “Hello”, “Hi”, or for very close friends: “Hey”.

Take the time to write a proper salutation, and I might even take the rest of the message seriously.

Spelling and Grammar.
Bad spelling has to be the biggest bugbear of my existence. I have in the course of however many years I have been receiving e-mails, read many, many misspelled words. Some of the worst offenders have turned out to be so-called “professionals”. Project managers are some of the worst culprits.

Just recently I have received messages where the person correctly spells “discussed” in one sentence, and in the very next sentence spells it wrong. I need to say however, bad spelling makes me “incomfotable”*.

Nearly as bad as bad spelling is the bad grammar. This goes for certain “professional” project managers and other esteemed colleagues.

This includes using present tense instead of past tense. Misplaced apostrophes is one of the most common crimes. Remember, boys and girls, apostrophe denotes possession.

Sentences and Paragraphs.
If you have trouble with sentence structures and paragraphs, then don’t even bother sending me a message.

I just recently had a message sent to me that was one long paragraph. I received it on my phone, since I was nowhere near my computer at the time. After scowling at it for five minutes, I gave up. I could only read it properly only the next day.

In order for me to make sense of it I had to copy it into Word, and insert paragraph breaks where I saw fit. Not to mention doing a spell check so I don’t throw up in my mouth while reading it.

In conclusion I just want you to know this: If you want me to take any electronic communications from you seriously, then follow these simple rules. In all honesty, they are not even my rules. We were all taught these at school. That is if you went to school somewhere between the eighties and nineties.

Call me anal or fussy, but grammar rules were not meant to be broken. If you break them I will think you are an idiot and mock you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To Breed Or Not To Breed

That is the question.
Since the day we’ve gotten married, people have been asking us when we are planning to breed. Telling people that we want to wait some time before spawning seems to have no effect.
People don’t seem to actually care what it is that we want. It seems to be terribly important for couples to spawn once the wedding ring is on the finger. However, try as I might, I just don’t see the importance.
In all honesty though, I am enjoying my life as it is right now to want to change it for a child. Once you have a child, or many, life changes. It becomes a non-stop merry-go-round of parenty things. Birthday parties, school plays, parents evenings, first days of school and last days of school.
Then with my luck, I’d probably end up with an outdoorsy kind of child. Then it will be camping and fishing trips just to completely fuck me over.
Admittedly my life isn’t all that full. It mostly consists of sitting on the couch and smoking. With the occasional drinking binges thrown in for good measure. But it is my life and I want to enjoy it as I see fit. There is also the occasional, spur of the moment road trips, coffee runs and movie outings which will now all have to be planned with military precision so as to have a baby sitter available.
However, all these people putting that teeniest bit of pressure to produce offspring tend to forget one thing: We have to pay for it. Everybody wants us to breed, but no one particularly wants to share the financial costs of it all. Never mind the time it takes to raise one. None of these people will be there at 2 AM to change a diaper, feed and burp. Nope. That will all come down to the two of us.
Not to mention that children are a bad return on investment. Every month for the next 18 years we’ve got to shell out hundreds and thousands of Rand. Then after paying all of these thousands every month for 18 years, you get zero return.
If I’m going to be expected to deposit into a fund for 18 years, I would prefer to get better than zero return.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Education System is Failing Us

I have believed for some time now that the education system is failing us. Other people have been saying the same thing, but for reasons other than why I think the system is failing us.

After working corporate South Africa for the past six years, I have learnt a few things that school never prepared me for.

So, in order for the Department of Education to step up their game, I have devised this handy list of features we need to see in the future. Things that I believe will turn the youth of today into people that are better prepared to enter the corporate world.

First things first though. Children will no longer be allowed to go to school close to home. The youngens will now be expected to attend school approximately 30 to 65 kilometers from home. They will now have to travel by bus, car or motorcycle to school. Through rush hour traffic. Leaving at sparrow fart, in order to be there at 8 AM.

No longer will school run from 8:00 till 14:00. School will run from 7:30 to 17:00. With enough homework to keep the little buggers busy until midnight or later.

Then you away with first break and second break. You now have tea time and lunch.

In order to have the youngens prepared for what awaits them, during lunch several teachers need to approach them and ask them random questions. That is what happens to us in the real world. You’ve got your McDonald’s take away burger halfway mouthwards when your phone will ring. It is usually some customer, somewhere, asking you a random question. By the time the phone call is finished, your burger’s gone cold and the ice in your Coke has melted.

To make the playing field even more level. While in math class, the geography, history and language teachers need to barge in and ask random questions about the subjects they teach. Same should be true for any subject the student/pupil/learner takes.

At some stage it will be important to throw in a handful of project managers.

Project managers are the bane of any working person’s existence. Especially if the project manager does not have a clue about the project they are managing.

Therefore, in order to prepare the youngens for working with project managers, and customers, I have a plan. It is a cunning plan.

If a student is taking science, present them with a project. This project will be managed by another student. A student that has absolutely no knowledge of science, like for instance, an accounting student. The accounting student will then be in charge of meeting with the teacher to “understand” the requirements of the project. The accounting (AKA project managing) student will then have to communicate these requirements to the science student who will actually be doing the project.

The science student will then have to do their own research. They will not be given any tips. All they will know is what the eventual outcome of the project should be.

Project managing student will then set some unrealistic timelines, and communicate those timelines back to the science teacher without telling the science student.

At all times will the science student be told as little as possible.
Eventually, given the cock up caused by the project managing student not knowing the subject matter, the science project will be late. Science student will get penalized and project managing student will come out smelling of roses.

That is my plan in sort of a nutshell.

Far too many people enter the workplace having no idea how corporations, and the real world, works. Far too many don’t have an idea how frustrating working with a project manager can be. This will teach them.

Go forth and teach.

Monday, February 28, 2011

When Did I Turn Into My Parents

I remember when I was growing up my parents being careful how they spent their cash. Not that there is anything wrong with being thrifty, mind you. These days, and I suppose those days as well, being thrifty with your money was being clever.

As far back as I can remember I wished my parents had more money. Mostly I wished they had more money to pander to my wishes on any given day. It was a selfish notion, but I was quite a bit self-centred in my younger years.

All through those years, I always promised myself that I would never think twice about spending money. I vocalized that promise to myself a few times as well. I made sure my parents knew I would never be as big misers as they were.

Fast forward a few years. What do we see?

I would not say that I am a terribly frugal person. I do not mind to spend money on The Boss. If it pleases The Boss of course. However, The Boss herself is not a terribly demanding person. I am also not a spendthrift.

I have, in recent years, become an incredibly cheap person. Allow me to paint you a picture of my cheapness.

About a year ago I noticed the front tyres of my car wearing down slightly. Any normal person would pull into the local SupaQuick, order 2 tyres and be off. Not me. I first phoned around to find out who stocks the particular (cheap-ish) brand of tyre that is currently on the car. Enquired about the cost per wheel. Made all sorts of encouraging noises on the phone.

On the day I decided to have the wheels done, off I drove to SupaQuick. Told the tyre fitting person that I want one tyre. Put one new one on front. Put spare tyre on the front, and put the best out of the two current wheels on the spare.

Like I said, I am cheap. I am so cheap that I make Jews look generous.

The Boss and I’s visit to Cape Town last year is another prime example of my cheapness. Most people would opt to fly down, rent a car and pay a hotel. Not this one.

We did the math. In doing the math we realized that if we drove down we can save R 6,000. Of course a saving of that much made me very happy. So we opted to drive.

The half of the population that would drive the distance would sleep over somewhere. Not this one. I reckoned that if we don’t sleep over anywhere we save even more money.

So I drove, and drove. We got to Cape Town in one piece, tired as all hell, but I saved money.

Previous years I had no problems spending money. I was however made to feel guilty when I spent my money on myself. I am assuming that my cheapness might stem from there. To this day I feel bad about spending money. Or perhaps it is just genetics.

Whatever it might be, I am not complaining. Stupidity has had me spend large portions of my “disposable income” paying off bills. Hopefully my cheapness will bring that to an end some day soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I spend an inordinate amount of time on certain social networking sites.

In spending so much time on one particular site, I have noticed some strange phenomena. Actually, given that is it now 2011, I have noticed one particular phenomenon a lot earlier than just now. Hell's Bells, I was a part of it in the late 90s and early 2000s.

This strange phenomenon is people losing their identity when they either enter a new relationship, or have a baby.

Admittedly, I have been in relationships where I have lost a part of my identity. Some time after the breakup I would regain that lost bit and become more of myself again.

I was lucky that with the arrival of The Boss in my life, I was able to hold on to what makes me what, and who, I am.

However, some of the people I see on the aforementioned social networks have lost so much of their identities; I don't think they know any more than I do who they are.

There are people, some on my list of friends that share profiles with their marital partners. Some of the unmarried ones will only post status updates pertaining to their new partners. And, for the sweet love of Christ, don't get me started on the new parents.

New parents need to realize one thing and one thing only. We are really not interested in how many times Spawn used the potty or what their first word was. I know for a fact that if it was my spawn their first word will be either "Fuck" or "Cock". Not exactly the words that will warm the cockles of grandma's heart, but I digress.

Not only are we bombarded with everything the child does, says or shits, but the profile picture changes as well. No points for guessing that one. I had to learn to identify my friends by what their spawn looks like.

Then the marrieds, or newly in loves, that just cannot exist without their partners. Their existence is so reliant on their partners that even their bloody Facebook profiles cannot stand alone. Piet en Sannie Poggenpoel is what greets me. Question is, who the fuck am I dealing with on any given day?

I have often thought about that profile sharing business. I thought about it before social networking even existed, when an acquaintance shared an e-mail address with her husband.

I would never in a million years share a Facebook profile, or e-mail address, with The Boss. Firstly because we have different friends, different interests and some of her friends don't like me, and vice versa. Mostly vice versa. Nothing personal mind you, just business.

There was a point to all of this… Yes, identity.

It seems as if more and more people are losing their identity when they're with a partner, or with child. People are spending so much time being identified by who they're dating, feeding or burping, that they have no idea any more who they are.

As much as I am defined by my partnership with The Boss, and whatever job it is that I find myself in, I define myself.

It has taken me a long, long time to find my identity. Not that I ever lost my identity, mind you. It did get a bit murky a few times, but never really disappeared. Looking at others thought, it seems as if very few people know any more who they are. If you remove their significant other, or children, they will turn to dust and blow away with the wind.

Perhaps this is a throwback to the old days. We all remember those. The wife was known as Mrs Piet Poggenpoel. Whether her name be Sannie, Gesiena, or Koos. She became a part of her husband. I just need to think about suggesting that to The Boss, and I'll get a flip flop to the side of the head. The Boss is who she is. I am who I am. Together we stand, but apart we stand as well.

Please, people, find your identities. You don't need your partners, or your children to define who you are.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Disconnection Notice

A few weeks ago, The Boss and I went to Cape Town for a bit of a holiday. Shortly after our arrival I realized that I left my laptop charger at home, 1400 kilometres away.

At first I toyed with the idea of contacting our Cape Town office to borrow a charger. After being offline for two days, I decided to just bugger it and go without the laptop for a few days. I still had my BlackBerry, and that kept me in touch with everyone I needed to be in touch with. It also gave me all the social networking that I could handle on any given day.

Usually I'm the kind of person that gets kind of irritated when I don't have my daily fix of the interwebs, however, that few days it didn't seem to affect me at all. Didn't seem to bother The Boss either, The Boss being a great fan of Facebook games.

It was during that time that I decided that I need to spend more time "unplugged". I have intended to spend less time in front of a computer, and more time doing stuff in our kitchen. Having recently discovered a fascination of things gastronomical.

Then some weeks after I came to that realization, Pixlet wrote a blog about the power of the human touch. Her article, in turn, was inspired by this article on CNN that states "touching makes you healthier".

All of that got me thinking for a bit. I think perhaps I spend way too much time online. Actually, I don't think I do, I know I do.

I know that I need to unplug more often. Switch the phone on silent, turn the laptop off and just do something offline and unconnected.

However, as I stated in a previous post of mine, I'm a bit of an anti-socialite. I'm not really big on the whole social get together business. Most of my interaction with people happen online. Very, very seldom do I do anything with people offline.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is a fault of mine, but more of a character trait. I realize that I need to spend some time offline with people. Very few people can stand the beigeness that is me for periods longer than five to ten minutes and that makes social interaction very difficult. Couple that with the fact that I was born with a malformed small talk gland, and you have the recipe for a disaster.

I suppose that after such a lengthy period of online only interaction, some people might take an invitation from me with a rather large pinch of salty goodness. Added to that is the fact that my living space is not really geared to social gatherings, and myself being very selective about whom I invite into my home. So what is one to do?

I have gotten so used to being unsocial that it is a difficult habit to break. I will, however, attempt to break that habit. I might even extend a few more invitations to some of the people from my social networking circle to get together in real life. All I can say at this stage is that this is a bit of a disconnection notice. I may not be online as much as I used to, or it might be a more gradual shift towards a life offline.