Muse in Cape Town

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now.

Are you going to see Muse in Cape Town on 24th March?
You’re not?
Oh, it must be me then.

So goes a variation on a very old Dale Collins joke. And no, it wasn’t really very funny when he did it either.

I can’t recall being more excited about a concert since Glastonbury 2003. And I might not even have been this excited then. I am literally quivering with mounting anticipation. TTypingg iss a problemm.
I think that Muse* are probably the last big band in my “want to see them, but haven’t yet” category. Well, them and the Arctic Monkeys, but Arctic Monkeyism only really took off long after I left the UK. I’ve been wanting to see Muse for ~10 years now, but we (Muse and I) never got together. In leaving the UK, I thought I’d probably blown any chance of ever seeing them (or anyone even half decent).

In truth, Muse aren’t even topping the bill at the My Coke Fest concert.
In truth, there’s a whole lot of detritus to sit through before they come on, but I guess that I can tick a few more bands off the list (and I am looking forward to seeing Kaiser Chiefs).
In truth, although you are probably envisioning a backdrop of Table Mountain with Matt Bellamy giving it some welly up front on Hysteria, it’s more likely to be power cuts and the slightly less romantic backdrop of Rondebosch East, (which will also have a power cut).  
And in truth, although “Muse in Cape Town” sounds like the title of one of those ads for outlandishly expensive concert trips in the back of Melody Maker or Q magazine, it’s actually more a case of “Muse just at the end of our road”.
But that doesn’t sound nearly as cool.

So if you’ll forgive me – I’m going to milk this one for all its worth.
Right back at you, Ms Perry. *wink*

* Some great live downloads available here.

What we learnt in November

Here is what we’ve known since 27th November 2007, but couldn’t tell you until today:

Yep. That's a positive.

Right. Well, I think that’s pretty self-explanatory…

 

Jacob Maroga saved my hearing

Coming hot on the heels of my (as yet unpublished) Jacob Zuma Ate My Hamster post comes some unexpected praise for those masters of the dark arts – Jacob Maroga and Eskom.
For those who aren’t in the SA loop, Jacob Maroga is the CEO of Eskom and Eskom is the company which provides South Africa with electricity.

Sometimes, anyway.

We simply don’t have enough power to go around. I told you about this last week. Then they went and stranded the cable car on Table Mountain – a story which the BBC chose to illustrate with a picture of City Hall taken in 1968.  
Anyway, although I’m pretty sure that the CEOs of major SA industry don’t read this site*, it seems that this week, they have taken my advice and are getting down to the business of dealing with the power outages, rather than moaning about them. Good for you guys.

Anyway, back to my praise of Jacob and Eskom. Why? Because load-shedding has its benefits too.
Obviously, these don’t include the my safety cabinets losing power and MDR-TB starting to drift throughout the lab. That’s not particularly beneficial to anyone, although the shrieks of glee of the recently-freed airborne bacteria was heart-warming to hear.

No. I refer to a particularly ironic and comedic incident as I headed down to the Waterfront for lunch today. Crossing Dock Road, I could hear the sounds of the minstrel jazz band playing along to some cheesy backing track for a crowd of tourists.
Picture the scene. It’s a wonderful atmosphere – the sun is shining, there’s a light breeze and a happy vibe. A backing track plays through a tinny amp while the band – none of them a day under 70, I swear – sit under the trees in the dappled shade; one on bongos, one on a Hammond organ (or similar), one on oil-can guitar and another who occasionally shakes a tambourine, blows a trumpet or sings.

Improvisation is the name of their jazz game. The cerebral musicality of jazz mixed with the visceral groove of funk. 
And their repertoire…? Extensive.
Stretching today to a bloody awful instrumental version of the 1987 Starship hit Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

Except that then, Maroga and his Eskom boys stepped in, load-shod – and promptly stopped them.

The irony was lost on the tourists, many of whom were only continuing to endure the overly cheesy soft rock hit while trying to work out if the keyboard player was in fact dead or just asleep.
The guitarist spat on the floor, shook his head in disgust and took out a cigarette. For the next two hours, the Waterfront would be listening to the Sounds of Silence…

* They will when I publish details of the ANC President and his rodent-munching antics – senior management loves JZ gossip.

It’s all got a bit silly

I’ve chosen to hide the BA038 post so that people can calm down just a little. It was all getting a bit silly. Especially from 86.130.225.6 – the queue to use that PC to send grammatically poor emails and make inadvertently amusing comments must have been hectic. That’s true dedication from those 1 people, right there.

Sure, it was great for traffic, but actually I would prefer fewer, but higher quality readers. Having half of South Oxfordshire on my back because they disagreed with my opinion was fun, but I soon tired of trying to translate the comments into English so that I could respond.
Contrary to what is apparently popular belief, 6000 miles is not an open forum for petty insults and misspelled threats.

So – can we get back to life as normal, please?
(That’s power cuts, sunshine, crazy politics, beer – and an unhealthy dose of TB…)

Have a special day.

Constant whining sound from crashed plane

Some people just shouldn’t open their mouths. One doesn’t have to look any further than the excellent (and blogrolled) spEak You’re bRanes to learn that. That site alone shows the dangers inherent in allowing people a soapbox and an audience.

And now there’s example number two: Mark Tamburro.

Mark is from Oxford.
Immediately, that puts him into one of three categories: 

  1. Stuck-up, pompous arse.
  2. Ill-educated druggie.
  3. Cool, good-looking bloke who just works there and will be moving to South Africa soon.

Mark was on the BA038 flight whose engines apparently failed on final approach to Heathrow last week. 
Immediately, that puts him in one further category:

  1. Bloody lucky to be alive.


Great bit of parking

But now Mark is on the BBC website (and many others) moaning about how crap the staff at the airport were, landing himself (if not his plane) quite neatly into the pompous arse group and  reminding us of his disappointing inclusion in the bloody lucky to be alive category.

Mr Tamburro said he and his two travelling companions had to leave their hand luggage in their overhead lockers on the aeroplane and so had no money or personal belongings on them

He said the BA staff who were looking after the passengers rationed water, the only drink which was initially offered to them in the departure area, and did not offer any food.

His story doesn’t quite tally with this post from one of BA’s ground staff at Heathrow though, which makes very interesting reading. And it’s also interesting to note that he seems to be the only one of the 136 passengers that’s whining about their treatment.

A quick google of Mark shows us that he is a little overweight, owns a bit of a racehorse called Cossack Dancer and has a beard. It also tells us that he writes letters to the council  moaning about them setting taxi fares so high in South Oxfordshire. Except that, as any fule kno, the council doesn’t actually set the taxi fares in South Oxfordshire. Oops.

Is this painting a picture for you, too?
People like Mark annoy me. He’s just been fortunate enough to survive a plane crash in which even the pilot thought “everyone on board was going to die” and all he can do is whinge.
I think that Mark might just be setting himself up for a little bit of extra cash from his compensation claim.

Incidentally, since Mark works for Nokia, he may be the perfect person to explain to investigators, BA and Boeing as to why the plane’s computer system didn’t respond, as he’s obviously an expert on crap, bug-ridden software. 

Update: Tues 22nd Jan.

Just read a ~2000 word piece on the BA038 incident in today’s Cape Times, which they shamelessly stole borrowed from The Independent in the UK. 16 passengers interviewed (not including dear Mark) and not one complaint. And that despite being thrust with a microphone. The evidence just keeps adding up…  

Update: Thurs 24th Jan.

Ooh look! It’s back (by popular demand).
Please THINK before you comment. I’m in a particularly “deletey” mood today.