Good Friday Shopping

This morning, I felt that my knee was doing well enough for me to try some DIY. Like, all the tasks that had been put off because my knee wasn’t well enough. So I packed the kids into the car and headed for Builder’s Warehouse: our local DIY behemoth.

Of course, today is a public holiday, and they’re open from 0900-1700 on public holidays. It says so on their website and on the big sign next to their… very closed doors.

They’re not open. At all. Not even a little bit.

So you can’t buy bricks, but you can pop across the road to Toys R Us: a store which is in dire financial straits and closing stores worldwide, but which is ironically open in Tokai right now.

Many malls and shopping centres are operating an “Optional Trading” policy today, and as it’s a religious holiday, I guess it’s reasonable to assume that on this most holy of Christian days, it’s God who decides which stores get to open and which aren’t allowed to.

We went to Constantia Village to investigate and found that She’d made some interesting choices as to what was open and what was closed:

You can buy crystals (Spilhaus) but not trendy casserole dishes (Le Creuset).
Amazingly, you can buy gin (PnP Liquor), but not jewellery (Peter Gilder).
You can buy childrens clothes (Earthchild), but not adult clothes (Revenge).
You can buy water filter cartridges (H2O International), but you can’t pick up concert tickets (Computicket).
You can’t get your haircut at all (Edge, Partners).
Unless you are a lady (Carlton).
But your nails are going to have to wait (ManiPedi).
Absolutely no sunglasses (The Village Eyewear).
But coffee gets the nod (Seattle Coffee Company).
Not leather goods though, for they are the Devil’s work (Tsonga).
Oh, and you can’t buy perfume (My Perfume Shop), but also, you can (Red Square by Edgars).

The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways…

Persistence

“Never give up!”

So goes the oft-quoted, dangerously positive and hugely misplaced piece of advice. It’s nonsense, of course. Giving up is always an option – often a very sensible one. And yet we’re taught from an early age – and bombarded by  examples like Wiley Coyote and Tom the cat – that it’s tantamount to failure.

No. There are many times when giving up is a perfectly acceptable choice to make.

I wish Lily would understand that. They’ve been back in touch again (using yet another different email address to avoid my filters), this time offering me essentially free* shares in their company if I buy a Lily drone, under the tempting subject heading:

got Lily Drone yet?

No. No, I haven’t. And the “yet” is wholly redundant.

Looks cute, sure but it’s rather expensive and it’s not actually very good in comparison to the drone I do have.

You have been one of the original supporters of Lily. As part of your support, we believe you should own a piece of the company that is bringing the vision of Lily into the future. We have successfully launched the Lily Next-Gen™, and we’re planning many more exciting products. That’s why we are providing you with this unique offer.

I have been, yes. But then, over a year ago I realised my error and moved on. Just like you should now.

There’s no shame in giving up on this lost cause, Lily. I promise.

 

* terms and conditions apply, obvs

Not great

I think it’s fair to say that I haven’t had a great day at work today.

Yes, it’s good to be back.
Yes, I got lots done (which is good because there’s lots to do).

But the combined forces of evil that are our ISP and the Western Cape Government – together with a couple of suppliers and some laughable goon on email – made it a day to forget, rather than any sort of celebration at my new-found mobility and return to the laboratory.

I felt that I just needed to share this before I return to suffering the slings and arrows, and taking arms against the sea of troubles which today hath foist upon me.

Thanks for listening.

There may be a further post this evening. There may not.
There will be a post tomorrow.

The compliments keep on coming…

Incoming comment from “kevin”. It actually incame a few weeks ago, but I’ve been otherwise engaged.

It’s on this post from last October, in which I detailed the latest work on the iconic sculpture at the Southernmost Point of Africa. The sculpture is now finished, by the way, and it looks great.

Indeed, with lines like:

A few teaser progress images were released this week, and I think it looks fantastic.

and:

It’s very bold, very strong, very… Iconic.
A really cool and important addition to the area.

I thought that I’d been pretty positive about a piece of industrial-scale artwork that was still a couple of months away from being completed.

Not according to “kevin” though, who hit back just four months later with this stinging retort to my thoughts:

Insulting article for such an amazing icon of space and geography.

Before going all ad hominem and telling the world everything about me:

The author is obviously an under educated liberal art fart who knows nothing of geography, space, time, or history.

Broad strokes there, kev. That’s assuming quite a gap in my general knowledge from a few complimentary words about a building site, mate.

Let’s break it all down, shall we?

Do I consider myself “under educated”? Well, I’m of the opinion that one can (and should) always improve one’s knowledge, wherever possible. But I’ve learned a lot in my time – both formally and informally. I’ve got plenty of qualifications from various educational establishments, and I also know not to pee into the wind. And I think that’s both sectors pretty much covered. I therefore refute his poorly hyphenated claim.

Am I liberal? Well, I actually wasn’t sure and so I did a quiz online: it turns out that I am “53% liberal”. Which apparently makes me pretty balanced in my political outlook and therefore very capable of annoying everyone, but not really “a liberal” in the same way that I’m not really “a conservative”, either.

Like the English cricket team often finds itself, kevin is 0/3 at the moment, so might he redeem himself with his next assertion? Could I be I an “art fart”?
I had to go to Urban Dictionary dot com to find out what kevin meant by this one:

Absolutely none of this very specific definition accurately describes me. I have no idea what he was thinking.

And as for my knowing “nothing of geography, space, time, or history”, I mean, where do I even begin? How can you not have knowledge of time? Does kevin mean I’m often late for things? I’m not. I’m very punctual. But anyway, how would he know? Or is he perhaps suggesting that I don’t know how long a minute is? It’s 60 seconds, kevin. It’s not rocket surgery, dude.
I don’t fully understand what it is that he’s trying to say here.
Also, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

Next up, I’m actually quite into my geography. I know it’s only really bordering on science, but I like to know about the world around me. My dad was/is a geographer, and so I think I’ve picked up a lot of his knowledge over the years (yes, I know what a year is, thank you). Also, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

History. Right, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture, but fair enough: I’m not a huge fan of history. You’ve got me banged to rights and no mistake, guv. Although, of course,  not being a fan is rather different from having knowledge about it. I mean, I can tell you when the Magna Carta was signed and by whom, and I know the date of the Battle of Blood River. Does one need to have a good working knowledge of history to look at a building site and try to gauge whether what is being built will be “a good thing” once it’s completed? I don’t think it helps much, no,

Space. I love space. It’s actually one of the reasons that I love going to to Cape Agulhas. Cape Town is so very crowded. It’s nice to have more three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction around you. But I’m really not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture, because it’s sometime nice to share a piece of artwork with other people.

Or maybe he means specifically the stars and planets and astronomy and that? In which case I really have no idea what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

Mmm. Bit harsh. Bit nasty. Wholly incorrect.

For someone who said my use of the word “Iconic” was “insulting”, pretty ironic capitalisation of “ICON” there, kev,

I think what I’m taking away from this comment is that kevin is a bit of an arse I need to be clearer in my appreciation when documenting things on the blog. More unrestrained, more gushing, more obvious; because clearly using adjectives like “bold”, “strong”, “iconic”, “fantastic” and “important” just aren’t making my feelings transparent enough when it comes to artwork that is ±9 weeks away from being finished.

Of course, maybe it’s not just clarity around my positivity that’s lacking, and I’d like to address that immediately by telling kevin right here, right now, that I think his comment was utter crap and a complete waste of time, effort, electricity and pixels. It was attempted punditry at its absolute worst: a seemingly deliberate misreading of my documented thoughts followed a tacky attempt at a personal insult, thinly veiled in presumptive bullshit, pretentiousness and unnecessary idolisation of a hundred square metres of concrete.
He should be ashamed to put his name and email address (available upon demand) to those 107 words.

I like this sculpture a lot. Really, I do. As I wrote back on October 8th 2017, I even thought the building site looked great.

kevin though? kevin can voetsek.

Cocktail

Today might be the birthday of former Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. I say “might be”, because while most sources tell us that he was born today in 1890, there does seem to be some disagreement, with several others insisting that he came into the world on February 26th that year.

Vyacheslav popped his clogs on the 8th of November 1986 so we can’t ask him. And, by most accounts, that was no great loss to the world, given that he didn’t appear to be a very nice man. Although he had many roles throughout his political career, he will be best remembered (politically, at least) for his negotiating and signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (aka the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) with Nazi Germany in August 1939, which was one of the major precursors to the outbreak of World War II.

Soon after the war started, Soviet Russia invaded Finland. During their occupation, they dropped bombs and incendiaries on Helsinki. When challenged, Molotov is credited with countering that this was incorrect, and that the Russians were merely dropping food and drink to their comrades. This was fake news misinformation on the scale of Saddam’s “Comical Ali” or anyone in the Zuma government might give us.

Molotov’s equation of incendiary bombs with drink quickly resulted in the coinage of the black-humorous term ”Molotov breadbasket” to describe a multiple incendiary bomb, and then ”Molotov cocktail” to describe an incendiary bomb based on gasoline. The Finns used these weapons effectively against Soviet tanks then invading their country.

Since then, the easy-to-make firebombs have been used in protests and conflicts all over the world.

And to make astounding slo-mo videos