Tipping point

Incoming from Uber Eats, who we occasionally use to order ribs, pizzas, burgers and several other unhealthy – but nearly always enjoyable – items. Great news – you can now tip your driver. Officially.

There will be some of you who have already worked out that you slip your Butlers or Oishi delivery guy a few extra Rands for his trouble, so why not your Uber Eats guy too?

The thing is, the joy of Uber Eats is that it’s a cashless system, so it’s not always possible to find a R20 note without a bit of forethought. And although Butlers and Oishi also offer a cashless option in the form of Snapscan, there’s the option to add your tip there and then.

OK – we’ll continue with this in just a second, but already, I can see that there will be some people who will take issue with that photo. Stereotypes in the race of the driver, the race of the customer, and the fact that she seems to be working for Starfleet.
The fact is that every Uber Eats driver we have ever had has been black (and male* – hence my ubiquitous use of ‘he/his’ in this post), every time we have used Uber Eats, I have been white, and conveniently, it turns out that the beagle is a huge fan of Star Trek, so there you go.

And now back to the post…

Interestingly, when we do offer our Uber Eats driver a cash tip they are always surprised and delighted. This suggests to me that this is a rather unusual practice. It shouldn’t be that way though, surely?

Well, now it doesn’t have to be:

That seems pretty straightforward, now doesn’t it?

I’m not sure exactly how the Uber Eats pricing model works and how much of your order price goes to the driver, but I’d wager that 1) it’s not very much and 2) if you’re using the system as a customer, then you’re probably able to share a bit of the wealth with the guy who just saved you going out to the local takeaway joint in the no rain.

Do it.

 

* did I just assume his gend… Yes. Yes I did. Get over it. 

Gone yachting

I like writing about yachting. There are hundreds of opportunities to slip yachting puns into your post, but it’s ok: yaw knot going to ketch me reaching for any of them. (Although I might pop one in schooner or later, so don’t go aweigh.)

But I digress. Often.

The Boy Wonder had a great weekend, which included a sunset cruise for a birthday party. The boat he was on was fairly impressive (friends, all you can eat sushi, on-board DJ), but the boat he saw while he was out there was on a whole other (sea) level.

Meet CLOUDBREAK, freshly into Cape Town from Tristan de Cunha.

72 point 5 metres of luxury yacht, with 22 staff for the 12 guests, who are housed in 1 master suite, 3 double and 2 twin cabins. Swimming pool, helicopter landing pad (because… well, obviously you need to park it somewhere), jacuzzi, and a tender garage for all your James Bond moment requirements. Jet skis, kayaks, flyboard, windsurfers. In case you get bored of the on-board cinema. Wow.

What’s more, by utilising YachtEye technology, charterers are able to trace the course of their passage in real-time on a collection of iPads found throughout the yacht. As impressive in its subtleties as its more obvious design features, CLOUDBREAK is finished with heated flooring in the ensuite facilities and totally automated doors.

And it can all be yours from just €750,000 (R10.7m) a week.

“Plus expenses.”

I’ve checked my bank account, and it being in that deliciously misleading bit twixt pay day and debit orders, I reckon I can afford almost 3 minutes and I’m off down to the Waterfront to cash it in right now.

If you’re reading this in Cape Town today (as in the day that I wrote it: 26th Feb 2018), CLOUDBREAK is still moored outside Mugg and Bean at the Waterfront if you want to go and have a look.

No touchies though, ok? Much like the rest of us, you simply can’t afford the cleaning bills.

Tomtop

Let’s run through a quick backstory here.

New school year, new extra murals for the kids. But there’s bad news: the boy’s cooking class (which he loves) has been cancelled because there isn’t enough interest. Sad.
Instead though, because every cloud has a silver lining, he’s joined the Photography Club at school.  Chip off the old blog and all that…

An old camera is a helpful thing to have for this sort of thing and he’s extremely lucky in that I have kept my old Panasonic and my old Sony. Given the choice, it seems sensible to use the Sony, which is still a really good, solid bridge camera. The only issue being that I can’t find the charger (it does have a microUSB to charge through though, so still usable) and the one battery doesn’t hold charge as well as it did. Still, it’s more than fine for an eleven year old starting out at school Photography Club.

I wondered how much it would cost to get a new battery. Turns out that it’s fairly pricey everywhere, but there’s this Chinese online place called Tomtop which has a typically eclectic selection of goods at all too reasonable prices. I’d never heard of Tomtop, but two appropriate batteries and a charger were available for the princely sum of R150.33 including tracked shipping. Still too good to be true? Well, no issue if so because payment was via PayPal, meaning that I’m covered should this turn out to be a complete scam. Back of the net!

I’ll keep you informed as to any progress.

Inevitably though, there had to be a downside. Life, ne?
That downside is that the google ads on every webpage I visit are now Tomtop ads.

All of them feature the actual product that I purchased, which doesn’t really make sense to me, but to be honest, that all pales into complete and utter insignificance when you look at what else it’s suggesting that I should buy.

I don’t have the cleavage to carry off that bottom outfit.
I do have the legs for the LBD above it though.

But… but… the man praying in the big black genitalia suit?
Why on earth would I be interested in that sort of thing?

I’m an atheist.

Photos

I’m not quite sure what’s going on this year, but I’ve already had requests to use my photos from National Geographic Kids, several from Adobe Stock, and now one from a heritage magazine in the UK. Not of these pay well (indeed, some of them don’t pay at all), but money isn’t everything, right?

Of course, if I were even close to being any sort of professional photographer, money would be everything, and I might feel rather differently.

But since I’m (far from) being anywhere near professional, I’m just chuffed to get a bit of recognition.

Homeopaths concerned about Day Zero

As the spectre of Day Zero continues to ever more occupy the Cape Town psyche, one particular group of complete and utter charlatans is feigning panic more loudly than many others.

Local homeopaths, whose sham of an industry relies almost entirely on selling people small, expensive bottles of water, are voicing their concerns that they may not be able to offer their completely ineffectual services once the taps run dry.

Ron Liar, spokesperson for local quack body, the Society of Homeopaths In Town (SHIT) this morning issued a statement in which he expressed anxiety over the immediate future of their members as Day Zero approaches:

As a group representing registered Homeopaths in Cape Town, we are dismayed at the thought of the city running out of water. Water is the lifeblood of mankind, but is especially important in our field of expertise. Indeed, without water, homeopathy is unable to function, since all our products are, in fact, just small, expensive bottles of water.
If we are forced to reduce our water usage, our preparations will increase in concentration to the point where molecules of the so-called active ingredient may even be found in them. Not only would this cause them to work less effectively (as per the pseudoscientific laws to which we ascribe), it might actually make them genuinely toxic. We use some really horrible stuff in there, you know? That’s one of the reasons we quietly dilute the living hell out of them before we had them over to the victim client.
It might actually kill them if we didn’t.
We need that water.

But the idiots who actually pay these fraudsters for their snake oil seemed unperturbed. We interrupted Obs resident Moonbell Dinglebat during her Nepalese Meditation session and she told us that had her own method of getting around the issue:

If there is a water shortage at my homeopathist, I’ll simply take more of whatever he prescribes for me: using two five millilitre vials instead of one ten millilitre vial will not only reduce the dosage I receive, thus increasing the effect of the preparation, it will also save water and help to protect Mother Earth.

At this point, we had to terminate the interview, because quite frankly, our heads were about to explode, and the thin mask of professionalism behind which at least some our work takes place was becoming dangerously close to slipping.

The challenges that Cape Town faces as we become the first major city to run out of water (yeah, I’ve seen the thing on Sao Paulo, don’t @ me) are numerous and terrifying.
Thus, if there are any positives that can be taken from the situation, we should do so with great glee, and the imminent death of the fraudulent homeopathic businesses across the Mother City is surely the one that I’m looking forward to the most.