Plunge (x2)

So, I took the plunge and I bought myself an Adobe Lightroom subscription. I’ve actually been using their free trial version to sort out the Shamwari photos, and I think it’s been going ok (and I’ve actually had some nice comments), so it seems to be worth it.

I took advice from (amongst others) this guy, who clearly knows what he is doing in the ‘togging game, and whose input is therefore to be acted upon.
UPDATE: Apparently that Flickr link will only work if you have a Flickr account.

Earlier, he dropped this little number*:

… which he took from his living room!

Yeah. Not many places you can do that from, so either he lives near the sea (he does) or he lives in Shropshire (the UK equivalent of the Free State) and just has some really good lenses.

Anyway, you might be wondering why I’m rambling on this way, even more annoyingly and pointlessly than usual, and it’s because when you buy Lightroom, you need to re-download it. No upgrading or simple activating of the free trial version here.

And have you seen how fast SA internet isn’t?

There’s time to fill before I can play with my new purchase…

 

* which is the second plunge, see? 

Cape Town Water Restrictions to be extended?

I’m not going to go into the whole “there’s a drought” thing, because I have done that already. Several times. If you’re down here in this corner of SA, you’ll know that we’re already on Level 3b Water Restrictions. But with winter now just around the corner and still no sign of any meaningful rain (those prayers are really helping us out, hey?), the City looks likely to move to Level 4 restrictions real soon now.

Level 4 means no using potable water outside at all. For anything. At all. Ever.
And any water you do use (indoors) will cost more too.

But this got me thinking. Level 1, 2, 3a and 3b restrictions have had only a very limited effect on the dam levels, so what if Level 4 fails too? Just how high can we go?

I went down to the basement of the monolithic Municipal Building in Cape Town CBD and did some rudimentary research.
Here is some of what I discovered…

Level 5 water restrictions allow for water shedding. That is, times of the day – perhaps 2 or 3 hour periods – when the water supply to different areas of the city will be cut. You know the drill, because we’ve done this before with electricity.

Level 6 water restrictions mean that there will be very limited times when water is readily available to residential customers. If you want water, you will likely have to go to a local standpipe or bowser to get it.

And from there… well… it gets really severe. Here are a few examples:

Level 7 means you won’t be allowed to use your borehole anymore.

Level 9 allows for teams of city workers using giant vacuum cleaners to suck the morning dew from parks and lawns.

If we get as far as Level 11, it will be mandatory to surrender the contents of your swimming pool to the Sheriff of the Court. Including any toys therein. And your Kreepy Krauly.

When we get to Level 12, each household will have to donate 5 litres of their weekly allowance to mayor Patricia de Lille so that she can keep the fountain in her back garden going.

Part of the Level 14 restrictions require anyone participating in a local Parkrun to wear a plastic overall so that their perspiration can be collected in a big barrel at the finish line, from which fresh water will then be extracted.

The Level 17 restrictions involve at least one member of each residential household being press-ganged into joining a massive convoy from Cape Town to Johannesburg and stealing the Hartebeespoort Dam (in many, many small amounts).

Level 19 will make it illegal to cry without collecting your tears in a tupperware container (the container used for this purpose must be pre-registered with the city using Form L19-6b, available from the Water & Sanitation Department offices) for recycling.

Level 23 means that the City can legally harvest and press Fynbos from the local Table Mountain National Park and collect the juices, from which water will be extracted. The pulp will then be donated to the hippie communities in Noordhoek and Kommetjie where it is routinely used instead of soap. And deodorant. And paint. And food.

At Level 26, residents will only be allowed to drink grey water.

At Level 27, residents will only be allowed to drink black water.

At Level 28, residents will only be allowed to inhale fog.

At Level 29, residents will only be allowed to drink sand.

 

Level 30 makes it illegal to live in Cape Town.

Of course, all this unpleasantness could easily be avoided in Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille would only take on board (or even acknowledge) my brilliant plan to solve the water crisis for the next 25,000 years. Just like the UAE have.

Homeward

In which I find myself on a teeny-tiny plane heading back to Cape Town. This is no A380.
It’s actually an Express Jet CRJ200.

And that’s twice as good as a CRJ100. So it’s not all bad news.

Tomorrow’s post will bring photos. As will the following thirty-seven posts, because I took loads and loads.

Right. Now let’s see if this thing can actually fly…

Jet waves

More from Facebook, and from my favourite group thereon, previously mentioned here.

Here’s an image shared to the group by one of its members.

Given the geographical position of the island in question, together with the profile of the aircraft, it’s most likely to be a 777 going from somewhere in Western Europe to somewhere in the USA.

But this is just a post from a guy who has spotted the plane going overhead, pointed his camera heavenward and pressed a button. It doesn’t matter where the plane is going from or heading to. We don’t need to know: the strength of this image is its sheer simplicity

But then, there’s always one, isn’t there? Because in the comments below, this:

I must admit that I hadn’t even considered this aspect of the situation.

The picture was ok. Look, I wasn’t hugely impressed with it, but it was ok. Just nice. And, being me, I had thought a bit about the type of plane and its likely journey. But as I mentioned above, that’s not what matters. And I was inadvertently right.

Because what actually really matters are the jet waves polluting our sky. Yeh?

Air travel isn’t the cleanest form of transport. It’s getting there, with the all new A350-10 series belching a whole 25% less carbon dioxide than its predecessor and such, but putting couple of hundred tonnes of aluminium and suitcases 10kms up into the sky and then moving it several thousand kilometres is always going to be a fuel intensive process. I knew that. But I hadn’t thought about the jet waves, polluting our sky. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone in this. Because no-one ever thinks about the jet waves, do they?

And yet, there they go. Those jet waves. Polluting our sky.

On voting

When the UK PM called a general election recently, I spotted this line on Facebook:

Please god let the “great” British public stay in bed and let the rest of us make a sensible decision.

…which, you know, is a bit demeaning to a lot of people who might not happen to share the same point of view as you do.

The individual in question voted Labour in the last election (they lost) and voted to remain in the EU in the recent referendum (that side also lost). Since then, that person’s timeline has been a cascade of anti-Conservative (they won) and anti-Brexit (also a winner) stories and articles.

And that’s fine. Each to their own.

Really, my only problem comes when “Remainers” protest about the steps that the Government have taken towards the UK leaving the EU. Yes, the referendum was a close run thing, and there are probably lessons that we could learn from that when running future referendums, but it still finished 52-48. That means that a majority of people voted to leave the EU, and thus, the Government should be taking steps to do so. That’s what referendums are for. That’s how they work.

Look, I’m sorry for you that there weren’t enough people sharing your point of view to swing the vote in the way that you wanted. Democracy can be a real bummer when more people vote the other way.

But then imagine, if you will, that the Remain vote had won 52-48 (or whatever). If more people had voted to keep the UK in the EU. Imagine then that the UK Government had ignored that majority and gone ahead with Brexit anyway.

Pandemonium! And rightly so!

Having asked the question and got the answer, how could the powers that be drive their fat political steam roller over the wishes of the British people?

And yet that’s exactly what you’re demanding must happen, simply because the result didn’t go your way. Simply because “the ‘great’ British public” chose to wake up that day and spoke their mind.

No. It’s entirely reasonable that the Government do what the majority of the public demand. Whether you like the decision or the Government or not.

But I find this idea that your side holds some sort of intellectual or moral high ground over the other simply because the viewpoints don’t agree is rather pompous and actually counterproductive. Some people argue that it’s one factor as to why Trump won the US election.

But to be honest, for me, it’s less about the collective effect of these sorts of protest (which has been negligible anyway) and more about me finding out a bit more about people I know on Facebook. And that’s no bad thing either.