As this post publishes itself (via the magic of WordPress), I will – if all is going according to plan – be lying on a bed in an operating theatre in a hospital deep in the Southern Suburbs (no, not that one – I want a decent chance of survival) with a highly accomplished and highly expensive surgeon delving inside me like they do on Grey’s Anatomy.
I’m not particularly looking forward to this. My last “proper” op was when I was 7.
The aim of this one from my point of view is twofold: it will hopefully sort out the medical issues I have had recently and it will give me a chance to flirt with the nurses on the recovery ward.
In addition, I’ll be handily placed for the local A&E department when my wife reads this.

Pre-posting this is a bit of a risk: previous pre-posts about big events backfired spectacularly. I can only hope that that incident was a one-off. I can’t afford similar disasters with today’s operation.
Although the thought has occurred to me that it would be unlikely to be cancelled because of heavy snowfall.

Anyway, I digress. Often. And this time it’s probably because of pre-op nerves. See, much like when one reads a newspaper story about an event that one witnessed and one  realises just how inaccurate the papers are, so it is with being a patient in a hospital when one has, for much of one’s life, worked in and around the medical profession. That smooth veneer of cleanliness, knowledge, professionalism and caring that you see as an outsider actually often covers a multitude of sins. I would prefer to be ignorant of these things for the next few days.
Indeed, the run up to this op has been plagued by poor service, misdiagnoses and ineptitude at virtually every step. It doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Still, it should all be plain sailing as long as the bloke with the knife has had his morning coffee (maybe the pre-op nil-by-mouth thing goes for surgeons as well).

All being well (but most especially me) I should be back blogging “soon”.
Maybe  even sooner than that if I manage a couple more pre-posts before Thursday today.
You’ll never know the difference.

Old pics of Cape Town

Look what  found on flickr: the Bygone Cape Town Set by user Etiennedup, who says:

A while ago I looked for some sixties and seventies photos of Cape Town on the Net. To my amazement I could not readily find any.
Having spent some of my most memorable times in the Mother city, I undertook to do something about it, and what you see here is part of an ongoing project to share some of the images of bygone Cape Town. I start off with eleven photos of of Cape Town that must count amongst the earliest known colour images taken of the city. Also included are early post cards and b/w photos. Shall be adding more……..

He may have started with 11, but he’s now amassed 814, with almost 94,000 views at the time of writing. Wow.

There’s plenty of interesting stuff in there and it’s great for a good browse if you have a spare half hour (or more) (or less).
My particular favourite is this one of the S.A. Seafarer not faring ever so well in the S.A. Sea back in 1966.

My mother-in-law – who was living in Mouille Point at that time – was part of the crowd that watched the vessel being smashed onto the rocks. Or so she says anyway: I don’t see her there.

You might like to compare and contrast this image with the one here to see how things have changed over the past 45 years. Use the Green Point lighthouse as a reference point – it’s the red and white diagonally-striped building.
(Or, if you’re looking at the photo above, the grey and white diagonally-striped building.)

In both cases, it has a big, bright, rotating light on the top of it.

Not that that did the S.A. Seafarer much good.

Computicket app now available for Android users

No huge fanfares here, this app does exactly what you would expect it to do. And that’s cool because the computicket website is a pain to use on a handheld device.
With this, you can browse listings and events and check seating plans before buying your tickets via their secure server. All very nice, very smooth, very user friendly.

Will it crash on the mornings when tickets for big events like Coldplay and U2 are released?


Available free on the Android Market now, or just scan here:

Rabbit Riots

With the UK riots just a distant memory now and the majority of the perpetrators safely behind bars already, I was shocked to find a family who appear to have got away almost scot-free; this despite documented evidence that they were part of the problems faced by Britain at that time.
Rest assured that I have already passed on all I know to the relevant authorities. However, I thought that I should also share this damning evidence with my readers – and indeed name and shame those individuals responsible, the majority of whom appear to go by their gang names: Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter.

You can’t blame the kids: they live in an absolute hole. There’s no father figure in their lives – he was killed while carrying out a robbery – and their mother seems uncaring. Indeed, as far as I can see, they are pretty much left to their own devices for the whole day as she heads out shopping, merely telling them:

Now run along and don’t get into mischief.

Immediately, ignoring her advice, 3 of the children head out looting:

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries.

Presumably “the lane” is White Hart Lane in Tottenham and the blackberries come from the local O2 shop.

But this story centres mainly around the eldest sibling, Peter. While the others are illegally garnering crappy cellphones, he engages in trespass and theft in the garden of a local elderly resident.

First he ate some lettuces and French beans; then he ate some radishes;
And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.

I’m guessing “parsley” is street slang for marijuana or some such illicit substance.

All is going well for Peter until, smashed off his face on “parsley”, he encounters the homeowner and a chase ensues. Now all too often, we have heard of these OAPs keeling over with a heart attack, but fortunately, this guy seems stronger, and armed with a gardening implement, he goes after Peter.

Peter hides in an outbuilding and – in an effort to change his appearance – sheds his jacket. However, the old man tracks him down and Peter ends up smashing a window, “upsetting three plants” and possibly getting injured while escaping:

After a time, he began to wander about , going lippity-lippity – not very fast and looking all around.

Once he believes the coast is clear, he decides to make a run for it and manages to make it back home. No questions are asked as to where he has been or what he has done – indeed, his mother merely doses him up with camomile tea (the leporine equivalent of ritalin, I suppose) before he heads off to bed.

It’s a truly shocking tale and the worst bit about it is that it is openly and widely available to our children. Are there really lessons in here that we want to teach them? That non-existent parenting is acceptable? That petty crime has no consequences? That regular use of parsley is not something to be concerned about?

Is it any wonder we find ourselves facing these problems?

Shot through the heart (and is to blame)

So sang 80’s hair rockers Bon Jovi. In a manner of speaking, anyway.

But I’m actually referring to accurately-targeted email advertising. Specifically this one:

Hello Mr 6000,

Are you looking for something in our Tablet PCs store? If so, you might be interested in these items.

Asus EeePad Transformer TF101 10.1 inch Tablet PC (nVidia Tegra2 1GHz, 1Gb, 16Gb eMMC, WLAN, BT, Android 3.0) with docking station and keyboard

RRP: £429.99
Price: £418.13 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
(See details and conditions)
You Save: £11.86 (3%)
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.

Yes. Yes, I am interested. Very interested. And you damn well know it, because I spend several hours a day gazing at the tablet porn on your site.
Specifically this little baby.

I have checked out her stats, I have checked out the 3% discount, I have checked out the fact that gift wrap is available.
Yes: gift wrap.

The fact is that I had previously thought that I was immune to this sort of advertising. But they’ve hit the spot here and they know that I will click their links and gaze upon her wonder again and again. And eventually I will be worn down and I will submit and I will part with my hard earned Rands and I will have her.

This happens so rarely to me that I can’t even remember it happening before. Except when I moved to SA after a whole week’s pressure from my wife. And since that seems to have worked out so well, I see no reason that this one won’t end happily as well. (Are you reading this, dear?)

UPDATE: And this is why I need it: