Ankle update

Thanks for your comments on Facebook and on here. The news is good.

A quick squeeze and tug (ooer!) on my ankle revealed that things are apparently healing nicely. And that means that my surgeon (who never actually surged me) has suggested that I can see a physiotherapist and *gasp* start to learn to walk again. He even suggested that I would be “back to normal” in 6 months, which would be perfect for my first game of footy just ahead of my birthday, as I had planned.

The only problem with this scenario is my brain. Given that any slight knock, bump or bit of downward pressure on my ankle generally causes me brief, but blinding agony, my boot – which I had previously seen as rather annoying – I now see as a security blanket.
Even taking my boot off while sitting in bed feels weird. Getting my brain to agree to putting any weight on my bad leg feels completely impossible right now. I shudder even thinking about it. So maybe thinking about it is not what I need to do.

I’m off to Physio this afternoon and we’ll go from there. The road ahead might be long, but at least it’s now straight enough to be able to see my destination.

3 Comments | Tagged | Posted in learning curve, positive thoughts

Suitable alternatives to Google Reader

Google Reader is no more. Or at least will be no more after 1st July this year.

This makes me sad, but as I’m reminded by this sensible post, it was always Google’s product, not ours:

The death of Google Reader reveals a problem of the modern Internet that many of us likely have in the back of our heads but are afraid to let surface: We are all participants in a user driven Internet, but we are still just the users, nothing more. No matter how much work we put in to optimize our online presences, our tools and our experiences, we are still at the mercy of big companies controlling the platforms we operate on. When they don’t like what’s happening, even if we do, they can make whatever call they want. And Wednesday night, Google made theirs.

Because while there were a lot of people using Reader, there simply weren’t enough, as this unnecessarily provocative comment points out:

In other words, no one uses RSS. No one ever has. Not at the level for which Google Reader was meant: an average computer user.
It’s not being used. Google is dropping it. Get over it. The “market” has spoken.

Well, I did. I used it every day. And I loved the way it linked into all my other Google apps (which aren’t actually mine either). But, much like Cavendish’s Cinema Noveau, Reader simply wasn’t doing the business and so we must move on.

But where to?

Well, we’ve got a few months to explore our options and so that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to start by giving feedly a go, not least because they’ve been waiting for this moment and they have made it easy to move my stuff from Reader to their product.

Google announced today that they will be shutting down Google Reader. This is something we have been expecting for some time: We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine. When Google Reader shuts down, feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless.

Which sounds promising, and with apps for iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox and Safari (find them via the link above), there’s something for everyone.

I’ve installed feedly on my tablet and, with a quick login to my Google account, my feeds have indeed moved across seamlessly. The UI is going to take a bit of figuring out, but just because it’s different to Reader, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

I’ll keep you informed of how I get along with feedly and you can let me know how you get along with your chosen successor in the comments below.

UPDATE: A few days later, check what I think of Feedly.

4 Comments | Tagged , | Posted in 6000 recommends, admin, in the news


Today’s the day – in fact this morning’s the morning – when I get an updated prognosis on my ankle.

My overly-optimistic side thinks that I will be ready for a game of footy on the weekend, my more realistic side reckons I’m going to be stuck in my moonboot 24/7 for another few weeks.

boot The big thing for me would be permission to drive again.

But whatever the news from the orthopod, there will be some good news as I apparently get to (finally) pick up my apparently repaired camera from next door to the hospital.

Expect many photos of my bedroom walls in the upcoming days.

1 Comment | Tagged , , | Posted in learning curve, positive thoughts

Own goal

If this interpretation of the new Cape Town Liquor By-law is accurate – and there’s no suggestion that it isn’t – then it’s an absolutely massive own goal by our supposedly liberal DA city council.

  • No alcohol can be sold for off-consumption on Sundays, except for wineries.
  • No alcohol can be sold for off-consumption after 6pm on weekdays.
  • No sale of more than 150 litres of alcohol to any one person unless they have a liquor licence or special permission from the Chairman of the Liquor Board.
  • No-one may keep more than 150 litres of wine in their home without a liquor licence.
  • No drinking alcohol in vehicles.
  • No drinking at school functions ever. This applies even if the function is held away from school grounds and on a licenced premises.

For starters, I do agree with the no drinking in vehicles and the school function thing makes some degree of sense on a basic level. But that’s where my support for this ends.

There’s absolutely no question that Cape Town – as with the rest of South Africa – has a huge problem with alcohol. But I fail to see how this new bylaw will help to solve that. Illegal shebeens currently operate with impunity across the city; why will this bylaw prevent them from continuing to do so, with such limited enforcement of the laws that already exist?

The nod to Sundays as being somehow special is backward and unnecessary. Again, exactly how that assists with reducing alcohol abuse is beyond me. Or are we planning on baby steps here – to reduce problem drinking by 1/7th? Is that enough?

And then the whole 150 litres issues. No buying for big parties and even if you could, no taking it home. No wine collections of over 200 bottles – if you have one, you will be breaking the law in a couple of weeks. Are they really going to do dawn raids on posh houses that they suspect may have a wine cellar? It’s pathetic.

And this is just on off sales. The implications for restaurants and bars – and with them, Cape Town’s vital tourist industry – are even more worrying.

I have nothing but contempt for these new regulations. They are short sighted and unhelpful and they risk alienating a huge proportion of the voting public. Without proper enforcement, any law is useless anyway and as we’ve point out with the traffic, there really is no enforcement of our laws here. So what’s the point?

The one thing with our city council is that they do have a history of actually listening to public opinion, so maybe there is some hope that the outcry that this stupid bylaw generates will result in it being changed to something more sensible in the future.
But in the meantime, on the 1st April, we in Cape Town will be living in a beautiful, but backward city. And that’s very sad.

22 Comments | Tagged , | Posted in annoying people, economic issues, in the news, that's a bit mad, this is south africa

Shut up with your Latin. Eat them. They’re brilliant!

I was watching “Brand New” QI last night (actually turns out to be over 3 years old, but still) and this section had me in tears of laughter.

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David Mitchell and Sean Lock are a recipe for success anyway, but the images conjured up in answering this question were just brilliant.

2 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in positive thoughts, uk