We’re chilling out by the coast and there are important things to do like walking on the beach and cooking meat on the braai so blogging is always going to take a bit of a back seat.

Still, you need your fix and so here is not one, but two quota panoramae! [cue gasps of astonishment from the expectant crowd]



The first one is from our journey down here last night. Some nameless dirt road just north of Napier where stopped to give Colin a comfort break and to take photos of the sun setting over the Southern Cape farmland.

The second is from the beach near Suiderstrand, this time walking Colin until it broke and needed to be carried home.

I suppose that if there is one thing to be said for having a dog, it’s that you get the opportunity to take photos like these, when otherwise, you’d probably be in a pub somewhere, enjoying a nice drink and some good laughs.


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Facebook ‘related’ goes a bit wrong

Presented pretty much without comment, although you’d hope that one day, there with be an algorithm to prevent algorithms from doing this kind of thing.

imageThat day is not today.

 Thanks Stu

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I’m feeling less than 100% today. It’s (probably) not Ebola, but it’s not very pleasant either. Thus, quota music. And Glory Box from Portishead. The album Dummy came out 20 years ago. 20. Twenty.

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I know. How old do you feel right now?

There’s a special heavyweight vinyl re-issue being made for the 20th anniversary, with no extras, no remixes, nothing. Just as was. Wow.  Oh, and here’s a great look at Dummy and all that was going on around it from Chris Molanphy.

Why not dig it out and have a play this weekend?


6 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in music

Blackouts likely as power stations close for repairs

I know, South Africa. We’re used to it now, aren’t we? Electricity shortages, load-shedding, blackouts.

Since the first issues reared their ugly rears back in 2008, it’s become almost second nature to us: now, even the briefest of power cuts is hollered from the rooftops as being a rolling blackout and another demonstration of just how badly our country is behind the rest of the world.
And now, this: the news that four power stations:

…which provide 10% of the country’s electricity, could be offline until the end of the year on safety fears [raising] further concerns about the chances of blackouts during the winter.

Only in South Africa, hey?

Except no. Because this is from a Sky News article about the UK. So let’s drop the exceptionalism and step away from the exceptionalism. Keep your hands where we can see them. etc etc

It’s not new, either. The UK has been warned about this for over a year now.

I’m well aware that two wrongs don’t make a right though, and I’m sure the 120 million odd individuals resident in the UK and SA would much rather have readily available electricity 24/7/365. But in a society where we are so anxious to draw attention to the negatives (and let’s be fair here, there are plenty of negatives to draw attention to), singling out SA as being the only country where the population has to contend with power shortages is plainly incorrect.

And yes, Eskom keep increasing our electricity prices, and that’s very, very annoying, but guess what’s happening elsewhere?

In the UK: Energy bills rise by 37% in 3 years.

In Germany:

Today an average family of four in Germany spends about $107 a month for electricity. This year, their monthly bill will be $129. The price hike is due to an increase in the Renewable Energy Surcharge. The surcharge is one of many government fees, taxes and subsidies that are passed on to average consumers and fund Germany’s renewable energy sector.

That’s a 20.6% increase.

And even in the USA: “We are now in an era of rising electricity prices,” said Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

And as for the ludicrous sight of Eskom begging South Africans to use less electricity (cue: “What other organisation asks people to use less of its product?” remarks), well – most other electricity suppliers around the world, actually.

As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.

We’re not alone. We’re not even vaguely special when it comes to not having enough electricity to go around – how about this for a headline?

New research warns world to prepare for blackout

That’s right – the whole wide world.

It’s time to drop the victim mentality and give up on the self pity. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, or if it is, it’s only because of all the extra s**t over there.

Eskom might not be a world leader in electricity supply and production, but neither, it seems, is anyone else.

UPDATE: And Belgium.

3 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in annoying people, in the news, learning curve, no electricity, positive thoughts, this is south africa, uk

Beagle news

According to this comment, I should be thinking of Colin as clickbait. The rationale, as the commenter goes on to explain, is that revenue from the Google ads clicked upon by people coming here to see photos of Colin could be used to pay for replacement furniture. It’s a good plan, but there’s going to have to be a lot of clickage to sort out all the damage.

Earlier this week, the dog discovered the joy of digging up the lawn. Turns out that it’s actually very good at it too. Let’s make no bones about this (pun intended), I KILL MOLES WITH A SPADE for doing exactly the same thing. And then on Monday evening, I spent an hour repairing the wire from the alarm contact on the front door because it had been chewed through (the wire, not the front door) (yet). While there’s no actual proof that this was the dog, sources indicate that they are around 99.999% certain it was Colin-related.

Beyond. Reasonable. Doubt.

Look, I’ll admit it. It looks fairly harmless, doesn’t it? It’s clever though. Devious. It has already learned the power of public relations and it poses, looking mournful, underloved and completely innocent, as soon as it sees a camera or cellphone. It has naked selfies on the iCloud and will rightfully expect widespread pity when its account is hacked.

Don’t be fooled.

Once the camera is gone, the mischievous, destructive escapologist reappears. Things get dug, chewed, eaten, damaged. The dog isn’t where you left it and you’ve no idea how it got where it is. Your daughter has been partially devoured. Colin is about 1o weeks old. Apparently, “it gets better” by the time they’re about 10 months old.

Something is going to have to give.

6 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in from your comments, project colin