Dan Power wastes energy

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We’ve all had it up to here [indicates height of rising sea level at about neck level] with eco-whiners whining about the eco, haven’t we? 
It’s not that I don’t recognise the need to be kinder to the environment, it’s just that I’m getting annoyed with constantly being told about it – like the utterly pointless Earth Hour this weekend. Switching off my lights on Saturday evening  won’t raise any awareness amongst my neighbours, because they’ll all be watching TV with their lights on and their curtains closed. And then when all the treehuggers switch their power back on, there’ll actually be a bigger power demand with the “spike” as appliances start up again. Possibly.
Who can forget the embarrassing fiasco of Energy Saving Day in the UK last year, when power consumption actually increased 0.1% above average. Oops.
Anyway, I utilise about 8 hours of power saving each night when I switch all my lights off and go to bed. It’s like 8 Earth Hours in one go. Brilliant.

If the upcoming Earth Hour has made the festering boil on the neck of humanity come to a oily, oozing head, then step forward Dan Power – because he’s the man to squeeze the pus out and ease the pressure with his Energy Wasting Day on April 1st.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1_O6NDTbvw]

Embarrassingly cheesy amateur British comedy at it’s best. Yes, I’m cringing too.

Of course, it’s all in a good cause: namely treehugging and eco-awareness via together.com. But what a refreshingly not in-your-face way of going about things. Because you can easily make a bit of a difference every day, without gimmicks like Earth Hour. At Chez 6000, we already institute a wide range of energy saving practices, we recycle and we only fly long-haul when we need to be somewhere far away from the place where we currently are. But I don’t go round constantly telling people about it (apart from just now) and I don’t go round forcing them to do the same.

What I do around constantly telling people about and forcing them to do is voting for this blog in the 2009 South African Blog Awards. It won’t save the planet – hell, it won’t even win me the award – but it’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like a high-quality brandy on a cold winter’s day. Which we won’t be having many more of if global warming kicks in, anyway.

South African Nursery Rhymes

And lo, it came to pass that I realised quite how out of date and unrealistic nursery rhymes are.
What am I teaching my children? It’s bad enough that one of them thinks there’s a Gruffalo hiding in the back garden without them assuming that horticultural success can be achieved simply by the addition of expensive campanological implements, Cerastoderma edule and a line of random tarts fresh from Sea Point Main Road.

So, I was lying in bed this morning thinking of how one could best update and refresh nursery rhymes to actually be relevant to South Africa today. And I reckon there’s some mileage in this one, since observational humour is da bomb over here right now. And remember, we’re laughing with ourselves, not at ourselves. Sort of.

Let’s look at Little Bo Peep as our first example. And if you are more than 12 years old or you don’t have kids, allow me to remind you of the folly of the original prose:

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep,
And doesn’t know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.

One can learn so much from those four simple lines.

Employment Equity – as described in the Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998 – details how affirmative action should be applied wherever possible to ensure that previously disadvantaged groups are given preference when applying for employment. Wonderful. But look, women (a previously disadvantaged group) are simply not suited to some positions of responsibility*.
Take Little Bo Peep. She is obviously just not cut out to be a shepherd.  Her one task: look after the sheep. Failed.
I’m not generalising here**, but the chances are that she was on Mxit or chatting with her friend about how fat Little Miss Muffet has got lately or something and turned around to find her flock had been stolen.
Her lack of height probably doesn’t help either: a taller ovine guardian would be able to see over the unkempt grass.

And now she doesn’t know where to find them. Well, surprise, surprise.
Actually, not. Given that a woman’s sense of direction is about as good as that of a fridge, I’m not shocked at all. However, one thing in her favour is that she may at least ask passers-by if they have seen her sheep. A male shepherd would merely set about finding them himself, probably with equally limited success. Though decorating the local streetlamps with a myriad of poorly photocopied A4 “Missing Sheep” posters, as people seem to do when looking for “Lucky” their Jack Russell (later often found to be a misnomer of note), would probably not assist.

The bad news is, since sheep are also pretty rubbish with directions, it’s highly unlikely that they will merely just arrive back in their field by chance. This is assuming that they have “just wandered off” and not been stolen. In these tough economic times, lamb, mutton and wool are sought-after commodities and desperate thieves will steal anything that’s not nailed down. Sadly (for the sheep), I think the most likely place for them to be found is in pieces on a braai or in a big steaming pot over a fire. And those sort of temperatures are going to render the Altech-Netstar tracking device that Little Bo Peep’s boss installed, useless.
Sure, they may have found Annanias Mathe, but he wasn’t being slowly grilled over hot coals. Although, maybe he is being now.

So, in summary, we have a wholly inept shepherdess, employed not because of her skills, but because of her demographic. Not only does she manage to lose the sheep, she has no idea where to even begin to look for them. And let’s face it, it’s completely unrealistic to expect their safe return.
Yet I’m supposed to relay this information to my offspring as being gospel, despite the fact it’s undeniably irrelevant and incorrect. Complete fantasy. No chance.

Next week, I’ll address the utterly stupid tale of Jack and Jill, exploring the issues of siting a wellpoint at the top of a hill, basic time management in sending two people to do the job of one in the modern corporate world and the medico-legal implications of using ethanoic acid and parcel wrapping to staunch bleeding from a severe head wound.

* [sits back and awaits the firestorm.]
** No… wait… actually, I am.

Goodbye 2008

I know – belated at best. But read on.

Whizzing around the internet, as I am wont to do on occasion, I came across the photography of Cape Town local Joy-Anne Goodenough. I skipped through a few people shots (lovely, I’m sure, but I’m not into people shots) but had to pause at some of the beachy, landscapey, sunsetty ones. Wow.


Biggness top and bottom

That these two pics were taken at last light on December 31st last year somehow makes them even more special. Even though, when one leaves romance and spirituality to one side for a moment, it’s “just another sunset”, albeit a beautiful one.

I’ve said before that taking good photos in Cape Town really isn’t difficult. And I mentioned then that the standards are therefore raised. That to be exceptional, your pictures have to be… well… exceptional. Stuffs like these inspires me to stop feeding the kids for a while and saving the money up towards a DSLR. I could give up beer, but that would mean a degree of personal suffering and there’s only so far I’m willing to go for the sake of my art.

Also of interest is a comparison between Joy-Anne’s favourite shots and mine. Striking similarities abound. Vineyards, Chapman’s Peak, arty beach stuff. She also does sunrises. I try to avoid those whenever possible.

Toothpaste is coming

VOTE for this blog in the 2009 SA Blog Awards by clicking the golden dog tag below this post!

Wonderful news. It’s been well over a year since Mrs 6k and I announced that we were expecting little K-pu and indeed, it’s been over 8 months since little K-pu arrived in a blaze of gory. Dealing with two small kids is hard work, as any parent will tell you, so imagine how I felt when it was announced that we have another one on the way.

The timing actually couldn’t have been worse. A disturbed night with the little one, concluding at 5:45am at which point she (and I) decided to give up completely on the idea of any further slumbers; a Monday morning with the slightest hint of a Grolsch-induced hangover; a hectic week at work and (as yet unknown to anyone except himself) a flat tyre on Roeland the Clio. Oh Happy Day.

So picture my “amusement” when, at 7am, it was announced to me. No beating about the bush, no gentle introduction, no “wouldn’t you like to sit down and have a coffee, dear?” – straight in there.

I’ve got a baby in my tummy and it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

I was stunned. “What are we going to do?”, I asked.

I’m going to call it Toothpaste and it’s going to buy me a new train set.

“Cool. Want to come and watch Winnie the Pooh now?”

Yes.

For those of you who haven’t caught on yet, it’s our almost-three-year-old son that is “expecting”. And not just a baby called Toothpaste, but a new train set as well, it seems.

This is no bad omen. Choosing a name as daft as “Toothpaste” indicates that little Alex will surely one day be some sort of film star or musical artiste, earning megabucks and therefore be able to look after us long into our retirement. Which, assuming he makes his first movie/number one aged eight, will begin in around five years time.

I can’t wait.

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Meeting nice people

Lunch was chez Tall Accountant in leafy Fernwood with some lovely people and consisted of one of the biggest chicken salads ever created.
Seriously, it took three people just to carry the bowl. And there were only six of us there. Chicken salad sandwiches for the TA’s lunchtime fare this week, I feel.

Now I know what it’s like to be Jacob Zuma. Sort of, anyway. Pressing the flesh of prospective voters in hope of getting an X in your box.
Of course, there are some differences. I have more hair. He has more chance of winning his election.
Everyone has heard of the ANC, but unbelievably, I met some people today who hadn’t heard of 6000 miles… Yes, I was shocked too.
He didn’t have a MASSIVE chicken salad for lunch today*. I did. Maybe there’s other stuff too, who knows?

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What Jacob Zuma wishes he did have, apart from my good looks, charm and popularity among white people is a golden widget, like the one above. I have it on good authority that he is desperate for one and has even instructed mini-me, aka Julius Malema, to kill to get one. Well, Msholozi, you’re not having mine, even if you turn up with your mashini wam blazing.

Of course, no-one is 100% sure if JZ is guilty of corruption. I’m beginning to wonder if even he can actually remember. However, I know for a fact that I am pure as the driven snow when it comes to matters of giving and receiving illicit payments. So far, anyway. But as the desperation mounts and rumours begin to spread about who is in front and how far I am behind, that could all change. Probably around Wednesday.

Want to help out? Copy and Paste http://tr.im/vote6k into all the emails you send for the rest of this month.
Because – as Jacob would say – working together, we can do more.

* This is complete guesswork.