Keep dreaming, Helen!

Incoming on twitter:

@JacquesR Zille calls on JZ to step down: http://tr.im/gAkc.
The comments after the article are scary (besides mine, of course).

And yes, she did:

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has called on her ANC counterpart Jacob Zuma to step down as his party’s presidential candidate in the coming elections.
“Put your ambitions aside and act in the interests of the country and the constitution by publicly stepping down,” she said in an open letter to Zuma on Thursday.

Zille then went on to call on pigs to fly, bears to defaecate away from areas containing large numbers of trees and the Pope to tell us the truth: that the whole “God” thing is made up. Just what she is trying to achieve with this is beyond me. 
More seriously, her hint at legal action should JZ become President concerns me. I don’t see that that course of action would help at all. It would surely destabilise and further divide the country at a time when what the people need is more stability and unity in politics. But going through the courts seems to be how the DA is working just recently – perhaps because they realise that those are the only battles they stand a chance of winning. 

And yes, the comments after the article are a bit scary, but assuming that the things people say after an emotive political story on the Times website are representative of the views of your average South African is like assuming that what’s written in the Daily Mail is how all British people think. It’s just silly people saying silly things.

Spot the difference

This one will test you. Two stories, remarkably similar, but… not.

A driver found guilty of killing another motorist as she used her mobile phone to send a string of text messages and make calls has been jailed.

Phillipa Curtis, from Suffolk, crashed into Victoria McBryde’s parked car at 70mph on the A40 near Wheatley – Ms McBryde was fatally injured.

The 21-year-old was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Oxford Crown Court at an earlier hearing. She was jailed for 21 months and given a three-year driving ban.
[link]

Meanwhile:

The sentencing of a Labour peer who sent and received text messages while driving on the M1 where he was involved in a fatal crash has been adjourned.

Lord Ahmed, 51, of Rotherham, was driving his Jaguar when he collided with another car on Christmas Day 2007. The driver of the vehicle, Martyn Gombar, 28, was killed.

Lord Ahmed was never charged over the crash but admitted one charge of dangerous driving in connection with sending and receiving the text messages while driving.
[link]

The lesser charge of dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment as opposed to that of causing death by dangerous driving, which can carry up to 14 years.

The lesson here? Don’t send text messages while driving your car. But if you do, then make sure you are a Labour peer and not a waitress.

It’s here!

Tonight sees the start of the 2009 7-a-side Corporate Soccer League (Cape Town, Wednesdays, Season 1) and I’m itching (not literally) to get back on the field so that I can be all screwed up in a ball of agony by this time tomorrow.


Your host taking on some rotund Italians last year

Things have changed a bit since that photo was taken. I’m probably very slightly slower, the Italians never returned after we beat them 2-0 and I had major surgery in October to remove the Let’s Play banner from between my shoulder blades.
Yes, this year will be a challenge: I’m older than I have ever been before and I haven’t kicked a football in anger since November. But you never forget how – it’s like riding a bike, albeit nowhere near as dangerous.
Doesn’t mean I won’t give it my all as usual, though.
Just means it’ll hurt more tomorrow.

(Check twitter [in sidebar] later this evening for a score update)
(Assuming we win)
(Otherwise I probably won’t bother)

MiniEdit: Tools of the trade via TwitPic

Worth a try

The lack of sleep chez 6000 continues. Together with the heat of the day, this child-induced insomnia each night is pushing us to our limits. Even 2¾ year old Alex has called in the Unions who have threatened a “dirty protest” should the regular nocturnal crying from his little sister’s room persist. It’s a horrifying thought.

While down at the Waterfront, and having exhausted (npi) all other legal possibilities of inducing a good night’s sleep, I found this:

Kurt et al lullabyified

They do other bands, too.

Rockabye Baby! transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. The soothing sounds of the glockenspiel, vibraphone, mellotron and other instruments will lull your baby into a sweet slumber.

So hopefully, from now on, with the lights out, it’s less dangerous.

(sorry)

Another cyclist killed

With the Cape Argus Cycle Tour only 3 weeks away, another cyclist, Colin van Schalkwyk, died on Saturday after he was hit by a truck in Milnerton. Another terribly sad accident and another family man killed. News24 utilised a convenient if overly-dramatic soundbite for its report title: Cyclists fear for their lives.

In there, two telling comments from people “in the know”:

The City of Cape Town is planning a meeting about the issue with various roleplayers.
Pieter Cronjé, a spokesperson for the City of Cape Town, said it was important to realise that there was no quick fix or easy solution. “You can only address a problem properly if you truly understand what the causes are,” he said.

Absolutely right, Pieter. And, as if proving Cronjé’s point, this from the Cycle Tour Director, David Bellairs, who clearly doesn’t understand what the causes are:

It is true that in summer there are more cyclists on the road. You would expect that motorists were more tolerant towards them.

What an utterly ridiculous comment. More cyclists on the road means more red lights and stop signs ignored, more 6-wide pelotons to avoid and more wobbling, weaving idiots more concerned with their chat than their direction. You want tolerance – encourage common sense, encourage lawful cycling, educate them – don’t simply blame the motorists.
Yet, that’s the sort of “expert” with his blinkered beligerence that motorists are up against in this debate. Perhaps David should read the comments following the News24 story. Very… telling.

Meanwhile, the hugely vocal Cape Argus is once again (rightly) outraged by the death of another cyclist. That’s four deaths in the last three months. Of course, this pales into insignificance next to the number of pedestrians and drivers killed in the same period, but then the Argus doesn’t sponsor walking or motoring events, does it?