Monday, June 30, 2008

"There is now evidence linking China's execution system and its booming organ transplant industry. Amnesty International says the demand for transplan

There is now evidence linking China's execution system and its booming organ transplant industry. Amnesty International says the demand for transplant organs is driving the high number of executions in China. - Dominic Waghorn

Do you ever travel by bus? Not likely if you live in South Africa. A possibility if you live in London and quite probable if you are doing any traveling around the world. I reckon I am qualified to comment on traveling abroad via bus. You see I have survived three of the most excruciating rides imaginable in my short life so far: A 24 hour trip from Istanbul in Turkey all the way to the popular coastal town of Fethiye Oludeniz in a bus where almost all the passengers were smoking inside for the full duration - killer! A nightmare 48 hour trip in a Greyhound from Colorado to Boston where a serial killer looking local jumps on with his shot gun and takes the seat right behind me. The bus driver notices my apprehension and puts me at ease by fondly tapping his holstered pistol on his hip to show me he has his passengers covered. Thanks pal that did a lot to calm my nerves. The third episode I only remember bits of as the bus that was taking us over the Langkloof pass lost it's brakes. Too close to death I tell you. None of these have a stitch on China's special bus service though.

Perhaps you are thinking of heading to China for the Olympics in August. A tip from PlanetPi: Don't jump on the above bus. Sure it looks as good as any other bus. This one is a one way trip though. It's the DEATH BUS!

Check out the article from the link. Crazy shit, but there is some hectic stuff happening in that country around the World Cup as well as World Domination. The author is a reliable correspondent I can vouch for. I remember watching him in his early years at SKY news. This investigation was done while he was the Asian correspondent. He has since moved to ply his trade in Jerusalem , presumably for his own safety.

The buses drive around China to execute people more efficiently. A lethal dose, injected on the bus, takes care of business. China executes more people than the rest of the world put together. At one point Waghorn interviews a nurse at a hospital who boasts that if they need say a new Kidney for a transplant they just put a call through to the local jail. By the end of the day a freshly plucked kidney is sent over on ice. You can imagine the kick backs. Evil stuff man. Enjoy your trip to China and take a taxi.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

“I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting” - Ronald Reagan

A cheeky little sleep during the day is hiiiiighly underrated. When doing a spot of work is London, pretending to be competent in the investment banking arena, I used to take it upon myself to shamelessly have a nap at lunch time. I say shamelessly as there is no point in trying to sneak a nap in. If you have a time allocated for lunch during your working day, it is more than appropriate that you refresh your body and mind with a bit of shut eye. If you can get around that unnecessary guilt you are doing well my friend.
So, well at ease with myself I just needed a location to lay my head down. Normally this would mean a trip out of the Old School Building in Blackfriars and a trip to Watersons Bookstore in winter, or St Paul's Cathedral in summer. That rose garden in St Paul's was something to behold in summer. All that pristinely tendered inviting green grass was packed. Builders and Suits alike would just plop down and in my case stretch out for a 20min nap. Wondrous I tell you.
Winter was a little trickier. The weather obviously wrote St Paul's out of the equation. I took turns between the Large bookstore and the public library. Can you picture it? I would read a book for ten minutes and then just pass out on a couch/sofa! Only once was a chastised in the Library. I think there was a strict policy of no sleepers in the library so that was fair enough but I genrally got my 20mins in anyway.
The bookstore was great. On the lower floor there were two very comfy leather chairs and a small sofa. I would normally not even last the 10 minute read here. Just a few minutes in and I would pass out in the warmth and cosiness of the place. I did have to get used to some strange sleeping positions, but that was not too difficult. When I mention this to people they are mostly afraid that if they were to take a siesta they would not wake up. It's actually pretty easy to be asleep for just a short while. All I do is make sure I tell myself I need to wake up in 15 or 20 mins and then that's what I do. Why should it not work? Your mind keeps ticking over when you are sleeping so when the time is up you stop sleeping, jump up and in my case head back to the world of investment banking.

Now I wonder if old Ronald Reagan ever actually grabbed some zzzz's when he was in charge of team USA. He and I were not unalike in our jobs actually. He was an actor pretending to know how to be a president. I was ... well perhaps not an actor but certainly pretending to be an investment banking type.

Feeling sleepy after reading this drivel? Take a nap why don't cha.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"There's nothing wrong with being a loser, it just depends on how good you are at it." - Billie Joe Green Day

Wimbledon started yesterday. I have great memories of the many days I have spent at the most famous tennis tournament of them all. Not least of all would be the one's of when I managed to convince the lovely lady who was in charge of accreditations for the tournament, that I was a coach. I received a fully fledged assistant coaches pass, complete with photo, barcode and all. From then on I could just cruise in and out as often as possible. Those two weeks I was certainly no looser.
Yesterday, in the opening game of the tournament on Centre Court, there was only ever going to be one looser as the defending champion took on a bottom feeder - as is tradition. Federer issued some serious scoreboard pain to Dominik Hrbaty who was just happy to be a part of the Centre Court action. In loosing so comprehensibly the young lad still managed to entertain. In the final change over Hrbaty decided to sit down, not at his chair, but he took it upon himself to sit snugly down next to the Champion for a chat. My guess is that he was asking Roger Federer if he would just give him one set to keep him out there for just a few more minutes. 4 minutes later the match was over and the cheeky upstart was out. He went off the courts with a huge smile on his face, the crowds were having a good laugh at his antics and even old Roger managed to relaxed swiss smile which was cool. So the looser did something new to make people take note of him and add to his experience. A good way to loose.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

“I called to the other men that the sky was clearing, and then a moment later I realized that what I had seen was not a rift in the clouds but the whi

“I called to the other men that the sky was clearing, and then a moment later I realized that what I had seen was not a rift in the clouds but the white crest of an enormous wave.” – Ernest Shackleton

Those old explorers were crazy guys. It's great to look back at how they took on challenges paving the way for those that were to follow in their footsteps ...yea whatever, don't kid yourself. They were more likely nutters that had got themselves into some kind of compromising situation and taking a trip to a place on earth far away from those 'looking' for them made total sense. Just have a look at Uncle Jan Van Riebeek and his sort. He took the option to head down to Cape Town to get out of a tight spot. He was supposed to go to India after becoming a nuisance on his own continent and when he stopped off Table Bay he recognised an opportunity right away, so convinced the chaps back home that it would be lucrative for them if he set-up a replenishment station at the tip of Africa. From then on it was Castles, wine and shooting the locals for sport.

So it's been happening for a long time now and one would think the earth has been explored with not much left to do out there that has not been done. Some people think up some daft idea's to get some recognition, but one crazy adventurer sticks out above them all. His exploits over the years have been just too hectic. A tough South African lad who now lives in Europe when he is not out alone on the planet. Mike Horn kicks any other modern adventurer's ass all over any terrain or challenge available. I can't see who can even come close (or has done in the past) to such incredible feats. Not sure who has even attempted anything like it. He always goes solo, unsupported and with no motors. One of those trips involved completing the full length (40 700km) of the 0 latitude - the Equator! Another was traversing the full length of South America, including the Amazon. You can't imagine how crazy this is and his anecdotes are hard to comprehend. I reckon these guys are incredible in many ways. I think far too extreme for their own good. They teach us a good lesson though. They take themselves so far out of their comfort zone and sometimes even survive. Living your plush lifestyle may be the goal in your life to make you most happy. If it is, you will not ever feel like you have reached your goal. Humans are not designed that way. We need to 'suffer' at times. I doubt you have too many opportunities to mistake a Tsunami like wave for a bit of light breaking through the clouds, or have to hide from an Amazonian tribe that are hunting you down to kill you. Try getting out in the elements once in a while though. You WILL be amazed how much more alive you will feel than if you just stay indoors all the time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"I done wrasseld with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, handcuffed lightnin’, threw thunder in jail. Only last week I murdered a rock"

"I done wrasseld with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, handcuffed lightnin’, threw thunder in jail. Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick, I’m so mean I make medicine sick." – Muhammed Ali

I sometimes yearn for the good old days. Days I was not even alive to witness first hand. Somehow I get the feeling I was there in some form or another. Come and have a chat with me sometime and I will explain how I reckon deja veaux works. I love looking back at how those total heroes lived (not always like saints you understand?) Guys like Frank Sinatra who were not just known in their sphere as top class entertainers, but rather that they were entertainment. Believe me, Justin Trouser Snake will never have anything on those cats.
Now when it comes to the likes of the greatest entertainer in the ring of all time and a hot shot boxer at that, I reckon Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was a beauty. This quote has so much ingenuity locked into at every turn. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling he said this off the cuff. Quick as lightning with his fists and his mouth but perhaps not so sharp with pen and pencil. After all he was rejected by the U.S Army for being poor at spelling and writing... well his first conscription anyway. Two years later the Armed forces decided Ali did not actually need to write down the names of those he murdered in the Jungle so he was summonsed to Vietnam. He declined due to his religious views and famously also declared "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong ... They never called me Nigger ." Hectic!

Seems boxing has caught up with the legend though. Now days he struggles to get words out of his mouth to add to his spelling and writing woes. Diagnosed with Pugilistic Parkinson's Syndrome means not even Rocky Balboa can get a bout with the man voted Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Century. I bet those Yank generals would still sign him up in a flash as cannon fodder for one of their armies if they could find a reason.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"It’s a boxing match Tommy. Not a tickling competition. These lads are out to hurt each other "– Turkish

Yes, this is still my go to movie any time I am in doubt. A cult classic which will surely only strengthen it's status until it rises to the ranks of legend. Turkish, surely one of the all time great guys that any man would aspire to be as tough as. The storyline is loosely strung to a world of underground boxing bouts that are rigged by a London crime boss - BrickTop. The evil dude who feeds those pesky dead bodies (they tend to pile up in his line of work) to his collection of pigs.

Having watched the odd game of Euro 2008 and seeing those damn Portuguese, Italian's, Spanish and other soft-like-butter punks crumble to the floor at the slightest hint of brushing an opponent, I can't help but cringe at their behaviour. Those fools really need to cut that shit out of the game. It detracts so much from what are some brilliant clashes. There are some tough guys out there that don't dive all over the show and that just shows up the idiots who do. I mean you don't see Wayne Roonie falling all over the show when an opponent comes within his 1m range. But then again you wouldn't see the lad would you as England did not qualify as one of the top 16 countries of Europe and are not playing in Euro 2008! Pwaaaaaaa! I love it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

“Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest in Monte Carlo and came in third”. Mr Goodkat D

How cool is that? Such an icon for what was 'his' tramp look and he could not even get the live audience to vote in his favour when attempting to win the competition. Amazing. One must remember that at the time he was as recognisable as say Tiger Woods.
This has given me hope and I have decided to take Tiger on. Take him on in a game of Wii golf that is. Just to see if I can be more like him than he is. You see a buddy of mine introduced me to Wii Golf and tennis this weekend after a few beers. Colin has two kids as does Sean and they were on hand to make sure the old dogs were doing everything just right. I can't help noticing that the dimensions of the room for playing the new in motion video games are suited perfectly for 6ft men pretending to swing a club than to 3 year old Bella. Colin assures me it's for the kids though. Apparently the amount of exercise they get from the Wii off-sets the old problem of kids spending too much time playing video games instead of running about outside in the traffic. I don't think he need be worried about the lack of movement with these little imps. I was a human jungle gym while seven putting an easy put away just as I had taken the lead. Colin must have given a secret sign to his offspring to launch them into action of distraction. Not unlike the late Earl Woods bashing his poitjie kos pot behind a 5 year old Tiger as he sweetly drove his 208th drive of the morning down the not-so-fairway.
When the 9 holes were done I was not in the lead (did I mention the 7 put fiasco?) but I think I have real talent and look forward to the next 9 holes. Tiger better show. I hope he knows we'll be playing for Tequila.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Too long ...see below:

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... in Africa, when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.” – African Philosophy Andy Skin

This is a great saying. I recommend reading it first thing in the morning to get you going.

Of course it has more relevance now as petrol gets more and more expensive. Today there will be yet another interest rate increase which will impact on everyones financial planning. Car sales are as low as they have been in 20 years. When I am cruising about Cape Town on Fabrizio - my 1966 Vespa, I notice the odd nod of approval. Sometimes I can almost hear the driver in the car next to me as his brain ticks over and he decides, that a scooter is certainly something to look at. Ha! A complete turnaround to those smirks I have been at the receiving end on for the last 5 years. People used to turn their noses up at me as I ramped the pavement, turned purposefully down a one way or popped under the trailer of a large truck to overtake a crawling taxi in rush hour down lower main road. Now it's all seen as the new new thing and the scooter guys can't get enough of the two wheelers into the country.

Some friends have even started a car pool to work! In Cape Town! Unheard of I tell you. Alternative means of transport are being sort after all over the world. If you are in Africa don't be surprised if you see a runner or two passing you as they take head to the wise words above and as the sun rises start running - to work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"If it has four legs and it's not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but it's not an airplane, and if it swims and it's not a submarine, the Ca

"If it has four legs and it's not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but it's not an airplane, and if it swims and it's not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it." - Prince Philip (Queenie’s Husband)

An endless source of entertainment when he steps out into the real world is old Prince Philip. He has just grown up in such a distorted world that he has no idea of what the rest of the world is like and clearly does not care much either.
I think if I could choose someone to have dinner with (besides Ana Ivanovic) I would choose the old codger. Clearly he would be up for more than just a nip of brandy and in no time would be spilling the beans with some incredible stories of what he has witnessed and instigated in his bizarre life so far. Watch him closely over his last few years. He is sure to go down with come more pearlers.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Because of the booking, I will miss the Holland game - if selected" Paul Gascoigne

I'll never forget Gascoigne shedding a few tears when he was yellow carded for the second time, effectively ruling him out of the world cup. This was his response back in 1990. Last week he was admitted to a mental asylum for poor behaviour whilst boozed. Not much going on in that head of his when he had no football left to keep him busy. These days the sportsmen seem to be 50% sports and 50% business orientated. I wonder if poor Gazza will sort himself out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words." Calvin & Hobbes

Many of my friends have recently had a child or two. Now along with all the joy and change of sleeping patterns comes massive responsibility of nurturing the little kids into what in many ways become a clone of themselves. This should really count out swearing which the clever little things seem to pick up extremely quickly. This is no help when you smash your head on the kitchen cupboard door or the dog chews the remote control for the TV.
When I was backpacking around the planet I bumped into two Kiwi lads who made up their own swear words that they could belt out loud as they liked and eventually with more passion than normal one's.
Try using KATEK! when the guy in the car in front of you is driving like a fool. It's a good one to let go of some of that energy and the little guy can take that to nursery school without the teacher getting any ideas about his dodgy parents.

Post Script: I must be really bored of swearing this year as I realise that I did a similar post recently. I suppose I am just trying to help those stuck in a rut of saying the same words to get a bit creative.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Too long ...see below:

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” – The ‘Arch’ - Tutu

I was watching that madman Mugabe on CNN yesterday. It was a strange place to watch the little devil. I walked into the men's change room at Gym and he was on one of the TV sets they hang on the wall. (I wonder if they have these in the women's change room as well and if they do what channels do they show?). There is a plush leather couch for one's viewing pleasure so I slumped down in it to listen the ranting lunatic. Off course he blamed the food crises of Southern Africa and Zimbabwe on the Imperialistic colonisation that he pins on the English at any opportunity he is given.

We all know how evil he is and what chaos and hardship he has caused for so many. It's incredible he is still aloud to speak at a forum like the summit they had for the world wide food crisis. Having a go at Colonisation did remind me of this pearler that our Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu let rip a few years back now.

Getting back to those Gym change rooms though while we are at it. I have an issue that will go down well in a blog forum so I think I will tell the story. Last year I was changing in the men's change room at the Virgin Active in Wembly Square. After a shower I return to my locker and see a small piece of paper rolled up and stuck into the padlock. My heart sank ... this could only be bad news. I looked around and there was nobody else there so I read the note. 'Hot Body' were the words and a phone number to go with it. My eternal optimism got off the mark quickest and I thought a little angel must have left it there. I quickly realised that some gay punk was a LOT more likely. It really pissed me off. I showed my little bother the note when I saw him a short while later. He went berserk with laughter. He could not handle it and tried to tell me it was the funniest thing he had seen as he gasped for breath and leaned against the wall for support.
Now I am not gay bashing, but when it comes to change rooms and with Cape Town having such a large number of gay men at the gyms, I am getting closer and closer to deciding I will feel more comfortable in the women's change room. I promise I won't look too closely girls. The thing is what is the difference between me being in the women's change room and not gawking at the beauties (yea what ever) and some dodgy old bastard checking me out properly while I towel down. It's so blatant I tell you. At least I would be discrete and leave my camera at home. That's right!... I saw a notice up at the Point Virgin Active asking members to please not take photos with there cell phones in the change rooms! Vokkit! Thinking about it now that's decided, I'll be showering in the women's change rooms from now on fore sure.
I hope they don't mind if I change the channel to the rugby.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink - Joe E Lewis

Not much to say about this one. Just entertaining to my easily ignited simple mind. I managed to be Camel like this past weekend and stay off the bottle. It was more in anticipation of a buddy arriving in Cape Town from London for a whirlwind tour I think. Dixie always brings us together for a good drink or twelve.