Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Ideas are like Babies. Once you’ve had a baby, you can’t put it back." – Andrea Age 6

I was riding my bike at 6am this morning. Actually that is not quite accurate and for the purposes of this blog I better actually get more specific.
So I was riding my bike on the way to meet my buddy Blue at Giovanni's on Somerset Road - it was 5:55am, when the idea came to me about this quote that I had read and then the story that I would write about it when I got home a couple hours later; once the ride was done.
The ride was incredible and we talked most of the way out to the top of Chapman's Peak where we turn for home. The half way point some would say. By the time we got to Blues apartment it was just before 8am and by the time I got home 8:15am ... so all in all a good session. A ride we do at least twice in the working week unless it's raining. Now a few hours before I got home, and when the idea had first come to me about the blog, I had backed myself to remember the idea and was looking forward to bashing it out onto PlanetPi.
The thing is, when I turned on my Diesel (if you heard the noise my laptop makes when I punch the power up button you will know why I call it my Diesel) I could not recall the idea. I have taken the whole day to try and retrieve it, but now its 20:05pm and I still have no idea what the idea was. I thought that meant the blog opportunity had gone missing as well.

Then I had the epiphany of just starting the blog with the quote and the idea would present itself. Well it did not BUT I realised the irony in the whole situation in that whole subject of the blog was about ideas that can't be put back. Well I am not saying that I have put this mornings 5:55am idea back Miss Andrea, but I am certainly not sure where I misplayed it and I am not about to retrace my steps all the way back to the top of Chapmans Peak to see if I dropped it while heading that way so early this morning.

Andrea is so right though. The idea has not been put back (even though there is plenty of space where it came from), it has just been put somewhere else. I am still totally aware that it was conceived of, just not sure where it is now.
What does all this mean you ponder? Perhaps just that I am not quite ready for babies.

Post script: Come back next Thursday sometime as I will be riding the same route that day and perhaps I will find it while out there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"We are clever, but we're clueless. We're just human." - Jack Johnson

This morning I heard something so absurd that I nearly choked on my boiled eggs on rye. It really is difficult to think that I am actually of the same species as so many screwed up individuals on this planet.
Sky News was reporting on the activities of their Health and Safety or Environmental bunch or whom ever it was that work for the government and were all hot under their collars about the latest goings on in the UK. These politician crack addicts were getting themselves mobilized to take on the perceived menaces of society who were creating all sorts of nuisance and skulduggery by ....wait for it ... by brazenly .... and with no regard for anyone else's feelings or safety... were ... you will scarcely believe it ... COLLECTING FALLEN BRANCHES FROM TREES IN THE FOREST FOR FIREWOOD!
Can you handle it? My shattered nerves! I can't quite get to grips with this one I must say. When taking a stroll in a forest and collecting fallen branches is seen by those that run your country as a danger to all concerned, you know that on a large scale things have headed in the wrong direction.
Now this pertained to all forests in the UK. Not just one forest where say there was perhaps a bunch of old trees that had dropped a couple of well placed branches on a few ramblers in the recent weeks. And it's not like the ideas of these fools were coming from any other perceived danger that the forests have lying in wait. I mean the most dangerous creature on the mud Island they call England is probably the odd spider that could leave you with an itchy bump. In fact you are probably more likely to get hit by Gordon Brown's lazy loose bottom jaw that he lets drop bizarrely before each sentence, than by any beasties of ye olde England. In the old days the dragons would have you in a second, but since about the time of Excalibur and the like, the dragons seem to have found some decent hiding places and now it's just those spiders.
I reckon by the end of the week, under the bemused gaze of Big Ben, there will be a gathering of protesters outside the house of Commons, dragging about branches of trees that they have hacked off the local parks old oaks to take part in a demonstration and have their voice heard. How absurd to even indulge in such a governing system. Bunch of clueless clowns.

post script: The ironic thing about the danger of those forests in that without doubt the only deadly animal that lurks behind a tree waiting for its pray is actually man himself.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can

I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it. Winston Churchill

Interesting stuff from the old fella. This particular comment was written to a friend of his in a letter that he wrote in 1916 at the onset of WWI. In a nationwide TV poll in 2002 Churchill was voted 'The greatest Briton of all time'.

The extent to which we are ready to place our energy and backing behind another seems way too flimsy to me most of the time. I do wonder why people are always looking for leaders. I think it is a lack of understanding of our place in our existence and part of our solution in trying to find a way to feel we belong, pinning ourselves to anothers ideas that are presented well or seem to hold power, makes sense if we are too lazy to find out the solutions using our very own abilities.

At school I remember the popular kids that all the others wanted to be friends with were the one's with the harshest tongues and the most confidence to stick their necks out and take control. They were always quick and adept at pointing out any noticeable things about another child and putting a spin on it to make sure it was seen as a weakness and in so doing creating the illusion that they were better for not having the freckles, or big ears, or short legs, or big eyes.
Is it at this early stage that we decide we need leadership. Perhaps if that brash behaviour was not rewarded with attention and submission as youngsters, we would grow to be able to make our own decisions. To value our very own ability to know that we have the means to make our own existence worthwhile.
Laws, commandments, rules and regulations are necessary for those who are cut off from who they actually are. If you can see who you really are and not act outside of yourself all the time due to others influence, you would not need a leader that places these criterion in place and enforce them with violence and power. Leaders would still be valuable and necessary, but in a very different manner. Leaders would be those that provide an indication of how to help you be who you really are and not what you have become due to conditioning and separating of the body from reality. Religions do not do the job either. They are supposed to but they don't. They provide their very own laws, commandments, rules and regulations instead of providing just the help and guidance that man needs to realise what he is and make his life worthwhile. In fact originally religion was set-up to be just that - an indicator. Those days are long gone though. Man has perverted religion so successfully that it now acts negatively to those it claims to serve.
The cool thing is the individual does not need leadership to begin to understand. Just see what there is to see. It is all there for you and by just observing life yourself without it being tainted by those that are trying to influence you, you can come to an understanding that you have it within yourself to bring meaning to your life and are not dependant on others to tell you how things ought to be and how you should behave and act. You will find out very quickly that you are your best teacher and best leader.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"The cure of a part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole. No attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul, and if the...

"The cure of a part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole. No attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul, and if the head and body are to be healthy you must begin by curing the mind, for this is the greatest error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians first separate the soul from the body." - Plato

Lets not kid about, Plato was seen as a brainy one when it comes to the species. Unfortunately for the rest of the species it seems physicians are still of the opinion that the physical can be split somehow from the whole and treated separately. In fact they are so good at convincing themselves that they have found ways of not only finding a temporary solution to a physical problem, but also managed to convince the unfortunate individual they are working on, to look at things over a very short term so that all seems well once they have patched up the ailment.

Of course over a longer period of time the subject falls apart again and the physician is back in business!

Thankfully the human knows intrinsically that it must heal from all sides and it will try and help itself out to some extent. However this will only happen to a point and most of those with illness, disease and injury are missing out on some vital knowledge in getting themselves back in good nick.

I have been fortunate enough to be brought up without as much of a separation of body and soul as most and have been interested in closing that gap even further so am now able to see things closer to the way they should be. So if you are leaking or broken or have too many mutations in your body causing discomfort and pain, perhaps you need to look at properly healing yourself and not just going for the superficial fix. It works for your bumper when you smash it, but unless you are as in tune with yourself as your bumper is with its body, how can you think that fixing yourself is that superficial?

Friday, October 17, 2008

"We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them." - Fran├žois, Duc De La Rochefoucauld

This morning I took my breakfast next to the pool. On the deck. The wind had stopped howling its way around the city bowl at 6:30am so it was a crystal blue sky and already must have been a decent temperature in the Centigrade scale... come to think of it on the Fahrenheit one too.

I was fortunate enough to be enjoying a good muesli and yoghurt with not too much going on in my brain so I was in a pretty dozy state. Not as switched off as the Bee I watched dive bomb himself into the pool, just a metre or so away from me. The little fella hit the water at speed, but if he was looking to make an impression he was way out. He never even broke the surface of the pool water, instead he lay on top, not yet moving as he was clearly still stunned. The water had been lying there waiting for the first bit of mornings action tough and as the Bee started to make a move to escape from the surface of the water, tiny tendrils of H 2 and O soaked his legs and wings a to make his cause hopeless. For every ounce of energy spent on escape he was imprisoning himself more effectively until the movement stopped and the Bee guy seemed destined to end up at the bottom of the pool with the odd leaf and twig that had also taken on too much water to float.

I realised I had not taken another mouthful of breakfast since watching the action and decided that I would provide the dude with some assistance although not really thinking he would be able to survive after taking on so much water. I had to be careful not to sink Bee though. I acted swiftly with the back end of my spoon. Without causing a splash that might sink Bee, I plopped the end of the spoon under him and then lifted him slowly enough to make sure he was properly on board before taking him to the pool deck and shuffling him off onto a spot in the sun.
The water was still so heavy on Bee and I was not sure if he was alive. The sun works quickly though and with in a few seconds, although much of his torso and legs were still pinned to the deck by the weight of the water, Bee had managed to get those soaked wings free from his body and was already hanging them out to dry. So he was alive, but surely the twisted segments of his body were beyond repair? I thought my curiosity in watching him fight against the water had lost him precious time and my actions to lift him out were too late.
If this little guy was going to die though he was going to go out with a huge effort to get flying again. First he dragged himself around in circles as two of his legs seemed to be working on one side and none on the other. I hope no Bees were watching his Bee dance that shows them where the flowers are as this oakie was all over the show and was more likely to send them to a hornets nest than some pollen laden flowers.
After some wobbly dancing though he got two legs on the other side working and things were looking up for Bee. Then I noticed his biggest problem so far. Although he managed to get those all important wings up and drying straight away, I now noticed that he the two back legs (one on either side) were heavily laden with his precious cargo of pollen. A sack on either side, filled to the brim and bulging with a bounty any Bee could be proud of at the end of the day, never mind at 7:45am in the morning. I wonder if that is why this ambitious worker Bee had dived into the pool so stupidly? Maybe it was just too much of a load for one Bee to carry.
Bee was in a spot of bother with this load of pollen, and even as the wings took on a more lively iridescent lustre as they reflected their metallic purple, yellow and green light from the now shiny lattice of wing fibres; I doubted how he would ever dry that pollen out. It seemed his work load would be his downfall. To his credit though, those sacks remained untouched. Its not like he was giving up his inherent task by unpacking his cargo to escape his ordeal. Nope, Bee was dragging those back legs around and getting more and more motion from the parts that had dried out. The wings were still just hanging out there to dry and I had yet to see Bee make an attempt to actually get back in the air.
I watched for another few minutes and just as I finished my muesli, I saw the wings give a little tester of a buzz. Not an attempt to fly, just a little tweaker, seeing if those precious body parts were still able to function after the crash.
Now I do not have fond memories of close encounters with Bee's. As a youngster I would swell up when stung: like a Bergies lip after the obligatory Friday night boozin and beating.
I was allergic, but I was curious. That is probably what got me stung most of the time anyway. So with the abandon of a 3 year old and throwing caution to the wind, I lurched forward to get a better look at the state of the fella. Wouldn't you know it as soon as I got too close Bee darts off into the sky. Result!
I checked my watch ... it was7:59am ... perhaps he had an 8 O' Clock meeting?

Post script: I am a big honey fan and can't help thinking I will see some of Bee's hard labours soon. At least I would have contributed slightly in the making of this Bee's particular pot.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too."

I sent this to a very special person just a few weeks back. I am not sure I can remember where I found it, but I enjoyed it through and through. A sublime piece of writing for the likes of PlanetPi. The brilliant thing though is that then it came back to me. Yesterday my younger brother - the Kitchen guy, sent it to me as he thought I would enjoy it. Totally from left field you see which was fantastical stuff indeed.
If you are going to read please promise yourself one thing though... read it right till the end. Read out loud or to a friend. Or to yourself but make sure you read the whole catoot.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do you beleive in the Devil? You know a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation,corruption and destruction of man?" "I'm not sure man needs hel

"Do you believe in the Devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption and destruction of man?"
"I am not sure that man needs the help." Calvin & Hobbes

Once again that little critter Calvin and his imaginary Tiger have some fantastic comments on the state of what they see in front of them. I found the clever words relevant to the crumbling castle syndrome that seems to be on everyone's minds at the moment. An interesting point to me is the way people actually react to this chaos in the world financial markets, politics and lively weather that has created such uncertainty and fear for the future.
All the reports are looking at reasons for, and why, the banks and leaders have failed us and presented us with this mess to deal with. The realisation is starting to set in that perhaps the system is not as stable as we thought is was. People are stressing as the prospects of keeping their homes, jobs and comforts in their lives are looking ever more frail, and as they feel the control slipping away from their hapless grasp, that fear and panic turns outward to find the reasons. The blame is directed away from themselves. Why is this happening to us? Why are things so difficult and is it necessary that we are punished with such hardship?

Is it not clear and simple though that this is all self inflicted? All that is falling apart was created by ourselves. Not with very much good intention either mind you. The act of growing larger and larger just for the sake of growth itself should not be seen as good intention. Is it not clear that we have neglected our inner selves and what is supposed to be happening on this planet with regards to interacting in a positive way with our natural environment and not trying to squeeze every ounce of what we think is worthwhile from it in a one way relationship? That we are concentrating just on what is outside of us and how it can serve us?

Obviously this is not clear to the majority of people. All the hustling to get things right seem to result in solutions outside of ourselves. Reasons for the upheaval are pinned on instability here and evil leadership there; natural disasters and climate change wreaking havoc upon our innocent selves, or diseases that are ravaging the worlds population so ruthlessly.

We find ourselves victims ... when we would do well to realise, we just need to find ourselves.

Monday, October 13, 2008

You don't have a TV? Well then what does all of your furniture point at? – Joey

Over a good few years since I have been taking note of it, I have yet to find a friend or hear a person in conversation say that they really enjoy TV. Its just not seen as the right thing to say: "You know I just love watching TV."
I don't buy that though. I think a lot of those in denial actually do really love watching. There is so much on TV that I dig to watch, from total rubbish entertainment only every now and again, to incredible documentaries on all sorts, to travel channels where you get to see fantastic place on the planet that two decades ago we would only hear and read about, to sports (yes I am a sports nut and can watch a ton of it on the box) to some great movies and one or two brilliant news channels. The Biography channel rocks and I even watch the odd cooking channel vibe or play some old music videos on VH-1 in the background every now and again.
The thing is off course, as with much in life, it is how much effort you put in that makes it worthwhile or not. If you just push the power button on and wait for the TV to entertain you then there is little chance you will manage to be presented with anything that you are keen on at that moment. If you do some research though and know what is on when, then there is a much greater chance that you will find those pearls that are well worth watching. I even think that knowing my stuff when it comes to what I want to watch, even though it is quite a few different genres and channels, I watch less than those that just aimlessly surf for stuff to watch every evening.
Of course if you don't have DSTV then you are a bit screwed. PVR is the way forward though and I look forward to my first one so I can get the likes of 'Johnny Bravo', 'Nigella', 'The O.C' and 'Hanna Montana' on tap.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education – Mark Twain

I have super intelligent cousins. One has written a book about being home schooled while living in Botswana and its a cracker. The publishers world wide went mad for the book even though Robs has never written a book before. 'Twenty Chickens For A Saddle' is a hit in the USA and the UK and also available in South Africa.

I think I will school my own children too. I better marry a boffin though as I reckon all they will learn from their Dad is:
  • How to cook pasta perfectly,
  • How to pass a rugby ball pinpoint over 18m,
  • How to dance like a black dude in a white dudes skin,
  • What the directions are to The Ledge on Table Mountain,
  • The secret of a power nap in any location,
  • How to eat a loaf of bread in one sitting,
  • The art of stubbornness,
  • How to do a head stand,
  • How to interrupt others at all costs so as to get your own point across,
  • Appreciation of pain and suffering,
  • The merits of the Golden Ratio - Phi,
  • Why sweetener and many other foods are evil,
  • How you can never watch Snatch nor The Big Blue too many times,
  • How to see the moon and the sun in just one look!
  • Why not to vote,
  • That Johnny Wilkinson and Michael Owen are the same person,
  • How to put one's mouth over a pint glass,
  • How to survive a migraine,
  • That Eskimos are really Inuits,
  • Father Christmas is real,
  • How to put over 100 grapes in your mouth (no not via a bottle of wine),
  • The importance of summer rules of no socks no jocks,
  • Why not to protest when given a temporary nic name so as to not make it stick,
  • The real reason for it all and how to go about making it all worthwhile.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

“My name?It’s Cesar Mendez but they call me Cuz.You know, on account of me being a doorman and all of a sudden everyone's family.”CeaserMendez Bouncer

I used to work in London, doing my thing for the world economy at JP Morgan. It seems I had escaped my nic name of Pi Face for a few months, but that was short lived. I worked in trade support and after about 6 months of making new friends and nobody knowing any of the more sordid and dodgy details of my past (after all I lied through my teeth on my CV saying I had a B.Com degree with no mention of my actual sports science degree) a guy I knew from Cape Town - Riley, joined as a junior trader on the futures and options desk which is the one I worked closely with. It was not even lunchtime and I had all the traders ringing up asking to please speak to Piiiiiii Faaaaaace... they are a brash and confidant bunch these money makers and always looking to get the upper hand in a small piece of knowledge and having this one over me was as sweet as making a huge score on a deal I can tell you. The entertainment did not stop. Obviously Riley had spilt the beans the night before, using this tit bit of knowledge to gain some points of favour with the big boys.
Well now it was time for the big wheel to turn.

I popped up to the trading floor and while still about 20 rows of trading screens back from my guys, I could hear the over friendly and gratuitously loud greetings in their poncy toff accents: "Oh look, it's Piiiii Face. How are you today Piiiii Face." I quietened the rowdy bunch down with some 'I will beat you so hard you will fink youz surrounded' looks that the oaks in Kempton Park use on each other.
Then I dished up the goods on Riley. He used to be a bouncer at LA MED in Camps Bay you see. So it was just too easy to get the traders all excited about this little pearl of info. They could not wait for him to come in. He was scheduled for the late shift and was only due in a few hours but they all wanted a go at him, so they called him in early under the pretence of a work issue and then when he got there you can imagine how they let fly. Not too many doorman working on the JP Morgan trading floor I can assure you.
When the dude who hired him (Giles was his name ... of course it was) heard the spicy bit of news he was overjoyed. "Bouncer!" He exclaimed."I thought when he said that in his interview he meant Duetsche!"

post script: By saying Deutsche he was referring to the Deutche Bank which is possibly one of the references Riley would be giving when trying to impress his new employers.

Post post script: I too have done my stint as a doorman. At a club in Boston. The image of me above was sketched by my buddy Jeff who worked across the street as a Pizza maker before becoming a Mafioso hit man. I used to sit at this fancy cocktail lounge and 'card' all the 30 year olds. Aaaah the power of the Bouncers. Don't you hate them so?

Monday, October 6, 2008

“Somebody STOP me” – Camps Bay Beach ice cream seller

As the sun hits Cape Town the ice cream sellers on the beaches come out in force. Like irritating horse flies they interrupt those perfect days on Camps Bay with loud intrusive shouts at 4min 28second intervals. So persistent and totally bullet proof to any remarks or looks of displeasure cast their way. They irritate the crap out of me. If playing beach bats and they come with in striking distance I let fire without hesitation.

Then you get the guy that makes me laugh. He's the one that delivers Jim Carey's line from The Mask with exuberance and commitment. Volume never being a problem.

If you see him this season go ahead and take a Granadilla Lolly from the old fella. Tell him its on me. Either that or smash a ball at him too. Did I mention how much I can't stand them? The ice cream men that is, not the Granadilla Lollies.

post script: Granadilla Lollies are the business.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

‘When Hemingway put his brains on the wall, that was style’ - Gazzara

Not many people read Hemingway these days. It seems he endured a bad patch of sledging sometime towards the end of the last Millennium when the critics decided to lay into, the long since deceased, American Author. I do still read his books as I really get an incredibly vivid surge to my imagination of the places and people he is writing about. More about the places than the people though. From Paris to the Florida and the African bush he had an incredible talent to make it live in my head in a fantastic form of reality. His characters were not as attractive to me. I am not a fan of his 'manliness'. The dude was a huge hunter and bull fight enthusiast and I suppose this is how his male characters are portrayed.
He had an eventful time on the planet until he leaned up against a shotgun that he wedged between the skirting board of his house and his kakebeen (a beautiful Afrikaans word for Jawbone) and pulled the trigger. On purpose you understand ... to kill himself. To commit sewage pipes - suicide. Unlike a one of his beloved Matadors who just slice those sword blades into the bulging shoulders of a hapless bull by the dozen with no chance of missing the dying target - old Hemmers missed and only partially blew his head off. Obviously he died later on, but I am not sure if it is then actually officially called suicide as he missed the main shot see.

The reason I have been thinking about suicide ... hang on, hang on. Not thinking of testing it out I can assure you (although the sound of those f$%^&#g sheep skin slippers dragging along our oak floors is driving me as close as I have probably ever been), but rather thinking about the particular fact that has come to me a few times in the last few weeks. And that is that the weather actually has an effect on a persons decision to kill themselves. I am not talking about extreme weather conditions, where the option of falling on your bread knife rather than die at the hands of frostbite or putting a bullet in your brain while drowning to escape that uncomfortable situation. I am talking about persistent but totally durable weather conditions leading to the fatal decisions.
What got me to thinking in this (weather) vein is the incessant complaining by my fellow Capetonians about the huge amounts of rain we have had this winter and: "oh my goodness when will it all stop" and "It's already October and where is the summer" and on and on and on. Stop the whinging already. The rain is incredible! The more we have this winter the better. So have another warm coffee or even better a good full glass of shut the fuck up and enjoy the life giving drops from the sky. Summer is summer and it is on its way ... just for the same fools to start moaning about the South Eater wind. Haaaa haaa! Forgot about that little fella that comes to visit with Mr Summer didn't you?
Well even for you whinging bastards there is good news about the rain. The suicide rate does go up with weather conditions (what are we ... pillars of salt? Blocks of butter?) but it seems it is more the hot weather that puts the fear into us and not so much the rain. As per CSI last night and more research I have done since, the surge in hot weather causes higher levels of street violence and attacks, as well as rioting and unrest + Suicides.

So enjoy the rain.

Here are 10 weather phobias the Scientists and there psyhcologically minded buddies have put together to officially show how screwed we are when it comes to being anti weather and not actually intelligent enough to enjoy it (I have added some of my own so see if you can spot the PlanetPi contrived phobias).

10 Weather Phobias
  • Brontophobia - Fear of thunder
  • Astrapophobia - Fear of lightning
  • Anemophobia - Fear of wind
  • Chionophobia - Fear of snow
  • WetTshirtophobia - Fear of water wetting white shirt
  • Cryophobia - Fear of ice and frost
  • Asterixophobia - Fear of sky falling on head
  • Heliophobia - Fear of the Sun and light
  • Frizzophobia - Fear of hair going curly
  • Homichlophobia - Fear of fog
  • Nephelophobia - Fear of clouds
  • Ombrophobia - Fear of rain
  • Psychrophobia - Fear of cold
post script: drowning as used above as a weather condition leading to suicide IS totally acceptable as its caused by water ... so shut it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns,but I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die-JohnnyCash

This line comes from a flipping awesome song Johnny Cash wrote (Folsom Prison Blues) about - and then actually performed in - Folsom Prison. Did he do it before or after Elvis? Can't tell you to be sure. Now, did the 'King' actually sing in a prison for Jailhouse Rock, or was it just screwing around making a music video? Not really my thing this so you'll have to go to some other fools blog to get that sort of info.
What I can tell you is our boy Johnny C performed for the bad asses in the prison as part of his vibe and caused a fracas while he was at it. A victim of being beaten by his old man as a young squirt, Johnny boy was always ready to throw 'it' back into the face of authority whenever he got the chance. With a mic and a band behind him those opportunities were a plenty. So you can imagine when he got the crowd going things got a little raucous. There is another song he sings right in the prison ( bravely as the warders were within truncheon reach) called San Quentin where he sings the lines:
"San Quentin, I hate every inch of you.
You've cut me and have scarred me thru an' thru.
San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell.
May your walls fall and may I live to tell."

Brave cat our boy!

South Africa has got a good whack of prisons of course and although most seem to be pretty shabby affairs where cash still rules the day and can buy you a more comfortable time in the joint than the poor man, there are some pretty hectic maximum security facilities to lock a couple of the perceived bad eggs up good and proper.
One that I know of is Brandvlei Prison near Worcester in the Western Cape. I place of exquisite beauty, surrounded by mountains tipped with snow in the winter and lush green vineyards standing stoutly and top heavy full of grapes under sunny skies in summer.
My Aunt and cousin went along for a visit to hear some of the good work the prisoners were doing recently. One of the dudes they went along with actually did have a guitar and played some tunes that the prisoners went mad for. They don't get to see any of the magical surroundings. The walls are high and these guys are murderers and rapists. Convicted and serving what usually amounts to a hefty sentence. What they can see above those walls is just sky. Their world consists of just those prison walls and sky.
What interested me was the story my cousin told me about after her visit. She said the one guy was absolutely fanatical about Liverpool United and was after any information that she had on the famous football side. My cousin is a brainy thing indeed but her knowledge does not go so far as to keep tabs on the English Premiership football scores. The guy was adamant that being free, she must have some notion of how his team was doing. I am not sure if she made up some good news for the guy in the orange suit, but when she asked him if he had always supported Liverpool and sympathised with his not being able to watch them, he replied that he had been in prison since a young man and never actually supported the team, but his parents loved the Beetles at the time and he knows they are from Liverpool so that is why he supports the fantastic team.
A long long time to be in prison that is. A long time indeed and hanging on to what ever he can to keep his inspiration going. Sure he murdered someone to end up there and therefore may deserve his predicament. Don't think for a moment you can judge though. Well at least his parents chose the Beetles and not Pink Floyd as then the football loving criminal would be spending his energies on chasing Cambridge United! Actually, young Robyn my cousin would be a lot more helpful in volunteering any information about Cambridge.

post script: Elvis Presley's music video of Jailhouse Rock was the first bit of music ever to be performed on the Television (except for when they play those bugles on 'The Life Of Brian' which was obviously in Bible Times so that was much longer ago). When Michael Jackson watched it for his 356th time, under strict instruction from his father - who also used to thrash young Mike, he was inspired to make his own music video. The result = 'Thriller' (the most successful selling album ever until Robert Mathew Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) re-launched his career with Mind Blowin.
The point being ... Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson have a lot more in common than you might have thought.