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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Does anyone recognise this parliamentary procedure? You should as it happens all the time!

This appeared on a Times Leader Page in August 2002, and it’s so true that it’s depressing!

  • It is at first denied that any radical new plan exists;
  • it is then conceded that it exists and, at some point it is finally recognised that it has made such a difference, but it was always known that it would and voters were told so from the outset.
  • It is then noted that it exists but ministers swear blind that it is not even on our political agenda;
  • it is then noted that it might well be on the agenda but is not a serious proposition;
  • it is later conceded that it is a serious proposition, but that it will never be implemented;
… after then it is acknowledged that it will be implemented but in such a diluted form that it could make no difference to the lives of ordinary people …
Do you recognise this? And it isn't just the EU, it is how the government handles any information or plan that the people are wary about. Many of us are aware that this is what happens, but we just resign ourselves to our fate.

If only we had the courage of the Africans and Arabs in North Africa.

Summer's coming - collection of Braai (BBQ) sauces.

If you take a quick look on the right hand column, you'll see a heading called "Pages"

The collection of Braai sauces are shown in a permanent page for your enjoyment.

Cathy's newsletter from Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe update

For the latest on happenings in Zimbabwe, go to:  and subscribe to their newsletter, a really good source of current information.

Dear Family and Friends,

Something we have become grudgingly used to in Zimbabwe is the knowledge that all our cities, towns, villages and neighbourhoods are the perpetrators of bloody crimes and brutal human rights abuses. Up to three decades after they murdered, raped, burnt and tortured, in the name of their political masters, they have gone unpunished and continue to walk brazenly amongst us.

Mirna van Wyk

I always read Mirna's column in the "FunkyMunky newsletter I receive every month from South Africa (it's on Google) - I have met the compiler who lives in Jozi (Johannesburg) and he is a retired Afrikaner who spends all his time travelling, and shares his photographs of all the National Parks he visits with us.

This is particularly interesting when "that woman" looks like she is going to become a millionnaire over her lack of care of "Baby P".

Adam Smith: Arguments against having a minimum wage - comments welcome

The following was written by Sam Bowman of the Adam Smith Institute:

Bryan Caplan asks two questions to minimum wage supporters:

1. If the minimum wage is a good idea, shouldn't unpaid internships be illegal as well? If not, why not?

2. Name the main arguments in favour of the legality of unpaid internships. Aren't all of them equally good arguments for allowing people to work for wages greater than zero and less than the minimum wage?

I suspect that quite a few minimum wage supporters actually do oppose unpaid internships. The non-monetary returns from work – experience – are intangible, leading many to assume that one party is being exploited.

Monday, 30 May 2011

A useful lesson on how to write an email to a commercial business or a governmental department.

I like the word "governmental" and have given you a clue as to why!

People never read emails properly

Have you ever noticed how people never read e-mails? They used to be bad enough with letters, but now, with e-mails, it is almost impossible to get your message across.

The real problem comes when you want to ask the recipient more than one question. If you do, the recipient will pick the easiest question to answer and then hit the "send" button.
The problem is, how can we get them to answer all our questions?

We'll match the price if you can buy cheaper elsewhere? You have to be joking!

Have you come across the statement issued by some companies which run along the lines of:
“If you can buy cheaper elsewhere, tell us and we’ll match their price”
If I can buy cheaper elsewhere, I buy from the company offering decent terms in the first place. I would never go back to the company issuing statements like the above!

Be efficient, help your friends and acquaintances find your location

Do you have a digital camera?
Why not produce a one page PDF of how to get to your home or place of work? Or two pages if you need to show a “by public transport” and a “by road”scenario? There are many free utilities that will give you a PDF driver to print to, and many programs already offer this internally.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wins the National Lottery

Has anyone read Anthony Robbins huge paperback called “Awaken the Giant Within”?
For many a year I have persuaded friends to buy it, saying if you just read the first three chapters and decide you don’t like it, I will buy it back at the full price. Needless to say I knew that once they read the first three chapters they would read the whole book, and not one out of at least a dozen asked for their money back.
Anthony Robbins also holds different seminars to “help the giant within” awaken within ourselves. I went to a weekend seminar when he came over to the UK, at the Alexander Palace. And yes, I did walk fifteen yards over burning coals in my bare feet.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Father of the Mother Road: The story of one man’s mission to turned Route 66 from a forgotten highway to a national treasure

When I read this in this mornings electronic Daily Mail, I just had to share it with you, dear reader! 

In the fifties when I "bummed" around the USA for 30 months of the three years I was there, I spent a little time on Route 66. 

What a route, with lots of bars all with country and western singers every night - Nashville wasn't the home of C&W to many of us, Route 66 was!

Read on, and finish the article in the Mail, link at the bottom.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Why there is no chance that the Arab Spring will spread to Europe.

It is terrific to see people power in Tunisia and the Egypt. Naturally, it is sad to see all the killing in Libya and Syria, and Bahrain to a lesser extent, but let us all hope democracy will prevail in all these countries.
However, we have to bear in mind that democracy is not necessarily something that the Muslim faith believes in. Time will tell. To explain, think of what Muslims believe in as similar to what the rulers in the EU believe in. Total control. I explain below.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Testing Boris Johnson's new "Routmaster" type bus

Here is a photograph of a prototype being tested on a private road.

At last we can jump on and jump off the bus as it crawls along Oxford Street. Providing Elf & Safe Tea allows us to.


An old South African recipe for Bobotie and yellow rice

This has now been superseded by another recipe.
This has always been one of my favourite dishes the act of making it over two days really enhances the taste of the mince. 

Don't be worried about the number of ingredients, most South African dishes have far more ingredients than English dishes. Perhaps because many of them come from the Cape Malays who settled in the Western Cape. 

Note, if you like "heat" in your food, you need slightly more chili than you might think as somehow the dish nullifies a lot of the heat. But the best way is to go easy at first so you can find out for yourself.

I have little sympathy with kids complaining of being bullied.

What is wrong with today's children? I was bullied at school. I never told my parents, I just got on with life and gave as good as I got!
I was an English descent boy (Scottish descent actually, but they don't differentiate) brought up amongst Afrikaners in Stellenbosch, the heart of Cape Afrikanerdom. I went to an Afrikaans boarding school in Wellington from the age of seven!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Dave Barry, A nationally syndicated columnist in the USA, shares his views on life

Sixteen things that took me over 50 years to learn:
1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”
3. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”

Should children have rights? An interesting reply to this awkward question.

Mirna is an educational psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools, amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother, loves art, the ocean and children. I follow her monthly on a SA newsletter.

Full report of a visit to the South Western USA. Ideal for your first acquaintence of America!

Fifteen years ago I took Pam (my wife) for her first trip to the USA and for those visiting for the first time, I can recommend the South West as the people are so friendly there.
I have lifted this out of my personal family website in case you are contemplating a holiday in the South West.
Now read on...

Abstainer. A weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914, American Author

The South Western USA

When Andrew and Pam took a fortnight's holiday in the US, Andrew kept a full journal on his Psion netbook and, as a result, we can share our experiences with our friends and hope they learn from some of the mistakes we made on our trip. The South Western States certainly seem to generate a race of extremely laid back and friendly Americans.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Some funnies from Indiana Larry (our man in Indiana)·

Occasionally, very occasionally, I like to add a few light-hearted jokes to cheer my readers up, some old, some new, but all reflect my sense of humour. I hope you will also enjoy them.

If you send in any jokes, remember, I prefer descriptive adjectives to cusswords unless the cussword is really part of the funny!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Godfather of mercenaries arms the UAE, wants more South Africans

This article has been taken from The Daily Maverick, a South African web magazine.

Erik Prince, the 41-year-old former Navy Seal billionaire who years ago created the controversial private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, has started a new venture in the desert outside Abu Dhabi. With millions in cash from the emirates, Prince is building an army for the oil-soaked sheikhs.

In the process, he’s hiring South Africans who know their way around a dirty war.

Don't let the buggers (wine waiters) get you down!

Wine tasting at home.
It is sometimes difficult for an amateur to go to a wine tasting event with so many professionals using such flowery language. It can be daunting to be able to label the tastes in your mouth with the proper nouns, adjectives and verbs.
However, if you find this very difficult, as I do sometimes, there is another way.
When you taste wine and you feel you haven't the ability to smell the nose or taste the wine in such an expert way, don't worry about it.
There is another wayl This is to use numbers. Let me explain!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Bad luck certainly came in threes for this poor bastard! But it is hard not go get hysterical!

My ex-husband had this annoying habit of bringing greasy old carburetors and things into the house to work on.

So, last week, when my friend called to tell me this story my first response was “Where did this guy live?” Now reassured that I was never related to him by marriage, this really is too hilarious not to share.

The way my friend told it this guy pushed his motorcycle from the patio into his living room, where he began to clean the engine with some rags and a bowl of gasoline. When he finished, he sat on the motorcycle and decided to start it to make sure everything was still OK.

Schoolgirl wins right to use her iPod in exams as she can't concentrate unless she's listening to music

A schoolgirl has won the right to use an iPod while sitting her exams - after claiming she can only concentrate while listening to her favourite music.

The girl won the unprecedented concession after threatening legal action against her school and examination authorities.

The latest businessman's "must have" gizmo which is actually very useful indeed!

The other day I attended a press event concerning the new Livescribe pen. The 2GB version is priced at just under £100, there is a 4GB version, and the 8GB version is slightly under £180.

We sat through a couple of videos and a demonstration and it was quite amazing. They gave us the 8GB pen to take home and I have been playing with it for a few days now.

Cape Town elections, an incredible result for a white woman.

Helen Zille is the leader of the DA Party (Democratic Alliance).

Her party won 748,404 votes in the 2006 Cape Town elections in South Africa and this month won 1,357,949 votes, an increase of around 55%, more than doubling the number. This from a fledgling party which was only formed in 1994.

The reason for her success is the parties record on "Service Delivery", more on this further down.

It must be stories like this, around the world, that should give some hope to our own smaller parties in the UK.

Is this a taste of the future? Outsourcing goes full circle as Indian firms look to the U.S. for cheap labour

It's a frustration experienced by most people when they've made phone calls to large companies.

An unfamiliar voice answers the phone in a call centre hundreds of miles away where cheap labour is commonplace.

But in a reversal of fortunes it now appears that large Indian companies are actually now themselves outsourcing - to U.S. shores.

Is it Barack Obama, or is it Barack O'Bama?

Now that Barack OBama mania is almost upon us, perhaps we should let him know a few home truths

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

A most amazing video. As one commentator mentions, they must have been pets and the owl could not have been in the wild.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

One 71 year old that leaves our politicians standing – a man to be greatly admired.

Colour and excitement returned to the City yesterday as Glencore announced a former French foreign legionnaire, Algerian war veteran, author, explorer and financier as its new chairman.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Posting a test blog from my mobile

Ampers was ravished by seven beautiful Amazonian young women on the London Underground. If there are errors in this post it's because it is still going on!

Friday, 20 May 2011

At first I thought this claim was just plain stupid

after all, who wants the computer game strategy brought into education. But I have to admit, when I watched the entire video, I began to look at things a little differently.

Will be moving back from Wordpress soon

Need time to familiarise myself with the new system at Blogger and once I have done this, I will slowly move back to Blogger.