Friday, August 19, 2016

1mm below the surface

wednesday 27th july:

great bag work at the gym, lots of elliptical
mom visit, exhausted mr smear, everyone going to sleep and running out of internet

going to bed early

thursday 28th:

waking up in the middle of the night stressing over not working and irritated feet

discipline and chores conflict

the gym: why don't my fighting shorts fit?! and why didn't i tighten my running shoes before running? otherwise it was a pretty good session.

home, putting mr smear down for his nap, bathing him when he woke up, a big dinner watching some lock, stock and two smoking barrels, explaining to vegans why vegan cat food needs to be animal tested

finally getting a handle on the mechanism of the project i've been working on

friday 29th:

learning that mercury levels in south african fish are more than twice as high as the maximum safety level, and that the effects on cognitive function are dramatic and immediate as well as long term

waking up from an amazing dream about getting my citizenship status sorted out and realizing it wasn't real

a solidly damaged right arm, whether nervous or muscular

physio, swimsuit shopping fail rage, frustrated plans and lack of communication, a quick mom visit and getting mr smear into bed and chatting with the mongoose and call-a-pizza and the rest of lock, stock and two smoking barrels and scripting router reboots with imacros

saturday 30th:

four hours of getting shit done
four hours of sleep
waking up on the wrong side of the bed

switching cars and meeting yet another man who married a canadian and came back

mr smear needing an emergency clean and getting his first proper shower (as opposed to me holding him under the water a little) - way easier than bathing him!

coffee and spar mission taking way longer than planned and the latter being a rather unpleasant experience

*trigger warning* being extremely satisfied with myself for catching every drop of vomit in my cupped hand when he repeated his earlier choking performance

explosive afternoon and the neighbour's overwhelming sulfur stench, strolling mr smear past my mom's and along the dusk promenade

a tough time getting mr smear to sleep

sunday 31st:

mom not answering her phone
the constantia mission
exclusive books shock and re-inspiration
coffee, nursery fun with mr smear
fantastic lunch
emergency napping
mr smear's second shower
working until thoroughly out of internet

monday 1st august:

waking up early and finally getting the job done (not polished, but done) before going to bed and not sleeping until mr smear had decided he'd had enough rest

dentist surprise, not the same tooth
don't tell me our previous landlord hasn't been in for more than ten days

getting things done until chiropractor (and book store) time, running into the acupuncturist whose girlfriend is a "nutritionist" who does shady things to enable people who don't want or know how to eat well

the gym, starting to seriously lose my cool with our previous landlord and his cronies

mr smear going to bed early after a shower we both needed, composing a threatening email with my mum, coming home to a very quiet household

working until midnight

tuesday 2nd:

mr smear turning into a little rocket after twelve hours of sleep

when my wife is in trouble, *i* have to sleep on the couch. good timing, before a massage.

the massage was painful and literally shocking


walking with shadowslight and hcc, sunset photo competitive, business strategy and a visit from my mom and a struggle to get mr smear to bed

wednesday 3rd:

a nightmare morning, finally giving up on a strongly demotivating note
dropping off gd in town, voting with my mom, breakfast while scouting at loaves on long (which is great, but would have been even better had my tooth not been so sore), a walk around the surprisingly closed company gardens, rushing home with a screaming child, tearing my nice trousers in my rush to check on him, rushing back to town to hit a post-accident detour and get lost in a parkade
a crazy afternoon of keeping mr smear occupied while gd got her hair done, changing him twice on a particularly challenging chair

my first kisses from him while he was on my shoulders

the full system shock of hanging around for half of a 9-5 hair job, getting home efficiently and ordering a giant call-a-pizza salad that i couldn't properly enjoy because my tooth hurt so much

bathing mr smear, putting him to bed fairly easily

testing my solution: success!

the end of sphere, the brilliant season finale of preacher

strategizing, then crashing early

thursday 4th:

another early morning, an entertaining hour with mr smear in the dentist's waiting room
newport deli disappointment, good service but less than stellar food
a desperate nap, a busy while running after my son
struggling through rush hour traffic to get to the acupuncturist who didn't have what gd went for (and who was injured to the point of needing to go to the hospital), struggling through rush hour to get to the cape quarter, then coming home to take far too long to go to my cousin's whose father had just passed away


stopping in to talk about spiritual atheism
coming home to find gd done with her dreadlocks (so much for a full day during a hectic week for both of us and rather a lot of money)
terrible internet, then mr smear's first REAL tantrum that made us freak out thinking he was sick or injured rather than still hungry after three feeds... so much for valergan...

friday 5th:

slumlord deposit finally returned
waking up early, attempting to say something about cultural appropriation and being sidelined by a #blacklivesmatter nuance
rushing off to the dentist: it's not good news that he's not charging me if the reason is that he suspects i'll be needing a root canal treatment soon

rushing to the post office to pick up gd's new clipper the day after she desperately needed it
stopping at home, then moving on to the physio; i'm apparently "rain man" regarding nutrition :P

pointing out the white female michael jackson at the mall; an excellent lunch at knead, home to feed mr smear, not enough time to do either of the two things we needed to do because gd had an appointment that the doctor didn't respect

a conference call, shower time and feeding mr smear with two spoons and dinner with mom and unnecessary fighting

saturday 6th:

mr smear's first birthday!
methodist church memorial
furniture shopping for my mom
dragonfire reconnections
cousins for a wonderful afternoon/ evening, correcting a misconception about my brother, the freezing cold and a quick spar run

sunday 7th:

rls trauma
waking up dull, a taste of evangelion and hunting a projector, last minute clothing shopping
a 90th birthday party and loads of family, eating my favourite "forbidden fruit" (things gd's allergic to but there wasn't any other food for vegans)

nutrition and gd explaining why advising someone to drink from a straw might encourage unhealthy behaviours
protoplasm's visit, third time discussing conway's game of life in a week and daniel burnstein's new physics model

crashing early, exhausted

monday 8th:

a mostly decent night's sleep, the dermatologist visit, a gym mission, working hard on the wrong thing

tuesday 9th:

another difficult night

mr smear's first step! and taken with his grandmother present, too

brunch with an english cousin at plant, insane women's day traffic to signal hill, the closed crèche at the gym, lone parenting at a traditional kiddies party, arriving home to a stunning sunset feeling completely worn out

showering a one year old (as opposed to bathing) is an absolute pleasure; it's safer, it's physically easier, it uses less water

wednesday 10th:

when the workday begins at 4am
the window guys taking care of the door but not the windows, stressing about metal pieces on the floor; also taking up the whole day
a particularly slappy mr smear
illustrator costs shock
getting through the evening until mr smear fell asleep
the hogfather

thursday 11th:

4am starting again
my arm / shoulder getting much worse (rotator cuff)

google maps and my watch actually getting us to our destination on time! a walk around kenilworth (kenilworthless, more like) and the heavy shit smell of the strip mall

not being able to take my family to lunch in kirstenbosch because we didn't have a squishie because pick 'n pay doesn't stock their shelves

a waterfront mission for another badly stocked pick 'n pay, quick home stop and short crash and using caffeine to get me to the gym to read wired while gd exercised and mr smear got down and dirty in the crèche (why were his feet black?)

heading straight to the chiropractor who did a number on my neck and back and informed me that i'm now wearing a matching rotator cuff injury to gd's
vegan cheese alternatives and baby food and hebrew claws chef (hcc) dropping off a baby hiking carrier and a quick visit from my mom and gd making a great dinner and more the hogfather and SxS coming up with a decent interim solution for my modem resets and

friday 12th:

partially paying back my mom and struggling with my work machine

getting some good sleep, but still feeling tired (time for bloodwork, i guess), a chat with the boss, rushing off to the post office to pick up a solar charger with no instructions and awful UX design
a quick run to buy a telephone, a declined credit card, our physio confused about our appointment
"i have a land rover so i'll drive how i want" - MILLER WP

lunch, nap, shower, showering mr smear

a lovely dinner, leaving the gift at home and receiving a bunch

saturday 13th:

sleeping straight through my alarm for my midnight meeting with the big boss, mr smear waking up soon after finally connecting

sleeping deeply but not nearly enough by many hours, a super sneezy mr smear
heavy rain until we hit the vegan goods market, a small market filled with really great stuff and an old friend making not eggs
a quick drive home followed by waiting for my mom who was waiting for us, an unnecessarily difficult shelf shopping experience followed by an unexpectedly long canal walk visit with a somewhat unhappy mr smear - a national ps3 shortage and online credit card failures
borrowing drills and testing our new projector, thoroughly enjoying the hogfather together

sunday 14th:

rushing to buy a ps3 online
the shame of being angry with a one year old who's not feeling well for refusing to go to sleep and in particular for throwing himself backwards

6am wakeup and of *course* mr smear managed to get hold of the projector and throw it to the ground (roughly)
double-charged playstation frustration
supertongue - what's the word for someone who asks for advice and won't listen to it? oh, yes... an askhole.
breakfast with my uncle; family feud advice, relationship advice, nutrition advice
putting up a shelf according to bad instructions (precariously perched)
wearing myself out drilling into concrete
picking up tools and audio equipment from my mom
visiting my great aunt to give her her gift
last minute remote battery shopping and setting up the apple tv
going to bed super early

monday 15th:

four or five times up for mr smear but mostly sleeping the night away; feeling very conscious of just how worn out i am

why is it that everything that's taken ages to get around to only ends up demanding more time and energy: trying to get refunds for both the definitely NOT 3500 lumens projector and the accidental double payment for the playstation

dentist fun (mr smear with an "m" is still not mr spear)
paying the car rent
the chiropractor

a burned bridge at the gym (we lost a potential landlord R7000 because he did us a favour to get us in)
meeting my uncle reading a newspaper
mr smear needing to be held the entire time he was in the crèche

a big lunch, gd informing me that i'm a glutton (apparently a toasted cheese does not count as "dessert")

an exhausting, busy night, the crèche's too-tight diaper, bad timing in collaborating with SxS

tuesday 16th:

crashing early, completely overwhelmed by exhaustion
another difficult night, an early morning and a day spent taking care of mr smear while everyone else (gd, cleaning lady and handyman) took care of their tasks, becoming increasingly frustrated by the universe's interference with my napping
the physio, shopping, rushing to meet hcc in the park, a pleasant (but chilly) stroll and a gorgeous sunset, rushing over to my mom's with gd's soup and explaining to her why we're unable to keep our heads above water, rushing back to arrive too late and to struggle with an aggressively reluctant one year old to hit the bed

failing to seal the "fixed" door, the new video driver update crashing windows, failing to communicate with my wife, losing my shit and failing at life

wednesday 17th:

working until late for the first time in a while (a few days at least, but it's hard to keep track), mr smear getting through the night better but waking up with a runny nose again

a quiet, tense morning, little sleep but small victories, an amazing (long) lunch shared with mr smear - utopia and violife both make cheeses that all three of us enjoy!

paying for a nap (babysitter), a somewhat pleasant afternoon turned sour, a quick visit from my mom, open hostility, work / trying to get off web hosting that significantly increased its rates

thursday 18th:

making some progress in spite of a broken mouse handicapping me, getting to bed at 4am

early up for the handyman's last day
a big reset, a day of almost exclusively babysitting, the guilty satisfaction of receiving a ps3 when there's a national shortage

too cold for walking, big shopping, showering and dinner (and dinner swatting) and mom visit

friday 19th:

a couple of hours of work, a lot more thinking about it
early up, mr smear has been gaining weight fast and is now really difficult to carry
morning chores

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

oh, telkom.

i don't understand why i need to teach every "technical" agent i speak to at telkom what ip addresses are and why there's a difference between the modem's address on my local network and its address on the internet. the agent i just spoke to checked with his crew and none of them have ever heard of static ips...

as a software engineer, i also don't understand how it's possible that telkom expects its users to restart their routers every night in order to use their night surfer packages instead of just checking to see during which hours the data was used.

this is a level of fail i'm struggling to comprehend. i think it's less the severity of this specific fails and more the quantity of mind-numbingly dumb failures i've experienced with telkom since i've been back. but they do have some of the best value-for-money products on the market. it's 2016 and we're still all locked in :(

‪#‎telkom‬ ‪#‎fail‬ ‪#‎surprised‬ ‪#‎notsurprised‬ ‪#‎cansomebodypleasebeatthesepeople‬ with a ‪#‎cluestick‬

back in action

sunday 10th:

another successful piece of the project puzzle
a hot and sunny winter's day
communication breakdown, mom's haircut
failed furniture mission
becoming maul people
the canadian versus the trellidor

monday 11th:

waking up restless at 6am, then getting tired soon after everyone else got up, rushing to meet with my cousin and her partner to explain good dev management and discuss a product proposal, feeling shaky from about halfway through and just before the end learning that my son had faceplanted (nothing too serious, fortunately), hurrying to meet my mom and the frustration of following someone down a route i'm not familiar with while not feeling well and focusing hard on not losing my guide in bad traffic conditions and misunderstanding hand signals and of course the distribution centre's systems went down just as we arrived. an easier (but still grating) drive home, scarfed down lunch and furniture shopping at the hustler's, not getting help at the telkom store and the technical assistant not understanding the meaning of "static ip"

printing beautiful coffee mugs!

spar mission for utopia cashew yoghurt, checkers, stopping at the end of the promenade for sunset photos and mr smear falling asleep to the delight of passers by

someone's developing dad bod - it may be legitimate but it's not okay

an evening of not much, watching the season six GoT finale - the last four episodes were interesting with some cool bits but the consistency and quality of writing wasn't nearly as high as it had been before.

going to bed early with the intention of getting up at mr smear's first feed but

tuesday 12th:

sleeping through to 5am and waking up in a panic over three or four nights spent sleeping instead of working and yet another day filled with important stuff to do

mr smear finding a full spindle bowl, the delivery, the hoisting, the painter, the other delivery and being shocked to see an old classmate who's become obese, furniture hustling and needing a shower after riding in their bakkie, trying to get some work done, napping on our new big couch, an exquisite sunset, mom's visit, deadpool (which was brilliant! what's everyone's problem???), not feeling well and crashing

quote of the day: "oh! i read about my ears..."

wednesday 13th:

waking up from a tough night wherein i twice walked face first into a closed door because i was still mostly asleep

why do so many people get angry over language? skipping pram jam for a walk on the promenade and a little boxing warmup, rushing home to receive our toilet roll holders: don't come in uninvited, and take your damned shoes off. the painter unsuccessfully trying to negotiate less coats but doing a good job nonetheless, a nap, gd's new soup, a particularly needy mr smear, big shopping and my mom joining us for dinner and getting some work done and watching preacher

thursday 14th:

1.30am partial and exciting success
4.30am progress made and wired but needing to sleep
8.30am up and running

car rental "service"
locksmithing success
out in the cold without a sweater for a coffee (the server watched me struggling to pay, neglecting to mention that there was a problem with their payment gateway until my third attempt), utopia cashew yoghurt, the sports store, checkers and waaaay more assholes than i could handle for one day

the cold front rolling in beautifully
the bathtime bedtime routine
the case of the missing meds
jim jefferies - freedumb is brilliant
passing out early, feeling broken all night and it was a difficult one

friday 15th:

another lost night, rushing to be too late for the dentist and the fire alarm keeping us out, quick coffee at home then the physio

sorting out pc issues instead of resting, getting some work done
friday night soup and drinks, another episode of preacher, working till late

saturday 16th:

struggling but making good progress, another difficult night carrying mr smear a lot

early morning blowout, lots of apologizing, the pharmacy, baby city, a fighting gym and then being totally won over by virgin active - their facilities are awesome, but not half as exciting as their crèche. we left mr smear for a while and came back to hear he'd played nicely with the other kids which was a great relief as he's barely had any opportunities to socialize

a hungry, hungry family

sunday 17th:

sleeping all night again, getting up and ready for the first gym outing, mr smear's last minute post-feed mega-poop

overheating outside with a jump rope, good-for-it-having-been-almost-a-year bag work, "eye of the house cat", struggling to move the heavy bags, coffee, picking up gd

bathroom shopping, canal walk, lots of other shopping, home, a little more shopping (wtf?)

putting mr smear to bed with stories for the first time instead of singing him to sleep on my chest, gd too tired for preacher, dinner and the scary, scary story of adhd medication and its long term effects

monday 18th:

3am after drafting the production-ready version of my code so far

not much sleeping in, a nice morning ruined by dishwashing technique and kettle volume

my second gym day, gd joining me and doing great until she injured herself during cool down, mr smear's slap battle with his new little friend (they were taking turns and laughing)

the chiropractor (good timing!), struggling to get home around the roadworks and really hungry so trying to sit down at newport deli and walking out because it was too cold and taking an illegal route home

an amazing and far too short nap in the sun, gorging myself on rice and partially cooked veggies, work and bathing mr smear and putting him to bed freakishly easily and preacher and work and a nap

tuesday 19th:

hard work, it paid off, remembering at 3.30am that i had a dentist appointment at 9am

dentist visit, not bad, trying to find the gorgeous poster above his chair (who is dawie smit?)

waiting out my local anaesthetic, prepping mr smear for the gym
on hold with an agent who's on hold because there's a miscommunication between my health insurance and my gym
a twenty minute run because that's all i could figure out and i'd already started (finding out later that that's the machine maximum); sharing a punching bag and managing not to share my opinions
showering at the gym is pretty good as far as gyms go, but still uncomfortable
the emergency poop change at the gym crèche was uncomfortable enough without an excited and twisty mr smear almost throwing himself backwards of the counter
crazy hungry and eating a huge lunch before napping after mr smear crashed, waking up a couple of hours later and having time for a much needed bath before waking mr smear for a feed and putting him back to bed - he'd slept straight through!

this going to sleep immediately on his back thing is new and magical and intimidating and i wonder how long we've actually been able to do this...

preacher episode six is incredible, going to bed and waking up around midnight to work

wednesday 20th:

going to bed at 5am after learning that internet explorer STILL doesn't support web audio api

crazy dreams, beginning the day still in that state and helping out with a serious poop, a slow start

attempting SARS: after getting frustrated hunting for parking *near* the building, learning that there was plenty *next to* the building. the main in a nice suit with a clipboard begging. the sea of humanity extending two blocks from the entrance in the cold wind and rain making me give up after a few minutes of not going anywhere.

wolfing down a huge serving of leftovers then crashing on the couch for a couple of hours

signing up mr smear for his gym card, getting through the rest of the afternoon, mom arriving just in time to look after mr smear while i took the handyman on a tour (personal items not put away), my israeli pension money apparently being openly stolen (an understandable misunderstanding), the bath and getting mr smear to bed and joining the all hands meeting late because i didn't know i'd been sent a link

the long meeting

thursday 21st:

struggling with microsoft's deficiencies

3am trying to go to bed but mr smear's scary (as much for us) nightmare

the worst bellyache, but getting better just as the courier delivering "c" is for cthulu ruined any chance of mr smear taking his morning nap

the gym for elliptical and jogging and poetry talk and inadvertently suggesting that the woman i was talking to looked ten years older

rushing off to the physio, struggling to get mr smear to sleep but eventually succeeding in spite of the echoes, tiptoeing around the topic of psychiatric medications and taking advantage of the surprisingly long nap to enjoy an amazing smoothie and veggie burger at knead

quick tailor pickup and spar shopping and smoking everyone's cigarettes along the way as usual, coming home to shower and crash and get up exhausted and freezing

a little difficulty getting mr smear ready for bed - this "tantrum" phase is pretty trying even if we're not reacting to it - then another dev meeting

preacher episode 7 is just as good as 6, it's really an excellent story

the deep sense of satisfaction derived from a message from tahoma informing me that my air force section is still using the IDE i created and its added value is significant. my joke when i documented it was calling it "project recursive programmer" intended to provide "a method to replace [myself] with code"; the fact that six years later it's appreciated is not only gratifying in and of itself, but it's a perfect example of how the right kind of laziness can do so much more than what's required by the task at hand.

it's nice to hear "would love to work with you again" when you're looking for a master's student and you get the master instead (the mongoose)

friday 22nd:

finding a promising lead before crashing, waking up exhausted and remaining exhausted through a morning of railing inspection and phone line installation and reading to mr smear

hardcore (possibly ill) tired, making it to friday night dinner on time though. a very pleasant evening and bringing mr smear home in the rain

saturday 23rd:

sleeping late, rushing to get my two babies vaccinated (my son was more stoic than my wife)

another desperate feed and nap
star wars iv and a restless mr smear

postponing our first play date, just getting through until bedtime, paranorman, work

sunday 24th:

working hard and making little progress, crashing at 2am

nerve pinching in the night, becoming progressively less tolerable as the day wore on

our first playdate at the green point park was really cool, it was great catching up with old friends and there was lots to learn, arriving home with a very grubby very tired very happy little boy

a long nap on a hot winter's day, strawberries and a bath, playtime and photo time, mom's visit and bedtime, dinner time and dracula untold (minor script issues, overall fantastic film)

muscle relaxant and anti inflammatory and a perfect chair massage and early to bed

monday 25th:

epic non-stop dreaming the entire night, feeling relaxed with my back better but still sensitive

busy morning of phone calls and shopping and cutting myself on the diaper / tampon bin in the point's baby changing room (we're not the only parents to complain over the past months, it's disgraceful management)

babysitting afternoon with railing cleanup and meeting strange neighbours, mr smear going to sleep early and waking up a lot

revolver is an amazing movie that nobody i know seems to have seen or cared about enough to mention

tuesday 26th:

working solidly until 2am
waking up early for the dentist, a particularly expensive exercise when your health insurance has run out for the year
a short nap and being woken to go to the gym in the pouring rain

a good session - definite improvement - and meeting the capetonian husband of the montrealer we saw at the bank a couple of months ago

retrieving an exhausted mr smear from the crèche (i'm a little concerned about how lax they are in some regards), a big lunch followed by a big nap (i'm trying to follow the "if he naps, you nap" rule), getting up too late to fix leaks and drafts

bathtime and bedtime and showing my obviously tired little boy who's boss by calmly and patiently continuing to put him to bed until he eventually stopped fighting

a big dinner while watching two episodes of preacher, shadowslight in the ICU

wednesday 27th:

waking up at 1am with awful indigestion and realizing i didn't mean to fall asleep

Thursday, July 14, 2016

in important note on mental illness

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

i've been reading this book a little at a time and am now about halfway. i've looked at the sources. i've read the arguments defending psychiatric medication and i've read their counter-arguments. this is not some "long-kept secret", the researchers who conducted the clinical trials and the results of the clinical trials and the testimonies of the experts and the personal testimonies of the sufferers are all cohesive, rational and in agreement.

this is hands-down the scariest book i have ever read, and it's even more horrifying that it's actually non-fiction. i cannot for the life of me understand (maybe it's explained better in the second half of the book) how an entire field of medicine can operate in direct opposition to the evidence, but clearly these people believe that they're doing good work.

this is a word that needs to be spread. mental illness is serious business, and people suffering really don't need their suffering to made worse no matter how well-intentioned a practice might be. educate yourselves, educate the people around you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

a little conspiracy

i'm feeling a little awkward about posting this in a public forum, even if barely anyone actually reads my blog. this is effectively a conspiracy theory, based purely on scientific evidence versus government and media messages.

1. i've been reading Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America and asking myself why anybody would study psychiatry, learn the history of psychiatric medication and yet continue to prescribe such medication to people who are suffering. if we're generous to the nature of such "doctors", then we can suspect that their prescriptions may simply be a result of the excellent work of what i can't believe i'm beginning to think of as "big pharma".

i've been hating the term "big pharma" since forever because it doesn't make any sense. except that when it comes to psychiatric medicine, it is unimaginable that any but the greediest psychopaths could possibly continue to produce and market and misinform when the evidence is so utterly overwhelming that these drugs destroy lives, are not beneficial to any but the tiniest portion of the population and turn simple, curable issues into nightmarish chronic diseases that justify them pushing more drugs onto the victims.

2. the amount of evidence published in peer-reviewed journals over the past decades that demonstrates that the simplest, safest way to be healthy is to eat a plant-based, whole food diet. not low carb, not gluten free, not organic, not GMO-free, just whole foods from the grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. who has a vested interest in maintaining a sick population?

the following two videos are eye-opening:
* why doctors don't recommend veganism
* vegan 2016: the film (part i)

Sunday, July 10, 2016


tuesday 21st:

a long night of work that ended really badly; the night, not the work.

early argument, a little bit of sleep and a rush to the physio, a quick stop at knead, skipping DoHA, a short nap and lunch and getting some work done before heading out to the baxter theatre to see the first half of defending the caveman which gd enjoyed until a stiff neck forced us to go home early

wednesday 22nd:

my first real progress at work, some comic success, an insanely cold night and it all coming into mr smear's room leading to a solid freakout

a slow morning, a stinky car, DoHA and mr smear (not) pooping while we were in line

a ridiculous threat from our landlord generating immense rage and anxiety, DoHA giving us the run-around (and page turn-around), planning an evacuation, taking mr smear for a walk to the police station, starting to drive to the car rental place but turning around, a productive chat with the illustrator, bathing mr smear and a shopping run and getting him to bed and instant mashed potatoes and electricity usage panic and just trying to hold on to sanity before my first phone call with the big boss since i was interviewed

there's nothing like trying to think intelligent thoughts over a blocked nose

thursday 23rd:

a little investigation, going to bed a little less early than planned, getting up on time to take my mother to the hospital, struggling to stay awake all the way home, not feeling much better after a nap, general tension and feeling sick with stress over our apartment, the optometrist, picking up my mom and not entering my aunt's frozen house, cavendish square; the struggle to find the baby changing room (although it's not a bad one), three complicated lunchers and mr smear and his rusk and a dodgy bill, parking lot feeding before playing in the garden again, nervously sending the landlord the big "release me" email and arriving at the chiropractor slightly late only for him to not show, home time, fixing the improvised window seals, a visit from droo, money management and internet problems and a little bit of work

friday 24th:

but not a lot before crashing early

overall not a bad night between the temperature having risen a bit and the new seal appearing to make an enormous difference

the good news: being released from our contract! initiating the rush to find a new place; viewing apartments with my mom, a rushed shopping and an exhausted evening

saturday 25th:

seeing a great apartment but being concerned about the carpet
mr smear gearing up for his first steps
an incredible sunset run, really bad cardio and a pinching nerve

sunday 26th:

rushed coffee with a joburg cousin
vaccination: mediclinic is a great hospital, mr smear being woken with a jab in his arm and his shock turning to confusion as it faded to nothing more than a bad dream
the waterfront mission: almost no parking available and one asshole sitting on two bays, learning costs - a contract iphone is actually the cheapest option, and unless afrihost's offerings are better telkom's mobile instead of dsl is surprisingly reasonable - a big lunch to make up for gd sending hers back in disgust
the desperate nap after half my coffee spilled everywhere, missing an amazing sunset

a good dinner, some down time and some work done

monday 27th:

early up for a restless day looking at three great apartments, seeing the chiropractor, and being messed about by telkom as i wean myself off the primitivism of dsl and evolve to home lte

finally seeing awakenings - what a beautiful movie!

tuesday 28th:

mr smear unable to sleep horizontally, beginning to pack, the physio, the weasel caretaker on my doorstep with my post, gd's phone and packing crates part i, lunch and phone and packing crates part ii

the post office, porting gd's number and the amazingly great news - we've been offered our first choice apartment!

more struggling with telkom, eventually calling the third idiot to screw me around in two days. after trying a bunch of different things she informed me that nothing was working because the SIM card wasn't activated. losing my shit.

mom coming over to build boxes, moving her old dishwasher, finally letting go of doing websockets "the microsoft way" and getting excited about node.js running on IIS

wednesday 29th:

being utterly overwhelmed, fighting with telkom and me&you mobile over number porting (they're all assholes) but some good news in the form of our new interface setup finally working (just before i was off to take it back) and it's undoubtedly the best internet connection i've ever had

signing the new lease and paying the rent and deposit and turning down the other amazing offer, trying and failing to connect with the israeli embassy, being grateful for my mother's assistance with the movers, actually managing to nap a little (but not enough by far) and get through most of an episode of GoT while enjoying a delicious gd lunch, trying to get things done at the waterfront and failing abysmally

it turned out to be good that we didn't find what we wanted at the waterfront, a pretty good evening in spite of a difficult bath time experience that included work success, managing to reclaim more aeroplan points than expected

thursday 30th:

getting to bed early(-ish), quite a few wakings and weird dream in between

up early to a wet bed, too early for the telkom store, a couple of missions to my mom's, uninstalling wall panel heaters and removing hooks, mr smear decidedly unhappy about being confined to his playpen and then suddenly the movers were there (arriving early while i was out, obviously), the insane last-minute pack (third time in a row), a bit of a back and forth between buildings and being rescued by our cleaning lady and my mother: moving into a mall is a strange experience... plenty to be done before dinner, putting phoenix to sleep in his room and feeling like we're living in a really nice hotel, a great dinner and a great shower

the slight draft during a crazy storm

friday 1st:

slight draft becoming a serious chill and cause for concern, but a couple of hours later when the wind had died down the apartment was comfortable again

early up, a full day looking after an excited and adventurous little boy who's now practically walking, but very busy with all the things we don't want him playing with; the construction work above us beginning just after getting mr smear into nap mode and proceeding to get louder

fighting with me&you mobile until it was clarified that we needed to hit the waterfront to pick up a new sim card, a great falafel wrap, chocolatiers, discovering wazoogles, home for a couple of missions to print pages, mr smear's bath, getting ready for dinner

a nice dinner, but mr smear was hyperactive and i think it's because he pooped and we didn't find out until we got home - and if we had noticed, it was so cold in my aunt's house we would have really struggled to change him

saturday 2nd:

one degree outside and freezing in, mr smear waking every fifteen minutes so nobody was resting

a pleasant morning, at least the apartment heats up quickly. "it's not a pyramid scheme, it's a book exchange!" is a pyramid scheme i can get behind
picking up heaters from my mom, a framing / hardware store / furniture store mission, picking up my mother's gifted dishwasher and the discomfort of having a strange man kiss my son on the cheek (although the offense lessened a bit when we learned that he and his wife are having trouble conceiving and that she actually gave him a talking to afterwards), brothers-in-law installation, quickly showing off our flat, ordering dinner and some GoT and a lesson in facebook protocol

sunday 3rd:

heaters and duct tape FTW
rearranging the kitchen

a first step towards letting go of nixon, mr smear's pleasant sunday morning nap, buying golf balls, maul people jamming canal walk; a good lunch, home shopping and fleeing just after we both began wearing out. fighting over family values on the freeway home, a harsh winter sun straight into our living room, trying (and failing) some home improvement

monday 4th:

another restless night

our first anniversary morning: the next episode in the pork pill saga
the helpful / not so helpful israeli embassy agent
the cape town post office charges exclude parking and exercise
aliyah department archive fail
a long afternoon, mr smear's first soup and bread, mom's quick visit and gd's delicious dinner, a little work

tuesday 5th:

getting up for work at 4am, 6.30am success and being quite impressed by my experience debugging iisnode once i got over the visual studio quirks

short sleep, the doctor visit ("you're a closet pork piller"), resolution, quick shopping, damp metre, exhausted lunch and vegan lectures, vegan yoghurt in the rain (utopia's cashew nut yoghurt is TOTALLY worth it), big shopping and missing the pharmacy on our return, mr smear getting to bed late, a time tunnel vision revelation

wednesday 6th:

working from midnight, being amazed after learning about the juno spacecraft's successful arrival

wiped out at 3am, but making exciting progress
another tough night with an early wakeup... mr smear's 11 months old!

pram jam, a little dirtier than usual and we were disturbed by the kid whose hair and general hygiene are clearly being neglected
mr smear falling asleep in my arms on the way home, gd describing the older wealthy woman who spends lots of money on her hair and clothing but who won't wash her own hands and probably doesn't clean her genitals thoroughly

the acupuncturist: all good until the end, when he pissed me off by basing an ostensibly medical decision on his pendulum, just as he was suggesting that the FDA shut down bicarbonate as a cancer treatment because it was effective, not because it's dangerous

walking it off, five minute nap before mr smear was up again

a busy afternoon, getting into a work groove and becoming excited about what i'm doing for the first time in a while

thursday 7th:

an easier night from mr smear, compensating with weird work hours

a decent morning, our first dentist visit in ages, getting ripped off by the car guard, the failed couch delivery, a rushed evening (minus bathing mr smear) to prep for my first team meeting, passing out soon after

friday 8th:

for a surprise full night's sleep

the chiropractor, the physio (who's leaving the country soon, of course, now that we finally found someone who can actually help gd), arranging hoisting, a relaxing bath, getting a little work done, mom bringing dinner and mr smear not wanting to sleep, GoT


another full night! waking up by myself (pretty much)
a particularly irritating morning, a drive to game to buy cutlery, a failed furniture hunt and a walk on the promenade discussing baby names and getting my new credit card and ordering a new new one (the new one expires in a couple of months) and helping my mom set up her dishwasher and walking home through a(nother) stunning sunset and doing some shopping (again, a supermarket with bare shelves where our favourite products used to be) and bathing mr smear and getting a little work done (why are "servers" and "clients" the opposite when working with udp?) and GoT and falling asleep earlier than planned

american breakdown

the first american drone strike on its own soil

"We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was," Brown said. "Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb." (

what options have the american police given all those black people they've murdered over the years? you can't be surprised by this, only heartbroken. law enforcement and the american government have had plenty of time and all the means to stop the madness.


black lives matter. this is why "all lives matter" is the wrong response.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

i *HATE* telkom. i mean seriously, seriously hate them to the point where last night i desperately yelled "I HATE YOU ALL! YOU'RE HORRIBLE!" at the fourth agent to screw me around in two days. i still can't believe they pushed me that far, their incompetence and lack of professionalism is unparalleled.

but they do have the best deals. for the first time in forever i actually have an internet solution that makes sense and a reasonably priced phone contract.

Monday, June 20, 2016

a little foggy

saturday 11th:

a surprisingly slow start to the day
gender politics dissection and a strategy for podcasting
baby city mission, nü for lunch (not many vegan options, but the nourish bowl was excellent), leaving gd at the supermarket to rush mr smear home and take handle the apoocalypse alone (a full belly button)
competing with gd for sunset photos, my second time bathing mr smear
his first biltong met with greedy delight and my desire to find a vegan alternative for such an elegant teething tool (although i doubt one will present itself)

dinner and GoT interrupted by the blue screen of death, going to bed when the scandisk froze

sunday 12th:

a nasally traumatic 5am, sleeping late, a slow, pleasant start with minor freakouts until i managed to get my workstation operational again, off to my mom's, a quick chat with my uncle, shamefully discovering that i had been required to return my rental at 7.30am on our way to lunch... an excellent lunch, returning the rental and mistakenly not taking another, shopping and mr smear's first balloon experience, another trial of his discomfort, GoT goodness, early to bed

monday 13th:

glorious sleep, waking up to an alarm on a cold, wet morning and struggling not to snooze (cold enough for a sweater and jacket), picking up a warm mr smear when i heard him mumbling on my way out the door and getting him back to sleep quickly (happiness is...), car rental good news

from rape culture (brock turner) to hate culture (tel aviv and orlando) in one week

eyeball plucking, singing mr smear to sleep in the adelphi centre, anger poop management, the chiro visit, the awkward meeting with the mall's building manager to complain about the baby changing room shortly before needing to use it, starting work "on time", spotify song stealing becoming a serious grievance (and there's no "family" option apparently), a rough evening

tuesday 14th:

making progress at work and crashing early, sleeping well and dreaming a lot and then resuming briefly after gd's breakfast, the physio and mr smear pooping right up his back when i had to take care of him alone in the shopping centre's inhospitable changing room

a good experience at knead, quick shopping and then home to discuss sensitive issues and get a little work done before going out

sharp braking on the way there putting the brakes on the evening in general, a regular evening followed by

wednesday 15th:

a night that was half work and half getting mr smear back to sleep (restless until 5am)

waking up to a miserable, wet day in anger, followed by pram jam, followed by anger, increased during the visit to the tax consultant, a stable afternoon, a pleasant evening

mr smear pushing around his favourite toy as if it was a walker

thursday 16th:

finally, things beginning to click into place; 3am to bed, sleeping in and then rushing to pick up gd's late breakfast, using the public holiday to get some work done in addition to enjoying some time with mr smear, heading over to my mom's to determine the state of the dark ages' dishwasher, dinner and GoT and some more work

friday 17th:

up early to take my mom to the hospital, the reward for risking traffic (which wasn't bad at all) was the view of an incredible sunrise over the cape flats.

family / post-op day, garden time for mr smear, great timing for plant for lunch, an inspirational meeting with the illustrator

saturday 18th:

a difficult night, completely exhausted woken at regular short intervals but dreaming for most of the time that i had my eyes closed

the acupuncturist, and the particular / peculiar knowledge combination that gd and i share, a day recovering, blocking more vents and discovering that our balcony door literally doesn't fit so of *course* there's a draft

getting an early night


a better night's sleep but still not enough; mom's haircut, miserable weather but a very nice first father's day with my cousin and his wife's family, quick stop shopping and coming home to fight with the vacuum cleaner and the balcony door

finally seeing the end of the martian: wow.

the season 4 finale of GoT


tired in the morning after a good night's rest, trying to get our internet fixed, struggling with the new router (which turned out to be worse than what we had, but which was simple to set up, though my windows machine refused to communicate with it), being asked to avoid influencing my cousin's kid regarding nutrition, reporting the caretaker and showing the handyman our doors (the external ones don't fit), absentmindedly coasting through the day, visiting the chiropractor and doing a quick shopping, coffee with my uncle, trying to get work done in spite of the lack of internet