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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

it wasn't me

the last time i spoke with mmf i reminded him that in 2003 i was looking for a partner and i pitched to him an idea that i'd had about modular mobile devices; back then he shot the idea down on the grounds that nobody would go for it, and when we last spoke i'd just learned about phonebloks. today's mmf's birthday, and reminded of that conversation and curious to see what's new on that front, i came across this wired article from last month about project ara.

this is seriously exciting stuff! a pity i had nothing to do with it, but i'm very glad somebody made it happen :)

Monday, June 13, 2016

passive activism

the sadness of this last week is overwhelming,
but the stories are far from over.

there will be more rapists getting off lightly,
there will be more hate-crimes,
there will be more gun violence,
there will be more terrorism.

things need to change,
and talking about them amongst ourselves is not changing anything.

it's our actions the victims need,
before we ourselves become the next victims.

my heart is with the victims,
in tel aviv,
in orlando,
and all over the world.

i just wish i knew what to do with my hands.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

sshhhhh... he's napping

sunday 15th:

a pretty good sleep, coffee and brunch with my uncle on a perfect misty including a lovely stroll on the promenade and followed by a great walk in the green point park

invoicing, shopping, relaxing
the great washing machine failure

slowly ending the weekend with books and a little gaming

monday 16th:

Getting Stuff Done (mostly making appointments), certified copy magic (the police do it quickly for free), autumnal green, one more thing (before SARS demands biometrics), a long time leaving, washing attempt one, the bank (a bad time to whisper codes in french), noticing mr smear needed a bath, the pharmacy, a quick supermarket run, desperately hungry on the way home, dropping pringles on the way to washing attempt two, working into the night but i think i (or my network connection) irritated the woman doing the remote installation

tuesday 17th:

4am working until night terror time, exhaustion and frustration starting the day

waking up to a busy mr smear, who was turning both ways, the rush to the fascia release specialist, who happens to be our neighbour who was brought into the building by the woman who left our apartment a few months ago, who we were referred to by the chiropractor who we were referred to by the abdominal specialist; at the same time gd was advised to take up pilates days after we found a pilates physiotherapist next door when we accidentally got out on the wrong floor of a building

the raw vegan experience: family unfriendly, active wear wearers, and although the food was delicious it was - as always - misrepresented. a slice of bread with a pile of food on top is not a sandwich

the rush to the therapist - with a quick stop to drop something off at the tax consultant and make an idiot move her car after she'd blocked off the sidewalk - an encouraging session and mr smear's first proper encounter with dogs (he loved it)

coming straight home, being woken (groggy) to let the technicians in; two days without a washing machine and it turns out it was a faulty socket, an afternoon with an inexplicably unhappy mr smear and gd's agonizing recovery

indian pickup lies enraging me

wednesday 18th:

mr smear crying a lot, but it's never clear if it's for real

meeting the bull (our landlord), a very different experience dealing directly with him, furniture shopping and praying nobody got TB, or fleas, buying a high chair
not just a landlord but an MMA man, work, getting soaked taking clothes to mom's dryer, a little GoT

thursday 19th:

big waves, a sour start to the morning, a disturbing computer issue, pre-breakfast second-hand furniture: the sacrifice of dealing with dishonest, bigoted, creepy people; the delivery (scraped floors and two missing nails from the hinges), rearranging and angry lunch and being tired and exchanging rugs and mr smear on my shoulders for the first time and more rearranging and a big shopping and mom's visit and a little work and protoplasm's visit and a little more work before crashing

friday 20th:

remembering how to stand at work, an emergency egg-run and not wanting to live anywhere else, trying to work, a pharmacy run, prepping for dinner, finding parking with my mother, a lovely friday night dinner with krybabie and co, upsetting his wife about her daughter's resemblance to his sisters, managing to get mr smear home without waking him but needing to change him on arrival

saturday 21st:

tired and busy, returning the borrowed dining room set and rushing lunch unnecessarily and late coffee at my aunt's

sunday 22nd:

a good night's sleep and a restful morning
promenade coffee and oversized sparkling water
john carpenter's cigarette burns
a successful waterfront mission, having my mom over for dinner
GoT, putting everyone to bed and preparing for customs handling on all the stuff pg's been storing for me these past few years

monday 23rd:

becoming frustrated at some ungodly hour when mr smear refused to be put in his crib; my original plan was to be awake all night but that's not looking like such a good idea until we get all our basic needs squared away

hyper emotional wedding video viewing

getting shit done (and enjoying an entertaining cup of coffee) while wait for gd's physio, finding the tailor, the closed restaurant resulting in a spar lunch

the chewbacca excitement and resulting bad-fit disappointment, the positive return experience from takealot (later cancelled), the i'm-not-giving-any-more-details-over-the-phone call from my new bank

backgammon reintroduced
woman down
a long night compiling

tuesday 24th:

not an easy night, waking up to a gd without internet access, the baby centre and baby brain, mr smear's vaccine, newport deli breakfast
therapy and loving dogs
a walk to the doctor
passing out for a quick rest then getting stuff done
getting mr smear to sleep while picking up documents from my mom
GoT and a great dinner
money delays and amusement
pleasant work, foot massage

wednesday 25th:

2am bedtime together, probably not a good idea

pampers pants: a couple of minor incidents followed by a wet bed and a soiled stroller later, we now know what we now know that plenty of other parents have already said online. pampers SUCKS. they have products with micro-beads, gels that leak, badly sized tabs, and dangerous chemicals in certain products that literally burn infants. how do they get away with this? the hot coffee thing?

early up (with difficulty), the chiropractor (though i'm almost certain the relief won't last), formally opening a new bank account

nap time, an outing for diapers but forgetting the diapers, interviewing a maid, the walk / run and return outside for forgotten diapers (again)

dinner interrupted by a major diaper leak which escalated into an unproductively traumatic night

thursday 26th:

waking up hot and bothered
a nap
bank card pickup
turning around in woodstock
lunch downstairs, a quick walk
work, feeling sick, time out from work, dinner and a walkthrough, passing out on the couch,

friday 27th:

transferring to the bed at 2am and a few difficult wakeups with mr smear

waking up with a jolly mr smear just before the maid arrived
running late to the physio again
coming home to a clean apartment and the latest data from

mr smear's first orange, the tailor, coffee, and the fish

the salary fee: my employer chose to pay me as a service, for which paypal takes an enormous fee. according to the agent i spoke to, salaries are meant to go through as transfers to friends or family... fortunately i managed to get my new employer to redo the transfer. thanks, paypal, and thanks government controls for making this harder than it needs to be. at least i now know how effective direct visa transfers are, so next month will be better.

a nap, getting ready for shabbat dinner, and a lovely evening at my uncle's with my sister's and cousin's families

saturday 28th:

a decent night but mr smear waking up early; bringing him into our bed where he was quite chilled until i was ready to get up, when i discovered that he'd filled his diaper and for the first time in a while when it counted it hadn't leaked everywhere

a serious back spasm to start a beautiful saturday morning, a pleasant experience switching out my rentacheapie car
driving back into the mist
nap day + visiting mom
letdown stress
call-a-pizza (solid salad) and GoT and letdown and mr smear's nightmares

sunday 29th:

a rough start, but a good rescue and brunch with airplane; successful furniture shopping with my mom, a rush to prep for dinner
delicious kale soup and bagels, another diaper dis-ass-ter

monday 30th:

another day of difficulty getting up, then aggression followed by wallowing in depression
the adelphi stalker, hardware non-advice, more breastfeeding complications than a mere winged insect

where did the afternoon go? (as usual)
mom's birthday visit, sealing windows, dinner and GoT

trying to figure out what to do for work

tuesday 31st:

learning how visual studio's unit tests are simple and extremely useful debugging tools (no need to install / uninstall services and attach processes), actually being engaged and working through to 3am

(witnessing mr smear's cutest moment, turning over and ta-ta-talking in his sleep)

sleeping in a little after the maid arrived, quick shopping followed by a quick return followed by some relaxing breakfast business

the "quick" outing to the waterfront, then the cape quarter, then canal walk; finding half of what we were looking for, experiencing the full range of road insanity along the way, mom's visit, rushed dinner, mr smear's refusal to sleep and later cramps

wednesday 1st:

me&you mobile being extremely unprofessional, some more solid hours playing with visual studio unit tests, another 3am night

another busy morning (although considerably more sleep than the day before), the physio, the first preschool call, scheckter's raw - delicious, but not particularly filling and i think i offended the guy at our shared table with my derision of "juicers", back home to go out again, the doctor, the pork pill confession, money puzzles followed by a long work night

thursday 2nd:

calling it a night at 4am
no rest for the wicked, busy morning and a fun hour with the therapist: she seems to be losing it, but her dogs playing with mr smear was totally awesome
a couple of short naps that barely made a difference, an attempt to take a walk to enjoy an incredible sunset that was overtaken by concern for a man on a bench who looked like he was going to die there (but he was too mobile for the emergency services to waste their time)

mom coming over for a quick visit, helping us put mr smear to bed and giving us a chance to eat dinner and watch GoT

a long night of hard work

friday 3rd:

3am to bed, early up to rush to the chiropractor; fantastic job, but immediately compromised by my having to hold mr smear for gd's treatment

hurrying home, urgent napping, a stressful afternoon working through what i would later realize was me getting sick, missing mom and rushing off to dinner alone, initial awkwardness, a really nice dinner, back to work

saturday 4th:

3am, sleeping like a log and waking up with a horrible sore throat and feeling utterly wasted; whatever illness i've been cooking having been brought to a boil

acupuncturist, plant (shared new parent table), the waterfront, home 0for a short nap, an attempt to go for a walk but the cold wind sending us to my mom's where i passed out for a while

pizza burn (jalapeño) and lots of ginger (ale)

sunday 5th:

early morning furniture shopping (win! in spite of the dodgy salesmen), baby shopping (win! in spite of the sick kids), terrible drivers and smokers are assholes (a new father under the no smoking sign in an enclosed space next to the baby city entrance and his daughter), a lovely lunch (and the quebec city couple at the table next to us), home for a breather and then off for a walk to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon, the kid's park, smoothies, bumping into the quebec city couple again, another short walk through a different, even cooler park

no energy for date night, a relaxed evening being inspired by the first half of michael moore's where to invade next and then suddenly feeling terrible again and crashing urgently

monday 6th:

mr smear having a decent night but me struggling with sinusitis, waking up to a beautiful morning soured by the realization that the asshole contractor still hasn't done anything about our floors

the good handyman, a slow morning trying to rest, reading a bit, struggling with mr smear (trying to clean an angry, writhing boy is impossible), a shopping mission ending stressed by human traffic, back home to try out our new drying setup - why does anyone use a tumble dryer?! we have a spindle and an electric clothes dryer and they're not only cheaper and better for the environment but they're a far sight more effective and convenient

some GoT and a big dinner and trying to nap before work

tuesday 7th:

but waking up at 1am unable to breathe, about half an hour trying to reset my sinuses and then three hours of work

sleeping in (thanks to the cleaning lady), the asshole contractor making us REALLY angry by leaving early after jerking us around for two weeks; getting him to come back (and being amazed that he's using sandpaper instead of a sander), heading off to the department of home affairs for a surprisingly pleasant encounter and a deep sigh of relief, truth coffee baby talk, mr smear cancelling our trip to the company gardens by passing out on the way

big shopping, settling into our apartment which is really beginning to feel like we're serious about it (even if money's still tight, we're definitely getting more comfortable and are starting to need less urgently)

gd's big dinner just for me, completing where to invade next? (warmly recommended, great documentary), and making some important advances in spite of a sinus headache

wednesday 8th:

on the whole, a pretty shitty day in spite of the lovely weather. the varnish job. mr smear's heavy allergies. the physio visit, the ultraviolet gym inspection. coming home to walk and not walking. sleeping on the floor by the crib. still not walking, the second varnish job and the "no you're not smoking cigarettes on my balcony". the walk cancelled due to sunshine and wind. mom's place stopover, rearrangement stress and mom visit (and pharmacy delivery), the relentless mr smear and an uncomfortable gd and finally getting to work on sore legs

thursday 9th:

around 3am, after realizing that i was on the verge of passing out, mr smear woke with a fever and it would take over an hour and a half to get him back to sleep

things we didn't learn in school: sealing rooms against cold and wind causes breathing problems and mould. extraction fans in bathrooms need to be running both while the bath or shower is taking place and for at least fifteen minutes after leaving the room.

scraping another section of the floor right after finally getting the damage repaired, a mansplaining note, a power nap, waiting for the contractor to fix another issue that he caused and not only did he not show, but the caretaker had the audacity to say to me that we're giving them problems - no more nice and polite, that snivelling drunkard will learn to watch his step with me

gd's first (from scratch) soup, the bananas of wrath, the apology nap, the long good night mr smear with my mom's assistance, the superette run and getting mr smear into bed, dinner and GoT

friday 10th:

working hard but not getting very far, a couple of tough wakings but sleeping *really* well

my first cardio in over ten months: not bad, much needed, difficult to remember not to push too hard

a big lunch (gd's new soup), an afternoon spent absent-mindedly working and trying to take mr smear for a walk in the cold wind and struggling with him after his nap and GoT (okay, we finally know why the world got upset about the wedding) and managing bank accounts and credit cards and worrying about forex

saturday 11th:

a good night's sleep, introducing my wife to yakko, wakko and dot on a saturday morning. my gods, the animaniacs get even better as we get older!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

quick political rant: BDS

it saddens me that the BDS movement is so successful in manipulating so many people into believing that it's in the interests of the palestinians. it's not. it's furthering a narrative that runs counter to any possibility of there ever being any kind of resolution in the middle east.

not only that, but the comparison to apartheid south africa will only work on people who have no idea what apartheid was or what the situation in israel and the no-longer-occupied territories actually is. it's highly offensive to south africans who lived through a horrific level of brutality and moral corruption, and it's highly offensive to israeli's who are maintaining a thankless high moral ground in spite of the perpetual existential threat posed by its neighbours.

the palestinians are - and have always been, since their separation and creation - political pawns of the arab countries surrounding israel, and they are getting possibly the rawest deal on the planet. they're being utterly destroyed, year after year, by oil-rich nations dehumanizing and weaponizing them in order to keep their own countries out of global focus and to keep israel too busy to deal with them. now israel's no angel, as i keep having to remind people, but it's certainly no demon either. they're doing the best they can with what they have, but while they do make mistakes i can tell you from personal experience that nothing you've heard in the western media comes close to the real story of what's happening on the ground. and most of the real story is so difficult to believe - as a westerner with western values - that it's far simpler to just pick a story and run with it, regardless of the facts and the nuances.

the BDS movement is a surefire way to distract everyone from the real evils going on in the middle east (including, but not limited to the real story behind the israeli / palestinian conflict) and to ensure that meaningful change is not affected: not for the palestinians, not for anyone else.
the only thing wrong with anyone trying to put a stop to the movement is their not educating people about it and providing context, explaining that it's based on shameless lies that harm all parties involved, that all it is really is a new way to generate antisemitism and simultaneously keep the palestinians under the thumbs of the same bastards that are destroying their own countries while everyone has their backs turned.

it's important to care about the palestinians, but the first step to making a positive difference is learning about them; not from an activist with an agenda, and not from google (filter bubbles), and not from sensationalist media outlets (the bias on cnn and bbc is just as extreme to the left as fox is to the right). you either go there and live it on both sides, or you interview people who've lived there on both sides.