It’s the end of the world as we know it

And, although I feel just fine (albeit rather buggered after Little Annoying Sister’s wedding last Saturday), some people are just a tad worried:

The Constitutional Court has received an “extremely urgent court application” for the creation of a “task team” to prepare for the end of the world.

This is according to a Beeld report on Wednesday. Robert Sefatsa (38), a Soweto resident, also stated in papers handed in at court that the government needed to form a new department to prepare for judgment day next Friday with an “investigative task team”.

He suggested that the new state department should be called the “department of paranormal and esoteric sciences”.

Sefatsa pointed out that according to the Mayan calendar, judgment day would be on December 21, and it was therefore a matter of extreme urgency that South Africa and other countries make their preparations for the apocalypse.

A commission of inquiry should include geologists, statisticians, astronomists, economists and extra-terrestrial technologists, and should be competent to cope with evacuation procedures, sea and air logistics, and resettlement, he said.

While Robert may have good and noble intentions, there’s just one problem: the predicted apocalypse is less than a week away, and government around here isn’t exactly known for doing anything particularly quickly.  By December 21st, one would expect the government to, at most, have set up an investigative team to determine whether another investigative team is needed to actually investigate whether the Mayan calendar is worth investigating in the first place.

Damn Vogon bureaucracy in this country.

Of course, Robert may be just be trolling the Constitutional Court, but that won’t stop the Constitutional Court from trolling him back.  As 6000.co.za so eloquently put it:

Of course, Mr Sebatsa, as a South African citizen and taxpayer, is completely within his rights to make this court application. Just as the Constitutional Court is completely within their rights to throw it out and then pop down to the Mystic Boer to laugh it off over a few brandies.

In the meantime, he can always head off for a holiday in the Drakensburg.  They’ll be the highest mountain range on the planet very shortly…

The roof is on fire

So, Development was (for the most part) working away nicely on a Friday afternoon, when we noticed a plume of smoke outside the window.  Of course, the thought of a field trip was irresistible, so we all climbed the fire escape to the building roof, and noticed this:

Yes, that’s a veld fire in the District Six area.  Obviously, we don’t know what caused it, but as everything in Cape Town is extremely dry after some pretty intense heat that we’ve been having lately, it probably wouldn’t take much for a cigarette end carelessly flicked out of some motorist’s window to set that off.

Of course, this being Cape Town, the wind blew the fire across the road:

Now, for those unfamiliar with the area, just behind that other building in the office park lies the N2 freeway.  Hate to think what visibility is like for those motorists right now.

And then of course, the smoke plume gets blown over towards the CBD:

Two things to consider: the aforementioned visibility problem on the N2 (which you can’t even see in the above shot!), and the fact that it’s now 15:30 and people are starting to bugger off from work.

Rush hour this afternoon is going to be FUN.

(At least I leave the office at 18:00 and drive AWAY from the fire…)

There’s a World Cup on?

Apparently the Rugby World Cup starts tomorrow (and for anyone reading this who doesn’t know what rugby is, it’s basically a game where 30 overweight guys beat each other senseless – sort of like American football but without having timeouts every 20 seconds or so).

I’m not the biggest follower of spectator sports (except for F1), so while I vaguely knew that this event was coming up, I wasn’t aware that the first game is tomorrow – until I received a mail from someone in the Marketing Department inviting us all into our games room to watch the opening game tomorrow (between some random two teams – I’ve forgotten who they are, such is my disinterest).

So, apparently we now have to “unite behind the Springboks” (our national team), and our games room has been done up accordingly:

So, it seems like half the company will be invading the games room to watch tomorrow’s game.  Meanwhile, I’ll just be getting on with some real work (such as trying to archive a massive production database while making sure that existing code doesn’t suddenly and mysteriously break).

Then again, I could be living in New Zealand (where this event is taking place) – it seems like they’re crazier than we are:

So there you have it folks.  This is what I now have to put up with for the next few weeks…

Look, Igor – IT’S ALIVE!

(Oh noes!)

Yes people, I’m still alive, still posted on this very badly neglected blog.

Quite a lot has been happening in my life over the last few months.  Most of the people who read this already know all the details, but for those who don’t – as of July, I have bid a not so fond farewell to Durban’s stifling humidity, and instead settled for the cold, wet and windy Cape (well, at least that’s what the weather is generally like at this time of year). I’m now working as a software developer for Web Africa – in other words, I am making your interwebs a better place. One line of code at a time. It’s great, and I’ve really learned a lot in the short time that I’ve already been there (most notably, how badly I suck at foosball). That being said, I do miss the people I left behind back in Durban, although whether they miss me or not is definitely up for debate… 😉

There’s so much that I’ve already gotten up to here that I could possibly fit into this blog post before I fall asleep at the keyboard (again!), but to sum things up a bit:

  • I was without a car for the first two months and had to rely on Metrorail to get me around the place. It didn’t take me very long to make a rather interesting observation: the automated voice that does the automated announcements at Cape Town station sounds exactly like GlaDOS from Portal. The way that she/it says “Metrorail apologises for the inconvenience” whenever a train was delayed has maliciousness all over it.
  • After two months, I managed to procure myself my own transportation – a Toyota Auris. It’s the one with the F1-syle gearbox, which left DJT all confused the time when I had to lift him somewhere.
  • Seriously, whoever designed Koeberg Interchange should be publicly hanged from one of the bridges. For the non-Capetonians, look on Google Maps for the N1/M5 interchange and you’ll have a rough idea of what I mean; for the Capetonians, you’ll know exactly what I mean. 😛
  • Cooling tower implosions are AWESOME!
  • People in Rondebosch, being of the student variety, generally can’t drive. The local Kauai had a student put his/her/its/blobs car through their front window last weekend!
  • Being without a piano/keyboard is seriously Not Cool! (Problem is that they’re hideously expensive.)
  • Visiting Monty for his 21st was awesome, though I doubt Monty will remember the morning after in the same light… 😉
  • Having Monty then come down, take you out and force you to socialise with the opposite sex was definitely a new experience, although I don’t believe I’m the type to just randomly pick people up, and I’m not sure I’d like to be that type either.
  • Someone PLEASE fix up Domestic Arrivals at Cape Town International Airport – compared with the rest of the airport, it’s absolutely hideous!
  • Taking a nice drive along the Cape mountain passes is nothing short of amazing; it just makes one realise what a beautiful part of the world this is.
  • All Web Africa developers are crazy, and none is more crazier than others.

I also have something more pressing on my mind right now, but that will have to wait for another time when I’m slightly less sleepy…

Durban’s street name changes

Seems like the opposition parties are not the only ones in a tizz over this – so too is the good old Post Office. During my daily browsing of the South African news sites, I came across this article:

Letters of protests against Durban’s proposed street name changes have been delivered to the incorrect address following confusion over the street name, the Daily News reported on Tuesday.

The afternoon daily reported that a number of letters of objection which were supposed to have been delivered to 41 Margaret Mncadi Avenue were in fact delivered to a home in Margaret Maytom Avenue.

Margaret Mncadi Avenue was formerly known as Victoria Embankment. Residents wishing to object to the city’s latest name changes have been advised to write to eThekwini Municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe at 41 Margaret Mncadi Avenue.

Carol Hayward Fell told the Daily News that the first letter arrived in her letter box last Thursday.

“My first reaction was that Sutcliffe was writing to me and I opened the letter, only to discover it was an objection to the renaming,” Hayward Fell was quoted as saying.

A bemused Hayward Fell has promised to safeguard and pass on the mail.

Durban North councillor and Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus leader John Steenhuisen warned of the impending chaos in the postal system.

“This clearly shows there is a problem – just imagine the confusion when the more than 100 names are changed across the city. It has major implications for business alike,” Steenhuisen said.

Last week the Inkatha Freedom Party and the DA held a joint march that
drew 10 000 people to the city centre in protest against the name changes.

Now, why am I not bloody surprised?

American foreign policy. Or lack thereof.

I’ve been following links on rooijan’s blog, and I eventually stumbled across this article. It’s a four page writeup about the ignorance that the average American citizen has towards world affairs. It’s an interesting read, especially when you consider that it was written two weeks after the September 11 attacks.

Now, it’s quite interesting, because I have contact with some Americans. I’m thinking of one in particular. In my spare time, I play a game called NationStates, in which you “build a nation and run it according to your own warped ideals”. (My nation is called Clubbland; comes from my love of trance music.) Now, nations are grouped into regions; I’m in this one particular region filled mainly with fellow South Africans. We do, however, have a 13-year-old American kid (not sure where in the States he’s from). Now, he thinks that America is at the center of the universe (and rooijan will immediately tell you that it’s NOT) and he’s quite patriotic. Anyway, I gave him the link to read. So hopefully, he’ll read it and take it to heart.

I’d better be off now. Weekend beckons.