Friday, January 18, 2008

Eskom Help Desk

For 20 years the government has prevented Eskom from increasing capacity and infra-structure. Now the crunch has come and what Eskom projected would happen, has happened. Our president, Mbeki, concurs that it was a mistake - ah maiway - aziko power - enzelo mustake!

So, as you see in this picture, Eskom has handed the manning of their Help Desk over to government.
It speaks for itself, doesn't it!
An opportunity for in-house training?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Joy of Achievement

In October 2007 I wrote about the dystonia that Richard has, and of what can be done about it. He tried the medication, and turfed that because of the negative effects and how it impacted his cognitive thinking and skills. He will try the botox injection, administered into the muscle by a neurologist - but has yet to be contacted about when the clinic will be held. In the meantime he has been looking for ways to deal with the problem and use his left hand more and has made good progress.
  • His writing is improving.
  • He uses Linux as an operating system on his computer, and has mirrored his keyboard so that he uses only his left hand - q is q, but when he uses the space-bar and presses q it is p - and so on! This you can do with linux but not with windows.
  • He has been constructing a one-handed keyboard device. He was sent a blue-print and used it for the physical part, but used a different chip from the one recommended and wrote his own code for it. Today he announced that it was complete and working - and the smile on his face stretched from here to forever. So we celebrated the hard work, time, effort, problem solving and all that had gone into constructing this cunning device.
Here is a picture of the cheese-cake he asked for, and all our smiley faces! The cheese-cake was baked by someone at Spar - whose efforts I really appreciate, having given up baking myself a long time ago!!
Richard is sitting at the top right-hand corner of the table - next to me.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Obituary for Mugabe

In a few months it will be 28 years ( I know because I was pregnant with my eldest son at the time) since Mugabe was voted into power in the then Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, which soon dropped the Rhodesia part, and he stated his intention of building socialism on the ruins of capitalism. Well - the latter part of that intention he has achieved, but the former part is non-existent. So I guess that in 28 years he has failed to fully achieve his objectives. Perhaps that's why he is continuing to eradicate any kind of opposition!

The following is an proposed obituary which was sent to me by a friend. We need to remember that Mugabe is mortal - he will die.

Mugabe’s Obituary

During the liberation struggle he was conspicuous by his absence, protected by the regime he sought to overthrow.

After independence he consolidated his power by ruthless killing of tens of thousands. The blanket of fear has successfully suppressed opposition for decades afterwards.

With honeyed words he beguiled many at the start of his reign of terror, and he continued with his lies even when they became most implausible.

He pursued with unwavering determination the task of ruining the country while he enriched himself. In a shrewd appraisal of the effects of his policies, he stored up great wealth for himself in other people’s countries.

His racism was a driving force, to be more clearly seen as an obsession as the years went by. He became increasingly frustrated with the remnant of the white community who remained convinced of their role in developing and caring for the country. When he stole their farms to give to his cronies under the guise of helping the poor, the hundreds of thousands of farm workers were displaced to the towns in squatter camps, only to be bulldozed away in a cleansing ceremony of callous brutality.

He devalued the currency at an increasing rate according to a pre-determined plan, to make the financial commitments of the country meaningless. In order to protect himself and other privileged members of the party from the effects of this strategy, he instituted different currency exchange rates for different categories of people, with his own favourites at the top of the heap.

As the economy of the country imploded according to plan, he cut off the pensions and medical aid from those who had moved out of the country; and he accelerated the inflation within the country to make living an impossibility for the aged and infirm.

He made friends with the world’s outcasts and tyrants, pretending their sins were virtues, and even giving sanctuary and rewards to convicted murderers.

As a committed Marxist he was able to deny all authority but his own, achieved and rooted in lies, deceit, bullying and brutality.

As the decades went by and the situation was driven from one low level of despair to another, a quarter of the population voted with their feet, moving illegally to other countries where there was at least some food. This was a shrewd plan on his part to achieve two things: to remove opposition from the country, and then to ensure a flow of foreign currency sent home by the exiles to their starving relatives.

His epitaph:

“By his fruits you will know him: The father of lies.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


There's a tangible energy in the house when people spend a large part of their days there. The sounds of guitar picking and strumming behind a closed door; a band practising in the garage; the hum of a computer; the grolaungh of the washing machine and sloosh of water pumped out; heat on the growing grass; senile dog thinking she should have a bit of a bark; rain - sometimes soft, sometimes heavy; the depth of thought in solving an electronic challenge; hum and clatter of the pool cleaner; sneezing of the hayfever sufferer; contentment of companionship; security and awareness of who's coming in and out and the satisfaction of life lived fully and significantly. But today there's silence. Almost like a vacuum, in spite of the noises of Monday chores. The energy is dispersed to other places - medical campus, main campus, vacation work... And it leaves the house (and me) feeling deserted. I'd have thought I'd be used to it by now - Mondays being my sabbath - but I'm not - don't know if I ever will be. The shrinking energy levels are just so noticeable - especially with my first two sons out of the house and living elsewhere. But the peace is still there. I suppose that's what getting older is all about - letting go of that which energized in the past and seeking new directions for energy .