Tabby’s sports day

April 6 2014

Last year, Tabby was very nervous at her school sports day. She was shy about running in front of people and had to be gently cajouled into competing (although this being a Montessori school, the competition element isn’t really the biggest part). This year was a different story – except for the wheelbarrow race, which she wouldn’t do, she loved it and couldn’t have been happier.

We assume the wheelbarrow tantrum was to do with being tired as we’ only just got back from holiday.

On a separate note – what happened to being able to share to WordPress directly from Flickr?

All about Tshimologong

November 20 2013

It’s not my headline, but this is the third or fourth time I’ve written about the Tshimologong Precint in Joburg, and definitely the best: The grand vision for a homegrown Silicon Valley in one of Joburg’s most notorious neighbourhoods | ZDNet.

The problem with road building in Johannesburg

October 22 2013

20131022_074506

I’m currently involved in a campaign to try and stop a road being built through a local nature reserve, and one of my concerns is that whatever gets put in the plans won’t matter once building commences. Because roads are really badly made in Johannesburg. When I lived in Shoreham, a 100 yard pedestrianised area took nearly a year to finish because of the incredible layers of engineering and planning that went in to it. That was ridiculous. But so is the picture above. It’s the new intersection between Maxwell Drive and Old Pretoria Road – finished about three months ago.

This weekend it rained. Quite heavily. It’s the first rain this road has seen. And already it’s too flooded to drive on, causing traffic to back up and – eventually – the lights will fail.It hasn’t rained for 12 hours, and the pool of water is still there.

Quite how that happens is beyond me. It rains heavily for six months of the year here. You’d think someone would have remembered to put the storm drain in?

My first 3D prints

September 25 2013

3d Print number 1So yesterday was a bit of a breakthrough. After only a year of trying, I made some things with my 3D printer. The first (above) is a mount for the electronics. I found out that the reason I was only getting half-prints like this:

failed octopusWas because the connections on the RAMPs shield were moving around too much.

Then I made this:

3d print 2It’s a waving octopus from Thingiverse. With his head caved in because I didn’t use enough infill, I think. Also, I think the extruder temperature is a bit too high, and the extruder itself was set a little low and melted some of the layers at the top.

I guess this means it’s going to rain soon…

rainspiderDiscovered lurking above the towel rail the other night. Looking me straight in the eye as I looked up from drying my hands.

The swiss-cheese rocks of the Dolphin Coast. Weird or what?

August 17 2013
Salt Rock Beach Rocks_5

Alien-looking rocks on Salt Rock beach, a set on Flickr.

While on holiday just north of Durban, in a little town called Salt Rock (complete with ‘Salty’s’ – the hard drinking bar for salted types) we came across a small area of these rocks.

They were just under a headland, so I assume the odd patterning is a result of multiple currents in the undertow and some pumice-like lava rock. I can’t find anything online which explains this kind of wear (primarily on the land-facing side of each rock), but it certainly looks cool.

And by the way, the government has changed your name…

July 20 2013

Tabby's birthday cakeCongratulations to wife unit on scoring the ultimate birthday cake for seven-year-old’s birthday. Also, kudos to seven-year -old for appreciating one of the best animated heroines of recent times.

Nothing is free

July 19 2013

I read this piece by Jay Naidoo at the Daily Maverick earlier, and there’s a quote in it from Nazma Akter, the general secretary of the Sommilito Garments.

Sramik Federation, turned to me and said, “We need people in the West to understand that there is nothing free. When you buy cheap clothing or buy one and get one free, realise that nothing is free. Someone has to pay. Here it is the workers with their lives. Our lives are cheap. While we know we have to fight for union rights here, our struggle is interconnected and global.”

It’s been going round in my head ever since, so I had to put it here to exorcise it somewhat. It should be printed above the doorway of every Truworths, Topshop and Macy’s in the world.

It’s soon going to be a year since I moved to South Africa, and I find I’m really having to fight the temptation to normalise so many of the things that are wrong here. Most of all it’s the constant refrain that somehow, economics justifies paying people less-than-subsistence wages and only by allowing economics to run free will they be saved.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the Marikana were just told that they have to pay their own legal expenses to be represented at the inquiry. Despite the fact that the only reason they’re there in the first place is because the family breadwinners were shot down by the police. And yet no-one seems outraged by this.

htxt.africa | Meet the Tweeting badger of Johannesburg Zoo

June 29 2013

htxt.africa | Meet the Tweeting badger of Johannesburg Zoo.

Sneefle

June 18 2013

VIDEO: Shoreham footbridge demolition gets underway – Local – Shoreham Herald.