Sunday, February 26, 2006

Family ties

I followed this link from Reluctant Nomad's blog [The Official Opposition in my race for the SA BlogAwards 2006 - you should check it out, it's not bad ;-)].

Anyway, the link will take you to a website that demo's facial recognition software and you can upload a photo of yourself and it gets scanned by their software and then it tells you what celebrities you most resemble. It's pretty quick and I thought it was rather cool. Well, at first anyway.

Because apparently I most resemble:

Shania Twain

Rachel Bilson

Lena Olin

Katie Holmes

and... get this...

Leonardo DiCaprio

How the hell did he get in there???!


On the other hand, I fared better than Hubby - when I uploaded our wedding photo one of his matches was Barbara Bush. Another was Sammy Davis Jr. Can we therefore deduce that Barbs and Sammy look alike? Perhaps someone's great-great-granpappy was gettin' up to mischief in the cotton fields? Right, well, before I get had up for libel and slander and all sorts of other nasty things (not to mention what Barbara & Sammy might do) I think I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions about this demo software.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hand me a great big spoon

By the time lunchtime came around today my blood sugar levels were probably registering negative numbers so I scooted down to the canteen to pig out on bangers and mash. And baked beans, but I hate those so... well never mind the lunch menu. I sat down with some of my colleagues at a table and started munching. The topic of conversation was music and we had great fun reminiscing about the popular bands from the 80's. Everyone remember Erasure?
From laughing at remembered images of men in fish-net stockings we moved on to concerts.

"Did anyone see..?" and "Were you at..?"

Well, no I wasn't.
I grew up in South Africa, which wasn't exactly the most popular destination for musicians in the 80's.
Stole this from - photographer unknown
Except Bryan Adams. I saw him twice. Thanks Bryan!]

Now, perhaps it was because I was still feeling a little grumpy from being so hungry, Stole this from www.queenzone.comor perhaps it was in retaliation for someone saying something bad about Queen, but I decided to drop my 2 cents' worth into the conversation by saying that the most disappointing concert I have seen was
U2 in Croke Park last year.

This little epiphany was greeted by a stunned silence.
Remember: this is Ireland - U2 are gods here. Croke Park is their home turf.
In truth, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert last year, although I said then and I still maintain I like to go to concerts for the music - if I wanted to hear about politics, I would go to a political rally. I am only too aware that Africa is in trouble... I didn't pay good money to be told that by a singer with an inflated ego, however good his intentions are. I mean, he really believes he is single-handedly going to solve all of Africa's problems.
And then, I'm sure, he plans to sing about it.

OK so I may have exaggerated this a little at lunch today, but I do so enjoy stirring the pot a bit. It's fun leaving people speechless :-)

PS Thanks Kyknoord for pointing out my nomination to me. And thank you, all my loyal subjects - I mean, readers - for voting for me in the SA BlogAwards. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Is it true?

Oh look I found a quiz that was tailormade for me. I'm beginning to think the rumours might be true after all...

You Are Scary

You even scare scary people sometimes!

Monday, February 20, 2006


Can anyone guess what this is?

That's right. It's a very small, very bad photograph taken with my very cheap camera phone.

But that's not the point.

Look closer. Don't be shy - closer...
That, good people of Blogland, is a picture of the first Daffodils of the year beginning to bloom. Yep, the Daffs think Spring is here.

Well, no-one ever accused Daffodils of being particularly clever.
One sunny day and they think Winter is gone. Hah! I'll believe that when I see it. We're having some very pretty sunrises and sunsets... accompanied by stormclouds and gale-force winds. Isn't Spring supposed to be warm sunny days, tweeting birds and all that?
Mind you, I've seen birds. This morning when I left for work it looked like a scene from a Hitchcock movie - there were thousands of crows outside (and no that's not an exaggeration) - in the air, on the roofs, and all making a helluva racket. I don't really associate crows with Springtime though. They're more suited to horror movies.

Anyway, I'm sure you've had enough of the weather report.
I have something else I'd like to discuss.

Angel asked me in a comment about 'Blogging Etiquette' - in this case related to meme's and tags. Since Chitty also brought up this issue in his post today, I figured this was as good a time as any to air my views on the subject. (haha, I almost typed 'View my Airs' - Freudian slip perhaps?!)

So Angel, to answer your question:

Don't stress - I don't believe there are any hard & fast rules... You can pretty much tag anyone you like. Whether they see the tag & respond is another matter entirely. Normally if people 'steal' a meme from someone they mention where they got it somewhere in the post... that's just good manners as far as I'm concerned. Some people don't like being tagged; some people tag them anyway. As for being rude... it's your blog after all so you can pretty much post whatever you please. If you don't wanna do it, don't do it. If people don't like it, well, tuff!! Don't let the neuroses take over, girl. Call me, I'll save you (just as soon as I'm done saving myself, LOL!)

This leads me to more or less what I left as a comment on Chitty's post. It amazes me that in a world governed by laws and rules, a world that is ravaged by violence, inhumanity, lawlessness and rudeness, the thing that has most restored my faith in humanity is Blogland, where there are no rules, no official etiquette. Because here I have seen a better display of good manners than anywhere in the 'real' world. In my opinion the world would be a much better place if it took its lead from Cyberspace.
How messed up is that?!

OK I'll get off my soapbox now. Oh, btw - anyone feel free to correct me / add your own thoughts on this one. It's a free world ;-)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tagged by an Angel

In catching up on my blogging this weekend I discovered I was tagged by Angel. And since I would hate her to think she was snubbed on her first tag, here it is:

24 Things:

1) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
Morelli men are known for being charming but worthless drunks who rarely care about the comfort of their wife and kids, much less the dog. {Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich}
2) Stretch your left arm out as far as you can and see what you touch.
A wooden bowl on the table - we call it the Thingamebowl cos it contains all the clutter that would otherwise lie around loose on the table.
3) What is the last thing you watched on TV?
4) Without looking, guess what time it is.
5) Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
Oops. 3:15pm
6) With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
The ticking of our central heating timer, and the crunch of Hubby eating a plum.
7) When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
About an hour ago, getting back from grocery shopping.
8) Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
Angel's Mind - blog
9) What are you wearing?
Jeans, tan boots & a brown v-neck sweater.
10) Did you dream last night?
Yes, although I can't remember anything concrete about it.
11) When did you last laugh?
Yesterday evening on the phone with a friend.
12) What is on the walls of the room you are in?
A mirror, two horrible paintings of fox-hunting scenes, a weird African wooden picture which I love, that my step-children brought us from a stopover in Dubai, and a frame with 3 of my own photo's - the Eiffel Tower, the Collosseum and the pretty white houses in Santorini.
13) Seen anything weird lately?
This is Dublin - weird is normal.
14) What do you think of this quiz?
It's kinda quirky, that's why I 'm doing it.
15) What is the last film you saw?
Veronica Gueron (on DVD. Don't remember the last time I went to the movies.)
16) If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
A house each for my mom, sisters and husband's family; A house for us here in Ireland (probably) and a holiday home somewhere sunny, like Spain or Cyprus or the south of France; I would take great pleasure in buying all the furnishings for my houses. Oh, and maybe a new car for Hubby. And one for me, what the heck!
17) Tell me something about you that I don't know.
The only thing about me that I believe in is my intelligence.
18) If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Stop the violence. All of it.
19) Do you like to dance?
I love to dance!
20) George Bush?
How on earth did he get elected a second time???!
21) Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
I used to say Kayleigh, but then a friend of ours called their dog that. So... Hm. No idea.
22) Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
23) Would you ever consider living abroad?
Actually, I do live abroad. But SA is still home.
24) What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
Well done, you made it!

I'm not going to tag anyone 'cos I don't feel like it, but feel free to post your 24 on your blog. I'm outta here!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Show and tell

Actually, it's just "Show".
I don't have too much to say right now so I'm hoping to placate you with visuals instead. After a week of strong winds designed, I'm sure, especially to annoy me, today was so calm and still it was as if
Aeolus had gone on strike.
I took the opportunity to have some fun with my camera and visit the swans.

On my way home after my little sojourn with my feathered friends, I simply had to stop to take these as well...

Hopefully I'll be back with something interesting to say... or even something uninteresting, for that matter... soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh Sh*t!

I was debating whether or not to share this with the world but in the end my big mouth and inability to shut up won out.
I had one of those experiences that you think only happens in the movies this weekend while I was in London. Li'l Sis and I seem prone to this kind of thing which is probably why we end up laughing so much when we get together.

I had only been in her flat about half an hour when I needed to use the bathroom.
"Sit carefully," she said, a little sheepishly. "The seat is quite loose and tends to shift a bit."
So I sat carefully. All was going well until I twisted to reach for the loo paper, at which point the world seemed to tilt. Actually it was just the toilet seat. "Shift a bit"??? Hell, the thing went skidding sideways so fast I almost ended up on the floor. It wouldn't have been so bad except in the midst of me trying to regain my balance (not easy when one is in a partial squat, I can tell you) I heard a distinct "click-plonk" noise.
You know, I'm always so careful when I go to the loo that I don't have anything loose on me or in pockets that could fall in. Apparently you never can be too careful.
A brief investigation revealed that the source of the "click-plonk" was the little plastic thingy that clips onto the side of the bowl to freshen and fragrance the potty with every flush. You know the one I'm talking about. Well at some point during the seat's attempted getaway it had dislodged said plastic thingy, causing it to "click" loose from its mooring and "plonk" into the toilet-bowl. Which was where it now sat, taunting me.
"Er, Sis, we may have something of a dilemma," said I, poking my head around the door. She was laughing already even though she had no idea what had happened. My loud, "Oh Shit!" from behind closed doors had tipped her off that her warning hadn't had the desired effect.
"What's the problem?" she wanted to know, trying very hard to sound sympathetic and understanding and helpful, but failing miserably by bursting into cackling laughter when I told her Where Things Stood.
When she was able to speak again, we had to decide: Fish it or Flush it?
I would have preferred the Flush option but for practical reasons (or perhaps becuase my Li'l Sis loves to see me in awkward Ally McBeal-type situations) we had to go with the Fishing option instead.
What a pleasant job. First I tried the toilet-brush, but that was no good cos you couldn't really get a grip on the thing. Eventually Sis came up with a better plan - an old pair of rubber gloves that she was getting ready to throw out anyway. And up came the lavender-scented offending item... but not before slipping out of my hand no less than TWICE before I was able to carry it to safety. And then I noticed that there was yet another strange object lying in the bottom of the loo (despite the obvious... please, ppl, I'm trying to keep this as clean as possible!). Since I was getting the hang of this thing, I fished it out too - turned out to be one of the porcelain bits that holds the seat onto the loo at the sides. The whole damn thing had broken off.
Yep, that's me. The epitome of elegance.
And for Sis, "ROTFL"* has taken on a whole new meaning.

*[cyberspace's favourite acronym: ROTFL = "Roll On The Floor Laughing", for those of you not familiar with cyber-speak]

Friday, February 10, 2006

Dog Day Friday

I think all the training this week short-circuited my brain because everywhere I looked today all I saw was (were?) dogs.

When I went out on the roof to have a smoke between lectures, I was watched by an overweight Labrador from a garden next to the building. He sat for a while as if trying to decide if I was worth his attention, and then gave a half-hearted bark. I barked back, he cocked his head and then decided to ignore me. I felt quite sorry for the poor guy, locked away in a small garden surrounded by high walls all alone all day while his family is off doing whatever they do. Life's a bitch, eh?

Later, while I was waiting for the bus, I noticed a little white fluffy poodle-type thing ogling me from behind the curtains in a house across the road. Another poor canine waiting for it's loved ones to return. How boring must that be?!

And then an old man came along, walking his dog on a leash. The mutt was trotting along on top of a low brick wall next to his master's hip. This one looked happy. He was out in the world with his best friend, sniffing all sorts of interesting stuff along the way. Apparently I don't smell very interesting 'cos he went by me with no more than a passing glance. He was a really cool looking dog, though - kind of fluffy and wiry, with a really sweet face. He reminded me of the dog we had before we left SA.

Rintin in the car - not wanting to be left behind!His name was Rintin (I had nothing to do with his naming, I swear!!!) and he was the most loveable dog in the world. A wire haired terrier cross jack russell that resembled Barbra Streisand. (Something about the eyes / nose... trust me on this one.)

Well anyway, my course is now over and I'm back home and feeling dog tired :-)

Looking forward to tomorrow, though - I'm off to London to visit my li'l sister.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Information overload

My head is full... and I still have another 2 days of this training course to get through. Maybe if I jump up & down a lot the stuff that's gone in there will compact a bit and make room for what's still to come.

I feel like a walking brain. There's no room left for creativity. I felt the beginnings of a non-dba-related thought trying to poke its way through earlier, but it failed to break the surface, getting sucked down back into the grey gloop of logical information that currently fills my noggin.

And it took me 2 hours to get home tonight.
Buses, traffic, more traffic, missed trains... ain't life just peachy?!

Hooray for stepdaughters who like to cook!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Back to School

Has anyone clicked the Learn more button next to the messages we've been getting on Blogger? I did. I'm pedantic that way. And I'd just like to say my annoyance at downtime has been tempered somewhat. Being something of a techie myself I know what it is to work all weekend trying to fix dodgy hardware. So spare a thought for the guys - methinks they really are making an effort.
And no, they didn't pay me to write this ;-)

Speaking of Learning, I have a brief break from normal work this week in the form of a training course. Y'know that meme that's going around - the Weird Stuff About Me one? Well I've often been called weird (mostly by Hubby, who appears to love me anyway, thank goodness) yet I battle to think of specific characteristics about me that might be called weird. I think I may have found one though:

I like learning.

Seriously, I do! I'm really tired after a full day of listening to lectures, but I really enjoy it. It's like my brain wakes up and says things like, "Oh, Hello World!", and "Feed Me, Seymour!".
Even when I was in school all those many, many years ago (please quit laughing and continue reading); when everyone else was moaning about writing exams, I think I secretly enjoyed it because after all the studying the information was right there, in my head, and it was great being able to answer questions off the cuff without having to Google stuff. Not that we had Google back then, oh no. Back then we still used something called Libraries and did our research from books.
Yes children, it's true; there was knowledge before Google.
Although I have to agree it's become much, much easier since Google was born. And more colourful too.

I'm fairly sure I am in danger of being classified as a Nerd here - all this reference to computer-stuff and learning and books. Well, that's tough. I is what I are.

And on a completely different subject - Season 5 of 24 is starting this week. They've been teasing us all week with the adverts on TV. We thought it was starting last night. We failed to read the fine print - it was only the Prelude. Five lousy minutes is all we got! Talk about an anti-climax. Now we have to wait until next Sunday to see a whole episode.
Aw, Jaack!

We'll just have to make use of a double-bill of the new season of Lost tonight instead :-)
Yay, Jack!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tagged in absentia

Well it seems as soon as I turned my back to go on holiday for a week, I got tagged by Ben O. Since he was kind enough to give me a grace period, and since it is actually quite a cool one, here ya go:

Four Jobs You've Had In Your Life
1. One of the nicest jobs was when I was in high-school I worked in a 2nd-hand bookshop part-time. I learnt all I know about sex from the Mills & Boon books I read while I worked there ;-)
2. For a couple of years Hubby and I ran our own business from home, selling organic fertilizer. Yep - chicken shit in a bag, folks!
3. When the rug was ripped out from underneath us most rudely with that, I went on to do the most boring job I've ever had to do - Creditors Clerk for an industrial clothing company. I lasted all of 5 months.
4. My first job in IT was to provide Accounting Support for Legal firms. I knew the bookkeeping side, they taught me the programs... and the rest is history. Best move I ever made.

Four Movies You Could Watch Over And Over
1. Love Actually - It makes me laugh
2. Dirty Dancing - I love dancing, love stories & Patrick Swayze. Enough said.
3. The Matrix - Gimme a break, I am in IT after all!
4. Lord of the Rings - All of them. Because it's pure fantasy and Aragorn in hot!

Four Places You've Lived
1. Port Elizabeth (SA)
2. Krugersdorp (SA)
2. Johannesburg (SA)
3. Dublin (Ireland)

Four TV Shows You Love To Watch
1. Friends - No matter how many times I've watched an episode, it will still make me laugh
2. ER - Been a fan of this for years. I think it may have something to do with the cute doctors...
3. 24 - Jack is the coolest hero ever!
4. Lost - There's something very addictive about this show; not least a hunky doctor called Jack :-)

Four Places You've Been on Vacation
(Now this is a list I can do!)
1. Cruise ship to Madgascar from Durban in SA
2. Sun holiday in the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria)
3. Fun holiday in the Greek Islands (Crete, Santorini, Cyprus)
4. And most recently, Skiing in the French Alps

Four Blogs You Visit Daily
!! Please don't take offense if your blog is not listed here - I have a whole heap of daily reads, but this meme is limited to four, so.... you get the picture. Ben, you don't get mention here 'cos you passed this to me and you're already linked at the top of this post ;-)
1. Something Under the Bed is Drooling
2. In the Blink of an Eye
3. Mississippi Mud Pie
4. OodlesofNoodlesofFun

Four of Your Favorite Foods
1. Potatoes - in any shape or form. Roasties, fries, bakes, you name it.
2. Salami - I would rather nibble on Salami than biscuits or crisps (except Pringles, perhaps)
3. Cheese - see #2.
4. Nuts - especially Cashews.
No wonder my cholestrol is a tad high...

Four Places You'd Rather Be
1. Paris
2. The Alps
3. Sunny SA
4. Greek Islands

Four Albums You Can't Live Without
1. Queen - Greatest Hits
2. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
3. Joshua Kadison - Painted Desert Serenade
4. Rob Thomas - Something to Be

Four Vehicles You've Owned (in chronological order)
1. A red & white 'Citi' Golf that I inherited from my Mom. I loved this car - it suited me well.
2. Navy blue Toyota Tazz (like a Corolla hatchback for everyone living outside SA). This was the first car I bought myself and I loved it to bits. I also crashed it two weeks after I got it and cried like a baby!
3. White Honda Civic (the nice one, not the boy-racer one). Loved this car - it went real fast and cornered like a dream - I was really sad to get rid of it before we moved over to Ireland. Strangely though, I never 'bonded' with it like I did with my Tazz.
4. Maroon Audi A3. That's my car at the moment. Hubby is just borrowing it for a few years ;-)

Ok for some reason I got a sense of déja vu when I made this list so apologies if I am repeating stuff I have said before. I have a dreadful memory, which often results in me forgetting to tell some people something, while telling other people that same thing twice, or more. So it's entirely possible I've already told you some of this stuff, but never mind - I thought it would be kinda rude not to accept Ben's tag... especially since he was so nice about tagging me :-)