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5fm + Cadbury’s = Win! (Literally) July 28, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man.
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Wow. Purely by chance I happened to check out Twitter today, using the web interface (instead of the usual TweetDeck), and lo and behold, this is what I see:

CadburysWIN

Turns out 5fm are running a Twitter giveaway of Cadbury’s Hampers! I have no idea whats in the hampers, of course, but I think it’s safe to assume there will be chocolate! I mean, how bad can it be!? So I have dutifully sent off my contact details, lets see what happens (I’ll keep ya posted…)

(Check out 5fm on Twitter, or specifically the #CadburyHamper thingy.)

Now I feel slightly guilty after my friend Chloe had asked me earlier in the day to please nominate her for a hamper…. and with work piling up I forgot to…

No, wait….

Ok good, the guilty feelings have passed. Bring on the chocolate baby!

POTD: Brand Toilet Humour July 28, 2009

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On the way to lunch today, walking down the road in Cape Town, we came across this gem. A friend of mine snapped a shot, and here it is for all to enjoy 🙂

IMAGE_077

The Big Picture – Soccer in South Africa July 16, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General, POTD.
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I’ve always enjoyed the Boston Globe’s Big Picture series – though I don’t actively follow it: today, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a link to this week’s Big Picture set, “Soccer in South Africa”, on the SARocks website. So, check out all this week’s Big Picture photos here. To whet your appetite, however, two of my favourites:

South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune fails to catch a ball shot by Spanish forward Fernando Llorente, who scored the second goal, during the Fifa Confederations Cup football match Spain vs South Africa on June 20, 2009 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. Spain won 2-0 but both teams qualified for the next stage of the tournament. (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune fails to catch a ball shot by Spanish forward Fernando Llorente, who scored the second goal, during the Fifa Confederations Cup football match Spain vs South Africa on June 20, 2009 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. Spain won 2-0 but both teams qualified for the next stage of the tournament. (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa supporters watch the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between South Africa and Spain on television inside their home in the Matholiesville settlement, near Roodepoort, South Africa, Saturday, June 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

South Africa supporters watch the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between South Africa and Spain on television inside their home in the Matholiesville settlement, near Roodepoort, South Africa, Saturday, June 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

POTD: Strikers in Cape Town July 14, 2009

Posted by baldricman in News, POTD.
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The strike by stadium workers across the country is in full swing at the moment, and I have been watching (and listening to) the strikers marching around town most of today, and yesterday. Here is a quick snap I took with my phone, leaning out the window. (Taken around 2pm today)Cape Town Strike

The strikers are demanding a 13% increase on the monthly minimum pay (which I understand is around R2500). Below is a picture I took on Friday (when there were much fewer strikers marching), but I enjoyed the irony of the marching taking place beneath the massive “CAPE TOWN – Ready to Welcome the World” poster! (Apologies for the shocking quality, I’ll try grab a better shot should the opportunity arise – I only managed to get the stragglers this time…)

Cape Town Strike

Baldric’s Fun-Filled Rainy Weekend July 13, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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Blog’s been a bit slow of late, so to keep the ball rolling a little, here’s an update from my side. This weekend was busy. Real busy. Wifey and I usually have pretty chilled weekends, where we spend most of the time feeling guilty for not getting anything done. But, not this time! Oh no!

We had decided late on Friday to go watch a movie. We booked online, as we always do, but when we arrived and tried to claim our tickets from the TicketLine machine, the internal printer had run out of paper, and the system did not “notice”, in true Ster Kinekor software fashion. So the next 20 minutes were spent dealing with Ster Kinekor staff (who, though ultra-bored, were still quite helpful). In the end we were too late to get seats together (no reserved seating), so we managed to wangle some “re-admission” tickets for use another time. On the way home we picked  up 2 DVDs instead, which were “He’s Just Not That Into You”, for the wifey, and “Burn After Reading”, for me. Sadly, wifey’s movie turned out to be pretty good, whereas mine was, well… It was interesting and amusing, but a little too affected, as many star-studded movies are these days. In fact, I think it would have been a better movie without so many stars, as the director would have felt less pressure to let each of them be leading actors. Anyway, moving on.

We got a pretty late start to Saturday morning, after the DVD-debauchery the night before. We raced off to Cavendish for some clothes shopping, then headed into town to meet an old school friend of wifey’s. We had a great lunch (well actually I had a breakfast 🙂 ) at Greens on Kloof Street. (Consider it recommended!)
Then we rushed off back home, got dressed up all snazzy-like (“formal” in Cape Town apparently means “no tie”), and returned to town (a few hundred metres from where we had just been 2 hours prior) , and met 2 friends for an early dinner at Yindees. Yindees is one of my favourite restaurants in Cape Town. They are an authentic Thai outfit, very reasonable, and the food is excellent, with service to match. (more…)

Yzerfontein on the Weekend July 9, 2009

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This past weekend saw wifey and I travelling to Yzerfontein in the new sunroof car, to stay in an awesome house right on the beach. We were meeting a group of friends for the weekend, and because none of us had been before, we didn’t really know what to expect from the place. When we arrived, however, (Wifey and I were first on the scene) we were greeted by a most spectacular sunset. I tried to capture it on my camera (as you’ll see below), from the main bedroom balcony. The camera, unfortunately, died on me the next morning, so that meant no more recorded memories. Not from me at least…yzerfontein sunset

After admiring the view, we explored the house and found it very nicely set out, well appointed, and actually quite a lot more luxurious than we had anticipated, and at a very reasonable price, in my opinion.

All in all, we had an excellent time filled with silly boardgames, good food, talking crap like pros, and struggling valiantly through copious amounts of wine. We also watched the “rugby” on Saturday, and also tried to kill each other with oranges on the beach (no pics, sorry.)

For those of you who haven’t been to Yzerfontein, I don’t recommend it at all. It’s a terrible place for you to go. If you go, my chances of getting available accommodation are that much lower. So please forget about it! 🙂

But seriously, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in a while, and I can’t wait to organise another trip back!

Aphelion – July 4th July 3, 2009

Posted by baldricman in astronomy.
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Tomorrow, July 4th, the Earth will be at it’s furthest point from the Sun, in it’s eliptical orbit. This is known as “Aphelion” (with the closest point known as the Perihelion).

Orbits of the Inner Planets

Orbits of the Inner Planets

The effect? Well, contrary to what you may think, this does not really effect our seasons in any meaningfull way. The seasons are, of course, created by the tilt of the Earth on it’s axis, in relation to the Sun. However, the Sun will appear slightly smaller in the sky, by roughly 3% (No, you won’t notice that)

This happens once a year, at more or less the same time, and the following table gives the date and time (GMT) of each aphelion. (Table from wikipedia page here)

Year Perihelion Aphelion
Date Hour Date Hour
2007 January 3 2000 July 7 0000
2008 January 3 0000 July 4 0800
2009 January 4 1500 July 4 0200
2010 January 3 0000 July 6 1100
2011 January 3 1900 July 4 1500
2012 January 5 0000 July 5 0300
2013 January 2 0500 July 5 1500
2014 January 4 1200 July 4 0000
2015 January 4 0700 July 6 1900
2016 January 2 2300 July 4 1600
2017 January 4 1400 July 3 2000
2018 January 3 0600 July 6 1700
2019 January 3 0500 July 4 2200
2020 January 5 0800 July 4 1200

You can see a good representation of the difference in the apparent size of the Sun, in the form of a composite image (from 2 photos, one at Aphelion, one at Perihelion), on the NASA site over here.

Ballet vs Rugby, and Other Confusion July 1, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General, News, Sport.
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Congratulations to the Springboks on an excellent series win this weekend!! Some truly remarkeable rugby was played by the Boks, against a tough, determined, and fired up Lions team. A special congratulations to the Lions on such an excellent second half of the first test, and a frantic first half of the second test. Both games being won by such a small margin, I think, is evidence of the quality of the sides.

Now, I thought I should comment on a few of the issues that have come up in the wake of the game, so this is a sort of “open letter” to all those living in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and all other rugby-playing countries. (Gotta love blogging…. just imagine the postage saved!)

I was absolutely astounded and more than a little ashamed to watch a clip of an interview Peter de Villiers gave, in which he waxed lyrical about rugby, ballet, eye-gouging, tutus, and spear-tackling. The man clearly had no idea what he was going to say before he gave the interview, nor what he was saying during the interview. Much like the extremely unprofressional and shameful criticism of ref’ing decisions in the post-match interview on Saturday – To all coaches: please show some class and sportsmanship, and take your complaints to the relevant bodies, in private, after the game. This also applies to the Lions coach Ian McGeechan, who in both post-match interviews, made thinly veiled implications that the Lions lost because they were unlucky, and the coaches made bad decisions. Grow up Ian, and stop looking like such a sore loser. Whatever happened to being gracious in both success, and in defeat? It is a sad state of affairs indeed. Anyway, I just wanted to assure pretty much all non-South Africans that, for the most part, we are not all illiterate, bumbling, aggressive eye-gouging ballerinas, as dear Peter might have led you to believe. (I’m actually not sure what you might have taken from his little speech, as it was rather hard to follow and decipher. At one point I thought he may have slipped into lineout calls by mistake..) You can watch the clip here peterdiv

Of course, the British and Irish Lions should be glad we have such “disgraceful” coach (as Brian O’Driscoll so honourably put it) – I feel that with some small team-selection differences (and some would say better use of the bench), the games would not have been so, er, “unlucky” (as captain Paul O’Connell put it, unsurprisingly) And although you may not believe it, I don’t really want to criticise old “Div” too much. After all, as John Smit answered to the question of whether the coach’s use of the bench was poor, “We won both games, so one could say his use of the bench was perfect”… Makes one think. (But to change tack once again, check out this brilliant page of Peter de Villiers Quotes. Hilarious!!)

Anyway, I can’t wait for the final game this Saturday. I think its going to be even greater than last weekend’s game, as the Boks will want to make it a whitewash, but the Lions will have everything to play for, and nothing to lose. I’m not at all sorry to see Schalk Burger go (I feel he is a little past his prime, sadly, but that’s just my opinion).

Oh, lastly, just thought I’d mention my “man of the second-half” choice from the last game, and that would have to be Heinrich Brussow. I really hope to see him get some more game time this Saturday. He seems to be bringing “stealing” back into fashion 🙂