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My Preciousssss – 2010 Ticketsess February 4, 2010

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, News, Sport.
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5 comments

Yes!! I won, I won! A little while ago I applied for World Cup 2010 tickets to several games here in Cape Town, and this morning I checked my ticket application status (for the umpteenth time, let me tell you), and lo and behold, this is what greets my tired eyes:

Those little green ticks, dear friends, mean “Congratulations Awesome-Person, you have successfully applied for tickets!”

So in a little over 126-odd days, I’ll be heading off to the Green Point Stadium to watch Uruguay thump France! Yeah!!

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Baldric-Man’s Traffic Circles for Dummies January 21, 2010

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man.
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13 comments

Aaargh! I can’t take it any longer! After years of encounters of the traffic-circle kind, I may have finally snapped. I’m just so completely and utterly sick of having to approach and negotiate traffic circles, while trying to follow the *real* rules of the road, and somehow incorporate the idiotic, sheep-like current trends that seem to govern (just about) every other driver’s demented usage of “roundabouts” and “mini-circles”.

Today, on my way home, I had yet another run in with some twit, who managed to exhibit tendencies of nervousness, aggressiveness, and lack-of-foresighted-ness (forgive me, I’m ranting), all in the space of about 15 seconds. I won’t go into the details: you all probably know exactly what happened.

So please consider this a public service announcement. I am now going to lay down the very-uncomplicated rules of traffic circles in one easy page for my intelligent readers to distribute amongst their less fortunate friends.

Herewith, Baldric-Man’s Traffic Circles for Dummies (more…)

Two Oceans Aquarium January 17, 2010

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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8 comments

Cape Town: I’ve realised that, when you find yourself with a day completely free of chores, duties, outstanding work, even plans with friends, there are few cities better to be stuck in. Yesterday, with it’s marvelous weather, was one such day for Wifey and I, so I decided to treat her to a trip to the Two Oceans Aquarium, situated at the Cape Town V&A Waterfront.

It’s an expensive outing, make no mistake – as lowly Adults we had to pay R88 each, even though we’re South African (which is a rant for another day 🙂 ), but we quickly forgot about that once we were inside. We spent about an hour and a half in the aquarium, and saw things such as the Giant Spider Crab tank, the “Nemo” exhibit (clown fish, always a hit with the kids), the Kelp Forest (pic below) which is just beautiful, and of course the Predator Exhibit, where we were lucky enough to see feeding time. (You can also feed the sharks, by getting in the tank with them, scuba-style, no cage. And you have to pay for this…..?) The aquarium also has two galleries to contrast the sea life in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, with helpful identifier cards next to each window, to help find the little critters (and learn a little interesting fact about them too).

The aquarium, however, doesn’t limit itself to sea-bound creatures. There is quite a range of birdlife (including the ever popular penguins), and a great River Meander exhibit, which includes fresh water creatures and describes a river’s journey. Also, not to be missed, is the new “Frogs Beyond the Pond” gallery, which has been very carefully and beautifully constructed, with sections making you feel about as big as a frog as you wander through, great lilies and garden taps looming above you.

Anyway, if you have kids, you definitely want to take them there – Wifey and I quite enjoyed watching the kids, some of whom were completely beside themselves with excitement, and the rest completely enchanted and wide-eyed. And if you don’t have kids, you might just find yourself feeling like one anyway…

Cape Town to KwaZulu-Natal Roadtrip: The Route January 11, 2010

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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So Wifey and I got back from our epic roadtrip from Cape Town to Howick a few days ago, which you can read about here. I said I’d detail the route for anyone interested in the “proper” way to go across the country, so, here it is.

To summarise our route, for anyone planning a similar trip, you start out on the N1 from Cape Town, and after going through the engineering marvel that is the Huguenot Tunnel, turn off onto the R60 at Worcester, heading through Robertson, then Ashton, and Montagu, at which point you’re on the R62 . (Route 62, as it’s known, is a must-drive for any trip heading vaguely West-ish. Trust me on this 🙂 ) (more…)

Anna Paquin & The Brothers Streep (on Graham Norton) October 12, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, music, News, VOTD.
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Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin

I blogged briefly about Cape Town comedy band, The Brothers Streep (of Steri-Stumpie fame) a few weeks back, and today, while checking my facebook feeds, I noticed a high volume of posts about their Anna Paquin song (they have a barely-healthy obsession with the actress, it would seem).

So I faithfully checked it out, and found that their antics had not gone unnoticed! Graham Norton of the Graham Norton show on BBC 1 found the song, and played a portion of it during an interview with Anna. Then, to top it off, he managed to rustle up the band on a Skype call during the show (how the bandwidth held out is another question), and an extra verse was then performed.

So why am I posting this? Well, I kinda know one of the guys in the band, so that kinda makes me a bit of a celebrity, and I thought you should all know.

Mass Effect October 8, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, Tech.
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1 comment so far

Hi there! It’s been so long since I last posted, I could barely find the “New Post” button 🙂

So, what’s been keeping me so busy? Well, apart from lots of work, an unexpectedly large tax refund, some illness here and there, and an awesome camp away in Franschhoek this past weekend with other young adults from our church…. Oh yeah, for my birthday a few weeks ago, Deems and family very kindly gave me a voucher to Kalahari.net, which after much deliberation (and I mean “much“…) was converted into two new games for the old ‘puter (much to wifey’s understandable concern)

So I got me paws on “Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II” and “Mass Effect” (wow, what a crappy site…). Now, I know, those aren’t exactly the latest releases, but I run my games on my work laptop, which, while no slouch, is not exactly gamer’s paradise. So I’ve gotta delay a little on the titles, k? Anyway, in short, LOTR is ok. It seems cool, and I can’t find anything huge to fault it on, really, but it just doesn’t grab me either. I suspect my love of the Middle Earth setting is what *almost* saves it…. I played a few missions of that, then figured I’d try out Mass Effect.mass_effect

Wow. Right now, I’m terrified that the game is going to end. Which would be a bad thing. A quick description to bring you up to speed, if you haven’t seen it: it’s a Sci Fi Roleplaying game. You play the role of a military Commander (in the “Starfleet Alliance” or whatever it’s  suitably predictable name is, who cares….?), and basically race around the galaxy in your ship, in your armoured terrestrial lander, or on foot, solving mysteries and blowing up aliens. Nice.

Ok but seriously, the ambience is typical Sci Fi (grand scales, yet a little moody), and so far the game seems to have reasonable depth (I’m really not sure yet that it will have the same depth as RPGs like Neverwinter Nights, for example, and in fact Mass Effect might turn out to be more like an Adventure game….. time will tell) The combat is cool and interesting (minor squad control with issuing of orders, special abilities etc), and interestingly, though the combat control appears to be First-Person Shooter, it really requires more of a strategic approach. The characters are all interesting (both played characters and NPC’s), and the dialog options are smooth and sensible.MassEffect-screeny

Anyway, the game has poor performance on my crappy laptop, but even with my reducing all graphics settings to Atari-like look & feel, it’s still great fun to play. I highly recommend it to anyone who is even vaguely interested in Sci Fi games OR in RPGs.

So, thanks Deems, it’s been a long time since I was excited about getting home to play a game 🙂

First Aid Training – My Face September 7, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man.
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Howdy all! I completed my first day of First Aid training today (and passed my practical) – the course so far has been fairly relaxed and informal, but very interesting indeed. Also, it’s been pretty hands-on, which translates to a course that is filled with laughter and childish jokes…

Right up my alley.

Anyway, I managed to snap one quick pic of my face. Now, before you all run screaming for the hills, its a latexy face that is used during training (for hygiene etc) – the face has lips, nostrils and teeth, for realism, and fits snugly onto the CPR doll. The doll is basically a plastic head and torso. The face is fitted to the front of the head (bizarre, I know), and secured by the ears (this was my favourite part). The doll then “inflates” when you ventilate (give mouth-to-mouth), but only if the airways are unrestricted and sealed (i.e., gotta do all the right stuff like tilting the head back just right, pinching the nostrils, making a good seal with your mouth, etc). The doll also has a big spring inside, in the chest, which is used to measure the depth and force of your compressions when administering CPR (a small gauge on the doll shows green when you are depressing correctly). So the face pictured was my victim patient, and the moment I had saved his sorry plastic life, he was turfed into a plastic bag, destined for sterilisation. Let that be a lesson to anyone planning on collapsing.

Without further ado, I give you….. Gerald:

Not creepy at all....

Not creepy at all....

IT Pro’s and Their Cars August 17, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, Tech.
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Following on from my last post, …It’s a Feature! (as in, not a Bug), I thought I’d put together a little compilation of vehicles I think are appropriate for the various roles in IT. (For some context, I’ve been working in IT for the past 10 years or so, almost entirely in bespoke software development….) So, I hope you enjoy it…. On to the list!

Graphics Designer

But, if it looks this good, nobody will notice the performance!

But, if it looks this good, nobody will notice the performance!

(more…)

5.7kgs of Glass and a Half Goodness August 7, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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At last, it arrived! Some of you will remember my previous post describing how I found out about winning a Cadbury’s hamper from 5fm, on Twitter. If not, you can read it here. Or, you can just look at the next post, seeing as I’ve been a little quiet on the post-front lately….

So, back to the arrival! I got in to work this morning to find a large cardboard box at my desk. I read the label to make sure it was addressed to me, and in doing so happened to notice the dimensions and weight section, where it was clearly stated that the package weighed in at a not-inconsiderable 5.7 kilograms!

Anyway, here are two pics of the hamper. You’ll need to think of them a little like wildlife pictures though, for three reasons:

1: The pictures are never as clear as you had hoped

2: The subject always seems much smaller in the photo, when the photographer just KNOWS that the animal was HUGE! (translation: hamper is bigger than it looks. Honest.)

3: The subject is fleeting, and you treasure the few photos you have because they were the only ones you had time to take.

choc1choc2

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!