Which one(s) do you like best and why?
Friday, April 29, 2011
Which one(s) do you like best and why?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Then, what was going to be a leisurely stroll on a beautiful afternoon quickly turned into a fun photo shoot that I would never have anticipated. I am, however, VERY glad that I took my camera :) This is just a sneak preview of my favorite shots.
The difficult part is that sometimes I can't decide between the color, the black and white or some interesting effect on a particular picture. Choices, choices, choices...
One thing I would like to do though, the next time I create a home for myself, is to create interesting art out of my favorite photo's and decorate my walls with that rather than paintings. It makes it so much more personal if it is a display of something you love to do... I think.
What decorates the walls of your home?
I would have loved to show off some more of my favorites, but unfortunately one has to be so careful nowadays :( Isn't it just sad...
Sunday, April 24, 2011
When I first saw this picture I thought it might be considered a flop, but then again, define 'flop'. I can't decide whether I like the colour photo or the black and white one better, but either way it has a dreamy quality to it, and if you just imagine... wings... An angel on skates :)
Which one do you prefer?
Friday, April 22, 2011
I was serving the web yesterday for one thing and, instead, came across the website of an organization that I was once associated with. Thinking back on the experience and reviewing the website now I felt such an irritation rising up in me thinking "YEAH BLOODY RIGHT!!"
If there is one thing that I cannot tolerate it is hypocrites – whether it is a person, or an organization.
I think what makes it worse for me is when they pretend and you can see right through them, but they think that you are fooled. Part of me wants to tell them not to insult my intelligence. I can think of a few other things I want to say as well, but I’m just too polite to utter it. Not only do I think that ‘saying it as it is’ doesn’t always solve a problem. In fact, it can make it worse for all concerned. But that is a whole discussion for another day.
Now, here I am not talking about an honest mistake. I am talking about those who deliberately shy away from truth, tell half truths or deceive for some or other form of selfish gain. Yes, usually it is for a selfish reason; NOT to promote world peace.
What it got me thinking about is how often someone can use modern technology to create a false idea of who they are, what they’re organization is about or the product or service that they represent. How much of what we see is a true representation? How many people then gets caught out only to realize this when it is too late; when they’ve already suffered a financial loss or some other form of injustice or embarrassment. It is almost hard to believe but there are actually people who cheat / deceive others for a living... or is it for greed?
Just a week or two ago I came across (another) so called opportunity to work from home. A company is passed off as offering you an opportunity to do administrative tasks from home and earning an income. They require of you to pay an amount for “training material” which is only sent to you once you’ve deposited the fee. Then you realize that the ‘manual’ “trains” you how to advertise this opportunity – where to advertise it – cover letters and examples of correspondence, etc. The concept is that the more effort you put in, the higher your revenue. In other words: the more people you can trick into paying the fee for the “training material” the higher your revenue, i.e. 10 suckers x R150 = R1,500 revenue. THAT’S IT ! I just don’t have it in me, I tell ya, but a few people out there are millionaires because they don’t think twice about deceiving others for their own gain – no shame!
The same happens when you see a website of a company that looks so wonderful just to discover that whatever they provide is not up to scratch. Then, when that is determined they have the audacity to argue and lie to justify their cause and demand payment. And if you don’t want to pay them, then they’ll steal it from you by cheating you in some other way that you have agreed to – but with a slight twist, e.g. You don’t want to pay me for hours that I have knowingly exceeded on one contract, then they simply book X number of hours extra somewhere else, OR my revenue is a little low this month, so I book 10 hours that I didn’t work and lie about what they’re for, twisting the truth to suit me. Isn’t dishonest plainly DISHONEST! And you’d never guess that looking at their web site! If only people knew...
It kind of puts you in an awkward position when (for instance) you’re suppose to give a reference on someone like that. You want to say they are a lying, cheating son of a gun and that the person or organization should run for the hills, but now you’re required to be “professional”, “discreet”, call it whatever you want – I just want to be honest!!
For this reason it was agreed with one of the companies that I worked for previously that I would rather pass calls along to a higher authority whenever someone phoned asking for a reference for a particular company. I just couldn’t lie without giving it all away.
I’m just sorry: once I know from experience who or what you really are, I simply don’t know how to pretend around it. Faking it is just not my forte. Now surely there have been times when this have worked against me – let’s not make a mistake – but I have had more positive experiences with honesty and integrity. I hope I will always be able to say that.
Does that mean that something bad can’t turn into something good? Of course not! But if it should change I would hope that it can be proved to be authentic.
After all, the proof is in the pudding.
Have you ever been deceived by pretentious deceit like that? Without slandering the person/organization/product, care to share your experience?
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I am taller than most people I know. In the past some have considered me lucky because it caused me to meet the requirement for height in careers such as air hostess / flight attendant or a model - or so they thought. Some have simply considered it a convenience to be able to reach higher than they could or, in some cases, change a light bulb without a ladder or stepping stool.
When I was younger it bothered me that I used to stand out from the crowd – sometimes head and shoulders. If I got into a full lift I was often the one looking down on most everyone else... literally. As time went by I simply accepted that I was born to stand out... literally :) As I grew older and became more confident I finally started walking with my shoulders back and my head held high, and for a while I didn’t mind adding another two or three inches (5 – 7cm) with a pair of sexy heels... until I started having some pain in my lower back. There and then it was enough motivation to get back down to earth.
You can imagine my surprise when I started investigating flight attendant positions and discovered that I was in fact too tall for some of them and thereby eliminated. Now there is a tell tale sign that something is not meant for you. It is not as if you can earn a university or college qualification for the right height or adjust it through a number of years of suitable experience. In some instances you had to be a mere 5’2” (158cm). Imagine that. Then in other cases you couldn’t exceed 5’9” (175cm) or 6’ (182cm) with shoes on. I am 6’ without shoes.
But let’s for one moment forget about the height requirement for flight attendants; it is equally uncomfortable having to crouch down as a passenger trying to find your seat, or having to bend your knees trying to get your hand luggage into the overhead compartment. So let’s face the fact that planes can only be that small or they’d be out of business... or maybe not... seeing as so many people are shorter than I.
How would the rest of us trod the globe then... by row boat? I guess in that case I’d rather crouch and walk with bended knee if I had to ;)
I can just be grateful - short or tall - that the commercial airlines I have traveled on have treated me well indeed!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
A few days ago a friend send me this video clip and saying that she knows that I will enjoy the imagery of the planes because of my interest in photography. She was SO accurate in her judgment.
H5 – WWII Bombers over Arizona Landscape
However, she is probably less aware of my passion for music. I think that it is such a powerful medium. For example some research shows that if you listen to fast paced music when you drive (especially louder as well) it actually causes you to drive faster. I’ve caught myself a few times doing that. It is as if you're matching the pace with speed on a subconscious level.
When I have a difficult time I avoid slow ballads or love songs as they intensify my sadness, depression or self pity. Believe me - those are not moments that you want to get stuck in like a broken record.
Music can make you laugh, put you in a romantic mood or stir up such turmoil in you that you simply can’t put into words. It can calm a stressed/ anxious or angry person and it can inspire you to think deeply about the issues of life. It can make you fall asleep. It can stir up a sense of adventure or cause a tsunami of memories of a particular time/event in your life. It can bring a nation together with a sense of pride and belonging.
Do you use music for a specific purpose in your life?
I feel music. It conjures images in my mind when I listen to it. Music that comes to life in that way are often my favorite songs/pieces.
When I listen to the music in this video clip I feel such an overwhelming sense of heroism, a sense of “proud to be associated with”. It awakens in me such a sense of patriotism and believe me, I am not patriotic AT ALL. I imagine people inside. Maybe they’ve fought in some battle of some kind for survival for days, weeks or even months. They are bruised and bloodied but they’ve made it, they’ve survived, they’ve won! I imagine the relief on their faces and a new appreciation for life, their loved ones and the simple treasures of their life and their home, the small everyday things. I imagine a sense of gratefulness that it is finally over and that they’ve been rescued, even a new camaraderie amongst those who battled together.
Maybe it was a war, maybe it was survival in some wild, distant jungle. Maybe they fought against man, and maybe against beast. Maybe they took a life for the first time ever, and the experience of sadness and relief for having been the one to walk away alive. All that matters now is that they made it out and they’re going home...
What do you feel when you watch / listen to this video clip?
It’s obviously stirring up an overwhelming sense of peacefulness for Baloo (dog) who is stretched out on his back and snoring for the A Team haha
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Others pop some eyes on it, carve interesting faces in it, photograph it and call it art.
It is such a pity these pictures are not labeled - whoever took the pics are extremely talented. I think all the foodies out there will agree! Now all that is missing is the wine ;)
Saturday, April 16, 2011
When you buy them new – the kind I like best - the sponge is thick and comfortable – a pretty snug fit. When you put your feet in it for the first time you make an impression in the foam that fits only your foot. After a while of wearing it, even if you wash it, the imprint stays. The slippers are claimed; they belong to your feet and your feet only. No one else' fit quite as comfortable in your footprints.
Last night I slipped my feet into slippers that I have not worn for about 8 months. Instantly I felt strangely comfortable. I knew that they were mine; they fit my feet perfectly, even after all this time.
They remind me of another time, another place, a life I used to know; a life that is no more, a life in which I left footprints. I recognize it, though it also felt oddly strange, somewhat out of place.
I miss that life, but I’m also realizing that the days of that life is forever gone. I’m searching for hope for a new life, a new future, a new pair of slippers in which to make a new imprint of a different me.
For a while now I’ve been feeling very sad, mourning what used to be. It is time for a new beginning. What has happened cannot be undone. I cannot turn back the clock. I need to find a new way for things to be – a way forward – a new set of footprints.
For a long time I have felt overwhelmed and discouraged – feeling only a sense of loss. I don’t really want to have the same pair of slippers that I used to have. But I also realize that I cannot walk barefoot. No one should walk barefoot, I think.
Finding a new pair of slippers can be hard, but it is possible. The first step is to pick a pair. Then you can start leaving a footprint. Doing it the other way around does not work well.
One thing I have often found to be true though is that the next pair of slippers is usually better than the previous one. This is something to inspire hope, to turn something daunting into the hope of a new adventure.
It is time to dry the tears. I have some shopping to do – a new pair of slippers (a new life) and a new bed to kick them under (a new home)...
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she’s a motivational speaker, has two black belts in tae kwon, drives her own car and has just fulfilled her dream of becoming a pilot.
She is 25 year old Jesica Cox and she was born without arms!
Doctors don’t know why she was born this way but prosthetic limbs simply didn’t do it for Jesica. She stopped using them at age 14. “They handicapped me,” she said. Instead she has mastered the skill of doing all of these activities with her feet. Yes! Her feet. Recent x-rays showed her toe joints actually looking more like fingers, curled in more like a hand. It is also important for her to maintain flexibility and strength in her legs considering what she uses her feet for. She does this by swimming and walking.
She credits much of her success to her supportive family.
Wow! What an inspiration! To think that we can sometimes complain so easily about things that really seem rather trivial once you take the time to stop and consider some of the challenges that so many others face every day. I really try to live my life being grateful for all that I have, but still every now and again I’d learn of something like this and be reminded again just how precious the gifts are that we are blessed with and to make sure to cherish it and be responsible in taking good care of it; to never, ever take it for granted.
My hat’s off to you, Jesica! You go girl!
Source (as well as for more pictures): a11news.com/1190/jessica-cox and jessica-cox.blogspot.com
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Everyone who gets annoyed with telemarketers or telesales people please raise your hand. I know my hand is up!
I had just received a call from a telesales person wanting to increase a policy that I have. Right now I am not interested. He asks me for a few minutes of my time, but unfortunately I already know what is coming. I politely try to prevent him from wasting his time – and mine – by simply explaining that I’m not making any financial decisions right now. He uhm’s, ah’s and but’s – he must think that I’m simply trying to brush him off – which I’m sure many do – I am not one of the many, however. Then again, there is no way for him to know that, is there?
So, in order to try and convince him of my short, simple statement, I proceed to explain to him my circumstance of WHY I say what I say. Not even halfway through proving to him that he stands no chance in selling me additional insurance he puts the phone down in my ear!
My first response – "GOOD RIDDANCE!"
My second response - "...hmm... a little rude, don’t you think?" I only had one more sentence to go. He didn’t know that of course.
Oh well, I guess I won this round. Got rid of him and was polite about it!
I’m not so sure that this is a sure-fire solution though. You always have those who are just as polite. They’ll hold the line and hear you out, but if you really think about it – in those instances – they might have won. Not because of selling something, but for succeeding in wasting your time nonetheless – the same time they would have wasted had you gone ahead and let them ramble on while you already knew that you were not interested. The only difference would be who is doing the talking.
We live and we learn, so back to the drawing board, I guess...
What experiences have you had and what have you done to get rid of this (more often than not) nuisance?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
However, this is not a story about food.
I remember a television advertisement that I saw once - I think it was for a spiced rice. A young man is preparing a meal while his grandmother keeps him company at the kitchen counter. He doesn’t really pay attention to her rambling but rather concentrates on getting the rice just right. As he serves it up and she smells it she automatically starts telling him a new story – one he has heard countless times - of how she met his grandfather and how he asked her to marry him. He smiles warmly, finishing the story in chorus. He knows that story so well. The spiced rice was the aroma of her memory.
One meal that does that for me is Knorr Pasta and Sauce ~ mushroom & wine, sour cream & chives, Alfredo, ham & mushroom – my favorites! Her name is Fiona – my best friend in my early twenties. She used to make this for us for lunch whenever we visited at her house. It only takes fifteen minutes to prepare and she used to make mixed vegies on the side. She taught me to spread the pasta out, eating from the outside in. (It cools down quicker that way - nothing worse than a blistered tongue :(
She also taught me to eat peas again. Being forced to clear my plate in chreche – right down to those dreadful little green peas – didn’t go down all that well – literally – and left me ‘scarred’ for life. Or so I thought as we played in the snow of ‘81.
Today still, whenever I make that for a quick, easy meal I’m reminded of the friendship that we shared, the conversations we had and our trip down to Hermanus to visit her parents. It was my first time driving that far – the first of many trips to Cape Town, it would later turn out.
I was only nineteen when we made that trip. I remember an attempt to overtake a truck on a bit of a hill. The closer you get to Cape Town the more courteous drivers seem to be on the open road, but I didn’t know that. Halfway past the truck I started doubting whether I should do it or rather fall back. In a rather tense moment she shouted, “He who hesitates is lost!”. I changed gears, put my foot down and finished what I had started. I’m glad I did and that advice has stayed with me; served me well many times since.
Our friendship smells like mushroom & wine, sour cream & chives, Alfredo, ham & mushroom...mmm ~ Knorr Pasta and sauce.
What dishes do you make that still reminds you today of a special friend or an occasion that you shared?
*Note: The image just shows what the pasta looks like. I couldn't find an exact picture of the Knorr Pasta & sauce that I speak of.
Friday, April 8, 2011
This picture (above) is my personal favorite! This photo has not been altered. It creates the impression of a black and white photo with a blue bird. I LOVE it!!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
For me coffee is spelled “quality time with friends”. I like coffee best at a restaurant or coffee shop and I usually order cappuccino; I enjoy the smooth, creamy taste. I’m not really one for potent bursts of flavor on my palate. You won’t find me ordering espresso.
The only other aspect that I l-o-v-e is the smell of freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning. It makes me dream of exotic locations, luxurious hotel beds, buffet breakfasts and the crispness of a new day filled with promise and opportunity. But even in my fantasy I don’t drink the coffee, I only smell it.
In my home I usually buy coffee for those times when a friend pops in unannounced. I usually have coffee with them as a hospitable gesture and enjoying the fellowship of good friends, but you will seldom find me having a cuppa all by myself.
Recently I have discovered Nescafe Cappuccino, coffee that brings restaurant coffee home to you. Now that can work for me. Granted, it is considerably pricey compared to other coffee on the supermarket shelf, but for someone who doesn’t drink coffee often I am quite prepared to cough up at the till.
Each box contains 10 servings of the creamiest, foamiest ...most delicious treats and all you have to do is to add boiling water. I do prefer adding a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of milk. Anything extra depends on your personal preference. Practice makes perfect but with the ingredients of each sachet being the same every cup can now simply be perfect.
Nescafe also offers Decaf Cappuccino, Cafe White Chocolate and Latte in South Africa. Even wider varieties are available in other parts of the world, e.g. Unsweetened, Vanilla and Skinny. No longer do you need expensive coffee machines to have a decent cuppa in the morning. Even your average Joe can now feel like a caffeine king.
Besides maybe adding a swirl of whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon as a finishing touch, homemade coffee doesn’t easily get any better than this!
• With my life in transit I don’t really have capacity to carry tons of books everywhere with me. I do, however, enjoy owning books. Now I can – in my computer (or on the kindle if you have one).
• The kindle books on Amazon are cheaper than the hard copy ones. Sometimes it makes sense to save a buck.
• The device has some wonderful features that I thoroughly enjoy, such as choosing the background – choice of white, black or sepia. I enjoy the black back ground because the white glare causes strain on my eyes – especially reading after lights out. Also, it is less light to attract insects and I can read in peace.
• I can change the font size – I find that I prefer different ones at different times of the day – larger at night.
• I can add notes of my own and highlight text that stand out to me.
• These notes are easy to cross reference later on – they are filed in order as you go along and can be visible or hidden as you need them.
• I am able to search the text of the book for key words or phrases.
• I am able to add a bookmark where I stop reading and easily find my place again next time.
• When I buy a kindle book it is delivered to my device within seconds - no waiting for the courier company to deliver it after between 8 – 14 business days.
• The ‘book’ (the kindle) is always the same size to fit into my hand bag wherever I go.
• Of course, depending on which device you choose in particular, some have 3G and internet connectivity so you could even read online newspapers and other e-zines and newsletters.
Possible problems with it:
• A kindle – or other digital reader can be an expensive toy. If you buy it in the shop – the places where I’ve enquired – you can pay up to R3,000 for it. I haven’t checked every site, but I think Amazon kindle is rather affordable. You can get away with $139 (roughly R1,000). I would consider insuring it like I would other portable electronic devices.
• Because it is expensive it is not something I would take to the beach and leave on my towel while I take a swim in the sea, just like I wouldn’t let my cell phone lie around.
• If you use the computer kindle it is not exactly bathroom reading material – if you know what I mean. Who takes a laptop in the bathroom with them (or is that a stupid question in the 21st century)?
• If it runs on battery power it will have to be recharged. If you don’t have electricity you would be stuck.
• You can’t lend the kindle books to someone else (if you are someone who does lend or exchange books with friends.
• Depending on your particular device you might be limited as to whom you can buy products from, e.g. I’ve got other digital books that are registering as *.pdf files and the kindle won’t recognize it. I need to use another software program to read those. This might restrict you with regard to paying the best price as you have to pay the price for the product that you can use on your device.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
= = Mommy Snowbell
= = RUG
Congratulations guys!! I have a few 'sharp tool in the shed' readers indeed! Well done!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
To keep it interesting I am not going to tell you to simply scroll down. I know you won't guess; you'll simply scroll. Now that would be cheating ;) So I'm going to reveal the rest of the story in tomorrow's post. I think you're going to like it :)
Friday, April 1, 2011
April fool’s day has become quite the annual event. I have to admit that I found myself being very wary of any news that I heard today, whether it was via television, radio or e-mail. Nowadays the ideas are very original and sometimes there’s even preparation leading up to the day so that it wouldn’t seem an obvious prank. You can never be too cautious!
I remember a few years ago a local radio station with a large Afrikaans audience announced that they have changed their broadcasting policy so that they wouldn’t be supporting local Afrikaans artists anymore. They felt that English music was of a higher standard and that it has even been requested by some that they please remove Afrikaans music; that they were responding to the demand of their audience. They had a newspaper create headlines for it, and was joined in their efforts by one of South Africa’s leading Afrikaans artists. He pretended to protest very openly and even making threats, boycotting the radio station and barricading the entrance to their premises. They had listeners beyond hot under the collar and further stoked the fires with very aggressive callers and open conflict on air. They played their roles brilliantly!! I couldn’t make up my mind whether I believed them or whether it was just a prank.
The prank lasted for about a week and was concluded the next morning (2nd) with the revealing of the truth. It was so well done that you simply couldn’t discern, but afterward everyone gave a huge sigh of relief!
Today I heard news that the fees for ID and passport documents have, in some cases, increased with up to 700%. I have to be honest that I am still uncertain whether this is a prank or not. It most certainly sound like a joke to me. On the one hand I want to think it was just a joke, but then again how much of a sense of humor can a government department have? Sometimes it would seem that they are a joke most of the year. The 1st of April is not an exception.
I’m sure that tomorrow will be an interesting day full of stories of those who were tricked and I’m certain that the laughter will continue possibly for a few more days to come. Not a bad thing, if you ask me.
Check out the top 100 April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time here. These were judged by creativity, notoriety and the number of people caught for a sucker. Have you ever been caught for an April fool? Drop me a line and tell me all about it.
Now seeing as it is April Fool’s day, I thought it appropriate to beat some sense (of humour) into this Friday. Have an awesome weekend everyone!