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Wed, May. 30th, 2007, 08:35 am
Bitter-sweet

The (5) Musketeers came first out of seven teams at the Quiz last night. Sweet. The quiz master Glynn passed away yesterday afternoon. Bitter.

Sat, May. 26th, 2007, 06:45 pm
Towel Day and Wear Green Day.

Friday was Towel Day, a day in which fans of Douglas Adams are encouraged to carry a towel in some conspicuous way, for example, slung over the shoulder. I'm a big fan of DNA, as Douglas is affectionately known, but it's difficult to walk around in public with a towel. People look at you. Strangely. And you have to explain why you're carry around the towel. Ok, so maybe explaining is the point of the whole exercise. Fortunately, and unfortunately, I was spared the effort because I forgot to take a towel with me...

I was genuinely disappointed, since I am indeed a big fan of Douglas Adams. I have recently been reading the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (again, again). This time around I'm especially enjoying the "sequels". It's as if I've never really paid attention to them. The fourth book "So Long and Thanks for All The Fish" is my favourite so far.

After Towel Day flopped I was determined to make another of my commitments: the Facebook "Wear Green on May 26th" effort. Four of my windband friends also pitched up at the rehearsal today wearing green. Yay for group pressure!

Fri, May. 11th, 2007, 03:16 pm
Durban name changes

Proposed name changes in Durban has caused quite a furore recently. I can personally not remember when they asked for name change proposals. I doubt I would have had any, and for that matter, I'm sure many people probably wouldn't have come up with suggestions either. However, the political parties have taken the opportunity and now most of the proposed changes are politically motivated and probably from the politicians themselves, not the constituencies. There is a distinct ANC bias, with many politicians appearing on the list. The proposals were published with three weeks' notice for the public to submit comments.

Naturally, there was an outcry from the public (well, the english speaking part) as most of the names are unknown to them yet affects their residential areas. In addition, there has been no attempt to shed light on the either the new names (or the existing names). The list of proposals has blatant spelling errors, incorrect geographical references, and contrary to the policy even includes living people and businesses. It seems as if the proposals were not filtered or investigated in any way before being published.

Anyhow, the deadline for comments is today, and I have just submitted the following:
submissionCollapse )
I am not opposed to name changes in principle, but the whole process leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Thu, May. 3rd, 2007, 08:49 pm

"And now for the News roundup..."

The four Three Musketeers did quite well in the weekly quiz this week. We were in 3rd place, only 7 points behind 2nd. The music section really got us though - not sure how to remedy that short of getting a "specialist" team member.

The Facebook craze is in full swing in South Africa (or perhaps only in Durban?) I too am guilty of changing my Status from my cellphone. Shame on me. I've found it quite interesting to see how many of my friends (from different interests/groups/places) actually are connected.

The first Windband gig of the year is tomorrow at the Deutsche Schule Durban in Cowies Hill. The second will be on Sunday in Pietermaritzburg. As a result I'm going to miss what promises to be a pleasant braai at Jonathan's in Assegay. *bummer*

My music collection has received a healthy boost (no names mentioned). I was particularly happy to find a fair amount of Badly Drawn Boy. He was mentioned on radio this past Monday in yet another interesting show on RSG. It's a great pity they don't keep a history of shows somewhere.

And in other news... rooijan is finally on his way to Australia. I hope the "list of things to do" will not have been researched in vain.

Tue, Apr. 24th, 2007, 08:41 am
Weekend / Semajnfino

I had a lot going on this weekend. On Saturday I had the usual morning rehearsal with the wind band. Then I went to the Botanic Gardens to meet local Esperantists. It's worth supporting the tea room at the gardens for two reasons: firstly, the scones are very good, and secondly, the lady serving is quite amusing: she seems to be a bit scatter-brained, double checking everything, trying to make sure you're 100% happy. We're definitely doing this every month from now on.


Later that evening I attended the second DCO committee meeting, held at the_5th_weel's house in Cowies Hill... Supper was superb - Weber chicken, garlic rolls, and salads. The next meeting will also be held there :-).

On Sunday, I practised my DIY-fu and installed a gate intercom. The hardest work was burying the wire running from the house to the gate. If _I_ had bought the intercom, it would have been a wireless one :-/ It was nice in a way to get involved with the house for a change.

Mi havis sufiĉe plenan semajnfinon. Sabate mi, kiel kutime, orkestris kun la blovorkestro. Poste, mi iris al la Botanika Ĝardeno por renkonti lokaj esperantistoj. Apogindas la restoracieton tie pro du kialoj. unue, la tekukojn tre bongustas, kaj due, la servistino estas tre amuziga: ŝi ŝajnas iom konfuzema, kontrolante duoble ĉion, klopodante feliĉigi vin centprocente. Ekde nun, ni certe faron tion ĉiumonate.


Iom poste, tiuvespere, mi ĉeestis la dua komitatkunveno de DCO (angle), kiu okazis ĉe la hejmo de the_5th_weel en kvartalo Cowies Hill... La vespermanĝo bongustegis - kokaĵo farita per Weber, ajlopano, kaj salato. La venonta kunveno ankaŭ okazos tie :-).

Dimanĉe, mi sinekzercis pri DIY (Faru Ĝin Mem), kaj instalis pordkomunikilo. La plej malfacila parto de la laboro estis subterigi la ŝnuro inter la domo kaj la pordo. Se mi estus aĉetinta la komunikilon, ĝi estus senŝnura :-/. Tamen, estis bone iom prilabori la domon.

Tue, Apr. 10th, 2007, 08:49 pm
Cool music

I recently found two songs which are quite interesting. The first is "Elf" by Gabby La La which can be downloaded from this Neil Gaiman blog post. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, in case you didn't know. I'll gladly accept his books, short stories, graphic novels or anything related as gifts.

The second song comes from some LJ thread, I don't remember which. It's a string quartet rendition of the Queen son Another one bites the dust by Todd Mark Rubenstein. Nicely done.

Thu, Apr. 5th, 2007, 09:18 pm
Ask the crowd - Demandu la legantaron

For a long time now I've been wanting to write an application for my Nokia N70 using Python, but I couldn't think of anything useful. Rejoice, for I have decided. I'm going to write a music player - something that will let me listen to my oggs with a decent playlist builder. I've been using OggPlay until now, because that's the only app I can find.

Since deciding I want to write the app, I've made some progress: I've decided what to call it. Well, almost. See, first I thought "Hiss" would be a cool name, being Python based and nvolving sound/noise. But then I thought "Sidetrack" would be a good name, since the "project is a side-track in my busy life, and it has to do with music, sort of.

What do you think? LJ won't give me Polls unless I pay them or display ads, so we'll have to do it the old-fashioned way. Please leave a comment with your choice, or any other suggestion that you think trumps these two. Monty Python references are good.
Dum sufiĉe longa tempo mi volis verki programon por mia Nokia N70 pere de Pitono, sed mi ne povis pensi kio estos utila. Ĝoju, ĉar mi finfine decidis. Mi verkos muzikludilon - io, kio permesos al mi aŭskulti miajn ogoj, kun bonan muziklistigilon. Mi ĝis nun utiligis OggPlay pro tio ke mi ne povis trovi iun alian programon.

Decidinte, ke mi volis verki ĝin, mi iom progresis: Mi decidis kiel nomi ĝin. Do, pli-malpli. Unue mi opiniis, ke "Hiss" (siblo en la angla) estus bona nomo, pro tio ke la programo baziĝos je Pitono, kaj ke siblo temas pri sono/bruo. Tamen, poste mi pensis ke "Sidetrack" (flankvojo) estus bona nomo, ĉar la projekto estas flankokupo en mia tre okupata vivo, kaj temas iel pri muziko (track=kanzono, ĉu ne?).

Kion vi opinias? LJ ne volas doni al mi Voĉdonilon se mi ne pagas, aŭ reklamas, do ni pritraktu la aferon malmoderne. Bv. lasi rimarkon kun via elekto, aŭ alia sugesto kiu laŭ vi pli bonas ol tiu ĉi du. Sugestoj el Monty Python estos bonaj.

Tue, Apr. 3rd, 2007, 09:41 pm
The Drupal Song!

Not quite as catchy as the Llama Song, but I like it nonetheless:

http://www.lullabot.com/audiocast/the_drupal_song

The song has been GPL'ed and you can download all the tracks (the source, so to speak) that were used from this site:

http://www.lullabot.com/articles/the_drupal_song_remix_tracks

Drupaldrupaldrupaldrupal Dru-pal !!!

Sun, Apr. 1st, 2007, 11:31 am
Google impresses once again

Google has the amazing ability to capitalise on the whimsical. This morning, the first of the new month, as I logged in to gmail, I noticed a blurb for Gmail Paper on the login page. The Gmail Paper service will, at the click of a button, print out our entire mailbox and ship it to you in a box withing 2-4 business days. Free of charge. The way they make their buck is by printing adds on the back of each sheet of paper. One wonders whether those ads will be "ad sensed" like the web ads.

There will be "No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.", and photos will be printed "on high-quality, glossy photo paper, and secured to your Gmail Paper with a paper clip". They point out that "MP3 and WAV files will not be printed. We recommend maintaining copies of your non-paper Gmail in these cases."

This is so brilliant, I need to put on my shades...

Wed, Mar. 28th, 2007, 09:17 am
We are the champions (almost)

About a month ago I started taking part in a weekly pub quiz on a regular basis at Tapas in Hillcrest. Before the quiz, our team had supper at the neighbouring Bangkok Wok. I had the massaman curry, which is a muslim/Indian influenced curry. I'm happy I tried it, because now I'm fairly sure that's what we were served at the Silom Village Inn in Bangkok in 1999 - we were never told what they served us :-)

Anyway... the core of the team is myself, Pkeike and Wordsout, and our team is named "3 Musketeers". The average team size I would guess is 5.5. The first week we came dead last out of 11 teams (if I remember correctly). The following week we came 8th out of 9 teams, and then, with an extra member (stephanve, hence we were named 3 Musketeers Plus Plus), 7th out of 11. Last night, with 5 members (budgie and Al, hence the name +- 3 Musketeers), we ended up in SECOND PLACE out of 9 teams! The quiz was a little different though, with the picture section having movie posters instead of famous people, and the music section was a little easier. Nevertheless, we were very chuffed, and walked away with an R80.00 meal voucher.

skipped back 10