Yes, we went to Kruger National Park again. With the red VW Microbus. More to follow.


Most if not all second-hand car dealers in Slovenia work through (The letter V after a vowel becomes a W, similar to the English U. So However, from South Africa, gives you a nice ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT.

Others are less subtle. gives

The owner of this website ( has banned the country
or region your IP address is in (ZA) from accessing this website.

So what is a geek to do? Assuming Windows (7, in my case), go to , pick an IP / port combination that suits,  Start / Control Panel / Network and Sharing Center / Internet Options at the bottom left, Connections tab at the top, LAN settings button at the lower right, tick Proxy server and put the address and port in the relevant blocks. / 36012 gives me access to but I had to go find a proxy in USA to make work. And the first three or four I tried didn’t work (I ended up using / 3128). These guys are paranoid lemme tellya.

(And for the record, uses similar fuckery, don’t ask me why. All it does is redirect you to anyway).



So my brother and I (well, mostly him, with my support) bought this little place in Slovenia.  Tiny house, 4 500 square meters of wine grapes, nice view, nice people, low cost (not kidding) of living…

Except it needs a bit of work. For rather large values of “a bit”. And since we needed to be there to sort out banking nonsense anyway, and with Ethiopian offering R7500 return flights to Vienna, off we went.

First thing to know is, you don’t hire a car in Austria. Actually, you don’t do anything involving money in Austria. The place is expensive. So we caught a bus from the airport to Maribor.

Austria is very scenic.

We enjoyed looking at the scenery…

Got to Maribor, hired a car, did some shopping (this is a recurring theme), drove to Globoka.

Now the main problem is that the little house is tiny. It was built as a “summer getaway” in the eighties, when a whole lot of this kind of thing apparently happened. But now, the people who built them are passing on and their children have no interest, so they go on the market for not a whole lot of money.

But we got basically a batchelors with a toilet, no bath or shower. I make it about 28 square meters, all in.

Fortunately there’s a lot of space in the roof, so armed with our newly-bought ladder (from Hofer) I climbed up there and started throwing out junk.

Lots of junk.

The attic space is quite roomy, but the cross beams were too low for us 6’4″ types. In the picture you will see I’ve moved the second beam from the wall up to give about 6’5″ clearance. I did this to all the cross beams except the first and last one, which are not in the way.

In the mean time, of course, we did quite a bit of shopping, eating and drinking (routine was, work until 11 or so when the roofspace got too hot, go shopping in the afternoon).

The next task was to install the loft ladder (bought from Jager, and featuring prominently at supper).

Serendipitously, the “rustic” (not my word) floor planking had been installed in such a way to make it easy to install the ladder where we wanted it, even though we had decided on the spot before inspecting the roof. This…. rarely happens. We saw it as a good omen.

The jigsaw and battery drill came from home. We bought everything else (electric drill, electric saw, hammer, crowbar…) we bought there.

And after more shopping to get the štirideset little screws I needed, I could screw the planks I removed back on to the cover for a neat-ish finish. Later we went shopping and got some cover strips to cover the gap.

In the mean time Pieter had cleaned the kitchen, so we proceeded to drink and cook and in general un-tidy things again.

Then we went shopping again (I didn’t keep notes, but I am pretty sure of this).

A roll of plastic and a cheap staplegun, to keep most of the dust out (we hope).

What did we do on the 24th? Well, we went shopping… but we also braaied. Sausages and chicken, since the closest thing to steak we could find looked too much like silverside so we passed on that.

And braaibroodjies, of course!

It was a beautiful day.

We have also figured out how to add a shower (it involves moving the toilet and basin), now we have to do just that. And we also need to put in a septic tank (the place currently has a holding tank which needs to be pumped every now and then, which would have been OK if it didn’t smell like the devil’s armpit) and Lohra wants a sliding door and maybe we need a larger window upstairs and and and… guess it won’t be long before we’re in Slovenia again.





Read carefully. It’s not the domain expiring. It’s some bullshit you never signed up for.

I wonder how many people they catch.


There are subtleties here which are currently beyond my grasp.

Being the caring gentleperson that I am, I had to rescue the motherboard and power supply from this ex-PC.


Yea, I guess someone used it for a step, then lied to the boss and told him it had fried.

Because there’s nothing wrong with the motherboard, the PSU, or the memory DIMM that was kicking around loose inside the box.

This looks like a nice little motherboard for someone like me. It’s old enough to still have floppy drive support and new enough to have USB. It has an RS-232 serial port* as well.

But nowhere on this motherboard is there a part number of any type.

The BIOS is also not at all useful. CLE266-8235/M-6A6LUPREC-00 tells me the motherboard uses a Via Technologies CLE266 North Bridge and a VT8235 South Bridge, but this is not a Via motherboard, it’s a PC Partner. So with some more googling, turns out it’s a CLE266M-A68M800 (download the manual).

* The manual claims that there are two serial ports. On this motherboard, the RS-232 line driver and the header for COM2 is not fitted, so you’re out of luck there.


Where basically the same bunch of fellows take to the bush (metaphorically speaking) in search of venison, this time not rolling a trailer on the way there.

At the last hunt, we met a fellow who knew a fellow and some subsequent negotiations resulted in an option on blue wildebeest at a relatively good price (R39/kilo dressed with head off but skin on).

So I stayed over in Bellville, so that hunting buddy could pick me up at 0500, pick up otner hunting buddy, and go to third hunting buddy’s place, leave from there. I woke up at four with a sore throat, made a quick trip to M-Kem just up the road, got some miracle snake oil, OD’ed on that all the way, worked well.

The little cottage is up on a hill overlooking a part of the camp, with the main road and the lights from Marchand in the distance. Notice the tree on the right-hand side of the braai…

…yup, that’s where the farmer leaves the feed out. We could have shot one or two right there but that would not be ethical now, would it?

The camp also has kudu, sable, springbok, impala and gemsbok, but for looking at only.

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My back’s been bothering me since Y2K. I could handle that. My foot started bothering me about five years ago, debilitatingly so. After two neurosurgeons, one neurologist, a podiatrist, biokinetics, three orthopaedic surgeons, four MRIs, many X-rays, and a nuclear scan,  It Was Time.

The good news is that I have 100% medical aid cover. The bad news is that doesn’t mean what you think it means — good doctors (And Dr Makan is good, no doubt about that) charge 225% or more. So I’m in the hole for about R20k of Dr Makan’s time, as well as some amount towards the klaas vakie, but it’s money well spent for professional service.

The other good news is that the medical aid fully covers the hospital (Life Vincent Pallotti, recommended) charges, and there are many.

I went into theater at around 13:30 on Tuesday. Started being aware of my surroundings maybe somewhere around 17:00, 18:00, thereabouts, up in High Care. Saw Dr Makan, briefly, at a distance, he waved, said all had gone well.

Moved down to Protea ward somewhere between breakfast and lunch the next day, all was good. Very nice staff, great (well, for a hospital) food, morphine drip, catheter… lay back and enjoyed it.

Thursday was… not so good. They started taking me off the painkillers and the drain (pipe coming out of my back and into a bottle) was really making its presence felt. So also the catheter. Thankfully Dr Makan came around, I asked, he told ’em to lose all the plumbing, and once they’d removed that (needle in my wrist, drain in my back, catheter) life was much more rosy.

So I started swapping food pics with my mother-in-law, who was in Life Knysna at the time. Crappy cellphone pics, but still.

05:30, coffee and a rusk.

08:00, breakfast.

10:30-ish, coffee and a cookie.

12:00, lunch.

14:30, coffee and two cookies nogal.

1700, supper.

20:30, coffee and sarmies.

Hobbits would like this place.

With the Medical Aid paying, everyone was cool with me staying the maximum allowed 6 days, but I booked myself out on Sunday to make Tanya’s life easier. So now I’m supposed to spend six weeks on my back…




We’ve been doing this Kalahari thing for a while now, and they tend to all run together in one’s memory after a while, so this year my hunting buddy decided to make things memorable by rolling his trailer on our way there.

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Do go read. The Curmudgeon writes well.

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