This Toyota bakkie is called “die Blou Nier” (the Blue Kidney). Gert is the fellow who drives it, and he drives it well.
Spend a day on the back, out in the dunes, and you will see where the name comes from.
The Blou Nier, BTW, had 750 000 km on the clock when the speedo broke. So nobody really knows how far it’s gone. And they don’t keep easy roads out in the Kalahari.
Cut line for sensitive viewers — we were not there to buy meat at the Pick & Pay.
September marks the start of spring in South Africa. While we sometimes have rain, this year September 1st was an absolutely gorgeous day.
Also, in the other hemisphere, students go to school after summer holidays. Back in the late eighties and early nineties, new students getting access to the university computer networks caused all kinds of chaos on usenet (what we had instead of the world wide web back then) until they acquired some clue.
On September 1st 2014, the lusers got to Tam.
The ‘net is just a little bit poorer today.
21 Years ago, one man with a gun made a difference.
Having a gun, even an inexpensive ineffective low-capacity 38 Special snubnosed revolver, is better than not having a gun at all.
If you wear camo and sit very quietly in the shade of a bush you can get to see interesting things.
See it? Lemme zoom in a bit for you.
I sat watching this fellow as he was making a beeline pretty much straight for me.
This is a split second after he saw me (the camo in the foreground is me). Changed his mind pretty quickly and made for the hills.
And the evening I had to eat a gemmerkoekie* as punishment for not shooting the blighter. Because there are two problem animals that get shot on sight on farms, jackal** and caracal***.
Why didn’t I shoot? The gemsbok were just behind that ridge ahead of me, and I was seriously considering changing my priority from kudu to gemsbok. That ended up not happening and I walked-and-surprised**** a nice young kudu bull the next day. So all turned out well.
** Black-backed jackal, known as “rooijakkals” or red jackal in Afrikaans. The little bat-eared foxes and silver foxes are also “jakkals” in Afrikaans but you don’t shoot those.
*** I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shoot a caracal. And of course the african wild cat is rightly so a no-shoot.
**** You don’t walk-and-stalk a kudu. You walk-and-surprise it. It will see you before you see it, if you’re moving, and it won’t stay around for too long. And once they’re gone, they are gone. Over the mountain, down the other side, over the next mountain, and still going strong, while you’re still trying to find your second wind.
I absolutely have to repost three videos my buddy Weer’d found while I was away playing hide and seek.
“So, in summary, firearms have (at worst) an immeasurably small causal effect on violence, violence is a systemic problem in certain communities, and focusing on singular horrible events because of media buzz is a nasty, racist attempt to deflect attention from the real causes, because those causes are embarrassing, and because certain useless symbolic actions look good.
“The idea that the police are not civilians is a deeply pernicious, dangerous one, and it is demonstrably false.
“The truth is a set of not-too-exciting little details, not a cute soundbite.
“Now of course, and I want to emphasize this, cops’ lives and jobs can be dangerous, and I want them to be able to defend themselves vigorously and successfully when that need arises. But when we define them by that armed conflict role, when that becomes their most salient characteristic, well, no good comes of it.
This third video doesn’t pack nearly the punch of the other two, but it does explain the firearm licencing process in South Africa quite accurately and quite well.