December 2011

Road trip

Alone on the open road with a mixtape for company. A purpose is optional, but nice.

It’s a luxury, fuel’s expensive and accommodation adds up.

But it’s cheaper than a head mechanic.

Every year is getting shorter…

never seem to find the time.

From The New Yorker, via Give Me Something to Read, via MetaFilter, this fascinating article on how we process the world around us,  and why, perhaps, years seem to fly by more quickly as we get older.

“This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older,” Eagleman said—why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.

For me, 2011 was quite eventful. We survived a trip to the USA with two teenagers, I got a whole bunch of gun licences, and I even managed to get some work done on the house.

Not great, but not bad.


My mother-in-law bought this vase from Maurits Lammers Antiques close to Rademacher’s outside George. She was told that it’s Satsuma, but not knowing anything about pottery I don’t know whether this is the case or whether it’s authentic (the price seems to suggest it’s probably not).

Well, it doesn’t say “Japan” anywhere, which suggests it might be original, but it also doesn’t have the cross-in-circle on the bottom, so…

Anyways, I’ve asked the nice people over at MetaFi, so answers will undoubtedly be found :-)

Mystery object

Long story short, my Father in Law ended up with Marconi Instruments Ltd No 1 Mark II* signal generator and a dozen boxes of assorted parts. I’d guess it was an Elmer‘s Junkbox.

Can’t find any information on this on the web. Marked IN 2631 and SI 7545, my best guess is that it might be a solid-state rectifier intended to replace a vacuum tube.

So if Google brings you here and you know more… that’s what the comments are for.

Edit: It’s a ONE N 2631.

Some pigs are more equal

My favourite top cop, former head of Interpol, ex struggle hero and one of the architects of our Firearms Control Act, Jackie Selebi launched an appeal against his 15 year sentence. The appeal succeeded in keeping him out of jail for sixteen months, but now that his appeal ultimately failed, he needs Plan B.

A variation on a tactic which proved very successful for Schabir Shaik — make sure you are too ill for jail, know the right people, and beat up journalists who catch you playing golf, Selebi, who was perfectly fine on Friday, has suddenly been ill for a long time.

Time will tell if this little piggy’s status as “only one” is enough to keep him out of jail.

Cowboys & Aliens

It’s a beautifully made film, with a bunch of good actors, lots of leverguns, good CGI, everything… except a decent plot.

A great idea which could have been implemented a LOT better.

Ah well.