September 2012

I thought he was taller

No, it’s not JayG… it’s Neal Stephenson, an intellectual giant if not a physical one.

He was here, in Cape Town, and the publicity was… nonexistent. I heard of it on talk radio, and only because I nipped out to buy some ally over lunch hour or something. The discussion was lead by some fellow with a consonant for a surname who was trying to make himself appear clever, and who now and then allowed Neal a word edgewise.

But it was worth it, I got to meet the man and get a signed copy of Reamde.


This is Ralf Gebert of Truvelo. I worked for him, briefly, back in… 1988 or thereabouts — holiday work when I was studying. That’s before they started building these toys.

The top rifle is a 50 BMG (although  everyone at this show calls it 12,7 x 99 mm) and the bottom two are babies — 308 Winchester and 338 Lapua.

I’d like me some of these but (1) expensive (2) what do I use it for stupid question (2) expensive.

But nice.

The biggest rifle on display, in 20 x 110 mm Hispano. Longer than the Solothurn (20 x 105 mm), shorter than the Lahti (20 x 138 mm) (for UC fans).

This would take some serious explaining to CFR to get a licence. I don’t like saying impossible, but in this case the word is probably appropriate.

GPS notes

When we were touring America, I bought a GPS in Las Vegas. A Garmin Nuvi 1300, the cheapest one I could find at the local Fry’s.

Back home I loaded the Southern Africa map onto it, and it’s been working fine since.

Now, I’m planning two trips, firstly up to Pretoria for AAD and then up to Etosha for fun. I’ve identified places of interest using Google Earth, they’re all stored in a .kmz file.

1. Save As .kml (which is just the uncompressed kmz)

2. Download GPSBabel, convert “Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language” to “GPX XML”.

3. Download EasyGPS, load the .gpx file, plug the Garmin in via USB, select the waypoints, transfer them to the GPS.

Easy and free.


Situation normal…

(Scene: Tanya is away for a couple of days for some sort of a conference thing)

Cellphone: <ring> <ring>

Wouter: “ello”

Tanya: “Where are you?” (I detect a bit of panic)

W: “I’m at home, but I havn’t seen the kids all day”

T: “I just spoke to Jessica, they don’t know where you are, they’re starving, and Tamsyn hasn’t showered for two days”

(We’d just finished a supper of roast beef and veggies, with mash and gravy, and between the two of them they pretty much polished an Ina Paarman cheese sauce).

Gotta love this family. Or go completely insane. I’ve been quietly chuckling to myself for the last half an hour. *twitch*