March 2022

There is nothing as permanent as a temporary emergency*


On 15 March 2020 President Ramaphosa declared a State of Disaster. He has just renewed it, officially into the third year.

The State of Disaster gives Government the right to make rules as they seem fit, and we went into lockdown from March 26, supposedly for 21 days — three weeks.

President Ramaphosa on Monday (23/03) announced the lockdown in South Africa for 21 days from March 26 to April 16, 2020, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Yea, right. It lasted into May, when they eased it a little bit, but parts of it are still with us, two years later. And here we are. They’re not letting go of that sweet, sweet power.

There is obviously still some money left to steal.

* Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Sold the Moon.

Flea Market Find

The Cape Town Amateur Radio Club traditionally has a flea market at the beginning of March. This year I didn’t take anything to sell, and strictly speaking I didn’t buy anything either — I said “ooh nice!” the fellow said “take it” so I gave him R20 and said “take it”.

“SEC” is probably Something Electronic Company, there’s a “JAPAN” sticker on the back.

Inside is fairly mundane, a tapped transformer, a selenium rectifier which dates it to the late fifties / early sixies, a pi filter with two caps and a resistor, a series light bulb “O.C.L.” and a couple meters and associated resistors.

It’s pretty, it’s going on the shelf.


Easy mince curry

Let’s say you have some mince, and you feel like a curry. Get out your Dutch Oven.

  • Oil, onions, red or yellow bell peppers, quick heat, slow heat, leave onions to caramelise a bit. Maybe add garlic.
  • Add mince, heat, brown.
  • One or two tin(s) chopped tomatoes, one packet Ina Paarman Tikka Curry. Simmer for as long as you want to.
  • Maybe add halved baby or cubed potatoes, simmer until cooked.
  • Maybe stir in some frozen peas at the end.
  • Serve with rice, or wrap it in a roti, or stick it on a bun and call it a Sloppy Joe.