Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Of mice and removal men

It's D-Day -1 for the big office move. The soon to be ex-office is a shambles. A zillion boxes clutter what used to be a relatively comfortable and neat working area. The kitchen has been completely dismantled; hence no coffee. And I am informed that my desk has been sold and must move my computer temporarily to another one. I duly take my computer apart and pick my way through the maze. A empty table appears as I crest the rise of a stable pile of boxes. Quickly I make my way forward, fearing that other displaced workers are also beating a path for this same table. As I begin to set up shop I'm informed that this table has also been sold (I knew a clean table was too good to be true). So "how?" as we say here.

The office manager helps me by moving a cutting mat, scanner and 17 rolls of masking tape and thereby clearing enough space or my computer, screen, waterbottle, layout pad and stickers which will later be used to label my compter and single box of worldy goods.

Bonus, the computer that used to occupy this desk has an optical mouse. Seeing as the person who used to work at this particlular workstation has long since resigned, the mouse is now mine. Groovy. Score one for Stuart.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Malaysian F1 GP

Damn, the sound is something else. I had forgotten just how ferociously loud these fire breathing super-souped, V10, 3,5 litre, 1100bhp engines actually were. Luckily I never go racing without earplugs.

As I walked into the circuit from the car park, I could hear, but not see, the cars. Gordon bennet, it was groovy. HAd goose pimples for 5 minutes.

Then, to my delight I found that I had a seat opposite the pits, so at least I got to see some action, instead of the usual thing of very fast one-way tennis.

The acceleration as the cars come out of the pits is unbelievable (for the uninitiated, there is a speed limit in the pits - to make sure that the drivers' grandmothers don't get knocked over while crossing the road).

From my point of view the interesting thing about the 2005 season is the fact that Ralf Shumacher is now with Toyota. I predicted last year that a Schumie Brother would be behind the wheel of a Toyota within the next 4 or 5 season; I just expected it to be Michael.

Of course, the fact that Toyota is picking up points in only its 3rd season out is also interesting, but not unexpected.

Renault's dominance early on is a welcome change from recent seasons- but again, not completely strange. One will recall in the good old days that Renault was a force to be reckoned with during the 80s, being driven by Alain "The Professor" Prost.

Speaking of Renaults, I have to throw in a piece of useless info:

Jody Scheckter, 1979 world champ (in a Ferrari) worked as an apprentice mechanic at his father's Renault delaership in East London (SA) before becoming a racer.
Anyway. A fun day was had by all.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Yesterday evening, as I was attempting to get a taxi, a car caught fire. Amazing. White smoke began to pour from the car, followed by the driver and his passenger. Very soon, the white smoke had become black smoke, and flames could be seen. Next thing there was a wooshing sound and fire emitted from under the car in long streaks.

It was at this juncture that I decided to move away from the car lest it explode. It didn't, of course (bummer).

The plastic mouldings on the side of the car started to drip onto the road, and of course, a little river of petrol (or something) had begun to run downhill under the car.

One feels a horrible fascination with these things; I didn't want to get blown up, and yet I couldn't move away either. And then a taxi pulled up. Oh well. Pity I didn't have my camera.

Friday, March 11, 2005

More on Million Dollar Baby

What's it really about?

Critics slated the film, saying that it misrepresented itself (being not about boxing, but rather about the right to life). In the build up to the Oscars, the puritanical establishment that passes for public opinion in the US whinged on and on about whether the film's content was suitable for public consumption.

Watching Million Dollar Baby, one is struck by how skillful Clint Eastwood is at giving a healthy dose of pathos without descending into sentimentality. Perhaps that's why there was such an outcry from pressure groups (read: idiots)within America regarding the film's treatment of the euthanasia issue.

The film does contain food for thought, and if you want to make a meal of the assisted suicide thing then that's up to you. What the whigers miss is a whole host of other stuff that makes Million Dollar Baby great. Sucj as cinematographic techniques, filmatic timing, great editing, realistic interaction between the characters...I could go on and on.

I think that my point is this: The aforementioned whingers are not used to having to make up their own minds about issues (they are used to the media making it up for them). So when a picture like this comes along and simply presents a storyline without suggesting how you feel about it they (the whingers) get confused.

Pity we cannot pull the plug on them and put them out of OUR misery.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Go ahead Oscar, make my day

I began to think about what I would say about Clint Eastwood a few days before the Oscars. This was primarily due to the amount of airtime the Awards were getting. Programmes, documentaries, interviews, predictions, trailers, looks behind the scenes, publicity stunts and philosophical debates rages on into the night. One was spoilt for choice.

Anyway, as the whole world knew and has probably already forgotten - as they move on to more important TV viewing - the race for this year's ultimate prize was between Leo's (and Scorsese's) The Aviator and Clint's Million Dollar Baby.

The pundits, ever politically correct, predicted pacification of the billion dollar egos involved in the form of an equitable doling out of Oscar; Best Director to Clint and Best Film to Scorsese (or the other way around).


Clint's movie won 4 Oscars (Best Supporting for Morgan Freeman - about time actually, Best Actress - for Hillary swank, Best Film and Best Director). Now I've always been a fan of Clint's measured style of direction. His pacing and timing are superb in my opinion. He's not as much and auteur as, say Wim Wenders, but he has a sense of style that probably comes from 60 years of exposure to the industry. His move A Perfect World, starring himself and Kevin Costner is on of the best pieces ever, in my opinion.

And so, it was about time that he got the recognition he was due. In fact I seem to recall somewhere in the archived sections of my brain that he was given a lifetime achievement award at some stage.

Viva Clint.

Friday, March 04, 2005