Monthly Archives: November 2004

A Pleasant Day

My boys went hiking on Table Mountain this past weekend so Mela and I had all of Saturday and Sunday morning to ourselves.  After dropping the boys and some of their scout buddies off at Table Mountain I went down into the city to visit some camera stores.  Although it’s been almost five years since we moved down here I haven’t been into the city centre before so I got a little lost but eventually found my way to a parking garage that was situated between the two stores I planned to visit.  On my way to the first store I found a bargain book store and bought a few older British photo mags at really cheap prices.  I was actually visiting the camera stores to buy a 58mm to 5mm step-down ring but ended up coming away without one, but with a monopod and a photo backpack.

I took Mela for lunch at The Orchard in Grabouw and we continued on to Hermanus.  Looked around the flea market briefly then went down to the cliffs to see if there were any whales about.  There weren’t but we found the whale crier.


He told us that he had spoken to people at Die Kelders in Gansbaai, across Walker Bay and that there were many whales there.  We drove the further 45km there and sure enough there were about 10 whales there quite near to shore.  They were jumping quite a bit and I took some photos but even with my telephoto lens they were just a bit too far away for decent photos.

Mela fancied tea and cake so we thought we would stop in Hermanus for some on the way back but when we got there at 6pm we found that the tourists had all gone home and the coffee shops were either closing or already closed.  Instead we stopped at the Spar and bought a chocolate cream cake, took it home and made our own tea to have with it.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day but it was a bit much for Mela and she felt pretty lousy on Sunday.

It’s Here

My Digital Rebel was delivered this afternoon but unfortunately we had plans to go out for supper and it was almost 9pm before we got home.  Then I watched a DVD that my kids rented today.  It has to go back in the morning so I had to watch it tonight if I didn’t want to pay for twice the rental.  It was The Girl Next Door, not bad but not that great either.

With all that I never got a chance to play with the camera but have charged the batteries and tomorrow afternoon (a full morning is planned) I will sit down and read just enough of the manual to get me out, shooting some pics.

A response from FOL

I received a reply from FriendsOfLive and it seems I had missed the info on their site mentioning that there would be two versions of Awake, with or without DVD.  They have passed my mail on to the marketing guys to try and find out why the CD/DVD combo does not seem to have been released in South Africa.

Live is a great band so I suggest that whether you know their music or not, you go out and buy at least Awake :: The Best Of Live, if not their other albums too.

I Feel Ripped Off

In my post Awake, I mentioned that I had received an e-mail from FriendsOfLive, the web site of the band Live, notifying of a new release. Extracting the essence, it said;

The new CD/DVD combo package, “Awake, The Best of LIVE” hits stores worldwide on November 2nd

Worldwide was apparently not to be taken literally because it was yesterday before I finally found product on a local store’s shelves. Naturally I bought a copy, rushed it home, only to find that it was not a CD/DVD combo as promised but merely a CD, with a slightly different track listing to the US release. Needless to say, I am not amused and sent the e-mail below to FriendsOfLive. I suppose there is a slight hope that it ends up with someone that can actually make a difference and help to provide better uniformity for future worldwide releases.

This is the e-mail I sent as a reply to the one I received from them.

After almost daily visits to record stores here in South Africa, I finally found Awake on the shelves yesterday and bought a copy. The packaging didn’t say anything about a DVD but I remembered that the latest Linkin Park CD/DVD was in a standard jewel case so I wasn’t too worried. Imagine my disappointment, that soon turned to disgust, when I found no DVD on opening the case.

Why would the ZA release not have the DVD? Is this to be taken as a message that the band sees us as second class fans, not worthy of receiving what fans elsewhere do. I seem to remember that there was some extra with The Distance To Here that was also not available with the ZA release. After having bought every one of Live’s albums (some twice after the first copies were stolen) I am beginning to wonder if I should continue to do so.

I love Live’s music, but the marketing/distribution of it really sucks. To be told that the release will be a CD/DVD combo when in fact it is only a CD makes me wonder if the album might not more aptly be titled, “Awake :: The Best Of LIES”

Are Web Site Designers Just Stupid?

I am so sick of coming across web sites that all display the same stupid, yet easy to correct navigational error.  I’ve seen it happen on sites varying from large corporations, right down to simple sites run by one or two people.

The error I’m talking about is where you are browsing through pages of information, scroll down the page, reach the bottom and go to do the obvious next action, move to the next page.  Except that you can’t, because there are no navigational links visible on the screen.  There is a set of navigational links letting you move to the next or previous page, or to a specific page, but these are at the top of the page.  So you need to scroll back to the top, just so you can move to the next page.  Is it irrational that this drives me nuts?

Come on people, put navigational links at the bottom too.

Open Source in South Africa

South African TV channel SABC 2 will be airing a 13 episode series dedicated to open source. Go_Open will air on Saturdays at 17h30, beginning on 20 November. The series is being made by the Go Open Source campaign. More details here

More New Stuff

I had some money in the bank that was intended to settle a residual on the lease of my old car. But with the purchase of my new one, the settlement was handled in such a way that I didn’t need to pay the residual, it being paid from the trade-in of my old car.

This left me with the ability to scratch my itch for a digital SLR camera, which I have been wanting for ages. So yesterday I placed an order with B&H for a Canon Digital Rebel (known as a 300D outside the US) and some lenses and other accessories. Although the Canon 20D and Nikon D70 were tempting I decided to restrain myself and go for the cheaper 300D. I will start building up a collection of lenses that I will be able to use later with a more advanced camera body.

I also bought Mela a full set (48 colours) of Trichem fabric paints. She has used Trichem and Hobbytex paints for years and was badly in need of some new ones as many of her old tubes were empty or the rollerball tips had packed up.

I think I will visit the new Incredible Connection in Somerset Mall to buy a new Palm as my Palm V is five years old and besides only having 1MB of memory, is starting to misbehave a bit. I was checking their website and they have the Zire 31 and the other models are too expensive.

While I’m there I will see what they have in the way of MP3 players as Christopher has said that he wants one for Christmas. I’m sure he would love an iPod or a 20GB Samsung Yepp but they are rather pricey. I’ll probably get him something with 256MB in a USB thumb drive format. Consumer electronics are unfortunately not as affordable for us here in ZA as they are in the rest of the world.

I Love My New Car

I am really liking my new car. It has a huge amount of space, is much more comfortable than my old one, has a higher spec and more safety features, has great handling and is very nice to drive. It is going to get us out on the road every weekend, which will be great for my photography. Here are some photos of it. The colour is called Glacier Green.



Weird Drinks

At least Cockolada is intended as a novelty drink for adults. I don’t know what the creators of Boo Bee Juice were thinking. And no, it isn’t from a far eastern country where the double entendrĂ© would not be obvious, it’s from Britain.

New Car

I am buying a new car, a Fiat Multipla MPV, to replace my five year old Nissan Sentra.  It will be great in two ways.  Firstly it will be easier for Mela to have the higher vehicle so it won’t be such a battle for her to get in and out.  Secondly it will be great for my boys to have enough leg room in the back, especially Christopher, who is taller than I am.  I should take delivery tomorrow and will post a brief review once I have had it for a few days.