Monthly Archives: January 2005

I have a new phone

I got a new cell phone on the weekend. Rather than following my previous path of least technology, I decided to go with something a bit more up to date this time. So I got the Sony Ericsson K700i, which has a camera, colour screen, web browser and a bunch of other functions that go beyond my previous cell phone use, which was making calls and sending text messages.


Old age makes you blinder

I have worn glasses or contact lenses since the age of 11 or so and am short sighted, as well as having astigmathism. I now wear contact lenses most of the time, only taking them out in favour of glasses late at night when my eyes become tired.

Last night while taking out and cleaning my contacts I managed to tear one. Not really a huge issue in this age of disposables, except that I was wearing the last pair from a six pair box. So this morning I had to wear my glasses but unfortunately they don’t correct my vision as well as they might, working well close-up but not too well at distance. I am not comfortable driving with them so I got another older pair out and wore those while driving. They correct my vision perfectly at distance but not so well close-up.

I was lucky enough to get an optometrist appointment this morning and went off for a check-up. It seems that I have reached that stage in my life where a single lens is not able to fully correct my vision and the optometrist recommended a pair of reading glasses to be worn over my contacts. Although I can see perfectly well up close with the contacts, the reading glasses will give a little bit of extra help that will give me more comfort and less eye strain. I had never heard of this before and found it quite odd but according to this page it is an accepted practice, and if getting used to bifocal contacts is anything like getting used to bifocal glasses I prefer the reading glasses option.

My site is fixed

Thanks to some assistance from our BOFH I have got my web site working again. Note though that I haven’t updated it in a long time. I will remedy that but I’m still not sure just what use I want to make of it. The main problem is that due to firewalls and other security issues I can’t update it from home, which means I have to edit an offline copy and sync it onto the server when I go to work. This is fine normally, but when I’m on leave it makes things a little awkward, and of course there are those evenings when I want to host something quickly from home, in which case I’m buggered. It is also a static site, making updates tedious to apply. I should probably just take some time to make it dynamic and perhaps build in some kind of remote updating mechanism, but time is limited and there are so many other things I would like to do with it.

Clueless, Not Thirsty

Here in the Western Cape province of South Africa, a winter rainfall region, we are having a serious drought, having had very little rain last winter and in previous years. We have had strict water restrictions for several months and these have just been tightened up even further, allowing gardens to be watered with handheld hoses for only 30 minutes per week. No sprinklers may be used and hoses may not be used for washing cars, hosing down paving, etc. Our lawn is dead as are those of many other homes, as we have only been watering shrubs and flower beds.

Earlier this morning I overheard a colleague telling another that she had been cheating by using a sprinkler in the middle of the night because her lawn was dying. She doesn’t care if she is penalised for excessive water use as this will be cheaper than replacing a dead lawn. I’m amazed that people can be so selfish and short-sighted at a time when alternative water sources are being investigated to try and avert the looming crisis. Unless something major happens or is done, it is clear that within a few years this region will have insufficient water to sustain the population. People like my colleague are certainly not helping.


I have been dabbling with panoramic photos, stitched together from several overlapping photos. Mostly these are landscapes or cityscapes but as Sunbathers, the photo below shows this need not always be the case. It was stitched together from four separate hand-held frames. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version. The original, full-sized photo is much more detailed but somewhat too large to display here.