Emptiness and lonelyness.

From I Wrote this for You.  How true is this for so many people.

I love no one but you, I have discovered, but you are far away and I am here alone. Then this is my life and maybe, however unlikely, I’ll find my way back there. Or maybe, one day, I’ll settle for second best. And on that same day, hell will freeze over, the sun will burn out and the stars will fall from the sky.

Do we notice the world around us?

This is a story I received this morning via e-mail and I am quoting it verbatim.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

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2008 – The year that was (take 2) and 2009

I had this long post (hence the take 2 of this one) about how crap and bad 2008 was but then when I read and re-read it, I thought to myself, that was the past and absolutely nothing I can do about it.  Rather write about the good things and what the future holds.

So here are the bulleted list of 2008:

  • Son completed 1st year Chemical Engineering with flying colors.
  • Daughter passed Grade 11 much better than we expected with all the medical problems she had to cope with during the year.
  • Via Geekdinners and 27dinners I met some great people.
  • Worked on various projects (some good, some bad) and got to travel often around South Africa — Jhb is not a fun place to work.
  • Learned a lot about relationships and friendship .. it is not always what it is made out to be. People are not always who they appear to be and can so easily disappoint one when one’s expectations are not inline with theirs.
  • Played some golf — Pearl Valley is probably the best Golf Course I have ever played at in South Africa and I have played my fair bit of courses.  St Andrews Old Course will always be my favorite.
  • Turned 50 but as I am not one for birthdays (hey age is just a number) it came and went with no real fuss.
  • My health is great … even the doctor say so after I went for a full medical when I had some hiccups during the year.  Learned that one’s health is far more important than work and stressing about things one has no control over.

I am not one that make any resolutions about the future … so I will go into 2009 with no expectations, desires, wishes but only to live each day to the fullest and take things as it comes.  Will always try to be there for friends when they need me no matter the circumstances.  Only one thing I will try to do more in 2009 and that is to play more golf.

To all of you reading this, may you have a great 2009 and just always be yourself and be what you want to be.  Do not let other people dictate how you should live or do things.

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The moon, rugby and friendship.

Today is full moon and it poked its head over the mountains fairly early today.  Here is what I captured with my cellphone – excuse the quality.

Early moon

image How about the Stormers yesterday beating the Hurricans.  This win moved the Stormers up to 4th on the log.

Next weekend the Stormers are up against the Highlanders that got beaten by the Bulls.  Lets hope that the Stormers can bag 5 log points by beating the Highlanders and run in more than 4 tries.


Over the last couple of days I have been thinking about friendship and relationships and all that I am left with are more questions than answers.

  • When does a friendship stop being a friendship only and become a relationship? Is there one defining point where one moves from one state to another?  How does one knows this?
  • Does it mean that when one is in a relationship, other friends become less important?
  • Why is being in a relationship so much more complicated than being just friends?
  • Can one be great friends with somebody while that person is in a relationship with somebody else?  Or if that other person is just very interested in somebody else?

12 Reasons to be proud to be a geek

  1. Geeks make more money
  2. Geeks are smarter
  3. Geeks pay attention.
  4. Geeks remember what matters.
  5. Geeks pick out the best gifts.
  6. Geeks put in the extra effort.
  7. Geeks are better lovers.
  8. Geeks get the best gadgets.
  9. Geeks will nurture the child within.
  10. Geeks are the new handymen – except that they’re good at what they do.
  11. Geeks are trustworthy
  12. Geeks are a refreshing and attractive change from the regular stock

All this according to Geeks are Sexy.

So now if somebody calls you a geek then just shrug your shoulder knowing that you have all these things going for you.

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Vriendskap — wat is ware vriendskap?

Ek is gou om te erken dat ek nie baie naby vriende het nie.  Ek het baie kenisse en werks kolegas,.  Die naby vriende wat daar is, is baie belangrik en kosbaar vir my.  Maak nie saak of dit nag of dag is nie, ek sal altyd daar wees vir hulle.

Wat ek egter oor die algelope tydjie ondervind het is hoe mens se idee van party vriendskappe eensydig is.  Ek het agtergekom dat party vriende se hulle is vriende maar in hul doen is dit nie altyd so nie.

Ek beskou ware vriendskap as iets wat van beide kante af kom.  Hoekom is dit vir party vriende so moeilik om net ‘n SMS, email of IM boodskap te stuur en te vra hoe dit gaan? Hoekom is party vriende so trots om te vra as hulle swaar kry?  Ek wil dinge wat in my lewe gebeur met vriende deel, hoekom is die teenoorgestelde nie altyd waar nie?  Beteken dit dat daai persoon jou nie as ‘n ware vriend sien nie maar net ‘n kennis?

Dis wanneer mens worstel met moeilike besluite, dat mens agterkom wie jou werklike vriende is.  Wat bereid is om na jou te luister.  Hulle mag nie noodwendig advies hê nie maar is daar om die vrae te vra wat mens nie aan dink nie.

Oor die volgende paar maande (veral Desember en Januarie) gaan baie mense alleen wees en dis dan wanneer mens agterkom wie is jou vriende. Vriende is daai mense wat die alleenheid oor hier tyd van mekaar wegvat.  Vriende is daai mense by wie mens kan gaan afpak as die vier mure van jou eie huis te veel druk.

Ek het hierdie aanhaling van die Strandloper gekry:

Ware vriendskap laat my dikwels dink aan die skaduwee wat vir die liggaam gevra het: “Waar kry jy `n vriend soos ek? Ek volg jou waar jy ook al gaan. In sonskyn en maanskyn verlaat ek jou nooit!” Die liggaam het geantwoord: “Dis waar, maar waar is jy wanneer die son of die maan nié skyn nie?” Ware vriende loop met mekaar saam selfs wanneer die nag op sy donkerste is, en floreer op wat `n mens daarin terugploeg. Hulle besoek mekaar in tye van voorspoed slegs op uitnodiging, maar in teespoed kom hulle ongenooid. Die vriendskap van groot geeste is nie beperk tot hierdie lewe nie. Dit sal in die hiernamaals volmaak word deur Hom wat Homself ons Vriend noem.


My wense en bede is vir die wat hier lees, mag julle vriende ware vriende wees.  Dis wat ek gaan doen, altyd daar wees as my vriende my nodig het.  Dis vir die vriende om te besluit wat hulle gaan doen,  Aan die ander kant is vriendskap, nie soos familie, ‘n keuse en mens kan kies met wie mens wil vriende wees.  As jy daardie keuse gemaak het dan moet mens dit ook so uitleef.

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16 Dae van Aktivisme teen Geweld teen Vrouens en Kinders

Gister het ‘n tydperk van 16 dae begin vir Aktivisme teen Geweld teen Vrouens en Kinders. Die wit lint simboliseer en ek haal aan in Engelse:

never commit or condone violence against women and children, and to always speak out about violence where you see it

Dit is intressant dat slegs in Suid Afrika word kinders by hierdie tydperk van aktivisme ingesluit.  Orals anders in die werêld is dit net Geweld teen Vrouens wat betrek word.

Daar is niks wat my meer kwaad maak as om te sien hoe Vrouens en Kinders mishandel word nie.  En ek praat nie hier net van fisiese mishandeling nie.  In die meeste gevalle is emosionele mishandelinge erger.  Wonde kan genees oor tyd maar emosionele seermaak genees omtrent nooit nie.

Ek maak ‘n beroep op alle mans daar buite om alle vrouens en kinders met respek en eerbied te hanteer.  En ek vra vir vrouens om op te staan vir hul regte.  Moenie toelaat dat julle misbruik en mishandel word nie.

Wanneer dit by kinders kom, is dit ieder en elk van ons plig om na kinders om te sien en hulle te beskerm.  Dit maak nie saak wiese kinders dit is nie.  Baie van daardie kinders kan nie vir hulself veg nie en maak staat op ons volwassenes om dit vir hul te doen.