Friday, August 31, 2007

Teen Pageants, Education and South Africa? What a combination!

This week South Africa was quite a lot in the news here in the USA. And it was also on the morning programs (radio and TV), and on late night comic talk shows. Why? Because during the Miss Teen USA pageant, Miss South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, was asked the question: Why do you think 20% of Americans can’t find the USA on a map? Not only did she totally bungled her answer by stringing non-related words together that didn’t make any sense, her answer was totally off the mark. She said “US Americans” can’t because many people don’t have maps. Huh?

“US Americans”, who are they? Do you get Canadian Americans and Mexico Americans, French Americans, etc. Aren’t they all Americans? I guess I am now a South African America. No, no, no! I am an African American. Born an African, nationalized an American. I have always thought that calling people Italian Americans, Russian Americans, African Americans, and so on, is the most ridiculous thing to do. I understand that by doing so people try to point out people’s heritage, but you know what’s funny, I have never heard anyone speak of themselves in such a way, it’s always about others that they speak like that. Why? Surely they are all Americans. And where you came from doesn’t really matter. Once here you are bound to change into some sort of an American. In any case, an American is so many different things; one cannot really pin it down to a heritage and then expect people to say: “Yeah, I know exactly what you talking about.”

The maps. Yes, there could be many people that don’t have maps in their houses, but surely the classrooms where they received some sort of education must have had maps. And isn’t it a fact that one of the first things a kid learns in geography class (Social Science or Studies, or whatever they call it now), is to point out where he lives. Where his town, his state, his country is? And it’s like bicycle riding, you don’t really forget that. And she went on to say that she thinks the education in the USA should help people in South Africa and Iraq…Stop the bus right there. I know that Iraq could be dragged into her answer because there is some reference to Iraq in every news bulletin in the USA, but South Africa? Who planted any seed of South Africa into her? Watching Oprah maybe? The only time South Africa was on the news this week, apart from Miss Teen USA, was when a statue of Nelson Mandela was introduced in London and that was only on BBC America, no really watched by many “US Americans”. Maybe the education in Iraq needs help. Certainly Sudan needs help and many parts of Africa need help, and yes, please, American education needs help. But I am not sure South African education needs help. Well, maybe they do. Maybe the population at large needs to be educated to vote in another government, black or white, I don’t care, because the current government cannot realize that the country is going down an African drain, that crime and violence is ruining the country. Yes South Africa needs education too, but not the kind that Miss South Carolina is referring to. I wonder if Miss South Carolina knows where South Africa is on the map. Certainly many people that I have come across when they heard I am from South Africa, have looked at me strangely and asked: “Where is that?” Duh…South…duh…Africa…duh. Which is many times followed by: “…but you’re white? Oh, my God! The “some” people that really needs the educational help is right here in America.

Off course the Miss Teen USA is a Donald Trump show and who know, just maybe, it was all planned to get the necessary publicity. No I am not cynical; The Donald will do anything and comment on anything to get his name in the news. In previous pageants we had someone fell, and we had a drug addict crowned. Maybe it was planned: You will fall; you will be an addict; you will bungle you question... I also have to question the research department of old Donald’s Miss Teen USA company. Who says 20% of Americans cannot find their own country on a world map? A poll? Is that an ACT question? I personally don’t believe the number is that high? Every nation will have a number of people that won’t know where to find their own country on a map, and every nation will have its ignorant and dumb asses, but I don’t believe 20% in America can’t find the USA on a map. If that is true, if the number is that high, then America and its education system must blame itself for being the ignorant ones. If it is true then Miss South Carolina’s answer is not so bad, she is doing as well as the education she received.

Lastly, in Miss Upton’s defense, she is only 17 years old, and the question was a stupid one. I know many people at the age of seventeen would have struggled to answer that question on such an occasion on national television.

But you can’t keep this girl down. She is poking fun at you now. Why don’t you go and try Miss Upton’s quiz at People magazine. See how well you will do in geography.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Looking out for Hurricane Dean

33,000 ft. Somewhere above Mississippi.

Looking down at earth it looks like someone has scattered thousands of small fluffy clusters of cotton-wool from the heavens above and they are now floating a few thousand feet above ground, somehow suspended, not heavy enough to float down to earth, not light enough to rise to the stratosphere and disappear. Below this layer of tiny cloud clusters lazes a quilt of different shades of green and brown. Rectangular, circled, squared and snaky patterns cover the quilt in their magnitude. For quite some time our airplane flies alongside the large brown monster, the Mississippi River, as it coils and snake across the landscape. Barges and sandbanks clearly visible, even from 10 kilometers into the sky.

It was a week of will it or won’t it. And if it does, should I or shouldn’t I. In the end absolute nothing happened where I was in Monterrey, Mexico. I am talking of course of hurricane Dean. In the end the hurricane kept to a southern route because of a high pressure system over southern USA, which kept the southeastern states frying and temperatures near the 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But it could have swung northwest and it did a little after it made a second landfall in Mexico. Our worry at the factory was that it would hit the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which surrounds Monterrey, and then drop a lot of rain. Even a regular summer thunderstorm turns some Monterrey streets into rivers. The remnants of a hurricane are cause for concern because of the possibility of major a flood. But, as I said, in the end we only had a little bit of wind and a few drops of rain while I was there. Thankfully!

And it’s good to head home again to familiar faces, familiar places and a tiny bit of continuous rest. Not that I be spared a few hours of weekend work! But that will have to wait until late Sunday.
Photo: by David Morales/Reuters - Cancun, Mexico. 8/19/2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Villa de Santiago - Pueblo Magico

On a hazy Sunday morning, which later became a blazing hot afternoon, two colleagues and I set out to explore more of the Monterrey area. After a 30 minute drive south along the Carretera Nacional we arrived at the historic town of Villa de Santiago, which tourist books describe as pueblo magico, magical town.
The central plaza, which is anchored by the 16th century Santiago Apostle Church, is surrounded by beautifully restored adobe style buildings. The plaza’s grass covered center with walkways and benches is a meeting place for people before and after church or just to linger around in the shade of the trees. After a 45 minute walkabout, which included a visit to the inside of the church and to the Hotel Santiago, we continued our trip to Cola de Caballo, the Horsetail Falls. The winding road to the falls took us past several very poor residential areas as we climbed into the mountains. We had to walk the last mile of so on a picturesque cobbled-stoned road all along the river to get to the falls. Everywhere along the river, day visitors were picnicking or barbequing in places specifically provided for this purpose. The falls, located inside an Ecotourist Park is quite well organized to handle the many families and visitors that visit the park, especially on Sundays for picnicking.

After taking some photos and a rest at the foot of the 82 feet high falls, we walked back to the car and then drove to a nearby hotel to enjoy lunch at the Restaurant Mirador and a panoramic view of the valley below. After lunch we drove back to our hotels in the La Fe area of Monterrey.

Beautifully restored colonial buildings surround Santiago's central plaza.

Standing on a high point in town, the Santiago Apostle Church, built in 1745, is visible from afar. The church, with paint peeling and shrubs growing from fissures in the walls, is in need of some restoration.

The altar and dome of Santiago Apostle Church.

A view of the Santiago Dam from a lookout point behind the church.

One of the old building facing the central plaza is the Hotel Santiago, with a central foyer which leads to shops and restaurants.

Cola de Caballo, Horsetail falls. One of the national symbols of the state of Nuevo Leon.

After our visit to the falls we had lunch in the Mirador Restaurant with its ceiling to floor glass wall that provide this spectacular view of the valley below. The white spots just of the center of the picture is the Apostle Church in Santiago.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Magic of Flight

There are few things as exhilarating as an airplane pulling away, speeding from zero to 400 or 500 miles per hour or whatever is required to lift off. And then the magic happens. It’s still incredible to think that a big steel bird can lift off and break the hold of earth’s gravity on pure speed. It's pure magic to watch the ground structures and natural features getting smaller and smaller and the vision gets bigger and bigger.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rock Da Ville

Danville was Rocked today during the 2nd annual Rock Da Ville event, a kind of geesfees, musical spirit festival. The focus was very much on the spirit, in a Christian sense. Several streets in downtown were blocked off as 17 artists performed on 3 different stages. Among the artists that performed was rock outfits Seventh Day Slumber and Poor Man’s Riches. Among the indie groups were One Day Less and Last Day. New this year was a hip-hop stage and among the bands that hip-hopped and rapped was G.R.I.T.S.

Main Street, Danville, Ky. People watch bands on the Indie Stage.

Poor Man's Riches Rocking Da Ville in Danville.

People moved from stage to stage at Rock Da Ville on Saturday, 11 August, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Afrikaans op sy Beste

· Oop bek soos n gaar vis!
· Sy het so baie plooie, sy skroef haar hoed op!
· Hy is so maer, hy lyk soos 'n potlood met 'n handbriek.
· Ek is nou so opgewonde soos ìn budgie op steroids !
· Ek was gisteraand so dronk, toe ek vanoggend wakker word hang ek oor die stoel en my klere lê in die bed.
· Ek is nou so lus vir ìn Rennie ek eet sommer ìn pastei.
· Jy's so skeel jy kyk jouself diep in die oë!
· Van sit of staan bly lê die lekkerste.
· Hy ìs so kort hy weet nie of dit keelseer of aambeie is nie.
· Hy ìs so kort hy slaan tot sy onderbroek se pype om.
· Hy is so maer, as hy langs n wit muur loop lyk dit soos n kraak wat beweeg!
· 'n Mens hoef nie soos n plank te lyk om gespyker te word nie.
· Hy is so skelm, hy bid onder n skuilnaam.
· Ek gaan jou klap dat jy lus kry vir niks.
· Ek sit nou so lekker ek staan sommer op en sit weer.
· "Lang gesig soos ìn bok wat afdraand vreet."
· "Drank los nie probleme op nie, maar so ook nie melk of water nie."
· "Ek voel nou so goed, ek vul sommer die lottonommers verkeerd in."
· "Ek is nou so lui ek trou sommer ìn pregnant vrou."
· "Ondervinding is iets wat jy eers kry nadat jy dit nodig het."
· "Almal kry die voorreg om onnosel te wees, net jammer party maak misbruik daarvan."
· "Ek is so de bl*ks*m in, ek soen sommer 'n pofadder oopbek"
· "My vrou is so lelik, as sy op die sand sit wil die katte haar toekrap."
· "Arende vlieg dalk hoog, maar ons muishonde word nooit deur 'n vliegtuigmotor ingesuig nie."
· "Die mens is op aarde geplaas om ìn sekere hoeveelheid werk te doen. Op die oomblik is ek so ver agter ek sal nooit dood gaan nie."
· "Ons kannie almal helde wees nie, iemand moet langs die pad staan en hande klap."
· "Ek haat mense wat honde aanhou. Hulle is ìn klomp sissies wat nie genoeg guts het om iemand self te byt nie."
· "Ek glo dat as iets die moeite werd was om te doen, dan sou iemand anders dit lankal gedoen het."
· "Jy mag nooit meer as jou yskas weeg nie!"
· "As jy vir jouself kan lag dan het jy altyd iets om oor te lag."
· "As jy lyk soos jou paspoort-foto, dan het jy 'n reis nodig."
· "Hy is so skeef soos 'n wasklip."

Engels na Afrikaans vertaalde woorde nie in 'n woordeboek /
English to Afrikaans translations not in a dictionary

Asshole: drolknipper
Backup Singers: koerhoere
Bimbo: sjokoladepoppie
Blind date: moljol, steekproef, willevangs
Blond moment: brein-pouse
Burp: nekpoep, voorkots

Cleavage: tietsloot, borsboude, melkweg
Clitoris: hallelujapielietjie
Condom: trilskil, latjas, saadsokkie
Rum & coke or Brandy & coke: intelligensiemengsel
Fart: holhoes, holtoeter
Foreplay: fyndraaifanfare

HIV: lang verkoue, kiskoors
Impotence: stingelstres
Lesbian: klitsgrassussie, koekielekker
Diarrhoea: barsblerts, drupdrol, spuitpoep

Maltese poodle: stoepkakkertjie
Masturbation: skynspyker, mielierol, handsaag, latstreel, handromanse
Maternity nurse: koeksuster
Menstruation: kalenderpes of steekweerder
Moustache: doosbek, dwarsdoos, lipmatras

Orgy: familiekielie, groepswoeps, klomppomp
Penis: familiekierie, saadstok, snotsambok
Pimp: hoerboer
Sperm: balbotter, doosgom, koekvla
Stripper: wysmuis, voël frustreerder, koekie so uit die broekie
Swingers club: skoppelnaai
Toilet: porselein skoeter, poepketel
Touch rugby: sussierugby

Toyboy: vroetel varkie, koekjoggie, pompjoggie
Toyi-toyi: vakbondvastrap, williewerkiewals
Vagina: buffelsnoet, snormossel, middeldeurtert, genotsgrot, gleuf-diertjie, baardpadda, baardpastei, bosmossel Vibrator: kombrommer, skommelstok, wikkel wortel
Winebag: chateau de cardboard
Whorehouse: pompstasie
(vergader van orals vanaf die web)

‘n Ou ry te vinnig en 'n spietkop trek hom af.Toe hy sy venster oopdraai, haak die spietkop af en gee hom 'n moerse klap.

Bestuurder (Verboureerd): Waarvoor was dit?

Spietkop: As ek jou stop en jy maak jou venster oop, moet joubestuurslisensie reeds in jou hand wees! Moenie my tyd mors nie!Die spietkop loop om die motor en klop by die passasier se venster. Die bestuurder se pel draai sy venster af en WHAP, klap die Spietkop hom ook.

Passasier (Verskrik): Hei, ek bestuur nie, waarvoor is dit?

Spietkop: Ek het gou jou wens vervul...

Passasier: Watter wens is dit nogal?

Spietkop: Sodra julle hier weg ry en voor jy en jou tjommie oor die eerstebult was, sou jy vir hom gesê het "Hy moes daai kak met MY getraai het..."

Hoekom mans beter vriende het as dames

Vrienskap tussen Dames
‘n Vrou het een aand nie huistoe gekom nie. Die volgende dag vertel sy haar man dat sy by een van haar vriendinne oorgeslaap het. Haar man bel toe haar 10 beste vriendinne en almal het gese hulle weet niks daarvan nie.
Vrienskap tussen Mans
‘n Man het een aand nie huistoe gekom nie. Die volgende dag vertel hy sy vrou dat hy by een van sy vriende oorgeslaap het. Haar vrou bel toe sy 10 beste vriende. Agt het bevestig hy het daar oorgeslaap and twee het beweer hy is nog steeds daar.

F.W. De Klerk: Eerbare plekkie in die Geskiedenis of nie?

Alhoewel politiek een van my belangstellings is en ek kan kwyl oor dit soos 'n lekker stukkie gebraaide skaaptjoppie of 'n skeppie Malva pudding met room op, skryf ek nie juis baie daaroor nie.

Wow! So ‘n klein stormpie in 'n teekoppie het in the blog wereld uitgebreek omdat oud-president F.W. de Klerk beweer het daar is mense wat sy geregmatige plekkie in die son, of soos dit rapporteer was in the Volksblad, hom wil ontneem van sy eerbare plek in geskiedenis. Dat hy 'n plek het in the geskiedenis van Suid Afrika and die Afrikaner het is ongetyfeld, maar moet ons daardie plek beskou as eerbaar?

Ek wil nie eintlik ou koeie uit die sloot grawe nie, want wat verby is is verby, maar toe ek gaan stem het in 1992 in die referendum om die regering 'n mandaat te gee om met die ANC te onderhandel oor 'n nuwe bedeling, is daar vir ons belowe dat the regering sal terug kom na die volk voordat enige permanente beslising geneem sou word. Daar is nooit na die volk teruggegaan nie. Die bewering is dat die 70% “Ja” stem in die referendum genoeg van 'n mandaat was vir De Klerk om boedel oor te gee en sy volk te verkoop sonder enige verdere konsultasie van die volk.

Ek het nog altyd gewonder hoekom daar nooit 'n groot bohaai opgeskop is daardie tyd oor die feit dat daar nie weer 'n referendum gehou is nie. Miskien was daar 'n bohaai en ek het dit net gemis, maar ek weet daar was nie nog 'n referendum nie. En vanwee daardie stap dat geen referendum weer gehou is nie, bly De Klerk, Roelf Meyer en die ander bendelede leuenaars in my oe, en daarom geen ereplek in geskiedenis nie. Dit het ook al my geloof in 'n nuwe bedeling uitgeroei.

Gaan lees ook gerus wat skryf Jeanette Koekemoer van De Klerk in haar artikel “De Klerk en verraaiers moet wortel en tak uitgeroei word” op Terloops, sy het ook ‘n interessante artikel geskryf oor blankes se skuldgevoel oor hul blankeskap.

Terwyl Kuifkop op vra dat FW asseblief moet vertel wat gebeur het met al die moorde wat plaasgevind het tydens sy bewind. Het FW die goedkeuring gegee? Afterall, hy was lid van die Veiligheidskommittee vanaf 1982 tot 1994. Lees hier.

Eerbare or nie eerbare plek in geskiedenis? Soos met al hierdie soort dinge sal die tyd ons leer hoe hy onthou word.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hot Mama

100 °F / 38 °C today in Danville, Ky.

That is the first time since 1998 when we arrived in Danville that it hit triple figures. Add +60% humidity and on the heat index it felt like 107 °F / 42°C. Yikes!!! If I consider what the weather was like this year in Kentucky and I compare that to what the scientist is telling me should happen if the world really is getting hotter, than I can only deduct they may well be right. Or so it feels. Yikes!!! Am I going to be so lucky to experience the first man on the moon, man creating the information age, and man destroying our nicely balanced world weather all in my lifetime. How fortunate!

Truth is, in 1936 in the month of August the temperature in Danville hit 100 °F and above on a regular basis, day after day. And guess what...the world is still here...the air is a little more polluted...and people are probably just a little more crazier than then. Maybe? As Bob Dylan said: "I was so much older then, I'm so much younger now."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Afrikaners kan Potgooi

Het bietjie ge-surf die naweek and afgekom op 2 interesante webwerwe.

Lewies se Kafee praatjies is nogal snaaks. Ek hou van sy stelling dat hy na jare se diens in the civil service nou te wit geword het vir sy werk and met sy severence maar vir hom 'n kafee oop gemaak het.

Die ander werf is Boerseun en Boerdogter. Ek het nog nie juis baie aandag gegee aan potgooie (podcasts) nie, maar dis heel interesant. Amper soos independent Afrikaans radio. Soos boerseun self confess, as jy nie daarvan hou om na ander te luister terwyl hulle sit en kak praat nie, moet liewers nie luister nie. Maar dit is ietsie different om na 'n blog te luister in plaas van te lees. Ek gaan sekerlik met 'n nuwe oog kyk na ander wat potgooi. Kyk gerus na al die Afrikaners wat potgooi van orals by