Monday, September 29, 2008

Automakers Jumped On The Wagon Too


The more I read up on the current bank and credit crisis the angrier I get. Although I am not opposed to a financial assistance package to prevent the credit crunch from bringing the country to a standstill, a straight forward bailout package rushed through Congress, adding on more pork fat as it roll along with little strings attached is unacceptable.

Talk about more pork, as a side note, they are now trying to add $25 billion bailout for auto companies. Why? These palookas have been making shitty cars and bad decisions for years now while the writing for change was clearly on the wall. Now that the gas price is sky high they can’t sell their gas guzzlers, their biggest money makers, anymore. Last I looked there were no reports of financial troubles in Toyota or Nissan or BMW. If there are they are sorting it out by themselves. Why the hell should the tax payers bailout Ford and GM and Chrysler? And it is truly a bailout, here’s the check, no questions asked. No, they were just as greedy as the bank executives, with no financial foresight. But again, as proven so often, the lobbyists in Washington are far more influential than tax payers. They have the ears of Congress because they have the money for their elections.

Politicians are now farting stink bombs at the speed of light because the want to return to the constituencies to fight an election and they are now in panic mode. That’s why they are rushing. They think if they do nothing they will be roasted at home, probably true, but in the meantime Main Street is protesting the high bailout plan. Personally I feel Main Street is expecting something to happen, some help to organizations that was really dragged into this mess without a choice, but Main Street much rather want to see help for Joe Regular Guy and most certainly not something that will broke the bank (pun intended) for the tax payers. Damn, didn’t President Bush do that already? I know lobbyists is behind the automakers bailout and I am convinced lobbyists is also to some extend behind the financial bailout of banks, although I am sure the Fed and the Administration are also pushing just as hard if not harder for the bailout. After all, this crisis could in later years maybe be seen as a defining moment in the Bush presidency. (He certainly will be remembered for some significant events on his watch, the 9/11/ attack, the financial crisis of 2008, the questionable war in Iraq, etc.)

To me democracy means “we the people.” Period! That means no place for lobbyist. They don’t have a vote as a group. They have a perfect venue to push their case, their vote in an election as individuals. I know Sen. John McCain is a gambler, hence his knee-jerk reaction in selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate. I am not saying it’s a good or bad decision. I simply don’t know. Time will tell. But if McCain can guarantee to me that he will get rid of lobbyist, he will have my vote.

Alas, that won’t happen, getting rid of lobbyists that is, because the First Amendment clearly protects the freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly, and a fifth freedom…the right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.", in other words, lobbying.

“But Sen. McCain I will settle for less. No earmarks, thus no bailout for automakers. They are on their own.”

PS: There is a lot of blame going around and many should rightfully share in the blame. The Administration through the years, Congress, both a Republican and Democratic one and off course Wall Street. Here is how Wall Street points out the Government’s contribution to this issue.

At Last...The Lawn Has Been Established


Two weeks after sowing grass on the new lawn. It is always difficult to start a lawn from scratch, but I am very satisfied after the first seeding. More than 98% sprouted well. Today I over seeded again on a few small patched that sprouted sparsely, hence the patches of straw. Now I'm done. I will have to wait until the seedlings are about 4 -5 inches high before I can give it its first cut.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kentucky Horse Farms

Few things are as Kentuckian as horse farms and few Kentucky residents have captured them better than Gene Burch.


Keeneland race course in spring time.


Fall in Kentucky can be as spectacular as fall in New England.

Mare and foal in the winter snow.

All pictures courtesy of Gene Burch Photography.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cancel Your Credit Cards Prior To Death!

Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die!

A lady died this past January, and ABSA, (the Amalgamated Bank of South Africa) billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been R0.00, is now R60.00. A family member placed a call to the ABSA Bank call centre:

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you that she died in January.'
ABSA: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'
Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'
ABSA: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'
Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'
ABSA: 'Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'
Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'
ABSA: 'Excuse me?'
Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you . . . The part about her being dead?'
ABSA: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'
(Supervisor gets on the phone.)
Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died in January.'
ABSA: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'
Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'
ABSA: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'
Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info given)
ABSA: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'
Family Member: 'Sure.' (fax number is given )
(After they got the fax)
ABSA: 'Our system just isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'
Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don't think she will care.'
ABSA: 'Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.'
Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'
ABSA: 'That might help.'
Family Member: ' West Park Cemetry, 12 West Park Road, Johannesburg, Plot Number 1049.'
ABSA: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'
Family Member: 'Well, what the &%$# do you do with dead people on your planet?'

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Does the Whole Wide World Hate America?

“America the moral pimp of the world
Say ‘in God we trust’
The killing they do
Is in His name they must
Some of these leaders
Had the Bible in one hand
In the other young guns
To do their killing on foreign sand”
Why does the whole wide world hate America,
How come the whole world hates America

The Whole Wide World Hates America – Anton Goosen


When I heard those words for the first time it didn’t ring any warning nor did I care for political reflections. I was fighting my own inner war. I was completing stacks of forms and going backward and forward between to go or not to go. A few months later we left South Africa to boldly go where none of our kin has gone before, into the whole new world of America.

Bushrock (of a white kaffir of Africa) was one of the last South African CD’s I bought that Christmas of 1996 before departing. According to the sleeve cover I bought it Vibes for R24.99. One of the biggest cultural bargains I ever scored in my life. So little money for so much musical insight and entertainment. I would come to listen to it many times over the next few years and still do. In my humble opinion and I generally hate to make these kind of comparisons, but I feel Bushrock was Anton Goosen’s Highway 61 Revisited. Not only was the album written in a reflective period in Goosen’s life, searching for his roots, musical roots; a time of hope, (listen to Rainbow Nation,) and a time at a crossroads; the music was simultaneously new and matured, and most appropriately also at a crossroads where boeremusiek met the sounds of Soweto and the townships, marabi.

I am getting those emails again, just like 8 months ago when the Stock Exchange dropped into the New York Bay and caused a ripple across the world. Then people’s pension funds in Johannesburg took a dive and some wanted to know what we’re up to on the other side of the pond. Now those emails are flying and screaming again, ‘insinuating’ that I actually had control over the matter: Hey, when are you going to get rid of Bush and his cronies? He let the stock exchange crash again. He is asleep at the switch. Actually, SEC chairman Cox is being accused of doing the sleeping, but Bush is having his “you’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie” moment again when his Press Secretary, Dana Perino exclaim that Cox has Bush’s confidence, Cox is a Bush appointee, while the stock exchange is tumbling again. However, many more cracks are now visible than 8 months ago. And let’s face it, if you want to blame President Bush for the current economic crisis, go ahead. After all, he got a balanced budget and a surplus bank account when he took office and now we are in the deepest shit ever no matter which way you look at the numbers.

But, “I didn’t do it, ok, and I have no control over the economy. And if you think your pension fund is closer to the South Pole than Ushuaia, well, my 401K is right there with your pension fund, frolicking in the frosted frozen wonderland.” I know the screaming is not directed at me but simply because I am in America. But the emails do arouse the question: Why does the whole wide world hate America?

Contrarily to popular belief, I read this last year in some travel magazine, we are not the loudest travelers in the world, the Italians are, and we’re not the rudest tourist in the word, the French are. Based on a recent survey done by Expedia.com, 4000 hotel owners and managers place the Chinese as the worst travelers and the Japanese as the best. Americans are the 11th best. But the perception lingers, doesn’t it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Big Garden Makeover


It is the first day of fall and so close now, so close to putting the last few pieces of the puzzle in place to complete all the planned changes to the backyard garden makeover.

The construction site look is gone, the potholes have been filled, the transfer of plants to new and existing beds and borders are completed and this week I will be putting in the last, thank goodness for that, of 3.5 tons of rocks as edging to some of the beds and borders.

There were Saturdays when my wife would come out into the garden and search for the mad dogs or the Englishmen, but she only ever found a mad South African American in the Kentucky midday sun. And we have had our fare share of blazing hot days in August when the thermometer climbed to 95 plus degrees Fahrenheit day after day.

Making new holes and transplanting flowers in the murderously hard clay soil was difficult at times, but leaving the rock work for last, and I had no choice in the matter really because it just the way the plan goes, when most of my energy after a long summer is sapped and my weary body is carrying several minor injuries from the constant toiling of the land, will finally push me over the edge at actually wishing winter would come. And I never wish for winter.

For the past three weeks, every Friday afternoon I took my trusted Dodge Ram truck (bakkie), drove to the local quarry outside of town, scampered over 12 feet high hills of “shot rock” as the industry call these rocks and individually selected a ton or so of these limestone rocks, which individually weight between 20 pounds for the small ones and up to 80 pounds or more for the bigger ones. Threw them down the rock heap, loaded them onto the truck, came back home and unloaded the rocks onto a small wagon and using my one manpowered human engine to pull the wagon to the backyard to dump the rocks where I need them for the edging. Early Saturday mornings I was out in the garden, again individually selected the rocks and man handled them so they would fit neatly into one another, well kind of; these aren’t neatly squared bricks, they are rough-edged rocks of all shapes and sized, to make a walled edge for the borders. So in essence I have handled each rock four times, meaning in total I have moved 14 tons of rock, by hand, the past 3 weeks. To say I sometimes felt like shot rock is an understatement. I am blasted. But I have about 45 rocks left before I can say “That’s it, I’m done”.

But that’s not really true either. After the completion of the edges I still have to layout a floor of flat rocks underneath a tree where I created a seating area and where I will be installing a Victorian wraparound-a-tree bench. The new lawn has been sowed and the new grass sprouts are abundant after just a week. Hopefully that will complete the work on the “new” garden for the year. Of course, there is still weeding and cleanup in fall, but that’s nothing compare to what was already accomplished this summer.

Well, this was no instant garden and the complete results will not be seen until next year spring/summer when the flowers bloom around the central green lawn. And that’s the only drawback to all the hard work. No instant gratification.
One of the many changes was to the entrance to the backyard. I removed a high maintenance, variegated Willow bush and change the bushy, overgrown look to a more formal style, less maintenance garden.

In the southeastern corner of the yard I completed the Contemplation garden by putting in wooden edging, removing overgrown honeysuckles and replacing it with evergreen arborvitaes and yews and filling in the garden space with flowers, installing a new arbor and putting down a floor for two chairs and a table. I will add a vine next spring to cover the arbor.



Comtemplation garden detail. I call it the comtemplation garden after the true meaning of the word, to seperate something from its environment (the rest of the garden) or to enclose, because this garden is now totally enclosed by vegetation and the only entrance is through the arbor. It is a great place to sit if you want peace and quiet.

Before: Wide view of the backyard in April 2008 at the start of the makeover.
After: And here is the backyard in September 2008 after moving all the plants to better organized beds and borders and creating a central lawn. I also replaced the old small shed I built several years ago with a bigger Amish style cottage. Portions of the stone edging walls I built is also visible.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Night Rain Fever


Listen to the pouring rain / listen to it pour,
And with every drop of rain / you know I love you more
Let it rain all night long / Let my love for you go strong,
As long as we're together / Who cares about the weather?
Listen to the falling rain,
Listen to it fall.

"Rain" by Jose Feliciano

Saturday evening. 9:15 pm EST.

Spent the whole day in the garden, from 10:30 am onwards, preparing the existing lawn in the back yard for the sowing of the last of the grass seeds. The seeds I sowed last Saturday have responded excellently and everywhere patches of green are showing through the yellow straw on the newly created lawn. I kept the ground moist all week and am delighted that the seeds have responded so well, and so quickly. At 8 o’clock, as I took the meat of the grill, we were just making burgers and an Italian antipasta salad, it was just me and M, the boys are gone to Lexington for the evening, a Kaapse mot reentjie, misty rain, started to fall.

During dinner the rain started to get more urgent and after 10 minutes of soft rain and for the next 10 to 15 minutes, my garden must have thought liquid gold was falling from the air as the rain came pouring down. Much, much needed rain! It eventually rained for about an hour, more rain fell tonight than in the past 3 months here in Kentucky. Kentucky has been very dry this year.

After dinner M and I, magies vol, pensies dik, took our after-dinner cup of coffee, mine laced with the last of the KWV 10 year-old brandy she brought from South Africa in January, outside and just sat there, on the porch, and listened to the falling rain on the zinc roof.

While blogging in the bottom half of the monitor I am also watching the battle for the Log o’ Wood, the Ranfurly Shield, the game between Wellington and Auckland played earlier today in New Zealand, which was, there goes the final whistle, comprehensively won by Wellington.

It rained for nearly 2 hours and with the soil thoroughly drenched, my plans for doing the annual over-seeding tomorrow in the front yard can not be better. Thanks to unforecasted rain. The garden is happy. I’m happy.

Now for watching the second half of the WP vs Griquas game I started to watch last night, but stopped to watch a movie on TV.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Crumbling American Economy


A week or so ago, after the announcement that the Federal Government took over control of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac I commented on another blog that this action is good in light of preventing a possible 1920’s-like depression, but at the same time I said it is frightfully alarming for our general state of the economy.

Today, a week later, it is another blue or rather black Monday, when Lehman Brothers, the 4th largest investment bank in the US filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch, the ‘big bull’ announced that Bank of America have purchased it, saving its skin from filing for bankruptcy too.

When Lehman, founded 158 years ago and who has survived many previous economic slumps including the Great Depression, and another old timer Merrill Lynch, 94 years old, call it quits and unable to raise the necessary funds to operate properly then one can truly state that major financial shifting is taking place on Wall Street.

Is there anyone still out there doubting that the foundations of our economy is crumbling? Our financial services sector is in a total mess.

Add to that the 6.1% unemployment, the horendous $500 billion trade deficit and the even worst $9 trillion national debt. No wonder the Dollar is worth so little these days. Our economy is up the creek...without a paddle... and without seemingly proper solutions too.

Among the candidates, McCain again stated today that "fundamentally the economy is still strong."

Huh!!!! Oh Really!!!! It's laughable.

Obama on the other hand has more specific answers and solutions to some of today's economic problems, but his campaign's constant rheotoric of "four more years of the same" is beyond bland already. Everybody knows McCain isn't Bush so the Obama rhetoric is ineffective. Actually they can't stand one another I understand. Obama will have to change his tune otherwise he won't make it.

But then again, if we look towards the politicians to fix this mess we are looking in the wrong direction.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Powerless on a Sunday

Although Tropical Storm Ike never reached Danville, winds on the eastern side of the storm as it trekked up the midwest caused some damaged and lost of electricity in some parts of town. Of course nothing compared to what Hurricane Ike did to Galviston and Houston yesterday.

At around 12:30 pm, I was still merrily working in the garden, spreading straw on freshly sowed grass seeds, battling high winds and racing against the clock before a predicted thunder storm comes along, I heard a crack and thump followed by an explosion. I first thought the wind ripped off my porch roof, but then I noticed downed power lines 20 feet behind me. An old tree behind my neighbor’s yard could not withstand the strong gusts, broke and fell into his yard, snapping an electrical pole and causing a transformer to explode and a power outage in the whole neighborhood. Hey, something different than the usualy Sunday activities!

Kentucky Utility workers starting the clean up and repair of the power lines.

Workers racing against threatening skies and the approaching darkness of night to get the electricity restored.

Monica waiting for the electricity to come back on, which eventually happened around 10 pm. The power outage didn't bother us too much. We had some battery-powered camping lamps from a previous camping trip and we used a propane gas stove to boil water for coffee. Of course it was a great excuse to barbeque.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sutton's of Danville, KY


A year or so ago Woody’s, a Chicago-style steakhouse, opened in Danville, much touted as Danville’s first upscale restaurant. But it never lived up to its advertising and not surprisingly it was closed a few months ago. I went there a few times, thought about writing a post about it, but as the cliché goes not worth writing home about.

Woody’s problem was quality, both in the food and the service they provided. I have eaten in Chicago, many times and Woody’s steaks were not even close to the quality in taste of most Chicago restaurants. And Woody’s service was not up to scratch either. It’s a pity because Danville really needs a good restaurant or two. Yes we have the chains (Applebee’s, O’Charley’s, etc.) and a few so-so independent restaurants, and Lexington with many goods restaurants is just down road.

I, for one, and I know there are many other people that feel: Why drive 40 minutes for a good meal and then 40 minutes back again. And at today’s high gas prices it all adds up to a costly meal. Also, most of the time when you go to a restaurant in Lexington there will be a waiting time of 30 minutes or so before you get a table. So to my delight Sutton’s opened its doors this week in the old Woody’s location and last night I went to give a try.

Very little of the décor was changed. It still has that steakhouse feel, lots of leather and stone. The place was packed, but we didn’t have to wait for a table. (We were there early at 6:00 pm before the usual 7:00 pm rush.)

The menu offers a little of everything. Steaks: And I am glad to see all the good cuts like prime rib and filet mignon, so often restaurants don’t offer prime rib and after all Kentucky is a steak and potato state; Southern: Grilled chicken in various forms (Cajun, blackened, etc.) and of course Kentucky’s own contribution to the American cuisine, Hot Brown; Italian: Pastas and several classic Italian dished like Chicken Masala (not the Indian curry one) and Chicken Parmesan to name a few; And surprisingly and to my delight a nice selection of seafood: Clams, shrimps, white fish, salmon, and even lobster. Yes it’s a wide variety, but I can understand why. Any restaurant specializing in just one cuisine will not make it in Danville. Purely a numbers game. Nevertheless it is a well put together menu with lots of good choices.

I was also impressed, well kinda, with their wine selection. At least it is far more than what is usually on offer in other Danville restaurants (if offered at all) and even many Lexington restaurants. It is nearly an all American wine list, except for the lowly Australian Yellowtail, but no Chianti’s, Bordeaux’s or Rojas’s. But I am glad to see they have some of the best local Kentucky wines on the list, Jean Ferris, and a strong presence too. (See a previous post about a visit to Jean Ferris winery.) Speaking to one of the owners, Gordon Lewis, he said it was a specific goal to support Kentucky Proud, a “buy local” initiative to support Kentucky farmers. Buy local, eat international is of course also a green earth initiative.

I tried out the Jean Ferris Chardonnay with my green salad and Catalina blue cheese dressing (what a combination, but it was good.) The chardonnay was very woody (the way I like chardonnay) and had a bit of an after taste. It also lacks the hint of butterscotch that is sometimes in good chardonnays. However, it was still enjoyable. I ordered prime rib, Tuscan style, because my argument is: If they can’t do a good job of preparing a prime rib, they will probably be terrible at all the other dishes too. I know it sounds stupid, but that’s just they way I measure a steakhouse. I was not disappointed. The rib was excellent, exactly as ordered with the right amount of Tuscan herbs and buttery soft. I had the Jean Ferris Cabernet Sauvignon with my prime rib and it was better than the chardonnay, but then I will always pick a red before a white. Monica had salmon, which was nicely grilled, right amount of spices, but just a tad too dry (overcooked) for salmon. We shared an Apple pie for dessert, which was very good. According to Lewis it is one of several desserts that are made everyday in the restaurant from scratch and what we like about it was the fact that the taste was very balanced: Not overwhelmingly sweet or bludgeoned with cinnamon. It was also in the British pie format, half moon and one could taste the freshness of the dough. Really something different than the usual mass-produced Apple pie you get at most restaurants.

Lastly, the service was good and friendly and it was a nice touch that one of the owners actually took time to introduced himself, talk and listen to what diners had to say about his restaurant. Refreshing…for Danville. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Overall, we give Sutton’s two thumbs up. Hell that sounds like rating a movie or something. And we’ll be back. If I could mention anything negative and it’s not serious, but the atmosphere could be improved: put the music a bit louder (could hardly hear it) and drop the big screen TV (Sutton’s is not a sports bar in an airport; differentiate yourself from the Applebee’s of the world.) I have to mention we were in the back dining section. They also have a bar area, which is decorated differently and also an “al fresco” dining area next to the bar. While the weather is still good I will certainly give it a try next time.

Congratulations Sutton’s and welcome to Danville. All that Danville must do now is to support Sutton’s.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What Was He Thinking?

It is not unusual to get oddly dressed odd balls at any musical award ceremony.
Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards was no exception.

While Britney Spears sparkled in her “silver-wear”

And T-Pain made an over-the-top entrance on an Elephant.
(Check out the elephant's necklace.)


DJ Fatman looked abhorrent in his underwear.

What kind of party did he think he was going to? A pajama party?
Maybe Nirvana’s Come As You Are was playing in his head all day long.
Maybe he was late, wanted to make a timely entrance and just didn’t have enough time to put on all his clothes…

LMAO. The dress socks and sandals though is hilarious.

Britney: photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic.com
T-Pain: Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
DJ Fatman: photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.Com

Sarah Palin Dolls!

As expected. Action figure dolls of Sarah Palin. At $27 a doll. Where else but in America.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Little Rabbadoe

Just the other day she was barely a foot long. Now she's all over the place, lightning fast and Oupa and Ouma have trouble keep up.

Pretty in Pink

Clowning around.

Helping Oupa in the garden. Teach them young and they might just develop a life-long love for gardening.

Late afternoon with Ouma at the Louisville Zoo: Hot, bothered and "pap tires"

Little Rabbadoe.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Pit-bull with Lipstick

Last Friday when I came home for lunch, I usually do seeing that I live very close to the office, and watched on TV when John McCain announced his pick for the Vice President I was one of millions who said: “Sarah Who?” I had to go and google to find out more about this surprised selection. Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. I said then to people what a clever move by McCain after Obama missed the chance to select a woman as his Vice President candidate. And Obama didn’t necessarily had to select Hillary. There are many excellent Democratic women candidates. Tonight and I will repeat what, surprisingly, CCN said and what, predictably, Fox News Network said: “A star is born.”

She didn’t write the speech, but Sarah Palin delivered it with fire and zest, Texan steak style, bold and unabashed, especially if one considers what has all happened since her selection to be John McCain’s running mate. Attacked from the left for being unknown and with no experience, and for having too much on her plate and one who should be a mother at home to look after her Down syndrome child and 17 year-old pregnant daughter. Wow, if the media had to say that of Hillary the feminists would have turned into radical hooligans!

Cartoon by Dana Summers.

If McCain wanted an attack dog, he got a pit-bull. With lipstick I might add. If McCain wanted a narrative story as the base for the election, he got a novel. And for the second time in a week I have to say: “What a speech!” Again by a lady! So far the men have disappointed me. I expected more clarity on his politics and plans from Barack Obama. Sure the moment was historic, but the speech lacked kick. And Joe Biden didn’t say anything new. Same old, same old. We should have a more complete view of the landscape after McCain’s speech tomorrow night.

This is my 3rd year as citizen of the US and this November election will be my first year participating in a presidential election. I must confess the past week or so has been an exciting few days if you like politics. Politics as usual or as traditional I suppose, but nevertheless exciting. Based on reading of American history and its politics, I theorize that 40 percent of the present day American electorate is Republican and 40 percent are Democrats. The other 20 percent are independent, Reagan democrats, mavericks or simply people that either believe that both the Republicans and Democrats have good and honorable principles in their charters or believe that both parties are pathetic when elected to office, and therefore elect a personality to the White House instead of a specific party’s representative. It is this 20 percent; let’s call them independents, which really control this country, election after election. They are the swing voters. The vote the candidates really fight for after pleasing their base with normal rhetoric and ceremony.

Count me under the independents and under the ones that believe both parties passionately believe that they are the best for America once elected. But as we all know it is not political parties that shape history, but individual personalities. That’s why I will cast my vote for an individual and not for a party. I am even a bit more cynical than just a good believer. I think we have far better candidates and leaders in our political system than the two running now and that both presidential candidates lack executive experience as defined by what is needed when becoming a president. But then again, history showed that some of the least experienced leaders turn out to be some of the greatest. Gandhi for example.

Make no mistake I will go and vote. It’s a privilege that should not be squandered. At lease my vote counts and whatever the outcome of the election, the result will be accepted and executed unlike in Zimbabwe where the one who holds power thinks he is god and power is rightfully his even if his country is dying around him and even if he lost an election.

But both candidates will have to show me more before they get my vote. Both will have to show me the how and not just the what they will be doing once elected. So far, since the real election campaign has only started last week, it has been nothing but a few simple strategic moves in a political chess game.

Monday, September 1, 2008

On Top Of The Blogs


It is not everyday that I have something to "brag" about, but September 1, 2008 starts of with my blog as the top blog in SA Top Sites ranking under the Personal Blogs category. See rankings here. Overall, In The Shadow Of The Baobab has climbed to #116 of all the listed blogs. Not bad for a part time blogger!

But blog hit parades are no different that musical hit parades. Today you're on top and next week it is someone else's turn. I won't let it go to my head. Ha-ha. Nevertheless, I will savor the "useless" moment and "celebrity status". Ha-ha!