Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dear Diary

An excerpt for my new online diary which is anonymous but extremely calming. I chose to create an online diary after enjoying the latest installment of Adrian Mole (The lost diaries 1999 - 2001) and realising that it may help if ever an autobiography is to be commissioned :). Being anonymous, means I can be completely honest and I cannot describe what an amazing feeling that is. In any event, I decided to share today's entry since it has no relevance to anybody I know.

Dear Diary

Today, my girls and I bought take out and had a picnic at Mitchell Park. It was an amazing Durban winter's day and no birds crapped on me. Evertything about the trip was idyllic up until the point where my wife and I separated. Tim took Siddiqa to the playground whilst I took Sulaym (13 months) to see the birds and animals.

She loved it and I could see her taking everything in, and made a mental note to do this more often. At the Flamingo enclosure I stopped carrying her and she walked around looking at the ducks and curiously touching the bars, as if checking whether they were electrified or not. I took the backpack of my shoulder so I could put away the bottled water in a side patch and it was there, in that instant, that my self worth was irrevocably diminished.

My adorable daughter decided to pick up a fallen nut off the floor and a nearby mum shouted and ran to her asking her "Not to touch that kaka". This of course created quite a commotion in the serenity of the park so everybody in our vicinity turned to look. My daughter obligingly handed to nut to the the lady and gave her a look to say, "Thank God you arrived just in time!". Had I tried to take the nut away from her, I would have been met with a wall of tears and a possible tantrum. Maybe I should consider wearing my hair in a bun to get the same kind of compliance.

It was a while before the pain of countless eyes burrowing holes into my back subsided and admittedly, moving rapidly to another part of the park aided that greatly. It was then that a lady walked up to me and asked if I could please take a photograph of her with her husband and daughter. I oblidged but it became quickly apparent that they were present at the flamingo enclosure earlier. When I asked if they were happy with the picture, they responded by asking me, Why am I by myself?, where is my wife? and.... If this is the first time I am spending time alone with baby?


I was going to respond by telling them that my wife had been killed in a freak flamingo incident but The abruptness of their questions caught me completely off guard. I mumbled a response and made my way out of the park.

Regardless of this experience, I must make a conscientious effort to come out more often. It is pointless laughing at everyone from JHB when they complain about the cold, when we do not take advantage of our awesome Durban weather.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My review of the Viber App

I have been asked to become a contributor on bandwidth blog which I am really excited about. My first article went live this week, where I reviewed the Viber App but also in the context of VOIP (Voice over internet protocol). People posted comments on the article which was great as it introduced me to new technologies/ insights.

My review of Viber on Bandwidthblog

Of course, the thing that I was most excited about regarding Viber was that it would be an awesome way to stay in contact with loved ones when travelling abroad. I hope to make use of the complimentary hotel WiFi to achieve this and it will be much simpler than having to use WorldCall cards or buying international prepaid sim cards etc. The one major snag to this plan however is that the App currently only exists in the iStore which means I have to convince my wife to get an iPhone or give her mine if (when) I chose to upgrade to the iPhone 5 :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Mclaren Honda MP4/4 - The Best Ever F1 car!

I am a big believer of "Kismet"(Destiny). The feeling that everything is happening for a reason. That sense in your gut that recent events are somehow not a coincidence but happening for a reason. I also find 'Kismet' a convenient scapegoat when indulging my habit of buying stuff. It just seem less superficial when there is a grander plan unknown to all that has guided my hand into my wallet to pull out my credit card yet again. But, even I have to admit that the circumstances/ coincidences that surrounded my latest purchase is quite uncanny.

Last week I found the time to watch the majority of the European Grand Prix and this, in itself, was extremely rare. Unfortunately the race was not that exciting and I got to watch the dominant Sebastian Vettel ease to yet another victory. He has now won six races out of eight and come second in the other two. Naturally this dominated tea time discussion amongst the guys the next day. Will he beat Schumi's records? Will Formula 1 sink back to the boring days of the Schumi/ Ferrari dominance? What is the most dominant car in F1 history? Stop! That was my cue!

I have a well researched, flawlessly prepared argument for this particular question, and like a spider coming to feast on those that had become trapped in my web, I launched into my presentation, honed after many hours presenting in front of a mirror. The answer is simple. The Mclaren Honda MP4/4 that dominated the 1988 F1 season in a way that no car since has been able to emulate. has to be the most dominant car ever in F1 history. Admittedly one could argue that the the Ferrari 2004 (winning 15 of 18 races) is also a contender for this title as is the Williams that Nigel Mansell guided to victory in the 1992 season. Let's debate this in the comments section! However, for me it was the MP4/4.I urge any F1 fan to read the story of this remarkable car for I will lose half my readers if I dwell on it here. Check this link for starters.

Wikipedia: McLaren Honda MP4/4

In the 1988 season this car had won 15 of the 16 races which included 10 1-2 finishes. and 15 pole positions. Far form being boring as one would expect from this level of dominance, these were still exciting times with Senna and Prost having the most exciting rivalry that I could ever recall in F1. In that season, Senna won the title by winning 8 races compared to Prost's 7 victories. If you are too young and have never heard of the Senna- Prost rivalry then I urge you to google it and read up on the most intense rivalry in F1 which tragically ended with Prost being a pallbearer at the funeral of Ayrton Senna after he tragically died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna  was the last driver to die at the wheel of a F1 car. This was ironically also the year that Michael Schumacher won his first F1 World Championship.

Ayrton Senna (1960 - 1994)

Then on Thursday, the FIA announced that Formula One would switch from 2.4l V8's to 1.6l Turbocharged V6's. Due to my obvious bias, I was thrilled by this decision and more importantly it gave me a chance to within the same week, deliver my presentation on another group of unsuspecting people. You maybe wondering what the hell could this possibly have to do with Kismet !'s like this. I walked into a hobby shop today looking for my next project. I am searching for a race version NSX but this shop had a very small range. They basically had different variations of  the Porsche 911 turbo, Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 360 Modena. It  was then, by chance ,that I noticed a smaller box stacked with all the airplanes... and, you guessed it...

Who am I to come in the way of Kismet? :)

Updated ( 14 July 2011)

I had intended including this in my initial post but had hoped that it would have have formed part of the lineup at the Durban International Festival (DIFF 2011) and would have discussed it there but it was unfortunately not included. I really hope however that this documentary on the life of Ayrton Senna makes it to SA. Watch the trailer below and you will understand why. Winner of the prestigious audience award at the Sundance Film Festival this year.