Thursday morning. No snooze alarm.
Waking in silence
The birds sing their morning song
I drink my coffee
And listen to Spring.
Thursday morning. No snooze alarm.
Waking in silence
The birds sing their morning song
I drink my coffee
And listen to Spring.
I recently acquire a MacBook for work. It’s the first time I use a Mac and, despite my being a bit of a PC boff, I’m not familiar with MacOS at all. So this is a whole new learning curve for me.
Excited as I was to learn a new OS, I must say that the hideous start-up noise frayed my nerves no end, and it was only Day4. There had to be an OFF button, but I had no idea where to find it. Rather confusing because it should be obvious. I’d heard rumours that Macs are dead easy to use, but this seemed really obscure.
So, being my usual resourceful self, I did some digging on the interwebs and found the solution. I discovered that, MacOS X Hints is a great place to start when you are looking for Mac-related solutions.
So here it is! Japanese company, Arcana, created the StartupSoundPrefPane100 application, which shuts the noise OFF! TaDa! :) The StartupSoundPrefPane100 link, above, is the dmg.gz file which downloads the app onto your machine.
What to do from here?
And there you have it. Great to know that there is a solution for every perceived problem!
The 2010 U.S. Open Grand Slam starts today at Flushing Meadows in New York. It is the final grand slam of the year and promises to be a nail-biting affair! There is so much to win – and lose – for the players.
Here’s what’s cooking….
Currently 4th on the ATP rankings, Andy Murray is a very strong contender for this tournament. He has had fair success this year, but hasn’t made too much of an impression on the courts. He has never won a Grand Slam. Is he hungry enough to step up and take the U.S. Open? Some might argue, that while he great at the counter-attack, he does not want to win badly enough and splutters at the finish. Let’s not forget that he has a great hardcourt game and he may just hold his nerve to win it this time.
The Fed is, of course, one of the all-time greats of tennis. For this reason, he is a natural contender to win the US Open tournament. He made tennis history at the 2009 Wimbledon men’s final when he won his 15th title, surpassing tennis legend Pete Sampras’ record for the most Grand Slam wins ever. But he has not won a Grand Slam title this year yet, so this is the last chance to get his name on the trophy. He is a worthy opponent on the hardcourt surface and will, no doubt, have his eyes on the prize in this tournament.
Rafa has been playing brilliantly his year, winning all the Grand Slams so far for 2010. Now he just has to take the US Open to complete his trophy collection for 2010. Can he do it? We all know that clay is his surface – he is absolutely unbeatable when he is in top form. He has been quite unbeatable this year, and not only on clay. He reclaimed the number 1 spot on the ATP rankings after he beat Robin Soderling in straight sets at the French Open, earlier this year. I’m hoping his game is hardcourt-ready. Then again, I am biased – he is my number one player!
Novak Djokovic could a contender, but he has not exactly been playing great tennis recently. While he is the 3rd ranked player, he has not been stepping up and winning tournaments much of late. But things can change and he may have one final go at winning a major tournament this year. That will be a refreshing change from him.
Tomas Berdych has been successful on hardcourts this year, and could make an impression. If he has luck on his side, he may even make it to the men’s singles final. I’m not that convinced by him though, but anything can happen.
Who else can could take the trophy? Well, if you’re a betting person (which I’m not) you can check out crunchsports.com‘s pre-tournament analysis for a look at the odds-on favourites and who are up and coming.
Personally, I would love to see Rafa take 4 Grand Slams this year to make up for this lacklustre 2009 season. Although I am a big fan, I am realistic. I know that hardcourt is not Nadal’s best playing surface. My top contenders for this tournament is Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Still, it is going to be an exciting Grand Slam, whoever wins!
Go Rafa! :)
I have a personal story about the cooling towers. And yes I know how weird that sounds, because I am no cooling tower expert. In all honesty, I have no idea what it’s function is and I am not too interested either.
I lived a few kilometres from the Athlone Cooling Towers in my youth and I remember how those two towers caught my imagination. Quite literally. I’m … ahem … old enough to remember when the towers were in full operation and used to (I guess) cool stuff down. Anyway, back then it was probably the tallest man-made structure for miles around. Come to think of it, it probably still is, despite all the construction around our city.
Every Sunday our family would visit relatives over on the other side of the city, in Maitland. The drive there and back home took us past the towers at least twice on that journey – once in either direction. As a little girl with a vast imagination, I pictured myself being INSIDE the towers. I imagined that I was an intrepid explorer, climbing up the outside of the tower around the platforms and up the stairs. If you look, you’ll see the stairs running all the way around it. I imagined what it was like walking around one level, climbing up the stairs to the next level, and so on, all the way to the very top. Then, when I was all the way at the top, I could see all of Cape Town! I’m still not sure, maybe you actually get a pretty great view of the city from all the way up there. Of course if you went up, you had to come all the way down. My imagination again, lead me all the way down to the bottom. I had different routes to climb up and down the towers. The water that ran down the bottom of the towers was a waterfall and if I stood behind it, no one could see me or would know I was there, but I could see them. I had dreams of one day being allowed inside so that i could see it all and explore it for myself. That idea, as you can imagine, has long-since faded and I haven’t thought about my childhood fantasies in a very long time.
This week, as the Athlone Cooling Towers made headlines because of today’s demolition, I have a little touch of nostalgia about my childhood fantasies . I know that it makes me sound old to make say this, but one does not often look back in wonderment at the strange imaginings of the childhood mind :)
While the demolition will cause a ripple of chaos and excitement as everyone scrambles to see these landmarks implode, I’ll remember being young and imaginative. To me , the towers symbolise two strong, sturdy old friends, that allowed my mind to be spirited and adventurous for a little while. The demolition teaches me that nothing is forever because change is inevitable and so, too, are my creative thoughts.
I know that my dreams will not turn into a pile of rubble on the highway, but rather take flight as I find creativity through my imagination.
In a word: elaborate. I am talking about the latest Christopher Nolan blockbuster movie, Inception.
The plot is elaborate. The characters are elaborate. The sets are elaborate. Cinematography: elaborate. Special effects, mind-blowingly elaborate. The score, elaborate. The story, elaborate. You get the idea.
Prepare to be hooked from the opening scene all the way through this roller-coaster, fast pace, action sci-fi thriller, until the very last, extremely intriguing, scene. There is a lot going on, so you might want to put down the popcorn for once and strap yourself in to your movie seat. You’ll get to know the characters really well because they have well developed and definitely not stereotypical. The dialogue is fast-paced, sometimes technical and often intelligent.
We have become accustomed to seeing Leonardo di Caprio in high-grossing blockbusters, and Inception does not disappoint. In fact, it could be his best role and best performance to date. The other actors such as Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotilliard, Tom Berenger, Pete Postlewaite and the rest of the cast all play their characters to perfection. Cobb (di Caprio) is intriguing, complex, living in a world of dreams. Moving in and out of dreams trying to understand the sub-conscious, yet battling his own frailties and demons.
You are almost guaranteed to get lost in the complicated plot. It is like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle that you, the viewer, has to put together you may pity yourself for being a mere human. Cobb (Leonardo di Caprio) asks Ariadne (Ellen Page), the student architect, to design a maze. Remember this, because you are already inside it. You just don’t know it. Such is the beauty and complexity of this movie. The special effects are magnificent and I was reminded of how The Matrix had a similar effect on audiences when it was released in 1999. You could say that Inception is The Matrix of this decade, if for the special effects alone. But maybe that’s an over-simplification and detracts from the specialness of Inception.
My eye kept drifting towards the elaborate sets, special effects and costumes – there is an abundance of detail in every frame – but then I am quickly drawn back to the dialogue, the action and the storyline. “What is important? Should I be looking for clues?”, I kept asking myself. Is this the dream state? What are the levels? I am supposed to be figuring this out, I’m almost sure of it, right?
In the end, I mean the very end, none of it matters, of course. If you’ve seen the movie, you may or may not know what I mean. If you have not already seen this movie, do yourself a favour and go see it. This is one you and your friends will be talking about long after it is over.
A small selection of favourite photographs from my World Cup 2010 experiences in Cape Town.
World Cup 2010 will undoubtedly remain in the memories of South Africans long after the trophy has been won (and put back into it’s Louis Vuitton), the fans have gone (thank you all for coming, btw), celebrities have found new places to be caught on camera (and/or smoke pot), the stadiums have been deserted (hey, let’s hope not) and the sound of vuvuzelas have faded into the distance …… (unlikely).
For me, the World Cup was memorable for many reasons, but the one that I enjoyed most of all was sharing it with my Twitter friends. Thank you, Twitter friends for making this World Cup out of this world! It has been wonderful to share it with all of you. So, on day 32, match 64, the very last day of World Cup 2010, I captured the buzz from my Twitter stream.
Here is some of what I recorded. I have removed the Twitter names from my quotations to protect the identity of the tweeters. I added comments in [green] text.
Proudly South African – these tweets expressed the sentiments felt around the world, but most strongly here in South Africa…..
The closing ceremony – sentiments and tears abound as South Africans tweeted their feelings
Madiba ….. (get your hankies ready)
The match: Spain vs The Netherlands – tweeters comments before and during the game
Wow. Well, if football is about falling around, bizarre refeering decisions, & basic prat-ishness, then I won’t be watching till 2014.
Dutch Courage – fans tweeting their support for The Netherlands during the match
Red Fury – Spanish fans letting their tweets be heard!
Xavi, arguably the best freekick taker in the world, misses the goal from 21m…
GOAL!!! #ESP Iniesta!!
#ESP GOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!! what a shot! VIVA ESPANA!
Iker Casillas still laughing after that fake goal kick ran them downfield
Just chatted with ppl at our Spain office… they bouncing off the walls! its a shame they’re working working today. [what? the very next day??]
The Ref calls it! Red & Yellow – cards, that is. Funny, those are the colours in the Spanish flag….
11 yellow cards now including the two for Heitinga. In. Sane.
If Heitinga deserved a red there, then so did Poyul in the 2nd half.
Commentator – ‘The Sniffer’ – You had to be watching South Africa’s Super Sport 3 channel to know what these tweets meant – and some tweeters missed what the fuss was about. The tweets created a lot of laughs anyway :)
The Oracle – Paul The Octopus – people had a few things to say about Paul
No calamari for lunch! #worldcup
I want an octopus pet! #worldcup
After the match – praise for South Africa the hosts, thank yous and what’s next? (hankie time)
Well SA did a damn good job. All finals suck but let’s see #esp lift that cup now, c’mon!
Yeah sick second half and extra time. Well done SA for pulling off the football world cup. Proudly South African!
Thanks for sharing the World Cup with me, everyone. Made it extra special!
What a show. What. A. Show. Well done, South Africa. It was great.
South Africans! You should be so, so, so proud of your country! You were beautiful #WorldCup hosts.
Other noteworthy tweets – these don’t fit into any of the above, but need to be here too!
THANK YOU FOR TWEETING WITH ME DURING WORLD CUP 2010, TWITTER FRIENDS. We must do it again sometime ;)