Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wordpress:Step by Step for beginners, part 9

If this is your first time here, you may want to go to the Wordpress tutorial list , which will provide a convenient starting point for you to follow through from.

In this post, I'll take you through the steps of adding a widget to your Wordpress website.

The first thing we need to clarify is that a widget and a plug-in are the same thing. They are system add-ons, to increase and improve the useability of a Wordpress website. There are no doubt those purists out there who will argue this point, but for our purposes, and for many of millions of other Wordpress users the following equation is valid:


 If you've had your Wordpress site for more than a day or two, and you've been playing around with it, you will probably want your website to do just a bit more than it does out of the box.

Wordpress can do everything and anything, except feed the cat. To get this extended functionality we use widgets, a.k.a. plugins.

To get a plug in, go to your dashboard.

Where it says "Appearance" on the left hand side, click.

Now click "Add new".

Your screen will now look like this:

It is not as bad as it looks. Nor is it as confusing as it seems. All that it is, is Wordpress trying to help you find the plugin you're looking for.

Wordpress has, right now, as I write this, 9,788 plugins, with more than 93 million downloadeds! I doubt anybody knows all the plugins that are available, and I personally first browse through the available plug ins for a particular function before I download and test a few. I'm fortunate inasmuch I test plugins on my computer, and other than downloading them, I don't need to do anything online. The other advantage is that if a plugin breaks something, it is quick and easy to toss it, create a new Wordpress site, and test the next widget in line. I'm also able to tweak the plugin if necesssary.

My advice to you, check the plugins at before you download just anything.

On the plugin page, look down the right side of the page, and see:

  • the compatibility check; 
  • star rating; 
  • and what others are saying about the plugin.
Do Not select the first plug-in you see. CHECK IT OUT first. There are many excellent WordPress plug-ins, but there are also many really shoddy plug-ins. 

A major problem that I have with many plug-ins is that the plug-in author's description makes it very obvious that the plug-in is exactly what is needed, but when you download, or try to use the plug-in, you find that you need to register somewhere else, or that you need to purchase a licence to gain full usage of the plug-in. 

Read all you can about a plug-in, to ensure that you will be getting what you want.

When you have located the plugin you want, and downloaded it, follow the prompts, its really very very easy.

Although extended functions are only a few clicks away, there is a penalty. Your page opening time will be increased with every plugin you have, so be careful of adding too many bells and whistles.

For Wordpress users we do have a plugin find and test service. Tell us what you need, and we will track down what you need, test it, and then forward it to you with full useage instructions. This is a time based service, and is charged accordingly.

There is a growing Wordpress tutorial list , which will provide a convenient starting point for you to start from if you're new to Wordpress.

Springbok Radio! For your FM listening pleasure!

1970 died, and 1971 was born.

I was shunted through to Standard 4, having survived Miss de Villiers for just on 9 months, and heading toward a year with Mrs Dawson. I thought she would be easy after De Villiers, but then, I was still very young and optimistic.
Back in those days corporal punishment for was the rule of the day. I was corporal, or so it seemed.

1971 was also the year I was soundly thrashed by: (in sequence):
My mother;
Mr Botes;
Mrs Dawson;
my mother;
my father.

The reason? I forgot to go to school for a few days....
I bunked school, probably cos I didn't do homework, and when I got caught, It was open season on my hide. I must add that I never did bunk again...

Back in those days we were called scholars, or pupils, probably because we were too stupid to be learners. Well, I was at any rate. Learning was not popular with me, and it was about then that I populated that part of the class that made the top half possible.

Were it not for Springbok Radios daily music line-up, and the Hit Parade on Saturday afternoons, my life would have been really miserable.

It was standard practice to run home from the Saturday afternoon movies at the old Scout Hall (which used to serve as the Methodist and Anglican Church as well), and get home just in time for the start of the hit Parade.

I had a look through the hit songs of 1971, and for the life of me cannot make up my mind which was my favourite song of 1971.

The South African Top 20 in 1971 was:

MAMMY BLUE - Charisma
CO CO - The Sweet
JOY TO THE WORLD - Three Dog Night
YOU - Peter Maffay
NO MATTER WHAT - Badfinger
IF NOT FOR YOU - Olivia Newton-John
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN - Creedence Clearwater Revival
GET ME SOME HELP - Neville Whitmill
BUTTERFLY - Danyel Gerard
HOME - Dave Mills

and from the rest of the world we got:

One Man Band - Three Dog Night
Baby I'm A Want You - Bread
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart- Bee Gees
Joy To The World- Three Dog Night
Rose Garden- Lynn Anderson
My Sweet Lord- George Harrison
I Think I Love You- Partridge Family

After much deliberation, I will have to go with the following as my 3 Top Hits for the year of 1971. If you disagree, tell me, but try to remember that music is subjective, and what may be good for you now, may be replaced by something else tomorrow.

In order of my current preference then, 1971 was the year of:
CO CO - The Sweet
JOY TO THE WORLD - Three Dog Night

Yeah yeah yeah

I know I've been slow and pathetic with new posts.

I do have an excuse though. I've been working.

Believe it or not, I do work from time to time. We have two website presentations to get ready for Monday 30th May, and I'm trying to wrap up the auction site.

Apart from that, I do try to put in at least an hour each day for learning something new, and then I also try to spend some time each day trying new things with coding.

At the moment my learning involves advanced CSS styling, very basic .php, and I want to get into Photoshop a tad more. I have mastered a few techniques, but really need to get a few more under control.

So, at the end of the day, my blogging pretty much has to take a back seat, although I shall, as previously promised, maintain at least my Wordpress for beginners tutorials and my Music through the years postings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Solving unemployment problems, from the GO!Express

Some time ago, well, about a month ago, Peter Martin came a-visiting.

We had met with him a while back, and he asked if we would mind his doing a little article about us, not for a mainstream newspaper, but for East London's own little freebie paper, the GO!Express.

Of course we said yes, as any exposure is good exposure. The result of the interview can be seen here.

So yeah, we were a tad miff that we weren't on the first page. But then, busting illegal liquor outlets is socially more moral than a businessy type write up. Page 4 or 5 would have worked too, but Peter van Kets, the greatest thing to come from East London since the coelecanth was there. What he was doing on pg 4 is beyond me, he should have been on the cover.

We were close-ish to the back-ish of the paper, but so what? We made it there, and we hope the article will inspire at least one person to make a positive move in the right direction.

You can if you want to, but first, you have to want to.

Thanks to Sven Herselmann, the editor at the Go!Express, and to Peter Martin.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tomato and onion relish

Tomato and Relish, with Boerewors

Last week when I told you about the boerewors rolls we had, I was supposed to make tomato and onion relish to go with it. I didn't. Last night I did though.

Again, I was a tad disappointed with the sausage we got. The sausage was from our local Spar, and looked good, however, we should have gone to OK foods, for Vernon's Spekwors.

Oh well, so we learn.

I'm not here to tell you about the sausage, but rather, about the tomato and onion relish I sometimes make to go with it. The mob here think it's quite yummy, so I'll tell you about it.

A gang of onions, I used 5 medium onions.
A collection of tomatoes. I had 6.

The celery is there just to make the photo look good, and because I nibble on it.

Cut onions into ringy slicey things, and toss them into a thin layer of hot oil. Put the oil into a pot hey!

While the onions do their thing, break a bit off celery off, and munch it. And then start cutting the tomatoes into circly ringy chunky pieces. Rough cut is good.

Chances are the onions are not yet at that soft transparent stage yet, so munch more celery, and start preparing the rolls.

When the onions are ready, soft, almost transparent, and just brown on the edges, toss the tomato in. Let it moan a bit, then give it a stir. If it feels a tad sticky, add a small glass of water, put a lid on the pot, and munch more celery.

By now the sausage should be on its way to cooked as well. The tomato and onion relish is almost ready when the tomato is cooked up. A bit of skin showing here and there is okay. Now add a generous pinch of dried mixed herbs. And a touch more water.

Cooked tomato is actuallt pretty boring, so add a little of whatever you have handy. Pepper, a touch of curry, some garlic, a little sugar. A dash of vinegar even. Just play around, adding a little of whatever and tast testing.

When you add something, mix well, and taste the juice.

When you're happy, introduce two tablespoonfuls into each roll, and slap a sausage onto it.

It may not look good, but it tastes really great! Almost makes an inferior sausage worth something.

Lekker vreet!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Until 1970, where was the music?

I sort of remember a few songs from before 1970, not many though.

On my 10th birthday, internationally, the most popular song in the world was Winter World Of Love by Engelbert Humperdinck. Other notable international hits then were the King, Elvis Presley's rolling from 1969 into 1970 Suspicious Minds, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel, and Diana Ross & The Supremes sang Someday We'll Be Together.

In South Africa, the top 3 songs of the year of 1970 were Pretty Belinda from Chris Andrews, In the summertime came from Mungo Jerry, and South Africa's own Dave Mills took Love is a Beatiful Song to popularity (Love is a Beatiful Song was to be an organ exam for me a few years later).

I recall walking home, in Bothasig, with Tian Foshaugen singing Brown Eyes, another of Chris Andrews 3 Springbok Radio Top 20 hits for the year.

For those of us fortunate enough to get to a 'proper bioscope', (not the Saturday afternoon fillum at the Anglican/ Methodist church/ Scout hall), the movie to have seen would have been Kelly's Heroes, and then, the song, Burning Bridges, from the movie. Great stuff.

1970 was the year Neil Diamond released Cracklin' Rosie, a hit that is still popular, and still heard on the radio.

Percy Sledge came to South Africa, and performed at the 3 Arts theatre. Before he came, he let us have Come Softly to me. His on-stage performance of this song left many of the 'verkrampte boere tannies' who went to see him, weak at the knees, or crying, or both.

1970: Number1 in South Africa!
Chris Andrews
Pretty Belinda

1970: number 2 in South Africa!
Mungo Jerry
In the Summertime

In the summer time when the weather is high
You can reach right up and touch the sky,
When the weather's fine
You got women, you got women on your mind.
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find.

If her Daddy's rich, take her out for a meal,
If her Daddy's poor, just do what you feel.
Scoot along the lake, do a town an' then return her twenty five.
When the sun goes down
You can make it, make it good and really fine.

1970: number 2 in South Africa!
Dave Mills
Love is a beautiful Song

Love is a new way of living
A new way of starting each day
Millions of people all over the world
Know that love is a beautiful so-ong

It's so good to see you now
Looking as lovely as ever
It's so good to be alive
Knowing that we are together

Lyrics from LyricDownload

Website design scope.

Website design scope.

An alternative heading could be: Clients who will not read!

A large problem with not only us, but with most website designers, are clients who either will not, do not, or cannot read.

We offer a service to clients that when designing a custom site, we offer several templates for them to choose from. Once the template is chosen, we offer our clients three rounds of alterations, and when the site is live, another week in which to finalise and fix other little niggles.

We feel this is particularly generous, as most problems are sorted out at template stage. However, there are still those clients who think that a round of alterations ends when they say so. What the client does not understand is that to alter a background colour by a simple nuance of a shade involves opening a minimum of two files, and a browser. This takes time. And then of course my idea of a slightly lighter tangerine shade may look like like dark peach to the client, which adds more confusion.

We do go out of our way to ensure our clients get what they want, but we, as does any other person in the design field, expect a degree of responsibility from the client.

To the client:
  1. We do not read minds
  2. We do not see the same colours you do. Find, and send a color sample.
  3. Move left just a touch, is that 1cm, 1mm, or 1pixel?
  4. You run your business, you know it, and I will never tell you how to do it. 
  5. Just because you won a bronze in Gr3 for your picture of a moon does not mean you understand the complexities of layout and design
  6. Yours is not the only job I am busy with. I divide my time equally between my clients. I do not work on more than I can handle. Don't you have more than 1 client right now?
  7. Please read my e-mails when you get them, NOT only when I remind you of what I said in it 3 weeks later.
  8. If you have a specific design idea in mind, draw it for me. Don't try to explain it, I am blonde.
 Of course, this list could be longer, but the bottom line really, is that we cannot, and you cannot expect us to, keep altering your design because your cousin's nephew's girlfriend says the website doesn't suit her toe nail color.

Quantify, and be specific.

Send your family to your test site (that we host for you, free of charge) before the site goes live.

Have a brilliant day!

Wordpress:Step by Step for beginners, part 8

The other Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials are here

In this tutorial we're going to do the Settings on your Wordpress website.

Most of the settings are pretty easy, and straightforward, with very little that needs special mention.

For starters, go to your dashboard, and down the left hand side, at the bottom, or very close to the bottom, find, and click on the settings tab.

Once open, it will look something like this:
The first thing you may need help with is permalinks. click on permalinks. On the Permalimk page, go down to where it says Custom Structure. In the block type: /%postname%/

Exactly like that. That is the structure we use, and it works great. For alternatives, go to the Support site, and type "permalink structure" into the search bar.

With that out of the way, work your way through the settings menu, one item at a time. A few things need to be mentioned now. On the general settings page, the two fields that refer to your website address, and your blog address (they both have (URL) after them), leave that alone. Now, today, tomorrow, forever. It will cost you to have us fix it.

The final point at this stage, at 'Before a comment appears', make sure that the only ticked box is the one that says: 'An administrator must always approve the comment '. Before allowing comments to appear automatically, you will need to build a database of undesireable IP's.

So there you go. Take your time over your settings. (Almost) Nothing you change now will break your website, and you can (almost) always go back and fix it. The almosts refer to the things we have told you not to touch.

To check the other Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials out, click here

Spaghetti, linguine,tagliatelle Bolognaise

We had a birthday here yesterday. It was Terry's dad's 78'th. Because it was a family only dinner, non family guests were expected to pay. I got around that by preparing the supper.

Thankfully the Bosch family are into real food, so it wasn't necesary for me to stretch my imagination, and then too, the 'menu' had already been requested.

Originally destined to be Spaghetti Bolognaise, with a salad and garlic bread, I left out the garlic bread. Terry's dad don't do garlic, 'cos garlic does him.

5 kind of size medium type onions, sliced and braised until almost see-through was my first step. When they were done, I put them off to one side, until later.

About 1.5 kg of lean beef mince. If you use anything but lean, it becomes very oily and kinda yech. More or less 2 cups of water into a pot, and I tossed the still frozen mince into the water. As the water heats, it warms the mince up, and you can scrape mince off the frozen chunk. Doing it like this you avoid getting those big annoying lumps of mince.

Right after introducing the water and mince, I started preparing the bolognaise sauce.

4 dinky tins of tomato paste, 1 tin of tomato and onion braai relish. A solid squirt of mustard sauce, and a not so solid squirt of sweet chili sauce. Liberal sprinkle of worcester sauce. Then, some syrup, just to sweeten the concoction a bit. Ah what the hell, splash in some vinegar as well. Mix. mix some more. Spread it around.

Taste the sauce. The tomato paste makes it very bland, and a bit tart, that's why I add all the rest of the kitchen stuff. I do taste and tweak as it goes along. Last night I had to add about 2 teaspoons of sugar to get it just right. A big pinch of dried mixed herbs will help everything along. You'll only taste the herbs later though, once everything has cooked. Smoking herbs while performing kitchenary fuctions is not advised.

With the sauce done, play with the mince. Help it get to that stage that there are no great big lumps left. Your mince needs to have fluid just just covering it.

Now add your sauce. Just tip the whole lot in. And then stir it all up.

I was fortunate in that I was able to leave the bolognaise, that's the mince and sauce mixture, a few hours. Spaghetti Bolognaise is like curry, it gets better with age. When it gets too old, it goes into pies. Or is it dogs?

When I got around to the pasta making, I was originally a bit peeved, annoyed, that I didn't have spaghetti! There was a packet of linguine, and a packet of taglietelle.

I'm not Italian, so, whatta the hella, letsa makea da pasta eh?!

For the pasta I used a mother great pot, probably about 8 or 10 litres. It was big enough that i wouldn't need to break the pasta. Third to half fill with water. A splash of cooking oil. Lid on, and leave to boil.

While the boiling is trying to happen, start with the salads. I made two, one in the morning when I made the bolognaise, and then another while I was busy with the pasta.

In the first salad I used: lettuce, cucumber, yellow pepper, a small packet of peanuts and raisins (smashed the peanuts up a bit), and tomato.

The second salad had celery, olives, tomato, cherry tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. I would have preferred a nice piece of crumbly feta though.

With the pasta water boiling honnerd bedonnerd, I quickly threw the linguine and the taglietelle in, and turned the heat on under the bolognaise.

Now things started getting interesting. I stirred the bolognaise, which although nice and moist, does tend to stick. I was lifting the pasta from time to time to make sure it wasn't sticking. I also put the final touches to the salads, and grated some cheese.

And then all was ready!

Drain the pasta, through a colander preferably, and chuck the bolognaise into it.

Mix it up.

Pour the mess into a serving dish. I used two, as there was enough Spaghetti Bolognaise to feed a lot of people.

 This photo of the pasta dish was taken at lunch time today. 
It's leftover from last night, and Terry fed it to the boys.

Let the hordes sort themselves out.

I don't add salt to food when I'm cooking. I like lots of salt, most people don't, so I leave it out, and let them add their own.

If you're going to try spaghetti Bolognaise tonight, or any of the other recipes I have on my blog,
Lekker vreet!

I are delinquent...

So, okay, my posting has been somewhat tardy recently.

I was originally going to do at least 3 posts a day, covering things like the Wordpress step by step for beginners series, some website design insight and information, and my newest non political rant/ rave/ bitch/moan.

Of course, I have also undertaken to do a collection of music based posts, going back to the days when I was (a lot) younger, and kids could play in streets safely.

So. What I need to do now, is either get my ass in gear, or, just scrap the whole blogging thing, or, go out and get drunk, or, try a new career path.

Looking at the options, and because I'm actually incredibly lazy, I think I'll just try to catch up.

So, in no specific order, lets just do it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Those were the days.. or so says Mary Hopkins


Just done an article for one of our other blogs, and got caught up in music.

Not just any old music, but that really great music that took me from childhood through to adulthood.

This gave me some food for thought, and so, for myself, and for everyone from my era, I'm going to take us all on a nostalgic trip, from the late '60's through to the mid '80's

I'm going to find the top songs of that year, see if I can get the lyrics, and hopefully, for the older songs especially, try to find a place we can go to see, listen and experience the great days in our lives.

If there is something you're looking for in particular, let me know, I'll see if I can find it.

And yes, if it's something that brings back memories, give us the story behind it, and I'll tribute that post as a single posting to the person(s) concerned.

As the great David Gresham used to tell us, "keep your feet on the ground, and reach for the stars!"

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners, part 7

Today's post will cover a Wordpress post. If you have been following this series, you will know to find the rest of our Wordpress tutorial list  by clicking on the Wordpress page link at the top of the page, just below the banner.

The number one difference between a Page and a Post, is that a Post is current. A Post is now. A Page is static, and will always be there. A Page will not get lost into the archives. In due course we'll give you some tips on keeping your (more) important posts easily accessible.

The screenshot above is of my Wordpress blog, opened on my dashboard, with the Posts tab open.

You will see that it is somewhat similar to the Pages tab, inasmuch it has an 'edit' link, and an 'Add New' link. It also has a link to 'Post Tags' and 'Categories'.

Right now you want to add a new (your first) post. click on 'Add New'.

Your dashboard will now look like this:

All you need to do now is fill in the blank spaces.

Give your post a catchy title.

Type in the content of your post.

If your theme supports excerpts, type that in.

If you want to link to another blog or website, type, or even better, copy and paste their URL in in the 'send Trackbacks' block.

Skip 'Custom Fields', and go to just below it to 'Discussion'. In the 'Discussion' block make sure both blocks have a green tick in them. Don't worry about the comments just yet, that is the topic of the next tutorial. for now, scroll up again, and on the right hand side of your dashboard find 'Post Tags'.

Post tags are the words that summarise what your post is all about. Try to use words that appear at least 3 times in your post. In due course, as you have more posts on similar topics, you will be able to select your tags from the most used tags in your Post Tags.

Just below this is your categories block. 'Uncategorized' is a Wordpress default, and I personally think it's ugly. At the bottom of the block click on 'Add new Category'. Type in your new category, click on 'Add', and it will appear in the Category list, already ticked.

Now scroll up again. At the top of the right column is a block called 'Publish', with several options. You may want to explore the options, but for now, just click the blue 'Publish' button.

There it is. All done. Your first Post on your brand new Wordpress website!

Don't forget, our other Wordpress tutorials can be found by on this site, by clicking here.

Our next tutorial will tell you about your settings, including comments, then we're going to look at adding pictures to your posts and Pages.

After that it's fun-time. We are going to look at all those great widgets we can use.

Till then, cheers!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners, part 6

Create your Wordpress website credibility by setting up a good base. This base will be your static pages, that is, those pages that describe what your website is about. It’s your introduction to your visitors. Your static pages will let your visitors know who you are, and what you do.

After logging in to your Wordpress dashboard go down the list of link buttons on the left of the dashboard. In position 5 is the link to pages. When you hover your cursor over the button, a little down pointing triangle shows. Click on it.

You now have two options. You can edit a page, or you can write a new page. In the beginning is ‘About’, so use the edit option.

 The window you will now see shows you the pages that already exist, with the text in that page. Wordpress put it there to help you. 

If you’re happy with the title, leave it, you need to change the text though. Replace it with your own text. Most Wordpress fundis will tell you to preview your page when it’s done. I don’t bother; I publish and check it online. If it needs any tweaking, I edit the post. Generally I work with two tabs on my browser. One tab is my Wordpress dashboard, and the other is the live site. It is just easier, for me anyway, to edit in one tab, save, then open the other tab and refresh the page.

When you’re happy with your page, scroll down to discussion, and make sure there is no tick in the ‘Allow comments ‘box. You want comments on posts, not pages. You do want to allow trackbacks and pingbacks.

On the right is a box called ‘Attributes’. As this is a main page and not part of, or an extension of another page, the ‘Attributes’ are not altered.

Should you decide to add a page about your dog, create it, and then set your main About page as the parent page. Your dog’s page will now appear as a dropdown option of your About page.

I have yet to find a Wordpress blogger who uses the ‘Custom fields’ facility. I don’t, and generally disregard it.

Adding a new page to your Wordpress website is just as easy. From your Dashboard, select ‘Pages’, and then select ‘Add new’. Fill in the spaces you need to, using the guidelines above, publish, check, tweak, publish, and you’re done.

The pictures below show you what your screen will look like at various stages in the process. It’s not really intimidating.

The full, growing list of Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials is here

VIVA WC 2010!

I created this Prahdly Sarff Effrikin flag as an overlay to a few photos I took recently. The photos were taken 40 metres from a hospital. The refuse photographed is only the tip of the current South African service delivery problem. Service delivery has deteriorated in the past 16 years, yet the powers that be are of the opinion that we will be able to cope with the expected influx of tourists. Well, with that said, it would seem that we won’t be seeing as many tourists as we originally thought.

No doubt all the matches will be played, but without local spectators, as they will be holed up at home, with emergency supplies for the duration of the World Cup.

It does in fact seem as though the only signs of life out in the streets will be child-snatchers, and the SAP who will later brag about effective policing and crime prevention in the ‘preceding period’, during which time all the reported FIFA related crime incidents were rapidly resolved.

Of course there won’t be any FIFA related incidents; it’ll all be tagged as domestic violence. Whoopee for the SAP!

We do also need to bear in mind that the aforementioned preceding period does not, will not, and cannot ever include the following:
·    morning tea,
·    afternoon tea,
·    lunch time,
·    a quick visit to the shebeen,
·    grocery shopping,
·    That period of time needed to moonlight as a Texi driver before and after work.

It also does not include the period extending from 3 hours before kick-off to 3 hours after the stadium gates have been closed.

We’re looking forward to a great World Cup.

An afterthought. The Soccah City okes reckon they can evacuate almost 95 000 people in 11 minutes. Does this take into account that 95000 people will be in a state of high agitation, extremely emotional, with probably half of them drunk, and the other half stoned. Also, are they taking into account that the duly designated and appointed custodians and officials will be in a similar state to that of the spectators?

Wordpress on Blogger?

Round about the time I started with my Wordpress for beginners, step by step tutorials, Terry asked me why I use BlogSpot instead of as a platform to rave on about Wordpress. To say that the question floored me would be an understatement. I mean, surely everyone knows that Wordpress is the best base on which to build a blog or content management system, so it’s natural to rave on about it. The ‘valid ‘part of the question is why I use Blogger as a platform, and not a Wordpress platform?

This actually had me thinking a bit, as my decisions regarding the platform had been made so deeply in my sub-conscious that I had to dredge them out of the dark and gloomy depths of what may have been a promising intellect 50 years ago. After some dusting and shining, a good wash and a steam clean, I was able to fully understand my now sanitised reasoning process.

And it’s actually very simple.

Wordpress is recognized internationally as the best blog/cms platform system.
Between Terry and me we have 9 websites/blogs to look after. 7 Are ours, Terry has a personal (free) blog, and I have a personal (free) blog.
Our main website has two blogs. With the exception of the ‘personal’ blogs, all our blogs are Wordpress. The remaining 3 are BlogSpot.

We don’t have really enough time to spend blogging.
Due to the fact that Wordpress is so powerful (although easy to use), it takes a bit longer to post on Wordpress than it does on BlogSpot. Time is an issue for us.

Wordpress is great for search engines. BlogSpot is okayish.

We earn a living on the internet. For that reason we need to monetize, or be able to monetize on every word we publish to the internet. We could get free blogs from, but as I have just mentioned, we need to monetize. On we cannot. On BlogSpot we can.

This is my personal blog; Terry’s personal blog is also on BlogSpot. When we get our own hosted (Wordpress) blogs we will move together, but for now, we stay here.

If you want an internet presence, think about your options carefully. For personal use, or for a club, consider using a free service. If monetizing is a factor, BlogSpot is the way to go. If (somewhat limited) flexibility is what you want, with an awesome collection of themes, is your choice.

For a business of any sort, and I cannot stress this enough, your own hosted domain is the only option. Free options are cool, and don’t cost much, but you and your business will lose credibility, and that will cost a packet.

Wordpress logo:Design by Rohman Abdul Manap (
Blogger logo: Mysitemyway ETC Network  (

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wordpress for beginners, step by step, Part 5

Work pressure is still pretty heavy, but I do need a break, and I will have one.

For your convenience, click here to go to the Wordpress tutorial list , which will provide a convenient starting point for you to follow through from.

The image below will show you where to find the access points to Posts and pages on your dashboard. Note that the Posts button is placed second from the top, and the Pages button is the fifth button.

This particular post is about the one thing that upset me most about Wordpress, and which, once it fell into place, made so much sense. In the Wordpress world not much importance is given to Pages. Pages are like the poor cousins in a family, they're there, everyone knows they are, but no-one talks about them.

Posts are what makes a blog go around. Posts are what bloggers add to their Wordpress website to get their current most important earth shattering news out to the world. The image shows you where to find the access points to your Posts options.

When writing your first post, relax, it is easier to do than it is to describe. If you're able to read this, you will be able to post a Post. 

You click on 'Add New', and when it opens, just fill in the fields. Thats it. I'll tell you what else needs doing in a separate post about Wordpress 'Posts'.


A wordpress Page is pretty important to your website. Create your pages to tell your visitors about yourself, your business, your cat, whatever. Your Wordpress pages need to be viewed as being the backbone of the rest of your wordpress website, as it needs to be there to support everything else you say. Your Pages add solidity, as they very seldom change.

A cautionary word about the Pages. By the very design of the Wordpress system, it does kind of discriminate against Pages. Typically, pages are in a horizontal navigation bar mear the top of the page.

This does not allow for too many pages, so it is essential to plan your pages very well. I have found several themes that won't wrap (go to a new line) the navigation bar, but push the navigation bar so far off to the right that the website is lost.

It is possible to add a pages widget to a sidebar, but this too has its drawbacks, and we will look at that later when talking about widgets and plugins. For now, use your pages, but be conservative.

The image above will show you where to find the access points to both Pages options.

A full list of Wordpress step by step tutorials for beginners is here: Wordpress tutorial list

Thursday, May 13, 2010

And so I lay it down to rest...

Being a website designer is something like being a mechanic, or a shrink. You never know just what the hell is going to come into your life next. Obviously you do try to cover all the posibilities, but sure as apples fall from trees and the sun is going to rise, somewhere out there, is a dreaded lurgie..

In the web design world, possibly the greatest lurgie is the question:"Which effing browser?".

Microsoft had the browser market sewn up with the Internet Explorer range, but, and there is always a but, the earlier versions of IE were not fully W3c standards compliant. This means that IE interpreted rules either not at all, incorrectly, or differently.

Now, just because they were the most popular browser, they did not try to convince the world that they were in fact correct. IE tried to correct their problems by releasing newer versions of Internet Explorer. For many it was too little, too late, and support for IE started waning.

Firefox is the great new flavour amongst internet browsers, and is widely supported, actively maintained and updated, as well as being faster and more stable than any of the IE browsers. Google chrome is growing nicely, and may be worth watching.

In my day to day activities as a website designer I work between the crappiest currently supported IE browser, and Firefox. What i tell my coding to display, and how it is interpreted is not always the same amongst the browsers, so I spend a lot of time checking, checking checking.

Possibly the easiest route would be to scrap IE or Firefox, but, we want to give our clients the best, so, we put in the time.

Sadly(?), this morning, I had to have IE6 put down. When I started work this morning, IE6 crashed. I tried to revive it, and after some thought decided that it was now time to get out of the past and start moving forward. I went online with my default browser, Firefox, and downloaded IE8.

I would encourage internet users to move away from IE6 now. It is old, cranky, buggy, slow, and although it can still be downloaded, won't be supported for much longer.

For dedicated Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer users, go to the Microsoft website and upgrade to IE8.

For a great experience with useability and user friendliness, with tons of extras and loads of features, get Firefox from this site

If you like slick, lean, fast browsing, get Google Chrome

TnT Unlwashed website design, photography, and writing services will no longer be supporting any IE browser supported prior to IE7. Should any of our sites have display problems please be aware that it is probably because you are using an old browser.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I haven't forgotten about Wordpress step by step for beginners.

Hi All. I do apologise for the silence and lack of activity here.

We are close to the final stages with an auction website. It was loaded to the server a while back, and modifications and upgrades have been happening, all of which take up precious time.

This post is to introduce a feature that will continue throughout the Wordpress for beginners tutorial series.

I will be creating a wordpress page, the link will be in the top bar, just below the banner, and the will have a list of the articles on it. This can be used as a reference later.

For your convenience, click here to go to the Wordpress tutorial list .

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick, simple, and tasty Boerewors rolls

It was me in the kitchen this evening, and due to a last minute errand I was unable to start my kitchenary exploits on time.

When we got back it was pretty much straight to pot and pan duty.

Due to the time restraints, I did not do all I was going to, but was still pretty impressed with the results. It was destined to be Boerewors rolls all along, but I was going to create some of my tomato and onion relish to go with it.
Guess what?
No tomato and onion relish!

If you're trying to get ahead of me, and you have your pan and your oil ready, rather than carry on, go shoot yourself through the head.

Cooking oil, and any other fat, do not get used with sausage. Ever. Period!

About 6mm of water into the pan, pan onto the stove, and stove turned up high.

I bought Vincent Spar's farm style boerewors, and their plain beef sausage. I usually get Vernon's Braaiwors, but we had no reason to go to OK foods today. The sausages were divided into 4, twisted, and cut on the twist.

Sausages were dumped into the pan, and then re-arranged a bit.

I chased the rolls (still in the plastic packet) throught he microwave for about 15 seconds, and then left them to recover a bit after the ordeal. While the rolls recovered and the sausage cooked, I got the plates out, got a knife or several ready, and then scrounged through the grocery cupboard, looking for suitable condiments.

I try to mentally 'taste' a meal while I'm preparing it, to see how various things will complement each other, or, bring out various flavours I want highlighted. This is what I was now doing, looking for complementary flavours.

Tomato sauce, chutney, mustard sauce, and then finally, a sweet chilli sauce. With all this ready, and the sausage just starting to catch, I first added a touch of water to the pan. as the water spread around, I wiggled the sausage closest to the boiling bubbling water loose from the pan, and turned it over.

With all the sausages turned, a few more mm of water, and then to the rolls.

Serrated knife, slice the top of the roll. Marge into the roll. Chutney, about a tablespoon full. Mustard the same. Then the same of tomato sauce. Only 2 people get chilli, and then its not too much.

Sausages are ready, that is, starting to catch again. Same as before, a little water, and a little wiggle. Get all the sausages loose, and then dive into action.

Each person gets a piece of boerewors, and a piece of beef sausage. The sausages are introduced to the rolls, and the rolls are introduced to the consumers.

All done. What you should do, is pour the pan 'juice' over your Gilly's food. She will totally dig you for it.

Anyway, cheers, its eating time,
Lekker vreet!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

To my Mother, who died in January 2007

To Mom.

I took this photo with my cell phone camera in Deptember 2006. It was the last time I saw my Mom

This is a letter long unwritten, and that should have been written many, many years ago.

Thinking back, I'm sure that the last time I wrote to you was during my National Service. After that it was a matter of picking up a telephone, or popping around to visit when I had nothing else to do. As time went by, contact between us, from my side, became more infrequent.

Your children had moved on with our lives, and you were'nt getting younger. I invited you to come live with us. You would have your own cottage, and could live independently, yet know that at any time I would be there.

Still, I went my own way, although I did pop in for a quick tea and chat in between everything else. Spending time with you was not vital, because after all, you were right there.

After Dad passed on, you moved back to Cape Town, and although I regularly promised to visit, even if just for a weekend, I never had the time, although there was plenty of it.

I did eventually get to visit you. But it was only because you had fallen, and were bed-ridden. The likelihood of your ever walking again was minute, and it was a certainty that you would not return home.

4 months later you moved again, to join Dad. Your last move.

Mom, I just want to tell you, that just knowing you were there was an anchor in my life.

I want to tell you, that all those times, as  a growing child, a young adult, and even as a not so young parent, every time I told you I love you, I didn't mean it.

I was just repeating a phrase that i had been taught.

Now only, now that i cannot pop in for tea and a chat, that I cannot phone you, ask for advice, tell you about my week, offer a little help, do I realize how important you are to me. Now only, when I tell you I love you do I know what I mean.

I haven't seen you since September 2006, but you are with me every day. Thank you for that. I love you Mom!

Motor car insurance in South Africa

The past while we have had a few niggly little problems with the red car. The cherry on top came yesterday afternoon, when the little red car developed a painful accellaration hiccup. I checked it out this morning and I'm sure I solved the problem.

The entire episode brought insurance cover to mind. The red car does have insurance cover, but, as with any insurance cover policy, it is unclear exactly what your cars cheap insurance covers. Hm? Does medical aid come to mind?

Finding a suitable policy for your cars cheap insurance is not difficult, and is not a rocket science. Using Google, type in "car insurance", and you will have a myriad of choices to explore to find your cars cheap insurance.

While researching this article I was obviously looking for low insurance quotes, and for that purpose I selected three websites at random, and visited them, to see how each of the businesses would be able to accommodate my quest for low insurance quotes.

The results of my queries are personal, but here is my commentary about the 3 sites I visited for my low insurance quotes.
This is, without a doubt, a high level marketing tool, optimised for Search engine findability, and linking to several car insurance companies. My problem with this site only really came about when I clicked the button to get a quote. I was re-directed to another website. Not good. Although this is the first site I comment on, I personally don't like underhand tactics, and I do not recommend using this site.
Get insured, if I am correct, is part of a grouping of similar sites where a consumer can get several quotes for a particular product or service. I especially like the short form you fill in, to generate 12 (or so they claim) quotes from different companies. What I am not too keen on, is that my info can be shared with anyone get-insured feels like. I have no control over that. However, if they're serious, and conscientious, my info should be safe enough.
I do have one active link to get-insured.
My favourite of the 3. The website opens fast, it is clean, and easy to use. This is obviously a business site, and the aim is to deliver quotations based on information provided. The site is attractive, and uncluttered. It is almost natural that you just start filling in your details. What is especially nice, is that although dialdirect are brokers, you car insurance policy is with them, not a third party whom you have never heard of.
Definitely linked to.

Other sites to look at are:

UPDATE (3 December 2011)
I went and had a quick look at Fast loading, and clearly designed to get your quote to you as quickly as possible. My only problem is that they are obviously brokers, which raises concerns about my privacy, and the confidentiality of my personal details.

I sincerely hope this article helps you find the low insurance quotes you need, to keep your car healthy and alive.

Good Luck!
-- caveat emptor --

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners, part 4

Hi again.

So far you're still waiting for money to pay me for a new Wordpress website, and to pay for the new domain name that you have almost decided on. At this point you need to remember the hosting also needs to be paid, so, right after this, e-mail your aunt and let her know how much more you will need. For a year it will be R780-00, and you get the best Wordpress hosting anyone could want.

I did miss writing Wordpress. Step by step for beginners, part 4 last night due to real work commitments, so this lesson had to be postponed.

Wordpress purist wannabes will try to involve you in adding widgets, and activating Akismet, but I really don't see the point. Akismet is an anti-spam plug-in, and for a site that has no traffic yet, and even less content, Akismet is just not necessary.

Anyway, we activate it for you, and adding other Wordpress widgets comes later. In point of fact, when we first start talking to you, we find out exactly what it is you want your website to do, and we will load up to two widgets for you. In addition to that, we will send you to look at themes.

Themes dictate what your site will look like. You tell us what you like, and we load and activate your first free Wordpress theme for you.

If you want slight alterations made to the appearance of your theme, our generosity disappears. You will have to pay for that.

Please understand, we do try to give as much as we can, but we do also need to make a living, as this is our business. We do make some money on the hosting, and we do take a handling fee on the domain registration. These fees cover our costs. On top of that we charge R120-00 to load Wordpress, a theme, and two Wordpress widgets. We don't make much, so please, don't ask for discount.

People are just people, and their likes and dislikes change. Wordpress know this, and to keep you happy they provide, free of charge, 1193 (and counting) themes for you to choose from.

To change a theme, go to your dashboard. A little way down the left is a button that says:"Appearance". Click it.

It will open, and look something like this:

Click on "Add new themes".

Click on the image above to enlarge it, and you will see that this page is an extremely comprehensive search filter. My problem with it is that very often the designer's tags, on which the search is based, and my kinda english are not the same. So, what I do, is I start my search with just a single color. You can do the same. Click in the box next to the colour, scroll down, and click "find themes".

Once you have found the free Wordpress theme you want, it is plain sailing.

Preview the theme, click install, and let Wordpress do its magic. When the theme has been loaded to your server, you get a message that says "Activate". Click on the word "Activate".

Now go to the top left of your monitor where it says "visit site", and go visit your now re-themed site.

I may have mentioned it before, but if I have not, Wordpress is Awesome!

In the next Wordpress:Step by Step for beginners we're going to take a look at the difference between a Wordpress Page and a Wordpress Post. This is probably the one area that most confuses new Wordpress users.

Until then, rest well...

The full, growing list of Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials is here 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Liver Steak with onions

As a one time bachelor, I had to learn to feed myself. That was easy, a tin of something heated in the kettle that was boiling water for coffee did the trick. Then I aged a bit, settled down, and started playing around in the kitchen.

I found that cooking good wholesome meals is actually not that difficult. I have no clue about kilojoules and cholestrol and dietary fibre. My cooking is based on consumer reaction. YUM!, is where good food will be found.

One of my favourite meals, because it is so easy, is liver. There are probably millions of ways to prepare liver. This evening I did Liver Steak, and liver is not liver without onion, so, onion is there too.

Getting everything ready at the right time is an art, especially with liver, as it is so easy to overcook.

I selected 4 potatoes, scrubbed them, and put them on to boil.

Then, onto the onions. 6 of these indispensable kitchen veg were peeled, and reduced to slices. Somewhere about slicing onion 4 I switched the stove plate on, and dashed a promise of oil onto the bottom. Just enough to leave a layer of about 2 mm of oil in the bottom of the pot. The a slice of onion went in. I use that slice to gauge when the rest of the onion goes in.

When the onion slice in the pot is really hissing and spitting, with slightly burnty looking edges, the rest of the onions go in. The oil needs to be really hot. Stir the onions every now and then.

Now start getting everything else ready.

You will need:

The liver
Topping for the potato.

I used live culture yoghurt, real butter, a touch of grated carrot (for colour), and a pinch of dried parsley. At the end I decided to use black pepper as well.

I decided to thicken the onion mess, so it was 2 largeish tablespoons of Maizena into a large glass of water.

The liver on its own can be a bit bland, so I got some Worcester sauce, and some mustard ready for that.

By now the onions were nearly done, so I started the liver Steaks for Terry's folks. They prefer their meat very dead, so a bit longer on the stove was not a problem.

To do the liver, a lump of heart friendly margarine was tossed into a hot pan, and as soon as it was melted, the liver went in. What I have found is that if the liver is turned too soon, it takes longer to cook, and consequently the outsides go hard. To get away from this, I leave the liver on the side it went in. Then I add water to the pan, about 75ml at a time. I don't want to cool the pan down, I want to cook the liver. Quickly.

Between liver watching, I add the maizena stuff to the onions, and turn the heat right down. There is enough residual heat to keep the onions happy till the end.

You will see the liver cooking, it changes colour on the outside edges, and when the edges have changed colour all the way to the top, you can turn the liver.

 Sear the liver on the previously raw side, and keep the liver moist. Now, splash worcester sauce into the pan, and over the liver. Turn the liver, and slap a touch of mustard onto it. Keep it moist. Add water. Turn every so often.

Fish a potato out of the spud pot, cut a groove into it, introduce it to a teaspoon or so of yoghurt, and a teaspoon or so of heart unfriendly butter, scatter carrot, and then grate some black pepper over.

Decide a garnish is needed.
Quickly raid the fridge, yes, a tomato, and an apple. Great! Slice,slice, slice, slice!

Do another potato, and add the garnish to the prepared plates.

Plates to the stove, and ladle some onion onto it. Finally, the liver, on top of the onion.
Serve now!

Sod bon apetit, lekka vreet! Cheers!

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners, part 3

This evening I'm going to tell you how to go about changing your password in Wordpress.

I have no idea how other website hosts, or website designers do it, but this is how TnT Unleashed do it.

After loading the Wordpress website, during which we use our e-mail address, we get an e-mail, generated from within the system, with our username and password.

The password generated by Wordpress is an ugly thing, and no normal person can be expected to remember it. What we do is, we log in using the generated info.

A grungy redddy pinky message at the top of the control panel, just above "Dashboard", suggets you go change your password.

It even provides you with a link to click on that will take you the right page!
When you land on the page, you need to scroll down quite a way, as the password change section is very close to the bottom.

If at a later stage you need to alter the password, on the left of your screen, find the "Users" tab. Click on it. This will take you to a users list.

Let your cursor hover just below the user name, and a little red "edit" appears. Click it. This will take you to your profile page, and you can change your password.

This, for some reason, is a step that eludes many people, and is, in our opinion, extremely important, for website security reasons.

It is also an easy introduction to the Wordpress dashboard.

As website designers and website domain hosts, we are serious about the security of our clients websites, and safe passwords are the first step in website security.

Wordpress is loaded with 2 default themes. Are you, as a new Wordpress user, aware of how many Wordpress themes there are? At the time of writing, there are 1193 themes available, for FREE, on the Wordpress website. There are many thousands of other themes available, also free. That is what tomorrow is about. Theming your Wordpress website.

Till then, keep your domain name bubbling around, and start visualizing your new Wordpress website.

The full, growing list of Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials is here

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners. part 2

After posting Wordpress. Step by step for beginners last night, I got to thinking about the whole thing, and realized this is actually an almost incredibly large topic.

However, it is aimed at the new owners of brand new Wordpress blogs, and the aim is to go through the initial learning stages, step by tiny detailed step.

Before going near your blog, you need to get online first. To do this, you will need a domain name, and hosting. I did discuss this in Wordpress. Step by step for beginners. Before aranging hosting, you will need a domain name.

As mentioned previously, TnT Unleashed are Proudly South African, and because we are Proudly South African we support fifa 2010, Malema, vuvuzela wholeheartedly!

In conversation, late in the evening, you mention to a fellow imbiber that you have a website all about the mating habits of amoeba called .

You have lost a visitor, and a potential client. Your fellow sipping mate will NEVER remember the website address, and will NEVER get near it because he will NEVER get the spelling right! He, in all likelihood won't even remember the conversation, but that is not under discussion now.

4 Very Important Points arise:
Keep your domain name as short as you can.
Keep your domain name relevant
Your domain must reflect the brand you're trying to build
Don't use funny spelling in your domain name

The Movement for Global Co-Operation Wordpress 
website went live today (04/05/2010)

Here at TnT Unleashed we are able to register your domain name for only R120-00. Send us a list of 3 domains, in order of preference, and we will do what needs doing for you! 

 This is a short contribution in itself, but we will be tackling a few of the most important pointers for maximising the use of your wordpress website very soon.

As the series grows I will be re-arranging the numbering to make it more logical, and I will (hopefully) soon be posting the planned curriculum, to help not only you, but help keep me more focussed.

Your overnight task? Start a list of domain names you think will suit you, your business, and your wordpress website. It will seem daunting, but without any conscious thought the right name will come to you.

Good Luck!

The full, growing list of Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials is here

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners.

I dig Wordpress. It's FREE, it's really cool, and it's a great bit of software that deserves a base price increase of at least R2500 to R3000 per installation. It does tons more than custom software that costs twice that!

What is not that cool about Wordpress is the often ridiculous amount of time we spend getting clients going with their brand new Wordpress blogs. For that reason, I'm slowly but surely going to compile a set of online notes for wannabe Wordpress users. We're pretty sure that even web designers will find these notes useful.

The scenario we will use is that of a client calling on a a web design company with the simple request:"I want a website that I can upload to myself".

A while back I for one would have tried to steer the conversation in another direction. Now? Eita, Wordpress is Gud, ya!

All the setting up of the domain name and the domain hosting is not the client's problem. Don't make it theirs.

Web designer, if you don't do domain registrations, or hosting, talk to TnT. We will give you an excellent re-seller package. Note, not price, package. We won't host you if you don't register with us. If you do go with us, you'll get a full on control panel with possibly the easiest Wordpress install you can imagine. NO knowledge of .php or MySql needed! Not only that, our servers support Wordpress, meaning no hassles with .php and sql databases.

For clients, why go to somebody else when we're right here to help you? We are confident that you will NOT get a similar Wordpress package anywhere for up to double what we will charge you.

Those that did not go down, stayed the same or went up!
Please check with us.

What do we charge? For your domain, which we really like, because we at TNT are proudly South African, you will pay R120-00.

The domain needs to be renewed every year, and that is currently also R120-00.

To be seen on the Internet, you need to have your Wordpress hosted on a reliable fast server, with unlimited traffic. There is nothing worse than having your website suddenly disappear because you have reached your traffic limit. This often happens late Friday afternoon, which means you're screwed until Monday. Another thing you need is enough space. We could give you less, but we have decided to give you more, so that you can comfortably grow into your space without having to worry about shitty (censored) ugly "YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR LIMIT!" messsages. Also usually Friday afternoons.

And then of course, hiccups. you want to know that you can contact your host, and get a response within a reasonable time frame, even over a weekend. That's us. We check e-mails constantly. We don't mind phone calls, but prefer e-mails. Speaking for myself, my memory is lousy, and I walk when I'm on the phone. So, what happens is that before the phone is cool, I have forgotten 80% of what I promised I would do!

For all this, R75-00 per month, or, if you would prefer it, R780-00 for the year. This is incredibly good value for your money.

Tomorrow I'm going to look at domain names, and how to choose the best name for your business.

Don't forget to:
  • comment
  • link to this post
  • share to facebook
  • share to Twitter
  • come back tomorrow
  • arrange the finance for your new Wordpress website
The full, growing list of Wordpress, step by step for beginners, tutorials is here

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    You will be punished!

    History is a bitch!

    Anyone who knows me from way back when, like back at Bosmansdam primary school, will know that I had a major problem with homework.

    Not that i couldn't do it, I just didn't want to do it. In fact, and this I remember so very very clearly, in standard 7at (Bosmansdam High) Accountancy, mrs Greeff (or was she still miss Dreyer?) chased me out of the class.

    Why? Because I told her I didn't feel like doing my homework! Hm. She stretched her neck, lifted her arm, pointed at the door and informed me that if that were the case, she didn't feel like teaching me...

    I'm going off topic here.

    Because i didn't dig homework, it is now being visited on me with a vengeance! Basti, in Gr7, the old standard 5, had me up and down and jumping through hoops with his bloody school project.

    When I'm re-incarnated, I'm going to be so damn diligent with my homework, that once I leave school it will become a memory, not the life threatening curse it is now!

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    Real meals, and real people.

    I am not a chef. I do however enjoy cooking.

    I am not a gastronome, nor am I an epicurean. I do however enjoy food, and eating good food.

    Now, and this is a question I often ask myself, why the f^@k do these self appointed food fundis publish recipes, as being quick and easy and economical, with ingredients that "are already in your kitchen', when in fact, nothing that is needed can be bought outside of an upmarket deli, it is easy enough for a fourth year cordon bleu chef, quick if spending hours in a kitchen is not a long time, and economical only if you and another family member are employed by the government are filthy rich!

    Who the hell makes, and then eats food that has dribbles of syrup on a lone boiled half fig, garnished with truffles and green caviar?

    That is not food. That is an excuse to fill a magazine in order to impress upon normal real people how "out of touch with reality" they are. Bullshit. Its the same as trying to make a woman feel guilty because she has a figure. Real women don't go and shove their sleek pointy red fingernails down their throat .

    My bottom line?

    Magazines and their "real" food are in the same league as their "sexy" models.

    They exist in a highly exploitative environment.

    When last did you serve hottie cuzzin at dinner time?

    When last did you fit into a size 6?

    On Being a Winner!

    Ever since I first touched a real-life Hobie 14 in December 1972, i've had this long standing passion for sailing.

    So much so, that in March 1975 I was able to buy my own dinghy, a very battered and neglected Dabchick, and then re-vamp it, so that it could be sailed. Along the way I learnt much about boats, sailing, and myself.

    By 1977, I wasn't spending much time sailing my own boat, as I was involved in school rugby, and sailing Mosquito catamarans. At that stage I had progressed to a Sprog, and my folks had bought a Tack, which later made way for an Extra. By the end of 1977, a career in sailing seemed a good idea to me. The only problem with that is that back then professional sailing was, as now, in South Africa, not really a good career move.

    I had the technical building skills, and although I am NOT a natural sailor, I worked hard at it, and in my opinion, I was pretty good.

    The years progressed, I didn't go near a sailing dinghy for a long time. For a short while I did have a little dinghy, but sold it just before moving to Bloemfontein. Just before moving to Bloem I acquired a Marblehead radio controlled model racing yacht, to the 247 design.

    In Bloem was a very active radio controlled model racing yacht club, and I joined up with them. Club politics, and members moving away pretty much killed the club, and I contributed to the near extinction by becoming unemployed. At the time I had been playing around with a very crude IOM class yacht, which was not well received at the club.

    Ten years, and a lot of lonely sailing later, I reconnected with Shaun Carroll, who had started sailing again, and slowly but surely, together with Kobus de Beer and Marcelle Keyser we got the club going again.

    For a very minor sport we showed good growth, and it was eventually not unusual to have ten or eleven boats on the water.

    And here is where I tie in with the title to this post.

    Although I sailed reasonably well at club level, I would come apart at any other level, generally being the guy who made sure that nobody would have to embarrass themself by admitting to have come last.

    Did this bug me? No. I enjoyed the competition, getting new members, the promotion of the sport, and yes, even sailing my heart out, just to come last.

    Winning is not everything. I know winners who were miserable about their performance. Winning is having that good feel, just because you were there!

    I'm sailing RSA79, at the Free State Provincial Champs in 2005.