Rate this translation

Heading down to Agulhas today, so here are a couple of Facebook’s translation efforts from the local group down there. Because who could forget Election Rib Frame, and all the hilarity that went with it.

Facebook’s translation software is good, but it’s really not perfect. Especially when it comes to Afrikaans.

“Rate this translation”?
Literally: very good. Actually: Ridiculous.

Or this one:

Anyone get this one? Yes. It’s the cure for moles. Not the ones on the skin around your ass. The small f*&^#*g mammal that digs up your garden.

But Facebook can’t work out the context here, because the Afrikaans word “gat” meaning “hole” is also the slang for “ass”. (Incidentally, the word “slang” is Afrikaans for “snake”, which is probably your best bet for sorting out a mole problem, but still…)

So breaking down the edges of the hole and putting ground (not instant) coffee in there is apparently the way forward. Moles don’t like it. Silly creatures.

Or just scratch your ass open and pour coffee. Whichever you fancy more.

First lit 175 years ago

Happy 175th Birthday to this old place:

A sandstone tower 27 metres high, it was first lit on the 1st of March 1849, it’s been lighting the way around the dangerous Cape Agulhas rocks ever since (well, it took a bit of time out between 1968 and 1988, but we don’t mention that). From burning sheep tail fat (1849 -1905) to an oil lantern (1905 – 1929) to a petroleum vapour burner (1929 – 1936) to an electric light bulb (1936 – [1968 & 1988 – shhhh!] to the present day), it’s a National Monument, a Western Cape Heritage Site and an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.


And as the sun sets in Agulhas this evening, it’ll be on duty again: its lamp and first order Fresnel lens generating 7,500,000 candela, flashing white every five seconds, piercing the darkness for 30 nautical miles (56 km, 35 miles).

Happy Birthday, old chap.

That’s not me

“Suggested for you”, said my Spotify. And then proceeded to come out with a stream of diverse artists such as Britney Spears, Frank Sinatra, The Troggs, Nat King Cole and Fleetwood Mac.

And Selena Gomez.

Oi! Spotify! No!

Have we not been together for a number of years now? What are you thinking? Literally none of those appeal to me in the slightest. Sure, they may each have had a hit (or maybe two) which I have heard in the last few years, but that was it.

In fact, so bizarre was the selection presented, that I’m even wondering if my account has been hacked: maliciously like my bank card or just as some sort of mildly elaborate sick joke. Think about it – it’s the perfect way to get at someone: invading, influencing and ruining their most personal moments by wreaking havoc in their algorithm. And then the soundtrack for their next plane trip or exercise session will be trashed.

The only sad bit is that you’ll never even know if it worked. Unless they write a blog post about it.

Well done, whoever you are (it’s probably my daughter). You got me.

ON THAT NOTE (no pun intended), here’s my 2024 Spotify Playlist. Which contains all the good stuff that isn’t the stuff mentioned above.

Click through, hit random and have fun. I’ll keep adding the good stuff as I hear it.

My Sunday

Yes, yes. A few days early or late, but that doesn’t really matter.

If you were about my age in the UK when I was my age in the UK, then you might remember Timmy Mallett and his Wide Awake Club on ITV: a Saturday morning staple. The co-star for some of the series was wildlife expert and now Hout Bay resident Michaela Strachan.

It also featured Mallett’s Mallet: a massive foam hammer.

But that’s beside the point.

Wide Awake Club ran until 1989, and was followed by Wacaday, which ran during the school holidays.

In 1990, Mallett released a cover version of Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini with Bombalurina. It reached number 1 and, together with its Europop vibes, it was the perfect song for him: deliciously wacky and zany and juvenile and just silly.

Quite reasonably, I’d forgotten all about Timmy Mallett until I came across the piece below, published in a UK Sunday supplement.

And it’s amazing.

It’s all massively Monty Pythonesque and wholly fabricated, except, you kind of get the idea that some of it might not be. But, like watching Bob Mortimer on WILTY, you’ve really no idea which bits are made up, which are genuine, and which are “embellished truths”. Whichever they are, they conjure up some wonderful mental images.

Anyway, you’ve likely read enough of my spoutings, so do take a minute or two to properly read Timmy’s.

What happened here?

I’m heading up North next week to do some stuff. I was having a quick look at the flight I’ll be taking, and I’m not sure what happened to it a couple of weeks ago:

That’s a lot of “Diverted to CPT”. And CPT is where it set off from. Bit weird.

All those flights seem to get close though, although they also all seem not to have landed, only dropping to around 4,000m before turning and heading back.

My best guess is that there’s some sort of “not switching the ADS off or on”, and the diversion to CPT is merely the return flight; the anomaly just being the landing (or lack of it) up at the other end. It’s also worth noting that almost all the flights that were “Diverted to CPT” were on ZS-CMD, and all of them were on Mitsubishi CR9s. The problem seems to go away when they ran a Beech 1900D on the route.

A turbo-prop. That would be my first one in SA, and my first one since that horrific landing at LCY last July. Limpopo next week then. Or CPT, depending on what plane I get.