Day 176 – Tracked

I’m going away this weekend and you know that because I’ve just told you, but apparently, the government will know that because I have the Covid tracker app on my phone.

“OMG!”

(some of) the nation cried.

“They want to track our every move.
They want to know where we go, what we do, who we meet, when we poo.
THEY WANT TO STALK US!”

Wow. How utterly dramatic and ridiculous and desperate.
(I’m talking about the people, not the government.)

Yep. Because if the government really wanted to stalk you, they’d probably just look at the data from your registered SIM card. So I guess that the fact that you haven’t been spirited away by clandestine extrajudicial forces just yet can only mean one of two things. Either they’re not actually tracking you after all, or they are tracking you but you’re so f____g dull and unimportant that they actually don’t give a toss what you do or where you go.

But there are other options for the SA spies and the CIA and Mossad and MI5.

Maybe they could look at your Instagram with the pictures of your car and your daughter all over it.
Maybe they could wander onto your Facebook or your Youtube or your Twitter profiles and extract information from there.
What about your licenced car(s)? Your firearm? Your ID book? Your driving licence? Your house insurance? Your GPS tracker on your vehicle?
What about your municipal rates bills? Your bank accounts? Your medical aid?

All that valuable – and often public – information about you, your life and your family so readily available, and yet there you are still living free and easy, almost as if the government doesn’t actually give a flying f__k what you’re doing.

But yeah, sure: they’re going use the information from the bluetooth on your phone to find you when you’re planning a coup d’etat going to Pick n Pay or playing with your kid in the local park, and fling you into Pollsmoor.

Day 172 – Spring clean

I have noticed that it’s time to have a Spring clean. Not in the house (although…), but online.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve blogged about this before (yes, here we are), but those little annoyances on Facebook and Twitter which you can ignore on a day to day basis can subconsciously mount up and you get to a point where actually, it’s just better to unfollow, mute, unfriend, block or otherwise rid your platforms of those individuals who are the repeated culprits.

Preserve your sanity and make each day just a little better.

I’m talking about those people who post on a single subject (it’s usually politics, but anything goes) to the exclusion of everything else. Now, please note that I’m not necessarily throwing anyone out based on their political views. I’m not one of those people who requires the perfect echo chamber to be able to use social media. I like the occasionally thought-provoking posts from those with different viewpoints, even when I don’t agree with them.
Equally, I’m always happy to see people validate my point of view. Of course I am. We all are.

But if you are posting n times daily solely about any one topic: be it Brexit or Cyril or Football or Covid, and nothing else, then I’m afraid* it’s goodbye.

 

I’m talking about those people who enter those “competitions” to “win” a car or a holiday. The ones where “last week’s winner, Becky R, wasn’t eligible to win the Land Rover Discovery because she was underage”. Never mind that the page didn’t even exist last week and you’ve just voluntarily supplied them with all your personal information to sell on. Muppets.

I love the reaction when a certain quizmaster calls them out on it:

Yeah, I know it’s not real, but what if it is?

wut?

If you are wondering why on earth those (mainly) Nigerian phishing schemes:

Hi Dear,
You have a donation of $3,800,000.00 ( 3 million and eight hundred thousand dollars).
My name is Richard Wahl from  united states. I won America lottery worth $533 million and I am donating a portion of it to 10 lucky people and a few Orphanage homes as a memorandum of goodwill to humanity. Kindly get back me via Email for more info.

are still ongoing, it’s because of people like these.

Goodbye.

 

And finally, I’m talking about those people posting cryptic statuses simply to elicit attention. The ones like:

Oh no. I can’t believe it’s happened again!

or

 Just got the greatest news!

These are just passive-aggressive cries of “Notice Me! Me! Me!”.

If it was so bad, why not tell us about it up front – or not at all? If it was so good, why not tell us about it up front – or not at all?

Yep. I know that I’m the one following you** suggesting that I am at least mildly interested in your life, but either tell me or don’t. I’m really not going to put in the time and effort to dig deeper only to find that your toaster is on the blink for the second time this year or that your local Pick n Pay have stock of your favourite sort of rooibos tea. (Please note that (however puerile it might seem), I would have no issue with you simply telling me that your toaster was broken or your tea was in stock – it’s the “mysterious” way you choose to do it that’s the problem here.)

No. Spare me.

 

And so, if you should fall into any of the above categories, you’re likely to find yourself expunged from my social media life in the very near future. I wouldn’t put up with it in real life, so why should I accept it online?

I’d like to say that it’s nothing personal, although of course, it very clearly is.

Cheerio!

 

* this is merely a figure of speech: I’m not actually afraid at all
** although not for much longer

Day 168 – Pandemic ends as parent is “so over it already”

Great news.

A parent on a local Whatsapp group has single-handedly ended the Coronavirus/Covid-19 world pandemic.

During a discussion around the need for safety protocols including sanitising your hands and wearing a mask* at an indoor venue, the parent happened to remark:

But really now I am so over this already

And added a facepalm emoji for extra gravitas (please note that touching one’s face is not recommended).

Anyway, it seems that someone important was reading the aforementioned Whatsapp group, as a statement from the SARS-CoV-2 virus was issued very shortly afterwards. It’s fairly lengthy, so I’m not going to share the whole thing, but here’s some of what the spokesperson had to say.

As the officially recognised causal agent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SARS-Cov-2 virus was both disappointed and alarmed to learn that one of the parents in the [redacted] Whatsapp group was “so over this already”. It was believed that the human population of the planet were at least content with the situation as it currently stands. We had no idea that people were unhappy with how things were going.
Someone should have said something.

While it was always our intention to kill as many people as possible – a goal assisted by individuals being “so over” wearing masks, washing their hands and socially distancing – we’d like to keep our relationship with mankind as amicable as possible, and so we will be ending the global pandemic with immediate effect.

We would have done this much sooner if we had known that really now people were so over this already.

So there you have it.

If only someone had made the point that really now they were so over this already previously.
We could have avoided an awful lot of fuss.

Personally, really now I’m so over people ignoring Covid-19 regulations because really now they are so over this already.

Want more regulations? Then just keep choosing to ignore the ones we have now.

Very straightforward stuff.

 

* clutches pearls, fans face, faints dramatically

Day 162, part 2 – Not out

Let the record show that while I was crossing Main Road in Kenilworth today, I was almost struck by a black Land Rover Discovery driven by an ex-South Africa cricket captain.

I had to take the evasive action, because he was busy on his cellphone. Hmm.

This may have been a warning shot ahead of some planned SA sportsperson revenge for when I almost hit Jean de Villiers outside the Vineyard Hotel while driving a Renault Clio in early 2006.

No cellphone was involved that time (he stepped straight out from behind the team bus),
but some rubber was left on the road. Some stains were left on my seat.

Day 21 (but actually Day 162) – Musically conflicted

Yesterday evening, my son asked me how many blog posts I had written on here. I had a quick look at my back end (careful now) and was able to give him an exact figure.

It’s 5236.

[audience gasps]

[see?]

Of those 5236 posts, 5230 have been published and are available for your reading “pleasure”.
Two more are sitting in drafts: one for legal reasons and one because it’s a test for a new app/plugin which I might try sometime in the future.

And then there are three posts which I have marked as private because I changed my viewpoint(s) on the contentious issues therein. Yes, I could simply delete them, but sometimes it’s worth (privately) revisiting and reviewing how you felt about something in 2009 and how you’ve matured and educated yourself in the intervening period.

Beagle-eyed readers will have done some rudimentary calculations and worked out that we’re still one short.

This can like to be that post.

I wrote it on April 16th – 21 days into our lockdown here in SA. But I never published it. If you go back to look at what I did publish on Day 21, you’ll see this:

I have no idea why this rather ordinary piece of writing and this rather ordinary photo managed to usurp my original planned effort. But it did.

As described above, there are a few good reasons for why the posts that you can’t see are where they are.

This one… not so much.

And so, for no other reason than to tidy up my drafts folder, here’s what I wrote about in my post for Day 21 of the lockdown. Just look at the first couple of lines.

Nothing has changed, has it?

Anyway, please enjoy it.
But watch out if you’re a fan of bagpipes. They don’t come out of this well.

______________________

 

Everyone’s fighting about hydroxychloroquine, face masks, Trump and lockdown.
Online is not a pleasant place to be. Except here, of course.

Or is it?
Because I’m about to share some really good music that’s arguably been ruined by the worst instrument in the world.

But has it actually been ruined?
The jury’s still out, because the song is really, really good and the worst instrument in the world has at least been through a bit of a production process and isn’t (quite) the usual horrific squawking sound like a seagull being sexually violated that bagpipes (yeah, I said it!) usually are.

As you can see, this is Conor Oberst back in his old guise as Bright Eyes, and this is just a beautiful story of a guy giving in – against his better judgement – to his ex-lover. It’s not clear if the ex-lover brings the surprise bagpipes, but that would make his (already likely flawed) judgement call even worse.

If the bagpipes bit was done on a synth, I’d be much, much happier. Completely at peace with continually listening to this and adding it to my Spotify playlists. Because otherwise, it’s lovely.

As it is, I’m having to limit the number of repeats in order not to drive myself up the flippin’ wall each time the Middle 8 comes around.