Day 566 – Captain Kirk goes to space

In the New Space Race, it seems that for at least one company, PR is everything. The other one seems more concerned with actually doing useful stuff, which I much prefer, but on this occasion, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin won my attention and my viewership:

There’s something amazing about the oldest man to go to space (7km over the Kármán line, nogal) being the most famous fictional space captain ever. And the emotion when he came back down. So very touching.

What you have given me is the most profound experience.
I am so filled with emotion with what just happened.
I hope I never recover from this.

And everyone came back safely. Which was… lucky.

It felt like I was watching a TV drama or a screenplay or maybe a computer simulation. The drones, the graphics, the rockets. Until he actually started speaking. And then you realise that it’s actually all for real.

What a time to be alive.

Day 565 – Testing my limits

Sorry for not getting back to you yesterday. I quite literally ran out of energy.

This isn’t unusual at the moment.

I’ve been pushing myself a bit for the last couple of days. And with a good reason. I’ve inadvertently(?) signed up for a trip to Robben Island, helping to manage about 40 (forty) 12-year-olds on a school visit. And something, I’m not sure quite what, is telling me that I’m going to have to be a bit further on in fitness and general recovery than I am now if I’m going to survive.

I have two weeks.

Last year’s trip was something very special, and I’m very privileged to have been asked along this time as well. But I’m mindful that I didn’t have Covid last time around. This time I’m still struggling a bit and the trip is an extra day. But there’s a whole weekend to sleep through just afterwards, so I’m sure I’ll be ok.

Step counts into the 12,000s for the last two days indicate that I’ve been testing my limits and – while I’m very fatigued by early evening – I have prevailed. It’s also been very good for the list of jobs around the house, many of which have been put on hold for the last three months.

Corner turned? Maybe.

I might even try a bit of a run tomorrow (or I might not).

Right now, I have some business in Claremont to attend to before 5:30, so let me go and do that before I fall asleep.

Can I stay up til kick off in the England game tonight (8:45pm)?
Will it be worth it if I do?

Day 563 – Fire down south

We weren’t in Agulhas this weekend, but since late this morning, we’ve been following the progress of a bushfire in Struisbaai, from afar.

Google Maps’ new wildfire layer isn’t active here yet (or anywhere else?), so this is from AFIS. And despite some of the blocks covering some of the houses, thanks to the work of the Overberg FPA and their firefighting pals, nothing of value has been damaged. Yet.

May be an image of standing, fire and outdoors

“Yet” because the fire is still not under control:

This fire has a high risk of further spread. Wind conditions are not favourable.

It’s likely to spread west, driven by the strong northeasterly wind that’s blowing down there at the moment. And that’s bad news for the Agulhas National Park and – potentially – for Suiderstrand (red dot):

…both of which which lie pretty much due west of Struisbaai.

I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on the official information channels over night, and hoping that the firefighters can get access to somewhere in front of the line and get a hold on the fire.

Safe out, guys.

* second image via Top Coastal Security

Day 562 – All the precautions in place

Great news! /s

The Jacob Zuma Foundation – essentially the organisation of his cronies who oversaw the theft of trillions of Rands during his presidential tenure – has announced a “Welcome Home Prayer Day” for their allegedly ailing idol.

Current Covid regulations allow for stupidly large gatherings of 750 indoors and up to 2000 outdoors, but the organisers of this event likely won’t give a flying fuck about those sort of rookie numbers. In fact, they’d love to make a statement of support for JZ while sticking a finger up at Cyril Ramaphosa’s government. It doesn’t look like they are planning to limit the how many people turn up:

“Everyone is welcome. No accreditation is required. People are encouraged to bring their own refreshments.”

said the Foundation’s chief spokesweasel, Mzwanele Manyi.

But if they are not taking precautions around the numbers of people present, are they at least putting some other measures in place to ensure that this won’t turn into a huge superspreader event?

Of course they are. They’ve got the big guy – almost as big as JZ himself – in:

“This occasion will take place in KwaZulu-Natal, eThekwini at the place called the People’s Park where God’s atmosphere will ensure that the coronavirus is blown away and not passed between the attendees.”

What (as I have asked so very often before) could go wrong?

And if this method is so successful, why haven’t we already applied it to other public places, like taxis, supermarkets, restaurants and actual public places?

“Sorry sir, you don’t appear to be wearing a mask as per or store’s regulations.”
“Oh, it’s ok, God’s atmosphere means that I can’t pass anything on.”
“Ah yes. Of course. Sorry to have bothered you. Have a great day.”

Could we maybe see if this might work for Ebola or HIV? Or even just the common cold?
How amazing would that be? Think of the millions of lives it could save.
But no, it seems that it’s just the People’s Park in eThekweni.
And even then just on Thursday.

From 10 o’clock.

Bring your own refreshments.

And when asked if JZ himself would be making an appearance?

“Look, as to whether President Zuma is going to be there on that day. Let’s just pray that he is there, but the situation is still fluid because President Zuma is still on medical parole. His condition is a fluid condition. We hope that on that day the doctors will allow him to be there. So we are hoping for the best.”

Is it too much to hope for that the fluid in question is incurable, chronic, runny diarrhoea? I don’t like to wish such nastiness on people generally, but I feel that this guy is a very deserving case.

Too sick to be in prison for contempt of court, very likely just well enough to turn up and sing and dance on a stage in front of his devotees. Bless those doctors and their amazing work.

And God’s atmosphere. Obviously.