Of Coffee And Shiny New Lessons

If you were having coffee with me we would be trying out my shiny new kettle……

Shiny Africa .jpg

I would thank you for visiting and let you know that you are like my shiny new kettle, with the wonky instructions manual, hard to understand but absolutely worth it……

instructions

if you can make sense of this…..

In case you are curious and wondering what happened to the old kettle…. I tried to fix it and I failed… I also learnt a few things too…

old kettle.jpg

You know when an appliance comes with the warning tag No User Serviceable Parts, what they mean is Do Not Attempt To Fix This by Yourself unless you are trained professional but I still insist on taking it as a personal challenge……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that there are lots of things I have learnt, which is my fancy way of telling you that I may or may not have made some mistakes in life….

Things I learned not to do in life……..

Never Ever:

  • Check the temperature of water in a kettle by dipping hand into the kettle….
  • Touch hot stove tops……..
  • Kick at snakes venomous or otherwise, in fact, snakes should just stay away from me please and thank you …….
  • Poke wasps nests with a stick……..
  • Play in traffic……..
  • Look for shoes under the bed with a candle…
  • Super glue fingers together…
  • Lick the inside metal of the freezer…
  • Put metal objects in electricity outlets….
  • Lick electric wires to taste check if there is power….
  • Look under a lawnmower to see why it’s making so much noise……….
  • NOT Check the ceiling height and clearance for low hanging chandeliers and any other ornaments before tossing a toddler into the air over your head….
  • And when I write a book to check for errors extensively before I have it published
  • and lastly……
    never……
    ever …….. look inside a lady’s handbag….

If you were having coffee with me I won’t tell you what I saw, but I have learnt my lesson, curiosity kills nine lived cats and I have only one.

How has your week been? I hope your weekend is going great.

If you were coffee with me, I would tell you that I have been following social media commentary on a book titled From A to B written by South African TV personality Bonang.

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Her book has been making a buzz because of typos and grammar problems. It is kind of weird to note most of the people who have suddenly become book critics well havent read the book but have just seen the same screenshot(s) from the book circulating on the interweb and have formed opinions and made remarks of not only the book, but the author as well, as if one wakes up and decides what typos should I make in my book today. Ironically enough I spotted a tweet or two with grammar atrocities busy making fun of Bonang’s typos……

While I am not excusing the author, I mean one owes it to the people who are going to spend their hard earned money on you to create something worth their time and the publishing companies ought to do their due diligence instead of damage control

What do you think?

~B

 

 

photocredit Bonang Instagram

 

Of The Guide To Fixing Things

 

I am a fixer.

I am a fixer not exactly in the way Shonda Rhimes’s creation Olivia Pope from the series Scandal is The Fixer.

ABC's "Revenge" - Season Three

Gladiator in a hat

I fix things, broken things *read as appliances, broken people are something else all together* When something stops working, before I call a specially trained technician, I try to see if I cannot fix it all by myself.

The way I figure it out is that you can’t really kill something that is already dead…….. and when I see the warning tag on appliances that says:

noparts

Challenge accepted

I take that as a personal challenge… BRING IT ON! Never dare me to a challenge, I accept.

But I am not reckless in my pursuit for fixing things; I adhere to a strict code of D.I.Y rules:

RULE 1 – If it ain’t broken Do Not fix it; this is very important, this is how you kill things, going on and messing around with a perfectly good working thing. (with people so as with appliances)

RULE 2 – A non-working appliance cannot  get any “deader”… I mean it was dead before I killed it, right?

RULE 3 – Before you get carried away with screwdrivers and such, try switching it OFF (praying a little) and then switching it ON again, it just might start working, like magic or a miracle. Imagine how you would feel when that’s all the repairman does and then bills you, or even worse they pretend to have done extensive work .

android-power-button-not-working-cover2x

off & On

RULE 4 – when the above fails now you can be screwdriver happy and disassemble. You open it up, check for broken or unsecured connections even burnt bits, or anything weird, like if something that should be moving isn’t moving oil it, if something that should not be moving is moving super glue it, dirty terminals clean them.

RULE 5 -put everything back together, as much as possible the way it was before, do not be too worried about leftover screws; those guys use way too much anyway. Now, cross your fingers and try switching it on, mind that nothing explodes and be ready to switch it off if it acts up…. If it works congratulations we don’t really know what you did but it worked you are a fixer (thats how they do it too do not be fooled)… if it doesn’t work now you can call in the professionals and when they do fix it peer over their shoulders see everything they do see where you went wrong, or what you missed so that if this happens again you can now do it by yourself #LifeHack

RULE 6  Do try not to get yourself electrocuted, it’s quite shocking really.

And next I have a few open letters I want to share with the manufacturers of appliances:

Dear People

who manufacture appliances with impossibly weird-shaped screws how am I supposed to unscrew and fix them?

~P.S. I don’t like you

 

Seriously  what’s up with that

Dear people

Who make appliances held together with nothing but cleverly concealed clips which you can’t open without breaking I don’t like you either

and lastly

Dear Manufacturers why do you not include actually useful information in the instructions manual of appliances, like I don’t know a detailed schematic diagram showing screws, circuitry and everything? 

~B

Disclaimer: I am not a trained technician, and should you follow anything you read here and blow things up please do not cite my blog as your source and I think you might void your warranty if you attempt this at home or at work, try it at your neighbour’s house instead. You are welcome

PS  The thingie inside a microwave oven called a magnetron is horribly complicated….

PPS meanwhile in other news I need a new microwave oven……….

Photocredit Olivia Pope: Huffington Post

Of remembering the dead

R.I.P.

Funerals are more an affair for the living than for the dearly departed, a closure (of sorts) and a start, at healing (never completely). The place they (the dead) lay in the ground to sleep or dream (do they dream, the dead?) or whatever they do for all eternity, well it might be just a hole in the ground, but it is an anchor you can go back to, to remember, to heal, to accept.

My family always makes it a point to remember, we go where our loved ones rest, fairly regularly and make sure its looking decent, weeding and fresh flowers (can artificial flowers be called fresh, Anyone?)

My sister (bless her soul, its been two years now) is buried at Warren Hills Cemetery…

Recently we were there, as so do people go to commemorate their fallen heroes on heroes day, and couldn’t help remember, some previous visits.

The first time I went back there, after the funeral, I had the most unpleasant shock, I could not find the graveside, the whole graveyard was overrun with weeds and I could not find the little sign post, (which some enterprising entrepreneur had charged me an obscene amount of money to put up, on the day of the funeral…) We finally found the site with help from the caretakers who “work” there, and who found the graveside by a mixture of sheer luck, guesswork and some weird extrapolation involving date of death.

I was absolutely appalled at the state of the cemetery, you wonder how people neglect their dearly departed, but it might not even be intentional at that, one would think these caretakers would you know take care of the mundane details (maybe they do not get paid enough or they just hate their jobs or both)

I remember on the day of the funeral, the same individual who I paid to make the sign post, also told me that “For an ‘extra fee’ they would keep an eye on the graveside, weeding, watering the flowers and would take my number in order to call me, if ever a ‘situation’ happened, such as vandalism (which does happen) or a cave in, or any unexpected event.

Zombie stuff

Unexpected event: zombie stuff

You never know with dead, I guess I have seen enough the movies and have a healthy imagination a tad overactive (you know when you say rest in peace to the dearly departed you are just basically saying in fancy way “hey, No Zombie Stuff

We all agreed, that this seemed like a good arrangement and we pulled our resources and added the ‘extra fee’ for the peace of mind.

Well they never called me; so I assumed it was all gravy in the navy.

Boy was I wrong.

After the ordeal of locating the grave, we discovered; the vandals had struck, which is why, it had been extra hard to find the place. Vandals might be wrong word for them more like thieves, because everything was gone, stolen from the bricks lining the grave, to the flowers and ornaments, even the signpost that marked the site, (who steals from the dead? one just has to wonder I was informed they resell all the stuff back to new clients, bereaved families saying goodbye to their loved ones, whom they will probably steal from again to sell yet again and again, enterprising criminal  entrepreneurs)

So all that was left was just a mound of earth, completely overrun with grass like some abandoned wilderness….

…I had no words…

If I did not have the caretakers with me, confirming the numbers (apparently the graves have numbers like a post office box hahaha it was either laugh or cry so I laughed instead) I would have sworn it was the wrong place.

Anyway we eventually tidied up everything, including paying for another set of stones to line the edges of the graveside. As I was leaving one of the guys who had been helping us out says “Rasta, make us a lil something to buy a couple of cold ones and I will keep an eye out for vandals and water the flowers; flowers I am going to plant, immediately, as soon as you leave…..

Sounds like some organised extortion racket, but I gave, in after the shock, I had had, paying seemed the logical plan. We all agreed, again.

The next time I was there, there was no sign of anything having been planted or any other work done, fortunately the weeds weren’t bad, being after the rainy season. The very same guy walks up to me, before I even say “hello” says to me “Ah Rasta about those flowers, nothing grows in the winter season not even the weeds so will take care of it in summer, anyway make a lil something…”

A few days ago marking the second year of her passing we went to lay fresh flowers, to accept and to heal (never completely)

and Life, well it goes on….

~B

Ps If you want something done right; you do it yourself, no truer words have been spoken