Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Wednesday, 31 May 2006

... a night of bliss

Well I was again surprised and treated last night by my new and improved husband.

He has become ever so sweet recently. I am very lucky :) While I have been a work-a-holic alternating with nervous-wreck in recent months, he has quietly and uncomplainingly been picking all my slack, from fetching and carrying kids, grocery shoppping, cooking, taping my favourite programs, making tea and coffee, giving me foot rubs and generally being kind and supportive and patient with me, and to be honest hasn't got a lot back in return. In the times I have not been working I have often gone off for a run to think and burn my nervous energy.

I am however very appreciative and grateful. Thank-you!!!!

Which brings us to last night when I was surprised anew. I was given a drink (Amarula - my favourite) and a note, after coming home from yoga, inviting me to go enjoy a relaxing bath, while the kids would be put to bed. I very willingly obliged - who wouldn't?

After the bath and cup of tea, I got another note asking me to dress up (however I like) and that layers would be good. This I did, being creative... (Yes I own suspenders, and stockings etc and it's fun to be able to wear them sometimes.)

I went through to our lounge where another drink was waiting for me, and a laptop on the table....

It turned out we would be playing a game called Bliss.

" When a game of Bliss is started, the users are asked to supply information about themselves and their environment. This information includes what toys are available (such as Ice Cubes, oils, feathers, etc.) what they are each wearing (in detail), and their current mood, which the game calls a Passion Level. Players can also create and edit Profiles, in which they can specify what types of sexually activities they do or don't like to participate in.

Once the game is started, players take turns rolling the dice, moving around the board, and performing actions as specified by the game. Each turn, the game selects an Action for the player to do. Actions vary from talking all the way to stripping, dancing, and explicit sexual activities. Occasionally, a player will be told to remove an item of clothing that they are wearing.

Music is a significant part of the game, and plays softly throughout the game. However, certain Actions allow the user to select a song to be played for the duration of that action. Music is commonly used for actions involving stripping or dancing. Players are encouraged to enhance or replace the music supplied with the game with their own favorite music.

As the game proceeds, each players Passion Level slowly increases, which allow more explicit actions to be played. At the beginning of the game actions are likely to involve talking, hugging, or soft kisses. Later on in the game, the actions will involve intimate physical contact" Taken from the wikipedia description.

Richard had aparently preconfigured all the choices of music and props etc. So all I had to do was fill in my clothing options. It has quite an amazing range of choices, and each on of the items I was wearing was listed :)

We got started and it really is similar to monopoly with rewards and penalties etc, and some of the antics we were ordered to do were hilarous. For instance him having to perform a strip routine to some ridiculously raunchy music - but he was only to remove his socks! Then later having to strip completely, but then dress again, all in 2 minutes... There was much rolling around laughing on my part.

Other activities included me having to look at him and tell him what I appreciated about him for 2 minutes (something I should do more often), and me getting kissed on my neck only for 2 minutes - lovely! There is a timer to count down the time too, so you don't either get too carried away, or give up to soon...

Apparently you can turn the heat on the game up or down as much as you like accoring to how saucy you feel at the time or how adventourous you are...

I'll leave the rest up to your imagination, but the evening ended very well ... :)

I would recommend that any couple who wants to reconnect, spice things up, try something new or just have a bit of fun try this out. It is funny, silly, sensual and romantic.

We'll be playing again!

Find out more about the game and/or download Bliss here.

Monday, 29 May 2006

Feeding the Squirrels

After getting to bed WAY too late after the auction on Saturday night, Sunday morning was spent sleeping, reading and drinking coffee - all in bed. :) Bliss.

The sun was out, which has not been a common occurance in Cape Town for the past few weeks, so by lunch time we felt obliged to get up and do something.

We took some old bread and headed off to the Company Gardens in town. There to feed the Squirrels!
and birds...
The whole garden and goverment avenue is teeming with Cape Grey Squirrels. They are pretty tame and have no qualms about taking food right out of your hand. There are also hoardes of pigeons and sea gulls. The pigeons will also happilly accept food from an outstretched hand, while the gulls can adeptly grab food flung in mid-air.

It can be a bit intimidating feeding the birds at first as once you start you get mobbed by what feels like hundreds of birds, but it is fun, and I like it.

Now that the kids have rats they are desensitised enough that they too enjoy feeding the birds and squirrels directly now. Quinn even bought some packaged R1-a- bag peanuts with his pocket money for Griffin and himself to feed to the squirrels.

There are some wild rats to be found scuttling around too, and we threw some nuts for them too, but I am not keen on touching those...
Quinn hand feeding a Squirrel

Griffin hand feeding a Squirrel

As we arrived at the gardens we passed a group of vagrants - affectionately/derogatorily know as 'Bergies' or mountain people. They are known for drinking and being a bit of a nuisance but are mostly harmless. As we passed them Quinn announced loudly, 'Look there are some Baggies'**. I was momentarily horrified, but one rather tipsy woman closest to us packed up laughing and started telling her freinds what he had said, and found it terribly amusing. I am so gald they didn't take offense!

**The word Bergie is technically pronounced in the Dutch way which does sound quite a lot like baggie actually, but has an r sounds a throat clearing sound too. I can't figure out how to write it phonetically. You'd say 'Bar' as in baron, and then Ghee, to sound like a cat hissing I guess. ;)

After feeding all the local wild-life we went to the Company Tea Garden and had tea and toasted chicken sandwiches. Quinn found a bamboo grove and was playing in it. After a while he came to us and said, 'That's the Hundred Duiker Woods'. (For non south African's a Duiker is a small local buck). I thought that was a nice local take on Winnie-the-Pooh's 'Hundred Acre Woods'. :)

It was great to be out and feel the sunshine and to see everything damp and turning green after being dry for quite a while.

Madonna's Bra

On Saturday we went to a charity auction at a friend's house. They held a similar event last year, which we really enjoyed.

The idea is that someone hosts a dinner, where all the guests pay a fee to attend. The said friend is a stunning cook, and I would gladly pay for one of her dinners any time. You then also need to make something to take along to get auctioned off after dinner.

Many of the people in this social circle are very arty, so the competition is strong. Artifacts range from oil paintings, to lamps, to beaded hand-bags and mosaics. Last year I made a 'Pamper Box' filled with goodies like home-made lavender balt-salts, a massager, lotions, candles and a towel. This year I made a lingerie box.

There were about 30 guests this year, and after a good dinner of various curries and salads, followed by the most delicious desserts ever and generous quantities of alcohol the bidding was intense and many of the items fetched quite tidy sums.

I was battling to get my paws on anything despite some quite competitive bidding on my part, until this....

Can you believe I managed to pick up this priceless collector's item, for only R60?
'Bra left at my house by Madonna when we were seeing each other in 2002. Swilly.'

For the record it seems she is a size 34A. :)

I also got 2 jars of chilli for Richard.

The final tally for the evening was close to R6500! The proceeds will go to a small local township pre-school in Masepumalele, which caters for 85 children with very little means.

The evening was great fun.

Thursday, 25 May 2006


My fabulous Edubuntu posse presented me with this tribute at the end of yesterday's meeting. (It is even in the minutes).
Jane of Edubuntu

Thanks guys. It is stunning. Now if only I actually looked like that!

cbx33's lovely wife Lisa, who also created the amazing 'Homies' wallpaper (below), drew it. We are using this wall paper for our Edubuntu 6.06 Young Theme.
It has been joked that the old Edubuntu wall paper depicted me too (it really didn't, it was the creator's daughter), it seems I have grown up a bit. ;)

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

So I'm leaving (not getting on the jet plane)

I hope that I'll be back again (appologies for trashing an already bad song!).


So after agonising over the decision, it's official and I am leaving Canonical - I am really battling to say that though, either out loud, or writing it. I am actually feeling so very sad about it...

I have been working for Canonical since the end of March 2005. It has been a wild ride, long hours, lots of work, stress, pressure, learning new things, meeting awesome people, partying all over the world, being a geek, playing Mao, growing, discovering, being challenged, 4am meetings, not enough sleep, not enough time with my family, long haul flights, airport shopping, seeing the airports and hotels of the world (but not much more), dancing, singing, believing in something good and becoming an advocate for Ubuntu and Edubuntu, until it has become part of who and what I *am*.

I had started feeling like it was getting to much to sustain however, and I have had the feeling that 10 years ago (or sans family) it would have been the most perfect job in the world, but in my current situation I have felt over stretched and like no one was getting enough of me.

My main issues were the LONG and odd hours (especially the 4am meetings - HATE those) and working on the distro team, which although is right in the core of the action, it is very hard to keep up with and measure up to the stirling distro team, especially the inimitable CTO Matt.

I found myself doubting myself and how much value I add. I was a little nervous when performance review time came as I wasn't sure how well it would go. In the end it was actually not bad at all, I was told I had made good progress (although there was much more room for MORE). I felt able to carry on. Whereas a week or 2 before that I was very demotivated, I had even updated my CV on Career Junction, in case there was anything interesting on offer...

As fate would have it I was called less than 2 hours after my Performance Review phone call, and asked to meet with someone urgently - the same day. I did this and was offered a possition on the spot. No 'jump through flaming hoops' or 'do 5 hours of psychometric testing' etc, just ' you are exactly what we need, please come on board'. Wow, that's pretty flattering, and off the cuff I was thinking, whoa this is the kind of affirmation I need and what I have been missing! The position on offer is contracting through a well known outsource firm to Vodacom.

So I had a serious decision to make, the catch being that the new offer is rather urgent and I'd need to accept or decline fast. It was a pretty good offer, with a salary upgrade and commission options if I bring new work in. (Noting that I had taken a pay-cut when I joined Canonical...)

What to do?

I tried to get hold of Matt to discuss the issue with him. But he was on his way to DebConf, in a remote part of Mexico! Ack.

I deliberated the whole week-end and ended up writing a tome to Matt explaining the gap between my skills and what he ideally needs and what I love and don't love about the company etc. I was hoping that could form the basis of a discussion. But a mix of mail server problems, patchy Internet access in Mexico, incompatable time zones etc, and I was just not managing to connect with Matt.

Part of me was really wanting to find out how he he felt. If he was thinking 'Yay, I have been trying to find a way of getting rid of you' my decision would be easy and I would know what to do. Short of that I didn't know how to make the decision.

Ironically everything had been going well work-wise and I was really enjoying my role at Canonical.

I finally sent a letter of resignation last Tuesday, as I hadn't managed to communicate with Matt, and I was wondering if that was a message in itself. The Vodacom offer needed an answer and so I took a stance.

The next day I spoke to Claire (Mark's PA), Jane (Canonical COO) and e-mailed with Matt and Mark. It was pretty unanimously agreed that the job I had been doing was a less than ideal match to my skill set, and they understood my issues with the schedule (and 4am meetings). Turns out they had already discussed changing my role and were waiting until after the upcomming release to discuss it. I was offered the role of Education Program Manager. Which would see me off the distro team and more entrenched in the Edubuntu space, and extending that. It sounded great, and exactly what I would love doing. I would have jumped at it - if I wasn't about to accept another offer.

GAH - what to do!?

On the one hand I have this good offer, of a fairly high profile position at a progressive and dynamic local company with local hours. Albeit a bit of an unknow entity, and with a daily commute into the Cape Town CBD.

On the other a good role in a company I know and love, with more of what I like and less of what I don't. Who could ask for more?

I am usually pretty decisive, but this decision nearly did me in, and I was vascillating so much!

I showed Richard the new Canonical job spec and he said ' hey I'd love that!' and it dawned on me that he would be excellently suited to it, as it's pretty much what he has been trying to achieve in HP, but with very frustrating results.

Without a lot of thought I introduced Richard to Mark and Jane in an e-mail explaining who he is and what he does and are they interested in chatting to him. Turns out they are and have now both spoken to him, so we'll see where that goes.

However now that I have done that, I have actually removed one of my options as it is company policy not to employ relatives. So if I stay, Richard's conversation ends, and if he is considered, my offer is retracted. YIKES.

Since Richard was unfairly disqualified from pursuing the COO role he applied for at the Shuttleworth Foundation last year, due to me being employed by Canonical I decided to step down and give him a chance at this one, and so.....

Hard as it is for me to say, write or even think, I will be leaving Canonical. *SOB*
and I will sign the Vodacom contract today.

I will not even be going to Paris for the June summit, as I will wrap up just before that. So won't get a chance to see the phenomenal team again.

This has been so much harder than I ever imagined and I think given the choice again I would not be leaving.

I hope this is 'till we meet again' and not 'Good Bye'.

(aside: I have signed a 6-month contract, so in my fantasy world I will be back on 1 Dec 2006)

Que sera sera.

Friday, 19 May 2006

Mother's Day

I haven't had much time (or mental reserves) to blog recently, but it was Mother's Day last Sunday and that was pretty special - despite my waking thought on the actual day being that I hoped the kids had magically vanished (or had lobotomies)! As we had had several days of less than angelic behaviour.

Still the day turned out good, and they have been great ever since, so that was just a temporary insanity wobble.

On Friday last week Griffin's school held a Mother's Day event. We were treated to a sweet song and dance show with a beautiful poem, which Griffin recites so sweetly. (Side bar Quinn read the word and wanted to know waht a Pooh Em is).
After that we had a craft activity where we made the following picture.
Actually Griffin did his on his own, while I watched and chatted. I was then presented with a lovely card and gift which he'd made, and we had tea and cake. The gift is a board with plaster and little tiles. I am not sure what it is meant to be, but I have decided it's a mat for placing hot dishes on the table.
Quinn managed to leave his card at school, but on Monday I got the following card:
with this message inside, and a voucher for a cup of tea and hugs and kisses. He will make the tea this week-end.
Quinn also drew this picture of me. He seems to think I am a telemarketer or call centre employee. I actually do have a headset but have hardly ever used it. I know it intrigues him though...
I had a lovely run late on Mother's day morning and did over 8km, and then we went to Spur for a late lunch. It was great and the boys were perfectly behaved and polite and spent a long time playing in the play room after the meal, so Richard and I could chat.

So now I need to make a career decision. Like asap.... the indecision is killing me.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Decisions decisions

"Should I Stay Or Should I Go?"

Darling you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I'll be here 'til the end of time
So you got to let know
Should I stay or should I go?

Always tease tease tease
Siempre - coqueteando y engañando
You're happy when I'm on my knees
Me arrodilla y estás feliz
One day is fine, next is black
Un día bien el otro negro
So if you want me off your back
Al rededar en tu espalda
Well come on and let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I Stay or should I go?
¿Me debo ir o quedarme?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An' if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

This indecision's bugging me
La indecisión me molesta
If you don't want me, set me free
Si no me quieres, líbrame
Exactly who'm I'm supposed to be
Dígame que debo ser
Don't you know which clothes even fit me?
¿Sabes qué ropa me queda?
Come on and let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I blow?
¿Me debo ir o quedarme?

Should I stay or should I go now?
¿Yo me frío o lo soplo?
If I go there will be trouble
Si me voy - va a ver peligro
And if I stay it will be double
Si me quedo es doble
So you gotta let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I stay or should I go?
¿Yo me frío o lo soplo?

Monday, 15 May 2006

Brain sex

I took an interesting test to see what sex my brain is...

It turns out my brain is overall sexless... hrm!

Your overall performance
The scale below is an indication of where you fall in the male-female brain continuum. The results are based on the angles, spot the difference, 3D shapes and words tasks.

Bear in mind that your performance may be affected by many factors in addition to gender, like age and intelligence.

Your personal brain score:
Average score for MEN who've taken this survey:
Average score for WOMEN who've taken this survey:


Your score for each task

Part 1


This task tested your ability to identify the angle of a line by matching it with its twin. This is a spatial task, which looks at how you picture space.
Your score: 18 out of 20
Average score for men: 15.1 out of 20
Average score for women: 13.3 out of 20

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 0 - 12: You have more of a female brain. Scientists believe that people with a female brain find it more difficult to judge the slope of a line because they're not wired for spatial tasks. In past studies, 65 per cent of people who scored in this range were women.

If you scored 13 - 17: You found this test neither hard nor easy. This suggests your brain has male and female traits when it comes to spatial ability.

If you scored 18 - 20: You have more of a male brain. On average, men outperform women in this task and those with more mathematical knowledge tend to score quite high as well. In past studies, 60 per cent of the people in this range were men.

Interestingly, men's testosterone levels fluctuate through the seasons and studies have shown that men's scores are lower in the spring, when their testosterone levels are at their lowest.

Spot the difference

This task tested your ability to identify which objects changed position. You lost points, if you incorrectly identified objects.
Your score: 50%
Average score for men: 39%
Average score for women: 46%

What does your score suggest?

If you scored between 0 - 33%: You may have more of a male brain. Scientists say men tend to under perform in this task. The corpus callosum, the part of the brain that links the right and left hemispheres, is a fifth larger in women. This means women can process visual and other signals at the same time more easily than men. There is also a theory that oestrogen levels in women give them an added advantage in spatial memory.

If you scored between 34 - 66%: You may have a balanced female-male brain.

If you scored between 67 - 100%: Those with a female-type brain generally score in this range. Your ability to remember where objects are may serve as an advantage to you when you're trying to find your way around places. You're more capable of recalling landmarks to get from one place to another.

Part 2


You said your left thumb was on top when you clasped your hands together.

Right thumb on top: This suggests the left half of your brain is dominant. Many studies have tried to establish whether there is a relationship between handedness and brain dominance. Some scientists believe that if you are left brain dominant, you would be more verbal and analytical.

Left thumb on top: This suggests the right half of your brain is dominant. Some studies theorise that as a right brain dominant person, you may excel in visual, spatial and intuitive processes.

However, these theories are debatable and leave much to be said about the small percentage of people who are ambidextrous.

Part 3

Emotions and Systems

This task looked at whether you prefer to empathise or systemise.

Your empathy score is: 6 out of 20
Average score for men: 7.9 out of 20
Average score for women: 10.6 out of 20

What does your result suggest?

Empathisers are better at accurately judging other people's emotions and responding appropriately. If you scored 15 and above, you are very empathic and would be an ideal person to comfort people in a time of crisis. Women in general are better at empathising.


Your systemising score is: 15 out of 20
Average score for men: 12.5 out of 20
Average score for women: 8.0 out of 20

What does your result suggest?

Systemisers prefer to investigate how systems work. A system can be a road map, flat pack furniture, or a mathematical equation – anything that follows a set of rules. A score of 15 and above suggests you're good at analysing or building systems. Men in general are better at systemising.

Scientists are keen to learn more about people who score high or low on both tests. They want to find out whether or not empathising and systemising are linked. Is a possible to make yourself more empathic?

Some scientists claim that our empathy and systemising abilities can be traced all the way back to prehistoric times.


This task tested your ability to judge people's emotions.
Your score: 6 out of 10
Average score for men: 6.6 out of 10
Average score for women: 6.6 out of 10

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 0 - 3: Do you think you're good at judging how another person is feeling? Your score suggests this doesn't come to you quite so naturally.

If you scored 4 - 6: Your result suggests you have a balanced female-male brain and find it neither easy nor difficult to judge people's emotions.

If you scored 7 - 10: Your result suggests you are a good empathiser, sensitive to other people's emotions. Women generally fall into this category.

Professor Baron-Cohen at the University of Cambridge says that people usually perform better than they expect to on this test.

Men often think a person's eyes are sending signals of desire when that's not the case at all.

Part 4


We asked you to measure your ring and index fingers. Your ratios came to:
Right Hand: 1
Left Hand: 0.96

Average ratio for men: 0.982
Average ratio for women: 0.991

It's thought that your ratio is governed by the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in your mother's womb. The ratio of the length of your index finger to the length of your ring finger is set for life by as early as three months after conception. Even during puberty, when we experience intensive hormonal changes, the ratio stays the same.

Men generally have a ring finger that is longer than their index finger, which gives them a lower ratio than women, whose ring and index fingers are usually of equal length.

Part 5


This task looked at how you rate the attractiveness of a series of faces. The images you looked at were digitally altered to create slight differences in masculinity.

Your choices suggest you prefer more masculine faces.

Highly masculinised male faces possess more extreme testosterone markers such as a long, broad and lower jaw, as well as more pronounced brow ridges and cheekbones.

Interestingly, women's preferences are said to vary across the menstrual phase. A more masculine face is preferred during the 9 days prior to ovulation, when conception is most likely.

A typical 'attractive' female face possesses features such as a shorter, narrower, lower jaw, fuller lips and larger eyes than an average face.

Part 6

3D shapes

This task tested your ability to mentally rotate 3D shapes.

Your score: 11 out of 12
Average score for men: 8.2 out of 12
Average score for women: 7.1 out of 12

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 0 - 6: Do you find yourself having to physically rotate a map to point in the direction in which you're travelling? This might explain why you scored in the lower range in the 3D shapes test. Twice as many women as men score in this category. Previous studies suggest that those with a female-type brain or with an arts background fall into this range.

If you scored 7 - 9: In past studies, 50 per cent of the people who scored in this range were women and 50 per cent were men.

If you scored 10 - 12: Are you an engineer or do you have a science background? People with these skills tend to score in this range. Past studies have concluded that people in this range have a more male brain.

Nearly a third of men who took this test got full marks, whereas less than 10 per cent of women managed the same.


This task looked at your verbal fluency.

Your score: you associated 20 word(s) with grey and you named 7 word(s) that mean happy. We are assuming that all the words you entered are correct.
Average score for men: 11.4 words total
Average score for women: 12.4 words total

What does your result suggest?

If you produced 1 - 5 words: You are more of the strong, silent type with a male brain. You probably find it easier to express yourself in non-verbal ways, preferring action rather than words.

If you produced 6 - 10 words: Most people in this range have a female-type brain.

Women are said to use both sides of the brain when doing verbal tasks while men mainly use their left side. Studies have shown that girls develop vocabulary faster than boys. This difference in brain power is caused by levels of pre-natal testosterone.


This task asked you how you would divide money.

If you had to split £50 with someone, you said you would demand £25

So far on the Sex ID test, men have demanded 51.6% (£25.80) of the pot and women have demanded 51.0% (£25.50), on average.

What does your response suggest?

Sex differences are small in this task. Demanding less than 60% of the pot (ie £30) is more typically female. Demanding more than 65% of the pot (ie £32.50) is more typically male.

Scientists believe that people with lower testosterone levels tend to take fewer risks so they are probably more willing to keep less for themselves. Those with higher testosterone levels tend to drive a harder bargain and are less compromising.

Men's testosterone levels fluctuate over the seasons and are at their lowest levels during the springtime. This is said to influence their bargaining power.


Test yourself here:

Monday, 8 May 2006

It's our party

and we'll fry if we want to!

Richard and I held a belated birthday celebration yesterday by hosting a brunch at Silvermine Nature Reserve in Cape Town.

Luckily after a few days of cold, and rain in Cape Town, the sun came out and the day was perfect. Sunny and warm, but not too hot.

The reserve is looking stunning, we haven't been there for quite a few years They have removed all the pine trees that were growing, so the reserve is now more indigenous, and they have contructed a board walk and some lovely picnic & braai(barbeque) areas along the banks of the resevoir.

We relaxed with a dozen or so of our friends and their multiple off-spring, and had muffins, croissants, cheese, jam, coffee and PLENTY of sparkling wine and juice. Richard also did a huge fry-up of eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomato etc.

After brunch we took a lovely relaxed walk around the resevoir. It was nice being able to relax and chat and just enjoy being for a while and not have enything else to do, or anywhere else to be.

We ended up staying on till almost 5pm as it was so lovely.

We got some lovely gifts too, including flower, a cute potted plant, Melissa's goodies, and an awesome set of Martini glasses and some cocktail accesories (flavoured syrups and sugars), so we'll need to host a cocktail party soon...

I took my camera along but forgot to take any pictures (twit).

Saturday, 6 May 2006

Quinn got the merit badge!

At Rondebosch each grade has 2 merit badges. Deserving boys are awarded the merit badge at the Friday assembly, and get to wear the badge for a week. The selected boy's names are called and they have to stand up in front of the school while the school is told what their merit badge is being awarded for.

In Grade 1 the system is slightly rigged as they try to work so that each child will get a turn to have the badge at least once in the year. So they can get a sense of pride and achievement.

Anyway Quinn was awarded the merit yesterday, and was BEAMING when I went to collect him. He was so proud in fact, that he declinded to change into his afteracre clothes, because he wanted me to see him fully dressed in his uniform with merit badge. Awwww!

I felt SO proud of him when I saw him.

He said his badge is for trying hard to finish his work. Which has been his biggest challenge so far this year. We have been working hard on improving his speed, accuracy and focus when completing particularly writing tasks.

Quinn proudly displaying his MERIT badge.

Quinn is also becoming a keen (and covert) photographer. Almost everytime I download photos now, like this morning to get this one, I find a couple of shots taken by him, and a lot of them are really not bad. I think I am going to dig out my old camera and let him use it officially.

p.s. On another note his teacher wants to see us again next week. I am a bit nervous. I hope she is not too concerned about his progress, because from what I can tell he is doing well....

Friday, 5 May 2006

A letter to the retard

Dear George,

Please don't kill me in my sleep or wrongfully accuse me of having WMD, but I find THIS to be the funniest thing eva!

I am so going to let Quinn play with this too, because he thinks you are a retard - and he is only 6 dude! He'll love torturing you too. LOSER!


P.S. If he gets stuck, click on him and drag him wherever you want!

Thursday, 4 May 2006

4am meetings from hell!

Even though I have now had 6 months to practice I just CAN'T make myself like the monthly 4am Ubuntu Development Team meeting!

We have a 6-hourly rotating meeting schedule and meet at (my time UTC+2) 10am, 4pm, 10pm and 4am. The reason is that because our team is spead from Melbourne to LA, this schedule means that everyone gets some good times and some bad times each month. But the 4am one really kicks my butt!

Although I normally intend to go to bed early on these days it never happens, so I usually get to sleep after 11pm, and normally closer to 12am. Then in anticipation of the meeting I have weird work-related dreams, and wake up often to check the time and make sure I haven't missed the meeting. Then it's up again at 3:45am in order to round up the troops and be compus mentus enough for the 4am start (today I was late and didn't ever do the troop rounding, I must have snoozed my alarm completely unconscously because I woke up at 3:57am, even though my alarm was set for earlier... odd).

Then once the meeting ends and I get back into bed, as around 4:20, I am so mentally alert that I can't get back to sleep, and it takes about an hour to try to still my mind and go back to sleep.

Then normally I can sleep in a bit and Richard handles the morning get kids ready and take them to school, but this week he is a away in Johanesburg, so I had to get up again at 6:45am to do that all myself.


4am meeting are teh sux!

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Birthday Camp-out

We went camping again for the Worker's Day long week-end, which happened to also include Richard and my Birthday's on the 30th. Yes, we are born on the same day, exactly 10 years apart (cue the violins please).

We went to our usual local, tried and tested spot. Richard took the kids during Friday morning and got the camp set-up, but as I had to work I only left home after 5pm. A bit of chaos ensued regarding the co-ordinating of packing, resulting in us having NO cutlery, besdes one sharp knife, a t-spoon and a spatula, but we managed to survive with that. As the boys have out grown their beach tent we bought them a new tent. Their matresss is dwarfed in it, so now they need a new bigger matress!

It may not have been the best weather for camping, as it was rather cold, rained a few times and was VERY VERY VERY windy, especially at night. We ended up buying hot water bottles for the boys, which they were thrilled with and have used every night since.

We mostly did nothing but lie around relax, cook, eat and read etc. Camping seems to entail cooking and eating as much meat as possible (for the boys anyway). But I did go for 2 decent runs during the stay (7km and 4km respectively), so I did do something.

The kids spent most of their time playing in the park, and watching the cows and pigs etc. They trampolined until their legs hurt and were ready for bed by about 6pm each night (Note to self, buy a trampoline!).

All in all it was another fun camping week-end.

Our Birthday was fairly uneventful but we did walk to the nearby Farm Stall for a delicious breakfast, and to browse the art shops in the Farm Village.

The Boy's new tent, they love sleeping in their own tent, and being able to sneak off early in the morning.

Showing off their new hot water bottles.
Bouncing on the trampoline in the park.
Quinn on the zip-line.
Griffin on the zip-line (he fell off and did a spectacular face-plant and back-flip, but was fine)
Richard, Quinn and Griffin after our Birthday breakfast at Noordhoek Farm Village.
Quinn as Twakkie