It starts with a small step

Manuel F. Guerrero, U.S. Marine Corps – This Image was released by the United States Marine Corps.

Scary events when you are a child stand out forever in your mind. When I was a young boy, probably around five or six years old, my parents went on a trip to Witsands near the Breede River in the Western Cape Province. On route there a car passed us at a terrifying speed. My father said to my mother that the driver in the car was being reckless driving at that speed. Not so long afterwards, we came across the same car. It was lying across the road upside down in the ditch with its wheels still spinning. The driver and passenger were dead. Continue reading “It starts with a small step”

What advice would you give this cash-strapped teacher?

Teacher (Photo credits:

The other morning I was listening to a radio show and a teacher came on with a terribly sad story. She said all she could expect as a pay increase this year was a 6.5% salary adjustment, which would amount to R250 ($23) a month.

She didn’t elaborate. I think all she wanted to do was to draw people’s attention to how poorly paid teachers are. The DJ expressed his sympathies.

I wonder what will happen to this teacher who sounded as though she was in her early 30s. There is an education crisis and people like this who are in the education field trying to improve the lives of many children are not recognised for the work they do.

It’s sad to watch on the sidelines, after your children have left the education system, and see how it continues to deteriorate. Teaching has never been a well-paid job anyway but from what this woman was saying it looks as though it is another leading indicator of entropy in the educational system.

What can a teacher like this do? How can she improve her circumstances? Should she leave or stay? Continue reading “What advice would you give this cash-strapped teacher?”

Careful you don’t create horrifying products like these

Toy Fair 2008
Toy Fair 2008 (Photo credit: Hot Grill)

I bought a screen guard for an iPhone the other day from a small cell phone shop and eventually when I got it on the phone it looked like the screen had been covered in psoriasis. More fool me trying to buy something on the cheap. I’m not going to embarrass the country where this was made but I’m sure you can guess which one it is.

The Cracked website recently covered “The 6 most horrifying product recalls in China” which included donkey meat with fox, chemical burn flip-flops, sewer fish, deadly monkfish (but really puffer fish), face-smashing pogo sticks and moon face cream laced with a steroid hormone.

What’s amazing is how people come up with such products and think they can get away with it. Even more surprising are the retail stores and in some cases large international supermarket chains which sell these potentially deadly products. I mean, a skin cream that was used to treat eczema in babies could cause things like excessive hair growth in women and children, Cushing’s syndrome which is characterised by a swollen, moon-shaped face, acne, muscle weakening, hair loss and truncal obesity. Wow. Who are these people trying to fool? Continue reading “Careful you don’t create horrifying products like these”

Starting something from scratch – fear trip or adventure?

English: ladder and sky.
English: ladder and sky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes we get trapped in our fears. No place to turn to. Or so we think.

A middle age woman wrote to an agony aunt telling her that she hadn’t been romantically intimate with a man for five years and asked how she could get out this cage she had trapped itself inside of. The agony aunt recognised and acknowledged the woman’s situation. She praised where the woman crying out for help was in her life and acknowledged how difficult it was to get back into relationships and feel intimacy, friendship and trust again. If she continued creating greater mental barriers, the more difficult things would become.

The agony aunt advised the woman to take small steps such as signing up for a dance class where she would be able to hold hands with men and press some flesh, practice talking to strangers, harmlessly flirt with men in appropriate situations and perhaps even sign up to an online dating agency. Continue reading “Starting something from scratch – fear trip or adventure?”

How prepared are you to face rocks in the road?

On the road through the Karoo. Photo: Chesney Bradshaw
On the road through the Karoo. Photo: Chesney Bradshaw

On our return journey from holidaying at the coast in Cape Town we came across more than 10 stop-and-go sections on the national highway where we had to wait for a minimum of at least 10 minutes at a time. Our journey was supposed to last 10 hours of driving through the Karoo but ended up being over 12 hours.

The roads from Johannesburg to Cape Town were free of any stop-and-go sections because this was just after the Christmas period. There was little traffic on the road and driving flowed smoothly and easily without any obstacles. Continue reading “How prepared are you to face rocks in the road?”