Sunday, 4 January 2015

South Africa's amazing scenery by road

If a picture says a thousand words, then I've got no clue how many a ten minute video shares. Seems more efficient, then, to share this video:

There is a really stunning shot from about 08:00 at Chapman's Peak Drive, right here in Cape Town where I'm living now.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Lessons from the corporate jungle

This evening is a great evening for me.

It's the first evening of my 2014 holiday. My auto-responder on my work e-mail address is set to vacation mode, and now you KNOW it's game-on.

Despite that, I think I feel a bit less 'holiday-ish' than ever, and it's mostly because of the rollercoaster year I've been on.

Moving from journalism into corporate communications is no joke, trust me. In my case it was corporate communications for a multinational company, so there have been foreign languages to learn in both the real and metaphorical business sense.

This 'Weird Al' video really echoes with me right now (dare I say I feel its 'synergy'?):

I've also recently been introduced to the wonder that is Breaking Bad (three seasons down, two left!), and it's packed with really insightful philosophies.

One scene that really struck me was when Jesse was asked by his school-teacher, 'Is this the best you can do?' There was no judgement, it was just a straight-forward question.

That really got me thinking ... what IS the best I can do, and am I doing it already? At least part of this year has been so hectic because I've really tried to ensure that I push every single project I work on that little step further from 'adequate' to 'intriguing', and that requires 24/7 commitment. But is it my best?

What IS my best, and how will I know that I can achieve it? I think this is a great question to ponder over these holidays. It's not just about relaxing on the beach and watching the rest of Breaking Bad (which I'll do) ... for 2015 I really want to just build of the momentum I've created through blood, sweat and tears in 2014.

It's a challenge. It's an opportunity. It's exciting.

It's a way to look past the 'corporate jargon for jargon's sake', to the core philosophies and highly-condensed little pearls of wisdom each piece of jargon contains.

Tomorrow (Friday) is my 29th birthday. I'm looking at the sharp edge of the big 3-0 approaching, and I'm ready for it. Bring it on, life.

An awesome festive season to you, my friends and dear readers. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Feel pulled in too many directions? Here's why.

If there's one story to read and pay attention to today, it's this one. You're welcome.

That's a great primer to this follow-up on finding your passion.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

More Things I Like...

Sometimes old memories get so fuzzy, you can't say for sure if they ARE memories or if they're day-dreams, or recollections of movies.

I had the good luck to stumble across one of those old memories for me ... for whatever reason when I first watched this movie as a kid, the opening scene really impressed itself on me.

Exotic cars, confident people, vibey song ... it has to be Rain Man, right? Right.

Join me on this trip down memory lane ... it's a goodie.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Hello 21st Century

Typing a tweet on a touchscreen phone is a chore enough, never mind a full blog post.

That said, I just had to try it at least once :) Right this minute I'm lying in bed as the typically cold Cape Town wind howls outside, and somehow I ended up discovering the dedicated Blogger app on the Google Play store.

Verdict? It works. If only I could say the same of my touchscreen. Is this seriously the best solution for communicating? Of course not! It's great for zooming and swiping though, and THAT is why we're nett consumers of information rather than producers.

Which does lead to an interesting question... if we're not producing, who makes everything we're consuming?

As far as I can tell, the answer to that is advertisers, con artists, radicals and cat owners. Not necessarily in that order.

What's more, the smart money is on them not using their phones to push their money-grubbing, religious-political cat-loving agendas on the rest of us connected-yet-disconnected masses.

I blame Steve Jobs. The iPhone and all the iClones brought us closer than ever to each other, and then cruelly installed a touch-sensitive wall of glass between us.

To update that infamous line from Speed: Reach out and touch someone, one typo at a time.

PS: Just to satisfy you 'picture is a thousand words' lot, here's also a random photo I took of Cape Town on a recent hike (Clifton beach to be precise).

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Google Inbox Invites Offered

Do you want a Google Inbox invite? I've got some and will be happy to share :) Just leave a comment or message me.

If you don't know what Google Inbox is, then don't worry ... it's only the Next Big Thing from Google's restricted-access hype marketing.

Is it worth the hype? It depends on you. It's got some nifty features, that's for sure.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The two sides of Romania

In South Africa, you regularly find yourself saying 'Gee, Place X would be so nice, if only it wasn't for the people.'

I've often said here that there are numerous parallels for me between Romania and South Africa, and I've just come across another great example of that.

Firstly, here is more achingly beautiful drone footage, this time of Romania from the sky:

Then, of course, the flipside of that video ... introducing some people to the landscape: Romanians who don't know the name of their country (a Facebook video so Google won't embed it).

For English-speakers like me, the premise of that video is simple: the interviewer repeatedly asks all subjects what the name of the country is, and they all - bearing in mind they were selected because of this - claim to not know (listen out for 'Nu stiu' - I don't know). 

Again in South Africa there is a lot of snide humour in the urban hubs aimed at the expense of the 'uneducated masses' in the country, so this is a predicament I have a lot of empathy for. It seems that in any 'developing country' a substantial percentage of the populace gets left behind.

Before I'm accidentally guilty of entrenching the 'Romania is rural' stereotypes any further, let me balance it out with this equally-entrancing video of Bucharest shot by drones:

Thank you, Romania, for not being some two-dimensional country with a back-story nobody cares about. There's so much to this country, and I'm enjoying the journey of discovering each disparate puzzle piece.