Monday, March 27, 2006

Is there such a thing as karma?

Man sure feels like it.

I've been in the fits of depression for the last month. Last night I decided that today was the first day out of that.

I struggled to get going during the day, but finally got it together to go to gym this evening. My run almost killed me. I have not been to gym in a year due to a neck injury.

Then I cooked up a storm.

And then I got a positive email from my primary employment target (although the true battle of tonnes of - probably in the region of 30 - interviews now begins - my chances are still on the wrong side of 20%).

It all started with my chance finding of a book called "My Life As A Quant" by Emanuel Derman. He moved from Cape Town to Columbia University in New York in the 1960's. As a merely successful physicist (as opposed to a Nobel prize winner), he left physics at the beginning of the eighties to enter the emerging field of quantitative finance on Wall Street. He rose to head Goldman Sachs' (the world's most successful investment bank) quantitative analysis division, as a managing director. He has since returned to Columbia as a professor in quantitative finance.

I have returned to study recently, in a closely related field to that of quantitative finance. This is daunting, as the required subjects are allied to my majors - I have some catching up of some undergraduate work to do if I wish to pursue the field in further post-grad study. This is all very daunting since its over 10 years since I last studied.

So Derman's book is surprisingly apt - he left UCT and had to catch up undergrad courses prior to commencing with his PHD studies.

But far more than that, it is a book that is about life and written reflecting on youth with the maturity and wisdom of age. I guess that is why I often like auto-biographies.

Anyway, reading the book got me started with some positive thoughts (I'm still reading). And so began my positive Karma.

Life lesson? What I knew, but need to repeat to myself: when you are down, know that you will be up again. When you are up, know to store some of your energy for the next down.

Have you been hacked?

Alarming news.

This Washington Post article is rapidly exposing a serious flaw in Internet Explorer since being picked up by Slashdot.

Over 200 websites have been hacked and merely browsing to them with Internet Explorer can result in spyware being downloaded to your PC. The spyware has already been held responsible for exposing passwords to Oracle's network and people's credit card details.

There are security alerts posted every day. I'm pretty clued up and not easily alarmed, but this one scares me! Especially at Microsoft's lackadaisical response.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

How do you treat koi ulcers?

You may remember my koi troubles.

Well I have discovered that koi are fiendishly difficult to keep. Or compared to what I thought ("Ah, it's just a carp... they live in the Liesbeeck river...").

One of the symptoms of problems with Koi is ulcer disease - it's very common, and should you keep koi, you will need to deal with it at one time or another.

So what does it look like? A picture of a typical ulcer on a koi is presented below.

A picture of a typical ulcer occurring in koi. Picture: USA Koi
Close up of a koi ulcer. Picture: USA Koi

Ulcers are distressing and seldom do they simply go away by themselves. In fact, unchecked, they will literally eat away at your koi until the fish can no longer survive.

Treating ulcers is difficult. Ulcers start as symptoms of other issues. Common to all of these issues is stress. Stress lowers the fish's natural immunity and results in a bacterial infection. Treating the ulcer requires treating the wound, the bacterial infection and the underlying cause of the stress.

The most common cause of stress is poor water quality. This must be ruled out before considering anything else.

Next on the list of ulcer causes are parasites. This is what affected me. I bought two fish late last year that introduced parasites into the pond. A sure fire way of knowing whether this is the cause of your problems is to watch out for flashing. Fish with parasites will quickly dart up against something and rub to relieve itching. Costia and flukes are common parasites that cause this behaviour. The parasite will cause a raw spot under the fishes scales, providing an opportunity for bacteria to infect the wound.

Ulcer disease can also appear as mouth and fin rot. This alarming form of the disease rapidly cause gaping holes around the mouth of a fish or on its fins. Ultimately this is what I ended up with.

I have tried everything in the book to treat my fish. I am finally showing some signs of success - after losing three fish.

To treat the fish, three steps were required:
  • Treat the underlying cause - water quality issues may involve a complete reworking of a filtration system, so be prepared for the difficult issues here

  • Treat the ulcer topically - typically this is through removal of necrotic (dead) tissue, application of a disinfectant such as mecurochrome - although I highly recommend going to the most effective / dangerous means - potassium permanganate applied directly to the wound. Blow dry (with a hair dryer on neutral temperature or with your mouth), and then apply a sealant. Friar's Balsalm is typically used, but I have found wound gel works far more effectively.

  • Treat bacteria and parasites in the water - this is difficult, as it depends on the parasite and bacteria you are dealing with. Common to almost all is dosing the water with salt and holding a concentration of 0,3 to 0,6%. Many koi keepers will maintain a salt concentration of 0,3% indefinitely. For mouth and fin rot, I found that a potassium permanganate "bomb" to kill parasites and bacteria quickly followed by acraflavine (two doses, one immediately after the potassium permanganate and one four days later) works best.

  • Depending on the severity of the ulcer, inject the fish with antibiotics. This is nerve wracking, but critical to reverse a really bad ulcer.

I've included a picture of injecting a koi below. It was the hardest thing that I had to do. You can get a vet to pay three visits to perform the task, but this is prohibitively expensive. As a koi keeper, it is a fairly important skill to learn. You will have to obtain an antibiotic and injection syringe from a vet.

Finally, I believe that koi feel pain. Many dispute this, citing their being cold blooded, etc. However, before I began using an anesthetic, when applying treatment to the koi, they were highly upset and even made a squeaking sound (I kid you not - I have a witness). So when handling your koi for treatment, I highly recommend using an anesthetic dip prior to the event. Besides less stress for the fish, it helps reduce stress in the handler!

How to inject a koi. Picture: USA Koi

Update: I have updated this picture with an alternative injection spot (than the previously shown one between the vent and pelvic fins). I find this one much easier.

Will Elon Musk succeed?

A frame taken from a SpaceX Webcast shows the Falcon 1 rocket firing its engine to rise from its Pacific island launch pad on Friday. Picture: MSNBC

Some time ago I blogged about a South African success few of us knew we had - Elon Musk. Elon Musk is a dot com millionaire who has since founded Space X - a firm pioneering cheap space travel.

Sadly, Musk's first launch went awry - the rocket launched but exploded during the first stage burn.

Musk has said he will tolerate up to three failed launches before reconsidering the project. He has so far invested $100m of his own money.

Update: Fuel leak caused explosion

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fading into beautiful light?

You say you wander your own land
But when I think about it
I don't see how you can

You're aching, you're breaking
And I can see the pain in your eyes
Says everybody's changing
And I don't know why

So little time
Try to understand that I'm
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody's changing and I don't feel the same


You're gone from here
Soon you will disappear
Fading into beautiful light
'cos everybody's changing
And I don't feel right

So little time
Try to understand that I'm
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody's changing and I don't feel the same


So little time
Try to understand that I'm
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody's changing and I don't feel the same

Everybody's Changing, Keane, 2004

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Who's da men?

They've done it again! Lyndon Ferns, Roland Schoeman, Ryk Neethling and Gerhard Zandberg celebrate winning the gold medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Photo: IoL
Well done lads!! Our first gold at the Commonwealth games, and another toffee to the Aussies!

(I was wondering if Ryk Neethling was going to shave that unaerodynamic beard...)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Why is Chuck Norris suddenly the rage?

Any of you reading stuff on the net or watching the South African side playing cricket might have wondered why there are so many Chuck Norris barbs going round (at the cricket, a banner was raised saying "Not even Chuck Norris can save Australia now!").

I found the article below on It shows the power of the Internet in todays world. What a brilliant website idea - bet those guys are making a fortune.

I will now shamelessly copy this idea to build a ChittyFacts website. Why? Well you obviously haven't read about his spandex exploits then...

Everybody's got Chuck fever

Tim Gane
Tue, 14 Mar 2006
If your inbox has been jammed with emails about a certain ageing karate-chopping TV star, then you probably already know what actually happened at Sunday's monumental one day cricket international.

Chasing Australia's target of 434, South Africa was in 'fact' at one stage 135 for the loss of nine wickets in the 49th over.

Chuck Norris, batting at number ten, then hit 300 off the last four balls to claim victory for SA.

At the post-match presentation, he roundhouse kicked Ricky Ponting in the face to show his dissatisfaction with the challenge the Aussies had set South Africa. Then, to celebrate, he ate Herschelle Gibbs and turned off the lights in Cape Town.

Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He waits

This is what Chuck Norris fever has come to. Anything and everything can be attributed to the 65-year-old karate king/actor/producer/singer.

If the power at Koeberg comes on, it's because Chuck urinated in the generator. If President Thabo Mbeki is allowed to run for a third term, it will not be because the Constitution has changed, but rather that Chuck Norris would hate to see the president having more time on his hands to play golf or contemplate the link between HIV and Aids.

The reason newborn babies cry is because they know they have just entered a world with Chuck Norris, and according to Einstein's theory of relativity, Chuck Norris can roundhouse kick you into yesterday, and so on and so on, forwarded email by forwarded email.

But of all the B-grade actors to rise to mythical superstardom — why on earth Chuck Norris?

Chuck Norris can speak braille

Perhaps it's down to grooming. David Hasslehoff’s meteoric rise to that most worshipped of cult icon, 'The Hoff', might have had something to do with his talking car and entourage of pneumatic female lifesavers, but without doubt his perfect bouffant played a major role too.

But apart from a meticulously groomed beard, all Chuck's ever given us is 203 episodes too many of 'Walker Texas Ranger', a host of bad action flicks — the 'Missing in Action' trilogy is a case in point — and an ill-advised foray into pop-singing.

Whatever the reason, the Chuck Norris phenomenon is a perfect illustration of how the internet can make a local joke go global, and permeate popular culture, in the space of a few months. Only Chuck Norris could know how many work hours have been lost to people spending their days crafting the latest Chuck Norris 'fact'.

Chuck Norris can slam revolving doors

The rapid spread of the absurdist 'facts' started a year ago, when 17-year-old university student Ian Spector and fellow web designer Mike Lelli launched a Norris 'fact' generator website — hot on the heels of a similar Vin Diesel and Mr T 'fact' site.

Spector told the Washington Post that he has now collected around 8000 Norris 'facts' and plans to produce a Chuck Norris 'facts' book and calendar. So how does Spector explain the 500 000 to 800 000 hits the site gets everyday?

"It’s interesting — most people don't know his work, but they know his character. He's cool and calm, but he can kick butt," Spector told the Arizona Daily Star.

But Spector certainly isn’t the only one to benefit from Chuck Norris euphoria. At, devoted fans can design and purchase T-shirts, complete with their favourite Chuck Norris 'fact'.

And what does the man himself think of all this?

Responding to his recent fame, Mr Norris responds with the eloquence and insight we can expect from the deeply complex characters he has played over the past 30 years.

"I've seen some of them. Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. Being more a student of the Wild West than the wild world of the internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

Chuck Norris gave Mona Lisa that smile

"It's quite surprising. I do know that boys will be boys, and I neither take offence nor take these things too seriously.

"Who knows, maybe these made up one-liners will prompt young people to seek out the real facts as found in my recent autobiographical book, 'Against All Odds?' They may even be interested enough to check out my novels set in the Old West, 'The Justice Riders,' released this month. I'm very proud of these literary efforts," Norris said in a statement on his website.

And why Chuck? Perhaps we need a saviour; perhaps we need to believe that man can solve all problems with a well-trimmed beard and a roundhouse kick.

Or perhaps it's because, as the 'old' saying goes, there are only two types of people in this world: Those who are scared of Chuck Norris... and Chuck Norris.

Useful links:

Favourite Chuck Norris 'facts'

There is no chin under Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.

When Google can't find something, it asks Chuck Norris for help.

When the boogieman goes to sleep, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

When Chuck Norris does a push-up, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

When Chuck Norris exercises, the machine gets stronger.

Chuck Norris uses Viagra eyedrops so he can look hard.

Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.

Chuck Norris once had a third testicle. He cut it off, shaved it, and threw it into the ocean. It's now commonly known as Australia.

Chuck Norris runs with scissors.

When Chuck Norris was a child, he made his mother finish his vegetables.

Chuck Norris won the Tour de France on a unicycle just to prove to Lance Armstrong it wasn't a big deal.

Chuck Norris doesn't go hunting, because hunting implies a chance of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

Space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet as Chuck Norris.

Are all taxi drivers evil?

Apparently not!

In the unanticipated continuing series about South African crime balls-ups, how about this one?!!


Irate taxi driver foils getaway of Obs thief

March 15 2006 at 09:29AM

From IoL

By Karen Breytenbach

A petty thief who stole a car radio in Observatory on Tuesday did not bargain on being busted by the driver of a taxi he jumped into for a getaway.

Soon after a woman parked her car near her house in Norfolk Road in Observatory on Tuesday morning she discovered her window had been smashed and her radio stolen.

A man ran away clutching the radio and jumped into a minibus taxi on Lower Main Road.

Suddenly the driver turned his jam-packed taxi around in the one-way street and sped back to the scene of the crime.

Real estate agent Joy MacNab witnessed the scene in front of her office in Sussex Road.

"He was no stereotypical taxi driver. He said he was tired of being the victim of theft and decided to have the crook arrested. So he turned around into oncoming traffic and dropped him off right there where the window was smashed. Three of my builders grabbed the suspect and held him down until the police van arrived a minute later," she said.

After his arrest, Woodstock police discovered the suspect was a member of the 26s prison gang they had been looking for for some time, she said.

"The greatest pity is that the taxi driver left before we could get his name. I wish we could phone him to thank him," said MacNab.

Brian Gray, head of the Observatory Civic Association's Safety and Security Committee, said he was very impressed with the police van's quick response.

"In fact, I would like to ask Woodstock Police's station commissioner for a commendation for officer Oupa Lupizo," he said.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Is there such a thing as "disorganised crime?"

After being really pissed off about yesterday's crime, I really had a good laugh at this one.

School chum 'shopped' accused
14/03/2006 20:04 - (SA)

From IoL

Nkosana ka Makaula

Nelspruit - A suspected armed robber was arrested when an old classmate recognised him.

Sam Lubisi, 36, of Naas near Komatipoort in Mpumalanga was arrested on charges of robbing a store of R14 000, after an old classmate saw him running and called out to him.

"You are always on the run, Sam, what have you done now?", yelled Zodwa Shabangu as he ran past her at the Naas Plaza on January 13 2004, shortly after the hold-up.

Lubisi's pursuers stopped to ask Shabangu about him and got information that led to his arrest.

This was heard in Nelspruit regional court where Lubisi pleaded not guilty on Monday to a charge of armed robbery.

He's accused of holding up a store and locking five employees into the stockroom.

The manager and another employee were able to give chase, and had to dive for cover each time the suspect turned to aim his gun at them.

When they heard Shabangu call out to the suspect, they stopped and asked her for his address.

She gave them Lubisi's address and police arrested him three weeks later in Pretoria.

Police never recovered the stolen money.

The case has been postponed to April 4 for the investigating officer to testify. Lubisi is out on R1 500 bail.

Who is South Africa's mafia?

Cash attacks: One of three cash-in-transit heists took place on the N1 South in Johannesburg, about 500m from the New Canada Road bridge. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko, The Star
There is no doubt in my mind that cash heists are connected. Yesterday saw five attempted cash heists and two retail robberies in Gauteng. This after a seeming lull in activity.

I am sure there is a story about some mastermind, living an apparently normal (albeit super-rich) life, who is pulling the strings behind all of these crimes.

And as usual there are the tragic stories of families who have lost fathers and breadwinners. Stories that nobody even thinks about anymore.

The story...

Heist gangs out in force in day of ambushes

Police arrested two suspects in five cash-in-transit heists in which a security guard was killed and three guards were injured.

Coin Security vehicles were involved in robberies in Joubert Park, in Riverlea and at Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday.

The last of the heists took place at about 5.30pm when two guards were ambushed as they walked to their vehicle after collecting money at the Meat-A-Rama Supermarket and Butchery in Joubert Park.

Continued at Iol

Monday, March 13, 2006

Are South Africans chokers?

Picture: media24
As Chris Roper says, this is the blog "with all of the questions and none of the answers."

Especially after this weekend. How were those Proteas!!! Truly the most amazing one-day cricket match in history.

But what a paradox. Compare this to their failure to drive it home in the third and fourth matches - where they lost their 2-0 advantage to go into the fifth and final match 2-2. Given the final, I'm sure at least one person muttered something about the box-office convenience...

And compare it to the diabolical Stormers, who have squandered commanding positions in three matches to lose. I was still bruised from Saturday night's disaster (final minute Stormers loss to the Hurricanes) when I endured the Australian batting innings in Sunday's match. Well, actually I got some chores done 'cause I couldn't bare to watch. Luckily I thought, I'll just watch the beginning of the SA innings...

When I was at school, we had a British cricket pro who assisted all the coaches with specialist instruction. I remember his departure speech, as he left to return to the UK, "South Africa seems to have unbelievable talent - just a lack of killer instinct."

It was amazing leaving school and playing club rugby. Guys who had been in opposing teams that had whipped us were suddenly team-mates. Combined with the fact that we were the strongest club in the Western Cape, this had an amazing effect on my self belief. First you realise that these guys who seemed invincible were just human. Secondly, you run onto the field with the expectation of winning - losing would be unacceptable, never mind unexpected.

The Sharks have imported Tony Brown. What would the effect of someone like Chris Latham (rated the world's best fullback, but in one of the bottom-placed teams on the Super 14 log) be on a South African team with ability but apparently lacking self-belief - like the Stormers? (Never mind the cringing thought of those Latham post-try celebrations for the moment).

Today newspapers are comparing the Cats under Laurie Mains - Super 12 semi-finalists - to the Cats under anyone else - nowhere men.

And the best biryani?

While I'm on the recipe thing, this chicken biryani is unbelievable!

No lentils in this one, but feel free to add.

Recipe from

Basmati rice 2 cups
Chicken pieces 3/4 kg.
Milk 1/2 cup
Yogurt (curd) 1 cup
Thinly sliced onion 3
Ginger paste 1 tsp.
Garlic paste 1/2 tsp.
Green chilli paste 1 tsp.
Tomato puree 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder 2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp.
Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder 2 tsp.
Green cardamom powder 1/2 tsp.
Saffron a pinch
Coriander powder 1 tsp.
Green coriander leaves 2 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil 7 tbsp.


1. Mix tomato puree, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, roasted cumin powder, garam masala, coriander powder and salt. Stir well.
2. Marinate the chicken with this mixture and keep aside for 3-4 hours.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions until golden brown.
4. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Add 4 cups of water to the rice. Mix saffron in milk and add to it. Add cardamom powder. Add the chicken pieces. Pressure cook the rice.

Mix gently. Garnish with green coriander leaves and serve hot.

What's the best bread recipe?

I'm an aspirant chef! That often lead to less than impressive results, but anyway - I enjoy the process.

Only thing is, there is no one who ends up with a bigger mess in the kitchen than me!

I haven't done a hell of a lot of baking, but this bread recipe is grrrreat!


Clare's Whole Wheat Potato Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/4 cups warm milk
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, potato flakes, salt, and yeast. In a separate bowl, mix the water, milk, margarine, honey, and eggs. Beat the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Gradually mix in whole wheat flour until evenly moist. Knead 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Grease two 5x9 inch loaf pans. Punch down dough, shape into loaves, and place in the pans. Allow to rise in pans 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake loaves 35 minutes, until lightly browned and hollow sounding when tapped.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Vain = Pain?

Probably. Especially psychological pain.

I've always envied those people who are so comfortable with their own appearance that they don't give it much thought.

I am generally happy with who I am.

There was one exception - and so I did something about it. It wasn't a huge thing, but something that I felt could be improved.

I am now recovering from a small cosmetic surgery procedure.

But wow, the pain was excruciating (and no it wasn't THAT procedure). I am now going through the recovery period and nervous as all hell.

If someone has a generally positive self image, and wants one or two things improved, I have no problem with plastic surgery. I think it is dangerous if someone sees a cosmetic procedure as a panacea.

All the same, I am feeling slightly weird about it. Oh well, I will feel just fine if it all turns out OK.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jollywood? Collywood? Dollywood?

South African director Gavin Hood poses with the Oscar for best foreign film which his movie Tsotsi won at the 78th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Picture:
Hopefully Tsotsi's success is the beginning of a burgeoning film industry for South Africa. Not just acting as a nameless production setting for foreign films but the production of our own international stunners - as Tsotsi is.

What a movie. What I found trully remarkable was the audience when I watched - more black than white (unusual in Sandton). It is a movie that really seemed to touch the South African story.

In fact, one of the production crew was hijacked a few weeks back. He asked the hijacker whether he had seen the movie. The hijacker replied, "Yes, that's what makes me so sorry to do this to you."

Well done Tsotsi. Well done Athol Fugard. Well done Gavid Hood (what a long way from his dad's appearences on the OK Bazaars ads, and his appearence in "The Game"). Well done South Africa!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Feeling like collateral?

"They project onto you their flaws, what they don't like about themselves. I had a father like that," says Vincent.

It's a moment of commonality between Vincent (Tom Cruise) and Max (Jamie Foxx) in Collateral. It's one of my favorite movies. I love thrillers. I love Michael Mann thrillers (he of Miami Vice, Heat, The Insider and Ali). But most of all I love movies about people, and watching it again on TV last night reminded me of that.

Collateral works. It is, in my opinion, Tom Cruise's best performance - and Jamie Foxx plays a perfect foil. The performances are framed by the usual brilliant soundtrack and cinemaphotography of a Michael Mann movie.

There is not much in common between Vincent and Max. Vincent is a contract killer. Max is a taxi driver. But after an impromtu visit to Max's mother in hospital we catch a glimpse through the veils of perhaps shared difficulties in childhood. The difference is that Vincent becomes disillusioned and cold - he cuts himself off from the world - "Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, in a speck on one in a blink. That's us, lost in space."

Max, on the other hand, survives through dreaming of starting a limo company. He's holding down a temporary job - of twelve years - while he gets everything in place.

Their respective faults are clear to one another. Their lack of self-awareness is supported by the self-justification present in all of us. Vincent remarks with biting clarity what Max buries deep down, "One night you'll wake up and you'll discover it never happened. It's all turned around on you and it never will. Suddenly you are old, didn't happened and it never will, 'cause you were never going to do it anyway."

Vincent remarks that he hates LA - it's so spread out and everyone is so disconnected from one another. Did you know that a guy died on the MTA and no one noticed that he was dead for 6 hours? His observation is rich with the irony of his own isolation and inability to really connect with anyone. The same irony is apparent in his charisma. What he really believes is: "There's no good reason, there's no bad reason to live or to die."

Max asks of Vincent, "Man, if someone had a gun to your head and said: 'You gotta tell me what's goin' on with that person across the street, there, what they think, who they are, how they feel, or I will kill you'... they'd have to kill you...wouldn't they...? 'Cause you don't have a clue about anyone. ...I don't think you, you have a clue, period. Did anyone 'do' for you in your life? Ever? When you draw breath in the morning? Open your eyes in the a.m.? You anticipate anything? Want anything? Expect anything? I don't think so... 'Cause you are low, my brother, way low... and some standard parts that are supposed to be there?... with you, aren't. So what happened to you, man? What happened to you?" Again the irony is rich in the way Max's own delusions have cut him off.

For one moment, an extraordinary event seems to offer some perspective as two coyotes cross in front of the taxi in the middle of LA suburbia. There is a flicker of introspection in their eyes as they take in the moment.

Isn't that just the way? Don't we all hope perspective might dawn, and aren't we disappointed when something extraordinary happens and it doesn't?

But I am not a movie critic and this is not a movie review site.

I once fell in love with a guy like Vincent. He was the guy who was like me, just better. Somehow, somewhere, things in his youth had made him build a wall between him and the world. His wall was a charisma that created an easy relationship and an anger that shut out a deeper connection.

Others might create a wall through dreaming impossible dreams.

One thing is for sure - we battle to see our own flawed logic. Man have I been doing a lot of introspection.

PS: Michael Mann is directing a movie version of Miami Vice with Jamie Fox (good) and Colin Farrel (pity) slated for US release in July of this year. See the teaser trailer here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Am I a machine?

Well OK, it has been said...

But anyhoo, it appears that Google believes I am. Every friggin search triggers a verification phrase.

I have always had more success at finding things on the net than anyone else I know. Now I know - it's cause I'm an automated search machine.

Now if only I could automate this bloody verification away...