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Archive for November, 2010

We will have to await the course of fighting lawyers to learn how this story plays out; but even now there is plenty to tell and plenty to cogitate.  It all relates to helping the democratically elected government of the DCR kill seventy of its own.  In short the story, as I pick it up from a number of sources, goes thus:  In 2004, rebels capture the town that controls the supply route to Anvil’s Congo mine.  Anvil provides transport for government troops (thugs) brought in to flush the rebels out.  The thugs move fast: they shoot upwards of seventy people and re-open supply lines.   Anvil says the government requisitioned such transport, and they had to obey.  Not so, say the NGOs, who claim Anvil sought government aid in flushing out the rebels.  (more…)

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   Rigoletto by Verdi is a staple of my opera experience.  As a kid we would visit grandma on Sunday for a dinner of supreme luxury: a roast chicken stuffed with sausage.  In those far off days, chicken was expensive, what we would today call free-range–a rare treat.  At home all we ate was mutton because it was cheap.  Things have changed. (more…)

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Two movies in two days: Harry Potter with the fun grandson;  Tangled with five of them to watch Disney.  Tangled is the better movie, being full of wicked but not irredeemable characters.  Harry Potter is just too dark, to focussed on teenaged angst and romance and the terrible take-over of the magic world by unmitigated fascists and racists.  (more…)

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Yesterday we took the three eldest grandsons to LegoLand.  Much as grandfather would like to have snoozed the day in the sunshine like this fellow above, he had to walk the park and pay for food and umpteen boxes of new Lego for the boys.  This was a day of kids culture in Southern California:  rides; rowdy kids; and artificial surroundings designed for pleasure.  (more…)

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  Four sturdy metal tricycles bounced across the African veldt.  Three maids followed, each wearing a clean white apron.  On the tricycles were four mining brats:  one grew up to be chemical engineer—she worked in industry; one grew up to marry the manager of a platinum mine; one became a famous cricketer–Hylton Ackerman died last year, but his son continues cricket; one grew up to write blogs—me.  (more…)

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Seeking the perfect job in Australia, I came across one that should tempt the stout of heart and bold of mind.  Here is an edited abstract from the job description: (more…)

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When I was young, growing up on a mine, East Geduld, in South Africa  I had the full set of puppets for a Punch & Judy show.  There was Punch with his curved nose and dropping hat.  Judy had a big floppy hat and an inane grin.  Recall the tragedy: they fight and Punch clobbers Judy to death dropping the baby along the way.  (more…)

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