09 February 2010

Tempocalyspe Now

Fires raging on all sides. Not close enough to worry us... yet... but still too close for comfort. A forest fire to the north that started in (I hear) Kerkbos, raging out of control, fires down the Phantom Pass - two helicopters with water buckets working there. Fires out at Harkerville. Redlands fire fortunately under control. Seven fires out of control in the broader South Cape region; extra firefighters flown in from other parts of the country.

And it's still a heatwave. Thankfully the wind has dropped.

Still no signs of rain. The drought rages on. Everything is terribly dry. The veggie garden is essentially dead. Dams are empty. What little vegetation was left in the veggie garden got eaten by a Bushbuck a few days ago. Bastard.

The local Baboon troop has been causing havoc, too, ripping into rubbish bins and refuse bags, taking fruit off the trees (and breaking branches in the process.) With help from friends we have found out that the behaviour we're seeing form the younger males is typical and role driven. So the usual dingbat ideas of "Shoot the buggers" or trying to scare them with (illegal) fireworks simply won't work. Why do people always fall back on the same stupid ideas that they know don't work? We consider ourselves the intelligent species, yet we're consistently outmanoeuvered by the Baboons.

If the blog stops abruptly it will be because we have to evacuate. We're already thinking about what essential possessions we would take. Passports, birth certificates, the computers (or at least their hard-drives), family photos, my seed collection,... I really don't think it will get that far (though it has for some of our neighbours down the Rheenendal Road) but it's best to be prepared - mentally at least.

Not a very happy situation, but we soldier on. It's really hard to imagine yourself being self-sufficient in the face of this drought. Be pessimistic about the future for the human species, given that we wont get out of the fucking Hummers and Prados.

Too many topics for one short blogpost, I know... it all jumbles together...

01 February 2010

Mysterious Mr Mofokeng

This post is clearly not much about self-sufficiency, homesteading, gardening or anything related, but I have to get it off my chest. Regular readers (yes, both of you) might want to give this one a miss...

It must be the first of the month. My cellphone hasn't stopped ringing. Just like every first of the month.

None of the calls are for me, though, and most of them show up on the screen as "Number Withheld". The calls are all for a Mr. Mofokeng. I don't know his first name, though. Or, rather, at last count I've been asked for around fifteen different first names. Albert Mofokeng, Charles Mofokeng, Sidney Mofokeng, Mbazima Mofokeng, Jonathan Mofokeng, September Mofokeng, November Mofokeng... I think he started running out of names... The best I can establish is that Mr. Mofokeng is a small-time conman who opens accounts with various stores, banks, phone companies, buys some stuff on tick, and then skips on payments, leaving the creditors with myphone number.

Some of the people who call are quite polite and see the humour in the situation when they understand that Mofokeng has dished out a fake phone number. Others are quite a lot less polite. Yes, Virgin Mobile; I'm looking at you! Isn't it peculiar that a phone service provider can be fooled with the wrong phone number? Don't they consult their own database?

Even odder is that this thing has been going on for years. Surely this guy has long since been listed with the various credit agencies and blacklists? Don't credit-grantors actually check any of the information an applicant gives them? I mean, really, if I were sitting with some person in front of me asking for a line of credit, clutching their freshly lettered application form, and the form gives their cellphone number, why not just pick up the phone on your desk and call the damn number! If it rings in the applicant's pocket, all's well and good. If not... well, would you grant them credit? So I have little to no sympathy for the idiot companies that get taken in by this guy. If their vetting process is so badly broken, they deserve all the woe they bring upon themselves and should stop wingeing.

But I do wish that Mr Mofokeng would give out somebody else's number for a change. Or perhaps he does!

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