Monday, 16 December 2013

After Madiba - Time for Reflection

Madiba is Laid to Rest. Now it's Time to Respond to Detractors

Now that Nelson Mandela has ended his long walk to freedom forever, and started out on a new journey, it's more appropriate to start discussing some of the less auspicious things that took place over these last 10 days.

Of course, not everyone in South Africa today, or elsewhere in the world held Mandela in the same high regard as the majority. And certainly everyone has the right to their opinions, to voice them, to discuss them. At least here in South Africa they do. It's one of the things forming the framework of our constitution, one of the things Mandela gave his life to achieving.

Scattered among the many, many posts on blogs and in social media paying the authors' last respects to Madiba, were a shameful few that cannot be said to amount to more than biased hatred.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

To Leave South Africa

Leaving South Africa - Not an Easy Decision

What a hard decision to make. To leave or not to leave... It's not easy to decide to leave South Africa. In fact it's darn difficult. From some aspects the decision is easy, pack up and go. On some days I could jump up and say, I'm leaving. Yet  other times the lure of South Africa remains strong.

Opportunity Knocking

When opportunity comes knocking at the door one would think it's an easy choice to make. Go with the opportunity. And opportunity came knocking with the offer to move to the USA, not as a visitor, but a real legal work Visa.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Nightmare at Work

Having just completed a really awful project it's time to rant. Last month I was asked to quote for DTP services to set 32 magazine pages ready for printing. As the request came through an existing client appointed by the primary contractor as project manager, I agreed to undertake the job (I exited the publishing game a year ago). 

Inaccurate or Misleading Job Specification.

The provided information was sparse, so my quote was very specific; produce press-ready pdfs from DTP ready material supplied by (original) customer including approved text copy, images/photos/graphics and creative guide. Anything else was mentioned as extra costs e.g. design etc subject to artists quote per item, as per my standard terms of business.

Not mentioned to either my existing client, or myself was the need for weekly meetings with the company for whom the magazine is produced, Also not mentioned was the need to produce creative outlines for pre-approval, source and provide all magazine "theme" graphics, design logos and more...

Friday, 8 February 2013

Evil Wins When Good People Do Nothing

Evil will always triumph when good people stand by doing nothing. This is not an original idea (don't ask me who coined the phrase, but I know I read it somewhere), nevertheless it is as true today as it was when first stated.

graphic statement evil wins when good men do nothing with photo of albert einstein
As a species we love to chatter, meaningless, futile, sounds emanating from our mouths... We love to moan and complain, espouse the problems of the world. How often do we stand around while evil reigns around us? With our hands over our eyes, over our ears, over our mouths in a parody of the three monkeys 'See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil' Oh, yes, we love to talk! But we don't like to do anything, get involved. 

Maybe it's cowardice; we don't want to get harmed, move out of our comfort zone, put ourselves at risk... 'It's someone else's problem'. But what about that loved one, sibling, or even total stranger being harmed in our full knowledge, even maybe in our sight. No, it's not our problem, their are other people whose job it is to do something; the police, a social worker, just not me! Or maybe we just don't care!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Cyclists! Move Over

Move Cyclists to the Other Side

In the interest of cycling safety, move cyclists to the other side of the road. Yes, I mean so they ride facing oncoming traffic! In my, not so humble, opinion this makes perfect sense. Cyclists riding on the right hand side of a road (in regions where vehicles drive on the left) can SEE approaching traffic, and take action easily to avoid danger.

It's been some years since I rode a bicycle (although I'm tempted to take it up again, it's just the traffic situation where I live that puts me off). Even back then, when there was little traffic where I lived, I preferred to ride on the wrong side of the road when possible. Of course the suburban streets were very quiet in those days, and ne'er a traffic cop was seen.

Cyclists Blind Spot

Cyclists riding on the same side of the road as powered vehicles have a blind spot. How many bicycles have rear view mirrors? The only way a bicycle rider can see traffic behind is to turn their heads, taking their eyes off the road ahead.