Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 22 November 2013

Dilemma - who gets to go to the Awards Event Gala Dinner?

So as mentioned my team was nominated and made it to the finals of the Recognition Awards at work for 'Best Team'.

There are 18 of us. 17 testers and myself as manager.We have been told that a total of 13 can attend. My boss - head of our division, our nominator, myself & 10 of the testers.

So if you had a team of 17 in the finals for a Team Award, and only 10 are invited to attend the award ceremony gala event dinner. How would you chose who gets to go and who can't?!  

First thing I did was send out an email with voting options:
- YES. Pick me. PICK ME!
- Maybe - I wouldn't mind going.
- No - I'll be washing my hair that night.

True to form, I have pretty much all 'Pick me!'s and just a small few saying they'll stand down if they have to but would actually love to go. Which then caused a spontaneous and united anarchistic 'all for one and one for all', 'all or nothing' 'united we stand' 'no one gets left behind' stance where they've decided if they can't ALL attend then none want to go.


Now I respect and admire that stance and THAT is exactly why this team IS Team Awesome and is such a good and strong and cohesive team. But the fact is we'll be farting against thunder. This is a big corporate and rules are rules and our team is fairly large and fact is we need 'representatives' at the event and my boss has said I mustn't take this on and fight for it. We have fought and worked so hard to be recognised and rewarded (as relative outsiders to the rest of the company) that now that we ARE being notices we shouldn't look to be difficult, demanding, ungrateful etc.

So I have explained to the team that we have to pick 10. And the award/prize will absolutely be for the entire team - not being there does not imply not winning or not being part of the team/win - and it doesn't have to be divisive. 

But what would you do and how would you chose...?
On merit?
- Length of Service?
- Random Draw?
- Democratic Vote?

What I have done is draw up a spreadsheet with categories for:
Length of Service, receiving Nominations in our recent company awards, submitting Nominations in our recent company awards, and then who WANTS to go. Each is weighed into 4 segments with a number assigned to each.

I have tabulated and ranked accordingly. The answer is then scientific and in the maths. 
What do you think does that sounds objective and fair enough?
Would you be happy if it was you and it was done that way?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

MY Team are OMEM IT Award Finalists!

I just found at that my Test Team aka 'Team Awesome' not only got nominated but also made it into the finals in the OMEM IT Recognition Awards for Best Team!

There were a total 5 teams nominated, and 2 teams are in the finals. So we have a 50-50 chance of winning it!

The winners are going to be announced at a Gala Dinner event at the end of Jan 2014. :)

My team ROCKS! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Quinn's Gr 7 Farewell

As Quinn rapidly nears the end of Grade 7 – his final year of junior school – excitement is mounting for the big farewell.


It seems the school goes all out to provide a big farewell for them in the form of a formal themed dinner with the parents (or in my case parent – can you believe I have been doing this 100% single-parent gig for 5 years now!?) anyway the big reveal of what they were going to be doing was made a couple of weeks ago when a big carnival arrived at school in the form of the teachers and entire Grade 6 class dressed up in Rio Carnival theme to deliver the invite to the boys.

The gallery of photos from this is HERE A video is HERE.

The invites were personalised 'Plane Tickets' and 'Passports' complete with 'Visas'. They went to so much effort. I am hugely impressed!


I can't wait for the big event when I get to take my big boy on our trip to the 'Rio Carnival'!!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

3 Pet Peeves

Just for today, cos I am PMSing like nobody's business.

When there are like 12 toilet stalls in a row, why for the love of god do 2x consecutive people have to come and use the one right NEXT to mine, when ALL the others are free?? WHY!? Especially since I went in there to 'escape' the world for a short while...

Why when you want to be left alone does everyone feel the need to comment on everything you do? I bought a lunch-box of frozen soup to work yesterday. I had half for lunch yesterday and half for lunch today. So I just get it warmed up and come to my desk, and guy comes up to me. 
'Oh what are you eating..?'
'Are you on some kind of soup diet?'
'No, I am just having soup for lunch'
'You eat soup every day'
'No. I had soup yesterday and I am finishing it today. I last had soup about 2 months ago.' (Now fuck off so I can eat my soup!)

Finally. My phone rings, so I answer clearly and politely: 
'Hello. Jane speaking'
'Hello, can I speak to Jane.'
'JANE speaking, that's why I said 'Hello, Jane speaking'!' (Fucktard!)

Ok, vent over.

Feel free to add your own!

Scott Adams - Fall from Grace and other Internet whoring

I used to really really admire Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame)*. I rated him as one of the most intelligent and insightful people of our time.

Sadly, as I have read his blog consistently over the past few years he has revealed himself to be a self-serving, self -promoting narcissistic capitalist.  He only ever does anything for fame/attention/money and is inflammatory and self-righteous at the same time.

Not very attractive qualities and not very admirable either.

I am over him completely.

On that note I also have no respect or admiration for the 'nominate/vote for me' blog begging either. Or the trite and vacuous claims to LOVE products endorsements and give-ways when freebies are given for free blog advertising. Seriously those plastic flip files are pretty pedestrian, I can't see how anyone's life was changed by those. BORING! *yawn*

vent over.

* I won't bother to link to any of his sites, since he doesn't deserve any more attention and has enough whoring of himself on the internet already.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Max the Cat - 2 years on

Griffin got Max the Cat for his birthday 2 years ago.

Max is a big, fluffy, friendly and fairly affectionate guy. He is very relaxed and easygoing  He is also pretty lazy. He'll lounge around our yard, and if he feels the urge to play will rough and tumble with Roxy a little bit. He never bothers to venture out of our yard, and I have never seen him fighting with any other cats - or even chasing a bird for that matter. he is a home boy and likes his easy and simple life from what I can tell.

He is a lovely cat and I like having him around.

It is hard to get a photo of him, as he doesn't stay still or keep his eyes open for the camera. But this was him being loving with Griff the other day. As you can see he is not a small boy!

Griffin's 12th & Crown Birthday

It was Griffin's 12th Birthday on 12 November. So it was his CROWN BIRTHDAY. Something he was quite excited about.

He got a PC as his birthday gift, which he was quite pleased with. We decided to do a small and personal but fun party this year - he didn't have a party last year, instead we did have a full day of fun activities as a family  - as he has recently made some new friends and we wanted to include them in his birthday celebrations.

He chose the Muizenberg waterslides. It really is a winner venue for a party. It is so easy to host a party there and reasonably cheap;y too, as the entrance fee is not high, the kids stay entertained for ages, so much so that catering can be minimal because they barely stop long enough to eat or drink. And all the kids are guaranteed to be pooped afterwards!

This year I also decided I was not going to spend hours and hour making the cake. I do like doing the cake myself, as it's part of how I celebrate and commemorate their birthdays and express my love and care for them. But I just did not have the 5-6 hours on hand that last year's Angry Birds cup cakes took. Instead I kept it simple and did a plain vanilla-sponge (I bought a piece of the pre-baked slabs Pick 'n Pay makes... best tip ever!) and then iced it myself with blue butter-cream icing to make water and stuck on some jelly sharks and hey-presto, cake done. Griff gave it his approval and we were all happy!

We had 12 boys and my sister and her little just turned 3-year-old munchkin at the party. It was no trouble at all for me to single handedly cater, supervise and entertain on my own. Even able to lounge in the sun with my feet up half the time!

I was pleased that the boys polished off nearly all the food and guzzled most of the cake too, declaring it delicious!

Another successful party done.


The boys had been desperate to go to Wakaberry for a while.

So yesterday evening we finally went. It was Griffin's Birthday and we had a 20% discount voucher. Yay!

So we got ready to go for a nice walk, took Roxy with us, and set off with great excitement.

Sadly first strike against them was the surely assistant insisting Roxy wasn't allowed in the door. I sort of understand this, but she was on a leash and calm and still and right by my feet, and there was no one else in the entire shop so it seemed a bit unnecessary.  So I had to take her and wait outside.

Then the flavours on offer are not only odd, but also then unmatched. Grape and Granadella  Vanilla & Watermelon?, Kiwi & Bubblegum!? Then the ice-cream is really watery (like Wimpy soft serve) and slushy and over-coloured and over-sweetened.

Then worst it is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Both boys were pretty restrained with their helpings and even with 20% off it came to R70! Insane!
For that price we could have got the much much more decedent and delectable Gelato Mania - which while expensive is so luxuriously delicious and packed with premium ingredients that you can't help to feel that it is worth paying any price for it!

Finally both boys ended up in coughing fits while eating it. Neither of them have any known allergies, so who knows what crap is in there that causes it to be such an aggressive irritant.

Wakaberry I am not at all impressed! I won't be back.

Quinn is all legs

Just look!

Friday, 8 November 2013

My first ever running time trial

Weirdly, although I have been running for over 8 years now, and have clocked well over 15 000km, over 2600km just this year so far, I have never done a time trial.

Most clubs have them, and even though I have finally joined a club this year I still hadn't actually attended a time trial.

Sure the Greepoint Park Runs I have been doing are like a time trial in format, and I have even done quite well in them and finished as first lady 3 times now!

Anyway the point is I somehow had never got around to or been able to get to an official club time trial until this week, when I joined Candyce and Co. for the Celtic Harriers Time Trial at the Rondebosch Common on Wednesday. It was chilly and VERY windy making it a pretty grueling 5km facing into the blasting North-Wester most of the time.

I managed to finish in a reasonably respectable but not PB of 23:21. Finishing 5th of the 10 women who took part and ahead of 4 of the 22 men. Not too shabby...

Candyce of course was first lady with only 2 men ahead of her. She is FAST!

Results here

5km - WOMEN   
 Name Surname Time
1 Candyce Hall19:32
2 Claire le Manache20:42
3 Melody Fynn21:20
4 Nothando Mungwe21:40
5 Jane Fraser23:21
6 Kari Longman23:58
7 Andrea Orchard27:23
8 Mandi Cairns27:27
9 Sandiswa Ndlebe30:16
10 Joanne van der Valk30:20

Monday, 4 November 2013

Balls of Fury

In the last couple of weeks at work they have held a Table Tennis Tournament. It was one of the festive morale-boosting activities planned for the slide into the end of the year. We work in a really productive environment where we both work and play hard (as I have mentioned before).

The 'tea pause area' nearest our workplace has a table tennis table and since we moved here in may a good few developers have taken to playing a game or 3 at lunch time. Some are reportedly pretty good players too.

Since I am game for pretty much anything, I leapt at it and  signed myself up when the Tournament announcements was made. But since I am also not very athletically blessed in most sports (I do ok in running but suck at anything involving actual skills or coordination), I was knocked out in straight sets in the first round. Que sera sera. 

The developers duly made it through the rounds and into the finals. Personally I think some of them should be spending more time DEVELOPING! :P

On the day of the big 'Balls of Fury' (as the tournament came to be know) final showdown. I was sitting in our morning meeting when Di came in and placed a note in front of my saying 'Will you play TT in a Sumo Suit?'. I giggled shrugged and gave her a thumbs up and off she went to hatch one of her diabolical plans...

A couple of hours later I was summoned to the storage closet (yes REALLY), where I met with my opponent and partner in crime Raymond. We then had the hilarious and surprisingly difficult chore of donning the HUGE over-sized heavy Sumo Suits. We nearly fell over several times almost bringing the shelving down with us. I am sure anyone walking past that door would have wondered just what was going on in there! :)

Finally we were dressed and ready for our pre-final curtain-raiser show-down. Di rushed off to assemble and prepare the crowd for our arrival. And we just had to saunter in and be entertaining...

Well. Walking in those suits is near on impossible! Instead we had to painstakingly shuffle-waddle all the way down the passage. It was slow and tough going. I actually had to stop and rest a few times! Buy the time I got to the tea pause area I was panting and sweating! LOL.

Finally Raymond waddled around from his side (he had further to shuffle) and we started proceedings with a hearty chest bump which nearly saw both of us ricocheting backwards off our feet. The crowd was well amused at that.

Soon we got to the task at hand which was play a game of Table Tennis. Easier said than done though as we could barely get the bat in place never mind serve or return a shot. And picking the ball up once it fell to the ground was literally impossible, as was reaching over the table. It was hilarious.

We had a lot of fun though and we managed to get a bit of a volley going at one point.

Eventually our game was over and everyone got to enjoy the real nail biting final, while we - dripping with sweat - waddled back to our storage closet to pour ourselves out of the suits and try to cool down. Di had thoughtfully left a bottle of water for each of us.

Just another fun day at the office!