Hi all, it's becoming more and more obvious that I am amongst few friends, at least as far as my blog goes. Don't have too many readers anymore (welcome to Johan).
Not too sure what I should do about it, if anything at all. It would seem that for most, blogging has died an untimely death. Wonder what has replaced it? Not FaceBook, or Twitter, as those spaces are for short comments, not"stories. Ah well, se la vie!
So, whats bee happening?
I'm still working here, for now. The new car is great, just very very heavy on fuel.
Last weekend, from Friday to Monday, the Princess and I were in the Kruger National Park. Had a great time, really relaxed, and saw a lot of good game. The place is green wall to wall, and lots of water around. The animals are fat, and looking very healthy. And loads of young one's!
Will post pics as soon as I down load them from the camera. Strange how there seems to be no rush in getting this done, until you have another event, and find that the camera card is full, and have to quickly "dump" the photos onto a stick / pc / laptop to make space.
LuckyL decided he wanted to learn to speak Italian! so I wrote him in for a 3 month course. If he enjoys it, and does OK, and wants to, I will let him to the 2nd course later in the year. So far (one lesson done) he's excited, and keen. Hope he keeps it up.
The Princess just keeps going, working hard, going to gym at least 3 times a week, and is looking great!
GMan, well, he's still out there, trying to get ahead, and doing it on his own, kind of...... Not too sure he's winning as yet, just hope for his sake they can crack a deal soon.
I'm really keen to get cracking with the new company, and spend some time each week understanding more of the product, it's capabilities, and reading up on various applications where we could market it. Suffice to say, it's exciting, but not going to be easy. But it's back where I belong - in the Mechanical Engineering world.
OK, so I'm online, doing an opportunity update. The damn system wont allow me to click "Save" until I update one of the comment lines. But this line is "greyed" out, so I cannot access it.... DUH!!!!
OK, sorted that crap out.
Where was I?.......... Oh yea, so I have a new manager. Some guy out from the USA, on assignment. Now he's a pretty cool dude, friendly, likes outdoors, chatty, but, did we really have to get some expensive guy from the US on assignment to come and manage this business? For what we are paying him, I'm sure we could have hired 2 local guys, with all the experience required! But then, that's what international companies do.
On the point of international companies:- One of our local companies, which had a 51%+ take over by a European company some years ago, has just gone through tremendous layoffs. it was poorly managed, and not properly thought through, as they are now exposed with too few skills on the ground, people having to co-opt 2-3 positions, overtime will go through the roof, and from being the market leaders in their space, I know they will slip to 3rd or 4th in the next 18 months. However, they made sure that the severance issue happened at the same time as their latest results release! And because they beat market expecttations, and increase share holder value and dividents by big percentages, th story of the lay offs didn't even get a mention in the daily rags. Over 130 people layed off - and at least another 100 who left out of their own before the day of recconing, with who knows how many more to leave after, as they cannot cope with the extra work load.
So, contrary to general public perceptions, I am in full agreement with the government with regards foreign companies buying up local companies. there must be some form of assurance that they will not get rid of staff en mass, that they will ensure continued support of local manufacturers, as was the case with the recent Massmart / Walmart deal. As far as I am concerned, if these big internationals want to invest in South Africa, do so from the ground up. Don't come here, buy up existing business, and destroy it!
Barclays is doing just that now with Absa. Top management are being replaced with Barclays people, and in the ranks, chaos reigns supreme. Every single invoice is now queried by 4 - 5 individuals before payment is approved. Any new contract must be approved at some senior level in the UK! WTF!!! Those clowns are only still in business thanks to a big buy out by the Arabs, and they bought into Absa because the profits were at least 4 x what they were making overseas. Now they want to come here (are here) and tell us (South Africans) how to run a bank? Watch Absa - 18 - 24 months - Fucked up!!!!
My pet hate right now (has been for some time) is bad drivers. I'm not talking about the taxi's who stop whenever / wherever they want to. I'm not talking about the old lady doing 40 in a 60 / 80 zone, in the fast lane. That I can live with. I'm talking about the number of people who just don't bother to stop at stop streets. Every day, without fail, I will see at least 3 - 5 of these idiots. I pulled a guy over the other day. Told him, "That was a stop street". He said "I know". So why didn't you stop? Well, there were no cars coming....! WTF! It's a fucking stop street moron. And you have to stop. Even if there are no other cars! Do you go home on the weekend and rape 3 yr old girls? I asked. You might as well, you a criminal anyway!!! Man, was he pissed off!!!! But like I should care!
The truth of the matter is that it is those people who will complain about taxi drivers. They the one's who complain about the cops and bribery and corruption. They complain about all the speed traps, and untimely road blocks. But ultimately, they are criminals. Maybe not on the same level as a murderer, rapist, politician (sic), but a crime is a crime, and if convicted, the record will show that you are a criminal. Each time I see one of these stop street jumpers I pray for a car, with another one of them, to be coming across from the other side. Will make for a really satisfying event!
Anyway, time to do some work.