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If music be the food of life (and an appology to those who still know how to forgive)

Today I want to write about music. But first of all, allow me to apologise for not writing for a while. Some have mentioned in passing how I don’t write any more. It got me thinking. The truth is, the past year and a few months have been crazy for me. For one, changing careers. It has not been the easiest of things. But many have been of great encouragement to me in ways that they might not even have realized. To those of you who have encouraged me in some way, I want to say thank you.

It seems that to cope I had gotten myself into some sort of a rut. What some would call Work-Home-Church-Work-Home-Church situation. It is a vicious triangle. Fortunately I haven’t gotten lost in the triangle. Well, at least I hope so. 

I have managed to arrange my affairs to be able to include other things that I love. For example writing, music, wine and good whisky/brandy. So I am hoping I’ll be able to post an article or two every month. And there is a wine festival in Windhoek coming up next month at the Country Club, so see you there. 

This article is really about music. Yes I love music. While I am not much of a dancer, I listen to a varied host of Genres: Rock, Pop, Country and local/traditional music. But for a while what I have been interested in is being able to read music or even play it, especial on a piano or keyboard. Ok, maybe I am going ahead of myself with the playing it part, but well, a man can dream right! All I knew about music notes was the “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do,” and I couldn’t even sing it in reverse. So to remedy the situation, I did what all savvy 21 century individuals do when they want to learn something… I went to the internet. Oh, the great internet! Long live Al Gore! The internet have a lot of promising sites, of course, but none of them could really get me there. Until…

 …I stumbled upon this one site that really laid it all out just right for me. Of coarse when I started off, I thought it was just one of those sites. I didn’t think I would make it past the Chords without using one to hang myself. But I did. From Notes, to Tones, to Tunes, to Chords (Major, Minor, 7th), it laid it all out in a most simple way imaginable. It removed the Scales from my eyes.

If you also want to learn music the easy way, this might be the site for you. Just a warning though: this site doesn’t really teach by using videos. So if you are the type that still enjoys reading, then this site is for you. But even if you’re not the type, try it out, you won’t regret it. It is Note-worthy. 

Here is the site: http://www.pianobychords.com. Please let me know what you think.

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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Music, personal, Uncategorized

 

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Water is actually thicker than blood (a poem)

A large family I have. They genuinely care.

A family that surprisingly knows me better than I at times may think.

They’re always there, even when they really don’t have to.

On a dark day, when everything is heavy and I think it’s better to die,

they brighten it up and help carry my burdens. Death is not an option.

They are true to me,

when I am wrong, they correct me,

for that’s what people who love you should do.

When I am right, they acknowledge it, ’cause they value me.

Yes, family is beautiful.

Part of my family though is not related to me by blood

My friends have become a part of the large family I cherish.

Among them I have sisters, brothers and uncles.

What if your blood family doesn’t care for you?

Don’t cry, the ones that love you now can and will dry your tears

Don’t worry, share your worries with the ones with you now. Why, they care.

Yes, look around, there are people willing and ready to love you

people who would stick with you and die for you if need be.

Just remember, Water CAN be thicker than blood.

I have lived to experience it.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Family, life, Uncategorized

 

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The Problem With The Renewed Namibia Dollar

I went to withdraw some money the other day at an ATM. After pressing a few buttons, out came my lot. But alas! It was not money that came out. (at least so I thought)

Regardless of having known that the new currency was coming, it really hit me badly. For some reason, I felt like I wasn’t home. I had to ask myself where I was. The surroundings looked familiar, but I had to think hard whether I wasn’t traveling, perhaps in Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe or in one of the West African countries. After convincing myself that I was still in Namibia, I looked at the wad of cash in my hand. What I held was not the pride of Namibia I have come to appreciate. I felt poorer.

While some have cried (privately or publicly) about the face on the money, my feelings where not evoked by such public or private outcries. Mine was a design issue. Compared with the former design,  look and feel, this new currency is beaten hands down. I appreciate that the designer was perhaps trying to achieve an African feel, but not only did they fail to achieve that but also only managed to produce, well, some really awful currency with what appears to be an Asian overtone. I started to wonder whether it wasn’t selected from the 1993 rejected drafts that I have seen displayed. These were rejects for a reason people!

I have to ask: What is happening to us? We (Namibia and South Africa), as I like to call us, are “The Europe of Africa.” Being that, we have to be up there with the best, not down here with the rest. Everything should and must continue to set us apart, including our currency. To look typical African, even on this, engenders thoughts and feelings of going downhill.

I am not ruling out the fact that I might just be in a mood to vent right now but I also know this: Steps, even subtle ones, lead to the destination traveled.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Commerce, Current affairs

 

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The oversimplification of matters

The oversimplification of matters

Most things in life are ordinary but we do a good job complicating them. (It is probably the only job we are willing to do without getting paid.) On the other hand things that are quite complex we tend to take lightly. Shall we call it the human way!

What am I referring to? Well, stereotyping. One dictionary define it as ‘a set of simplistic generalizations.’ It has been around for ages. (They even taught it to kids. Will return to that later.) A typical stereotype that you might hear today is: “People who wear glasses are smarter.” Preposterous isn’t it! Or if you live in america: “Police officers like doughnuts.” In general it seems that life itself is a stereotype. Your are born, you grow up, go to school, get married and get children (not particularly in that order), become old, die…
Source: Frigginrandom.com

Source: Frigginrandom.com

The origin of the word “stereotype” is apparently from Greek. (I am sorry, but the Etymologist in me was awoken.) Interestingly enough, this term have been used mainly in printing. But the word has taken on a new meaning today. The only printing it represent now, for many anyways, perhaps is what has been imprinted in theirs minds.

In a children’s nursery rhyme that was published in the 1800’s we see another typical stereotype that made it all the way to the 1980’s or perhaps even the 90’s. You know the one:

What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails, That’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice,That’s what little girls are made of.

Source: justsaypictures.com

This children’s rhyme reveals the Gender/Age stereotype that existed in the 1800’s, and every boy had to learn it by heart. (How cruel can you be!) People believed that every boy was mischievous and no good, while girls where the favourites. This belief was almost universal. In the 80’s, while growing up in the northern Namibia, this stereotype of boys was alive and kicking and perpetuated by almost every grown up. They also claimed that boys were no good and that they would not turn out to be useful members of the community. And that, boys would only become “Botsotsos” (meaning criminals, mostly in Namibia and South Africa). But at least they didn’t teach us to rhyme it. Such views can almost become self-fulfilling prophecies. For one, because these boys could have given up on themselves and think that they have no choice because they are doomed to this one bad destiny.

Wow! Just imagine that, gender determines how you turn out. Really!!? That’s deep!

That was the stereotype of the 80’s and past centuries.

Fast forward to the 21 century, and you find the reversed stereotype, same as in the past but now targeting the girls. They are now also believed to be no good, that they will only become loose women by the time they hit their teenage years, if not bearing several children out-of-wedlock by then.

Source: sodahead.com

To keep entertaining such stereotypes is nothing less than a disaster. To me it is an indication that, we, the adults, have given up and we see no way of addressing what ever issues are there in the lives of girls that lead to this stereotype; and to give up on the girls is to give up on mothers of tomorrow.

We don’t need to guess what the outcome will be, the result is almost predictable. Their confidence will leave a lot to be desired, their willingness to take responsibility will be lacking. While this is not a study but simply an opinion post, the conclusion cannot be far off.

Other image sources: Photobucket.com

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in comedy, Culture, funny, humor, life, Philosophy, Poem, Satire, Uncategorized

 

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Re-blogged: Introverts vs. Extroverts: It’s Time to Set the Record Straight

I couldn’t have said it better myself… click here to read the rest of the article.

Magnet for Foolishness®

Hi. I’m Sonya. And I’m an introvert. (Now you say, “Hi, Sonya.”)

Dictionary.com defines introvert in a couple of ways. The first definition it gives is “a shy person”. I happen to disagree with this definition, especially since it defines shy as “easily frightened away”, “suspicious”, “distrustful”, and “reluctant”. The second definition offered is “a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings.” I agree with the second definition more than the first, although the second one kinda makes it seem like introverts are self-centered. Normally, dictionary.com is my friend. But sadly, it has failed me this time.

Honestly, the first time I’d ever even heard the word “introvert” was when I was subjected to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment (MBTI). It wasn’t until later that I actually learned that I was stricken with this “ailment” called introversion.

If the creators of the MBTI were…

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in comedy, Culture, funny, humor, life, personal, Satire, Uncategorized

 

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Gesticulation Through Culture and Other Inclinations

With a flattened hand, palm facing down, arm stretched out, he indicated to the villagers the height of a boy that has gone missing in the African jungle. The villagers looked intently and carefully at the gestures as they understood none of the words that the white man spoke. The gestures were their only line of communication. The villagers looked at each other and uttered strange words as they contemplated the type of animal he could be looking for…

The above is a typical case of what I call here, gesticulation failure. The two parties did not only have a language barrier, but also a gesture barrier. The gesture the westerner was using is used by the villagers to refer to a height of an animal, not a human’s height. A human’s height is indicated rather with a hand clamped to form a fist, instead of an open palm.

This is just one of the many gestures that differ culturally.

Another gesture is one that you would think that it means the same thing in all parts of the world, nodding your head up and down. Apparently in Greece it means “no!”. Boy! Remind me never to gesture while in Greece.

Having grown up in an African village, I have only known that people count starting from the pinky finger, moving to the second finger, culminating on the thumb. But it wasn’t long before I came across, what I thought to be, the most strange way of enumerating things on one’s fingers, starting with the thumb instead of the pinky finger.

Talking about fingers. Did you know that the middle finger didn’t mean anything in some villages of Africa till the world became a global village? Shocking, isn’t! I say shocking because the middle finger seems to be just the best way to show someone how you truly think about them. But not so in some parts of the world. In my village those days, if you wanted to show someone how you truly think about them, you showed them the index finger. Yeah, the index finger! It did the trick!

Tendencies also differ between caltures. In some caltures for example, especially western, speed is crucial. Everything need to be done faster and faster. In others though speed is a sign of immaturity and madness at worst, as typified by the statement, “he is driving like a mad man.” When you read that statement, I am sure in your mind you didn’t think he was driving slowly. This is a typical inclination especially in those of African descent. Here, slow is a life style. It is “the way of the elephant!” Your lemma would be to be caught up inbetween these two caltures, the slow and the fast. Sometimes they both exist in one country. You will never know what to be. Whether a sloth or a cheetah. An elephant or a gazzel. Either way, you will be like a penguin or even worse like a fish out of water.

Screaming is another thing that also differ throughout cultures. In Africa, a scream would include words, e.g. “MEMEEI, YAYEEI, WOOWOO”. In the West they would simply utter an unintelligible screech: “AAAAAAH!” Period. Unintelligible as it might be, I have found that this is the most effective scream, the most streamlined scream, a better scream, a scream high up the scream hierarchy, because it achieves the highest pitch. And that friends is what you would want when in danger, the highest pitch possible.

These are but just a few drops from the ocean of differences in culture that exists in the world today. So what ever inclinations you grew up with or have developed, or what ever gestures you are accustomed to, they might not be as international as you might think. Let’s all embrace diversity!

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Culture, Philosophy, Satire, Uncategorized

 

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I’ve lost a great friend

I was told to be strong.

 but i didn’t know how i was

to be strong if I had just lost

my greatest friend. I didn’t know how

 I was to be strong if everybody else wasn’t.

I begged him not to leave me behind

not to leave me alone.

I asked him to be strong for me but he couldn’t hear me .

 He was gone already, only I didnt know.

Everyday I wish I could talk to him, hear him him laugh again, listen to one more joke from him, get a hug where I was always covered under his protective arms.

 Everyday I miss that strong man I knew, the funny man who always made me laugh.

Everyday I wish my best friend was with me.

who would give me advice like he did?

Who would give me a kiss well done? who would be my best friend now?

I’ve lost a friend, a great friend above all I’ve lost a father.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Poem, Uncategorized

 

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