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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 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…

View original post 660 more words

 
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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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Sossusvlei in pictures

The trac to Deadvlei begins here...

The trek to Deadvlei begins here...

The trek to Deadvlei begins here…You can reach this point either by 4×4 vehicle or on foot (a distance of about 5KM from the 2×4 parking area, through the Tsauchab river).
With Bigdaddy (the dune in the picture) on your left, you march on until you find yourself overlooking this amazing, dream-like scene…
…the Deadvlei.

Deadvlei

Deadvlei came about when the river that watered the (now dead) trees was blocked off by the ever shifting dunes.

If you haven’t seen those Nat Geo documentaries, or if you simply thought that the Nat Geo guys are natural liars, you would expect to find no life in this part of the world. But as it turns out, the desert is teeming with life…

Desert life

Desert life
Desert life

Desert life

Desert life

And now to the main attraction of the Namib-Naukluft, the Sossusvlei. Turning around and following the same path you came with, you see it immediately. Far off in the distance yet unmistakable in its beauty…

Sossusvlei as seen from Deadvlei

Sossusvlei as seen from Deadvlei, with Bigmama wiggling on the right.

Climbing for a better view is always very much worth the effort (Humans always have to suffer for beauty). So the climb of Bigmama begins at Sossusvlei…

Bigmama

On the back of Bigmama

She carries you on her back, carrying you higher and higher and giving you a different perspective every sinking step you take…Then, you see it! SOSSUSVLEI the way Bigmama sees it every day…

Sossusvlei

This is Sossusvlei!

Defying all odds, pushing through the thirsty desert sand, the Tsauchab river managed to make it as far as Sossusvlei. She have quenched her thirst.

On top of Bigmama

On top of BigMama, with other dunes lying at a distance like ancient reptilians...

This is just a glimps of what Namibia and its vast desert, the Namib-Desert, have to offer…

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Geography, Tourism, Uncategorized

 

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The morning symphony

I was privileged enough to leave the big city for a few days and spend some time in a small village town. I must say (as you might already know or heard) life in a village town is so peaceful and less stressful. (we should all move to small towns…) Even when you listen to the night, it is very different from what you would hear in the city. In the village town, there you hear more natural sounds as opposed to man-made sounds.

I woke up one early morning to a sound of crowing cocks in the distance of the night, giving each other a chance as if to create a piece of music only they know, a symphony of their own making. Then in-between came a familiar sound that of barking dogs, almost perfectly in tune with the cock-a-doodle-doos, as if to augment them. This, a bit nearby but not too close so as to annoy. Then came an occasional bray of a donkey, quite distinct, albeit not particularly pleasing. (The bray of a donkey makes you think that there is a connection between how the animal looks like and how beautiful its cry is.) To top it off was the rather rare sound, that of a neighing horse, also distinct but very pleasurable. One neigh…, two neighs… and then silence. I was left wishing for more, but I got nothing. I listened harder but all I could hear now are the prominent sounds of the barking dogs and distant crows, disturbed in-between by the donkeys’ brays. It was almost deliberate.

Cities are different though, they have their unique sounds. When I first came to the city as a small boy for example, I remember enjoying what some would call bizarre; a sound of a bus pulling up to a bus station. I would lie in bed in the morning and listen to the sound. I can still remember how pleasurable it was to listen to; that alternating sound of the engine and the release of the hydraulic pressure (I later learned). (Either I have become hard of hearing or they don’t drive the bus like that anymore) It was so harmonious, so predictable.

Back in the village town as the day matured, all the distinct sounds almost disappear as people awaken and other sounds are added to the symphony. By now of course it is no longer a symphony. It is more like a service in one of the charismatic churches, as each individual goes about their business without regard for what the neighbour or even housemate is doing. Pots clicking, kettle boiling, shower running, feet shuffling, doors slamming and perhaps, if you are lucky, a smelly concert in the little room (not the kitchen silly!). These later sounds are quite universal, whether you live in a big city or a small village town. When they all start, then you know…

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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War Unravelled

Many wars have been fought throughout the centuries for different reasons. Some great Generals and Commanders fought for honour (the author John Farndon quotes several writers and figure heads throughout history who maintain that life was meaningless and worth less without honour), some for righting a wrong, and some for freedom, etc.

Napoleon Bonaparte for example, (described as the greatest military genius of the 19th century) fought for glory. Napoleon’s war and conquest is said to have improved the quality of life to many lands he conquered and as it goes with every war, it promised freedom and peace. There was nothing peaceful though about Napoleon’s war. Here is a case in point: according to one encyclopaedia, when he was faced by many a foe that he had no chance of winning, he was given a chance to compromise and still remain the emperor of France. The military genius chose to fight, even though it was an uphill battle for him, with catastrophic results. (I personally think Larry Kersten was talking about Napoleon when he said, ‘Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those who never win and never quit are idiots’.)

General Hannibal of Carthage (ancient city on the north coast of Africa), for one, fought purely for the hate of Rome, a hatred which he vowed to when he was but a boy of Nine.

Alexander the great (one of the world’s greatest military leaders) on the other hand fought at first simply to protect the sovereignty of the Macedonian kingdom he had just inherited from his assassinated father. It appears that he later fought for glory (he is reported to have ordered Greek cities to worship him as a god).

Today wars have taken on a new dimension. Many nations fight for economic or commercial reasons and a few perhaps for security concerns.

MSNBC ran a beautiful article dissecting the war in Libya. In that article the commercialism of that war was very clear. This is a war turned into a mere showmanship, an exhibition if you like. What better place to sell your merchandise than at a place where the entire earth’s population is congealed, as it were. Different companies looking to win new tenders from spectator nations are well represented with their fighter jets now being used in battle by the NATO countries.

Clearly, in this day and age, a war is to a military hardware company what a motor show is to a motor company and more. E.g. when Toyota hears that the Detroit motor show is on, they are sure to show case their latest innovation. Likewise when a military hardware company (like Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Saab Gripen to name but a few) hears of a war in some part of the world, they are more than happy to participate. Those companies whose war machines are now combat proven have a better chance of winning the tenders from nations looking to buy.

With the war gone commercial, the UN might just as well forget about its mandate of bringing peace to the earth. They don’t have a fighting chance!

 
 

Festivities we don’t understand

Humans, as it turns out, are also festive beings. They would make up any reason just to celebrate. This is perhaps due to the fact that, as the cliché goes, they are emotional beings. They attach sentimental value (with no trace of rationality whatsoever) to almost any moment or any object, and as time passes, they would like to remember (or more accurately, evoke the sentiment) and feast.

Just the other day, 3rd April 2011, Google remembered the 119th anniversary of the first documented ice cream sundae. (Don’t pretend you didn’t see that, I know where you do your research and it is not the library. We are all “Google junkies”, aren’t we?. We might just as well get plugged in on Google and have it think for us.) I imagine Google employees eating ice-cream sundae like it’s going out of fashion, on Google’s entertainment budget.

Most likely, your organisation also has one of these: Happy hour, business lunch, breakfast while talking business, wellness day, cultural festival (UNAM students and “Basters” love this one. The “Basters” get to showcase their culture, which is drinking, and UNAM students happily join them). And at a personal level you most likely gave one of these as reason to celebrate: x months since you met, a year since your first kiss (if you are a hopeless romantic), house warming party, graduation party, x year wedding anniversary (Wooden, Tin, Crystal, China, Silver, Pearl, Ruby, Golden, Diamond — and these wedding anniversaries are all for real by the way; According to Wikipedia, in some countries certain wedding anniversaries are acknowledged by the President, Prime minister or some high official by way of a greeting or congratulation letter). What are you waiting for, send an invite to Pohamba already!

Keeping with the culture, very soon the world will be celebrating yet another holiday, Easter. Ask anybody and they will tell you what it is about — a religious holiday. What stands out more than anything about this holiday however is not how religious it is, but the buying and selling that surrounds it. Every time I hear the word Easter being mentioned in any media, it is linked to how many low priced goods I can buy. I know this holiday is said to be a religious holiday or Christian holiday but evidence clearly shows that it is rather a commercial holiday (if there is such a thing). It is almost like Christmas (another so called Christian holiday). They are all centred around buying, having fun, merry-making, eating and drinking (a lot) — partying really — and not what any dictionary or encyclopaedia or anybody describe them to be.

Rightly so, because they are not what they claim to be any way (their origin). They are Masquerades. The fact is, just because we force a name or description on a holiday doesn’t mean that it can live up to that name, nor change its true colours. Just as much as calling a donkey a cow doesn’t change the donkey. You will still have the same lazy, stubborn beast of burden, even after naming and renaming all you want. So it is with this thing (and others) we call a religious holiday. All the characteristics that oozes out of it, bemoans commerce just like many other holidays that our society have tried to squeeze into that same mould (of Christianity) where they clearly don’t belong.

Interestingly enough, political holidays don’t seem to have this problem. They go straight to the point and honour their fallen heroes and heroines, remember their first gun fired in battle for liberation and celebrate their independence. Period! No noise about how many SWAPO flags you can buy at half price. Same goes for many secular holidays. I wonder what the Masquerades are hidding!?

 
 
 
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