Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Josh Hamilton

I switched over to ESPN last night to catch the highlights of the World Series game. Unfortunately, as you know, it was rained out but they did show some baseball and it was the Homerun Derby at the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium earlier this year. I had missed it the first time round, so I sat down to check it out.

I must be honest, as a baseball fan being 14, 000 km`s away from the USA, it is quite difficult to catch games and to stay in touch with what`s happening. I am a massive Redsox fan and have been for a long time now. I bought a few Redsox books on our visit to the States and also got an authentic Sox cap, which I rocked in NYC, as my friend Lisa once said. I met Lisa on the blogs a few months ago. It turned out that she is the biggest Sox fan in the world and she willingly gave me info and sites to visit and just kept me updated. The live games only start here at 01:00 in the morning, so watching it live is not possible, for me in any case.

During the play-offs, I would receive an email every morning after the games, firstly against the Angels and then against the Rays. The subject would say something like "we won 4-2" and then she would give me a quick rundown of the game. I in turn would then catch the replay of the game later during the day here on ESPN. Some mornings I would wake up at 05:00 and switch the tv on to see the last inning of the games. It was great and from being 3-1 down, the Sox levelled the series at 3-3 and I along with all Sox fans across the world believed.

Obviously the last email just said "it`s over" and I must say, I was devastated. I know Lisa was even more devastated cos she lived those games and experienced it first hand. I at least got the bad news and didn`t have to sit with the hope in me only to see the Sox lose.

So that brings me to last night and the Homerun Derby. I saw the guys come up and get 5 or 6 HR`s or in Justin Morneau`s case 8. Then a guy named Josh Hamilton came up to the plate and proceded to hit 28 HR`s in the first round! That bettered the previous single round record of 24. The distance of some of his hits were astounding. 3 of the HR`s were in the TOP 10 of ALL TIME in the Homerun Derby. Unbelievable.

I was quite impressed by this guy. Then he was interviewed after his heroics and he said something along the lines of "God is a God of second chances". The commentators then mentioned his struggle with heroin and alcoholism and the fact that he had beaten his addictions.

Of course I was really into this story by now, so I googled Josh Hamilton and what incredible reading it turned out to be.

Josh Hamilton was a prodigiously talented youngster who was the 1st pick in the draft. He received the biggest sign-on bonus ever, $ 4 million, from the Rays. But then, he squandered ALL of it on drugs and alcohol. A sad, sad story. He was banned from MLB. He was 6`4 and had weighed 230 pounds before his addiction. At the worst point he had dropped to 180 pounds and was a shadow of the man he used to be.

Then things changed. One morning his grandmother sat him down and spoke to him earnestly. He made the decision to give his heart to the Lord and changed his ways. He got back into baseball and was signed by the Reds. He undergoes drug testing, every 2nd day. He has a full time manager / friend that travels with him and makes sure he stays out of situations that might get him in trouble. This was requested by Josh himself. When he feels the need for drugs or alcohol, he calls his manager and they do Bible study. He has been clean for more than 2 years and his life has turned around completely. He was voted the Rangers Player of the Year earlier this week. The turnaround was complete.

I was really taken by this story. This I think is the perfect modern day retelling of the Prodigal Son. A young man with everything going for him stumbles. He gets lost in the world and all the bad things it has to offer. However, he does see the light and comes back to His Heavenly Father who welcomes him with open arms. From my perspective his life comes full circle at the All Star game where his prodigious God given talent comes to the fore in an amazing way. His comeback is complete.

God is indeed a God of second chances.

This is a video of the story of Josh Hamilton. Well worth watching and so inspirational.

video

Monday, October 27, 2008

An awesome race


I did the Rola Motors 10km race here in Somerset West on Saturday morning and what an awesome experience. Most of the run took place on the Vergelegen Wine Estate and the views were absolutely incredible. Although these are some cool photos, thank you Mr WorldWideWeb, they cannot really encapsulate the beauty of the Cape Winelands.
Check out the Camphor trees in this photo, they are believed to be 300 years old.




Vergelegen literally translates to "situated far away".

Vergelegen Wine Estate is thought to have originated in 1685 when the High Commissioner of the Dutch East India Company instructed Commander Simon van der Stel to relocate the company's outpost in the Hottentots Holland. The company had bought the grounds in 1672 from the chiefs of the tribe that owned it.

This is the view from the highest point of the race. It was a tough climb up to here but the rest of the race was mostly downhill and pretty cool. I found myself just staring at the gorgeous views a few times and had to concentrate on actually racing.


For the record, I finished in 58:35 and was very happy with the time. After the last half marathon in which I did some serious damage to my knees, I had been taking it easy with regards the running and have done 3 or 4 runs a week on average. It seems to have worked cos I had no problems with my knees on Saturday and I`m very thankful for that.

This was by far the most beautiful race I have done so far and like I always say, God took His time when He created the Cape.

Ken Lee

video

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SABC2 - An interview with the Chairman

This is hilarious! For the overseas readers, SABC2 (South African Broadcasting Corporation) is one of our local channels. This is an interview that took place yesterday, on live tv.


video

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tiger Woods - The Greatest


I am a Tiger Woods fan. No, in fact I heart Tiger Woods. Now that is quite a big statement coming from a South African. Let me explain. Ernie Els is a national treasure and one of the most loved sportsmen in this country and I heart Ernie Els too. He is the man here in SA. Tiger has beaten our own Ernie Els more times than we care to remember. He has broken SA hearts too many times to mention. Ernie has a host of runners up finishes in Major Championships and the most of those are due to a certain Mr Woods.

Yet, Tiger Woods is one of my, and all my friends for that matter, favourite sportsmen. He is awesome. The best golfer to ever grace the planet. Simple as that.

So what did I see on Sport Centre this morning? Tiger the caddy. Tiger was the prize in a competition sponsored by Buick called "Tee off with Tiger". Now Buick is one of Tiger`s main sponsors, so it is understandable that he would lend his support. So now you have the world greatest sportsman, caddying for weekend golfer like myself. What does the worlds best do? Sit back and take the obvious adoration that would come his way. Walk around with the swagger of someone who is the best in the business? No, this is what Tiger does and that is why he is a true great.

Hopping from a cart, Woods walked up to 59-year-old John Abel, doffed his cap and extended his right hand. "Hey, I hear you're looking for a caddie. I'm Tiger Woods — pleased to meet you."

Monday, October 20, 2008

My funniest golfing moment

Ok, as you can see I have my groove back, just like Stella. Suddenly I have a lot of posts running around in my head and not enough time to post them all! At least it beats the dreaded bloggers block.

This specific post is dedicated to my funniest golfing moment. Not something I am especially proud of cos it was pretty stupid but it was very funny!

It starts off in a region of our country called Mpumalanga and more specifically a town called Hazyview. Now Mpumalanga is the home of the Kruger National Park amongst other things and also the forestry hub of our country. A beautiful place! It is also a mere 4 hours from Johannesburg, so a perfect place for a weekend away.

My Father-in-Law has timeshare in a Southern Sun resort called Sabie River Sun and it is one of our favourite getaways. The whole family goes and we stay in a bungalow and just have the best time. There is so much to do for the whole family. Depending which bungalow you get, you could look out at hippos in the dam, onto the golf course or one of the many swimming pools the resort has to offer. Truly a great place!

So on one of these holidays, my father-in-law Clive, my brother-in-law Mark and I were playing a round of golf. The golf was great and we were having a very nice round. Kyle, Mark`s son, and I were sharing a golf cart and he was doing the driving. This was against the rules because Kyle was under aged (11) and not allowed to but what the heck, I`m a rebel if nothing else.

We were at one of the par 3`s. It is a pretty tough hole. Roughly 160 metres with half an island green, the whole front and right side of the green is surrounded by water. The flag was on the right hand side of the green, about 3 metres from the water. So we all tee off. Clive goes to the left of the green and Mark hits into the green side bunker on the same side. I hit a pretty good iron and finish about 3 metres from the pin but with a tough little breaking putt facing me.

So now we arrive at the green, I pick up my ball and start cleaning it. Clive hits a great chip and then Mark gets ready to hit out the bunker. This is a pretty tough shot though. If he leaves it short, he`ll have a very tough putt for par and if he hits it too hard, even just a bit, the ball would end up in the water behind the hole. So Mark hits it but I see it`s too hard. Now keep in mind that Mark has already lost about 9 balls and is fast running out of replacements! I flick into action and rush to stop his ball from going into the water, very aware of the fact that I would get a lot of pats on the back for my gallant behaviour in saving a golf ball from drowning. Focusing on the ball, I have a good feeling about stopping it from going into the drink. In the nick of time I stopped it with my foot. Unfortunately my body does not stop with it but momentum carries me forward. Then I realise that I do not have any Terra Firma under my feet anymore and am in fact running on air. I forgot to focus on the edge of the green, which is followed by a drop of about one and a half metre into the dam.

At this point of time a lot of things go racing through my mind. I still have my putter in one hand, my golf ball and towel in the other and my legs are still moving as if running. Suddenly I am gripped by concern as to what is under the water. Crocs? There are crocodiles in some of the other dams on the resort, so why not this one? Sharp rocks? What if I hit the water and a huge rock shatters my leg on impact?
So, I did the only thing I could and went into the tuck position. I pulled my knees up and braced for the impact. It all happened very slowly. I hit the water and went down. I was completely submerged. I held onto my Odyssey putter and my golf ball cos it was a Titleist Pro-V1 and they are very expensive. Then I felt something solid under my feet. I was at the bottom of the dam! RELIEF! I decided to push up with my legs to get to the surface cos I had no idea how deep the dam was. It felt like I had sunk about 2 metres. As I did this I was out the water like a cork. I stood there, in thigh high water, soaked, my golf cap drifting away. If I had landed on my feet, my shorts would have been wet but I assumed the tuck position and now I was wet from head to toe. I looked up at my golf partners / family and they were literally rolling on the green laughing. Then the realisation hit me, I had just jumped into a dam on a golf course.

I was utterly embarrassed but I must admit it must have been hilarious to see. I waded out the dam, the long way around cos it was too high to get out where I had entered. I was sopping wet. After a minute or five, with my golfing partners / family still laughing hysterically I lined up the birdie putt and promptly holed it!

My dignity took a big knock that day but at least I saved a golf ball. Strangely nobody remembered that fact....

Best Man?

So funny, enjoy.

video

A Happy Anniversary and a not so Happy Anniversary


Today is the 1st anniversary of the Springboks winning the World Cup in France last year! How quickly the time has flown by. To celebrate, I will be watching the final tonight and reliving all the great moments. What a day that was! Riaan and Sally spent that weekend with us and Riaan and I had an absolute ball, as you can well imagine. I remember walking around the garden at 02:00 in the morning cos I was just on such a high after the win.

Today is also the 1st anniversary of the last time I played golf. Riaan and I played Erinvale the morning of the world cup final. Can you believe that I haven`t touched a club for the last year? It`s crazy to contemplate but a reality unfortunately. Certainly makes the name of this site seem a bit ODD. Hopefully the plans we are putting in place will result in lots of golf with my mates in the new year. I cannot wait.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hillsong Cape Town rocks

Today was probably the most awesome church service I have experienced in ages. Hillsong Cape Town rocked and approximately 2000 people rocked with it!

Some background. Hillsong CT does not have it`s own building yet, so they operate out of the Cape Town Convention Centre and have done so since inception in June 2008. All services have been in Auditorium 2, which is the smaller of the venues at the Convention Centre. There are 4 services every Sunday, 09:00, 11:00, 16:30 and 18:30. This is due to the size of the venue and more importantly the size of the congregation! It truly is a blessed place.

Well today we had our first service in auditorium 1, the main one and biggest of the lot. The reason was that we had Israel Houghton and the New Breed visit our church along with Pastor Robert Ferguson from Hillsong Australia. What a day it turned out to be. I have not experienced praise and worship like that EVER. It was amazing, truly amazing.

Israel and the New Breed joined the Hillsong Cape Town Worship Team as well as a Worship Choir from our church! It was absolutely awesome. The worship lifted the roof and to hear and see God`s name praised like that was something to experience. It was truly a magical morning. During the worship, they called all the young people to stand in front of the stage. Then the worship continued and to see all the young people rocking for God was a really awesome thing and underlined just how God is moving in our country.

This is one of the songs we sang this morning and title song from the latest Hillsong album called "This is our God'. I adore this song and have to admit I shed a tear or two while singing it. I feel very blessed today and needed a lift after a very tough week with many psychological struggles.

So, enjoy this song. It always makes me feel very close to my God.

video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My boy Elvis


Elvis is a very special dog. He eats whatever you put in his mouth, literally ANYTHING as long as it`s food and can be chewed, sucked, slurped or just plain swallowed. The only exception is lettuce. Give him lettuce and he promptly spits it out. It`s the funniest thing.
Elvis also only runs for 3 things. Firstly, food obviously, secondly to come inside and turdly, uhhhh I mean thirdly, he runs away from his own business. Lets just say he runs away whenever he finished a number 2. Hayley and I would be watching tv and then we would hear Elvis come racing around the corner. We would look at each other knowingly, nod and say, "poo". Elvis just made a poo.
Elvis can also sulk with the best of them. If he is unhappy, he would go sit somewhere, far removed and sulk. I usually go to him and sit and chat to him. Eventually he will lift his paw and put it on my hand or leg and that indicates that my boy feels better. So dramatic...
The other Elvisism is he hates wet grass. He refuses to walk on wet grass which is a massive problem if you consider that we live in Cape Town where the winters are long, cold and WET. It`ll rain for weeks on end.
So in the mornings Hayley feeds Elvis and Phoebe and let`s them out. They have an awesome doghouse, which is kitted out with about 8 blankets and very comfortable. This is where they spend a lot of time if we`re at work or away. When I`m at home, I let them inside at about 0900 in the morning.
The problem however is getting Elvis to leave his doghouse. Even though he lives to be inside the house, he HATES the wet grass and it takes me forever to get him inside. I have to walk up to the doghouse, wake him up and call him inside. I sometimes have to repeat this step a few times, depending on the weather and his mood. Then he sits around, checks the weather, looks at the grass (to ensure it`s not wet), rolls around a bit and then RACES to get inside. It looks like he is running on air, with paws lifted as high as his short little legs would allow.
I decided to take a pic of Elvis one morning while I was calling him inside. This is Reconnaissance Elvis, making sure the terrain is suitable for a quick and dry getaway.



He is such a special boy and his Dad loves him VERY much!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekend pics

A great weekend spent with my Mom-in-Law. These pics were taken in Gordonsbay (Friday night), at home (Saturday night) and at Kalkbay Harbour (Sunday).









For more photos and a better post go here!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mrs Doubtfire in the house


So guess who decided not to pitch up today? Our maid. So guess who had to clean the house because my MIL (Mother-in-Law) is coming to visit for the weekend?

Yip, that`s correct, ME.

I have mopped, swept, cleaned, thrown away, washed, fluffed, scraped, hidden and picked up this morning. I am now tired. Housework is tough, tough work. Respect to all the housewives out there.
So if you`d excuse me, I`m gonna get into bed and sleep for 20 hours....

The Springbok

I am a relatively calm person. I don`t get overly upset about too many things. It takes quite a bit to get me really worked up.

At this moment, I am really worked up. The reason? The poor Springbok is once again under fire. Will this ever end? We have a few idiots in government who are doing their utmost to get rid of the one thing they know white people hold very dear in this country. The Springbok has been the emblem of our national rugby side for more than a 100 years and is the only emblem to have remained intact after unification. Mainly due to Nelson Mandela`s influence. However, with Madiba on a well deserved retirement a few of the government officials have taken it upon themselves to get rid of the Springbok and to replace it with the Protea (which is used by the other sporting codes as the official emblem).

The only problem is that the Springbok is the lone world class side left in this country. The national soccer side has fallen from number 15 in the world to 83. Our Olympic squad brought home a grand total of ONE medal, a silver one in the men's long jump. We don't have a tennis player in the top 100! Our sport is a mess and it is purely because of government intervention.
So now, they want to change the emblem of the Springbok, the current world champions. The funny thing is that the gravy train riding government ministers who all wore their Springbok jerseys happily last year in France when we were crowned world champions, are now rooting for the emblem to be scrapped. Strange, if it was an issue then surely they wouldn`t have accepted the jerseys presented to them by the team last year, not to mention WEAR them at the final! It is a joke, a complete joke.
Things like this make me very unhappy in South Africa. Instead of focusing on the poor Olympic performance, they focus on stripping a team of it`s identity? Maybe it`s shifting the focus from their own incompetencies.

The fact is that the Springbok is not the white mans. Brian Habana is a Springbok and a hero to millions of South Africans. Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira is one of our favourite players in this country and a proud Springbok. Chester Williams, Ricky January, Bolla Conradie, Conrad Jantjes, JP Pietersen, Adi Jacobs, Jongi Nokwe to name but a few, are all players of colour who would die for the Springbok. Did anybody from government ask their opinions? Guess not, cos it`s only governments opinion that counts.
The ironic thing is that no other sport has done more to unify the country. Winning world cups in 1995 and 2007 was indescribable and showed just how we can all be one. Seeing black and white celebrate in the streets after the 1995 victory is something that I`ll never forget. Then there was no black and white, only South Africans. The same happened in 2007, one country, one nation.

This is a complex country and I am as liberal as the next guy but please, hurting us for the sake of payback? That`s not what a government in a true democracy would do and not what the great Nelson Mandela envisioned.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The dreaded BB - Bloggers Block


I haven`t updated my little blog in almost a week now. Today I went to see a doctor, Dr Beat, and he diagnosed me with a severe case of BB - Bloggers Block. He prescribed a dose of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine with two aspirins. Ok, not a true story but at least my brain is coming up with something funny. Yay for my right brain!
We had such an awesome weekend. The time spent with our best friends and our family was so great. We are truly blessed to have such an awesome support unit. I also had a few good business meetings, so things are looking up. I suppose that`s part of the BB problem, I have too many things running through my head at the moment.
I promise to do a proper post soon, maybe tonight. Until then, I bid you fare-thee-well.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mates

So Hayley and I are flying to Johannesburg tomorrow for Gys, one of my buddies`s wedding. We are beyond excited because we are going to see most of our friends this weekend. It is so awesome!!

Since we moved to the Cape last year, we have not seen many of our friends. Riaan & Sally, Dale & Kerri and Andre & Mia have visited us and we also got to see them for Hayley`s birthday (which we got to spend in Jhb) in February. A lot of our friends we haven`t seen though.

Gys and Sanchia, Graham, Eric, Jaco, Louw, Johan & Maria, Quinton & Liesel. We haven`t seen these guys for more than a year and a half. If I`m honest, we miss our friends terribly.

We love it here in the Cape but we also go through days where we miss the get-togethers and the hanging out. Just being able to get in your car and go visit friends, that is not something we have been able to do since we`ve been here. Hayley and I are pretty private people too, so we were never the types to go visit someone in the middle of the week or just for the sake of visiting. Most of our time is spent together and that`s just the way I like it. However, I do miss the friends. Golf on Saturdays with my buddies used to be one of my favourite things. Now, I haven`t even touched a club in a YEAR. That`s so sad! The only reason I haven`t played since then is that I have nobody to play a round with.

That`s why it`s so cool when the friends come to visit us here. We always have the best time together. The bonds between us have remained as strong as ever and we always pick up where we left off.

So, having said all of that this is the weekend that we have ahead of us! Excitement!!!!!!!

Kerri and Dale will pick us up from the airport on Friday night. We`ll then spend the rest of the evening with them and stay over at their new place. We are so excited to see their new place and get to meet Molly and Oscar, their new doggies! Kerri has even penned a song for Molly and it goes something like this: "Mo-ly-ly-lylylylyly-lylylylyly". Dale and Kerri are 2 of the funniest people I have ever met. They have been buddies with Hayley for a very long time and I have been fortunate enough to be able to call them my friends too. They are awesome.

We`ll leave their place on Saturday morning, get a car from Hayley`s folks` place and head to Riaan and Sally. We`ll spend the rest of the day hanging out with them and then all go to the wedding. Now Riaan and Sally are 2 of the other funniest people we know!! Riaan and I have been buddies for a long time and Hayley and Sally get on like a house on fire. They also have the cutest little one, Mia. So Hayley will be even more broody than usual after this weekend.

At the wedding we`ll get to see all our other friends and that is gonna be so cool! I cannot wait! There is the small matter of a big rugby match though. It`s my beloved WP playing the Lions on Saturday. Gys and I are big WP fans and the rest of the guys are mostly Lions fans. The wedding starts at 16:00 and the game is at 17:00. Riaan has already organised for us to watch the game (inbetween the wedding stuff), so I am stoked!

Sunday we`ll get to see the family! Yay! They arrive back from the Drakensberg, where they have been the last week. We`ll go for lunch and spend some great time together before dropping Hayley off at the airport, which is the only downer of the whole weekend, I hate being apart from my wife. I only fly back on Tuesday, cos I have a few business meetings set up. I`ll stay with my awesome In-Laws on Sunday and Monday and no doubt have a great time with them, Lindsay, Mark and the kids.

So there you have it. We`ll probably be a bit quiet over the next few days but at least you`ll know why.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sleep Talking

I switched the tv off at about 23:30 last night. Hayley had been asleep for a while and I had stayed up to watch the football.

So I was trying to dose off when suddenly Hayley speaks. Now I recognise Hayley`s "sleep talking" voice and the content thereof so I obviously tried to play along as much as possible.

This is the conversation that ensued:

Hayley: "Is she gonna bring it back?"
Me: "Is she gonna bring what back?"
Hayley: "My nursing stuff"
Me: "What nursing stuff?"
Hayley: "My nursing stuff!!!"
Me: "What do you need the nursing stuff for?"
Hayley: "My neck is sore"
Me: "Why?"
Hayley: "I`m sweating"
Me: "Why are you sweating?"
Hayley: "Cos I`m standing in the sun in my nurses outfit"
Hayley (excited): 'That`s why my neck is sore!!!"
Me: "Why is your neck sore?"
Hayley: "Cos I`ve been staring up at the sun, that`s why my neck is sore!!"
Me: "Are you awake?"
Hayley: "You cannot buy a trolley at the shops"
Me: "Why can you not buy a trolley at the shops?"
Hayley: "Cos it doesn`t have a tag on it"
Hayley laughs out loud
Me: "Are you ok?"
Hayley: "Yes Sweetie, you know I don`t talk in November"
Me (switching the light on): "Are you ok?"
Hayley: "I don`t talk in November in the evenings"
Me: "Why don`t you talk in November in the evenings?"
Hayley: "Because there is so much to do"
Me: "What is there to do?"
Hayley: "Decorations"

At this point she turns over and continues snoring leaving me snickering to myself for the next 15 minutes.

If it`s not the hand, it`s the mouth. What next?