Aren’t spam comment annoying? This one took the whole cake!

I received a comment this week on my blog:

I see a lot of interesting articles on your website. You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is a tool that creates unique, google friendly posts in couple of minutes, just type in google  – laranita’s free content source.

So obviously spam disguised as not being spam. With 2 links, one to an old Blogger blog (last post in 2001) and the other I didn’t bother to go and look.

Akismet let this one through!

Now, if I have gone to the trouble of setting up a blog, put a decent theme on and join a blogging group like Sparky’s Blogging Challenge, why would I want to get a tool to write my posts for me?

It defeats the whole purpose of blogging doesn’t it?

Freshly Pressed Wannabe

WordPress's daily prompt today - Recently AcquiredWhat’s the most important (or interesting, or unexpected) thing about blogging you know today that you didn’t know a month ago?

Well, what I didn’t know a month ago I still don’t know.

I’m still baffled about how to get featured in the illusive Freshly Pressed – I’m starting to think it doesn’t really exist…in reality…really.

I’ve read all the articles, read all those who’ve been featured, and they’re really great.

I mean I’ve ALSO written SO many great posts and NOT one has featured

#justsaying…

;-)

Summertime Christmas Season

It’s summer in the southern hemisphere, how joyous!

Who knew that there were so many shades of green?

The kale and the spinach is flourishing. The pool invites. Storm clouds bring on afternoon thunderstorms only to move on, revealing blue skies once again.

It may sound strange to those living in the northern hemisphere but this is the season that I associate with Christmas. The trees are being decorated, Christmas carols play on the radio, and yet it is sweltering outside.

The turkey will be stuffed and presents placed around the tree. The customary thunderstorm will in all likelihood bless Christmas Day.

Dads in full Santa Claus costume will hand out the presents, and complain of how hot it is in the heavy red coat and white beard.

The smells of braai’ing meat will waft in the evening breeze.

I will see the photos of snow and blizzards posted on Facebook by my friends and family in the north.

Despite the differences in the season, it is above all a time for family the world over.

That is what I am most looking forward to.

Named after the Greek god Proteus who could change form. There are many species of Protea.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

A strip of tarmac following the contours of the landscape like a serpent, converging in the far distance.

Road from Hosea Kutako airport to Windhoek
Road from Hosea Kutako airport to Windhoek

 South Africa’s national flower, the Protea’s pink petals form around the bud converging to the tip.

Named after the Greek god Proteus who could change form. There are many species of Protea.
Named after the Greek god Proteus who could change form. There are many species of Protea.
Contribution to WordPress's weekly photo challenge, with the theme of Converge. Click here to see other contributions.
Spiral staircase - Library at the South African Parliament buildings in Cape Town

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent – Political Spirals

The spiral staircase in the library of the South African Parliament buildings is simply magnificent!

I had the opportunity to visit the South African Parliament buildings in Cape Town last year. One of my favourite spots was the library. It smelt of wood and books and knowledge and history. I loved it!

The spiral staircase tucked away in a  corner was simply one of its best features.

Spiral staircase - Library at the South African Parliament buildings in Cape Town
Spiral staircase – Library at the South African Parliament buildings in Cape Town
Weekly WordPress photo challenge: interpretation of Descent. Click here for other entries into this week's challenge.

Blogless week…

…that was last week. So much to do, so little time, so blogging took a back seat.

It was a week of new experiences, spending time with fellow professionals I like and respect and a visiting a  much-loved place.

On Sunday I flew in to Cape Town and spent the day at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the most beautiful places I know and love. I cannot get enough of it. I have visited a few times and there is still so much left to explore. I cannot wait to go back.

On Monday I did a talk at the Scrum User Group conference – this was a new experience for me. I am used to speaking in public – for entertainment purposes. This was different because it was an industry talk. I learnt that I am more terrified speaking in front of people, some of which I know, than 500 strangers.

Gimme MC’ing an event full of 500 strangers any day.

Forward in to the new week and blogging once again.

Share Your World – Week 41

Sharing a bit of my world through Cee’s Share Your World questions. Go over to Cee’s blog to participate.

041514-sywbanner

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

Always being the person behind the camera I have very few recent photos of me, so I would like to be the person in the photos for a change. I was looking for a decent head and shoulders pic of me for my speaker bio and the only suitable one was taken 3 years ago. Hope the audience is going to recognise me next week :-).

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Playing with my 5 year old nephew on Saturday, building things, watching Disney channel and his drawing of my house and pool. He’s given my pool 6 steps (it has 3) and I am very blessed that he wants to improve my pool :-).

What is your greatest extravagance?

My Suzuki 750GSXR which is sitting in the garage. I think I should sell it.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

S for Steady

S for Sometimes Scared

S for Strict

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It was my 22nd wedding anniversary on Saturday, I am grateful for finding someone who is still in my life. I am looking forward to my birthday on Wednesday :-) – hint hint…presents…

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Talk Like TED

2 months, 3 days, 2 hours and 45 minutes! That’s how long the book drought was. Quite long by my standards.

This week I picked up Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo.

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I had bought it some months ago, purely on impulse. It resonated with me now because I am doing a presentation at the Scrum User Group of South Africa conference later on this month.

I am normally comfortable with speaking in public because I have been a toastmaster for many years. The TED style of presenting intrigues me and I love it and wanted to learn the secrets of great TED talks. I have summarized them below from this valuable book to have if you are or aspire to speaking in public.

Structuring your talk  – create a message map

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The headline idea is rather cool – like the “elevator-pitch” for your talk. Write the headline as though you were tweeting it.

A few more take-aways from the book:

Talk about something you are passionate about.

Tell a story.

Use humour and personal stories and quotes from people you know – they do not have to by famous people to be effective.

Make it memorable -keep facts and stats to a minimum.

Paint a mental picture – invoke all of your audience’s senses, especially the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses. People may not remember your slides but they will remember how you made them feel.

Create jaw-dropping moments.

Teach something new.

Use natural conversational gestures. Be who you are.

End on a high note.

Now go out there and change the world!

In response to WordPress's daily writing prompt: Reader's BlockWhat’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell? Click here for more responses to this writing prompt.

Welcome to my personal blog. I write about a lot of different things so if you like eclectic then you'll like being here. Sometimes I'm #justsaying.

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