Tag Archives: humour

The Sunday Morning Breakfast Machine

I found this so funny that I just had to share it with you. Che is a regular reader of Elektor magazine. It’s a magazine that deals with everything related to electronics, robotics and related coding.

One of the articles tells the story of a retired mechanical engineer and a retired airline pilot that built a breakfast machine to serve breakfast to their respective wives on Sunday mornings.

The electronics are apparently complex and it took them a punishing 1,000 hours to build it. It is able to brew tea or coffee depending on your preference, hand you the morning paper, make soft-boiled eggs, makes toast and even clears up afterwards. That is if you consider the dishes being dumped off the side of the table into a bowl “clearing up”.

The inventors admit that the purpose of the invention was to make people laugh. This they’ve achieved.

It reminds me of the breakfast machine constructed by mad inventor Dr Emmett Brown in the movie Back To The Future. I half expected these 2 entertaining and innovative individuals to be whisked off in the flying DeLorean by Marty McFly.

Note to the inventors: Now, can you please make it run from Monday to Saturday as well, do freshly squeezed orange juice and put in some more work on the “clearing up” functionality.  Oh and while you’re at it, can you please include feeding of the dog cat as well…

Featured image courtesy of Carbon Costume.


House and Home Edition: Is Your Sink Shiny?

Like most people, there are certain things that come naturally to me and others that don’t.

Like keeping my house neat.  Now the cat’s out the bag!

I envy those people whose houses are always so neat. Photos they post on social media show stunning House and Home houses and I wonder where I’ve gone wrong. I don’t post photos taken inside my house because I’m worried that you’ll judge me harshly. My house is certainly not House and Home. Or maybe their house is not House and Home but they keep a special corner in the house neat all the time for photo opportunities.

"Let's take a photo of the family having a braai, and put it on Facebook."

"Ok, quick... to the corner everyone."

In any event, I do wish my house was neater but it isn’t. No matter how hard I try there is always laundry on the couch (the “to be ironed” pile neatly folded to minimise creases) waiting for the lady that works for us once a week to tackle.

There are books piled on the floor next to the couch, ready to be grabbed and referred to.

My handbag and laptop bags are on another chair. It’s easier to grab on my way out of the house in the morning.

Knowing that, I will not stress about it. I would rather be neater with my finances and my photo cataloguing than my lounge.

Off course, it also means that when we have people over we need at least one week to tidy up, where things do go to their rightful places, albeit temporarily.

You know the story about kipple? The word “kipple” was created by the science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick. It refers to the sinister type of rubbish which simply builds up without any human intervention (Urban Dictionary).

Extract from Philip K. Dick's story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", aka the 1982 movie by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, "Blade Runner":

JR - Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers of yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more. 

Pris- I see. 

JR - There's the First Law of Kipple, "Kipple drives out nonkipple." Like Gresham's law about bad money. And in these apartments there's been nobody there to fight the kipple. 

Pris - So it has taken over completely. Now I understand. 

JR - Your place, here, this apartment you've picked - it's too kipple-ized to live in. We can roll the kipple-factor back; we can do like I said, raid the other apartments. But - 

Pris - But what? 

JR - We can't win. 

Pris - Why not? 

JR - No one can win against kipple, except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I've sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I'll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.

Kipple in our house comes and goes, depending on mood and looming visits by friends and family.

Many years ago a friend recommended a site called Flylady which helps de-kippel-ise homes with tips and daily tasks (called FLYing Lessons). It suggests starting the de-kippelisation activities with short bursts to start off with, and then gradually increase it, much like starting an exercise routine. The purpose of this process is to build a habit. It also helps the de-kipple-iser to start feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Such timeboxing is valuable because it forces me to focus on what’s been done already rather than what’s still to be done. That’s still a good matra to have when trying to cultivate a desirable habit.

One of the FLYing lessons is to shine your sink. It’s cunningly clever to start off the lessons with this because in order to shiny up your sink, you first have to empty it of dishes. There is one of 2 ways of doing this:

  1. Hide all dirty dishes under the sink, or
  2. Actually wash, dry and pack away the dishes.

Either of the two will clear your sink so that it can be shinied. But only one is the most useful and productive one.

There is a third option – get a dishwasher but since I don’t have one (yes yes, shock horror!) one of the above two will have to do.

I haven’t tried this technique yet but having a lovely shiny sink does sound lovely!

I know what I like doing and make time for those things – things like reading, blogging, photography and spending time with my husband and family. And playing with my neighbour’s cats (they’re so cute). And swimming. And sleeping…

Those things that don’t come naturally to me to do get put off to be done another day, because I would much rather be blogging or watching The Blacklist.

So now that my secret is out of the bag, tell me, how do you keep YOUR house de-kipple-ised?

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



All I want for Christmas is…

The “Plaas en Dorp” (“Farm and Town”) newsletter was dropped in our mailbox this week advertising Friday’s night market to be held in Heidelberg, a small town about 30 kms from where we live.

It is written mostly in Afrikaans and one article caught my eye. Titled “Mevrou se Wens Lys…” (The Lady’s Wishlist”), it is a list for the ladies to mark and leave lying around the house for the gents to find. All he needs to do is take note of the selection and surprise his lady.

Here is the list:

  • A necklace
  • A pendant
  • A bed side lamp
  • Diamond earrings
  • White gold necklace
  • White gold bangle
  • Big red handbag
  • Black south sea pearls
  • A Michel Herbelin watch
  • A house by the sea
  • A Greek island holiday
  • A small pack of tissues
  • A big surprise
  • A Greek island
  • I will be happy to get anything
  • Diamond ring
  • Another diamond ring
  • Any ring with a diamond
  • Any watch
  • A hanger with my name on
  • An antique chair
  • A glass cake dome
  • Just the diamond – you can get the ring I choose later
  • A blue Porsche
  • Just a 1 carat diamond
  • Ok, a 2 carat diamond
  • You know I want a 3 carat diamond
  • Your wallet for a day

I have not yet ventured to the malls to get Christmas presents. At some point this month I will need to. Perhaps I should leave a list such as this one lying around so that I do not have to agonise over what to buy for my family.

I wonder if anyone would like a blue Porsche…

How do you spot a tourist anyway?

Yes, how do you?

Let me share what I’ve observed, both as a tourist and as a tourist observer.


Most of us have been tourists at some time or another haven’t we? Some of us are oblivious to how we look. But if you come from Africa you will do all in your power to blend in to the populace so as not to stand out as a target for pick-pocketing or a con.

Tourists to Africa tend to dress in the same way – khaki coloured baggy pants – those with 2 sets of zips. One at the knee and another half-way up the thigh. 3 outfits in 1 – pants, long shorts and short shorts.

That’s quite clever actually as you’ll want to travel as lightly as possible, especially on safari.


Most alarmingly many tourists I see walk around oblivious to their surroundings. In Africa I recommend a tour group or a guide. African cities have too many places to get into trouble if you don’t know the area. Walking around with said khaki pants, camera slung over the neck and smart-phone GPS (the modern replacement to paper maps, remember those?) they are easy targets for those less well-intentioned citizens.

How not to be seen

Remember Monty Python’s skit “How Not To Be Seen?” If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must, check on YouTube – WARNING: ABSTRACT HUMOUR!

In any event – the plot goes something like this (get the full plot line here from Wikipedia):

The film starts with a serene wide shot of a landscape in which there are supposedly forty people, none of whom can be seen. The picture then changes to another serene wide shot of a different landscape. In it is Mr E. R. Bradshaw of Napier Court, Black Lion Road, London, who cannot be seen. The narrator asks him to stand up. He complies and is immediately shot. According to the narrator, “This demonstrates the value of not being seen.”

There is a cut to another landscape wide shot. In it is Mrs B.J. Smegma of 13, The Crescent, Belmont. The narrator asks her to stand up. She also complies and is immediately shot.

Next is a shot of a clearing near a wood with only one bush in the middle of the frame. Somewhere in the vicinity is Mr Nesbitt of Harlow New Town. He is asked to stand up, but contrary to the previous people, does not comply. The narrator explains that “Mr Nesbitt has learned the first lesson of not being seen: not to stand up. However, he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover.” The bush then explodes and a scream is heard.

…you get the idea…

Next month my I’m looking forward to traveling with Mom to Portugal. Here’s the funny thing. We are both Africa-born and have lived in  Africa all our lives – and have ties to Portugal.

From a culture perspective, personally I fit in. From a values perspective I don’t. I often feel like a tourist that can speak the language. It’s a distinct advantage to speak different languages: Portuguese to blend in; English when asking for directions and Afrikaans when Che and I don’t want our conversation to be overheard in public.

I know that people will be confused when they see me – my clothes and demeanour will shout “tourist” – but I speak the language and know my way around (mostly).

I hide my camera well and take it out only when I want to take a photo.

I know that taxi drivers will try and extract a higher fare from me.

Family will tease me about my accent.

And that said I’m looking forward to going there.

And I’m aiming not to be seen!

What are your tourist or tourism experiences?

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