Sunday, June 27, 2004

Phew just had a completely nightmarish end to a weekend in Macaneta (the beautiful peninsula where Incomati river joins the sea, north of Maputo). The 'Complexo Turistico Macaneta' to be precise. From now on will stay away with barge pole.

Luiz had a fair whack of money stolen from his room, and we spent all of Sunday trying to sort it out, pay the bill and leave (the only way to leave is via a boat owned by the same grossly overweight piggy-eyed guy who runs the hotel), everything that could go wrong did, eventually got home at 8.15pm completely knackered and pissed off. Will try to give an interesting and sociologically aware account of everything tomorrow when I am less pissed off.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I have been instructed to heavily push and promote my sister's new company's website, so here it is: in the trees. In fact I am very proud of her for doing this so I shouldn't slag too much.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Yahoo Mail have upped their free mail hosting space to 100Mb which is great to receive for nothing. No more carefully pruning my 'Sent Items' folder...

That plus the following other features mean they are way ahead of Hotmail in my opinion:
- not owned by Microsoft
- you can actually tell buttons and links related to your email apart from the advertising
- they use a simple login mechanism which doesn't take ages or use the shitty full-of-holes slow to load privacy-invading monstrosity that is Microsoft Passport

Now all they need is to correct their spam filters to detect that when I receive 2 identical emails in the same day from....
...Jane Brown entitled PEN!S EXPANSI0N - IT WORKS
...or a sincere sounding but terribly-spelled email ALL IN CAPITALS OFFERING ME A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP from Francis Kabila/Gbagbo/Abacha/Taylor/Mobutu/Pick your African Dictator's Pretend Son
...or CHEAP PRESCRIPTION DRUGS because the U.S. Healthcare system is too fucked up to copy the NHS and control manufacturer's prices

...that these are, in fact, unwanted junk.

Still, I have to repeat that 100Mb is a decent offer - even if it appears to have been responding to Google's G-spot Mail with its 2Gb (paid for by Brave New World-style 'targeted advertising').

P.S. on the G thing, I stopped using google a while ago because they seem to have become very Hollywood-like in blocking or removing any politically controversial adverts. Now I use alltheweb. Yes its a few more characters to type and your fingers don't bounce back-and-forth like they do with g-oo-g-l-e but at least they're not information-suppressing greedos.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Sorry after that last post I went on IMDB to see what they said about 'Walking Tall', another The Rock movie, rather brainless but shot in a kind of homage-to-Blair-Witch grainy way, and quite funny.

Anyway, the point of my post, check out this bizarre comment on the film, which triggered off a massive socio-political discussion: who says we are being dumbed down by Hollywood? Huh? Yeah!! That's right, America, Yeah! Freedom... and, like, stuff. Awoohah!

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Monday, June 14, 2004

I watched a class movie the other day - 'The Rundown' with The Rock (who is definitely one of the better muscle-bound actors). It was fairly tongue-in-cheek with good piss-taking by Stigler from American Pie and an extremely fine leading lady who's name wasn't on the credits. But the biggest contribution to viewing pleasure was the subtitles - from 'The Scorpion King' - in Spanish!

To explain: a new phenomemon on the Maputo streets is these compilation DVDs with 4 or 5 films jammed on, all supposedly organized around a theme. They don't cost any more than normal ones and normally at least one of the films is watchable quality, so they are taking over the market. I think they mainly come from China via someone's living room with a DVD-burner.

Anyway, the 'theme' of our disk was Dwayne Johnson which meant his breakthrough 'Mummy Returns' plus the historically-challenged 'Scorpion King'. But they must have screwed up copying the subtitles track, so the film went something like this (action in square brackets, subtitles translated from Spanish in quotes)...

[The Rock punches tough guy in stomach and knees him in face]
"I've never killed an Assyrian before"

[TR squares up to ridiculously huge American Football Player guy]
"Burn the witch"

[TR has squabbling match with Stigler from American Pie]
"Ha! You have no more arrows left now, warrior"


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Monday, June 07, 2004

A terrible thing happened yesterday. One of my Mozambican colleagues, Anîbal, died in a car accident. Apparently he was driving near the border with Swaziland and took a curve too fast, I still don't know all the details. He was one of the first guys to join our team, about 9 months ago, and was really doing well.

He had come down from Quelimane province to study in Maputo some years ago, and then got a job with UTRAFE as a database guy - in fact he also showed a lot of promise as a programmer. He was only young, 24 or 25 at the most, so when he joined he was quite a timid guy but recently he had begun to come out of his shell a lot as he grew in confidence.

He lived near me so when we were working late I often used to give him lifts back from the office, and drop him at the BP garage near my house - now every time I go past it I will think of him and think how unbelievably shit life can be sometimes.

Most of my brain still refuses to believe it, I am on holiday today, I guess when I go back into work tomorrow and he isn't there making cheeky wisecracks it will sink in.

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