Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Stuff that doesn't look quite right!

This week is a selection of photos of "stuff that don't look quite right".

For one reason or another.

A couple of these photos have featured in the blog before (apologies to those who have seen them previously, but readership is about 5 times what it used to be, so many folk won't have seen these) and there are a couple of "newbies".

This is me, in mid-beard-shave. I grew a full beard, and decided it had to go. This was the astonishing result of leaving just a toothbrush moustache - and one of me very fave profile pics for a while!

Loved it!

Here is a friend of mine teeing off at one of the local golf courses. What does seem odd is the background - the course is situated next to the Harare Municipal Dump, which has, over the years, encroached onto the doorstep of the course.

Augusta this ain't:

Now - an old girlfriend visiting me. (Those who are new to the Blog can find more posts on Jasmine at top right of this page in the Blog Archive).

I guess the juxtaposition of bush and bricks is what makes this pic seem 'not quite right'

And then this chap who I found one wedding night at Chengeta. Living in Africa I am used to big bugs - but this one just seemed way too big, and so makes it into my collection of stuff that doesn't look quite right.

Scorpion on steroids!

Finally - these three astonishing pictures, which I managed to take just around the corner from our house.

There has been a profusion of second-hand vehicles brought into Zimbabwe, but that doesn't detract from the African capacity to keep stuff alive way longer than most countries.

Question is - would this pass an MOT inspection in England?

So what is it? Well here is a Bible sitting on top of it:

Obvious really, isn't it? A tractor, in the workshop, and being prepared for re-sale.

Guess the advert will read "slight tear in left rear tyre - but perfectly functional"!

And of all the pics in this blog - this one actually looks right, doesn't it? This solution has obviously been in place a loooong time - and it works.

I presume.

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Two departures in one day - one permanently.

A couple of days ago I had 2 departures from my life - one an 'Au Revoir', and one a 'Goodbye and good riddance'!

The first farewell took place early in the morning, with the alarm going off at 04.30, and by the time the sun was creeping up over the horizon, we were at Harare International Airport, dropping my daughter off for her flight to Johannesburg and then on to Cape Town.

Such is life.

We got her luggage checked in, and soon it was time for her to make her way through the gate and head for the UCT - another year of study ahead. (Leaving me once again bereft of a free workforce).

As an aside, there is a sign at the airport put together by another earnest Zimbabwean sign-writer. Regular readers of the blog (and there are over 200 blogs at this time - look at the top right of this page for all the old posts) will know I just love Zimbo signs! Here ya go:

Prohibitation? Scary stuff!

The other departure from our household was a fellow who has been (I think) setting off our burglar alarm with monotonous regularity over the past couple of months - tripping the motion sensors.


Roland Rat.

Who decided to march across our lawn one sunny afternoon, as the doves were coming in to drink from the bird-bath, and the day was generally winding down. He was spotted by my youngest two dogs Blue and Honey, and they took him on at once. The matron of the family - Caramel - arrived a couple of minutes later and joined proceedings. After a noisy and protracted fight with my 3 Dachshunds, Caramel got him by the neck and he came off second best, dispatched to that great big grain bin in the sky.

So here is the Chief Huntress, and she really was not much bigger than her quarry. Take into account that she has a slipped disc in her back, is now somewhat portly in appearance - and only arrived as the fight was in full swing, and I think you can see how effective she is.

In fact - I think that tip-of-nose-to-tip-of-tail, Caramel is quite a bit shorter than her adversary.

She sat there for ages, just willing the rat to move. It didn't happen.

Both my other dogs, Blue and Honey, were bleeding from bites to the face, and sore for a couple of hours. They soon recovered, and were back a-hunting the next day for any siblings and offspring that Roland may have had.

Life is good!

Have a great day

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Gassy Guy? That's . . . . me!

The reason for my silence over the last couple of months - I have been somewhat busy starting a new business.

Gassy Guy.

And what I am doing is importing gas/electric and paraffin/electric freezers into Zimbabwe from South Africa. I figure the lack of rains this year will lead to a shortage of power at some stage, and these are the perfect standby for when the lights fail. This way, folk never need lose meat again.

I have registered a company called 'Miphart' (and, yes, pronounced 'My Fart') and will be trading as Gassy Guy.

Which my wife says is very appropriate.

The logo I have developed is supposed to represent a Chest Freezer, and a Flame. And a Gassy Guy!

These units use ammonia and hydrogen as cooling system, and are non-ozone-depleting, hence the leaf in the logo. The smaller (100L) units are rated at just 200W, and the biggest at 280W.. That is 2 light bulbs worth to run your freezer. Believe it.

There are 3 sizes available in the LPG range, and options include thermostat and dual-capability. Manufactured by Cold Factor - a reputable South African company, the units have safety valves cutting the gas if there is 'no-flame' for 60 seconds or more, and they take the temp to 'ambient-minus-40'. So at our standard 30C midday temperature, the freezer will be at Minus 10 degrees Celsius.

Here is more of my promotional poster, showing a little more detail. Anyone interested in getting more info can contact me on the numbers listed. Prices range from $520 to $740, and will be dictated by exchange rate fluctuations.

So my first shipment arrived after Christmas, and was stored at my house in the bar at my house.

Unfortunately the business premises I rented had been used as a diesel storage facility for 15 years, and there had been some spillage.

Yuck was not the word . . . .

So the first order of business was to clean the floor - and I tried several options, from bleach, sugar soap and detergent, to a mixture I found on Facebook with Hydrogen Peroxide (I found some 40%), Dishwasher and Baking Soda. In fact, a bottle of this mixture exploded in my face and blinded me in my left eye for 4 to 5 days. I am fixed, and the floor is clean, so good endings all around.

Here is the Showroom/Office in mid-wash: (Check out my battery of chemicals on the window sill!)

The first thing I did was try to find some quality staff, and with this in mind, I set a limit of one year at University (College for you 'Mericans out there?) as a minimum requirement.

Astonishingly I found that even though I had set such high educational standards, it was very difficult not only to motivate my new staff, but getting them out of bed and ready for work was extremely tough.

Just shows that quality is hard to come by. (Especially the unpaid kind!)

Here is my entire staff in their PJ's hiding from the camera because they have an acute case of 'sleepy face' . . . .

After several cups of coffee and a few good slaps, my staff got to work and spent a busy morning moving boxes and sorting through things for me . . .

Finally the storerooms was clean enough to lay some plastic on the floor, open the boxes and check the units: We have not painted the store - that will come, but I needed somewhere to be able to store and check the everything before selling them on. Transporters can throw stuff around sometimes, and I had just one lid crumpled on one corner - not bad.

This is the entrance to the property where I have my premises. Bluffhill is an industrial area, so lots of factories around me, but the office park where I have rented space is pretty neat. It even has parking space for my trusty steed!

This is the inside of my Showroom/Office today - carpeted and ready for action. On the right is the 100L unit, in the center the 180L and to the left the 120L.

And another pic showing the full range with the Paraffin unit to the right. It is slightly higher than the others because it has a 7L tank, whereas the others just have a hose and regulator for the LPG


So - how do we know that I am settled and ready for business? Obvious really - I have started on a new effort to to beat my Candy Crush record that I set at Pamuzinda one busy morning..

Hard at work, again!

Yup - life is good!

Please, please, please click on "Share" back on Facebook for me if you know even one Zimbabwean who might think a deep-freezer operated by LPG or Paraffin might be quite handy if Kariba ever blows up, and ask all your mates to do the same.

Oh - and if anyone believed for a minute that I have ever played 'Candy Crush' - shame on you!

As if!

Thanks guys! (And don't forget to share!!!)