Africa, Family & Kids, Life, Sport

Punters

Sorry Ma, I’m working late again today.

The boys are lined up outside the tote on the roof of our shopping centre. There’s horseracing at Kenilworth and they have a sure thing running and they can’t miss this opportunity to make an investment and win big and be able to treat the family. Maybe to a treat like getting home early?

Every day there’s races. If not at Kenilworth then at Greyville, Scottsville, Turffontein, The Vaal and elsewhere. Also overseas. In fact there’s hardly an hour when some horse isn’t pointlessly beating another horse somewhere in the world, so there’s always a good reason to be on top of the roof in Montclair rather than at home with all the kak you get that side. At home you say something and they tell you ‘Don’t talk kak.’ Here you say something and the boys say ‘Really!? You Swear!? Don’t choon me man, that’s kif!’ then they have their turn to tell a lie.

There’s a bar in the tote but hey man, bar prices are a squeeze man, also they charge you just for a single and what good is a single when time is short, I ask you? So there’s constant movement in and out of the tote to the cars parked just outside with their boots open. Small drinks are bought now and then and fortified with dop from the bottle in the boot. Polystyrene cups if you’re avoiding the bar altogether.

Then disaster strikes! The tote closes down! What to do now? Still they meet and still they drink and still they talk. But its not the same and it starts dwindling. Fewer and fewer cars arrive until its only the real stalwarts, the die-hards. The ous who will listen to your stories as long as you listen to theirs.

Maybe also the ous who never really were betting on the horses anyway?

Africa, Family & Kids, Life

Genetics

Hereditary traits can be passed on so strongly. And then sometimes not at all.
Take my daughter Jessie. In some ways she’s the spitting image of her Dear Dad: She’s kind, she’s funny, she’s thoughtful, she can crack me up with some of her observations on life. I love the way she teases me – gentle and just a few repeated themes which are well-known, thoroughly old and reduce us both to weak laughter. She especially loves the ones that sometimes catch me off-guard and get a rise out of me. ‘Dad, can we get a kitten?’ occasionally elicits my knee-jerk response Never Jess. They Eat My Birds! instead of the correct response Sure My Love, But You have To Get Six Of Them, Otherwise They Get Lonely.

But in other ways I don’t know WHERE she gets things from.

Like tonight she came to me and said ‘Dad, getting drunk is such fun!’
I mean, from where . . . I almost gave her a lecture but I was too busy hosing meself. So much so that she said ‘Dad! What’s so funny!?’

Sane Dad & Mad Daughter

I reminded her about the time – not so long ago – when she asked the out-of-the-blue curveball ‘Dad, Why does tequila make you vomit?’

Life

Drink Up!

Headline News: Drinking Alcohol Doesn’t Actually Kill Brain Cells

Well, there goes that joke about the slow wildebeests (the bewilderbeasts?) being thinned out by the marauding hyenas, thus sharpening up the survivors’ gene pool.

The news:
Scientists once believed that the number of nerve cells you have in your brain, once you reach adulthood, was all you’d ever have. Thus, damaging these cells could be extremely detrimental to the individual. However, this isn’t correct.

Ha! New neurons are created all the time in the adult brain, in a process that is called neurogenesis, or more technically, imbibing wisdom. I knew it!

Yay! Neurogenesis! I just made a few new brain cells to host this new info. The picture above is a snapshot of me while that process was happening. Voila!

=======ooo000ooo=======

Remember how alcohol works to make you invincible?

Life, Student Life

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The alcohol you people drink is called ethanol. C2H5OH. This is a molecule that, in highly technical chemistry terms, looks like a hound dog with its leg cocked. Two carbon atoms (black) are stuck together to support an oxygen head (red). Six hydrogen atoms (white) spread out over the molecule to give each of the carbon atoms two feet, the oxygen atom a nose, and the rear carbon atom a tail. Ethanol is small, mobile, water and lipid soluble, so like a dog it can get into all sorts of places that maybe it shouldn’t. Like a dog it can also (sort of) head butt you in the crotch while sniffing to find out, or let others know, where you’ve been.

Ethanol Doggie

And where do you people want your ethanol? Why, in your brains, of course. That’s the point, innit? You might bulldust that you drink for your nose, or your palate, or your stomach or your blood. Rubbish. You drink to get that stuff in your brain. Once in the brain, alcohol acts on the nucleus accumbens. This area is a midpoint between the reward centre of a brain and the parts that make associations and memories. Ah, those memories, right? The good ones that you remember. And then there are those that your “friends” always insist on reminding you about!

Now everyone knows that too much alcohol at once can kill you, but how? It depresses nerve function, makes you sleep and suppresses the gag reflex, so people who are passed out can choke on their own vomit, like rock stars. So if you’re a wannabe rock star but can’t sing, can’t play, can’t grow your hair – there’s always that. The brain also controls things like breathing and heart rate, and enough alcohol can shut down those parts of the brain too. People pass out and their brains simply forget to breathe.

BUT: Alcohol also has its good side, don’t forget! Scientifically, its a solution, and according to Homer Simpson, the solution to all life problems.

Homer alcohol

It causes a bunch of dopamine to be released, hot-wiring your brain-ular system.  It makes you feel confident and talkative, because it depresses some Shut Up! brain functions and deadens the Be Discreet centre. It also makes you feel good, dunnit? And invincible, right? Erudite, and a very good dancer and singer. Remember Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl?

So alcohol is brilliant and worth investing in. Also, depending on what research you choose to believe, a glass of wine per day can either not do any harm, prevent heart attacks, or make you functionally immortal. I believe the latter. Does that make me a Latter Day Saint? Long after you finally die, they’ll have to beat your liver to death with a stick. Or transplant it into some lucky recipient who can wake up in the operating theatre pre-pickled.

It’s kind of nice to know that – sometimes – relaxation, cheer, wittiness and immortality can literally be bottled. All that’s needed is to take care just how much alcohol you let into your brain at any one time.

Cheers!!

– – Paraphrased from a lovely article by Esther Inglis-Arkell. It’s worth a visit! It showcases Doug Adams’ cocktail, the ‘Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster’ from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and shows you how to set fire to grog in spectacular fashion. Marvelous stuff!

Life

Blithe Spirits

Durban ca 1980 – I’ve been sent here by the army; I know very little about this Last Outpost of the British Empire, but my friend Steve Reed has been here a year so he knows everything. And he knows some girls.

Some comet was due to approach Earth and (we extrapolated) threaten our way of life, our partying, our poison of choice (alcohol) and perhaps even kill us.

We determined to protect ourselves and our beloved planet from this unwelcome alien intruder.  Steve hired a beach cottage at Blythedale Beach on the Natal north coast and we repaired there with a bunch of female friends and adequate stocks of various powerful potions and elixirs to be taken internally. We also bought tinfoil.

In the self-catering kitchen we found plenty with which to arm and armour ourselves: Spatulas, colanders, pots and pans made good headgear. Braai forks, braai tongs and wooden spoons made anti-galactic weapons. We warmed up our IQ’s by imbibing aplenty and so started a rip-roaring Defend the Planet Party which ended successfully in the wee hours on the beach.

Was it perhaps Comet Aarseth-Brewington? Well, we made it saweth its arseth by our brewing and distilling.

Actually, it was more likely Comet Tuttle. There it is. It came back in 2007 but it knew better than to approach too close:

Comet_8PTuttle.JPG

Only after recovering from my hangover did I realise another of the planned missions had once again been a complete failure: Snaring any girls. As so often, the booze had won.

Ah, well! Hail to thee blithe spirit!

Pic by Robogun - http://www.vcastro.com/contact.htm, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3308145
Africa, Life, Motorcars_Automobiles

Road Safety and the Elderly

On Saturday, January 18, 2014, I wrote reasonably:

Subject: A PBH solution for the PHBrauers of the world

I’ve been very worried about people driving Audis into school walls, but I feel a bit better now, as a Pretoria Boys High (PBH) boykie has put his mind to a solution for the big Audi / Brauer problem and here’s what he has come up with:

Google is not the only company that thinks auto-piloted cars are the future. Tesla has estimated that their time frame for having automated cars on the road is ‘within the next 3 years.’ So Elon Musk says we could be seeing cars running on auto-pilot as soon as 2016.

And none too soon!! This way we could have inebriation AND safety . . among certain elderly drivers.

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Steve Reed wrote enquiringly:

Regarding Audis getting driven into school walls, I need to be updated in this regard.

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Brauer quickly jumped in and wrote defensively:

Would you like an accurate version or will you settle for Koos’ ‘Clive Nel’-ified version?

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

I calmly wrote the simple truth:

All I’m saying is,

The ingredients were:

– Golf;

– Beer;

– an Audi;

– a school wall.

The results were:

– Damage to two of the above (the elderly greying culprit / suspect escaped largely unharmed due to being limp at point of impact).

– Lo-ong boring tales of walls ambushing unsuspecting cars in the depths of Gramadoelas suburb in Tswanie at the dead of night; * yawn *

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Culprit / Suspect Brauer wrote:

Total distortion of facts. ‘Twasn’t beer. . . . whiskey, mate.

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

I fretted:

That’s a worrying development. I get worried when people start drinking stuff that slides down easily and stinks less when belched up. I feel that beer and red wine allow your companions to know more about your drinking habits, and give earlier warnings about ‘when’s enough’. Just by looking at his white flokati rug one night Mike Lello knew a lot about Milk Stout and the Rainbow Club.

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Interloper Bruce Soutar now jumps in with his tuppence worth:

At the RAINBOW Jazz Club in the Pinetown taxi rank they serve their beers in ‘quart’ bottles (750ml). One special and memorable night The African Jazz Pioneers were playing, and Swanepoel ordered a Castle. He noticed the guys next door were drinking Black Label and saw theirs was 5,5% alcohol while Castle was only 5%, so he ordered a Black Label next. Then he saw some okes drinking Milk Stout and noticed that was 6% alcohol so he smoothly oozed over to Milk Stout and then stuck with it. All the while the African Jazz Pioneers were playing their seductive swinging special jazz. Many, many milk stouts later we decided to gate crash Mike Lello for a ‘last drink’ on the way home.

They were sitting down to supper when we staggered in. Pete S was feeling hungry, sat in Mike’s chair and polished off his supper. Then had an urge to burp? . . . but did not quite make the toilet bowl. Hence the flocked–up-carti rug.

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Public Service Notice: This hugely exaggerated story is to be taken with a large pinch of salt. But as interesting aside, you can see what it MIGHT have looked like under a microscope.

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

I objected:

TMI !! As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted: Self-driving cars for the elderly – that’s what we need.

Driverless Car
Family & Kids, Life

Under a Dodgy Influence

Terry, the good wife:

Screenshot_2015-11-06-06-36-39

Brauer left a bottle of Jagermeister here. Tom and his mates found it. Luckily only quarter-full. And we all know Jagermeister! Here it is, honestly labelled:

honest-liquor-bottle-labels-41

————————————–

Background:

BrauerMeister (2)

My wife, the good wife and the culprit:

Aitch & The Warblers
Brauer dressed for an ‘Out Of Africa’ theme