The Wait

We waited for 6 seasons for Winter to finally be here.  Where we normally waited until April, we had to wait until July for Season 7 to start.  And just as quickly as it started, it is done for now and is only due to return…well from what reports claim, 2019.

Did it live up to the hype for you?  Was your questions answered?

Look, just looking at all the theories that is still out there, a few of them have been confirmed, the most important being the real name of Jon Snow, who was born Aegon.

Also turns out he ain’t no bastard, so how will Danny feel when she finds out she made whoopy with her nephew?  Not that incest is brand new in Westeros.  The biggest question for me is still…..Is there any possibility that Ned Stark is still alive?

There is some really good theories out there, but not a lot that we can prove at this stage.  I guess the world of Series has just become a tad bit boring.  Let’s hope the old faithful’s can keep us company until Winter hits us again, in 2019.

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The Spiral

Many of us reach a point where returning to a former state of some sort of happiness is impossible.  We do so in our everyday life as well as our career.

They say that when you wish to stay at home 3 days out of 5, you should consider either changing your job or the line which you find yourself.  But just how easy is this?  How many resources does one have at one’s disposal?  Is it worth the effort?  What is the reasons?

Many of us at some stage in our life reaches a point in your life where you sitting at the foot of the summit and wonder if all of the madness is worth it.  Is it worth losing your mind?  Is it worth giving such a lot and ending up in pain, more mentally then physically.  Enough with the rumbling, let me explain my story.

I am currently working as a Team Leader in a Call Center.  Been here for over 3 years.  In these 3 years, I have seen new acquisitions, have seen how a company that once was one of the most desirable in its field become nothing more than “a place i worked for”.  There is plenty of reasons why it came to this point but the most common was the general consensus amongst staff, that they were no longer valued.

I applied for a promotion.  Out of 20 Managers I got through to the final 7.  I believed in my heart that the effort I put in through my presentation was one of if not one of the best.  It answered all the questions they would have and would bring solutions that they are currently facing.  I poured my heart and soul into my work, and on the floor had one of the best performing teams and was easily achieving targets.  When asked what my secret was, it was quite simple.  Put your people first and they will follow you into battle.

The decline came after I was rejected for the promotion.  The main reason was that my tenure was not enough, but they promoted someone with even less then what I had at the time.

At this point, I realized that my cross roads has arrived and that difficult decisions was laying ahead.  Do I leave?  Do I go to a different unit in the company?  Do I change my job spec and choose something different?  Or do I go abroad and span my wings?

Stay tuned for the second part…

Getting down to business

About 15 years ago, I was averaging between 65-80 Kg’s (170 lbs).  Playing sport’s helped and I was happy with my weight.  I never intended, nor did I have any desire to be the most ripped or best built person, but I always wanted to be comfortable in my body.

About 7 years ago, things changed when a accident had my barred from gym for 2 years.  There was also limitations put on any home workouts as I had very strict instructions not to put strain on my body.  Only after two years did I get the go ahead from my Doctor, only to injure myself once more.

You can say then that for the last few years it has been a up and down struggle.  Not until a few weeks ago did I realize that I am far from happy in my body.  And this has now spurred me into action.  But it is not as easy as people tend to make it out to be.  Obesity and also having the ability to work through this especially if you doing so alone is challenging and has made me realize that I have to do so unless I intend on ending up as a overweight middle aged individual.

Look, don’t get me wrong, I have put on a lot of weight since the days of me playing sports, but I am comfortable in putting in the hard work to get there.  So here is the breakdown:

-Weight is currently at 242 lbs.  Leaving me to lose about 35-40 lbs.

-Due to limitations in my gym routines and to avoid any injuries, I can only work out for the most 4 days a week.

-Dieting is expensive and can become quite a pricey affair, especially if you have to eat regular small meals.

-I work during the night, so my sleeping/eating patterns is different to the average individual.

I have looked up work out plans because to be honest, this is stuff you can learn on the net instead of paying a ton of money to an instructor at Gym who spends half of his/her lesson on their Social Media accounts.  I have also worked out my own eating plans.  But after considering the latter, I decided that maybe I should go see a Dietician.  My health plan covers this but there may be a pay in.  I have slowly worked my way back into the workouts and have been going frequently. Eating wise I consider myself to be generally good, but this can be different on the weekend which kinda defeats the purpose I suppose.

Which is why I am appealing to anyone with suggestions, tips or just some knowledge on how to shed the kilo’s.

Let me pick up the torch

For the last few years Hip Hop has gone through a transition where the elitist is busy counting their money from all their royalties, where Rappers became business men who is too busy increasing their respective brands instead of making the music that we have loved for so many years.

20 years ago, the Rap Game saw two of the most iconic rappers battle it out.  Christoper Wallace and Tupac Shakur had the world divided.  West Coast vs East Coast, Death Row vs Bad Boy Records, Outlawz vs Junior Mafia.  There was so many subplots and even though it made for entertaining of the highest quality, it also meant the demise and death of two of the most gifted artists in the genre’s very dark but also lucrative history.

For year thereafter, the likes of Nas, Jay Z, DMX, Lil Wayne and recently Drake and Kendrick Lamar have been putting out hits and claiming to be the self proclaimed King of Hip Hop.

A heavy crown to carry considering that it carries a lot of pressure, and have rappers lyrics gone through with a fine tooth comb.  And this made me think of a few things.

I have always been a huge fan and critic of Nas.  The self proclaimed God Son, has changed and adapted to the times, his last critically acclaimed outing “Life’s Good” was a commercial success after his divorce from R&B singer Kelis.  The artist, showing off his new style swagger in his videos showed us glimpses of his “Illmatic” side in a few of the tracks.  With the artist due to drop a new album, I am sorry but the Hip Hop community is in need of a “Illmatic”.

Enters Kendrick Lamar.  The Compton native recently released his much anticipated LP “Damn”.  I have not seen the ratings of this, neither do I intend on doing a full write up of the album, but all I can say is that if you are a fan of Hip Hop, get your hands on this one.

Not since Stillmatic and Life’s good, have i ever managed to not skip a track.

Seems like Kendrick just picked up the torched.

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Pick me up Monday

Happy Easter to one and all celebrating!

For those of us that have to work, just a question as we head into this Easter Monday.

“What is your favorite performance by a artist or band and why?”

For the average music lover, they will think about their favorite artist/band and just choose that as their most watched.  But what people sometimes forget is the impact, reason and message these performances signify.  It can either be very a very technical reason, or just pure passion, which in my opinion is scarce in the world we currently occupy.

As young as I am, I have fond memories of VHS tapes and stories that my parents shared with me.  This lead me to just love music more.  So strangely, my favorite would happen 1 month after my birth, but I first saw the tape about 5 years later and instantly fell in love with it.  As I became older, the message and reason became even more clear and this lead me to just believe more in the power of music, as well as the message it can potentially carry.

Over the years there has been tons of performances.  Listed below is 5 that springs to mind and can be notable mentions:

  1.  Michael Jackson Motown 25- As always, a very good rendition of Billy Jean, but more notably the debut of the Moonwalk.  Even though Jackson did not invent the move, he certainly became synonymous with it.
  2.  Prince Superbowl XLI-In my opinion one of the best performances seen at any Superbowl, Prince has always been a very interesting artist, and his renditions of Purple Rain, Best of You, Let’s go crazy, Proud Mary and All along the watchtower is one of the best performances in Superbowl history.
  3. Beats by Dre Live-Not in the traditional sense, but this is iconic in the fact that when Dre launched his live Apple Beats channel, he chose to promote his 90’s playlist by having the actual artists perform.  The likes of Nas, Dre, Bone Thugs, Pharcyde, A Tribe called Quest, Method Man & Redman and many others dawned the mic for a icon of the Hip Hop scene.
  4. AC/DC Live in Riverplate-If you want to see a massive amount of people in the same stadium, rocking to the tunes of the classic band, look no further.  They absolutely rocked the stadium and proved once more the caliber that they posses.
  5. Nirvana Unplugged-Probably the best MTV Unplugged next to notable mentions of Lauren Hill and Eric Clapton, Nirvana was just full of raw emotion.  You could also see the psychological state of Kurt Cobain, the show being one of his last public performances before his sad passing three years later.

Which brings me to my favorite live performance;

Queen-Live Aid-Wembley

Let’s be honest.  The world has never and will not ever see a more majestic performer like the late Freddie Mercury.  The man was an absolute genius and he put all his love in his music.  Bohemian Rhapsody, We will Rock you, We are the champions, Crazy little thing called love, Hammer fall and Radio Gaga, all packed into 24 minutes.

What amazed me more was the crowd anticipation.  The man knew how to attract their attention and this made it even more worthwhile.

What is yours?

 

Public Enemy Nr 1

With the removal of his Finance Minister and the everlasting doubt over his leadership, clear favoritism and his corrupt ties, President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma has triggered what will be the biggest protest in the country’s history.

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Since abolishing Apartheid in the 90’s, the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the return from exile for a lot of the African National Congress, the country just can’t seem to catch a break.  Zuma, who himself is a controversial figure, has come under immense scrutiny as well as calls for him to resign his seat as President of the Republic.

A President that did not finish Primary School, who has over 700 charges of fraud and corruption against his name, a healer of HIV by taking a shower, and who spent over R250 Million ($27 Million) of State money to build and upgrade is home in Nkandla.  How much more can the country take?  With the removal of his Finance Minister and 15 other Ministers and their Deputies, the country has decided enough is enough.

His own leadership group within the ANC has blasted him in the media over his latest screw up and one only has to wonder if this will be the beginning of what could easily become a Civil War.  If you look at the bigger picture and compare his reign to Robert Mugabe, one has to fear that the most powerful economy in Africa may just become a second Zimbabwe.  While the country cannot boast about Oil, or their infrastructure, they can lay claim to being one of the richest countries on earth in terms of their natural resources.  If I have to go on about the countless things this tyrant has done we would be here all night.

Instead, in case you don’t know, here is a few of my favorite pictures from Zapiro, a popular cartoonist from South Africa, who has made it his job to come up with some of these classics:

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-Before he became the President of the Republic, Zuma claimed that after having sex with a HIV positive female, he washed it off by taking a shower…hence the name…and drawings of a Showerhead.

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He off course has multiple wives and has fathered over 20 children.  The state pays for them too.

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His repeating ability to get away and manipulate the Justice system.

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His relationship with the Gupta family.

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Suing cartoonist Zapiro for damaging his reputation.  The case was thankfully dropped later.

 

The Weekend that was Binged

Binge watching.  One of he modern times’ most favorite hobby…OK, one of mine instead.  I’m sure that plenty of you have done this, especially after a few hectic days/weeks and all that you require is to kick back, relax and catch up on your favorite viewing pleasures.

So after nearly two years, I decided to catch up on The 100 the past weekend.  It came to fore after a few hectic weeks where I decided to take an additional day off.  After meeting up with a old friend for lunch, after coming home I decided to sit back, get out the snacks and start my binge.  Heck, I did have two full seasons to catch up on and after receiving some rave reviews from a few buddies, Seasons 2 and 3 would make for some entertaining Binging….(is that even a word?).

Halfway through Season 3.  Must say that it has impressed me.  Kinda reminded me of an old book I read in school about 15 years ago, The Lord of the Flies.

Written in the 50’s by William Golding, it tells the tale of a bunch of school children stranded on an uninhabited island and their struggle to form some sort of governance.  It tells the tale of how preadolescent children turn to savagery in order to survive.

And somehow, this relates to how The 100 plays out.  At first, a bunch of children sent to Earth who they believed was uninhabitable, only to me met by Grounders, Reapers and the Mountaineers.  It tells the tale of how children are made to act like grown ups and fend for one another.

10 Episodes to go.  Makes me think…Who will be Piggy in this tale?

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