My dad, Ronnie Lötter, hit the big 60 eight days after I hit 36, but seeing as he was first off for a fabulous weekend of golf in George with his social golfing club, we had to wait a good couple of days more until we could enjoy a small family get together in order to celebrate this big milestone with the man himself!
That said, turning 60 wasn’t the only milestone being celebrated – the end of May marked dad’s official retirement, meaning that at long last he could achieve his dream of retiring early, a very exciting prospect for mom and dad both!
To celebrate, Mom organized a braai at their place, with Ryan, Claire, myself and our respective families all present, and with a beautiful warm winter’s day in place, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of good food, chatter, and of course cake.
To mark the occasion, Chantelle came up with this fantastic safari-themed two tier cake that pulled in all the important loves in dad’s life, namely the great outdoors, squash and badminton, family, and of course golf.
(I in particular loved the reference to dad’s dead goose – an Egyptian geese that he once accidentally felled on the golf driving range back in the day!)
Obviously everyone had quite a lot of food on the day, which is probably why it was best that we then spent the rest of the afternoon playing it off with some competitive attempts at table tennis. (The games weren’t particularly great, but boy were they fun!)
Happy birthday Dad. Thanks for everything that you did for us as kids, and enjoy your retirement – you certainly deserve it!
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I haven’t been a particularly active, hands-on blogger lately, so this post is a little late in coming (sorry), but obviously since the 11th of May, which was a week or two ago now, I’ve been sitting in the upgraded seat of 33, now well and truly in the middle of being a responsible good adult/parent stage of my life.
And as I’ve learned over the past 2 or 3 years, with the combined time pressures of a good paying but work intensive job, being married, running a house, and of course trying to be the best possible dad to a little two-and-a-half year old daughter that one can be, you can pretty much forget about setting your sights on any personal achievements for the next 365 day period, unless of course you’re prepared to sacrifice on one of the things I just mentioned above – meaning that just like last year, I’m not going to.
Instead, I’m just going to enjoy my comfortable life exactly as it is now.
Anyway, while last weekend was a pretty relaxed affair, we shopped, installed the new oven, braaied multiple times, and took Jessica on a walk all the way to Pick ‘n Pay, the weekend before that, i.e. My Birthday Weekend, was pretty damn cool.
Friday night was a bit of a bust because I had work to do and as per usual Chantelle was in the kitchen baking, but Saturday was all win, as after a bit of shopping, we headed out to Bellville where we borrowed Mom and Dad’s home to set up shop, basically a boerewors braai, rainbow cake (the best I’ve ever seen!) munching, table tennis bashing visitation with 95% of the usual gang of friends (Stapelbergs,Grangers,Storbecks, plus Ryan) all present. (The table tennis was exceedingly fun by the way).
That was followed up by the exceedingly awesome Iron Man 3 at Tygervalley in the evening with Chantelle and Robert, rounded off by a late night coffee with peppermint crisp tart at the only joint still open in Tygervalley at that late hour!
Sleeping over in Bellville we then headed out on Sunday morning for a delicious Mother’s Day breakfast get together with Cheryl and Rob, Mom and Dad, and Ryam at the always pleasant Bamboo Garden Restuarant at the Cape Garden Centre in Joostenbergvlakte, after which I made another visitation to Mom and Dad’s pad in order to spend an hour or two playing non-stop table tennis against Dad (who unfortunately had to deal with my Birthday weekend luck, the result of which left him completely win-less on the day!).
Sunday evening we spent relaxing with Jess at home in Gordon’s Bay, and seeing that Touchwork has the awesome policy of giving you a day off for your birthday, I then proceeded to enjoy a rather peaceful Monday at home, doing a mall shopping run and then playing copious amounts of the very fun Just Cause 2 on the XBOX.
So yeah. It really wasn’t a bad way to mark the completion of yet another 365 days on this planet! :)
It was a weekend of ups and downs I suppose one could say – after all, things certainly didn’t run as what we had planned, but nevertheless it was an enjoyable weekend in the end I reckon.
The public holiday followed by the school holiday meant that Jessica was staying over with Oupa and Ouma for Thursday and Friday night. This of course meant that after closing out work with an enjoyable four man game of table tennis between Tristan, Stephen, Simon and myself, I drove out to Somerset Mall to meet up with Chantelle for a date night, kicking off with Spur and then ending with a viewing of Disney/Pixar’s Brave in 3D, and enjoyable tale that capped a nice evening spent in each other’s company.
Having earlier decided to skip doing a market due to the heavy storm weather predicted for the weekend, Chantelle and I could sleep in on Saturday morning for a change, before eventually arising to a delicious and decadent breakfast of French Toast with Bacon prepared by wifey.
We packed for the overnight stay and headed out to Bellville, where we first popped in to Cabs for some baking supplies, followed by a trip to Willowbridge where we had a look for ourselves at how the market was going. Judging on how quiet it seemed, we ended up being pretty happy with our decision to can Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes market appearance for this one!
Our original plan for Saturday had been to either go to World of Birds in Hout Bay or the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront depending on the weather, but these were dashed when we arrived at the Montgomery Stronghold to a rather shaky and sick little Jessica, forcing us to instead spend the afternoon inside keeping warm, venturing out only for a quick (but expensive) trip to M-Kem in Bellville for a doctor’s once over on Jessica.
Western Province versus the Natal Sharks was the rugby game of the evening to take in, which was combined with a delicious supper of fillet done on the coals together with beer chicken prepared on the Weber. Mom and Dad joined us for this one (bring with them delicious pudding), and the result was an enjoyable evening of family and of course rugby and athletics. And one sick toddler lest we forget.
In fact, Jessica was feeling so icky that she simply refused to go to sleep, resulting in me sitting up with her until midnight (everyone had long since gone to sleep), only finally succumbing to exhaustion halfway through an episode of Shaun the Sheep: Championsheeps on DSTV. Managing to successfull transfer her to our bed, it was off to slumber for a brief, but fairly interrupted snooze.
We took our time getting started on Sunday, but pleasingly the weather was far less menacing than what had been predicted, meaning that with Jessica pumped full of meds and thus feeling fairly stable, it was off to the Two Oceans Aquarium plus a walkabout the Waterfront, an expedition which in the end all three of us ended up thoroughly enjoying.
And in case you were wondering, the aquarium turned out to be quite the big hit with young Jessica, despite the fact that her excitement is normally reserved only for those with feathers and wings! :)
Having eventually seen enough of our fishy friends, it was time to eat some for a late lunch at Fisherman’s Friend, before making our way back to the car park and then finally home, where we somehow managed to eventually get Jessica to bed and entertained ourselves with the always silly Leon Schuster in the chuckle-worthy slapstick that is There’s a Zulu On My Stoep.
And that, was that.
Oh well, turns out that I wasn’t awarded the Development/Project manager job in the end, so I guess it just wasn’t meant to be – well at least not yet anyway. As it is, they cited the reasons as to why I didn’t get it as simply being that they are looking for someone a lot older than me to fill the position as well as someone with more experience in the field of project management – which makes perfect sense considering the importance of this position in the company going forward, so no arguments from me there (though Chantelle seemed a little bit disappointed when I broke the news to her funnily enough).
(And to be quite frank, I don’t think they can AFFORD to lose a senior developer at this stage of the game anyway!)
Oh, and I got wrapped over the knuckles for my blogging (mentioning anything to do with work) again (anyone remember the Commerce IT saga?), so considering that I don’t agree with them on the issue raised, I have at least got them to now tighten the official policy and thus I will now adhere to it – though I guess this post means I’m probably breaking that rule already! <- but it should be the last one ever, so you can rest easy there Mr. Marketing Manager! ;)
Was annoyed though when it was suggested I work on my interpersonal skills – as far as I’m concerned, there really shouldn’t be a reason to treat any adult with “kid gloves” – after all, aren’t those meant for kids?
Meanwhile, it’s pretty damn hot here in our temporary developers’ shoebox down in the garage of the building, but thankfully the awesome new table tennis table more than makes up for that – what a fantastic way of taking a break and resting one’s eyes from all that dreadful monitor strain!
(For the record, so far I’m leading in win/loss ratios, though Steve is hot on my tail! Dave still needs some consistency with his forearm smash! :P)
And that’s that. So no promotion/new position for me (but no biggie as I still get to develop which is my first love), last post related to anything Touchwork (didn’t really do much on this front anyway), loads of table tennis on our breaks (which is awesome) and some good projects sitting in front of me.
Can’t really complain, now can I? (but that could just be because another small raise is currently winging its way down towards us! :D)
Okay, over and out for today. Got a deadline to meet and a mom’s birthday braai to attend…
Randy Daytona, a former table tennis child prodigy who burnt out after a disastrous 1988 Olypmic Table Tennis final, finds himself suddenly recalled to the game of emperors nineteen years later, this time in the aid of FBI agent Ernie Rodriguez who seeks his help in taking down the Triad kingpin Feng, the very same man that murdered Randy’s father when he was still a boy.
Needless to say, the passing years have been less than kind to Randy and it is now up to him to shed the pounds and regain his paddle mastery if he is to stand any chance against the formidable tyrant he must now face.
But lucky for him not all is lost yet… even though it does sometimes seem that his new ‘master’ the blind Mr. Wong is permanently going in the wrong direction!
I found myself watching flipping through channels the other night and I came across Balls of Fury… and actually ended up watching it right to the end. Agreed, it isn’t exactly the most highbrow of entertainment and does rely heavily on good old American slapstick, but in its defence it does everything it tries pretty damn well – from the ping pong to the slapstick falls, the special effects are simply put, quite brilliantly (and seamlessly) done.
Director Ben Garant manages to tell his story that needs to be told while eliciting some superb performances from his crew of rather talented comedic actors and while I didn’t like how he handled the rather tragic Reno 911! Miami from behind the camera, I think he certainly outdid himself on this one.
What is quite surprising is the varied cast of comedic actors that have been pulled together on this project, starting with Dan Fogler and going right the way through to the as-per-usual deadpan Christopher Walken himself. George Lopez, James Hong, Maggie Q, the list of fairly well know actors appearing throughout the length of the film is pretty extensive – though I might be just a little biased in liking this film thanks to the appearance of the one and only Terry Crews, perhaps my most favourite onscreen comedic talent of all time! :)
I’ll admit, it is silly, it is stupid and you probably won’t be laughing all the time. But it is well put together, features some great music on its soundtrack, will ellicit some extremely good laughs and is thus perfect for wasting away some free hours you might be sitting with.
Besides, it features ping pong doesn’t it? And that in itself is simply awesome after all.
Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balls_of_fury