Saturday 29 November 2008

True wonder

I love the Internet. It never ceases to fuel my need for inspiration. This is what I found online recently:

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World"

Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.
The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."
The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:

1. to see
2. to hear
3. to touch
4. to taste
5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love."

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!

A gentle reminder - that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 22 November 2008

The B is for bullshit!

The news this past week was bleak. Imagine if a giant like General Motors had to go under. Wow!

And with the GM woes we hear this new curious term again "bailout". This is not a good thing! Aren't we trying to cheat nature here? And isn't how this mess happened in the first place, because we have been cheating nature for too long now. That is why things are collapsing all around us. So let nature then takes its course and let the bubble burst. We can't patch the dyke forever - let the thing do what it wants to do. Eventually something is going to have to give.

This bailout term really is setting a bad precedent. Corporations are getting the message: if you mess up then don't worry, a bailout plan is on the horizon. And don't worry about those fat bonuses you got, er, you took, because you can keep them, and we will still bail you out. What a bunch of bullshit!

The B is for bankrupt not for bailout. This is some new age term like those other terms I heard in the last 10 years, exit strategy and hedge fund. Unbelievable bullshit!

What exactly do hedge fund people do? What difference to they make to the world? What do they add to society? And what exactly is an exit strategy all about? If you love what you do then who would want an exit?

Maybe I am just naive, but one thing I do know is that you can't cheat nature. The bailout bullshit is all about trying to cheat nature, and cheating nature is what caused this mess in the first place. When will we ever learn!?

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 16 November 2008

It has been a very stressful and busy week. I think for everyone. So, here is some light relief I found on the Net:


1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.


At age 4 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 20 success is . . . having sex.
At age 35 success is . . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . . having money.
At age 60 success is . . . having sex.
At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Something to ponder

Someone sent me this - I can't stop thinking about the words here :

the beauty of life is change
the beauty of change is adaptation
the beauty of adaptation is growth
the beauty of growth is learning
the beauty of learning is knowledge
the beauty of knowledge is wisdom
and the beauty of wisdom is a better life

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 9 November 2008

A person's character is their destiny

I watched an inspired movie recently. I have seen it years ago but I watched it again now. The film is The Emperor's Club.

It has a great message. And in the film there is some highly compelling dialog: A man's character is his destiny.

For most of us, our stories can be written long before we die. The worth of a life is not determined by a single failure or a solitary success; my other students taught me that. However much we stumble, it is a teacher's burden always to hope that with learning, a boy's character might be changed, and so, the destiny of a man.

Yes, personality opens doors, but character keeps them open!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 2 November 2008

V is for victory, and for Vottle ...

Excuse the colourful headline but summer is here and we are high on life.

And yes, another month gone by and here is the news from Vottleland.

We are back in Sao Paulo for the next few days... the classifieds venture here ( is in good shape - check it out.

The main news from the Vottle side has been the implementation and rollout of our new banner serving software. To date we had only very simple software developed in-house, but our advertising requirements have grown and there has been a need to cater for various complex delivery options which appear to be commonplace in the world of online banner advertising. Our new open-source banner serving software lets us configure and manage our banner ads with a high level of flexibility to deliver ad campaigns that exactly meet a customer specific's requirements. This is a particularly cool rollout since this type of service is often very complex and usually outsourced to a third party.

Then there has been much focus this month on assisting with the development of our sister site Flii in Brazil. The rollout of phase two takes place now in this new month and this will introduce many new features. Everything is on track, content is increasing steadily together with page views, users, and even the sites ranking on Google. Although it has not yet been formally released to the public, the site is gaining more and more external users as Google search results increasingly direct users to the site. Richard van Cutmein has been in Brazil with the team for over two weeks (I just joined him today), the main purpose being to transfer knowledge and experience to the team, and assist with advice and development of more complex issues such as security and integration with systems specific to this deployment.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 1 November 2008

Never abandon your sense of judgment!

Every now and then something comes up that sounds too good to be true. And we all fall for this. Yes, I do believe in miracles and luck and magic, but more often than not when something is too good to be true it is exactly that!

When someone comes selling you a story that sounds unbelievable then have some salt on hand. Never abandon your sense of judgment, especially when it comes to people.

When someone comes with an investment opportunity where you are going to double or triple your money in a year, for example, then try some eye drops and check the fine print again. But, leaving the paperwork aside, when it comes to investing, the biggest move we will ever make is in another person. We invest in people, not in business plans or paperwork. So, when it comes to truly investing, always look to the omens and follow your instincts. If you have a uncomfortable feeling about someone, then, in my experience, you always land up with a headache.

Everything that is in important in life involves people, the rest is just details.

So, listen to your heart, and once again, let me emphasize: never ever abandon your sense of judgment!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker