Friday, 29 January 2010

Noah’s Ark

A friend of mine sent this to me - it was too good not to share :

All I need to know I learned from Noah's Ark

Don't miss the boat.

Remember that we are all in the same boat.

Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

Stay fit. When you're 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.

Don't listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done.

Build your future on high ground.

For safety's sake travel in pairs.

Speed isn't everything.
The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

you're stressed, float awhile.

Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

No matter the storm, when you are with God there's always a rainbow waiting.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Changing the rules

I got a Kindle this weekend, and I am amazed. Not so much at the concept of an e-reader or the device itself, but at the way it connected to the mothership and warped me into Amazon world!

This slick machine comes with a 3G SIM built in, and Amazon pays for me to connect to the Kindle store and check out what's on offer. My imagination was captured when I fired up the Kindle and presto I was connected; then, with my current Amazon login and password I was registered in a few seconds. I kept wondering if the Kindle had picked up the hotspot... yes, at first I was quite boggled. After reading a bit and just playing around I figured out how this magic trick works, and I am still amazed! Like I said above, not so much about the device but at how the access works.

Google didn't invent search engines but their business model changed the rules of the game. I feel Amazon have made a rule changing move here! And the race is on; Sony have an e-reader device, and I believe that in the next week Apple are going to launch their new tablet, and and and...

The built-in Amazon-sponsored connectivity that comes with the Kindle opens up a whole world of possibilities. Imagine a new device, a couple of years from now, that acts as a portable on-demand DVD player - now that will be a story! Or, when the iPod allows you to connect to the iTunes store just like that, without having to sync up to a PC. Yes, the imagination can run wild here!

I have a lot of actuarial friends and I studied actuarial science when I was an under-grad, and I am sure the actuaries will tell you that Amazon's move here is not so much a bold technical move as it is a calculated financial equation. Imagine if the local mall sent a shuttle to pick you up and drop you, even if you didn't commit to buying anything. The shuttle picks you up and drops you back home, whenever you feel like it, and the mall pays for the transport costs, and you just only browse... but eventually you will buy something.

I am sure the Kindle doesn't take up a lot of bandwidth on that small grey-scale screen, and I am pretty sure that at least one in five purchase something from the Kindle store. Yes, Amazon have done the math, and I think their calculated move here is going to bare a lot of juicy fruit!

One thing that is really intriguing is that the Kindle has web browsing capabilities and on the Amazon site they say this is in prototype phase. Whatever these smart folk are planning, I am going to be watching with keen interest. If the Kindle starts to allow general Internet functionality then won't this be a challenger to something like BlackBerry?

Wow, the world is going to change even faster!

BTW, I got my Kindle from our shop - these things are selling like hot cakes. Hmmm, one don't we just sell hot cakes. Cos they would sell like... well, you know where this comes from.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Thursday, 21 January 2010


I was watching another great movie again recently, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

What a classic story, re-done with such style - it has such a good script. Here is a scene that has great resonance with me:

How is it that a once arrogant young nobleman, has found contentment living rough with the salt of the earth?

I've seen knights in armour panic at the first hymns of battle. And I've seen the loneliest, unarmed squire pull a spear from his own body, to defend a dying horse. Nobility is not a birthright, it's defined by ones actions.

It's interesting to hear you say that.

I didn't. My father did.

There is a great energy in South Africa. Everywhere I go there are positive vibes. Quite a change from just a month ago.

Something good is in the air!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Monday, 18 January 2010


A friend of mine sent me these quotes recently - they were too good not to share:

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.'
- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
- Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
- Jimmy Durante

I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
- Alex Levine

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
- Rodney Dangerfield

Money can't buy you happiness. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.
- Joe Namath

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
- Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
- W. C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
- Will Rogers

Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.
- Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.
- Billy Crystal

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Thursday, 14 January 2010


A rabbi told me this recently: Excellence is never an accident.

Thinking purely from a business perspective, if you make some money in your venture, then perhaps luck played a role. And perhaps your timing was good. Perhaps you worked hard and took a risk. But, if you build something that outlives you, something truly inspired, something that people admire, then that has nothing to do with luck - in my view, that is no accident!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday, 8 January 2010


I have often said that some people spend time to save money and that others spend money to save time (the minority, in my view).

Then, the other day I read somewhere: "Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time." This got me thinking.

I am always trying to get the most out of each day, each week, each year, and then, when the year ends I often wonder where the time went - it all goes by so quickly. And I often think that I should have had more fun - yes, I need to waste more time having fun (interpret this how you wish) - it replenishes the soul!

I like this new quote; there are so many things we should all do, to relax, and simply, rest. And this is not wasted time.

2010 is going to be an intense year here in South Africa, and I for one, am going to try enjoy it.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Love Actually

I was watching a movie earlier - one of my favourites "Love Actually".

I think every year around this time we all start to get quite emotional - a new year brings excitement and energy.

In this genius of a film I remember the opening dialog so well - when I heard it again earlier on I got inspired, for the 100th time (yes, I have seen this film many times).

Words are the most important building block we got, and in 2010 we are gonna be doing a lot of building - labours of love.

Here are the opening words from Love Actually - I hope you find them moving too :

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion makes out that we live in a world of hatred and greed I don't see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere.

Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it's always there.

Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.

When the planes hit the Twin Towers, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love.

If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker