Graduation, Vista, Chocolate and Cheese!

Hey Milieu Pals,
Once again I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. It has been over a month since I last updated Hans’ Milieu. So much has happened since then. I have officially graduated, I have a new computer, I’ve started my Honours year and so much more. So, let us begin…
Graduation: Monash Alumnus 2006
Yes Milieu Pals I, Hans Haupt, have officially graduated with my first degree from Monash University (the photographs have been uploaded to Hans’ Milieu and are within the album – Graduation 2006: Monash Alumni). I am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Communications with Media Studies; and Marketing. It is such a satisfying emotion knowing that I have attained my degree, and with distinction. To officially be part of only five percent of the world’s population is simply extraordinary.
To all fellow alumni (I love that word), the world over, I would like to say congratulations! You have worked hard to achieve an idiosyncratic mindset that will indefinitely set your cognitive abilities above most others. For those who are in the process of attaining a higher education, kudos to you, and remember to continue to persevere no matter what obstacles may be thrown your way.
An education is one of life’s greatest gifts. If you are given the opportunity to further your mindset make sure to embrace it with arms wide open for an "Education is a companion which no future can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate it and no nepotism can enslave" (Ropo Oguntimehin).
The official graduation ceremony took place on the 24th February 2007 at the Ballroom in the Sandton Convention centre. Graduates were, unfortunately, only given four tickets (excluding themselves) which went to my parents and my cousins Freddy and Terrence W (if I could have, I would have invited my entire family to attend). It was a fantastic event that was attended by various esteemed guests including: the graduates (heh heh heh), the High Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monash Australia (Global), various members of the Australian parliament, all lecturers and academic staff of Monash South Africa and Emeritus Professor the Lord Desai of St Clement Danes. As is usually the scenario for a graduation the event was intensely formal in nature however, since this ceremony took place in Africa, the yelps and shouts of parents undulating their enjoyment of their progenies achievements resonated throughout the ballroom (my mother was one of those parents  ). After the main event we all posed for our professional graduate photographs, made sure to taste every available refreshment and induced a fair share of networking with other like-minded alumni. After locating our families a couple of friends and I decided to head out to this exclusive and somewhat unheard of venue known as the Kitchen Bar within the Design Quarter. 
Ah, the Design Quarter. I simple love this place. So exclusive and unknown, the perfect place for esteemed graduates (lol)! Once we had arrived we made our way to a restaurant known as the Kitchen Bar. Simply put they make exquisite cuisine and it has since become one of my favourite places to dine at (I have been there at least three additional times since graduation). The vibe at the Kitchen Bar could be described as eclectically cosmopolitan with an air of modernity. Honestly, that night at the Kitchen Bar, within the Design Quarter with my family and some of my best friends, was simply… mind-blowing! That entire day especially that night has to be, without a doubt, one of the best nights of my life.
"The better part of one’s life consists of his [sic] friendships" (Abraham Lincoln) thus I would like to offer a very special thank you to Marika, Mark and Laura for making the last three years at Monash some of the most memorable in my life!

Hans Vento
One of the major reasons as to why I have not updated Hans’ Milieu as frequently as I should have, has been because of my new computer: Hans’ Vento. My dad felt it was time I could get a brand new computer, not just an upgrade, and let me tell you… he spoilt me rotten! 
I mentioned in a previous post that I had upgraded to Windows Vista (for my main PC and our media centre). I am currently running Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64bit) which, despite mixed reviews and driver incompatibility issues, is simply superb. I have likened it to the Mac OS X with the major difference being that it is Windows and not Apple. I also have Microsoft Encarta Premium/Reference Suite 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 Professional which I cannot live without. Honestly I am incredibly pro Microsoft. I have actually decided to get rid of my iPod (my 60GB Video iPod now acts as a glorified storage device) and purchase a Microsoft Zune (whenever it eventually becomes available in SA). The reason? Simply because of its flawless integration into the Windows platform (especially with Vista) and because of my incredibly favourable experience with the Xbox 360 and other forms of Microsoft Hardware. Additionally I am contemplating getting myself a Windows Mobile device with Windows Mobile 6 and leaving Nokia as my brand of choice for mobile phones. Again this is because of the seamless integration of Windows products and hardware with Windows software. I cannot stand having to download additional software for my mobile device just to enable features that Windows Vista should be able to just get from the device through the integrated Sync Centre. If I could I would actually like to work for Microsoft perhaps within the Marketing, gaming or product development departments.
Right, Hans’ Vento. That is the name of my new computer. It took almost three weeks for all the parts to arrive and only about a day to assemble the entire machine myself. Yes Milieu Pals this was the first time I had attempted to build a computer and I managed to do it without any help (well… minus the occasional call to a Computers Only about simple and seemingly stupid queries such as "I’ve got a fan but from which side does it blow the air since its covered by a magnetic strip and I can’t see the air flow markers?"). A part from grossly injuring my right thumb and practically frying the CPU (the original fan I used wasn’t making contact with the CPU properly, so ended up using the stock CPU fan) I managed to build my own computer, which I am so very proud of! I think I may add the art of ‘computer assembly’ to my list of hobbies.
Hans’ Vento’s specifications are as follows:
  • Asus Striker Extreme Motherboard
  • Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme Quad Core QX6700 running at 2.66 GHz
  • 4 Gigabytes of Corsair Dominator PC2-8500C5D DDR2 RAM running at 1066 MHz
  • 750 Gigabyte SATA Seagate Barracuda Hard Drive
  • Asus GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
  • 1000 Watt Enermax Galaxy power supply
  • Windows Vista Ultimate (64bit)
 If it wasn’t for my dad I would not have Hans’ Vento and so I just want to say "Thank you so much daddy for allowing me to have this ultra extreme setup!"
Chocolate Surprise and Cheese Wizz Extravaganza!
On Friday the 16th February (a week before graduation and a few days after Valentines) I decided to have a Chocolate Surprise and Cheese Wizz evening (you can see the photographs of that day within the album entitled – A Chocolate Surprise and Cheese Wizz Time)! It was pretty much a spur of the moment function brought on by the prospect of using our newly purchased chocolate fountain and the discovery of ‘the best’ Fruit and Veg city I have been to (and I do not particularly enjoy shopping for groceries but this place is something else  ).
Having been to the stunning new Fruit and Veg city in Rynfield (feels like I am shopping in Australia when I am there) earlier that week I felt that I had to do something fun and different. So I promptly made my way to this delicious new grocery shopping experience and proceeded to purchase various cheeses (Brie, Camembert, Beer Cheese, Roquefort…), dips (pesto and garlic, cream cheese and garlic, caramelised onions and garlic… we like garlic  ), various fruits (cut into spheres and displayed within a watermelon shell for dipping into chocolate) and a copious amount of chocolates (four of every truffle they make and three packets of chocolate fountain chocolate).
Once those who could make it had arrived I took out the cheese platter, dips and crackers. We then proceeded to play on the Nintendo Wii which is by far the most entertaining games console for a multi-player experience. After creating Mii’s for everyone that arrived (Marika, Laura, Mark, Wickus, Terence F. and Robyn) we started up Wii Sports and, as the age old adage goes, the rest was history. I must be honest watching people come to grips with their dormant hand and eye coordination skills is simply hilarious especially when they are maniacally waving their arms and legs in an attempt to prevent themselves from being knocked out. I laughed so hard at times that I could not breathe. I actually candidly video recorded my friends and myself playing the Wii but have yet to transfer it to my PC due to fire wire difficulties.
After the Wii we made our way to the kitchen to eat supper and then try out the chocolate fountain. By this time everyone was so stuffed with cheese, crackers and dip, despite the rigorous Wii sessions, that most could not eat supper yet politely accepted my mother’s generous helpings (you guys are real troopers)! After supper and a lengthy and intimate discussion between us all I decided it was time for the chocolate fountain. Amidst the protesting groans from our stomachs ‘being too full’ were the delightfully audible squeals unconsciously released at the sight of the fully functional chocolate fountain. For a few short moments all was well until the bright idea of adding some Amarula to the chocolate concoction came to be. It was at that moment that the fountain seemed to cease due to an immediate increase in viscosity. Regardless we enjoyed what became a chocolate ‘fudge’ fountain  .
Overall though the evening was a fantastic success with profuse amounts of fun had by all and is definitely something I will do again. Seriously though it is hard to have a bad time when the company is so good .
What else?!
Well after the tantamount success of the ‘Chocolate Surprise and Cheese Wizz extravaganza’ and the exuberant celebratory night out at the Kitchen Bar, Mark felt that we just had to all get together again (the week after graduation) at his place for another ‘kuier’. This time though my mom tagged along and so did Mik’s as our mother’s finally all met each other for the first time at graduation. Mik made an absolutely decadent Tiramisu, which just so happens to be one of my favourite desserts, Mark’s mom made this special Portuguese potato dish (which rocked) while Mark did the traditional South African thing and braaied (BBQ). I also met two of Wickus’ friends (Merina and Anton) who, upon Laura’s arrival and the allocation of groups, played against us all in a game of Cranium. This game is ridiculously fun as it mixes Pictionary, 30 Seconds and Charades all into one wickedly addictive game (definitely one of my next board game purchases). Once again we all had a good time and look forward to getting together again soon.
This past Saturday (16th March) I was invited to Kirsty’s place for a ‘bring and braai’ which also acted as a partial ‘going away’ get together as she is going away with her family to Melbourne (one of my favourite places and the place within which I want to live once we immigrate) for a little over two months. I met a variety of different people at her ‘house party’ (whose names evade me) but spent most of my time with Candida, David, Dale, Kirsten and Kirsty (friends I have known for years from both primary and high school). We ended up playing ‘Jenga’ for most of the evening until the blocks started to lose their form, a little too frequently, due to alcohol tolerance levels having been reached  . Once again a good evening was had with the promise of more to come.
This coming Friday, 23rd March 2007, is the official Launch date of the Sony Playstation 3 in South Africa (as well as Europe and Australia). As I have previously mentioned within this post I have an affinity for Microsoft products, particularly hardware, however this does not mean that I would not enjoy products from other manufacturers. Unlike many other individuals (I know this is a stereotype of game playing individuals) I do not consider myself a ‘fanboy’ of any particular game industry corporation. I prefer to remain as neutral as possible so I may effectively offer an unbiased and somewhat objective truth regarding the differences between the gaming console platforms. This is to ensure that when individuals ask for my opinion regarding the current ‘console wars’ I am able to answer them to the best of my abilities from my own objective experiences. So on Friday night at 23:59 I will be in line (with my cousin Freddy) to collect my pre-ordered Playstion 3 which is retailing all over South Africa for R6299 (US $853), excluding games and accessories (an additional R2500 aka US $340). I have my reservations about the Playstation 3 console and believe that the Xbox 360 will be this gaming generation’s platform of choice, but this remains to be seen.
Wow! This must be one of the lengthiest posts I have written in a very long time (no pun intended). This post has effectively taken most of the day to complete and I am thus suitably fatigued at this moment in time but it was definitely worth the effort. There was more I wanted to write about and discuss, particularly with regard to the strange weather we have been having in South Africa along our coastlines, but that story will have to wait for another post. So Milieu Pals, it seems as if we have reached the end of yet another eventful post, but rest assured I will update again as soon as I can.

Ciao for now,



3 thoughts on “Graduation, Vista, Chocolate and Cheese!

  • Yay!!! An update! I was starting to wonder if both you and Freddy had given up on blogging completely. ;-)Congratulations on the graduation…*sigh*…wish I could have that behind me too, but still a way to go.All your parties sound really nice, it\’s hard to know where to start wth the commenting on your looooooong post. Love the fountain!One question – how to you get the chocolate once you cry "uncle"?Actually make it two questions…do you get the melting chocolate in dark as well or do you just whack in any old slab?Kitchen bar is a nice place with freaky bathrooms (don\’t you think?) and a peculiar tendency to put roses in their cocktails/mocktails or at least rose water, I\’m not sure which. Can\’t beleive you\’re getting the PS3 too!!! You must tell us all about this fudging blue ray stuff that I keep hearing about (and I\’m not even a gamer – at all), and your new computer looks very pretty (ooooooooohhh…shineeey!), sorry about you hand and hope you feel better soon. 🙂

  • Hey Louisa,
    Yeah it was about time that I updated my blog. Been too long. LOL!
    Thank you for the congratulations, I really appreciate it.
    The chocolate fountain is fantastic. Everyone should have one. You need a special kind of chocolate to use with it though. You should be able to buy some at any Fruit and Veg City (the one in Rynfield has this delicious chocolate bar which is where I got our packets of chocolate from).
    I can describe Kitchen Bar in two words: Love It!
    I hope the PS3 justifies the cost. We\’ll see…
    Thanks for your comment and remember to drop by again soon!

  • Hans…I check in at least once a day, so I will be back soon ;-)Good luck at the launch today – hope the PS3 turns out to be more than you hoped for!

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