Quick Update

8 years of blogging this month…

Bantry Bay from Ellerman House
Bantry Bay from Ellerman House
  • Week of 10 to 16 November.
  • Monday, up at 6:00, school run, 1k swim at the Waterstone Gym, some past-deadline charity shopping logistics for Mia’s school, created some order back at home, photo processing, light supper and tea at Sidewalk Cafe – fast paced walk back home after we figured out they locked the gates around our house at sunset, in bed by 10:00, some Aquaponics reading, good sleep.
  • Contempt is the number one factor that tears couples apart.
  • The disease of being busy.
  • Tuesday, three cups of tea, car service, gym, 1k swim, walked from Wembley Square to the Waterfront via St George’s mall, Greenmarket Square and Long Street – forgot how nice that area is in the afternoon, fetched my car, watched Interstellar at the Waterfront, ~3hour epic sci-fi movie… loved it, joined Al and Georg for a beer at Carlyle’s.
  • Tune of the week: Nara by Alt-J.
  • Interstellar mini review: Great soundtrack. Very sad a times. I cried like girl. Great plot and themes: Very scary theme about killing the planet and running out of food. Time is relative. Is love bigger than just something that we have because of evolution? The bond between parent and child. Anne Hathaway looks very good with short hair – not the worst person to be trapped on a new planet with. 80% of the movie seems pretty real and then there’s the Abyss-like ending where it gets wacky – but it all fits well.
  • “We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.” — Interstellar

  • “Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.” — Brand, Interstellar.

  • “I know.” — The Empire Strikes Back

  • “Jy moet nooit jou sonbril by die huis los as jy uit gaan nie.” — Al

  • Wednesday, day without using my car, moved about 75GB of photos to my external drive, Devil’s Peak walk with Georg, finished that mix tape – the new-school way: iTunes playlist export and import, Naulene fetched a sleeping bag, red wine and blogging while Georg worked on his set for Friday night, narrow escape with a last minute phone call, do’h.
  • Thursday, Mia went on her first school camping trip, no breakfast, health check-up at Wellness Warehouse and a painful VitB shot… Doctor Ernst sent through a script for Neurobion (thanks!), Mr Fox’d an egg white frittata with a spirulina smoothie and some orange blossom energising Happywater from Janey – who gave me two affirmation stickers, bumped into Tracey, 1km swim, I suspect my mostly paleo diet is increasing my cholesterol – phoned Ernst – I should probably go for a real lab test soon, organised the house with Georg and had a few G&Ts, moved around some decor.
  • Startups really are about making something out of nothing.
  • Great weekend, nice to see so many good friends…
  • Friday, house cleaning and organising, some tea in the Ritzenhoff cups (thanks for the plastic glasses), chopped up some veggies for snack platters, epic nerdy housewarming party (Party in the IT Department) – about 30 people, ended with some Hendriks G&Ts (thanks Al), more than one person got the day of the party wrong.
  • Saturday, woke up to a clean house, walked to Carlyle’s for a Slow Beer and a pizza, watched True Romance again… always fun.
  • We have two new housemates: Jasmin and Laura.
  • Sunday, took a walk around Ellerman House, great art collection – very cool William Kentridge piece, vanilla tea with great views over Bantry Bay, Jessica came over and Georg cooked an awesome Sunday roast with some vintage Graham Beck bubbly, minor kitchen panic – first aid kit for a finger cut, nap, watched The Intouchables again, watched Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels again.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Remember, remember…

London / Angel
London / Angel
  • Week of 3-9 November.
  • Epic fail of a photo week, but I had a very fun Guy Fawkes.
  • Monday, Jacques made us breakfast, rainy day, walked to Old Street Station, bought 0.0919 BTC (20GBP) at the Bitcoin ATM… worked well, but takes a while for the transaction to show up in my Hive wallet app, audio book walk to the office, booked flights for Ernst’s wedding, Jacques cooked supper, I set up Baiku Server (calendar), watched The Corporation on Netflix.
  • The daily London routine is pretty much: walk to work and take the train home. Get a bit of exercise while the sun is up.
  • “He who dies with the least toys wins. Because the more you know, the less you need.” – Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Founder.

  • Interesting read on the human longing for transcendence “a special kind of feeling or intuition – a sense of the oneness of all things in their divine principle”.
  • Such epic photos from Burning Man.
  • Business idea: mass CO2 absorbing aquaponic broccoli farm that accepts bitcoin payments – basically and organic bitcoin farm.
  • Tuesday, I cooked a broccoli breakfast, we actually found a use for the demo day stand up banners at Jacques’ house, audio book walk to the office, bargained myself a good deal on a new travel suitcase at the street market… 4 wheel hard shell thing – kinda needed a new one after driving over my other suitcase a while ago, tea in a “League Chairman” cup, listened to Mozart’s Requiem, we decided on a housewarming theme – Party in the IT Department, my first authentic London winter evening outing – cold and wet (4G and TouchID seems to fail), nice dinner at Dishoom / Bombay Cafe in Shoreditch with Jacques, good recommendation… thanks Al and Paul – great food, loved the lamb and mint yoghurt, try the house chai – and then, like Forrest Gump in Nam – we went looking for two guys named Ben and Jerry, watched Non Stop… not bad, worked on the mix tape – loving my headphones.
  • Jacques has this theory that after 35yo your friends should just arrange a marriage for you. I figure, with a 4 year average marriage length, the trick is more for everybody to just move on quickly and get along.
  • “Kry mens machiavellianism weens ‘n tekort aan oxytosin?” — Jacques thinks I missed a shot of Oxytocin at birth.

  • Did I mention the grilled cheese sandwich from last week’s wine bar outing?
  • “Every company goes through about two WFIO moments.” — THTAHT

  • Go Fund Yourself – South Park on startups and crowd funding.
  • Wednesday, Remember Remember The Fifth of November, Jacques made breakfast, really bummed to miss Mia’s swimming gala, lunch with Johann and Kirstin in Soho – chats about AI, quantum computing, travel adventures with Johann to get to Crystal Palace Park for a fireworks show – Victoria station – long cab ride – we watched the fireworks with Victoria and Elliot, very cold train ride to West Croydon – borrowed Victoria’s mittens (and ended up dropping my phone – no real damage).
  • “Never be scared to be radical.” — Johann

  • Turns out Johann is an Afrikaans speaking jew. That has to be pretty rare.
  • “Happy ideas are bulletproof day.” — ERnst

  • Remember the chocolate chilli steak at Madam Zingara?
  • I realised that I never really watched Futurama. How did this happen?
  • The fundamentally sad thing about software development and most of the knowledge economy work is that people simply don’t get to move enough – get up and take a walk when you can.
  • Is Batman gay? — something Jacques found.
  • Thursday, woke up in a hotel in West Croydon, tea, flight check-in (which I should have done the previous night), kinda got a bit lost travelling back to Haggerston – a few train changes because of delays on the Overground, quick packing session at Jacques’ house, walked to Angel, quick supper with Jacques at Brewhouse & Kitchen – Islington, rush hour travelling with a big suitcase (joy), Heathrow Express – finished The Hard Thing About Hard Things on the way to the airport, flight to Cape Town, watched Guardians of the Galaxy… very entertaining, watched Bad Neighbours… had its moments.
  • Tune of the week: Silver Springs, Fleetwood Mac
  • I have another Best Man gig, 21 March.
  • Jacques: I suspect your bike might have been stolen from the bike rack in the warehouse. Not sure how far back your CCTV footage goes?
  • Friday, woke up somewhere over Namibia, watched Chef… pretty good, managed to get stopped at customs – turns out you can only bring in one bottle of gin… meh, Georg fetched me from the airport, great to be back in Cape Town, a swim at home, a quick nap, fetched Mia, back to Cape Town, swimming, braai – I made some basil and Emmentaler braai broodjies.
  • Saturday, watched Cape Feare (Simpsons) again, we walked to the OZCF market and had fresh juices an some liquid nitrogen made ice cream, more swimming at home, I made a salad, we found an original 1980something Lego Space Guy, a few drinks with Judy and Hugo, organised Mia’s room, nap, another nap, Uber ride, 30th birthday party at Dear Me in Longmarket street, Georg played a great set of music back home, dancing in the lounge, a few people ended up in the swimming pool with their clothes on, great fun.
  • “Use a pen, Sideshow Bob!”

  • I love how Mia likes to watch a screensaver on the TV with a series of her old photos.
  • “You’re so cool.” — from True Romance.

  • Mia seems to love watching Simpsons at the moment – sitting on the Aeron chair sipping tonic water.
  • Exactly two years since I got un-engaged this Sunday.
  • Sunday, no Groovy Troopers this year, afternoon of swimming and a birthday braai with Paul and friends, watched a bit of The Internship with Georg.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Hello London, best Monday…

Camps Bay
  • Week of 27 Oct to 2 Nov.
  • Monday, up at 6:00, an early walk around Lions Head, a quick 1k swim, conversations around the pool, my first Uber ride (I think), lunch at The Camps Bay Retreat with some Tokara Chardonnay… nice food, great views, a swim in the ~secret (and a bit squishy) rock pool, sunset Glen Beach / Camps Bay beach walk, an epic fillet braai at home with Georg, Dan and Michael, perfect day.
  • I now have 11 Telegram contacts… mass-close-friend-migration.
  • A 50% match in top4 Wes Anderson movies. I might have to watch The Darjeeling Limited again.
  • Nice to be swimming more recently. All I want for xmas is a flow pool at home.
  • Tuesday, three cups of Earl Grey tea, braai meat for breakfast, 1k swim, Suicide Gorge planning, bacon and eggs at 3pm, quick Table Mountain hike with Georg, 10 minutes of packing, Georg dropped me off at the airport (thanks!), finally got a USB battery back from duty free – very useful for headphone charging, BA flight to London, watched 22 Jump Street… very funny.
  • It’s been an eventful and exciting three weeks in Cape Town. Great fun. Big smile. Feeling at home in Cape Town and really enjoying the company of friends.
  • First overseas trip without packing my camera.
  • Safe to say KPI4 has been progressing well.
  • Wednesday, woke up at around 3:30 (London time) somewhere over Europe, minor UK Border snags (again!), arrived in London in winter with shorts and flip flops, MNO and travel card top-ups, watched two Cosmos episodes on the commute to the office, day at the Techstars office – catching up, lunch at The Chicken Shop down the road – felt right at home again and nice to be in working mode, it got dark at 16:45… crazy, started the day with about 200 emails, ended with about 100, catch-up dinner with Jacques at a Hoxton pub called Talbot.
  • “Do you remember Frogger?” — Mutaz, as we crossed the 4 lane road to get some Indian food for lunch.

  • Jacques still does not have “fibre” broadband. EE let him know it’s active but the ADSL line does not sync.
  • Happy to report Jacques has not been smoking (if you ignore the odd e-cigarette).
  • Neither Jacques nor I managed to get Rugby World Cup 2015 tickets. A bit weird, between us we bid for 12 tickets: 4 games * 3.
  • Tried to Skype with Mia on Wednesday but somehow the headphone jack broke off inside the iPad!? The two things that puzzle me about this: 1) Why would you take something to school which you knew was broken? 2) Why not just tell me it’s broken.
  • Sunshine or fast internet? Can’t seems to get both right at the moment.
  • Nice read: So What is FinTech?
  • Thursday, almonds and almond milk for breakfast, cleaned the cave to liveable standards – I’m pretty sure there was some recycling from my last visit, started listening to The Hard Thing About Hard Things on the way to the office… very good, very relevant, found an omellette shop near the office – wish I found that a long time ago, 6 GBP Pakistani barber haircut, catch up with Brian, ping pong match vs Lesya, audio book tube ride, a Kronenbourg with Jacques, watched the last episode of Cosmos – all misty eyed.
  • “There are only two emotions in startups: euphoria and terror.” ~- from THTAHT

  • “Innovation requires a combination of knowledge, skill and courage.” — THTAHT

  • As Bill Murray says: being a swimwear model is all about drinking enough water.
  • Friday, breakfast with Jacques, audio book walk to the office via Brick Lane, day at the office, gruelling ping pong matches against Lesya, Max and Morgan and end of week Halloween beers around the office, two really amazing bottles of French and Spanish wine with Ashley at Sager + Wilde (Clos du Rouge Gorge jeunes Vignes 2012 and Gran Recosind Crianca) – really great little wine bar.
  • “Gullible is my first name.” — Ashley

  • “Nobody cares, just win.” — THTAHT

  • Safe to say I’m more of a Guy Fawkes fan than a Halloween guy.
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a great book – it’s hard being a tech founder CEO – but it’s such an exciting and challenging and complex thing. It’s a bit of a curse. Great to listen to all the wisdom from this book. You can tell they were all Unix geeks – they even mention LDAP in the book.
  • Getting a lot of questions about my tan in London.
  • Definitely some form of therapy in talking things through with Jacques – including global warming.
  • Saturday, photo processing, great weather for 1 November, a walk along the Regent’s Canal with Jacques, olives and a pulled pork snacks at the Broadway Market, a stroll around London Fields park, watched Cosmos ep12 again with Jacques (the global warming one), epic nap, a visit to The O2 with Jacques, eat as much as you can paleo (meat) mission at Rodizio Rico, $5 shake with some Maker’s Mark bourbon (which ended up being an $18 shake), kinda mis-timed watching Interstellar by a week, walked past the BTC ATM at Old Street Station, watched Savages via Amazon Prime… entertaining.
  • Jacques and I agree that Bitcoin adoption in London is seriously hampered by the hipster service ethic.
  • Sunday, I cooked an 8 egg paleo breakfast, helped Jacques clean the warehouse and threw away a lot of random crap – finally!, nap, swim and spa session, Sunday roast at The Brewhouse & Kitchen – Islington with a very yummy Asahi Japanese dry rice lager, a walk along the Regent’s Canal, some Ben and Jerry’s with The Famous Grouse, watched Side Effects – bit of a man crush on Channing Tatum I suspect.
  • Recent theme: market of one – only need one way out.
  • “Somebody wake up Hicks.” — Apone, I sometimes feel a bit like this.

  • “We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one’s total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern. One’s religious attitude is to be found at that point where he has a conviction that there are values in human existence worth living and dying for.” — Rollo May, something Jacques found, I suspect I’m only posting this because of my recent Cosmos watching.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Last week in Cape Town for a while…

Lions Head Sunset
Lions Head Sunset
  • Week of 20-26 October.
  • Monday, up at 6:00, school run, gym, swim, meeting in Stellenbosch, lunch at Greengate, car wash (for the first time in about 6 months), finally fixed the Kano at Mia’s school, early supper with Mia and a beach walk, dropped Mia at her mom’s and drove to Cape Town, one more wave of creating order around the house while installing iOS 8.1, met a potential new (French) housemate.
  • Tuesday, up at 6:00, walked up Lions Head with Richard (90min up and down), bumped into three people I know on the way up, made an 8 egg breakfast (2 yolks, for the record), listened to Chicane / Behind the Sun – great album, fitted a new iPhone screen cover, perfect application, geek joy, Table Mountain walk with Georg… pipe track and contour road back, we kinda planned a braai, then cancelled it and then braaied anyway, a small one with Michael.
  • Wednesday, finally set up my desk again and ordered ADSL for the house, drove to Stellenbosch, ~swim, bubbly, a really nice dinner.
  • Only woman feel infatuation. Only men feel jealousy.
  • Thursday, bacon, Bloody Mary, got some new swimming goggles (joy – should have done this a long time ago), epic 1k swim, could not stop smiling, VitB shot, fetched Mia from swimming, early supper at Manuka – bumped into Charl and family, drove back to Cape Town, Georg played a nice mix of some new tunes, missed the aKing show, in bed early.
  • 2 years.
  • Sudden urge to visit the power station where Aliens was filmed.
  • Friday, finally found my toothbrush chargers, unpacked a few boxes, backups, Van Hunks with Georg, Paul, Hilah, Tania, Johann and Al – great evening.
  • “Here’s to the normal ones. The conformists. The pushovers. The followers. The square pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things the same. They’re fond of rules. And they have respect for the status quo. You won’t quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. The only thing you can do is ignore them. Because they don’t change things. They hold the human race back. And while some may see them as safe, we see mindless destruction. Because the people who aren’t crazy enough to think they can change the world, don’t.” — Ben

  • Saturday, breakfast and a Bloody Mary at Sidewalk Cafe with Georg, swim, sun, started making a mix tape, epic nap – overshot the mark a little and woke up after 19:00, Cosmos, burger at Royale with Georg, more Cosmos.
  • Sunday, Devil’s Peak walk with Georg, swim, we fetched Paul and Hilah… with only minor delays, fetched Mia, great day of swimming and relaxing, Johann and Victoria’s going away party at Sgt Pepper in Long Street – continuing the pizza on Sunday night routine.
  • Mia’s Afrikaans is progressing well.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Living a bit of a strange mix of the Paul Carr books…

Table Mountain
Table Mountain walk
  • Week of 13-19 October.
  • Yes, this post is late. Writing creativity has been diverted to lots of Telegram messages recently.
  • Monday, got an HDMI cable and an SD card for project Kano, quick 1k swim, finally returned Mia’s bike after AfrikaBurn, fetched Mia (last day of school holiday) and fixed Naulene’s email, more swimming coaching… the two hand butterfly is coming along nicely, Bikini Beach walk, hake, calamari and salad at Trawlers, Bikini Books visit… bought “The Best Best Man” (for R15) – six easy lessons, bought Microserfs (for R8) – good memories of the book, dropped Mia at her mom’s house, (car phone) chat with Ernst on the way to Cape Town, catch-up with Wouter – we had a good laugh about Paul being abducted from a party.
  • Hello Cape Town, summer is certainly in the air and it feels great to be back.
  • “What’s the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek?” — Mia, hmm… might have to watch some Star Trek soon.

  • I think I might have become a sugar nazi – I keep telling people to avoid sugar.
  • Mia can now swim 25m freestyle in 25sec.
  • Busy planning a Suicide Gorge walk for November, looking forward to it.
  • Thomas seems to have resigned from Ernst’s best men group.
  • Great read about startups: Before the Startup.
  • Paul recently reminded me of the story of our R2 photos at AfrikaBurn that Sunday – very funny. Giving the poor guy grief about not knowing his own camera settings – turns out it was not his camera.
  • “The Ex-Presidents rip off banks to finance their endless summer!” — Pappas, Point Break

  • Tuesday, woke up to an awesome day in Bantry Bay, grapefruit for breakfast, figured out Wouter’s coffee machine, got some admin done, Table Mountain walk with Georg (Pipe Track / Chain Route walk and then along contour towards Devils Peak – and back via the tar road)… see above photo, ribs special night at Van Hunks with Georg, Bianca and Tracy, nice drive home listening to aKing / In Loving Memory – great tune.
  • “They say you don’t get over somebody, you get under somebody else.” — Georg’s conversation with Bianca.

  • 5000 photos per year seems to be a good target – I’m at 3200 now.
  • Real friends make it into ~/.mutt/aliases
  • Wednesday, work – had to make a tough decision about elephant hunting, house shopping in High Cape… nice place, house shopping in Camps Bay (wow, something out of the 70s), had to take in the views from the big Bakoven rock, Little Beach visit, walked to the top of Lions Head with Georg… a bit misty, a beer at Van Hunks and bumped into Tracy again, burger in a bowl with Georg and Wouter at Da Vinci’s, good chat with Wouter, thanks!
  • Not often that you meet new good friends.
  • Thursday, house shopping in Fresnaye – not bad, but ended up going for the High Cape option, new record: less than 48h from viewing to moving in, tinkered with Apache configs to fix POODLE attack issues, Van Hunks with Lara, Claus, Al, Georg and Wouter – only the third night in a row, a drink at P&G, ended up at the Fritz Hotel in Gardens and installed OSX 10.10 (overnight).
  • Apache setting you want to be using: SSLCipherSuite EECDH+AES:EDH+AES:-SHA1:EECDH+RC4:EDH+RC4:RC4-SHA:EECDH+AES256:EDH+AES256:AES256-SHA:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXP:!LOW:!MD5:!SSLv3
  • Nice read: Love is Not Enough
  • Friday, moving day, new place in High Cape / Vredehoek, minimalist unpacking, Tania visited, wired up the hifi/tv, Hendriks G&Ts.
  • Feels like I have not had a home since January.
  • Saturday, woke up at home for a change, installed Aperture 3.6 – really hoping it’s less buggy, fetched Mia from a sleepover, Mia’s swimming squad sign-up, we had to go get Mia some new swimming goggles, pool party and mini-housewarming, watched that scene from Stardust again, kinda fell asleep next to Mia after her bath time, wine, music, dancing in the lounge with Hilah, Paul and Georg, great day.
  • “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” — Oscar Wilde

  • Sunday, breakfast at Sidewalk Cafe with Mia – I really should start eating a bit slower, pool party with camping mattress lilos, Mia made virgin Strawberry Daiquiris, Ingi made a great salad lunch, we managed to finish 6 bottles of my favourite Chardonnay and get every single glass in the house dirty (over the weekend), watched Mega Mind again, pizza at Da Vinci’s with Mia, watched some Cosmos.
  • “Of course they have good fashion sense – what do you think they were doing in the closet all that time?” — Georg

  • Some people are just fun to be around – and they bring out the best in you.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

A bit of a break…

Near Caledon
Near Caledon
  • Week of 6-12 October.
  • Monday, woke up at Rocking the Daisies, biltong for breakfast, safe to say we were the very last people to leave… had to go search for Paul’s phone, stopped for a quick wine tasting at Darling Cellars, drove back to Cape Town with Paul, a swim at Wouter’s house – very cool place, a long lunch at La Perla with Paul and Wouter – nice chats, good food and some Hartenberg Chardonnay, a drink with Georg, Wouter, Al, Ingi and Cath at Van Hunks… great to see everybody.
  • Pro-tip: drink Rehidrat before the party, not just after (via Wouter).
  • Safe to say I’ve missed Cape Town.
  • There is a bit of an irony to this blog – sometimes when I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to do something I figure – why not? the blog could use the content. It serves as a motivation to keep doing fun things, but sometimes I really just do not want to be busy.
  • Wouter and Paul also like Nikki’s AfrikaBurn theme idea.
  • Found this video about free diving (via Brian), made me think of the most relaxed day ever – 1998ish, Bettys Bay area, after an afternoon of crayfish diving with Jacques and Wynand, we stopped for a second dive along the coastal road. Great dive, just relaxing in the fairly warm water. Diving and exploring. Found a little blowfish and played with it. Views of the sun setting across False Bay towards Simon’s Town. Magic.
  • Tuesday, woke up in Bantry Bay, returned my camping gear to storage, Earl Grey tea, Nina Simone and an omelette at Basic Bistro.. bliss, some photo processing, processed a lot of phone notes, epic 1k swim, sauna, blogging, drove through to Cape Town, took a walk with Cath around Tamboerskloof… walked by our old Leeukloof house, burger in a bowl with Michael at Da Vinci’s.
  • “Everything ends badly, otherwise it would not end.” — Cocktail, not sure how I missed this quote, it was pretty much the reason we watched the movie again recently.

  • Wednesday, woke up in Tamboerskloof, fetched Mia, red cappuccinos and omelettes, played swimming coach – more butterfly training, fetched Francis, JIT outing planning, drove to Greyton… booked a place to stay on the way, stopped at Peregrine Farm Stall and bumped into my cousin Petro, which I have not seen in about 15 years, arrived at a cold and rainy Greyton Lodge, relaxed by the fire, a quick (non-league non-Campari) game of croquet with Mia and Francis, phoned Ernst, Francis rocked her panda onesie to Vanilla Cafe – pizza night, nice chat with the locals, Matilda soundtrack sing along at (bubble) bath time… Francis also knows the words now – and we have it in the car, obvs.
  • “Even if you’re little you can do a lot. You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.” — Matilda

  • I must say Francis is very cool – not sure how I now feel about all those levels of unhappiness I had towards Naulene when I found out she was pregnant with Francis.
  • Thursday, woke up in Greyton, we watched some Cosmos in bed (how wolves became dogs), nice healthy breakfast, tea and croquet with the girls… took us a while to work out Francis is not left handed (even her mom was not sure), Mia and Francis coloured in their new dolphin and teddy toys, new strategy: when they wind each other up I make them do push-ups, drove to the Greyton Nature Reserve and took a walk along the stream – we found two tiny ducklings at the top of the gorge, walked around Greyton and had a late lunch and pancakes at Oak and Vigne cafe… Van Morrison background music and a nice fireplace, walked back and played some more croquet, watched Cosmos (ep3-5), early night, best sleep in a long time.
  • I think we can all agree that the Greyton Lodge was a bit better when it was run by the Scandinavian couple, but it’s still nice.
  • I’m really starting to miss playing squash.
  • Friday, fairly painful watching the children eat sweet French toast after they convinced me they could order some, quick croquet game, Caledon hot water springs – highlight of the trip for M&F – only took them about 30min to get dressed to leave, rushed back to Somerset West for a party Francis had to attend, wine tasting at Ken Forrester’s – figured I’d show Mia the first place the Bothas farmed in the Cape, lunch at Eikendal… showed Mia the trailer of Star Wars Rebels (starts on 18 Oct), a quick play area visit at La Pineta, drove to Spier, a glass of Chardonnay, Mia convinced the barman to make her a virgin (not too sweet) Strawberry Daiquiri, we kicked a soccer ball around the lawn – with a bit of a lingering Daisies foot injury.
  • The “game of why?” seems to be very popular at the moment: Why do cheese knives have holes on the sides? Why do comets have tails? Why are wind turbines white? Why does steam rise off the road when it rains? Why do they built tunnels for trains in the middle of London?
  • Saturday, woke up at Spier (friends and family rate – thanks W!), soldier eggs (soft boiled eggs and toast strips), kicked a soccer ball around with Mia, a long swim – and a butterfly coaching session… the one arm butterfly stroke is looking good, some clothes shopping with Mia, bumped into Will, dropped Mia at her gran’s, birthday party outing, general mayhem.
  • Teaching swimming is more challenging than I figured it would be – not trivial to communicate something which is pretty much a reflex.
  • The Spier review: very cool that they just leave a few soccer balls around the lawns, very family friendly, the art is great, not really my vibe, but nice to see so much art around.
  • Feeling great after following Mia’s sleeping routine for a few days.
  • Managed to keep my life off Facebook for a week.
  • Smartphones really are a pain if you just need to unplug for a day or three – but it’s also a good reason to use your DSLR and leave your phone in the car.
  • Sunday, woke up to the Top Gun soundtrack, sun, swims, wine and more swims, great weekend, thanks!
  • Watching Cosmos really makes you want to live longer – it’s only been a fraction of time (over the last 3.5mil years) that we have our act (mostly) together. It’s a real privilege to live in these times.
  • 7 years, 10 months.
  • Tune of the week: Tove Lo – Habits
  • Back to work.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

End of Techstars and Rocking the Daisies 2014…

Flight to Cape Town
Flight to Cape Town
  • Week of 29 September to 5 October.
  • Monday, started listening to The Goldfinch (audio book gift from Ernst) – this might take a while, pitch practice day in the St James Theatre near Victoria, picked up a Harris Tweed jacket on the way there, nice Skype chat with Mia (Skype for iPhone TFW) – it was parents vs children hockey day at school – Naulene joined the game (thanks Naulene), seems the children won, registered for the Rugby World Cup 2015 ticket buying process (last day), got stuck on the District line – first time London transport failed me, packed up the office in Whitechapel and stored one crate there, Indian food night with Jacques and Werner at Zaffrani in Islington… awesome chicken dish, spa visit – three guys in the spa and no organised crime to talk about, in bed early – and so three months of warehouse living and jokes about boy bands and Mickey Mouse wristbands came to an end.
  • Tuesday, up at 6:00, Techstars Demo Day, bus ride to Victoria, grande lattes, flight check-ins, set up the presentation area at The St James Theatre, early pitch rehearsal session, demo day with a great intro by Brian (thanks!) and networking – good show – all the teams did really well, a beer with the ClauseMatch guys, fetched our bags and said goodbye to Jacques, long Piccadilly Line ride to LHR T1, SAA flight to Joburg with a really bad in-flight movie selection, ended up watching Before Sunset again, fell asleep 1/2 way into watching Inception again (with my new favourite hoodie over my head).
  • “Wish I was here.” — movie poster, looks pretty good.
  • “Isn’t everything autobiographical?” — Before Sunset

  • “Happiness is in the meaning.”

  • We made it onto TechCrunch and The Next Web.
  • Wednesday, woke up somewhere over Africa, rushed to our flight to Cape Town (some confusion from muppet behind the SAA desk), watched two episodes of Cosmos on my iPad and BLE headset – such an awesome series – really makes you want to do things which have a really big impact, quick Hyperloop landing video (which it seems you are not allowed to do), Werner gave me a lift to Paul’s house, fetched my car and stopped at the Eikeboom butcher in Stellenbosch for some biltong (very important stop – you will only really understand if you’ve been living in London for three months), fetched Mia and Francis – start of the school holiday, afternoon at Manuka – jungle gyms, jumping castles and some Jordan Chardonnay with Naulene – re-installed Telegram on her phone and made sure the message notifications worked, Mia and I drove to Stellenbosch and met up with Georg and Madeleine at 5 Reyneveld, nice dinner at De Cameron with a nice bottle of Ataraxia Serenity, Tiramisu and Tartufo for dessert.
  • Thursday, woke up on Paul’s farm, gave Mia her East London Swimmers book, omelette with Mia, swimming gear shopping, swimming at gym – played swimming coach – Mia is learning butterfly and progressing well – let’s see if a few morning shoulder stretches and push-ups help, Pam fetched Mia, had my watch battery replaced (in case I forget my birthday again), a beer at De Stomme Jonge, storage visit – fetched camping gear for Daisies, pretty easy – AfrikaBurn stuff still at the top, drove to Cape Town, Glen Beach sunset walk – great to be back, Wouter cooked some awesome steaks (with a digital thermometer – he’s a big cooking geek it seems), we talked about how the English are obsessed with social class, he has an impressive collection of Philip K. Dick books, he introduced me to How Stuff Works podcast, packed for Daisies.
  • Friday, woke up in Bantry Bay, backups, last minute shopping and packing, fetched Wouter from work, we made it out of Cape Town before the traffic, 4 hour queue to get into Daisies – I’m pretty happy I was not the guy running that ticketing system – people don’t really like the idea of paying R750 to sit outside the festival, finished some work while in the queue – not so much fun to try and send it off with crappy 3G data quality (no 4G!), put up our tents in the dark, watched a pretty epic Arno and Francois show with Steven, a few people probably drove their Touaregs to Daisies just for that one song.
  • Seems everybody was happy with the Daisies 2014 app we built. It worked well – but there was a snag with the geo-fence welcome message (I think).
  • “Coffee, you’re on the bench. Alcohol, suit up.” — via Paul.

  • Saturday, great weather for Daisies this year, Georg arrived, dam and swimming vibes, Paul arrived, watched the rugby with Georg, nap, watched MGMT from the Jaggermeister deck… hmm, best seats in the house, but not the best act to watch live it seems, adventures with Ross till about 5am – great fun, similar to that first night I met him at AfrikaBurn.
  • “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” — Paul

  • Sunday, a swim in the dam, nap, Sunday beach party… Cape Town is really small – all the same faces, bumped into a few cool people which I have not seen in a while, but like all regular FB users still knew what everybody was up to, got an early night.
  • Daisies 2014: it was big – something like 21k people, good fun, enough Hudsons burger patties for a while, smartphones and music festivals don’t gel – really need an easy way to find friends and festivals – without any battery power worries – or losing phones.
  • A bit sad I did not take too many photos at Daisies this year, but who wants to risk leaving a DSLR in a tent?
  • Tune of the week: Paradise, Coldplay.
  • If we’ve learnt anything over the last while, it’s that tech startups can be a special kind of inefficient if they don’t have enough runway. You really need 12-18 month runways to get anything significant done. Also, eating right and getting exercise is really important – because in the end the hardest thing to manage is your own levels of inspiration. I have a long list of notes about Techstars hints and tips – I’ll try turn it into a blog post soon.
  • ps. I finally figured out how to make en_GB the standard spell checker language for WordPress… seems you have to edit the wp-config.php file and then select English UK from General Settings.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

End of the summer…

Techstars selfie
Techstars selfie (in The Cave)
  • Week of 22-28 September, Techstars week 15.
  • Monday, audio book walk to gym, swim, played with Ricochet (Tor IM), nice Skype chat with Mia, demo day video watching and feedback, bought the new aKing album on iTunes (might actually be the first album I’ve bought on iTunes) walked home and had some Mexican food around Shoreditch with Werner.
  • “Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested.” — Hunter S. Thompson

  • We’re still waiting for EE to activate Jacques’ “fibre” broadband – we now have two routers. I don’t think it’s going to happen before we have to go back to Cape Town.
  • Tuesday, gym, swim… some days you really just want a lane to yourself, ironed a shirt (and so the fundraising begins), a 6 GBP haircut around Whitechapel with a Bollywood movie in the background, played with the iPhone 6 (nice) and 6 plus (lame), bit of an interesting curve ball landed in our inbox, finally managed to buy some Bitcoin on CoinFloor, pitch deck script learning on the train, schwarma at Beirut Express with Werner, angel investor pitch evening around South Kensington… good fun (but I need to present a bit slower it seems) – nice group, just about every house has an Aston Martin or a Range Rover in front of it, a few beers at the pub around the corner… until they closed, nice to catch up with Sonja, good chat with Werner on the bus ride home.
  • We released the Daisies 2014 app. Discovered a snag on iPhone5s (and 6) – but a fix was submitted quickly – thanks Jan.
  • Wednesday, usual audio book train ride to work, proposal writing and a teleconference, pitch practice with Greg (a few steps sideways, to end up with mostly the previous wording) and iMovie tinkering, bugged Jacques to get home early, official SA Braai Day at the warehouse (aka The Cave) with Bruce the dog (Jock of the Warehouse), Jacques got this idea that Bloody Mary’s were paleo and stared spicing them up more with each round, Werner did the braai’ing, Jacques managed the FB photo posting, we ate enough meat for 6 people right off the braai, Bruce kinda moved in, walking to the shop – I remember thinking London is getting really cold now, I finally replaced the 9V battery in Jacques’ fire alarm – a bit ironic since he stopped smoking for three days at this point.
  • Thursday, cleaned up what looked like a decent Braai Day fallout, pitch design and pitch practice, Techstars Connect updates, LinkedIn updates, created AngelList and Crunchbase profiles for GUST and an AngelList profile for myself, the GUST logo changed a bit (more flat look), got out of the office at 21:00ish.
  • I think it’s safe to say it’s winter in London now. See you at Rocking the Daisies, kids – let summer begin again.
  • I love unattended security updates (apt) – I just got a bunch of emails saying Bash was upgraded on all our servers after reading about the Shellshock bug.
  • “Jy lyk nogal na Oscar Pretorius.” — Jacques, to Werner.

  • Friday, cycled to gym (with my dorky yellow cycling helmet), nice swim, spa, audio book commute to the office, OGC fintech conference in Soho, great lunch, quick pitch deck tweaking, presented some of our ideas for wearable tech to a big room full of bankers, pitch practice with Brian, Friday beers with Morgan at the office, sent off some questions for an important RFI, we watched Cocktail again… love that movie, watched Edge of Tomorrow… pretty entertaining – groundhog day – but with Hudson from Aliens, Techstars caps selfie (see above), we decided to go check what time The Haggerston closed – bit of a goodbye vibe to the evening.
  • “Coughlin’s Law: Anything else is always something better.”

  • Saturday, I made a ten egg breakfast, watched Sin City: A Dame to Kill For… meh, watched the rugby with Werner Walkabout Temple Bar… good game, happy hour at Iguana’s South Bank, walked around the Japan Mat Suri festival in Travalgar Square, Turkish food with Jacques at Best Mangal Kebab (Jacques favourite Turkish place) around Old Street… we listened to Jacques stories of how he swam across the Thames and ended up in jail for a night, G&Ts at The Haggerston – to look for my hoodie from the previous evening’s adventure, early night.
  • “Welcome to EE…” – how I woke up on Saturday morning (speaker phone), first question: “please key in your home phone number” – followed by Jacques’ response… “doos”. — how the call centre is able to neutralise Jacques.
  • “Fat people don’t riot.” — Jacques about feeding the masses sugar and subsidising corn farming.

  • Jacques stopped smoking for a whole week. There seems to be a new spring in his step. If you smoke – stop.
  • Sunday, Essex Road gym, swim, had to go replace my lost hoodie at the Superdry shop in Islington, mostly Broccoli for lunch, epic nap, sunset walk along the Regent’s Canal to London Fields Park, last warehouse braai for a while – Jacques made Bloody Marys, I blogged next to the braai – this was frowned upon.
  • Looking forward to swimming with Mia in a big pool.
  • “Don’t become your reputation.”

  • Album of the week: aKing, Morning After.
  • “Broccoli is the new black.” …eat some every day, kids. I finished the Eat Move Sleep book. Need to find something new…

  • And then, just as I finished this blog post I spotted an email from Dr. Ernst…

    “hey johannes
    het vir jou “a just because” audiobook gift gestuur”

Since it’s the end of the Techstars saga, we’ll add a 2nd photo this week…


Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Barclays Demo Day in Canary Wharf…

Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
  • I know, I know – a post that’s actually on time, it’s been a while.
  • Week of 15-21 September, Techstars week 14.
  • Monday, cycled to gym, swim, took some pitch deck photos (hand model) at Haggerston station and the Tesco next door (turns out I actually needed a permit), our Sparklabs money cleared in our account, ordered some wristbands, our pitch deck now includes a slide from Falling Down… it’s a bit hit and miss, but the people who get it love it, catch-up with Frank, pitch practice afternoon – nobody liked my idea of using Take Five as an intro song, pizza night at the cafe below the office, worked on the pitch deck and re-did the video for our deck, zombie mode train ride home, managed to finish a blog post, crashed.
  • “Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.” — Miles Davis
  • Note to self: watch Falling Down again.
  • “Opstaan tyd is ‘n lekker lekker tyd.” — Jacques

  • Project Kano stalled: HDMI and SD card issues caused the school IT guy to kinda give up.
  • Tuesday, the tube went Contactless from today, productive Barclays design office workshop – the VRM ideas are progressing, worked on new business cards and a new corp ID for GUST Labs, lunch with Cath at The Photographer’s Gallery in Soho… nice to catch up – I bought Mia a photo book about “East London Swimmers” – awesome little project (would love to do something similar), rushed to 1CP (Barclays head office in Canary Wharf) for pitch rehearsal – good fun, Techstars team beers in Canary Wharf at Rocket bar – there was a moment I felt the relentless Techstars washing machine finally got out of the spin cycle and started to relax, train ride home, my proof of address finally arrived (posted bank statements) so I could open a Bitcoin exchange account, managed to finish a blog post sipping some Argentinian Malbec.
  • Less haste. More speed.
  • For the record, Jacques and Werner have been screening my recent blog posts.
  • Wednesday, dark chocolate for breakfast, signed up for Audible and started listening to Eat Move Sleep, our wristbands arrived and I ordered some (very last minute) Moo.com business cards – including a batch of Luxe cards, some pitch (driving) practice, proposal writing, upgraded to iOS8 (the whole journey home – painfully slow).
  • Funny how the tangent projects while in Techstars seem to be getting a lot of interest.
  • Note from Mia’s teacher: “Mia does, however, need to learn to work a bit more harmoniously in a team / group situation and consider that others views might be different, and in some cases better, than hers. On one occasion she walked off and did the task on her own rather than work with her group.” …Jacques’ comment was: “your clone is progressing well.”
  • Thursday, Scottish independence vote day (…No), swim, sauna, my first Contactless overground train ride to work, typed up two proposal docs, audio book train ride to Camden to get 4 very last minute GUST tshirts printed at a place called “Big Teezar” – discovered a paleo street food stand called FeedMePrimal (Meatballs with Spiced & Riced Cauliflower), found a ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 tshirt at the Camden market, tube ride to Shoreditch Boxpark, fetched some very last minute business cards (not totally happy with them, but good enough), popped into a BlockStock (bitcoin festival) talk around Hoxton Square, bought my 2nd beer (Kronenbourg 1664) with Bitcoin at Zigfrid & Underbelly… felt like a celebrity – all the staff gathered to watch a Bitcoin payment in action (got a photo), popped into makersCAFE on the way home and heard about Pi-Top, beef ribs and pulled pork feast and Hendricks G&Ts with cucumber at Duke’s Brew with Werner and Jacques (this turned out to be less than smart idea – future Joe’s worries) – I remember they played a few Catatonia songs, a night cap and pitch practicing shenanigans till 0:30ish.
  • Too Awesome: Pi-Top, The 3D Printable build it yourself Raspberry Pi Laptop.
  • Note to self: go visit the Camden market more often – very cool vibe.
  • I actually started looking at the iOS8 Health app after listening to EAT MOVE SLEEP – you need to take 10k steps per day, kids.
  • “Everytime an iOS app crashes, somebody is accessing your iCloud.”, “Religion is like Bitcoin, you can always start your own blockchain.” some morning wisdom from the warehouse.

  • Seem I will be the one straight best man (of three) at Ernst’s wedding. Got an email from the group starting with “Darlings, Outfit: check”…
  • Friday, up at 6:00, Barclays Accelerator internal demo day at 1CP, I think all the teams nailed it – very cool morning, nice vibe, some networking and snacks, a few Kozel (Czech) beers at Via Bar Canary Wharf – great autumn afternoon with the Techstars teams (best social so far), nice chats with Deddy, Pieter and the Scandinavians, sunset DLR ride back home… very pretty concrete jungle golden hour, crashed at 21:00ish, 12hour sleep.
  • Saturday, I made the usual ten egg paleo breakfast with some avo and chillies while kinda watching Ender’s Game again, watched some Top Gear… the ones about Chinese and SAAB cars were hilarious, processed some notes and photos, finally up to date with my weekly blog again, walked to gym along the Regent’s Canal, longer than usual swim, sauna, spa, steam room, Green & Black’s and Grenache and blogging.
  • It’s getting darker earlier in London.
  • Did I mention that the gym lets you swim without a swim cap in London? – pretty cool.
  • I’ve lost about 5kg since I stopped eating random junk about a month ago.
  • “Anybody can pick up a golf bat and experience what it’s like being a free mason.” — Top Gear

  • The real challenge, is to see if I can extend my summer to 500 days.
  • I created a FB group for friends planning on going to Burning Man 2015. If you are a blog reader and keen and not yet in the group, please get in touch, you know who you are.
  • On Sunday morning Jacques gave up smoking, stopped drinking, started a paleo diet, stopped eating all sugar, committed to a regular gym routine. This happens most weeks.
  • “I have a lot of beliefs, and I live by none of them.” — Louis C.K.

  • Sunday, up early walked to gym, great 1k swim, I made some paleo mega burgers with Jacques, with Chardonnay, which – believe it or not – you can buy in the shops on a Sunday in some countries, we kinda watched Olympus Has Fallen… seemed like a North Korean propaganda movie, epic nap, watched some Louis C.K. on Netflix, watched August… pretty good.
  • The Joe diet: swim, eat meat, avos, veg, almonds, walk 10k steps per day – enjoy dark chocolate and wine.
  • This whole Techstars thing went past in a bit of a blur. I’m really missing Cape Town, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss London.
  • “I don’t do piracy.” — Jacques’ the moral high ground… ant hill.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

    Making a pitch deck…

    The Techstars demo day clock
    The Techstars demo day clock
  • Week of 8-14 September, Techstars week 13.
  • Monday, up early, cycled to gym, swim, presentation tinkering, wrote a proposal and made another presentation, Doner kebab wrap with Ashley at their local Turkish food place in Dalston, played PC support guy – it’s pretty sad to see malware on a Mac – I think I have a better under standing of how people’s online accounts get “hacked” now.
  • Tuesday, cycled to gym, swim, Barclaycard workshop, pitch design session with Barclays designers, watched a bit of the Apple keynote about Apple Pay.
  • If you are into wearables and payments this was a big day. A few very interesting conversations followed.
  • “Please send to Gmail & let me know Telegram is coming.” — this is what I get back when asking for quicker than 5 day responses to text messages.

  • Wednesday, cycled to gym, swim, speed dressing session after the fire alarm went off at gym, good meeting with Reinier, set up gustlabs.com domain (with wifi between stations) on the train to a braai with Nikki around Fulham, ended up at The Slug in Fulham with Charley, Casey and Nikki, general mayhem, great fun.
  • Nikki changed her mind about AfrikaBurn and Burning Man and came up with a very cool theme camp idea – Vegas Wedding Chapel.
  • Thursday, finished reading the Techstars book on a (bit hung over) long train ride to the Mastercard issuer workshop at the Rain Making Loft… very cool, took a walk across Tower Bridge, Techstars KPI evening, a glass of wine with Jacques, photo processing – I was way behind.
  • Some people meditate – I sort photos and swim.
  • Friday, cycled to gym, very optimistic (for a change) catch-up meeting with Greg, Mia gave her (Volcano) science experiment talk, noise cancelling earphones in an open plan office rock, Skype chat with Mia – her experiment talk went very well, installed Wunderlist again, Ethereum meetup at The Escalator… a bit lame, a beer with Julian at The White Heart pub… he has 7 children age range 31 to 1.
  • Looks like we may need to spend more time in Amsterdam soon.
  • Listen to this – good memories!
  • Adventures are the best way to learn.
  • Saturday, up early, bus ride to Tower Bridge, beer and rugby for breakfast with Werner at Belushi’s in the Dugout… cool place, Jacques arrived just as the game ended, a quick walk through Borough Market, day at the office, pitch design with Brian and Werner (Brian is a legend – the pitch deck is taking shape), pub food at The White Heart, some French Grenache with Green and Black dark chocolate, updated my blog for the first time in about 6 weeks.
  • “Sien jou by die gym.” — Jacques-speak for not going to gym.

  • Sunday, I made a ten egg breakfast with broccoli, had to listen to Jacques talk about his Sunday bible studies – which he calls “spiritual studies”, cycled to gym, another day at the office… some tinkering with iMovie to make short videos for our pitch deck, more French Grenache and dark chocolate and catching up on blogging while watching Donnie Darko again… don’t think I lasted till the end of the movie.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Beer for breakfast…

Watching rugby in London
Watching rugby in London
  • Week of 1-7 September, Techstars week 12.
  • Monday, woke up in Kalk Bay – and not feeling tired! – first day of Spring, 30deg, great weather, Vishoek beach breakfast with Mia and walked the Jager trail along the sea – pretty spectacular walk, drove to Simon’s Town and showed Mia the Just Nuisance statue (the dog), Bolders Beach lookout to see some penguins and a quick beach visit, drove to Noordhoek via Kommetjie and had lunch at Cafe Roux, scenic drive to Somerset West via the coastal road, dropped Mia off at her mom’s house, processed some email at the Stellenbosch gym… full of Spring fitness energy, gym, swim, a sunset walk around Stellenbosch, a glass of wine at Piet’s house, great dinner (the usual medium rare Filet Bernaise) with Al and Paul at Hussar Grill… Paul treated us with a great selection of wine, night cap it Balboa with Al – some plans are in the works for Groovy Troopers in November – good memories of Nov 2012.
  • Seems Mia is past the phase of making car sing along videos, sadly.
  • “What did you do to make GUST better in London?” — Mia

  • At some point at Monday’s dinner I got up and went to go ask the loud American tourist next to us if he ever stops talking. It did not help and I just felt a bit bad about this the next day.
  • Al is moving to Cape Town – Thibault Square branch for work.
  • I now have two Telegram apps – one for each of my mobile numbers, pretty lame.
  • I suspect my plan with giving Mia a Casio watch is working well – she now knows every feature and keeps on setting alarms for events.
  • Paul found his (new) bike from AfrikaBurn – turns out Daniel had it. The boomerang bike.
  • Constant battle to keep email in one screen while trying to take some time off is not really a break at all.
  • Tuesday, woke up at Paul’s house in Stellenbosch, last minute rush to get a few things done with a mild headache, swim, sauna, last minute shopping, Mxit visit (to dd new Kanux image to an SD card)… nice to see Gavin, installed Kano at Mia’s school but there is some weird HDMI issue that creates a snowwy image on the screen, dropped Mia at Naulene’s house and said goodbye, Paul gave me a lift to the airport and we had a cool chat about girls – thanks Paul, the low-carb Spur experience, picked up some Sennheiser MM 550-X noise cancelling head phones (over the ear, Bluetooth – no cord for Mia to run over with my chair again), minor moral dilemma about buying Jacques duty free cigarettes, flight to London, watched Xmen Days of Future Past, watched the new Robocop, meh.
  • You know you travel too much when you specifically look for things like hair gel and mouth wash in less than 100ml containers. Great job guys – we live in an age where you can 3D print a weapon, but you can’t take sunscreen on a flight.
  • I’ve progressed to gluten-free meals on flights and having a selection of travel plugs. Now I just need the Tumi bag.
  • Wednesday, woke up somewhere over Europe, watched Fading Gigilo – good movie if you like Woody Allen, long UK border queue (listening to Neelix) – thankfully no snags, Heathrow Express and a District line ride to Whitechapel, day at the office, conference call, my Contactless Barclaycard arrived (small win), a glass of red wine with Werner at Duke’s sharing some war stories and wisdoms about the Techstars experience, had the better part of a bottle of Argentinian Malbec (which hurt a bit the next day) with Jacques.
  • I think I’ve given up on living anywhere in particular, London, Stellenbosch, Cape Town – as long as I have my laptop and gym bag and some sense of routine.
  • Thursday, woke up in London, I’ve become that guy that reads all the labels of the yoghurt to see which one has the least sugar inside, Smiley (old school friend) randomly contacted me on FB – he’s now living in Budapest (one less Dvorak typer in SA), business card design, pitch demo discussions, pitch practice, cool founder stories session with Mick from spatch.co.
  • The solution to just about everything: eat better, get more exercise and work harder.
  • There seems to be a fair number of people leaving the major startup ecosystems for places like Berlin. Cheaper. Good value. I think Cape Town really needs to market itself in this space.
  • Jacques on prepping: things you really need in your bunker: Prozac (like 3 million Americans), whiskey and baked beans.
  • Friday, CEO session with Alex from Hassle.com in Vauxhaul, Macbook PSU died, got a new one, admin and paperwork, after work drinks at Microsoft Ventures and an interesting chat with Brian about PayPass ideas, a Hospital Porter beer at the White Heart Brew Pub with Werner and Brian, low carbed the eat as much as you can Red Dragon Chinese buffet, babies don’t sleep this well.
  • Noticed I’m a co-working space front page model: The Escalator, TwentyFifty.
  • Saturday, watched the rugby with Jacques and Werner at The Hanbury Arms (only 4 people in the pup, incl staff), braai at the warehouse… we made V for Vendetta eggs in peppers on the braai with some more Argentinian Malbec, braai broodjies, we played with Bruce the local dog, epic nap (over slept a bit), bus ride to Dalston with Jacques and Werner, drinks at Ashley and Angelo’s house… gave her a chilli pot plant, awesome (9 GBP) gin cocktails at Dalston Street Feast Gin Bar… Hendrick, Campari, Vermouth and champagne.
  • Dakota Indian tribal wisdom on project management.
  • “Hoe lank is Obama nog af?” — Jacques about Habanna.

  • After visiting the epicenter of London Hipster culture (Dalston Street Feast) we figured Jacques needed to go full hipster – he wanted the Brandon Flowers look, so we started shaving his hair – he was not that impressed the next day, but it was pretty funny.
  • “Now I just need to look like my mom dressed me for Sunday school.” — Jacques about going full hipster.

  • Mia spent the weekend with Victoria and Johann making a volcano experiment for her show and tell talk. Thanks guys! Also thanks to Georg for the travel. Naulene was not very happy with this arrangement, but I guess she never really enjoyed science experiments.
  • Sunday, I made a ten egg breakfast, gym, swim, sauna, steam bath, spa, walked around the Angel Carnival with Jacques, Turkish mixed grill at Cafe Gallipoli in Islington, we watched Lucy in 4K on-3D… very entertaining.
  • Noise cancelling earphones don’t really work so well on the power plate machine.
  • Jacques says his landlord likes to reminding the German tenants that their grandparents bombed the warehouse in World War 2 when they complain about their roof leaking.
  • Tune of the week: Black Keys, Gotta Get Away

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Back to Cape Town…

Van Hunks, Cape Town
Van Hunks, Cape Town
  • Week of 25-31 August, Techstars week 11.
  • Monday, rainy bank holiday in London, made breakfast with Jacques, bus ride and delayed (first hand luggage only international) flight to Cape Town – extra hour of people watching and trying fragrances in the duty free shops – still like Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, mild panic – at least 6 movies I wanted to see on the plane and I knew I could only fit in 4, watched Divergent.. good movie, and Captain America: Winter Soldier… not bad – big Snowden theme, BA now lets you watch movies even as the plane is busy landing.
  • Kinda ironic that pretty soon the web (and money) will be decentralised and most sane governments and their people will run Linux rather than MS/Apple OS – all thanks to the NSA.
  • “Pocket does not work for Preppers.” — Jacques, about his doomsday / Survivalism news reading habits.

  • Home is where your toothbrush charger is.
  • Tuesday, woke up somewhere over Africa, Georg fetched me from the airport, good to be back in Cape Town (after being in London for just over two months, nice to drive my car again, fetched Mia from school, great to see her again (5 weeks later), I arrive at Mia’ hockey practice and Mia is the girl playing hockey in her black school shoes… makes me wonder what disasters I’m not seeing, shoe shopping – got her some teal green Adidas trail runners and ended up getting some new Nike’s for myself, Mia assembled her new Kano computer and I gave her the 3D printed models she asked for (letters of her name and the Vader ring), took Mia to swimming lessons… they are learning to swim butterfly at the moment.
  • Managed to get Naulene an early birthday gift (CK fragrance from duty free), no limes to be found in the Gardens Centre (again!), made some Tanqueray Ten with (home made) mint and lemon grass infused Tonic G&Ts (and biltong – best of both worlds), Van Hunks with Georg and Bianca… who seems to be doing well after a recent breakup, she enjoyed the Albanian story, we sent Andrew a photo of the three of us (see above)… to China where it was 3am.
  • Wednesday, woke up in Oranjezicht, rainy day in Cape Town, snuggled under a duvet trying to catch up with work, alarm starts beeping, no power, walk down the road in the rain to get Vodacom 3G signal, figure out Standard Bank changed their whole app, walk back to get bank card, 20 questions later buy electricity, figure out the meter is actually off, discover there was a planned power outage and for bonus points try and figure out how to get my car out of the garage and gate with the power off, gym, swim, sauna, teleconference to London, Van Hunks with Georg, Tanya (the friendly waitress), Jessica and Wouter – try the ribs there.
  • Wouter is keen to do Burning Man 2015.
  • Thursday, made a 10 egg breakfast, Georg gave me a lift to fetch my car, gym, fetched Mia from school, we got Mia a new swimsuit, took Mia to art class, took Mia to swimming lessons, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s with Michael – who switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout recently (legend), kinda watched The General’s Daughter again.
  • “Ek verkies eintlik om te stap.” — Georg, about the times he chooses to leave his car at Van Hunks.

  • Generally feeling a lot better after I changed by diet, started cooking at home much more and getting more exercise.
  • Friday, gym, carpet cleaner day, fetched Mia from school and went to convince her school’s headmaster that I can install Kano at aftercare (very cool guy, also talked about using DuckDuckGo and not Google), fetched HDMI screen from storage, T10 and a leg of lamb roast and a lot of veggies, failed at getting the Raspberry Pi to use RCA video (screen did not have a power cable).
  • Not going to miss the poor GSM signal in Oranjezicht – which Vodacom was going to have fixed two months ago.
  • Saturday, morning cartoons, some packing (Georg was moving out), Oranjezicth City Farm visit – fresh juices and a green smoothie, drove to Kalk Bay via Boyes drive with Mia, book shop browsing, charcuterie platter and a glass of Chardonnay in the (almost Spring) sun at The Annex, a walk around the harbour, back to the (Kalk Bay) guest house to meet Johannes and Victoria, sunset Hendriks G&T’s with cucumber at Harbour House, back to the The Annex for supper… very nice Yellowtail and Sutherland Pinot Noir, sing along session to the Matilda soundtrack at home.
  • Sunday, woke up in Kalk Bay, breakfast at Olympia Cafe with Mia, Johann and Victoria, awesome weather, a walk along the harbour and up to St James (Danger Beach), cinnamon and pistachio ice cream at the local ice cream shop, drove to Builder’s Warehouse (singing along to Patricia – Chris de Burgh) to get a kettle cord for for an LCD/HDMI screen to get Kano working – gave Mia the full Kano/Linux experience – it failed to boot – ended up mounting the file system from my Mac and deleting a lock file it was complaining about but the whole thing ended in a fsck that would not complete – joy, bumped into Lara, sunset walk around Kalk Bay, calamari and hake at The Brass Bell (right on the water – played with Hyperloop app), a stroll around the harbour, told Mia the story of how the harbour dolosse got their name, we shared a trio of sorbet and creme brulee desserts at Harbour House.
  • Farming is the new open source.
  • Mia can now count in Roman numerals and she knows all the months of the year.
  • Tune of the week: When I grow up. Great lyrics…

  • And when I grow up,
    I will eat sweets every day,
    On the way to work, and I will
    Go to bed late every night.
    And I will wake up
    When the sun comes up, and I
    Will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,
    And I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up.

    I will have treats every day,
    And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
    That mums don’t think are fun.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.