Tuesday, 10min meditation, swim, AfricaCom at the CTICC, lunch with Raphael – who I met in Geneva – he is living is Singapore now – sounds like a cool city, more DD doc writing at the office, upgraded www.swimgeek.com to a Let’s Encrypt early Beta programme SSL cert – works well.
Wednesday, published my thee recent health related posts on Medium – my three month journey from a flabby text neck geek to single digit fat percentage, swim (actually spent more time in the sauna than in the pool), lean coffee with David and Roger, AfricaCom, I met up with Niel from Vumatel at the Waterfront, DD meeting at the office, bacon and eggs at 16:00 with Michael and a frogurt, Mozilla party at Tjing Tjing – good fun (see above) – thanks, Teraco party at the aquarium, also good fun.
Stating the obvious, but I realised that swimming is a great form of meditation.
Still battling with my Pocket reading list – wish I was not so obsessive about reading all the articles I save.
I think it’s safe to say the best order at Myog is Oreo with Oreo.
“…we’d refuse to fund founders whose characters we had doubts about even if we thought they’d be successful.” (1st rule of startups)
Thursday, longer than usual meditation, walked to the new office (same building, different floor), civil engineering firm meeting, MBA project Skype interview about business models (with somebody that used to go to school with me), rib-eye steak at NV80 for lunch with the Octotel team, trenching project route walk, frogurt, network management system meeting, caught up on a lot of notes and admin (after being out of the office for two days), tinkered with the ergonomics of my new desk – not very successful, caught up on some reading at home, in bed early.
“Creativity is the new literacy.”
I looked into Day One app – but I figure my current lifelogging / notes taking process is just fine.
I’m up to Episode 9 of Tim Ferriss podcasts. Not sure why I feel I have to start from the beginning. Only 110 or so to catch up on.
I read the above and thought, what really changed? I’m still blogging like I did from around 2006 days. I still read RSS feeds every day. I still have most of my content outside of Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. I guess I post most of my photos to Facebook – I used to host them myself – but the bulk of my photos are not public anyway.
“The philosophical school of Stoicism is, I believe, the perfect operating system for thriving in high-stress environments. For entrepreneurs, it’s a godsend.” — Stoicism for Modern Stresses
“I change by not changing at all.” — Eddie Vedder
Friday, 10min meditation, podcast walk to the office, a tour of three (fibre) data centres with Malcolm, Rory and Michael: DFA Portside, RSAWEB, City Telecoms Keller House – pretty cool, lunch with Coenraad at Beer House – we chatted selling out of startups, afternoon on Daniel’s farm in Constantia with Michael, supper at Pastis in Constantia with Daniel and Michael – have not been there since 2005 days with ERnst.
Daniel eats only game meat. I need to look into raw egg yolks.
Check out Learning Man – kinda anti-AfrikaBurn in some ways.
I’ve been enjoying the latest Deadmau5 album.
Chase excitement, not happiness.
Turns out Neil Diamond has a song about an imaginary friend: Shilo. I’ve been making music mixes for Mia. Neil Diamond, Queen, Elton John and Roxette.
Saturday, breakfast at La Vie with Wouter, bus ride to Grabouw with Wouter and Philippa, Tropical Roast dress up tennis party on a farm there (see below), played some tennis with old wooden rackets, more than one gin and tonic, fun day – but too cold to swim, nice catch-up chat with Luke, bus ride back to La Vie chatting with Paul who produces the Expresso Breakfast TV Show, we allegedly almost went to DecoDance.
Sunday, breakfast at Rock & Roller with Philippa, pool party at The Radisson, walked home (still in my retro tennis gear), had plans to go for a drink with Anton, but “just closed my eyes for 5 minutes” and woke up the next morning, babies don’t sleep this well.
Monday, 10min mindfulness meditation, walked to the office, lunchtime podcast walk, did some research or fasting and home ketone blood meters, mild ketosis (1-2 millimolar/l ketone levels), watched two weight lifting technique videos.
It’s been three years, to the day, from the 2012 Naulene breakup – I actually put that in my calendar.
Tuesday, 10min meditation, swim, sauna, cold shower – makes you feel alive, catch up chat with Roger, office, lunchtime walk around Sea Point, ketone levels around 3mmol/l, aimless sunset walk to Clifton 4th – got a cool photo of Lion’s Head with the setting sun lighting up the top bit – no filter (see below), watched a spectacular sunset from Bantry Bay (see above) – my phone died while taking photos – but I guess that’s cool – made me appreciate it more, a long pre-birthday phone chat with Nikki, catch up with Wouter and some 4hr Body reading.
At this rate I don’t have to pack any food for AfrikaBurn.
“If I change my way of living, and if I pave my streets with good times, will the mountain keep on giving?” — Killers
Wednesday, 10min meditation, gym – bumped into Elan (Mr SleekGeek), feeling tip top 60 hours into the fast, ordered some flowers, a tour of the 6th floor office we’re moving to, some boring document writing.
Friday, up early, 10min meditation, worked on a blog post, bought a ticket to an Elgin tennis party, I was really looking forward to an omelette on Saturday, office, green tea at Caffe Neo with Sanja and a promenade walk – we chatted tech startup IP and silent meditation retreats, a Kings Craft / Lion Heart draught with JD at Fred & Max – bit of an early end of the fast – it tasted really really good – we had a chat about his birthday brunch, fetched Mia from pottery class – bumped into Naulene and managed to say less than three words to her, biltong shop visit, office, BIA stats (Mia gained some muscle), frogurt from Myog, wig shopping, we masticated some kale and broccoli (all groovy more healthy than healthy juicer) – which was fun, but takes a lot of time, Futurama, we Mr Fox’d a whole punnet of fresh cherries, Chardonnay and some dark chocolate – which also tasted amazing, 10h sleep.
Wow, food tastes pretty good after not eating for 5 days. Pizza and craft beer was amazing.
Sorry if I write about food a bit much this week.
Remember to make backups, kids. Daily and weekly. You never know when you are going to lose a phone. You too Paul. Hmm… my backup redundancy has suffered a bit with not being in a relationship, need a new location.
Come to the Tennis party in Elgin!
After the chat about startups on Friday, two rules for SA tech startups:
Rule 2) Never build any IP (software) in an SA company – if you have plans for the product outside SA. This is almost as important as…
Rule 1) The universal rule of startups: no assholes, this goes for investors too.
Saturday, tea and fruit salad, adventure game installs for Mia – LOOM, Day of The Tentacle, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, had a Steph Weiss with lunch – reminded me of Christina (how AfrikaBurn gives back), we finally watched The Simpsons: Blazed and Confused – The Simpsons go to “Blazing Guy” (S26E07), go on – watch it, super epic nap, early pizza supper at Da Vinci’s with Mia and some tiramisu (not nearly as good as last week’s) – Mia and I chatted game design (ARG for aB), I think we have a pretty cool idea going, introduced Mia to Pachelbel’s Canon on the way home, wrote a blog post about my recent fasting experience – one more in my Health Hacking series, random late night Telegram chats with Jacques.
“Stop staring.” — Mia, about me looking at the girl at the table next to us.
I set up and upgraded Prey on my laptops, phones and tablets again.
Always liked the Longridge Chardonnay. 2014 is pretty good.
Maybe it’s all the meditation, but I had this weird thought… what is it that YOU actually DO? What VALUE do you ADD?
Finally watched that TRE video – all about relaxing the Psoas muscles. Note to self: try this stuff.
Are you expanding or contracting?
Thinking back – some hints in life really need a bit more attention. For example, when I started working at IOL (around 2000) I did not eat breakfast for a few weeks – I noticed a good impact, but never really made a point of changing any habits. When I first went to AfrikaBurn (2012) I remember thinking all this physical activity and squats are a really good idea. I’d like to think I’m a bit more receptive to these things now.
New diet: only eat on weekends. Hehe, no way.
“Write drunk, edit sober.”
Sunday, edited my blog post from the night before, Mia made a presentation deck on how to make brownies for her upcoming oral while we watched about 15 Killers videos on Youtube, lunch at Sgt Peppers – with a very chilled Sunday Long Street vibe – nice – I think we missed Johann and Victoria a bit, watched the “Queen – It’s A Kinda Magic” show at Artscape with Mia – great seats: front row balcony in the middle – she loves Queen – good act – we enjoyed it, frogurt at Myog, more kale and broccoli juicing, Mia finished her deck – and did a great job.
“Back on the food?” — Wouter
I’ve recently had this lingering thought that South Africa, in a macro context, actually sucks. The whole rainbow nation dream is falling apart at a rapid rate. Need to ponder some contingency plans.
The idea is to fast for 7 days every 12th week of the year. Eat nothing and drink only water.
It’s a cellular cull, a sugar withdrawal game, an immune system reboot and a journey in dematerialisation.
A stoic quest! (-:
“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight … / done a 7 day fast?”
Well… it’s a challenge.
You want to reboot your immune system – or at least wake it up. Make your body generate some new white blood cells which are sharp enough to identify cancer cells and kill them.
You want to give your body a break from running on glucose.
You want to starve any (pre) cancer cells in your body. Cancer cells run on glucose.
Detox included. No alcohol or any other bad stuff for a week.
Reset hormone levels / reset insulin resistance.
Lowers bad cholesterol.
Fasting stimulates the release of growth hormones.
Fat loss and visible abs.
Food tastes amazing afterwards.
Easy. Don’t eat anything and just drink water. Have a bit of green tea if you get bored.
Prepare. Do some intermittent fasting (IF) in the weeks before. Do a few 18 hour fasts. Then a few 24 hour fasts. You probably want to do a 3 day fast then a 5 day, then a 7 day fast. Some people do 20 day fasts – but that’s a bit extreme.
It takes 4-6 weeks for your body to get used to this – it gets efficient at running on fat over six weeks. Read about ketosis and IF.
I would NOT suggest you just switch from a high carb diet to fasting in a day. This is a 6 week project not an overnight thing.
Plan your week. You probably don’t want to do this on a very stressful or travelling week.
You want to get into a mild ketosis state before the fast. Do some low carb eating in the day(s) before. This makes the transition easier.
Try and keep to 1-3 millimolar/l ketone levels.
Notes and Tips
Ketones are anti-catabolic in theory, but from my tests I did see some muscle loss after day three.
It’s a pretty productive time. You will realise how much time food and eating consumes. You might need to go on a few lunchtime walks, not to get too bored.
There can be some negative things for some people: brain fog, back pain, heart racing, bad sleep. A lot of this is probably your brain getting over its sugar and carb addiction. I did not experience this stuff – I’ve been experimenting with this for about 4 months now.
Your underwater breath hold time will increase. Try it. Very cool how you can spend more time underwater.
It’s cheap. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are free.
You might feel a bit of a high on day two/three.
Some people will react a bit weirdly when you tell them you are not eating for a week. Just don’t tell some people.
Don’t go to gym. You probably want to take it easy with the exercise. I went to gym in my fast – just to see what weights I could lift. Pretty similar, but maybe 80% of the regular weight. If you are not eating protein it does not make sense to go to gym. Your body does not have anything to repair your muscles with after weight training. A few chilled walks or swims are probably enough.
Start eating at a slow pace after the fast – maybe start with a smoothie or something easy to digest.
Does fasting really kill cancer cells? Nope it’s not that simple, but it gives them a hard time. It radically slows their growth. The real kicker is that you reboot your immune system and your white new blood cells identify and kill the cancel cells. That’s the theory.
You want to keep sugar out of your regular diet – you can’t just eat lots of sugar for three months and then do a 7 day fast to fix things.
“Fasting for four days causes stem cells to awake from their normal dormant state, and start regenerating. Researchers discovered this practice destroyed damaged and older cells, and caused new cells to be born, effectively renewing the immune system. This is the first time any natural intervention has ever been shown to trigger this self-renewal.” — from this article
Is this safe? Yeah, you can probably go 30 days without food. Don’t stress… but, I’m not a doctor – make sure you are in good health before trying this.
Can I take MCT oil while fasting? Yeah, if you must. Not needed.
Can I take BCAAs while fasting? Tricky, BCAAs will help prevent muscle loss, but the glutamine in most BCCA mixes is a bad idea. There is some research that shows cancer cells like glutamine. Rather not take BCAAs for this experiment.
How often should I do this? Four times a year. Every 12th week. Add it to your calendar.
How much fat will I lose? Depending on your base metabolic rate, probably about 2kg. Not as much as you might think. A kilogram of fat contains 7700 calories. If your base metabolic rate is 2000 calories per day you can lose about 260g of fat per day – a bit more if you are more active. Do a few long walks.
What do I do when I get hungry? Drinks some green tea or go for a walk.
I went from 84kg to 80kg over the days I fasted. Probably a lot of water loss.
You should notice some fat loss… this photo was on day four:
UPDATE 2015-11-16: After pondering this for a while, considering the muscle loss after day three and just general practical and behavioural things – here is what I would suggest:
Friday: carb / pizza day. Saturday: low carb. Sunday: zero carbs, start the fast at 18:00.
Mon-Thu: fasting. Friday: fast till 18:00. Enjoy the weekend.
This gives you 5 days of fasting – with at least 4 days in a ketotonic state. Should do the job for the health and immune system benefits. Obviously you can keep going.
UPDATE 2015-11-19: I’ve been thinking about muscle loss. I think my tests for muscle loss might have been flawed. I used a BIA machine, which can probably give inaccurate test results if you get dehydrated. I’ll try and do a better muscle loss test after the next fast.
It’s important to make sure you are in a state of ketosis before you start the fast so you don’t have to worry about your body converting muscle mass into glucose. The whole point of this fast is to get glucose out of your blood for a prolonged time.
Gluconeogenesis involves the construction of new glucose molecules from amino acids harvested from the breakdown of protein primarily found in muscle. While this adds needed glucose to the system, it does so at the cost of muscle breakdown, something less than favorable for a starving hunter-gatherer.
But human physiology offers one more pathway to provide vital fuel to the demanding brain during times of scarcity. When food is no longer available, after about 3 days, the liver begins to use body fat to create chemicals called ketones. One ketone in particular, beta hydroxybutyrate (beta-HBA), actually serves as a highly efficient fuel source for the human brain, allowing humans to function cognitively for extended periods during food scarcity.
Our unique ability to power our brains using this alternative fuel source helps reduce our dependence on gluconeogenesis and therefore spares amino acids, and the muscles from which they are derived. Reducing muscle breakdown provides obvious advantages for the hungry Homo sapien in search of food. — from this article
Took a week off from my health and fitness programme. No supplements.
Monday, up early, school run, a swim at Waterstone gym, bit of a self experimenting day – mixed results, walked to the office, catch-up with Randolf at Beerhouse, a very tasty Royale burger in Long Street – interesting flashback from a Groovy Troopers party, worked a bit at Tigers Milk – with some Stevie Nicks, haircut at Parters in the Gardens Centre – have not done that since the early 2000s when I lived in Gardens.
…been having fun recently?
“The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.” — very stoic.
Tuesday, walked to the office, quick dentist visit, an after work Aperol Spritz at La Vie with Aiden, Camilla, Georg etc – nice to see them one last, last, last time, had a nice chat with Andy about #HackSTB days and different tech startup programmes.
Check out “happn” – iOS app. Had an idea about location based dating apps in 2013. Nice to see somebody implemented something similar.
Aperol is okay, but I still like Campari.
“If we weren’t designed to be here we would not be here.” — James Fadiman
In case you were wondering, I like my tea with lots of milk and no sugar. Insert joke about how I like my woman. (-:
Wednesday, woke up feeling pretty unwell, got back in bed, 10min meditation, tinkered with some off-site backups, watched Mia swim in the regional girls relay gala, nice event, early supper, fresh juices, ginger shots, and homework at W Cafe with Mia, dropped Mia off, swapped an off-site backup drive in Stellenbosch, sunset Eersterivier walk up to the swaaibrug and hockey fields – love that walk (see above), drove back to Cape Town.
Mia swam in the freestyle, medley and ladder relays. This was her first butterfly race (medley). Not always easy to work out how she did in a relay, but she kept a good pace in the videos I took – and had good form with the butterfly race all the way to the end.
More than one long email exchange with Naulene’s lawyer this week. Joy. Only 9 more years. Some people you just can’t reach.
My life is now all redundantly backed up again, all 1046GB of it. Now I just have to hope some weird event does not take out Cape Town and Stellenbosch at the same time. It might be time for a Joburg backup plan, ERnst?
Thursday, 10min meditation, walked to the office, tried a new brunch spot – Jarryds – pretty decent egg white omelette, Sea Point trenching project kick-off meeting for the first 20 Octotel buildings – we’re going to have to get some branded soccer bibs soon to look the part – health and safety etc, fetched my first Ethical Coop order from Vondi’s – the holistic pet nutrition shop, eggs were broken, but the milk survived – The Dairy: Pasture Fed – a2 Flechvieh Milk – not just any hipster milk – tastes nice, watched the 5th of November fireworks at Maiden’s Cove with Georg, took a walk to Camps Bay and got some ice cream.
I made my 2nd ever Wikipedia contribution …and they seem to have accepted my edit the 1st time, wow, there is a god.
Turns out you want to do a 5-7 day fast every three months – yeah, that’s right – every 12th week of your life you should not eat anything. This kills (pre) cancer cells and keep your immune system sharp. Kinda feels like the start of my next 3 month health hacking phase. My last fast was early August (3.5 days) – so this is right on time, I’m going to try a 6 day fast next week. Depending on your base metabolic rate – you will probably lose between 1kg and 2kg of fat in a fast like this – nothing too crazy.
I listened to three more Tim Ferriss Podcasts this week. Pretty cool.
Squats changed my life. I squat every day now.
I’m not ready to write about my latest experiments yet, but they are going well. Still working out what to do with my new knowledge.
People who shoot movie clips in portrait orientation – I never managed to work that out.
Friday, woke up early and meditated, but fell asleep again – nice sleep, but meditation in bed is probably not the best idea, TiTea, gym, walked to the office, ended up not buying an AfrikaBurn ticket (yet), lunch at Sobaba with Michael, frogurt at Myog, inbox-rrs-photo-zero, had an after work Jack Black Lager in a bottle – which was a bit strange, a beer at La Vie with Georg – sounds like he’ll be in Bahrain till March, a burger at Hussar Camps Bay with Georg, 10h sleep – ended up skipping a Friday night adventure with Hilah and Paul.
120kg dead lift today (orm). It seems at 130kg my grip around the bar becomes an issue. Might need some other gloves. Some real gym monkey gear.
I’ve been pondering what happens if/when I croak – well, when, but hopefully not too soon – might need to give a close friend the password to my encrypted backup volumes. Feels like I need some form of time capsule for my photos and blog. Maybe one super big PDF doc on a flash drive.
…and the ZAR / GBP rate goes to 21.5!
We really need to redesign salad. It should not contain lettuce. It should contain all kind of other greens with some real value: kale, spinach etc. We should start a movement or something. A revolution! …maybe next week.
Saturday, productive morning of tinkering (admin, personal projects and generally cleaning up my own back yard), late afternoon aimless walk to Clifton – with extra aimlessness, bumped into Stu – who says he’s not going to AfrikaBurn next year, beach walks from Clifton 4th to 1st to Glen Beach, to the end of Camps Bay, a beer at the Camps Bay football club, pizza at Goloso / Italian Deli in Sea Point – best Tiramisu I’ve had since Naulene made one… with love – a very long time ago, finally watched Barbarella… weird and wonderful, but pretty cool for scifi from 1968 – cool costume design and Jane Fonda is nice to look at.
“I am endlessly creating myself.” — spotted on FB
“I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.” — Tyler
“Needing nothing, attracts everything.”
“If you want to change the world – begin with yourself.”
I started using Pocket again – I just had to cut down my 300 article list to about 40 – not a trivial task.
I deleted about 4000 lines from my todo.txt file. Refreshing. Found some very weird stuff. It’s now about 400 lines. Healthy process of letting go of the last few years I figure.
“Simplicate and add lightness”
I’ve realised I’m not a very good “doer”. I don’t just jump in and do the high impact stuff first. I need to look at something from every angle before I jump in and do something. It’s more of a wide / creative view than a focused linear view. So, the solution is to just work more – take the time to do all the wide angle stuff before I get going.
“The 2nd day is the best.”
Thanks again for that letter. Fascinating once you’ve worked it out.
Sunday, a longer than usual meditation session, finished watching Barbarella, more tinkering, had a bit of a device OS/app upgrade party, TiTea, gym (90 squat, 55 military press, 115 dead lift, 65 yates rows, 100 bench), three hours on Clifton 1st (see below) with Philippa and Val (I have Georg’s beach gate tag – the tradition continues), early supper at Hudsons in Green Point with Philippa and Val, took an iPad to the beach and made a good dent in my Pocket reading list, some blogging at home, watched some strength training technique videos (dead lift).
So begins my first 6 day fast. Well – it’s more like 5 days and two nights (136 hours). Last meal was two burger patties and a glass of Chardonnay.
Jacques is joining me with the fast. He wanted to do the full 7 days, but I figure we’ll do that next time.
Val says the average cost per minute to run a call centre is R33. Keep those spammers on the phone a bit longer.
Safe to say my relationship with food has changed.
I suspect I might be moving to stage 3, a bit behind schedule, but I’m going to keep some stage 2 elements, I think.
Stage 3: Is this it? Yeah, this is it. Make the most of it. Live in SA. Do tech stuff. Raise Mia as well as I can. Find more geeky adventures.
Who would have thought, all this meditation and mindfulness and no sugar and weird fasting diets, not to mention the endless journalling. All seems a bit gay – I try and balance things with the weight lifting.
Yeah, I know – two weeks in a row, blog post done, ahead of schedule, impressive.
Monday, took a day off from my training programme and slept till 7:30, walked to the office, trimmed down my Dropbox use to only two folders (19MB), walked home to have some remotes programmed, a beer with Michael at La Perla, walked home, a quick swim at home.
Octotel is now taking orders in 22 buildings.
Found this amusing. As ERnst stays, some careers don’t really need more creativity – like being a pilot.
Tuesday, gym, 11% body fat and 43.8kg lean muscle (personal best metrics) – seems the extra resting day is a good idea, LOMAD and chia (I updated my recent post to include more fibre), managed to renew my drivers licence and car licence (painful, but at least it’s done now – a bit overdue), aimless afternoon walk to Clifton, G&Ts and some long Aerobie glides across Clifton 1st with Georg (see above), great sunset, full moon – good times, watched some strength training technique videos at home, I entered myself into Mia swimming gala again, parents relay race.
I’m starting to get a bit bored with gym. I think I’m going to try The Grid classes next week – it’s a bit like CrossFit – see if I like it.
My drivers licence eye test seems to show that my left eye is 6/6 (20/20), right eye is a bit weaker at 6/7.5 – I might need to go for a real eye test soon. 85 deg peripheral vision (at least, I guess).
It was time to add a Health Hacking category / nav item to my blog. Easy to share, if you feel like sending my recent collection of health and weight loss post to a friends.
Wednesday, 24h fasting day, epic 1km swim – left the gym in a great mood for some reason, sorted out a plan to get our home recycling going, Spin street meeting – went to go have a look at the new TwentyFifty, renewed my PO Box and found an interesting letter, fibre supplier meeting, placed my first Ethical Co-op order, walked to Call-A-Pizza to buy a Love & Light ticket – they still have an A2 print of one of my photos on the wall, sunset walk around Bantry Bay, a glass of Chardonnay and finally finished watching 500 Days of Summer (again) – good ending.
How the gym gives back… sharing a lane with a beautiful swimmer.
I read the chapter about sleeping in the 4hr body book. I seem to almost naturally do the “half military crawl position”, but with a pillow under my arm and leg. Works well. One might call it the pack animal position.
I suspect the real value in all this diary style blogging and notes processing is that I get to chew on ideas a second time.
Jacques says he still does not have EE “fibre” internet at home. Very amusing.
I received an anonymous letter in my (snail) mail box with a collection of content from a few articles. Very interesting. I can only imagine it was from a blog reader. Thank you. Made a lot of sense. Yeah, I was a bit confused.
I really need to start cooking at home at some point. With the exception of me boiling some eggs every 2nd day, I’ve pretty much been on a Soylent-like diet for two months – with some salad bar lunches. Very efficient and quick, but gets a bit boring.
Thursday, day 1, once around Lions Head – I really should figure out how to walk up Lions Head from the house, walked to the office, Sobaba lunch with Michael (snow globe favourite), I got some tickets for Mia and I to go to the Queen show at Artscape – she loves Queen, got some spinning / mountain biking shoes – on 20% discount sale with 25% Discovery cash back, spinning class, some muppet with a drone followed / filmed me walking for a while (wtf?) – I hate drones, promenade walk (snow globe central) – long afternoon phone conversations with Anton, Nikki and Ernst – nice chats.
I’ve become a green tea drinker. One green tea bag, one ginger tea bag. Makes about three cups.
I have to say, I’m kinda looking forward to taking a few days off in December.
Seems Georg is going to the middle east for 6 weeks.
I think I should write less about health and get back into writing about tech.
Friday, TiTea, 6:45 gym (with the usual Deadmau5 mix), new nutty LOMAD shake (milk, whey protein, flax seeds, chia seeds – blend), office, swapped my spinning shoes for a size bigger, watched Mia’s swimming gala, swam in the parents relay, lunch at Vergelegen with Mia and Alex – Alex showed me all the photos from his recent EU visit, dropped Mia at her pottery class (a bit late), worked at Fred & Max with a Kings Craft / Lion Heart draught and some Alt-J, fetched Mia, drove to Cape Town, sunset cocktails an mocktails at The Radisson with Mia and Georg, missed the rugby, 11h sleep.
So much easier to get up early in the summer.
Swimming gala results: it was a relays only thing, Mia did very well, she swam in the medley and the ladder relay. She was first to finish with the backstroke (beating the boys) in the medley and stayed ahead in the ladder freestyle race. A ladder race – for those who don’t know, is where one child (fastest swimmer) from each grade swims a lap (Gr1, Gr2… Gr7). The parent’s race was interesting, we were one team member short, so I had to swim twice, and if you ask me we won (it was very close).
9.8% body fat on Friday. Goal reached (see below). In the fantastic words of Mr Fox: Cuss yeah! I think I’m grand with the weight loss thing now. Single digit fat percentages are cool, but no need to get too extreme.
I’ve become one of those grumpy people who care about gym etiquette. Not clearing weights and doing stupid things like crunches on the bench press bench have become a problem for me.
We had a couch surfer stay with us for two nights this week. She was okay, but I really don’t think this couch surfing thing is all that great.
I ~lost and found my ID this week, joy. Almost went queuing for a new smart ID card – they only issue 200 per day, so you have to get there before 7:00 when they open.
I don’t like Halloween. The Americans can keep it. Meh. Super meh.
“Het doel van de staat is de vrijheid.” — Baruch Spinoza, from one of Alex’s Amsterdam photos.
Saturday, slept till 8:30 – bliss, buchu tea, LOMAD shake and Futurama, caught up on some reading and processed the swimming gala photos, Mia demanded flapjacks – so we had gourmet crumpets and french toast at Liquorice & Lime at 13:00 (had to phone around to find all day breakfast spots), De Waal Park walk, we decided to take a drive – to escape the Little Tel Aviv snow globe, Boyes Drive to Kalk Bay, Kalk Bay book shop, ice cream, Brass Bell, back to the book shop (so Mia could finish reading an Asterix book), extended Kalk Bay harbour stroll, sunset Campari and an early supper at Harbour House – nice seared tuna, introduced Mia to panna cotta desert, 11h sleep, magic day.
Might have had a bit of an over achiever carb day on Saturday.
Mia and I have been chatting about creating a game for kids as an AfrikaBurn project, something interactive to connect the kids, make friends etc. Treasure hunt, cards, wristbands, teams, prizes, learn about the principles – something like that. I’ve been teaching her some gamification principles.
I used to be so sure I was into brunettes, now I’m not so sure.
Somebody should design a real life Monkey Island adventure game in Kalk Bay – maybe as an AfrikaBurn fundraiser.
Sunday, rainy morning – very nice actually, buchu tea, fruit salad and Futurama (I think Mia must be at season 9 now), caught up on some more reading, migrated about 50GB of photos (since June last year), backups, failed putt putt outing with Mia (snowglobing – rain), pizza in Camps Bay with Mia (moar snowglobing), cocktails and mocktails at Caprice – a goodbye drink with Aiden (who is leaving on Thursday), Georg and Nick (who is single again since Sunday), Mia and I gave Aiden the LLAP and quickly removed ourselves from Caprice, some blogging.
I installed Tinder for all of 15 minutes, *sigh* too much bad photography to deal with. (And the profile photo manager thing is _still_ buggy, since 2013 days).
I always wondered about AI Focus vs. AI Servo. Seems the quick answer is: just use servo.
Browsed through some photos from 2015 in the process of archiving them – it’s been an interesting year, some struggles, but all in all, some very cool memories – especially the AfrikaBurn photos. Funny how the more you endure some pain and hard work the more fond the memories become.
After looking at the UK, US and NL growth charts for kids I think Mia is going to end up at around 180cm – assuming I feed her enough milk and egg whites (and her mom plays along). She’s well above the US chart and around the 94 percentile on the NL chart.
Jacques thinks I need to meet a 28yo Afrikaans girl and have more children. Hmm. Private schools are expensive. More expensive than UCT degrees.
Tune of the week: Nara, Alt-J, good memories. Listen to it really loud!
Monday, up early, TiTea – Mia was not convinced about the taste but had some anyway, school run, gym – personal bests squat, military press and dead lift (85,55,110), swim, office, walked to Glen Beach and back, tweaked my recent health blog post and changed the title – avoiding going out with Dan and co.
New AfrikaBurn plan. I’m thinking I’d like to just set up a small child friendly camp and take Mia from Mon-Thu again. I might do some gate duty or something similar to at least contribute something – but I’m pretty much going as a tourist. I figure it’s the last year I can take Mia. Going for the relaxed family vibe.
Seems about 553 people read my first Medium post. Not bad. Another 100 from Dlvr.it plugin to FB. Not sure about the SleekGeek group reads – but I think it’s safe to say 1k+ people read it. Not bad.
Tuesday, 24h fasting day, 1km swim in 16:56 (11sec better than last week), office, nice chat with Ian and Joseph, late afternoon nap, mid-week braai with the Paul Carr crew at the Camps Bay mansion, Dan, Georg, Fred, Andy, Duncan, John and Daren – turns out one of the girls they took home after a Caprice evening did not let anybody know where she was for 2 days and there was some missing persons drama, nice chat with Fred about Burn culture, Georg made great braai broodjies.
Wednesday, walked to the office, geodesic dome chat with Nathan, some flowchart making, wayleave meeting, catch up chat with Jordan, sunset walk to Clifton, some blogging.
I suspect I’m not eating enough protein. I should be eating around 150g and I’m probably only eating 100g per day.
Thursday, gym, office, took a walk around Tyger Falls, took a lunch time walk through the middle of Sea Point – some interesting shops, sunset walk to Clifton and walked back via Biskop steps.
Hmm. Safe to say life’s excitement levels have gone down a bit recently. Is this it?
Friday, 24h fast, up early, Lions Head walk, walked to the office, inbox-rss-notes-photos-zero, a drink by the pool of The Bay Hotel with Dan (see above), Dan screwed up his back – I think I can fix him – sent him my recent blog post, good chat, Caprice adventure with Dan and Georg, some late night cd shuttle re-organising.
“You and I are very similar, we’ve had money, we’ve had no money, we’ve had some interesting experiences.” — Dan
Happy Friday Cape Town. Busy week – many reasons to feel optimistic about SA. Well done students. #FeesMustFall #ANCmustFall
Pro tip: go to gym four times a week and get a weekly free juice from Kauai – with the Discovery app.
Mia was named artist of the week at school again.
Saturday, Ultra, three hours on Clifton 1st with Georg, Cath, Louis and Philippa, rugby and pizza at La Vie with Georg and Philippa – great game.
“If I only knew the answer, I wouldn’t be bothering you.” — The Killers
Sunday, Joe-time kinda day, chilled morning, Mr Foxed and omelette, watched The Martian an the Waterfront… very good, frogurt, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, a late afternoon G&T at Winchester Mansions and some cheesecake – failed attempt to meet up with Paul – who was too broken to show up probably – shitty friend behaviour, sundowners with Georg and Melvi on Clifton 2nd (see below), blogging, watched more 500 Days of Summer – not sure why.
“What would Dan do?” — Georg
Feels like I’ve aged three years in reverse this year.
“Silence is the loudest parting word you never say.” — Ben
Monday, made Mia breakfast, walked to work, introduced Mia to lunch at Sobaba, photo processing, Mia finished all the Mathletics in the programme, Glen Beach and Camps Bay beach walk with Mia, early supper at Nu and shared an end of the holidays cheesecake treat, dropped Mia at her Mom’s house.
I think this LOMAD thing works – I gained about 2kg of muscle mass in two weeks.
Tuesday, up early, TiTea, gym day (Olympic bar), LOMAD day, tea with Max and Chregan – chatting payment systems – feels like a past life – reaffirmed my decision to walk away from GUST, lunchtime walk, inbox zero, notes zero, photos zero, rss zero, blogging, left the office at 20:00ish, 1km swim in 17:17 – figured I needed to start pushing myself a bit with the swimming.
I migrated about 400 photos from the OSX Photos app to Aperture – Photos is lame, but at least it keeps the iPhone modifications – so it’s become an extra step in the process.
Seems I’ve added around 10k photos to FB (9,845).
The only real growth industry is avoiding human suffering.
Turns out I’m at beginner / intermediate level with squats and dead lifts. Lots of room to improve.
That feeling again, I need to take more photos. I think I need a new camera and laptop and migrate from Aperture to Lightroom.
Wednesday, walked to the office, good meeting at the Waterfront – nice project, sunset walk exploring Moses Beach (Clifton 0), I was going to write that 2nd health and fitness blog post, but I got stuck reading this.
Thursday, up early, BCAA’s for breakfast, 7:00 Lions Head walk with Dan, Andy and Tony (see above), ran down the mountain to make a 9:00 meeting, lunchtime walk, meeting with Jamey, sundowners at this big Camps Bay house up on the hill which Dan rented, dropped Aiden off – he looked a bit frazzled from all the packing and goodbye parties.
Dan and friends are in Cape Town for a while, they are working on something called Rise To. Building UK startups in Cape Town.
I think I’ve watched three SA world cup rugby games so far – about 15min in
total. Not doing very well.
Friday, TiTea, gym at 7:00, 100kg bench (ORM), office, LOMAD day, document writing, drove to Stellenbosch, De Warenmarkt with Fred, Dan and Duncan, a great CBC Lager with David and Fred at Trumpet Tree – we chatted tech festivals, fetched Mia, fruit shopping, chilled early evening writing a blog post with a G&T.
I kinda worked out that I’m not ready to be in a relationship yet.
I’ve finally forgiven myself for the GUST f-up last year – after a meeting this week with somebody that has been busy building something very similar (and struggling) and a meeting with Quicket (they also asked for advise). The fundamentals are just missing. We were already tired after ~3 pivots by the time we got to Techstars. Techstars was a very cool experience – but in many ways cruel to drag on something which was just not going to make it out of startup mode – just because a big bank was trying to make a similar product work.
I deleted 1/3 of the apps on my phone this week.
Missed my high school reunion, not in the mood.
Nice to see Mia three weekends in a row.
Saturday, up early, some health blog post writing, major backups day (like 70GB), buchu tea, made fruit salad with Mia, Futurama, processed Mia’s photos from her Pretoria visit, Discovery shop visit to get our BIA readings, Myog, went swimming with Mia – she did a few sprints again but did not improve her time and she seemed a bit disappointed so we had a long chat about sport, talent and training, I showed her this Nike ad, swim, braai and rugby watching day at Dan’s place in Camps Bay – I actually watched the whole rugby game this time and it was gripping till the end, awesome afternoon, great braai, had to leave when the coffee Patron started flowing, thanks Dan and Georg!
I’m really good at admin, backups and upgrades before I need to write a blog post.
I might have an unhealthy preoccupation with health at the moment.
“Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning can happen by accident.” — The Grind
Sunday, up early again, more research and blog post writing, 4 hours on Clifton 1st with Mia, Georg, Cath, Philippa and Jocelyn – it’s becoming a bit of an institution (see below), steak night at Hussar Camps Bay – Mia had three bowls of olives this time, a quick visit to Dan’s house to fetch Georg’s car and Mia’s ball.
Just for fun, I scrolled back in my weekly blog posts and realised… love really is blind. Post AfrikaBurn, with the exception of four nice weekends (Waterfront, Hemel en Aarde, Decompression, Constantia Uitsig), the last few months were actually pretty painful – then again, those 25% of weekends were awesome.
Star Wars, 16 Dec.
Mia read a 900 page book in less than a week. New levels of bookworm.
A geek’s guide to getting to 10% body fat and having visible abs in 4 weeks.
This guide is all about maximum impact, with the least effort, but it still involves some work and discipline.
I was fat kid at school and I’m a geek. I never had visible abs – until now. Who better than an ex-fat kid with an unhealthy preoccupation with health reading to write about visible abs and low body fat numbers?
I set out to get to 10% body fat and this is a collection of things I’ve learnt. Getting to 10% body fat turned out to be non-trivial, but it’s been a fun challenge.
This post is the result of three months of learning and experimenting. It’s an all-in-one compact guide which includes a number of ideas: intermittent fasting, ketosis, GOMAD, CKD, Occam’s protocol, focused abs exercises, efficient weight training and some food supplements. I did not come up with these ideas, but I’ve hacked them into a fairly simple 3-day routine.
The idea is for this to be fairly sustainable and a weekly lifestyle thing. More so than my previous post about rapid fat loss:
Three Meals a Day is the New Tobacco. That was all about fasting, ketosis and losing 10kg in 4 weeks. This post assumes you have dropped to reasonable body fat (around 15%) and you want to start optimising things a bit more – getting to 12% or 10% body fat.
Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor, so please read about these topics for yourself.
I struggled with the title of this post – I had to ask why? a few times. The original title of the post was “Gym Nerd”. My “why” was to look good on the beach. I enjoy a challenge and making sense of all the complexities involved in health and fitness. I did this for fun, to see what would happen, but is this really just about body fat and visible abs?
What was the real “why?”. Why go through all this effort? My best answer so far is that I suspect most people will be driven by some primal thinking – looking good naked and feeling a boost in confidence. I think feeling in control of your body also gives you a feeling of control in your life.
This can’t hurt and you will look great naked.
Also, some squats should sort out any back and neck issues you might have from sitting in front of a computer.
Let’s get started…
Eating is 80% of the story
Get a friend to join you
Get interested in these topics and read about them
Goals and Metrics
My goal was to get visible abs – mostly for the Cape Town summer / beach days. My original goal was just to lose 10kg, but nobody wants to be just another skinny guy, so another goal was needed.
In 4 weeks my body fat dropped 4%. I lost 3kg of fat and gained 4kg of muscle. The compound effect is key here: 7kg change.
It’s not just about losing fat. You want to do two things at once: lose fat, while gaining muscle. In my case it was actually a bit easier gaining muscle than losing fat.
This is not a body building bulk-up and cut programme – you are doing both at the same time.
The 3 key metrics you want to track are:
body fat percentage
Find a way to measure these and record this data, daily if you can.
I also wanted to gain strength. I managed to increase my bench press one rep max from 90kg to 100kg. I also managed to steadily increase my max squat, dead lift, military press etc.
The body weight graph below shows my weight over the last three months, first dropping 10kg (previous experiment), then taking a bit of a break, and then gaining some muscle while bringing down my body fat percentage.
Next up, body fat percentage going down from 16% to 12%…
Muscle going up from around 39kg lean muscle to around 43kg… 4kg muscle gained.
Note: the data is not super accurate, because I just use a BIA machine and plug some numbers into a spreadsheet daily, but it shows the trend well enough.
I follow a 3 day cycle: Training day, 24h fasting day, IF day. Add one carb day in the week and these fit nicely into a 7 day week. Stick to the 3 day cycles – this also matches your rest days for weight training.
Saturday: Carb day
Sunday: 1 – Weight training day
Monday: 2 – 24h fasting day
Tuesday: 3 – IF day
Wednesday: 1 – Weight training day
Thursday: 2 – 24h fasting day
Friday: 3 – IF day
You get the idea.
You get one off day a week to pretty much eat what you like. On this day you eat fruit, dairy, pizza etc. It does not have to be Saturday, but Saturday seems to work well. Don’t go too crazy. Eat slowly. Maybe have 1/2 a pizza. Make sure you also eat some healthy stuff on carb days, veg etc, because two of the days are pretty much just protein days. For bonus points: about 60min after you eat lots of carbs – do air squats and push-ups – this tells the body to send the energy to the muscles rather than store most of it as fat.
Day 1: Weight Training Day
Get up early. Have your Creatine and TiTea with MCT about 45min before gym. Sip BCAAs 15min before gym. Don’t eat any solids before gym.
Go to gym. Exercise your whole body in about 45min. Sip BCAAs through your gym time.
I alternate between Olympic bar days and gym machine days. Make sure you do squats or low-rows. You want to stimulate the release of growth hormones by exercising as many core / lower back muscles as you can at the same time.
Warm up well. Stretch after your gym routine. It should not take more than an hour in total.
Hit the rowing machine for warming up, 3-5min should do it.
Train to failure – while keeping good form. Do around 8 reps per set. For each rep, lift for 5 seconds, bring down the weight for 5 seconds. Don’t rest at the top or bottom. Keep the muscle under stress for as long as possible. Full range of motion. Slower is better. You get the idea.
Squats, military press, dead lift, Yates rows, bench press, pull ups, dips, abs. Make sure you know how to do these things with good form.
You want to take a two day break between weight training days, sometimes 3 days for full recovery. Add more weight to your programme after the 3 day break. Ideally do the Olympic bar programme on this day.
On weight training days I drink a litre of grass fed / organic milk. Drink 500ml milk with a 20g scoop of whey protein isolate and some chia seeds about an hour after gym. Then another 500ml with protein and chia an hour later. Read about GOMAD / LOMAD. In short: squats and milk help you gain muscle. Milk protein is 80% casien – slow release. Make sure the protein powder you use has very little carbs (around 1g per 100g).
Btw. this real-milk-protein-milk-shake tastes great. You can also use a blender and put some flaxseeds in there – nice and nutty taste.
Milk has about 50g of carbs and 30g of protein per litre, so you want to get some afternoon exercise to use those carbs. Go for a long walk or a swim or a spinning class. I usually go for a 1km swim or a 90min walk.
Have a protein snack around 17:00. Biltong is good.
Eat a good dose of lean protein around 19:00. Tuna, chicken or steak. Have a few boiled egg whites. Have some more boiled egg whites if you get hungry towards 20:00. Go to bed early and get your full 8 hours of sleep.
Total protein for the day should be above 120g – add it up!
You can work out your protein intake with: lean body mass in kg x 2.2.
Example: I weigh around 82kg, with 12% body fat, so lean mass is 72kg, my protein for the day should be 158g. (82-(82*.12))*2.2
There is 3.6g of protein in an egg white, and only 71 kilojoules, so snack away. Yes, BCAA count towards daily protein intake (count about 90% of the BCAAs as protein – similar to whey protein isolate).
A can of tuna with lemon juice and some pepper is a good snack which gives you 20g of protein. There is 20g protein in 100g of steak. 23g in 100g chicken. Have some avo with your protein to keep things interesting and add some fibre. Avo only has 9g of carbs per 100g, but don’t eat too much – you want to limit the crabs.
An egg white has 0.24 g of carbs, zero carbs in steak, chicken and tuna.
For bonus points, try and get a slow release (low carb) casien protein powder and drink before bed. This should give you 6 hours of slow release protein. Whey Protein is a fast digesting protein. Egg white is medium. Casien is slow.
Protein and sleep, good combo. 9 hours if you can. If you think about it, we probably evolved to go hunting – stuffed ourselves with meat – and then slept. The body likes to rebuild itself with sleep and a belly full of protein.
Day 2: 24 Hour Fasting and Ketosis day
Fasting is much easier than counting calories and carbs.
This day is pretty simple. Don’t eat until 18:00. Have 1/4 dose Creatine and some BCAAs in the morning. This helps protect your muscle mass. Have some more BCAAs around 12:00 and 14:00 again if you like. Have some green tea through the day – keeps you busy.
This is a fat burning day. Get some exercise in the afternoon. You can have some MCT oil late afternoon if you want to do some high intensity cardio like spinning. Take the MCT 45min before training.
You should be in a ketosis state most of this day – since you last had carbs before 10:00 the previous day. The 3 day cycle gives you 50 hours without carbs, which should give you about 30 hours in ketosis.
Have a light protein snack around 17:00. Biltong snacks are also an option, but don’t eat a whole bag. Have some egg whites again if you like. You want to stay in ketosis – so eat just enough protein to maintain muscle mass. You can also just have a very low carb protein powder if you want to be sure you stay in ketosis.
Day 3: IF Day
Have some BCAAs in the morning. Have some green tea. Eat at 14:00ish. This is major health food time. Eat a raw salad, green leafy veg, avo etc. Get all those micro-nutrients in. Lunch should contain some healthy carbs and fats.
Usual afternoon training.
Usual protein meal at 19:00, but add some healthy carb. Steak and broccoli or spinach or sweet potato or green peas. Have some salad.
Notice how you are cycling the ketosis state (CKD), on day 3 you put some carbs back in your body to give you enough energy for your training the next morning.
I go to killer abs classes at the Virgin Active, once or twice a week.
You should be eating around 30g of fibre per day. Fasting can impact your digestive process, so make sure you eat enough fibre and drink enough water, especially on your IF days and carb days. Good sources of fibre: avo, chia seeds, flaxseeds, broccoli, apples. I started adding some chia seeds to my milk on LOMAD days. The dietary fibre content of chia is approximately 56.5g per 100g, 14.1g soluble.
Make sure you rest and sleep enough. You probably want to take a week off between three week sprints. Or take a week off between every two weeks. If you feel tired and don’t want to go to gym, take an extra day. Rest is good.
Get yourself some Creatine HCL and BCAA. I started taking flaxseed oil a few weeks ago, one capsule in the morning, one at night. I don’t use any fat burners and I avoid coffee / caffeine. The rest is just basic multi-vitamins and some calcium + magnesium to help with recovery.
MCT oil is useful for training while staying in ketosis.
On weight training days I take a full dose of the Creatine and 2x 8g BCAAs. On non-training / IF days I sometimes take a 1/4 dose Creatine and 8g BCAA. I only take supplements about 3 or 4 days a week. It’s probably a good idea to take a break from the supplements after every 4 week cycle.
It’s that easy. All you need to know. Now all you need is a healthy dose of self discipline. Make it a game. Track your progress and challenge a friend. Rinse repeat this 3 day cycle until you get to 10% body fat. You probably want to do 3 or 4 week sprints at a time. Have fun, crazy kids.
Can you give me a short summary of all this stuff please?
This is the short summary.
Do I really need to do this 24 hour fast thing?
You can probably do two IF days if you really can’t do the fasting. Fasting gets easier the more you do it. After a few IF days you should be able to do a 24h fast.
Do I really need to drink a litre of milk on weight training days?
You don’t have to – just make sure you eat enough protein on that day.
Where do I find these BIA machines?
Try the Discovery shop in Sea Point. I know the Stellenbosch Virgin Active has one. You want to find a BIA machine with 4 electrodes (contact points). Those 2 electrode BIA scales are probably not ideal.
What about before and after photos?
Meh. Not really my thing, but I did post a photo here recently.
What if life gets in the way and I can’t stick to this 3 day cycle?
Don’t stress. You still want to have a social life – go to that party and enjoy it. See it as a carb day. Just make the following day a healthy eating / detox day and then start the 3 day cycle again.
This diet must be super cheap?
Yup. After you have the supplements.
Yeah, I’m going to try and get to 10% body fat in the next three weeks and I want to gain more strength – and as always, keep reading and learning.
You are doing this all wrong!?
If you have suggestions or questions please comment below.
Notes on Fat Loss
You can probably bargain on losing around 300g of fat per day in a ketosis state. Think in grams not kilograms when it comes to fat loss.
You simply can’t lose 1kg of fat overnight – water / hydration level fluctuations make it hard to measure fat loss. If you are lucky you can lose about 1.5kg of fat per week.
There are 7700 calories in 1 kilogram of body fat. My base metabolic rate is around 1950 calories per day. In a ketosis state I can burn about 250g of fat per day simply by being awake.
You probably want to speed up the process by doing some exercise. This should give you an idea of calories and fat burn for a few activities:
250 cal – 1k swim : 32g
125 cal – 20min walk : 16g
330 cal – 60min walk : 45g
500 cal – 90min walk : 65g
800 cal – 1h spinning session : 104g
600 cal – 1h mountain walk : 80g
300 cal – 1h gym : 40g
These are estimates.
The easiest way to burn fat is still to let your base metabolic rate consume the fat – which is why eating is 80% of the story.
Week 3 without coffee. Never really crosses my mind any more. Interesting how quickly you can change habbits. Not so much a health week, pretty chilled – school holidays – tried to gain some muscle.
Ten weeks to the holidays, kids. Time to work hard and get beach abs.
Monday, Mia school holiday, I made Mia breakfast and some buchu tea, walked to the office while Mia did Mathletics, drove to Somerset West, hake and salad for lunch with Mia, found Mia two new swimsuits for the summer season, had some passport photos taken and bought a fish eye lens for my iPhone (case and a lens for the price of a case) – cool toy, took Mia to her holiday crash course swimming lessons – first a group stroke correction class and then a private lesson (1h in total) – while I worked next to the pool, wrote a “business of growing up email”, Mia seems happy with her swimming lessons, Radloff Park walk (probably the only people there without a dog) – playing with the fish-eye lens – Mia seems to want a Beagle now, early supper at Hussar Grill at Waterstone – Mia finished her usual two bowls of olives, beef ribs special, dropped Mia at her gran’s house, drove to Cape Town, in bed early.
I recently set my iPhone font a lot bigger – for my wedding speech – and I kinda like it.
“All love stories are frustration stories… To fall in love is to be reminded of a frustration that you didn’t know you had.”
“We fall in love not just with a person wholly external to us but with a fantasy of how that person can fill what is missing from our interior lives.” — this article
“World gone crazy? Own private Armageddon? Wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/dachsund/significant other left you? Hell, nothing quite like dreaming up a wildly creative project to take your mind off things. Call it art therapy.” — AfrikaBurn newsletter intro
Tuesday, gym (Olympic bar day), office, 12.6% body fat (BIA), first LOMAD day (litre of milk a day – I add about 40g of whey isolate protein to a litre of grass fed milk), lunchtime promenade walk, tried some tuna biltong for the first time – not bad, Lions Head walk with Paul (see above), milk and egg whites for supper – eating like a bodybuilder – Jacques suggested I eat less tuna, upgraded Mia’s laptop to OSX 10.11, Wouter had these two cute couch surfing Dutch students over, watched about 1/3 of 500 Days of Summer.
Grass fed milk tastes much better than the usual stuff – try it.
The one thing I managed to fix this year is my health – if I think back at what a grumpy little bitch I was around March and my text neck issues – I’ve come a very long way.
Wednesday, swim, office, inbox zero, inner city wine route with Philippa, Al, Hilah and Paul – great fun, bumped into a number of people I have not seen in a while – Karin, Alex, Joost, Janey, Cath , watched some rugby, visited Tjing Tjing, House of Machines, Youngblood Gallery, Publik, Weinhaus and Biergarden and Bocca, ended up at Aces taking lots of fish-eye lens photos (see below) – Rock and Roll karaoke night – super fun – I kinda failed at pitching that fall in love with anyone in 90min idea – Hilah did not seem to agree with the idea so we debated it for an hour, very cool evening.
“Something zigged when in should have zagged.” — Paul
“Never let a woman be a) cold, b) hungry or c) tired – and you’ll do ok.” — Philippa
I’m fairly happy with recent gym nerd experiments – on myself (see below) – I figured a vanity beach shot could be included after all the recent fitness content.
Been pondering surviving vs thriving recently. Making some changes.
I figure I had four big projects this year. Next year I think I should have three.
Thursday, fibre route survey walk, sent off an FTTH proposal for 530 homes, fetched Mia – after she spent the day with Anjela: beach walk and ice cream and watched Hotel Transulvania 2 – bit of a last minute scramble to get Mia to gym after Anjela took her to the other Virgin Active (don’t blindly trust GPS devices, kids), worked next to the pool while Mia had her two holiday crash course swimming lessons – try the Kauai Salsa Juice (kinda virgin Bloody Mary), sunset promenade walk with Paul and Mia, La Vie with Georg and Aiden, nice after dark summers walk back to the car with Mia, good sleep.
Friday, made Mia breakfast, finally took my Aeron chair to the office, health and weight loss chat with Greg at Bootleggers – I need to finish that 2nd blog post, quick tour of the BUC gym in the building… very cool, a late brunch and fresh juices with Mia at Baked / Bakoven, try the mushroom + poached egg breakfast option, good investor meeting, nice to see Tim, putt putt with Mia in Sea Point – it was a tie – and she was very happy with herself, fish and chips at The Grand / Camps Bay with Mia, Dan, Georg, Cath and Fred, gelato, 11h sleep.
Mia is 150.5cm, 45kg now. 2.5cm growth since July. Up from 3.89kg birth weight – hard to think.
Saturday, buchu tea (with grass fed milk), introduced Mia to TiTea and she liked it, gym (95kg bench – two rep max), swim, LOMAD day, olives and ice cream with Mia at the Granger Bay Market, some beach day white wine shopping at Ultra Liquors – I have a loyalty card now – great wine selection and prices – caught up on some photo processing and reading, promenade play area with Mia, pizza night and rugby at La Vie with Georg, Dan, Camilla, Aiden, Paula, Maria and Sandra – Mia tried to get Georg and Sandra to fall in love with the 36 questions app – fun evening.
Mia managed to swim a 25m freestyle in 19.3sec – nice improvement from last season’s 22sec.
Hawaiian – the universal pizza.
Going to miss Aiden – good reason to go visit Dublin again soon.
Interesting chat with Dan about relationships – maybe connectedness / friends – family is more rewarding than dating one person. Hmm. Not sure.
I managed to work out where I left my fish-eye lens after that Aces outing. I was worried that this was going to be a very short lived hobby.
Nice to see Mia two weekends in a row.
Finally, wifi that works everywhere in the house. Cheap 802.11ac Tenda router from Scoop with 5db antennas.
In the process of testing the PS4 on the new wifi network for Mia, I stumbled across this, Blank Space – Taylor Swift, entertaining video.
Only thing worse than a run: The Colour Run. Some muppet outside the gym tried to get me to go.
Sunday, tea and more Taylor Swift video watching with Mia – she seems to know all the songs, discovered Paul and Claus were in the house (post Kinky Disco party cats) and made tea and fruit salad with Paul, Mia insisted on flapjacks for brunch – walked down to Bootleggers with her, lounged around the pool and had a nice chat with Paul, nap, watched some Futurama with Mia and Paul, 5 hours on Clifton 1st with Mia, Georg, Cath, Philippa and Jocelyn, beach bats, frisby, snacks, great sunset, open shawarma and cheesecake at Aris Souvlaki with Mia, Georg, Philippa and Jocelyn – no fortune telling this time, such a perfect day – all round general life affirming feeling that the time spent was meaningful.
Jocelyn says there are only 42k Jewish people in SA – and some girls move to Joburg because the dating pool is bigger up there. I feel like I’ve walked past 1/2 of them in Little Tel Aviv.
Health week 4/4. Week 2 without coffee, feeling much better.
Started the week at 14.6% body fat – reached 12.9%.
Monday, walked to work, 24h fast, lunchtime wedding photo publishing, sunset walk from Bantry Bay to Clifton 1st then to 4th and back, Wouter made filet steak and broccoli, more photo and notes processing.
Tuesday, 24h fast, TiTea, gym (gym machine day), killer abs, office, new car tyre, Wellness Warehouse visit – picked up some BCAAs, 1h spinning class, swim, photo processing and blogging.
Wednesday, great 1km swim – I should set myself more swimming goals, office, found some grass fed cows milk in the Spar (camphill.org.za) – going to try that LOMAD thing soon, good chat with the supplements guy at Dischem – we exchanged training and eating tips – got some flaxseed oil, ordered a new high power 802.11ac wifi access point for home, failed promenade walk plan with Paul, gym, killer abs, spinning class – gay men make the best spinning instructors, swim, reading.
Managed to reach Discovery Vitality Diamond status again, passed 45k points.
I finally activated my Discovery rewards at Woolworths, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Dischem. The Dischem one is a bit lame – very few items you get rewarded on.
I’ve been thinking… who programmed Deckard to fall in love with Rachael? Can’t imagine it was Gaff’s memories / personality. J.F. Sebastian maybe. Or was it Rachel – is there a recipe, is it deterministic?
Thursday, up at 6:00, TiTea, gym (functional / Olympic bar day), office, Waterfront sales meeting, OSX 10.11 upgrade – painless – and feels more responsive, manicure, Lions Head walk (see above), Glen Beach to end of Camps Bay walk – nice sunset, Wouter made filet steak and broccoli, dinner with Willem and Harry, we had some MKM2010.
Turns out Wouter’s uncle was also in Pretoria Oos Jrn school.
Thursday was the first day I think I could say I had visible abs, managed to get to 12.9% body fat. I started taking flaxseed oil and Creatine HCL – still no fat burners (avoiding the caffeine). This 10% body fat thing is not trivial.
No Daisies for me this year. Seen that movie enough times to skip a year.
Two more Octotel buildings signed this week.
Friday, walked to the office, finally signed over all my Gust shares, catch-up tea with Will, fetched Mia – sense of humour failure with Naulene because she did not take Mia to school and she changed her mind about taking Mia to swimming lessons – more than one phone call to Naulene’s lawyer, a wine tasting and late lunch with Mia at Vergelegen / Stables, nice paleo burger and Chardonnay, bumped into Tomi and invited her to the wine festival on Saturday, drove to Cape Town, food shopping, great nap (biltong coma) – nice afternoon with Mia, Vergelegen is a sure favourite, 11h sleep.
Really makes a difference if I process all my notes daily rather than weekly, last week was a bit of a mission – being in Joburg without a laptop PSU.
Saturday, we found Mia a new pair of swimming goggles and a long hair cap at Sportsman’s Warehouse – I also needed a new cap, Myog frogurt, drove to Stellenbosch, gym, swim, sauna, lunch and cheesecake at the botanical garden with Mia and Anjela – nice to see her – she was missing Mia and we were overdue for a catch up, drove to Franschhoek, New School Grand Cru 2015 (the 2nd one) at Moreson with Paul and Georg (see below), I can’t think of anything better than spending a Saturday drinking the best South African Chardonnays with friends – Mia also had a great time, nice chat with Chris (the wise – of AfrikaBurn fame), kinda forgot to watch the rugby, but managed to get a few nice photos with the 85mm, at some point I had a bit of a moment (because of Melissa) and cried like a baby – which is probably not a bad thing – it’s been a while, such a perfect day.
Sunday, woke up next to Mia and Bruno, took the dogs for a walk, many cups of tea and strolls around the garden chatting with Nikki – it’s over, but it’s all good again – warm fuzzy and healthy vibes – I think I understand the “why” much better now, drove to Cape Town – failed sea kayak outing with Cath – weather did not play along, nice nap, processed the Chardonnay festival photos – strangely happy and sad at the same time, early evening pizza at Primi Camps Bay while blogging, publishing photos and Mia read more Harry Potter, sunset walk Camps Bay with some ice cream, more blogging, in bed early.
“Your life was going kinda sideways.” — Nikki
“We had amazing chemistry.” — Nikki, yeah – we sure did.
So nice to see Nikki – an exceptionally cool human. Very happy I decided to go to the Chardonnay festival. So many awesome memories in the time between two Chardonnay festivals. Full circle. Looking forward to the next one. I have a fair amount of back yard cleaning to do before then. Lots of learning over the last year.
Awesome weekend… smile because it happened.
“Love that is not madness, is not love.” — Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Best man, wedding photographer and master pocket square folder…
Week of 21-27 September.
Health week 3/4… well, kinda – for a Braaiday week.
Monday, awake at 5:30 – great snooze, school run, dropped some of Mia’s clothes at her mom’s house, Waterstone gym, swim – had the pool all to myself, work, Radlof park walk, a walk around Mia’s school – very pretty, parent teacher meeting with Naulene – the teacher said Mia is doing very well – tip top in fact – super proud – much better than earlier this year, had a long chat about food at school, took Mia to W Cafe for fresh juices, supper and a well-done treat, book shop – bargain science and biology encyclopedia deal, dropped Mia at her mom’s house and told her I’ll see her at the wedding in Pretoria, sunset drive to Cape Town, blogging with a glass of MKM2010, nice so see Mia a bit more on a Monday.
Seems the sun is up at 6:30 these days. Might even do an early Lions Head walk soon.
“This is the Mia I knew in Grade 1.” — Mia’s teacher, happy with her work and all round well being.
“How often I found where I should be going by setting out somewhere else.” — Buckminster Fuller
Tuesday, walked to the office, financial model tinkering, took a lunchtime walk past the Sea Point pool (see above) – still a bit cold / 15degC – to the Rhino along the Promenade and had lunch at Sobaba again, gym, killer abs, 1h spinning class, swim – I was really not in the mood for spinning, but I’m happy I went anyway.
Suicide gorge should be pretty easy this year. Getting fit a bit earlier than usual. We’re booked for December if you want to join?
“Entrepreneurship is a physical contact sport. It’s all about bumping into people, meeting smart people, having smart conversations.” — Jon Bradford
I’m quitting coffee again – mostly because Mia pointed out that I said I should and I still had a cup on Monday. No more flat whites – only Rooibos cappuccinos. It starts with a few random weekend breakfast coffees in social situations – and the next thing you know you feel fatigued all the time, not sleeping well and you feel you need coffee to start the day. Evil. At the rate you see new coffee shops opening – 1/2 of the working population must be addicted and battling with chronic adrenal depletion.
Wednesday, blood test at Wellness Warehouse, some painful admin with getting a credit card PIN reset – discovered my drivers license expired last year *sigh*, a chai tea with Ingi at the cheese place in Bree St – we chatted animated videos, marriages needing a 3 year renewal clause, oh and AfrikaBurn collaborations, haircut at Yogi’s, packed for Joburg, drove to the airport with Georg and had a glass of Chardonnay, BA business class flight (only flight available with Avios when I booked), wrote my best man speech on the plane, ERnst fetched us from the airport, very nice salmon braai at Owen’s house, with Tim, Wendy and the AfrikaBurn 2013/2014 gang, shots of Owen’s tequila (with the tip of his finger in the bottle).
Owen (of AfrikaBurn fame) managed to rip off the tip of his finger in a Scuba accident, falling backwards into the water from a boat – holding on to a rope used to secure the tanks – and then the finger got preserved in a Patrone tequila bottle.
“Are you skinny Joe?” — Tammy, my weight loss blog post must be doing the rounds in Joburg.
My hemoglobin count went from 11 to 16 (which is way better) – in about 8 weeks. Those iron supplements seem to be working.
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” — Babe Ruth
Thursday, Braai Day, a quick visit to Anton’s house, did fibre speed tests at three houses with Vumatel fibre – very impressive, braai at Matthew’s house with Georg, Ernst, Lisa and their family, we chatted health startups and remote medicine, quick profile pic photo shoot with Ernst, Pimm’s and pink drinks, Georg and Ernst ended up in the pool, chats about planning Tinder photo shoots, epic nap, watched a number of Youtube videos – CrossFit / woman’s weight lifting mostly.
“There will always be trauma and addiction.” — Ernst about health startups.
We have buy-in from the Joburg chapter about AfrikaBurn plans.
Ernst now has 50Mbps uncapped fibre (5Mbps up), works really well. Anton has 4Mbps.
“I have the body of a 24yo… in my boot.” — ERnst
Friday, fetched Georg from Anton’s house, found myself a new black suit in the Rosebank mall, brunch with Georg, gym at Old Eds (Houghton), swimming cap fail – it split in two as I was about to get into the pool, Vumatel shop visit and a drink at Wolfpack / 9th Avenue Parkhurst, read my best man book (again) in Anton’s garden – while keeping the dog company, walked to dinner with Ernst, Lisa, Matthew and Georg – rib-eye and chimichurri sauce at Turn ‘n Tender, Ernst had a story about comparing the calluses on his hands with a co-worker – the new new Fight Club… CrossFit, walked home with Georg trying to make phone calls to Lagos (the real Lagos), watched Birdman, woke up at 3:30 and took a battery out of a clock.
Lisa had a funny story about how people over 180kg get sent to use the Zoo’s MRI machine.
Pretty happy with my new functional / Olympic bar gym programme – and more resting days: Squat 80kg, Dead lift 100kg, Bench 90kg (orm), Military Press 50kg, Yates bent row 40kg.
I feel like I’ve only really worked out how to eat, exercise and sleep recently. How crazy is that? I’ve become a real believer in continuous fitness and continuous learning.
Why don’t all the Virgin Actives have swimwear drying machines?
Ernst is a legend. Great weekend. Thanks Ernst!
I think I want to go to Prague for my 40th.
Saturday, up early, managed to destroy a kettle at Anton’s house – not my best – that expensive metallic looking kettle looked a lot like a gas stove kettle – we did a quick Mr Wolf clean-up, breakfast in Rosebank with Ernst and Georg, Gautrain ride to Hatfield / Pretoria with Georg, Uncle Jack fetched us from the train station, pre-wedding dress up and some Ataraxia Chardonnay with Jacques, Neil, Uncle Jack and Georg – shirts getting ironed, folding pocket squares and making sure ties were straight, Jacques’ and Marietjie’s wedding at Woodhill Golf Estate (Garsfontein), beautiful wedding, 30degC at 15:30 in a black suit, I think I did pretty well with my (Afrikaans) best man speech – Mia probably had no clue what was going on, Jacques made a good speech – and looked good in his suit (see below) – our 10kg weight loss plan worked well, watched the end of a great rugby game, general wedding party fun, Georg caught the wedding garter and danced with Marisca who caught the bouquet, nice to see Jaco and Hein, watched more rugby and played pool at Jovani’s house – who is moving to Sydney at the end of the year – good reason to go Scuba diving in Aus.
I think I’ve developed a fear of making tea, on gas stoves.
After a few JHB vs CPT chats, I think it’s safe to say people in Joburg/Pretoria get married more often… and they like smoking.
Memories of listening to Dire Straits driving home with Jovani – nice sound system in their Jeep.
Insert best man speech here…
Hulle se^, voor jy met iemand trou moet jy eers weet hoe hulle stadige internet hanteer. Jacques en Marietjie is okay, hulle Skype al twee jaar oor stadige internet.
Hi, ek’s Joe, Jacques se neef.
Dis ‘n groot voorreg om vandag Jacques se best man te wees.
Ek ken Jacques van – wel, van ek kan onthou – hy is meer van ‘n broer as ‘n neef.
Jacques, baie geluk. Ek’s baie bly die dag het gekom.
Jy lyk goed in jou suit.
Ek is daagliks herhinder aan die trou dag want ons het oor die laaste 9 weeke 10kg saam verloor.
Jacques is van die min mense wat ek ken wat ‘n suit koop wat te klein is en dan diet om in hom te pas.
So baie goed wat ek onthou oor die jare van groot word saam…
Pretoria in die 80s. 0-18jaar:
* Lego speel
* Return of Jedi kyk op ‘n VHS tape, tot die tape nie meer gewerk het nie.
* Eersre fiets ry, BMX
* Computer games copy
* Onderwater hokkie Noord Transvaal toere – en Mr Jones
* Onderwater hokkie middae en die Scuba klub huis
* Quake 1 speel in die huis
* Kreef duik, Crosses
* Kreef verkoop vir ekstra geld
* Scuba, 12 Apostels wrak duik toe jy silender moes oop maak toe ons onder kom
Travels / scuba holidays:
* Egipte, Turkye, Spanje, Frankryk
* Barcelona taxi ride
* Mount Sinai, camel ride 3am
* Turkey free dive, groot klip uit die reef
* Griekeland, stuck vir twee maande op Santorini
* Paleo breakfasts op Sondae
* Braai dag in london
Ek’s voel baie bevooreg met al die tyd wat ons kon deel oor die laaste 37 jaar – al ons avonture.
Ek wens julle twee ‘n leeftyd van geluk. Geniet elke oomblik.
Ek wil graag ‘n heildronk instel. Lig asb julle glase. Op Jacques en Marietjie.
Sunday, spent most of the day with my mom and Mia, woke up at Jovani’s house, brunch with Jacques and Marietjie, Jovani, Georg, Mia and my mom, visited my mom’s house – seems my mom still drives around without a safety belt on, sigh, tea and cheesecake around Lynnwood Bridge, chats with Mia about why pack animals evolved to find breakups painful, arrived at the airport just in time – thanks Jovani, flight back to Cape Town with Mia and Georg – I had a nap while Mia read her Kindle books – 5/7 Harry Potter books read now – helped Mia work out why it’s quicker to fly from Cape Town to Joburg than the other way, Mia went home (past her bed time) with her Granddad, quick photo downloads and backups – I’m such a paranoid photographer.
Cheesecake day is the new pizza day. Something I learnt from having tea with Ingi.
This family thing is actually pretty cool. Nice to see everybody. Looks like I’m spending Xmas with Mia, my mom, Jacques, Marietjie and Charlot.
Great wedding. 4 very cool days in JHB/PTA. Perfect mini-break. Really felt like a holiday. Just busy enough – and pretty stress free for a Joburg visit.
Health week 2/4. Started the week at 80.3kg and 15.6% body fat, ended at 13.6%.
Monday, 24h fast, walked to the office, sudden urge to listen to Neil Diamond, walked home for a wine delivery (thanks!), more presentation deck making, photo and notes processing, blogging.
I really should figure out a plan to go experience Burning Man.
Tuesday, up early, TiTea, gym, Deadmau5 Strobe – reminded me of the Bakoven house, killer abs, office, pitch practice day, moar killer abs, 1h spinning class, swim, a can of tuna, a drink with Aiden, Georg and Chris (who’s new startup sounds interesting) at Brian’s bar – another Sea Point institution – one more of Aiden’s going away events.
Aiden had some story about the southern hemisphere being genetically superior – I think it was rugby related. Darwinism in moving South.
Naulene must have read about recent events – she’s way more chilled now.
Wednesday, pretty stiff, drove to Hout Bay to chat about a FTTH project (see above), stopped in Bakoven / Baked for some eggs on the way back, office, lunchtime walk and promenade, raw juice, moar investment deck hacking, two failed haircut attempts, a bag of biltong from Frankie Fenner – protein craving, failed meet-up with Paul and Andrew at La Parada in Bree Street, Heavy Chef in Woodstock – good fun, bumped into a bunch of familiar people – Ingi, Graham (off to London soon), Andy, Alex etc – I should go to more industry events again, iOS9 upgrade.
Updated GF spec: Smart, tall, skinny, takes good care of herself + dog (not cat) person, non-smoker, goes to AfrikaBurn, not too busy.
Two more Octotel buildings signed this week.
Thursday, epic 1km swim, 13.2% body fat (BIA), office, finished the pitch deck, Sobaba lunch – discovered Piazza on St John – nice spot in the middle of Sea Point, catch-up chat with Jordan, a glass of wine with Georg at Harvey’s / Winchester Mansions – good chats – and a few interesting plans, in bed early.
Hmm. Those items that pop up 4+ times in your notes. Just can’t ignore them.
It’s going be be a good summer. Jacques is here most of December. Note to self: get crayfish diving fit – check wetsuit.
Friday, pitch deck dry run, Met with Alex and Fred at Stomme Jonge, Landbousaal visit, lunch with Fred at Greengate, coffee with Marlise at Hazz, Ian’s new Big Data Lab visit, a glass of wine and some biltong at De Warenmarkt with Dirk and Philip (who is almost 3yo now), Mia’s school concert: “Who’s Afraid” – she played DJ Simple Simon, drove to Cape Town with Mia and had some frogurt in Kloof Street.
Nice to spend some time with Alex and pondering big ideas, very refreshing.
The first part of life is all about working out boundaries and the second part is all about questioning them and breaking them down. Some Fred wisdom.
I’m still busy imagining Joe 6.0.
Not sleeping well for a few days in a row can really mess with your week. That, and they moved the ‘new note’ button in the iOS9 notes app. Painful.
I’ve been thinking about ways of spending more time with Mia. I see her about ten days in a month at the moment. Not bad, but I really get the feeling she’s not going to be a child for very much longer.
Saturday, mega carb day, Bircher Muesli and fresh juices in Wembley Square with Mia while we processed the photos of her school play, a swim at The Point gym, 3 hours on Clifton 1st with Mia, Georg, Cath and Alan (see below), Da Vinci’s pizza, watched the end of a pretty lame SA vs Japan world cup rugby match after getting BBC iPlayer to work on an iPad via the Apple TV, in bed early.
Sunday, up early to catch up on some reading, walked to brunch with Wouter, Zander and Mia at Bootleggers / Bantry Bay – flapjacks treat, tweaked Mia’s bicycle breaks etc and swapped a car tyre, Mia and I cycled to the Waterfront to go get an oversized pencil case (space case) for her and have a late lunch – stopped for ice cream on the promenade, great weather, Hamley’s V&A visit, cycled back via Green Point Park, we bumped into Philippa, Mia had a bit of a morale failure about one block from the house – tears of exhaustion from cycling up the hill, some Futurama cheered her up – it was her first real city cycling adventure – avoiding cars etc, photo processing and blogging with a glass of MKM2010, such a perfect day.
Explore the World and Take Risks. Makes for a good story. I went for a promenade walk with Dave Duarte recently – who I have not really seen since 2011 days – in telling him my story of 2012-2015 and I kinda realised what an adventure it has been.