Quick Update

Shot put training and folding paper ships…

Early Morning Desk
Early Morning Desk Views
  • Week of 1-7 February.
  • Monday, took a day off.
  • Tuesday, office, interviews (looks like Octotel will be a total of 8 people by the end of the month – growing pretty quickly), our first building residents information evening – it went okay – I had a good grin, Paul finally made his way home, salad at Da Vinci’s.
  • Wednesday, Headspace, podcast walk to the office, bumped into Paul and Philippa, sunset promenade walk, where I bumped into Pieter, Wouter made home-made friend chicken – even better than the last batch, nice dinner with Johan and Wouter.
  • I discovered Mattermost on Charl’s blog.
  • Thursday, Headspace, walked to the office, updated the Octotel website – coverage maps etc, a swim at home, upgraded Mia’s laptop and installed PyCharm Edu.
  • Sense of humour failure with Naulene again, usual WTaF/brainhurt moments. Took me 3 days to get her to let me have a 5 minute conversation with Mia – even though Mia has a phone now. Who does that? Some pretty messed up people to watch out for on this planet, kids.
  • I tinkered with VMWare VDC this week. It’s okay – but using Linode is way easier.
  • Want Your Children to Survive The Future? Send Them to Art School.
  • A World Without Work
  • “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” — Peter Thiel

  • The big contrarian question that’s been bugging me for weeks. The easy answer is that everybody should type Dvorak. The more interesting answer, which has taken me a bit of time to realise – is that people should not work. People are bad at working. In the future, the companies that will win will have excellent reproducible customer experiences that do not need any humans. The core of a company should be a machine. Humans should just be APIs to call when it can’t get something done in any other way. DevOps and automation, kids.
  • “Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it, …but a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” — Batman Returns

  • Some US based student emailed me this week about wearable payments, asking for advice. I was going to turn this into a blog post at some point, but I just emailed him the brain dump… why GUST Pay did not work:

    Sitcom business model – the kinda thing they would write into a Friends episode / or a Microserfs book. Cool, but it did not have a big idea or cause or mission. Product needed to be at least ten times better than existing alternative (cash and tokens). Payments are hard, even Barclays have not figured our how to make money from wearable payments. Payments is a highly regulated space – there is no such thing as the financial police – the banks are the financial police. GUST had a bad legacy – the whole Mxit exit was a mess, bad timing, bad relationship with investors, debt etc. It was not a unicorn, can do better. One thing about going to Techstars is – you learn to spot a good idea from an average one. We left the investment conversations too long. Not inspired anymore. If we white-label the product – it would just be building tech as a dev house – not a product business. SA IP regulation headache. I don’t like fintech, not sure I ever did. Customers don’t really want it – build something people want…. there was even more random notes, but I edited it down, it was a messy time.

  • Friday, Agile/Kanban workshop at 7:30 – I folded ~50 (7/minute) paper ships like a crazy person (good fun – our team won), Space TV meeting, fetched Mia, a fresh juice at Fred & Max, collected some of Mia’s art from art class, we found Mia some new school shoes and a Valentines Day (school) outfit – the extended clothes shopping experience, drove back to Cape Town – we chatted about the industrial revolution, self driving cars, the end of work, and learning to code, a sunset walk around Queens Beach, I made her the bachelor dad minimalist healthy snacky supper.
  • I missed the AfrikaBurn ticket sales process – because I did not have a Burner Bio – how did I become so lame and jaded again? (I blame Michael, okay, not really)
  • “It’s been sitting in an information refrigerator.” — The Agile coach guy, about MS Sharepoint.

  • Made it up to ep74 of the Tim Ferriss show.
  • Who is in your tribe?
  • Saturday, tea, backups, photo processing, we covered Mia’s last two uncovered school books – which involved making some art to stick on the front – I could not resist adding my quote of the week to the cover of one of the books (hope it reminds her to ponder the question), I showed Mia PyCharm Edu (super cool app) and we did the first 7 steps (took some explaining), I cooked us an obscenely healthy lunch – with some Reyneke Organic Chardonnay (it was so healthy I think it undid about 1/16th of the Origin weekend damage), processed some notes (like two weeks), putt putt in Three Anchor Bay – I won 50 vs 60 (par 36 – I don’t think either of us are taking up golf soon), shot put training in Green Point Park – I tested some ideas from the Pavel Tsatsouline interview I listened to, beer and pizza at Posticinos, ice cream, 11h sleep.
  • Mia has read through 13 of the ~70 books I added to her Kindle two weeks ago.
  • Sunday, tea and more PyCharm Edu tasks, Mia built a game with The Foose – pretty cool app, gym – power plate, front squats and breaststroke sprints, Waterfront visit – ladies of leisure day, fragrance browsing, Sunday buffet lunch at Melissas with a Steph Weiss – the single dad’s take on a wholesome family lunch, spent a few hours in the book shop with Mia (while she read the latest Diary of a Wimpy kid) – I mostly browsed design books, ice cream, more shot put training in Green Point Park (for the athletics event on Wednesday), a swim at home and some top trumps playing (undecided outcome), I cooked another obscenely healthy meal for Mia – who by now was in her pink rabbit onesie.
  • Kinda cool that Mia is learning to code and I’m learning to code again.
  • One standard obscenely healthy meal: takes 12 minutes. Boil 8 eggs, while steaming 1/2 a (“buy in bulk and save” size) bag of tender stem broccoli, green beans and kale over that. Serve the greens and 4 egg whites with butter, cheese, tomatoes, gherkins and any other random thing you can find in the fridge. Bribe child with exotic dark chocolate to eat all the greens. Watch as they finish all the kale with a loving expression.
  • btw. did you know breaststroke is the hardest stroke to master?
  • I browsed though a Wired magazine on Sunday, made me want to jump on a plane and go on some random adventure. Used to buy Wired mags for long flights.
  • Have I really become one of those dads you see with the child walking behind them in the mall? Yeah, but when I slow down she still walks behind me playing with either a phone or a kindle. I’m more like a human mall shield.
  • I see a fasting week in my future.
  • You can probably predict my mood by the rate I update my blog.
  • Sorry, the photos this week are a bit boring. Meh. Only the mediocre are always at their best…

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Queens Beach
Queens Beach

Quick Update

A super fun road trip, and pondering my purpose…

Stellenbosch Street Soiree
  • Week of 25-31 January.
  • This post is late. I had to process two weeks of notes :-/
  • Monday, rainy school run, Waterstone gym – such an odd place, left the office at 20:00ish, sunset stroll around Bantry Bay.
  • Interesting read on our inner storytelling process.
  • Tuesday, 1km swim, office, DFA meeting, ended up reading about TCP buffers and theoretical maximum throughput per TCP session as a function of latency – in summary, latency is a bitch (double the latency, 1/2 the throughput), I installed Simplenote – pretty cool, pocket, notes, photos -zero, sunset walk, read 1/2 a Python book – this programming thing is actually cool – I only scored like 100% for my matric year end comp sci exam – not sure why I’ve been avoiding it for the last 6 years.
  • Fred said something interesting last Friday: ~in our world of being overwhelmed by information, the people who are going to win, are the ones which just jump in and do.
  • I’ve been hungry to learn recently. It’s a nice feeling. Mindful, interested and engaged. Keen to start building.
  • I started reading Letters from a Stoic – after discovering I bought it more than a year ago on my Kindle.
  • Don’t share your journal with anyone. Yeah, whatever – amateurs.
  • I’ve been typing Dvorak for 14 years now. I switched in January 2002. That’s probably saved me a about the distance to the moon in finger travel, give or take.
  • Sounds like we must go to the next Wolfkop Weekender. Should be around Sept.
  • I’m feeling a lot stronger after just two gym days.
  • “Slow down.” — ma.tt (and chase quality)

  • Wednesday, Lean Startup Coffee… we chatted about mindfulness, the future of parking lots and pair programming, gym, ZTE office visit, ZTE Camps Bay GPON site visit – very interesting, big Chinese food lunch at Tao Yuan in Sea Point, fetched my car, found a new watch battery and a 2kg shot put ball (for Mia) at Sportsmans Warehouse, Stellenbosch Street Soiree (see above) with Paul, Janna and Tasha… I’m happy I was not this cool when I was a student – I would never have discovered the joys of Slackware (Linux) and HAM radio, Balboa with Paul and Janna, dropped Mia’s swimming gear off at Naulene’s house.
  • “In China, we say the two most important things are: a) your purpose, b) the way to your purpose.” — Arthur, the ZTE GPON engineer I spent the day with – interesting chats about meditation and life in China – and some tech.

  • On the topic of purpose. What is your purpose? The Xprize guy has a recipe for answering this, he asks: What has been your passion since you were a child? What would you do if you had 1 Billion USD to spend? What are you doing to change the world? (I added that last one).

    Hmm, let’s see… and I’m probably going to look back at this at some point and scratch my head. Those of you that know me, know that I’ve been talking about all of this for a while. No, I’m not high… and since only two people actually read this blog, I figured I’ll write this down:

    As a child: I loved computers, sci-fi and adventure games, hacker/maker, figuring out how stuff works, writer, and a bit later photographer. Geek of all trades, kinda – but in the end: tech and adventure.

    What would I do with 1B USD?: Building tech products and tech companies… and help others build tech products and companies – kinda like Fight Club – for freedom, but without blowing up buildings.

    What do I want to do to change the world? (impact): grow food + build companies that don’t need humans. More about this next week.

  • Thursday, 10min Headspace app session, podcast walk to the office, sunset podcast walk around Bantry Bay, more Python reading.
  • I made it up to ep 66 of the Tim F show (7 for the week).
  • Friday, 10min Headspace app session, podcast walk to the office, fibre installer interview, tinkered with some Postfix virtual domain stuff, finished reading A Byte of Python, after work beer and braai at the office, watched some Python coding videos, walked to Camps Bay via Clifton 1-4, had a beer at Vicky Christina’s – which I suspect will not be there for very much longer, 18k steps for the day.
  • I’ve been geeking out on Python, Django, PyCharm, GeoDjango, OOP, pair programming, test driven design, git, Bootstrap, Django-REST, Nginx, Gunicorn, Postgres etc. It’s all still a bit messy, but I’m beating it into shape.
  • I like this coding thing – it feels like I’m doing it for me.
  • “Most of what we do does not matter.” “The goal of the future is full unemployment.” “Life is too short to be busy.” — Lazy a Manifesto

  • This will be my 5th Origin, I had to look it up… 2010 Georg, 2011 Anton and Georg and Luke, 2012 missed it (Naulene related – talk about time I will not get back), 2013 Ernst (could be the best one so far?), 2014 I was in Geneva, 2015 Nikki, 2016 Paul.
  • Saturday, Headspace session, TiTea, gym, Paul and I collected some Ultra loyalty points and drove to Elgin, we had lunch at The Pool Room at Oak Valley Wine Estate (see below) – great Chardonnay, we chilled by the pool till after they closed and had a walk around, made our way to Botrivier with a Pearl Jam soundtrack, many moments in the now, a swim at the Botrivier Hotel, epic day.
  • “Sometimes realise, I could only be as good as you let me.” — Pearl Jam, Hail, Hail (the lucky ones, I refer to those in love).

  • “It’s like the Bermuda Triangle down here.” — Paul, on the way to Botrivier.

  • “The microbes made me do it.” — lame microbiome joke

  • Sunday, Origin with Paul (only left at 10:00ish, minor navigation snag – arrived at about 11:00 – so much for my grand plan to stay near the party), we tracked down Philippa and Pieter – bumped into a lot more people and had a great time, drove back with Paul, Philippa and Tash, we stopped at the top of the Franschhoek pass (see below, good memories from last year, the photo looks rather similar – maybe not as good), Pixies soundtrack on the way to Cape Town – much singing along – all in all – a good memory design weekend, we stopped for pizza at Bella Italia in Sea Point, Tash’s house, Pieter’s house, somehow I was asked on a date (twice) but Paul ended up staying at her house *grin*.
  • Yield was released 18 years ago (February 3, 1998).
  • Tune of the week: Pixies – Dig For Fire

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Oak Valley
Oak Valley Pool Room
Franschhoek Pass
Top of the Franschhoek Pass

Quick Update

500 weeks of summer (life is short)…

Riesling Rocks 2016
Riesling Rocks 2016
  • Week of 18-24 January.
  • Monday, school run, Waterstone gym, brunch with Paul at Kleinsky’s… latke benedict with pastrami – very good, bumped into Nikki at Kleinsky’s – I’m not going to lie it was a tiny bit weird – after not seeing her since October, but great to see her and give her a hug – yeah, safe to say, I miss her, WordPress dev meeting, tea with Paul (he likes his tea strong… He-Man skin tone colour) – I helped him upgrade and backup his phone, I installed PyCharm, after work promenade walk with Paul, pizza at La Vie with Pieter, Jean and Paul, nice summer night promenade walk back to our cars, Wouter experimented with home-made fried chicken – very good.
  • “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world.” — Casablanca

  • “Maybe he’s on Bluetooth?” — Paul, about the homeless guy talking to himself as we walked back to our cars after La Vie.

  • Mia sent me a message with a photo of her ribbon for coming first in the shot put event – inter-house track and field finals. Eat your egg whites and cheese kids.
  • “You like to poke the bear.” — From a chat about Paul’s ERA outing and upsetting a friend.

  • Tuesday, podcast walk to the office, I installed Snapchat – amusing, wayleaves meeting, aimless podcast walk to Clifton, walked up and down 1st to 4th (17k steps for the day), watched the sunset with Philippa and Luke, braai at our house with about 12 people, swims, red meat, Chardonnay.
  • A reason to get up in the morning: Ikigai.
  • I’ve discovered the “my list” feature in the Netflix web interface – way better than trying to find content using the remote. Also have a look at this list of categories.
  • After pondering this for a bit… I think the best text neck cure is not swimming, standing desks, less smartphone time, walking 10k steps a day – it’s simply a good chair and sleep.
  • Wednesday, very cool day, Lean Startup Coffee in Green Point – interesting chats about the next ten years of bots and the redundancy of human labour, haircut at Yogi’s, PC Networks meeting, catch up chat with Joseph at Chop Chop – mostly chatted LoRa tech, Cor took me for a roof tour of the building, a swim at Wembley, Jonathan gave Michael and I a six-easy-lessons in Django dev, sunset on Clifton 1st reading Life Is Short, walked my 12k steps for the day, set up a new Django dev Linode with Debian 8.2 (RIP Ian Murdock).
  • I’ve been pondering the 10 years view of the world. I’s going to get pretty crazy I think.
  • Seems about 0.2% of the world’s population can code.
  • After listening to a podcast this week, I really need to start eating only grass fed beef and milk – avoid antibiotics in our food.
  • “Talent neglected or misguided, investigations into the nature of things not completed, what is right understood but not acted upon, and the lack of energy to rectify what is wrong, these are the things which pain my heart, which I exist to remedy.” — Kung-Tzu (Confucious)

  • “Calm is contagious.” — Pavel Tsatsouline

  • “These were not guys with fast thumbs, these were athletes.” — Pavel Tsatsouline

  • Thursday, podcast walk to the office, catch up chat with Daren – chats about how nobody wants to earn Rands anymore, installed Python 3.5 on my laptop and Linode, some blogging, phoned Mia and had a nice chat with her, long phone chat with Nikki, left the office pretty late, sunset walk towards Bantry Bay, a post sunset swim at home, Wouter cooked some lamb in his SousVide machine – very good.
  • Are you working on things that can change the world?
  • Kinda jumped in the deep end with my new year starting to code again project. I figured Python is the best option for web dev, Raspberry IP GPIO stuff, and teaching Mia to code.
  • Friday, gym – my first real gym session for the year, office, configured an NMS server, lunch with Fred at Basic Bistro – plotting a kids friendly AfrikaBurn – chats about, RSS vs Twitter, new directions and garden variety narcissism, watched Mia’s inter-house athletics for a while, a beer at Fred&Max and some email tinkering, back to the athletics to watch Mia run the 4×100 relay, Gardens Centre, a 21:00 swim at home with Mia – hot evening, perfect water temperature, 11h sleep.
  • “The only easy day is yesterday.”

  • Saturday, tea and Clone Wars (brings back memories of Stellenbosch days), photo processing, backups and upgrades, OZCF market with Mia at the Waterfront – we bought some of Richie’s smoothies – said hi to Philippa and Tash, Mia’s usual fix of olives, we drove to Stellenbosch, Riesling Rocks 2016 at Hartenberg with Paul, Frieda, Josh (see above) – my 3rd Riesling Rocks I think – the Groote Post Riesling was the gem of the festival – I took my camera with 85mm lens and had some fun taking photos, late afternoon Eerste Rivier walk with Mia, up to the cable bridge, chilled on the top soccer fields, pizza at Col’Cacchio in Stellenbosch – Mia was feeling adventurous and had a mix of Tropical and Hawaiian pizza (big step), listened to some Morcheeba on the way back to Cape Town, post sunset swim at home, 11h sleep.
  • I had a chat with Josh about the Secret Sunrise events. I should go.
  • “Soak up wisdom all year long, then take action…” — Morcheeba

  • I only took 2689 photos in 2015 (106 events), 2014 was 4000, 2013 was 2389, 2012 was 4286 – so it seems a slow year is around 2k and a good year is around 4k.
  • Mia is 153cm, 45kg, shoe size 6 now.
  • Note to self, I should just use UberXL to transport bicycles.
  • Sunday, 2am swim – perfect wind free night, but very hot, Mia made me breakfast, processed some photos, added some (˜70) books to Mia’s Kindle, Mia watched more Clone Wars (in her rabbit onesie), a swim and a nap, walked to Camps Bay for some calamari – I made Mia walk 13k steps for her supper, ice cream, sunset series of beach walks on the way back (see below), time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Sunday Walk
Sunday Walk

Quick Update

Memory design…

Kloof Street
Kloof Street
  • Week of 11-17 January.
  • Health week 1/3.
  • Yeah, this post is a bit late, I’ve been tinkering with Python / Django and PyCharm. I figured it’s a bit of a shame that I can actually write some code and I have a pretty good understanding of DevOps – but I never use these skills. So, this year, I’m going to write some code and build a few things. I’m enjoying learning Django. Thanks Jonathan.
  • A week without drinking, and driving… good use of the Oxford comma there.
  • Monday, podcast walk to the office, Michael cracked two ribs and took the day off, Daniella’s first day, Sababa lunch, post work swim at home, nap, watched some Mr Robot.
  • Tune of the week: Space Oddity, RIP David Bowie.
  • “You have to be odd to be number one.” — Dr Seuss

  • Very random observation, but I’ve been eating a lot more cheese than usual, and enjoying it.
  • “We will be able to create avatars of people who have passed away from all of the information they have left behind (their emails and other documents, images, videos, interviews with people who remember them). These will be compelling but not fully realistic, not until the mid 2030s, so some people will find this ‘replicant’ technology to be in the ‘uncanny valley,’ that is, disconcerting.” — What The Next Decade Will Bring – here is at least 402 weeks of info for you, dear future AI of myself.

  • “I’m going to be dropping pins like it’s nobody’s business.” — Paul, after working out how to send his location via Whatsapp.

  • Tuesday, podcast walk to the office, wayleaves meeting, a few rounds of business card design updates – scratched my OCD itch – Octotel now has 5 employees, lunch with Paul at Sababa (again), post work swim at home, watched the last three episodes of Mr Robot – it was okay – I guess I struggle with series, finally processed all my notes and photos from the holidays.
  • Bring back your personal website / blog. My personal site kinda got stuck in 2010 – but the blog lives. I might have to update the personal website content this year.
  • Too Many Cooks, 11 minutes well spent.
  • Mia has so many movies to catch up on. I’ve been making a list for her.
  • Wednesday, the health plan begins, podcast walk to the office, figured I needed some new trainers – Nike Free 5.0, post work swim at home, long aimless podcast walk to Camps Bay, another swim at home (hot day).
  • I’m at 86kg after the holidays – about 3kg gained – not too bad, considering I’ve not really cared much about what I’ve been eating (read: beer and pizza) since mid November with no real exercise plan, but my BIA stats have regressed – I probably gained 3kg of fat and lost a bit of muscle. Three week goal: lose 4kg of fat and gain 3kg of muscle. I’m keen to see if I can do it in under three weeks.
  • Made it up to ep. 54 of the Tim Ferriss show – I’m still a year behind. That’s 10 episodes for the week.
  • “Creativity is the new literacy.” and “The creative class flocks to a handful of happy cities, abandoning the rest.” — From The Refragmentation

  • 21 Self-Improvement Experiments – I’m pondering trying some of these. More in my 2016 goals post – to follow soon – after Origin.
  • Thursday, podcast walk to the office, aimless sunset podcast walk to Clifton and a bit of a beach walk, Wouter made some salmon and herb pea mash… very nice.
  • Nice conversation about the Burning Man experience and how to recreate it, ep53, about half way in. I listened to this and thought… that’s it, I’m going to AfrikaBurn 2016!
  • “The correct use of wealth is magnificence.” ~- Aristotle

  • Also from that podcast, the concept of memory design or designing the best/ most memorable house party. Great idea. Spread memories spatially – different themes, venues, music. Create unique memories in a short amount of time. I guess this kinda relates to designing a life of many different projects and experiences. Probably a good idea for dating. Have dates in various different places – design good memories. If it’s true that relationships need 5 good experiences for every 1 negative one, 5 new experiences for every 1 familiar one is probably also a good rule.
  • “Tech startups are the great driver in modern culture.” — ep53, also related to how the Silicon Valley startup scene influences Burning Man. Read: if you are going to live in our day and age, building tech businesses is the place to be.

  • Back to school for Mia this week and Thursday was her first day of taking her phone to school – nice to keep in touch with her – seems she did well in the high jump and shot put and was 2nd in the running event.
  • I agree with Peter Thiel on failure. It sucks. It’s a big loss of momentum / optimism / confidence. Interesting experience, but best to be avoided. It’s not the badge of honour which it seems to have become in a few tech startup circles.
  • Be mindful – make things interesting for yourself, be present.
  • After recently switching off FB notifications on my phone, I moved the Facebook app to the 4th screen in a sub menu. I’m trying to avoid it. Just eats battery, attention and data. I was planning to delete it – but I do like posting the odd photo. I also deleted Happn – dating apps are just hard work.
  • “Adults follow paths. Children explore.” — The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • I’ve been reading a chapter of a plain old paper book before bed each night. Seems to help me sleep. I should try and read more books this year.
  • Friday, up early, car service day, fibre splicing demo and node room tour, fetched my car, fetched Mia, Fred&Max with Paul P. – gave him some advice on building apps, stationary shopping with Mia at the Waterfront, Mia insisted I get a new Yoda phone cover, extended bookshop visit – Mia walked out with Tintin and the Crab with Golden Claws – I got Zero to One, burgers at Gibson’s – we had to try it since Paul gave it good reviews… pretty good, food shopping with Mia – including the usual Mini Babybels cheese – a favourite from when I was a child.
  • After my Saturday morning meditation on this topic, I have to say the best burger in Cape Town is at Da Vinci’s (burger in a bowl) – and Mondialle, if you like bread. Seems I have to go try Junior soon.
  • Mia had swimming trials on Friday and won the freestyle, butterfly and backstroke races – she says the breaststroke race was a very close finish – not sure who won.
  • My headphones really were a great investment.
  • Looking at my iPhone Health app, I seem to average more than 10k steps per day. In linking my health app to Discovery app I noticed I got 300 points for going clubbing at ERA recently. *grin*
  • I’ve started taking a lot less supplements – I now have multi vitamins (B/C etc) maybe twice a week.
  • Keeping with the memory design theme I figured we should go visit Llandudno and Hout Bay this weekend.
  • Saturday, tea, cherries and Netflix – watched Galaxy Quest (RIP Alan Rickman), the usual device backup and photo processing party (pocket, notes, photos -zero), stuck some tape over my laptop camera (after a podcast I listened to this week), Mia and I covered her school books and we compared notes on our shared calendar, drove to the Garden’s Centre to get some things printed, but their lame Windoze PCs could not read my exFAT USB drive (and yes, exFAT is an MS format), gym and swim at Wembley Square – I snapped the above photo on the way – I showed Mia the power plate machine and how to do squats (without weights on the bar) – she was complaining about her ankles hurting when running, I’m interested to see if powerplate and squats help stimulate the growth of the supporting muscles around her knees and ankles, we drove to Llandudno for a beach walk, early pizza supper at Posticino’s in Hout Bay – good pizza, sunset walk on Hout Bay beach (see below), 11h sleep.
  • I have Mia using Wunderlist now. If only her mother was this receptive to productivity apps.
  • Sunday, we made tea and breakfast, Mia watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off while I processed some notes – I’m struggling with this screen-free day thing, gym and swim at The Point (more power plate and squats), quick Waterfront visit – to print Mia’s school book covers, leftover pizza with bucket loads of avo and humus (yum), five hours on Clifon 2nd for Michael’s birthday (see below), bumped into Grant who seemed to be well positioned to appreciate views of a group of very scantily clad models, long swims – Mia stayed in for about 25min (warm for Clifton), walked up and down the beaches with Mia, Nicole (she’s back) showed Mia how to paddle out on an SUP board (Mia went out on her own later), bubbly and some Sterhuis Chardonnay at sunset, I took my DSLR/85mm to the beach for a change, really magic sunset. Time. Well. Spent.
  • I think Mia enjoyed her (half) only child time.
  • This post is probably a bit long, 1600 words, new record I think, but I’m too lazy to make it shorter.
  • Mia seems to like my pasture fed milk and whey protein cocktails.
  • “You are everywhere I go, all the places we have been.” — from the epic audio masterpiece that is Over and Over by Moloko.

Go design some good memories, crazy kids.

I couldn’t really make up my mind about which photos to use. So this week we have four. A new record I think…

Hout Bay
Hout Bay
Clifton 2nd
Clifton 2nd
Clifton 2nd Sunset
Clifton 2nd Sunset

Quick Update

Batman of the Boland…

  • Week of 4-10 January.
  • Monday, pizza for breakfast, backups, struggled to enable iMessage on Mia’s phone for at least 15min, Georg dropped his keys off, Mia and I went to go buy her some new stationary for the year in the Gardens Centre, we watched The Good Dinosaur (3D) at the Waterfront – not bad… the story was very basic for a Pixar film, but the visuals were good, gelato and a walk around the Waterfront, post-sunset swim at home, I cooked Mia my signature single-dad high protein supper… very basic, but she likes boiled egg whites.
  • Turns out that to enable iMessage you need to be able to send international SMS messages, and you need “Airtime” for that if you are not on a contract that allows for credit. The error messages could be a little bit more helpful.
  • Recording a Second Each Day
  • Tuesday, Mia finished a whole tray of cherries while watching Batman (the first Tim Burton one) while I did some blogging, we fetched Jacques, cheese and wine tasting at Fairview, cheese and meat platter for lunch, we visited the Alpaca Loom and fed the llamas – very cute animals (see below), Spice Route visit – CBC Brewery and chilled under the trees at La Grapperia, Mia and I drove back to Cape Town and took a sunset promenade walk, take-away pizza supper next to the ocean on a bench above Queens Beach, a post-sunset swim at home.
  • Turns out you can keep llamas as pets, R6k each, but they only sell them if you buy at least two… because they are pack animals.
  • “I have this disease called more.” — from a recent podcast.

  • A four day Boland adventure – after just planning to go for drinks on Wednesday night…
  • Wednesday, I made Mia a super healthy lunch and we had a bit of a Tylor Swift youtube party in the kitchen, drove to Somerset West while Mia browsed a big collection of her old photos on an iPad, a swim with Mia at the Waterstone gym, dropped Mia off at her gran’s house, fetched a few things from Jonkershoek (misplaced on NYE), Trumpet Tree with Al and Hilah for Johann and Victoria’s Stellenbosch drinks, Balboa with Melissa and Jan, Henk’s house with Al and Eugene.
  • Thursday, woke up in Stellenbosch, swim, all day breakfast, watched Point Break (the remake) – not too painful for what it is, First Fizzday at Simonsig (see above) with Paul and Danel and Lisa Marie, nice music, bubbly and oysters, Danel showed off her MCC sabrage skills.
  • Tips on Sabering Champagne.
  • Friday, woke up in Stellenbosch again, Simonsig wine tasting with Paul – the extended one wine farm tour – great wines including The Garland – we pretty much had a full glass of everything in their range (and they have a big range of wines) – seems to be a bit of a liability knowing people who work in the tasting room, more Chardonnay and AltJ and Jack White – sitting on Paul’s couch on the lawn while watching the clouds roll in over the Stellenbosch mountains (see below), we watched Batman: The Dark Knight Rises – yet again – Paul seems to really like it.
  • “Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” — Alfred

  • Word of the week: frigid.
  • Paul has this theory that all his ex-girlfriends meet their life partners right after dating him.
  • “Dude, I did not sleep with your dad.” — Paul. We had a laugh about that story again.

  • Saturday, woke up in Stellenbosch, wine tasting at Villiera, breakfast at Joostenberg Deli and Bistro with Paul – nice place, beer tasting with Paul and Melane at the Stellenbosch Brewing Co – cool logo, picnic snack platter with JD and Surita (sp?), Vilierra wine tasting with Paul, JD and Surita, I drove back to Cape Town and did a wine delivery for Paul, catchup chat with Wouter, walked to Clifton, a long phone chat with Etienne on the beach, sundowners and pizza on the beach with JD and Surita, Surita managed to get us on the guest list for ERA, fun evening with JD and Surita and Babette.
  • Seems Call-a-Pizza is a way better option to get pizza on the beach… but Mia does not like their pizza bases.
  • You know you are rested and relaxed when you can do two hours of lucid dreaming.
  • “You guys are adulting hard, I dig it.” — Paul, after meeting some school friends who have kids.

  • The bottom layer of ERA reminds me of the Lighthouse at AfrikaBurn.
  • Tunes of the week: Alt-J – Something Good, Jack White – Trash Tongue Talker, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
  • To be honest, I’m a bit relieved the holidays are over. I need a break from my break. Three healthy weeks ahead. This hedonism thing is hard work.
  • Sunday, lazy afternoon on Clifton 1st with Cath, Mykonos Taverna with Philippa, Luke and Richard – nice place.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Llamas of the Alpaca Loom
Llamas of the Alpaca Loom

Quick Update

Staycation week with Mia and NYE adventures…

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st
  • Week of 28 December to 3 January. Post number 400.
  • This post is a bit late, I’ve been spending time with Mia. Great to spend lots of time with her.
  • Monday, breakfast with Mia at Knead, Myog, Mia explored every feature of her new phone and rearranged the apps a few times, mocktails and cocktails at La Vie with Georg… try the Cape Town G&T, putt putt game with Mia (I won, by one shot – unplanned), ice creams and a sunset promenade walk.
  • Cath wants to start doing Sweat 1000. I said I’d join her in checking it out.
  • Don’t be lonely. Have good quality relationships. Work on health and friendships.
  • Tuesday, Mia and I watched Steve Jobs at the Waterfront – her first Nouveau movie… good movie, I had a bit of a passive aggressive moment with the cinema manager not wanting to let us take our smoothies into the movie, we found some great chocolate cake and chatted about the story after the movie, extended book shop browsing session, afternoon shopping for clothes for Mia – I think we make a good team… good value, good taste, we picked up some Body Shop specials, an early supper at Quaglino’s in Mouille Point – I often drive past the place, so I figured I’d give it a try after reading about it on Tyler’s blog – not bad, the kind of place you never need to take your sunglasses off and you can sip white wine all day (Igby Goes Down style) – service was a bit B rate and slow, but the ice cream was great, Green Point park walk, promenade walk, some blogging, 1/2 an avo each – dinner of champions.
  • For some reason I feel kinda vulnerable in the hours after publishing these posts. Seems being a Neurotic Extrovert is a thing.
  • “Artists lead, and hacks ask for a show of hands.” — Steve Jobs movie

  • I showed Mia this TED video, and now she really wants to go to Burning Man.
  • Easy way to fall asleep, this works fairly well.
  • DStv can’t die soon enough. I hate the UI.
  • Wednesday, Mia watched Pirates of the Caribbean while I tinkered with some personal sysadmin’ish stuff, backups etc, for some reason I had to figure out some location tracking for Mia’s phone and set up a shared calendar, I cooked a ridiculously healthy lunch for Mia, afternoon on Clifton 1st, Mia found a friend (from Sunday) and ended up going to supper with them at Willoughbys – she does not usually eat sushi, but it seems a bit of peer pressure got her past that – this gave me a way to test my new location tracking apps, Georg and I walked to the Taj in Camps Bay and had some indian food – I was feeling adventurous and had a vindaloo option, interesting deserts (Klufi), welcomed Mia back at home.
  • Seems Life360 is the best app to track kids phones.
  • Somehow I managed to spend four days in board shorts…
  • Thursday, Mia and I walked down the hill to the Bantry Bay Bootleggers to have breakfast with Tyler – nice chats (startups and stoic philosophy) – good to catch up, pest control guy came to spray for cockroaches (must be the time of year), Georg and I dropped Mia off in Somerset West and we had a beer with JD at the Old Bridge Tavern, a beer with Al and Georg at the De Zalze clubhouse, a swim and braai at Melissa’s house just outside Stellenbosch – very cool house – built next to a river, general NYE mayhem with Paul, Al, Claus, Henning and about 15 other people (see below), very fun evening, thanks!
  • Friday, more swimming and post-NYE party at Melissa’s, ended up at Paul’s house in the late afternoon and watched Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Saturday, a day on the farm with Paul – swimming, bubbly, Campari, AltJ, watched Star Trek, perfect day, we kinda ended up missing Johann and Victoria’s party in Cape Town.
  • “Here’s to making days disappear…” — Spotted on Paul’s wall, a note Christina left there.

  • Sunday, watched Star Trek – Into Darkness again (no hair colour changes involved), drove to Cape Town and had a burger at Jerry’s in Park Rd… tasty, Naulene dropped Mia off after what sounded like an extended Deer Park visit, Mia and I walked to Clifton 1st – mostly for Georg’s going away sundowners, beach time and many swims with Mia, Cath, Georg and Melvi (see above, bottom left umbrella – that’s been our regular spot), warmer than usual water, I think I’ve reached my optimal summer tan level, pizza at Posticino’s with Georg, Mia, Victoria and Johann (the newlyweds) – good to see them, very nice pizza.
  • I should write a little summary of 2015… maybe read all my posts for the year again. Soon.
  • LLAP

Have a fun 2016, crazy kids.

NYE Stellenbosch
NYE Stellenbosch

Quick Update

Star Wars on xmas day, pizza on the beach, 11h sleeps, lucid dreaming and hanging out with Nancy Drew…

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st
  • Week of 21-27 December. The next post, is number 400!
  • Caveat lector – these holiday posts seem to be filled with even more random observations than usual.
  • Monday, the start of a whole new week (bhd), flushed my Pocket reading list, finally fetched my new drivers licence – as Lily says: we all know why it’s called Gallows Hill, had lunch with Mia, my mom and Charlotte at Meerendal – the two girls had good fun on the jumping castle, (most probably the worst SA Chardonnay I’ve ever had – somebody should stop them from selling it), braai at Jacques’ house in Durbanville (aka Inglewood) – we watched Star Wars ep 2 and ep 3 with Mia and Charlotte in preparation for ep 7, 11 hour sleep.
  • Mia’s year end school certificate reads: “Amazing work representation, Excellence in all learning areas, Creative and artistic.” – not bad for the co-parenting chess-game-level-9 that was 2015.
  • It’s a bit sad, but I think crayfish diving is just too much effort. The ratio of risk and effort vs reward is a bit warped.
  • After a chat with Jacques, I think I need to make London my base within the next 5 years. SA is screwed.
  • Tuesday, woke up at Jacques house, Mia slept till 10:00 (good genes I guess), we kinda discovered our plan to go watch Star Wars episode 7 with the two girls was a bit flawed (age 13 restriction), I ended up driving home and having a 4 hour nap – the trick is an eye mask and meditating before sleeping, aimless late afternoon non-podcast walk to Camps Bay beach – I stopped for oysters and calamari at Tuscany Beach – good service and tasty food for a touristy kinda place, walked home along the usual series of beaches… Glen Beach, Clifton 4th to 1st, some Ouzo at Aris with Georg, tiramisu and a Jamey at Goloso, watched Automata… a bit boring – kinda Blade Runner like – makes you wonder if we can ever trust machines, I watched Secretary – I have not watched it since 2002ish, great movie – it’s all in the mind.
  • “but, I want to know you.” — Secretary

  • How do we force machines to not alter themselves? Only if we include the rules in the core of their value/thinking. We’ll probably fail, read: we are very very screwed.
  • Watching movies on a laptop is not a good idea. I can’t seem to focus on one thing.
  • Tim F podcast ep 40: listen to the last 1/4 about his life and challenges, crazy – very interesting, the theory that addiction is a disease that causes you to feel that you don’t have a disease and you don’t need to pursue wellness. Episode 41 was also pretty interesting and a big challenge… while we can all still walk – travel now or do more squats.
  • Flaneur: “Just walk until your day becomes interesting.”
  • We don’t listen to enough classical music.
  • Maybe shy people are cool. They try harder. I do.
  • 2015 has been a year of misadventures and pointless drama, lots of pointless drama, and a very cool AfrikaBurn adventure – maybe the best one yet.
  • I’ve come to realise that all the most interesting people have some kind of defect… bug / non-standard feature set – or, a very wide scope of being. I’m aiming for wide.
  • I completed the organ donor card that came with the new drivers licence. I really really hope there is a process which gives organs to the best possible people. I updated my iPhone Medical ID settings to Organ Donor = Yes.
  • Things are already going wrong, and there’s only one way to make them go right. Just start.
  • There is no security.
  • “To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, ‘I am listening to this music,’ you are not listening.” — Alan Watts

  • Wednesday, (podcast) walk around the Waterfront with headphones on – seems to keep the sales staff from bugging me, watched Spectre… entertaining, bought Mia two books: Enders Game and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Jacques’ house, 11h sleep.
  • Thursday, gift wrapping, beach cricket outing with Mia, Jacques, Charlotte, Marietjie and my mom, soft serve ice creams, xmas dinner – probably had way too much to eat and drink – somehow I ended up in a Christmas Father suit and handed out gifts (I suspect the 6yo in the room was not fooled), 11h sleep.
  • Mia likes her new shades.
  • Feed your kids more cheese and let them sleep 11 hours.
  • Friday, I started reading Ocean at the End of the Lane – Mia seems to have motivated me to start reading, Star Wars – The Force Awakens 3D IMAX experience with Mia and Jacques (the mall was very quiet – like something out of a zombie movie, but I’m happy we waited to see the IMAX version) – Mia did not like the movie – I figured it was entertaining enough, braai at Jacques’, 11h sleep.
  • I’m interested in the intersection between EX and health.
  • Note to self: things to make sure of when Mia stays with other people: a) dental health, b) going to bed at a reasonable time.
  • Saturday, Mia and I drove to Gordon’s bay to meet up with Anton, Gys and Brian, Mia finished reading another Nancy Drew book, drove home and took a nap (feels like it’s been a long xmas), walked to Clifton with Mia and Paul, a stroll from 1st to 4th and back, sundowners with Georg, time well spent, 11h sleep.
  • “It’s much easier to achieve big dreams than small ones.”

  • Sunday, we found a SIM card / contract for Mia’s iPhone 4s (xmas gift – I figured she’s almost 10yo and she really wanted one – also, communicating via her mother is just too painful), Clifton with Mia, Georg, Paul, Hilah, Cath, Jacques and Marietjie, stroll from 1st to 4th, Hilah helped us get into some creative yoga poses and head stands, beach cricket with a group of kids, many swims with Mia and Cath, Paul lost the Aerobie in the sea in a pretty impressive move (read: facepalm move), sundowner bubbly, pizzas on the beach, only left the beach at 21:00ish, dropped Paul, Hilah and Cath off – with a Black Keys soundtrack, another 11h sleep – magic day, probably the best beach day of the year, kinda tops the one where we ended up at Aris with Rob, 6 hours on the beach, time very well spent.
  • “Is jy die swart skaap?” — Paul

  • Pizza on the beach sounds cool, but the Camps Bay Col’cacchio had pretty bad service, the delivery was late and then all the pizzas I ordered had pork on them (a problem for three of the ladies in the group) – I just ordered a few of the names I remembered on the menu. So, order early and always get at least one vegetarian option. Oh well, at least Mia had her usual pizza on the beach.
  • Seems if you sleep more than you need to it’s easier to get into a state of lucid dreaming.
  • “Make peace with your broken pieces.”

  • I think I’m starting to feel rested.
  • I decided to not do the annual Suicide Gorge walk with Anton – and just spend time with Mia. Would have been walk number 10 (I think). Georg also missed it after sleeping till 9:00ish.
  • “And I guess that’s why they call it the blues, time on my hands…”

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st

Quick Update

Find your Tyler….

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st
  • Week of 14-20 December.
  • This post is not late.
  • Monday, woke up with a bruised rib and hip – not sure how that happened, podcast walk to the office, quick visit to the French school, after work beer with David at La Perla – to be honest I was a tad afraid to go there after the Sunday antics, early supper at Aris, slept like a baby.
  • Tuesday, last working day of the year, podcast walk to the office, built two WordPress sites with Let’s Encrypt SSL certs, after work swim at home, nap, a beer and pizza with Aiden and Georg at La Vie, in bed early.
  • I’ve not really had a holiday since 2011 – so this should be good for me.
  • “Beer will get you over the fear.” — Aiden

  • Wednesday, #ZumaMustFall march from parliament to the Company’s Gardens, I bumped into Richard – seems he put a friend onto my health hacking posts, a braai at Jacques’ house.
  • Keep the momentum going for #zumamustfall campaign, see you on Feb 1st.
  • Thursday, woke up at Jacques’ house, chilled at home, nap, lazy late afternoon on Clifton 1st with Georg (see above) – waiting for the holiday vibe to set in – time well spent, supper at Lucky Fish and Chips, Tiramisu and a Jamey at Goloso, epic sleep.
  • Gust Pay gets a mention here, after a year of being in limbo.
  • Friday, been enjoying way more sleep than I actually need, dark choc TiTea, gym, nice swim (how the gym gives back), some blogging, took an aimless podcast walk to Clifton, took a stroll from 1st beach to 4th and back, many swims – warmer than usual water, some beach volley ball (I kinda sucked, but these guys were like Top Gun level beach volley ball regulars), sundowners with Georg, Jessica, Excelda, Mercia and Jenine – we only left the beach at about 21:00, a streak at Hussar Grill with Georg and a nice bottle of Reyneke Organic Cab Shiraz, red wine and meat coma, time well spent.
  • Find your Tyler.
  • Be idealistic and authentic.
  • Some relationships should be measured in dog years.
  • I think it’s safe to say I’m now too old for three day adventures with Paul.
  • The end of a bit of a self destruction phase. I think I became tired of the whole self improvement thing, or at least took a break – and that’s okay – but, I’m back. Health is cool, kids. Becoming Tyler Ferriss (-: – squats and milk. If you are not in a state of repair – you are in a state of decay.
  • “The internet is a self perfecting organism.” – Maria

  • “Make the kind of things you want to see exist in the world.” – Maria

  • I think my next startup, will be 10 startups.
  • “Deadlines make you creative.”

  • Saturday, collected some Ultra loyalty points, fetched Paul – he very calmly told me he’s not going to AfrikaBurn – not sure how I feel about that, we arrived a bit late to JD’s birthday brunch at Nederberg (a bit is like 1.5 hours), we attended the institution that is the annual Love & Light day party (see below) – must be our 8th one (who’s counting?) – Paul, Claus, Janey (it seems she actually reads my weekly posts – hi Janey!), Luke, Abbey, Ross, Michael etc – very good fun – as always, I almost managed to get Milly and Phillipa to attend.
  • Nice to see JD, aka J5. Happy birthday, big guy!
  • Pre-rehidrat is a thing.
  • Sunday, a swim at Paul’s house, nap, big AltJ appreciation day – driving back from Stellenbosch, Clifton 1st with Georg and Jess (I skipped a day – I was on a roll to do a whole week of Clifton sunsets), a walk to the Sea Point Spar – sunset chat with Jacques on the way – random and purposeful mission to make some (wholesome) Camphill (pasture fed milk) White Russians – they were grand.
  • “Love is the warmest colour.”, “I want to be every button you press.” — AltJ

  • Holiday vibes have kicked in, ahead of schedule.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.


Quick Update

Are these the droids you’re looking for…?

View from Vredehoek
View from Vredehoek
  • Week of 7-13 December
  • Yeah, this post is a bit late, year-end-party kinda times.
  • Monday, podcast walk to the office, listened to Beck – Morning Phase more than once… very cool album, Sobaba, Myog, walked home and jumped in the pool, some blogging, catch up chat with Wouter over a very pleasant Amani Chardonnay before his trip to Thailand – chats about addiction and how it’s almost always a function of same underlying issue, broc-kale-avo supper, some random and pointless Netflix surfing.
  • Paul has been bugging me to start dating again. I’ve been thinking, I might start with girls who are not presently formally married, they must like Campari, and use the Oxford comma.
  • Tune of the week: Blue Moon, Beck, listen to it really loudly.
  • Tuesday, office, fetched snail mail, fetched my sunglasses, a swim at Wembley Square, Heavy Chef, very nice dinner at Jens’ house in Vredehoek with Cath, Alex, Roslyn, Ksenia etc. (see above)
  • Cool Heavy Chef talk by Rich Mulholland. The four parts of any presentation: 1) Reason to Care (why?), 2) Reason to believe you (credibility), 3) What you need to know (facts), 4) What you need to do (action).
  • I’ve been rocking the Neil Diamond in the car lately… this song kinda stuck: Lord of my night… yeah, I know.
  • Sense of humour failure with Naulene again. After 4 weeks of trying to plan Mia’s holiday time I still can’t get any answers out of her and the holiday starts this week. I suggested dates. I tried to plan holiday swimming lessons for Mia (and obviously failed). We’re talking – four weeks of daily emails and daily text messages asking her to please communicate plans. At some point her lawyer asked me to stop CC’ing her into the emails. Naulene is, what we in the industry refer to as, an absolute train wreck of a human being. WTaF. What kind of a person can not in four weeks work out which days of the holiday her child should spend with which parent? (yes, it’s all defined in our legal agreement – but why would she care about that detail?). So now, we’re in a state of complete communications breakdown. I’ve given up. It’s just a clusterfck. I knew she was cooked, but this is pretty extreme. *sigh* Oh, well – let’s see how this plays out.
  • Wednesday, early Lions Head hike with Dan – good chats – I think we have a plan, Lean Startup Coffee, office, lunch with Brian at La Perla, bit of a delayed start to an Inner City Wine Route walkabout with Paul – good fun, a very tasty burger at Tiger’s Milk, possibly a series of bad decisions: HQ – where we kinda gate crashed a company end of year party, then Aces – where we met some roller derby lesbians who are into karaoke.
  • “You don’t just throw away ten years of code.” — seemed like a profound statement at the time, the wine talking.

  • Thursday, wine tours on school nights are not a good idea it seems, office, R16 Checkers breakfast, discovered Startup School Radio, spotted a whale hanging around in the sea in front of our office for quite a while, Barclays Rise Africa launch in Woodstock – nice to see Jess and Max, RAMP year end function, a sunset podcast walk around Bantry Bay, post-sunset swim at home.
  • 10 December was an interesting day. Big wake-up call for South Africa. Feels like somebody rapidly increased the rate at which they were boiling a frog. It woke up. Maybe a good thing.
  • ZAR / USD goes to 16. Joy.
  • I might have a case of that end of year feeling flat feeling.
  • Seems ERnst bought himself a new car because Georg complained about the pull away power of his french car.
  • “Live a life of appreciation, not expectation.” — Tony Robbins

  • Hack the now.
  • I was looking for a Pomodoro app – and ended up installing Tadam for OSX.
  • I made it to ep 38 of the Tim Ferriss podcast.
  • “What you know doesn’t mean shit – it’s what you do consistently, with emotional intensity that counts.” — Tony Robbins, this is very true.

  • What if I do the complete opposite?
  • Friday, office, after work drinks at La Vie with Dan, Aiden and Fred (see below) – Brannas year end party – yeah, the brandy and coke draught (it’s a case of: one is not enough, two is too much), Decodance with Paul – my first time there – we probably stayed longer than what was absolutely necessary – weird high school vibes.
  • Saturday, woke up to Sam vacuum cleaning the house, we walked to the Summer Sensation Beach Party (Neelix) at Maiden’s Cove – it was fun, but a bit windy, sunset drinks by the pool with Tanya (we’re FB friends again :-P) and Paul, a visit to Tash’s place in Sea Point with Philippa, Tanya managed to get us onto the guest list for Era – great sound quality, bumped into Will and Luke, again – probably stayed longer that what was really needed.
  • “Klam grond word vinnig nat.” — Paul

  • Sunday, drinks by the pool, afternoon beers at La Perla with Paul and Pieter – for some reason we (I) thought it would be a good idea to try one arm push-ups – the record was only 3, pizza at Call a Pizza – very nice guy who runs the place – we got a round of beers on the house – because they sold a number of my outdoor party photos, slept like a baby – it was quite a weekend.
  • It’s been a bit of a self-destruction / Paul Carr week. Somehow no real damage was done. As I’m writing this, I’m on holiday for a few weeks…

Have a fun week, crazy kids.


Quick Update

Biltong, butter and standing desks…


  • Week of 30 November to 6 December.
  • Health week 1/3, kinda.
  • If I include the fasting week, it’s pretty much been three weeks without any real exercise routine. That seems to be a bit long. Note to self, don’t do that again.
  • Monday, school run, gym, office, lunch at Sobaba, fetched 2kg of biltong, semi-aimless podcast sunset walk to Clifton, caught up on some reading.
  • Limit your options to synthesise happiness.
  • I suspect relationships, like businesses, die when you feel like you are the only one fighting for them, or when you have a chat with your friends for advice and they don’t seem to encourage you to keep fighting for them. Sad.
  • Radical Candor
  • How to make your phone battery last longer.
  • Tuesday, 10min mindfulness meditation, swim, office, late lunch omelette, podcast walk, we moved offices again (same building) – much better views (see above), quick sunset walk and Camphill milk shopping, cooked up an obsessively healthy steamed broccoli, kale and avo supper.
  • Finally flushed my Pocket reading list! – which sounds easy, but I had to read faster than I was adding things – well, I really just stopped adding things like a crazy person.
  • “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take order, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein… be too complex to categorise.

  • I realised I’m not the smartest guy in the room. I need co-founder(s).
  • Wednesday, office, catch up with Gys and David – we chatted ISP apps, not the most productive day… a very late and unproductive city fibre planning meeting, epic 6 salad platter at Caffe Neo, two building manager meetings (painful), nice after work chat with Cath – we talked startups and relationships over a glass of wine, another broccoli, kale and avo supper, catch up with Wouter over a Jameson and some dark chocolate – we chatted about Tim F – his (hectic) search for self improvement and how he can’t seem to keep a girlfriend.
  • Health first. Seems to be a re-accuring thread.
  • Made it to ep 33 of the Tim Ferriss podcast – that’s 20 podcasts in a week. I might have a bit of an obsessive podcasting phase going.
  • If self improvement is masturbation, then walking around with headphones on all day listening to Tim Ferriss podcasts is super human masturbation.
  • Note to self: must listen to Hardcore History podcast soon.
  • “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss

  • “We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and in spite of True Romance magazines we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely at least, not all the time but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” — Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway

  • Thursday, investigated standing desks, office, Web Africa meeting, took some shades to get new lenses fitted (Paul incident), ended up getting Mia some new sunglasses, I hope she likes them, Myog, borrowed a standing desk from the guys next to us – pretty cool, but you can’t really stand for more than 20min, Yellowtail and some Ataraxia Sauv for dinner at Willoughbys with Mladen and Colin – reminded me of the first time I had sushi (ever) there – it must have been early 2000ish with Theo.
  • Try biltong and butter. New fav snack. Fills the toast and butter gap.
  • How cool would it be if Cape Town could become a City-state?
  • Played with @HotorBot on Telegram. Not very popular in Cape Town in seems.
  • “Figuring out, is what your life is about.” — Kevin Kelly

  • Kevin Kelly makes a pretty good argument for having (more) children – he thinks the world population is going to shrink dramatically soon.
  • Note to self: try the digital Sabath thing, one day without any screens, I’m going to avoid all screens on Sunday.
  • Release the bots. I’ve been pondering some business automation ideas. Auto salad bars, bots, unit tests and APIs.
  • Don’t sell out. Be idealistic. Resist and Thrive. Read: create something sustainable.
  • Friday, tried my first Headspace app meditation – pretty cool, made breakfast at home, office, dropped off some keys with Aiden, lunch with Fred at La Bottega in Woodstock – we mostly chatted about his conferencing project, Wembley Square, haircut at Yogi’s, walked down Long Street and grabbed a smoothie at Orchard on Long – try the Hullabaloo, BitX office opening party in Loop Street – nice to see Carel and Maia, collected some Ultra loyalty points, got home – jumped in the pool (32deg day) – opened an AndUnion Unflt Lager, watched Ex Machina – long, but pretty good, Watched Burning Man – Beyond Black Rock – about Burning Man around 2003.
  • “When you get ready to go to Burning Man – as soon as you leave the door of your house you are at Burning Man.”

  • “Freedom lies in being bold.” — Robert Frost

  • The most important question in business is probably – would you like to work with that person again?
  • Why can’t you do it sooner?
  • First you need to master a set of skills, then find a passion that suits your skills. Who am I? What skills have I mastered? What is my passion?
  • Engineering is the only profession that creates things. The rest is support.
  • “In the pursuit of experiences beyond the mainstream.”

  • Get out of your comfort zone at least once a day.
  • “If you’re gonna exist, why not enjoy it.”

  • I want to do more things to inspire people.
  • Where do you meet cool woman anyway? – yoga? business school? trance parties? Caprice? Bubbly festivals?
  • Saturday, Headspace session 2 (I think I had a bit of a breakthrough with the meditation thing – hard to be sure), made breakfast, backups, inbox- rss- pocket- photos- notes- zero, gym, swim, a short visit to La Vie with Aiden (he was a bit fragile – not sure if it was sun stroke or that last night in Dublin), Steph Weiss, random tinkering and server upgrades.
  • I think it’s important to have some rituals that make you grateful for living in Cape Town… like a cold Steph Weiss on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
  • I enabled the Linode backup service for my Linode this week, seems to work well. I also switched from Xen to KVM, and finally upgraded Ubuntu to v14.04, with a bit of Dovecot IMAP upgrade pains.
  • This week about six people asked me Why I Don’t Use WhatsApp, so I wrote a post on the topic.
  • Stop using Ad Block Plus, start using uBlock Origin – for Firefox.
  • Tel Aviv has one startups for every 431 residents – if you believe the Wikipedia stats, Stellenbosch only needs 182 startups to match that.
  • What is the most important thing? Adventure.
  • Sunday, only the brave… woke up at 7:00ish, listened to some podcasts on the way to Riviersonderend – Sunday Vortex adventure (the lesser known text neck cure), must say – I kinda missed the sunscreen lathering up routine, very cool venue – river etc (see below), somehow I found Daniel and Tash and Samantha, very cool sunset drive home – to be honest – all in all a bit of a lonely day – but, that’s how (self contained) adventures go – nice to get out on the open road and spend a day in nature, Aiden phoned, quick shower at home, ended up at Caprice with Aiden, Dan, Emily, Chris and Nick – and enjoyed it – Caprice on a Sunday with Dan and Aiden – is, well, a one of a kind experience, there was this girl at the bar with an open back dress… wow (Alex).
  • Tune of the week: Rocket Man “And all this science I don’t understand. It’s just my job five days a week.”
  • I’ve been thinking that this recent breakup has actually been very good for me. Lots of learning. That, and podcasts. Good ideation time. I have no evidence to support this idea – but it feels like I’m becoming a bit wiser.
  • Re-watch and re-read. You pick up different things as you progress.
  • Nick says he swims with his Apple watch.
  • “Tony collects people.” — Burning Man 358 (the other 7 days he is at Burning Man)

  • Dan wants to do a podcast – that could be cool.
  • Has anybody actually loved somebody enough to stop a wedding?

Have a fun week, crazy kids.


Why I Don’t Use WhatsApp

A number of people have been asking me: why are you not on WhatsApp?

The quick answer is: don’t cross the streams!


I don’t like the idea that Facebook has access to my private conversations.

Facebook owns WhatsApp.

I use Facebook. I kinda like finding random things to read and seeing what friends are up to (even though I did recently switch off all notifications from Facebook).

Facebook is public, I choose to share (or not share) things there. Text messages are private – I don’t want to mix the two.

Don’t cross the streams…

Hmmm, ever stopped to think…

  • How does WhatsApp make money?
  • Why did Facebook buy WhatsApp?
  • Why does Facebook keep asking you to enter your mobile number? …maybe it’s for more than just “safety” reasons.

We all know: if it’s free you are the product, but it should worry you much more when you become a product where they have insight into your private communications.

I use Telegram. I really hope Telegram stays independent. I use iMessage. Please don’t send me Facebook messages, even though I will probably end up reading them.

I kinda use Twitter, but in a “write only” mode – I never read anything there, just too noisy. I use uBlock Origin in Firefox so I don’t see the lame Facebook ads (turns out Ad Block Plus is not cool).

I’ve never used Gmail, I try and avoid “the cloud”, I recently deleted just about everything I had in Dropbox. That’s just me.

Now you know.

Quick Update

There is no middle ground…

Wally's Cave
Wally’s Cave
  • Week of 23-29 November.
  • Not a health week at all – did not make it to gym even once. I think the coming week needs to be a health week again.
  • Monday, office, late lunchtime podcast walk, a beer with Anton at La Perla, early supper with Nick at Primi in Sea Point – we talked London startups, breakups and fasting.
  • “Forget that you are afraid.”

  • Note to self: eat more green leafy veg.
  • Tuesday, up early for a Lions Head walk with Grant – who I met at the gym – also a swimmer – also a breakup story (we were both at gym a bit too often), cool guy, bit of an adventure to find Wally’s Cave (see above) on the side of Lions Head, rad walk – bumped into Chantal, Jason and Adriaan on the way – busy morning on the mountain, office, sales person interview, lunchtime podcast walk, after work drink with Anton and Gys at The Radisson – chatted about an idea Anton has been thinking about for ages, Gys is a very cool guy.
  • I installed the WordPress OSX app and Jetpack plugin (for my WordPress.org blog). Pretty cool – but the HTML editing features are totally missing – will have to keep using the web interface for a while. I just like to see the html tags I guess.
  • Wednesday, TiTea, Anton dropped some keys off, catch up with Roger and David in Green Point, office, painful meeting with a building manager trying to do his own fibre cabling solution, stayed at the office pretty late, ended up finally doing some server migrations (moved all the stuff I still needed off the Gust Linode), migrated the TrustFabric website to my personal Linode (a bit rusty with the Python/Django tinkering, thanks for the pointers Werner) – I even managed to get two SSL websites running on the same IP without much effort.
  • “No artist tolerates reality.” — Nietzsche

  • Check out: Startup Playbook
  • Thursday, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime podcast walk, a quick nap at home, cocktail party at Aston Martin in the Waterfront, Thanksgiving dinner / housewarming at Cath’s new place in Gardens – tin foil hats, strawberry lips, pumpkin pie, Colmant and 80s music – nice chat with Niel, great desserts – thanks Cath.
  • Tune of the week: Journey – Don’t Stop Believin
  • Listen to episode 13 of the Tim Ferriss podcast – a very honest essay. Pretty short also. Productivity Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)
  • I’ve been a bit slack with the meditation. Morning routines seems to be a unique challenge.
  • “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself… that is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” — Neil Gaiman (of Stardust and Coraline fame)

  • I switched back to using iTerm2 – the OSX Terminal app was making me unhappy.
  • Who really has time for anything or anybody? I think the key is to see friends once a month and be cool with that.
  • Friday, office, some trench sharing letter writing, catch up with Nico and Naude in Stellenbosch, tea with Alex at Stomme Jonge, a visit to the municipality building, fetched Mia, failed attempt to see JM, a quick visit to The Thirsty Scarecrow, we drove to the top of the hill for a Chardonnay tasting at Uva Mira – always cool, we drove to the top of the other hill for a sunset supper at The Long Table / Haskell Vineyards (see below) – nice cheesecake, perfect afternoon with Mia, in bed early.
  • I kinda worked out why books have chapters… to motivate writers to write – units of progress.
  • Mia received two awards / certificates this week: best girls swimmer and most improved cricket player. She must have started showing some interest in cricket.
  • “Moenie worry nie AD, die Rand is so swak meisies trou nou weer vir liefde – my Ma” — Adrian, spotted on FB

  • F*ck That: A Guided Meditation
  • I’ve decided that I like writing. Now I just need to work out what to write about. I’ve been pondering writing essays. Some actual writing. Things people actually care to read – outside the realm of my 40 blog readers (-:
  • Mia finished reading all the Harry Potter books, she’s moved on to Nancy Drew. She finished a book over the weekend.
  • Saturday, slept till 9:00 – which was awesome, because I’d had three nights of not so great sleep in a row, backups, BIA machine visit – Mia lost 3kg from being sick recently, fresh juices and breakfast with Mia at Knead, shopping (Mia needed a new hair brush, hair bands etc – how do you lose a whole pack of hairbands? one a day I guess), frogurt, we watched Planes, Tranes and Automobiles on Netflix… classic movie – some great scenes, milk and chia smoothies, salad and Uva Mira Chardonnay, micro nap, I introduced Mia to Neil Diamond on the drive to a promenade walk – epic sunset – we talked about retaining muscle mass without gravity, how aliens might look in double or half our gravity and the benefits of meditation for kids, pizza at Posticino with Mia, Marc (of Obox/Layers fame) and Fran, bumped into Alan, very good Tiramisu… I might have a thing for Tiramisu.
  • Humans are strange. We cling to tiny bits of good in experiences, but we also focus on big bits of bad, uncertainty and stress in our everyday lives. Evolutionary bias towards fear. Basically we are programmed to eat too much and worry all the time. Pretty broken, really.
  • Alan says he keeps a flat in Sea Point – to escape the insular (snow globe) Stellenbosch vibes over weekends. Smart.
  • Life imitates AfrikaBurn.
  • I’ve been pondering the rarity of love. Tricky thing.
  • I need a haircut. This is the longest my hair has been since 1996.
  • Sunday, breakfast at Baked in Bakoven with Sanja and Mia – we chatted aB ARG design, Beta beach walk (my spiritual home / see below), bumped into Mark from Mxit days, milk and chia smoothie, showed Mia Vader Sessions – never gets old, epic nap, putt putt re-match – it was a tie again, promenade walk, long lazy afternoon at La Perla reading on the porch (mostly Nancy Drew and Paul Graham essays), I tried to introduce Mia to (white wine and saffron cream) muscles – she was not convinced – very good with some a Glen Carlou Chardonnay, catch up chat with Paul, made an attempt at cooking some healthy food for Mia.
  • If I put my laptop in the bread bin in the kitchen it works pretty well as a standing desk.
  • “Did you dry these in a rainforest?”

  • What if there was a drug to make people do things with passion? Hmm. I suspect the closest thing is cool people to work with.
  • I might need new/more friends. Should make more effort when meeting new people.
  • One day I’m going to read all the Paul Graham essays.
  • “It’s true that every great entrepreneur is first and foremost a designer.” — Extracts from Zero to One

  • “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” — Peter Thiel’s favourite interview question.

  • Start of my next health mission. Three weeks.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Haskell Vineyards
Haskell Vineyards
Little Beta Beach
Little Beta Beach