Quick Update

Feed me a stray cat…

Lions Head
Lions Head
  • Week of 15 to 21 August.
  • Monday, aqp water tests, office, sunset promenade walk listening to aquaponics podcasts, hacked my Raspberry Pi to rather use cron to run the pump – so it can run less at night time – it was keeping me awake – now I have a cool water feature alarm clock.
  • */30 7-21 * * * root /farm/pump.sh
  • Been listening to every aquaponics related podcast I can find. I’ve discovered the Visionary Aquaponics podcast, pretty cool.
  • I researched chlorine vs chloramine. Seems the best way to get chloramine out of the water is Vitamin C – and not the chlorine neutralising drops you buy at the aquarium place… if you plan to eat the food you are growing.
  • Tuesday, sunny day, podcast walk to the office, installed a speed test server (see fibre pic below), read a whole lot of browser tabs that had been open for too long – like 50, phone chat with Mia.
  • Good weather this week – did not use my car for three days in a row.
  • Pet hate – people who keep talking about something but never do it.
  • Octotel now has around 60 buildings live, 23 cars on the road.
  • I think I need to start getting into software development again. Finally started hacking on a Django project. Keen to learn Docker and Jenkins and some CI stuff soon.
  • Check out PostgresApp.
  • I think it’s important to remain a techie / hacker. Keep coding, kids.
  • I’ve been reading the book: Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. I see it was referenced here. Good read.
  • Wednesday, podcast walk to the office, strategy meeting and visited the office we’re about to move to (see above), automation project meeting, installed a speedtest server, breakfast for lunch at Kleinsky’s, sunset walk home, some photo processing, reading and blogging.
  • Be lazy like a fox.
  • Thursday, registered two domain names – after much head scratching, podcast walk to the office, mostly a sysadmin day, extended sunset promenade walk, did some reading about bio-char.
  • A friend recently commented that my life seems very full. Yeah, I guess. Maybe the trick is for your life to be full, but not busy.
  • What service business, which adds real value, can you build without needing people?
  • Friday, Mweb meeting, managed to get my network speed testing tools to work, went to Mia’s school’s Friday assembly, fetched Mia, we found some LECA, plants, seeds and coconut grow medium and Stodels – I’m becoming one of those people who like to hang out around big gardening shops, phone chat with Meiring, drove to Cape Town, washed the LECA while Mia planted the seeds in the coconut fibre grow medium – mint, red cabbage, dill, catnip, broccoli and brussels sprouts, dinner at Beluga with Mia, Wouter and Pieter – meh, the sushi was good, but bad value in general – what kind of a restaurant serves and adult portion ribs which does not fill up a 10 year old, ribs for ants?
  • Saturday, took Mia to her robotics academy – we chatted about high agency learning on the way – and the connection with the Maker movement and Burning Man, notes processing at Rosetta and Suprette, Granger Bay weekend market – the usual olive buying, found some Vitamin C to get the chloramine out of tap water (which ended up being pointless), put Mia to work on the aqp farm with my other billion little farm workers (bacteria) – we removed some marble chip pebbles (I was a dumbass and it was raising the pH) and filled up the grow bed with 100% LECA/hydroton – planted some red cabbage in the growbed – we replaced about 30% of the water – happy farm hacking day, we finished playing Day of the Tentacle Remastered.
  • The Woodstock Exchange… that hipster place which tech companies like for some strange reason – it has no parking and 60 wifi SSIDs but no free wifi. The Somerset West of the Cape Town tech ecosystems.
  • Sunday, aqp farm water tests – pH 7, NO2 and NO3 are off the chart, rainy day – so I collected some rain water, Mia started and finished DoTT again, the neighbour’s cat managed to kinda get trapped in the house because of the rain, Mia + cat + laser = good fun, fed the cat a can of tuna, some random mobility stretches just for fun, an early supper at Baccini’s – we chatted about building an automated multi-pet feeder and how to love learning, we had the required dose of Dark Toblerone and watched the 2nd half of 2001: A Space Odyssey – Mia said it was “the most boring and confusing movie she has ever watched”, the cat was back at 23:30 to wake me up – seems it just wanted to play – had to put it outside – it showed up again at 6:15 the next day, weird animals.
  • I was listening to Super Cool / Radio Lab this week and there was a moment where I experienced what I can only describe as a dopamine rush from the love of learning, eyes go all watery etc. I tried to explain this to Mia and made her listen to the podcast. I think she gets it. How cool is it that bacteria create snowflakes to travel!?
  • You are listening to podcasts right? Right?
  • Btw. you should not be eating tuna. Really. Mercury.
  • Your life is not a journey. Live for the now. Dance. Be like music.
  • Solving All the Wrong Problems.
  • Turns out Cape Town tap water contains good old vanilla chlorine, not chloramine.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Aquaponics is (also) the new Linux…

  • Week of 8 to 14 August… week #432.
  • Staycation week, felt like we had three Sundays in a row.
  • Monday, school holiday – so I also took the day off, tinkered with the aquaponics farm and took some water readings – pH went up a bit to 7.5, Mia played some Day of the Tentacle Remastered, device upgrades and backups, I hacked some cargo shorts to fit better, late lunch at Posticino’s in Hout Bay and some tiramisu with Mia, beach walk, Chardonnay and a mocktail at Dunes, beach walk around Beta Beach, catch up with Wouter – watched the sunset from the balcony with some Chardonnay, Mia finished writing a poem, watched 2001: A Space Odyssey with Mia – she complained in the beginning, but kept watching.
  • Tuesday, public holiday, farm check – plants seem happy, more DoTT, buffet lunch at Melissas in Kloof st – Mia played DoTT – I processed notes and photos and updated my blog – lots of tea involved, De Waal park walk, Gardens Centre, Green Point Park walk, promenade walk, Wouter cooked his signature green pasta – peas, basil etc, Mia created a blog for herself.
  • “…such a generous spirit, you’d be embarrassed to behave in a small way around her.”

  • Impressive how little garbage we have now that we recycle and compost. Obviously not being good consumers.
  • Wednesday, I made a fruit salad for Mia while she cycled the aqp farm, school run, gym, office, catch up with Eugene, Mia read a poem she wrote at the Eisteddfod – she was awarded a gold (medal?), aquaponics farm control system hacking with Michael and Luke – a bit of yak shaving – turns out relays like 12V – we managed to get the Pi to switch the relay on and off, some blogging.
  • I think I might be a gifted yak shaver.
  • Thursday, Titea, gym, swim, cold showers – I considered complaining about the cold water in the showers not being cold enough, office, milk and chia, found a 12V PSU at the hardware shop, exported some 2006-2009 iWeek photos – wow, feels so long ago, migrated a few months of photo masters to my external drive, 90GB backup, tinkered with the pump control relay – mega yak shaving.
  • “Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure.” — Tony Robbins

  • Remember why you started.
  • Friday, Titea, aqp farm water tests – NO3 levels looking very good, office, drove to Stellenbosch with Hilah, Trumpet Tree with Al and Hilah – bumped into Dawid – we’re planning to go to Oppikoppi next year, Balboa until they closed and then we stayed a while longer.
  • Saturday, Wouter fetched me from Al’s house, road trip to Bloutoring Plaas / Touwsrivier for John’s birthday weekend, managed to not shoot away any arrows in the lawn archery game, took a “nap” at about 17:00ish.
  • Sunday, woke up at 2:00, joined the birthday celebrations that were still going on, nap, road trip back to Cape Town – stopped at Die Veldskoen Padstal in De Doorns for breakfast, tinkered with my aqp farm control system – it now automatically floods twice an hour, a beer with Al at Van Hunks to wrap up the weekend, time well spent.
  • Some projects you just have to start with a beginners mind.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Moar Podcasts

Things you must listen to…


I recently ran out of (Tim Ferriss) podcasts to listen to and asked for some suggestions on Geek List.

In no real order, here are a few podcasts to try.

This is pretty much a dump of a mailing list thread for me to go search through when I work through all the aquaponics related podcasts I’ve been able to find.

  • This American Life
  • Serial
  • StartUp
  • ReplyAll
  • Revisionist History
  • MorePerfect
  • No Such thing as a fish
  • The Geek Show
  • Open Source
  • NPR Planet Money
  • Freakonomics
  • 99% invisible
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • Half Hour Happy Hour
  • NPR’s Invisibilia
  • Cracked
  • Radiolab
  • 99% Invisible
  • TED Radio Hour
  • Waking up with Sam Harris
  • Dan Carling Hard Core History
  • The Daily Maverick Show
  • The Documentary (BBC show)
  • The Economist: The Week Ahead
  • The Tim Ferriss Show
  • This Week in Tech
  • This Week in Startups
  • HBR Ideacast
  • The Bottom line – BBC business
  • Naked Scientist
  • Scientific American
  • Tara Brach
  • Design Matters
  • The New York Public Library Podcast
  • The One You Feed
  • Smart Drug Smarts
  • a16z
  • Foundation
  • FoundMyFitness
  • Bulletproof Radio
  • Nine Podcasts for a Fuller Life

Go for long walks and listen to podcasts.

Quick Update

Hack good art…

Bantry Bay
Bantry Bay
  • Week of 1 to 7 August.
  • Monday, measured the NO2 levels of the aquaponics farm – nothing yet, office, we looked at some new office space for Octotel (same building), installed Ubuntu server on an Intel NUC (Atom CPU / no moving parts), sunset walk towards Bantry Bay, cycled the aquaponics farm, phone chat with Ernst, veggie supper and a catch-up chat with Wouter, some blogging.
  • I started journalling on paper. Not sure if it’s much better than text files, but I think so.
  • “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.” — Mae West

  • Tuesday, Titea, gym, office, letterhead design session, closed a safety deposit box at the bank – kinda lost the key – it’s been 10+ years – so they wanted me to take it to a locksmith and bring back the box – hmm – not going to happen – after much debate they just gave me this big blue metal box, Octotel automation system design meeting, installed Raspian on a Raspberry Pi v1 (for the aqp farm), sunset walk towards Bantry Bay, cooked a roast chicken and roast veggies dinner, cycled the aquaponics farm.
  • Wednesday, Titea, national voting day / public holiday, took some water readings from the aquaponics farm pH (7.0), NO2 – Nitrite, NO3 – Nitrate (the stuff the plants like) – no bio filter activity yet, phone chat with Dan, breakfast with Wouter at Jarryds – we chatted about having more kids and the top diseases that kill people – coronary heart disease combined with smoking is the clear winner, drove to Camps Bay to go vote – fairly painless – 94.2% DA – listened to a Wim Hof podcast on the Joe Rogan show in the queue, phone chat with Ernst, hacked together some insulation for the aquaponics farm – cut up one of Wouter’s old yoga mats and used a healthy amount of duct tape – rewarding hack – I’m trying to get the water temp to 25+ degC on avg, sunset walk to Clifton.
  • When was the last time you built something? Designed it, built it, tinkered with it until you were happy? Good fun.
  • Nice read about cargo shorts …then your daughter gets a phone – and her phone also ends up in your cargo shorts all the time – just because it’s practical.
  • Thursday, office, finally managed to open a bank account for Mia (thanks Al), DFA meeting, watched Mia’s hockey and catch up chats with a few of the moms, early supper at W Cafe with Mia – we chatted about staying an artist and making good art, dropped Mia off at her gran’s house, podcast drive to Cape Town, processed some hockey photos, managed to get Python 3.5 and gpiozero running on the Pi – minimal yak shaving involved.
  • One of the moms at hockey asked if I’m seeing anybody and wanted to introduce me to one of her friends. Kinda awkward.
  • Hockey snacks have become: water, nuts, biltong and coconut chips. Deal with it.
  • Friday, Titea, gym, phone chat with Ernst, usual 3 lt of milk stop, office, fetched Mia from school, usual biltong stop, we found Mia the new Harry Potter book (no 8 – she finished reading it in one day), a visit to Netram in Century City – I must really like this farming control system thing to be going to Century City – got some temperature sensors, relays, LEDs etc, sunset promenade walk with Mia, Hussar burger with Mia.
  • I stopped my Apple Music service, was not using it.
  • Hmm. I somehow managed to remain FB friends with all my exes. Random thought.
  • Seems I really love podcasts. The selection of podcasts really exploded since 2014. If you are not listening to podcasts you are really missing out.
  • Humans need to be healthy, strong and creative. Wim Hof idea.
  • Listened to an interesting podcast with Tony Robins on the topic of human resourcefulness. Hacking. Walking through walls.
  • Saturday, robotics class, Communica – found more sensors and a digital pH meter, cocktails and mocktails at the Neighbourgoods market in Woodstock and fresh coconut water from a coconut – Mia loves these – chats about feminism and STEM education – Mia was the only girl in the robotics class, aqp tinkering with Michael – we started building the control system, took an Uber to Cath’s birthday party – lots of pizza and red wine.
  • Sunday, bought some lettuce plants and kale seeds to plant, Sheckters matcha flapjacks and a raw cacao jar (yum!), Mia planted the first plants in the aquaponics farm, Waterfront, I watched Suicide Squad – not bad – while Mia watched Ghostbusters – she really liked it (as much as I can chat STEM education for girls I could not see myself sitting through the remake of Ghostbusters, Willoughbys – Mia seems to operate chop sticks very well these days, gelato, I put 1kg of salt in the dishwasher – who knew dishwashers needed salt?
  • “Live in the future and build what seems interesting.” — PG

  • Tune of the week: Forget about what I said, The Killers
  • Make good art.
  • I still have not opened the big blue metal box.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Real flow, deep play…

Bantry Bay
Bantry Bay
  • Week of 25 to 31 July.
  • This post is two weeks late. I had 182 notes to process.
  • Monday, a crisp 8 degC school run, gym, cold showers, podcast drive to Cape Town, left the office after dark, another Georg birthday dinner at Hussar Grill in Mouille Point – end of a series of July birthdays.
  • Courage is the first virtue.
  • Software is eating the world.
  • Tuesday, TiTea – somewhat strange turmeric and matcha high after hyper ventilating, gym, a few cold showers, Strolla / #TableTopTuesdays with Max, Heleen, Pieter etc, very rainy day, office, phone chat with Mia, left the office after dark, watched a Vice video about Wim Hof – hurt really is a very strong motivator, read a chapter of a book.
  • Seems you really want to avoid sugar and Omega6 to prevent heart disease.
  • Wednesday, 24h fasting day, office, lunchtime swim, sunset walk, read a chapter of a book.
  • Thursday, office, Web Africa meeting, lunch with Dan at Rua, back and neck massage at Wembley Square, Wellness Warehouse – got some Metformin, Boron and Zink, Uva Mira tasting, office, I fed the neighbour’s cat some sardines (keto snack), strawberries and cream and a catch up chat with Wouter.
  • “Well, either boring or crazy, right?” — Nick

  • Managed to get a Metformin prescription, going to try a two week experiment.
  • Smart and interesting.
  • “Write in a trance. Act in a trance. Build in a trance.”

  • “We’re as old as our joints feel.”

  • Friday, TiTea, gym, bought the usual 3 lt of milk, office, Octotel automation system design meeting, Cool Ideas meeting, rushed home to meet our electrician, Vox meeting, an omelette for lunch with Paul, after work drinks on the roof and chats with Michael, phone chat with Ed, Van Hunks with Georg, phone chat with Ernst, Outrage of Modesty with Georg – some interesting cocktails, Aces.
  • Sharing is caring, but not so much in the fibre industry.
  • I figure I’m on a 10 year mission to keep feeling 30.
  • The best way to learn is to teach.
  • Saturday, played pool guy, bought some LECA / grow medium, visited Pet World and got some water test kits (pH, NO2, NO3), Builders Warehouse visit, phone chat with Mia, a steak at Nelsons Eye with Georg, watched Hearts of Darkness – making of Apocalypse Now… very good.
  • Sunday, some aquaponics farm hacking – washed the LECA and stones, added the filter and heater, added the NH3 (pee, yes – standard human pee), a pizza and tiramisu and white russians next to the fire at Posticino while reading an aquaponics book, phone chat with Mia, watched The Right Stuff.
  • I’m enjoying the farming – found myself around 2pm not knowing what the time was – still in my pajamas, tinkering with the aquaponics farm, real flow…
  • Aqp farm stats: pH was just over 7 – which is good. Next I’ll start measuring NO2 and then NO3 (which is what you want), water temperature was around 18 degC, needs to be higher. With a bit of luck I should have a biofilter (two types of bacteria) within 4 weeks – if we have enough sunny days, and then I can start adding plants and fish.
  • “In rare moments of deep play, we can lay aside our sense of self, shed time’s continuum, ignore pain, and sit quietly in the absolute present, watching the world’s ordinary miracles.” — Diane Ackerman

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Ketosis is the new Linux…

Sea Point
Sea Point
  • Week of 18-24 July.
  • Health week, 1/3.
  • I’m trying to see if I can do a 10kg transformation (muscle gain + fat loss) in 3 weeks. It’s a bit nuts, but let’s see.
  • Monday, podcast walk to the office, busy day, left the office after dark, phone chat with Mia, keto supper, some reading.
  • I think my t-shirt should say: hacker for good.
  • Tuesday, up early, TiTea, gym, visited the #TableTopTuesday crew at Strolla again – catch up chats with Max, Dave and Heleen, office – two interviews, haircut at Wim Coiffeur – probably the best haircut I’ve ever had – like something out of a Wes Anderson movie, sunset walk to Clifton, cooked a healthy veggie meal for Wouter and Zander, tinkered with a blog post, read a book.
  • At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive.
  • Wednesday, 24h fast day, swim, steam bath and cold showers, Lean Startup Coffee at Truth, catch up chat with Max and Max and Chregan at Origin, office, rainy day run back to my car, did some reading about co-living trends, I updated my Health Hacking posts.
  • Be fearless.
  • What are you hungry for? (not a food question)
  • By recording everything you are missing everything.
  • I’ve been trying a few different podcasts. I like Bulletproof Radio.
  • Thursday, office, interviews, updated the Octotel website and wrote a newsletter for the ISPs, we installed 100Mbps fibre for Pieter vH – he sounded super happy, dinner with the Treeshake Network at Mr Chan in Sea Point – cool group of people – Dave, Heleen, Johann, Tim etc – super geeky, always nice to be around smart people, good fun.
  • Dave had an interesting comment, he thinks it’s actually good to be a bit jaded with your day job.
  • Ketosis is the new Linux – I sat next to a guy who has been on a keto diet for 6 years – obviously a Slackware kinda guy.
  • INBOX ZERO! – it’s been a while.
  • Friday, TiTea with turmeric and matcha, gym, a few cold showers, office, I ran out of podcasts to listen to, fetched Mia, our usual biltong stop, drove to Cape Town, cocktails and mocktails and cheesecake at Strolla with Georg and Mia, Mia and I went to go see My Fair Lady at Artscape – all dressed up, good fun.
  • Saturday, Mia and I attempted to go and open a bank account for her again at Standard Bank – Thibault Sq – rocked up with all the right paperwork, but no – brain dead logic, matcha flapjacks with coconut blossom sugar and a raw organic cacao jar at Sheckters RAW organic – yum, BIA machine visit – Mia is now 156cm 46kg, device upgrades and backups, nap, Mia made a birthday card for Georg, we fetched Anton from Van Hunks, Georg’s 40th birthday party at Ricks with all the usual suspects, lots of fun, thanks Georg – happy birthday, time well spent.
  • Sunday, tea, Day of the Tentacle Remastered – such a cool game, sunny winters day, Mia watched old Hardy Boys episodes while Michael and I did some aquaponics hacking – we ditched the bell siphon idea and finished all the plumbing – works well now, I cooked a super healthy lunch with some keto mousse, nap, cocktails and mocktails and pizza with Georg and Al and George at La Vie, more keto mousse, we watched The Royal Tenenbaums again (and skipped a few scenes), Mia really liked it, kinda forgot to iron Mia’s school clothes – bad dad.
  • Fun weekend with Mia.
  • “I’m not talking about dance lessons. I’m talking about putting a brick through the other guy’s windshield. I’m talking about taking it out and chopping it up.” — Royal Tenenbaum

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Robotics, Wes Anderson movies and writing in bars…

Sea Point
Sea Point
  • Week of 11-17 July.
  • Monday, dropped Mia off at an EDRO robotics workshop in Woodstock with some left-over pizza as a snack – winning at this dad thing, office, fetched Mia from robotics, a healthy lunch at Suprette, sunset walk to Clifton with Mia, more Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, a drink at Caprice and more IJFA while I updated my blog, Col’caccio’s with Mia and Dan – we chatted farming and off-grid living.
  • Coffee is a drug.
  • Tuesday, Earl Grey tea with Mia at Superette, dropped Mia off at her robotics workshop, bumped into Dave and Max and had a chat at Strolla (TEN / Treeshake Network), office, fetched Mia, paleo lunch at Food Fitness Factory in De Waterkant and some plumbing supply shopping, tea with Eugene, some aquaponics tinkering with Michael – we added a snorkel to our bell siphon design – needs more work, Mia finished her Indiana Jones game – cool ending.
  • “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” — Leonard Bernstein

  • Wednesday, dippy egg soldiers with Mia at Superette, dropped Mia off at robotics, catch up chat with Max at Rise, Angelberry stevia froghurt around the Civic Centre, wayleave meeting at the City transport department, office, sunset promenade walk (10k steps).
  • You hunt, I’ll gather. I read this and I thought, somehow we’ve build a society where it does not make rational sense to have children.
  • Eight Hip Stretches That Counter the Effects of Sitting All Day
  • “By 2030, there will be a 40% greater demand for water than the supply of water available. We’ve got 15 years to solve the water problem.” — The businesswoman running 1,040 miles across 7 deserts for water

  • Thursday, podcast drive to the office, pastrami breakfast at Kleinsky’s at 13:00ish, had a Newlands Spring Passionate Blond craft beer at Savruga in the Waterfront – I sat at the bar and typed up this Mindful Hedonist article which I’ve been meaning to write for ages with a Drive movie soundtrack.
  • “The new needs friends.” — Anton Ego

  • Friday, up early, gym – seems my wrist has healed again, office, Mondiall burger with Jacques and Niel, vitamin shopping, after work drinks on the roof, back to the Savruga bar for some writing – when the barman start to know you…, Cape Town Club with Philippa and friends, Ricks with Al, Hilah and Josh, Van Hunks.
  • Paleo diets and multi-vitamins are so 2014.
  • “You think you’re looking for an opportunity, but that opportunity usually comes in the form of a person.” — It Takes a Village to Raise an Idea

  • What would your t-shirt say?
  • “Create meaning for people.”

  • Saturday, woke up at Hilah’s house, breakfast and Bloody Marys at Manna (the whitest place in Africa), took a walk down Kloof Street and had Porn Star Martinis at Asoka, we went on this mission to find Outrage of Modesty, House of Machines, Alexander Bar, dropped Hilah off, in bed early, watched The Royal Tenenbaums again – after listening to the soundtrack in the car over the last few days. Nice to hang out with Hilah, time well spent.
  • Sunday, super chilled day, sunset promenade walk with Paul, drinks at Winchester Mansions with Hilah and Paul, phone chat with Mia, watched Life Aquatic again.
  • Tune of the week: Paul Simon – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Birthdays and snow globes…

Winter Sunsets
Winter Sunsets
  • Week of 4 to 10 July.
  • Monday, my birthday, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime walk, quick catch up with Paul (who was having tea at our house when I arrived home) – somehow it felt like the end of a very long weekend, fixed my bicycle, took a sunset bike ride with Philippa along the promenade (my first cycle since I fell on my face at AfrikaBurn), we stopped for a drink at Strolla in Bantry Bay, dinner at Tash’s house with Philippa (Little Tel Aviv alpha female club) – chats about keto diets, birthday cupcakes with a candle to blow out – thanks! – had to cycle up the hill in the cold to get home – makes you feel alive I guess.
  • I might soon expand my dinner conversation past a) growing vegetables without soil, and b) eating only fats and protein.
  • Seven new people started working at Octotel this week, two in our office.
  • I bought some adventure games for Mia (and me) on Steam: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, LOOM, Day of the Tentacle Remastered, Grim Fandango Remastered, The Dig… all for ~R175. Bargain.
  • When We Were Kids – AfrikaBurn
  • “I want to be proud of what I do.” — Tash, about careers.

  • “Cocaine enthusiasts soft rock.” — Paul, about Fleetwood Mac

  • Tuesday, rainy day, podcast drive to the office, lunch special at Goloso with Pieter – we chatted innovation games, some blogging and red wine on a cold rainy night at Shin Thai, in bed early.
  • Wednesday, podcast drive to the office, catch up chat with Joseph, some aquaponics tinkering at home with Michael – Anton joined us, after I bumped into him on a promenade cycle – the new pump works much better.
  • Thursday, podcast drive to the office, Shrek flapjacks for lunch, fetched Paul, awesome Chardonnay tasting at Caroline’s in Strand Street – including four Grand Cru French Chardonnays, Paul’s birthday dinner at Hussar Grill in Mouille Point with Al and some great red wines.
  • I generally think I get a bit grumpy round about this time of winter.
  • Friday, some strange and interesting lucid dreaming, podcast drive to the office, interviews, a quick lunch with Paul, fetched Mia, we got some biltong, fetched Mia’s phone, a walk around Jan Marais Park in Stellenbosch – I figured I was a bit tired of the snow globe by the sea – so we should hang around the snow globe in the winelands for a while, a drink at Stomme Jonge, a drink at De Warenmarkt, calamari and tiramisu at De Cameron (old favourite) – a few interesting dinner questions, back to Cape Town, Wouter made hot chocolate, Mia and I played a bit of Grim Fandango, 11h sleep.
  • “If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future. If you’re at peace, you’re living in the present.” — Lao Tzu

  • “Bad decisions make good stories.”

  • Saturday, more Grim Fandango Remastered, Shrek flapjacks at Sheckters RAW organic gourmet with Mia (Matcha flapjacks), a sunny promenade walk – general Ward 54 snow globe thing to do on a sunny Saturday, I did some aquaponics tinkering while Mia played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis again – I managed to get most of the plumbing done after Michael dropped off some parts, another one of Paul’s birthday dinners at Charango in Bree Street – Mia took her laptop along and played more IJFA – the tuna tacos were really good, 11h sleep.
  • Nice hanging out with Mia. She’s cool.
  • Mia says her spirit animal is a chameleon.
  • Sunday, mid-winter summers day, tea, IJFA, I introduced Mia to Shazam and installed a few apps on her phone, lunch at The Camps Bay Retreat with Mia – she linked it – she forgot to save and had to play a big part of the game again – which I think was cool – she could have just quit, Al joined us for a beer, a walk around the garden with Mia, an epic nap, nice sunset, fetched some certified docs from the Camps Bay Retreat (which Al brought, and I forgot), pizza at Col’Caccios in Camps Bay with Mia – Mia preprepared four dinner questions and they were very good – including: What things did our civilization do wrong?, gelato, time well spent.
  • Tune of the week: The Prodigy – Stand Up

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Birthday weekend in Hemel en Aarde…

Sumaridge – Hemel en Aarde
  • Week of 27 June to 3 July.
  • Yeah, this post is late, had a bucket load of notes to process.
  • Monday, dropped Mia off at a school thing (she arranged a sleep over with a friend), gym, sauna, cold showers, podcast drive to the office, a walk around the Waterfront, a Newlands Spring beer at Quay 4, moules frites winter special at Den Anker with Paul – very good mussels and Belgium blonde beer, chats about how love needs to be a struggle and how Cape Town girls are probably too busy for dating because they are making cat suits at home, gelato, time well spent.
  • I finally caught up with listening to all the episodes of the Tim Ferriss show.
  • Sulking stems from a form of magical thinking.
  • “Be lesser, do more.”

  • “It’s profoundly counter-intuitive for us to think of ourselves as mad. We seem so normal and mostly so good to ourselves. It’s everyone else who is out of step… and yet maturity begins with the capacity to sense and, in good time and without defensiveness, admit to our own craziness. If we are not regularly deeply embarrassed by who we are, the journey to self-knowledge hasn’t begun.” — Alain de Botton

  • Tuesday, woke up at 3am in my work clothes – you would think I’m grown up enough to not do this kind of thing anymore, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime walk – found a heater for the aquaponics farm, ice cream sandwich from Crumbs & Cream, left the office after dark, winter special dinner at La Boheme with Gery, Wouter and Stephen… nice to see Gery – he still wears both his AfrikaBurn wristbands – nice Dorrance Chardonnay, tiramisu, time well spent.
  • “You have to enjoy your life. Life is an adventure.” — Gery

  • Wednesday, I was feeling a bit under the weather, coffee with Gery, dropped some stuff at storage and fetched Mia from the movies, aquaponics shopping at Builders Warehouse with Mia, got some biltong, storage visit, podcast drive to Cape Town, assembled two metal shelves for the aquaponics farm with Mia, we watched That Sugar Film… worth a watch.
  • Stephen suggested I look into stretching my pec minor muscles to relieve shoulder tension – so I bought a broom and started doing this in the morning. Works well.
  • S.O.L.H. – works well as a general disclaimer. It’s fine to change your mind.
  • Note to self: go get lost in Japan.
  • Thursday, dropped Mia off for a holiday programme outing – we worked through some interesting questions on the drive there, like – why it’s important to be calm and what it means to be reasonable, drove to Cape Town, interviews, lunch with Philippa at Simply Asia – we solved most of the world’s problems, Techstars Cape Town demo day at The Lookout, Techstars event on the 31st floor of the Absa building with Cath and Paul, Aces with Paul and Laura.
  • Two of my office photos ended up here.
  • Friday, drove to Hemel en Aarde valley with Paul, stopped for a springbok pie at Peregrine farm stall, braai with Al, Hilah and Paul – Al booked the same cottage as last year, birthday cake and candles – thanks!
  • Saturday, chocolate cake for breakfast with a Crowded House soundtrack, weekend market at Hermanuspietersfontein, wine tastings at Bouchard Finlayson and Sumaridge with Paul, Al, Hilah and Lientjie, awesome lunch at Creation – eight course food and wine pairing – Michael, the wine maker opened some of their flagship wines for us, Claus and Daniel (aka Sim City and Sim Farm) joined us for drinks at the cottage, Al opened two bottles of Graham Beck Cuvee Clive, fun evening.
  • The Bouchard Finlayson Chardonnays are nothing short of spectacular.
  • Note to self: book a house in Hemel en Aarde for my 40th. I still have not been to Spookfontein.
  • Sunday, took a morning drive with Al, wine tasting at Domain Des Dieux with an Edith Piaf soundtrack with Paul, Fleetwood Mac and Pearl Jam drive to Cape Town – chats about Point Break and a pretty scary story about how one of Paul’s girlfriends actually almost killed him, peperoni pizza at La Vie, phone chat with Mia, super weekend – time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

What nerds do on evenings and weekends…

Ocean View Drive
Ocean View Drive
  • Week of 20-26 June.
  • Monday, podcast drive to the office, aquaponics design chat with Michael, brunch at Kleinsky’s with Paul… Latke Benedict with actual bacon, sunset walk to Clifton and a phone chat with Mia, beginners yoga class at The Yoga Life – pretty cool – I can see why people like it (and the instructor was super hot), sardines and avo for supper.
  • In fact, the instructor reminded me of Mia’s mother a long time ago. Maybe if she kept doing yoga she would be less angry at the world now.
  • Wouter gave me one of his prototype yoga mats, one of only three in the world (-:
  • Note to self: watch a lot of Youtube clips about how all these yoga poses are supposed to work.
  • I’m kinda taking on more of a marketing role at work soon, should be fun.
  • Album of the week: Drive soundtrack.
  • Tuesday, took some photos of the office for an article, radio ads meeting, lunchtime walk, investor meeting, swapped a fish tank, tested the pump – I think I need a bigger one, reading and research.
  • Choose projects you can’t fail at, even if you fail.
  • Wednesday, TiTea with Turmeric, gym, swim, sauna, cold showers, office, lunchtime walk, Vumatel meeting, MFN meeting, some marketing campaign design tinkering, (hot room) power yoga at The Yoga Life with Hilah – very zen moment after the class was over – they played the music from the plastic bag scene – I think I can get into this, cooked an uber healthy veggie meal at home (which in theory I could all have grown in an aquaponics farm – except for the avo), tinkered with a name for a startup idea but kept getting stuck on a Blade Runner theme.
  • Tune of the week: The plastic bag scene.
  • Power yoga is not for sissies. That room is pretty hot.
  • “The courage of exploring vs. the commitment to staying.”

  • Seems fat + fructose causes resistance to hormones that regulate hunger and habit (your mind) trumps the feeling of being full, but a purpose/commitment and mindfulness works to avoid unhealthy food. It’s a mind game.
  • “Strong Opinions, Loosely Held.” — Marc Andreessen

  • “Cult and fringe …what the nerds do on nights and weekends.” — Marc Andreesen

  • I’m starting to think that if you want to build (technology) businesses, you don’t really want a woman in your life. I just find I get so much more useful thinking done. Love is not the answer. Art is.
  • Create new things. Experience new things.
  • Thursday, office, catch up breakfast with Gavin – mostly blockchain thinking, VoIP PBX meeting, chats about Soylent diets around the office, bumped into Dave D and took a walk around Bantry Bay with him, epic sunset as we left the office, Michael and I had some beer while operating power tools – to build a bell siphon for our aquaponics farm – we managed to get it working, I cooked another uber healthy supper to mimic what I can grow in an aquaponics farm (but swapped the tilapia for sardines), phone chat with Mia.
  • The Silicon Valley of hardware: WIRED’s Shenzhen documentary.
  • Friday, podcast drive to the office, fetched Mia from school – start of the school holidays, lunch at The Millhouse Kitchen at Lourensford with Mia – we had a chat about her school report, dentist visit with Mia – teeth feeling super clean, office, promenade walk with Mia, a drink at La Vie, pizza at Posticino’s with Mia and Philippa (who now has an office in our building) – we did the usual dinner questions – chats about meditation, what is happiness?, why touch typing from a young age is a good idea – and the balance between the courage to explore new things and sticking around, we picked up a selection of dark chocolate on the way home and watched The Last Star Fighter (1984)… wholesome sci-fi classic, Mia liked it.
  • Open plan offices can be pretty painful if there are 3 conversations going on at once.
  • He-Man coloured tea is overrated. I like my tea like a 3yo likes it. Milky and creamy, with pasture fed milk, in a bigger than usual cup.
  • My new theory is that the fat on top of the Camphill milk keeps it fresh. Seems to last 2+ weeks.
  • What are you most excited about? Which ideas would you die for?
  • Saturday, tea and reading, introduced Mia to the Headspace app, I explained bell siphons to Mia, Knead with Cath and Mia – we made some keto diet notes, Myog, BIA machine party at the Discovery shop, promenade walk with Cath and Mia – we chatted diets and app ideas, watched the rugby at Pastis with Dan and Claus and Mia – and played some Star Wars Top Trumps, watched My Fair Lady with Mia and Philippa – epic 3 hour classic.
  • “That’s my profession, also my hobby.” — My Fair Lady

  • Seems Gery is staying with us for a few days.
  • Sunday, tea and photo processing, breakfast at Newport Deli with Mia and Wouter, some blogging while we watched The Gremlins (1984)… Mia liked it, Mia watched The Goonies again – I motivated myself to finally (!) sort through my AfrikaBurn crates, sunset promenade walk with Mia, Wouter made a very nice Spaghetti alla Carbonara again, we watched The Gremlins 2, time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Tiramisu, fish tanks and Apocalypse Now…

School run
School run
  • Week of 13-19 June. Not really a health week.
  • Monday, school run, gym, blogging, city wayleaves meeting, I discovered an AngelBerry shop (froghurt) – try it, office, watched the Apple WWDC event.
  • I think I’ll wait till September to get an Apple Watch 2.
  • “Embody what you want your children to embody.”

  • “Fancy gets broken.”

  • “Don’t be afraid to show your scars.”

  • My face seems to be healing pretty well.
  • Tuesday, breakfast with Elan of SleekGeek fame at Sotano (try the Mediterranean breakfast), civil engineering meeting, catch up chat with Dan, ISP meeting, winter burger special at Engruna with Pieter – we chatted innovation districts and connecting academia and startups, tiramisu.
  • I bumped into Allan. He said my fasting blog post changed his live. Cool.
  • “Fewer, better things.”

  • Winter has arrived in Cape Town.
  • Tell me about the thing you are most passionate about?
  • Wednesday, up early, TiTea with Matcha and raw cacao, gym, swim, steam bath and cold showers, podcast drive to the office, breakfast with Nick – we chatted health apps, some aquaponics tank and grow bed shopping with Michael, watched 24h party people… amusing.
  • My Instagram feed is now CC BY-NC-SA, just because.
  • Octotel signed up another 12 buildings this week.
  • How Romanticism Ruined Love.
  • “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” — Robert A. Heinlein, not that I agree with this, but it seems to be true.

  • Thursday, public holiday, pet shop and hardware store visit, watched Apocalypse Now (for the first time!)… epic 3 hour movie – how have I not seen this before?, winter special at Goloso (Wouter had a Tinder date over for dinner), tiramisu and some blogging and photo processing.
  • What is your theme for 2016? It’s probably something you’re already busy with. I’m thinking: health, food and fibre.
  • Keto tiramisu would be cool. Hmm.
  • Plans are in motion to build a small aquaponics farm. Michael and I are finally getting around to it.
  • Thought while watching Apocalypse Now: Get together, get things done, get weird, get outside, experience new things, find adventure.
  • “What good is a story without zigs and zags?”

  • Would it sound weird if I say – my life feels strangely together. Might need some misadventures soon. I need to Forest Gump my way into some new and interesting things.
  • Note to self: get a dog, at some point. Go to Midburn – or Nowhere next year.
  • Friday, podcast walk to the office, I have a new desktop monitor – pretty cool, got a fish tank pump and some clear pipe, fetched a box of Ethical Co-op stuff, after work beers on the roof terrace and chats about aquariums and fish, some aquaponics book reading and notes making.
  • New desktop monitor: LG 25UM57, 25inch UltraWide, 21:9 aspect ratio, reasonable price and the pixel size is pretty good.
  • Fasting Diets Are Gaining Acceptance.
  • “Just because it’s futile does not mean it can’t be fun. Just because you love something doesn’t mean you can’t suck at it.” — Mike Rowe

  • Seems connective tissue takes 6 months to regenerate – explains why my shoulder and wrist are not back to normal yet.
  • How often do I journal? Hmm. I never really stop.
  • Saturday, breakfast at Loading Bay with Wouter and Zander – Zander and I hung out while Wouter fetched yoga mats, I made some Matcha lattes with the most groovy milk in the universe – it even comes in glass jars – Wouter was unimpressed, some notes processing, a Guinness at Ferrymans – watched about 30min of the rugby, a Newlands Spring Passionate Blonde at Sevruga (undercover SAB craft beer – very good – try it), watched The Nice Guys at the Waterfront… good movie – one for the Ryan Gosling fan club – the (flawed) father / daughter theme was cool, a Martini at Mondiall – try the fish tacos – most excellent, tiramisu at Balducci’s.
  • “2 x Milk, Cow, Full Cream, Raw 1 litre *PET MILK* (in glass jar) – Camphill Dairy (R25.00 each)”

  • Pro tip: show up 15min late for movies – skip the ads.
  • Yak Shaving. Wouter likes to use this lingo.
  • “That is the way to learn the most when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.” — Albert Einstein

  • Sunday, rainy day, notes processing and research, TiTea, gym, swim, sauna, massage – neck and shoulders needed it, nice to see Ingi, some Giovanni’s shopping with Wouter – fresh pasta etc, Wouter made an epic Linguine alla Carbonara with real pancetta and Boschendal free range eggs, Paul brought some wine… Neil Ellis Chardonnay and Shiraz, time well spent.
  • I’ve started a Telegram group to get a few people testing my keto diet ideas.
  • Tune of the week: Ride of the Valkyries.
  • What have you done that’s new and interesting in the last year?
  • Ok, so… I’m off to my first yoga class now, bye.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Fasting week…

  • Week of 6-12 June.
  • Health week 2/5. My 4th fast, pretty easy this time actually, water and green tea.
  • 10k steps every day this week.
  • I started the week at 86.1kg and was 82.2kg on Friday.
  • Monday, Matcha TiTea, school run, gym – my wrist is better – a cold shower or two, found a Thule Atmos X4 iPhone6S case – I can now drop my phone from about 2m, office, lunchtime walk, green tea, left the office after dark, watched this very hippie movie.
  • Tuesday, office, city wayleave meeting, Mweb meeting, sunset podcast promenade walk.
  • “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” — Johan, city wayleave meeting.

  • Wednesday, swim – more like a stretching session and a meditation, steam bath and cold showers, podcast drive to the office, found Mia an iPhone5S – she wanted a white one – very specific about the specs – small hands etc – bit of a delayed birthday present I guess, wayleaves meeting, lunchtime walk, pet shop visit, sunset promenade walk.
  • I figured out I had bought an old model Atmos X4 case and asked for an updated design case. Thule was really quick in responding. Good service.
  • My DebConf bio… Lives in Cape Town. Types Dvorak. Uses Mutt. Enjoys Studio Ghibli movies, Campari, and Chardonnay. Teacher of self. Student of life. Geek of health.
  • Octotel added 11 new buildings this week – landowner consent agreements. The new business dev team is doing well.
  • I seem to hover around 5mmol/l ketones when fasting, day 2 onwards.
  • Sitting on about 15k vitality points so far, only 15k to go.
  • “Walk through walls.”

  • 13 Virtues of Ben Franklin.
  • Thursday, office, catch-up chat with Sarah at Workshop 17, researched BIA machines, sunset promenade walk and a phone chat with Ernst, some blogging at home.
  • Naulene seems to have just stopped all communications for a week, which kinda makes it hard to plan school things for Mia. Some people…
  • I made it to March 2015 with the TimF show, almost up to date.
  • Friday, Matcha TiTea, swim, steam bath and cold showers, office, catch-up chat with Greg – pondering getting a BIA machine for the office, did a SIM swap for Mia, fetched Mia, we went on a bit of an adventure to find Philippi Village, bit of a detour getting there – pretty farming area in general, the Philippi Village building is pretty cool – library etc, found the aquaponics farm, I had to phone Pieter to get directions – turns out they changed the sign outside Technopark because I complained about the font – funny enough, I actually drove by there recently thinking – thank goodness they changed that font at the entrance, Mia and I had sliders at Hudsons in Green Point – my first meal since Sunday – walked out of there pretty stuffed, gelato, in bed early.
  • Hyperventilating in a cold shower after five days of not eating. Makes you feel alive. Try it (-;
  • “Cultivate empty space.”

  • Saturday, woke up at about 5:30 for some reason and figured this is a good time to upgrade my main Linode to Ubuntu 16.04, also upgraded to php7, a device upgrade and backups party, we tried to open a bank account for Mia at Standard Bank but they had some brain dead FICA rules – yeah, this ten year old is a big threat – muppets, breakfast with Wouter at the new Baked in Sea Point… not bad, got a new Thule phone screen cover (thanks Richard), Mia and I went to the Waterfront to print her photography competition entry photo (A4) and find her a new phone cover, watched the SA vs Ireland rugby game at Newlands with Pieter and Mia – good fun, Mia’s first live Springbok rugby game, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s and some tiramisu.
  • It seems some girls are cool enough to want to go to rugby games.
  • Mia seems happy with her new phone. I added a podcast or two for her to get into.
  • Sunday, up pretty early again, a bit more sysadminy work – fixed a very annoying mosh segfault issue and had a quick intro to systemd in the process, Zander’s 5th birthday party, a walk around the Waterfont with Mia, kinda got stuck at the L’Occitan shop again, an extended Sunday lunch at Bulducci’s with Mia and Paul, gelato and a stroll around the harbour, sundowners at La Vie with Mia, Hilah, Paul and Al, watched Sneakers with Mia – with some dark Toblerone, time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.