Quick Update

Joe 5.0…

Moon and star
Moon and Signal Hill star
  • Week of 19-25 January.
  • Monday, tea, photo and notes processing, weekly backups, nap, bumped into Paul in Vredehoek, blogging, Michael came to fetch the aquaponics book.
  • Tuesday, last day of Mia’s school holidays, dropped off a laptop, fetched Mia, we found her some new school shoes (size 4) and tekkies (only had to visit 5 shops), scones with jam and cream, music appreciation drive with The Cure and Roxette, wine tasting at Glen Carlou, a swim, a walk and a very recently harvested mostly Chardonnay tasting from stainless steel tanks in Franschoek with Nikki, dropped Mia at her gran’s house, Mia was a bit sad that school is starting, but I figure she needs to get swimming again, nice sunset drive back to Cape Town, Georg made me watch some Homeland S4 – so we did some Cape Town scene spotting, nice day.
  • Writing Your Way to Happiness
  • Wednesday, Mia’s first day in grade 3, meeting in Sea Point, swim, took my bicycle for a service, afternoon at the Batstone pool on the roof of the Cape Quarter mall… nice space, Modern Alchemists Meetup at Miao in De Waterkant… I kinda like De Waterkant, Georg gave me a lift home, swim, broccoli salad, a drink at Carlyle’s, found some dark chocolate M&Ms at the party-Engen.
  • “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh, Zappos founder and CEO

  • Pro tip: it might sound like a good idea to take the December holiday to work out what you want to do next, but financially it’s not that smart… that scene from Rushmore with Bill Murry underwater in the swimming pool.
  • Thursday, drove to the office via Kloof Nek road, first day on the new project… can’t tell you much about it yet, but there are nice sea views from the office and 100Mbps internet, sunset Promenade walk, a quick salad and a ginger shot with Cath at Plant Cafe… funny – seems like as I’m getting off the tech startup kool-aid fuelled hamster wheel – Cath is getting on, a swim at home.
  • I managed to figure out what I want to do this year – and what I don’t want to do. Maybe chasing the crazy tech startup stuff is not the best route… maybe having some stable running project, with a venture builder model on the side makes more sense.
  • Joe 5.0 – depending on how you count, today was the start of my fifth job/career cycle. 1) Two jobs in Stellenbosch, 2) two jobs in Cape Town, 3) the Frogfoot, Amobia and Teraco days, 4) then the TrustFabric and Gust Pay days. The new project actually has a product people understand and want and soon it will have customers and employees, very refreshing.
  • Friday, work – employee number one, a walk around Sea Point, Hilah’s birthday drinks at Up Yours (rooftop bar above Yours Truly) in Kloof Street with Paul, Claus and Janey, a drink at Yours Truly, grabbed a slice of New York Pizza, 31deg heat after 22:00, a swim at home, woke up at 2:00 and took another swim.
  • Claus suggested I make a presentation for Mia about after school activities and things she can learn and what she can do with them… career paths etc. Choir vs robotics vs touch typing vs drama class.
  • Saturday, fetched Mia, minor dentist disaster – had to go find one after 13:00 on a Saturday – sense of humour failure about Naulene not communicating things again, drove to Franschoek with Mia, swim, afternoon walk, 22yo French Chardonnay.
  • “Same shit, different Friday.” — Paul

  • Sunday, swimming, AfrikaBurn theme camp registration (creative writing) – managed to get 22 creative crew tickets, moar swimming, afternoon walk, picked some figs, dropped Mia off at her gran’s house – Mia borrowed the Roxette / Look Sharp CD *grin*, nice drive home, pizza at Carlyle’s with Georg and a triple whiskey Dom Pedro, watched some of The Campaign again.
  • “Can’t is a real C-word.” — The Campaign

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Spaceship Earth…

Sea Point
Sea Point
  • Week of 12-18 January.
  • Monday, tea, cleaned the house with Mia and Francis to the tune of some Sisters of Mercy (after Jacques recently reminded me how we used to listen to them on Scuba trips), dropped Mia and Francis at their mom’s house (after spending 10 days with Mia), meeting, Caffe Neo, nice sunset Promenade walk, swim at home, broccoli salad, watched Gone Girl with Georg… meh.
  • Tuesday, lunch at The Red Sofa cafe in Vredehoek, Al’s birthday drinks at Van Hunks with Lientjie, Hilah and Georg, fun evening.
  • “To not give a fuck about adversity, you must first give a fuck about something more important than adversity.” — from here

  • “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

  • I sometimes look at older blog posts or my personal website from long ago and I think, who was that guy? This kinda explains it…

    20-Year-Old Hunter S. Thompson’s Superb Advice on How to Find Your Purpose and Live a Meaningful Life…

    “The tragedy of life is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid.

    When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It’s not the fireman who has changed, but you.

    Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.

    So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day?”

  • Wednesday, took out the garbage – because like this blog, it needs to happen once a week, swim, found a lock for my bicycle (thanks Mia) and cycled to The Yard for some pulled pork tacos and a beer and a Deluxe latte… hipster yum, cycled through the Company’s Gardens and had a cool idea for a treasure hunt game, booked a (free) bicycle service, haircut at Yogi’s… cool guy, told me the story of how the shop has been in the family for four generations, nice haircut, tried to find Bullion bar, but failed, cycled up Long street and stopped for a fresh juice at Orchard, cycled up the hill back to Vredehoek in probably 36deg heat, swim and another swim, braai at home with Georg, Excelda and Karla.
  • I think I’d like to do more than one project this year – doing just one thing is risky. It’s nice to have a primary project, but also nice to have some interests developing in parallel over time.
  • Which Wes Anderson Movie Are You?

    I’m Fantastic Mr. Fox.
    “Animated and wild, you’re loved for your crazy antics and out-of-the-box ideas. You always come in at the last minute to save the day and would do anything for your loved ones. Although your sense of curiosity can sometimes get you in trouble, you’re always able to solve every problem in the end. The bottom line: You truly are fantastic.”

  • I’m starting to think Mia should get her own blog.
  • Thursday, came up with a name for a new business, some Carrier Ethernet research, processed some notes, a long walk up to the King’s Blockhouse and back to the Murray & Stewart Quarry, bumped into Mantooth, wrote a long sad retrospective email, watched Fight Club again with the knowledge that Bob and Marla don’t exists… so Jack Durden was basically dying of cancer and invented three personalities? The Paper St house does not exist, Project Mayhem does not exist.
  • “Prepare to evacuate soul.” — Marla

  • “Welcome to the 21st century, Buck Rogers.” — from This is the End.

  • Friday, business meeting, breakfast in Camps Bay, early supper with Nikki at Plant Cafe… great salads, a G&T at The Mother’s Ruin gin bar… not bad, a drink at Hilah’s place, Aces ‘n Spades with Nikki, Hilah and Paul, until they closed, loads of fun, as always.
  • How to have a happy life… only keep good memories. I think this was one of Jacques’ theories. I can look at my TV screen saver for a few minutes and think the last two years have been awesome – easy to forget the hard and bad parts with a few photos of good memories.
  • “Whenever I draw a circle, I immediately want to step out of it.” — Buckminster Fuller

  • “You must choose between making money and making sense. The two are mutually exclusive.” — Buckminster Fuller

  • His life, he said, was an experiment.

    When he was 32, Buckminster Fuller’s life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, Buckminster Fuller contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Buckminster Fuller embarked on “an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity.”

  • Saturday, swim, veggie burgers for lunch at the OZCF market at the Zille Villa with Nikki… nice new layout, nap, swim, a drink at Chris’ birthday braai.
  • Sunday, lunch at Malu’s in Noordhoek with Nikki, Hilah and Paul, shucked my first oyster, home made burgers with anchovies and jalapenos in the burger meat, yum, nice sunset drive back via Chapman’s Peak, drinks and pizza at La Vie with Aiden, Camilla (who is going to be living in Tanzania for 6 months from the end of the month), Nikki, Georg and Excelda, watched Interview with a Vampire again.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

A magic 8 ball kinda week…

Glen Beach
Glen Beach
  • Week of 5-11 January.
  • Monday, rainy day – last day of holiday, Mia did some Dvorak touch typing training and watched an (un)healthy amount of Clone Wars, I found Naulene’s last letter to me and read it again – I understand it now – it made no sense at the time, took Mia for a fairly long walk around Vredehoek, bumped into Milton, broccoli salad for supper, helped Mia find Wally a few times in her Where’s Wally book.
  • Life seems really full compared to ten years ago – I was looking at the rate at which I create photo albums and it feels like there are so many more events in a year.
  • Tuesday, up at 6:30, tea, Mia watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom again, shook a magic 8 ball about a tricky decision – it said: “Forget about it”, swimming at gym with Mia – she did a 26sec 25m butterfly, dropped Mia at her mom’s house – for Francis’ birthday party, I told Naulene I read her last letter again and gave her a hug, a beer with Michael and Jordan at Rick’s, watched When Harry Met Sally again with some Moreson Cabernet Franc – must have seen the movie about 10 times and only now I see the 2nd relationships theme.
  • No more GUST.
  • So many movies Mia needs to see when she turns 13.
  • “…or C, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy.” — When Harry Met Sally

  • Marla and Bob are not real.
  • Wednesday, walked to the gym (for the first time), admin and emails, first 1km swim of the year, phone chat with Ernst, Devil’s Peak area walk with Georg, a beer and a swim at home.
  • Remember, everything has already happened.
  • I’m very keen to build an aquaponics farm in 2015.
  • Weeks like these you go back to your startup-ideas.txt file.
  • I started thinking up names for startups 11 and 12 this week, maybe even 13.
  • Thursday, fetched Mia and Francis, they decorated some biscuits with icing, we watched some old Asterix and Obelix movies, some aquaponics research, marathon hair washing and hair drying and detangling session with the girls.
  • I’ve kinda stopped using the ringtone on my phone.
  • Friday, watched Paddington with Mia and Francis at the Waterfront – pretty good, lots of familiar London sights – there was a line in the movie ~”it took my heart a bit longer to arrive” – kinda made me think that it takes a while to get used to London and the culture and feel at home there, Deer Park afternoon with Jonathan, ice cream, King’s Craft beer, burgers, nice day, picked up some dark chocolate on the way home, chair races, bath, read, sleep… had an idea for Gust at around 1:00 and could not sleep for an hour.
  • Saturday, a failed outing to the Oranjezicht City Farm market at the Zille Villa – only starts next weekend, I made us my own version of the Daily Deli Full Monte for brunch at home, swim, Moreson Chardonnay and Rummy Cub – Mia cheated and made up her own creative rules, Francis was smart enough not to play, nap, very nice afternoon on Little Beta Beach with Mia, Francis and Georg and some Moreson bubbly – Mia kept two hula hoops going at the same time – very impressive, broccoli salad while watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull… that atomic bomb scene is pretty cool, watched Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, bath, read, sleep for the girls, watched The Interview… entertaining, that Katy Perry tank scene is hilarious.
  • Never thought I’d say this, but I’m tired of holidays and G&Ts for now.
  • Sunday, Deer Park with Mia, Francis, Wouter and Xander, fresh juice at the Erf81 market in Tamboerskloof, had a nice Matilda soundtrack sing-along down Kloof road with Mia and Francis (who also knows the words now), nice braai and a swim at Wouter’s house in Bantry Bay with his sisters and their kids, Clifton 4 to 1 beach walk and back, Glen Beach and awesome sunset Camps Bay beach walk, watched some Cosmos at home with ham and pineapple pizza for the girls, bath, read, sleep, great day.
  • Nice read: “I don’t want to start another company until I find a problem that I care about.”
  • How to fall in love.
  • Tune of the week: Katy Perry – Firework

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Half the perfect world…

La Motte
La Motte
  • Week of 29 December 2014 to 4 January 2015.
  • One more post in a series of slow, and let’s face it, pretty boring blog entries. I’ll try find some more interesting things to do and write about soon.
  • Monday, fetched Mia and Francis, watched Big Hero 6… nice movie, Vergelegen play area visit, Bikini Beach and a walk around the harbour with Jacques – 2nd time he’s seen Mia, fish and calamari supper at Harbour Lights, dropped Mia and Francis off at Naulene’s house.
  • Tuesday, great lunch and wine tasting at La Motte with Nikki, drove to Cape Town while listening to Pachelbel’s canon (Mia hates it) and had a late afternoon nap, Georg woke me up with braai meat for dinner.
  • Wednesday, gym, swim, NYE braai at home with Georg, Al, Jacques, Marietjie, Dan, Wouter and Michael John, perfect wind-still summer night, memories of listening to Depeche Mode 101 (Everything Counts), Wouter poking his digital thermometer in the braai meat and watching the fireworks display from the Waterfront.
  • I took (only) ~4100 photos in 2014 – but, there are some good memories: Death Star Lego building, leaving Stellenbosch, Seedstars World in Geneva, the Guinness factory visit in Dublin with Jacques, Mia winning the best swimmer trophy in her grade, many Cape Town walks, visits to Betties, Rooiels, Hermanus and a Hemel and Aarde Valley wine tour, Mindstorms EV3 Lego building and programming, watching Swan Lake and The Sound of Music with Mia, many hockey match and swimming gala visits, Bakoven and Clifton sunsets, new house in Oranjezicht and many weekend market visits, Sea Kayaking, Chardonnay Festival, 8 days at AfrikaBurn – and Mia’s learning to ride a bike at AfrikaBurn, Kalk Bay weekend, Cederberg weekend, two weeks in Joburg with Ernst and Anton, Techstars in London, BST in Hyde Park, Science Museum IMAX with Mia, watching Matilda, Oxford visit with Jacques, Greyton holiday, many Lions Head walks, new Vredehoek house and housewarming party, Guy Fawkes fireworks in London, visits to The Camps Bay Retreat, Ellerman House, Babylonstoren, Lourensford and Vergelegen, The Lumineers at Kirstenbosch, best man at Ernst’s wedding in Joburg… and all the events I forgot to take photos at.
  • Thursday, pool time, big nap, made bloody marys with Jacques, watched (about 1/2 of) Thor… uber lame.
  • Friday, up early, Jacques started his travels back to London, fetched Mia, watched The Cat Returns, pizza for supper.
  • Jacques’ week in Cape Town was good fun. Thanks for taking all those photos Jacques.
  • Saturday, swimming, Dan fetched my mountain bike, watched Flash Gordon, watched Hal’s Moving Castle and Whisper of the Heart again, pizza for supper again.
  • Sunday, more swimming, Lions Head walk with Mia and Nikki (Mia: 4, Nikki:1), burger in a bowl for supper, nice (Ghibli movie) weekend.
  • Tune of the week: Everybody’s Talking by Madeleine Peyroux, from the Half the Perfect World album.

Have a fun 2015, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Jacques in Cape Town and a Beta Beach visit…

Little Beta Beach
Little Beta Beach – Joe the dassie
  • Week of 22-28 December. Another holiday-mode post…
  • Monday, a salad at Caprice with Georg, nap, a two hour Table Mountain walk above our house, great weather, beautiful sunset, a seared tuna steak at Sidewalk Cafe with Georg, we watched some Team America again, babies don’t sleep this well.
  • Tuesday, tea and conversations about Fight Club, last needed gym visit to keep my Vitality Diamond status (just in time – would probably have been very easy if I was not in London for four months), a walk around the Cape Town CBD… walked through the Company’s Gardens, had a Guinness at Twankey bar, walked up Long Street, had a burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, walked through De Waal Park, a swim in the rain, rediscovered the 4 Hour Body book, watched Rushmore again… love that movie, great day.
  • Wednesday, tea, afternoon braai with Georg… medium-rare rib eye steaks and salad (no braai broodjies), 4 hour nap, watched the Simpsons episode with Michael Jackson, blogging and photo processing, finished reading the aquaponics book at about 2:30 and finally managed to fall asleep.
  • Maybe Interstellar is one big aquaponics advert. It’s very lame that a key part of the plot is that the corn will die.
  • Feeling really rested, nice. Have not used my car since Saturday.
  • Tune of the week: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
  • Thursday, rainy xmas day in Franschoek.
  • Friday, swim, Chardonnay tasting, (Milan) burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s with Georg, Jacques and Marietjie arrived in Cape Town at 22:00ish.
  • Strange time. For all the confusion in one part of my life – I’m very happy with the other.
  • Saturday, Jacques (the paleo house husband) cooked us breakfast on his gas braai, wine tour day with Jacques, Georg and Marietjie: Villiera, Simonsig (good value Chardonnay) and Beyerskloof, braai at home.
  • Sunday, Jacques made us brunch, very nice Beta Beach afternoon – mostly Little Beta Beach (see above) – love that beach, Van Hunks, drinks at home with Al, Paul and Hilah, fun evening.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Oh, the places you’ll go…

  • Hmm. Could not really find a photo for this week – holiday mode I guess.
  • Week of 15-21 December. Week with Mia.
  • Monday, fetched Mia, dropped off the wedding suit, took Mia for a dental check-up.. tip-top, gave Georg a new equally heavy phone to configure out, nap, watched The Pirates again, bath time, broccoli and hard streamed egg whites for supper, watched Cars 2… not too bad.
  • Tuesday, public holiday, breakfast at Sidewalk cafe with Georg and Mia, Mindstorms Lego programming… we made the EV3 robot walk around the house and turn when getting near things, braai, watched Tin Tin again, processed and published more wedding photos, nap, watched The Hudsucker Proxy… very good.
  • Startup ponderings this week: Building a product business is hard and needs investment, often lots of investment. It’s foolish thinking you can bootstrap some businesses. Also, maybe I was not really ready to leave Cape Town.
  • Wednesday, made Mia breakfast and we played with her Star Wars cards, swimming coaching at gym… mostly breast stroke, we visited Haarlem and Hope in the Company’s Gardens, Mia played with her Lego train set, Hugo, Judy, Wouter and Paul came over for drinks, I made Mia some swiss chard and brussels sprouts for supper and we watched The Incredibles again… such a great movie – oddly, it seems she likes the brussels sprouts more than the swiss chard.
  • Mia is now 8.7yo, 142.5cm, 39.1kg, shoe size 5. Gained about 5kg and 5cm this year. Naulene is 177cm.
  • Thursday, filling up ice trays seems to be serious business at this time of year, we watched Deep Space Homer again… great episode, breakfast with Mia and Georg at The Red Sofa Cafe (on the Vredehoek / Derry St strip) – more Star Wars card games, Mia read Oh, The Places You’ll Go to me – and then I showed her the Burning Man video, introduced Mia to a Dvorak typing tutor app and got her to read the DVzine comic, swimming coaching at gym… mostly freestyle and butterfly, Georg braaied a nice fillet steak, swimming, more Dvorak typing, we watched Blades of Glory again… always good fun.
  • Mia’s best 25m freestyle time is still 22sec. Butterfly improved to 27sec.
  • After two 10min Dvorak typing sessions Mia could do about 10wpm (home row only). I guess it’s not that hard if you start from scratch, unlearning Qwerty is the problem. The fastest typist in the world types 212 wpm using Dvorak.
  • Friday, tea, vitamins and touch typing, some dry land swimming training with Mia’s rubber exercise band and swiss ball, Francis came to visit for the day, swimming, we watched Deep Space Homer again.
  • Saturday, Love & Light mission with Paul – my 7th Love & Light I think, great fun as always, we had drinks at home with Hilah and Georg.
  • Sunday, swimming, braai, watched About Time again and cried like girl.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

ERnst and Lisa’s wedding weekend…

Pocket square
Pocket square
  • Week of 8-14 December.
  • Monday, a walk through the Company’s Gardens, AfrikaBurn theme camp planning meeting at Royale Eatery… good fun, uncomfortable new seats (booths on the bottom floor).
  • Tuesday, GUST meeting, gym, swim, minor snag in our AfrikaBurn theme camp planning, worked on my best man speech, braai at home with Georg, Judy and Hugo… Georg made some interesting points about how the modern man looks after himself.
  • Wednesday, braai meat for breakfast, gym, 1k swim, nice chopped salad at Wellness Warehouse with a big spoon of chilli, drove to Cavendish Square at fetched a suit for Ernst’s wedding… did I mention I hate going to Cavendish – have not been there in about 4 years, Hackers and Makers Year End party at Miao in De Waterkant… best geek party ever, cool gizmos, I won a bottle of wine, nice catch up with Stefano and Niel, managed to get Mia’s Mindstorm Lego back.
  • Stating the obvious, but Telkom are so totally useless – I’ve filled in their ADSL ordering forms three times. Nothing ever happens.
  • Just for the record: I’ve bumped into a blog reader that was under the impression that I just go and hang around places like Ellerman House and Babylonstoren on my own. That seems a bit gay, does it not?
  • Thursday, 1st day of school holidays, fetched Mia, breakfast at Manuka… we talked about her school report – I’m happy with it, we watched The Penguins of Madagascar (2D), swimming at gym… mostly hints and tips for her freestyle and butterfly stroke, afternoon with Mia, Naulene, Francis and Marlyn at Manuka, back to Cape Town, steamed broccoli and hard steamed eggs (works very well), nap, worked on my best man speech.
  • “Kevin, bake-on. We’re still going to need that victory cake.” — Penguins of Madagascar

  • The negative parts from Mia’s school report:

    “Unfortunately she has yet to develop the skills needed to work collaboratively. She often refuses to implement other people’s ideas when working in a group situation. This was evident during some team-building activities and challenges with her peers on our recent class Camp.”

    “The one area of concern for me is your hesitation with engaging in class either in group work or individually. You have the ability to do so and I hope to see you believing in yourself more. Give it your best and be brave enough to make mistakes, Mia!”

    I think it’s just a misunderstanding. It’s not about being shy or being afraid to make mistakes. She simply does not like some of the kids in her class and their ideas. I can relate.

  • Friday, up at 6:00, had to wake Georg up twice, made it to the airport in time, Slow Lounge breakfast, finished writing my speech on the flight to Joburg, Gautrain ride to Rosebank, breakfast with Ernst and Gabriel, outdoor haircut and manli-cure at Terenzo with a glass or two of white wine… good fun, white shirt shopping at Thomas Pink in Hyde Park (I seem to have gone up a shirt size: 16.5/42cm) and some Bottega, bit of a drama finding pocket squares (see above), braai at Ernst’s new house in Park Town North, Georg braaied a perfect fillet steak, listened to fair bit of Depeche Mode, fun evening.
  • Saturday, breakfast with Georg, Evelien and Stella at Vovotelo in Parkhurst, pre-wedding dress-up and photo session at Morrells (wedding venue) in North Cliff, bumped into Lisca who was in primary school with me – same year, but we don’t remember each other, Ernst and Lisa’s wedding ceremony… really beautiful, wedding speeches and an awesome party, so good Georg managed to end up without a phone.
  • Sunday, lunch with Georg and Evelien… Evelien reminded me of the time Mia managed to climb on the roof of the stretch tent at Anton and Evelien’s wedding, photo processing, Ernst and Lisa gave us a lift to the airport (thanks!), published some photos from the Slow Lounge… Joe and Georg’s next day wedding photo service, epic nap on the flight to Cape Town, we lost a parking ticket.
  • Here is my best man speech:

    “Hi, I’m Joe.

    It’s an honour to be a best man today.

    I’ve known Ernst since we were about 13 years old and I’m very happy to celebrate this day with my friend.

    Ernst, congratulations on your good fortune in finding such a lovely bride.

    While thinking about what I could say today, I browsed through a lot of old photos and got a bit carried away. So many good memories.

    I’ve kinda known Ernst in three phases…

    First, High school in the 90s in Pretoria. I remember our weekend squash marathons, computer games, driving around on our 50cc motorbikes and watching the movie Aliens over and over. Yes, we were nerds, but what else were we going to do in Pretoria?

    One thing is for sure, he was always going to be a doctor.

    Then he went to Tuks and I went to Stellenbosch, but in 2003 we randomly bumped into each other again in Cape Town.

    2003-2005 were some of the best times. Newlands forest runs, Madam Zingara evenings. 2004 new-years was legendary – I remember driving all the way from Stilbay for that party.

    Then he moved to London, but we kept in touch. I think he moved back to South Africa in 2010 and met Lisa soon after.

    Since then, he’s been one of the more organised AfrikaBurners I know and a majestic Suicide Gorge rock pool jumper.

    I’m very grateful for our friendship and our many adventures together.

    Today, you are an inspiration to this bachelor.

    I wish these two a lifetime of happiness. Enjoy every moment.

    Please raise your glasses. To the beautiful couple!

    To Ernst and Lisa, congratulations!”

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Living well in low orbit…

Babylonstoren
Babylonstoren
  • Week of 1-7 December.
  • Monday, up at 6:00ish, school run, gym, swim, Babylonstoren salad from the garden for lunch and a walk around the garden… very impressive, tea and cupcakes, a glass of wine with Jan and Maia at Brampton, Georg cooked a roast and Annaat came over.
  • Remember those Babylonstoren plums at Origin 2013?
  • Tuesday, very windy morning, lunch with Anton at Pulp in the Gardens Centre, fresh juice at Fred & Max – some tough decisions, Mia’s year end school awards ceremony, quick supper with Mia, Saigon with Anton, Georg, Cath, Joost, Alex and Michael – nice to see everybody again.
  • “We can hold hands for a full length underwater.” — Alt-J

  • Wednesday, Mia’s inter-house school relay gala… she swam freestyle, breast stroke and back stroke and the ladder relay (one child from each grade in a relay), I swam in the parents relay and our team won – Mia seemed very excited and proud, good fun, took Mia to art class, fresh juice at Fred & Max, pizza, cheese cake and a walk around the garden at Lourensford with Mia… we talked about prisms and rainbows and why the sky is blue, dropped Mia at her gran’s house, gym, a beer with Jonathan at Woodlands Eatery… nice to see him again, photo processing, watched Enough Said… not bad.
  • 3260 Vitality points short of maintaining Diamond status – need to come up with some quick hacks. Even dug up my heart rate monitor.
  • Loved that scene in Interstellar with the yachtsmen that can’t swim and the Earth evening noises.
  • Thursday, vanilla tea and grapefruit (non-imported), gym, tried to find old photos for my speech at Ernst’s wedding and got a bit carried away, Georg played some music, I cooked a Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts supper… needed the iron, watched The Change-Up again and had some Toblerone for dessert.
  • After browsing a lot of old photos, I’m pretty sure I only really grew up after 2006.
  • I’ve been eating a lot less eggs recently – and shopped eating almonds like they are popcorn.
  • Vodacom really does a bad job at connecting Vredehoek – Edge speeds, crappy call quality.
  • I’m pretty sure the less I tweet the more followers I get. I’ve pretty much stopped using Twitter for the last year, but I’m almost at 1000 followers.
  • We’ve pretty much removed the iPad from Mia’s life for the last few months (for reasons other than Skype). I found it under a desk this week. Trouble is – Mia does not seem that keen to play with Kano yet.
  • Friday, 1k swim, took some of our pool water to the pool shop and came back with a few fixes, watched The Lumineers at Kirstenbosch with a picnic and a few T10 G&Ts… not bad, but also not the most impressive live act, bumped into Sarah, stayed up till 2:00ish… just talking crap.
  • Of the few times I’ve tried Uber in Cape Town, I can not say I’ve had a good experience. UberBlack is okay – UberX is really lame.
  • “You should just call yourself David Koresh and drop any pretences.” — Wouter, about aB planning.

  • Cape Town in the Summertime…
  • Saturday, great weather, chilled by the pool… which is now looking tip-top, Aiden, Chris and Tracy came to visit, G&Ts and limes from Franschoek, braai, perfect day.
  • “‘Crayfish’ is the safe word.” — Georg, about Aiden’s tanning. Yes, he did get burnt.

  • Sunday, more great weather, aquaponics reading by the pool, lots of swimming, nap, (load shedding time) pizza at Carlyle’s, watched a bit of Zoolander, another perfect day.
  • “I can understand now why you guys name your fish.” — From the Aquaponic Gardening book.

The Lumineers at Kirstenbosch
The Lumineers at Kirstenbosch

Kirk out.

Quick Update

100% Mia weekend, with some more Interstellar…

Market at Leeuwenhof
Market at Leeuwenhof
  • Week of 24-30 November.
  • Monday, awesome Cape Town weather, an omellette at the 12 Apostles Hotel… probably one of the more expensive omellettes I’ve ever eaten – but the views make it worth it… can’t think of a better setting to process and publish the Suicide Gorge photos, swim, nap, swim, sunset walk around the neighbourhood, salad, watched Zombieland again.
  • “That place totally blows! …my mind.” — Tallahassee

  • Tuesday, Lady Grey tea, finished mix tape number two, changed the photos on the TV (to include only the last two year’s 5D shots), packed away all the hiking/kloofing gear, swim, Mia was stung by a bee at swimming squad and ended up in hospital for a while… but she’s okay – not as bad as the last time (April 2012), a beer at Van Hunks with Al and Georg, watched Closer again… good movie.
  • Wednesday, rainy day, vanilla tea, bit of a surprising phone conversation – but it ended well, gym, 1k swim – kinda realised I’ve been feeling burnt out for a few weeks now, cold and windy Kings Blockhouse hike with Georg, Georg made a nice stew.
  • “Recycling and speed limits are bullshit,” Tyler said. “They’re like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.” — Fight Club, actually this does not make much sense, but I like it.

  • “Ok, so jy het ‘n plan, (not adrenaline resistance action paralysis – the type that causes road kill?” — Jacques

  • “Squats are the key to living well in old age and low orbit.” — ERnst

  • Thursday, up at 6:00, managed to get a fair bit of admin done, gym, 1k swim, some aB planning, lunch at Wembley Sq, could not stop looking at this pregnant girl with yoga mat… wires crossed I guess, misty pipe track / Table Mountain hike with Georg, aquaponics book reading.
  • To Get Over Something, Write About It
  • 7 key things you need to know about an accelerator like Techstars
  • Friday, one of the more stressful meetings of the year in Stellenbosch, tea with Werner and Jan at Melissas, Albanian barber visit… who made me look like Tin Tin, but we fixed it, 1k swim, fetched Mia from school, we watched a Ghibli movie – Tales from the Earthsea and I cooked Mia some broccoli for supper.
  • Nice read: Tyler Durden Invented Burning Man… “devolve into our higher selves”. Maybe each theme camp of each regional burn is a Fight Club chapter? A network of dreamers and doers.
  • “What is the what if the what is in why?” — Moloko

  • Saturday, early organic/farmers market visit at Leeuwenhof… the Governor’s mansion with Georg and Mia, we had the usual olives and chocolate bread sticks at the market, a swim and a tan at home with some aquaponics reading, nap, swimming at gym (pre-year-end-gala), Mia managed to swim a 22sec freestyle and 29sec butterfly (25m), Mia’s 3rd Lions Head hike – 1st one she was doing the walking, Deer Park play area, pizza at Bella Italia (above Carlyle’s)… meh – don’t go there, in bed by 21:00.
  • Mia:3 N:0
  • Sunday, tea, I made Mia a 4 course breakfast – while she watched Simpsons episodes, finally scrubbed the glue from the ER/ECG electrodes off Mia’s chest, swimming at gym, we watched Interstellar at the Waterfront (kinda smuggled her in for a 2h49min movie), her initial review: “complicated”, but I explained everything over a walk with some ice cream, quick xmas gift shopping for her teacher, a swim at home and some arts and crafts, broccoli/salad for supper, in bed by 20:10, Mia tried to keep me awake with Interstellar questions, but I’m pretty sure I was asleep before her – I remember she asked about how/why Cooper sent the NASA base GPS coordinates back from the future and I did not really have a good answer to that, bit of a weakness in the plot, cool that she spotted it, great weekend.

2nd photo for this week…

You're so cool.
You’re so cool.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Ernst’s bachelors hike / weekend…

Suicide Gorge
Suicide Gorge
  • Monday, tea and photo processing while some plumbers and electricians came over, new record for likes on the photos we uploaded from the housewarming party, finally made some time to read the East London Swimmers book I got Mia – seems the pool is next to London Fields – great little book – I really like that area, blogging while Georg played some music, watched The Rum Diary again – maybe our real motivation is adventure – or the fear that the adventures might end.
  • “I know it’s hard to tell, because I’m super subtle, but I’m kinda into you.” – Georg’s comment: “Subtle!?… you can see it from space!”

  • Tuesday, up at 6:00ish, car service day, gym (squats for Suicide Gorge) and a nice 1km swim (was fun once I forced myself to swim the first half), bumped into Jill and had a green juice, walked through Greenmarket Square and fetched some keys, fetched my car, we made a Thai green curry (in record time)… the rice came out fairly well, a bit of drama with a dinner guest cancelling last minute, watched Signal Hill burn, watched a bit of Zombieland, fun evening.
  • “Big spoon or little spoon?”, “Fork!” — About eating ice cream.

  • “Rule #7: Travel light. Rule #32: Enjoy the little things.” — Zombieland

  • I need to find a gym / squash partner again.
  • Wednesday, curry for breakfast (and lunch) and more than one cup of vanilla tea (new theme), Pieter Hugo’s parents came over, listened to Tori Amos for the first time in years, pipe track hike with Georg, T10 G&Ts with Al and Georg at Van Hunks, we finished the curry, Georg played his latest music.
  • Vredehoek is pretty windy. How windy? This house has two front doors – basically an airlock. I sometimes sleep with earplugs.
  • “Everything has already happened. The past, present and future already exists.” — Jacques, about Interstellar.

  • Thursday, gym, swim, fetched Mia from school, took her to art class, fresh juice at Fred & Max, took Mia to swimming squad practice – really happy with her progress… her butterfly is looking good and she seems to swim at a pace of the Grade 3s, fetched Francis, Spur outing – without chips… just veg, funny watching Mia trying to feed Francis some spinach, dropped off the girls, Naulene was pleasant, nice sunset drive back to Cape Town, phoned Ernst, Georg played a nice set of music, listened to Electrolite, made some notes for my speech at Ernst’s wedding.
  • AfrikaBurn 2015 planning has begun – and it’s going to be epic. Jacques and Georg also seem keen to join.
  • “We’re in the pipe, five by five.” — ERnst / Aliens – about the weekend.

  • Friday, Paul dropped off my bike, quick Waterfront visit, (the vanilla) pizza at Bocca in Bree Street, nap, conversations about spray plaster, dinner at San Julian (mexican place)… company was good, food was a bit meh, fetched Ernst, Tim and John from the airport, last minute packing, struggled to get everybody in bed before 0:00.
  • “Submarine Captain” — ERnst, about getting everybody to bed early on the Friday night.

  • Saturday, up at 6:00, my 9th Suicide Gorge hike with Ernst and co, Georg, Wouter, Michael and Storm (group of 12), great fun – no bumps or scratches, finished at 15:30 with a cold Windhoek, a springbok pie at Peregrine farm stall, three people fell asleep in the car on the way home, a swim at home, supper at Rick’s – my wheels came off, babies don’t sleep this well.
  • “Cape Town is Las Vegas” — ERnst

  • Sunday, got up at 11:00ish, made lunch for Ernst and co, swim, Georg played some music until load shedding kicked in, walked to Carlyle’s for beer, pizza and a dom pedro, almost managed to watch a movie.
  • Awesome weekend, thanks Ernst. Great idea for a bachelor weekend (might copy parts of it one day). Sorry about crashing early on Saturday evening.
  • Tune of the week: Holiday in Spain, Counting Crows.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

On feeling burnt out

Something Jacques sent me last night…

“People who claim to know jackrabbits will tell you they are primarily motivated by Fear, Stupidity, and Craziness. But I have spent enough time in jack rabbit country to know that most of them lead pretty dull lives; they are bored with their daily routines: eat, fuck, sleep, hop around a bush now and then….No wonder some of them drift over the line into cheap thrills once in a while; there has to be a powerful adrenalin rush in crouching by the side of a road, waiting for the next set of headlights to come along, then streaking out of the bushes with split-second timing and making it across to the other side just inches in front of the speeding front wheels” — HST

It’s taken me a bit of time to realise – and this is not easy to write – but I’ve been burn out over the last few weeks. I just finished a long swim thinking – why do I think I’ve been suffering from burn-out and when did it happen?

Maybe it’s the two years of never having more than 3 months of runway, maybe it’s the 8 investment deals I’ve had to negotiate (actually I’ve lost count), maybe it’s a co-founder leaving, maybe it’s the general roller coaster ride, maybe it’s the two months of pain to get a UK bank account open in the Techstars time (actually – that was probably the moment).

Maybe it’s because my mind used to always be busy thinking about the startup – always pondering new creative options and solutions – and then it all dried up and I could not even read or answer emails. Even though I know what to do next and I like the plan it’s just so hard to get motivated and get going.

That’s how I know.

The book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” really helped – and I keep thinking about this line: “Nobody cares, just win”. Nobody cares about your reasons for failing, or almost failing – just get going. Find that one way out.

Makes so much sense.

I have a plan.

Quick Update

8 years of blogging this month…

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

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

  • “I know.” — The Empire Strikes Back

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

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

Have a fun week, crazy kids.