Monthly Archives: May 2009

Quick Update

Making my housemates famous, it seems..

  • Monday, tea, Ingi made Spirulina and Tahini smoothies, cruised down Kloof Street with Andrew, found the only Cape Storm shop that seems to sell kids stuff and got Mia a pink fleece, visited the music store, visited Christo, a few beers at Relish.. nice rainy view of Cape Town, dinner at Rick’s.
  • “The soccer bib makes the car guard”

  • Tuesday, sunny day.. Lions Head meeting with Ingi, took a walk to Camps Bay and got Mia some new shades at Rainbow.. the little bikini shop where the girls from soccer work (we get a discount), soccer at La Med.. I scored 2 goals, drinks with the soccer crew, Ings made a nice veggie meal, Julep with Ingi, Andy and Kristy, to watch Pierre play and bumped into Sam.. wild evening.. funky jazz tunes, we were still dancing at around 3am.
  • “So, what’s this I head about your sister sleeping with the soccer team?” — Spencer, to Adon.. interesting how rumours spread and people assume things, haha.

  • Weird how I find notes on my phone which I can’t remember making and which make no sense.
  • I like Beagles. If I had to get a dog I’d get Mia a Beagle.
  • What awesome Cape Town winter days. Champaigne sunny days.
  • Wednesday, designed a tag for WAPA members to stick on their radio equipment, visited the Teraco offices in Claremont, awesome nap, we had Andy’s family over for a braai.. I made cous-cous salad.. for the first time ever.
  • “Don’t take it any easier” — My advice to Andy and Ingi who were on Llandudno beach when I left the office at 15:00.

  • “What is worn under the kilt? Nothing is warn under the kilt.. it’s all in perfect working order.” — Andy’s aunt about his new kilt.

  • “Boyfriend? What does that matter in this day and age” — Andrew’s progressive view on relationships.

  • “I feel like such a parent” — I told Andrew as Ingi left the house to go on a date.

  • I have no idea how the conversation turned to this topic, but I figured out my “total number of people you have slept with?” figure is a bit below the average. By like an order of magnitude.
  • The Dept of Communications now recognises the ISPA as an official Industry Representative Body. I have hope for the new minister.
  • Thursday, a run to Glen Beach, ISPA general meeting with Ingi, Buena Vista with Kirsty and Andy, we met Ingi’s “bicycle fixer”, a few beers at Baraza with Pierre and Andy.
  • Seems we have a new case of “Free Kevin”.. Free Pete!.. the ISPA is flying in Peter Sunde to talk at iWeek.
  • Friday, car service, Mia time, Beta Beach walk with Mia, her mom and sister.. Beta Road play park, watched Treasure Planet, tuna couscous salad, bath, stories, sleep.
  • “Honest, charming, articulate and ruthless” — Something I heard on the radio about a politician lady.

  • The Audi garage has hot chocolate again.. I only had to ask three times.
  • Saturday, tea, puzzles, gym, swim, De Waal Park, visited Georg’s new High Cape place, Jurie has this nifty party trick where he gives people VitB12 shots, Beta Beach sundowners.
  • “Depression is anger without enthusiasm” — Georg

  • “There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.” — Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

  • Sunday, word game puzzles, Kung Fu Panda, coca leaf tea from Peru, Lions Head walk with Mia and Ingi, gym, swim, chai tea and french toast at Crush.. yum, nap, games, dropped Mia off, fetched Mia’s new Leapfrog Tag toy from Ramsey in Gordon’s Bay, grabbed a pizza at Limoncello, red wine and Black Hawk Down.. best war movie ever.
  • “Hooah” — BHD

  • Tune of the week: Easy, Groove Armada

Hey, it’s Monday, the start of a whole new week..

PA Pet Hate

Really annoys me sometimes how people buffer themselves from the world using a PA (personal assistant). If you are busy.. delegate. Don’t keep yourself in the loop though a proxy. The worst is when PA’s get things wrong.. often you can’t really blame them and you can’t blame their boss.. it’s just a disconnect, frustrating.

Muppets.

Kukuxumusu

I discovered Kukuxumusu in 2007 in Pamplona. Just love their work.

So I’m wearing my Kukuxumusu tshirt today. Mia and her mom also have one each… yes, matching tshirts.. I know, I know.

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While shopping this weekend Mia found this really cute pink bottle. The art seemed familiar.. so when I figured out it was designed by Kukuxumusu I had to get it for her (-:

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Quick Update

My week in 914 words..

  • Monday, guilt smoothie.. really needed that after the Sunday session, a run to Glen Beach, burger at Jamaica Me Crazy with Georg and Andy, visited Georg’s new pad in High Cape.
  • Georg tells us he now has a Mankini.
  • Tuesday, Lions Head with Andy and Ingi.. a new route above the caves, shopping, uber juice, got a new vacuum cleaner, soccer at La Med.. scored 3 goals.
  • “We deliver to the beach” — Sign in front of the pizza place in Camps Bay

  • “My life goal is to lead all my friends astray” — Andrew, after Ingi asked if he was leading us astray around the Lions Head caves.

  • “Everybody who works in that Game store failed their McDonnalds exams” — Andy

  • “Pubic relations officer, haha”.. Andrew, reading an article about spelling errors in CVs.

  • Wednesday, took Keith to the airport.. we are now a Linux only house again, visited Jonathan, Heavy Chef.. DA vs ANC social media, Boo Radleys to watch Lonesome Dave.. with about ten friends, Ataraxia Chardonnay again, mussels and a very nice lamb shank dish.
  • “There are three important rules in the military … most important is to hold your booze.” — Paul Vecchiatto at Heavy Chef, about our new communications minister who had his photo taken while face down in some potato salad.

  • Ingi asked me why I spend so much time on WAPA.. I think it’s because I feel like I can make in impact and maybe I like to support the little guy in the fight.
  • Had a conversation with somebody this week about kids.. she said she thinks her marriage is not strong enough to have children. That’s sad, but very honest and pragmatic I guess.
  • Thursday, ISPA PR WG meeting, Net Prophet conference.. Henk gave a very good talk.. I scored ~37, we need more unconferences, fetched my CPE at the Tamboerskloof house.. which is pretty much a big hole in the earth now, nap, missed a book launch, made myself dinner.. a rare thing.
  • That whole Old Mutual vibe (Net Prophet venue) is a bit scary.. the building is like a small city, a bit worrying to see all that from pension money.
  • “It’s much easier to say, ‘I’m sorry’ than ‘Please’.”

    “When you ask for a lot of money, people take you seriously.” — From a WAPA meeting

  • “If I believe in the idea, I’ll live it” — Dave Duarte

  • This is going to be good.. Bruno.
  • Tunes of the week: Barenaked Ladies, Rock Spectacle.
  • “She grew up on the wrong side of Clifton”– Andy about a troubled girl

  • “It’s a full time wrestling match in his head, tight outfits and all” — Andy

  • Friday, WAPA exco teleconference, interviewed somebody for a WAPA ops manager position, dissolved Blio (it seems), Mia time.. Deer Park with the mother, tea at Cath’s office.. Mia stole some chocolate, book shopping, nice Nitida Shiraz, Incredibles, bath, hot choc, reading.. mostly Olivia books, sleep.
  • “I’ve done a good job so far, it’s just a shame I can’t be her hero!! (like you)” — The Mother

  • “Cheers Amigo, take good care of yourself and remember to tell Mia I send my love every weekend. Recycle, turn off the lights and don’t drink too much. Find a lovely woman who deserves you and woo her without Facebook..” Keith.. (part of) an SMS on his way to India.. yup, that sums it up.

  • Saturday, home alone with Mia on a rainy weekend.. tea, rusks, toasted English Muffins and cheese, watched Kung Fu Panda, gym, swim, smoothie, shopping.. got Mia a most awesome pink Kukuxumusu juice bottle.. a functional work of art, Joe’s famous “dad-tuna-pasta-salad”, watched Lady and the tramp.. the first time Mia was upset from watching a movie.. she really did not like it that the doggy went to the pound.. but I we got back on the horse and I watched it with her till the happy ending, hot choc, sleep.
  • “There is no charge for awesomeness” — Kung Fu Panda

  • Mia now dives to the bottom of the pool to fetch dive sticks on her own.
  • I’m getting pretty good at making ponytails.
  • Parenting tip: you can buy a large Kauai smoothie but ask for it in two cups.
  • “You’ll have to stop digging in your nose in front of Mia. She says it’s fine because you do it.” — A text I sent to the mother. She responded with 4 characters.

  • I have this new trick with Mia when she does not want to do something.. I ask: “the easy way or the hard way?” and then, “what’s the easy way?”: “I do it”, “what’s the hard way?”: “daddy does it for me”. Some think it’s kinda cruel to teach a 3yo this kind of logic.. but it works very well.
  • Sunday, tea, breakfast.. Mia now takes 6 supplements with breakfast, I’m on 4, Kung Fu Panda, gym, swim, smoothie at Crush.. try the banana cinnamon shake, toy shop.. we needed new swimming goggles, Mouille Point playground.. to check out the kites, painting with watercolour, Incredibles, dropped Mia off with her mom, Andy’s, Lord Charles with Andy, Debby and Ingi for a nice bottle of wine, Col’cachio in Camps Bay for a groovy designer pizza and bottle of Rustenberg cab, tea.
  • “My mother does not think.. next topic” — Debby

  • “So I’m good for the next 15000km” — Andy after his mother made him go to church on Sunday.

  • “We’ll build new ring roads to go nowhere in particular” — Fuel, Catatonia.. check out Cerys Matthews

Have a fun week kids.

Two Dots

I was at a braai recently with a number of media geeks. I found two things interesting..

1) At some point I mentioned that I used to work for a newspaper company. I had the feeling this somehow made them think.. aahw, he feels our pain. *grin*

2) In one of the conversations, somebody mentioned that she’s not sure what this “two dot thing” is.. it’s not an ellipsis and it’s not a comma. I realised I’m one of those two dot people.

An ellipsis consists of exactly three dots called ellipsis points, not two.. and usually has spaces or brackets around it. An ellipsis indicates the omission or suppression of parts of words or sentences.

I use the “two dot thing” very often, especially in my quick update weekly bullet lists.

I’m not sure why I like it, but it seems to just work for me. I’m no English language expert but I’ll try and figure out why it works.

In condensed text where a comma delimits events I use the two dot thing to add a comment or extend my description of an event.

Wednesday, IS data centre tour with Ed.. my little hobby: DC tours, ISPA workshop about Seacom and DFA, a beer and an interesting chat with Henk, gave a talk about Lifestyle Design at the Facelook event.. group of about 30 people, a welcome back dinner party with Cath, Parri, Georg and Steff.. Andy cooked a really good Thai meal.

I sometimes use it like a comma, but it seems to indicate that an idea ended.. a chain of thought ended, but I’m starting a new related chain of thought in the same sentence.

I have no idea if this makes any sense, but I’ll just make peace with the idea that I’m a two dot person.

Pilot Lifestyle

A friend introduced me to the idea of the pilot lifestyle. His dad is a pilot. He figures the reason his mom and dad’s marriage survived all these years is because his dad is often flying off to some exotic location for 3/4 days at a time. I liked this idea.

“She packed my bags last night pre-flight,
Zero hour nine a.m.”

At some point in 2007 I figured I had it all waxed. A very cute daughter and a loving partner, but only over weekends. In the week I had work I loved, all my friends around, Cape Town, my exercise routine.. total freedom really.

The best of both worlds. The dad and the bachelor. Security and excitement.

Too good to be true?

I figured my idea might be a bit flawed when my cousin pointed out the obvious over a beer. He asked me something like.. how the hell do you pull this off.. you are a new dad and you are living it up in the Spanish summer?

So in 2008 the partner had some a sig-11 moment. She did not want to tell me why, but she walked away[1].

“And I think it’s gonna be a long long time,
till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home.
I’m a rocket man”

Be careful what you wish for.

So now, I’m kinda back on the “hot cars, hot clubs and hot chicks” lifestyle. Actually not that much has changed. Food, fun and friends.. chasing exciting ideas. I still think I have it pretty sorted.. even though I realise I cheated[2].

In fact, I probably spend more time with Mia this way. I recently told the ex-partner.. I’m a 30% dad.. but 100% of that 30% and I have a strong suspicion that’s above average.

“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did”

I guess this is not the ideal environment to grow up in. Then again maybe it’s easier to have your parents separate before you are two. At least I realised that I’m a better father than a husband. Honesty helps.

So, what’s my point?

Well, it’s not always easy being happy. Make room for the exciting things that keep you happy. Sometimes we just have to accept our nature. Life is too short.

* [1] She (much) later told me she was jealous of my lifestyle.

* [2] Yes I realise(d) I’m a selfish brat and that’s my nature.

* Lyrics from Rocket Man, Bernie Taupin.

Quick Update

The weekly update..

  • Monday, Lions Head meeting (walk) with Ingi, shopping, uber juice, ISPA mancom meeting, upgraded to Debian 5.0 Lenny and a new Linux kernel, nice pizza at Bacini’s with Andy, Steff and Ingi, Polish vodka and StalkBook.. sometimes a good combination.
  • Tuesday, Ubuntu upgrade to Jaunty, misty soccer at La Med.. I scored two goals, pasta and red wine at Lauren and Marco’s to meet Ella, came up with a plan to visit Matjiesfontein.
  • “No mate, when I sin I want to do it properly” — Andy, about which red wine shop we should visit

  • Wednesday, WAPA teleconference, smoothie at Liquorice and Lime with Ingi, watched Decadence at the Intimate theatre with Andy and Ingi.. very good play, mussels at Boo Radley’s.. debated Bombay Sapphire vs Tanqueray no 10, Asoka, Fiction.. we were pretty much the only 3 people in the place and dancing anyway, a drink at Waiting Room.. right at the top, under the fairy lights.
  • “A german joke is no laughing matter” — Ingi

  • Thursday, a relaxed winters day in Cape Town.. just living, Ingi made us guilt-smoothies, attempted to find a grill for our fireplace, beer at pizza at Bacini’s with Cams and Andy.. nice views of Lions Head, nap, drinks with Jaco (bje) at Baraza.. watched JacSharp, sushi and sake at Codfather.
  • How the world has changed.. I’ve not seen Jaco is a long time, but he seemed to know most of what I’ve been up to from reading my blog.
  • Friday, Extreme Networks meeting, Debian upgrade tweaks, Mia time, watched Horton again, watched In Bruges.. good movie.
  • I tried xfce 4.6, but switched back to icewm.
  • Saturday, perfect weather, gym, swim, smoothie, Deer Park with the yummy mummies, shopping, Beta Beach going away picnic for Keith with Debby, Ingi and Marcia, very good bottle of Ataraxia Chardonnay, bath, we read a new book: Olivia saves the circus.
  • “Oh, sorry, yes geek, all the nerds work for dial-a-nerd” — Keith who did not have any joy with the nerds after his Outbreak Express lost all his email.

  • “All the good books are about boys” — Keith

  • Sunday, tea, rusks, Horton.. she seems to be into Dr. Suess at the moment, gym, swim, c-monster smoothies, Knead, tea with Frerieke, Sinns ice cream, Scarecrows in Hout Bay with Andy, dropped Mia off, Ye Olde Bell Pub for a game of pool, Karma.. got the phone number of a very pretty lady, man Camps Bay has some hot woman.
  • Remember that Fez bouncer with the cowboy hat?.. he now works at Karma.
  • “Well, it’s hard to be civil and it’s real hard to be nice.” — Fleetwood Mac, No Questions Asked

  • Dorky dads kinda grate me.. so goody two shoes, they make the rest of us look bad.
  • I really need to go on a being good phase again. It’s been a long one month retox. Soccer season seems to be ending. I need something new. Running, squash, and maybe even some yoga.
  • I seem to have completely switch to rooibos, I don’t even drink Earl Grey anymore.

..and that, as they say, is that.

Quick Update

End of the April holidays..

  • Monday, woke up in Bettys, dropped Mia off with her mom, gave a talk about Lifestyle Design at the 27 Dinner.. nice evening, good feedback form the talk.
  • Tuesday, Lions Head walk with Dave, played soccer at La Med until it was too dark to play, nice vegetarian dinner.. thanks Ingi.
  • Wednesday, rainy day at home.. mostly doing WAPA stuff, Andy’s (house sitting), Harley’s, Kirsty’s (new place), Boo Radley’s with Andy and Cams to watch Lonesome Dave, bumped into the JacSharp crew, Dave played “I changed the lock” for Cams.. I think it’s the single, good tune.
  • “I changed the name of this town so you can’t find me anymore” — Dave F.

  • “I speak no more sense beyond this point” — Andy, at Boo Radleys

  • “Peacocking” — Cams, what people in Cape Town do

  • Why am I always drawn to the Marla Singer types?
  • Andy calls Mia a “flexi flyer”.. the world is a big playpen for her.
  • Thursday, day at the office, worked on a new business idea for Frogfoot.. I think it could be a fun new angle.
  • Friday, did not leave the house, laundry, tea with Mia and her mom, nap, watched Horton Hears a Who, dinner with Andy, read two books with Mia, sleep.
  • “When are you going to get your gun so we can do what we want?” — Ingi, about Andrew completing his gun licence

  • Saturday, tea, gym, swim, smoothies, Knead, toy shop, very nice going away dinner in Stellenbosch for Anton and Evelien with Mia, Petr, Georg and Andy, Mystic Boer.. the most fun I’ve had in Stellenbosch for a while.
  • “Get over it, ons is almal useless en beteken niks vir society nie” — Anton, maybe he’s been watching Fight Club again

  • Tune of the week (in Mystic): Pille vir Kersfees, Die Heuwels Fantasties
  • Sunday, woke up in Stellenbosch, drove to SSW for an early Mothers Day brunch at Michelle’s, dropped Mia off, Kirsty’s house warming braai, Beta Beach sunset walk.

Have a fun week kids.

Creative Commons Licencing

I’ve been wanting to licence the content on my personal website under a copy-left style licence for a while. I support the ideas of a read-write culture and the Creative Commons people seem to be doing good work.

This week I stuck the CC-BY-SA-ZA (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa Licence) on my homepage, blog and (main) photo album.

It’s pretty easy, just go find the licence you like best.. I figure most people would go for CC-BY-SA.. it’s like the GPL for content. If you have a problem with people using your content for commercial interests go for CC-BY-NC-SA. The Share Alike (SA) bit makes sure the content says free to be modify and re-used.. read-write.

Why use the CC licences and not write your own licence? Well, a few very smart people have reviewed these licences and I’m sure they will jump in and defend them if anybody were to challenge them. So.. you get the best legal team for free. Good deal.

The Basics

Cath recently wrote about a blogging workshop she attended. Kinda made me think about the basics of blogging we all know but choose to ignore.

You know.. have a voice, a central topic, a target audience, a central theme relevant to an industry, grow you readership, one post per day, use email updates because the unwashed masses who read blogs have yet to discover RSS/ATOM feeds.

I can’t really disagree with any of this, I but I can’t really be bothered either.

On the topic of volume, I don’t think any (non-pro) blogger does one post per day. I have about 420 posts in 2.5 years.. that’s more like 1/2 a post per day.

I must say I kinda miss the days when people used to interact more with blogs. People used to link to each other way more and comment more. Now it’s all just Facebook at Twitter.

People spend all their energy and attention pumping content into closed networks where they don’t own the content.

I like the idea that a blog has become a personal aggregation point. It’s a place I keep the content I created and care about. I like the idea that I can export all my content and archive it for many years.

My very first post was about empire building vs demon feeding.. I guess in some ways I now view Facebook and Twitter as demon feeding and blogging as empire building simply because of who controls the content I create.. and in Twitter’s case.. I like the idea that my blog content will always have context.

Clutter

I generally hate clutter. I’m a minimalist. The more stuff you have the more stuff you have to worry about.

I used to play underwater hockey and mountain bike with this guy.. Frans. Smart guy, one of the cool engineers. He loved clutter. He used to have this old VW station wagon full of clutter. Anything from a Didgeridoo to duct tape to little toy men to spare parts for bicycles to camping gear.. and it all stayed in the station wagon. The back seat was like a garbage dump full of interesting toys.

The thing is.. Mia loves clutter.

Toys everywhere. Stickers, girly hair stuff, clothes, books, dolls, puzzles, shoes, cats, dvd’s.. you get the idea. She loves unpacking everything and I keep tidying up.

You see.. I’ve come to realise that I secretly like clutter.

Well, I like toys all around and I’m starting to like children’s books and building puzzles again. I like going to toy shops. We spend hours in toy shops. Not only because the girls that help us in the toy shop are cute, but the toys are interesting and educational.

My mind somehow allows me to compartmentalise the clutter. As long as it’s Mia’s stuff it’s not my clutter.

Can’t wait for the LEGO age. I wonder if she’ll be into model trains…

Milhouse: Cool train! Where does it go?
Bart: Beats me. … Once it had snow on it.
— Burns’ Heir, Simpsons.. about the model train in the Burns mansion.