Monthly Archives: August 2010

Quick Update

I'm writing this one from Athens..

  • ~30 hours in the air this week.
  • Monday, backups, camera battery charging, gym, swim, lunch at Balduci's with Jonathan and hardware crypto vendors, bought a UPS and installed it for my workstation, last minute packing, packed Mia's bee suitcase, Georg gave Mia and I a lift to the airport, flew to London with BA, Club World seats are pretty awesome, had a Kir Royale while listening to Blonde on Blonde, read a book about Greece, watched Sherlock Holmes.. not bad, Mia watched How to train your dragon again and slept for a good 7 hours.
  • 11 hour flight, 1 hour backwards. Must say the Boeing 747-400 is like a flying fortress, smoothest take-off ever.
  • Alexander the Great died when he was 33. Impressive.
  • Tuesday, we woke up to land at Heathrow, tea, took a bus to Stansted airport to drop Mia off with Naulene, train to London CBD, met Jacques for a sushi lunch, work, London curry and some Johnnie Black.
  • Wednesday, woke up at Jacques house, flew from Heathrow to Boston Logan with American Airlines (not something I'll easily do again), sat next to a Alvaro, who is from Guatemala.. doing a PhD related to the flexible electronics market at MIT, bus and train ride to Cambridge, nice place, found a guest house, took a walk down Mass. Ave.
  • 7 hour flight, 6 hours backwards.
  • Mia went to Cambridge for a week, then Germany for a week. So both Joe and Mia were in Cambridge, just not the same Cambridge. I phoned her, she seemed happy.
  • Thursday,VRM+CRM 2010 day1 at Harvard Law School, dinner at a seafood restaurant with the conference people, when we finished dinner it was 3:30 SA time.. tired.
  • Cambridge is a bit like Stellenbosch, only there is free wifi pretty much anywhere and everybody has an iPhone4.
  • Friday, VRM+CRM 2010 day2, a sunset walk.
  • US food: Naked Smoothies and the salads at Harvard were great. I tried a Dunkin' Doughnut (half), had a Big Mac, had (most of) a Hershey bar, wanted to try Wendy's but did not get around to it.
  • I figure people like order. Deterministic outcome. After a week of creating order it's time to go experience some unknowns. A ten day mini-break in Greece. Time to go visit the birth place of democracy.
  • A thought about visa applications from countries who are very strict about their visas: I wonder what percentage of their own citizens would make it through their visa process if they were not born there.
  • Alvaro made an interesting comment about not really knowing where home is.. South America, UK, US? I think you don't feel at home anymore if you leave a place for more than 5 years. Alvaro also commented that the most popular technologies are usually not the best technologies.
  • Saturday, blogged about VRM things, a tourist/photography day, took the train to MIT, found the MIT Media Lab, had McDonalds for lunch.. seemed like an experience you need to have at least once in the US.. they did not ask me if I wanted to supersize my meal, train/bus to Logan airport, flew to Heathrow with BA, watched She's out of my league.. pretty good.
  • 7 hour flight, 6 hours forward.
  • Sunday, flew from Heathrow to Athens, train ride to the centre of Athens, found a hotel, nap, took my camera and explored on foot, had a salad and a beer at a cafe in the Gazi area.. nice vibe, meandered along some side streets and walked past the Acropolis.
  • 5 hour flight, 2 hours forward.
  • I have 4 different currencies in my wallet. Finding the right coin is silly.
  • Travel tip: don't wear a belt or shoes, just easier for airport security.
  • I think my body clock must be a bit confused, but at least I'm not feeling jet-lagged.
  • Tune of the week: Why Don't You Get A Job? - Offspring, reminds me of somebody I know (-;

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Compass and a willing accomplice

Time for a bit of adventure again, kids. I need some new travel photos.

Mia and I flew to London yesterday. She's spending two weeks with her mother.. who still hates my guts.

I'm off to Boston tomorrow for VRM+CRM 2010.

Then Jacques and I are off to France/Nice for a few days and then Greece. Keen to find some good free diving spots on the islands. I'm not very good at planning these things, but it's fun jumping on a plane and reading the travel guide on the way.

Then back to London for a few days.

"Walk tall, kick ass, love music and never forget that you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors." - Dr. HST.. a quote to inspire some adventure

Rock 'n Roll.

Quick Update

A week with Mia, organising visas...

  • In the last 26 days I spent 19 days with Mia.
  • "The New New Man is perhaps a better father than a husband. He loves his children with a passion that frightens him." - January 2009 GQ

  • Monday, German visa application centre with Naulene.. who seems to be using Mia's school bags as her carry-on travel bags, travel agent visit, fetched a new credit card, Waterfront to get a printer and scanner, got Mia a new Blu-ray movie, toy shop.. we got her a big Buzz Lightyear toy to match her Woody toy, watched Surf's Up, bath, read, sleep.
  • "Winners find a way, no matter what, 'cause that's what winners do" -- Surf's Up

  • Tuesday, UK visa application centre, tea at Lambro's, lunch with Ingi at Neo, Mouille Point play area, nap, Deer Park, bath, read, sleep.
  • Did you ever wake up and think that what you were busy with was totally awesome.. that you would not trade it for anything? Getting there is all the fun.
  • Wednesday, dropped Mia at school in Somerset West, HPV meeting in Technopark, fetched Mia, met the guys from Embark Mobile in Stellenbosch, Waterfront lunch.. had to get a jacket repaired, nap, took Georg's cat some food, cooked supper for Andrew and two married woman (Ingi and Bianca), bath, read, sleep.
  • "Nobody ever had a dream round here, but I don't really mind that it's starting to get to me." -- Sam's Town, Killers

  • Thursday, work, dentist visit for Mia and I, laundry drop-off, gym, swim, Waterfront to get Mia a (most awesome yellow bee shaped) suitcase, fish and chips at CTFM, we went to feed Georg's cat again, bath, read, sleep.
  • This may sound strange but I kinda miss doing my own laundry.
  • Friday, fetched Mia's UK and Schengen visas, gym, swim, Orms visit to ponder my low light AF problem again.. played with a very nice 100mm macro lens, went to buy gifts for Jonathan and Aiden.. Talisker, signed an Amobia share sale agreement in the children's section of Exclusive Books in Kloof st, Mouille Point play area, Aiden's birthday at La Vie.. shared a pizza with Mia, bath, read, sleep.
  • Saturday, bread making course at Jordan wine farm with George Jardine, Andy, Debby, Ingi and Julia, a long lunch, nap, made pizza at Jonathan's for his 30th birthday party while Fiona looked after Mia.
  • Interesting, on the way to Jordan Julia told me she made a new years resolution a few years ago that she may not say no to an invitation to an event.. this would explain Andrew's confusion.
  • "I kinda like how this camera does not really focus." -- Ingi, "Yeah, kinda reminds you of your life." -- Debby

  • "You did something right, she has a deep sense of self confidence." -- Louise about Mia

  • "Life is all marshmallows when she's with you, dude." -- a cautionary word from Andrew about Mia's two lives

  • Sunday, photo processing, backups, gym, swim, pizza at Knead with Georg, little Beta Beach with Nicky, Mia introduced Nicky to Star Wars (ep2), bath, sleep, Georg and Petra came over for a glass of wine.

I'm off on a bit of an adventure this following week.

Rock 'n Roll, kids.

Evil Printers

I only ever use printers to apply for visas these days.

This week I had to apply for a visa for Mia. Not that I had a choice. It's a high court order. So, I went to buy a printer and a scanner.

I really do not know how people selling printers to "consumers" sleep at night. Evil fuckers. There is a special lava bubble bath for all of you in hell. Not that I believe in hell.

All you groovy consumer printing industry people must really worship the story of Gillette - razors and razor blades. Sell me a printer at the price of a print cartridge. Get me on the refill. You win. So smart. Want a cookie?

Last time I had to apply for a visa I used Keith's printer. I found out that in order to use the (all-in-one) scanner I had to buy a new print cartridge. How evil is that?

This time I go buy two different devices. A good old A4 B/W laser printer and a scanner... thinking, sure, I've paid more money but at least I'm not trapped in the evil print cartridge refill trap.

Turns out an entry level laser printer now comes with a crippled cartridge that can only print 700 pages. It's 1/2 frikkin full! A new cartridge prints 1600 pages.

This stuff bugs me. Why is it cool to screw "consumers"?

You're on my list.


Quick Update

Mamma Mia week..

  • Monday, sushi at Beluga with Parri and Georg, watched Star Wars episode IV, nap, pizza at Bella Italia.
  • Tuesday, TrustFabric meeting at the Barn, bank visit, watched Inception.. pretty good, watched Shutter Island.. a bit strange.
  • "What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere." "The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define, or destroy you." -- Inception

  • Wednesday, blogged, did not fly to Joburg as planned and skipped Tech4Africa, gym, work, nap, Lions Head walk, Glen Beach walk, Kauai in Camps Bay, awesome sunset, went to check out the underwater hockey scene at the Long Street pool.
  • Thursday, gym, work, Lions Head walk, Clifton beach walk, Sunshine Studio in Loop st, 1/2 price sushi at the bottom of Kloof st with Georg, Carlyle's.
  • Friday, Newlands forest walk with Jonathan.. a strategy meeting and tea on the mountain, fetched business cards and got new slops, a salad for lunch on the green sofa, tea and a cupcake at Lazari with Mia, Kloof Street library and play area, juice at Manna, Deer Park, bath, read, sleep.
  • Got my forth pair of Fanning Reef slops. The last pair lasted just less than a year. Good going for something I wear pretty much every day.
  • Saturday, gym, swim, Mamma Mia at Artscape.. Mia's first real theatre experience.. she loved it, cooked supper for a neighbour.
  • Sunday, drove to Rooiels with Georg, nice chilled Sunday braai next to the sea, Beta Beach sunset walk.
  • Tunes of the week: Abba

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Broadband in Joe’s world..

Keep in mind I used to be in the ISP business. Now I'm a "consumer".

The city provides fibre to my block. Some of this infrastructure is community owned. I connect to their switch at my cost. My wifi hotspot is open, it simply extends the switch fabric. I can plug in my computer(s) or laptop with Ethernet or Wifi.. no real difference. To get on to the switch fabric beyond my block I use something like dot1x. Everything is switched, no routing, no PPPoE lameness. The city uses Carrier Ethernet to get around the little MAC address limit issue.

Anybody can sell IP traffic over this switch fabric. Open Access. Citizens can publish a personal RFP which outlines their needs. I want low latency and I'll pay for it.. I'm not a heavy user. My neighbour could want something totally different. A marketplace engine gives me my top5 ISP products.. this can change from month to month. Some traffic providers may even be collective buying systems. Together we all buy 1gazillion megs. At the end of the month my bill is my share of our total usage.

I get a bill for my last-mile traffic and my IP traffic. I get this bill in an open format and I can request stats about my usage patterns which I can use to update my RFPs. I can go anywhere in the city, wired or wireless and use the same account. It's a user-centric design, not device-centric. I never need to login manually. I just open my laptop and it works.

I think all of the above is possible today.

Quick Update

A week with Mia and the conclusion of our high court battle..

  • Monday, we found Mia some new swimming goggles.. lost the others in Durban, gym, swim, Knead salad, had a car tyre puncture fixed, supper at Deer Park, legal docs typing.
  • Tuesday, Bank visit, Milton's office, Alpha5 tweaks at Jonathan's, supper at Deer Park, all-nighter to write legal docs.
  • Wednesday, took Mia to the nurse in Kloof St for a Tetanus shot.. a cat bit her, VitB shot, meeting with Milton and our Advocate, Mia and I took a walk by the castle, viewed a house in Ocean View drive, supper at Deer Park.
  • A Vitimin B shot after an all-nighter works well.
  • Thursday, viewed a house in Bantry Bay, beach walk, chilli juice at Manna, ordered a batch of business cards, gym, swim, Mia and I had our hair cut at Bianca's, court day shopping, got a jacket, jeans, shoes and some Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, a Mafioso burger at Buzz Cafe, bath, read, sleep.
  • Ironic.. the last time Nico sold me a Fabiani jacket it was for my first date with Naulene.
  • Friday, up early for the big day, Mia went to the aquarium with Fiona, processed some bad news.. Naulene changed her mind and did not want to settle anymore, had breakfast with Milton at Bread, Milk and Honey, Naulene changed her mind again and now she wanted to settle again, a day with the lawyers, negotiated and signed an agreement, Mia went home with Naulene, late lunch with Milton at 5 Flies, Tech4Africa meetup, a celebratory bottle of Veuve Clicquot at Milton's house, seared ostrich at 5 Flies with Georg, Knoxville.
  • Do you ever sit back and think this could all have been avoided?
  • Saturday, did very little, changed my blog theme, sushi bar supper.
  • Sunday, lunch at Harbour House in Kalk Bay with Georg, bumped into Graham Knox, Brass Bell, Carlyle's.
  • I think I lost my wallet. Really annoying.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

And so the end begins

I'm back. I'm up to date with my weekly posts again. Joy.

It's been an interesting week, kids.

Some of you may have figured out that Naulene was kind enough to have some legal docs delivered recently about an urgent high court case requesting that Mia go with her to Germany for 8 weeks.

8 weeks seem long, but that does not sound too scary right? Well, it follows on some events like her wanting to take Mia to Germany permanently earlier this year and a little matter of a passport for Mia which was issued, but which I did not give my consent to apply for.. not very cool if you read the Children's Act of 2005.

In the week which I was planning to prepare my docs for the case, Naulene was also kind enough to, on the last minute, decide that I should look after Mia for the week. Daddy by day, legal doc typist by night. Sounds like a comic book hero?

It's over. We reached an agreement. We signed it yesterday. We now have equal parenting rights and Mia will live in SA until she's 18. Big thanks to my most excellent legal team.

You can stop worrying now mom.

I was thinking..

A while ago I applied to attend SeedCamp (part of tech4africa). On the application form they asked something like: tell us one remarkable fact about yourself.

Hmm.. Not an easy question. It bugged me for a while.

I could say.. I live the 4 hour work week, or I type Dvorak or I was once part of a team which raised R100m to start SA's first vendor neutral data centre business.

Today I'd say.. Mia's mom wanted to take her away and we stopped her. Sound simple enough.. but in many ways it was the most scary thing I've had to do.

ps. No, we were not chosen for SeedCamp, but we'll keep their rejection letter as motivation. Muppets.

Quick Update

Some time in Joburg and Stellenbosch.

  • Week of 26 July to 1 August, btw.
  • Monday, watched Clone Wars.. Mia's first 1080p movie, gym, pizza at Knead, Noon Gun visit, Rubarb Room, Aquarium, Naulene fetched Mia, photo processing.
  • Tuesday, BWBarn, a sandwich with Gerhard and Gordon at Jardine's bakery, legal strategy session with Milton, seared tuna steak at Waterford Chardonnay at Carlyle's with Georg and Milton.. that Ed Burns vibe again.
  • Wednesday, flight to Joburg, ISPA meeting, dinner with Ernst.
  • "Doughnut of death" - What Dr Ernst calls his MRI machine.

  • Thursday, presentation about TrustFabric at the WAPA GM, flight to Cape Town, GeekDinner at Knead.
  • Thursday court date, but we asked for more time.
  • I figure Blackberry is like Mxit for grownups.
  • Friday, gym, presentation about TrustFabric at the WAPA GM at Asara wine estate in Stellenbosch, fetched Mia, shopping, Deer Park, mobile phone upgrade.. got an E72, watched Clone Wars, bath, read, sleep.
  • Naulene almost drove over me and crashed into the gate as she sped off. Lot's of love.
  • Saturday, watched Clone Wars, photo processing, tea and a cupcake at Lazari with Keith.. Mia had a babychino, more photo processing, gym, a long swim, soup at home, upgraded my phone's OS.
  • Sunday, hot cross buns, Mulan2, gym, swim, Knead Pizza, I seemed to have annoyed the security guards by helping Mia in the ladies bathroom.. funny, after a while you almost don't notice it's the ladies room, Mouille Point play area, jumping castle, aquarium, got Mia the Blu-ray Mamma Mia movie.. you should see her dance, put about 350 Mia photos on a digital photoframe for my mom.
  • Tune of the week: Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

Quick Update

Some high court news.

  • Week of 19-25 July, btw.
  • Monday, woke up in Durban, English breakfast overlooking the sea, visit to the rock pool in Amanzimtoti, flight back to Cape Town, dropped Mia with Naulene, Wembley, photo processing.
  • Durban was nice, but it's even nicer coming home.
  • Tuesday, gym, a productive day at Jonathan's, watched My Neighbour Totoro.. pretty good, but not Spirited Away.
  • Wednesday, photo processing, chilli juice at Crush, Gym, Barn, Sherriff's office to collect some paperwork for an urgent high court case, a smoothie at the first Kauai store, Milton's office for some legal advice, cable car contour road run, lamb shank at Van Hungs with Georg and Milton.. bumped into Lili, a beer at Carlyle's.
  • "What do New York couples fight about?" -- Morcheeba

  • I need new memories of Cape Town.
  • Every night I go to sleep I pray to the gods of bachelorhood that Woolworth will invent new yoghurt flavours.
  • I figure you are famous if you were on the Simpsons. Not before.
  • Thursday, photo processing, Crush, Manna, cable car contour road run, photo processing.
  • Friday, Newlands Forest walk with Jonathan, Crush, Deer Park, tappas at HQ, Thai food at Simply Asia, Knoxville with Georg, Anton, Henk, Alex and Waalie.
  • Saturday, Georg's bday party at Carlyle's with Parri, Milton and Rachel, sleep, babies don't sleep this good.
  • I'm starting to feel a bit like a character Ed Burns would play when I go to Carlyle's.
  • Sunday, fetched Mia, book shop, watched Shrek 4 in 3D.. pretty good, Mia watched half the movie in 2D, toy shop to get a Leap Frog letters learning gizmo, Shrek ears and a tea set, Mouille Point play area and jumping castle, tea and cheesecake at Neo, sunset Beta Beach walk, Mia watched My Neighbour Totoro, bath, read, 11h sleep.
  • "Do, or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda

Quick Update

Some time in Durban.

  • Week of 12-18 July.
  • Monday, gym, swim, dropped Mia with Naulene, tea at Andrew's, a walk up the mountain in the Helderberg Nature Reserve, found an HDMI cable to connect the Blu-ray player to and HD screen, Thai green veg curry at Sinn's and some email processing, flight bookings.
  • Tuesday, gym, UX meeting at Crush, email scrubbing at the Barn, spinning, sushi with Georg, Milton and Candy.. safe to say this was the worst Sushi I've ever had: Saul's Sea Point, photo processing.
  • Wednesday, gym, Barn, spinning, photo processing.
  • "Lazy sucks" -- from a Nike tshirt

  • Thursday, gym, Knead GeekDinner planning, Barn, TrustFabric presentation at ISPA GM in Bree Street, Orms visit to find low light auto-focus ideas, spinning, photo processing.
  • Friday, gym, fetched Mia from school, flight to Durban.. her first flight, guest house in Amanzimtoti, ribs at the Spur.. I guess that's what you do on holiday in Durban, beach walk.
  • Saturday, breakfast at the guest house, uShaka Sea World, aquarium, penguin show, seal show, a very nice piece of Dorado for lunch at a place called Cargo Hold, ice cream, dolphin show, watched Up again.. nice message: live your dreams.
  • Sunday, English breakfast, Umhlanga beach.. with Mia's first boogy board, dropped Georg at the airport, sushi for lupper, beach walk and ice cream.

Quick Update

Catching up with the weekly notes.

  • Week of 5-11 July, btw.
  • Monday, gym, swim, pizza at Knead, fetched Mia's passport from Home Affairs with Naulene, dropped Mia off, my daily 20MB on the green sofa, wine tasting at Carlyle's with Georg and Milton, really awesome Yellow Tail at Sidewalk
  • My week begins on Tuesdays.
  • Tuesday, gym, BWB meeting, lunch in Thaibault Square with Goof and Jonathan, opened a bank account for TrustFabric, green sofa, a drink with Gerjo and Misi, football at Paulaner with Andrew, Marcia, Paul and Bianca.. met Victoria, Holland won, Paul's birthday party in the parking lot of Shack with some bubbly and a girl named Honey.
  • "Long Street is a long fucking street." -- Andy, about where to go next

  • Wednesday, Crush, got some admin done at the Mango-OMC office, photo processing, dinner at a Greek place in Cape Quarter2 with Cath and Parri, watched the GER-ESP game at Carlyle's with Georg and Milton.
  • Hint: add some chilli and red cabbage to your fresh juices.
  • Thursday, gym, meeting with Dominic in Westlake, sushi with Jonathan at Barbarellas, a massage at Wembley Clinic, got some Cape Storm gear, sunset Promonade walk, shopping, a big notes processing session.
  • Friday, fetched my Aeron and screen from storage and a bicycle for Cath, Crush, tea with Nauls at Lazari.. bumped into Lambro and Tony, gym, swim, introduced Mia to Star Wars: Episode 1.
  • Keith sent me the low res pdf of his Cape Town travel guide book which contains some of my photos.. cool, I'm a published photographer now.
  • Saturday, got up at 6:00 to write a letter, SA-NZ rugby at the aquarium, fetched the Lego cake from Charly's and took a few photos, Will's birthday party in Somerset West, back to Cape Town, Fiona came over to babysit Mia, joint birthday party for Cath, Joe, Kerry-Anne and Elan at Kink.. which was fun, but a) they were showing a football game, b) Kink never gave us the private bar they offered which led to c) some random muppet breaking our cake.
  • Sunday, gym, swim, book shop, Wellness Warehouse, Waterfront.. got a Blu-ray player and the other 6 Star Wars movies, Mouille Point play area, watched Star Wars Episode 2 and Clone Wars.. which I figure is Episode 2.5.
  • "Memory is the fabric of identity." -- Nelson Mandela

  • Seems Mia loves Star Wars and Naulene spent the weekend watching Californication.. I obviously had nothing to do with this.
  • "Ek dink sy moet net vir 'n stappie gaan elke oggend" -- Georg, about depression

  • "Next time be more selective about who you have children with." -- good advice from a lawyer

  • Some people want to put a ding in the universe, I figure I need to panel beat some dents out of the universe.