Monthly Archives: March 2014

Quick Update

Rooiels weekend, hamsters and Clone Wars…

Lick the hamster
Lick the hamster
  • Monday, watered the plants, gym, nice swim, sauna, migrated from Multibit to Hive (BTC wallet), Macbook’s spacebar key got a bit stuck, but Digicape fixed it for me, Aduino workshop at Curiosity Campus with Michael, met Niel and Robyn – good fun, St Patrick’s Day Guinness at O’Driscolls with Aiden, Camilla, Chris and Bill – who are going to AfrikaBurn this year.
  • How many days have you spent away from your computer / smartphone this year and how many days are you planning to spend away from your computer? …why we need things like AfrikaBurn.
  • Progress on getting Mia interested in Lego Mindstorm has been a bit slower than expected.
  • I sometimes worry that I’m spending a lot of time taking photos and writing about things which a very small community of people care about – but, maybe one or two is enough.
  • “It’s more fun to be a pirate than join the Navy.” — Steve Jobs

  • Tuesday, a meeting at Beerhouse with Randolf and Johann, drove to Stellenbosch, Werner visit, updated the apps on my phone with Stellenbosch free wifi… which seems a bit slower these days, back and neck massage, a walk up Coetzenburg mountain and an AfrikaBurn planning chat with Ernst – a beer at Trumpet Tree and a burger at Apres, a drink with Jan at Balboa chatting about Arduino LED cubes.
  • The cure for a stiff neck… posture and a few exercises… and maybe some massages, swimming, sauna visits and walking.
  • Can’t say I like the FNB online banking website.
  • I managed to replace my emergency slops with some new Reef (Phantom Flight) slops. So much better. The little things you use a lot.
  • Wednesday, woke up on a rainy day on Paul’s farm, gym, swim, sauna, found some new shorts (for some reason it’s hard to find shorts in Cape Town in March), mega epic salad, Arduino Tech Talk at The Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock… good fun – 3D printing, robots and motorboats, a beer at Power and the Glory with Johann and Rob (who I have not seen in about 2 years).
  • Nice group of people at the Tech Talk. Similar to the LUG days of 1999, just way more low level electronics. I guess the Linux battle has been won – nobody is getting exited about the sun rising…
  • “You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.” — Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  • Would have loved to have things like Arduino and Lego Mindstorm when I was a child.
  • I found the present I wanted to give Mia for her birthday. Just in time.
  • Nice read: Urban Agriculture… the ultimate hobby project, fish, food, Arduinos and maybe some robotics.
  • I was quoted in this article: Stellenbosch rising
  • Thursday, gym, swim, Long street roof visit with Johann, a beer at Van Hunks with Georg, Bianca and Terence, a visit to Aiden and Camilla’s, a beer at the Power and the Glory with Georg.
  • We found some roof space in Long Street for our first farm.
  • Go read Ashley’s first blog post.
  • “Let’s face it, you’re saving them from their lives.” — Georg

  • “You can tell the size of a man by the size of the things that bother him.”

  • I was reminded of this line: “Winston: We grow copious amounts of ganja, yah? And you’re carrying a wasted girl and a bag of fertilizer. You don’t look like your average horti-fucking-culturalist!” — Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

  • Friday, public holiday, fetched Mia, Flick and Lick (the class hamsters), drove to Rooiels, beach walk and swim, braai.
  • Saturday, walked from Rooiels to Pringle Bay and back with Georg while Mia watched (the much awaited) Clone Wars Season 6, fish and chips at the Kleinmond Harbour, ice cream, nap, Mia watched The Sound of Music movie (for the first time), braai, red wine and Rummikub listening to Chris Chameleon and Koos du Plessis.
  • Sunday, morning walk, Mia had some guitar lessons, beach walk and ball games, Sunday lunch, nap, drove back along the coastal road, dropped Mia and the hamsters at Naulene’s house, fetched Cath from the airport, awesome sunset, photo processing, walked down to the Labia to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel… pretty good, but not in the top four.
  • Just imagine how many good movies you would have to catch up on if you were 8 years old (at the end of the month).
  • I had a few hamsters when I was a child, but these were super cute.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Mia’s 8th birthday weekend (part one, two weeks early)…

The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie
  • Monday, Georg left for the airport fairly early, morning walk around Tamboerskloof, made myself a six eggs (and one avo) breakfast, some blogging, sunset walk from Glen Beach, across Camps Bay beach to Bakoven and back, drove back along the coastal road listening to some jazz.
  • Tuesday, visited Werner – great to have uncapped internet for an hour, London conference call, good meeting in Stellenbosch, much needed back and neck massage, Mia’s school parent interviews, dinner with Paul and Al (aka the CrossFit kids) at Hussar grill in Stellenbosch – try the Filet Moutarde – we had the new Domaine Grier Chardonnay… thanks Paul.
  • Wednesday, tea with Tobie at the Kloof st Knead, walked all the way up Lions Head – have not done that in about three years, watched Ender’s Game… not bad, watched an interesting BBC documentary about David Bowie – 5 Years: Hunky Dory, Ziggy, Young Americans.
  • “The minute you know you’re on safe ground, you’re dead. You’re finished. It’s over. The last thing I want is to be established.” — David Bowie, Twenty years later he commented that “not knowing where you’re going is what makes it exciting for me.”

  • Life is a collection of moments… which is why you need to take photos.
  • Thursday, watered the plants, six eggs for breakfast, fetched Victoria’s baking tray from Al’s conferencing building, walked by the building where I used to work for IOL in the dot com days – good memories, gym, fetched snail mail, walked through the Eastern Food Bazar, shopping for Mia’s party, sunset walk around Tamboerskloof, a beer at Power and the Glory – skype/phone chats and AfrikaBurn planning with Georg, Anton, Ernst and Jordan.
  • Your 30s; when your phone’s favourites list (address book) does not need to scroll.
  • Try the new 90% dark Lindt.
  • Friday, Mia was on the front page of the weekly school newspaper (my photo of her SCUBA diving at Fun Day), opened and FNB account, party shoppping for a big helium pirate balloon and an “8” candle, fetched Mia from MTech, Mia’s 8th birthday party (two weeks early) at the water slides in Strand… I made about 22 ice cream cones, played photographer, a few supertube rides with Mia, Francis managed to set the big helium balloon free, good party, Mia enjoyed it, sunset walk around Stellenbosch with Mia, supper at Anton’s dad’s with Anton, Georg and Petr, drove back to Cape Town – Mia fell asleep in the car.
  • I’ve definitely developed a thing for Tahini. Yum.
  • Managed to watch a total of 0 minutes of the Oscar trial so far.
  • Saturday, the Full Monty at Daily Deli with Mia and Georg, watched The Lego Movie at the Waterfront with Mia… great fun, dress shopping (Anton’s gift), gelato, late lunch at the Camps Bay Primi Piatti with Georg, G&T at The Roundhouse with Aiden and Camilla, sunset walk with Mia from Clifton 4th to 1st and back… bumped into Francois busy with a photo shoot, we stumbled upon the Short and Sweet Full Moon Drive-in at Maidens Cove and watched Khumba… nice (local) movie, great idea and venue, wind still evening under the stars snuggling under a sleeping bag and eating popcorn, bumped into Paul, Tammy and Lyal who were sitting just behind us through the movie and had a glass of wine with them, great day.
  • The Lego Movie… good script and social commentary: “follow the instructions”, expensive coffee, lame pop music, mindless TV shows. I think we can all identify with the feeling of wanting to glue the final build together – yet the real master builders are the creatives among us, not caught up in the instructions. Worth a 2nd watch.
  • Sunday, Deer Park with Mia, cheescake, nap, dropped Mia at her gran’s, Big Beta Beach sunset drinks, watched The Goods – Jeremy Piven is cool.
  • I kinda felt robbed of summer this year, but I figure I had a good catch up with Lions Head, Clifton and Bakoven outings over the last two weeks.
  • I used to enjoy running lots of businesses at once, like 4 or 5 at a time. Then I figured focusing on on only one would be nice and obviously investors like this – all your eggs in one basket. More recently I think it’s probably good for entrepreneurs to have a few businesses brewing on the side in the same way VCs like to invest in 20 businesses at a time.
  • “Writers live twice. They go along with their regular life, are as fast as anyone in the grocery store, crossing the street, getting dressed for work in the morning. But there’s another part of them that they have been training. The one that lives everything a second time. That sits down and sees their life again and goes over it. Looks at the texture and details.” — Natalie Goldberg

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Sound of Music weekend…

Sunset view from Lions Head
Sunset view from Lions Head
  • Monday, up early, school run from Cape Town – quick drive actually, very little traffic, blogging, gym, went to watch Mia’s swimming training and drove her to the Helderberg zonal swimming gala… Mia came 4th in backstroke and 2nd in her freestyle swim, dropped Mia at her gran’s house (for Pancake Day), back to Cape Town, watched American Hustle… great movie – the Louis CK ice fishing story was pretty cool.
  • I’ve been using OSX for ten years today – since the days of my first laptop – 12″ Powerbook.
  • I’m a bit bummed I missed the Kogelbay party on Sunday.
  • Tuesday, work – mostly tweaking investment docs, power nap, sunset walk around Lions Head, Skype meeting about a Kickstarter video.
  • Cape Town is awesome – not that Stellenbosch was bad, but…
  • Wednesday, up early, watered the plans (training for my new food hacking interests), meeting in Stellenbosch, pancakes and tea with Werner at Blue Orange (because I missed out on Pancake Day), Mia birthday party venue shopping at La Pineta, gym (reading mail), lunch with Andrew (our man from China), took Mia to a mini cricket match at Somerset Collage – it was a draw, but nice improvement in her game from the previous week, fetched Francis, took the girls to Strand Waterworld (more party venue shopping) and got a set of 1/2000sec water slide photos, dropped the girls off, sunset walk around Tamboerskloof, photo processing.
  • Good memories of living in Tamboerskloof – like the octopus story (Andrew waking up the next morning finding his two cats licking the octopus) and helping Scott break into his house. Cool neighbours. I suggested the hotel across the road to the French girl I met in Geneva – the Mulholland Drive of Cape Town.
  • You’re probably not going to buy yourself a house in Leeukloof road with ZAR, which is why I’m on my current mission to look for business opportunities in Europe.
  • That house husband thing does not sound so bad this week, which – let’s face it is pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last two weeks if you exclude startup fundraising.
  • We agreed on Mia’s birthday party day and venue.
  • I now have my very own toothbrush charger again.
  • Life is a game. This is your strategy guide.
  • Thursday, long day, gym, swim, U-start conference at the Radisson Hotel, Mia had a swimming gala vs Kentridge and did well in the backstroke race.
  • Ever notice how parliament is really just in the way of Cape Town traffic flow?
  • “You have to keep shaking the tree.” — Marc from SBC A’DAM, about raising investment. Which made me think – I still have a lot to learn. I’ve only really been at this for three years, 8 investment deals later and a few pivots – but no international deals yet.

  • Friday, woke up with neck pain (*sigh*), work, designed and sent Mia’s birthday party invite (cool photo I think), gym, swim, nap, walked to Van Hunks, more than one drink with Georg, Milton, Ollie and Etienne – fun evening.
  • Good to see Etienne – probably one if his last nights out in Cape Town for a while.
  • I’m enjoying this distributed office idea, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Amsterdam, London. New respect for Skype.
  • Saturday, the Full Monte breakfast at Daily Deli with Georg, fetched Mia from Camps Bay, Beta Beach visit, walked by our old house/beach, Fun Day at Mia’s school, Mia went Scuba diving in the pool and got dunked (ball game), caught the tail end of the ParkOff (AfrikaBurn event) at Deer Park – Mia liked the Mutant Vehicles and seemed very keen to see AfrikaBurn, pizza at Woodlands Eatery (food was a bit meh) with Georg and Mia, a drink with Etienne (he came to borrow a bicycle to ride a very windy Argus), photo processing.
  • Seems you can SCUBA dive from 8yo and dive in the sea from 10yo.
  • “Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.” — Arthur Miller

  • Sunday, we folded an origami Blue Crane (for a school project), minor snag: Naulene did not pack any clothes or shoes for Mia, so off to the Waterfront, introduced Mia to schwarmas, Lego shop (must. have. EV3. soon.), put new (anti-glare) LCD screen protectors on my DSLR – without any bubbles!, we played some Lego Mindstorm Fix the Factory (iPad game), off to the Artscape Theatre, cheesecake, we watched The Sound of Music – Mia loved it, dropped Mia at Naulene’s house (around 21:30), watched a bit of Black Sails (filmed at Cape Town film studios) with Georg – not the best series, great weekend.
  • Feel like my head is in Cape Town now. Took me a while to really leave Stellenbosch the last time, but I recently figured out that I was not so much in love with the place than in love with a girl there (and maybe the red wine an squash Thursdays).
  • Note to self: take better care of working environment / ergonomics.
  • “Silence is the loudest parting word you never say.” — from Amen Omen, Ben Harper.

  • Getting ready to make a few big changes, I hope.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Weekend in Vermont…

Braaibroodjies
Braaibroodjies
  • Quick Update number 304 (almost 6 years).
  • Monday, put the last few month’s of Mia’s photos on her iPad1 (10670 photos in total now), Skype meeting, gym, pool was too full to swim, a sunset walk around Tamboerskloof – walked by the farm and our old house in Leeukloof Road, Mousaka for supper at Daily Deli – good memories of that place, watched Captain Phillips… not bad.
  • Had a chat with Charl about music festivals en Europe on Sunday – I really need to go check out a few (for business reasons obviously).
  • If I end up moving to Cape Town I’ll have to become a weekend dad again, not ideal, but will just have to make the most of it.
  • Tuesday, up early, gym, swim, I seemed to have lost my slops at gym the previous day and they were not at lost and found… very annoying, managed to process about 1/2 the email in my inbox, walked around Lions Head, made some salad, a beer at Sgt. Peppers with Johann.
  • Wednesday, meeting with Jan and Werner at Blue Crane in Stellenbosch, picked up some emergency slops, haircut, watched Mia’s cricket team (the U8 Unicorns) vs Beaumont – they won, but I was pretty unimpressed by the level of coaching, nice afternoon with Mia – walking around and taking photos at Vergelegen… beautiful gardens, epic play area, Mia took a few photos, Mediterranean platter and a game of chess for supper at W Cafe, dropped Mia at her mom’s, sunset drive back to Cape Town.
  • Thursday, breakfast at Loading Bay in De Waterkant with Michael, Jared and Armin, gym, swim, dropped Cath at the airport, walked down to Wellness Warehouse and helped Ashley with some WordPress tips – let’s hope she sticks with it, Lions Head walk, watched the sunset from Signal Hill – all kinds of awesome.
  • Seems there is a pretty big community of food/farm hacking around Cape Town.
  • I kinda feel like a tourist in Cape Town – bit of a love-hate thing.
  • If I had to do it all again > Seed funding > build POC > make Video > refine pitch > skip talking to SA VCs > join accelerator in EU / US… build something witch the global (English speaking) market wants.
  • Something must be very wrong – I suspect I’m starting to prefer the odd glass of Sauvignon Blanc over Chardannay.
  • I was thinking I should have bought a DSLR earlier and I should have started my weekly blog posts earlier. Then again, as Jacques recently pointed out I was taking photos of my food since 2000 and posting them online – back then it was strange, now it’s pretty normal.
  • Friday, rainy admin day, fetched Georg from the airport, Fetched Mia and Francis (a bit of drama), drove to Hermanus – beach house on the sea in Vermont… Mia did not remember the place – since we last visited in Dec 2009, braai.
  • Saturady, Hemel and Aarde Valley wine tour – the lesser known spots this time, Southern Right, Sumaridge… nice cheese and fruit platter, Domaine Des Dieux.. most impressive, Hermanus Pietersfontein, which brings me to 9/17 of the H&A farms visited now.. awesome Chardonnay region, sunset walk, G&Ts, epic braai (thanks Georg) – filet, sosaties, braaibroodjies.
  • Sunday, up at 4:00 with Francis coughing – took her some water which helped, morning walk along the wooden beach walkway to the tidal pools, packing, drove to Gordon’s Bay, big hake and calamari meal at the harbour, ice cream, rainy drive to drop Georg at the airport, walked around the Waterfront with Mia and Francis – nice new play area… it’s been too long, gelato, photo processing, in bed early.
  • Great weekend, 84 photos (above average).
  • Tunes of the week: Brothers album by The Black Keys.
  • Remember: Tuesday the 4th is pancake day!

Have a fun week, crazy kids.