Monthly Archives: March 2015

Quick Update

Surveillance for ants…

Berg River Dam walk
Berg River Dam walk
  • Week of 23-29 March.
  • Health week 6/10.
  • Monday, school run from Franschhoek – 1 hour drive, work, gym, swim, haircut at Yogi’s (who removed SnapScan because of “tax reasons”), nap, very nice 2 hour walk from Bantry Bay to the Bakoven and back, watched the sunset from the Beta Beach big rock, post-sunset swim at home, tea, dark chocolate, photo and notes processing.
  • We had this idea for an NSA ant farm with CCTV art project at AfrikaBurn. “What is this? Mass surveillance for ants?”
  • Tuesday, walked to work, catch up meetings with Giuliano and Ben at Bootleggers, watched the last over of the cricket, investor meeting, sunset swim at home.
  • “Is FB flakey one level above CPT flakey?” — about Cape Town people attending events.

  • Seems Teraco was sold for around 140m USD.
  • “You have to die a few times before you can really live.” — Charles Bukowski

  • Wednesday, up early, walked to the office, Anton bought Mia a pink rabbit onesie for AfrikaBurn / her birthday, great lunch at La Perla with Chris, sunset swim at home, 90% dark chocolate and tea and blogging.
  • Naulene phoned me, she seems to have made up her mind that Mia should stay with me soon – …or maybe Mia engineered this.
  • Thursday, interesting meeting… learnt a bit more about fibre link budgets, drove to Franschhoek, afternoon catch-up walk with Nikki, some AfrikaBurn planning, we managed to order all the things for the Vegas Sign… laser cutting etc, dinner with some Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2013 – best Chardonnay in the world… very good – I like it.
  • I think I’ve gone more than a week without taking my phone off silent – who needs ringtones?
  • ERnst. HilAH. – hehe.
  • Really wish there was an 85% dark chilli Lindt version – 70% seems sweet.
  • Friday, some remote working, sunset walk with T10 G&Ts with oversized ice cubes.
  • “I don’t want more choice, I just want nicer things!” — Absolutely Fabulous

  • Saturday, a morning walk with Nikki and the dogs in the hills around the Berg River dam (see above), lots of swimming, sunset walk.
  • Sunday, Groovy Troopers with Nikki, great fun, more swimming.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Onward to the dust…

Bantry Bay
Bantry Bay
  • Week of 16-22 March.
  • Health week 5/10.
  • Monday, fibre route planning meeting, read all the Constantia Fibre responses – very interesting and kinda ironic that of the bunch I think Octotel and Frogfoot are the only real Open Access options, a sunset promenade walk, some blogging at home.
  • Mia went on a Grade 3 camp.
  • Techstars London Summer 2015 applications opened this week.
  • In case you were wondering, I’m back in the telecoms game. Open Access fibre networks. Looking to launch the new products soon.
  • I might actually unpack my things in Bantry Bay soon, when I’m bored one evening.
  • Tuesday, walked to work, in the office till 19:00ish, post-sunset swim at home, some theme camp related tinkering – we have a new colourful logo now, kinda missed St. Patricks day, productive day… happy that we found a creative crew name – at last – and a theme/story that can have some continuity in coming years, bugged me for months (read: years).
  • Very cool to have people to be creative with. Pro tip: date a geek.
  • We renamed the theme camp / creative crew / collective to Atomic City (go like our page). Think 100 years after the 50s – how would you have imagined the future way back then? …”welcome to the 21st century, Marvin the Martian”.
  • Should GUST become open source? Johann’s idea.
  • Wednesday, walked to work… scenic route next to the sea, R16 paleo Checkers breakfast, busy day – bit of a blur… lots of context switching, at the office till after 19:00 again, post-sunset swim, tried to catch up with some reading.
  • Interesting read: Why women leave men they love.
  • The beginning of impossible things happening…”

  • “Pablo Picasso said it best: The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.” — from here

  • Pre-registered for my 6th Rocking the Daisies.
  • Bucky Fuller Rogers… having fun with this retrofuturism thing.
  • Thursday, walked to work, a swim at home, sunset walk to Clifton 1st and back, the usual tinkering, tea and dark chocolate, ordered some LEDs and ELwire from China, blogging.
  • This paleo + 16h IF weekday routine seem to match my (probably sub) 9000kj mcJob activity levels. Lost about 8kg since London… 85kg now, another 2kg for 25 BMI, lightest I’ve been since about 2002.
  • Seems Jacques and Georg are not going to AfrikaBurn anymore. It’s not for everybody.
  • Jacques sent me this recently – kinda related to why I think things like Burning Man are cool – getting back to building stuff and understanding the fundamentals – like growing food…

    “The skills are never going to be equal and there will never be a totally technology age. Even in ancient Rome, the further you moved from the center, the more primitive it became. We have that today. Those in cities would starve for they know nothing about growing food etc. The city dweller may be at the head of technology, but they are also the first to crash and burn in the decline for they leave behind important basic knowledge. Ask yourself, do you know the phone number of everyone you call? I have a BMW with all the gadgets. The light come on automatically to the point I do not need a key to get in or start the car. When I have to rent a car someplace, I suddenly see how dependent I have become on that technology. As we advance, we leave behind skills that we still really need.

    So look to technology, but do not forget your basic engineering skills. Develop both. The top jobs will be in computer skills, but you still need to understand what you are programming about.”

  • Friday, woke up after a fog horn interrupted sleep, two interesting meetings, crazy traffic leaving Cape Town – passed 3 accidents, fetched Mia from school, we drove to Franschhoek, some tennis with Mia, sunset swim.
  • “The thing is, Joe, we never do fly off to Rome on a moment’s notice.” — Sally

  • Saturday, Campari and tennis with Mia, swim, Nikki baked (great) scones, registered our AfrikaBurn art project – a “welcome home” sign, watched Avatar again with Mia (should have rather had a nap), sunset walk with Nikki, Mia and the dogs.
  • Looks like I’ll be spending a winter in Cape Town.
  • Some wise guys stole Nikki’s Telkom copper lines – but they were caught a few days later… ran out of fuel on the way back home, slept in the car and got woken up by the police who spotted the cable in the back. *grin*
  • Sunday, vitamin and immune booster party with the kids, watched The Wind Rises (Ghibli)… beautiful but boring, afternoon around the pool, some more LED/ELwire ordering from Andrew in China, impromptu sunset tennis party with my favourite Chardonnay in plastic cups, sunset walk, lettuce shell ~tacos.
  • “Ten years in the sun, did you live them well?” — The Wind Rises

  • Mia managed to swim a full length underwater after I gave her some tips on breathing and keeping her heart rate down – she looked very happy with herself.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Sim Farm legend…

Franschhoek – Stellenbosch fires/smoke in the background
  • Week of 9-15 March.
  • Health week 4/10.
  • Monday, school run from Franschhoek to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody (Mia’s selection), work, swim, car wash, fixed the Kano at Mia’s school, watched Mia swim in the zonal gala… she swam freestyle, backstroke, freestyle relay and the ladder relay, omelettes for supper while Mia finished her homework, dropped Mia at her gran’s house, arrived home to Wouter’s mad scientist (temperature probes) steak dish, babies don’t sleep this well.
  • Discovered a big Philip K Dick book collection at home. Must make time to read some of them.
  • “There is life and there is death – and in the middle there is maintenance.” — o/h at the swimming gala.

  • Tuesday, walked to work, catch-up meeting with Simon, sunset walk along Kloof rd and back via Nettleton rd, some Vegas sign design work.
  • Takes me 8 minutes to walk to work.
  • What new thing/industry are you going to be learning this year?
  • Wednesday, GPON vendor meeting, meeting with Naulene, parent-teacher meeting… a fairly painful experience, had supper with Mia while she finished some homework, we shared a dark chocolate bunny, a sunset walk around Radlof park with Mia while teaching her some Afrikaans, dropped Mia at her mom’s house, a 1k swim at gym… only person in the pool, back to Cape Town, Wouter made what he calls “rich as fuck biscuits” with berries and ice cream, wrote a letter – which was nice.
  • Seems Mia is stressed and her teachers are worried. She is very mature for her age, but she should be pretty care-free at this point in time and not dealing with her mom’s stresses. The teacher even said that Mia gets stressed because she worries about my reaction to Naulene not doing anything about her toe. The German baker is back in Germany not paying any maintenance. Not ideal.
  • Thursday, walked to the office, nice sales meeting, painful equipment vendor meeting, had to go dig around in storage for camping gear for Mia’s school camp… no fun, watched Mia’s last gala for the season… she won her backstroke race, Anton phoned… he thinks all our customers are porn surfers, a walk and a sunset swim in Franschhoek (see above).
  • Friday, woke up in Franschhoek, Constantia Fibre proposal writing, tea and home-made hummus and seed crackers… yum, theme camp stamp design session, inbox zero, sunset swim, we watched Romancing the Stone… classic – have not seen it in ages.
  • Saturday, morning swim, AfrikaBurn theme camp planning day with Nikki, Paul, Wouter, Seraina, Storm and Angelique, swim, home made pizza party (which almost became a steak night)… lots of fun.
  • Sunday, great brunch with Nikki and Paul, a stroll around the farm, Backsberg picnic concert with Mr Cat and the Jackal… nice size event with bad craft beer, Dane made paleo burgers.
  • Turns out Nikki is a Sim Farm legend.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Atomic City…

  • Week of 2-8 March. Yeah, this post is a bit late – it feels so long ago.
  • Health week 3/10.
  • Monday, fetched a new car tyre, work, swim, rare fillet Bearnaise at Hussar Grill / Camps Bay with Wouter… chatted material design options for the theme camp’s Vegas sign, my first night in the new house in Bantry Bay.
  • 8 short weeks to AfrikaBurn.
  • Tuesday, walked to work, sunset swim at home, unpacked a bit.
  • Been pondering AgTech and venture builders again recently.
  • “If you’ve watched Interstellar, you’ve seen a vivid portrayal of the desperate times a global food shortage could cause. If any entrepreneurs out there are on the fence about whether to get into AgTech, I hope that film and today’s announcement convince them there’s something more important to build than social games and photo apps.” — Farm2050

  • Read a painful report from Mia’s school shrink this week. *sigh* Might need to make some changes to her monthly routine.
  • Wednesday, city fibre meeting, lunch-time Vegas sign material and price scouting mission with Wouter, sunset promenade walk, catch-up supper with Andreas at Fishmonger in Camps Bay, more Vegas sign 3D CAD tinkering.
  • Funny how ideas which at first seemed radical can be pretty normal and popular 5 years down the line. No sugar, IF, etc. I’ve been trying IF for 16 hours (from about 18:30 to 10:30).
  • Thursday, walked to work, a swim at home, epic long sunset walk from Bantry Bay to Clifton 4 and back, tea and moar Vegas sign design work with Wouter.
  • Getting a crash course is industrial design – building a 6m high sign (on the cheap) is no trivial project. Nice to be creative and work out ways to build it.
  • Inbox zero for the first time in about eight months! …and RSS feed reading all up to date.
  • Bad cop, without a good cop.
  • 12/20 theme camp members now.
  • “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.” — Matt

  • “There are three things I love in this world: Kylie Minogue, small dimples just above a woman’s buttocks, and the fear in the man’s eye who knows that I’m about to hurt him.” — The Other Guys… about dimples at outdoor events.

  • Friday, up early, beautiful Cape Town day, fetched Mia from Mtech – sense of humour failure… her big toe was infected and Naulene had know about it for 6 days while not taking Mia to the doctor, chemist visit… where they tried to give Mia “homoeopathic antibiotics”, a quick visit to the biltong shop, doctor visit, chemist again… more antibiotics, drove to Franschhoek, dinner at Ryan’s kitchen with Nikki… great berry souffle.
  • “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

  • No coffee, no sugar, no carbs, no alcohol – eventful week.
  • I can’t wait for self driving cars.
  • Saturday, watched some polo at Val de Vie… mildly under-dressed (zx spectrum tshirt), briefly met Ryk, braai, favourite Chardonnay, good conversation, fun evening.
  • Sunday, swim, nap, watched the end of the last Harry Potter movie, sunset swim, we never played that planned game of tennis because of Mia’s sore toe.
  • We had an idea that maybe next year we should reuse our wedding chapel and make it part of a bigger theme camp idea… something like an Atomic City… remember that scene at the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Where he ends up in the fridge with the atomic bomb test? Like that, but with a bit of retrofuturism… the way people would imagine the future in the 50s. I also like the idea of celebrating ambitious (and somewhat failed) design… The DeLorean, the Dymaxion Car etc.
  • Retrofuturism is a thing.
  • “Safety third.”

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Herding kittens…

  • Week of 23 February to 1 March.
  • SleekGeek week 2/10.
  • “Fight Club became the reason to cut your hair short or trim your fingernails.”

  • Monday, at the office by 7:00ish… after ironing a shirt, upgraded Mia’s laptop to OSX 10.10 and installed Prey, sunset promenade walk (feels a lot like Tel Aviv actually), watched 1/2 of The Dark Knight Rises again – good ending, watched Next… not bad.
  • Tuesday, good meeting in Newlands, had to get a car tyre swapped, drove to Franschhoek to see Nikki – back from her travels.
  • Wednesday, scrambled eggs with cream, interesting meeting at the airport – which ended up in a job offer (in Joburg) – which is not going to happen, visited Jonathan’s new office at The Old Castle Breweries, my first AfrikaBurn town hall meeting – listened to Larry Harvey talk (Burning Man founder)… very interesting.
  • “Belief is thought at rest.” — Larry

  • Immediacy: “Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.”

  • Rule 1 of startups: no assholes, I was reminded of this again recently.
  • I was driving today and thought about that How the CIA made Google article. Really hope Elon Musk is not similar to Peter Thiel and others involved in things like Palantir. That would suck.
  • Thursday, tinkered with some gate handout copy for our theme camp – Atomic Love Factory by the Sunshine Deluxe Collective, Mia’s failed swimming gala, she forgot her swimming costume at home… I fetched it from Naulene’s house – last minute, then could not find Mia at school, drove to the gala hoping she found a lift, could not find her there, sense of humour failure, found her at school, had a long chat with her over an early supper at Lourensford – we talked about awareness and the impact our actions have on others, self reliance and talent vs. work – in short, if she does not clean up her act she’s not going to AfrikaBurn, hated my life for a few hours while avoiding packing up everything at home with tea and dark chocolate, Ernst phoned – attempted to have a conversation with bad signal and heavy wind blowing outside the house… Vredehoek fun.
  • Our theme camp gate handout copy reads:

    Atomic Love Factory

    Get hitched! Indulge in the fast-food experience star-crossed lovers have been waiting for. Celebrate your lurve at our Vegas-style wedding chapel.

    Introducing the Seven Day Marriage of Highly Effective AfrikaBurners. Change your husband/wife as often as you change your underwear. Why? Because you can. It’s all about experiencing the Polygamy of Instantly Gratifying Love in a non-judgmental space.

    Bring your friends and make it official with our speedy non-binding sunset wedding extravaganza.

    Various wedding packages available
    Get a polaroid to remember your special day/days
    Bookings/enquiries: @4ish / directly with Elvis

  • Yes, you can still join the theme camp, but time is running out.
  • Friday, up at 5:00, big packing and moving day, dumped a lot of stuff in storage, dropped off some stuff at Wouter’s house, Up Yours / Yours Truly with Paul, Marilize, Claus and Janey, watched Beast at Assembly (above photo)… very good show – love the opera sounds in between the rock music, House of Machines with Paul, Evol with Paul, Janey and Hilah… not the best place to go.
  • Saturday, woke up at Hilah’s house, finished moving (big *sigh*), Constantia Fresh at Buitenverwachting with Paul, Olivia, Joanna and Ross… good fun, Peddlers on the Bend with Michael and Nicole, found some more theme camp members, Paul decided not to go to the party on Sunday and then woke up at 6:00ish the next day wanting to go again.
  • “Sauvignon Blanc is the Iceberg lettuce of wine.” — Ross

  • Vader Sessions – brilliant. Thanks Michael. “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball…”
  • “You must avenge my death Simba. Luke, I am your father. This is CNN.”

  • Sunday, woke up on Olivia’s couch, Masqued Ball in Coolbay (Kogelbaai) with Olivia, Michael and Nicole… good fun – but windy – not as good as 2013, a swim in Franschhoek, Nikki made great paleo burgers.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.