Monthly Archives: November 2015

Quick Update

There is no middle ground…

Wally's Cave
Wally’s Cave
  • Week of 23-29 November.
  • Not a health week at all – did not make it to gym even once. I think the coming week needs to be a health week again.
  • Monday, office, late lunchtime podcast walk, a beer with Anton at La Perla, early supper with Nick at Primi in Sea Point – we talked London startups, breakups and fasting.
  • “Forget that you are afraid.”

  • Note to self: eat more green leafy veg.
  • Tuesday, up early for a Lions Head walk with Grant – who I met at the gym – also a swimmer – also a breakup story (we were both at gym a bit too often), cool guy, bit of an adventure to find Wally’s Cave (see above) on the side of Lions Head, rad walk – bumped into Chantal, Jason and Adriaan on the way – busy morning on the mountain, office, sales person interview, lunchtime podcast walk, after work drink with Anton and Gys at The Radisson – chatted about an idea Anton has been thinking about for ages, Gys is a very cool guy.
  • I installed the WordPress OSX app and Jetpack plugin (for my blog). Pretty cool – but the HTML editing features are totally missing – will have to keep using the web interface for a while. I just like to see the html tags I guess.
  • Wednesday, TiTea, Anton dropped some keys off, catch up with Roger and David in Green Point, office, painful meeting with a building manager trying to do his own fibre cabling solution, stayed at the office pretty late, ended up finally doing some server migrations (moved all the stuff I still needed off the Gust Linode), migrated the TrustFabric website to my personal Linode (a bit rusty with the Python/Django tinkering, thanks for the pointers Werner) – I even managed to get two SSL websites running on the same IP without much effort.
  • “No artist tolerates reality.” — Nietzsche

  • Check out: Startup Playbook
  • Thursday, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime podcast walk, a quick nap at home, cocktail party at Aston Martin in the Waterfront, Thanksgiving dinner / housewarming at Cath’s new place in Gardens – tin foil hats, strawberry lips, pumpkin pie, Colmant and 80s music – nice chat with Niel, great desserts – thanks Cath.
  • Tune of the week: Journey – Don’t Stop Believin
  • Listen to episode 13 of the Tim Ferriss podcast – a very honest essay. Pretty short also. Productivity Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)
  • I’ve been a bit slack with the meditation. Morning routines seems to be a unique challenge.
  • “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself… that is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” — Neil Gaiman (of Stardust and Coraline fame)

  • I switched back to using iTerm2 – the OSX Terminal app was making me unhappy.
  • Who really has time for anything or anybody? I think the key is to see friends once a month and be cool with that.
  • Friday, office, some trench sharing letter writing, catch up with Nico and Naude in Stellenbosch, tea with Alex at Stomme Jonge, a visit to the municipality building, fetched Mia, failed attempt to see JM, a quick visit to The Thirsty Scarecrow, we drove to the top of the hill for a Chardonnay tasting at Uva Mira – always cool, we drove to the top of the other hill for a sunset supper at The Long Table / Haskell Vineyards (see below) – nice cheesecake, perfect afternoon with Mia, in bed early.
  • I kinda worked out why books have chapters… to motivate writers to write – units of progress.
  • Mia received two awards / certificates this week: best girls swimmer and most improved cricket player. She must have started showing some interest in cricket.
  • “Moenie worry nie AD, die Rand is so swak meisies trou nou weer vir liefde – my Ma” — Adrian, spotted on FB

  • F*ck That: A Guided Meditation
  • I’ve decided that I like writing. Now I just need to work out what to write about. I’ve been pondering writing essays. Some actual writing. Things people actually care to read – outside the realm of my 40 blog readers (-:
  • Mia finished reading all the Harry Potter books, she’s moved on to Nancy Drew. She finished a book over the weekend.
  • Saturday, slept till 9:00 – which was awesome, because I’d had three nights of not so great sleep in a row, backups, BIA machine visit – Mia lost 3kg from being sick recently, fresh juices and breakfast with Mia at Knead, shopping (Mia needed a new hair brush, hair bands etc – how do you lose a whole pack of hairbands? one a day I guess), frogurt, we watched Planes, Tranes and Automobiles on Netflix… classic movie – some great scenes, milk and chia smoothies, salad and Uva Mira Chardonnay, micro nap, I introduced Mia to Neil Diamond on the drive to a promenade walk – epic sunset – we talked about retaining muscle mass without gravity, how aliens might look in double or half our gravity and the benefits of meditation for kids, pizza at Posticino with Mia, Marc (of Obox/Layers fame) and Fran, bumped into Alan, very good Tiramisu… I might have a thing for Tiramisu.
  • Humans are strange. We cling to tiny bits of good in experiences, but we also focus on big bits of bad, uncertainty and stress in our everyday lives. Evolutionary bias towards fear. Basically we are programmed to eat too much and worry all the time. Pretty broken, really.
  • Alan says he keeps a flat in Sea Point – to escape the insular (snow globe) Stellenbosch vibes over weekends. Smart.
  • Life imitates AfrikaBurn.
  • I’ve been pondering the rarity of love. Tricky thing.
  • I need a haircut. This is the longest my hair has been since 1996.
  • Sunday, breakfast at Baked in Bakoven with Sanja and Mia – we chatted aB ARG design, Beta beach walk (my spiritual home / see below), bumped into Mark from Mxit days, milk and chia smoothie, showed Mia Vader Sessions – never gets old, epic nap, putt putt re-match – it was a tie again, promenade walk, long lazy afternoon at La Perla reading on the porch (mostly Nancy Drew and Paul Graham essays), I tried to introduce Mia to (white wine and saffron cream) muscles – she was not convinced – very good with some a Glen Carlou Chardonnay, catch up chat with Paul, made an attempt at cooking some healthy food for Mia.
  • If I put my laptop in the bread bin in the kitchen it works pretty well as a standing desk.
  • “Did you dry these in a rainforest?”

  • What if there was a drug to make people do things with passion? Hmm. I suspect the closest thing is cool people to work with.
  • I might need new/more friends. Should make more effort when meeting new people.
  • One day I’m going to read all the Paul Graham essays.
  • “It’s true that every great entrepreneur is first and foremost a designer.” — Extracts from Zero to One

  • “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” — Peter Thiel’s favourite interview question.

  • Start of my next health mission. Three weeks.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Haskell Vineyards
Haskell Vineyards
Little Beta Beach
Little Beta Beach

Quick Update

Gin and stoic…

Mozilla Party
Mozilla Party
  • Week of 16-22 November.
  • This is my first post published with the WordPress OSX Desktop app.
  • Monday, school run, gym, office, lunchtime podcast walk, DD doc editing, weekly blog post writing, sunset podcast walk (Tim Ferriss show).
  • Seems I’ve inspired some people to do the fasting thing – Cameron came up to me at gym saying he’s started a fast.
  • “How do you become a good writer?: live an interesting life.” ~- from a Tim Ferriss podcast Ep4. Hmm… I need to find more interesting projects.

  • Facebook detox week, I witched off phone notifications for a whole butch of apps. I try and only check the social media sites twice a day.
  • I’ve been pondering a more productive (early) morning routine.
  • “I am not here to be your good influence.” — spotted on a tshirt

  • Follow your gut.
  • I need to watch Inception again.
  • Check out Headspace.
  • Tuesday, 10min meditation, swim, AfricaCom at the CTICC, lunch with Raphael – who I met in Geneva – he is living is Singapore now – sounds like a cool city, more DD doc writing at the office, upgraded to a Let’s Encrypt early Beta programme SSL cert – works well.
  • Worth a rewatch: How great leaders inspire action
  • I like the idea that “why?” speaks to the limbic brain – passion and motivation.
  • Check out Mobility WOD
  • Wednesday, published my thee recent health related posts on Medium – my three month journey from a flabby text neck geek to single digit fat percentage, swim (actually spent more time in the sauna than in the pool), lean coffee with David and Roger, AfricaCom, I met up with Niel from Vumatel at the Waterfront, DD meeting at the office, bacon and eggs at 16:00 with Michael and a frogurt, Mozilla party at Tjing Tjing – good fun (see above) – thanks, Teraco party at the aquarium, also good fun.
  • Stating the obvious, but I realised that swimming is a great form of meditation.
  • Still battling with my Pocket reading list – wish I was not so obsessive about reading all the articles I save.
  • I think it’s safe to say the best order at Myog is Oreo with Oreo.
  • Good read: Jessica Livingston
  • “…we’d refuse to fund founders whose characters we had doubts about even if we thought they’d be successful.” (1st rule of startups)

  • Thursday, longer than usual meditation, walked to the new office (same building, different floor), civil engineering firm meeting, MBA project Skype interview about business models (with somebody that used to go to school with me), rib-eye steak at NV80 for lunch with the Octotel team, trenching project route walk, frogurt, network management system meeting, caught up on a lot of notes and admin (after being out of the office for two days), tinkered with the ergonomics of my new desk – not very successful, caught up on some reading at home, in bed early.
  • “Creativity is the new literacy.”

  • I looked into Day One app – but I figure my current lifelogging / notes taking process is just fine.
  • I’m up to Episode 9 of Tim Ferriss podcasts. Not sure why I feel I have to start from the beginning. Only 110 or so to catch up on.
  • Tune of the week: Interstellar soundtrack
  • “The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented.” — The Web We Have to Save

  • I read the above and thought, what really changed? I’m still blogging like I did from around 2006 days. I still read RSS feeds every day. I still have most of my content outside of Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. I guess I post most of my photos to Facebook – I used to host them myself – but the bulk of my photos are not public anyway.
  • “The philosophical school of Stoicism is, I believe, the perfect operating system for thriving in high-stress environments. For entrepreneurs, it’s a godsend.” — Stoicism for Modern Stresses

  • “I change by not changing at all.” — Eddie Vedder

  • Friday, 10min meditation, podcast walk to the office, a tour of three (fibre) data centres with Malcolm, Rory and Michael: DFA Portside, RSAWEB, City Telecoms Keller House – pretty cool, lunch with Coenraad at Beer House – we chatted selling out of startups, afternoon on Daniel’s farm in Constantia with Michael, supper at Pastis in Constantia with Daniel and Michael – have not been there since 2005 days with ERnst.
  • Daniel eats only game meat. I need to look into raw egg yolks.
  • Turns out we should be growing perennial plants for food, Rhubarb etc.
  • Check out Learning Man – kinda anti-AfrikaBurn in some ways.
  • I’ve been enjoying the latest Deadmau5 album.
  • Chase excitement, not happiness.
  • Turns out Neil Diamond has a song about an imaginary friend: Shilo. I’ve been making music mixes for Mia. Neil Diamond, Queen, Elton John and Roxette.
  • Saturday, breakfast at La Vie with Wouter, bus ride to Grabouw with Wouter and Philippa, Tropical Roast dress up tennis party on a farm there (see below), played some tennis with old wooden rackets, more than one gin and tonic, fun day – but too cold to swim, nice catch-up chat with Luke, bus ride back to La Vie chatting with Paul who produces the Expresso Breakfast TV Show, we allegedly almost went to DecoDance.
  • Sunday, breakfast at Rock & Roller with Philippa, pool party at The Radisson, walked home (still in my retro tennis gear), had plans to go for a drink with Anton, but “just closed my eyes for 5 minutes” and woke up the next morning, babies don’t sleep this well.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Tennis Party
Tennis Party

Quick Update

A week of not eating…

Bantry Bay
Bantry Bay
  • Week of 9-15 November.
  • Monday, 10min mindfulness meditation, walked to the office, lunchtime podcast walk, did some research or fasting and home ketone blood meters, mild ketosis (1-2 millimolar/l ketone levels), watched two weight lifting technique videos.
  • It’s been three years, to the day, from the 2012 Naulene breakup – I actually put that in my calendar.
  • Check out 9 Others.
  • See you at AfricaCom.
  • Something I found a few weeks ago, worth a watch: Biohacking With Bullet Proof Coffee Creator.
  • Tuesday, 10min meditation, swim, sauna, cold shower – makes you feel alive, catch up chat with Roger, office, lunchtime walk around Sea Point, ketone levels around 3mmol/l, aimless sunset walk to Clifton 4th – got a cool photo of Lion’s Head with the setting sun lighting up the top bit – no filter (see below), watched a spectacular sunset from Bantry Bay (see above) – my phone died while taking photos – but I guess that’s cool – made me appreciate it more, a long pre-birthday phone chat with Nikki, catch up with Wouter and some 4hr Body reading.
  • At this rate I don’t have to pack any food for AfrikaBurn.
  • “If I change my way of living, and if I pave my streets with good times, will the mountain keep on giving?” — Killers

  • Wednesday, 10min meditation, gym – bumped into Elan (Mr SleekGeek), feeling tip top 60 hours into the fast, ordered some flowers, a tour of the 6th floor office we’re moving to, some boring document writing.
  • PR for the week: Fibre-to-the-home in South Africa – what is open access?
  • Thursday, daily 10min meditation, office, a cup of green tea with Daren, catch up with Joseph at Truth, chilled evening at home, chatting with Jacques and watched Billions in Change.
  • I started tying my shoes the right way.
  • Friday, up early, 10min meditation, worked on a blog post, bought a ticket to an Elgin tennis party, I was really looking forward to an omelette on Saturday, office, green tea at Caffe Neo with Sanja and a promenade walk – we chatted tech startup IP and silent meditation retreats, a Kings Craft / Lion Heart draught with JD at Fred & Max – bit of an early end of the fast – it tasted really really good – we had a chat about his birthday brunch, fetched Mia from pottery class – bumped into Naulene and managed to say less than three words to her, biltong shop visit, office, BIA stats (Mia gained some muscle), frogurt from Myog, wig shopping, we masticated some kale and broccoli (all groovy more healthy than healthy juicer) – which was fun, but takes a lot of time, Futurama, we Mr Fox’d a whole punnet of fresh cherries, Chardonnay and some dark chocolate – which also tasted amazing, 10h sleep.
  • Wow, food tastes pretty good after not eating for 5 days. Pizza and craft beer was amazing.
  • Sorry if I write about food a bit much this week.
  • Remember to make backups, kids. Daily and weekly. You never know when you are going to lose a phone. You too Paul. Hmm… my backup redundancy has suffered a bit with not being in a relationship, need a new location.
  • Come to the Tennis party in Elgin!
  • After the chat about startups on Friday, two rules for SA tech startups:

    Rule 2) Never build any IP (software) in an SA company – if you have plans for the product outside SA. This is almost as important as…

    Rule 1) The universal rule of startups: no assholes, this goes for investors too.

  • Saturday, tea and fruit salad, adventure game installs for Mia – LOOM, Day of The Tentacle, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, had a Steph Weiss with lunch – reminded me of Christina (how AfrikaBurn gives back), we finally watched The Simpsons: Blazed and Confused – The Simpsons go to “Blazing Guy” (S26E07), go on – watch it, super epic nap, early pizza supper at Da Vinci’s with Mia and some tiramisu (not nearly as good as last week’s) – Mia and I chatted game design (ARG for aB), I think we have a pretty cool idea going, introduced Mia to Pachelbel’s Canon on the way home, wrote a blog post about my recent fasting experience – one more in my Health Hacking series, random late night Telegram chats with Jacques.
  • “Stop staring.” — Mia, about me looking at the girl at the table next to us.

  • Mia has watched all the Futurama episodes now.
  • Three tunes this week: John Farnham – You’re the Voice, 1986, Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time, 1984, Here comes the Sun – Yuna.
  • I set up and upgraded Prey on my laptops, phones and tablets again.
  • Always liked the Longridge Chardonnay. 2014 is pretty good.
  • Maybe it’s all the meditation, but I had this weird thought… what is it that YOU actually DO? What VALUE do you ADD?
  • Finally watched that TRE video – all about relaxing the Psoas muscles. Note to self: try this stuff.
  • Are you expanding or contracting?
  • Thinking back – some hints in life really need a bit more attention. For example, when I started working at IOL (around 2000) I did not eat breakfast for a few weeks – I noticed a good impact, but never really made a point of changing any habits. When I first went to AfrikaBurn (2012) I remember thinking all this physical activity and squats are a really good idea. I’d like to think I’m a bit more receptive to these things now.
  • New diet: only eat on weekends. Hehe, no way.
  • “Write drunk, edit sober.”

  • Sunday, edited my blog post from the night before, Mia made a presentation deck on how to make brownies for her upcoming oral while we watched about 15 Killers videos on Youtube, lunch at Sgt Peppers – with a very chilled Sunday Long Street vibe – nice – I think we missed Johann and Victoria a bit, watched the “Queen – It’s A Kinda Magic” show at Artscape with Mia – great seats: front row balcony in the middle – she loves Queen – good act – we enjoyed it, frogurt at Myog, more kale and broccoli juicing, Mia finished her deck – and did a great job.
  • “Back on the food?” — Wouter

  • I’ve recently had this lingering thought that South Africa, in a macro context, actually sucks. The whole rainbow nation dream is falling apart at a rapid rate. Need to ponder some contingency plans.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Lions Head
Lions Head

7 Day Stoic Water Fast


Note, there is a more up to date version of this post here.

Here are my notes after not eating for a week.

The idea is to fast for 7 days every 3 months of the year. Eat nothing and drink only water – and some green tea if you get really bored.

It’s a cellular cull, a sugar withdrawal game, an immune system reboot and a journey in dematerialisation.

A stoic quest! (-:

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight … / done a 7 day fast?”


  • Well… it’s a challenge.
  • You want to reboot your immune system – or at least wake it up. Make your body generate some new white blood cells which are sharp enough to identify cancer cells and kill them.
  • You want to give your body a break from running on glucose.
  • You want to starve any (pre) cancer cells in your body. Cancer cells run on glucose.
  • Detox included. No alcohol or any other bad stuff for a week.
  • Reset hormone levels / reset insulin resistance.
  • Lowers bad cholesterol.
  • Fasting stimulates the release of growth hormones.
  • Fat loss and visible abs.
  • Food tastes amazing afterwards.


Easy. Don’t eat anything and just drink water. Have a bit of green tea if you get bored.

Prepare. Do some intermittent fasting (IF) in the weeks before. Do a few 18 hour fasts. Then a few 24 hour fasts. You probably want to do a 3 day fast then a 5 day, then a 7 day fast. Some people do 20 day fasts – but that’s a bit extreme for me.

It takes 4-6 weeks for your body to get used to this – it gets efficient at running on fat over six weeks. Read about ketosis and IF.

I would NOT suggest you just switch from a high carb diet to fasting in a day. This is a 6 week project not an overnight thing.

Plan your week. You probably don’t want to do this on a very stressful or travelling week.

You want to get into a mild ketosis state before the fast. Do some low carb / keto eating in the day(s) before. This makes the transition easier.

Try and keep to 1-3 millimolar/l ketone levels.

Notes and Tips

Ketones are anti-catabolic and your body releases growth hormones when you are in ketosis.

It’s a pretty productive time. You will realise how much time food and eating consumes. You might need to go on a few lunchtime walks, not to get too bored.

There can be some negative things for some people: brain fog, back pain, heart racing, bad sleep. A lot of this is probably your brain going through sugar withdrawal. I did not experience this stuff – I’ve been experimenting with this for about 4 months now.

Your underwater breath hold time will increase. Try it. Very cool how you can spend more time underwater.

It’s cheap. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are free.

You might feel a bit of a high on day two/three, this is the ketones.

Some people will react a bit weirdly when you tell them you are not eating for a week. Just don’t tell some people.

Don’t go to gym. You probably want to take it easy with the exercise. I went to gym in my fast – just to see what weights I could lift. Pretty similar, but maybe 80% of the regular weight. If you are not eating protein it does not make sense to go to gym. Your body does not have anything to repair your muscles with after weight training. A few chilled walks or swims are probably enough.

Start eating at a slow pace after the fast – maybe start with a smoothie or something easy to digest.

Does fasting really kill cancer cells? Nope it’s not that simple, but it gives them a hard time. It radically slows their growth. The real kicker is that you reboot your immune system and your white new blood cells identify and kill the cancel cells. That’s the theory.

You want to keep sugar out of your regular diet – you can’t just eat lots of sugar for three months and then do a 7 day fast to fix things.

“Fasting for four days causes stem cells to awake from their normal dormant state, and start regenerating. Researchers discovered this practice destroyed damaged and older cells, and caused new cells to be born, effectively renewing the immune system. This is the first time any natural intervention has ever been shown to trigger this self-renewal.” — from this article


  • Is this safe?
    Yeah, you can probably go 30 days without food. Don’t stress… but, I’m not a doctor – make sure you are in good health before trying this.
  • Can I take MCT oil while fasting?
    Yeah, if you must. Not needed.
  • Can I take BCAAs while fasting?
    No, BCAAs will help prevent muscle loss, but the glutamine in most BCCA mixes is a bad idea. There is some research that shows cancer cells like glutamine.
  • How often should I do this?
    Four times a year. Every 12th week. Add it to your calendar.
  • How much fat will I lose?
    Depending on your base metabolic rate, probably about 2kg. Not as much as you might think. A kilogram of fat contains 7700 calories. If your base metabolic rate is 2000 calories per day you can lose about 260g of fat per day – a bit more if you are more active. Take a few long walks.
  • What do I do when I get hungry?
    Drinks some green tea or go for a walk.

My results

I went from 84kg to 80kg over the days I fasted. Probably a lot of water loss.

You should notice some fat loss… this photo was on day four:


Listen to this podcast.

Here are a few more of my Health Hacking posts.

Have fun, crazy kids.

UPDATE 2015-11-16: Here is what I would suggest:

Friday: carb / pizza day. Saturday: low carb. Sunday: zero carbs, start the fast at 18:00.
Mon-Thu: fasting. Friday: fast till 18:00. Enjoy the weekend.

This gives you 5 days of fasting – with at least 4 days in a ketosis state. Should do the job for the health and immune system benefits. Obviously you can keep going.

UPDATE 2015-11-19: It’s important to make sure you are in a state of mild ketosis before you start the fast so you don’t have to worry about your body converting muscle mass into glucose. The whole point of this fast is to get glucose out of your blood for a prolonged time.

Gluconeogenesis involves the construction of new glucose molecules from amino acids harvested from the breakdown of protein primarily found in muscle. While this adds needed glucose to the system, it does so at the cost of muscle breakdown, something less than favorable for a starving hunter-gatherer.

But human physiology offers one more pathway to provide vital fuel to the demanding brain during times of scarcity. When food is no longer available, after about 3 days, the liver begins to use body fat to create chemicals called ketones. One ketone in particular, beta hydroxybutyrate (beta-HBA), actually serves as a highly efficient fuel source for the human brain, allowing humans to function cognitively for extended periods during food scarcity.

Our unique ability to power our brains using this alternative fuel source helps reduce our dependence on gluconeogenesis and therefore spares amino acids, and the muscles from which they are derived. Reducing muscle breakdown provides obvious advantages for the hungry Homo sapien in search of food. — from this article

Quick Update

Trying a life upgrade…

  • Week of 2-8 November.
  • Took a week off from my health and fitness programme. No supplements.
  • Monday, up early, school run, a swim at Waterstone gym, bit of a self experimenting day – mixed results, walked to the office, catch-up with Randolf at Beerhouse, a very tasty Royale burger in Long Street – interesting flashback from a Groovy Troopers party, worked a bit at Tigers Milk – with some Stevie Nicks, haircut at Parters in the Gardens Centre – have not done that since the early 2000s when I lived in Gardens.
  • …been having fun recently?
  • “The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.” — very stoic.

  • TED talk about mindfulness meditation.
  • I’m going to try and have more quality mornings, do the creative / productive stuff first.
  • A good friend’s sister used to say that I reminded her of that guy in American Beauty that made a video of a plastic bag in the wind. Yeah, I guess I can see why.
  • Tune of the week: Landslide, Stevie Nicks
  • Octotel’s first FTTH customer (in Green Point) went live.
  • Tyler started posting weekly updates.
  • Tuesday, walked to the office, quick dentist visit, an after work Aperol Spritz at La Vie with Aiden, Camilla, Georg etc – nice to see them one last, last, last time, had a nice chat with Andy about #HackSTB days and different tech startup programmes.
  • Check out “happn” – iOS app. Had an idea about location based dating apps in 2013. Nice to see somebody implemented something similar.
  • Aperol is okay, but I still like Campari.
  • “If we weren’t designed to be here we would not be here.” — James Fadiman

  • In case you were wondering, I like my tea with lots of milk and no sugar. Insert joke about how I like my woman. (-:
  • Wednesday, woke up feeling pretty unwell, got back in bed, 10min meditation, tinkered with some off-site backups, watched Mia swim in the regional girls relay gala, nice event, early supper, fresh juices, ginger shots, and homework at W Cafe with Mia, dropped Mia off, swapped an off-site backup drive in Stellenbosch, sunset Eersterivier walk up to the swaaibrug and hockey fields – love that walk (see above), drove back to Cape Town.
  • Mia swam in the freestyle, medley and ladder relays. This was her first butterfly race (medley). Not always easy to work out how she did in a relay, but she kept a good pace in the videos I took – and had good form with the butterfly race all the way to the end.
  • More than one long email exchange with Naulene’s lawyer this week. Joy. Only 9 more years. Some people you just can’t reach.
  • My life is now all redundantly backed up again, all 1046GB of it. Now I just have to hope some weird event does not take out Cape Town and Stellenbosch at the same time. It might be time for a Joburg backup plan, ERnst?
  • Thursday, 10min meditation, walked to the office, tried a new brunch spot – Jarryds – pretty decent egg white omelette, Sea Point trenching project kick-off meeting for the first 20 Octotel buildings – we’re going to have to get some branded soccer bibs soon to look the part – health and safety etc, fetched my first Ethical Coop order from Vondi’s – the holistic pet nutrition shop, eggs were broken, but the milk survived – The Dairy: Pasture Fed – a2 Flechvieh Milk – not just any hipster milk – tastes nice, watched the 5th of November fireworks at Maiden’s Cove with Georg, took a walk to Camps Bay and got some ice cream.
  • I made my 2nd ever Wikipedia contribution …and they seem to have accepted my edit the 1st time, wow, there is a god.
  • Turns out you want to do a 5-7 day fast every three months – yeah, that’s right – every 12th week of your life you should not eat anything. This kills (pre) cancer cells and keep your immune system sharp. Kinda feels like the start of my next 3 month health hacking phase. My last fast was early August (3.5 days) – so this is right on time, I’m going to try a 6 day fast next week. Depending on your base metabolic rate – you will probably lose between 1kg and 2kg of fat in a fast like this – nothing too crazy.
  • Listen to this: Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and The End of Cancer
  • I listened to three more Tim Ferriss Podcasts this week. Pretty cool.
  • “Chase quality”.

  • Squats changed my life. I squat every day now.
  • I’m not ready to write about my latest experiments yet, but they are going well. Still working out what to do with my new knowledge.
  • People who shoot movie clips in portrait orientation – I never managed to work that out.
  • Friday, woke up early and meditated, but fell asleep again – nice sleep, but meditation in bed is probably not the best idea, TiTea, gym, walked to the office, ended up not buying an AfrikaBurn ticket (yet), lunch at Sobaba with Michael, frogurt at Myog, inbox-rrs-photo-zero, had an after work Jack Black Lager in a bottle – which was a bit strange, a beer at La Vie with Georg – sounds like he’ll be in Bahrain till March, a burger at Hussar Camps Bay with Georg, 10h sleep – ended up skipping a Friday night adventure with Hilah and Paul.
  • 120kg dead lift today (orm). It seems at 130kg my grip around the bar becomes an issue. Might need some other gloves. Some real gym monkey gear.
  • I’ve been pondering what happens if/when I croak – well, when, but hopefully not too soon – might need to give a close friend the password to my encrypted backup volumes. Feels like I need some form of time capsule for my photos and blog. Maybe one super big PDF doc on a flash drive.
  • …and the ZAR / GBP rate goes to 21.5!
  • We really need to redesign salad. It should not contain lettuce. It should contain all kind of other greens with some real value: kale, spinach etc. We should start a movement or something. A revolution! …maybe next week.
  • Saturday, productive morning of tinkering (admin, personal projects and generally cleaning up my own back yard), late afternoon aimless walk to Clifton – with extra aimlessness, bumped into Stu – who says he’s not going to AfrikaBurn next year, beach walks from Clifton 4th to 1st to Glen Beach, to the end of Camps Bay, a beer at the Camps Bay football club, pizza at Goloso / Italian Deli in Sea Point – best Tiramisu I’ve had since Naulene made one… with love – a very long time ago, finally watched Barbarella… weird and wonderful, but pretty cool for scifi from 1968 – cool costume design and Jane Fonda is nice to look at.
  • “I am endlessly creating myself.” — spotted on FB

  • “I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.” — Tyler

  • “Needing nothing, attracts everything.”

  • “If you want to change the world – begin with yourself.”

  • I started using Pocket again – I just had to cut down my 300 article list to about 40 – not a trivial task.
  • I deleted about 4000 lines from my todo.txt file. Refreshing. Found some very weird stuff. It’s now about 400 lines. Healthy process of letting go of the last few years I figure.
  • “Simplicate and add lightness”

  • I’ve realised I’m not a very good “doer”. I don’t just jump in and do the high impact stuff first. I need to look at something from every angle before I jump in and do something. It’s more of a wide / creative view than a focused linear view. So, the solution is to just work more – take the time to do all the wide angle stuff before I get going.
  • “The 2nd day is the best.”

  • I.T.W.T
  • Thanks again for that letter. Fascinating once you’ve worked it out.
  • Sunday, a longer than usual meditation session, finished watching Barbarella, more tinkering, had a bit of a device OS/app upgrade party, TiTea, gym (90 squat, 55 military press, 115 dead lift, 65 yates rows, 100 bench), three hours on Clifton 1st (see below) with Philippa and Val (I have Georg’s beach gate tag – the tradition continues), early supper at Hudsons in Green Point with Philippa and Val, took an iPad to the beach and made a good dent in my Pocket reading list, some blogging at home, watched some strength training technique videos (dead lift).
  • So begins my first 6 day fast. Well – it’s more like 5 days and two nights (136 hours). Last meal was two burger patties and a glass of Chardonnay.
  • Jacques is joining me with the fast. He wanted to do the full 7 days, but I figure we’ll do that next time.
  • Val says the average cost per minute to run a call centre is R33. Keep those spammers on the phone a bit longer.
  • Safe to say my relationship with food has changed.
  • I suspect I might be moving to stage 3, a bit behind schedule, but I’m going to keep some stage 2 elements, I think.
  • Stage 3: Is this it? Yeah, this is it. Make the most of it. Live in SA. Do tech stuff. Raise Mia as well as I can. Find more geeky adventures.
  • Who would have thought, all this meditation and mindfulness and no sugar and weird fasting diets, not to mention the endless journalling. All seems a bit gay – I try and balance things with the weight lifting.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st

Quick Update

Trapped in a snow globe…

Clifton Full Moon
Clifton Full Moon
  • Week of 26 Oct to 1 Nov. Week 6 without coffee.
  • Yeah, I know – two weeks in a row, blog post done, ahead of schedule, impressive.
  • Monday, took a day off from my training programme and slept till 7:30, walked to the office, trimmed down my Dropbox use to only two folders (19MB), walked home to have some remotes programmed, a beer with Michael at La Perla, walked home, a quick swim at home.
  • Octotel is now taking orders in 22 buildings.
  • Found this amusing. As ERnst stays, some careers don’t really need more creativity – like being a pilot.
  • Tuesday, gym, 11% body fat and 43.8kg lean muscle (personal best metrics) – seems the extra resting day is a good idea, LOMAD and chia (I updated my recent post to include more fibre), managed to renew my drivers licence and car licence (painful, but at least it’s done now – a bit overdue), aimless afternoon walk to Clifton, G&Ts and some long Aerobie glides across Clifton 1st with Georg (see above), great sunset, full moon – good times, watched some strength training technique videos at home, I entered myself into Mia swimming gala again, parents relay race.
  • I’m starting to get a bit bored with gym. I think I’m going to try The Grid classes next week – it’s a bit like CrossFit – see if I like it.
  • My drivers licence eye test seems to show that my left eye is 6/6 (20/20), right eye is a bit weaker at 6/7.5 – I might need to go for a real eye test soon. 85 deg peripheral vision (at least, I guess).
  • It was time to add a Health Hacking category / nav item to my blog. Easy to share, if you feel like sending my recent collection of health and weight loss post to a friends.
  • Wednesday, 24h fasting day, epic 1km swim – left the gym in a great mood for some reason, sorted out a plan to get our home recycling going, Spin street meeting – went to go have a look at the new TwentyFifty, renewed my PO Box and found an interesting letter, fibre supplier meeting, placed my first Ethical Co-op order, walked to Call-A-Pizza to buy a Love & Light ticket – they still have an A2 print of one of my photos on the wall, sunset walk around Bantry Bay, a glass of Chardonnay and finally finished watching 500 Days of Summer (again) – good ending.
  • “(1)”

  • How the gym gives back… sharing a lane with a beautiful swimmer.
  • Whenever it’s hardest, start prototyping.
  • I read the chapter about sleeping in the 4hr body book. I seem to almost naturally do the “half military crawl position”, but with a pillow under my arm and leg. Works well. One might call it the pack animal position.
  • I suspect the real value in all this diary style blogging and notes processing is that I get to chew on ideas a second time.
  • Jacques says he still does not have EE “fibre” internet at home. Very amusing.
  • I received an anonymous letter in my (snail) mail box with a collection of content from a few articles. Very interesting. I can only imagine it was from a blog reader. Thank you. Made a lot of sense. Yeah, I was a bit confused.
  • I really need to start cooking at home at some point. With the exception of me boiling some eggs every 2nd day, I’ve pretty much been on a Soylent-like diet for two months – with some salad bar lunches. Very efficient and quick, but gets a bit boring.
  • Thursday, day 1, once around Lions Head – I really should figure out how to walk up Lions Head from the house, walked to the office, Sobaba lunch with Michael (snow globe favourite), I got some tickets for Mia and I to go to the Queen show at Artscape – she loves Queen, got some spinning / mountain biking shoes – on 20% discount sale with 25% Discovery cash back, spinning class, some muppet with a drone followed / filmed me walking for a while (wtf?) – I hate drones, promenade walk (snow globe central) – long afternoon phone conversations with Anton, Nikki and Ernst – nice chats.
  • I’ve become a green tea drinker. One green tea bag, one ginger tea bag. Makes about three cups.
  • I have to say, I’m kinda looking forward to taking a few days off in December.
  • Seems Georg is going to the middle east for 6 weeks.
  • I think I should write less about health and get back into writing about tech.
  • Friday, TiTea, 6:45 gym (with the usual Deadmau5 mix), new nutty LOMAD shake (milk, whey protein, flax seeds, chia seeds – blend), office, swapped my spinning shoes for a size bigger, watched Mia’s swimming gala, swam in the parents relay, lunch at Vergelegen with Mia and Alex – Alex showed me all the photos from his recent EU visit, dropped Mia at her pottery class (a bit late), worked at Fred & Max with a Kings Craft / Lion Heart draught and some Alt-J, fetched Mia, drove to Cape Town, sunset cocktails an mocktails at The Radisson with Mia and Georg, missed the rugby, 11h sleep.
  • So much easier to get up early in the summer.
  • Swimming gala results: it was a relays only thing, Mia did very well, she swam in the medley and the ladder relay. She was first to finish with the backstroke (beating the boys) in the medley and stayed ahead in the ladder freestyle race. A ladder race – for those who don’t know, is where one child (fastest swimmer) from each grade swims a lap (Gr1, Gr2… Gr7). The parent’s race was interesting, we were one team member short, so I had to swim twice, and if you ask me we won (it was very close).
  • 9.8% body fat on Friday. Goal reached (see below). In the fantastic words of Mr Fox: Cuss yeah! I think I’m grand with the weight loss thing now. Single digit fat percentages are cool, but no need to get too extreme.
  • I’ve become one of those grumpy people who care about gym etiquette. Not clearing weights and doing stupid things like crunches on the bench press bench have become a problem for me.
  • We had a couch surfer stay with us for two nights this week. She was okay, but I really don’t think this couch surfing thing is all that great.
  • I ~lost and found my ID this week, joy. Almost went queuing for a new smart ID card – they only issue 200 per day, so you have to get there before 7:00 when they open.
  • I don’t like Halloween. The Americans can keep it. Meh. Super meh.
  • “Het doel van de staat is de vrijheid.” — Baruch Spinoza, from one of Alex’s Amsterdam photos.

  • Saturday, slept till 8:30 – bliss, buchu tea, LOMAD shake and Futurama, caught up on some reading and processed the swimming gala photos, Mia demanded flapjacks – so we had gourmet crumpets and french toast at Liquorice & Lime at 13:00 (had to phone around to find all day breakfast spots), De Waal Park walk, we decided to take a drive – to escape the Little Tel Aviv snow globe, Boyes Drive to Kalk Bay, Kalk Bay book shop, ice cream, Brass Bell, back to the book shop (so Mia could finish reading an Asterix book), extended Kalk Bay harbour stroll, sunset Campari and an early supper at Harbour House – nice seared tuna, introduced Mia to panna cotta desert, 11h sleep, magic day.
  • Might have had a bit of an over achiever carb day on Saturday.
  • Mia and I have been chatting about creating a game for kids as an AfrikaBurn project, something interactive to connect the kids, make friends etc. Treasure hunt, cards, wristbands, teams, prizes, learn about the principles – something like that. I’ve been teaching her some gamification principles.
  • I used to be so sure I was into brunettes, now I’m not so sure.
  • Somebody should design a real life Monkey Island adventure game in Kalk Bay – maybe as an AfrikaBurn fundraiser.
  • Sunday, rainy morning – very nice actually, buchu tea, fruit salad and Futurama (I think Mia must be at season 9 now), caught up on some more reading, migrated about 50GB of photos (since June last year), backups, failed putt putt outing with Mia (snowglobing – rain), pizza in Camps Bay with Mia (moar snowglobing), cocktails and mocktails at Caprice – a goodbye drink with Aiden (who is leaving on Thursday), Georg and Nick (who is single again since Sunday), Mia and I gave Aiden the LLAP and quickly removed ourselves from Caprice, some blogging.
  • I installed Tinder for all of 15 minutes, *sigh* too much bad photography to deal with. (And the profile photo manager thing is _still_ buggy, since 2013 days).
  • I always wondered about AI Focus vs. AI Servo. Seems the quick answer is: just use servo.
  • Browsed through some photos from 2015 in the process of archiving them – it’s been an interesting year, some struggles, but all in all, some very cool memories – especially the AfrikaBurn photos. Funny how the more you endure some pain and hard work the more fond the memories become.
  • Eat your cheese and drink your milk, kids.
  • After looking at the UK, US and NL growth charts for kids I think Mia is going to end up at around 180cm – assuming I feed her enough milk and egg whites (and her mom plays along). She’s well above the US chart and around the 94 percentile on the NL chart.
  • Jacques thinks I need to meet a 28yo Afrikaans girl and have more children. Hmm. Private schools are expensive. More expensive than UCT degrees.
  • Tune of the week: Nara, Alt-J, good memories. Listen to it really loud!

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Body Fat Stats
Body Fat Stats