Monthly Archives: December 2015

Quick Update

Star Wars on xmas day, pizza on the beach, 11h sleeps, lucid dreaming and hanging out with Nancy Drew…

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st
  • Week of 21-27 December. The next post, is number 400!
  • Caveat lector – these holiday posts seem to be filled with even more random observations than usual.
  • Monday, the start of a whole new week (bhd), flushed my Pocket reading list, finally fetched my new drivers licence – as Lily says: we all know why it’s called Gallows Hill, had lunch with Mia, my mom and Charlotte at Meerendal – the two girls had good fun on the jumping castle, (most probably the worst SA Chardonnay I’ve ever had – somebody should stop them from selling it), braai at Jacques’ house in Durbanville (aka Inglewood) – we watched Star Wars ep 2 and ep 3 with Mia and Charlotte in preparation for ep 7, 11 hour sleep.
  • Mia’s year end school certificate reads: “Amazing work representation, Excellence in all learning areas, Creative and artistic.” – not bad for the co-parenting chess-game-level-9 that was 2015.
  • It’s a bit sad, but I think crayfish diving is just too much effort. The ratio of risk and effort vs reward is a bit warped.
  • After a chat with Jacques, I think I need to make London my base within the next 5 years. SA is screwed.
  • Tuesday, woke up at Jacques house, Mia slept till 10:00 (good genes I guess), we kinda discovered our plan to go watch Star Wars episode 7 with the two girls was a bit flawed (age 13 restriction), I ended up driving home and having a 4 hour nap – the trick is an eye mask and meditating before sleeping, aimless late afternoon non-podcast walk to Camps Bay beach – I stopped for oysters and calamari at Tuscany Beach – good service and tasty food for a touristy kinda place, walked home along the usual series of beaches… Glen Beach, Clifton 4th to 1st, some Ouzo at Aris with Georg, tiramisu and a Jamey at Goloso, watched Automata… a bit boring – kinda Blade Runner like – makes you wonder if we can ever trust machines, I watched Secretary – I have not watched it since 2002ish, great movie – it’s all in the mind.
  • “but, I want to know you.” — Secretary

  • How do we force machines to not alter themselves? Only if we include the rules in the core of their value/thinking. We’ll probably fail, read: we are very very screwed.
  • Watching movies on a laptop is not a good idea. I can’t seem to focus on one thing.
  • Tim F podcast ep 40: listen to the last 1/4 about his life and challenges, crazy – very interesting, the theory that addiction is a disease that causes you to feel that you don’t have a disease and you don’t need to pursue wellness. Episode 41 was also pretty interesting and a big challenge… while we can all still walk – travel now or do more squats.
  • Flaneur: “Just walk until your day becomes interesting.”
  • We don’t listen to enough classical music.
  • Maybe shy people are cool. They try harder. I do.
  • 2015 has been a year of misadventures and pointless drama, lots of pointless drama, and a very cool AfrikaBurn adventure – maybe the best one yet.
  • I’ve come to realise that all the most interesting people have some kind of defect… bug / non-standard feature set – or, a very wide scope of being. I’m aiming for wide.
  • I completed the organ donor card that came with the new drivers licence. I really really hope there is a process which gives organs to the best possible people. I updated my iPhone Medical ID settings to Organ Donor = Yes.
  • Things are already going wrong, and there’s only one way to make them go right. Just start.
  • There is no security.
  • “To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, ‘I am listening to this music,’ you are not listening.” — Alan Watts

  • Wednesday, (podcast) walk around the Waterfront with headphones on – seems to keep the sales staff from bugging me, watched Spectre… entertaining, bought Mia two books: Enders Game and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Jacques’ house, 11h sleep.
  • Thursday, gift wrapping, beach cricket outing with Mia, Jacques, Charlotte, Marietjie and my mom, soft serve ice creams, xmas dinner – probably had way too much to eat and drink – somehow I ended up in a Christmas Father suit and handed out gifts (I suspect the 6yo in the room was not fooled), 11h sleep.
  • Mia likes her new shades.
  • Feed your kids more cheese and let them sleep 11 hours.
  • Friday, I started reading Ocean at the End of the Lane – Mia seems to have motivated me to start reading, Star Wars – The Force Awakens 3D IMAX experience with Mia and Jacques (the mall was very quiet – like something out of a zombie movie, but I’m happy we waited to see the IMAX version) – Mia did not like the movie – I figured it was entertaining enough, braai at Jacques’, 11h sleep.
  • I’m interested in the intersection between EX and health.
  • Note to self: things to make sure of when Mia stays with other people: a) dental health, b) going to bed at a reasonable time.
  • Saturday, Mia and I drove to Gordon’s bay to meet up with Anton, Gys and Brian, Mia finished reading another Nancy Drew book, drove home and took a nap (feels like it’s been a long xmas), walked to Clifton with Mia and Paul, a stroll from 1st to 4th and back, sundowners with Georg, time well spent, 11h sleep.
  • “It’s much easier to achieve big dreams than small ones.”

  • Sunday, we found a SIM card / contract for Mia’s iPhone 4s (xmas gift – I figured she’s almost 10yo and she really wanted one – also, communicating via her mother is just too painful), Clifton with Mia, Georg, Paul, Hilah, Cath, Jacques and Marietjie, stroll from 1st to 4th, Hilah helped us get into some creative yoga poses and head stands, beach cricket with a group of kids, many swims with Mia and Cath, Paul lost the Aerobie in the sea in a pretty impressive move (read: facepalm move), sundowner bubbly, pizzas on the beach, only left the beach at 21:00ish, dropped Paul, Hilah and Cath off – with a Black Keys soundtrack, another 11h sleep – magic day, probably the best beach day of the year, kinda tops the one where we ended up at Aris with Rob, 6 hours on the beach, time very well spent.
  • “Is jy die swart skaap?” — Paul

  • Pizza on the beach sounds cool, but the Camps Bay Col’cacchio had pretty bad service, the delivery was late and then all the pizzas I ordered had pork on them (a problem for three of the ladies in the group) – I just ordered a few of the names I remembered on the menu. So, order early and always get at least one vegetarian option. Oh well, at least Mia had her usual pizza on the beach.
  • Seems if you sleep more than you need to it’s easier to get into a state of lucid dreaming.
  • “Make peace with your broken pieces.”

  • I think I’m starting to feel rested.
  • I decided to not do the annual Suicide Gorge walk with Anton – and just spend time with Mia. Would have been walk number 10 (I think). Georg also missed it after sleeping till 9:00ish.
  • “And I guess that’s why they call it the blues, time on my hands…”

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st

Quick Update

Find your Tyler….

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st
  • Week of 14-20 December.
  • This post is not late.
  • Monday, woke up with a bruised rib and hip – not sure how that happened, podcast walk to the office, quick visit to the French school, after work beer with David at La Perla – to be honest I was a tad afraid to go there after the Sunday antics, early supper at Aris, slept like a baby.
  • Tuesday, last working day of the year, podcast walk to the office, built two WordPress sites with Let’s Encrypt SSL certs, after work swim at home, nap, a beer and pizza with Aiden and Georg at La Vie, in bed early.
  • I’ve not really had a holiday since 2011 – so this should be good for me.
  • “Beer will get you over the fear.” — Aiden

  • Wednesday, #ZumaMustFall march from parliament to the Company’s Gardens, I bumped into Richard – seems he put a friend onto my health hacking posts, a braai at Jacques’ house.
  • Keep the momentum going for #zumamustfall campaign, see you on Feb 1st.
  • Thursday, woke up at Jacques’ house, chilled at home, nap, lazy late afternoon on Clifton 1st with Georg (see above) – waiting for the holiday vibe to set in – time well spent, supper at Lucky Fish and Chips, Tiramisu and a Jamey at Goloso, epic sleep.
  • Gust Pay gets a mention here, after a year of being in limbo.
  • Friday, been enjoying way more sleep than I actually need, dark choc TiTea, gym, nice swim (how the gym gives back), some blogging, took an aimless podcast walk to Clifton, took a stroll from 1st beach to 4th and back, many swims – warmer than usual water, some beach volley ball (I kinda sucked, but these guys were like Top Gun level beach volley ball regulars), sundowners with Georg, Jessica, Excelda, Mercia and Jenine – we only left the beach at about 21:00, a streak at Hussar Grill with Georg and a nice bottle of Reyneke Organic Cab Shiraz, red wine and meat coma, time well spent.
  • Find your Tyler.
  • Be idealistic and authentic.
  • Some relationships should be measured in dog years.
  • I think it’s safe to say I’m now too old for three day adventures with Paul.
  • The end of a bit of a self destruction phase. I think I became tired of the whole self improvement thing, or at least took a break – and that’s okay – but, I’m back. Health is cool, kids. Becoming Tyler Ferriss (-: – squats and milk. If you are not in a state of repair – you are in a state of decay.
  • “The internet is a self perfecting organism.” – Maria

  • “Make the kind of things you want to see exist in the world.” – Maria

  • I think my next startup, will be 10 startups.
  • “Deadlines make you creative.”

  • Saturday, collected some Ultra loyalty points, fetched Paul – he very calmly told me he’s not going to AfrikaBurn – not sure how I feel about that, we arrived a bit late to JD’s birthday brunch at Nederberg (a bit is like 1.5 hours), we attended the institution that is the annual Love & Light day party (see below) – must be our 8th one (who’s counting?) – Paul, Claus, Janey (it seems she actually reads my weekly posts – hi Janey!), Luke, Abbey, Ross, Michael etc – very good fun – as always, I almost managed to get Milly and Phillipa to attend.
  • Nice to see JD, aka J5. Happy birthday, big guy!
  • Pre-rehidrat is a thing.
  • Sunday, a swim at Paul’s house, nap, big AltJ appreciation day – driving back from Stellenbosch, Clifton 1st with Georg and Jess (I skipped a day – I was on a roll to do a whole week of Clifton sunsets), a walk to the Sea Point Spar – sunset chat with Jacques on the way – random and purposeful mission to make some (wholesome) Camphill (pasture fed milk) White Russians – they were grand.
  • “Love is the warmest colour.”, “I want to be every button you press.” — AltJ

  • Holiday vibes have kicked in, ahead of schedule.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.


Quick Update

Are these the droids you’re looking for…?

View from Vredehoek
View from Vredehoek
  • Week of 7-13 December
  • Yeah, this post is a bit late, year-end-party kinda times.
  • Monday, podcast walk to the office, listened to Beck – Morning Phase more than once… very cool album, Sobaba, Myog, walked home and jumped in the pool, some blogging, catch up chat with Wouter over a very pleasant Amani Chardonnay before his trip to Thailand – chats about addiction and how it’s almost always a function of same underlying issue, broc-kale-avo supper, some random and pointless Netflix surfing.
  • Paul has been bugging me to start dating again. I’ve been thinking, I might start with girls who are not presently formally married, they must like Campari, and use the Oxford comma.
  • Tune of the week: Blue Moon, Beck, listen to it really loudly.
  • Tuesday, office, fetched snail mail, fetched my sunglasses, a swim at Wembley Square, Heavy Chef, very nice dinner at Jens’ house in Vredehoek with Cath, Alex, Roslyn, Ksenia etc. (see above)
  • Cool Heavy Chef talk by Rich Mulholland. The four parts of any presentation: 1) Reason to Care (why?), 2) Reason to believe you (credibility), 3) What you need to know (facts), 4) What you need to do (action).
  • I’ve been rocking the Neil Diamond in the car lately… this song kinda stuck: Lord of my night… yeah, I know.
  • Sense of humour failure with Naulene again. After 4 weeks of trying to plan Mia’s holiday time I still can’t get any answers out of her and the holiday starts this week. I suggested dates. I tried to plan holiday swimming lessons for Mia (and obviously failed). We’re talking – four weeks of daily emails and daily text messages asking her to please communicate plans. At some point her lawyer asked me to stop CC’ing her into the emails. Naulene is, what we in the industry refer to as, an absolute train wreck of a human being. WTaF. What kind of a person can not in four weeks work out which days of the holiday her child should spend with which parent? (yes, it’s all defined in our legal agreement – but why would she care about that detail?). So now, we’re in a state of complete communications breakdown. I’ve given up. It’s just a clusterfck. I knew she was cooked, but this is pretty extreme. *sigh* Oh, well – let’s see how this plays out.
  • Wednesday, early Lions Head hike with Dan – good chats – I think we have a plan, Lean Startup Coffee, office, lunch with Brian at La Perla, bit of a delayed start to an Inner City Wine Route walkabout with Paul – good fun, a very tasty burger at Tiger’s Milk, possibly a series of bad decisions: HQ – where we kinda gate crashed a company end of year party, then Aces – where we met some roller derby lesbians who are into karaoke.
  • “You don’t just throw away ten years of code.” — seemed like a profound statement at the time, the wine talking.

  • Thursday, wine tours on school nights are not a good idea it seems, office, R16 Checkers breakfast, discovered Startup School Radio, spotted a whale hanging around in the sea in front of our office for quite a while, Barclays Rise Africa launch in Woodstock – nice to see Jess and Max, RAMP year end function, a sunset podcast walk around Bantry Bay, post-sunset swim at home.
  • 10 December was an interesting day. Big wake-up call for South Africa. Feels like somebody rapidly increased the rate at which they were boiling a frog. It woke up. Maybe a good thing.
  • ZAR / USD goes to 16. Joy.
  • I might have a case of that end of year feeling flat feeling.
  • Seems ERnst bought himself a new car because Georg complained about the pull away power of his french car.
  • “Live a life of appreciation, not expectation.” — Tony Robbins

  • Hack the now.
  • I was looking for a Pomodoro app – and ended up installing Tadam for OSX.
  • I made it to ep 38 of the Tim Ferriss podcast.
  • “What you know doesn’t mean shit – it’s what you do consistently, with emotional intensity that counts.” — Tony Robbins, this is very true.

  • What if I do the complete opposite?
  • Friday, office, after work drinks at La Vie with Dan, Aiden and Fred (see below) – Brannas year end party – yeah, the brandy and coke draught (it’s a case of: one is not enough, two is too much), Decodance with Paul – my first time there – we probably stayed longer than what was absolutely necessary – weird high school vibes.
  • Saturday, woke up to Sam vacuum cleaning the house, we walked to the Summer Sensation Beach Party (Neelix) at Maiden’s Cove – it was fun, but a bit windy, sunset drinks by the pool with Tanya (we’re FB friends again :-P) and Paul, a visit to Tash’s place in Sea Point with Philippa, Tanya managed to get us onto the guest list for Era – great sound quality, bumped into Will and Luke, again – probably stayed longer that what was really needed.
  • “Klam grond word vinnig nat.” — Paul

  • Sunday, drinks by the pool, afternoon beers at La Perla with Paul and Pieter – for some reason we (I) thought it would be a good idea to try one arm push-ups – the record was only 3, pizza at Call a Pizza – very nice guy who runs the place – we got a round of beers on the house – because they sold a number of my outdoor party photos, slept like a baby – it was quite a weekend.
  • It’s been a bit of a self-destruction / Paul Carr week. Somehow no real damage was done. As I’m writing this, I’m on holiday for a few weeks…

Have a fun week, crazy kids.


Quick Update

Biltong, butter and standing desks…


  • Week of 30 November to 6 December.
  • Health week 1/3, kinda.
  • If I include the fasting week, it’s pretty much been three weeks without any real exercise routine. That seems to be a bit long. Note to self, don’t do that again.
  • Monday, school run, gym, office, lunch at Sobaba, fetched 2kg of biltong, semi-aimless podcast sunset walk to Clifton, caught up on some reading.
  • Limit your options to synthesise happiness.
  • I suspect relationships, like businesses, die when you feel like you are the only one fighting for them, or when you have a chat with your friends for advice and they don’t seem to encourage you to keep fighting for them. Sad.
  • Radical Candor
  • How to make your phone battery last longer.
  • Tuesday, 10min mindfulness meditation, swim, office, late lunch omelette, podcast walk, we moved offices again (same building) – much better views (see above), quick sunset walk and Camphill milk shopping, cooked up an obsessively healthy steamed broccoli, kale and avo supper.
  • Finally flushed my Pocket reading list! – which sounds easy, but I had to read faster than I was adding things – well, I really just stopped adding things like a crazy person.
  • “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take order, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein… be too complex to categorise.

  • I realised I’m not the smartest guy in the room. I need co-founder(s).
  • Wednesday, office, catch up with Gys and David – we chatted ISP apps, not the most productive day… a very late and unproductive city fibre planning meeting, epic 6 salad platter at Caffe Neo, two building manager meetings (painful), nice after work chat with Cath – we talked startups and relationships over a glass of wine, another broccoli, kale and avo supper, catch up with Wouter over a Jameson and some dark chocolate – we chatted about Tim F – his (hectic) search for self improvement and how he can’t seem to keep a girlfriend.
  • Health first. Seems to be a re-accuring thread.
  • Made it to ep 33 of the Tim Ferriss podcast – that’s 20 podcasts in a week. I might have a bit of an obsessive podcasting phase going.
  • If self improvement is masturbation, then walking around with headphones on all day listening to Tim Ferriss podcasts is super human masturbation.
  • Note to self: must listen to Hardcore History podcast soon.
  • “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss

  • “We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and in spite of True Romance magazines we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely at least, not all the time but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” — Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway

  • Thursday, investigated standing desks, office, Web Africa meeting, took some shades to get new lenses fitted (Paul incident), ended up getting Mia some new sunglasses, I hope she likes them, Myog, borrowed a standing desk from the guys next to us – pretty cool, but you can’t really stand for more than 20min, Yellowtail and some Ataraxia Sauv for dinner at Willoughbys with Mladen and Colin – reminded me of the first time I had sushi (ever) there – it must have been early 2000ish with Theo.
  • Try biltong and butter. New fav snack. Fills the toast and butter gap.
  • How cool would it be if Cape Town could become a City-state?
  • Played with @HotorBot on Telegram. Not very popular in Cape Town in seems.
  • “Figuring out, is what your life is about.” — Kevin Kelly

  • Kevin Kelly makes a pretty good argument for having (more) children – he thinks the world population is going to shrink dramatically soon.
  • Note to self: try the digital Sabath thing, one day without any screens, I’m going to avoid all screens on Sunday.
  • Release the bots. I’ve been pondering some business automation ideas. Auto salad bars, bots, unit tests and APIs.
  • Don’t sell out. Be idealistic. Resist and Thrive. Read: create something sustainable.
  • Friday, tried my first Headspace app meditation – pretty cool, made breakfast at home, office, dropped off some keys with Aiden, lunch with Fred at La Bottega in Woodstock – we mostly chatted about his conferencing project, Wembley Square, haircut at Yogi’s, walked down Long Street and grabbed a smoothie at Orchard on Long – try the Hullabaloo, BitX office opening party in Loop Street – nice to see Carel and Maia, collected some Ultra loyalty points, got home – jumped in the pool (32deg day) – opened an AndUnion Unflt Lager, watched Ex Machina – long, but pretty good, Watched Burning Man – Beyond Black Rock – about Burning Man around 2003.
  • “When you get ready to go to Burning Man – as soon as you leave the door of your house you are at Burning Man.”

  • “Freedom lies in being bold.” — Robert Frost

  • The most important question in business is probably – would you like to work with that person again?
  • Why can’t you do it sooner?
  • First you need to master a set of skills, then find a passion that suits your skills. Who am I? What skills have I mastered? What is my passion?
  • Engineering is the only profession that creates things. The rest is support.
  • “In the pursuit of experiences beyond the mainstream.”

  • Get out of your comfort zone at least once a day.
  • “If you’re gonna exist, why not enjoy it.”

  • I want to do more things to inspire people.
  • Where do you meet cool woman anyway? – yoga? business school? trance parties? Caprice? Bubbly festivals?
  • Saturday, Headspace session 2 (I think I had a bit of a breakthrough with the meditation thing – hard to be sure), made breakfast, backups, inbox- rss- pocket- photos- notes- zero, gym, swim, a short visit to La Vie with Aiden (he was a bit fragile – not sure if it was sun stroke or that last night in Dublin), Steph Weiss, random tinkering and server upgrades.
  • I think it’s important to have some rituals that make you grateful for living in Cape Town… like a cold Steph Weiss on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
  • I enabled the Linode backup service for my Linode this week, seems to work well. I also switched from Xen to KVM, and finally upgraded Ubuntu to v14.04, with a bit of Dovecot IMAP upgrade pains.
  • This week about six people asked me Why I Don’t Use WhatsApp, so I wrote a post on the topic.
  • Stop using Ad Block Plus, start using uBlock Origin – for Firefox.
  • Tel Aviv has one startups for every 431 residents – if you believe the Wikipedia stats, Stellenbosch only needs 182 startups to match that.
  • What is the most important thing? Adventure.
  • Sunday, only the brave… woke up at 7:00ish, listened to some podcasts on the way to Riviersonderend – Sunday Vortex adventure (the lesser known text neck cure), must say – I kinda missed the sunscreen lathering up routine, very cool venue – river etc (see below), somehow I found Daniel and Tash and Samantha, very cool sunset drive home – to be honest – all in all a bit of a lonely day – but, that’s how (self contained) adventures go – nice to get out on the open road and spend a day in nature, Aiden phoned, quick shower at home, ended up at Caprice with Aiden, Dan, Emily, Chris and Nick – and enjoyed it – Caprice on a Sunday with Dan and Aiden – is, well, a one of a kind experience, there was this girl at the bar with an open back dress… wow (Alex).
  • Tune of the week: Rocket Man “And all this science I don’t understand. It’s just my job five days a week.”
  • I’ve been thinking that this recent breakup has actually been very good for me. Lots of learning. That, and podcasts. Good ideation time. I have no evidence to support this idea – but it feels like I’m becoming a bit wiser.
  • Re-watch and re-read. You pick up different things as you progress.
  • Nick says he swims with his Apple watch.
  • “Tony collects people.” — Burning Man 358 (the other 7 days he is at Burning Man)

  • Dan wants to do a podcast – that could be cool.
  • Has anybody actually loved somebody enough to stop a wedding?

Have a fun week, crazy kids.


Why I Don’t Use WhatsApp

A number of people have been asking me: why are you not on WhatsApp?

The quick answer is: don’t cross the streams!


I don’t like the idea that Facebook has access to my private conversations. Even if just meta-data.

Facebook owns WhatsApp.

I use Facebook. I kinda like finding random things to read and seeing what friends are up to.

Facebook is public, I choose to share (or not share) things there. Text messages are private – I don’t want to mix the two.

Don’t cross the streams…

Hmmm, ever stopped to think…

  • How does WhatsApp make money?
  • Why did Facebook buy WhatsApp?
  • Why does Facebook keep asking you to enter your mobile number? …maybe it’s for more than just “safety” reasons.

We all know: if it’s free you are the product, but it should worry you much more when you become a product where they have insight into your private communication habits.

I use Telegram. I really hope Telegram stays independent. I use iMessage. Please don’t send me Facebook messages, even though I will probably end up reading them.

I have never used Gmail. That’s just me.

Now you know.