Monthly Archives: August 2016

Quick Update

Disobey fear…

Lions Head
Lions Head
  • Week of 22 to 28 August.
  • I wrote this post at The Duchess of Wisbeach.
  • Monday, made Mia some breakfast and fed her a hand full of vitamins with some grass fed milk, rainy school run, gym – I can bench 90kg again – only took three months for my wrist to heal properly – don’t do stupid things kids, cold showers, office, photo processing and blogging, quick promenade walk, cooked a batch of broccoli, tinkered with my RPi control system while the cat following me around.
  • Sometimes I think it really helps to be able to file all my notes and noise of a week in a blog post and press publish.
  • Remember: Live for the now. Be link music / dancing.
  • Paul is back from his EU holiday. Seems he missed two flights and a train. Lost an iPhone. Sounds about right for an EU adventure. Must suck to not have any photos.
  • Sam is back, he also missed a flight. It’s been a long month of playing pool guy, but I think I did a good job.
  • Etienne is in Cape Town this week. It’s been ages.
  • Tuesday, the cat woke me up – it does not seem to want to leave, oh bother, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime promenade walk, wrote an ISP newsletter, aqp water tests.
  • 2001 explained.
  • So, Joburg and Pretoria and PE also have DA mayors now. Very cool. Episode IV: A New Hope.
  • Linux turned 25yo. Wow. It’s pretty much everywhere.
  • Wednesday, Shrek tea (matcha and turmeric), gym, office, sunset podcast promenade walk, discovered the Longview service from Linode, upgraded some websites to WP4.6, played with PyCharm Edu 3.
  • People seem to lose all sense of personal space when they get a personal trainer. Why do you want to stand around in the middle of where everybody wants to walk? Muppets.
  • I’ve been much more into aquaponics than health hacking recently. It’s time for a health mission soon.
  • Definitely.
  • Thursday, Shrek tea, swim, cold showers, Mweb technical integration meeting, office, watched Mia’s hockey, early supper around Strand beach, a (“Strand small”) softserve ice cream, we chatted about fear – why we have it – then it’s good and when it’s not so useful, dropped Mia off at her mom’s house, podcast drive to Cape Town – phone chat with Etienne.
  • “We Shall Build Good Ships Here; At A Profit If We Can, At A Loss If We Must, But Always Good Ships.” — Collis Potter Huntington.

  • Disobey fear.
  • Kinda feels like I outsource my child to India in week days. Email only. No phone calls. No text messages. Long delays. You kinda suspect that the call centre hates you. Same vibe.
  • Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
    HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    Dave: What’s the problem?
    HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

  • Friday, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime walk, after work drinks on the roof – chats with Martin about Django dev, a Campari with Etienne at La Vie, drinks at Hilah’s house with Paul and Claus – Paul brought me a Killers tshirt from his travels – rad!, I kinda fell asleep before everybody went out to Van Hunks, oops – I must have been tired.
  • Fibre, food, health seem to be the main themes. Only took me 18 months figure that out.
  • Find something that ads value which you can automate. Then enjoy life. Maybe that is the answer to The Matrix.
  • I’ve used about 500ml coconut oil in my morning teas, in the last year.
  • Saturday, woke up fairly early at Hilah’s house and read some Glamour Magazines, tea with Hilah, chilled at home and tinkered with the aqp farm while reading about React and Django, epic raw cacao smoothie, lunch at Sevruga with Etienne, a drink at Ferrymans, we spent some time looking for Etienne’s rental car in the Waterfront parking lot while he walked around asking people to hug him – fearless random hugs – found a helpful parking support guy who told me about 30 people lose their cars there every day – I think we were a unique case as we did not know the registration number or make or model or colour…. “it was kinda white or silver or grey” – Etienne kinda stole the guy’s bike and later returned it – my first tailgating experience (while listening to Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard – for Wes Anderson movie effect), watched the rugby at Van Hunks (about 75% – not sure who won) – I guess it was kinda inevitable that I would end up there – my first Tipo Tinto rum with Raspberry Sparletta.
  • It’s okay to be a bit odd, I think.
  • Sunday, aqp water tests – NO2 is still too high for adding fish – I showed Etienne my farming toys, fetched Cath, Cape Town mini Maker Faire – pretty cool… less 3D printing this year, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, took a walk around De Waal park with Stefano, climbed to the top of Lions Head with Cath – chats about podcasts, time well spent.
  • If you want to get into podcasts… listen to this and this and this. And this.
  • Tune of the week: The Killers – A Dustland Fairytale.

Have a fun week, crazy cats.

Quick Update

Feed me a stray cat…

Lions Head
Lions Head
  • Week of 15 to 21 August.
  • Monday, aqp water tests, office, sunset promenade walk listening to aquaponics podcasts, hacked my Raspberry Pi to rather use cron to run the pump – so it can run less at night time – it was keeping me awake – now I have a cool water feature alarm clock.
  • */30 7-21 * * * root /farm/pump.sh
  • Been listening to every aquaponics related podcast I can find. I’ve discovered the Visionary Aquaponics podcast, pretty cool.
  • I researched chlorine vs chloramine. Seems the best way to get chloramine out of the water is Vitamin C – and not the chlorine neutralising drops you buy at the aquarium place… if you plan to eat the food you are growing.
  • Tuesday, sunny day, podcast walk to the office, installed a speed test server (see fibre pic below), read a whole lot of browser tabs that had been open for too long – like 50, phone chat with Mia.
  • Good weather this week – did not use my car for three days in a row.
  • Pet hate – people who keep talking about something but never do it.
  • Octotel now has around 60 buildings live, 23 cars on the road.
  • I think I need to start getting into software development again. Finally started hacking on a Django project. Keen to learn Docker and Jenkins and some CI stuff soon.
  • Check out PostgresApp.
  • I think it’s important to remain a techie / hacker. Keep coding, kids.
  • I’ve been reading the book: Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. I see it was referenced here. Good read.
  • Wednesday, podcast walk to the office, strategy meeting and visited the office we’re about to move to (see above), automation project meeting, installed a speedtest server, breakfast for lunch at Kleinsky’s, sunset walk home, some photo processing, reading and blogging.
  • Be lazy like a fox.
  • Thursday, registered two domain names – after much head scratching, podcast walk to the office, mostly a sysadmin day, extended sunset promenade walk, did some reading about bio-char.
  • A friend recently commented that my life seems very full. Yeah, I guess. Maybe the trick is for your life to be full, but not busy.
  • What service business, which adds real value, can you build without needing people?
  • Friday, Mweb meeting, managed to get my network speed testing tools to work, went to Mia’s school’s Friday assembly, fetched Mia, we found some LECA, plants, seeds and coconut grow medium and Stodels – I’m becoming one of those people who like to hang out around big gardening shops, phone chat with Meiring, drove to Cape Town, washed the LECA while Mia planted the seeds in the coconut fibre grow medium – mint, red cabbage, dill, catnip, broccoli and brussels sprouts, dinner at Beluga with Mia, Wouter and Pieter – meh, the sushi was good, but bad value in general – what kind of a restaurant serves and adult portion ribs which does not fill up a 10 year old, ribs for ants?
  • Saturday, took Mia to her robotics academy – we chatted about high agency learning on the way – and the connection with the Maker movement and Burning Man, notes processing at Rosetta and Suprette, Granger Bay weekend market – the usual olive buying, found some Vitamin C to get the chloramine out of tap water (which ended up being pointless), put Mia to work on the aqp farm with my other billion little farm workers (bacteria) – we removed some marble chip pebbles (I was a dumbass and it was raising the pH) and filled up the grow bed with 100% LECA/hydroton – planted some red cabbage in the growbed – we replaced about 30% of the water – happy farm hacking day, we finished playing Day of the Tentacle Remastered.
  • The Woodstock Exchange… that hipster place which tech companies like for some strange reason – it has no parking and 60 wifi SSIDs but no free wifi. The Somerset West of the Cape Town tech ecosystems.
  • Sunday, aqp farm water tests – pH 7, NO2 and NO3 are off the chart, rainy day – so I collected some rain water, Mia started and finished DoTT again, the neighbour’s cat managed to kinda get trapped in the house because of the rain, Mia + cat + laser = good fun, fed the cat a can of tuna, some random mobility stretches just for fun, an early supper at Baccini’s – we chatted about building an automated multi-pet feeder and how to love learning, we had the required dose of Dark Toblerone and watched the 2nd half of 2001: A Space Odyssey – Mia said it was “the most boring and confusing movie she has ever watched”, the cat was back at 23:30 to wake me up – seems it just wanted to play – had to put it outside – it showed up again at 6:15 the next day, weird animals.
  • I was listening to Super Cool / Radio Lab this week and there was a moment where I experienced what I can only describe as a dopamine rush from the love of learning, eyes go all watery etc. I tried to explain this to Mia and made her listen to the podcast. I think she gets it. How cool is it that bacteria create snowflakes to travel!?
  • You are listening to podcasts right? Right?
  • Btw. you should not be eating tuna. Really. Mercury.
  • Your life is not a journey. Live for the now. Dance. Be like music.
  • Solving All the Wrong Problems.
  • Turns out Cape Town tap water contains good old vanilla chlorine, not chloramine.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Aquaponics is (also) the new Linux…

Aquaponics
Aquaponics
  • Week of 8 to 14 August… week #432.
  • Staycation week, felt like we had three Sundays in a row.
  • Monday, school holiday – so I also took the day off, tinkered with the aquaponics farm and took some water readings – pH went up a bit to 7.5, Mia played some Day of the Tentacle Remastered, device upgrades and backups, I hacked some cargo shorts to fit better, late lunch at Posticino’s in Hout Bay and some tiramisu with Mia, beach walk, Chardonnay and a mocktail at Dunes, beach walk around Beta Beach, catch up with Wouter – watched the sunset from the balcony with some Chardonnay, Mia finished writing a poem, watched 2001: A Space Odyssey with Mia – she complained in the beginning, but kept watching.
  • Tuesday, public holiday, farm check – plants seem happy, more DoTT, buffet lunch at Melissas in Kloof st – Mia played DoTT – I processed notes and photos and updated my blog – lots of tea involved, De Waal park walk, Gardens Centre, Green Point Park walk, promenade walk, Wouter cooked his signature green pasta – peas, basil etc, Mia created a blog for herself.
  • “…such a generous spirit, you’d be embarrassed to behave in a small way around her.”

  • Impressive how little garbage we have now that we recycle and compost. Obviously not being good consumers.
  • Wednesday, I made a fruit salad for Mia while she cycled the aqp farm, school run, gym, office, catch up with Eugene, Mia read a poem she wrote at the Eisteddfod – she was awarded a gold (medal?), aquaponics farm control system hacking with Michael and Luke – a bit of yak shaving – turns out relays like 12V – we managed to get the Pi to switch the relay on and off, some blogging.
  • I think I might be a gifted yak shaver.
  • Thursday, Titea, gym, swim, cold showers – I considered complaining about the cold water in the showers not being cold enough, office, milk and chia, found a 12V PSU at the hardware shop, exported some 2006-2009 iWeek photos – wow, feels so long ago, migrated a few months of photo masters to my external drive, 90GB backup, tinkered with the pump control relay – mega yak shaving.
  • “Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure.” — Tony Robbins

  • Remember why you started.
  • Friday, Titea, aqp farm water tests – NO3 levels looking very good, office, drove to Stellenbosch with Hilah, Trumpet Tree with Al and Hilah – bumped into Dawid – we’re planning to go to Oppikoppi next year, Balboa until they closed and then we stayed a while longer.
  • Saturday, Wouter fetched me from Al’s house, road trip to Bloutoring Plaas / Touwsrivier for John’s birthday weekend, managed to not shoot away any arrows in the lawn archery game, took a “nap” at about 17:00ish.
  • Sunday, woke up at 2:00, joined the birthday celebrations that were still going on, nap, road trip back to Cape Town – stopped at Die Veldskoen Padstal in De Doorns for breakfast, tinkered with my aqp farm control system – it now automatically floods twice an hour, a beer with Al at Van Hunks to wrap up the weekend, time well spent.
  • Some projects you just have to start with a beginners mind.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Moar Podcasts

Things you must listen to…

rf-fm

I recently ran out of (Tim Ferriss) podcasts to listen to and asked for some suggestions on Geek List.

This is pretty much a dump of a mailing list thread for me to go search through when I get bored.

Ones I think are good…

  • 99% invisible
  • Radiolab
  • TED Radio Hour
  • The Tim Ferriss Show
  • FoundMyFitness
  • Bulletproof Radio
  • Smart Drug Smarts
  • a16z
  • Recode Decode
  • Packet Pushers, Fat Pipe
  • Talk Python To Me
  • Python Bytes
  • How I Built This
  • Death, Sex and Money
  • The Journal
  • Visionary Aquaponics
  • Science Vs
  • TechCentral
  • Seriously (BBC)

Moar to explore…

  • Mystery Show
  • Do By Friday, nope.
  • The Accidental Creative, meh.
  • Startup Podcast, meh.
  • Twice Removed, not for me.
  • No Such Thing As A Fish,tried it, not for me.
  • This American Life
  • Serial
  • Reply All
  • Revisionist History
  • More Perfect
  • The Geek Show
  • Open Source
  • NPR Planet Money
  • Freakonomics
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • Half Hour Happy Hour
  • Cracked
  • Waking up with Sam Harris
  • Dan Carling Hard Core History
  • The Daily Maverick Show
  • The Documentary (BBC show)
  • The Economist: The Week Ahead
  • This Week in Tech
  • This Week in Startups
  • HBR Ideacast
  • The Bottom line – BBC business
  • Naked Scientist
  • Scientific American
  • Tara Brach
  • Design Matters
  • The One You Feed

Go for long walks and listen to podcasts.

Quick Update

Hack good art…

Bantry Bay
Bantry Bay
  • Week of 1 to 7 August.
  • Monday, measured the NO2 levels of the aquaponics farm – nothing yet, office, we looked at some new office space for Octotel (same building), installed Ubuntu server on an Intel NUC (Atom CPU / no moving parts), sunset walk towards Bantry Bay, cycled the aquaponics farm, phone chat with Ernst, veggie supper and a catch-up chat with Wouter, some blogging.
  • I started journalling on paper. Not sure if it’s much better than text files, but I think so.
  • “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.” — Mae West

  • Tuesday, Titea, gym, office, letterhead design session, closed a safety deposit box at the bank – kinda lost the key – it’s been 10+ years – so they wanted me to take it to a locksmith and bring back the box – hmm – not going to happen – after much debate they just gave me this big blue metal box, Octotel automation system design meeting, installed Raspian on a Raspberry Pi v1 (for the aqp farm), sunset walk towards Bantry Bay, cooked a roast chicken and roast veggies dinner, cycled the aquaponics farm.
  • Wednesday, Titea, national voting day / public holiday, took some water readings from the aquaponics farm pH (7.0), NO2 – Nitrite, NO3 – Nitrate (the stuff the plants like) – no bio filter activity yet, phone chat with Dan, breakfast with Wouter at Jarryds – we chatted about having more kids and the top diseases that kill people – coronary heart disease combined with smoking is the clear winner, drove to Camps Bay to go vote – fairly painless – 94.2% DA – listened to a Wim Hof podcast on the Joe Rogan show in the queue, phone chat with Ernst, hacked together some insulation for the aquaponics farm – cut up one of Wouter’s old yoga mats and used a healthy amount of duct tape – rewarding hack – I’m trying to get the water temp to 25+ degC on avg, sunset walk to Clifton.
  • When was the last time you built something? Designed it, built it, tinkered with it until you were happy? Good fun.
  • Nice read about cargo shorts …then your daughter gets a phone – and her phone also ends up in your cargo shorts all the time – just because it’s practical.
  • Thursday, office, finally managed to open a bank account for Mia (thanks Al), DFA meeting, watched Mia’s hockey and catch up chats with a few of the moms, early supper at W Cafe with Mia – we chatted about staying an artist and making good art, dropped Mia off at her gran’s house, podcast drive to Cape Town, processed some hockey photos, managed to get Python 3.5 and gpiozero running on the Pi – minimal yak shaving involved.
  • One of the moms at hockey asked if I’m seeing anybody and wanted to introduce me to one of her friends. Kinda awkward.
  • Hockey snacks have become: water, nuts, biltong and coconut chips. Deal with it.
  • Friday, Titea, gym, phone chat with Ernst, usual 3 lt of milk stop, office, fetched Mia from school, usual biltong stop, we found Mia the new Harry Potter book (no 8 – she finished reading it in one day), a visit to Netram in Century City – I must really like this farming control system thing to be going to Century City – got some temperature sensors, relays, LEDs etc, sunset promenade walk with Mia, Hussar burger with Mia.
  • I stopped my Apple Music service, was not using it.
  • Hmm. I somehow managed to remain FB friends with all my exes. Random thought.
  • Seems I really love podcasts. The selection of podcasts really exploded since 2014. If you are not listening to podcasts you are really missing out.
  • Humans need to be healthy, strong and creative. Wim Hof idea.
  • Listened to an interesting podcast with Tony Robins on the topic of human resourcefulness. Hacking. Walking through walls.
  • Saturday, robotics class, Communica – found more sensors and a digital pH meter, cocktails and mocktails at the Neighbourgoods market in Woodstock and fresh coconut water from a coconut – Mia loves these – chats about feminism and STEM education – Mia was the only girl in the robotics class, aqp tinkering with Michael – we started building the control system, took an Uber to Cath’s birthday party – lots of pizza and red wine.
  • Sunday, bought some lettuce plants and kale seeds to plant, Sheckters matcha flapjacks and a raw cacao jar (yum!), Mia planted the first plants in the aquaponics farm, Waterfront, I watched Suicide Squad – not bad – while Mia watched Ghostbusters – she really liked it (as much as I can chat STEM education for girls I could not see myself sitting through the remake of Ghostbusters, Willoughbys – Mia seems to operate chop sticks very well these days, gelato, I put 1kg of salt in the dishwasher – who knew dishwashers needed salt?
  • “Live in the future and build what seems interesting.” — PG

  • Tune of the week: Forget about what I said, The Killers
  • Make good art.
  • I still have not opened the big blue metal box.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Real flow, deep play…

Bantry Bay
Bantry Bay
  • Week of 25 to 31 July.
  • This post is two weeks late. I had 182 notes to process.
  • Monday, a crisp 8 degC school run, gym, cold showers, podcast drive to Cape Town, left the office after dark, another Georg birthday dinner at Hussar Grill in Mouille Point – end of a series of July birthdays.
  • Courage is the first virtue.
  • Software is eating the world.
  • Tuesday, TiTea – somewhat strange turmeric and matcha high after hyper ventilating, gym, a few cold showers, Strolla / #TableTopTuesdays with Max, Heleen, Pieter etc, very rainy day, office, phone chat with Mia, left the office after dark, watched a Vice video about Wim Hof – hurt really is a very strong motivator, read a chapter of a book.
  • Seems you really want to avoid sugar and Omega6 to prevent heart disease.
  • Wednesday, 24h fasting day, office, lunchtime swim, sunset walk, read a chapter of a book.
  • Thursday, office, Web Africa meeting, lunch with Dan at Rua, back and neck massage at Wembley Square, Wellness Warehouse – got some Metformin, Boron and Zink, Uva Mira tasting, office, I fed the neighbour’s cat some sardines (keto snack), strawberries and cream and a catch up chat with Wouter.
  • “Well, either boring or crazy, right?” — Nick

  • Managed to get a Metformin prescription, going to try a two week experiment.
  • Smart and interesting.
  • “Write in a trance. Act in a trance. Build in a trance.”

  • “We’re as old as our joints feel.”

  • Friday, TiTea, gym, bought the usual 3 lt of milk, office, Octotel automation system design meeting, Cool Ideas meeting, rushed home to meet our electrician, Vox meeting, an omelette for lunch with Paul, after work drinks on the roof and chats with Michael, phone chat with Ed, Van Hunks with Georg, phone chat with Ernst, Outrage of Modesty with Georg – some interesting cocktails, Aces.
  • Sharing is caring, but not so much in the fibre industry.
  • I figure I’m on a 10 year mission to keep feeling 30.
  • The best way to learn is to teach.
  • Saturday, played pool guy, bought some LECA / grow medium, visited Pet World and got some water test kits (pH, NO2, NO3), Builders Warehouse visit, phone chat with Mia, a steak at Nelsons Eye with Georg, watched Hearts of Darkness – making of Apocalypse Now… very good.
  • Sunday, some aquaponics farm hacking – washed the LECA and stones, added the filter and heater, added the NH3 (pee, yes – standard human pee), a pizza and tiramisu and white russians next to the fire at Posticino while reading an aquaponics book, phone chat with Mia, watched The Right Stuff.
  • I’m enjoying the farming – found myself around 2pm not knowing what the time was – still in my pajamas, tinkering with the aquaponics farm, real flow…
  • Aqp farm stats: pH was just over 7 – which is good. Next I’ll start measuring NO2 and then NO3 (which is what you want), water temperature was around 18 degC, needs to be higher. With a bit of luck I should have a biofilter (two types of bacteria) within 4 weeks – if we have enough sunny days, and then I can start adding plants and fish.
  • “In rare moments of deep play, we can lay aside our sense of self, shed time’s continuum, ignore pain, and sit quietly in the absolute present, watching the world’s ordinary miracles.” — Diane Ackerman

Have a fun week, crazy kids.