Monthly Archives: January 2017

Vitality Apple Watch Deal: Yes or No?

Should you take the Vitality Apple Watch deal… yes, no, maybe?

TL;DR
Yeah, maybe, but don’t expect to save more than 40% of the cost of the device, unless you love doing long cardio sessions three times a week, religiously… e.v.e.r.y..w.e.e.k.

The Longer Answer…

After a bit of research I now have a Apple Watch Series 2 on the Vitality benefit deal.

The Dark Art Of Goal Calculations

At first I was worried that the weekly goals calculation was not public knowledge. Nobody I asked seem to know how it was calculated and how it escalated. Some interesting comments on the Facebook question I posted. A few unhappy people. I’ve heard stories of people starting out at 400 point per week goals and then quickly ending up at 900 points per week goals. This sounded unfair. I’m still not happy that the algorithm is a black box.

Cardio x3

It seems you just have to assume you will get to a 900 points per week goal very soon if you reach a few weekly goals. The only way to keep getting to the 900 points per week goal is if you do three 30min cardio sessions per week.

Cycling for 30min is probably easy. Running or swimming for 30min is harder. I don’t like running. It’s all about keeping your heart rate elevated for 30min x3 per week.

Is cardio really that good for you? Who knows. I find it very boring. Lots of people think the long boring cardio which Discovery has in mind is lame and a waste of time. I tend to agree. Discovery still thinks eating lots of fruit and carbs is good for you. Muppets.

My Advice: It’s Fine To FAIL

I’m most certainly not going to get to a 900 point target, 4 weeks in a row, for 24 months in a row. That’s a joke actually. I like gym and walking and swimming and cycling as much as the next optimistic watch wearer, but let’s be real, it’s just not going to happen.

Try this…

  • Reach as many targets as possible in the first calendar month after you get the watch, while the weekly goals are lower.
  • Then, try and get to 4 weekly goals in a row on every 3rd calendar month, which kinda fits in with my views on health: The Mindful Hedonist’s Health Guide.
  • The rest of the time, either get to two weekly goals in a month or ZERO.
  • Make peace with the idea that you’ll pay about R290/month on months you are lazy or life gets in the way.

With the above strategy I figure I can get around 9 months for free, and 15 months at 25% discount.

Which works out to around R4500 for a R7500 device. Not bad. Whatever you do, just don’t think you’ll get the thing for free.

But if you own this marvellous modern lifestyle accessory, you can…

  • Swim with the Series 2, yes kids, this one is waterproof
  • Finally say goodbye to your (probably super annoying) phone ringtone
  • Unlock your Mac with your watch
  • Draw and send dick-pics
  • and with bit of luck, be a bit more motivated and incentivised to be healthy

Can’t hurt.

Update 6 March 2017: The 900 points goal is actually not very hard to reach. Get your 100 points per day 6 days of the week with a gym visit or 10k steps, and once a week do a indoor cycle with 80% HR for 30+ min. I try and do some interval training in the cycle to make it less boring. Also, get two+ team members to get more free smoothies.

Quick Update

It’s good to have you with us, even if it’s just for the day…

Sea Point Walk
  • Week of 9-15 January.
  • Monday, first day back at the office, lots of random little bits of admin and email scrubbing, a late lunch at Giovanni’s with Paul, a fairly long and somewhat windy promenade walk with Paul, watched the 2nd half of About Time with Heleen – love that movie.
  • “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” — from About Time

  • Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen
  • New year resolution – more software dev, think global.
  • Tuesday, office, smoothie with Heleen, set out to find some photos of the last 10 years of suicide gorge walks for a blog post, took a long aimless walk around Sea Point – the area I don’t usually see – phone chat with Paul – felt like a tourist having a good flaneuring walk around a holiday town – nice weather, started phoning Heleen every 10 minutes because she went for a run up Table Mountain and it was already dark, found some Chinese food and a beer, mild panic, she finally phoned back – almost had a sea and mountain rescue in the same week.
  • I wrote a post about 10 Years of Suicide Gorge hikes.
  • Wednesday, office, catch up chat with Michael, a smoothie with Heleen – I took her a somewhat late (and nerdy) xmas gift, misty sunset promenade walk with Heleen (see above), made a salad, we watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower – very cool movie – seems we were both wallflowers, cool scene driving through the bridge.
  • Belief is irresistible.
  • “We accept the love we think we deserve.” — The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Memory journeys.
  • Thursday, office, salad with Heleen, had plans to go to First Fizzday in Stellenbosch but just went for a promenade walk and fetched my hoodie from Wouter’s house, made banana bread with Heleen – well, I watched her bake.
  • Friday, banana bread for breakfast, office, coffee with Heleen, fetched Mia, found some biltong, clothes shopping for Mia, almost got an Apple Watch Series 2 – but they only had a white model, drove to Stellenbosch and viewed an apartment, a drink at Trumpet Tree for Al’s birthday – we bumped into Anjela, a swim and a steam bath with Mia, Hussar burger, a walk around inner Stellenbosch.
  • “Daai girl lyk nie soos trou materiaal nie.” — Heleen’s comment on a photo of Paul’s date.

  • “What’s for you will not pass you by.” — Moloko.

  • Saturday, breakfast at Eendracht Hotel, I read the Eikestad Nuus while Mia had a jacuzzi bath, shopping outing – mostly to get a present or two for Al – Mia really loves the Typo shop, swim, steam bath, cold shower, Al’s birthday braai with Mia, Heleen, Margot, Eleonora and Corlia at De Zalze, swims and great filet steak and a very nice Uva Mira red – thanks Al, Mia insisted on an evening dark chocolate run.
  • Happy birthday, Al!
  • Sunday, breakfast at the De Zalze clubhouse with Al and Mia, a more nippy than usual nippers – windy – but, not sure why I buy the wetsuits – Mia never wears them, road trip to Elgin with a Sam’s Town / Killers soundtrack, ribs at The Hickory Shack with slaw and Texas toast, Houw Hoek Hotel, nap, late afternoon walk with Mia, she found a small boat and navigated a pond with lots of water lilies, watched the end of the last Matrix movie – which was very confusing for Mia – who is this Neo guy and why can he use “The Force”?, calamari and Ataraxia Pinot, I think we might have been the only people in the hotel, last minute mission to get a school uniform washed and ironed, time well spent.
  • What kind of music do you usually have here? – “We got both kinds, we got country and western.” — about the music at The Hickory Shack

  • Killers. My soundtrack for life it seems.
  • I have not been wearing a watch since November. Kinda makes me less worried about time I think.
  • Tune of the week: Why do I keep counting – The Killers

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

10 Years of Suicide Gorge

I did my first Suicide Gorge hike in 2006 and I recently did my 10th hike in 2016, so to celebrate I figured I’d go dig up some old photos and share them.

Suicide Gorge is an epic adventure. Probably the best, and most fun, day-outing around Cape Town. Very beautiful. I’m very happy, and somewhat surprised, that in all our hikes nobody got hurt.

It’s become a bit of a yearly institution. Thanks Anton!

I could only find photos for 8 of the hikes – the earlier ones were before convenient waterproof cameras. Here you go…

#1 2006 February 19th

This was the first one. Good fun, but we managed to get a bit lost early on.

#2 2007’ish

Can’t find photos for this one, but I think it involved Anton getting his bakkie keys wet, getting a lift to Stellenbosch and then going all the way back to fetch the bakkie after dark.

#3 2008 January’ish

I can only find a blog post about this one.

#4 2008 March 29th

Team Amobia

This was one of the longer hikes with the Amobia guys. I had to leave a bit early, but they only left after dark.

#5 2008 December 16th

Tour Guide

At some point people randomly contacted me after they found a blog post about the hike, so I agreed to play tour guide and take some of my friends along.

#6 2009 January 24th

Parking Area

Not sure who organised this one.

#7 2010 December 12th

2010
Bienne

This was the only one where people turned back after starting the jumps.

#8 2012 December 21st

2012
Zen frog
Anton
Anton

This was Frans’ first one.

#9 2014 November 22nd

ERnst Bachelors
Bottom of the kloof
Finished

Great fun for a pre-bachelor party hike, if you can keep your eyes open later.

#10 2016

2016

Number 10, probably the quickest finish of the lot.

Quick Update

Dry needling and a sea rescue…

Pringle Bay
  • Week of 2-8 January. Last week of the holidays.
  • Monday, extended beach walk with Mia and Charlotte, made omelettes with the girls, sea swims, browsed the sad world of DStv – 400 channels of lame, more sea swims, braai, we all took a walk to the beach to go see the green fluorescent bacteria in the shallow water and on the sand.
  • Tuesday, notes and photo processing, watched Jupiter Rising – not bad, a walk around the Harold Porter Gardens, hake and calamari at the Kleinmond Harbour, nap, watched Tomorrowland – pretty good, braai – great braai broodjies.
  • “WWIJD: What would Indiana Jones do?” — Jacques, on relationship advice.

  • “Designed to find dreamers.” — Tomorrowland

  • Wednesday, managed to publish a blog post with Edge internet speeds, afternoon swim and rugby ball kicking into the waves while the girls and the dogs fetched the balls, braai – moar great braai broodjies, thanks Georg!
  • Thursday, packed up and left Pringle Bay – so long holiday house – it was an awesome few days, a quick car wash, lunch at Jacques’, a salad at La Vie with Heleen.
  • What is the opposite of AfrikaBurn? Must be a cruise ship holiday. ERnst is missing the burn it seems.
  • Friday, swim, quick catch up with Heleen at Strolla, my first dry needling session at Sparc, a beer with Georg at Van Hunks, VitB shot, a beer with Paul at Up Yours – after waiting about 90 minutes – being bored is good right?, some wine on the lawn at Nadia and Micah’s house in Sea Point, Posticino pizza.
  • The dry needling worked really well for my neck – a delayed xmas gift from me to me.
  • Saturday, a swim at Clifton 1st with Jacques – his new favourite beach for the dogs, fetched Heleen after her morning run, Granger Bay OZCF market, a salad at Hemelhuijs and an interesting cucumber juice and gin cocktail, The Creamery, nap, Clifton 3rd with Heleen, Nick, Michel and Nadia, minor sea rescue emergency involving a SUP and inflatables, curry and coconut naan at Kushi in Sea Point with Heleen, watched a bit of Snowden, time well spent.
  • Do you think the girls are okay? … “Yeah, the best thing about these Afrikaans girls is that they can look after themselves.” — Nick, around about the time the three girls were being rescued by the Clifton lifeguards because they were being blown deep into the ocean by a strong wind.

  • I’ve been using Mutt for about 20 years now… the email client.
  • Sunday, built some Lego with Heleen, we did an awesome little hike from the top of Fresnaye around the sea side of Lions Head, Matcha lattes and brunch at The Charles Cafe in De Waterkant with Heleen, nap, photo processing and backups, a swim and a Campari on Little Beta Beach with Heleen and Roxy, Posticino pizza, watched the first half of About Time again.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Pringle Bay and my 10th Suicide Gorge adventure…

Pringle Bay
  • Week of 26 December to 1 January. First post of 2017.
  • Monday, Jacques made his special Spanish omelette dish, listened to some Wham!, chocolate and wine pairing at Durbanville Hills with Mia, Charlotte, Georg, Marietjie and Jacques, epic nap, Spur burgers and Dom Pedros.
  • Willpower is not enough.
  • Jacques gained 20kg in one year, after getting married. Impressive.
  • Jacques’ chocolate Labrador is very cute… Nesquik.
  • I’ve been hanging out with Walter from The Big Lebowski. He keeps saying he wants to buy me a Desert Eagle. I keep saying I think “Natural Selection” beats “Selective Breeding” when it comes to dogs. The 3rd World Dog is a super hero.
  • “Sy blog is ‘n favourite met die aliens wat in-tap op ons internet.” — Jacques, about my blog.

  • “I’m going to need at least three of those Barbie sized wines.” — Paul, about air travel and wine and rough mornings.

  • Tuesday, Cape Town day with Georg, Van Hunks with Al and Elsa, pancake night at Jacques’.
  • Wednesday, watched a bit of Zootopia again – great movie, shopping with Jacques – found some new hiking shoes and a hat, drove to Pringle Bay, a beer with Anton, sunset beach walk.
  • Spent a lot of time on a deck of a beach house this week, looking out over the sea. Pringle Bay is cool. I think it was good for Mia to just be a child for a while – no school or sport pressures.
  • “Niemand kan meer as Joe slaap nie.” — Jacques

  • Thursday, up at 5:00, my 10th Suicide Gorge walk, fetched Anton in Bettys, started walking at around 8:00 with Anton, Tom, Matt, Alex and Anton’s cousins, epic day – but I forgot to take a camera, we finished in record time – turns out I still fit in a wetsuit I bought 10 years ago, one of our quicker hikes 8:00-15:00, a springbok pie and a cider at Peregrine Farm Stall – a post-hike tradition, a beer at De Wetsbaai, braai in Pringle, watched some of Batman Begins with Mia, time well spent.
  • My first Suicide Gorge hike was in 2006. Thanks for organising then, Anton! Note to self: write a blog post about ten yours of Suicide Gorge adventures soon.
  • Friday, beach outing and body surfing with Mia till mid-day, wine tour around the Elgin valley with Mia and Georg – Iona, Oneiric and Graham Fox, Kleinmond watermelon shopping, sunset beach walk with Mia – chats about why boredom is good, braai, drinks with Madeleine, Diane and Albrecht.
  • My cocktail of Magnesium, Colagen and Glutamine seems to work well for being stiff after a long day of hiking and kloofing.
  • Pro tip: avoid iMessage in areas with bad GSM signal.
  • Saturday, last day of 2016, lazy day, vodka tonics on the deck with Georg, nap, extended late afternoon swims with the kids, NYE crayfish braai with Rossouw, Elise, Marius, Georg, Jacques, Marietjie, Niel, Charlotte and Mia – Neil Diamond soundtrack and watermelon, I somehow did not make it to 0:00, 11h sleep.
  • iTunes killed the mix tape.
  • RIP Leia.
  • Sunday, super chilled day, had some Charles Fox MCC to celebrate the new year, photo processing with an Above and Beyond soundtrack and Chardonnay with Georg, listened to some Stevie Nicks, nap, Georg made a roast leg of lamb.
  • Have a super 2017!

Happy new year, crazy kids.