Monthly Archives: March 2017

Quick Update

What nerds do, on evenings and weekends, part 2…

Bakoven 2010
  • Week of 20 to 26 March.
  • Limited photos this week. Phone stolen, see last week’s post. This week I have an old photo as the top header photo.
  • Stating the obvious, but… smartphones are pretty cool. Just go a week without one.
    Kinda weird not being able to take photos or make notes or listen to podcasts. I had to just sit through a lunch staring out the window – which is not bad, just different. Turns out two year old phone models are actually also pretty amazing devices.
  • Monday, school holiday, ice cream for brunch, de-cluttered my possessions a bit, swim with Mia, braai at Dirk’s house.
  • Tuesday, Human Rights day / public holiday, brunch at Ya Ya with Mia – chats about her teacher’s ideas for how well she should be doing – and why, found Mia a new gum guard for hockey season, swim, Mia moulded her gum guard with some hot water – seems they can be trusted to do this at a certain age, Mia watched Batman Returns with some dark chocolate while I attempted to load a school hours friendly iOS configuration profile on her phone with some CBC Pilsner in hand – since the Ourpact app was a bit lame, sunset walk, we shared a pomegranate, backups, Mia watched Casablanca while I processed photos and updated my blog.
  • Mia is now 161.5cm, 51.3kg, age 10, shoe size 7, 36.5″ hockey stick… she insisted her hockey stick was too small, so we had to go look it up. She grew 6cm and 4kg is the last 8 months.
  • “Even Ned Flanders couldn’t resist the temptation of Vegas.” — Paul, about Heleen in Vegas.

  • Don’t lose your self belief
  • Wednesday, school run, gym, office, catch-up chat with Michael – back from holiday, fetched an iPhone6 from Dirk’s house – a girly white one.
  • Thursday, up early – if I leave home at 4:50 I get to the Point gym at 5:30, gym, tinkered with an aquaponics doc while having a bulletproof coffee, swim, office, SIM swap, meeting at the Vodacom office in Century City – nice office space, office, rainy afternoon promenade walk, AfrikaBurn camp meetup at La Vie.
  • Friday, up early, podcast drive to the Silo VA, 300 Vitality points, swim, office, Claremont Police station to try and find my phone – no luck, catch up chat with Warwick, fetched Jacques, stopped for biltong, Jacques got stuck in a gun shop, showed Jacques the BIA machine in Stellenbosch, braai at Dirk’s house, good fun – some diagram drawing and Chardonnay, time well spent.
  • “Important things are interesting.”

  • “Your ability to execute is a function of skills, capital and network.”

  • Two ways things get done: 1) you love doing it and it happens anyway, 2) you are forced to.
  • After looking at my gym visit stats, I ended up joining the Silo gym, I seem to go 20+ times per month, I was just planning to go for one free visit, but it’s really awesome. Yes, yes – I know, don’t be a connoisseur. They only have 4Mbps wifi there – so it’s not all amazing.
  • I might be the most gamified health nerd. Watch. Shoes. Classic Collection Gym. Team rewards freebies. I just need to start flying more.
  • Saturday, Headspace meditation, backups, photo processing and general tinkering, more Headspace, epic nap, swapped an off-site backup hard drive, swim, dinner with Paul at Tigers Milk – very nice salads, Telegram chats with Heleen who is somewhere along the Colorado river, a quick Akker visit, in bed early.
  • “Dear Mia, I wanted to say again, super well done with the swimming and lifesaving this past season. I’m very proud of you. It took many hours of training, and I hope you feel it was all worth it. Well done with the medals… but, most of all, well done with the bravery to compete and swim in that freezing water. I little bit of discomfort never killed anybody. Lionhearted girl. X”

  • I’ve been pondering some strategies for a digital afterlife, maybe because I made a big backup this week. Hmm. How could I get this blog to still be on the internet in about 200 years?
  • Note to self: eat more oysters for brain health.
  • Sunday, breakfast for lunch at Basic Bistro with some notes processing – cat typing and Chardonnay – official nerd business – processed about 50 notes, gym – mostly some interval cycling to get points while listening to a 99percentinvisible episode, more cat typing, a glass of wine with Paul and my neighbours and some blogging.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Pixies, La La Land and Star Trek uniforms…

  • Week of 13 to 19 March.
  • Health week: 4 day fast, usually I’d do 5 days, not smart fasting through a Pixies show.
  • Limited photos this week. Phone stolen. Some photos were lost. I borrowed a few of Paul’s photos.
  • Monday, fasting day, Headspace meditation, plumber came to unblock a pipe, work, gym for 300 Vitality points, catch up chat with Dirk and Dian, plumber returned and sorted out the pipe, nap, work, decluttered my apartment a bit, sunset walk, in bed early.
  • I’m thinking I should do a mini 3 day fast per month.
  • I managed to achieve all my weekly Vitality fitness goals last month, so the first 1/24 of the Apple Watch is free.
  • “First we know, then we learn.”

  • Tuesday, fasting day, up early, podcast drive to the gym, turns out the Nu at The Point gym serves bulletproof coffee – yum (yeah, I kinda ignore a tiny bit of fat in my fasting thinking), some weight training with a Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, some interval training swimming sprints, steam bath and cold showers, office – document writing day, catch up chat with Dan, green tea and coconut oil, I randomly walked passed the VIP movies at the Waterfront and decided to watch La La Land – which was very entertaining, yet somehow hard to watch – the jazz theme is great.
  • “It’s dying, Mia. It’s dying on the vine, and the world says: let it die. It had its time.” — Seb, La La Land, about jazz. Touching moment, authentic, real belief draws you in.

  • “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog is not the better for it.” ~- Abraham Lincoln

  • Listen to this episode: Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness
  • Wednesday, fasting day, Headspace meditation on a rainy day, podcast drive to the gym, swim, office, attended the first Cape Town EdTech cluster meetup – not bad.
  • Seems I’m moving again soon.
  • Jacques and I are plotting a new challenge to lose 10kg by 21 April.
  • “There’s a podcast for that”, the new “there’s an app for that”.

  • Jacques has found a solution for people to stay at their target weight. We should all just wear Star Trek uniforms to work.
  • Thursday, Jaco gave me a tour of the farm he lives on, gym – had some eggs for breakfast – which tasted amazing after not eating for 4 days, office, smoothie with Heleen – who is going running in six countries for six weeks – and documenting it to create awareness of the global water crisis – this may just be the ultimate millennial job (-:, battled the traffic to get to the Southern Suburbs, chilled at a guesthouse in Bishopscourt with Paul, pre-drinks and a great selection of starters at Hudsons in Claremont, Uber ride to Kirstenbosch, watched The Springbok Nude Girls, watched Pixies, my phone disappeared – pick pocket – walking down the hill at the end of the concert, phoned it and it rang, but was soon switched off, tried Find My iPhone but no luck – seems they caught a thief with 11 phones, Forresters with Paul and Tara.
  • Note to self: only take cheap phones to concerts. :-/
  • The Nude Girls were rad. Pixies were good – music was very good, but it kinda felt like they were just going through the motions – limited interaction between band members, and between the band and the crowd, maybe a case of: don’t meet your heros.
  • Cat typing… never gets old.
  • “Most people are under-slept and over-caffeinated.”

  • Friday, woke up in a very misty Sea Point, coffee with Heleen, office, fetched Mia, the usual biltong shopping, a glass of Chardonnay at Dirk’s house – while Mia watched V for Vendetta, Col’caccios and gelato with Mia, we watched Agora – movie about a geeky girl trying to save The Great Library of Alexandria while a bunch of Christians destroy everything – interesting perspective.
  • Saturday, brunch at Ya-Ya cafe with Mia – fed Mia her usual dose of about 24 vitamins, phone chat with Heleen before her flight, coconut vanilla orange blossom banting ice cream at Cold Gold with Mia, we sent off some invites for Mia’s birthday party, nap, swim, watched Kong in 3D with Mia at the Eikestad mall – very entertaining, followed by a totally lame Spur dinner.
  • Stay away from the Spur. It used to be okay quality at a good price. Now it’s just expensive and bad.
  • I think I did about 7 loads of laundry this week.
  • Sunday, brunch at Basic Bistro – Mia and I edited our list of Geeky Movies for Kids, swim and steam bath – Mia swam 1km with the Apple Watch – she seems to like the stats, took a drive out to the end of the Jonkershoek road, wine tasting at Stark-Conde, a visit to the Ride In – chats about the hockey season and interval training, watched the end of Agora with Mia – good movie, nap while Mia watched Hackers, snacks finding drive and chats about ideas for startups, we browsed some of Mia’s old photos, made drinks with big round ice balls, I showed Mia a Paul Graham video – Before the Startup, mostly because she could not find any other movies she wanted to watch.
  • Make things people want.
  • Note to self: spend more time browsing old photos.
  • I miss being able to make notes on my phone.
  • “Aggressively, we all defend the role we play. Regrettably, time’s come to send you on your way. We’ve seen it all, bonfires of trust, flash floods of pain. It doesn’t really matter don’t you worry it’ll all work out.” — Exitlude, The Killers (Tune of the week)

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Geeky Movies for Kids

I have this weird worry that kids today have a huge list of great movies to catch up on. So, I started making a list of classic movies for kids, age 10-16ish, geeky gems, iconic cultural reference stuff. Movie education. Things you wish you had seen before they were referenced in a Simpsons episode. If that makes sense. Suggestions welcome.

Obviously check age restrictions and filter to suit your moral framework.

Seen by genetic offspring #1…

War Games
2001: A Space Odyssey, and 2010
Back to the Future series
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Star Wars and Clone Wars series
Princess Bride
Indiana Jones series
Galaxy Quest
The Last Starfighter
Studio Ghibli films
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Count Of Monte Cristo
Flash Gordon
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Truman Show
Star Trek series, reboot mostly
I, Robot
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
The Mask
Ace Ventura series
V for Vendetta
Men in Black series
Harry Potter series
Treasure Planet
Batman Returns
Jurassic Park series
Groundhog Day
The Fifth Element
Ghost in the Shell (original, and new)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Spirited Away
Titan A.E.
Forrest Gump
Short Circuit
Life Aquatic
Neverending Story
Edward Scissorhands
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Man of Steel (Superman)
Blade Runner, and the 2nd one
12 Monkeys
Pitch Black 2000
The Chronicles of Riddick 2004
Riddick 2013 (not ideal language)
The Prestige
Meet Joe Black
The Aviator
Minority report
Dark City
Batman Dark Knight series
Matrix series
Enemy Mine
Ready Player One
The Black Hole (1979)
The 13th Floor
District 9
Donnie Darko
Die Hard
The Bourne Identity
Flight of the Navigator
Corpse Bride
Secret of Nimh
The Last Action Hero
Independence Day, and ID4 Resurgence
Interview with a Vampire
The Internet's Own Boy
Pirates of Silicon Valley
Revolution OS
Dead Poets Society
Karate Kid, I, II, II
X-Men series, all 9 of them at last count.
Black Hawk Down
Alien series, all 6 of them.
Napoleon Dynamite
Planes Trains and Automobiles
Fantastic Mr Fox
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
I Am Legend
Edge Of Tomorrow
Logans Run
Big Blue

Find and watch…

See No Evil Hear No Evil
Young Guns 1 and 2
Dances with Wolves
Bond series
Dr. Strangelove
Night before Christmas
Little Shop of Horrors
The Lost Boys
Brewster's Millions

Maybe not just yet, but good.

Terminator series
Johnny Mnemonic
The Big Kahuna
Shaun of the Dead
Army of Darkness
Being John Malkovich
Pump Up The Volume

Quick Update

Woordfees, Street Soiree, bone marrow and Chardonnay…

  • Week of 6-12 March.
  • Monday, school run, catch up chat with Dirk at Stellenbosch Square, gym, podcast drive to the office, a salad at Sumo, VitB shot, supplement shopping like a gym nerd, stayed in the office fairly late, lifesaving photo processing.
  • Tuesday, gym, office, stayed at the office till well after it was dark, weekly blogging, found a note on my car windscreen.
  • I ran out of podcasts to listen to. Eek. Found a good show: Recode Decode.
  • Wednesday, Headspace meditation, work, gym, work, ginger shot and a chat with Dirk – I think we can all agree that meeting at the gym is distracting, Stellenbosch Street Soiree with Paul and Hanno – good fun – not too busy – nice weather, a burger at Steam (5 Ryneveld) – urgh, this whole “steampunk” thing is super lame, but the food was nice.
  • Thursday, up at 4:00, podcast drive to gym, office, installed a dating app and deleted it again the next day, found some new slops – walked right through the previous pair, sunset promenade walk.
  • Friday, podcast drive to gym, office, dev meeting, late afternoon visit to Dirk’s house, aKing Woordfees show with Paul, Al, Margot, Laudo, Dawid and Gelika, Balboa, ended up at Al’s house with Paul and Elmi.
  • Safe as Houses – great song.
  • Seems Paul has some history with aKing romance lyrics.
  • I suspect not having WhatsApp is some form of modern contraceptive.
  • Saturday, lunch at Eikendal with Paul, the bone marrow and snails starter with their Chardonnay was awesome, a nap turned into a 16 hour sleep.
  • Hmmm. Did I mention the bone marrow and Chardonnay combo.
  • You should make broccoli sprouts.
  • Sunday, watched The Legend of Kaspar Hauser – rather strange movie, lunch at Trumpet, nap, watched The Blues Brothers – one of those movies that’s really hard to believe that I had not seen it yet, took a walk up to the chain bridge, caught the last Woordfees show at Bloekomhoek with some of Gelika’s tasty lamb tacos, some photo processing and blogging while listening to a mix of Woordfees acts with a Newlands Spring Mountain Weiss, watched Blue Valentine – intense and sad.
  • Tune of the week: Vitalic – Poison Lips
  • I found a desktop app which lets me post Instagram photos. Now I can use Instagram again. I have not posted anything in about 3 weeks. Check out Flume. 500px was amusing for a while, but it’s not very social.
  • Best Sunday music: You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go – Madeleine Peyroux

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Sennheiser Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones Fail

Dear Sennheiser

Why would the glue in your headphones fail in three places in one week?

Sennheiser MM 550-X

I’ve been a big fan of my Sennheiser MM 550-X Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones, until this week, when for no reason, the padding around the headphones just started falling apart.

All I can think is: Planned obsolescence.

Not what you would expect from a pair of expensive headphone made by a “German audio company specializing in the design and production of a wide range of both consumer and high fidelity products”.

“Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time.”

I’ve had them for just over two years. Nothing changed in how I use them. They were not exposed to heat or cold or water.

What is going on here, and how do I fix it?

UPDATE: 15 May 2017

Three months later, after many emails and delays finding the right replacement part (R830 for two bits of plastic)… I’m sticking with my story of bad design and planned obsolescence. I simply don’t trust the brand anymore. I’d rather spend the money on Apple AirPods. So long Sennheiser, have a nice life.

Quick Update

Nippers, end of the swimming season and a few medals…

Clifton 4th
  • Week of 27 February to 5 March.
  • Monday, work, gym, Launch Lab tour, fetched Mia, watched the Helderberg Zonal gala – last gala of the season, greek food for supper with Mia and chats about how the music industry evolved over last 30years, Myog.
  • Mia won a silver medal in her butterfly race. Her ladder relay was 2nd – fun race to watch. She was 4th is the IM and the freestyle, just missed those medals, but at least it added some points.
  • I downloaded about 20 podcasts for Mia on her phone, but when I asked if she listened to them I figured out she downloaded others and listened to them rather. Interesting. Mostly 99pi it seems.
  • “The die has been cast. There is no free will.”

  • Naulene sent Mia to the gala without her goggles and without a cap. I’m not sure how you manage to do that for the most important gala of the season.
  • Tuesday, school run, gym, podcast drive to the office, health hacking chat with Tom at Knead, worked at the Radisson to avoid the traffic – nice sunset on the last day of February.
  • Is it just me, or does an analog watch face on an Apple Watch seem weird?
  • “Expect magic in every encounter.”

  • Use your intuitive mind.
  • Wednesday, podcast drive to the office, dev meeting, fetched my TV, promenade walk, Mondiall burger, walked around the Waterfront some more to get to 10k steps, had a Passionate Blonde at Sevruga with some notes processing.
  • “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 orders, 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

  • Thursday, work, gym, bumped into Dirk, worked some more at Simonsig, First Fizzday with Paul and Hanno – Paul played photographer – there was a series of photos of hot woman on my camera, dark chocolate, time well spent.
  • How things get done: urgency and agency.
  • “Exercise is medicine.”

  • “The word essay derives from the French infinitive essayer, ‘to try’ or ‘to attempt’.”

  • Friday, up early, podcast drive to the gym, swim, office, document writing, fetched Mia, some shopping for Mia for her upcoming camp, supper with Mia at Eikendal, tiramisu and semifreddo at Wijnhuis, yum.
  • A weekend of pretty much just lifesaving and photography…
  • Saturday, played team photographer and (super) dad support crew at the Western Province nippers champs on Clifton 4, long day, pizza and photo processing at Col’caccios in Stellenbosch with Mia, in bed early.
  • Sunday, up early, Clifton 4th by 8:00ish, another day of nippers, swim with Mia – the sea was packed with nippers kids, stayed for the prize giving, another swim – paradise really, pizza and tiramisu at Posticino and more photo processing, in bed early, time well spent.
  • Mia won a bronze for the Surf Swim and a silver for the Run-Swim-Run event. Her club was 5th overall. Fish Hoek was the winning club. She was 11th in the beach run. Cool event.
  • There was a moment towards the end of the nippers event where I could really appreciate how cool it is that they get to do lifesaving on these beautiful beaches. Magic. Nice end to a season and many of hours of swimming training.
  • I seem to be into black mushrooms and garlic on pizza recently. Mia is still only interested in ham and pineapple pizzas.
  • “Wisdom is learning to take your own advice.”

  • After a month of living in my new ~home, I managed to do a first batch of dishes, mostly complimentary wine glasses from wine festivals, not sure if this is stoicism or hedonism.
  • I took about 230 photos this week, but for some reason it was hard to find 10 to put on the blog.
  • Tune of the week: Depeche Mode – Everything Counts

Have a fun week, crazy kids.