Category Archives: Rants

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 would wish you saw 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…

Back to the Future series
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Star Wars and Clone Wars series
Princess Bride
Indiana Jones series
War Games
2001: A Space Odyssey
Galaxy Quest
The Last Starfighter
Studio Ghibli films
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Count Of Monte Cristo
Flash Gordon
My Fair Lady
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Truman Show
Star Trek series, the reboot mostly
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
The Mask
Ace Ventura series
V for Vendetta
Men in Black
Harry Potter series
Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang
Treasure Planet
Batman Returns

Find and watch…

Jurassic Park series
Groundhog Day
The Fifth Element
Forrest Gump
Neverending Story
Karate Kid
Donnie Darko
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Last Action Hero
Short Circuit
Edward Scissorhands
Titan A.E.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Corpse Bride
Night before Christmas
Secret of Nimh
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
The Dark Crystal
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990
The Frighteners
Flight of the Navigator
Miracle on 34th Street
The Warriors
Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants
The Iron Giant
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Dead Poets Society
Little Shop of Horrors
The Lost Boys
New Batman series
Napoleon Dynamite
Time Bandits

Maybe not just yet, but good.

Shaun of the Dead
Army of Darkness
Being John Malkovich
12 Monkeys
Alien series
Blade Runner
The Prestige
Johnny Mnemonic
Pitch Black

Quick Update

Woordfees, Street Soiree, bone marrow and Chardonnay…

  • 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?

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.

Quick Update

When in Stellenbosch, taste wine, relentlessly…

  • Week of 20-26 February.
  • Health week 3/3, not really.
  • Monday, made Mia some breakfast with coconut flakes, school run, gym, podcast drive to the office, late afternoon promenade walk.
  • Good podcast: David DHH Heinemeier Hansson – The Power of Being Outspoken
  • Chase flow and tranquillity.
  • Cool podcast on anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Tuesday, up early, podcast drive to gym, swim, protein flapjacks with Heleen, office, ISP onboarding process meeting.
  • One thing I would definitely change if I had to grow up again… start doing squats earlier. Squats and nerdy health podcasts.
  • “Harry Burns: The fact that you’re not answering leads me to believe you’re either (a) not at home, (b) home but don’t want to talk to me, or (c) home, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy. If it’s either (a) or (c), please call me back.” — When Harry Met Sally

  • Nice read: You can’t expect to start something new without letting go something old.
  • I’m starting to think I should try going on a silent meditation retreat.
  • Wednesday, podcast drive to Cape Town, swim (300 vitality points), office, document writing day, Silicon Cape EdTech meetup, time not so well spent.
  • The curse of being busy. Common theme.
  • Thursday, extra protein banting ice cream for breakfast, work, gym, work, Launch Lab, Rustenberg – old favourite, Trumpet Tree for some contract editing, Balboa, Paul showded up and somehow we ended up in the apartment of the ice cream maker: Janine.
  • What do I spend a silly amount of money or time on? How can I scratch my own itch? Hmm… health hacking and podcasts.
  • Friday, some wise guy wheel clamped me for parking on bay 62 not 64 – joy – honest mistake, podcast drive to the office, dev meeting, breakfast for lunch at Knead – somewhat awkward encounter, pre wine festival nap, fun evening at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival with Paul, Hanno, JD and Hannes, time well spent – I think I managed to taste every Chardonnay available, 11h sleep.
  • Safety third.
  • “Luxury is feeling unrushed.”

  • Relationships ending is never fun. Nagging sense of loss.
  • “Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t end.” — Cocktail

  • Death, sex and money: Cut Loose.
  • I get the sense the next while is going to be more productive.
  • Saturday, swim, steam bath, cold showers, Constantia Fresh at Buitenverwachting with Paul, Karisa, Darryn and Friederike, Peddlars, fun afternoon, 3rd day of wine tasting in a row, great wine and delicious food – I think this was my 4th Constantia Fresh.
  • Paul and I have been pondering an offline dating app for AfrikaBurn… how to find people you randomly met on some adventure, but forgot their names.
  • Sunday, somehow we were sensible enough to not go to Masqued Ball this year, brunch at Basic Bistro (again) with some notes and photo processing, epic nap, swim, watched Trainspotting 2 – somewhat uncomfortable to watch at times, but good, phone chat with Mia before her big gala.
  • Very cool podcast: The Future of Personalized Medicine, listen to this gem at 1.2x speed with silence trimmed.
  • Also a good podcast: CRISPR
  • Greatest invention since sliced bread must be spray plaster. Get some.
  • Nice read:The day I became a millionaire
  • Note to self: eat more blueberries, go for a weekly walk in nature, start doing a monthly short fast – maybe two days.
  • Treat your life like a search function.

Have a fun week, crazy kids. Stay humble, stay curious, stay smart.

Quick Update

When Instagram was cool, Valentines day and Lebowski bathrobes…

Queens Beach
  • Week of 13 to 19 February.
  • Health week 2/3, mostly.
  • This is the 1000th post on this blog.
  • Monday, woke up at Paul’s house, 2am drive home with a Fleetwoord Mac soundtrack – took me about 10min, sleep, podcast drive to Cape Town, office, late afternoon smoothie walk with Heleen, sunset promenade walk with Paul.
  • I’ve been pondering minimalism. Maybe because I have a whole lot of random things to unpack.
  • Tuesday, up early, gym, swim, steam bath, cold showers, office, lunchtime smoothie walk with Heleen, after work drink at Strolla with Heleen – kinda failed valentines day thing, Facetime chat with Jacques in London – I’m trying to convince him to bring me some Brain Octane, podcast drive to Stellenbosch, phone chat with Cath, finally cleared my blogging backlog, joy.
  • AfrikaBurn planning has begun. We’re planning on making some Big Lebowski bathrobes. The Little Lebowski Urban Underachievers 2017.
  • I deleted the Facebook app from my phone a while back. Not missing it. I deleted Instagram today. It has become lame and too much like Snapchat. I’m into photography, not bullshit.
  • I’d really recommend you delete all the time sucking apps off your phone.
  • Wednesday, gym, swim, work, figured I needed a new hairstyle – going back to short hair, fetched Mia, fresh juices and homework at W Cafe, watched Mia’s swimming training, we shared a 500g rump steak at Hussar Grill – works out to be good value, gelato, in bed early.
  • I have not listened to any Tim Ferriss podcasts in ages – I’m about 23 behind.
  • I tracked Mia’s sleep again. I’m starting to think sleep trackers – even with HR – can’t really tell which phase of sleep you are in, even though the graphs are pretty.
  • Thursday, school run while listening to some Bulletproof radio, worked at W Cafe, gym, swim, podcast drive to the office, meeting with Vanilla, lunchtime walk with Heleen, installed 500px, sunset promenade walk, Tashas.
  • I’ve started using 500px. It seems pretty cool. Still browsing Instagram on the web.
  • Please don’t launch a fintech startup. Yup.
  • “In the end, success is sleeping well.”

  • “Track what you hack.”

  • Friday, work, gym, healthy snacks shopping, watched Mia’s school gala, she won 6 of her races and was 2nd in the breast stroke, she won two trophies (junior victrix ludorum and the individual medley trophy) – fun afternoon, pizza supper at Pizza e Vino – lame, good tiramisu at De Cameron.
  • Pro tip: never go to a pizza place which has “medium” and “large” pizzas on the menu.
  • Saturday, dropped Mia off a Zara’s birthday party, gym, followed Mia and friends up to a dam for a swim, conveyor belt sushi and photo processing, watched The Lego Batman Movie with Mia – good fun, we printed a photo from the gala for Zara, I installed Pocket Casts on Mia’s phone, gala photo processing, watched Zombieland again – always cool, 11h sleep.
  • Rule #32: Enjoy the little things.
  • Note to self: watch Cocktail and Jerry Maguire again.
  • “Anything can be interesting.”

  • “Batman out.”

  • Sunday, Mia’s nippers competition was cancelled because of bad weather – we kinda considered swimming the insert-big-insurance-company-brand–mile in Grabouw, but Mia was not interested, backups, downloaded some podcasts for Mia – 99pi (x10), Radiolab, TED Radio Hour – a late brunch at Basic Bistro, found Mia a new swimsuit, swim, steam bath, some notes processing and blogging at Middelvlei (my closest wine farm) while doing a wine tasting and while Mia watched Dark City (she gave it a 7/10) – always liked their Shiraz, we watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in bed early, time well spent.
  • Just because it’s newer, does not make it better.
  • Jacques and I have been following Georg’s South American travels via Telegram.
  • Tunes of the week: I Can’t Stay. Deadlines and Commitments. This River Is Wild (Mia discovered this one).

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Cricket, Kirstenbosch and Dvorak…

  • Week of 6-12 Feb.
  • Health week 1/3, mostly.
  • Monday, school run while listening to a health podcast, worked at the Spur and had some eggs, gym, podcast drive to the office, catch up chat with Joseph at Shift Espresso Bar, back to the office, supper at La Vie with Wouter to return his SSD and fetch my copy of Tools of Titans – Wouter’s review of Littlegig was rather amusing, podcast drive to Stellenbosch.
  • “The best way to complain is to make things.” — James Murphy

  • “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.” — Warren G. Bennis

  • Enjoying the Apple Watch. I logged 70k steps this week.
  • Tuesday, backups – for the first time in too long, podcast drive to the office, watched the SA vs Sri Lanka cricket in Newlands with Al, Tom, Thys and Ter – good fun, thanks Al! – my first live cricket event, after dark promenade walk with Heleen – I thought I made a pretty compelling argument for breaking up with her, but she was having none of that.
  • When do you get to that point where enough is enough?” — from The Mexican

  • Wednesday, woke up in Sea Point, swim, 99percentinvisible podcast walk, office, supplement shopping, found some Resveratrol, smoothie walk with Heleen, watched Mia’s athletics – she came 4th in the 1200m, some notes processing between watching events, took my 200mm lens and played photographer, sunset supper at Giovanni’s at Eikendal with Mia – good meal.
  • “The city is a thing of the past.”

  • You know you are a podcast nerd when you see notification of new 99pi show and your day is made.
  • Mia tells me her school is starting to teach her touch typing… but, they don’t want to let her learn Dvorak. Hmm. I emailed the head master. Let’s see.
  • Thursday, school run, catch up chat with JD – he has an interesting business idea, gym, podcast drive to Cape Town, Sababa lunch with Heleen, tried to help Zane with some advice at Knead, after work podcast promenade walk, dinner at Taverna Mykonos with Heleen followed by a very tasty tiramisu at Posticino.
  • Who wears these skinny cut trousers? I tried to get into a pair at Woolworths. Pfft.
  • Seems I managed to convince Mia’s school to let her learn Dvorak.
  • “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” — John D. Rockefeller

  • “Make good art. Have big goals.”

  • “Love is the warmest colour.” — Alt-J

  • Friday, swim, office, dev meeting, dentist visit – always nice to get a clean and polish, late lunch at Melissa’s in Stellenbosch with Heleen and worked a bit – ladies of leisure style, Balboa, drove to Jonkershoek – nice drive, dinner at Wijnhuis with Heleen.
  • Octotel has around 300 live apartment buildings now.
  • Saturday, breakfast at Ya Ya with Heleen, epic 3 hour nap, gym, swim, phone chat with Mia, pizza dinner with Heleen at the Stellenbosch Col’caccios.
  • Sunday, I had the best intentions to go swim the Bridge House Mile, but they closed the entries the day before the race, so I chilled around the house, took a nap, swim, steam bath, cold showers, drove to Paul’s house, we met up with Hanno for some picnic shopping, watched Dan Patlansky at Kirstenbosch with Paul, Hanno, Heleen, Philippa, Matt, Jacques and Marietjie – good fun – Jacques played with the portrait mode of his new iPhone7 Plus – seems to work well, that vanilla mascarpone and fig snack was amazing – time well spent.
  • Tune of the week: Alt-J – The Gospel of John Hurt.
  • …and, we’re up to date with the weekly posts again. Phew.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

I moved to Stellenbosch, again…

Sea Point Promenade
  • Week of 30 January to 5 February.
  • Health week 0: warm-up week. No alcohol, carbs, coffee or dairy.
  • PSA: I’m living in Stellenbosch again. I’m taking a three year view on being closer to Mia’s school. Life has been a bit disorganised the last few years. I blame Paul Carr.
  • Monday, woke up in Stellenbosch, podcast drive to Cape Town, office, lunch with Paul and Heleen, sunset promenade walk with Paul, very tasty Mexican food at El Burro.
  • I spent a week living in De Zalze. Very cool. Thanks Al.
  • Tuesday, podcast drive to an MWEB meeting, office, smoothie with Heleen, moved all my stuff from storage to Stellenbosch, sunset walk through the vineyards watching some small planes come to land at the Stellenbosch airstrip.
  • Moving is stressful.
  • Install the True Caller app. Works really well for avoiding spam calls.
  • I’ve been having a bit of a Twitter chat with Discovery about moving their Sea Point BIA machine. No joy.
  • Wednesday, some more packing, lunch with Heleen at the Woodstock Exchange, office – stayed late, Waterfront, healthy supper at Tasha’s, podcast drive to Stellenbosch.
  • My podcast listening app, Pocket Casts, says I’ve listened to 3 days and 23 hours of podcasts since 10 October.
  • I listened to around 30 podcasts this week, but skipped through a few, backlog was getting a bit much.
  • Good read: “Meditation, intermittent fasting, heavy compound joint and hip-hinge training, intense interval training, body work, supplements, drugs, introspection, sleep, hygiene. These are my hacks.” — How you move defines how you live

  • Thursday, woke up in the new apartment, paleo breakfast for lunch at W Cafe, my first BIA machine visit in Stellenbosch, car wash while processing a few notes and photos – car really needed it after Wolfkop and Up The Creek, gym, swim, took a sunset podcast walk around Stellenbosch.
  • Pillow app is pretty cool for sleep tracking on the Apple Watch. I also tracked Mia’s sleep. Interesting stats.
  • Good listen: Packet Pushers: Future Of Networking – Geoff Huston Returns
  • Friday, up at 4:45, podcast drive to Cape Town, gym, swim, steam bath, cold shower, scrambled eggs at New Port with Heleen, office, dev meeting, BIA machine visit, fetched Mia, watched Mia do long jump at some athletics thing – super boring, gelato with Mia, swim, the kind people at Thule Stellenbosch replaced my laptop and phone covers, almost had ribs at Flame and Ash (not sure about the name), but walked out because the music was terrible and some muppets outside insisted on smoking, very tasty dinner at Manouche with Mia and Al, nice catch-up with Al.
  • Mia started piano lessons this week.
  • Georg is off to South America for a holiday soon. Well, he was, and then he stayed, it seems. And then he changed his mind again, and he’s going.
  • Saturday, did some general house unpacking with Mia, paleo ice cream from Cold Gold for breakfast, Slow Food Market Stellenbosch – mostly navigated coffin dodgers and bumped into Wynand and Maia, attempted to get a new bank card for Mia, but the bank closed at 11AM?, we shopped gifts for my mom and Jacques – I’m trying to get Jacques to stop buying prepper gear and get into something useful – like camping, Root44 market with Paul – bubbly and cover-band tunes, Peter Falke wine tasting, I figured out how to buy electricity – joy, watched Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children with Mia – she seems to really like that movie.
  • I’ve trained her well, but she can’t handle the 99% dark chocolate.
  • Sunday, watched Mia’s nippers training and walked up and down the beach a few times, family braai at Jacques’, sunset walk up to the chain bridge in Stellenbosch with Mia, love that walk, time well spent.
  • Please don’t send me voice notes in messaging apps.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

The call to adventure part two: Up the Creek, mud and moar lilos…

Road Trip
  • Week of 23-29 January.
  • Monday, woke up near Citrusdal, road trip to Stellenbosch with Paul, dumped some camping gear in storage, office, briefly saw Heleen (she was not in the best mood), helped Paul jump start his car at the Mount Nelson, dinner with Cath, Francois, Heinrich and Andrea at The Blue Cafe (previously The Daily Deli) – nice food.
  • “The more voluntary suffering you build into your life, the less involuntary suffering will affect your life.” — Tim Ferriss

  • Tuesday, woke up in Tamboerskloof, office, some contract editing, smoothie and a lunchtime walk with Heleen, phone chat with Mia, drove to Stellenbosch and had a beer with Al at Trumpet Tree, Balboa.
  • Wednesday, woke up in Stellenbosch, office, Octotel automation systems meeting, smoothie walk with Heleen, more contract editing, haircut at Wim Coiffeur, pizza with Nick and Georg at Col’caccios – good pizza – somehow Georg talked me into going to Up The Creek – with Nick and Michel’s tickets – after Nick hurt his knee and some other unlucky events, phone chat with Mia, podcast drive to Stellenbosch, 12h sleep.
  • Thursday, worked in Stellenbosch for a while – and started wrapping my head around this Up The Creek business, work, took my Apple watch for a first swim, watched Mia’s swimming training, early supper at W Cafe, a beer at Stellenbosch Square, sunset podcast walk around the De Zalze vineyards, photo processing, in bed early.
  • Calm is a superpower.
  • Friday, up at 5:00, podcast drive to Cape Town, Heleen made pancakes, office, fetched Georg, road trip to Swellendam, rainy and wet Up The Creek Friday night adventure, lots of barefoot muddy puddle navigation.
  • Saturday, glamping breakfast, swim, lilos on the river, chilled afternoon, listened to a few good acts, Jack Parrow was good fun.
  • “Relax, nothing is under control.”

  • Sunday, glamping breakfast, listened to a pretty cool jazz act, packed up, dropped Georg off in Rooiels, back to Stellenbosch, a beer with Al and Paul at Stellenbosch Kitchen, Balboa, watched the end of Gladiator, time well spent.
  • Up the Creek was good fun, thanks Georg!
  • “Al says he’s not in the mood for Trumpet.” – “Waaait, come again?” — Paul

  • Mia’s nippers competition results: Beach Sprint 3rd, Board Race 7th, Surf Swim 4th.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

The call to adventure part one: Wolfchops, lilos and abductions…

  • Week of 16-22 January.
  • Dear blog, sorry I’ve been neglecting you, this post is at least four weeks late. I had about 150 notes to process. I seem to stop publishing blog posts when I’m stressed and uncertain about things. Don’t stress, I’ll catch up on the four missing posts in the next few days.
  • Monday, woke up at the Houw Hoek Hotel, school run – arrived just in time, swim, coffee with Heleen, office, Waterfront, found an Apple Watch Series 2 – space grey, dinner at Kushi with Georg and Heleen.
  • I did some Vitality Apple watch research via Twitter this week. Let’s just say I was very happy to close the Twitter app again after I got what I was looking for. So long Twitter.
  • Feels like the holiday season is finally over now.
  • “Productivity is for machines. If you can measure it, robots should do it. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring. None of these fare well under the scrutiny of productivity.” — Kevin Kelly

  • Tuesday, office, configured my Apple Watch, strategy meeting to work out what I should be focusing on this year – I see some software dev, mountain biking and more dad-mode in my future, pastrami, pickles and slaw at Kleinsky’s, found some running shoes – Discovery shoes deal – I’m a sucker for this health gamification thing, tapas at Mezepoli in Camps Bay with Georg and Cath… epic weather, beautiful sunset, time well spent.
  • Wednesday, office, automation systems meeting, Sababa lunch with Heleen, had a Bloed Lemoen G&T at Strolla while writing a blog post about a Watch, sold my Wolfkop ticket / last minute Ned Flanders thing, sorry Paul.
  • I’m very happy with my New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 shoes. So long Nike.
  • My notes on the Discovery Apple Watch deal.
  • Mia’s inter-house athletics results: 1st with long jump, 2nd with shotput and high jump. 1st with 1200m run. 2nd with the 100m sprint. She also won a trophy for best athlete in her grade: Junior Victrix Ludorum.
  • Mia won all her inter-house swimming events. Channelling some Rushmore.
  • “How I wish I could relive the whole thing.” — Phil Knight, about building Nike

  • Be a mentor.
  • Create the world you want to live in.
  • Thursday, should have gone to a Secret Sunrise event – but ended up just going for a promenade walk with Heleen, office, ISP contract meeting, dentist, Sababa lunch with Heleen, my first Shawarma Express dinner, Heleen broke up with me.
  • “The joy of less. Edit your life.”

  • I feel like I’m behind with a lot of podcasts. Like 80+ backlog.
  • Memeburn article: Is Vitality’s Apple Watch deal worth it? Cape Town blogger finds out.
  • Friday, office, Octotel connected its 1000th customer, Camphill milk shopping, found some snacks for Mia, watched Mia’s inter-house athletics and played photographer, found a Wolfkop ticket again (since I was single at this point in time) – thanks Anja!, bought a lilo, a cooler bag and some board shorts, found a big batch of flowers for Heleen.
  • I’ve kinda been without a home since October, not homeless, but feeling like a tourist, stoic experiment maybe. Travelling light.
  • Saturday, road trip to Citrusdal with Tom, Wolfkop adventure with Wouter, Nelia, Graham, Philippa, Claus, Janey, Michael, Nicole and Paul, epic party, one big heaving nest of lilos on the river, good music and great weather, lots of swimming and lilo chilling, Paul was missing all day, I took a nap in his tent late afternoon – a sure way to find him, he kinda managed to get himself abducted to a nearby farm the previous night, in bed fairly early, time well spent – really awesome outdoor event, must go again.
  • “Paul has two settings: Liza Minnelli or Weekend at Bernie’s.” — Claus

  • “Skinny, with issues.” — Paul, about my type.

  • Sunday, chilled day next to the river with Paul, Lyal, Joel and Wouter, Lima had some good stories about her Thailand snorkling adventures, evening adventures around the camping village with Paul, bumped into Luke and Abbey, memories of rolling down a grassy hill once or twice with Paul, in bed early again, time well spent.
  • Feb Health Sprint starting soon.
  • Tune of the week: The Smashing Pumpkins : Landslide.
  • I later worked out that whole breakup thing was a misunderstanding.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Vitality Apple Watch Deal: Yes or No?

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

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.