Weekly Head Voices #102: High on life.

The week of Monday January 11 to Sunday January 17, 2016 got off to a brilliant start with a business lunch at Bodega, a restaurant that finds itself on the Dornier Wine Estate. The view looked something like this:

view_from_bodega

… and the company was suitably awesome. (This is not the first time that Bodega makes its appearance on this blog, or in the blog-free suburbs of my social calendar. The company might be different every time, but so far its level of awesomeness has been quite consistent.)

The rest of the (work) week was consumed by extreme nerdery, which is of course the way I love it. Besides more GPU shader fine-tuning (at least once I exclaimed on the Stone Three HipChat, hopefully soon the Stone Three Mattermost,  WITNESS THE POWER OF MATH!, before showing a rendering that was marginally better than the one where the POWER OF MATH had not yet been invoked a sufficient number of times), there was Javascript, d3.js (d3 is another fantastic example of what you can do with vectorised thinking and computation) and Python.

In break time I finally took a closer look at C++14 and beyond and came away super impressed. There’s a blog post in the pipeline on generic lambda expressions, because I think they’re brilliant. I don’t know why I love different programming languages so much, but I do.

On Saturday,  I got really high with one of my besties, a superb gentleman who also goes by the name of A Very Flat Cat. We reached this altered state by the old-fashioned but extremely reliable (and cheap!) method of physically increasing our altitude via ambulation up the west peak of the Helderberg. The walk (a few hours in 35 degrees Celsius…) was exhilarating, and the view from the top awe-inspiring. Check it (click for high-res):

20160116_100314-PANO

I’ve often wondered about the effect of one’s surroundings on one’s mindfulness. This was one of those cases where mother nature, without asking for permission or anything like that, simply brute-forced the being switch with her astonishing beauty. Very grateful I was.

Have a great week friends, see you on the other side!

Back in South Africa

(I was supposed to publish this around the start of February, but then life happened, and I didn’t get to quite finish it.)

For the first time in the three weeks after having arrived back on South African soil, we find ourselves in something that we’re going to call home for the coming months. Until now we have been living out of our suitcases, spending time with various grandpas and grandmas somewhere in the Boerewors Gordyn (the Northern ‘burbs of Cape Town, to those of you not in the know), The Oven (I just made that up. It’s Paarl, the town where I grew up thinking that 40 Celsius was a normal temperature to be wearing a blazer and a tie. 40 Celsius is now my preferred outside temperature.) and in Betty’s Bay (that’s its real name. It’s really cute that way. Look at me walking the thin line of apostrophe (ab)use.) We’ve been doing our fair share of early-to-bed-early-to-rise makes John cranky and not very wise, because Genetic Offspring Unit #1 had to be taken to school in our current town of residence, from our at that point temporary residence.

So you're really planning to publish that blog post, but then you take a walk instead. TISA.
So you’re really planning to publish that blog post, but then you take a walk instead. TISA.

At the moment I’m sitting in our new home behind an extremely shaky cellular data connection (the house is like the Bermuda triangle of mobile reception. Even in this carefully chosen spot the signal dances a really silly tap dance between H, 3G and EDGE. EDGE is NOT nice, trust me. I think EDGE is actually a synonym for “no connection at all, but we just like to make you think that there has to be something”. At some vague point in the future, ADSL will hopefully be installed. Africa does not care about the timeliness of your internet connection, deal with it.).

So we have our suitcases, and a whole bunch of borrowed items until Our Ship Comes In. No really, we have a ship that’s coming in with all of our old stuff on it. Until that moment, we have a special place where meat can be scorched, also in a social context. This is quite grand.

There is also a mountain in my backyard which I can’t help gawking at whenever I return home. The mountain is majestic, and that is even more grand than the place where you can scorch your meat. I have promised myself to retain and cultivate my awe at this mountain, and at all the mind-blowing natural majesty surrounding me wherever I go in this place, for as long as I can.

See you later everyone!