The Right Lung of Winter

Dredging my past journal entries for inspiration for quiz questions has given me the following insights about my creative process, particularly recently.

1. Good pun opportunity or play on words
2. Follow up thoughts about a previous entry
3. Photo of something, often paired with #1

Well it was 17 degrees today and it didn't rain which apparently is enough for me to reinvent myself into a good mood. So I'll write down some things that happened for future reference. None of which has any importance, but maybe this could come in handy for whatever I decide to plan for my fiftieth.

I rode my bike for the first time in a month. It's very pleasant and I enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately I don't have a bike lock up as of last month, so I have to park my bike on the street. I lock it up on Rundle Mall where there is a lot of foot traffic to hopefully keep it safe. And if someone does steal it, I will respect the universe's decision and walk to the tram in my helmet and shorts.

I got my whooping cough vaccine today. While it cost $50, you need it to be able to hold newborn babies. Despite both of these drawbacks I got it anyway. On the plus side, the pharmacy was close to my favourite coffee shop in the markets and they were open on a Monday, so I got to enjoy a very nice coffee while walking around the city between customer sites in 17 degree air.

I am getting better at using GPTs, partly because the art of filling the prompt window with relevant content for the best result is coming more naturally, and partly because AI companies are releasing models with even better training that makes it easier. I was puzzling over how to write a specific sentence or two for work over the weekend, and on Sunday night I realised Claude AI might nail it if I gave it the subtext I was after explicitly, and it nailed it! So I sent off this piece of pre-sales to someone, and when I read it today I saw that they'd stripped the subtext right back out again.

Oh well, Claude AI was also helpful with my seasonal anatomy puns.

Other than that my time is being spent building APIs, making bulk meals and rehab.

It's forecast to be 20 degrees on Wednesday, so who knows who I will be by then.

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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

Fibre to the Premise

I had good intentions when it came to trying to document anything slightly interesting that could happen yesterday. About the only notable event to record was the arrival of the NBN technician who came to upgrade my fibre to the curb connection to a fibre to the premise one.

This upgrade has been available to me for a while now, but much to the despair of my twenty-year-old self, I never bothered to request it because the inconvenience of a few hours without internet didn't seem to justify the interruption to my schedule. The promise of a $5 discount for the next six months eventually got me to commit, and the technician arrived just after 8am to install the new box and drill a hole in my uninsulated wall.

Was this a Bradism, I seriously pondered, taking in the array of ports that occupy the corner of my living room behind our last remaining recliner. Perhaps I could capture this for posterity: one brace of power-points, a TV aerial (not used since the fourth innings got interesting during the cricket back in January), an FTTC port, and a brace of ethernet ports that go up to my study (I only needed one, but the cable guy misunderstood me and installed two and because he had to mess around in the roof for a few hours, I didn't correct him). And now an NBN FTTP box joined them. When I'm eighty, would I remember fondly that collection of infrastructure and revel in the nostalgia of trivialness?

I probably would have posted it, but I couldn't think of a pun to use as a title. Upon review, it does seem like a play on words is required for 90% of my entries lately that aren't photos.

Today I had my follow-up gastroenterology appointment where I would get an update on my eternal quest to try and reduce my lower back pain. It turned out the biopsy of my colon did reveal something of note: intraepithelial lymphocytosis. It's an inflammatory symptom that typically affects senior citizens. Well, I'd happily choose that over anything related to cancer. The doctor offered me a couple of options to address it. And that is how I spent hundreds of dollars on a GP, two specialist appointments, bowel prep, jelly, a hospital admission, and anaesthetist, to end up with a prescription for Metamucil. So much for a journal entry that wasn't a reminder of aging.

After work tonight, I drove to the shops, bought a big tub of the orange flavour, and drove home. And that makes today the second day in a row that I got fibre to the premise.

The Heart of Winter

It's not just the cold and grey, the middle of this winter really does feel like its theme is constant reminders of senility and death. Let me adjust my reading glasses a second, and expound.

My back hurts, my hands hurt, I'm used to that. I feel a little dumber at times, which is new. Maybe it's not that I'm losing cognitive ability, but that I can't get away with mental multitasking so much anymore. It's one thing to have flaws, and another to realise you're actively powering through without controlling for them.

Babies I know are becoming people. Old people (and dogs) I know are having health problems - they can feel more aggrieved than me for sure...

Without straying into cliché, the world feels more divided or at least divided from me and I feel like a sense of optimism and expectation that I used to have when walking around town is long gone.

But mainly, after twenty years of journal, it feels like I have nothing new to say. Which I know is not true, but a symptom of July. The reality is, I never had much to say anyway, but I used a lot of words to say things which made it sound amusing or engaging.

So, I will aim to write at least five entries between now and the end of July about whatever happens between now and then. Because what else are constant reminders of senility and death good for other than to make yourself live?

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Autumn Frosted Over

Obviously July and August take their names from two legendary caesars of ancient Rome. I've always appreciated the power an individual man must have had for the whole western world to keep his name on the calendars two millennia later. What I didn't truly get was that not only did they both get months named after them, but they got the months of idyllic sunshine and long, pleasant evenings and lifting up togas to let your toes sink into the coarse sand of the Mediterranean shore... Basically the month with weather the exact opposite of what Adelaide experienced today!

On the other hand, I bet neither caesar got to experience the warmth of wearing their tracksuit over their pyjama pants for an entire day.

Walking in the Rain

Wins and Flosses

Finally, after close to a literal mile of floss in my life, I managed to finish a spool with just the right amount.

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