I Know What I Did This Summer

This was not how I expected to spend my Christmas break, but 1500 pieces later at least I can say I helped to do something.

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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.

Detroit Pistons

On Saturday morning, the first day of my ten day Christmas break, I watched as garbage man emptied a dumpster of recycling into the same compactor as he'd just lifted two dumpsters of trash into. I heard the metal on glass crunching as rinsed containers were pulverised into bags of leftover popcorn and snotty tissues. It felt like a bad omen. I was right.

The Detroit Pistons were my favourite team when I was a kid. I don't recall why. Grant Hill probably, because no other names on the 95-96 roster resonate with me except for Joe Dumars. I had two Pistons hats. One was an old school Snapback cap with a small logo on the side. The other was - from memory - a shiny blue hat surfaced with some soft material and a huge logo. My friend's dad gave it to me as a gift and it was an awesome hat. In fact, the hat may be why I was a Pistons fan.

I feel like a Pistons fan again today. They suffered their 27th consecutive loss, setting a new league record. I too have been taking L after L in December 2023. Today I registered another consecutive positive Covid test, leading to my sixth straight day of cancelled plans. My injuries are making it hard to even sit and do a puzzle. I don't feel sick, but I'm not willing to drink a beer until I get at least one day past a negative test. This is Covid in 2023. I almost, but not quite, feel like I should actually go out and spread this variant because it is so mild. But I won't do that. I will be a good social citizen and hope that someone out there appreciates that they're having a good time this weekend because I made a nice decision. For me, it feels inevitable that I will spend my entire holidays stuck at home until the day I go back to work.

Vanessa, Nash and I walked to McDonalds tonight for a socially distanced soft serve. The machine was not out of order. Maybe that's a sign that things are improving.

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The Inevitable

The inevitable happened. Not getting Covid, but getting Covid with the precise worst timing such that many enjoyable social, fun activities would need to be avoided.

The summer solstices of 2023 had been going so well for me up until now. In June the day started with breakfast and a walk around the shores of a lake in the Swiss Alps. And then an evening of music and sunshine on the cobblestone streets of a little French town. Today started with a sunny stroll through Prospect, and ended with a socially distanced walk along the sand at the beach.

While missing Christmas due to Covid will suck, I take comfort that at least I am not suffering from anything more serious. Like scurvy, thousands of miles from home on a rotting timber ship in the eighteenth century. Although at least that might have come with more of a sense of adventure.

In Bocca al Lupo

I have been in a good mood these past two heatwave mornings in January 2023.

Yesterday I walked to the supermarket to buy pitas for pizzas, as well as cheap salad ingredients.

Right after the three gigantic cucumbers I'd selected were bagged at the checkout I felt a sneeze coming on. Even with the sneeze barrier and the checkout girl's facemask I did not feel comfortable sneezing in public in 2023. Every muscle in my face did its part to prevent my diaphragm from propelling. I don't know what expression this suppression left on my melon, but the guarded way she said "have a nice day" after I'd paid made me suspicious that my lips had curled in an mis-interpretable way.

This morning I walked to a different supermarket, a bit further away, to buy beans and corn. On my way I crossed path with a woman walking a pug. The tiny dog was adorned with plastic fairy wings. As I passed I was going to say, "good morning" and perhaps remark, "nice wings" - as I thought that no one would dress their dog like that without hoping for a compliment or comment. But perhaps there was something to my stride because as we drew nearer she stepped off the footpath and onto the road to avoid me. The pug didn't see this coming, nor consent, and the force on its lead sent the tiny creature skywards up and over the gutter - briefly airborne. And I understood then the intention for the wings.

I also may have fortunately prevented a potential cyber security incident this week, so overall a pretty good Friday.


Only a few cars in the line up for a PCR at Adelaide's primary COVID Testing site today.

The Basketball Dream

I had the basketball dream again this week. Somehow I doubt it will ever go away completely.

Today I had a scheduled meeting which would involve being introduced to at least six new people in a semi-formal situation. Perhaps because of the dream I decided to wear my basketball socks so that if any of them were to see me and immediately say: "Wow. Do you play basketball?" I could say "Yes, did you ask this because of my socks?" And then I could have hitched up my pant leg an inch and shown them the socks. I figured this would have been a good mood lifter and acceptable out of the structured confines of a Big Four.

Alas, despite travelling quite a distance to meet them at their office, five of the six of them were working from home and we conducted the meeting on Teams. This is 2022, continued. The one person who was in the room did not ask me if I played basketball.

Queen Equizabeth II

Seems a little strange that a single 96 year old lady halfway across the earth dies and today I get a day off work. But in 2019 a single person got a little too close to a pangolin we all know how that turned out.

Like a few people in Adelaide I spent my morning in Belair National Park getting my feet dirty.

Here's some photos.

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