On This Day

I've always disabled the "On This Day" updates on various cloud services. I'm not allergic to nostalgia, but I do have an intolerance...

But one cloud provider has turned it back on recently with the worst timing, and through June I have rewatched with horror the warm, sunny joys of life in June in the northern hemisphere while it is currently 13° at midday in my house in the southern hemisphere.

For example, today's onslaught included:

Mornings in Austrian gardens.

Hiking through North American wilderness.

Riding the tiny train in France.

And what did I take photos of today?

Frosty family walks for coffee.

Evenings with friends and dogs by a fire.

It could be worse.

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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.

Brisbane Has No Chill



70% Nutrition

They say that strength training is 70% diet, and having eaten the following over three days of a crossfit competition that I watched, I can only hope they are right.

Pide and mixed skewers
A whole tub of high protein Greek yogurt, half a kilogram of berries, and two cups of oats.
Multiple apples.
Protein bars and mixed nuts.
Aloo Ghobi, lamb saag, chicken tikka, roti, lamb.
Four jumbo rolls.
Four 185g tins of tuna.
A small tomato
Not enough mayonnaise
Loaded fries with beef brisket
Most of a litre of salted caramel connoisseur ice cream
Satay Chicken and slaw on rice (was supposed to be on fries)
A whole thing of fries to make up for no fries under the chicken
Mixed nuts
Many, many coffees
A whole plate of beef shawarma, with a side of mixed grill.
Half a punnet of raspberries.

I have to leave Brisbane around lunchtime tomorrow so I only have enough time for three or four more meals...

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Spring 2023, Summer 2024 Playlist

In the final week of Spring I was putting the finishing touches into the musical playlist that I intended to embed memories of the past months in. Spring 2023 had been pleasant, as best as I can recall it now. The fading glow of Giunio 23 had carried me through Winter. My work/life balance was correcting itself. My body parts were coming together with enough cohesion that I was even able to complete a mini, late-30s equivalent of Bulktember. A more age appropriate approach. Rehab repetitions prioritised over moving weight. Balancing pain signals with progression. I suffered only moderate lower back pain.

By the end of November, despite a recurrence of my dodgy, left shoulder I was moving well, energised by technology and the future. There was bacon in the Barossa, panini on lunch breaks, lamb roasts in the slow cooker, burgers before basketball games. Lots of coffee. Flowers were blooming, the outdoors was calling, and by mid November my index finger had some blood back in it.

Life was not perfect, but I was enjoying it. It felt like, as spring turned to summer around me that in my life too would bloom into sunshine and blue skies and a semblance of control.

Alas, storm clouds approached, as spring will do. Literally, initially, as late November rain pummelled the house and got into the gym literally hours before we were to set off on a cross country road trip.

December from start to finish was problematic. The road trip that was supposed to be a break was plagued by injury, weather, snakes (actually those were cool) and actual plague. Driving long distances in the rain just to isolate in cheap motel rooms was not fun. It was becoming apparent that my wrist injury was not minor, and the Napoleon movie totally lacked historical accuracy and nuance. In fact, I was craving a return to home life and work routine by the end, knowing fate would choose that moment to at least clear out my sinuses. We returned to a mouldy, ruined gym, more rain, a sad puppy and a whole train of minor inconveniences. The final two work weeks of the year did bring some sense of normality back, and then I got covid and missed out on Christmas. By the time it was 2024 I was exhausted. And I'd felt comfortable enough with where my feelings were to share my Spring playlist that just served to remind me of happier times.

Time never stops though. And through all of this, and the continued wrist pain, insurance drama, back pain, life stress, and shoulder pain it did feel like I've done this all before. It did feel that all I had to do was keep getting through work days, keep doing rehab morning, lunchtime and night, keep going to the beach at the end of hot days, keep making phone calls, keep taking the dog for a walk and mowing the lawn after limbering up that things wouldn't necessarily get better, but they might average out. I listened to the Spring playlist a lot, and of course new music and so I added to it already aware that I was now making a Spring/Summer double album playlist. In some ways it made sense, under the influence of the narrative fallacy: Spring was a rise and fall, summer would be a fall and rise. The perfect sine wave. With gym repairs scheduled and two weddings at the end of February to look forward to it seemed appropriate that by the end of summer I'd feel balanced and I'd have a second collection of songs.

Well, it worked to an extent. My wrist still hurts most days but not that much. I have no idea if the next storm will flood some part of my house. Jobs still cause stress. But I have a Spring/Summer playlist. And I know that I will listen to it for years to come sometimes when things are going bad and sometimes when things are going well and sometimes when some things are bad and other things are good. This is life. I am accepting it. Because I can't change it. Seasons will continue to come one by one and I'll relish posting a mixtape for each one for as long as I can.

Memories of:
Driving down South Road in sunshine. Lifting light weights in the gym. Driving to a bonfire. Books about Mars, and Nipples. Taking coffee breaks in the backyard on WFH mornings. Being in the groove in front of VS Studio while looking out over the Adelaide hills. More hours on my back on the rubber mats on the floor. Long stretches of country roads. FLOWERS BLOOMING. Feeling sad. Being in the groove in front of CS Studio with the air conditioner on and the curtains drawn. The same walks around Croydon. Memories of Paris. Passionfruit. Trying to hold a plank.

Brad's AI Tour - Sydney

There's no doubt about it. AI is going to be even huger in 2024 than it was in 2023. At least from a hype perspective. That's judging by the 16 minute wait I faced to collect my badge at the entrance of the Microsoft AI Tour in Sydney this morning. Regular haircut people of the East Coast are going to make a lot of money from this technology. I just think it's neat.

Dear Chat GPT. Please generate me a harbour side house in Rozelle Bay.

Regardless, I felt extremely hyped myself this afternoon during a short break for fresh air between sessions. This was not just from the sugar of the dozen free desserts I consumed at the event and the hotel breakfast buffet beforehand. I crammed new knowledge into my face with just as much avarice as I had for the food and coffee. I get genuinely excited by the potential of this technology the same way I get tingles every time I get a glimpse of humanity's potential and before some reality snaps me out of it. With the right amount of CPU and ingenuity the possibilities are endless. Human services, healthcare, custom entertainment, massive increases in productivity. All of it could be achieved and most of the world** could commence living like spoiled Golden Retrievers for the rest of our lives, carried through the years in the metaphorical, oversized handbag of big tech and their easy to consume, low code solutions.

Humanity will corrupt it, of course. When there's money to make and social hierarchies to preserve the packaging won't end up matching the product. The margins will ruin things.

AI is ground breaking magic. But if you want to use it in Production, you're going to need a few additional services deployed in between the model and your users.

Anyway, after the sugar rush ended and the afternoon sessions peeled back the curtains on the magic box a bit further, my expectations returned to their temperedness. There's still a lot to do. And I still have excitement about contributing to doing it. After hours of walking around Sydney and its harbour in the past twenty-four hours I am reminded that humanity has not nor will not ever be perfect. But it's far from being bad. We will probably end up living like spoiled Golden Retrievers think they live.

**With the exception of physical labourers and AI developers of course. And then just the developers.

How much do I like APIs?

How much do I like APIs? A decent amount, it seems. They keep me employed, to an extent, and they make it pretty seamless for me to check the weather, my email, the stock market, along with a thousand other daily use cases. They justified my work paying for me to fly to Melbourne for two days to attend a conference about them.

I don't just like APIs because of the free food and chance to spend time in airports and around lakes. I like APIs because, I think, they're just my kind of software.
Two aspects of my personality are solved by good APIs.

One, prescribed, effective communication. APIs have standard protocols and mediums. Connecting to one can be done at any time. Responses contain the data you asked for in the format you expect. There's no standing around with a half eaten pastry wondering if you should speak now. No waving back at someone who was actually waving at the person behind you. No lingering once the message has been delivered. Good APIs are elegant and clear.

Two, APIs enable maximum efficiency for tiny increases in value. You can asynchronously plug in to an operation while the main program carries on. I prep my milk and take my fish oil while I'm cleaning the blender each morning. If the interfaces of the froth button and my mouth weren't always available I'd spend more time each morning achieving the same result. APIs let me upload images while I'm creating the entry, and spam new iServer objects via a script instead of using the UI.

So yeah, I do like APIs. And free food. And even kinda airports.

Where Am I?

The last week of September has been the kind of unrealistic spring weather you dream about in winter. Sunny, warm enough to wear shorts, but not so hot you can't go outside. Basically perfect, if you don't suffer from allergies. I've been riding my bike into town when I'm not working from home. Drinking coffees in the sun. I can't help being fascinated by flowers and the lifecycle of plants.

On the weekend we went to the Barossa to dog sit, and took Nash along for the ride. This presented more opportunities for enjoying the weather. We did the full Kaiserstuhl walk after having to cut it short last time due to injuries. I ate cereal, fruit and yogurt on a log in the morning light watching the birds before striding on up the hill and it felt like this was what my body was made for.

While in the area I also tried award winning bacon (it tasted like bacon smells like) and visited Greenock Brewery for a tasting paddle. I also walked around a lake and took in the golden canola fields.

The second brown snake spotting made us to decide on cutting the trip short, and we packed the second dog into the car for two more nights of dog sitting back in Adelaide.

I feel like I will finally sleep well tonight.

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