Masks

I've believed since the outset of this pandemic that wearing a mask on your face can protect you and others from infection.

This has been very easy to believe because up until last week I lived in a place where there'd been seven months without any community transmission, and we were all living life like that community behind the walls in The Walking Dead - untouchable.

Of course then there was community transmission and I had to put my money where my mouth was. Not literally. I put a mask there instead.

Like most of my novel purchasing decisions in adult life I turned to OzBargain to work out how to buy face masks without feeling like I was enabling shady organizations from profiteering off a pandemic (or feeling like I was paying too much).

I went to the supermarket today and I wore a mask. It was fine. Based on some of the terrible facial hair I have represented as a grown man, there was no way I could pretend wearing a mask was below me. I forgot I was wearing it after about five minutes. A child did point at me and gasp in the cereal aisle, but that was because I was tall.

When I consider my life statistics and compare historical supermarket visits to my hand sanitizer usage, I'm honestly surprised I hadn't considered doing this before.


If you like Bradism, you'll probably enjoy my stories. It's my dream to be a famous author, and you can help support me by previewing one of my books from Amazon below, and purchasing it if you like it.

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


Panic Frying

About 2.5 million minutes ago I was sitting on a coach in Salzburg waiting to commence the Sound of Music bus tour that would eventually take me to the small, tourist town of Mondsee on the banks of a lake by the same name.
It was a sunny day, and we wandered along cobbles from the Church of St Michael to the shore of the lake where a small kiosk was selling ice-creams, and I remember we didn’t buy one.
This was definitely the right decision. Not just because you could have poured about a litre of premium Bavarian beer for the price of a single ice cream, but because if there’s a prevailing memory of that day it wasn’t the food I ate, it was the sight of that sparkling lake under those magnificent mountains.

image 2142 from bradism.com

We did snack on something in Mondsee, in the shade outside the monastery in front of something that was a fountain or a roundabout. What we ate was probably apples and nuts, but the fact that I don’t remember only helps to add weight to my theory that when you’re on holiday it’s not about what you ate, it’s about what you saw.

I mean, that said, I remember the ice cream I ate in a back alley in Munich's Old Town because I ordered it (badly) in German. I also recall the currywurst in a bun I ate for dinner that evening because I have tried multiple times to recreate that experience using Aldi sausages and Keen’s Curry Powder since (never successfully). That sausage sticks in my mind probably because it was the first thing I ate after about eight hours of touching down, making it through customs, taking the Zug to the city and checking into the hotel. And I remember the pork knuckle I ate up on the hill at Kloster Andechs. I also remember cooking some orange capsicums and kidney beans and German taco seasoning in the kitchenette of our hotel room overlooking the Alter Botanischer Garten. I even remember the ice creams we ate under the shade of the Französischer Dom on a super-hot 35 degree afternoon in Berlin.

But, the common theme connecting the European food and lakes I find easy to remember is not what I ate, but just that I took a photo or somehow commemorated the experience at around the same time. Really, this makes the panic buying of many of my fellow South Australian’s so much less justifiable. If I can only recall a handful of the things I put in my mouth during a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bavaria then what does my diet during any period of life really matter? These significant moments of our existence will not be remembered by what we ate, but by what we experienced while eating. So what better time than a six day lockdown to improvise with the forgotten, unwanted or panic-bought-in-March items in the back of the pantry than now?

Be wary of pizzerias.

Be wary of pizzerias.


Tonight, with my favourite Afghan takeaway closed, I dug out a mix of herbs and spices I’d assembled months ago and marinated and skewered a chicken breast fillet I bought on Monday night when Vanessa had fortunately needed an ice-cream run. I barbecued it and we ate it with some old potatoes and half an onion I’d been saving just in case. It tasted great. I washed it down with some hard ginger beer cans that have been sitting in the fridge n-1 for as long as I can remember. A year from now I would have had no recollection of any of this, had I not written this journal entry and taken this photo:

I forgot the garlic.

I forgot the garlic.

What will tomorrow bring? In 2020, who knows? Hopefully my Coles delivery. If not, I’ll probably be making more lasting memories with a pasta cooked in the Italian sauce our real estate gave us when we bought the house, some tins of tuna, and the last third of a bottle of Shiraz that’s been sitting on our bench for two weeks now. After that it could get really interesting, culinarily and otherwise.

The Things November 18th Would Bring

image 2140 from bradism.com

As seen on the Official Bradism Raised Cutting Board for Tall People


Not getting enough emails? Want to receive updates and publishing news in your inbox? Sign up to the bradism mailing list. You'll also receive an ebook, free!


My Social Dilemma

I watched The Social Dilemma documentary tonight because I saw a few people on Facebook recommending it.

Actually that's not true. I heard about it in conversations between other people that I eavesdropped on, not Facebook. I'm not sure exactly how Facebook calculates what to recommend me, but I can tell Zuckerberg right now that McDonalds, KFC, and endless photos of my friends' babies are not it, and that's probably the main reason I close the page ten seconds after I open it.

The primary thought I had about the documentary, aside from how goofy the drama and technological explanations were, was that social media is probably bad. Of course, humanity is always doing things that are bad for it, and who am I to tell any one individual that they're wrong for doing anything with our pointless lives if what they're doing doesn't affect me.

I mean, I do have worries about the environment, and supply chains, and also some major concerns about the quality of aged care I will receive from the children of today's current children who are being raised by YouTube and TikTok. But hopefully in an ironic twist of fate it will be artificially intelligent robots giving me my daily sugar-free custard, their algorithms telling them that the longer they keep me from developing dementia and bedsores, the longer I will be able to earn fake coins to cover my extended living micro-transactions.

I think the two secrets to keeping your life pure from the evils of social media is to understand how cookies work, and to exhibit tendencies of the introverted.

I've been using ad-blockers since they were invented, and I use incognito mode to search for everything online from shopping to restaurants, hikes, recipes and whatever symptoms my dog is exhibiting. I use incognito map to get directions, in case Google learns that I want to find a barber within walking distance. If I'm going to a website that's outside of my stable of standard domains, incognito. That's on top of uBlock Origin on all my normal browsing.

This is the same as how I mute the television anytime a commercial is playing. On my phone I turn the notifications off for any app other than those related specifically to instant messaging. The flashing LED annoys me. I don't even get notifications for email. It's a great way to live.

I did use Twitter and Instagram for a while, but some part of me rejected them, I think because I felt a constant, subtle pressure that they wanted me to be part of a community. I like my phone, but usually when I pick it up it's because I want to be left alone.

Unless you count OzBargain as social media, in that case, perhaps I do have an addiction.

And those were my primary thoughts about the shocking revelations regarding the psychological manipulations of social media, and how it could lead to the downfall of our society as portrayed in The Social Dilemma.

My secondary thought was: I wonder how much I have to pay to take advantage of all this to become a famous author with my books.

A Buzz

image 2138 from bradism.com

It felt good.

It was right before dinner time. Bare feet on the grass, warm air, smelling the scent of jasmine. Under blue skies the mulberry tree towered over us like a giant.

There is definitely a sense of content that comes from existing in a backyard, hunting through the leaves and limbs to find a dark, red treat and slipping it straight into your mouth.

That's how the mosquitos feel too.

2020

When I submit this entry it will be the 2020th one I’ve posted on bradism.com. Unless I am hit by a (let’s face it, extremely debilitating) case of writer’s block for the next two months it will also likely be the only time in my life the entry number and year are a snap.

In olden times I liked to use milestone entries to reflect on where I was a mile earlier, but given that the universe is treating 2020 as a chance to mix it up I figured I would use my 2020th entry as a snapshot of life in 2020 for me, Brad.

It’ll be something we can all look back on in the coming years and decades to remember what my specific life was like.

Starting with the most important thing...

image 2128 from bradism.com

This is my Fridge in 2020. I’ve had this fridge for about five years after I got taken by a commercial saying it used different coloured LEDs to keep fruit and vegetables fresher, longer. (Note - actually seems to work). Here it is in our kitchen. Featured magnets are mainly of Nash and calendars from the vet which Vanessa wants to keep for some reason.

There’s also a photo of me, my brother and my Dad on the day we carried this fridge up two flights of stairs in my old house. I got that photo turned into a magnet for all of us. A “fridge fridge magnet” if you will. I could turn this photo into a magnet and that would be a “fridge fridge magnet fridge magnet.” Well, that’s Christmas sorted.

image 2129 from bradism.com

I’ve only taken a couple of photos of the inside of my fridge over the years, and in hindsight it’s something I wish I’d done more because it’s fascinating to reminisce and reflect on how your diet changes over time.

Well, if you’re the kind of person with 6% of 2019 entries that are tagged “Breakfast” you will find this fascinating.

The 2020 fridge census is extremely Vanessa & Bradism. Bulk meals, including one pre-bagged for transportation to work to minimise backpack leaks. Low fat, low sugar yogurt (for breakfasts). A kilogram of hummus. A shitload of protein bars. And some very fresh looking fruits and vegetables.

Okay, this was really the most important thing...

image 2130 from bradism.com

My 2020 couch. It has motorised recliners and headrests. And that's Nash, looking particularly unstressed by the events of this year.

Fun fact: this photo completely confused Lightroom's new auto-geometry feature.

image 2131 from bradism.com

This is Vanessa in 2020, with a giant coffee. Yes, that is a protein bar she’s eating.

image 2132 from bradism.com

This is my house in 2020. The roses are in bloom right now. I don't want to add anything else incase I dox myself.

image 2133 from bradism.com

This is my car in 2020. It’s a comfortable drive, with nice quality of life features, and it was relatively affordable.

It’s a very Brad car: bigger than average, but does its best to blend in. Here it is at the lookout above the Barossa Sculpture Park on a crisp winter morning in 2020.

image 2134 from bradism.com

This is the backyard in spring 2020. The mulberry tree is fruiting and somewhere in there the slugs are eating the strawberries before Nash can get to them.

I recently paid for the water feature to get fixed and that bubbles all day which is very pleasant.

image 2135 from bradism.com

My bike and my backpack, 2020. These are ranked number 1 and 2 on the list of “my things most likely to topple over after I put them down”. This picture illustrates the only way to guarantee they'll both stay upright - lean them into each other, like when you tape a buttered piece of toast to the back of a cat.

image 2136 from bradism.com

My office view, 2020. Also featuring my office view from 2014. On my desk is my coffee cup from 2019, and my coffee cup from 2006.

If you take a step back from where this picture was taken you’ll crunch a very, very mouldy almond.

image 2137 from bradism.com

My home office view, which I spent an unexpected amount of time at in 2020. It’s kind of crazy how I sit in the same seat during the day making “important business decisions” involving people's time and an organisation's money, and then at night get beaten by teenagers at Age of Empires II or write journal entries like this one.

Lots of classic callbacks here on the 2020 desk, including my HD 515s, Uniball 207s and my 2019 coffee cup from above photo.

Older Entries | No Newer Entries