How?

People in my office:
Brad, how do you stay so thin?

My supermarket loyalty program end of year points summary email:

image 2010 from bradism.com


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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?


What I did on my Second Summer Holidays

It’s not often I get five consecutive days without work. That’s like one long weekend and one regular weekend back to back. Or 125% of an Easter.

Given this is my journal I thought it might be pertinent to document what my brothers and I did during these free days before the events were lost to time, distance, and once again the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain.

January 9th
After my taxi driver tried to kill me, I flew to Brisbane next to a crying baby. I had lunch with Mum in Bulimba, then met Steve in the city. After checking in to our hotel, we picked up Alex and then walked over the Story Bridge to Sealegs.

The first beer and the first board game of many.

The first beer and the first board game of many.

January 10
The sun rises at a quarter to 5 in Brisbane. I slept until after 6, then convinced both brothers we should exercise before breakfast. We followed the Riverside footpath to the Botanic Gardens, then back again. After that we ate fruit, muesli and yogurt.

image 2001 from bradism.com

After that, Alex and I took part in our annual Christmas-time ritual of him watching Star Wars and me napping through Star Wars. Steve picked up Jess, and we then went out to Chinatown for Japanese, and then to Soapbox brewing. After an IPA each we walked on further to Netherworld barcade for some Nintendo 64, Articulate and Codenames.

image 2002 from bradism.com

Then we went to Felons under the bridge to meet Mum and Mark. I drank a mango pale ale. Then we took a ferry to Southbank where I consumed copious amounts of Persian food. After dinner, Alex and I crossed the Victoria Bridge and power-walked back to the hotel. It was a very long day; thank goodness I got some sleep at the movies.

January 11
Neither brother responded to my rousing for another early walk, so I took myself alone along the New Farm Riverwalk to Sydney Street and back.

image 2003 from bradism.com

Much like this lizard, everyone was still asleep on my return, so I woke up Alex and convinced him to try the pool, and he convinced me to try the sauna. After that I was finally hungry again.

Following coffee, we played some Coup, then went to Queen Street Mall for Korean BBQ.

image 2004 from bradism.com

After that, Jess went to the airport, Alex had a nap, and I tried the hotel's odd little gym.
Dinner Saturday was at Mum's house where we ate roast chicken under the back pergola, listening to the rainstorm drum on the roof.

image 2005 from bradism.com

January 12
I walked with Steve over the bridge again, then we went out in the Valley for breakfast and multiple coffees.

image 2006 from bradism.com

After a game of Acquire back at the hotel, we set off to Victoria Park golf course for a round of putt putt.

image 2007 from bradism.com

We returned via Netherworld for burgers and Catan, before returning Alex to the airport. After that, Steve and I visited the original Holey Moley for another 18 holes and sickly sweet gin cocktails. Then it was to Fat Dumpling for dumplings, and Peach Spring Rolls to share. The one and only thing from the Brisbane Deserts Bucket List we tried.

image 2008 from bradism.com

January 13th
I walked myself along the river before breakfast again, then visited Steve's new house to tick off cartons as the removalists extracted them from the truck.
After purchasing my final coffees for the trip, I caught the train to Newstead for pasta and to complete my goal of reading the entirety of the Summer 2019 issue of Asimov's.

image 2009 from bradism.com

I left the old Gasworks and its population of office workers for a Monday afternoon schooner at Green Beacon Brewing. I nearly completed the final novella there, but ended up walking to Newstead Brewing to finish it off, with my last beer of the trip (and possibly month) the Key Lime Double IPA.

I enjoyed a very mellow train trip to the airport after that, and a flight of about the same length and napping as Rise of the Skywalker.

I think I worked out why I've been so tired this week.

Brotherhood

My impressions of brotherhood - giving and receiving - have fluxed over the decades. I thought I might take a moment to snapshot how I feel about it right now, in reflection of the 2020 Brisbane Brothers weekend which has just concluded.

I’m close friends with both my brothers, and what I wondered about at times over this weekend was if I would like them as people if they weren’t my brothers. They both have different personalities to each other, and to me. I fit somewhere in the middle of their characters, and I suspect this creates an equally balanced triangle of personality. We like some similar things: board games, coffee, travel, Mum. Steve enjoys fishing, and walking slowly. Alex likes tight shorts and setting the air conditioner to 15 degrees, full fan. I like understanding how many calories are in my food, and walking around in bare feet in hotels.

I think most people would be friends after thirty years of shared experiences, so I need to consider if our friendship extends beyond that. I think what we share is more resilient. There is a level of competition, familiarity, and taking turns to metaphorically piss on the same piece of the dog park that normal, unrelated people wouldn’t tolerate if they didn’t have the same parents who would force them together again.

image 1998 from bradism.com

Our childhood days of bickering and power struggles seem long gone now we’ve reached our thirties (I won). But I like how, while each of us has found different places in life, has different goals, and follows slightly different ethe, my brothers are consultants I can call upon for free, and I am the same for them in return. I am an oldest, by my virtues of wisdom and fatalism. Alex is the youngest, as evident from his more stylised sunglasses and desire to hire scooters using an iPhone app. Steve is a middle child, based on his never-ending source of lofty goals and his nuance at playing everyone off each other.

I would definitely be friends with these people even if we didn’t share the same genes.


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The Redemption Arc

Ever since Disney bought Star Wars Alex invites me to watch the latest film with him. And every time it goes like this:

image 1999 from bradism.com

Indentured Servitude

image 1997 from bradism.com

I don't want to write this entry, but I suppose I need to... There were times during my eight day Christmas break I found myself anxious to be back at work.

Worse, there was nothing specifically at the office which I was keen to attend to. In fact, last week during the quiet two days of a two-thirds empty office, faced with an exponentially emptier inbox, I still felt the same anxiety. I realised that what I craved was not a return to labour, but a reunion with routine.

This was bad. I've invested so much into perfecting my way of life over the past few years. I always know when to wake up. I know the macros of what I'm eating days in advance. I never miss the train. I never struggle choosing what to wear. Everything I need is at my fingertips, laid out in the exact order of my fingers. I've filtered novelty out of my life, which has been very effective at giving me a lot of free time, but at the cost of atrophying the parts of my brain that know what to do with it.

I finished 2019 almost the exact same way I started it. Same family, job, house, car, friends, phone, injuries and shoes. Sure, I started a workout program, tracking my calories, and playing basketball on Thursdays. These only consolidated the girth of the rails I've been choofing on.

2020 needs to be different. I need to shake some things up, purely for the sake of it. Not resolutions, nothing planned. I just need to nod my head at opportunities that the squishy parts of my brain would at present probably ignore.

If not, a whole Olympics could come and go without anything to remember it by.

Routed and Unfiltered

I feel like I’m getting better at dealing with the plumbing in my house. Over the Christmas break I had a few jobs I wanted to complete, one was changing over the filter cartridges in my filter tap system. Of course, I delayed doing this until almost the final day of the break.

I opened the cupboard beneath the sink, slid the plastic tool that came with the filter tap system up over the first filter and twisted it. Nothing happened. I tried the other, but it was stuck too.

I Googled the brand and found an instructional video where a skinny blonde lady loosened the cylinder with barely a twitch of her bicep, so I tried again in the same fashion, however, the filters were not budging. A bit of a thump, nor a blast from the hair-dryer, loosened the seal.

In the past I would have then proceeded to search online for hours for ways to resolve the issue, tried different hardware and approaches, driven to Bunnings and spent money on other tools and aids, and generally cracked the shits. I didn’t need to do any of this to fix it. I just left the tap switched off, closed the cupboard and walked away.

I am not a handy man when it comes to the physical. Digital, on the other hand, I’m far more comfortable with. One of my other jobs for the Christmas Break was a couple of bug fixes on bradism.com. Well, one was an enhancement. On an old version of my website I used the path /getimage.php to render images, and while reading through old entries in preparation for the Top 10 Bradism Posts of the Decade I found a number of direct links to images which no longer worked on the new site. I decided to fix this by adding a Router configuration to map to the /images/show/:id path which I wrote to replace this feature. This should have been a simple task, requiring a regular expression to match incoming requests and rewrite it to the new path. So I could test, I ran a search in the database to find entries that had one of these old links in them and found only 18 entries had one.

At this point I had to make a decision, did I want to write code to fix this problem or just update the 18 existing entries. The regular expression would have been the same. I elected to fix in the code, based on it being a simple change, and also the highly-unlikely chances that there were other sites with links to my images out there on the internet that had been broken since 2017 but would still appreciate things working again. Maybe I just wanted to write code.

What I estimated to be a short task turned out to be painfully long. My Router supported rewriting of variables but not when they were passed through as query string arguments and it took me several hours to work this out. Updating the links in the database would have taken about ten minutes. Yet, I persisted, I learnt new things, and unlike my filter tap system, I succeeded.

What did I learn from this? Other than I prioritised bradism.com over filtered drinking water?

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