Spring 22

This spring it was announced that recycling of soft plastics was suspended at the supermarkets - the only place soft plastics can be recycled...

To be horrifically honest, this has been a massive relief. Ever since the program was established I have faced the almost daily challenge of trying to follow soft plastic recycling ordinances in order to avoid the guilt of being 0.0000000125% responsible for destroying the planet. I've rinsed out frozen fruit packages. I've peeled off the unrecyclable packing tape attached to recyclable plastic packing material. I've collected up empty Zooper Doopers tubes. I've gone back and checked with people about the brand of cling wrap they used. At one point I set up a separate little container for milk lids and a second one for bread tags. I've saved and wrapped up the fraction of Zooper Dooper tops where I cut them off.

I feel like I did everything that could reasonably be expected of me, a human being, so that every microplastic particle in my life could be dumped in a bucket at Woolworths, driven across a continent, stored in a warehouse with a bunch of other bags of plastic and contaminants, shipped across a hemisphere, and then almost definitely maybe perhaps not be thrown in an incinerator.

Now, every time I consume something that comes packaged in plastic I throw the plastic in the bin with the rest of the trash. I don't have to think about it after that for a single second. I simply go on with my life. It may sound like I've given up, and that's because I have. It's just nice after the spring I've had to know you can do all the right things and then give up when it doesn't work out.

Anyway now that it's December here's my spring playlist. Short and underwhelming like the actual season. But some memory triggers for a weekend in Encounter Bay, a walk around Canberra, a book, a hangover, some moments of optimism, and so many no stress garbage experiences.


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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?


The Buzzer

I nailed what is probably the last basketball shot I will ever take.

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Just Another Thursday

I’m not procrastinating. I actually want to know what’s going to happen to my Scrobbles after I die? I’ve already accumulated more than 300,000 of them. Will Last.FM look after them? Maybe add whatever songs get played at my funeral to the list?

And what will happen to my steps? I got 4,901 last Saturday and 21,689 on Monday. Every day I accumulate all these steps and when I cease to exist I guess they will cease to exist even though they all definitely did happen. I guess a lot of them were stepped in places where other steps by other people happened and some of those people are already dead and so these steps kind of exist as an independent entity and the ones I take are just a temporal association with that sneaker-shaped piece of earth.

I wore a singlet to the supermarket this evening and I couldn’t help wondering how I must exist in the minds of the checkout people who see me there so frequently over the years. Singlet, shirt, jumper, jacket, jumper, shirt, singlet. Over and over it loops and all I am is some other person wearing different things and buying bananas and meat on clearance. In my defense they are also on an endless cycle of being different people so I can’t imagine I owe them much. Although that actually makes me a little sad.

I was asked recently what I would do if I could freeze time. I don’t know what the right answer to that question is, but my response was that I would try and get all my projects done. Novels to finish. Novels to edit. Novels to rewrite. Programming activities and photography projects I want to finish. I know it’s an artistic cliche to always be distracted from a project you’re working on by a project you’re not, but I’m wondering if it’s more than that. Perhaps life is just a series of incomplete projects until you die and leave them behind, unfinished and with as much meaning as a pile of Scrobbles.

Or maybe I am procrastinating.


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The Point of Canberra

Points in Canberra

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In a conversation this evening with my niece and nephew I found myself predictably bemoaning having become an adult. I envy their flexible joints, lack of responsibilities, and the scale of discovery that's open to them. I asked if they thought there was anything good about being an adult. The answer was that adults get to do whatever they want whenever they want. That's definitely not true most of the time, but it was true for me today at least. With Steve at work and the kids at school, Canberra was my playground and indeed I could do whatever I desired.

Mowing the flag lawns.

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I began the day with a long walk along the lake before buying a coffee and sitting in the shade of an umbrella to drink it. After that I visited the National Gallery of Australia where I looked at art for free. Then I drank another coffee and walked along the lake some more. Eventually I made it to Canberra Central where I ate a Vietnamese roll.

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After lunch I visited Bent Spoke Brewing in Braddon where I tried their "Keep it Simple" IPA and read my latest Asimov's edition under a heater while it rained outside.

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Following the beer I walked on to complete the loop and met Steve at a bakery where I bought a second lunch after covering 14 kilometres. Back at home I played Lego and then Smash Brothers on the Nintendo. Dinner was cooked for me.

Well I guess I learned from this that adults and kids aren't that different really. And that there is not a lot of things to do in Canberra.

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This Is What it Sounded Like

This month I listened to the non-fiction book This Is What It Sounds Like by Dr. Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas. The blurb pitches it as a neurological summary of how the brain interprets music and how individuals develop listener "profiles" across three conscious and four subconscious musical attributes.

I loved the concept of this book, because I enjoy both music of almost all varieties, as well as thinking about music. Ultimately the book was 30% neurology, 30% listening skills and 40% Susan Rogers biography. None of this was bad as it seems like Susan Rogers has lived an interesting life. Perhaps it's because I chose the audio book, some parts appealed to my book-listener profile and other parts felt unnecessary. I wish I had read this as a physical book where I could have seen the shape of the paragraphs before reading them, and been more easily able to pause and reflect/digest the fact I was just presented.

The seven facets of music I learned about were Authenticity, Realism, Novelty along with Melody, Rhythm, Lyrics and Timbre. Some of this was reminiscent of This Is Your Brain on Music which I enjoyed 13 years ago and which inspired several Rip It Up reviews (and which taught me the word "timbre") but which I've also forgotten a lot of. Perhaps that's part of why I'm recording the lessons here for future reference.

I most definitely would have got a dozen review structures out of this book a dozen years ago. I also confirmed my musical sweet spot is quite broad according to the quadrants prescribed by Dr Rogers. I enjoy personal ballads and swaggering hip hop. I dig an acoustic guitar and an 808. I'm drawn to new concepts and the classics. I'll groove to the downbeat, the backbeat or the high hat. Basically I'm like 19 year or Brad at the bar. If it comes in a bottle, I'm drinking it. There was a paragraph near the end talking about guilty pleasures and I was at a blank trying to identify my own. I don't feel any guilt about Creedence Clearwater Revival, JT featuring Timberland, Party Favor, Falling in Reverse, Taylor Swift, K-Pop hip hop, Diplo mash ups, or Kid Kenobi dropping Purple Funky Monkey. None of those will have the longevity of oral histories passed down for generations and stored across hemispheres, but they all work for me. Thanks to this book I can now also more accurately assess why they bring me pleasure.

Bird Refuge

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That time of the year where my lawnmower blends more vitamin C than my blender.

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