Contractually Obligated

Contracts can be good and bad.

Whenever you make an offer on a house you should make the price end in an odd number.

That is the lesson of the decade so far

Life has not been boring recently.


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.

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.


The Top 10 Bradism Posts of the Decade

Everyone else was posting end of decade top tens back in December and I wanted in. Then I decided the only way no one would ever read it properly is if there was a way to embed cross links to other journal entries that I could add with BCode.

Many hours over many days of debugging PHP code later and here we are.

10. Plus Plus cereal

Breakfast gets mentioned a lot on this blog, but if you're looking for peak cereal insanity this is where you should start.
Casual Friday Breakfast III - Plus Plus Plus

Winter was when I decided I would create the ultimate bowl of Plus. Winter, or me saying to the Woolworth’s catalogue “Oh, Weet Bix Crunch is three dollars this week.” And Vanessa reminding there were seven boxes of Uncle Toby’s Plus in the cupboard which I’d convinced her to buy a few months ago and then never opened.

9. Man Journal Short Cuts

The tale of my first lawn mower.
"He mentioned that I should buy the oil removal next time I was in, because you need to change the oil every year, just like a car. And then he paused and stared at me to make sure the expression on my face indicated I understood this very simple concept. Which I didn't, but I recognised the conversation checkpoint and I faked a nod. Then I considered whether or not I should just take my lawnmower with me to the mechanic when I take my car there."

An insightful chapter on my journey to being the worst home handyman

Man Journal Short Cuts

This was not only my first lawn mower, but my first attempt at mowing a lawn. And also the first time I've felt solely responsible for the state of a petrol engine.

8. Diamonds and Guns

A succinct summary of the disconnect that existed between my soul and the universe in 2018.
Diamonds and Guns

Yeah, I carry a butt-pillow with me most places. I never know how to correctly answer the question, “How's it going?” I wear sunglasses on cloudy days.

7. The White Suburban

Life starts outside your comfort zone. Or in a comfort zone. A story of how I learnt that fitting in is not about how you look, but about following the dreams that were printed on the badge attached to you in the factory.
The White Suburban

"We'll upgrade you to something more comfortable," the car-wrangler told me. This was the first sign something was wrong.

6. Easy Beer Bread Pizza Bases

Another chapter in home ownership, a quality execution of internet recipe observational humour, plus a useful pizza bases recipe I still refer back to regularly.
Easy Beer Bread Pizza Bases

I was searching the internet today for a recipe for apple-cinnamon hot cross buns and I viewed enough cooking blogs to be reminded of the hatred I have for recipe posts that start with a gigantic boring story.

5. Life, Man

I’m quite proud of this solid, three paragraphs double-entendre that I posted to celebrate the addition of Nash to my family slash Journal.
Life, Man

I was caught off guard by just how easy it is to buy a living thing and take it back to your house. No questions asked.

4. Breadism

This is a throwback to a bread story I wrote in 2003, back in the days of Brad’s Summer Journal 2. Maybe that’s why I like it, because it’s tinged with the nostalgia of updating a HTML file in notepad at 4:25am on warm summer nights, my lumbar spine firm and supple. It’s also the prequel to another tale of breadism in 2017. It’s a running joke that’s been going for over fourteen years. That’s longer than some of my wheatstagram followers have been alive.

It’s also a real insight into the mind of someone who has been working from home in a city he knows no one for several consecutive months.

Breadism

I was thinking about Baker's Delight's Twisted Delights. This made me search my journal for references to Twisted Delights and led to... places I want to forget.

3. Reject Shop Hacker

Who would have known in 2011 when I wrote this entry about how much I loved my HD515s that, in 2020, I’d still be using those same headphones. And in 2020 they would still be padded with those same sponges I got in a three pack for $2 from the Reject Shop in Engadine. Those very sponges are on my ears right now as I type this. And the third sponge? Well, I did actually get rid of that one after some amount of dishes.
Reject Shop Hacker

I want to foreshadow the amount of distress I felt earlier this week when I discovered my Sennheiser's were dying.

2. How To Replace a Smoke Alarm Battery

Potentially the dramatic end to the second act of my story of home ownership. The most wilful damage I’ve ever done to a building for the sake of a journal entry.
Learn from my mistakes.
How To Replace a Smoke Alarm Battery

It's very simple to open the smoke alarm and replace the battery.

1. Quiet Achiever

Short and sweet. I reveal my pride in my two year old facade in the office. My decade-long, lifelong, screen of Green Pig smiling politely, keeping my true thoughts in words on the internet.
Based on a true story.

Gym Musings

Purchase a 100 pack of these on ebay for $8

image 2012 from bradism.com

BAM, unlimited coat-hangers for the rest of your life.


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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

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.