What I did on my Summer Holidays

It’s not often I get eight consecutive days without work. That’s like two Easter weekends back to back. At least, that’s how I thought of it during the hot, smoky days between Christmas Eve and New Years Day.

Given this is my journal I thought it might be pertinent to document what I did during these free days before the events were lost to time, office routine and the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain. To be honest, I had to use my photo gallery, step tracker, calorie counter, and Chrome history to compile this summary.

December 24th
After a nice gym session on the last day of work, I caught the train home to make pizza bases. While the dough rose Vanessa and I went food shopping, then cooked the lamb and chicken and made yiros pizzas.

image 1992 from bradism.com

Then, as the late sun set, we took Nash to the dog park where she tried to start shit with a pitbull.

December 25th
Started Christmas with a walk on the sand at Grange, followed by a cherry smoothie for breakfast. Went to Alex’s for lunch where Nash and Wilhelm played with an energy that belied the heat and lack of shade. After the BBQ was done we retreated inside to eat and play Code Names.
Then it was back to the beach for more sand walking and a swim at sunset.

December 26th
Fried some potato and bacon for brunch. Played basketball in the afternoon when the UV levels went down.

image 1993 from bradism.com

Then Vanessa and I took a stroll along the river.

image 1994 from bradism.com

December 27th
Got to the gym again, watched some cricket and then went to J’s where we played Coup, Seven Wonders and ate pizza.

December 28th
Ate waffle bowls for breakfast after a walk along the beach from Grange to Henley. Played the first and last game of Age of Empires 2 vs Sam (I won), then went to Alex’s to dogsit Willy. It was hot. I threw a lot of tennis balls.

image 1995 from bradism.com

December 29th
I finished listening to Empire on Audible. That was a good book. I returned home briefly to make Hawaiian pizza for lunch with Vanessa. Went to the gym, then returned to Willy to throw more tennis balls and watch the Strikers.

December 30th
I can’t even remember. I should have prepared this entry progressively.

December 31st
Figured I should attempt my chores list, tried to do some plumbing then gave up immediately.
Went to Norwood for lunch and consumed a large beef schnitzel.
Went to the gym and tried to convert beef schnitzel energy into weight lifting progress.
Went to a New Year’s Eve games night and ate a lot more. Played Avalon and Kingdom Builders. I enjoyed both. Got home before midnight.

January 1st
Started the day with a hike and breakfast. Made pork in the slow cooker. Deployed the latest Bradism.com release, drank a beer, watched the sun set.

image 1996 from bradism.com

I would call it a win because, in hindsight, I ate a lot of food. Went to the gym. Saw family and friends. Played board games. Watched cricket. Drank nice beer. Went in the ocean twice. And I didn't go to work.

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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?

Orbital Inclinations

Around about this time last hemisphere, when the summer solstice had just passed and the fireworks were popping, I was doing a lot of hiking, and eating yogurt and cereal for breakfast at waterfalls. I missed that.

With Adelaide's weather forecast for a max in the mid-twenties and zero flames, Vanessa as I decided an Australian PNW hike was the perfect start to the decade. I dug out my hiking boots and first thing this morning we did the Grand Falls loop at Morialta. The greenery was drier, the cars smaller, and the breakfast waterfall had no water in it, but it was a lovely experience that made me intensely nostalgic for the weeks of walking in winter-summer 2019, and a healthy way to kick off the decade.

image 1990 from bradism.com

I finished the day with the Australian version of the IPA.

image 1989 from bradism.com

2020 Revision

The year was 1997. My final year of primary school. One afternoon the whole class was given an exercise about the future.

Each kid had to answer a number of questions, without knowing why. I won't pretend I recall them all exactly, but the gist was along the lines of - by 2020 when we were all grown up - what size house did you want, how many cars, how many jet skis, how many kids would you have? What kind of society did you want to live in?

What I have recalled every year or so in the decades since 1997 was that I still had room to peak until 2020. This has been very reassuring through the ups and downs of maturing into my 35 year old self. I've never been fully developed. My whole life was still ahead of me.

Now it is 2020 and I no longer have this last piece of evidence to point to in defense of any dreams and goals I haven't achieved. The deadline for capacity has arrived. And that is why I approach 2020 with a sense of trepidation. Well that along with the environment, climate, economy and humanity in general.

After the exercise, individual's answers were tabulated and everyone got back one of 16 spot-the-difference drawings of 2020 which varied in terms of the amount of farmland vs city, the amount of people in the unemployment queue, the amount of factory smoke being pumped into the atmosphere, the number of police and criminals being chased around.

I recall at 13 being inherently suspicious of traps and free things, so I'd been modest in selecting how many 24" CRT televisions with VHS players and sports cars I wanted. For my answers I received a middle of the road future. The majority of my classmates who'd been greedy received apocalyptic scenes with long unemployment lines, overcrowded cities and blackened skies. In hindsight, this exercise was actually really well put together and acutely prophetic of the world we could face in 2020.

I tried to Google the details and pictures from the exercise to add them to this entry, but I realised I waited to search for "school exercise future life in 2020" until the worst possible time.

Then I got distracted by my smartphone.

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Ready Player Two

There seems to be a lot of not good things happening in the world today. Environmentally, economically, politically, and worse. It feels like I can't do anything about it. And as none of it affects me directly I seem capable of just going about my daily business, like a non-playable character in a video game. Moving from point A to point B while ignoring the explosions.

I recognise that simulation theory is a bit of a trope by this point of the twenty-first century. The concept still bothers me at least a few times a week. Not the part about reality running in some super-universe’s supercomputers. A universe needs some context to exist in, after all. The most troubling aspect of simulation theory is that my memories could be of events which never occurred. That my life never happened, and everything I remember was inserted with constraints disabled to give me the programming I need to be an NPC, and that the simulation could have literally kicked off right this second.

I also think about the narrative fallacy a lot. There's a few elements required for a good story, for a video game. The playable character needs autonomy, some starting resources, a call to action, and a user manual. When I think about my life in the context of a simulation that just commenced, I can't help but notice my situation ticks all those boxes. I'm not enslaved, impoverished, or ill-informed. There's a world that needs saving, and perhaps I'm not an NPC. Maybe reality is a challenge I'm supposed to wake up to. The level's objectives are implied, all the information I need to get started is at my fingertips, and I am the main character who needs to heed the call.
I could do something about it.
And by me, reader, I mean you.

DAE It's Hot?

Not to harp on about the weather too much... But due to the heatwave I have officially started storing my hand sanitizer in the fridge.

image 1988 from bradism.com

Me in the office today

image 1987 from bradism.com