The First Signs Of Summer

It's that festive, summer time of year. I went for a night walk in a T-shirt, because I ate too much at the annual Friendsgiving feast. I almost didn't eat too much, but there was a little bit of my braided, garlic bread twists left inside after the main course and I found myself tearing it apart with my hands and dipping it into leftover roast turkey juices. After that I figured the threshold had been crossed and I had two servings of dessert.

But it wasn't warm on my night walk simply because I was swollen with Thanksgiving themed dishes. I was warm because the air was warm, which felt uplifting. I was also warmed, minutely, by the Christmas lights displays I passed by, which many in my neighbourhood must have spent this weekend putting up and plugging in. I'm pretty neutral on the scale between Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, but I like pretty shinies as much as the next primate and all the Yuletide sparkling simply reinforced the upcoming holiday days and more warm, relaxing nights that they'll bring.

Returning home, Nash was waiting by the front door as she always disapproves of me leaving the house in the dark. I followed her to the back room where she started sniffing and snuffling in the vicinity of the treadmill. I was curious what had her attention, and after a bit of snuffling myself I lifted the treadmill to reveal the first Christmas Beetle of the summer. Another sign! The season was truly upon us. Nash ate the insect quickly, then left to drink copious slurps of water.


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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?


Calm Under Pressure

I’ve never considered myself good at handling chaos. Calm under pressure, sure, absolutely. That’s a feature of my highly analytical, introspective nature. I’m acutely aware it may not pay off for me one day. I’ve had cars run red lights and barely miss me, violent and crazy people attempt to instigate fights, fire alarms go off mid-REM cycle. I didn’t disarm these situations gracefully. I was fortunate enough that most passed me by, or I was helped along, while the extent of my reaction - if any - has been to smile and nod. I’m not good with confrontations or excitement. I once spent an all stops train trip from Eden Hills to Adelaide with a tall woman’s heel on the top of my toes and I didn’t even say anything. Like I mentioned, calm under pressure.

I was speculating earlier this week about a hypothetical emergency and how I might be a hero in that situation. It was a short daydream, in which I pulled out my phone to search the internet for answers shortly after the gore erupted, and I found myself a bystander even in my own fantasy.

It was that very same night - walking Nash after twilight - when I came across a lost budgerigar. Well, Nash came across it, and I saved it from Nash through my foresight of having my dog on a short lead. As no one else was around, I decided I should save the budgie. I presumed it was someone’s pet, and that it had flown out an open window on what was a very warm October night.

I didn’t know how to catch a bird, and so of course my first and only plan was to Google it... In incognito mode... So I didn’t get ads later about how to catch budgies.
I tried the “perch” trick, and I called its name (“budgie”) but it did not come close. I checked lost pets of Adelaide web pages and no one had listed any budgies recently, and so I concluded that no one must really care about the budgie, and given that I live in a medium-density residential area where it was 26 degrees celsius at 9pm, I figured a real hero would probably come along at some point anyway.

So I left it there. I left it there to die and I didn’t even think about it for another three days. I walked by the same spot today and checked around to see if it was still alive and in need of rescuing, if perhaps my highly analytical, introspective and slow build up rescuing style might have actually been what it needed. I didn’t see it anywhere. Nor a corpse, so I can only presume everything worked out for the best.

Other than finding and eating a bulk meal curry in my freezer from September, this was the most exciting thing that happened to me in the final week of October, 2019.

The Doorbell

I took my cat Trick or Treating.

image 1978 from bradism.com


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A Level Up

At midnight yesterday I was warned by a chirp that another smoke alarm backup battery was going flat. Unlike last time, I was able to remove the cover, extract the battery and restore peace with only five to ten minutes of suppressed rage and a single, vitriolic paragraph of pure expletives. I did not need to use any hand tools to break my way in like a castaway with walnuts and no nutcracker.

A smoke alarm mount in a roof.

Success!

I guess my recent birthday actually helped me develop as a person.

Nash did not provide any assistance.

image 1955 from bradism.com

Dusted and Done

I'd been contemplating buying a new PC. I wanted something powerful enough to render high resolution panoramas in Photoshop from RAW images. And with enough grunt to export short videos of the season movies in HD.

Before replacing my PC - which at some point in the past had not filled all levels of the townhouse with it's shrill High CPU Temperature warning when performing the above tasks - I thought I should try cleaning out the dust out of it. I couldn't remember the last time I gave it a good compressed-air blast to the heat-sink. I suspected it was before I got a golden retriever cross who sheds her winter coat for a summer coat every night in July that we put the heater on. I bought a can of compressed air from Office Works and with daylight as an ally on a Saturday morning I took my computer apart on the balcony and got to blasting.

I'm not sure what tolerance my CPU fan designers had for dog hair particles, but safe to say I'd exceeded them. While Nash watched from the comfort of the couch I got into every nook and cranny, sending puffs of dust and lint into the cool, August air. I was ruthless. I figured, if anything got dislodged or disrupted it would be a good excuse for upgrading to the new PC anyway.

Happily for Frugal Brad, the re-assembled PC ran fine, maybe a little quieter. And a test export of 89 high-resolution images from Lightroom did not breach any CPU monitoring metrics and in fact Chrome and Spotify ran along at the same time as well. My $3,000 PC budget was used to buy a $10 can of cleaning spray.

Autumn/Winter 2019 Playlist

image 1935 from bradism.com

Yesterday a new Fitz and the Tantrums track came out that was perfect for a Spring playlist and I remembered I hadn't posted the tracklisting for my Autumn/Winter mixtape yet. Figured I should get that out now before too many more 21 and sunny days come along. It's hard keeping track of seasons and their associated moods these days, what with Spotify algorithms, month long trips to the northern hemisphere, and the general side effects of global warming. Nonetheless the attached hour of music was curated mainly under the influence of dark morning showers, dripping noses, wet dog feet and perpetual grey sky days where you wish you could spot a couple of ducks fucking simply to spark some optimism that BBQs, blue skies and families of ducklings frolicking by the river aren't as far away as they feel.
If you listen to other people's Spotify playlists, enjoy.

Something is Wrong With My Dog

Or maybe this is a normal way to poop?

Or maybe this is a normal way to poop?

The Dog

It's true, golden retriever hair is not actually attached to their bodies. It teleports from a parallel dimension and sits on the dog in a weave (loosely).

image 1878 from bradism.com

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