The Inevitable Return of the Great Striped Polo

What the fuck is this?

image 2086 from bradism.com

What the heck is this?

image 2087 from bradism.com

What the...

Insert picture of iron and ironing board, KeepCup, a pair of pants that don't have a drawstring, a building access card...

Hmm, looks like this journal entry is about as anti-climatic as my first day in the office in the best worst part of a year.

My regular coffee guy forgot my name. I guess it has been four months of 5G waves dissolving his mind...

Coffee was better than Nespresso Pods though.


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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.


When Life Gives You Lemons

They sell lemons at the supermarket for about a dollar each, and sometimes three for two dollars.
I bought a house earlier this year which cost a lot more than a dollar, and it came with a lemon tree that has produced a shitload of lemons. And based on my year 10 understandings of botany it will do this every year? Which means...

Sadly, a shitload of lemons are only better than a handful of lemons for the purposes of: being given to your friends; improving your relationship with your neighbours; and leaving in a bag on the kitchen counter in the office with a post-it saying “Help Yourself :)”

A lemon tree overhanging a fence.

And this isn't even my lemon tree, they're the bonus lemons from my neighbour leaning over the fence to introduce themselves.


And there has been a pandemic this whole citrus season. I’ve left lemons on the kitchen counter while working from home several times but rarely have they disappeared or transmogrified into a three-quarter-eaten cake that I exercise my willpower to ignore while eating almonds

And then, back in April, two people in head-to-toe orange hazmat suits told me that there’s also a fruit fly pandemic in my suburb. The government advised I couldn’t even distribute lemons to my friends who lived more than a fruit fly’s flying distance away. Like me, the lemons needed to #JustStayHome.

Life had given me - metaphorically and literally - lemons. And obviously nothing could prepare you for a situation like this. So I asked the internet what to do, and it came up with some - actually, quite a lot of - suggestions which I’ve been roadtesting recently, and will now share for the benefit of all my readers.

An assortment of lemons on the official Bradism Raised Cutting Board for Tall People

An assortment of lemons on the official Bradism Raised Cutting Board for Tall People


It turns out lemons are good for a lot of things beyond eating raw like a juicy, slightly pointy mandarin, or adding to gin. You can turn milk into buttermilk, create fire-starters with rind, write invisible messages. But the main uses of lemons that I’ve ascertained from multiple articles are in the domain of cleaning and insect control. In fact, after reading about all the different chemicals, de-scalers and deodorizers that can be replaced with lemon juice I have had to ask myself, truly, are lemons even safe to eat?

Cleaning the Microwave

The first trick I tried was to “clean my microwave without any scrubbing.” This was, incidentally, the same method I’d been using to clean my microwave since I bought it in 2008. But this time it was intentional.
The method is to slice up a lemon, place the slices into a bowl of water, and microwave the lemon water on high for ten minutes. The diluted juice-steam will cover all the interior surfaces of the microwave, allowing built up stains and oils to easily be wiped away with a cloth or paper towel.
And that’s what I did. And there was indeed sour-smelling condensation on the walls and roof of my microwave. After wiping them off the microwave was clean of all that built up lemon smell and lemon rind.
Sadly I do not have a second microwave to use for a control group, but I’m not convinced I couldn't have achieved the same result by steaming a bowl of plain water for the same amount of time.

Cleaning the Kitchen Sink

I turned my eye to the kitchen sink, where I could experiment at least by cleaning half the stainless steel with a lemon and the other half with just a sponge.
A dirty portion of a kitchen sink.

Before cleaning with lemon.


Obviously I prepared the sink in advance to be dirty so I could test out the efficacy of the lemon.
I cut the lemon in half, used the juicy part like a sponge and the rindy part like a scourer, and cleaned the cleaning rack part of the sink.
Compared to just a sponge, it resulted in shinier metal.
A clean portion of a kitchen sink.

After cleaning with lemon.


This might be a life hack?

Cleaning a Frying Pan

I’ve had this Circulon Frying Pan since 2009, and while I definitely wash it after every use it’s safe to say there is a fair layer of seasoning between what gets cooked these days and what came out of the factory.

I took the same approach on the corrugated surface of the pan as I did with the sink.

A slightly-stained frying pan.

I’m not sure if this is a before or after pic, which should tell you everything you need to know about the results.

Probably for the best, as I’m pretty sure that the echoes of a decade of stir fries, chilis and Moroccan lambs only adds to flavour of the things I cook today.
I’m considering making a lemon chicken tomorrow.

Clean a Cutting Board

I cut myself a fresh lemon on our little cutting board, then decided I would see if the lemon-sponge approach would work here too.
Lemons are apparently good for cleaning a wooden cutting board, but I didn’t have a dirty one of those.
After a bit of elbow-work on one side, I rubbed both sides down with an Oates scourer.
a small cutting board cleaned by a lemon half.
A small cutting board cleaned by a sponge alone. It's slightly less clean than the lemon side.

The lemon side did have the built up stains stripped a bit more effectively.
Ultimately I think you could clean the entire stain off a cutting board with lemons, but you’d need a shitload of them.

Inspire Journal Entries

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Eased

I went out and bought my first coffee in about seven weeks this morning, feeling a little bit shocked when I reached the outdoor dining already happening at 8:30am on a Monday morning. I'm still working from home, a bit too far from a little city cafe, and I had to settle on a little city-fringe cafe instead.

Look, the coffee wasn't amazing. It was on the smaller side, for a "large", and pricey at that, but I didn't complain. It was hot and it tasted like coffee and the sky was blue so I leaned against a fence near an arterial road and sipped it in the sun. And I don't know if it was responsible, but I felt like I was a little more chilled out during the morning stand up later that day. I even changed out of my North Face alpine hoody and into a stripy polo for the rest of my meetings.

Maybe we can control reality. Sometimes when I'm trying to solve a technical problem at work I think really hard about the issue and surrounding context and after a bit of Googling I find the perfect blog post for the situation . Maybe if we all think really hard about the future we want, it can happen too.


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COVID19G

I came into a very desolate city today to work from the office, as I had two appointments in town along with a number of minor tasks that needed doing before the inevitable lockdown commences. It was also maybe my last chance in 2020 to wear a polo.

Between those minor tasks I decided to visit my favourite coffee place for a final medium flat white before society collapses.

Instead of the usual queue of caffeine addicts with Keep Cups out the door it was just me and the owner in the 8 square metre store and so instead of the brief hello we typically shared we had time to discuss Caronavirus and the impact to traders and the peculiar flavour of 2020 so far. The topic of working from home came up while he was frothing my milk, and he asked if I'd heard about the 5G problem, about which I assumed he meant the lack of federal investment into a reasonable fibre network for Australia would lead to excessive congestion on the wireless networks while everyone was in isolation.

No, he clarified that the 5G problem was that there would soon be antennas on every block on every street and the government was able to use the 5G frequencies to give people cancer and control their minds.

This was devestating to hear. I thought there were enough problems this year, and now I have to add to the list finding a new favourite coffee shop.

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

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.

Certified Fresh

A couple of years back I made a critical mistake. I was put onto a RHEL Certified Linux Administration course by work, who also paid for my exam on the final day. If I passed I would be able to put "RHEL 7 Certified" on my CV… Which wouldn't have had any measurable impact on my life, I expect, but it would have been cool.

Alas, I failed the exam. It was hard, closed book and all practical with a high pass mark. I did study, and paid attention during the course. I missed out by 2%. Nevertheless I was shook. I'd never failed an exam before. Never failed at any form of formal education, in fact, and typically without much effort or obeisance. I learned a statistic in University that 75% of people consider themselves above average intelligence. I knew for sure I was in that 75%.

My worldview shattered, I did not undertake any significant further training or exams. Partly from fear, and partly due to my organisation's shrinking training budget. Last year, when negotiating terms of my new position, I included work adding TOGAF training and certification into my personal development plan. Certification in The Open Group Architecture Framework for Enterprise Architecture would be a useful step towards my desired career direction of IT Architect. Architecture roles can have a similar level of working on solution requirements and technical design, without the distractors of resourcing, chasing timesheets, and approving the neverending requests for new monitor dongles. Architecture is a much more sustainable IT career for an introvert. Yes you need to talk to stakeholders, perhaps even more than as a lead, but they're structured conversations and in fact TOGAF offers a whole reference library for having them.

I did not fail my exam this morning, and I am officially TOGAF 9.2 Certified. My brain is now releasing endorphins after 10 days of heavy studying concludes. It was also warm today, and on my way home from the exam I stopped off to buy lettuce and found Deschutes Freshly Squeezed IPA directly imported from Oregon. What a good day. To top it off, I already have an architecture job. I've decided to promote myself to Bradism.com Lead Enterprise Architect.

A big can of PNW on a windowsill overlooking buildings.

A. Implementations of architectures. B. Business Requirements C. A View D. All of the Above

Nightlife

How good is Melbourne nightlife, you can buy a crepe at 10pm on a weekday from a street cart. But not at 10:30 that's too late.

image 1968 from bradism.com

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