Ponderings for a new Decade

Last year In 2008 Vanessa gave me for Christmas one of those desk calendars where you peel off each page at the start of the day. It was called "The Action Hero's Handbook" and had daily advice on how survive a hit from a chair, jump through glass windows, minimise injury from stabbings and roll over speeding cars' bonnets - among many other things. It was only after peeling off the 31st this morning that I saw the final page: a large warning stressing that information is for entertainment purposes only and may not be safe or accurate.

I quite enjoyed this calendar, but I feel like this warning could have been placed slightly early in the calendar.

Fortunately nothing this year required me to follow any of the advice... actually, that's a little sad. Being a super hero would be awesome. Also today I found my thoughts wandering to my fantasy of becoming a private detective and once again cursed my conspicuousness.

Other achievements today:
- Wore a shirt for like the first time since Tuesday. And only because it got cold.
- Christmas is now in a box.
- The Archives just became slightly more impressive.

There were 111 entries last year, which is just over two per week. If I was a super hero do you think there would be more or less entries? Probably about the same amount but they'd be more exciting.


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Five Years of AudioScrobbling

Today marks my Five Year anniversary of using last.fm. Today I also uploaded my snapshots of most played tracks and artists of 2009. But I don't expect you to read those unless you are wicked bored.

I don't actually have anything I want you to read today. I took a couple of nice photos out of dozens of terrible ones today at the cricket, which is good to have something to show for an evening besides a half-tanned face. But I'm also going to endeavour to start the third incarnation of Photos of the Month so I'll save them for that.

Legible

I am stranded in esteem. Seeing that it's January it might be a good time to record the things I believe might pull me higher on the needs hierarchy. Why? You definitely don't want to go down the pyramid. So 2010, let's lock in my current esteem as my final answer and try and do the following:

-Write like no one is reading;
-Take photographs that don't suck. Take photos that do suck a lot until I work out how to take photos that don't suck;
-Rewrite a CMS in PHP with the Zend framework, in a way that doesn't seem like I'm cobbling together something complicated with only the most basic building blocks;
-Cobble together something inspiring in Lego with only the most basic building blocks;
-Write music reviews that come to me like prose instead of trying to stitch together rudimentary observations about songs into 300 words;
-walk for thirty minutes without requiring the same amount of time icing and stretching.

I think I might just need a big injection of creativity. Or cortisone. Probably both.

Pumped

I don't think I've ever counted down with increasing excitement the days leading up 'til an injection. Until 2010!


Like my words? Want to buy one of my books? I think you'll like this one:

If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

Chase: A Tomorrow Technologies Novella. Available Now for Less than a dollar!


Perfection

Today I saw the best body I've ever seen.
It was beautiful; it was flawless.
It had perfect curves, straight lines and a catwalk closing expression.
It was me, in Lego minifig form.

image 630 from bradism.com


Look at that body. That's my body.
My back is perpendicular from ankles to neck.
Those wrists are capable of pronating and supinating 360 degrees. I'm so jealous.
That handsome, rugged expression.. Well I can do that.

image 631 from bradism.com


But seriously, look at those legs! This is architecture completely unconducive to joint injuries. You can't get ITBS without any knees.
Of course, I know that having a body like this is not feasible. Not without millions of years of evolution anyway. Perfect design like this has come from generations of natural selection starting from the day chimps first picked up tools.

image 632 from bradism.com


Alright, I'm concerned that I may be becoming hyper-aware of musculoskeletal principals due to my personal experience last decade. Not just hyper-aware, but also obsessed or preoccupied.
I'm slightly torn because I don't think it's good to think about these things too much in my head, but I'm also curious to the extent my art could develop with this as an increasingly eclipsing subject.
That said I don't want to be torn. And where I am torn, I want to be healed and then I want scar tissue to be minimised and functionality to return.
On a minifig personal note, I think I'm on my way to desensitising myself from these feelings. I'm just slightly paranoid then when I do go out somewhere and grab the bull by the horns it will end ironically.

image 633 from bradism.com


As a footnote, I did take my Lego avatar to a sports MD and I asked him about the surgical options available to reduce the differences between the plastic version and myself.
He said regarding current techniques my design for that minifig was unrealistic, but with some amputations something like this might be achievable.

image 634 from bradism.com

Increasing Sunshine

Weatherzone published today's forecast as "43°C Increasing Sunshine" which seemed a little understated.

It's pretty freaking hot, and as bland as it is to simply discuss the weather I'm going to make some observations about it seeing that I've pretty much spent the day hiding from it.

First thing I did when I woke up was hang all the dark sheets I could find over our main windows. Our blinds are supremely average and the bed sheets add extra cover, but don't reach the whole way down. So after that I laid some towels down over the tiles to insulate them, and stacked piles of pillows and mats over the rest of the gaps. This worked for me until around lunchtime, then I turned on the air conditioner. Mainly only needed because I decided to make a curry...

With all the doors closed the sight of a wall of sheets and pillows in the living room made me feel like I was in an adult sized blanket fort. And that's where I stayed the day, going to the study once to check if running the stove exhaust fan would help cool the house. It won't, and running the bathroom exhaust fan won't work either.

Writing Tips

Good writers read a lot. I got taught that in high school, but it's so true.

Mainly because it's hard to be lazy and read a lot. A few decades ago it wasn't, but in today's buffet of instantly gratifying, bite-sized entertainment morsels reading for hours on the daily is tough as. Obviously writing a lot is even harder, so if you're too lazy to read it's not a good start.

Perhaps more specific to me, reading something a lot tends to flavour my own voice with hints of theirs. Which seems to give some spice to otherwise bland writing. That's what I noticed today, after reading this for a few hours yesterday I then naturally wrote some Simmonds style Rip It Up reviews tonight. And then I looked through some older ones and found my Bill Bryson reviews, some Malcolm Gladwell reviews and a lot of no reviews. All these no reviews were from times I wasn't reading!

I'm not saying that all the reviews I write are rip-offs - the stylising is usually pretty subtle - and I'm pretty aware of my main voice. However I think this is an effect that helps make writing easier, especially about post-punk bands I don't really like. Thus something bland becomes more rewarding and therefore doing it is more appealing!

Also, a few weeks ago after seeing one too many FaceBook profiles with "Books: i dont read books lolz" I decided to add my favourite authors to my profile. This was a slightly out-of-character decision because aside from pictures of me at parties and weekend plans I try to keep private information off FaceBook (and instead push it into bradism.com!). But my little list of authors is something I like now, because it makes me feel smartish and better than people. And also because it encourages me to read more so list doesn't stay so piddly.

Tropicality

There were extremes of Summer today.

It was cold enough at one point to wear a jumper! (Either that or close a window, effort).

But then later I bought a rockmelon AND a watermelon for less than four bucks!

Bulktenber

Let's be honest the pun/call-back in today's title is justification enough for an entry.

I've set myself some unrealistic goals this year, one is to bench press 1440 kilograms on my 26th birthday (August 25). I did this for the first and last time on my 24th birthday (3x 6x 80kg) and it felt good. Not like "discovering the meaning of life" good, but more "endorphins are blocking the part of my brain that cares about finding meaning in life".

I've set myself a little path to get there (BULKTENBER!), it's a triangle offence that combines the predictable "chest exercise" with core strengthening and wrist rehabilitation. I managed to bench 15kg today! I used two 7.5kg dumbbells. I'm 18.75% of the way there! I also did 24 push ups (with a wide grip and on my knees like a lady) which was exhilarating! A fortnight ago I was struggling to manipulate 2.5kg with my left hand. Assuming I don't plateau I should be doing 80kg reps in about two months. More likely I'll be doing 6x 6x 40kg on my birthday.

But seriously, the full push up barrier is one I'm getting closer to breaking and I feel good about this. It will give me confidence going into the chin-up nightmare. It's this reoccurring dream I have where I'm just reaching the top of my first rep when I hear a rip and I look up to see my left hand still on the bar and slowly succumbing to gravity, falling past me on its way to the ground.

To Do:
- Find a gym;
- Eat lots of protein powder for no reason.

One Long Distance Call From Retirement

I saw an ad today for a romantic comedy titled "It's Complicated". This comes a year after "He's Just Not That Into You" came out.

I'm sensing a theme here. I've put my entrepreneur cap on for a moment and come up with some movie ideas, and I'm willing to negotiate a selling price for the following titles. If you're from a major Hollywood movie studio just use the comment form below.

Tom Cruise, Drew Barrymore and Jack Black in the delightful We Need To Talk

Ben Stiller, Roseanne Barr, Kathy Bates, Jennifer Lopez and Dustin Hoffman in the hilarious Does This Make Me Look Fat?

Julia Roberts, Amanda Bynes and - in his most serious comedy role in years - Jim Carrey star in Is She Prettier Than Me?

Bill Murray, Kirsten Dunst, Seth Green, Elisha Cuthbert, Will Arnett, Keanu Reeves and Julia Louis-Dreyfus head an all star cast in the riotous I Don't Want to Ruin Our Beautiful Friendship

Troubled Sole

I made a split second decision that I didn't want to get my shoes sandy, so I'd just walk through the car park barefoot to get to the beach.

If I'd gone the other way on this I probably wouldn't be posting an entry titled 'motherfucking fuck my shoes are sandy'.

Now I have a great big blister on the bottom of one foot, and a great big popped one on the other. I didn't pop it intentionally.. I Googled whether I should or not and I couldn't get a straight answer. I guess I will have a verdict in a day or few.

I was supposed to play basketball against people tomorrow! I feel like the universe is trying to work against me sometimes. Not just this, but I almost severed my left pinky (exaggeration) last Friday, and then a couple of days ago I almost broke my left pinky toe.
I'm going to hero it out tomorrow. Then suffer through Tuesday in a pool with some beers.

The universe can't be against me, I walked into Footlocker on Saturday and they only had one pair of size 14 shoes and they were perfect for me, and in my old team colours.

No Fate.

I Had These Thoughts Today

- People who video songs at rock concerts on point-and-shoot cameras with pissy microphones - what are they thinking? Do any of these people shoving their cameras into my eye-line seriously go back and watch these videos? I have a theory that this videoing is only done by short people so they can use their camera's LCD screen like a periscope to see above the crowd.

- I think it would be funny if there was a show about a single mum and her sons. And one of them became old enough to shave so she had to teach him. And the first thing she did was pull out a Venus Razor.

- I don't reckon a single straight dude has ever picked up a hairdryer belonging to a girl in his house, or while in a hotel room, and not immediately assumed that because they're a dude they'll need to use it at full power.

- Don't waste your time or time will waste you!

Dear Pepsi Max

Why do you taste so awesome out of a can but so terrible out of a bottle?

Unfinished Projects

One of my biggest weaknesses is that I too often start projects or hobbies that I never finish. All too often I'll have a brilliant idea, jot down some notes or start compiling some objects or mp3s into a folder and then forget about it.

Yesterday, while trying to find 8GB of free space to install Call of Duty 4 on a hard drive bursting at the seams with unfinished projects I stumbled upon the directory C:\Users\Brad\Pictures\Digital Camera\potemp\Rangas at Music Festivals.

I now present a highlight reel of bloodnuts and carrot tops I saw at music festivals between December 30 2007 and April 2 2008.

image 635 from bradism.com


image 636 from bradism.com


For the most part I was documenting red heads subtly. I'm not sure how I pulled off this one.

For the most part I was documenting red heads subtly. I'm not sure how I pulled off this one.



\"I know! I'll hide my red hair underneath this red hat.\"

\"I know! I'll hide my red hair underneath this red hat.\"



I think I saw this guy in Rundle Mall like a week after I shot this. And he gave me this look, like he was saying \"I know you have an album of red heads at music festivals on your hard drive.\"

I think I saw this guy in Rundle Mall like a week after I shot this. And he gave me this look, like he was saying \"I know you have an album of red heads at music festivals on your hard drive.\"



Stealth Ranga. Busted!

Stealth Ranga. Busted!



At this half way mark I want to say I have over three red heads as friends on Facebook, so I know they're real people too.
Two!! You'd probably believe how much I giggled after taking this.

Two!! You'd probably believe how much I giggled after taking this.



Hiding in the shade.

Hiding in the shade.



It's funny after you think about it.

It's funny after you think about it.



An artistic shot: a single ranga glowing in the red light of the Big Day Out D barrier.

An artistic shot: a single ranga glowing in the red light of the Big Day Out D barrier.



This guy for some reason I actually talked to about my quest, and he found it interesting. He even offered to help me out in any way he could. So I took his photo.

This guy for some reason I actually talked to about my quest, and he found it interesting. He even offered to help me out in any way he could. So I took his photo.



Finally, the biggest ranga at a music festival of them all, Josh Homme.

Finally, the biggest ranga at a music festival of them all, Josh Homme.

I'll admit that was a little weird.

Salary Cap

I'm excited about football.
The Western Bulldogs called me today. They wanted money. It was nice to speak to them.
I looked at the odds on Betfair for teams making the Top 8. The Bulldogs were 1.22, and assuming they make it payout would be at the end of August which is just under seven months. That seems way better than a term deposit. But there's always the risk they don't make it.

I think the only way they won't make finals this year is if I bet all my money on them making it.
They're playing an intra-club match on Saturday. If I could bet on them winning that I would.

Also I'm going to put it out there, not joining Fantasy Footy is like the best thing you can do to give yourself more free time over winter.

Today I did everything that I wanted to do.
Except make a todo list, which I was planning on doing this morning but I never got around to.

Cloud Fishing

Because I work in a giant call centre I commonly have to fight for a microwave in the kitchenette against overweight people. At lunch today while I waited to stick my tupperware tub into the next available oven a larger woman next to me said something I hear often when I have my lunch out.
"Wow, that looks healthy!"

What she was referring to was my fry up of chicken, capsicum, celery and four bean mix, on a bed of Basmati rice. And the only reason people think it "looks healthy" is because it has beans in it.

"I never eat beans," she said. "I didn't know you could have beans, in like, meals. I thought they only went in salads."

I believed that. Then she left, and I microwaved my lunch for five minutes and thirty seconds on medium-high.

Later, I left work for the 500 metre walk to my car - because paying $40 a month for an uncovered car park in the middle of summer just seems call centre lazy. And, I figure if there is a day it looks like bucketing permanently then I'll work from home.

Once my eyes adjusted to the light the part of my brain which keeps prattling on about becoming a photographer pointed out to me how nice the clouds looked. They were like individual, suspended round blobs with rain that I'll never see giving them a nice shading around the bottom. Clouds are really important when taking photos of landscapes, because otherwise a third of your photo is super boring.

I drove home and then did some run throughs with Vanessa under an artfully cloudy sky. Next I did bunch of stretching and finally I emerged with my camera to take some photos with clouds in them. At this point I discovered the clouds had gone. Where did they go? I don't know. In the sky there was only cloudy streaks left, like the finished tray of self-saucing chocolate pudding. Except not brown.

image 647 from bradism.com

The moral of this story is that if you decide to rush somewhere to take a photo of sunset clouds you should have an idea of a good place to go beforehand. Because racing around in a car trying to beat nature may feel a bit like being in Twister, but most times it won't get you a very good spot to take photos from.

Going To Town on

Last night when thinking about work today I had this feeling that I realise now was excitement. In October I left my desk in town for what I thought would be the last time after being transferred to a suburban cubicle farm inside a building that looked like a minimum security prison. This week I got a day pass to return to city office life after being moved to help on a different project. I walked into town in less time than it takes me to drive to work usually and I felt positive. That was despite the fact I sweated so much that yesterday's moisturiser started coming out my face.

Working in a city just feels so purposeful. Like there is a net of human energy that lingers within the terraces. And it has coffee shops you can walk to for decent coffee. And it's full of characters. And the buildings have windows! I freaking love windows. It's so inspiring to look out a window and see buildings full of people working instead of a fat car park bordered by a barbed-wire fence.

What an empowering and humid day.

I've Discovered My Dream Job

I want to be employed to walk around cities looking busy. I know this job doesn't exist – or if it does it's not well advertised – but I think it has some benefit besides paying my rent and affording me Pepsi Max in cartons.

People hustling about sidewalks make cities look busy. It probably motivates people in those cities to work a little bit harder, to be like that guy they saw who looked super active. Or at least it might make them ponder why they're not in a hurry.

I wouldn't do any actual business in this job. It would mainly be walking around the streets of the CBD wearing a suit at a ridiculous pace. I'd basically walk from coffee shop to coffee shop, talking on my mobile gruffly and not waiting for pedestrian crossings to go green before crossing. And then I'd buy coffee in branded carry cups and walk around drinking it. I'd go into skyscrapers and board elevators and look at my watch repeatedly and tap my fingers. I'd walk into offices and sit at empty desks and go through the files in my briefcase with a controlled but reckless approach to make it look like I needed a certain document right now, and every second I didn't have it was costing me money. Businesses would let me into their meeting rooms with glass walls and I'd sit there with two or three folders open glancing rapidly between each one. I'd print out emails and read them on the bus or the train at the end of the day, with my tie loosened to show that I'd stepped down the intensity but there's no way I had the time to take the whole tie off and roll it up. I'd walk past receptionists in foyers and yell "Mary! Hold my calls" to him or her. I'll buy my lunch in food courts at 3:30 in the afternoon when most of them are closing and there's only two baguettes left in the window.

I worked in the city again today and I was busy today and it felt good. I enjoyed being busy, but not as much as I enjoyed looking busy. The busier I act the more I feel like I'm fighting to achieve something important. Writing an Excel macro to auto-generate Telnet tunnels to 45 virtual servers is an important but not essential task in a large but not vital project. But if I try and do that task inhumanely fast it feel engaging. It feels significant. It feels like I deserve to go to Hudsons and buy an ice-cream coffee out of what looks like a re-purposed frozen coke machine.

Night Shift

I'm at one of those points where I wonder if I'm orbiting the sun from the right distance. It's almost 6am and I'm still awake from yesterday morning after riding shotgun on an application release that started at 11pm. I've actually almost done two 7.5 hour work days today. If I could do that twice a week I'd only have to work normal hours on a third day and then I'd have a four day weekend! This seems like a genius idea right now.

Back to my original point - I'm really not sure how much sleep I actually need. I still feel wide awake now, and I only seem to get more productive the longer I go.
I haven't eaten for about 9 hours though, so perhaps my body thinks I should be asleep right now on some level. Then again, I could just still be processing that yiros pizza and all those beers I had between work day one and work day two. That certainly made this experience a whole lot more interesting. Not the drinking part, the sobering up awake part.

Finally, time sure does move fast in the middle of the night. Especially when you're trying to fix problems on a tight schedule. During the day I struggle to stay seated for half an hour at work but tonight I've looked at the clock and realised I've been sitting for 90 minutes trying to fix something and I haven't moved. My back hurts a fair bit now.

In conclusion. I seriously am a man-child. I experienced almost staying up the whole night and I got so excited about it that I went and wrote a three paragraph essay.

Anniversary

One year ago I had a wrist reconstruction.

There's so much I have to share about this experience, but I think I'll save it for a new Lego Phocumentary.

Happy

I played basketball on a social team on Thursday night.

Now 30 hours later and I'm tentatively calling it a success.

So this is what it feels like to work at something for a year and then achieve it..

I'm sucking in some last gulps of non-humid air.
Tomorrow I set off for a landmark occasion, my first brother to get married.
It is very exciting. I will take lots of pictures, or perhaps recreate it via a Lego phocumentary.

Holiday Musing

If we made poverty history, and no one had to work to pay food, rent or buy camera lenses again there's only one thing I know for sure. Everyone would nap for a bit in the afternoon.

Holiday Bonus

Today was like surprise, hidden level extra holiday day. Last year when I was booking flights I still had New Years Eve and Australia Day to think about, and Adelaide Cup Day perhaps justifiably never crossed my mind.

Fortunately, after spending all of my non-napping time in Townsville being quite active, including the exhausting experience of being in my first bridal party I was ready to take advantage of the sleep in, and I was happy to not go into the office and instead eat breakfast and watch... The Office.

After that I managed to fit a lot into the rest of the day, most of which made me feel good. I went for a jog, I watched Zombieland (surprisingly good, although I'm never sure if that's a compliment), wrote some record reviews, did some weights and ate some ice-cream.

Also it rained, and the rain wasn't steamy.

Exciting News

Since I got back from Townsville and discovered Summer ended while I was away I was secretly planning a shopping spree. I was going to stock up on hoodies and track suit pants and turtle necks and things that are big and warm and baggy and comfortable. Now it's going to be 31 all weekend and the 28 day rain forecast has only 2 days with a chance of rain on it. Glad I didn't pull the trigger to early, have to remember to wait until Anzac Day.

Unlike winter, Weet Bix Crunch Cocoa is BACK! It's new name is Weet Bix Crunch Malt! I saw it on the shelf and Woolworths and... Let's just say I pulled the trigger on that pretty quickly.

I Love Work

After getting back from holiday and back to the grind I spent last week "living for the weekend". Back to normal, basically. This worked pretty well for me, right up until Saturday night when I realised it wasn't long again 'til Monday morning. Then I realised that there were a lot more weeks of work left in my life, and spending them waiting for the weekend was going to drag out pretty badly.

Thus, I decided this week I was getting psyched for work. I figured you can only get back what you put in, right? No longer was I going to treat my job's tasks with the attitude and urgency that a six year old tackles vegetables. It was time to stop taking my employment for granted. Time for me to get out there, every day, like I was a recently recruited mature age rookie playing in the AFL pre-season – everything to prove.

This attitude reversal has been working well for me so far. I've been starting work well before nine, rather than sauntering up to a desk some time after. I've cut down on procrastination. I've had shorter lunch breaks. I've communicated effectively. There's no more whinging when I receive a technical document that's more than a couple of pages long. From now on I read them in advance, absorbing each section, rather than frantically skimming a whole bunch of them if something is going wrong later on.

Nothing, I think, proves my fledgling enthusiasm more than today. It was St Patrick's Day and for the first time in five attempts during my office career I bothered to wear green. You should have seen me this morning, giving head nods to employees I recognised in the lift, wearing my green and white polo. I was part of the team; hard working and fun loving! I even attended the Irish morning tea that the party planning committee threw. Back in the day I would always skip any office "cake meets" throughout the year. I'd protest, claiming too much work, and health fag ways. Then, when everyone was off in the lunch room eating Adelaide's Krispy Kreme equivalent… BAM! Straight onto lifehacker.com.au.

The morning tea today was at 10am, and first thing I noticed was they were handing out cans of Guinness! I was shocked. When my company was founded by bible belters the policy was if you had an alcoholic beverage at any time you had to go straight home. Under new ownership and all of a sudden there are beers for breakfast. In my opinion: completely unprofessional!
Anyway, I passed on the stout as I was still warm from the "psych-up" double shot of whiskey I'd put in my coffee earlier. But I did accept an Irish Cream ice-cream. Then - under that combo - I went back to my desk and smashed out some extremely good Perl sub-routines.

I hope the weekend never comes.

Living in the Future

Today I did a thing that was never done before now, the future. I washed our shopping bags. I even pondered for a moment about using fabric softener.

image 648 from bradism.com


As well, Vanessa and I went to the markets on Saturday. There I spotted peaches. They were gigantic! Futuristicly huge. Or perhaps they came from the distant past, snatched from the jaws of mega-fauna..
image 649 from bradism.com


Finally, while still living in the future this weekend I discovered a Symbian application I can install on my new and shiny - yet giant peach sized - work phone. The application will make the phone automatically forward any SMSs it gets from in trouble servers to my regular mobile phone. Teamed up with ancient call diverting technology, I can now be on call without actually carrying the on call phone anywhere!
This basically means I get to feel a wee bit smug about my technical prowess every single day. A feeling I will surely long for in only a few decades of future when I spend evenings struggling to navigate properly through hover FaceBook.

New Music

Best New Songs of 2010


image 650 from bradism.com

The year 2010 is picking up speed and I feel like it's about time for a "best new songs" feature to portray the illusion that I have my finger on the pulse somewhat. God knows, I don't want the blogosphere to ever discover my true secret... Nine out of every ten promo CDs I get in my inbox I listen to once and then rattle of a string of profanities because either they're terrible, or they're brilliant and I'm not savvy enough discern which is which. Then I cringe a month later when they appear on Pitchfork's Best New Music. Alright, only about one in ten end up there but it's usually not the one I decided was worth trying to review.
Actually, that ramble isn't entirely accurate. I've mainly been intending to post how good Hot Chip's I Feel Better is for months, and now that it has an epic video I feel the need to get my opinion out there. Also that video stars someone that looks like Jonno which I feel I'd be remiss not to include as he only reads my site to check if I mention him.


Hot Chip - I Feel Better [Buy]





Hot Chip's new video for I Feel Better might be awesome - and star someone who looks like a guy from my high school - but it actually does the arrangement of this tune a disservice. In its intended, extended form it's a constantly accelerating burst of energy that leads to a final minute that might be the best instrumentation Hot Chip have ever done. The song starts off innocuously, with perky filtered strings and auto-tuned lyrics that drag you unsuspectingly into the song's first bridge. Then those strings swell and that drum loop kicks in and you're already into the descent. A slow, rhythmic build up to a crescendo of synths, steel drums and auto tune abused as an instrument in the same way Tom Morello uses a guitar for its intended purpose. Way, freaking, cool.


Yeasayer - Madder Red [Buy]





A few years ago Yeasayer were Brooklyn indie battlers, making an album that would get them comparisons to TV on the Radio in 2007. What they really wanted to do was make an album that would make other bands be compared to Yeasayer. Their new record, Odd Blood, aimed high and to the joy of music reviewers everywhere, reached it! They took their TVotR/World Music vibe, slammed some Tears for Fears and MGMT into it and then kept pumping until their arms got sore. The result was an album full of highlights, none as deliciously gigantic and smooth as Madder Red.


The Sunshine Underground - We've Always Been Your Friends [Buy]





The Sunshine Underground battled even harder against "they sound likes" than Yeasayer in 2007, which probably comes with the territory being an indie-rock group, with dance influences... from the UK. Probably motivated by being stuck in a very long line to be the next Klaxons, new album Nobody's Coming To Save You shows a rapid maturity and growth to their musical repertoire. They'd always been loaded with punchy hooks and crunching guitar finales, but now it's like they're ready to take on headlining.

Plus also these tracks are pretty sweet:

Marina and the Diamonds - Mowgli's Road [Buy]




RJD2 feat. The Catalyst, Illogic & NP - A Son's Cycle [Buy]




Frightened Rabbit - The Wrestle [Buy]




Broken Bells - The Mall & The Misery [Buy]





Finally - if you thought these were good - this year has already seen a new album by Spoon and Frightened Rabbit, the first new single from The Hold Steady and Wikipedia assures me that Ratatat, The Chemical Brothers and Aesop Rock have all committed to release dates for new albums this year. So if they're your favourite bands this looks like a great year! (Heck yes, me!)(All I need now is for Talking Heads to reform and Stuart Adamson to come back from the dead.)

Internode <3

Just changed my plan from 35GB down per month to 60GB for no change in price.

I currently have 2.24GB and 882MB free on my HDDs.

This will be fun.

How Multiplicity didn't clean up at the Oscars I will never know.
Even if he couldn't win Best Actor he surely could have won Best Supporting Actor?

Easter Review

Easter started with me working until 1:30am Good Friday morning. That wasn't an enjoyable start (although staring at a linux console in the wee hours of the morning does make me feel super-nerdy sometimes, without having the knowledge to back it up though). It was also worthwhile because otherwise right now I would be bemoaning the heck out of tomorrow's workload. Instead it meant I could relax, and watch NBA on Good Friday instead of working.

Friday night was the Fifth Annual Bradism.com Easter Beer Hunt. I think this is, through no concentrated effort, the longest running Annual Bradism.com tradition. It was also Josh's birthday, so along with drinks we also had presents for Josh hidden by the hiders. As usual I dominated the Easter Beer Hunt, despite remarking to Vanessa the day before "I'm not going to take the Easter Beer Hunt seriously this year." I think I'm just a naturally gifted finder. I think in pre-historic days I would be out there foraging with great success, but never hunting because I would probably always be injured.

Saturday we went shopping to get me some new work clothes, and I opted to get a shop assistant to help me with many decisions. I told him I wanted work pants and he asked if I wanted "Wash and Wear" pants. I told him I did, and I said I was intrigued about what other things you could do with pants beyond "washing" and "wearing".

"Dry-Cleaning" is apparently the answer. Derp.

Saturday night - Multiplicity.

Sunday arrived and I got my eggs in delicious omelette form. And won another Easter hunt, this time against no competition. Then I cleaned the kitchen. It was a Sunday after all, and begging for chores to be done. Then we went to Scrivo and Brindi's engagement party and had an Al Fresco dinner as sunset rapidly encroached. I hadn't really noticed the extra hour of sleep because all the clocks in my house updated themselves quietly, or didn't, and I got confused. By 10pm however I realised I was sleepy, and Daylight Savings ending was confirmed.

Today I had another Sunday. A bonus Sunday. We had lunch with Mumsies. There were family lols and and two kinds of meat, then it was back to home for more chores. I achieved a lot since then. A couple of record reviews, dinner, filled out my first invoice to be paid cash for words that I wrote. Then I finished Call of Duty 4, which I started a few months ago, played incessantly for a couple of days and promptly forgot about. I mainly finished it so I could uninstall it and free 6GB of my hard drive, but it still felt good to achieve a goal. While playing it I was also breaking in my new denim shorts. Ultra satisfying multi-tasking.

Heavy Showers and Unexpected Sugar Highs

Honestly, I don't like chocolate that much. However my brain seems to love making my hand pick it up and put it in my mouth.

At least at Bluth Co we'd have Awesome Parties

Those times doing IT at Uni, where I worriedly smashed out a major group assignment the night before it was due, realising only too late that we didn't fully understand the instructions, have truly prepared me for the real world. A real world where groups of IT organisations worriedly smash out major projects the night before Go Live, only at the last minute realising they didn't fully understand the instructions.

Also, for future reference:

Having a project build with patches "b" "c" "d" and "e", then building many different environments with varying levels of patching, then discussing which patch to be run - primarily over terrible phone microphones, with people of many accents = nightmare.


Run patch eee
Patch bee?
No patch see
Bee?
Dee
Deee
Yes cee
No not cee, cee
Dee?
Bee
*static*
Bee?
No, Bee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emgXwYWqd9Y

Looking Alive

Another week down. Another Western Bulldogs reference inserted into a Rip It Up review.

I spent 30 minutes today learning how to knot a tie with a single Windsor.
Now contemplating if I can book that time to a client...

Tears of Joy

Today I was one of those men wearing a work shirt, tie and faded runners as they stride to the office half an hour before nine. I wore my single Windsor, as today would eventually find me working on site at a client, borrowing Ethernet cables and not knowing where the bathroom was.

My back got sore working away from my ergonomic home base, and so as the day progressed I perched my laptop on reasonably tall filing cabinet to stand in front of. While it was there someone asked me about memory usage on a server, and I loaded up JBoss ON Web Console to show him a graph of the heap size over the last week. It was not a trivial graph, and the man I showed felt the need to draw it to the attention of others nearby.

So there I was, as golden afternoon sun streamed through large windows, finding myself standing in front of a group of business people in suits. My Windsor knot twitched as I directed them to my raised laptop screen, and pointed at bars in a bar graph. My brain took a mental snapshot of this moment.

I had made it.


It Was Inside Me All Along

Today I achieved something I've perhaps been striving for all my life? I'm not sure. The moment today passed without much reflection as office job is super busy lately.

I got paid for writing something! After years and years of writing for free I got a big fat two hundred dollar EFT receipt sent to my email address. And for a brief second I felt proud and accomplished and moved to click print so I could take this receipt and frame it. Then the moment was kind of ruined because I realised they spelt my name wrong. Pretty horribly wrong.

So I sighed and got back to documenting epic tome that is the release procedures for the current project's latest version on our intranet's twiki.

The A-Team Wedding Phocumentary

Best Man Tim and Sam before we left for the church. In the background: NBA Jam, which was the pre-wedding theme.

Best Man Tim and Sam before we left for the church. In the background: NBA Jam, which was the pre-wedding theme.




Me, Sam and NBA Jam.

Me, Sam and NBA Jam.




My car got to be a Wedding Car. Cyclists waved, people gave way when they didn't have too. This continued for the driving I did the rest of the weekend too.

My car got to be a Wedding Car. Cyclists waved, people gave way when they didn't have too. This continued for the driving I did the rest of the weekend too.




I was busy during the reception obviously, so no photos.<br />
Afterwards the newly married couple were entertained by children. Also don't tell Bob but I set the white balance on this photo by using his hair as a neutral grey.

I was busy during the reception obviously, so no photos.
Afterwards the newly married couple were entertained by children. Also don't tell Bob but I set the white balance on this photo by using his hair as a neutral grey.




Continue Reading The A-Team Wedding...

Surgery Tomorrow

I don't know the history of my car's early years. I know it had a lot of kilometres on it compared to other cars of its age. When I first drove it, whatever problems it might have had remained buried in the past. It was strong and healthy.

Since I've taken ownership of it, Car has had its share of minor and major problems. Right after Bulktember it rolled back while doing a three point turn, and smashed a tail light on a tree. It had an operation a few weeks later to replace it, and everything was good as new.

A year later someone decided to tip a bucket of paint on Car. That was not so easily fixed. It was a long, hard and expensive road back to normality after that, and it still bears the scars today. While recovering from that incident Car also had the front-left door buckled in when it got too close to a cement pillar. While it didn't affect the structure of it - and it was still drivable - Car had to live with the pain every day of having a busted limb until another operation at the crash repairer fixed that up.

Yesterday, Car did something it had never recently dreamed of doing. It was in a wedding, responsible for transporting a groom and groomsmen from a house to a church. Car looked nice and shiny and wore its big white ribbon with pride all day. If you did look closely, there were still the marks and scars of the history of incidents in Car's past, but they didn't matter anymore. It was living in the now. It was overcoming adversity, and driving into the sunshine.

A Step in the Right Direction

It's been almost a week since my knee woke up in a hotel en suite, lying in a bath full of ice with its wedge of iliotibial band missing. After screaming and wondering just how much anaesthetic it had drunk the hour, before my knee sorted itself out ate some sandwiches and went home to sleep off it's hangover.

Sleeping lasted about ninety minutes before I got a call from work asking me questions. I know I was still a tad groggy when that occurred, but obviously I dispensed information correctly as finally at 4am Thursday morning the current project went live with great success.

I spent the last week doing mainly two things, working uncomfortably and resting on the couch. My surgery was serendipitously the day after NBA playoffs started and I've been able to watch about 12 games the past six days. This has been both entertaining but also a bit of a knee tease.

At one point the surgeon called me up to say hi and drop the knowledge on me that I had the thickest iliotibial band he'd ever seen. What I was supposed to do with this information I wasn't sure, but it felt good to know.

At this stage I've relearned my ability to walk and move upstairs with my right leg (left leg has laughed sarcastically a lot during this process). I'm not up to walking downstairs or twisting yet, but that's hopefully not too far away. In another week I will probably be up for heavy lifting, and I can't wait. First thing I will probably lift is an exercise bike which will be followed immediately by throwing it over a cliff.

Misfortune

I had lunch at the Earl of Leicester today, and ordered a coffee afterwards. In what I thought was a nice touch everyone's coffees came with a fortune cookie. I ate my cookie first and got the message "A thrilling time is in your immediate future!"

It was better than everyone else's fortunes, and I felt pleased.

I then took a sip of my coffee which was COLD.

Later on things did pick up though, among other things I walked down a stair.

Medicare Number Memorised

I spoke to my surgeon yesterday for the first time since he carved into my leg and came out with a prize. He said in regards to my leg that things were going well. This was a surprise to me, as I'd interpreted Internet's advice as "you can ride an exercise bike a week after an illiotibial release" as "you'll be good to play basketball again in two."

So when I was waiting to see him I was actually slightly worried, because by my calculations it was slow that it was healing. However I learned that losing parts of your knee takes longer than a fortnight to recover from, and I left knowing it was actually healing faster than expected. I'm not sure if that's good news or what, but hooray. Not bad for a leg that drove 1600 kilometres the days before.

Today I saw my physio, who has given his blessing for me to "jog-walk" in another two weeks. He's also told me to keep stretching two times a day. I kind of paid for knee surgery so I didn't have to stretch twice a day anymore, but if I get to jog-walk in two weeks fuck yeah, I guess I'll do it.

In another piece of slowly-recovering related news, I had some blood taken today from my left arm and the doctor had to widen the tourniquet before he could slip it around my bicep. Mr. Universe, I know. For all I know the little girl that had the appointment before me was the last one to have her blood drew, but little victories, yeah?

Thrilling Times.

Salad Can Contain Anything

I made a salad today, a side for my lunch. It started off as green capsicum, cucumber and lettuce. This was way too green. There were carrots in the fridge but instead I elected to man my salad up with sultanas and cashews. Then, for dressing I used BBQ Sauce.

File this under nutrition or spendthrift or masculinity or still refusing to grow up.

Mums

Happy Mother's Day Internet!

image 669 from bradism.com

Also, today I found out that Maxibons have the most calories of any single serve ice-cream product.

Good thing it's almost winter...

image 670 from bradism.com


Robin Hood - A Review

The latest Robin Hood is another Hollywood version of the history/legend of the English anti-villian. No one is truly sure about where fact blurs into fiction when it comes Robin Hood, beyond knowing he proved the theory of gravity when he placed an apple on his son's head and hit it with an arrow from twenty paces. The 2010 Robin Hood takes up the story from the end of The Crusades and carries us to just before he and Maid Marian become foxes that wear clothes and can talk.

Before getting into the body of this review, I just want to say I went to Hoyts to see this film and they charged me $20 for a ticket. And the film isn't even in 3D! It was only showing on the Xtreme Screen which is apparently the reason for the markup on the ticket compared to a normal adult ticket. I asked the cashier what made the Xtreme Screen so extreme and she said "It's a really big screen with state of the art surround sound".

I'm sorry, but I thought the whole point of going to the cinema was a big screen and surround sound? Doesn't having an Xtreme Screen basically discredit every single other cinema in the theatre? Shouldn't the Xtreme Screen be normal price and sessions on every other inferior screen be sold at a discount?

That said, the screen was very big and the action in such clarity that someone in the middle aged couple to the right of us continued to go "ooohhhh" every instance someone took an arrow to the chest or a sword blow to the head right up until the final battle. The movie itself was engaging, with nothing wrong with the pacing, action, acting or storytelling. At times it did seem like they might have blown the budget before they hired enough extras. The only real negative I had about the movie was the American-ness of it all. There were a few goofy one-liners that I don't think work for an international audience, and I'd have preferred some more English humour rather what Ridley Scott finds funny.

That wasn't to great detriment though. My main grievance was the sad appearance of the formulaic American "a bunch of rag-tags and misfits band together to create synergy and forge a win for democracy" overtone for the final quarter of the movie. I'm aware that the Robin Hood legacy involves some degree of anti-clericalism but at times it almost became a bit of a Mel Gibson's The Patriot meets The Mighty Ducks 2 painted over the Robin Hood saga, which helped to slightly unsettle my immersion despite the Xtreme sized screen.

Then again, Ridley Scott. What can you expect? Are you not entertained? I pretty much was.

I Lost My Stories

Every now and then my mind drifts to features I might add to Bradism 2.0.2.0. I have boring ideas for things like an iPhone app and "FaceBook integration" (aka the ability to sit on the fence between an entry and a status update).

One feature I was thinking about was to put on every entry, next to weather icon, what my facial hair was like that day:


  • Clean shaved
  • One day growth (aka still clean shaved)
  • Two day growth/the standard shaved my whole face with the trimmer attachment
  • Three day growth, probably didn't leave the house today
  • Four or greater days growth - sick, camping or recovering from surgery.
  • Other

With this data and a large enough sample size I'd be able to eventually data mine my posts to find out what kind of patterns I display in relation to my facial hair. This would allow me to do some modelling/projections and customise my beard for whatever the goal or objective of the day was. Sounds crazy I know, but imagine if you described the iPad to someone from the 1980s. Same exact thing.

Today I am other, which is rare but I'll fill in the details. Occasionally Vanessa leaves her tweezers on the bathroom counter and I can't resist the temptation to tweeze randomly. Last week I got carried away and plucked the straggler hairs east and west of my lips.

Obviously tweezers are still a novelty to me because I didn't really appreciate how far below the surface hair has to extend before it becomes stubble again, and it still hasn't resurfaced in those areas, meaning separation exists between my moustache and beard. After reaching 3.5 days growth this morning I decided to trim down my entire face as usual but I left the moustache as is. This brings me to other.

Personally I think this gives me a bit of a Derrick Rose attitude, and it will continue to do that until I next have to go to the office. Vanessa as she often does had a different perspective, basically summarised "as it makes my nose hair look longer than they normally do."

Obviously I'm tweezing the wrong areas.

Jog-Walks Suck

After counting down the days until my first jog-walk, today finally arrived. Just before sunset I set out to complete the uni jogging circuit, starting with 20 minutes of walking and then 5 minutes of jogging.
It was frustrating having to walk a course I'd run many times before. Instinct was stabbing me with signals it wanted to send to my legs to make me run. It'd been over four weeks since anything I'd describe as a gait and I had a hunger for one. Also it was freezing. And I was feeling self concious. I could only imagine what those running past me were thinking:

"Why is he walking while everybody else is running?"
"Is that supposed to be a moustache?"
"Is that the ruck for the girls AFL team I just jogged past?"
"Do you think he did that on purpose, or maybe the hair above his lip just grows faster than the rest of his face?"
And so on.

Eventually twenty minutes passed and I elatedly started loping across the grass. For about thirty seconds, before my knee's complaining went from apologetic to violent. I pulled up and rubbed my scar sub-conciously, I'm guessing for the benefit of anyone watching. After a brief walk I decided to try and run again, this attempt lasted a third as long. I then had to limp home where I dejectedly ate a giant bowl of cereal despite it now being night.

I've never understood the body's instinct to eat when sad. What is the thought process here? "I feel bad right now, so bad.. I bet I'd feel better if I was fatter!"

So, after my Cocoa Weet Bix Crunch was done I decided to do something good for my body. And I shaved my moustache off.

Odyssey

I stepped into a second hand book store today and sought out James Joyce's Ulysses. I heard the mammoth text covered but a single day, much like a journal entry does. I wasn't reading it specifically for inspiration, I'm not sure even why I decided to hunt it down among the spines. I think someone might have bet me once that I couldn't read it and that made me curious.

I read three pages and then put it back on the shelf. I'm sure it's a great book, it has a lot of acclaim. I think fuel prices are too high to read a book like this. Despite its greatness how relevant is it to me now? To everyone in society who is not a studier of literature. How relevant will bradism.com be in 2102? It will probably be just as easy to put down!

I had an English lecturer compare me to James Joyce once. At the time it made me feel a little bit cool. Now it just makes me think "Flinders University".

Inspiration

Next month I'm going to take a few weeks off work for two purposes. One - dedicate some time to creativity, in particular writing. Two - continue packing and organising what needs organising so that when Vanessa or I get accepted for a job in Melbourne we can evacuate the state with ease.

I have a lot of dead characters. When I do things like pack, it often ends up with more mess than there was initially. On the weekend when I was clearing the study I tripped over old stories from a time when I decided that the only way to write more would be to sit down and write more. This was good advice, past Brad. It brings me here, perhaps obviously..

I'd also like to take more photos, and Teds Camera sent me an email today saying tomorrow is 10% of Canon day. It's also the day my monthly wages go into my bank account. Coincidence?! Did I enter my payday into my personal details on Twitter?

I think I'll also make another Lego phocumentary. Perhaps one about the challenges in coming up with Lego phocumentaries... This won't compliment the packing agenda.

I was at my suburban call centre desk this morning, for the first time in a long time. Despite my work email signature containing its address, it's a place I'd managed to avoid thanks to mainly working in town close to a client as well as at home post surgery. My abandoned, half-full water bottle had tiny green algae growing at the bottom of it.

I left at lunchtime. On my way out I saw through the open door of one of the only offices left inside this sprawling open plan prairie. I'm not sure which executive still ranked high enough to deserve this retreat. Inside was a desk and a whiteboard, the latter plastered with my companies slogans printed on A4 paper. And I thought to myself: "Whoever works in there clearly doesn't have much to explain."

Consistency

The sun's been phoning it in the last few days. I'm not complaining, but it's yet to get its winter on.

Clearing House

It seems the fastest way to make yourself throw out things in the penumbra garbage casts upon your possessions is to face the prospect of paying for it to be shipped interstate. It's making some decisions a lot easier. No, I probably won't need a complete, printed history of my banking transactions from 1996 to 2001.

How should I feel about these things?:
- Being able to throw out whole years if I want to.
- The fact that my life is tangible enough to that I couldn't even get close to fitting it all in our trash bin, but on the other hand the garbage is only collected weekly.
- Open space.

Don't know, conflicted and surprisingly good.

Winning is sometimes Losing

Right now I'm in the middle of a childish dream. I have over one thousand prize tickets from games at Intencity. These are tickets won in batches of ten to twenty per game. Vanessa and I won most of them when she lived in Norwood and I had my arm in a cast. Apart from darts, the only sport the world had left for me was whack-a-mole style arcade games and I let my testosterone be free against plastic crabs and rubber dinosaur heads. I never expected to win 1000 tickets though. After my arm was freed from its fibreglass Vanessa helped me rehabilitate it by challenging me to many basketball shooting challenges at the arcade. We won more tickets.

Finally, last weekend we decided the time had come to have tickets counted at pick a prize. We got up to 703 when the automatic ticket counting machine broke down and died. An unwitting staff member counted out the rest, revealing our gross of 1017. And thus the deliberation began. What to choose. What do you choose? We'd never had a goal in mind. Would we pick something big, or be hilarious and obtain 200 of something tiny. After pondering for a quarter of an hour we decided to think about it some more and come back later. And now eight days later we still haven't decided. There's so many options, and it's not just that one doesn't stand out. It's just, picking up and holding everything we could receive... Nothing feels right. Nothing feels like it's as cool to possess as giant handful of prize tickets.

Wild Shot!

I watched Game 4 of Suns/Lakers today and during the second quarter both teams went insane and started hitting shots from everywhere without missing. It was like they were playing NBA Jam and someone had entered the "All Players On Fire" code at the start of the quarter. Dan Majerle was there as well, to multiply the NBA Jam factor up further.
I like NBA Jam. I played it on Andy's Wii last Friday. It was enjoyable

Sports Photography

After 10 years playing for Sturt Alex finally gave up on his struggling franchise to play with the more successful Eagles and his BFF Joel.

On June 2 they met for the first time this season since Alex's transfer.

Alex started on the court. Here is holding the ball. Everyone is waiting for him to do something interesting.

Alex started on the court. Here is holding the ball. Everyone is waiting for him to do something interesting.



Here Alex is immediately uncertain about the quality of his most recent pass. But that's not really interesting, do something interesting!

Here Alex is immediately uncertain about the quality of his most recent pass. But that's not really interesting, do something interesting!



Continue Reading Alex vs Sturt - Grudge Match!...

Winter Sun

Look, random photos:

image 685 from bradism.com


image 686 from bradism.com


image 687 from bradism.com


image 688 from bradism.com


image 689 from bradism.com


image 690 from bradism.com

If you parked on War Memorial Drive this morning and logged onto Bradism.com and were surprised to see your aerial... Hi..

Night Photography

I went for a walk on a very chilly night tonight with my camera and tripod. Mainly because my holiday To Do list had "use new tripod more" on it.

image 1884 from bradism.com

I think I've got a lot to learn about night photography, it's hard to really know what to take photos of. Fortunately because it's expensive to take good night photos they look kind of cool anyway.

Tonight was mainly about making myself take photos at night and become more comfortable with the process of deploying tripod, adjusting the settings and not being scared about muggers. Thus, it was a successful mission. I kept to only well lit streets though, and not only for exposure reasons. I theorised that staying in crowded areas would make me safer, but that didn't stop me from regarding with steely suspicion everyone I crossed paths with. I realised later that these were the same people I was expecting to protect me if I needed it, so later when I was waiting at a crossing I gave a head nod to a guy on a bicycle who pulled up beside me.

I also remembered that if I was mugged while night shooting, my tripod is solid but also lightweight and if wielded with the illusion of competence might be a deterrent.

Besides experience, all I ended up with was some clichéd North Adelaide photos. And - see if you can spot it - a thumbs up from a bored bus driver.

image 692 from bradism.com


I Went to Clarendon Today

I took over 100 photos. Mainly of cows.

image 693 from bradism.com

I Went to Clarendon Yesterday

And, instead of posting a Lego Phocumentary of me seriously pondering if I should tip out all the boxes of Lego I packed, here's some more photos from that.

Cheeky Cow.

Cheeky Cow.



Framing. The weather was very un-photo-friendly at times. The sky was like a giant light for most of the afternoon.

Framing. The weather was very un-photo-friendly at times. The sky was like a giant light for most of the afternoon.



A photo made less boring by a CPL Filter.

A photo made less boring by a CPL Filter.



I really liked this view. I actually saw this hill on the drive to the A-Team wedding reception and I wanted to come back and photo it. Unfortunately the sun wasn't as uniform and golden as it was that day.

I really liked this view. I actually saw this hill on the drive to the A-Team wedding reception and I wanted to come back and photo it. Unfortunately the sun wasn't as uniform and golden as it was that day.



In focus cow in foreground, slightly out of focus farm house in background. Why yes, I have read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

In focus cow in foreground, slightly out of focus farm house in background. Why yes, I have read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.



This one is called \"The Cow Love Heart\"

This one is called \"The Cow Love Heart\"



I get this look a lot.

I get this look a lot.

Pretty Skies

I realised journal's homepage was almost 5 megs, so I've put today's photos into a phocumentary. Click more at the bottom for more.

~

What does it take to be a good photographer? Creativity? A camera?

I don't know, but a sunset helps a lot.

image 701 from bradism.com

Continue Reading Sea Views at Seaview...

All of them Vegetables to Someone

image 708 from bradism.com


Did you know the Adelaide Botanic Gardens has an epic veggie patch in it? As well as a wicked cacti congregation?

I discovered these facts after spending much of this evening's decent light trying to take photos of some of the most boring trees imaginable!

<i>spicy flowers</i>

<i>spicy flowers</i>



<i>friendly cacti</i>

<i>friendly cacti</i>

It still beat working though.

Hooray

I've played four games of basketball in the past four days.

I'll double check the obituaries tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure I didn't die!

I feel bad for the people of Sichuan if Sichuan Beef is their best recipe.

And the whole earthquake thing too I guess.

Colour in Winter

I saw my knee surgeon this afternoon who dacked me and gave me a thumbs up. That is to say, he was happy with his work and charged me . So, I took a short walk with a creative challenge - find colour on a pretty bleak looking afternoon. And thus I present Colour in Winter I. Titled "one" because I will probably try this again sometime for more than 20 minutes.

Stay tuned also for my "Drabness in Spring" diptych this September.



image 712 from bradism.com

image 711 from bradism.com

image 713 from bradism.com

image 717 from bradism.com

image 719 from bradism.com

image 721 from bradism.com

Grape Juice City

It was rainy this morning and I wore my storm jacket for the walk to work.

After I'd had enough of that I walked home via Myer where I bought this for $100 off during the mega stock take sales of 2010.
It's not that I don't have anything better to spend my money on. It's just that after spending money on insurance, doctors, petrol and power bills I figure what's the point of earning money and never buying anything cool? Also I always wanted a big ship when I was growing up. So FUCK YOU everyone whose house I went to play at after school and who had one. Who's got the biggest ship now?! Brad!

The cashier put my giant Lego box in a giant, red carry bag with Mario characters on it and slipped in a coupon to join the Lego Club for free. Then I walked back outside and it was sunny! Oh so sunny.

Then later I saw my physio he said my knee is getting better, but not fast enough for his liking. So he got me into a last minute remedial massage appointment. They shouldn't be able to call that a massage!

Today's Project

I was unexpectedly hungover this morning, so I tried to achieve something productive in the afternoon to make up for napping. I made a lightbox. It still needs some retooling but right now I can take a photo like this which is practically unedited.

image 724 from bradism.com

Instructions for the build are here. It cost me less than $2 to make, although I had to buy a box cutter too.

Why would I build a light box? Obviously...

image 726 from bradism.com


More Lightbox

It was too cold to do anything today. But I did anything anyway! Lightbox experimentation:

image 727 from bradism.com


That's the lightbox setup. I used some translucent wrapping that was previously the condom for my PC case I bought earlier this month. Inside there is a sheet of white cardboard which gently bends to form the back wall and floor. You can shine lights in one or both sides. For now I only have one light, I will go to Bunnings tomorrow to take advantage of their $9.90 portable floodlights. The light shines in one side and on the other you can stick a piece of cardboard - white or black.
image 728 from bradism.com


Lighting of course let's you create moods (this applies to lighting outside of lightboxes too.)
Energised!

Energised!


Brooding!

Brooding!


Can't believe I missed the obvious joke and forgot this guy has a screamy head when you turn it 180 degrees.

Can't believe I missed the obvious joke and forgot this guy has a screamy head when you turn it 180 degrees.



Now imagine what kind of mood you could create if you were photographing someone whose face wasn't two dimensional!

I also bought enough black card to make a black background for the light box. I haven't really got it working for me, but I do kind of like this.

image 732 from bradism.com


SPORTS!

It was sunny today. Lots of people were playing sports. I walked across the road to take photos of some weekend warriors and learn more about focussing on fast moving objects.

image 733 from bradism.com


image 734 from bradism.com


image 735 from bradism.com


image 736 from bradism.com

Going Places Fast

I've started going to the gym again. My new gym is about two kilometres from my house, separated by mainly grass and a bridge over a river. I jog most of the way there and back each time I visit, to warm up and cool down.

I've done a lot of jogging and running in my life, but very rarely have I run with the express purpose of running to somewhere. Almost every day I see people running around in circles, running around after balls and running on the same spot. It is a completely different feeling running to somewhere. Especially when run past someone walking to the same place as you, and you realise how much faster you are getting somewhere than the person who is walking.

I think this is probably hard to empathise with, but I think it's someone everyone should try if they can. You only need to find a way to wrap everything you need to carry around your neck and fit it into your pockets.

After the 3pm meeting someone had stolen the sun

It's sunrise season. I haven't taken a photo of one yet, probably because I rarely have an eastern horizon. I feel like I deserve one though. Because, it was dark this morning and I was tired. And I had the unpleasant experience of doing a big yawn at the same time as I tried to spray my underarm with deodorant.

Been Waiting So Long


I had the dream again...

image 737 from bradism.com

No, not that one.
The one where I wreck my wrist and the first thing I do when I wake up is panic that I've fucked it.

image 738 from bradism.com

I saw my a surgeon today for hopefully (no journal jinxing) the last time. Being a surgeon sure seems like being an awesome job.

"I'm going to cut open your body, dick around a bit, maybe hack this bit off and stick it here with a staple. Does that sound ok? I'll only charge a few thousand dollars."

Seventeen months later.

"Hi. Wow, look at your wrist. I did a really awesome job on this. I really impress myself sometimes! That'll be a hundred dollars."

Losing your hand doesn't really hold the same significance for Lego dudes.

image 740 from bradism.com

So I feel good. Today I went to the gym. Tomorrow I'm going to win basketball against the top team. I can move on and embrace the future. Yay!

image 739 from bradism.com

Hang In There

Happy Halfwinter Internet!

Things I want to take Photos of

  • Animals at the Zoo
  • Frost
  • View of Torrens/City at night from Frome rd
  • The EDS building before it becomes the HP Building
  • Stuff at the Royal Adelaide Show
  • Close up of paint-texture and strong lines - hard to explain...
  • More colours in winter, particularly a shot of the pedal boats at Jolley's Boathouse, on a wet day with the warm lightpost on King William St Bridge in the foreground and stormclouds in the background.
  • Plus anything I can turn into a phocumentary with the use of cute captions.

  • Doesn't End with a Euphemism

    I have bought new books this week, still trying to undo the damage from when I scoffed at my English professor when he said "good writers read a lot". Except me, obviously, I'm an exception! And the man spent his spare time writing poetry on a typewriter! This was only six years ago.

    Then, instead of reading the books I took a photo of them, because sometimes I forgot which of my hobbies I'm trying to use to distract myself from my office job.

    image 741 from bradism.com


    I walked to that office job faster than I ever have before this morning. I forgot my jacket, you see. It was sunny on the way home though, which made it feel like a victory in some ways. I don't know how I forgot a jumper. Before I left the house I was all ready to change my FaceBook status to "It's so cold you can see my nipples through my hoodie."

    I don't think phrases like that are ever going to get my book into somebody's lightbox.

    Hungry Photos

    It was beautiful and foggy on Monday morning. I went walking to work at 8:30 and everything everywhere was completely photoesque. So, of course, I got up early and took photos the next day.

    There was no frost today, but there was fog (or at least haze) and dew.

    image 742 from bradism.com

    image 743 from bradism.com

    image 744 from bradism.com

    I'd like to take pictures of spring now, please.

    Warning Signs

    My brain has been making mental adjustments lately and I've only just realised it. Over the last few years my perceptions have been creeping.
    Pubs and clubs are so loud now, louder than they ever have been or were before. They also play a lot of techno music. This music just seems repetitive and annoying. Back when I was a teenager I had 30 gigs of trance vinyls alone (on an 80 gig hard drive. I remember when 80 gigs was a massive hard drive). Also, speaking of drives, people drive so fast these days. Why can't they slow down? Kids these days don't seem to get what life is about. I forget where I was going with this...

    Future!

    I can't contain how entertained I am by my new gadget super powers. Right now there's a laptop next to our TV, it has some independent cinema and Linux ISOs that I downloaded on it. It also has a mapped network drive to a folder on my other PC which contains backups of the many CDs I own legitimately. If I want to play any of this media I can, using my phone, from anywhere I can access my wireless network.

    This means that as I walk through the front gate I can program Big Country's The Crossing to start playing and walk into the living room to that thunderous opening chorus! Then I can watch whatever episode of The Office Ubuntu Installer I left torrenting before I left.

    Of course, this has a few dependencies, like that both my computers, my stereo and my TV are all running while I'm at work earning the money for their power bills. And that my dicky wireless internet doesn't drop out or my phone doesn't go flat during the day. But who would have imagined even 134 and a half years ago that you could do this with a phone. No one!

    Metaphor

    Poor snail. Stuck in his shell. Injured. Slow.

    image 745 from bradism.com


    But, the storm was over, the sun was out. Go snail!

    Setting Up My Environment

    For the first time in my career I'm getting free training. I get four days off work to learn about Red Hat's JBOSS Application Server. I also get a free coupon for lunch in a nearby food court. Today I got Sumo Salad.

    The training is in a building near the mall which I already knew the location of because my podiatrist has a clinic on a different floor there. When I arrived I was being led to the classroom and in a moment of awkward silence I was asked if I had any trouble finding the place, and I said 'No, I've actually walked up and down almost this exact corridor before in my socks.'

    Learning in the business world is a lot like learning was in University. I tried really hard, but I fell asleep during the afternoon lecture.

    Further Reading

    It was a winter's day. There was no rain, but it had grey skies and goosebumps on any exposed skin. At a library, in one suburb near the city, automatic doors hissed open and a green frog hopped inside. The doors closed and it continued to bounce forwards on a journey across the carpet and towards the front desk where the head librarian sat. The librarian, in her late thirties and wearing a cardigan and large reading glasses, watched the frog until its last hop landed it on her keyboard. Startled, but not alarmed, she monitored the frog, smelling the dour water on its rubbery skin. The frog also watched, not saying anything nor moving except for the slight, rhythmic pulsing of its throat sac.

    It was a quiet day at the library; the frog and librarian looked at each other for about five minutes. Then she picked an A4 flyer for a coming local Greek festival from her desk, slid it between the keyboard and the frog and used it to carry him outside. As she returned and resettled in her chair there was a hiss of automatic doors and the frog came in and sat again, looking at her. She found another flyer, repeated reseating the amphibian and released him slightly further away from the entrance.

    The librarian sat down and this time had a moment to smooth her skirt and pick up a biro before she found the frog on her desk again. Once more they made eye-contact in the silent library. For a brief moment the frog swivelled an eyeball to the side, and back again. The librarian followed where his gaze went, seeing the rows of shelves all full of books. Leaving the frog, she walked to a shelf of books set to be thrown away, picked one that wasn't too heavy and brought it back to her desk. The frog took the book, about faced and carried it out the library.

    The librarian thought the experience was a little odd, but continued on with her daily tasks. An hour later the doors hissed open and the frog returned to the front desk and stared at her again. After an optimistic pause she sighed, chose another book and brought it back. The frog's expression didn't change, but again he took the book and carried it away.

    Early in the afternoon the librarian was dusting shelves when she heard the doors open and she looked down to find the frog, who gazed back up expectantly. Convinced this was not a coincidence the librarian went to the shelves, picked out another book and gave it to the frog. Despite struggling with the weight he slowly hopped back into the street. This time, overcome with curiosity, she left her post and also went outside. Careful to keep a distance she followed the frog down the street and into a lane which led to a small park. She crept behind a tree as the frog lugged the book across the grass and to a small shrub. Behind the shrub was a chicken, well feathered and proud. As the frog approached the shrub the chicken turned around. The frog produced the book and gave it to the chicken, and the chicken said 'Book! Book! Book! Book!'

    +1

    I washed my dishwasher today. If life was an MMORPG then washing your dishwasher would be one of a million side-quests which aren't fun to do, but you end up grinding out in order to earn points to get to the good stuff... Like avoiding mildew poisoning.
    This was a real cleaning too, not just putting a cup of lemon juice on the top shelf and running an economy cycle. I was cleaning out the squirty bits on the spinny thing with an exacto knife. Hardcore.

    This was my first dishwasher cleaning ever. Sometimes I think that independence really just means being responsible for keeping a lot more things clean.

    Another Single Photo Sunday

    image 746 from bradism.com

    Another Weather Update

    It was sunny today. Not really sunny, but kind of like I was a junior-primary schooler and Winter was a year 7 bully who had me in headlock, and Spring was my big brother from High School who was going to arrive any second to rescue me and fuck Winter's shit up.

    True story, I was writing some recursive pseudo code today and staring out the window while I was having this analogy.

    Wednesdale II

    Dale's mission to spend his entire career without doing any actual work saw him arrive outside the office an hour late. The day's weather was dreary; dark grey clouds spun around in the wind, which was turning the city's side streets into wind tunnels that blasted anyone who walked past them.

    The cold was in Dale, who had forgone a jacket despite what Weatherzone's "feels like" condition was showing earlier that morning. Instead he'd worn a thin, cotton knit over a polo shirt which gave the illusion of proper professionalism. The lobby's carbon footprint was high, and Dale smiled ironically as he left the street, passed through the sliding doors and the warmth sliced through his clothes.

    The only other person waiting at the bay of lifts at the back of the lobby was a short, balding man wearing a faded brown jacket over an ironed shirt. The light above one set of doors lit up, and he held his hand across the sensor as Dale entered. Both men picked their floor numbers and the lift started. Dale aligned himself slightly in front and to the side of the man, like the first and second cars on the grid of a motor race. 'The key,' he thought, 'is getting pole position before the lift doors open, to avoid any awkward possibilities when two people try to leave at once. Like when...'

    'Wednesday,' the man said to Dale.
    'What?'
    'Wednesday,' the man repeated as the lift climbed. 'Almost there.'
    'To your floor?'
    'To Friday.' He said. In his hand he held a large sized Morning Aroma branded coffee cup, and for a second they both gazed at it as if it was going to provide extra information.
    'I know how you feel,' said Dale. A lie. He knew what he meant, but how could he empathise with a man who took his coffee break before ten.
    The man looked at his watch, then at Dale's knit.
    'Fashionably late,' he dead-panned as the doors opened to his floor.
    Dale smiled as he watched him leave the lift.

    Monday is like the breakfast of the week

    This is the kind of thing I think of on Monday morning.

    Do you know what's awesome? Breakfast cereal.

    Some days I wont even know what I'm having for dinner yet and I'll already be thinking about what to eat for breakfast the next day.

    File this under: Badly written, but character revealing.

    I finished reading Lamb by Christopher Moore last night. It's an iconoclastic comedy that tells the story of Jesus from the perspective of the previously unknown thirteenth disciple Biff. It's not complex though, sort of a cross between The Life of Brian and Asterix the Gaul. It's also the longest book I've read this year and yet I still managed to read it in about a week. The fact that I compare it to a movie and a comic, and not any other books might be the reason why this book failed to inspire me to write anything during that week.

    Normally books motivate me to write, even Balzac and his lame short stories inspired me to write that story about the chicken in the library. I can understand why they are classics, obviously they didn't have television back then. Anyway, I'm not saying that Lamb is a bad book, it was actually very enjoyable, just not inspiring. I think tonight I'm going to read more of Gladwell's What the Dog Saw before bed tonight so that I can hopefully have dreams about writing delightful non-fiction essays for the New Yorker. I think people in Tribeca will be interested in my thoughts about Mondays and breakfasts.

    Journal Jinxes Revisited

    Yesterday I read about a surfer who was killed by a shark off the coast of Western Australia. Which is sad. What I also read was that he'd said earlier "If I die surfing, I'll be happy". Seriously?! Had this dude never heard of knocking on wood before?

    This brings me to the topic of Journal Jinxes. The principle, basically, is that if you ever publish something where you're excited or proud of anything it will come back to bite you in the arse. I am a blogging veteran(!!), I have almost nine years of experience. If it hasn't come back yet it doesn't mean it wont happen. Any and all hopes and dreams you share need to be dressed with pessimism and aloofness. The most important thing I would gamble to confess to be looking forward to is a sunny day, because you know that like the only day you forgot to bring an umbrella, you're destined to get rained on.

    And, if when that shark was devouring his leg that man had a smile on his face then I take this all back.

    P.S. There's now like a five times higher than normal chance that I'll be eaten by a shark tomorrow.

    Dadism

    This afternoon I went out with my Dad to take some photos around town. It was some high quality father and son time. We took this photo together:

    image 747 from bradism.com


    It was a very sunny weekend, weatherwise. I didn't feel right complaining about the harsh shadows caused by that nice sun.
    We went to Rundle Mall because I had some magic shot in my head of a stream of shoppers blurred together running like train tracks on either side of the balls.

    Rundle Mall. Adelaide, SA.

    Rundle Mall. Adelaide, SA.



    It was way too light for my plan, and we needed to wait for less sun. We went to The Austral for some father and son beers and we talked about man stuff. It was good.

    image 749 from bradism.com


    Dad asked me how I saw my future, if I had decided if I wanted to be a professional writer or a professional photographer or an IT professional.
    I'm torn, obviously.

    image 750 from bradism.com


    Also, every few weeks I search Seek.com.au for "procrastinator". Just, you know, in case..

    It rained a lot on my birthday. It rained one millilitre per year I'd been alive, and then two more happy returns. Proving I didn't come down in the last shower. I am older but not old. Although I did forget my keys when I left for work today, so perhaps more forgetful.

    Being 26 does not seem much different to being 25 or 21 even. I did do 225 bodyweight squats today and I only managed 165 on Monday, but I think that's a coincidence.

    This journal entry also means I have documented Bradism from ages 17 to 26, although I didn't know it was called Bradism from the beginning.

    Still, Where did the lighter fluid come from?

    What is it about the magic of being enveloped in sunshine that makes life's finality seem so much less distracting?

    Tomorrow is forecast for a top of 20 degrees, the first time North Adelaide will have reached that temperature since May. It was also nice today, if I go to bed really soon I will have gotten away with my first day without a jumper this Winter. The sunshine may also have gained an advantage from my body temperature being elevated slightly while processing the half-a-dozen Mojitos I made last night.

    This weekend saw me eat a lot of awesome cake, made by Vanessa, as well as discovering many Cuban party foods. Friday night we went to the Central Markets where I learnt they don't sell Cuban Bread but they do sell plantains. I also bought Mexican coffee and Swiss Cheese (the kind that mice steal in cartoons).

    Last night I made medianoche sandwiches, friend plantains and grilled pineapples to serve people along with mojitos. I wore linen pants and thongs to be Cuban, and I put on any Latin mp3s I could find for background music (including Ricky Martin). I didn't have a Che Guevara head t-shirt, but I did have a Mao Zedong shirt for some reason and I wore that, although not many people actually understood the reference.

    Gus: "Who's on your shirt?"
    Me: "Who do you think?"
    Gus: "There's only one person it could be."
    Me: "Don't say Chow."
    Gus: "I was going to say Chow..."

    Mondale II

    It's not like Dale had the intention to never do any work over the course of forty-five years in an office. It's just that his time was always overwhelmed by obstacles to productivity. This morning, after timing his trip to work after peak hour, Dale was stuck in the kitchenette. There was a small queue for the solitary sink and it wasn't moving with any urgency. Dale mulled as he waited. He recalled that at some point over the weekend he'd taken stock of his career and made a mental pledge that this week was going to be different. This week he was really going to start working hard and invest his time wisely. After three years and a promotion it was time to buckle down and perform his first moment of actual work.

    Such a significant moment could never be observed with an empty cup of coffee. So, after spending several minutes post-arrival unlacing his runners and then meticulously donning the business shoes from the bottom drawer of his desk, Dale took his mug and carried it to the kitchenette.
    Typically, Dale's motivation for productivity took an undeserved delay due to starting his day at the same time much of the office prepared their morning tea. Eventually he had the sink and poured boiling water into his mug, drowning the thin coffee bag. The instructions said to wait three minutes for the coffee to infuse and so he did, facing a wall for much of that time as he poked the floating coffee bag with a teaspoon.

    At this stage it was becoming a race, Dale's motivation battled to outlast the time it took to prepare a coffee. Infusion complete, Dale went to use the milk, but someone else held it, a middle aged woman from a cubicle outside of his eye-contact acknowledgement zone. He felt sure he'd stood around uncomfortably at her retirement party late last year.

    She finished topping up her Chai tea and for a moment Dale had the opportunity to ask her to leave the milk out for him. Instead, he stood motionless as he waited seconds for her to put the milk in the fridge and then walk away.
    He could have asked, but Dale hadn't spoken a word out loud since he sang along to the radio over an hour ago on the drive to the train station. Whenever Dale went to speak after prolonged quietness his voice had to recalibrate and often cracked on the first syllable. The threat of that awkwardness frightened Dale. So he stood and waited, pausing long enough that her footsteps died off to counter any chance she'd been listening as she departed to see if he'd use the milk; taking mental notes herself on Dale and his impotency to request that she leave it out.

    Finally alone, Dale tipped a thin layer of milk into his mug as more seconds passed. On the walk back to his desk there was no outward sign but his internal motivation's time limit expired. He spent the next thirty minutes slowly drinking his cup and reading TechCrunch, holding the mug up to his lips in an exaggerated fashion whenever anyone who could see his screen walked past. Once the coffee was finished he went to the toilet, washed every fraction of skin on his hands for a few minutes and spent the twenty minutes between that and lunch with a spreadsheet open, reading through different help files in the top-right hand corner of the screen.

    Motivation, Part One

    Thirty years ago a boy was born with no genitals. Instead of a penis and testes his perineum was smoothed over with skin, like a plastic doll. On the first night of his life, as surgeons plumbed to redirect his dead-ended urethra through his anus, a counsellor sat with his mother and father to talk about options. The baby's dad, Bruce, was featured in a mosaic of his high school's greatest footballers that people saw when they walked into the old gym. You could see his brow furrow when the counsellor spoke of his son using phrases like "gender reassignment" and "or she". After a short discussion Bruce and Karen decided to keep their son a man. A dickless one, for sure, but with regular hormone treatments everyone hoped he would live a relatively normal life.

    After the counsellor left the room Bruce sat with Karen into the early hours of the morning to wait. While the room was still lit by moonlight a nurse came to tell them that their baby had been moved to recovery. Karen woke up and demanded to be taken to see him. Bruce helped her into a wheelchair and pushed her to recovery. There, in a tiny plastic crib that the room all but swallowed, was their baby. Bandages were wrapped around his waist, but he looked normal. When Karen placed her hand over his chest he awoke, but didn't cry. Bruce laid his hand over his wife's and finally, for the first time since delivery, the family was connected and by themselves. The boy's eyes opened and he stared towards where his instincts told him his parents were. Bruce stared back into them, seeing innocence and none of the confusion he'd been seeing in his own reflection that day. If anything his son looked casual, completely devoid of worry.

    Not without humour, his parents named him Ken.

    Bradism Choose Your Own Adventure

    Seeing as it is now Spring and that is exciting, and those two facts made me decide to not use an umbrella on my walk home, I have decided to try something new.

    My next significant entry will be one of the following. Which one it is depends on which one gets the most votes in the comments below.

    I'm also allowing negative votes. You get one positive vote and one negative vote per person.

    Only votes posted in the comments count, so people who talk to me in real life about what I write, but who never comment, now is your time to shine.

    The choices are as follows:

  • A new music round up with my take on new music, with mp3s.
  • A Lego Phocumentary
  • A Dale Story
  • A paragraph of general mumblings and complaints about cold weather
  • A regular Phocumentary
  • A new colour scheme

    Finally, if no one votes I'm going to write more about the penisless baby. And Dale. Maybe they will meet each other and mope about life a whole bunch together.

    Happy Spring!

  • Insignificant Update

    I needed to visit the shops today to pick up a few essentials, bread and milk and bacon. Normally we do our shopping at a Woolworths in Gilles Plain, up North-East Road because their fresh produce is always so cheap, basically consistent with my understanding of supply and demand when it comes to the Northern Suburbs. Around our place food is much more expensive.

    However, when I only need a few things I will visit the Coles in St Peters which is a shorter drive.

    For those less familiar with Adelaide's geography, St Peters and the inner eastern suburbs are home to most of the mansions and other expensive real estate close to the city. At the Coles in St Peters I once saw green capsicums for nine dollars a kilogram!

    Anyway, when I usually visit St Peters I put on jeans, because I fear that I won't be accepted if I walk into the shops and all the rich, elderly ladies and manservants see me in tracksuit pants and they might not serve me. I also fear that they'll monitor me suspiciously and they'll notice that I pull the stems and stickers off the truss tomatoes and get them for the price of the regular tomatoes.

    Tonight, I decided to wear track pants. Alex just returned from America and he brought me home a birthday present: Dallas Mavericks warm up pants, the kind of tracksuits that have pockets but that you can also grab by the waist and rip off in less than a second thanks to a well-greased zip down each side. I wasn't planning on actually ripping them off at Coles (it takes about 30 seconds to reassemble them after), but I was already wearing them and they were warm and comfortable. And I was feeling cocky.

    I walked through the automatic gate at Coles, pushing one of those shallow half-trolleys you only get at supermarkets visited by the well off who don't buy in bulk, and immediately I was regarded with distrust and revulsion. As I surveyed the yogurt section, looking for any low fat, 'reduced to clear' passionfruit yogurt a lady with a two year old wearing a private school uniform stared as she walked past, and then held her nose up. Later, when I was examining the price per kilogram of all the different frozen berries an elderly lady with too much make up and long, gold earrings came up to me.

    "Why are you wearing those?" she said, emphasis on the those like she was trying hard not to spit.
    "I know, I'm sorry..."
    "You reckon the Mavericks are good?"
    "I'm just a big Dirk fan." I said "I don't really follow his team."
    "Heat are going to fuck you up!" she said.
    "Well, maybe. It's yet to be seen what kind of chemistry Lebron, Wade and Bosh will have when they're all on the court at the same time..."
    "FUCK YOU UUPPPPPPPPPPPP!" And she jabbed me in the leg with her walking stick. Then she reached into the freezer and grabbed the box of berries that come with the servings individually packaged, for like a 200% mark up in cost.
    "Go Miami!" She said as she shuffled away. "JJ Barea should fuck off back to Cuba!"
    "He's from Puerto Rico..." I started, but she had already left the aisle.

    Show Day Phocumentary

    For the first time in half a lifetime I decided to go to the show, to deliver to the many celebrity and non-celebrity readers of Bradism.com a Phocumentary.

    For the first time in half a lifetime I decided to go to the show, to deliver to the many celebrity and non-celebrity readers of Bradism.com a Phocumentary.



    I set out to take many photos, not just snapshots. Like, see how I deliberately left that light in the corner of this photo, that's what makes it art.

    I set out to take many photos, not just snapshots. Like, see how I deliberately left that light in the corner of this photo, that's what makes it art.



    This one doesn't really say anything, it's just a really proper exposure.

    This one doesn't really say anything, it's just a really proper exposure.



    The Show is a colourful place, and you can still get this many Bertie Beatles for pocket change.

    The Show is a colourful place, and you can still get this many Bertie Beatles for pocket change.



    Continue Reading Show Day...

    Tears Formula

    Many entries ago I posted about using Sunsilk's For Men range, and discussed how good it was. Apart from the occasional hiatus when I stay at a hotel and steal all the mini-toiletries bottles - after four and a half years - I still use that shampoo. And it's still good.

    The one thing that bothers me, though, is that Sunsilk cannot seem to decide how to design the bottle. By activating my tightarse powers I tend to only buy shampoo once a year, I wait for it to go on special and I buy a handful of bottles. When it finally comes to restock I have to spend minutes scanning the shampoo aisle because the colour and shape and logo on the bottle have changed.

    This isn't much of an annoyance really. Not worth journalling about anyway. Today I finally started using their most recently designed packaging. I had a shower between losing the C Grade Basketball semi final, and being disappointed that the Ped Egg was not as fun as it looked on television. Anyway, as I showered I read the back of the new bottle and discovered that this time not only did Sunsilk change the exterior but they also retooled their shampoo itself, with the expert guidance of Thomas Taw. Imagine my discontent when I learnt that Thomas Taw was not a world renown chemistry genius, or pharmaceutical scientist. He was a hairdresser! What kind of input is a hairdresser going to have to the ingredients of my shampoo? "You should make it easier to massage into the scalp."

    Yeah...

    And also, on the subject, can you imagine being a shampoo scientist? Like if that was your job and someone asks you what you do at a party do you tell them or do you lie? Does shampoo technology have a ceiling? Do you come home from that job at the end of the week and feel like you made a difference? At least at my job I feel like I make a difference. I keep servers up, reports running, applications in the green. Also today I won a RedHat Polo shirt at a seminar for answering a question, even though I answered the question wrong and mainly went to the seminar for the free breakfast.

    Spring Lego Phocumentary

    It was an enlightening experience listening to the feedback of the vocal reader base of Bradism.com. After analysing the wants and dislikes of those who submitted suggestions, it became clear that people wanted more photos and shared no love for me writing about Dale.

    And I listened.

    So here's a Lego Phocumentary I made today.

    image 781 from bradism.com

    To Dale, the water cooler wasn't just plastic and polystyrene and bonded hydrogen and oxygen. When Dale visited the water cooler he wasn't just filling his cup with liquid, he was running a tap of time wasting; drinking down procrastination. For some in the office water cooler conversation was feared as a momentum killer. Dale, however, sought out water cooler dyads like they were a healing balm for a particularly veracious skin rash, something cool and purifying to take away the warm, itchy dullness that was his career.

    ...

    Just shitting you.

    After a long winter the sun - which has been flirting with me for weeks now - finally made clear its intentions to bend me over against a railing and violate me with months of sunshine. I was obviously pleased. Because on the first day of Spring this is what happens: flowers bloom, critters come from everywhere – most fornicate in front of you - and it becomes time to reap fruits and vegables.

    image 782 from bradism.com


    Wrong. On the first weekend of Spring in 2010 Adelaide received a month's worth of rain, the wind blew my fence down and as I tried to keep my car on the road during the storms on the drive back from Middleton towards Mt Compass, Spring laughed heartily at my optimism and threw a gigantic tree across the road. Obviously, as I slammed on the brakes, my first thought was 'Gee, I should recreate this moment in Lego.'

    image 783 from bradism.com


    Since then though, Spring has been hitting its straps. Which does not leave much to dictate via Lego, really. So, as today is the two year anniversary of me waking up with the bones in my arms separated, and as Lego lends itself so nicely to exploring bio-mechanical follies, I'll continue the trend of the last Lego phocos.

    My wrist is still a source of much discontent, but that's weakening as it gains strength. Sometimes, like when I'm at the gym and lifting more weight than half the population ever would with their left hands, I feel like I'm making progress. When I'm not paying attention though, I regularly find that my body treats my whole left arm like it's no longer attached, and if I don't consciously redirect action through that limb it might as well be room decor.

    image 784 from bradism.com


    That's how Spring works, I guess. The joy of new life plus the risk of things fucking you. Hopefully the sun will now only shine, but I'll knock on wood for luck like I almost did last weekend.

    image 785 from bradism.com

    Web 1.9

    I did something today I haven't done in probably two years. I wrote new code for Bradism.com. Many years ago I was trying to overhaul much of the site when I broke things and my development environment wandered down a completely different path to production. I'd done so much work that I couldn't bring myself to revert to the production version, and I never ended up fixing the problems in the dev build.

    Fortunately time heals all wounds, or in this case makes you forget about what you tried write and couldn't fix all those years ago. Writing new code was fun, mainly because I had to remind myself how everything worked. Fortunately I write amusing comments in all my scripts to help me through the puzzling times.

    Most of the changes have cleaned up internals, but I did take the time to add a button to the menu that lets you "Like" Bradism.com on Facebook. The point of doing this is minimal, but it will mean that your Facebook news feed will update you when I post an entry, in case you find RSS feeds a little too 2005. If Facebook had existed in all its Web 2.0 glory back when I first started you can be sure it would have been one of the first features I added. I also posted the first of probably many "Behind the Scenes" photos. Actually, that's what motivated me to create the whole fan page in the first place.

    I feel quite productive now, really.

    I guess I will also say: if there are any features you've wished existed, or problems you have using the website, you can mention them to me and something might actually be done about them.

    Need New Subjects

    We had a team meeting at work this afternoon. I arrived ten minutes late because no one had told me it was going to be held in the coffee franchise next door. As I quietly took a chair one of my co-workers used body language to indicate I should go buy a coffee like everyone else on the team who were sipping large lattes. I shook my head back, and she looked at me a little sadly because she thought I couldn't afford five dollars for a coffee.

    Well, maybe I could have if I hadn't spent that five dollars on this at lunch:

    image 786 from bradism.com

    I somehow doubt I'll be seeing any used, paper coffee cups in a phocumentary on their journals sometime soon!

    TBA Grand Final Phocumentary.

    If I took as many shots in a normal game as I did tonight, my team would have dragged me.

    After being eliminated in the Semi Finals last Thursday night, I took my camera back to Blackwood to document the grand final, featuring the team that beat us the week before, and team TBA populated with a bunch of past team mates.
    TBA (in light blue).</p>
<p>Scott dribbling the ball at a fast pace towards the basket.

    TBA (in light blue).

    Scott dribbling the ball at a fast pace towards the basket.



    Kobe with his best impression of his favourite MJ moment.

    Kobe with his best impression of his favourite MJ moment.



    Chris Tilley, running another TBA offensive play.

    Chris Tilley, running another TBA offensive play.



    Continue Reading C Grade GF 2010...

    It might be time for TBA to actually come up with a name now.

    More Photos

    I'm glad taking photos doesn't involve any semi finals, preliminary finals or grand finals.

    To celebrate a season of basketball ending, the mainstay of Dee Brown's Pumps went to Long Gully to do manly things like talk about sport, kick a football, cook a BBQ and take photos of flowers... I mean... shit.
    Continue Reading Spring in Long Gully...

    Independence Day!

    On this date two years ago I moved out. It was a good decision, not only because I had just turned 24, but because it brought so many adventures which I believe I shall unashamedly rehash now for current and future nostalgia binges. It seems like so long ago now...

    Leading up to my first place of independent living, I'd dreamt of finding a place within Adelaide's bordering terraces, living in a flat where the Central Markets found itself in the straight line between my bed and the office. I was going to stroll through the markets on my walk to work each day, grabbing a handful of fruit for less than a dollar and some bread to munch on. I ended up in Mile End, an anticipatable distance away from the city but still with the same potential for high speed internet and a foot commute. I wouldn't be able to purchase fruit for breakfast, but my house had a wonderful array of fruit trees and vegetables growing in its narrow backyard.

    I moved out with two others, people who I didn't know well but turned out to be pretty cool. The first days though I was alone. It was early Spring and the September sun packed warmth that year but when the sun set it plummeted rapidly and after a short burst of golden light came through the back windows, the house would suddenly be empty and dark. On one of those first nights I tried to watch the Brownlow medal on a television with no aerial. The sound was good but the video was all but unwatchable, it hurt my eyes and so I closed them as I listened to Adam Cooney's victory speech which ended in either applause or a burst of static. The house had a strange smell, but it smelt like adventure. Another night that first week I caught the bus home so I could arrive back before sunset to allow me to pick lettuce from the backyard which was to be my dinner – we didn't have a microwave yet and that was before Vanessa taught me how to reheat meals in a saucepan.

    image 815 from bradism.com


    Moving out at 24 meant I escaped some of the excitement of living near the poverty line, trying to make ends meet on a nightfiller's salary. I did have a car loan though, and a lot of physio bills to pay which encouraged me to try and live as stingily as possible. I bought a microwave from The Good Guys and bartered the guy past his “pay less, pay cash” threshold. I started buying everything I could in bulk, for things like bread this backfired really badly. I had a handy income underway from recycling bottles and cans that everyone drank, and I felt like sometimes I was only inviting people over to socialise in order to collect their bottles the next morning. After I upgraded from the old fridge Sam's parents gave us we ran that one outside as a second fridge, and given its age it probably cost us more in electricity to run than we ever recouped from recycling its emptied contents. I also remember selling it for $50 on the day I last saw that house, but several days before Burge left, and having to leave his frozen pies and milk in the garage. But I think this just gave him a better chance of fulfilling his goal of eating everything on the menu at Café Villis.

    Because we already had a TV in our living room I used a 32" plasma for my computer monitor for a month or two. I'm glad I stopped that because I think my eyes would have got pretty fucked up if I'd kept at it. The days soon became scorching and I realised that my awesome room had the drawback of being the furthest away from the air conditioner. On hot nights when the other housemates were away I tried to daisy chain fans to push cold air from the living room, all the way down the hall and into my bedroom.

    Changes:<br />
- TV for Screen<br />
- Drank Pepsi Max<br />
- Nokia N95<br />
- Tribulus terrestris<br />
- Wrist exercises<br />
- House</p>
<p>Stays the Same:<br />
- Winamp Skin<br />
- Chair<br />
- Sub<br />
- DVD Spindle<br />
- Lego Construction Worker<br />
- Hiking sock ergonomic wrist support.<br />
- Bradism.com

    Changes:
    - TV for Screen
    - Drank Pepsi Max
    - Nokia N95
    - Tribulus terrestris
    - Wrist exercises
    - House

    Stays the Same:
    - Winamp Skin
    - Chair
    - Sub
    - DVD Spindle
    - Lego Construction Worker
    - Hiking sock ergonomic wrist support.
    - Bradism.com



    The vegetables all went to seed and died. The passionfruit vine that had brought many hopes when we first discovered it, turned out to be decorative, and later quite an aggressive expander. The apricot and peach trees were each glorious though, and after walking to the nearby Bunnings on November day Burge and I tried to encase each of them with netting to keep the birds away. Unfortunately I cheaped out on the amount of netting and it wasn't very successful. I would have eaten many nectarines too but I didn't notice they were ripe until my Mum pointed them out to me when she came to visit once.

    Those early days are long gone now. How far have I come since? I don't feel that different to be honest. I do have to clean more than I used to, but that mainly started after I stopped living with Emma who I think used to clean the bathroom twice a week. I do miss the hills and their foliage, but I also enjoy being so close to town, walking along the river to work and being able to get from my bed to my desk in 20 minutes, fifteen if I run. Of course, most of the rest of my life also changed at the same time as I moved out, good and bad. There was injuries and job changes which drove me crazy, and Vanessa who also drove me crazy... But in the opposite way to the bad things. That's been the most valuable thing to come out of independence, the chance to live with Vanessa. I think I was really only independent for less than a week.

    It was near 6pm and warm sunlight still threw rectangles on the gym walls. Black Eye Peas and Taio Cruz could be heard from a distance over iPods played at hearing loss levels. Dozens of young men faced a wall of mirrors doing bicep curls.

    It was Friday night. It was Spring.

    I was doing squats.

    Good News

    I haven't posted a journal entry for a while now, I think my main problem is I keep going to bed before I write them. So I decided to sit down today and write one at 6pm. I call it...

    The Bradism Six O'Clock News.

    Our top story tonight, upon walking out of his office at lunch time today Brad found himself swamped by slow moving herds of many children. Upon closer inspection - as his stroll was slowed by their thick numbers - he noticed they were all wearing "Ben 10" t-shirts. At the nearby convention centre a Ben 10 Live show had just finished. Brad considering making a Facebook status update saying "I don't know who Ben 10 is, but his minions have taken to the streets." Then another part of Brad brought up that Lego have had a Ben 10 line for a while now, and there's no way he could sell that quip without risking being called on fake ignorance.

    In other news, while at Coles, Brad was making several purchases from the deli, specifying product and a weights. After requesting 150 grams of Reduced Fat Ricotta Cheese, the young man behind the counter sliced a wedge from the cheese wheel, alighted it to the scales which showed an exact 150 grams. The two men made eye contact as they realised they were sharing a special moment, although Brad was more in to it. The deli worker still bore a grudge from when Brad requested 200gms of champagne ham and been told to put some back when the scales read 245.

    Research shows that the addition of a small window to each of the security doors in Brad's office may be causing more issues than it solves. Previously the risk of having a door opened in your face had been low because the sound of it being digitally unlocked served as warning. Now there is a window, conservative office workers tend to both stutter to a halt when they realise someone is on the otherside of the door, and delays are encountered as they wait for each other to make the first move.

    Now to Vanessa, who has the latest on a blue shopping bag which did not make it home from the shops today. "I bought cheap chicken. And those 6 pack thingies of yoghurt were only four dollars. Then, as soon as I left the checkout the bag broke. I had to carry it home like this." And then she mocked carrying a bag with a hand wrapped around either side.

    To sport, and the countdown is on to the new NBA season, which starts in three weeks. This would partly explain why Brad visited Yahoo's NBA Sports page while he was eating his lunch.

    In finance, Brad didn't spend any money today. The Australian dollar is worth one Australian Dollar.

    Now to the weather. Today's photo of "A Lego hobo-mime" is brought to us by Brad.

    image 817 from bradism.com


    It was slightly cool earlier today, but by the time he'd walked to the office it was much warmer. This proved to be a microcosm of the journey to the gym that would occur later.
    After getting home from work Brad took off his shirt and is yet to put one back on.
    The outlook tomorrow is further sunniness, with possible cloud and a late shower when Brad tries to walk home.

    Stretching Checklist

    Before Game:
    Wrist
    Illiotibial Band
    Shoulder

    Before Bed:
    Glutes
    Hip Flexor
    Hamstring
    Groin
    Shoulder
    Bicep Head

    Reinforcements

    The kitchen war has been going on longer than anyone can remember. For the appliances, it hasn't been a good week. Sandwich Press was caught in cross fire during a mission on Wednesday evening, KIA. On Saturday the body of Rice Maker - missing for months - was recovered and sent home for burial. And then this morning Blender - a veteran of tours to three different war zones - killed himself, possibly due to depression brought on by PTSD.

    Until today a Corporal overseeing Breakfast Operations, Blender survived numerous injuries including a cracked jug, a leaky seal and wiring problems. He served over four years total; we had some good times.

    This afternoon we went to Rundle Mall to find replacements for Sandwich Press and Blender. We got a new press for $48 but when it came to the blender - and I'm not sure why: perhaps it was the grief, perhaps it was because I blend almost daily, perhaps because I thought I better understood the effect of the high Australian dollar - I bought a $330 blender. The Breville Professional 800 Collection® Die Cast Blender.

    Two Thousand Watts of blending power. This is the Little Boy of kitchen appliances. This Blender will change the food war.

    Small Talk

    Actual Conversation from Today.

    Brad: How was your weekend?
    Co-Worker: Good, how was yours?
    Brad: Every meal I ate, I ate between bread.
    Co-Worker: So, good?
    Brad: Summer.

    A White Winter


    I've enjoyed hip hop music for a very long time. I'm not sure exactly what attracts me to it. It could be the clever wordplay, the ego, or the beats. They're all good. I love the verbal theatrics by the likes of Aesop Rock, Busdriver and Blackalicious just as much as I like hearing Rick Ross owning three dozen cars and Lil' Jon yell about skeeting in everything that rhymes with "skeet skeet".

    I like working out to rap, although I try and keep that on the down-low at the gym that I'm trying to motivate my next leg press by listening to Dr. Dre rhyme about growing weed and being a real O.G. I also like writing perl scripts to rap, the other day I automated the generation of several control scripts listening to the new Wacka Flocka Flame.... It was very white... Oh God. I really don't know how to listen to hip-hop. But despite its regularly questionable lyrical content I still keep listening to it.

    This Winter now gone I discovered two great sources of entertainment. One was The Wire, one of the greatest television shows ever made. The other was The Rub's History of Hip Hop free mixtapes. One mix for each year of hip hop the past few decades. And all of a sudden, as I consumed the two, some hip hop tracks started making a lot more sense. Like, that's what a re-up is. And what the Five-Oh are. It was quite enlightening. I really felt started feeling as immersed into the culture as a white Australian guy who experienced the culture almost solely through television could feel. I started referring to hats as "crowns", and said "you feel me" a bit more than usual.

    If you have any like of hip hop, I highly recommend The Rub mixtapes. If you like television I suggest you watch The Wire. Binge on it for a week, if you have a chance. And see if you come out speaking Ebonics.

    It Blends

    As I made my second smoothie today with the all conquering Breville Professional 800 Series Blender I jokingly mentioned to Vanessa that I loved the Blender so much that if it had a Facebook Fan Page I would like it.

    She didn't reply, too busy enjoying her awesome new haircut that I won for her at a silent auction during last week's quiz night.

    Nevertheless, I filed my offhand remark for later and next time I went online I discovered that the Breville Professional 800 Series Blender did not have a Facebook fan page. So, I created one. Then Facebook was like "yo, do you have official representation for this product?" I was, like, "No." So I created the "Unoffical " . thing I said before.

    In hindsight I should have said "My " . thing I said before, because we are the official representative of most of the stuff in our kitchen, I believe.

    So, if you also have a Breville Professional 800 Blender, or just appreciate it's quality and stainless steel finish, why not also like it on Facebook?

    Because, I decided that if the Blender gets 5 'likes' on Facebook then I will remove the ads from my own site. And that has nothing to do with me only earning $7.50 in almost three years.

    Rooted

    Lately I've been in a cycle of injuring something, trying to exercise around it, injuring something else, repeat. Apart from giving me a lot of material for my maybe one day dream of a website that lets you strike out body parts and then get shown a list of exercises that are still possible, this has been good for nothing. So I decided I'm not going to exercise any more, until my injury count goes down.

    Thus, this weekend has been a rather low energy one. The furthest I went was for a walk down the road to see this unusual tree that Emma tipped me off to.

    image 819 from bradism.com


    When I first arrived this magpie was sitting there like it was on a bad trip.

    When I first arrived this magpie was sitting there like it was on a bad trip.



    Vanessa for scale.

    Vanessa for scale.

    And the road I walked down:

    Finniss Street. North Adelaide, SA.

    Finniss Street. North Adelaide, SA.

    Men's Brad

    Sometimes when I'm day-dreaming I think about my unpublished, undrafted men's magazine. It's called "Brad's Health" and it's like Men's Health but basically only for INTJ types. I think it corrects most of the flaws inherit in all of today's existing men's lifestyle magazines. It's more focussed on having everything in your life balanced, rather than trying to knock each aspect of it out the park. It would have a cover-story headline like:

    Ascend the Corporate Ladder! Build your own House from Scratch! White-Water Raft the World! Perfect Family! Bench Press your Face Off!... Pick One. Or learn to compromise.

    I think it would sell OK, or at least be read by many people who never pay for a subscription. Not only because of its life changing essays like the one above, but obviously for all the handy tips and pseudo-scientific facts it would come loaded with. And seeing as my journal is as close as I'll probably come to owning my own lifestyle magazine, I think I might share some handy Brad's Health tips on it. Like one I came up with today:

    It's almost Summer, this is the time you should be cleaning your fans! I spent a quarter of an hour wiping the ceiling fan in my bedroom tonight, rubbing a damp towel over the wood and the brass supports until it was spotless. Why am I so excited? This is going to be the first summer in my entire adult life where I'm going to think to myself "It's warm tonight", flick the switch on a fan that hasn't revolved once all Winter and be sprayed with a barrage of dust. And, unless you are the type who dusts your fans regularly all Summer you're now going to have to go clean your fan because, if you forget, then one night in a week or so you're going to be sneezing and screaming "BRADISM DOT COM!!!!" and shaking your fist at the moon. (And if you are the type who dusts your fan regularly all the way through winter then what are you doing reading INTJ Literature?)

    While I'm on the subject of genius, I'm surely not the first person to discover this but no one has ever shared the secret with me. If you work in an office that gives you the choice of paper towel and a hand dryer in your bathroom, next time try using both simultaneously! Its combination of effectiveness and decadence that might be just the pick-me-up you need, now that it looks too sunny outside to escape with a cup-a-soup at three o'clock.

    Head Injury

    I busted my thumb during basketball on Thursday night. It was the start of the second half and I tried to intercept a pass being hurled through the key. The ball crashed into the top of my thumb, making a "thwock" noise. It was the same injury that Shaq suffered earlier this year when Big Baby Davis hit him when he was shooting.

    This, I thought, was ironic (the injury, not the Shaq coincidence). I'd come into the game expecting pain in my shoulder that was at the time engulfed with a yellowing bruise that spread from my bicep to my chest. The shoulder I hurt in September... I watched the rest of the game from the sidelines where the Dee Brown's Pumps went on to win quite comfortably without me. And now I've had to endure yet another weekend of limited functionality, more being anchored to an ice-pack. I keep adding to the count of days where I feel like I'm just waiting to heal. It's demoralising! If I was a major road with a sign saying "X days without an accident" it wouldn't ever go into double figures.

    Of course, as these thoughts colonised my mind I took hold of my mental arm, led myself outside and sat myself down for a stern talking to. Of course I was overreacting. I'm not the only person in the world to get injuries. Many people suffer worse than me. And many aren't able to go to SportsMed and work on their x-ray collection and have their parts wrapped in sports tape either. I need to stop complaining, rest, ice, compress, elevate, medicate, stretch, ice some more, stretch some more. I needed to stop being melodramatic, be patient and things will be better.

    Then I thought, you know what? Maybe I'm going the wrong way with this. My pattern of injuries has to be something more than bad luck. A conspiracy!? It's not the first time I've decided that my misfortune is the result of some seedy collusion. I sat down and tried to be as paranoid as possible as I reflected over the past two years of injuries. Start with my wrist, the result of an unavoidable collision with the floor during a game of basketball. Or was it...? I wore the cast for so long that the theory became the accepted summary of events. However, I never noticed pain until the next day: September 11. Crap! What happened to me that night?

    Next was the knee injury, the ITBS that refused to be exorcised. This is where things become interesting. My knee pain was its worst a year ago, the exact same time my wrist reconstruction was starting to come good. Both my legs have an iliotibial band, but only one developed any symptoms. And it was the exact one that would then need to be stretched multiple times a day by my bad wrist. So at a time when I might otherwise have been pushing myself too early to play sport with my delicate wrist I was instead stuck with a bad knee that I had to pull and hold with my left hand many times per day. My last wrist check-up revealed my grip strength in my bad wrist was just as strong as my writing hand. Maybe the universe was, in a way, looking out for me. Helping by hurting, that sort of thing.

    Still, months passed and despite my wrist graduating to new levels of activity, I was still suffering from knee pain. Then, one night playing basketball I rolled my ankle. No big deal, I'm an uncoordinated tall guy; I'd roll them all the time. It would just be a few days of icing and elevation and then it'd be like it never happened. Except, this ankle took three weeks to heal. Which ankle did I sprain? The one just below my bad knee. I barely used that leg for three weeks and afterwards - you guessed it - my knee was feeling better. Was this a second serendipitous injury, or just a coincidence?

    Then, a month or so later the shoulder pain started. As usual a physiotherapist said it would only last a few days, and that was six weeks ago. The first time my shoulder was treated the physio grabbed my wrist and pulled it in all directions to test the shoulder's structural integrity. There wasn't any consideration given to my wrist's fragility and I was unbelievably clenched during the whole process. At first I wasn't sure where this one fit in. Then, on my most recent visit to SportsMed to confirm that my thumb wasn't fractured the doctor decided to check my shoulder again and I was relaxed, now actually owning some confidence in my wrist's strength. I think that's what my thumb sprain has been about, the universe's way of forcing me to do everything with my weaker hand for a week. Also, I have been opening a lot of doors and turning on taps right handed using my middle and index finger. It's only been three days, but I've already noticed an increase in strength for these two digits. Actually, wait, I just worked it out! The point of all these injuries was to set up a chain of events which would lead to me giving myself the strongest two-fingered salute possible.*

    Derp.

    * This is not the actual conclusion, which is that I obviously should just stop playing basketball.

    Rose Tinted Entries

    I find many brain things amusing. One of them is the rose tinted glasses thing, where for some reason even though a point in your life where something like your job was shitty, once enough time elapses you will only remember the good bits. I often tell myself when I'm down - somewhat mockingly actually - that a year from now I'll miss this moment.

    Today I was feeling a little nostalgic about my time in the suburban call centre office. I hated it at the time. But now, little things bring a smile to my face. Like, making myself "Fuck You" coffees where I'd put in a double serving of cheap Nescafe instant coffee, and enough low-calorie sweetener to make it palatable. And then drink the tarry mess. And playing Sudoku on my phone whenever I did a poo. And climbing into my nice, toasty car on cool Spring evenings before driving through peak hour traffic past my old work site to get to my house.

    These memories made me happy. Particularly when I realised that if those were the best parts of my job then, I am even more thankful for the best parts of my job now.

    Take Me to the River

    I went for a walk along the Torrens from North Adelaide towards St Peters. I listened to Talking Heads and took some photos. It was dusk.

    Wet footprints. A mystery! I didn't investigate...

    Wet footprints. A mystery! I didn't investigate...

    Colours

    Colours

    Ducks. Did they leave the footprints?! I don't know, like I said I did not investigate.

    Ducks. Did they leave the footprints?! I don't know, like I said I did not investigate.

    image 826 from bradism.com

    image 827 from bradism.com


    At one point the path along the river ended and I got a bit lost in a suburb. I pulled out my phone to try and search Google maps. And before I could even open the browser my phone was like "You are at these co-ordinates. The river is around that corner and down a slope. There is a bridge that will get you back home."

    I was impressed, "Thanks! Android phone." I said.

    "No problems, Brad, any time. I'm going to get back to randomly pausing while playing your music now."

    image 828 from bradism.com

    The O-Bahn was pretty today.

    The O-Bahn was pretty today.

    One Day

    One Day I will wake up early and walk to the beach for a sunrise worth the lost sleep.

    image 830 from bradism.com


    My Favourite Sydney Photos

    I used to write words into this box, and I realised most of my entries later have been pictures and not words. So I wasn't going to post any more pictures until I posted words. Then I couldn't think of any words, but I had pictures. So here we are.

    OK here are some words that it did cross my mind to share:

    1. It would be pretty funny if intelligent alien life was discovered, and they came to Earth and they didn't speak English but they spoke words and language that could be translated like any other language. And it turned out that they referred to their species as the "stupy-poopheads" and from then on, humanity would have to refer to them as the stupy-poopheads and not laugh.

    2. Thinking about this led me to thinking about the names of towns. It's all pretty sorted now, but back in the early days of civilisations there would have come a point where a village would say "We shall call this place 'London'" or "we shall name this point 'Jerusalem'". Whatever. I'm pretty sure that almost every town would have started off being called the ancient equivalent of "awesome town" until everyone realised that they'd all named their towns the same thing. This is probably what caused most of the early wars.

    3. I had this observation to make: There's a new show called 'Running Wilde', it's written by Mitchell Hurwitz and stars Will Arnett as a self-centred billionaire's son, and David Cross as a character clueless of his surroundings. It airs Tuesdays on Fox and is narrated by a little girl. I watched a few episodes and it became obvious immediately that Hurwitz was trying to sneak Arrested Development back onto the air by disguising it as another show and then slowly morphing it into Arrested Development's fourth season. I wanted to then quip "After five episodes Fox noticed this and promptly cancelled it", but its sixth episode is now scheduled for next week. It's kind of funny.

    Wow, look at all those words that I did have. I guess I will post photos tomorrow instead.

    Off Camera Flash with Canon 430 EX II

    I fell sick half way through my week off work, and I have spent most of this weekend resting. I'm afraid that after four days of suckiness I will wake up tomorrow morning feeling absolutely chipper and then have to go to work, but that doesn't sound as depressing now as it did Saturday morning. I'd love to move past the dross inside my throat and find some pep.

    image 831 from bradism.com


    One of the good things to come out of this weekend - not forgetting the awesome meals I've been served by Vanessa - was working out a way to use my new 430 EX II Flash off camera. I discovered the not best, but cheapest way to do this was with radio sender/receivers I bought for $21 off eBay from Hong Kong.
    image 832 from bradism.com


    I am still in the playing stage, but the resulting photos can be pretty interesting, seeing that you need to set the flash up in manual mode and then dial it up or down to get the exposure right.
    image 833 from bradism.com


    Seeing that this entry is a little bit SEO'd I'll link to the store I bought the radio triggers from.

    Probably Feverish

    I eat a lot of fruit and veggies every day. When I'm sick I eat even more. I'm not a naturopath, and I don't think that vegetables are an alternative to, say, antibiotics. But I don't think all those vitamins do anything to hurt either.

    That said, sometimes I do imagine that the cells in my immune system appreciate the vegetables that I eat, treating my meals like reinforcements to a well stocked armoury. I like to believe that cucumbers and carrots are being swung like lances through invading bacterium, chilli's hoicked into pathogen filled bunkers like grenades. The soft tops of broccoli and cauliflower doused in fish oil, lit on fire and launched like a Molotov Cocktail into a swarm of advancing germs. My wounded T-Cells returning to the field hospital in the upper levels of the healthy food pyramid in my heart.

    Shelter

    I was in the city yesterday, walking around to kill some time waiting for a prescription. The balmy weather was helping my injuries ache. Some folks can tell you rain is coming by an aching in their knee. My injuries give me insight that rivals Weatherzone's 48 hour forecast. A November storm was building and I knew the chance of showers in the next three hours was ninety percent. I was in a narrow lane of small stores. As drops of water started hitting the cobbles below I took shelter in an antique shop nearby.

    The store smelled of old books. Shelves packed with them lined every wall. My eyes, after they adjusted to the gloom, were instantly drawn to the centre of the room where a medieval suit of armour stood tall, towering over a dusty eighteenth century writing desk and even more low shelves of books. A vibrant red plume stuck up from its closed helmet, almost reaching the globes of the yellow lights hanging above it. I walked through the narrow gaps between furniture and stacks of books to reach the armour. The plate mail was clearly very old but not dented or scratched. It hadn't been polished for years, but it hadn't been dirtied in that time either.

    'Looks about your size,' said a friendly voice.

    I turned, the shop owner stood beside me. He smiled, grey eyebrows ascending. I turned back to the armour and put my hand on the solid breast plate.

    'The leather lining is gone,' he continued. 'You can't wear it anymore. But it's a damn good talking piece. It's a complete Milanese suit. Its type was worn during the crusades by many knights.'

    image 836 from bradism.com


    As he talked I inspected the statue closely. On the legs there were scratches, small points etched in where a dagger might have tried penetrating through metal.

    'This armour is in excellent condition. Most battle worn armour is usually falling apart in the legs. Knees, shins, ankles, that's where most knights used to be targeted. The breast plates were thick and would absorb the impact of most things. It took real craftsmanship to produce a balance between resistance and mobility in the legs and joints.'

    I looked down, where the shins connected to the boots. A wide, thin metal band ran down each side of the ankle. It reminded me of the ankle straps I wore for basketball. 'I guess,' I thought to myself 'there's not much chance of rolling your ankle when you're wearing a suit of armour...'

    That's when time stopped, and my epiphany smashed me in the face like a tonne of... a tonne of plate metal:

    No rolled ankles. No smashed fingers. No fractured fibulas. No dislocations. Padding for all my cartilage...

    Every single soft, squishy pink bit of my body that seemed to be holding a ticket in a line for an injury covered by hard, impenetrable metal. If I never stopped wearing it, I could possibly go the rest of my life without another injury. I know it sounds impractical, unrealistic, but I might be able to finally sleep through the night without the haunting dreams.

    image 835 from bradism.com


    'Are you looking at buying?' he asked, sensing I had retreated to existing solely in my own head.

    'I wasn't until a few minutes ago,' I said. 'I think I am now.'

    'Well, you should think yourself lucky. Structurally it's completely sound. No rust at all. Where are you thinking of putting it on display?'

    'Do you have a change room?'

    'I'm sorry?'

    'Can I try it on?' I stood next to the armour. 'Are we the same height? Do you know any armour tailors? Is that a thing? I think the hardest part will be convincing my boss that it's ok to wear around the office.'

    His mouth stayed open, but he was no longer talking.

    image 834 from bradism.com

    Brad Counters with Foresight

    Chances are, sometime in the near future some east coast boffin is going to be holding my CV in one hand and Googling my full name with the other. There's not a lot one can do to prepare for this moment, beyond setting everything in your Facebook profile to private and avoiding using your full name on your journal - something I've done since 2007 and 2005 respectively. Far before I even knew I'd be trying to change jobs.

    However, I am at the mercy of Google's unforgiving cache and I know that any half-decent recruitment officer is going to find bradism.com - and perhaps this very journal entry - without much nous. I did do a test run earlier and I was pleased to note that a lot of my Rip It Up reviews have made themselves popular and they appear in search results before my journal. Which is kind of pleasing, it makes me feel like I wasn't that bad of a writer and maybe I should write more reviews if they're apparently good enough for indie bands to lift for their pressers.

    I don't think many sentences in my nine years of journaling make me unemployable. I hope the worst thing any recruiter might think when visiting this website is "well, this is shabbily coded. I can see why he didn't include this in his portfolio." However, as I have the opportunity now to be proactive I might as well share this - I am not Dale! His stories are based on imagination and observations. Also, in regards to any other thing you might find makes me unemployable... have you seen my recent phocumentaries? Or read my most recent story about the frog that went into the library? Can we negotiate a salary now?

    Also, I'll clarify - seeing that the opening paragraph alludes to my Facebook profile being a treasure trove of compromising data - in at least 80% of my photos I'm wearing a shirt, and that includes a lot of photos from tropical Queensland. And there's only two where I'm not wearing pants. Also, I have a mean understanding of PHP's __autoload potential and can make educated decisions when deciding whether to develop using PDO data abstraction or choosing the MySQL Improved extension. And I've picked up books on JQuery and HTML5 which both looks really awesome.

    Large

    I was crossing the road in town today when one of those little Smart cars came flying out of a sidestreet and crashed right into me!

    I'm fine, but the Smart car is pretty messed up.

    Experiments at Night

    I took about 300 photos using my new flash at Ken's wedding on the weekend. I was pretty happy with the way they came out. It really solidified my friendship with flash. And I didn't even put it on its little stand and put it on the bridal party's table and shoot with the wireless triggers or anything.

    I decided to go for a walk tonight around the Torrens (again) and experiment with some off camera flash. I learned a lot, mainly about taking taking shit photos. Major disadvantage of cheap remote triggers: no auto-focus flash, which means trying to manually focus in the dark. This is pretty hard. Next time I will take my head-torch and turn it off after focussing I think.

    image 837 from bradism.com

    In fact, that was the only photo that was any good. I also like the next one, but that was taken without a flash, so...
    I found the main disadvantage is that my mind thought the flash would light up a much wider area than it usually did. I obviously need to buy more flashes. Which is great, I will just stick that with the "I need more lenses" feeling.

    The River Torrens, Adelaide SA.

    The River Torrens, Adelaide SA.

    Christmas Tree

    image 839 from bradism.com

    Square Circles

    I went for a walk at lunch today and visited Toyworld on the off chance that they had these Lego Christmas tree ornaments. I wanted to buy them somewhere physical because Lego.com charges a lot in shipping. Also I wanted to put the Brad minifig holding the little Lego camera I made into one of the ornaments, hang it from the tree and take a photo of it for today's entry, and the text would be 'Look how meta I am being with Lego all the time'.
    Yes, this is what I do with my lunch times - focus on creating self referential entries for my journal.

    I didn't see the ornaments anywhere in the store, so I thought I'd try my luck and ask at the counter. The woman was busy with another customer, but I noticed a man - who looked a bit like Darren Lehmann - packing boxes close by. Upon closer inspection, he was wearing a shirt that said "Lego" on it. I asked him about the ornaments, figuring he'd be the likeliest to know if they were available. He told me they could only be purchased online, and weren't in stores. This news would have disappointed me if the cashier woman had told me, but the Lego man - he was so cheery! He lived in a world of nothing but Lego, and I could not begrudge him for Lego's marketing strategies. I thanked him profusely.

    Then, I went into Borders because I noticed last time I was there that the CD section was becoming a toy section, plus they sell ornaments. And I thought I might just check in case the Lego man was lying. Upon arriving upstairs I found the new toy section was implemented and that almost every shelf was selling Best-Lock and Cobi imitation Lego with no genuine bricks in sight! Horrified, I backed away slowly, with some slight choreography occurring when my heels reached the escalators.

    As I retreated back into Rundle Mall I saw the Lego rep approaching Borders, I don't know why. He was holding a gift certificate. I yelled at him "NO!" but I did this in super-slow-motion, expelling maximum breath on each letter. Neither he nor anyone else was in slow motion at the time, so by the point I'd finished crying out he'd long since disappeared into the store. An old lady with a big ring watched all this, and she came over to ask if I was ok. I said I was, and she yelled "JJ Barea should fuck off back to Cuba!" and jabbed me in the leg with her walking stick.
    And it was then I knew my lunchtime had been a success.

    I Own a Picture of the Moon

    image 840 from bradism.com

    :3

    I have been doing a lot of programming lately. It's eating into prose, but it's really good.

    For the first time in years I've been answering "what do you do?" with 'programmer.' It sounds way better than describing what I'm mainly paid for.

    Dogs and Views

    Brad's Summer Journal 9 starts with an inappropriate storm rolling across the plains, witnessed from Belair.

    Dogs can sense storms.</p>
<p>Some dogs...

    Dogs can sense storms.

    Some dogs...



    image 844 from bradism.com


    image 845 from bradism.com


    image 846 from bradism.com


    image 847 from bradism.com


    image 848 from bradism.com

    A few bits of 2010

    Antibiotics are the bomb. For over a month I've had a throat/nose infection that wouldn't quit. When the second offensive started late last week I finally went to the doctor who gave me a prescription. Only a few days later and I'm feeling much better.

    The antibiotics' instructions say "Take immediately before, or with the first mouthfuls of food." It's possible there's some sort of physiological reasoning behind this command, but I have been happy to believe that it's because the drugs are using food like a Trojan horse to sneak past the infection in my throat, build a base in my belly and then launch a sneak attack from behind. Possibly using reapers.

    Soggy Birds

    Yesterday Adelaide had it's wettest day of the year. This included December's average rainfall slamming down in just over an hour. I was in office, and had a pretty good view of everything unfolding. It was some apocalyptic shit. The summer sun was completely eclipsed by inky black storm clouds around 3pm. Pretty much the entire floor stopped working (which for most of the day was ogling the radar on Weatherzone anyway) to gather around the windows and titter at the storm. It was good fun. My phone tried to take a photo.

    image 850 from bradism.com


    During a gap between downpours I walked home, taking my usual route along the Torrens. The river was flowing strong, but hadn't burst the banks. Most of the footpath was a river unto itself though, River Torrens Minor, about an inch deep. There were lots of soggy birds around: pigeons who look like they didn't know what the fuck had just happened, horrified adolescent magpies, unimpressed ducks.
    Near the King William Street bridge there was an unusual sight. A Magpie Lark that looked reasonably dry was walking towards the river, crossing over a major puddle on the footpath. For all intents and purposes it looked like Jesus walking on the water. If Jesus was a bird. I slowed down to watch it (I regretted that later as I got rained on a lot) and the bird also seemed to realise that it was doing something impressive, because when it jumped up onto the rise between the river and the puddle it turned around and looked down at its reflection, as if pondering 'Did I just walk on water like mofo'ing Jesus?'

    I'd stopped now, watching the bird tilt its head side-to-side like he was posing in a mirror. Then he started to strut away, only at that point noticing that I was watching him and he realised I'd witnessed his whole show. After a second of eye-contact he spread his wings, stared directly at me and chirped "Like a G6!" And then he flew off.

    Someone should make a voodoo doll of me. Not just any someone. A voodoo someone who wears lots of beads and who knows their occult stuff reasonably well. They could subtly pull a hair off my scalp while I waited for a self checkout to become available at Woolworths, and social engineer their way through Facebook until they were friends with one of my friends, find a photo tagged as me and use that for their wicked spell. The doll should be constructed using the finest materials - waxed hemp fibre with a high thread count, beads from Spotlight's pricey aisle - and they should burn off any loose threads with a genuine Zippo.

    Then, once they had sewn the final stitch and appropriated any rituals, the doll should be taken to a tropical island somewhere and placed gently on the sand facing the ocean. And they should then be so kind to it. Particularly kind to all of its joints, saying soothing things to tendons and cartilage and patting them softly in a reassuring way. They should play upbeat music from a battery powered boom box that contains encouraging lyrics and use a small, paper fan to spread a gentle breeze across the doll's form. When night eventually falls they should erect a small bistro in a shoebox and cover it with an umbrella, seat the doll and ensure his top hat is perched correct. And do this each day until I post 'stop'.

    Not-Soggy Bird

    image 851 from bradism.com

    If I had to Chow's-Thai-Review this Summer so far I would give it a low score for service and quality, and a decent rating for venue. And I'm not sure what I'd give it for value.

    Seasides

    Beaches are like the easiest things to take a photo of.
    You just need to rock up an hour before sunset and things look nice for you.

    image 852 from bradism.com


    Don't get there too early or things will look weird.
    image 853 from bradism.com


    My brother is in town. I took this picture of him. I think it's probably the best photo ever taken. How much would you pay for a photo of yourself that looked like this?
    image 854 from bradism.com


    As the sun set, I stood on the end of a jetty exclaiming loudly to many fisher people that I hoped the windsurfer out at sea would cross in front of the sun before it set, because his silhouette would make a 'boss' photo. He edged incredibly slowly towards the sun, and after taking my last shot and sighing heavily, I turned around and he legged it past the sun, much to the mirth of the rest of the jetty.
    image 855 from bradism.com


    Also, there was ice cream. The End.
    image 856 from bradism.com

    Merry Christmas Internet!

    Merry Christmas, Lego Santa Claus Gingerbread Man!

    image 858 from bradism.com

    No Update: Camping

    image 859 from bradism.com


    (click for big)

    The Past Week In Pictures

    The past week has been crazy busy with Christmas and moving and camping and cleaning among other things. There has been a lot of mingling during all this, so I've sort of lost track of what I've told who and vice-versa.
    Last Thursday I caught the red eye to Sydney and within an hour of landing found myself on the main street of Engadine waiting for a property inspection. Less than eight hours later I was back on a plane with our accommodation in Sydney sorted for at least the next six months.

    The rest of this story is told in picture format:

    Continue Reading The Past Week...

    Behind the Camera

    image 877 from bradism.com


    A few evenings ago I was in Moana at Deb's house, playing NBA Jam and eating a regrettable amount of chocolate covered honeycomb, given the current activity.
    Deb has a balcony looking over the ocean and we had the blinds shut tight to try and prevent sweaty palms from the Summer heat. As the sun arrived closer to the ocean we went outside to enjoy the new breeze. It looked kind of pretty, so I took a photo. At that point Josh mentioned something along the lines that "Sunsets are a bit overdone" to which I quickly agreed. This is actually a concept I've explored myself.

    So, I analysed why I'd bothered to take the photo, admitting it probably wasn't for the sake of getting on the local weather as the background photo seeing I've never submitted anything to anything in my photographic life. I realised that what I'd really wanted to record in a photo was a picture of hanging out with my friends playing games and having fun. But I don't even know which lens you would need to capture the feeling of that in a photo. So, like I realise now I often do, I took a photo facing away from what I was actually trying to take a photo of. I think this is an effect of my natural inwardness: Keep actual thoughts to self, record a related reminder to trigger memory later. Like most of you, Journal.

    I don't think I have any resolutions for 2011 - other than to avoid chasing my 2008 goals for the fourth year in a row because I don't think that's ever going to work for me. But I will try a bit more to keep myself in front of the camera. And also give up smoking.

    All the best Internet, in the words of the checkout boy at Woolworths today: Happy New Year, have a great night.