One Day

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

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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.

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.

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

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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.


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.'

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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.

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'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.

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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 - 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.


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.

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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

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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 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

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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.