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!


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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.


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!


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.