Journal Journal Journal

I was tempted to write an entry titled 'Journal' with a body of the word 'JOURNAL' written over and over again. I like the word 'Journal' much more than the word 'Blog'. I realised this when I saw an old entry at random that came at the start of one of Brad's Winter Journal's. Then I read an entry I posted once where I compared my injuries to areas of my last Commodore that had been damaged. That entry reminded me of the time I broke the tail light during a three-point turn, something I'd clean forgot about almost six years later. After reading the entry, the events of the incident flooded back to me with alarming clarity: the weather (sunny, a few clouds), the novel feel of the modern sedan, the events of the day, even the price I paid to have the light's casing replaced ($280).

This kind of thing is what a Journal is supposed to be about, and something a blog can't hope to match. A Journal entry is like a primary key to your past, full of imagery and allusions and innuendo that your brain can use to retrieve those memories. These days - the decade of mature and easy-to-use data-abstraction layers - data access is simplified to such a point that the information you want is at your fingertips without you getting the information you need. (Need, that is, if you're feeling needy for something kinda nostalgic or narcissistic.)

For example, if I didn't write this journal entry, some day in the future I might think about the eighth of August 2013 and wonder what life was like back then. Without a Journal I would have been left to wonder.

I could have checked Endomodo and seen that I did a run around the mangroves and out to Wentworth Point, but that wouldn't tell me I ran at twilight - the lavender hour - and that I ran at twilight and called it the lavender hour because I was in the middle of reading Life after Life that week. Although I guess GoodReads could tell me that. And if I compared the times then WeatherZone premium would mention it was twilight. It would even detail that I was rained on at the furthermost point, briefly, a spell of rain so short that I only had time to ponder if I should run faster, wonder if furthermost was a single word, and then try to hide my phone under my Dri Fit Nike running top for safety before the rain was gone again (or at least lost).

What all the social networking and geo-locating and media-tracking tools on my smartphone will never record for me, though, was the colour, the flavour. The Journal Entry's anatomy. Anything but wouldn't include the blooming wattles (unseasonably early) or the ever-so-slightly pink clouds that made me think of London despite the landscape of bush and mangroves. Nothing but a journal could record that I pushed out that extra kilometre to justify the medley of cereal I'd assembled for afternoon tea from all the close-to-finished boxes of cereal in the pantry. That is unless someone else has pipped me at launching the world's first cereal tracking smartphone app which records and keeps stats on what cereals you eat, when you ate them, what your friends are eating and then provides cereal recommendations based on the datamined knowledge that comes from this collection of facts. Shit. If they have, my VCs will be pissed.

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