A Buzz

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It felt good.

It was right before dinner time. Bare feet on the grass, warm air, smelling the scent of jasmine. Under blue skies the mulberry tree towered over us like a giant.

There is definitely a sense of content that comes from existing in a backyard, hunting through the leaves and limbs to find a dark, red treat and slipping it straight into your mouth.

That's how the mosquitos feel too.

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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 Social Dilemma

I watched The Social Dilemma documentary tonight because I saw a few people on Facebook recommending it.

Actually that's not true. I heard about it in conversations between other people that I eavesdropped on, not Facebook. I'm not sure exactly how Facebook calculates what to recommend me, but I can tell Zuckerberg right now that McDonalds, KFC, and endless photos of my friends' babies are not it, and that's probably the main reason I close the page ten seconds after I open it.

The primary thought I had about the documentary, aside from how goofy the drama and technological explanations were, was that social media is probably bad. Of course, humanity is always doing things that are bad for it, and who am I to tell any one individual that they're wrong for doing anything with our pointless lives if what they're doing doesn't affect me.

I mean, I do have worries about the environment, and supply chains, and also some major concerns about the quality of aged care I will receive from the children of today's current children who are being raised by YouTube and TikTok. But hopefully in an ironic twist of fate it will be artificially intelligent robots giving me my daily sugar-free custard, their algorithms telling them that the longer they keep me from developing dementia and bedsores, the longer I will be able to earn fake coins to cover my extended living micro-transactions.

I think the two secrets to keeping your life pure from the evils of social media is to understand how cookies work, and to exhibit tendencies of the introverted.

I've been using ad-blockers since they were invented, and I use incognito mode to search for everything online from shopping to restaurants, hikes, recipes and whatever symptoms my dog is exhibiting. I use incognito map to get directions, in case Google learns that I want to find a barber within walking distance. If I'm going to a website that's outside of my stable of standard domains, incognito. That's on top of uBlock Origin on all my normal browsing.

This is the same as how I mute the television anytime a commercial is playing. On my phone I turn the notifications off for any app other than those related specifically to instant messaging. The flashing LED annoys me. I don't even get notifications for email. It's a great way to live.

I did use Twitter and Instagram for a while, but some part of me rejected them, I think because I felt a constant, subtle pressure that they wanted me to be part of a community. I like my phone, but usually when I pick it up it's because I want to be left alone.

Unless you count OzBargain as social media, in that case, perhaps I do have an addiction.

And those were my primary thoughts about the shocking revelations regarding the psychological manipulations of social media, and how it could lead to the downfall of our society as portrayed in The Social Dilemma.

My secondary thought was: I wonder how much I have to pay to take advantage of all this to become a famous author with my books.

The Things November 18th Would Bring

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As seen on the Official Bradism Raised Cutting Board for Tall People

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Panic Frying

About 2.5 million minutes ago I was sitting on a coach in Salzburg waiting to commence the Sound of Music bus tour that would eventually take me to the small, tourist town of Mondsee on the banks of a lake by the same name.
It was a sunny day, and we wandered along cobbles from the Church of St Michael to the shore of the lake where a small kiosk was selling ice-creams, and I remember we didn’t buy one.
This was definitely the right decision. Not just because you could have poured about a litre of premium Bavarian beer for the price of a single ice cream, but because if there’s a prevailing memory of that day it wasn’t the food I ate, it was the sight of that sparkling lake under those magnificent mountains.

image 2142 from bradism.com

We did snack on something in Mondsee, in the shade outside the monastery in front of something that was a fountain or a roundabout. What we ate was probably apples and nuts, but the fact that I don’t remember only helps to add weight to my theory that when you’re on holiday it’s not about what you ate, it’s about what you saw.

I mean, that said, I remember the ice cream I ate in a back alley in Munich's Old Town because I ordered it (badly) in German. I also recall the currywurst in a bun I ate for dinner that evening because I have tried multiple times to recreate that experience using Aldi sausages and Keen’s Curry Powder since (never successfully). That sausage sticks in my mind probably because it was the first thing I ate after about eight hours of touching down, making it through customs, taking the Zug to the city and checking into the hotel. And I remember the pork knuckle I ate up on the hill at Kloster Andechs. I also remember cooking some orange capsicums and kidney beans and German taco seasoning in the kitchenette of our hotel room overlooking the Alter Botanischer Garten. I even remember the ice creams we ate under the shade of the Französischer Dom on a super-hot 35 degree afternoon in Berlin.

But, the common theme connecting the European food and lakes I find easy to remember is not what I ate, but just that I took a photo or somehow commemorated the experience at around the same time. Really, this makes the panic buying of many of my fellow South Australian’s so much less justifiable. If I can only recall a handful of the things I put in my mouth during a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bavaria then what does my diet during any period of life really matter? These significant moments of our existence will not be remembered by what we ate, but by what we experienced while eating. So what better time than a six day lockdown to improvise with the forgotten, unwanted or panic-bought-in-March items in the back of the pantry than now?

Be wary of pizzerias.

Be wary of pizzerias.

Tonight, with my favourite Afghan takeaway closed, I dug out a mix of herbs and spices I’d assembled months ago and marinated and skewered a chicken breast fillet I bought on Monday night when Vanessa had fortunately needed an ice-cream run. I barbecued it and we ate it with some old potatoes and half an onion I’d been saving just in case. It tasted great. I washed it down with some hard ginger beer cans that have been sitting in the fridge n-1 for as long as I can remember. A year from now I would have had no recollection of any of this, had I not written this journal entry and taken this photo:

I forgot the garlic.

I forgot the garlic.

What will tomorrow bring? In 2020, who knows? Hopefully my Coles delivery. If not, I’ll probably be making more lasting memories with a pasta cooked in the Italian sauce our real estate gave us when we bought the house, some tins of tuna, and the last third of a bottle of Shiraz that’s been sitting on our bench for two weeks now. After that it could get really interesting, culinarily and otherwise.


I've believed since the outset of this pandemic that wearing a mask on your face can protect you and others from infection.

This has been very easy to believe because up until last week I lived in a place where there'd been seven months without any community transmission, and we were all living life like that community behind the walls in The Walking Dead - untouchable.

Of course then there was community transmission and I had to put my money where my mouth was. Not literally. I put a mask there instead.

Like most of my novel purchasing decisions in adult life I turned to OzBargain to work out how to buy face masks without feeling like I was enabling shady organizations from profiteering off a pandemic (or feeling like I was paying too much).

I went to the supermarket today and I wore a mask. It was fine. Based on some of the terrible facial hair I have represented as a grown man, there was no way I could pretend wearing a mask was below me. I forgot I was wearing it after about five minutes. A child did point at me and gasp in the cereal aisle, but that was because I was tall.

When I consider my life statistics and compare historical supermarket visits to my hand sanitizer usage, I'm honestly surprised I hadn't considered doing this before.

Birds of a Feather

image 2145 from bradism.com

It's no secret that Bird of Paradise's are one of my favourite flowers. I even have the t-shirt.

But I didn't know until this week that they added support for night mode.

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