High Entropy

Yesterday at work I was alone in a chatroom with someone and he accidentally exposed his password to me.

I instantly recognised what it was because, like mine, it had a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. I tried to look away, but I knew I'd seen his password and he knew I'd seen his password too. It felt awkward.

What surprised me was just how normal it looked. This person has a lot of experience in IT, and I would have guessed he'd have a long, highly secure password. In reality, his password was just an average length and it even had a dictionary word in it.

We both lol'd about it, and I told him I'd pretend I'd never seen it, and he said he trusted me, but that he was going to change it anyway. The next time I saw him, it was a little hard to make eye contact.

I think the moral of the story is that everyone has a password, and none of them are that special. You should always keep your password to yourself.


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Pod Problems

If I were to try really hard to reduce my carbon footprint, finding an alternative source of caffeine would be high on the list. I make almost twenty coffees a week out of single use Nespresso pods. They're perfectly centred in my Venn of price, taste and convenience. I know there are more environmentally friendly options, but part of me feels like I should just enjoy coffee as it is in 2017 so I have something to remember fondly in the 30's when climate change makes ebooks cheaper than a cuppa.

I'm not that environmentally unconscious. Every Nespresso pod gets its grounds extracted by my pliers and a spoon, then spread onto the roots of my baby passionfruit vines. The leftover aluminum pods pile up in my garage all year (inside recycling bags I have to pay for) until I eventually drive to a florist I had no intention of ever visiting to send them back for recycling.

It's not easy to recycle them, but it can be done. Which is why I feel particularly shitty that for the second year in a row, I've received in the mail my pods back, recycled into a notebook I'll never use!

image 1658 from bradism.com

At least it can be recycled...

The Opposite of a First World Problem

My dog is living the life while I'm out there, working.

image 1659 from bradism.com

Ghetto Engineering

There's a certain satisfaction in fixing something complicated with only the simplest of parts, and your own ingenuity. Over the last few weeks my handheld milk frother looked like it was heading for an early death. The spinning motor still worked fine, but the groove in which the metal frothing wand sat was wearing away, leading to the tragic outcome of the spinny bit sinking into hot, bubbly milk every time.

Putting my brain and thumbs to work, I took a tiny piece of sticky-tape and wrapped it around the top of the wand. This increased the girth just enough for it to stay inserted during rapid spinning. Problem solved for practically nothing, with the most basic possible components.

I'm not going to worry over the semantics of how the roll of tape got into my office, or how sticky-tape was invented.


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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
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Fritz

Today's entry is a short story I wrote about (or at least, was inspired by) a wang of fritz I bought from the supermarket last April.
To read it, check out the latest issue of Breach.

December Twenty-One

On the twenty-first of December, I drafted a journal entry. Two days later I’ve finished it, and it ends a little different to how I intended.

December twenty-first started as a beautiful day, a thin smattering of clouds between me and the morning sun gave the world a vibrant glow. The drive to work was short. End of year traffic was light and, unlike most mornings, the other drivers seemed equally unhurried. Similarly in town, pedestrians were smiling, and wearing festive outfits. In the office, friendly chatter echoed among the cubicles. There was no pressure in the air. No looming deadlines. No eyes down, fuzzy spreadsheets, jokes about needing coffee that weren’t laughed at. The shutdown was in sight. People were remembering to be happy.

I thought to myself, December twenty-first might actually be better than Christmas. No stress of preparing big meals and coordinating family members, no long drives and high expectations. No pressure to enjoy your fleeting leave before the calendar drags you back. It felt like a calm before a coming storm. A nice, relaxing calm.

That was, assuming you’d bought all your presents…

Later on, in the waiting room of my second Emergency Department for the night, the good vibes from the AM were a distant memory. Sickness sucks, more for Vanessa - suffering it - than for me who only had to watch on. Thankfully she is home now, not dying, just waiting for a new year to come and specialists to return to work. In the meantime, like for thousands of other people, worries spin in heads.

I thought to myself, it would be nice, to only have to worry about present ideas right now. Nice to only be concerned with coordinating holiday logistics, and the too-quick end of the summer vacation.

So, whatever the situation you find yourself in at the end of 2017, perfect or less, be thankful for the good things. And have patience with the bad. Try and carry with you, both now and as long into Autumn as possible, as much December Twenty-One spirit as you can.

Happy Christmas

image 1660 from bradism.com

Hmmm

image 1662 from bradism.com

I feel like maybe Facebook could have come up with a better highlight.

Inches

I took delivery of a new TV today. It's 75 inches, so it's not bigger than me, which I found important for some reason.

A little dog and a big dog in similar poses.

I remember 2011, when I set up a new 55 inch TV, and how I marveled at how big the heads of people in my living room were. How quickly did my brain adjust to that screen. Days? Hours?

Is that metal adaptability some benefit of evolution? Or a subconscious signal implanted by the manufacturers of televisions? How long until 75 inches seems small, and the next television stretches longer than I do?

Actually, maybe I'll last another cycle. I've never measured myself diagonally.