Summer Playlist 2020

Music has always been my go to medium for time travel, but this year I've found another. Having been responsible for a garden all of the seasons of the year I can now read flora like a calendar. Blooming citrus flowers in December remind me of lemons in July. Juicy mulberries in October take me back of scooping buckets of leaves in May. Pulling up withered iris leaves in November brings the taste of hot coffee, reading in the winter sun and watching the first green shoots. Spring growth calls me back to summer dryness.
And this particular thing seems to run all seasons of the year at once, and I kind of think it is a wormhole:

Some weird plant with dead parts and living parts and sprouting parts and flowering parts.

I'd have to dig up the soil to be sure though.

The Summer 2020 playlist is - like the rest of 2020 - a bit slower than past summers. A little more reflective. Half the songs were vying to be the outro. Summer 2020 has been drives to the supermarket and hardware store. Early morning and late evening walks while the UV is low. Bashing out emails during short breaks between video meetings. Bluetooth speaker playing during home gym sessions, trying to balance the line between health and health... Drinking a beer while cooking a BBQ. Songs in my head during bike rides, as I don't listen to music on my bike.

A playlist for passing the summer until it's summer again.

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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.

Zooper Duper

It hasn't been the most social of summers.

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I have enjoyed using social media to trigger my friends with poorly cut zooper doopers.

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Hazy Shade of Summer

Thick grey clouds trapping the heat in the bricks close to the ground.
Strong southerly flapping flags and sending mister sprays and smoke from the firepit over my shoulders.
The steam from the ride stuck to my skin.
The threat of petricor in the breeze. The sky rifling through the colours of sunset. The taste of hops on my tongue.
Tonight this was an enjoyable haze.

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4 Pun Mix

The problem with pandemics is that my regular tinned legume consumption can look to the average observer like I'm panic buying.

Daytime temperatures are still warm. I like trading an hour to escape into a salad and a book. After a morning of exceptions being thrown by proxy services and hamstring tendons I had been looking forward to disappearing into one of those giant bowls when I realised I'd eaten through all my four bean mix during the past heatwave and my collection of corn cans too. Depressed; I made a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with the leftover 40c banh mì I bought yesterday from the Vietnamese bakery.

Now this bun was tiny. A slice of tomato poked out both sides, but I figured I would roll with it. My strategy was to crush the bread as flat as possible and then ensconce it in aluminium foil before its execution in the sandwich press. This actually worked out incredibly well! At last, after almost a dozen slices of Colby, I satisfied the craving I've been having for proper ham, tomato, and melted cheese in bread.

I guess missing my salad did have a silver lining.


A constantly trickling water feature is one of my favourite relaxing energies in life, but the maintenance of such a simple object is a nightmare and perhaps a microcosm for home ownership itself.

Nature abhors a water feature; man was not supposed to control the elements in such frivolous displays of self indulgence. The consequences: Too much sunlight and the algae grows like crazy. Not enough sunlight and the irises die. Run the bubbler too much and all the water evaporates. Don't run the bubbler enough and mosquitoes propagate like sunlight-infused algae. Whatever you do, the pump filter needs to be opened up and cleaned every few days - an experience that will leave you wet, mosquito-bitten, algae-covered and minutely dehydrated.

I recently bought a new algaecide which directed me to apply 1ml per 38 litres of water. I didn't install this fountain. I had no idea what capacity it had. I considered that I could search the bigbox hardware website for similar water features and hopefully they would specify the volume, but before I even fired up my little pocket computer I realised I'd need to measure my pond first, to be sure I was looking at the same thing. And at that point it occurred to me that if I had the measurements of the pond then I could apply high school geometry and calculate the volume of water within it! I'd need to also calculate the volume of the three small pots submerged inside the water, combine these results, and deduct this from the main initial volume. I'd then need to divide by 1000 to convert from cubic centimetres to litres.

Solve for V

Solve for V

This could, I believe, be the first time I've applied mathematics from high school in my actual life. And so for me to truly be able to calculate the volume of a cylinder I knew I would need two things: my Texas Instruments 2002 Graphing Calculator, and tall can of Woodstock Bourbon and Cola.

While searching for the former I felt the urge to confirm that the correct formula for calculating the volume of a cylinder was indeed pi multiplied by the radius squared, multiplied by height. So I pulled out the calculator that my teachers told me I would never always have in my pocket and Googled it. Yep, I was right, and with a height of 12.86cm and a radius of 3.4cm the volume was indeed 440mls. Sadly, I also found a bevy of online cylinder volume calculators where I just plugged in my pond's dimensions of 85cm diameter and 8cm depth and got the result. So technically I didn't get to use high school mathematics, but I did get to use primary school maths to add together three lots of plant pot volumes (3x 4 litres) and deduct that from the pond's volume (105 litres) giving me a total pond volume of 93L. This means I will need 2.5ml of Algaecide to kill the algae in my pond (and 0.012mls to kill the algae in a can of Woodstock.).

Next time I won't even need to measure the pond I can just search for this entry.


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Tonight I went to a 60th birthday party at the zoo with canapes and birthday cake and I was served four different animals.