I Hate Autumn

I think I will never write an entry inspired by a season or the weather again.

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April Fools.

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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.


Today was always going to be the best day of the year to see a sunrise.

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With daylight savings ending tomorrow night, and a "feels like" temperature of 14°C at 7am, not to mention a public holiday - today was the day I could sleep in the longest and be the warmest while watching the sun mount the horizon and drench the landscape in pretty colours. Yes, in June the sun will again rise well after I'm out of bed, dressed and potentially even on my way to work. But today it was a beautiful, bright autumn day with nothing better to do than find a nice place to watch our nearest star reappear.

Sadly, Adelaide is not the best city in the world to watch a sunrise. You have to drive a long way in order to escape the collar of eastern mountain ranges that shield the city from daylight a few extra minutes each morning. We chose to drive to Lyndoch, and take cereal and yogurt to the trails of the former quarry up Altona road. Also, the best sunrise colours happen before sunrise, so even if you get a bit of a sleep in you ideally need to be up and out about thirty minutes before the scheduled sunrise time. And if being up and about means driving an hour out of town then even on the best day of the year to see a sunrise you'll need to be out of bed before 6AM.

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But imagine what time I'd have needed to get up in January to sit and eat breakfast at dawn at the same place. Or how cold you'd be in June.
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And don't worry if you missed it, tomorrow should be good too. Otherwise there's always next Autumn.

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Matching Pairs

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Every coincidence feels more meaningful after a big coffee on a long weekend sunday.

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I Made My Own Liquid Fertiliser

Last year I experienced an order of operations error when I buried Dynamic Lifter under some plants before I learnt that Dynamic Lifter is basically ground up dead chickens and poo.

Nash was definitely aware of the ingredients.

I didn't want to make that mistake again this year, and have to deal with another week of dog turds the colour of black holes. Nor did I want to waste three-quarters of a bag of Dynamic Lifter. So, I got an old pillow case, put two handfuls of Dynamic Lifter in it and tied a knot, put the pillowcase in a bucket and filled it with water. One week later I had liquid Dynamic Lifter and a pillow case I'll probably only ever use for guests. I mixed the bucket 1:3 with water in a watering can and I'll find out in a few weeks how much my plants liked that.

This year, Nash is very sad that the bird of paradise plants smell exactly like the buried treats of last autumn, but only taste like celery.

Album Radio Based On

Grey clouds hung low over Adelaide nearly the entire day today, distorting the sense of time. After a bike ride in the morning, I spent the rest of the day fiddling with technical documents. Before I started I chose something from my Release Radar list on Spotify and I don't remember what song it was, but it triggered one of those automatic radios that played a lot of downtempo, instrumental electronic music. Maybe the AI is getting better, but this was the perfect focus music for dealing with 1000 tracked changes and drawing little lines between boxes on a sequence diagram. I was productive to the music of Rival Consoles, Ulrich Schnauss, Catching Flies, Era C, Little People (I'm just listing these obscure band names here so that I don't have to go poking around in my Last.FM history five years from now when I'm re-reading this entry).

At the end of the day, which might have been before sunset, or maybe after, I went back to Spotify to check the name of the radio it had created, it turned out perhaps the Spotify engineers had missed one little typo in their API specification, because the title of the playlist was "Radio based on" and nothing more.

This felt apt.

The Middle of Autumn

Today marks the middle of Autumn. It was a nice morning, so I went for a walk. Halfway through it started raining.

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Get In The Car

Nash in the back of the car at the beach looking very happy about it.

Winter ain't here yet.

The Shoulder of the Season

I'm still doing my best to enjoy Autumn, but I'm also wary that content can become derivative and unappealing as a frosty Zooper Dooper in May.

Life has been quite busy when I haven't been admiring sunlight through coloured leaves, or enjoying woollen socks. I'm working a lot, reading many books, walking and riding my bike when the weather allows it.

One morning a few weeks ago I took a pleasant bike ride to the sports hospital where I discovered (perhaps unsurprisingly) that they don't have any bicycle parking.

I met a shoulder surgeon who after knowing me for less than five minutes had decided he wanted to penetrate my skin and anchor my labrum to my skeleton. I wasn't happy about this, but I decided it was probably a good idea long term. Then I rode my bike back home.

I've reflected in moments about how much energy I should invest into being frustrated about this injury, as well as the fact that if it had been diagnosed correctly eight months ago I would have had a much easier route into recovery. Before I changed jobs I had over two months of sick leave banked up. Today I have three days.

Then I thought, perhaps I should be thankful that the injury has been properly diagnosed at all. I could have gone years never being able to put weight through my arm or put things on the high shelf without pain. Although at least I would be accumulating sick leave all that time... Nevertheless, if all goes well, I'll get my shoulder back and my dream of being Duncan Robinson at age 37 might come true. Or at least I can shoot a basketball again.

No point stressing about it. There's XML elements to map.

In the meantime I've continued doing squats - and sometimes, heavier squats - as I wait for the scalpel. I am not looking forward to a period of time without a right arm. With a minimum of two weeks of no work/keyboard I will have limited options. My expectation is for a lot of audio books and one handed meals.

Guess I'll have to stick with the Zooper Doopers a while longer.

Bake Love Not War

The timing of our oven's catastrophic failure couldn't have been worse. Since the air fryer arrived last December it has had one job, and that job is to produce a giant cookie for me to eat on Anzac Day. (It also makes pizza but it does that because it likes to).

Traditions are an interesting aspect of human behaviour. The tradition of solemnising the ANZACs of 1915 has evolved a lot since it was first observed in 1942, and commemorated respectfully at war memorials around Australia and New Zealand. By the 60's public opinion was that it wasn't worth the interruption to shopping and sport. During the Vietnam War it was a used by objectors who were protesting the military. Big AFL games may have played a part in it's resurgence in popularity, and by the time everyone was carrying a smartphone to share what they hadn't forgotten on the internet, Anzac Day reached the place it occupies today.

That might sound cynical - which it is - and I'm not saying that Anzac Day can't be observed respectfully if you want to. But the point remains that traditions sometimes change and that's not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, it's just a human thing. I mean, I've had a lot of takes myself on Anzac Day since 2008. I'm not judging.

Even Woolworths have changed their tune. Six years ago the ANZACs were "Fresh In Our Memories", this April they're advertising oats, flour, butter and golden syrup as "Oat Biscuits".

Besides, if I imagine a reality where I was born in 1898 and found myself in the shoes of a digger dying in the sand on the shores of the Dardanelles I don't think I would care about what people or supermarkets would be doing exactly 106 years later. I'd probably just wish I hadn't joined the army and that I was at home playing board games and eating a giant cookie with the person I loved.

So if Anzac Day is important to you, make it a ceremony. Reflect. Drink a beer at 7 in the morning. Play Two-Up and post that on the internet. Tell a service member you're grateful. Go for a hike. It's your life. Be true to yourself.

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This Anzac Day was the first in twelve years that Vanessa didn't make me a cookie. We tried to get a new oven installed by the 25th, but universe conspired against us. So today we made cookies in the air fryer. This came with its own forms of adversity. Vanessa's heart nearly broke when the first one came out close to like a caramelized pancake. She didn't give up. A giant cookie on Anzac Day means to love to her, and to me. That's what's important. We tweaked the temperature (160°) and reduced the cooking time (about ten minutes), added a few more oats and bi-carb. Four batches later we'd got it right and we'd done it together. It wasn't a giant cookie, but it was four million calories in my stomach again. Vanessa was happy. I was content. Tradition is important, but it's no match for the present.

Sunbody That I Used To Know

There's a point sometime in April...

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Usually around 8am one chilly morning...
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That the Sun becomes your friend again.
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