Ten Tenth Wedding Anniversary Highlights in the Highlands

1. Red Toadstools

2. Rescuing a frog from the shower.

3. Sitting in a cabin drinking coffee and watching the rain

4. Wifey GPS Services

5. Impressive Trees

6. Drawing at card games

7. Waking Up Together

8. Breakfasts with a view

9. Re-Ordering our Wedding Pizza

10. Straddling Mud Puddles

Bonus - Planning our twentieth wedding anniversary.


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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.


Hands Away

This morning I had a 4D CT Scan. If you’re curious about the fourth dimension - it’s time. My appointment was at 8:15am and I didn’t get my hand inside the future donut until nearly 9am. Each time you do a dynamic movement with your wrist in there you have to wait ten minutes for it to recover…

One silver lining, or perhaps that should be newfangled inner-padding lining, was that I was given a futuristic face mask to wear while in one of Australia’s leading scientific research institutes. It was green on one side, and the mouth side material was apparently more absorbent which prevents glasses from fogging up. Have they been sitting on this technology for the whole pandemic? I kept the mask when I left and I tried it with my sunglasses on once after I was outside. It was a nice autumn day. My sunglasses still fogged up. My goal of wearing polarised sunglasses, a face mask, noise cancelling headphones, and a black hoodie remains a dream.

At lunchtime while my tuna and olive pasta from last night reheated I did some exercises where I practised getting onto the floor and back up again with only my left hand. I’m getting better at it. Hopefully with a couple more weeks of practising I’ll be able to get up off the floor without using my arms at all. It’s actually the getting down without arms move that’s the hardest. That’s something I definitely want to become proficient at before any future bike rides.

Lessons Learned

To avoid queues at the airport everyone who is flying that morning should get there first thing. Wait...

Check for small text like "we are 100% plant based" at the top of the menu before picking a breakfast spot.

I need a better phone camera than the S21 Ultra.


Look up the location of that awesome coffee place you once visited before you walk six kilometres around the city.

I should enjoy a good bacon and egg roll more regularly than once every few years.


Don't book holidays for only a single night away. Find some way to extend them to two nights so there is at least a single full day in the middle to enjoy.


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Autumn Onion

Back in February I chopped up some spring onion I bought for a dollar so I could make some homemade bolani in my terrible wok. Instead of throwing out the root base of the onion I tried to do something I saw on the internet, which was to put it in a glass of water on the windowsill so that it would grow some more spring onion for eating later.

I didn’t need to do this. I had two full size spring onions left in the crisper. Inflation wasn’t as bad back then. I just wanted to see if it was true, if you really could cut a plant off at the base and then witness it grow back into something. I don’t know how that works, but it does.

Plants do grow back. It doesn't look super healthy, but it has been sitting there ever since growing new fronds that creep longer each day. I broke my arm and my wrist shortly after I put it there and every time I’ve visited the kitchen since it’s been a little reminder that if I was a plant that fell off my plant-bike I would have been able to amputate the arm and it would probably half grown back by now.


For better or worse, when my wrist was still sore two weeks after I landed on it I advocated for an MRI and a referral not just to any upper limb orthopaedic surgeon, but one of the most advanced hand surgeons in the country. This has not been a cheap exercise, but this is the utility of my right hand on the line here. If I was to risk an ironic injury by listing the parts of my body in order that I want to preserve the functionality of the most it would go: brain, eyes, ears, right hand… That should be enough to keep me going to old age, consuming life, documenting it.

The most advanced hand surgeons in the country have their own fellows when you see them for appointments which is cool, because while you wait for the the appointment to start you get another hand and wrist expert to talk to as they take your history and load your 4D CT Scans up on the remarkably tiny LCD screen for such an expensive office location.

While we waited the fellow ran through the images taken by the 4D CT which showed the movement of the bones in my wrist as I moved my hand from side to side, up and down, and clenched my fist one week earlier. This was “very cool,” according to the fellow. (I agreed). This technology is apparently reasonably new and not commonly available. It also revealed how many tiny bones there are in a wrist, all presumably with ligaments and tendons and cartilage joining them to all the other little and larger bones.

The fellow ran through many animated gif-like loops of my wrist bones moving, deep in concentration. He told me he had read three different papers about the principles of mobility in the wrist, each with different conclusions. “There are theories, but no one actually knows how these joints work together,” he said.

That did not bring me much comfort.

Duncan Robinson Tops

In today's helping of irony I discovered that double tapping the unlock button on my car's remote central locking makes all the windows go down.

Just in time for winter.

My Formative Ears

There is considerable overlap between the electives I studied at university and the types of podcasts I listen to nearly twenty years later.

I do wonder if my 18 year old self stumbled onto the perfect combination of subject matters to equip me for success in the twenty-first century.

After four years of university I emerged with a basic understanding of psychology, history, communication, creative writing, marketing, business strategy, and project management. Plus I also understand how computers work.

At the time I thought it was funny that I was spending my IT Degree writing short stories, learning about the discovery of penicillin, participating in psych research projects and inventing hypothetical subscription based taste simulators. Now I'm sure it's this stuff that has got me to where I am in my career.

I'm considering hiring a handyman to drill some holes in my walls.

The data mining stuff is yet to prove fruitful...

Alibidale

For the past few weeks my background has been getting extensively checked by a subsidiary of a multinational that suffered a major data breach a few years back. Yay...

I received the report today in the form of an email saying I had multiple court conviction disclosures that I had an opportunity to appeal before my background was exposed to those who had requested it.

This seemed funny, so I checked the report to see what in my sheltered, suburban life would be considered a disclosable offence and I found some serious driving offences committed in Western Australia in 2010 and 2011.

I don't recall these offences, on account of I never committed them or even visited WA since 2007. So I disputed, and I was asked to provide supporting information. This seemed tricky. How to provide supporting evidence to prove a negative?

Fortunately, I did journal both the listed dates. In 2011 I was in Hurstville, after working in North Ryde and catching the train home. I listened to Banana Split by Mochipet. My Last.FM Scrobbles from that day will corroborate this.

My post from 2010 may not ultimately help my cause...

Two Months off Two Wheels

In the 35 years that I wasn't a cyclist I barely noticed the stencils on the road and the little blue signs that appear on nearly every footpath and side street I walked down in Adelaide.

image 2348 from bradism.com

Ever since my accident they have haunted me. Everywhere I look on the road or up a pole is that mocking outline of a white bicycle. A reminder not just of my pain, but also the loss of one of the few pleasures I had left: the carefree ride to the shops or to coffee or the brewery in the fresh air.

I still haven't quite recovered from hitting the concrete. My bike suffered injury too. Fortunately replacing a wheel can be done with the same ease and without the same frugality as growing a sprig of spring onion from its wreckage.

With my bicycle back together and a second consecutive long weekend of pleasant autumn weather full of insensitive cyclists riding their bikes all around me, not falling off, it felt like the right time for me to get back on the horse, as it were. So I did, balancing myself on the seat and pedaling off down the street with a new mantra in my head: I don't need to go fast.

I didn't go fast.

But getting back on the bike wouldn't really mean anything if I didn't also get the bike back on same path that I last got off it. So my first ride was along the north side of the river, up to the botanical gardens, then down the slope and onward to complete the journey I'd began two months earlier.

Not sure how I messed that one up.


It was worth getting my bike fixed. The horse helped me burn off a lot of oats.

April Callbacks

If all you have is a double tapping the unlock button on my car's remote central locking, every brief patch of autumn sunshine looks like a summer's day.

If you're concerned about money, placing the base of spring onion in a glass of water by the windowsill and leaving it there for a couple of months will give you a couple cents worth of spring onion and a glass you have to throw in the trash because you can't scrub away the ingrained stink of onion.

2022 Inflation, A Credit Card Statement in Review

I’m the owner of a credit card with a fifteen thousand dollar limit, and I was a little alarmed last week to notice that I was nearing that threshold for the first time ever. Was this the product of buying multiple coffees in an April filled with public holidays? Or was the quarterly consumer price index jump of 2.1%, making for an annual inflation rate of 5.1%, to blame. As this did not happen in my backyard I was keen to analyse and document on my mantel*/journal. And so I bring you my old and well established gimmick: 2022, A Credit Card Statement in Review (Inflation Edition).

* As reviewing my earlier entries has confirmed, posting prices and thoughts about prices in relation to specific dates will provide immense benefit to future anthropologists, according to my inner narcissist.

24 Apr 2022 $8.29 COLES AUS
Maybe it’s because I’m not obese, but the extreme increase in grocery prices has not caused me to starve yet. In the above transaction I purchased four green apples, a tomato, chicken breast, a kilogram of yogurt, three red chilis, two tins of 4 bean mix, some wholemeal crumpets and a bag of lettuce. I did get a $10 discount thanks to my existing Fly Buy points…

23 Apr 2022 $13.33 AMAZON AU
The price of a 1,000 piece Ravensburger puppy puzzle That is 1.3c per piece, delivered. Is that good value for puzzle pieces? Recording this here for future reference.
I ordered this on a Saturday morning and it was dropped off at my front door on Sunday by some guy in a beaten up Camry. How many pieces worth did that guy get paid I wonder?

23 Apr 2022 $151.00 99 BIKES
The cost of replacing my busted wheel, including a new inner tube and labour, which was performed on a Saturday afternoon with no wait time. This seems like good value, although my whole bike cost less than $400 so I probably should have just bought a second one for parts.

21 Apr 2022 $4.30 CITY OF ADELAIDE
Two hours of parking in the city on a Wednesday afternoon. I borrowed two library books for free while I was there.

18 Apr 2022 $65.16 OTR
The cost of a tank of 95 octane petrol. I used the windscreen cleaner for free, but the toilets were occupied so I held on until I got home. There was no public holiday surcharge.

17 Apr 2022 $29.90 PETSTOCK
The price for ten white cloud fish that I released into the water feature in my backyard. I’ve received multiple mosquitos bites in the weeks since, so I am questioning the value of this one.

17 Apr 2022 $15.00 MYLK BAR NORTH ADELAIDE
Two coffees, public surcharge included. Felt a bit steep, honestly.

14 Apr 2022 $16.00 HARRYS BAR ADELAIDE
An imperial pint of Little Creatures plus a large can of Guinness. Felt pretty cheap, honestly.

13 Apr 2022 $140.00 UPPER LIMB SURGEON
6 Apr 2022 $341.55 RADIOLOGY
30 Mar 2022 $220.00 UPPER LIMB SURGEON
25 Mar 2022 $142.20 HAND THERAPIST
18 Mar 2022 $89.60 RADIOLOGY
15 Mar 2022 $250.00 RADIOLOGY
11 Mar 2022 $42.00 SHOULDER ELBOW HAND THERAPIST

Breaking a bike part is a lot cheaper than breaking a human part.

7 Apr 2022 $42.00 HAIR BOWDEN
This does seem to be pretty excessive when placed on the spectrum of two large coffees and a whole tank of refined petrol. According to the archives a haircut in Sydney in 2011 cost $25 and I can understand why the war in Ukraine might have pushed that price up to where it is today. At least this is for a scissor cut.

3 Apr 2022 $8.00 NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (Bundanoon)
The price for 24 hours in a NSW National Park is $8 and honestly I would pay more if I had to.

22 Mar 2022 $117.67 Pet Circle
The price of 15kg of dog food in 2022, but due to the amount of chicken and bird shit in Nash's diet it takes her at least six weeks to get through each bag. Just another piece of evidence that I could feed myself for less than $25 a week if I was desperate.

14 Mar 2022 $18.50 Car Wash Robot
A $7.5 jump since 2006, although I did have to pay about six times as much for the car that I put in it.