In Bocca al Lupo

I have been in a good mood these past two heatwave mornings in January 2023.

Yesterday I walked to the supermarket to buy pitas for pizzas, as well as cheap salad ingredients.

Right after the three gigantic cucumbers I'd selected were bagged at the checkout I felt a sneeze coming on. Even with the sneeze barrier and the checkout girl's facemask I did not feel comfortable sneezing in public in 2023. Every muscle in my face did its part to prevent my diaphragm from propelling. I don't know what expression this suppression left on my melon, but the guarded way she said "have a nice day" after I'd paid made me suspicious that my lips had curled in an mis-interpretable way.

This morning I walked to a different supermarket, a bit further away, to buy beans and corn. On my way I crossed path with a woman walking a pug. The tiny dog was adorned with plastic fairy wings. As I passed I was going to say, "good morning" and perhaps remark, "nice wings" - as I thought that no one would dress their dog like that without hoping for a compliment or comment. But perhaps there was something to my stride because as we drew nearer she stepped off the footpath and onto the road to avoid me. The pug didn't see this coming, nor consent, and the force on its lead sent the tiny creature skywards up and over the gutter - briefly airborne. And I understood then the intention for the wings.

I also may have fortunately prevented a potential cyber security incident this week, so overall a pretty good Friday.

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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.


Only a few cars in the line up for a PCR at Adelaide's primary COVID Testing site today.

The Basketball Dream

I had the basketball dream again this week. Somehow I doubt it will ever go away completely.

Today I had a scheduled meeting which would involve being introduced to at least six new people in a semi-formal situation. Perhaps because of the dream I decided to wear my basketball socks so that if any of them were to see me and immediately say: "Wow. Do you play basketball?" I could say "Yes, did you ask this because of my socks?" And then I could have hitched up my pant leg an inch and shown them the socks. I figured this would have been a good mood lifter and acceptable out of the structured confines of a Big Four.

Alas, despite travelling quite a distance to meet them at their office, five of the six of them were working from home and we conducted the meeting on Teams. This is 2022, continued. The one person who was in the room did not ask me if I played basketball.

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Queen Equizabeth II

Seems a little strange that a single 96 year old lady halfway across the earth dies and today I get a day off work. But in 2019 a single person got a little too close to a pangolin we all know how that turned out.

Like a few people in Adelaide I spent my morning in Belair National Park getting my feet dirty.

Here's some photos.

An Ode to 2019

I've been thinking about 2019 a bit lately. Definitely not with rose coloured glasses...

God, I wish it was still then. I know it helps nothing to bemoan, but all on the scales it was such an amazing year. My existing injuries were settling down. I'd found a pair of shoes I could walk anywhere in. I saw my friends every week. A few of them got married.

I played basketball. I did pull ups. I hiked places with Vanessa.

You could go places and other people would be there and it never felt weird.

I led a great project with great people at work. I was constantly challenged and felt a sense of accomplishment. Also you could literally get on a plane at a moment's notice and fly anywhere on the planet and I did that many times.

It wasn't cold. (It did hit 46 degrees in January). Vegetables were cheap. I paid no attention to the economy.

I'm just putting this here to remind me that life can be better than mundane and painful. Hopefully again soon.

Win Win

Prior to my 7 AM admission for surgery today I was advised of the requirement for a negative RAT result upon arrival. Acute awareness of this checkpoint has led to forty-eight hours of pre-admission anxiety about every throat tickle, moment of fatigue and headache (reduction of caffeine intake explains that last one).

Part of the reason the RAT felt stressful was because the hospital is far from my house, and I had to take a taxi there. Not only would a positive test delay my surgery and recovery plans, it would also cost me nearly $100 in taxi fares for the pleasure.

To mentally handle this during one of those tickling throat bouts I looked at the map and confirmed the eleven kilometre trip home was mostly along the river. If I packed an emergency breakfast and some headphones, and I was positive for Covid, I could take a pleasant morning walk home, and my sick leave was already booked. If I didn't have Covid I'd get to have my operation. This was a win win, I reasoned.

Only in 2022 would I consider either having my wrist cut into and stitched back together, or walking eleven kilometres while infected by the virus behind a global pandemic, a "win win".

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.


I didn't like inflation when it triggered a bunch of stock market sell offs in January. I really didn't like it when I was walking around the supermarket this morning and noting how the price tag for nearly every product and service had changed since last time. Low fat, no sugar yoghurt is now $4.50. That's a 12.5% price jump! Does Covid, supply chains, and higher fuel costs truly justify such a steep increase? Can't they just reduce costs by putting even less sugar in it?

On the plus side, I have a salary review coming up.

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