The Most Abhorrent Meal of the Day

If the 450 word eulogy I posted a year ago for my blender didn't make it obvious to me that I loved it, absence has most definitely made the heart grow fonder. Paying $550 for a new blender must in part have been an over-compensation for the grief I was feeling. What sane person would make a choice like that? What features beyond turning ice and food into a delicious breakfast must a blender offer to justify its price. Only the people who purchase 24 packs of croissants in bulk might know the answer (as in, multiple 24 packs...)

The Vitamix Explorian E320, like most of 2022, did not meet my expectations. It turned ingredients and ice into watery ingredients and crushed up ice. It had a two litre jug all right, but the blended contents never reached the top. I had an eleven year long baseline to compare it with. Before 2022 I would get two and a half milkshake cups worth of lush, gossamer, silky smoothie. It would take me twenty minutes to drink. I could place a plastic spoon on the surface and it would float there. Yes, most of the cup was air but it was delicious, refreshing air.

Initially I thought there was just a learning curve. A good breakfast-person never blames their tools after all. At some point, with the Breville over the horizon, it was clear that things were not going to improve. Is not the definition of insanity to repeatedly put 225ml of skim milk, 20g of protein powder, a banana, some berries, and 200g of low fat yogurt in a blender with 27 ice cubes and expect different results? I tried increasing the milk, decreasing it. Increasing the ice, decreasing it. Increasing the yogurt, increasing that even more. I couldn't understand why a recipe that hadn't changed in over a decade (well, barely...) could fail over and over again.

I blamed myself. After watching those expensive blades every morning whip the the jug's contents up and up only for breakfast to sink down after each blending was depressing. The house would shake, I'd stop the motor and I'd be left with goop. Where was my creamy refreshment? Where was the SPOILER: smoother mouth feel?

I was aging. I was declining. Maybe my life to this point had been a balance of mostly lucky breaks, and now the symmetry of the odds were rearing their head. I was going to be doomed for the rest of my life to make bad decisions and drink disappointing smoothies.


A few weeks ago I thought to myself maybe it was time to stop drinking smoothies for breakfast. I could eat cereal again. Maybe toast, or just a black coffee and a single, boiled egg from a collection I kept in some Tupperware that I would refill, unsmiling, every Sunday. At least I'd get a journal entry out of it.


I could tell when I'd hit rock bottom.
At that point I decided that I didn't care that this stupid Vitamix had cost me over half a fucking grand. I was going to buy another Breville. I bought the Breville Boss. It was only $240. I plugged it in and made a smoothie with it. It did take me a few attempts to return to form. I had to keep reducing the ingredients back to the old levels.


After the first time I made it like I used to I nearly cried.

I'd nearly convinced myself that my self worth wasn't directly tied to how well I made a smoothie. It is, and I make smoothies really well. The Vitamix was not for me. Now every day I get two and a half milkshake cups worth of smoothie for breakfast. Life feels a little less cruel.


Lastly, because I bought the Vitamix from the place that sells 24 packs of croissants in giant trolleys I did have a crack at taking advantage of their "satisfaction guaranteed" refunds policy. Given this entry is a little bit like an advertisement I will garnish it by saying that, unflinchingly, that company was happy to keep their word and after all this adventure they refunded me $550. They only asked why I wasn't satisfied, and I regaled them with the tale above, slightly abridged. They did not ask any follow up questions.

This morning I made yet another perfect smoothie and drank it looking out at the garden. The refund had processed through on my card. 2022 was nearly fucked off into the bin.

Soon I will hopefully just look back at these last twelve months as a horrible mix up.

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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

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.

Summer Thursdays

I've been working a lot of hours lately. Enough that by Thursday morning I have enough up my sleeve to go hiking before breakfast, eat some fruit, oats and yogurt on a summit, and then stop for coffee on the way back to my computer. All before the UV becomes extreme.

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This entry is to remind myself in future summers that this is an excellent way of structuring a week.

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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.

What I did on my Summer Holidays 2021 Edition

It's semi-often that I get eleven consecutive days without work. That's like an Easter, an Adelaide Cup long weekend, plus Anzac Day, and plain old regular Sunday all wrapped up.

Given this is my journal I thought it might be pertinent to repeat my previous summer break traditions of preserving an essence of those long summer days for posterity, unlike the other 354 days of the year which are abandoned in the mists of time, distance, and as usual the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain.

December 25th
Christmas morning started with a beach walk with Nash on the sands of Grange. Lunch was at Dad's with many extended family members. It was a nice time.

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December 26th
First thing on Boxing Day was a hike up Mount Lofty where for the first time ever I got a car park at Waterfall Gully. After we reached the summit we sat down for some choc-raspberry-oats and yoghurt. I saw black cockatoos and sulphur crested cockatoos.

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After that was a trip to the homemaker centre and big box hardware, and following a salad I set about knocking off half my break's todo list with the things I brought home. Alas, these were all the easy things like attaching sticky hooks to the shelf by the front door, and attaching a new hose head.

Finally, before the sun got too low, I rode to Alex's to meet up with Wilhem and throw a lot of tennis balls.

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December 27th
The ten person household limit kicked in, and I attended a small BBQ with Josh, Claire and Timmy.

In the evening I drank a beer and started reading From Russia With Love.

December 28th
After breakfast I rode my bike to St Clair for an Albanian coffee, some more reading time next to some birds, and then I bought heavily discounted custard and rode home.

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That evening I ate a sticky date pudding and played Borderlands 2 with Josh and Sam.

December 29th
It was very hot, and so we stayed inside in the dark and watched Matrix Resurrections and had a smoothie.

Later in the afternoon we drove to Aldinga for dinner and another walk on the beach. Nash tried to hunt and kill a partially submerged rock, and got bopped on her bottom by an unexpected wave. Much mirth was shared.

December 30th
Another stinking hot day where we tried to get a long walk in before breakfast, again along the Torrens.

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It was around this point that another item on my todo list - Upgrade to newer version of PHP and framework - began. I expected it to take me most of the day.

At some point I got sick of holiday software development and drank a beer while making pizzas.

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December 31st
Omicron hysteria was everywhere. We went on another Torrens walk, then after breakfast to Costco to buy bulk strawberries and salad.

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I did more Bradism upgrading.
In the evening I made Afghan chicken kebabs and then we rode to Semaphore, swam in the ocean, drank champagne in the dark and then rode home.

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January 1st
I fixed my flat tyre. The Bradism Upgrade efforts continued. Vanessa made me a mousse cake.

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January 2nd
We went walking on the beach in the morning. I forget which beach.

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Later in the afternoon I strapped a Bluetooth speaker to my handlebars, told Spotify to play radio based on Don't Stop Believin' and Boston's More than a Feeling. I rode to Glenelg for another ocean beer, and watching the sunset at the Unit with Gus and Timmy.

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January 3rd
Invigorated, I slow cooked a pork leg for eight hours and set about trying to finish as much of the second half of my todo list. I ate pulled pork for dinner. The Bradism upgrade continued...

It was a nice break.

Power Blend Smoothie Ice (Auto Pulse)

Today was the last time I used my Breville Professional 800 Blender. This is a product I have used on average daily since October 2010, and which has been squealing and disintegrating way past its retirement date due to my inability to find a replacement blender that also has a two litre jug and is on special.

Finally, after a year on my to-do list, I bought a Vitamix Explorian E320 to replace it. I had to pay for a Costco membership to be able to purchase it, and after visiting Costco and seeing the contents of the average person’s trolley there I understand why it was only at Costco that I could find a blender with a gigantic jug.

The Vitamix, based on how much it cost, better give me a lot of good breakfast smoothies. But that may be an entry for another decade. Today was about saying goodbye to the Breville. That Breville has seen some shit, and I wanted to make sure it knew I appreciated it. I’ve been putting two full trays of ice cubes in it each morning and Vanessa sometimes adds more than that later on the same day. It’s made cherry ripe smoothies at Christmas time, raspberry and orange juice smoothies on tropical Engadine evenings. I perfected the recipe for the homemade smoothycino in it. It’s made smoothies with no milk or yogurt when I was a vegan in 2017. Banana and honey smoothies with Bundy on Australia Day, 2015. Smoothies with no protein during some of my many years of not lifting weights. Smoothies with no ice because for some reason I occasionally made bad smoothies. I made smoothies with Weet Bix in them. Smoothies with Reese's Pieces in them. Chocolate Banana smoothies after basketball games. Once I even blended some spinach and spices together to make a sauce for a chicken saagwala. Smoothies with mango and pineapple and cocoa and watermelon and cinnamon and blueberries and maple syrup and passionfruit and grapes and peanut butter and rockmelon and strawberries and so many flavours of protein powder and sometimes creatine and oats soaked in water and the yoghurts. So many yoghurts.

Which of these, or the many, many other smoothie recipes of the past eleven years befitted the bravura that would put the Breville behind me? Multiple states, multiple jobs, houses, a marriage and a dog all powered by what those blades had made.

All of them, I decided. The ultimate smoothie. Today I was going to make a breakfast that was a combination of all the smoothies that had made me the man I was since 2010.

Today was the blend of an era.

Professional Pedestrian

Breakfast may have declined since the 19th Century.

Breakfast may have declined since the 19th Century.


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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