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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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.


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.

Deflating

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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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.

image 2300 from bradism.com

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 bradism.com 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.

image 2308 from bradism.com

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.

image 2309 from bradism.com

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.

Sunrise

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

image 2195 from bradism.com

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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2020

When I submit this entry it will be the 2020th one I’ve posted on bradism.com. Unless I am hit by a (let’s face it, extremely debilitating) case of writer’s block for the next two months it will also likely be the only time in my life the entry number and year are a snap.

In olden times I liked to use milestone entries to reflect on where I was a mile earlier, but given that the universe is treating 2020 as a chance to mix it up I figured I would use my 2020th entry as a snapshot of life in 2020 for me, Brad.

It’ll be something we can all look back on in the coming years and decades to remember what my specific life was like.

Starting with the most important thing...

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This is my Fridge in 2020. I’ve had this fridge for about five years after I got taken by a commercial saying it used different coloured LEDs to keep fruit and vegetables fresher, longer. (Note - actually seems to work). Here it is in our kitchen. Featured magnets are mainly of Nash and calendars from the vet which Vanessa wants to keep for some reason.

There’s also a photo of me, my brother and my Dad on the day we carried this fridge up two flights of stairs in my old house. I got that photo turned into a magnet for all of us. A “fridge fridge magnet” if you will. I could turn this photo into a magnet and that would be a “fridge fridge magnet fridge magnet.” Well, that’s Christmas sorted.

image 2129 from bradism.com

I’ve only taken a couple of photos of the inside of my fridge over the years, and in hindsight it’s something I wish I’d done more because it’s fascinating to reminisce and reflect on how your diet changes over time.

Well, if you’re the kind of person with 6% of 2019 entries that are tagged “Breakfast” you will find this fascinating.

The 2020 fridge census is extremely Vanessa & Bradism. Bulk meals, including one pre-bagged for transportation to work to minimise backpack leaks. Low fat, low sugar yogurt (for breakfasts). A kilogram of hummus. A shitload of protein bars. And some very fresh looking fruits and vegetables.

Okay, this was really the most important thing...

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My 2020 couch. It has motorised recliners and headrests. And that's Nash, looking particularly unstressed by the events of this year.

Fun fact: this photo completely confused Lightroom's new auto-geometry feature.

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This is Vanessa in 2020, with a giant coffee. Yes, that is a protein bar she’s eating.

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This is my house in 2020. The roses are in bloom right now. I don't want to add anything else incase I dox myself.

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This is my car in 2020. It’s a comfortable drive, with nice quality of life features, and it was relatively affordable.

It’s a very Brad car: bigger than average, but does its best to blend in. Here it is at the lookout above the Barossa Sculpture Park on a crisp winter morning in 2020.

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This is the backyard in spring 2020. The mulberry tree is fruiting and somewhere in there the slugs are eating the strawberries before Nash can get to them.

I recently paid for the water feature to get fixed and that bubbles all day which is very pleasant.

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My bike and my backpack, 2020. These are ranked number 1 and 2 on the list of “my things most likely to topple over after I put them down”. This picture illustrates the only way to guarantee they'll both stay upright - lean them into each other, like when you tape a buttered piece of toast to the back of a cat.

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My office view, 2020. Also featuring my office view from 2014. On my desk is my coffee cup from 2019, and my coffee cup from 2006.

If you take a step back from where this picture was taken you’ll crunch a very, very mouldy almond.

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My home office view, which I spent an unexpected amount of time at in 2020. It’s kind of crazy how I sit in the same seat during the day making “important business decisions” involving people's time and an organisation's money, and then at night get beaten by teenagers at Age of Empires II or write journal entries like this one.

Lots of classic callbacks here on the 2020 desk, including my HD 515s, Uniball 207s and my 2019 coffee cup from above photo.

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