Nash Visits The Seaside

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When the backyard gets boring there's a whole state to explore assuming you can find nearby accommodation that allows dogs.

This weekend Nash went to the Yorke Peninsula for some adventures. Including:

Walks along the beach

Walks along the beach

Morning walks along the cliff

Morning walks along the cliff

Cooking the BBQ

Cooking the BBQ

Off-Roading along the cliff

Off-Roading along the cliff

Cooling off.

Cooling off.

Walks along the beach at sunset

Walks along the beach at sunset

Ironically, while we were away one of the most exciting things to happen in the garden in months occurred.

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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.


Olympic Medals Presentation

With hindsight I've realised that using each Olympics as a milestone at which I ignore the success and heartbreak of athletes and instead reflect only about my own life in a long block of prose has been misguided narcissism. Why have I been waffling on about my own achievements randomly, and not instead ranking them and awarding medals to myself?

It's been four years since Rio. I mean, technically five but covid has that effect on things. A lot has changed.

Gold


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As with every other Olympics since 1996, Tokyo finds me with a new employer, a new salary and a new set of responsibilities. I strongly believe I am now good at my job (I've only written a single Dale since London). I still only use the phrase "IT Professional" ironically, even though I'm now TOGAF Certified.
In 2020 I nearly got flown to San Francisco to present to a conference about my leadership over the successful agile delivery of an integration uplift project (at the time it wasn't really agile or delivered).
I also was promoted to the point where I managed other people, and that really exposed me to new perspectives that I’ve learned a lot from - primarily that I should focus on technology and I shouldn't manage people. Hence my new job...

I've equalled the world record for love and having a dog for the longest amount of time between Olympics. I went on an amazing four week trip to the Pacific Northwest and hiked through nature that's hopefully still kicking a few Olympics from now. We moved house, switched cars. That's been like shedding a skin - all new extremities, but unchanged at the core.

Silver


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I have not traditionally published a novel, but I did write to completion two more of them - Shady Slopes, and Cold Case. However, I did achieve my dream of being published in a professional science fiction market, as well as selling numerous short stories both in Australia and internationally. And was featured in a best works of 2018 thanks to my dumb flash fiction about a witch’s magic mirror which crashes after a windows update.
I spent nearly every work day lunch break writing between 2016 and 2019, and then I gave up. I almost gave up... Let's see what happens by next Olympics.

Bronze


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My health and fitness has not reached its potential during an inconsistent performance in my mid-thirties. Chronic hamstring tendinopathy had me down for so much up the past years that at one point in 2019 I would almost have been justified in releasing this Olympic recap in line with the Paralympic Games in September.
I did make a triumphant return to low-grade social basketball, hit a couple of corner 3s and then suffered another soft tissue injury that would cost me a year of pain, surgery and rehab.
Despite that, I was very healthy. I walked 10,000 steps most days. I worked on my mobility, strength and physiology enough to mute my hamstring pain to a mostly ignorable caress. I set a new personal best with a back squat of 103kg, and a deadlift of nowhere near that much. I did not set a bench press PB but I did a push-up again. I was a vegan for a few minutes and I ate a lot of salad. I lost 5kg for the fun of it and had visible abs, and then I drank a lot of craft beers and gained 5kg for the fun of that too.
I have so far successfully avoided covid.

Participation Trophy


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(Including a summary of 2016’s Olympic Resolutions.)
There were more weddings (but less weddings).
I rewrote my website with a new framework, but I didn’t build it API first. Maybe next Olympics.
I bought my first shares on the stock market. I haven’t sold any yet.
I rode a bike for the first time this millennium.
I survived the Trump era.
I did make a new friend!
I signed up for not one, but two credit cards with awesome rewards programs. I currently have hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer points with both Qantas and Virgin, and nowhere to fly to.

DNQ


image 2245 from bradism.com

Be more spontaneous.

My goals for next olympics.
There’s less than three years until the Paris Olympics, so I’m not sure how much I can really achieve. But that will also be the month before I turn forty, and knowing my history with procrastination and success I suspect another 750 words will be possible in August 2024.

I’d like to be vaccinated. I want one foot into a retirement plan that covers finances, climate change, and something to keep me occupied for the rest of my life. I’d appreciate both feet on foreign soil again, even better would be to do that as the entourage of a certain wifey athlete. I want a house that isn’t cold in winter. I’d like to go camping.

When Life Gives You The Delta Variant Of Lemons

Last weekend our family tradition of a Sunday morning walk along the river to the North Adelaide Bakery for a cream puff was cancelled due to the latest Coronavirus saga to hit Adelaide. As well as the shit weather, and injuries.

This was depressing, but we didn't cry or break things or punch a horse. We adapted.
On Friday we ordered some cream, eggs, butter, and dark chocolate melts which arrived yesterday.
Last night I attempted my first batch of Choux Pastry (boil the water a touch longer next time, and remove the dough from the saucepan before the butter starts to separate).

image 2238 from bradism.com

This morning, with sun shining, and after a walk into our backyard, we kept our tradition alive another week.
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The Scenic Route

Brown river grass on a hill on a winter's day in the Murraylands.

Murraylands.


Recently I've been working on balancing life's boring todo list jobs and tasks with more adventurous goals and objectives - something I may go into more detail on in a future journal entry.

Today's planned adventure was a road trip with Vanessa and Nash. Destination: up the freeway to Mannum Falls. (After the traditional mini cream puff and coffee.)

A golden retriever staring thoughtfully at a river.

Nash enjoying the scenery and wondering why she works every day.


After the walk I chose to take the scenic route back to Adelaide. Perhaps Google Maps is also finding the balance between doing its job and having fun, because some of the backstreets off Norton Summit Road it directed me down were a tad steep and narrow for the algorithmic saving of a minute. You could call these the scenic routes of the scenic route. I was partially tense, but mostly enamoured by the lush and overgrown hills and forests, and have no regrets for how that drive turned out.

I have no photos to share of that part of the journey, for sad but obvious reasons.

After arriving home and eating some of the BBQ Pumpkin soup I invented yesterday I walked to the supermarket to get some things for dinner. I also took the scenic route, enjoying the boring as fuck streets I have walked around a million times since COVID19, but that are still much better than walking along the edge of an expressway.

I also did some weeding, shaved, and bought new discounted Woolworths gift cards. Finally, I endeavoured further to repair the kitchen cabinets. I could probably pay a handyperson a small fee and they'd fix those hinges in less than fifteen minutes. Alas even when it comes to chores I am apparently taking the scenic route...

From the Chaff

Sometimes on winter Sundays (or public holiday Monday equivalents) the sun goes down and I feel a sense of melancholy that another week of my life is over and now it's cold.

But if I then have a hot shower and dress in warm clothing, I feel a bit better.

The weekend, like the rye and linseed sourdough loaf I bought Saturday morning, lasted three days.

Nash attended all the parts worth remembering.

image 2224 from bradism.com

On Saturday morning we walked to Plant 4 at Bowden for coffee and a visit to the local bakery where said loaf was purchased.

Sunday Morning was our traditional family walk from the Weir to the North Adelaide Bakery for mini cream puff and coffee.

Sunday evening was spent catching up with Vanessa's family and Kelpie, eating Afghan food and answering trivial pursuit questions.

Monday was friends, NBA playoffs, double beef burgers and my first game of 500 for the decade.

As the night crept in and work emails started drafting themselves in my head, it's easy to see why I'll miss these days.

5 perfect timings of May 13 2021

The end of a two hour podcast episode coming to a close as I approached the front door after my morning walk.

Finishing my final accessory exercises (single leg glute bridges and supermans) as the final verse in Krafty Kuts and A Skillz' Superchunk mix filled the home gym.

The bank calling me to confirm I can save $2000 by breaking our current fixed loan, right after this fortnight's anaesthetist called to tell me that my anaesthetic gap was going to be $90 higher than the anaesthetist I was going to have last week. (Maybe the drugs will be 40% better - can't wait to find out!)

Bringing the Ice Coffee Maxibons to the checkout at the same moment Vanessa texted to remind me she'd earned ice cream by deadlifting 115kg.

Reaching my 10,000 daily step goal as I approached the front door after my evening walk.

Fleurieu Weekend

A short but sweet trip to some of the dog friendly attractions of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Friday Night - dinner in the garden at Forktree Brewing overlooking the ocean at sunset.

Friday Night - dinner in the garden at Forktree Brewing overlooking the ocean at sunset.


Starting the weekend with the appropriately named Sunset Amber Ale

Starting the weekend with the appropriately named Sunset Amber Ale


Saturday morning, balmy and cloudy, a view over Encounter Bay after a sunrise drive through the backroads and hills.

Saturday morning, balmy and cloudy, a view over Encounter Bay after a sunrise drive through the backroads and hills.


Nash gets a quick pet stop on the way to the top of the hill.

Nash gets a quick pet stop on the way to the top of the hill.


Top of The Bluff. The Victor Harbor Heritage trail along the cliffs led to some rocky beaches and pools.

Top of The Bluff. The Victor Harbor Heritage trail along the cliffs led to some rocky beaches and pools.


After a coffee, early lunch at Port Elliot bakery. Steak and onion pie, followed by caramilk donut. Good thing I climbed that hill first.

After a coffee, early lunch at Port Elliot bakery. Steak and onion pie, followed by caramilk donut. Good thing I climbed that hill first.


After a nap at the holiday house, a brief trip to Normanville for another walk and some late afternoon sunshine.

After a nap at the holiday house, a brief trip to Normanville for another walk and some late afternoon sunshine.


Saturday Night - the only board game in the holiday house was the 1983 edition of Trivial Pursuit. After three hours someone finally managed to answer a pop culture question.

Saturday Night - the only board game in the holiday house was the 1983 edition of Trivial Pursuit. After three hours someone finally managed to answer a pop culture question.


Sunday Morning - walking the length of the Carrickalinga Esplanade Walking Trail.

Sunday Morning - walking the length of the Carrickalinga Esplanade Walking Trail.

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.

image 2203 from bradism.com

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.

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