Forward Looking to 2017

The iPhone came out in 2007. It's kind of crazy to think that less than ten years ago, if you wanted to Google something, you had to remember what it was until you reached a computer. I used to write reminders to myself as SMS drafts. I'm just old enough to remember winter evenings on the train home when it was too dark to see out the windows and everyone in the carriage either read a book or spent forty minutes with an oscillating head just trying to avoid making eye-contact with other people's oscillating heads. Or talking to their neighbours. Whatever.

Humanity has not had long to adjust to the power of the pocket computer. Honestly, we're not ready for it. At first I found it amusing watching young people nearly walk into bus stops or other young people because their eyes were affixed to their screens. Now it's getting beyond a joke. Everyone's doing it now. Even super old people who should know better. They're checking their email while walking through crowds, or looking at image macros (wait, I mean memes) on FaceBook on their way through doorways. How many steps have they done? What's the current temperature? What's the next song on shuffle?

Phones are soon going to come with built in apps that warn you when you're about to walk into something in front of you, and people are going to celebrate it like it's not a sign of our impending societal collapse. I'm calling it now. My New Years Resolution for 2017 is to never walk and look at my phone at the same time. I feel strongly enough about this that I'm resolving for 2017 in October. I am going to become the only person on the planet who steps to the side of the footpath before taking the phone from the pocket and turning the screen on. I'm posting this online to help keep me accountable. Humans will almost definitely evolve into a species that can walk and read a phone screen simultaneously, but I don't want to be on the wrong side of that natural selection process.

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The Cats

Squeak quits the foster home to live with his cousin Jerome in a boarded up squat in the projects. Jerome is an exciting, reckless companion who makes Squeak feel excited about life, but some of Jerome's lifestyle choices start to eat at Squeak's conscience.

Late one evening Squeak opens up to Jerome that he thinks that robbing parked cars is wrong.
Jerome says, "Ain't your fault cuz, us children need role models and we ain't got none."
Jerome introduces Squeak into his posse and says, "We your boys now. When you feelin' conflicted and shit, holla at us."
They drink and smoke drugs together. Squeak likes the company better than the foster home where the other boys bully him and the social services woman is lazy.

Squeak is not into drinking. The leader of the posse, Munroe, has a pregnant tabby cat who hangs out in the empty lot behind the row where they drink. When Munroe is drunk he is sexist towards some girls walking by and Jerome joins in, but Squeak distracts himself with the cat to avoid the conflict.
The girls walk away and Munroe stumbles around, mumbling about bitch ass gangsters. He catches Squeak playing with the cat.
With a slurred voice Munroe says, "Yo Squeak don't you be fucking with that cat. That's like our fucking mascot, yo."

One night while sleeping on a mattress that stinks of old rain Squeak is shaken awake by Jerome. Jerome says the group need him to be a lookout while they boost cars because their normal lookout has gone missing. If there's any trouble, they should scatter and meet back at the squat the next night.
Squeak is hesitant, but he agrees and helps Jerome, Munroe and Biggie by looking out while they jack the car. As they reverse a hotwired jeep they collide with a mercedes and its alarm goes crazy. The stolen jeep burns off in a hurry leaving Squeak alone. He trudges back to the squat where the tabby has given birth. The cat is sick and all of the kittens but one are dead. Squeak helps the tabby and adopts the kitten for himself. He buries the dead kittens in a shallow hole he digs in the empty lot.

The next night the others return, laughing about their joyriding. Squeak hangs with them until they pass out and then he feeds his kitten before going to bed.
The next night Jerome wants Squeak to help with another robbery. Squeak says he doesn't want to do it. Jerome says that this is how they get the cash for the food that Squeak eats.
Squeak agrees that he's obliged to help. The crew knock off a gas station, stealing eighty dollars.
The next day they all grocery shop together and Squeak secretly buys kitten food. He tells Jerome to keep it private that he has a kitten. Jerome agrees, he says "I'm proud of you cousin for being a proper father to that cat."

A few nights later Jerome asks for Squeak to help again with a robbery. Squeak again says no. Jerome mentions the food and Squeak says, "I don't wanna eat that way."
Jerome says, "I respect that, true. But you're gonna have to find a legit way to make ends meet."
Squeak says, "A'ight."
Jerome and Munroe leave Squeak alone in the squat with the cat.

The next morning Squeak goes to the grocery store to help folks carry their shopping for a dime. After a long day he makes about four dollars which he uses for pop tarts and some milk for his cat. When he returns to the squat the others are still out looking for cars. He plays with his kitten which makes him feel good. It's a hot night so they sit on the stoop where the kitten drinks milk while Squeak pets him and explains how he's going to make something of his life.
A pontiac pulls up as the sun is setting. A man leans out the passenger window.
"That your cat?" he calls to Squeak.
Squeak looks up at the voice. He doesn't recognise the man. In one arm he's cuddling a brown labrador puppy. It's tiny pink tongue is panting steadily in the heat.
In the other hand the uzi was leveled at him.
"Yeah," said Squeak.
"Dogs, motherfucker," said the man.
The squeal of spinning tires follows the squirt of the uzi.

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Travelling Through Space and Time

It's been a weekend of two weathers. Saturday was warm, sunny, windy. Sunday was cold, grey and showery. It's also smack bang dead in the middle of spring. The middle day of the middle month. What better time for me to announce the tracklisting for 2016 Spring Mixtape?

There's a couple of classics and a whole lot of fresh material that will hopefully help cement this period of my life into music. I'll be bumping the below tunes on my walks home from work, my walks to the gym, and my drives to the beach for the next month or so. Years from now I'll be able to put it on and remember the sunny days and rainy days of Spring, 2016. I'll think, ah, back in the days when someone could post a tracklist mixtape on the internet and everyone who read it would keenly listen to all the tracks to try and experience it (on Spotify).

Do you have a 2016 Spring Mixtape? If you do, post it in the comments.

My Second Spring, 2016
1. Grouplove - Do You love Someone?
2. Fitz and the Tantrums - A Place For Us
3. The Naked and Famous - Higher
4. Banks - Trainwreck
5. Montaigne - Till it Kills Me
6. Phantogram - Cruel World
7. Krrum - Evil Twin
8. Ghostface Killah - Be Easy
9. The Avalanches - Frankie Sinatra
10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat Xperience - Bradd Pitt's Cousin
11. Danny Brown - Ain't it Funny
12. Ji-min feat Iron - Puss
13. Griz feat Brasstracks, Eric Krasno - Gotta Push On
14. Francis and the Lights - May I Have This Dance
15. Young the Giant - Amerika
16. Pop Cult - Sunday Morning
17. Dope Lemon - Marinade
18. Ball Park Music - Nihilist Party Anthem
19. Dreller - A Signal That Comes Back
20. Mě - Final Song
21. Northeast Party House - Dare

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Running Low on Band Names

Today was a Monday, so I thought I'd check what new tracks Spotify's Discover algorithm had generated for me. I hoped that this week the playlist would have more melodic, big-beat, indie pop songs than usual.

The first song was called #000000 Nn da Club...

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A Bunch of Hot Air

I've posted a few entries over the past few years about washing and drying my hands. Not heaps, but about the amount you might expect to see from a man who has hospital-grade hand sanitiser on his desk at work, in his backpack, in his car and both upstairs and downstairs in his house.
I've shared tips on how amazing it is to use paper towel and a hot air dryer when drying your hands at the office, and then I posted how even more amazing it is to use a cotton towel and a hot air dryer when drying your hands at the gym.

I had an even more amazing experience this afternoon. After using the bathroom at home and soaping my hands up real nice I found myself towelless. I almost panicked. It was sunny today, but not that warm.

I looked to my right where I spotted what is possibly my proudest home-improvement achievement: the suction mounted hair dryer bracket.

Yep, today is the day I discovered I have a hot air dryer in my own bathroom.

Yep, today is the day I discovered I have a hot air dryer in my own bathroom.

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I'm well aware that the odds of being killed in a terrorist attack are lower than being killed by a bus.
Fear is what they want me to feel.
I won't change the way I live because of any terrorist. But sometimes, especially since I turned 30, I do find myself tipping half the frozen berries packet into the blender instead of only a third.

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I'm not going to pretend like today didn't happen. In fact, I'm glad it did. But it didn't change anything.

You can call me Robert Murphy.

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Tuesday 27th September

6:50 I wake up when I hear the front door open and Vanessa returns home from her walk. I aim to get out of bed before the puppy runs upstairs and jumps on bed.
6:52 The puppy jumps on bed, waking me up again. I pat the puppy. I pat Vanessa.
6:55 Shower
7:15 I prepare breakfast. I cut up a bunch of strawberries. Strawberries are cheap and I eat a whole punnet. I eat them with cereal and milk. The Vanilla Yogurt shortage of 2016 has entered its third day.
7:30 I carry breakfast to the study, hoping to work on some writing for 30 minutes before work. I can't decide if I should work on Shady Slopes or Law & Odour. Windows Update has other ideas, and I watch for 20 minutes as it installs patches.
8:00 I decide to wear pants today, and not jeans. Perhaps because my shirt has blue colours in it, and it looks like a non-jumper day. I change. I put my jumper in my bag instead of wearing it.
8:15 I walk the two kilometres to the train station. I listen to the end of the new Grouplove, album, then I switch to Northeast Party House. It's Sunny, but chilly. At first I'm cold. After a few hundred metres I warm up. I feel vindicated about not wearing a jumper. A bird tries to swoop me.
8:38 I board the train. I read more of Dead Wake, which is fascinating.
8:55 I arrive at the office. I check my emails. I stretch my hamstring and my forearm.
9:30 I go outside and meet Jason for coffee. We only get coffee when we have a two-for-one shopadocket. I wonder if the coffee shop owner likes or hates us for only buying coffees with a voucher.
10:00 Back in the office I perform two code deployments.
10:30 I stretch my hamstring again. I drink some water. I listen to Krafty Kuts on PyroRadio.
11:00 I stretch my forearm. I eat an apple and nuts. I perform another code release.
12:15 During my lunchbreak I walk along the Torrens. At one point I see nine Cormorants all on the same log, floating in the river. They all have their wings spread. I leave the path to take a photo, but the birds hear me coming and they fly away.
12:45 I go to Coles on the way back to the office. The yogurt drought is over! I buy 2 tubs. There's a new two-for-one coffee voucher on my docket!
13:00 Another deployment is performed. I do some forearm stretching.
13:15 I put my lunch in the microwave for twelve minutes on medium.I do a hamstring stretch.
13:30 I eat lunch and try and find a nice bushwalk that you can bring dogs to.
14:00 Another code release.
14:30 I have a teleconference with the account manager of a DevOps Tool vendor. The call is regarding our upcoming licensing renewal. I know he mainly calls me because he knows we have thousands of servers. But I only manage thirty. I request a quote for thirty servers.
15:30 I drink another coffee. I do more forearm stretches. The afternoon stretches on without much excitement. At some point I eat a tin of tuna.
17:02 I leave the office and catch the train to the gym. I ride an exercise bike for fifteen minutes. I super-set hamstring rehab exercises with forearm rehab exercises, then hip rehab exercises with shoulder rehab exercises.
18:25 Walk home from the gym. The nights is calm. I listen to the new album by GRiZ.
19:00 Chop up a whole bunch of vegetables and a chicken breast and make some noodles in the wok. Vanessa leaves for the gym. Watch The Night Of. The dog watches too, but from the ground as her butt is wet.
21:00 Write up a log of the day's events for the journal. Try and think of a good ending for it.
23:45 Hamstring, hip and forearm stretches, then bed.

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