Fritz

Today's entry is a short story I wrote about (or at least, was inspired by) a wang of fritz I bought from the supermarket last April.
To read it, check out the latest issue of Breach.

Ghetto Engineering

There's a certain satisfaction in fixing something complicated with only the simplest of parts, and your own ingenuity. Over the last few weeks my handheld milk frother looked like it was heading for an early death. The spinning motor still worked fine, but the groove in which the metal frothing wand sat was wearing away, leading to the tragic outcome of the spinny bit sinking into hot, bubbly milk every time.

Putting my brain and thumbs to work, I took a tiny piece of sticky-tape and wrapped it around the top of the wand. This increased the girth just enough for it to stay inserted during rapid spinning. Problem solved for practically nothing, with the most basic possible components.

I'm not going to worry over the semantics of how the roll of tape got into my office, or how sticky-tape was invented.

The Opposite of a First World Problem

My dog is living the life while I'm out there, working.

Pod Problems

If I were to try really hard to reduce my carbon footprint, finding an alternative source of caffeine would be high on the list. I make almost twenty coffees a week out of single use Nespresso pods. They're perfectly centred in my Venn of price, taste and convenience. I know there are more environmentally friendly options, but part of me feels like I should just enjoy coffee as it is in 2017 so I have something to remember fondly in the 30's when climate change makes ebooks cheaper than a cuppa.

I'm not that environmentally unconscious. Every Nespresso pod gets its grounds extracted by my pliers and a spoon, then spread onto the roots of my baby passionfruit vines. The leftover aluminum pods pile up in my garage all year (inside recycling bags I have to pay for) until I eventually drive to a florist I had no intention of ever visiting to send them back for recycling.

It's not easy to recycle them, but it can be done. Which is why I feel particularly shitty that for the second year in a row, I've received in the mail my pods back, recycled into a notebook I'll never use!

At least it can be recycled...

High Entropy

Yesterday at work I was alone in a chatroom with someone and he accidentally exposed his password to me.

I instantly recognised what it was because, like mine, it had a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. I tried to look away, but I knew I'd seen his password and he knew I'd seen his password too. It felt awkward.

What surprised me was just how normal it looked. This person has a lot of experience in IT, and I would have guessed he'd have a long, highly secure password. In reality, his password was just an average length and it even had a dictionary word in it.

We both lol'd about it, and I told him I'd pretend I'd never seen it, and he said he trusted me, but that he was going to change it anyway. The next time I saw him, it was a little hard to make eye contact.

I think the moral of the story is that everyone has a password, and none of them are that special. You should always keep your password to yourself.

Privilege

Despite all the dark parts of life, I'm undeniably privileged to post photos of summer sunsets on my journal year after year, without fear of persecution, isolation, pterodactyls, etc.

Acceptance

Since August, after being told a story I'd written was shortlisted for publication in my favorite semi-pro literary magazine, I've had a bottle of champagne in my fridge awaiting the follow up email.

No Pen Intended

I'm (hopefully) close to the point where I have to decide, as a writer, if I want to use my real name or a pen name. I have conflicting feelings. Part of me is egotistical, and wants nothing more than to see my name on a book cover someday. Another part of me is conservative, and wants to keep my current professional life separate from my writing life.

I'm not sure why I feel the urge to hide my hobby from co-workers. Really, what's the worst that could happen? They search the internet for me, find a moderately successful time travel series on Amazon, decide that the concept is so far-fetched that they'll ignore all my industry experience?
Probably not.

Maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong. Perhaps overlapping my writing and my professional life might actually be an opportunity I'm missing. Maybe a potential future employer might search for me online, find my books, and rush to become a customer!
Probably not.

Damn It


I need to find the HM to teach Nash cut.

Spring 2017 Playlist

Oh no, it's Spring. it was 23 degrees and sunny for a day there between the freezing nights and this week's heatwave. Better share my new music Spring 2017 playlist before the long days of summer heat cripple and curl the greenery.

Featuring, all new songs from 2017 that I've listened to a lot. To remind me of days of hamstring exercises, Cake PHP development, starting to worry about UV again whilst writing, driving to town during lame rail upgrades, cooking huge and agricultural vegetarian curries, hamstring stretches.
(I did a lot of other things during Spring 2017, but most of them whilst not listening to music.)

Six Bradisms

Somehow almost three weeks slipped by without a new entry. I had a few important thoughts during these times:

Hummus has totally ruined mayonnaise for me as a salad dressing. It’s not really a bad thing.

You know what’s worse than rejection? Silence.

I’m still doing that tight-arse thing where I perform a brief SWOT analysis in my head every time I use a piece of paper towel.

Sometimes beautiful sunsets piss me off, because the world looks pretty and it makes me feel like maybe I shouldn’t accept it’s a terrible place ruined by humans and it can’t be changed.

Am I a dual citizen?

A Baxter Inn

I was in Sydney for a conference today, and I made the poorly-reasoned decision to attend the networking drinks afterwards. I spoke to no one, drank a beer quickly, then fled downstairs to write by a phone charger.

I still had over an hour to kill before I needed to leave the city. I opened Maps to plot my route to the train station, and that’s when I saw, a few hundred metres away, a pub named The Baxter Inn.

Only a few people would recognise this significant of this. Why Google’s unfeeling brain felt the urge to present me with it, I can guess. It probably has something to do with one of the heavily-used tags in my Keep notes, plus the time of afternoon. I clicked on the details and learned that the venue offered an amazing selection of whiskeys and gins. I wondered if this also included the most exotic of dark, spiced rums.
I was already walking. I was about to find out.

I turned down a narrow alley off Clarence Street, which widened into an old loading dock shrouded in the shadows of skyscrapers. In the corner was a speakeasy, bottles of liquour visible through the windows.

I stepped through the low doorway and approached the bar where a young man with a hipster haircut and a trimmed moustache watched me approach with a friendly smile.
“I’m looking for a dark, spiced rum,” I said. “What do you recommend?”
He glanced over his shoulder at the long shelves of whisky bottles. “We only have one, actually.”
“What is it?”
“Bacardi.”
“Oh,” I said.

I had nowhere else to go, and the itch to write more, so I ordered a dark, spiced Bacardi (which wasn’t actually that bad). I sat in the corner of the bar, working on a short story by candlelight, learning how to sip while negotiating the single, giant ice-cube that floated in my cup. I wrote a couple of pages, felt good about it, noticed on a coaster that the name of the place was not actually The Baxter Inn. I’d gone and bloody stepped into the wrong speakeasy-down-a-laneway-on-Clarence-street and some delicious, spiced rum was in a bottle waiting for me somewhere else. Or maybe The Baxter Inn didn’t exist, or it did but it was in a different universe to the one I was in. That could make sense.

The Moment You Realise You're Not In Adelaide Today

Foresight

I remembered to clean my BBQ after its last use before winter. Today I appreciated my past efforts so much I wasn't sure if it was altruism or egotism.

No Exaggeration

I think fictional crime has ruined true crime podcasts for me. They all kind of sound the same.

On this date, in the seventies or early eighties, a horrific murder took place. Police immediately arrested Bobby McCriminal, who matched the description of the suspect who had sped away in a stolen car.

McCriminal had a history of drug and robbery crimes, but denied the killing. Police interviewed his friend, Heroin Terry, who confirmed Bobby was the killer in exchange for placement in witness protection. Police found a stolen car in Bobby's driveway, and the bloody weapon on his kitchen bench. They arrested him for murder.

Six months later, right before the trial, Heroin Terry confessed he invented his testimony in order to live in witness protection on taxpayer's money. He wasn't called as a witness.
Bobby went to jail, wrote a book and then fell ill and died shortly after his release. That's the only reason I feel safe recapping his clumsy exploits in this podcast.

Older Entries | No Newer Entries