A Level Up

At midnight yesterday I was warned by a chirp that another smoke alarm backup battery was going flat. Unlike last time, I was able to remove the cover, extract the battery and restore peace with only five to ten minutes of suppressed rage and a single, vitriolic paragraph of pure expletives. I did not need to use any hand tools to break my way in like a castaway with walnuts and no nutcracker.

A smoke alarm mount in a roof.

Success!

I guess my recent birthday actually helped me develop as a person.

Nash did not provide any assistance.

image 1955 from bradism.com


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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?


Dusted and Done

I'd been contemplating buying a new PC. I wanted something powerful enough to render high resolution panoramas in Photoshop from RAW images. And with enough grunt to export short videos of the season movies in HD.

Before replacing my PC - which at some point in the past had not filled all levels of the townhouse with it's shrill High CPU Temperature warning when performing the above tasks - I thought I should try cleaning out the dust out of it. I couldn't remember the last time I gave it a good compressed-air blast to the heat-sink. I suspected it was before I got a golden retriever cross who sheds her winter coat for a summer coat every night in July that we put the heater on. I bought a can of compressed air from Office Works and with daylight as an ally on a Saturday morning I took my computer apart on the balcony and got to blasting.

I'm not sure what tolerance my CPU fan designers had for dog hair particles, but safe to say I'd exceeded them. While Nash watched from the comfort of the couch I got into every nook and cranny, sending puffs of dust and lint into the cool, August air. I was ruthless. I figured, if anything got dislodged or disrupted it would be a good excuse for upgrading to the new PC anyway.

Happily for Frugal Brad, the re-assembled PC ran fine, maybe a little quieter. And a test export of 89 high-resolution images from Lightroom did not breach any CPU monitoring metrics and in fact Chrome and Spotify ran along at the same time as well. My $3,000 PC budget was used to buy a $10 can of cleaning spray.

Autumn/Winter 2019 Playlist

image 1935 from bradism.com

Yesterday a new Fitz and the Tantrums track came out that was perfect for a Spring playlist and I remembered I hadn't posted the tracklisting for my Autumn/Winter mixtape yet. Figured I should get that out now before too many more 21 and sunny days come along. It's hard keeping track of seasons and their associated moods these days, what with Spotify algorithms, month long trips to the northern hemisphere, and the general side effects of global warming. Nonetheless the attached hour of music was curated mainly under the influence of dark morning showers, dripping noses, wet dog feet and perpetual grey sky days where you wish you could spot a couple of ducks fucking simply to spark some optimism that BBQs, blue skies and families of ducklings frolicking by the river aren't as far away as they feel.
If you listen to other people's Spotify playlists, enjoy.


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Something is Wrong With My Dog

Or maybe this is a normal way to poop?

Or maybe this is a normal way to poop?

The Dog

It's true, golden retriever hair is not actually attached to their bodies. It teleports from a parallel dimension and sits on the dog in a weave (loosely).

image 1878 from bradism.com

Happy Birthday Nash

image 1852 from bradism.com

It was my dog's birthday yesterday, and she celebrated it today with some other dogs and a “cake” made of meat products because some things on offer in this world are worth more than money.

image 1853 from bradism.com

Nash is now five, which is 35 in human years, and which explains why she didn't like this year's Hottest 100 as much as the ones from her twenties.

Actually, that said, I listened through the 2019 Hottest 100 on Spotify this week and I can't see what the fuss from non-millennials is about. The countdown has always been a popularity contest, and always featured songs whose appeal faded completely between voting opening and the BBQ lighting up. I did not particularly enjoy the rap tracks which made it in, as I despair (white-ly and quietly) about the state of hip hop in general these days. BROCKHAMPTON's eclectic energy is great, Post Malone can write a pop song, A$AP Rocky and Childish Gambino can rap excellent verses when they're not crooning. But overall I find the genre struggling with listless and unexciting songs. Which probably means I'm not the target audience. (I probably wasn't the target audience during the boom-bap era either...) Still, the fact that Sicko Mode finished so highly partly because of its “multiple styles in one song” just tells me that even fans are getting bored listening to these same, flat beats and mumbles for the length of an entire song.

I've become distracted from my original point, which is if I can enjoy pictures of my dog wearing a party hat and eating a cake and not be judged, then millennials should be allowed to vote for Ocean Alley songs - which are essentially the same thing in music form.

image 1854 from bradism.com

Halti Review

Nash is an alright dog I suppose, but I would enjoy walking her a lot more if she'd just trot beside me on daily strolls, instead of trying to pull my arm off. Nash isn't food motivated, and the only reward she responds to is, unfortunately, running around freely as well as licking people's faces.

We recently switched from her old harness to a Purina Halti harness, which claims its chest clip will use the dog’s forward energy to hold it back and pull less. I was sceptical when I saw the simple design, but amazingly from the first instant of wearing it, Nash began walking beside us. And on journeys short or long, it does seem to make a difference.

image 1748 from bradism.com

That is until we pass something she wants to sniff beside or behind us, then the Halti does nothing. So now I need to buy three more haltis for the flanks and the rump.

Celebrating Nothing

A year ago, Vanessa won a door prize at a conference. It was a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut. Now, I doubt Roger Federer would even wash his dog with this champagne, but to us it was the fanciest champagne bottle we'd ever owned. We stored it in the cupboard, next to the potatoes.

image 1745 from bradism.com

Then the waiting began. Waiting for the right opportunity to pop that special cork and pour that sparkling wine into the $1 IKEA champagne glasses we had left over from our self-catered wedding. What occasion would we deem worthy of these luxury bubbles? Summer came and went, as did our six year anniversary - not significant enough? I thought maybe we'd celebrate when I cracked the semi-pro spec-fic market, which I optimistically hoped would come last year. It did happen this year - out of the blue, but not for lack of trying. Sometimes you work so hard to achieve something that when it happens, you kind of don't feel anything at all.

By last weekend a year had passed. Birthdays, half-marathons, promotions all unacknowledged by Veuve Clicquot. So we decided to pop it. Not for any specific occasion. Sure, it was father's day, and it was the first weekend of spring, and the world premiere of my Winter 18 movie, but none of those reasons were why we drank. We sipped a glass of champagne for no reason. We celebrated just the fact that we could choose to spend free time on a cold yet sunny day with family and do whatever we wanted. Celebrated that we could have hope, always, that something worth celebrating might be on the horizon.
Sometimes it feels like there's pressure for events in life to linearly lead up to one shareable, social media moment. It felt better just to drink champagne with no one else watching.
It tasted nice.

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