The Top 10 Bradism Posts of the Decade

Everyone else was posting end of decade top tens back in December and I wanted in. Then I decided the only way no one would ever read it properly is if there was a way to embed cross links to other journal entries that I could add with BCode.

Many hours over many days of debugging PHP code later and here we are.

10. Plus Plus cereal

Breakfast gets mentioned a lot on this blog, but if you're looking for peak cereal insanity this is where you should start.
Casual Friday Breakfast III - Plus Plus Plus

Winter was when I decided I would create the ultimate bowl of Plus. Winter, or me saying to the Woolworth’s catalogue “Oh, Weet Bix Crunch is three dollars this week.” And Vanessa reminding there were seven boxes of Uncle Toby’s Plus in the cupboard which I’d convinced her to buy a few months ago and then never opened.

9. Man Journal Short Cuts

The tale of my first lawn mower.
"He mentioned that I should buy the oil removal next time I was in, because you need to change the oil every year, just like a car. And then he paused and stared at me to make sure the expression on my face indicated I understood this very simple concept. Which I didn't, but I recognised the conversation checkpoint and I faked a nod. Then I considered whether or not I should just take my lawnmower with me to the mechanic when I take my car there."

An insightful chapter on my journey to being the worst home handyman

Man Journal Short Cuts

This was not only my first lawn mower, but my first attempt at mowing a lawn. And also the first time I've felt solely responsible for the state of a petrol engine.

8. Diamonds and Guns

A succinct summary of the disconnect that existed between my soul and the universe in 2018.
Diamonds and Guns

Yeah, I carry a butt-pillow with me most places. I never know how to correctly answer the question, “How's it going?” I wear sunglasses on cloudy days.

7. The White Suburban

Life starts outside your comfort zone. Or in a comfort zone. A story of how I learnt that fitting in is not about how you look, but about following the dreams that were printed on the badge attached to you in the factory.
The White Suburban

"We'll upgrade you to something more comfortable," the car-wrangler told me. This was the first sign something was wrong.

6. Easy Beer Bread Pizza Bases

Another chapter in home ownership, a quality execution of internet recipe observational humour, plus a useful pizza bases recipe I still refer back to regularly.
Easy Beer Bread Pizza Bases

I was searching the internet today for a recipe for apple-cinnamon hot cross buns and I viewed enough cooking blogs to be reminded of the hatred I have for recipe posts that start with a gigantic boring story.

5. Life, Man

I’m quite proud of this solid, three paragraphs double-entendre that I posted to celebrate the addition of Nash to my family slash Journal.
Life, Man

I was caught off guard by just how easy it is to buy a living thing and take it back to your house. No questions asked.

4. Breadism

This is a throwback to a bread story I wrote in 2003, back in the days of Brad’s Summer Journal 2. Maybe that’s why I like it, because it’s tinged with the nostalgia of updating a HTML file in notepad at 4:25am on warm summer nights, my lumbar spine firm and supple. It’s also the prequel to another tale of breadism in 2017. It’s a running joke that’s been going for over fourteen years. That’s longer than some of my wheatstagram followers have been alive.

It’s also a real insight into the mind of someone who has been working from home in a city he knows no one for several consecutive months.

Breadism

I was thinking about Baker's Delight's Twisted Delights. This made me search my journal for references to Twisted Delights and led to... places I want to forget.

3. Reject Shop Hacker

Who would have known in 2011 when I wrote this entry about how much I loved my HD515s that, in 2020, I’d still be using those same headphones. And in 2020 they would still be padded with those same sponges I got in a three pack for $2 from the Reject Shop in Engadine. Those very sponges are on my ears right now as I type this. And the third sponge? Well, I did actually get rid of that one after some amount of dishes.
Reject Shop Hacker

I want to foreshadow the amount of distress I felt earlier this week when I discovered my Sennheiser's were dying.

2. How To Replace a Smoke Alarm Battery

Potentially the dramatic end to the second act of my story of home ownership. The most wilful damage I’ve ever done to a building for the sake of a journal entry.
Learn from my mistakes.
How To Replace a Smoke Alarm Battery

It's very simple to open the smoke alarm and replace the battery.

1. Quiet Achiever

Short and sweet. I reveal my pride in my two year old facade in the office. My decade-long, lifelong, screen of Green Pig smiling politely, keeping my true thoughts in words on the internet.
Based on a true story.


If you like Bradism, you'll probably enjoy my stories. It's my dream to be a famous author, and you can help support me by previewing one of my books from Amazon below, and purchasing it if you like it.

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.


Routed and Unfiltered

I feel like I’m getting better at dealing with the plumbing in my house. Over the Christmas break I had a few jobs I wanted to complete, one was changing over the filter cartridges in my filter tap system. Of course, I delayed doing this until almost the final day of the break.

I opened the cupboard beneath the sink, slid the plastic tool that came with the filter tap system up over the first filter and twisted it. Nothing happened. I tried the other, but it was stuck too.

I Googled the brand and found an instructional video where a skinny blonde lady loosened the cylinder with barely a twitch of her bicep, so I tried again in the same fashion, however, the filters were not budging. A bit of a thump, nor a blast from the hair-dryer, loosened the seal.

In the past I would have then proceeded to search online for hours for ways to resolve the issue, tried different hardware and approaches, driven to Bunnings and spent money on other tools and aids, and generally cracked the shits. I didn’t need to do any of this to fix it. I just left the tap switched off, closed the cupboard and walked away.

I am not a handy man when it comes to the physical. Digital, on the other hand, I’m far more comfortable with. One of my other jobs for the Christmas Break was a couple of bug fixes on bradism.com. Well, one was an enhancement. On an old version of my website I used the path /getimage.php to render images, and while reading through old entries in preparation for the Top 10 Bradism Posts of the Decade I found a number of direct links to images which no longer worked on the new site. I decided to fix this by adding a Router configuration to map to the /images/show/:id path which I wrote to replace this feature. This should have been a simple task, requiring a regular expression to match incoming requests and rewrite it to the new path. So I could test, I ran a search in the database to find entries that had one of these old links in them and found only 18 entries had one.

At this point I had to make a decision, did I want to write code to fix this problem or just update the 18 existing entries. The regular expression would have been the same. I elected to fix in the code, based on it being a simple change, and also the highly-unlikely chances that there were other sites with links to my images out there on the internet that had been broken since 2017 but would still appreciate things working again. Maybe I just wanted to write code.

What I estimated to be a short task turned out to be painfully long. My Router supported rewriting of variables but not when they were passed through as query string arguments and it took me several hours to work this out. Updating the links in the database would have taken about ten minutes. Yet, I persisted, I learnt new things, and unlike my filter tap system, I succeeded.

What did I learn from this? Other than I prioritised bradism.com over filtered drinking water?

Bottle Episode

It's a challenge to write a new journal entry lately. Not because I have nothing to write about, but because of what I can't write about, or don't want to write about. So as is tradition in times of no new material during a long running series, here's a clip show:

There are pros and cons of the gym I've been going to so far in 2019. Pros: price, location, low number of other gym members at the times I visit. Con: No soap dispenser in the showers. When I'm paying almost $15 a week for gym access I am most definitely factoring in a couple cents worth of all you can pump generic, industrial strength soap into the cost.

The bradism.com Body Wash

The bradism.com Body Wash

So I'm now responsible for bringing my own soap to the gym. For this I created my own bradism.com body wash, and I think the recipe represents me quite accurately as a person. It started as regular body wash, but I worried that there might not be enough hospital-grade antibacterial ethanol in that, so I mixed some through too. And I store it in this body lotion bottle I took from a hotel in New Zealand.


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Brad's Autumn Journal 2019

I have now been journaling my thoughts on the internet for over half my life.

To celebrate, here is half an

Two Years in Review

image 1838 from bradism.com
On the first day of my break I went for an early morning walk (before the UV got too high) and listened to a writing podcast hoping it would provide some motivation for what I hoped to achieve on this little work intermission: Deliver a few chapters of the novel, try and find a way to build an audience in case it’s only publishable if I have an existing audience.

The podcast included a reminder that having a mailing list is the most important marketing step you can take as a want-to-be novelist. My mailing list is tied to bradism.com, and so I thought about this website that I first started writing on in 2004, and if its contents truly represented me as the human being I wanted people to subscribe to a mailing list about. I had a sneaking suspicion that some of the things I wrote many years ago might not hold up to modern standards. What I’ve learnt this holidays is that some of what I thought was witty or edgy fourteen years ago came from a place of ignorance, privilege and insecurity. There was nothing particularly vile, but it didn’t belong on the internet in 2018 and I think it’s a good thing that I’ve grown enough as a person to realise this. I was reassured to find an entry amongst the garbage where I talked about my birthday, and to be reminded that I had been a teenager/baby at the time.

The process of going through these older posts has required me to closely read all my entries from 2004 and 2005 and, fuck me, that has not been a totally enjoyable experience. After binging on months straight of my inner thoughts it has felt like I’ve snorted a very thick, very rotted line of nostalgia right into my brain. Who was this person who shared my DNA and occupied temporal real estate in this existence we shared? What is reality? Don’t get me wrong, reading between the lines I do catch glimpses of myself becoming the person I am today, but other parts seem so alien to my current life that I feel like if someone else had registered bradism.com and posted a bunch of entries about Woolworths, basketball, and their IT degree in the same years I’d just as easily believe that was my life too.

What can we learn from this? I’m not sure if our old decades help us to mature and grow into the people we are today, or if we simply wrap more and more layers of “experience”, “responsibility” and routines around the core of our old selves that we’re not able to penetrate enough to find the old person somewhere deep inside. Probably a little bit of both, and ultimately it doesn't matter. If it’s that hard to find glimpses of your old self inside your own head, the people around you won’t see or care what you were. They’ll stick to the surface, probably too preoccupied with reflecting on their own id. (Unless they work for Disney. And that’s why I removed those entries before Disney can give and then take away a writing and directing job for Law & Odour the movie.)

The other thing I’ve learnt this holidays, and my 2004 journals back up, is that I grow a shit beard.

You're It

The part about simulation theory which creeps me out the most is that all my memories might be supplanted. Like, maybe my entire life never happened? I woke up in the simulation today. Everything I believe I've done, the places I've been, none of it happened.

Then I think, if that was true, and personal experiences could simply be injected in the memory, then why did the simulation developers bother with the effort of creating bradism.com on top of that? And if they did see some value in documenting my backstory, surely they didn't need to add tags to it...

Wormholes and the Woman with the Fake Tan

This week my short time-travel noir Wormholes and the Woman with the Fake Tan was published in Aurealis Magazine, Australia's longest running small-press science-fiction and fantasy magazine! This was super exciting! I have been wondering for a long time if anyone other than me (and Vanessa) liked the idea of a detective who could smell the future after a time machine fell on them.

image 1740 from bradism.com

If you'd like to read the story, you can buy a copy of Aurealis #113 here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/888305

Yes, I know what you're going to say. Brad, $3 for an ebook!? I could buy a can of Fanta at the airport for that much! But think about it, how many of those bingeworthy TV shows that you love were inspired by books? Game of Thrones, OITNB, Dexter, the whole Marvel universe (and DC too I guess). How will we have TV shows in ten years if no one supports writing? Don't you want to see what a Bradism.com Mini-series has in store in 2031?

If $3 is too much, you can also buy my Novellete Chase on Amazon for less than a buck. (Or, if you sign up below to the bradism.com mailing list, you can get it for free. Or you could do both.)

Hot Shit 2017

screenshot of a Spotify playlist showing a song added "in a few seconds"

As we rolled into January, I had some gardening to do in my Spotify playlists. Part of that was moving older tracks from my “Hot Shit” playlist into my “Hot Shit 2017” archive. There was a degree of sadness involved in this beyond the implication of being another circuit of the sun closer to death. I was also losing the original “date added” tags for each song.

On the playlist, the date added is 99.9% meaningless metadata, only really useful for things like showing that I liked that Imagine Dragons song ten months before Channel 7 overlayed it on top of Home and Away and Kitchen Drama Rules ads.

I guess I’m a metadata packrat, something I’m working on overcoming. Gone are those added dates in Spotify. And that Outlook mail archive from my past jobs? Odds are much higher that I’ll delete it rather than ever revisit it. Also, I really should chuck away the cassette tapes of things I recorded off the radio when I was thirteen, and which currently sit in my wardrobe. Not because of the RIAA, but because I pretty much remember what’s on them. I recall the general gist of the emails. I know approximately when I first liked a song. That should be enough.

All around my house is evidence of things I’m only holding onto for nostalgic purposes. I did some (late) spring cleaning last week, put everything I was going to get rid of into a corner of my study. It’s still there.
I should take a lesson from nature. My body is constantly replacing dying cells, skin and bone and organs refreshing at various rates. My body is not a packrat. It’s not holding onto useless cells that will never be used again, stacking them in a corner somewhere.

I wonder sometimes about how consciousness really works. Am I an entity, or just a collection of now-cells with access to memories. And by memories, I mean the gist of the way my brain thinks things went down. Do I really need to worry about spiralling closer to death each year when in fact I’m actually dying every minute, every second, every character, two thousand deaths just in the time it took me(s) to write this entry?

Bradism.com is metadata. Right. Non functional, just information about feelings and lessons learnt over the years. Sometimes I read back, nod my head, smile at my old experiences. But they’re not my experiences. They’re from the life of some million-deaths-ago Brad. The only thing he and I have in common is a domain name.
Anyway, that’s the excuse I use when I laugh out loud at my own jokes from 2013.

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