There were actually two reasons for this... this first of which was that Ma was getting her hair did today, but the main reason was that somebody decided that Saturday morning and closing road between 8am and 10:30am which would have either trapped me inside my apartment, or conversely, outside.
So instead I decided to forgo the usual trip down the road to Northpark and instead as soon as I got up I threw myself in the shower and then hit up the Foodland in the North Adelaide Village which opens at the slightly insane and aforementioned time of 7am.
And even though I shop at the Village regularly, I normally just wander around aimlessly until I find what I'm looking for, so I haven't really got everything mapped out in my head in the same way that I do with the Foodland at Northpark.
But I still ended up with the majority of the stuff I needed. While there were a number of staff around the store, there was only one register open, which always seems a little silly... especially since I ended up having to go through the "12 items" lane with all of my shopping.
It gave me plenty of time to tidy up, do some dishes and generally potter around doing all the things that I normally do before we go shopping.
Ma turned up around 10am, showed me a few things she'd dug out of "the family archive"... the most interesting of which was a letter written to my grandfather by someone he served with in World War II.
If there is one thing that you can say about Benzo's work (and trust me, there are MANY, MANY things I can say about it), one of them is that he knows how to put light and life into eyes with only a couple of colours of paint.
And since I also took a few shots on my phone, I fiddled around when I got back in the car and turned one of them into my new lock screen wallpaper. Which means that in the five plus years I've had an iPhone, Benzo has ALWAYS been my lock screen. First it was the Pencil Solider... then the Blue Spaceman... now The Mystic (all names are one's I've made up, obviously).
Sculpture By The Sea, the Brighton Jetty Classics Sculpture Exhibition. That's not to say it's not enjoyable, especially since we've been to four out of the last five years, including this one... but as I think I generally say about stuff like this, I don't know if was a good as last year... and there certainly weren't as many people around making use of the beach as there were the year before.
By which I mean I didn't have the opportunity to take anywhere near as many slightly pervy photos of hot guys on the beach.
It wasn't a total loss though.
As always, I strapped on my giant-fuck-off telephoto lens because it's more often than not easier to just photograph around people from a distance than it is to wait for them to move completely out of the shot. Also, it's good for photographing people on the beach.
I don't know how many pieces were in previous exhibitions, but I think Ma said this one had around 120, but I felt like there were less pieces this time. Or else there were more small pieces, so it didn't cover as much ground.
Enuf Burger Bar.
I know, I know, I keep saying that I'm swearing off burgers, but also like last time this was one of their chicken burgers, and it was really good. Plus they make really nice fries.
When we'd finished lunch, we headed back to the car and took the "much longer drive than it seems like it should be" from Brighton to Port Adelaide (although looking at it, it's a half hour, 20km drive, so no wonder it took a while).
Wonderwalls extravaganza last weekend.
The two that were probably the most different from when we saw them last are the two above... Josh's aerialist stencil piece and the amazing, amazing piece by Smug One. The even more amazing thing about Smug's work is that while it almost looks like an oil painting from far away, when you get up close to it, especially on the lower land, you can see the obvious marks of the spray can.
Just blows my mind.
From there we headed back here.
So kind of a full day really... and not bad overall. But at least I didn't get sunburned this time!
In 2013 I spent that weekend with a busted toilet...
Last year I spent that weekend and a large number thereafter with a busted thumb... sure the actual "busting" took place three days before, but it was still in the general vicinity.
This year it was my iPhone that busted itself. Well, when I say busted, I decided that the public holiday Monday was the right time to finally get around to installing iTunes on the laptop I've had since about May, and finally upgrading my iOS on my iPhone.
However it was probably a rookie mistake on my part to be upgrading the iOS at the same time that I was moving a bunch of files from one external hard drive to another (and cleaning the house at the same time, but I don't think that last bit was actually related). So when my phone had been through all of the things it needed to do and was at the last stage of disconnecting from iTunes, rebooting and reconnecting, it got stuck on the rebooting stage and I was stuck looking at the white Apple logo.
I eventually gave up looking at it and went to play some Assassin's Creed, but several hours later, it was still on the Apple logo.
So yeah, fucked phone. You never quite realise a) how much you rely on your phone to do, and b) how naked and vulnerable you feel without a functional phone. No alarm clock, no podcasts to listen to to and from work, no ability to just randomly check something on Google... and no entertaining ways to waste time. In short, I didn't like it and I don't recommend it as a lifestyle choice.
And I had to endure that for three whole days from Monday to Thursday which was the earliest appointment I could get at the Apple Genius Bar. I don't know if it would have been any better if I'd just gone in without an appointment (I doubt it).
On the plus side, when Thursday finally did roll around, it took me longer to walk from work to the Apple Store than it did for the pleasant ethnic bearded hipster to take my phone out the back and bring it back again in a functional state. I assume they have a machine out the back that just brute forces new software onto the phone no matter what it's doing.
I will also say that if you ever want to be simultaneously amused by and despair at humanity, go hang out in an Apple Store some time before noon and watch the Geniuses help little old gents and ladies with their technology issues. It's adorable but also at the same time there's an element of face-palming.
Even though it was back to "fresh out of the box" status, I was completely convinced that I was going to lose something in the transition, since this was a new copy of iTunes and I hadn't pulled all of my photos off the phone properly, and maybe I would lose my notes or my contacts or my photos... but no, it was all fine and fully functional. So now I have a functional iPhone, complete with the new (but now technically kinda old) iOS8.
Speaking of iOS8, while I don't really give a crap about the new Health app all that much, I was intrigued to find that it just started tracking my steps without me even asking it to. And in the last couple of days I've taken 15,555 steps, or walked 13.08km, and that was only really with one morning walk and two walks home. How accurate it turns out to be (since I think the numbers might already be a little bit rubbery when it comes to counting steps), I have no idea, but it'll be fun to keep an eye on. Plus it has a graph, and as I think I've mentioned before, I do love a graph.
On the down side, as I was walking back from the Apple Store, I managed to essentially trip over a crack in the footpath and fall-down-go-boom, down I went. It wasn't as bad as some of my previous falls, but I did scrape my knee a little and I'm glad I already have an appointment with my chiro on Monday, because I think I shook things up a bit.
Also in the "what the fuck" column, I sincerely need to buy a set of earplugs. Well, hopefully I don't need to, but Wednesday night my problematic back door neighbours (I need to come up with a consistent name for them, because that just sounds wrong) decided that it was a good time to sit outside and talk and drink from 9pm to 4am.
If it had just been the talking, then maybe I would have been fine, but even the occasional outburst of laughter and/or shouting, I slept, as they say, fitfully... right up until the point at 3:30am where they always seem to be over-taken by demonic entities (or just get too drunk to function like reasonable members of the human race), and there was increased volume of music, some drunken yelling, dropping of bottles into (I'm guessing) a wheelie bin, tuneless singing and some sort of banging (possibly against the lid of the aforementioned wheelie bin).
Had I had a functional iPhone, I would probably have called the police much earlier in the evening, but I would have had to get up, fire up the laptop, find the non emergency number for the police, then call them and it all seemed like too much effort.
As also seems to be the case when this has happened before, everything went quiet some time after 4am when they all dragged their drink soaked asses off to bed, so I got at least two hours of uninterrupted sleep.
I finally gave in and wrote the note I've been threatening to write since all this shit started, and dropped it in their letter box on the way home on Thursday night. I tried for a slightly humorous, "I don't want to be that guy, but" kind of vibe... so we can only hope it has some effect.
I don't think they would have seen the note until Friday, but I almost felt like I was being pranked on Thursday night... because while they were outside talking up until around 10:30, everything went quiet for about half an hour and then suddenly there was the sound of running water. They appeared to be using the hosepipe to "fill" the swimming pool at 11pm. Seriously? If the hose had been IN the pool, fine... but putting it on the edge of the pool so there's the continual sound of running water. That has all the earmarks of being punked in the most passive aggressive manner.
Fortunately it didn't stop me from getting to sleep eventually... but I'm hoping for a disturbance free night tonight.
Work continues to be all kinds of mental... good for the most part, but on occasion all kinds of frustrating. Although the fact that I reached a particular level of sleep deprivation on Thursday led for a couple of instances of hysterical laughter.
Oh, and for the official record, this is my 3,500th blog post!
I've been threatening for some time now to go through and update all my movie review scores. In the 9 years, 6 months, 2 days from my first movie review to the most recent one I've been ranking movies out of 10, and it's become unmistakably apparent that my scores are very heavily weighted to the upper end of the scale (I think there are literally about two movies that were rated 4, and less than ten that were 5's).
So I've just gone through all 248 movie reviews and re-ranked them all on a 1 to 5 scale. Okay, technically it ended up being a -1 to 5 scale to accommodate the lower end of reviews, but like I said, there were only a handful of those outliers.
Part of the reason it took me so long to finally get around to it was that I didn't want to suddenly introduce half points, but eventually I settled on just taking five away from all the numbers, 10 becomes 5, 9 becomes 4... 5 becomes 0 and 4 becomes -1.
But that was it, other than adjusting the numbers (and the occasional spelling mistake or typo... I can't spell "definitely" right to save myself), I didn't change any of the ratings.
Hopefully they (I'm guessing the girl who he was opening to door for is his girlfriend... but you never know) turn out to be the respectful, quiet kind of neighbours.
Also, and the reasons why will become apparent shortly, if they're not already apparent from the images at the top of the post, but I'm decidedly sunburned. Only down my forearms really, I had the presence of mind to actually wear a hat, but I am very pink of skin in spots.
But when Ma arrived we headed off to the supermarket for all of the usualness, which this week seemed to consist predominately of fruit and veg... and nothing specifically exotic for Australia Day, because m'eh.
Then we headed back here and I showed Ma some of the research I'd been doing on the family tree... she's going to dig up some bits and pieces she has that I should be able to add to the tree or clear up details here and there.
We stopped off at Arndale and headed into Big W to take a look. I was hoping they may also still have the Lego cases in stock. Mine is still okay, but a year of pulling it in and out of my pocket has rubbed the Lego branding off the back of all of the studs, and it could just do with a general freshen up. But unfortunately they didn't have any.
Also, it always baffles me that they have to advertise that screen protectors are transparent... like that's some kind of fucking surprise. And that they often find several different ways to say the same thing on what looks like different versions of the exact same item.
Wonderwalls Street Art Festival!
We started out at the old Flour Mill to pick up a map of all the locations and check out the little art show they had there, along with the giant Guido Van Helten piece of the two faces in the previous pair of images.
The artworks were possibly just that little bit too spread out to really park in one spot and wander around to them all, but we did end up doing most of the central ones in one long wander.
But seriously, the fact that that amazing piece of art came out of a spray can blows my mind. Doubly so, because as one of the comments on the Instagram version of that image said, Smug claims that it's "just copying a picture, anyone can do it".
Yeah, I'm going to go with "no". He's clearly a wizard of some sort.
We chatted for a bit, helped him get one of his giant stencils in place and then headed off to check out some more artwork and then have some lunch.
Lunch was fairly by the numbers... we've been to the same cafe a couple of times before I think but I remember it being somewhat better than that. Or at least not seeming so pedestrian.
I'd seen a number of pictures of the Sainer and Bezt (Etam Cru) piece online last night, but it wasn't until I saw the seven story military man that I fell completely and absolutely in love with it. I'd seen bits of it peeking between other buildings as we wandered around, but seeing it in the flesh and seeing just how incredibly ENORMOUS it is on the side of the abandoned former Department of Marine and Harbors Building.
The flip side of the building by Askew One and Elliot Francis Stewart was amazing too... and I actually loved that we caught it unfinished. Actually I always love that... seeing street art mostly finished, with some work still to do and then wandering back later and seeing how it's changed now that it's complete.
Some were people you would, I guess, expect to see at something like that, but others were just regular folks out to see the art. Which is good, I always enjoy seeing people either experiencing street art for the first time, or finally understanding that there's a gigantic difference between the ugly little scribbled tags that mess up public spaces, and these absolutely amazing pieces of art.
That was pretty much it for the day really... which was good because by that point we were pretty much buggered from all the wandering around.
We finished a major project... kind of. Let's say we finished it in principal, but there were a half a billion little things that either didn't get taken care of or were new and exciting things that broke once we launched.
And finally moving over to the new system means that the majority of my work is now in a completely new system that I haven't had a lot of experience in... whereas I've been using the old system my entire time here. So that's a whole adjustment thing... and I hate floundering around not knowing what the hell I'm doing.
I did have a little bit of a minor meltdown on Thursday when we launched and everybody else had gone to the stupid launch event and I was just a wee bit overwhelmed. Fortunately it didn't last long, and although the last few days haven't been easy, we've all managed to both keep a sense of humour as well as the majority of whatever sanity we had at the beginning of the week.
Of course, H-San has also taken to playing "Everything is Awesome" from The Lego Movie at high volume from his office at both opportune and also completely random moments. It also helps that I pretty much know all the words. However, when he decided to play "Let it go" from Frozen, I closed his office door on him. There are lines.
Some time back, Sugarmonkey at work recommended the Saga comic book series to me, and I finally got around to picking up the graphic novels on New Years Eve. I started ready them a couple of days ago, and I fucking LOVE them! It's not really surprising, since I loved the last thing that Sugarmonkey recommended by Brian K Vaughan, Y: The Last Man... which is completely different to Saga, but equally weird and brilliant.
I've continued digging through my family tree thanks to Ancestory.com.au... I thought I mentioned it last week, I know I tweeted about it recently, but maybe I only mentioned it a while back. But I've so far managed to go back as far as a number of my 7th great grandparents (all on Ma's side of the family), and have found myself back in about 1640. I have no idea how accurate some of the records I'm seeing that far back are, but I did give up on one particular family branch when I noticed that the particular ancestor's mother died three years before he was born. I think maybe there's a boo boo in there somewhere. But I've found Ashursts and Athertons, Boyds and Cundleys, Foggs, Gerrards, Gorses, Hills, Hunters and Longbottoms, Marshalls and Peningtons, Pierpoints and Rimmers, Stephensons, Twists, Whitehouses, Worsleys and Yates. Sadly that's all on my grandmother's side, my grandfather's side falls away pretty damn quickly thanks to child born out of wedlock.
I think I've potentially run out of family tree branches, at least when it comes to people in my direct bloodline... without digging into siblings and their partners and suchlike.
One thing that doesn't surprise me in the least, although at the same time is slightly interesting is that from what I saw, my bloodline a) bred a fucking hell of a lot and b) didn't move out of the same half dozen villages until the early 1700's in one branch where the line suddenly relocates from Scotland.
I've had a few too many late nights this week, so I should take myself off to bed.