This is more like it.

Birmingham Hotel, on the border between Fitzroy and Collingwood. Beer of the month: $9 a pint. This month a pale ale with juniper berries. Doesn't only taste like gin. Clearly I'm not a twenty-something with hollow legs any more.
Ruben friendica
Ah, good. I'm glad to see you getting down to brass tacks and finding some good thinking establishments

Yet another flat inspection cancelled at short notice. First beer in Melbourne is, appropriately, at the Provincial. In Fitzroy, an unintentionally self-parodic suburb of the kind every city is required to have. Everywhere you look, there's Noel Fielding. Even the schizophrenic across the street pacing about, waving his arms in a furious exchange with his invisible interlocutor, has a funky haircut and elaborately sculpted facial hair.

$13.60 a pint.

Well, not an auspicious start to my first weekday in Melbourne. A phone enquiry revealed 2 potential homes were zombie listings on the web, and my only inspection for the day was cancelled.

Sorely tempted to spend the afternoon in the pub, but I'm being disciplined. No pub till I complete this stage of #.
Luke mastodon (AP)
keep your eyes on the prize!

@Ruben How goes the confinement? Recovered?
Ruben friendica
Christ on a stick. I hate how sneaky autocorrect is. Although my abysmal lack of proof reading is the main culprit.
Still true though. Except in the case of astroturf.

Walked from # to # airport, because paying half as much for the first 10kms as I paid for the next 1000+ offended my Scottish sensibilities.
10pm: In a cheap hotel room in #. Knackered. Laptop miraculously survived being kicked around since lunchtime. WTF do I do now? Sleep. Worry about it tomorrow. #
Ruben friendica
WAHEYY! Launched.

And I thought my $30 increase was outrageous: "$135 rent increase forcing Coffs Harbour pensioner out of her home" #
Ruben friendica
Bastard landlords. First against the wall when the revolution comes.
Ruben friendica
Nope, I got that reference wrong I was thinking of Moore telling Rigsby that he'd be "first against the wall when the revolution comes" in the tv show Rising Damp. I briefly tried to source the episode before realising this was not a good use of my life...
Ruben friendica
I think Douglas Adams watched Rising Damp.

Landlady happy. Got my bond back. Regretting budgeting a couple of nights at the # in case of problems. On the one hand, yes it would be quite hard to just pop back from Melbourne, but on the other, I'm already crushingly bored.
Ruben friendica
You and me both. Day 3 in my dad's spare room. Laying on the bed, standing at the window, sitting on the bed or standing by the radiator. The is no end to the fun.
I feel for you. All I've got is pub meal bloat and the sounds of the kitchen coming up the stairwell. And granted, I also have my external hard drive with decades worth of classic telly on it. Come to think of it, provided I can get used to living on salt and pepper squid with salad and chips, I've never had it so good!

I am now officially homeless in # till my flight to # on Saturday. Sitting in a freezing picnic shelter in the park till the # Pub lets me check in at 2pm.

If anybody passing recognises me, they'll be thinking "Yep. Saw it coming years ago."
Ruben friendica
Ahh but little do they realise it's all part of The Plan which coming together. #
# is need-to-know. There are parts of it even I don't know about.

Never understood the appeal of Only Fools and Horses, or why it's so fondly remembered, and I quite like David Jason as a comic actor. I'd watch it occasionally, but wouldn't go out of my way to catch it.

"People are believing the nonsense coming out in the financial press that inflation is ‘out-of-control’ and interest rates need to be hiked to stop it in its tracks. How will increasing interest rates allow a Covid sick truck driver to return to work any quicker? How will a rise in rates increase the number of container ships in the right locations?" # Bill Mitchell, back in January

New sketch. An attempt at #, but I'll also be happy if you think it's Einstein on crack. # # #
A paint sketch of Kurt Vonnegut.

I can't remember whose analogy I'm mangling, but moving house is like trying to disassemble and reassemble a car while going 120km/h down a motorway. #

My greatly reduced pile of worldly goods is on it's way to storage in #. Was led to believe it would take 2-3 days. Nope. Driver reckons he'll be there tomorrow afternoon. # to Melbourne by road in 24 hours; the man's a lunatic! Well, of course he is. He's a lorry driver. It's a prerequisite.
ghostdancer mastodon (AP)
I see it's a constant through the planet no matter in which place you live.

Just finished labeling twelve boxes and bags. Everything remaining in here is getting tossed out over the course of the next week, barring what fits in 7kg of carry-on luggage.

New neighbour P-word Percy has the choons thumping on his stereo to celebrate the arrival of Saturday night, and is out on his balcony smoking and drinking. In mandatory # uniform of baseball hat and shorts. In the face of a robust sea breeze and 18℃ drizzle.

The other day my psychologist told that me a well-to-do client who'd just moved here tried assaying the menfolk of Coffs via Tinder. After a couple of hours furious swiping, she was just about ready to slash her wrists.

Last day at # was oddly unexceptional. Only a few people knew that I was going, by (my) design. "You in tomorrow?" somebody asked as they were leaving. "No, no. That's me for the week," I said, in half-truth.

Work done by 7pm, I slipped out and bought my usual cardboard box of wine from the off-license for the last time, put on my headphones, and failed to muster up any melancholy for the last trudge home in the dark.

So many times over the last four years in that job I found myself thinking "I haven't seen so-and-so for a while…" I think it will be a good fortnight before anybody wonders what happened to that feeble old wreck who talks posh and looks uncannily like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
Ditto mon frère. Couldn't have survived # without you. See you in # next week for beer and venting!
ghostdancer mastodon (AP)
That's a meeting I'd love to go.

Last beer at the #. Probably.
Ruben friendica
The end of times.
Actual last drink at the Toormi was this afternoon. Said goodbye to a very dear # colleague who made the last couple of years bearable and occasionally delightful.

It's probably best to express your appreciation for a person in little dribs and drabs whenever you see them, because there's no way you can do it in one great rush when you're not going to see them ever again.

Entering "the last times". Just about to set off on the trudge, in huge, painful safety shoes, through mud and gravel, from # to # in # for the last time.


There is no such thing as the typical person. Except for the people who are typical, but you needn't worry about them.
Ruben friendica
Typical @Matthew Davidson comment
I concede I am quite uniquely predictable.

ghostdancer reshared this.

It was sunny for a bit today, so I wanted to go out for a bottle of wine and junk food linner (the anti-brunch) at my picnic table by Bogan Bay. But the landlady wanted to come by and measure the kitchen (whole other story).

By the time she was done measuring, the sky was grey and threatening rain, but I went out anyway. I enjoyed, if that is the word, my meal under the steely gaze of a magpie perched at the far corner of the table, waiting for scraps.

It was making a great show of sharpening it's rather fearsome beak against the edge of the table, as if to say "Look. We can do this the easy way, or the hard way. Capisce?"

When it became clear that I wasn't going to crack, he gave up and took off to the other side of the estuary, joined by an accomplice who swooped down from the treetops above. What scheme the two of them had planned to execute in concert, given the opportunity, I do not know.

What has happened to all the seagulls, the cheerful dodgy geezers of the avian world? I blame gentrification. Money comes in, and the heavies follow.

Luke reshared this.
Ruben friendica
Ah, yes I love seagulls. Proletariat of the air.
Andy C pleroma (AP)
@Luke Please keep boosting @mjd content. I still can't follow him from Pleroma. Fucking Aussie luddite running StatusNet 1.4(beta) from 2017
Luke mastodon (AP)
it’s top notch stuff, will repost when I see it 👍
Andy C pleroma (AP)
yeah I like his writing style. Long forn and short form. Plus the much missed Sawtell podcast
ghostdancer mastodon (AP)
Nothing more duffer than running StatusNet. 😆
Luke mastodon (AP)
Duffers of the Fediverse unite!
Hey! I moved on to # (which allegedly uses # years ago! Absolutely hate it, but I don't understand # either. To this day, I don't know what the fatal flaw in # was. But I still live on # feeds, so what do I know?
Andy C pleroma (AP)
oh christ. Thanks for the update. I see 47 days of mindless yak shaving coming my way
Andy C pleroma (AP)
also what have you done with Ruben?
Ruben friendica
He sent me Outback so that he can lord it over me with his sophisticated East Coast ways. Can you believe he has more than 3 traffic lights within a 3 hour drive of his house!!!
Ruben friendica
Also I'm on the same Friendica instance so nobody reads my post either... It's a philosophical stance. At least that's what I tell myself.
It's a laziness stance. I didn't want to install # just for #.
Andy C pleroma (AP)
I think I follow @clacke who is on friendica.

You don't have 759 begging Follow requests in your inbox do you?
@Andy C My Friendica thinks you are not following me. Maybe do the unfollow-refollow dance?

I don't require approval. If I did I wouldn't know where to find the pending requests in one place, but I do get them as notifications these days even though they've been already approved when I click them.
@Matthew Davidson The main reason that moved Mastodon to AP was the support for federated personal messages. The main reason for creating AP in the first place was implementation complexity and clarity.

Arguably it worked, as there were only ever a handful of OStatus implementations but now dozens of AP implementations, but we don't have a control group universe to see if OStatus-plus-personal-salmons (basically Diaspora) would have achieved the same with a similar level of public attention.

When you unfold a clean handkerchief, do you blow your nose in a corner of it, or right in the middle? I think this may reveal something about a person's character, but I don't know what.

#. # S06E03! I need a lie down. Wait; I am lying down. Time for some more wine, then.


Watched something amusing this evening, so I wanted to post a short clip of it for teh intarwebs. opened it in #, edited it just so in a couple of minutes, then went File -> Export Video.

Two hours later I still have no video clip and I am so angry that I don't think I'll be able to sleep for a week.
Ruben friendica
I had more success. I wanted to simply share a short mood clip. YT-dl extracted it from the silo, I uploaded it to my blog and it was all done in less than 15 minutes. Of course the conversation had moved on by then and I was politely ignored. This is our natural habitat @Matthew Davidson #

There's a commotion downstairs at the #. Leathers Tuscadero is shouting something involving the f- and c-words. Presumably at her next-door neighbour Sally Smirnoff. They used to be chums, but relations have been strained for some time. Sally, a tightly-wound alcoholic, doesn't like me. Nobody likes me, as I've tried hit the sweet spot between civil and familiar, and I've squarely hit the aloof spot instead.

So the consensus opinion seems to be that the old poof upstairs thinks she's better than us. Speaking of which, I see F-Bomb Freddy's successor (P-Bomb Percy?) is back smoking on his balcony following a few days during which he was nowhere to be seen, those few days in turn following a visit from the persons in blue.

So I've drawn the blinds for a bit in case it all kicks off and I get hit by shrapnel.

Sitting in the dark at 1:30 in the afternoon. Three weeks of this to go. Tick, tick, tick.

# #
Ruben friendica
Don't do anything stupid. Don't peek, don't go emptying your bins at night and dear gods avoid we're contact. We don't want to lose you in the final scene before your escape
Ruben friendica
_EYE_ contact! Avoid eye contact, you know that's like a declaration of war amongst the Alohians.

# federal election is scheduled for the week after I move to #, so I've applied online for a postal ballot. The form is # dependent, so I allow in #. Get to the last step in the form and there's a CAPTCHA that depends on JavaScript from, so I enable that, the page reloads, and I'm thrown back to step one and the form state has not been saved.

In 1996 I was making multi-step forms in Perl CGI scripts that could handle a page reload without losing data from anything but the current step. The government can't do that in 2022? Or create their own CAPTCHAs, for that matter?

Having completed my second run through, I'm invited to offer feedback. Being a good #, I take the time to suggest that third-party JavaScript on a form involved in the electoral process is probably a bad idea, m'kay? The feedback form has a CAPTCHA on it.
Ruben friendica
I feel your frustration. More to the point the election is when!? Looks like I'll be out of the country ... I'd better register too
Will you be back in Broken Hill by Saturday 21st?
Ruben friendica
Yes, but late in the day probably. I have to somehow get myself from the airport in Mildura to Broken Hill. No bus and a 3hour hitch on the Silver City Highway

For reasons I can only guess at, I was really angry last night. Instead of wanting to wind down after work and dinner, I wanted to get wound up and even angrier. This is not like me at all. So instead of watching something cheery and comforting, I started rewatching HBO's #.

Had a mostly good day today. Progress on #. Three weeks and two days to go. Listened to a bit of Sgt. Pepper while making dinner.

Ruben friendica
I listened to this yesterday:

Earlier this year, I got an amazing email—the estate of John Lennon said that they have a treasure trove of audio material from his life, and they were wondering if I would be interested in making an episode around the song “God,” from John Lennon’s first solo album. I’ve never tried making a posthumous episode before, because hearing directly from the artist is at the heart of Song Exploder. But with all the interview archives that they have of him speaking, plus all the isolated tracks from th

* duration: 27:30

* Published: 7/10/21 03:30:00

* Episode Download link:

* Show Notes:

* Episode feed: Song Exploder -

Peak # at # today: Forty-something year old man, fat, bald, ponytail, singlet, camouflage shorts. Trailing behind him, a twelve year old boy, not (yet) fat or bald, but with ponytail, singlet, camouflage shorts. The kid will have been his grandchild, and not his eldest. 30-35 years in Coffs will give you two generations plus change.

History does repeat. The guy who now occupies F-Bomb Freddy's old flat at the # (the one who slurred homophobic abuse at me a couple of weeks ago) has attracted the interest of the flak-jacketed constabulary, who are hammering on his door and peeping in his windows. And just like Freddy in the same circumstances, he's in there lying doggo till they go away.

# #
Ruben friendica
If, as Corbusier famously reckoned, buildings are machines for living in what is the product of # ?
Trauma. My psychologist Charles (other psychologists are available) told me that there's a recognised phenomena - I forget the term and wish I'd made a note - of something like "bad building illness". The Germans probably have a long word for it.

Just now there was a flurry of door slamming and shouting, and I keenly rushed to discreetly peep round the blinds in case something was kicking off. I was reminded of an anecdote from Robert Fisk. It had been a while since the latest Israeli bombardment of Beirut, and he noticed that a normally ebullient neighbour was looking rather glum, so he asked what was the matter.

"Oh, Mister Robert," he sighed, "It is so _boring_."

Do not binge four episodes of # in a row if you have to go to # the next day.

Called in sick today for the first time in 4½ years. Doesn't seem right.
I feel for you. The music here was supplied by Sally Smirnoff, who lives in the flat below my bedroom. She was enjoying a bevvy with Donny Darkeyes, the consumptive in a singlet who spends every day sitting by his cell door demanding a greeting from everybody who passes, while waiting for one of his major organs to fail.

They'd moved onto Slim Dusty by the time I decided I'd had enough. Flu-like symptoms be damned! I was off out to infect the beautiful people of # on a Saturday night. From downstairs, Sally saw me locking the door, and shouted to Donny over the din "He's coming to complain about the noise."

Once! I did that once. About two years ago! I had a six AM start the next day.

"He only ever talks to you. Never to me."

I don't want to talk to anyone here! But chances are, on any given day, mine might be the last face he sees before the blood clot hits his brain, so I feel obliged to at least smile and return his salutation.

I peevishly refused to complain about the noise, passing them both with a fixed grin, a wave of my brolly, and an "Evening, all!"

I put on a mask to weave my way through the street-dining easter weekend tourists, so as not to infect them as they enjoyed their thirty dollar entrees.

Auntie Cheryl gave me a Sawtell RSL gift card for my last birthday, and with four weeks left to spend it, I ordered a Toohey's Old.

"Oh. Did nobody say anything about the hat?", simpered the lady behind the bar.

Now that I'm finally used to being bald, I'd forgotten I was wearing it. I initially thought she was complementing me on my sartorial taste, but I've always considered wearing a hat indoors to barbaric, so I guiltily whipped it off.

"This _is_ an RSL," she said in a manner which suggested it was indeed entirely a question of standards of deportment. I assumed it was to do with getting a clean shot from the security cameras. Maybe a bit of both.

As I settled down to RSS feeds on my phone, the game started. Huge screens on all sides, patrons getting all unnecessary about it.

I pick up my beer and brolly and look for a place to sit where I might be somewhat isolated from it all. I'm in an RSL, looking lost, distressed and demented, bald and hatless, at least ten years ahead of schedule. I sit at the window by the back door, out the front.

The front door of the Sawtell RSL is at the rear of the building, by the carpark. The back door is the one at the front that opens onto the main street of Sawtell. It all makes perfect sense when you see the world though a car-dependent lens.

If I keep my gaze fixed out into the street, I can't see the game on any of the RSL club's screens. Instead, I can see clear across the road to the Sawtell Hotel and through their front windows to the game on _their_ huge screens. I can even hear the appreciative roaring of their patrons, slightly out of sync with those around me.

F**k it. I go home. The music has stopped. Maybe somebody complained, and she'll wake up tomorrow morning remembering it as me wot done it. It's always me, isn't it?
Ruben friendica
Another delightful evening in paradise...
Those fucking screens with the braying voices.

Cleaned my oven today. Two-year-old ambition realised! (Seriously.) Never using it again.

Started sneezing while doing it. Thought it was because I caught a whiff of the oven cleaner. Nope. I have a cold. Damn. I can't afford to be ill!

Didn't help that I had an ice cream container of hot water on top of the oven while cleaning it and jostling it about. Inevitably ended up doused in a couple of litres of filthy caustic oven-water.
ghostdancer mastodon (AP)
You live dangerously, looks like one of those cheap catastrophe movies that begin like that and end in a short circuit that provokes a fire that starts a nuclear meltdown.
When I clean the oven I have to use a mask cause the oven cleaner makes me cough a lot.
Be careful.

Been trying to offload old junk via #. It's been quite a revelation. Never knew I lived among so many young people with more vowels than consonants in their given name. #

This morning: "I'm feeling really quite fit and agile. I haven't felt this good in over a year."

This afternoon: "Oh. Wait a minute…"

This evening, I've written a new song. It's called "F**k, ow, ow, ow". The lyrics go like this: "F**k, ow, ow, ow; F**k, ow, ow, ow; F**k, ow, ow, ow…"
Ruben friendica
that could be the theme tune for current times # # #

Another interesting # day at #. Lately I've been doing long days on the shop floor covering for my isolating colleagues. Today it was the drivers who were sick. We had to cancel all the orders for two out of three of tomorrow morning's delivery vans, so an unexpected early mark.

Can't deliver groceries because the drivers are sick, which is fine because we can't pick groceries because the shoppers are sick, which is fine because we can't get the groceries on the shelves because the fillers are sick, which is fine because we can't get the groceries in the first place because all our suppliers' staff are also sick.

Ruben friendica
A strange one this pandemic. With majority vaccinations less people are getting critically sick. Which is lucky as we are so short staffed in the hospital it would be catastrophic. Instead it's just really shit.

# Tom Waits on the Tube.

Rain Dogs is one of my top ten albums, of which there are by now a couple of dozen. How can you not love a refrain like "Uncle Phil can't live without his pills, He has emphysema and he's almost blind, And we must find out where the money is, Get it now before he loses his mind"?

Knackered. Another long day at # today, nearly three times the length I was down for on the roster. The roster is becoming an increasingly outlandish exercise in wishful thinking, as half the department (an exaggeration, but not by much) is down with #. Another went home this afternoon saying they weren't feeling well. Every time I cough or clear my throat I think "Oh no! Is this it?" I'm watching everybody for signs of bleary eyes or lethargy (though not myself, as that's been my signature style for years).

Nevertheless, only myself and one other person in my department wear a mask. Honestly! Just because the government says you don't have to doesn't mean you can't.

Uncomfortable in a mask? Try doing a job designed for teenagers from within a very, very poorly-maintained fifty year old body. Wearing my mangled old feet alone, you would instantly forget all about the mask. Further up, it's an indescribable horror show. The mask is a blessing. It helps to conceal all the wincing and groaning I have to do.

Scanning more # prior to chucking it out. Tonight stuff from a lifetime ago when I was a union delegate (c. 1997). The staples and paper clips are all rusty, but the sticky notes are still sticky. You can peel them off and stick them back on as though they were fresh from the stationary cupboard. Witchcraft!
It's like playing # with your own ancient history. "Wotcher got?" "Bulldog clip. Sixteen millimetre."
elmussol Zot! (via ActivityPub)
I am glad your cupboard doesn't move.
Ruben friendica
Cupboard replaced by hdd
Neither does the stationery within (unless acted upon by an external force), which is actually how the cupboard got it's name.

# #

Felt really useful at # today. Which was nice.
Ruben friendica
Feeling competent is something I rarely feel but when I do it is fab

Been scanning a lot of stuff I've been lugging around for 30+ years, prior to chucking it out. Here's a picture of Dylan Thomas I drew at work in 1989, because I must have been reading a magazine or newspaper with this photo in it, and because my job didn't require more than one or two hours work from an eight hour day.

Done in blue biro, with no hope of correcting a single stroke gone awry. Can't do anything like that now because I lack the patience, and because my hands are f**ked ( Ah, well.
Ruben friendica
That's pretty marvellous. Nice job younger mjd
Ruben friendica
But you know you shouldn't let essential tremor limit you. I mean, many artists seek out creative limitations you've been given one.

Mental #. 166mm in the last 24 hours.
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