I Say, I Say

"Toby, Toby! Here boy!" called my dog, Alfie. It was time for our walk. I ran in from the backyard where I had been digging up weeds. Alfie and I walked to the park. Peeing amongst some weeds along the way Alfie commented on the weather. I was distracted as I had been all week. Alfie seemed concerned and tried to draw me into conversation.

"Look at this fresh shit." he gave it an exploratory lick, "It's Trevors, he eats way to much of that tinned food" Alfie brushed his nose against my leg. I felt his wet tongue lollop against me as he did so.

Alfie had refused to eat tinned food from early on. He had reasoned that if I would not eat 'that tinned stuff' why should he. The next day I made roast chicken, potatoes and pumpkin with gravy and brocolli. After I'd put some aside for next days lunch I gave Alfie the left-overs. He was furious.

"So, you won't eat the chickens bum or the brown goobey bits and you think it's OK for me?"

He ate it anyway but spent all night at my feet restlessly farting. "But Alfie you are a dog" I said. "And you are a just human, we're both sentient. Just because you have a couple of stubby opposable thumbs doesn't make you better than me" "Well it does actually, I can cook" "I can bite. Do you think cooking makes you morally superior? Just because you mastered the gas chamber I get to live on lips, tits and bums?" "It's a gas cooker, Alfie" "Don't patronise me. If you keep feeding me that crap, Toby, we'll both get to enjoy the gas chamber. Out of my ass."

The next day I grilled a couple of pork chops with apple sauce, green beans and spuds. I gave Alfie his own plate and that was the start of it.

Again again

Here I am starting again with another fresh blog.
My aims for this thing have changed once again. Now I'm using Nikola, a python based static site generator. It's a bit more complex than I really wanted but I'm less inclined to build my own scripts these days. Life is too short to spend hours in front of a keyboard just to ensure my unread posts are nicely filed. Having said that I shall of course attempt to do that.

This is my first post written in reStructuredText format. It's what Nikola defaults to using. The theory is that I can just write as I would normally with a few textual devices to introduce styles like strong emphasis and monospaced text/code or even stupid lists of things I worry about:

  1. Will my kids be OK?
  2. Why am I here? Should I go and stand somewhere else?
  3. Am I doing this life thing correctly?
  4. Why am I so thick?
  5. When can I begin drinking?
  6. Why don't I learn the fiddle so that I can just go and be a tramp like Laurie Lee.

Unfortunately it's not really working out for me yet. The text structure required to effect the way the final HTML looks seems to me a bit finicky. Luckily Nikola supports lots of different formats so I will keep experimenting unti I find something I like.

I have imported all my old markdown posts and will probably slowly add older posts, if I'm ever at a really loose end. Those of you in the know may notice my use of pseudonyms. I felt it only fair I give the protaganists in my life a chance to remain anonymous. Except Zaida because she's my Mum and can of course do no wrong.

Writing this way is akin to wearing a straight-jacket whilst dancing the polka. The final result may at least be comical but more likely dull. I should probably stick to a blunt pencil and an old exercise book.

Insomnia

I woke shortly after midnight last night. I had been having some sort of dream about my sons.

Some graffiti I saw in town today

I didn't get to sleep again.

Beer

I had worked a night shift. The dog woke me at lunch time. Re must have just left for work. I tried to sleep more but I was awake. I took the dog down the beach for a walk. Picked up some beer, food and milk on the way home. I texted both of my boys and Re. At home I ate one of the hot dog sausages, I gave another one to the dog. I opened a beer and put on a play list.

The thoughts that accompanied me so far today have included the idea that the human race just needs to be organised a bit better. This is the self professed plan of Google. Yuval Harari suggests artificial intelligence will do the job, he's probably right. We are a useless generation. I wondered what sort of people or entities would eventually be pulling our levers once we were organised? Would we mind? What would we achieve and why would we achieve it? What would our thoughts and feelings be whilst we worked towards these goals? The irony of such useless thoughts was not lost on me.

I was feeling lonely as I was texting my boys. I miss our silly conversations. I miss watching rubbish telly with them. I leave ribbons of my heart attached to everyone I love.

My Dad gave me a Treasure Chest when I was a boy. It was a box he'd made with a hinged lid and iron corners it smelt like dusty old wood. I kept my random child oddments in it. The contents were never as valuable to me as the box was. Inside the lid I wrote a short list of my friends. The list had perhaps three names. One of the names may have been, Minta the family dog. I remember struggling with the idea of comitting a name to the box. Could I trust them to remain true? Would the act of writing the name change our friendship? Some years ago on a visit to my Dad he offered me the box to take home. I did not take it as I was worried that the Australian customs would not allow it across their bureaucratic borders. I left it. Another ribbon of my heart with my Dad.

Now the sun is setting behind Roberts Hill. The dog is noisily chewing something. My second beer is getting warm and it won't drink itself.

Ended

Pyrrho killed himself this week. I found out from a message on my phone. I was sitting in the cab of my ute after a day at work. I stared at my phone. I thought I'd misunderstood the message. I read it again, the words became disjointed and I did not believe them. I screwed up my eyes and felt a sob rise from my chest. I had driven past his place a few days ago. Why had I not dropped by?

He has a young son, a really fine lad. Not young enough though. He is going to have a rough time.

1st Post Again

I am reinventing the wheel I know. I just wanted a simple way to post text and the odd picture online. I do not want to post via some 'service' in which I end up being owned by them. I did not want to install and learn how to maintain some complex system which eventually changes or dies due to the developer tinkering it to hell.

I started blogging with a variety of tools (anyone remember arachnophilia?); Blosxom and notepad. It was never about the actual content for me. It was the process of making the fucker work. I made a CMS with ASP and later I used the much cooler php. I used Worpress. I attempted and failed to ascend the infamous Drupal learning curve, I really tried. I'm no techno-mage. When I gave up I used a myriad of services such as Google pages; Blogger; Tumblr; Instagram; Posthaven; Snapchat... and yes, Facebook.

Looking at the history of ordinary people trying to post stuff online it seems obvious now. Facebook, Snapchat, Google and the like sucking up all our words, all our thoughts, our conversations... I really fucking hate what the web is becoming. It's just horrible now. We are all having our souls ripped out of us by these huge slimy companies hand in hand with nefarious government agencies.

One of these days I'll just dump my accounts and maybe I'll keep my one little server ticking on a dusty corner of the web. All I want is Markup.pl, some string replacements and a template.

Nurse Futures

I've been a registered nurse for a mere six months now and am very aware of my ignorance. University did not teach me about the paperwork and associated procedures to arrange things like outpatient xrays. However I know I'll figure that stuff out with experience. In the meantime I worry that some of the stuff I enjoyed learning about at Uni is going to fall out of my head. A lot of the stuff I was taught at Uni was probably a bit ahead of where we'd begin as n00b nurses. Nonetheless I'm starting to consider post-grad study/options. Some starting points:

In the meantime I intend to study bits and bobs in my limited spare time. Using HETI and associated services:

Seventeen Months

According to the Wayback Machine tregeagle.com has been running my blog for over 16 years now. So, maybe not posting anything for almost a year and a half is OK. It's not that I have nothing to say, it's just that I'm not sure you need to hear it.

A lot has happened. In short I have left behind my previous life and found a new one. All the old reference points have been rearranged. I'll not try dwell on it.

Red Wedge 1918

Andy White

I've been ramping up my running lately. It's a type of meditation. Sometimes I just run. Other times I run and listen to music or podcasts.

Yesterday I went for a tempo run in the rain. I listened to the album, "Rave On Andy White" and entered my usual running dream/pain state. I thought of the inspirations I attached to these songs over the years. I thought how those inspirations morph into reminders. Sometimes they are just reminders about the stupid things I used to get inspired about. Other times I am reminded about the type of person I wanted to be.

Andy White sung about Reality Row like it was a bad thing. Maybe he is right?

As a young bloke I think he rather fancied himself as a 'WockStah' as he walked down Six String Street in a Groovy Kind of Way. Despite Andy being a bit of a narcissist (show me a young bloke who isn't) I've always loved his cheerful tunes. I think Andy liked to pretend to be some sort of romantic version of Bob Dylan or an Irish version of Billy Bragg, some say he is. I wore out several of his cassette tapes over the years and I always love rediscovering his pop-with-a-hint-of-politics but mostly silly-romantic. Which probably says more about me than Mr White.

Here is a picture of me in the midst of a depressing and life changing time in 1990-ish.

Ben depressed in Pontypridd, Wales. Circa 1990-1]

I was probably recently returned from or soon to go to one of the many music festivals around at the time. I remember the Fleadh at Finsbury Park and the Féile in Tipperary. I am sure I was listening to Andy White when Neil, Gareth or Lizzy snapped it.

So, the run was shit. I could barely walk to the bog last night. Andy, as always, was good company on my crap journey. He helped me crack open a few insights along the way. Thanks for that Mr White.

Granny in Oz

My Ma recently arrived home in chilly Totnes. I loved having her staying with us for the tail end of our summer.

We had lots of fun cycling and walking around the beaches, town and village. I had been worried she'd be too hot but I think it was mostly pretty good. There was the obligatory few rainy days but it was mostly blazing sunshine.

I stuck a few photos over here.

Log Blinks