— Bob-a-job-alog-a-roonie

Random Thoughts


I think most people will acknowledge that living in the country is better for your soul, while the city has lots of more material attractions.

We are programmed to love babies. Human babies of course, but baby animals as well, and even seedlings for someone like me.

Cities lack baby animals. Where I have been living in recent years, I looked forward to spring. Because ducklings. They put a smile on my face and kept the universe real and general, not just about my own bullshit. For the world to be a better place (actually, no, the world is cool already, I mean for people to be better people), we just need to be around babies more. Any sort of babies. Even sea monkeys.

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There are actually two types of cooking, and I figure they should have their own names.

The first is something I can do reasonably competently – put a bunch of ingredients in a slow cooker, and turn it on. Or put some meat and veggies in the oven and roast them. This should be called “I slow cooked” or “I roasted”, not “I cooked”.

The second is where you are actually attending and interacting – turning, stirring, flipping. How you act and react will have a major effect on the results. That’s actual cooking.

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The mantra of Internet entrepreneurs is “fail often”, which is another way of saying “I get knocked down and I get up again”. Or “whatever doesn’t break you, makes you stronger”.

And it is true, and it works. As long as it is a business, an idea, a relationship or a job. Adjuncts to yourself.

It doesn’t work for the essence of who you are, the persona that you have spent your life shaping.

To start again from scratch and create a brand new you, after your last you failed, would be a very rare ability.

If your essential self fails, then you are broken, for good.

I’d like to think that more evolved humans might be able to switch to new persona, like an actor, when the last one failed, but then that might mean we lose what makes us human. It might make us no different than robots that can be reprogrammed.

So what is the answer to broken souls?

I’m thinking it is the opposite of “fail often”. I think it is “win often”.

There’s another thing that Internet entrepreneurs do, to avoid failure. When something is looking like failure, they pivot before it does fail. They move to a new, better win.

That’s what I wish souls could do. Recognise that what can/will break you is on the horizon and pivot to a new, winning, you.

It’s not easy. People don’t recognise the signs. We should learn to recognise the signs. And we should learn to have the courage to pivot before failure kicks in.

The first step is self-awareness and awareness of your every day environment. Not just accepting it as how things are, but continually seeing it for what it really is, and asking if it is acceptable.

I’d say the majority of marriages are a compromise, where he/she thinks “they’ll do, because not having someone is worse”.  I figure most jobs aren’t ideal, but people say they love their job because to admit what you spend a most of your waking hours doing isn’t your preference, would be horrible.

You can fail at a job or a relationship or a business, and start again, as long as it was your failure to own. If those things fail for reasons you cannot own, then your soul can take a hit. Redundancy, cheating partner, global recession.

But to avoid being broken soul, you need to be consciously aware of your reality, and be ready to pivot when it no longer serves as a win. And to do that you need to have your ear to the ground, and recognise the signs. In retrospect, we all saw the signs. We just didn’t recognise them when we need to.

It is far from easy.


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Meaningful love tends to happen in person. Two people in close proximity for significant periods of time. And in isolation from others in their life.

  • Facebook celebrates how long people have been friends, regardless of if they have ever met in real life.
  • Google knows who bought what in a physical store, via the GPS in our phones cross-referenced with credit card data. Yes, really (USA).

The technology already exists to determine who we love, based on time spent with them. And, yes, it is easy to exclude family members, housemates, customers, nightclubs, work and sport colleagues by using machine learning or participants just naming people and places.

The downside is that illicit love or secret love could be outed, so some sort of switch is needed (like powering off your phone during your regular Tuesday lunchtime romp).

The upside is we can prove how much we love someone, even someone we wouldn’t love natively.


Rob has spent 40 minutes this week in close proximity, one on one, to complete strangers. He gets a yellow heart badge.



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I firmly believe that every human needs and desires love.

When a person doesn’t have love in their life, they choose a proxy.

It might be a love of their work, dedication at the gym, passion about a hobby, or graffiti.

Sometimes a lack of love leads to anger and resentment. In rare extreme cases it leads to murder, where the proxy for love overrules all reason and compassion.

The answer to terrorism is to give love to everyone. No matter how hard loving particular people might be.

Love thy neighbour. Love your weird neighbour. Love the neighbour who scares you or creeps you out.

Love someone who is angry or says hateful things.

Bombard them with love until love wins.

Afterthought: How many world leaders can you name who have declared or demonstrated personal love?


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One way of looking at getting older is the things that you no longer care about. And perhaps the secret of staying (at least seeming) young is to do the opposite?

BTW, this isn’t me and just a broad generalisation based on what I see around me… and it isn’t particularly gender-specific

(age) 18 – stop writing poetry
24 – stop trying to impress your boss
27 – the last time you read literature
32 – stop buying your partner flowers
35 – stop going to the gym
42 – the last time you went to the theatre
44 – stop listening to new music, the old stuff is better
45 – stopped noticing ants on the footpath
48 – the last time you tried a new food dish – didn’t like it
51 – danced, actually danced, instead of shuffling
54 – the last time you went on vacation to somewhere new
55 – stopped buying clothing or shoes that are modernly fashionable
58 – the last time you walked upright, with pride
62 – felt you could fall in love with that new person, but it’s too hard
63 – stop caring if what you say upsets or offends others
65 – the last time you licked an ice cream
67 – the current TV set will outlast me
70 – no more pets, you’ve said goodbye to too many
72 – stopped noticing birds
75 – stopped listening to your partner – they haven’t noticed
83 – stop watching your team that rarely wins
88 – stop watching reruns of your favourite shows
93 – stop caring about your latest new-born relatives, or any family except for you own children

Note to self, this could be a collection of existentialist short stories. Think Raymond Carver…

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There’s a John Lennon doco (Imagine) where a dedicated fan is stalking Lennon’s home and Lennon, the pacifist, discusses his “meaningful lyrics” with the young chap. It’s an excellent insight into how an artist puts some words together and a fan thinks that those words are meaningful to them alone.

Having said that, my main man David Bowie has written some lyrics that seem peculiarly significant to me. As a science nerd and skeptic, I guess it is just random and insignificant. As a witch I figure it is meaningful.

Life on Mars

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds

Ibiza means nothing to me. But I did live in the Norfolk Broads while unable to be a citizen – despite being married to a pom.

Panic in Detroit

I asked for an autograph
jumped the silent cars that slept at traffic lights

The one time I met David Bowie, a Finnish girl and I rushed his limo (silent car) as it stopped at traffic lights. We asked for and got an autograph, a photo, and a handshake.


Having scored a trillion dollars

My current professional mission is a trillion dollar idea. Even amongst the delusional, not many people aim for a trillion.

Always Crashing The Same Car

As I pushed my foot down to the floor
I was going round and round the hotel garage

The second time I crashed a car, I was having a mental meltdown about a girl. I was in a 1969 Triumph, parked in a pub carpark (hotel garage). I pressed down fully on the accelerator and put the steering on full lock. Crashed into a van that was driving by. No-one hurt but it took a year to pay off the repairs. The first time I crashed a car was the girl of my angst’s mum’s car. Different cars, same girl. No crashes since, no longer a teenager.

Five Years

It’s about the end of the world. I spearheaded a global end-of-the-world movement. I think that qualifies.

Kendrick Lamar

My favourite album of 2015 was also Bowie’s, given that he grafted the same jazz onto his last songs.


Of course Bowie wrote a lot of songs, and most of them are meaningless in relation to my life. I don’t dance, I’m not a DJ or a starman, I’m not a duke or a gravedigger.

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Just crossed my mind to tally up the books etc that I am part way through*. Until 2 years ago I allocated myself one novel per year, and the rest science non-fiction. Then came 3 hours a day on the train, so I’m getting through a fair bit.

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness. Finished today, in plenty of time for this month’s The Last Bookclub on Earth. Soon to be a hit movie series.
Feed – Mira Grant. Will easily finish in time for the next Last Bookclub on Earth meetup. Bloggers versus zombies.
More Notes of a Dirty Old Man – Charles Bukowski. I turn to Hank when I need a pick me up, and to his poetry when I need even more.


The Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote. Short stories by K.J. Bishop, the Aussie genius who wrote The Etched City
Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos – H.P Lovecraft and others. Another short story collection to slowly work my way through
The Colour of Magic / The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett. Something light-hearted for when I need a break from dystopian fiction, dark fantasy and gothic horror.

Good (US magazine). “environmental issues, education, urban planning, design, politics, culture, technology, and health”
Mojo (magazine). I have kept all of my old music magazines in case one day I get so rich I can order any CD I want based on a 100 word review. Well that time has come, a.k.a Spotify.
MIT Technology Review (magazine). Serious but readable.
Regulation (magazine). About regulatory policy in the USA, but ultimately about libertarianism. A guilty pleasure.


The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia – Paul Devereux. Scholarly look at everyday tripping at the start of civilisation. Causality?
Dig Deeper: Seasonal sustainable Australian gardening. Hefty tome full of ideas as I slowly create a paradise at home.

Aside from train reading, these are also read over breakfast or lunch, or waiting at the pub at the agreed time while others dawdle. If I’m awake enough to read in bed, I should be working instead.

*part way through and readily findable. There are many, many more buried away somewhere, which means I clearly lost interest. Although it is rare for me to not finish a novel, the same as I can’t walk out of a stage play.

CebtaAnd yeah, TV shows these days… Designated Survivor, Black Mirror, and   Central


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This is like Lego in that it consists of physical, interconnected pieces.

The pieces join to create tunnels and caves, passages and places that are mostly hidden unless access panels are opened. The internal structure is a secret home for little figurines who inhabit it.

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I was surprised that my 10-year-old son brought this home for homework – took me a moment to start the path to working it out:

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