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jethro's picture

The Squire of Affinity

Today I walked lightly on my feet, feeling refreshed from a good (if broken) sleep. I had napped early and then watched some female warriors sparring in a match before heading back to my chambers to rest alone.
My destination was sure, the exact journey unknown as I navigated through crowds of horses and carriages conveying their passengers to the bustling commerce quarter. Many would be going to browse, purchase and taste the delights of the many vendors all clamouring for your coins. Others would be going to spend a day of drudgery; serving, washing dishes, saying please and thank you and being polite to rude rich women and passively aggressive wealthy men. Others were heading to a boring office with many corporate overlords in fantastic commerce ventures or bureaucratic government work pens. I'm not sure which I would have preferred, but I am glad I do not have to be part of that rat race.
I had wended my way into quieter streets through a leafy suburb in my carriage before leaving my team of horses and my racing cart with a valet service to be cared for until my return. Of which time I was necessarily vague, as I had a leisurely day before me. The first stop was to be a den of disrepute, although hiding behind a facade of public benevolence. The furtive meeting with the crime lord who controlled the major drug supplies around here while appearing to work out of a government office was the best cover ever I thought. He slipped me a secret handshake that let me know as I passed my gold coin over inside my palm, that his motley crew were going to give me the best private sensory experience possible. I slipped into the hidden room through the panel that didn’t look like a door, and immediately was enveloped in the mystical ambience of the industrious space. Arcane figures were silhouetted behind frosted glass windows fronting rooms of potions and bottles of mystical and exotic ingredients. These wizards were the brew masters. Kept in thrall and forced to brew their potions every day, they were the masters of their craft.
Other workers bustled around the many patrons attending to their every need. Some visitors to the establishment were bright and alert, the drugs energising them as they made conversation, often loudly, with their clients and sycophants, maybe minor family members or distant cousins. Other patrons were clearly under the spell and the grip of the many courses of drugs they had consumed, lying back glassy eyed, alone and ignored by all.
I headed for my usual chair as the staff flocked around me making their requests. Did I want my usual brew, what boosters and additives did I desire and were there any adverse effects to my previous experience? I acknowledged them all and thanked them for their service as I gave the answers. The magicians in the rear were making the best stuff and I was enjoying the rush, the clear headedness, the ability to focus and my ruthless ambition to realise my dreams that was inspired by these chemicals.
Today as I lay back and was pampered I planned on delivering some strong messages to some clients informing them I knew their risky business practices were ging to get them in trouble. However they could ensure their safety and security by employing my team of agents, technical wizards and strongmen. From others I ensured my regular extortion and protection money was being extracted and letting them know just what we had done for their protection money. They were as much reliant on us as we were on them, a symbiotic relationship if you like. The large network of spies, agents and information gatherers I had built over many years of shadowy dealings on the side of the large corporates had many rich information sources. I reached out to some of these people via secret messengers who slipped in and out of the shadows, took my notes or returned notes from the recipients. The day was advancing rapidly to the next item on my list, the port. Down here where the whistle of the gulls, the fresh salty air blowing my hair and the hoarse yelling of stevedores combined with the many scents of fish, fresh cut timber and tar, and the occasional bitter smell of tobacco and coffee as labourers took their breaks. Here I had to slip a package to a freight forward agent I had marked for reliable service. I knew from previous experience he could be relied on to get my package to my client. My own team of wizards had constructed a marvel of the ages, for which everyone hankered after. My client was desperate for the latest and best to please his mistress, and so this had been constructed especially for her desires and needs. It even included personal touches with a magical enclosed viewer that displayed her memories of her children to her, as if she was there!
I knew this gift would have my client being blessed with her favour and in turn deferential to me. I know he will become reliant on these marvels and thus my service to him assured and my riches amass.
After the port and all its bustling commerce, I will attend a luncheon, a simple repast for the time of the day when my mistress of many years will regale me with tales of dealing with the tiresome servants while we are entertained by some jesters in the background.
The afternoon is yet to be determined. I like the chaotic nature of energy that is released when just in that moment of time with no regard to past or future.
After whatever that period of time brings to me, I will press the magic buttons that summon food to my table before retiring to my entertainment chamber. No female warriors tonight, rather I have granted an audience with the researchers who are using my body to assess the gains to its athletic capability while meditating and taking ice baths.

Actual scenario - hospital for cancer chemo treatment during which I will triage my emails and bill some customers, followed by the post office where I send a new PC to a client for his wife, lunch on the couch with Jude with Netflix in the background. Dinner and a video call with the university researchers whom I have joined a study by Whoop with.

jethro's picture

Humans are awesome and dealing with negativity in your life

There seems to be a strong focus on negativity in our world. This is nothing new and I’m certainly not the first person to note it. Our news media sensationalises negative dirt bags and low life scum who prey on the innocent and weak and we love to sit in our armchairs and preach judgement.

Are we really better than them? Do we have the right to judge? Just because we didn’t rape or murder or sexually harass?

Humans are awesome. As the Cycling Maven puts it – cracking humans! I was essentially inspired by his last vlog to write this. You don’t need to watch it – unless you are a cycling fan! In which case it is a must! Subscribe to his awesome vids.

As he succinctly puts it there are a few douches out there but most humans are awesome. I was inspired by the example from his ride in the 2017 Indie Pac when it was cancelled and he was just outside of Adelaide just how many people responded with genuine offers of help.

Recently I have also been inspired by helping some people myself and seeing just how many people also just love to help in some way. We recently helped a lady who had been in a domestic violence situation move from a shelter to her own home. A large group of diverse people largely unknown to each other came together to offer furniture, their time helping, money for a ute and trailer, money for fuel and for no benefit to themselves, just to purely help another human in need.

Humans are awesome.

Negativity sucks. Yet so many people don’t understand this and constantly live in a cesspit of negative emotions, people and scenarios. I’m not pretending to be a guru, but I do not live in that world and I want to be able to help people who do.

So why are people negative? No idea. Really, I don’t. But I do know that negativity promotes and perpetuates negativity. Eh what? I’ll say it again.

Being negative keeps you being negative.

It’s harder in my opinion to be positive than to be negative. You must sometimes force yourself to be positive when it’s easier to whinge at life’s circumstances, other people or situations you find yourself in. But here’s what I have noticed about negative people. The more they complain about undesirable things that happen (and I'm not talking about major disasters (like breaking your nail)) the more undesirable things happen. In fact, the same undesirable things happen over and over – almost every day – to some people I know.

I can guarantee the response to my question of “how’s your day going?” on the phone to one friend – it is ALWAYS “shithouse”. And then he lives out his prediction, and generally the first 60 seconds of the phone call is him telling me what happened that was bad. Its nearly always the same things, traffic, bills, workload, other people dumping things on him, things “outside his control” etc.

These same “bad” things happen to me most days as well. If I choose to drive in rush hour traffic (I generally don’t for a reason) then I choose to accept the fact that I'm in it, find something good to listen to on the radio or use the time to call people, or sometimes just dwell with my own thoughts and wrestle problems over in my mind. I choose to be positive about the time I'm spending in the car (even though I may not actually like it) and not go all negative and complain about it. Essentially, I see it like this. FACT: I am going to be in the car as long as it takes to get where I am going. OPTION: I can choose to grumble and complain about this (including poisoning other people’s lives with my complaining about something that didn’t even happen to them afterwards) OR I can choose to find a positive happy way to deal with the situation. Often, I’ll just be mellowing out to the music on the radio when stuck in traffic enjoying the chance to have a compulsory relax for a while.

I'm pretty sure I am a better person when I get out of the car at the end of that drive for it. I remember road rage and its ugly.

So back to the humans are awesome thing.

There are some douchbags and dropkicks out there gaining media attention and making it seem like the world is a crummy place. That’s a negative way to look at it. I think there are lot more awesome people out there being awesome, giving up their time, money and resources to help others, being positive and showing positivity in bad situations and not dwelling on the negative things.

I want to encourage you to be an awesome human today.

I'm going to tell just one little story, partly because I'm really proud of my photography, and mostly because Michelle is an AWESOME human.

I met Michelle years ago and photographed her when she was a super fit young mum. See the first photo. Since then she has had breast cancer, had a double mastectomy and of course suffered through the hell associated with chemo and all that goes along with that. Negative stuff. Happens to lots of people. Nothing overly special there. Michelle is however an inspirational person who took it upon herself to liven up the chemo place with her neon tutu, and is now using the power of the tutu and positivity to help and encourage others also going through the tough times of breast cancer. She really wants to help women not feel pressured to have reconstructive breast surgery. She has chosen not to and understands there is a real societal pressure for women to have breasts.

So, we got to do a wonderful photoshoot with her and a male friend of mine Russell who has also had breast cancer and had a mastectomy.

So why not be an awesome human like Michelle and think how can I find the good, the positive, the best outcome from this situation or place I'm in? How can I be a joy to others and not a wet blanket of misery?

2011-02-27 PoleGym Shoot 499v2bw2017-12-23 Michelle and Russell 0162017-12-23 Michelle and Russell 0572017-12-23 Michelle and Russell 1682017-12-23 Michelle and Russell 210

I think it was an interesting title for this post – at least I hope you think so, and I hope I explained it as well. In part this post was an attempt to write something personal once again on this blog. I write so much technical stuff (mostly not on this blog anymore) that I don’t seem to have time to write something non-technical. Nowadays social media rules so much that often personal information is given in unrelated disjointed twitter size sound bites.

So hopefully you are going to be an awesome human and go splash some positivity around you – especially to the negative people in your life – it might just rub off!

jethro's picture

My Most Memorable Christmas - well one of them anyway

Here's a little known story about me. I used to live in New Zealand. Specifically in a little sleepy seaside town called Motueka. We even had our own "resort", a beach side caravan park at Kaiteriteri beach. There was a general store, petrol station, boat wash, bait and ice, tea rooms and fish and chip and ice cream counters. I worked there three summers in a row. I actually had a full time job but I used to work there while on my paid vacation. It helped defray the costs of the holiday - petrol money travel, food and drink etc.

I don't even remember exactly which year this was, but it would have been somewhere between 1988 and 1993. At the time I owned a Hillman Avenger. In fact I purchased it explicitly for the holiday - I think I swapped $700 for it. It was a bit of a scrubber, but it went ok.