“Do you want to be really good at a thing? I’ve got bad news for you. You’re going to have to be significantly worse at a lot of other things in your life.” – @cgpgrey, Cortex episode 157

Lady at this cafe in the Huon Valley is working on an 11” MacBook Air running one of big cat OS X operating system releases.

It would have to be more than a decade old at this point wouldn’t it? It’s still such a beautiful machine. Honestly, I think it would be my favourite computer I’ve owned.

I’m researching for project in Tasmania and I think, to the best of my research and knowledge so far, this is the oldest and first photograph of Tasmania. The photo is of the south-eastern-most tip of Tasmania, Cape Pillar by James Backhouse Walker onboard the Beagle with Charles Darwin, enroute to Hobart on February 5, 1836.

My greatest fear in life is that Jaycar could go broke and shutdown

If you talk to anyone in the destination wedding industry they have their bucket list of places they want to work. Mine is remarkably weirder than most.

I’ve been lucky enough to create marriage ceremonies all around the world in places like Iceland and Italy, New York and New Zealand, Croatia to Canberra, Fiji to Vancouver.

But my favourite places to travel are the weird places, more likely to be featured on Atlas Obscurer than Lonely Planet.

My destination wedding and elopement bucket list:

  1. North Korea because I want to fly Air Koryo and live to tell the story.
  2. Saudia Arabia and Qatar because a Middle East desert elopement would be wild! Plus I’d love to be the guy that delivers personalised and fun wedding ceremonies in the Middle East.
  3. Tuvalu, Bora Bora, Tonga, Samoa, and The Cook Islands because I’ve got big Pacific Island energy.
  4. Bhutan where Gross National Happiness is a real thing they measure.
  5. Kazakhstan because of Borat.

I think it would also be cool to do a wedding in Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch in Wales because writing that name on a marriage certificate would be fun.

Tuscany versus Amalfi

When I first started as a wedding celebrant in 2009 you’d write some blog posts, build some SEO, and maybe attend a wedding expo to promote yourself as a celebrant and earn a living.

Now, however … things have changed.

Lord knows if it’s for the better? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

I visited The Vatican

Visiting The Vatican inevitably evokes strong feelings. Regardless of your faith—Catholic, Christian, other, or none—the rich tapestry of history within Vatican City resonates deeply.

If you’re like me, you might not have fully connected the dots between Jesus, Peter (from the Bible), The Vatican, Rome, the Roman Empire, and the politics intertwined among them until you walk through the Vatican Museums.

I don’t have a definitive opinion on the matter today, and perhaps I never will. My opinions in July 2024 on Popes, Catholics, the Roman Empire, and The Vatican might not hold much significance.

However, I did take photos of the museums, the grounds, and the Sistine Chapel during my visit.

A note on taking photos in the Sistine Chapel: the signage and staff inside the chapel ask visitors not to take photos, often emphatically reminding people with calls of “no photos”. My best understanding is that the restriction is due to copyright concerns, despite the artwork being over 500 years old.

So I disregarded the call because I don’t respect it. Happy to receive feedback on why I should, but I don’t believe it to be important today.

I hope you enjoy all 44 images.

Read More →

Is the @abcnews_au Instagram account off-ABC-charter

In the year 2024, we - the consumer/viewer/listener/single-digit-in-a-spreadsheet - have an opportunity to cultivate and curate our media diet, and I personally take that responsibility to be aware of the world I live in and contribute to really seriously.

I understand that I am the net average of those I spend time with, and that which I consume, so who I follow, mute, block, and subscribe to is of great importance to me. My impact and output on or to my family, community, and the planet can be ascribed to my intake.

Despite being featured in publications like the Daily Mail online or News Corporation newspapers, I generally choose to read or consume them on-demand, instead of having them flung into the different algorithmic newsfeeds I experience daily.

The news sources I do follow, like, subscribe to, get emails from, and even have notifications on for, are few and far between but they’re really deliberate.

This brings me to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, one of the greatest protective bastions of Australian culture and identity. I get ABC News app notifications and follow them on Instagram.

The functions of the Corporation are:

(a) To provide within Australia innovative and comprehensive broadcasting services of a high standard as part of the Australian broadcasting system consisting of national, commercial, and community sectors and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to provide:

(i) Broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community; and (ii) Broadcasting programs of an educational nature;

Item (b) is about outside of Australia and although I’m writing this in Rome, it doesn’t apply to the article, and:

(c) To encourage and promote the musical, dramatic, and other performing arts in Australia.

I now reference one of the great books written in recent times, The News: A User’s Manual by Alain de Botton, on how news organisations tend towards engagement over boring important content:

But the answer isn’t just to intimidate people into consuming more ‘serious’ news; it is to push so-called serious outlets into learning to present important information in ways that can properly engage audiences. It is too easy to claim that serious things must be, and can almost afford to be, a bit boring.

Alain holds “the news” to a very high standard, and rightly so:

For all the talk of education, modern societies neglect to examine by far the most influential means by which their populations are educated. Whatever happens in our classrooms, the more potent and ongoing kind of education takes place on the airwaves and on our screens. Cocooned in classrooms for only our first eighteen years or so, we effectively spend the rest of our lives under the tutelage of news entities which wield infinitely greater influence over us than any academic institution can. Once our formal education has finished, the news is the teacher.

It is the single most significant force setting the tone of public life and shaping our impressions of the community beyond our own walls. It is the prime creator of political and social reality. As revolutionaries well know, if you want to change the mentality of a country, you don’t head to the art gallery, the department of education, or the homes of famous novelists; you drive the tanks straight to the nerve centre of the body politic, the news HQ.

This brings me to the @abcnews_au Instagram account.

Am I the only one who feels like the ABC News social media department - deliberately separating them from the local radio stations and their social media teams, TV stations and iView and the TV social media, the website, the apps, and the actual news being broadcast wherever ABC News broadcasts end up - is off charter?

Here are a few posts from the last week I do not feel are adding to our sense of national (Australian) identity or reflecting the cultural diversity of the Australian culture.

Screenshots from the ABC News Instagram Account from July 2024

Screenshots from the ABC News Instagram Account from July 2024

Screenshots from the ABC News Instagram Account from July 2024

Screenshots from the ABC News Instagram Account from July 2024

It’s all innocent content, getting some great views and metrics for the team, but I raise the following issues:

  1. Attention is one of the greatest assets online today, only second to original content. The ABC is wasting content creation resources and our attention. Tell the great Aussie stories that add to or reflect the Australian story, and let the content farms share the viral junk food stories, and let the local news outlets tell the international stories - they do it better, and we can choose to view them there already.
  2. The interest-graph driven social media industry of 2024 is built on signals. Much like driving a car and we flick on the indicator to let other traffic know we’re turning left, each time that light blinks it’s a signal to the traffic as to your intentions. We, the consumer, have the opportunity to choose what signals we deliver, which content we like, share, comment on, and mute, but the ABC also holds a great responsibility to deliver signals to the interest graph.
  3. The ABC has many different outlets for great content like this, can the News be sanitised to just be the plain-old-boring, need-to-know, news, all the news fit-to-print someone once said.
  4. I could be wrong on this and await your well-written feedback as to how I am. Seriously, every time I bring this up with broadcast friends they look at me weird as if engagement and growth at all costs is the only thing that matters.

And a few questions I’m pondering:

  • How do the ABC staff know if they are being successful? Is content like this the only way for some social media person to keep their job because it gets numbers?
  • How do they know if they are meeting the charter?
  • Is feedback like this welcome?
  • I know that ABC funding is contentious, how can the good burghers of Australia shape our government, and instruct it, so we have an ABC that our great grandchildren will be proud of in 100 years?
  • What is the ABC News social media accounts for? Are they for content like this?

I’ll end on this word from Alain:

News organisations are coy about admitting that what they present us with each day are minuscule extracts of narratives whose true shape and logic can generally only emerge from a perspective of months or even years – and that it would hence often be wiser to hear the story in chapters rather than snatched sentences. They are institutionally committed to implying that it is inevitably better to have a shaky and partial grasp of a subject this minute than to wait for a more secure and comprehensive understanding somewhere down the line.

Turns out hope might be good for the soul.

Emily Brown in Relevant Magazine:

Gen Z has been fairly vocal about their struggles with mental health, but according to the American Bible Society’s recent report, “The State of the Bible 2024,” young adults who read their Bible regularly report being much happier than their peers.

A transport nerd's Italian journies

I’m a transport nerd, so here’s my transport journey to and across Italy over the last few weeks.

Missing in my photos is my phat electric bike from Procida.

We scooted in Rome

Scooter in Rome

Moped in Amalfi

Moped in Amalfi

Avis gave me what was pretty much a sports car in Sicily

Sports car in Sicily

Then a baby little Fiat 500X in Tuscany

Fiat 500 in Tuscany

I flew my airline crush in Ryanair

Ryan Air across Italy

Qatar A380s from Australia and through Doha to Rome

Qatar Airways from Australia

And the best €60 I spent was on a business class seat on the high speed rail from Naples

High speed rail from Naples

The criminalisation of journalism

Julian Assange and the criminalisation of journalism: A story of moral injury and moral courage in New Matilda today:

12th July 2007: Two US Apache helicopters unleash 30mm cannon fire on a group of Iraqi civilians. Two of them are Reuters journalists – Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.

Twelve are killed, including both journalists and a passing van driver who stops to help the wounded. The van driver’s two young children, passengers at the time, are severely wounded.

The journalists’ cameras were later retrieved from the soldiers who had seized them. They indicated no evidence of the firefight the US military claimed had prompted the strike.

5th April 2010: WikiLeaks releases a video titled Collateral Murder, confirmed as authentic by the US military. The grainy footage taken from one of the Apaches documents the casual slaughter of noncombatants. You can hear the crew laughing at some of the casualties.

That face when you're “worried” about Spotify and podcasting

In an interview about broadcasting the Olympics on AM radio network in Australia (a sentence that could have been typed in 1970 and still make perfect sense), the Head of Content for the network, Greg Byrnes, talks Sarah Patterson about how, in the year 2024, he is “worried” about Spotify and podcasting, however:

You can’t get that on Spotify. You can’t get that on TikTok … if the school is closed because a local road is flooded, if planes aren’t flying because of fog at the airport, traffic gridlock … that content is really important to us and it’s important that we let the audience know that it is always available. “I think that strategy sets us up well for success.”

Imagine running the audio content for a $2B AUD media company and thinking that post-traditional-broadcast-technologists haven’t solved for 

  • school closures
  • road flooding
  • airport updates
  • traffic gridlock.

School closures: surely schools in 2024 aren’t relying on 2GB to tell all the parents about an issue at school? Do local governments have interopt with Google and Apple Maps yet? If not, that should be a priority. Airlines also have pretty much got the technology thing downpat.

I have the deepest love for the audio medium, I miss working in it and creating for it, but I’m not romantic enough to think that the AM and FM talkback radio and music radio stations I’ve loved and have created for, but very few people in that space are aware that the world is changing rapidly and I don't understand how you could be so ignorant of the fact that the stations may well have a future, but it will be very different to their past.

Why are the Vatican guards dressed like clowns?

Orrrr why are clowns dressed like Vatican guards?

iPhone hack: when your iPhone 14 overheats in Rome, get a drink from McDonalds and melt the ice on the phone until it cools down.

L'angolo tra Via dei Gracchi e Via Fabio Massimo

I spent the last two hours in this seat, capturing as many interesting photos as possible from this single location in Rome, Italy, on the early evening of Monday, July 8, 2024.

Welcome to a little Roman photo essay I created, if only to entertain myself: L'angolo tra Via dei Gracchi e Via Fabio Massimo.

These two sparked the thought. We don't see many fully frocked nuns from the Vatican in Ranelagh, where I live in Tasmania.

Food and drinks from an ice creamery, a café bar and ristorante, and a few other spots at the corner of Via dei Gracchi and Via Fabio Massimo show how many food options are around here.

Since these are streets, you might have expected some vehicles. I extended my stay to two hours because I missed a classic Italian road rage incident: one man screaming at another, making a pointed gesture, exasperatedly sighing, and then driving off, completely forgetting about the incident.

I met quite a few local dogs and birds. There was also a rat, but I was too slow to catch it.

And of course, some locals.

Photos composed and created by me with my Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 lens, edited in Lightroom CC, with Carssun’s Amalfi Coast presets.

Professor Giuseppe’s Grand Hotel Tritone and its 1000-odd steps to the beach.

Some frames I have a captured on the Amalfi coast this week

When you’re hot-headed and your Ray-Bans stage an intervention

Why did they call it the Amalfi Coast when they could of called it the Stairs Coast and it would’ve been far more accurate

My favourite thing to do whilst in Italy is to pretend to not be in Australian then surprise traveling Aussies with a big “G’Day, mate!”

Apple Health: You’ve been on tour through Asia and Europe for four weeks.

Flighty: Your journey home begins in nine days.

Me: This is going to ruin the tour.

Isle of Procida

Things I saw on Procida, a little island off Napoli

I was trying to to get to the Metro Linea 2 in Napoli, I saw this series of lines, and let’s just say that things escalated quickly

Pictures of steak I ate in Florence

Some things I looked at in Roma, Italy

Rachel Rumi:

You don’t like to see that other person neglecting their homework when it comes to growth through intimacy so you take on the curriculum yourself.

Some frames from Tuscany this last week

Do you ever see someone else’s project and realise that everything you’ve ever done in your life is meaningless? That’s for me dropofahat.zone

Colours of Toscana

May the API bless you, Threads humans

Perugia’s People Movers

My local laundromat in Passignano is closed on Sundays so I journeyed over to Perugia, Umbria, for my clothes washing today, caught a glance of something that looked like a monorail, turned out it was a MiniMetro, a “family of cable propelled automated people mover systems”

Quoting Wikipedia:

Perugia People Mover: In Perugia, a 3,027-meter (9,931 ft; 1.881 mi) stretch with seven stations opened in February 2008 to relieve the inner city of car traffic. It consists of more than 25 vehicles of 5 m (16 ft 4+7⁄8 in) each, with a capacity of 25 passengers and a speed of up to 25 kilometers (16 mi) per hour. The interval between successive vehicles is around 1.5 minutes. In 2013, the system carried 10,000 passengers per day.

Scopello // Sicilia

Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage​, in 1981:

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

John Gruber:

Fortunately, because Apple is delaying Apple Intelligence and these other new features in the EU, all of the thriving EU-based smartphone and OS makers can jump in and compete on merit now, without Apple the gatekeeping bully in their way. As Vestager reiterates throughout the interview, competition is the European Commission’s north star.

Posted from the EU.

AI, wasted on us old people

You’ve got to be careful when you pull this card, so many in tech pull it too quickly, but you’ve got to reserve the Steve Jobs Card for times when it matters.

I can’t stop thinking about AI - artificial intelligence, not Apple Intelligence - and the original 1984 Mac.

Steve Jobs, age 29, in Playboy magazine (the articles, not the pictures):

It’s often the same with any new, revolutionary thing. People get stuck as they get older. Our minds are sort of electrochemical computers. Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them. It’s a rare person who etches grooves that are other than a specific way of looking at things, a specific way of questioning things. It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing. Of course, there are some people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their awe of life, but they’re rare.

A lot of the people talking about AI today are olds - like me. I’ve been driving around Italy this week hearing my favourite podcasters, and reading my favourite writers, wax lyrical about artificial intelligence, Apple Intelligence, generative AI, large language models, and the like with fear and loathing. Age changes us but it feels similar to my childhood, predominately the early 90s where “olds” were fearful and against the incoming technological change whilst I was so eager to play, toy, and learn.

I think about the earliest stories I’ve read of the 1984 Macintosh being shown to olds but it was the kids that really got it.

Andy Hertzfeld writes about Steve Jobs delivering a Mac to Mick Jagger the weekend before the computer launched:

Fortunately, Mick’s twelve year old daughter Jade had followed Mick into the room, and her eyes lit up when she saw MacPaint. Bill began to teach her how to use it, and pretty soon she was happily mousing away, fascinated by what she could do with MacPaint. Even though Mick drifted off to another room, the Apple contingent stayed with Jade for another half hour or so, showing off the Macintosh and answering her questions, and ended up leaving the machine with her, since she couldn’t seem to part with it.

And then there’s the story from a day or two earlier of Steve Jobs taking a Mac to Sean Lennon’s 9th birthday party where Walter Cronkite, Andy Warhol, and Yoko Ono were in attendance. John Lennon’s son took to the computer right away, but Andy Warhol was enamoured by the machine.

Warhol wrote in his diary that night, “I felt so old and out of it with this young whiz guy right there who’d helped invent it.”

Me too, Andy. Me too. I just try every day to be one of those people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their awe of life.

When you’re watching Instagram Reels before the Zoom meeting begins and the AI Zoom Meeting Summary takes it as fact

Pentax has made a portrait-orientation, made for sharing on modern social media, analog film camera in the new Pentax 17.


The Pentax 17 has a 25mm F3.5 lens which works out at 37mm equivalent, and derives its name from the horizontal width of the 17 x 25mm frames it captures. The company says the vertical format makes it similar to images shot by smartphones.

What a time to be alive.

That was $9.95 I’ll never get back.

(Stolen from Basic Apple Guy on Threads)

Jamstack websites terrify me.

I feel technology often takes a backward step as it advances.

I used to make the most powerful small business, single use case, applications in Microsoft Access for businesses. To do the same today is so much harder. It’s the same with websites. Jamstack is exponentially more complex than Wordpress and its PHP brethren.

Our Imaginary Brother Only Watches PBS by Eileen Donovan-Kranz

What happened next made sense only to my mother: She created an eighth child, a three-year-old she named Joe.

Thanks for the link, Scotty.

In the spirit of Zuckerberg renaming Facebook in honour of what’s coming up, please no longer call me Josh. Only refer to me as my new personal brand identity in honour of the next big thing: Sleep.

Everyone has their different social media celebrities they get excited about meeting. Today I meet mine.

12 years ago I shared this infographic about the data being transferred around then. Here’s the 2024 version on my daily letter.

Little pleasures in life is your laptop remembering the password and automatically connecting to the wifi at your cheap Rome airport hotel

Yes, hello, is this Qatar Airways? I’d like to collect my prize money.

Qatar things

When I make photos I like I share them, and because of the way the world is today (i.e everyone has a camera, algorithms rule the world, photos don’t get as much airtime as videos, plus no-one knows who I am) most people never see my photos, so I upload them to Unsplash and Pexels.

Something I find super interesting is how even on those two sites the per-photo statistics vary so wildly.

The Sunday night commute to work 📍 Beachcomber Island, Fiji

Easy like Sunday Melbourne Airport morning

I like writing, I like reading, I enjoy running a sustainable and fun business, and I like getting email letters on the topic, so I made one called Aisle Authority.

My pitch is that it’s a short daily letter to the best wedding creators in the world.

The stats say that most people scroll on, but I’m hoping maybe one other person who likes reading encouraging daily things about being a wedding creator might like it too - read today’s letter and subscribe.

In my happy place - plane watching - for a few hours in Melbourne Airport on the way to Fiji for a wedding

Shalom Auslander:

I was thinking about sex the other day because I was having a really depressing day, and a dead body had been found by the pier, and as I was taking my son to school and waiting at a traffic light, a homeless man in a mad fury began circling my car, shouting and spitting, and it felt like forever before the light turned green and I thought I needed to get my mind settled so I went to a bookstore and all the books were about how to succeed in business, and about how to work even more, and there was a whole section about how to use the ancient philosophy of Stoicism to get ahead in your corporate career, and outside the bookstore people were sleeping on the sidewalk and there was a store where shoes were 30% off and still cost two-hundred dollars and I stopped to write at a coffeeshop where people were arguing about politics and war and fascism and genocide and a woman at the table beside me was talking loudly at the people on her laptop screen, who were talking loudly at her about the client and the presentation and the need for a more aggressive social media marketing plan, and as I drove home the billboards and buses were covered with advertisements for movies, and the people in the advertisements were giants, and they were perfect, and they were revered and admired like Gods and most of them were actually truly awful people who shouldn’t be admired at all and so by the time I got home, I crawled into bed and I closed my eyes and a moment later, I heard a little girl outside my window, and she was crying and shouting and her mother asked her what was wrong and she shouted, at the top of her little lungs, “EVERYTHING TODAY MAKES NO SENSE!” and I thought that must have felt really good, I would love to scream like that right now, I would love nothing more than to scream “EVERYTHING TODAY MAKES NO SENSE!” and how that would make me feel better than sex, better than the best sex better than all the sex in the world, and that’s why I was thinking about sex the other day.

Free entry!

What’s weird/nerdy/fun/cool and not on the “must see” lists for Doha, Qatar? I’ve got a full transit day there on Thursday.

My will: and I hereby bequeath to my children, 739 partially completed buy 10 get one free cards from coffee shops all over the city.

A love letter to defrag.exe

Scott sent me this cute Thread by Calm and I remarked that defragging my computer ‘back in the day’ was one of my favourite tasks.

I loved running defrag.exe on DOS and then Windows as often as possible.

It was one part “I’m doing God’s work,” one part “this will totally speed the computer up,” even though it only slightly affected performance, one part “looking under the hood,” which is an element of computing I dearly miss today, and one part just sitting there for an hour watching the defragger defrag.

A file, say your homework – homework.doc – might have been saved in position 1045 on the spinning hard disk. However, it might have needed 10 positions, but only positions 1045 to 1050 were free, so the last five parts would be placed later on the disk where there was free space. Then, if you wanted to access that document, the disk would be spinning back and forth between the two different positions on the disk.

Defragmenting would bring all the bits together by moving other bits out of the way.

Watching the defragger run you built such an intimate relationship with your file system, operating system, documents, applications (we called them programs at the time), files, games, etc.

In some defragmentation apps, they would show you which file it was working on at that time, and if you were nerdy enough, you’d come to know all the files, even operating system files. When you only had 100 or a few hundred megabytes on a disk, you’d have to sacrifice things like help files, unneeded applications or operating system features, or Minesweeper if you wanted to install a new program or game.

It really was a beautiful time to use a computer.

Miss you, defrag.exe.

You know what sucks about using the internet today - whether it’s Facebook or Instagram or Threads - is that they’re all geared towards virality, these big pieces of content that goes so far.

There’s not really any room for me just to bitch and moan about being stranded at Melbourne Airport for five hours this morning when I want to be home.

I guess that’s for the better. Who wants to hear about me being stranded to Melbourne Airport?

The thing I miss though is that sharing our mundane life was a fundamental part of the social web 15 years ago and I miss your food photos and flights delay posts.

48 hours in Bali - a photo dump

It must be terrible for every other musician and songwriter in the world to know that anything they ever make will be - at very best - second best to Throw Your Arms Around Me.

One day, some day in the next few years, I probably won’t fly as much as I do, and as my Qantas status fades and staff forget my face, the thing I’ll miss the most after the Qantas staff is the Sydney Qantas First Class Lounge.

It’s just a real joy to slip away to a fancy as heck (and free) restaurant (airport lounge) then get a neck massage before being slammed into a tin can for a long haul flight.

WWDC 2024 prediction: iOS is dead. Long live aiOS.

aiOS: Think Different.

Did you know Japan had its own beautiful and amazing method of measuring time before Christians ruined it all?

The Uniqueness of Japanese Time - JapanUp!

H/T Ian Betteridge’s A+ email, Ten Blue Links.

Kent Nerburn:

Debt defines your future, and when your future is defined, hope begins to die. You have committed your life to making money to pay for your past.

Apart from actually doing the work couples pay me to do, like making their weddings and elopements, some of the proudest professional work I’m doing these days is in Aisle Authority, my daily letter to the world’s best wedding creators. If you create weddings for a living like I do, it’s the kind of daily business encouragement I wanted to receive but no-one was making, so I wrote one.

I can’t stop looking out the front door of our new home in the Huon Valley, so now I’ve got to show you. Plus a photo of the door because it’s potentially the cutest way a house has ever been presented at settlement.

They say that when you have kids you enter your second stage of life. This is me entering my third stage of life.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, call me crazy, or call me stupid, but I get a feeling that TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Twitter, LinkedIn and honestly any algorithm-driven social network isn’t the place for deeper thinking, intellect, and non-viral-bs-business ideas. So I’m investing what little business-intelligence capital into my own blog and email. It’s called Aisle Authority, I write it every day, and it looks like this. Read it and even subscribe like a madman at aisleauthority.email.

The aurora australias, the southern lights, were a spectacle to behold last night aroundd Hobart, even with lots of cloud cover.

My first taste was a seeing pulsing of lights from behind the clouds. It was the most surreal thing I’ve seen.

I can’t stop thinking about this Boox Palma

I could work for a million years, doing the best jobs, making the best things, writing the most eloquent words, delivering the best service, or creating the finest art, and still, I would pale in comparison to the eternal and beautiful legacy left by any mother, especially Britt.

Do you ever just do something, then regret it, then feel awesome about it? That’s how I felt when I got the domain name theinternet.com.au this afternoon

Vale Stan Hillard

A quick search on the internet for Stan Hillard doesn’t reveal much. You’ll find my name-dropping about a decade ago on Radio Today as I trample on the great legacy of community radio in Australia, you’ll also find that Stan was most recently the President of 2WAY FM and was even presenting radio shows last week. He loved the theatre, and even acting if we’re allowed to call whatever is in that YouTube video as acting.

I met Stan on my first day at 4CRM, Mackay’s Community Radio station early 2004. I’d always wanted to be on the radio, firstly because I’d admired everything I’d heard come out of Triple J, Hot FM, and 4MK’s transmitters since I was a little boy, and secondly because it was the closest I could ever come to being heard - something that didn’t happen much for this kid from a broken home. I walked past and saw a sign on the door about learning radio.

This post to the usenet group aus.radio.broadcast recalls the moment in terific hi skool dropout englissh

I went up the radio station stairs expecting to find out about some big course and the next day, after talking to station manager Allan Berry, I was in the studio with Stan.

Stan and Bente Macdonald at the 20th anniversary celebrations for 4CRM

Dig deeper on Google for Stan and you’ll find a story from the Alice Spring News reported on February 11, 1998, a story containing an anecdote about colour TV coming to the region:

When Alice Springs finally got TV in 1970, it could have gone straight to colour. However, the ABC, the sole transmitter at the time, had put a colour bar on its equipment. “Nobody realised this,” recalls Murray, “but we had a technician here called Stan Hillard in charge of the transmitter. He went to Adelaide and while he was having a look at their equipment, he noticed the colour bar, pulled it out and all of a sudden Alice Springs had colour. “He got into hot water for doing this, the ABC were going to reinstate black and white but the Northern Territory Government intervened, someone in the ABC got their knuckles rapped and Stan was a hero for the town!” Murray has heard that Stan now lives in Rockhampton.

Born on March 11, 1947, Stan passed away this last week, and although the internet leaves much to be imagined about Stan, his leadership, training, and guidance in the early days of my career were foundational and I wanted to honour his legacy by repeating what he taught me on my first day in front of a microphone, before which he’d taught me how to panel a radio show. I quoted Stan on this blog last year, but I share again to honour the mark Stan left on my life and career, and so the people at the back can hear it:

Imagine the audience are the stupidest people alive then treat them with the upmost respect.

It’s my golden rule for broadcasting, publishing, posting, tweeting, threading, tooting, facebooking, gramming, or microblogging. Imagine for just one minute that the people reading this thing, or hearing it, and they have no idea what you’re talking about - explain it to them in a quick and simple way so they may understand and perhaps even engage.

Whenever I’ve failed in life it’s almost likely because I’ve ignored or failed to employ that golden rule.

Brought wedding-ready two pairs of pants and three shirts to Queenstown for three weddings here this week with the full confidence that one of the pairs of pants would serve double duty.

Both ended up in the snow mud, and I think I’ve cracked my ribs.

It’s now 10pm at a laundromat.

This is the exciting life of a travelling adventure elopement celebrant.

I’ve realised that I am not equipped enough to manage replies to my actual Mastodon account - @[email protected] - and my Micro.Blog account, @[email protected] - so I’m totally migrating my Fediverse life to the omglol kingdom. This is the way.

This reporting on the mysterious 777 Partners and it’s Australian investment in airline, Bonza is a good read and good reporting by Ian Verrender and the ABC.

Virgin Blue executive Tim Jordan, claimed from the outset that he needed 10 aircraft to make the new operation viable. When he called in administrators this week, he had just four.

The large Boeing 737s are arguably the wrong fit for Bonza, flying second and third-tier routes, and appear to have been used as a means to soak up the US backer’s fleet and provide it with income.

Happy Star Wars Day!

I saw Episode 1 at the cinema this week and I’ve got a hot take.

Jar Jar Binks is an important character and the people that hate him, hate him because they see their clumsy selves in Jar Jar and they need to talk to their therapist about it.

Also, adding midi-chlorians to the Star Wars canon was weird. Welcome to my TED Talk.

Weird week to be running an airline

The parable of the prodigal traveller:

“For this budget traveller of mine was dead to me and has now returned to life. He was flying Bonza, but now he is found.’”

‭‭Jetstar ‬15‬:‭24‬

Wedding photography is about to evolve in two ways.

  1. After a century in the closet, Sepia is about to come into fashion
  2. The wedding content creator is only a temporary role in the industry, the wedding photography market will splinter, with some wedding photographers moving down market to push the content creators out, and some will move up market, and all will need to reconcile the fact that no-one is hoping their wedding photographs and films take weeks or months to colour grade and process.

An update:

Post by @hellojoshwithers
View on Threads

One day, when I grow up, I’d like an Apple Jonathan please

In 2115 will we still commemorate Anzac Day like we do today?

Anzac Day 1916 was a very different ANZAC Day compared to that I experienced in Canberra this morning. Martin Crotty, a historian at the University of Queensland, said that Anzac Day commemorations have “suited political purposes right from 1916 when the first Anzac Day march was held in London and Australia, which were very much about trying to recruit more people to join the war during 1916-1918.”

As war efforts changed over the last 109 years, and eventually subsided, the Anzac Day commemorations have taken on a more solemn and meaningful practice. After attending the 2024 Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial this morning–my first in Canberra, and possibly my fifth as an adult–I have some thoughts.

I’m not going to discuss how I thought arriving half an hour early for a 5:30 am service would be “early enough” to secure a good viewpoint–it was not, and I’m pretty sure that most of the 30,000 attendees beat me to the Sculpture Garden this morning. Nor will I mention how the lacklustre audio and video production at the memorial left me feeling blind and deaf, yet my hearing was sharp enough at 5:30 am to hear someone vomiting behind me and a staff member using one of those hand-held clickers commonly used by bouncers, walking through the crowd in the dark, clicking away.

I won’t wax lyrical about how the male performers were named and the master of ceremonies asked the crowd to applaud them, yet the female performers were neither named nor acknowledged.

Where my mind is at, here in the Canberra Qantas Lounge at 4pm on the twenty-fifth of April, is the book I’m currently seven percent through on my Kobo e-reader, “Van Diemen’s Land” by James Boyce, and a PhD candidate from Turkey who was ahead of me in line for a bacon and egg roll after the service.

The PhD candidate studying tourism in Turkey has come to Australia for a few weeks to complete his study on why Australians aren’t visiting Gallipoli for Anzac Day anymore. Apparently, for the centenary in 2015, over 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders made the pilgrimage, but numbers have significantly dropped, to about 1,500 last year.

I can’t shake the feeling that Anzac Day needs to continue to evolve.

In 2115, are we expecting our great-grandchildren to be trekking to Gallipoli, or even to the Australian War Memorial, to remember the events of April 1915?

Or can the spirit of Anzac Day start to embody more of the Australian spirit, leading me to James Boyce’s “Van Diemen’s Land”?

The thorough rewriting and retelling of Tasmania’s history should be a must-read for all Australians–not for the interest in the Apple Isle–but for a thorough understanding of the relationship between the first Australians, the early whalers and sealers, the French, the Dutch, and the British.

I was sold a narrative as a child that there was nothing here on Terra Australis except for some savages until the Brits arrived, and then some things happened, then we got Channel V. My little brother was born in 1988, so he got a cool birth certificate because the country was 200 years old, and I got a trip to Expo ‘88. Simpler times.

Modern brave and valiant efforts to flesh out that story with truth, to include First Australians, their sovereignty, and their story, have undoubtedly helped me understand more about the brutality inflicted by the early settlers and the sudden change to the Aboriginal way of life– one day they’re living their hashtag bestlife, and the next, some guy is waving a metal rod of murder towards them, killing some of their friends and family.

James Boyce’s nuanced approach to the 18th and 19th-century tension has led me to a greater understanding of the times. An understanding that softens the often poisonous narrative about the early explorers and convicts, acknowledging that they were strangers in a new and foreign land, and also that the locals were being impacted by strangers in their homeland.

One simple story that greatly impacted me was about how back-burning was misunderstood. We now know that Australian Aborigines are experts in land and bushfire management, and we also have evidence that being caught in a bushfire isn’t exactly conducive to survival. In what would be one of the earliest misunderstandings between local Aboriginals and settlers, the Aboriginals were back-burning on their land, as was their right and responsibility, but the British were terrified and believed they were under attack from the Aboriginals.

There are countless other stories from that time of the early explorers, soldiers, and convicts having extremely positive relationships with the First Australians.

But the scarlet thread through it all are tensions between the nations and their people.

The path of reconciliation made its way into the twentieth century where the First Nations people of Australia fought alongside the first immigrants of Australia in World War I, albeit paid dismally and treated worse, and still today our people struggle with that tension between our peoples, working feverishly to close that gap and heal the wounds.

I was reminded of that as one of the speakers at the War Memorial dawn service this morning recounted the 1944 story of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, where HMAS Australia was attacked by the Japanese.

In 2024, Japan is the number one nation Australians are visiting–willingly, for leisure and fun–only 80 years after we lost thirty Australians to a Japanese kamikaze aircraft attack.

The story I see being told on Anzac Day 2115 is a story of principles being held and fought for, and tensions being identified and resolved, a story of reconciliation.

Perhaps today we can start sharing that beautiful, rich, and rare story of resolved tension, principles of treaty between the First Australian nations and those of us who come across the seas for the boundless plains to share. May we advance Australia fair.

I honestly didn’t know that public speakers like comedians, Arj Barkers, and wedding celebrants were allowed to have opinions on babies being in the audience.

I hereby request that all babies at weddings I’m officiating in the future would share their snacks with me, or they can leave.

Seven 8ths Torn and the beauty not stored in data centres

Kids, gather round for an Australian TV, culture, and music history lesson.

On Instagram ABC TV’s Rage account posted:

Anyone remember when @abctv used to close down overnight? …. Neither do we 😏 Back before rage took control of the late night silver screen in 1987, this station closer was played out to signify the end of the day’s programming to the tune of Mike Oldfield’s track ‘Wonderful Land’. Another beauty from the rage archives!"

Which is missing an unimportant piece of fact which is linked to an only slightly more interesting story about Australian music.

Back in the old old days ABC TV would close overnight and it would be a number of hours - dependent on day and programming etc - until Rage would start. For the uninitiated, Rage is like MTV in 1982 if it was public access, government-funded, basically no hosts unless there was a band guest-hosting for a few hours. It was just non-stop music videos.

And for those of us (darn youth) who might have stayed up that late at night, ‘waiting for Rage’ became a thing … if you were lazy or had no video tapes to watch or nothing else to do you’d leave the TV on waiting for Rage to begin in silence with nothing on the screen.

This lead to the bad Seven 8ths Torn self-titled album final track called “Waiting for Rage!” which was something like 16 minutes of silence.

And yes, I am contemplating spending $44 just to buy this album on eBay, the listing from which I grabbed those images, it’s potentially the last remaining copy.

I say all that to say this, that Seven 8ths Torn left an impact on my youth, I saw them live at a local sound shell in a park, and it’s kind of amazing that they exist in like two places on the Internet now and one of them is an eBay listing. There was a whole Triple J Unearthed series in the 90s and it doesn’t exist online, like anywhere I can find. Triple J Unearthed held a live in-person music competition at the Canelands Sound Shell and according to what I can find online that event never occurred.

Some of my favourite albums I still listen to today don’t exist online.

It’s just kind of wild how much knowledge, culture, wisdom, art, truth, beauty exists outside the realms of Californian data centres.

The Canelands Sound Shell in Mackay, Queensland, being demolished in 2009

The internet’s all upset at my latte/flat white comments while I’m over here drinking a fat white, a long black with a dash of pouring cream

What’s the word for when something is a hilarious joke but also very true? I also own and recommend whichever Brother printer you want, I got the MFC, because I needed to scan things.

This reminds me of the internet I grew up and I love it so much: After The Beep.

The Frequent Vower Card

For the first time in the world I’m launching a wedding loyalty card, the Frequent Vower Card!

How often do you get married and at the end of the #wedding you go “is that all?!”

Now you can get married again, and again, and again, and again, and again with the Josh Withers Frequent Vower program and every fifth wedding is free! Only redeemable on April 1st.

Go to frequentvower.com for more information.

As March 2024 almost comes to a close I’m reminded how it’s four years since my life fell apart.

Four years on I’m seeing a therapists and building a new life in Tasmania, basically starting a-fresh, it’s like 2012 all over again, the 100% brand new kid on the block.

Still tens thousands of dollars behind.

Still mentally scarred quite bad.

But I turned a corner recently. I was encouraged to understand that no-one from any government or any group is going to come and apologise and I need to forgive, and move on.

I was so busy holding on for dear life that I never even realised that I was the one holding myself back. Covid wasn’t my fault, but letting it dictate my mental wellbeing in March 2024 is, and it’s never too late to see a therapist and to talk honestly with friends.

I heard you could install Linux on an Apple Silicon MacBook Pro … so I did it …

I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m like a toddler flying an A380.

Found this old piece of pretty poor writing by me on Medium, about podcasting from 11 years ago.

The thing that will bring our society to an end is our compulsion to insist that things are other people’s problems

You might have noticed Kate Middleton has been a bit quiet on the socials lately. Well, let’s just say Tasmania now has two princesses. Tasmania’s Queen of Denmark Queen Mary, and me, the, Josh Withers, the Princess of Photoshop.

Naval Ravikant, on the modern struggle:

Lone individuals summoning inhuman willpower, fasting, meditating, and exercising…

Up against armies of scientists and statisticians weaponising abundant food, screens, and medicine into junk food, clickbait news, infinite porn, endless games, and addictive drugs.

Finished reading: Extremely Hardcore by Zoë Schiffer 📚 what a terrifyingly odd account of one of the richest men alive today.

Palmsy is amazing.

A cute little social network just for you with fake likes and notifications from your friends.

We should all tell our parents that this is the new Facebook.

Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. J.

If this photo I made ten minutes ago excites you, you’re going to love this real estate listing for our home.

A lovely Qantas flight attendant yesterday asked me if I was Josh Withers, at which point I prepare myself to say yes and have a chat to her about a wedding of mine that she attended or how she saw me on TV, like the D-Grade celebrity fool I am.

But no, she goes on to say how my wife is lovely and amazing. The flight attendant was planning to get married and was considering eloping so she ends up on the phone with Britt talking about eloping with The Elopement Collective.

Anyway, Britt really is all that and more, you know.

I was planning on singing her praises today anyway but I’ve opened up the old social media today and found it to be International Women’s Day, so it’s an even better reason to scream her name from the rooftops.

Not only is she the best person in my world, plus she made me a father of two of my other favourite humans, but Britt also spends countless hours each week counselling the brides and grooms of Australia about getting married, whether they should elope or not and whether or not we’re the best place for them to do that.

I’ve always said the thing about being remarkable is that remarkable people are easily remarked on, you are able to remark on them because their talent, beauty, smarts, intelligence is so easily witnessed.

You’re remarkable, Brittany Withers.

Prediction: Wedding photography is about to undergo a massive change.

The people who hold cameras like Fuji/Sony/Canon/Nikon need to figure out how to get their JPEGs right in camera.

They might still deliver a cull of 30 odd photos a week or three later, but the expectation is moving to fast turnaround.

The lovely iPhone holding kids - content creators - will fade away as professionals figure out how to deliver in minutes instead of months. Or maybe they don’t fade but they take up the bottom end of the marketer.

The added benefit is that because of the increased efficiency, wedding photographers will be able to take on more work. Where a wedding might have been five to ten days work, so you would be limited to maybe 30-40 weddings a year, accounting for seasonal influxes, now that same photographer might take on double the work to achieve same pay, effectively reducing the price of wedding photography because it requires less energy and effort.

I’m fast realising that my only real talent in this world is being the member of the conversation who can provide the comedic exit of the conversation before we play a guitar riff, the station call sign is aggressively voiced by an older male, then five minutes of ads is played whilst the listener changes radio station.

I asked readers of my Aisle Authority daily letter to the best celebrants in the world what they thought about the length of the daily email letter … the winner was the third of the Goldilocks bears

New favourite website: fontreviewjournal.com

I’m thoroughly convinced that email can be a meaningful method of communication, relationship, community, and entertainment in the future. I’ve always been proud of what my friend @[email protected] is making at @podnews.net so reading this article by Guy Tasaka encourages me in my little prophetic thought.

I have a deep appreciation for newsletters. They say everything old is new again. Today, with an almost overwhelming amount of information we must sift through on news sites, social media and third-party aggregation sites, like Apple and Google News, it’s nice to have information curated and summarized for me and delivered to my inbox. That kind of sounds like a newspaper.

The CEO of the biggest supermarket chain in Australia is stepping down because no other news media dared question an advertiser.

This is the strength and power of listener/reader supported media, and the strength of publicly funded media.

You can’t lose an advertiser because you asked good questions, because you aren’t reliant on, or don’t have, advertisers.

Our reluctance to individually fund good journalism are part of the reason our groceries are so expensive, that and because we’re too lazy to shop around, or better, buy local food from local producers.

Matt Ruby on metadata:

“Is metadata really that powerful?”

“OK, let’s say there’s a guy who texted a girl 5 times without getting a reply. Would you need to actually read the messages to know what’s going on there?”

“Nah, I 100% get what happened.”

“That’s the power of metadata.”

I find reading the news depressing but I still want to get an idea of what’s happening in the local news so I made an AI bot that writes the daily Tasmanian news headlines as a poem: tas.lol.

Hobart sunset - high res download for any Apple Vision Pro users, and direct link to the 360 photo on Panoraven and direct link to the 360 JPEG in case it works?

It would be super cool to see how these photos can be interacted with and enjoyed on an Apple Vision Pro.

Levelling up in nerdom is running your own AI/LLM on your own hardware.

A unified theory of fucks:

The theory goes like so: you are born with so many fucks to give.

14 ideas to build and grow a podcast network today

I recently had the opportunity to express my interest in a field I’ve never officially worked in, for a company I’d never worked for, in an industry I’ve been out of for over a decade: audio, more specifically, audio on-demand, or as we’ve called it for twenty years, podcasting.

I didn’t make it past expressing interest for the position but my application - in the form of audio on demand - was “one of the most creative submissions I’ve seen/heard” said an ABC executive, which I sincerely appreciate, but my fire and passion for podcasting/audio on-demand has now been given oxygen - after over a decade of self-employment I applied for the job intending to get it.

So, I wanted to at least document my thoughts here on my blog, and then open source them, release my thoughts to the greater podcasting public.

May these gathered thoughts help or inspire you to succeed in the field, even if you got the job as Head of Audio on Demand for the ABC ;)

What I would do if I was the ABC’s Head of Audio on Demand

  • Create a role of tastemaker for the network. They’re the evangelist for the entire network of shows large and small. They themselves release a regular podcast but are also actively blogging and social media creating about episodes and shows. They’re the network’s number one fan and advocate.
  • Serve the niches to an extreme. Look for the small, weird, wonderful communities and interests. Niche passions are infectious, interesting, and lead to great audiences. Think Francis Bourgeois.
  • Serve local extremely well. The ABC already does this so well on every other medium, but the town of Esperance deserves a local daily podcast, as much as the region of Greater Sydney does along with Penrith. Every Australian should have a local podcast they MUST listen to, like it’s the gospel.
  • Up the metadata game. In radio we called the 1% of ultra-mad fans P1 fans, I was told it was because they had our station on preset one. P1 fans love the metadata that makes podcasts so more enjoyable, things like chapters for skipping to topics, unique and captivating album art per episode, and also album art to visually explain chapters. Like if a chart is mentioned, the chart is that album’s artwork. Metadata includes utilising all of the podcast specifications like categories, episode and season numbers, trailer identifiers, podcast:person tags, and show notes with links to things and people mentioned. Look at Podnews' How-To articles and podcasting2.org and get your CMS or software developers to build support for all the apps.
  • Album art like Mr Beast. YouTuber Mr Beast knows that the thumbnail of a video is almost more important than the content, it’s what brings people into the episode. Album art is a neglected wasteland in podcasting, up your game.
  • Unearthed for podcasting. I can still remember when Triple J Unearthed came to Mackay - my friend Leah even has video of me at the event {screen grab of the video to prove I was young once}. Over the past thirty years Unearthed has provided an amazing platform for the up and coming musical acts of Australia. I’m dreaming of a similar program for podcasters. An on ramping exercise to the wider network, developing talent, encouraging it, providing resources and assistance.
  • Success, how do we measure it? The Triton Digital Australian Podcast Ranker provides a nice big list of podcast success, but I would sincerely ask all stakeholders whether that listing defines our success or not. I just think of my own podcasting efforts as a wedding celebrant. I would have one of the least successful podcasts in the universe but I’m probably a top 1% earner because everyone that listens to my podcast books me to be their celebrant. No podcaster is getting that kind of return from each listener.
  • Expanding what audio on demand means. We all know what a podcast is supposed to look like today. A regular release, either daily, weekly, monthly, of a drop of audio. But if we look at audio like we do video, there’s feature films, short films, miniseries, documentaries, anthology series, reality TV, ‘straight to home video’ films. How can some of those storytelling mediums be transposed to audio, and could they be released from the “release date” that immediately dates a podcast when released?
  • Embracing the open web and our own platform. Anil Dash recently wrote this great piece, “Wherever you get your podcasts” is a radical statement, and I agree, and will wholeheartedly fight for the open web. The simple fact that you or I can publish a website or a podcast without needing permission from Zuckerberg, whoever is running Spotify, or Tim Cook. But then it also makes a lot of sense for a publisher to own its platform, like the ABC does with ABC Listen. So find the balance between the two.
  • Drop introductions for audio logos. Think of the Netflix Tudum or the Apple Macintosh or Windows XP startup sound. Instead of wasting precious seconds at the start and end of a podcast, employ an audio logo. The first seconds of a podcast are where the decisions to keep on listening are made, don’t waste it with lots of fancy talk about how we’re listening to another ABC Podcast.
  • Debate what we’re calling this. Before Ben Hammersly mashed together the words iPod and broadcast it was called audioblogging. Today we’re playing with the term “audio on-demand” but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. My gripe is that people call videos on Youtube a podcast. The terminology is messy, and potentially there’s no fix, but somehow everyone agreed on what radio meant. Maybe the same can happen with recorded audio delivered on RSS or the web at your leisure?
  • Spread it far and wide with the wheel of content. I’m not going to make out like this is a Josh original, but I’ve been banging on about this since I worked at Southern Cross Austereo, 96five, 4BC and Fairfax radio, and everyone there looked at me like I was crazy. It’s my “Wheel of Content” idea. The simple idea is that a story enters the wheel at the hub (the middle), and then it works itself out through the different channels, audio, video, text, short form, longform, infographics, social media posts, all of it. Record the podcast, break it out into a number of blog posts, into smaller podcast episodes, into videos, tweets, posts, toots, whatever. Make that content work not just double time but 10x its usability. Get the story out of the mp3 file and run it far and wide.
  • Cross-guest. Introduce hosts and personalities from across the network as guests on other podcasts. Pretend like you’re not the only podcast in the network.
  • A big head with a long tail. This is my final thought that encapsulates all of them. Any one network can most likely only afford the social capital to market ten shows a year well. We’re talking large-scale marketing campaigns. But that same network should have 10x (at least) that number shows it is actively producing. This is not a new idea, Netflix and many streaming apps work the same way. Evangelism is a costly exercise, so evangelise the hits, and let the rest of the network ride off that network-effect of getting listeners interested in the rest of the shows. Build a big fat visible head of up to ten shows, and let that tail grow as long as you can resource.

So much credit to friends for hearing me talk about podcasts and this job in particular so much, but also credit to industry leaders I’ve either been lucky enough to call friend, or have watched esnrestly from afar, like Cameron Reilly, James Cridland, and Scotty McDonald, and then Marco Arment with Overcast and ATP, plus Myke and Stephen of Relay FM who have been doing lots of this for a while already.

I’ve just found out - through hearing it - that the Disney cruise ship horn blows the tune “When you wish upon a star” in port and now I feel all magical and whimsical.

Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs at the Grammys singing Fast Car

10 issues into my new daily letter to the best wedding celebrants in the world, Aisle Authority, and it’s feeling good.

Shoutout to my Swede and Hong Kong readers!

aisleauthority.email to subscribe


No-one asked but if I was a wrestler my walk-out music would be In The Shadows by The Rasmus

For those of us that know Internet Explorer 4.0 was the GOAT, a reflection on the Geocities, marquee rage, dial-up Internet era, the 90s on the web, by Zach Holman

Have you ever shoved a <blink> into a <marquee> tag? Pixar gets all the accolades today, but in the 90s this was a serious feat of computer animation. By combining these two tags, you were a trailblazer. A person capable of great innovation. A human being that all other human beings could aspire to. You were a web developer in the 1990s.

I’ve written the first seven issues of my new daily email letter for wedding celebrants: Aisle Authority.

I’m writing for the North American wedding officiants and celebrants that contact me every day, but Aussies and well honestly anyone, is welcome to jump on board.

www.aisleauthority.email is the place to subscribe if you want to be the best damn wedding ceremony creator in the world.

For those of us that know Internet Explorer 4.0 was the GOAT, a reflection on the Geocities, marquee rage, dial-up Internet era, the 90s on the web, by Zach Holman

Have you ever shoved a <blink> into a <marquee> tag? Pixar gets all the accolades today, but in the 90s this was a serious feat of computer animation. By combining these two tags, you were a trailblazer. A person capable of great innovation. A human being that all other human beings could aspire to. You were a web developer in the 1990s.

Took a peek at a peak across the Remarkables today

40 years of the Mac and why I can’t use anything else now

By the time I was buying my first Apple Macintosh computer the launch of the Mac in 1984 was already a myth, a story shared from one nerd to another, like in an Aboriginal Australian cave painting.

In grade five there was an Apple IIe at the back of the classroom no-one knew how to use but when I realised that the computer magazines at the library full of computer programs and games written in Basic contained not just ideas and lines of code - yes, actual real code just printed in paper magazines - but code I could type into an Apple computer, execute, and then enjoy, I was hooked.

I kept on reading those computer magazines like APCMag, PC User, PCMag, Macuser, Mac Format, and countless others whose names escape me but the school library stocked so generously.

At one stage I designed on paper my dream computer which would triple-boot Microsoft Windows, OS/2 Warp, and Mac OS System 8. I think a “Mac on a PCI card” product had been released, or the opposite for inserting in a Mac, so I designed my Frankenstein’s monster of a computer and presented it to class imagining that they would a) care, and b) be in awe of my product design and computer engineering. Alas neither Steve Jobs or Bill Gates wrote and congratulated me.

I’m not sure how I wrangled it, but somehow our family acquired a Packard Bell IBM-compatible personal computer with a 486 SX 25/33 processor, 4MB of RAM, no sound card, but it did come with Windows 3.11.

The Radio Rentals rented computer and I quickly became close friends but somehow with its 25MHz CPU and 4MB of RAM the computer ran slower than a slug chasing down an ice cream truck.

Enter, my Uncle Grant.

Uncle Grant was my super uncle from Townsville who sold and serviced Apple computers. We’d not been on friendly talking terms about computers since I used his Apple Macintosh and neglected to save a document he had open, but he was quick to diagnose the problem with my computer’s speed: I had an image as my desktop wallpaper. Also, he was quick to quip that “a Mac wouldn’t have that problem.”

What he neglected to acknowledge is that a Withers didn’t have a spare buck either so we went without a Mac for about a decade more.

As I’m sure is the story for most modern Mac users, having your own personal Macintosh Desktop Experience was a dream for too long.

Years later Apple announced the Intel transition from Power PC chipsets and all of a sudden, thanks to an Intel Inside and Bootcamp, these new Macs can run Windows and Mac OS X which is the perfect justification for a nerd to make for a new Apple MacBook purchase.

All white and plastic, it was beautiful, and that new Apple MacBook never needed to be tainted by Bootcamp and Windows. It turned out that Mac OS is actually quite capable on its own.

Not quite as beautiful as that G3 iMac I acquired years after it was ever useful, but always be beautiful.

And that’s why I can’t use any other OS today. I’ve tried Windows and Linux of late, I’m always open to a change so I know I’m using the best tools for the job, but my taste gravitates to the Mac. It is beautiful, useful, and just plain nice. I’ve even tried the iPad as a main computer, or the phone. But it’ll always be the Mac for me. Happy birthday, and hello, old friend.

Marketing is actually part of the product.

That’s an intangible element of Apple products that is often missed by the Android, Windows, Meta Quest commenters.

Sure, the other products do “the same things” the Apple products does, but Samsung, Microsoft, Meta, Google marketing is woeful.

This isn’t an Apple thing, this is a human thing. Some of us just want to be a part of something beautiful and cool.

An Apple invoice and delivery is not just some plastic and metal, software, and some USB cords. It’s also a story, a narrative that some people with certain taste, would like to purchase.

And the rest of you can go use your Android, Dell, Meta Quest.

Ben Thompson’s interview podcast with Spike Eskin about radio from 2023 is a really good listen if you have a Stratechery membership.

a mob of kangaroos

If every website firewall brought this kind of tease energy I’d be a broke man but journalism would be funded globally.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you can just nominate awesome people around you for an Order of Australia medal on the Governor-General’s website.

You should nominate someone valuable in your community today.

Ten years on since we filmed the first season of Married At First Sight, nine years on since it aired, and I still get recognised. Just happened in Footscray.

It’s wild how being on TV has such lasting brand power.

Unlike this post which will be seen by two humans, five computers, and a large language model.

Listen to Really Specific Stories

Linking to, sharing, telling people about podcasts is a hard problem to solve. If only because I personally do most of my listening while driving.

So I was reminded this morning to link to a project and podcast I’ve been really enjoying, @martinfeld’s Really Specific Stories.

Really Specific Stories is a part of a broader PhD project, in collaboration with Dr. Kate Bowles and Dr. Christopher Moore at the University of Wollongong. Each episode includes an interview with a producer or listener from a selected tech podcast case study and uses the qualitative method of narrative enquiry to uncover their experiences. Down the line, responses from each interview will be included in a final PhD thesis.

They’re all good, and this probably speaks more to my specific brand of nerdery than the quality of the episode, but I’ve personally enjoyed @gruber’s episode, Marco Arment’s, john Siracusa’s, Stephen Hackett’s, Casey Liss’s, Manton Reece’s, Daniel Jalkut’s, Jean Macdonald’s, and Andrew Canion’s episodes .. that said, they’re all great recordings about a very specific time in history, the time that tech podcasts became a thing.

Designing the iTunes Music Store: "Refer to the main.psd"

This is a really insightful read by Michael Darius behind designing the iTunes Music Store, wrapping up on the video at the end though, really amazing that an entire genre of store no-longer exists.

A little life update: we handed the keys for our Gold Coast home back to the landlord yesterday. Today we’re home-less. I’ve just boarded a flight to Melbourne for a wedding there this weekend, then we’re off to New Zealand for a week, the. Hobart and Sydney.

What I’m trying to say is don’t post me anything.

going to bed with an empty inbox and an audience size of 3 …

I can’t escape this idea of what ‘taste’ is, as discussed on the Ezra Klein show.

I like to think about taste not as something that’s not just about consuming a thing or enjoying a thing superficially on a day to day basis, but instead almost making it part of yourself.

Surely, and please give me grace if this isn’t the case, surely the people really upset about not being able to buy new Chinese manufactured cheap plastic crap adorned with the Australian flag surely have some old Chinese manufactured cheap plastic crap adorned with the Australian flag they could repurpose instead of vandalising and throwing flares into a Woolworths store operated by Australian humans who don’t have any Chinese manufactured cheap plastic crap adorned with the Australian flag?

The Farnham Street email:

A different take on what makes us feel so busy, stressed, and anxious.

As a rule, the larger your surface area, the more energy you have to expend maintaining it. Of course, when most of us think of surface area, we think of the area of a rectangle or how much grass we have to mow. But there is a surface area of life, and most of us never realize how much it consumes.

If you have one house, you have a relatively small surface area to maintain (depending on the age and size of the house, of course). If you buy another one, your surface area expands. But it doesn’t expand linearly - it expands slightly above that. It’s all the same work plus more.

Friends are another type of surface area. You have a finite amount of time to spend with friends before you die. The more friends you have, the less time you can spend with each one individually.

Money is another form of surface area. The more money you have, the more you have to keep track of different types of assets and investments.

When your surface area expands too much, you hire people to help you scale. Assistants, property managers, family offices, etc. They’re scaling you - but they’re also scaling the surface area of responsibility. This, of course, only masks the rapidly expanding surface area by abstracting it.

Beliefs are another type of surface area.

The thing about surface area is that the more you have, the more you have to defend and maintain. The larger your surface area, the more you are burdened with mentally and physically.

If you think in terms of surface area, it’s easy to see why we are so anxious, stressed, and constantly behind.

We feel like we need more time, but what we’re craving is more focus. What we need is a smaller surface area.

Your surface area becomes part of your identity. She’s the ‘busy person’ with her hand in every project. He’s the guy with four houses.

Competition can drive expansion. Most people want a bigger house to compete with someone else who has a nicer house. We are animals, after all. On a group level, this causes great benefits. On an individual level, it can cause unhappiness.

Most of the really happy people I know have a relatively small surface area. I know billionaires with two houses. Most of my close friends only have 4-5 close friends - everyone else is a friend in the loose sense of the word. Most of the productive people I know at work are focused on one or two things, not 5.

The way to maximize your enjoyment in life is to keep your surface area small. It’s a lot of work but if the happiest people I know are any indication, it’s a lot less work to keep it small than to maintain it when it’s large.

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world, this makes it difficult to plan the day.

— E. B. White

How it started, and how it finished

Flashback Camera, some first thoughts

A Brisbane based crew have delivered on their Kickstarter promise to deliver a “camera for the small moments”, the Flashback Camera. It’s a digital film camera, or a film-like digital camera more to the point.

The Flashback camera from Kickstarter

I’m an avid Kickstarter backer, but especially for cool gadgets like this, and it was a pleasure to unpack.

The idea is to take the point-and-shoot disposable film camera vibe to a digital setting, mainly for the purposes of getting off our phones, disposing of cameras a lot less, and making memories.

The Flashback camera from Kickstarter

I don’t have a full review in me, instead, a reflection on having used it for a week: it’s a lot of fun and a beautifully made product.

I have but one issue, probably the same one that everyone who has ever clicked the shutter on their iPhone then instantly been able to share and edit the photo.

In an update today the makers have expanded on the feature I find most annoying. That at the end of the arbitrary digital film roll of 27 photos it takes about 48 hours for the photos to “develop”:

The processing done to develop your photos is currently too intensive to run on a mobile device. Over the last 2 years, we developed our own effects. In particular, our method to generate film grain is complex. Often, “film grain” effects are based on adding random digital noise, but true film grain is fundamentally different. Analog images are composed of grains, not pixels, and our method follows this closely. Our vision for this product has always been to stay true to the analog world, and we’ve worked hard to never compromise on that. If we were satisfied with simple filters, we could run them inside the app, but we continue to believe that our current setup is the most flexible in providing the best possible photos from this camera.

The Flashback camera from Kickstarter

Personally, I think there would be greater customer satisfaction if that 48 hour time period was minimised to the actual required time to process, and ultimately that could be brought on to the device. I think the iPhone CPU has proven itself to be apt at processing photos.

The Flashback camera from Kickstarter

It would be nice if the processed photos had better metadata as well, like orientation of photo, date and time that was correct, that the flash even if enabled accidentally by fat fingers wouldn’t fire in full sun, and ultimately this last one is just me being really nerdy: GPS co-ordinates of photos so the captured memories end up in iCloud Photo Library memories.

Here’s some demo photos take over the weekend in Exmouth and the Gold Coast …

Disappointed this hasn’t come to pass yet

This article on “Afrofuturism” is so interesting, so I’ll lead with the end:

The fate of humanity in the 21st century and beyond hinges on whether African countries can figure out the riddle of industrialization.

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror – The wide brown land for me!

– Dorothea Mackellar

Photos from somewhere between Exmouth and Learmonth on the Exmouth Gulf.

Drove the 90 minutes from Exmouth to photograph the sunset in Coral Bay this afternoon and also see the couple I’m marrying this weekend, and after the sun had set I found that all the local restaurants all had 90 minute waits, so I thought, I could just drive back to Exmouth for dinner.

Alas, everything in Exmouth was closed, not even a vending machine for a chocolate.

So I present to you my art from today, art quite literally made by a starving artist.

Also, regional Australia, let’s have at least one kitchen open past 8pm hey?

Luckily today is the first day back from holidays for The Short Order, so I was blessed to receive a 5:30am breaky burger for dinner.

When I’m president I’m going to classify printers as terrorists

Digital incompetency truly will be the swan song of the people of the 2020s.

“The information you consume each day is the soil from which your future thoughts are grown.”

– James Clear

I wrote this eight years ago on Facebook. I think it’s more valid today plus I want to preserve it on my blog:

With all of our books, albums, magazines, and letters going digital and stored outside of the physical and easily visible realm, how will our kids discover that album that dad loved, or that magazine that mum kept?

I remember that “already in our house from mum and dad” discovery being a big thing for me.

I love Led Zeppelin and Sheryl Crow because I found the album at home. I loved Nick Earl’s ZigZag Street because it was sitting on a shelf in a room I was renting on the Gold Coast when I first worked for Sea FM. I discovered albums I still love because they were sitting on the music director’s desk and they weren’t on demo enough to give away on air. I love Smith Journal, Monocle, and Relevant Magazine because I found them on shelves, tables, coffee shops, before I ever bought them.

How will our kids discover things?

Will they rely purely on people recommending things?

Recommending culture is hard. I barely ever show other people music I like because a) I don’t want them not liking it to affect my liking it, and b) it’s kind of rude to assume that anyone would like anything.

Passive discovery has been such a strong driving force for hundreds of years, surely that hasn’t been replaced with trending topics, Facebook shares, and retweets?

My app defaults

📨 Mail Client - Mail.app

📮 Mail Server - Fastmail

📝 Notes - Drafts/Obsidian

✅ To-Do - Reminders.app

📷 iPhone Photo Shooting - Camera.app

🟦 Photo Management - Photos.app after a Lightroom CC edit

📆 Calendar - Google Calendar (for business) and iCloud calendar for family, read by Fantastical

📁 Cloud File Storage - Dropbox for work and iCloud for family

📖 RSS - NetNewsWire

🙍🏻‍♂️ Contacts - iCloud and Contacts.app + Obsidian for work

🌐 Browser - Safari

💬 Chat - iMessage plus whatever everyone else makes me use, God bless their souls

🔖 Bookmarks - Raindrop.io

📑 Read It Later - Pocket on Kobo

📜 Word Processing - Remarkable 2 tablet

📈 Spreadsheets - Numbers

📊 Presentations - iA Presenter

🛒 Shopping Lists - Reminders.app

🍴 Meal Planning - my heart

💰 Budgeting and Personal Finance - Xero for business, Up for personal

📰 News - as little as possible, but Apple News plus local news subscriptions

🎵 Music - Apple Music

🎤 Podcasts - Overcast

🔐 Password Management - 1Password

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

I am, at the Fed level, libertarian; at the state level, Republican; at the local level, Democrat; and at the family and friends level, a socialist. If that saying doesn’t convince you of the fatuousness of left vs. right labels, nothing will.

You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.

– Alain de Botton

It’s amazing how close Google is to upsetting the iMessage monopoly and I’m betting they’ll let go of the opportunity.

I’ve just started using Google Chat for a new project and it’s actually not terrible. For someone in the Apple ecosystem, it’s not far from being as good as iMessage.

They need a native Mac app that works like a Mac app, and their iPhone app needs to work in with the share sheet API, but it’s close.

They’re so busy fighting for iMessage to accept RCS/Google that they’ll no doubt miss this opportunity to just put iMessage out of business.

The hardest thing about being a wedding celebrant is figuring out the right balance of smiley faces, exclamation marks, or periods, to end sentences in emails with.

You don’t want to sound too cold, but you don’t want to sound too excited. It’s an art.

You know, it’s super fun and easy to take a pot shot at the Humane AI Pin, but put your hesitations aside and 1) watch the video and tell me it’s not actually kinda cool, and 2) it’s refreshing to see someone have a crazy idea and actually get it to a stage of putting a price on it.

So many big ideas never make it past a concept video. Ideas are easy. Shipping is real hard. If it was available in Aus today I’d probably give it a red hot shot because it’s just fun.

Watch out guys, the police have installed new air drumming detection cameras and if you actually can’t play drums or if you’re out of time with the music it’s a $2000 fine.

Answering the most common question I get asked, “Do you travel for weddings?”

Sorry I missed your text, I’m currently being force-fed all of the information about the entirety of the existence of the human race, past, present, and future, through a handheld slab of glass and aluminium, and my brain stopped coping in 1995.

Old people/nerds like me: Do you have memories, or photos, of the computer software and shareware kiosks from the mid-90s in Australia.

I remember going to Video Ezy in Mackay (in the Canelands carpark to be precise) and you could BYO floppy disk or buy one from the staff, and there was a computer kiosk where you could choose which shareware programs you’d download to your 1.44MB floppy disk.

the more you K-sound now

We celebrated my moon girl’s fifth birthday today and without doubt I have so much love for everyone that loves and celebrates her, but I wanted to share something I taught Luna today that is applicable to weddings as well.

Life’s not a dog and pony show, we’re real people with real feelings and lives and we don’t need to watch another TED Talk to know that

In my dream last night I had to explain the “bah-lark-eh” substitute teacher joke from Key and Peele to a wedding guest named Blake. So I guess weddings are back.

I love how at no point is the world left wondering what Ziggy Stardust did and if he was good at it

GM - how people apparently say good morning on social media where - globally speaking - there is no real morning or night or day.

GM - me, thinking you’re talking about that car company again.

Here to help

Monthly photography revenue: $5 Monthly photography audience: 9 million across Unsplash and Pexels.

Can someone check on Mark Di Stefano? Surely the trust fund babies have a price on his head now?

There’s a lot said about how we Aussies are more divided and alone than we ever have been in this country.

But when I see multiple cars across lanes of traffic work together to hilariously block an aggressive driver from getting ahead in the traffic I reckon there’s voice left in us yet, Australia.

Vote yes.

Show me a more “Aussie” Aussie, than this legit Aussie legend.

I’ll wait.

I have a confession to make: I’ve built an Australian news website that is purely created by large language models. It’s autonomous and although I can edit, delete, and stop it, I don’t unless something bad happens.

It’s been a week so far and honestly, I prefer reading it to the other news websites that inspire it.

It’s public but I’m scared about sharing it just yet.

I’ve also been having an LLM rewrite a friend’s blog and I love it.

Hoo roo, Uluru, am I even supposed to be here?

Uluru is such an icon. Its simple beautiful existence is one of my earliest memories, reading about it in encyclopaedias or National Geographic and Australian Geographic magazines. Seeing it in advertisements and in movies, Oprah and Young Einstein, but back then everyone called it Ayers Rock. Today we call it what it always has been: Uluru.

Uluru has had a complicated 200-odd years of history. Before Europeans visited Australia for the first time, the red centre was just plodding along quite well as a special place for the Aṉangu people and neighbouring Aboriginal nations.

But a few years ago everything changed. In the 1870s some white blokes sighted Uluru. 1936 saw the first tourists arrive, 12 years later some tracks that would become roads were laid, and in 1959 Eddie Connellan built an airstrip. His name’s important later on in this story.

I’ve been lucky to witness Uluru’s glory twice now and the main difference since the last time was that in 2016 people were climbing the rock, and now in 2023 every cafe, restaurant, and bar was alive with talk about Uluru from a political point of view. Some talking about the Voice to Parliament soon going to a referendum, some talking about climbing it or why we can’t now, others talking about everything you can or can not do in the area - like drinking and taking photos in certain areas, and most were talking about how the extraordinarily high prices for everything was married to a general lack of enthusiasm from staff for visitors to be present.

Most of my visit this time - aside from creating the marriage ceremony I was hired to create - was spent thinking about a comedic video I’ve seen on social media a few times recently. The premise of the video is that before a theatre performance an MC offers an acknowledgment of country before the protagonist, an audience member, asks if everyone should leave. She says “if we’re on someone else’s land, we should leave, shouldn’t we?” going further to ask if proceeds from ticket sales were going to the owners. It’s a joke at the expense of what can often seem like token or hollow effort to just be better about how Australia, the whole island and surrounding islands, were inhabited by intelligent, valid, interesting humans well before Europeans turned up and started naming things and claiming areas. Not just one group of people called Australia home, hundreds of different Aboriginal nations did.

For a few years the people new to the land were pretty bloody horrible to the locals, genocide-horrible, and in recent years current generations of leaders across the spectrum of Australian society have been throwing around the hot potato of how to deal with this generational trauma.

I was born on the Gold Coast, gifted an Australian citizenship, freedom to roam this entire country (unless there’s some pandemic apparently) and yet thrust into a political debate about being welcomed to a land, land ownership, land use, and land respect.

I’m voting yes for a voice to parliament, I believe it’s the right thing to do but I don’t think it’s the only thing we should do, there’s a far bigger elephant in the room.

As native titles are transferred, and places like Uluru fall more into line with the wishes of the owners, what should happen on that land? Should we leave?

1993 saw the Northern Territory government acknowledge the local name of the rock in a dual naming situation, eight years after the land was returned to the original owners, but still today the airport and the resort keep the names Ayers Rock. As you enter the airport you’ll see the name of the original airstrip builder on the building (Connellan) but to be sure not to confuse the tourists the airport you book a flight to and the motel you book a room at are the right ones, they carry the name Ayers Rock. Obviously they’re keen on keeping that revenue, and I’m keen to keep giving it.

But, customer service at most of the stores and businesses is by First National people and despite paying top-shelf prices I can’t help but feel that they’d be happier if we weren’t there. After all, we were on their land and after we set up shop there (and put chains up the rock) we gave it back to them as long as we could stay.

I’m invited to Ayers Rock this week in my capacity as a wedding celebrant by a German couple who want to commit to marriage in an iconic, unforgettable, location. They plan to apply for residency and wanted to have the most Aussie wedding ever: at Uluru. (Photos below)

The location they choose for the ceremony seemed to be ok in my humble Australian citizen opinion. The lines on the side of the road were white (not yellow “no stopping” lines), and the land off the road was unfenced. So, we started exchanging vows about twenty metres off the road and quite soon after an unhappy first Nations lady, driving a Toyota land cruiser and flashing a card that meant she could tell us what to do, told us what to do and to move on. We did respectfully, to the sunset viewing area that she suggested.

But the overwhelming experience of Uluru for my German friends and others we talked to, second to the rock’s overwhelming beauty, is that the rest of us aren’t really all that welcome - but our money is.

Which is a confusing position to leave all of us, including the First Nations people, in.

I have a proposal for all of us to consider. Let’s go all in. If we’re supposed to leave, please let me know. If we’re not supposed to be in Uluru please let Qantas and the motels know.

But if we’re going to stay, let’s work out how we can do that in a way where I don’t feel like I’ve committed genocide by asking for a $30 burger that the menu said I could have if I ordered it.

And if we’ll stay, let’s right our wrongs as a community, as a nation, as invaders, as citizens, and as residents. This middle ground was and is necessary, like birthing pains it has been taking us somewhere beautiful, I just don’t think anyone with the power to decide knows where we are going.

My family came to Australia in 1903, I sure hope that by 2103 the society my grandchildren live in will be one of unity and joy, not constant tension and racism.

So let’s figure out where we’re going and let’s go there.

Flying into Sydney over the Blue Mountains from Uluru this afternoon was a visual treat

Two Google conspiracy theories proven true today:

1: Google Chrome tracks and shares your web browsing for advertising purposes:

Chrome now directly tracks users, generates a “topic” list it shares with advertisers.

2: Google Assistant shares your queries for advertising purposes: Research paper.

Podcast recommendation for the media, podcasting, and tech nerds in my circles: Really Specific Stories. It’s by @martinfeld of @HemisphericViews on “the narratives of tech-podcast fandom and the role of open RSS”. Two of my favourite episodes so far are with @marco and @jsnell.

Shane Parrish on playing the long game:

Every action is a step toward the short game or the long game. You can’t opt out, and you can’t play a long-term game in everything. You need to pick what matters to you. But in everything you do, time amplifies the difference between strategies that work in the short term and ones that work in the long term. The long game allows you to compound results. The longer you play, the bigger the rewards.

Duelling Retro Roos sighting

Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together—just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people—people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

– EB White

Most of us, me included, can barely think past the next three minutes. We operate in this fear of lack, lack of good or sleep or money, that completely ignores the long arc of our life which gives us decades of evidence that we haven’t gone without yet, and all trend lines point to us being fine in the future.

That’s one of the elements of marriage I love so much.

In marriage you’re forced - by its very nature - to acknowledge that your life is far bigger than this three minute period of stress and anxiety we’re currently facing - in fact we have a whole life ahead of us, and considering that big picture, it’d be great to have someone else in it.

I’m so glad I got over myself long enough to realise that my big picture was missing you, Britt, thank you for making it so much better by simply being you.

Happy 11th anniversary xx

I’ve driven 737km today, I have 93 left, and I just want to say there needs to be a royal commission into the state of servo food in this once great nation.

I often wonder if Lin-Manuel Miranda is working on a Peggy spin-off

Many thanks to the airline gods for offering up a new CEO for our national flights of Australia for make benefit glorious nation of Qantastralia! May our new blessed CEO that is the one and only decision maker in the entire organisation, no board of directors or any other executive staff. Make good our glorious airline that can now do no wrong and only make good decisions. Whoever the former CEO was, whatever their name, sexuality, or ethnicity was - I forget - may that bad person be forever gone to go lead some European airline far, far away, from our great nation.

Qantas forever!

Guy who’s not the sharpest tool in the shed gets rolled by the world

The lead singer responsible for bringing this century its greatest motivational pop/ska punk/power pop song, All Star, has passed away.


Steve Harwell, the founding singer of Smash Mouth, died today at his home in Boise, Idaho, of liver failure, The New York Times reports. The musician was 56 years old. Harwell dealt with alcoholism and numerous health issues in the years preceding his death.

Smash Mouth undeniably left a dent on pop culture from 1999 onwards, and when I saw the band perform in November 2018 it was stale performance from a tired Steve with a team of young local musos behind him, yet the songs struck that joyful chord in my born-in-1981 heart.

But I want to leave you with Steve’s 2003 cover of Neil Diamond’s You Are My Number One.

Hold me down I’m gonna fly straight to heaven Hold me down Dont ever let go I’ve been around You know I can’t stay forever And when I leave I want you to know - When I’m finally gone, I’m gonna be gone without a trace There’s a lot of good times ahead before we’re done

As someone commented on X, with Jimmy Buffet passing it’s not a great week for guys who liked to party, but it seems like Steve was self-aware enough to know that all of our days are numbered.

I just hope the girl with the shape of an L on her forehead had nothing to do with this.

For sale: Leica Z2X vintage point and shoot film camera

Selling my beloved vintage Leica Z2X 35mm film camera for $700 AUD.

I bought it in Paris but I’d like to step up to a bigger film camera. The Leica has a 35-70mm zoom lens, autofocus is super quick and precise, so no more blurry pics, smart exposure control for a point-and-shoot film camera, shutter speed ranges from a slow 1/4 sec to a fast 1/300 sec. Plus, there’s a “B” setting for long exposures. Serial number is 2378996 and it’s got that infectious red dot.

Available for pickup on the Gold Coast (Palm Beach) or I can deliver to Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, or weirdly Uluru over the next two weeks as those are places I’m going to be. Also driving from Sydney up to Gold Coast on Tuesday so I can deliver on the way.

Slip into my DMs if you’re keen.


Here’s some photos made with the camera around Paris this year. These images were scanned in Paris, I’ve straightened a few but the colours and exposure are out of camera.

Church in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Church in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Street band performing in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Potato camera being used by potato photographer in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Daughter at Hardware Societe Cafe in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Ash Punch showing Luna the original metre in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Withers family in Paris 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. The Siene, PAris, France. Swans. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Building in Sanit Germaine. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Wine bottles on the street. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers.

Apple Store, Saint Germaine, Paris, France. May 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers.<

Universit in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. My daughers at Les Margots, Paris, France, May 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Couple at a cafe in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Luxemburg Gardens, Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Me, holding Godlie, Paris in May 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Britt in Paris, May 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Ash taking a selfie with the girls in our apartment on his Sony A6400, Paris, May 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Bakery in Paris with Luna. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Eiffel Tower. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Carousel. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Gardens around The Lourve. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Britt and Luna on a bridge in Paris. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Example of using the flash on the camera. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Photo of a photo of The King, hanging in an English bookstore in Paris, May 2023. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers. Photo taken with Leica Z2X in Paris by Josh Withers.

Can anyone I know remember the name of the modern web browser for MacOS System 9? I don’t know why this matters to me so much but I need to browse the web inside a virtual machine of System 9 just to feel something today while I wait for news to occur for today’s Sizzle.

I’m a part of the Hobart wedding trail coming up in a few weeks. I’m expecting a great crowd to fly down and come and jump on a bus or boat and check out the Tasmanian wedding scene. My friend Nina at Isle Weddings is hosting, check out her website for more info.

You’re never going to guess who Nouba interviewed.

I’m guest editing The Sizzle today. Apologies for any banana peel in the email.

I’m the guest on the most recent episode of Polka Dot Wedding’s Feel Good Wedding Podcast. My audio recording isn’t great because it was recorded in a small tiled Italian co-working office room, but the sentiment is great: getting married can be and should be awesome and enjoyable.

Listen on their website or in your podcast app of choice.

And thank you to Dorothy and Mary for having me :)

YouTube bringing that dad energy

Death to paper straws


Can confirm, hearing the instrumental “Still Call Australia Home” as you’re settling in your seat as everyone boards, tickles an emotional muscle.

I’m in the Qantas Singapore Lounge and the waiter poured me a glass of Shiraz, a 2020 from South Australia, on the left.

I make the joke, “2020, not a good year” and then I laugh and smile back at him.

He comes back five minutes later with a 2016 cab sav (on the right) hoping that I like that better.

My comedy is wasted on these people.

Frames from Singapore

  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023
  • Frames from Singapore from the Withers trip 2023

Four year old just now at our Singapore hotel as we’re getting ready to go to Singapre airport: I don’t want to eat here, I want to eat at ‘the club at the airport’.

Someone’s enjoying her dad’s Platinum status a bit too much.

Luna calls cable cars “plane trains” and honestly, that’s a much better name.

When we took the kids overseas everyone told us to make sure we look after them …

Hello, Qantas my old friend

Entering the Paul Kelly stage of our Europe adventure …

Arriverderci, au revoir, aufwiedersen, hasta la vista. Yeah, every fucking city’s just the same.