July 2nd, 2021, a day which will live in annoyancy, I slipped on a slightly sloped wet boulder along the Kangaroo Creek trail in Royal National Park.

From that brief moment of clumsiness, I would struggle to walk normally for six weeks.

Trigger warning: If you have issues reading a long-winded lack-of-conscience account of a minor medical issue turning into weeks of wasted time, skip this and watch the Kenneth Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing.

This is about the best that the trail looked — it often disappeared and reappeared, especially when close to Kangaroo Creek.

My back hit the rock underneath me, but the large internal-frame pack protected me. But my shins had cracked into the edge of…

Before you think you’re getting a juicy story about BJR and hallucinogenic fungi, guess again. But it’s still pretty mind-altering.

My job at Grok is essentially also the main perk of the job — I get to spend time with incredible founders, and learn about the amazing things they are doing to create great products.

Fable Foods is one of Grok’s investments, creating unique plant-based meat products from shiitake mushrooms. …

My fourth visit to my favourite part of Australia did not disappoint. As always, Tasmania delivers an escape from the claustrophobia of Sydney, and a chance to experience a little bit of wilderness. Over eight days we had five long bush walks and more dramatic scenery to the point where it is almost indecent to talk about. But, that hasn’t stopped me before.

I had to photoshop this image to take the Kookaburra off of my head and make my biceps look bigger.

This will mostly be a photo essay. Lucky you.

Part 1: Hobart

Having only landed in Hobart and quickly departed on my one previous visit to Tassie, we spent one day in the city and several nights sampling the food…

Having recent first-hand experience with the quality of the New South Wales Police force, I needed faith that somewhere in the world, good police work was being done, or at least was being attempted, or was at least was entertaining.

Given our global fascination with crime, it’s no surprise that there is a plethora (of piñatas?) of detective TV shows. I found myself captivated by the genre when set in remote locations around the world: The Shetland Islands, UK; Lappeenranta, Finland; Ystad, Sweden; Aberystwyth, Wales; Reykjavik, Iceland.

Bordertown: Quirky as

I never look this normal in the show. I’m quite dysfunctional. Trust me. But what do you expect when they spell the word “Police” with three i’s.

Bordertown focuses on the life of Kari, a detective from Helsinki who relocates…

For those of you new to “The Coaster”, it’s my approach to New Year’s Resolutions. Usually I try to gather a group of people and get them to set goals outside their comfort zone, but social distancing and Zoom fatigue meant that Leigh and I set them together. For more on the tradition, see my blog post from 2015.

As a child, some of my favourite commercials were for Rainier Beer. Strangely, I don’t think I’ve ever had one.

As usual, I set 9 goals this year. The 2021 goals are not nearly as ambitious as in years past. They will not be affected by whenever borders open up or how locked down we are. …

14 days in one hotel room with my own ego

After six weeks in the US caring for Mom, I was lucky that 90% of what awaited me upon my return to Sydney was no surprise. Leigh had just exited quarantine so I had great intel on the basics.

This is the Captain speaking. We’ve landed in Sydney. Now after spending 24 hours in a small space, you’re about to spending 14-days in an even smaller one.

Kept together in the herd

Overall, it took “us” 2 hours to exit the airport. Our flight (all 20 of “us”) was kept together the entire time — you don’t mingle with other flights to avoid cross-contamination. To master the airport quarantine shuffle, just learn these six easy steps:

  1. Wait an hour for the flights in…

I mentioned in my last blog post that I was coming out to the US to help care for my mother.

I’ve never been a caregiver in my entire life. I don’t have kids, and I’ve avoided dependent relationships. The last month has been one long “teachable moment” for me.

What happens if your Mom falls and no one is there to notice?

Mom had been living independently since 2001 when my dad passed away, first in apartments in Florida, and then relocating to Northern Virginia to be near my sister. At one point, living in Austin, I pitched Mom on moving to Austin to be near me. Mom said, “Oh Bryan, you…

tl;dr I am spending six weeks in Virginia to care for my mom. While the US is the last place I want to be right now, it’s the right place to be for my family. And yes, during the US Election to boot.

I don’t miss the US medical system

When we first contemplated traveling to the US, we weren’t even sure how it was possible. After calls with Ajuria (the best immigration lawyers I’ve ever encountered), they helped us understand that getting to and from the US because of a medical reason was very doable, but would take some work.

What I thought would be the…

tl;dr —📣 I’ve joined Grok Ventures as an Operator-In-Residence to work hands-on with their portfolio companies, most of whom are focused on tech that helps with the challenge of climate change.

The Journey

In June, I was approaching the anniversary of my re-entry into Australia after my worldwide sabbatical and decided to take stock of what I’d done in the last year and what I wanted to do next. I’d written An Update on Chapter 2 to help catalog what I’d been up to over the last year.

Working with a variety of entrepreneurs last year had been amazing — they’d taught…

Immune Suppression Social Distancing

While during lockdown, the NSW government had asked all residents to limit travel and stay local, and our hikes along the paths in the Eastern suburbs had become overcrowded.

Can’t see the forest for the trees. And that’s a really nice thing.

I’d become a little paranoid about all the people in our neighbourhood. People around the beaches hadn’t shown the best sense of judgement when the pandemic began. Being a kidney transplant recipient, I take drugs (drugs!) to suppress my immune system, so Leigh and I were being extra careful. The one study on the mortality rate of transplant recipients was scary (28%), though I know I’m much healthier than the average…

Bryan J. Rollins

A man. A plan. Subscribe via email at http://eepurl.com/dhhmvr

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