Vale Sebastian

Last night I crashed hard.  Got the boys in bed, nearly falling asleep myself reading L  ‘Fortunately The Milk’.  Said to N “I’ll just take 5 min here on the floor then I’ll call dad, post, do my ironing and watch some more Jessica Jones with you.”

I was nudged into bed about 9:30 and woke refreshed at 5:45 this morning.

5 minutes before my alarm.

My father’s dog Sebastian was put to sleep yesterday. Buried in a grave I helped dig. Sebastian was 14, an old, old dog.  Suffering a lung problem that left him permanently short of breath. Huffing and puffing all through the day and night. He had a good ending. I hope by the time I reach senescence euthanasia laws have been untangled to the point that I can do the same.


The labour of digging is severely underestimated by those who don’t do it very often or at all. Council workers are well justified to have a good lean on their shovels.

Brought to you by the letter T and the number 15



Cooperative art by L and I on free commission as part of a project for L’s daycare center. Over the past day and a half we have swum in a river, eaten good food, drunk plenty of coffee, been given even more toys for the boys. We have collected leaves and flowers, painted and tonight I have been choosing challenging craft activities for the rotations this week.   Sebastian the dog, who huffs and puffs all day and all night long now. F overcame his mortal terror of dogs enough to pat Seb today.IMG_20151129_125037  

These two are proving to be some of this year’s most amusing discoveries:


Walking & digging


View of the tail end of the march crossing the Victoria St bridge from SouthBank.

Today we walked in the heat with thousands of others. It was a sedate, mostly quiet, almost sombre yet friendly affair. Easily the biggest march I’ve seen in Brisbane since the ‘NoWar’  event in ’02. I was pleased we made it. We did not in truth complete the whole walk. When we made it to southbank we stopped to grab ice cream and go to bathrooms. By the time we were done the throng was so far ahead that catching them was futile. We walked back over the Victoria St bridge. Rejoining the same section of the march we had started with. It was an odd and it must be said a pretty undisruptive route taken. Cohesion as always is an issue for the left. Every girl and their dog is out to represent their personal issue,  whether Trotskyism,  veganism,  socialist alternative or Labor. This is all very well but imagine how much more effective 7+ thousand people all in black would be. The image would stick in a way the motley crew that is the usual assortment at a march simply doesn’t.

This morning I also attended what will be L’s last circus lesson for some time. Next week we have a showcase performance. Beyond that it will be practice with me only.

This afternoon my father and I dug a hole. More about that another day. Now with a full belly and good company to keep I’m signing off for the night.

-This post was written from my phone.





Paris starts next week. I am not hopeful, but I would love to be surprised by the outcome. It is a terrible shame and I believe likely the result of deliberate forethought, that all reporting of the event will be coloured and overshadowed by the attacks of a fortnight ago.


I don’t believe our present government has any interest at all in acting on climate change. Turnbull lost all sense of integrity for me in his handling of the NBN, now the MTM or Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess. It is disappointing to me that the internet issue, which is going to directly affect most peoples day to day lives, gets so little attention. Bandwidth is going to be like the weather within a few years and thanks to the LNP we are doomed to many years of dismal grey days. Internet speeds and openness is another story though. On climate Turnbull is hamstrung by the far right of his party such that even if he did want to move on climate change -which is questionable- he would lose such significant support that he wont risk it. Belief in climate change falls very clearly along partisan lines according to the most recent review by CSIRO. Unfortunately as long as Snub Boredom or whatever his name is remains head of Labor, Turnbull will breeze the next election with his nose held high.

I do wonder what it will take for country -read National Party- Australia to cotton on that the LNP coalition doesn’t value them. They certainly are not acting in the long term interests of rural Australia. The LNP are bizarrely willing to steamroll legitimate concerns about the sustainable livelihoods of their own constituents.  Rural towns take a sedate approach to change, social change in particular. Sadly it seems to me that the Greens and other progressive independent groups are treated with such suspicion, defensiveness and resistance. It is as if the left has caused some great affront rural Australia for which they have never apologised and all peace offerings since have been grossly misjudged and perceived as condescending at best. It may be many terms in some seats before centrist, let alone left wing candidates are even remotely plausible.

I’ve had quite a few arguments with climate deniers over the years. I used to follow the issue a lot more closely and even kept track of r/climateskeptics (not linking, because you really don’t want to go there) for emerging trends to counter. That ways lies madness, ulcers and aneurysms. These days I don’t regularly read many articles from my field (Ecology) mostly sticking to what shows up in my general and pop science feeds. So lets say I am far from an expert on the actual mechanisms of climate change or the current state of monitoring. I am however quite confident that the likelihood of climate change not having an anthropogenic origin is so small as to be considered ludicrous. The fact that this is not universally common knowledge is due to a few factors; Chief among them a dedicated and expensive misinformation campaign by people and organisations like Exxon and Koch brothers as well as the way certain attention seekers continue to spout the same spurious twaddle week in week out even after being corrected.  As with many big issues I think a significant portion of the problem stems from a fundamental lack of imagination. Because we can’t see carbon gases, because we have no reference point for visualising how much carbon our car puts out, let alone our electrical devices where the power stations are far away and our usage is some tiny fraction of the total output. The sheer vastness of the scale on which our species pollutes is astonishing.


A back of the napkin calculation of the global pollution output going on right now from cigarettes alone demonstrates that even small actions can on mass have huge consequences.  Something in the order of 27 million tons of CO2 per year based on some very loose assumptions and this is not accounting for the growth, harvest, manufacture and transport of the product. That is but one of the seemingly inexhaustible number of ways our species makes waste some of them in amounts orders of magnitude larger.



No one wants to look to closely at climate change, it is too frightening but if we do not act, it will affect all of us and our children directly.

I’ll be here tomorrow. Heading there direct from L’s circus lesson (Yes that’s us).

I implore you to join me on the street wherever you are. Stand up and be counted.



Light shade

The end of reporting is in sight.

Tonight I share my Great dodecahedron light shade design.

Great dodecahedron lightshade

Completed over 2 years ago.
I was just last weekend struck with an idea for how to easily close the bottom opening in such a way that it would still be easy, when necessary to change the bulb.

I’ve yet to find a satisfactory way to make the joins without the fold shadow, other than 3D printing anyway. 

Great dodecahedron lightshade

Also note I’ve swapped to Flikr embeds in preference to Instagram. As with all things Fbook related Instagram has a developed a bit of a reek of puritanical distaste to it.
#Freethenipple being but one example. 


Here’s a video I’ve seen freebooted more than once:

Keeping it short and sweet tonight.



A spectre, an illustrator and a mobile

Sounds like the beginning to a joke right… I got nothing.

Listen and enjoy peculiar beautiful visuals.

I found out that an artist/illustrator who’s work I’ve used extensively in lessons is making an appearance at Where The Wild Things Are tomorrow evening.

I’m planning to attend and perhaps even make a frivolous purchase.

Ken robinson quote

Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils.

Tonight, thanks to the gracious baby sitting skills of a colleague N and I were able to go to the cinema and see Spectre. Classicly formulaic Bond, at times thrilling, at times very cheesy. The plot, spoiler warning, largely revolves around the bad guy failing to kill 007 in ever larger and more elaborate set pieces. Lots of fun to get out of the house and spend an evening like social adults.

Reporting continues, I’ll do some calligraphy if I can still keep my eyes open when I get to the bottom of the maths assessment pile.


We were given this mobile among the many baby gifts. I liked the idea but found the execution lacking, so I made my own. I like mine better, it also had a large rubber band winding mechanism and I have considered trying to put a salable kit together.


Edit: Removed the dodgy .gif as it is not playing properly and I have neither time nor energy to try and repair it tonight.

Lastly, tonight I found one of the wife’s guilty pleasures left open among the chrome tabs.

Enjoy 😀



Amusements and marking

Only fun things today, then I am back to odious piles of marking.


Discovered the joy of Medievil reactions. NSFW & Often offensive.

For something more cerebral, some maths art. C/o: 

sin(xy) and Re[arctan(z)] (or Im[arctanh(z)])


I’ve been drawing on children’s art.

Involuntary collaboration A photo posted by @liatach on

Books, Podcasts and Buster Keaton

Have a listen to this.

Attended a niece’s birthday party today.
Realised the big move is four weeks away today. Some packing is done, some started, some cannot even be begun until the week prior. Carpet cleaning, truck booking and some paid heavy lifters for the day are all booked. A house cleaner is still required, as are boxes, packing paper and hours and hours of toil.

Catching up on some cinema history tonight. I’ve previously only ever seen very brief clips from this.

Also found a delight from childhood; Behind the scenes of Danger Mouse.

Last night I ended up listening to the whole 2 hours of this interview with Alain De Botton. I’ve read a couple of columns by him and most of his book ‘Religion for Atheists’ which is great. I’ve found a couple more of his works to listen and read through in the future.

Spent some time working on story book rhymes, some of which are being elusive. I found the Ctrl-Paint Perspective Pt1 on an older drive thankfully.

Tonight I’ve altered the theme of the blog to this fancy set which I got in the weekly freebies from Creative Market some months back. This theme has some fancy touches, animated transitions and it displays the header images better. I’m hoping swapping to it may also reset the Fbook post image settings.

I finished listening to ‘Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman‘ a couple of days ago. Apart from a couple of moments of historically appropriate sexism I enjoyed it immensely. Feynman is a very entertaining story teller, each anecdote is filled with wit, often with pride and some with a kind of amiable fury at the ineptitude and frustrating willful blindness exhibited by so much of the population. One story that sticks with me in particular concerns the generosity and welcome he was granted in visiting Japan to attend a physics conference. This of course after having been integral to the design of The Bomb. He makes no mention of it but surely there must have been some awkwardness there.

Practiced calligraphy for a while. Not really worth sharing but in the spirit of accountability:

WOTD + drills

A photo posted by @liatach on

L is still inspired by the game Grow Home which I played with him on my lap some months ago. I built him a costume at the time, only the helmet of which has survived. Today he asked me to build the MOM rocketship to match his self constructed BUD. Together we then added a Meep (sheep), mushroom and the main feature of the game; The Starflower Vine.  

A photo posted by @liatach on

The costume in case you missed it:

Painting frustration

Managed to get some serious marking done today. In an expensive cafe within the frenetic confines of the thankfully blissfully air conditioned Indropilly shopping centre. Also achieved food shopping, shoe shopping, finalising my NSW teacher registration application, circus with L and a tiny bit of laundry. I have since watched and read a number of interesting things. 

Tried to figure out why when linking posts on Fbook I always get the same header image of the Jean Julien Peace Eiffel no matter what the featured image is here. Attempted two fixes, gave up for now.

Watched this and daydreamed about the workbenches I will make in my studio/workshop someday.

Very impressed with the standard of cosplay on offer at BlizzCon this year

Showed off my progress on Instagram

6 weeks later. 12 x A seventy five Russian kettlebell swing workout.

A photo posted by @liatach on

I also plan to get some digital painting done but have so far hit a number of hurdles. 

First my tablet wasn’t even plugged in, mental hurdle vaulted.

Second my tablet drivers have not been installed since I updated to Win 10 a few weeks back.

Third that means all my presets and tablet shortcut keys need reassigned.

Fourth my preferred brush set was missing, found it.

Fifth the perspective template I want to play with, part of the perspective kits here (which I own) was missing. Unfortunately one of the three things I have bought’s download link has expired. Hopefully it is on another drive somewhere.  Found a suitable perspective template but not the ‘Make your own’ tool I was looking for.

Stopped to figure out how to do the red dot brush re-size again. TLDR it’s Alt + Right click and drag. Up and Down for Hardness, Left and Right for Size.

Sixth now distracting myself writing this post instead.

So enough… painting time.

Edit Painting complete. Perspective was a wash, opted instead for a character study.

Agent Smith.